Best Front Loading Washing Machines
Front loading washing machines, or front loaders, can clean your clothes more gently while using less energy and water. Choosing between the features of different machines can be overwhelming, so it’s important to know what means what so you can find a front load washer that suits your home and your laundry.
- Award Winner 2021
The Samsung AddWash Front Loader lets you add more clothes and detergent during your wash, and comes with a host of programs that let your clothes come out clean and spotless.
Price (RRP) $1,299.00 to $3,099.00
Handles heavy and delicate loads well
Wide range of programs
Simple to use
- Build Quality4.2 (35)
- Value for Money4.1 (35)
- Ease of Use4.5 (35)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 4.3 (35)
- Noise Level4.1 (33)
- FeaturesDoor/Lid Lock (Child-proof), Reload/Add Wash and Auto Dispense
- Energy Rating4 star(s)
- Water Rating4 star(s) and 4.5 star(s)
- Drum MaterialStainless Steel
- Colour / FinishBlack Caviar, Grey and White
- Max Spin Speed 1,100 rpm and 1,400 rpm
- Number of Wash Cycles10
- Temperature Settings 5
High energy and water ratings, 13 different programs, and a timed dispenser to ensure detergent is put in at the optimal time are some of the features that help the Fisher & Paykel WashSmart Front Loader effectively clean your clothes.
Price (RRP) $1,099.00 to $1,249.00
Easy to use controls
Gentle with delicates
Some parts not highly durable
- Build Quality4.0 (83)
- Value for Money3.8 (87)
- Ease of Use4.6 (87)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 4.3 (86)
- Noise Level3.9 (85)
- FeaturesReload/Add Wash and Auto Balancing
- Energy Rating4 star(s)
- Water Rating4.5 star(s)
- Colour / FinishWhite
- Max Spin Speed 1,400 rpm
- Maximum Noise Level58 db
- Number of Wash Cycles13
- Country of ManufactureChina
Options to adjust the Bosch Serie 8 Front Loading Washing Machine’s programs to be more speedy and more energy efficient help give you more control over how you like to do your laundry.
Price (RRP) $1,599.00 to $2,299.00
Price from Bing Lee
Easily adjustable settings
Consistently cleans well
Quiet when spinning
Some components not hard-wearing
- Build Quality4.0 (184)
- Value for Money3.6 (185)
- Ease of Use4.2 (181)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 4.0 (174)
- Noise Level4.2 (177)
- FeaturesDoor/Lid Lock (Child-proof), Reload/Add Wash and Auto Balancing
- Energy Rating4 star(s), 4.5 star(s) and 5 star(s)
- Water Rating4.5 star(s) and 5 star(s)
- Drum MaterialPlastic
- Colour / FinishWhite
- Max Spin Speed 1,200 rpm, 1,400 rpm and 1,600 rpm
- Maximum Noise Level48 db to 72 db
- Country of ManufactureGermany
- Award Winner 2021
Features like a high water rating, inbuilt anti-bacterial treatment, and a delay start function make using the Haier HWF75AW Front Loaders clean, convenient, and easy on the wallet.
A time remaining display, high spin speeds, and a variety of programs let you easily use the Bosch Serie 4 Front Load Washing Machine to wash all kinds of laundry loads.
What's better: top loading or front loading washers?
When shopping around, you’ll probably find that neither top loaders or front loaders are inherently better, but one will likely suit your laundry preferences more.
Front loaders have a drum that spins horizontally, using gravity to tumble the laundry and evenly distribute water and detergent to effectively clean it.
- More water and energy efficient than top loaders, helping you save money and the planet.
- May be more economical in the long run.
- Generally gentler on your clothes.
- Can more easily fit into tighter spaces as they have smaller external dimensions.
- Can save space by fitting it underneath a kitchen benchtop or stacking a dryer on top, making it great for apartments and small homes.
- Often have higher spin speeds than top loaders, helping clothes come out dryer.
- Require less detergent for the same sized load.
- More expensive upfront than top loading machines.
- More difficult to move as they’re heavier.
- Generally have longer wash cycles.
- Most models don’t let you add additional clothing or detergent mid-wash.
- Require you to bend over to load the machine, making loading and unloading harder on the back.
- Often louder than top loaders.
- Cheaper to buy than front loaders.
- Easier to move, as they’re lighter.
- Have shorter wash cycles, so are more suitable for time-pressed people.
- Often have large load capacities.
- Can usually be stopped in the middle of a cycle, letting you add more clothing.
- Easier to load than front loaders, as they don’t require you to bend over.
- Often use an agitator (the plastic column in the centre) that can stretch, snag, and damage clothing.
- Less energy and water efficient.
- Generally more harsh on clothing.
- Top load washing machines are more expensive to operate.
- Require more detergent.
What to look for in a front loading washing machine
The capacity you need will largely depend on the size of your household, and your specific laundry needs.
Below is a rough guide to what machine capacity you need for your household size, however it’s recommended to consult the product manual to see whether a machine is suitable for you.
|Front loader capacity||Household size|
|5.5kg and under||1 - 2 people|
|5.5kg - 8kg||3 - 4 people|
|8kg and over||4 or more people|
A machine with a wide range of wash programs, temperatures, and spin speeds will let you make the most of the machine and customise your washing to suit different types of laundry.
Look for a variety of programs that can tackle both heavy duty loads (such as stained or soiled clothes) and delicate materials. Some programs will also have different options for different materials (for example, cottons or synthetics), making it easy to know what’s appropriate for your load.
Before choosing between a small front loader washing machine and a larger model, measure (and double check) the size of the space your machine needs to fit in. Check these measurements against the external dimensions (height, depth, and width) of any washer you’re thinking of buying.
Make sure you should also take into account the space needed for the door to open, as well as the width of all the corridors leading to the laundry, so that you can actually move your new machine there.
There are plenty of features on front loading washers that make them easier to use and help them more effectively clean your clothes and linen.
- Delayed start: This lets you set a time for the cycle to start, so you can have it ready by a convenient time, or so you can take advantage of off-peak energy rates.
- Some machines connect to a mobile app that lets you start your machine when you’re out, and track the progress of the cycle from your phone.
- A child lock prevents the door from being opened and the program from being changed mid-cycle, so that curious little fingers can’t make any changes. It can also be activated when the machine isn’t in use, to prevent little ones from playing with (or in) the machine.
- This feature lets you add more items (and sometimes detergent) to the wash mid-cycle, so that you can quickly add that missing sock you’ve found under the couch.
- Auto balancing detects an unbalanced load, and redistributes it so that your machine can efficiently wash your clothes.
- Steam inside a washing machine relaxes the fibres of your clothes and helps lift stubborn stains, making a steam function a handy feature to have.
- Favourite program: This lets you save a customised program, so that you can easily set it at the push of a button.
Energy and water efficiency
An energy and water efficient machine is both more environmentally friendly and more easy on your wallet. Energy and water efficiency on a washing machine are indicated by star ratings - the more stars they have, the more efficient they are.
Larger washing machines often have more stars than smaller ones (as larger loads tend to save more energy), however they’ll use more power overall.
We fork out quite a bit of money for washing machines, so it’s reasonable to expect to get years of use out of them.
Consider the material of the drum of your machine - most high-quality ones will have a , which is both hard-wearing and gentle on clothes. You can also find or porcelain-coated steel drums. Porcelain finishes are prone to chipping after a while, and while plastic tubs have a long lifespan, they can sometimes be a bit harsh on your laundry.
Read reviews to see how long a machine will last.
Reading front loader washing machine reviews is a good way to determine how hard-wearing a product is, as well as what the process to repair or replace parts is in the event that something does break down.
They can also help you see how easy it is to clean and maintain a machine, so you know what kind of work goes into prolonging its lifespan.
Ease of use
When shopping around, test out the controls on different machines, they should be easy to understand and use.
You should also consider whether or not you can install the front loader yourself, or if you’ll need a professional to fit it for you. Sometimes, the cost of installation will be included in the cost of the machine, so it’s worth reading the fine print to ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Most people accept that a washing machine will make quite a bit of noise, but this may be more of a concern if you have infants who need sleep in your home, or if your laundry is located quite close to your living area and bedrooms.
Some washing machines will list their noise level in decibels in their product description - this can make it easier to compare the noise across models.
Is it worth paying more for a washing machine? A front loader can cost anywhere from $500 to over $4000. The more features you have, the more pricey your machine will be, so have a good think about whether or not you want your washer to have all the latest bells and whistles.
Consider water and energy consumption when you compare prices. A more efficient machine with 4 or 5-star ratings may cost more outright, but it may be more economical in the long run then buying a less efficient, cheap front loader washing machine.
The bottom line
There are many factors to consider when you’re browsing the appliance store for a new front loader, but prioritising your household's particular laundry needs should help you go home with the right machine that leaves your clothes and linen spotless.