We Asked Design Pros: Where Are the Best Places to Buy Appliances?
Deals, installation, and convenience factored heavily.
Published Mar 16, 2022 12:37 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
From Nancy Meyers–inspired kitchens to Instagram-worthy laundry rooms, we’re living in a moment when, more than ever before, we want appliances that offer function and high style. Whether you’re doing a refresh of an existing space with new cabinets and fittings or starting from the ground up, appliance shopping will be one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle, which is why Jessica Kain Barton, principal at J Kathryn Interiors, advises shoppers to take their time. “Purchase quality,” she says. “You will be using these items for several years to come, so make sure they’re the best. And don’t feel the need to buy the same brand of everything!”
Homeowner Anthony Espino, whose New York City kitchen renovation we recently featured, took the task of appliance shopping seriously—as in he scoured the Internet and dove deep on reading reviews. Espino notes that other shoppers should think about their own needs before jumping into the hunt. “Some people absolutely need an ice maker in their fridge or a huge freezer, but that doesn’t mean you need that over other functions,” he says.
Below is our guide to the best places to buy appliances that will add both style and functionality to your home.
- Best overall: AJ Madison
- Best for high-end, splurge-worthy pieces: Appliances Connection
- Best for saving on both appliances and snacks: Costco
- Best no-frills, no-fuss option: Home Depot
- Best for a full-fledged home makeover: Wayfair
- Best for when you need it now: Best Buy
Best Overall: AJ Madison
Delivery and installation services: Standard and white-glove delivery; installation services on select items through a third-party company | Cancellation policy: Orders can be canceled before they ship | Expert assistance available: Yes | Top brands: Thermador, Miele, Viking
What we like:
- Huge selection of both mid-range and high-end brands
- Complete package options for buying everything in one go
- Website can be difficult to navigate
Why we chose it: A comprehensive source for the appliances you need (and the appliances you didn’t know you needed) at a variety of price points.
AJ Madison specializes in high-quality appliances for every room of the house, and one of the things we like best is that it makes it easy to outfit an entire room in one click, ideal when you’re moving into a new place or doing a renovation. Kitchen packages, for example, bundle such items as a range, a refrigerator, and dishwasher at one price (and it’s usually less than you’d pay if you bought each item separately), saving you the hassle of the endless scroll. There’s a great selection of professional-grade pieces, too. Think: Viking ranges with eight burners and Miele coffee systems that will turn your kitchen into a fancy coffeehouse.
Best for High-End, Splurge-Worthy Pieces: Appliances Connection
Delivery and installation services: Delivery options include white-glove service; installation is available as an add-on in certain markets | Cancellation policy: Orders ship fast, so cancellation is tricky, but returns are accepted within 30 days | Expert assistance: Yes | Top brands: Fisher & Paykel, Gaggenau, La Cornue
What we like:
- All the luxury brands we love in one spot
- Frequent sales
- Most of the options are on the high end of the price spectrum
Why we chose it: A destination for luxe pieces that will have your home photo shoot–ready in no time.
Designer Emma Beryl loves that Appliances Connection carries everything from ranges and dishwashers to plumbing fixtures and hardware, making it easy to give your space a cohesive look. We also like that it’s a reliable source for brands and pieces worth splurging on, like a blue and gold La Cornue range that’s almost too pretty to cook on (and a matching hood, of course). Espino, who says that the look of his appliances was ultra-important, also ended up buying from Appliances Connection.
For Saving on Both Appliances and Snacks: Costco
Delivery and installation services: Delivery is available, and its team will do the installation on simple items like washers and dryers | Cancellation policy: No, but the return policy is generous, and the store offers extended warranties on many items | Expert assistance: It’s a DIY kind of spot | Top brands: Samsung, GE
What we like:
- Prices are some of the best you’ll find
- Good selection of energy-efficient pieces
- The best deals are for members only
Why we chose it: More than just a place to snack on free samples, Costco has a huge selection of appliances from reliable, solid brands.
We know what you’re thinking, and no, not everything sold at Costco comes in bulk, and you won’t be stuck buying 10 dryers when all you need is one. Costco isn’t necessarily on everyone’s radar when it comes to appliance shopping, but it should be, especially if you’re looking for affordable, up-to-date products from such brands as Samsung and LG with features like Wi-Fi-enabled controls and energy-saving modes. You’ll need a membership to take advantage of the best deals, but if you’re in the market for a big-ticket item, it’s well worth the savings.
The No-Frills, No-Fuss Option: Home Depot
Delivery and installation services: A variety of options for both delivery and installation, plus some pieces are available in store | Cancellation policy: Orders can be canceled within 45 minutes of purchase, otherwise you’ll have to wait and return | Expert assistance: Available in store, less so online | Top brands: ZLINE, Bosch
What we like:
- Caters to DIY renovators and pros alike
- Energy-efficient options at a variety of price points
- Selection varies from store to store
Why we chose it: The biggest home-improvement retailer in the country also makes shopping easy and accessible, with virtually every appliance you can imagine.
Home Depot has been in business since the late 1970s, and it caters to professional contractors just as much as DIYers tackling big projects on their own. While the sheer volume of products can feel overwhelming, it’s worth spending some time here if you’re looking for well-priced pieces with good ratings and even better warranties. The retailer runs frequent sales, and its in-store customer service is beloved by shoppers. It also carries pieces you might not know you need, like kegerators (bar-quality draft beer at home, anyone?) and commercial-grade ice makers.
For a Full-Fledged Home Makeover: Wayfair
Delivery and installation services: It partners with local couriers for delivery and Handy for installation | Cancellation policy: You can cancel anytime before your order ships | Expert assistance: The website is full of helpful tips and tools, like its 3D room simulator | Top brands: Bertazzoni, Café
What we like:
- A well-curated selection of products
- Some pieces are customizable
- The delivery and installation is done by third-party operators
Why we chose it: Wayfair is a major destination for rugs and sofas, but its appliance selection is one you shouldn’t miss.
Wayfair might be a must-visit site if you’re shopping for a new kitchen rug or settee to tie your living room together, but it’s an increasingly popular destination for full-fledged remodels, too, with a kitchen appliance selection that includes gleaming stainless steel ranges from Bertazzoni and refrigerators from Café with on-trend brushed-gold hardware. Use the 3D room simulator to get a sense of how your picks will look in an actual space, then throw in a few cute kitchen towels and a new laundry basket for good measure.
For When You Need It Now: Best Buy
Delivery and installation services: It offers both, and in some cases will haul away your old pieces | Cancellation policy: Online within 30 minutes, in store within 5 days | Expert assistance: In-store service is top-notch | Top brands: Samsung, Bosch, LG
What we like:
- Many pieces carried in store
- Weekly sales
- Stock changes frequently
Why we chose it: Appliances you can get ASAP—without having to settle for something less than perfect.
In an ideal world, you’d shop for appliances well in advance of needing new ones, as part of a planned renovation or refresh. In the real world, sometimes you find yourself in need of a new washer and dryer today. That’s where Best Buy shines. There are tons of Best Buy (and Best Buy Outlet) locations, and they usually keep a good amount of stock in store, meaning you can walk in with your wish list and walk out with your items. Since it is known as a tech-focused retailer, it also has a strong selection of Wi-Fi- and smart home–enabled appliances.
Honorable Mention: Your Local Appliance Store
Regional chains or even independent appliance stores near you can be a wonderful spot to accomplish a few things at once. First, it’s easy to develop relationships with salespeople you can return to again and again, and you’ll often find yourself with the option to purchase floor models or other samples (sometimes at a deep discount). It’s also a way to support your local economy and cut down on things like shipping time and even packaging waste.
How We Chose These Outlets
We spoke to designers, editors, and DIY renovators and asked questions such as: What are the best appliance stores? Where are the best deals? Which one has the best customer service? What retailers are best left to the pros, and where can a layperson shop and not feel totally out of their depth? From there, we researched reviews of both products and service and honed in on stores that carry an assortment of Domino-approved brands at price points high, low, and in between.
Our Shopping Checklist
If you’re the kind of person who will happily spend an afternoon looking at 25 different models of a refrigerator before settling on The One, an online retailer like AJ Madison will be your best bet. If, on the other hand, you want to get in and get out, heading to a chain store such as Best Buy will allow you to browse a more curated selection of products.
Shopping Online vs. In Store
If you’re opting to shop online, make a list of the things you want to know before purchasing—like color, measurements, and overall look. Doing a bit of research on the front end will save you the trouble of making a return. In-store shopping offers more guidance, but you also might face more pressure to make a purchase then and there.
Who doesn’t love a good sale? Pay attention to circulars, both online and in print, and don’t be afraid to ask one store to price match another.
Shipping and Delivery Fees
These can add up quickly, so make sure to factor them into the total cost. Sometimes a higher-priced item can end up being a better deal than something with a lower sticker price and high shipping fees.
In general, shopping in store is going to yield better results in the customer service category, because you’re talking to an actual person you can follow up with. Online-only retailers are making huge strides in this area, though, and sometimes offer design consultations for free.
Q: Is it better to buy appliances in store or online?
There’s no right answer here! Online retailers will almost always offer a bigger selection, but they also might have longer wait times for shipping and delivery versus IRL stores that maintain on-site stock.
Q: What is the best month to buy appliances?
When new models roll out, there are deals to be had on the previous year’s version. For washers and dryers, this happens in September and October; for refrigerators, think late spring and early summer; and if you can, wait to buy a new range until after the winter holidays.
Q: Is it better to buy appliances in a bundle?
This is a tried-and-true way to get a deal, but it’s only really worth it if you need every piece.
Q: How do I get the best deal on appliances?
You’ll get the best deal on appliances by shopping around, which also means starting early. Give yourself wiggle room when it comes to timing so you can wait for a sale or a new model rollout.
The Last Word
Appliances are some of the highest-price items you’ll buy for a home, so go into the process informed to get the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom of your dreams—and all the appliances to go with it—with no muss and no fuss.