The Three Little Pigs didn’t exactly have the best luck when they went to market for all the straw, sticks and bricks needed to build their homes. We all know how that ended. However, we like to think they had better luck picking household appliances. No one knows.
In this guide, we take a look at a few essential items you should buy if you’re moving. So that even if a wolf does manage to huff and puff and blow your house down, at least you’ll still be able to drink coffee and enjoy an avo toast.
Essential appliances to buy when moving out
From finding the right cooktop, to the best washing machine for your home, here are a few appliances to think about when heading to a new place.
- Benchtop oven or microwave
- Washing machine
Fridges don’t have to be expensive ─ especially since there are now plenty of alternative payment options such as Afterpay, as well as rental services available to help ease the burden. Prices typically start from $400 and can reach up to a not-so-chill $23,000. But it’s always worth checking out brands on the web for exclusive deals, and online retailers like Appliances Online and Kogan for sales. Finding the best cheap fridge also means looking at capacity and type, with top mount fridges being the most affordable. French door and side-by-side models tend to be more expensive.
Two other major things to consider when buying a new fridge is features, namely their energy efficiency rating and whether a frost-free function is available. A less efficient refrigerator can mean having a smaller upfront cost, in exchange for potentially higher bills due to the large amount of electricity and water used per cycle. A frost-free unit can similarly help cut down on labour, since it won’t need to be manually defrosted, and prevent bill shock caused by too much ice build-up.
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Picking the right cooktop can get confusing, especially since there are a few types to consider. This includes traditional gas cooktops, modern electric induction cooktops and ceramic cooktops, as well as hybrid models from certain brands like Miele. Since there are a few pros and cons for each type, it doesn’t hurt to do some research to make sure you’re buying the best one for you. Expect to pay anything between $140 and $2,500, or over $5,000 for high-end units.
If you’re short on bench space, you can opt for a portable cooktop or an electric induction cooktop which allows you to use any non-activated surface as a makeshift countertop.
3. Benchtop oven or microwave
If you’re starting from scratch or consider yourself more likely to use an oven as storage space than as an actual cooking appliance, then you might want to think about opting for a benchtop or toaster oven. This way, you can avoid having to buy a toaster or microwave separately.
These are designed to do everything a toaster is supposed to do, plus many models offer features you would usually expect in an oven, including multiple cooking functions, different heating elements and temperature control. A number of benchtop ovens also include a defrost function in addition the basic reheat, toast, grill, roast and bake. These can cost anywhere between $60 and $770.
There are also microwave ovens that can double up as an oven. Some high-end models can additionally steam food, such as the Panasonic 27L Combination Convection Steam Microwave Oven ($859 RRP*), which isn’t even available on a number of ovens. Plus, despite containing similar features, there are a few units retailing at much more affordable prices, compared to full-size ovens. A microwave can set you back anywhere from just $29 up to $4,599.
Call us crazy, but using a vacuum that works efficiently can actually make cleaning the house somewhat enjoyable. As with many appliances, you get what you pay for. In our latest ratings, price was by far the biggest deciding factor when choosing which model to buy. But analysis of our research revealed that effectiveness and ease of use were ultimately the top drivers of customer satisfaction, meaning these two factors had the biggest impact on how satisfied (or unsatisfied) consumers were with their product.
Thinking about the runtime and type of vacuum you need is a useful way to narrow down what’s in front of you, mainly because these largely depend on how big your place is.
While ironing isn’t exactly sexy, buying a new clothes iron can be pretty exciting. Love a bargain? You can score a cheap model from Kmart for $7.50* or $12* from Big W, while other brands generally cost around the $30 mark. But keep in mind that the more expensive clothes irons come with additional features that could prove useful depending on how seriously you take your ironing!
A cordless iron might be worth considering if you’re fed up tripping over the long cable and don’t have a super big load to get through.
Not all kettles are created equal. Aside from capacity and style, little things like speed and temperature can actually make a difference when you’re trying to brew up a decent cuppa. If time isn’t always on your side, or if patience isn’t one of your virtues, then it might be worth shopping for a more powerful model. The higher the wattage, the faster the water generally boils. Brands such as Smeg, KitchenAid and Cuisinart also offer kettles which allow you to adjust the temperature to get your drink just right.
Prices typically start from $24 for a budget-friendly option, such as the Sunbeam Quantum Plus Kettle, and can reach up to $649 for a seriously luxe alternative from Bugatti. You can grab some bargains with home branded products, with Kmart selling kettles from just $7.50* while Big W offers a cheap Brilliant Basics kettle for $9*.
7. Washing machine
With so many sizes and features to think about, picking the best washing machine can make your head spin and might be one of the most difficult appliances to shop for. A front loader or top loader can cost anywhere between $350 and $5,499. Online retailers such as Kogan sell a few units under $500, which is the usually the starting price, with its own branded model available from $349.99*.
If you’re willing to pay at least $1,000, or are especially keen on buying a more energy efficient appliance, smart washing machines contain a variety of features designed to reduce energy and water consumption, perform gentle garment care, and some models even allow you to chuck in items after the cycle has started.
A 7kg front loader or top loader seems to be the standard size these days, particularly for three or four-person households. Washing machines that can fit 8kg or more are usually suitable for four people, while units with a capacity smaller than 5.5kg are appropriate for single or two-person homes.
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