Find the Right Washer: Top Load or Front Load
TOP LOAD WASHERS
Most people are used to top load washers (or traditional washers), because they grew up with them and believe in their reliability. Traditional top load washers last between 10-12 years, so the need to update was really only because the ole’ washer finally gave up. And it is this reliability that keeps people loyal to top load washers.
Top loaders use an agitator that sticks up through the middle of the wash basket. The agitator’s job is to turn your clothes over, while the wash basket spins to help clean and extract water. Most people prefer a top loader because they feel that the clothes get cleaner as they sit in a tub full of water as the agitator and wash basket does its job. Newer models of top loaders are loaded with features and have a larger capacity for larger loads.
FRONT LOAD WASHERS
Front load washers are known for their energy efficiency and convenient features. Unlike the top loader, the front loader’s wash basket is set horizontally, and uses gravity to pull water through clothes. And because the basket never has to fill completely with water you end up using only a third of the water a top loader uses, but your clothes get just as clean. You also use less detergent, which means more money savings and fewer chemicals.
But there are things you should keep in mind with front loaders that keep people loyal to a top loader. The biggest difference is cost. Although you’ll save money over time because front loaders are more energy efficient, you’ll have to expect to pay more upfront for these machines. Front loaders are also low to the ground (think about your dryer), so if bending or kneeling is hard for you, you may want to consider getting the pedestal so the machines are at waist level. You can also decide to stack front loaders, which saves space (this option is not available for the top loaders).