A home generator can guarantee you some degree of comfort and stability even during disasters, but you need to choose the right unit for your needs. Home standby generators are more expensive but easily switch into operation and offer the most power. Portable generators cost less, but they need a bit more maintenance since they run on gasoline and can't be used in enclosed spaces. Inverter generators are quiet, efficient and offer power comparable to most portable generators, while portable power stations run on rechargeable batteries at the cost of less power. Different generators also offer different levels of power, and the average home requires 5,000 watts just to run basic electrical devices.
With all of that in mind, we’ve rounded up nine of the most well-reviewed generators for home use to make choosing the right generator easy. These generators have been vetted by consumers like you and will get the job done even under the worst conditions.
Best Overall: DuroMax XP1200 EH
Popular Mechanics included the DuroMax XP1200EH portable generator among its top picks for generators, and for good reason. This heavy-duty portable generator gives you up to 20 hours of power. It runs on gas or propane for extra flexibility and delivers 9,500 running watts of power to your home's key lights, appliances and power tools. Like all portable generators, you’ll need to use it outside because of the exhaust it admits, but otherwise, it should do the job in most situations.
Best Value: Champion 3,800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
With a budget-friendly price tag and 3,800 running watts of power, you shouldn’t overlook the value of Champion’s 3800-watt dual fuel portable generator as a top contender for occasional use. It’s a fraction of the cost of many larger models, but it still provides dual-fuel capability, a modest price tag and convenient push-button electric startup. In addition to a three-year limited warranty, you also get lifetime technical support for no charge. This workhorse delivers up to nine hours of power on a full tank of gasoline or up to 10.5 hours using a 20-pound propane tank.
Best Whole-House Generator: Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator
If you're looking for a standby generator that's capable of powering your whole home, the Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator can handle that job. It offers enough power to let you run a variety of electronics even during an outage, and the five-year warranty and 24/7 tech support mean you won’t be on your own if something goes wrong. You can even monitor the generator’s status remotely using your mobile phone or a similar device.
Best Gas Generator: Westinghouse WGen 7500
Not only does the Westinghouse WGen 7500 portable generator provide up to 16 hours of run time, but it also offers extras like a remote start so you can start it from up to 109 yards away. This midsized generator delivers 9,500 peak watts and 7,500 running watts. The durable steel frame protects the 6.6-gallon gas tank, and the intuitive control panel allows for easy operation.
Best Lightweight Generator: Honda EU3000iS Portable Generator
While other portable gasoline generators weigh up to 100 pounds or more, the Honda EU3000iS portable generator weighs in at less than 50 pounds, making it an ideal option for anyone who wants to be able to easily tote the generator between home and an RV, vacation home or campsite. The inverter technology delivers enough power to run a furnace, microwave, fridge and more, all at noise levels that are less than most conversations. You'll get between seven and 20 hours of run time on a single gas tank. Wheels, a folding handle and offset handle for lifting make this generator surprisingly portable for the amount of power it provides, as more than 100 five-star reviews can attest.
Best Solar Generator: Maxoak Bluetti EB150
If you're looking for an eco-friendly option, Generator Mag hails the Maxoak Bluetti EB150 as one of the best solar generators available. You won’t be able to run tons of devices on this generator, but it does provide 1,000 watts of inverter power with its durable 101Ah lithium-ion battery. It can run blenders, drills, televisions, fans or even a fridge throughout the night, giving you peace of mind. You can connect it with up to 500 watts of solar panels to charge it, or charge it using a wall plug. Like most lithium generators and portable power stations, it’s also weighs less than even the lightest gasoline or inverter generators — just under 3 pounds!
Best Quiet Operation: Wen 56200i Super Quiet Inverter Generator
More than 560 reviewers give the Wen 56200i inverter generator five stars, in no small part because of its comparatively quiet operation. Not only is it one of the least noisy generators for using at home, but it also provides minimal harmonic distortion, so you can use it to power your electronics without worry. It provides 1,600 running watts and lasts up to six hours at 50 percent capacity. If you need more juice, you can connect multiple units together using an optional parallel connection kit. If you need less power, you can use its Eco mode, which conserves fuel use as you plug or unplug devices and appliances.
Best for Easy Carrying: Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series
Designed to be easily carried by one or two people, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series features a unique H-handle design and only weighs about 55 pounds. It provides up to eight hours of run time and 1,700 running watts. This generator also lets you flip a switch to activate Quiet Power Technology, which reduces noise and saves fuel by adjusting the engine speed.