We tried every Casper mattress: here are the good and bad aspects of each

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Casper Mattresses

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Choosing a mattress is one of the most important buying decisions you will make. Not only is it an expensive item, but you’ll also spend a third of your life on it. It used to be that the only way to pick the right bed was to spend 15 minutes on it in a showroom. Today, online retailers like Casper let you test their mattresses risk-free for months in the comfort of your own home.

As Insider Review’s mattress expert, I sleep on more than 20 mattresses each year, including direct-to-consumer online brands and traditional beds. In addition to sleeping on each mattress for two weeks, I put each bed through objective tests for edge support, breathability, motion isolation, and more. In each test, Casper mattresses have performed well earning spots in several of our buying guides.

What is Casper?

Casper launched in 2014 with an all-foam bed in a box. It was an instant success that contributed to a disruption to the mattress industry. Today, Casper has eight mattresses: Seven are sold at Casper, and one (the all-foam Nova) is exclusive to Zola. We have tested all of the mattresses except the all-foam Nova.

Casper makes all of its mattresses using CertiPUR-US certified foams, which means they are made without ozone depleters, heavy metals, or other harmful substances. They also have low volatile organic compound emissions. The company uses recycled plastic bottles to make its mattress covers, though you can’t tell by their feel.

All Casper mattresses are available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king.

Casper lets you try its mattresses for up to 100 nights, risk free. If you decide the mattress isn’t right for you, they’ll pick it up, and you will receive a full refund. If you decide to keep the mattress, it’s backed by a 10-year warranty.

If you want to try out a Casper in the showroom, mattresses are available across the nation, including in several Target locations.

If you don’t want to set up your mattress on your own, Casper offers white glove delivery for $149. Included in this charge is removal of your old mattress and foundation.

Below you will find short reviews of all of the Casper products we’ve tested and links to our full reviews. We also compare Casper to other brands and highlight current deals. We are always testing Casper’s latest products and will update this page as we complete our assessments.

We have a variety of guides to help you as you research your next mattress or bedding purchase:

Casper Element

A close-up on the side of a Casper Element mattress

Element Mattress (Queen) (small)

Category Product
Best for Back and stomach sleepers, couples
Mattress type Foam
Firmness (1 softest to 10 firmest) 6
Motion isolation (1 awful to 10 best) 8
Heat dissipation (1 traps heat to 10 stays cool) 3
Edge support (1 awful to 10 best) 8
Weight (queen) 68 lbs.
Thickness 10 in.

At under $600 for a queen, the Element is the most affordable Casper mattress. We also think it’s a good buy for back and stomach sleepers thanks to its firmer-than-average support. Couples will appreciate the great motion dampening and edge support.

The Element is made of two layers of foam: a base layer for support and durability and a top layer for pressure relief and breathability. However, the top layer wasn’t effective at cooling in my tests and had a stiff feel that offered little pressure relief. Still, if you’re on a budget and aren’t too picky, the Element is a solid choice. 

Read our full review of the Casper Element Mattress.

Casper Original

The Casper Original Mattress in a blue-accented room

Original Mattress (Queen) (small)

Category Product
Best for All sleeping styles, hot sleepers
Mattress type Foam
Firmness (1 softest to 10 firmest) 6
Motion isolation (1 awful to 10 best) 7
Heat dissipation (1 traps heat to 10 stays cool) 8
Edge support (1 awful to 10 best) 3
Weight (queen) 79 lbs.
Thickness 11 in.

While the Nova Hybrid is my favorite Casper mattress, that’s based on my side-sleeping, hot-sleeping preferences. I think the Casper Original will appeal to a broader audience because of its medium-firm feel and much lower price.

The Casper Original is made of three layers of foam for breathability, support, and durability. Unlike most all-foam mattresses, the Casper Original stayed cool and didn’t trap heat in my tests.

I also liked that the mattress had great motion-dampening properties, which is a must if you or your partner tend to toss and turn in the night. However, the edges sag significantly, causing you to feel like you might fall out of bed when lying on the periphery.

Read our full review of the Casper Original Mattress.

Casper Original Hybrid

An overhead shot of the Casper Original Hybrid mattress

Original Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (small)

Category Product
Best for All sleeping styles
Mattress type Hybrid
Firmness (1 softest to 10 firmest) 5
Motion isolation (1 awful to 10 best) 3
Heat dissipation (1 traps heat to 10 stays cool) 6
Edge support (1 awful to 10 best) 8
Weight (queen) 91 lb.
Thickness 11 in.

The Original Hybrid has the same foam layers as the Casper Original, but it has the added benefit of individually wrapped springs that make it more durable. Springs usually increase airflow for cooler sleep, and the Original Hybrid does a good job of dissipating heat, but it’s not as good as the Casper Original.

The Casper Original Hybrid has an average firmness that will appeal to a broad range of sleepers. The edge support is also the best of Casper’s mattresses. However, it failed our motion isolation tests, and it took several days for the initial odors to dissipate.

Read our full review of the Casper Original Hybrid Mattress.

Casper Nova Hybrid

An overhead shot of the Casper Nova Hybrid mattress

Nova Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (small)

Category Product
Best for Side sleepers, hot sleepers
Mattress type Hybrid
Firmness (1 softest to 10 firmest) 4
Motion isolation (1 awful to 10 best) 3
Heat dissipation (1 traps heat to 10 stays cool) 8
Edge support (1 awful to 10 best) 6
Weight (queen) 89 lbs.
Thickness 12 in.

The Casper Nova Hybrid is my favorite Casper mattress, the best soft mattress in our buying guide, and the top pick in our guide to the best mattresses for side sleepers. I like that it offers support alongside its cushiony, “sinking-in” feel.

The combination of individually wrapped coils and CertiPUR-US certified foams contribute to excellent heat dissipation. 

Setup took less than 10 minutes but wasn’t without some effort due to its hefty weight. Also, it had a “new bed smell” that lasted for a few days, so you may want to air it out if possible.

The bounciness of the Casper Nova Hybrid translated to poor motion isolation in our tests, but couples may appreciate the bounce for intimate activities. The bed also offers good edge support when seated or lying down.

Read our full review of the Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress.

Casper Nova Hybrid Snow

A closeup of the side of the Casper Nova Hybrid Snow

Nova Hybrid Snow (Queen) (small)

Category Product
Best for Side sleepers, hot sleepers
Mattress type Hybrid
Firmness (1 softest to 10 firmest) 4
Motion isolation (1 awful to 10 best) 3
Heat dissipation (1 traps heat to 10 stays cool) 8
Edge support (1 awful to 10 best) 5
Weight (queen) 89 lbs.
Thickness 12 in.

In 2021, Casper introduced a cooling option to its Nova Hybrid. For $500 more, the Nova Hybrid Snow upgrade adds a cooling cover, more breathable foam, and internal bands that pull excess heat from the body.

However, if the Nova Hybrid Snow does a better job of cooling than the Nova Hybrid, I didn’t notice in my tests. The Snow and original Nova Hybrid were also nearly identical in the other tests. Consequently, I recommend buying the cheaper of the two, which is currently the Nova Hybrid.

Casper Wave Hybrid

A closeup of the side of the Casper Wave Hybrid

Wave Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (small)

Category Product
Best for Back and stomach sleepers, cold sleepers
Mattress type Hybrid
Firmness (1 softest to 10 firmest) 6
Motion isolation (1 awful to 10 best) 5
Heat dissipation (1 traps heat to 10 stays cool) 2
Edge support (1 awful to 10 best) 3
Weight (queen) 111 lbs.
Thickness 13 in.

One of Casper’s most expensive mattresses is also the model I like the least. The Wave Hybrid is made up of individually wrapped spring coils that offer support and durability and five layers of foam for cooling, zoned support, and pressure relief.

It slept the hottest of the Casper mattresses I tested, the edge support was terrible, it’s heavy and hard to move, the motion isolation was so-so, and it was a little too firm for my side sleeping.

I’m hesitant to slap a “do not recommend” label on any mattress because personal preferences could make it ideal for someone. In this instance, I think the Wave Hybrid is best for back or stomach sleepers who sleep alone, tend to get cold at night, and have the budget for a luxury mattress.

Read our full review of the Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress.

Casper Wave Hybrid Snow

An overhead shot of the Casper Wave Hybrid Snow Mattress

Wave Hybrid Snow (Queen) (small)

Category Product
Best for Back and stomach sleepers, cold sleepers
Mattress type Hybrid
Firmness (1 softest to 10 firmest) 6
Motion isolation (1 awful to 10 best) 5
Heat dissipation (1 traps heat to 10 stays cool) 2
Edge support (1 awful to 10 best) 3
Weight (queen) 111 lbs.
Thickness 13 in.

The Wave Hybrid Snow is an update to the Wave Hybrid, featuring the same cooling upgrades as the Nova Hybrid Snow and the same $500 jump in price. The Snow technology didn’t offer any appreciable improvements on cooling in my tests.

The Wave Hybrid Snow still didn’t dissipate heat well, and it had the same pitfalls as the Wave Hybrid: So-so motion isolation and poor edge support, and it was hard to move. Consequently, I’d only recommend it for hot-sleeping back or stomach sleepers who don’t share a bed and have a large budget — though I think you should save the $500 and go with the Wave Hybrid.

Casper Original Pillow

Best pillow Casper

Original Pillow (small)

The Casper Original Pillow features a soft, fluffy polyester microfiber fill covered by a hypoallergenic cotton percale fabric. It’s available in a mid-loft, generally better for side sleepers, and low-loft, usually ideal for stomach and back sleepers. Inside is a removable inner pillow that offers firm support.

The Casper Original Pillow is machine washable and comes with the same 100-night trial period available with the mattresses.

Several members of the Insider Reviews team swear by it because the pillow sleeps cool, provides a firm but fluffy comfort, and is easy to clean. 

Read our full review of the Casper Original Pillow.

Casper Hyperlite Sheets

A set of blue Casper Hyperlite sheets on a mattress in a bedroom

Hyperlite Sheet Set (Queen) (small)

Over the years, we’ve tested several Casper sheet sets and loved them all. Our current favorite is the Casper Hyperlite Sheet Set, which we recommend in our guide to the best sheets. These Tencel lyocell sheets are made from sustainably sourced wood pulp. 

With its thin, gauzy construction, the material is soft and lightweight, which makes for a cool sleep. We were concerned that it might not be durable because it’s so thin it’s see-through, but it doesn’t show any wear after several washes.

Casper Rise Max Adjustable Base

The Casper Rise Max Adjustable Base on a hardwood floor

Rise Max Adjustable Base (Queen) (small)

Head and foot tilts are standard in the adjustable-bed-frame space. It’s much rarer to find a frame that offers a neck tilt that can help you achieve your ideal head support. The Casper Rise Max Adjustable Base has all the above, including programmable buttons that remember your favorite positions.

The priciest of Casper’s three adjustable base options, the Rise Max has several other popular features, including a strong four-zone massage system, under-bed lighting, wireless remote, and USB ports on either side of the bed. Plus, it’s backed by a 30-night sleep trial, which is pretty good for an adjustable bed frame.

I’ve tested the Rise Max for a month, and I’m impressed with how quietly it adjusts positions. My favorite position is the “zero gravity” preset, which is supposed to make you feel weightless. I wouldn’t say I feel like an astronaut, but it’s comfy.

Casper Mattress Protectors

The Casper Waterproof mattress protector on a mattress

I don’t recommend either of Casper’s mattress protectors. First, the Casper Waterproof Mattress Protector lives up to its name — it passed my leakage tests. Yet, it’s hard to put on your mattress thanks to the small elastic ring designed to keep it snug. It only got worse after washing it.

The Casper Breathable Mattress Protector was the only protector I tested that failed my leakage tests. That’s because it’s water-resistant rather than waterproof. It also only protects the top of your mattress, and that protection area shrank after five trips through the wash.

Casper Glow Lights

Casper Glow Lights review 2021

The Glow Light (small)

The Casper Glow Light is much more than just a reading light. Free of blue light, it helps you wind down at night and wake up easily as the brightness gradually grows in the morning. 

The Glow Light pairs with the Casper Glow app (available for iOS and Android) via Bluetooth for expanded features, including syncing Glow Lights and adjusting the brightness. 

Insider Reviews’ Suzy Hernandez, a sleep researcher, recommends the Glow Light because of its beautiful, warm illumination; portability; and ease of use. She liked that with a simple flip, she can use it as a night light to make her way to the bathroom in the dark.

Read our full review of the Casper Glow Lights.

Casper Dog Bed

Casper Dog Bed

Dog Bed (small)

Casper’s product line expands beyond humans with the Dog Bed. With three colors and three size options for dogs up to 90 pounds, the Casper Dog Bed features a durable support foam and comfortable memory foam to keep your furry friend happy. 

Insider’s David Slotnick’s 18-pound pup, Murray, has enjoyed the Dog Bed for two years, and it’s showing minimal wear despite Murray’s less-than-gentle treatment of it. He continues to gravitate to it whenever he needs a snooze.

Read our full review of the Casper Dog Bed.

How Casper compares to other mattress brands

A pile of mattresses from Purple

It seems like new direct-to-consumer online mattress makers are popping up every day. Casper uses some of the most eco-friendly materials and has one of the largest selections of mattresses over a broad price range. Here are more details on how Casper stacks up to other big names like Leesa, Purple, and more. Also, we compared the Casper Original Hybrid to the Allswell Supreme Hybrid and the Leesa Hybrid.

The best Casper deals

Four Casper mattresses still in their boxes in the front hall of a house

Find the best Casper deals here.

Once you figure out which Casper mattress you want to buy, you’ll likely want to find the best deal available. We have you covered. With our exclusive “INSIDER” discount code, you can save $100 to $200 on almost any mattress at checkout. 

Casper also offers regular sales throughout the year. Historically, Casper’s biggest sales happen around Labor Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, but we’ve also seen good deals at other times.

Read the original article on Business Insider

We tested 16 showerheads, and these are the best

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

You might think that all showerheads are the same, but it’s important to choose one that provides the look, flow rate, and stream settings you need.

After testing 16 showerheads and consulting two experts – CEO of Advanced Builders and Contractors Nick Yahoodain and remodeling expert Monica Higgins – the Kohler Flipside is our pick for the best showerhead.

You can learn how we tested the showerheads here and find out more about the different types of showerheads here. Some showerheads offer a spa-like experience, while others are aimed at saving water. You’ll get a different experience from both.

Here are the best showerheads in 2021

Our testing methodology

I researched more than 30 showerheads based on reviews and tested 16. I also leaned on my experience as a residential carpenter for four years and consulted two experts: Nick Yahoodain, CEO of Advanced Builders and Contractors in Los Angeles, California, and Monica Higgins, a remodeling expert based in Southern California. 

I installed each showerhead and used it at least three times during the day. I went through my usual cleansing routine with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash and made sure to stagger my showers to reduce the chances of other appliances or household plumbing factors affecting my testing. Showering while running dishwashers or washing machines, or even at the same time as someone else, will increase the demand for your water supply and can sometimes result in a lower flow rate than usual. 

After picking my top five, I showered several more times — sometimes consecutively — to get a better idea of how specific features like massage or power-spray settings felt. 

Here’s how we compare showerheads:

Installation and fit: I installed each showerhead, timing how long the process took and noting any issues that came up. I have four years of experience as a general contractor, so my installation time will most likely be quicker than yours. Nonetheless, I made sure to note if the installation was easy or not.

Appearance: I took the overall style, design, finish, material, and size into account when comparing the appearance of each showerhead. People have vastly different bathroom styles, and some options may match better with certain aesthetics.

Overall feel of water: I based this on how the water physically felt throughout the shower. I noted the size of the water coverage coming out of the showerhead, how focused or dispersed the water droplets and streams were, and how strong and pressurized the water felt overall.

Operation and special features: Along with noting how easy or difficult the unit was to operate and switch between modes, I also made sure to pay attention to any special features, like the number and variety of settings or unique operational functions. 

Flow rate: I calculated the actual flow rate of each showerhead and compared it to the max it could handle. I would fill a 5-gallon bucket for 60 seconds, weigh it, subtract the weight of the bucket, and divide that number by 8.3 (the weight of a gallon of water). This gave me the gallons per minute (GPM) of each showerhead. 

These flow rates can’t be compared exactly across all the products because they all have different flow-rate restrictions. But by looking at the max flow rate of the product along with the tested rates I calculated from my shower (which has an average pressure of 64 parts per square inch or PSI), I got a general idea of how each showerhead performs under the PSI of an average household. 

Regardless of the style or design, a showerhead boils down to whether or not it provides an effective and satisfying shower. This is purely subjective and everyone will have different preferences and priorities, so I made sure to keep consistent and objective notes as I collected my findings.

The best shower head overall

images of Kohler Flipside turned off and on best showerhead 2021

The Kohler Flipside produces an impressive 1.81 GPM flow rate and has a unique rotating head to change through its flow streams.

Pros: No fragile levers or switches, chrome finish, soft rubber nozzles

Cons: Flow rate can be too high for some states

After testing 12 models with high flow rates, impressive stream settings, and practical designs, the Kohler Flipside was the perfect combination of them all. It beat out everything we tested, including our previous top pick of the Waterpik High-Pressure Powerpulse 9-Spray.

The Flipside impressed me as soon as I opened the box. Its heft, chrome finish, and sturdy design gave it a high-end look. The circular wheel that supports the showerhead was easy to install and twist into place; you could turn it like a steering wheel. It fit snugly on my existing half-inch shower arm.

I liked how the Flipside switched streams by flipping the head around the axis, as opposed to using a lever, switch, or handle. The tension of the rotational force of the head is perfectly balanced — not so soft that it doesn’t stay in place, but not so tight that it won’t turn easily. 

After using this showerhead regularly for the past six months and rotating it frequently, I haven’t noticed any structural issues with this rotating operation. I’ve also found it to be simple to clean, and any water spots easily rub off with a cleaner and paper towel. 

I assumed the Flipside‘s swiveling operation would negatively affect its performance, but testing revealed a 1.81 GPM flow rate, coming close to its 2.5 GPM limit. 

There are four stream settings on the spray head. My favorite stream was the dense and soft spray, which produced a thick, drenching stream of water. The narrow sides of the spray head produced thinner, focused streams, which were perfect for rinsing shampoo and conditioner out of my hair. I was surprised at how effective this flat stream was, compared to the circular spray patterns of most showerheads. It was easy to rotate on its axis even when my hands were soapy and slippery.

The best high-pressure showerhead

image of hopopro shower head spraying water in a bathroom

The low price tag and impressive variety of spray settings make the Hopopro High-Pressure Showerhead and its 1.81 GPM flow rate a great budget choice.

Pros: Easy operation, impressive array of spray settings

Cons: Somewhat flimsy construction

The 4.1-inch diameter of the Hopopro High-Pressure Showerhead provides a nice wide spray, which isn’t normally found in low-cost showerheads like this one. The impressive 1.81 GPM flow rate also provides a steady, strong spray, especially when you choose one of the more focused “massage”-style modes. 

Scrolling through these spray settings is easy, thanks to a simple lever that clicks its way through the options. I was pleased to notice that the ball connection that attaches the showerhead to your water pipe is firm enough that using this lever won’t pivot or shift the position of the unit itself.  

Installing this showered was about as simple as it gets. Hopopro even included a roll of plumbers tape, which comes in really handy for ensuring a nice snug fit. I was also impressed with the fact that this showerhead also included a small wrench, an accessory that didn’t come with any of the other units I tested. Even if you have a lot of tools on hand, it’s convenient to have one right in the package. 

The Hopopro is constructed of ABS plastic. Although I’m sure it’s reasonably durable, it does have a somewhat plasticky look to it. However, the majority of its nozzle heads are rubber, which I always appreciate in any showerhead, especially one with such a budget-friendly price. There are a few nozzles in the center of the unit that are plastic, but I consider that a fair trade-off for such a low price. 

If you’re mostly interested in the high flow rate, low cost, and easy operation, this showerhead could be exactly what you’re looking for.

The best rainfall shower head

Image of woman under Moen 26008 best showerhead 2021

The elegant design, sturdy metal construction, and wide coverage area justify the high price tag of the Moen S6320 Velocity Two-Function Rainshower

Pros: High flow rate, elegant style, quiet adjustment lever

Cons: Only two settings, somewhat difficult to install

If you have the budget, the Moen S6320 Velocity Two-Function Rainshower has a high-quality construction and practicality that make it worth the price. The Delta In2ition 5-Spray and Delta HydroRain Two-in-One 5-Spray are within the same price range, but their clunky designs and inconvenient operation couldn’t compete with the Moen.

Installing the Moen wasn’t as straightforward as other models I tested due to the short connection that attaches to the shower arm. This wasn’t a huge deal, but it did take a few extra minutes to get the threads to catch. This may have been due to my shower arm though, and having a longer one would probably cut down on installation time. 

Once installed, the Moen looked great. Its extra-wide 8-inch face gives it a classic rainshower look, and its 100 nozzles promised great functionality.

What put the Moen on top over other high-end models I tested was the overall feel of the water, which was surprisingly strong. Its 1.85 GPM was one of the second-highest I tested. The high flow rate was definitely needed for a wider showerhead like this one to work effectively.

One of my favorite characteristics of the Moen was the movement of the adjustment lever. Unlike other models that have loud mechanical clicks when you switch from one setting to another, this lever smoothly and quietly transitions from a full-coverage mode to focused rinsing. 

The entire unit swivels on a ball joint connected to the water supply arm and provides a decent amount of rotation, though its wide shape restricts it more than slimmer models.

The best water-saving showerhead

Best shower heads 2021 High Sierra High Efficiency 4x3

The high-pressure water dispersion and solid metal construction of the High Sierra High-Efficiency make it ideal for anyone looking to conserve water, abide by low-flow regulations, or lower their monthly utility bill. 

Pros: High flow rate, durable construction, less likely to clog 

Cons: Only one spray mode, 1.5 GPM may be too low for some

You may expect a water-saving showerhead to deliver only a light sprinkle, but the High Sierra High-Efficiency has a great flow rate and nice, pressurized spray.

Installing the High Sierra was simple, and its small size made it possible to screw in one-handed. The small cylindrical shape and lack of adjustment lever also mean that you don’t have to deal with straightening it out after installation. 

The sturdy construction gives the feeling that you could grip it tightly during installation, unlike plastic models that might crack at the connection. Its compact size also makes it easy to use a wrench to tighten or loosen it, if necessary. The chrome finish is easy to wipe clean and adds a sleek, modern feel to your bathroom. 

The High Sierra delivered a dense, pressurized spray, which surprised me coming from such a small showerhead. In my testing, I measured a 1.37 GPM flow rate, which was impressive considering the High Sierra maxes out at 1.5 GPM. 

This efficiency means it’s great for those who want a showerhead that will produce the strongest stream while still conserving water. If your main priority is a high flow rate and you live in a state that allows 2.5 GPM products, you should probably choose a different model. 

Some people may also find this model too small, especially in a spacious shower, and may prefer a larger option with a little more character. 

The best handheld showerhead

Image of hand holding Moen 26008 best showerhead 2021

The Moen Attract Magnetix 26008 has two spray heads, a wide rain shower, and a separate handheld device for an impressive amount of spray settings.

Pros: Powerful magnetic dock, huge spray coverage, high-end look

Cons: Plastic nozzle heads on the handheld wand, may be too bulky for small showers

Unlike most options that have a single spray head, dual showerheads are more functional and versatile. The Moen Attract Magnetix allows you to detach the smaller showerhead to use as a handheld wand, making it convenient to target certain areas while still having the overhead spray of a fixed unit.  

Even though this design makes for a bulky, awkward shape, the Moen wasn’t a challenge to install. I easily twisted it into place and connected all the components in about 30 seconds. 

The vertical layout of the Magnetix spray heads — as opposed to similar models that mount the handheld sprayer in the center of the rain shower — creates a huge amount of water coverage and was my favorite feature of this showerhead. Since I could turn on both sprayers simultaneously, I was able to create a spray that covered my entire torso, something I haven’t experienced with any of the other models I’ve tested for this guide.

Controlling the spray options and settings was straightforward as well. Although I was initially a little overwhelmed with the lever and triggers, I figured it out quickly. The mostly plastic components were a bit of a red flag, though, since they could potentially be vulnerable to failure or snapping down the line. 

Even though the Magnetix is mostly plastic, it doesn’t have a cheap or flimsy look. The shiny chrome-like finish gives it a high-end look, and I appreciated how easy it was to clean. The use of rubber spray nozzles on the rain head was a nice touch as well, although Moen does use plastic ones on the handheld sprayer.

Operating the sprayer head was a breeze. A thumb-lever makes it easy to scroll through the spray settings. Thanks to the extra-strong magnetic mount, I never really felt like it was in danger of getting knocked off during use. The handle-mounted trigger also made it easy to control the amount of spray being supplied to the handheld wand, the rain shower, or both.

What else we tested

Best shower heads 2021 top five 4x3

What else we recommend and why:

They didn’t crack our top five, but these showerheads tested well and are still quality options to consider. 

Wassa High-Pressure Showerhead (currently unavailable): This was our previous selection for the best high-pressure showerhead, but it’s been difficult to find in stock. If you see it for sale and want a low-cost, high-pressure option, it’s a great buy.

American Standard Spectra+ Duo: By mounting the handheld sprayer in the center of the rain shower, this model sacrificed valuable space that could have otherwise been filled with spray nozzles. I much preferred the vertically stacked layout of our new pick, the Moen Attract 26008, which features a full rain head. The Spectra+’s gray plastic components also gave it a somewhat clinical look, although that might not be a dealbreaker for everyone. 

The Moen Attract 26000: This basic handheld sprayer was a fine option in my testing, but it didn’t have the versatility and spray coverage that the Moen Attract 26008 provided with its added rain shower. If you’re not concerned with maximum coverage or the sheer number of spray settings, this handheld sprayer might be a perfect fit for you. I did note that its magnetic cradle was especially strong, which is always a plus. 

Nebbia Quatro Rainshower: Although this rain-style showerhead had its benefits, it ultimately wasn’t able to dethrone any of our other picks. Its four spray settings were effective and the lever was easy to use, but at $130 it’s too pricey, especially for a model that uses plastic spray nozzles instead of rubber. The lack of included plumbing tape — even though the instructions clearly state to use it — didn’t help, either. 

Kohler Moxie: The integrated Bluetooth speaker of the Kohler Moxie was easy to set up, fun to use, and sounded great. I even removed it from the cradle and used it as a standalone speaker in my office for a while. Unfortunately, the thin stream and relatively weak flow rate made this showerhead more of a novelty than a legitimate contender. 

Kohler ForteWhile it looked sleek and stylish, I wasn’t impressed with the 1.26 GPM flow rate of the Kohler Forte and thought that the mist setting wasn’t very functional. I enjoyed the satisfying click of the control lever and the sophisticated design, though. If the flow rate is on the bottom of your priority list and you aren’t concerned with having a wide variety of spray settings, this could be a good choice.

Waterpik High-Pressure Powerpulse 9-SprayThough this was our previous top pick because of its variety of streams and impressive flow rate, the Kohler Flipside was superior in both categories. It produced a 1.5 GPM compared to the Flipside’s 1.81. While it had more spray options, it wasn’t as intuitive to use. The Waterpik’s long-term durability was also a factor because it’s made of plastic and had more small parts than the Flipside, whose construction and fewer components make it less likely to crack over time. I’ll continue to use both for long-term testing. The Waterpik is still a great option for those looking for a hand-held model at a reasonable price. Its powerful massage setting could also be useful for sore muscles. 

What we don’t recommend and why:

Delta In2ition 5-SprayA high-priced showerhead should be flawless, but the Delta In2ition just didn’t have the pressure to be used effectively and its magnetic cradle was far too weak. 

Delta HydroRain Two-in-One 4-SprayEven though the Delta HydroRain had good pressure and its rain-can head was positioned at exactly 90 degrees, its high price tag and bulky size made it too inconvenient to edge out our high-end pick, the Moen S6320.

Waterpik High-Pressure Powerpulse XRO-763The cheap and plasticky Waterpik was flimsy to use, and its hose was stiff and very unattractive. It ranked dead last in my testing. 

What we’re testing next

Moen Attract with Magnetix 6-Spray 3.75-Inch Adjustable showerheadThis is a smaller version of the Moen Attract and has one head that works as the main showerhead and a handheld unit. It looks like this combination model will avoid the functionality issues I have with most two-in-one options. 

FAQs

Best shower heads 2021 American Standard Spectra+Duo 2 4x3

How do I choose the best showerhead for my bathroom? 

There are five main factors to consider when shopping for a showerhead: 

  • Type: Consider whether you want a fixed, handheld, or dual (a combination of fixed and handheld) showerhead.
  • Mount: Determine whether you’ll mount your showerhead on the wall or ceiling. 
  • Spray pattern: Decide if you want one or many spray options. Some showerheads come with multiple spray patterns, such as rain, full, jet, and massage. 
  • Flow rate: Consider the amount of water that comes out of your showerhead. A low-flow showerhead can help save water, but many people find showerheads with a high flow rate more pleasant. 

What are the different types of showerheads?

There are several showerhead types to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. It’s important to take all these factors into account when shopping for a new showerhead.

Fixed: These models are attached directly to the shower arm — the existing water pipe coming out of your shower wall — and usually have a ball joint that allows you to pivot and adjust the angle of their spray. These can be basic models that have just one spray option as well as multi-functional options that have a range of functions and spray settings. 

Handheld: These showerheads sit in a cradle and can be used as a fixed showerhead if you like, but they also have a long, flexible hose that allows you to use them as a handheld unit. These are great for rinsing off body wash or shaving cream, bathing your pets, and cleaning the shower itself.

Dual showerheads: These are a combination of fixed and handheld models and usually use some type of cradle built into a fixed showerhead face. This allows the fixed showerhead to be used at the same time as the handheld wand, though this diverts water and can result in decreased pressure. 

Yahoodain recommends these types of showerheads and designed his own bathroom to have both fixed and handheld options. “Since they’re useful for different things, I can choose which one I want,” he said. “If I want a regular pressure head for cleaning, or handheld for rinsing, or relaxing rain shower, I have the option to choose.”


Where should I mount my showerhead?

Wall-mounted showerheads: The majority of homes and apartments have wall-mounted shower arms, which is why I limited my testing options to products compatible with those fittings. These are your traditional showerheads that are attached to a wall.

Ceiling-mounted showerheads: Ceiling-mounted showerheads allow for larger, rain-style showerheads. Since they’re so high up, they usually aren’t accessible enough to have different stream settings.


What’s the best flow rate for a showerhead?

The flow rate indicates how much water can flow out of your showerhead and is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Since 1992, federal regulations have mandated that no showerhead can have a flow rate higher than 2.5 GPM. In some states, like California, that limit is even lower at 1.8 GPM. These regulations are meant to help conserve water; a 10-minute shower at 2.5 GPM uses 25 gallons of water.

However, when you see a 2.5 GPM showerhead model, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get that flow rate. Your home’s water pressure is the ultimate factor that dictates your flow rate and is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). A high PSI of 80 will probably get you 2.5 GPM, but most US homes hover around 60 PSI, so your flow rate will be lower. 

“If the low water pressure is an issue, consult with a plumber to boost the water flow by adjusting or replacing the pressure regulator,” said Higgins. 

While a showerhead itself can’t increase the flow rate of your home, effective “low-flow” models can limit the amount of pressure lost during operation. Flow-rate preferences can differ from person to person. Some prioritize high GPM over all else, and others prefer a lower flow. Make sure to check with your household so you can effectively take flow rate into account when choosing a showerhead. 

If you’re interested in conserving water, look for showerheads with a “WaterSense” label. This indicates that it meets EPA criteria and maxes out at 2.0 GPM.

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The 6 best kayaks of 2021 for lakes, oceans, and rivers

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Kayaking is a great way to spend time on the water, be it paddling on a lake, riding river rapids, or fishing.
  • Kayaks vary in design, with some intended for sea touring and tandem kayaking, while others are inflatable.
  • Our top pick, Dagger’s Stratos 14.5, is stable and easy to steer, and rides well in the ocean, on lakes, and in rivers.

As is the case with many other outdoor activities, kayaking can be as intense or as relaxing as you’d like. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a gentle paddle across a serene lake or an adrenaline-inducing ride through turbulent whitewater, the sport has something to offer just about everyone.

It also makes for an excellent form of exercise and is a great way to bond with friends and family in the outdoors. Kayaks can also be used in both wilderness and urban settings, providing unique perspectives on both environments.

I’ve been a fan of kayaking for as long as I can remember. From riding Class 4 rapids to casual paddles at my local lake, I’ve spent plenty of time learning what does (and doesn’t) make a good kayak. Thankfully, the good more often outweighs the bad, and the current variety of kayaks fit a range of budgets and skill levels.

To help narrow down the best kayaks available, I’ve tested a number of models from top brands like Dagger and Oru. I’ve broken my selections down into a variety of categories based on different types of kayaking, so if you’re in the market for a new boat of your own, these are the boats that should be on your shortlist.

I’ve also included some insight into what to keep in mind while shopping for a kayak, as well as how I tested the kayaks featured in this guide.

Here are the best kayaks:

How we test kayaks

Best Kayaks 4x3

Each kayak featured in this guide went through a series of on-water tests to see how well it performed across these four categories: Performance, versatility, durability, and value. Specifically, here’s how each category factored into what kayaks made this guide:

Performance: How a kayak performs in the water comes down to how well a kayak handles in the water, how stable it is across a variety of water conditions, and how easy it is to steer, paddle, or pedal. Of course, some kayaks are more well-suited to specific conditions and ride styles, and those differences were certainly heeded during our tests. 

Versatility: A recreational kayak may not be the best in white water (or vice versa) but kayaks should still have some level of versatility to them — even if you are just in the market for a hyper-specific boat to do one or two things well. Each kayak has its limitations but the best can at least somewhat handle rides outside their purview.

Durability: Kayaks can take a beating, whether they’re getting thrown into the back of a truck or stored in a garage among throngs of additional gear. Because of this, boat durability is vital — you’d prefer the thing to last you at least a few years before you ever have to think about it running the risk of taking on water. 

Value: A sum of its categorical parts, value isn’t just an analysis of its price. Of course, that does matter but it’s always better to spend more on one high-quality kayak than to spend less on several shoddy boats.

The best kayak overall

 Dagger Stratos 14.5

A stable and maneuverable boat that excels on the open ocean but can also be used on lakes and rivers, the Dagger Stratos 14.5 provides outstanding versatility for paddlers of all levels of experience.

Pros: Stable, easy to maneuver, plenty of fun to paddle

Cons: Not the fastest kayak on the water

Because they’re designed for use on more turbulent waters, sea kayaks tend to be longer and narrower than other models. This helps improve not only their stability but their speed and tracking, too, making this type of boat easier to paddle even in rougher conditions. But their longer length can also make them less maneuverable, limiting their usefulness on other bodies of water.

That isn’t the case with the Dagger Stratos 14.5 as this is a boat that’s easy to control and paddle straight whether you’re in heavy ocean surf, on a calm lake, or floating along with the current of a river.

The versatility of the Stratos is one of its biggest strengths, making this a boat that’s equally well-suited for day trips on a local bay or extended multi-day outings along rugged coastlines. It features a large, comfortable cockpit, two watertight hatches, and bungee cord storage on the deck itself. This makes it easy to carry everything you need on the kayak, with ample cargo space for any adventure.

Surprisingly nimble and easy to paddle, the Stratos 14.5 doesn’t feel like a boat that’s more than14 feet in length. Beginner paddlers will find it offers a wide margin for error when it comes to perfecting their kayaking skills, while veteran kayakers will love how easy the boat is to maneuver, even in tight quarters. Despite its length, the Stratos can turn on a dime, and thanks to a built-in, adjustable skeg, it maintains its tracking with relative ease.

Ocean kayaks aren’t especially well known for their speed and the Stratos is no different. Compared to other models in this category, it isn’t exactly slow, but it also doesn’t compete with the shorter, lighter-weight boats that are purpose-built for use on lakes and rivers. Still, it’s easy to get this kayak moving and maintain a constant pace.

If you primarily find yourself kayaking on the ocean, you’ll find that the Dagger Stratos 14.5 is a fun, comfortable, and stable boat for use on those outings. But its ability to extend its use to other types of paddling helps separate it from the competition.

The best budget kayak

Perception Sound 10

The Perception Sound 10.5 is proof that you can buy a versatile, full-featured kayak without blowing your budget. 

Pros: Budget-friendly, versatile, stable, and customizable

Cons: Lacks features, slow, and heavy

As the popularity of kayaking has grown in recent years, the availability of high-quality boats that don’t break the bank expanded, too. Case in point, the Perception Sound 10.5 is a model that offers solid performance and versatility, at a wallet-friendly price. 

Designed primarily for kayak fishing, the Sound 10.5 is nevertheless a good all-around recreational model. It’s incredibly stable and offers straight tracking, making it feel right at home on lakes, slow-moving rivers, or calm coastlines. Because it’s a sit-inside model, it also provides good protection from the elements — the open cockpit is airy and comfortable in warm conditions, too.

The included seat is surprisingly supportive and adjustable, especially for a kayak at this price point. The boat comes with a large, open storage area that sits behind the paddler, although this compartment isn’t watertight and uses only bungee cords to keep its contents in place. The Sound 10.5 features two molded fishing rod holders built right into hits hull, along with sturdy grab handles at either end to help get it in and out of the water. 

To keep the cost of the Sound 10.5 low, Perception stripped away a few features, with the option to add them back in as needed. The boat has a dashboard that includes several mounting points, allowing the kayaker to customize it to fit their specific needs. This lends the Sound an extra level of versatility, allowing it to perform multiple roles. 

Make no mistake, the Perception Sound 10.5 won’t be the fastest or flashiest kayak on the water, but it does offer simple, reliable performance at a great price. For most recreational paddlers, this is a boat that fits their needs nicely, while still offering room to grow. Don’t let the inexpensive price tag fool you, this is a quality option for those who are looking for great value without the need for top-end performance. 

The best whitewater kayak

Dagger Mamba Creeker 8

Whitewater boats don’t come much more agile and quick than the Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6, a boat that was designed to take on the most challenging rapids imaginable.

Pros: Stable, great for beginning paddlers, and highly reliable performance

Cons: Slow and ponderous

Unlike kayaks designed for touring, a whitewater boat is short, nimble, and incredibly maneuverable. Built to help paddlers negotiate fast-moving rapids, these models excel at winding their way through the wildest water imaginable and few can do it better than the Dagger Mamba Creeker

A mainstay in the whitewater world for years, the Mamba Creeker is a kayak that has a reputation for providing outstanding performance in the most demanding of conditions. Designed to operate in turbulent, shallow waters, the boat is incredibly buoyant, something that’s crucial to success for whitewater paddlers. This kayak also offers a high level of control, allowing its small body to deftly weave in and out of tight situations with surprising ease. 

The interior of the Mamba Creeker‘s cockpit has been designed to not only keep the paddler well protected but to help them maintain control at all times. Padding has been placed at strategic points — such as along the hips — in an effort to prevent bruising and soreness brought on by a particularly fast and furious whitewater run. 

Meanwhile, the seat’s positioned in such a way that it can best take advantage of the boat’s integrated leg lifters, which increases the amount of energy transferred from the paddler to the kayak itself, facilitating the quick turns that are an important part of whitewater paddling. 

The hallmark of the Mamba Creeker is its stability, something that helps to make this boat a good option for beginners. It also provides a high degree of versatility, making it useful in a variety of different whitewater settings. It’s even quite comfortable for this style of boat, which can sometimes feel cramped and confining. 

Its main drawback is that the Mamba Creeker isn’t a very fast boat and its aging design has allowed competitors to close the gap some. More experienced paddlers may find other models more to their liking, but it is difficult to beat this kayak’s steady, tried and true, all-around performance. 

The best tandem kayak

Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus

Take to the water with your favorite paddling partner aboard the Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus, a two-person kayak that’s lightweight, speedy, and very roomy. 

Pros: Fun, surprisingly agile, and stocked with lots of handy features

Cons: It’s heavy, even for a tandem, and it should come with a rudder

As the name suggests, a tandem kayak accommodates two paddlers, allowing them to paddle at the same time to propel the boat along. If those two kayakers work well together, a tandem model can be quick, agile, and efficient out on the water, making for a fun shared experience. The Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus is the perfect example of just such a boat, combining a spacious design and a host of features that help elevate it above the competition. 

One of the more notable features of the Dirigo Tandem is that both cockpits are large, open, and extremely accommodating. This not only makes it easier for both paddlers to get in and out of the boat but also improves the level of comfort as well.

The included seats are nicely padded and easily adjustable, allowing both individuals to tune them to meet their own needs. Thigh pads provide additional support and protection, while adjustable foot pedals make paddling more efficient. 

Old Town outfitted the Dirigo with a number of additional features such as a dry hatch and integrated bungee cables for deck storage. There’s also a sealed glove box-style hatch for securing cell phones, cameras, or other important items, as well as built-in paddle holders, retractable handles for carrying the boat, and cup holders. 

Tandem kayaks aren’t always known for their versatility, but the Dirigo breaks with tradition in this area, too. Old Town put plenty of thought into its design and the ways it can be used. To that end, it’s managed to squeeze in a child-sized jump seat that can accommodate smaller members of the family, ensuring no one gets left behind. 

Additionally, the rear seat can slide forward, effectively changing the center of gravity and allowing this tandem to be paddled solo should the need arise. These seemingly minor changes make it easier for a paddling family to buy a single boat that everyone can use together. 

Tipping the scales at 72 pounds and measuring over 15 feet in length, the Dirigo can be a bit ponderous getting on and off the water — especially when paddling solo. The kayak also doesn’t come with a rudder (though you can add one to it), which would be a major help when trying to paddle straight in challenging conditions.

The best folding kayak

Oru Bay ST

Lightweight and easy to paddle, the Oru Bay ST is a folding kayak that performs like a traditional model but can be stored in a closet and transported to and from the water in a trunk. 

Pros: Very beginner-friendly, easy to store and transport, ingenious design, and just plain fun

Cons: Not as fast or efficient as a traditional kayak and has a learning curve when it comes to assembly. 

Thanks to vastly improved designs and better all-around build quality, modern-day inflatable and folding kayaks now rival traditional models in terms of performance.

Leading the way in this category is Oru Kayaks, a company that’s looked to the Japanese art of origami as a source of inspiration. The company’s Bay ST model in particular is a marvel of creativity and design, proving just how impressive a folding kayak can truly be. 

Built from a single sheet of custom-made polypropylene, the Bay ST— like all of Oru’s kayaks —folds flat and stores in a plastic box that somewhat resembles a large suitcase. When taken out of the box, it assembles in a matter of minutes, transforming into a touring kayak that’s both stable and durable with solid tracking. The entire process is simple, although you’ll need to do it a time or two before it becomes natural. 

Inside its closed cockpit, the Bay ST is roomier than you’d expect. It accommodates paddlers of up to 6 feet, 3 inches in height, with a bit of extra room left over for storage. Bungee cables on the deck store additional gear, such as a water bottle or dry bag, as needed. This makes the boat a great choice for shorter excursions or even day trips, but not necessarily overnighters.

The boat also performs the best on flat water lakes, gentle rivers, and a relatively calm ocean. For the most part, it’s best to avoid fast-moving rapids in this one.

Oru outfit the Bay ST with a seat pad and it also includes an adjustable back- and footrest. This gives the paddler the ability to somewhat tune the fit to meet their needs. Smaller paddlers will likely feel comfortable and right at home at the helm, although larger kayakers may feel a bit cramped.

The best feature of the Bay ST is its ability to fold down and store in a relatively small space. This makes it ideal for apartment dwellers or those who simply don’t want a larger kayak taking up space in their garage. Oru owners don’t need a kayak carrier on their car either.

The best recreational kayak

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120

An excellent all-around performer, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 is the recreational kayak made for casual paddlers, weekend warriors, and seasoned veterans alike. 

Pros: Quick, easy to paddle, very comfortable, and spacious

Cons: Jack of all trades, master of none

Built mostly for use on flat water and gentle rivers, recreational kayaks are designed to be comfortable, easy to paddle, and offer solid all-around performance. That’s exactly what you’ll get from the Pungo 120 from Wilderness Systems, although this model does plenty to elevate itself above the competition in this very crowded segment of the kayak market. 

Blending stability, speed, and maneuverability, the Pungo is a good choice for just about anyone who isn’t venturing out onto the ocean or running whitewater. Its wide body is comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and extremely accommodating.

It also tracks extremely well, maintaining a straight line across the water with minimal effort. This boat glides along so effortlessly that it makes it much easier to enjoy your natural surroundings — a major draw for kayaking in the first place. 

While most kayaks ship with a minimally padded seat, the Pungo comes standard with a model that provides an excellent amount of support and comfort. This makes for a much better experience out on the water, particularly when you spend hours at a time inside the cockpit. And when the seat is adjusted to work in tandem with the built-in foot pedals, it almost feels like the boat was custom-made specifically for you.  

Wilderness Systems supports the Pungo with a variety of accessories, allowing owners to customize the kayak to fit their needs. This gives you the ability to add things like deck pouches for additional storage, a dry box for protecting important gear, or a spray skirt to help keep you drier.

Aimed mainly at casual paddlers, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 is a kayak made for the masses. As such, it performs very well in a lot of different areas, although it isn’t especially outstanding in any of them. This may turn off more experienced kayakers looking for a more versatile experience, although beginners and intermediate paddlers will likely fall in love with it.

How to shop for a kayak

Getting the most out of any kayaking experience starts with having the right boat. Over the years, kayak designs evolved dramatically to the point where you can now buy highly specialized models purpose-built for a specific type of paddling. 

If you want to explore coastlines and paddle on the ocean, for example, a longer, more stable sea kayak is required. If gently flowing rivers and flat lakes are more your style, a more traditional recreational or touring kayak is what you seek. And if your goal is to make epic whitewater runs, you’ll want a shorter, more maneuverable kayak designed for those conditions. 

In addition to deciding what type of paddling you’ll be doing, there are a few other options to consider as well. For instance, do you want a more traditional sit-in model or a sit-on-top kayak? Sit-in versions tend to offer better performance and feature a closed cockpit that provides a measure of protection from the elements.

Conversely, a sit-on-top model leaves the paddler exposed but is often more comfortable, easier to get in and out of, and is better suited for warmer environments. 

For those who want to bring a buddy along on their paddling adventures, kayaks also come in tandem versions. These models feature multiple seats, allowing two people to share the same boat. Due to their increased capacity, they’re also longer and more stable than a single-person kayak and have the potential to be faster provided both paddlers work well together.

Tandem boats are great for people who know they’ll be kayaking together regularly, allowing them to buy just one boat they can share, rather than purchasing two single-seat models. 

What else to consider

The vast majority of kayaks available today are made from a hard plastic shell. This allows them to stay lightweight and provides exceptional levels of performance and buoyancy, although the rigid structure makes transporting and storing the boats a challenge. 

Inflatable or folding kayaks overcome those problems, however, with models available that can be stored in a closet or under a bed and transported in the trunk of a car. These types of kayaks tend to sacrifice a bit of performance in terms of speed and tracking but are a viable alternative for those shopping for a space-saving option.

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The 5 best meat thermometers in 2021 for all types of cooks

  • A meat thermometer is one of the best tools you can invest in to improve your cooking.
  • We tested 12 models and interviewed a lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education to find the best thermometers.
  • The Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 is our top pick because it’s fast, accurate, and easy to use.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The most-used piece of equipment in my kitchen isn’t my Dutch oven, or my chef’s knife, or even my most beloved spatula – it’s my thermometer. I invested in a good kitchen thermometer almost a decade ago and since then, it’s carried me through countless dinner parties and holiday meals (including a pig roast), hundreds of weeknight dinners, and a career in professional kitchens. I use my thermometer to temp everything from a piece of chicken to a loaf of bread to a pot of caramel or a vat of frying oil – I’ve even taken the temperature of a baked potato.

Using a thermometer to take the temperature of food is one of the first skills students learn in culinary school. Tracy Wilk, lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education, said that a thermometer is a core tool that can make you a more confident cook.

“A lot of home cooks can be intimidated by some techniques like cooking steak or tempering chocolate, but once you’re able to work with temperatures, the gates really open up for your cooking abilities,” Wilk said. “There’s also satisfaction from a perfectly cooked roast chicken that isn’t cut into a million pieces before it’s served. Using a thermometer will help you get accurate and delicious results.”

Thermometers don’t just help make your food taste better, they’re also important for food safety. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a thermometer is the only way to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products are cooked safely as color and texture are not always reliable.

To find the best thermometers you can buy, I tested 12 different models, putting each through an identical set of tests to determine accuracy, ease of use, and durability. You can read more below about our testing methodology, as well as information on how to use and calibrate a thermometer, and why Thermoworks occupies all of the top spots in our guide.

Here are the best meat thermometers in 2021

Our testing methodology

Best meat thermometers methodology 2021

I’ve been using kitchen thermometers as a core tool in my arsenal for more than a decade, including seven years working in professional kitchens as a product tester and editor for “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Illustrated.” For this guide, I leaned on my extensive experience testing and writing about kitchen products and using a thermometer almost daily, and also interviewed Tracy Wilk, lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education. I tested 12 different kitchen thermometers, putting each through a set of identical tests. Here’s what I looked for in the best thermometers:

Accuracy: A thermometer should be, above all, accurate. I looked for accuracy at both high and low temperatures, as well as accuracy over time. I put each model through three different accuracy tests: an ice bath test, a boiling water test, and a sous vide test where I tracked the temperature reported by each thermometer over two hours when placed in a water bath heated by an immersion circulator. You can read more about how I did the industry-standard ice bath and boiling water tests below. Though I used the thermometers while cooking food to evaluate the ease of use, I didn’t include food in my accuracy tests since it introduces a number of hard-to-control variables like cooking temperature, size and thickness of the meat, and potential human error.

Speed: In every test, I timed how long it took for the thermometer to report a steady, accurate temperature. Some thermometers read within seconds, while others took up to a minute. For remote thermometers, I also timed how long it took for the base to transmit the temperature data to the pager.

Ease of use: A good thermometer needs to be easy to use and the readouts should be legible and easy to read. I used each thermometer over several weeks as part of my regular cooking routine, seeing how comfortable they were to hold over hot pans filled with searing steak, whether their screens fogged up when I stuck the probes into vats of chili, and generally evaluating how easy they were to handle, use, and read. 

Durability: Thermometers are often used in busy kitchens where bumps and spills happen. I tested the durability of the thermometers by knocking each from the counter onto the ground 10 times and checking for any cracking or functionality loss. All the thermometers passed this test.

Special features: While a thermometer doesn’t need to have any fancy features, I looked at any additional functions such as backlights, alarms, timers, and customizability. I checked to see that these functions were helpful and worked as intended.

The best meat thermometer overall

Best meat thermometers 2021 Thermoworks Thermapen

The Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 is lab-calibrated, accurate, and thoughtfully designed with features like an auto-rotating display, large numbers, a backlight, and a superfast read time. 

Pros: Lab-calibrated, displays accurate temperature within seconds, large and easy to read display, automatic backlight, automatically turns on and off, display automatically rotates, can be used in Celsius or Farenheit, can be customized to display whole numbers or up to one decimal place, comes in 10 colors

Cons: Might be more difficult for lefties to use

The Thermapen is beloved in the food industry because it’s simply designed, accurate, and fast — it has everything you want and need in a thermometer with no superfluous extras. While its long been the tool of choice by pros, but I didn’t realize just how objectively best-in-class it is until I tested it alongside 11 other thermometers.

It takes zero knowledge to use: simply unfold the probe and get to temping. The display is large and easy to read; there’s no glare from any angle and the display doesn’t fog up when you get close to hot foods. The numbers automatically rotate depending on which way you’re holding the Thermapen, so it’s legible from all angles. A sensor near the display turns on the backlight whenever the ambient light is low; a feature I’ve found really helpful when grilling in the dark. The thermometer also automatically turns on when you pick it up and turns off when you put it down, so you don’t have to worry about wasting the battery.

Most importantly, it’s accurate and reads fast. It reported accurate temperatures in our calibration tests. When I used it while cooking steak, it reported the temperature within three seconds of sticking the probe in — the fastest of the models we tested. 

While the Thermapen is ready to go right out of the box, you can customize it by choosing between Celsius and Farenheit and setting the display to show whole numbers or one decimal place on the temperature readout. 

The only issue I’ve ever encountered with the Thermapen is that it’s not ergonomically designed with left-handed users in mind. Lefties might be more comfortable with our budget pick, the ThermoPop, which is configured more universally.

The best budget meat thermometer

Best meat thermometers 2021 Thermoworks ThermoPop

The Thermoworks ThermoPop is a simple and easy-to-use meat thermometer at an entry-level price that’s great for those just learning to cook. 

Pros: Accurate, fast, easy-to-read numbers, has a backlight, has a rotating display, can show temperatures in Celsius and Fahrenheit, comfortable for both lefties and righties to use, comes in nine color options

Cons: Backlight and display rotation have to be activated by pressing buttons, the rigid probe has some trouble getting into tight spots, only displays whole numbers, can’t adjust digits if the thermometer needs calibration

While the Thermapen may be unparalleled in its features and accuracy, it comes at a premium price. For those learning to cook or just looking for something a little more simple or inexpensive, the Thermoworks ThermoPop has everything you need to get started, and it’s about a third of the price of the Thermapen.

The thermometer is lollipop-shaped with a long, thin probe on one end and a bulbous display on the other. The screen is clear and easy to read with large digits and a backlight. It’s accurate and reports the temperature within four seconds of inserting the probe into the food — just a second longer than the Thermapen. Since its probe is upright instead of angled, it works equally well for lefties and righties.

It has all the features you need in a thermometer, however, it takes an extra step to activate some of them. For example, you need to press a button to turn on the backlight or rotate the display while the Thermapen does both of these things automatically. It’s also not quite as customizable — you can’t set it to display one decimal place temperatures, it only shows whole numbers. And in the event that your thermometer’s calibration is off, you can’t make adjustments to the numbers on your own; you’d have to send it back to the company. It’s also a little less maneuverable in tight spaces or awkward angles since the probe is straight instead of angled. 

That said, it’s a great entry-level thermometer that has all the features you’ll need for almost every type of cooking project.

The best leave-in meat thermometer

Best meat thermometers 2021 Thermoworks ChefAlarm

The Thermoworks ChefAlarm has many thoughtful features like built-in alarms, a timer, and a probe that stays in your food for the entire cook time, making it a great option for grilling or long cooking projects.

Pros: Accurate, reads quickly, large display, built-in timer and stopwatch, high and low alarms, comes with a pot clip and carrying case, can buy and use other probe styles depending on your needs, magnetic base, can be used in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, comes in nine different colors

Cons: Magnet not always strong enough to hold up the unit on oven door, takes some time to set up 

While fast-reading handheld thermometers like the Thermapen and ThermoPop are great for most uses, sometimes you need a thermometer that can be left in your food while it’s cooking, which is where probe or leave-in thermometers like the Thermoworks ChefAlarm come in. 

The ChefAlarm is ideally designed for grilling, barbecue, or cooking long roasts in the oven. It features a high-temperature probe connected to a base that reports the current temperature, as well as the minimum and maximum temperatures your food has reached while cooking. Buttons on the base allow you to set a timer or stopwatch, along with alarms to tell you when your food has dropped above or below a certain desired temperature range. The base can be folded to sit stably on a counter or attached via a magnet to a metallic surface like a grill lid or oven door. It also comes with a carrying case and a clip for attaching the probe to pots for deep frying or candy making.

In my temperature tests, the ChefAlarm was accurate and relatively fast, reporting temperatures within six seconds. However, between the probe, cable, and base, it has a lot of parts and is a bit unwieldy for stovetop cooking like searing steak or fish. I’ve found I get the most use out of it when grilling or cooking foods that take a lot of time. 

One tiny quibble I have with the ChefAlarm is that the magnet isn’t always strong enough to hold the base up when attached to my oven door, which could be an issue if you have a wall-mounted oven with no easily reachable surface nearby.

The leave-in meat thermometer on a budget

Best meat thermometers 2021 thermoworks DOT

The Thermoworks DOT is a relatively inexpensive thermometer with a few simple, but well-designed features. It’s an accurate leave-in thermometer without all the bells and whistles.

Pros: Relatively fast, very accurate, clear display that’s easy to read from afar, has a backlight, can buy and use other probe styles depending on your needs, magnetic base, alarm alerts when the food has reached its set temperature, can be used in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, comes in nine different color options

Cons: No timer, no minimum or maximum temperature display, only one volume setting, only displays whole numbers

If you’re looking for a leave-in thermometer that is a bit simpler and less expensive than the ChefAlarm, the Thermoworks DOT is a more streamlined option. It consists of a circular, magnetic base attached to a 4.5-inch probe connected by a 47-inch cable. The front of the base has just two buttons: up and down, which you use to set your desired final cooking temperature. You stick the probe in the food and leave it there for the entire cook time, and the thermometer will beep loudly to let you know when your food has reached your desired temperature. 

The DOT has a backlight that can be activated with a button on the back of the base, and you can buy other specialty probes that work with it to suit your needs (though you most likely won’t ever need to). One thing I particularly like about the DOT is that it’s lighter than the ChefAlarm, and stays put when I attach it magnetically to my grill or oven. It’s also incredibly accurate and a beat faster than the ChefAlarm, reporting the temperature within just five seconds.

The DOT doesn’t have a timer or the ability to show you minimum and maximum cooking temperatures, but you may not need either of those functions if you’re cooking something simple, or you use a separate timer while cooking. 

Overall, it’s a great option if you’re looking to dabble with a leave-in thermometer, or don’t need all the extra bells and whistles that come with a more expensive thermometer.

The best meat thermometer for the grill

Best meat thermometers 2021 thermoworks smoke

If you’re serious about barbecue, the Thermoworks Smoke X2 offers both accuracy and convenience with a leave-in probe that can transmit data to a pager more than a mile away. 

Pros: Comes with a pager so you can monitor temperatures from afar, pager works more than a mile away from the base, comes with two temperature probes, accurate, moderately fast read and data transmission time, can set high and low temperature alarms, has a backlight, can be used in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, comes in nine different colors, can be used with other specialty probes and equipment

Cons: Too bulky for stovetop cooking

If you’re cooking something that takes many, many hours or even days — as is often the case with barbecue — remote thermometers like the Thermoworks Smoke X2 let you monitor the temperature of your food from afar so you’re not tied to the grill. 

The Smoke looks similar to other leave-in thermometers we tested. It comes with two probes that are connected by long wires to a base that sits outside your grill or oven. The base transmits that temperature data to a pager that you wear on a lanyard. Both probes were accurate and took about seven seconds to transmit the temperature to the base — slower than our other top picks, but much faster than any other remote thermometer I’ve tested. 

The base and pager stay connected up to a mile away from each other, which likely covers all the distance you’ll need. While I didn’t test the lengths of this claim, I did walk with the pager up to 1,000 feet away from the base and it never lost connection, even when I went upstairs, behind walls, and down the block.

While The Smoke isn’t a thermometer you’ll likely use every day, it’s a good investment if you regularly cook a lot of project recipes or barbecue.

What else we tested

Best meat thermometers what else we tested 2021

We tested a total of 12 thermometers for this guide. Here are the ones we tested that didn’t make the cut.

What else we recommend and why:

  • Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Digital Meat Thermometer ($55.99): This fast-reading handheld thermometer is accurate, easy to use, and gives clear readouts. It has many of the features we love in the Thermapen Mk4, like a backlight and auto-rotating display. While the Javelin is a great thermometer, the Thermapen edged this model out because its features were a bit more reliable; the Javelin’s display sometimes rotated when we didn’t want it to and you need to press a button to activate the backlight. These are minor quibbles, however, and this is a great option if you want a more affordable alternative with many of the same functions as the Thermapen. 
  • Lavatools Javelin Digital Meat Thermometer ($26.99): This petite thermometer is only a little more than four inches long with a probe length of just 2.8 inches. While it’s fast, accurate, and easy to read for its small size, it’s a bit too small for everyday use. I found my hands getting uncomfortably hot when holding this thermometer in food that was cooking, and its probe is too short to get all the way into large roasts and cuts of meat. That said, it’s small enough that you could clip it to a keychain, or use the included magnet to keep it on your fridge door for easy access when you need a thermometer in a pinch. It might be a good portable thermometer, but not one that I would want to use every day.

What we don’t recommend and why:

  • OXO Good Grips Thermocouple Thermometer ($99.95): This instant-read thermometer is sleek, reports fast read-outs, and has a rotating display, but it was consistently off by one degree in all the calibration tests. While that wasn’t a deal-breaker (and hardly enough of a difference to ruin your food), I was regularly thwarted by the rotating display, which consistently read upside down when I tried to use it in a hurry, like while searing steak. The probe does extend further than other models, which meant my left-handed husband could also use the thermometer comfortably in his dominant hand (many instant-read thermometers only extend far enough to be most versatile for right-handed use). It may be a good option for lefties, but I would’ve liked more accuracy and reliability given the price.
  • Polder Stable-Read Digital Thermometer ($19.99): This thermometer beeps to let you know when it’s at a stable reading, which can be useful if you’re still figuring out the nuances of using a meat thermometer. However, that was just about its only redeeming factor. It was consistently off by about 3 degrees F, and the display is hard to read, doesn’t rotate, and is not backlit. The probe is rigid and the thermometer is long, so it’s not good for temping things at an angle. Finally, the probe sheath was really difficult to pull on and off; not great when you’re trying to grab the thermometer quickly while your food cooks. 
  • ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer ($56.99): This remote thermometer gets solid reviews, so we decided to try it out. While it was accurate, it was difficult to use compared to the Thermoworks Smoke and lacked many of the features we love in that thermometer. The ThermoPro’s display is relatively small and hard to read, it wasn’t intuitive to use and program, and it only has a range of up to 300 feet. While this seems like a long distance, it lost connection when I left the transmitter by the grill and took the pager with me into my house and up a flight of stairs. When it was connected to the pager, it took about 45 seconds for the thermometer to report the temperature in all of our accuracy tests — the longest of any product we tried. While this lag isn’t likely to make a difference in your food if you’re using it to cook barbecue or another long-cooking dish, it’s much too slow for stovetop use or quick-cooking foods like steak or fish. 
  • Taylor Commercial Digital Thermometer ($10.29): While this thermometer was the least expensive of any model we tested, its display is teeny-tiny at just 1/4 inch tall. I had to squint to read the numbers, the display often fogged up, and there was a glare if I didn’t hold the thermometer at the right angle. It also took a relatively long time to read at about 20 seconds, and in that time, my hand got hot from having to hold the thermometer close to the food for so long. It also wasn’t very accurate and was consistently off by 2 degrees F in all our accuracy tests.
  • Taylor Waterproof Instant Read Thermometer ($16.76): Another inexpensive option from Taylor, this thermometer was slightly easier to read and featured a backlight. While it was also faster and more accurate than the other Taylor thermometer we tried, it still wasn’t without flaws. The display had a strong glare from certain angles and fogged up when close to hot foods; this was exacerbated by its short probe, which kept the thermometer (and our hands) near the heat. The buttons were also hard to press.
  • Yummly Smart Thermometer ($99.99): This thermometer is part of a new generation of leave-in thermometers that are completely wireless. The probe stays in your food the entire cooking time, but there are no wires coming out of your oven or grill like there are with the DOT or ChefAlarm. The probe wirelessly transmits temperature data to your phone, so you can see when the food is finished cooking. I tested this model and struggled with app and connectivity issues that rendered the thermometer basically useless.

What we look forward to testing

Best meat thermometers   looking forward 2021

There are hundreds of meat thermometers out there, here are some other models we’re looking forward to testing soon: 

  • Thermapen ONE ($105): A new version of our top-rated instant read thermometer, the Thermapen ONE purportedly has a brighter backlight than the MK4 and read times in as little as one second. We’re giving it a try and will report back on our thoughts.
  • Maverick Stake ($79.99): Maverick is a well-loved brand among barbecuers, and it recently introduced the Stake, which is another one of these new-generation wireless leave-in thermometers. 
  • Taylor Gourmet Programmable Kitchen Thermometer with Timer ($21.99): This leave-in thermometer has a built-in timer and a more traditional design, similar to our top picks. It may make an inexpensive option for those looking for this style of thermometer.

Types of thermometers

Best meat thermometers   Different types of thermometers 2021

In this guide, we focused on three primary types of thermometers used most commonly in cooking: instant-read thermometers, probe thermometers/leave-in thermometers, and remote thermometers. Here are the key differences between the styles:

Instant-read thermometer

Pros: Fast read-out, slim design that fits easily in your hand, can check multiple locations in the food quickly, can be used for almost any task

Cons: Not meant to be left in the food so you have to open the pot lid, oven door, or grill lid to check the temperature, which could result in heat loss and a longer cook time 

These devices are handheld digital thermometers that give you a temperature read-out in several seconds. They’re the most versatile of the different thermometers, and if you’re only going to buy one thermometer, this is the style to buy. They’re great for stovetop cooking and foods that cook fast but also work well for checking on dishes you cook in the oven or grill. My instant-read thermometer is one of the most-used tools in my kitchen and the thermometer I reach for most often.

Probe thermometer or leave-in thermometer

Pros: Great for long cooks where you don’t want to poke the food too often, good for candy-making and deep-frying, often has built-in alarms or timers

Cons: Slightly slower read-out, not ideal for fast-cooking foods like steak or fish on the stovetop, more parts to keep track of, bigger and harder to operate with one hand

These thermometers have a probe that’s meant to be left in the food for the entire duration of cooking. The probe connects by a thin metal wire to a base that sits outside the stove, oven, or grill and shows the temperature read-out. Many probe thermometers also have extra functions like timers or alarms. This style is good for situations where you want to constantly monitor the temperature without having to frequently poke the food or open the oven door or grill lids, like when making large roasts or long-cooked braises. They’re also useful for deep-frying and candy-making since you can clip the probe onto the pot and monitor the temperature of the frying oil or sugar for consistency.

Remote thermometer

Pros: Pager or smartphone-connectivity that lets you monitor temperature from afar, good for long-cooking foods like barbecue or roasts

Cons: Most expensive, bulky, slightly longer read and transmission time than leave-in thermometers

Remote thermometers are very similar to probe thermometers in that they have a leave-in probe connected to a base, but they have the added component of a pager that lets you monitor the temperature of your food from afar. This is popular for grilling and smoking, which typically have very long cook times. A remote thermometer lets you walk away from the grill or oven and still keep an eye on the temperature of your food. Many are also smartphone-connected, so you can check the temperature from your phone. While you can use them in all the same ways you would use a leave-in thermometer, they’re usually bigger, heavier, and more expensive, so really only recommended if you do a lot of barbecuing or very long cooks.

Why ThermoWorks makes the best thermometers we tested

Best meat thermometers   why thermoworks is best 2021

With Thermoworks occupying all five of our top picks, you might think this guide is sponsored — it most assuredly is not. Our guides are never sponsored and we conduct the same set of tests on all products (you can read more about how we tested in our methodology). We put 12 different thermometers through the same rigorous criteria for this guide. So how did Thermoworks products come to best the competition?

Here are some of the reasons Thermoworks thermometers tested so well, and why they’re worth buying:

Accuracy: A thermometer should be accurate. Thermoworks thermometers consistently gave the most precise and accurate measurements in our tests. Should your thermometer reading be off after doing basic calibration tests (very unlikely in a new thermometer, since many of its products come factory-calibrated, but a possibility with extended use), some of Thermoworks’ thermometers are easily adjusted with buttons inside the battery compartment, or you can send the thermometer to the company for lab calibration. 

Thoughtful design: Thermoworks thermometers are thoughtfully designed and simple to use. The thermometers have just the right amount of features — nothing superfluous. Some features we found particularly helpful in our top picks were large readouts, backlit displays, and easy adjustability. 

Trusted industry leader: Thermoworks has been in business for 25 years and only makes thermometers and temperature tracking devices. Its staff is filled with engineers who are laser-focused on thermometry and calibration. Its reputation for doing one thing and doing it well has made it a trusted brand used not only by home cooks and in the foodservice industry, but also by pharmaceutical, construction, manufacturing, utility, heating and air conditioning, plastics and rubber, research and science, and other industries. 

Customer service: While customer service didn’t factor into my rankings for this guide, it’s worth noting that Thermoworks has some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been using Thermoworks products daily for a decade as part of my job and in my own home. Whenever I’ve had a question, a call to the customer service line quickly puts me in touch with a technician who can answer questions big and small — from troubleshooting data logging software to basic questions about what thermometer is best for what use. 

Colors: While appearance also didn’t factor into my ratings, I do love that most Thermoworks products come in nine to 10 colors, so you can choose one that feels customized and personal to you.

How to calibrate a thermometer

Best meat thermometers 2021 how to calibrate

Before you use your thermometer for the first time, you should make sure it’s accurate. This process is called “calibration,” but that’s a bit of a misnomer since you usually aren’t making any adjustments, just checking accuracy. In addition to calibrating your thermometer before its first use, it’s also a good idea to check its accuracy periodically, especially if you’re using an older model or a dial thermometer. There are two industry-standard ways to calibrate your thermometer: the ice bath test and the boiling water test.   

Ice bath test

The easiest way to check for accuracy is to prepare an ice bath. Here are the steps outlined on Thermoworks’ website, which are standard across many brands:

  1. Fill a vessel like a large mug or bowl to the rim with ice.
  2. Add cold water to the vessel to fill the gaps between the ice. Stop filling when you’ve reached just below the lip of the vessel. 
  3. Insert your thermometer’s probe into the center of the ice bath and stir gently.
  4. An accurate thermometer should read 32 degrees F (or 0 degrees C) in the ice bath.

Boiling water test

If you don’t have ice readily available, you can also check the accuracy of your thermometer with boiling water. However, keep in mind that water boils at different temperatures depending on your location and the current atmospheric pressure. The boiling water calibration test should only be used in a pinch and only to detect glaring inaccuracies. Here are the steps:

  1. Fill a pot with at least four inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. When the water is at a roaring boil with big bubbles bursting at the surface, insert your thermometer probe into the water, taking care that it doesn’t touch the sides or bottom of the pot. 
  3. Compare the temperature read-out to the estimated boiling point of water for your area. At sea level, water generally boils at 212 degrees F (100 degrees C). 

What to do if your thermometer is inaccurate

If you perform either of the above calibration tests and find that your thermometer is inaccurate, first check the accuracy range of your device, which should be listed on the packaging or instructions. Some thermometers allow for a variance of up to a degree plus or minus the target temperature. If your thermometer’s reading is within the allowed range, there’s no need to make adjustments. 

If your thermometer is off by more than the allowed range, follow any included instructions in the packaging for adjusting the read-out of your device. If your device isn’t adjustable you have a couple of options. First, you can send the thermometer back to the manufacturer for calibration. The price and availability of this service will vary depending on the model, your warranty, and the company. Second, you can simply take a small piece of tape and write the amount the thermometer is off by on it and stick it to the thermometer body. Every time you use the thermometer, the tape will remind you to mentally adjust the read-out by the number written on the tape. Finally, if your thermometer was cheap or is old, you may just want to buy a new one.

Check out our other grilling gear guides

best gas grill 2021 Weber S-315
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The 13 coziest pairs of slippers we’ve tested

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Best slippers for women 4x3
  • If you’re working from home, your go-to pair of shoes are now most likely your slippers.
  • While slippers come in all shapes and sizes, yours should make your feet feel cozy and cushioned.
  • We’ve put together a list of 13 pairs of slippers that we’ve found to be most reliable.
  • If you’re looking for men’s sizing, check out our guide to the best men’s slippers.

The ongoing pandemic has changed many of our work uniforms in a big way. Many have traded in their loafers, flats, and heels for a pair of slippers that fit much better with this new lifestyle. But choosing the right pair is important. They’re meant to be comfortable, after all.

Of course material is essential to maximum comfort for your feet, but so is the design. Do your feet feel supported as you sit at your desk, move around the kitchen, and go about your other daily tasks? We’re here to help you choose by spotlighting 13 pairs of slippers that tick off all of our boxes.

Click to jump to the best women’s slippers of 2021:

The best moccasin slippers

Best slippers for women Best moccasin slippers 4x3

L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins

Best slippers for women L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins 4x3

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For many people, “slipper” is synonymous with shearling-lined, suede moccasins like the Wicked Good Moccasins from L.L.Bean.

Sizing options: 5-11

I got these slippers a few Christmases ago, and they’re just the best for keeping my feet nice and toasty in the winter. They’re shearling-lined, so they’re perfectly cozy to wear with or without socks, and they’ve held their shape nicely after plenty of indoor wear. The laces often come undone, but that’s about the only flaw I can come up with for them. They’re affordable at $79 (you can get them even cheaper during sales), they’re durable, and the women’s version comes in seven great colors and two widths. I’ve got the Neutral shade and my size 8 fits true to size. Ellen Hoffman, executive editor

J.Crew Suede faux-shearling moccasin slippers

Best slippers for women J.Crew Suede faux shearling moccasin slippers 4x3

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The poly faux-fur lining of the J.Crew Suede faux-shearling moccasin slippers gives them a fuzzy warmth that lasts. 

Sizing options: 5-12

After trying many different slippers, from slip-ons to fuzzy cloud-like ones, these have quickly become my favorite. They’re easy to slip on, and they have great grip so I never slip and slide when walking on tile or hardwood floors. The fuzzy lining keeps my toes warm and has stayed soft, even after wearing these slippers every day for a month. They fit very true to size and are an absolute steal for the price. Paige DiFiore, lifestyle and entertainment editor for Insider Life

UpWest Fireside Slipper

Best slippers for women UpWest Fireside Slipper 4x3

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The UpWest Fireside Slipper stands out with its ability to be worn outdoors along with its thoughtful, hand-stitched details.  

Sizing options: 6-10

I got these slippers and a new puppy around the same time, and I was sure she’d eventually rip them to shreds. But they’ve held up to her fascination with the sturdy ties and shearling lining. Plus, they have a rubber sole, so I can wear them for quick trips outside during potty training. Bartie Scott, small business editor 

The best slip-on slippers

Best slippers for women Best slip on slippers 4x3

Ugg Tasman Slippers

Best slippers for women Ugg Tasman Slipper 4x3

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With a plush interior and a lightweight, durable outsole, the Ugg Tasman Slippers are a comfy choice you won’t regret wearing outside.

Sizing options: 5-12

While Ugg has a lot of slipper options, I love the Tasmans for their versatility. The brand’s proprietary wool insole is seriously plush — it feels like you’re always standing on top of a luxurious rug. This pair also comes with a particularly durable yet lightweight outsole, making them a great choice for wearing outdoors. Because they’re slip-ons and keep your whole foot covered, these are ideal for just throwing on with a pair of jeans or leggings when you’re in a rush to get out of the house. The color offerings include chestnut and black, which both match pretty much everything. Remi Rosmarin, former commerce reporter

Everlane The ReNew Slippers

Best slippers for women Everlane The ReNew Slipper 4x3

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Cozy without being overly warm, Everlane’s The ReNew Slipper is perfect for folks who typically don’t love a slipper.

Sizing options: 5-11

For the longest time, I was a socks-only person. But Everlane’s The ReNew Slipper has turned me into a slipper person, a feat I didn’t think possible. Unlike most indoor footwear, the ReNew Slipper isn’t impossibly fuzzy and warm. The lining is made from a low-pile, recycled polyester that feels like a shearling, so it keeps your feet cozy without causing them to sweat. 

The sturdy rubber outsole helps to support my feet and the nylon outer fabric is also clutch. It’s easy to spot-clean, so should your morning coffee splash on your feet, you won’t be left with a stain. The ReNew Slippers are the coziest slippers I’ve ever worn. And the chic, quilted pattern on the exterior makes them look chic, not hokey. The one drawback? The trim isn’t elastic, so if you have a high instep, it might be a little tight at first. It took me a day of wear to break them in, and now they’re super comfortable. Maria Del Russo, style and beauty guides editor

Ugg Coquette Slippers

Best slippers for women Ugg Coquette Slipper 4x3

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Versatility shines through with the Ugg Coquette Slippers, which can be worn both indoors and outdoors thanks to the Treadlite by Ugg outsole. 

Sizing options: 5-12

These days, I’m living in two things: Black leggings and Ugg slippers. My fluffy Uggs are the first thing I slide on in the morning, and I wear them right up until the moment I’m climbing into bed. I love how cozy and warm and they are, but I also appreciate how functional the rubber lug sole is. I can wear these to check the mail or grab a package without thinking twice. The shearling lining will wear out eventually, but I don’t mind knowing I’ve gotten my full use out of this pair. Even at $120, the cost-per-wear comes out to basically nothing. Ashley Phillips, style and beauty editor

The best slipper shoes

Best slippers for women Best slipper shoes 4x3

Birkenstock Boston Shearling Suede Leather

Best slippers for women Birkenstock Boston Shearling Suede Leather 4x3

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Birkenstock’s signature cork footbed gets even comfier with shearling lining in the brand’s Boston Shearling Suede Leather Clogs

Sizing options: 4-12.5; these also come in regular/wide and medium/narrow options 

I was a big Ugg slipper person until the pandemic. I quickly realized that with daily wear, the shearling on the inside wore out so quickly that the slippers became too big to wear comfortably. So I purchased these as a replacement. After five months of wearing them, not only are they still the right size, but they are also warm, comfortable, and not at all worn out. I almost never take them off at this point.Jana Meron, SVP programmatic & data strategy

L.LBean Wicked Good Slippers

Best slippers for women L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers 4x3

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The L.LBean Wicked Good Slippers come up to your ankle to keep your whole foot warm and secure in cold weather.

Sizing options: 5-11

The shearling in these slippers is moisture-wicking, so even though your feet may get a bit sweaty due to the limited breathability of the suede, they will still stay relatively dry. The shearling does get matted over years of wear, losing some of its initial fluffiness, but the integrity of the overall slipper has lasted very well. You can’t slip them on — they require at least one hand to assist you in pulling them over your heel — but they’re not going to fall off your feet as you rush around the house either. The Wicked Good Slippers don’t have a rubber outsole, so they are indoor only. The leather sole isn’t textured, and though I’ve never found them to be slippery, you may want to be careful on tile surfaces. Michelle Ullman, freelance writer

Margaux The Slipper

Best slippers for women The Slipper Ballet Margaux 4x3

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Margaux’s The Slipper is the cozy sister of the brand’s iconic ballet flats, and adds a touch of chic to your slipper collection. 

Sizing options: 3-13; thanks to the elastic, these can fit a little snug, so you might want to size up.

Given my aversion to slippers, I spent the early part of my time working from home still wearing shoes around the house. It helped me feel a little more put-together. So when I saw The Slipper, which is the perfect ballet flat/slipper hybrid, I was thrilled. They look like Margaux’s ballet flats, complete with the iconic bow above the toes, but are outfitted with a plush sole and Mongolian cashmere. They’re definitely one of the more luxe pairs of slippers I’ve ever worn. But considering they’re some of the only “shoes” I’m wearing these days, I’d say I deserve it. — Maria Del Russo, style and beauty guides editor

The best open-toe slippers

Best slippers for women Best open toe slippers 4x3

Acorn Spa Slide Slippers

Best slippers for women Acorn Spa Slide Slippers 4x3

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The Acorn Spa Slide Slippers transport you to a spa with their soft terry material and multilayer Cloud Contour footbed. 

Sizing options: S-XL; plus, wide options for each size 

It wasn’t until the pandemic that I realized I needed new slippers that could actually last. I landed on the Acorn Women’s Spa Slide Slippers because they looked cozy — and they had the word “spa” in the name. After having owned a pair for nearly five months now, I can definitely vouch for its comfort and durability. These slippers are made of terry, a fabric you can find at many spas. And unlike other slippers that eventually flatten out and lose their support, this pair has footbeds that hold shape well. Plus, the velcro straps can easily be adjusted if you want a wider, or narrower, fit. I’ve also found the rubber outsoles to be especially sturdy and slip-free, which is handy for when I’m moving around the kitchen or rushing down the stairs. My size small slippers fit me perfectly and I’m a true size 6.Katie Decker-Jacoby, style & beauty reviews fellow

Ugg Fluff Yeah Slide

Best slippers for women Ugg Fluff Yeah Slippers 4x3

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The Instagram-famous Ugg Fluff Yeah Slides actually live up to the hype, thanks to their cozy interior and sturdy rubber sole.

Sizing options: 5-12

Like all Uggs, these are made with soft sheepskin. In fact, the sheepskin covers the entire shoe, save for the elastic back and sturdy rubber platform sole. That elastic back is actually pretty handy for folks who like an open-back slipper but find they slip off. And the open toe and backless silhouette ensure your feet don’t overheat — even with all that sheepskin. My favorite part, though, has to be how supportive they are for my feet. The platform is lightweight but solid, and it makes for slippers that don’t make my feet ache after extended wear. Plus, since the Fluff Yeah are technically slides, they’re more than strong enough to be worn out — even around the corner to the market. Maria Del Russo, style and beauty guides editor

Parlovable Faux Fur Slippers

Best slippers for women Parlovable Faux Fur Slippers 4x3

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The Parlovable Faux Fur Slippers make your feet feel – and look – like clouds thanks to the faux fur upper, velvet lining, and memory foam cushion.   

Sizing options: 7-10

I struggle with splurging on slippers because I know they won’t last me too long with how often I wear them. This pair from Amazon is the perfect compromise. And thanks to quarantine, they get a lot of usage. It’s a reasonably priced and comfortable buy. They fit me true to size and never slip off my feet. I’ve thrown them in the wash a few times, and it restores the slipper’s fluff. The memory foam lasted me for about five to seven months until I decided to replace them with a new pair, which wasn’t a hard sell considering the price. Jacqueline Saguin, style & beauty reviews fellow

Coface Plush Flip Flop Slippers

Best slippers for women Coface Plush Flip Flop Slippers 4x3

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Pamper your feet as they sink into the warm and wide toe Coface Plush Flip Flop Slippers.

Sizing options: 5-10

Because there’s a bin in my closet specifically devoted to fuzzy socks of all kinds, I’ve never been much of a slipper person. When I received these for Christmas, however, the game changed — and I’ve been practically living in them. They are my go-to footwear when I hop out of the shower or if I’m lounging around the house. The plush material provides a fluffy mat for your feet with a wide toe for both stability and comfort. I have the hot pink ones (to channel Elle Woods, of course), but they come in a variety of colors and make great gifts for a spa lover or anyone who gravitates toward fleece and fluff (a.k.a. me). And, for less than $20, they are a steal. Victoria Giardina, Buying Guides Fellow

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34 thoughtful cookbook gifts for any occasion

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26 cookbooks for every type of home cook update 4x3

To me, there’s no better gift to give or receive than a great cookbook. A cookbook with beautiful photos, thoughtful narratives, and foolproof recipes can feed the imagination, transport your giftee to another city or country, and inspire them to get creative in the kitchen. There are cookbooks out there to suit every type of cook, whether novice or expert, and feed all interests from TV show cookbooks to comprehensive tomes on the science of cooking.

Every year, hundreds of new cookbooks make their way onto bookstore shelves. Here are our favorite cookbooks, new and old, to gift this year.

Here are 34 of the best cookbooks gifts for every type of cook:

For the traveler interested in culture and cuisine

Cook Real Hawai'i

“Cook Real Hawai’i” by Sheldon Simeon, $25.49 available at Amazon

A finalist in two different seasons of “Top Chef,” Sheldon Simeon co-authored a cookbook with Garrett Snyder, transporting readers to the tropical islands of Hawaii. The book dives into stories of Simeon’s family, as well as the state’s history and cultural traditions. With 100 recipes throughout the book, this personalized guide to Hawaiian cooking has something for beginners and advanced cooks.

For the friend who knows all the words to “Lady Marmalade”

LaBelle Cuisine best cookbooks 2021

“LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About” by Patti LaBelle, $26.99 at Amazon

Patti LaBelle is not only the Godmother of Soul and a musical icon, but she is also a New York Times bestselling author for her cookbooks. Her newest cookbook, “Labelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About,” has recipes centered around LaBelle’s family’s Southern roots. With comfort-food favorites like potato salad and peach cobbler, she showcases a variety of her recipes that are full of personal touches. 

For the cook always on the go

Full Plate best cookbooks 2021

‘The Full Plate” by Ayesha Curry, $15 at Amazon

Ayesha Curry and her husband, basketball star Stephen Curry, have three children and busy schedules. She created her newest cookbook with her energetic household in mind, and it features 100 recipes that take under an hour to make. “The Full Plate” is perfect for anyone who wants to spend less time cooking while still ending up with delicious meals.  

For the family member who watches “Fixer Upper”

Magnolia Table

“Magnolia Table” by Joanna Gaines, $16.59 at Amazon

Joanna Gaines and her family rose to reality-television stardom through the show “Fixer Upper.” The house-flipping matriarch released a cookbook highlighting 150 of her family’s favorite recipes, including garden-to-kitchen seasonal meals. Other recipes are from the family’s restaurant, Magnolia Table, in Waco, TX.

For the person who can’t get enough of Disneyland

The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook best cookbooks 2021

“The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook” by Ashley Craft, $11.99 at Amazon

Technically unofficial, this cookbook will transport you directly into Disneyland. You can replicate a variety of food found in Disney theme parks. It features 100 recipes of iconic Disneyland treats and snacks, including the famous Dole whip, beignets, and more. 

For the friend who cooks with the seasons

my shanghai betty liu best cookbooks

“My Shanghai” by Betty Liu, $31.79, available at Amazon

This debut cookbook from Betty Liu (who somehow found the time to author it amid her general surgery residency) is an homage to seasonal cooking and her family’s roots in the Chinese regions of Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang. I picked up this cookbook up in my local bookstore and couldn’t put it down (and ended up bringing it home with me). The chapters are organized by season and explain the influence the weather, holidays, and traditions have on the recipes prepared throughout the year. I love the stories Liu relates about the inspirations behind her recipes, like climbing a mountain to eat Double-Mushroom Noodle Soup at a temple, foraging spring bamboo shoots for Oil-Braised Spring Bamboo, and the bowls of breakfast noodles her father would make her before test days. I’ve already made the Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes four or five times, and I can’t wait to dive into more of the recipes as the seasons progress. 

For the cook who wants to master their grill

rodney scott best cookbooks

“Rodney Scott’s World of Barbecue” by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie, $18.14, available at Amazon

My best friend (and fellow cookbook collector) recently texted me raving about this cookbook and the genius of Rodney Scott’s Loaded Pork Skin “Nachos,” Pit-Smoked Turkey, and whole-hog approach to Carolina barbecue. Scott’s positivity and passion shine throughout the book, and you’ll learn lots about southern foodways and the history of Carolina barbecue along the way.  

For the parent planning their next trip

dishoom best cookbook

“Dishoom” by Shamil Thakrar, $17.29, available at Amazon

Whether it’s London or Bombay that is your giftee’s next destination, “Dishoom” is required reading before they jet off. The popular Dishoom restaurants in London are inspired by the Irani cafes of Bombay and serve “tipples,” snacks, and mains like Mango Kulfi, Pav Bhaji, and Roomali Roti. In “Dishoom,” you’ll learn to cook the restaurant’s entire menu, and be taken on a tour of Bombay’s cafes (complete with a map) along the way. 

For the coworker who has *opinions* on babka

jew-ish best cookbook

“Jew-ish” by Jake Cohen, $15.79, available at Amazon

At Insider Reviews we have lots of opinions, especially about food, and a recent debate centered around the merits of cinnamon versus chocolate fillings for babka. I like Jake Cohen’s philosophy in “Jew-ish,” which is that babka is delicious no matter what you fill it with. “Jew-ish” is a thoughtful collection of recipes centered around Cohen’s Ashkenazi heritage, his own self-discovery in the kitchen, and the Persian-Iraqi traditions of his husband. Cohen celebrates the origins of Jewish dishes, while also putting his own twist on the classics. You’ll see this in action in his recipes for Cacio e Pepe Rugelach, Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies, and yes, You Can Go Your Own Way: Babka Edition.

For the family member intimidated by their new Instant Pot

instant pot best cookbook

“The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook” by Jeffrey Eisner, $10.78, available at Amazon

Insider Reviews reporter, James Brains, is currently testing Instant Pots and other multicookers for an update to our guide to the best electric pressure cookers. He’s been using recipes from this cookbook and reports that they’re easy to follow, have plenty of photos, and are delicious to boot. The book features more than 750 photos detailing step-by-step how to make the 100+ recipes, and makes a great gift for anyone who is curious about Instant Pots but hasn’t taken the plunge yet.

For the history buff

Jubilee cookbook

“Jubilee” by Toni Tipton-Martin, $20.07, available at Amazon

Toni Tipton-Martin’s personal collection of African-American cookbooks spans more than 400 titles and her knowledge of American food history is on full display in “Jubilee.” Through recipes and stories, she relates the history of Black folks who shaped American cuisine into what it is today, from those who cooked under the confines of brutal enslavement to the chefs who ran White House kitchens. “Jubilee” is a masterful work of American history, as told through food.

For the person who loves pie but fears making it

pie academy best cookbook gifts

“Pie Academy” by Ken Haedrich, $18.17, available at Amazon

A compendium of 255 pie recipes, “Pie Academy” is likely the last pie cookbook you’ll ever need. It has nearly a dozen recipes for different types of pie crust, a troubleshooting section for when things don’t go as expected, and chapters organized by seasonality and filling type. It’s guaranteed to be a hit with the pie lover in your life, especially one who is interested in making pies but has always found them a bit daunting. 

For the home cook that also loves to read

black white grey best cookbook gifts

“Black, White, and The Grey” by Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano, $15.69, available at Amazon

While not a cookbook, “Black, White, and The Grey,” tells the story of one of the most celebrated restaurants in America: The Grey in Savannah, Georgia. Mashama Bailey, who is Black, and John O. Morisano, who is white, relate the story of how they turned a dilapidated formerly segregated Greyhound bus station into an award-winning restaurant. The dual memoir touches on race, community, and friendship, with some delicious food anecdotes along the way.

For the friend who wants to master the essentials

my korea

“My Korea” by Hooni Kim, $22.94, at Amazon

Michelin-starred chef Hooni Kim’s debut cookbook is a crash course in the essentials of Korean cuisine. The book’s tagline is “traditional flavors, modern recipes,” and that is an accurate summation of what you can expect to find in this cookbook — from Dolsot Bibimbap to Budae Jjigae to Hanjan’s Spicy Rice Cakes. When I first laid my hands on this cookbook, I wanted to make (and eat) every single recipe. If you’re looking for some solid foundation recipes, “My Korea” delivers.

For the person with quarantine cooking fatigue

Indian ish

“Indian-ish” by Priya Krishna, $18.25, available at Amazon

In her debut cookbook, Priya Krishna (contributor to Bon Appetit, New York Times, and others) offers up beloved favorite recipes from her Indian-American family, including Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar, Malaysian Ramen, and what her dad calls Indian Gatorade (Shikanji). The recipes are largely vegetarian, creative, fun, comforting, and guaranteed to inspire anyone who feels stuck in a rut with their cooking in 2021. 

For the person who spent 2020 mastering sourdough

new world sourdough

“New World Sourdough” by Bryan Ford, $14.17, available at Amazon

This was the year of the sourdough starter, and few people are as well-versed in fermented breads as Bryan Ford, blogger and baker. We’re not just talking about your classic sourdough boule; Ford is well-known for demonstrating the breadth of what you can do with a sourdough starter: from Sourdough Pan de Coco to Sourdough Discard Battered Fried Chicken.

For the cousin who’s just learning to cook

salt fat acid heat

“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” by Samin Nosrat, $16.67, available at Amazon

In this beautifully illustrated cookbook, chef and New York Times columnist Samin Nosrat outlines the foundations of cooking, from when to salt your chicken to how to make the perfect focaccia. All the information is presented in a fun, engaging way alongside original illustrations you’ll want to frame and hang in your kitchen.

For your family member who loves “Emily in Paris”

la buvette

“La Buvette” by Camille Fourmont and Kate Leahy, $14.25, available at Amazon

“La Buvette” is part cookbook, part guide to French living. Interspersed with recipes from the cookbook’s namesake cafe are beautiful pictures of Paris, tips about shopping in France’s vintage markets, and instructions on how to dry flowers. The cookbook is a lovely escape into Parisian living, perfect for any Francophile dreaming of a visit to the City of Lights. 

For your friend who knows all the best restaurants

xian foods

“Xi’an Famous Foods” by Jason Wang, $22.51, available at Amazon

Xi’an Famous Foods started as a small family-owned market stall in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens. Its hand-pulled cumin lamb noodles have become so loved that there are now 14 locations all around New York City. In this cookbook, the son of the family and CEO of the business Jason Wang divulges some of the recipes that made his family business famous, as well as other classic dishes from Xi’an in western China.

For the fan of the ‘Great British Baking Show’

Baking Kim Joy

“Baking with Kim-Joy” by Kim-Joy, $14.89, available at Amazon

Fans of GBBO will likely remember series nine runner-up Kim-Joy’s adorable and creative bakes, like her giant chocolate planet filled with “space turtles,” or her “Silke the vegetarian mermaid” pie. Kim-Joy brings the same color and fun to her bakes in her debut cookbook, which includes Pigfiteroles in Mud, Tazhong Cat Buns, and a version of her Space Turtle Cake. 

For the person experimenting with a plant-based lifestyle this year

vegetable kingdom cookbook gifts

“Vegetable Kingdom” by Bryant Terry, $17.39, available at Amazon

James Beard Award-winning chef and food activist Bryant Terry offers 150 vegan recipes in his most recent cookbook. Instead of trying to imitate meaty dishes, Terry’s book celebrates the vegetable and all its parts: skin, husk, flowers, roots, and all. You’ll find recipes for Pea Shoot and Peanut Salad, Grilled Spring Onions with Lemon-Thyme Oil, Cornmeal-Fried Oyster Mushroom Po’Boys, and more. A special hallmark of Terry’s books is that they often contain a playlist to listen to while you’re cooking, and “Vegetable Kingdom” is no different, featuring recommended tracks by Duke Ellington, Santana, Björk, and more.

For the sometimes-vegetarian

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“Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, $19.75, available at Amazon

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi were both born in Jerusalem in the same year — Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This cookbook is a unique, cross-cultural homage to the vibrant flavors of the city in totality with more than 100 recipes. 

For the hummus lover

falastin

“Falastin” by Sami Tamimi, $19.59, available at Amazon

Longtime Ottolenghi collaborator (and co-author of “Jerusalem,” another of our cookbook picks), Sam Tamimi, crafted his latest cookbook as an homage to Palestinian food. The book is rich in recipes, from multiple variations of shakshuka and hummus, to verdant salads, and colorful dips. Along the way, Tamimi tells the culinary history of Palestinian food — from the home cooks feeding their neighbors in refugee camps to the restaurateurs cooking for tourists in Bethlehem.

For the friend who lives for the next Li Ziqi video

The Breath of a Wok

“The Breath of a Wok” by Grace Young, $27.28, available at Amazon

Grace Young, a self-described wok therapist and advocate for the future of America’s Chinatowns, has been teaching the next generation the ins and outs of wok cooking. I bought my first wok on her recommendation and it’s easily my favorite pan to cook in. Her book “The Breath of a Wok” outlines key techniques for cooking in this versatile pan, like making use of the hot and cool zones and using the large bowl of the wok for deep frying.

For the person who recently moved

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“Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm” by Molly Yeh, $19.54, available at Amazon

Molly Yeh is the star of Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm” and winner of the Judges’ Choice IACP Cookbook Award. “Molly on the Range” explores home, family, her Jewish and Chinese heritage, and Yeh’s Midwestern farm life. You’ll find recipes for Sufganiyot, Chicken Potstickers, Challah Waffles, and more.

For the person who gets all their news from Twitter

Chrissy Teigan book

“Cravings” by Chrissy Teigen, $15, available at Amazon

Supermodel, mom, and prolific tweeter Chrissy Teigen is also the author of two cookbooks. Her first, “Cravings,” is a celebration of all things comfort food and includes selections from her Thai-American upbringing (Jok Moo), recipes from her husband John Legend (John’s Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Honey Butter), and favorites inspired by her travels to Italy and beyond (Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe). The book is filled with anecdotes and Teigen’s signature humor, and the recipes are delicious and approachable.

For the person who can’t get enough of “Cravings”

Pepper Thai Cookbook

“The Pepper Thai Cookbook” by Pepper Teigen, $16.63, available at Amazon

If your giftee already has and loves “Cravings” and “Cravings: Hungry for More,” they’ll be thrilled to know that Chrissy Teigen’s mom Pepper is getting a cookbook of her own. Pepper is a beloved fixture in both of Chrissy’s books, on her website, and on her YouTube channel, where she has her own mini-series: Pepper’s Corner. You can expect “The Pepper Thai Cookbook” to include dishes like Pad Korat (the version of Pad Thai served in her hometown of Korat), Pad Thai Brussels Sprouts, and Nam Prik Sloppy Joes. This cookbook is shipping in April, and already gearing up to be one of the most anticipated cookbooks of 2021.

For the pint-sized cook in your life

ATC kids book

“The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs” by America’s Test Kitchen, $11.49, available at Amazon

I worked for America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) for seven years and was privy to the care its team puts into each and every one of its cookbooks. ATK’s series of cookbooks for kids is the epitome of that detail and care; every one of the recipes in this volume was tested by pro chefs and kid cooks. The recipes are specifically designed with kids in mind, outlining when to get an adult for help with handling hot ingredients or sharp tools. This is the book I wish was available to me when I was a child, and I’ve gifted it and the kid’s baking book to every kid I know. I love getting reports from their parents about a new recipe they cooked or discovered.

For the person always posting pictures of their cheese board

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“Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion” by Shelley Westerhausen, $15.38, available at Amazon

In her best-selling cookbook, author and food blogger Shelley Westerhausen shares 40 casual yet chic spreads (complete with meat and drink pairings) that anyone can make and enjoy. It’s also a visual cornucopia that’s just as satisfying to flip through as to use when hosting get-togethers when it’s safe to do so.

For the friend who likes to Instagram all their food

ottolenghi flavor

“Ottolenghi Flavor” by Yotam Ottolenghi, $27.03, available at Amazon

Yotam Ottolenghi is owner and chef of some of London’s most beloved cafes and restaurants. His recipes are some of the most colorful and beautiful out there, and his latest cookbook is no exception. “Flavor” is filled with mostly vegetarian recipes that not only pack a punch visually but flavor-wise, too. Ottolenghi and his co-authors expound the building blocks of flavor in three sections: process, pairing, and produce. The result is more than 100 ‘gram-worthy recipes from Spicy Mushroom Lasagna to Iceberg Wedges with Smoky Eggplant Cream.

For the self-described dessert person

dessert person

“Dessert Person” by Claire Saffitz, $22.02, available at Amazon

Claire Saffitz may be known for her wildly popular Gourmet Makes series on YouTube, but she’s a pastry chef at heart and her affinity for baked goods is out in full force with her new cookbook “Dessert Person.” In this cookbook, you can find creative recipes for Babkallah (a babka-Challah mashup), Apple and Concord Grape Crumble Pie, Strawberry-Cornmeal Layer Cake, and Malted Forever Brownies. It’s sure to please the dessert lover in your life.

For the person who had to cancel their vacation last year

pasta grannies

“Pasta Grannies” by Vicky Bennison, $18.99, available at Amazon

Each episode of the “Pasta Grannies” YouTube series is an escape to a different region of Italy, where local grannies (or nonne) teach the audience to prepare and cook a regional dish — from classics like Spaghetti alla Carbonara to a pasta shape from Sardinia only three women know how to make. This cookbook takes some of the most popular videos from the series and turns them into tangible recipes you can cook at home. Between watching the video and cooking from the book, you can transport yourself to a little corner of Italy without leaving your home.

For the person homesick for their grandma’s cooking

In Bibi's Kitchen

“In Bibi’s Kitchen” by Hawa Hassan, $18.69, available at Amazon

This cookbook centers around grandmothers (or bibis) from eight south and east African countries. Throughout the book, we get to know the women whose recipes are featured and learn about their personal history and the history of their country. Along the way, you’ll find recipes for Eritrean Doro Wat, Tanzanian Date Bread, Kenyan Kachumbari, and more. It’s the kind of cookbook that makes think about your grandmother.

For the person who lives by a cookie-a-day philosophy

100 cookies

100 Cookies by Sarah Keiffer, $20.99, available at Amazon

A good ol’ chocolate chip cookie never goes out of style, but if you have a cookie lover in your life, consider gifting them this homage to baked goods. You’ll find recipes for the classics (including four different variations of chocolate chip cookies) as well cookies you’ve probably never had before, like Banana-Espresso-Cacao Nib cookies.

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The best desks for your office in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A good desk should be ergonomic, giving you enough room to work without causing back or neck strain.
  • We consulted an ergonomist and an interior designer to find desks that combine comfort with style.
  • If you also need a supportive office chair, check out our guide to the best office chairs.

Whether you work from home or are back in the office, a good desk will help keep you comfortable and productive. A poorly designed desk can lead to back and neck strain, which will inevitably interfere with your day.

To find out what makes a great work desk, we consulted with experts in ergonomics and interior design to narrow down the hundreds of desks available at online retailers. We looked for desks that were between 23 and 29 inches tall for the best ergonomics (with bonus points going to products that are adjustable), as well as being stylish and made from high-quality materials. We explain our research methodology more at the end of the guide.

The best desks for your home office in 2021

The best standing desk

Fully desk with plants and office supplies on it.

The customizable Fully Jarvis Standing Desk provides a spacious work surface and an adjustable height, allowing you to position the desk to suit your frame.

From an ergonomics standpoint, an adjustable desk like the Fully Jarvis Standing Desk is the best option for most people since it allows you to change the surface height to match your frame and chair height. 

This particular adjustable desk comes in several widths and heights. We recommend opting for the “Extended Range” height option, which allows you to adjust the surface height between 24.5 and 50 inches. The metal frame is available in four colors, while the bamboo top comes in two finishes, and you also have the option to swap in a contoured tabletop on several of the larger sizes. 

The Jarvis has a toggle handset to adjust its height and lifting capacity of 350 pounds. While the base version of the desk is fairly simple, you can choose to outfit it with powered grommets, desk organizers, wire management kits, and more, creating a tailored solution to suit your needs. If you’re not satisfied with the desk, the brand offers a 30-day free return policy, as well as a 10-year warranty on desk frame components, mechanical parts, motors, and electrical components.

Read more about the Fully Jarvis in our standing desk guide, where we ranked it the best overall option.

The best desk for corners

Ameriwood L-shaped desk with a lamp, laptop, pencils, and a picture frame on top.

The Ameriwood Home Aden Glass Desk has an L-shaped frame that offers more workspace than traditional desks.

The Ameriwood Home Aden Glass Desk‘s L-shaped design will fit perfectly into the corner of an office, taking advantage of the extra space and providing a larger work surface than traditional desks. It’s just over 59 inches long and wide, and 29 inches tall. That may seem lower than most standard desks, but our experts say that 30-inch desks are too tall for most people to comfortably sit at. 

This corner desk has a black metal frame with a tempered glass top and faux cherry wood accents. The desk can support 60 pounds on each side and has two built-in storage shelves. The wooden corner piece and shelves are made from PVC laminate (a type of plastic), so they’re easy to care for.

The best desk for small spaces

Green Forest desk with laptop, photo frame, pen, and other office supplies on top.

The GreenForest Folding Desk is compact while still providing plenty of space for your work, and it can fold flat so it’s easy to store. 

The GreenForest Folding Desk can easily fit into a small apartment, dorm, or makeshift office, as it’s just 32 inches wide and 32 inches deep. The design features a lower desktop that can easily hold a laptop, notepad, or textbook, and there’s also a 6-inch upper shelf that’s ideal for a computer monitor or other desk essentials. 

This desk is supported by an X-shaped metal frame, and the desktop is made from medium-density fiberboard. There’s no assembly required, and when not in use, you can fold the desk flat and tuck it into a corner or behind a sofa.

The best desk for cable management

Union & Scale desk with white background.

The Union & Scale Essentials Powered Writing Desk features an integrated power strip with two USB ports, helping to streamline your workspace.

While its design may be simple, the Union & Scale Essentials Powered Writing Desk offers convenience for anyone who is regularly searching for an electrical outlet. It has an integrated power strip that you can access right on the desktop. There are two USB ports, allowing for easy charging for all your devices. The power cable for these outlets discreetly protrudes from the bottom of the desk’s back leg, helping to minimize the number of wires running behind your desk and reducing clutter in your space. 

This desk, which comes recommended by our experts, is 60 inches wide and just over 29 inches deep, and it has a 29-inch height that will be comfortable for most people. It’s supported by four metal legs and has a laminate top. You can choose between an all-white or faux wood finish to complement your decor.

The best affordable desk

Coavas desk with laptop, calendar, and pencils on top.

For a desk that won’t break the bank, the Coavas Computer Desk is a comfortable size and it folds down flat when not in use, making it easier to store and move. 

Despite its low price, the Coavas Computer Desk checks off many of the boxes for a comfortable, ergonomic workspace. The desk has an industrial-inspired design with a metal frame and faux wood top. It’s a moderate size at 40 inches wide, 20 inches deep, and 28 inches tall.

Because of its shallow depth (a common feature among budget-friendly desks), it may not be the most comfortable to use when working on a computer, but it will work well for reading, writing, and studying. You can assemble this desk in a matter of seconds, and it’s equally easy to disassemble if you want to put it into storage or move it. 

This desk has a weight capacity of 200 pounds thanks to its metal frame. The top is made from medium-density fiberboard, which means you should avoid getting it wet or placing hot objects on the surface. While it might not last forever, the Coavas desk is budget-friendly and sturdy, making it a worthwhile choice for a temporary office.

The best minimalist desk

Ikea white desk.

The Ikea Bekant Desk has a simple design that adjusts to different heights, and it features an integrated cord management system to keep your workspace neat.

If you prefer a minimalistic appearance, the Ikea Bekant Desk is about as plain as they come with its monochromatic two-leg design. However, this desk is sturdy and functional, thanks to its adjustable height and built-in cable management system. 

The desktop is 63 inches long and 31.5 inches deep, and you can adjust its height between 26 and 33.5 inches to best suit your height and chair. The table has a weight capacity of 220 pounds, and it has a melamine surface that’s stain-resistant and easy to clean. Additionally, there’s a net underneath the tabletop that allows you to tuck away unsightly cords, keeping your workspace tidy.

Just keep in mind that the Bekant doesn’t have electronic controls. To change its height, you need an Allen key (otherwise known as a hex key), so it isn’t the best choice if you want a desk you can adjust at the touch of a button.

The best extra-wide desk

Article desk with white background.

The Article Madera Desk gives you plenty of space to spread out thanks to its 71-inch width. The desk is crafted from durable solid wood and features a hidden cable management cabinet.

Need ample room to spread out all your work essentials? The Article Madera has a spacious 71-inch design that allows you to set up a computer, with plenty of space left over for documents, books, and other work essentials. This stylish desk is available in either oak or chestnut finishes, and it’s crafted from solid and veneered wood for a durable frame that will stand the test of time. 

The desk is 71 inches long, 30 inches deep, and 30 inches high. Its height means it might be best for taller people. The table has an industrial style with metal accents and exposed bolts, and the wood is finished with a wire brush for a naturally textured appearance. 

There’s a hidden cable management cabinet at the rear of the desk so you can tuck away charging cables and cords. For added storage, Article also offers a matching Madera File Cabinet to complete your home office.

The best wall-mounted desk

Pottery Barn Trenton desk with white background.

The Trenton Fold Out Table takes up minimal space thanks to its wall-mounted design, and you can install it at the appropriate height for an ergonomic workspace. 

If you’re hoping to turn any space into a makeshift office, the Pottery Barn Trenton Fold Out Table is an ideal solution. The versatile table mounts on the wall, and its solid pine surface easily folds down when it’s time to work. Once you’re done for the day, you can simply clear off the tabletop and fold it back up, freeing up valuable space in your home. 

This fold-out desk is 30 inches wide and just over 22 inches deep. Because of its shallow depth, it’s not the best option for working on a computer, but it will work well for reading and writing. Since you can mount it at any height, you can find the perfect spot to match your height and chair and keep your body ergonomically aligned. 

The desk’s frame is made from powder-coated steel for durability, and its kiln-dried pine surface is easy to maintain. You can use the steel brace as a magnet board, pinning up important notes and other documents in front of your work area.

The best writing desk

Pottery Barn Bedford white desk with 3 drawers on the left.

The Bedford Writing Desk from Pottery Barn is a well-made piece of furniture with a classic design, and it features a two- or three-drawer cabinet for all your storage needs.

Writing desks have a simple yet timeless design. Because they’re designed for note-taking, reading, and writing, they’re often not as large as computer desks. The tricky part when shopping for a writing desk is finding one that doesn’t have a pull-out drawer in the center that will interfere with proper ergonomics. With that in mind, one of the best options is Pottery Barn’s Bedford Writing Desk.

This desk is 52 inches long and 23 inches wide, giving you ample space to spread out with your papers. It’s crafted from kiln-dried pine and veneers with an antique white finish, and you can choose whether you want a two-drawer cabinet with two file drawers or a three-drawer cabinet, which has one file drawer and two small standard drawers for supplies. This cabinet tower fits on either side of the desk, allowing you to tailor the piece to your space. The back of the desk is finished in case you want to have it facing the room.

The best drafting desk

Zeny light brown desk with stool in front of it.

It’s easy to adjust the height of the Zeny Drafting Desk to suit your needs, and the top tilts to make it easier for architects and other creative professionals to draw. 

Drafting desks are a popular choice for architects and creative professionals, as the tabletop tilts to allow for more comfortable drawing, painting, or sketching. The Zeny Drafting Desk is ideal for any of these tasks. It has a spacious and adjustable workspace, as well as two storage drawers, a built-in pen container, and a side table for other supplies. 

The desktop measures 34 inches wide and over 23 inches deep, and you can adjust the height of the drafting desk between 28 and 36 inches. Additionally, the tabletop adjusts from 0 to 45 degrees, allowing you to tilt it to a comfortable angle. The desk has a steel frame and MDF surfaces, and it also comes with a matching stool.

What to look for in a desk

Two desks with one having a lamp, picture frame, pens, laptop, and other office supplies on it. The other is empty.

To develop criteria for evaluating desks, we consulted with two experts. We spoke with Melissa Afterman, MS-HFE, CPE, the principal ergonomist of Learn Ergo and a consultant with UC Ergonomics Research Lab, and interior designer Sherri Monte of Elegant Simplicity. Both regularly work with their clients to create comfortable, ergonomic, and highly functional home offices. They highlighted several important features that you should prioritize ahead of aesthetic appeal.

I used their guidance, as well as my background as a product reviewer for four years, when selecting desks for this guide. I used my experience testing household products to develop a comprehensive testing methodology. 

Height

While 30 inches is the standard height for many desks, this is actually too high for most people. “The correct height for your computer desk is your relaxed elbow height when you are sitting with your feet flat on the floor,” said Afterman. 

“It really depends on your own height and upper arm length, but the range that most people fall in is between 23 and 29 inches above the floor. I usually recommend a 28-inch tall desk if you can find it, but even that may be too high” said Afterman. She typically prefers height-adjustable desks, which allow you to find the best height for your frame. If you’re looking specifically for standing desks, check out our guide.

Depth

While desk width is a matter of preference, the depth of the surface can impact your comfort if you’re using a computer. If you plan to put a computer monitor on your desk, our experts recommend avoiding desks that are too narrow, which can cause back strain.

“I always recommend a 30-inch-deep desk,” said Afterman. “The problem with a shallow desk is that you cannot get enough distance between your eyes and the monitor when sitting relaxed back in the chair.” You end up resting your hands and wrists on the desktop when using the keyboard and mouse. “These postures can quickly fatigue the upper back and compress the soft tissue or nerves in the wrist,” Afterman said.

However, for those who don’t need a computer, a narrower desk may work just fine.

Thin table top without drawers in the center

Many desks include a drawer or two underneath the tabletop, but this type of design can cause strain on your body. Afterman explains that you increase the risk of bumping your knees on features like drawers, shelves, or panels, and they can interfere with your ability to set your work chair at an appropriate height. “When you have a drawer under the desk, you can only raise your chair so high without your legs bumping into the bottom of the table. This leads to shrugging your shoulders up to use the keyboard and mouse, which quickly leads to shoulder and neck soreness or pain,” said Afterman.

Material

The most common desk materials are wood, metal, glass, and manufactured materials such as medium-density fiberboard, frequently called MDF. Kiln-dried hardwood and metal are more durable choices, but they also drive up the price. If you only need a temporary solution to last a few years, MDF or other faux materials are budget-friendly, but they’re also more prone to wear, stains, and warping. 

Storage

There are many items you may want to keep on hand as you work, ranging from pens and pencils to files, books, and charging cables. If there aren’t other storage spaces nearby, you may want to look for a desk with a side tower of drawers or a built-in file cabinet, as long as they don’t protrude into your leg space

“Ultimately, a good desk provides you with the basic things you need for when you need them,” says Monte. “Maybe this desk has file storage built in or perhaps it’s just got a few basic drawers, but functionality matters.”

Design

Finally, there’s also the matter of choosing a desk that matches your aesthetic. This should be a secondary consideration after ergonomic requirements are met, but there is no shortage of desks to choose from, including modern, contemporary, mid-century, traditional, and more. We focused on ergonomics here in our guide and considered the design when choosing our top picks.

What type of desk do I need?

Four different types of desks in one photo.

There are several common desk styles that you will encounter, and the differences between them can be confusing. Here are the distinctions of each style.

Height-adjustable desks

Height-adjustable desks have gained popularity in recent years, as they allow you to set the exact height of the desktop to suit your chair and body. “A height-adjustable table can be used to optimize the desk height when you’re sitting and has the added bonus of providing a standing option as an alternative to mix into your day,” said Afterman.

These desks are often controlled by electronic panels (which means they need to be plugged into an outlet), but some budget options are manual. Others require tools, like an Allen key, which is more time-consuming.  

Computer desks

Computer desks are specifically designed to accommodate an electronic setup. These desks typically have larger desktops that provide space for a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other components, and they often have various cord management features, as well. 

Writing desks

When compared to computer desks, writing desks are typically not as spacious. They’re often not deep enough to comfortably use a computer monitor. Writing desks frequently have drawers on one or both sides, as well as under the desktop, providing space to store writing implements and notebooks. Some also feature a hutch on top for additional storage. Because they’re a more traditional style of furniture, you’ll find that many writing desks have a classic aesthetic.

Corner desks

Corner desks have an L-shaped design that fits into the corner of a room. They come in many different styles and materials, and they often provide more workspace than traditional desks. Some may also feature shelves, file cabinets, or drawers built into their designs.

Executive desks

Originally used by managers and other high-ranking professionals, executive desks are large and stately. Because they’re often arranged in the center of a room, they typically have finished backs. Many executive desks have a double-pedestal design, meaning there are file cabinets or drawers on each side. They naturally become the focal point of any space.

Drafting desks

Drafting desks, also called drafting tables or architect’s tables, are used for drawing and sketching. They’re defined by a tilting tabletop, which can generally be fixed at several angles. These desks often have large work surfaces that can accommodate oversized architectural plans or sketch pads, and there may also be drawers, side tables, and organizers for things like pens and paper.

How should you sit at a desk?

White desk with laptop, notebook, lamp on it and a black office chair in front.

In addition to having a desk that’s the proper height, width, and depth, you should also sit properly for comforot and ergonomics. “Foot support is critical to reducing back strain,” said Afterman. “Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest if your seat is raised. The knees should be even with, or slightly lower than, your hips.”

You’ll also want to ensure that your arms are in an appropriate position. “The arms should be supported with the shoulders relaxed,” said Afterman. “You can get support from the chair armrest or the work surface. Avoid resting on the elbows as this can compress the ulnar nerve. Instead, rest on the muscle area of the forearm to allow the shoulders and back to relax.”  

Finally, be sure to position your chair and computer monitor in proper locations to reduce strain. “You should sit close enough to the desk to keep the elbows near the body and avoid reaching forward,” says Afterman. “Set the monitor height with the top of the screen at eyebrow level (lower for bifocal wearers) and close enough to read while you relax back in the chair.”

How should you style a desk?

Desk with photo frame of puppies, black lamp, several books leaning together and flat on the desk as well.

It’s not always easy to arrange your furniture in a way that’s functional but also stylish, and it’s extra challenging when it involves a work desk in your home. “When arranging your desk in your home or office, you want to think about what the focal point of the space is,” says Monte. “When a room lacks a focal point, our eyes tend to bounce all over the place.”

If you have a designated room for an office or want to create a dedicated office space in a living room or bedroom, try creating a natural focal point with a rug. “Not only will this be soft under feet while you’re working, but it will also layer in a bit of warmth to any office,” said Monte. 

Monte recommends opting for a rug that’s significantly larger than your desk, as this will ensure your chair isn’t constantly rolling off the edge. If you’re looking for recommendations for office seating, check out our guide to the best office chairs.

Check out our other home office guides

Full photo of a desk with two monitors, various office supplies, a plant on the floor, and a lamp to the right of the desk.

The best standing desks


The best active seating for your office


The best office chairs


The best desk lamps for your office

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 27 best non-fiction audiobooks, from celebrity memoirs to self-help bestsellers

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best non fiction audiobooks 4x3
  • Non-fiction audiobooks are an easy and flexible way to learn something new on the go.
  • Narration, especially when by the author themselves, adds emotion and passion to any story.
  • We’ve rounded up readers’ favorites, from humor and history to memoirs and self-help.

As an avid reader, I was growing frustrated with my limited available free time to read. Formerly obsessed with podcasts and perpetually disinterested in reading non-fiction, I found that audiobooks were an incredible way to learn during my commute. Passionate narration from audiobooks shed the textbook-like feeling I often associated with non-fiction reading, especially with memoirs narrated by their own authors.

Audiobooks have grown tremendously as readers discovered they can fit stories even into the busiest schedules. With more and more services offering audiobook streaming – such as Libby, Audible, and Google Play – readers are finding audiobooks as a perfect alternative to physical books. Personally, Libby has quickly become my most-used app. Since it works like a library, I love putting audiobooks on hold, my queue naturally shuffling as more become available.

Audiobook App (small)

I chose these non-fiction audiobook recommendations based on how well the narration enhances the reading experience. While I’ve listened to the majority of these personally, the others come heavily recommended to me by other bookworms. So whether you’re looking to expand your understanding of society, hear life lessons from a famous actor, or learn about an event that happened long before you were born, below are some recommendations to get you started.

27 great non-fiction audiobooks:

Memoir

Self-Help

Comedy

History

Social Justice

Memoir

A painful account of assault and healing

Amazon audiobooks Know My Name

by Chanel Miller (button)

Chanel Miller was previously identified as Emily Doe when her victim statement went viral during Brock Turner’s trial. Now, in her memoir, Chanel recounts her story and process of healing but also encourages us to reexamine how we respond and recover from trauma. Being able to hear Chanel’s voice adds such powerful emotion — don’t be surprised if you shed a few tears over the course of this memoir.

Standout quote: “My pain was never more valuable than his potential.”

Anthony Bourdain’s exposing stories about restaurant life

Best non fiction audiobooks Kitchen Confidential

by Anthony Bourdain (button)

Listening to an audiobook often turns a story into an experience, and hearing the late Chef Anthony Bourdain tell honest tales of classic kitchens is one that will resonate with any reader. This memoir is vulnerable in the sense that it is unyieldingly genuine, never skirting around hard (and often shocking) subjects and reminding us of the legacies great chefs leave behind. 

Standout quote: “Good food and good eating are about risk.”

Michelle Obama’s moving life story

Best non fiction audiobooks Becoming

by Michelle Obama (button)

Michelle Obama manages to feel like your personal mentor as she tells her life story from her childhood, to meeting and falling in love with Barack, to the hidden challenges of being First Lady. Divided in three sections — Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More — the memoir is as inspiring as it is an honest peek behind the curtain of the Obamas’ lives.

Standout quote:Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?

Barack Obama’s first presidential memoir

Audible top 30 a promised land

“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (button)

If getting through a 768-page memoir feels daunting, the audiobook — narrated by a president especially known for his compelling oration — might be a more approachable option. Hearing beloved former president Barack Obama speak passionately and powerfully in a genuine account of his campaign and presidency makes the 29 hours of the audiobook fly by.

Standout quote: “Whatever you do won’t be enough,” I heard their voices say. “Try anyway.”

Jessica Simpson’s raw narrative of her battles

Best non fiction audiobooks Open Book

by Jessica Simpson (button)

In this extremely vulnerable memoir, Jessica Simpson outlines the deepest struggles of her life. While most of us see her as one of a long line of blond pop stars in the Britney Spears era, her book details pressure from a media label; unhappiness and manipulation in relationships; and even struggles in her church, all told with a candid voice. As a bonus, the audiobook also includes new songs inspired by her writing.

Standout quote: “Sometimes we are all so afraid to be honest with ourselves because we know that honesty will lead to somewhere.”

Trevor Noah’s engaging essays from his life

Best non fiction audiobooks Born a Crime

by Trevor Noah (button)

Born of a Swiss father and a Xhosa mother, Trevor Noah’s birth was illegal and for many years, he was hidden from the government. Though sometimes serious and unsettling, Trevor Noah’s memoir is delivered with warmth and humor as he navigates a world in which he wasn’t allowed to be born. 

Standout quote: “We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”

Self-Help

Compassionate advocacy for mental health support

Products that have helped our mental health Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

by Lori Gottlieb (button)

When Lori (a therapist) starts to go to therapy herself, she begins to take a deeper look at why we go to therapy (and how it can change our lives). Told in memoir form, this audiobook advocates for mental health by weaving Lori’s personal journey with therapy with those of her patients, showing how anyone can benefit from booking a session.

Standout quote: “But part of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself—to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.”

A framework to improve your life

Audible top 30 Atomic Habits

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear (button)

A self-help meets how-to book, this bestseller aims to help you improve your life by focusing on how you change your habits to reach your goals, no matter what they may be. By addressing the systems of change, it gives readers clearly defined strategies and practical examples to apply to their own lives. 

Standout quote: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

A moving guide to self-compassion

Best non fiction audiobooks When Things Fall Apart

by Pema Chödrön (button)

Frequently hailed as the type of book that comes into your life exactly when you need it, Pema Chödrön uses Buddhist teachings to help a reader learn how to work and communicate through stressful or difficult periods in life. This book encourages you to have compassion for yourself, your loved ones, and humanity. 

Standout quote: “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”

A way for introverts to find their voice

"Quiet" by Susan Cain

by Susan Cain (button)

Arguing that our society dramatically undervalues introverts, former attorney (and fellow quiet person) Susan Cain demonstrates that there is space for people who aren’t extroverted or loud. Using research, personal anecdotes, and success stories, Cain not only helps more reserved people feel seen — she shows them where caution and quietness can be an enormous strength.

Standout quote: “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

A roadmap to finding yourself

Audible top 30 Untamed

“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (button)

Half inspirational memoir, half self-help book, “Untamed” welcomes us into Glennon Doyle’s life as she raises her children, leaves her husband to marry her wife, and encourages us to be brave and untamed in a world that often wants to keep us in cages. 

Standout quote: “This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”

A key to building resilience in the face of crisis

Best non fiction audiobooks Option B

by Sheryl Sandburg and Adam M. Grant (button)

Grief can feel isolating and terrifying but with this audiobook, you can learn how to take care of yourself and others after experiencing loss. When Option A is no longer available, we can learn to make the most out of Option B. 

Standout quote: “I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined.”

A manual for becoming an empathetic and daring leader

Dare to lead by  Brené Brown

by Brene Brown (button)

To become caring, empathetic, and effective leaders, we must overhaul the impersonal culture we’ve been taught and return to humanity. Based on two decades of research, Brené Brown teaches us how to become and raise daringly vulnerable leaders through real strategies and demonstrated applications. 

Standout quote: “At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized.”

Comedy

A memoir on honest, funny, and sometimes gross life advice

Best non fiction audiobooks Dear Girls

by Ali Wong (button)

Narrated in letters to her daughters, comedian Ali Wong shares enlightening wisdom through personal stories of motherhood, making it as a comedian, reconnecting with her East Asian heritage, and “trapping” their father into marriage. 

Standout quote: “You have suffered enough.” That became my mantra for motherhood from there on out. You have suffered enough. If you can make it easier, make it easier, and don’t feel guilty about it.”

A mortician answering kids’ questions about our post-mortem bodies

Best non fiction audiobooks Will my Cat Eat my Eyeballs

Big Questions from Tiny Mortals (button)

A dark subject matter made light, this book has no business being as funny as it is. Caitlin Doughty, a mortician, takes the most asked questions from kids (“What would happen if you die on a plane?” or “What would happen if you swallowed a bag of popcorn before you were cremated?”) and applies sarcasm and humor to answer them all without leaving the reader feeling heavy about death. 

Standout quote: “Sometimes death can be violent, sudden, and unbearably sad. But it’s also reality, and reality doesn’t change just because you don’t like it.”

A severely funny memoir on accomplishments and setbacks

Best non fiction audobooks A Very Punchable Face

by Colin Jost (button)

It’s been a pattern for famous “SNL” cast members to write memoirs, from Tina Fey to Amy Poehler, but Colin Jost will have you laughing in the first five minutes with his ridiculous stories, self-deprecation, and long list of all the names he’s been called. 

Standout quote: “No one in comedy (or any field, really) succeeds in a vacuum. And the faster you find friends who challenge you and sometimes make you jealous, the faster you’ll grow as a comedian (and regress as a human).”

Exceptional storytelling of Greek mythology

Best non fiction audiobooks Mythos

by Steven Fry (button)

For history buffs, Stephen Fry’s audio contributes significant entertainment to a complex tapestry of Greek mythology, relating classic stories to our modern world through pathos and humor. Through this chronological collection of short stories, you’ll undoubtedly learn something new about Greek myths (while savoring all of Fry’s witty interjections). 

Standout quote: “Gaia visited her daughter Mnemosyne, who was busy being unpronounceable.”

History

An immersive narrative into the American caste system

Audible top 30 Caste

Book (button)

Shaped on the deeply researched premise that America was built on a caste system, this book is profoundly thought-provoking and challenges how we’ve always understood America’s culture, economy, and politics. 

Standout quote: “We are responsible for our own ignorance or, with time and openhearted enlightenment, our own wisdom.”

A vivid experience of a historical day

Best non fiction audiobooks The Only Plane in the Sky

An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett Graff (button)

This audiobook is a compilation of first-hand accounts from September 11th, 2001. To put it lightly, it’s an emotional experience, heightened by the individual narrations from each storyteller. 

Standout quote: “Sen. John Glenn, a dear friend, came by. I said, “Did you see that? A pilot flew into the World Trade Center.” He said, “Pilots don’t fly into buildings. That wasn’t a pilot.”

A new exposition of an infamous school shooting

Best non fiction audiobooks Columbine

by Dave Cullen (button)

A definitive account from an investigative reporter who followed the story for 10 years, this story challenges what we knew about one of the most notorious school shootings in America’s history. 

Standout quote: “The final portrait is often the furthest from the truth.”

A chronicle on how racism shaped American history

Best non Fiction audiobooks Stamped From the Beginning

The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (button)

The narration keeps this expertly written book moving at a fast pace, capturing a full image anti-Black ideas in America. If you like this one, Ibram X Kendi and Jason Reynolds wrote a shorter, anti-racist companion: “Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You.”

Standout quote: “The beneficiaries of slavery, segregation, and mass incarceration have produced racist ideas of Black people being best suited for or deserving of the confines of slavery, segregation, or the jail cell.”

Social Justice

A collection of essays on being a better feminist

Best non fiction audiobooks Hood Feminism

Notes From the Women that a Movement Forgot (button)

This book turns a light on the blind spot of feminism: racial inclusion. Through a collection of essays, Mikki Kendall argues how food insecurity, access to medical care, and gun violence are all feminist issues, often forgotten by the larger feminist movement. 

Standout quote: “For a movement that is meant to represent all women, it often centers on those who already have most of their needs met.”

A YA Pride read on the account of a hate crime

The best non fiction audiobooks The 57 Props

A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, by Dashka Slater (button)

In this queer YA non-fiction, two very different teenagers’ lives intersect for only eight minutes a day. A single impulsive interaction involving a lighter and a skirt leads to two hate crime charges and severe burns, changing both of their lives forever. 

Standout quote: “There are two kinds of people in the world. Male and Female. Gay and Straight. Black and White. Normal and Weird. Cis and Trans. There are two kinds of people in the world. Saints and Sinners. Victims and Villains. Cruel and Kind. Guilty and Innocent. There are two kinds of people in the world. Just two. Just two. Only two.”

A straightforward conversation about race in America

Best non fiction audiobooks So You Want to Talk About Race

by Ijeoma Oluo (button)

With a clear and authentic voice, this book tackles structural injustice head-on. Each topic begins with a personal narrative before diving into invaluable knowledge to aid in anti-racist learning and living. Blunt and passionate, Oluo teaches in such a way that these lessons naturally become a part of your life. 

Standout quote: “When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.”

A personal account of Blackness in a white world

Best non fiction audiobooks I'm Still Here

Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness (button)

Greatly personal in the trenches of America’s racial divide, this story shows how a world that outwardly appears to value “diversity” above all else still fails to conquer racial injustice. By no means written to comfort white people, Austin Channing Brown explores being a Black woman in a world built for white people but how embracing and including Blackness could change the world. 

Standout quote: “Our only chance at dismantling racial injustice is being more curious about its origins than we are worried about our comfort.”

An eye-opening read on race and the prison industry

Best non fiction audiobooks The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (button)

An accessible telling of an extensive issue, this book exposes the concept that slavery has transformed to the current mass incarceration of Black men. Michelle Alexander, a lawyer, uses inarguable statistics to arm anti-racist readers in the fight for equality. 

Standout quote: “The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed.”

A guide to the difficult questions America needs to ask

Amazon Books Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man 4x3

by Emmanuel Acho (button)

An invitation for people to have honest and difficult discussions about racism in America, this book is a follow-on to Emmanuel Acho’s successful internet series, acknowledging that these conversations must happen in order to make real progress.  

Standout quote: “There is a fix. But in order to access it, we’re going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations.”

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20 of the most popular Prime Day 2021 deals our readers bought this year, from Crest Whitestrips to AirPods

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

30 Most Popular Prime Day Buys 2x1
  • Amazon Prime Day is one of the biggest sale events of the year.
  • During the annual sale, shoppers saw massive discounts on tech, cookware, and home goods.
  • Below are 20 of the most-purchased products Insider readers bought this year.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 ended on June 22. During this Prime member-exclusive event, shoppers saved big on MacBooks, Instant Pots, headphones, and kitchen essentials.

Below, we rounded up 20 of Insider readers’ most-purchased items from this year’s Prime Day event. There are some lingering deals on a few products, and you might want to keep an eye out in case these go on sale again.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)

Here are 20 of the most-purchased items by Insider readers during Amazon Prime Day 2021:

Crest 3D Whitestrips

crest whitestrips black friday

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips + Crest 3D White 1-Hour Express Whitestrips Treatment Kit

White strips are arguably the easiest way to brighten your teeth, and you can grab the two-in-one treatment kit on Amazon. Crest 3D Whitestrips are our favorite pick in our guide to teeth whitening kits recommended by dentists, and they hold a top spot in our most-purchased products list every Prime Day.

3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Kit (button, Preferred: Amazon)
LifeStraw personal water filter, 2-pack

amazon prime day best sellers - LifeStraw personal water filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 2-Pack

If you have a camping or hiking trip scheduled, it’s a good idea to pack the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter with you. This less-than-one-pound travel essential will provide 1,000 gallons of clean and safe drinking water.

The LifeStraw removes bacteria and parasites from water as well as microplastics, so you can have the peace of mind of a lightweight, mobile water purifier wherever you go. It’s a no-brainer for hiking, camping, travel, and emergency preparedness. 

This practical and portable accessory jumped up four spots from last year’s list to become the second-bestselling item among Insider readers.

Read our full review of the LifeStraw.

Personal Water Filter (2-Pack) (button)
Fire TV Stick 4K

fire tv stick 4k

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick products are known for their reliable streaming performance, and the Fire TV Stick 4K is the best of the bunch. This tiny stick plugs right into your existing TV’s HDMI port, adding access to popular apps like Prime Video, Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more.

As its name implies, the Fire TV Stick 4K can stream in up to 4K resolution with support for all of the major HDR formats. This will ensure you get the very best picture quality, as long as your TV also supports these features. 

Check out all the Amazon Fire TV deals during Prime Day.

Fire TV Stick 4K (button)
Kasa Smart Plug

best smart plug tp link kasa

Kasa Smart Plug

One of our favorite smart plugs, the Kasa Smart Plug is small and affordable. You can fit two into a standard outlet, which isn’t true of all smart plugs. It connects over Wi-Fi, and you control it from a smartphone app. The plug supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can turn devices on and off with voice commands.

Kasa Smart Plug (button)
AirPods Pro

airpods pro

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods are our favorite wireless earbuds for iPhone users and for good reason. They are convenient to pair and set up, they sound great, and they include noise cancellation technology to help block out distracting ambient noise. These quicly sold out but you can still order them for slightly more than their Prime Day price.

Check out all the best deals on Apple AirPods during Prime Day.

AirPods Pro (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Amazon Echo Dot, 4th Generation

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Amazon Echo Dot, 4th Generation

Amazon’s latest Echo Dot ditches the old puck-shaped design of the previous model in favor of a new spherical shape. The tiny smart speaker features Alexa built right in, offering convenient digital assistant support for answering questions, setting alarms, and controlling other smart home products.  

This was the lowest we’ve seen the Echo Dot sell for since it launched in October of last year, so it’s no wonder the Dot was so popular with our readers for Prime Day. 

All-New Echo Dot (4th Generation) (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Belkin BoostCharge

Belkin BoostCharge Wireless Charging Pad

Belkin BoostCharge 15W Fast Wireless Charger Pad

The Belkin BoostCharge is a wireless charging pad for iPhones and Galaxy devices. The pad is a great idea for when you don’t want to fumble for a charging cable in the dark. The Prime Day deal, which was the best we’ve seen on Amazon, was $23.99.

BoostCharge 15W Wireless Charging Pad (button)
Sengled Color Changing Smart Light Bulbs

sengled color changing smart light bulbs that work with alexa

Sengled Color Changing Smart Light Bulbs

This smart light bulb works with Alexa devices, enabling voice control for turning the light on or off, as well as dimming functions. The bulb is rated for 800 lumens, which is about the same level of brightness you’d get from a traditional 60W bulb. Buyers can also adjust the color of the light to create different moods. 

Smart Light Bulbs (button)
Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle is a beloved e-reader for bookworms and the occasional page flipper alike and now, the brand’s Paperwhite is waterproof and comes with double the storage of the former model. It reads like paper even in bright sunlight and is perfect as a summer beach reading companion.

Kindle Paperwhite (button, Preferred: Amazon)

Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser

Waterpik WP-660

The versatile Waterpik WP-660 has 10 pressure settings, so you can adjust based on your gum sensitivity. It holds 22 ounces of water and pulses at the 30-second and one-minute interval so you can keep track of how long you’re flossing for. The Prime Day deal was a big one, with the $70 device marked at $40. 

WP-660 Water Flosser (button)
Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag

stasher small reusable silicone snack bag

Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag

Stasher’s reusable bags are great for those trying to cut down on waste in their kitchens. The silicone bags are safe for the dishwasher and microwave. They’re popular with sous vide users who don’t want to use plastic in heated water. The Prime Day discount offered some great prices on the bags, as well as variety packs with bags in several sizes.

Silicone Reusable Food Storage Bag, 4-pack (button)
Instant Pot Duo Plus 6-Quart

Instant Pot Duo Plus (6 Quart)

Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart 9-in-1

The 6-quart is a great choice for those who want to cook decent quantities without occupying the whole counter. This was a great deal when it was over half off for Prime Day.

Duo Plus 6-Quart (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener

myQ chamberlain smart garage door opener in white

MyQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener

You consistently upgrade your smartphone, laptop, and clothing, but how about your garage? The MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener enables you to open and close your garage door regardless of location. This is one of the deals that’s still going on, even after Prime Day is over.

myQ Smart Garage Door Opener (G0401) (button)
Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows for Sleeping, Set of 2

set of two beckham hotel collection pillows in white

Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows for Sleeping, Set of 2

For budget pillows, the Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows are our go-to — inexpensive yet they provide a comfortable, supportive night’s sleep. They’re soft and stackable, sleep relatively cool, machine washable, good for stomach and side sleepers, and hypoallergenic. For a limited time, shoppers can pick up two queen-sized pillows for just $16 each.

Hotel Collection Gel Pillow (Queen) (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Kindle Unlimited Subscription

Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited Subscription

For Prime Day, Amazon offered four months of Kindle Unlimited for free to new members. The subscription service features over one million ebooks, along with unlimited access to audiobooks and up to three magazine subscriptions.

Monthly memberships usually cost $10 and typical trials only last 30 days, so it makes sense that readers jumped at the chance to score four months free of charge.

Kindle Unlimited Subscription (4 Months) (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker with 1 Year Premium Trial

Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker with 1 Year Premium Trial

The Inspire 2 packs all of the standard features buyers expect from a Fitbit into a slim, sleek design that rests comfortably around a user’s wrist. It doesn’t have the most robust features, but it was over 40% off for Prime Day.

Inspire 2 (button, Preferred: Amazon)
5W USB Official OEM Charger

Amazon 5W USB Official OEM Charger and Power Adapter for Fire Tablets and Kindle eReaders

Amazon 5W USB Official OEM Charger and Power Adapter for Fire Tablets and Kindle eReaders

Lots of our readers picked up this wall adapter for Amazon Fire products, like Kindles and Fire tablets. Whether shoppers were looking for a replacement or a spare, we don’t know for sure. Its popularity can likely be attributed to the big Prime Day deals we’ve seen on other Amazon devices that can use the adapter, such as the Kindle Paperwhite and Fire 10 tablet. There was no Prime Day-specific deal, but it’s affordable.

5W USB Official OEM Charger and Power Adapter for eReaders (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Fire Stick, 3rd Generation

Fire TV Stick

Fire Stick, 3rd Generation

The Fire TV Stick is a reliable streaming device that plugs right into your TV’s HDMI port. Once connected, you get access to a huge library of streaming apps. Though this model only supports up to 1080p resolution, that should be just fine for any buyers who are looking to add streaming support to an older HDTV.

Though we recommend the Fire TV Stick 4K over this version, the standard Fire TV Stick does include a newer remote. The updated remote features shortcut buttons for popular apps like Netflix and Disney Plus.

Fire TV Stick (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Eva Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier

Eva-dry E-333

Eva Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier

Got space issues? Whether you live in a tiny apartment, need to dehumidify a closet, or just want something that stores away, the super portable and affordable Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier is handy. Right now you can save 40% on this little device, bringing the price below $15; that’s the lowest we’ve seen for this model

Wireless Mini Dehumidifier (button, Preferred: Amazon)
Amazon Prime Day 2021 FAQs

When is Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day was on June 21 and June 22.


What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is an online shopping event providing early access to deals for Prime members. If you’d like to take part in all of the deals and discounts, you can register for a 30-day free trial. After that, you’ll be charged $12.99 or $119 per year as a Prime member.

Sign up to be a Prime member here.


How long will Amazon Prime Day last?

Typically, it’s a two-day sale. Originally, however, it began as a single-day event. This year, it was two days worth of deals on popular items like MacBooks, air fryers, and home goods. A few deals lasted after June 22.


Do you have to be a Prime member to qualify for sales on Prime Day?

Yes, though you can sign up for the free trial.

To make the most out of your online shopping experience, look out for competitor deals at other retailers, including Target.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best tablet deals on Amazon Prime Day 2021 include $80 off the newest iPad Air

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Best Amazon Prime Day tablet deals 2021
Tablets from Apple, Samsung, and more are on sale for Prime Day 2021.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is here, and that means there are plenty of deals to be had on tech devices – especially tablets. This year’s annual shopping holiday ends on June 22 and includes many tech deals in addition to discounts on kitchen, home, beauty, and other products.

Right now, Amazon’s Fire HD 10 tablet is 34% off for Prime Day starting at $95 for the 32GB model and $135 for the 64GB version. Apple’s iPad Air is discounted by $80, bringing the price down to $520. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 is down to $595, a discount of 28% for Prime Day. You can still buy the 8th-generation iPad for $30 off on Amazon, though it is currently listed as out of stock.

Regardless of whether you’re eyeballing a tablet in the budget or premium price range, Amazon Prime Day is a great time to pick up a new device and save some money. But remember that you must have an Amazon Prime Day membership to access exclusive Prime Day deals.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)

Best Apple iPad deals for Prime Day 2021

Apple’s iPads are best-suited for Apple users that are either seeking a device that can serve as an extension of their iPhone or for serious productivity. The 10.2-inch iPad is the most affordable option and is the best choice for general usage.

But those who are willing to pay more for a brighter, sharper screen and better performance will be happy with the iPad Air. And finally, the new M1-powered iPad Pros are the right choice for those who need a tablet for processing heavy workloads, such as multimedia editors.

iPad Air (4th Gen., 64GB) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)2020 iPad 10.2-inch (8th Gen) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

The best Prime Day Amazon Fire tablet deals available now

Amazon has several different Fire tablets to choose from, many of which are ideal for children. If you’re already set on purchasing an Amazon Fire tablet, size and budget are the other major factors you’ll want to consider.

The Fire 7 only costs $50 and is Amazon’s most compact tablet, for example, but it barely has any storage and isn’t very powerful. The Fire 10 HD is a better choice for those who want a general purpose tablet that’s still affordable, while the Kids line of those same tablets comes with protective covers to keep the tablet safe from drops and scratches.

Fire HD 10 32GB Tablet (2021 Release) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Fire HD 8 (32GB) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Fire HD 10 Kids Edition (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Samsung tablet deals on Amazon Prime Day 2021

When shopping for a Samsung tablet, you’ll want to decide whether you want a tablet for productivity, entertainment, or portability, and how much you’re willing to spend.

The Galaxy Tab S7 is our favorite high-end Android tablet, thanks to its gorgeous screen, premium design, and included S Pen, which is great for those who love to use their tablet for taking notes or drawing. But for those who want to spend less, there’s also the Galaxy Tab A7, which lacks 5G and the S Pen but still has a large 10.4-inch screen.

Galaxy Tab S7 (11-inch, 512GB) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

How to shop for a tablet

Like any tech product, choosing the right tablet comes down to what you intend to use it for. The operating system will be your biggest concern. If you want a tablet that’s more like an extension of your smartphone, consider an iPad or Android tablet. Amazon’s Fire tablets are ideal for those seeking a cheap secondary screen for watching movies and TV shows.

You’ll also want to consider aspects like size, storage capacity, and processing power. If entertainment is your main priority, a large tablet with a 10-inch screen and average processing power is your best bet. But if you want a tablet for editing multimedia projects on-the-go, you might want to consider a tablet like the pricey iPad Pro.

Tablets typically cost anywhere between $100 to more than $1,000 depending on the model. Basic tablets designed for simple tasks like watching videos are usually cheaper, while powerful devices meant to replace your laptop can get very expensive. Amazon’s child-friendly Fire 7 Kids Edition, for example, is priced at $100, while the top-of-the-line 12.9-inch iPad Pro could cost as much as $2,400.

What’s the best tablet to buy in 2021?

Our favorite tablet right now is the 10.2-inch iPad, which usually starts at $329. It has the right balance of performance, useful features, and affordable pricing to make it the best pick for most people. Apple’s iPad software and app selection is generally more polished than many Android tablets. This specific model runs on the same processor that powers the iPhone XS, which means it’s fast enough for casual use, and is also compatible with accessories like the Apple Pencil.

2020 iPad 10.2-inch (8th Gen) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

What’s the best budget tablet?

If affordability is your main priority, check out the Amazon Fire HD 10. The 32GB model usually costs $165, but is on sale for just $95. We already loved the previous version for its low price and solid integration with Amazon accounts, and the new model has a faster processor and brighter screen. It’s an ideal choice if you primarily want a tablet for streaming video from apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Disney Plus and little else, but remember that it’s not very powerful and doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store.

Amazon usually discounts its own products on Prime Day, so it’s a great time to look out for deals. Check out our guide to the best tablets for more buying advice.

Fire HD 10 (10.1-inch, 64GB) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

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