Are 'luxury appliances' finally becoming more affordable?
When high-end features trickle their way downmarket everyone benefits
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If you’re updating your kitchen, you’ll probably replace your current appliances. Of course, in your dream kitchen, you'd wish for luxury appliances. You'll buy the best ones you can afford. But they don't have to bust your budget.
Here at Reviewed, we're seeing a trend: Affordable appliances with luxury features. Budget machines no longer have to look or work like their old-school counterparts. For a reasonable price, they incorporate new technologies and chic looks to elevate the kitchen. This is great news for your reno.
Here are some appliances we’ve tested that bring you high-end function and contemporary design while making every dollar count.
1. Stainless steel appliances
Despite yearly color introductions from the brands, stainless steel finishes remain classic, and they're more affordable now than before. Stainless gives any appliance a pro look. While a finish like Whirlpool's Sunset Bronze looks pretty, in a few years, it will go the way of Bisque—another weird outlier that’s hard to match with anything today. Stick with stainless, or stainless-look. At the lower end, you may have to live without fingerprint resistance, so be prepared to polish off smudges.
2. Third rack dishwashers
GE Appliances has come out with a third rack for dishwashers with plastic interiors. This coveted feature, which offers extra space for cutlery and longer kitchen tools, used to appear only in stainless steel dishwashers in the $800 - $1,000 range. For a top-rated yet affordable pick, the GE GDT605PSMSS retails for under $700. With two spray zones, an adjustable third rack, and a variety of temperature and drying options, this dishwasher gets a thumbs up.
3. French door refrigerators
When it comes to refrigerator style, side-by-side is out and French Door is in. It used to be the case that a French door fridge would set you back $3,000 or more. But now there are a number of fridges on the market that bring French door class to the kitchen for under $2,000.
The Samsung RF27T5201SG rocks expensive looks at a price that dips below $2,000, plus you won't have to sacrifice price for a through-the-door dispenser. Inside, it has crispers and a full-width deli drawer, as well as a wide arrangement of bins on the doors themselves.
4. Washers with faucets
If your laundry room has a utility sink, you probably use it to hand wash, soak, and treat stains. If there's no room for a sink, think about buying a top-loading washer with a built-in faucet. With the Samsung WA54R7200AV, you can use the Active WaterJet (a term for a built-in water faucet) to easily pretreat soiled or stained clothes with a press of a button. Just use the basin inside the machine and run the internal faucet and let the garment soak in the tub. After an hour, the water drains, and you can go ahead with the laundry.
5. Robot vacuum cleaners
High-end robot vacuum cleaners can run you close to $1,000, but you can get one for a lot less—a third of that. Okay, a robot vac won’t clean as well as an upright, but the convenience is unbeatable. With one of our favorite affordable robot vacuums, a.k.a the Neato Botvac D3 Connected, you can tell Alexa or Google Home to send it out to conquer the floors anytime. Or just start it from your smartphone.
6. Induction cooktops
Not everyone is familiar with induction cooking, which uses an electromagnetic field to heat the pan instead of the cooking surface. Professional chefs have long loved induction cooking, with its speedy boil and consistent temperatures that beat gas and electric. Our pick? The Frigidaire FGIH3047VF, which preheats incredibly fast and even comes with an air-fry mode. For homeowners replacing an electric range, a change to induction could be a no-brainer.
7. Shop package deals and sales
Good luck with your kitchen reno. Be on the lookout for package deals and sales—you can often score better appliances with the looks and features you’re craving at a more reasonable price point than you ever thought possible.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.