Traditionally smart material actuation has been reserved for high technology industries such as space and aerospace; however, as the field matures more and more instances are found in low-cost, high production areas. This paper describes one such instance - the application of shape memory alloys to auxiliary functions in appliances. This investigation focused on lid locks for washing machines because it is representative of several other applications found in appliances including valves, dispensers, locks, brakes, etc. Several competing concepts for SMA actuated lid locks are discussed including simple analytical design models and experimental characterization of proof-of-concept prototypes. A comparison of these designs based on performance (force, response times), energy (power requirements) and economic metrics is given. From this study, a final concept was developed based upon the best attributes of the different concepts. The resulting proof-of-concept prototype demonstrated improved performance over the current state with a potential for cost reduction.