6 Benefits of a Front-Load Washer

June 18, 2020

Should you buy a front-load or top-load washing machine? Before settling on a choice, check out these benefits of front load washers.

Like all large appliances, your washing machine does a lot of heavy lifting. That means that when it comes time to buy a new one, the consequences of your choice will reach far beyond your bank account balance on the day you make your purchase. You’ll want to consider factors like energy efficiency, capacity, maintenance, the size of your laundry room, and more. These days, many customers find that front-load washing machines score best.

Below, we break down the many benefits of front load washers.

What makes a front-load washer the right choice? It all boils down to how front-load machines actually clean your clothes. So, before we dive into the benefits of front-load washers, it helps to break down the washing mechanism of front-load vs. top-load machines.

Traditional top-load machines spin clothes around a vertical central axis. Front-load machines, on the other hand, tumble clothes inside a drum with a horizontal axis. It takes a lot more energy and resources to spin a vertical drum than to roll a horizontal drum since the tumbling motion of the horizontal drum relies partly on gravity. This motion translates to a whole host of benefits of front-load washers, including the following:

1. They’re energy efficient.

Front-load washing machines are more energy efficient across the board than top-load washing machines. They score far higher on water usage alone – your standard front load washer uses five fewer gallons of water per load or about 2,000 fewer gallons per year. This is because the washer drum tumbles clothes through a shallower pool of water, whereas a top-load washer uses a deeper pool of water.

Front-load washing machines can also save on drying time since water drains out of clothes more efficiently in a front-load washer than in a top-load washer. As Wire Cutter notes, this is because a horizontal drum can spin faster than a vertical drum, forcing more water out of your clothes. This is a big deal because dryers (and any other appliances that draw heat) are extremely energy intensive.

2. They’re eco-friendly.

Since front-load washers are more energy efficient, it follows that they’re better for the environment. Again, the tumbling motion of front-load washers requires less water and less power, both from your washer and from your dryer. This reduces your household’s carbon footprint.

High-efficiency machines like front-loaders also require less detergent, which means fewer chemicals released into soil and groundwater.

3. They can save money in the long run.

One legitimate complaint about front-load washing machines is that they cost more than most top-load washing machines. However, for some households, this upfront cost may be off-set over time by what you save on utilities with a machine that uses less power and water. Depending on your laundry habits, your high-efficiency washer may eventually pay for itself.

4. They’re good for large loads.

If you have a large family or tend to wash large loads, a front-load washing machine is the way to go. Because the drum in a front-load washer doesn’t have a central axis like in top-load washers, there is typically more space inside a front-load washer drum, so you can fit more items into each washer load.

5. Clothes come out cleaner.

Once again, you can thank the front-load washer’s tumbling mechanism here. The tumbling motion relies on gravity to toss clothes over each other inside the washer drum. Again, the gravitational pull also helps the drum spin faster. This creates more friction between items, leading to a more thorough wash – all while using less water, less detergent, and less power.

6. They’re good for compact spaces.

Another benefit of front-load washers is that they can be stacked on top of dryers, saving space in your laundry room. This ability makes them great for apartments and smaller homes.


Other Considerations

The benefits outlined above can translate to energy and cost savings as well as better overall performance. However, keep in mind the following considerations before purchasing a front-load washing machine:

  • Cost – As mentioned, front-load washers usually cost more upfront.
  • Convenience – It can be harder to add items once the wash cycle has started since the door in a top-load washer must lock to prevent water from spilling out mid-cycle.
  • Maintenance – Front load washers are more susceptible to damage from overloading the machine because of the horizontal drum. This can require more maintenance, which can add to the lifetime cost of the machine.
  • Cleanliness – Because water can’t evaporate as easily from a horizontal drum, front-load washers are also more susceptible to mold and mildew. Remember always to leave the washer door open when not in use. You can also follow our tips for doing a regular deep-clean of your washer.
  • Special Features – Both top-load and front-load washers can vary in price and performance depending on the specific features they offer. From express wash options to special spin cycles to custom settings for water temperature and item type, special features can add to the cost of your machine, but they can also determine the quality of your washes over time. Think carefully about your budget and household needs.

Learn more about your washing machine options

Your washing machine helps keep your household running, so you want to make sure you get the highest quality for your budget. Want to do a little more research on your options before settling on a purchase? Check out our washing machine buyer guide today.

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