10 differences between front load and top load washing machines

5 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 how to choose the right one for your needs and budget.

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.

>>> Read more: Buying guide How to choose the best washing machine for your home?

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.


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