Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
As the name suggests, front loader washing machines are distinguished by the fact that you load the clothes from the front. The big advantage of this design is that it saves a lot of money by using less electricity and a lot less water than top loaders. The disadvantage is that they are more complicated and may be more prone to breakdowns.
The advantages of a front loading washing machine include:
** **They use less water.* Because the drum is smaller and rotates horizontally, the clothes can be washed with a smaller amount of water than a top loader.
** **They use less electricity.* The smaller drum is easier to rotate (especially as it is not filled with many gallons of water), which means less energy use while washing and while spinning the load.
** **They use less detergent.* Because they use less water, you need less detergent to clean the wash.
** **Gentler on clothing.* Because there is less need to tumble the clothes to get the wash done, they can be gentler on the clothes.
The disadvantages of a front loading washing machine include:
** **Harder to access.* You have to lean down to reach into the drum to put in or remove your clothes. On many models, the door also require a lot of force to open or close. For older users in particular, leaning down to pick up loads can be a problem.
** **More complex.* Because they require watertight doors, locks and other mechanisms, they are more complex machines than top loaders. This means there are more components to fail.
** **More prone to leaks.* The door seal has to be watertight to prevent leaks, and these do degrade over time. Objects caught in the seal can also lead to leaks.