Kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, and range microwaves all work in concert to do the heavy lifting in our homes. While product descriptions spin a good yarn touting all the bells and whistles and the broader points of what's supposed to be a great warranty, product reviews and real-world stories about performance and quality often tell a different story.
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From keeping our foods safe for consumption to keeping our clothing clean, home appliances play a huge role in our daily lives. So performance and durability matter. Beyond functionality, attractive appliances with a few modern conveniences are "nice to have." And wouldn't it be nice if we could check all of these boxes at a reasonable price point?
For anyone in the market for major appliances, it's hard to figure out what the best appliance brand is. Truth be told, in all likelihood, there may not be a singular answer. The fact is, each home appliance category is different. The brand you like for oven ranges may not produce quality front-loading washers, and the brand that nails the refrigerator category may be left in the dust when it comes to washers and dryers. Like people, every brand has its strengths and weaknesses.
Ahead, this article walks you through what you need to know about the best home appliance brands. We offer a breakdown of each brand, examine their product offerings, and share some insight into their performance and rankings by reputable sources. With any luck, this overview may help narrow things down if you're in the early stages of your new appliance search.
The 13 Best Appliance Brands for Every Home Utility
Bosch's history began in Stuttgart, Germany in 1886, when Robert Bosch opened a workshop for Precision Mechanics And Electrical Engineering. The company was founded on the principles of innovation and social commitment, and Bosch himself was credited with inventing the spark plug and the eight-hour workday. In its early days, Bosch's business centered around installing telephone lines and electric bells. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, Bosch took its first steps onto the world stage. Today, Bosch home appliances are designed to make life easier, and it doesn't hurt that they look stunning while doing so.
Considered a high-end affordable luxury brand, their offerings include a wide variety of home appliances, the hallmarks of which include a clean European design aesthetic. The German manufacturer also offers home entertainment systems, but they are best known for their dishwashers and refrigerators. The Consumer Reports Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings give Bosch excellent ratings for their dishwashers and cooktops, while their refrigerators and microwaves have earned them a "good" rating.
Our pick: Ascenta Stainless Steel Dishwasher, $699
Founded in 1893 in Newtown, Iowa, Maytag began as a farm equipment and machinery manufacturer. It wasn't until 1911 that the company started producing electric washing machines. Thirteen short years later (relatively speaking), Maytag became one of the nation's largest appliance manufacturers, with the distinction of having their machines in one out of five American homes.
Sitting comfortably in the mid-range appliance category, Maytag specializes in appliances for big families—at an affordable price. Oversized refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens are hallmarks of the brand. Although acquired by Whirlpool in 2006, the appliances are still sold with the Maytag badging. It's worth noting that while Maytag is known for (and puts a lot of effort into) making durable appliances, the company seems to consistently fall short with its customer service, according to reviewers.
Our pick: 30-Inch Wide French Door Refrigerator, $2,199
Founded in 1911 as the Upton Machine Company, the appliance manufacturer changed its name to the Whirlpool Corporation in 1950. Today, the Whirlpool Corporation focuses on meeting consumers where they're at by producing eco-friendly products and energy-efficient appliances that help them keep their energy and utility costs in check. In fact, most of the Whirlpool appliances bear the Energy Star symbol as a testament to the brand's commitment. The Whirlpool Corporation also makes KitchenAid, Amana, and Kenmore appliances. And while the brand was acquired by Maytag in 2006, they remain two separate and distinct entities.
In 2021, Whirlpool rounded out the Consumer Reports Top 10 list of the most reliable appliance brands. Whirlpool specializes in water-based appliances (think dishwashers and washing machines), but they also offer a bevy of other appliances, including dryers, oven ranges, and refrigerators. Interestingly, while their specialization is in water-based appliances, Consumer Reports scored Whirlpools washers and dishwashers as "very good," whereas the brand's over-the-range microwaves earned an "excellent" rating. Whirlpool falls into the mid-range appliance category, and they're known for delivering quality washing machines and dryers without a big spend.
Founded in 1918 as The Guardian Refrigerator Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Frigidaire changed the course of history when they built the first self-contained home fridge. In the years that followed, the company continued to revolutionize the "electric cooling box." In 1929, Frigidaire added metal linings that improved insulation resulting in more efficient cooling. In 1924, they added cubbies, cabinets, and drawers, and in 1926, they changed the design to an all-steel style. Both of the latter changes inched the design closer to what we know today.
While Frigidaire's beginnings are clearly evident in its name, the brand has exponentially expanded its portfolio to include dishwashers, cooktops, microwave ovens, and washers and dryers. Today Frigidaire is considered a high-end, affordable luxury brand. It's also a household name—with people commonly referring to their own refrigerators as a Frigidaire, and the brand is often the first to go to for consumers on the hunt for stainless steel, side-by-side refrigerators.
From the first incandescent light bulb to the latest jet engine technology, few brands can claim a legacy steeped in innovation like GE. Originally called The Edison General Electric Company, GE was founded in 1892. Over the course of its history spanning over a century, the company eventually shortened its name to General Electric, and today, it is commonly known as GE. GE also makes Monogram®, Café™, GE®, GE Profile™, and Hotpoint.
GE is a mid-range appliance brand that directs most of its efforts into producing quality appliances that stand the test of time both in terms of functionality and appearance. The brand's commitment to excellence is quite evident, as it continues to be one of the most trusted names for kitchen appliances in America. GE's offerings include refrigerators, dishwashers, and washers and dryers, and according to the JD Power 2021 Appliance Satisfaction Survey, the brand ranks the third-highest in customer satisfaction for its cooktops, with only Samsung and LG beating it to the punch.
Founded in 1984 as Qingdao Refrigerator Co., Haier grew quickly as far as appliance brands go, eventually acquiring GE's appliance division (including their Café brand) in 2016. And while their portfolio of brands has expanded, Haier effectively sticks to its humble beginnings and continues to manufacture moderately priced, no-frills appliances. It's worth noting that while their prices fall into the budget category, Haier is often included in any list of reliable brands. They have a solid reputation for making high-quality appliances at an affordable price.
The Kenmore brand is owned by Sears and was initially launched in 1913, manufacturing sewing machines. It has a long history of making quality home appliances that are moderately priced, and rankings on Consumer Reports range from good to very good for the brand's refrigerators, washers and dryers, and cooktops.
Although owned by Sears, the appliances that bear the Kenmore badge are manufactured by various appliance makers, including LG, Panasonic, and Whirlpool. It's important to note that you may not find Kenmore appliances in your local big box home store. In 2020, Sears announced that Kenmore washers and dryers would be sold on Amazon, so anyone looking to purchase Kenmore appliances will likely find them there or on Sears.com.
Founded in South Korea in 1958, LG stands for Lucky Goldstar, although many people mistakenly think it's an acronym for the brand's tagline, "Life's Good." LG is known for incorporating high-end tech into their appliances, but not so much that it would scare your favorite Luddite away. In fact, their appliances remain quite user-friendly, which could be one of the reasons the brand has skyrocketed in popularity. While LG is known for its hi-tech home entertainment offerings including TVs, and computers, the brand is no shrinking violet in the home appliance space. They do home appliances, and they do it well apparently, as Consumer Reports has given them top marks for their cooktops, washing machines, and dryers.
In the 2021 JD Power 2021 Appliance Satisfaction Survey, Samsung took the top spot in almost all appliance categories. Still, LG was interestingly on its heels in many categories save for two: free-standing ranges and top-mount freezer refrigerators. LG did rank highest in customer satisfaction. Also considered a high-end, affordable luxury brand, LG is a great option for those looking for home appliances at the intersection of innovation and workhorse.
Founded in 1919, the Hobart Manufacturing Company later incorporated itself as KitchenAid in 1924. The company's first home run came in 1919 with the KitchenAid mixer, which remains a favorite among home chefs and professionals alike 100 years later. In the 1980s, KitchenAid expanded its portfolio, introducing a line of ovens and stovetops. One short year later, the company became one of the most successful manufacturers of home appliances in America. In 1986, KitchenAid was acquired by the Whirlpool Corporation.
Today, KitchenAid is considered a high-end, affordable luxury brand. It offers a variety of major appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, and oven ranges, each of which often ranks in the good or very good category on Consumer Reports. While major appliances remain a part of their portfolio, KitchenAid is probably best known for its small kitchen appliances, including the beloved KitchenAid mixer, coffee makers, toasters, blenders, and food processors.
Based in South Korea, Samsung started as a grocery store in 1938. Since then, the brand has grown by leaps and bounds. In the 1980s, Samsung began its foray into electronics, producing TVs, personal computers, and VCRs. By the late 90s, Samsung moved into mobile producing one of its first internet-ready phones by 1999. Today, mobile is one of Samsung's most profitable businesses and very likely what the brand is most well known for. It wasn't until 2005 that Samsung dipped its toe into the home appliance market, and all evidence points to a remarkably successful idea.
Like its main competitor LG, Samsung is known for adding plenty of high-tech features and leading with innovation in the home appliance market. Also, like LG, the tech they use in home appliances is never off-putting—it moves things forward without overcomplicating the issue or alienating consumers. In the J.D. Power 2021 Appliance Satisfaction Survey, Samsung ranked highest in customer satisfaction in nine out of 11 categories. The high-end, affordable luxury brand took the top spot for French door refrigerators and wall ovens.
Founded in 1899 by Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkann, Miele is likely one of the least familiar home appliance manufacturers on this list, but that doesn't mean that they're not a premium brand. Miele manufactures high-end domestic appliances, and their offerings run the gamut from range cookers and steam ovens to wine coolers and robot vacuums.
While the brand only has a fair rating for its range and cooktop appliances, Consumer Reports ranks them in the excellent category for dishwashers, electric wall ovens, and dryers. Miele is best known for its dishwashers, which are often lauded for their loading and drying capability.
Our pick: G 5266 SCVi SFP Dishwasher, $1,499
In 1908, hardware store owners Joe Barlow and John Seelig tinkered with the high-speed gearing on hand-powered washing machines, and the idea for Speed Queen was born. In the years that followed, Speed Queen continued to innovate the washing machine industry. In 1911, they built their first washer with an electric motor, and in 1939, Speed Queen replaced the traditional nickel-copper wash tubs for stainless steel, which is still used in washing machines today. While they've been in business for over a century, Speed Queen has not deviated much from their initial mission, nor have they expanded their portfolio. Instead, the brand continues to focus on and perfect its line of washers and dryers.
A quick look at the latest Consumer Reports Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings, and you'll see that Speed Queen only has two entries — washers and dryers. And as expected, those washers and dryers have an excellent ranking. With products that cost upwards of $1,000, Speed Queen washers and dryers fall into the mid-to-high range price category, but all evidence points to a reliable appliance and a sound investment.
Founded in 1947 as a small appliance manufacturer, Danby has not ventured far from its initial offerings. The company set up shop making hot plates and slow cookers, and while they have evolved and grown, they tend to stay in their lane. The Canadian-based manufacturer specializes in kitchen appliances for small spaces. Their product line includes apartment-size refrigerators, compact refrigerators, chest freezers, and niche appliances like ice makers and wine coolers.
Moreover, Danby appliances are quite affordable, and while the brand is largely ignored on most "best of" appliance manufacturer lists, their products seem to perform relatively well, as evidenced by their product reviews on Best Buy and Amazon. Even a cursory search on Amazon shows a slew of Danby products with ratings of four and a half stars and higher.