A new kettle and toaster set might not be too high on your university shopping list, but picking the right pair can be just the ticket to enjoying a relaxing break during hectic student life, and making your new home more, well, homely.
If you’re moving into student halls a kettle and toaster will usually be provided, but if you’re living in a house share or private accommodation, bringing a set will definitely make you a hit with your less organised housemates.
We’ve rounded up some of the cheaper pairs that won’t make too much of a dent in your first student loan cheque, but still have enough style credentials to make you feel at home in your new flat. For more budgeting tips, see our roundup of 10 ways to cut your costs at university.
Got a bit more cash to play with? See a roundup of ultra-stylish options in our guide to kettle and toaster sets for 2018.
Next White Facet Kettle (£25) and toaster (£20)*
You might think that a tight budget resigns you to a cheap-looking white plastic combo, but this offering from Next adds an on-trend rose gold twist and textured pattern to the basic design.
For an inexpensive set, it’s got a couple of tricks up its sleeve. The kettle glows blue as it boils and the toaster has a bun-warming rack, so you can use it to quickly heat up some rolls or burger buns when it’s your night to cook.
Both the kettle and toaster scored highly for speed in our tests, so you can cram in a quick breakfast before your dreaded 9am lecture. They disappointed in other areas, though – find out if it’s a deal breaker in the full Next White Facet kettle (£25) and Next White Facet toaster (£20) reviews.
Morphy Richards Dimensions kettle (£25) and toaster (£22)
To really make a statement in your first home away from home, you could try buying into the geometric trend. The textured body and brushed steel accents on this Morphy Richards set adds a striking modern look that will add instant style to a student kitchen.
It’s not all about the looks though, as both the kettle and toaster are really easy to use. To see if they also boil quickly and make tasty toast, read the full Morphy Richards Dimensions 108261 kettle (£25) and Morphy Richards Dimensions 220021 toaster (£22) reviews.
Beko Traditional kettle (£20) and 4-slice toaster (£25)
As the name suggests, this set offers a more traditional look for your halls of residence. You can choose classic black or the vintage-looking cream to add a more grown-up feel to your digs.
Four slots means no fights over who gets breakfast first in the mornings – or a post-party snack. You’ve also got two sets of controls on the toaster so everyone can have their toast exactly how they like it.
Logik kettle (£22) and 4-slice toaster (£22)
A pop of colour can brighten up even the dingiest student kitchens, so it’s worth considering this inexpensive red brushed steel pair. They offer a great way to bond with your new housemates, as the 1.7 litre capacity of the kettle and four slots on the toaster can easily accommodate communal breakfasts. The set is exclusive to Currys, so you could order it with a new laptop or camera and save money on postage.
You’ll be seeing red if your kettle is slow to boil or your toaster makes limp and patchy toast, so check that this set is up to scratch in our Logik L17SKR14 kettle (£22) and Logik L04TR14 toaster (£22) reviews.
Russell Hobbs Textures kettle (£19) and toaster (£20)
At under £40 for the pair, this Russell Hobbs set is one of the cheapest you can buy (aside from those white plastic unbranded supermarket delights). So it’s ideal for those already feeling the pinch from stocking up before term starts. The black plastic design is more simplistic than other sets, but it won’t show up too much dust and dirt from student kitchen worktops and should be easy to wipe clean.
It’s a particularly lightweight kettle, weighing just over half a kilogram, so it will be easy to transport when you move out in the summer. The toaster is also compact, making it a good choice for crowded shared kitchens.
Find out if this set is the key to a great bargain breakfast, or if you get what you pay for by reading the full Russell Hobbs Textures 21271 kettle (£19) and Russell Hobbs Textures 21641 toaster (£20) reviews.
Are cheap kettles and toasters any good?
Usually, if you’re after a high-scoring kettle and toaster set, you have to be willing to part with a fair bit of cash. But for students, your purse is stretched enough as it is without shelling out for appliances that your housemates might break anyway.
Luckily, there are some bargain Best Buys to be found, and you don’t have to sacrifice too much in the style stakes when you go budget either. You might miss out on some fancy features found on pricier models though, such as multiple temperature settings on kettles and countdown dials on toasters.
We’ve compared score and price for all the kettles and toasters we’ve tested costing less than £25, and found that it is possible to get a great set on a budget. There are even some great options for less than £15 each. However, you’ll need to choose carefully as there are an equal number of really poor kettles and toasters at this price point.
Opting for a cheap kettle or toaster can be somewhat of a gamble: the average test score for kettles £25 and under is 63% and for toasters it’s 62%, so it’s well worth reading our reviews to make sure you don’t end up with a dud. See our Best Buy kettles and Best Buy toasters and sort by price for the highest scoring models at the lowest price.
How to get the best deal
Firstly, work out your budget by using our student budget calculator for your university. Then some savvy shopping could help you save money on your dream kettle and toaster set.
1. Wait for the sales
If tea and toast isn’t a priority for freshers week, consider waiting for the sales to pick up a discounted bargain. Many stores will lower prices seasonally, usually around Black Friday and after Christmas, so keep an eye out for reductions on your favourite sets.
2. Buy your kettle and toaster separately
Kettles and toasters might go hand in hand, but you don’t need to buy them together. There can be bargains to be found on bundles, but more often than not you’re better off searching the model numbers individually to buy each appliance from the cheapest store.
3. Choose a reliable brand
There’s little point picking a cheap kettle and toaster if they’re not going to last past reading week. We regularly survey Which? members to find out if and when their kettle and toaster developed a fault, so we can recommend the brands you’re least likely to need to replace every term.
It’s not just the pricey brands that last: some cheaper brands defy the odds and regularly top our surveys. Check out the best kettle brands for 2018 and the most reliable toaster brands to see how your favourite fared.
*Prices correct as of 4 September 2018