Front-loading washing machines perform better than high-efficiency top-loading machines, according to Consumer Reports. Front-loading machines do a better job at getting clothes clean, as of 2015. Front loaders also extract more water than top-loaders, reducing the time to dry a load of clothes.
A front-loading machine usually costs more than a top-loading machine of similar quality. Front-loaders tend to vibrate more during the spin cycle than top-loaders do, which is a greater concern if installing the washer on a wooden floor or the second story of a home. Concrete floors are better able to damp vibrations, so a vibrating machine is less likely to be disruptive when installed on concrete.
The high efficiency, or HE, machines reduce water consumption by several gallons each load when compared to traditional top-loading machines. Top-loading HE machines have a run time of 60 to 90 minutes and front-loading HE machines have cycles that last up to 100 minutes. While many machines offer the option of a shorter cycle, Consumer Reports indicates, it decreases their cleaning efficiency. Neither type of machine can compete with the 30-minute cycle of the traditional machine. However, the performance of traditional machines is also unimpressive. Since HE machines wash larger loads and reduce drying time, they minimize the overall time spent on the full laundry cycle.