Thread Number: 77652  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Front loaders or HE top loaders - Which would you choose?
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Post# 1016615   12/3/2018 at 02:51 (195 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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Hi all,

Iím currently on holiday in Mauritius visiting my partners family. Iíve noticed during my time here that the market is a pretty even split between front load and HE top load machines. This got me thinking about why people would choose one or the other. In the U.K, we have no choice. But to those in other parts of the world, if you were to choose between a front load machine or HE top load machine, which would it be and why?

(Awaiting a barrage of comments saying ďneither, Iíd choose a traditional toploaderĒ 🙄)

Post# 1016618 , Reply# 1   12/3/2018 at 04:04 (195 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Front loader, hands down.  I can fill it full and everything comes out clean.  Less wear and tear on my clothes (still using the same bath towels for 15 years) even with chlorine bleach.  Excellent rinsing (my Asko rinses 4 times, Miele rinses 3).  Spin is so much faster...clothes dry quicker.  Less water usage.  And these two machines heat their own water beyond what other brands could (of available models in the US anyway at their time). 

Post# 1016621 , Reply# 2   12/3/2018 at 05:12 (195 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Front loader for all the same reasons Greg just cit4ed above.

Post# 1016645 , Reply# 3   12/3/2018 at 08:31 (195 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

I WOULD chose a frontloader,,,,BUT I want one that works, BENDIX or WESTINGHOUSE!!

Post# 1016651 , Reply# 4   12/3/2018 at 09:17 (195 days old) by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
if i had to chose

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if I had to chose today I would go with a classic topload washer like this one Inglis royal100 with matching side door dryer

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 1016653 , Reply# 5   12/3/2018 at 09:27 (195 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        
I would go with a classic topload

aquacycle's profile picture
I knew someone was going to say that but it wasnít my question and doesnít answer the point.

You canít get traditional agitator toploaders here and from what Iíve seen, there is an even split between FL and HE TL washers. I was wondering what people who have the option of both would choose and why.

Post# 1016655 , Reply# 6   12/3/2018 at 09:56 (195 days old) by marky_mark (Sitges, Barcelona)        

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Are the pulsator-style top loaders in Mauritius designed to work the way that pulsator top loaders have always worked, i.e. fill with enough water to cover the load completely, just as with traditional agitator top load washers? Or are they the type that are now sold in the US and Canada that have had an HE makeover and use far less water on the normal cycle?

I was wondering if the HE versions of pulsator machines were only sold in the USA and Canada as I've never seen them in other countries that use pulsator machines. Although they look identical.

This post was last edited 12/03/2018 at 15:25
Post# 1016658 , Reply# 7   12/3/2018 at 10:20 (195 days old) by whitetub (Montreal, Canada)        

Front-load washer only. Because I know every piece of clothing will get the same wash action, every time the the drum goes around, back and forth. They use just the right amount of water.

With the HE top loading washers that I have seen, the clothes on top just sit there, while the clothes at the bottom get roughed up by the washing plate. I would never buy an HE front load machine.

Post# 1016668 , Reply# 8   12/3/2018 at 11:35 (195 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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Like the others I would choose a front load.


However there are members here who have HE top loads and get good results.  The key is being knowledgeable about how to load them and what cycles to use.


Not everyone can be bothered and a lot of people (or their household members) are going to just pack in an oversized unsorted load and press start.


Front loaders are going to be more forgiving in those cases.

Post# 1016677 , Reply# 9   12/3/2018 at 13:01 (195 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        
Front load

We have had a great deal of success with our Whirlpool Duet over the years. I do, however, miss a deep fill to wash delicates. Though, the cleaning is much better in the front load. Again, the reasons why I would buy another one are posted above.

Post# 1016678 , Reply# 10   12/3/2018 at 13:12 (195 days old) by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

Definitely front loaders.

Impeller type HE top load washers are OK if you know how to sort and load it properly, but front loaders or horizontal axis top loaders are far superior.

Post# 1016682 , Reply# 11   12/3/2018 at 13:47 (195 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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Mark, definitely a combination of both styles of pulsator TL. Some seem more deep filling than others, with some sensing and saturating the load whilst others tend to fill at the bottom and be ďdryĒ on top, though I have only seen 3 in action in my time here so I donít take that as overly reliable.

My MIL has a nice LG front loader which is the same as what we get in the U.K. Other brands available in both FL and TL are Sharp, Midea, Ocean, Samsung, Pacific, Hitachi, Ariston and Westpoint. Bosch and Miele are both available but very expensive.

Post# 1016688 , Reply# 12   12/3/2018 at 14:48 (195 days old) by thor (Buenos Aires)        

Could you ask if people in Mauritius wash their clothes in cold water only? Maybe that's the reason HE TLs are popular. HE TLs wash way better in cold water only than any FL does or is able to do.

Post# 1016690 , Reply# 13   12/3/2018 at 14:55 (195 days old) by tomdawg (Des moines)        
Ive Used Both

I personally love the ease of top loaders.
of course my favorite by far in the top load market is fisher paykel- you have at the combination of traditional deep fill with an option of spray rinses to make it "HE" not sure if its available in the UK

I did have a whirlpool cabrio someone junked ( there was nothing wrong with it)
I personally hated it, as some people have said, the top layer doesn't get all clean. I'll watch the 15min wash cycle and nothing usually turns over. you have to have the right amount of clothes and cycles for it to work properly.

Front loaders are better in my opinion, especially with a big load. it can effectively clean it no problem and like others have said, much more forgiving at user error.

My sister recently switch from top load HE to Front load HE and she can already tell the difference!

Post# 1016691 , Reply# 14   12/3/2018 at 15:05 (195 days old) by marky_mark (Sitges, Barcelona)        

marky_mark's profile picture
Ah ok that's interesting. Thanks for letting me know.

In answer to your original question: if I had to choose between a FL and a HE impeller TL, I would go for the FL. However that's only based on what I've read as I only have experience of using FLs and traditional agitator TLs. I have looked at many HE impeller machines in the US and Canada but only in stores, I've never had the opportunity to use one. I'd like to try them. The biggest ones certainly are massive inside. CR finds in their particular tests that HE TLs are typically rougher on clothes and don't clean as well as FLs.

Here in Spain, I have seen used TL impeller machines for sale (they appear to be non-HE). The writing on them is in Spanish, so I suspect they have probably come over from Hispanic America. I would like to try one. I suspect they would work very well and would be much gentler on clothes compared to the modern HE versions sold in the US and Canada. But that's just a guess.

Post# 1016695 , Reply# 15   12/3/2018 at 16:00 (195 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

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I just moved to a flat with a "washer/dryer" I still have my LG Aussie HE top loader and I miss having in connected... My washer/dryer takes like 3h to finish a load of laundry (that's just washing, not drying)

Post# 1016745 , Reply# 16   12/4/2018 at 00:01 (195 days old) by Mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

If I had to buy a new washer, I would be willing to try a new HE front loader with a heater for sanitizing laundry. The advances in medical treatments for cancers and other diseases is now utilizing live Polio / Tuberculosis microbes, so if anyone in your family would need treatment having a washer to take care of infected clothing would be paramount. I would dread the long cycle time however.


Post# 1016757 , Reply# 17   12/4/2018 at 07:24 (194 days old) by Kate1 (Idaho)        

I have personally only owned conventional top loaders but I did live in a rental unit for about a year with an HE top loader and the majority of my friends own one. Personally, I think theyíre garbage. They just donít clean properly, even after I scoured the internet and the owners manual for how to use the machine properly, things didnít come clean for me. I love conventional, especially a little older, top loaders and I will probably always own one (I will definitely always own one with children living under my roof) but I also really like front loaders. Someday I plan to own a Miele stacked set in addition to my old Whirlpool TL. If I only had the option of an HE machine, a European front loader would be it. My second choice after that (in the dystopia where only HE top loaders can be bought lol) would be to use a wringer washer, which I incidentally have coming to me when my grandparents pass away and I happen to love using as well. I think those are sort of HE since you use the same water for all of your laundry. I also own a glass washboard and a big double wash basin so if nothing else, thereís that too. I wonít use another HE top loader as long as I live.

Post# 1016812 , Reply# 18   12/4/2018 at 18:53 (194 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
VMW cabrio can wash good!

I have a 2010 VMW Cabrio and must say it is a washing SOB if you get the load size just so...:)I do hate when it gets stuck on a rebalance routine-constantly draining and refilling as it tries to balance a load.

Post# 1016843 , Reply# 19   12/4/2018 at 22:38 (194 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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If you owned a front loader and suddenly inherited my back I guarantee you put the machine on it's back and see if it would work properly. The dryer is challenge enough.

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Post# 1016845 , Reply# 20   12/4/2018 at 23:08 (194 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        
Re Reply #18

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The worst washing machine out of the 19 Iíve owned was a 2010 Cabrio! What a POS! That constant rebalancing was a real PITA! With the refilling over and over with rinse water in its futile attempts to balance, what a waste of both water and time. I agree, though with Brendan, when it worked properly, it did wash very well. But I donít expect to have to babysit an automatic washer, a wringer washer would be way less hassle than one of these Cabrios. The only good thing that came out of owning that
Cabrio is that I discovered while searching the net for an explanation on why that washer couldnít balance properly. I always loaded it as directed with the clothes distributed evenly around the tub edge, but the loads never stayed that way during the cycle.

I really believe that the main cause of the balancing problem was the lack of a center post to keep the load distributed around the outside edge of the tub when it began to spin. I have a Maytag Centennial now that Iíve owned for 2 years. It has an agipeller, and that bad boy NEVER goes out of balance, washes and rinses beautifully, and completes every load in about 50 mins.


This post was last edited 12/04/2018 at 23:30
Post# 1016860 , Reply# 21   12/5/2018 at 01:01 (194 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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This is the type of toploader thatís available here. I think you can manually select the water level. The 3 Iíve seen in action have at the very least covered the load.


Post# 1016866 , Reply# 22   12/5/2018 at 02:31 (194 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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I managed to get a sneaky snap of my partners grandmaís washer. Sheís just turned 100 and still does all her own laundry.

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Post# 1016874 , Reply# 23   12/5/2018 at 05:49 (193 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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"If you owned a front loader and suddenly inherited my back I guarantee you put the machine on it's back and see if it would work properly."


I put my washer and dryer on custom pedestals...solved my back problem.  No bending at all now.

Post# 1016882 , Reply# 24   12/5/2018 at 07:59 (193 days old) by washerguy02 (Manchester )        

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Hi Chris

Nice to see you back posting here on auto washer. Been a while since you last did. My grandparents and relatives in India have HE top loader washers. My opinions on them is they seem quite fun to use. But what I think about them is they can waste water. The ones in India fill from cold only. They don't heat water. I think it would be better if they had a hot fill aswell. They do spin stuff quite well spending quite a long time on low speeds which give them quite good results. I think with cold fill only they could just build up mould inside the machine and cause bacteria on towels and bedding to grow and lurk. If they had hot fill it would have high chance of less mould and keep the machine clean. The good things are the cycle times are nice and shorter. I think even a Hoover Logic wouldn't waste as much water as a top loader.

I prefer front loaders because they don't waste as much water (even old 80s Hoovers), have heating elements which heat water to higher temperatures especially for towels and bedding and stuff that need higher temperatures so there is less grime, the hot and cold fill on my two older FLs save time and mean shorter times tho cold fill only is for if you have blood stains on clothes.


Post# 1016883 , Reply# 25   12/5/2018 at 08:24 (193 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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Hi Janak,

Iím still here :). I donít post so much these days, mainly because I donít have much interesting to post about lol.

The market here in Mauritius seems to be fairly evenly split between front loaders and toploaders. My mother in law has an LG front loader and her sister has an Ocean front loader, but other relatives and friends have top loaders like the one posted above.

These do seem to heat the water though, as they have different temperature options and ďtub cleanĒ hot cycles.

Strangely the detergent advertising seems to aim liquid detergents at TLís and powder at FLís. Thereís also no non-bio or colour protect. The choice is either powder or liquid.

Post# 1016963 , Reply# 26   12/5/2018 at 17:00 (193 days old) by MrSmokey (new hampshire)        

Is There anyone company that sells a powdercoated, or carbon composite inner drum spider?

After tearing apart my miele that otherwise looked perfect to find a dissolved spider, I am now weary of any of the front loads. Especially one that does not have the spider available as a spare part. Miele seems to require one to buy the whole drum for just short of a USD grand shipped. Others seem to sell the spider by its self for a reasonable sum.
After all the advertising hype that gets thrown around by the whole industry, there seems to not be much concern by the manufacturers to solve this problem that is inherent in what seems like all of the current front loaders. Also It literally is the deepest part in these machines, and not inspectable aside from looking for corrosion deposits in the drain.

I speak from limited experience and knowledge, but this is where i am at with the situation myself. I might end up getting a maytag commercial grade residential top loader.

Post# 1017017 , Reply# 27   12/5/2018 at 22:57 (193 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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I never though about pedestals. They make good sense. I do use the tops of the washer and dryer for folding so they might get a little too high. I didn't bother to mention the orthopedic doctors want to replace my left shoulder...and I'm left handed. Still in my 60's and I'm already going to seed. 

Post# 1021639 , Reply# 28   1/18/2019 at 22:00 by Spinspeed (Far North New South Wales Australia (originally London UK))        

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Interesting thread. If I could only have one washing machine I would always go for a front load washer. Cycles are longer but they wash and rinse really well and I would say use less water than the HE top load washers. I just think that the HE TL washers donít move clothes thru the water as well as the revolving drum of a FL washer. FL washers are also more gentle on the clothes. As already mentioned FL washers spin much faster too.

Post# 1021981 , Reply# 29   1/21/2019 at 20:20 by mayguy (Minnesota)        

Front loaders for me.. I just cringe when customer say they HAVE to have a top loader due to issues from Front loader! lol . I never had issues with my front loader.

Post# 1021985 , Reply# 30   1/21/2019 at 21:07 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I think the HE toploaders have got a lot better over the past 15 years or so. But I also follow Consumer Reports and according to them, even the best HE top loader doesn't clean as well as the front loaders.

However, the main laundry closet in this home is situated so that the washer must go on the right. No problem with the Neptune front loader, the door is easily reversed. But, AFAIK, the only other front loader washer made these days is the Electrolux, and I'm not even sure the latest ones allow reversing the washer door. So.... if i found myself in a spot with an expired Neptune and not other option, I might spring for a TOL HE top loader.

But only after I've tried at least one other FL alternative...

BTW, I first used an HE style top loader washer in Japan around 1996. I was working for an American company that had products made by its Japanese partner. The Japanese company thoughtfully provided a small laundry area for the American engineers. The washer had no agitator, just an impeller at the bottom of the tub. My colleagues were fascinated by it, crowding around to watch it in action. I was not so impressed, and four years later got the Neptune set.

Post# 1022059 , Reply# 31   1/22/2019 at 14:45 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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Sometimes I use these to get small items like socks out of my front load dryer. My spine degeneration continues to make normal and once easy tasks very difficult. Peeling wet clothes off of a front load washer's drum after a high speed spin would be a very painful experience. As you age you'll understand.

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Post# 1022096 , Reply# 32   1/22/2019 at 19:37 by mayguy (Minnesota)        

Yeah, that's the downfall of Frontloader if it's not up.. A co worker has a HE Top loader and she's short, and she can't reach the bottom of the top loader, She said the first time she reached in she went in too hard and hurt her breast., ;-(

Post# 1022119 , Reply# 33   1/22/2019 at 23:13 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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I have a little stool in front of my frontloader. No problem of reaching into the drum.

Post# 1022124 , Reply# 34   1/23/2019 at 00:35 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I bought a bunch of those claw grabbers in the past couple of years (Costco was selling a good version, 2 for $10.). I use them at home and at work to pick stuff up off the floor, so my knees don't get too stressed. I've not thought of using them in a front loader, but I do use them at work to retrieve small parts that might get loose in an enclosed CNC mill.

I suppose I could try using them to get those small items that try to hide in the back of the washer (or dryer) drum. Not there yet, though ;-).

Post# 1022134 , Reply# 35   1/23/2019 at 05:21 by appnut (TX)        

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I too have used a step-stool to sit on in front of my washer for several years.  

Post# 1022147 , Reply# 36   1/23/2019 at 07:53 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
Falling apart in my tarnished golden years...

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The stool in front of a front-load washer or the dryer is a good idea and works for most people. Unfortunately I'm sort of a special case. In addition to my back problems, doctors want to replace my left shoulder (I'm left-handed) so even using that grabber thing is difficult. Getting up and down from a stool or chair is no picnic. The cleaning ladies will do laundry but are only here every 3 weeks and they're too expensive for poverty-level me to afford as it is.


There is a bright spot on the horizon. I'm scheduled for spine surgery at the end of February. The shoulder will remain a problem until I decide if a replacement is in order. The new Speed Queen top loader will still be in the garage waiting to be moved to my laundry room after surgery. I guess I'm stuck with it for awhile. I do sort of insist on a washer I can use with it open full-time. That might get messy with a front loader.

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