Last updated: 16/10/2022

How we pick our products

16Products analysed

25Hours spent

6Evaluated articles

92User reviews

A top-loading washing machine can be found almost anywhere. Due to its compact, narrow design, the top-loader becomes a small space miracle and is therefore ideal for smaller flats. Even though a top-loading washing machine is so small, it is on a par with the larger front-loading washing machines in its field of application.

There are some differences between the various models in terms of drum volume, energy efficiency class and size. We have compared top-loading washing machines and also worked out the differences between them and front-loading machines. So that you know exactly what to look out for and what is important when making your purchase decision.


  • Top-loading washing machines are available in widths of 30 cm and above
  • important purchase criteria are the drum volume, the washer-dryer combination, the appliance dimensions and the energy efficiency class
  • Top-loading washing machines are available in different price categories, so that everyone can buy the right one for them

The Best Top-Loading Washing Machine: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for top-loading washing machines

So that you know exactly what to look for when buying a top-loading washing machine, we have listed the most important buying criteria below:

Drum volume

Drum capacity is an important purchase criterion for most buyers. Therefore, it makes sense to know how much laundry you want to wash in one wash. The drum capacity is available on the market between 4.5 kg-7 kg.

This is the weight of dry laundry that the washing machine can be filled with. If you are unsure of the weight or often wash different amounts, you should choose a washing machine that can measure the weight using sensors. This allows the optimal water consumption to be adjusted. Water consumption increases with a larger washing machine drum.

Combination washing and drying

A top-loading washing machine that also dries the laundry after washing is particularly suitable for smaller flats. A washer-dryer is ideal for this purpose. It takes up less space than a separate washing machine and dryer. You don’t have to put away and take away laundry between washing and drying. You have less effort and save time.

The only two things to consider with a top-loading washing machine with dryer are that the washing capacity is higher than the drying capacity. This means that a full load cannot be washed. Secondly, washing and drying cannot be done at the same time. Before the laundry can be dried, the wash cycle must be completed.

Appliance dimensions

When buying a top-loading washing machine, it is important to check the dimensions of the appliance. It is important to check that the dimensions of the appliance match the dimensions of the floor space. Make sure there is always a small gap (1-2 cm) between the washing machine and the wall. On the market you can get top-loading washing machines from a width of 30 cm.

Energy efficiency class

When buying a new washing machine, it is advisable to pay attention to the energy balance. Compared to the newer machines on the market, old machines use considerably more electricity and water. The newer washing machine programmes can therefore save an enormous amount of energy. On the one hand, it’s good for your wallet, and on the other, it’s great for the environment.

The graduation of energy classes from A to A+++ is the key to economy.

It reveals the energy efficiency class of the washing machine, which you should definitely pay attention to when buying. Just as a guideline: With energy efficiency class A+++ you can save up to 50 % on electricity compared to an energy efficiency class of A.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about top-loading washing machines answered in detail

The most important questions about top-loading washing machines are answered in detail below. So that you are optimally prepared for your purchase and know better what is suitable for you.

What is a top-loading washing machine?

A top-loading washing machine is a compact washing machine. They are often used in smaller flats or single households. The width of a top-loading washing machine is usually between 40 cm and 50 cm.

The opening of the washing drum for filling or emptying the washing machine is on the top. Hence the name top loader, which means from the top.

As a rule, top-loading washing machines do not have a viewing window and can be opened during the washing process to remove or add laundry items. The knobs or wheels for the individual functions can be operated from a standing position, as they are integrated on the washing machine.

What is the difference between front-loading and top-loading washing machines?

Unlike a top-loading washing machine, a front-loading washing machine is between 10 cm and 20 cm wider. This makes it more suitable for normal households. The front-loading washing machine can be loaded or unloaded via the opening at the front.

In addition, it is usually equipped with a viewing window, which is also the opening to the drum. A typical feature is the so-called porthole. Top-loading washing machines have a flap to the drum on the top. This means that it is not suitable for installation underneath.

Toplader Waschmaschine

A front-loading washing machine is more commonly used in Europe than a top-loading washing machine. (Image source: Rodnae / Pexels)

Front loaders are usually heavier to load and may run more erratically. It is claimed that the life span of a top-loading washing machine is often longer because the washing drum is supported on both sides and not only on one, as is the case with front-loading washing machines. This means that the mass of the drum and the weight of the laundry is distributed and, accordingly, a top-loader runs somewhat more quietly.

As soon as a top-loading washing machine needs to be repaired, it often becomes more expensive due to the compact design. In general, there are fewer complications of a leaking rubber seal with top loaders. An ergonomic advantage of the top-loading washing machine is that loading and unloading is possible without having to squat.

What does a top-loading washing machine cost?

There are different prices for top-loading washing machines, depending on the functions, load capacity and performance. Here we have an overview of the prices of top-loading washing machines, divided into low-priced, medium-priced and high-priced.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (119 – 290 €) Predominantly low performance, few functions
Medium-priced (290 – 550 €) better energy efficiency, usually some additional functions
High-priced (from 550 €) Mostly with high performance, very high economy, quiet, long-lasting, many functions (e.g. automatic volume control, steam function)

These prices may vary slightly, as they are time-dependent. We have worked out this price range for you when creating this article.

What does the steam function of a top-loading washing machine do?

Washing machines with a steam function offer a steam programme in addition to the standard washing programmes so that the laundry can be treated with it.

The washing machine uses water to generate hot steam in the washing drum.

This steam eventually penetrates the smallest fibres of the laundry. For those who don’t like ironing, the steam function is just the thing. The washing machine smoothes the laundry and reduces creases. In addition, no fabric softener is needed and the laundry is still soft.

At high temperatures, the steam function enables gentle cleaning. This is an advantage especially for allergy sufferers or people with sensitive skin. Annoying odours or bacteria in the clothes are virtually non-existent thanks to the steam programme. After wearing once, the steam function offers a refreshing effect and the clothes feel like freshly washed.


A top-loading washing machine requires little floor space compared to a front-loading washing machine. In addition to its compact size, it offers other advantages for everyday use. It is therefore ideal for smaller flats or single households.

You should always keep the most important comparison criteria, such as drum volume, performance and appliance dimensions to top-loading washing machines, in mind when buying. This way you are well prepared and know what is important.

We have found that there are good quality machines in the mid-range price range (€290 – €550), which often only differ in terms of additional functions or drum characteristics. Depending on your preferences, there should be something for everyone.

Image source: 123rf / lianem