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Irons and other small appliances for $50 or less

10 Small Appliances for $50 or Less

Consider these appliances for yourself or as a gift


With the holidays fast approaching, stores and online retailers are offering discounts and free shipping, so there are bargains to be found. Fortunately, the experts in Consumer Reports' labs are on the lookout for good deals all year long and have found some top-performing small appliances that cost $50 or less. Here are 10 to consider.

Go to Consumer Reports' 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more. Be sure to check our Daily Gift Guide, and sign up to get an e-newsletter with top picks and the latest news from CR.

1
Humidifier
Crane Owl

Crane Owl

This Crane tabletop was excellent in overall performance and is intended to humidify areas up to 250 square feet. In our humidifier tests, this ultrasonic model earned excellent scores for moisture output, noise level, and energy efficiency, and its output with hard water, and it was very good for convenience. Daily output is 1.4 gallons. The Crane comes in many other colorful child-friendly shapes.

    2
    Space Heater
    Lasko Designer Series 6435

    Lasko Designer Series 6435

    It could be mistaken for a Grecian urn and will blend in with your décor. The Lasko Designer Series space heater is excellent at room heating and very good at bathing a person in direct heat. Despite its high style, the heater is simple to operate and pretty quiet, too. It rests in a metal stand, oscillates, and can be turned on and off with a remote.

      3
      Steam Iron
      Rowenta Effective Comfort DW2070

      Rowenta Effective Comfort DW2070

      The least expensive Rowenta steam iron in our tests, this was also the best of that brand. It was excellent overall and delivered superb ironing and lots of steam. The surge button provides a burst of steam when trying to remove stubborn wrinkles, and the vertical steam feature lets you remove wrinkles from hanging garments and drapes. The sole plate is stainless steel, and the ready light indicates that the iron is hot enough to use. There's a self-clean feature and auto-shutoff, which turns off the iron when left stationary for a short time.

        4
        Hand Vacuum
        Eureka Easy Clean 71B

        Eureka Easy Clean 71B

        Eureka's corded hand vacuum was better suited for pickup on bare floors and at edges, but in our vacuum tests it was impressive overall and fairly quiet. Pluses include a spacious dust bin, onboard tool storage, and an electric rotating brush that adapts for vertical surfaces. As for minuses, the exhaust from the powerful motor can blow debris around before it can be picked up. And it was a bit on the heavy side for a hand vacuum.

          5
          Personal Space Heater
          Vornado SRTH

          Vornado SRTH

          If you're cold at work or want to be extra cozy watching TV, try one of the small personal spacer heaters in our tests. Tops in the batch is the Vornado SRTH, with an output of 900 watts. It was good at spot heating, stays cool to the touch, and is relatively quiet. The 3-pound heater has a safety switch that turns it off if it tips over.

            6
            Frying Pan
            Cuisinart CastLite Non-Stick 10" CIL22-26R

            Cuisinart CastLite Non-Stick 10"...

            The 10-inch Cuisinart CastLite Non-Stick pan turns out evenly browned pancakes, and fried eggs slide out like silk when done, without any scraping or sticking. The handle stays cool to the touch, too, so with all hassles removed, the only thing left is to eat and enjoy.

              7
              Coffee Maker
              Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT

              Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT

              This 12-cup machine delivers great value and an even better cup of joe. The automatic drip machine gets the water hot enough to bring out the coffee’s full flavor, and we found it easy to set up, operate, and clean in our coffee maker tests. Plus the spill-free carafe is helpful if you’re a bit clumsy before that first morning cup.

                8
                Toaster
                Cuisinart CPT-320 2-Slice

                Cuisinart CPT-320 2-Slice

                This two-slice toaster from Cuisinart is one of the least expensive in our toaster ratings, but it managed to achieve one of the highest overall scores. Toast popped up evenly brown in almost every batch, and the toaster offers very good control over color range, in case some in your household like toast dark and some like it light. Special features include a bagel setting, and slide-out crumb tray for easy cleanup. Its retro metal housing looks good on the countertop.

                  9
                  Hand Mixer
                  Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50

                  Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50

                  Cuisinart’s five-speed hand mixer had no trouble powering through stiff cookie dough in our mixer tests, and it was very quick at whipping. We also like the well-priced mixer’s wire beaters, which are easier to clean than the traditional center-post variety. But this mixer is louder than other recommended models.

                    10
                    Immersion Blender
                    Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75

                    Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75

                    This colorful immersion blender aced our soup purée test and was very good at all other tasks, including blending yogurt, and chopping veggies and grating cheese using the chopper accessory. It comes with a handy beaker and has two speeds for smooth transitions.

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                      Mary H.J. Farrell

                      Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.