No matter how well you take care of your appliances, there will come a day when they need to be replaced. To get the very most use out of them—and push off that inevitable expiration date—it helps to buy appliances that will last. Factoring in reliability will also save you money over the long haul and keep refrigerators and washers and such machines out of the waste stream and landfills.
A good place to start is with the chart below: CR’s second annual Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings. It shows how reliable one brand is relative to another across multiple appliances. The results are based on survey data we collected from our members on more than 592,000 kitchen and laundry appliances purchased between 2009 and 2019.
To calculate predicted reliability, we ask members how many times their appliances broke or stopped working as well as they should. We use that data to estimate how a given brand’s new models will hold up over the first five years of use.
The predicted reliability ratings for appliances from each brand are an average of the ratings for all types of that brand’s appliances (for example, front-loaders, top-loaders, etc., for washing machines).
For each brand, the Average Predicted Reliability Score has been adjusted to account for differences among types of appliances. A brand that earns relatively high marks for its French-door refrigerators, for example, will get a bump in its score because French-door models are less reliable than other refrigerator types.
Without this statistical adjustment, a brand that makes only top-freezer refrigerators—the most reliable type—would have an unfair advantage over brands that make multiple types.
There are a few new brands in this year’s rankings, though they’re not brand-new. Café and Monogram debut because we now have a large enough sample size for each in our member survey for them to be broken out from parent company GE. Likewise Signature and LG. Roper and Crosley are individual brands owned by enough of our members to include here.
Keep in mind that our predicted reliability ratings are not an indicator of performance. Speed Queen, for instance, tops our list with high reliability ratings for washers and dryers, but its machines don’t always perform well in our lab tests. So even when you settle on a reliable brand, you’ll want to check our full ratings to pick a specific model.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article also appeared in the August 2020 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
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