If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, it can be quite confusing to make sense of your options. You need a unit that will be able to handle your usual laundry needs – but having additional features and functionality is really nice when you need to clean something like a comforter or delicate fabrics. We can generally divide washing machine units into two types: top-load and front-load, each named for the location of the door on the units. The best choice for you will depend on several factors. Here are some of the most common decision points that you should consider!
Ease of Use
Convenience is a major reason why some homeowners choose one washer type over another. For older homeowners or those that have trouble bending down, a top-load unit makes a lot of sense since you don’t have to bend over to load and unload the machine. However, this issue can be somewhat mitigated on a front-load washer through the use of laundry pedestals, which can raise the height of the door by about twelve inches.
Speed of Cycles
Top-load washers clean clothes faster than front-load units, but only if they are designed with an agitator. The agitator creates motion within the machine to force and shake water throughout the interior. Top-load units without an agitator have longer clean cycles, but can clean more clothes in one cycle and use less water overall.
Quality of Cleaning
One area where top-load washers fall a bit short is in the quality of the clean and the way they affect clothes in the long term. Front-load units are much gentler on your clothing, allowing them to last longer. In addition, they tend to clean larger items such as comforters and pillows better because they can be fully immersed in water during the cleaning cycle, which isn’t the case in a top-load unit.
Energy efficiency has been one of the most important factors in appliance shopping for several years. While high efficiency (or HE) top-load washers do use less water than top-load units with an agitator, the clear winner in energy efficiency overall is the front-load washer.