From lithium powered leaf blowers to super-speedy electric blankets; we’ve gathered a list of essential items that will help see you through autumn.
1. Leaf blower
Autumn leaves are great for toddlers, urban rodents and the carbon cycle, but less fun for everybody else. Leaf blowers can help you to clear paths and keep your gardens, patios and drives looking tidy throughout autumn.
You can easily clear small areas with lightweight, lithium battery-powered leaf blowers, while if you have a bigger space, consider heavier, more powerful models. Take a look at our leaf blower reviews to see which model might be best for you.
Once you’ve got your leaves in a tidy pile, read our expert’s ideas on what to do with autumn leaves.
2. Soup maker
Strong winds and bitter chills can put you in hibernation mode, making convenient cooking even more appealing at this time of the year.
The benefit of soup makers is that they blend and cook simultaneously. That means you have less washing up, and less time standing around watching over saucepans.
Some models also include a sauté function that allows you to sear ingredients, which should result in a richer flavour. Others offer functions to make your soup with a smooth or chunky consistency.
Find the best model for you with the help of our soup maker reviews.
3. Electric heater
The colder months are starting to creep in now, so you’ll want to know the best ways to heat your home. Portable electric heaters are handy because they allow you to heat specific rooms, and not your whole house. This can help with energy costs, giving you extra warmth exactly where you want it.
Lightweight electric heaters are usually easily moveable, so you can shift them from room to room when needed. But some models don’t match up with their manufacturer’s power claims. In our tests we found models that missed the mark by as much as 20%. This means they can take longer than expected to heat up.
Our electric heater reviews will tell you which models achieve their full claimed power, and much more.
4. Slow cooker
Much like a soup maker, a slow cooker is a great tool for convenient, hands-off cooking. With a little preparation, either the night before or first thing in the morning, you can come home to a hearty, warming stew.
Slow cookers will also help you save money – roasting in a slow cooker uses less energy than using an oven, and you can use cheaper cuts of meat as the slow cooking process gives it a great tender taste.
They are generally pretty cheap, too – we found a selection of Best Buys for under £20. See our slow cooker reviews to find out which ones we recommend.
5. Electric blankets
Bed warmers have been around in various forms for centuries. Pans of hot coals have long since been replaced by blankets that make use of thin electric wires to heat up quickly and evenly.
A good electric blanket can be very cheap to run and can have a bed toasty warm in minutes. Using the most energy-efficient blanket in our test for two hours a day, every day for half a year, would cost just £2.99.
When we tested electric blankets, we found a Best Buy that could heat up in just 12 minutes and could reach a maximum temperature of 56°C. Read our electric blanket reviews to find out which one is right for you.