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Best Freestanding Cooker Brands

By Hannah Fox

Unique Which? reliability data can help you to choose a freestanding cooker brand that lasts. We've asked owners of AEG, Beko, Belling, Hotpoint, New World, Stoves and Zanussi cookers how satisfied they are, and found out which brands develop the fewest faults over time

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In this article:

Faulty door seals and broken oven lights are the most common freestanding cooker problems, according to our survey of more than 860 owners of freestanding cooker in the UK. Nearly one in 10 owners said the oven on their cooker would not heat up properly, or even at all.

You might expect that paying more for a cooker will get you a more reliable product. Our data has found that paying more for some brands does make a significant difference, but for others the extra cash doesn’t prevent faults.

Each year we send out our unique reliability survey, asking thousands of Which? members to tell us whether they are happy with their appliances and whether they've experienced any faults.

Our results take into account the reported fault rates, severity of these faults, and the timeframe in which they occurred. In our latest analysis, we've looked at the performance of the biggest freestanding cooker manufacturers – including AEG, Beko, Belling, Hotpoint, New World, Stoves and Zanussi – and have calculated a reliability rating for each.

 Best vs worst freestanding cooker brands compared

As you can see, there's a big difference between the most and least reliable freestanding cooker brands, and the brand satisfaction score reported by real customers. 

 The best freestanding cooker brands

The table below summarises this year’s reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether customers would recommend it to a friend. The more stars for reliability, the fewer the problems reported.

Only logged-in Which? members can view which brands achieved the ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Brand Reliability rating Reliability score Customer satisfaction score
73% 66%
72% 78%
70% 83%
68% 69%
66% 57%
64% 66%
62% 63%
61% 59%
Table notes
The above data is based on a survey conducted on 841 Which? members Sept-Oct 2018.


Member Content

 Common freestanding cooker problems

The most common problems people experience with their freestanding cooker are the door seal failing or the oven door not closing properly. Both will affect how well the oven retains heat, which could spell disaster for anything you're cooking inside.

Not far behind, affecting 10% of owners, is the oven light not working. This means you'll struggle to see what's going on during cooking.

The good news is that both of these problems are not particularly serious and can usually be fixed yourself with the right replacement parts and a good read of the appliance instructions.

Third in the list of most common problems is the oven not heating up properly, or at all. When we test freestanding cookers we check the accuracy of the ovens to see if they can reach the correct temperature, so it's worth reading our freestanding cooker reviews to check for the ones with accurate ovens. However, if the oven isn't heating up at all, this could be due to a faulty heating element.

 Which freestanding cooker brand stays fault-free for longest?

The graph above shows how the brand that stays fault-free for longest compares with the worst brand, as well as the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over a five-year period in the table below.

Only logged-in Which? members can view which brands achieved the ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access. 

Brand name % fault-free after one year % fault-free after five years
86%  76%
90% 62%
91% 77%
87% 66%
89% 67%
86% 68%
87% 74%
87% 71%
Table notes
Results based on feedback from more than 841 freestanding cooker owners, surveyed in Sept-Oct 2018.


Member Content

How we measure faults and reliability in freestanding cookers

The table data takes into account minor, major and catastrophic faults:

  • Minor A fault that doesn't affect the product's performance significantly, or that only occurs occasionally with minimal impact. This issue may be irritating or annoying, but it isn't frequently problematic and you can easily work around it. For example, a faulty oven light bulb is a minor fault.
  • Major These faults have a noticeable effect on the product’s performance, affect how you use the product and can be problematic. For example, the door seal degrading causing the oven to lose heat.
  • Catastrophic A fault that renders the product unusable. It will need to be repaired or have parts replaced before it can be used again. This would include an oven door shattering, or an electrical fault that would be too expensive to repair.

 Freestanding cooker brands rated

Choose a brand from the list below to find out more detail about its performance in our survey:

AEG / AEG Electrolux cookers overview table
Number tested in the past three years 2
Number of Best Buys 1 (50%)
Average test score 66%
Brand reliability rating ****
Customer score (%) 83%
Typical spend £754
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 1 December 2018). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in Sept 2018 of 841 AEG cooker owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 10 December 2018.

Here are some key highlights from our data on AEG cookers:

  • Average spend on an AEG cooker is the highest (£1,083) of the brands we test. It's joint-fourth most popular, with 77 owners in our survey.
  • The most common problems users had with their AEG cookers were electrical issues. 15% of those who reported problems experienced faulty touch-sensitive controls and 10% reported a fault with the oven light.
  • AEG cookers are reliable over many years. 74% lasted seven years without a single reported fault.

 How we calculate the best and worst brands

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite appliance brands. Every year, we ask Which? members to tell us about the products they own so that we can gather information on how likely they would be to recommend a brand, how reliable the products are once they get them home, and much more. This year, nearly 10,000 Which? members told us about more than 30,000 appliances. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our reliability surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best freestanding cookers.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer’s Best Buy status and don’t recommend any of its products until a marked improvement in reliability is shown.


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