Major appliances are a huge industry – with Americans spending over $21 billion on new appliances each year.
With many appliances costing over $1,000, a new refrigerator is not easy to shop for. Compared to mobile phones, where Americans get a new phone every 2.5 years, major appliances last between 10 and 20 years.
This long lifespan means it’s hard to know what to look for when we’re shopping for a new one. We’re faced with an intimidating picture – high price tags, limited reviews, and a product that can last for decades.
At ApplianceAnalysts, we want to help. Thanks to a large database of appliance customer data, we’ve combined over 450,000 customer reviews on major appliances. We’ve run the numbers for:
- & Washers
If you’ll be in the market for any of these soon, you’ll want to check out our results below.
The Highest-Rated Major Appliance Brands
First, let’s cover the best overall brand.
This is the brand that has the highest ratings from their customers, across ALL reviews and across ALL the appliances listed above…
…and that brand is none other than LG!
With an average rating of 4.53/5 across over 93,000 customer reviews, LG is the market leader for customer happiness across all major appliance types! Starting in Korea all the way back in 1983, LG have come on a long way since the days they called themselves Lucky-Goldstar (the original ‘LG’).
LG narrowly beat out Samsung & Insignia coming in at a tied second place, with Bosch claiming in right afterwards. We’ve placed Samsung just above Insignia due to the much higher amount of products they have. Both LG and Samsung have over 175 different appliances in our study, with Insignia only on 38.
These scores are across a range of over 1,300 major appliances, so it’s a big average.
If you’re in the market for any of these appliances, it’s worth seeing which brand is the best for each category below.
The Highest-Rated Refrigerator Brands
Refrigerators are a huge business. They are the most purchased major appliance in US homes, with over 99.8% of US homes owning one (I mean, can you imagine not owning one?)
Capturing the refrigerator market is the mountaintop for many manufacturers – it’s the #1 spot they’d love to claim. However consumers are cautious with their reviews, with common issues such as refrigerators not cooling properly or cooling so much they ice over.
So how do they stack up? Well, let’s find out.
When it comes to refrigerators, Dacor finish well ahead of the pack with a clear margin.
An ultra-premium brand based in California – and a subsidiary of Samsung – Dacor pride themselves on producing high-end appliances, and their custom ratings speak for themselves. To give an idea of how premium they are, their average refrigerator price is over $7,000!
While they don’t have many products on the market (9 refrigerators vs 72 for Samsung), premium product customers are often harder to please due to the higher price tag. Coming top of the pack with an average rating of 4.62 over 230 reviews is testament to Dacor’s quality.For the largest brands, LG comes in highest for refrigerators. With over $24Bn in revenue from major appliances in 2021, refrigerators are one LG’s biggest sectors.
The Highest-Rated Dishwasher Brands
With more people owning a dishwasher than ever before, dishwashers are enjoying a transition from a luxury appliance to an essential household item.
However, dishwashers are also one of the most complex appliances. Water systems, heating systems, cleaning functions, drains and potential food clogs… there’s a lot that can go wrong. Which means the stakes are high for manufacturers.
In the dishwasher game, good marketing alone won’t cut it. If your product isn’t reliable, you’ll have a stream of bad reviews complaining about everything from smelly glassware to clogged pipes.
So let’s see which brand 50,000 dishwasher customers loved the most:
When it comes to dishwashers, it’s KitchenAid who have the highest ratings from their customers. Over 100 years old, this US brand (now owned by Whirlpool) do more than just excellent mixers. With a mid-high average price of $1,100, KitchenAid provide excellent value for money with a great reputation for reliability.
It’s worth noting that dishwashers have a much lower average score compared to other appliances. This is because of their complexity – mixing heating, plumbing, and cleaning systems means there’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong, leading to more negative reviews.
Wondering which appliance has the happiest customers? Then check out this next one.
The Highest-Rated Oven Brands
While many see ovens as complex appliances, they are actually quite simple. A well-insulated box, paired with a few heating elements, and some fans for circulation.
As simple as they are, there’s still fierce competition between oven brands – with constant innovation and new features being marketed to consumers.
So who’s the best at roasting their competition? Let’s take a look:
The simplicity of an oven means that they have the highest average review out of all major appliances (4.52!).
For ovens, Maytag are the hottest on the market. Another US company – also now a subsidiary of Whirlpool) – Maytag claim first place despite a lower average price of $2,795 compared to the average of Café, Monogram, & KitchenAid ($4,840).
Though it’s worth noting that in our data, Maytag primarily have wall ovens, compared to higher end slide-in and self-cleaning models for other brands like Monogram.
The Highest-Rated Microwave Brands
There are few appliances that cause a change as drastically as microwaves. Developed almost by accident while working on a radar project in 1945, Percy Spencer’s invention has transformed the way we cook and reheat food.
Since they cost less and tend not to last quite as long, there’s a LOT more reviews left for microwaves compared to other categories. A total of just under 300,000 reviews – more than any other category here.
So who’s the go-to brand for heating food the scientific way?
Microwaves are a very close contest when it comes to the brand with the most satisfied customers. Looking at the average prices reveals much more about the tied 1st and 3rd positions.
While Insignia & KitchenAid are tied for first place, their respective average prices are $147 & $1,257! Insignia – owned by BestBuy – tend to produce smaller countertop or over-the-range microwaves. Compared to the larger build-in models offered by KitchenAid.
The competition is more similar in positions 3-6, with the average price ranging from $300-$500 for mid-range models.
Although they have a reputation for superior microwaves, Bosch just misses out on this top 10 list, despite their average microwave price tag of over $1,700.
The Highest-Rated Washer & Dryer Brands
Let’s clean up this list by taking a look at the best washer and dryer brands.
As more and more homes have their own washers, laundromats are slowly becoming a thing of the past. As washers become more and more popular, manufacturers are fighting to claim this ever-growing market.
So when it comes to the washer market, who’s cleaning up?
Our overall champion LG comes out on top again… and by some margin. LG’s topping the chart with an average of 4.6/5 across 43,000 reviews on all their washers. Which is quite some achievement!
This is also the greatest drop-off between the top positions, with a rating drop of 0.07 down to a closely content #2 and #3 spot. It’s safe to say than when it comes to washers, owners of an LG model appear to be the happiest.
The washer and dryer brands with the highest reviews:
- LG washers 4.60, dryers 4.58
- Samsung washers 4.53, dryers 4.56
- Electrolux washers 4.53, dryers 4.54
- Maytag washers 4.20, dryers 4.50
- Insignia washers 4.23, dryers 4.31
- GE washers 4.18, dryers 4.41
- Whirlpool washers 4.21, dryers 4.39
LG comes out on top here in both cases, and by some margin with their washer models. Being such a large brand, they also offer many washer/dryer combo options – making them a great choice. Although their price tag is more on the premium end.
If LG aren’t your cup of tea, Samsung are a great alternative choice with a lower price tag. They come 2nd in both washers and dryers, while costing up to $500 less for both appliances compared to LG.
Reviews for Expensive vs Cheap Products
One question that I’m sure you’ve also wondered, is –
“Is a more expensive product better?”
While we can’t answer that question for every type of product, we can use our data to give a general answer.
Here’s the average ratings vs. the average price of over 1,300 major appliance products and 450,000 customer reviews:
The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s a bit of a mess! And you’re correct. But the element to focus on is the dashed trendline.
It shows that on average, purchasers are actually less happy with an expensive than a cheap product! This does depend on the type of product though, and we’ll explore this more in our individual appliance versions of this study.
It’s worth bearing in mind that when we pay for an expensive product, we have a higher standard to expect from it. More people are more likely to leave negative reviews if something is wrong on an expensive appliance, while they might not mind it as much on a cheaper model.
I hope you found this study as interesting as I did while making it!
When I realized we had over 450,000 customer reviews to sort through, I couldn’t wait to see what lessons were hidden in the data.
If you found this study helpful, have any other products you’d love to see analyzed, or simply have feedback – good or bad – please do let us know in the comments below! You can also reach us via our contact page.
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