Shopping for new appliances can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know where to start and what to look for. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to make well-informed decisions when purchasing your next refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer or any other major appliance.

Define Your Needs

Before starting your search, clearly define your needs and wants. Consider the following:

  • Size and dimensions – Measure the space where the appliance will go. Make sure to leave room for openings/clearance.
  • Capacity and features – Determine what size and functionality you require. For fridges, how much fresh food and freezer space do you need? For washers, what capacity and cycles?
  • Budget – Prices can range dramatically based on type, size, features, energy efficiency and more. Determine what you can afford.
  • Aesthetics – Decide on a style and finish that fits your home’s decor – contemporary, retro, stainless steel, etc.
  • Energy efficiency – Choose an ENERGY STAR® certified appliance to save on electric costs.
  • Reliability – Read reviews and ratings to find models known for durability and longevity.
  • Warranties – Opt for longer and more comprehensive warranties for peace of mind.
  • Smart capabilities – If desired, look for appliances with smart home connectivity.

Clearly defining your needs upfront will make the buying process much smoother.

Research Brands and Models

With your needs in mind, start researching different brands and models.

  • Check reviews: Consult sources like Consumer Reports, CNET, Good Housekeeping and more for expert reviews. Pay attention to performance, ease of use, noise, reliability and owner satisfaction.
  • Compare features: Create a checklist of must-have features per appliance type so you can effectively compare options.
  • Ask for recommendations: Talk to family, friends and neighbors to learn what brands and models they suggest.
  • Consider reputable brands: Stick with major brands known for quality like GE, Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Bosch and Maytag.
  • Visit showrooms: Check out appliances at local showrooms to view selections and get a feel for build quality.

As you research, create a shortlist of top contenders that meet your criteria. If available, take advantage of home trials and demonstrations.

Shop Multiple Retailers for Price Comparisons

Don’t restrict yourself to one store when shopping. Compare prices across multiple retailers, both online and in-store.

  • Big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy and Costco
  • Appliance specialty stores like Pacific Sales or P.C. Richard & Son
  • National chains like Sears, JCPenney, and Walmart
  • Online retailers like AJ Madison, AppliancesConnection, and eBay

Sign up for retailer newsletters and browse circulars for sales events, specials and coupons. Avoid products listed as “exclusive item” as that usually means it was made cheaper for that particular retailer.

Online, utilize price comparison sites like Google Shopping to quickly find the best deals. Input the exact model number to compare true apples-to-apples pricing.

Look for Special Discounts and Rebates

Take advantage of any current promotions, discounts or rebates to maximize savings:

  • Seasonal sales – Look for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc. bargains.
  • Tax holidays – Some states offer no-tax weekends on appliances and other items.
  • Manufacturer rebates – Submit paperwork to redeem rebates directly from brands.
  • Utility company rebates – Many offer rebates for buying energy efficient models.
  • Credit card points – Use points from rewards cards for statement credits.
  • Student and military discounts – Take advantage if you or a family member qualifies.

Combining multiple discounts, rebates, coupons and incentives can lead to huge savings.

Understand Financing and Warranties

These factors also play key roles in the appliance shopping process:


  • Retailer financing – Stores like Lowe’s, Sears and Best Buy offer special financing deals if paid within a set timeframe.
  • Bank/credit union financing – Many provide personal loans for appliance purchases.
  • Credit cards – Can be an option, but avoid high-interest store cards.
  • Cash/debit – Use if you can pay upfront and there are no discount incentives.


  • Manufacturer’s warranty – Included warranty from the brand, typically 1 year for parts and labor.
  • Extended warranties – Added coverage purchased separately, either from retailer or third-party. Weigh costs versus benefits.
  • Homeowner’s insurance – May offer limited coverage for appliances, check your policy.

Carefully read all terms of any included or extended warranties. File paperwork and keep receipts in a safe place.

Schedule Delivery and Installation

You’re not done yet after purchasing. Appliance delivery and installation also require planning:

  • Delivery – Select a delivery window and confirm date/time. Make sure you or someone else can be home to receive it.
  • Installation – Most retailers offer optional haul-away and install for an added fee. This is highly recommended for complex installations and removing old appliances. If you DIY, follow instructions carefully.
  • Prep the area – Clear the space and path of access. Take finished doors off hinges if needed. Have all tools and materials ready.
  • Protect floors – Use cardboard, blankets or other coverings to avoid damaging floors during haul-away and install.
  • Inspect before signing – Upon delivery, thoroughly examine for any damage before accepting. Don’t sign until satisfied.
  • Test operation – After install, test all functions and settings to ensure proper operation before installers leave.

Taking these steps will help the delivery and installation go as smoothly as possible. Enjoy your new appliance!

Here’s Help Choosing Specific Appliance Types

Beyond the general shopping tips above, here is some additional guidance for specific appliances:


  • Configuration – Choose from top freezer, bottom freezer or side-by-side. Side-by-side offers easy access to both fresh food and freezer items.
  • Size – Measure your space and opt for standard depth (~30 inches) or counter depth (~24 inches). Allow for door swing clearance.
  • Storage design – Look for flexible shelf configurations, adjustable door bins and specialty drawers (produce, deli, etc.)
  • Temperature control – Seek out options like dual evaporators (separate cooling for fridge and freezer) and zones to customize temp.
  • Special features – Consider through-door ice/water, door alarm, Sabbath mode and WiFi/app connectivity.
  • Efficiency – Look for ENERGY STAR models that use less energy while maintaining proper temps.
  • Style – Choose finishes like stainless steel, black, white, panel ready and even customized handles/trim kits.


  • Fuel type – Choose from electric, gas or induction. Gas often preferred by cooks for responsiveness and flame heating.
  • Size – Standard 30-inch wide, but larger options available. Double check cutouts.
  • Burners – Look for power burner(s) >15k BTU. Check simmer ability for delicate cooking.
  • Cooking modes – Options like convection cooking and warming drawer add versatility.
  • Self-cleaning – Steam clean or traditional pyrolytic is convenient but can impact reliability. Manual clean ovens are an alternative.
  • Precision cooking – Higher-end ranges add sensors, food probes and other tech for perfect results.
  • Style – Available in stainless, black, white and colors to match kitchen decor.


  • Tub material – Durable stainless steel prevents dings and shows wear less. Plastic is an affordable alternative.
  • Rack adjustability – Look for height and position adjustability for loading flexibility and tall items.
  • Wash cycles – Seek quick wash options for light loads and pots/pans/stuck-on grime cycles for deep cleaning.
  • Drying – Models with condenser or heating element provide the best dry performance. Air dry works but may need towel drying.
  • Noise – Check decibel ratings. Look for sound insulation and quiet cycles. Top controls tend to be a little quieter.
  • 3rd rack – Provides extra space for silverware, utensils and other odd-shaped items. Helpful addition.

Clothes Washers

  • Capacity – Look for at least 4.0 cubic feet for regular loads and 5.0+ for large or families. Compare depth as well.
  • Controls – Basic knob controls are proven reliable. Digital controls enable more settings but can be prone to issues.
  • Cycles – Seek out models with steam refresh, sanitizing, allergen and specialized cycles for different fabric types.
  • Efficiency – Front loaders tend to be more water and energy efficient, but top loaders are improving.
  • Noise – Look for sound insulation and low decibel ratings. Top loaders tend to be quieter.
  • Smart features – Options like WiFi monitoring, automatic detergent dispensing and voice control can provide added convenience.


  • Capacity – Match dryer capacity to your washer – typically 6.0 to 7.5 cubic feet. Bigger = shorter dry times.
  • Type – Most common is vented electric or gas. Condensation (ventless) models available but slower and risks more lint.
  • Cycles – Seek out moisture sensor for auto-off when dry. Look for delicates, sanitizing, wrinkle prevention and speed cycles.
  • Controls – Rotary knobs are simple to use. Digital controls enable more customization but can have issues.
  • Efficiency – Look for moisture sensor and auto-off to prevent over-drying. Some gas models add heat pump technology.
  • Smart features – Options like monitoring, notifications and voice control. Look for smart venting that automatically maximizes airflow.

Final Considerations

To wrap up your appliance shopping:

  • Stick within your budget but don’t sacrifice quality and reliability just to save a little. Cheaper upfront can end up costing more long-term.
  • Read all fine print and measure carefully to avoid any surprises upon delivery and installation.
  • If remodeling, coordinate appliance purchases with cabinetry, flooring, lighting and other upgrades for a cohesive look.
  • Make energy efficiency a priority to save electricity and water over the appliance lifetime.
  • Don’t feel rushed. Take your time researching to find the right appliances for your home and lifestyle.

We hope this guide makes the appliance shopping process easier and helps you select outstanding new additions for your kitchen and laundry room. Enjoy the excitement of upgrading and enhancing your home. Here’s to many years of exceptional performance from your new appliances!

Frequently Asked Questions About Appliance Shopping

What are the top appliance brands?

Some of the best appliance brands based on reputation, reliability and owner satisfaction are:

  • Whirlpool
  • LG
  • Samsung
  • GE
  • Bosch
  • KitchenAid
  • Maytag
  • Miele
  • Thermador

How do I choose the right refrigerator size?

Consider how much refrigerator and freezer space you need based on family size, grocery habits and lifestyle. A good rule of thumb is 4-6 cubic feet per person just for the refrigerator compartment. Measure your space and look for standard (30-32 inches deep) or counter depth (24-28 inches).

Should I buy an extended warranty for appliances?

It depends. Extended warranties can provide peace of mind, but cost extra. Carefully review what’s covered by both the included and extended warranties. For reliable models, the extra cost may not be worthwhile. Weigh the costs vs. benefits.

When are the best times to buy appliances?

Major holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day and Black Friday are well-known for appliance sales. Year-end clearance events are also good times to find deals. Sign up for retailer newsletters for announcements of special savings events and coupons.

How much do delivery and installation cost for appliances?

Delivery fees average $50-$100 per appliance. Haul-away of old appliance is often included. Basic installation ranges from $50-$150 per appliance, more for complex jobs like installing a gas range. Compare fees across retailers.

What credit cards offer the best rewards for appliance purchases?

Cards like Chase Freedom or Citi Custom Cash offer 5% cashback in rotating categories which sometimes include home improvement stores. Target RedCard gives 5% off at checkout. Capital One Savor Rewards gives 4% cashback on entertainment including qualifying streaming services. Check your cards for special financing and rewards offers too.

How can I find utility company appliance rebates?

Check with your gas and electric providers. Many offer rebates between $20-$200 for buying ENERGY STAR certified appliances. Some require filling out forms, others credit automatically when purchased from participating retailers. Taking advantage of these rebates makes energy efficient appliances more affordable.


Buying new appliances is an investment that can improve everyday life for years to come. Following this guide will help you make smart purchases tailored to your needs and budget. Take time to research and compare options both online and in stores. Look for bargains through sales, rebates and coupons. Carefully measure spaces and read all terms and installation requirements before purchasing. Schedule delivery when you can be home for smooth installation. Enjoy the features and reliability of your exciting new appliances!