Everything you need for your first apartment: Home sweet home


HomeHome / News / Everything you need for your first apartment: Home sweet home

Feb 26, 2024

Everything you need for your first apartment: Home sweet home

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean? ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

There's nothing like the excitement of moving into a new place, and it's especially thrilling when it is your first. However, having your own place means having your own things, and you are not always so well-equipped when it comes to your first apartment.

Also: Smart home starter pack: 5 devices that will make your life easier

There are, of course, the basics -- the bed, towels, and pots and pans -- but there are also larger items to consider, too, from your TV to a quality vacuum to smart home products. Before move-in day rolls around, consider ZDNET's best picks for all the tech you need for your first apartment.

Whether you're planning on hosting movie nights or binging Netflix on your own at your new place, the best TVs will provide an excellent display with full-bodied sound for entertainment you're sure to enjoy.

The Sony A95L OLED is our pick for the best smart TV for your first apartment, featuring Sony's new Cognitive Processor XR. There is a stunning OLED display with built-in Google TV for easier streaming.

The Samsung QN90B is the ultimate entertainment unit for the living room or home theater. It offers a range of screen sizes from 43 to 85 inches, ensuring there is one that fits your space. The anti-glare coating enhances visibility by reducing reflections of overhead and ambient light.

When space is a concern, the Sony X80K is the best small TV for your first apartment (and also one of the best Sony TVs in general). It's not hard to see why, what with its 4K ultra display, Dolby Vision, and Intelligent Voice Recognition feature.

Money is tight after moving, so if you want the best budget TV for your first apartment, consider the Samsung CU8000. It features a crystal UHD display with phenomenal coloring and all your favorite streaming services built right in. And, it's under $400.

The right kind of lighting can transform a space into a home, giving cozy vibes to make a room more comfortable. Whether you like white or color lights, these are all the best lighting options you need for your first apartment, including ones you can control from your phone.

The Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance is not just the best smart lighting for your first apartment but it is also the best Philips Hue lights you can buy. These smart bulbs are Bluetooth-compatible and offer thousands of custom shades from which to choose.

The TP-Link Tapo Smart LED Light Strip wins our vote for the best smart light strip for your first apartment. You receive 16 meters of multi-color light strips that you can use with both Alexa and Google Home.

Cree Connected Max provides budget lighting when you're tight on funds. These light-bulbs are a cheaper alternative to Philips Hue, and they combine smart connectivity with dimmable LED technology. Each bulb is just $15.

Not everyone is a chef in the kitchen, but the right kitchen appliances can help make it a little easier. From the best Instant Pots to coffee makers that will make your mornings better, here are a few staple kitchen appliances that are also high tech.

Available in 6- and 8-quart sizes, this Instant Pot can function as a pressure cooker, yogurt maker, sterilizer, and more. You can pressure cook, slow roast, or go straight to sautéing. It has a stainless steel build complete with an easy-release steam switch and built-in progress bar, so you always know how much time is left.

Make your own coffeehouse-quality drinks right at home with this Mr. Coffee Café Barista. You'll be able to create lattes and cappuccinos with the easy-to-use controls that let you choose single shot or double shot espresso, add frothed milk and more.

This toaster oven has multiple capabilities packed into an 1800-watt machine. It incorporates the latest trend of air frying, helping your family eat healthier with up to 75% less fat. However, you still receive all of the benefits of a traditional toaster oven, plus new features like Air Roast and Air Broil with exclusive Digital Crisp Control Technology.

Vacuums run the gamut in price, but they are definitely a necessity in your apartment. From the best cheap vacuums to more expensive robot vacuums, these are the top picks for cleaning your home.

The Eureka Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner is a solid choice if you're looking for a compact vacuum for basic cleaning. It weighs less than three pounds and has swivel steering, making it easy to vacuum around corners or furniture. Plus, it's just $40.

Especially if you have a smaller apartment, you might benefit from a robot vacuum that can do all the hard work for you. This one from Shark has great suction power, plus an impressive 120-minute run time. It also has a smaller charger station than most other robot vacs on the market.

If you have pets in your new apartment, they are going to shed -- everywhere. But this pet vacuum has a number of features explicitly focused on cleaning up pet hair. It also comes with a wide range of tools like the Pet TurboEraser tool, a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and an extension wand.

You can also automate your mopping with a 2-in-1 robot vacuum mop that does it all to keep your floors clean. This one from Eufyuses 2200Pa suction power with iPath laser navigation and AI map technology.

The best smart speakers are a staple for when you're just starting out at your own place. A smart speaker has many functions in one little device, including the ability to play music, set reminders, make phone calls, answer questions, or act as a control hub for other smart devices in your apartment.

The Amazon Echo speaker is a great smart speaker with Amazon Alexa voice assistant capabilities, but it can also act as a smart hub to connect to other compatible smart home devices like light bulbs, a doorbell, and more. Of course, you can also simply ask it questions like "What's the weather today?"

If you'd prefer to stay within the Apple ecosystem, the Apple HomePod Mini makes for finding your AirPods, AirTags, or other devices a lot easier by asking Siri where they are. It also has pretty impressive speakers for its small size.

A cool thing about the Google Nest Audio speaker is that it has built in tuning (Media EQ and Ambient IQ) so the sound automatically changes depending on the type of media coming out of the speaker. You can also connect to several other products in your apartment, such as Chromecast devices.

Let's be honest, this is only a small fraction of what you'll need in your first apartment. But here are a few other products that can upgrade your apartment to feel like home.

Also: Smart home starter pack: 5 devices that will make your life easierZDNET