How to choose your first kitchen appliances
Kitting out your first kitchen? Here's what you need to look out for when choosing your first appliances
Purchasing appliances can be fun, but it can also make you feel under pressure.
After all, the kitchen is the centre of your home, somewhere you eat, socialise, and relax – so you’ll want to get it looking right. However, like many new homeowners you may find yourself torn between what you need and what you can afford.
Here’s what to look for when choosing the right fridge-freezer, washing machine and dishwasher for the heart of your home…
Buying your first fridge-freezer
Opt for a freestanding fridge-freezer and you’ll have a bigger range to choose from – both in style and budget.
Integrated versions may look neater, but they’re a bit pricier – especially since you not only need to find the right size fridge, you also need to pay for the cabinetry and work surfaces to go with it.
What’s more, freestanding models are much easier to shift around. This is ideal if you’re planning to move in a few years, as you can take it with you – or, if you’re ever in the mood for another kitchen refit, you can save on having to fork out for new appliances.
Next, you’ll need to consider if you need more fridge or more freezer space. Do you tend to stock up on fresh fruit and veg? Or do you freeze food in bulk?
70/30 models give you maximum fridge room; 60/40 models increase freezer storage space; and 50/50 appliances give you the best of both worlds.
Handy hint: remember that manufacturer sizing is calculated without all the shelving and drawers.
Useful features to look out for:
- Frost-free technology
- Adjustable shelves
- Door storage
- Water dispenser for chilled drinks on-tap
Fantastic first-time fridge
The Hoover HCSB 50/50 fridge freezer is nicely narrow to fit most kitchens and tall enough to accommodate the weekly shop.
It’s got anti-spill storage shelves, so there won’t be any frosty feelings if someone makes a mess in the fridge. Plus, the integrated wine rack is sure to come in handy on a Friday evening…
Buying your first washing machine
If you want all the bells and whistles when it comes to doing laundry, you could be looking at upwards of £1,000 for a top-of-the-range machine. But don’t worry - if you want to save the extra dosh, you can still get a brilliant machine for far less.
Are you washing for a family of four or just the one?
Drum capacities range from 5kg to 12kg (based on dry clothes). For maximum efficiency choose a machine that can cater for your average load-size and make sure you fill to its designated capacity. Under or overloading will only bump up your energy bills.
Top spin speeds range from 1000rpm to 1800rpm. A faster speed can be more expensive and noisier. Anything between 1200rpm and 1400rpm is a safe bet and will also give you more choice.
Some features to look out for:
- Range of programmes – like Quick Wash or Anti-Stain
- Noise levels between 50–55 decibels
- Delay timer
Fantastic first time washing machine
The Hotpoint Smart WMFUG842G - this clever machine cuts down on your energy and water bills by judging the size of your laundry load and managing the water levels and drum action for optimum results.
Buying your first dishwasher
Is it time to put away the rubber gloves and scouring pads? While a dishwasher may seem a luxury, it’s a seriously handy kitchen appliance – cutting bills and saving you time – that you’ll soon consider an essential part of your kitchen.
As they come in 3 standard sizes – full-sized, slimline and compact – you’re sure to find a dishwasher to fit practically any-sized kitchen.
4 reasons why using a dishwasher is better than washing-up by hand:
- It's more hygienic as the water temperature can go up to 70°C, killing more bacteria
- You can keep your sink and worktop clear of dirty dishes by storing them inside your dishwasher
- They can use as little as 6-litres of water and cost 37p per cycle
- Saves you time – up to 16 hours per month
Handy features to look out for:
- Adjustable racks/shelving
- Fold-down prongs
- Anti-flood protection
Fantastic first-time dishwasher
This Kenwood KDW60S16 full-size dishwasher – thanks to its Quick Wash programme (one of eight) you can get 12 place settings clean and dry in just 30 minutes.