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

    Including fleece-lined joggers, an indestructible dog toy, and a cleaning gel that dissolves shower mold without you ever having to pick up a sponge.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    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.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "My dog Hazel LOVES this duck! She has had it for nine months now, and it’s still intact! It somehow made it through her teething as a puppy. She rips and tears apart all of her toys, but this one still looks decent!" —Emily Ann

    Get it from Amazon for $4.23.

    Check out my colleague's Multipet yellow duck toy review for more deets and some adorable photos of her pup and his quacker.

    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
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I have only used the two original pens that I purchased and can already see an improvement. I am older than 60 and drink coffee daily and red wine weekly." —vicki houska

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $19.99.

    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
    Amazon

    Promising review: "If I could give over 5 stars I would! Such a cool puzzle and such great quality. I’ve been waiting to snag one of these since I just missed their Kickstarter. Unique and fun! A welcome challenge of your puzzle-assembling abilities. I’m so happy with it!!!" —Km223

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    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 him — like when Mom screams that it's time for dinner.

    the airpods in their case
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "These little things pack one hell of a punch! Apple’s new noise cancellation and transparency modes lay the groundwork for a new generation of wireless headphones. Yes others may have used similar technology before, but Apple’s simplistic UI made for the AirPods Pro make the experience so much better than what other companies offer. Coming from the first generation AirPods, the experience is like night and day. Even though the AirPods themselves are heavier, they feel lighter in the ears and much more comfortable. The audio quality is so good, and this quality is only amplified by Apple’s new spatial audio. I definitely recommend these." —Diane G

    Get them from Amazon for $197.

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

    amazon.com

    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 $22.94+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and 17 colors).

    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
    Amazon

    They're safe to use with pretty much any type of washer: HE or regular, top-loading and front-loading.

    Promising review: "Wow! Our washing machine started smelling like a nasty old fish tank out of the blue. We tried three different remedies: bleach, vinegar, and baking soda. They didn’t do a thing. But after using Affresh in a tub clean cycle three times, as the instructions say for machines that stink, the smell went away. Our clothes are now much cleaner too...a welcome side affect we were not expecting." —Jennifer Miller

    Get a pack of six from Amazon for $10.79.

    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
    Amazon

    Promising review: "We cannot BEGIN to tell you what a lifesaver this is! We have two old fiberglass tubs with vinyl shower enclosures that no matter what amount of scrubbing we have done with everything from bleach to cleanser to vinegar and baking soda would NOT come clean. After I took my shower last night, I sprayed down the tub and walls. Within minutes, all the built-up water deposits and dirt and grime began to melt away in front of my eyes. I left it on overnight, and when I got up this morning, it did not look like the same tub and shower. This product is a godsend, especially for old folks like us who have difficulty getting down on our hands and knees and scrubbing anything. More importantly, it performs as advertised. We plan on using it as part of our weekly cleanup routine. This is truly an overnight sensation!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $16.89.

    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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I just started going to the gym and I wanted to feel cute while working out. It’s very comfortable and thick. I’m tall and it covers my ankles. Love that for me. I bent over and squatted; it didn’t move. I have 36DDD and I tried the large on with no bra; the band was right under my boobs so hopefully I don’t flash anyone lol. Aside from that I love it. I’ll probably order more." —Hope

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in sizes S–L, 10 colors, and with short or long sleeves).

    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
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This thing is aahhhh-mazing! I’ve had several kinds of cat hair removers — adhesive strips, sticky rollers, rubber nubby gloves. Nothing else works as well and as quickly. Easy to clean out too. I bought one hand held and a bigger one on a long handle for carpet and area rugs. Love them! They even clean the hair off the stupid red velvet drapes that came with the house when we bought it." —M. Bauer

    Get it from Amazon for $24.95.

    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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I cannot say enough about these patches! They are my skin savior! I actually gave myself a facial where I pushed up all the blackheads and whiteheads from my pores, which is why there is so much puss on the patches (gross, I know), but I couldn’t believe all of that was trapped in my skin!! Woke up and removed the patches, not a single pimple! If I would've not put these on, guaranteed I would have woken to multiple pimples in the area. I usually break out when I try to exfoliate and extract, so I only do it when my pores start to look huge and filled (yuck). I am now a true believer, leave the 'spot treatment' creams and switch to these! They will pull out that white head and reduce your pimple to practically nothing overnight! And it’s safer than a cream that just brings all that gunk to the surface but doesn’t actually remove it... then when you do you're left with an oozing pre-scar for the rest of the day! I am now a monthly subscriber. I will never use anything else. In fact, just ordered the XL acne patches to pull out more gunk on my forehead (live in AZ, constantly sweating and naturally oily). Thank you for making such a great product!!" —Jennelectric

    Get 40 round patches from Amazon for $7.22.

    Our in-depth review of Avarelle's acne patches gets into the nitty-gritty — why they work, how to use them, and why they've earned 33,000+ five-star reviews.

    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
    British Book Art / Etsy

    British Book Art sells the most beautiful prints as well as reading trackers and bookmarks.

    Promising review: "Probably the most beautiful bookmark I own! It would be such a perfect gift for someone who loves reading or wants some motivation to read by tracking books!!" —alexa

    Get it from British Book Art on Etsy for $3.89.

    12. A coconut and shea butter conditioning detangler that'll live up to its hype — just take a gander at the 10,300 5-star reviews. It's technically made for kids, but adults swear by it too (especially folks with 4a–4c hair). Tears and tangles? Not today!

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "All I can say is WOW!!!!! This is by far the best conditioning spray I have purchased. I have spent a lot of money on the expensive 'miracle detanglers' and 'miracle brushes,' coconut oils, and hours combing out big knots in my daughter's hair when this is all that’s needed! Her hair is a disaster full of knots after the beach. I sprayed this on before going to the beach and it made all the difference in the world. Goes to show that the expensive stuff is NOT always the best. PLEASE DON’T EVER STOP MAKING THIS!!!!!" —G

    Get it from Amazon for $3.78.

    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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I would give this product 100 stars. I see a dramatic difference in my skin. This is by far the best skincare product I have ever used. I actually use it for my whole face. It makes my skin feel clean and gives it a matte appearance. It even helps my face stay clear. I love the smell and the way it feels when applied. This is a truly amazing product." —William B Michel

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in three sizes).

    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
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This stuff is amazing. I live in an older apartment complex and even though I scrub and clean my bathtub every week, the caulk around the edge still managed to grow mold and turn brown/ black. I scrubbed with many different products and it didn't seem to make a difference. I found this product and the transformation is huge. First, it's easy to apply because of the squeeze top. I was able to just really focus on the caulk. Then, because it's a gel, it stayed put and didn't ooze everywhere. It really surprised me on those vertical sides. In the first picture, I already scrubbed my tub and even used some sturdy brushes attached to my power drill. The second half of the picture is after five hours of letting this mold remover soak and just wiping it off." —Rochelle

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

    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?

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Love this mascara! I’ve used the 'best of the best' designer, super hyped, ultra popular mascara available and NOTHING compares to this stuff! I don’t even bother using a lash curler anymore! I buy two at a time so I always have a spare (yes, it’s that good!!). I highly recommend this particular mascara...it goes on effortlessly, it lasts pretty much all day, and the price — I feel like I’m almost stealing it! I’d give it a 10-star if I could!!!" —chulaboola

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    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
    CHEF iQ

    I love my Chef IQ Smart Cooker for a lot of reasons but mainly the smart auto pressure release, so I no longer have to cross my fingers and hope my dinner doesn't explode in my face when I release the pressure valve by hand. It also has a handy built-in scale, which is super useful when a recipe calls for grams and the American education system once again fails me. On top of doing everything your old pressure cooker could do plus a whole heck of a lot more, my Chef IQ Smart Cooker just looks a lot sleeker, meaning I can leave it out on the counter without it being an eyesore.

    Promising review: "I never write reviews, but I must say this is by far my best purchase. I can't cook and this had made my husband and I have a different eating experience. If I could, I would give more stars. Now I have never had a pressure cooker, so I can't compare to anything else, however I will just tell you from my experience it is wonderful." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $174.99.

    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.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I have had a film on my dishwasher for quite some time now, I am embarrassed to say. We did not realize that it was necessary to clean the dishwasher from time to time. The buildup had been accumulating for over four years now. I tried several other cleaners to get the buildup off, but failed. I bought this product and figured it was worth a try. We added the product into the dishwasher and ran a normal cycle without dishes. When we opened it back up, it looked like new. Highly recommend this product!" —Phillip and Katherine

    Get a pack of six tablets from Amazon for $5.99.

    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
    Amazon

    The remote is Alexa-compatible so you can use voice commands to find something new to watch, launch an app, search for a movie, or even order yourself a pizza. Your old remote could never!

    Promising review: "This is the third Fire Stick I have bought and I love them all. I wanted one in the living room and bedroom because AirTV is terrible in my area. I also take one in my travel trailer. They only need a TV with an HDMI slot, a nearby electric plug (some work on USB), and a decent Wi-Fi signal. (If you can't get Wi-Fi, the Fire Stick is not for you.) It opens up a world of possibilities for what to watch. Works well with Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube TV, and many other subscription carriers for much less than satellite or cable. Installation is easy and working the remote is simple." —Ben Henry

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99.

    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.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "This is seriously my new favorite beanie! I’ve worn it all day and wouldn’t even mind sleeping in it...yes it is THAT cozy!! This adorable winter essential totally exceeded my expectations! It is the perfect fit for a slouchy beanie...not too tight and not too loose that it falls off when you barely move your head...you know what I’m talking about! I love that it is satin lined inside and protects my hair from getting frizzy and my forehead from getting itchy! I want one in every color and will definitely be ordering these for holiday gifts for all of my girlfriends!" —Chelsie

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in six colors).

    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.

    Amazon

    Childhood friends Alison Matz and Linda Sawyer started Skura Style (Skura is Swedish for "scour" or "scrub"), a small business that reimagines your regular old sponge.

    Promising review: "This is my second go-around with this product and both times I have been very satisfied. I will continue to purchase because they are that good." —Terry G. Moore, Sr.

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $14.99.

    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
    Amazon

    It brews a quart (4 cups), so you should have enough java to get you through the day (and maybe some left over to share with your favorite coworker).

    Promising review: "If you LOVE iced coffee (I drink it year round regardless of the weather) then you NEED this cold brewer. I work for Starbucks and I love our cold brew. I was skeptical to make it at home but I love it more than theirs. It’s especially nice since Starbucks only brews one kind of beans for cold brew, but at home you can brew your favorite kind. Absolutely love this and it’s worth more than it costs. A must-buy for yourself or a wonderful gift for the coffee lover in your life!" —j.blaine

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in three colors and two sizes). 

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

    Everneat / Etsy

    Everneat is a small business based in Fairfield, Connecticut, that specializes in natural cleaning products.

    Promising review: "This product is amazing! It works fast with pretty minimal elbow grease. The stainless-steel sponge that comes with it makes it easier. And it smells great!" —Melissa C.

    Get it from Everneat on Etsy for $19.99+ (available in a plastic or glass container).

    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
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Love, love, love this Roomba! We have three cats and it picks up all the cat hair. We have all wood and tile floors with some scatter rugs. It does a great job cleaning on all surfaces. Only negative, and I do not consider it a negative since we have three cats, is that we have to pause it a couple of times during a cleaning cycle to empty the bin. Without the cat hair, it would do a whole cycle before emptying. We are seniors and it is so nice to sit in our recliners and have the Roomba do it's job. Another plus is that it will connect to our Echo Dot and so all we have to do is say, 'Alexa start the Roomba.' Now if they make a model that can cook, we will be the first to buy it! LOL" —Floridamo

    Get it from Amazon for $299.99.

    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.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Simply the best cat toy you can buy. My cats go wild as soon as I pull this out. Nothing else gets them up and moving like this toy now that they’re getting older. Seems silly that they love a simple wire with a cardboard tip, but there’s something about it that’s irresistible. Buy it. Your cats will love it." —Amazon customer

    Get it from Amazon for $2.21.

    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.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I used this product for my stove because if there's one thing I dislike it's cleaning. I have used multiple degreaser sprays and they all are so toxic and don't work for me. But this product, oh my goodness; legit a miracle. It doesn't have any type of smell. I put the paste on a cloth, clean the area, then wipe it off with a damp cloth and voilà — magic!" —May

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    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
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Thought I was having problems with my machine. Used two cups to flush the entire coffee maker out and it started working like new. Totally satisfied!" —Dara Pazooki

    Get a box of six pods from Amazon for $9.95.

    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
    Scratchpad for Dogs / Etsy

    Scratchpad for Dogs is a small biz based in Atlanta. Jen Fleming, the store's owner, came up with the idea after adopting a shelter dog named Ripley who absolutely hated having his nails trimmed. 

    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 Scratchpad 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 $44.95+ (available in two styles and three grit levels).

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

    Emma Lord / BuzzFeed, Amazon

    My colleague Emma Lord bought these and loves them. In her own words:

    "I bought these for myself, and I love them to pieces. TBH, I use them as decor every bit as much as I use them to eat. Sometimes I just keep them in my work area to light them up during the day to feel fancy. They toggle back and forth between a bunch of different colors, like red, blue, yellow, purple, and multicolor, so you can either make them match *or* have a red and blue one together and bring ~balance~ to the Force."

    Promising review: "I purchased these for a friend's birthday present (he is a sushi waiter) and these are flippin' AMAZING. I ordered two sets by mistake, but I am totally keeping the second pair for another gift (or for myself!). These are sure to be great conversation pieces and attention getters. Way to go!" —T. Redwood

    Get them from Amazon for $11.97.

    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
    Sheet Keeper / Etsy

    Sheet Keeper is a small business based in Los Angeles.

    Promising review: "Great product. Came quickly and they work great! Such a great idea to keep sheets organized and together while being able to tell what size bedding it is. Will order again for sure!" —devonhansen1

    Get two from Sheet Keeper on Etsy for $13.99 (available in four sizes and for comforters and duvets).

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

    Chuck Lorre Productions

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.