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How To Choose Between A Top-Loading And Front-Loading Washing Machine

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If you've had the same washing machine for many years, you'll have a lot to consider when it's time to shop for a new one. Front-loading washers are a popular option now, as well as high-efficiency models. Washing machines have more features than ever, but you still have to make a basic choice between a top-loading and front-loading washer. Here's a quick look at how they differ.

Appearance And Ability To Stack

You might base your choice on the appearance of the washer. You might like the way a front-loading washing machine looks, and you'd rather own one of those rather than a traditional top-loading machine. Front loaders are often more expensive and have more features built in, so they have a more upscale appearance. The top-loading washers come in a wide range of prices from a basic, traditional washer to one that has enhanced features and a more extensive control panel. Appearance is a matter of personal preference, and both types of washers can be stylish, but if you want a washer and dryer that can stack, then a front-loading machine could be the best choice.

While you can also buy top loaders that stack with a dryer, these are designed in such a way that both the washer and dryer are smaller than the traditional size. A full-size front-loading machine is able to stack with a full-size dryer.

Manner Of Operation

Top-loading washers work in a couple of different ways. One is the standard method with an agitator in the tub that rubs against clothes to get them clean. Another is with the high-efficiency method that uses much less water and has a plate that moves clothes around in the water. A front-loader uses a drum that spins the clothes with the soapy water to clean them. A front-loading washer uses much less water and detergent than the traditional top-loading machine. Plus, front-loading washing machines usually get clothing the cleanest with the least amount of wear and tear. Because of the way the drum spins, a front-loading washer is also more efficient at spin drying, so the dryer cycle is shorter.

Ease Of Use

Depending on your circumstances, you might find a washer that has the door in the front to be the easiest to use. You may need to elevate the washer so it is the perfect height so you don't have to stoop over to load and unload; however, a front-loader is perfect for you if you're short, tall, or in a wheelchair. Large washers with lids on the top can be difficult to use if you're shorter than usual or have difficulty reaching to the bottom of the washer. Getting clothes out that are stuck to the bottom could be a challenge when you can't reach inside comfortably.

Adding clothing to the washer is another consideration. If you like to let clothing soak for a period of time while you check their progress occasionally, you'll need a top loader so you can open the lid and check the clothes or add more clothing when you're ready to begin the wash cycle.

There are several things to consider as you compare the features of a top-loading and front-loading washing machine. Visit a salesroom, and try each type out before you buy to make sure you choose an appliance you can operate comfortably and that fits well with the way you do your laundry.