Tiny Home Appliances: Your Guide to Kitchen Appliances for Small Spaces

by Tessa Hobart | LAST UPDATED May 19, 2021

Kitchen appliances
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Tiny house living revolves around very careful space management and intentional placement and organization of all of the items you have in your home.

Often, trying to find space in your house can feel much less like interior design and much more like a particularly challenging game of Tetris.

The good news is that most of the living space that you have to work with is pretty malleable in this aspect.

For example, the type of couch you go with will depend on the model that would be the best fit for the small space you have available to you in your living room.

The same applies to the frame and mattress you choose for your bedroom, the table for the living room, the dressers and bookshelves and so on.

The bad news is that for quite a few reasons, the kitchen space has a lot more limitations that you’ll need to be mindful of when it comes to which tiny home appliances you can get.

A Few Things to Consider

If you don’t have enough space for something, then you simply buy a smaller model, simple right?

Most people will probably think that the tiny house appliances that they can choose to get will be limited because of the lack of space in the kitchen.

While this does naturally play a major role, there are other more important factors that need to be considered before anything else.

Electricity

Electrical sockets

Regardless if we’re talking about coffee makers or pressure cookers, all of your home appliances will need to have an electrical outlet somewhere in the vicinity.

This means that the positioning of each item is going to need to be planned out ahead of time during the building phase of your tiny house kitchen.

Additionally, a lot of people that are tiny homeowners usually choose to power their home through more eco-friendly alternatives.

This usually means using solar panels or wind turbines to go off-grid and reduce your energy usage and carbon footprint.

In general, this is a good decision since you’ll need a lot less electricity to power a tiny home than you would a standard-sized house.

Unfortunately, just because these are compact appliances, that doesn’t mean that they’re energy-efficient appliances as well.

Kitchen appliances in general are known for using quite a bit of power, which means that you’ll need to provide enough electricity reliably, or you’ll wind up with appliances that fit in your kitchen but can’t be used.

Water

The bathrooms in small homes are usually big enough to fit a toilet, a sink, a hot water heater and a shower.

As a result, both the washer/dryer combo and that freestanding tub that you might have wanted to get will sadly need to be left out entirely.

This means that aside from electrical outlets, most of your kitchen appliances will need to be connected to a water source as well.

While you can be liberal with the placement of appliances next to available power outlets, you’ll need to be very precise with the placement of the appliances that need to be hooked up to pipes.

All of your water connections will need to be right behind the appliances that they connect to, so you’ll need to have your floor plan figured out ahead of time.

Luckily, most appliances come in a few standard sizes, and while there are naturally going to be a few inches of variation depending on the model, the producer and so on, they’ll largely stay consistent.

As a result, you’ll simply need to know exactly how much space a standard washing machine takes up and you can find one with the necessary specifications to fit in your kitchen.

Knowing the standard dimensions of a lot of appliances will also help in finding a replacement if the one you’re currently using breaks.

Ventilation

Floor heating

When we say ventilation, we don’t mean placing an air conditioner in your living room, but rather placing enough vents above your stove.

There are actually very few people who take the kitchen's venting into account when they design their home.

Luckily, the professionals that will be helping you out with the designs themselves will point this out to you, so they’ll put in some vents where all of the various smells and smoke fumes can escape from.

However, we would say that when it comes to a small kitchen and small spaces in general, it’s always good to have a few more vents than you might think are necessary.

Burner cooktops and any propane-powered appliances can take all of 2 seconds to raise enough smoke to fill up your house and permanently blacken your walls.

The smell will also stick to the furniture and all of your clothes and will linger for days or maybe weeks.

As such, you need to make sure that you have enough vents in your kitchen and immediately above your stovetop to be able to use the appliances that you’re looking to buy without causing problems to the rest of your house.

The Takeaway

Kitchen appliances

The only message that we’re trying to highlight in this section is that there’ll be limitations to which tiny home appliances you can actually get.

While we stand behind all of the items that appear on this list, and we do believe that they’re the best appliances for tiny homes (in our opinion at least), they won’t be ideal for every home.

Certain kitchens will just not have been designed to fit in a dishwasher, and even if you do manage to remove some cabinets and make room for a standard model, the pipes that need to be placed are going to be too expensive or too bothersome to seem like a viable option.

In these sorts of situations, you might need to go for something like a countertop dishwasher, or a portable dishwasher, instead of the built-in models.

We’ll do our best to give you a few options per appliance category (except for the first one), and we’ll leave it up to you to decide which one might suit your requirements the most.

Washing Machines

Washing machines

Due to the fact that you don’t have a lot of square feet to work with, you’ll need to be brutal when it comes to choosing which tiny home appliances are crucial and which can be thrown out or skipped entirely.

While it may seem like a crucial item, and it is, we still recommend that you withhold from buying a standard washing machine, and especially a dryer.

We understand that this will either mean that you’ll need to regularly go to a laundromat or wash your clothes by hand.

This isn’t an ideal situation for anyone, but unfortunately, most washing machines take up far too much space to be included in a tiny home.

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

However, this item still requires both water and an electrical connection, as well as a hose for the water to drain from, meaning that you’ll need to find a place for it in either your kitchen or your bathroom.

Including a washing machine in a small space will require you to make room in your kitchen, which won’t be easy for an item like this or for you to place it somewhere outside your home.

Both of these options require you to have had the foresight to have designed your kitchen or your water pipes and power sockets intending to place a washing machine in a specific place.

Simply put - the level of planning that’s required in order to place a washing machine in a small space is too great to make it a viable candidate for our list of tiny home appliances.

Dishwashers

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

You’ll need to either have a bit of space to spare, or you might need to replace a few ground-level drawers with some shelves in order to open up a spot for this appliance.

Both the portable and the built-in variants have their own drawbacks and benefits, so we’ll leave the final decision up to you.

Our choices for the best dishwashers are the following:

The Energy Star SD-9263SS Portable Dishwasher

The Energy Start portable dishwasher

The Energy Star SD-9263SS Portable Dishwasher can really spare you from having to free up the necessary space that a regular dishwasher would take up.

Since it only weighs 118 pounds (while empty), you’ll easily be able to push it to the kitchen when you need to do the cleaning up and then simply place it back in the closet or the room in your home where it was originally stored.

It connects to any standard kitchen faucet, and it has 8 washing settings, which makes it more versatile than a lot of standard built-in dishwashers.

It comes in stainless steel, has a 5-gallon capacity and only requires a 120-volt electrical connection.

KKTECT Portable Countertop Dishwasher

KKTECT Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Coming in 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 of this appliance, it also sports 3 different washing modes, an automatic air-drying function and the capacity to hold anything between 12 and 20 pieces of tableware (depending on the sizes).

All you’ll need in order 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.

The diminutive size of the KKTECT makes it possible for you to store it just about anywhere when it’s not in use or simply keep it on your counter since it doesn’t get in the way much.

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 space to spare.

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 being able to use your faucet for the duration of the cleaning cycle or having to find a place where you can drain the water afterward.

The item comes with 6 different wash settings, a delay start feature, 8 place settings for your kitchenware and a silverware basket, among other features.

Refrigerators

Your refrigerator is without a doubt going to be the biggest appliance that you have in your kitchen.

A standard-sized fridge can be anywhere between 5 and 7ft tall and at least 4ft wide.

Luckily, there are plenty of different models and a variety of brands that can provide you with a refrigerator that has dimensions that would fit perfectly in your kitchen.

In terms of sizes, refrigerator models are quite diverse, which will really make finding one that’s right for your needs a lot easier.

Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar Fridge

Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar Fridge

This mini-fridge can fit just about anywhere, regardless if you want to put it in your kitchen or next to your living room couch.

The obvious 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 that you won’t be tempted to let food spoil since you’ll have to finish your leftovers before getting any new groceries.

Additionally, even though it may seem small, this fridge is easily big enough to hold enough food to last a single person at least a few days.

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

RCA Rfr836 2 Door Fridge and Freezer

RCA Rfr836 2 Door Fridge and Freezer

Standing at a mere 3.2 cubic feet, this compact refrigerator is similar to the previous example mentioned on our list.

The biggest difference would probably be the larger freezer space that you have in this model that can rival even most regular-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 2 slide-out shelves that you’re provided with.

Again, while this won’t be able to hold enough provisions for a large family for a week, it’s good enough for anyone living on their own or a couple that’s ok with going to the store every day.

Danby DAR110A1WDD 11 Cu.Ft. Apartment Refrigerator

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 that this is the best choice for anyone that had a problem with the limited capacity of the previous two fridges that we covered.

WIth 4 adjustable shelves, an auto-defrost feature and a width of just under 24”, the Danby DAR110A1WDD 11 Cu.Ft. Apartment Refrigerator is a great fit for just about any household.

The one feature that this fridge doesn’t have, but the previously mentioned ones did, 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 on the same day that you need them.

Stoves

The full 4-stove and oven combo that most kitchens sport is pretty cumbersome to fit into a small kitchen.

Luckily, there are more than enough portable single and double-stove gas cooktops that go on top of your counter that you can choose from.

These smaller types of stoves take up very little space, are incredibly portable, don’t require a lot of fuel and are no less powerful than their larger counterparts.

The only downside is that you’ll need to keep their reserves topped up by using a propane bottle, but other than that there are no drawbacks.

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

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

A simple single burner that can allow you to make everything from your morning cup of coffee to a nice pot of soup.

This model might be on the diminutive side, but that only means that you can keep it on your countertop without even noticing it, let alone it getting in the way.

The Gas ONE GS-1000 7,650 BTU Portable Butane Gas Stove is incredibly fuel-efficient, is very silent when turned on and while it might not have electric ignition, the automatic one that it does sport makes starting it up and turning it off a breeze.

While it fits in every kitchen and can easily be used for your daily cooking needs, it is also a great option if you want to make a change and cook outside or take it with you when you go camping.

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 sort of cooking that you’re looking to do.

Both of the cooktop surfaces are controlled by the two knobs on the right side of the burner, which are used for both increasing the heat and turning the item on and off.

The Happybuy 12x20 inches 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 still far from cumbersome to move, and the rubberized legs will make sure that it won’t move around while you’re trying to use it.

Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop

Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop

Thanks to the induction technology that’s used in this cooktop, it can reach the required temperatures incredibly quickly, and it can easily maintain a steady temperature throughout.

The Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop comes with 8 heat settings on the bigger burner that’s on the left side, while the slightly smaller burner on the right-hand side gets 5.

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

Additionally, it also has individual 150-minute timers, easy-to-use settings at the bottom and it even throws off much less heat than the gas-powered alternatives. 

Ovens

The last item on our list of tiny home appliances is obviously going to be the oven.

As we mentioned in our section on stoves, the standard variants of these appliances are out of the question when you have very limited space to work with.

However, if you thought that there were a lot of portable stoves that you can choose from, then you haven’t seen anything yet.

We’ll still stick to three examples per appliance, and we’ll go over our pick for the most multi-purpose ovens that you can find, but we still want to point out that there is a stove that’s perfect for just about any type of dish that you might like to prepare.

Black Decker TO3250XSB Convection Countertop Toaster Oven

Black Decker TO3250XSB Convection Countertop Toaster Oven

As the smallest oven on our list, this diminutively sized cooking appliance comes with a 9”x13” oven pan that you can use for anything from pot roasts to making brownies.

This oven's biggest advantage over the others is how little space it takes up, but the biggest disadvantage is how that lack of space also limits what can fit inside it.

The Black Decker TO3250XSB Convection Countertop Toaster Oven comes with a large range of temperature settings, a timer that can be set for anything up to 60 minutes and even toast settings.

While it might not be particularly tall, it’s wide enough to fit just about any standard-sized pan or plate that you might want to fit inside.

Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer

Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer

Moving from the smallest to the largest 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 the appliance for you if you’re a fan of foods like fried wings, fried fritters, or fried absolutely anything else.

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

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 that include Pizza, Roast, Airfry, Toast, Bagel, Bake, Broil, Cookies, Rotisserie, Dehydrate, Ferment and Keep Warm.

The LED display allows you to clearly 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 on the inside and takes up very little space on the counter.

Conclusion

All of the items that we’ve listed are what we believe to be high-quality tiny home appliances that would suit just about any small house.

However, this is a general statement, and there are very few houses with the same kitchen dimensions and available space.

As such, the ultimate decision is up to you, but regardless of what you pick, none of these appliances are likely to disappoint.

You might also be interested in: Beginner's Guide To Tiny Homes

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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