At a Glance:
These are the brands for your dream kitchen. They have the most features, functionality, and aesthetics.
If you are a home builder, these names will also help sell your project.
Luxury brands focus mostly on designer refrigeration, professional, built-in, steam-cooking appliances, and ventilation.
In this article, you will read about the best luxury brands, the pros and cons of each, any rebates, and the estimated prices for every brand.
The Top 10 Luxury Appliance Brands for 2020 are:
- La Cornue
- Sub-Zero and Wolf
- Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS)
I added the total price of what a typical kitchen would cost with a 48-inch range, a 48-inch professional refrigerator (or two integrated columns adding to 48 inches), a dishwasher, and a hood for each brand below.
This is just a range of prices. It will change depending on your selections.
You’ll also see reliability ratings on each brand as well as the difference between luxury and affordable luxury brands.
The focus of this article is luxury, but you do not have to buy these brands for functional, good looking appliances.
What Do You Get With A Luxury Appliance Brand?
As I stated earlier, most luxury brands revolve around cooking and refrigeration first.
You will probably also consider separate steam ovens, speed ovens, microwave drawers, and undercounter refrigeration or wine storage.
Dishwashers have also become interesting. Miele has always been considered the best, but Thermador has their new dishwasher with a 20-minute wash and dry cycle. Sub-Zero also introduced their Cove dishwasher line.
Refrigeration would be either professional with the compressor on the top or integrated behind the cabinet. You can also add refrigeration drawers, ice makers, or undercounter refrigeration.
For cooking, you're looking at either a professional range or a wall oven combination with a cooktop or rangetop.
Luxury brands are about better style and function. However, some are slow adapting to Wi-Fi technology and controlling your kitchen from an app on your phone or tablet.
Only Dacor (through Samsung), Thermador, Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS), and Jenn-Air have started to address Wi-Fi. Samsung, GE, Bosch, and LG are the other pioneers.Short on time? Get our free Appliance Buying Guide
Luxury vs. Affordable Luxury Appliance Brands. What's the difference?
You can (and should) read the whole article on affordable luxury appliances, but let's look briefly.
For luxury, you are either selecting a pro or integrated refrigerator. In affordable luxury, your options are a shallow depth or a regular looking French door refrigerator with less depth.
For luxury, you will be selecting a pro dual fuel or pro gas range at 30,36, 48, or 60 inches wide or a wall oven and cooktop combination. For affordable luxury, your only option is a 30-inch slide-in range.
These are general observations, but there are different methods to value engineer or make your kitchen cheaper and still have luxury appliances by buying showroom display pieces or going to clearance events. You can always buy a bit of luxury and affordable luxury appliances to lower your costs as well.
Now, let’s look at the best luxury brands.
The 10 Best Luxury Appliance Brands for 2020
10. Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS)
SKS is LG’s premier brand. Their column refrigerators are interesting, and SKS claims their columns have the largest square footage. That’s a tough claim since outside dimensions are the same for every manufacturer.
SKS Professional Range with Induction and Sous Vide Cooking at Yale Appliance in Hanover
They were also the first with induction on their pro ranges and are still the only company marketing sous vide cooking (precision boiling in a sealed bag).
They offer a 10-minute self-clean for lightly soiled ovens. Concierge service promises service within five days, or the product will be swapped along with a 3-year warranty.
That’s another tough claim. However, LG has dove into service more than any other manufacturer by hiring 400 service techs across the country. We now have 32 just for the Boston area. So, let's say they need a few more...
- Strengths: Pro ranges with sous vide, induction and Wi-Fi capabilities
- Weaknesses: Incomplete line of appliances, wall ovens are basic
- How much does a SKS kitchen cost? $22,000-30,000
Dacor was purchased by Samsung three years ago, and market some interesting pro ranges with steam with unique appliance finishes. They have stainless interior column refrigerators with cool controls. All their appliances are Wi-Fi enabled.
With the rapidly evolving Samsung behind Dacor, their appliances could be worth considering in the future.
To be transparent, we do not sell any Dacor appliances at this time.
- Strengths: Their range is well featured, decent column refrigeration
- Weaknesses: Too new and unproven in terms of reliability
- How much does a Dacor kitchen cost? $25,000-35,000
BlueStar Kitchen With 60-Inch Pro Range and Salamander Broiler at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Want something unique? BlueStar may be a good choice. They have 750 colors and eight different knobs and trim packages.
Still can’t find the right color? They will customize one based on your paint sample.
BlueStar has great appliances, especially if you'll use them. Their ranges are the most powerful at 25,000 BTU and can fit a chef's pan. Their pro refrigerator is the only one to fit that pan as well.
BlueStar Salamander Broiler at Yale Appliance in Hanover
If you like to broil, look at their Salamander broiler. Many restaurants use a salamander to sear meat. It also makes a great creme brulee. Just make sure the vent is installed correctly above it.
- Strengths: For custom colors - best on this list. Powerful, well-designed products
- Weaknesses: Lack of Wi-Fi. No dishwashers, steam or integrated columns
- How much does a BlueStar kitchen cost? $26,000-32,000
Viking was the first company in 1987 with a professional range in the U.S. Their marketing has been one of the best in the appliance world.
There was a time when most high-end kitchens had a Viking range and a Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Out of Mississippi, Viking continues to innovate and introduced the Tuscany range as an alternative to its expensive La Cornue ranges (which they own).
Viking also maintains its professional stainless steel cooking line as well. Viking's strength is their cooking without question, and they have recently upgraded their iconic range with better BTUs.
If this was the 1990s, Viking would be number 1 or 2; but their initial product launches of refrigerators (late 1990s), dishwashers (2010), and the D3 (2012) line launch were quite problematic.
Unfortunately, the line suffers from past service issues and a bad reputation on the internet, especially in refrigeration and dishwashers.
They now source their dishwashers (Blomberg) and freestanding refrigerators (Electrolux).
To be truly iconic, the product must work.
- Strengths: Cooking
- Weaknesses: Reliability, dishwashers, refrigeration
- How much does a Viking kitchen cost?: $15,000-$30,000
- Rebates or Promotions: Free dishwasher and hood promotion – restrictions apply
Thermador Live Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Thermador is out of California and has been manufacturing appliances for over 75 years. They are credited with producing the first wall oven and downdraft.
Bosch purchased Thermador in the late 1990s to add reliability to the innovation. They are amongst the most reliable premium appliances in the industry.
Their newer (2018) integrated refrigerators have customizable bins and a push top open feature for opening with your hands full.
Thermador is also very strong in cooking, especially pro ranges, wall ovens, and induction.
They have now taken the step forward into steam like many other brands with the largest steam ovens on the market.
Newer product introductions include the 48-inch steam professional range (2014) as well as a 60-inch pro range (2016) with a steam oven and warming drawer, induction hybrid pro range (2018), as well as new induction cooktops (2018-2019).
In 2019, Thermador updated their wall ovens with a new look and controls. They are now Wi-Fi enabled, and super functional with their Home Connect App.
Thermador Side Swing Wall Ovens at Yale Appliance in Boston
However, it is still the more basic single fan convection as well. Most of the competitive wall ovens have twin or blower convection.
Their new dishwasher uses Zeolite, a natural volcanic element, to wash and dry in 20 minutes instead of 60 minutes. It actually works.
New Thermador Star Sapphire Dishwasher Review [VIDEO]
Thermador is also the most affordable of the 6 with great rebate programs, including free dishwashers and one other appliance i.e., a hood and blower or microwave drawer.
- Strengths: Refrigeration, cooking, induction
- Weaknesses: Wall ovens refreshed but still lacking a bit in cooking technology with single convection, no colors or customizations
- How much does a Thermador kitchen cost? $17,000-$22,000
- Rebates or Promotions: Free dishwasher and another free appliance promotion - restrictions apply
Jenn-Air Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Boston
Jenn-Air won Best of Show at the Architectural Digest Design Show in 2018.
That product is stunning. However, the introduction has been slow to market.
They have two lines, the Rise and Noir. The knobs and the overall look is beautiful. The clock and timer are run through an app on your phone. You can also sync it with gourmet apps like Yummly to enhance your cooking experience.
Their integrated refrigerator has three zones of cooling, as opposed to two zones with Sub-Zero.
You can also customize your cooktop with induction, gas, electric, and wok modules.
New Jenn-Air Integrated Refrigerator Columns [VIDEO]
Their wall ovens are the most functional. The correct time and temperature will be calculated if you want that meat medium-rare.
The wall oven will show you a picture of that meat before you cook.
- Strengths: Best temperature refrigerator controls, Fantastic pro ranges, and wall ovens
- Weaknesses: It's new. There usually is a learning curve with new products. No colors or customization's
- How much does a Jenn-Air kitchen cost? $21-26,000
- Rebates or promotions: $1,399 Credit
Gaggenau Kitchen with Wall Ovens, Steam Ovens, and Integrated Refrigerators at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Gaggenau is also owned by Bosch and was founded in Germany in 1681. They have been on the cutting edge of style and technology and produce some of the finest appliances in the world.
Bosch’s purchase of the company reinvigorated the brand by redesigning and restyling the product, essentially bringing the brand to its roots.
Now Gaggenau is once again trendy and attractive with trend-setting products like steam ovens, for example.
Gaggenau has had a convection steam oven long before Miele, Thermador, and Wolf, and it is still the best and most versatile.
What is the Best Steam Oven for You? [VIDEO]
However, with Gaggenau, you have a very distinctive, industrial style designed by Bang & Olufsen.
Your kitchen will be different looking with Gaggenau products than any other brand. The products work better than any other but need to be learned. They do not have the intuitive, easy to learn controls of a Jenn-Air, Miele, or Wolf.
- Strengths: Style, wall ovens, plumbed steam oven, ventilation, induction, style
- Weaknesses: Limited offerings, need more guided controls, No Wi-Fi, no color or customization
- How much for a Gaggenau kitchen cost? $30,000+
Miele Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover
I remember seeing the Miele factory in 2004. They were pushing their vacuum cleaner into a wall repeatedly to simulate 20 years of life.
They also built the machine that pulled the vacuum into the wall. Such is their commitment to quality with about 100 years in the appliance industry.
Their wall ovens, coffee systems, and especially dishwashers and laundry are all excellent with incredible reliability. They are also simple to use as well.
With new technology, you want it simple, and Miele does that better than every other brand. Their wall ovens and especially steam ovens are incredibly easy to use.
Miele Professional Range at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Miele has joined the ranks of brands like Viking and Wolf by introducing a pro range in 2014 with some great technology.
Their 48-inch pro range even has a microwave warming drawer with steam assist built into it. The pro range, as well as some of their wall ovens, connect to a water line for steam cycles, which are fantastic for bread as well as finishing foods.
Miele simplified cooking in their M touch series ovens and ranges with their MasterChef system automatically cooking based on your inputs.
Their new laundry (2019) with a 110-volt heat pump dryer is by far the best in the market. In 2020, they have introduced a new gray finish on their wall and steam ovens.
- Strengths: Cooking, dishwashers, and 24-inch laundry
- Weaknesses: No WiFi or styling alternatives
- How much does a Miele kitchen cost? $23,000-$30,000
- Rebates or promotions: 10% during different times of the year
2. Sub-Zero / Wolf
Sub-Zero and Wolf Live Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Don't buy a Sub-Zero refrigerator for name recognition and resale. Buy it for 2-compressor performance, air scrubber, vacuum seal, and water purifier, all maintaining food fresher and longer.
For over 60 years, Sub-Zero has been a family-owned Madison, Wisconsin company successfully competing against the largest brands in the world.
Sub-Zero bought Wolf 15 years ago. They revolutionized cooking with the double convection technology and great simmer capabilities on each burner.
Sub-Zero and Wolf Live Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Framingham
The newer (2015) M-series ovens now have much more intuitive control panels as well as blower convection instead of fans.
Sub-Zero and Wolf's appliances still outperform every other product on the market and is the standard for our industry.
Their wall ovens have similar functionality as the Miele with new convection blower technology. It deploys blowers to deliver more air than traditional fan convection.
- Strengths: Best refrigerator, great cooking
- Weaknesses: All pro gas, needs better output
- How much does a Sub-Zero and Wolf kitchen cost? $24,000-$35,000
- Rebates: Free wolf gourmet products – restrictions apply
1. La Cornue
La Cornue Range at Yale Appliance in Hanover
La Cornue is a French custom line that introduced the first chateau range in 1964. They offer custom made ranges in sizes ranging from about 3 feet wide all the way up to 6 feet wide.
In addition, there are large island ranges, cabinets, and cooktops available. Tons of color options add to the customization. La Cornue specializes in cooking. For example, you can have dual ovens, one gas, and one electric.
La Cornue Ranges with Multiple Cooktop Configurations at Yale Appliance in Framingham
You can also choose the cooktop configuration with options such as gas, electric, induction, and/or a French top.
The Chateau range is the luxury appliance for a kitchen. The top is fully customizable, so you can pick induction, gas, French top, grill, or griddle elements.
It’s also like a piece of furniture because it’s so beautifully designed.
Their gas ovens have natural convection with arched tops, so air flows naturally without a fan assist. It is the best oven to bake.
You can spend $7,500 on a 36-inch wide range or go all the way up to $160k for a much larger and more elaborate La Cornue.
- Strengths: The range
- Weaknesses: Pricey
- How much does a La Cornue kitchen cost? $26,000-165,000. La Cornue only makes cooking products.
Here's a look at last year's best luxury brands:
What Luxury Appliance Brands Are The Most Reliable?
Most Reliable Luxury Appliance Brands for 2020:
|Service Qty||Shipped Qty||Service Ratio|
|Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS)||14||46||30.43%|
Almost 50% of our service calls for these brands are resolved without parts.
They were not always products not working, but other issues like installation.
Installation has become an issue for appliances. Placing panels on dishwashers is not easy, but on refrigerators, it's problematic.
For instance, steam appliances require direct plumbing feeds, which are sometimes overlooked.
The other issue is education. As much as we can address the concerns over the phone, we send techs anyway to address problems and teach people how to use their new, unfamiliar appliances.
As appliances become more complicated, I do not see us saying no to customers looking for help.
But, luxury brands are in line for reliability with other high-end appliances as a service percentage.
Is Service Better for Luxury Brands?
Yale Appliance Service Team
You would think so with some fantastic claims from certain manufacturers. However, most do not employ a single technician and outsource this crucial part of the buying relationship.
In many areas, service can be tough to find. Given how many people comment on how bad the brands are for service, I have new advice for you:
Buy the brand with the best local service. You may have to do some research, but it will save a ton of problems later.
Should You Buy Luxury Appliances?
Although the costs will approach $30,000 and more for a whole kitchen with a La Cornue Range-topping at $160,000.
Luxury appliances are still the best investment in your house in terms of ROI (return on investment) compared to any other home improvement.
Over the last few years, most of the brands have improved cooking performance and introduced new technology to make your life a bit easier, at least in your kitchen.
Have questions on premium appliances? Get the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with features, specs and detailed profiles on Sub-Zero, Wolf, Miele, Viking, La Cornue, Thermador and more. Over 620,000 people have read a buyers buyers guide.
My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.
A Note About Pricing