1. A two-in-one sprayer and scrub brush for the easiest dog baths you've ever experienced. Juggling a hose and your pup is hard — now you can pet your doggo and wash 'em with both hands.
It straps securely to your hand, is flexible for a comfy experience for your presh pet, AND it comes with adapters so you can connect it to your shower/tub OR your outdoor garden hose.
Promising review: "The Aquapaw was my best purchase this year! I have a Flat-Coates Retriever so her fur is really thick. The Aquapaw had no problems getting all her fur wet and also getting all the shampoo out. It was so easy to use and install. My dog usually doesn’t like the water from the shower on her but this didn’t seem to bother her at all since I was literally just petting her (which she loves)." —Jessica Tucker
Get it from Amazon for $24.95.
And if you want to make bathing even easier try the licking mat (also made by Aquapaw) pictured above. Slather it with PB or another treat, and your pup will stay happy and busy while you're getting the job done. Get it from Amazon for $10.95.
2. A Luminoodle — an LED lighting strip you can affix to the back of your TV for a backlighting effect that'll create sharper images, increase color contrast, and reduce eye strain.
Promising review: "You will be surprised how well this works. I though it was a gimmick — but then read several articles about the benefits of bias lighting and though I would give it a try. Setting it up takes about five minutes — very simple. The surprise comes when you turn on the TV with the bias lighting and the picture POPS! The contrast and the black level jumps and the picture looks significantly improved! It supposedly relieves eye strain but I have never really had a problem with that so I can't comment on that." —Rgd18
Promising review: "THE BEST MONEY EVER SPENT!!! JUST GET IT!!!" —saylthecell
Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in four sizes).
3. An air fryer (from the makers of the INSTANT POT!!) so you can crisp up leftovers, make homemade versions of your favorite fried foods (without having to deal with hot oil), and more.
Promising review: "This is the best thing I’ve ever bought. Easy to use and clean." —Dean Cuba
Aaaand here's what BuzzFeed Food writer Hannah Loewentheil has to say about it: "I'd been contemplating buying an air fryer for quite some time, but it wasn't until I found myself cooking every night with my family due to COVID-19 that I finally decided it was the right time to get one. Friends of mine were raving about their new Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer, so after reading similar feedback on Amazon, I decided it looked like a winner. And it happens to be made by the same company that makes the crowd-favorite Instant Pot. I figured I would be using this appliance primarily as air air fryer, but as an added bonus, it can also roast, broil, bake, re-heat, and dehydrate food.
I've had this air fryer for about three weeks now, and I can honestly say it's become the hero of my kitchen. It preheats quickly, it's large enough to a good amount of food at once, it's easy to clean, and it makes food taste crispy on the outside and moist on the inside without any oil. I've been using my air fryer to make vegetables just about every night and it makes them taste so good. If you're cooking for kids, picky eaters, or you just don't get so excited about eating vegetables, the air fryer could be perfect for you. If you like chicken, the air fryer might change your life, and I don't mean that to be dramatic. The air fryer produces restaurant-quality chicken that tastes absurdly decadent, except there's no oil involved in the cooking — just air. We also tried making sesame chicken in the air fryer using boneless skinless chicken thighs. The sesame chicken tasted almost identical to my favorite Chinese takeout, and it had nothing to do with my cooking skills. Thanks to the air fryer, the chicken gets so crispy. I couldn't believe I made this at home!!"
Get it from Amazon for $119.99.
Check out the full review, plus some air fryer recipe suggestions for more!
4. A foldable exercise bike with all the basic features you need if you don't have space or budget for a Peloton but want access to a quick cardio workout at home. It has a magnetic tension system to up the difficulty, and handy features on the screen so you can track your time, speed, distance, and more!
Promising review: "The day I put a COVID-19 suspension on my gym membership, I researched affordable, maneuverable exercise bikes lest my knees get painful for lack of this daily exercise! It arrived in a large box (40 lbs) but this 70-year-old gal was able to easily drag into my house and unpack. The directions are a little hard to follow and I’m not 'handy' but I was able to add a little reasoning and put it together in less than an hour. Now sheltering in place for two weeks, this bike starts my day each morning. The mechanics and electronics work perfectly and help me set goals each day. It has variable tension settings, seat height options and a seat position for tall and for shorter people. I’m 5-foot-6 and selected the setting for a taller person. The seat height is on the fourth hole so you could drop for shorter biker. I have biked and binge-watched series, biked and worked off creeping anxiety as I watch the news and rolled it onto the deck on an unseasonably warm day to peddle to Led Zeppelin on my headphones. BEST purchase for the money that I’ve made in years; it’s a solid investment in both my physical and mental health!" —SG
Get it from Amazon for $137.30.
I bought this bike just as the pandemic was starting this spring, and it was a *great* choice. I put it together in nooooo time flat, with the help of a handy YouTube video (as suggested by one of the reviewers). And the fold-up size is great, but the bike is sturdy and has great features for the price! I love the cushioned seat, which is muuuuuch comfier than most exercise bike seats I've sat on.
5. The most recent version (it has a built-in light now!!) of the original basic Kindle so you can *instantly download* your next read — either from the Kindle store or from your local library's selection of ebooks. No waiting.
It's glare-free, and has an adjustable front light so you can read in ANY lighting condition — including outside and in the dark!
Promising review: "I love reading. But I've always considered myself as a paper books person. I've started reading electronic books many times, but almost always failed to read them till the end, and I never had this problem with real, physical books. It was especially noticeable when I started to read only in English (which is not my native language): it was ways harder to read from the screen (or so I thought). I bought a Kindle because at some point I couldn't have my paper books with me (because they are bulky and heavy), my friend recommended it to me, and because I already had a bunch of Kindle books bought in a hope to read them someday. And that drastically changed my perception of the electronic books, because:
- the screen and built in light is very comfortable for the eyes
- It is very light and easy to hold in any weird position I read
- it fits in almost all pockets in my jackets (wow)
- most important for me: no distractions. Ever. Just me and the book. I could leave my phone at home and just head to the park or to the beach to read, and read only.
And somehow the combination of those factors helped me fall in love with electronic books. Since I spend a lot of time in European countries which languages I don't speak, now I don't have to bring a pack of books with me everywhere. So I would really name it best purchase I made, for years." —Elena
As a personal note, I love my Kindle SO MUCH, and would definitely consider it the best purchase I made that year. I get books immediately downloaded from the library, and I bring it with me *everywhere* I go. I'm literally reading 10 times as many books a year as I was pre-Kindle.
PSST! Right now, for the same price, you get three months of Kindle Unlimited included!
Get it from Amazon for $89.99 (available in black and white, and with or without special offers).
6. A weighted blanket reviewers swear by to help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. The just-heavy-enough pressure can help you relax and feel comforted enough to drift off.
It's available in three sizes and and 10 weights, so whether you're looking for one for a kid, for yourself, or to use in a king or queen-sized bed with your partner, there's an option for you!
Promising review: "This is the BEST purchase I have ever made. I have been an insomniac for years and have never successfully been treated. Even with many doctors' appointments and medications — NOTHING worked! On top of that I have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). I thought I would give this blanket a try. This product is not advertised for RLS but it absolutely should be! I have had my blanket for three days and I have been basically sleeping in a coma-like state!!! It is the soundest and best sleep I have ever had in my life. And the comforting weight on my legs and boy just eases those RLS symptoms and drifts me off to a sound sleep!!! It is so hard to describe the feeling of peace and comfort the minute you lay it on your body. I actually ordered the 15-pound blanket for my weight and height because I wanted the extra weight just in case. I decided to go ahead an order a second one if I have an emergency situation and need even more weight on my legs. This product is phenomenal to say the least!!!" —DeAnn Barksdale
Get it from Amazon for $49.80 (available in six colors and prints).
7. Frank Body's original coffee scrub with an exfoliating blend of coffee grinds (duh), sea salt, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E to soften skin and help fight breakouts without over-drying or feeling too harsh.
Promising review: "Best product I’ve bought! Literally my go-to for everything, I struggle with really bad psoriasis and the coffee body scrub gets rid of it every single time without fail and leaves my skin so soft and glowing, no product I’d ever recommend over this one! Have bought this so many times over the past few years and has never let me down! :)" —Leah M.
Frank Body is a woman co-owned company based in Melbourne, Australia — and all of their products are made there too!
8. A microwave popper so you can buy your kernels in bulk (no annoying little bags!) and top your popcorn with WHATEVER you choose — no oil required, if you don't want to add it!
Promising review: "We absolutely love this. Best purchase of the decade. Makes making good popped popcorn so easy - especially if you hate the waxy taste of microwave popcorn! This was bought as a backup to my first one since it was a hit by all and getting so much use! Perfect amount as well if you are ever like me and end up eating popcorn for dinner LOL" —Sumi Casey
Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in ten colors).
9. A salad chopper and bowl guaranteed to change your salad game as you know it; just toss in your greens and veggies, run your round cutter through it, and you're good to go.
Promising review: "Best purchase of the year! This product is so simple and yet it is life-changing for my salad-making! One of the main reasons I never made salads at home was because it was so hard to chop the lettuce. This product makes it so easy and only takes a second to chop your whole salad so you don’t get stuck with awkwardly large pieces of lettuce." —Katie
Get the chopper and bowl set from Amazon for $26.99.
10. A giant bubble-making kit so the whole fam can enjoy a magical backyard activity with surprising ease — and take plenty of photos.
The kit comes with a wand, a pouch of bubble-making concentrate, and a tips & tricks booklet.
Promising review: "I've been looking for ways to cheer up my daughter during this shelter in place so I gave this a shot. The second she saw those giant bubbles her face just lit up. Not only are the bubbles huge but they fly pretty well. The kids in the next apartment complex were giggling as the two-foot bubbles flew over the fence. I am going to need a lot more bubble solution! Best purchase of the year." —Emily B
Get it from Amazon for $14.95+ (available in three kit sizes).
11. An avocado tool to add some of that green goodness to every meal and help you eat guacamole guaca-more — no struggling or accidentally cutting yourself trying to get that pit out.
It'll slice open the fruit, painlessly (aka no knife needed) pop out the pit, and create perfectly Instagrammable slices.
Promising review: "I thought this was a unitasker, but it isn't at all! I eat avocado daily and this thing saves me from having to use three utensils. I finally gave in and bought it after I was trying to remove a pit and cut my hand. It was the last cut! Best purchase I made this year. Do your hands a favor and get two of these if you eat 'cados frequently like me." —JR
Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
12. A handheld electric milk frother so you don't *have* to leave your home to enjoy a fabulous cafe-quality latte or cappuccino. It even works on iced bevvies — hello dalgona coffee!
It's battery operated — just run it in some soapy water for an easy cleaning.
Promising review: "Best thing I’ve ever bought. I kid you not. I use this everyday to make my matcha drinks. It is a lifesaver and saves you so much time. Don’t think you’re lazy for buying it because it’s so worth the money I promise you." —Neg neg
Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (available in two colors).
13. A pair of bag-carrying handles if making trip...after trip...after trip...carrying the groceries home is just not working for you. Want to carry ALL the bags at once (without hurting your hands)? These'll do the trick.
Promising review: "Best purchase in 20 years. Yes, I'm one of those people who want to make one trip and one trip only from the car. These handles have been my salvation. I've carried light bags, heavy bags, even hot soup! I've told all my neighbors!!!" —Susan M. Bulavinetz
Get a pack of two from Amazon for $13.95.
14. A fancy-schmancy single-blade razor that glides evenly with yours skin to ensure minimal razor burn and ingrown hairs. Plus, you can use it foreeeevveerrrrr with replacement blades and reduce your plastic use!
Promising review: "Best purchase I've made in a looonnng time! So happy!" —Brianna Shea
Promising review: "My first time using the Oui Razor, I got the closest shave I’ve ever experienced. I have super sensitive skin, and am very prone to razor burn, but this razor, paired with the shave gel, made my legs feel like they had been waxed, and I got NO razor burn! I love this razor!" —Jamie
Get it from Oui the People for $75.
Oui the People is a Black-owned business, and their products are designed to help you get your shave on *without* ingrowns and razor burn — and make you feel good in your skin.
15. A pair of almost-too-pretty lace Bandelettes, aka spandex-nylon blend anti-chafing bands guaranteed to stay in place all day long and keep friction at bay so you can strut your stuff irritation-free.
They're also available in plain (non-lace) versions!
Promising review: "I never write product reviews but these are life-changing! I’ve battled chafing for years, not being able to wear dresses two days in a row because the irritation was that bad. After trying every trick in the book, I came across an ad for Bandalettes and figured, OK why not. I did not expect them to work as wonderfully as they did! I have worn them for full days and not only did they solve my chafing issue, but they did not budge a single bit. The best money I ever spent. If you measure your thighs these are very true to size. I ordered a C and wear 8/10 pants and they were perfect." —Trish
Get them from Amazon for $18.95+ (available in seven sizes ranging from 21" to 32" and 12 colors and styles).
For more glowing reviews, check out our closer look at Bandalettes!
16. A pet hair-removing roller with a patented brush design (and *no* adhesive strips) to rid your lovely black sofa of all your furry friend's shedding in a quick roll — so you can get back to cuddling together.
Promising review: "I don't usually write reviews, but if I could buy stock in the ChomChom I would! This is incredible. I immediately started using it on blankets, cat tree, towels that the cats lay on, bed skirt, every cloth or soft surface that the cats touch and TONS of fur started coming off! It's simple and easy, no sticky paper that barely does anything. The design is ingenious! It's a roller that goes back and forth about a one-quarter turn, so you have to go one direction, then back, and that simple motion not only picks up ALL the hair, but then removes it from the outer part of the roller and deposits it in the interior. When you open the back to reveal the interior, there's all the hair all bunched up! Like freakin' magic! I cannot wait to start cleaning every surface again once I finally cleaned it once. Allergies were going nuts and after picking up all this dust and fur I'm hopeful that will go a long way to feel better. Best product I've bought in years, I cannot believe that the reviews were so darn accurate! Get! This! Product!" —Joshua A. Flanders
Get it from Amazon for $24.95.
17. A motion-detecting toilet light that'll glow any of 16 colors — so you don't miss the bowl no matter what, trip over cords in the dark, stub your toe, or make another 3 a.m. bathroom trip mishap.
Promising review: "Since this is a ridiculous product that I have come to LOVE, I think this review should reflect how fun this product is. This was definitely a 'one too many glasses of wine during quarantine' product purchase, but is the best thing I have gotten this year! Not only is it extremely useful when I need to go to the bathroom at night, but it is also fun. The light changing function makes it as if you're at a rave while you pee. 10/10 recommend. Also- it's not expensive! Will purchase again for sure!" —Katelynn Smith
Get it from Amazon for $14.95.