Tom's Guide Awards 2023: The best home appliances and smart home tech we tested this year

Tom's Guide Awards 2023: From air purifiers and blenders to robot vacuums and mattresses, these products make your home a better place
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This year, we’ve seen all kinds of new products in the homes category. From appliances that make you a chef in the kitchen, to brilliant robot vacuums, it’s exciting to see the newest ways you can improve your home.

Among our favorite home devices, you'll find a large selection of products for your kitchen, living room, bedroom and more. Taking care of yourself often means taking care of your home, making it a functional and enjoyable place to live. 

We had a huge shortlist of products for our Tom’s Guide Awards this year — these are the winners for the homes and smart home categories. Check out all the winners of the Tom's Guide Awards 2023 while you're here.

Best smart home device

Best smart home device: Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

Tom's Guide Awards 2023: Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)Tom's Guide Awards 2023:

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The name says it all: the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) is an Echo Dot with a clever LED clock built in its face. More than just the time, though, the Echo Dot with Clock's display can also show you the current temperature, song titles and answers to math equations. It functions as a timer, too. It has an ambient sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on the lighting of its surrounding environment, as well as a built-in temperature sensor that can trigger Alexa routines. The Echo Dot with Clock costs $10 more than the Echo Dot, but based on our experience, we think it's a worthwhile upgrade for those who want to know the time without having to ask Alexa. Simply put, this is the best smart home device you can get.

Best air fryer

Best air fryer: Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer

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Air fryers have risen in popularity over the years, but the Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer takes the top spot as number one of the best air fryers. In our tests, it scored  high for performance — evenly browning and crisping foods to perfection. Results were consistent from cooking crinkle cut fries and veggies to roasting a succulent chicken.  With its sleek design, the Cosori features electronic controls with preset programs, making it easy to operate. It has a capacity of 5.8 quarts that is suitable for a family, or rustling up large quantities. Best of all, this Smart air fryer connects to Wifi for remote control and also connects to digital assistants for more recipes. If you enjoy fried foods, or catering for a large household, this Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer is an excellent choice. 

Best toaster oven

Best toaster oven: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

Tom's Guide Awards 2023: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer ProTom's Guide Awards 2023:

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If you’re after one of the best toaster ovens, the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is our favorite choice. Don’t be fooled by its humble appearance, as our tests found this is an impressive countertop oven. Besides performing well at making toast and heating frozen pizza, it impressed us with baking cookies to even roasting a chicken. This oven also features slow cooking, dehydrating, proofing, and reheating —making it super versatile for every need. What’s more, the toaster oven comes with handy racks and pans for pizza and baking. Nothing beats the sheer convenience and features the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer has to offer.

Best cast iron skillet

Best cast iron skillet: Le Creuset Enameled Signature Cast Iron Skillet

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(Image credit: Le Creuset)

If you’re looking for one of the best cast iron skillets, the Le Creuset Enameled Signature Cast Iron Skillet came top in our tests. Not only did it sear meat and fish to perfection, but could make delicious scrambled eggs without anything sticking to the surface. We were impressed by how quickly the skillet heated up, and how it provided an even heat distribution across all tests. In addition, the skillet is oven safe up to 500 degrees F. Plus, it’s easy to handle, and comfortable to hold. While most cast iron skillets require maintenance, this has a black satin enamel which doesn’t doesn’t need seasoning. Best of all, the Le Creuset Enameled Signature Cast Iron Skillet is dishwasher-safe, but hand-washing is recommended.

Best blender

Best blender: Hamilton Beach Professional 1800W Blender

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The Hamilton Beach Professional 1800W Blender is highly-favored as one of our best blenders. If smoothies are your go-to beverage, you need a great blender, after all. It comes with four program settings for making smoothies, crushing ice, pureeing and even self-cleaning. During our tests, it performed exceptionally well — even producing a delicious tasting oat milk. Its handy large red LED display makes it easier to keep tabs on elapsed time, and it also comes with a measuring tamper for adding ingredients while mixing at lower speeds. As a bonus,  it was one of the most reasonably priced blenders that we tested, which makes it great value for money.  

Best food processor

Best food processor: MagiMix food processor

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Having one of the best food processors will save you prep time, and the MagiMix Food Processor 14-cup is highly versatile. We rated this as the best food processor due to its powerful motor that easily handled all of the tests that we performed. From chopping a whole onion and grating cheese to pureeing hummus, this excelled at heavy-duty tasks. With its 14-cup capacity, it’s spacious enough to handle large amounts with ease. It also comes with plenty of handy accessories including a large, medium, and mini bowl, a knife blade, dough blade, blendermix, egg whisk, and more. What’s more, it has a super quiet operation, which is always a bonus.

Hurom HAA Slow Juicer

Best juicer: Hurom HAA Slow Juicer

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The Hurom HAA Slow Juicer came up top in our tests for the best juicers. This masticating juicer had a high yield of any juicer tested, despite having only one power setting. It extracts juice to perfection, and at the most basic level, an orange juice recipe resulted in an impressive 63% juice yield — the highest of any juicer we tested. The design is simple and easy to set up, with full disassembly only required at the end of the juicing session. It also has a low RPM and patented Slow Squeeze technology reduces the risk of oxidation, and ensures your juice stays fresh for longer. This is why the Hurom HAA Slow Juicer is rated our number one slow juicer. 

Best air purifier

Best air purifier: Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto

Tom's Guide Awards 2023: Blueair Blue Pure 211+ AutoTom's Guide Awards 2023:

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In testing, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto was the only air purifier to deliver in every respect. Its CADR scores are the highest we’ve seen, reaching 353 for smoke, 347 for dust and 380 for pollen. That gives it a suggested room size of 550 square feet — likely suitable for most living rooms or a large bedroom. Its simplicity in design is another reason it scored at the top of the board. There are three fan speeds available as well as an automatic setting which fluctuates depending on the current conditions and a night mode, all of which are controllable by one button. In terms of looks, its modern and seamless appearance helps it blend into most decor themes too, but you can change the color of the mesh skirt should you choose. Ultimately, it’s simple and effective, which is why it takes this award and the top spot as the best air purifier.    

Best espresso machine

Best espresso machine: Breville Bambino Plus

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The Breville Bambino Plus scored at the top of the board as our best espresso machine. Its compact design wont hog your countertop, and yet it still offers an abundance of features to suit coffee aficionados, including a milk frother, four portafilters, single and double shot options and settings to adjust the milk temperature and foam. The handy pre-infusion settings give you added control when brewing your perfect espresso too. Its simplistic control panel keeps the design user-friendly, with just five buttons to control everything. On test, the espresso was brewed quickly (taking the machine just three seconds to heat up) and it was consistently delicious. It was well-balanced and full bodied with a thick layer of crema, which we could get just right thanks to the timed pre-infusion settings.   

Best robot vacuum cleaner

Best robot vacuum cleaner: iRobot Roomba s9+

Tom's Guide Awards 2023: iRobot Roomba s9+Tom's Guide Awards 2023:

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The iRobot Roomba s9+ features some of the latest innovations in robot vacuum technology, but still delivers a strong performance at its core. When pitted against Cheerios, kitty litter and pet hair, it achieved an average cleaning performance of 96.8%, particularly excelling on pet hair, with 98% collected. It’s ultimately a strong and capable robot vacuum, which would suit pet owners as well as those with a combination of hard floors and carpets. Setting it up is a cinch, with quick and thorough mapping, which is easily refined once complete. Plus, the self-emptying base can hold up to 60 days worth of debris, saving you from emptying the dustbin so often — ideal if you suffer from allergies. If you love all things smart home, it can be voice controlled via Alexa and Google assistant too. All in all, it’s definitely one of the best robot vacuums out there.   

Best digital photo frame

Best digital photo frame: Pix-star Wifi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

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The Pix-Star Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame is loaded with extra features which distinguish it from the market, particularly at its price point. It offers a motion sensor, music and video playback, remote control, plus it can connect to international internet radio and play games. It can even set reminders, acting as a home assistant as much as a digital photo frame. The quality of the display shouldn’t be overlooked either — with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a 1024 x 768-resolution, images appear crisp, bright and detailed with colors which are true to life. This frame comes with 4GB of built-in storage as well as USD and SD slots, but you can upload videos directly via the Pix-Star Snap app and link up to 25 frames from a single account. It's also capable of connecting to a wide range of social media networks, including Google Photos, Facebook, Flickr, Smugmug, Instagram, Dropbox, Shutterfly, OneDrive, Photobucket and Verizon. So the overall accessibility can’t be faulted. 

Best fire pit

Best fire pit: Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

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The Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 leaves little room for fault as one of the best fire pits. Its full stainless steel body is durable and well-designed, not to mention attractive on display. During testing, we built up a nice and controlled fire with ease, which produced minimal smoke and sparks — within half an hour, it burnt down to a perfect level for roasting marshmallows. It was also very quick to clean up after, thanks to the removable ash pan and ash tray; it was the only smokeless fire pit we tested to provide both of these. The design is backed up by a lifetime warranty to showcase the confidence of quality. A handy canvas bag is included for storage too, and weighing at just over 23 pounds, it’s relatively easy to move around when needed.   

Best pizza oven

Best pizza oven: Ooni Karu 16

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The Ooni Karu 16 can turn you into the ultimate backyard pizzaiolo. This pizza oven lets you make large 16-inch pies, and cooks them quickly enough to feed a crowd — each ‘za is done in around 90 seconds, thanks to the 900-degree heat from this oven. Even better, you can choose the fuel you want to use — wood, charcoal, pellets, or gas, so it’s great for newbies as well as seasoned pros. The Karu 16’s large chamber also makes it excellent for cooking other foods, such as steaks, fish, and veggies. The sear we got on our New York Strips was amazing; you’ll want to check out our Ooni Karu 16 review for more mouth-watering photos. Other great features include a huge glass window so you can check on your food without losing the heat from the oven, and a built-in thermometer so you know when things are just right. The Karu 16 isn’t cheap, but it’s well worth the price and is the best pizza oven overall.

Best mattress

Best mattress: Saatva Classic 

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The Saatva Classic is an innerspring hybrid mattress that delivers superb comfort and hotel-level luxury in your own home. The fact that you can choose from three firmness levels and two heights means it can be adapted to suit a wide range of body types, preferences and sleep positions. The plush pillow-top cushions the sleeper's  joints, while the double layer of coils adapts to provide custom support, and isolates movements to promote a more restful night's sleep. In our Saatva Classic review, we were also impressed with the extra lumbar support section, which keeps the sleeper's spine aligned and helps guard against back pain. Extras like free white glove delivery and a full year's sleep trial help round out the premium offering. 

Best memory foam mattress

Best memory foam mattress: Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

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Our favorite memory foam mattress is the original Nectar. It has been around a little while now, but none of the new competitors to the market have managed to topple it from its perch, thanks to a simple but very effective all-foam design that offers incredible value for money. In our Nectar mattress review we found this mattress delivers a comfortable balance of cushioning and support, via a medium-firm sleep surface that will suit a wide variety of people, but which is particularly comfortable when side sleeping. It also punches well above its lower-mid range price tag (there are far pricier options that don't deliver such a good night's sleep). The full year's sleep trial and forever warranty is the icing on the cake.

Tom's Guide Staff

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