The best appliance brands combine name recognition, performance, and features. Some of the names may surprise you.
Now I am not implying that you should only buy these if you have the budget or specific need. You should also look at the brands in the 5 Best Affordable Luxury Brands which combine features and price.
Regardless, if you want the best in your kitchen, these 6 brands are universally considered to be the best. Honorable mention to Jenn-Air, Dacor and BlueStar, which can be considered luxury in the future.
What do you get with a luxury appliance brand?
Most luxury brands revolve around cooking and refrigeration first. Miele would be the exception starting primarily as a dishwasher and laundry company.
Refrigeration would be either professional with the compressor on the top or integrated behind cabinets.
For cooking, you're looking at either a professional range or a wall oven with a cooktop or rangetop.
I added the total price of what a typical kitchen would cost with a 48-inch refrigerator, 48-inch professional (or 2 integrated adding to 48 inches) dishwasher and hood. This is just a range of prices. It will change depending on your selections.
Click on the video below for pictures and descriptions of all 6 best brands.
The 6 Best Luxury Appliance Brands
Viking was the first company with a professional range in the U.S. They have had ranges since 1987. 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 has now come out with the Tuscany range as an alternative to the expensive La Cornue ranges. However, they don’t offer nearly as many colors and have other matching color appliances to go with their color ranges.
Viking also maintains their 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 line launch were quite problematic.
Unfortunately, the line continues to have service issues and a bad reputation on the internet, especially in refrigeration and dishwashers.
To be truly iconic, the product must work.
Viking "Tuscany" Dual Fuel Range - TVDR480
To be totally transparent, we no longer sell Viking products.
- Strengths: Cooking
- Promotions: Free dishwasher and hood promotion – restrictions apply
- How much will a Viking kitchen cost? $8,900 - $40,000
Thermador is out of California and has been manufacturing appliances for over 75 years. They are credited for producing the first wall oven and downdraft.
Bosch purchased Thermador in the late 1990s to add reliability to the innovation.
Their integrated refrigerators were first to market and totally hide the unit from cabinets. 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.
New 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 as well as a full surface induction cooktop.
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, wall ovens, induction
- Rebates: Free dishwasher and another free appliance promotion - restrictions apply
- How much does a Thermador kitchen cost? $8,300 - $40,000
Gaggenau is owned by Bosch as well. Gaggenau 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. They also have a full surface induction cooktop so that you can use any size pan anywhere on the cooktop, up to four pans.
However, with Gaggenau, you have a very distinctive, industrial style designed by Bang & Olufsen. Your kitchen will be different looking with Gaggenau than any other brand.
- Strengths: Style, wall ovens, plumbed steam oven, ventilation, induction, style
- Rebates: None
- How much for a Gaggenau kitchen? $19,000 - $50,000
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.
Miele has joined the ranks of brands like 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 makes cooking easy in their M touch series ovens and ranges with their Masterchef system which automatically cooks the with prompts.
HR 1956 DF GD 48" Dual Fuel Range
- Strengths: Cooking, dishwashers and 24-inch laundry
- Rebates: 10% during different times of the year
- How much for a Miele Kitchen? $15,000 - $50,000
2. Sub-Zero / Wolf
Don't buy a Sub-Zero for name recognition and resale, buy it for 2-compressor performance, air scrubber, vacuum seal, and water purifier all maintaining food fresher, and longer.I really like these guys.
For over 60 years, Sub-Zero is a family owned Madison, Wisconsin company successfully competing against the largest companies in the world.
Sub-Zero bought Wolf 15 years ago and revolutionized cooking with the double convection technology and great simmer capability on each burner. The new M series ovens now have much more intuitive control panels as well as a blower convection instead of fans.
Sub-Zero still outperforms every other product on the market and is still the standard for our industry.
Their new wall ovens have similar functionality as the Miele with new convection blower technology.
Wolf M Series Double Oven DO30PM/S/PH
- Strengths: Best refrigerator, great cooking
- Rebates: Free wolf gourmet products – restrictions apply
- How much for a Sub-Zero/Wolf kitchen? $16,000 - $50,000
1. La Cornue
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 as well. Tons of color options add to the customization. La Cornue specialized and focuses on cooking. For example, you can have dual ovens, one gas, and one electric.
You can also choose the cooktop configuration with options such as gas, electric, induction, and/or a French top.
Chateau 120 Range
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.
Their gas ovens have a 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
- Rebates: None
- Prices: $8,800 - $101,000+. La Cornue only makes cooking products.
Although the costs can be over $30,000 for a whole kitchen and with a La Cornue range topping at over $100,000, luxury appliances are still the best investment in your house in terms of return on investment (ROI).
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 230,000 people have read a buyers buyers guide.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 3rd, 2014 and has been updated for accuracy, freshness and comprehensiveness.