If you're used to eating peanut butter and jelly, you might balk at trying peanut butter and bacon. But think about it. Both foods are delicious on their own, so putting them together can be magical (and decadent). Consider Elvis, who added a banana to the mix for good measure. The same can be said for combining different brands of appliances that are terrific on their own but even better together. At least that's what we found at Consumer Reports, where the top-performing appliances in our tests don't always come from the same family.

If you're not set on a matching kitchen suite, think about mixing and matching. Choosing built-in models, or those that provide a built-in look, such as a counter-depth refrigerator and a slide-in range, helps appliances from different brands look at home together—even if they aren't exactly the same brand.

If you care more about performance than superficial appearance, we chose three kitchen appliance combinations featuring high-end stainless-steel models that integrate seamlessly into their surroundings, shifting the visual focus to countertops, cabinets, and the other finishes that tie your kitchen together. Best of all, they each lead the pack in our tests. 

If You Want Pro-Style Appliances

Want to go pro? If you like the beefy knobs and heavy grates of a pro-style range, then consider KitchenAid—its stoves topped our tests of 30-inch and 36-inch models. But it's Thermador, not KitchenAid, that makes our top built-in refrigerator. And for a super-quiet, energy-efficient dishwasher, turn to Kenmore. Our choices:

Total: $13,565 or $16,725

If You Want a Built-in Look for Less

You can get the built-in look for less by considering a counter-depth refrigerator and a slide-in range. Our kitchen is built around three different ranges so that you have great options whether you use electric, gas, or induction. Our choices:

Total: $5,652 or $5,855 or $7,455

If You Prefer a Cooktop and Wall Oven

The beauty of replacing all of your kitchen appliances at once is that you can change it up and opt for a cooktop and wall oven over a range. This allows you to put the oven at eye level and to place your cooktop so that you don't have your back to your guests when entertaining. Our choices:

Total: $6,214 or $6,314

To round out a built-in look, consider a range hood and microwave drawer, which integrate into your cabinetry, rather than an over-the-range microwave. And of course, if you're hung up on having matching appliances from one brand, we get it, and we can help with that, too. These matching kitchen appliance packages provide a truly seamless look, if you can live with an imperfect dishwasher or microwave.