Looking for the perfect gift for a special someone who just loves spending hours in the kitchen? Who adores cooking up a storm or whipping up a treat with the latest and greatest appliance?
Our experts have put together the ultimate shopping list to suit all budgets, and give a word of warning: sometimes the big-name kitchen gadgets (with corresponding big price tags) don't live up to the hype.
If you shop smart, you can snare a bargain with a product from a perfectly respectable brand that does everything the flash product does – but at half the price, or even less. But if you want to spend the big bucks, it pays to choose wisely.
We've trawled our test data to bring you the top-performing products you can either spurge or save on to make to make gift-giving easier this Christmas.
Home espresso coffee machines (semi-automatic)
Splurge: Breville the Dual Boiler semi-automatic espresso machine $1500
With only one percentage point difference in their scores, you can't go wrong with either of these models – it just depends how much cash you have to splash on a coffee machine this Christmas.
Both received excellent scores in our home espresso coffee machine reviews and they share many of the same features. While the Sunbeam model heats up faster, the Breville can steam milk and make coffee at the same time thanks to its double boiler design.
No matter what your budget or which type of coffee machine you're looking for, our coffee machine reviews will help you find the best gift to surprise the coffee lover in your life on Christmas Day, including a cheeky bargain buy from Kmart. We've also reviewed coffee grinders and coffee roasters.
Pod coffee machines
Splurge: DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima Pro EN750MB $599
Save: DeLonghi Essenza Mini bundle EN85RAE $249
A pod coffee machine is the height of convenience – pop in a capsule, press a button and a steady stream of caffeinated goodness is on its way.
Capsule coffee machines are usually cheaper than manual espresso machines, too. And although the difference between the overall scores of these two machines was just 2% in our tests, the DeLonghi Essenza Mini is half the price so could be a great Christmas gift if your budget stretches that far.
The mini machine is obviously smaller in size and has fewer features (it doesn't have the touch controls and digital display of the larger DeLonghi machine, for example) but that could be a bonus if your gift recipient has a small kitchen but still enjoys a homemade coffee hit in the morning.
Splurge: KitchenAid Platinum stand mixer $899
Okay, okay – you got us. $550 is by no means cheap. But if you're going to buy a machine that whips, beats, kneads and mixes, you're going to have to drop a bit of cash.
The iconic KitchenAid is a home cook's dream. But if $900 for a bit of benchtop bling seems too steep, the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro does all the same things for a much lower price – and it scored slightly higher than the KitchenAid in our kitchen mixer reviews.
There's a lot to consider when dropping upwards of $500 on a kitchen appliance. Check out our guide to buying the best kitchen mixer so you know what to look for.
Splurge: Breville the Juice Fountain Cold XL juicer $500
Save: Home & Co Juicer Large $59
Same score – big price difference. A juicer can be a great gift for someone on a new year health kick. But you don't need to spend a fortune: the $59 Home & Co juicer performed just as well as the $500 Breville Juice Fountain juicer in our juicer reviews.
However, Breville juicers scored well in our CHOICE reliability survey, while Home & Co wasn't mentioned – so you might find that it's worth your while spending a bit extra. But given how short-lived health kicks can be, reliability might not be a priority for you!
Splurge: NutriBullet Select personal blender $199
Save: Bellini 1000W Liquidiser personal blender $59
Personal blenders are another option if you're buying a gift for a health-conscious friend. They're a go-to item for gym bunnies who like smoothies on the go.
Despite a significant difference in price, both the NutriBullet Select and Bellini 1000W Liquidiser performed very well in our personal blender reviews.
If you want to go all out, the Vitamix S30 personal blender topped our test – but it'll set you back a cool $845.
Splurge: Vitamix Professional Series 750 high-performance blender $1495
Save: Breville The Boss high-performance blender $700
While Vitamix is the glamour label in the high-performance blender world, it also commands a high price.
Breville's The Boss high-performance blender lives up to its name, performing just as well as the Vitamix Professional Series – but for less than half the price.
If you're confused about which gadget to gift, our kitchen guru Fiona Mair breaks it down in this useful article about the difference between food processors, mixers, blenders and all-in-ones.
Splurge: Bamix De Luxe stick blender $329
Save: Breville the Control Grip stick blender $110
A stick blender isn't the most glamorous of Christmas gifts, so is it worth spending extra money on a posh European brand? According to our testing, maybe not.
The Breville unit outperformed the Bamix in our test, but is one-third of the price.
However, their scores were close – so if you're buying for a Europhile who can't go past a good Swiss brand, the Bamix is still a safe bet. Find out how they scored in our stick blender reviews.
Splurge: KitchenAid food processor $999
Save: Russell Hobbs Multiprocessor food processor $180
You might notice a bit of a trend developing here: these two food processors received the same score in our testing, but are sold at very different prices.
The two units have many of the same features, but the KitchenAid has more blades, more chute sizes and larger bowl capacity. Are these features enough to justify $819 more than the Russell Hobbs unit?
"The KitchenAid and Russell Hobbs have similar features and both performed well in our testing," says CHOICE's kitchen expert Fiona Mair.
"The KitchenAid's bigger price tag is only worth it if you like the look or brand name."