While it's an expensive option, the Dualit Classic kettle and toaster set is an investment that's built to last. We really enjoy the ease of use, and how well this set blends into any kitchen.
Handmade in the UK
Repairable, replaceable parts
Kettle is a joy to pour
Toaster lifts nice and high
Iconic retro-style build
Kettle gets quite hot to touch
Toasts slightly more on one side than the other
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There are few kettle and toaster sets more iconic than the Dualit Classic. The Dualit Classic Toaster was first made in 1946, meaning it's almost been around for as long as our very own Ideal Home. The curved retro lines are provably timeless, which is why I continuously see this kettle and toaster in pride of place in the kitchens we feature in our magazine.
The Dualit Classic kettle and toaster set has been at the top of my wish list for years, so when I got to take it for a spin in my own kitchen, I jumped at the chance. The set costs around £300, making it the sort of investment that would be off-putting for many people (including myself) without some serious consideration. Having put the set to the test for three months though, I'd feel a lot more comfortable making the splurge knowing how user-friendly this set is for day-to-day use.
Unlike many of the cheaper kettles and toasters I've tried, this set is sturdy and ergonomically designed. However, it definitely took some wearing in for me to see the best of this set. You can find out about how each piece compares to the competition in our guide to the best toaster and the best kettle, but for my complete thoughts, keep on reading.
Capacity: 1.7 litres
Size: 15.4 x 23.5 x 28.08cm
Origin: Designed and engineered in the UK
Colours: Chrome, copper, brass, evergreen, and more (10 in total)
- Secure and tactile handle
- Hinged lid
- Cup measurements
- Clear side panel
- Non-drip spout
- Gets hot after boiling
- Lid is tricky to lift at first
Capacity: 2 or 4 slices
Dimensions: 26 x 21 x 22cm
Controls: Slice option dials, timer dial up to 4 minutes
Materials: Cast aluminium ends, stainless steel body
Colours: 20 in total, including pink, red, black, and chrome
- Independently controlled slots
- Extra-high lift lever
- Fully repairable
- Easy to clean
- Check on bread while it toasts
- Toasts more on one side
- Elements can be noisy
Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Ideal Home. She was formerly our Small Appliance Editor, meaning she's tested dozens of air fryers and stand mixers in her own kitchen to bring you her expert recommendations. Millie plans to hang onto the Dualit kettle and toaster for years to come, and will keep this review updated to reflect how it lasts over time.
I was sent the Dualit Classic kettle and toaster set from Buy Me Once, where it retails for around £300. It's only available from the site in the original stainless steel colourway, but on the Dualit site you can purchase it with accents in copper, sage green, cream, and more that will tie the look into your kitchen.
Taking them out of the box was a straightforward process, and they were packaged with minimal waste materials. If anything, I'd have liked a little more padding to protect them in case I got a careless courier, but they arrived intact and ready to go.
I was warned by Buy Me Once that the toaster can give off a nasty smell when first used, which I found to be true. This is the smell of some assembly chemicals burning off, so be sure to run both the kettle and toaster a few times before making a cup of tea or snacking on some toast.
How does the Dualit Classic Toaster perform?
A bit of background, there are three types of Dualit Classic toasters. All Dualit Classic toasters have a slot selector switch, which allows you to choose a selected amount of slices at a time, This makes the Dualit one of the few toasters on the market which allow you to control one slot as a minimum. All of them feature this, but it looks a little different depending on which model you buy.
There's the NewGen, which is available at John Lewis and Dualit. It's called NewGen because it has a newer slice selector in the form of a black upper dial. It's also got a setting that allows you to operate one side of a slot at a time for toasting bagels, which is a rare setting to find in a toaster.
There's also the AWS, which is the one I tested. This is similar to the NewGen but it doesn't have the bagel setting.
Finally there's the Vario, which has a red switch to select the number of slots you want to control.
Each toaster comes with a sticker on the bottom that tells you who built your toaster. It also reminds you that the toaster is fully repairable. My toaster was built by someone called Barry, and I found it a really nice reminder of why you pay a little extra for a toaster that's handmade in Britain.
To use the toaster, you pop your bread into the slot and lift the lever at the front of the toaster to lower it into place. You then turn the timer dial to select your setting. I went for 2, and the dial goes up to three. It's fully adjustable though, so you could go for super precise timings if you have specific preferences. Sometimes the toaster will make a slight crackling noise when you switch it on, but I've noticed that this is the sound of the elements warming up, and it's becoming less frequent the more I use the toaster.
I was really chuffed with how my toast came out. It was very evenly toasted across the slice, with no parts left un-toasted due to how deep the slots are. The slots are also very wide, and I've had no issues toasting big hunks of bread.
Having used the toaster for a number of months, I have noticed that one side will always toast a little more than the other. Another thing I've noticed is that if you use the toaster consecutively, you'll need to run the second setting on a much lower time to account for the fact that the toaster will already be hot when the timer starts. Overall though, this is a cracking toaster than I plan on keeping for a long time.
How does the Dualit Classic Kettle perform?
The Dualit Classic toaster and kettle is kind of a package deal, which is why I've rolled my reviews of both into one article. In an ideal world, our kettles and toasters will match and they'll also be well-matched in terms of quality. The Classic kettle doesn't wow me quite as much as the toaster, but as time's gone on I've started to enjoy it more and more.
My first impressions were that the hinged lid on this kettle is very tricky to open. It closes securely, meaning you have to really tug on the ring at the top of the kettle to open it up. When the kettle was hot and we were testing for how well it insulates, we seriously struggled to open the lid up due to how hot the metal of the kettle had become after boiling our water. This was a concern for me, because I tend to top up my kettle after I've poured out my hot water instead of before I make a cuppa.
After a few months though, the lid has eased up significantly and I don't struggle to open it any more. I still avoid doing it while there's boiling water inside, but t's less of a concern.
The kettle is a delight to pour, with quite a unique and narrow spout that prevents it from dripping as you make your pot of tea. I also really enjoy the fact that there's a litre measurement on one side of the kettle, and cup markings on the other.
The kettle is Quiet Mark accredited, and in our testing we did find that the noise this kettle makes is non-disruptive. 30 minutes after boiling, our water was 74.6 degrees, making this one of the better insulated kettles we tested. However, boiling time was longer than most, taking 3 minutes and 6 seconds to boil a litre of room-temperature water.
Founder Tara Button was inspired to create Buy Me Once after receiving a Le Creuset cast iron pot as a gift. It was a beautifully made, solid product covered by a lifetime guarantee; Tara asked herself why everything she owned wasn’t designed to last.
With a background in advertising and copywriting, she set up Buy Me Once in 2016, a curated ecommerce retailer for sustainable products that are long-lasting and only need to be bought once, helping customers save time and money while lowering their environmental footprint.
The Dualit Classic kettle and toaster will set you back £300 if you buy the two-slice toaster, and more if you opt for four-slice. That's a fair whack of money, but I was keen to find out why so many people think it's a worthy investment. I spoke Tara Button, founder of Buy Me Once and author of the book A Life Less Throwaway, to learn about the perks of investing in a product that can be repaired instead of simply replaced.
Why do you think the Dualit kettle and toaster have remained such an iconic duo in the kitchen?
'Dualit have very cleverly created a timeless design that manages to look great in a traditional or modern kitchen. The key is the quality. You can tell by looking at the products that they are beautifully and solidly built with no faddy gizmos interfering with the practical design. These products are clearly designed to do one job and do it exceptionally well and that simplicity will always be in style.'
What makes this the best set for sustainable buyers over the alternatives on the market?
'For one, the toaster is made in Britain, one of the very few small electric appliances that still are, so there are fewer airmiles. But most crucially they are both built to be repaired which is absolutely essential to prevent waste.
If the element of either the kettle or the toaster goes for example (which is the most regular thing to break), it can be easily replaced rather than having to replace the whole thing.'
If you look, you can even see that the toaster is put together with a regular Philips-head screw whereas most other toasters are designed so you can’t get into them to fix them safely. This is what commitment to the environment looks like in practice.
This is an expensive combo, will the investment pay off over time?
'The average toaster lasts just 6 years and kettles only 5, according to research found in The Mirror. Even if you’re buying cheap ones, this is going to add up. We know of people with Dualit toasters dating back to the 70s which are still going strong so they would have saved a fortune over time.
It’s unsexy and practical, but I’d encourage people to beat the system and maximise their investment by descaling their kettle regularly and making sure to clear the crumbs from inside and under the toaster. If you do this; invest in these long-lasting fixable products and then take care of them, you WILL end up on top.'
Should you buy the Dualit Classic kettle and toaster?
I'd be lying if I said this kettle and toaster is something I could pick up for myself in a regular month, but if I were putting together a wedding registry or saving up to invest in something I'll have for years to come, it's definitely the set I'd opt for.
I like the fact that you can buy a range of colours on the Dualit website, or stick to stainless steel if you want something timeless that will fit into any kitchen. I'm also particularly impressed by the toaster, which consistently makes evenly browned slices and has turned out to be very easy to clean thanks to the removable crumb tray.
The kettle scored slightly lower than the toaster, but overall I've really enjoyed having it in my kitchen. It's great to pour, which was surprisingly tricky to find when we reviewed kettles in our test kitchen. It's also got brilliant insulation and wipes clean in seconds.
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Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Ideal Home. She joined Ideal Home as an Ecommerce Editor in 2021, covering all of the site's small appliance and cookware shopping content. Millie formerly worked at Top Ten Reviews, another Future site, where she produced review and buying guides across a range of home products, from fridges to blenders. As Head of Reviews, her job is to test all the wackiest product launches, whether they're air fryers, bread makers, or juicers, and give you her honest experience.
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