29 Proactive Products That Solve Problems Before They Even Happen
Including tabs that prevent bed sheets from tangling in the wash, a Bluetooth sleep mask so you can fall asleep to your fave true crime podcast, and wine filters that can help prevent headaches.
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. A Blue Bottle coffee subscription so you don't wake up one morning to make the horrifying discovery that you are out of java. Blue Bottle's beans are shipped within 24 hours of roasting, and they offer a variety of subscriptions, including a rotating assortment of their most popular blends, an espresso assortment, and a single-origin assortment.
And don't forget the coffee grinder since you'll be getting whole beans! (This one is my fave!)
If you're new to Blue Bottle and don't want to commit to a subscription, I 1,000% recommend trying their New Orleans iced coffee kit. THIS STUFF IS MY LIFEBLOOD. Seriously, I could drink this every morning for the rest of my life and not get tired of it. It's sweet and creamy and delicious without tasting too sugary — the perfect iced coffee IMO.
Get a Blue Bottle subscription for $11+ (available in 11 plans).
2. A setting powder that'll keep your oiliness in check all day so you're not whipping out the blotting sheets by the early afternoon.
3. A TubShroom for snagging all the hairs you shed before they collect in the pipes. Say hello to relaxing showers and goodbye to standing in a puddle of water for 15 minutes because the drain is clogged...again.
Promising review: "Absolutely worth every penny. Kudos to the inventor of this product. I have thick, long, dark hair and two months after moving into my own apartment, I found my shower drain was completely clogged with all my hair. After being disgusted at the amount of hair I had to clean out with a snake (which is NOT a fun task), I decided I needed to purchase something to prevent it from happening again. I read about this product in a BuzzFeed article and I have no regrets. It is so satisfying to clean out and it does not lie when it says it catches out every single hair. I have had it for close to four months without once instance of my shower drain backing up. This product is absolutely worth it." —JT
Get it from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in five colors and as a two-pack).
4. Glossier Lash Slick, a lengthening mascara to keep your lashes looking long and luscious and prevent raccoon eyes, even through any unexpected tears and 100% humidity.
5. A grooming rake because it'll help loosen fur, lighten your dog's undercoat, and prevent future mats. This brush is specifically designed for pooches with thick, dense fur or double coats.
6. A camera backpack if you never want to worry about not having enough space for all your equipment.
It can fit up to a 16-inch MacBook, a full frame DSLR and three lenses, 70–200mm lens or drone, clothes, a passport, a tripod, a water bottle, and SD cards.
Brevite is an Asian-owned small business started by brothers Brandon, Dylan, and Elliot.
Promising review: "It fits so much and makes carrying everything so easy — and you can look cute doing it! The colors of the bag are unmatchable." —Brevite Customer
Get it from Brevite for $129 (available in nine colors).
7. A mug warmer so your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa doesn't even have a chance to get cold. Repeat after me: There's nothing worse than room-temp coffee. There's nothing worse than room-temp coffee. There's nothing worse...
This mug warmer does *not* have an auto-off feature, so we recommend also getting an auto-off outlet, like this one from Amazon for $16.95, if you're prone to forgetting to unplug things.
Promising review: "I like a good cuppa joe. My first one goes down quickly, but I like to leisurely enjoy the subsequent one (or two or...), and really no one likes a room temp coffee. (So why is it a room temp coffee tastes cold, but a room temp soda tastes hot?). Enter this good ol' time Mr. Coffee mug warmer. Keeps hot things hot, just like it should. The cord is sufficiently long so I do not need an extension cord. The on/off control switch is mounted on the top of the unit and not on the power cord like some. It slowly builds in temp but after 10 minutes or so, it is at temp and keeps coffee at a hot enough temp for enjoyment — toasty warm but not scalding." —Chuck & Karen
Get it from Amazon for $10.99.
8. Or a smart mug that'll stay at exactly the temperature you set it at via your phone or smart watch. Your old mug could never!
Promising review: "I absolutely love this cup! I play video games and watch movies on the weekend for a few hours of entertainment. And this cup delivers a perfect cup of hot coffee throughout my gaming sessions even with my fans blowing in my face. I now must have this cup for life. I love coffee, and it tastes even better in this cup because the coffee is consistently hot. It is simply fantastic!" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $99.99 (also available in white).
9. A pack of plant food spikes for gardeners with black thumbs or a forgetful mind. These sticks provide up to two months of continuous feeding so it's OK if you forget to check on your plants...for a month.
10. A Bluetooth sleep mask to help lull you to sleep with the soothing sounds of your favorite song, podcast, or ASMR video. Each charge lasts up to eight hours, so they're also great for long road trips (as long as you're a passenger and not the driver!). Plus, they're wireless meaning no more untangling cables!
Promising review: "I suffer from insomnia, so I decided to try this gadget. It was easy to connect with my Samsung phone. I played some relaxing music and turned it on; I was asleep in less than 15 minutes. My husband took a picture after I knocked out LOL. I am hoping that it continues to help me with my insomnia problem...so far two nights of peaceful sleep! I am happy!" —Los Kositos
Get them from Amazon for $22.97.
11. The Wand, a mini handheld filter because they're designed to help reduce your wine-induced headaches. This lil' guy should remove the histamines and sulfites in alcohol that may trigger headaches and hangovers. It's also supposed to revive oxidized wine so you don't have to toss an open bottle.
Promising review: "OMG!!!! This works. I love wine, but have terrible allergies to the histamines, sulfites, and preservatives in wine. I actually use one wand for two glasses of wine. I was very skeptical, but it works like a dream! Thank you PureWine. This is really a breakthrough for me." —Penny Froh
Get three from Amazon for $11.99 (also available in larger packs).
12. An interactive cat toy if your kitty could use some entertainment. This'll keep them ~feline~ playful for hours on end so you don't have to deal with your needy cat crying for attention while you're trying to get some work done.
Promising review: "I have a whole room filled with cat toys that my cat is not interested in. It's funny how the least expensive cat toy I have makes him go crazy. He plays with this until he's panting like a dog and I have never seen him jump so high. I'm certain this toy will help him lose his belly. He loves it! I highly recommend it!" —Kwoo
Get it from Amazon for $2.95.
13. A pack of reusable wool dryer balls so you don't have to wait hours for your laundry to dry. These little guys help aerate the dryer so it finishes faster. And each ball should last you roughly 2,000 washes, which means fewer runs to the store and more lazy days at home.
Promising review: "I LOVE these dryer balls. I used them to replace my dryer sheets and get rid of all the toxins I was putting all over my clothes. They also decrease the drying time in my dryer and make my clothes so soft and fluffy. If I need extra static help, I just put a safety pin on a ball. I have recommended these to all my friends as well!" —Chrissy
Get a four-pack from Amazon for $7.95.
14. A bottle of OLLY sleep gummies that'll help encourage your body to rest. Their blend of L-Theanine, chamomile, and lemon balm may help boost relaxation and increase your sleep quality.
Promising review: "They taste delicious, they work fast, and I don’t have weird dreams or nightmares. I have severe insomnia and I have tried every OTC and prescription possible. I tried these desperate for help, and I actually sleep incredibly well. I usually wake up an hour before my alarm, but with how well I sleep, that doesn’t bother me. I’m just grateful to be sleeping." —John Chase
Get a bottle of 50 gummies from Amazon for $12.42.
15. A stand mixer cable wrap for keeping the cord safely and neatly tucked away when your mixer isn't in use.
The wrap also comes with a Command strip for easy mounting.
McMaster3D is a small business based in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Paul McMaster, the store owner, is a self-taught 3D printer!
Promising review: "Great accessory for mixer cord! Matched my silver KitchenAid mixer perfectly. Great product!" —Nancy McDonald
16. A veggie dicer to save you lots of time (and probably some tears) when you're cooking. Or, you could have fun chopping peppers and onions by hand for the next hour — your choice!
Promising review: "Use often. Works well. Love that I can quickly chop up vegetables to same size so they cook more evenly. Especially love if I’m doing a lot of onions for food prep. Note: does not work on tomatoes for those wondering. I give a quick rinse with hot water to clean up and air dry." —lte
Get it from Amazon for $27.99.
17. The Big Activity Book For Anxious People, because sometimes a good laugh is enough to distract you from your anxieties and save you from spiraling. This activity book mixes fun and humor with educational tips for coping with your anxiety so you feel a little less alone about your worries.
Promising review: "This book: fantastic. I've bought so many workbooks and coloring books that were supposed to ease, distract from, or somehow manage my PTSD anxiety with no result. I thought how different could this one be? But I liked the reviews, so I gave it a try. I laughed until tears were rolling down while reading this. I was gasping for air so hard I could barely read it to my husband who was cracking up from the book as well as just watching me laugh. It's great and at the same time, it's reassuring because pretty much everything I'm afraid of is mentioned, and even a few things I'm not (elbows; I had no idea that was an official phobia, but if I ever make it onto Jeopardy, well, now I know.)" —Kindle Customer
Get it from Amazon for $9.44.
18. A Mighty Handle if you hate the long walk from the store to your house (or even from your car to the front door). This lil' gadget can help you carry multiple bags at once without straining your hands.
Promising review: "If you carry in your groceries alone or have to go up stairs, these are an ESSENTIAL. Now that I've used them I don't think I could ever go back. They're small and lightweight, fit easily in my glovebox or purse, and enable me to carry my entire grocery run up 30+ stairs without losing circulation in my hands. I'd recommend them to anyone and have started giving them as gifts." —bbbrittish
Get a two-pack from Amazon for $13.95.
19. A set of oven liners so you can prevent future messes and catch crumbs before they burn and get baked on. We both know the chances of you actually cleaning the oven are, well, slim, so the least you can do is get yourself a pack of these and save yourself the mess.
Promising review: "I got tired of cleaning the bottom of my oven out after every drip and spill, or running the 'oven clean' option, which uses up so much energy and makes my house HOT during the process. I used to have foil on the bottom of the oven to help with spills, and that improved things greatly — but then you have to replace the foil after a while. I had to cut them to size, which was easy to do with a simple pair of household scissors. Then I placed them in the oven (they look nice!), and I waited for it to get messy. I cooked something super messy and finally needed to clean the liner. It was SO easy; I put it in the sink and used my sink sprayer and everything immediately slid right off the liner. No problem! I have a double oven, so I was glad this pack came with more than one. I have one in each oven and one on standby in case I need it. I know that having a dirty oven isn't the worst thing in the world, but if it matters to you, try these!" —Hpg
Get a set of three from Amazon for $11.99.
20. A set of wad-free pads for keeping your bedsheets from tangling in the wash. If you've ever opened the dryer expecting...well...dry sheets only to find them tangled in a damp ball, you need this. Doing the bare minimum = having to dry your bedsheets only once.
Wad-Free is a woman-owned small biz that was launched during the pandemic. Cyndi Bray, the founder, learned CAD (computer-aided design) to create the pads.
Promising review: "We have a king size bed and every time I washed the sheets it was a process. Put them in the washer, then untangle them before the dryer. Stop the dryer a couple of times to do the same or you have damp spots or trapped wet pillowcases. This little gadget eliminates all that. Love that I can wash my sheets like regular laundry!" —Liane
Get it from The Grommet for $18.99.
21. A box of cleaning cups for your Keurig that'll get rid of residue in your machine, prevent flavors from transferring, and save you a heck of a lot of time descaling.
Promising review: "Just pop it in and run about one reservoir of water through the system. It is blue but unclogs and does a great job of cleaning. When I used the white vinegar method I'd have to rinse it quite a few times to get rid of the vinegar taste in the water. I definitely recommend this to others. I believe it works in all systems that use the K-cup." —Brandi
Get a box of five pods from Amazon for $17.
22. An easily washable drip catcher to stop the counter space between the back of your faucet and the wall from turning into a puddle after you wash the dishes. This absorbent mat sits snugly around your faucet so the back section of your sink area stays dry.
Two Lilacs Studio is a small shop based in Saint Helens, Oregon.
Promising review: "LOVE these splash catchers! They save me from having to chase the puddles that form around the base of our faucet before they start creeping over the counter. So reasonably priced, made well with neatly finished edges, and packaged with gift-ready care." —Alina
23. A set of produce storage containers you'll love ~berry~ much because they'll save you money by extending the shelf life of your fruits and veg. Here's to actually cooking with the produce in your fridge in 2021.
Promising review: "I live alone and therefore have a lot of trouble getting fresh vegetables to last long enough for me to eat them up. I was throwing away a lot. I had to quit eating salads at home. But these containers have saved the day. They really work to keep veggies such as spinach and baby kale much longer. I've had cherry tomatoes sitting on my counter in the smaller container for about two weeks and they are just fine! I've been eating them slowly and they are almost gone but still fresh looking." —Shakti
Get a three-piece set from from Amazon for $45.99.
Check out our in-depth review of the Rubbermaid FreshWorks produce savers.
24. A pack of sound-dampening door bumpers if you love your family but they're also monsters who seem to enjoy shutting doors and closing cabinets as loud as possible when you're trying to sleep.
Promising review: "I live with a spouse who has a heavy hand when it comes to doors, cabinets, etc. He is what I call a slammer — I close things but he slams them! As our kitchen sits right below the master bedroom, I would finally drift off to sleep only to be awakened by slamming in the kitchen below! Not anymore!! These door bumpers are the best! High quality and they definitely do the job! They can be easily cut with sharp scissors if need be. Our kitchen cabinets had a little ridge, so I had to cut some to make them fit. Easy to apply too — just peel off the backing and stick! Strong adhesive is an added bonus!" —Fitness Nana
Get a sheet of 100 on Amazon for $6.98.
25. A bottle of peel-off cuticle tape for giving yourself mess-free ombré nails...because we all know that going back in with a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover is going to result in you accidentally ruining your freshly painted color.
26. Sheet Keeper, an elastic band labeled with a sheet size that'll 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 — aka the guest bedroom sheets — and which ones are the queen sheets — aka your bed sheets.
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
27. A gel memory foam pillow for helping you drift off to the best sleep of your life. Neck pain? I don't know her!
Promising review: "This pillow is just what I was looking for! I am a side sleeper and tend to place my arm underneath my pillow so this works perfectly for me; it molds around my arm so I barely even notice it. I have had issues with other pillows being either too fluffy or too hard, but this one is soft while still giving me the support I need. It stays cool throughout the night and remains firm at the right places. The memory foam pillow was packed nice and tight and I let it air out for about 48 hours before using it." —Joel
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in three sizes).
28. A robot vacuum to clean your home in chunks during the week so you're not spending five hours with your handheld vac sucking up dirt, dust, and pet hair each weekend.
Promising review: "I am a NEAT FREAK! I love to clean. I literally clean my house daily. It can’t be clean enough. I have a two-story, three-bedroom three-bathroom house with two dogs. This vacuum cleans all of it! This gadget is legit like a little human vacuuming your floors, but super throughly. It goes over all my rugs and hardwood floors, and it goes in the bathrooms and closets and under all the furniture. Once in awhile it gets caught in the wires underneath my TV but most of the time it is able to get itself out of it It’s quiet. My dogs barely even notice it. This is worth every penny! It’s easy to set up, and easy to clean after each use. It does all the hard work for you. Since I’ve had mine, I’ve literally gotten five friends to buy one and they all love it too. (This is NOT a paid advertisement or review. This is just a review from a normal woman who really loves her floors clean)." —Shannon
Get it from Amazon for $195.99+ (also available in white).
29. An anti-fog shower mirror because how else are you supposed to make sure you didn't miss a hair? Steamy showers don't have to make shaving nearly impossible!
Promising review: "I used to shave at the gym after 10 minutes in the steam room. Now that the gym is closed, I need to shave at home, and the best place to do that is in the shower. This is by far the simplest solution: a mirror that hangs on the glass with a suction cup. It needs to be warmed up (the shower works fine for that) for 10 seconds or so, and it remains fog-free long enough to shave. It may look small, but the size is quite adequate. The suction works pretty well, although if you leave it up for a few days it may fall. Not a problem, since the mirror is plastic and unbreakable. Highly recommended." —William Kasimer
Get it from Amazon for $11.54.