On Thursday, Consumer Reports released a mega-ranking of appliance brands. And this ranking was thorough: based on research conducted over a ten year period. In it, they ranked everything from washers to cooktops, and explained which brands consumers found most reliable.
Before we dive into the rankings, remember that no ranking changes your own experience. If you have an appliance that you love, it doesn’t matter where it falls on the list. These are just guidelines, but important ones if you’re looking to invest in a new major appliance.
Speed is Queen
Taking the top spot is Speed Queen, a small laundry machine brand based in Ripon, Wisconsin. The company only makes washers and dryers, just two of the eight appliances under consideration (the others are cooktops, dishwashers, microwaves, ranges, refrigerators, and wall ovens).
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Following Speed Queen are two European brands, Miele from Germany and Ikea from Sweden. South Korea’s LG and California’s Thermador round out the top five.
On the other end, the least reliable appliance brand, according to Consumer Reports, is Viking, a kitchen appliance manufacturer from Greenwood, Mississippi. Electrolux out of Sweden, Dacor from Pasadena, Fisher & Paykel from New Zealand, and Asko from Sweden were the rest of the bottom five.
How the Rankings Work
Remember, though, if you have one of these bottom five appliances and like it, that’s fine. These rankings are a prediction of how people will respond to a given appliance. And the listings by nature aren’t always fair. Speed Queen only makes washers and dryers. But those appliances are more reliable in general than, say, refrigerators, 40 percent of which present problems in the first five years.
But these rankings are still important, because consumers deserve to know which products are most reliable. Consumer Reports home editor Eric Hagerman explains:
“The stakes are high for major appliances,” he said. “These are really expensive products that you buy for your home. They’re things you have to have installed and they basically become a part of your home.”
The depth and breadth of these reports is astounding, and you should dig below the surface level before you make any decisions. Look at what appliance you need and judge based on the rankings in those products, rather than sticking to what the overall results tell you.
And remember, these rankings are just about reliability: “The reliability rating doesn’t have anything to do with the price they charge or the marketing campaign.”
So the next time you’re in the market for a new appliance, check with Consumer Reports. They’ve got you covered on reliability for whatever you might want to buy.