Consumer Reports Recommends Small Appliances for College Students

Heading back to college? Consumer Reports tests loads of appliances that can help stock your new digs - everything from toaster ovens to coffeemakers.

Sisters Paige and Natalie Beyer are heading off to college. Natalie is moving off-campus to a house and is considering which "must-haves" to take to her new pad. To help recreate the comforts of home, Consumer Reports has a roundup of small appliances to recommend.

A pod coffeemaker is a convenient way to jumpstart the morning. Consumer Reports top-rated the $130 DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio. It's quick to brew that much-needed first cup.

Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman of Consumer Reports says, "Pods are convenient but they're pricey. And our expert coffee tasters found that the coffee was only so-so. So if you really like your coffee, you probably want to go for a drip coffeemaker."

A good choice - the $40 Mr. Coffee. It consistently heats up to the perfect brewing temperature. For a healthier wake up call, consider the $90 Nutri Ninja. It does a very good job blending an icy drink or smoothie.

A microwave is always convenient. The $150 Kenmore from Sears is great for heating quick meals and snacks. As for a toaster oven, the $80 Oster is a good option. It bakes and broils just as well as much pricier models. And to help keep your cool in warmer months, a window air conditioner is the way to go.

"Our tests found that most window air conditioners did an excellent job of cooling a room or two," Lehrman said.

This G-E gets the job done and is a Consumer Reports Best Buy for $210.

Another appliance to consider - a compact fridge. Out of the 26 Consumer Reports tested only three made the recommended list, all from Frigidaire. They offer excellent freezer performance and very good energy efficiency. Prices start at around 200 dollars.

The recommended compact fridges from Frigidaire are:
FFPH44M4L[M] for about $220.
BFPH44M4L, at Best Buy for about $210.
LFPH44M4L, at Lowe's for about $190 dollars.

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