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8 Nov 2021

The problem with buying a matching kettle and toaster

A matching kettle and toaster can feel like an essential kitchen purchase for fans of colour-coordinated decor, but they're not always the best idea

For those who aspire to a perfectly coordinated kitchen, investing in a matching kettle and toaster can feel like an easy way to achieve the desired effect. But before you invest in matching appliances there's something you should know...

We test each kettle and toaster individually, even if they're part of a matching set. We've discovered that more often than not, one appliance is far better than the other, or occasionally, they're both terrible.

If you've got your heart set on a matching kettle and toaster, there are some good options out there, but you'll need to do your research first - just because something looks the part, doesn't always means it is. Read on for our top tips on how to end up with the best models for you.

Head to our round up of the best kettle and toaster sets for 2021 if you're ready to make a decision.

Matching kettle and toaster sets: what's the problem?

Our extensive testing proves that not all matching kettles and toasters are matching when it comes to performance, no matter how good they look as a pair. It's very rare for us to encounter a matching set where both the kettle and toaster perform at the same level, whether that's good or bad.

This graph illustrates the differences in scores between some recently-tested kettles and toasters that make up matching sets. As you can see, not only do hardly any of them achieve similar scores, they're also not brilliant performers overall.

There was only one real exception in our recent testing, and that was a £75 matching set where both the kettle and toaster performed relatively well. The toaster just squeezes into Best Buy territory and the kettle isn't far off either - although you could get two top scorers if you opted for a mismatched set.

Our reviews reveal the strong and weak points of every single kettle and toaster we've tested over the years, so you should always check them before making a final decision. That way, you can work out which features are more important compared to what you're willing to compromise on. Check out our kettle reviews and toaster reviews to narrow down your options.

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Go further with a matching kettle and toaster and microwave

If you're looking to take your passion for colour-coordination to the next level, you'll be pleased to know you don't have to stop at kettles and toasters - there are other appliances to match too.

Perhaps the most obvious set is kettle, toaster and microwave. As long as you've not opted for a particularly outlandish colour choice (we're talking neon pink or lime green) you should be able to find a microwave that matches your chosen models. One example is the Swan Nordic range - a kettle, toaster and microwave available in a range of matte colour options.

If you want to talk it a step further, it's even possible to choose a kettle and toaster that will match with larger appliances such as your fridge freezer. Smeg appliances, with their distinctive retro style, all compliment each other and often come in a range of zany colours - we've tested models in sky blue and bright red, as well as more traditional options like black and silver.

As we mentioned above though, just because your appliances match it doesn't necessarily mean they'll all perform at the same level, and nobody wants to end up with a dud.

Head to our microwave reviews and fridge freezer reviews to see which matching models we recommend.

Mixing and matching kitchen appliances: our tips

If you don't want to settle for a less-than-perfect appliance, you may have to compromise a little on aesthetics. Our tips will help you to achieve a coordinated look without getting tethered to the same brand or range:

  1. Consider a classic colour such as black, white or cream - this will make it easier to match high-performing kettles and toasters manufactured by different brands.
  2. Focus on overall appearance rather than specifics. Think retro-style, textured finishes or clean, modern lines - these are common themes in the world of small appliances so you won't struggle to get your hands on a kettle and toaster in the same style.
  3. Think about where you place your appliances on your kitchen worktops. If they're not right next to each other, you'll be able to get away with models in slightly different shades of the same colour rather than exact matches.
  4. Embrace a slightly more eclectic look. If you're willing to really throw caution to the wind, sometimes a deliberately mismatched kitchen can look even better than a completely uniform one - and it gives you complete freedom too.

For more kitchen design and decor inspiration, head to our handy guide on kitchen design ideas.

Matching kettle and toaster set reviews

We've reviewed plenty of matching kettle and toaster sets in our time, so if you're dead set on one you'll certainly have lots of choice. Below are a couple of sets we've tested recently:

John Lewis ANYDAY JLK093 kettle and JLT093 toaster

This simple, no-frills kettle and toaster set from John Lewis is available in black or silver. The toaster only comes in a two-slot version so may not be the best choice if you live in a large household.

The kettle includes all of the features that we'd expect to see from a basic model, including a decent 1.7 litre maximum capacity. The minimum fill amount is a whopping 0.7 litres through, so you may end up wasting water if you're the only hot drink lover in the house.

On the toaster you'll be able to choose from seven heat settings to get your breakfast the exact colour you'd like it. It includes the usual defrost and reheat functions for the more forgetful amongst us too.

Sound promising? Read our John Lewis ANYDAY JLK093 kettle review and JLT093 toaster review to find out how these models performed in our rigorous lab tests.

Haden Dorchester kettle and toaster

This Scandi-inspired kettle and toaster set by Haden is a little more unusual-looking, and is available in grey or sage green with distinctive wood-effect accents.

The kettle is quite advanced compared to most others we've tested, allowing you to select temperatures in five-degree increments from 40-100°C - ideal if you enjoy drinking delicate fruit or green teas. It also has a keep-warm feature and you can boil up to 1.7 litres at once.

The four-slot toaster has digital browning control that counts down the time until your toast is ready to eat, which is pretty impressive. The lift-and-look feature allows you to check on your breakfast without interrupting the toasting cycle too.

Read our full Haden Dorchester kettle and Haden Dorchester toaster reviews to find out whether they're actually any good at helping you get breakfast on the table in a flash.

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