The great laundry debate: Top load vs. front load

(NC) With the rising number of features found in modern laundry machines, from smart dispensers to Wi-Fi, it’s easy to get lost in all the bells and whistles. But features aside, the most important decision you’ll make when buying a new laundry pair is whether to go front or top load.  

To help you choose the best one for your lifestyle, check out three key differentiators: 

  1. The design of your laundry room. If you’re planning to do a straight swap from current to new appliances, it might be easiest to stick with the format you already have since it’s likely the space is set up for that style of machine. If you’re remodelling or building a new laundry room, you have more freedom. Think about the best way to use the space you have. Do you have the room for a side-by-side top load pair, or do you need to save square footage with a stacked set? Do you want to put a countertop over your machines for storage space, or a spot to fold? If you’re considering front load, don’t forget to factor in which way the doors swing open so you don’t block walkways or restrict access.
  2. How it cleans – and what needs cleaning. While both styles will get the job done, the way they get to the end result differs. Front loaders use gravity-aided tumble washes, whereas top loaders have an agitator in the middle of the drum. Because of this key difference, front loaders tend to be gentler on clothes, whereas top loaders are often tougher on dirt and grime. Think also about how often you have to clean your machine. When it comes to front loading machines, 46 per cent of consumers say mould and odour are their top frustrations – a problem that’s much less pervasive with top load machines. Traditionally, the only solution has been to leave the door of the washing machine open after each use, but GE Appliances’ new UltraFresh front load washing machine is equipped with features that eliminate excess moisture without needing to wipe it down or leave the door open after each load. 
  3. Ease of use. Finally, keep in mind who will be using the machine most and their level of mobility. All front load washers require some bending over, and the repetitive motion can put stress on your joints. Top load, on the other hand, allows you to load at waist height, reducing the pressure put on your back. 

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