High quality Swiss cheeses vary in sensory, chemical, microbiological, and physical characteristics. Determining the compositional characteristics of commercial Swiss cheeses will establish the typical range for each characteristic in cheeses intended for the American market and will complement descriptive sensory and consumer preference studies. The objective was to determine chemical, microbiological, and physical characteristics of commercial Swiss-type cheeses. Fifteen cheeses (4 US-manufactured baby Swiss, 10 US-manufactured Swiss, and one European Emmental) were analyzed for characteristics including protein, fat, moisture, salt, pH, short chain free fatty acids, and total free amino acids. Lactobacillus spp., Streptococcus thermophilus, and Propionibacterium spp. were enumerated. Physical characteristics such as hardness, springiness, and meltability were determined. The values for compositional characteristics were 23-26% for protein, 46-55% for fat in dry matter, 36-42% for moisture, and 0.7-3.4% for salt-in-moisture. The pH values ranged from 5.4 to 5.8, and the total free amino acid levels ranged from 23 to 105 mmol/kg. The bacterial counts varied widely (3-8 log CFU/g). Emmental cheese had the lowest meltability, and highest acetic and propionic acid levels.