Top Loaders vs. Front Loaders - which is better?

January 10, 2015

Top loading washing machines were an integral part of American culture for many decades. Therefore, when front loaders were first introduced, primarily at laundromats, it was only natural for there to be some resistance to using them at first. However, over time, most people have come to realize that front loaders offer many advantages over top loaders. The primary advantages of front loaders are outlined below.


You Can Wash More Laundry In a Front Loader
When it comes to washing machine capacity, looks can be deceiving as they say! Even though a front loader may look smaller than a top loader, the "smaller" front loader will almost always be able to hold a lot more clothes! This is because the agitator in a top loader takes up so much space. On the other hand, the entire inside volume of a front loader is available for your laundry with nothing to get in the way! When people use a front loader for the first time, it is very common to hear them say things like, "I can't believe how many clothes I was able to fit in there... I only had to use one machine."


Front Loaders Are Much More Gentle On Your Laundry Than Top Loaders
The agitator in a top loader comes with another major disadvantage. It grabs your laundry, abrasively rubs against it, and switches your laundry hard through the water. In doing so, the agitator quite literally wears your laundry out! You might as well go beat it against a rock! In other words, your clothes will last a lot longer if you use front loaders because they will be subjected to less wear and tear with every wash. Your collars won't be as frayed. Your buttons will stay on. It will take a lot longer for your sheets to develop those icky rough knots. Your baby clothes will stay softer and less worn and so will your undergarments and favorite t-shirts!


Front Loaders Get Your Clothes Much Dryer
At the end of the rinse cycle, laundry is spun to remove the excess water. The more revolutions per minute (rpm), the more water removed. Front loaders have a much higher rpm rate than top loaders so the clothes come out of the washing machine much dryer. This means they do not take as long to dry in the dryer. In fact, it is common for clothes coming out of a front loading washing machine to only take 10 to 15 minutes to dry! This saves energy and you money. Having garments like sweaters come out of the washing machine dryer also helps if you want to hang dry them instead of putting them into the dryer.


You Can Wash Big Items In a Front Loader
Without the agitator in the way, it is much easier to load big items like comforters, sleeping bags, bath mats, dog beds, and curtains into a front loading washing machine. Plus, not only do they load easier, they also balance out automatically. No more having to twist these large items around the agitator in just the right way to balance them out! Moreover, as these larger items wash in a front loader, they move around more freely, getting the soap and water distributed evenly and getting them much cleaner than they would get in top loading washing machine!


You Can Wash Bigger Loads and Still Have Your Clothes Come Out Great
With a top loading washing machine, we all know what happens if you try to stuff too much in. The clothes can't move around very well and they don't wash well as a result. Plus, the machine becomes unbalanced. You may even notice that some garments still have soap in them at the end because they couldn't rinse well. When you take them out of the washer, they are often still soaking wet because the spin cycle could not remove enough water. All of these problems go away with a front loader! Even if you wash a big load at maximum capacity, your clothes will still have room to move around and get properly washed and rinsed. They will also be a lot less wet at the end of the wash. Bigger loads save energy and money!


Front Loaders Are Less Likely To Damage Delicate Garments
Even on the gentle cycle, loosely woven fabrics, such as knitted shawls and lightweight sweaters, can easily get snagged and/or warped by the agitator in top loader washing machine. The same is true for any garment with embroidery, lace, or other embellishments. Delicate fabrics, like silky lingerie or sheer curtains, do not hold up well to agitation. The delicate snaps on bras and slips don't do well in an agitating top loader either. Front loaders are so much more gentle on your delicates, you can even wash pantyhose in a front loader with no damage (use the gentle cycle and cold water).


It Is Easier To Wash Certain Items In Front Loaders
If you throw a pair of sneakers into a top loading washing machine, we all know what to expect, because it is nearly impossible to keep this type of item balanced for the whole duration of the wash, rinse, and spin cycles! With all that knocking that you hear, you know they are not getting washed well. Shoe laces and shoe flaps also get caught more easily on the agitator when the machine is out of balance.


Final Thoughts
As you can see, front loaders have several significant advantages over top loaders. If you haven't already tried a front loader, we encourage you to give it a try. Most people end up loving them after they've tried them and never want to go back to a top loading machine!

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