CONSUMER REPORTS -- Heading back to college? Consumer Reports tests loads of appliances that can help stock your new digs.
A pod coffeemaker is a convenient way to jumpstart the morning. Consumer Reports top-rated the $130 DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio. It’s quick to brew that much-needed first cup. Pods are convenient but they’re pricey. And Consumer Reports expert coffee tasters found that the coffee was only so-so. So if you really like your coffee, you probably want to go for a drip coffeemaker. A good choice is the $40 Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT. It consistently heats up to the perfect brewing temperature.
For a healthier wake up call, consider the $90 Nutri Ninja. It does a very good job blending an icy drink or smoothie.
A microwave is always convenient. The $150 Kenmore 72123 from Sears is great for heating quick meals and snacks.
As for a toaster oven, the $80 Oster TSSTTVMNDG is a good option. It bakes and broils just as well as much pricier models.
To help keep your cool in warmer months, a window air conditioner is the way to go. Consumer Reports tests found that most window air conditioners do an excellent job of cooling a room or two. The GE AEM05LS is a Consumer Reports Best Buy for $210.
Another appliance to consider is a compact fridge. Out of the 26 Consumer Reports tested, only three made the recommended list and all are from Frigidaire. They offer excellent freezer performance and very good energy efficiency. Prices start at around $200. The recommended compact fridges from Frigidaire are:
- Model #: FFPH44M4L[M] for about $220
- Model #: BFPH44M4L at Best Buy for about $210
- Model #: LFPH44M4L at Lowe’s for about $190