America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

woman using a reliable brand of appliance
Samuel Borges Photography /

America’s top-rated appliance maker is not a household name, according to new rankings from Consumer Reports.

Speed Queen took top honors in the publication’s second annual Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings — after earning the top spot in 2019 as well.

Speed Queen makes washing machines and dryers only. So, if you are looking for another type of appliance, you might want to consider Miele or LG, which took the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, in the 2020 rankings.

In compiling its list, Consumer Reports looked at data collected from its members on more than 592,000 kitchen and laundry appliances purchased between 2009 and 2019.

The publication continues:

“To calculate predicted reliability, we ask members how many times their appliances broke or stopped working as well as they should. We use that data to estimate how a given brand’s new models will hold up over the first five years of use.”

The publication also gave each appliance brand an “average predicted reliability score” on a scale from 1 to 100. The scores are adjusted to account for differences among different types of appliances.

The most reliable brands are as follows:

  • Speed Queen — average predicted reliability score of 84 out of 100
  • Miele — 69
  • LG — 66
  • Roper — 64
  • Café — 63

The least reliable brands are:

  • Viking — average predicted reliability score of 17 out of 100
  • Dacor — 26
  • JennAir — 31
  • Electrolux — 31
  • Asko — 32

Consumer Reports emphasizes that reliability is different from performance. For example, while Speed Queen is tops for reliability, its machines “don’t always perform well in our lab tests,” the publication says.

Consumer Reports suggests reviewing its full rankings for the particular models you’re considering before buying a new appliance.

Looking for more tips on how to shop for the right appliances? Check out “7 Small Appliances You Don’t Need — and What to Use Instead.”

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