Tips and Guides

Product Picks: Small Appliances

Pack a punch in a limited space with these amazing mini versions of your regular-sized appliances


City living has definitely become a race for space. Whether it’s finding a decent-sized high-rise studio unit with reasonably priced parking, or shopping in a tiangge that actually gives you room to breathe, people  have become increasingly aware of how space has become a top commodity these days.

With the shift towards condominiums and apartments, space in the home has certainly become a new concern. The walk-in closets and ample shelving of older, more space-privileged generations have been replaced by creative workarounds—cabinets that can fit a whole trunk full of junk into a locker-sized cubicle, lever-operated rods that slide up and down to maximize ceiling height, and clever bathroom storage that goes way beyond the typical medicine cabinet.

The issue of limited space hasn’t just affected space planning; it has spawned a whole new line of mini appliances that can fit comfortably into the nooks and crannies of today’s new homes. 

Mini appliances aren’t only perfect for small-space living, they’re also ultra-light and extremely portable—great for the pack-and-go lifestyle. If you’re staying at a rental for only a few months, it’s best to invest in these easy-to-transport appliances, rather than the kind of heavy-duty equipment that can weigh down your move. 

Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno and Jun Pinzon.

Read the original article ("Small Wonders") in the March 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details.  

Electric Stoves

Electric stoves provide a safe alternative for those who are afraid of gas leaks. This compact stove can help you accomplish your lightweight stovetop cooking tasks, without the pressure of making sure the gas is turned on, or figuring out how to light the stove properly. When the stove is not in use, you can stack your pots and pans on it and save yourself some extra space as well. 

Travel Kettles

When choosing kettles, you may go for those with 0.5-liter capacity as it can handle the right amount of water for small-scale servings. Make sure it has a lockable lid to prevent any accidents especially when you're on the go or in your kitchen. Always be on the lookout for the product specs and features to make sure that it suits your needs.

Compact Mixers

Regular mixers with a fitted base take up a lot of kitchen space, and aren’t as flexible as their handheld counterparts. A compact mixer allows the budding chef in you to shine, despite a limited working space. It’s easy to store (this will definitely fit in drawers unlike their free-standing counterparts), plus it can be used with any bowl or container without any hassle. Another advantage of using a lightweight mini mixer? You won’t be suffering from cramps even with extended use.

Compact Rice Cookers

No Filipino home is complete without a rice cooker. Unfortunately, not all Filipino homes are big enough to accommodate regular-sized equipment. When choosing a rice cooker, double check the product specs and go for the one which can cook a large serving of rice but can fit right into your countertop.

Oven Toasters

The great thing about oven toasters is their flexibility—you can heat your pan de sal for breakfast in the same appliance you use to bake your chocolate chip cookies. value-for-money oven toaster will fit on any shelf by your kitchen counter - but make sure it has features such as a good temperature control and timers as well.

Water Dispensers

If you’re running a small home office or are adamant about getting cold and hot water 24/7, this water dispenser from American Home will serve you well. Unlike its heavy, floor-installed counterparts, this light version can sit prettily on top of any desk, leaving you with plenty of under-the-table storage that you can put to good use.

Travel System Iron

Ironing can be a big hassle, especially if you’re stuck with a suitcase full of wrinkled clothes while on a trip. A travel iron is small enough to sneak into your carryon, and can fit into even the smallest kitchen drawer without a hitch. It’s good to have one of these handy even if you’re not one to keep your clothes prim and pressed—you never know when an occasion will call for extra neat pleats and wrinkle-free slacks.


Since portable mp3 players came on the scene, Altec Lansing has become a household name in stereo systems. Their InMotion line has made high quality sound a household name. The IM300 is light, portable and goes well with similarly lightweight players like the iPod Mini and the iPod Nano. This durable mini sound system can work with a regular power cord, but can also run perfectly well with four AA batteries. Although not quite up to par with more sophisticated (and more expensive) systems, its sound quality suffices, especially considering its sturdiness and portability.

You may visit appliance stores to source for similar items. 

To view a couple of options, see some appliances here.


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