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Kmart Anko: Best buys and what to avoid 

We reveal the products that impressed in our tests – and the duds that disappointed.

kmart logo with green tick and red cross graphics
Last updated: 19 July 2022

Kmart has a legion of fans that swear by the large offering of products at bargain prices. And it certainly does keep surprising us in our expert testing, with some Kmart Anko own-brand products often rivalling – or even outperforming – the big brands. 

But while Kmart may offer some great buys that deliver premium performance at low prices, there have been quite a few products that have performed just as poorly in our tests.

Our CHOICE experts have put dozens of Kmart products through their paces in our labs over the past year. Here are some of the best and worst performers from our tests to help you with your shopping. 

Heating and cooling

03Anko40cmWiFiPedestalFan 1 of 6

Pedestal fan

One to buy? – Yes

Dyson's bladeless fans may be the glamorous darlings of the fan world, but if they're financially out of your reach, Kmart's pedestal fans are a great alternative. 

We've tested two of Kmart's fans and while they both performed well (especially for the price!), performance does vary by model, so make sure you check our reviews before you buy. 

Kmart's product ranges do tend to change rapidly, especially with the seasons, so while we can't guarantee that every single fan Kmart sells will be a winner, we have been pleasantly surprised by the ones we have tested. 

anko ny2311 16m

Heater

One to buy? – No

Kmart's heater offering is definitely not going to set the world on fire. In fact, CHOICE experts have given a chilly reception to Kmart's electric heaters for four years running. In 2020, the $59 Anko DL03L convection heater received a CHOICE Expert Rating of just 45%, making it the worst heater we've tested since 2014. 2021's tested models, a small Kmart Anko ceramic fan heater and a digital oil heater, didn't fare much better.

And this year, the $59 oil column heater didn't even manage to heat a small room by 10°C in two hours, and took almost an hour to raise the temperature by 5°C.  

"Some of the poorest performing electric heaters we've ever seen at CHOICE have come from Kmart," says Matthew Steen, our director of testing and reviews.

"Being cheap doesn't have to mean poor performance, which we see time and again in many of our product reviews, so it's disappointing that Kmart continues to deliver inferior products in this category. Several models from other brands cost only marginally more but score a lot better." 

Find out more: Should you buy an electric heater from Kmart?

Whitegoods

Fridge

One to buy? – No

Kmart certainly lives up to its reputation as a bargain retailer with its new whitegoods range, which includes a 203L top-mount fridge-freezer for just $429. 

While it's cheap as chips, it probably isn't up to the task of keeping food fresh for even the smallest of households. Generally we recommend fridges sized from 250L to 380L for a one- or two-person household, so this is even smaller than the smallest size we'd suggest buying. 

"This fridge might be suited for a small studio apartment or office if you don't need to keep much in it at any one time, or as a small second fridge in the garage or granny flat," says CHOICE whitegood expert Ashley Iredale

You'll also need to figure out how to get it into your home –– you'll need to pay about $50 for delivery in metro areas and $100 for regional (which is nearly a quarter of the cost of the fridge itself!), and Kmart doesn't provide the types of services that other whitegoods retailers do such as unpacking and moving your new fridge, as well as removing your old one.

We're waiting on the full results of the Kmart fridge test but our expert testers are working hard on it, so stay tuned!

kmart anko atlw80g

Washing machine

One to buy? – No

With prices well under $500, Kmart's new washing machines are very cheap, and with many households feeling the squeeze of increased cost of living, the budget price tags are very appealing.

But what you save in money you'll likely lose in increased energy costs, huge water usage and short lifespan. 

"Kmart's 8kg-capacity top-loader may be cheap to buy but it wastes a huge amount of water when the normal cycle is used, which means it will likely cost you more in electricity bills than another model over its lifetime," says Ashley. 

"To be priced this low, it's likely also made with cheaper parts and materials, with less consideration for how easy it will be to repair or how long it should last."

Laundry and cleaning

kmart anko cordless stick vacuum 42742678

Vacuum cleaners

Ones to buy? – No

Kmart sells a range of different vacuum cleaners, including stick vacuums, upright, bagged and bagless models in the Anko range that are priced from about $50 to $150.

Although we do love it when we find a bargain appliance that really shines, in the case of Kmart vacuum cleaners, it's sadly not so.

The upright, bagged and bagless models we most recently tested were among the lowest scoring when it comes to giving your carpet a thorough clean. And the stick vacuums didn't fare much better. Read the grim details here: Should I buy a Kmart vacuum cleaner

kmart anko 2400w steam iron kb 932e3

Iron

One to buy? – Yes

Ironing is one household task that many of us loathe. And if you're ironing-averse, you probably don't want to fork out a fortune to buy a decent iron. 

Fortunately, Kmart does come to the rescue in this situation. Its irons are inexpensive and performed well in our recent irons test. They're priced between $15 and $45, so they won't break the bank. 

Kmart's irons compared favourably for the price point, but check our expert iron reviews to find out more. 

Kitchen

kmart anko 9l twin air fryer afd2906

Air fryer

One to buy? – No

Air fryers are one of those appliances you either love or find confusing. 

They're touted as a great investment if you want to cook foods that you'd typically deep fry – but in a healthier way, as with homemade chips or frozen crumbed chicken – or if you live in a hot climate and you want to cook dinner without heating up the whole house by using your oven. 

But many people also see air fryers as a needless appliance that performs many functions your oven already does, while taking up valuable bench space.

Kmart's $129 twin air fryer has won many fans, most notably because it's significantly cheaper than air fryers from many of the leading brands. But our experts weren't impressed when we tested it in our labs. In fact, although the Kmart Anko air fryer was one of the cheapest models we tested, it received the lowest CHOICE Expert Rating of 58%. 

"Not only did it receive a low score in our testing, but the Kmart Anko air fryer is also fairly large and heavy, and not very easy to use," says CHOICE kitchen expert, Fiona Mair.

kmart anko 7 cup rice cooker rc 7004

Rice cooker

One to buy? – Yes

With prices for rice cookers running as high as $269, there's a lot to like about Kmart's $14 rice cooker. Sure it's basic, but that's to be expected for the price. And it more than delivers: it scored a solid 81% overall in our tests, emphatically beating models costing many times more. 

If you're after a rice cooker with more features such as a timer, delayed cooking option, or a larger capacity, check our rice cooker reviews before you buy. 

kmart anko 20l microwave

Microwave

One to buy? – Yes

At $52, this Kmart Anko microwave certainly delivers bang for your buck. Our experts recommend it, rating it as excellent for cooking performance and giving it perfect scores for cooking vegetables and defrosting mince. 

"If you are looking for a basic compact microwave that reheats well and is great for cooking and defrosting, then the Anko 20-litre model is all you need," says Fiona. "It is, however, only a 700W microwave, so reheating times will be a little slower than for a 900W or 1000W microwave." 

This microwave is owned by quite a few members of CHOICE staff who also rate it highly. Daniel says: "It's an excellent frills-free model that we're delighted with."

Another CHOICE staff member, Chau, flags that it can be noisy: "It's great for reheating, however the first time I used it I thought I was on the runway!"

In fact, all the Kmart products in our most recent microwaves test performed well, especially considering their cheap prices. 

kmart anko 17l euro kettle wk8512

Kettle

One to buy? – It depends

Kmart's kettles won't set your world on fire, but they're not a bad purchase either. While none of them scored higher than 72% in our kettles test, they were among the cheapest we tested, so they're not bad value for money. 

If you're after something cheap and cheerful to make a simple cup of tea with, but don't want to spend a fortune, you could do a lot worse than a Kmart kettle. But if you're after something with fancier features or sleek aesthetics, you'll probably need to spend a bit more. 

kmart anko 2 slice stainless steel toaster ld t7037

Toasters

One to buy? – No

While there's definitely something to be said for affordable kitchen appliances that take care of the basics, Kmart's toasters don't quite hit the mark. They're undoubtedly cheap (the most expensive one we tested cost $42), but they're also pretty lacklustre. 

You don't need to spend a fortune to get a good toaster, but you will get a better product if you spend a little more than Kmart's bargain-basement prices.

kmart anko food processor fp403

Food processor

One to buy? – Yes

If you're after a cheap and cheerful food processor that'll do the job, you can't go wrong with the $75 Kmart Anko food processor FP403

"The Kmart food processor is a very good performer that's great for chopping, slicing, mixing and emulsifying," says Fiona. 

"It is a compact unit so it's easier to store, and all blades are stored in the unit. It is however relatively noisy in operation."

We've also tested a smaller Kmart Anko 1.2L food processor, which was the cheapest product in our test. Our experts weren't as impressed by this one, finding some functions frustrating to use, but at $52 it's a relatively cheap option if you're looking for a smaller unit. 

If you have a bit more money to spend on a food processor, we've found several options under $150 from well-known brands that deliver slightly better performance and might last longer than the Kmart products. 

kmart home and co 15l digital blender

Digital blender

One to buy? – Yes

Look, it's no Vitamix in the status department, but this $41 blender holds its own in the kitchen, receiving a more-than-respectable 90% performance score. It certainly blitzed some of the (more expensive) competition, outclassing even a $2200 model. 

Our kitchen experts were equally impressed by the $65 Kmart Anko personal blender. It helds its own against big-name brands and well and truly whipped some more expensive products. 

See our full blender reviews.

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Cookware

Ones to consider? - Yes

Kmart's 24cm frypan costs just $18 but performed as well as more expensive brands including Tefal, Scanpan, Chasseur and Essteele. That's definitely a winner in our book!

Read more here: The cheap Kmart frypan that impressed in our tests.

But don't just pick up any old 24cm frypan when you hit Kmart: the Kmart Anko 24cm Aluminium 3 Layer Non-Stick Frypan ($14) failed to sizzle in our tests, scoring a lukewarm 54%. 

Similarly, Kmart's cast iron casserole pot ($30) was up there with big-name brands such as Le Creuset, Chasseur and Staub when we tested casserole pots and Dutch ovens. 

Pie maker and slow cookers

One to buy? – Yes

It's been around for quite a while now, but the popularity of Kmart's Anko $39 pie maker shows no sign of waning. It has even spawned a spinoff sausage roll maker.

When our kitchen experts put the original four-hole pie maker to the test in our labs, they concluded that it's a good-value, handy little appliance that's easy to use, versatile and delivers on its promise – taking just 15 minutes to pop out four nicely golden pies with your choice of filling, no oven required. We think it's perfect for no-fuss cooks, busy parents or (self-sufficient) hungry teenagers. 

finished pies in an open kmart anko pie maker

"This is a fun little appliance," says Fiona. "It's easy to use and gives good results, cooking four pies fairly evenly to lightly golden in eight minutes. 

"It takes five minutes to preheat, which is quicker than an oven, and, once the pies are cooked, you can simply pop them out with a spatula."

Slow cookers

The pie maker is not the only kitchen appliance in the Kmart Anko range that has fared well in our expert testing. We recently put three of Kmart's slow cookers to the test with great results.

They may lack the features of some more expensive brands like Sunbeam, Breville and Cuisinart, but Kmart's slow cookers perform quite well. And at $27 for the 3L, $20 for the 5L and $39 for the 6.5L digital slow cooker, those prices are hard to beat.

CHOICE members can exclusively access our slow cooker reviews

Babies and children

kmart anko 3 in 1 playpen

Playpen

One to buy? – Yes

Kmart's $135 playpen is one of only a few playpens we tested that actually passed key safety requirements. (There's no Australian standard for playpens, but we test to international standards and in-house methods based on existing Australian standards for other baby products.)

It's also easy to set up and pack down, and comes with a latched gate so you won't crick your back when reaching over the fence to pick up a heavy toddler. See our full playpen reviews.

kmart-anko-bassinet-42712893_1

Bassinet

One to buy? – No

A cheap bassinet can be a tempting buy, but our expert testing reveals that many bassinets fail on basic safety features and can pose serious risk to little ones. 

Unlike some other baby products, there are no Australian safety standards for bassinets that manufacturers must adhere to, which is why some potentially dangerous products still make it onto our shelves.

The $99 Kmart Anko bassinet is no exception – it got a CHOICE Expert Rating of just 40% due to the lack of continuous breathable zones around the edge of the bassinet, which could be a suffocation risk. See our full bassinet reviews.

Anko period undies full brief

Period undies

One to buy? – Yes

At just $12 a pair, Kmart's period undies are some of the cheapest on the market. When we tested their bikini and full brief period undies, our triallists were generally pretty happy with their performance. 

The full brief was the pick of the two styles, with 15 out of 16 triallists reporting that they were leak-free, with 12 out of the 16 rating them good, very good or excellent overall. 

With other brands of period undies costing $30 and more for a pair, Kmart's offerings deliver great value for money and could be a good option if you're considering switching to period undies but don't want to spend a fortune to trial them. 

Read our full period undies review, and our in-depth look at Kmart period undies for all the details. 

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.