Consumer Reports: Appliances for your next apartment

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With the new year, you might be looking for a new apartment. (WLS)

With the new year, you might be looking for a new apartment. Consumer Reports rounds up some must-have appliances for your new pad.

Emerald Smith just moved into her first apartment off-campus. And she's coming to terms with everything she needs to buy for her new place.

"You never really know how much stuff it actually is until you get here," Smith said.

Consumer Reports tests all sorts of small appliances and can help with some hand-picked recommendations.

First essential - a decent coffeemaker. Pods are convenient, but they have drawbacks.

"Pods can be pricey, and in our tests of popular pod brands none were as good as some ground coffees from specialty roasters you can use in, say, a drip coffeemaker," said Dan DiClerico, Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports recommends this Kalorik for $60. It's very easy to use and brews a good cup of coffee.

A toaster oven is perfect for cooking frozen pizza and other quick meals. This compact Panasonic FlashXpress is also a great stand-in for a regular toaster. And for $110, it costs half as much as other recommended toaster ovens.

And no kitchen is complete without a blender. With a good one you can chop, puree and make a smoothie. But they can be expensive!

"You might have to shell out more than you'd expect for a really great blender. Our top-rated models can cost a few hundred dollars," DiClerico said.

A less expensive option - the $90 Nutri Ninja Pro Personal Blender. Its mixing container doubles as a travel mug, so you can whip up a smoothie and take it with you.

To keep your place tidy, a stick vac comes in handy. This top-rated Dyson is a powerful cordless vacuum, but it's $300. For about half the price, this corded Shark Rocket gets the job done, too. It's excellent on carpets and very good on bare floors.

What about a microwave? If you're looking for a smaller-sized model, you may have some trouble finding a great one. In Consumer Reports tests, larger capacity microwaves outperformed midsized ones in areas like heating evenness and speed as well as defrosting. One to try - the Panasonic Inverter model NN H965BF for about $160. It's excellent for defrosting a frozen meal.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2015. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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