Kitchen and Home Appliance Brands

Kay Easton | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

When you're researching appliance brands to make a purchase, the chore isn't necessarily an easy one because there are many things you should consider. Most major appliances--refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, and washers and dryers--represent significant expenditures in your household budget, so you want to make an informed choice. A number of considerations can affect your choice including price, consumer ratings, power consumption and efficiency, appliance features, available space and style and appearance.

Four top appliance brands

The following four major brands consistently show up in the top reviews for the appliances listed:

  • General Electric: refrigerators, ranges and washers
  • Kenmore: refrigerators and ranges
  • LG: refrigerators and washers and dryers
  • Maytag: refrigerators, washers and dryers, and dishwashers

Top reviewed appliance brands

The following top-rated appliance brands come from ConsumerReseachcom reviews although other sites offer similar information. The site analyzes and consolidates comparative reviews from both experts and product users.

  • Refrigerators: Maytag takes top honors for freezer-on-the-top models, LG for freezer-on-the-bottom models and Kenmore for side-by-side models.
  • Dishwashers: Maytag was cited for best value and Kenmore for best basic dishwasher.
  • Ranges: Best overall gas range was made by GE, while Kenmore offered the best electric and dual-fuel ranges.
  • Washers: Top overall contender was LG; best top load, Maytag; and budget top load, GE.
  • Dryers: LG and Maytag swept the field with LG taking best overall gas and electric dryer honors and Maytag taking honors for best basic electric and gas dryers.

Energy efficiency more important than ever

Energy efficiency has become much more important in the selection of major appliances even though the initial cost of the appliance is often slightly more. As early as ten years ago, a 2001 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse survey reported that 93 percent of Americans "believe that saving energy is important both for the environment and their pocket books" and 58 percent indicated that when purchasing an appliance, energy-efficiency is very important. Before making an appliance selection, you can review Energy Star products to see how energy efficient they really are and which brand models are the most energy efficient.

Appliance prices count

Unless you have money to burn, price is always going to be an important consideration in your selection of major appliances. In all appliance categories, GE and Maytag consistently offered more options in the lower end of the price range (although GE does have a $7,000 refrigerator) and Maytag's upper range tended to also be consistently lower. LG and Kenmore offered appliances in very similar price ranges.

Many different factors can influence which major appliance brand you buy. Determine what appliance features you want and then compare price, consumer reviews and ratings and energy efficiency scores before you put your money down.