By SEAN POULTER FOR THE DAILY MAIL
Having filled their kitchens with coffee machines, juicers, kettles and other noisy gadgets, many families find their get-togethers are like sitting next to a busy road. But the fightback has begun against the ‘electric din’ – with shoppers snapping up appliances that make as little sound as possible. Retailers say they have seen a big increase in people taking account of the decibel level of household gadgets whereas, in the past, they simply looked at the brand, price, size and energy efficiency.
John Lewis said sales of quieter products are rising at around 10 per cent a year as consumers see noise reduction as an important issue for health and wellbeing.
Different versions of the same product can produce a significantly different amount of noise.
The Quiet Mark scheme – which recommends products based on noise level – cites evidence from the World Health Organisation, which argues noise pollution is the biggest environmental threat to public health after air pollution.
The decibel level for light traffic is put at 50dB, 60dB for conversation and 70dB for a shower or a busy road.
Some kettles are over 70dB, while vacuum cleaners, washing machines, blenders and juicers can be over 80dB.
To qualify for a Quiet Mark label, a washing machine needs to be below 75dB on a spin cycle, 45dB for a dishwasher, 67dB for a tumble dryer and the low 60s for coffee machines. But buying a quieter appliance does not necessarily mean paying more. A Samsung Ecobubble washing machine at £399 meets the standard, as does the Bosch Series 6 at £749.
Similarly, a £49.99 Lakeland Mirror kettle qualifies as does a Dualit Classic Whisper Boil kettle at £119.49. Retailers such as John Lewis, Lakeland and Argos are now selling products based on a promise they are quiet.
Carly Bullock, of Lakeland, said: ‘In a world that seems to constantly move at a faster pace, we recognise that everything we can do to help our customers keep their homes as calm and peaceful as possible is appreciated.’