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Laundry Debate: Should I Buy a Top Load or Front Load Washer & Dryer?

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gray colored front loading washing machine and dryer with blue lights

In the market for some shiny new laundry room appliances? Chances are your head is spinning with all the options out there on the market. With so many cool features, high-efficiency ratings, good reviews, bad reviews, and everything in between, it can be tough to choose just what to buy.

With this straightforward list of pros and cons for front load and top load washers and dryers, we hope to help you explore the options and narrow down what’s going to work best in your home!


Top load washer and dryer

white top loading washing machine and matching white dryer appliances

Pros:

  • Tried and true design.
  • People don’t complain about bad smells or mold.
  • You have the option of an agitator or no agitator.
  • Generally the most affordable option.
  • There are more brands and options to choose from.
  • Option for a gas or electric dryer.
  • You can use many types of laundry detergent.
  • They can handle smaller loads if needed.
  • Less vibration through your floor.
  • High-Efficiency is an option.

Cons:

  • No useable countertop space on top of units.
  • Shorter people (or pregnant mothers during their last month of pregnancy 😉) might struggle to get the last of their wet clothes.
  • Clothes might get tangled frequently.
  • Requires more energy to complete a cycle.
  • Tougher on fabrics.
  • Washers with an agitator tend to be the loudest.

Some of our favorite top-rated, top-loading washing machines:

I searched different types of popular appliance features with strictly high ratings across the board. For Best Overall, I found a mid-price, highly-rated option with some bells and whistles. Budget-Friendly is the high-rated, least expensive option. Large Family Approved is the largest capacity highly-rated washer. 

⭐Best Overall – Samsung 5.0 Cu. Ft. 11-Cycle High-Efficiency Top-Loading Washer

⭐Budget-FriendlyAmana 3.5 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer

⭐Large Family Approved LG 5.2 Cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam and Turbo Wash


Front load washer and dryer

side by side front loading washer and dryer machines in laundry room

Pros:

  • Useable countertop space on top of them.
  • Stackable to free up extra floor space.
  • Adding pedestals makes laundry easier to grab.
  • Pause button for throwing in stray clothing found after starting a load of wash.
  • The most gentle on clothes.
  • Uses the least amount of water.
  • Cleans clothes the best due to its design.
  • High-efficiency helps cut back on utilities.
  • They can handle smaller loads if needed.
  • Option to have a gas or electric dryer.
  • Many colors to match your home decor.

Cons:

  • You’re likely to drop clothing when transferring from washer to dryer.
  • You might have to bend a lot to take clothes in and out.
  • Normal wash times can be longer than other washers.
  • They can tend to be the most expensive options.
  • Mold or bad odors are most common with front loaders if not cleaned properly.
  • Can be tough to clean.
  • Small garments can get stuck in the door.
  • You must use HE (High Efficiency) detergent.
  • Some have a strong vibration.

Some of our favorite top-rated, front-loading washing machines:

I searched different types of popular appliance features with strictly high ratings across the board. For Best Overall, I found a mid-price, highly-rated option with some bells and whistles. Budget-Friendly is the high-rated, least expensive option. Large Family Approved is the largest capacity highly-rated washer. 

⭐Best Overall Maytag 4.8 Cu. Ft. 12-Cycle High-Efficiency Front-Loading Washer with Steam

⭐Budget-Friendly Samsung 4.5 Cu. Ft. High-Efficiency Front Load Washer, ENERGY STAR

⭐Large Family Approved Electrolux 8.0 Cu. Ft. Front Load Perfect Steam Electric Dryer with LuxCare Dry and Instant Refresh in Titanium


So what’s the Hip2BeHome team verdict? Here’s what some of us had to say:

white red blue washers and dryers machines in store on the floor

✅ Top loaders  vs. 👎 Front loaders

“We bought a top load Samsung washer. It was great but went out within 5 years – they just don’t make them like they used to! When we were first married, someone gave us an old Maytag that had rusting paint and it lasted us forever!! A fresh coat of paint and it was like new.

We currently own an LG washer without an agitator, and I like it, but I have heard that the washers with agitators clean better, so I may be going back to that after this one dies. I never considered buying front loaders with all the bad reviews I’ve read in the past.” – Mary


“I hate my front loader! I can’t wait for it to quit working!” – Michelle


“I bought a front loader washing machine when they became popular years ago, and I hated it! The rubber lip would always get moldy and gross and stink! No matter how much I cleaned the thing, it would be gross. I finally went back to a top loader without an agitator in the middle, and I love it!” – Jennifer


“Top Loaders all the way. Everyone I know with a front loader complains about the cost, smell, leaks, and mold. No thanks!” – Jamie


“I love my top loader! I want to say I bought it used at least 8 years ago – no joke! It is super old but it never fails on me, so I am in love!” – Erica


“I love the top loading set that I bought and all of the cycles that it has. My mom used to have a front loader when I lived there. While it was nice for my 4’11” self, it did tend to smell, the rubber lip would get gross, and–considering I am the only short person in the family–it’s easier for me to use a stool to get into the top load. LOL!” – Alana


“We had a whirlpool (top loader) for 12 years until it sounded like a helicopter. Then we bought a Hotpoint set from Lowe’s – top loader made by GE. The first week the washer went bonkers and I about broke my tush falling down the steps to stop it. A repairman had to replace a piece that broke. Apparently, you need to load your washer evenly, i.e. one for one. Not just one pair of pants and a sweatshirt, but one of each so that they have equal spin power. I never washed that way before. But since taking his advice, I haven’t had any issues. I will go back to Whirlpool when we decide to buy new again.” – Amber S. 


“I absolutely hated my front loader! I have a cheapie top loader now and it does the job perfectly.” – Angela


“I love my Samsung top loader! I hate the front loader machines as I did not like that you had to always have the door open to avoid the mildew smell. And mine always had little bits of mold growing around the rubber ring! Yuck!” – Bryn


“I’ve had my current Maytag top loader since before 2000. No bells and whistles, but the thing is a workhorse. My only wish is that it would handle larger loads like comforters, but I do feel like the agitator really gets clothes clean.” – Stacy

 

👎Top loaders vs. ✅ Front loaders

“We have had our front loaders for about four years now, and I absolutely love them! We’ve never had an issue with bad smells or mold, but I do make sure to take care of it by leaving the door open to dry and clean it when needed. I also just really love the overall look and think the designs are so sharp looking!” – Sara


“Love our newer Maytag front loaders! I use vinegar on mine, and it’s fine! You can’t use too much detergent is all, and leave the door open after washing sometimes. I love the look and have never had an issue.” – Lina


The verdict? Top Loaders – 10 vs. Front Loaders – 2

So it’s pretty clear to see which our team prefers, but enough about us. What type of washer and dryer do you have at home? Let me know in the comments below!


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Comments 1

  1. Melanie

    I agree with the verdict. I had an expensive front-loader that molded around the seal no matter what I did. So, we bought a top-loader and all is well again.

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