Since 1936 we’ve been at the forefront of British design, coming up with clever innovations based on stylish, intelligent thinking.

We invented the steam iron. We developed the automatic toaster. We put limescale filters into kettles, mini-cyclones into vacuum cleaners and removable tanks into deep fat fryers.

And still the ideas are flowing. Today in our Design Engineering Product Technology Hub (DEPTH) we’re continually refining, experimenting and researching how people use our products. There’s nothing we enjoy more than taking something apart and making it better. So have a browse through some of our ideas and see how we can make your life easier.

What’s your smart idea? Share on our Facebook page and join the innovation

Smart ideas from Our History
Idea numbers
1 A 1936 radiant fire, half the price of its competitors, so more people got to warm up
3 The first temperature light on an iron, making ironing more precise
5 1938 launched the first iron with temperature pilot light, making ironing more precise
8 Launched the UK's first automatic toaster in 1949, saving people time in the morning
10 A 1951 iron nearly half the weight of its predecessor, making the task simpler
12 A 1959 rotary ironer that made hands-free ironing possible - ideal for busy housewives
14 1961 - launched a push-button steam iron, making ironing easier
18 A 1964 iron with polished chronium soleplate, for faster, smoother results
20 A 1987 cordless kettle with a dual water gauge to suit right and left handed users
22 1987 launched a cordless kettle with dual water gauge to suit right and left-handers
24 Launched a range of toasters in 1992 that featured cool bodies making toasting safer
26 1992 - launched an iron with reflex cord that limited snagging and made ironing easier
29 Removable tank, making cleaning the deep fat fryer easier than ever - launched in 1993
Smart ironing ideas for your home
Idea numbers
101 A dual-chamber steam iron that makes stubborn creases even more manageable
121 An iron with more space below the handle to easily change the temperature dial
130 Jet of steam on an iron that acts as a steam cleaner
134 An iron with a dedicated pressing plate to remove moisture and keep creases at bay
142 A steam generator with a dry steam function for even the most delicate items
147 A second steam chamber in an iron providing powerful steam bursts for those really stubborn creases
148 A powerful steam iron that allows ironing to be finshed much more quickly
150 A lightweight steam iron with dual steam to smooth out the smallest wrinkle
172 DualZone technology to lock creases out for a pristine finish
176 An Easy fill water tank on irons to avoid splashing
184 An Eco steam setting on irons to reduce energy bills
187 A Transparent water tank on irons to see how much water is left
190 A 3 year guarantee on all irons
193 An iron with automatic shut-off when not in use making ironing safer than ever
208 Soleplate technology on irons to provide the best crease removal available
219 An extra large ironing board
220 Large LED screens to make reading settings easier
225 A hand-held steam brush that freshens up clothes on the move
233 Soleplate technology with turbo boost, constant steam and pressing plate, for the ultimate finish
240 An anti-scale feature to maximise the life of you iron
249 A soft grip handle making ironing more comfortable
252 An ergonomic design for fingertip control
281 Irons that manage limescale for extra durability
313 An iron with dual steam action for total precision
325 An automatic cord retractor for easy cord storage
328 Replecable cartridges to manage limescale so your steam generator lasts longer
336 Choose your settings at the touch of a button with an LCD control panel
345 An iron that automatically calculates the precise amount of steam required
352 Greater steam output for faster ironing with a pristine finish
355 A superior soleplate finish to help you glide through your ironing
359 A built-in self clean for longer-lasting performance
362 A pressurised boiler to generate our most powerful steam output
365 A turbo steam boost to help remove the most stubborn of creases
368 A large, detachable water tank so you can iron uninterrupted for longer
376 An illuminated tank to easily check your steam settings
378 A steam generator that also refreshes garments and reduces dust mites
380 Constant steam for easy crease removal
396 An extra long cord so you can keep the base out of the way
407 A steam generator iron with a water spray to tackle the most stubborn creases
434 A diamond soleplate to help your iron glide across all fabrics
439 A stainless steel soleplate for a pristine finish
449 A steam generator that can steam vertically as well as horizontally
457 A smaller steam generator that easily fits on your ironing board
461 An Iron that steams vertiacally so you can refresh dry-clean-only garments at home
469 A multi-use steam generator that can also deodorise furniture
473 Variable steam settings putting you in control
Other smart ideas for your home
Idea numbers
33 A department of engineers who ensure you get the best products available
35 Interactive hints, tips and reviews on our website, so you're always up to date
39 Products endorsed by Age UK so the lives of the elderly are made that bit easier
43 Work with the Carbon Trust to keep our carbon footprint to the minimum
45 A consumer care service for all your after sales queries and needs
48 Soundproof testing rooms to ensure your product is one of the quietest around
49 Launched our first steam iron in 1954 with boiling water so ironing became easier
51 Free delivery on all orders, to make online shopping even easier
52 investing in home-grown talent; British engineers who understand the needs of British consumers
54 Collaboration with the best technology houses to bring you unrivalled innovation
56 A customer care hotline open 5 days a week so you get peace of mind
57 Over £1 million invested in test facilities for products that are easier to use
60 Prototype-making machines so we get to see our innovative concepts sooner
61 A YouTube channel with product demonstrations
63 The reassurance of 2000 home trialists, testing each product before launch
68 A Facebook page so you can contact us whilst online with friends
71 Robotic arms continually testing our kettles and toasters so they're ultra-reliable
72 A minimum 2 year guarantee on all our products
73 A range of environmentally-friendly products to keep your energy bills down
74 A wedding list idea guide so you can find inspirational gifts for your special day
75 Product inspection levels that are unrivalled, ensuring superior product quality
77 Matching appliances for the kitchen to give your home an instant refresh
80 Prototype-making machines so we get to see our innovative concepts sooner
85 Smaller appliances making it easier to store in kitchen cupboards
104 Recruiting engineering students to bring you smart ideas that make your life easier
106 Working with the Energy Saving Trust to provide you with energy usage information across our products
125 A range of pans to match our kettles and toasters, so you get a smarter kitchen
140 10% of the profit from our pink appliances donated to Breast Cancer Care, helping you support a good cause

Smart cooking ideas for your home
Idea numbers
151 Blend and drink smoothies from the same beaker to reduce washing up 
Accurate food temperature reading ensuring food is cooked to perfection every time
153 A hob that turns off instantly when you lift the pan so no energy is wasted
161 Homemade soup without all the usual cleaning mess
174 A food processor that is powerful enough to mix anything, even dough
175 Food processing accessories that can be stored in the processor bowl
182 A hand blender with a stainless steel leg that’s ideal for soups
192 Easy storage table blender to keep work surfaces clear
200 A table blender with a multi-positional glass jug that’s easy to lift
204 A large capacity digital slow cooker that won’t fill up your cupboard
210 Single size bread from breadmakers so you always have freshly-made bread with no waste
211 A breadmaker you can programme for fresh bread every morning
212 Dishwasher-friendly food processing accessories to reduce your washing up
218 Safety locks on bladed food preparation products for ultimate safety
222 A device that can open cans and bottles at the touch of a button
226 A slow cooker that can seal, slow cook and fast stew in the same pot
231 Blend, whisk and mix on the go with cordless hand mixer technology
237 A folding mixer that saves space and is small enough to fit in a kitchen cupboard
239  Ergonomically designed irons to make ironing easier on your arms
245 Save space with a 2in1 hand blender and food processor
260 A professional deep fat fryer that cooks the perfect chip
272 Blades that are so powerful they can even crush ice
274 A smaller sized loaf that’s just right for smaller households
326 Bake different flavoured breads with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser
334 A cooking surface that is safe to touch as soon as your pan is removed
335 A hob with immediate response temperature control for precise cooking
337 Variable speeds and a turbo setting for precise control
349 Incorporate a variety of different cooking techniques into one appliance to save space in the kitchen
367 Attachments with a controlled release action for less mess
382 Save space with a hand blender and food processor that stores neatly in its own bowl
410 A versatile pot that can be used on the hob and in the slow cooker
414 One convenient appliance that's both hand blender and food processor
422 Cook two different meals at the same time in the same slow cooker
427 A hand blender with chopping and whisk attachments
432 A whirling vortex to give you maximum blending efficiency
441 A hand blender and food processor with a blending leg that’s ideal for soups
445 A hand blender with dishwasher components for easy cleaning
477 See your bread bake through a viewing window
Smart breakfast ideas for your home
Idea numbers
67 Colour coordinated kettle and toaster sets to accessorise the kitchen
Nylon filter in kettles to stop limescale particles getting into your drinks
123 Kettles with water filters to give better tasting coffee and tea
136 An auto-shut-off for your safety and to make sure the kettle doesn’t waste any electricity
137 Quality espresso machine that can also use coffee pods
144 Instant latte, espresso or cappuccino at the touch of a button
155 Satin-finish paints on kettles and toasters for lasting appearance
156 Keep warm functions on coffee makers to enjoy fresh coffee whenever you like
158 Instant boiling water for a cup of coffee in under 30 seconds
165 Crumb trays in toasters to keep work surfaces tidy
167 Variable width slots on toasters to toast any size or shape of bread
168 Coffeemakers that can be pre-programmed for ultimate convenience
169 An extra powerful kettle for rapid boiling of water
171 Boiling water in under 45 seconds
203 Drip trays on drinks-making machines for less mess and spills
209 Removable water tanks from drink machines for easier filling and cleaning
213 Front load water tanks on drink machines for easier access
216 Illuminated water tank to easily see how much water you're boiling
228 Coffee machines that can make more than one cup of espresso at the same time
229 Personalise your kitchen look with 12 different kettle and toaster colour sets
234 Make milkshakes at home more easily
244 Make coffee more quickly with a one-hand dispensing unit
246 A designer kettle that’s a joy to use, with soft touch handle and luxurious finish
253 A satin steel finish that adds style to your kitchen
258 Make perfect creamy cappuccino and latte coffee at home
263 Reduce accidents with a safety locking lid
265 A 360 degree cordless base to suit both left-and right-handed users
279 A simple to use espresso coffee maker that delivers barista style coffee, perfect for lattes and cappuccinos
285 Modern snap-fit lid design
292 A limescale filter for clear water and better-tasting tea and coffee
297 Variable browning control for perfect toasting every time
305 A spout designed for easy, no-spill refilling
306 Heat and froth at the same time for perfect hot, milky drinks
307 A high-lift feature to easily remove your toast
Lid release to make refilling easy
347 Variable coffee strengths to suit all tastes
356 Water filter kettles with an electronic cartridge replacement reminder
381 Keep coffee hot with a Duran Schott carafe
384 Kettles with a built-in BRITA filter for cleaner, clearer water
386 A kettle that filters water as it boils
389 Keep running costs down with a removable, washable coffee filter
392 Keep drinks warmer for longer with an insulated tank
430 A hot drink maker that only boils the water you need
437 Wake up to fresh coffee, thanks to a programmable timer
452 Slots large enough to toast the tallest slices of bread
459 Warm up your cold toast with a reheat function
467 A centralising bread carriage for even toasting
474 Even toasting, delivered by a variable heating coil
480 Toasters with a defrost function
487 A cup of boiling water in an instant
Smart vacuuming ideas for your home
Idea numbers
59 Mini cyclones in a vacuum cleaner floorhead, giving an even deeper clean
Telescopic tube on the vacuum making those hard-to-reach areas easier than ever before
103 A swivel head on a vacuum cleaner for ultimate manoeuvrability
114 Testing our vacuum cleaners to 500 hours of use, for a real quality assurance
117 Motors that are so reliable, vacuums come with a 5-year guarantee
157 Wet and dry cleaning at the same time
160 Never Lose Suction technology for consistently high performance on all floor types
185 Vacuum cleaner accessories that make it easier than ever to clean up after your pets
188 A blower function on a multi-functional vacuum cleaner that even works on garden leaves
195 Vacuum, dust and buff your wooden floors from one vacuum cleaner
198 Vacuum dust and dirt, plus mop up spillages, all from one accessory
201 Steam clean nine different household tasks from one steam mop
205 A large capacity steam cleaner for fewer refills
235 Steam mops that can be used upright or handheld for hard-to-reach places
248 A high power steam mop that can tackle carpets and hard floors
251 HEPA filters in your cleaner that keep allergies at bay
325 An automatic cord retractor for easy cord storage
341 A 2-in-1 collapsible, hand-held cleaner for easier storage
379 A compact, cordless cleaner that can reach awkward spots
438 A durable cleaner that can stand up to tough DIY and household jobs
443 A lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner that can be used as an upright or as a handheld
447 A compact cylinder cleaner for easier storage
464 A quick release canister so that you can empty your vacuum cleaner easily
470 Double the dust pick-up performance at half the power
481 Suck up more dust and dirt with a wider vacuum floorhead
484 Fully-sealed vacuum unit that keeps allergens out of the air