Front-loading stacked washers and dryers improve energy efficiency, water efficiency and durability of clothes, according to Alia Hoyt for HowStuffWorks. The stackability of the two machines makes them ideal for people who live in small spaces.
Top-loading machines are the least expensive of the laundry options, but they are also larger and more bulky. Hoyt explains that front-loading machines are sometimes preferred because, unlike top-loading machines, they offer additional storage space on top of the lids.
The difference in machines applies mainly to the washers, as most dryers are front-loading by default. Front-loading washers are known for retaining water after each cycle, which can cause mildew growth and unpleasant odors. Hoyt says this problem is easily remedied by leaving the door open after a clean load of laundry has been removed. It also helps to occasionally run a simple bleach rinse through the machine to kill bacteria and mold.
Front-loading machines use almost 50 percent less water than top-loading ones. Some estimate that the water bill savings offset the increased price of front-loading washers. Front-loading machines are also more energy efficient and leave behind less moisture, which means clothes do not have to spend as much time in the dryer.