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10 Types of Stoves/Cooktops: A Guide to Help You Choose

Are you shopping for a new stove or cooktop but aren’t sure which type to buy?

In this comprehensive guide, I break down the pros and cons of the 10 most common types of stoves.

I also provide a comparison chart, so you can review the different options side-by-side.

By the end, you’ll have all the necessary facts to decide which type of stove is right for your kitchen.


Use the links below to navigate the guide:


Types of Stoves: Comparison Chart

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of the top types of stoves.

Swipe to view the entire chart on mobile.

Stove TypeProsCons
GasEasy to use, quick heating, compatible with all cookware, durable, functions during a power outageRequires a gas line, gas can leak, pilot light on old models can malfunction, cumbersome to clean, not as efficient as induction
ElectricDoesn’t make the kitchen as hot as gas, simple to use, less costly installation than gas, easy to cleanSlow to heat, hard to tell when the cooktop is cool, uses a lot of energy
InductionSafe, heats quickly, energy-efficient, precise temperature control, less burn hazard, easy to cleanRequires induction-compatible cookware, expensive, learning curve to avoid burning food, noisy
Dual FuelVersatility in cooking options, precision temperatures in the oven, adds value to a home, the gas portion of the cooktop will work in a power outageGas line and adequate voltage required, gas leaks, takes time to clean, pilot light can malfunction, less efficiency
ProfessionalOffers more burners than a traditional stove, high-output burners for high-heat cooking, appealing designs, and tech-enabledMay be too large for your space, expensive, learning curve for amateur chefs, requires major effort to keep it clean
FreestandingFlexibility of placement, less expensive than slide-in stoves, controls are out of reach of childrenMust reach over hot burners to access controls, gaps between the stove and counter could trap food, fewer design choices
Slide-InSleeker look than freestanding, no gaps on either side of the stove for food to get trapped, some flexibility of placementControls are accessible to children, more expensive than freestanding stoves, smaller ovens, must be placed between two cabinets
Electric CoilEasy to clean and use, easy to install, less expensive than gas, smooth top, and induction, kitchen stays cooler than when cooking with gas stoves, conducts more heat to a pan than an electric smooth topHeats slowly, potential burn hazard, difficult to clean, requires gentle treatment to avoid damage, and can be a fire hazard, outdated look
Electric Smooth TopSimple to use, easy to clean, less costly to install than gas, cooler cooking atmosphere in kitchen than gas, cools faster than electric coil, offers advanced features Easy to damage and slow heating
DowndraftSpace-saving design, easy to clean, saves money, flexible installation optionsMay not work for small kitchens that have low airflow potential, can require existing ducts, ventilation is not powerful, works best with pots that are close to the vent.

Gas Stoves

Gas stove
Gas stove

Gas stoves are one of the most popular options because they’re easy to use, durable, and deliver precise temperature control.

They deliver gas through a small valve connected to the main gas line. When you turn the knob on your cooktop or turn on the oven, the gas is released, mixes with oxygen, and an ignitor sparks a flame.

Gas stovetops are powered by either natural gas or propane. Each type of gas requires different handling and delivery and may not be available in all areas. For example, some residential communities do not have a gas line. Others might not have access to propane delivery.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of using a gas stove.

Pros of Gas Stoves

Gas stoves are easy to use. Simply turn a knob to light a burner. As you adjust the knob, the flame (and heat) increases or decreases. Since the flame immediately responds to the dial, you have complete control over the pan’s temperature.

Flames from a gas cooktop

Conversely, electric stovetops take longer to heat. Once they are hot, they take a while to cool down.

Another benefit of gas stoves is their versatility. Besides cooking in pots and pans, you can roast peppers or brown tortillas directly on the cast iron grates.

Unlike an induction stove, which requires special cookware, a gas stove allows you to use any kind of cookware, from tempered glass casserole dishes in the oven to hard-anodized non-stick pots and pans. Gas stoves are ideal to use with specialty cookware, including stovetop grills.

Another upside is that the cast iron grates are durable. You don’t have to worry about damaging the cooktop with rough or heavy cookware like cast iron skillets or Dutch ovens.

When using the broiler in a gas oven, the flame gives your food a nice browning or light char.

Lastly, you can use a gas stove when the power goes out since it doesn’t rely on electricity. Most ignitors are electric, but you can use a match or lighter to light the flame until you get power back.

Cons of Gas Stoves

You’ll need a gas line in your neighborhood to tap into for a gas stove to work in your home. If you have a gas line in your neighborhood, and you need to tap into it, it can be costly.

According to HomeAdvisor, it can cost an average of $550 to connect to an existing gas line, but the exact cost will vary depending on where you live and the distance between the gas line and your house.

It’s more expensive and complex to install a gas cooktop than an electric one. Most delivery services will bring the stove into your kitchen but aren’t licensed or trained to hook up the gas line. Therefore, you’ll need a plumber to complete the job.

Natural gas is odorless, but an additive gives off an odor to alert you to a gas leak. If the burner doesn’t ignite immediately, the smell of gas can enter the room, bothering people with sensitive noses.

As far as safety, the odor is a warning that could save you from significant harm. If you accidentally turn on the stove without igniting the flame, gas can fill a room and create a dangerous situation. The smell gives you time to turn off the gas, ventilate the room, and contact your local authorities and gas company if necessary.

Another downside to gas stoves is a faulty pilot light — the tiny flame that ignites the burners and oven. If the pilot light goes out, gas will flow into the room, leading to another dangerous situation. Fortunately, most modern gas stoves don’t have pilot lights (instead, they have electric igniters), but they were common years ago.

Cleaning gas stoves can be cumbersome because you have to remove and clean the grates. You also have to ensure that the fuel ports are clean and unclogged, which requires delicate handling.

Clogged fuel ports on a gas cooktop
Clogged fuel ports on a gas cooktop

Finally, gas prices fluctuate, so it’s difficult to know how much it will cost over time to run your stove.

Electric Stoves

Electric smooth top stove
Electric stove

There are many types of electric stoves, including induction and electric coil. In this section, you’ll learn about electric stoves as a whole. I’ll dig deeper into the different types of electric stoves later in this guide.

Let’s get into the pros and cons of all types of electric stoves.

Pros of Electric Stoves

Since electric stovetops don’t generate as much heat as gas, your kitchen will stay cooler.

They’re one of the easiest stoves to use because they operate with a simple dial or set of buttons. You don’t have to worry about a pilot light or ignitor like when using a gas stove.

Electric stoves are less costly to install than gas. They only require an outlet, but you have to ensure the voltage is sufficient. Standard outlets in the United States are 110-volt, but most stoves require a special 220-volt outlet.

Finally, electric stovetops are easy to clean. Simply wipe them down with non-abrasive sponges and cleaners. You don’t need to remove grates or worry about clogged fuel ports.

Cons of Electric Stoves

Electric stoves heat slower than induction and, in some cases, gas.

Frontier Energy conducted a study to test the heating times of gas vs. electric vs. induction stoves. The study measured the time it took each type of stove to heat five pounds and 12 pounds (separately) of water from 70°F to 200°F. Here are the results:

Stove TypeTime to Heat 5 pounds of WaterTime to Heat 12 pounds of Water
Electric Stove (Ceramic)18.8 minutes17.8 minutes
Electric Stove (Coil)11.5 minutes15.5 minutes
Gas Stove14.1 minutes18.6 minutes
Induction Stove (Frigidaire)5.3 minutes9.8 minutes
Induction Stove (GE)5.8 minutes9.3 minutes
Induction Stove (Samsung)6.4 minutes11.6 minutes

It’s easier to burn yourself on an electric stove because it’s difficult to know when a burner has cooled. Some modern electric ranges have indicator lights that show when an electric cooktop is still hot — but they’re not as apparent as flames on a gas stove.

Electric stoves don’t transfer heat as efficiently as gas or induction, so they require more energy (and money) to operate.

That said, the average monthly cost to run an electric stove is minimal, ranging from $4 to $10. The actual number varies significantly based on how often you use the stove. To get the most efficient electric stove, look for models that boast the ENERGY STAR rating.

Induction Stoves

Induction cooktop
Induction cooktop

Induction is a type of electric cooktop. Touted as a safe and efficient way to cook, an induction cooktop uses magnetic heat.

The induction burner generates a high-frequency magnetic field that transfers heat directly to the pan. In essence, the pan becomes the burner.

Ranges with an induction cooktop most often have an electric oven.

Of course, induction stoves have pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider.

Pros of Induction Stoves

When it comes to temperature control, no other type of stove offers the precision of induction. Depending on the model, you can adjust the temperature to specific degrees (like 200°F) or change the heat setting incrementally.

Induction cooktop temperature controls
Induction cooktop temperature controls

Induction stoves also offer superior energy efficiency. Since they don’t take much time to heat up, and all the heat is transferred directly to the cookware, there’s no wasted energy. That translates into faster cooking times.

An induction burner will not generate heat until induction-compatible cookware is placed upon it. Not only does this save energy, but it significantly reduces the risk of accidentally putting your hand on a hot burner.

Finally, induction stoves are easy to clean due to their smooth surface. To clean them, wipe with a cleaner suited for glass top ranges and a non-abrasive cloth.

Cons of Induction Stoves

Induction cooktops are more expensive than most other options.

Plus, there’s a learning curve with induction. Until you get used to the fast heating, you might burn a few meals.

You’ll need to use induction-compatible cookware. To see if a pot or pan is induction compatible, place a magnet in the bottom of the cookware. If it sticks, you can use it. Aluminum pans are not naturally magnetic, but some brands bond a steel induction plate to the bottom to make them magnetic (and induction compatible).

Misen non-stick pan steel induction plate

Cast iron pans are induction-compatible but heavy with a jagged bottom. Since induction cooktops usually have a glass surface, a cast iron skillet can damage them easily.

Rough edges of a cast iron skillet could scratch a glass cooktop
Rough bottom o a cast iron skillet

Besides being induction-ready, your cookware also must be the right size for the burner and rest perfectly flat for it to work correctly. If the pan doesn’t sit flat, the heat may not transfer properly.

Another downside is that induction cooktops are noisy. Most make a subtle humming or buzzing sound.

One more thing to consider: if you lose power, you lose your ability to cook since induction stoves use electricity.

Check out my in-depth comparison of induction vs. gas cooktops to learn more.

Dual Fuel Stoves

Dual Fuel Stove
Dual Fuel Stove

Dual fuel stoves have a gas cooktop and an electric oven. Let’s explore the pros and cons of this type of stove.

Pros of Dual Fuel Stoves

You get the best of both worlds with a dual fuel stove — a responsive and durable gas cooktop and an even heating electric oven.

The gas cooktop heats fast, is compatible with any cookware, and won’t break if you accidentally drop a heavy skillet on it.

Electric ovens often have multiple heating elements that distribute and maintain a consistent temperature within the cavity, which is especially helpful when baking. Gas ovens usually heat from the bottom, so items on the lower rack cook faster than on the top rack.

Heat in electric ovens is drier than gas ovens, promoting crispier, browner results. Dry heat is ideal for some meals (like fries or chicken wings) but a downside for others (like roasts and braises).

Cons of Dual Fuel Stoves

If you don’t have a gas line, you’ll need to install one — which can be costly. Dual ranges are also more expensive than all-gas or all-electric ranges.

You’ll also need to make sure that you have adequate voltage. Electric ranges often require a 220-volt wall outlet. If you have an older home with a kitchen that isn’t properly set up for gas and electric hookups, you’ll need to call professionals to make it happen, driving up the costs.

Professional Stoves

Professional stove
Professional stove

A professional stove features a commercial style and high-output burners. They often use various technologies such as gas, induction, sous vide, or convection.

While standard stoves have four burners that output around 12,000 BTUs of heat, professional stoves can have between four and 12 burners that output up to 25,00 BTUs.

Here are the pros and cons of professional stoves.

Pros of Professional Stoves

If you cook for large groups requiring several pots going simultaneously, a professional stove can keep up with your needs. It offers more burners than a traditional stove.

A professional cooktop uses high-output burners ideal for high-heat cooking like stir-frying, searing, and deep-frying.

These stoves feature eye-catching, sleek designs. Some incorporate knobs on the front or top of the stove. Others provide space for grills, griddles, and an induction burner. Many models also boast a convection oven.

Some models even have WIFI capability to connect to apps to enhance your cooking process.

Overall, these ranges are large and multi-faceted. As the name suggests, they are engineered and designed for professional kitchens.

Cons of Professional Stoves

All of these extra features can come at a hefty price. Professional ranges tend to be one of the most expensive stoves you can buy. According to HomeAdvisor, high-end ranges, like a professional stove, cost around $7,500. The most expensive models can go as high as $20,000.

And before you buy a professional stove, you’ll need to make sure your kitchen can accommodate its size. You’ll also need to make sure you have everything you need to hook it up, such as a gas line or high-voltage outlet and a proper ventilation hood.

These stoves are made for advanced home chefs. The high output can be daunting for a newbie or amateur cook. If you’re not used to its power, you can easily overcook or burn your food.

Due to the sheer size and complexity, professional stoves require great cleaning effort.

Freestanding Stoves

Freestanding stove
Freestanding stove

A freestanding stove can stand on its own or slide between cabinetry or sidewalls. It features a backguard behind the burners with controls for the oven and, sometimes, the cooktop, too.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of freestanding stoves.

Pros of Freestanding Stoves

As far as placement, freestanding stoves are flexible. They are finished on three sides and are suitable between cabinets, at the end of a counter, or as a standalone range. Placement will depend on the gas or electric hookup location. They are also easy to install, making them a popular choice.

They are less expensive than slide-in stoves and are available in a wider range of sizes and colors.

The oven controls are behind the burners, making them less likely to get bumped, touched, or turned on accidentally by children, making them a safer choice.

Finally, they are an excellent option for a new home if you don’t yet know what kind of stove you want. When you are ready to upgrade, they are easy to remove.

Cons of Freestanding Stoves

Because the oven and other controls, such as timers, are in the back of the stove, it’s inconvenient to reach over hot burners to access them while cooking.

If you place the stove between two cabinets, there may be small gaps that are difficult to clean. Food and debris can fall into the gaps and get trapped.

Regarding aesthetics, freestanding stoves are very basic. You won’t get the design freedom that slide-ins offer.

Slide-In Stoves

Slide-In Stove
Slide-In Stove

A slide-in stove features all of its controls upfront. They sit flush with counter height and feature an overhanging lip that bridges gaps between two counters, offering seamless integration. They come in multiple types, from gas to electric.

Here are the pros and cons of a slide-in stove. They’ll give you an idea of how a slide-in stove might or might not work for your home.

Pros of Slide-In Stoves

Slide-in stoves offer a high-end look. There are no gaps on either side, making them easier to clean. In short, you don’t have to worry about food falling down the sides of the stove, getting stuck, and attracting pests.

The designs look more modern, especially with all of the controls on the front. You’ll have more wall space behind the stove to feature a decorative backsplash or other design elements.

Slide-in stoves also offer some flexibility of placement. They are not limited to being placed against a wall.

Cons of Slide-In Stoves

Unlike freestanding stoves that have controls behind the burners, slide-ins feature all controls up front, making them more accessible to you but also to children.

Slide-in stoves are more expensive than freestanding stoves.

Another downside is that the ovens in slide-in stoves tend to be smaller, and they need to fit snugly between two cabinets.

Electric Coil Stoves

Electric coil stove
Electric coil stove

An electric coil stove has a heating element that looks like a spiral ring of metal. The ring has a wire that conducts electricity to heat the metal. The hotter the coil gets, the more it glows with an orangish hue.

What are the pros and cons of using an electric coil stove? Read the main points below.

Pros of Electric Coil Stoves

Using an electric coil stove offers many of the same benefits as any electric stove. They are easy to use and install. They are also less expensive to install than gas stoves and generate less heat, therefore keeping your kitchen cooler.

In addition, electric coil stoves conduct more heat to your pan than electric smooth top stoves because the cookware sits directly on the coil.

And, if you are looking for a less expensive electric option, go with an electric coil model. They are cheaper than induction and smooth top models.

Cons of Electric Coil Stoves

Electric coil stoves take time to heat. It is also easier to burn yourself because the coil might appear cool but still be hot to the touch.

Oil or grease build-up on the coils can cause a fire hazard. Unfortunately, the electric coils are difficult to clean — especially if something falls onto it and burns.

You may need to remove the coils for deep cleaning in some cases. This is better handled by a professional. If they aren’t reinstalled correctly, they will not work.

Since the coils are slightly above the surface, you need to place cookware directly in the center of the burner. If you accidentally put a pot to the side or nudge it too far off-center, the pot can tip off the coil and spill hot liquids.

Although coils are more durable than glass, you still need to treat them gently. If the connection loosens, the coils won’t heat. Loose coils are also a fire hazard.

Lastly, electric coil stoves are the least attractive looking. They were the norm years ago, but now they look outdated and unsightly. Avoid an electric coil stovetop if you’re going for a modern look in your kitchen.

Electric Smooth Top Stoves

Electric smooth top stove_2
Electric smooth top stove

An electric smooth top still uses coil or ring technology, but the coil is underneath a glass surface. The heat is conducted through the glass to the pot or pan.

Here are the pros and cons of using an electric smooth top.

Pros of Electric Smooth Top Stoves

Electric smooth top stoves provide the same perks as any electric-powered stove. They are simple to use and effortless to install.

They are one of the easiest types of stove to clean. Simply wipe them with a wet, non-abrasive cloth. You don’t need to remove any parts as you do with gas stoves, and you don’t need to clean around coils.

They cost less to install than gas stoves because you don’t need to run or install a gas line. You just need a wall outlet with enough voltage to power the stove.

They keep your kitchen cooler than gas when you cook. Plus, a glass smooth top stove cools much faster than an electric coil stove.

Finally, they offer a sleek, modern look and advanced features like dual burners of different sizes. You can match the size of your cookware to a similar-sized burner to experience more efficient cooking.

Cons of Electric Smooth Top Stoves

As with other electric cooktops, you’ll experience the downsides of slow heating. Similarly, electric stoves cool down slowly, so it’s common for people to burn themselves when the burners are off without realizing they’re still hot.

Since the surface is smooth, some people get in the habit of putting items on it when the stove is off, which is a fire hazard and a recipe for disaster.

Because these stoves have a glass cooking surface, you need to be careful, especially when using heavy cookware. Be sure to lift and place cookware gently. Avoid shaking or dragging it across the surface.

In addition, heavy cookware is not a good choice. It can put unnecessary pressure on your cooktop. You can usually find the weight threshold for a stove on the manufacturer’s website.

Downdraft Stoves

Downdraft stove
Downdraft stove

A downdraft stove uses a built-in ventilation system on the cooking surface. It’s a good alternative if you don’t have a range hood or standalone vent to air out your kitchen.

Downdraft stoves can be electric, dual fuel, or gas. Some even retract when you aren’t cooking.

Here are the pros and cons of downdraft stoves.

Pros of Downdraft Stoves

A downdraft stove is an excellent option if you don’t want the bulky addition of an exhaust hood. If your kitchen features a minimalist or modern design, this type of stove fits those aesthetics — especially if you’re placing your cooktop on a center island.

Using this type of stove, you also eliminate the need for cleaning an exhaust hood. Simply wipe down the vent as you clean the rest of your stovetop.

If you’re looking for places to save money in a kitchen remodel, these stoves cost less because you don’t need extra equipment. However, if you want to vent to the outside, you’ll need downdraft ductwork in place to avoid additional installation costs.

There are also options for recirculating downdraft vents that use a filter and do not require an outside vent. In short, there is flexibility with this type of stove design.

Cons of Downdraft Stoves

Downdraft stoves are not ideal for small kitchens. There needs to be enough space for airflow for it to work properly.

Downdrafts require ducts that suck the air down and out of the house. If you don’t have those ducts in place from an existing downdraft or new construction, it can be costly and time-consuming to add later (unless you choose a filtered option).

Ultimately, the ventilation isn’t as powerful as a range hood. When searing or browning, you might find your house filled with lingering smoke.

Plus, if you are using a recessed downdraft system that ascends when you are cooking, it may have limited effectiveness with pots that are taller than the vent system. It also may only draw in odors and steam from pots that are right next to it.

Lastly, the downdraft vent can pull the flame on gas stoves toward it, causing uneven heating.

Bottom Line: Which Type of Stove Is Right for You?

Now that you’ve learned the pros and cons of the ten types of stoves, the question is:

Which type of stove is best for you? Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Fuel source: The best way to narrow down the options is to decide on the fuel source: gas or electric. Do you already have a gas line to your house? If not, is there one in the street you could access?
  • Your cooking style: If you cook frequently or like to have a lot of pots going at once, consider a stove with ample space and upgraded features.
  • Your design preferences: Looking for modern appeal? Induction, smooth top, and downdraft stoves all offer a sleek profile to match your decor.
  • Safety concerns: Do you have small children? Go for stoves with built-in safety features like burner locks (induction) and hard-to-reach controls (freestanding). You can also buy stove knob locks for extra caution on stoves that feature knobs on the front.
  • The size of your kitchen: If you are low on space, a downdraft stove could be the right choice. It eliminates the need for a large range hood.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Know what it will take to keep your stove clean. Do you have to take pieces apart? Can you simply wipe it down? How often will it need to be serviced by a professional? Answering these questions ahead of time will help you make an informed decision.
  • Your budget: A professional range is a high-end expense. Consider an electric coil or freestanding stove if you’re on a budget. And remember, upkeep is part of your expenses. High-end stoves often have high-end issues.
  • Your cooking level: If you prefer advanced cooking techniques such as sous vide or are adept at learning new technologies, a professional, induction, or dual fuel range might be appealing. If you are a beginner, gas ranges are simple to use and aren’t as delicate as electric smooth top models.

Bottom line — the right type of stove for your kitchen is completely personal, and each option has pros and cons.

The three main types of stoves are gas, induction, and electric. Each stove within these categories has unique features that impact the cooking experience, maintenance, and price within each category.

Gas stoves are the most durable and responsive but can pose safety risks. Induction stoves offer the most safety and precision but are expensive. Electric stoves are versatile, easy to clean, and relatively inexpensive but heat up and cool down slowly.

Check out each stove type on Amazon, HomeDepot.com, and Lowes.com, where you can compare current prices and read reviews of the top models.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s studied consumer buying behavior for 10+ years and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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