Which? symbols, logos and ratings
By Natalie Hitchins
From Best Buy and Don't Buy, to Which? Recommended Provider, we explain the ratings, logos and symbols you'll come across on our website.
Our coveted Best Buy logo is awarded only to the very best products in any given category. We award it to products and services which have satisfied or exceeded specific criteria based on the results of rigorous comparative tests and analysis carried out by Which? experts.
Our Best Buy recommendation is 100% independent - no company can nominate its own products or services for a Best Buy award. And because we do not accept advertising you can be confident that the only thing that influences our recommendations is our rigorous test and assessment criteria.
Every product or service that we test or assess is given an overall percentage score. How highly a product or service has to score in order to earn the Best Buy logo varies between different categories, but is typically around 70%. This 70% cut off tends to apply to the top 20% performing products within a category. Products that we know to have poor reliability, based on our surveys, are not awarded a Best Buy - even if they perform well in our tests.
We don't just highlight the best products in a category. Unlike other magazines and websites that provide product reviews, we also name and shame the worst products as Don't Buys.
We're able to make Don't Buy warnings based on our robust, lab-based product testing and our complete independence. At best a Don't Buy product will prove a waste of money - at worst it could be a threat to your family's safety, as our tests of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and child car seats have all shown.
Don't Buy logos are typically given to products with an overall test score of less than 40% or 45%, but may also be awarded when serious health and safety issues are detected by our tests.
Though Which? is famous for product testing, we also investigate and assess everyday services such as energy companies, insurance providers and broadband firms. The best companies are typically awarded our Which? Recommended Provider logo - an award which is typically based on our own assmessment benchmarks, plus customer satisfaction scores gathered through our regular customer satisfaction surveys.
As with all our recommendations, no company can nominate its own products or services for a Which? Recommended Provider award. We choose the companies that we assess using an independent selection process, and measure their performance using robust and impartial methods such as customer surveys and expert analysis of companies terms and conditions.
Which? Recommended Provider awards are awarded in a number of financial product and service categories, as well as in utility and technology service categories, such as broadband.
For products that successfully marry Best Buy performance with superb energy efficiency in our in-depth tests, we award the Which? Energy Saver logo. It's currently awarded to dishwashers, kettles, tumble dryers, 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.
Which? is an independent not-for-profit organisation. We retain our independence by never accepting adverts - instead we are funded by Which? members' subscriptions to our magazines and website.
While a lot of the advice on our website is free for all to use, our expert verdicts on the best and worst products and service providers are only available to Which? members.
When you see the symbol shown above, it means that only Which? members are able to view the information behind the symbol. To view this exclusive information, members will need to log in, or new members can sign up for a £1 trial subscription to get instant access.
But, of course, it's more than just the reviews and recommendations you'll unlock if you're a member. Members also have access to our Money Helpline and the Which? Legal Service, where you can get expert personalised advice from our money and legal advisors.
You'll see this logo on some of our product reviews - and it indicates that the review has been produced based on a hands-on product trial by one of our product experts, rather than a full lab test.
New products launch all the time, and as full lab tests can take several weeks to complete, publishing first look reviews enables us to give you our expert verdict on the latest products before lab tests have taken place or completed.
We also publish first look reviews for products where lab testing wouldn't be appropriate, where it wouldn't be cost affective or for products that are still an emerging technology. Some products are also so new that there are not enough rivals for us to test them against yet, and so a hands-on trial is the fairest way of us delivering you our verdict.
The products that we First Look are often unveiled at shows or are lent to us by the manufacturer and then returned. 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.
Only products that are robustly lab tested assessed are awarded Which? scores, ratings or logos such as Best Buy - that's why we do not award scores or ratings alongside our first look reviews.
Our Great Value icon is usually found within the pages of Which? magazine rather than online.
It's awarded to products that have scored well in our tests and also offer outstanding value for money. They're not always Best Buys, but are a highly commended cheaper choice, typically costing around 20% less than the average price of a Best Buy recommended product.
Worth a Look
You'll find this icon used on the pages of our magazines rather than online, and it's our way of highlighting great products that didn't quite hit our Best Buy gold standard.
Worth a Look is often awarded to products that pair a highly commended performance with a great price, innovative products or all-round strong scorers.