Front Load or Top Load Please Help??

gracie-2006December 10, 2010

Hi- I am jumping over per suggestion from kitchen forum. We are going to be purchasing a new W/D set. I do not know what to get. I thought you folks would be helpful. I am looking at the Samsung Front Loading or the Whirlpool- Cabrio Top loading. Do you like your FL machines? I have heard pros and cons?

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I have hear good thing about the Samsung machines along with the LG Front loaders. As far as a HE Toploader goes, I do not care for the Cabrio's/ The reason being is they do not offer a internal heater in them to my knowledge and I swear by having a heater in either machine.. The LG HE toploder does, and it gives you the option to add extra water to the wash and rinse cycles. There are some vidoes on youtube showing how the LG works by some owners. Also there is one from a owner who is on there on LG machine and it self destructed. I would not pay to much attention to this video as a negative impact. It is my belief that the washer had too much weight in it. As the owner states in the videos, we washed a large comforter and a few other things in it. JUst because you have a super large capasity, does not mean you can wash super heavy items when they are wet, you have to use some common sense here with either a FL or TL.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 2:35PM
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The top-of-line Maytag Bravos model MVWB850WL has water heating. The heating element is shown on a parts diagram available under the Owner Center section on

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 4:43PM
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The issue of top-loading vs. front-loading must precede the question of what brand and model.

The agitators in top-loading machines, which beat against the fabrics, are harder on fabrics than the tumbling action of front-loading machines. While both technologies are mature, the front-loading technology has been around on automatic washers for a couple of decades longer than the technology of top-loading machines.

Most of the "features" in most washers and dryers are superfluous and paying money for them is foolish. The fundamental construction features to look for in washers are vibration control and drum construction. In regard to vibration, the Samsungs and the subset of LG washers that have "square" windows, along with the Mieles (which are in a different price category) lead the pack. The stainless steel "honeycomb" drum of the Miele washers and the stainless steel "diamond drum" of some Samsung washers are a bit of an improvement over other makers' drums.

Nowhere is it written that the washer and the dryer must "match." You can save money while getting better performance by mixing brands if you can withstand the pressure to have your washer and dryer match.

For instance, does your laundry room have an immaculately clean floor? If not, you may find that an inexpensive Whirlpool or made-by-Whirlpool Sears Kenmore dryer that has a door hinged at the bottom rather than at the side presents the very best feature of all: what amounts to a clean shelf to catch your wet clothes if you drop them (as we all do from time to time) as you transfer them from washer to dryer.

The styling of a low-end Whirlpool dryer certainly will not match the styling of a Samsung washer or the Cabrio washer, but -- really -- who cares? Aren't clean clothes more to the point than matching styling? And, because the basic "hamper door" Whirlpool dryer has been in production, with only very minor changes, for decades, and a best-seller for a lot of that time, when it needs repairs, every repairperson on the continent knows exactly how to repair it, and replacement parts are available and in-stock everywhere.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 7:54PM
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I actually think dryers that the door hinges on the bottom was the best design ever. You can place the dryer anywhere and not have to worry about reversing the door. Also it can act like a little folding table too. I wonder why they strayed away from it. Now as far as havng the lint filter on top of the dryer that you pull up and out to clean...that was a BUST! It worked great, but pulling it out and cleaning it always made a mess.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 9:15AM
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I've had both FL and TL. I prefer the FL other than dropping items on the floor if in a hurry. If you go with FL-MAKE SURE YOU GET THE PEDESTALS!! I didn't have them on the first set. I had to bend down with butt on wall to get clothes out of washer and into dryer(I am a small person but had a narrow laundry room) I have Electrolux pair now and love them. On EL, the washer and dryer doors can be reversed. Washer was on wrong side in other house. So actually with first set of FL it was- bend down(butt on wall),raise up over doors that opened to each other, bend down to put clothes in dryer. Repeat process till all clothes moved. That got old fast!!
Anyways, yes while you have a huge capacity, on FL comforters can cause weight issues(only my sons double sided one-it weights alot dry.) It is a struggle to get it spun out. Thankfully he want's to get a new one for the new house(he says it's too heavy)
On the TL, I have the same issue with them that I had with our chest type deep freeze.(have upright now) I'm vertically challenged. (AKA-short) Having to bend into appliance, pushing up on 1 tippy-toe to get that last darn sock hanging out from underneath the back of the agitator. (I knew it was eating the kids socks when they were small. No one believed me)!
Everyone has their own opinion- I say front loader - that's just mine.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 1:23PM
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I've had two sets of FL's (GE and currently, Miele) and have used the Whirlpool Cabrio HE toploader for one week while on vacation. Hands-down I would say get a (at least middle-of-the-line, with internal heater) FL, although I do not have personal experience with the Samsung.

I thought the Cabrio was just really terrible at cleaning. I put in a towel with a dried up baby burp on it, and it came out with the baby burp ENTIRELY INTACT after having gone through the longest hottest wash. After that I really paid attention for the rest of the week to how the Cabrio was doing on the laundry and I really wasn't impressed. My FLs clean so much better. I would have rather used an old-fashioned toploader with the agitator in the middle than that stupid machine. Between not using hardly any water and having really uh, *gentle* washing action, it didn't really clean at all.

To the last poster about the PEDESTALS: here is a solution that costs a small fraction of the cost of pedestals. Get a $10 stool to sit on. No more bending down to transfer the load or even to put in the load in the first place. Save your back and your pocket book, do your laundry in comfort from a seated position.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 7:08PM
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Gracie, I sympathize with you; there is a lot of information and misinformation out there. When I was in the market for a new washer and dryer a couple of years ago, I had to wade through a LOT of stuff to get the information I needed. It took me several months.

I read more complaints about FL washers than I did TL washers.

I realized that pedestals added a lot to the price of FL's.

After much research, I ended up buying Maytag Bravos washer and dryer. In retrospect, any well-made 7 cu ft dryer may have been just as good as mine -- but I can honestly say I've never had a dryer as good as this one in more than 35 years of marriage. The only thing it does not have is the hamper door, and it does have great features my other dryers haven't had. For me the lack of a hamper door is not a problem.

I have the Maytag Bravos with the internal heater, which was mentioned above. It is wonderful! Not only does it wash huge loads of laundry (including a king-size comforter) with ease, but it uses much less water than a regular washer in the process. And it spins so fast, the clothes dry much more quickly (I mean MUCH more quickly). All of this adds up to a huge energy savings.

Because of its huge capacity (5.2 cu ft), I now wash only 3-5 wash loads each week, as compared to 7-10+ loads before. I have a large family, so this is phenomenal to me, saves me a lot of time as well as energy costs.

The importance of the internal water heater cannot be overstated. Unless a washer has one, its wash temperatures have most likely been dumbed down to the point there is no true hot water. I don't wash many loads in hot water -- mainly towels and also white cottons -- but the true hot water makes a big difference in cleaning results. I use OxyClean instead of bleach and the whites come out beautiful every time.

Every cycle one could possibly need is on this washer, from Handwash to Heavy Duty to Bulky, and many others.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 2:00AM
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Some people love toploaders and curse front loaders.

Some people love frontloaders and curse top loaders.

Some people wouldn't have a machine without a heater and some don't care. Personally, I look for what cycles the heater works. Often they only work on a cycle or two and that would not justify the cost to me.

Some have physical issues with bending and yes, even sitting to do laundry. I solved my dryer issue with some cement blocks and a homemade pallet. Raised the dryer up 14" and I have a nice table now with the hamper door. (I have the 7.4 cf Whirlpool dryer. Beats the daylights out of the previous Frigidaire and yes, even the Maytag dependable care dryer I had)

Some are sold on brand name. That's foolish IMO. Many times you don't know where or by whom they're built.

What should be important? IMO your budget is the #1 consideration. Always. Then consider any preferences, how much laundry you do, what features you find important and the other things. There's a bunch of threads here addressing this topic. Seems like this question is asked many times a month and often gets the same people arguing the same points.

FWIW, my sister bought a Cabrio unit a couple months ago. I tried to convince her to go with the heater but she is old-world, haven't had one - no need for one... She couldn't be happier with her Cabrio. She decided (and rightly so IMO) to repair her dryer rather than buy a new one. Dryers are pretty basic all in all.

There's pros and cons to everything. I don't care what brand you take for example every brand will have people who have had bad luck with it somewhere, sometime. For my money, they're all pretty much the same reliability-wise when you factor price into the equation and sometimes the cheaper units are more cost-effective. High end unit owners will scream theirs is so much better and 10 times the price. To compare to what I have, they'd need to last 300+ years to be comparable in service. I haven't seen one go that long yet.

How often you wash, how big a loads you wash, what wash habits you have, can all factor in too. Generally, FL take longer to wash. Some units with heaters can take upward of 3-4 hours to do a load. If you're a person who does one (or maybe 2) loads every day, this isn't an issue. If you're one who wants to wash 10 loads on a Saturday, this will make a difference. If you're used to one technology, a different one will have a learning curve. If you don't like to learn new things, then factor that in too. How big a laundraholic/laundromaniac are you? If you get into technical details, you might like new gadgets. If you want clean clothes, a rock and a river or a tub and washboard will do the job.

Many people bring on their own troubles by not learning how to use their machines properly.

There's a lot of info on here, I highly recommend reading through the threads. Yes, it'll take some time and there's a variety of opinions and disagreements. See where you weigh in on the controversies! Happy hunting.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 10:04PM
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