Are front loading washers worth the money?


so what’s the deal with these. do they save that much on energy to be worth spending so much more? and why does the matching dryer cost so much more than a normal dryer.


**just like everything else, there are pros and cons. We got a front loader for two reasons

  1. with my illness I was finding it hard to get bulky items out of a top loader when they were heavy with water

  2. to save on water, soap, and energy because we knew we’d be cloth diapering.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and compare old and new utility bills, but they haven’t gone up much so it must be saving us money considering how much more laundry we’re doing now!!!

I also like that they are really gentle on the clothes… no more surprise rips and snags.

What don’t** I like?

This particular model doesn’t allow me to select a pre-wash that’s a different temp than the reg wash. SO when I’m washing diapers I have to go down to the basement to start the second wash.

I don’t have much time right now so that’s all I can think of…



I got the Whirpool Duet ones.

Pros: uses hardly any water at all. Washes better. Easier on clothes. Spins more water out so takes less time to dry. If you get the pedastals, the machine doors are at a convenient height so you don’t have to bend over far–I’m retired and probably won’t bend over too far in the future. And you can store a lot of stuff in the drawers of the pedastals.

Cons: Expensive to purchase. Sometimes twists things like sheets or the legs of pants.

I think they cost more because they are relatively new. More and more companies are coming out with them and they will get cheaper.


As others have said, they use far less water and detergent. I’ve had mine for 4 years, and they were out long before that, so I’m surprised prices haven’t come down. I really prefer the front loader to the top loader. It might be my imagination, but the clothes seem to be cleaner.

Regarding the matching dryer, get a dryer that you can afford. Doesn’t need to match. My dryer is 17 years old, and other than being the same color, doesn’t match at all.



We have the Matag stacked front loading washer and dryer. We bought them used from an appliance dealer locally, so we didn’t pay that much. Call and ask your local dealer to keep an eye out for used ones for you.

Check eBay, you can get good deals, we renovated our entire house last year (100 year old house) and I bought my appliances online, some via eBay and some via online appliance dealers.

We do not have the see-through door model, just the basic model. I love them, compared to my old top loading model.


When our washer (top-loader) died, we replaced it with a front-loader.


  1. Less water, less detergent.
  2. Children who were too short to help w/ the ‘laundry switch’ (the move from washer to dryer) are no longer too short.
  3. Cleans much better (there was one dress of Katharine’s–it was pink and she’d spilled mustard on it–after several attempts I gave up and even dried it and let her continue wearing it as play clothes … washed in the front loader and the stain came out completely!)
  4. Gentler to clothes (there’s no agitator in the middle for things to get caught on, for one thing).


  1. Can’t just pop it open to add in one thing found after the load’s been started.

I definitely recommend front-loader washing machine (never seen a dryer that wasn’t front-loading, though). And I wouldn’t worry about ‘matching’. Appliances like that have a tendency to die separately, so you end up with non-matching ones anyhow.


We have a front end loader washer but still are hanging on to our ten yr. old dryer. Love the front loader. Have nothing but positive things to say about it. Wish I had it a long time ago. Agree with all of the pros listed especially about children being able to switch the load (so helpful!) and the clothes being cleaner and rinsed better. I can wash blankets in there no problem. Ours has a cycle for hand washables and delicates. You can set it for low spin if you have say, a lacy tablecloth or something. It has a heavy soil cycle…I use this for those towels that seem to get stinky in this summer heat.
Only complaint I have has been listed: Once you put a load in, that’s it…if you find one more shirt you could stick in there…too bad it has to wait until next load. Oh, and you have to buy the HE kind of soap (I like the downy in my detergent and they don’t sell HE with it in there). It isn’t more expensive though and I always can find a coupon for it.
I don’t think they are that much more expensive. You can find a top loader for alot cheaper that’s true but you can also find a top loader for almost as expensive. If you are going to splurge, I highly recommend doing it on this…you won’t be disappointed.


I want one, I want one, I want one, I want one, I want one, I want one, I want one, I want one, I want one…



I love it, cleans better, gentler, in less water which is a huge factor here, also quieter, but the cycle is longer. watch the type and amount of detergent and softener you use, do not exceed recommended limits, more is worse not better with a front loader. I cannot reach down into a top loader any more. we had a concrete riser put in to raise the height of washer and dryer and to make them more stable (they are in the garage, only place that has room unless we want them in the front hallway.)

DD has a huge set, industrial strength and size, dryer stacks on top of washer. she loves it, because she uses 1/4 the detergent she used to, and because it saves water and cleans clothes much better and much gentler.


We got this one instead of a front loader this time. It is much more energy and water efficient than standard top loaders, has only 5 moving parts (their big sales pitch, everything is easily replaceable. Costs a lot less than front loaders generally do too. We’ve been really happy with it, after having both top and front loaders before, I would take this again any day.


I just bought the Whirlpool Duets front loading washer and dryer…you really don’t need the matching, but mine are on the first floor and I pass by them a 100 times a day, I like them matching. Also, I am able to stop mid cycle to add another item to the washer…just wanted to add that.


We also have the Duet. There is a Summer surcharge on water here, so we wanted to use the least amount of water possible. You can add an extra item a little bit into the cycle, but past a certain point you can’t. One thing I’ve found is that I have to make sure to pull the little detergent/bleach/dispenser drawer totally out all the way, because a fraction of an inch less and the liquids just run into the machine before it even starts. Also I have been told not to run it during a storm, because a power surge can fry the computer and that it’s very expensive to replace. It seems like there are computers in everything now.

Our utility company gave a rebate on the washer–I think it was $75. One other thing–when I first used it it shook so much that it vibrated the upstairs floor (it is downstairs.) I called Whirlpool and they said that it is not supposed to be installed on vinyl flooring, only tile or concrete (it has to do with the hardness of the subfloor or somesuch). Our laundry room has vinyl flooring and I didn’t want to move it into the garage. I called the installer back and he rebalanced it by readjusting the little feet underneath and now it works just fine.


Another thing to consider is load size. The last time I loked at them (about 8 years ago), cleaning is not as effective if you don’t have full loads. If it for a single, or a couple with no kids and aren’t expecting to have any, it may not be the best buy.


**Our’s senses the size of the load and only uses the amount of water necessary. So I can do a full load of diapers or just a few things…



We, too, bought a Whirlpool Duet two and a half years ago. Yes, it used less water and less detergent, and yes it spun out more water (thereby shortening drying times), but were never really happy with it. No real “pre-soak” capability, and it also didn’t completely wash out stuff like sunscreen that invariably got onto T-shirts or cover-ups or whatever – and that was when the machine was working as designed!

But after two years, our machine stopped working as designed… The door lock mechanism failed (wouldn’t unlock even after the machine stopped), the electronic control module failed (it kept reporting an electrical problem), and the switch that controlled whether or not the machine filled with water failed (we’d leave the door slightly open after each use so it could dry out, but instead it would fill with water and eventually spill out onto the floor) – all within a few weeks of each other (and, of course, all after the warranty had expired). For what it cost to repair, we could have bought at least two or three standard no-frills washers!

In an attempt to keep us as satisfied customers, Whirlpool’s customer service folks did make us a deal that was almost too good for us to pass up… but when we asked the repairman, based on his experience, what further repairs we could expect to have to make in the coming years, we were shocked to learn that on average after 6 years or so the axle bearings tend to start failing – because the drum is hanging on its side instead of balanced on its center like in a top-loader – and at that point because of the expense involved most folks replace the whole machine rather than repair it. We certainly didn’t want to spend a whole bunch of money to repair the things that were wrong with our washer, only to potentially have to replace the whole thing anyway in as little as 3-4 years.


Right after we got ours, not thinking, I stopped it and opened the door and had soap everywhere. Didn’t turn out to be too much of a con because now my wife won’t let me touch the washer :slight_smile:


They don’t have to match. We bought ours when we moved into a new house and both were floor models and had huge discounts. But they had the same warrenty as if new.


A friend of mine recently got a front loader, and she raves about it. Less soap, less water, larger loads. She has five children, and anything that cuts down on the number of loads she has to do is a Godsend. She is very happy with it.

However, I had no idea about the maintenance issues some of the previous posters have brought up. We have a cheap top loader and matching dryer, equally cheap, that we have had for over ten years now. They still work as well as the day we bought them and show no signs of stopping.

I wonder, then, if you have to replace the more expensive ones much more often, do you really save any money in the long run?


Thisng to remember when purchasing:

Check your states Energy Trust…we got a rebate on the purchase fro the energy trust and a deduction [credit] on our state income tax return. This helps offset the purchase price, in addition to the posted energy savings [water and electricity]. you have to mail in proofs of purchase and documentation.

We also bought a tankless water heater, for which we received a rebate and a tax credit…


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