Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings
- Both top-loading and front-loading washing machines come in energy-efficient models. A top-loading machine, however, still requires a significant amount of water to operate. This is because the entire drum of a top-loading machine must be full of water, while a front-loading machine requires 66 percent less water to operate, according to Appliances.com. Top-loading machines, both energy-efficient and traditional ones, cost less to purchase than front-loading models, according to Lowes. Therefore, a consumer can compare the energy savings with the overall cost of the machine.
Detergents and Fabric Softeners
- Top-loading machines do not require specialty detergents to run. A front-loading machine, however, requires high-energy-efficient laundry detergents, which come in limited scents and brands. The same goes for fabric softeners. While some brands carry only HE-approved fabric softeners, other brands may not have the proper softener for your front-loading machine. Though front-loading machines use specialized detergents, they also use less detergent and fabric softener than a traditional top-loading machine.
- Top-loading washers are typically too wide for confined spaces or narrow laundry rooms. Front-loading washing machines, however, can be used as stackables since they are narrower than top-loading machines. Space-saving front-loading machines are 24 inches in width, compared to the typical 27 inches of traditional washers, according to Consumer Reports.
- Traditional top-loading machines have an agitator. The agitator spins around, which cycles the clothes evenly through the soapy water and rinse cycles. A front-loading machine omits the need for an agitator because the barrel spins vertically rather than horizontally. A top-loading machine paired with an agitator can be too harsh for some delicate clothing items. The twisting action of the agitator wears down clothes fibers, causing them to wear faster. Front-loading machines offer steam-cleaning capabilities, which allows for dry cleaning and sanitizing at higher temperatures --- something top-loading machines do not offer.