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Are Top Load Dryers Less Efficient?

by Ann Louisa

front load washers

There are countless debates about the benefits of top-loading vs. front-loading washers – but what about dryers? Why is almost every dryer front-loading? Do they even make top-load dryers?

These are questions that customers frequently ask when they visit Spencer’s TV & Appliance. They want to find a matching set of washers and dryers but discover that the only dryers available are front-loading.

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To find your answers, dig into the science of these appliances and how dryers work to remove moisture from your clothes. You can also look at a few top models that provide an excellent drying experience. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a top-load dryer.  

Why Aren’t There a Lot of Top Load Dryer Options?

Customers looking to buy a top-load dryer might be out of luck. These appliances are difficult to find and are usually unpopular with customers. Even if a company designs a high-performing top-load dryer, low customer demand might reduce the number of appliances produced. Why are these dryer models so uncommon?

Top-load dryers aren’t considered efficient. Consider how a front-load dryer works and compare it to a top-load model. The horizontal drum of a top load model flips the laundry as it turns. Momentum pushes laundry around the drum while gravity makes it fall once it reaches the type. During this time, air gets in between the clothes while dry heat causes any water to evaporate – leaving your clothes ready to wear once the cycle is over.

electric dryer eco-friendly

With a top-load model, clothes are pushed around a vertical drum. The clothes automatically fall to the bottom and there’s nothing to push them up. These appliances have to find ways to break up clothes to dry them without causing any damage to the garments. The technology to do this requires more parts and creates design challenges, which drives up the costs of top-load dryer models.

If more customers demanded top-load dryers, then companies might be more inclined to design them. However, most people seem to be happy with their front-load appliances and it’s easy for companies to produce these designs at a large scale so they can be sold for low prices.

Best Dryer Models for Your Home

If you are in the market for a new dryer, there are plenty of options to choose from – even if none of them have Top loading dryer capabilities. Here are a few leading brands in dryer manufacturing and the best models they make.

Amana® 6.5 Cu. Ft. White Front-Load Electric Dryer

Amana front load washer

Amana creates affordable laundry appliances without sacrificing the quality of the design. This model comes with 11 different dry cycles, ranging from heavy-duty drying to energy-efficient cycles. You can also turn on the Wrinkle Prevent Option if you want to save time drying your clothes without having to iron them after.

Amana designs its dryers with Automatic Dryness Control which uses temperature sensors at the end of each cycle. This prevents over drying and cools down your clothes so you feel comfortable handling them. By running your laundry for the perfect amount of time, you can reduce your energy consumption and protect your favorite garments.

You can buy this Amana dryer in white for $430. This is a highly-rated model with 95% of reviewers saying they would buy this appliance again. You can read customer reviews to learn more about its functionality. One buyer says, “I have had Amana machines before and my mom had her Amana machines for about 10 years. I'll take machines with no bells and whistles that are easy for my kids to operate that will last me a long time over any fancy machine any day.”

GE® 7.2 Cu. Ft. White Electric Dryer

GE white front load washer

GE is another quality brand to consider if you are looking to replace your electric dryer. This is a large-capacity dryer, which means it can comfortably fit a king-size duvet and dry it effectively. Large-capacity dryers are essential for large families that generate a lot of laundry. The more clothes your washer and dryer can fit, the fewer loads you need to do – which means you can spend less time doing laundry and more time enjoying life n your favorite clothes.

There are other great features of this particular model. It comes with a 120-foot venting capacity, which is useful if your dryer isn’t placed directly next to the vent. There are four different heating selections to choose from, so you can decide how hot your dryer gets. Overall, GE created a very flexible appliance.

You can buy this GE dryer for $550. More than 9,400 people have reviewed this appliance and found it worth their money. One reviewer says, “This dryer replaced my too-old-to-repair machine. Love it! Dries each load the first time. Lots of features including a light in the barrel.”

LG 7.3 Cu. Ft. Graphite Steel Front Load Gas Dryer

LG front load washer

If you already have a gas hookup in your house, you may want to buy a gas dryer instead. Gas dryers are typically more expensive than their electric counterparts. This is because gas models come with more components and technology to keep the appliance safe. However, once you have the appliance hooked up in your home, you are sure to love it.

This model by LG is considered ultra-large capacity, which is ideal for messy families. The TurboSteam™ technology immediately generates steam, which reduces wrinkles and eliminates odors in your clothes. If you have a dirty shirt but want to wear it, use this cycle to clean it in just 10 minutes. You can also connect this appliance to LG’s proprietary ThinQ app, which will send you alerts when your laundry is done. 

You can buy this LG dryer for $1,300 or read customer reviews to learn more about it. One buyer says, “With many varying features I am able to dry all types of clothing/bedding. I especially enjoy the sanitizing feature I use when I change my bedding. I sanitize pillows and comforter eliminating any mites, sloughed off skin, etc. making my bedding fresh!”

Speed Queen® DC5 7.0 Cu. Ft. White Gas Dryer

Speed queen front load washer 

This Speed Queen dryer is another top contender if you want to add a gas dryer to your home or replace a broken one. Speed Queen appliances are made in the United States and complex extensive endurance testing. The company says that customers can enjoy commercial-grade components in residential homes by purchasing through Speed Queen.

There are certainly multiple features that make this appliance worth it. The interior light illuminates your laundry while the end-of-cycle indicator light tells you when your load is complete. You can also enjoy the benefits of a reversible door, so you don’t block traffic in your house with a door that opens the wrong way.

You can buy this model for $1,400. Check out customer reviews to learn more about it.


Do top-load dryers exist?

Yes. A few appliance brands design both front-load and top-load dryer models. However, the majority of dryers on the market are front-loading. You can expect to pay more for top-load dryers and they might not have all of the functionalities you expect. For example, you might not be able to find one that offers Wi-Fi connectivity.

Are top-load dryers more efficient?

Top-load dryers are not more efficient than their front-load counterparts. These appliances have to do more to push air between clothes and have to fight against gravity. Front-load dryers, meanwhile, use gravity to break apart clothes as they tumble through the drum. This allows hot air to flow through.

Which is better gas or electric dryer?

The best dryer is the one that hooks up to your home. If you don’t have a gas hookup, then it will be more expensive and more work to install a gas dryer. However, if you can choose between both, a gas dryer is more efficient and costs less to run per load. A gas dryer will cost more upfront to purchase.

Why Trust Spencer’s TV & Appliance?

Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.

Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!

Shop Washers and Dryers at Spencer’s

At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop for washers and dryers online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you find the perfect appliance, even if it’s not a top-load dryer. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!

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