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    29 Products You *Shouldn't* Buy If You're OK With The Mediocre Ones You Have At Home

    Instead of so-so products, opt for these so good alternatives.

    1. An adorable and basically tear-resistant stuffed duck so you can stop spending money on toys that your furry destroyer shreds in approximately 10 seconds. This lil' yellow duck doesn't look like it, but it's built to last.

    2. A teeth-whitening pen because it's a heck of a lot quicker (and tastes a lot better) than those irritating whitening strips that slip and slide all over your teeth. You can use each pen ~20 times and should expect your teeth to lighten four to eight shades.

    Reviewer before and after showing the pen noticeably whitened their yellow teeth

    3. A TikTok-famous 1,000-piece puzzle from The Magic Puzzle Company if you love twist endings. Not only is the illustration so beautiful that you'll probably glue and frame the puzzle when it's completed, but it also features 50 Easter eggs throughout *and* a magical twist that reveals itself once the puzzle is finished.

    close-up of a section of the puzzle showing its whimsical illustration style

    4. The new AirPods Pro for blocking out the distracting noise of roommates, nearby construction, downstairs neighbors, and more with active noise cancellation. And there's transparency mode when you want to still be able to hear what's going on around you..

    Promising review: "I have purchased every generation of AirPods. When I first read the reviews here, before purchasing these AirPods, I thought people were perhaps exaggerating a bit. But after having them for two days, what they say is absolutely true. The sound is amazing. Light years better than the AirPods Pro 1. It’s hard to believe that the richness of sound and bass can actually be produced by these small speakers. The noise cancellation feature is outstanding; in fact, when I took them out of my ears, and was hit with the onslaught of actual live sound around me, I realized just how effective the noise filtration is. They’re comfortable, fit great in my ears, especially with the choices of circular ear pads that are included, and the battery life is so much better than the previous generation. Love these guys. Very satisfying purchase." —M. SHAPIRO

    Get them from Amazon for $229.99.

    5. A pair of fleece-lined joggers to keep your legs nice and toasty if you're always freezing cold.

    Reviewer wearing the light gray sweats
    The inside of the joggers: a thick white fleece

    Promising review: "I'm very happy with these warm pants. My house is very cold in the winter, and I am very cold in the winter. A few reviewers commented that the fit is weird. It is not. These are sweatpants, and with a thick lining; what did you expect? They are very comfortable and warm. They are stiffer than regular sweatpants because of the lining. But they are sweatpants — meaning they were never meant to make you look like a fashion queen. Just imagine curling up on the sofa with hot chocolate and a friendly cat during polar vortex in your fleece lined pants. Nice and cozy!" —Angela Thompson

    Get it from Amazon for $38.99 (available in women's sizes XS–XXL and 11 styles).

    6. Some washing machine cleaning tablets that'll clean and freshen the inside while dissolving residue because you keep your washing machine open when it's not in use yet it still smells moldy. What gives?

    models hand dropping 1/4c-ish size tablet into washer

    7. A bleach-free, no-scrub weekly shower spray you'll reach for each Saturday so soap scum and shower grime disappears without you ever having to wipe. Rinse it clean the next day, and you'll be amazed to see those hard water stains on your shower door are *poof* gone.

    Before: a dirty shower floor; after: the clean shower floor

    8. A two-piece workout set made of a compressive yet stretchy material because you wanna look cute and feel comfy while exercising. This adorable top and leggings set might be just the thing to motivate you to load up a YouTube workout and roll out your yoga mat, or grab your water bottle and head to the gym.

    9. A pet hair remover if you love your fur baby but hate how much they shed...on everything. Roll it over your couch, bed, favorite blanket, you name it, and watch it lift the fur away. See, we can own nice things!!

    Reviewer photo of a black pillow covered in white dog hair and you can clearly see which side they brushed with the fur remover because all the dog hair is gone in that section

    10. An acne patch for those days when a pimple pops up at the *worst* possible moment. Hydrocolloid, tea tree oil, and calendula oil are gentle on the skin while still drawing out fluids and pus from your pimple.

    11. An adorable bookmark book tracker to gamify reading and entice you to finally finish the story on your nightstand.

    bookmark that looks like a bookshelf and you fill in the spines of the books with finished titles

    12. A leave-in conditioner that'll make brushing your hair less miserable for curly-haired and tender-headed tots (and adults!). It harnesses the hydrating, reparative, and detangling abilities of vitamin B5, jojoba oil, keratin, and more

    Promising review: "This stuff is beyond 5 stars. I initially bought this for my son who is tender-headed. I have really curly hair and happened to break my ankle and was in the hospital for two weeks and couldn't wash and condition my hair like I do at home. I had what felt like dreadlocks in three places! I was hoping this would work on my hair and it was amazing! I completely soaked my hair with this stuff, waited a little while, and gently combed through it. I absolutely cannot believe how well it worked!!" —Bea

    Get it from Amazon for $9.69.

    13. A tub of brightening, firming, and rejuvenating eye cream so none of your coworkers ever suspect that you spend most nights scrolling through Instagram until 2 a.m. They'll all think you look perfectly well-rested.

    14. A mold and mildew remover because you can set it, forget it, and come back in a few hours to see grout that looks like new. I'm talking basically every speck of black mold is gone! *Cues up "Do You Believe in Magic"*

    before photo of a reviewer's tub tiles stained black with mold and mildew and an after photo of the same section of tile and the black stains are gone

    15. A cruelty-free lengthening mascara if every mascara you've tried has disappointed you. Meet Essence's Lash Princess mascara. It's lightweight, won't transfer, doesn't smudge, holds a voluminous curl, and lasts all day — what more could you ask for?

    16. A Chef iQ smart pressure cooker for making you feel like you're a member of the Jetsons family. You can connect it to your phone via the Chef iQ app and discover guided recipes so you can stop ordering takeout for every meal. Your old pressure cooker probably still uses a landline!

    the sleek black device, which looks similar to an Instant Pot but has an LED screen and knob

    17. A pack of dishwasher cleaning tablets to clean your machine as it runs. No need to sigh in frustration every time you open your dirty dishwasher to remove your "clean" dishes.

    18. An Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K that'll bring you thousands — literally thousands — of streaming channels, movies, and shows, as well as live TV, news, and sports.

    infographic showing the remote and streaming services its compatible with

    19. A satin-lined beanie so you can keep your ears and noggin warm while preventing damage to your delicate strands. The silky smooth lining reduces frizz and friction against your hair so it stays smooth and moisturized.

    20. A durable and splurge-worthy Skura sponge because they're designed to not trap food (genius!), dry hella fast, and resist odors — all the things your current sponge can't do. You can also tell when you need to switch out your sponge since the monogram fades over time.

    21. A cold brew maker if coffee is your lifeblood and you need at least three cups to get anything done.

    Diagram showing the three-step process of using the cold brew maker

    22. A heavy-duty oven scrub for attacking years of baked-on dinner explosions and drippings that coat the inside of your oven.

    23. A Roomba to ~wipe the floor~ with all the other robot vacuums out there. It has smart sensors that adjust to your home's unique cleaning needs. And thanks to its powerful three-stage cleaning system, you'll be saying, "cya later" to pet hair and sneeze-inducing dander. It's compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can start the cleaning with a simple voice command.

    reviewer pic or the roomba vacuum in its dock

    24. An interactive cat toy that'll quickly replace the bin full of other playthings you've bought your kitty over the years...and that they now won't even look at.

    25. A TikTok-famous pink cleaning paste so it's NBD if your little one went Baby Picasso on your furniture with a permanent marker. It's safe to use on so many surfaces — tile, glass, copper, cookware, furniture, and more — so you can buff away those stains and pretend they never happened.

    26. A box of cleaning K-Cups because they'll get rid of residue in your machine and prevent flavors from transferring in just one cycle. Or have fun descaling it multiple times. Your choice!

    reviewer photo of the water that came out of their keurig after using the k-cup cleaning pod and you can see that the original brown water gets cleaner and clearer after each cycle of using the cleaning cup

    27. A nail file board if your dog's claws are overgrown. This is like an emery board for your dog and is great for pups who cannot handle clippers or grinders.

    Dog rubbing its nails on a pink board
    before photo of a dog's overgrown nails, and an after photo of the same dog's nails looking much shorter and blunter after one scratchpad session
    ScratchPad for Dogs / Etsy, ScratchPad for Dogs / Etsy

    ScratchPad for Dogs is a small biz based in Atlanta.

    Promising review: "Love this scratch pad! We adopted our dog almost a year ago and he's been terrified of clippers and grinders since day one. We've never been able to maintain his nails due to his super reactive anxiety around nail care. That's all changed since we got the Scratch Pad a few weeks ago! He took to it right away and his nails have shown significant improvement in just a few sessions!" —Kira Armajani

    Get it from ScratchPad for Dogs on Etsy for $46.95+ (available in four styles and three grit levels).

    28. A pair of glowing lightsaber chopsticks for bringing that spicy tuna roll from your plate to your mouth with all the skill of a Jedi. Buy this, you must!

    29. Sheet Keeper, an elastic band labeled with a sheet size to prevent any confusion the next time you go to the linen closet looking for the sheets for the guest bedroom. You'll be able to quickly and clearly see which sheets are the full set and which ones are the queen sheets.

    The elastic bands on sets of sheets

    You when you ask yourself if your current robot vac sparks joy: