front-loading / top-loading (washing machine)

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Senior Member
Hi, I'd like to know what you call these two types of washing machines.

Is the one at the top called a "top-loading washing machine/washer" and the one at the bottom called a "front-loading washing machine/washer"?
We call the second type a "drum type washing machine" in Japan, but it's odd because the first type also has a drum inside. Below are examples I created.

Example 1 (in a face-to-face survey)
Interviewer: What was the last home appliance you bought?
You: A washer.
Interviewer: Was it the front-loading type or the top-loading type?

Example 2 (at a home appliance store)
Excuse me, I couldn't find any top-loading models in the washing machine section. You only sell front-loading models?
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Yes, "top-loading" and "front-loading" refer to where a person puts (loads) the clothes into the washer.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the UK we used to say front-loader and top-loader, but I haven’t seen a top-loader for years (though evidently they’re still around).

    It might also be worth noting that Google Images heavily favours front-loader’s other meaning, as a type of truck or tractor.

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Are those all adjectives or are "front-loader" and "top-loader" nouns?

    A: What was the last home appliance you bought?
    B: A washer.
    A: Was it a front-loader or a top-loader?
    "Top/front-load" are adjectives (top/front-load washing machines). "Top/front-loader" can be either (top/front-loader; top/front-loader washing machines).

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    In BrE English, the adjective forms are "front-loading" and "top-loading" rather than "front-load" and "top-load", and I would be a little surprised to see "top-loader"/"front-loader" used as adjectives (they are fine as nouns).


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    As I recall they originally designed the front loaders for commercial laundries. They use less water. When they started offering them to residential customers they marketed them as "high efficiency" washers. I think the consumers coined the phrase "front loader". It really does not sound like something a marketing professional would come up with.
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