The Best Compact Products for Tiny Homes
When most homeowners think of sustainable upgrades to their home, they might think of solar panels, programmable thermostats, or switching out their VOC-leaching carpet for FSC certified hardwood flooring sealed with natural oils and waxes. While these additions will certainly help increase energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and reduce the total carbon footprint of your home, “downgrading” might very well be a more sustainable approach to a genuinely green household.
Smaller homes require much fewer construction materials, and less energy is needed to heat and power the interior. Living in a house under 1,000 square feet, however, comes with a unique set of challenges. While these design ideas for tiny homes can certainly help homeowners optimize the use of interior space, you probably won’t be able to include a double door, 35 cubic foot refrigerator, or a full washer and dryer in a home that is only 500 total square feet.
Fortunately, several compact appliances and products are designed specifically to maximize the efficient use of interior space for smaller homes. Below, we review five top products and household appliances that help owners of tiny homes take advantage of reduced interior space.
1. Mini Washing Machine
Most regularly sized homes have a separate utility room where the washer and dryer are located. For tiny homes aiming for less than 500 square feet of livable space, the thought of dedicating an entire room for washing clothes is not feasible.
Instead of simply relying on the laundromat, however, compact washing machines, such as this 24-inch compact washer by Bosch, can allow you to save on space while not having to save up your quarters. This model is Energy-Star certified and also offers a 40 percent faster washing time to help you cut back on time dedicated to household chores. Since noise can be more of a problem in a tiny home (no place to get away), the Eco-Silence motor means that you can wash your clothes without having your entire home sound like a rumbling machine.
This little machine is also stackable, meaning that you can combine it with the mini clothes dryer that we review below. At $989, this unit is also less expensive than a full-sized washing machine while still getting the job done.
2. Mini Clothes Dryer
Bosch also offers a matching 24-inch dryer for the same $989 price tag. The 300 Series White Condensation Electric Dryer can either be placed side by side or on top of the washing machine detailed above. It has 4 feet of cubic capacity, which roughly means that you can dry up to 16 bath towels or their equivalent in one operation.
The highly insulated drying capsule reduces vibration and noise by up to 30 percent, essential for all tiny homes. But most importantly, this dryer doesn’t require external ducting because it does not run on natural gas. The condensation drying technology is efficient, as the dryer utilizes the cool ambient air from the home to produce hot air circulating within the drum. The lack of a need for external ducting can help keep your home airtight and thus maximize the home's thermal performance—and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
3. Compact Kitchen
Most kitchens have a separate space for storing food, cooking food, and washing up after meals. While this might be a luxury in which a 2,500 square foot home can indulge, tiny houses often cram these spaces together into a compact kitchen module. The result is often an uncomfortable and poorly designed kitchen space that makes it challenging to prepare meals efficiently. The average American spends 0.6 hours each day preparing and cleaning up after meals, and the kitchen is often considered one of the most utilized parts of a home.
Compact Appliance offers a full line of tiny house appliances, from compact dishwashers, laundry machines and mini-refrigeration solutions. Their combo kitchens, however, provide an innovative way to reduce space by combining functions. The Summit 60 Inch Combo Kitchen offers everything a kitchen needs within five feet of space. The compact and efficient design reduces space while not compromising on comfort and utility.
This compact kitchen includes a sink, stove, mini-refrigerator, and kitchen storage in one piece. The mini refrigerator consists of a dual-evaporator cooling system that is 100% CFC-free. Also, it incorporates adjustable glass shelves, door racks, a crisper for additional storage, and a zero-degree freezer. Two 120-volt smooth top burners are situated on top of 5.1 cubic feet of cabinet space, and the single-piece, stainless steel countertop along with the integrated drainage board is a great design. At $1,660, it is also an affordable way to outfit a kitchen for a tiny home.
Alternatively, the Avanti 30 inch mini-kitchen is an even smaller model that might make more sense for super tiny homes under 300 square feet.
4. Tiny Home Dishwasher
One common assumption that many homeowners make is that tiny home living implies voluntarily giving up certain “comfort appliances” common in larger homes. For example, dishwashers take up too much space, meaning that you won’t be able to afford the luxury of cleaning up after meals by simply pushing a few buttons.
The Danby compact dishwasher, however, is only 21 inches wide by 17 inches high. It fits under most kitchen cabinets, even in tiny homes. This product also is extremely water efficient and only uses 3.17 gallons of water for regular cycle washes. At $329.99, this dishwasher is an affordable way to allow yourself the comfort and luxury of not having to wash the dishes by hand, even in a home with limited space.
5. Tiny House Air Conditioner and Heater
Many tiny homes include a lofted bedroom. While this is a great way to increase the living area in the house, it also means that you are going to be sleeping in a tiny area with minimal headroom. Since heat rises, you are most likely looking at some sweaty, sticky nights of sleep if you live in an area with hot and humid summers. Including a mini air conditioner is a great way to stay cool.
While window unit ACs can certainly work for tiny homes, this mini split ductless air conditioner and heat pump offered by Kingspin cost only $619 and is a more sustainable way to heat and cool a tiny home quietly and efficiently. The full 55D DC inverter technology features variable compressor speeds to ensure efficiency while also cooling, heating, dehumidification, and ventilation operating modes.
Living in a tiny home doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to forego some of the most basic and helpful appliances and products that we have come to depend on in our homes. These five compact products and appliances will reduce space in your home while also offering maximum livability and comfort.Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2021-07-09T11:59:10+0000