3 Great Things (and 2 Bad) About Side-Loading Washers

May 05, 2020
Side Loader

Front-load or top-load? Who wins in the battle of washing machines? If you ask around, you may come away scratching your head. Ever since the introduction of front-loading washers in the early 2000s, the tug-of-war between the two types has been the center of many clothes-washing debates. People have strong opinions about which is best and back their stance with compelling facts and info. 

So the question remains, which is better?

While personal preference weighs heavily in that answer, there are a few key features that help each type of washer stand out. In this two-part blog series, we'll look at both types and highlight a few pros and cons to help you make a decision.

Side-Loader Pros


Side-loading washers are more efficient, plain and simple. They use up to 50% less water and electricity as compared to their top-loading cousins. That's an enormous amount of water and electricity saved over the lifetime of your machine. Less water and electricity mean you're spending less on your bills. 

Additionally, side-loaders have faster spin cycles, leading to dryer clothes after each load. This decreases the time they spend in the dryer, helping save even more electricity.

Gentle On Clothes

We all know the frustration of damaging, or even losing clothes in a top-loading washer (seriously, where do those socks go?). This is due to the spindle-like agitator found in most top-loading washers. These agitators are needed to separate clothes and help with the washing process.

Side-loaders have done away with this tool in favor of a spin function that causes the clothing to fall into each other. Without an agitator, there's nothing for your clothing to catch and snag on.

Great Placement Options

Two great features of side-loading washers are their compact size and unique placement options. A top-loading lid limits what the washer can be placed under, while a side loader can be place under just about anything—even a dryer! Many side-loader washer/dryers combos are sold in stackable sets. If you want to open up some space in your washroom, consider a side-loader.

Side-Loader Cons

Requires Bending

While this may not be an issue to most, the opening of a side-loading washer sits close to the ground. While top-loaders offer an easily accessible opening, users of side-loaders will need to bend over every time they fill and empty a load. If you have back or joint issues, a side-loader might not be your best choice.

Higher Up-Front Cost

Side-loading washers reign supreme when it comes to efficiency and features. They use less water, less electricity, clean better, and have faster cycles. They also come with a price to match. Though not terribly more expensive, side-loaders typically cost a few hundred dollars extra than top-loading washing machines. However, the benefits and energy savings you get from a side-loader might just make the extra price worth it.

Already decided what type you need? If you're in the market for an upgrade, Progressive Leasing offers easy, affordable payment options on a number of appliances, including washers and dryers. Visit progleasing.com and use our Find-A-Store feature to locate a retailer near you.