As the saying goes, you pay for what you get and that includes household products. For those items that go through far more wear and tear, it makes sense to pay a little bit more upfront for better quality and durability. Here are five household items worth the splurge.
It’s probably not your favorite chore, but ironing can be far more unpleasant with a cheap device. For one, it can damage your clothes, and poor quality irons are known to leak water and fail to reach the proper temperature. Quality irons start at around $75 and have the following key features: fast heating and an anti-drip seal. Also look for stainless steel or ceramic-sole plates, which glide best over a variety of fabrics. It doesn’t have to have a lot of steam holes to be effective. A $75 iron used twice a week will pay for itself in about a year, at just 72 cents per use.
A smart budget here is between $200 and $400. As for the best kind, Consumer Reports says a full-size canister vacuum, while more expensive than an upright, does tend to last an average of two years longer.
While you’re shopping, look for a model with a suction control switch, which will allow you to clean different types of floor surfaces. An edge cleaner picks up dirt and debris under the entire area of the cleaning head so you can vacuum right up to the wall. And for deep cleaning, pick a vacuum with manual carpet height adjustment. A top-notch vacuum should last about seven years. If you spend $300 and clean once a week, that breaks down to just 82 cents per use.
Depend on your morning coffee fix? A top-notch machine will not only save you from spending $4 on a store-bought latte, it can also produce better-tasting coffee compared to cheaper brands.
That’s because high-end brewers have better water filtration systems and higher boiling points. Since coffee tastes best when it’s super hot, you want a machine that steeps between 195 and 205 degrees for that perfect cup. If you only want enough coffee to fill your travel mug before dashing out the door, consider a single-serve machine to reduce wasted leftovers. A $150 coffee maker will pay for itself three times over in the first year alone.
Quality pots, pans and casserole dishes can last for decades. Low-end pieces can become warped by heat and cheap non-stick surfaces can chip away, finding their way into your food. Instead, invest in solid pieces made of stainless steel, aluminum or cast iron. Look for non-stick cookware free of PFOA, a carcinogen that has been widely used in non-stick coatings. A new stainless steel skillet might set you back about $90, but you should still be using it 10 years from now.
Every home chef needs a great set of knives. Well-crafted cutlery can last a lifetime, so you’ll never need to replace them if you buy wisely. That said, the most expensive sets aren’t necessary unless you’re a picky professional, but spending $200 to $400 on a knife block will buy you durable steel blades that resist corrosion and stains. A sharpener, available for as little as $20 if it doesn’t come with the set, will keep your knives slicing, dicing and carving for years to come.
As always, we want to hear from you. What’s been your most value household splurge? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit.