How we test

The Ideal Home testing team puts every product through their paces to make sure it's worth buying. Here's how we do it

Ideal Home is here to bring you in-depth reviews of all the latest technology, appliances and key pieces of furniture, enabling you to buy your next food blender, steam iron or mattress with complete confidence. 

Technology is always moving forward so it’s no wonder lots of us feel daunted – or even scared – of being left behind.

That’s where our buying guides come to the rescue. Bookmark them, and you’ll always know your UHD from your DAB, which fridge freezer is really the coolest, and the best cordless vacuum to clear up your family’s mess. 

100 years of expertise

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

So what qualifies us as experts? Let’s start with the fact that Ideal Home has been advising homeowners on the best buys for their kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and more since 1920. That’s more than 100 years of knowledge, right there.

And then there is our carefully chosen reviews panel. A group of geeks, parents, bakers, eco warriors, sleep obsessives, gardeners, DIYers, and – most importantly – houseproud experts in their fields. Between them, they have decades of testing experience working for the most prestigious titles in the land – not least, Ideal Home.

Our testing process

We believe that any product should be super-simple to use, look good and work brilliantly, stand the test of time and make your life easier in some small (or big) way.

And these are exactly the criteria that our testing team has in mind as they put each product through its paces. They do so at home, over several weeks, pitting them against the everyday situations we all encounter. Our vacuum cleaner tester, for example, is a dog owner, while our mattress tester is a new mum, who knows all about the power of a good night’s sleep!

Lots of products won’t make the cut, but those that make the mark will be awarded a star rating. And the very, very best are awarded our ‘Ideal Home Approved’ recommendation.

To request the Ideal Home Approved winner logo please contact who will be able to provide you with costs and available logo use packages.

How we test air fryers

Image of COSORI air fryer with cooked chips

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary )

Every air fryer in best air fryer guide has had hands-on testing tested by a member of the Ideal Home team for a minimum of two weeks, or with four thorough recipes.

We use a standard recipe for air fried homemade chips across all air fryers we test. We record  details including cooking time, assessing how evenly the chips come out, and how well cooked they are. The second test all of the air fryers go through was cooking bacon. We assess the speed and evenness of cooking to measure how well each air fryer model distributes heat and how fast it circulates hot air. 

Meet our Ideal Home experts

Rachel Ogden

While loving every area of the home, interiors journalist Rachel specialises in all things kitchen and has a passion for any gadget that makes life easier. She risks life and limb in her endeavours, having survived 1000 cuts from food processor blades and a minor electric shock in her mission to bring you the best and latest small appliances. She also gets to eat a lot of cake, all in the name of work, so don’t feel too sorry for her.

We work hard to give an honest, independent view of whether a product is worth having, rooted in the expertise of our writers.

We feature a wide range of products on our pages, and we select them because you want to know about them, or because our experts believe they are worth reading about.

Some of the products we write about are shoppable, which means you can buy them straight after reading about them. We do this either by offering a comparison of various prices from a range of retailers – most often in reviews articles – or by providing a single link alongside a product.

When you buy from one of these affiliate links, we sometimes get paid a small amount of money via the company you bought from. This isn’t an extra fee and is included in the normal purchase price that everyone sees. Nor does the pricing information we show depend on the fees we get.

Often we produce round-ups of deals and discounted products, which might be themed around specific retailers or product categories. We base these on the likelihood that someone is searching for them, and is looking for information on how to save money. We don’t generally promote specific deals based on the fees we get, but if we do, we label them as ‘Promoted’ so you can tell.

Our editorial integrity is important to us – please contact us and let us know how we are doing. You can email us at

Amy Cutmore
Editor in Chief, Homes Audience

Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.