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Coil Range vs. Smooth Top: Which Type of Stove is Best

Coil Range vs. Smooth Top: Which Type of Stove is Best

Mother and child cooking pasta meal together on stove.

Is your stove top kitchen range not working like it used to? If one of the burners isn’t heating or the control dials no longer function, it’s time for a replacement. But with tons of excellent kitchen range options on the market, it’s hard to know which type to get! Check out this comparison of coil ranges vs. smooth top stoves to help you make an informed decision.

What Are the Benefits of a Coil Range?

Coil ranges are the OG of kitchen stoves and have a pretty simple design featuring coils made of electrical wire encased in metal tubing. The wire conducts heat and warms up the coils so you can get cooking. These ranges have been around the block a time or two and are still popular for a reason. Here are some of the advantages of coil stoves.Sleek, modern coil range stove against white backdrop

Faster Heating

After a busy day working or running errands, you don’t want to wait longer than necessary to get food on the table. Typically, coil ranges have more efficient heating than smooth tops, allowing you to quickly heat things up with the turn of a knob.


In most cases, coil ranges beat smooth tops when it comes to durability. The steel coils can handle anything from a light nonstick pan to a heavy cast-iron griddle. If you consider yourself a grill master of the indoor variety (due to poor weather or no access to a grill), the coil range will be your best friend.

Lower Price Point

Home appliances can get expensive, and ranges are no exception. If you’re on a tighter budget, a coil range might be your best bet. Coil ranges tend to have lower prices to begin with, and it’s usually a lot cheaper to replace a coil on these stoves than to replace the entire glass top on a flat-top range.

What Are the Downsides of a Coil Range?

Coil ranges are great when you’re on a budget or need to cook things fast. But before committing to a purchase, you should consider a few of the downsides.

Take Longer to Cool

Coil burners are quick to heat, but often take longer to cool down. Greater cool-down times may be a burn hazard if you have young children running around the kitchen or pets that like to jump on the counter.

Difficult to Clean

One of the last things you want is to spend hours scraping and scrubbing your stove after cooking a big meal. Unfortunately, you could wind up doing just that with a coil stove. The coils themselves can be hard to clean, and you may have to worry about food falling into the drip pan and burning or sticking.

What Are the Benefits of a Flat Top Stove?

Smooth top ranges, also called flat top or glass top ranges, are the new kid on the kitchen range block. They also have electric coils, but these sit under a tough, smooth ceramic surface. Each heating element is outlined on the stovetop. The heating element’s power typically depends on its size — a small element is suitable for heating and simmering, while a larger one is ideal for searing meats and boiling water for pasta.Sleek, white flat-top stove against white backdrop

Flat top stoves tend to be popular in newer homes and apartments, and they come with some great benefits.

Even Heating

Smooth top ranges take longer to heat up since the heat has to transfer through the ceramic surface. However, the flat surface means smooth top ranges tend to heat pots and pans more evenly, so you don’t have to worry about burning half your dish while the other half remains cold. You just need to make sure you use flat-bottomed cookware.

Easy to clean

If you’re looking for the easiest ways to keep your appliances clean, a smooth cooktop may be the way to go. With a coil top stove, food can drop beneath coils, never to be seen again. A flat surface is easier to wipe down, and you don’t have to worry about food getting trapped. In both cases, take care of spills quickly. Oil and moisture can “cook into” your range’s surfaces, leaving “leftover” stains that are hard to scrub off.

Stylish Appearance

For many homeowners, style is one of the biggest factors to consider when purchasing new appliances. If you’re looking to modernize your kitchen, a flat top stove can help. Smooth tops tend to offer a more crisp, modern aesthetic than coil stoves. They also usually keep their sleek appearance longer since they’re easy to clean.

What Are the Downsides of a Flat Top Stove?

Do you hear a new flat top stove calling your name? While these stoves offer even heating and a stylish look, you may want to consider a few of their downsides before deciding.

Require More Care

Smooth top stoves are easier to wipe down but can be harder to care for overall. When doing a deeper clean, flat tops call for more high-maintenance products and tools. If you opt for a smooth cooktop, use a gentle, bleach-free product and a soft cloth when cleaning.

You may also find your smooth top range lacking in the resilience department. A hard sponge or the bottom of a rough pan like a cast iron can easily scratch the glass or ceramic surface. The stove surface might also crack if a heavy object is dropped just right on it. Even putting a hot lid down on the glass can create a pressure seal and lead to damage and cracks.

Cooking Surface Is Less Obvious

Touching the cooking surface is a risk no matter what type of stove you have, but the risk can increase when you have a smooth top stove. While smooth tops cool down quicker, it can be difficult for pets or children to know which part to avoid because it all looks like a flat surface. You might even find yourself accidentally touching a hot burner. After all, it’s easier to accidentally place your hand on a flat surface, thinking it’s a counter or the cooler part of the oven, than accidentally touching a coil sticking out of the top.

Coil or Flat Top: Which Stove Is Better

Like most choices in life, whether a coil or flat top stove is better comes down to your personal preferences and needs. If you’re on a stricter budget and tend to be a little rougher in the kitchen, a coil stove might be the right choice. But if you care about even heating and want a stove that fits your sleek, modern kitchen, a flat top is likely the better option.

Shop Coil Range and Flat Top Stoves Today

Coil range or smooth ceramic stovetop? No matter your preference, Rent-A-Center makes getting the kitchen appliances you need easy with free delivery and flexible payment options! Plus, if you change your mind, you can upgrade to a different appliance anytime. Visit your local Rent-A-Center to browse our full selection of kitchen ranges, refrigerators, and more.

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