Home gadgets might get a little lost in the noise generated by ‘sexier’ tech such as sleek electric cars, powerful digital cameras, vast OLED TVs and wafer-thin cutting-edge smartphones, but be in no doubt: small appliances can have a hugely beneficial effect on our day-to-day lives by keeping our homes clean, our food delicious and our drinks refreshing.
2022 has been a year in which most of us have again been free to explore the outside world after almost two years of lockdowns and other restrictions, so perhaps our appreciation for home comforts hasn’t been quite as acute. That said, with the weather now turning chilly, the evenings drawing in and the price of night out reaching eye-watering levels, we’re spending more time indoors. All the better to keenly appreciate the appeal of a spotless living room, a cracking cup of coffee or a crisp pint of beer. So what better time than now to be unveiling our pick for the best small appliance of the year?
Small appliance of the year: Sage Barista Express Impress
The days where 90% of the British public will accept a sad cup of Kenco instant coffee are long gone. While we have a long way to go before we can rival the Italians, Americans or Australians in terms of respecting a well-crafted cup of joe, the United Kingdom is now largely a nation of ‘good coffee appreciators’ apt to turn their noses up at an overly bitter ristretto or watery tall Americano.
The process of making a banging coffee can be tricky and time-consuming, but not with the Sage Barista Express Impress. Sitting somewhere between a fully manual espresso maker and a fully automated bean-to-cup machine, it takes much of the guesswork and experimentation out of coffee creation by delivering water at a fixed 9 bars of pressure and 65-70º C, leaving you with but one important task: setting the coarseness of the grind (a job that you should nail dead-on within a couple of trial cups).
With its fetching stainless steel finish and nice capacious bean hopper, handy shelf and steam wand included, the Barista Express Impress has all the features you could ask for in a coffee maker, plus the build quality and looks to match – and it’s as easy to use as any entry-level machine out there. Just the thing to wean you off those jars of Nescafe.
Highly commended: Roidmi X30 Pro
When is a cordless vacuum cleaner more than a cordless vacuum cleaner? When – like the Roidmi X30 Pro – it can happily moonlight as a wet wiper for hard floors. In fact, this sleek-looking Dyson-vanquisher can wipe and vac in one fell swoop, leaving your kitchen/bathroom floor spotless and squeaky clean in half the time. While it won’t replace your mop entirely, it’s a great feature for those times when the floor isn’t filthy but could use a light wipe.
Lightweight and thoughtfully designed (we loved the OLED battery life indicator and choice of three suction power levels), it even comes with a five-year warranty for peace of mind. If you’re in the market for a battery-powered and compact cleaner, we have no hesitation in recommending this paragon of pristineness.
Also shortlisted: Pinter
A tip of the hat must also go in the direction of this home brewing gadget, which features a 10-pint canister and a simple app that takes you step-by-step through the fermentation process. It’s available in a range of cheerful colours and is designed to work with Pinter’s proprietary system, which lets you order various beer letterbox-friendly packs through the post.
About The Stuff Gadget Awards
The Stuff Gadget Awards are where we reward the best tech we’ve seen during the year with gongs that celebrate their status as the cream of the gadgety crop. Read more about The Stuff Gadget awards.