This is probably your first question when looking for a new washing machine, and with good reason!
Although either will do the important job of washing your clothes – one may be more suited to your home and physical needs.
Obviously if you only have under bench space, a top loader won’t be an option but if you have a space that will accommodate both, then you have a decision on your hands!
Here are some characteristics of both which will help you make your decision.
- Tend to be more energy efficient in terms of water and energy usage
- Have faster spin speeds to clothes tend to come out dryer
- Tend to be quieter than a top loader
- Generally have more wash options (e.g. wool, cotton)
- Can’t be paused once started (so you can’t add that odd sock you find mid-wash)
- Have longer washing cycles, no ‘quick wash’ here
- Generally are more expensive than top loaders
- Have larger load capacities
- Have a quick wash cycle – which means you can do more washing in one day!
- You can add items in mid cycle (the odd sock issue, solved!)
- Generally there are cheaper options than the front loaders
- Can be more comfortable to use especially if you have back problems
- They tend to use more water and energy, although choosing energy efficient options can solve this
- Tend to be quite loud when spinning
- Can’t be stored under a bench, or put a dryer on top which may not suit your laundry space
So which is best, a front or top loader?
It’s not really a question of which is best, but which is best for you.
If your laundry allows you the option of either, then think about how much washing you do. If you have to do several loads a weekend to cover school uniforms, tradies clothes, towels, bedding etc. a top loader may be more suitable as you can get more washing done in less time, maximising the extra capacity they offer and the quick wash cycles.
If you only do 1-2 small loads a week, then the slightly more energy efficient front loader may suit you.