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."

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. 

More on ranges

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 recommend any that we’ve evaluated. You also won’t find convection on many models, though some right at the $1,000 mark do come with convection, 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
Gas: Samsung NX58H5600SS
Electric smoothtop: Frigidaire Gallery FGEF3035RF
Electric coil: Kenmore 94142

$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 this price range offer major advantages over less expensive options.

Don’t expect: 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.

Models to Consider
Electric: Samsung NE59J7850WS
Induction: Kenmore 95103

$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 only on models in this price range.

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

Models to Consider
Electric: LG LDE3037BD
Gas: LG LDG4315ST
Induction: Kenmore 95073

$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 mimic 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 the 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.

Mass-market model: Samsung NY58J9850WS
Pro-style range: KitchenAid KDRS407VSS