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Bella's ads are beautiful but how's the toast?

Stylish small appliances lack substance in our tests

Published: October 31, 2013 02:30 PM

If you're shopping for a new toaster or coffeemaker, you might start seeing the name Bella more often online. Owned by Sensio, the small appliance brand is making news with the launching of a slick $500,000 advertising campaign aimed at social-media-savvy millennials. But before you fall for the ads, check out how Bella's products do in Consumer Reports' small appliance tests.

Let's start with the toaster. The Bella Dots KT-3330 comes with a great price tag, $25, and a sleek metallic finish and recessed dot pattern. But the toaster's performance marks are less eye-catching. We found the Bella Dots KT-3330 to be just so-so at turning out evenly browned batches of toast and not as easy to use and care for as models on our list of recommended toasters.

Moving to coffeemakers, we tested the Bella CM-101 for $30 and the Bella Dots Collection 12 cup for $35. As with the Bella toaster, the same great price and nifty design applied, but again the coffeemakers' overall performance fell short of our recommended coffeemaker list. In both cases, you can spend less money and get a better cup of coffee.

We also tested the Bella Sport personal blender for $27. This product category as a whole has some issues, as the compact devices aren't nearly as capable as their full-size counterparts. But again, the Bella model fared quite a bit worse overall than our top-rated blenders.

Bottom line: Bella's small appliances are stylish and competitively priced, but the brand is an also-ran in Consumer Reports' tests.

—Daniel DiClerico

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