Best Knife Sharpener 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Knives are probably the most important utensils in the kitchen, especially if you are a keen cook. You’ll likely have a range of knives which are all perfect for different jobs. And you’d probably be bereft if one was to suddenly stop working as well because it became blunt.

Rather than throwing it away and spending ages trying to find one which is just as good, a knife sharpener could inject some life back into the item. For them to work well, they need to be sharp, and a sharp knife will also improve safety.

The majority are manual, but there are a couple of electric options out there for anyone who needs the work to be done for them. There are different kinds, and the best for each blade type differs too, so read our buying guide before jumping in and purchasing.

It can be a daunting task, but one that must be done. All of those we have reviewed below are simple and user-friendly, and you should be able to find the perfect model for both you and your knives.

The Best Knife Sharpeners – Our Top Picks

Best Pull-Through Knife Sharpeners

AnySharp Knife Sharpener

AnySharp has boldly said this is ‘The World’s Best Knife Sharpener’ on the side of the body of these sharpeners, and on first thought, this seems a bit overly-confident. Upon reviewing it, we can see it is a justified statement.

Using diamond precision, it will sharpen all of your hardened steel blades and will even top-up large-tooth serrated models such as bread knives. All you need to do is put the knife into the sharpening jaw, press down lightly and then pull it towards you. After a few rounds of this, your knife should be back to its best.

It can be used with just one hand, as the PowerGrip suction fixes securely to the kitchen bench or any other flat surface. The ideal degree to sharpen a knife is at 20 degrees, and the AnySharp is pre-set at this angle.

Despite the pictures, which makes it look like a huge machine, this is actually a tiny device which is suitable for popping away in your drawer between uses. It is purely manual, so there is no need to operate it near a plug socket.

We like

  • Manual Compact to store
  • Compact to store
  • Remains firmly on surface for better control

We dislike

  • Takes a bit of time to get the pressure right - press too hard and too much steel comes away

Final Verdict

It takes quite a lot of metal off the blades, but is so easy to use, small to store and quick at the job

+ Specifications

  • Material: Diamond Dimensions: 6.2 x 6.2 x 6.68 cm

Robert Welch Signature

If you would rather have a sharpener which you can hold with one hand and sharpen with the other, to give yourself peace of mind, then this Signature is a solid choice.

Just a few strokes through the mechanism will do the job, and if this is done little but often, your knife will never get to the point of no return in terms of bluntness. It is definitely one of the easiest to use, which is great if you will be buying your first ever sharpener and need something you can swiftly get to grips with.

This model can’t be used with serrated blades, so it is just for the solid steel cooking knives. The manufacturers recommend that the ceramic wheel is replaced around every 18 months, and these are incredibly good value, so it won’t cost a lot of money to keep it in the best possible condition either.

Price-wise, it is very reasonable indeed. Robert Welch is a huge name in the cutlery, kitchenware and tableware world, so it is a trusted brand, and the longevity aspect means it will save you a lot of money on new knives over the years.

We like

  • Ceramic wheel can be replaced - increases life of product
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Works quickly

We dislike

  • Wheel has to be replaced - you could see this as a negative

Final Verdict

Performs the job very well, and is great value for money as seeing it will last for a long, long time

+ Specifications

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 3 x 18cm

Joseph Joseph Rota Sharpener

Another brand which is big in the kitchen world, mostly for its innovative space-saving designs.

This sharpener is no different, as it folds down into a tiny device which doesn’t just fit in the palm of your hands but also in the tightest of spaces in your drawer. Because of this, the sharpening wheels are covered when not in use, so there is no risk of them getting clogged up with dust, dirt and grease from your cooking.

When folded out, you get an ergonomic sturdy handle to hold when you’re sharpening away. Non-slip feet on the base will keep the unit steady when you are using it too, so you don’t have to strain to keep it perfectly still.

There are two different sharpening wheels, one coarse and one fine, so no matter how blunt your knife has got, you’ll be able to inject a bit of life back into it.

You may think that all of the efforts have been put into the design, but we can safely say it does its primary job too. The knives come out perfectly sharp, and it can be used as much as needed without much of a negative effect on the ceramic wheels.

We like

  • Folds up neatly
  • Safe to use
  • Good price (Joseph Joseph is often at the higher end)

We dislike

  • Not suitable for serrated or ceramic knives

Final Verdict

A very competitive price for an item which is so thoughtfully designed but still one of the best knife sharpeners out there

+ Specifications

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Dimensions: 10.16 x 32.51 x 10.16 cm

Chantry Knife Sharpener

Not only is this sharpener strong on the inside at the sharpening wheels, but the overall exterior build also shines through.

The steel housing will remain scratch and dent-proof, even when your kitchen is a bit busy and haphazard. It is very solid, and weighty too so remains well in place when in use. This makes it ideal for one-handed use.

It can sharpen the knives on both sides, and can also sharpen both straight and serrated knives which is great if you have the full range. Many others can’t deal with the latter as it wears away the teeth, so this one is one of a kind.

The size isn’t too large, but it isn’t really one to be stored away in between uses so is definitely for someone who cooks very often and has the space to leave it out, or a small commercial environment.

It is a good price for such a substantial bit of kitchen kit, and while there are a few which are cheaper, we think this one will last long enough for you to get your money worth at the very least.

We like

  • Can sharpen serrated knives
  • Trusted brand with global reputation
  • Very sturdy

We dislike

  • Not as storage-friendly as other models

Final Verdict

Worth paying that little bit more for a really strong and weighty sharpener if you are a serious chef

+ Specifications

  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 16 x 14 x 5 cm

Global Knife Sharpener

A Shinkansen model of sharpener, for Japanese- and Asian-style blades primarily.

There are two grades, coarse and medium, so you can get the knives back up to the perfect level of sharpness no matter how blunt they have become. These wheels are replaceable, so if they start to perform underwhelmingly at their job, you can switch them for a new pair without replacing the entire unit.

It is a model made by Global, who make their own dedicated range of speciality kitchen knives. It is clear that this is a sharpener which does what it should because Global know what their knives need.

All you do is fill the reservoir base with cold water to keep the blades cool, run the blade through the coarse (white) wheel a few times then again through the pink, medium grade wheel. The narrow gaps help to keep the knife well-aligned, so sharpened at the perfect angle.

The wheels can be replaced if you ever need them, which will keep the item working at its best and save you from having to buy an entirely new model. It is available in black or red as an extra touch.

We like

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Replaceable wheels
  • Easy to set up

We dislike

  • At the pricier end

Final Verdict

The best water wheel sharpener we found, and perfect if your speciality knives are looking a bit dull and neglected

+ Specifications

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 9 x 6.5 cm

VonShef Electric Two Stage Knife Sharpener

There aren’t many electric models around, as the majority of sharpeners are manual, but if you’d prefer an electric model which does the movement for you, this is one of the best options.

It isn’t just a knife sharpener either. There is also a screwdriver sharpening port and scissor groove, so if you’re a bit if a DIY-er or your scissors are in the same state as your knives, you can tackle the lot.

The two-stage sharpening system not only does the main job but also defines them to finish it off and perfect the sharpness. You can sharpen both your kitchen knives and those which are a bit tougher, such as bread models (although it won’t tackle serrated knives).

Despite coming packed with the features, it is still relatively compact and easy to store away, whether it will be kept in the kitchen or utility room/shed. You can use Alloy, Carbon and Stainless Steel knives with it, and there are two wheels for both fine and coarse.

The fact that it can tackle so much definitely makes it worth the price, even if you doubt you’ll use the scissor or screwdriver ports – at least they will be there if you ever do.

We like

  • Great value
  • Surprisingly compact

We dislike

  • Very loud in use

Final Verdict

A great 3-in-1, and definitely one of the best electric knife sharpeners out there

+ Specifications

  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 17.2 x 17 x 12.8 cm

John Lewis & Partners Knife Sharpener

A nice price and from a name which is trusted, this sharpener is a lovely all-rounder.

The design is a little different from others. It is slimline, so great if you want to store it upright vertically, and the handle is prominent and at the side of the unit. This makes it look just like a chopping board, perfect for anyone who needs something compact enough to store yet needs something substantial to hold on to.

It can also tackle serrated knives, which is good if this is how your bread and meat knives are designed. Even though the use is pretty self-explanatory, you don’t get any instructions. We would have at least liked some tips on the best way to use it, but you soon get to grips with it after a few goes.

We like

  • Easy to pop away
  • Price
  • Substantial handle

We dislike

  • Lightweight, which can make it hard to control if you are using a lot of pressure

Final Verdict

Good value for a substantial sharpener, and good if you want something large yet storage-friendly

+ Specifications

  • Material: Steel

Best Sharpening Stones

Best Sharpening Steels

Fridgemaster MCF194

Chest freezers are great for anyone who needs a lot of extra space, as you aren’t constricted by shelves and compartments. But if you want this extra space on a budget, so many options leave you restricted.

Luckily, this Fridgemaster still gives you everything you could possibly need but with  low price. The 194L capacity will give you plenty of room for all of those extra bits and bobs you like to have on hand but aren’t always in use, such as ice creams, spare bits for dinner and ice cubes. Some freezers can only be placed in the home, despite traditionally only being for spare foods. But thankfully, this one has the Winter Guard feature, so it can work in temperatures as low as -15 without so much as a stutter. This makes it one of the best freezers for your garage or outhouse.

The low price means there are a few technology pointers missing. It will have to be manually defrosted every so often, and there is no display so you can alter the temperature. But it is A rated to run and gets a 4 star freezer rating so can keep food fresh for up to 12 months.

We like

  • Plenty of room
  • Economical to run
  • Price

We dislike

  • Would benefit from an interior light (but forgivable for cost)

Final Verdict

Cheap and cheerful appliance which does the job - no more to say about it but you won't regret the buy

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 84.2 x 89.1 x 55.7cm
  • Capacity: 194L
  • Energy Rating: A+

Samsung RR7000M RZ32M7120SA

Available in black, silver or white, this is a is not only an incredibly attractive upright freestanding freezer, but is also ever so easy to care for.

It is frost free, so you won’t spend hours chipping away at ice build ups in order to fit the weekly shop in. Cold air is constantly circulated around the entire interior to keep everything fresh. Yet, there is a fast frost function which will bring that shop right down to optimum temperature in quick time, to preserve it and ensure the freezer continually works at the best temperature. It can hold 17 bags of food altogether, which is ideal for someone who likes to keep their stocks up.

Judging by the size, you could expect it to break the bank when it comes to running costs. But you’d be wrong – an estimated £51.13 is all you’ll spend over the full year. The door is reversible, so you can switch it to suit your comfort and kitchen layout. It also runs at only 41 dB loud, so won’t disturb your dinnertime. But the thing we love about it the most? The top half is made up of shelves as opposed to drawers, so you can clearly see where the peas are and whether you need any more fish fingers.

We like

  • Great capacity
  • Very stylish
  • Reversible door

We dislike

  • Reversing the door is a pain if needed

Final Verdict

So much room, quiet operation, and a nifty layout - miles ahead of so many competitors out there

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 185.3 x 59.5 x 69.4cm
  • Capacity: 315L
  • Efficiency: A+

Philips 22PFT5303/05 22″

Looking for something small and unimposing for your living room? Maybe you want a telly in your bedroom or the caravan so need it to be small? Either way, you can grab an absolute bargain with this unit.

The 1080p Full HD resolution gives a sharp picture for the screen size, and there are over 70 free channels available through Freeview. There is also plenty of scope to connect extra set top boxes and gaming consoles with two HDMI connections, and even a USB port for external hard drives in case you want to keep your movies in digital format.

It will tune itself automatically, so if you have an elderly relative or simply can’t be bothered with remembering to do this manually every so often, the upkeep is minimal. It is simple to install, and if you need to adjust any colours of brightness to adapt it to your room, the menu is simple to navigate.

The stand is a little different, as it is designed to make the screen almost sit directly on the surface as opposed to being elevated. This will appeal to some and put a few people off, but the important thing is that it doesn’t take away from the overall television.

We like

  • Price
  • Automatic scanning and updating
  • Compact - no large stand and gap

We dislike

  • Volume doesn't go very high

Final Verdict

Fabulous price, and the perfect small television if you're looking for something easy to run

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 22
  • Freeview HD
  • 2 x HDMI, 1 x USB
  • Dimensions: 31.1 x 51.2 x 11.8cm

Samsung QLED QE55Q60RA

A television packed with all of the necessary bits and bobs for making your screen pop out at you.

You have a razor-sharp 4K resolution and dynamic HDR support for a spectacular picture, as well as 100% picture colour for vivid brights and dark blacks. Samsung’s HDR Elite, a version of HDR10+, gives incredible contrast and the complete range of brightness. There is also Quantum 4K technology, so content not made for 4K viewers will be upgraded in spectacular fashion.

It is a Smart television thanks to instant connection to Samsung’s built-in Smart Hub. At the press of a button, you have Netflix, Apple TV, BT Sport and all those other subscription and catch-up platforms you can think about.

When you aren’t sitting down to watch the latest films, the television can blend in with the environment. The clever ambient mode allows the TV to effortlessly blend into your room when it’s turned off, and it can all be controlled with your phone so you get the exact look you want. It can even match the paint or wallpaper behind the screen. Or, pick the weather report and family photos if you still like a bit of background.

As a bonus, the One Connect box (sold separately) can connect your TV to the power socket and all of your extra set top boxes and games consoles to the TV, so you can hide all of the unsightly wires and extras for a clean, dust-free look.

We like

  • Fantastic colours
  • Can be hidden
  • One Connect box idea

We dislike

  • Doesn't show true blacks

Final Verdict

Television technology is always flying, but if you buy this model, you will be ahead of the pack for many years to come.

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 43
  • Freesat HD
  • 4x HDMI, 2x USB, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x Optical Out, 1 x Common Interface, 1 x Terrestrial, 1 x Cable Input, 1 x Satellite Input
  • Dimensions: 79.1 x 123.7 x 26.4cm

LG 49SM8600PLA 49″

With the full breadth of 4K technology, all of your viewing will look just how it was meant to when the creators made it. HD and Full HD technology will also be given a boost.

The Technicolor Advanced HDR fills your screen with incredibly lifelike shades and hues to make every movie look super-realistic. Nano Cell technology maintains the colours across the entire screen, so even when footage is right at the edge of the screen, it will still look perfect. Perfect for watching from every seat in the house.

Catch up and streaming services can be accessed if you hook it up the the internet, and you can even connect it to your voice-controlled smart speaker for a remote control-free experience. Google Assistant is built in if you would rather keep it separate.

We like

  • Good Dolby sound
  • Pure colours
  • Voice control option

We dislike

  • Nothing to say!

Final Verdict

Available in good big sizes and there's plenty of connection inputs to keep you happy

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 49", 55", 65"
  • Freeview HD and Freesat HD
  • 4 x HDMI, 3 x USB
  • Dimensions: 71 x 109.6 x 26.3cm

Hisense H50AE6100UK

Hisense are slowly creeping in as the leaders of the budget television market, but remarkably, they pack an awful lot in to every unit for the price.

The LED Ultra 4K HD brings the screen to life, which is perfect if you’re settling down to watch the latest film, want to get immersed as you catch up on Line Of Duty or are simply watching all of the sport on a Saturday. Freeview HD gives you the choice of 70+ free channels, but if you prefer to catch-up or watch the latest Amazon Prime Video smash-hit, the smart TV features will give you access at the press of a button.

We would challenge you to find a better unit for this price, especially as there is so much packed into it. The picture and sound quality are both fabulous, so you won’t be regretting the purchase.

We like

  • Price
  • Great sound for cost
  • Easy to setup

We dislike

  • Blacks aren't great

Final Verdict

The dark colours won't be completely dark, but as seeing that is our only little niggle, we would have to say this is a great overall telly for the cost

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 43", 50"
  • Freesat HD
  • 3 x HDMI, 2 x USB, 1 x Ethernet
  • Dimensions: 71.8 x 112.7 x 24.4cm

Panasonic TX-65FX560B 65″

Combining 4K technology with UHD resolution, this model gives you brilliant contrast and vividness and timely actions.

Freeview HD gives you 70 free-to-view channels, and it is also easy to access subscription and catch-up platforms as it is a Smart TV. There are even four HDMI ports and two USBs so you can connect extra boxes and streaming devices.

There is 4K upscaling, so older movies and programmes which are just HD quality and weren’t made with this technology in mind can be given a boost to bring them up to the standards you will now be used to. All of the gabs between the pixels are filled with colour, so the screen and picture will look a lot fuller.

Sound can sometimes be lacking on modern flat screen televisions, but that from this model is perfectly sufficient for that everyday viewing and a boost when needed.

We like

  • Good sound quality
  • Great range of ports
  • Black/white contrast is great

We dislike

  • Design is a little different to get the hang of

Final Verdict

Brilliant for the price, with a clear screen, great sound and enough input ports to keep you happy

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 65"
  • Freeview HD
  • 4 x HDMI, 2 x USB
  • Dimensions: 84.1 x 145.9 x 7.2cm

Hotpoint Newstyle HARG60K

From the Hotpoint and Jamie Oliver partnership comes this double gas oven. With an A+/A energy rating, it will be kind to your bills as well as your meals.

The main conventional gas oven will give you an easy chamber to make dishes such as casseroles and cakes. Because the heat rises from the bottom to the top, they will be thoroughly cooked yet crisped as it is hotter at the top. There is also a second chamber. This is where the grill is, which will open up your culinary opportunities.

If there are splatters and spills, the catalytic liners will absorb them and then the heat will allow them to be wiped away once cooled. This will keep it looking as good as new. However, the standout in our opinion is the slow cooker function, which allows you to make stews, casseroles and other dishes with ease over a long period yet let you quickly warm plates too.

We like

  • Good price
  • Nice and easy to clean
  • Slow cooker function
  • Great size cavities

We dislike

  • Gas hob can go out if oven door is closed too hard

Final Verdict

The hundreds of glowing reviews out there for this product are a great sign that this is an oven for everyone and every need

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: (H)90 x (W)60 x (D)60cm
  • Capacity: First Cavity 81L, Second Cavity 32L
  • Energy Rating: A+/A

Belling FS50GTCL 50cm Gas Cooker

A great traditional pick, yet the stainless steel finish gives it that modern twist needed for today’s cooking spaces.

The conventional main oven allows heat to rise, and it stays at the top to make this section hotter. This is perfect if you want to make dishes such as casseroles or pasta bakes which can struggle getting thoroughly heated yet need to be crisped on the top. The second section is a grill, which gives you the finishing touches of your dishes but also lets you make cheese on toasts or bacon. You get a grill pan and drip tray included.

Because both chambers are separate, you won’t have to fight for oven space if you need to make several meals at once. The grease-proof enamel coating on the main cavity will protect it from any spills or burns, so you can wipe it clean regularly to keep it clean.

 

We like

  • Light to check on food without opening door
  • Push button ignition
  • Easy to clean

We dislike

  • Grill isn't the strongest

Final Verdict

Good value for money and perfect for anyone who often needs the grill and oven at once

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: (H)90 x (W)50 x (D)60cm
  • Capacity: Main Cavity 35L, Second Cavity 19L
  • Energy Rating: A

LENOVO Smart Clock with Google Assistant

Smart technology is impacting our lives in all ways. From plugs to lighting, so many ordinary items now have the ability to make our day-to-day tasks easier.

This Lenovo clock includes Google Assistant, which is the browser’s version of a smart assistant. If you have often led in bed and wished you could ask somebody to get the coffee machine going, read you your diary for the day and switch on the heating in Winter while you’re still snoozing, now you can.

Maybe you like to hear music or view motivational quotes instead? The Smart Clock can be set up to wake you however you wish, to ease you into those mornings. You can also ask Google to wake you in ten minutes if you want a lazy morning, or just tap the top of the device for a snooze.

It can be paired with other Chromecast speakers, which can fill your home with music or a voice reading out the news, and the app makes setting it up easier than ever. Unlike a lot of other smart screen speakers about which do pretty much the same thing, you can mute the microphone so it won’t wake to your voice (great if you sleep talk), and there is no onboard camera for peace of mind.

The Lenovo Smart Clock is ideal if you like your tech to be bang up to date, and the four-inch screen ensures the time is displayed clearly and largely at all times. There is also a USB port in case you like to charge your phone but only have one plug.

We like

  • Tidy and unobtrusive
  • Good sound
  • Screen automatically dims in darkness

We dislike

  • You may prefer a smart screen speaker with the ability to watch video/view photos

Final Verdict

With limited functionality on the screen (it is literally just a clock), this is the perfect little unit if you love smart tech but ultimately love getting to work on time and in a good mood a lot more

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.3 x 7.92 cm
  • Power: Mains
  • Display: 4" IPS touchscreen
  • Time Display: 24H

Acctim Rialto Radio Controlled LCD Alarm Clock

Tuned to the UK’s MSF transmitter, this radio-controlled clock will always display the correct live time. It will even automatically adjust from Summer into Winter. So if every clock in your home usually has a different time display, you can at least rely on one to help set the rest.

It can show the time in both 12 or 24-hour formats depending on your personal preference. But it isn’t just the clock it can display, though. You will also see the date and indoor temperature (in °C or °F), so you can be properly in control of the day. As a bonus, rather than displaying the seconds of the time, you can display the day (MO, TU, WE etc.)

Backlight control allows you to set your own brightness to adjust it to your eyes sensitivity, or how dark/light it is in the morning. The quality of this display is excellent and so easy to see, and you can even set it to give out no display for complete darkness. Just tap the top for a quick view.

The alarm tone starts off softly, then gets louder, which will help if you tend to snooze a bit too long in the mornings. It is powered by the mains and there is a battery back-up for the time as well. If your chargers and other electronics struggle to reach the power socket from your bedside table, then the two-metre lead on this clock should do the trick.

On top of all of this, the unit is compact and the time, date and temperature are all displayed in different colours so you can tell which is which when bleary-eyed.

We like

  • Sets itself when plugged in
  • Option to turn display off
  • Clear instructions in manual

We dislike

  • Even on dim, it may still be too bright for some

Final Verdict

Sets up in seconds and gives you all the info you need for the day ahead. Quite pricey, but worth it for the reliability

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H6.6 x W13.8 x D3.2cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Philips are leaders when it comes to smart lighting and SAD lamps, and if you like to be eased into the day with natural light but don’t want several appliances cluttering your bedside table, this could be the answer.

This wake-up light alarm clock recreates a natural sunrise, which is great both if you need to be eased in to the day or if you suffer from seasonal issues and can’t cope with dark mornings and artificial light.

It is clinically proven to work, increasing your energy levels and fight the winter blues. The display also reacts to the light levels in the room, dimming the clock when it is dark in the room to make sure the brightness doesn’t wake you in the middle of the night.

You may also struggle actually nodding off, in which case the natural sunset option will also help you out. It will gradually decrease light and sound, emulating natural daily rhythm sleep patterns. This could also be ideal if you need a light on to get to sleep, but don’t like it waking you up in the middle of the night.

A seven-minute battery backup function will help if there is a power cut, which is ideal as these can usually strike in Winter when you need this light the most. There are five alarm sounds to choose from, as well as a radio option in case you like to listen to your favourite show when waking. There’s also a reading lamp so you can rest before you sleep.

There are quite a few cheaper options out there, which look as though they have been heavily inspired by this design, but we would always recommend going for the bigger well-known names to increase reliability and longevity.

We like

  • LED light - should last for a few years
  • Gentle sound starts after 30 minutes of light
  • Can adjust volume and brightness

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Brilliant if you suffer from SAD, or simply need to be woken up gently in order to start the day on the right foot

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19.9 x 14.6 x 19.2 cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 24H

Geemarc Sonic Bomb

Described as a ‘ballistically loud alarm clock’, this is not a device for those who need to ease into the day gently. So if you struggle to get out of bed, sleep through alarms or never stop snoozing, read on.

It comes with a shaker pad which you pop under your pillow. This is designed to physically wake you as well as audibly. Some people need to place their phone under their pillow or near their bed so they can hear/feel the vibrations, but this clock will help if you’d rather not have the phone in the bedroom.

The sound can reach 113dB, which is much louder than modern-day washing machines, vacuums or hairdryers. Over double in most cases, actually. So if you don’t wake up in response and when paired with the vibrations, as Geemarc say – you are probably beyond help.

There are different alarm variations so you can pick the one which you find the most annoying or clearest. A battery back-up will ensure you can tell the time even when the power has gone in the middle of the night, although there will be no noise so you’ll have to hope your natural circadian rhythm kicks in.

The controls are all red to contrast with the black body, so you can easily tell what you’re doing if you need to change the settings. There is also the option to set two separate alarms, so number one can wake you up in the morning and number two can remind you to take medication, get the bins ready or take the dog for a walk.

We like

  • Noise and shake work well together
  • Flashing lights as a bonus
  • 1.8m power cable

We dislike

  • A little ugly looking

Final Verdict

Waking up is difficult for anyone, but if it is literally impossible for you, then this gadget is bound to help you out

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 17.8 x 15.2 cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 24H

DreamSky Digital Alarm Clock

One of the best alarm clocks for extra-large display, this clock is ideal if you struggle to see your current model.

You can choose from a red light, white light or blue light for the clock display, so it can be as vivid or as gentle as needed. Furthermore, you can pick the brightness between 0% and 100% using a dimmer wheel on the rear of the unit, getting it to that exact sweet spot.

The large time will help anyone who needs has blurry, unfocused eyes in the morning as well. Just one little glance tells you all you need. If you are also quite a deep sleeper and struggle to hear alarms, then the adjustable alarm volume ranging from 30 to 90 dB should come in handy. Likewise, you may prefer to set it low and get awoken gently.

There are two USB sockets in the back of the clock, one for the power supply and the other to charge your phone or other device. This helps if you’re low on plug space or accessibility. The two AAA battery back-up will save the set time in case of a power cut.

Without any interaction, the alarm will go on for two minutes. It can be set to snooze for eight minutes with a tap on the top of the unit, and a simple button will let you switch it off if you have a day working from home or have hit the weekend.

It is a clear, strong pick if you want something simple and fuss-free, and if the volume and display are two big pointers. Even if you are hard of hearing or sight, you’ll be able to use it, and the affordable price tag doesn’t set you back.

We like

  • Choice of backlight colour
  • Large display to edge of screen
  • Good price

We dislike

  • Feels a bit plasticky

Final Verdict

Bright and bold without being overwhelming, and it is simple to operate - the basics of what you need

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.6 inch x 1.7 inch x 3 inch
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

Acctim Larsen Smartlite® LCD Alarm Clock

Alarm clocks are designed to do one main thing, but the right one can also make a big impact on your aesthetic.

If you like the wooden look when it comes to your accessories, then this model is ideal. The smart oak front, combined with the white rear, makes for a modern yet classic design. It isn’t ruined by garish buttons or switches either, as they all blend into the unit at the top.

Smartlite® technology means a white backlight illuminates the display as the room gets darker, turning it off again during the daytime to prolong the battery life. The time is stretched right across the screen, making it large and easy to read.

We would say that the price is a little high for such a basic bit of kit. We think you’ll be paying a bit for the design and the name, which is worth doing if you want something reliable and to last a good few years.

We like

  • Large time display
  • Good backlight
  • Battery-powered

We dislike

  • Back is a bit plasticky

Final Verdict

Looks great and is easy to read thanks to advanced technology

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H7.5 x W13.6 x D5.7cm
  • Power: 3 x AA batteries
  • Display: LCD
  • Time Display: 12HR

Dr. Prepare Projection Alarm Clock

These models are few and far between, especially when it comes to getting a reliable option. But they are such a genius invention that we don’t know why nobody thought of it before.

Do you struggle to view your clock when you wake up in the middle of the night? Perhaps when you do, it is far too bright for the eyes. Or, it may be on your partner’s side of the bed closest to the plug socket, which means you have to strain to see it.

The fine balance between all of those issues is buying a projecting alarm clock such as this. It will display the time on the screen, but also cast it to a wall, meaning you can tell the time at a glance in the mornings.

The angle can be adjusted 180-degree, so you get the strongest possible display no matter the size of the room, and can view it comfortably. Furthermore, it can predict the weather for the next 12hours, and there are six icons to clearly demonstrate what it is most likely to do. The weather will be displayed in °F or °C depending on personal choice.

It is a dual alarm, which lets you set two different times. So you can programme it to wake you at 7 am and then sound again for your partner a bit later on, or depending on which shift pattern you are on.

The two AA batteries will keep the clock display on when there is no mains power, and there is an extra USB socket for charging up your phone or tablet while you sleep.

We like

  • Projection is quite bright
  • Easy buttons on front
  • Can project up to 10 feet away

We dislike

  • Takes a little while to calibrate time and temperature
  • Screen layout is a bit jumbled

Final Verdict

A great idea for anyone who struggles to view the time from the alarm screen, and not a bad price either

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14.6 x 9.2 x 8 cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: Projection
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

Oregon Scientific Prysma Chrome Weatherstation Alarm Clock

Perfect for all of you science buffs out there, this Oregon clock gives you an awful lot of information.

Sometimes, you want to know more than the time in the mornings. You want to know if it is raining, if it is hot enough for you to leave your coat at home, and if it is uncomfortably humid so you have to wear your short-sleeved shirt.

This clock will give you the indoor and outdoor temperature, indoor and outdoor humidity and the weather forecast (sunny/partly cloudy/cloudy/rainy/snowy). This is all super accurate too, as you get a remote Bluetooth sensor for you to place outside for the outdoor temperature.

The time is radio-controlled so will always be accurate to the millisecond. You won’t even have to adjust it for DST. The best little touch, however, is that the clock display will automatically change pick from one of seven preset colours depending on the outside temperature, from a cool purple and blue when it’s cold to an orange and red when it’s warm.

When the alarm sounds, it gets louder and louder in a crescendo until you finally choose to turn it off. Should you not have to rush out of the door, the eight-minute snooze function will give you a few more precious moments in bed.

The data it gives is interesting, so it would be ideal to use as a weather station in the comfort of your living room or kitchen as opposed to an alarm clock as well.

We like

  • Slim, sleek design
  • Picks up remote sensor signal from 50m away

We dislike

  • Screen will not be bright or bold enough for some

Final Verdict

Good for a novelty bit of kit for anyone who is interested in all things weather and temperature

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H8 x W20 x D2cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LCD
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

TRIXES Silver Desk Top Temperature Alarm Clock

If you travel a lot, then a small clock could come in handy. This one is small and compact, and also folds shut to protect the screen.

It works as an alarm and a clock, so if you’re on a work trip and want to put extra precautions in place to ensure you’re ready and showered for that taxi at 8.30, it can be set in good time. There is a snooze function if you like a bit of a slower wake up, and a countdown timer can allow you to set the exact time you need (or for any other reason you’d need one).

It will also display the day, room temperature and date underneath the time. You can choose to give the time in 12 or 24-hour format, too. For such a small appliance, we really did not expect there to be so much packed in.

The timekeeping isn’t hugely accurate, and it is battery powered, so we would say it is best as a back-up alarm as opposed to your only option if you’re going to rely on it hugely. If you just want it for going on a relaxing holiday and waking up in time for the breakfast buffet though, we would say it does a fine job.

Because of the size, it is fiddly to set and takes a little while to get used to which buttons do what when. There is no backlight or brightness, but it is good enough.

We like

  • Good to travel with
  • Folds up small

We dislike

  • No backlight
  • Tinny sound from alarm

Final Verdict

A nice price for a digital travel clock if you don’t like the analogue options out there

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7 x 9cm
  • Power: CR2025 Battery
  • Display: LCD
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

Clocky Rolling Alarm Clock

The best alarm clock for kids, especially those who you have to basically drag out of bed. Clocky is the original annoying alarm, who will run away, hide, roll, wheel, beep, and jump (up to a 3 feet nightstand) while emitting the alarm sound, so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.

The sound is quite loud, which should do the job of waking the user up, and then the hunt begins. You can choose a snooze option if you want to be given one chance to get out of bed of your own accord, but should he have to sound again, the movement starts.

Should you usually be in good spirits, the Clocky will cheer you up before you head downstairs. If not, then it will still do the job it is designed to do. It is battery powered, but these last for a lot of time according to other reviews, which is good.

If somebody you know is heading off to uni or going through exam season, this could be the perfect gift. It works best on a hard floor or short pile carpets, struggling with rugs or thicker carpets, so you’ll need to think about this before buying. You’ll also need a relatively clear area for it to do the job – no good if your teen has clothes and shoes littered everywhere.

We like

  • Colour options
  • Audible alarm

We dislike

  • The actual time display isn’t the best - more an alarm than anything else
  • Pricey for something which is more on the novelty side

Final Verdict

More of a novelty than the most reliable alarm clock, but a great way to get somebody up on their feet if the noise is going to irk them

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.3 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm
  • Power: Battery
  • Time Display: 12H

FELLOWES L80 A4 Laminator

A generous warm-up time of four minutes, great price and plenty of user-friendly features make this one of the best laminators for home use and ease.

Documents from recipe cards to certificates can be laminated using the 80-micron pouches. This is seen as the standard thickness, and you get ten free pouches so you can start as soon as it arrives.

After 30 minutes of being left on idle, the Fellowes L80 will automatically go into sleep mode, so you won’t leave it on accidentally or for so long that it overheats. This also helps to save energy, yet it is there instantly when you need it.

We like

  • Nice size for storing
  • Easy to use
  • Anti-jam lever

We dislike

  • Can take longer than 4 minutes to heat

Final Verdict

A fabulous price and a trusted laminator from one of the best brands in the business

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 80
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot

GBC FUSION Fusion 3000L A3 Laminator

Should you need something which can go up to A3 size and has a super fast warm-up time, say if you need it for business use, then this is the one.

It can cope with sizes from ID to A3, and up to 2 x 75 or 2 x 125-micron pouches. If you use the former, the job can be done in just 30 seconds. A green light and audible beep will tell you when the laminator is ready to use.

With suitable self-adhesive pouches, you can use it as a cold laminator. This means it won’t need electricity supply and will be safer too. There is an adjustable guide so the paper can be lined up exactly, to lower the risk of jams or wonky jobs. Unlike a lot of other models, there is an exit tray, so you don’t have to be there to catch the end result.

It can laminate up to 17 A4 sheets in around 10 minutes, so if you need something quick, flexible and stylish, you can’t do better. It is also available to buy in A4 size with longer warm-up times if you want to spend a bit less.

We like

  • Sleek design
  • Flexible in terms of sizes
  • Almost silent in operation

We dislike

  • One of the more pricey

Final Verdict

You pay for the extra efficiency and functions, but if having the best home or small office laminator is important, then it is worth that extra cash

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 125
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot/Cold

REXEL Style 2104511 A4 Laminator

If you need a laminator suitable for home but which can deal with slightly thicker tasks, this Rexel is a lovely price and compact size.

It is a pouch laminator, but you can choose to use it either as a cold or hot laminator, so heat activated or self-adhering pouches can be used. The pouches need to be 125 microns thick, but this gives you a good level of stability if the paper is extra precious.

There is a release lever which will allow for easy access to the paper in case it jams, so you can rectify the issue before either the laminator or paper is ruined. Just remove or realign them as appropriate.

It takes four minutes to heat up, which is around average. In all, it does what it is meant to, and is a good price to say you can use it as a cold laminator too.

We like

  • Price
  • Green light to say when it is ready
  • Nice and compact

We dislike

  • Instructions lack good information

Final Verdict

A nice little laminator which is flexible enough for use at home whatever the task

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 125
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot/Cold

Texet (LMA4-V) A4 Laminator

Nice and easy to operate thanks to the simple rocker switch mechanism,

Thanks to a maximum 160-micron pouch ability, your end result can be as flexible or foldable as you need. It takes about 3-5 minutes to warm up, but once it gets there, the printing speed of 30cm/min is good for the size and price of the product.

If your paper happens to jam during the process, a little lever on the rear of the unit can help you get it out safely without causing further damage. The paper isn’t ejected automatically, but for this price, that is a perfectly acceptable issue.

As a bonus, it cools down quickly, so if you like to get the job done and everything packed away ASAP, it’ll be safe to do so.

We like

  • Easy to operate
  • Flexible in terms of pouch size

We dislike

  • Power lead is very short

Final Verdict

Good price and a stylish little model which is perfect for occasional home use

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 160
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot

LEITZ iLAM Home Office A4 Laminator

Complete with a free pack of Leitz UDT laminate pouches so you can get going straight away, this is a lovely little laminator for use at home.

There is a three minute warm up time and LED lights will let you know at what stage of the warm up process it is at. An anti-jam system is in place so you can keep going without having to pause and rectify any issues.

When it hasn’t been used for 30 minutes, it shuts to stand by mode, so saves electricity yet gives you the chance to pick up where you left off.

There are cheaper options out there, but the overall ease of use and style of this model, plus the fact that it feels substantial, make it worth that extra money.

We like

  • Choice of colours
  • Lights and audible alert when it is ready
  • Also available in A3 size

We dislike

  • A bit more money compared to some others

Final Verdict

A nice little laminator which is good for home office use when you need something a bit more substantial

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 125
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot

Blusmart 5-in-1 Deluxe Laminator Set

With a couple of modes to choose from depending on your needs, this is one of the most flexible laminators on the market.

The 5-in-1 idea comes from the fact that as well as laminating, it can round corners, trim sheets, create patterned edges and create photo frames. So even if all you need is a laminator, the other functions could come in handy.

It isn’t the most stable at all of the extra functions, so perhaps best if you would occasionally use them as opposed to them being must-haves. For home use, however, it is perfect. That is before we have even mentioned the price, which is fabulous for something which does so much. If you want a laminator for craft purposes, or perhaps for a younger person who wants to make their own art and bookmarks, it is ideal (although we will say it gets very hot).

We like

  • Jam release button
  • On/off and lamination lights
  • Photo frame option is a nice touch

We dislike

  • Body gets very hot when in use

Final Verdict

Great as a basic multi-tasking tool if you also need something which can trim important documents

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 160-250
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot/Cold

FELLOWES Lunar+ A3 Laminator

Capable of laminating both A3 and A4 sizes, the Lunar+ is perfect for home offices, creatives or professional environments.

It will heat in 4 minutes and has a laminating speed of 30 cm per minute, so you can get the job done in good time. A release trigger will allow you to realign any wonky or jammed documents, so you can rectify issues before they become problematic.

Some laminators aren’t suitable for covering photos, because they won’t work with the glossier finish and could cause the ink to become damaged. This model, however, is photo capable, so if you like to laminate your photos and memories for display purposes, you can.

It is a step up from the previous Lunar model, and for not much more money, you get a much bigger micron capability, quicker heat time and much more snazzy design.

We like

  • Can cope with a lot of laminating in a short time
  • Jam release trigger
  • Good instruction manual

We dislike

  • Bit more pricey than other options

Final Verdict

A great option if you need something which can handle more sensitive documents and prints while still doing a perfect job

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 125
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot

Bonsaii A3 A4 Laminator

Complete with both hot and cold laminating options to cater for every need, this Bonsaii model is good for both home and office use where tasks will change from day to day.

You get five laminating pouches included as a starter, so can get a good feel for using the machine before you take on the more serious stuff. It is designed to heat up in about three minutes, so you’re not left waiting for ages, and

An ABS jam release switch will help clear blockages, and you can even seal damaged items with no trouble is the Jam Protection System is activated. So if you have that bit of paper with your Nan’s favourite lasagne recipe on but which is folded, tattered and torn at the edges, you can finally seal and protect it without risking it becoming further ruined.

For a final point, it can work for a long time without coming close to overheating or struggling if you switch it to cold every so often.

We like

  • Price
  • Good anti-jam process

We dislike

  • May not be the most long-term friendly

Final Verdict

Not the most reliable for the long term judging by other reviews, but it is compact and easy to use so should help you out with a few immediate tasks for the price

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 2x125
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot/Cold

Crenova LT01 A4 Laminating Machine

With a two roller system in place which gives the perfect pressure for both hot and cold pressing, this is a flexible laminator model which gives a great consistent performance.

After the 3-5 minute warm up time, you are good to go. The end results are quick and bubble-free, and instructions are easy to follow so you can set everything up perfectly to avoid any issues.

The cold option requires no pre-heating and is fully safe, and if you use the hot function, the auto shutdown will prevent it from overheating. If the paper jams, just press the ABS button and you can release the problem with no trouble.

When it is good to go, the Ready light will turn green, so you always get perfect results. There are some pouches included with the purchase, so you’re good to go out of the box.

We like

  • Small and sturdy
  • Great results

We dislike

  • Laminator gets very hot
  • Instructions are poor

Final Verdict

It is very simple, but sometimes it is the simple appliances which do the best job. As a bonus, other users report that aftercare and customer service from Crenova is top-notch

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 2x75 to 2x125
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot/Cold

AmazonBasics A4 Thermal Laminator

If you want something cheap and cheerful for your office, then the AmazonBasics range is always a great idea. This is our winner for the best cheap laminator, and while it isn’t perfect, the results are still worth a go.

It can be used with laminate pouches up to 5 mil thick, so is good for those jobs which still need a bit of a give and bend feel. Amazon has made its own dedicated pouches for use with the product, which is reasonably priced and sufficient.

The overall size is very compact, so it is good if you want to be able to keep it out all of the time for immediate use but are low on desk space. If you have Amazon Prime, you can save 20% on the price too, so it is well worth signing up.

It doesn’t give the most reliable results. Users comment that it occasionally snagged or bent the sheets, so may not do if you’re constantly sealing precious one-off documents, but if you have back-ups, you’re good.

We like

  • Quiet in operation
  • Price

We dislike

  • Maybe not the best for important tasks or long-term use

Final Verdict

Cheap and generally does what it is meant to do. Good if you want something for occasional use

+ Specifications

  • Microns: 80-125
  • Type: Pouch
  • Heat Technology: Hot

Makita DUC353Z Cordless Chainsaw

A brushless top handle chainsaw ideal for tree surgeons. This Makita has been designed to be up to 50% more efficient than its rivals, with a brushless motor which doesn’t wear away or cause the chainsaw to stutter.

There is a variable speed control option at the press of a trigger, which will help with a multitude of tasks. When faced with larger jobs, chainsaws can sometimes start to slow down as they struggle to get through the material. However, thanks to constant speed control, the motor and chain won’t stutter so you can keep going.

Automatic chain lubrication will keep the saw cutting for the duration of the battery life, and the reservoir is visible so you can easily see when the oil needs topping up. The opening is large, so it is mess-free to get going again.

Also visible is the battery level for both of the two 18V batteries which work together to power the 36V motor. When in use, there is low noise and low vibration, so it is comfortable to use at all times. Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) provides extra guard against dust, debris and possible water pollution, which can be problematic on sites, which is great if you are a professional.

Unfortunately, the batteries and charger are not included, so you will have to buy separately if you don’t have them already. Makita uses the ‘one battery across the range’ approach to their power tools, so if you own other items from the brand, you only need one set of batteries.

This is the body-only option, but is still well-priced for the sheer power and comfort levels you get for the money, even when the extra purchase is taken into consideration.

We like

  • Battery life is generous
  • Relatively quiet
  • One of the more lightweight options but still powerful

We dislike

  • Batteries aren’t included

Final Verdict

So easy to use, and can cope with quite large jobs which don't require the power of a petrol model

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 25cm
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 23.5 x 44.3 cm
  • Weight: 4.1 kg
  • Power: 36V

Ryobi OCS1830 18 V 30 cm Bar ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chain Saw

An automatic oiling system will keep you going for longer without having to pause and manually adapt everything. The wraparound overmould handle is comfortable to grip no matter what position the unit is held in.

The brushless motor technology doesn’t only reduce the amount of noise and straining from the use but gives you 20% more power and 40% more run-time per charge too. It features both mechanical and automatic chain brake assistance to prevent any accidents, so whether you quickly need to stop it or are unintentionally pushing it to the limits, you aren’t going to cause any injuries or harm.

This particular purchase is sold as a bare/zero tool. It is part of the ONE+ System of over 100 tools for the home and garden, so having just one battery can work across all of the Ryobi items in the collection.

It works incredibly well to say that it is both electric and cordless, without producing a horrible amount of noise or straining with tougher jobs.

We like

  • Tool-free assembly
  • Automatic start up
  • Easy to take care of

We dislike

  • No option to buy with battery

Final Verdict

A really nice chainsaw, comfortable to use and ideal for easy home tasks

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 30cm/12”
  • Dimensions: 49 x 21 x 24 cm
  • Weight: 9.07 kg
  • Power: 18V

BOSCH UniversalChain 18 Cordless Chainsaw

One of the lightest on the market, which is great if you struggle with heavy appliances or long durations. It is best for pruning or lighter firewood tasks because of this but is incredibly effective at the job.

It is nice and compact, so can be stored away in between uses, which is good if you’ll only be using it occasionally. A charge of around 45 minutes should give you around 30 minutes of power, depending on the task at hand.

You can choose to buy it as a body-only purchase or with the battery and charger, and said battery could be used with other items across the Bosch range. It bounces a little on contact, so a very firm grip is required, and you need to put some weight behind it too. Having said this, as long as you don’t push it to the limit, you should be able to tackle the task with no strain.

We like

  • Much easier than a handsaw/hedge trimmer
  • Good battery life for size

We dislike

  • Quite a bit of setting up required as it comes unassembled (but this is simple enough)

Final Verdict

Well made and simple to use for those smaller tasks such as pruning or cutting wood up to 8” diameter down into more manageable piles

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 5.5”/17cm
  • Dimensions: 34.9 x 23.5 x 21 cm
  • Weight: 3kg
  • Power: 18V

Oregon CS1200-35 Corded Electric Chainsaw

A very generous 6-metre power cable and 1800W power level make this chainsaw one of the best corded electric models around and can deal with those medium-duty tasks with little effort.

It has a 35cm blade, so is as good at chopping down small trees as it is pruning hedges. The tool-less chain tensioning allows you to set it up quickly and easily before use, and when it is at work, the anti-kickback chain and bar will ensure no stuttering or uncomfortable motion.

We weren’t expecting much for the price. We certainly weren’t expecting the performance we got. It is one of the cheapest electric chainsaws, yet one of the best. Okay, it is a little more plastic than others, and the design isn’t as eye-catching, but it does the job it should.

We like

  • Cuts through wood with ease
  • Great chain speed and power
  • Price

We dislike

  • Not the nicest design

Final Verdict

Brilliant for the price. The perfect balance between low cost yet high performance, and perfect for home users who need the most help possible on a budget

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 35cm/18”
  • Weight: 5.24kg
  • Power: 1800W
  • Cord Length: 6m

BOSCH AKE 35 S Electric Chainsaw

One of the larger guide bars available for a corded electric model, this Bosch is the perfect answer to all of those slightly more difficult tasks where the thought of using a manual cutter is unbearable.

Despite the fact it is one of the most powerful, it is also one of the lightest to hold, which is very surprising. At just 2kgs, even if the task takes a prolonged amount of time, your wrists should still be good with the effort.

All of the bonuses are there too, such as oil level indication and an anti-vibration system which both leave you fully in control of what is going on. It takes a few minutes to assemble, but when in use, it isn’t jerky and needs little maintenance attention.

The booklet has some good tips and usage guides included even though the initial instructions are sparse, so while it may look like a bit of a scary appliance if you are a novice with power tools, it should be easy and safe to use if you read up and know what you are doing before you start.

We like

  • Well built for price point
  • Lightweight
  • Good safety features

We dislike

  • Assembly instructions are poor

Final Verdict

It isn’t going to give you the ultimate petrol power, but for the cost, it is well worth having for giving you a helping hand with easier general garden cutting

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 35cm/18”
  • Dimensions: 32.1 x 12.1 x 21.2 cm
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Power: 1800W
  • Cord Length: 1.5m

WORX WG305E

Combining a high powered motor with a high-speed chain, this is a heavy-duty chainsaw which still gives you a lightweight and efficient design.

Ideal for light to medium duty trimming, cutting and pruning around the garden, there is little maintenance to carry out, so it is perfect for anyone who wants to be able to reach for their tools time after time with little effort.

It is safe to use, too; the automatic chain brake stops the unit in under half a second if something isn’t right, and there are two handles, so it is comfortable to hold and easy to move around.

The chain tension can be set manually, so there is no need to get the allen keys and spanners out. When this is done, the chain management system kicks in when the unit is on to control the tension automatically.

There is oil level indication, so you know when you have to pause to top it up, and the low-maintenance auto-tensioning chain system keeps all of the mechanisms working for longer. It has one of the longest power leads of all corded electric models, which is a bonus, especially if you struggle to reach power sockets when using outdoor appliances.

We like

  • Top mounted oil cap for easy filling
  • Low kickback

We dislike

  • Handle is very large - maybe uncomfortable for those with smaller hands

Final Verdict

A nice price for an item which can really take the effort out of all of those smaller cutting tasks in the garden. Worx continually deliver

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 25cm/10”
  • Dimensions: 41.5 x 25.3 x 21 cm
  • Weight: 3.6 kg
  • Power: 1100W
  • Cord Length: 5m

Husqvarna 435 Chainsaw

A nice mid-priced petrol saw from a brand who are well-respected in the power tool world.

It works like a dream, both easy to assemble and start when needed. There is an inertia-activated chain brake, so if you push it a bit too far, it will stop in its tracks to ensure no injuries are caused.

The power levels are extremely high, so it is one of the best petrol chainsaws for getting through tougher jobs such as tree trunks and logs for firewood. It features 60% lower emissions and 20% fuel saving capability too, so it is good for both the environment and your purse.

Distinct felling marks make it easier to undertake these big tasks, and also increases safety. The ergonomic rear handle is designed to give you the perfect amount of grip and steadiness, for simpler control. When it needs to be topped up with fuel, you’ll be able to see thanks to the visible fuel tank line. Anti-vibration dampeners also absorb excess movement, so your arms will forgive you.

We like

  • Flip-top oil tank lid
  • Start/stop switch start
  • Air injection technology for hands-free filter cleaning

We dislike

  • Chain needs tightening frequently

Final Verdict

Incredibly simple to use, and it has been designed with the user firmly in mind

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 15”
  • Dimensions: 48 x 34 x 26 cm
  • Weight: 4.2kg
  • Power: 1600W
  • Engine: 40.9cc

McCulloch CS 340 38 cc Cordless Petrol Chainsaw

A powerful engine, 20m/s chain speed and anti-vibration system, this McCulloch is ideal for occasional use when you need to call the big guns in for tasks.

The CCS air filter system means it can be used for longer periods with less air filter service. Centrifugal cleaning pre-cleans the intake of air, and larger particles are ejected before reaching the main air filter. Not only does this give you longer running times, but it is less hassle to maintain as well.

A double activated chain brake increases the likelihood that the chainsaw will stop should you press the trigger or by inertia. This increases safety, as the risk of accidents is reduced. You also get soft start technology to reduce the resistance in the starter cord by up to 40%.

It is by far one of the easiest to work, start up and maintain in between uses. If you can cope with the weight, the lower price should make it perfect if you don’t want to spend too much yet need something worthwhile.

We like

  • Good level of safety
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Price

We dislike

  • Handles are a little awkward to get used to

Final Verdict

Ideal if you need some more power but still want something home-friendly and simple to use once you’ve read the instructions

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 14" (35cm)
  • Dimensions: 45 x 27.5 x 30 cm
  • Weight: 8kg
  • Engine: 38cc

Stihl MS181 14-Inch Chain Saw

Designed primarily for top comfort when in use, this Stihl has low-level vibration and reduced emission engine technology, for both physical and environmental benefits.

Whether it be logs for a wood burning stove or hedges in the garden, it can slice through most of those low to medium tasks. The handles are comfortable to grip, even when the unit has to be turned at angles.

It is a two-stroke engine, and easy enough to start once you get the hang of it. Topping it up with fuel is also simple thanks to the large opening and easy to remove/refit cap.

The price is at the higher end, and to be honest better ones can be found for less money, but it is a trusted name, and a powerful pick so is still worthy of a place on our list. We would say that it basically gives you the power and performance of an electric model without the use of electricity, which may suit some of you out there just fine.

We like

  • Easy to start
  • Good instructions included

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

If you want a petrol model but nothing too overboard in terms of strength and power, this Stihl is the perfect balance

+ Specifications

  • Guide Bar Length: 36cm/14”
  • Dimensions: 40 x 28.5 x 28 cm
  • Weight: 6 kg
  • Power: 1500W
  • Engine: 31.8cc

Anglepoise Original 1227 Mini Table Lamp

Anglepoise lamps are instantly recognisable thanks to the brand’s heritage and practicality, thrown in to simple yet substantial, classic designs.

The 1227 Original Mini is exactly what the name suggests. If you think of a traditional desk lamp design, this one matches that, but the design trumps anything else on the market. The new pyramid-shaped base is stable yet elegant, without looking too ground-breaking.

On the base is the integral switch, which is easy to press on and off and allows the lamp not to stand out. It also means there is no fumbling for the switch on a trailing lead. When combined with the recommended bulb types, the lamp gives out a great amount of light.

The angle is perfect for use at a desk, and you can choose between Dove, Linen and Black for the colours which are all neutral but still allow you a bit of expression.

It is an expensive lamp, but very much worth the price for durability and style. Because of the classic design, it isn’t going to go out of fashion or not go with any future decor so really is a purchase for life.

We like

  • Easy to turn on and off
  • Colour choice
  • Smaller size - good for cramped spaces

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Perhaps more pricey than you’d have thought a desk lamp could be, but there are very few which are as reliable, well-made and still keep their style

+ Specifications

  • Cable Length: 1.8m
  • Dimensions: H52 x W13 x D28cm
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Switch Type: Push
  • Bulb: Halogen 28W SES Eco Halogen Candle, LED 6W SES LED Candle

Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Signe LED Table Lamp

Something slightly different now, but if you prefer your light to be a bit more atmospheric or have a very particular favourite shade of white, then the adjustability is enormous with this one.

The Signe table lamp is slimline and minimalistic, yet gives out a fantastic amount of light which will allow you to get the job done when needed. You can choose from over 16 million colours and shades of white light, so all throughout the year, you can pick the best shade for the environment. Think crisp, bright light in Spring and warmer tones hues for the winter blues.

It also makes it a great choice if you also enjoy a bit of downtime when you’re at your desk, whether it is watching television, gaming, video production or even sewing. You can sync the colours with whatever you are doing or watching.

All of the light can be controlled using the dedicated app on your smartphone or tablet, and you can save your favourite shades there so they can be accessed at the touch of a button. If you have other smart products, you could even get them all to work alongside each other.

The bulb is a built-in LED, with a lifespan of up to 25,000 hours. LEDs use around 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs, so it will definitely last for years even with frequent use.

We like

  • Unbeatable choice of colours
  • Barely takes up any space
  • Energy efficient

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

If you want a heavily adjustable light, and aren’t bothered about it being the traditional desk lamp design, then there are few smart lamps which are much better

+ Specifications

  • Cable Length: N/A
  • Dimensions: H62 x W7 x D7.6cm
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Switch Type: Phone Control
  • Bulb: Built-In LED

John Lewis & Partners Spenser LED Wireless Charger Table Lamp

Another which takes the look of a traditional desk lamp and puts a modern, classy twist on it.

It reflects mid-century style, with the large bulb and black/brass colour combo. The light it gives out is on the warmer side too, so it won’t strain your eyes and will make for an overall inviting, comfortable atmosphere.

Should your phone always be at your side, the handy wireless charging option will appeal to a lot of people who also like the clutter-free life. Place your compatible phone on top of the base, and it will begin to revitalise the battery.

If yours doesn’t have this functionality, then there is also a handy USB slot for any charging or power needs. Either way, you’re saving a plug space, which is great if it is already overloaded with computers/printers and all of your other equipment.

The modernity isn’t just in the style and functionality, though. You also get an LED bulb included, which uses around 80% less energy than a standard one. And unlike some other LED models, this bulb is replaceable, so the longevity of the lamp only increases.

It brings desk lamps right into the 21st century, so perfect for those of you who want something ahead of the curve and which won’t be dated in just a few years. We particularly like the brushed steel version.

We like

  • Design
  • Colour choices
  • Charging base - very modern

We dislike

  • Positioning of light can’t be changed

Final Verdict

Style and innovative design know no bounds. If your desk is inspired by Pinterest-worth setups, then it is the perfect finishing aspect

+ Specifications

  • Cable Length: 1.8m
  • Dimensions: H46.6 x W13 x D19cm
  • Material: Metal, Glass
  • Switch Type: Rocker
  • Bulb: 4W G9 LED Bulb

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp

Should you be looking for something a bit more budget friendly but still ahead of the curve, this TaoTronics is a good price, packed with effects to make it more comfortable and very modern.

The flicker-free lighting is great for your eyes during a long work session, and there are five colour choices as well as seven brightness settings with each. It is efficient when running, using up to 75% less energy than some rivals thanks to the LED bulb as well.

The colours range from natural light through to warm yellow, so your mood and the atmosphere can be matched. They can all be selected by sliding your finger across the touch controls on the base. No difficult button selections or adjustments of dials. To turn it off, just hold down the lowest brightness setting for four seconds – no switches needed.

You can choose from three finishes, either white, black or wood grain so that the lamp can match your decor or the rest of your desk. The head can be rotated 90 degrees left and right, or 135 degrees up and down, so the light targets the area you need illuminating.

Other reviewers have said that they use theirs for a range of tasks, such as nail technicians, beauty therapists and even dog groomers. The adjustability and brightness are perfect for more than just desk working and bedtime reading if necessary. You can even plug your phone into the USB socket to charge up without having to route around for a plug.

We like

  • Price
  • Very adjustable
  • Colour options

We dislike

  • Light is very one-directional - doesn’t light up the room if this is what you’re after

Final Verdict

Great price for an awful lot of lamp. The build quality isn’t as good as those ~£100, but with the savings you’re making, this shouldn’t even concern you

+ Specifications

  • Cable Length: 150cm
  • Dimensions: 43 x 18 x 18 cm
  • Material: Plastic, Metal
  • Switch Type: Touch Sensitive
  • Bulb: LED

John Lewis & Partners Huxley Task Lamp

Our pick for the best antique, vintage-inspired table desk lamp around.

The smoky bulb colour combined with either the brass or steel look is a real winner, which wouldn’t look out of place in an old Agatha Christie-style library office. Yet it still remains contemporary and to-date.

It isn’t just the looks that have been thoughtfully designed, however. The glass shade which surrounds the bulb is blown to include a tiny hole, so the unit doesn’t overheat. You can wipe the whole thing clean with a soft, dry cloth so it always looks the part too.

The base is only small, so doesn’t take up too much room, which is ideal for cramped spaces. To turn it on and off, just use the rocker switch on the base – no fiddling for wire controls or pressing stiff buttons.

A few people have said that the bulb supplied is a bit too harsh white for their liking, so we suppose this is best for an office as opposed to a bedside table, but you can always change it as it is replaceable.

The price is at the higher end, but not bad for the sheer quality you get. John Lewis includes a five-year guarantee as standard too, so if there are any teething problems, you’re not going to be out of pocket.

We like

  • Easy to operate
  • Gives out a nice amount of light
  • Doesn’t take up much space
  • Matching lights are available

We dislike

  • Marks quite easily

Final Verdict

Just the light for the classy, sophisticated space where all the important stuff gets done

+ Specifications

  • Cable Length: 1.5m
  • Dimensions: H41.7cm x W14cm x D19.3cm
  • Material: Metal, Glass
  • Switch Type: Rocker
  • Bulb: 4W G9 LED Capsule

Lloytron L961BK Flexi Desk Lamp

Now for the kind of lamp you probably think of when you hear the words ‘desk light’. Under £10, a fully flexible neck and the on/off rocker switch on the base are all the key signs.

There are nice easy instructions, with good information regarding the correct type of bulb and care guide. The power cord is a nice length, so you have a good chance of putting it exactly where you need it, and it is available in black, white, red and silver.

It isn’t going to be the longest lasting, nor the best quality. The bulb is a standard type, so will cost a bit more to run and will need to be replaced a bit more.

But if you want something you can pop on for a few minutes of reading before bed or while you do an hour of work in the evening at home, it should be up to the task. For the price, it is worth a go – you may be pleasantly surprised.

We like

  • Price
  • Adjustable
  • Nice easy on/off switch

We dislike

  • Not the most reliable over time

Final Verdict

We haven’t crowned it our best budget pick because it could be worth spending that bit more for reliability, but it is a simple solution if you aren’t bothered too much about quality

+ Specifications

  • Cable Length: 2m
  • Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 14 cm
  • Material: Metal, Plastic
  • Switch Type: Rocker
  • Bulb: E14 Max 35W Golf Ball

John Lewis & Partners Zadie LED Clip-on Desk Lamp

If you want a lamp but can’t afford to lose any surface space from your desk, then a clip lamp is a fantastic solution.

The arm is fully adjustable, so the lamp can still be moved to shine just where you need it. Even if you want it as a reading lamp, it should fit to the bedside table or armchair if you’re not at a desk. Why not move it around to wherever you need it, as long as there is a plug about?

The LED bulb is incorporated, so while it isn’t replaceable, it should last for over 20,000 hours in total. It is more affordable than some of the non-clip options and gives you more freedom over the exact position point too.

It is a little top heavy, so if you want it pointing more upwards than down, it could be an issue, but overall the freedom is enough. The clamp works in a screw movement rather than a traditional clip, so be aware of this before you buy.

We like

  • Small and inconspicuous
  • Great sized clip

We dislike

  • A little top-heavy

Final Verdict

The large clamp should fit even the thickest of desktops, and the quality build will see it last for long enough to make it great value

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H40 x W33 x D7cm
  • Material: Iron
  • Switch Type: Toggle
  • Bulb: LED

House by John Lewis Lorrie LED Clip with Switch Desk

One of the more affordable clip lamps around, but still packed full of quality and sturdiness.

The Lorrie features an in-built LED bulb which gives out a great amount of brightness. The arm is fully adjustable, which helps when you need to direct the light to a certain place. As the clip is so sturdy, it is suitable for placing pretty much anywhere and should remain stable. It also has wide jaws, so it is great for thicker desks and bedside table.

We liked how the on/off button is on the lampshade which rids the need for any hunting for the switch on the lead or base, and the light it gives out is nice and bright.

Overall, it is a low-cost solution to any dark corners, work areas or reading stations.

We like

  • Small base size
  • Fully flexible

We dislike

  • LED bulb is not replaceable

Final Verdict

Good quality build for the price, and fits neatly on even the smallest of desks

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H33 x W6 x D10cm
  • Material: Iron
  • Switch Type: Push
  • Bulb: LED

Omeril LED Desk Lamp

This lamp is something a little different. While it can be powered by USB if by your desk, it is actually rechargeable, so once it is completely charged up, it can be taken anywhere. Perfect if you work from home and don’t have a desk setup, so need to move it around to wherever you are.

It will last for eight hours on one charge on the lowest brightness setting, which is plenty of time to get the job done. Thanks to the micro USB design, it can be powered by your laptop, computer, mains plug or a power bank/mobile phone charger if you’re away from home.

There are three brightness levels to select, as well as a warm mood lighting option.

To flick through the brightness levels, you just have to short press the touch-sensitive button, so there are no switches or rockers which could become damaged in certain conditions, such as if you’re outside.

The LED bulb can’t be replaced, but the makers claim it will be able to last for around 50,000 hours. If true, then it is excellent value for money.

We like

  • Rechargeable battery
  • Mood lighting base
  • Three brightness settings

We dislike

  • Doesn’t come with a plug part of the charger

Final Verdict

A lamp which shows that you don’t just have to go for the big name brands - this one has pretty much everything you could need

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 31 cm
  • Bulb: LED
  • Button: Touch Sensor

LEDGLE Reading Lamp

A tiny USB light, which works well if you need to direct light onto your keyboard when working in darker conditions.

The light immediately turns on when plugged in, so all you have to do to turn it off is safely eject it. It is compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on a laptop, as well as any mobile phone charger or power bank, so you have some flexibility over how you use it. You could even take it camping so you can read in the tent before sleeping.

The soft silicone neck is completely flexible, so can be bent in any way you wish. So even if you wish to make it a little shorter, you can twist it around. The 18 LED light bulbs give out a substantial amount of light for the size of the lamp, and it is relatively warm, so won’t hurt your eyes at any time of the year.

It is a lot taller than we imagined it to be, so if you want something to take around with you if you work on-the-go, just double check it is appropriate.

We like

  • Very flexible neck
  • Bright light for the size of the head

We dislike

  • Can be a bit stiff at first

Final Verdict

We didn’t expect something quite so good for the price. A perfect choice if you want something cheap yet perfectly adaptable when you’re not stuck at your desk

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 22.8 x 13.8 x 2 cm
  • Bulb: LED
  • Button: N/A

Kenwood CO600 3-in-1

This Kenwood is not only one of the best automatic electric can openers around, but it also comes in handy when you need a bottle opener or knife sharpener as it is a 3-in-1 unit.

The blade starts cutting with just a light press of the lever and stops when the job is done. There is a magnet which retains the lid, to prevent it from falling into the can and ruining your food or making it dangerous to fetch. It leaves the tin without any sharp edges, which makes it nice and safe for everyone to use.

When you are done, the mechanism is easy to clean as it just pulls out of the unit and slots back in place, so you can wash it in warm water and dry it fully to avoid future rust or contamination.

We like

  • Simple to clean
  • Keeps hold of can until you are ready

We dislike

  • The knife sharpener and bottle opener functions are a bit fiddly

Final Verdict

A trusted name, and great if you need all three appliances but want to keep things as simple as possible

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Power: 40W
  • Maximum Can Size: Up to 1.2 kg

Morphy Richards Multifunction Can Opener 46718

This opener really is multifunctional, offering six different ways to use it which could all come in handy.

There is the automatic can opener, as well as a jar opener and a multi-opening tool to deal with bottle tops, ring pulls, lids and even hard clamshell plastic packaging. Because it can do so much, it is perfect for those with dexterity issues or the elderly.

If you don’t fancy leaving it out on the bench, the compact design makes it easy enough to store away in a cupboard, and there is inbuilt cord storage for keeping it all tidy. All you need to do is put the can in place, press down on the lever and the lid will come off, while the appliance keeps the tin in place until you can safely remove it.

The jar opener is a real standout though, and it rids the need to try and get a grip on jars with tea towels or get air into it with a teaspoon. We loved how all of the bits fitted perfectly back on to the main unit, to keep it all in one place and give you some extra storage room.

Just plug it in, and you’re good to go. The power cord is around 30cm long, so there should be plenty of adaptability in terms of placement.

We like

  • Good instructions for all applications
  • Multi-tool
  • Good price for what you get

We dislike

  • Can be hard to get the tin attached

Final Verdict

Perfectly adaptable, and a great kitchen accessory for anyone with arthritis, dexterity issues or who simply struggles opening jars and tins

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13 x 14 x 23.5 cm

Swan SP20110N Electric 3-in-1

Another 3-in-1 tin opener, with a knife sharpener and bottle opener function. It is lovely and compact, meaning it is ideal for those who will be storing it away in between uses.

Fully automatic, you just have to place the can and wait until it is done. The magnetic lid holder will stop the lid dropping back into the tin until you can safely dispose of it all. The added convenience of the extra functions is welcomed, and both are comfortable to use.

There are a few tins it does not like, and it is hard to line up the cutter and roller properly. But it is one of the cheapest electric tin openers, which is great as it also has so many functions.

We like

  • Attractive design
  • Good bonus features

We dislike

  • Not the easiest can opener option

Final Verdict

Not the easiest to use for a can opener, but the two other functions are strong and worth the cost alone

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14 x 22.1 x 11 cm
  • Power: 60W

JML Hands Free Battery Powered Tin Can Opener

Whether round, square or ring-pull, this one-touch can opener can make light work of trying to access your food.

Press the button and let go of the unit, and it will start to cleanly remove the top of the can. Just press the button again, and it will stop – you can tell when it is done by listening to the change in pitch of the sound it gives out. The magnet keeps a hold of the lid until you have taken it away and want to dispose of it.

If you only have the use of one hand, it is ideal as it can be fitted and working with minimal effort. It sometimes looks as though the tin hasn’t even opened as the cut is so neat.

We like

  • Easy to get working
  • Fits a huge range of cans

We dislike

  • Can be a bit fiddly working out a way to put the can on

Final Verdict

The high praise reviews are all worthy - it is a fantastic and easy to use piece of kit

+ Specifications

  • Batteries: 4 x AA
  • Dimensions: 27.8 x 17.4 x 8.4 cm

Cooks Professional Electric Can/Tin Opener One Touch Automatic

Simply place this tin opener on top of the can you want to open, make sure it is steady and then press the button. It will get to work, safely cutting the top off the can, without any interruption.

Perfect for those with dexterity issues or simply anyone who hates using conventional tin openers. The magnet tidily removes the lid until it can be safely disposed of, and then the tin can be washed out and safely disposed of with little risk of injury thanks to the clean open.

The magnetic element makes it very easy to attach to cans, which is welcome as some others can be very fiddly. It is not light and difficult to work with like some others and is a great price in comparison too.

We like

  • Simple to attach to tins
  • Two-year guarantee

We dislike

  • Uses quite a bit of battery with each use

Final Verdict

A tin opener very worthy of its place on this list, and one of the most faultless to use

+ Specifications

  • Batteries: 4 x AA
  • Dimensions: 18 x 6.7 x 5.5 cm

Culinare One Touch Automatic Can Opener

Our budget tin opener pick, this Culinare features a lovely curved design which moulds with the shape of your hand for easier placement and use.

There is just one touch to turn it on and again to turn it off, and the built-in magnet will keep a hold of the lid once it is done, so it doesn’t fall back into the food or create a mess all over the appliance.

It uses just two AA batteries, whereas many others use at least four, which is great. Tins of at least 5.2 cm in diameter can be opened, so is perfect for the majority of household options. It is quick to get the job done and is more compact in size than most rivals.

Unfortunately, it is on the noisier side and doesn’t give users the smoothest of cuts. The edges left behind were slightly rough and sharp, and even after you have pressed for it to stop, it still carries on for a little while, as though the response is delayed. Getting it to start can also require quite a hard press of the button, so it may not be the best for those with dexterity or pressure issues.

We like

  • Price
  • Compact design
  • Available in black or white

We dislike

  • Leaves sharpest edges of those reviewed
  • Can be slow to respond to your button presses

Final Verdict

Good if you want something cheap and for the ease as opposed to it being a vital bit of kit. You just need to be careful of using it due to the sharp edges it leaves behind, so it maybe isn't the best for the elderly

+ Specifications

  • Batteries: 2 x AA
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 6.5 x 22 cm

BLACK+DECKER KX3300T

Black + Decker are pretty unbeatable when it comes to power tool performance, and although we saw some strong contenders for the best wallpaper stripper crown, this one just pipped them to the post.

It is corded, with a power rating of 2400W and water capacity of 4L. This gives you a good hour of use before it needs to be topped up, which could see you powering through at least one room. It only takes about five or six seconds for the wallpaper to be saturated.

The hose length is 3.65m and cord 3m, so you can safely keep it on the floor or on top of the step ladders and away from the power source when in use. All you have to do is fill with water, wait for it to heat then start steaming.

People have commented that it even budges thick paper which had been up for a good 20+ years. Just put a few slashes in it, and allow the steam to go deep to the wall and it will still be a breeze. Even if you are moving into a house which has layer upon layer of wallpaper (as was once the done thing), you will be back to the bare wall in no time.

We like

  • Works without damaging plaster
  • Plenty of steam
  • Large pad for extra coverage

We dislike

  • No ‘on’ button so working out when it is ready can take time

Final Verdict

Creates a lot of steam, which means an easier and quicker job for you - no doubt it is a winner

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 4L
  • Run Time: 60 Mins
  • Dimensions: 32 x 33.5 x 24 cm

Earlex SS125UKP Warrior Wallpaper Stripper

Whether it has been layered on, painted over or was ridiculously tough to start with, this machine is Warrior by name and Warrior by nature.

The four-litre tank capacity is generous without being too cumbersome, and you will be able to get a good 70 minutes of use out of the water before having to stop, refill and reheat. It takes 12 minutes to reheat, which is perfectly timed with around how long it takes to fully enjoy a tea break, luckily.

The hose is about 3m long and is flexible without being uncontrollable so gives you the perfect amount of freedom.

So while it may take a while to get up to full heat, the long running time and effective work makes it a very worthwhile purchase – and it is a little bit cheaper than the Black + Decker.

We like

  • Easy to carry around
  • Generous run time

We dislike

  • Have to be careful not to hold it for too long - can bring plaster off too

Final Verdict

One of the cheapest we found but would have expected to pay more for it given the quality and power

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 4L
  • Run Time: 70 Mins
  • Dimensions: 22.8 x 33.4 x 30 cm

Earlex SS77 Steam Wallpaper Stripper

With a five litre capacity and 78 minute run time, this is one of the largest wallpaper steamer sets you can buy. Ideal if you have an awfully big task ahead, frequent use or if you need a steamer for semi-professional work.

Despite the size, it is lightweight to carry around even when full. There is enough steam produced to remove a couple of layers of paper, or tougher materials such as Artex.

There are good instructions and care points in the included documents, and it is important to descale it regularly to avoid it overheating or cutting out. Overheating protection is in place, and it seems a lot more strict than with other models, so a lot of people comment that it is a frequent issue. But the long run time and capacity reduce the need to stop for refilling as much, so it doesn’t become a huge problem –  it is good to have a break. And at least it shows that there will be no dangerous flaws.

We like

  • Good instructions provided
  • Easy to move and carry around
  • Effective overheat and safety protection

We dislike

  • Takes over 15 minutes to heat up

Final Verdict

One of the safest and the cutout can become frustrating, but the work it puts in definitely makes up for it. The best for long run time

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 5L
  • Run Time: 78 Mins
  • Dimensions: 28 x 34.8 x 36.2 cm

Earlex Lmb176 Steammaster Wallpaper Stripper

When you have a large task at hand, such as removing stubborn wallpaper from every single room in the house, you need something which can be quick yet reliable.

This steamer may be very pricey, but you are paying for something of an industrial level of reliability. The steam plate size is huge at 305 x 235mm, and it can carry on for 90 minutes without any interruptions or the need to refill.

You may be wondering what the design is all about, as it looks very different from the others reviewed. It features a patented step design, so you can safely stand on the unit to reach higher areas. Obviously, you will probably still use step ladders for bigger jobs, but it is good for those quick reaches to peel off any bits left behind.

It also helps when packing it all away, as the pad and cable can all be stored or kept in one place when you’re moving from house to house or in and out to your van.

With a hose length of 5m and the same for the power cable length, it is perfect for larger rooms or older houses with high walls but fewer plug sockets. This is just another one of the many reasons it is great for professionals; you can use it in an old large Victorian detached house just as easily as you could in a two bedroom terrace.

It takes 30 minutes to heat up, which seems long but is actually great for the size and amount of water. As a bonus, the anodised aluminium tank will face less chance of rusting or scaling than other models, which means less time caring for it.

If you look at hiring a wallpaper steamer, you’ll actually see that this is the model many outlets offer, which just shows how loved it is.

We like

  • Rugged construction for safe use on busy sites
  • Anti-kink hose
  • Non-tip step design

We dislike

  • Price - but you may not bat an eyelid if you need the best for the job

Final Verdict

It is very easy to see why it is suitable for professionals. Well worth the investment to have a product which will not let you down over the years

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 7.5L
  • Run Time: 90 Mins
  • Dimensions: 47.5 x 44 x 46.5 cm

Wagner W16 Steam Wallpaper Stripper

This model is one of the higher prices options on our rundown, but there is a whole package provided, so you have all the tools you need to start your task straight away.

Nobody enjoys stripping wallpaper, and if you are dreading the task, then you’re going to want to make it as fast and painless as possible. A great amount of steam is released, and the pad is nice and large so you can get big sections at once. You also get a second smaller pad, which makes it one of the best if you will need to use it on smaller areas.

The 3.5m hose allows you to have a large working range, and it is heat insulated, so if you need to touch it to adjust the placement, you aren’t going to scald your hands. Nor will it damage anything it touches.

The steamplate is nice and lightweight so easy to manoeuvre, as is the actual water tank. The latter is also nice and stable, so you don’t have to worry too much about placement as it should sit comfortably on any flat surface.

It has the longest run time of all those we found at 80 minutes, despite having one of the smallest tank capacities, and when the time comes to refill it, the large filling hole and safety valve both reduce the risk of injury.

We like

  • Great long run time
  • Small tank
  • You get two plates with the purchase

We dislike

  • Takes a while to warm up

Final Verdict

A decent, compact tank and lightweight build makes it one of the easiest if you’ll be moving from room to room, and for storage afterwards

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 3.5L
  • Run Time: 80 Mins
  • Dimensions: 14 x 20 x 28 cm

Silverline 128966

Giving you over an hour of use thanks to the 4.5L capacity tank, Silverline is one of the best-known brands when it comes to wallpaper steamers (and indeed power tools), and this model is great if you have a big task ahead.

The 280 x 200 mm steam pad and 3m hose allow you to reach a generous area before having to re-setup shop, and it can get through multiple layers at once, so you just need to make a few scores, and the whole lot can come away in no time.

If you’re worried about using a steamer because you don’t want to damage plaster walls or ceilings, then the adjustable temperature function will allow you to still use the same technique without having to adapt, and will also help when tackling more sensitive areas.

It is an ideal weight to move and carry, and the base is stable so you don’t have to worry too much about where you place it as long as the surface is largely flat and heat resistant.

The lower price makes it well worth a go, and cheaper than hiring a model.

We like

  • From a trusted brand
  • Good price
  • Large steam pad

We dislike

  • Handle on pad isn’t overly prominent so can be difficult to hold

Final Verdict

Good quality for the price, especially as it can cope with the bigger jobs

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 4.5L
  • Run Time: 70 Mins
  • Dimensions: 31 x 26.5 x 28.5 cm

Performance Power Wallpaper Stripper PWS2000

Another budget pick, but surprisingly one of the fastest at heating up and getting the job done despite this.

All you need to do is score the paper, and within a few seconds, you can start to see it peel away from the walls. The hose is a generous length at around 3.7m, making it one of the longest of those we reviewed and meaning you can tackle a larger area without having to move the water tank around or hold it.

Because it is so effective, it only needs a couple of moments use with each section. Don’t overdo it or you could face damaged walls and plaster. You also have to get used to the best way to hold it. The tube must be kept straight and elevated, or else it tends to spit hot water, but as long as you are doing the walls or higher areas and keep it out of the way of yourself and electricals, it shouldn’t be an issue.

We like

  • Translucent steaming pad helps to see water build up
  • Lightweight to move around
  • Powerful

We dislike

  • Can occasionally spit water

Final Verdict

There are a couple of flaws, but when considering the price and large capacity/long running time, they are flaws which are easy to cope with

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 5L
  • Run Time: 60 Mins
  • Dimensions: N/A

Denny International

A wallpaper stripper which is excellent value for money, the Denny is ideal if you want something simple and back to basics for a decorating job.

It can run for over 70 minutes, which is very generous, and the build makes it both comfortable to move around and easy to place wherever you need it to be.

The tube is 3m long, and the pad is 28 x 20cm, so even if you have a large room to get through, this steamer will still be quick at the job. The power cord is 1.5m, making it one of the shortest, so you may have to do a bit more setting up if this is the case.

But this is pretty much the only issue we found with it, which is surprising given the price. It may not last for years as it doesn’t feel like the strongest available, but for a quick answer to tackling wallpaper if you don’t want to hire, it is an affordable and simple solution.

We like

  • Price
  • Generous size

We dislike

  • Short power cable - may be harder to reach higher walls

Final Verdict

Efficient for the cost, and gives you plenty of time to get the whole room done in one go

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 5L
  • Run Time: 70 Mins
  • Dimensions: N/A

Performance Power Wallpaper Stripper PS-ZP-20

Complete with anti-discharge and anti-implosion valves, this is a safe yet easy device to use and comes in at a great cost.

You get a 3m long connect pipe and 2m power cable with the package, which can both be removed from the water tank to make for easier storage when it isn’t in use (which is going to be important as it could be a few months before you need it again).

One feature which makes it stand out is the temperature control switch. While many other models have one standard level of steam, requiring you to adapt the way you use it, you can choose the right level with this one. Power it up for tougher Artex or several layers, or keep it low for when there are only a few strands left, and you don’t want to damage the plaster.

The steam pad is comfortable to hold and a nice size for larger areas. To say you get 80 minutes of steam time from such an unassuming piece of kit is very impressive indeed.

We like

  • Steam time and large pad get the job done quickly
  • All packs away small

We dislike

  • Will spit water when almost ready to use

Final Verdict

An ideal option if you want something to use occasionally, but will still be in full working order when you need it again

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 4L
  • Run Time: 80 Mins
  • Dimensions: 26 x 21cm

Oypla Professional Wall Paper Wallpaper Stripper

A nice long run time, generously sized steam pad/water tank and internal thermostat to avoid overheating all make this a great choice for anyone who likes to do things all at once as opposed to pausing regularly.

There are reviews online from trade decorators who even sing its praises. This is probably a good sign of a great product. Surprisingly when considering this, it is actually one of the lowest priced wallpaper strippers on the market, if not the absolute cheapest.

It gets very hot even though there is an internal thermostat, which is good if there are a couple of layers to work through or the wallpaper is old and has since been painted over. To get to this point takes the longest out of all those reviewed, so while the run time is good and it is fast at the job, you will have to plan ahead when you want to use it.

Don’t expect a steamer which will last years or always be 100% comfortable to use for the price, but it is a quick solution for removing stubborn wall coverings.

We like

  • Price
  • Good run time

We dislike

  • Hose and power leads are on the flimsy side

Final Verdict

A great budget buy, definitely cheaper than hiring a model, so perfect if you want a cheap short-term option

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 4.5L
  • Run Time: 70 Mins
  • Dimensions: 31 x 26.5 x 28.5 cm

Panasonic NN-ST45KWBPQ 32 Litre Microwave

In need of a microwave which is small on the outside but a bit like the Tardis on the inner? This is a huge 32 litre model which should do the trick.

It isn’t just the very generous capacity which should appeal to you, either. It is one of the friendliest family models, with a child lock so the door can’t be opened at the wrong time or the settings changed. When the food is cooking, the Genius Sensor feature detects how much steam is being generated and adapts the temperatures and timings accordingly so your food is always cooked perfectly without you having to intercept or guess.

We particularly loved the Junior Menu idea, which again makes it great for family homes. The pre-programmed settings make it very easy to whip up a quick snack before bedtime or when they get home from school, and there are also dedicated options for beverages, vegetables, meat and melting/softening.

Because of the steady cooking power, there are no cooking disasters so it is perfect for anyone who really doesn’t have time for keeping a beady eye on everything at once. It has even taken inspiration from modern ovens with Easy Clean Enamel Interior, so when the baked beans splatter all over the walls, you don’t have to wipe it away ASAP nor have to chisel it away if you leave it too long.

We like

  • Minute minder
  • Very easy to keep clean
  • Loads of pre-programmed settings

We dislike

  • Needs a lot of space around it to safely operate - not for smaller kitchens

Final Verdict

Loads of modern technology has gone into this new release, which will ensure your microwave is actually one of the most used appliances in your home

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 31 x 52.5 x 40.1cm
  • Capacity: 32 Litres
  • Number of Power Levels: 7
  • Turntable Diameter: 34 cm

Zanussi Z716WT83BI Integrated 7Kg

A brilliant price for an appliance which can do both jobs in one, and do them so well too.

When you have loads of laundry to get through, you need a machine which can do it ASAP. This one has a 7kg drum, and also measures the size of your load to adjust times and settings accordingly. So when you have to wash a football kit, you aren’t going to be waiting as long as you would be if you were washing a full bedding set and other bits and bobs. This clever AutoAdjust technology also helps save energy, as the right amount of water and temperature will also be applied.

There is a nice large porthole for when you want to stuff everything in at once, and the reverse drum action means that all of these clothes will eventually free themselves and become untangled throughout the wash, meaning less work for you pre-wash. A countdown clock will tell you how long is left on the wash so you can get on with other things, and it is so quiet that you barely know it is on.

The touch pad controls are responsive and keep the unit looking clean, and it is easy to get to grips with straight out of the box.

We like

  • Reduces wash times by up to 30%
  • Quiet motor
  • Sleek controls

We dislike

  • Shorter drying cycles don't make much of an impact

Final Verdict

An all-round great machine, which is simple to use and quick - just what you need when you're busy trying to keep on top of everything

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 81.9 x 59.6 x 54cm
  • Delay Timer Length: 20 Hours
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Control Type: Buttons / Dial

AEG L7WE7631BI Integrated 7Kg

Washing machines and dryers are very clever pieces of kit these days, but when you think you’ve found your dream model with everything packed in, you then realise there is one big thing missing just before you go to buy it. Well, we are pretty certain that this AEG has it all.

From little extras like a childproof lock and Fuzzy Logic, to an A energy rating and low noise levels, there is plenty to keep you happy. The 7kg washing drum is ideal for medium households, and there is 4kg of drying capacity so the majority of the wash can be dried within an hour. DualSense technology does all the work for you as well. It can detect the materials and needs of the clothing in the drum and change the settings to suit.

The time saver function will be a lifesaver if you suddenly realise you have nothing to wear for the next day but want to head to bed ASAP. But don’t worry if the rest of the household are already fast asleep, because the Inverter Motor won’t only last for a lot longer than a traditional model over the years, but it is also the quietest option so minimal noise is made.

To finish it all off, there is an Anti Allergy programme, Deodorization Programme, and Duvet option. And it will even clean itself if you set the right cycle.

We like

  • Woolmark Blue accreditation
  • ProSense® Technology
  • Refresh Option

We dislike

  • Like most washer dryers, the clothes still come out a bit damp

Final Verdict

A good price for something which does both jobs, and has plenty of functions to get the tasks done with no fuss

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 81.9 x 59.6 x 54cm
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Max Spin Speed: 1550 RPM
  • Noise Level (Wash): 51 dB

ESSENTIALS CWC8B15 Wine Cooler

One of the cheapest wine fridges around, but value doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t worth having in your home.

This single zone fridge has space for 8 standard 75cl bottles, which will allow you to keep a good stock ready for consumption. The temperature range of 8-18ºC will keep red, rose and white wine fresh, even in the hottest and coolest external conditions. With a sleek black finish and internal blue light, it will slot seamlessly into any decor, so you don’t have to worry about it ruining the looks.

An LED control panel lets you choose the temperature and you can also pick whether to display this in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Some more expensive options reach as low as 5 degrees, and there can be a bit of a tight fit on some of the racks if it is getting full, but all in all it is one of the best picks if you want a cheap option for a few extra bottles.

We like

  • Price
  • Sleek finish
  • Easy to control

We dislike

  • Temperature doesn't go as low as we would say is best for white wines

Final Verdict

When taking the price into consideration, this is by far one of the best value wine fridges out there. The couple of issues are pretty minor, and the extra space it provides is the main thing

+ Specifications

  • Noise Level: 41 dB(A)
  • Temperature: 8 – 18°C
  • Dimensions: 47.5 x 26 x 50.5cm

VEHO Kasa LED Light Strip

Want to get away from the Philips brand? If you choose this strip lighting from VEHO, you still get a lot of the standouts – 16 million colours to choose from, phone controllability and the choice of schedules and brightness. Just without the extra need for bridges.

The sticky back underside helps with placement, and is suitable for sticking to pretty much any surface. With the Veho Kasa app, you can pick the colour and brightness depending on the atmosphere you want to create, so the lights are suitable for whether you’re reading a book or having a party. Through the app, you can control up to 32 lights, so as long as you stick to the same brand, you can kit your whole home out. You can group them together, or use the countdown feature to get them to turn off at a certain time.

The B energy rating means they won’t cost the earth to run, and there is a 15 year lifespan so you can be ahead of the crowds for at least the next decade.

 

We like

  • Flexible positioning
  • Price
  • No need for a central hub

We dislike

  • Can't pair it with music or television for different reactions

Final Verdict

Cheap and cheerful. Ideal if you want some light under kitchen cupboards, lighting stairways or around your room without sticking out like a sore thumb

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H300 x W1 x D0.4cm
  • Compatibility: iOS, Android
  • Compatible App: Kasa app

PHILIPS Hue Iris Wireless LED Smart Light

There isn’t a huge difference amongst smart lighting at the moment, especially when most are from Philips. But this latest model changes the game ever so slightly.

There is a safety and security feature with the Philips Hue Mood Light. If you want to set the lights to turn on and off while you’re away, you can automate everything by pairing the light with your Nest or Samsung SmartThings system. These detect when you’re far from home or right in the room, adjusting everything automatically. It can also be done manually from your phone if you don’t have these, of course.

Because the Hue Iris Light is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant, you can control everything with a single voice command. It requires the Hue Bridge to work, but there is a huge difference between its performance and that of cheaper rivals from other brands, so this is well worth the extra purchase. It will also help if you want to expand the collection at a later date.

We like

  • Compact size
  • Good output of light
  • Works well alongside other Hue items

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Perfect as part of a set or as a standalone - pips its rivals to the post as the most advanced smart light yet

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H20 x W18.5 x D18.5cm
  • Compatibility: iOS , Android

PHILIPS Hue Bloom Wireless Smart Table Lamp

Able to cast a vertical light upwards towards your walls and ceilings, which then bounces back down to illuminate the room, this is a handy light if you want to create a certain atmosphere in your room.

It plugs into your mains, so there is no complicated setting up. Then, you just control it from your phone or through your Hue Bridge, and it can act as a standalone product or as part of a wider smart lighting setup. Up to 50 lamps can be controlled through the app at once, so you can time them all to turn on just before you get home, keep them on or off if you are out, and adjust the colour choice too.

You can sync it up to your music or films if you want an ultimate 4D experience, and watch as it reacts to noises, changes in volume or bass, and changes colour to the beat. If you want to use it as a normal light you can, too. There is a selection of white-based lights present, and you can dim the brightness if you’re settling down to watch television and want to be able to see the action but still see the room.

We like

  • Can illuminate the room
  • Relatively compact in size
  • Dimmable

We dislike

  • Doesn't go particularly bright when on the white light
  • Smaller than you would think - check before you buy

Final Verdict

A little pricey for a standard lamp, but do remember it is smart and works well in a collection

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H6 x W2.5 x D2.5cm

PHILIPS Hue Play Light Bar

If you want a smart light to inject some fun into movie nights or parties, then this is the bar for you.

Customise the colours with over 16 million to choose from, and sync it up to other smart items in your home for a fully integrated experience. If you aren’t a party or gaming animal, then the huge choice of white light should suit you well. You can set it to get brighter as the day goes on, so it wakes you up gently then eases you in until you’re ready to go.

You don’t just have to pop it behind your TV as a back light or party accessory. It’s subtle design makes it an ideal light to illuminate your photo display, sideboard or even kitchen at night. Should you want to use it alongside music, however, the flashes and colour changes can be synced up to match the genre or beats.

It will work alongside Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Home if you want to control it with your voice, and it can also be managed through your phone or tablet. The only issue that we found with it is that the power plug is ridiculously large, so it may not be best suited to go in alongside other plugs in an extension lead environment, such as at the back of your telly.

We like

  • Subtle design
  • Vast colour choice

We dislike

  • Bulky power adapter may prove problematic

Final Verdict

Great for the fun aspect over practicality, but the level of control is very welcome

+ Specifications

  • Compatibility: iOS, Android
  • Size: H3.6 x W25.3 x D4.4cm
  • Requirements: Hue Bridge (sold separately)

Lakeland Dry:Soon 3 Tier Heated Indoor Airer

Lakeland is one of the biggest names when it comes to home products, and this is a perfect flexible clothes dryer which can be adapted to suit your home layout.

It can easily hold up to 15kg of washing, so a little bit more than your washing machine load probably, but can also be used folded down if you are using it in a smaller space or just drying delicate clothing that you don’t want to hang outside or pop in the tumble dryer.

When you are done with it, you can fold it to just 8cm thick and store behind a door or in a cupboard. It gives you 21m of drying space when it is all folded out, so there won’t be any risk of your clothes being too close to one another to dry sufficiently.

If you’re worried about a heated clothes dryer sapping your energy and increasing your bills, you’ll be pleased to learn that this model only costs around 6p per hour to run. As seeing it could have your clothes dry not long after this, it is a brilliantly cheap product to have on the go.

It may be one of the more expensive on the list, but the low running costs and the fact it is by far the sturdiest we tested should mean the money is worth it in just a few years. Lakeland also says you can return it to them within three years if it breaks or doesn’t meet your needs, which is worth the extra cash alone.

There are loads of accessories you can buy as extra too, such as the airer cover which can speed up drying times, or the mesh shelf which allows you to lay smaller items flat.

We like

  • Thermostatically-controlled bars don’t overheat
  • Very cost-effective to run
  • Folds down small for storage

We dislike

  • Many come with the cover - this one doesn’t

Final Verdict

Versatile, convenient and will barely dent your bills despite doing a massive household task - Lakeland is the most popular brand for clothes dryers for a reason

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 5.5kg
  • Cord Length: 1.35m
  • Drying Space Capacity: 21m
  • Drying Weight Capacity: 15kg

BLACK+DECKER BXAR0007GB 3-Tier Heated Clothes Airer

A name perhaps more known for their outdoor gardening tools, but who are really very good when it comes to this kind of thing too.

Up to 15kg of washing can be dried on 21m of drying space, spread over three tiers, which should allow your clothing to dry in a matter of hours. It is cost-effective to run when compared to a tumble drier, and a lot better than outside drying if A) the weather is awful (again) or B) you suffer from allergies which means hanging clothes outside is not a great idea.

It arrives on your doorstep assembled, so all you need to do is fold it out and plug it in. You could even have a wash ready for when it is delivered, so you can start to reap the benefits immediately.

A handy on-off switch with an illuminated panel means you don’t have to unplug it when you’re done. If you have a wash ready to go on after this one has dried, just turn it off at the button until you are ready. Bars heat up almost immediately, so you don’t have to wait around for hours to get it up to top level.

Weight-wise, it is a little heavier than some of the others on the market. But just like the other top picks, it only costs around 6p to run per hour. There is no cover supplied, but appropriate ones will be available – just make sure you measure up first.

We like

  • Generous cord length
  • Quick heat up times
  • Very sturdy build

We dislike

  • On the slightly heavier side

Final Verdict

A very stable unit with quick heat-up and drying times, and is flexible enough to be used just how you need to

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 8.02kg
  • Cord Length: 1.6m
  • Drying Space Capacity: 21m
  • Drying Weight Capacity: 15kg

AMOS Eezy-Dry Electric Clothes Dryer

If you are looking for a heated clothes dryer which comes complete with a cover for the price and is still budget-friendly, then you could do a lot worse than this AMOS model.

It features a timer option, which is a really nice touch and can go from 20 to 240 minutes. So if you know you’re going to be heading out at 7pm, you can set it to just run to this time, so you don’t have to manually turn it off. Likewise, it can turn off just before bed or on and off while the latest episode of that new box set is on the telly.

Not only does it come with the cover to aid drying times, but there are also castors. These make it easier to move around, so you can wheel it from the kitchen back into storage without folding it all down.

The castors are great if you’re on a level surface, but what if you need to take it up and down the stairs? Well, it is almost half the weight of some of the others around, including our top-rated options, making it very movement-friendly indeed.

It does work slightly differently to others, though. Rather than using the dedicated bars to hang the clothes up on, you have to use plastic coat hangers. This means it may take a little while to get used to the best spacing and could make hanging smaller items harder, but it isn’t an issue if you’re mainly using it as an indoor dryer for winter months. Plus, draping clothes vertically rather than hanging them over bars could help reduce the number of creases which develop.

We like

  • Cover is strong material
  • Wheels make it nice and easy to move around
  • Easy to assemble

We dislike

  • Feels a little flimsy in comparison to some others

Final Verdict

We like how you get pretty much everything you need in one bundle, and for a great price too

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 4.6kg
  • Cord Length: 1.4m
  • Drying Weight Capacity: 15kg

John Lewis & Partners 3-Tier Heated Indoor Clothes Airer

Sturdy and lightweight, yet perfectly foldable for storage after use. John Lewis really put the customer first when designing their own-brand goods, and this is a dryer which is super user-friendly.

After just a few moments of being plugged in, you can feel the aluminium bars starting to heat up. You can position the racks to suit your needs, so they can fold out if you’re drying t-shirts or a full load of washing, or make it stand vertically if you don’t want the towels and bed sheets to touch the floor.

The 40-50°C temperature range makes it much more gentle on your clothes than a tumble dryer, while still giving the perfect amount of heat to get the job done. It heats up quickly and overnight your clothes can be dry enough for ironing.

We loved the four hooks which you get as well as the three tiers of drying space. These are perfect for socks, slippers or other delicate items which need to be cared for after washing. The three shelves all have a maximum weight of 5kg, so as long as you spread it all out well, you could get an entire wash-load onto the unit.

While electric clothes airers are great for delicates which can’t be tumble dried, you do have to bear in mind that you won’t be able to dry any items which won’t be able to handle the 50°C heat.

We like

  • One of the best for strengtH
  • Two year guarantee from John Lewis
  • Handy hooks for more delicate items

We dislike

  • Takes up a bit more space than a few alternatives

Final Verdict

Heats up quickly and gets your clothes dried in barely any time at all. Slightly bulkier and less attractive than some others, but the thicker rails seem to reduce the likelihood of creases

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 5kg
  • Drying Weight Capacity: 15kg

Pifco P38003 Fast Drying Portable Heated Clothes Dryer

Should you really need to take up as little space as possible, then this portable option from Pifco is a real gem. The slim body takes up minimal room, and it can all be folded down when done.

It is similar in design to a small rotary dryer, and you simply pop the clothes on a hanger before spacing them out around the item. There is a cover supplied, which will keep all of the heat contained and allow it to spread around the entire area. It has some handy vents in the top to let out some of the excess moisture, and still keep a dry environment to reduce the likelihood of mould.

A timer can be set, ranging from 30 minutes to 180 minutes, so you are always in control. If you just want to leave it on until the job is done you can, too, and the quiet motor won’t disturb you. The wide base and rubber feet will also keep it sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about it tipping over if left unattended.

It doesn’t hold as much as the traditionally designed models do, because of the rotary shape and need to keep everything well-spaced, but should still cope with the larger and more difficult items from your washing machine.

Because it is only comprised of a few parts, building it up and taking it down is very easy and quick. And as items hang from the device, the likelihood of creases is reduced. The outer cover is quite thick and bulky though, so folding this down to save space is a bit more of a challenge.

We like

  • Folds down small
  • Cover is effective at trapping the perfect amount of heat
  • Price

We dislike

  • Doesn’t hold a lot

Final Verdict

Quick at drying and one of the best for space-saving

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 3.09kg
  • Drying Space Capacity: 12 Items
  • Drying Weight Capacity: 10kg

JML DriBUDDi Air Portable Electric Clothes Dryer

Another great space-saver, and from a name who is always at the forefront of practical solutions to your home life.

Despite being a rotary electric clothes airer, it can actually hold a surprising amount. Able to dry up to 20 items at once and with an overall weight capacity of 14kg, the aluminium is strong yet lightweight, and there is no risk of rust in the future, no matter how damp the clothes are.

It comes supplied with a cover, and the circulation means quicker drying times and fewer creases. The powerful 900W motor is a lot higher than many others and really makes an impact in super-quick time. You still get that ‘line-dried’ effect though, with fresh results and the perfect drying level (as opposed to being too dry to iron or still too damp to do anything else with).

There are no dedicated hangers for smaller items such as underwear, so if you don’t have any suitable clip hangers for these, you may have to stick to the conventional over-radiator method to dry these. But for standard t-shirts, jeans, jumpers and other general clothing, it is reliable enough.

We like

  • Fairly speedy at drying from completely wet
  • Comes with cover

We dislike

  • One of the highest for energy consumption

Final Verdict

A little flimsy, but overall great for storing away and getting the job done in a decent time

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 4.4kg
  • Drying Space Capacity: 20 Items
  • Drying Weight Capacity: 14kg

Pifco P38005 Y-Shaped Heated Clothes Airer

Some heated electric dryers can struggle when it comes to drying space, as they want to take up as little footprint as possible yet still allow you to pack a full washing machine load onto the dryer.

This Pifco model is Y-Shaped/winged, so it extends the 18 bars outwards as opposed to vertically. This is great if you aren’t stuck for space, and instead just want the most effective method for drying your clothes indoors.

It still folds flat though, so takes up minimal storage space. The rubber feet increase stability, so it can be left to the job without you worrying about it falling over or collapsing of its own accord.

The temperature it reaches is 55 degrees, so it isn’t the best for delicate items which can’t handle this heat. But for your everyday clothing, the slightly higher heat simply means slightly quicker drying times and less likelihood of creases.

Cost-wise, it takes around 7p per hour to run. You may find that you have to keep turning the clothes around, as the heat doesn’t rise for maximum efficiency, but once you get the hang of using it, you’ll start to see its handiness.

We like

  • Lightweight
  • Folds down flat

We dislike

  • Price - a little too much for what you get, especially as there is no cover

Final Verdict

Great if you’re going to have large loads which need to be spaced out evenly, but this also comes with limitations in effectiveness

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 2.79 kg
  • Drying Space Capacity: 54cm

AnySharp Knife Sharpener

AnySharp has boldly said this is ‘The World’s Best Knife Sharpener’ on the side of the body of these sharpeners, and on first thought, this seems a bit overly-confident. Upon reviewing it, we can see it is a justified statement.

Using diamond precision, it will sharpen all of your hardened steel blades and will even top-up large-tooth serrated models such as bread knives. All you need to do is put the knife into the sharpening jaw, press down lightly and then pull it towards you. After a few rounds of this, your knife should be back to its best.

It can be used with just one hand, as the PowerGrip suction fixes securely to the kitchen bench or any other flat surface. The ideal degree to sharpen a knife is at 20 degrees, and the AnySharp is pre-set at this angle.

Despite the pictures, which makes it look like a huge machine, this is actually a tiny device which is suitable for popping away in your drawer between uses. It is purely manual, so there is no need to operate it near a plug socket.

We like

  • Manual Compact to store
  • Compact to store
  • Remains firmly on surface for better control

We dislike

  • Takes a bit of time to get the pressure right - press too hard and too much steel comes away

Final Verdict

It takes quite a lot of metal off the blades, but is so easy to use, small to store and quick at the job

+ Specifications

  • Material: Diamond Dimensions: 6.2 x 6.2 x 6.68 cm

Robert Welch Signature

If you would rather have a sharpener which you can hold with one hand and sharpen with the other, to give yourself peace of mind, then this Signature is a solid choice.

Just a few strokes through the mechanism will do the job, and if this is done little but often, your knife will never get to the point of no return in terms of bluntness. It is definitely one of the easiest to use, which is great if you will be buying your first ever sharpener and need something you can swiftly get to grips with.

This model can’t be used with serrated blades, so it is just for the solid steel cooking knives. The manufacturers recommend that the ceramic wheel is replaced around every 18 months, and these are incredibly good value, so it won’t cost a lot of money to keep it in the best possible condition either.

Price-wise, it is very reasonable indeed. Robert Welch is a huge name in the cutlery, kitchenware and tableware world, so it is a trusted brand, and the longevity aspect means it will save you a lot of money on new knives over the years.

We like

  • Ceramic wheel can be replaced - increases life of product
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Works quickly

We dislike

  • Wheel has to be replaced - you could see this as a negative

Final Verdict

Performs the job very well, and is great value for money as seeing it will last for a long, long time

+ Specifications

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 3 x 18cm

Joseph Joseph Rota Sharpener

Another brand which is big in the kitchen world, mostly for its innovative space-saving designs.

This sharpener is no different, as it folds down into a tiny device which doesn’t just fit in the palm of your hands but also in the tightest of spaces in your drawer. Because of this, the sharpening wheels are covered when not in use, so there is no risk of them getting clogged up with dust, dirt and grease from your cooking.

When folded out, you get an ergonomic sturdy handle to hold when you’re sharpening away. Non-slip feet on the base will keep the unit steady when you are using it too, so you don’t have to strain to keep it perfectly still.

There are two different sharpening wheels, one coarse and one fine, so no matter how blunt your knife has got, you’ll be able to inject a bit of life back into it.

You may think that all of the efforts have been put into the design, but we can safely say it does its primary job too. The knives come out perfectly sharp, and it can be used as much as needed without much of a negative effect on the ceramic wheels.

We like

  • Folds up neatly
  • Safe to use
  • Good price (Joseph Joseph is often at the higher end)

We dislike

  • Not suitable for serrated or ceramic knives

Final Verdict

A very competitive price for an item which is so thoughtfully designed but still one of the best knife sharpeners out there

+ Specifications

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Dimensions: 10.16 x 32.51 x 10.16 cm

Chantry Knife Sharpener

Not only is this sharpener strong on the inside at the sharpening wheels, but the overall exterior build also shines through.

The steel housing will remain scratch and dent-proof, even when your kitchen is a bit busy and haphazard. It is very solid, and weighty too so remains well in place when in use. This makes it ideal for one-handed use.

It can sharpen the knives on both sides, and can also sharpen both straight and serrated knives which is great if you have the full range. Many others can’t deal with the latter as it wears away the teeth, so this one is one of a kind.

The size isn’t too large, but it isn’t really one to be stored away in between uses so is definitely for someone who cooks very often and has the space to leave it out, or a small commercial environment.

It is a good price for such a substantial bit of kitchen kit, and while there are a few which are cheaper, we think this one will last long enough for you to get your money worth at the very least.

We like

  • Can sharpen serrated knives
  • Trusted brand with global reputation
  • Very sturdy

We dislike

  • Not as storage-friendly as other models

Final Verdict

Worth paying that little bit more for a really strong and weighty sharpener if you are a serious chef

+ Specifications

  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 16 x 14 x 5 cm

Global Knife Sharpener

A Shinkansen model of sharpener, for Japanese- and Asian-style blades primarily.

There are two grades, coarse and medium, so you can get the knives back up to the perfect level of sharpness no matter how blunt they have become. These wheels are replaceable, so if they start to perform underwhelmingly at their job, you can switch them for a new pair without replacing the entire unit.

It is a model made by Global, who make their own dedicated range of speciality kitchen knives. It is clear that this is a sharpener which does what it should because Global know what their knives need.

All you do is fill the reservoir base with cold water to keep the blades cool, run the blade through the coarse (white) wheel a few times then again through the pink, medium grade wheel. The narrow gaps help to keep the knife well-aligned, so sharpened at the perfect angle.

The wheels can be replaced if you ever need them, which will keep the item working at its best and save you from having to buy an entirely new model. It is available in black or red as an extra touch.

We like

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Replaceable wheels
  • Easy to set up

We dislike

  • At the pricier end

Final Verdict

The best water wheel sharpener we found, and perfect if your speciality knives are looking a bit dull and neglected

+ Specifications

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 9 x 6.5 cm

VonShef Electric Two Stage Knife Sharpener

There aren’t many electric models around, as the majority of sharpeners are manual, but if you’d prefer an electric model which does the movement for you, this is one of the best options.

It isn’t just a knife sharpener either. There is also a screwdriver sharpening port and scissor groove, so if you’re a bit if a DIY-er or your scissors are in the same state as your knives, you can tackle the lot.

The two-stage sharpening system not only does the main job but also defines them to finish it off and perfect the sharpness. You can sharpen both your kitchen knives and those which are a bit tougher, such as bread models (although it won’t tackle serrated knives).

Despite coming packed with the features, it is still relatively compact and easy to store away, whether it will be kept in the kitchen or utility room/shed. You can use Alloy, Carbon and Stainless Steel knives with it, and there are two wheels for both fine and coarse.

The fact that it can tackle so much definitely makes it worth the price, even if you doubt you’ll use the scissor or screwdriver ports – at least they will be there if you ever do.

We like

  • Great value
  • Surprisingly compact

We dislike

  • Very loud in use

Final Verdict

A great 3-in-1, and definitely one of the best electric knife sharpeners out there

+ Specifications

  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 17.2 x 17 x 12.8 cm

John Lewis & Partners Knife Sharpener

A nice price and from a name which is trusted, this sharpener is a lovely all-rounder.

The design is a little different from others. It is slimline, so great if you want to store it upright vertically, and the handle is prominent and at the side of the unit. This makes it look just like a chopping board, perfect for anyone who needs something compact enough to store yet needs something substantial to hold on to.

It can also tackle serrated knives, which is good if this is how your bread and meat knives are designed. Even though the use is pretty self-explanatory, you don’t get any instructions. We would have at least liked some tips on the best way to use it, but you soon get to grips with it after a few goes.

We like

  • Easy to pop away
  • Price
  • Substantial handle

We dislike

  • Lightweight, which can make it hard to control if you are using a lot of pressure

Final Verdict

Good value for a substantial sharpener, and good if you want something large yet storage-friendly

+ Specifications

  • Material: Steel

PaiTree Sharpening Stone

Featuring two grit levels on separate stones, 1000 and 6000, this is a block which can sharpen blunt edges and then polish them up to eliminate burrs and achieve a high-quality finish.

As with most sharpening whetstones, it can cope with a range of different models of knife. From your ordinary kitchen knives, kitchen scissors, pocket knives and larger Asian-inspired knives to garden shears, razors and ceramic knives, the large base gives you plenty of room whether they are big or small.

Just soak for a few minutes, and swap one stone for the other depending on the job, and the silicone base will help to keep them both secure and in one place so you can focus entirely on the job rather than keeping them still.

It is a fabulous price for a stone of this build, especially as it gives you two choices which are at the broad opposite ends of the spectrum. You can really notice a difference in how sharp your knives get using an item like this compared to the pull-through blocks and can get even the bluntest knives back up to scratch.

We like

  • Good stone choices included
  • Remains stable on flat surface

We dislike

  • A very time-consuming process

Final Verdict

Definitely durable and high-performing. Whether it will last for ages is another thing, but for the price, it is well worth even just a couple of uses

+ Specifications

  • Grit Level: 6000, 1000
  • Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 3 cm

BearMoo Sharpening Stone

If you need some low-grit stones for larger knives which don’t need quite as much of a heavy-handed sharpen, these are the ones.

It sharpens slightly slower than higher, coarser grits, but doesn’t leave as much of a refined edge. If you keep your knives in a relatively pristine condition, or maybe have just bought a new set and want to buy the sharpener for when the time comes, these are going to be enough to keep on top of it.

They can be more faff than the other types of sharpener. You have to soak this one for around 15 minutes before use, really narrow down your expert technique, and then leave it to dry preferably overnight to ensure it is good to be stored away.

But the results they give out are top-notch, and the fact they can be used with all forms of knife (pretty much) means they will certainly be well-used.

We like

  • Price
  • Works surprisingly well for low-level grit

We dislike

  • Time-consuming

Final Verdict

Good for the low-level and precious sharpening, where anything too sharp would be damaging

+ Specifications

  • Grit Level: 400, 1000
  • Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 3 cm

John Lewis & Partners Classic Sharpening Steel

You were very impressed as you watched Gordon Ramsey furiously sharpen a knife after shouting at somebody on Hell’s Kitchen a few years ago, and while your anger levels aren’t anywhere near that scale, he looked every inch the professional. To recreate the look and straighten the knife out, a rod such as this is needed.

Some aren’t actually the greatest for sharpening anything and are best when paired with a more efficient stone or pull-through. But this model shines through, and despite being an own-brand and affordable, performance is exquisite.

Knives end up razor sharp and as good as they were when first bought. It is solid and should stay sharp for a good few years of use. Whether you’re willing to try your hand at a device such as this or stick to the other easier methods is up to you, but a steel will give you much more freedom than anything else.

We like

  • Strong build
  • Works surprisingly well
  • Price

We dislike

  • Outstanding blade but you may have to be more of an expert to get it right

Final Verdict

Comfortable to hold and great quality for all of you more adventurous chefs out there

+ Specifications

  • Length: 25cm
  • Forging Type: Forged
  • Material: Stainless Steel

HP Sprocket Plus Photo Printer

Thanks to the ZINK technology, this is one of the latest photo printers which don’t require any ink. All of the colours required are embedded onto the specialist paper, so as long as you have a stash of this, you are good to go.

It is around the size of a smartphone, so great if you need something ultra-portable. If you need to personalise the photos, you can do so through the HP Sprocket app. Adding text, emojis and other effects is easier than ever, and no longer requires specialist Paint skills on your laptop.

The back of the ZINK sheets is stickable, which is great if you want to make a collage of photos on your wall. They are 5 x 7.6 cm (2 x 3 in) in size, giving them the perfect professional feel and also making them ideal if you have a photo album.

It connects to your phone via Bluetooth 5.0 and wakes automatically when you require it to get going. Multiple phones can connect at the same time, so all of your friends can print when they need to, which could come in handy at a festival or party.

The noise it emits is barely audible, and the photo quality is fab. The paper is a bit pricey to buy, especially if you’re going to be using it a lot, but the convenience is going to be well worth this for many photo-lovers.

We like

  • Compact
  • Ability to personalise pictures
  • Quick results

We dislike

  • Price of paper (but this is a common theme)

Final Verdict

Definitely one of the best for convenience and style, and the instant results will save you an awful lot of time

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 1.8 x 14.1 x 8.9cm
  • Paper: HP ZINK
  • Battery: Built-In
  • Paper Capacity: 10 Sheets
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer

As you would expect from a brand like this, this is a quality photo printer which gives incredibly good 2”x3” format results.

Polaroid is seen as the leaders when it comes to instant photography, so it is no surprise that this printer also gives instant pictures. Just connect your iOS or Android phone to the unit via Bluetooth and then select the pictures you want to print off.

ZINK paper combines both the paper and ink, so you don’t need to buy cartridges or carry around other bits and pieces to get the results. Because it is wireless, you also don’t need cables for power or connectivity. The battery will support 50 prints on one charge.

The Polaroid app will allow you to customise the photos before they develop, with the addition of borders, emojis, filters or text. So if you want to add a physical caption or want to make a collage on your wall with photos which all have the same effect, you don’t have to have high technical ability or expensive editing suites on your computer.

We like

  • Available in five eye-catching colours
  • Slim and compact - the smallest on the market at the time of reviewing
  • Very easy to operate

We dislike

  • Pictures come out slightly on the darker side

Final Verdict

A small size, easy to navigate app and very generous battery life makes this one of the best for overall usability

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.62 x 1.27 x 2.54 cm
  • Paper: ZINK
  • Battery: Built-In
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

INSTAX Share SP-2 Photo Printer & 10 Shot Bundle

A very advanced piece of equipment to ensure your photos come out just how they should, you can have the physical picture in just ten seconds.

Thanks to the intelligence filter, there is no need to spend hours editing your photos. It automatically touches up any little imperfections, so you get a quality picture each and every time. Many other instant printers suffer from the colours being too dull/pink/overexposed, but this is corrected without you having to lift a finger.

There is still the option to edit them if you want, though. Why not add a Real Time or Limited Edition Template to give your photos a unique edge, or even convert it into black and white?

The battery is one of the best, as it can cope with around 100 prints before needing recharging. It is one of the few which will connect via Wi-Fi as opposed to Bluetooth, which makes it suitable for use with the majority of phones/tablets but can also mean connectivity issues if you don’t have internet access.

Just be aware that it is one of the few which doesn’t use ZINK paper, so there is a little more setting up to do (but they can generally be bought for cheaper).

We like

  • Simple to navigate
  • 10 sheets come with the purchase

We dislike

  • Could be one of the priciest to run due to the price of film

Final Verdict

Polaroid-style pictures when you want them and how you want them, and the price makes it one of the more affordable

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4 x 8.95 x 13.18 cm
  • Paper: Instax Mini Film
  • Battery: Built-In
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi

HP Sprocket 200 Photo Printer

Not an awful lot separates the Sprocket 200 from the Sprocket Plus when it comes to reviewing the two, except that the 200 is that little bit older, larger and therefore cheaper.

But it is still worth a very high position on our rundown. It is palm-sized and very easy to connect to your phone or tablet so you can get going.

It is available in black and white, and the speckled almost marble design gives it a very different touch to the others on the market.

The photos aren’t as vivid as they are on the phone screen, and come out with a little bit of a pink tinge and dull, but this does actually add that vintage Polaroid instant pic look which is great if you want a fun product as opposed to detail and clarity.

You may think it is well worth the money saving aspect, as seeing in general there isn’t much of a difference overall. We would have to agree, especially if you aren’t fussed about having the absolute latest technology.

We like

  • Photos are customisable before printing
  • Easy to print straight from social media

We dislike

  • Colours can be slightly off and dull

Final Verdict

HP have long led the way in this instant photo technology, and even their older models still beat a lot of modern options hands-down

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 8 x 11.8cm
  • Paper: ZINK
  • Battery: Built-In
  • Paper Capacity: 10 Sheets
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

CANON Zoemini Mobile Photo Printer

Canon makes some of the best inkjet printers which give you great photo and document printing, so we had no doubt that this model would print out great looking pictures.

The 2 x 3 Inch photos are ready in seconds, and the ZINK paper means you don’t need to bother with refilling ink or replacing cartridges. They are also stickable, so you can decorate your flat, bedroom or locker at work with precious memories without damaging the walls or buying frames.

You can customise the pictures before they print using the dedicated Canon Mini Print app, and add on-trend filters or doodles. We also loved the tiling feature which is pretty unique; four or nine prints can be produced which all fit together to make one larger picture, in case you want something bigger than the usual 2×3 inch photos.

It is one for those who are bothered about aesthetics, or who want the printer to match their phone. The colours available are white, black or rose gold. You get ten free sheets of the speciality paper with the purchase, so you’re good to try it out as soon as it arrives.

Price-wise, it is one of the cheapest around. The app is a little less easy to navigate than some of the others but still takes you through the printing and setup process clearly. You have to zoom in and out to get the photo size you’re after, which can be a bit annoying if you’re trying to edit it and forget to go back to the ordinary size or want a perfect crop. But overall, the price makes it a steal.

You can use other brands of Zink paper with this Canon, but do be aware you need to keep the blue card which comes with the dedicated paper.

We like

  • Easy to pair with phone
  • Price

We dislike

  • Photo colours are on the dark side

Final Verdict

We don’t know why it is a lot cheaper than other models, but the fact that it is makes it well worth the purchase if you just want something fun

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Paper: Canon ZINK
  • Battery: Built-In
  • Paper Capacity: 10 Sheets
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

KODAK Smile Instant Digital Printer

One of the most compact to carry around, and it opens up into a wedge to print off the photos, which makes it slightly different. This keeps it nice and protected when in transit.

All you need to do is take the photos on your phone, and then open the Smile App Editing Studio to put your own personal touch on them if you wish. Then, they can be printed in under 30 seconds, and ready to stick or place wherever you wish.

It uses Zink paper, so there are no cartridges or films to replace. And as it connects to your phone via Bluetooth, it will be compatible no matter if you have an iPhone, Android or Windows model. Around 40 prints can be done on a single charge, and it takes two hours to fully charge again, which actually makes it one of the poorest for battery life, but it is by no means the worst or particularly bad.

We like

  • Solid built - good for anyone on-the-go
  • App gives great editing options

We dislike

  • A bit pricey to say it doesn’t offer as much as some rivals

Final Verdict

There are a few which have more to them for the price, but Kodak is a very trusted name and the photos are very customisable

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Paper: Zink
  • Battery: Built-In CR123A
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

Prynt Pocket Instant Photo Printer

Now for something very different. While all of the others on our list use Bluetooth/WiFi to communicate remotely with your phone, this one needs the two physically connected.

It turns the phone into a hand-sized instant camera, and you can print photos which are saved to your phone or uploaded to social media with little fuss.

A fab feature we love in the app is that you can embed a video within your photo. When this is shared with friends, they can use the app to unlock the video, which makes it a fun way of sharing memories (and saving videos).

It only works with an iPhone, and is definitely one of the least compact models on the market. But if you want something which doesn’t rely on tech to work, and therefore is easy to use, it could work well. Although we would like to see it a bit cheaper because of this lack of tech.

We like

  • On the more retro side of the scale
  • Video embed technology

We dislike

  • Lack of Bluetooth/WiFi could become frustrating for some
  • Price, as there are fewer features than rivals

Final Verdict

More fun than practical, but great for younger people who prefer the fun aspect over wanting the latest technology (and who have an iPhone)

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 8.4 x 11 cm
  • Paper: ZINK
  • Battery: Built-In
  • Connectivity: Manual

KiiPix Portable Photo Printer

By far the cheapest photo printer on our list. Able to print photos from your Android or iPhone, it is also the largest, but doesn’t rely on wireless communication to get the job done.

It is a pretty clever bit of kit despite this. You can fold it down when not in use to make it easier to transport, but when you do want to print, KiiPix folds out. You then place your phone on top, push the button and turn the crank. The photo rolls out on the paper.

Because it prints whatever was on your phone’s screen, it can make it a lot easier to adjust the picture before printing. What you see on the screen is what you get, so you can add filters and effects and also turn up the brightness and contrast if you wish.

The size of the paper is credit-card Instax paper, so perfect if you want the instant camera look. Because it is a manual operation, there are no batteries, no charging cables and no need to rely on Bluetooth or WiFi, so great if you want to take it on holiday or to a festival for instant physical memories.

As it takes the image displayed on your phone screen, any cracks or imperfections will affect the outcome. Placing the phone correctly can be fiddly, and you really have to make sure the brightness is up to full etc. so there is a lot of setting up involved. But it is budget-friendly, so worth a go if the price of others makes your eyes water a bit.

We like

  • Self-contained printer
  • No need for charging or batteries

We dislike

  • Section for printing is small - no good if your phone screen is huge
  • Can be unreliable

Final Verdict

Can be unreliable, but in the end, it is cheap and great it doesn’t rely too much on wireless communication

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14 x 5.7 x 15.9 cm
  • Paper: FUJIFILM Instax
  • Battery: N/A
  • Connectivity: Manual

Aqualisa Quartz XTE

A brilliant shower for any families or busy households, the Quartz has won a host of awards which ensures it is one of the best out there.

We can see why – there are plenty of features which makes it well worth the price tag. Push button controls make it simple to use, and the LED lighting ensures an attractive design. The shower head comes with five different patterns, which is perfect if you have a particular way in which you love your water to be.

The OTP system ensures very high temperatures can’t be selected, which is great if the whole family will be using it. There is also a delayed shutdown feature which flushes away the leftover hot water, which will keep limescale at bay and also ensure you don’t get a cold blast of water next time it is turned on.

It is one of the quietest when running, and even the shower head is top notch thanks to the five selectable spray patterns. The fitting is easy enough, and the overall usability is just as simple. No wonder it has been awarded Best Buy titles and tops a whole host of other review pages.

We like

  • Design
  • Trustworthy and reliable
  • Good price

We dislike

  • Could say that the shower head design lets it down a bit

Final Verdict

Stable heat and pressure, and very stylish design - there is little more you could ask of it

+ Specifications

  • Power: 9.5kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Dimensions: 49.2 x 34 x 15.4 cm

Mira Showers 1.1746.008 Sport Max

Showers use a lot of water, and these showers also use electricity. If you’re concerned about not just keeping costs down but also keeping energy usage down to help the planet, then this model is packed with technology which can help you get the most out of it without using up precious resources.

Airboost technology increases the flow by up to 30 percent without using any more water, and you can also flick to the eco setting so you get the exact pressure and experience you want.

Not only is there an eco friendly setting, but the shower head is efficient too. It is nice and large at 110mm and four sprays, with good water pressure given out, meaning you’ll probably be stood under there for less time than with some other models.

Furthermore, Clearscale technology reduces the likelihood of limescale by up to 50%, so it’ll be longer before you have the thoroughly clean the shower head and you won’t find yourself standing there with an underwhelming amount of pressure.

When you do ramp up the power, the noise also gets a boost, but it isn’t so loud that it becomes uncomfortable. Mira is a quality brand, and this piece of kit shows that off well.

We like

  • Airboost option makes a big difference
  • Shower head is nice size
  • Simple to keep clean

We dislike

  • On the louder side

Final Verdict

Plenty of extra features to get the water just how you like it, and it isn’t a bad price for such a great item

+ Specifications

  • Power: 9.0kW, 10.8kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 21.5 x 35.8 cm

Triton Enrich White

If you are looking for something cheap and cheerful, yet don’t want to be let down by poor performance, you’d probably think that going for one of the lowest priced showers around would be a big mistake and you need to invest that little bit more.

Well, we will have to prove you wrong there. This Triton Enrich may well be just over £50, but its performance would put it in the range of ones over double the cost. For not much more than the absolute cheapest ones around (under £50), you get a huge upgrade in performance and style.

It is great if you are replacing an old unit, as there are multiple cable entry points. This gives you flexibility when installing as you can adapt it to your bathroom layout or any old fittings/holes. It can, of course, also be installed as a brand new first shower, and would be ideal in a rental property.

There is an eco setting which can help keep your bills down, and a high and low setting will help when you want to have a long relaxing shower or a quick powerful get-up-and-go wash. It isn’t the prettiest, but for the money, it is as good as you could possibly get and more.

We like

  • Price
  • Easy to fit
  • Good range of settings

We dislike

  • Shower head isn’t the best

Final Verdict

We were very surprised at just how good this shower was - proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune for quality

+ Specifications

  • Power: 8.5 kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Flow Rate: 8l/min
  • Dimensions: 30 x 21 x 11cm

Mira Decor Dual

Clean and contemporary while giving you a great level of choice when it comes to how you like your shower, this Mira is for those who love a bit of style.

The 90mm handset with its wide spray coverage is great when time is short, or you’re just having a quick body shower. But there is also a 200mm deluge head for a bit more of a power-shower feel. Many of you out there will probably only get a chance to relax when you’re in the bathroom, so it is the perfect way to enjoy a peaceful few moments.

Separate flow and temperature controls give you the choice of heat and force. When you are done, just press the off button, and then the settings will remain in place for when it is next turned on.

It comes in three finishes – White, Warm Silver and Black Onyx – so there is an option for every bathroom. Cleaning it is easy thanks to the flat surfaces, and clearscale™ technology reduces the risk of limescale by up to 50%.

We like

  • Flexible fitting
  • Aesthetics
  • Easy to care for

We dislike

  • One of the pricier picks

Final Verdict

One of the pricier options, but the perfect mix between the convenience of an electric shower and the style of a built-in traditional

+ Specifications

  • Power: 10.8 kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Flow Rate: 4l/min
  • Dimensions: 33.2 x 22 x 97.4cm

Triton Seville

Available in four different power levels, this is a shower which will suit everybody’s needs.

We have chosen to review the 10.5kW model because it isn’t that much more than the 7.5kW model if it is an appropriate fit for your bathroom. It features multiple cable and water entry points which makes it a fab choice if you are replacing an existing electric shower kit.

The shower head gives out a lovely amount of water and is easy to clean with a simple wipe after use.

It is great value, with all models coming in well under £100. The head only gives out one spray pattern, so if you’re fussy about this kind of thing, you may want to replace it at a later date. But it is a very popular model, and many reviewers still say it is surprisingly efficient despite being on the basic side.

We like

  • Cost
  • Build is substantial

We dislike

  • Shower head is very basic

Final Verdict

There are a few which are just as good available for a bit less cost, but this model feels strong and is easy to take care of which makes it worth the investment

+ Specifications

  • Power: 7.5kW, 8.5kW, 9.5kW, 10.5kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Flow Rate: Min 11 l/min
  • Dimensions: 58 x 26 x 17 cm

Bristan CHE95 W

With a choice of two pressure powers, there is a good chance that this particular shower model will be able to fit perfectly into your home.

Bristan is pretty much the biggest name in the tap world, and they supply hospitals, schools, hotels as well as estimating that they are in approximately every 1 out of 4 homes in the UK. So there was a lot of pressure riding on this review.

Thankfully, it passed with flying colours. It is easy to fit, with a one push water connector and a multitude of water entry points in case you are replacing an old unit.

The shower head flow isn’t amazing, so don’t expect to be able to recreate the Herbal Essences advert. But it is simple to use, and is overall a quality item for the price bracket. The instruction manual contains in-depth installation instructions as a bonus, in case you are confident and equipped enough to do the job yourself.

We like

  • Clean design
  • Good instructions
  • Plenty of installation points

We dislike

  • Seems to deliver a bit less pressure than it advertises

Final Verdict

A good price, and a reliable overall unit

+ Specifications

  • Power: 8.5kW, 9.5kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Dimensions: 10 x 19.5 x 30.5 cm

Redring Pure

Redring is another big name in the bathroom tap world. This is one of the cheapest on our list but still deserves its place as it is great value for money.

It is perfect for those of you who are conscious about cost but still want something worth your while and are concerned about the look of the shower. The 600mm riser rail gives you plenty of room to adjust the height of the shower head, so the entire family or household can easily fit comfortably under the water jets.

You also get a 1-metre long anti-kink hose, which solves the common issue where the tube usually twists all around itself when you go to put it back. The shower head is only a single mode model, but it gives good coverage so will ensure you can get all of the suds washed out of your hair sufficiently.

We like

  • Easy to fit
  • Clean design
  • Price

We dislike

  • Notably on the basic side

Final Verdict

Our budget pick, and while there are a few out there which are better for not much more money, it is still a reliable and clean looking model

+ Specifications

  • Power: 7.5kW, 8.5kW
  • Power Levels: 3

Bristan BL3105 B Bliss 3

One of the most stylish black showers if this is what you’re looking for, the BL3105 is bang up to date.

There are a digital display indicator and touch button power selection where you can pick one of the three power level settings. Warm-up mode will show a light flashing until the water is warmed up to the desired temperature and ready to use, so you’ll never have a nasty shock under ice cold water in the morning.

It has been designed to cover existing installations, so if you currently have a UK shower installed, you should be able to swap them cleanly thanks to the large choice of fitting holes. Anti-limescale technology reduces the risk of build-up by flushing the system through with cold water after use. There is also a visual reminder for when you need to clean the external filter and handset.

Safety is a top priority – the temperature will remain consistent even if a tap is turned on elsewhere in the house, to prevent scalding, and the digital temperature display will mean you have no nasty surprises and can adjust it if a family member likes their shower hotter/colder than you do.

Other reviewers have commented that the temperature can fluctuate a little when in use. It can be set to one level, and change up and down during the shower. This unreliability may put a few people off, but in our mind, it is a great looking shower with plenty of clear controls to make it worth a shot for the cost.

We like

  • Design
  • Clear controls and display

We dislike

  • Temperature can change in use

Final Verdict

A lovely price for the style and modernity

+ Specifications

  • Power: 8.5kW, 9.5kW, 10.5kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Dimensions: 19.5 x 7 x 30.5 cm

MX Group Inspiration QI

Wired for both left and right wiring terminals, this is a shower which should be able to fit seamlessly into any bathroom.

There are detachable corner units for easy plumbing access, when fitting and in case anything goes wrong. The start-stop selection makes it easy to pick up where you left off, and there is a visual temperature indicator which will help you get the perfect spot.

The colour options are the icing on the cake – it is available in full chrome, full gold effect or white and chrome, so there really is a choice for most people. It is a nice price, and despite MX Group not being one of the biggest names in the shower world, this is still a reliable and impressive unit.

We like

  • Effective shower head
  • Available in some ‘out there’ colours

We dislike

  • Buttons are a little stiff to operate (although you could see this as a good safety feature)

Final Verdict

The design may not be for everyone, but it offers great performance and a very reasonable price

+ Specifications

  • Power: 8.5kW, 9.5kW, 10.5kW
  • Power Levels: 3
  • Dimensions: 59 x 26.2 x 13.4 cm

Toshiba 32W3863DB 32″ Smart TV

This telly may be a budget pick, but as seeing as it is packed with Smart TV features, Freeview HD and is compatible with Alexa, we were definitely expecting it to be around twice the price.

70 Freeview channels will give you plenty of options if you want to watch some live television when you get in from work, such as the news or The Chase, and 3 HDMI ports gives you the chance to connect DVD players or games consoles for when you want to kick back on a weekend.

The smart features have all of the top apps, such as Netflix and YouTube as well as the main catch-up services. Shows can be recorded onto a USB or external hard-drive through the two USB ports, and you can control the entire television with just your voice as it is compatible with Alexa. Very smart indeed.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, the Android TV app can help you control the unit through your phone. All of these control options are perfect if you are one to lose the remote control.

We like

  • Packed with so many features
  • Alexa compatible
  • Sleek design

We dislike

  • Sound lets it down ever so slightly

Final Verdict

Great connectivity to smart services and bang up to date with controlability and picture quality

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 49"
  • Freeview HD
  • 3 x HDMI, 2 x USB, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x Optical Out, 1 x Common Interface, 1 x Terrestrial, 1 x Cable Input, 1 x Satellite Input
  • Dimensions: 43.7 x 73.5 x 9cm

Veltech VEL32FO01UK 32″

They may not be a big name in the tech industry, but this is a television which proves that Veltech need to be taken seriously.

It is by far one of the best budget televisions around, as demonstrated by the host of glowing reviews it has got from users. There is a 720p HD display which is great for the cost, and Freeview HD is built-in so all you need to do is connect your aerial and you’re good to go.

Many modern televisions struggle with offering connections to help you connect up your games consoles, DVD and other smart sticks. Thankfully, this model has 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports which should give you plenty of room.

You will need a Now TV/Amazon FireStick if you want to make the television smart, because no apps are built-in to the unit. But for the price, this is a fab TV with all the basics in abundance, and there is plenty of room for all of the extras you want to hook up.

We like

  • Price
  • Plenty of connections

We dislike

  • Not a smart TV (forgivable for price)

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 32"
  • Freeview HD
  • 3 x HDMI, 2 x USB, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x Optical Out, 1 x Common Interface, 1 x Terrestrial, 1 x Cable Input, 1 x Satellite Input
  • Dimensions: 46.8 x 78 x 20cm

Panasonic TX-32E302B 32″

Comfortably under £200, this is a great telly for the price.

You get Freeview HD with 70 free channels, 2 HDMI ports and 1 USB port. This will give you plenty of choice over what to watch, whether it be live football on BBC 1 or catching-up on boxsets on Netflix through the Fire Stick.

When the TV is not in use, it will automatically turn itself off so you can save energy. This also helps if you usually forget to switch it off before you leave the house.

Setting it up is nice and easy, with no complicated settings to change. If you’re not fussed on your telly being ‘smart’ and just want something fuss-free with a great picture, it is a lovely little item. Just be aware there isn’t a huge amount of connection options so it is one for those who just have one or two extra boxes.

We like

  • Cost
  • Good picture
  • Fuss-free set up

We dislike

  • Not Smart

Final Verdict

A good price, and a nice basic unit for anyone who wants something which will just do the job.

+ Specifications

  • Screen Size: 32"
  • Freeview HD
  • 2 x HDMI, 1 x USB, 1 x Common Interfac
  • Dimensions: 43.8 x 73.5 x 8.7cm

Dyson AM10

Part of Dyson’s Air Multiplier range, which includes their best-selling fans, this humidifier is a perfect tabletop model if you want something which doesn’t take over your room but still makes a difference.

When you are humidifying the air, you still want to ensure that the moisture is clean and won’t agitate any allergies or make an uncomfortable atmosphere. The Ultraviolet Cleanse™ technology removes 99.9% of bacteria from the water before it is released into your room so that you can breathe easier.

The three-litre tank means you won’t have to fill it up too much, and it could even last up to 18 hours. There are built-in sensors which can measure the temperature and moisture in the air, so it isn’t going to be working away when it isn’t needed, and Air Multiplier Technology projects the moisture across the room quickly and quietly.

A sleep timer makes it an ideal addition to any bedroom. You can set it to turn off after a certain amount of time if you need perfect peace for some shut-eye or to come on every so often to maintain a balance.

We like

  • Comes with a remote control
  • Quiet Mark accreditation
  • Can also be used as a fan for cold air as well as humidity

We dislike

  • One of the most expensive - you’re also paying for the name

Final Verdict

One of the most effective on the market, which makes a huge difference in a short amount of time. It can also be used as an ordinary fan in summer

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 57.9 x 24 x 13.5cm
  • Air Type: Cool
  • Air Flow Rate: 32 m3/hour
  • Capacity: 3L

Philips AC3829/60

Able to purify your air as well as humidify, the Philips AC3829/60 lets you visualise the air so you can stay in full control of the conditions you want.

The purification technology can capture up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, including viruses, bacteria, pollen, dust and pet dander. NanoCloud technology then uses a hygienic process to release humidity into the air, so these allergens won’t just be replaced again as it will be clean air.

You can set it to keep an eye on things automatically. It will monitor the situation and turn on and off to keep on top of the situation. Just set the desired humidity to 40%, 50% or 60%, and it will turn itself off and on again to keep on top of it all.

The air visualisation app is brought to you via the Air Matters app, which Philips has partnered with to monitor indoor and outdoor air quality. It offers insights and one-week forecasts, so you know if you’ll be able to open your windows or how best to control the situation. You’ll also be able to see the filter status and control it all remotely.

There are four speeds in case you need to give it a boost, and the four casters on the base make it easy to move from room to room.

We like

  • 2-in-1
  • Great for allergies
  • Auto mode works well ticking away in the background
  • Can work in rooms up to 80 m²

We dislike

  • App can be a little slow to update and communicate

Final Verdict

Whether you want to have full control over the unit or want it to do all of the work itself, you can pick the correct mode, and your atmosphere will be perfect in minutes

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 80 x 49 x 39 cm
  • Air Type: Cold
  • Air Flow Rate: 310 m3/h

Bionaire Digital Ultrasonic BU7500-060

Coming complete with a warm air option as well as the ordinary cold mist, this is an ideal unit if you need something which can be adapted depending on the time of year and to cope with periodic issues such as hayfever.

The warm air is perfect for Winter when you can’t risk the temperature dipping. It also helps if you suffer from respiratory issues, as it can ease breathing and dry throats. If it runs out of water, it will automatically shut off to protect both the unit and your home.

There is a useful timer function, so you can set it to turn on at specific times. If you want the house to be perfect before you get home for work, or when you get up in the morning, the timer will allow it to get to work, so you live in comfort.

If you want to use it in the bedroom or hallway as you sleep, there is a nightlight which could come in handy if you want to create a bit of an atmosphere or don’t like the room to be in complete darkness.

As a finishing touch, the humidistat allows you to set your own perfect conditions, so whether you like it to be on the drier side or ramped up fully, it won’t go past that point or leave you disappointed.

We like

  • Very quiet
  • Easy to set up to your own required specifications
  • Touch control buttons

We dislike

  • Price - there are a few options which do the same thing for less

Final Verdict

Bionaire make a whole host of great air quality products, and this humidifier will ensure your home remains comfortable at all times

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 22.6 x 22 x 22cm
  • Air Type: Cold/Warm
  • Capacity: 2.7L

Stadler Form Eva Humidifier

Offering one of the largest capacities out of all those reviewed, this is a great option if you want something which can cope with a large room but still look the part.

It uses clever ultrasonic technology to get the humidity exact, even high up in the air. Set it to auto mode, and it will take care of the job all by itself, turning on and off when required. You have five humidity levels to choose from, between 30 to 75%, so your comfort levels can be perfected.

Both warm and cold mist can be formed, so depending on your situation or the weather, you can have the ideal environment. There is a nice glow given out from the LED lights, but they can be dimmed or turned off entirely if you’re using it at night and the light is offputting.

Now for something which is going to appeal to a lot of people. It is a smart dehumidifier, as it can distribute a scent of your choice. Just add a few drops of lavender oil or something similar to the water, and it will fill your home.

We like

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Auto mode is reliable
  • Hard water filter included

We dislike

  • Sometimes sensed that the water was empty but it wasn’t so restarted itself

Final Verdict

Covers a huge area between 80 m² / 200 m³, and has a filtration level of 5 - an all round good egg

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 41.8 x 19.6 x 19.6cm
  • Air Type: Warm/Cold
  • Capacity: 6.3L

Stadler Form Oskar Little Humidifier

A pricey option, but one of the more advanced in terms of all the extras and features.

There are two power levels, and it can work in rooms up to 30m2, so you can give it a quick boost to clear the room, and it will then work to keep everything consistent.

It is one of the most eco-friendly options, with a filter made of plant and textile fibres. There is no doubt that it is more economical and environmentally friendly than comparable humidifiers. If it runs out of water it will switch itself off and is easy to top up when the time comes.

There are a lot of other great things about it, too. It is super quiet when running and definitely would win the fight for the best looking humidifier on the market. Unfortunately, the user manual states it can’t be used in hard water areas so you’re going to have to filter the water thoroughly or else it will leave your possessions covered in white chalky dust and won’t work for long. The filters must also be replaced every 2-3 months, which adds to running costs. They are also hard to find, so have a hunt around before buying.

We like

  • Design
  • Eco-friendly materials used
  • Suitable for aroma diffusion

We dislike

  • Water must be very pure

Final Verdict

If you’re willing to put up with these problems, then it is a stylish, effective and modern appliance which will leave your home in the best possible condition

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 29 x 24.6 x 18.5cm
  • Air Type: Cold
  • Air Flow Rate: 200g3/h
  • Capacity: 3.5L

Aennon Cool Mist Humidifier

One of the most adaptable humidifiers, you can set the desired level with complete freedom, so you get the atmosphere perfect.

It can work with oils if you need assistance clearing a blocked nose or stuffy head, and the choice to turn the power up or down will ensure you get the right amount of steam without being overcome or unaffected.

We would say this is best for small rooms, such as secondary bedrooms if the kids can’t sleep because of a blocked nose or their room is dry due to the heating. For larger living rooms or open plan spaces, it will still work, but just take quite a while to make an impact.

It is also a pain to refill, as you have to take apart the whole unit. If you need it to run all day, then this may become a pain as it lasts for around ten hours before needing a top up.

We like

  • Price
  • Quiet operation

We dislike

  • A faff to refill

Final Verdict

A nice affordable price, and while not the most user-friendly, it works

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 21 x 20 x 29 cm
  • Air Type: Cool
  • Capacity: 2.8L

Babymoov Hygro Plus Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Humidifiers for use in a baby’s bedroom is a lot more complicated than picking the one which fits the decor or your price bracket. Babies are very sensitive to their atmosphere, and the wrong conditions could see breathing issues, dry skin and a struggle sleeping.

They need to be quiet, give out the perfect level of moisture and also need to be reliable, as you may be leaving it to work its magic. You may also want something which can be entertaining though, featuring lighting which can help your little one doze off.

It is all touchscreen control for a simpler setup, and it is suitable for rooms up to 20 m² so could even be taken into the living room or kitchen when it is play or dinnertime. Control can be set to automatic monitoring, or you can do it by hand if you know the ideal point.

There is also an essential oil diffuser option, and although this isn’t massively suitable for little ones, it could come in handy if they ever have a stuffy nose or they get a bit older, and the smell helps them to sleep.

It runs at 25dB, and you can choose from seven colours with the multicoloured night light. The 360-degree adjustable mist outlet is also handy in case you want to target specific areas.

We think it is one of the best baby humidifiers around. It does the job and is under £100.

We like

  • Light effects
  • Holds a nice amount
  • Can be adjusted to target areas

We dislike

  • Dripping sound - overall quiet but this could be bothersome

Final Verdict

Not the best overall, but when buying with a baby in mind, you get everything you need

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 27 x 24.5 x 36 cm
  • Air Type: Cool
  • Capacity: 2.5L

Vicks VH750 Warm Mist Humidifier

Able to release warm air which could relieve congestion and the other first signs of a cold or allergy, this humidifier could be the perfect answer to stuffy noses and sore throats.

The mist released is 95% bacteria-free, which will help if you are trying to keep everywhere clean. There are two intensity settings so you can give it a boost if need be, and it will shut off if it happens to run out of water.

If you need some oils to help you breathe, the VH750 is compatible with VapoPads scented pads which feature essential oils. One menthol pad is included with the purchase, and others are available to buy at a later day. If you’re buying for a baby, lavender pads are around instead.

To keep the 95% bacteria-free mist, there is a lot of cleaning to be done. It suggests this is all done daily, but the likelihood you’ll be able to fit this into your schedule is low. The unit dismantles easily when the time does come, but other reviewers have said that they left cleaning a bit too long and sticky residue formed.

It is suitable for rooms up to 35 m2, and we would say it is best for larger rooms as it does get quite noisy in operation.

We like

  • On the quieter side
  • Can be used without the pads

We dislike

  • Keeping it clean is a bit of a nightmare
  • Cost of pads will be ongoing

Final Verdict

With the advancements in humidifier technology, this is no longer the best for keeping bacteria and allergens at bay. But it is certainly the best-priced model, and ideal if you just want something to bring out every so often for battling colds and illnesses

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 33 x 27 x 16cm
  • Air Type: Cool
  • Capacity: 3.8L

PureMate® 4.5L Digital Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

A nice big capacity and half the price of the market leaders make this a very appealing choice.

The humidity sensor can detect when action is needed, turning on and off in response to ensure a consistent feel. As it can hold 4.5L of water at any one time, you aren’t going to have to top it up often, which will allow you to leave it to its own devices for around 12 hours.

It can work in rooms up to 40m², making it one of the best for open plan homes or large rooms. You can add some of your favourite oils for a bit of a scent boost, and the illuminated water tank allows you to see the water level so you can top it up before it switches itself off automatically.

The timer option means you can set it to work in a period between 1-12 hours. This could allow you to plan ahead or conserve some energy usage. There is a separate slot at the back for the oils, so you don’t have to put them in the water and risk not being able to smell them or being overcome.

There are a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, try to use filtered or distilled water as hard water will damage the machine over time. You would also have to clean everything in the area often as it leaves it all covered in a bit of white dust. It is also vital you read the instructions first as there are a couple of important pointers in there, even though it is a bit of a slog to get through.

We like

  • Easy to refill
  • Nice size and style
  • Remote control

We dislike

  • Instruction manual isn’t great
  • Can get noisy the longer it runs

Final Verdict

It doesn’t look too bad, and it performs very well to say it is around half the cost of similar options

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 35 cm
  • Air Type: Cool
  • Capacity: 4.5L

Tenswall 400ml Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser

If you want a humidifier for use with essential oils to help you breathe easier, then any old model isn’t going to do. You’ll need a dedicated option, and this portable model is ideal for moving wherever you go.

It should work for around ten hours on a single tank of water, which will keep you covered for most of the day. The design means it doesn’t look like a humidifier, so you can pop it anywhere in the room without it ruining the look of the overall environment.

Set the timer to 1 hour/3 hours/6 hours/steady and enjoy a continuous burst of fragrance and mist within those time frames. Or, just press the button for instant relief. There are also seven light options, from calm and collective single colours to a combination which is more flashy and fun.

It doesn’t have to be used as an aromatherapy diffuser, as you can just add plain water if you want something plain and simple. There is a beeping sound emitted when the water is empty so you know you’ll need to refill, and it will turn itself off before anything dangerous is risked.

Instructions are nice and simple, and you soon pick up what to do to get the right settings and use. There is little noise made except the occasional bubbling of the water.

It is very affordable and a great idea, although it does feel and look rather cheap in person. The lights also risk looking a little childish depending on your atmosphere, and the smell from the oils can wane off over time. Still, as we say, it is a nice price.

We like

  • Compact and portable
  • Lights could add to atmosphere

We dislike

  • Just not the overall strongest option

Final Verdict

Build and performance isn’t as great as the others, but for the price, this is to be expected, and it is a bestseller

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 16.5 x 12.3 cm
  • Air Type: Cold
  • Capacity: 400ml

The Home Chocolate Fountain

Great for home use when there is a few of you sharing, this chocolate fountain comes complete with a serving tray so you can have the dipping food to hand.

Whether it be fruit, biscuits, marshmallows or sweets, there are four sections so everyone can help themselves. You only need 450g of chocolate to get it going, which must be melted beforehand to get the right consistency, and you don’t need any oil to thin it out which is good.

When you are done, it is easy to disassemble and clean, which means you won’t hate having to bring it out often. As long as you preheat it, the chocolate will remain liquid.

We like

  • Nice size for small gatherings
  • Easy to store
  • Tray is a nice touch

We dislike

  • Takes a while to preheat - plan ahead

Final Verdict

For the price, you will be hard pressed to find anything as good if you only want something for occasional use

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 450g
  • Dimensions: 27.2 x 25.8 x 16.8 cm

Sephra Classic 18″ Stainless Steel Chocolate Fountain

If you want a chocolate fountain which is great for big gatherings but don’t want anything too extreme, this is one of the best large chocolate fountains available to buy online.

There is a capacity of 2.5kg, which is great for around 40 to 50 people. This makes it ideal for home use small to medium gatherings, such as birthday parties when you want to make an impact. The minimum amount required is 1.8kg, in case you want something on a smaller scale, say for 20/30 people.

It actually melts the chocolate chips in the base of the fountain, making it one of the few models which are capable of this, so you don’t have to pre-melt it which saves a lot of time and effort. When it is running, the motor is quiet so it won’t disturb the event.

You have the power to turn the heat on and off and adjust the temperature, which also makes it ideal for holding other dips such as caramel, cheese and even sauces. It comes with six metal skewers to get you started, and you also get a fondue testing funnel which will allow it to be converted into a fondue, if you want to make a bit less than full capacity.

When you’re done, it is easy to disassemble, and the removable parts are mostly all dishwasher safe which should cut down the amount of hand washing required.

We like

  • Runs really well
  • Simple to take apart and clean
  • Melt chocolate without microwave

We dislike

  • Takes a while to melt large amounts of chocolate

Final Verdict

Not a bad price for a gadget which can feed so many people, and the ease of cleaning is well worth paying that bit more anyway

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 2.5kg
  • Dimensions: 46 x 26cm

FORAVER 7-Tier Chocolate Fountain Commercial

If you run events such as kids birthday parties, hire out equipment or host parties/weddings in a venue, then a huge chocolate fountain really could be the icing on the cake for everybody.

It can hold up to 17.6lb of chocolate, which is roughly 8kg. This makes it perfect for plenty of users and ensures the chocolate will continue to flow for quite a while.

The seven tiers create the best cascade of chocolate we have ever seen, and also means there is plenty of room for everyone to get their dipping sticks stuck in. You can choose the exact temperature too, so you aren’t just limited to using chocolate.

Now for the important stuff. It is made from food grade 304 stainless steel, so will be compliant with regulations. Plus, it will stop running if it detects a leak or blockage which will keep the electrics and users safe. The auger design also ensures the chocolate will flow evenly from all sides to make the usable area as large as possible.

We like

  • Choice of temperatures between 30-150 °C
  • Sealing technology in case anything goes wrong

We dislike

  • Doesn’t come with a UK plug

Final Verdict

Good for large events and parties where the chocolate will be in high demand

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Dimensions: 103 x 43cm

Elgento E26005R 3-Tier

After something mini for a small gathering or barbecue, or because you are short on storage space? This is one of the best mini chocolate fountains about.

This Elgento is adjustable depending on the heat and flow needed, such as for how much chocolate you use. The chocolate is kept at a nice temperature for flowing at all times.

It all comes apart for easier cleaning which is good, as it is on the smaller side so getting into the creases to get the chocolate off could prove difficult. The build is not the strongest, so we don’t know if it could stand the test of time, but for an occasional treat it is well worth a go for the cost.

We like

  • Doesn’t require a lot of chocolate
  • Can be washed by hand easily

We dislike

  • Takes a while to preheat

Final Verdict

Simple to use but great for something occasional yet trustworthy

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 300g
  • Dimensions: 25 x 15.7 x 15.7 cm

Gourmet Gadgetry Chocolate Fountain

Perfect for around ten people, this fountain will take just 500g of chocolate to get going.

All you need to do is preheat the unit and melt the chocolate in the microwave, and then pour it in. The top section is all removable, so you can clean them easily after use.

The look is stylish if this is something which bothers you. It looks quality and sleek, and the parts are all substantial too.

When it is in use, the motor runs rather loud which may be disturbing if you’re just having a quiet night in, but won’t be noticeable if you have music or a party in full swing.

We like

  • Flows evenly
  • Simple to clean top tier part

We dislike

  • On the louder side

Final Verdict

Great if you have a small family or like to treat everybody when you have guests over

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 500g
  • Dimensions: 34.8 x 21.2 x 20.8 cm

Giles and Posner EK1525

Want something small in size but which can withstand quite a lot of demand? This chocolate fountain can hold a surprising amount of the sweet stuff.

A safety fuse and thermostat will ensure that when it is on and running, it will always be safe so you can relax and enjoy it without worry. It is a great size for use on a tabletop, and the feet at the base create a stable position so the chocolate flows evenly.

All you need to do is melt the chocolate beforehand, and preheat the unit and your party should be good to go within a few hours.

We like

  • Good price
  • Perfect size for storing

We dislike

  • Bit tricky to thoroughly clean

Final Verdict

The chocolate flows well, and the unit is easy to use overall

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 750g
  • Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 30 cm

Global Gizmos Chocolate Fountain

A fun looking machine, with plenty of storage to make it suitable for a small party or sleepover.

It is great for around two to four people, and the good news is that the likelihood of any chocolate being wasted will be low because of the size.

The dish at the base is quite shallow, so what you get isn’t really a fountain effect but more like a drip. It is also noisy so may become annoying depending on the event. But for under £20, if you just want something for occasional use or a one-off novelty, it should be able to give you your money’s worth.

We like

  • Price
  • Compact size

We dislike

  • Recommended for use with dark chocolate as anything else could clog it up
  • Needs oil to get the chocolate smooth and runny enough

Final Verdict

On the smaller side, but a purse-friendly price if you don’t want to hire one and it won’t be used often

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 400g
  • Dimensions: 14.8 x 22 x 14.8 cm

Global Gourmet Belgian Chocolate Fountain Fondue Large Set

Small yet great for a gathering of under ten people, this fondue fountain is easy to get going.

All of the parts fit together comfortably, and the instructions are nice and simple to follow in case you have no clue where to begin.

You can melt the chocolate directly in the unit, but this takes rather a long while, so we would say to just preheat the unit, and melt the chocolate beforehand. The chocolate needs thinning out a little with oil, or else it won’t run very smoothly and could clog the mechanisms.

We like

  • Sits nice and stable thanks to the feet
  • Price
  • Lightweight if you need to move it around

We dislike

  • Difficult to clean

Final Verdict

A nice roomy size which keeps the chocolate flowing if it has been prepared correctly

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Dimensions: 23.4 x 18 x 17.8 cm

Dinky Diner Chocolate Fountain Fondue

A two-tier fountain, which has a great retro look that makes it ideal for parties and birthday treats.

The adjustable settings mean you can preheat it without any difficulty to give your melted chocolate a head start. It is also solidly built, with a strong base and tower which should ensure it lasts for a good few uses.

The unit must be hand cleaned. This is a bit tricky as you can’t take it all apart for easier access or wash the unit as one, but if you’re only going to be using it occasionally then this shouldn’t be too bothersome.

It wasn’t the best at keeping the chocolate warm either, which resulted in a bit of an uneven flow at times and may mean you need to top it up occasionally to keep the fountain mode going as opposed to filling it fully from the get go.

We like

  • Feels sturdy
  • Stylish black and silver retro design

We dislike

  • Doesn’t stay warm if there is a lot of chocolate

Final Verdict

Not the best, especially for the price, but we loved the look and it could be the finishing touch to a fun event

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 500g
  • Dimensions: 24.6 x 16 x 15.6 cm

Lakeland Multi Yogurt and Soft Cheese Maker

With this Lakeland model, you can create your own ordinary yoghurt or Greek yoghurt, or even soft cheese.

It gives you a great amount of freedom when it comes to experimenting to get the end result perfect to your tastes. The 25-65°C temperature range and 1-99 hour time frame will allow you to adapt the consistency and will also help if you are using alternative ingredients, such as adding honey or using oat milk.

Because you can adapt the temperature, it is the perfect machine for making kefir. Many others only have one or two temperature settings, which are too hot for making this fermented drink. This makes the Lakeland Multi Yoghurt one of the best machines for making kefir. Just set it to 25 degrees, and you’re good to go.

There is a nice handy recipe book included, so if this is your first time at fresh yoghurt making, you have the perfect amount of guidance. The cream cheese recipe will appeal if you occasionally want something savoury too.

It is also one of the few which will allow you to make a big single amount of yoghurt as opposed to little individual pots, which is fab if you’re using it for further cooking or want a dollop on your granola/in your smoothie every morning, yet the pot still fits nicely in the fridge.

We like

  • Easy to use
  • Adaptable
  • Temperature range
  • Price

We dislike

  • Keep an eye on the temperature and don’t rely on the machine as it can sometimes be hotter than it says

Final Verdict

One of the best yoghurt makers around, both for experimenting further and making it easier than ever to make homemade dairy products

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.8L container, 1.6L container
  • Dimensions: 26.4 x 21 x 17.4 cm
  • Temperature Range: 25-65°C

VonShef Digital Yoghurt Maker

If you would rather make your yoghurt in single serving pots as opposed to one big jar, then this maker comes with seven individual offerings, each with their own lid.

The food grade glass is strong and reusable, which is great if you’re trying to cut down on your plastic consumption. The screw-on lids also keep the contents secure and safe, so you can pop it in your bag for work or keep them stored in the fridge without worrying about the flavour getting damaged.

You could even try to make seven different flavours at once, or experiment with various additions such as measurements or ingredients, without wasting a whole huge batch if the taste makes you wish you’d really not bothered.

Despite the fact that most yoghurts can be made in between eight and twelve hours, you can set the timer for this model up to 14 hours, which may be great if you’re thinking about using soya or skimmed milk which needs a bit more time to develop and thicken.

When it is being used, it will look stylish too. The clear, transparent lid and stainless steel housing will match the rest of your kitchen. Plus, it isn’t too large, so could comfortably be stored away.

We like

  • Jars are dishwasher safe
  • Jars are also well made and thick

We dislike

  • Instructions let the product down somewhat, especially if you’re new to this

Final Verdict

A simple, clean way to make yoghurt at home. The instructions aren’t the clearest, but it is easy to get the hang of

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 7 x 180ml pots
  • Dimensions: Dia.24cm
  • Temperature Range: 42℃

Luvele Pure Yoghurt Maker

If you still want to keep separate pots for portion control but need them to be on the larger side, this machine can provide you with 1600ml of storage split into four larger pots.

The 24-hour digital timer keeps you in control and allows you to heat the yoghurt for as long as you require. You also get to choose between three temperature settings for incubation, either 36, 38 or 40 degrees C, which doesn’t sound like a lot but really could finely tune the taste. It could also make Greek or French set yoghurt much easier to make.

Automatic switch off will help you out if you’re likely to lose track of time and leave the yoghurt in there for longer than you wished, as it will turn off and stop cooking until you rescue it.

You can purchase further jars, or a pack of 4 x 300ml jars if you feel you’d like to have another set too. They’re easy to clean afterwards, as is the water bath if you wipe it out when it cools.

The price looks higher on paper, but the quality and build are far superior to those half the cost. Even the jars are superior, with a handy date wheel on the lid to ensure the yoghurt isn’t kept any longer than it should be.

We like

  • Jars are brilliant
  • Three temperature choices
  • Nice and compact shape

We dislike

  • Date wheel can be hard to turn

Final Verdict

One of the pricier options, but wins rave reviews for quality and an awful lot of other reviewers say they couldn’t live without it

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 4 x 400ml
  • Dimensions: 25cm x 15cm
  • Temperature Range: 36, 38 or 40℃

Lakeland 7-Cup Electric Yoghurt Maker

Able to make seven pots of fresh yoghurt in less than eight hours, this model is ideal if you are a fan of Lakeland but want individual servings as opposed to one large batch as with some of their other items.

Just warm the milk, and stir in 100ml of plain yoghurt or the starter and leave the machine to work its magic. If you’re using whole milk, it will be done in eight hours. It can then be stored in the fridge in the pots for up to four days, there when you need it.

Once you get the hang of it, it is simple enough to start experimenting with other flavours and contents, and you could even try something different within every single pot if you don’t like to eat the same thing day in, day out.

There is more cleaning involved than with the single container model, and it also didn’t seem to be as reliable with temperature management. The middle jar sometimes didn’t get hot enough, but preheating the unit can help. For some of you, it is still going to be a much more logical approach to yoghurt making.

We like

  • Clear controls
  • Good build

We dislike

  • Jars are not dishwasher safe

Final Verdict

Strong, quality product and finishes the job in a great time. Good that you don’t have to use all seven jars at once

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 7 x 180ml pots
  • Dimensions: 27.5 x 24 x 15cm
  • Temperature Range: 42℃

Duronic Yoghurt Maker YM2

Definitely one of the more ‘out there’ when it comes to the looks, which we love. And it is still easy to make your own fresh yoghurt the way you like it.

In most cases, yoghurt can be made in around 8-12 hours, but this model gives you the freedom to set the timer anywhere between 1-24 hours. This will allow for thicker consistencies, more ability to use milk such as oats or soya, and also give it that little bit of extra time if needed, and will also allow you to make it for as long as possible if you want to ferment it.

You get eight 125ml pots, which is one more than with other machines but they are also smaller than those of other machines. This could be a great idea for anyone who uses yoghurt as more of an addition to cooking or breakfasts (in curry/on top of muesli) as opposed to the main part of a meal. It also gives you a total of 1L of yoghurt if you want to pop it all together.

The pots are ceramic, so they are nice and strong and stay cool if refrigerated, and they come with lids to keep the contents safe. The goods can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days if airtight, and the pots and lids are dishwasher safe.

The overall machine is lightweight so easy to move around the kitchen, and the power cable completely comes out of the back of the unit, so it doesn’t get in the way when you go to store it.

We like

  • Plenty of pots
  • Easy to clean up

We dislike

  • Timer just beeps at end, no auto turn off

Final Verdict

You get a lot of freedom, and overall it is easy to set up and get going

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 8 x 125ml pots
  • Dimensions: 17 x 26 x 24cm
  • Temperature Range: 40 °C

VonShef Yoghurt Maker Machine

One of the most affordable options on our list, but the great thing is that despite this, it is still one of the best.

It comes with two containers, so you can always make one batch straight after the first if you like to plan ahead for the week. The largest, 1.8-litre tank can make up to 1400ml normal and 1200ml Greek yoghurt which should set you up for a fair few breakfasts.

Greek yoghurt is where this machine really excels, as it allows you to pick the temperature and longer time and comes with a strainer to remove the whey, which makes it easier than ever.

Unfortunately, there is no timer or auto off technology, so you’ll have to be one of those cooks who are on hand to turn it off once it is done. But if you know it is going to take ten hours to get it perfect, then coming back to the machine after that time isn’t going to be too much of a strain as you can plan well ahead.

It is a fabulous price, which makes the very few issues still seem well worth the purchase.

We like

  • Two containers
  • Makes it simple to make Greek yoghurt

We dislike

  • Strainer is difficult to clean - you may want to line with muslin cloth if you use it often

Final Verdict

Easy to use, and gives great results once you perfect the recipe and amounts

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.8L container, 1.6L container
  • Dimensions: 17.9 x 15.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Temperature Range: 42 °C

Severin JG 3519 Yoghurt Maker

You are a yoghurt and home cook fanatic. You have two of every dish, pan and mould so when one is resting, you can whip up the next one without having to wash a dish.

This may be the yoghurt maker for you, then. Despite the fact it can only hold one set of seven jars at any one time, you get fourteen with the purchase, so you have enough to go again as soon as the first ones are done.

The yoghurt can be ready in between six and twelve hours, and there is a rotating countdown clock to remind you of how many hours have elapsed, which is different to the other digital means of control and fab for anyone who likes the more retro approach.

We like

  • Straightforward to use
  • Plenty of jars included

We dislike

  • Plastic build - easily damaged and looks cheap

Final Verdict

Simple, but will appeal to those who love to have a rolling stock in their fridge and on the go

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 14 x 150ml
  • Dimensions: 22.7 x 23.3 x 11.2 cm
  • Temperature Range: 42 °C

EasiYo Homemade Yoghurt Making Kit

A nice starter kit with everything included if you haven’t the faintest idea of what you’d have to do to get perfect yoghurt.

With the pack, there is one sachet of Greek-Style, and one of Strawberry Yogurt Mix which it is safe to say are two of the most popular. You also get a 1kg Yogurt Maker and 1kg Jar, which will make roughly one litre of yoghurt.

It is definitely the smallest in terms of footprint, so great if you don’t have a lot of space or just want something which you can bring out every so often for a fun weekend of cooking with the kids. This isn’t to say it isn’t suitable for those who will be using it every day though – it is strong and able to withstand frequent use.

The price is on the lower side, and you don’t use electricity to make the yoghurt which also saves on bills and your eco footprint. The reason it is at the bottom of our list is that you must use the EasiYo sachets to make the yoghurt, as opposed to plain yoghurt or milk such as coconut or soya. This makes them inappropriate for anyone needing milk-free alternatives or who already has their favourite way to make yoghurt.

We like

  • Simple to use
  • Small and compact yet makes a lot
  • Electric-free

We dislike

  • Reliance on having to use the sachets which may be unsuitable for some

Final Verdict

More restrictive than the other models, but if you’re happy to use the sachets and want the easiest approach to yoghurt making, it is a great introduction

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 1L
  • Dimensions: 28.6 x 20 x 16.8 cm
  • Temperature Range: N/A

Russell Hobbs RH34WC1 34 Bottle Cooler

With six shelves and a basket for smaller cans and bottles, this is a perfect fridge to store things just how you want to.

This gives you the ability to store up to 34 75cl bottles of wine, which is ideal for anyone who wants the luxury of one of these items but doesn’t want to go too overboard. The chrome-coloured shelving and LED light give it a stylish touch, and you can use the touch sensitive control panel to set the temperature anywhere between 5 and 18 degrees.

With relatively compact dimensions, it should fit in any kitchen or space. As the shelves are contoured, your bottles will rest still as opposed to being on a flat shelf where they could be prone to rolling around, and they all slide out so you can safely place the bottles as opposed to risking damaging the glass or shelf. It will also help if you want to remove a shelf to store larger bottles.

Adjustable feet will help if your floor is slightly uneven, and it definitely kept its temperature well at all times, even after the door had been opened for a few minutes to sort the bottles out. You can’t change which way the door opens, but this seemed to be the only real issue.

We like

  • Quiet
  • Lights up well
  • 2 year guarantee

We dislike

  • Can't switch door direction

Final Verdict

A trusty name, a stylish design and an all round efficient fridge which will save space in your main refrigerator and also look the part

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: (H)84.5 x (W)47 x (D)45
  • Temperature: 5-18 degrees

Smeg Cucina DUSF400S Built Under Double Oven

Thanks to two cooking chambers and a powerful main electric fan option, you can cook to your hearts content whether you like to be experimental or you throw everything together and see how it goes.

Withing this chamber, you also get a grill which is ideal for bacon and cheese on toast or crisping up the Hotpot. And we loved the Circulaire option, which pushes the hot air into every corner of the chamber to cook the contents evenly. It does this without transferring any flavours or smells, so you can cook a range of dishes in one compartment without the risk of it all coming out tasting the same.

It is all coated with an enamel interior. This stops any grease and grime sticking in the first place, so you just need to give it a quick wipe every so often. It is pricey, but it is also stylish and from a huge name in the cooking world so you’re paying that bit more for a quality item.

We like

  • Style
  • Generous capacities for a built in model
  • Easy to keep clean on the inside

We dislike

  • The outside may become covered in fingerprints and marks a lot

Final Verdict

Top marks for design and overall ease of use, and the food is cooked perfectly too

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 71.9 x 59.7 x 57cm
  • Energy Rating: A/B
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Capacity: Main Cavity 61L, Second Cavity 35L

Marcato Atlas 150

With three aluminium rollers for making Lasagne, Fettuccine and Tagliolini, this is a brilliant machine which has been crafted with the best possible pasta in mind.

The rough surface of the rollers creates a porous texture for the pasta. This helps the cooked article to absorb the sauce and create a tastier dish. You can choose from ten different positionings to change the thickness of the pasta too.

If you want to be even more adventurous, there are thirteen extra attachments you can purchase too, such as spaghetti, linguine and lasagnette makers.

The build quality is great, with a strong handle despite this being plastic. It is quite heavy because of this, but a lighter machine probably wouldn’t be able to cope as well. A basic recipe for dough is included in the box which should help you get used to the machine before you turn to more complicated blends.

We like

  • Efficient cutters
  • Easy to clean with small brush
  • Colour choices

We dislike

  • Don’t push it too much - flatten pasta as much as possible before inserting

Final Verdict

Fixes easily to the worktop and the build quality makes it one of the strongest options around

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 20.3 x 20.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Options: Lasagne, Fettuccine, Tagliolini
  • Material: Aluminium

Imperia SP150 Italian Double Cutter Pasta Machine

Sturdy and built to last, with a ‘Duplex’ cutter, this is a machine for those serious about their pasta.

You can make your dough in six different thicknesses, and tagliatelle and fettuccine with the included attachments. Plenty of others are available to buy also, such as lasagnette, pappardelle and ravioli.

The solid steel and wooden handle is easy to turn, and comfortable as well. The clamp is also high quality, so there is no chance of the unit moving around when you’re concentrating on getting the perfect results.

A simple recipe book is included which should get your creative juices flowing, and it is also relatively compact in case you want to store it. Imperia is the brand of choice for many Italians, so you’re definitely in safe hands.

Our only niggle is that it must be clamped to a bench, and can’t sit freestanding. With some other machines, you have a choice. This is going to make it unsuitable for some kitchens.

We like

  • Solid and well made
  • Simple to clean with a brush

We dislike

  • Needs clamping to a bench

Final Verdict

A fantastic starter kit, and there are plenty of additional bits and bobs available for when you get more confident

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 20.4 x 18.3 x 15.7 cm Options: Tagliatelle, Fettuccine Material: Chromium-plated steel

Imperia Pasta Machine Kit

If you are going into this completely brand new, with bare kitchen cupboards but a big open imagination of what you’re going to make, then you’re going to need a lot of equipment.

Thankfully, this kit comes with all of the basics. It is technically a gift set, but we think it would also be a brilliant gift to yourself.

You get four different cutters – spaghetti, tagliatelle, fettuccine and lasagnette. These are the staple pasta types. So many others come with fancier attachments, but there is a good chance that these will be the most common ones you use.

The rollers are adjustable so you can choose from six different thicknesses, and you also get a ravioli mould and wooden rolling pin so you can make stuffed pasta and roll out the mix before inserting for an easier job.

Don’t feel like this is too much to handle; instructions are included on how to use the machine and all of the attachments, and there are some handy tips too.

We rated the actual Imperia machine highly in our review above, and all of the additions round it off nicely, particularly if you’re a beginner.

We like

  • Great machine
  • Most of the basics included
  • Fab instructions to guide you

We dislike

  • You may find after time that making ravioli by hand is easier than using trays

Final Verdict

A fantastic starter kit, and there are plenty of additional bits and bobs available for when you get more confident

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 20.4 x 18.3 x 15.7 cm
  • Options: Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, Fettuccine, Lasagnette
  • Material: Chromium-plated steel

SMART Pasta Making Machine

All you need to do is add the flour, eggs and water to this electric pasta maker, and the machine will do the rest, from combining to the kneading and extraction.

It takes just six minutes to make fresh pasta, which makes it well worth the effort. The dough is mixed and then pushed through the nozzle for perfect results. Pasta is air dried as it comes out of the machine, which makes it less likely to all stick together and will also speed up the end drying process if you won’t be cooking it straight away.

It comes with all the accessories you need to make the pasta which is best for your mealtime, whether it be spaghetti, noodles, tagliatelle or macaroni. Six attachments are included, and you also get a measuring jug, the spanner to take it apart, cleaning brush, and even a free cheese grater for adding the finishing touches – we all love a bit of cheese on pasta.

A large LED display and soft touch buttons make it nice to control, so you get the results you are after. The price perhaps means it is best for serious home chefs or those who will be needing it in a professional atmosphere, but the ease of use makes the cost perfectly valid.

Because you can only make spaghetti or shapes, you’ll still have to use the good old manual method for making lasagne sheets or pasta for ravioli, but it does the hardest types to save you the effort.

We like

  • Hassle free to use
  • Quick
  • Great consistent results
  • Dries the pasta partly

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Really easy to use, and takes the effort out of some of the most complicated pasta forms. Worth the money if you’re willing to pay it

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 54.4 x 44.8 x 30 cm
  • Options: Spaghetti, Noodles, Tagliatelle, Macaroni
  • Material: Plastic

John Lewis & Partners Pasta Machine

John Lewis has a great record in making quality yet affordable kitchen appliances like this. If you want to spend that bit less but still want it to be worth the bother, this is a great option.

You get nine thickness levels, which is more than some which retail for twice the price. All you need to do to set it up is attach the handle and clamp it to the kitchen surface, and you’re good to roll.

The fact that the handle and clamp are removable is great for those who need something compact for easier storage. We did find that the handle could come out when we were rotating it, so you do have to go carefully and smoothly.

It doesn’t produce the best results of those we tested, but it is still great pasta to say it is homemade and perfect if you want to watch what you eat on a budget. For the price, the quality is great.

We will say to look at a few other reviews and possibly change the recipe from that included in the box, too. It does tend to slip through too easily on the thinner settings.

We like

  • Comes with good care instructions
  • Price

We dislike

  • Clamp doesn’t hold the machine very steady on thicker settings

Final Verdict

Not the strongest build or smoothest to use, but the pasts produced is still stellar - and that is all that matters, especially at half the price of other models such as Imperia

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 20 x 34 x 25cm
  • Options: Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Ravioli Sheets
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Jamie Oliver Pasta Machine

Although it isn’t a machine or name which you’d usually find in an authentic Italian kitchen, this Jamie Oliver model still produces great tasting pasta which even the fussiest critic would be a fan of.

It is easy to use and can roll pasta up to 17cm wide, meaning you can get more done in a shorter time. The sheets of pasta produced are even, so you get consistent results, which makes it all easier to boil when the time comes.

We have chosen the copper-hued model because we know that will appeal to loads of you out there who like all of their appliances to match, but it is available in full silver too.

We like

  • Attractive, sleek design
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Great brand

We dislike

  • On the basic side from a name like Jamie Oliver

Final Verdict

Simple to use, and while only basic attachments are included, the results are pretty faultless

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 24 x 19 x 15.2 cm
  • Options: Pappardelle, Tortellini
  • Material: Stainless Steel

VonShef 5 in 1 Fresh Pasta Maker

VonShef is great at making affordable yet trustworthy small kitchen appliances, and this pasta maker is great for anyone who wants the most options for their money.

The four attachments are wide and varied, with a choice of five different kinds of pasta possible. It is nice and user-friendly to turn, thanks to the ergonomic handle and strong stainless steel build. You can adjust it to make various thicknesses too so that you can match the pasta perfectly to the dish. The thinnest is actually perfect for very fine noodles.

The clamp for securing it to a table or kitchen bench is included, so you can use both hands to glide the pasta through the machine safely. It is a little tricky to clean afterwards, but not more so than the others available. For the cost, we would say it is fabulous if this is going to be your first pasta machine or if you simply like the varied results it can offer.

We like

  • Four attachments included
  • Quick to build
  • Good choice of thicknesses

We dislike

  • Instructions aren’t the clearest

Final Verdict

Easy to assemble, and plenty of choice for the price without having to buy extra

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 32.5 x 24.4 x 16.3 cm
  • Options: Lasagne, Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, Ravioli, Fettuccine
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Philips HR2332/11 Viva Collection

Electric machines are usually not the first choice for a lot of professional Italian pasta chefs, but they are still used by some big names. If the sheer idea of manually turning the handle is tiring you out, an electric model could be the answer.

450g of pasta can be made in just over 15 minutes, which is plenty to feed a small family. All you need to do is pop the ingredients into the machine, and it will do the rest for you. It is fully automatic, so you have no winding or manual feeding to do – it will even mix and knead before extruding.

The stirring bar design is unique to this Philips model and ensures that the flour is combined with the other ingredients perfectly for the tastiest pasta possible. The kneading tube is also long, which gives it plenty of opportunities to combine and also results in soft, bouncy pasta.

Different flours can be used, from spelt and wholewheat to durum or quinoa, to ensure the end result is just how you want it and even gluten-free if need be. You can also add various flavours to the mix, whether it be beetroot or carrot juice for colouring or herbs and spices for a bit of a flavour kick.

Despite its talents, it is actually quite a compact and small appliance for keeping on your kitchen counter or popping away in between uses. You get a free recipe book filled with some inspiration which goes beyond the basics, which is nice if you get the hang of it all quickly so need some other ideas to spice up your meal times.

We like

  • Great for experimenting
  • Handy recipe booklet included
  • All ingredients combined well
  • Small drawer in bottom of machine to keep all attachments in one place

We dislike

  • Have to take the machine apart to clean which is a fiddle

Final Verdict

Takes a little while to get the consistencies right, but will cut out all of the faff if you want to put in less effort but still get great results

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 35 x 28.7 cm
  • Options: Spaghetti, Penne, Fettuccine, Lasagna
  • Material: Plastic

KitchenAid 3-Piece Pasta Attachment Set for Stand Mixers

This only features near the bottom of the list because you need a KitchenAid Stand Mixer Model for them to work. If we were rating them on performance and quality alone, they’d get the 5* treatment.

It gives you the electric performance in a much more manageable sense, as you just use the mixer as you would ordinarily, and the attachments work their magic by thinning out and cutting the sheets. The lack of manual operation makes it ideal for anyone who wants ease but still wants to be involved, as you just need to pop the pasta through as opposed to turning the guide too.

The range of KitchenAid attachments available makes it one of the best stand mixers around, and these are perfect for any pasta lover. You can make ordinary lasagne, and you also get the cutters for perfect fettuccine and spaghetti. The former rolls widths of 15cm which should be plenty for your lasagne dish, and you can select eight different thicknesses.

They aren’t cheap, but if you already own a KitchenAid then it makes sense to buy these attachments to save some space, plus you’ve already made a significant purchase.

We like

  • Great, space-saving idea
  • Strong builds
  • Easy to attach

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Must-have attachments if you have the base unit, and build from the quality which you expect from KitchenAid

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Options: Lasagne, Fettuccine, Spaghetti
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Lakeland Silver Pasta Making Machine

Nice and streamlined, this pasta maker is good for anyone who wants a product with a small footprint.

You get all of the usual bits and bobs in the package; the clamp to secure it to the bench, and the handle are both easy to fit and take apart for storage. There are eight thickness options to choose from, so you can cater it to your liking and what the dish requires.

Because the handle is removable, it does fall off quite a bit when you turn it, but this is quite a surprisingly common issue. However, we would have to say it happened the most with this Lakeland model so it may not be the best option if you are easily frustrated by things like this.

We like

  • From a good brand
  • Removable handle and clamp for storing
  • Build feels strong

We dislike

  • Handle fell out a few too many times for our liking

Final Verdict

There isn’t much to say apart from that it produces the goods. The annoyance with the handle is reduced once you get used to the best way to turn it

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 22.8 x 22.2 x 17 cm
  • Options: Lasagne, Fettuccine, Tagliatelle
  • Material: Stainless Steel

NEST Protect 2nd Generation Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Nest Home is one of the best smart home systems available, with a huge range of heating and lighting support available. Their Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm is a must-have in the collection.

The Nest smoke alarms use a Split-Spectrum Sensor as opposed to either optical or ionisation technology, which is the best blend of both worlds. It enhances the traditional infrared photoelectric sensor with a second, blue LED, which detects a wider range of particle sizes in the air before they enter the alarm chamber.

The 880nm infrared wavelength looks for large particles created by slow smouldering fires and a second, 450nm wavelength of light looks for the tiny particles created by fast fires. Essentially, it is giving your home that extra layer of protection before it is too late.

It is smart, so can alert your phone if there are any issues. This can range from a low battery or sensor failure to smoke or carbon monoxide being detected. It will also tell you where the problem is, and Nest Protect will let you know even if you are out. You can also silence it from your phone should you wish.

The humidity sensor and advanced algorithm can sense any false alarms before it disturbs you so that you won’t be bothered by the steam from a shower and it’ll learn what not to look out for.

Six long-life AA batteries are required, and it will test itself automatically and last up to ten years. You can’t buy a more sophisticated smoke alarm. It even looks nice. By far the best smoke detector and best smart smoke alarm around.

P.S – If you have the Nest Thermometer, you can set them to turn the heating off if carbon monoxide is detected.

We like

  • Very easy to fit
  • Great industrial-level sensors
  • Night light feature to illuminate room
  • Alerts you when you’re not at home

We dislike

  • Price - but an investment

Final Verdict

You could buy a dozen standard alarms for the same price, but this one outshines them all by an incredible amount

+ Specifications

  • Power: AA Battery (Hard Wired also available)
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.9 x 13.5 cm
  • Smart?: Yes

FireAngel SB1-TP-R

First of all, you’re probably going to want more than one smoke alarm. There is at least the hallway and landing to safeguard, and then more if you have a larger home. So the fact this comes standard as a pack of two is welcomed.

As it is a pack of two, we were surprised to see such a low price. This can sometimes be a little bit nerving with such an important, possibly life-saving item, but the effectiveness of the alarms soon but our worries to bed.

It sounds a loud 85dB alarm if it detects a problem, but it won’t be going off at every sign of a false alarm. The enhanced optical technology gives protection against even smouldering fires, but won’t become a nuisance with daily cooking fumes.

Testing is done manually by a simple press and hold of the large central button. Visual test red light flashes also go off around every 30 or so seconds, so if you feel you’ve gone a little while without seeing the light, you know you have to act.

They are small and unobtrusive, which we know is likely the last thing on your mind when you’re buying such an item but worth noting in case you already have a spot for the alarm to be fitted. As a bonus, they come with their first set of batteries, so you’re good to go as soon as they arrive.

We like

  • Price
  • Small and compact
  • Louder than expected

We dislike

  • Still prone to a couple of false alarms

Final Verdict

Fabulous if you’re concerned about safety but still need something on a budget. There is nothing to stop you kitting out your entire home with them

+ Specifications

  • Power: 9V Battery
  • Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 3.5 cm
  • Smart?: No

Aico EI141RC Mains Ionisation Smoke Alarm

A mains smoke alarm, but with a 9V battery backup in case of a power cut. We love how this alarm is connectable with up to 20 other alarms, so if one sounds, they all sound to give you strong alert power.

Fitting is a doddle, thanks to there being plenty of holes in the base plate, so you can match them up with any existing holes to ensure less mess. When the alarm goes off, it is nice and loud, so even if you only have one or two in your home, you should be able to hear them throughout the house.

It has a whole host of 5* reviews no matter where you look, so there is no denying that it is a trustworthy product. You can test it or silence it using just one button, so it is easy to keep on top of.

Changing the battery is a little bit of a pain as the model is so clunky and difficult to get back onto the plate, but once done, you shouldn’t have to touch it again for quite a while.

We like

  • Low battery warning
  • Can connect with up to 20 other alarms
  • Easy to fit base plate

We dislike

  • Replacing the battery can be fiddly

Final Verdict

Thousands of reviews left for this product are full of praise. It is affordable, and great if you need a replacement for a current out-of-date alarm

+ Specifications

  • Power: Mains
  • Dimensions: 18 x 15.4 x 6 cm
  • Smart?: No

Kidde 10SCO Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

A combination alarm if you’re concerned about CO as well as fires. The voice alarm will tell you which concern has been detected, so you know how exactly you need to react.

When dangerous levels have previously been detected, but the threat is still there, the peak level memory will give you voice and LED notifications which encourage you to act. If there is a false alarm, and you safely know there is no threat, a hush button will allow you to temporarily silence the alarm.

There is also a test/reset button, so you can keep on top of the manual checks to ensure the sound is still working. The actual alarm is nice and noisy, although we will say that the voice is a little quieter and it can be hard to make out what it is saying, but the alarm is the most important thing.

When the time comes to change the battery, a front-loading battery compartment makes the switch easier. This will save you having to disconnect the entire unit and refit it. Fitting it for the first time is simple though, as all you need to do is screw the plastic backplate to the ceiling and then pop the smoke detector on to the backing.

It was one of the most prone to false alarms when we tested it, and other reviewers comment similar things. But if you want a 2 in 1 and something easy to look after, then it is an alarm from a reliable brand which is worth a shot.

We like

  • Easy to fit and change battery
  • Loud when it goes off

We dislike

  • Prone to false alarms rather a lot

Final Verdict

Nice and loud, and simple to care for. A good price, and able to buy in multipacks

+ Specifications

  • Power: AA Battery
  • Dimensions: 0.1 x 4 x 15 cm
  • Smart?: No

Cavius Optical 5 Year Smoke Alarm

Officially seen as the World’s smallest smoke alarm at just 4cm in diameter, this Cavius is not just a novelty. If you need a bit of a visual guidance, it is basically the size of a golf ball. Despite its size, it works just as well as its larger rivals.

It features an alarm which sounds at 85 dB(A) from 3 metres away, which is piercing enough to wake you up from a deep slumber. If it sounds a false alarm, a ten minute hush button will give your ears a rest. This button can also be used to manually test the alarm, just in case you haven’t heard it in a while and want to make sure everything is okay.

When the battery is low, it starts a 30 day long low battery indicator. A short acoustic beep will sound when the voltage is below 2.85V. This gives you plenty of time to act, without leaving you in the dark at the last minute meaning you have to rush out to the shops immediately. It also leaves enough power in the battery for four minutes of alarm, which should be enough to get everybody out of the house.

It is supplied with a replaceable Duracell battery, which should last for around five years so you’ll only have to replace it once in the smoke alarms lifespan. Fitting is simple, thanks to the smart clipping mechanism.

An optical reading is taken every eight seconds, so it is going to be quick to alert you should there be any issues. There is an LED flash every 48 seconds, to let you know it is still looking out for you.

We like

  • Compact size
  • Surprisingly loud for the dimensions
  • Great low battery timing
  • Perfect for gadget lovers

We dislike

  • May have difficulty in fitting it to an existing alarm spot due to smaller size

Final Verdict

It is a perfect alarm if you want several dotted in every room of the home, but don’t want them to be too obtrusive

+ Specifications

  • Power: Battery
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.4cm
  • Smart?: No

FireAngel ST-622 Optical Smoke Alarm

FireAngel is a popular, trusted brand when it comes to smoke alarms. Their products are even recommended and used by over 90% of the UK’s Fire Service.

This one has Thermoptek technology, which essentially means it can detect both smouldering slow fires and a rapid rise in temperature, which signals a fast fire.

If the end of life alarm is beeping, and you are off to bed but will buy another one tomorrow, you can use the Sleep Easy function to silence it for 8 hours in order to get some shut eye. It can also be silenced for around ten minutes in the event of a known false alarm until you’ve used the extractor fan and tea towel to waft the smoke away.

You get a battery with the purchase, which should last for around ten years. It is worth noting that this battery is not replaceable, so when it does start to go, you’ll need to buy a whole new unit.

It is suitable for positioning in the bedroom, living room, hallway, landing and dining room, making it nice and adaptable. Whether it will last the full ten years is definitely another matter, but the price isn’t extreme so it shouldn’t be a bother if this isn’t the case.

We like

  • Price
  • Risk of false alarms seems low

We dislike

  • Promise of ten-year lifespan doesn’t seem to have happened for anyone (yet)

Final Verdict

Good price and seems effective enough. The battery can’t be replaced, but this shouldn’t be an issue

+ Specifications

  • Power: Lifetime Battery
  • Dimensions: 12.9 x 12.9 x 3.3 cm
  • Smart?: No

Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm

Netatmo is a great brand when it comes to smart home equipment, and this Smart smoke alarm is more affordable than its similar rivals if you are on a bit of a budget.

Real-time alerts can be sent straight to your connected smartphone, so even if you aren’t at home, you’ll be notified of any issues. When you are at home, you’ll clearly be able to hear the 85 dB alarm from 3m away.

False alarms can also be silenced from your phone. This is handy if you’re in the middle of frying a steak and don’t want to leave it unattended, or can’t reach the alarm to turn it off without trying to press it with the end of the mop/standing on steps.

It is battery operated, so there is no wiring to worry about when you fit it. Just stick it to the ceiling, and download the app to get it all set up. The Netatmo app is compatible with all iOS and Android devices. Bear in mind that it doesn’t work with smart speakers, however, but does with HomeKit.

The ten-year battery should last for the full replacement deadline period, and as it is a standalone product, you don’t need any fancy smart hubs or controls to get it working, or any of Netatmo’s range of cameras/sensors.

Do bear in mind it is not a carbon monoxide detector as well like some other smart sensors are.

We like

  • Standalone alarm
  • Easy to install
  • Looks non-obtrusive

We dislike

  • Some limitations for a smart detector compared to rivals

Final Verdict

Slightly more affordable than other smart fire alarms on the market, and we like how it is standalone, so you don’t need to fork out on other items before it works. We’d say the Nest is better though

+ Specifications

  • Power: Lifetime Battery
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 4.4 x 7cm
  • Smart?: Yes

YALE EF-SD Smoke Detector

If you have a Yale Smart Home Alarm fitted, then this is a vital addition to the system.

It is wireless, so easy to pair with the rest of the items. This makes it great for extending to suit your personal needs.

The sensitivity to false alarms is low. It doesn’t look out for heat, and when you burn the toast or get out of the bath, the steam won’t set it off. But when it senses smoke, the built in siren will sound the main alarm in your Yale system will also be triggered. This will alert the whole home if something is wrong.

An issue with systems such as this is interference, especially through the Wi-Fi if you have other smart products around the home. But Yale uses 868 MHz Technology, which is a special frequency which is tightly controlled.

It is slightly louder than other alarms, at 95dB, which is good if you have a larger home. DIY-friendly to install, the included instructions are simple to follow, and it will link up to all of the other parts easily.

We like

  • Avoids false alarms
  • Communicates with rest of system
  • Loud internal alarm

We dislike

  • Must have Yale system

Final Verdict

The only reason we have popped it so low is because of its reliance on the Yale system, but if you have your eye on this or it’s already fitted, then there is no doubt you should opt for it

+ Specifications

  • Power: Battery
  • Dimensions: 5 x 10 x 9.5cm
  • Smart?: Yes

Eve Smoke

Using dual detection technology, photoelectric smoke and differential heat sensors, this Eve Smoke adds an extra layer of safety to your home.

It constantly tests itself, so if there are any issues, they will be picked up straight away. Because of this, it should last for the full ten year service period.

There is no hub or bridge required for it to work, which is perfect if you want a smart smoke alarm without having to install a full system or pay out loads of money for other bits and bobs. It is, however, one of the few smart alarms which will work with HomeKit, so you can still connect it up to other smart small appliances in your home or control it from your phone.

It works by using photoelectric smoke detectors and differential heat sensors, so no matter how the issue can first be detected, it will pick it up ASAP. Alarm notifications will be sent to your phone, which helps if you aren’t inside or are away.

You can also silence any false alarms from the phone, to save you having to reach for the button and stop what you’re doing. If you want to buy several Eve alarms, they are easy to sync with each other to ensure effective communication, and mass sound should something be up.

We like the added touch of the lighting, which can sync with the alarm but also illuminate your path to safety if necessary. There is a ten-year battery built-in, and it isn’t replaceable so bear this in mind before you buy.

It does pretty much everything the Nest can, but for a little less price. We would still choose the Nest for that little extra cost, but the addition of HomeKit with Eve may sway some iOS users.

We like

  • Compatible with HomeKit and smartphone
  • Simple to fit

We dislike

  • Only compatible with iOS devices
  • Price - in the range of a smart device but it has its limitations

Final Verdict

Pricey, but still great at what it does and really is one of the smartest smart smoke alarm detectors on the market

+ Specifications

  • Power: Lifetime Battery
  • Dimensions: 11.6 x 4.5 x 11.6 cm
  • Smart?: Yes

Dicon Ionisation Smoke Alarm

Basic level, but easy to look after if you want something low maintenance yet trustworthy.

This is a mains-powered smoke alarm, which has a battery backup to save you if there is a power cut or failure. You can link it to up to 12 further alarms from the 670, 650, 680 series, which is ideal if you want them dotted around the home for extra security.

There is nothing complicated about fitting it. Just secure the base plate and twist the alarm onto it to activate the power. The alarm rings at 85dB, which is the standard level and loud enough to wake up anyone within a 3-metre range.

We like

  • Pause facility to silence false alarms
  • Clear instructions - good for those with basic knowledge of electrics

We dislike

  • Simple - no extra features

Final Verdict

Apart from this, there isn't much to say. It does the job, and even though it is pretty sensitive, we would rather that than it not picking up anything

+ Specifications

  • Power: Mains
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 13.3cm
  • Smart?: No

PANASONIC KX-TGJ422EB Cordless Phone, Twin Handsets

With an advanced system to keep those pesky nuisance callers at bay, this phone is a perfect solution if you want to only use your home phone to talk to a chosen selection of people.

Only callers who are in your phone book will be able to dial with no fuss. Anybody who isn’t will be prompted to press a number before they are put through to you, which will eliminate any automated calls (which is how most are done these days).

You’ll have the option to add anybody to a block list as they’re calling, by pressing a nuisance call list. Any further contact from them will be impossible. You can also press this button if you are talking to them, so if you answer and then get a big long autocue message about being involved in a non-existent accident, it makes it easy to deal with them.

Don’t panic if you’re worried about missing a vital call because of all of this security; there are 250 positions in the phonebook, so plenty of space for the doctor’s surgery, dentists, insurance firms and friends and family. The handset will announce who is calling as well as displaying it on the screen.

This is a brilliant phone if you seem to be on a nuisance call list, or if you have an elderly relative who you’re worried may give personal information to scammers. We’ve picked the Twin Handset option because the two work seamlessly together, as you can transfer calls between them at the touch of a button.

We like

  • Illuminated controls
  • Choice of 40 ringtones
  • Speaker and ringer volume control

We dislike

  • Need to subscribe to Caller ID service from your provider to get nuisance call block and caller display features

Final Verdict

A lovely clean number pad and screen, and some of the latest anti-scam technology. Brilliant to get a twin set for the price

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 100m, Outdoor 300 m
  • Display: 1.8" colour screen
  • Phonebook: 250 contacts
  • Answering Machine: Yes
  • Batteries: Rechargeable (15 hours talk time)

GIGASET C430A

With enough space for 200 contacts and a battery life of 14 hours talk time before you need to pop it back on the cradle, this is a very user-friendly phone for those who like a natter.

If somebody happens to ring you and you’re not at home, or you miss it, there is a voicemail option so they can let you know what they wanted to talk about. Up to 30 minutes of message time is possible, so you don’t have to rush to delete them all as soon as possible.

It is nice and easy to see who is calling you on the phone with a large screen, and this also makes it easy to flick through the menu options and your contact book.

Setting it up is straightforward, and it is easy to enter your contacts or blacklist certain numbers. We loved the fact that you can easily use hands-free calling, which is perfect if you’re in the middle of cooking, but your mum has just rung, and you don’t want to turn her away.

We like

  • Multi-coloured display
  • Includes good instructions for setting up
  • Call blocker function

We dislike

  • Quite small which may not be ideal for those who struggle with grip

Final Verdict

It looks simple, but the price is very affordable, so the basic look, small size and plastic materials are forgiven

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 50m, Outdoor 300m
  • Display: 1.8” colour TFT
  • Phonebook: 200 contacts
  • Answering Machine: Yes
  • Batteries: Rechargeable AAA (14 hour talk time)

PANASONIC KX-PRW120EW Smart Cordless Phone

Have a home filled with Smart gadgets and want your old trusty home phone to catch up with the times? This Panasonic can connect with up to four smartphones, to perfectly blend those lines between landline and mobile.

You can connect them all up using the Wi-Fi. Just download the Smartphone Connect app to your device, and you’ll then be able to use the mobile as an additional home phone. This prevents that rush to the phone when it starts to ring, which finds you tripping over shoes left in the middle of the floor/pushing the kids out of the way/leaping over the dog.

Calls can also be transferred between the handset and your mobile, so if you have to dash off to work, you don’t have to be polite to your nan and miss your bus or cut her off – just take her with you and continue the conversation.

When they’re both connected, you can even access your mobile’s contact book on the landline, or copy the wallpaper over, to make life that bit easier. Text messaging is also possible from the landline as long as your contract allows it.

The KX-PRW120EW has a real metal finish, which gives it an edge over its plastic counterparts. It is also shaped to be comfortable to hold, reducing the likelihood it will be dropped. The base features a magnetic adapter, which keeps the handset secure when it is resting.

We like

  • Any key answer
  • Large colour screen
  • Smartphone compatibility

We dislike

  • A bit tricky to learn how to use and set up

Final Verdict

It has all the basics (speakerphone, answerphone), as well as a striking design and easy smartphone compatibility. Brilliant if you want it to be as useful as possible

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 50 m, Outdoor 300 m
  • Display: 2.2" colour screen
  • Phonebook: Unlimited
  • Answering Machine: Yes

I-DECT Loop Lite Plus

One of the most stylish picks, this iDECT offers flexibility as well as handy features.

You have the option to block calls from withheld or unavailable numbers, which is usually a sign that it isn’t a legitimate call, so you will be able to get rid of those nuisance callers a lot easier. A speakerphone will allow you to resume your call hands-free, so you can still carry on with the housework as you chat away.

There are ten ringtones to choose from, and the answering machine will allow you to store up to 25 minutes of messages before you need to make some room.

Because it is slimline, it is nice and lightweight too, so you can easily carry it and hold it up to your ear for your conversations without your arm getting tired. There aren’t loads of extra fancy features, so it maybe isn’t for the ones who want to be able to completely personalise the experience. At least the buttons are clear and large, and it sits flat on the base as opposed to upright, which is great for anyone who likes this about traditional corded phones.

The batteries aren’t rechargeable, but give you 10 hours talk time. Just remember to keep them stocked up and replace them regularly.

We like

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Good answerphone

We dislike

  • Ringtones are rather annoying

Final Verdict

A good price for a phone which isn’t the showiest or fanciest, but has good sound and is designed with those who find ordinary-shaped phones uncomfortable

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoors 50 m, Outdoor 300 m
  • Phonebook: 100 contacts
  • Answering Machine: Yes
  • Batteries: AAA batteries X 2

PANASONIC KX-TGK220EW

The majority of cordless home phones are dark grey or black, but if you want something a bit brighter to liven up your console table, then the white colour of this phone will likely do the trick.

It is easy to put on speakerphone if you need to take down some details and hunt for a pen and paper without disrupting the call. There is also a nuisance call block, so you can reduce the amount of contact which telemarketers can have with you as well as blocking specific numbers.

If you’re going to be having it in the bedroom, then the alarm and snooze function could be handy in the mornings. It will ring to get you up on a one-off (such as an airport run), or as a daily reminder for work.

The eco mode will appeal to some wanting to help the planet without it affecting their contactability. When set, it reduces the signal output by up to 90% and power consumption by 3.5% when compared to normal mode.

Eighteen hours of talk time and 200 hours of standby can be achieved before you have to put the phone back on the cradle to recharge, and you also get 30 minutes of recording time through the answerphone.

It can be a little difficult to take off the cradle, because of the back of the base. But we loved how it is designed not to look like a phone, so it is perfect for a bedroom or living room.

We like

  • Style
  • Clear display
  • Good clear ringtone

We dislike

  • When the handset is not on the base, the base doesn’t ring when there is an incoming call

Final Verdict

One for those bothered about design, and who aren’t fussed about having a massive range of extras

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 100 m, Outdoor 300 m
  • Display: 1.5" screen
  • Phonebook: 120 contacts
  • Answering Machine: Yes
  • Batteries: Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries

GIGASET Sculpture CL750A GO

Should you prefer the horizontal phone-in-cradle look as opposed to the phone sitting vertically, then your choice is a bit limited, but this is a fab option.

Fourteen hours of talk time and 320 hours of standby gives it that perfect portable option, so you don’t have to cut the call off halfway through to give it a big charge. Fifty-five minutes of voicemail messages can also be left, meaning you can keep them for a while before you need to delete any to make space.

Unwanted calls can be silenced or blocked, and there is a hands-free option in case you’re having to type or write as you talk and haven’t quite mastered the art of resting it between your shoulder and ear.

It is one of the most customisable experiences, with a choice of 30 ringtones, colour schemes and screensavers. You also get an alarm and snooze feature in case all which will wake you up in the mornings is a fake phone call. There’s also a calendar with an appointment reminder function will help if you’re a little unorganised.

We like

  • Lightweight and comfortable to hold
  • Hearing aid friendly
  • Charging cradle is wireless so can be placed anywhere

We dislike

  • Poor instructions - some common sense will have to come into play

Final Verdict

Lovely and modern and compact in looks, and a nice range of functions without being too clever for its own good

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 50 m, Outdoors 300 m
  • Display: 1.8" colour display
  • Phonebook: 200 contacts
  • Answering Machine: Yes
  • Batteries: Rechargeable NiMH batteries

BT 4600 Big Button

Big button phones don’t have to be stripped back to basics in order to be effective. This model still has a base which lets you control the voicemail, a Hot Key for blocking numbers, and a large directory of up to 200 stored numbers, but in a much easier to use format.

It will block up to 1000 numbers and has a 200 name and number directory, so you’ll only get to talk to the people who really matter. Should somebody not be blocked but not in the contacts either, BT Premium Call Blocking asks the caller to say their name and then asks the user whether they want to accept or block the call without speaking to the caller. Pretty genius.

If somebody needs to be blocked as they ring, the Hot Key will allow the user to do this quickly and effectively. This should narrow down the number of cold calls, which is especially effective if you’re worried about a loved one giving away sensitive details.

Another layer of protection is the PIN function. This will require a number to be put into the handset before premium/mobile numbers are called, which will help if you’re concerned about the user running up a large bill by accident. It also acts as a good parental guidance feature.

The rechargeable batteries mean they won’t have to bother changing them over or go without for any time. And if they happen to be away from home, calls can be diverted.

We like

  • Large buttons
  • Solid call blocking
  • PIN function

We dislike

  • Callers have to give their name - could get frustrating for them

Final Verdict

A nice clear number pad and screen should make this user-friendly and the guide is simple, too

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 50 m, Outdoor 300m
  • Display: 1.8” full graphic dot-matrix
  • Phonebook: 200 contacts
  • Answering Machine: Yes
  • Batteries: 4 AA batteries

Doro PhoneEasy

If you or a relative have previously struggled to find a phone which is loud and clear enough to hear the conversation, then Doro is a brilliant company to look into.

This particular model has a built-in loop for those who are hard of hearing and use a hearing aid. You can also increase the volume of the talking thanks to the Audio Boost button, which will allow you to get a louder sound up to +10dB. The maximum ringer volume (at 1m away) is 90dB, which is much clearer than with other phones.

There is also a visual ring indicator, so if the phone is within sight it will light up orange and notify the recipient this way too. The batteries are rechargeable, so as long as the handset is placed back into the cradle before the 10 hour talk time/100 hour standby time is over, there is no worrying about replacement batteries.

You get a ten caller ID memory, and up to 20 contacts can be listed. There is the option to buy it as a twin handset, in case you or they would like an option upstairs and downstairs, and you can connect quite a few of them in the system in case you’d rather have phones dotted about the house. Registering new phones to the existing base is simple.

Not for a few niggles. The loud volume is designed to go back to normal at the end of every call to prevent the hearing of those with ‘normal hearing’ from getting damaged, so the recipient must increase the volume after every use. The musical ringtones also carry on for a little bit after the call has been answered, which could be confusing for some.

We like

  • Buttons are easy to view and press
  • Adjustable volume
  • Out of range warning

We dislike

  • Volume resets after every call

Final Verdict

Despite the issues, it is still great for those hard of hearing, and the buttons are nice and clear

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 50 m, Outdoor 300m
  • Display: 23 x 38 mm
  • Phonebook: 20 contacts
  • Answering Machine: No
  • Batteries: 2xAAA NiMH rechargeable batteries

BT Everyday Cordless Phone

If you are someone who literally needs a phone because your landline is required for your internet and you may as well connect one up, you’re not going to want to spend a lot on a fancy model. But you probably want a cordless model for that modern touch which still is pleasant to use.

This BT phone hovers around the £20 mark, which is a nice price for a cordless phone which isn’t going to be used all the time.

It doesn’t have a huge list of features, but some of the basics are there. You can block up to 20 numbers, so if that double glazing salesman or PPI company keep calling you and you’ve been as polite as you can be, adding their number to this list will make everything loud and clear.

You can save 50 numbers in the phonebook, so if they call, their name is displayed on-screen, so you know whether or not you want to answer. If a number isn’t saved, all the digits will be displayed, which is another handy way of knowing who’s a nuisance and who is the real deal.

There is no speakerphone or answering machine, but as we say, if you just want something to make your console table look legit, this isn’t going to worry you.

We like

  • Simple
  • Affordable price

We dislike

  • Not the easiest to set up even though it is basic

Final Verdict

A cordless phone which is right back to basics, but will suit some of you just fine

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 50 m, Outdoor 300 m
  • Display: LED
  • Phonebook: 50 contacts
  • Answering Machine: No
  • Batteries: AAA batteries x 2

Binatone Veva 1700 Dect

The cheapest on our list, with very basic features and minimal fanciness. But it still has a few standout points which make it our best budget cordless phone, and it is a bestseller so popular with the public too.

You can redial the last five numbers to call, to make it easier to see whether you’ve missed anything and get back into contact. Choose from five ringtones so you can pick the one which you want to listen out for, and store up to 20 numbers in the phone book so you can access them quicker.

The sound is clear, and the alarm function could help you get out of bed in the morning. Setting it up is pretty much just a case of plugging it in and off you go which makes it friendly for those who struggle with any faff.

You don’t get a cold call barring option, but if you don’t get many or are happy dealing with them, this shouldn’t be an issue.

We like

  • Small and easy to hold
  • Looks basic but smart
  • Reliable for the price

We dislike

  • No speakerphone or backlight
  • Volume is poor

Final Verdict

Cheap and cheerful. A simple cordless phone with a decent enough contact storage facility

+ Specifications

  • Range: Indoor 50m, Outdoor 300m
  • Phonebook: 20 contacts
  • Answering Machine: No
  • Batteries: 2 AAA batteries

Waring Commercial WSG60K

If you batch cook, grind huge amounts at once or need something for a commercial setting, then the majority of ordinary grinders out there aren’t going to be up to scratch.

You either can only make small amounts at once, or it is a bit of a judging game when it comes to getting the correct consistency. This Waring model takes all of that hassle away.

With a 650ml capacity and pulse activation, large batches of flavourings can be prepared at once and will come out just as they’re needed. Whether you want fine curry powders or peppercorns with a bit of a bite, it is easy to get them bang-on.

A high-performance commercial grade motor which spins at 20,000RPM will tackle even the most difficult of spices, such as coriander seeds. It is worth bearing in mind that because of the high capacity, you aren’t going to be able to grind one or two teaspoonfuls of spices at any one time, so you’re going to have to use it all or have a suitable storage method in place.

If you think that this one will be too large, then Waring does a smaller size, the Waring Commercial WSG30K with a 70ml capacity. But the motor is not as powerful, so think about what it is you’ll be grinding.

We like

  • Powerful
  • High capacity
  • Tough blades
  • Two containers so you can remove/wash them and do more in a shorter time

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Pricey, but could be worth the investment if you’re a serious cook-from-scratch chef

+ Specifications

  • Power: 750W
  • Capacity: 650ml
  • Dimensions: 29.2 x 21.6 x 16.5cm

James Martin by Wahl Grind & Chop

A lovely versatile grinder which can both handle various herbs, seeds and spices as well as chop items with a switch of attachments.

The grinder will get spices and coffee into a fine powder, and the chopper attachment can give you a larger consistency for nuts or vegetables such as garlic, chillies and ginger. It has wet and dry capabilities, so you can even turn these into pastes, salsas and oils all within this machine.

You start the grinding mechanism by pressing down the lid, so you can get it to grind as long as you want for the perfect consistency. It is easier than many of the other James Martin by Wahl grinders to clean, as the attachments can be removed for a thorough clean. They are also dishwasher safe if you’re picky about every single little bit getting cleaned.

We like

  • Reasonable price
  • Grinds to a good fine level
  • Easy to clean

We dislike

  • Does overheat

Final Verdict

Nice and simple to use, and perfect if you like to keep on top of making small fresh batches of herbs and spices

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 70g
  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 9cm

James Martin by Wahl ZX595 Mini Grinder

Push button gives you control over the grinding method, and the clear domed lid lets you view the process so you can keep an eye on the ground level and stop it when it is done. The blade cuts through everything well, and the longer you grind, the more ground the produce will end up. That is literally all you have to do.

It is a nice compact size, so you’ll be able to keep it in your cupboards after use, and built-in cord storage will keep everything clutter-free. You can grind herbs, coffee and spices in it.

In terms of downsides, you can’t remove the grinder bowl for washing. This essentially means that cross-contamination could be possible, which isn’t great if you’re bothered about taste mixtures and are going to be cooking a spicy curry one night and an aromatic Thai dish the next. It is hard to wipe clean too due to the proximity to the blades, and you have to be careful to not get any water near the workings or blade.

We like

  • Nice capacity for size
  • Price

We dislike

  • Pretty much impossible to fully clean so you may not want to grind various products

Final Verdict

Good for the price, and even though it comes with a little hassle, it is still worth it for the flexibility if you don’t mind the difficulties in cleaning

+ Specifications

  • Power: 150W
  • Capacity: 70g
  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 24 cm

Krups Everyday Coffee and Spice Mill F2034240

Able to get the job done quickly with a powerful motor, this Krups spice mill is perfect if you also want one which can tackle coffee beans.

Many grinders can do both tasks, but few can do both just as good as each other. Stainless steel blades will cut through the ingredients for your curry, the fresh herbs which you’re going to freeze dry and store, and enough coffee beans for the week ahead.

There is a safety locking lid to prevent any accidents, and also keep all of the ingredients safely in the grinder without them flying out everywhere. A simple push-button control lets you grind as much as you need to and also means the product can’t be left running unsupervised.

Again, you have to wipe it clean as it can’t be taken apart. Brushing the blades with a small pastry brush or a dry bit of kitchen paper could be the best idea.

If you are into Indian cooking, then the blades get the required spices and seeds right down to the perfect size, so they still make an impact on flavour. Just be aware of the lack of cleaning possible in case you are wary of the tastes transferring.

We like

  • Looks nice
  • Good level of power and cutting efficiency
  • Comfortable level of control over grind level

We dislike

  • Difficult to clean out

Final Verdict

Nice cost and adaptable. It can be a pain to look after, but the twin blade works effectively on the food

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 75g
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.6 x 17.1 cm

Swan SP15020N

With a small capacity and button mechanism, this is a grinder which is perfect for anyone who likes to do smaller batches more often.

Products like this usually only work with larger batches, so it is nice that this one still works even with small amounts of food. If you want to be able to decide what you’re having for dinner, and freshly grind spices as opposed to reaching for freeze-dried supermarket options, then it is perfect for bringing out and using in just a few minutes.

It will also grind seeds such as flax, sunflower, pumpkin and poppy, in case you want the powdered for inclusion in baking or a smoothie.

It is a little awkward to clean (most are), as it can’t be disassembled. We’d say to stick to dry ingredients because of this. But all you need to do is wipe with a damp cloth and allow to air dry.

We like

  • Stainless steel blade deals with seeds well
  • Power on indicator
  • Clear lid to check on grinding quality

We dislike

  • Fiddly to clean

Final Verdict

Not massively strong or the prettiest, but for under £20 and something small it is a reliable product from Swan

+ Specifications

  • Power: 150W
  • Capacity: 40g
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10.5 x 18.5 cm

Cuisinart SG21U Spice and Nut Grinder

A simple one-touch control takes away the hassle of using this Cuisinart and also gives you the control you need to get your spices just right.

The sharp blades get through tough seeds and nuts with no effort. We loved how you get two stainless steel containers with the purchase, which are removable for easier cleaning, dishwasher safe and also can be used for storing your spices if you’ve made a bit too much but can use them later in the week. They come with an airtight lid, so will remain completely fresh.

It feels nice and robust, and a high quality build. We would maybe suggest keeping one container for certain herbs or spices which transfer smells as they do seem to linger even after washing, and one for other foods which can’t really be mixed.

If you push it a bit too far, it will stop working and you’ll have to leave it for about five minutes until it cools again and is ready to go. This isn’t an issue as such, because at the end of the day it keeps you safe, but just be aware that it isn’t going to do huge batches of very fine dry spices in minutes.

We like

  • Can clean easily
  • Extra herbs can be stored in containers

We dislike

  • Cuts out quickly if you push it a bit too far

Final Verdict

Handy that there are two containers and you can wash them, and while it may not be the best when it comes to getting the job done, this and the design could well make it worth the cost for you

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 75g
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.8 x 20 cm

Quest 34170 Compact Electric One Touch

Up to eighty grams of wet or dry ingredients can be ground with this model, making it great in terms of capacity and versatility and the best wet and dry spice grinder we found.

It comes with two blade types and two cups, so you can adapt it depending on the type of herb you are grinding and the flavours. The cross blade blends wet ingredients, and flat blade blends dry ingredients. This makes it incredibly versatile.

So if you want to make dried paprika one day, and an avocado dip the next, you don’t need to clutter up your cupboards with a range of appliances. It can tackle small amounts as well, so if you just want to grind two cloves of garlic for your Spag Bol, you don’t have to make enough to last you five meals.

There are no buttons to press or dials to turn to get it going; just press down on the lid and the motor will start. Perfect if you struggle with holding down buttons for prolonged periods. You also get two stainless steel cups, so it is easy to clean and you can even store any extra leftovers in one.

We like

  • One-Touch operation
  • Price
  • Choice of blades

We dislike

  • Can notably struggle with tougher items

Final Verdict

Practical and user-friendly with the choice of blades and an extra cup. Great for the price

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 80g
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 12cm

Bosch IXO Spice Adapter (Spice Mill)

This isn’t a standalone grinder, but rather an attachment for the Bosch IXO Screwdriver. And as seeing you could buy both for less than the price of a standalone grinder, it could be worth a pop for anyone who loves products which can be adapted for use throughout the home.

It is perfect for grinding spices or salt and pepper. Just squeeze the trigger, and the grinding action will begin. Quite a large capacity can be dealt with, which is surprising for the size and idea behind it.

Whether it is the most practical approach is to be considered. By the time you get the drill out from under the stairs and fit is all together and ensure it has been charged up, it would probably be easier to have a dedicated grinder to hand actually stored in your kitchen. But if you love novelty ideas and already have an IXO, the range of attachments on offer could swing it. You can also grab a corkscrew and a BBQ blower for cleaning up.

We like

  • Great idea for a multi-use product
  • Surprisingly powerful at even the toughest spices

We dislike

  • More novelty than practicality for some

Final Verdict

For something a little more out there, and which will win you some cool points when you have guests round for dinner

+ Specifications

  • Power: N/A
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 10 cm

Andrew James Electric Coffee Grinder

Andrew James has a whole range of effective small kitchen appliances, from the fun to the life-saving. If you want a grinder which can help powder down your spices as well as your coffee beans, then this one is a good choice, especially if you want something cheap.

Select your perfect level of grinding using the button on the lid, so the longer you hold it, the finer the powder goes. This can’t be operated unless the lid is firmly in place, which is great for safety.

It needs a 3-minute rest after around 30 seconds of work, but just how little time it needs to grind could well surprise you. After around 12 seconds, it can grind coffee beans fine enough to make a machine coffee and seeds fine enough for use in curries and other dishes.

Softer nuts can also be tackled, although it is recommended that these are given a head-start in a pestle and mortar and chopped small before the blades attempt to cut. In fact, we would say that for best results, everything starts off at a similar size to help with consistency. Otherwise, you get some bigger chunks and some fine powder.

The transparent lid lets you see how things are going so you can stop it at just the right time. If you have got everything down to a fine powder, you may need to buy a brush to get all of the excess out from under the blades.

We like

  • Quiet when working
  • Nice compact size

We dislike

  • Difficult to get all the bits out of chamber
  • Uneven grind unless all pieces are the same size when you pop them in

Final Verdict

For the price, you can’t really grumble too much, but this is maybe not the best option if you are very serious about the grinding results

+ Specifications

  • Power: 150W
  • Capacity: 70g
  • Dimensions: 11 x 18 x 11 cm

Moulinex AR1100 ‘The Original’ Coffee & Spice Mill

Moulinex grinders have long been favourites amongst keen kitchen users. They do a range of items, whether you’re a part-time cook at home or need something a bit more professional. This model is best for those in the former camp.

It holds 50g, which makes it one of the smallest on the list. Just press the lid to grind, and the stainless steel blade will get to work.

Firstly, for the pros. It is quiet when in operation. There is a nice retro 70s look. It is easy to use. The body is relatively small, so it is great to store. And in terms of cons, it is hard to clean, doesn’t cope well if the added ingredients are all varying sizes, and overheats rather easily.

Others have commented that their parents owned this same model, and it has been with them for around 20 years, which suggests it is a fab quality product. We have no doubts about this, as it felt sturdy and Moulinex knows what they’re doing. The difficulty in looking after it may just be a bit too much of a faff for some.

We like

  • Price
  • Easy to use
  • Compact size
  • From a trusted name

We dislike

  • Very difficult to clean and get all food out

Final Verdict

Harder than others to care for, but if price and brand are a concern, it wins pretty much top marks here

+ Specifications

  • Power: 180W
  • Capacity: 50g
  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.6 x 22.8 cm

Mr. Beams Battery Motion Sensing LED Spotlight

Thanks to a dual head spotlight, this is a great light for anyone who needs to cover big spaces.

Each pivots 180 degrees up and down, and 135 degrees left and right, so you really can fine-tune the positioning to suit the area.

It can detect movement up to 30 feet away (around 9 metres) which makes it one of the best security lights for doing the job, and it will shut down 20 seconds after motion stops to prolong battery life.

Installation takes a matter of minutes, as there are no wires to bother with. You just need to screw the bracket to the wall, fence post, tree or shed, then slide the camera on and it is good to go. Battery life is also great, and should give you 1 year of light with an average use of 8-10 activations a day.

The IP rating is also one of the highest of those we reviewed, so it is totally dust tight and protected against extreme water, such as rain. 500 lumens of light is bright enough to make an impact and deter any one or any animal who shouldn’t be in your garden.

We do need to mention that they are best for people who will be installing them at height though, as the light is easily removable from the bracket.

We like

  • Good light output
  • Generous battery life
  • Sensor works very well

We dislike

  • No way of securing them to the bracket

Final Verdict

A choice of colours and pack sizes, and a brilliantly adaptable positioning and sensor ability. It is worth paying that little bit more for this quality and freedom

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP66
  • Lumens: 500
  • Dimensions: 27.1 x 10 x 9.2 cm
  • Bulb Type: LED
  • Batteries: D

Mr. Beams MB360XT Wireless Battery Operated

Available in a pack of one, two or four, these little lights are the answer if you need to dot a fair few of them around the garden.

The first thing that struck us about the lights is that they are very small and compact. The sensor is situated just under the light, which saves space on the fitting as so many usually have a separate block for this. So, they are some of the best for anyone who is either stuck for space or just wants something non-obtrusive.

They are also available in brown or white, so you can blend them into the background and area too. Because they use a sensor, the batteries should last for a really generous amount of time. 8-10 activations a day could last for around a year altogether, and you’ll be able to tell when the battery is going as it will start to go dim – so you won’t be left in the lurch all of a sudden.

Because there are no wires, it also means installation is simple and can be done easily, so it can be up and running in less than five minutes.

We like

  • Light can cover an area of 55 square metres
  • Quick and simple to fit

We dislike

  • Hasn’t been tested for intrusion (but is good for moisture)

Final Verdict

Nice and bright, and a surprisingly strong light for the size of the item

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IPX6
  • Lumens: 200lm
  • Kelvin: 5000 K
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.9 x 16.5 cm
  • Bulb Type: LED
  • Batteries: D

B&Q Lethe Black 1W Battery External PIR

First of all, the design of this light is very different to any others on the market, so it is perfect for anyone who wants to get something which doesn’t look like your conventional security light.

The PIR sensor has a 180° detection angle, so it will be able to pick up things from all sides. There is also a detection range of 8m, so there is a good chance it is going to suit your garden space well.

It isn’t the brightest out of all reviewed, but as it covers such a large area, this can be forgiven. There is still enough light to make an impact, and for a battery-powered option, it is actually pretty great.

A couple of drilled holes will let you fit them, so there are no wires or switches to work around. Just be aware that because the detection range is so long, it might not be perfect for every area – you don’t want to install it at your front door and be picking up every time your neighbour across the road leaves the house.

We like

  • Two lights to extend area covered
  • Easy to fit
  • Great sensor ability

We dislike

  • Made from light plastic so could become damaged in bad weather if in the open

Final Verdict

Nice level of adaptability and the lights can be moved a bit to target the areas which need illuminated the most

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44 Dimensions: H 19.7 x W17.8cm
  • Bulb Type: LED
  • Battery Type: LR14/size C x 3

John Lewis & Partners Seleno PIR Sensor Security LED Outdoor Light

Offering a modern take on the traditional floodlight, the Seleno is a product which can offer practical lighting with a non-obtrusive look.

The light it gives out is both bright and white, so perfect for alarming intruders or alerting you to when the cat’s back home and ready for a nap. The body is quite compact too, so you don’t have to worry too much about it fitting in the ideal spot. Whether it is a fence post, to the wall or on the shed, it won’t stick out like a sore thumb either.

You get a five-year guarantee, so if you are a little put off by the other reviews stating that it stopped working after a few months, you’ll be covered for a replacement.

We like

  • Bright light
  • Nice size

We dislike

  • A bit fiddly to fit

Final Verdict

Nice and bright, and you can rotate it to target exactly where you need the light

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Lumens: 600
  • Kelvin: 6400K
  • Dimensions: H17.5 x W11.5 x D9.8cm
  • Bulb Type: LED

Blooma Weyburn Black Mains Floodlight

First off, this floodlight is a brilliant price. At under £30, it is less than half of a lot of its direct competitors, so great if you’re on a budget or know you’ll need to buy a few to give a sufficient amount of light.

It can detect movement up to 10m away so will alert you to any suspicious activity in good time. As it is IP44 rated, it will be relatively protected against the elements and both the sensor and light will be able to work through the conditions, so your home isn’t left unprotected at any time. We will mention, however, that a few reviewers have said that over time water has found its way into the unit, so we’d suggest trying to keep it relatively sheltered.

It also happens to be one of the less intrusive builds of those we have reviewed. Slim, with a sensor which sits flat to any surface, it will also please those bothered about aesthetics.

We like

  • Easy to fit
  • Nice design
  • Great level of brightness

We dislike

  • Not quite as weather-proof as it suggests

Final Verdict

A brilliant price, and also does a very fine job. We were very happy with the results

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Lumens: 1600lm
  • Dimensions: H19.5 x W12.8cm
  • Bulb Type: LED

Siro LED Outdoor Sensor Light

Security lights don’t have to be big ugly blocks which make your garden look awfully unsightly, especially if you just want something which gives a warm glow if anyone comes to the door after dark.

The light can be directed where required, from upwards, downwards or to either side, as the head is completely adjustable with a 350° tilt and 180° rotation. So, you can target the light right to where it needs to be.

It is a fabulous answer if you want a light which isn’t overly intrusive, looks the part and actually gives out a surprisingly good amount of light for its style and size. The price means you won’t be able to deck out your back garden with them, but one or two by the doors is a good idea.

We like

  • Stylish
  • Rotating head

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

This isn’t the most ‘scary’ light for intruders in terms of keeping your home safe on this list, but if you want a light which illuminates the front path when you get home then it’ll do the trick

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Lumens: 735
  • Kelvin: 4000K
  • Dimensions: H19.5 x W11 x D14cm
  • Bulb Type: LED

Philips myGarden Robin LED/PIR

Philips are very strong contender for the best outdoor lighting around, thanks to the high quality build and bulbs. This offering from them also ticking all the boxes in terms of style.

It is the perfect answer if you want a powerful light which can act as a proper security alarm light, yet looks brilliantly stylish.

The light it throws out is warm and inviting, which means that it is also perfect if you want to use it at the front door to welcome anyone who has been invited as well as deter any unwanted guests.

Installation is a little fiddly as the screws and bolts are a bit small so they don’t stick out, but once it is done, it sticks firmly to the wall well. It is on the slightly pricier side as you’re also paying for the decorative aspect, but this is worth it if you want the look.

We like

  • 5-year guarantee
  • Great design
  • Not too bright but not too dull

We dislike

  • Definitely a two many job to fit

Final Verdict

Good style, good amount of light and it remains watertight. With quality LED bulbs, it is going to last for years so will be worth the extra money long-term

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Lumens: 430
  • Dimensions: H26 x W22.8 x D17.4cm
  • Bulb Type: LED

Nordlux Maxi PIR Sensor Security LED Light

Another which is great for anyone who wants style and substance rather than having to choose one of the two, this is a high-shine light which is a visual spectacle.

Coated in stainless steel, it is a look which is going to suit any garden. Because of this material, it is also quite simple to keep clean with just a wipe with a damp cloth.

The light is cast in a very limited angle, mostly pointing downwards, so it is one for those who want to illuminate a smaller area as opposed to shine a light across a huge open space.

It was one of the easiest to fit out of all those reviewed. Instructions are brief and not the most helpful but it is all pretty self-explanatory.

We like

  • Great for modern look
  • Stainless steel stays clean

We dislike

  • Light is cast in a limited place - best for welcoming you home rather than securing the whole property

Final Verdict

Overall, perfectly stylish and features a good sensor. It is also slightly better at repelling rain than others with a higher than normal IP rating

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP54
  • Lumens: 200
  • Dimensions: H23 x W7.6 x D13cm
  • Bulb Type: LED

Mpow Solar Light

Highly water and intrusion-proof, and featuring a large solar panel to capture plenty of light, this light from MPow is a fantastic option if you’re on a budget, have a large area to cover, want something easy to fit or all of the above.

As it has 30 LED’s, the light output is great for a solar powered light. In fact, it rivals a lot of the battery models we tested which definitely came as a shock. You can choose between sensor mode, sim light sensor mode and medium light stay on mode too, so it is adaptable for your needs. Just flick a switch to select the one you need.

The 90° adjustable tilt means you can place it high up and have it targeting a small area, or low and beaming out to cover an area up to 30m sq./323ft, and can detect movement 8m/26ft away.

There is a power switch, so you can prevent it from turning on for a period, say you’re going away on holiday or the nights are getting lighter so you don’t need it.

We like

  • Cost
  • Adjustable positioning
  • Outside ABS shell for solid build

We dislike

  • Switch to change mode is on the side closest to wall so you may have to unscrew it to change setting

Final Verdict

Really took us by surprise how good this was for a solar power. If you want something cost-free to run and affordable to buy then it is well worth a shot

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP65
  • Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 7.1 cm
  • Bulb Type: LED

Blooma Summerside Black Solar Powered Floodlight

Good quality and giving out loads of light, this is an affordable and sturdy light if solar power is the way you want to go.

The PIR aspect is really handy, as it limits the usage of the light just to the essential times so saves stored energy. It is a compact shape so doesn’t need much surface space to fit to, and the actual light can be directed to a particular area thanks to the tilting mechanism.

It is just under £15, so if you’re going to have to buy a few or want to try something affordable to see if it really does make a difference, then it is a great starter security light.

We like

  • Price
  • Easy to fit
  • Nice large solar panel to capture the most light possible

We dislike

  • Feels a bit plasticky

Final Verdict

Not the strongest or most starry, but a great price and gives out a bright, effective shine

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Lumens: 150lm
  • Dimensions: H130 x W120cm
  • Bulb Type: LED

Duracell LED Stake Lights, Set of 4

Battery-powered solar lights are the most popular choice amongst UK customers, but batteries in general aren’t massively reliable.

So step up Duracell, a name notorious for making some of the best batteries on the planet. If the battery happens to run out, it is replaceable, so you pretty much have them for life.

You get to choose from two lighting modes. Choose the first to enable 6 hours of light or Mode 2 to enable 10 hours of light, depending on how long you want them to be on.

They are made from stainless steel and glass, so not only is the power great, but the build and structure are too. The stake is strong yet streamlined, so positioning is very flexible and you can even move them to another place if you wish.

The weather rating means they will be protected from any water or dust which could damage them. Price-wise, there is no doubt it is an expensive purchase, especially if you’re going to need more than four. But they should be with you for life, which is more than can be said of the ones which you can get for £1 and only last a few months.

We like

  • Nice and stylish
  • Surprising amount of brightness for the size
  • Quality stainless steel finish

We dislike

  • Cost

Final Verdict

Duracell know what they are doing, and they have created the perfect lights for waste-conscious, eco-friendly individuals who like their quality

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Size: H52 x Dia.10.5cm
  • Kelvin: 4300K

Eva Solo SunLight LED Lamp

Brilliantly atmospheric and perfect for using on an outdoor table or taking with you wherever you move as it is nice and portable. This makes it great for use as a stylish camping light, too

The frosted glass gives it the perfect level of glow, and the anodised aluminium base is frost-proof so it can be left out at all times without you having to worry.

Charging it up fully will take around 8 hours, which then gives you 20 hours of full light. You can set it on to auto mode, so it will do all of this charging and lighting without you having to touch it or bother with switches and settings. There is also a standard on/off switch for if you want to use it.

The solar panel is hidden, so it doesn’t affect the looks, and if it becomes dirty, it is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.

We like

  • Looks fab
  • Gives out a great amount of light
  • Light is warm for a comfortable glow

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

A pricier pick, but the 15,000-hour LED bulb will give you plenty of time with it

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Size: H14 x Dia.13cm
  • Kelvin: 2700-3200

John Lewis & Partners Lettsom LED Stake Lights, Set of 4

If you want the perfect balance between quality and budget, then these stake lights are a cheaper alternative to Duracell’s collection but still offer a good amount for the money.

They are floor-level stake lights, so don’t stick up, which is great for anyone who doesn’t want the lights to ruin the look of their garden but still needs something for when it goes dark. This also means they shine upwards, so are perfect for decorative purposes and lighting up flower displays as opposed to paths.

Each provides between 4 and 5 hours of light on a full charge, and the lumen level is relatively high, so the light they give off is quite bright for their size.

We like

  • Price
  • No sightly stalks on show

We dislike

  • Shine upwards so are mostly decorative

Final Verdict

Makes an impact with their brightness, and great if you want to spend that bit more without going extreme

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: N/A
  • Size: H13 x Dia.10.5cm
  • Lumens: Each stake 6lm

The Solar Centre Lumify 300 LED Line Lights

String lights are by far the most aesthetically pleasing form, especially if you are in it for the atmosphere more then the lighting. The wired aspect is obviously a warning sign if you’re going for the wire-free look, so the fact these are solar is very handy indeed.

Fear not if you’re worried about the lack of sun which your garden gets. They also come complete with a detachable control box which can be charged via a USB connection if solar power isn’t possible, so you’re always covered. There is 2m of cable between this and the start of the lights, so it doesn’t intrude.

A Winter power saving mode also makes them suitable for use all year round, so if you want them strung up over the grass in summer but under a canopy in winter, it isn’t going to be impossible to do. It lowers the brightness a bit but saves energy, for when you don’t have access to solar light.

You also get eight different lighting options, so you can set the exact warmth and glow which the evening requires. The distance between each light is 10cm too, so it is all nicely spread without being too roomy. They are also available in a 10m 100 bulb option.

We like

  • Great length and spacing
  • Can charge manually as well as through solar power
  • Can work for 12 nights on a single charge

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Lovely lights which you have to pay that bit extra for, but in return, you get your moneys-worth

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: N/A
  • Size: Total length of string 32m
  • Kelvin: N/A

Blooma Glend Brushed LED Deck Light, Set of 2

Deck lighting is a relatively new concept. The idea is that you can install it in a garden, along a walkway, or recessed in a terrace to make the most of the space you have without things getting unsightly.

They are 33mm high, so will be unobtrusive when set into an area. Each light gives off a nice blue hue, which is bright without being too overbearing.

They have a high IP rating, so while you still need to ensure that they are tight enough to not let water and dirt in, they are generally very hardy.

It isn’t a bad price to say you get two in a pack, and the lifespan of the LED lights should give you 7 hours use per day over ten years.

We like

  • Good quality glass
  • Good blue light
  • Long lasting bulbs

We dislike

  • Ensure they are watertight as they sit low - you may need to seal the area too

Final Verdict

Great if you want to illuminate a path or walkway, and as there are no wires, they’re easy to fit too

+ Specifications

  • IP Rating: IP65
  • Size: H33mm
  • Kelvin: N/A

Nordlux Luxembourg Pendant

Pendants are brilliant for porches and those more covered areas, and this weathered-style design will really boost the look of the place.

Made from galvanised steel, it is strong and sturdy even in the drastic British weather. A sealed glass dome prevents the bulb from being exposed to the extremes, and you can unscrew it to access the bulb when it needs replacing.

A long suspension chain gives you a drop of around 160cm, so if you want it to sit low over a table it is a perfect option. You can also shorten this right back if you wish at the time of installation.

We like

  • Great rustic look
  • Replaceable bulb
  • Cable is very long so suitable for most places

We dislike

  • No bulb supplied

Final Verdict

Attractive, and not a bad price at all. Perfect if this is the look you want.

+ Specifications

  • Type: Outdoor Mains Pendant
  • Bulb: Halogen/LED Replaceable
  • IP Rating: IP23
  • Dimensions: H160 x W27 x D27cm

Philips Robin LED Wall Lantern

Wall lights are great, as they don’t take up any room but have the power to illuminate a large area.

This Philips light is crafted from quality aluminium and tempered glass, so is strong and stable in all weathers. It has the classic wall lantern design too, so perfect if you want to go for the classic practical look.

The light it gives off is nice and copes with illuminating the immediate area, so it would also be suitable to use as a front door light if you like to illuminate the entrance area to your property after dark.

It incorporates LED, so while these aren’t replaceable, they should last for up to 15,000 hours and use around 85% less energy than standard bulbs.

We like

  • Nice style
  • Feels strong
  • Easy to install

We dislike

  • Warm hue means it isn’t the brightest available

Final Verdict

A great price for a light which is a) so easy to fit and b) will last for a fair few years (and you get a five-year warranty)

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Wall
  • Kelvin: 2700K
  • Lumens: 430lm
  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Dimensions: H23 x W17.4 x D20cm
  • Light Bulb: LED

Astro Chios 150 Wall Light

A light option which gives you modernity and style as well as practicality, these are perfect for anyone who thinks that the traditional outdoor light design is a bit of an eyesore.

The bulb isn’t included, so you can replace it when needed, but this also means that the lumens, brightness and longevity depend on the ones you choose, so you may want to spend a bit more to get good results.

It has specifically been salt-spray tested too, so if you live on the coast and find yourself getting through outdoor lighting and furniture at a rapid rate, make sure this is your next option.

The light doesn’t give off an amazing amount, so it is more for a subtle glow than a light which will allow you to see with 20/20 vision, but the style is what you choose these wall lights for.

We like

  • Modern looks
  • Replacement bulb

We dislike

  • More for decoration as opposed to light

Final Verdict

Perhaps a case of style over substance, but will still make an impact if you just want to give your outdoor lighting a boost

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Wall Light
  • Bulb: LED Replaceable
  • Lumens: 310
  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Dimensions: H15 x W6.8 D9.2cm

John Lewis & Partners Sutton Wall Light

Like a cross between a wall light and a pendant porch light, this Sutton from John Lewis is a real charm.

If you are after a traditional style, then this one ticks all the boxes. The ornate styling and rustic look give it that perfect period look without it being too dated and overbearing. As the bulbs are replaceable, you can choose the exact brightness and warmth you want to add the finishing touch, as long as it is within the requirements and compatibility.

A small hole in the bottom lets in enough air to prevent condensation and any damage, without letting in any insects or dirt. To finish it off, the glass is slightly frosted, which helps give the light a more subdued feel rather than being in your face.

We like

  • Rustic, old-style look
  • Bulb type is adaptable to a point

We dislike

  • A little fiddly to install

Final Verdict

We love the style, and while it doesn’t feel the most substantial or damage-resistant, we’d still say it is worth the money for the looks

+ Specifications

  • Type: Mains Wired Wall
  • Light Bulb: LED/Halogen Replaceable
  • IP Rating: IP44
  • Dimensions: H33 x W16.5cm

John Lewis & Partners Festoon Line Lights

If you’re after some string lights which feature large bulbs to add some character, this line of 10 Festoon lights provides both illumination and decoration for a fun vibe.

They are available in both clear or coloured bulb form, depending on the exact look you’re going for. The distance from the power socket to the first bulb is 5m, so you have a generous amount of cable to reach to where you need it to go.

LED bulbs have been incorporated inside each glass dome to give you tens of thousands of hours use and they’ll also use much less energy than traditional non-LED string lights. Most of these light types can’t be replaced, but the ones in these festoon string can, so they most definitely will be with you for a long, long time. However, we will mention that finding exact replacements will likely prove more difficult than it is worth.

You can also use them indoors if you wish, so when the weather is wet and windy but you’re throwing a dinner party, they are there to keep the atmosphere fun.

We like

  • Nice overall length
  • Choice of colour or clear

We dislike

  • Difficulty in finding replacement bulbs

Final Verdict

Not the longest you can buy, but if you purely want the fun factor then they’re a great option

+ Specifications

  • Type: Wired Festoon String Lights
  • Bulb: LED
  • Replacement IP Rating: IP44
  • Size: 9.5m Length

Ninja BL682UK2

A 3-in-1 product, great if you want to be preparing food or whipping up healthy smoothies.

It is a blender, food processor and personal integrated blender as well, so you can pretty much make anything with it. There are eight different speeds and settings, including five Auto-iQ programmes which can give you a helping hand. Pulse, pause and blend patterns can keep you in control, too.

If you’re not quite sure just of how much you really can do with it, there is a nice little recipe book included which should mean it remains firmly on your kitchen work surface at all times. From making cookie batter and breaking down meat for meatballs, to whizzing up ice cream or the base for cocktails, it is a powerful bit of kit.

We like

  • Dough function for baking assistance
  • Can chop onion/other veg for salsas or sauces
  • Doesn't take up too much space when on benches

We dislike

  • Feed chute is a bit too thin for some veg

Final Verdict

One of the handiest kitchen gadgets ever - you'll never have to manually chop or blend again

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19 x 24.99 x 45.01 cm
  • Power: 1,500 watts
  • Weight: 7.59 kg

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

It is all well and good having a portable speaker which can be taken into the garden for your summer barbecues and parties, but sometimes you need something a lot sturdier.

This is perfect for the more adventurous needs, thanks to being robust and lightweight. It is no bother to carry around, and you won’t have to wrap it up in cotton wool when transporting.

Despite the small size and overall aim, it still delivers exquisite sound. It has been designed to disperse this omnidirectionally, to ensure that wherever you are sat, you will receive the same level and quality of sound – ideal for campfire nights.

The bass is punchy too, which is not something often said when reviewing speakers of this size. There is Bluetooth, so you can wirelessly connect your streaming devices – perfect if you’re one to forget your chargers/headphones. Just hang it from an appropriate hook using the leather carry strap, or set it flat.

Talking of charging, it can hold power for up to 24 hours on a full charge, which should give you plenty of listening opportunities. Because of the sturdiness, we think the actual speaker could well last for years too.

Colour probably isn’t top of your list of requirements with a product of this type, but you can choose from a range including moss green, white, black and sand stone for extra personalisation. The overall design is simplistic but modern, and definitely a winner.

There is nothing to stop you using this speaker when not on-the-go too, as we think it does rival the sound provided by some of the multi-room wireless speakers which would normally take up a lot of space on your sideboard. Perhaps you want one you can move around or a non-imposing solution for the bedroom. Either way, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Our only niggle – and it is a common one – is that the buttons are designed to be invisible, but this makes it near on impossible to actually see them, especially in bright lighting such as on a sunny day. It powers off after 15 minutes of inactivity, so you do have to get used to finding the power button.

We like

  • Small in size
  • Colour options
  • Well made

We dislike

  • Buttons are very hard to see

Final Verdict

We weren’t expecting something quite so brilliant. Well worth the money if you desperately need a good portable solution for your audio

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H4.8cm x Dia13.3cm
  • Weight: 0.6kg
  • Battery Life: 24 hours

+ Downloads

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker User Manual

Download

BOSE SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Wireless Speaker II

Up to ten hours battery life, small and light enough to pack in your bag and the ability to connect to any compatible smartphone, tablet or media player – this is an ideal item for anyone who loves music on the go and needs something that can handle it.

USB charging makes it easy to top the battery up, and on a full charge, it can last around ten to twelve hours without losing any sound quality. It also comes with a charging cradle, so if you’re not on the go, you can keep it in place and charging at the same time.

Bluetooth connectivity is available, and it will remember the last six connected devices for easy setup next time you use it. The speakers will also work as a speakerphone if you get a call when you’re otherwise busy.

Sound quality is incredibly high for an item of its size. The dual-opposing passive radiators work together for deep bass, giving a great performance no matter where you are. It can be controlled by your smartphone if you need to adjust volume, and an auxiliary port will also allow you to connect other devices such as iPods or MP3 players.

Available in black and white, you can also take care of the aesthetics as well as the sound. Why not match it to your other gadgets?

We like

  • Unbelievable sound
  • Holds charge well
  • Great size for portability

We dislike

  • Little on the heavy side for size

Final Verdict

Absolutely fantastic sound for the size and it is easy to use and compact for your travels. The price perfectly reflects the industry-leading quality

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 11.8 x 29 cm
  • Weight: 0.72 kg
  • Battery Life: 10 hours

+ Downloads

BOSE SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Wireless Speaker II Owner Guide

Download

Lava Brightsounds 2 Water-Resistant Bluetooth Portable Speaker & Light

The combination of brilliant speaker design with the touches needed to make it fully portable.

The name ‘Lightsounds’ is inspired by the gentle illumination from the speaker when it is working, which adds to the atmosphere. If you are in a tent or caravan, this extra little night light really boosts the whole camping experience.

Adjust the light from a vivid glow, right down to a calming ambient level, depending on the needs. Whether it is dark outside and you need to be able to see what you’re doing, or you are just enjoying the evening and watching the stars, the ability to choose the level comes in handy.

This isn’t where the experience stops, though. You can choose to either power it with the rechargeable battery option or by mains. If your mobile phone is running out of juice, it can also top this up, effectively being used as a power bank. All you need to do is connect via a USB cable as normal.

Thanks to the water-resistant design, even if you are spending a day by the sea or know the dog will shake itself dry after a dip in the river, it should stay safe and sounding top-notch. Connections can be made with Bluetooth or a wired 3.5mm aux, so even if you don’t want to take your phone away with you and instead like to use an MP3 player, you’re safe. It can also be used as a hands-free device to answer phone calls.

The battery will last for up to 36 hours of music, but you can also just use it without sound as a light and it will last for 48 hours. This is good if you like to keep a light on as you sleep. It doesn’t take long to recharge when comparing with other models of its size which is good if it just needs a quick boost before you are on the move again.

We like

  • Available in blue or mustard
  • Ambient light mode
  • Ability to charge other devices

We dislike

  • Not the most portable overall (but makes up for this in sound)

Final Verdict

This all makes it the perfect speaker for anyone taking it further than the back garden, and the sound will not let you down either. All for well under £50 too

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19 x 9.5 x 10.3cm
  • Weight: 0.63kg
  • Battery Life: 36 hours

+ Downloads

Lava Brightsounds 2 Water-Resistant Bluetooth Portable Speaker & Light User Manual

Download

Bose® Frames Alto Bluetooth Audio Sunglasses

Bose are going through a bit of a habit of making portable speakers which aren’t really speakers. These sunglasses are the latest in their creations.

The Bose Frames are the first audio sunglasses on the market. They connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so you can play your tunes on the go and in your ears without even picking up a pair of headphones.

Mini Bose speakers are hidden in the temples of each leg, so you hear everything while those around you barely hear a peep. An integrated microphone means you can also take phonecalls (you’re going to get some dodgy looks – bear with them until this technology really takes off). You can also interact with Siri/Google Assistant via your phone through them.

New updates are going to be released through time. Bose AR is coming, and ways to exercise and play are going to be designed in the coming years. Think using maps without looking at your phone, and seeing the path out in front of you. Unlike headphones, they don’t shut out external noise, which is great if you’re travelling or commuting.

We like

  • Doesn't shut out noise
  • Nobody else can hear the music
  • New features possible
  • Price - you'd pay that for a branded pair of specs

We dislike

  • A bit on the large size and maybe not for those really bothered about style

Final Verdict

They don't look like anything special, but if the thought of relaxing on the beach or in the park and listening to music while still being able to hear what's going on around you is appealing, they are amazing

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H5.08 x W14.76 x D5.08cm
  • Power Supply: Rechargeable Battery
  • Connections: Bluetooth

Bose Soundlink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker

As an industry leader, it’s only right that we delve into this new lightweight speaker. The portable product is so easy to transport, meaning that we can take flawless sound wherever we go.

The immersive speaker is the centre of the party and essential for your home, as you have the option to utilise it for music and movies. It can easily be connected to your phone, tablet or television so you have the full experience. The seamless design isn’t just about looks but also practicality. The 360-degree coverage ensures everybody gets to embrace true sound quality.

It offers over 12 hours of playback on a single charge and is also water resistant. It can be used on the beach, for your travels, at a party or simply embed as your household media staple. There is the option to purchase with a dedicated charging hub if you want a permanent setup.

Why not connect to the rest of your Bose collection and sync them up for stereo sound?

We like

  • Sleek look
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Bluetooth

We dislike

  • On first look it seems expensive, but we were soon proven wrong!

Final Verdict

This is the ultimate speaker, it hooks up to your complete system and it can also be used for many other purposes with it only weighing 0.66kg.

+ Specifications

  • Bluetooth
  • Jack input: Aux
  • USB ports: 1 Micro USB
  • Weighs: 0.66 kg

SONY SRS-XB41 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

You may look at this portable Sony speaker and think that there is absolutely no chance it can handle the music for your party. It is small, compact, and you could be mistaken for thinking it is all looks, no substance.

However, it packs a surprising punch. Bass is a big focus, so when you’re playing the latest EDM tracks to get you ready for a night out or during a house party, you’ll be able to hear every detail.

This is because the speaker cones are reinforced, so even if you have a bit of a mixed playlist, every genre will sound just as it should.

Live Sound mode helps you out if the party is outdoors, as it spreads the sound through the area and recreates the concert feeling. Also, whether you’re lucky enough to have a full-size built-in pool or hot tub, or you’re all in the paddling pool, the speaker is both water and rust resistant. Any accidents are therefore recoverable.

The lights around the edge of the speaker are a lively addition, and they pulse in time with the beat to add a bit of atmosphere. If you want a speaker which you can take to friends houses, then it may not be the best choice as it is quite heavy. But for moving it around the house, the sound is well worth it.

We like

  • Colour choices available
  • Easy to connect to phone
  • Pair up to 100 other speakers

We dislike

  • Quite heavy

Final Verdict

For a portable wireless speaker, it doesn't half measure up to the quality of some of the high-end larger speakers. No wonder it is so popular.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.5 x 29.1 cm
  • Connections: WiFi / Bluetooth / NFC
  • 24 hour battery life

+ Downloads

SONY SRS-XB41 Portable Bluetooth Speaker User Manual

Download

Stoves BI900G Built In Double Oven

Stoves is a brand to be reckoned with when it comes to large kitchen appliances. This double oven is one of their latest offerings, and it excels at everything.

Cleaning is easy as you just have to wipe it with a cloth thanks to the linings, and the minute minder will buzz when your feast is ready so you can always stay on top of the job.

The main oven is a conventional cook, so it circulated air evenly. This creates perfectly cooked dishes. Then there is a grill in the second chamber where you can crisp the top of any al forno dishes. Having two ovens is great for those busy meal times, or if you want to bake pudding while the fish fingers are getting ready.

Both are nice and spacious, and it is an attractive bit of kit too – and for the name, it is a pretty good price.

We like

  • Style
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Spacious

We dislike

  • Grill pan doesn't come with a handle, you have to order separately from the Stoves store

Final Verdict

A brilliant all rounder

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: (H)88.5 x (W)59.5 x (D)55cm
  • Energy Rating: A/A
  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Capacity: Main Cavity 66 L, Second 27L

TEFAL Oleoclean Pro FR804040

Seen by many as the best deep fryer there has been, Tefal has packed in the technology to help make frying a breeze.

The 3.5L oil capacity makes it an ideal purchase for any small family kitchens, as it will be able to get all of the food done at once without you spending ages batch cooking.

If you’re worried about your fryer guzzling oil and it becoming your biggest weekly expenditure, then the Oleoclean’s patented filtration system will be music to your ears. It automatically drains and filters your oil for future use, and all you need to do is switch the dial. It will be drained into the storage box through a filter, ready for use again and again.

This keeps it clean most of the time, but when you want to give everything a freshen-up and clean the lot, it is easy to fully dismantle so you can get to every nook and cranny. The bowl, lid, frying basket and oil box are all dishwasher safe, so if the grime has built up, you don’t have to spend hours scrubbing away with your Marigolds on.

You may also be worried about your home smelling like a takeaway when you’re done, but the anti-odour properties mean that no smell is released at all. No need to get the cooker hood whirring at full blast, then.

The actual results of the fried food are brilliant, and you can pick it up and carry it using the handles in case you need to move it to another spot in the kitchen or pop it away in storage.

We like

  • Automatic oil filtration
  • Window in lid to keep an eye on cooking
  • Great capacity

We dislike

  • If we are being picky, the lead is only 0.9m long

Final Verdict

We can see why this is the best-seller - it has all the features you could want, and the self-cleaning factor is bound to appeal to absolutely everyone

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 3.5 litres
  • Food Capacity: 1.2 kg
  • Features: Digital display, viewing window, oil filtration
  • Dimensions: 34 x 29.5 x 42.1cm

De’Longhi FS6025

A clean, modern white finish and handy features such as a timer and temperature control make this De’Longhi deep fat fryer a really user-friendly model.

We loved a couple of things about this fryer, which made it stand out. Firstly, the basket can be lowered into the oil when the lid is closed to protect from any splashes, and then lifted up again without opening it.

It is more compact than De’Longhi previous fryers, yet you still get the same amount of room which shows design has really improved and it is well worth getting the latest model.

The anti-odour feature will help keep your home smelling normal, and it is washable so will always work at its best. Other components are dishwasher-safe, so there is little effort taking care of it.

It isn’t rated easy-clean, so it is a little messy getting the old oil out when the time comes. The tank isn’t removable, and there is no pouring spout. But if you keep on top of this, the dirt shouldn’t build up.

We like

  • Price
  • Clean design
  • Dishwasher safe components

We dislike

  • No ‘power-on’ light - only an indicator to tell you when the temperature has been reached

Final Verdict

To say it is one of the lower priced fryers yet so highly rated means it is worth the little bit of a faff it takes to get cleaned

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 2.4L
  • Food Capacity: 1.5kg
  • Features: Viewing window, timer
  • Dimensions: 26 x 41.5 x 29cm

Breville Easy Clean Digital VDF108

The perfect size for smaller households, this fryer can hold food up to 1kg in capacity, so is perfect for chips as a side dish, mozzarella sticks as a snack or doughnuts as a sweet weekend treat.

A built-in timer will help prevent any burnt food, and you can also set the temperature using the variable controls, so whether you like everything a bit more well-done or on the lighter side, you can get that fine balance.

There is a removable bowl for easier cleaning, and all of the other removable parts are also dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to spend hours scrubbing away.

It is one of the more compact and cupboard-friendly shapes and sizes of those we reviewed. This is great if you’re going to be tucking it out of the way in between uses. It heats up to temperature in good time, and you get good instructions which show you how to cook some of the basic foods in case this is your first time using a deep fryer.

We like

  • Timer and temperature select
  • Dishwasher safe components
  • Removable bowl

We dislike

  • Viewing window can steam up when in use

Final Verdict

On the basic side but still a brilliant amount of features, and pleasantly easy to use

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 2L
  • Food Capacity: 1kg
  • Features: Viewing window, variable temperature, easy clean, safety locking lid
  • Dimensions: 26 x 36.5 x 28cm

LOGIK L30PFS12 Professional

If you don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount on your air fryer because it will be an every-so-often appliance, then this Logik is a top budget pick.

It is nice and user-friendly to use, with a side handle for easy movement and a removable basket. The handle of this basket is removable so that you can take it apart for easier storage. When it comes to the cleaning, the oil basket is also removable so you can empty this, clean it out and refill with fresh oil when it is starting to look a little old. All of the removable parts are dishwasher safe, so you can easily get the grime off.

You get an adjustable thermostat which allows you to cater the frying power to the food you want to cook. In terms of extra features, this is pretty much all you get, but if you don’t feel like you need an extra fancy bit of kit and just want something which gets the job done, it is an ideal price.

We like

  • Cool wall exterior
  • Can dismantle it to clean fully
  • Price

We dislike

  • A little cumbersome to store

Final Verdict

Simple, basic and yet effective - the perfect fryer if you don’t want any fuss

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 3L
  • Food Capacity: 1kg
  • Features: Adjustable thermostat, power cord storage
  • Dimensions: 40.5 x 22.7 x 24.7cm

SAGE BDF500UK

Sage’s range of small kitchen appliances is constantly winning high praise from us and reams of other reviewers. This professional-level fryer is no different, and perfect if you want something Smart which can take the guesswork out of cooking.

It uses this Smart technology to adjust the cooking times and temperatures depending on what you are cooking, without you having to change a thing manually. You can still do this, however, if you prefer to have more control.

Seven pre-set functions will help you out if you want to cook any speciality food. Restaurant quality twice fried chip, calamari, and doughnuts are just three of these options, and you also have the power to create your own setting if you have the timing and temperature of cooking your deep-fried risotto balls down to a tee.

It is also smart when it comes to maintaining the quality of the oil. Any debris falls into the cooler lower parts of the oil thanks to CoolZone technology, which helps to reduce burning and increases the time between batch changes.

There are also all of the other high-end specifications in place, from a viewing window and a cool touch outer to a timer, adjustable thermostat and defrosting capability.

It is definitely a deep fat fryer for the serious cooks out there. Settings such as a Calamari pre-set rather than, say, a deep fried chicken one show it isn’t just any ordinary appliance. But it will appeal to anyone out there who likes their speciality food and has a taste for the finer things in life.

We like

  • Packed with features
  • Easy to use
  • Simple cleaning

We dislike

  • Instruction book is a bit hit-and-miss - isn’t always clear how to get the process to the next stage

Final Verdict

Just as with most other Sage products, this is a high-end appliance which takes things up a level. Not for everyone, but worth the money if it appeals

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 4L
  • Food Capacity: 1.2kg
  • Features: Timer, thermostat, defrosting, viewing window, easy clean, CoolZone
  • Dimensions: 27 x 25 x 52cm

TEFAL Easy Pro FR333040

Thanks to an adjustable thermostat and dial controls, your fried food can be cooked absolutely perfectly for your tastes in the Tefal Easy Pro.

The bottom area of the oil, under the basket, is kept cooler than the rest, so any loose crumbs float down into this part and prevent the oil from burning, which in turn could damage the taste of your food.

Oil is quick to heat, as the heating element is completely immersed in the oil. This means you’ll have less time waiting around for it to get up to temperature, and can get dinner served much quicker.

You get a removable enamel bowl for when the oil needs replacing, and all parts except the heating element are dishwasher safe for when the stubborn grease needs to be removed. If you find that any parts need replacing, Tefal promise that they are cheap and easy to find, so you can replace them to extend the life of your fryer rather than buying a new appliance. This makes it great value for money and perfect for anyone who hates the throwaway appliance culture we live in.

It doesn’t really fold down to store, as the handle would be in the oil, so just bear this in mind before you buy.

We like

  • Cleaning
  • CoolZone technology reduces frequency of oil changes
  • Fast heating

We dislike

  • Difficult to store

Final Verdict

Simple to clean and a fantastic price, it is perfect if you want that typical deep fryer vibe without the difficulties they come with

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 3L
  • Food Capacity: 1.2 kg
  • Features: Adjustable thermostat, viewing window, CoolZone technology
  • Dimensions: 54.5 x 23 x 26.7cm

TOWER Easy Clean T17002

One of the best for large capacity cooking, this Tower model is thermostatically controlled to achieve the perfect level of crispness that your heart desires.

You can lift and lower the basket with the lid on the appliance thanks to the practical lifting system, which helps reduce accidents and keep you safe from splashing oil.

An observation window lets you peek at the progress without opening the lid too, and when you do want to lift the lid to get the food out, you must press a button to release it, meaning it can’t be done accidentally which is great if you have little ones around.

There is a carbon filter which helps keep both smells and smoke to a minimum, which should leave your home smelling just as it did before the frying commenced. When it comes to cleaning it all, you can remove the inner pan to make emptying the old oil out a breeze. Do be aware that the parts aren’t dishwasher safe though, so you’ll have to do the scrubbing by hand when the time comes.

We like

  • Lid closure and safety
  • Quick to heat
  • All comes apart so easy to clean (by hand)

We dislike

  • Gets a bit hot on the outside

Final Verdict

One of the best if safety is your biggest concern when bringing a deep fryer into the home

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 3L
  • Food Capacity: 3kg
  • Features: Adjustable thermostat, anti-odour, safety precautions
  • Dimensions: 25 x 49 x 25.4cm

TEFAL FF220040 Mini Fryer

If you want something small both in size and capacity, this mini fryer is ideal for getting the job done without being too cumbersome.

Say you just want something which can fry desserts or the occasional snack as opposed to a whole few portions of chips or loads of chicken, it is the perfect size without being too excessive. You still get a load of the usual specifications, such as a viewing window and adjustable thermostat, too.

The carrying handle helps when moving the fryer around your kitchen, whether you want to pop it back into storage or like to move it from one bench to another to keep it on display. It looks sleek and modern and is no fuss to clean either.

We like

  • Perfect compact size - only slightly bigger than a toaster
  • Easy cleaning
  • Clear instructions

We dislike

  • Basket has to be removed from the fryer to store as lid doesn’t close otherwise

Final Verdict

Ideal for one or two portions or late-night snacks

+ Specifications

  • Oil Capacity: 1L
  • Food Capacity: 0.6kg
  • Features: Adjustable thermostat, viewing window
  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 28.2 x 37cm

Swan SD6040N

Swan is one of the best brands around for making high-quality yet affordable kitchen products, and this one is a handy traditional fryer which doesn’t break the bank.

It has plenty of room to help feed the whole family, yet isn’t ridiculously bulky and awful to deal with. With variable temperature options, you have a great amount of control over the end result, and it also has safety cutout and overheat protection to help protect you and your home when cooking.

Things seem to be a little flimsy, and it is very lightweight, but not so extreme that it ruined the cooking experience. It is also best for a smaller family due to its capacity. But overall, we were as happy with it as those which retail for well over twice the cost.

We lik