If you’ve been waiting to buy a brand-new suite of matching appliances, November is the right time to do it. As we’ve reported elsewhere, you’ll see some of the lowest prices of the year this month, on most major appliances—from ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers to matching washer and dryer sets.
But as good as those deals are on a one-off basis, you’ll save the most money buying a pre-packaged appliance suite.
“Retailers tend to offer some of their very best savings on suites of matching appliances from a single manufacturer,” says Debra Mednick, CR’s associate director of market trends and analysis. “That’s because you can typically take advantage of retailer and manufacturer incentives, which often compound on bigger purchases.”
Mednick says this is a make-or-break season for manufacturers and retailers alike. And they know that it’s rare that a consumer needs four or more new appliances at once. By bundling suites, they’re effectively asking consumers to upgrade an appliance or two before they really need to, and that means retailers need to keep prices as low as possible to bring that aspirational purchase within reach.
Go to Consumer Reports’ 2018 Holiday Central for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.
How to Shop for Appliance Suites
There are pros and cons to buying matching appliance suites for your kitchen. In addition to the potential for savings, a matching suite, well, matches. There’s just something satisfying about a kitchen decked out in shiny appliances from a single brand, with matching finishes, badges, and handles. On the other hand, you often sacrifice performance, since it’s rare for a single manufacturer to make—and bundle—top-performing appliances across categories.
The secret to finding a suite that combines a sweet deal and solid performance? Prioritizing what’s most important to you. If you love to cook, look for a suite with a stellar range. If you’re a frequent entertainer, the dishwasher and refrigerator might be more important. If you tend to rely on frozen foods, or reheat a lot of takeout, you might even prioritize the microwave.
We scoured the nation’s four largest appliance retailers for suites: Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Sears. Combined, these stores account for 70 percent of all appliances sold. We’ve selected six of the best suites, two each from Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy, and analyzed how good the appliances—and the savings—really are. Sears is not offering specific discounts on suites, but is discounting individual appliances heavily for the holidays.
Check out our buying guides for ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves to get a feel for what features matter to you in each appliance. Then read on for our analysis of each suite, organized from the lowest sale price to the highest.