From a soup maker described as "near-perfect" to a plant-based laundry detergent that will make your washing smell incredible, Which? has revealed its top 10 products of the year and the list is pretty diverse.
The research team at the consumer champion has road tested thousands of products over the previous 12 months to uncover the items considered outstanding for performance, innovation or value.
From smartphones to mattresses, washing machines, pushchairs, electric vehicles and everything in between, researchers tried and tested around 4,500 products and rated how they performed based on a range of criteria, including innovation, sustainability and value for money.
The somewhat surprise winner, coming in ahead of the latest tablets, cars and smartwatches, was the Morphy Richards Clarity soup maker (£70).
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Perhaps reflecting the nation's new found need for WFH lunches, the Which? judging panel decided this soup maker does its fundamental job so extraordinarily well that it was “near-perfect”, praise indeed.
The Clarity takes just 21 minutes to make silky smooth soup for up to four people with the team deeming it so far ahead of every other soup maker they tested that the others “may as well not exist”.
It was another household appliance that came in second place with the Zanussi ZWF843A2DG washing machine (£399) taking runner up spot.
Testers were impressed that, while costing around £200 less than the average machine, such an affordable washing machine was still able to get clothes totally spotless.
Completing the top three was the Apple Macbook Pro M1 laptop (£1,199). Despite the M1 chip powering this laptop being more like that of a smartphone, Which? experts found it handled complex tasks effortlessly and its 16 hours battery life offered users total flexibility.
Potentially reflecting a growing drive for more eco-friendly cleaning products, the cheapest product in the top four was Method wild lavender laundry detergent (£6.50).
Which?’s judges said this was the first time an environmentally-friendly, plant-based detergent was able to shift so much grass, food and mud in testing, and without ever dulling the colour of the garments it was washing.
With both smart watches and fitness trackers proving popular recently, it's no surprise that the product coming in ninth place combines the two.
Researchers said the Garmin 55 Forerunner Smartwatch (£160) marries the best elements of a fitness tracker and smartwatch to create an effective hybrid wearable - that costs £100 less than the average for its category.
Making up the remainder of the top ten were some other must-have gadgets and household products including a glass kettle, an Ikea microwave and a Bosch dishwasher.
Commenting on the weird and wacky products making up the top ten products, Harry Rose, Editor, Which? magazine, said: “How does a soup maker beat the latest smart gadgets and electric vehicles to be crowned Which?’s product of the year?
"Simply by doing its job so extraordinarily well that it’s near-perfect - something every product should aspire to.
“Our testing covers thousands of items and whittling them down is a huge task - but this year’s list shows Which? can offer you a recommendation for almost anything, whether you are looking for a product to be good value for money, environmentally friendly or the latest in high tech innovation.”
Which?’s top 10 products of the year (prices correct as of October 2021):
Morphy Richards Clarity soup maker (£70)
Zanussi ZWF843A2DG washing machine (£399)
Apple Macbook Pro M1 laptop (£1,199)
Method wild lavender laundry detergent (£6.50)
LG OLED55G16LA TV (£1,599)
Russell Hobbs Classic Glass Kettle (£30)
Ikea Tillreda Microwave (£50)
Bosch SMV6ZCX01G Dishwasher (£799)
Garmin 55 Forerunner Smartwatch (£160)
Apple IPad Mini (2021) (£480)