As of 2015, the best hot water heater brands are A.O. Smith, GE, Kenmore, Rheem and Whirlpool. As of 2015, these are the lead manufacturers of hot water heaters.
A.O. Smith specializes in creating commercial and residential water heaters and exclusively selling them through plumbing contractors and wholesalers. The company produces solar, hybrid, tankless and high-efficiency water heaters.
GE specializes in gas and electric water heaters. The company offers tanks in a wide variety of sizes with a wide variety of different energy efficiencies and warranty options for consumers. The company's tank water heaters are sold exclusively through Home Depot.
Kenmore also produces gas and electric water heaters and also has a variety of purchasing options, including different tank sizes, and electronic temperature control configurations through both Power Miser and Hydrosense. Kenmore water heaters can be purchased through Sears.
Rheem produces gas and electric water heaters in tank, tankless and point-of-use configurations designed to work with different solar-powered water heater systems. Like GE, its water heaters are available in multiple sizes and energy efficiencies and can be purchased through Home Depot. Rheem products can also be purchased through different dealers as well as online merchants.
Whirlpool, too, produces gas and electric water heaters in multiple sizes and both standard and power vent configurations. Its water heaters are available through Lowes.