So you’re wondering if forking over some serious cash for high end kitchen appliances is worth it? Would adding luxury appliances help complete your dream kitchen? Well, let's start with what makes a kitchen appliance luxury.
Besides the obvious cost, luxury kitchen appliances offer consumers state of the art features with modern design. They also offer a higher return on investment and they generally last longer. Luxury kitchen appliances use better parts and go through more rigorous testing to ensure their product will last.
It’s also worth noting that if something does go wrong, luxury brands will more than likely have more personalized customer service than your generic big box store brand where you end up calling God knows where.
If you are planning on selling your house soon, houses with luxury kitchen appliances tend to sell quicker as well. The bottom line is luxury appliances brands rely on their reputation and you can’t build a good reputation in the industry with a crap product.
Appliances are something that you are going to use everyday and can have a direct impact on your daily life. Make sure when you’re selecting appliances, that you are buying ones that have features that YOU need. With all of the technology that we have access to today, these appliances should make your life easier.
Some other advantages to high end appliances are that they can cook meals quicker (and who doesn’t want that!) as well as add a nice aesthetic to your home by offering more custom options.
Don’t like reading? Watch my YouTube video I did about high end kitchen appliances
First up we have Viking. Viking is by far the gold standard in luxury appliances. Viking has been around since the 1980’s and has been turning out stunning, high performance ranges ever since.
Viking stoves have some of the best resale value. Their classic Tuscany range offers Italian styling with American features. It comes in a variety of sizes and can be used with either gas or electric. While they are the gold standard for ranges they do lack in their refrigerator and dishwasher capabilities.
Viking’s iconic Tuscany Stove features:
Next up we have Sub Zero and Wolf. I put these two together because in 2000 Sub Zero bought Wolf. First, lets talk about Sub Zero.
Sub zero is based in Wisconsin and is known for their refrigeration. They have been building refrigerators since 1945 and their website claims that it will last up to 20 years-which is a LONG time in the refrigerator world!
Another nice feature with sub zero refrigerators is that they are all built into the cabinetry and professionally installed so they fit seamlessly into the design. Sub zero was also the first company to build a refrigerator that was counter depth.
They are known for their innovation and have recently come out with an air filtration system that gets rid of ethylene gas, a naturally-occurring compound that hastens food ripening and spoilage. Sub-Zero refrigerators come with an air purification system (based on technology developed by NASA) that scrubs the air of ethylene and odor every 20 minutes. How cool is that?
Pictured to the right is their professional series. It’s almost as cool as Yolanda’s refrigerator from the Real Housewives :)
I love the glass front door. In my head this is how my refrigerator would look if I lived alone. But since I’m married and have a teenager I know it would never look this good and would probably end up buying the one without the glass door!
When Sub Zero bought Wolf it really was a great compliment and helped to round out their offerings. Wolf is known for their convection ovens and their cooktops. Before we get into, it’s important to note that cooktop and rangetop are two DIFFERENT things. A cooktop has all burners up top and a rangetop can have all burners but can also be customized with grill pans and other options.
Also note that a cooktop sits on top of the counter (kind of like a sink) and a range top slides into the cabinet. You can see the differences in the photo below. The rangetop looks more like an oven with the knobs on the front where as the cooktop (bottom photo) the knobs are on top.
Coming in third, we have Gaggenau appliances.
Gaggenau was founded in Germany in 1683 and is currently owned by Bosch. Gaggenau was one of the first to create the convection steam oven and the first ceramic cooktop. Gaggenau is also known for their unique German styling.
The downside to Gaggenau is that they are not as well known in the US and therefore don’t hold their value in terms of resale as some of the other brands. But, they are well known for their restaurant grade cooking and for their built in appliances. Their appliances are also made from shot blasted aluminum which does not show fingerprints. Gaggenau appliances are definitely ones to consider for the serious cook out there.
It wouldn’t be a luxury appliance list if I didn’t talk about Miele.
Miele-Miele was founded in 1899 and is the largest family owned appliance manufacturer. Miele appliances are very reliable and every single part is testing in their factory in Germany. Since they make everything themselves, they are able to make sure every part is as good as it can be.
Miele is known for the cooktops and for their dishwashers and their dishwashers have some of the best resale value in the market. Miele appliances are designed with clean lines, timeless elegance, and use in mind. Miele appliances can also be customized by color and material to fit into any kitchen design.
Miele’s motto is to stay true to their Immer Bessmer which means to always be forever better than their competitors and than what they already are.
Recently, Miele introduced their new dishwasher. The new G 7000 dishwashers are able to do things ordinary dishwashers can't. The innovative AutoDos system with PowerDisk® technology always dispenses the optimal amount of detergent. For the perfect synergy of cleaning, drying and gentle handling, achieving perfect results. They’ve also introduced FlexLine dishwasher baskets for increased flexibility when loading dishes. The whole thing is controlled by a touchscreen or from your smart phone where you can start the machine remotely or schedule a time for it to come on.
Miele dishwashers are some of the quietest you can buy and when the cycle is over, the machine pops open to speed drying times. Another bonus, Miele manufacturers their own parts which is a big bonus during a pandemic since most appliance shortages are due to parts not being available!
We are rounding out the top five with Thermador
Thermador has been in the game for 75 years, and in the 1990’s was purchased by Bosch. Thermador also invented the self cleaning oven which every mom thanks them for! Another bonus to Thermador is their oven features soft closing hinges so no more slamming the oven door closed.
My favorite collection from them is the Master piece collection. This collection offers a more sleek design that features clean lines that just give it a timeless and elegant look. The Thermador cooktop also has their pedestal star burner that has 56% more even flame distribution and a quick clean base for easier clean ups. I love any appliance that is going to make cleaning up any messes easier!!!
Thermador also has a new speed oven which combines convection cooking, broiling and microwaving into one. Basically allowing you to heat and reheat anything. Thermador is primarily known for the cooktops, ranges and wall ovens. However, in recent years they’ve been making some headway in the refrigeration game.
Another favorite feature of mine is that their refrigerators make diamond ice. I’m just going to tell you now-I am picky about my ice. I feel like it can really make or break a drink. But if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate the diamond ice maker.
Thankfully making cool ice isn’t all it does, the Thermador refrigerator also has a thermal fresh system that keeps fruits and vegetables fresher longer and features soft close doors and drawers. Can you tell I’m a fan of soft close anything??!!
Another cool feature is that the refrigerator door is push to open. This means when your hands are full or dirty you can push on the door to open it instead of having to pull on it.
Thermador refrigerators are sold in columns. This means that a column is all refrigerator or all freezer. This allows you to place the freezer in a different spot than the refrigerator because they are not together.
Sub Zero also does this but Thermador was the first to make their doors hinge free so they could fully operate with integrated cabinetry. Columns look great in kitchen-especially when they have been covered with cabinet panels. They become seamless with the design. The only downside is that they are not as deep and you lose about 15% storage capacity.
It’s also worth noting that Thermador has one of the best rebate programs around with their One, Two, Free option.
Whichever brand of appliance you chose to go with, look for some exciting upgrades in 2021. Appliances will continue to become smarter and more integrated. Also, look for refrigerators that can produce higher quality ice at greater speeds. I for one am very excited about this trend :)
One of the coolest and most helpful thing in refrigerator trends is the use of AI technology. Refrigerators will be able to tell you when something is expiring, what you have in your refrigerator and suggest recipes based on what you have. This will definitely make our lives a lot easier!
Cooktops are getting smarter as well. Now they can tell you what temperature they need to be at and when to flip what’s in the pan. You can also combine burners to create a larger cooking surface.
Of course you will be able to also control all of your appliances from your smartphone. The good news about smart appliances is that they are also greener or more sustainable.
And now for the million dollar question-are they worth the money? In my opinion, the answer is maybe. I always look at things in terms of their “cost per use”. Let’s take refrigerators as an example. Your typical big box store refrigerator last around seven years and will cost you around 2,000. That breaks down to around $285/year. Not bad.
Now let’s say you bought a sub zero refrigerator for around 7,500. These refrigerators typically last around 20 years. That breaks down to $375 a year. Still more than the mid range model but you don’t have to worry about replacing it every few years and every single mid range refrigerator I have ever owned has broken. Something-usually the ice maker-will die before the seven years are up.
It really boils down to a personal decision and what you can afford at the moment. If you can afford the high end, then I say go for it. If not, don’t sweat it. There are lots of good options on the market for you. Look for a future blog post coming soon about the best mid range appliances!
Let me know what you thought and which appliance is on your wish list this year! A good time to buy is always around a major holiday-Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Black Friday. You get the picture. Don’t forget to follow me on social media for updates and daily design inspiration!