Whirlpool® gas range in kitchen

Range vs. stove vs. oven: What’s the difference?

The words range, stove and oven get thrown around interchangeably, but there are differences that are important to understand. When it comes to kitchen appliances, an oven is an enclosed cavity for baking, a stovetop or cooktop is an open, flat surface you cook on, and a range or stove is the standalone appliance with both. This guide will explore these common appliances in more depth and clear up the surrounding confusion.

Whirlpool® kitchen range

A range is both a stovetop and an oven combined in a single kitchen appliance.


Whirlpool® kitchen stove

A modern stove is the same as a range, though had a different meaning in the past.


Whirlpool® kitchen oven

An oven is an enclosed compartment for cooking and heating food.


Whirlpool® kitchen range and stove Whirlpool® kitchen range and stove with outline

Range vs. stove: Are they the same? 

As home cooking has evolved and most of us no longer cook in a fireplace or using wood and coal, the terms we use to describe our appliances have changed and the appliances themselves have diversified.

Whirlpool® kitchen range

What is a range?

A range, like these models from Whirlpool, combines an oven and a stovetop and has a source of fuel which is either gas or electricity. It’s an all-in-one cooking solution which makes it a common kitchen appliance found in many American homes. Ranges are space-efficient, and with the combination of an oven and a cooktop it is easy to do all of your cooking, such as sauteing, searing, and roasting, in one place.


Range technology has come a long way over the years. Whirlpool® Smart Slide-in Ranges use touch screen technology that learns and adapts to your routines and can make dinner time even more convenient. You can control your smart oven right from your phone and connect to your appliance from wherever you are.1

What is a stove?

Historically, stoves consisted of a cavity for burning wood or coal and were used to heat homes. Today, most people use the term "stove" to mean the well-known modern kitchen appliance that combines an oven and a cooktop in one.

Today's stoves (or ranges) almost always use gas or electricity for fuel and are used exclusively for preparing food.

What is the difference between a range and a stove?

If you call a range a stove people will know what you mean. In modern times, the terms stove and range are often used interchangeably to describe the familiar appliance that has an oven cavity for baking and a cooktop above for heating pots and pans.

A stove or range is an appliance that combines both an oven and a stovetop. Strictly speaking though, stoves existed before the modern kitchen range to heat homes and aren’t always used for food preparation.

Whirlpool® kitchen range and wall oven Whirlpool® kitchen range and wall oven with outline

Range vs. oven: Which is which?

A range is a two-in-one appliance with the oven and the cooktop combined. A wall oven is its own cooking appliance that can be built into your wall space and placed separately from your cooktop.

Whirlpool® oven

What is an oven?

An oven is a heated, enclosed space used for cooking food. More specifically, it is the sealed area that is used to broil, bake and roast. Historically, ovens tended to be fueled by wood or coal, but are most commonly electric, or gas today and are available in conventional or convection styles. Ovens can be included as part of a range or they can be separate appliances. But when we use the word oven, we are only talking about the enclosed device, not the cooktop.

Whirlpool® range oven

What is a range oven?

If you’ve heard the term range oven, it likely refers to a standard range. Appliance manufacturers don’t use this term because it conflates two unique things: a range and an oven. A range combines an oven, sometimes more than one, and a stovetop, while an oven is either a part of a range or a separate appliance completely. Our freestanding double range ovens, for example, are made to fit almost any kitchen configuration.

Whirlpool® kitchen range and oven Whirlpool® kitchen range and oven with outline

Range oven vs. wall oven: What are the pros and cons?

There are certainly pros and cons to each option and it all comes down to your cooking habits, your space, and your budget. Whirlpool® wall ovens are easier to install and most wall ovens are placed around eye-level, cutting back on bending, kneeling, or crouching to insert or remove heavy food items. However, a range can offer a bit more aesthetic value and style than a traditional wall oven/cooktop. The wall oven-cooktop combo is most likely going to cost more. On the other hand, investing in separate appliances does have its advantages. The price of having your oven at a height that is comfortable for you.

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Learn more about Whirlpool® Ranges and Wall Ovens

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1. Appliance must be set to remote enable. WiFi & App Required. Features subject to change. Details and privacy info at whirlpool.com/connect.