kitchenaid-food-processor-attachmentIf there was ever the notion that appliances weren’t appropriate items for gifting, you can throw that out the window. With so many cool, stylish, and high-tech small appliances out there today, appliances often top the gift wish list of any avid cooker, baker, or home decor lover.

Last year, at the top of my best friend’s birthday wish list was a robotic vacuum: she didn’t want jewelry or a fancy dinner from her husband, but rather a cool, wireless vacuum that would scoot around the house, picking up all the cat hair, dust, and debris.

With that said, here are some fantastic appliances that are likely high up on wish lists this season.

kitchenaid-artisan-tilt-head-stand-mixerStand Mixer

I love to cook and bake, and a few years ago, I gifted myself with a stand mixer. I researched to death, asked around, and struggled internally over the high price. But today, I realize that the investment was worth every penny.

I opted for a Professional level KitchenAid model in bright red so it stands out nicely in my kitchen. My one regret: not getting the model with a tilt head that you can lift up when you need to scrape cookie batter from the sides of the mixing bowl. Or pour ingredients like milk inside slowly to make the perfect cake batter. The KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer has this feature, along with a large 4.73L stainless steel mixing bowl, three attachments (flat beater, dough hook, and wire ship) and 10 speed options for making everything from whipped cream to homemade bread. The great part about this line is that it comes in a variety of colour options. If I had to do it again, though, I’d still stick with my fire engine red.

keurig-hot-plus-series-single-serve-4-cup-coffee-makerStand mixer accessories

A year later, a family member gave me a gift card for Christmas, and I immediately knew what I would be spending it on: attachments for the mixer. I grabbed the pasta roller set so I could make delicious homemade pasta (it is so worth the time and effort!) Next on my wish list: the food processor attachment that lets you dice, slice, shred, and julienne ingredients quickly and easily. For anyone who has kids, this can be a massive timesaver when making school lunches. And those who host a lot of parties will appreciate being able to do things like julienne vegetables for serving, or cutting soft cheese into uniform cubes quickly and easily. For me, in particular, my son and I bake batches of carrot muffins for his school lunches once a month, then freeze them. Grating the carrots is the most tiresome part of the process, so a device that would make this easier is a welcome addition in my kitchen. There are a number of other attachment options, allowing you to go everything from ground meat to make homemade ice cream.

dyson-hot-cool-air-purifierCoffee Maker

Working from home, my single-cup coffee maker gets a workout, serving up morning java for both my husband and I, then a coffee after lunch for me, and sometimes, evening tea as well. But there’s one drawback with my old but reliable Keurig machine: it’s the model without a water reservoir, which means I need to pour a cup of water inside every time I want a coffee. This isn’t such a big deal when I’m on my own, but when we have gatherings, it gets annoying when each person has to wait about two minutes to get his coffee.

My point: even dual-adult households will appreciate a four-cup coffee maker like the Keurig HOT Plus Series Single Serve/4-Cup Coffee Maker, which has a reservoir on the side for housing up to 70 ounces of water, which it can dispense on demand. You can brew individual cups, or up to four at a time. Plus, it has a cool touch display that allows you to control settings and brew strength in case Uncle Bob loves his coffee strong while irobot-roomba-980-robot-vacuumAunt Lucy prefers hers weak.

Air Purifier

Did you know that, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as cited by Dyson, the air pollution in your home can be up to five times worse than outside? Gross! I’ve been using the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Purifier Heater with HEPA Filter in my basement for about a month, and it’s a great device for supplementing the heating or cooling in a specific room, as well as advising on the quality of, and clearing up, airborne allergens caused by things like bacteria, pollen, pet dander, and mould. The best part, however, is the Dyson Link app that lets you remotely control the WiFi-connected unit, as well as get a real-time reading of the air quality both inside your home and out. It’s a unique gift for the person who has every appliance they desire, plus, it looks super-cool, fitting in any decor. I have one in silver, but you can also grab it in blue.

Robot Vaccum

dyson-v8-absolute-cordless-vacuumAs noted above, a robotic vacuum is an ideal gift for any family that would prefer to offset this arduous task to an intelligent device. I love the iRobot Roomba, and the latest model, the 980, adds some pretty neat high-tech features, including the ability to control it from an iOS or Android device. This way, you can set it to clean the main floor while you’re on your way home, and return to a sparkling clean floor or carpeting. You can even set it on a schedule, so it scoots about every Sunday morning, for example. It learns the layout of your floor, avoiding obstacles, and can sense stairs so it doesn’t accidentally tumble to the next level of the home.

Cordless Stand Vacuum

Another item I can’t live without: my Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum, which is ideal for quick clean-ups, like crumbs in the kitchen, and stairs. What I love about these vacuums, aside from the fact that there are no cords, is that you can pop off the top and sunbeam-wine-cooleruse it as a handheld vacuum for cleaning those hard-to-reach spots (with the appropriate attachment), like ceilings, or even bring it outside to give your car a quick clean.

Wine fridge

Another kitchen, bar, or basement staple: a cool wine fridge for storing your favourite cabernets or pinot grigios. I like models with glass doors that let you peer inside at the selection, like the Sunbeam 4.03 Cubic-Foot Wine Cooler. The fully transparent door is made from tempered glass, and there’s an energy-efficient interior LED light. It can accommodate up to 38 bottles with a temperature range of 6-14-degrees Celsius, with the ability to store bottles in two separately regulated temperature zones so you can keep reds at one temperature, and whites at another. Plus, it features an attractive black cabinet that will fit with any decor, and reversible door swing so you can open it to the left or right.

Check out more great appliances to add to your wish list at Best Buy Online

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I am a tech expert and journalist with 12 years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism. I write for a number of technology, business, parenting, family, and lifestyle Websites, blogs, and magazines. A self-professed lover of tech, I'm also a passionate foodie (and aspiring baker), a TV junkie (PVRs rule!), and a proud mother to a toddler-aged son.

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