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
Planning out your first kitchen can be fun and terrifying all at once.
It’ll be somewhere you cook, eat and socialise – even wash your dirty laundry – so you’ll want to get it right. But like many new home owners you’ll be torn between what you need and what you can afford.
Making savvy investments in the right appliances will go a long way to bringing you one-step closer to your dream kitchen without making a mess of your finances.
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 can be much pricier – especially when you add in the cost of the cabinetry (think doors and plinths) needed to make them blend with the rest of your kitchen.
What’s more, freestanding models are easy to move – ideal if you plan on moving a few years down the line. You can take it with you or use it in future kitchen refits – so you won't have to fork out for new appliances.
Next you’ll need to consider if you need more fridge or more freezer space. Do you have a lot of 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
This Daewoo DFF470SW fridge freezer - compact in width to fit most kitchens, tall enough to accommodate the weekly shop.
And as it’s totally frost-free, so there won’t be any icy conversations over who needs to defrost the freezer.
Buying your first washing machine
If you’re a laundry lover and want all the bells and whistles you could spend upwards of £1,000 on a super-duper machine. But unless you really need a hundred washing settings and the ability to control it from your smartphone, you can spend a lot less and still get a really great machine.
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 also noisier. Between 1200rpm and 1400rpm is a safe bet and also gives you more choice.
Some good features to look out for:
- Range of programmes – likeQuick Washor 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 recognising the size of your laundry load and managing the water levels and drum action for optimum results.
Buying your first dishwasher
Put away the Marigolds and forget the Fairy. While a dishwasher might seem a luxury, it’s a seriously handy kitchen appliance – cutting bills and saving you time –that you’ll soon come to revere as essential.
Thanks to 3 standard sizes they’ll fit into practically any kitchen– full-sized, slim-line and compact.
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 dishesby storing them inside your dishwasher
- They can use as little as 6-litres of waterand 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.