- Black+Decker 8-Slice Digital Extra Wide Toaster Oven
- Bosch HBE5453UC Wall Oven
- Summit SINCFS1 – 12 Inch Induction Smoothtop Cooktop
- Grosche Madrid 4-in-1 Coffee and Tea System
- Vitamix Ascent Blender
- GE GLE12HSPSS Mini Fridge/Freezer
- Bosch Built-In Dishwasher 800 Series 18-in Dishwasher
- GE Profile Pdt145sslss Dishwasher
- Bosch 300 Series 24-inch Compact Washer & Dryer
- Hauslane Chef Series Under-Cabinet Range Hood
- Final thoughts on mini sized appliances
Just moved into a mini apartment, microstudio, or tiny home?
We see you NYC.
Every inch of space counts! And that means finding the best mini sized appliances for small spaces.
The good news is that downsizing your appliances can help save energy and resources. The bad news is that many mini appliances use a disproportionate amount of energy compared to their bulkier relatives. Here are some of the best mini fridges, washer/dryers, ovens, dishwashers, and so on that are energy efficient and eco-friendlier than the competition.
Having once cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner in a toaster oven, I can attest to their usefulness (and the merits of careful planning!). If you don’t have space for a built-in wall oven or full range, combining a toaster oven with an induction cooktop is a great way to go to meet your culinary needs.
Toaster ovens are generally smaller than full-size ovens, thus requiring much less time to preheat and much less energy overall. It can take just a few minutes to preheat a toaster oven to the right temperature for baking bread, muffins, or even a pizza or vegetables. And using a toaster oven can cut your energy consumption in half compared to a conventionally sized oven.
In general, because of the smaller interior of a toaster oven and the way heat is moved around by the fans, you can set your cooking temperature about 25-30 degrees Fahrenheit lower than would be needed for an equivalent standard oven and cook food for the same amount of time. These energy saving benefits are in addition to using fewer resources in manufacturing, and being able to easily take your oven with you if you move.
One of the best toaster ovens comes from Black+Decker, with the Breville BOV650XL Compact Countertop Oven (View on Amazon) a close runner-up, though the latter is about two-and-a-half times the price.
Perfect for if you don’t have space for a conventional oven or if you just want some serious extra capacity for large dinner parties, this 1,500 Watt toaster oven has a temperature range of 150-450 F, offers three rack positions, and can reheat, bake, and broil, with seven settings including specific settings for pizza and bagels. It comes with a broiler pan and can accommodate a 9 x 13 inch pan with handles, meaning it’s perfectly capable of cooking a full meal for a family. There’s a toast shade timer, 120-minute precision timer with auto shutoff, and an easily removed crumb tray for easy cleaning.
Like all toaster ovens made for sale in the US after 2011, this model has a zinc interior coating rather than a toxic non-stick coating. It measures 23.5 inches wide, 14.9 inches high, and 13 inches deep, with an interior cavity of approximately 16.5 in. by 12.5 in. by 9.5 in.
If a toaster oven doesn’t quite meet your needs, you might want to consider a slimline wall oven from one of the most eco-friendly appliance companies around. Bosch offers the compact 500 Series 24” Electric Single Wall Oven with genuine European convection for fast, even cooking. It has 10 specialized cooking modes, a delay start, and an eight-pass broil plus element to help cook larger food items.
This model has a self-cleaning option (the DualClean System), which means the oven is, by necessity, super well insulated. This means it’s also very energy efficient. There’s a full-extension telescopic rack to enable easier access to the oven and an extra-large viewing window to see into the 2.8 cubic foot interior.
Induction is one of the safest and most energy efficient ways to cook, and if you’re short on space a portable induction hob is absolutely the way to go. No need for an in-built stovetop. Instead, consider a single burner model that can be easily stowed when not in use, giving you a tidier kitchen that’s less cluttered and easier to keep clean.
Summit’s 12-inch electric induction cooktop has 1 ‘burner’, pan presence sensor, and hot surface indicator, and even comes with a 7-piece stainless steel induction cookware set (with glass lids)!
The hob has a smooth surface made of durable black glass, is freestanding, so you can use it wherever safe and convenient, and offers 10 power levels for precise and instant heating control.
Induction cooking is super safe and energy efficient, with around 84% of heat going directly towards heating the contents of the pan. And as it’s the cookware itself that heats up, not the hob, the hob surface stays relatively cool to the touch, which is great for small apartments, especially in summer! Unlike with a gas or electric stove, heating up soup using an induction hob won’t cause your A/C to moan and groan.
Summit’s 12-inch induction cooktop has automatic pan recognition, meaning it turns off the induction if more than 30 seconds elapse without it sensing a pan. There’s a timer program too, and because the surface itself doesn’t get hot, clean-up is super easy as nothing gets baked on or stuck in grooves.
Why Summit? Sure, there are a good number of brands making portable induction cooktops these days, but Summit is the best by far. The company has been around since 1969 as Felix Storch Inc. (FSI), making specialty major appliances for residential, professional, commercial, hospitality, and scientific customers. They have long made ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant appliances and carry a number of important ISO certifications, including those for quality assurance.
I also like that they were formed in Long Island City and, after relocating to the Bronx in 1983, still operate, manufacture, and distribute their products from their headquarters in the Bronx, with additional factory and warehouse space in New Jersey and Connecticut. American-made and American-owned, Summit have installed solar arrays at their Bronx and New Jersey sites to generate much of the electricity used by the company.
Love your morning cup but don’t have room for a café-style coffee machine? No worries. A cafetiere is the eco-friendlier option anyway! And as for a small footprint coffee grinder, we have you covered for that too with the Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder in Stainless Steel (View Price at Target).
Grosche has been carbon neutral since 2010, is a B Corporation, is woman-owned and family-run, and is a champion of living wages, working only with factories verified as meeting high social and environmental standards. The company was founded to raise money to help support children and families without safe drinking water and continues to fund its Safe Water Project today. For every product sold, Grosche provides 50+ days of safe drinking water for people in need. So far, they have created 100 Million days of safe water.
So, next time you’re looking to brew some coffee that will really make you feel good, consider a Grosche French Press. Specifically, the Madrid French Press which is a 4-in-1 beauty. Easily replacing both your current cafetiere and your teapot, this system allows you to make regular coffee, cold brew, loose leaf tea, and iced tea. And as you know, a well thought out eco-friendly item that replaces a bunch of single use items is far better in terms of resource use!
The Madrid is a 12 cup, 1500 mL, 51 fl. oz. model idea for family gatherings, guests, or everyday use. It’s made with borosilicate glass and stainless steel press as well as a stainless steel filter for tea. It’s easy to take apart and clean, saves you cabinet and counter space, and looks fantastic.
Did you know you can make soup in a Vitamix? As in, you can actually use the Vitamix to puree and heat soup?
If you’re going to need a blender for your micro apartment, a Vitamix is a great choice. Sure, it takes up some counterspace, but it is a multitasking miracle. And the company provides a solid warranty, with replacement parts and repair available throughout the life of the Vitamix, which wins points from us for durability and eco-friendliness.
If you need freezer space along with refrigerator room, check out GE. The company’s 11.9 cu. ft. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator in Stainless Steel is Energy Star certified, made with fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, and has the same depth as a standard counter, so you can get that built-in look without actually building it in. It measures 24 inches wide and 26.5 inches deep and holds a serious amount of food thanks to excellent use of space.
If you’re off-grid, with solar, wind, or other renewable power, the GE is a great choice as it uses very little energy compared to most standard-size refrigerators. It’s also super quiet, which is a must for smaller spaces where your bed may well be right next to or above the refrigerator.
The GE 24-inch also comes equipped for an icemaker, but these are horribly energy intensive, so I’d stay away from this add-on if possible. There’s also a bottle storage rack that can hold up to five wine bottles or be folded away to create extra non-wine space. The same goes for one of the shelves, with a full-size option as needed and an easy adjustment if you need greater height for the shelf below.
Naturally, the GE has energy-efficient LED lighting, making it easy to see what you’ve got in your fridge. And there’s even a Sabbath mode with this model.
The one big downside to the GE is that it uses R134a refrigerant, which isn’t as eco-friendly as R600 coolant. This is a less ozone-depleting chemical compared to many chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) but it is still problematic. Still, as this refrigerator/fridge is very energy efficient, it may be a trade-off worth making.
Tiny apartments often mean tiny kitchen sinks and little space for a drying rack. If you like to cook and entertain, a dishwasher may be a must. But what if you don’t have room for a full-size dishwasher? Bosch to the rescue again! The Bosch 800 Series 18-inch dishwasher is energy-efficient and Energy Star certified, as well as ADA compliant and super quiet at just 44 decibels. In fact, it’s so quiet that it’s hard to tell it’s running, so Bosch have added a red light that shines down onto the floor when it’s active!
The Bosch built-in dishwasher has a handy 24-hour delay schedule, so you can load it, prime it, set it and let it run while you’re at work or out. And it has a water softener to make sure your dishes and silverware stay sparkling and spot-free.
I also love that the interior of this smaller than standard dishwasher can be rejigged, meaning it’s a great choice if you’re a stickler for a properly stacked dishwasher. There’s a third drawer in this model too, unlike with many lower end similarly sized dishwashers. This greatly increases functionality, as does the removable basket for those times when you just need a bit more dish and pan space and less cutlery clutter. All in all, this model can accommodate 10 place settings.
Near-silent, but highly efficient at cleaning even super baked on food, this has a lot of very happy users and is a fabulous choice for a micro-apartment dishwasher.
If you’re looking for a more affordable small-sized dishwasher, GE is where it’s at. Their compact 18-inch Profile Built-In Pocket Handle Dishwasher has enough room for eight place settings, three wash cycles, and an Autosense Cycle that detects water temperature and griminess of your dishes and adjusts the cycle time accordingly.
If you’re a bit lazy about rinsing dishes, this is the dishwasher for you. The GE Profile has a hard food disposal system that pulverizes food remnants, preventing clogs in the wash arms. It’s also WiFi enabled, in case you want to access real-time info on how your dishwasher is doing. And there’s a sanitize option, which is great for anyone cleaning glass baby bottles or homebrewing supplies for your latest batch of micro-microbrewery kombucha.
Like the Bosch, this dishwasher is super quiet, operating at a hushed library noise level of 47 decibels. It also has a child lock, a hot start option to ensure optimal water temperature, and is ADA compliant and Energy Star Certified.
If you’re tight on space, a compact, stackable, washer and dryer combo may be your only option. And if you’re lacking external venting, or the venting is just in the wrong place for your needs, a ventless laundry set-up is essential.
Step up, Bosch! The company’s 300 Series includes a 24-inch washer and similarly sized dryer (View on Home Depot) that are a great fit for small apartments. They are front-loading and can be stacked, meaning they can even fit into a closet if necessary. There are two available stacking systems with these models, one with a shelf and one without. There’s also a pedestal system that features a storage drawer to make even better use of vertical space! And, thanks to smart thinking by Bosch, the dryer can even be plugged into the washer, so you only need a single 240 V outlet to power both machines.
While the dryer doesn’t need external venting, this does mean it can take a little longer to dry your clothes than a standard vented dryer. So, although this dryer is Energy Star rated, add a dry towel and/or wool dryer balls to each load to minimize energy use.
These appliances are smaller than standard, but they don’t compromise on washing power!
Good ventilation is an absolute necessity in a small space, so if you’re going to be cooking a lot, consider installing a proper range hood, just smaller sized. The Chef Series under-cabinet ventilation hood is a great choice as it’s stylish but compact, has LED lights, a touch screen, and boasts an efficient extractor fan with three speed settings.
No longer do you have to suffer the overpowering, lingering cooking smells – this beauty whips grease, smoke, fumes, and odors out of the air quickly and quietly. And at just 30-inches wide it fits most compact spaces easily. It even has a delayed shut-off, so you can set it to clear the air in your apartment and turn itself off after you leave.
I also love that the baffle filters are dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to keep the range hood working well by just popping those filters in your compact dishwasher every once in a while. And it’s made of stainless steel, which is a more eco-friendly material and highly durable.
Final thoughts on mini sized appliances
Whenever you’re kitting out a new home, or replacing older appliances, it’s good practice to think about whether you really need every appliance in the first place. Is that dishwasher really necessary? How about that TV? Would your laptop serve just as well, saving you money, space, and energy? And how about all those small appliances and kitchen gadgets?
The beauty of a small space is that it can force you to reevaluate the necessity of owning ALL the things. Instead, you could work out a timeshare plan for smaller appliances with friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues who live nearby, or join a local lending library for small appliances, sporting goods, tools, and so on.