We have been blogging about the differences between front loads and top loads for almost 5 years. The difference in washing machines is more profound than ever as front loads have become bigger, more efficient, yet cheaper. Top loading washing machines have stayed the same - cheap to buy, expensive to operate.
Now, there are also hybrid washing machines. A hybrid is a more efficient top loader without an agitator.
Frigidaire Top Loading Washing Machine FTW3014KW $419: Top load washing machines have been a staple for generations. This washing machine has not changed effectively since 1948. It does, however, work well. It does not however work efficiently. A top load washer will use 11,311 gallons per year and consume 325 Kilowatts of power in a useable capacity of about 2.5 cubic feet.
Frigidaire Front Loading FAFS4272LW $449 (after rebates): The internal capacity of this washing machine was upgraded from 3.5 cubic feet to 4.5 cubic feet last year. They also added steam and a stainless drum, but it is also very efficient. This front loading washer will use 96 Kilowatts of electricity and almost 1/3 less water while being almost twice larger, for $30 more. Front loads also spin at an average of 1000 RPMs or 2.5 times greater than a top load, so the clothes are dryer and require less drying time
Whirlpool Cabrio WTW5600XW $559: Then there is the hybrid washing machine. It is a top loading washer without an agitator. Thus, it becomes 3.6 cubic feet. The energy specs are similar to the front loading washer as it uses 129 Kilowatts and only 5532 gallons of water per year. As I said in a recent post, how does it wash the clothes?
Best bet for the money is still the front loading washer in terms of energy useage, capacity and water savings
For more specific information, download our laundry guides: Washer, Dryer and Compact laundry.