Can You Buy a Top-Loading Washing Machine in the UK?

If you watch a lot of American television or movies, you will have noticed when the laundry is getting done, it gets loaded into the top of the machine. Here in the UK the majority of households will have a front-loading washing machine and this has been the norm for a long time. But why?

Why are front-loading washing machines more popular in UK?

Manufacturers in the UK only seem to manufacture machines with a front-facing door which seems pretty logical considering so many people have their washing machines under a bench. This stems from the fact that a lot of us struggle for space in the kitchen and not everyone has a room they can dedicate to laundry. Many new builds now include a smaller room with the purpose to house a washer and dryer, so top-loading washing machines are becoming a little more sought after.

Are top-loading washing machines better than front-loading machines?

There are a few things that separate a front-loading machine from its top-loading counterpart besides the door placement. Each have their own pros and cons which we’ve detailed below:

Front-loading washing machine pros and cons


  • Fits under a bench in your kitchen/wash house
  • Uses less water than a top-loading machine
  • More eco-friendly (uses less electricity and detergent)
  • Energy ratings are clear
  • Often a better wash result


  • No ‘slim-line’ options available
  • Unless built with an AddWash function, can’t add items mid-wash

Top-loading washing machine pros and cons


  • They can be much slimmer – perfect for tighter spaces
  • Can add items in at any point in the wash
  • More basic tech-wise so can be easier to fix
  • Often have larger drums


  • Quite expensive to run
  • Can be more expensive to buy (for the capacity) unless bought second-hand
  • Use a lot more water than front-loading machines

The verdict

It seems as though front-load washing machines are definitely going to remain the most popular choice here in the UK considering their energy efficiency and the fact they use less water. Top-loading machines are great for those who have limited space as they may be able to squeeze one into a smaller space, however, the majority of kitchens are designed to leave room for an under-bench washing machine and front-loaders can be integrated too!

Where can you buy top-loading washing machines in the UK?

If you still fancy checking out a top-loaded washing machine to see if it might suit your own laundry set up, they are available to purchase in the UK. It is harder to find and purchase top-loading washing machines, but if you buy online at certain retailers, you will be able to get one.

Some of the best places to find top-loading washing machines are eBay, Amazon and even Gumtree. To get a good deal, you might want to look at second-hand machines – don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions before making any purchases.


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