Ideal Home Approved: Buying Guides

This section of Ideal Home brings you in-depth reviews of all the latest technology, appliances and key pieces of furniture, enabling you to buy your next food blender, steam iron or mattress with complete confidence. Technology is always moving forward so it’s no wonder lots of us feel daunted – or even scared – of being left behind.

That’s where these guides come to the rescue. Bookmark them, and you’ll always know your UHD from your DAB, which fridge freezer is really the coolest, and the best cordless vacuum to clear up your family’s mess. So what qualifies us as experts? Let’s start with the fact that Ideal Home has been advising homeowners on the best buys for their kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and more since 1920. That’s close to 100 years of knowledge, right there.

And then there is our carefully chosen reviews panel. A group of geeks, parents, bakers, eco warriors, sleep obsessives, gardeners, DIYers, and – most importantly – houseproud experts in their fields. Between them, they have decades of testing experience working for the most prestigious titles in the land – not least, Ideal Home.

best clothes steamer Tefal

Best clothing steamers – refresh clothes the easy way

The best steamers to give your clothes a new lease of life, pronto

The Simba Hybrid

Best mattress – the top choices for a perfect night’s sleep

Finding the best mattress for you is the number one way of ensuring a great night's sleep.

best-bread-makers-white bread with butter

Best bread makers – the top models for fresh homemade bread

The top bread makers for fresh loaves, pizza bases and gluten-free goodies.

Best-dishwashers-open

Best dishwashers – clean up the easy way with these top models

Never wash up again with our handy reviews and guide

best-bbqs-Weber Genesis II E-410 LIFE

Best BBQs – the greatest grills for all your outdoor cooking needs

Prepare your tastebuds for a treat, as we review the best bbqs on the market

best-irons-Ironing

Best steam irons – the top models to make ironing fast and easy

The best steam irons to power through that laundry pile, fast

best-robot-vacuums-07 - iRobot_Braava_320_livingroom MOP

Best robot vacuums – have time to relax with these autonomous cleaners

Time to put your feet up and let the latest robot cleaners take over the daily chores

Best-rice-cookers

Best rice cookers for delivering fluffy and delicious rice every time

From simple pop in the microwave models to all singing, all dancing machines, we’ve tested the best rice cookers to…

best-waffle-makers-3d. Vonchef dual round waffle maker_domu.co.uk

Best waffle makers – whip up freshly made waffles at home with our top picks

The best waffle makers to enjoy fresh, hot waffles from home

best-dirty-vacs-Nilfisk Multi II (14)

Best wet and dry vacuum cleaners – the top models for dirty jobs

We've reviewed the best wet and dry vacuums to tackle any cleaning challenge

best-smart-scales-07 Terraillon Web Coach EAsy View 3 positions

Best bathroom scales – the best smart scales to help you stay healthy

Whether you're looking to shed pounds or tackle a marathon, these best buy bathroom scales can help

Best microwaves for cooking tasty meals in minutes

A feature-packed microwave is as good as an extra pair of hands in the kitchen. Our expert has picked out…

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Best lawnmowers – the top models for cutting the lawn and clearing leaves

Our best buy lawnmowers will make cutting the grass a pleasure again

best-mattress-toppers-Bed_Wallpaper_0018_Base_

Best mattress toppers – the top mattress protectors for better comfort and sleep

These are the best mattress toppers for adding an extra layer of comfort and protection to your bed

best-fans-Dyson Cool Desk Fan LIFE

Best fans for cooling and heating your home

Find the best fan to keep you perfectly comfortable, whatever the temperature

Best-alarm-clocks

Best alarm clocks – the top wake-up lights, buzzers and radios to rouse you

We've tested and reviewed the best alarm clocks to wake you up well

best-slow-cookers-6 Sage the Fast Slow Pro

Best slow cookers – the top models for making effortless stews, curries and more

Long days call for easy dinners, and slow cookers are a brilliant solution. This is our round up of the…

Stihl-leaf-blower

Best leaf blowers – the best power tools to tidy up your garden

Find the best leaf blower for a tidy garden and clear paths. We've reviewed the top models

best-airbeds-6b. EZ Bed £199.99 JMLDirect.com

Best air beds – the best air mattresses for comfy camping and snug sleepovers

The best air beds to accommodate guests or make camping more comfortable

best-dehumidifiers-Electrolux Ambiflex EXD20DN3W LIFE

Best dehumidifiers – the best models to do away with damp

Our dehumidifier reviews reveal the best buy extractors that will rid your home of damp for good

best-corded-vacuums-Sebo (3)

Best vacuum cleaners – save time with the best-performing models

We've tested and reviewed the best corded vacuum cleaners for cleaning your home efficiently

best-steam-cleaners-Vax (6)

Best steam cleaners – the top steam mops for refreshing floors and more

We've tested and rated the best steam cleaners for floors that will keep your home spick and span

Best smart home security systems for protecting your property

Stay protected and keep an eye on your home wherever you are with the latest wireless and smart home security…

Best drills – the top household drills for quick and easy home DIY

When it comes to DIY, the first image that generally springs to mind is the humble drill. That’s because it’s…

Best-food-processors

Best food processors – the top models for easy slicing, dicing and shredding

A food processor is a cook's best friend, taking much of the time and effort out of preparing tasty meals.…

Best-baby-monitors-2

Best baby monitors – the top baby cams and smart gadgets to ensure your tot is safe

A good baby monitor will ensure your peace of mind while your little one sleeps, and these are the best…

best-pod-coffee-machines-6 Dualit_Espress_auto_Tea_Coffee_Machine_Lifestyle

Best pod coffee machines – the top espresso makers for your caffeine fix

Best pod coffee machines – the top models for your caffeine fix

best-toothbrushes-06 - Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro dental flosser lifestyle

Best electric toothbrushes – the top toothbrushes for healthy teeth

Which is the best electric toothbrush to use? We've tested a range of models to see which offers the best…

best-blenders

Best blenders – the top models for making smoothies, soups and much more

Whether it's a green smoothie, hot soup or pina colada you're whipping up, here are the best models for your…

Best-Kettles-Smeg

Best kettles – the top models for the perfect cup of tea in a flash

We've tested out the best electric kettles available, including temperature-control and quiet models

best-stand-mixers-4-KitchenAid-bowl-lift-Kitchen-Aid _017_5466

Best stand mixers – the top food mixers for baking and kneading dough

From a compact KitchenAid to professional-level models, these are the best stand mixers on the market

Best-toasters-1

Best toasters – the top models for a crisp, delicious slice every time

Brown your bread to perfection with our pick of the best two- and four-slice toasters

Best-DAB-radios-1

Best DAB radios – the top sets to tune into, with Internet and Bluetooth options

We've reviewed the very best FM, DAB and internet radios for your listening pleasure

Best cordless vacuums to make light work of vacuuming

Which cordless vacuums are clever time-savers, and which are too much of a faff?

best-saucepans-Stellar-lifestyle

Best saucepans – the top saucepan sets for all your cooking needs

We've reviewed the best saucepan sets and picked out the best ones to help you cook up a storm in…

Best memory foam pillows-The-White-Company

Best memory foam pillows – the top pillows for better sleep

Make sleepless nights a thing of the past by investing in some tried and trusted memory foam pillows

Best wireless security cameras – the top wifi cameras for keeping your home safe

This is our edit of the best wireless security cameras and doorbell cameras for the home and outdoors

best-electric-blankets-Dreamland

Best electric blankets – our top picks to keep you warm in winter

The best electric blankets for staying toasty during Winter

best-juicers-4-Smeg-SJF01CRAU_11

Best juicers – the top models for making fresh and nutritious juice every day

We've reviewed the best juicers so that you can kick start your day the healthy way

Best-fridge-freezers-Miele

Best fridge freezers for keeping food fresh and tasty

Need a new fridge freezer? Don't lose your cool over what model to buy with our ultimate guide to the…

Best-washer-dryers-Beko

Best washer dryers for rainy laundry days

Always have something to wear with a washer dryer. The latest models have extra-large drums and super-smart programmes, plus they're more…

Best-American-fridge-freezers-3

Best American fridge freezers for chilling in style

Get to what you want, when you want it with these spacious and perfectly organised cooling companions 

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Best range cookers – our top ovens for preparing a full-on feast

A range cooker is the essential ingredient for any keen cook’s kitchen. It will fill a space with character and…

Rustic grey kitchen with exposed brickwork

Best bar stools for kitchen islands and breakfast bars

Looking for the perfect seating solution for the kitchen? The fashionable bar stool is just the thing for kitchen hangouts…

Best-ice-cream-makers

Best ice cream makers for sundaes and sorbets

Sometimes, just one Cornetto isn’t enough. But buy an ice cream maker and you’ll be able to create as many…

How to buy a mattress

Best mattress: The guide to a perfect night’s sleep

You spend almost 16 years of your life in bed so buying a mattress is not a time for compromise – doing…

Sandwich-toasters-our-pick-of-the-best

Best sandwich toasters – our favourites for tasty toasties

Grab a toastie maker, a hunk of cheese and a couple of slices of bread, and you’ll be on the…

Meet The Testing Team

RACHEL Ogden

ALICE Humphrys

LIBBY Plummer

CARAMEL Quin

CHRIS Haslam

YSANNE Brooks

LUKE Edwards

How we test

We believe that any product should be super-simple to use, look good and work brilliantly, stand the test of time and make your life easier in some small (or big) way.

And these are exactly the criteria that our testing team has in mind as they put each product through its paces. They do so at home, over several weeks, pitting them against the everyday situations we all encounter. Our vacuum cleaner tester, for example, is a dog owner, while our mattress tester is a new mum, who knows all about the power of a good night’s sleep!

Lots of products won’t make the cut, but those that make the mark will be awarded a star rating. And the very, very best are awarded our ‘Ideal Home Approved’ recommendation.

Our shopping links

We work hard to give an honest, independent view of whether a product is worth having, rooted in the expertise of our writers.

We feature a wide range of products on our pages, and we select them because you want to know about them, or because our experts believe they are worth reading about.

Some of the products we write about are shoppable, which means you can buy them straight after reading about them. We do this either by offering a comparison of various prices from a range of retailers – most often in reviews articles – or by providing a single link alongside a product.

When you buy from one of these affiliate links, we sometimes get paid a small amount of money via the company you bought from. This isn’t an extra fee and is included in the normal purchase price that everyone sees. Nor does the pricing information we show depend on the fees we get.

Often we produce round-ups of deals and discounted products, which might be themed around specific retailers or product categories. We base these on the likelihood that someone is searching for them, and is looking for information on how to save money. We don’t generally promote specific deals based on the fees we get, but if we do, we label them as ‘Promoted’ so you can tell.

 

Our editorial integrity is important to us – please write to our digital editor, amy.cutmore@timeinc.com and let us know how we are doing.