Researching a new dryer can be easy if you know the right questions to ask. One of the topics you may be pondering is the difference between a top load dryer vs front load (find out more about dryers in our Dryer Buying Guide).
Virtually all dryers load from the front, so what do we mean by a front loading dryer? This is a dryer that is meant to aesthetically match the appearance of a front loading washer, with the controls in the front and matching cosmetic details. These dryers usually have the option of being stacked on top of the washer, but it is not a requirement (check out our review of a Maytag stackable washer dryer pair to explore this option). They can also be placed on optional bases to raise them to a more convenient height. Most consumers who already have or are planning to purchase a front loading washer will want to plan on matching it with a front loading dryer.
Likewise, a "top load dryer" is meant to match with a top load washer. It will generally include backguard controls and similar styling for its matching washer. These laundry pairs are usually not stackable. Here's an example pair from Maytag: top load washer model MVWB765FC with traditional electric dryer model MEDB765FC:
Notice the corresponding styling and similar control setup on the backguards. Traditional dryers may not have windows at all, while a front load dryer almost always has a porthole of some kind! If you're looking for the least expensive laundry pairs out there, your best bet is usually a top load washer and a top load styled dryer. Front load washer dryer pairs tend to look nicer and have more features, making them more expensive.
The first photo at the top of this blog is of a matching LG laundry pair. Let's take a look at the front loading dryer pictured and see if it might be right for your needs!
The LG DLE3500W is a top-selling front loading dryer (electric) from one of today's hottest manufacturers - LG! This machine can help you cut down on the number of loads you do with its large 7.4 cubic foot capacity. It is both a time and energy saver thanks to the LG Sensor Dry system and its Energy Star rating. With LG Smart ThinQ technology, you can remotely monitor and start your dryer with your smartphone and receive notifications when your clothes are ready to go. It also works with voice activation via Google Assistant! Energy monitoring is also available so you can keep track of your dryer's performance.
Other great features include LG LoDecibel Quiet Operation - ideal for laundry rooms or closets near high-traffic areas or bedrooms. The door is reversible, and the FlowSense duct clogging indicator will let you know if your ducting needs maintenance. Four-way venting and a side venting kit gives you flexibility when installing, too!
10 Programs: Normal, Heavy Duty, Bedding, Towels, Small Load, Permanent Press, Speed Dry (Manual Dry), Air Dry (Manual Dry), Bedding, Downloaded
11 Options: More Time, Less Time, Damp Dry Signal, Wrinkle Care, Control Lock, Custom Program, PGM Save, Wi-Fi Connect, Anti-Bacterial, Energy Saver, Remote Start
3 Temperature Settings: High, Medium, Ultra Low
3 Drying Levels: Very Dry, Normal Dry, Damp Dry
5 Manual Dry Times: 60 min, 40 min, 20 min, More Time/Less Time
Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
Side Venting Kit available: 383EEL9001B
For more information about front loading dryer options and the entire dryer buying process, feel free to download our FREE Dryer Buyer's Guide. It is packed with information to help educate you so you can make a great purchase.
We hope you enjoyed this article and will explore the variety of other blogs we've published on related topics. Also, please feel free to leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in April of 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.