Which? has been tracking down cheap and cheerful back-to-university appliances this week – including no-frills kettles, toasters and irons.
They might not be the most feature-packed or stylish models around but, with prices starting from around a fiver, they should help your student budget to go further.
Despite being 91p more expensive than it was this time last year, the Argos Value range kettle (catalogue number 421/9639) is still one of the cheapest to have been through the Which? test lab.
You’ll have to wait longer than average for the kettle to boil, but it is energy efficient – and, at £5.69, remains very good value.
If you’re after a faster cuppa and have a little more cash to splash, then the Russell Hobbs Buxton (model 15075, pictured) could be an option – it’s £18.99 at Amazon, and has a matching toaster priced under £24.
Compare prices and read the full lab test reviews of these models and more in our full kettles review.
The £4.99 Argos Value toaster (catalogue number 421/9608, pictured) comes out on top for price – but you’ll probably be unsurprised to hear that it wasn’t the best performing toaster we’ve tested. All the same, it does an adequate toasting job.
Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer also have two-slice toasters available for £15 or under.
If you’re looking for a good value option with a little more style, the sleek black Prestige Dakota toaster – complete with blue LED lights and a defrost setting – is another model to consider. It’s currently under £24 from Amazon.
Several of our Best Buy toasters are under £30 – take a look at our toasters review for our list of top-rated toasters, which should see you through your university years and beyond.
Buying cheap isn’t always worth it – some of the Don’t Buy steam irons that performed poorly in our tests were at the budget end of the market.
However there are still bargains to be had. The no-frills Tesco IR19 steam iron (pictured), doesn’t offer any fancy features such as built-in descaler or auto shut-off, but it should serve to get basic ironing jobs done. The price? £5.
If you’d prefer a branded model, the Philips GC 2810 is worth a look. It’s currently down to £22.50 at Argos.
More gadget bargains
Our eagle-eyed shoppers also spotted:
- Two-portion silver George Foreman grill (model 17894): £14.99 at Amazon,
- Samsung MW76N-B microwave: £60.07 at Pixmania,
- Tefal Toast N’ Grill (a toaster and grill combined): £19.99 at HomeandCook.co.uk.
Seen a bargain for less elsewhere? Let us know – email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details and we’ll update this page. Prices correct as of 12pm, 14 September 2011.
- Budget kettle reviews: Argos Value kettle; Russell Hobbs Buxton kettle
- Cheap toaster reviews: Argos Value toaster, Prestige Dakota, Tesco Value toaster
- Bargain irons on test: Tesco IR19 steam iron, Philips GC 2810 iron