Choosing Kitchen Appliances For Tiny Houses (Complete Guide)

One of the best parts about owning a tiny house is stretching your creative muscle.  This is because you are working with a limited amount of space which may be new to you.

Finding the perfect appliances and design details that fit in with both your style and space can be challenging.  One of the more challenging areas in your tiny home to stock up will be the kitchen.

While most spaces in tiny homes can have dual purposes, kitchens tend to be a stand-alone area.

However, the one thing that people struggle with is finding the best appliances for their tiny house kitchen.

There are many different decisive factors that go into find the best appliances for you.

Luckily for you, the legwork has already been done.  The best part about owning a tiny home is that most of the trial and error experiences have already been done for you.

Here are our best tips to help you find the kitchen appliances that will work best in your tiny house.

What Appliances Do You Need?

When it comes to buying kitchen appliances, it is important to remember that less is more.

This is because of certain luxuries like counter space are limited in smaller kitchens.  But it is much more than that.  Here are some reasons why you may want to consider downsizing your appliance collection for your tiny house:

  • Limited Space

Many tiny house kitchens are fitted with either a short counter or one long countertop space.  This means that keeping bulky appliances on display year-round is not the way to go.

While you will be able to store appliances in cabinets, cabinets are limited as well.

  • Energy Source

Most kitchen appliances will require an energy source to run.  Keep in mind that you will be using a combination of fuel and solar energy to power your tiny house.

This is why it is important to find appliances that will work with your power system.

  • Type of Cooking

If you are a wizard in the kitchen who doesn’t want to limit themselves, consider other options.  Finding appliances that have dual purposes will be a huge help to you.

This way you can continue to experiment in the kitchen without sacrificing your space.  

These tips will help you to make smarter choices when it comes to stocking your kitchen counters.  While there are plenty of appliances that can be left behind, there are a few essentials that can’t be lived without.  Here are some of the essential kitchen appliances that owners of tiny houses see as a must for their kitchen:

  • Coffeemaker
  • Kettle 
  • Toaster
  • Range Stove
  • Microwave
  • Crock Pot
  • Refrigerator 

However, don’t feel like you need to be limited to this short list of essentials.  On the other hand, don’t feel like you need to get any of these appliances.

Any chance you have to reduce, take it!

The Best Way To Make Coffee or Tea

The top thing on most kitchen appliances shopping lists is a coffeemaker.  Most people start their mornings off either with a cup of coffee or tea.  You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your traditional morning routine just because your surroundings have gotten smaller.

However, there are ways that you can still enjoy your morning cup without compromising your space.  Here are some tips to getting exactly what you want while still staying true to your downsizing mission:

Use Non-Traditional Appliances

When living in a tiny house, large and bulky coffeemakers are out of the question.  Instead, try something a little bit different.  While smaller standard one-cup brewers are great for smaller spaces, there are even better options.

This way you can still have an amazing cup of coffee without giving up any of your precious counter space.  Here are some other options for making the best cup of morning tea or coffee:

  • Air Press

Coffee air pressers are fairly simple to use, but that isn’t why tiny house owners love them so much.  Air pressers are a two-part system that in total is a little larger than a pint glass.

This way you can easily store the air presser out of sight when not in use right alongside your glassware.

Using an air press works much like a traditional French press.  You simply pour hot water through the top of the device and the coffee will run through a disposable filter.  Not only does this mean less bulk and work, but it also delivers tasty coffee too.

  • French Press

A French press system is a more traditional route for tiny house owners.

These little coffee pots allow you to make a full pot of coffee.  This is a great alternative to air pressers because with an air press you will be making single cups at a time.

Another plus to using a French press versus and air presser is that you won’t need to buy disposable filters.  Most French press pots have their own filtration system.  This way you can live a more “waste-free” life which is right on brand with a downsized way of living.

  • Electric Kettle

One thing to keep in mind when using a pour-over style of coffee maker is that you will be needing hot water.

Unlike coffeemakers that have a build in water well that heats up, you will need to boil the water yourself.  If you choose to boil the water on your stovetop, you will be using propane each and every morning.

If you are looking for ways to save your precious propane, consider making the switch to an electric kettle.

Electric kettles simply plug into an outlet and use your home’s power to work.  People prefer this method because not only can they easily store the kettle after use, but they can customize it.  You can choose your own temperature settings making your coffee just the way you want.

If you find that you have more counter space than anticipated, feel free to go the traditional route.  Many one-pot coffeemakers now are sleeker and more compact which can fit right into your downsized lifestyle.

The Larger Appliances In A Tiny Kitchen

While figuring out what smaller appliances to place on your countertop is important, there is a much larger choice to make.  Bigger appliances, like stoves and refrigerators, are a whole different ballgame.

So, how do you choose?

Here are some tips to make sure that you not only get what you need but what you want:

Set a Budget

The biggest factor in selecting large appliances for your tiny home will be how much you can spend.  Putting together a budget should be part of your home buying experience.

Along with traditional home costs, furnishing your home will be your second largest expense.  This is why it is so important to stick to your plan.  If you want a top-of-the-line appliance, budget and save for it!

The Average cost of large kitchen appliances will run you anywhere from $450-$3000 a piece.

This doesn’t include state of the art innovative technologies either.  Those type of products will be a grander expense.  As long as your budget allows for it, feel free to reach for the stars.

Environmental Impact

These days it is hard to find kitchen appliances that are not backed by green energy.  However, its a good rule of thumb to look for appliances that are smart energy certified.  This will not only help you to keep your home expenses low but will help to reduce your overall carbon footprint.

If you are serious about protecting the environment, there are plenty of options when it comes to furnishing your house with larger appliances.  Energy Star appliances can save up to 50% of energy.

Not only that, they can save you tons when it comes to water usage.  This applies to appliances like dishwashers.

Also, it should be noted that if you are planning on using used or repurposed appliances, that they may not be as efficient.  This is because the technology around energy saving appliances is changing daily.  So, what was best to use last year may be completely out of date now.

Be Kind to the Space

An important thing to remember is that furnishing a tiny house is far different from filling a traditional home.  A major tip is to work with the space you are given instead of cramming in large appliances.  Try to find large kitchen appliances that can have dual purposes in order to get the most out of your smaller space.

Look for range ovens that can have the stovetop easily covered with wood or stone.  This way you have extra counter space when your stove is not in use.  Look for refrigerators that are sleeker and slimmer than larger ones.  This way you can keep as much floor space in your kitchen as possible.

When it comes to fitting refrigerators into your limited space, you have options.

One option is to find small fridges that don’t have a freezer.  This will cut the space you need for a refrigerator in half.  Instead, consider purchasing a separate freezer that can be safely kept outside of the home.  Not only will this help with limited space, but this can also help you to freeze and store much more food which can help cut down on grocery costs.

Gas Versus Electric

Every homeowner goes through the debate of which type of appliances to purchase for their home.  This isn’t a choice that is only limited to traditional homes either.  Owners of tiny houses often debate about which is better.

While a gas range stoves are better to cook with and offer more control, electric stoves are more cost-effective.

When it comes to putting in large appliances in your tiny kitchen, consider your power source.  While you will be using electricity in your home, you will also be working off of propane.  This way you can still get the gas stove of your dreams in your tiny house with little effort.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.

Optional Kitchen Appliances to Consider

You should never feel limited by your tiny house.  Instead of looking at your space with dread, think of it as an incredible creative challenge.  You also shouldn’t feel limited when it comes to the types of appliances to use in your smaller kitchen.

While the list of needed appliances is a great place to start, feel free to customize your space with what exactly you need.  Here are some option kitchen appliances that homeowners swear by and how you can make them work for your space:

  • Dishwasher

If you have a family of three or more, you know how hard it is to survive without a dishwasher.  When you have such a small space to work with, it is important to remember to keep the areas free of clutter.  One thing that is sure to pile up quickly is dishes.  This is where a dishwasher comes in handy.

Fitting a traditional size dishwasher into your small kitchen might be out of the question for your space.  However, there are other options to consider.

A portable dishwasher is a great choice for a tiny house.

These types of dishwashers are small enough to fit into a closet when not in use.  Because they feature wheels, they can be easily rolled out of sight.  The best part about portable dishwashers is that they hook directly up to your sink so there is no need for extra connectors laying around.

If you’re looking for something a little smaller still, consider purchasing a countertop dishwasher.

These types of dishwashers are roughly the same size as a compact microwave.  This means you can quickly use them right on your countertop and then store away when you’re done.  However, because they are much smaller in size, you will only be able to wash smaller loads at a time,

  • Washing Machines

The same logic that goes into needing a dishwasher can also be applied to washing machines.  The only thing that piles up quicker than dishes in a tiny house is laundry.  This is especially true if you have children.  While you can go into town to do laundry or do it by hand, you have other options.

Plus for the cost of visiting a laundromat a few times a week will add up quickly.

Stackable washers and dryers are a great option for tiny homes.  These type of appliances work well with your limited space by working upwards.  This way you get two appliances for the space of one.

Also, remember that since these are combat styles of machines, you will be limited when it comes to how much you will be able to wash at once.

If you are hoping to cut the costs of power and water in your home, consider using a portable washing machine.  These types of washers are loved by campers because they take little water and no power.

These machines are usually hand operated or operated with a foot pedal.  This way you can spend less time hand-wringing clothes and more time enjoying your home.

  • Dual-Purpose Appliances

No matter the size of the home, one thing is clear, people love their options.  So, if you are looking to expand your kitchen appliance collection, consider one that gives you options.  One appliance to look into is convection toaster ovens.

Toaster ovens have come a long way from just heating up some bread.

Now you can find high-quality toasters that can cook pizza, grill fish and even work as a healthy air fryer.  Even crockpots have come a long way.  You can find cookers that will roast, slow cook, sautee and even pressure cook.

These multi-purpose appliances will do much more than save you some counter space.  They will also reduce the need to use your gas range or oven.  This means you can reduce your reliance on propane and gas.  Best of all, they help to make meals more convenient and time-saving!

Time to Shop

Now that you know all the tips and tricks to find the best kitchen appliances for the home, it is time to start shopping.

However, one thing you will want to do before hitting the stores is to measure and record your kitchen.  There is no such thing as being “over prepared” when it comes to furnishing your tiny house.

This is because you don’t have the luxury of ignoring those extra few inches.  The old saying “measure twice, buy once” should ring in your mind.  This way you can be sure that your new appliances will properly fit into your space.  Good luck.


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