Top loader vs front loader: What Our Canstar Staff Think

Do you prefer a top loader or front loader washing machine? Both styles have the advantages and disadvantages and while top loaders are the traditional type of New Zealand model, the front loader style of washing machine is gaining traction.

Panel judges score

There are pros and cons of both. A top loader, for example, can often fit more clothes into each load – and is great for those among us who are a bit forgetful and need to add extra items to the wash cycle while it’s going. Front loaders, on the other hand, can be more energy-efficient and according to supporters, produce a better-washed load of clothes.

The front loader versus top loader issue sparked some (occasionally heated) debate in Canstar HQ with an almost 50/50 spit between those who prefer one over the other. Here were some of the staff comments as to which type of washing machine they use, and why.

In favour of top loader washing machines

  • I use a top loader because it is quicker and easier to interrupt should I wish to add in further clothes.  I definitely do not wish I had made the opposite choice as I have tried out the front loaders and find them very annoying.
  • I have a top loader because I find it easier to access.
  • Top loader and I prefer it over front loader because:
    • It is what I grew up with;
    • You can add things in once the cycle has been started;
    • They are much easier to move (lighter in weight & less precious to move); and
    • Generally cheaper to buy.
  • I use a top loader as I don’t like front loaders. Hate bending down to front loaders and when you open them the clothes fall out!
  • We have a top loader; no one in our house wanted to get a front loader because you have to lean over to get the clothes out, plus they take longer.
  • We bought a front loader because it was energy efficient. I do regret the purchase though because you can’t stop the cycle mid-wash. Also, the door is too low for easy use and you can’t fit a lot in it.
  • We have a top loader – the one we bought is supposedly as water efficient as a front loader (which is often a reason for buying front loaders). We are extremely happy with the machine. I suspect it is a bit larger than most front loaders which is also good for us with young children.
  • Top loader, always have, no reason to think front loader would be any better.

In favour of front loader washing machines

  • Front loader washing machineI love my front loader. It’s more water efficient, it never ‘unbalances’ and I think it’s a better clean.
  • We recently bought a new front loader washing machine. We made the switch to a front loader because it’s gentler on clothes. No furring or rips in our clothes, compared to our old top loader. It’s also more energy and water efficient. Since we usually only do our laundry on the weekends, it doesn’t bother us that you can’t open it mid-wash to add more clothes in (as we’re washing piles of clothes). If we need something washed during the week, there’s a super quick 15-minute wash too.
  • We bought a front loader when we moved to our new house mainly because that’s the way the laundry was configured.  It seems okay and has a quick cycle option with little water use.
  • We have a front loader simply because that’s the one my parents got me at the time! It has worked perfectly for more than ten years. I think a top loader would be a waste in my house of just four people.
  • We have a front loader – a big 10kg thing. We previously had a top loader but we like the front loader better – mainly because it’s a bit easier to get the clothes out when it’s finished. It also uses a lot less water.
  • We have a front loader with no regrets.  It saves water, doesn’t use as much powder, and handles our washing loads with ease.
  • Front loader for life – it’s what I’ve always used. The idea of a top loader seems a bit odd to me.

So it does appear, from our unscientific pop quiz, that the split between preferences is around 50/50, with few regrets from staff as to the style of washing machine chosen. As always, the important thing is that there is something right for everyone.

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