The 12 Best Appliances for Small Kitchens, According to Professional Organizers

Our list includes compact coffee makers that double as grinders, versatile multicookers, and low-profile immersion blenders.

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 Best Appliances for Small Kitchens

Food & Wine / Kristin Kempa

Even the most spacious kitchens can feel cluttered with too many cooking appliances. So outfitting a small kitchen with the right tools can feel extra tricky — especially if counter space is at a premium. Of course, kitchen appliances that are physically compact help with space-saving. But there’s another trick to buying smart when you’re short on space: “Appliances that do multiple things are efficient for small kitchens because they eliminate the need for other appliances,” says Sharon Lowenheim, a Certified Professional Organizer who specializes in living large in small spaces. 

A do-it-all multicooker like the Instant Pot is a great starting point. Go further with a coffee maker that also grinds your beans. Pick up an immersion blender that can purée soup and make whipped cream with the switch of an attachment. And don’t forget a key rule of organizing any sized kitchen: It’s only a helpful tool if you plan on using it with regularity.

With that in mind, here are a dozen of the best appliances for small kitchens that are built for everyday tasks and big cooking projects alike.

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer


Pros: This appliance is truly multipurpose, with 11 different cooking functions. It comes in a handful of attractive colors.

Cons: Though this air fryer is considered small due to its 4.4-quart capacity, its physical footprint is still slightly bigger than some other small air fryers. 

Calling this small air fryer “just” an air fryer doesn’t scratch the surface of all it can do. It far exceeds Lowenheim’s standards for “a toaster oven that can bake and broil in addition to making toast.” Breville’s Smart Oven has 11 impressive functions, including slow cook, broil, and bake — there are even specific programs for baking cookies and making pizza.

The interface is intuitive and easy to use, thanks to a variety of dial knobs and buttons, and it comes with all the necessary accessories, like a fry basket, baking sheet, and wire rack.

Price at time of publish: $350

  • Capacity: 4.4 quarts
  • Cooking Power: 1800 watts
  • Dimensions: 10.94 x 18.9 x 15.87 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Pros: This espresso machine is truly petite, and can be left on the counter without causing clutter.

Cons: It only makes espresso, so there’s no milk frother or option for other coffee drinks.

Espresso machines used to cost a fortune, but this modern upgrade from Nespresso has a small footprint and price. It uses ready-to-brew Nespresso pods to make expertly-pulled espresso shots in 30 seconds, so you can enjoy the luxury of a good cup of coffee without all the bells and whistles. It doesn’t hurt that this appliance — which earned a spot on our list of Best Small Coffee Makers — is nice-looking, too.

Price at time of publish: $219

  • Capacity: Single serve; 24-ounce water reservoir
  • Cooking Power: 1260 watts
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 9.3 x 12.8 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor


Pros: It’s from a trusted brand, and can both chop and grind food.

Cons: There’s no “continuous run” function; the wattage is comparatively low.

This tiny-but-mighty food processor is right-sized for a small household. The four-cup capacity is all you need for preparing a meal or two, and the blade is outfitted with both chop and grind settings. Although it’s not the highest-powered or tricked-out machine on the market, the lower wattage is sufficient for the appliance’s size. It sure beats making pesto by hand!

Price at time of publish: $50

  • Capacity: 4 cups; 3 cup size also available
  • Cooking Power: 250 watts
  • Dimensions: 5 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Warranty: 18 months

Hamilton Beach Personal Blender with Travel Lid

Hamilton Beach Personal Blender


Pros: This single-serve blender is compact enough to tuck inside any cabinet when not in use; the blender jar doubles as a travel cup.

Cons: It doesn’t have a super powerful motor; it’s best for smoothies and juices.

Although high-speed, professional-level blenders are enticing, they’re only a smart buy if you plan on using them a lot. Otherwise, they’re heavy, large, and expensive space hogs. Enter this adorably small blender that’s designed with efficiency in mind. It’s powerful enough to whip up a smoothie or protein shake, and the blender jar doubles as a travel cup — a spill-proof lid is included. Although the wattage is in the triple digits, not quadruple, it’s mighty powerful thanks to the ice-crushing blades. 

Price at time of publish: $23

  • Capacity: 14 ounces
  • Cooking Power: 175 watts
  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 12.25 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill with 4-qt Air Fryer, Roast, Bake, Broil, Dehydrate

Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill with 4-qt Air Fryer, Roast, Bake, Broil, Dehydrate


Pros: It creates grilled or air-fried food without the smell and smoke of a traditional grill. 

Cons: It can be tedious to clean. Some reviewers feel it is too large to store in a cabinet, and not all of the accessories fit inside the unit at once.

Indoor grills have come a long way since their inception, and this model proves it: It can handle up to six steaks, and can also air-fry, roast, bake, broil, and dehydrate. With no shortage of multipurpose appliances on the market, reviewers praise this one for being an ideal combination of grill and air fryer — and yep, it comes with all the necessary tools and accessories, like a crisper basket and grill grate. P.S.: You can even grill from frozen.

Price at time of publish: $300

  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Cooking Power: 825 watts
  • Dimensions: 15.75 x 16.54 x 11.1 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Immersion Hand Blender

Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Immersion Hand Blender


Pros: This immersion blender has interchangeable attachments, making it truly multipurpose. 

Cons: Reviewers have noted the handle gets hot to the touch when used.

$40 for an appliance that blends, whisks, whips, and froths?! It seems too good to be true, but this multipurpose tool from Mueller is the real deal. Unlike traditional immersion blenders, it comes with three different attachments (similar concept to a handheld electric mixer) so you can use it to make a latte, whip cream or egg whites, then blend a creamy soup or sauce. There are 8 speeds and a “turbo” setting for tough ingredients. 

Price at time of publish: $40

  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Cooking Power: 500 watts
  • Dimensions: 2.55 x 2.55 x 16.9 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker

Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker


Pros: This machine is from a trusted brand. It does more than just bake bread.

Cons: The loaves are oddly shaped and tall.

We’ll admit that most breadmakers are too hefty to be considered necessities for small kitchens. But this machine is so tiny, you’ll barely know it’s there — until the scent of freshly-baked bread begins to fill your home, that is. It can bake one-pound loaves in a variety of different styles, and you can choose how firm or soft you want your finished product. In a truly impressive plot twist, this breadmaker can also make cookie dough, cake, and… jam!

Price at time of publish: $297

  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Cooking Power: 450 watts
  • Dimensions: 11.25 x 8.5 x 12.25 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Cuisinart Coffee Center Grind & Brew Plus

Cuisinart DGB-2 Grind & Brew Single-Serve Coffee Maker


Pros: You can use whole coffee beans or pods; the water reservoir has a surprisingly large capacity of 48 ounces.

Cons: It can only brew one cup at a time. XL mugs may not fit neatly underneath the brewing apparatus.

Although this isn’t the teeniest-tiniest coffee maker we’ve seen, it calls to mind a piece of Lowenheim’s advice: She recommends investing in a dual coffee maker-grinder because one appliance is easier to manage than two (and we can never find a great place to store that standalone coffee grinder, anyway). The mechanized burr grinder makes a truly fresh cup each time, but we appreciate that it’s compatible with pods, too. We doubly appreciate that most of the parts can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher.

Price at time of publish: $149

  • Capacity: 3 pounds (Empty machine weighs 1 pound)
  • Cooking Power: 120 watts
  • Dimensions: 11.02 x 7.28 x 12.67 inches
  • Warranty: Three years

Breville Juice Fountain Compact

Breville Juice Fountain Compact


Pros: This high-end juicer can handle whole fruits and vegetables, and has a froth separator for a purer glass.

Cons: The pulp is not auto-ejected, as with larger models. Reviewers have noted it’s not ideal for leafy greens.

If you think an at-home juicer is an unnecessary luxury, you’ve never had fresh-squeezed orange juice (or maybe you’ve only encountered ginormous juicers that are more trouble than they’re worth). This one uses centrifugal technology and a fine mesh filter for pulp-free, smooth juice from fruits and veggies. A gold star for the designers at Breville who designed the cord to be wrapped neatly around the base for efficient storage.

Price at time of publish: $100

  • Weight: 9.68 pounds
  • Cooking Power: 700 watts
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 10 x 16 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, 3 Quart



Pros: This is one of the more useful multipurpose cookers, with the ability to sauté right in the unit.

Cons: It’s not big enough for meal prepping, batch cooking, or feeding a larger family.

Instant Pot is a leader in the multi-use cooking appliance space — in fact, many consumers refer to all multicookers simply as “Instant Pots.” This is their smallest model, but it tackles almost everything the bigger versions can. Cooks in a hurry will appreciate the multiple pre-programmed options and the lightning-fast pressure cooking capacity. And if 3 quarts is too little, know that it also comes in 6- and 8-quart sizes, too.

Price at time of publish: $87

  • Weight: 8.65 pounds
  • Cooking Power: 700 watts
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 11.4 x 10 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Breville Joule Sous Vide CS20001

Breville Joule Sous Vide CS20001


Pros: The Breville Joule can precision-cook a variety of foods; little additional equipment is needed.

Cons: It’s expensive. You need to have a WiFi connection and be near your phone to control the appliance.

If you have a small kitchen and have never tried cooking with an immersion circulator, you may be surprised at how space-efficient this precision tool is. An immersion circulator (sometimes known as sous vide machine), heats a water bath to a set temperature, so you can cook meat or vegetables to an exact science. Better yet, you can do it in a stock pot or Dutch oven, so there’s no bulky additional equipment required. You will need some zip-top bags and a binder clip or two to keep the food submerged.

While some immersion circulators are large or have big interface panels, the Joule is sleek and slim — you control it entirely from a free app on your phone.

Price at time of publish: $350

  • Capacity: Can heat 40+ liters of water
  • Cooking Power: 1,100 watts
  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 13 x 4 inches
  • Warranty: One year

Black+Decker EM720CB7 0.7 Cu. Ft. Digital Microwave Oven

Black + Decker EM720CB7 Microwave Oven


Pros: It has all the basic functions and features you’d expect from a full-size microwave, and it’s inexpensive.

Cons: Food will take longer to cook or heat, due to the relatively lower wattage. Full-size dinner plates may not fit in the chamber.

Although mounted microwaves can be a space-saver, they’re not practical for everyone’s budget or kitchen design. But find the right (read: small) unit and a microwave can be a realistic countertop appliance. This one, from trusted brand Black & Decker, is not even a cubic foot, although it packs some decent wattage. It’s also a steal at under $100, and the legs are removable if you do decide to mount it.

Price at time of publish: $100

  • Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet; 22.5 pounds
  • Cooking Power: 700 watts
  • Dimensions: 13 x 17.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Warranty: Two years

Factors to Consider


Kitchen appliances should be sized small enough that they can be used on your counter without eating up all the space for prep work. Be sure to consider all the dimensions of an appliance — length, width, and height — as well as its capacity. For example, a food processor that’s small enough to practically fit on your counter should also have a bowl big enough for all the ingredients you want to prepare.


Is your design style modern or retro? Stainless steel chic or super colorful? When shopping for appliances that are meant to live on the counter, don’t discount the aesthetics. After all, a toaster oven is arguably as much decor as it is a cooking tool. It’s helpful to shop around with different retailers if you don’t find a color option that suits your style.


Multi-purpose appliances can be a little spendy, but if they eliminate the need to buy multiple gadgets, they’re a smart investment. Look for kitchen appliances with warranties, so you’re covered in case something breaks.

Versatility and Extra Features

As Lowenheim regularly reminds her clients, “Beware of appliances that only do one thing and are very bulky.” Appliances that can tick off a lot of boxes are where it’s at for small-kitchen cooks, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more for the added features. If it makes cooking easier and more efficient, it’s a necessity — not a luxury.

Frequency of Use

Use this rule for appliances in small kitchens: If you’ll use it multiple times a week, it can live on the counter — after all, moving it in and out of a cabinet will take excess time and become cumbersome. But if you’ll likely only use it once in a while, or rarely, be sure you have room (either in your kitchen or a separate storage pantry or garage) to keep it tucked away. Better yet: Ask yourself if you truly need it at all.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the most essential appliances for a small kitchen?

    Any appliance that you will use regularly is an essential one. But a good starting place is with the “basics.” Multi-function coffee makers (that can grind beans or foam milk, for example) and toaster ovens are likely to be a part of your regular cooking routine, and won’t feel superfluous. Although Lowenheim cautions against one-trick ponies, our list includes a few clever upgrades to the usual suspects, like bread makers that also make cookie dough.

  • How do I keep my appliances organized in a small kitchen?

    Excess clutter can make a space feel uninviting. Create a more attractive, high-end feel by organizing appliances — both in your cabinets and on your countertop. “If something is used every day, it has earned a place on your counter!” says Lowenheim. If you use it seasonally (like that ice cream maker) or even weekly (like a bread machine), it should be tucked away. 

  • How should I store my small kitchen appliances?

    Heavy appliances should be in lower cabinets, says Lowenheim. It’s easier to maneuver them in and out of storage, and of course, safer too. For appliances that are too big for cabinets and that don’t live on your counter, consider a kitchen island cart — bonus points if it has wheels so you can move it around as needed — that houses all your small appliances and creates an extra surface for food prep.

  • How should I display my small kitchen appliances?

    First: Do those appliances need to be displayed? “If you have enough room on your countertop to display your small appliances and still have room left to prepare food, then they can stay on the countertop,” says Lowenheim.


    If there’s no room on the counter proper, she suggests installing wall-mounted shelving to display small appliances. “Make sure the shelving doesn’t get in the way of opening any nearby cabinets. It may be necessary to put the shelving higher and keep a compact step stool underneath,” she says. No room for shelves? A standalone unit (like a rolling island) that can live outside your kitchen is your best bet.

  • What’s the best way to dispose of small appliances?

    No longer want that air fryer? Follow these guidelines from Lowenheim for safely disposing of small kitchen appliances: “If an appliance still works and it can be cleaned up sufficiently, consider donating it to a thrift shop, or listing in it an app like Buy Nothing or Freecycle. If an appliance doesn’t work, check the website of your local sanitation department to find out if it can be recycled or thrown in the trash.”

Our Expertise

Rochelle Bilow is a food writer and editor with over a decade of professional experience. Previously a senior associate editor and social media manager at Bon Appétit and Cooking Light magazines, Rochelle is also a novelist, a culinary school graduate, and a former professional baker and line cook. In researching this article, she spoke with a certified professional organizer who specializes in using small spaces efficiently.

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