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Front Loader vs Top Loader Washing Machine

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#1 karablue

Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:41 AM

We have to buy a new washing machine.  Our 14 year old top loading washing machine has finally packed it in.  In that time washing machines have changed! Where do you start?

I thought we would go a front loader but when I found out about their extra long washing time I was a bit put off.

Anyway, we are a family of 5 (includes our 4 month old baby) so what washing machine (top or front) would you advise us to get (or steer clear of)?

I'm also contemplating buying a separate dryer which would be convenient to go on top of a front loader but I think we could probably mount it on the wall. However, being in tropical Qld we can get by without one as long as we don't get the rains like last summer original.gif
Thanks in advance for your advice

#2 ~Supernova~

Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:45 AM

I recently (a few months ago) got my first ever front loader. I LOVE it. The only downside for me is that you can't open it after it starts, and I always, without fail, forget something lol. Other than that though, I love how clean it gets the clothes, how gentle it is on the clothes, how much more water efficient it is. It's great! And I haven't had a problem with the cycle times, my settings range in time from 30 odd minutes (cold water) to 2+ hours (warm water, intensive rinse etc), depending on what I select.


Edited by Mareek, 03 January 2012 - 11:46 AM.

#3 MintyBiscuit

Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:47 AM

I love having a front loader. The long wash times can be a pain, but mine (and I think most?) has a timer setting so I can set it before bed and it's ready to go out the next morning. There are also shorter cycle options.

Ours is a Whirlpool that we've had three years with no issues, but admittedly it was one of the cheaper ones and I'm sure others can recommend better ones.

#4 noi'mnot

Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:51 AM

I LOVE my frontloader. Like PPs it has a shorter setting - about 30 minutes - this is great for most things (when you wash regularly, no big stains) and other longer settings for different uses.

It is so much gentler on clothes, and we now use less water in the washing machine than we did before having a cloth-nappy-wearing baby!

#5 Owl_Little_Girls

Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:52 AM

QUOTE (Mareek @ 03/01/2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I recently (a few months ago) got my first ever front loader. I LOVE it. The only downside for me is that you can't open it after it starts, and I always, without fail, forget something lol. Other than that though, I love how clean it gets the clothes, how gentle it is on the clothes, how much more water efficient it is. It's great! And I haven't had a problem with the cycle times, my settings range in time from 30 odd minutes (cold water) to 2+ hours (warm water, intensive rinse etc), depending on what I select.

This is me, always had a top loader until mine gave up about 4 months ago.

Love the front loader!! The clothes are cleaner!!  biggrin.gif

#6 Klinkalink

Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:02 PM

I'll never get a front loader. Both my mother and in-laws have them, both fairly new 'top of the line' ones, and every time we've stayed at either of their places and used the front loader I've been very unimpressed with how clean the clothes come out (to the point of re-washing everything, including the supposedly 'clean' things as soon as I get home). I'm a bit picky about clothes cleanliness though I suppose, DP doesn't seem to mind so much, but all my mother's clothes seem to be a bit greyish. And the only cycle on my mother's where it seems to remotely clean anything takes over an hour and a half. Not being able to open them once they've started to add anything drives me batty, as I always seem to have a couple of things to add after it has started.
I suppose reduced cleaning ability is the price you pay for water efficiency, which makes sense.
I know there are people who love and swear by them, but I would recommend if possible you try one out a few times before you get one.

#7 theladybird

Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

Love my Miele Honeycomb front loader. Truly is gentle enough for things I'd never put in a top loader, but handles loads of cloth nappies great too.

You can open the door and throw in that last sock, just depending on where in the cycle if it needs to drain some water first...

#8 Winning

Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:11 PM

I would never get one because after using my mothers, they drive me batty. Just a few things that annoy me and turn me off them:

- You can't get things out of the machine once it starts
- The cat tries to get in all the time and one day I'm sure I'll end up washing him because he thinks it is lovely in there.
-Unless it is on a box or something, you practically have to get on your hands and knees to get everything out - I end up leaving stuff in there if I don't get down there and check.

#9 karablue

Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for your replies. I'm still in a quandry.

Front loader: pro - saves water and power; takes up less room; can stack dryer on top.

cons - several people have now said clothes aren't as clean; long wash cycles; basically bend/sit on floor to remove clothes; towels apparently come out stiff (not sure how true this is)

Top loader: pro - easy to get clothes out; quicker cycles

cons: use more water and energy (although probably less than what I currently have); would have to mount dryer on wall and hard for me to get to.

Aaah I'm so frustrated.  My head is saying front loader; my gut top loader - what to do? what to do?

#10 hopeful81

Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:47 PM

I was torn too but ended up choosing a Bosch Front Loader (8kg Logixx). I've never had a machine wash like this one. Awesome job, gets smells out of clothes that I thought were lost causes.

Longer washing time does take getting used to, but there are so many cycles I've been using a 1 hour cycle (same as old machine) and it is doing a fantastic job. Or doing the timer so that it starts / finishes around waking up time.

I would say that the stand thing is compulsory as it brings it up to the right height for me. Does add $200 - $300 to cost but I needed it to avoid bending.

#11 jayskette

Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:52 PM

I have a front loader that lets you put stuff in once the cycle starts, but you need to wait around 2mins for the childlock to unlock. To not have stiff towels do not use fabric softener.

#12 Freddie'sMum

Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:07 PM

We always had a top loader - but about 5 years ago I brought a front loader.

I truly love it.  

I don't understand the angst about the long wash cycles - surely you simply put in a load of washing before you go to bed and it's waiting to be hung out to dry the next morning ??  That's what I do.

I think it cleans the clothes much better - and much more gentle - than a top loader.

Also, my LG has a "quick" 30 minute cycle - which is very handy for when I need a clean school uniform the next day - use the "quick" cycle and hang the uniform on the clothes airer overnight.

Would never go back to a top loader now.  I'm a convert !!

Speaking of which, I'm just going to put a load on now  biggrin.gif

#13 mards

Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:07 AM

Love my Fuzzy Logic LG top loader 8.5kg 599.00 from Bing Lee love that you can chuck somthing in if you have forgotten it....

#14 karablue

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:05 PM

Thanks again.

I think I am now leaning towards a front loader as I think the pros are outweighing the cons and most cons can be fixed:

Longer cycles: use a delay start so finish when wake up (as long as I don't get a noisy one). I usually do several loads per day a couple of times a week (around work) hence my caution of the longer wash cycles.

If I find the bending over a pain, I can always put in a cupboard of sorts and put it on that.

The pros of water and energy saving plus taking up less space plus not having to wall mount the dryer int he first instance are all a big plus.  We don't have really filthy clothes but the dirty kids clothes, can always go on a longer overnight cycle.

Okay, I think mind is made up - now to work out the brand.  The LG and Samsung seem to have the best reviews and best energy and water ratings.

#15 karablue

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:08 PM

QUOTE (HoneyPumpkin @ 03/01/2012, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
- The cat tries to get in all the time and one day I'm sure I'll end up washing him because he thinks it is lovely in there.

roll2.gif I forgot to add that I though this so funny although not for the cat.  Fortunately, I don't have a cat.  However, I better make sure DS3 isn't in there once crawling original.gif .  

Seriously though it is a very good point and fortunately we have always gated the laundry off.

#16 IamzFeralz

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:19 PM

Front loader all the way.  Gets clothes much cleaner, without damage to the fibres and soap residue.  When you look at Choice magazine reviews of washing machines over the past few years they seem to overwhelmingly pick front loaders as "best buys".

Long cycles are not an issue as I always do washes in the afternoon or night before to hang overnight or first thing in the morning and then take down the next day.  Because of the excellent spinning capability on a front loader I've found the clothes dry faster compared to a top loader so the cycle length is neither here or there.  I have a short 45 min cycle option that does seem to get clothes clean enough but rarely use it as I like the thoroughness of a long cycle.

You'll need to of course evaluate individual front loaders, they aren't all created equal.

#17 treefalls

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:24 PM

We bought a Bosch front loader and dryer that sits on top about 5 years ago. It's been the best thing we ever bought! I've had some great top loaders, but my clothes have lasted a lot longer using a front loader and it has also been very good with our son's cloth nappies. You can set it for a short wash if need be, so I wouldn't worry about that too much.
All of our other appliances we got when we renovated and moved in have systematically died. This combo has been our best purchase by far.

#18 threelittlegems

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:29 PM

I have a family of 5 and we have a 7kg front loader. It is not problems at all.

Front loaders are much better for your clothes! Much Better!

I have friends that operate a dry cleaning business, they are from the UK, and they cannot believe the amount of top loaders in Australia, given that they give clothes such a belting compared to front loaders.

We were recently on holidays, using a top loader, and I noticed the difference on our clothes immediately. More fading, pilling etc.

ETA - Front loaders always have a quick cycle. Mines takes 30 minutes.

Edited by threelittlegems, 05 January 2012 - 08:30 PM.

#19 Charli73

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:43 PM

Love our frontloader too!!!

I also have a Miele honeycomb and can set short wash cycles for 30-40 mins or longer just by choosing how soiled the clothes are....I always know how long its going to take before I start it and can make it shorter or longer if i wish, or set it to delay start to finish when i get home....

Im amazed how much better clothes are washed and since having a baby and doing at least 3 or 4 loads a week water savings are worth it.

I know if i didnt get the Miele I prob would have looked at a Bosch... But build quality and supposed to last 20 years sold me.

#20 ubermum

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:46 PM

Front Loader. I got one for the first time a few months ago. The clothes are cleaner, it uses less water and less product. I don't find unloading it a problem, I don't bend, I squat. Spin cycle was the fastest I could get which really shortens drying time. It does drive me mad that I can't throw anything in once it has started, but I have taken to doing a quick whip around the house once it is ready to go on, just checking for the odd item. I also find that clothes don't tend to get stretched out of shape like they do in a top loader.

#21 ComradeBob

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:56 PM

I went back to a top loader after having a front loader. I much prefer the top loader, the front loader was a PITA - I hated not being able to open it as soon as the cycle finished and it took forever.

The main reason people in the UK have front loaders is because the majority of houses don't have laundries and so the washing machine is in the kitchen. Under the Building Code of Australia, Australian houses  have to have room for a washing machine and a laundry sink next to it.

#22 Marchioness Flea

Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:56 PM

Oh ok, so how about those new agitator free top loaders? Anyone got one of those?
I'm also looking at a new w/m soon and I LOVE my 15 yr old Fisher and Paykel top loader. I like to choose the load size and water level and do a pre soak for my nappies.
My old washing repair guy who my family has known for 30 years(and 4 machines lol) said front loaders were crap. But so many people love them...so I'm in a quandary.

#23 What'sNext??

Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:02 PM

Another with the Miele Honeycomb.  Went to HarveyNorman intending to get the LG, but the salesperson really sold me on the Miele on a couple of points-
- never had a customer come back with a Miele issue- other machines last 5 years, Miele will last at least 10-15.
- Miele front loaders can be fully loaded- Lg needs a clearance gap, so whilst larger barrel doesn't necessarily fit more in a load.
- more settings & gentler on clothes- can do handwash cycle.

I split my washing into lightly vs very soiled and only run the very soiled through the long cycle.  If you were a smaller family this might be harder to do, but it works well for us.  I would tend to do 3-4 loads week on short cycle (sometimes with pre wash) and 2-3 on full cycle.  Towels I run on hot (keeps machine clean also) and have never had an issue with them being scratchy.

Good luck with your decision- I found this to be one of the hardest appliance decisions to make, but am very happy!

#24 Froyo

Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:08 PM

We only ever need to use the quick 30 min wash in our front loader. And you can pause it and add things during the cycle. It's an LG wink.gif

#25 spear_maiden

Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:14 PM


We got a top loader a year ago after having a front loader for several years.  Was pretty unhappy with the front loader but we lived in many units in Melb so space was an issue and a dryer a necessity.  Unlike many pp of this thread, I found cleanliness to be an issue with front loader, especially for towels.  Plus, the loading capacity of front loaders is way less than a top loader of the same size, for eg. a 7kg front loader can really only take half that load so the lower water levels can effectively clean the load, whereas a 7kg top loader can actually fit almost the 7kg and not limit its effectiveness.  So I found the water saving to be irrelevant as more loads were needed and longer rinse cycles for most cycles or issue with detergent left on clothes.  

We went with trusty ole7kg Fisher and Paykel top loader and have been really happy.

I don't know, perhaps we had an unreliable front loader as my experience seems to be the opposite of pp...but I'll never get a front loader again.  As a good reference, I found Choice website to be really helpful.


Edited by Studybug, 05 January 2012 - 09:16 PM.

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