They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so a good toaster and kettle are important purchases. A breakfast of burnt toast and tepid tea isn't exactly the best way to get going in the morning.
While there are plenty of individual toasters and kettles that'll start your day off right, you can take your kitchen appliance game to the next level with a matching pair – purchased either as a set, or individually from the same collection.
Is it better to mix and match brands to find the best performers? Or is a matching set going to bring balance to your kitchen? We'll talk you through the pros and cons of buying aesthetically pleasing kitchen appliances.
Plus, for CHOICE members, we'll tell you which matching toaster and kettle pairs performed the best in our tests.
Do you need to buy a matching pair at all?
If you opt for classic styles, you might find that you can find a way to approximately match your kettle and toaster while still having the freedom to buy the brand and model you prefer.
"Stainless steel items are usually similar looking so you needn't worry too much about having the same brand," says CHOICE appliance expert Kim Gilmour.
"You may be more inclined to stick with matching products if they have very distinctive patterns (eg, a 'diamond' design on a kettle) or unique colours or metallic shades to go with your kitchen.
"You could get different branded appliances that are inspired by the same look but are cheaper and/or better performing."
Appliances with distinctive patterns are probably better as a matching pair.
Some brands will have different size options within the same range, for instance, you can choose your style of kettle and a two- or four-slice toaster.
"Think of quality as well," says Kim. "If a toaster looks good but doesn't rate well, are you prepared to sacrifice style for functionality?"
Appliance purists will be inclined to choose performance over prettiness. "Performance is the most important thing to me," says CHOICE expert tester Adrian Lini.
"I would always aim to get a simple design like stainless steel or black so that it'll match with everything."
The pros of buying a matching toaster and kettle
- Discounts: Because you're buying two products at once, you might receive a discount off the RRP that you won't get if you purchase separately.
- Exclusivity: Some brands will sell products in a bundle that aren't sold separately.
- Aesthetics: This is an obvious one! Matching appliances can really lift the look of your kitchen and complement your interior design. For aesthetes, this is more than worth spending a little extra money on.
- Fewer options: For the indecisive among us, this can actually make life easier. When you have your heart set on a matching pair, that will rule out a fair chunk of the market – which will make it easier for you to choose. (Well, as easy as these things get for those who struggle to make decisions!)
The cons of buying a matching toaster and kettle
- The trade-off: To buy the kettle of your dreams in a set, you might need to settle for a less-than-perfect toaster – or vice versa. The chances of finding the perfect kettle and toaster in the same set are slim, but not impossible.
- Changing fashions: That matching retro pastel set with rose gold finishes might be fashionable now, but what about in a few years' time? You don't want to have to replace your appliances every couple of years to keep up with trends.
- Availability: If one appliance dies before the other, it could be difficult to find a replacement, especially if they were sold as a set. You also might not find the same model if that particular series is discontinued.
- Less choice: If you're committing to buying from a particular brand or range, then that limits your options. If, for instance, you really love that Smeg kettle and you're committed to having a matching set, then that will significantly decrease the pool you have to choose from. Whereas if you're happy to just go with a kettle and toaster that are approximately the same style, then you'll be spoilt for choice and can find exactly the right appliance for your needs. Of course, that does mean you'll have to do more research!
Questions to ask yourself
- What size do you really need? Don't buy the bigger set if you don't really need it – a four-slice toaster for a two-person household might just be overkill. Some brands will offer a two-slice and a four-slice toaster in the same range, so you can choose whichever one works best for your situation.
- What's most important to you? If you're a coffee or tea nerd, then buying a kettle with special features should be high on your list of priorities – but perhaps a toaster is less important to you. If you're just using your kettle to make basic cups of tea throughout the day, but you have a family of six to feed every morning for breakfast, then a good toaster is probably more useful.
- How important is it to you to have a matching set? So important that you'd sacrifice performance for aesthetics? (No judgement – it's a totally valid choice.) Or would you be happy with a kettle and toaster that are similar enough that you probably won't notice in a week or two? Or do you just want the best performing kettle and toaster, regardless of whether they match?
The best-performing kettle and toaster combinations
We've trawled our extensive testing data to find the kettle and toaster combinations that perform the best.
Exclusively for CHOICE members, we'll outline the best-performing kettle and toaster combinations we've tested. Consider becoming a CHOICE member to access these details, plus reviews for more than 20+ product categories.
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