A new wave of silent household appliances is coming to the rescue, to restore some tranquillity to our noisy city lives. While it may be fashionable to live in the family room, otherwise known as the kitchen, this sort of open-plan living brings its own nightmare: noise from the whirl of the washing machine, the blast of the extractor fan and, inevitably, the unremitting sound of the vacuum cleaner.
And if you live in a flat with upstairs neighbours with wooden floors you not only have your own noise to contend with, but the extra sounds from above and beyond. With this in mind, manufacturers have done their research and can now claim to cut appliance noise to virtually zero.
The smell of success
Most cooking extractors are so noisy you can barely hear yourself think but the new De Dietrich DHD7000X downdraft extractor has a low noise level at 34 decibels. Ideal for new kitchens or to be used in an island unit, it’s housed within the work surface, so has the double advantage of disappearing when not in use. It costs about £1,300. Call 0870 750 3503, or visit dedietrich.co.uk.
Don’t get rattled
The new AEG-Electrolux F99000MP dishwasher has a redesigned interior to accommodate all things that rattle and offers nine programmes, including extra-quiet. This runs at only 39 decibels, which means you could load up your first and main courses and have everything running before the guests have even left. As long as you employ your own quiet loading technique of course. It costs £799. Call 0844 561 4614, or visit aeg-electrolux.co.uk.
At just 38 decibels, the new Miele G5000 ExtraQuiet dishwasher makes hardly any noise and is ideal for open-plan kitchen living space and running through the night. It can also run a cycle with only seven litres of water and uses load-recognition technology to adjust the amount of water and energy needed. From £679. Call 0845 365 6600, or visit miele.co.uk.
Fans of silence
The new bladeless Dyson air multiplier fan works on the principle of drawing in air from the surrounding space through the base, and ejecting it at extremely high pressure through a gap at the top. The dimmer switch on the base controls settings and it can be turned right down to virtual silence. It costs £199.99 from stores including John Lewis, Comet, Argos and Currys, or visit dyson.co.uk.
Suck it and see
AEG claims to have the quietest vacuum cleaner on the market. It is a truly innovative and remarkable product and will come as a blessing to all husbands whose guiltless oblivion is only disturbed by the annoying sound of their partner vacuuming round their feet.
At 68 decibels and 1800W, the AEG-Electrolux Ultrasilencer has got there through a combination of increased airflow performance, use of sound- absorbant materials, a floor nozzle designed for efficiency and a motor that reduces vibrations through isolation and suspension. It costs from £199.99. Call 0844 561 4614 or see electrolux.co.uk.
The Miele Hybrid S4812 vacuum cleaner works both with a cord and without, drawing on a lithium-ion battery for up to 11 minutes. This may not seem long but is plenty of time, on full power, to get into awkward corners in the house and the inside of the car. At 8.1 kgs, it is lighter than average, too, and costs £499. Call 0845 365 6600, or visit miele.co.uk.
The double-walled insulation of the Magimix 11566 brushed stainless steel kettle makes it quieter than the average kettle. It also has a non-drip spout, a back-lit gauge and hi-tech looks. It costs £74.95. Visit johnlewisdirect.com.