Kenmore Vs. Whirlpool Home Appliances: Which One Is Better?

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Setting out to purchase an appliance calls for a fair amount of research to make the best choice. Finding trusted appliance brands involves a lot of factors, including available features and user reviews. Brand name recognition is usually one of the biggest influences on decision-making, particularly if the brand is a household name.

Kenmore and Whirlpool are two classic and highly popular appliance brands, both with several decades of operation. Each company has an excellent reputation for producing practical, innovative, and high-performing appliances. Choosing the better company will likely depend on what appliance you’re in the market for.

It is interesting to note that Kenmore, while an exclusive brand of Sears, manufactures some appliances through Whirlpool. Additionally, the closing of both Sears and Kmart reduces the number of retailers still offering the brand for sale. With products available for purchase in a larger number of retail chains, Whirlpool holds a slight advantage over Kenmore.

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Criteria for Evaluating Each Brand

To get a full picture of each company, here’s a look at them from four different perspectives. First, you’ll get to evaluate the number of different products offered and manufactured. Next, you’ll see a side-by-side comparison of three different appliance classes: cookers, cleaning implements, and refrigeration.

Kenmore offers all standard kitchen and laundry room appliances, plus vacuum cleaners, grills, water softeners, cookware, and water heaters. While Whirlpool doesn’t have cookware, they do offer the same appliances, plus wine fridges, water coolers, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers. So as far as the quantity of product offerings goes, Whirlpool is the winner of this round.

Both Kenmore and Whirlpool have stepped into the interactive arena with their wide selection of smart appliances. Each brand has various appliance models with programmable smart functions and WiFi connectivity through a smartphone app. On this front, Kenmore has a slight edge with appliances not carried by Whirlpool and slightly lower retail prices.

Cookers: Stoves, Ovens, and Cooktops

Both Kenmore and Whirlpool offer ranges, wall ovens, cooktops, and microwaves. Both also offer accessories like range hoods for ventilation. For comparison, we’ll examine a full range and a microwave from each brand.

Kenmore 5.3 cu. ft. Electric Radiant Range vs. Whirlpool 5.3 cu. ft. Freestanding Electric Range with 5 Elements

These two ranges are glass cooktop models that function as both slide-in models and freestanding ranges. They both have spacious ovens with bake and broil functions and a storage drawer underneath for baking pans and sheets.


The cooktops have 4 radiant burners that heat up almost instantly after you turn them on. The ovens have a self-cleaning function equipped to conquer baked-on drips and food residue. Both ranges are within the same price range, with only a $70 difference in retail price.


The Whirlpool range cooktop has a fifth warming element that keeps cooked food warm for serving. It also has added oven functions called Keep Warm Setting and Frozen Bake technology. These features provide low heat to warm prepared food and preprogrammed settings that adjust for faster cooking times.

User Reviews

Both ranges have an overall average rating of 4 stars, with high marks in capacity, performance and ease of use. There have, however, been some performance complaints related to product construction and lifespan. Fortunately, management seems to be very proactive in addressing consumer complaints quickly and satisfactorily.

The Winner: Taking all of these factors into account, the best choice in this contest is the Whirlpool freestanding range. Both ranges are comparable in features, ease of use, and cooking power, but the Whirlpool range performed a bit better. Even being the more expensive option, it has a few extra features and a high consumer performance rating.

Kenmore 1.6 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave vs. Whirlpool 1.6 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave

These microwaves are decent-sized countertop models, which most households would likely have over above-range setups. They are compact enough to use a smaller countertop footprint yet still handle family-sized meals with sufficient cooking power.


These microwaves have comparable wattage (1100W and 1200W, respectively) to cook food quickly and all the way through. They have rotating turntables to ensure heat distribution as well as easy to operate digital controls. You can manually input or use the preprogrammed settings for defrosting, heating beverages, and popping popcorn.


There is a wider price gap between these two microwaves: at $139, Kenmore prices less than the $251 Whirlpool model. Kenmore uses a Concave Reflection System that more evenly concentrates the heat onto the food that optimizes its lower wattage. The Whirlpool microwave offers a trim kit for those wanting a less expensive built-in option in ranges or in cabinets.

User Reviews

Whirlpool has mixed reviews, with category and overall ratings ranging in the 4-star spectrum but with many malfunctions reported. However, the company addressed most complaints quickly and fully covered many under product warranty. Kenmore’s difficulties lie within shipping timeliness but mostly have positive performance reviews.

The Winner: Kenmore; both microwaves seem evenly matched, but the Kenmore model boasts the better overall value. Even though its wattage is lower than Whirlpool’s, its reflection technology boosts its cooking power to an equal level. The lower price and fewer reported mechanical issues show the Kenmore microwave as the better overall value.

Cleansing Implements: Dishwashers, Washing Machines, and Clothes Dryers

Both companies offer dishwashers and washing machines and dryers with top-load or front-load options. They both also have some smart appliances in these areas that offer enhanced functions for optimized operations. Let’s look at top load washing machines from each line to see how they compare.

Kenmore 4.3 cu. ft. Top Load Washer w/Triple Action Impeller vs. Whirlpool 4.3 cu.ft Top Load Washer with Quick Wash, 12 cycles

Even though the front load washers have become more popular, the top load models are still the more affordable option. With that said, top load washers have advanced technologically with better water and energy efficiency and optimized wash cycles. These two washer models are ideal for small-family homes and regular use.


Both washers have different cycles not only for clothing types but for express and extended wash cycles as well. Each has a long-lasting stainless steel wash basket installed to maximize cleaning power and minimize machine imbalance. Each machine also has a setting to clean the washer interior to prevent detergent residue and musty odors from building up.


There’s a $200 difference in retail price between the Kenmore ($599) and the Whirlpool ($799). However, Whirlpool makes up for that difference with automatic water levels and an in-washer presoak option.

User Reviews

The Kenmore washer has an overall 3.5 user rating, while Whirlpool users report an average 4.3 overall rating. Users are most pleased with the washer’s capacity, yet feel machine quietness could be much improved. Many Kenmore users are disappointed by diminished cleaning power, reporting more residual lint and debris remaining after a wash cycle.

The Winner: Given the available functions and the overall consumer reviews, it might be wiser to splurge on the Whirlpool washer. Even with its retail price being higher than the Kenmore model, the overall performance and lifespan is superior. Additionally, the service response seems more productive and proactive for Whirlpool customers than it is for Kenmore buyers.

Refrigeration: Refrigerators and Freezers

Kenmore and Whirlpool offer a variety of full-sized refrigerator/freezer combos, standalone refrigerators and freezers, and ice makers. Both companies also have compact refrigerators and smart models among their offerings. Whirlpool also offers specialty refrigerators for wine and champagne.

Kenmore 25 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator vs. Whirlpool 36-inch Wide Side-by-Side Refrigerator – 25 cu. Ft.

These side-by-side refrigerators are among the mid-range models, which balance between manageable pricing and convenience features for optimal family use. As with most modern appliances, the refrigerators are Energy Star certified to meet and exceed government energy efficiency standards. The storage capacity suits at least a month’s worth of a family’s food storage and preservation needs.


Each refrigerator holds nearly 16 cubic feet inside the refrigerator and nearly 10 cubic feet inside the freezer cabinet. They offer adjustable shelves and door bins to accommodate container heights and overall food volume while still maintaining adequate circulation. LED lighting shines inside both the refrigerator and freezer when opened to make finding items easier.

These models have space-saving ice makers in the interior that dispense cubed or crushed ice through an exterior level. Additionally, a separate lever dispenses cool water filtrated through a replaceable, easy-to-install charcoal filter. Temperature controls are electronic and easy to operate from the outside without having to open the doors.


There are not many fundamental differences in features between the Kenmore and Whirlpool, yet there is a $200 price difference. The one noticeable difference is the ice maker placement–Kenmore’s is installed in the door itself to allow more shelf space. Whirlpool models allow for hidden door hinges to produce a seamless, more streamlined look.

User Reviews

These “low-end” side-by-side models have the least favorable overall reviews among all of the appliances profiled. Whirlpool ranks at 4.1 stars, while Kenmore’s rating stands at 2.5 stars. Users also reported low ratings on appliance operating noise.

The Winner: While both models have similar functions and features, Whirlpool’s comes in about $200 higher. However, considering Kenmore’s lower consumer reviews and limited retail availability, the inconvenience evens out the final cost. Therefore, it’s a better long-term bet to go for the Whirlpool.

Related Questions

Is Kenmore still a good brand?

Kenmore is decidedly toward the lower end of appliances as far as high-tech features go. However, even with Sears going bankrupt, Kenmore maintains its brand loyalty and often rates better than Samsung and LG. Kenmore may offer fewer electronic features, but their appliances are still sturdy and efficient and remain the most budget-friendly.

When is the best time to buy home appliances?

The best time to shop for a new appliance is well before you need it: however, retailers offer seasonal discounts. Seasonally buying during late spring, fall, and holiday weekends will often offer the deepest discounts on major appliances. However, if you can’t wait for a special sale, shopping at the end of the month can yield lower prices.

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Kenmore vs. Whirlpool: The Final Verdict

Based on the sheer variety of products available, Whirlpool wins big over Kenmore. However, for the caliber of quality gained from owning a Whirlpool appliance, it comes with a bit of a price tag. Nevertheless, any extra discretionary funds spent with Whirlpool are well worth the value as far as product quality and longevity.

This is not to say that Kenmore products are substandard, or that Whirlpool products are the optimal top-tier choice. Whirlpool has the smart tech advantage over Kenmore with more intelligent offerings and actually manufactures some of Kenmore’s dishwashers. However, Kenmore does produce budget-friendly appliances that work efficiently and have a decent lifespan.

The one drawback with Kenmore appliances is that two of its flagship stores, Sears and Kmart, have gone out of business. Because of this, there are few physical retail locations, and you may need to purchase online and arrange shipping. So even with Kenmore being the more economical brand, the slight inconvenience gives Whirlpool another advantage.

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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