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Eco Friendly Washing Machines: Front Loader or Top Loader?

One of the first things you need to decide when purchasing your new washer is whether you want it to be top-loading or front-loading. Both options have their pros and cons. Carefully weigh your options as you compare top load with front load washers to determine which type suits your needs the best. Here are the factors to consider when differentiating top and front-loading washers from each other.

Water usage

A conventional top-loading washer uses anywhere from 30 to 45 gallons of water per load. High-efficiency models of top-loaders use from 12-17 gallons, and a front-loading high-efficiency washer uses 13 gallons per load. Water consumption is similar as long as you’re using a high-efficiency model. Most automatically adjust the water level for the size of the load, eliminating the need to set it yourself or waste water by choosing a cycle that’s too large for the size of the load.

Cleaning ability and wear and tear

The two types of washers use different methods to clean your clothes. A top-loading washer uses an agitator inside to circulate water and wash the clothes. The front-loader tumbles clothes and creates better cleaning power as the clothes knock against each other and gravity takes control to remove stains. They also do less wear-and-tear on your clothes because they aren’t being wrapped in an agitator, which reduces the life of the fabric over time.

Energy efficiency

The majority of the energy consumption from your washer comes from heating the water. Since front-loaders use less water, they’re also more eco-friendly and will save on electric costs compared to top-loaders. Look for the label that indicates it is energy-star certified for maximum savings. A Maytag commercial washing machine will use more energy than a model designed for a single home.

Effort to load/unload

One complaint that users of front-loader LG washers have is that it can be more difficult to remove the clothes and put them in the dryer. This poses a problem for the elderly, disabled, or those who suffer from back pain. It’s possible to put a front-loader on a pedestal to make it easier to retrieve the laundry when the cycle is complete. It’s harder for someone who is short or wheelchair bound to use a top-loader since you need to reach down in to transfer everything to the dryer.


Top-loading washers win in this category. Front-loaders are relatively new and come with many different electronic features and parts, which drives up the cost. This also directly relates to longevity. Due to the increase in wash cycles, temperature settings, and other computerized features, most new washers don’t last nearly as long as the more basic style washers. Expect a top-loader to last you about 14 years, while the lifespan of a front-loading washing machine averages 11 years. You can extend its lifespan by following the manufacturer’s instructions on use. In the case of front-loaders, it’s extra important to avoid overloading it since this causes tremendous strain on the bearings and can result in needing to do repairs sooner than you originally anticipated.

Purchasing a washer isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Carefully analyze your needs, wants, and capabilities before taking the plunge and making such a large purchase. Your laundry routine will be more enjoyable since you know the difference between top and front load washing machine. Your wallet will thank you for being so vigilant in your purchase decision.


Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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