A common question among homeowners is, “What’s the difference between a range, stove, and cooktop?“
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between ranges, stoves, and cooktops, and explore their advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Range?
A range is a freestanding appliance that combines a cooktop and an oven in one unit. They are often referred to as “stovetop ovens.” Ranges can be powered by either gas or electricity and are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Most home use ranges are 30″-36″ in width and can have anywhere from two to six burners on the cooktop, and the oven can be either gas or electric.
Ranges are the most common type of cooking appliance in homes across the United States. They are popular because they offer the convenience of having both a cooktop and an oven in one unit. Additionally, ranges are often more affordable than other cooking appliances and can be found at a wide range of price points.
One of the primary advantages of a range is that it can be a space-saving appliance. A range is ideal for kitchens with limited space because it doesn’t require a separate oven and cooktop. This is especially true for smaller kitchens or apartments.
However, there are some disadvantages to using a range. For example, if one part of the appliance breaks down, you may need to replace the entire unit. Additionally, ranges can be more difficult to clean than other types of cooking appliances because of their size and complexity.
What is a Stove?
A stove is similar to a range in that it combines a cooktop and an oven. However, a stove is a slide-in or drop-in appliance that is installed in a cabinet or countertop. Unlike a range, which is freestanding, a stove is designed to fit seamlessly into your kitchen.
Stoves are typically available in gas or electric versions, and the cooktop can have anywhere from four to six burners. Some models also include a griddle or other specialty burners for added versatility.
One of the primary advantages of a stove is that it can be customized to fit seamlessly into your kitchen. Because it is designed to be installed in a cabinet or countertop, it can be a more integrated and attractive option than a freestanding range. Additionally, stoves often have more features and customization options than ranges.
However, there are also some disadvantages to using a stove. For example, stoves can be more expensive than ranges, and they require professional installation. Additionally, if one part of the appliance breaks down, it can be more difficult to repair than a range.
The term stove has fallen out of favor recently. Most retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s will now only refer to these types of appliances as ranges.
Stoves are still used to describe older wood-burning stoves that are made of cast iron and used to heat small rooms.
What is a Cooktop?
A cooktop is a standalone appliance that is designed to be installed in a countertop or kitchen island. Unlike a range or stove, a cooktop does not include an oven. Instead, it is designed to be paired with a separate wall oven or microwave.
Cooktops are available in gas, electric, and induction versions and can have anywhere from two to six burners. Some models also include griddles or other specialty burners for added versatility.
One of the primary advantages of a cooktop is its flexibility. Because it doesn’t include an oven, it can be installed in a variety of locations in your kitchen, giving you more options for kitchen design. Additionally, cooktops often offer more precise temperature control than ranges or stoves, making them a popular choice for serious home cooks.
However, there are also some disadvantages to using a cooktop. For example, because it is a standalone appliance, it requires a separate wall oven or microwave, which can be more expensive than a range or stove. Additionally, installation can be more complicated because it requires cutting a hole in your countertop or kitchen island.
Choosing the Right Appliance for Your Needs
First, consider your cooking habits. If you frequently bake or roast, a range or stove with a built-in oven may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you rarely use your oven or have limited space in your kitchen, a cooktop paired with a separate wall oven or microwave may be the better option.
Next, consider your budget. Ranges are typically the most affordable option, followed by cooktops and stoves. However, if you’re willing to invest in a higher-end appliance, a stove or cooktop may offer more features and customization options.
Finally, consider the style and design of your kitchen. A range or cooktop may be the best choice if you have limited space or prefer a more streamlined look. A stove may be a better option if you want a more integrated look. Additionally, consider the finish of the appliance and how it will complement your existing kitchen décor.
The Best Ranges
Our favorite gas range is this model from Frigidaire. It’s highly rated, priced well, and features five burners. Our favorite electric range is this unit from Kenmore.
The Best Cooktops
This Frigidaire cooktop features five burners, and with Frigidaire you know you are getting legendary quality in a reasonably priced appliance. For an electric cooktop we head back to Frigidaire, which is one of the best-priced cooktops available with a quality brand.
Deciding on what type of appliance you need is often determined by the cooking you do as well as the space available in your kitchen. When designing your kitchen you should also keep in mind exhaust options.
Range hoods can be attached to the wall, hang freely from the ceiling (for an island), or be downdraft style (where they rise up vertically from the countertop and exhaust fumes into the duct below the counter).
We’ve enjoyed attending media events with Bosch and Miele in the last month and have learned much about appliances and kitchens.
These two German companies manufacture top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, including dishwashers, ovens, ranges, refrigerators, and cooktops.
They provided us with a great education on everything about kitchens, and we look forward to learning as much as possible about the home’s most popular room.
Best Appliance for a Small Space
The best appliance for a small space is the range. When countertop space is limited for a large cooktop and there is no room for a wall oven, a range allows you to have both without sacrificing precious space in your kitchen.
Best Appliance for a Large Home
When space is not an issue, then you will have the most opportunities to find the appliance you love by shopping for a separate oven and cooktop. You can also separate them and put the oven in one part of the kitchen and the cooktop in another.