Everything you need to get started gardening in 2021, from beginner plants to sunscreen

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

shutterstock_1074923387

  • With a few basic tools and supplies, it’s easy to start your own garden.
  • If you’re a gardening novice looking for affordable gear, this list details everything you’ll need to get started.
  • See more: The best plants for your first garden

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

While modern-day humans may not need to grow everything they plan to eat themselves, it’s certainly rewarding, and tasty, to make a salad sourced from your own backyard. And you don’t need a sprawling plot of land to get started. Whether you’re planning a greenhouse full of tomatoes or just want to grow a few herbs on your back deck, it qualifies as a garden.

Of course, gardens aren’t limited to veggies. Outdoor flower beds can make your backyard an inviting place for a BBQ or attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your patio all summer long. Outdoor gardening can be as labor-intensive as you’d like, or not, depending on what you plant and the level of maintenance and dedication you’re willing to provide. If you need recommendations, these are the best plants for your first garden.

From hoses and gloves to trowels and wheelbarrows, these are the items you’ll need in order to plant and maintain a thriving outdoor garden, no green thumb required.

Here are the best gardening tools for beginners in 2021

A good garden hose

Best Overall Hose: Dramm slide

You’ll need a hose when you start gardening, especially if you’re working in an area protected from the elements, like a greenhouse. Hose technology isn’t especially complicated, but you want to make sure your hose is durable enough to withstand being dragged through the yard without being inconvenient to move around. We tested seven hoses to find the hose with the best flow rate and sturdiest construction.

ColorStorm Garden Hose (50-ft) (small)Water Hose (50-ft) (small)Steel Hose (50-ft) (small)
An adjustable nozzle or spray head for your hose

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Methodology slide

Nozzles allow you to control the water pressure while watering, which is vital, especially with delicate flowers and newly-sprouted fruits and veggies. Buy a nozzle that rotates to avoid getting your hose twisted and kinked up. For more information on how to choose a nozzle, check out our guide to the best garden hose nozzles.

10-Pattern Garden Hose Nozzle (small)RelaxGrip Watering Wand (small)Adjustable Twist Hose Nozzle (small)
A plant starter kit to get going

5ec40aeb4dca685be7453067

Whether you’ve got outdoor space for rows of vegetables or plans for an urban garden on your patio, you’ll need to let your seeds first grow somewhere protected and safe (if you’re buying seedlings, you can skip this step). Seeds are usually quite dainty and not hearty enough to withstand wind and weather like established plants would. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to sprout seeds inside, even without direct sunlight.

Here’s our guide to the best indoor gardens, or shop some of our other favorite indoor and outdoor gardening kits below:

Greenhouse Peat Pellet Tray (small)Black Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden (small)Dual Tray Kit (small)
Quality yet affordable gardening gloves

5ec41ad43ad861676c4b65e5

Garden gloves are for far more than just keeping your hands clean, though they do an excellent job of that, too. Some soils and planting materials can have tiny pieces that might poke your hands, and some vegetables, like squash, can grow prickly stems and leaves. Gloves can also make it easier to grip gardening tools or heavy bags of mulch. Consult our guide to the best gardening gloves to find the ones that suit your needs.

Bamboo Gloves (small)Leather Work Gloves (small)Rose Pruning Gloves for Men and Women (small)
Extra protection for plants from nature and the elements

5ec425613f73707557112236

This is a broad category, and what you’ll need depends on the type of garden you have. If you’re growing plants in the backyard, you might need a plastic greenhouse to protect plants from bunnies and deer who might beat you to eating your fresh veggies. Or, it may be that you live in a place with unexpected variations in weather or cold spells, and your flowers need a little extra cover to keep them from wilting.

Protective Garden Bell Covers (small)Mini Greenhouse (small)Frost Blanket (small)
A trusty hand trowel

5ec42aebf0f41962d0667cf8

If you have no other gardening tools whatsoever, at least have a trowel. There’s no way around having one, and they’re extremely affordable. Outdoor gardeners will need them for everything from planting to rearranging soil, and even those with just one or two houseplants will need one when it comes time to repot or mix in new dirt. If you’re looking for a more heavy duty tool, check out our guide to the best gardening shovels.

All Pro 202S Trowel (small)4 Piece Garden Tool Set (small)
A cultivator for turning soil

5ec42eaa191824734711dbb4

The other tool you’ll need is a cultivator, which is closely related to a hand rake, though the former is better for digging. You’ll find a variety of uses for this product, but it’s most useful for turning soil or mixing last year’s soil in with new dirt or fertilizer. It’s also handy for pulling weeds.

Hand Cultivator (2-pack) (small)Hand Fork (small)ErgieShovel Four-Tine Cultivator (small)
A watering can to control output and prevent water stains

5ec43430191824759a384f84

If you’re growing plants indoors or on a deck, you’ll need a watering can (it’ll probably come in handy for outdoor gardeners, too) since a hose can be a bit of overkill for younger or delicate plants. Though you can use a bucket in a punch, the specially shaped spout on watering cans eliminates drips that can leave water stains on deck railings and other porous surfaces.

1/2 Gal. Modern Style Stainless Steel Watering Can (small)Watering Can (small)
A wheelbarrow for carrying heavy loads

5ec438d15af6cc77eb74de07

A wheelbarrow is likely the most expensive piece of gardening equipment you’ll buy, but it’s a lifesaver for anyone who needs to carry heavy bags of potting soil and mulch to their beds or greenhouse. Picking up a 20-lb bag of soil incorrectly can strain your back for weeks, so unless you’re regularly lifting weights at the gym, it’s smart to invest in a wheelbarrow.

Poly Garden Cart (small)Garden Dump Cart (small)7-cu ft Poly Yard Cart (small)
Self-watering tools to take care of plants when you’re away from home

5ec43c7b4dca6875ca0f50b2

If you live alone or grow plants in an area with gated access like a deck, you’ll probably want some way to water your plants when you’re not home. If you’re going to be gone for a long weekend, taking vacation, or have small plants that need daily attention, using these self-watering tools could be the deciding factor on whether you come home to wilty seedlings or thriving plants.

Large Water Globe (two-Pack) (small)Terra Cotta Lucca Plastic Self Watering Window Box (small)Self-Watering Pot Reservoirs (small)
A pest control solution

5ec43fda988ee37b59613299

No matter where or what you’re growing, you’ll probably find that your veggie and flower leaves are irresistible to some bugs. If you’ve noticed too many holes in your leaves for your liking, or, worse, that the bugs are killing your plants, you’ll need a pest control solution. Just remember that some bugs, like ladybugs and spiders, can be good for your garden by eating other bugs that can damage your plants.

Deadbug Brew (small)Final Stop Insect Killer (small)Large Yellow Sticky Traps (small)
Sun protection for your skin

5ec44377aee6a87b360b37c4

Many flowers and crops do better with full sun, but unfortunately, your skin doesn’t. Being outside in the yard on sunny days can burn your skin in as little 30 minutes, so it’s smart to keep some sunscreen in your greenhouse or garden toolkit. Opt for a two-in-one sunscreen and bug repellant if you live in an area with mosquitoes. If you’re looking for mineral sunscreen, we spoke with a dermatologist to get recommendations. 

Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion (small)Organic 2-in-1 Sunscreen (small)UPF 50+ Sunshirt (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best online sales happening now, including discounts at Blue Nile, EyeBuyDirect, and Senreve

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

Best Online Sales Deals

We rounded up the best sales and deals happening online today, including savings at Blue Nile, EyeBuyDirect, and Nintendo.

Deals in this story are subject to change throughout the day. The prices listed reflect the deal at the time of publication. For even more deals and savings across the web, check out our round-up of the best deals from Amazon.

The best deals available right now

Music Unlimited (medium)ThermoPop (medium)iPad 10.2-inches, 128GB (8th Gen.) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)2.0 Portable Home Gym (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Always Pan (medium, Preferred: Our Place)

The best sales and discounts happening right now

Get up to 50% off at Blue Nile

blue nile engagement rings

Shop the Blue Nile Mother’s Day sale now.

Blue Nile is our top overall pick for places to shop online for engagement rings because of its wide variety of loose stones, settings, and prices. This makes it a great place to shop for gifts as well. Right now, Blue Nile is holding a huge sale for Mother’s Day, featuring up to 50% off rings, necklaces, and earrings for mom. Just use promo code MOM2021 to get the deal — it ends May 9.

Stationed Open Rectangle Necklace (medium)Geometric Double Band Emerald and Diamond Ring (medium)
Get 30% off sitewide at EyeBuyDirect

eyebuydirect blog glasses frames still life

Shop the EyeBuyDirect 30% off sale now.

EyeBuyDirect is having an excellent sale featuring 30% off everything with promo code SPECSALE. It’s a rare chance to save with no order minimum, so whether you’re buying one or 100 pairs of glasses, you can still get a solid discount. EyeBuyDirect is a retailer we love for its stylish, affordable, and easy-to-order glasses. 

Disclosure (medium)Concorde (medium)
Save on indie games from Nintendo

Nintendo Switch

Shop the Nintendo Spring Indie World Sale now.

Indie games are already known for being pretty inexpensive, but now through April 25, they are even more so during Nintendo’s Spring Indie World sale. The list includes tons of titles, with many games now selling for less than $10. For some inspiration before you shop, check out our list of the best video games of 2020, according to critics.

Hades (medium)Katana Zero (medium)
Get up to 50% off at Senreve

senreve convertible bag on model

Shop the Senreve Handbag Revival Event now.

Biannually, handbag maker Senreve holds a huge sale featuring up to 50% off its gently-used bags. It’s a very rare chance to save on the Italian leather bags, since Senreve rarely ever has deals. The Maestra is one of our favorites — its versatility and durability make it one of our top work bag picks.

Maestra Bag (medium)Crossbody (medium)
Get up to 75% off from the Playstation Store

PlayStation DualShock 4 controller
A Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 game controller in 2017.

Shop the Playstation Store Spring Sale now.

It’s a good time to stock up on titles in your gaming library. From now through April 28, the Playstation Store is holding a huge sale featuring up to 75% off tons of best-selling titles. If you’d like some inspiration, check out our roundup of the best video games of all time.

Yakuza 0 (medium)Gang Beasts (medium)
Get 75% off sitewide at Udacity

Udacity online learning

Shop the Insider-exclusive Udacity sale now

Udacity is a company that makes pursuing a career in tech easy. From artificial intelligence to cloud computing, the site has tons of courses and programs in which you can earn Udacity Nanodegrees. Now through April 20, Insider readers can get 75% off sitewide with promo code INSIDER75 — a much better discount than the site typically offers. 

Digital Marketing Nanodegree (medium)Product Manager Nanodegree (medium)
Get 20% off sitewide at 1-800-Flowers

1-800-flowers easter picnic

Shop the 1-800-Flowers sale now

If you’re looking to gift a loved one something special, 1-800-Flowers is a good choice for flower delivery. Though it’s no longer one of our top picks, it’s still a solid option for getting flowers and gifts as soon as possible. Right now you can snag 20% off sitewide with promo code SAVETWENTY through June 27. 

Two Dozen Assorted Roses (Bouquet Only) (medium)Wonderful Wishes Bouquet (Large) (medium)
Get 15% off mattresses from Allswell

Allswell mattress

Shop the Allswell Spring Refresh Sale now.

Maybe you’re spring cleaning and find it’s time to throw out the old mattress — Allswell is holding a sale to help you out. Now through April 21, the mattress brand is offering 15% off all mattresses with the promo code BLOOM. We’ve reviewed multiple Allswell mattresses, including the Supreme Hybrid and the Luxe Hybrid

Supreme Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (medium)Luxe Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (medium)
Get $30 off an order of $100 from Chewy

chewy athleisure bulldog in bed

Shop the Chewy sale now

Chewy is a retailer well-known for its sales and the one it’s holding right now is full of excellent deals. Now through May 1, you can get $30 off your order of $100 or more of select brands. It includes treats, toys, and food for your cat or dog, plus essentials for pets like fish and birds. 

Dog Boots (medium, Preferred: Chewy)Complete Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (medium, Preferred: Chewy)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Buffy’s eucalyptus bed sheets are cool to the touch, surprisingly silky, and worth the investment – here’s what they’re like to sleep on

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

t51 (4)

  • Buffy’s Eucalyptus Sheets ($200 for a Queen set) are made from eco-friendly and hypoallergenic eucalyptus.
  • Sheet sets range in price from $169 to $229 and come in four neutral, naturally dyed colors.
  • I slept on these sheets for weeks, and they’re silky, cool to the touch, and great at regulating temperature.

Eucalyptus Sheets (Queen) (small)

Buffy, the startup that dominated the internet with its comforter made from recycled plastic bottles, has made bed sheets from 100% eucalyptus-based fiber – and reportedly come with the plant’s naturally temperature-regulating properties.

Sheet sets range from $169 to $229 and a Queen-size set will cost you $199. You can pick up sets for Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King mattresses and in six neutral colors: White, Dark Gray, Light Grey, Dark Blue, Light Blue, and Blush. Each set will include a fitted sheet, top sheet, and two pillowcases.

Related Article Module: The 5 best bed sheets we tested in 2021

Like the rest of the product offerings, Buffy’s sheets are built upon an environmentally conscious blueprint. The Austrian eucalyptus used to make its fabric reportedly requires 10 times less water to grow than cotton. And, in the company’s first offering of colorways in bedding, all its hues were naturally created with ingredients like gardenia, pomegranate, turmeric, and walnut without using bleach or harsh chemicals.

Like many sleep startups familiar with customer concerns of buying products online, Buffy has good customer service policies in place; you’ll get free shipping, free returns, and a pay-later trial that means you’ll only be charged once the seven-day trial ends and you’ve chosen to keep the sheets. If you don’t love them after the trial, returns can be initiated within 30 days of ordering.

In terms of cost, the sheets are more expensive than other popular home startups. Brooklinen’s Luxe Sateen is $159, and Parachute’s Sateen Set is $149 (though it costs an additional $100 to add a top sheet). Obviously, Buffy’s set is unique in being made from eucalyptus fiber. The closest material equivalent would be the heavier, silkier set offered by Ettitude for $178 that’s made from bamboo lyocell.

Review of Buffy’s eucalyptus sheets

IMG_0450 2
Shown in Light Grey.

In the weeks, I’ve been sleeping under Buffy’s sheets, they’ve become one of my all-time favorite sets.

First, the material is decadent. It’s the kind of silky fabric that threatens to slip out of a folded stack. It’s also cool to the touch. The company bills it as being softer than linen and more breathable than cotton, and I’ve found that to be true. I own both linen and cotton sets, and I prefer Buffy’s for everyday use. They’ve held up well to being washed indiscriminately with other linens at my local laundromat.

When I first started using them, I thought I would revert to linen because it feels more breathable overall but I actually prefer these because they’re so airy. Other sheet sets I own, like Ettitude’s Bamboo Lyocell Sheets, are silkier, but not as breathable. Buffy’s sheets are a good combination of next-to-skin softness and breathability.

Cons to consider

The only possible con is that the sheets themselves are relatively thin – if your pillows have loud patterns on them, you may be able to see some of it underneath the Buffy covering. Its thinness may be a boon for breathability, but it could potentially mean they don’t last as long as other thicker pairs. However, you have a seven-day trial to see if that’s a deal-breaker before being charged, and a 30-day window from when you ordered in which to decide you want to send them back.

The bottom line

Overall, if you’re looking for silky, soft, breathable sheets that are both eco-friendly and primed to keep you from sweating at night, these are worth checking out.

Eucalyptus Sheets (Queen) (button)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best mattresses for side sleepers in 2021, according to our rigorous testing

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The ideal mattress for side sleepers isn’t too firm and provides good support and pressure relief.
  • We tested dozens of mattresses, and the Casper Nova Hybrid is our top pick for side sleepers.
  • Made with eco-friendly materials, it offers plush comfort, a cool feel, and good edge support.
  • If you’re looking for mattress picks for other sleep styles, check out our guide to the best mattresses.

According to the Better Sleep Council, nearly two-thirds of Americans prefer to sleep on their sides. If you’re a side sleeper, it’s crucial that you find a mattress that fits your style so that the eight plus hours you spend in bed enhance the 16 hours you spend out of it. While we have recommendations for all types of sleepers in our guide to the best mattresses, side sleepers make up such a large portion of the population that a dedicated buying guide was warranted.

Side sleepers typically benefit from mattresses that have an average firmness or a little bit softer. You’ll also want a bed that supports you while providing pressure relief, especially around the shoulders. Fortunately, manufacturers recognize that side sleepers make up a sizable portion of their customer base and design mattresses that cater to their unique needs.

For this guide, I tested more than two dozen mattresses and consulted with Rebecca Robbins, PhD, associate scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Luis Javier Peña-Hernández, MD, a lung and sleep health specialist at the Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Institute of South Florida.

I have been testing mattresses professionally for four years. And, while a mattress’s suitability is subjective, I have developed several objective tests to determine which models are best for side sleepers. You can find details about how I test mattresses here. Unless noted otherwise, each mattress I tested was Queen size, which is the most popular mattress size. And, we list the Queen price for each of the mattresses in our guide.

I should note that I am a side sleeper but occasionally sleep on my stomach and my back. My wife mainly sleeps on her back. Between the two of us, we have all of the major sleeping styles covered. In addition to our top pick, we list other models we recommend, what we look forward to testing, and common FAQs and terms worth knowing at the end of the guide.

Here are the best mattresses for side sleepers in 2021

The best mattress for side sleepers overall

Best mattress for side sleepers 2021 casper nova hybrid

The Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress is ideal for side sleepers who are looking for plush comfort, excellent heat dissipation, and good edge support.

Pros: Plush comfort is ideal for side sleepers, made with eco-friendly materials, excellent heat dissipation, good edge support, 100-night risk-free trial  

Cons: Poor motion isolation, lingering new bed odor

After testing five of Casper’s best selling mattresses, my personal favorite is the Casper Nova Hybrid. It’s the softest of the company’s mattress line, and it did the best job of cradling my body and ensuring I didn’t wake up with aches and pains.

The environmentally-friendly construction of the Nova Hybrid is designed for pressure relieving comfort and breathability. The top foam layer features small perforations to help with airflow to keep you from overheating. It was effective at keeping me cool, even though I tested the bed in the summer.

The next foam layer features ergonomic zones that are firm around the lower back, waist, and hips but soft under the shoulders. Under that is another zoned support foam layer aimed at keeping your spine aligned, a must for side sleepers. Lastly, the base features individually-wrapped coils with a firm border for added edge support. The Nova Hybrid‘s edge support was good and ideal for those who share a bed with partners. 

The Nova Hybrid comes shrink-wrapped in a box. Once unwrapped, the mattress needed significant time to air out. I still caught whiffs of the “new bed smell” two or three days after unboxing. The mattress is somewhat hefty, but it comes with handles, which make it easy to move around.

Other than the odor, the biggest negative is the Casper Nova Hybrid has poor motion isolation, and I could clearly feel it when my wife or dog were moving around on the bed.

The best budget mattress for side sleepers

best budget mattress for side sleepers 2021 nest bedding flip

With its outstanding edge support, impressive heat dissipation, and sub-$800 price, the Nest Bedding Flip Hybrid Mattress is the best mattress for side sleepers on a budget.

Pros: Affordable, two levels of firmness to suit all sleeping styles, outstanding edge support, excellent heat dissipation, lifetime warranty, easy setup, made with CertiPUR-US certified foams

Cons: Heavy, poor motion isolation

The Nest Bedding Flip Hybrid Mattress gets its name from the different firmness levels on each side of the bed. One side is medium firm, which I found good for side sleeping. The other side of the reversible mattress is very firm — far too firm for side sleepers — so this review focuses on the medium firmness side.

The unboxing process was effortless and took about five minutes. However, the Flip Hybrid weighs close to 100 pounds and I needed help lifting it; though it fortunately doesn’t flop around much.

The pocket coil center of the Flip Hybrid is sandwiched by gel-infused support foam on the medium-firm side and high-density base foam on the firm side. All of the foams are CertiPUR-US certified. 

The Flip Hybrid is a smart solution if you’re looking for a mattress that quickly dissipates your body heat. It quickly removed the heat built up in bed when I got up, based on my temperature readings.

The mattress also had impressive edge support. When sitting on the side of the bed, I felt supported thanks to the minimal sinkage. And, laying on the edge felt comfortable. The motion isolation wasn’t as good, though. It failed the bowling ball test each time. However, the mattress does have some good bounce to it, and I found it was easy to shift from one side of my body to the other during the night.

The best mattress for side sleepers with back pain

best mattress for side sleepers with back pain 2021 leesa

The combination of pocket springs and memory foam make the Leesa Hybrid Mattress ideal for side sleepers with back pain, and the excellent edge support and motion isolation make it great for couples.

Pros: Made of CertiPUR-US certified foam and pocket springs for support and breathability,  motion isolation and edge support are ideal for couples, average firmness that will appeal to a broad range of sleepers 

Cons: Heavy and hard to move around

For about a year, the Leesa Hybrid was the main mattress I slept on when I wasn’t testing other models. During the time I slept on it, I rarely experienced back pain, which is impressive considering my history of chronic lower back pain that’s regularly aggravated by unsupportive mattresses. 

The mattress is made of pocket springs and four layers of CertiPUR-US certified foam. The top layer is cooling foam, which did its job; I stayed cool while testing, even when the heat was pushing my AC to its limits. 

The next layer is contouring memory foam that offers pressure relief where your body needs it most. And, the individually-wrapped coils are sandwiched between two core foam support layers. 

The Leesa Hybrid is an ideal option for couples for several reasons. First, the average firmness caters to all sleeping styles. Second, the bed has terrific motion isolation and did well in both my objective tests and my subjective experience. Lastly, with the coils going all the way to the peripheries of the mattress, the Leesa Hybrid has excellent edge support. 

The biggest negative is its weight. I risked aggravating my back and decided to unbox the 142-pound King mattress on my own. Even the Queen weighs 115 pounds, which is more than most mattresses. When it was time to replace the Leesa Hybrid, I relied on the white glove delivery people with their young backs to remove it for me.

Read our full Leesa Hybrid Mattress review

The best foam mattress for side sleepers

best foam mattress for side sleepers 2021 tempur pedic

The Tempur-Pedic Cloud Mattress features contouring foam that cradles side sleepers of all body types while providing excellent heat dissipation and pressure relief.

Pros: Most comfortable mattress I’ve slept on, three layers of supportive and comforting  CertiPUR-US certified Tempur foam that caters to all sleeping types, outstanding motion isolation, great heat dissipation, easy to move around

Cons: No white-glove delivery, unimpressive edge support, shipping charge is deducted from your refund if you choose to return your bed 

For my body type and sleeping style, the Tempur-Pedic Cloud Mattress is the most comfortable mattress I’ve slept on. Each night on the Cloud, I fell asleep within a few minutes, and it kept me cool through the night. I didn’t want to give it up to test the next mattress.

While firmer mattresses aren’t generally recommended for side sleepers, the Tempur-Cloud bucks the norm thanks to the outstanding pressure relief provided by the company’s patented foam. The top layer features this CertiPUR-US certified foam designed to cushion your pressure points. The next layer, also Tempur material, is firmer and adapts more slowly to your body for additional pressure relief. Finally, the base foam layer offers support and durability. 

Setup was a snap thanks to the light weight of the mattress and the easy-to-maneuver duffel bag-like packaging. While it had a bit of an initial odor, it was gone by bedtime 10 hours later.

The Tempur-Pedic Cloud does a great job of dampening motion transfer. Not only did it pass our bowling ball test, but when my wife and dog moved around in the night, I didn’t notice. 

The Cloud isn’t perfect, though. The foam sinks significantly when you sit on the edges, and when I laid close to the edge, I felt like I was going to fall off. All-foam mattresses also aren’t for everyone, especially those that like some bounce to their mattress.

Finally, Tempur-Pedic’s policies leave something to be desired: it doesn’t offer white glove delivery for the Cloud, the company deducts $175 from your refund if you decide to return your mattress, and the 90-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty are the shortest of the beds in our guide.

Read our full Tempur-Pedic Cloud Mattress review

The best customizable mattress for side sleepers

best customizable mattress for side sleepers 2021 sleep number

The Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Bed is designed for couples with different comfort preferences thanks to the 20 firmness levels that are independently adjustable on each side. 

Pros: Automatic air adjustments based on sleeping position, built-in sleep tracker, white glove delivery included, good edge support, 20 firmness options make it ideal for all sleeping styles  

Cons: Poor heat dissipation, poor motion isolation, tough to move

What do you do if you and your partner have completely different firmness preferences or sleep styles? Get an adjustable airbed. The Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Bed is the best I’ve tested and has features you won’t find in other adjustable mattresses.

There are 20 firmness options, or “Sleep Numbers,” and each side is independently adjustable so you can have a softer experience (my Sleep Number is 35), while your partner might prefer something firmer (my back-sleeping wife prefers 80).

As someone who shifts from one side to the other with occasional pit stops on my stomach or back, I love the adjustable air option in the SleepIQ app (available for iOS and Android). When you activate this feature, the 360 i8 Smart Bed automatically adjusts the firmness as you shift positions to provide you with consistent comfort and pressure relief.

Another great feature of the app is sleep quality monitoring and recommendations. As it collects data about your habits, it gives personalized recommendations for how to improve your sleep. However, I found the SleepIQ app’s sleep data wasn’t as accurate as my Garmin Forerunner 945 smart watch, but Tempur-Pedic is constantly making tweaks to improve the app. I noticed minor improvements even during the month I tested the bed.

Sleep Number has its own team that comes into your home to set up your mattress and ensure it pairs with your phone. The white glove delivery took about 45 minutes.

While I never felt like I would fall off when lying on the edge of the bed, there was significant sinkage when I sat on the edge to put on my socks and shoes. Another negative is the motion isolation: it failed my bowling ball test on every firmness setting. 

What else we tested

best mattress for side sleepers 2021 what else we tested

We’ve tested dozens of mattresses over the years, and there are none that we outright don’t recommend. Every mattress we’ve tested could potentially be a good fit for the right individual. However, here are a few that missed the cut for our guide but that side sleepers might want to consider.

What else we recommend and why:

DreamCloud Premier Hybrid Mattress ($1,399): We named this mattress the best overall pick in our guide to the best mattresses. So, why isn’t it a top pick in any of our side sleeper categories? The DreamCloud Premier just wasn’t as comfortable for side sleeping in my subjective opinion. If I had to rank it, it would be the fourth most comfortable mattress I’ve slept on behind the Tempur-Pedic Cloud, Leesa Hybrid, and Casper Nova Hybrid. But, when you take all factors into consideration — including the 365-night trial and lifetime warranty — this is an outstanding mattress worth your consideration.

Nectar Memory Foam ($1,198): The 365-night risk-free trial and lifetime warranty are obvious pros of this mattress. Additionally, it was easy to set up and move around, has great motion isolation and heat dissipation, and is constructed from CertiPUR-US certified foams. The Nectar mattress just wasn’t tops in any of our categories. Subjectively, I didn’t find it particularly comfortable, and the edge support was poor.

Bear Pro Mattress ($1,295): With its breathable Celliant cover and foam layers, the Bear Pro is terrific for a cool sleep. Setup was effortless, though the mattress experienced some damage in transit. The bed has impressive motion isolation. However, the edge support was poor, and while it’s comfortable, it wasn’t noteworthy enough to earn a top spot in any of our categories. Read our full review.

Saatva Solaire Adjustable Mattress ($2,595): If our customization pick isn’t available or you just don’t want a Sleep Number mattress, the Solaire is an excellent option. It has 50 firmness options, comes with white glove delivery, and has better edge support than the Sleep Number. It’s the mattress my teenager sleeps on. I prefer the Sleep Number, though, because of the automatic adjustable air feature and sleep monitoring. Read our full review.

Birch Mattress by Helix ($1,299): If we had a best latex mattress for side sleepers category, the Birch Mattress would be our pick, provided you spring for the plush mattress topper add-on ($450). The eco-friendly latex is responsive, offering nice bounce and easy mobility on the bed while still dampening motion transfer. The biggest negatives are that the topper doesn’t attach to the mattress and is slightly smaller than the bed.

Bear Mattress ($796): In a previous version of this guide, the Bear Mattress was the pick for athletes because of its Celliant technology, which is supposed to aid in faster recovery and better temperature regulation. That may be so, but we removed the category because we didn’t find it as useful as our current categories. Also, after testing the Bear firsthand, I found it was too firm for side sleeping. We look forward to testing the Bear Hybrid, which is softer.

Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress ($2,099): If you tend to overheat at night, we strongly recommend considering the Purple Hybrid Premier. It has excellent heat dissipation, comes with free white glove delivery, and the patented Purple grid offers outstanding pressure relief. The biggest negatives are it weighs 145 pounds (so don’t plan on moving it) and that it failed our motion isolation tests.

Nectar Lush Mattress ($1,499): On the other hand, if you get cold at night, the Nectar Lush may be more to your liking. Made of all CertiPUR-US certified foam, this bed held onto heat more than any other mattress we tested. It also comes with a 365-night risk-free trial and a lifetime warranty. 

For a full listing of the mattresses we’ve tested, check out our guide to the best mattresses.

Testing methodology

best mattress for side sleepers 2021 methodology
We used an infrared thermometer to evaluate heat retention and dissipation.

I personally tested all of the mattresses featured in this guide. In addition to sleeping on each mattress for at least two weeks, I put each through a series of objective tests. The most important factors to consider when testing a mattress are comfort, edge support, and motion isolation.

Here are the main attributes we look for and how we test them:

Comfort: This is based on my subjective experience having tested dozens of mattresses over the years. Side sleepers typically benefit from a softer mattress than other sleeping styles. I took that into consideration when evaluating comfort for this guide. Fortunately, I’m a side sleeper myself, so my subjective comfort played a big factor here. While sleeping on each mattress, I pay close attention to how firm it is, which sleeping positions my wife and I gravitate to, and if I wake up in the morning feeling refreshed or in pain. I also measure how well it dissipates heat by using a laser thermometer to compare readings before I lay down for at least an hour, as soon as I get up, and two minutes after I get up. 

Motion isolation: If you’ve ever shared a bed with a partner who tosses and turns, you know how important motion isolation is to getting a good night’s sleep. I test this by setting a can of soda pop in the middle of the mattress. Then, I drop a 15-pound bowling ball from four feet above the bed so that it lands 12 inches from the can. If the can stays upright, the bed has good motion isolation. If the can falls over, the motion isolation could use some work. In future updates to this guide, watch out for more detailed assessments using a vibration meter.

Edge support: Edge support is important for feeling comfortable and supported on all parts of the bed. While we are developing an objective test to roll out in future updates to this guide, we currently use a helpful quasi-subjective test. First, I note how much the edge sags as I sit on it to put on my socks and shoes. Secondly, I lay on the very edge of the bed and slowly — and literally — roll off. If I can get to a 45-degree angle without falling, then the edge support is great. Otherwise, it could use some work.

Portability: I look at how heavy the mattress is, if it has handles, and if it flops around when I try to move or rotate it. Also, as a mattress tester who is constantly setting up and rearranging mattresses, I move the mattress and rotate it several times throughout the time it’s in my possession. My chronic lower back pain serves as a useful meter for how much effort I’m putting in, though we also look at objective measures like weight. 

Trial and warranty: The most foolproof way to know if a mattress is right for you is to sleep on it for an extended period, so a long trial is a must. I look at how long the trial is (100 nights was the median of the mattresses I tested) and if there are hidden costs. And, since a mattress is such a big-ticket item that should last you up to a decade, I look at the warranty length (20 years was the median of the mattresses I tested).

Setup: Unless a mattress comes with free white glove delivery, I set up each mattress by myself. I note how long it takes, how difficult it is, if it comes with special instructions and tools, if there’s an initial odor, and if the odor dissipates and the mattress expands by bedtime (always at least 10 hours after setup). I also note whether white glove delivery is available for a fee.

What we look forward to testing

We’re constantly testing new mattresses and re-testing our top picks to determine the best ones. Here’s what we’re currently testing and considering for inclusion in this guide:

Olaf by Mellow ($446.80): Our coverage of budget mattresses is admittedly limited. We are testing the Olaf by Mellow to help rectify that, though we don’t think a mattress is something you should scrimp on. 

The Botanical Bliss by PlushBeds ($3,499): This PlushBeds mattress is made of GOLS certified organic latex, a material that we like for its ecofriendliness and balance of support and responsiveness to the contours of one’s body.

Leesa Original ($949): This is perhaps the most popular online mattress that I haven’t tested yet. I’ve found that Leesa makes very comfortable mattresses for side sleepers, so I’m considering this mattress for potential inclusion in this guide.

Bear Hybrid ($1,356): We recommend two Bear mattresses and are excited to test this because it’s Bear’s softest mattress, which suggests it might be good for side sleeping.

Helix Midnight ($999): This mattress appeared in a previous iteration of this guide, but I have yet to test it personally. We look forward to rectifying that and seeing if it lives up to the hype.

FAQs

Best mattress for side sleepers 2021 FAQs

What should side sleepers look for in a mattress?

Dr. Rebecca Robbins, PhD, associate scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, recommends shopping around before choosing a mattress and trying in person if you can. “The most important thing when it comes to buying a mattress is making sure that you can lie down on the mattress,” said Robbins. “The ability to lie down on it is key because then you can see if the mattress will support you. You won’t know until you try. So trying is key.”

Unfortunately, many folks still feel unsafe visiting showrooms and many remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, our mattress picks come with sleep trials of at least 90 nights. So, if you find the bed isn’t right for your sleeping style, you can return it.

Robbins warned about the environmental implications of this policy, though. “It is nice, of course, to be able to return the mattress if it’s not suiting your personal preferences,” she said. “But, some of the mattresses will unfortunately go into a landfill after they’re returned, which is a little bit hard on the environment, but it is good to have the ability to return the direct-to-consumer options.”


What firmness is best for side sleepers?

Dr. Luis Javier Peña-Hernández, a lung and sleep health specialist at the Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Institute of South Florida, recommends mattresses that are not too firm. “Vast research exists to support side sleepers benefit from medium-firm mattresses to support pressure point relief,” said Peña-Hernández. 

Robbins agreed, “You are trying to support your spinal column as your body is on its side. So you want to think about something that’s not going to be super firm,” she said. “So, a rock-hard mattress isn’t going to be ideal for a side sleeper. If you imagine the body, all of its curves, as a side sleeper, your hips, your spinal column, your cervical spine, all of those points ideally need a little bit of support. So, if you have something that’s more cushiony supportive but has a little bit of a plush top, that might be a better option for a side sleeper.”

Only one of our picks is firmer than average, the Tempur-Pedic Cloud, but I found the mattress’ foam did an excellent job of contouring to my side-sleeping body and offering pressure relief, support, and spinal alignment.


What if I’m a side sleeper and my partner is not?

“There are mattress pads you can get if you have a mattress and one partner is not particularly comfortable and the other is,” said Robbins. “It is one stopgap measure if you’re not in the market for a new mattress.”

However, she added, “There’s actually a huge proportion of couples that sleep apart. If you think about it, it’s nice to have some time to cuddle before bedtime, but when you’re asleep, you’re not going to be able to spend quality time with your spouse. So, if it means sleeping in different bedrooms, either because one partner snores or one partner isn’t happy with the mattress, then that’s absolutely okay. Furthermore, a good night’s rest will allow you to be a better partner to that person you share your life with. So, prioritizing sleep is really critical for couples.”

If separate beds or bedrooms seems too extreme for you, we suggest an adjustable air bed that allows you to independently customize the firmness of each side of the bed. Our top pick for customization in this guide and our best mattress guide is the Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Bed, which has 20 firmness options. 

For more answers to your mattress questions, check out our guide to the best mattresses.

Glossary

CertiPUR-US certified: CertiPUR-US is a not-for-profit certification program that evaluates the foams used in consumer products to ensure they are made without phthalates, formaldehyde, heavy metals, hazardous flame retardants, ozone depleters, and other harmful substances. Each foam must also emit less than 0.5 parts per million of volatile organic compounds to earn certification.

Edge support: Edge support is important if you like to sit on the side of your bed or tend to gravitate to the edges when sleeping. The term refers to how supportive a mattress is to its very periphery. Some mattresses will sag significantly as you get to the edge. We say these models have poor edge support. 

Hybrid: When referring to mattresses, a hybrid is one that has coils and another material, typically foam or latex. Hybrid mattresses are a lot like traditional innerspring mattresses, and “hybrid” and “innerspring” are often used interchangeably. We think the line between the two mattress types is so blurred these days that there isn’t much value in differentiating between them.

Motion isolation/motion transfer: These terms are two sides of the same coin. Motion isolation refers to the mattress’s ability to keep movement on one part of the bed from disturbing other parts of the bed. So, if your partner gets up in the night, you aren’t jostled. A bed with good motion isolation will have minimal motion transfer. A mattress with awful motion isolation will have easily noticeable motion transfer.

Check out more mattress guides

best mattress for side sleepers 2021 read more
Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best fans we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The right fan can boost the comfort level of your living space.
  • Vornado’s 660 is our favorite fan overall for most spaces.
  • It’s small, quiet, and has four distinct settings for everything from a gentle breeze to a blast of wind.

Fans are great for in-between weather and shoulder seasons when you’re not quite ready to lug out the air conditioner.

Even in the dog days of summer, the right fan, or the right system of fans, will eliminate hot spots and help you save big on your electricity bill, relatively speaking.

We tested several types of fans, measuring everything from average wind speed and electricity consumption to decibels. We also spoke with Duncan Freake, a mechanical engineer at Epam Continuum, to learn what, if anything, has changed about fans in recent years (or decades). Spoiler: they have become quieter, safer, more energy-efficient, and more effective, thanks to overlapping blades and bladeless designs with built-in HEPA air purifiers.

Here are the best electric fans in 2021

The best fan overall

The best fan overall Vornado 660

The variation in speed, five-year warranty, and convenient size make the Vornado 660 the best fan for most spaces.

Pros: Small, quiet, lots of speed variation, smooth 90-degree tilt mechanism

Cons: We wish it came with a remote, a bit large to put on a desk

When you take price, wind speed, energy efficiency, and noise into account, Vornado’s 660 Whole Room Air Circulator is the electric fan that fits the widest range of needs and living spaces. 

Its comprehensive variation in wind speed is what really sets the Vornado apart from the competition. From a light, cool breath of air to an absolute calamity, the Vornado 660 can offer relief from everything from mild discomfort to, say, a bad spill or even a flood. Because of its high velocity, it is the fan I turned to after a recent roof leak, and I’ve also used it to dry wet bicycles after a day in the rain. 

Admittedly, it gets a little loud at top speed, but you probably won’t find yourself sitting too close to it at that level, and it’s not outrageous; its noise level is on par with that of any high-powered blade fan.

On the other hand, you can barely hear it running when it’s at its lowest setting, which offers just enough air for a small room.

The relatively long six-foot power cord is also appreciated, as it allows you to reposition the fan as needed. 

Considering the Vornado’s size and might, we think a couple of these fans would address most anyone’s needs, and storing them is completely manageable.

The best budget fan

Genesis best fan 2021

Genesis’ Max Cool 20″ Box Fan is a great budget option because it moves a lot of air and doesn’t take up much space.

Pros: Easy-to-use design, more child-safe than some other options we tested

Cons: Loud, dial could be better marked (but there are only three settings)

A box fan stirs up a lot of air and can be stored easily, while other types of fans may fall short when it comes to output or stowability. Box fans also tend to be more affordable, and while Genesis’ 20-inch option isn’t the cheapest out there, it’s steady, sturdy, and powerful.

It’s also relatively loud, though, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for something a little more discreet.

We especially like box fans for home-improvement projects that require drying out a room, and they’re great for keeping mosquitoes at bay outdoors.

The Genesis is one of the prettier models we’ve encountered, and thanks to the location of the speed setting knob, it doesn’t have any awkward parts sticking out to prevent it from being stashed away in the attic. It’ll get you through anything a pricier fan will, but, again, it can be a little too noisy, and you may want to invest in something quieter, like Dyson’s Pure Cool TP04, which also comes with a built-in HEPA air purifier (though it’s quite pricey).

The best tower fan

The best tower fan Genesis

The Genesis Powerful 43″ Tower Fan offers 18 settings and a sleep timer, as well as the lowest noise levels and the best energy efficiency of any large fan we tested.

Pros: Quiet, easy to use, lots of settings, highly efficient

Cons: Takes up a lot of space, tower fans aren’t terribly durable

Tower fans are efficient, often remote-controlled, and covert enough that apart from a relatively subtle drone, you’ll hardly even notice they’re there. Of the tower fans we tested, the Genesis Powerful 43-inch performed best across the board. It’s quiet, offers 18 settings, comes with a programmable timer, and so far, oscillates without any trouble.

We should note that tower fans do have their drawbacks. They tend to break after a few years, or as soon as they’re mishandled. They are also notoriously difficult to clean. This one requires a couple of nuts and bolts to be removed.

That being said, tower fans tuck away neatly in corners and closets, they’re typically quiet, and they usually come with programmable timers and remotes, which are great features for those who don’t want to sleep with the fan running (or get up to adjust the settings).

I can sleep easily with the Genesis, thanks to its “natural” and “wind” modes, which are soft and softer, respectively. I find the natural mode to work best at night because it’s barely audible and it doesn’t wake me with a chill, even with the fan placed at the foot of the bed.

The best tabletop fan

The best table top fan genesis

The most practical and effective fan for small spaces and desktops, Genesis’ 6-inch Clip Convertible Table Fan is quiet, adjustable, and moves plenty of air for one or two people.

Pros: Compact, powerful, convertible between clip-on and stand

Cons: Kind of loud, can be too strong if positioned closely

Clip-on fans are ideal for table tops, largely because they’re a lot less likely to meet their demise by getting knocked to the ground. The Genesis Convertible Table-Top and Clip Fan offers both a clip and stand (easily switched out with a screw and nut), so you can place it wherever and however you like. This comes in handy on desks and in smaller rooms where space is a precious commodity.

We like this fan because it is sturdy, doesn’t have an overly ambitious oscillating mechanism (but does rotate manually, and clicks firmly into place), and it is easy on the electricity bill.

The only real downside is that it does run on the loud side for a small fan (even at the lower setting), but it’s still not as loud as most larger fans. Otherwise, it’s great for just about anywhere you might place it within a small room; about three feet of distance is more or less appropriate, though we still easily enjoyed the relief it offered at six feet.

What else we tested

What else we recommend and why:

Genesis Twin Window Fan: This fan works perfectly well and will likely fit in most windows, (you can also install it vertically), but we prefer using a smaller model like the Genesis 6-inch Clip Convertible Table-Top as a window fan because you can angle it. 

Honeywell TurboForce Tower Fan: We’ve recommended this fan in the past, but it’s relatively loud, and we’ve since found quieter tower fans. Still, we like the design, and it’s powerful, so if you’re looking for a tower fan for a particularly large room, it’s worth considering. 

Lasko Wind Curve: We’ve never had any trouble with Lasko’s fans (and we’ve tested a number of them). This one works perfectly well, and if you want to save a few bucks, it will certainly suffice in the place of our tower fan recommendation, but it doesn’t offer quite as much in the way of settings and programming.

Rowenta Turbo Silence Oscillating Fan: We’ve recommended this fan in the past, but considering the price, we bumped it out for more efficient, technologically advanced options.

Our methodology

Our Methodology best fans

We tested seven fans side-by-side for two weeks, to determine which ones offered the best combination of airflow, speed, and energy efficiency. We also spoke with Duncan Freake, a mechanical engineer at Epam Continuum, who likes taking apart home appliances in his spare time, about qualities to look for in a fan.

Here’s what we looked for in our top picks:

Ease of use: Most fans are fairly easy to use, but the convenience of visible controls and/or a remote made a big difference.

Durability: More features often mean more problems, and while we still recommend oscillating fans (like our tower fan pick), they’re not the sturdiest. 

Power: We measured airflow in feet per second using a wind meter at six feet away to determine the average wind speed coming off of each fan.

Energy consumption: We used a basic digital energy consumption meter to measure fans’ consumption at their lowest and highest speeds.

Volume: We used a decibel meter to measure how loud fans were at their lowest and highest settings.

What we’re testing next

Dyson Pure Cool TP04: This fan is so popular at the moment that we couldn’t even get our hands on it for this round of testing, so we left it out for now. It’s bladeless, and comes with a built-in HEPA air purifier. It’s on the pricey side, but it’s supposed to offer some of the best airflow with almost no noise. We’ll report on our findings once we’ve tested it in the coming months.

Holmes Lil Blizzard: An oscillating table fan, this might be a contender for our table-top pick, but we’re wary of oscillating fans in general, let alone more budget-friendly ones. Still, it’s a favorite around the web, and we reckon that’s for a reason, so we’ll be giving it a go soon too.

Check out our other heating and cooling guides

Best air conditioner 2021 FAQs
Read the original article on Business Insider

Buying refurbished electronics can save you a lot of money – here’s what to look for, plus 10 expert-vetted deals

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

microsoft store surface laptop tablets
Microsoft is one of the many manufacturers to offer refurbished tech at discounted prices.

It can be scary to buy refurbished items, but with certain products, from certain manufacturers, it’s as good as buying brand new.

Refurbished items are generally returns, faulty open-box products, or brand new units with minor cosmetic flaws that have been returned to “like new” quality by the manufacturer. We’re a fan of them here at Insider Reviews – we’ve even written reviews of our personal refurb purchases from Apple and Nintendo.

Buying refurbished has its benefits. For most shoppers, the most convincing benefit is the lower cost. Depending on the item and the manufacturer, a refurbished item can cost you up to 50% less than a brand new one. Another perk is that it’s a bit more environmentally friendly: you’re essentially buying a recycled item. In the end, both refurbished and new items will ideally deliver the same user experience, likely with some differences in packaging and cosmetics, so long as you do your research before adding to cart.

When determining a refurb’s worthiness, it comes down to two major factors to make the judgment call: who refurbished the item and who is selling it?

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The best refurb deals available right now

When shopping refurb deals, we keep an eye out for items that are discounted compared to typical refurb pricing, which is generally much less than brand new. Therefore, original prices noted are considerably less than that of items in new condition.

Refurbished TV 4K (64GB) (medium)Refurbished TV 4K (32GB) (medium)Multi Auto Cordless Car Hand Vac (medium)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Sonos)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Sonos)Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)AirPods Pro (Refurbished) (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)
Who should I trust to refurbish an item?

When it comes to buying an item refurbished, there is no source more reliable than the manufacturer. Year-round, manufacturers like Dyson, Nintendo, and Apple offer refurbished goods for considerably less money than in new condition. I, personally, bought a refurbished Dyson V6 cordless stick vacuum 3 years ago during Black Friday, and not only did the item arrive looking new, but it also still performs well despite daily use. 

Manufacturer refurbs can also come with pretty hefty warranties. Dyson, for example, provides a 6- or 12-month warranty with every order, along with expert support and the promise of genuine Dyson parts in your item.

If you’re a frequent online shopper, you’ve surely come across a few items marked as “seller-refurbished.” Our advice: outside of a few exceptions, don’t risk it. While you don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to only buying from manufacturer storefronts, buying an item refurbished by anyone other than the manufacturer is dubious. Certain special cases like Geek Squad Certified Refurbished and Amazon Renewed are worth considering, but these have less specialized support and notably shorter warranty coverage (typically, only 90 days). 

Where can I buy refurbs from?

The easiest, most reliable places to find refurbished items for sale are from the manufacturer’s storefronts. Here are a few brands that sell certified refurbs directly from their sites:

  • Acer Recertified: Laptops, tablets, PCS, displays, and more
  • Apple: iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Macs, and more
  • Dell Refurbished: Laptops, PCs, workstations, monitors, and more
  • Dyson Outlet: Cordless stick vacuums, upright vacuums, and other home appliances
  • Jabra: Headphones, earbuds, and more
  • Kitchenaid: Stand mixers, blenders, and more countertop appliances
  • Lenovo Outlet: Laptops
  • Microsoft: Laptops, tablets, PCs, and more
  • Nintendo: Nintendo consoles, controllers, and more
  • Sony: Professional broadcast, production, corporate, and educational products

In addition to buying straight from the maker, many big-box retailers are also trustworthy sources to get refurbs from. Sellers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Newegg have the goods, year-round. Some manufacturers even have storefronts elsewhere, like the Jabra and Dyson storefronts on eBay. 

We also highly recommend making the purchase with a credit card, no matter where you’re buying it from — there are often routes to getting extended purchase protection. Depending on your card, you can get up to a year of additional coverage on items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

What items are usually good to buy refurbished?

Tech dominates the refurb market, but if you keep a lookout, you can often find small home appliances reliably refurbished. Vacuums (both cordless and upright), fans, heaters, stand mixers, blenders, and the like are pretty dependable refurbished, and they arrive in like-new condition.

Laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and accessories are typical to find refurbished, and they’re often worth considering. Check out our buying guides to find the best option for you.

What refurbs should I avoid?

As mentioned above, don’t bother with refurbs done by anyone who isn’t the manufacturer. The warranties never last as long, it doesn’t guarantee the use of genuine parts, and the product support you receive will never be as good — if you get any at all. 

Much older generation tech is also not worth buying refurbished. It’s 2020: buying a refurbished iPhone 7 is a moot investment in an item nearing obsoletion.

Finally, don’t bother with anything that can’t have its battery replaced, like truly wireless earbuds and headphones. It’s a mixed bag getting these in any condition other than new; you’ll never know the battery’s remaining lifespan. With tech like tablets, smartphones, and computers, you can always bring them into a store for a battery replacement.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best online sales happening now, including discounts at EyeBuyDirect, Sephora, and Nintendo

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

Best Online Sales Deals

We rounded up the best sales and deals happening online today, including savings at EyeBuyDirect, Nintendo, and Sephora.

Deals in this story are subject to change throughout the day. The prices listed reflect the deal at the time of publication. For even more deals and savings across the web, check out our round-up of the best deals from Amazon.

The best deals available right now

The Original Workout Smart Home Fitness System (medium, Preferred: Mirror)Mason LCD Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Target)Monthly Plan (ad-supported) (medium)Navigator Lift-Away Healthy Home Edition (NV351WM2) (medium)

The best sales and discounts happening right now

Get 30% off sitewide at EyeBuyDirect

eyebuydirect blog glasses frames still life

Shop the EyeBuyDirect 30% off sale now.

EyeBuyDirect is having an excellent sale featuring 30% off everything with promo code SPECSALE. It’s a rare chance to save with no order minimum, so whether you’re buying one or 100 pairs of glasses, you can still get a solid discount. EyeBuyDirect is a retailer we love for its stylish, affordable, and easy-to-order glasses. 

Disclosure (medium)Concorde (medium)
Save on indie games from Nintendo

Nintendo Switch

Shop the Nintendo Spring Indie World Sale now.

Indie games are already known for being pretty inexpensive, but now through April 25, they are even more so during Nintendo’s Spring Indie World sale. The list includes tons of titles, with many games now selling for less than $10. For some inspiration before you shop, check out our list of the best video games of 2020, according to critics.

Hades (medium)Katana Zero (medium)
Get up to 50% off at Senreve

senreve convertible bag on model

Shop the Senreve Handbag Revival Event now.

Biannually, handbag maker Senreve holds a huge sale featuring up to 50% off its gently-used bags. It’s a very rare chance to save on the Italian leather bags, since Senreve rarely ever has deals. The Maestra is one of our favorites — its versatility and durability make it one of our top work bag picks.

Maestra Bag (medium)Crossbody (medium)
Get up to 20% off from Sephora

sephora skincare kiehls jade roller

Shop the Sephora Beauty Insider Spring Sale now.

It’s free to join Sephora’s Beauty Insider program and right now, you can save some major bucks by doing so. During the retailer’s Spring Saving’s Event, Beauty Insiders can save from 10% to 20% sitewide with promo code OMGSPRING. The free-to-join tier gets you 10% off with the code, but VIB and Rouge members get 15% and 20% off respectively. The sale ends April 19.

The Dewy Skin Cream (medium, Preferred: Sephora)Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (medium, Preferred: Sephora)
Get up to 75% off from the Playstation Store

PlayStation DualShock 4 controller
A Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 game controller in 2017.

Shop the Playstation Store Spring Sale now.

It’s a good time to stock up on titles in your gaming library. From now through April 28, the Playstation Store is holding a huge sale featuring up to 75% off tons of best-selling titles. If you’d like some inspiration, check out our roundup of the best video games of all time.

Yakuza 0 (medium)Gang Beasts (medium)
Get 75% off sitewide at Udacity

Udacity online learning

Shop the Insider-exclusive Udacity sale now

Udacity is a company that makes pursuing a career in tech easy. From artificial intelligence to cloud computing, the site has tons of courses and programs in which you can earn Udacity Nanodegrees. Now through April 20, Insider readers can get 75% off sitewide with promo code INSIDER75 — a much better discount than the site typically offers. 

Digital Marketing Nanodegree (medium)Product Manager Nanodegree (medium)
Get 20% off sitewide at 1-800-Flowers

1-800-flowers easter picnic

Shop the 1-800-Flowers sale now

If you’re looking to gift a loved one something special, 1-800-Flowers is a good choice for flower delivery. Though it’s no longer one of our top picks, it’s still a solid option for getting flowers and gifts as soon as possible. Right now you can snag 20% off sitewide with promo code SAVETWENTY through June 27. 

Two Dozen Assorted Roses (Bouquet Only) (medium)Wonderful Wishes Bouquet (Large) (medium)
Get 15% off mattresses from Allswell

Allswell mattress

Shop the Allswell Spring Refresh Sale now.

Maybe you’re spring cleaning and find it’s time to throw out the old mattress — Allswell is holding a sale to help you out. Now through April 21, the mattress brand is offering 15% off all mattresses with the promo code BLOOM. We’ve reviewed multiple Allswell mattresses, including the Supreme Hybrid and the Luxe Hybrid

Supreme Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (medium)Luxe Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (medium)
Get $30 off an order of $100 from Chewy

chewy athleisure bulldog in bed

Shop the Chewy sale now

Chewy is a retailer well-known for its sales and the one it’s holding right now is full of excellent deals. Now through May 1, you can get $30 off your order of $100 or more of select brands. It includes treats, toys, and food for your cat or dog, plus essentials for pets like fish and birds. 

Dog Boots (medium, Preferred: Chewy)Complete Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (medium, Preferred: Chewy)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 10 best bathroom cleaning products of 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

clorox
Bathrooms are exposed to a host of germs, so cleaning yours with effective products is very important.

Let’s face it: cleaning the bathroom is never going to be the highlight of your day. But bathrooms are exposed to plenty of germs on a daily basis, and they aren’t going to clean themselves.

With a regular cleaning schedule and the right products, however, you can get your bathroom clean quickly and easily so you can move on to activities that are more enjoyable. Brian Sansoni, SVP of communication at The American Cleaning Institute, said there are many places in the bathroom we neglect to scrub, so it’s best to have a schedule.

“In general, you want to work from the top down and start from the farthest point from the door,” he said. “For products that need some time to work, like toilet cleaner, it can help to apply [it] first thing and let it sit before cleaning to reduce the need for elbow grease.” He also recommends wiping down the base of the toilet, behind the toilet, faucets and behind them, and baseboards.

To ensure your bathroom is sparkling, we researched and tested tons of cleaners to find the best bathroom cleaning products you can buy, including disinfecting wipes, a new scrub brush for the tub, an excellent shower cleaning spray, and an effective mop.

Here are the best bathroom cleaning products of 2021

The best cleaning products for your toilet

Clorox_ToiletWand

With Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and the Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System, you’ll have your toilet clean and sanitized in no time.

Cleaning the toilet is undeniably unpleasant, but it doesn’t have to take long and or be difficult.

When it comes to cleaning the toilet, I’m a fan of use-and-toss products. I don’t want germ-infested sponges or rags in my cleaning closet. That’s why I love Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. They have a pleasing scent without being overwhelming, making quick work of wiping down the toilet from top to bottom, including underneath the seat.  

As for the inside of the bowl, with the Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System, all you have to do is click the disposable cleaning head into place, scrub around the inside of the toilet, toss the soiled cleaning head into the trash, and then store the reusable “wand” in the handy-dandy included caddy. And, voila, you have a clean and stain-free bowl. 

What to buy:

The best cleaning products for your tub and shower

best cleaners update 2

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubber and brushes from OXO Good Grips take the pain out of scrubbing the tub, while sprays from Skylarlife and Method keep your shower clean. A squeegee from OXO Good Grips keeps everything streak-free. 

For most of us, scrubbing the tub or the shower ranks only slightly above a visit to the dentist. If your shower or tub enclosure is looking a little worse because of grunge buildup on glass doors, tile walls, or the tub itself,  the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubber will be your saving grace.

Just wet the melamine sponge and the rich foaming cleansing agents will be activated to tackle tough tub stains. And, with a sponge that’s 30% larger than Mr. Clean’s original Magic Eraser, it can even clean fiberglass and tile that border your bathtub, too. If your tub is really bad, though, you may need to lend a little elbow grease with the help of OXO’s Good Grips All-Purpose Scrub Brush.

If mold and mildew creep into your bathroom, you’re going to need to bust out the big guns. The Skylarlife Home Mold & Mildew is a whitening agent that will remove even the most obstinate black stains.

Once your tub or shower is clean, keep things fresh between cleanings with a daily spritz of the Method Daily Shower Spray on your tile, glass, and tub spout. The floral scent is fit for a bathroom, and the plant-based, all-natural cleaner helps prevent soap scum and mildew buildup, too.

If you feel really inspired, give the shower walls and glass doors a quick once-over with the OXO Good Grips All-Purpose Squeegee to routinely keep your tub or shower enclosure looking like new.

What to buy:

Magic Eraser Bath, Cleaning Pads (4-count) (small)Good Grips Scrub Brush (small)Home Mold & Mildew Remover (small)Daily Shower Spray (Pack of 2) (small)Good Grips Squeegee (small)
The best cleaning products for your sink, mirror, and counter

best cleaners update

Clean your mirror, sink, and countertops quickly with Puracy’s Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner and Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths.

While the counters and mirrors in your bathroom accumulate water spots, toothpaste flecks, makeup spills, and other yucky messes, they generally aren’t as germy as the toilet or tub. You can get those surfaces clean, shiny, and streak-free with the plant-based Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner from Puracy.

Just mist it over your hard bathroom surfaces, let it sit for a minute or two, and then wipe it away with one of Zwipes’ Microfiber Cleaning Cloths. No streaks, no lint, no muss, no fuss — just clean mirrors and counters.

What to buy:

Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner (small)Microfiber Cloths (24-pack) (small)
The best cleaning products for your bathroom floor

Libman Spin Mop and Bucket

A steam mop like the Libman Spin Mop and Bucket can get bathroom floors clean in a few minutes.

Bathroom floors can get pretty nasty, but with the right products, you won’t have to fear entering your bathroom. 

The Libman Spin Mop and Bucket is an all-in-one cleaning bundle with an absorbent, deep-cleaning, microfiber mop head and a 360-degree spin chamber to target hard-to-reach places. It works just as effortlessly for other rooms in your home, too. 

What to buy:

Spin Mop and Bucket (small)
Check out our other household cleaning guides

virus killing cleaning disinfectant supplies
Read the original article on Business Insider

The 22 best ‘Shark Tank’ products for the home and kitchen that we actually use

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

shark tank useful home products 2

  • “Shark Tank” often impresses us with its wide variety of creative solutions to everyday problems.
  • Products from the show are helping us clean and cook more efficiently, waste less, and sleep better.
  • From kitchen gadgets to pet products, these “Shark Tank” alums have earned their spots in your home.

Twelve seasons in and hundreds of products later, the show “Shark Tank” (where entrepreneurs pitch their inventions to a team of celebrity investors) continues to entertain us. However, that doesn’t always mean the products are actually good. Some end up being a little too creative or out-there and border on plain gimmicky or “Who would even use that?”

We looked through all the “Shark Tank” products available for purchase and came away with a selection of star items for the home and kitchen. Many solve for the wasteful designs of common products you already use, while others address the annoying inconveniences that everyone experiences.

Check out the “Shark Tank” home products that are worth buying below.

A tray that fits neatly on your wheelbarrow and holds your gardening tools

burro buddy

The Burro Buddy, $39.95, available at Amazon

It’s no fun lugging around all your gardening essentials as you do yard work. The Burro Buddy attaches to most wheelbarrow sizes (4, 5, 6, and 7 cubic-foot wheelbarrows) and has a neat organization system for short-handle and long-handle tools, personal items like your phone or wallet, and even a drink for when you want to reward yourself. 

A safe and organic alternative to pesticide

shark tank useful home products

First Saturday Lime Pest Barrier (20-pound), $29.99, available at Amazon

While chemicals in traditional pesticides can be toxic to people and animals, First Saturday is derived entirely from natural ingredients and still effectively dries out insects, eggs, and larvae. 

A small tool that protects your fingers when you hammer nails

shark tank useful home products 2

Safety Nailer Framer, $8.99, available at Amazon

We’ve all been there: you’re quickly hammering away and with one careless swoop, you hit your fingers instead of the nail. This cool magnetic tool holds the nail securely in place while protecting your fingers. 

A tool that turns you into a gift-wrapping pro

shark tank useful home products 4

Little Elf Gift Wrap Cutter (2-Pack), $11.95, available at Amazon

Using scissors to cut wrapping paper always seems to result in uneven or jagged cuts. The Little Elf cutter, which slides on over your tube of paper, makes smooth and perfectly straight cuts every time. 

A bottle tool that reduces product waste

shark tank useful home products 6

Flip-It Bottle Emptying Kit (2-Pack), $13.99, available at Amazon

It’s always a shame when you can’t make the most of your condiments or bath products. This kit comes with a few adapters for different size bottles and has a clever design that gets all the product out of the bottle. 

A DIY kit for kombucha enthusiasts

shark tank useful home products 7

The Kombucha Shop Kombucha Starter Kit (1-gallon), $44.99, available at Amazon

Sure, you can buy bottles of kombucha at the store, but if you have extra time on your hands and want to appreciate the full process, you can use this kit to make your own. It includes starter culture, pH strips, organic sugar, and more. Reviewers love how easy to follow the instructions are. 

Eco-friendly cleaning supplies

blueland cleaning review 4

The Clean Essentials, $35, available at Blueland

Blueland’s products are free of triclosan, parabens, phosphates, ammonia, or VOCs, plus they save space and plastic — the bottles are made of glass and the actual cleaner comes in tablet form so you only need to add water to make your cleaning solution. Read our review here.

A spring-loaded laundry hamper

Household Essentials hamper

Household Essentials Lifter Hamper, $44.20, available at Amazon

This hamper drops down as you add clothes and rises as you remove them, meaning doing laundry will no longer be that uncomfortable chore you never look forward to. It eases the strain on your lower back, so it’s especially great for expecting mothers, people with bad backs, and the elderly. 

A rapid ramen cooker

rapid ramen cooker $7.99

Rapid Ramen Cooker, $10.98, available at Amazon

Granted ramen is already a pretty convenient meal to make, this tool makes the process even easier. The water line stops you from overfilling the bowl, the bowl doesn’t get overly hot, and you don’t need to use a pot and stove. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t have access to a kitchen, including students living in dorms and office workers. 

A tiny spatula to get every last drop of sauce or makeup

small spatula tool $11.99

The Spatty and Spatty Daddy Spatula Tool Set, $11.99, available at Amazon

Think about all the ketchup, nail polish, and foundation that goes wasted because you can’t get to the last remnants in the bottle. This small tool helps you get in all the nooks and crannies of bottles — so you’re really getting your money’s worth. 

A splatter screen that still lets you access your pan to cook

splatter guard

Frywall Medium Splatter Guard, $18.95, available at Amazon

While traditional splatter screens cover the pan, making it difficult to check on your food and resulting in condensation, the funnel-like Frywall surrounds the perimeter of the pan. The BPA-free silicone accessory still protects from oil splatters, while allowing you to continue cooking. Read our review here.

Reusable bamboo paper towels

reusable bamboo paper towel $11.59

Bambooee Bamboo Paper Towel Roll, $8.99, available at Amazon

These durable, absorbent towels are an eco-friendly paper towel alternative made of organic bamboo. Each sheet looks and feels like a regular paper towel, but can be washed up to 100 times. Each roll of 30 Bambooee sheets is equivalent to 429 paper towel rolls. Read our review here.

A suction silicone placemat

suction silicone placemat $24.99

ezpz Happy Mat, $24.99, available at ezpz

The fact that you just spent an hour lovingly cooking a homemade meal and even organized it into easy-to-eat compartments often means nothing to a baby or toddler, who can hurl dinner to the floor in one easy swoop. This placemat will stay right in place on any flat surface, making it that much easier to get food from the plate into your child’s mouth. Read our review here.

A home gym rack

home gym rack $549 $799

PRx Performance Profile Rack, $799, available at PRx Performance

This profile rack transforms any small space into your own gym. It comes with 11-gauge steel uprights and a 42″ kipping pull-up bar and can be folded away when not in use. 

A more effective way to sweep your floor

wisp broom

WISPsystem One-Handed Broom, $29.95, available at Amazon

Sweeping is a pain, especially when you realize traditional broom and dustpans don’t even catch all the dirt and debris on the floor. This special broom has electrostatic bristles to collect all types of debris, and uses a push-and-pull motion to scrape it into a foot-operated dustpan. You only need to use one hand to operate it, plus you never have to bend or stoop over. 

A smart baby changing pad and scale

smart baby changing pad $166.44

Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale, $149.99, available at Amazon

It’s easier than ever to track your baby’s development with this modern nursery innovation. The soft foam pad tracks changes in weight to the .25 of an ounce and automatically syncs with the Hatch Baby app so you can view progress and learn new insights about your baby. The product grew out of the co-founder’s own experience as a mother when she couldn’t tell whether she was breastfeeding enough. 

Reusable silicone food bags

stasher

Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bag, from $9.99, available at Amazon

This eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags has multiple uses: for storage and transportation, marinating, or sous vide. Its air-tight, pinch-lock seal keeps your food fresh, and it doesn’t require any additional lids or seals. The BPA-free silicone is also dishwasher-, microwave-, and oven-safe. 

A natural flea and tick spray for your pets

natural flea tick spray $24.99

Wondercide Flea and Tick Spray For Cats and Dogs, $24.99, available at Amazon

Wondercide, a safe and natural alternative to monthly chemical treatments, was conceived after the founder’s dog got pesticide poisoning from a vet-subscribed flea and tick treatment. It has no toxic effects, won’t stain fur or flooring, and comes in fresh lemongrass, cedar, and rosemary scents. 

Damage-free poster and picture hangers

damage free picture hanger $14.99

GoodHangups Damage-Free Magnetic Poster and Picture Hangers (8-Pack), $14.97, available at Amazon

Hang up all your movie posters, concert posters, and photos without ruining them or the wall with these magnetic stickers. Just place the sticker on the wall, then place the magnet and poster over the sticker. It works on all different types of wall textures. 

A WiFi-enabled sous vide

wifi sous vide $199

Nomiku WiFi Sous Vide 1100-Watt Immersion Circulator, $199.98, available at Williams Sonoma

This sous vide connects to your phone to make sous vide cooking more streamlined than ever. You can create and send recipes to the machine and precisely control the temperature from your phone with the app, letting you keep tabs on your meal even when you’re not in the kitchen. 

Pre-cut parchment sheets

precut parchment sheets $8.49

The Smart Baker 9-Inch Round Perfect Parchment Paper (24-Pack), $9.99, available at Amazon

You’ve baked a beautiful cake, but now you’re faced with the trouble of getting it out without ruining it. This parchment paper is cut in a unique shape that lets you lift your baked goods out of the pan in a breeze. You won’t have to worry about greasing the bottom enough or cutting the parchment paper yourself. If you bake a lot, you’ll love this product.

A self-cleaning dog potty

self cleaning automatic dog potty $159.99

BrilliantPad Self-Cleaning & Automatic Indoor Dog Potty, $149.99, available for preorder at Brilliant Pad

If you’ve already tried many indoor potty training systems, your search ends here with the world’s first self-cleaning dog potty. You can adjust the timer to automatically change a dirty pad one, two, or three times a day, or manually change it with a push of a button. The machine will wrap and seal the waste, keeping your home clean and odor-free. It’s best for dogs under 25 pounds.

Read more about the ‘Shark Tank’ products we love here:

shark tank rejects main 2
Read the original article on Business Insider

51 Mother’s Day gifts under $50 that are still thoughtful and personal

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

mother's day gifts under $50

  • Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to show thanks for your mom or guardian with a thoughtful gift.
  • You don’t have to spend a fortune – there are plenty of great gifts for mom under $50.
  • We did the tough digging and found 51 of the best gifts for Mother’s Day under $50.

While nothing shows your appreciation for mom like your year-round love and support, a Mother’s Day gift she’ll love is always a thoughtful gesture. While most of us have outgrown the years where a misspelled card made out of raw noodles was pure magic, not all of us have the budget to spoil Mom with fancy jewelry or a big-ticket item like a new car.

Thankfully, most of the mom figures I know genuinely prefer something that says how much you love her, or how actively you thought about her needs, more than a high price tag. There are plenty of wonderful Mother’s Day gift ideas to be found under $50 – and 51 of them are listed for you below.

Here are 51 of the best mother’s day gifts under $50

A cheerful vase

best mothers day gifts under 50 flower vase

Gift Anthropolgie’s Lizzie Vase, $28

These chic vases come in three beautiful colors and a variety of shapes. It looks great as a colorful decor item on its own, but to really up the ante you can always add some fresh blooms for mom too.

Super cozy slipper socks

mothers day gifts under 50 bombas socks

Gift the Bombas Gripper Slippers, $40

Easy to slip on and wear around the house these super soft slipper socks feature a brushed lining and silicone grippers to prevent any sliding. Plus, Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair bought so you can feel good about giving mom this gift and giving back at the same time.

A heart-shaped succulent

mothers day gifts under 50 heart succulent

Gift Urban Stems The Cora Plant, $35

Urban Stems makes sending fresh flowers and plants to mom a breeze if you won’t be seeing her in person this year. This cute succulent is in the shape of a heart for an extra touch of love.

An at-home spa kit

mothers day gifts under 50 pampering set

Gift the Little Pampering Gift Set, $44

Help mom unwind and have a pampering day from home with this gift set. It includes a lavender boil oil, soap, shower steamer, lip balm, and a scented candle.

An all-in-one hairdryer and brush

mothers day gifts under 50 revlon one step

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer, $40.99

This all-in-one brush and hairdryer is one of our favorite products and makes it a breeze for mom to style her hair and easily create volume and soft curls.

 

A lightweight yoga mat

Manduka Eko Superlite Travel Yoga Mat

Gift a Manduka Eko Superlite Travel Yoga Mat, $45

Manduka is known for making some of the best yoga products, and this five-star-rated mat is no exception. If she loves fitting a yoga class into her busy schedule, she’ll appreciate this mat. Not only does it have a great grip and come in plenty of fun colors, but it’s super light, so she can easily tote it around with her to class and back. 

A box of unique Japanese snacks

bokksu thumb

Gift the Bokksu Classic Gift Box, from $39.95 per month

If she loves to travel and experience new cultures through food, she’ll love receiving a Bokksu Box. The classic gift box is filled with a selection of 20-25 unique Japanese snacks, sourced directly from artisan makers in Japan, so she can get a little more adventurous with her snacking. 

A pure silk sleep mask

slip sleep mask

Gift the Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask, $50

Give Mom a little bit of luxury with this silk sleep mask. Not only will it block out light and feel great on her skin, but it’s made with Slip’s proprietary Slipsilk which won’t tug or leave creases on her skin. 

A luxurious body moisturizer

necessaire

Gift the Nécessaire Body Lotion, $25

If body lotion doesn’t sound that exciting to her, Nécessaire’s version will probably change her mind. The formula is simple — clean ingredients, full of nourishing vitamins, and quick-absorbing. It’s so good we’ve fought over it

A “book of the month” membership she can look forward to every month

57164127_10157373944508856_7889762585250103296_o

Gift a Book of the Month Membership, from three months for $49.99

If she loves to read and isn’t ready to go 100% digital, we can’t recommend a Book of the Month membership highly enough. Each month, she’ll find a curated selection of the best new hardcover titles spanning a broad range of genres. The mix of both fiction and nonfiction titles is sure to impress even the pickiest bibliophiles. 

A beautiful bouquet of farm-fresh flowers she can keep in the house

a bouquet of flowers

Gift a bouquet from The Bouqs, from $36

You can grab her a potted plant if she enjoys caring for them over time, but another great option is sending her a beautiful bouquet of flowers that she can enjoy for a few weeks with minimal effort and then throw out. If you want to get her something more lasting, you can pick up a vase ($10-$249), too. 

A Himalayan salt block she can use for just about every use cooking

Himalayan Salt Plate

Gift the Himalayan Salt Plate, $49.95

If your mom likes to cook (or, if someone else does the cooking and she just loves to eat good food), a Himalayan salt block may be a thoughtful gift. People love how they give meals enhanced flavor that can’t be mimicked by a frying pan. Plus, the minerals in salt are supposed to give a more nuanced flavor than table salt, and the amount of saltiness will be regulated by the type of food (moist food absorbs more, fatty foods repel it).

Himalayan salt has a very stable crystal structure, which allows it to hold a temperature very well. Mom can chill it to serve as a platter for sushi or heat it over the grill or stovetop to cook veggies. 

A good-looking, efficient cold brew bottle

a cold brew bottle

Gift the Blue Bottle Hario Cold Brew Bottle, $35

Does mom love cold brew? Grab her this elegant glass cold brew bottle from the popular coffee startup Blue Bottle. It’s slim enough to fit in the fridge without displacing anything else, and it looks much nicer than the plastic versions you’ll find at a similar price point on Amazon. 

A pro-level photo book

artifact uprising, $15+

Gift an Artifact Uprising Custom Softcover Photo Book, from $15

These beautifully designed photo books look just like a personal magazine, curated by you for her — and full of 30 pages of your best and most cherished memories and people. 

A lotion that uses technology to auto-regulate moisture throughout the day

beautycounter

Gift the Beautycounter Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion, $49

Beautycounter is beloved equally for its clean beauty mission and consistently excellent and award-winning products.

This bestselling lotion not only provides up to 24-hours of hydration but actually self-regulates throughout the day to provide the right level of moisture. The formula uses breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology to match — and mimic — the structure of skin. 

A scratch-off that benefits charities

lottolove

Give a card from LottoLove, from $5

When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won’t win any money. Instead, you “win” a charitable prize that’s donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. Each card costs just $4.95, but gives back in invaluable ways. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.

A hidden gem $30 cast iron fry pan

victoria cast iron

Gift Large Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, $29.99

The Victoria Cast Iron 12-Inch Skillet Fry Pan is the perfect skillet for cooking just about anything. It’s well-designed, extremely affordable, and durable like you’d hope a cast iron pan would be. It has a long primary handle and a shorter secondary handle for steadying the pan as you carry or move it, and it has good depth and a wide surface perfect for searing steaks. The large pour spouts on either side make it easy to rid the pan of grease without any mess. It’s also our top overall pick in our guide to the best-cast iron skillets. 

A set of sheet masks to relax and keep her skin hydrated

711ewT9T2kL._SL1500_

Gift a Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask, $4.20

Make sure she has the fun tools to take a night off whenever she wants. These five sheet masks will hydrate her skin and keep it looking its best, but they’re also just a lot of fun to put on after a long day — and it’s nice knowing they were a gift rather than something she had to go out and buy herself. 

Framed memories

fldjgfdlhj

Gift a Framebridge custom-framed art or photo gift, from $39

Moms really do love looking at pictures of their kids. Why not make an impactful gift by framing a family memory or a great picture of the two of you? Plus, sites like Framebridge make it easier by letting you customize each step of the process online instead of grabbing a frame from the store and having to figure out how to correctly size and print something yourself. Framebridge will guide you through the process and let you know if the resolution is high enough to look good on mom’s mantle. 

A pair of beautiful earrings she can wear with anything

M_earring_midi_hoops_V3 (1)

Gift a pair of Mejuri Midi Hoops, $50

There’s something satisfying about being able to afford to give your mom something delicate, luxurious, and special. Too often our moms put us first and themselves last, and something that isn’t strictly “necessary” is a good way to make sure they feel pampered from time to time.

Mejuri is an Insider Reviews favorite, and the Canadian company will likely be a new one of hers as well. 

A coffee service that figures out what flavors she likes and gets smarter over time

driftaway coffee gifts mother's day

Gift a Driftaway Coffee Set, from $44

If mom likes coffee, she might love Driftaway. The Brooklyn-based startup is helping people figure out which flavor profiles of coffee they really love, and then uses that information to customize shipments of fresh coffee to them that their taste buds should really love.

The first delivery will be a tasting kit to help determine what flavors she loves most. From there, the service will get smarter at catering to her preferences every time. 

A silk pillowcase

silk pillow case

Gift the Celestial Silk Pillowcase, from $36.99

Silk pillowcases reduce frizz and damage to hair and make it look shiny and healthy. They also reduce the likelihood of forming new wrinkles and they won’t absorb skincare products as easily as cotton pillowcases. 

This particular Celestial Silk pillowcase is one of the internet’s hidden gems. It’s $40 on Amazon and we rated it the best silk pillowcase you can buy in the Insider Reviews buying guide. Read a personal review here

Dedicated makeup towels

mother's day gifts under $50

Gift the Weezie Makeup Towels, $40

We’ve personally discovered Weezie’s makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will your giftee. These small, dark towels won’t reveal unsightly makeup stains and they come in three cute embroidered styles.

A popcorn maker and a movie night in with you

71ky5q7yBrL._SL1500_

Gift the West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper, $24.99

Bring over a comfy throw blanket she can keep and turn on Netflix for a quality movie night with your lifelong best friend. It’s no joke that quality time goes a long way for a gift, especially when it’s for your mom.

Board games and a fun night with the family that she doesn’t have to plan

91gqgxPs9kL._SL1500_

Gift the Watch Ya’ Mouth Family Edition, $15.99

You may be too old to glue macaroni to a card and call it a present, but your mom still doesn’t equate value with money.

If you grab a couple of family-friendly board games and head to your parents’ place for a night in with them and your siblings, that might be the most memorable Mother’s Day gift you could give. Bring along some flowers, chocolate, wine, or one of the smaller gifts on this list as a token offering as well. Then, offer to do the dishes at the end of the night.

An Echo Dot or Google Home Mini

Echo Dot

Gift the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation), $39.99

Gift the Google Home Mini, $39

There’s an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon’s Alexa can and can’t do, but once that’s passed, the Echo products can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, play music, order a pizza, tell Dad jokes, or any number of things Mom should find both helpful and fun. Be aware this isn’t the newest model, but it still works great and comes at a lower price point. 

The Dot is also kind of the entry-level Echo product, which is perfect if your mom is just getting used to the technology. If your family is already ingrained in the Google ecosystem for tech, you might want to grab the Google Home Mini instead for the same price. 

A subscription to try out new and well-loved beauty products without having to find or buy them herself

a birchbox subscription

Gift a Birchbox 3-Month Subscription Gift Card, $45

In general, subscriptions are some of the best gifts that you can give. A monthly treat can be a really nice thing to look forward to, especially when each delivery reminds you of your family. Every time an installment is delivered, your mom is reminded of how much you care.

Birchbox is a particularly good one for mom. It combines monthly deliveries of small personalized beauty and skincare samples with an easy-to-use e-commerce shop. Birchbox will send an assortment of highly-rated or brand-new items for her to test every month instead of having to go in blind to Sephora and buy full-sized versions. If she really loves something, she can buy herself a bigger size on Birchbox or elsewhere easily.

You can gift a woman’s subscription gift card for 3 months for $45, 6 months for $84, or a full 12 months for $156.

The best reading subscription online

scribd

Gift a Scribd membership, $8.99/month

Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines for less than $10 a month with Scribd (or $13 per month for access to Scribd and the New York Times). If she wasn’t a bibliophile already, Scribd will make her one. I’ve been a subscriber for years and I think it’s hands-down the best deal for online reading

A new lipstick from a natural makeup company that she’ll love

44958338_068_b (1)

Gift the RMS Beauty Lipstick, $28

One barrier to smarter, healthier makeup is figuring out which of those natural brands out there actually do the job. One great and thoughtful gift for mom could be introducing her to a brand that actually works, and one which requires no research or risk.

RMS Beauty is a fan-favorite for its lipsticks on their own merit, with the clean ingredients as a huge plus. 

Childlike cereal for adults

Magic Spoon cereal

Gift all four Magic Spoon flavors, $39

Gift a Magic Spoon subscription, $35.10 per month

Magic Spoon is a new “childlike cereal for adults” that’s high in protein and low in sugar — and all four flavors are delicious. If you want to treat your mom without incurring any dentist-related concerns, Magic Spoon may be a fun way to introduce her to a new brand. 

A nighttime glycolic acid cream that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin

NR_Main_875_sq_1024x1024

Gift the Night Renewer, $27.95

Maelove was engineered by MIT grads as a way to democratize effective skincare —and its entire product line is under $30. The Night Renewer is one of Maelove’s best products. It’s a gentle glycolic acid night cream that’s safe and effective on sensitive skin. Cofounder Jackie Kim told Business Insider this may be her personal favorite of the lineup.

A stylish toiletry bag

Hunter S DarkMoss Top Open

Gift the Dagne Dover Small Hunter Toiletry Bag, $35

Self-care should make us feel good, from beginning to end. A nice toiletry bag with ample smart organization is one way to make sure that ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ are clutter-free and beautiful. This bag is made out of a really cool neoprene material and comes in a variety of pretty colors, from a bright poppy red to more muted tones like the mossy green seen above. Dagne Dover is also best-known for its thoughtful, next-level organization.

A luxe diffuser that smells amazing and she can feel good about keeping out in the house

Snowe_9.4Diffuser_Rinse_Repeat_H1_2048x2048

Gift the Snowe Rinse and Repeat Diffuser, $40

More stylish than a plug-in, this fresh floral diffuser uses custom-blended essential oils and will look nice, take up little space, and fill mom’s house with a relaxing blend of Calla Lily, green leaves, and dew drops. I actually have one of these diffusers in my own house, and I love the look and how subtle but effective it is.

A cleaner, more efficient multivitamin

ritual prenatal vitamin

Gift the Essential for Women Multivitamin, $30 per month

Ritual is most known for its Essential for Women multivitamin, which fills in the gaps of women’s diets and was inspired by founder Katerina Schneider’s own experience of shopping for vitamins while she was pregnant. Earlier this year, it dug deeper into its original prenatal health roots with the launch of its second product, a prenatal vitamin. Regardless of where women are in their life, Ritual works to build health with cleaner, more efficient vitamins.

Wireless charging pads

71eH683KvJL._SL1000_

Gift the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad for iPhone, $33.99

Gift the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad for Android, $55.06

We tested the Belkin BoostUp charger with several iPhones and Android phones, and it worked perfectly — which is why we ranked it the best wireless charger that you can buy. It looks great, has excellent traction so your phone won’t slide off while charging, and it juices up any phone quickly.

Wireless charging is traditionally slower than wired charging, but the Boost Up pad with 15 watts of power should charge your devices faster — so long as they support fast wireless charging.

A Daily Harvest gift card for healthy smoothies and soups that take 30 seconds to make

daily harvest $25 $250

Gift a Daily Harvest Gift Card, from $25

Help your mom start off 2020 on a healthier note with Daily Harvest, a subscription service that sends healthy, pre-portioned superfood-packed smoothies, overnight oats, soups, and more to your home either weekly or monthly. The food combinations are developed by a nutritionist and chef, and the company is backed by big names like Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams. We tried the service’s smoothies and really enjoyed them.

A next-gen hair wrap that uses threads finer than silk to dry wet hair faster and without friction damage

_13314898

Gift the Aquis Chevron Weave Hair Turban, $30

These Aquis hair towels have become extremely popular in the last few years. They’re designed with AQUITEX technology that uses ultra-fine fibers that are split into strands thinner than silk, so this towel won’t grab at hair cuticles like regular bath towels that break and damage wet hair — which is when it’s most vulnerable. It also claims to reduce drying time by up to 50%, which sounds hyperbolic until you’ve tried it yourself. This is the one I own and it works far, far better than I had even dared to hope. 

A cute tea infuser

61FaEFlp4yL._SL1200_

Gift the Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, $9.79

Let mom take a cue from this reclining bunny and spend some time relaxing, sipping her favorite kind of loose tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). 

A streaming media player

Roku streaming player

Gift the Roku Express HD Streaming Media Player, $24.99

Roku’s media streamers are the best in the business, and the Express is a good entry-level system that comes at an affordable price. Your giftee can stream TV shows and movies from all their favorite streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. If you’re able to spend a bit more, the Roku Ultra is our top pick overall.

A beautiful hand-poured candle

a scented candle

Gift a Brooklinen Wake Scented Candle, $35

Bring the fresh scents of a salty sea tide, kelp, and driftwood into mom’s house with this chic, hand-poured candle from the ever-popular home startup, Brooklinen. 

A reusable smart notebook

rocketbook notebook

Gift the Rocketbook Reusable Smart Notebook, $24.98

Handwritten notes can help keep her organized and manage a seemingly endless to-do list. It’s a $30 notebook, but surprisingly handy. It sends notes to the cloud so she can access them from her devices later, and wipes clean with a damp cloth.

A rose-scented roll-on perfume she can carry with her and reapply when she’s on the go

a rose perfume oil

Gift the Kai Rose Perfume Oil, $50

Kai’s rose perfume oil features a blend of gardenia wrapped in white exotics, layered with rose absolute, and comes in a small, easy-to-use roll-on vial. The rose scent packs an extra punch while remaining subtle and not overwhelming. We’re big fans of the beauty brand, and we have a feeling your mom will like it, too. 

A keepsake ‘What I love About Mom’ book

9

“What I Love About Mom by Me” Book, $9.95

You know she’s the greatest, but maybe you haven’t been telling her that enough. Fill this little keepsake book with all the reasons you love her, so she can always be reminded of how appreciated she is.

A custom quote print

minted custom quote

Gift a personalized quote print, from $38

Spotlight a quote from her favorite film, book, or song, or even quote mom herself. There are many font colors, sizes, and frames to choose from.

A portable battery charger

best mothers day gifts under 50 lavender grow kit

Gift the Lavender Grow Kit, $35

This self-watering lavender grow includes a ceramic pot, lavender seeds, soilless growing medium, and even plant food so mom can grow the ultimate calming plant. Once the plant is big enough, she can use it in baking, cocktails, or just as a nice fresh scent in around the house.

A personal-styling service

stitch fix review 2

Gift a Stitch Fix gift card, from $20

Shopping isn’t everyone’s favorite activity — or, if it is, not all of us have the time for a trip to the mall. That’s where the stylists at Stitch Fix come in. A great gift for busy moms, the service delivers the newest trends and styles to fit any occasion and price point. 

A travel-planning service that does all the work for her

journy

Personalize a travel itinerary at Journy, $25 a day

An expert trip designer will curate the perfect travel experience based on her interests and preferences, and can even help make hotel or restaurant reservations.

An REI membership

REI

Gift an REI Co-op Membership, $20

An REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here

A passport cover that will age well

Standard Passport Cover Blue 401 280_nzoom

Gift a Leatherology Standard Passport Cover, $50

Grab mom a beautiful leather passport cover that will age well and make traveling abroad easier. This one comes in 17 different colors, too. Leatherology is one of our go-to gifting shops, since the leather is high-quality, surprisingly affordable, and comes in beautiful gift-ready boxes. For a personal touch, monogram it for $10.

A stainless steel mug that will keep her coffee hot for hours on end

hydro flask $29.95

Gift the Hydro Flask Mug, $24.95

This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Picks team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company’s proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous among outdoorsmen and the average person alike. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read a full review of it here.

A mini Jo Malone set

jo malone set

Gift the Jo Malone London Mini Luxuries Set, $50

Pamper mom with this starter set from Jo Malone that includes a Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne for a fresh new fragrance, The Peony and Blush Suede Body Crème, and a delicious English Pear and Freesia Miniature Candle.

Read the original article on Business Insider