Symbols & ratings
At Which? we use a number of symbols and rating systems to illustrate the results of our extensive research. To help you understand what these mean, we've listed those you're likely to come across online and in our magazines below.
Best Buy status is awarded to products and services which have satisfied specific criteria based on the results of rigorous comparative tests and analysis.
The Best Buy cut-off point varies between tests, but most products need an overall test score of more than 70% to achieve this accolade, which roughly accounts for the top 20% performing products within a category. Products that we know to have poor reliability, based on our surveys, can't be awarded a Best Buy - even if they perform well in our tests.
Unlike most other magazines and websites that provide product reviews, Which? labels the worst performing products as Don't Buys.
We're able to make Don't Buy recommendations based on our robust, lab-based product testing and our complete independence.
Don't Buy awards are typically give to products with an overall test score of less than 40% but may also be awarded when serious health and safety issues are detected in our testing.
As Which? doesn't have any adverts, our research is funded entirely by our members' subscriptions. While a lot of the advice on this website is free for all to use, our expert verdicts on the best and worst products and service providers is only available to members.
When you see the 'S' symbol, you'll know that there's more information available for subscribers, so existing members will need to log in, or new members can sign up for a £1 trial subscription. But, of course, it's more than just the reviews you'll unlock if you're a member. Members also have access to our Money Helpline, the Which? Legal Service and Which? Local, where you can find recommended service providers in your area.
We buy every product that we test but some high-profile products are unveiled long before they can be bought. In these instances we may be able to get our hands on the product early to bring you a First Look based on our initial impressions.
The products that we First Look are often unveiled at shows or are lent to us by the manufacturer and then returned. We often produce first look videos to accompany these preliminary hands on first look reviews, and we always aim to buy and fully lab-test the products that we first look as soon as we're able to, so we can deliver our definitive verdict.
When you see the Coming Soon icon, it indicates that we will soon be testing the product it is associated with. When reading a Coming Soon you can find out details about the product and our thoughts. A Coming Soon differs from a First Look, however, as we haven't handled or seen the product when we write a Coming Soon, we are merely going on the manufacturers' claims, and then applying our expertise to explain how we expect the product to perform.
If you see a Coming Soon among our reviews, then you can expect to see it replaced by a full, lab-based review within around six to eight weeks.
Which? Recommended Providers are companies that are both rated highly by our members, and have quality services or products that meet the high standards of our researchers. WRPs are awarded in a number of financial product and service categories, as well as in technology service categories, such as broadband.
Which? Best Rate products offer the best rates on the market. When compiling our Best rate lists, we remove those companies that we believe don't offer adequate consumer protection and those products that do not meet our strict criteria in each category.
Warning, Poor Satisfaction
We understand that for many people, finding products with the best rate is a priority. But where a product from a provider with a poor service score appears in our Best Rate tables, we'll highlight this with the warning logo. By naming and shaming providers which customers judge to offer poor satisfaction in these tables, we hope that companies improve their standards
For products that successfully marry Best Buy performance with superb energy efficiency in our in-depth tests, we’ve introduced the Which? Energy Saver logo to our product reviews. It's currently only awarded to dishwashers, kettles, tumble dryers, TVs and fridges, fridge-freezers and freezers.
The Which? Energy Saver logo is a Which? rating and is not in any way endorsed or associated with official EC labelling laws or regulations.
Worth a Look
You'll find this icon used on the pages of which? magazine rather than online.
These products haven't performed quite well enough in all our tests to become Best Buys, but are still worth considering.
Like the Worth a Look icon, the Great Value icon is usually found within the pages of Which? magazine rather than online.
These products performed well in our tests and also offer outstanding value for money. They're not always Best Buys but are a good cheaper choice.