Shopping for kitchen appliances is tough. There's only so much you can learn about a particular model from the manufacturer, so I find making a decision often comes down to the product reviews I'm able to gather from friends and online sources.
In hopes of making this process just a little easier for those of you researching new kitchen appliances, we asked Kitchn readers to share their favorite kitchen appliance brands. The responses we got may be a small sampling, but surely a good place to start if you're looking to buy a new refrigerator, dishwasher, range, or cooktop. Here's what our readers had to say:
- Kenmore Elite Range, $1,500 - $2500: A few readers reported positive experiences with Kenmore's Elite Range, particularly the french-door refrigerator models.
I bought Kenmore Elite Appliances (range, fridge and dishwasher) and they have turned out very serviceable. I love my 31 cubic ft French door refrigerator, which was a big step up from the little fridge in our old house. The ice maker is very slim, so you don't lose a lot of space to that, the lighting inside is great, and the pull out freezer drawers prevent things from getting lost. We bought our fridge and range at the Sears outlet and were able to score great discounts on them. The fridge was scratched/minor dent on the side, but it didn't matter, since our cabinets wrapped around the fridge. If I was doing it all over again, I'd buy the same items. - MegW
I love my Kenmore Elite armoire style refrigerator. It is going on six years old so it is an earlier model. Key to my love affair are: the water dispenser is inside the door - it does not take up a lot of valuable space; inside the fridge is a long narrow drawer just under the vegetable crisper drawers - perfect for platters, a whole fish or even your stash of beer laying on their sides; above the crisper drawers is one flat space - you would be surprised how often you need a bit more room than just half the width of the fridge; the bottom freezer is a drawer - two tiers, the bottom one pulls out and if you need the second you pull that out as well. The layout of this refrigerator is a winner! - Gret
Like others I love my Kenmore Elite French Door fridge, it's so nice to be able to see everything, and most important for the baker in me, it holds baking sheets with ease. -bobcatsteph3
Other Refrigerator Favorites
We just redid our NYC Kitchen last spring and splurged on a Blomberg BRFB1040X refrigerator. We had wanted the bigger model but it put us way over on budget and there's only 2 of us so this size is just fine. It took a while to figure out what goes where and how to fit everything in when we do a big grocery shopping, but we got used to it. We love it! - LaurenAnn8
I have a GE bottom freezer refrigerator that was about $800. It runs quiet, maintains perfect temperature, and is easy to keep clean. I eat mostly fresh food, so all my food is at eye level (where a conventional freezer would be). My fridge is a single door, basic model and the color is bisque to match the range and over range microwave. These colors are "out-dated" but I really like them as opposed to stainless steel appliances which cost a lot more and get fingerprints and smudges on them. I painted the kitchen walls to match the appliances so it brightens the corner of my non-window condo kitchen. - BarbaraE
- Northland 30" Refrigerator, $4,600
My Northland 30" wide fridge —- had it 15 years and only one $200 repair....Less expensive than a subzero and none of the problems. - 37RubyDog
My "pride & joy" is my Beach Blue Big Chill retro fridge. Took me about 5 years to finally decide to buy it as it was about $3200, including a $500 shipping and inside delivery fee. It looks great in my 50s bungalow too. When I first got it, people wanted to come over just to see it and it still gets a lot of attention when someone comes over for the first time. "WHOA! That's the coolest fridge EVER!" People have pictures of their kids. I have pictures of my fridge. Just kidding. Well, kind of. - carreeokee
Love my miele dishwasher. It was a replacement right after we bought our house and the prior one conked out. Cost around $1000 which was covered by a home warranty. Would not usually spend that much on a dishwasher, but love it! Can't stand other dishwashers now.
- top rack for flatware and utensils which I organize in my special OCD way
- 98% of everything comes out sparkly clean with mostly no prior rinsing
- Can program it to begin cycle four hours hence
- Flexible lower rack configurations
- Quiet and easy on the eye
I'm very fond of our Miele dishwasher for all the reasons coconut hill lists - including how it answers my OCD needs! It is also very, very quiet, which is important in our open-plan condo. With all the adjustable racks in it, I'm continually amazed at how much I can fit in there. It was approx. $1600 CDN, which is ridiculous, but that included taxes, delivery, installation by the approved Miele tech, and a 10 year warranty (which was the 'sale' feature). If we have to move, I'd be sorely tempted to take it with me. - kas_vic
A third thumbs up for Miele dishwashers. We had a mid price range Kitchenaid that only lasted 5 years, so we decided to ante up to the $1800 Miele. Does such a better job than the Kitchenaid, and we love the flat silverware rack. I also love that because it uses residual heat and a fan to dry the dishes, there isn't an intense heat source, so I can put plastic or melamine items anywhere in it with no problem. Also, with this drying system, plastic items actually get dried, unlike with our old dishwasher. The layout is completely flexible, so you can fit anything in it. It only uses about 4 gallons of water, and because thers no heating element for drying, it uses very little electricity. I find myself using it for everything, where previously I washed almost all our pots, pans, and Tupperware by hand, and I feel like I'm saving water and electricity. Well worth the extra money. Especially if it lasts longer than the five-year Kitchenaid! - justdunnit
Other Dishwasher Favorites
Bosch dishwasher. The cheapest model, in white. Had one in our old place 10+ years, moved, bought another one. Quiet, reliable, attractive. - hildekai
Bosch dishwasher SHE55M12UC — We wanted a quiet one, but of course you couldn't gauge quietness in the store even if the dishwashers were installed. But it is way quieter than we could have expected. At its very loudest, you could sit on the floor, rest your back against it, and talk on the phone, and the other person would never suspect you were near a dishwasher. - Bee for Brian
I love my Kenmore Elite Induction Range
that I got at a Sears Outlet for around $2000, about $1000 less than retail. It was new but had been a store model. The induction cook top gives me the control of gas. The smooth top helps me keep things neat, and the induction top doesn't get hot all over like an electric smooth top, so I can wipe up messes as I go. I had to buy some new pans, but I did not see that as a hindrance since my previous set of pans was 20 years old! I would, however, recommend that people make sure the entire pan conducts (can hold a magnet) rather than just a disc on the bottom; otherwise, pots of cold liquid take forever to heat up. Cast iron/enameled cast iron works great. The oven has both regular and convection modes. I have been very pleased! - HeatherKil
Smeg Opera Dual Fuel 36" Range
. $1800, 5 gas burners, large oven with a built-in rotisserie, multiple convection modes. It's nice to look at and by far the most bang for the buck in its class. - branshew
Other Favorite Cooktops, Stoves, and Ovens
My 24" Gaggenau Vario 260 cooktop has turned out to be a great solution for a gas cooktop that functions as well as my old Viking range did only in less space and without the heavy grates. At only 24"w it allowed me an extra 6" of counter space while still being able to hold 4 pots going at once. The smooth and level cast iron grates allow me to drag a pot across all burners. Plus, it looks smart and the grates are so much lighter that they are easy to lift and clean. - Parnassus
I'm very pleased with my GE Cafe Dual-Fuel stove. The gas burners work very nicely. The power-burner heats quickly, the simmer burner will hold slight heat flawlessely. I enjoy the center griddle very much, it toasts and grills turning plain sandwiches into something tasty. The electric oven has a convection option that bakes evenly. The built-in probe is easy to use and seems to work as shown! - GingerR
My Electrolux stove is the bomb! Only stove top I have ever been able to keep perfectly clean. Heavy weight grills. Comes with awesome cast iron grill for making tortillas or pancakes with reverse side for grilling fish. Inside of stove is cobalt blue and the slide out oven racks are awesome. Oven has dehydrator function which I use all the time! Very well designed and functional. Have had it for two years and never had a single problem. - FruitValeLuz
My newest love is my Samsung Flex Duo oven. I thought I wanted a double oven until I realized if you make a turkey, you're lifting that sucker essentially from the floor in and out of the bottom oven. The Samsung has a rack that splits the large interior of the oven into two ovens. And when using as a single oven I can bake 3 racks of cookies at once. The warming drawer at the bottom of the oven has been great. It comes with a steam clean function and the convection alone is a dream.
The range is great too, we don't have gas, but the large burners, one fast boil burner, and warming station on the Samsung are certainly a step up from our GE. If the oven broke tomorrow, I'd replace it with the same model. - bobcatstep3
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And a Few That Didn't Make the Cut...
The handle [to my KitchenAid convection microwave] is completely falling apart - the metal covering is peeling off. It looks terrible and actually is sharp enough to cause scratches. It started peeling before the warranty was up but Kitchen Aid said the damage was "cosmetic" and therefore wasn't covered under warranty. Outrageous. I'll never buy another KitchenAid product again. - weatherman
I bought a place with a Summit refrigerator/freezer. Hate it. Would have never bought it for myself. It requires manual defrosting for the freezer, and the fridge section gets terrible condensation which drips and puddles in and below the drawers on the bottom, but there seems to be no drain for it. When I called they said it was not a common issue and that if I didn't think it was the seal that it'd be $90 for a technician to come out. But after a few minutes of googling I found multiple complaints about the condensation. I hate the thing but I refuse to replace it while it's functioning. But if it breaks I would never buy another. - lorint
Do NOT get a lower-end Kenmore range. I've had so many problems with this thing, I would never get another one. - foxeslovelemons
Got a GE Profile stove. The oven cooks really well. The flat glass cooktop sucks. The lowest setting on the burners run too damn hot, there's no finesse at all. Next time, I'm getting a gas line run to my kitchen so I can get a dual fuel range. - emw1
If you have any reviews to add to this list, share them below!
(Images, clockwise from top left: Chris Perez; Leela Cyd Ross; Faith Durand)