Faulty door seals and broken oven lights are the most common freestanding cooker problems, according to our survey of more than 900 owners of freestanding cookers in the UK. Nearly one in 10 owners said the controls or dials on their oven were broken.
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, Belling, Hotpoint, New World, Stoves and Zanussi – and have calculated a reliability rating for each.
Use the drop down menu at the top of the graph to click through to the different ratings.
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 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.
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Customer satisfaction score
The above data is based on a survey conducted on 908 Which? members in Sep 2019.
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 8.9% 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 look at the appliance instructions.
Third in the list of most common problems is broken dials or controls, while 7.3% of people said they had issues with their 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. If you're interested in a particular model, read our to make sure it has an accurate oven.
If your cooker's oven isn't heating up at all, this could be due to a faulty heating element.
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.
% fault-free after one year
% fault-free after five years
Results based on feedback from more than 908 freestanding cooker owners, surveyed in Sept 2019.
On average, a freestanding cooker will last 13 years. This is based on the experiences of Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance from this brand, before they replaced it, either due to a fault, or because it wasn’t working as well as when they first bought it. As you can see from the graph below there’s a big difference between how long the best and the worst brands last.
Which? members can login to view which freestanding cooker brands last the longest before they need to be replaced. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
The table data takes into account minor, major and catastrophic faults:
Choose a brand from the list below to find out more detail about its performance in our survey.
Already know which freestanding cooker brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews:
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 8,000 Which? members told us about more than 25,000 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.