8 Kitchenware Trends for 2018

Every year, the tastings & testings team ventures to Chicago to attend the International Home and Housewares Show, where major cookware manufacturers such as Kitchenaid, OXO, and Cuisinart debut their newest products. Over the course of two days, our team walks a collective 100+ miles and checks out more than 2,200 exhibitors. We gather story ideas, drink lots of coffee, swoon over new colors, and—most important—spot trends for the coming year. Here are eight to look out for in 2018.

1. Tiny Appliances

From pint-size stand mixers to single-serving waffle makers, our favorite kitchen appliances are now available in tiny sizes. This trend is meant to appeal to those who live in small spaces such as apartments or dorms and those who may just be getting into cooking and aren’t ready to commit to a full-size appliance. We saw mini stand mixers from KitchenAid and Cuisinart, as well as colorful, tiny rice cookers, blenders, and waffle makers from Dash. —Lauren Savoie

2. Wooden Handles

Several prominent kitchenware manufacturers, such as KitchenAid and Victorinox, have added wooden handles to their tool and knife lines. Why? One company representative said that wooden handles have a softer, warmer feeling for kitchen use and that consumer demand for them was high. —Miye Bromberg

3. Pastel Takeover

There might still be snow on the ground at our office in Boston, but at this year’s Housewares Show, spring colors were out in full force—a continuation of the pastel trend we spotted last year. Blush pink, light blue, mint green, and saffron yellow appeared on various kitchen equipment across brands. Toasters, coffee pots, blenders, and food processors from SMEG were available in a range of pastels, as were waffle makers from Dash. Technivorm debuted coffee machines in Butter Yellow and Periwinkle Blue. KitchenAid launched stand mixers in Dried Rose and Blue Velvet, each with a sophisticated and modern matte finish. Lastly, Le Creuset’s color of the year is a dusty violet the company is calling “Provence.” —Carolyn Grillo

4. Hands-On Coffee

Most kitchen appliances are getting faster, easier, and more foolproof, but coffee makers are bucking that trend with an abundance of geeky hands-on brew methods. It seemed like every coffee company had a new pour-over cone. French press machines are still hugely popular, and they now come in commuter-friendly versions that convert into travel mugs and claim to be easier to clean. Most impressive, however, were the siphon coffee makers from Bodum, Hario, and KitchenAid. They look like something out of a science lab: round glass chambers connected by a narrow tube, often suspended on a sleek frame. They’re striking, and the ones that heat with a gas flame are mesmerizing. —Kate Shannon

5. Copper Revolution

Every cookware manufacturer from Mauviel to Cuisinart was showing off shiny copper skillets and saucepans, and coattails-riding copper-colored nonstick pans from brands such as Copper Chef and Gorham Steel were prominent, too. Copper Moscow Mule mugs were a hot item, as were copper-infused oven liners and grill toppers. We spotted a new trend in real copper cookware: pans lined in magnetic stainless steel instead of traditional tin, making them induction-compatible, unlike most classic copper cookware. —Lisa McManus

6. Water, Water Everywhere

There were plenty of products on hand to help with hydration and water quality. We spotted everything from a bottle that lights up on schedule to remind you to drink up to fancy filtration pitchers and a compact machine that can distill a gallon of tap water (and even lets you insert a fresh set of flavorful minerals, if you so desire). —Lisa McManus

7. Artsy Appliances & Cookware

Patterns on everything from cast-iron cookware to blenders caught our eye. We saw one line of small appliances covered in images from Sicilian folklore, a collaboration between Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana. KitchenAid displayed ceramic mixer bowls covered in horizontal stripes and exotic leaves, and Le Creuset also had an artsy offering, a white Dutch oven with hand-painted lavender sprigs. —Emily Phares

8. All-in-One Appliances

We spotted four “all-in-one” machines at the show—devices that promise to replace up to 12 kitchen tools and save time, space, and work. The Thermomix, the All-Clad Prep & Cook, the KitchenAid Cook Processor, and the Bellini Kitchen Master by Cedarlane all claim to chop, stir, sauté, steam, boil, knead and proof dough, weigh ingredients, and more. They also offer guided cooking that walks you through recipes step by step. We’re looking forward to testing them this year and seeing how they deliver on these (very big) promises. —Hannah Crowley

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