Washing machines have come a long way in recent years. Although front-loaders have been all the rage, the new top-loaders are now giving them a run for their money! Find out which style is best for your family.

Dare to compare

Traditional top-loading washing machines recently got upstaged by front-loading washing machines due to the new models' energy efficient capabilities. However, there are now many new top-loading models on the market that boast their energy efficient capabilities. So how do you choose? Let's break down it down.

Top loaders


Once considered water-hogs, new model top-loaders don't use as much water because of the new agitation system — a tumbling and lifting action that does not require as much water and cleans the clothes more effectively.

The new spin cycles on high-efficiency top-loaders have also been improved. They are now faster but you won't have to deal with that annoying issue of the clothes becoming unbalanced and making that loud thumping noise in your laundry room. They are also more efficient so drying time is reduced, saving energy and money on that end.

Top-loaders are ideal for older people in the family or ones with back problems so they don't have to deal with the bending down that is required for a front-loading washing machine. They also tend to be less expensive than their front-loading counterparts, ranging from around $400 to $1,000 on average. And who isn't looking to save a few clams right about now?

Our pick^ The LG 4.7 cubic-foot high-efficiency top loader is ENERGY STAR approved and uses WaveForce technology for spotless cleaning while promising to be gentle on clothes, $900.


Maytag front loader

We're not bashing the front-loaders, believe me! In fact, their energy efficiency can't be beat. They also save water due to the spray system versus filling a drum with water as with a top-loader and are ideal for tight spaces as they can be smaller than front-loaders or stacked on top of a dryer to save room.

Without the agitator of a top-loader, front-loaders are believed to be easier on your clothes, extending their life thus saving you more money in the long run. If you like to play put-dry-clean-only-clothes-in-the-washing-machine roulette, this might be the better choice for you.

There are a few drawbacks, however. Clothes can often spill out of the front-loader onto the floor when tossing in one last item you missed before starting the cycle or when you take the load out to transfer it into the dryer. And flashy front-loaders can cost you a pretty penny, starting at about $700 and going up from there.

Our pick^ The Maytag 4.3 cubic-foot high-efficiency front-load washer is ENERGY STAR approved and boasts a large load capability and PowerWash cycle for the cleanest cycle in the industry, $1,170.

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