Top Load vs Front Load: Which is Best for You?

The great laundry debate is one for the books - is a top load or front load washer better? You can read opinions for days on the internet – some are very strong-willed opinions for one or the other. But in the end, which is ultimately the best option? There are pros and cons to both that depend on your needs and lifestyle.

Cleaning Performance
Front loading washing machines provide the greatest cleaning ability in comparison to top loaders. This doesn’t mean top loading machines don’t clean your clothes. This just means that front loaders do it a bit better. If you find you’re always doing laundry, washing big and bulky items – we’re looking at you comforters and towels –, or tackling excessively soiled clothes, a front load machine may be your best friend in the long run.

One of the greatest features of a front load washer is that it can generally be stacked. What makes stacking so great? For one, half the floor space is used. Two, you can tuck your laundry machines away in a closet, a huge bonus if you don’t have a designated laundry room and don’t want to use your laundry machines as home decor.

Although top load models cannot be stacked, they offer another equally as nice bonus. Having this type of machine eliminates the constant bending of putting clothes in and taking them out. You can stand normally and avoid that unnecessary back pain.

If you’re anything like me, there’s always that one straggling dirty sock that gets left behind, hiding behind the laundry basket. Top load washers are much more forgiving in this situation. Most machines will let you toss in last minute items after the cycle has already started. Definitely, can’t do that with a front load washer – unless you want a sudsy pool party in your laundry room of course.

Due to technology advances and the placement of the drum, the front loader is the most energy efficient option. It not only uses less water than top loading machines, it has the ability for a faster spin speed, removing more moisture. You know what that means? Less moisture = less drying time = less energy used. Now that’s a win for you and the environment.

Top loading washers are generally cheaper. If you’re on a budget, you can save a few hundred dollars by opting in for a top loading machine. If you’re on a really tight budget, there are a lot of used and refurbished options out there. Front loading machines are still too new, so used options are limited. 

Front Load Washer

  • Best cleaning performance
  • Stackable
  • Most energy efficient option
  • Larger Capacity
  • Adjustable cycles
  • More expensive
  • Customized wash cycles can be longer
  • The fast spin and vibration can cause movement
  • Water can get trapped inside causing odor

Top Load Washer


  • Less expensive
  • Less bending over
  • You can add laundry after the cycle starts
  • Controls are simpler


  • Cannot stack
  • Lower cleaning performance
  • Less capacity – especially if there is an agitator
  • Cannot customize wash cycles