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Washing Machines - Front Loads, Top Loads and Hybrids

May 5th, 2011 | 1 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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.

Lets Look:

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.

Washer Buying Guide

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.