There's an overwhelming number of appliance choices and home tech products out there on the market. Which ones do consumers like most, and how can builders know what to pick?
While only the opinion of one magazine, the staff at WIRED picked the best gadgets and appliances of the year. From refrigerators to personal assistant devices, here are a few that are great choices for new homes that consumers will love.
Best Refrigerator: GE Café CFE28TSHSS
For four years in a row, a GE French door refrigerator has won our coveted Best Refrigerator award. This year, the award once again goes to the CFE28TSHSS, which is built in GE’s Appliance Park factory in Louisville, Kentucky and features a built-in hot water dispenser. In addition to its features, we’re fans of how well this fridge performed in our tests. We recorded consistent temperatures over time in both the fridge and freezer, which can help prevent fresh food from spoiling and frozen food from developing freezer burn. Though this GE is an upscale appliance, it earns its keep by cutting down on food waste.
Best Front-Loading Washing Machine and Dryer: Electrolux 617 Series
Electrolux’s all-new flagship washing machine features the SmartBoost system, which mixes water, detergent, and fabric softener to ensure even cleaning and stain removal. Our tests show that this new technology is more than just marketing hype, and really gets clothes clean in half an hour. That’s what earned the EFLS617SIW (in white) and EFLS617STT (in titanium) washers the top spot in our Best of Year honors. The clincher? The matching Electrolux dryers—available in both gas (as the EFMG617SIW/EFMG617STT) and electric (as the EFME617SIW/EFME617STT) are just as good. For under $900 on sale, they offer multiple cycles that get clothes dry, gently. They also feature steam cleaning, which can help remove odors from items that can’t be washed, like stuffed animals and baseball caps.
Best Smart Home Essential: Amazon Echo
Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant puts your voice in control of an ever-expanding universe of smart products, and the Amazon Echo speaker remains the best choice for getting Alexa into your home. Whether you want to play music, check the news, control your lighting, keep an eye on your oven, or even play a game, the Echo has you covered with its always-on functionality. It’s easy to see how the Echo has helped Alexa become the de facto smart home standard.
Best Dishwasher: Bosch 800 Series
Bosch dishwashers are best-known for how quiet they are, and the 800 Series is no exception. Rated between 40 and 44 dBA, these are among the least noisy dishwashers in their class. They also do a great job cleaning and drying dishes, removing even the most stubborn food stains we use in our tests. A third rack fits flatware and even small bowls, while the addition of flexible racks make the 800 Series a worthy upgrade from the also-excellent 500 Series. Available in a variety of finishes and handle styles, there’s an 800 Series for every kitchen design. Unlike many of its competitors, this US-made Bosch can even be mounted flush with cabinetry for a sleek, built-in look.