10 pricey products worth the splurge
With easy-to-read measurement markings and two different-sized plastic jars, the Blendtec Designer Series WildSide Blender plus Wildside Jar ($454.95, amazon.com) adapts to your needs — no matter how much or little you need to blend. Its flat LED control panel offers 10 speeds and a variety of pre-programmed cycles for a customized experience. From mixing up margaritas and smoothies to grinding coffee beans, this GHRI top-rated blender promises to churn out perfect results every time.
Green eggs and ... Steak
Bing | Big Green Egg Grill
The Big Green Egg Grill ($1009, biggreenegg.com) is sure to be a conversation starter at your next family barbeque, but its performance proves it's worth the splurge for more than its unusual appearance. Available in five sizes from Mini to XLarge, this grill turned out perfect chicken and steak in our GHRI testing &mdash. An experienced outdoor cook can also use it as a smoker or an oven.
Unlimited ice cream
When impatient little ones are craving a frozen treat, the De'Longhi Self-Refrigerating Gelato Maker Model GM6000 ($299.95, amazon.com) is the perfect tool to pull out. Unlike other ice cream makers, this model with a self-refrigerating compressor is ready at a moment's notice, since no pre-freezing is necessary. That also means multiple batches of creamy frozen treats can be made in a row. Its removable bowl makes both serving and cleaning up a breeze.
Flawless cup of tea
For the tea lover, the Breville Variable Temperature Kettle #BKE820XL ($129.99, amazon.com) may be just the splurge needed for that perfect cup of brew. In addition to five pre-programmed temperatures for different kinds of tea, this stainless steel kettle also beeps to alert you when the water reaches the temperature of your choice. It features windows to see the water levels and an easy-to-open lid and a wrap-around cord so it’s not an eyesore when it’s sitting on the countertop between uses.
Looking to be eco-minded, even when you're getting out those stubborn wrinkles? In its Eco and Eco Boost modes, the Rowenta Eco Intelligence Steam Iron ($150, amazon.com) emits less steam irons while still removing wrinkles better than other irons do. This GHRI top pick for energy efficiency easily maneuvers around buttons and tricky spots on all types of fabric, from cotton to silk.
Bing | Breville #BJE820XL
The stainless steel Breville #BJE820XL ($399, amazon.com) was able to juice all kinds of produce without a hitch in GHRI tests. Plus, this Breville is easy to clean, and its large feed chute — which can fit a whole apple — is simple to use as well as assemble and disassemble.
Looking to make the switch to induction? It's certainly tempting: This electric technology heats pans super-fast and cuts down on cooking time significantly. Our top induction pick from our last test, the GE Profile PHB9255P3SS Induction Range ($2999, geappliances.com) broils, bakes, and boils superbly, offering multiple settings for customized use. While heating quickly and cooking evenly, the cooktop of this freestanding range also stayed cool to touch, making cleanup quick and easy. Bonus: Its warming drawer can be used to keep foods toasty or store extra pots and pans.
Bring your sewing room into the 21st Century with the Janome 3160 Quilter's Décor Computer Sewing Machine ($999, janome.com). With computerized thread cutting and auto-lock functions, this high-tech appliance creates quality stitches and buttonholes on a variety of fabrics. Its LCD interface is so easy to understand, you might not even need to consult the instruction manual.
Bing | Riccar Supralite RSL5
The Riccar Supralite RSL5 ($699, ricar.com) has two speed settings (one for bare floors and area rugs, and a higher setting for carpets) along with a "Squeegee" mode for cleaning bare floors. We found this upright vacuum fairly easy to maneuver around a table and change its HEPA bag, and it was the only lightweight model in GHRI testing to excel at cleaning both embedded dirt and pet hair from carpeting.
Big time baker
For those that bake in large quantities, the KitchenAid Bowl Lift Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer KP26M1X ($499.99, amazon.com) comes with a 6-quart bowl that can mix 12 cups of flour at once. With a beater, whisk, dough hook, and pouring shield included, this stand mixer will have you set for your next big baking day. Available in 10 colors, there's sure to be a model in your favorite shade.