As someone who reviews small kitchen appliances for a living, it's a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I love trying and testing new things, but on the other hand, there's only so much room in my cooking space... The latter is something that my finacé loves reminding me of, every single time I get another delivery. Yes, I have my story down but no, I will not be sharing any behind-the-scenes footage!
Try telling me to get rid of my small coffee maker, I dare you. On a serious note, if there was one incredible gadget that made my java, juice, fries, and frothed milk, I'd buy it today. But for the time being, my future husband and I have compromised on these six appliances. Because happy wife = happy life, right?
Cuffed up or not, if you live in small dwellings (say a tiny apartment, dorm, or houseshare), these pieces are affordable and stylish enough to be displayed on the coziest of kitchen counters, especially if you're short on storage. I know I am, and these buys have honestly helped me out so much.
The best small kitchen appliances to buy for your tiny kitchen
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The Cosori Lite 4-Quart Smart Air Fryer is the convection oven I chose to keep for my compact galley kitchen. In my opinion, it's best suited to small families or couples thanks to its smaller capacity and it comes in three muted colorways to suit all kitchen countertops. This small air fryer is even roomy enough to fit a whole 3.5-pound chicken so your poultry doesn't have to play twister if you're short on oven space.
The smart control system lets you start cooking, monitor your food's progress, find recipes, and more all from an app on your phone. And, when we have guests around, voice-activated cooking is my party trick (you just need to sync it up with your smart speaker).
Read our Cosori Lite review for more snug-but-chic speak of this machine.
The NutriBullet Pro 900 is the brand's most powerful bullet blender, and it really did the trick when I used it to make smoothies. From frozen fruit to tough kale stems, even the most lump-prone ingredients won't make it past this gadget.
The design is simple and easy to use, simply press the blending cup down onto the base after screwing on the blending lid and twist. I left it to blend until I was happy with the consistency and then twisted it back to the neutral position (where the motor should stop).
Even seeds from berries and a tough pineapple core were traceless with this top-choice blender after a minute. My finished smoothie was very creamy with no fiber residue. Cleaning-wise, the blending cup can go in the dishwasher, but the blade cannot.
You'll no doubt recognize Keurig as one of the most famous coffee machine brands out there. But if you're after the best Keurig appliance for personal use (perhaps in a home office), this is the perfect small coffee maker.
Keurig's pod coffee machines are some of the most versatile out there as the brand works with coffeehouses like Starbucks and Dunkin' to bring out new flavors so that your tastebuds will never get bored. As well as making conventional hot coffees, you can also switch things up in summer with a chilled drink.
Read our Keurig K-Slim + ICED Single Serve Coffee Maker review for more.
We're yet to get our hands on this petite version of the popular Smeg kettle, but we do love the normal-size version — and the only difference between them is their footprint. With a smaller design comes a lighter weight (just 2.2lbs!) for anyone who is less able, plus this also means it boils your water even faster. Winning!
I personally love the look of the Smeg kettle, but it is a little out of budget. Not to mention I don't really need a huge tea kettle for just me and my husband-to-be. Hence why this Smeg version totally caters to my needs as it retails for a cheaper price than the original, plus it only boils three cups of water at a time. Which makes for less electricity usage and less water wastage in a two-person household. Plus, my colleague Annie has had hers for years and she raves about it. In fact, she's so set on the fact that Smeg appliances are amazing, she invested in the toaster, blender, hand blender, and even the fridge to match.
Personally, I'll happily survive with a good coffee maker that just makes espresso. But many of my friends prefer to sip java topped up with a splash (or generous glug) of milk. So rather than pouring cold milk straight from the fridge, I like to give guests a coffee shop-style experience with fluffy clouds of warm milk.
Breville takes the risk out of burning milk in the microwave, and you don't need to know how to use a steam wand either. It makes the most velvety-smooth lattes and cappuccinos without the queues, daily cost, or misspelled name on your cup. It holds up to three cups of milk, but that's not the only reason why it's #1 in our milk frothers guide.
This Classic Dualit toaster comes in a variety of colors, and the two-slice model is packed with innovative features and functions to make life simpler every day. The ProHeat elements benefit from a protective natural mineral layer (Mica) that covers the filaments, making them virtually unbreakable and easy to keep clean. There's also an extra-lift lever which is handy for removing smaller slices and things like little muffins or crumpets that don’t always pop up properly.
When testing, my colleague Millie enjoyed the fact that this toaster will fit the largest of bread slices, and didn't skip out on testing the top portion of our classic slice. However, you may find that your toast burns if you run a second use immediately after the first. This is because the elements retain heat very well. It took just 1 minute and 30 seconds to reach the perfect level, making this one of the fastest toasters we've tried.
Real Homes review process — How did we test these small kitchen appliances?
Whether it's me or another member of our ecommerce team, I can proudly say, we've tested all of these appliances. Most of the time, we're able to review them in our big professional kitchen in the UK. But, to offer you the most authentic experience of how they'll fit into your day-to-day life, we'll also take them home to assess the following:
- Size: Can they fit into a small kitchen space (ie: a studio apartment or kitchenette)
- Energy usage: We'll calculate the wattage and cost per use
- Purpose: Does it deserve a spot in the kitchen versus a similarly-functioning appliance
Meet our reviewers below:
Christina reviewed the COSORI Lite air fryer for us, and it's become a permanent addition to her kitchen countertop. She uses it on a daily basis, whether it's for cooking 'hard-boiled' eggs and warming croissants for breakfast, or making more substantial meals.
Annie owns the Smeg kettle at home, and has used it for boiling water for her green tea, cup of English Breakfast, and for her pasta water for years. It has more than proven itself to stand the test of time which just proves the point she lives buy: buy cheap, buy twice. She's not tested the mini version, mind, but these kettles are the same apart from their size.
Millie is head of reviews for Real Homes. Formerly our expert for all things kitchen-related, Millie has tested many of the aforementioned small kitchen appliances in this guide, including the Dualit toaster. She liked that it could accommodate thick-cut slices of bread. The brand also gets a thumbs-up for sustainability seeing as each part can be fixed or replaced by their team.
She's also had hands-on experience with the Nutribullet blender and likes the fuss-free nature of this gadget. There's no need to clear your kitchen workspace and the blades and motor are pretty powerful when you consider the small size of the machine.
Jaclyn reviewed the Keurig coffee maker for us and commented on its fuss-free functionality. She credited its slimline design which made it suitable for dorms, small apartments, and home offices. Our e-commerce editor also got hands-on with the Breville BMF600XL milk frother and commented on how well the interchangeable discs were to use and store onboard afterward.
How can I hide my kitchen appliances in a small kitchen?
Many of these kitchen appliances can be stowed in a kitchen cupboard or drawer. A lot of these gadgets do come apart so you are able to dismantle them if space really isn't on your side. Some, like the Breville milk frother come with clever hidden storage for the accompanying accessories.
How do I maximize a small kitchen layout?
Shelving and organizational decor is your BFF when it comes to maximizing a small kitchen space. So think about investing in floating ledges and some drawer inserts to capitalize on a compact scheme. There are a ton of affordable options on Amazon (opens in new tab).