A stainless steel front-loading washer partially covered by a red piece of fabric
Photo: Justin Metz

The best way to find an appliance that will stand the test of time? Buy from a reliable brand. Factoring in reliability will 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 third annual Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings. It shows how reliable one brand is relative to another across multiple appliances: refrigerators, dishwashers, over-the-range microwaves, ranges, cooktops, wall ovenswashing machines, and dryers. The results are based on survey data we collected from our members on more than 760,000 kitchen and laundry appliances purchased new between 2010 and 2020.

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To calculate predicted reliability, we ask members whether 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 chart includes only brands for which we have reliability ratings in at least two categories of major appliances.

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.

The top- and bottom-rated brands in the chart remain unchanged. Blomberg is the sole newcomer to this year's rankings. 

Keep in mind that our predicted reliability ratings are not an indicator of performance. So even when you settle on a reliable brand, you’ll want to check our full appliance ratings to find a specific model.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article also appeared in the August 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.