Well, my washing machine finally broke yesterday. I was completely devastated. It was a front loading washing machine that I loved like a family member. With 3 small children in the house, it really earned its keep. But being a Samsung, they haven’t had much of a good reputation of late so I wanted to try a different brand this time. I also knew I wanted a bit bigger drum size. Then I got totally lost when it came to comparing a front loader to a top loader.
Choosing the correct washing machine is a really important decision as it is something that gets a lot of use, and you will likely have it for a long time to come. So if you get it wrong, it will make you or your partner very unhappy.
So here is the comparison made easy.
Top loaders can usually fit more in. The drum is a different shape and the new school ones now go without the agitator in the centre of the drum, which creates even more space. You need to consider the size of your family and the type of things you wash. I have just disposed of a 7kg washer and upgraded to an 8.5kg because I know that as my family grows bigger, our washing needs are only going to increase. Commercial washers can have capacities of around 10kg, and I even saw one today with a 15kg size, however this was a washer/dryer combo.
Front loading washing machines on the other hand are usually a consistent size on the outside despite the size of the drum inside so these are better for more compact laundries or under bench installation. You can get anything from 5kg to up to 9kg.
Winner on size: Top Loader
Energy and Water Efficiency:
As the cost of living increases, we really want to avoid appliances that are using too much water or power. Look closely at the energy rating. You will notice that front loaders are frequently much more efficient than their top loading counterparts, this is because they can use up to 50% less water with the way they wash the clothes. Front loaders are more efficient in a warm water wash, whereas top loaders perform better using a cold wash.
Winner on efficiency: Front Loader
You will find the cheapest washing machine in the top load section however front loaders will be cheaper in the long run due to the fact of using less power, water and detergent. The horizontal drum on a front loader uses gravity with tumbling to wash the clothes.
Winner on price: It’s a Tie!
Depending where your laundry is located, noise may or may not be an issue. For me, my laundry comes right off my kitchen so I definitely want a nice quiet machine. Front loader machines are quiet. Top loaders can be quite noisy, especially during the spin cycle.
Winner in noise: Front Loader
Speed of Cycle:
Front load washers have a much longer cycle time of 1.5 to 2 hours because of the way they get the clothes clean whereas top loaders easily do the job in 15-20minutes while the washing is continually immersed in water.
Winner in cycle speed: Top Loader
Front loaders have way more options when choosing a cycle. So if you like to wash your delicates and your blankets separately, then it’s good to have these different options. They are more gentle on your clothes too.
Winner in options: Front Loader
Top loading machines generally spin at approximately 700rpms while a front loader spins at closer to 1200rpms generally. This means that the wash gets spun drier on the spin cycle which translates to less drying time once it’s hung out.
Winner in spin: Front Loader
Top loaders cause significantly higher amounts of lint during a wash than their front loading counterparts. This is due to the friction caused by the clothes in the wash.
Winner in lint: Front Loader
I ended up buying a Fisher and Paykel 8.5kg front loading washing machine because everything added up for my preferences. I wanted that specific size, efficiency and no noise. It was also reasonably priced from a brand you can trust.
My advice is to do a bit of research on different brands before you buy, and make sure you get your budget agreed upon before making a purchase. Go with your partner and have a look at a few machines together. Talk about it together so you both have a clear idea of what options are the important ones for you and your family. Usually one partner is more involved in the laundry than the other, so she (or he) should really have the final say. Every household purchase you make will affect your relationship if it ends up being a bad decision so please choose wisely.
Good luck and happy washing!