Semi-Automatic vs Fully-Automatic Washing Machine

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A washing machine is a handy home appliance that can clean our clothes without manual labour and hard work.

Depending on the type just put detergent, water, dirty clothes and turn ON the power.

You will get your clothes cleaned after some time

If you are looking to buy a brand new washing machine

But do not know the difference between a semi-automatic and a fully-automatic washing machine

Then in this article, I have covered all the key differences between both

In a fully automatic washing machine the entire cycle – wash, rinse, and drying is done automatically in one go while in a semi-automatic washing machine you need to do some manual work like adding water, shifting laundry from wash to dry bucket, draining water, etc. Fully automatic ones have more features and costs more

Semi Automatic Washing Machine

Semi-automatic washing machine refers to the top load washing machine having two separate tubs, one for washing and the other for drying.

It is called semi-automatic because it needs some manual work like adding water, adding detergent, shifting the clothes from washer to dryer tub, and draining the dirty water.

Fully Automatic Washing Machine

Fully automatic washing machine refers to the machine having a single tub for washing and drying.

It is called fully automatic as all the things like adding water, draining water, adding detergent, washing, rinsing, drying are done automatically in one go.

Both top load and front load washing machines come in fully-automatic variants.

Quick Comparison Table

FactorsSemi AutomaticFully Automatic
Washing ModesVery FewVarious
Power UsageComparitively LowerComparitively Higher
CostRs 6,000-12,000Rs 10,000-40,000
ConvenienceRequires manual LabourNo manual intervention
Wash CycleShorterLonger


Semi-automatic washing machines price starts from ₹6,000 and goes up to ₹12,000

Due to its simple design and lower number of parts used it is cheaper

While fully automatic price starts from ₹10,000 and goes upto ₹40,000

There is no big difference in the price of both top load semi and top load fully-automatic variant but when you go in the front load washing machine then the price is really high.

In the long run, a semi-automatic one will always cost you less due to low maintenance and longer life.  


There are several advanced features and washing modes available in fully automatic washing machines.

Washing modes can include – wool wash, cotton wash, delicate wash, sports wash, hot wash, etc

Features can include – inverter technology, child lock, fuzzy logic control, etc

These features and options vary from model to model 

While a semi-automatic one is minimal in features and offers basic washing and drying options.

Water and Power Usage

In the case of a semi-automatic washing machine, water can be saved as you have full control on how much water to add, how long to run the wash cycle, how many times to change the water.

Water can be added manually in it using either a pipe attached to a tap or using a bucket.

Whereas in a fully automatic one, you have no control over the water consumption and the machine itself decides how much water to use.

It is generally seen that water usage is higher in fully automatic ones but there is an exception in the case of front load washing machines. it consumes the least amount of water and is best for water saving.

Power consumption is generally higher in the case of fully automatic machines because its wash cycle is longer, has several parts, sensors, more features, more washing modes.

The power difference between both semi and fully automatic one is not very big


When it comes to ease of use, fully automatic ones are clear winners.

There is no need for manual labour or any kind of intervention.

Just dump the clothes and forget about everything. It will wash, rinse, and dry your clothes in a single go. It will also take water+detergent automatically based on the load. 

It can take you an entire day for cleaning clothes using semi-automatic one.

It needs manual intervention for adding water, shifting clothes from one bucket to another for drying, and draining the dirty water out.

Fully automatic can be difficult for old people to operate because there are several controls to choose from making it complex.

Also, you cannot add clothes in between the cycle of a fully automatic one.

In case of Power Outage

No need to worry in case of a power cut as semi-automatic ones can resume the wash cycle from the point it was left.

If the power goes off for a longer period. You can remove the clothes from the washer drum. This is crucial as few clothes can damage if soaked in water for a longer time.

Earlier in fully automatic washing machines, when the power went off its wash cycle started from the beginning.

This means if there were only 5 minutes left for the wash cycle to complete then after power restores, it will re-run from the start

Today many fully-automatic washing machines come with an auto-restart feature that allows it to presume the wash cycle from where it was left.

You should definitely check this feature when buying.

Another problem with front load washing machines(also fully automatic) is that the wash chamber gets sealed during its operational cycle.

So during a power cut, you may not be able to remove the wet clothes

But that is not true for every device. It depends from model to model. A washing machine can have an option for removing the clothes

The method to remove cloth varies from model to model.

In case if you are living in a region where power cuts are frequent, a semi-automatic machine would be ideal for you as it can be stopped and started at any time during the cycle.


Semi-automatic machines have longer life while fully automatic ones have a comparatively shorter life

Due to semi-automatic’s simpler design and lower number of parts used it needs less maintenance.

Fully automatic machine needs higher maintenance as its design is complex and contains a higher number of parts.

The cost of repair and service is also higher in the case of a fully-automatic one.

In a semi-automatic one, you will rarely require servicing or changing of its parts.


Semi-automatic ones are bigger in size due to two tubs – washer tub and drying tub

While the fully automatic ones use only one tub making its size smaller

Front-load washing machine is more small and compact.


Every semi-automatic washer comes with wheels beneath it, this enables it to move freely but fully automatic ones does not come with wheels beneath them making them unmoveable.

This is a problem as consumers often move the washer when they use it. This can be solved using a stand under it which comes with wheels. A stand can cost from 800-2000/- rupees depending on features. You can check our list of best washing machine stands.

When to choose Semi-Automatic

  • Low on Budget
  • Ready for manual labor and hard work
  • Have free time on weekends
  • If the power outage is frequent in your area

When to choose Fully-Automatic

  • There is a shortage of time
  • Does not like do manual work
  • You are an aged person
  • Want to enjoy free time or do some productive work is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you purchase using any amazon links on this website then I get a small commission for it.