Our coveted Best Buy recommendation is awarded only to the best products in the category in which they appear. We award it to products which have satisfied or exceeded specific criteria based on the results of rigorous comparative tests and analysis carried out by Which?.
Our Best Buy recommendation is 100% independent – no company can nominate its own products for a Best Buy award. Our tests are based on criteria and benchmarks set by impartial experts so you can be confident that the only thing influencing our recommendations is our rigorous test and assessment criteria.
Products that we know to have poor reliability, based on our owner 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.
Our Which? Eco Buy recommendation aims to highlight products that will have the least environmental impact out of all the models we’ve tested. To earn our Eco Buy recommendation, a product must achieve an overall test score of 60% or higher and meet some or all of the following criteria:
- A long-lasting product
- Can be repaired easily
- Uses minimal amounts of water and energy during normal operation
When assessing some products and services it’s not possible to apply our standard test approach. For example, when assessing photo album books we base some of our ratings on subjective feedback from a panel of volunteers. For this sort of assessment - or when we make a recommendation based on just one aspect of a product’s performance, such as which lipstick lasts longest - we award our Editors Choice recommendation.
Just like a Best Buy, our Editor’s Choice recommendation is 100% independent – no company can nominate its own products or services for a Best Buy award, or pay to be assessed by our experts. Because of our independence, 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.
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 that's typically based on our own assessment benchmarks, plus customer scores and star ratings gathered through our regular 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 Providers are awarded in a number of financial product and service categories, as well as in utility and technology service categories, such as broadband.
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 join Which? now to get instant access.
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-effective 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.
About our endorsements
Companies that achieve a high enough score to be awarded a Which? Best Buy recommendation or become a Which? Recommended Provider have the opportunity to purchase a licence from us. This enables the company to use our endorsement logo when marketing their products or services, to share its achievement beyond our members. This option is only available once our independent review process has been completed.
The customer score is based on satisfaction with the brand and likelihood to recommend. Satisfaction and recommendation contribute 50% each to the overall customer score, and a respondent must answer both questions for their answers to contribute towards a customer score. For both satisfaction and recommendation, we apply a weighting to each response according to the scales below. This approach rewards excellence by giving greater weight to the top box scores.
|Satisfaction with brand||Likelihood to recommend the brand||Score|
|1. Very dissatisfied||1. Definitely not recommend||1|
|4. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied||4. Not sure||10|
|7. Very satisfied||7. Definitely recommend||28|
Star ratings are calculated independently of each other. We calculate the overall mean for each brand then use analysis of variance techniques to split the mean scores for all brands into statistically equivalent groups. Each brand will then have a star rating from one (worst rating achievable) to five (best rating achievable).
We publish star rating results on a scale of 1-5 stars:
- 1 star = very poor
- 3 stars = fair
- 5 stars = excellent
However in the survey respondents are asked to rate measures on the 1-7 star rating scale below:
- 1 star = very poor
- 4 stars = fair
- 7 stars = excellent