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10 differences between front load and top load washing machines

11 minute read |

When it comes to buying a new washing machine, buyers usually look for products that can provide the proper care to our clothes, save time and energy, and are affordable. In addition to those popular factors, have you ever been confused by the differences between front load vs top load washing machines?

Each design has its own advantages and disadvantages, so read this complete guide on Electrolux Indonesia to understand what front load and top load washers are and which one is better in terms of cost, electricity and water efficiency.

What are front load and top load washing machines?

Front load washing machines

Front load washing machines are designed with horizontally mounted inner basket and outer tub. They use a horizontal drum to rotate clothing through water. They often but not always come with transparent side opening door.

With this layout, clothes can be cleaned with minimal agitation without having to be completely submerged in water.

In most regions of the world, high-end washers are often of this type. Most commercial and industrial clothes washing machines worldwide are of the horizontal-axis design as well.

Top load washing machines

Top load washing machines features a lid on top, meaning clothes are loaded through the top of the machine. They are often but not always covered with a hinged door.

With this layout, you can load your laundry comfortably without having to bend over and most importantly, add or remove laundry mid-cycle.

According to Wikipedia, top load or vertical axis cloth washing machines are dominant design in the United States and Canada.

10 main differences between front load and
top load washing machines

Electrolux front load washing machineChoosing the right washing machine can be time-consuming

So we’ve walked through a brief definition of front loaders and top loaders but which one is the right choice for you? Should you buy a top-load or a front-load washing machine? The decision mostly comes down to your family’s needs and budget.

To help you make the right choice, take a look at the following list of differences between a top load and front load washing machine:

1. Design

Obviously, the most outstanding difference between these two types of washing machines is the location of the door. For top-load washers, you put in the laundry from the top, whereas front loaders are opened from the front of the machine.

>>> Read more: 6 Differences between Single tub and Twin tub washing machines

2. Energy efficiency

Front-load washing machines consume less water than top loaders
 thanks to their design. The reason is that during the wash cycle, front loaders are only partially filled with water, just enough to fully cover the clothes.

To be more specific, they use one-third the amount of water that top loaders use. However, top loaders consume less electricity since the washing time is shorter.

>>> Read more: How many watts does a washing machine consume?

3. Capacity

In term of washing capacity, front-load machines outperform top loaders, since this type of washing machine does not have an agitator, which is a part of top loaders. This leaves more space for clothes, which means you need to do laundry much less often with front loaders.

4. Cleaning performance

Generally speaking, front-load washers tend to be better at removing stains than their top-load counterparts. The reason is that a front loader’s tumbling washing motions are more effective than a top loaders’ twisting wash motions.

How to Efficiently Remove Common Stains from Clothes

With top-load washers, clothing tends to clump together during circular wash motions, making it ineffective when washing larger items such as winter coats and pillows.

>>> Read more: Is it ok to mix various types of cloth fabrics in one wash?

5. Cycle time

If you want to get your laundry done fast, front loaders are not the best option. That’s because front-load washing machines have more complex wash cycles, with a barrel that spins the clothes around and water entering and draining out of the drum during the cycle.

Top loaders have a shorter cycle time since they are filled with water just once during the wash.

6. Spin speed

Front-load machines have a higher spin speed
, around 1500 RPM (revolutions per minute), so they can extract more water from the clothes and save time online drying. In contrast, top-load machines produce only around 600 RPM.

7. Noise

Front loaders are quieter and cause less vibration
when washing.

8. Space consumption

Top-load washers are narrower
, meaning that you can place the machine in smaller space.

9. Convenience

Top-load washers are more convenient
 since you can freely add or remove clothes to and from the washer. Moreover, if you have back or knee problems, you will find it more difficult to unload your clothes from a front loader.

In addition, kids may get inside your front-load washer since the door is lower.

Adding clothes mid-cycle is possible with Electrolux front loaders

10. Price

You will commonly find top loaders cheaper than front loaders. If you're in the market for a top loading washing machine that offers premium features at an affordable price, explore some highlighted products from our range of top loaders below:

  • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.
  • PowerJet ensures perfect washing and cleaning.
  • ActiveFlow lifts clothes to prevent tangling.
  • Fuzzy logic adapts settings for great results.
  • Quick cycles for single items or small loads.
  • Durable lid closes silently and safely.

What are the advantages of a front loading over a top loading washing machine?

By now, you've likely recognized that the differences between front load and top load washing machines extend beyond mere door placement. But which is superior: the top loader or the front loader?

Below, we outline the key advantages of front load washing machines to help you understand why choosing a front loader might be the better option.

Save more money in the long run


"Why is a front-loading washing machine more expensive?" is a question many ask when shopping for a new washing machine. This section will provide the answer.

Being more complex in design and more advanced than their top-loading counterparts, front load washing machines are likely to cost more upfront. However, this initial investment can be offset in the long run, especially if you do your laundry frequently.

This is because all front-loaders are designed with higher efficiency (HE) in mind. This means that they can operate with less water and energy without compromising on a powerful clean. While new top loaders can also be high efficiency, front loading washing machines are still unbeatable in terms of water and energy saving.

More water and energy efficient


Why is a front-loading washing machine more water efficient? The secret is in the drum design and its tumbling motion.

Due to gravity, clothes are repeatedly knocked against each other in a shallow pool of water and thoroughly cleaned by the detergent — providing a good clean with minimal water. With top loading washing machines, clothes need to be submerged in a deep pool of water to remove dirt.

It’s also typical to see front loaders with energy labels, certifying that they are compliant with a country’s strict energy guidelines.

Most Electrolux front load washing machines comprise EcoInverter motors, which reduce energy consumption considerably, whilst also reducing vibrations to deliver a quiet, reliable performance.

Make sure to read our post on how to use an automatic single tub washing machine to maximise all its benefits.

Better care for your clothes – and your family


Without an agitator or impeller agitator, front load washing machines clean gently yet efficiently.

Garments do not get twisted or tangled, meaning that your delicates, silks, and woollens receive the best care possible. Faster spin speed means that more water will be removed from clothes, helping to reduce drying time and long exposure to heat in the dryer and therefore extending the lifespan of your clothes.

Generally, front-loaders have more advanced technologies and features than top-loaders. Some can have steam cleaning, allergen removal, and smartphone connectivity to name a few.

Some Electrolux washers such as this 10kg front load washing machine add an extra layer of protection for your family thanks to HygienicCare feature. After the cycle, clothes are softly sprayed with vapour to remove up to 99.9% of allergens and germs. The vapour is just at 40°C which is gentle on your clothes.

Have you ever noticed white specks on your clothes after they come out of the wash? They may be undissolved detergent. This 9kg front load washing machine from Electrolux comes with UltraMix technology can prevent this hassle by thoroughly blending detergent and softener with water before entering the drum.

Even when you’re removing stubborn stains, you can trust that your treasured pieces receive the best care. The 11kg front load washing machine from Electrolux UltimateCare 700 range is equipped with SensorWash, allowing you to skip pre-treatments and go straight to washing. AI sensors automatically detect soil levels and then adjust the cycle duration accordingly to effortlessly remove 49 different visible stubborn stains like oil, red wine, mud, and chocolate.

>>> Related reading: How to take good care of clothes


Optimise laundry space


The fourth advantage of front load washing machines over top load counterparts is about the utility of laundry space.

Front load washing machines can be stacked with your clothing dryer, utilising space better, compared with top load washing machines. This is especially useful if you don’t have a dedicated laundry, providing the flexibility to store your washer and dryer in your bathroom, a small utility closet, or even on a sheltered balcony.

For top load, the door is at the top of the machine which means the space above cannot be fully utilised for other home needs such as shelves and other storage.

To install your washer and dryer, a stacking kit is a simple, brilliant solution. Ideally, your washer and dryer should come from the same appliance brand so the two work in harmony and create a seamless aesthetic in your laundry. Electrolux UltimateCare washers and dryers, for example, have complementary functional features and design.

To minimise bending when loading and unloading, mount the front-loader on a laundry pedestal to raise it to a convenient working height.


Comparison table: Front load vs top load washing machines

To summarize all advantages and disadvantages of these two types of washing machines, we have a table for you to compare:


Front loaders

Top loaders


  • Higher spin speed, so your clothes will dry more quickly
  • Cleaner clothes and less damage to fabric
  • Consume less water
  • Have more features
  • Less noise during spin cycle
  • Smaller size, suitable for smaller spaces
  • Lower price
  • Consume less electricity
  • Easy to use
  • Safer for families with kids
  • Can be used with most detergents


  • More expensive
  • Consume more electricity
  • Can only use some specific detergents
  • Damage clothes more
  • Consume more water
  • Do not have as many features
  • Make more noise and vibrate more

Our recommended front load and top load washing machines

Choosing the right washing machine can be time-consuming. Electrolux is well-known for our high-quality and durable washing machines which were designed to fit in your budget without compromising the cleaning performance.

To streamline your search for the best washers, check out our wide range of Electrolux front load and 1 tub top load washing machines.

Below is an infographic that provides a clearer comparison between front-load and top-load washing machines:

Advantages of front load over top load washing machines

Choose an Electrolux front load washing machine for better results


Choosing a washing machine is one of the most important appliance decisions you will make. How your clothes will look, your bills, even how you’ll enjoy doing laundry — all these can be significantly influenced by your choice. 

A front load washing machine can be pricier upfront, but your future self might thank you for making this worthwhile investment.

With their advanced, game changing laundry technologies, Electrolux front load washing machines provide the ultimate level of care. They retain colours’ vibrancy, preserve treasured pieces, while enhancing your laundry experience and reducing your environmental impact. Isn’t that what you, your clothes, and the planet deserve?

In case you are still confusing about which type of washing machine is right for you, we have a complete buying guide for your further reference. Checkout the most helpful tips on how to choose a good washing machine here.

Also, to streamline your search for the best front load washing machines, check out our wide range of Electrolux front loaders:

  • AutoDose for precise dosage, less wear and tear*.
  • SensorWash with AI removes 49 different visible stains*.
  • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
  • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
  • HygienicCare removes 99.9% allergens and germs*.
  • EcoInverter motor uses 50% less energy*.

FAQs about front load vs top load washing machines


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