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Boxing Day best buys: Member exclusive

Buying big in the sales? Here's our guide to the best-rated products to look for.

Last updated: 21 December 2023

If you still have a few items on your shopping list for 2023, the Boxing Day sales offer another opportunity to grab a bargain over the period between Christmas and into the New Year.

Despite the current cost of living crisis, a quarter of shoppers we surveyed said they intend to shop in the Boxing Day sales, with clothing, home and kitchen products, electronics and appliances, and beauty products all popular categories for Australians looking for a bargain.

To help you shop smarter in the sales, we've created a special members-only Boxing Day buying guide, outlining the brands and models that topped our most popular product tests.

From fridges to mattresses, barbecues to coffee machines and more, here's your handy hit list of the best-rated products, along with expert advice to help you shop like a pro.

fridge shopping

Brands and models can vary wildly in quality, so it pays to do your research first.

Smart shopping tips to live by

Before you hit the sales, there are some key things to keep in mind if you want to shop smart and dodge a dud. 

1. Expensive brands don't always perform better

Our product test results regularly disprove the age-old adage that 'you get what you pay for'. Our experts often see very pricey products underperform, while cheaper, lesser known ones shine. 

That's why it pays to do your homework and check the CHOICE reviews. See our Boxing Day duds guide for further proof of expensive fails.

2. A brand's product range can vary dramatically in quality 

It's another revelation our experts see all the time in their tests. A brand can boast some of the best-performing products in a category... and some terrible ones in another category. 

It can depend on the quality and design of each product, which is why individual reviews are so vital.

3. Be critical of sale offers

Sure one site is offering 20% off its usual price, but was it more expensive to start with compared to others? Before you 'add to cart', it's worth playing the field and sizing up the best deal and assessing delivery costs and times too. 

Check out more expert shopping tips

The best buys in popular categories

Some of the most popular product categories on the CHOICE website around sale time are fridges, mattresses, barbecues, air fryers, coffee machines, stick vacuums and washing machines. 

CHOICE members can see the top-rated products for each category in one easy-to-read rundown below. Happy shopping! 

If you're not a member, consider joining CHOICE to access thousands of independent reviews, or check out our free buying guides.

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graham byrne fridge

We test fridges for food freshness, temperature stability and much more in our certified lab.


In our review of more than 80 fridges, these models were the standout performers in the 'large' category, based on our lab tests, for food freshness, temperature stability and evenness, and more. 

But if you're considering other models, do exercise caution – our experts have tested plenty of mediocre models on the market, including one with a CHOICE Expert Rating of just 39%! See our full fridges test reviews

Highest-rated large fridge models (451–525 litres)


If you're looking for a better night's sleep, these are the mattresses that topped our tests. We rate key factors like actual firmness, comfort (both now and in eight years), sagging, sweat resistance and more to ensure you'll always wake up on the right side of the bed. 

More than half of the queen-sized mattresses we test fall in a 'mid' price range of about $1000–2000. This is because when we select mattresses for testing, we check current market figures to see what's selling well and focus on the highest-selling big-brand models. We try to include products that fit within the budget of average consumers. 

"Mattresses aren't exactly cheap, but we found that models around this price point often strike a good balance between price, quality and performance," CHOICE mattress expert Peter Zaluzny says.

"However, mattresses that cost less than $1000 do earn a mention from time to time." And, regardless of the price tag, always haggle when buying a mattress – we regularly see that you can knock a huge percentage off the retail price, particularly at sale time. See our full mattress test reviews (note that while Emma mattresses score the highest in our review, we are currently unable to recommend their products). 

Highest rated models


Weber dominated our barbecue tests, with the Q3100 taking top honours.


Looking to beef up your barbecue game this summer? When our food experts aren't testing wall ovens, they're turning up the heat on barbecue units to find the best burners for your next sausage sizzle. 

In this category, cult favourite Weber grilled all rivals, impressively taking six of the spots in our top 10 in our test of more than 40 popular models. If you want to see how other brands fare, see our full BBQ test reviews

Highest rated models


King of the cuppas: The Profitec Pro 300

Coffee machines

We know coffee lovers are a passionate bunch, which is why our espresso machine tests are judged by coffee industry veterans and our in-house experts. In their quest for the perfect cuppa, they assess key criteria including taste, temperature consistency, milk frothing, ease of use and cleaning. 

We test a variety of coffee machines, including manual, semi-automatic, automatic and capsule machines, all which offer different ways to help you get that all-important caffeine hit.

If you're after a manual or semi-automatic machine, here are the ones that topped our tests. Also see our full review of manual/semi-automatic machines and automatic machines.

Highest rated models

dyson gen5detect absolute

Dyson took out the three top spots in our stick vacuum tests.

Stick vacuums

A good stick vac makes quick cleans a breeze. But they're not cheap, so it's important to make sure you're spending your money wisely. 

Dyson takes out all two podium positions in our stick vacuum review, followed closely by LG, but there are other brands worth considering too. Check our website to find the best stick vacuum before you buy. 

Highest rated models:

Air fryers

The kitchen appliance du jour, air fryers are hot products year-round, but will be on many people's shopping lists this sales season. 

Some of the more expensive models have multiple functions, so you can air fry, cook rice, sous vide, and more to your heart's content. There's also now twin air fryers and super sized options to cater to more families' cooking needs.

If you're not keen on spending $500+ though, there are plenty of excellent options at lower price points: here are the best air fryers under $250

Highest rated models


Front-loading washing machines generally cost more to buy than top loaders, but perform better and use less water and energy.

Washing machines

Facing a mountain of endless laundry and need a machine you can count on? 

Our lab experts are tougher on washers than you'll ever be, testing them on key factors including dirt removal, rinse performance, gentleness, energy and water use, and more. 

If you're hitting the sales, these are the frontrunners to look out for. And what are some hot-fire tips from our experts to keep in mind while you shop? Don't pay for features you're not going to use, and don't worry too much about capacity. You probably only wash about 3.5kg at a time, so don't stress about paying more for a 10kg machine over a 9kg. 

Front loaders generally perform better than top loaders and are more energy- and water-efficient, but they do cost more upfront, and remember you'll have to bend down to use them.

If you want more results, see our full washing machines test reviews.

Highest rated models

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.