As the Homes Editor, I’ve tested all kinds of appliances over the years, from the best washing machines to the best electric kettles. During that time, I’ve come to learn the brands and models that perform above and beyond the rest in terms of both design and features.
As a result, nothing but the top performers will do in my kitchen. But I’m not immune to aesthetics; they need to look good too! If you need to replace an appliance, or you want to try your hand at baking, I strongly recommend the following products. Here’s what I use in my kitchen.
1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer
My favorite kitchen appliance has to be my KitchenAid stand mixer (opens in new tab). It comes in use for all kinds of baking jobs, but I use it mostly for quick and simple recipes, such as brownies and cookies. There are 10 speed settings to choose from and the basic attachments include a beater, whisk and dough hook. In use, it combines ingredients effectively and has good reach to the base of the bowl. It’s seamless to operate and looks stunning on the countertop, so I just leave it out on display when not in use.
I chose a tilt-head model from KitchenAid because I bake everyday recipes, but bowl-lift options are available if you’re a fan of making dough or baking large quantities. The color options and attachments make KitchenAid one of the most desirable stand mixers as well. It can function as a spiralizer (opens in new tab) or a food grinder (opens in new tab) when fitted with the right attachment.
2. Magimix Food Processor
Admittedly, I haven’t had the chance to use the Magimix Food Processor (opens in new tab) as much as I’d like since buying it, but when I have, I’ve been impressed. The blades can shred ingredients to a consistent level in a matter of seconds, and when I used it to combine cookie dough, it did so with ease. When not in use, the various bowl sizes sit inside one another for simple storage and a separate case is supplied to keep the blades safely contained. Operation couldn’t be more simple, with three buttons which equate to start, stop and pulse.
When we set out to find the best food processors, this brand came out on top with its 14-cup offering. Magimix also offers 12- and 16-cup capacities in the same design to suit different needs. If the chrome finish is not to your liking, it’s also available in white and black. If you want to learn more about food processors, check out our guide on food processor vs. blender.
Read our full Magimix Food Processor 14 Cup review.
3. Nutribullet Personal Blender
I rely on my Nutribullet personal blender for morning smoothies before I head into the office. The great thing about it is the convenience it offers. Simply chuck in the ingredients, attach the blades, twist it on to blend and you’re good to go. The ingredients are blended consistently, and it even manages to reach any honey which sticks to the roof of the cup. Cleaning it up couldn’t be more simple either — just blend for a few seconds with some warm, soapy water.
The model you see above is the Nutribullet Balance, which is no longer available online. However there are plenty of Nutribullet Pro Blenders (opens in new tab) out there in a wide array of colors. These come with two cups and lids so you can interchange. If you want to blend larger capacities or soups and sauces as well as smoothies, be sure to check out our best blenders page.
4. KitchenAid Nespresso Maker
I’m not a huge fan of coffee, but my partner puts this machine through its paces on a daily basis. We love everything about this KitchenAid Nespresso Maker (opens in new tab). First of all, it’s simple to use and couldn’t get much more convenient. All you have to do is drop a Nespresso capsule into the top, lower the handle and press the button. And 30 seconds later you will have a fresh shot of espresso, full of flavor. There are six brew sizes available, ranging from espresso to lungo, so it’s not a one-trick pony. Plus, the used capsules are quick to remove and the water tank takes seconds to fill. On top of all that, we love the look of it, and guests always comment on it.
This is by no means a new model — it’s hard to find online nowadays, but used options are still available. However, Tom's Guide will soon be testing the KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine (opens in new tab), which we hope will offer similar results. If KitchenAid isn’t doing it for you, be sure to check out our list of the best coffee makers.
5. Dualit 2 Slice Toaster
I’ll admit, I bought the Dualit 2 Slice Toaster (opens in new tab) more on aesthetics than performance, but I still love it. It has a retro appeal to its design with a mechanical timer and is available in a wide range of colors to suit different personalities. There are settings for 1-2 slices of bread, plus a dedicated bagels setting. However, this design does come with some drawbacks: the exterior gets very hot in use, and it’s quite noisy as the timer clicks down. But, the bread is toasted consistently on both sides, and a toaster can’t look much nicer.
Dualit also offers a four-slice toaster (opens in new tab) in the same design, and a matching electric kettle (opens in new tab) as well, should you want everything to coordinate.
6. Dualit Hand Mixer
I also love to use my Dualit Hand Mixer (opens in new tab) for everyday baking. Hand mixers are ideal for small mixing jobs — see our guide on hand mixer vs stand mixer — and this appliance is an ideal companion if you can’t face mixing manually. It comes with four speeds as well as two beaters, two dough hooks and a balloon whisk, which can be swapped over in seconds. I also love that the cord can be stored internally so it looks neat when put away.
For a small appliance, the Dualit Hand Mixer packs plenty of power with its 400W motor, and it’s managed to thoroughly mix everything I’ve thrown at it so far. Although I always recommend starting at a lower power when you mix and building yourself up to prevent a mess. Different colors are available online as well to match your kitchen.
7. Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker
This is my latest appliance which I only purchased a couple of weeks ago, so I’m still quite new to it. I’ve only made one recipe in it so far — French bread — but I loved the results and the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker (opens in new tab) has only impressed me since. It features a premium build compared to most bread machines, including a brushed stainless steel exterior and an LCD screen to display the settings and progress. It offers a huge range of customization options, from four sizes of loaf to three tones of color. Plus, it comes with a fruit and nut dispenser should you want to incorporate that in your loaf.
Ingredients took minutes to throw into the pan and programming was straightforward. I also really liked that this model comes with a viewing window on top, which is quite rare for a bread machine. My French bread smelled amazing as it baked (my kitchen still smelled of it the next morning), and the loaf was far more delicious than anything I’ve bought in store. I can’t wait to try out some more recipes in it. The Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker has made our list as one of the best bread machines, but be sure to check out the others if you want to see what else is out there.