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9 Smartly Designed Mini Electronics and Small Appliances for Travel—and Your Home

I have always considered the travel-size category to be a bit of a racket. Why buy an extra hair dryer, albeit one better suited for packing, when I already have one that works perfectly? The question I should have been asking myself all along, though, is why buy a full-size version when their mini counterparts may perform just as well and their compact size means they can be easily and neatly stored?

Here are nine attractive travel-size electronics and small appliances to replace your regular-size versions.

If your electric toothbrush takes up too much space…

Travel Size Quip Toothbrush
Above: A disruptor in the dental hygiene space, Quip has created a version that’s not only pretty to look at but easy to store. Each Quip Electric Brush is more like the size of an old-fashioned toothbrush than an electric one, and the case it sits in can either rest on a counter or be mounted to a mirror or other smooth surface (via a suction strip). When it comes time to travel, simply insert the toothbrush, head first, into the case. When you buy one, you also sign on for a subscription program: Every three months, Quip will send a replacement head. Metal versions (pictured) are $40 ($10 refill every three months); plastic versions are $25 ($10 refill).

If you’re tired of wrapping the cord around your hair dryer…

Travel Size Conair Cord-Keeper
Above: Michelle swears by her compact Conair. This one, the Conair Cord-Keeper Ion Shine Hair Dryer, has not only a foldable handle but also a retractable cord; $19.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

If you rarely need to use an iron…

Travel Size Ivation Small Mini Iron
Above: This Small Mini Iron from Ivation heats up in seconds, features a steam function, and is about the size of your hand; $24.99 at Amazon.

If you’re not ready to invest in a full-house sound system…

Above: Measuring just 4 inches and available in a slew of colors, UE’s Wonderboom Bluetooth Speakers can be easily moved from room to room, including the bath (it’s waterproof!); from $54 on Amazon.

If you drink tea all day long…

Travel Size Bodum Bistro Kettle
Above: As a round-the-clock tea drinker, I’m seriously eyeing this featherweight kettle. Light and cute enough to leave out on your counter or desk, Bodum’s Bistro Electric Water Kettle heats up to 17 ounces of water. The kettle also comes in red and black; $17.99 at Target.

If you’re looking for less tech in your life…

Travel Size Apple Smart Keyboard
Above: If you have an iPad Pro, buy Apple’s Smart Keyboard to go with it, and voilà—you now have a replacement for your laptop that’s lighter, slimmer, and more portable. When you’re done using it, the whole thing folds up into a cover for the iPad. The keyboard comes in three sizes, from $149 to $169.

If you want to replace your big, glowing digital clock…

Travel Size Braun Travel Clock
Above: Braun’s Travel Alarm Clock, designed by Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs and introduced in 1971, is a 2 1/4-square-inch cult classic that was reissued in 1994; $35 at Luminaire Online Store.

If you can’t start your day without a cup of espresso…

Travel Size Wacaco Minipresso GR Espresso Maker
Above: This entry is a bit of a cheat, as it’s a totally manual espresso maker (no battery or outlet required). But Wacaco’s Minipresso GR Espresso Maker deserves to be on this list because of its ingenuity and incredibly compact design. To make a tidy shot of espresso, measure ground espresso beans with the scoop provided, add hot water, screw the parts together, then pump the piston a few times to pressurize and extract; $45.68 on Amazon.

If you want a (much) lighter, (more) portable humidifier…

Travel Size Satechi Humidifier
Above: I stopped using a humidifier after years of having to lug the unwieldy machine into the tub to refill with water, only to spill much of it on the return trip. The Satechi USB Portable Humidifier makes that whole experience downright archaic. Just insert the rod-like filter (not pictured) into the top (pictured above), then screw the top onto a bottle of water and hook it up to a USB port. That’s it. Works up to a range of 16.4 square feet; $30.44 on Amazon.
More ideas for small-space living here:

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