Tiny Home Appliances: A Detailed Guide to Small Kitchens

by Tessa Hobart | LAST UPDATED May 19, 2021

Kitchen appliances
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People around the globe are swapping out their large, expensive houses for tiny homes as individuals wake up to the range of benefits of a permanently downsized living arrangement. 

While it may seem like a lot of work to make the transition to a significantly smaller living space, the truth is, a little bit of planning goes a long way, especially when you're dealing with houses smaller than 500 square feet! 

Still, I understand (from personal experience) that coming up with the proper configuration for any amount of floor space is a daunting task that requires attention to detail and a fair amount of technical knowledge about tiny home appliances and power systems. 

The plus side is anybody can manage tiny home appliances without much hassle as long as they strictly adhere to size and pick out machines according to their specific power grid, water supply, and ventilation system.

Your guide for tiny home appliances and small scale kitchens

For those yet to build a tiny home, the same rules apply. Just be sure to map out your utilities and select compatible tiny home appliances. All of which I've outlined below in detail (plus a ton of other helpful information about kitchen appliances for small spaces). 

Otherwise, please take a moment to check out our beginner's guide to tiny homes to understand the benefits of small houses, the different types, or browse our expert maintenance tips. There's also a guide to living off-grid, a fantastic resource for digital nomads, and a blog about van life costs that helps travelers create a budget for life on the open road.

3 things to think about before choosing tiny home appliances

In most cases, the best way to ensure you get set up with a fully-functional small home is to carefully plan every step of the way or hire somebody that can manage the project for you.

When it comes to picking out the best tiny home appliances, the market has a lot of incredible products. And while that's a good thing, it also makes it hard to find quality appliances for small spaces—which is why I wrote this article.

1. Make sure compact appliances are compatible with your power system.

tiny home appliances

No matter what size home you're dealing with, the power grid is a vital component of a home's design and configuration. Therefore, you must know the technical details of your power setup before you select tiny home appliances for any room of your house. 

Since tiny homes are alternative housing, they come with various power systems. Some tiny houses are 100% energy-efficient and eco-friendly, while others rely on electrical energy to function. Regardless of your setup, it's a known fact that kitchen appliances require the most power, so pay attention to your power system capacity.

Kitchen appliances generally pull between 120-240 volts of power, depending on the inverter type. In most cases, tiny homes require even less, especially if you're off-grid and using solar panels or wind turbines to reduce your carbon footprint. 

There's also the factor of AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) power and which one your tiny home appliances require. It's your job to know this information and find suitable machines for your downsized dwelling.

*Pro-tip: Don't forget to install plenty of outlets and account for the fact that kitchen appliances draw more power than other devices. You'll want to map out outlet placement according to the location of each primary machine, which likely includes the kitchen.

2. Consider which tiny house appliances connect to a water source.

Like knowing the ins and outs of the power grid, homeowners need to understand their water source, how it's hooked up, and configure water appliances accordingly. 

While you can be liberal with the placement of appliances next to available power outlets, you'll need to be very precise with devices that require a water source.

All of your water connections will need to be right behind the appliances that they connect to, so you'll need to figure out the floor plan ahead of time and account for hot water requirements.

Luckily, most appliances come in a few standard sizes. While there may be slight size variations depending on the model, the manufacturer, and so on, understanding standard dimensions will help you locate suitable tiny home appliances. 

If you know exactly how much space a standard washing machine takes up, you'll undoubtedly succeed in finding one with the necessary specifications to fit in your small kitchen. 

In my experience, knowing the standard dimensions will help you locate the best appliances and also come in handy when/if you need to make repairs or find a replacement.

3. Understand that ventilation is vital for a comfortable tiny house kitchen.

Floor heating

It's easy to overlook the importance of kitchen airflow, and many homeowners purchase tiny home appliances without considering proper ventilation is vital to maintaining a pristine state. 

When I say proper ventilation, I don't mean simply placing an air conditioner in your living room or using a fan to keep air circulating, but instead installing sufficient vents above your stove. 

Luckily, professional tiny home builders will help you with the actual ventilation layout. Just make sure everybody agrees on the importance of airflow in the kitchen. Otherwise, the smells, oils, and fumes produced from cooking will have nowhere to escape.

Burner cooktops and propane-powered appliances can take all of two seconds to raise enough smoke to fill up your tiny house and permanently blacken the walls with an unpleasant residue.

As such, you need to make sure that you have more than enough vents in your kitchen, particularly just above your stovetop. If not, there's a good chance you'll have to shell out several thousand dollars to remodel the damaged interior or install a better ventilation system for kitchen appliances later down the road.

My recommended tiny home appliances

Kitchen appliances

Now that you better understand what you need to consider before filling your house with devices let's review some of my favorite tiny home appliances for small kitchens. The truth is, I've lived in several tiny homes over the years, and I can testify that they are all different. 

Remember that these are only my suggestions. While I stand behind all thirteen devices on this list, this listicle is far from exhaustive. And although I believe they are some of the best appliances for downsizing, they won't be ideal for every tiny home (or person). And that's a fact.

Either way, I've done my best to share options for every kitchen appliance category. It's your job to take all the tips from this article, conduct research, and find tiny home appliances that fit your unique situation.

Refrigerators

Your refrigerator is likely one of the largest appliances in your house—and probably the kitchen too.

A full-size fridge can be anywhere between 5 and 7ft tall and at least 4ft wide, which is way too big for this list of tiny home appliances.

Luckily, plenty of different models and brands offer a refrigerator with dimensions that would perfectly fit in a typical tiny home kitchen, and I outlined some of my favorites below.

Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar Fridge

Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar Fridge

This compact 3.2 cubic foot capacity mini-fridge can fit just about anywhere, regardless of whether you put it in your kitchen or next to your living room couch.

The apparent drawback of the Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar Fridge is that it can't hold as much food as a standard-sized model, but this only means you need to plan your tiny home appliances accordingly.

Additionally, even though it may seem small, this fridge is easily big enough to hold enough food to last several days.

This model comes with a freezer, can holder, built-in bottle opener, two slide-out shelves, and an adjustable thermostat.

RCA Rfr836 2 Door Fridge and Freezer

RCA Rfr836 2 Door Fridge and Freezer

At 3.2 cubic feet, this compact refrigerator is similar to the previous example on this list of tiny home appliances. The most significant difference is RCA model has freezer space that rivals most standard-sized refrigerators. 

In addition, the RCA Rfr836 2 Door Fridge and Freezer also provides you with a can dispenser and door basket for 2-liter bottles, as well as plenty of space on the two slide-out shelves.

While this model won't hold enough provisions for a large family for a week, it has space for several days of food, generally speaking.

Danby DAR110A1WDD 11 Cu.Ft. Apartment Refrigerator (no freezer)

Danby DAR110A1WDD 11 Cu.Ft. Apartment Refrigerator

Seeing as how this Danby is three times the size of the RCA at 11 cubic feet, you can probably assume this is the best choice for anyone worried about the limited capacity of the previous two fridges.

With four adjustable shelves, an auto-defrost feature, and a width of just under 24", the Danby DAR110A1WDD Refrigerator is an excellent fit for any household looking for quality tiny home appliances with a bit more bulk.

I should also mention this fridge doesn't have is a freezer. While this isn't a deal-breaker, it's still worth pointing out that you might need to buy your frozen groceries the same day you need them.

Stoves

The standard four-burner stove and oven combo in full-sized kitchens is going to be a tight squeeze for most tiny homes.  

Luckily, portable single and double-stove gas cooktops provide excellent tiny house stove options. 

These smaller stoves are perfect for downsized living because they take up very little space, are incredibly portable, don't require a lot of fuel, and are no less efficient than their larger counterparts.

The only downside is that you'll need to keep their propane reserves topped up, but other than that, there are no common drawbacks to the tiny home appliances on this list.

Gas ONE GS-1000 7,650 BTU Portable Butane Gas Stove

Gas ONE GS-1000 7,650 BTU Portable Butane Gas Stove

The GAS ONE stove is a simple single burner that allows you to make everything from your morning cup of coffee to a hearty pot of soup.

This model might be on the small side, but that's a massive benefit in the world of tiny home appliances. 

I like the Gas ONE GS-1000 7,650 BTU Portable Butane Gas Stove for several reasons. First, it's incredibly fuel-efficient. I also like that it doesn't make any noise when turning on. Although it doesn't have electronic ignition, the automatic one is super high quality. 

The Gas ONE stove fits in every kitchen and is an all-around great appliance for daily cooking. It's also a great option if you want to cook outside, ideal for camping or barbeques.

Happybuy 12x20 inches Built-in Gas Cooktop 2 Burners Gas Stove

Happybuy 12x20 inches Built-in Gas Cooktop 2 Burners Gas Stove

This gas-powered double burner comes with easy-to-clean stainless steel cooktops that are big enough for any size meal preparation. 

The two knobs on the right side of the burner control both cooktop surfaces and manage the heat source. 

The Happybuy 12x20 inch Built-in Gas Cooktop 2 Burners Gas Stove is such an easy-to-use item that we managed to cover the entire instruction manual (and cleaning procedure) in our previous two sentences.

While it might not be as small as our previous entry, the 12 x 20-inch surface is convenient to move, and the rubberized legs provide a firm grip on most floor surfaces, which is another reason this item made it to our list of tiny home appliances.

Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop

Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop

I included this item because it has an induction burner, unlike the stoves mentioned above. Induction burners are a relatively new technology that heats up incredibly fast and maintains a steady temperature throughout the cooking process. 

The Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop has eight heat settings on the left side, while the slightly smaller burner has five on the right-hand side.

It comes with sensors that detect when the pot or pan is out of place, and it automatically turns off the burners after 30 seconds of inactivity.

I also like this model because it has individual 150-minute timers, is easy to use, and gives off much less heat than gas-powered alternatives.

Ovens

Any legitimate list of tiny home appliances needs to include a few options for smaller ovens. 

As we mentioned in our section on stoves, the standard variants of these appliances are out of the question when you have limited space to work with, which is part of the reason I wrote this guide. 

For the sake of time, I will stick to three examples per appliance. While I cater the suggestions according to the needs of the tiny home community, all the ovens described are multi-purpose devices meaning they don't sacrifice much functionality for size.

Black + Decker TO3250XSB Convection Countertop Toaster Oven

Black Decker TO3250XSB Convection Countertop Toaster Oven

As the most miniature oven on our list, this minimized cooking appliance comes with a 9" x13" oven pan that you can use for anything from pot roasts to brownies.

This oven's most significant advantage is how little space it takes up, but the most critical disadvantage is how little food you can fit inside. 

Still, I like the Black Decker TO3250XSB Convection Countertop Toaster Oven because it's smaller than average, meaning it's a good recommendation for anybody looking to buy tiny home appliances. I also like that it comes with an extensive range of temperature settings, a 60-minute timer, and even an option for toasting. 

While it might not be exceptionally tall, it's wide enough to fit just about any standard-sized pan or plate.

Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer

Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer

Moving up from the most miniature oven on our list, the TOA-60 has a bit more space at its disposal while still taking up relatively little space on the countertop.

The oven has baking, broiling, and toasting functionality, and it comes with an oven rack, baking pan, and an air fryer rack/basket.

The Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer is one of the best tiny home appliances for anybody that enjoys cooking fried food like wings and fritters. 

It also has a 60-minute timer, an auto shut-off function, a pre-heat option, and an adjustable thermostat that goes from 250 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cosori CO130-AO Countertop Dehydrator for Chicken

Cosori CO130-AO Countertop Dehydrator for Chicken

As the Amazon description states, the Cosori CO130-AO Countertop Dehydrator for Chicken has 12 presets, including pizza, roast, air fry, toast, bagel, baked, broil, cookies, rotisserie, dehydrate, ferment, and keep warm.

The LED display lets you see the settings you've just selected with the two knobs on the right-hand side.

Additionally, this is also a medium-sized oven that simultaneously has a lot of space inside and takes up very little space in your tiny kitchen.

Dishwashers

Aside from the refrigerator, a dishwasher will probably take up the most space in your kitchen, in terms of width at least.

That means this appliance requires extra floor space. So, if you don't have it, consider removing a few ground-level drawers or shelves to free up space. 

Otherwise, you might want to clean your dishes the old-fashioned way, saving space for mandatory tiny home appliances like refrigerators and stoves.

When it comes to dishwashers, both the portable and the built-in variants have drawbacks and benefits, so we'll leave the final decision up to you.

If you decide a dishwasher is necessary, I've included a few suggestions for you to consider.

The Energy Star SD-9263SS Portable Dishwasher

The Energy Start portable dishwasher

The Energy Star SD-9263SS Portable Dishwasher is on this list of tiny home appliances because you can conveniently move it around. 

Since it only weighs 118 pounds (while empty), you'll easily be able to push it to the kitchen for cleaning and then place it back in the closet for storage.

The Energy Star Portable Dishwasher connects to any standard kitchen faucet, and it has eight washing settings, which makes it more versatile than a lot of standard built-in dishwashers.

I also included this model because it's stainless steel, has a 5-gallon capacity, and only requires a 120-volt electrical connection.

KKTECT Portable Countertop Dishwasher

KKTECT Portable Countertop Dishwasher

At a measly 24.9 pounds and 20.2 x 19.62 x 17.87 inches in terms of overall dimensions, it's safe to say that the KKTECT Portable Countertop Dishwasher won't require much counter space.

Aside from the space-saving qualities, this dishwasher sports three different washing modes, an automatic air-drying function, and holds anything between 12 and 20 pieces of tableware (depending on the size).

All you'll need to run this appliance is access to a faucet where you can attach the water inlet pipe and an outlet that can produce at least 110 volts.

Like many of the tiny home appliances featured above, the diminutive size of the KKTECT makes for convenient storage when not in use.

Danby DDW1804EBSS Built-in Dishwasher

Danby DDW1804EBSS Built-in Dishwasher

With a width of 18", the Danby DDW1804EBSS Built-in Dishwasher is probably the best choice for a tiny kitchen that doesn't have much extra space. 

Because it's built-in, you'll need to think about its placement ahead of time, but on the bright side, you won't have to worry about finding a place to store it when you're not using it. 

You also won't have to worry about not using your faucet for the duration of the cleaning cycle or finding a place where you can drain the water afterward.

The item comes with six different wash settings, a delay start feature, eight place settings for your kitchenware, and a silverware basket, among other features.

Washing Machines

Washing machines

Since you don't have a lot of square feet to work with, you'll need to be very picky when choosing tiny home appliances that work with your layout.

While it may seem like an essential item (and it is), I still recommend that you withhold from buying a standard-size washing machine, and especially a dryer, unless you've designed your layout to account for these specific tiny home appliances. 

Just understand this means you'll need to regularly go to a laundromat or wash your clothes by hand. While I know this situation isn't ideal for most people, the truth is washing machines take up far too much floor space in most cases. 

The closest thing to a small washing machine that you can find is the Pyle Portable Washer & Spin Dryer.

However, this item requires both water and an electrical connection. That means you'll need to put it in a location with an outlet and a water hose for drainage.

Including a washing machine in a small space will require you to make room in your kitchen, or put it outside, neither of which appeal to most people. 

Both of these options require you to have had the foresight to design your kitchen, water pipes, and power sockets to install a washing machine in a particular location. In reality, the level of planning to place a washing machine in a small space is significant, so don't plan on having one unless you properly plan out your tiny home appliances.

Final thoughts about tiny home appliances

I did my absolute best to put together a list of tiny home appliances that are high-quality, reasonably priced, well-reviewed, and practical for downsized kitchens and living spaces. 

But the truth is, it's your job to determine which tiny home appliances are advantageous to your specific spatial layout, design, style, and personal needs. 

As such, I hope you have gleaned enough information about tiny home appliances to make those decisions with more confidence and knowledge about furnishings for small spaces, particularly kitchens. 

If so, make it a point to hop over to our tiny homes blog to uncover the fascinating world of alternative lifestyles and the growing small house movement.

Tessa Hobart
Tessa Hobart moved into her first tiny home (a trailer in her uncle's backyard) when she was 19. Without giving away her age, she now has many years of tiny home experience and is currently designing an A-Frame as a second off grid home. She lives with her husband and enjoys card games and mountain biking.

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