Both front load and top-load washing machines can clean clothes but the differences lie in how they function or work. Front load washers are considered more energy efficient, consume less water, and they are soft on fabrics and come with extra features.
Now, let’s have a quick look at the basic differences between the two in the below table.
Front load vs top load washing machine – comparison
|FRONT LOAD||TOP LOAD|
|More expensive than top load||Less expensive|
|You might have a bit problem to bow down for the purpose of loading or unloading. You can place these at a height to make it convenient for yourself.||Ergonomic and highly beneficial for people who have severe back ache issues|
|Sophisticated machinery and might take you a couple of days to master the working mechanism.||Easy to use and hence good choice for novices|
|You need to open the door in the front and you need to have a clearance space in the front. So, it can be bad options if there is utter space scarcity.||Can readily slip into small spaces, great for rented apartments|
|Uses less water and are highly energy efficient||Uses more water per load and consumes 50% more electricity|
|Soft on clothes; better longevity for your clothes||Tough on clothes while washing; especially the ones with an agitator|
|Provides quality clean in less time – better in removing dirt and stains from clothes||Less efficient and takes more time in removing stubborn stains|
|Uses less detergent||Uses more detergent because it requires more water|
|Has longer life-span than top-loads||Less life expectancy|
|Less noise||Can be noisy|
Still confused? Watch this video to understand better on knowing the differences between front load and top load washing machine.
(If you are interested in a portable top-load washing machine, do check out this review – Best Small Washing Machine In India.)
Advantages of a front loading washing machine
Though the advent of washing machines was through the top load model, people these days prefer front load over top load for multiple reasons.
Here are the top-notch benefits of the front-loading washing machines:
- Front load washing machines are less harsh on the clothes. They clean the clothes efficiently without causing much wear and tear on them. This improves the shelf life of the fabric. There is no agitator placed centrally in the front load washing machines, which are present in the top load ones.
- The front load can provide better cleaning with lesser number of cycles.
- Less noise and vibration are created while working. The relative silence of the front load washing machines makes them highly preferable.
- Most front load washing machines come with self-cleaning mechanisms and hence have longer life spans and need least maintenance externally.
- They don’t get out of order very often. Front loads are reliable and require lesser servicing.
Things to look for in a front load washing machine
Here are the most important factors which you should take a note of before you invest in buying any front load washing machine:
The preliminary factor for me is the capacity. The capacity and budget are often correlated. Same applies to capacity and space consumption. So, if you can choose wisely regarding the capacity, you shall be able to save the space as well as prevent the unnecessary investment on washing machines.
Space becomes a constraint when you are living in rented apartments or small houses. The capacity of the washing machine is completely dependent on the number of members in the family and the estimated laundry load generated by your family.
A front load washing machine with a capacity of 6 – 7 kg is most preferred in Indian market.
2. Energy and water optimization
The other important factor according to me is energy and water optimization, that is resource optimization. How well a washing machine can utilize the available resources and operate without much water wastage or burning a hole in the pocket is an important determining feature. Anyway, most of the automatic front loader washing machines need less water while functioning.
Look for machines with inverter technology and good Energy Star Rating.
3. Customizable wash programs
Customization in terms of modes of the wash cycles. All the laundry that you put into the machine are of different nature. Some are delicate and require soft handling, whereas some are soiled or stained and require rigorous treatment for complete cleaning.
So, you must check out the extent to which the wash programs are customizable. Also, check out the various pre-set wash modes before buying.
Some of the above models even have different wash modes for diffident kinds of fabrics.
4. Spin cycle
The spin cycle of a washing machine also makes a difference. Delicate fabric needs less RPM (about 500) whereas linens like bedsheets need spin cycle of about 1000 RPM to dry.
Basically, the higher the Spin RPM, the faster it takes to dry the clothes. Most budget front loading washing machines have a minimum of 800 RPM.
5. In-built heater
The in-built heater in front load washing machine can heat up the water to certain degrees. As hot water washes clothes better, this feature will help easily remove the dirt, allergens, and stubborn stains. Some of the machines even offer steaming options, which is quiet useful in fighting germs and stains.
So, go for the one which comes with in-built heater. It will be quiet useful during winter season.
6. Drum material
If you want to diminish the maintenance cost of the drum, then make it a point to check out for the material of the drum and also check whether it has any automated self-cleaning options.
Machines with plastic or fiber drums weigh less, easier to clean, and have better resistance to corrosion from hard and salty water. However, some experts argue that stainless steel drums are more durable and give better drying and hygienic washing experience.
Most modern front loaders come with advanced and long-lasting drums, like the Diamond Drum Feature in above Samsung model.
7. Smart LED display
A machine with waterproof touch panel and smart display makes you more convenient while doing laundry. It informs you about wash progress, temperature, load size, and much more.
FAQs about front loaders
Which is the best front load washing machine brand in India?
Even a cheap front loader from brands like Koryo or Galanz can run for years without any technical trouble. However, premium brands like Bosch, IFB, LG, Midea, and Samsung have better reputation in the market when it comes to after-sale services, durability, features, product varieties, and build quality.
When every manufacturer claims to be the ‘best’, it would be tough for us to decide the winner. IFB is a great choice for someone particularly looking for an Indian brand. Bosch is known for its quality and longevity. Their front loaders use latest technologies like VarioDrum and VarioPerfect. LG, Samsung, and Haier are on the same level.
The brand you choose is totally up to your preference.
Does front load washing machine use different detergent?
Yes, for thorough cleansing of clothes it advised to use highly-efficiency detergents. Unlike a top load washing machine, a front load requires less water, takes less time, and has different washing mechanism. Thus, a specific kind of detergent is recommended, which is easily available in the market.
How is it more economical than the top loads?
I agree, front loads are more expensive and you will pay more than half the price of a top load washing machine when getting a new one. But over the years, you will save a lot on electricity bill, maintenance, water, and even detergents. Also, you will spend less time on your laundry. ‘Time is money’, right?
How long does a front load washer last?
Most front load washers last about 14 years on an average. But, it also totally depends on how often you use and take care of your machine. If you have a large family and use it daily, then the lifespan will be less. Today’s front load machines come with 2 – 5 years of warranty and even offer 10 years on spare part and motor replacement.
Front load vs top load washing machine – so, which is better? Well, there is nothing called better in this case. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For me, the front load works better as it is much more energy efficient and works in a better way.