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Compare Front Load vs Top Load Washer Costs

Front Load Washers Overview

Front loading washing machines have been common in Europe for decades, but they only became popular with consumers in the United States within the last 10 years or so. Now, the vast majority of washers that are sold here are front loading models.

Just as the name suggests, front loading washing machines are loaded through a door on the front of the machine. Typically, the door has a window that allows you to see inside the machine. Unlike top loaders, front loading machines do not have a central agitator. The drum simply rotates to spin your clothes from top to bottom.

How Much Do Front Load Washers Cost?

Front loading washing machines start at about $400 and range upwards of $1,500. However, the vast majority of models fall in the $600 to $1,200 range, which is about double the average cost of a top loading model.

Front Load Washers Pros

  • Use less water - Front loading washers use much less water than top loaders. Some models use three times less.
  • Gentler on clothes - Front loading washers are gentler on your clothes because there’s no agitator. Clothes are tumbled up and down in a gentler motion that is similar to hand washing. You’re clothes won’t fade as fast and will last longer.
  • More efficient - Front loading washers are more energy efficient.

Front Load Washers Cons

  • More expensive - Front loading washers cost significantly more than top loading models.
  • Require special detergent - Front loading machines require concentrated, low-sudsing detergent, which is often more expensive than regular detergent.
  • Require bending to load - You have to crouch down to put laundry in a front loading washer, just like you would with a dryer.
Top Load Washer

Top Load Washers Overview

Top loading washing machines have been a common sight in American homes for more than 60 years. Only in the last few years have sales of front loading machines topped traditional top loading machines.

Top loading machines typically have a central agitator that pivots clockwise and counterclockwise. The motion keeps clothes moving through the tub to ensure that water and detergent reach every item.

How Much Do Top Load Washers Cost?

Top loading washing machines are fairly inexpensive. Most models cost just $300 to $600 - about half the price of front loading machines.

Top Load Washers Pros

  • Less expensive - Top loading washing machines cost far less than front loading models.
  • Easy to load - Top loading washers are much easier to load because you don’t have to bend over. Simply drop the clothes into the top of the machine.
  • No special detergent required - Any kind of detergent works for top loading washers. You don’t need to spend extra to buy a low-suds detergent, as you would with a front loader.

Top Load Washers Cons

  • Use more water - Because the tub needs to be filled with enough water to cover your clothes, top loading washers use more water. With front loaders, a smaller amount of water is rotated through the tub.
  • Tougher on clothes - The agitator in top loading machines can be rough on your clothes. Clothes tend to wear out faster.
  • Not as efficient - Top loading washers are not as energy efficient as front loading models.

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