5 Things to Know About Front-Load Washers

So why the decline in popularity?

Based on data from CR surveys of more than 68,474 members who purchased a new washing machine between 2013 and 2023, front-load washers present some drawbacks. Most notably, they’re prone to mold, mildew, and odor. That’s because the rubber gasket around the door, which keeps water inside during a wash cycle, traps this water after a cycle and creates a damp environment that allows mold and mildew to thrive.

Dogged by this problem, some consumers may have decided to switch to top-loaders, says Min Kim Bryant, a senior market analyst at CR. For others, she adds, “the higher price of front-loaders might have made them think twice.”