woman using Whirlpool range.

Cooktop Vs. Range: A Comparison Guide

Many factors should be considered before deciding between ranges and cooktops. You can use our guide to get started.

Ranges and Cooktops: What Are The Differences?

A renovated kitchen can be improved by selecting the right appliances. Several types of cooking appliances are available, and a question homeowners often ask is: “What’s the difference between a range or cooktop, and what should I consider when making a choice?"

Before choosing one, it's important to consider the differences between them.

With the help of this article, you will be able to determine which appliance is most suitable for you based on the advantages and differences it offers.

What is a Range?

woman using a range

Ranges are often called ovens. With a cooking appliance like this, a stovetop or cooktop and an oven are combined into one. Typically, these are larger and designed to fit snugly between cabinets. They typically measure 30” in width, but models can range in size between 24 and 48 inch.

What is a Cooktop?

Whirlpool ceramic glass cooktop on a white counter.

In order to achieve seamless integration, these appliances are usually installed on the countertop and paired with a separate oven. Cooktops are also available in a range of sizes, fuel types, and configurations.

What Is The Best Fit For My Kitchen Size?

If cabinet and wall space are limited, a range may be preferred over a combination oven and cooktop. If you would prefer built-in appliances, wall ovens and cooktops can still work in smaller spaces as many manufacturers offer appliances that are 24” in width designed specifically for small spaces.

The most common width for ranges is 30 inches but ranges are also available in 24, 36, and 48 inch widths, so it often fits into cabinet openings, which makes it convenient for many kitchens.

a Whirlpool stainless steel range with a ceramic glass cooktop in a kitchen

Cooktops are available in similar widths to ranges - 24, 30, 36, and 48 inches. They can either be paired with a range to gain an oven, or more commonly are paired with wall ovens.

A Whirlpool stainless steel wall oven in a dark brown wood cabinet.

Single wall ovens are available 24, 27, or 30" wide. Single wall ovens are most commonly 30" and these units require about the same amount of space as a 30" range. Whereas double and combination ovens take up more vertical cabinet space.

Whirlpool single wall oven
Whirlpool double wall oven
Whirlpool wall oven

Storage space is available under the cooktop. Some brands of wall ovens can be installed directly underneath a cooktop. Always check the installation instructions before purchasing your appliances to be sure.

Do I Need One or Two Ovens?

If you've been wondering, "Do I need one or two ovens?". The answer is: a lot depends on how you cook.

Consider these factors when making your decision:

  • Is my kitchen large enough to accommodate 2 ovens?
  • Am I finding that one oven sometimes doesn’t provide enough capacity?
  • Do I usually prepare several dishes at once?

If you are a fan of ranges, some models offer a second oven; however, if you need two full-sized ovens, a wall oven may be a better choice for you than a range, since the second oven in the range is usually smaller than a regular full size oven.

A Whirlpool stainless steel double wall oven built into a kitchen cabinet.

How Can I Choose One That Is Best suited to My Cooking Habits?

Consider your cooking habits when choosing between a range and cooktop and wall oven combination. Consider the following before making a decision:

Two people cook pancakes on a Whirlpool ceramic glass cooktop.
  • Take into account the distance between the stovetop and the oven when prepping food on the stovetop and cooking it in the oven.
  • What importance do you place on burner configuration and fuel type? Cooktops can offer more options for style, size, and features. Choosing a cooktop separate from an oven allows you more flexibility to get exactly what you want.
  • A range oven can make heavy lifting of pots difficult, so a wall oven may be a better ergonomic option, as you can install them at the height that works for you.
  • Do you cook a lot? The benefits of cooking solo are that solo cooks don't have to compete for appliances. For kitchens with two or more chefs, it is a good idea to design your workspace so you don't interfere with one another. It is possible to have separate cooking and baking zones with a cooktop and wall oven.

What Design Would Be Best For My Kitchen Style?

Some brands offer professional-style ranges and range-tops if you are looking for a professional aesthetic in your kitchen. These ranges come in a variety of sizes which may provide more cooking capacity. Professional-style ranges and rangetops typically use gas as a fuel type and often offer more BTUs.

A gas stove with pancakes.
A ceramic hob with a boiling pot of water.

Are you a fan of the sleek appearance of built-in appliances? A wall oven and cooktop may be right for you. For those who prefer the over-under setup of a range, they often opt for a sleek cooktop with an oven beneath.

Summary

We have summarized the benefits of ranges vs cooktops for your convenience.

Advantages of ranges:

  • Standard ranges are often more affordable.
  • A standard range will usually fit into an existing cut out.
  • Small kitchens can benefit from space-saving solutions.
  • Easy to install.

Advantages of Cooktop/Wall Oven Combinations:

  • Single wall ovens, double wall ovens, and combination ovens are available.
  • The efficiency of working with multiple chefs can be improved.
  • It is ergonomically ideal to use a cooktop/wall oven. When installed at waist level, you will not have to bend down to handle cookware.
  • Separate zones for cooking and baking allow adaptability to kitchen configurations.
  • You can choose from different oven and stovetop styles and types of fuel.

Get Started

You might be thinking of purchasing a cooktop or range after reading this article. Explore the Whirlpool collection of Wall Ovens, Cooktops, and Ranges.

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