H.B. asks from Glenview, IL on June 29, 2007
Front Load Washing Machines?
I am ready to purchase a new washer/dryer combo for our home. We went to ABT the other night and met with a very knowledgeable salesman about some options. While he was not "pushing" the front load washing machines, he did make it sound like they are the wave of the future.
Here are the cons as I see them:
More expensive machines (we may only be in our current home for 5 more years - so not sure we would see the return on investment); different detergent required "he" - I use Dreft for baby clothes and I do not think they make "he" detergent?; they are larger and will take up more space in our small laundry room; I loose the place to fold clothing (on top of washer/dryer)if I get the drawer to elevate the washer, which makes doing laundry much easier on your back.
I am torn between the front load, Whirlpool Duet and traditional top load Maytag Centenial. Does anyone have thoughts/experiences on the front load vs top load?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone for their responses! I have decided to go with the front load machine, the Whirlpool Duet. I found a different model number, thanks to consumer reports, that will best meet our family's laundry needs.
I.B. answers from Chicago on July 02, 2007
I also love my front loading machine - only thing, though, is that you can't soak items. Unless I'm wrong about that - anyone able to do that with a front loader?
C.U. answers from Chicago on June 30, 2007
We have a maytag front loader and would never buy one with an agitator again. We love it. Also love ABT.
A.H. answers from Chicago on June 29, 2007
We bought a new washing machine several years ago after our 3 year old GE model died. We decided to stay with a top-loading machine after doing some research and we chose a Fisher Paykel brand machine that we purchased from Abt.
For instance, my washer is "smart" enough to know what size load I have so it never wastes water by overfilling as I don't have to select a load size.
It also spins the clothes at a "super fast" spin at the end, so the clothes actually come out of the washer not needing to dry in the dryer for an hour. So, we save natural gas with less drying time needed for the clothes.
I absolutely LOVE my Fisher Paykel washing machine and would buy another one again. My sister-in-law also bought one a couple of years ago after talking to us/seeing ours and is very happy with hers. I also cannot wait to remodel my kitchen and fill it with other Fisher Paykel appliances like their dishwasher drawers, fridge and cooktop!
S.P. answers from Chicago on July 02, 2007
My husband - after many years - convinced me to buy front load when our washer went about 7 years ago. Frigidaire makes a smaller version front load that works great. We moved from our townhome and left the front load behind but we purchased a Frigidaire set for the new home with the platforms -- without the platform -- a little harder on the back. Yes, uses less water, yes load is done quicker and yes easier on the clothing since top load has that arm in the middle that does wear and tear on the clothing. I did not want to make that huge Maytag investment or other bigger machines that are $1400 just for the washer. Frigidaire ran us around $600 - we bought that one at Best Buy. May be a little more, depends on the features you want - I think there were 3 models. The washer/dryer set with the risers was $1300 @ Grant's. I am very happy with them. And I have used all types of detergent in the washer -- makes no difference.
You can always check out Sears Outlet and get an overstock OR a slightly dented one for cheaper!
J.K. answers from Chicago on June 30, 2007
I don't know much about the front loading machines, so my response may not be totally relevant, but we have a 3 year old Maytag top loading maching and I would strongly recommend avoiding Maytag at all costs. I bought this one because we live in Naperville, there is a Maytag store in town, our machine died and we have kids so laundry backs up fast and they could deliver and install on the same day. But, the machine is not good and since I've bought it I've heard a lot of bad things about Maytag. I would echo the comments about researching via Consumer Reports and also shopping at a place like Sears (or ABT) where they stock lots of different brands to compare. Our machine was missing a piece that holds the drain hose still inside the machine, so it flopped around during the drain cycle, and developed a hole. So, water started to leak, but mostly it trickled down outside the drain hose. Since the leaking water was following the hose, it mimicked the look of a burst pipe. Long story short, major water damage, opening up walls to find leak, only to discover that 1) it was caused by washing machine and 2) not covered by homeowners insurance. Arrrgh.
B.A. answers from Chicago on June 29, 2007
I have had top of the line Whirlpool Gold series top-load washer and a matching dryer that did what I had considered was a great job on getting my family's clothes clean and in a good dry time. Then a few years ago we moved into a home that had a new washer / dryer set by Whirlpool, but the washer was a front-load and I was a little skeptical until I did some research and boy, I am sure glad I did. Our clothes experienced none or very little wear on them, unlike what we saw with our clothes in the top-load washer - this in itself is a huge savings as well as being able to wash large comforters and other large items. The water savings was also great and I also realized that the clothes came out of the front-load washer much dryer than the top-load washer, so there was considerably less dryer time and gas cost! I think the front-load washer's wash time seemed to be less as well and bottom line, my time was saved because I could get more laundry completed in less time and I was always amazed! Now that we moved to another new home, we now have another top-load Whirlpool (the pair came with the home), but we wish we had the front-load washer as it was truly the BEST machine by far. We still talk about what a difference it is to do laundry with the top-loader now and how much extra time it takes to get through the loads compared to the "old days."
The extra cost on this machine saves money, money, money as well as time!
S.S. answers from Chicago on June 29, 2007
We are buying a new machine as well. The con of the front loader is you can't open it up and throw something in once the load is started and we do that all the time! Good luck.
S.S. answers from Chicago on June 30, 2007
I just got a front load set and I absolutely love it! I still use dreft, you just have to use a smaller amount so there are not as many suds! I think the elevated price was completely worth it as Iuse less soap,it is much quieter and my water bill was 13 dollars less last month!
N.R. answers from Chicago on June 29, 2007
We have a front load also purchased from ABT since we live in Glenview and convenient and our builder had a tie up with them. My sisters overseas have had it for years and love it and based on their experience we bought it and I absolutely love it. Yes they are more expensive but I feel mine does a fabulous job. Please let me know if you need more details. You can email me directly at
A.H. answers from Chicago on June 29, 2007
We have front load machines and could not be happier. May I suggest before you buy any appliance that costs that much, that you do research online? We did and found that the biggest bang for our buck was at none other than good ol' Sears. We went to Consumer Reports online. While it did cost us about 20 dollars for the subscription, it has paid for itself over and over. We have never been more satisfied and two of my sisters bought them also and are thrilled. And, bring these expensive machines with you when you move. They will certainly be worth it. Oh, and by the way, the new Sear's ones have a table top "thing" to put on top to fold your clothes.