How Much Should You Spend on a Range?

Pricier models provide more features and better performance—up to a point

When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. Learn more.

Stainless steel range Photo: Alberto Guglielmi/Getty Images

A basic range won’t limit a skilled chef any more than a pro-style range will help a terrible cook make a meal worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant.

“We often find that price is really no indicator of performance,” says Tara Casaregola, who oversees Consumer Reports’ testing of ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens. “We have some in the mix for $1,000 that perform better than models costing $5,000.”

More on Ranges

But before you conclude that it’s not worth splurging on a range, you should know that this is one category where you largely do get what you pay for. Just not always in the form of cooking performance. 

Of all the models in Consumer Reports’ range ratings, the best performance and handiest features are typically found on models costing $1,500 to $2,000. But you don’t need to spend that much to get a great range, nor should you expect more if you can afford the $5,000 you might spend on a pro-style model.

Read on for an overview of the features and performance you can expect at every price, and our picks for top models in each category.

$1,000 or Less

What you’ll find: Solid performers in a variety of finishes, including stainless steel. Some less-expensive models may use stainless as an accent, and many offer power and simmer burners, great for boiling quickly or maintaining a low, steady simmer. A handful of gas models even squeeze a fifth burner onto the cooktop. Most feature storage drawers under a large oven cavity, and some have warming drawers and simple features like timed cooking and digital controls.

Don’t expect: Dual-oven ranges under $1,000 are few and far between, and we don’t currently have any in our ratings. You also won’t find convection on all models, though some right at the $1,000 mark do come with it, which we especially like for roasting meats. Features like self-cleaning are available but become harder to find on models under $800. And while a handful of electric models offer top-tier rangetop performance, you’ll struggle to find gas models that match the power of pricier picks.

Models to Consider

$1,000 to $1,500

What you’ll find: Most models in our tests offer solid performance in this price range, particularly electric models. You’ll even find an occasional induction model under $1,500, and features like convection become standard. Plenty of models offer dual ovens or a large primary oven with a baking drawer that has dedicated temperature controls. But if you have gas, you might consider capping your purchase at $1,000 or being prepared to spend more than $1,500. None of the gas ranges we’ve evaluated in the $1,000 to $1,500 price range offer major advantages over less-expensive options.

Don’t expect: Tons of slide-in or drop-in configurations. Nearly all the models in this price in our ratings feature a large back panel display instead of the sleeker front-mounted controls found on more expensive ranges. You’ll find a few, but you’ll often sacrifice other features like convection, a second oven, or even self-cleaning.

Models to Consider

$1,500 to $3,000

What you’ll find: Solid top-of-the-range performance paired with stellar baking and plenty of features, including built-in meat probes that automatically roast meats to a predetermined temperature, as well as cook-friendly features like bread-proofing or slow-cooking modes. Plenty of models with sleek front-mounted controls can be found, and some of the newest features, like app integration and voice commands via Amazon Alexa, are offered mostly on models in this price range.

Don’t expect: The construction or design of most pro-style models.

Models to Consider

$3,000 and Up

What you’ll find: Pro-style ranges that feature solid stainless steel construction and beautiful design, which might be enough if you simply want to play the role of celebrity chef in your own kitchen. Dual fuel—models featuring a gas rangetop and an electric oven—become far more common. You’ll also find a handful of top-tier options from mass-market brands that feature chunkier knobs and slide-in design made to resemble the look of pro-style ranges without sacrificing performance.

Don’t expect: Better performance. None of the pro-style ranges in our ratings perform as well as the best mass-market brands, and a vast majority lack many of the features you’d find on models that cost thousands less. But that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to go pro. They’re beautiful, offer heavy construction, and can certainly improve the resale value of your home if and when you go to sell. Just don’t expect them to turn you into Julia Child overnight. They won’t. You also won’t find many electric or even induction models, because this price range is typically reserved for the most premium gas or dual-fuel offerings.

Paul Hope

As a classically trained chef and an enthusiastic DIYer, I've always valued having the best tool for a job—whether the task at hand is dicing onions for mirepoix or hanging drywall. When I'm not writing about home products, I can be found putting them to the test, often with help from my two young children, in the 1860s townhouse I'm restoring in my free time.