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Here’s the Only Kitchen Range Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

Here’s the Only Kitchen Range Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

Maybe you have an oven problem that just can’t be fixed, or your stove has reached the age where it doesn’t work nearly as well as it should. Whatever the reason, you’ve come to an important conclusion: it’s time to get a new range.

According to Architectural Digest, ranges can last for up to 15 years. That’s a lot of time to spend with a range, so choosing the right one for your kitchen is crucial. But with so many types of kitchen ranges on the market, making a choice can feel overwhelming. We’ve created this guide to help you find the best range for your home.


Size is possibly the most important factor to consider when getting a new range. Ranges come in standard sizes, with most being 30 inches wide. However, apartments may have smaller ranges, and higher-end ranges can be larger.

Carefully measure your space to make sure your new range will fit. Don’t forget to measure doorways and hallways — you want to be able to get your range into your kitchen! You should also ensure the oven door(s) can open fully without hitting cabinets or counters.

Fuel Types

Next, you need to decide whether you want an electric or gas range. If you’re building a new home or doing big renovations, you’ll have more freedom here. If you are replacing the range in your current apartment or house, it’ll be easier to go with the fuel type you already have. Switching from gas to electric or vice-versa often requires professional help.

Gas Ranges

Gas ranges use natural gas or propane to create heat for the stovetop and oven. They tend to have four to five burners that can vary in size. One of the back burners is usually smaller and perfect for simmering.

There are different types of gas ranges, including dual-fuel ranges. Dual-fuel ranges offer the best of both worlds and use gas to heat the stovetop but electricity to heat the oven. These ranges do require the proper gas and electricity hookups, though.

Pros of Gas Ranges:

  • Heat and cool quicker
  • Can be used when the power goes out (you just need a lighter or match)
  • Respond to temperature changes faster
  • Ideal for high-heat tasks

Cons of Gas Ranges:

  • Can be more expensive upfront
  • Concerns about air quality
  • Harder to clean
  • Risk of gas leaks

Electric Ranges

As the name suggests, electric ranges use electric heating elements to warm the stove and oven. They also usually have four to five burners but use ceramic or coils to produce heat. While the oven stays pretty similar between models, electric cooktops can vary. You will need to choose between a coil range or a smooth top.

Coil ranges tend to heat faster, are more durable, and are typically more affordable. But they are usually harder to clean and can take a while to cool. Smooth top ranges can be more stylish, easier to clean, and provide even heating. However, they require a bit more care, and the heated areas aren’t as visually obvious.

Induction Ranges

When comparing different types of electric ranges, you might come across induction ranges, which have induction burners on the stovetop. Instead of traditional heating elements like coils, induction ranges use electromagnetic energy to produce heat. These ranges tend to heat food faster and more evenly than regular electric stovetops. However, you will need to invest in cookware designed explicitly for induction ranges. Not all pots and pans will work!

Pros of Electric Ranges:

  • Lower cost upfront
  • Great for low-heat tasks
  • Easier to clean
  • Don’t have to worry about open flames or gas leaks

Cons of Electric Ranges:

  • Take longer to cool down
  • Less control over heating
  • Won’t work during a power outage
  • Lack of visual heating cues can lead to burns


Next, you need to think about range style — and we don’t mean appearance. Kitchen ranges come in three main styles: freestanding, slide-in, and drop-in.

Freestanding Ranges

Freestanding ranges are designed to stand alone, can be placed anywhere, and come with all sides finished. They are the most common style of range and are usually easier to install. You can often identify a freestanding range by the controls on the back of the cooktop.

Slide-In Range

Slide-in ranges are designed to fit between cabinets and appliances. They offer a more built-in look but tend to be harder to install. The top of a slide-in range usually slightly overlaps the counters for a seamless appearance. Keep in mind that not all slide-in ranges have finished sides.

The main difference between freestanding and slide-in ranges is the control placement. The control panel on a freestanding range is at the back of the cooktop, while the controls for a slide-in range are at the front, allowing you to see your backsplash.

Drop-In Range

Drop-in ranges are similar to slide-in styles but provide an even more built-in look. They are meant to fit snugly between cabinets and allow for cabinetry beneath the range. Like slide-in ranges, they have front controls.

Oven Capacity

You want to make sure the oven on your range has plenty of space for your cooking and baking needs. You can look up the dimensions, but remember that not all the space is usable. For example, you can’t do anything with the space between the last rack and the bottom of the oven. Try to narrow down your list of potential ranges and visit stores in person to check out the oven capacity.

Double vs. Single Oven Range

Ranges can have one or two ovens. Single oven ranges have just one large oven and often a little storage or warming drawer on the bottom.

Double-oven ranges come with two ovens, usually removing that storage drawer. One of the ovens is usually smaller, making it perfect for foods like cookies or pizzas. The two ovens can be run at different settings, allowing you to cook multiple dishes at the same time. They’re great if you frequently cook and host for the holidays!

Cooking Features on a Range

Like most appliances, different ranges come with different features. Some features can add extra convenience or speed up cooking times. Here are some popular kitchen range features to look for:

  • Self-cleaning: You can make oven cleaning easier with self-cleaning ranges that use high temperatures to burn off food residues.
  • Convection cooking: For more precise baking, look for ranges with convection capabilities. Convection ovens circulate hot air for even cooking and faster cooking times.
  • Air fryer: Why waste counter space with separate kitchen appliances when you can get a range that lets you air fry food?
  • Oven modes: Look for different oven modes like convection cooking, broiling, and dehydrating for versatile cooking options.
  • WiFi and smart features: Some modern ranges allow you to control and monitor cooking remotely through an app.
  • Oven racks: Pay attention to how many rack positions the oven has. You want a range that offers plenty of flexibility when cooking different dishes.
  • Hot-surface lights: If you’re going the electric route, you may want to look for ranges that offer hot-surface lights. These lights will glow when the burner is hot, so you know to be careful and watch where you place your hands and other objects.
  • Griddle and grill: Some ranges feature a griddle or grill in the middle of the cooktop. You can use this space for making breakfast or conveniently grilling indoors.
  • Viewing window: If visually checking your food is important to you, look at viewing window size and quality. You don’t want to mess up a dish because you keep opening the oven!

Color and Finish

Don’t forget about how your range looks. Color and finish options might be limited depending on the other factors outlined in this guide, but you still want to choose something that looks good in your kitchen. For example, choosing sleek stainless steel is a simple way to modernize an outdated kitchen.

Find Your Perfect Kitchen Range at Rent-A-Center

Ready to upgrade your kitchen with a brand-new gas range? Or maybe, a slide-in induction option works best for your household. Whichever one you choose, Rent-A-Center has a wide selection of rent-to-own options to meet your specific needs. Shop select range models by features, style, or fuel type online or at your nearest Rent-A-Center today.

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The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

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