A black range, wall oven, microwave and warming drawer in a kitchen.

Range vs. Stove vs. Oven: Is There Really a Difference?

The difference between a range, stove and oven depends on who you ask. However, if you’re shopping for appliances, brands often use these terms: 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.

While the range vs. stove vs. oven confusion is mostly a matter of semantics, there are three unique appliances at the heart of it. Use this guide to get a deeper understanding of what differentiates these terms and appliances.

A diagram of a range vs. stove vs. oven. A diagram of a range vs. stove vs. oven.

What are the Differences between Ranges, Stoves and Ovens?

The differences between a range, stove and oven all start with their purposes and how they can help you create your favorite recipe. A range provides the best of both worlds with an oven and a stove for flexibility when roasting and simmering at the same time. A range can also be referred to as a stove, while an oven is designed solely for roasting, baking and broiling in the oven cavity.

A red KitchenAid® range highlighted in a modern kitchen. A red KitchenAid® range highlighted in a modern kitchen.

Range vs. Stove: What’s the Difference?

Many people use the terms “range” and “stove” interchangeably to refer to the classic kitchen appliance comprised of a stovetop and oven. However, appliance retailers tend to list their products as “ranges,” so that term can be helpful when shopping. “Stove” can sometimes refer to home heating appliances—like old fashioned wood-burning stoves—while “range” always refers to a cooking appliance. Learn more about what a range is exactly, what the parts of a stove are, or explore KitchenAid® ranges to get better acquainted with these versatile appliances.

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A side-by-side depiction of a double wall oven vs. a stove. A side-by-side depiction of a double wall oven vs. a stove.

Oven vs. Stove: What’s the Difference?

An oven is the enclosed cavity that cooks food by heating the air inside. A stove or range is the kitchen appliance with both an oven and a stovetop combined. When it comes to cooking techniques, the oven is where all the baking, broiling and roasting happens, while the stovetop (or cooktop) is where you sear, saute, boil and stir fry.

All stoves (or ranges) will have an oven as well as a stovetop in one appliance, but ovens are also available as individual appliances called wall ovens. Wall ovens come with one or two oven cavities for added capacity. For instance, KitchenAid® wall ovens come with up to 10 cubic feet of cooking space inside the oven. A wall oven with a standalone cooktop can offer even more possibilities for creating. Whether you are looking for an all-in-one range or separate wall ovens and cooktops, KitchenAid brand has a wide selection to help you find the right fit.

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A side-by-side depiction of a range vs. an oven. A side-by-side depiction of a range vs. an oven.

Range vs. Oven: What’s the Difference? 

A range consists of both an oven and a stovetop, while the term “oven” simply refers to the enclosed space in a range where you can bake, broil and roast food. Ovens are also available as individual appliances built into cabinets, like these wall ovens from KitchenAid brand.

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A range vs. oven. vs. cooktop diagram. A range vs. oven. vs. cooktop diagram.

Range vs. Wall Oven plus Cooktop: Which Is Better For My Kitchen?

If you’re deciding on the best cooking appliances for your kitchen, the first step is simple: choose between a range or a wall oven plus a separate cooktop. Consider the following when making your choice:

1. Kitchen Size 

Larger kitchens can usually accommodate a wall oven plus cooktop configuration better. Smaller kitchens may benefit from a range, since it creates a centralized location for all cooking activities.

2. Kitchen Layout 

For a wall oven, you’ll need some available cabinet or wall space. Consider the different wall oven sizes available before selecting one for your kitchen. Freestanding or slide-in ranges can be installed in a wider variety of places throughout the kitchen. Cooktops can be installed pretty much anywhere a range can and lets you take advantage of more storage near the cooking surface. If you’re deciding on an appliance for your island, explore the benefits of a range vs. a cooktop on an island.

3. Cooking Style 

If you like to move quickly and easily from the stove to the oven, a range might work best for you. If you do a lot of baking and want more oven capacity, a double wall oven would be a good option.

Range vs. Wall Oven and Cooktop Considerations

Check out the chart below for more considerations to help you find the right range, wall oven or cooktop that fits your kitchen and creative style.


Range / Stove

Wall oven plus cooktop

Simpler install process
More oven capacity available In double wall oven models
A more built-in look
Spaces out work zones Food Choppers
Premium features available Food Processors Food Choppers
Commercial styling available Food Processors Food Choppers
Space-saving Food Processors  
Does not require bending over Food Processors

Find the Right KitchenAid® Range or Wall Oven for Your Kitchen

KitchenAid® ranges and wall ovens are designed to inspire. Discover features like Even-Heat™ True Convection, which uses a unique bow-tie design and convection fan that circulates hot air throughout the entire oven. Or, find your creative spark with a KitchenAid® smart appliance that lets you remotely monitor and control special attachments like a powered grill, baking stone and steamer1. Discover the possibilities with KitchenAid® ranges, cooktops and ovens and smart ovens for any way you like to create.

1. Appliance must be set to remote enable. Wi-Fi & App required. Features subject to change. For details and privacy info, visit kitchenaid.com/connect. Baking stone and steamer attachments shipped separately; see full details.

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