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Top Load VS Front Load Washing Machines, Which to Buy?

November 10, 2021

Take note of these factors before purchasing a washing machine for your home!

(This article was originally published on 7 December 2016)

To buy a top loading washing machine or a front loading one, that is the question. They each have their own sets of pros and cons, but deciding to buy one over the other still requires a fair bit of research. Here’s a breakdown of both types of washing machines to help you figure out the best one for your home.

Space

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Front loader washing machines are a better pick if you are tight on space. Not only do they tend to be smaller in size, they also maximise vertical space as you’ll be able to store it under a countertop or cabinet. That also means you can stack a dryer on top!

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Water usage

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When it comes to water usage, front loading washing machines are the clear winners, since they’re known to use significantly less water than top loaders of the same size. This also means they’re more energy-efficient, since they require less energy to heat and pump the water.

Loading and unloading laundry

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Loading a top loader machine is a piece of cake, since you can simply toss all your clothes in without needing to bend or kneel. However, it can be pretty difficult to unload if you have a shorter stature, as it’ll be harder for you to reach deep into the machine.

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On the other hand, just about anyone can unload from a front load washing machine. The only downside is that it’ll require you to bend or squat to take your clothes, which may be a problem for those with persistent knee problems.

Gentleness on clothes

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Traditional top load washing machines used a central agitator to spin the clothes around quickly, which garnered a fair bit of flak for their tendency to cause early wear and tear. These days, however, these washers use an impeller plate at the bottom of the machine to move clothes around - a much gentler method than older ones.

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In contrast, front loaders don't use agitators at all. Their much gentler washing approach is more similar to hand washing, which tends to clean clothes much more efficiently.

Maintenance

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Yes, you still need to clean your washing machine! And thankfully, both front loading and top loading washing machines are easy to clean. All you need to do is to set your machine at the hottest setting, add some baking soda and vinegar in the detergent compartment, and let it run.

However, it may take more time to clean your top loader as you may have to pause the machine to give the cleaning mixture time to dissolve. Many modern top loaders have their own sanitise programs, though, so this may not be a huge factor.

So what washing machine should I get?

Our take: If you are looking to minimise the use of water and energy consumption, a front loader works better. Judging from the photos of the various homes in Singapore, seems like our vote resonates with most Singaporeans.

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