Buying someone a kitchen appliance — especially someone who likes to cook — can be a potentially loaded endeavor: Serious cooks have the brands they’re loyal to, and kitchen specialists likely own the very specific plug-in electronics to indulge their habits. But in a world where kitchen gear is getting increasingly beautiful, what your cooking-obsessed friend might actually need is a pop of color to vary up their drab lineup (black, white, chrome, more black) or something sleeker to minimize the countertop clutter. These are just a few of the gadgets that will truly up a kitchen’s curb appeal.
Dash Mini Rice Cooker
In the age of the giant, all-in-one kitchen appliance, smaller and more focused items get overlooked. Do not underestimate how much joy a single-serving rice cooker, which can make about a cup of cooked rice at time, can bring to someone who lives alone or in a small living space — especially when it looks as cute as this one.
BergHOFF Ron Stainless Steel Teapot
A teapot is hardly a gadget, and certainly not a modern one. But this BergHOFF kettle, with its squat, ergonomic shape and sleek black-and-chrome look, can stand shoulder-to-shoulder (figuratively, at least, on countertops) with any other modern appliance, making it perfect for the kitchen-gadget obsessive.
Smeg 2-Slice Toaster in Pastel Green
For modish 1950s-style industrial design, there’s no brand more iconic than Smeg, the midcentury maker of candy-colored kitchen appliances with rounded edges, smooth surfaces, and chrome accents that give off vintage Jetsons vibes. This toaster epitomizes the look in a compact package, making for a delightful addition to any kitchen countertop.
Stelton Theo French Press Coffee Maker
Some coffee machines sit clumsily on countertops and hog all the space and attention. This French press is more like a gorgeous minimalist vase, one that just happens to produce coffee when it’s not sitting pretty as a chic home accessory.
Dash Chef Series Digital Blender in Rose Gold
For years we’ve had colorful stand mixers, thanks to KitchenAid; why can’t blenders be as — or even more — stylish? This blender has a slightly vintage look and an abundantly modern color, making it perfect for the friend who cares more about her kitchen aesthetic than, say, the horsepower of a Vitamix.
Fellow Clyde Stovetop Tea Kettle
Combining Japanese and Scandinavian design influences, Fellow’s sturdy stovetop kettle will undoubtedly make your life (or your girlfriend’s or husband’s or really anyone on your list’s life) more fabulous and stylish. Which is a lot more than you can say for most kettles.
There’s something unexpectedly charming about a kitchen appliance that announces its purpose. This countertop toaster is big, heavy, blindingly shiny, and amusing in a way we can’t fully explain. It’s perfect for someone whose home decor has a sense of humor.
Morph Stainless Steel Twist Blade
A useful gadget doesn’t always require electricity. This simple tool is as slick and inconspicuous as it is useful — one side works to frost cakes, while the push of a button flips it for lining baking pans — making it an ideal upgrade for the most prolific home baker in your life.
All-Clad Gourmet Slow Cooker
If Fellow’s cooly modern design makes it the Rei Kawakubo of the kitchen appliance world, while Smeg, with its playfully retro midcentury vibes, is Miu Miu, consider All-Clad Calvin Klein: simple, spare, monochromatic, and yet somehow elegantly elevated. This slow cooker — a far cry from the clunky Instant Pot — is as sophisticated as they get.
Joseph Joseph TriScale
Any chef will tell you that a food scale is essential for the passionate home cook, but most food scales are aesthetic eyesores. This scale is more like a chic little trivet, and it folds away when it’s not being used — making it far more convenient and easy to use than your average kitchen scale, and more attractive too.
Ikea Metallisk Espresso Maker
There are fancy expensive European coffee makers, then there is this baby from Ikea, which has the expensive look but in a petite package with a price tag to match — making it a thoughtful gift for someone you don’t want to spend that much on.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.