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Types of Washing Machines

January 30, 2014
Types of Washing Machines

Buying a washing machine can be a daunting task.

What kind, what size and which brand?

Often people aren't aware of the pros and cons that come with buying a certain type of washing machine and their decision is purely cost driven.

Often there are factors that should be also taken into consideration other than cost, such as size and your personal needs.

Let’s try and simplify the world of washing machines and help you with your decision making when it comes to buying one.

Top Loader

The top loader washing machine is arguably the most popular choice of washing machine on the market, mainly due to the fact they are generally cheaper to buy than a front loader washing machine.

They have a reputation of being often more reliable and also cheaper to repair.

A top loader washing machine is exactly as the name describes it; the clothes are inserted through the top of the machine.

There are two types of top loader washing machines, machines that use an agitator (the pole with paddles extending from the centre of the bottom of the machine) to mix the water and clothes and machines that use an impeller, which looks like a propeller at the bottom of the machine to whip up the water.

Most new machines will have an impeller as this allows for a bigger load.

Top loader washing machines generally take less time to complete a cycle when compared to a front loader, but are generally harsher on the clothes due to a rougher spin.

They also use more water as they are required to fully submerge clothes.

Top loaders are suited to people who can’t afford to shell out for a decent front loader machine.

However, a good quality top loader can be as efficient as a decent front loader.


  • Cheap to buy
  • Can easily add clothes once cycle has begun
  • Faster Wash Cycles
  • Reliable


  • Use more water and electricity
  • Harsh on clothes
  • Require more laundry detergent

Tips When Buying a Top Loader:

Buy a modern top loader from a reputable brand that uses an impeller. Your machines will be able to load more clothes and is less likely to have breakdowns.

Top Loader Washing Machine

Front Loader

Front loader washing machines have been becoming more and more common as they become more affordable for the consumer.

Once reserved for commercial laundromats, front loaders are now as common in households as the humble top loader.

Front Loaders don’t use an agitator, but rather turn your washing in a tumbling action.

This is gentler on your belongings and uses less water and energy.

Due to the lack of agitator, it also means you can squeeze in a larger load than a standard top loader.

Front loaders tend to take longer to wash than a front loader and some machines can have cycles up to three hours long.

Often machines will have a quick wash function for clothes that aren’t overly dirty.

Front loaders are great for those who want a quiet and efficient washing machine.

They may be a little more expensive, but have many pros which make paying extra worth it.


  • Gentler on clothes
  • Less Electricity and Water consumed
  • Generally smaller than top loaders and can often be stacked on top of another appliance
  • Higher Spin Speed: This means that clothes will dry quicker as the water is extracted more efficiently at a higher RPM
  • Quieter than a top loader
  • More programmes


  • More expensive than a top loader
  • Front loaders are more prone to breakdowns
  • Longer Wash Cycles
  • Unit is generally very heavy
  • Some may rinse poorly due to low water usage

Tips When Buying a Front Loader

Front loaders are prone to break downs, so make sure you don’t buy an ultra-cheap model.

The expenses you may pay on repairs will likely outweigh what you could have spent getting a more reliable model.

Front Loader Washing Machine

Combo Washing Machine

Combo washing machines on face value seem like perfect choice for a washing machine and dryer.

Combos can wash and dry your clothes all in one cycle and all you need to do is load it and then press a button.

They also look just like a front loader and are compact enough to stow almost anywhere.

Sounds too good to be true right?

Combo washer have their pros and cons just like front and top loader machines.

Often the drying load maximum is lower than the washing load maximum, which means you may have to remove a portion of your washing if you wish to dry it in the drier.

Wash and dry times generally take longer than that of a dedicated washing machine.

A wash and a dry cycle might take longer than 5 hours!

The dryer in a combo washing machine user a condenser mechanism rather than standard air duct to dry your clothes meaning in even more water consumption.


  • Small and compact. By combining two units into one, you shouldn't have any issues in finding a home for your washer
  • Easy to use - a press of a button and your clothes are cleaned and dried


  • Drying capacity is lower than the washing capacity meaning you are often required to take clothes out before starting a drying load
  • Combo washers are generally more expensive to purchase
  • Generally less efficient than dedicated washers and driers
  • Condenser drier uses a lot of water drying clothes. Some models can use 72L to dry a load
  • Cycles can take a longer period of time

Tips When Buying a Combo Washer

It is probably best to only consider buying a combo washer if you are very pressed for space or you can afford to buy a premium model.

Washer Dryer Combo

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