Retro Appliances - Ovens & Refrigerators

In this comparison we review retro appliance brands. These companies make NEW retro appliances, as opposed to refurbished or antique vintage stoves, ovens, and refrigerators. That means they are energy efficient, shiny and convenient - but also expensive.
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Big Chill 1950s Refrigerators

Big Chill 1950s Refrigerators

- Retro appliances from the 1950s era
- Refrigerators and Dishwashers
- Good variety of colors
- Not much variety in style
- No matching stoves or ovens (yet)
- Optional icemaker (extra $150)

Avg. Price: $2,000 - $3,000

Learn More: Buy Here!

Northstar Retro Appliances

Northstar Retro Appliances

- Moderate selection
- 1950's style fridges
- 1800's style ovens
- Energy-star rated
- Optional icemaker (extra for refrigerators)
- Optional convection (oven)
- Self cleaning ovens

Avg. Price: $3,000 - $6,000

Learn More: Buy Here!

Pastense Vintage Appliance

Pastense Vintage Appliance

- 1950s Style
- Refrigerators and Stoves
- Several colors to choose from
- Meets modern energy efficiency standards (640 kWh per year)
- Adjustable door bins (refrigerator)
- Coil-free back (refrigerator)
- Attached icemaker available (extra $150)

Avg. Price: $4,000 - $4,300

Learn More: Buy Here!

AGA Kitchen Stoves

AGA Kitchen Stoves

- Quality materials like Cast Iron
- Semi-retro 1800's antique style
- Stoves, ovens, dishwashers and refrigerators
- Energy-star rated
- Convection modes
- Compact refrigerators available
- Widely available

Avg. Price: $3,000 - $6,000

Learn More: Buy Here!

Heartland Retro Appliances
The Editor Pick Editor's Pick

Heartland Retro Appliances

- Huge selection
- Classic pioneer style wood burning stoves
- Retro 1950s style kitchen appliances
- Gas and electric options
- Refrigerators, dishwashers, built-in ovens, real woodburning cookstoves, gas ranges, electric ovens
- Energy Star rated
- Self cleaning ovens

Avg. Price: $5,000 - $7,000

Learn More: Buy Here!

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What research says

Where to Buy Retro Appliances
Buying old vintage appliances has always been difficult because it involved scouring dozens of antique shops. Not only that, but the vintage oven, refrigerator or wood-burning stove usually required some sort of repair and was anything but efficient. These days you can get the warm retro look and vintage feel of old appliances without all of the hassle of repair and without sacrificing energy efficiency. If you're interested in buying a retro refrigerator, stove or oven try clicking on the "Buy here" link text below each of the reviews on the left. We've already found the best prices for you!

The prices shown for each brand are for refrigerators and stoves. Some brands offer different appliances, sometimes for much less. For instance, retro dishwashers are usually about half the price of a stove or refrigerator. Some also offer retro toasters and vintage-style microwaves.

Big Chill has some cool 1950's style refrigerators and dishwashers (I like the Beach Cruiser Series pictured on the left) but so far you'd have trouble finding the stove to match. Their website says stoves are coming soon, however. The other downsides are availability and quality. The units are decent quality, but not to the level of craftsmanship as AGA or Heartland. Perhaps the lower price makes up for this.

Northstar is the new, energy-efficient retro appliance line from Elmira Stove Works, which also makes traditional vintage appliances like real wood burning stoves and ovens. To be honest, we had a hard time choosing between Northstar and Heartland as our Editor's Pick. In the end it came down to the fact that Heartland was more readily available, had more styles to choose from and just appealed more to our tastes aesthetically (which is of course subjective).

Pastense sells refrigerators and stoves in 1950's styles but with 21st century technology. Appliances meet or exceed modern federal energy efficiency standards. and come with a one-year warranty on parts and labor. They have a nice style, but there doesn't seem to be anything particularly worth the price tag other than the look. The other downside is the lack of choices. There are plenty of colors to choose from but only one style. Another thing that bothered us was that Past Tense sold all kinds of "retro furniture" and home goods, and it seemed like the large kitchen appliance line was sort of an afterthought when compared to some of these other brands that specialize in only such appliances.

AGA are the least retro-looking of the vintage appliance brands in this review. However, they do have a certain antique quality to them, which probably comes from the super craftsmanship using materials like cast iron. You just don't find that kind of quality in a typical modern GE or Maytag appliance these days. But for those seeking that classic retro-look (either in a 1950's style refrigerator or turn-of-the-century stove) you could get a Heartland appliance for about the same price. In short, they're probably the best in terms of quality (closely followed by Heartland and Northstar) but they lack some of that quintessential 'retroness' you may be looking for.

Heartland won our Editor's pick for several reasons. On the downside, they can get expensive compared to some other options, but that extra couple-hundred bucks is well worth the craftsmanship, style and choices if you're going to shell out this much money on a retro appliance anyway. The stove shown looks like a classic, 1800s woodburning cookstove, but it's actually a high-tech, modern electric stove and oven. Heartland also offers retro styles from the 1950s and 60s.

Homesteading Mom said:

Gosh I wish I could afford to buy that Heartland stove and oven range pictured there. I know it's energy efficient, self cleaning, has radiant heat and all the bells and whistles of any other modern, high-end stove. But wow, for the price I could get the stove, refrigerator, microwave and everything else for my kitchen. It'd be all white and boring though. :-(

Margaret Campbell said:

Looking for a new energy efficient refrigerator that will go with my 1920 house, so 50s are about as good as I can do, I suspect.

And color is important!

david meggitt said:

looking to sell my crosley shelvador contactm me at dmeggitt808@gmail.com

Jeff said:

I can't believe it could cost 4 grand to copy an old refrigerator. someone is getting rich

rose said:

I have a 1957 GE Stainless Steel Wall oven in working condition. Bakes quicker than it should, but for over 25 years it's served us well. The outside is in very good condition. Internally, could use a good cleaning but to reiterate, it works. I hate to let it go but, at this stage because I'm wanted a more reliable oven and not the beauty it is. Thanks. Rose

rsmith01@wowway.com said:

I have the Heartland Classic stove and refrigerator with lots of hard to keep clean chrome. The company recommends autosol or Flitz from Carquest which they don't carry (checked 2 locations). Do you have any other recommendations for keeping the chrome shiny? The cleaning and polishing takes a substantial amount of time and once spots are on the chrome, they are almost impossible to remove.

jfkellogg42@gmail.coms said:

I have a 1960 merrit o'keefe double oven in yellow. Works but clock and lifgt don't. Do you know of any one interested in purching to refurbish?

Ray said:

Rose, is your 1957 stainless steel oven still available?

ellenkitty said:

I invested in an AGA 6/4 cooker 4 years ago 6 burners/4 ovens. I absolutely love it. The front and oven doors look like a 100 year old AGA that you might see in an old English kitchen, but has modern burners as well as all the bells and whistles including a convection oven. Mine is Merlot red.

Suzanne said:

I ordered a Big Chill fridge, and it was nothing but a huge headache. The fridge's delivery was long delayed for some reason that (despite my attempts) was never explained to me. Brian Murphy, the guy in charge, was very rude on the phone, and the customer service in general was abysmal. I would not recommend ordering a Big Chill fridge unless you want unreliable service.

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