Compact Appliances For The Tiny House Life

One thing that people are often curious about in tiny houses, is what kind of appliances do you have?

  • Do you cook on a hot plate?
  • Do you have a regular washer and dryer?
  • Do you use a window air conditioner to cool it off?

Well, the answer to all of those questions can be yes. 

Because just like with a traditional size house… there are options.  And it’s up to you to decide what you want to have as far as appliances go.

I, personally, knew that I:

  • Wanted to cook meals so I wanted a regular oven and range,
  • Didn’t want to go to a laundromat or use a washboard, so I wanted a washer/dryer and
  • HATE washing dishes by hand so I wanted a dishwasher.

So these factors determined the appliances that I had in my tiny house.  But you can tailor your appliance set-up to match your specific needs and desires.  If you want to be totally off-grid, this will obviously have a major impact on the appliances you choose, as will your budget.

Some tiny house dwellers opt for full size appliances and sacrifice the extra space that it requires to house them.  But there are also plenty of resources available for “tiny” or low-profile appliances like or RV suppliers.

PRO TIP: Order an RV catalog online or get one from your local RV store. They are FULL of tiny appliances and fun storage solutions you might have not realized even existed! This is a huge resource for you!


Tiny house fridge options can range anywhere from a small “dorm” size fridge that fits underneath a counter, all the way up to a full size fridge.  I wanted to land somewhere in the middle – so I could still store a decent amount of fresh food and veggies but not have it overtake the whole kitchen.

My fridge: Avanti RA7306WT 2-Door Apartment Size Refrigerator, White

Great size, has a small freezer and fits nicely in an under-the-stairs cubbyhole.  Also has lots of shelf space in the door and two cute little veggie drawers!


The options for stoves and/or ovens are even more endless.

If you want to keep things simple and don’t really do much cooking at home, you might be able to get by with just a hotplate or a two-burner stovetop that sits on the counter. (Mariah here – I actually use a 2-burner propane cooktop I got from a RV catalog, it’s a “Suburban”.)

Other easy options are a toaster oven or a microwave.  Since I am trying to get away from using a microwave and knew I wanted to be able to cook “real” meals, I opted for a “tiny” stove/oven combo.

My range: Danby DER201W 20-Inch Electric Range with Coil Element Cooktop, 2.4 Cubic Feet, White

Good size, doesn’t take up a lot of space and heats up quickly.  But it does use a lot of power which would make it difficult to go off-grid.


Many tiny house dwellers use a convenient and inexpensive type of dishwasher – their hands.

But for those of us that don’t enjoy washing dishes by hand, there are options.  Drawer-style dishwashers are a great option for tiny kitchens, as well as low-profile units like mine.

My dishwasher: SD-9254SSA Stainless Energy Star 18″ Built-in Dishwasher w/Heated Drying

Fits easily into a small space, has plenty of room for small loads of dishes and glassware, and does not make a lot of noise!


Another modern convenience that may not be “standard” in all tiny houses is a washer/dryer.

But if you don’t want to have to go to a laundromat or a friend’s house every time you want to wash clothes (or wash them in a bucket like the good ol’ days), then you will probably want some type of washer/dryer.

Because there’s not a lot of space to work with in a tiny house, you will probably want to get a combination unit, which can be vented or non-vented.  My unit, which is non-vented, dries by centrifugal force.

My Washer/Dryer Combo: Kenmore 22352 4.2 cu. ft. Top Load Washer in White, includes delivery and hookup

Washer and dryer in one! Plenty of wash cycles and quiet operation but does take longer to dry without heat/vent.

Air Conditioners

You can cool your house the “old fashioned” way with windows and a fan, or you can use a standard window unit.

And when winter comes, you can heat the house with wood, gas or propane stoves, or an electric space heater.  You can also buy one unit that will do both and installs through the wall.  That’s what I went with for my house.

My Air Conditioner/Heater: Impecca 5,000 BTU/h Mechanical Controlled Mini Window Air Conditioner

Does a great job of heating and cooling a small space and comes with a remote control but takes a lot of power to operate and is very loud.

Like with everything else in a tiny house, you should choose your appliances based on yourneeds and your lifestyle.

There are endless options and choices available to you, so choose what works for your life and your budget!

And definitely grab an RV catalog either online or from your local supplier, they have tons of great small appliances for you to look through!

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