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Pros vs. Cons: Top-Load Washers

Posted on 05/19/2023

We all know that getting our laundry done isn't exactly the most glamorous task, However, with the right equipment, it can definitely become a more efficient and enjoyable household chore. With top-load washers being a staple in many homes, let’s go over the pros and cons of this popular laundry appliance.

Whether you're looking to purchase a new top-load machine or simply curious about your current top-load washer, we've got you covered. Get ready to dive in and uncover all the information you need to see if this laundry appliance is a good fit for your home.

What Is a Top Load Washing Machine?

dishwasher main image

A top-loading washing machine is a laundry appliance with a lid located on the top of the unit and a vertically oriented drum. It is one of the most common and traditional designs that has been around for many years. With this design, you load your clothes through the top of the machine, and the agitator (central post with fins or paddles) moves clothes around to clean them.

Some of the newer top-load washers also have impellers which are low-profile agitators to clean laundry without the need for a central post. Overall, top-load washers are available in these two styles, the traditional models with agitators and the high-efficiency models without agitators.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Top Load Washers?

Now that we have covered what top-load washers are, here is a breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks that come with top-load washing machines.

Pros of Top Load Washing Machines:

Affordability: Compared to front-load washing machines, top-load washers tend to be more affordable, making them a great option for anyone on a budget.

Easy to Use: These washers are easy to use, with controls located at the top of the machine for quick access. They are also good options for those who have difficulty bending over or reaching down to access controls.

Add Items Mid-Cycle: This design allows you to add items mid-cycle without a problem. If you’ve ever started a load of laundry and then realized you forgot to add something, you’ll appreciate this perk!

No Bending Required: Because these machines have a top-loading design, you don’t have to bend over to load and unload your laundry. This can be a major advantage for anyone who experiences back or joint pain.

Faster Wash Cycles: Top-load machines typically have shorter wash cycle times than front-load machines, allowing you to get your laundry done faster. However, different factors can impact the washing and drying times for both types of machines.

Cons of Top Load Washing Machines:

Lower Efficiency: These models tend to be less energy-efficient than front-load washers. If you want an energy-efficient top load washer, make sure to look for one that is ENERGY STAR Certified.

Not Stackable: If you have limited space in your laundry room, a top-load washer may not be the best option. These models are not stackable, which can lead to them taking up more space.

Less Capacity: The design of these models tends to have a smaller average capacity when compared to front-load models. However, there are top-load machines with large capacities available.

Harsher on Clothes: Top loaders that use an agitator can be slightly harsher on clothing because they use a back-and-forth motion which can create friction causing more wear and tear on delicate fabric.


Did you know? By overloading your washer or dryer, you could cause damage to motors, belts, and other mechanical parts. Some of the repairs can be so costly that you're better off buying a new machine. Try to be conscious of how much you are adding to your washer and dryer, especially if you have an older unit that isn't as equipped to handle larger loads.

Top-Load Washing Machine FAQs

How long do top-load washers last?

On average the lifespan of a top-load washer is around 14 years. This can vary depending on the model, usage, and maintenance.

Are front-load or top-load washers better?

Both designs have their benefits and drawbacks, the best one for you depends on your personal needs and preferences. For instance, if you are on a budget or have trouble bending down, then a top-load washer might be the better option.

Do top-load washers have filters?

Yes, many top-load washers have filters that are designed to capture lint, dirt, and other debris that may be present in the wash water. These filters are typically located at the bottom of the washer, near the drain pump, and can be removed and cleaned periodically to ensure that the machine is working properly.

Some models may also have additional filters located elsewhere in the machine, such as around the agitator or impeller.

How much water do top-load washers use?

Typically, most models use around 40 gallons of water per load but the amount of water used can vary depending on the specific model and settings being used. Overall, top-load models tend to use more water than front-loaders. However, many newer top-load washers are designed to be more water-efficient, using as little as 15-20 gallons per load.

For instance, this smart Whirlpool top-load washer has Adaptive Wash technology to sense the size of each load and adapt water levels based on the load to avoid unnecessary water waste.

How to clean a top-load washer?

To clean your top-load washer begin by removing any clothes or debris from the drum. Then mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Once the mixture is ready, spray the solution around the drum and agitator and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a soft cloth or brush.

Afterward, you can wipe the exterior of the washer with a damp cloth and add a cup of baking soda to the drum. Then run the washer on its longest cycle using a warm water setting, once the cycle is complete, wipe down the drum with a clean, damp cloth. Lastly, leave the lid of the washer open to allow air to circulate and prevent mold growth. If you want to read more on how to clean a washing machine, head on over to this blog.

Inside clean dishwasher

Redefine Laundry Day With Our High-Performance Appliances

Are you ready to take your laundry game to the next level? Come visit one of our laundry appliance store locations in Appleton, Green Bay, or Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to shop some of the best washers and dryers for sale. You can also browse our extensive inventory of washers from top brands in the industry such as Whirlpool, Speed Queen, Electrolux, Samsung, GE, and more online.

We strive to provide the best customer service and ensure you find the perfect appliances to meet your budget, preferences, and needs. For all of your laundry and home appliance needs, head on over to Van Vreedes!

GE Profile ENERGY STAR® 5.0 cu. ft. Capacity Washer with Smarter Wash Technology and FlexDispense™

GE Profile ENERGY STAR® 5.0 cu. ft. Capacity Washer with Smarter Wash Technology and FlexDispense™


Speed Queen TR7 Ultra-Quiet Top Load Washer with Speed Queen® Perfect Wash™  8 Special Cycles  7-Year Warranty

Speed Queen TR7 Ultra-Quiet Top Load Washer with Speed Queen® Perfect Wash™ 8 Special Cycles 7-Year Warranty


Whirlpool 4.8 cu. ft. Smart Top Load Washer

Whirlpool 4.8 cu. ft. Smart Top Load Washer


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