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The Best Space-Saving Tiny House Appliances

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One of my favorite things about the tiny house movement is there is no one right way to design your space. Simply put, what works best for you is what is best for you.

Customize your tiny home around your specific priorities and lifestyle needs. Ultimately, you’ll choose the best tiny house appliances based on these factors. 

While your available tiny house storage space will be limited, the good news is the available list of compact appliances for tiny houses is almost endless.

Though, in many cases, full-size options work just fine too.

In this post, we’re going to give you our favorite space-saving tiny house appliances to make the most of the room you have.

Tiny House Kitchen Appliances

Home cooking is an everyday occurrence for us. In fact, it was a top priority when designing our tiny house floor plan. So we crafted our space around the tiny house kitchen appliances we wanted.

Tiny House Refrigerator Options

When it comes to choosing a tiny house refrigerator, it really can be any size. In our 130 square foot tiny house, we have this 4.4 cubic ft. compact tiny house fridge. It’s probably twice as big as the typical college dorm option.

While we considered an apartment size fridge for a bigger freezer, we wanted to keep our kitchen space as open-feeling as possible. So we opted for a tiny house refrigerator size that could fit under the counter.

 

Pros:

  • Fits perfectly under our counter.
  • It was inexpensive.
  • Energy Star rated for high energy efficiency.
  • It can hold enough fresh food for about 1.5-2 weeks. The size limitations have helped us waste less food and eat fresher.

Cons:

  • Putting away groceries or leftovers can feel like a game of Tetris.
  • The freezer space is incredibly limited. It can only fit a quart of ice cream (pro: it can’t fit a gallon of ice cream— I’m trying to stay in shape!)
  • Frost build-up is common, so the freezer needs to be defrosted regularly. 

Using a Full Size Fridge in a Tiny House

Remember, you can design your tiny space around your food storage needs.

Tiny house dweller Nina Zamudio has a full-size bottom-freezer refrigerator like this one at Home Depot, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. 

She is a gourmet vegan home chef, which requires tons of food prep and storage space. Based on her tiny house design, Nina’s large fridge fits perfectly because she knew from the start this was a must-have appliance.

Apartment Size Fridges for a Tiny House

In contrast, countless tiny homes feature apartment size fridges, which is a happy middle ground between a compact mini and full-size refrigerator. For instance, Ariel McGlothin uses a 7.4 cubic feet apartment fridge in her entirely off-grid tiny house. 

“Which I am very happy with after more than three years of use and would buy again. Plenty of space, relatively low power use, and overall just a good fit for my tiny house life,” said Ariel.

Here’s the fridge Ariel uses in her tiny house:

 Amazon product

Tiny house ovens, stoves and cooktops

 Amazon product

Because I love to cook, it was essential to have a range (combined stove-top and oven). Fortunately, we found on an adorable apartmentsized gas range to fit in our tiny house kitchen. 

It runs on propane, making it an excellent off-grid tiny house oven option. I have cooked countless delicious meals with it, including a small Thanksgiving feast.

And to my surprise, I don’t miss a microwave at all. I do all my cooking and reheating with my range.

Pros:

  • Low energy requirements—it runs propane with electronic ignition
  • Super cute and compact (20″ wide, half the size of standard range)
  • It can cook a wide range of foods via stove, oven & broiler compartment. The broiler drawer is particularly great for toast, eliminating any desire on my behalf for a toaster.

Cons:

  • When not connected to power, the stove-top must be lit with a long-reach lighter, and we cannot use the oven or broiler drawer. 
  • The oven really heats our tiny house, which is good in the winter. But we completely avoid using it during the summer.

Ariel has a similar range, but she has an oven hood, particularly useful for adequately venting propane that can subtly linger in the air. In contrast, we make do with a clip-on fan blowing out the back kitchen window and our ventilation fan in the nearby bathroom. 

To be even more off-grid friendly, consider a cordless gas range with battery-powered igniters to heat the burners and oven without the need for electricity.

Space-Saving Cooktops for a Tiny House

In contrast, many tiny home dwellers opt for a simple, space-efficient cook-top. These are available in single to four-burner sizes. You can choose from electric, propane, or induction.

One benefit is that the induction system accelerates the cooking process. It uniformly distributes heat in all directions, evenly and thoroughly cooking your dish.

A significant benefit of induction cookers of all kinds is the lack of excess heat. 

The traditional gas and electric counterparts heat up the air around the pan, losing up to half their heat to the surrounding environment.

Using an induction cooker, you can enjoy a cooler kitchen, which is a valuable quality in a small space. Similar benefits can be found with convection ovens. 

Check out our favorite induction cooktops here:

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Alternatives to tiny house ovens

If you’re interested in cooking a greater variety of recipes, consider also purchasing one of the alternative tiny house oven options, from compact convection ovens to slow cookers. 

In small spaces, the more multi-functional an appliance is, the better. It doesn’t get more versatile than the Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker. The main downsides to this are the hefty size and high power use. 

At 1400 watts it’s too much of electricity demand for many off-grid tiny homes. So probably best for on-grid homes, unless you have a beefy solar power set-up. This is comparable to other pressure cookers and small convection ovens

Did you know an air fryer is a mini convection oven? This is a small space friendly choice, due to size and lack of excess heat. Additionally, there are thousands of available air fryer and convection oven recipes. 

For those looking for an off-grid cooking experience, sans propane, consider a solar cooker.

Solar ovens like these ones can be used more like a traditional oven, allowing you to bake and slow cook in it. Despite what you might think, you can use this solar oven year-round. The only requirement is sunlight.

Tiny house appliances for heating and cooling

Honeywell electric oil filled radiator.

 Amazon product

It doesn’t take much to heat our extra tiny, 130 square foot tiny home, especially with our high-quality closed-cell spray foam. When the temperatures start to drop, we turn-on our electric oil-filled radiator

During one of our first tiny house road trips, we parked at the Red Rock State Park in New Mexico. That night the forecasted low was a mere 7°F. So, we cranked up the heater and cooked dinner.

When we went to bed, we forgot to turn it down. In the middle of the night, we woke up sweating and had to open our loft windows to cool down.

Electric Radiator Pros:

  • Even on the coldest nights, our lowest so far -10°F, it heats our tiny space with ease.
  • Energy-efficient.
  • Slim profile.
  • Adjustable thermostat.
  • Almost silent.
  • Portable; it easily rolls around.
  • Safety features like overheat protection.

Electric Radiator Cons:

  • It takes a solid hour to warm up a cool house (ours never drops below 50 F, with no heat).
  • It only heats!

Another top tiny house heating option is a mini-split. It’s three appliances in one: heater, AC and dehumidifier. So efficient and multi-functional!  

Currently, we use a small window unit for AC. In addition to inefficient cooling, it blocks natural light from one of our windows, and it’s loud.

Have you been in a tiny house with a mini-split? They are whisper quiet. 

Newair Portable AC and heater, one of the best appliances for tiny homes

Another triple-threat option is the New Air Portable AC unit; it also cools, heats, and dehumidifies spaces up to 425 square feet. It has a low environmental impact; it uses R-410A refrigerant, which does not harm the ozone in any way.

Additionally, it uses slightly fewer watts than the mini-split but can drop down further when the energy boost feature is engaged.

Well-placed windows make a huge difference for cooling in a tiny home. Prioritize cross-breeze! Also, use a compact ceiling fan, like the Kichler 15″ Terna Ceiling Fan

The tall, slim blades can help circulate air straight across the hard to reach tiny house lofts, which tend to get warmer than downstairs—heat rises, of course. 

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Small Stoves for Tiny Houses

For off-grid living, you can’t beat wood stove heating. Small stoves for tiny houses not only keep you toasty warm with a buttery heat, but they also help keep moisture at bay during the cold months. 

In Ariel’s tiny house, the sub-freezing Wyoming winter weather requires constant heating. Early on, she used a propane heater, which unfortunately generated an excess of moisture, causing mold build-up on her windows.

But after installing a wood stove, this completely dried out her space—no more mold struggles.

The Kimberly gasifier wood burning stove is perhaps the holy grail of stoves for tiny spaces. It is highly efficient, requiring a fraction of the wood that most stoves require. Additionally, it offers a cleaner burn, as compared to other stoves on the market.

Top features:

  • Lightweight, only 56 lbs.
  • Requires a mere 6 inches of clearance on sides and back of flue
  • Produces just 3.2 grams/hour emissions
  • EPA-certified and CSA-certified (unlike many other available small wood stoves)

Here are some wood stoves to check out:

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Tiny house appliances for doing laundry

For some, the thought of having to go the laundromat is appalling. Not for me. Though, I’ll admit they’re not all created equal.

Most now offer free WiFi, so you can multitask or even watch a movie while you wait. When we go to the laundromat, it takes no more than 1.5 hours to wash and dry all our clothes.

But for those who may need or desire a home option for their laundry, there are few on and off-grid options available.

 Amazon product

If you’re looking for an off-grid washing option, try the EcoSpin Portable Clothes Washing Machine (like a giant salad spinner that helps wring out wet clothes). Both units are hand-operated.

It only fits about 5 lbs of clothes at a time, which equates to about one outfit. As a result, this is a very time-consuming option for washing laundry.

Need some bathroom appliances for your tiny house? Check out these toilets for a perfect tiny home bathroom.

A clothesline is your best off-grid option for drying clothes.

After hearing mixed reviews about the lacking drying ability of compact combo washer/dryer units, tiny homeowners, Marek and Kothney-Issa, decided to go with a stackable washer/dryer combo. So they asked their builder, Cornerstone Tiny Homes, to design their 24′ tiny house with this in mind.

What to consider before buying tiny house appliances

Key factors to consider when choosing tiny house appliances include size, cost, and power requirements.

First, how much square footage is right for you? To determine this, start by identifying what you most need in your tiny home.

For instance, maybe you love cooking and can’t imagine living without a full-size refrigerator. If so, you’ll need a tiny house kitchen big enough to accommodate this choice.

tiny house sink and burner tiny house appliances

Next, you need to identify your power needs to help you with your tiny house appliances.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you want to live entirely off-grid? 

Achieving this can be cost-prohibitive for some, but for others, completely worth it in the long-run savings and flexibility that comes with it.

  • Would you prefer to have an easy, plug and play, fully on-grid house? 

Keep in mind, higher power needs can limit your tiny house parking options. For example, 50amp service is not often available in backyards. Though, RV parks and tiny house communities typically have it.

  • Do you want to limit your environmental impact? Is your budget tight? 

A hybrid of on and off-grid power sources and appliances might work best for you.

Your final tiny house appliance choices will determine how much power your tiny home needs. Knowing that, you can curate your electrical and/or solar system to meet those needs.

Important note: the electrical capacities of a 30amp and 50amp tiny house vary greatly, as will the number of appliances you can run off your available amperage.

Conclusion on the Best Appliances for Tiny Homes

Whatever combination of tiny house appliances you decide is right for your lifestyle, you can design your tiny house layout and electrical needs around them.

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