These gorgeous linen sheets help keep me cool on hot nights – and they’re now available in limited edition colors

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Brooklinen's linen sheets in a terracotta color on a bed
  • Brooklinen’s linen bed sheets are made out of high-quality Belgian and French flax fibers.
  • The sheets are available in 11 different colors and patterns – six of which are limited edition.
  • They’re really breathable and perfect for anyone who sleeps hot.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyLinen Sheets (Full) (small)

According to the Sleep Foundation, about 85% of people said that having comfortable sheets and bedding are important in getting a good night’s sleep. Additionally, nearly 70% pointed out that bedroom temperature is also important – something many of us find a little difficult to manage in the summer when our bedrooms are scorching hot.

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

That being established, the sheets that keep you all warm and snuggly during the winter months probably aren’t going to do you any favors during a heatwave. If you want to get a good night’s sleep in the summer without blasting the AC, consider investing in a set of Brooklinen Linen Sheets.

About Brooklinen

In case you’re in the dark about one of our favorite bedding brands, here’s the backstory. The company launched in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter, and offers high-quality, beautiful sheets at reasonable prices, including ones made from soft cashmere and linen.

Our review of Brooklinen linen sheets

I knew linen is breathable and appropriate for sweaty summer nights, so I tested the Brooklinen Linen Hardcore Bundle and I wasn’t disappointed.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you receive a set of sheets from Brooklinen is the really nice packaging. Each set comes neatly folded in a fabric bag, which is a nice touch and a convenient way to store the sheets, but there’s even more attention to detail with the sheets themselves.

For instance, each fitted sheet has labels identifying the “short” and “long” side, so it’s super easy to make your bed correctly every time. Each duvet cover also includes interior corner ties to keep your comforter from sliding around, and big, sturdy closure buttons that won’t fall off in the wash. It’s those little things that make me a repeat customer.

As far as the material, I instantly fell in love with it. They aren’t soft and silky like Brooklinen’s other sheets but have a bit more texture to them. To me, there is something incredibly luxurious yet earthy about the feel of the sheets.

My husband didn’t feel the same way. “These feel like sandpaper,” he said to me when he got into bed. However, the tune of the hot-blooded man I married changed by morning. “Actually, these are pretty awesome,” he backtracked. Not only did he get used to the sensation on his skin, but the breathable, looser weave fabric also made it possible for him – and I – to get through the night without sweating.

One thing to point out is that if you love the smooth look of bed sheets, linen is not for you. There’s no way to keep these babies from looking anything less than slept in. Linen wrinkles – it’s just a fact. You can have them dry cleaned, steamed, pressed with an iron, and it still won’t matter. But to me, that adds to their unique characteristics.

Brooklinen linen sheets in blue and terracotta on a bed

Other specs

Fabric

The sheets are 100% linen, made out of Belgian and French flax, and constructed in Portugal. They are OEKO-TEX certified chemical-free so they won’t irritate the skin. Each set has also been individually pre-washed and garment-dyed.

Colors

The sheets are available in eight different solid colors and three patterns. While the offerings aren’t extensive, each shade is gorgeous and there’s a good chance you’ll find one that you like.

Sizing

If you have a Twin bed, sorry, you’re out of luck. Brooklinen’s linen sheet sets are only available in four sizes – Full, Queen, King, and California King.

Care requirements

Brooklinen suggests machine-washing them in cold water with a natural detergent and tumble drying them on low.

Even though the sheets are pre-washed, I’d still suggest you run them through the wash before sleeping on them the first time. I washed my sheets prior to placing them on my bed, but I opted to throw the duvet cover on straight away and it shed a bunch of fibers. The first few times that I laundered my set, I noticed quite an abundance of lint in my dryer filter too.

That said, I haven’t noticed any color bleeding in the wash, or fading in general.

Lifetime warranty

Brooklinen offers a great lifetime warranty on all of its sheets. If you experience any pilling, ripping, or fraying, Brooklinen will repair it – no questions asked. If a repair isn’t possible, it’ll go the extra mile and replace it free of charge.

365-day trial

The company also offers a 365-day trial, giving you the opportunity to try the sheets out before fully committing. If you hate them, just send them back.

Price

The only con about these sheets is that the price may be a bit prohibitive – even more so when compared to Brooklinen’s other sheets.

For example, a set of luxury hotel-style Classic Percale sheets normally retails for $150 and its popular Luxe Sateen typically goes for $175, while a set of the Linen will normally set you back $270.

But you can look at these as an investment, which I do. You can use them year-round, but chances are you’ll reserve them just for the summer months, so they’ll end up lasting years.

The bottom line

Do yourself a favor this summer and invest in your sleep.

These sheets will look gorgeously rumpled on your bed, feel amazing against your skin, and keep you cool all night long. It managed to win over my husband in just one night, but with a great free trial, there’s not much to lose either.

Linen Sheets (Full) (small)

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Clare’s perfectly curated selection of trendy paint colors is a sight for sore eyes after staring at my bland beige walls for the last year

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clare 6

  • Clare is a direct-to-consumer paint company founded by interior designer Nicole Gibbons.
  • She saw the opportunity to make shopping for paint less stressful and more creative, interesting, and accessible.
  • Clare sells safe and eco-conscious paints ($59/gallon) in a variety of curated colors.
  • Features like Color Genius, Paint Calculator, and peel-and-stick swatches make shopping as easy as possible.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Painting the walls of your home sounds like an easy enough task.

However, after you’ve sifted through hundreds of paint chips that all look the same or paced the aisles of the hardware store attempting to decode the purpose of each type of paint, you’ll know that the actual process before your paintbrush even touches the wall is surprisingly and unnecessarily difficult.

Even seasoned interior designers aren’t spared from this frustration, but Nicole Gibbons, an interior designer whose work and expertise have been featured on HGTV, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and TLC, is the first to actually do something about it.

Gibbons is the founder of Clare, a direct-to-consumer paint company that’s simplifying the paint-buying process for homeowners and making it easier for them to appreciate how color transforms their space.

“As the place that you come home to each and every day, your space can truly enhance your well-being and provide comfort when needed most,” she tells Insider Reviews. “And if it doesn’t provide that sanctuary, it’s easy to not love where you live. Color can be transformative – not only to your space, but to your mood, and paint is the easiest and least expensive way to make a truly meaningful change.”

clare paint 1

About Clare Paint

Clare puts you on the path to making that meaningful change without wanting to tear your hair out in the process.

Instead of stressing over how much paint to buy or how the final color turned out to be three shades darker than the swatch, you can pick and order your paint online, get all the necessary supplies ordered to your door, and give your room the color upgrade it needs in no time.

The grass will always seem greener (or do I mean more Money Moves, Two Scoops, or Avocado Toast?) on the other side when you have to choose from thousands of colors, which is why Clare only offers a curated collection of 56 paint colors for walls and trim, and only one ceiling paint color and one primer.

clare color genius

The water-based formulas have minimal odor and are GREENGUARD Gold-certified, which means “a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air.”

It’s paint you’ll feel safe using, and it’s also durable enough to resist dirt, grime, and mildew.

Special features

To help you pick a color, Clare offers Clare Color Genius, a short quiz that asks about your current space and lighting situation, the type of vibe you want, and your decor style, then gives you three options you might like.

Once you know what colors you want, hop over to the Paint Calculator, which tells you how many gallons of paint, primer, and ceiling paint you’ll need for your space.

Pricing and samples

Clare sells its wall and trim paint for $59 a gallon, and its primer and ceiling paint for $42 a gallon, but you don’t have to commit right away. Its 8″x 8″ paint swatches are peel-and-stick, making it easy to instantly sample your top choices for just $2.

Aside from the actual paint, Clare sells the necessary supplies, including roller frames, painter’s tape, and paint trays. The 5-Piece Paint Kit gets you a 2″ Paint Brush, 9″ Roller Frame, 9″ Roller Cover, 9″ Metal Tray, and a 9″ Tray Liner for only $28. This section turns Clare into a one-stop-shop for all your painting needs.

The bottom line

If you want to paint your home, you have many brands and color options to choose from – too many. Clare’s unique approach restores focus, control, transparency, and accessibility to the process so you’re not overwhelmed by what should be a simple and enjoyable home improvement project.

Shop paint and supplies at Clare here

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The 5 best hanging shelves for closets

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The tiny closet in my bedroom is the bane of my existence. It’s poorly organized, with upper shelves that I can’t easily reach and sliding doors that make getting the clothes at the center of the rack a challenge.

Even if you don’t share my closet woes, you can still benefit from some organization. Hanging shelves are a great way to make use of your closet’s dead space, adding extra storage for anything from sweaters and pants to purses, shoes, and accessories.

They’re also a nice solution for people who can’t fit a dresser in the bedroom, and they help keep the closet floors clear for shoe racks. Hanging shelves come in all different shapes and sizes, so you’re bound to find one that suits your closet and your wardrobe.

Make sure your closet rod can support the weight. Once they are filled, hanging shelves can get very heavy, which can cause the rod to bend. Be sure to avoid overpacking your hanging shelves.

Here are the best hanging shelves for closets:

The best hanging shelf overall

Container Store Hanging Shelf in a closet full of clothes.

The Container Store 6-Compartment Natural Canvas Hanging Sweater Organizer can hold up to 24 sweaters without adding too much bulk to your closet.

Pros: Six compartments, up to 24 sweaters, sturdier than other fabric shelves, hooks

Cons: Drawers can stick when full

For optimal storage that doesn’t clutter your closet, check out The Container Store 6-Compartment Natural Canvas Hanging Sweater Organizer. It has six roomy compartments that hold up to 24 sweaters, while only taking up 12 inches on your closet rod.

It is also attractive for a clothes organizer, made of thick, natural-colored canvas. The whole thing attaches to the rod with two sturdy metal hooks and has reinforced shelves that retain their shape even when loaded down with garments.

Deep, wide cubbies mean it can also accommodate bulkier items and even shoe boxes. The drawers tend to stick when full, so leave a little space in them for easy use. 

 

The best hanging shelf with accessory pockets

Whitmore Hanging Shelf in brown with a hat on the top shelf in a closet with hanging clothes.

The Whitmor Hanging Accessory Shelves feature five organizing shelves and three sleeves on the side for stashing smaller items like scarves and belts.

Pros: No assembly required, affordable, side pockets

Cons: Shelves sag a bit when very full

Everyone has a few random items that clutter up the closet because they don’t seem to belong anywhere. The Whitmor Hanging Accessory Shelves give you a place to stash those odd belts, scarves, and other doodads so they stop falling to your closet (or bedroom) floor.

This five-shelf unit is under four feet from top to bottom, so there will still be space underneath the unit. It holds plenty of sweaters, tops, pants, shoes, and more. What makes this shelf stand out are the three mesh accessory pockets on the side that can hold jewelry, scarves, stockings, or anything else that needs a home.

This option is a bit saggier and less sturdy than our top pick from The Container Store, but the organizer has a metal frame inside to help hold the shape and hangs from the closet rod by two chrome hooks for easy installation.

 

The best hanging shelf for shoes

Whitmor Hanging Shoe Shelves in brown in a closet full of neutral dresses and blouses.

Another way to clear clutter from your closet is to use the Whitmor Hanging Shoe Organizer, getting your shoes off the ground and up to eye level.

Pros: No assembly required, side pockets for accessories

Cons: May not fit shoes sizes 12 and above

Save your closet floor space by storing up to 10 pairs of shoes in the Whitmor Hanging Shoe Organizer. This hanging shelf unit pulls double duty with side mesh pockets for accessories like dress socks, extra shoelaces, or other small items.

The compartments aren’t big enough for boots or chunkier shoes, but you’ll be able to fit sneakers, flats, flip flops, and more. The neutral-toned fabric compartments hang out of a steel frame, so the cubbies will keep their shape. Attach the two wire hooks to the closet rod, and you’ll be good to go.

The best hanging shelf for bags

Zober Hanging Purse Shelf in a white toned closet

The Zober Hanging Purse Organizer solves the common problem of what to do with all your bags.

Pros: Eight roomy compartments for purses, clear on the front, open sides for easy access

Cons: Bulky, not much use beyond purses

Figuring out how to store my excess bags and purses without creasing them or leaving them in a pile is a bit of an issue. Right now, I chuck all my bags onto the top shelf of my closet and hope for the best. But the Zober Hanging Purse Organizer is definitely a better option.

You could store purses in many of the shelves on this list, but if you’d like to keep them organized and relatively dust-free, this is a great pick. It features eight slots that are open on the side for easy in-and-out access. Clear plastic panels in front let you see exactly what’s stored inside. It attaches to the rod using a standard hook.

 

The best hanging shelf with a clothing rod

Whitmor Organizer with clothing rod underneath, showing storage of purses and sweaters.

The Whitmor 4-Section Fabric Closet Organizer has four cubbies and an additional clothing rod to hang shirts, dresses, and slacks.

Pros: Four cubbies, attached clothing rod

Cons: Some reviewers complained about sagging

The Whitmor 4-Section Fabric Closet Organizer is a genius space saver. Not only does it give you four square cubbies to store folded items, but it also has an additional metal rod for hangers.

There’s minor assembly required because the shelf hangs from metal rods that slide through the fabric loops at the top. When assembled, the shelf dimensions are 11 x 24 x 27.5 inches, giving you plenty of space in your closet to hang dresses, pants, and shirts.

While some sagging does occur when it’s completely loaded up, it’s generally pretty sturdy and the metal rod is strong enough to easily hang plenty of pants, skirts, dresses, and more. 

 

See more storage solution buying guides

A full closet, a white toned structure, with organize pants, shirts, and accessories.

The best shoe racks and shoe organizers


The best closet and drawer organizers


The best clothing hangers


Home organization ideas for under $50

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72 affordable yet thoughtful gifts for her that are all under $50

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Springtime Paint by Number Kit
  • If you’re looking for an affordable gift for her, here’s a list of 72 options under $50.
  • Whether for the holidays, a birthday, or just because, she’ll love any of these thoughtful picks.
  • Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full list of gift guides for all kinds of ideas.

Gift-giving isn’t always easy, though it seems like it would be. Just buy them something that aligns with their interests, right? Eh, it’s not always so simple. If she’s interested in tech, there are a million options to choose from. The same goes for beauty products, kitchen gadgets, books, subscriptions, and so on. It also depends on who you’re shopping for, whether it be your sister, mom, partner, or friend.

To make it easier, we’ve put together a list of great gifts under $50 that we think she’ll love, no matter the occasion. And in case you’re shopping for a last-minute gift, most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days’ time.

Here are 72 gift ideas for her, all under $50:

A customizable photo book

Artifact Uprising Color PHotobook

Color Series Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22

Get a little sentimental by commemorating their life highlights with this custom photo book. You can choose from 10 colors and fill up to 30 pages with photos, cool layouts, and special messages.

A starter kit from a popular makeup brand

Glossier Makeup Set

The Dreamy Color Set, available at Glossier, $44

If she’s always asking for makeup recommendations, this set from Glossier is bound to please. It comes with three brand favorites: Ultralip, a sheer lip tint; Lidstar, a cream shadow; and Cloud Paint, a liquid blush. Plus, the cult classic Cloud Paint doubles as a dewy cheek tint and vibrant eyeshadow

An elegant bottle holder

marble wood wine cooler

Wood Marble Wine Cooler, available at Pottery Barn, $39.95

This elegant marble-wood bottle holder keeps her favorite wine cool for hours on end. When she isn’t staging it next to a charcuterie board, the holder is just a bouquet away from doubling as a vase. 

A set of our tried-and-true SPF favorites

Supergoop! set

SPF from Head-to-Toe Kit, available at Supergoop!, $28

Every skincare fan knows SPF is a basic necessity and this Supergoop! set offers head-to-toe protection from UV rays. True to its name, the cult-favorite Unseen Sunscreen applies without a white cast that won’t mess up her makeup. If you’re unsure of her skin type and tone, you can’t go wrong with the best overall pick in our sunscreen guide, Supergoop’s PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF 50.

Read our full review of the Unseen Sunscreen here.

Read our full review of the Defense Refresh SPF 40 here.

A trio of succulents for the aspiring plant mom

Succulent Assortment

Succulent Assortment, available at The Sill, from $24

For the aspiring plant mom, there’s nothing better than to start with tiny succulents. Marked by the brand as best for beginners, she can enjoy fresh houseplants delivered straight to her doorstep. This assortment can include either three succulents or six succulents, with both options under $50. 

Read our full review of The Sill here.

A picnic blanket for the spring and summer

Nemo Victory Blanket; gift for her

Victory Blanket, available at Moosejaw, $43.99

With the sun coming out, there’s no better way to lay out or see friends than with a picnic. This blanket is fit for the occasion with its soft flannel top and waterproof bottom, plus straps to keep it compact and loops to hold it down on windier days. We’ve even ranked this one as the best for comfort in our guide to the best picnic blankets.

A personalized ring

GLDN Micro Signet Ring; jewelry gift for her

Micro Signet Ring, available at GLDN, from $49

A ring is one of the ultimate gifts for her because it can signify so many things. You can get a letter of the alphabet engraved in this ring, and at no additional cost. The personal touch will make this a gift she’ll keep for years and years to come.

A cozy throw blanket to keep her warm

L.L.Bean Wicked Plush Throw blanket; gift for her

Wicked Plush Throw, available at L.L.Bean, from $29.95

This blanket has been a fan favorite for a while, which is why L.L.Bean carries this new and improved version. The brand has made the blanket even softer with 100% polyester that’s been brushed on both sides for an even more deluxe feel. It’s so soft she’ll want to be wrapped in it at all times, which is why we’ve also included it in our guide to the best throw blankets.

A personalized video message from her favorite celebrity

Cameo 2021

Personalized video message, starting at $1, available at Cameo

When trying to think of a thoughtful gift for her, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous people she might want a personalized video message from. Whether it’s for her birthday or the holidays, there’s something for everyone on Cameo, with prices as low as $1. You can get her favorite contestant from “The Bachelor,” Jay Jackson from “Parks and Recreation,” or Chris Gorham from “Ugly Betty,” each for under $50. 

Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo.

A letter subscription service for the history buff

Uncommon Goods HIstory Letters

History by Mail Six-Month Subscription, available at Uncommon Goods, $37

Once a month for six months, this mail subscription service will send detailed replicas of historical documents, like Albert Einstein’s correspondence with FDR. A team of archivists digs up fascinating historical documents and graphic designers replicate them — handwriting, signatures, and all. 

A toiletry bag for smart organization

Dagne Dover Skye Pouch

Skye Essentials Pouch, available at Dagne Dover, $35

Help her gear up for summer with Dagne Dover’s latest launch. Made with the brand’s signature neoprene material, the Skye zip pouch stores her essentials safely and stylishly and features multiple organizational pockets inside. 

A puzzle that commemorates a special date

NYT PUZZLE

New York Times Custom Front Page Puzzle, available at Uncommon Goods, $49.95

Celebrate her special day — birthday, anniversary, or milestone — with this puzzle, an interactive memento. Enter any date since 1851 and find the New York Times front page printed from that exact date.

An interactive cooking class

sur la table ONLINE COOKING CLASSES

Sur La Table Online Cooking Classes, starting $29 per household

With Sur La Table’s virtual cooking classes, she can follow along to expert chefs live from the comfort of her own kitchen. These hands-on 90- to 120-minute classes cover everything from seasonal dishes to cocktails and desserts.

The at-home blowout tool

Revlon One-Stop Hair Dryer

One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush, available at Ulta, $45.99

This all-in-one hairdryer from Revlon garnered a large following online and won the hearts of the Insider Reviews team. It rivals luxury hair tools at a fraction of the price. It’s a gamechanger for cutting down on time and heat damage to your hair, without sacrificing your look. 

Read our full review of the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush here.

A workout tee for all seasons

Women's UA Tech Twist V Neck

Women’s UA Tech Twist V-Neck, available at Under Armour, $24.99

This bestselling workout shirt from Under Armour will keep them moving with four-way stretch construction and quick-drying, sweat-wicking fabric. Its looser fit encourages comfort during workouts, and it comes in 15 colors. It’s a solid, dependable choice for apparel, but if they’re in the market for accessories or gear instead, check out Under Armour’s gift guide.

The ultimate diffuser set

diffuser

Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set, available at Amazon, $39.95

Help her find her inner zen with this essential oil bundle which includes, well, the essentials. The diffuser has seven ambient light modes and 10 oils that are perfect for creating an at-home spa vibe. 

A wearable sherpa blanket

comfy

The Comfy Oversized Wearable Blanket, available at Amazon, $39.99

As seen on Shark Tank, this wearable blanket lets you take comfort wherever you go. The plush, fluffy lining will keep her warm and cozy while lounging, camping, and more. Choose from 17 fun colors and opt for the original hoodie style or the quarter zip. Its large, oversized design is one size fits all.

A DIY birth month flower kit

Birth Month Flower Grow Kit

Birth Month Flower Grow Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $34

For a twist on the traditional bouquet of flowers, give her this flower kit that’s an easy and fun project. She’ll appreciate the personal touch of choosing her birth month flower, whether it be a sunflower, daisy, or marigold.

A box of chocolate bars from Madagascar

Chocolate from Madagascar Flight

Chocolate from Madagascar Flight, available at The Little Market, $34

The chocolate connoisseur in your life will savor this gift box of four dark chocolate bars from Madagascar. She can indulge in flavors like Salted Almond, 80% Dark, Toasted Coconut, and Sea Salt, but you can also opt out of specific flavors to fit her taste preferences.

A reusable tote bag for trips to the market

Shopping Tote   Market Finds

Shopping Tote – Market Finds, available at The Little Market, starting from $19

Nothing compares to strolling through a farmer’s market with a sturdy tote instead of numerous plastic bags. This tote is both a convenient and eco-friendly choice for the avid shopper. Not to mention, it’s handmade and supports artisan women in rural Bangladeshi communities.

A painting kit for beginners

Springtime Paint by Number Kit

Springtime Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30

If she’s artistic — or strives to be — she’ll appreciate this painting kit that anyone can follow with ease. Creating her work of art will take up to three hours, but she’ll end up with a frame-worthy masterpiece.

A Kindle case that looks like her favorite book

kindle case

KleverCase Kindle Paperwhite Case, available at Amazon, $29.95

You’ll find many classic book covers cleverly printed onto Kindle cases, along with one that looks like an unmarked leather-bound book. All she has to do is pop it on her e-reader.

An all-purpose tote with a detachable wristlet

nordstrom reversible tote

Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote and Wristlet, available at Nordstrom, $49

Your first thought may be that a plain tote is sort of a boring gift — but hear us out! This one is reversible and features a detachable wristlet, which basically means you’re getting three different bags for $50. It’s a utilitarian gift with a fashion-friendly twist.

An exceptionally useful set of silicone container lids

silicone lids

Five Two Airtight Silicone Lids, available at Food52, $40

If she enjoys cooking, chances are she’s probably spent a good amount of time battling with her Tupperware drawer to find the right container and lid for her leftovers. These silicone lids have saved me over and over again and I recommend them to everyone — all you have to do is pop one over a bowl or baking dish and you get an airtight seal for easy storage in the fridge.

A portable charger that also lights up the bottom of her bag

SOI

Smart Handbag Light and Charger, available at Uncommon Goods, $35.95

No more frantically searching for gum or lip balm at the bottom of her giant tote bag — this little light can be attached to her keychain or even a zipper on her bag so she can easily see everything in its depths. It can also charge her phone.

A relaxing Himalayan salt lamp

Himalayan Glow Large Salt Lamp,

Himalayan Glow Large Salt Lamp, available at Amazon, $12.14

There’s nothing quite as calming as the warm glow of a pink salt lamp. This sits on my list of all-time best gifts I’ve ever received — turning it on each night creates a relaxing vibe in my living room and helps me let go of the day’s stress.

A clever attachment that holds her AirPods

AirPods Wrist Fit Adapter

AirPods Wrist Fit Adapter, available at Amazon, $8.49

The frustrating thing about using AirPods is figuring out where to store them. This small attachment goes around any watch’s wristband and features two grippy holes that hold each AirPod.

A subscription to Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime gift subscription, three months, $39

Amazon Prime opens up a whole new world of access, be it to fast two-day shipping or any of the other 25-plus perks you’ll get with a membership. If you know she doesn’t have one yet, this is a smart gift — but in the case she does, she’ll get to use the $39 on anything she wants or needs from the site.

An Alexa-enabled smart plug

Alexa Enabled Smart Plug

Alexa-Enabled Smart Plug, available at Amazon, $24.99

This voice-controlled smart plug allows her to control lights, chargers, and whatever else she wants through Alexa simply by plugging her devices into these outlets. She can also just use the Alexa app to turn the outlets on and off if she doesn’t have an Echo or wants to use her voice.

A highly coveted candle

diptyque candles

Baies Candle, available at Bloomingdales, $38

Diptyque candles are about as chic and beloved as they come among candle lovers. The Baies scent is the company’s signature, with warming and sophisticated notes of rose and blackcurrant. This candle is best gifted to partners or very good friends. 

An inexpensive accessory for her phone

PopSockets

PopSockets, available at Amazon, from $10

PopSocket Grips are an inexpensive but extremely useful gift she’ll be happy to have. She can pop them on the back of her phone, Kindle, iPad, or any other device to create a comfortable grip that allows her to hold her device one-handed.

A monthly book subscription

book of the month club

Book of the Month, three months, starting at $49.99

Each month, this service curates five book choices — some of them early release — from which she’ll choose her favorite. The service will send the book directly to her, and she can also skip a month if she’s behind on her reading.

An adjustable rolling pin

Adjustable Rolling Pin

Adjustable Rolling Pin, available at Amazon, from $15.99

Anyone who loves to bake will appreciate this adjustable rolling pin that allows for more precision in the thickness of dough. All she’ll have to do is remove or add the different sized rings and let them guide her.

Really nice socks she’s bound to want more of

Bombas socks

Quarter Socks 4-pack, available at Bombas, $68.40

Bombas makes the best socks out there. Yes, they’re pricey, but you don’t know how worth it nice socks are until you try a pair yourself. There are no uncomfortable toe seams to give her blisters, and the special honeycomb stitching around the middle of the foot actually provides a bit of arch support.

Read our full review of Bombas socks here.

A letter board she can leave notes or cute phrases on

Felt Like Sharing Felt Letter Board

Felt Like Sharing Felt Letter Board, available at Amazon, from $20.95

Sporting events, holidays, parties — there are a ton of occasions during which these come in handy, but she’ll love being able to play around with it day to day at home with her favorite lyrics, phrases, or even messages to roommates. Choose from tons of felt colors (I’m partial to the light blue; it’s the one I use at home!). 

A pretty place to keep her phone

phone stand

Bedside Smartphone Vase, available at Uncommon Goods, $32

This bedside vase is a fun way to spruce up her night stand, whether with fresh or faux flowers. It also works beautifully in the kitchen if she likes to follow recipes using her phone.

A comfy tee that goes with everything

The Organic Cotton Box Cut Pocket Tee,

The Organic Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee, available at Everlane, $18

Skip the boring pajamas — get her something she’ll want to wear every day. This cozy short-sleeve T-shirt from Everlane is as great for running errands as it is for wearing to work, depending on how she styles it. It also comes in a few other color options. 

Read our full review of The Cotton Box-Cut Tee here

The newest Amazon Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo Dot 4th Generation on a table next to a reusable water bottle

Echo Dot (4th Generation), available at Amazon, $34.99

If she loves to blast music, talk on the phone, and have control over the home, this Alexa-powered speaker could be just what she needs. The most recent iteration of Amazon’s signature smart speaker has a new spherical shape that adds a modern feel to any room.

Read our full review of the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) here.

A wine saver for open bottles

Wine Saver

Wine Saver, available at Amazon, $14.99

Sometimes you just can’t finish the bottle of wine. That’s when the Vacu Vin comes in. It’s a simple, small gadget that removes the oxygen from your open bottle and gives it an airtight seal to preserve the freshness and prevent oxidation.

A cold brew maker

Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker,

Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $18.99

Caffeine lovers who can’t get enough of their favorite drink tend to spend a lot of money at coffee shops to get their fix. Make it easier for her to drink cold brew at home with this simple-to-use brewing pitcher.

Read our full review of the Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Ice Coffee Maker here.

A perfume subscription

scentbird

Scentbird subscription, three months for $44

If she loves to switch up her scents, Scentbird is an affordable service that lets her choose a month’s supply of perfume from thousands of well-known and new fragrances. With a three-month subscription, she can switch it up each month or stick to the ones she knows and loves.

A popular cookbook she’s probably seen on Instagram

"Dessert Person" by Claire Saffitz,

“Dessert Person” by Claire Saffitz, available at Target, $22.99

Whether she’s new to the kitchen or it’s her favorite room in the house, Claire Saffitz’s new cookbook will guide her through tons of easy-to-make desserts.

The Insider Reviews team has also loved “Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family” by Priya Krishna, which is chock full of Indian-American and nontraditional recipes like Roti Pizza and Saag Feta. Check out our guide to the best cookbooks here

A trendy candle she’s probably already got her eyes on

Otherland sacred dust candle review

Otherland Candles available at Otherland, $36

An Otherland candle makes for one of the best gifts you can give for any occasion if you ask us. They come beautifully packaged, and they feature scents that are complex and rich.

Read our full review of Otherland candles here.

A flexible herb garden for the home

Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden

Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

These mason jar planters can be set up in so many ways — from the window sill to the kitchen counter. They’re great for anyone who loves cooking with fresh herbs, especially if they live in cold climates where their outdoor herb gardens don’t grow for half the year.

A way for her to share and pass down memories and traditions

my life story so far journal

My Life Story So Far, available at Uncommon Goods, $30

This book is sort of like a guided journal for her to record her memories, accomplishments, and experiences. No matter her age, it’s something she’ll undoubtedly enjoy keeping track of and sharing with others.

A natural body scrub

Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Exfoliating Body Scrub

Coco Rose Exfoliating Body Scrub, available at Sephora, $36

Pamper her with this coconut and rose infused body scrub that gently exfoliates. It’ll leave her skin feeling soft and moisturized – not to mention she’ll smell of coconut and roses wherever she goes. You can read more about this product in our guide to the best body scrubs

A tablet for easy entertainment

amazon fire 7 tablet

Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, available at Best Buy, $49.99

Great for traveling or lounging at home, the Amazon Fire 7 Tablet is an affordable way to stay connected to all her favorite apps, games, and streaming services on a larger screen than what her phone has to offer.

A fashion-friendly belt bag

Herschel belt bag

Herschel Belt Bag, available at Nordstrom, from $31.99

Belt bags (aka fanny packs) are making a comeback, and we’re not mad about it. They’re convenient, practical, and a simple way to add a stylish pop to any outfit.

An excellent cookbook for entertainers

"Platters and Boards  Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion" by Shelly Westerhausen

“Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion” by Shelly Westerhausen, available at Amazon, $15.40

If having people over is more of a pleasure than a chore for her, she’ll adore this cookbook full of clever recipe ideas for casual entertaining.

A smart way for her to stay organized while traveling

Travel Cord Roll

Travel Cord Roll, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Frequent travelers need a way to keep all their cords and cables organized. This leather roll-up organizer has eight slots for cords and headphones plus a pouch where your charger base can fit.

A simple knitting kit for beginners

we are knitters kit

Braille Beanie Knitting Kit, available at We Are Knitters, $44

Whether she’s new to knitting or a long-time pro, this crafty beanie kit has everything she needs — from the yarn, to the needles, and of course, the instructions.

A clever way to collect accomplishments and hopes

wishing balls

Birthstone Wishing Balls, available at Uncommon Goods, $32

These wishing balls come with a strip of paper for every week in the year on which she can write everything from her hopes and dreams to the things she’s proud of accomplishing over the past seven days. You don’t have to go for her birthstone — you could easily just choose her favorite color.

A comfy neck pillow for trains and planes

amazon prime day 2018

Neck Pillow, available at Amazon, $29.99

If she travels a lot (or has bad travel anxiety), the gift of comfort is one she’ll undoubtedly appreciate.

Read our full review of the Trtl Neck Pillow here.

A guide full of inspiration for her future adventures

"The Bucket List" by Kath Stathers

“The Bucket List” by Kath Stathers, available at Anthropologie and Amazon, from $21.11

This worldwide bucket list won’t cure her wanderlust, but it’ll definitely provide her inspiration and fodder for planning her travels.

A set of tinted lip balms

Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment, available at Nordstrom, $24

If her beauty preferences tend to be more on the natural side, it’s likely she loves a good tinted lip balm. Fresh makes some of the best — the color options are universally flattering and the easy, and the formula is smooth, hydrating, and buttery. We’ve even named this one the best tinted lip balm with SPF in our guide to the best tinted lip balms

A dainty pair of hoops that are anything but average

Tiny Secret Trinity Studs Star Hoops 1_2048x2048

Shooting Star Open Hoop Earrings, available at Maison Miru, $39

It seems like everyone on our team has a pair of these open hoops. Their horseshoe shape is just different enough to set them apart, while a tiny, twinkly cubic zirconia catches the light just enough to add a bit of sparkle.

A customizable box of candy for adults

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Four-Piece Candy Bento Box, available at Sugarfina, $38

Satisfy her sweet tooth with a custom box of candy. Sugarfina’s candies are distinctly “adult” — but she’ll still feel like a kid when she digs into a box of rosé gummies.

An armband that holds her phone on runs or at the gym

Water Resistant Arm Band

Water-Resistant Arm Band, available at Amazon, $14.98

If she loves to run or spends a lot of time at the gym, this top-rated arm band will definitely be a lifesaver for her. Just make sure you know what model phone she carries as you may have to check different brands for different phone sizes. 

A makeup and skincare subscription

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Birchbox three month gift subscription, $45

Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of beauty samples for her to test out and play around with. If she loves any of them, she can easily buy the full-sized version through the service. You can opt to give a longer subscription if you’d like. 

Read our full review of Birchbox here.

A picture frame for Instax Mini photos

Polaroid Cube Picture Frame

Polaroid Cube Picture Frame, available at Urban Outfitters, $12

This cube picture frame is meant to hold photos from a Polaroid camera, but even if neither of you have one, it would still be a sweet gift to print out some photos of you together in the proper dimensions. 

A convenient yoga mat carrier

manduka yoga strap

Go Play Yoga Mat Bag, available at Manduka, $35

If she’s a fitness enthusiast who frequents local yoga classes, a carrying strap will make her life much easier (especially if she walks or takes the subway to her class).

A puzzle of her heroines

Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle

Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle, available at Uncommon Goods, $18

This puzzle features illustrations of both prominent and lesser-known women who have shaped and changed the course of history.

A portable external battery

PowerCore 10,000mAh External Battery

PowerCore 10,000mAh External Battery, available at Amazon, $24.99

A good external battery is one of those practical gifts she probably needs but won’t buy herself. Treat her to a good one that holds enough juice to charge her iPhone three times, or her Galaxy twice over.

A massager to melt away tension

Zyllion_Web_Banner_ZMA 26_1560x650_498516fe d92d 4232 a1ba 19934dfb3408_1600x800.progressive

Shiatsu Massager, available at Amazon, $49.95

This shiatsu massager is, to date, one of the best things we’ve ever bought. It kneads away tension and stress in the back and shoulders, and can even be used on sore leg muscles after a workout. She’ll be thanking you for years to come.

Read our full review of the Zyllion Shiatsu Massager here

A planner to help her stay organized

Interior of Ivory Paper Co. Abstract Watercolor | All In One Planner

All-In-One Planner, available at Ivory Paper Co., $49

Working out your day, month, and year can sometimes feel overwhelming, but this planner makes life easier with its neat and straightforward layout. Plus, you can pick the start date and length of the planner and even add her name for a more personal touch. For more options, you can check out our roundup of the best planners

Reusable produce bags

Reusable mesh produce bags (5 pack)

Reusable mesh produce bags (5-pack), available at Amazon, $7.97

If she’s an avid grocery shopper who opts for eco-friendly products, she’ll appreciate this functional and sustainable set of mesh produce bags. The color-coded tags and drawstrings are an added bonus that’ll help keep things organized.

Red and White Wine Inspired Bath Soaps

Red and White Wine Inspired Bath Soaps

Set of Four Wine Soaps, available at Uncommon Goods, $30 

If she always has a glass of wine at the end of the day, make it a daily routine with these wine inspired soaps. This all-natural vegan soap mimics favorite red and white wines through its oils and scents. The wine soap set includes chardonnay, cabernet, pinot noir, and pinot grigio. So whether it’s the citrus scent of a bar of chardonnay or the fruity odor from a pinot noir, let your skin drink and soak in these charming soaps.

Cozy Heatable Pair of Slippers

Aromatherapy Heatable Slippers

Aromatherapy Heatable Slippers, available at Grommet, $48

The aromatherapy heatable slippers can become her new at home spa treatment with minimal effort. To help her unwind, warm the insoles in the microwaves with the included bag for up to 30 seconds. She’ll feel a greater peace of mind, especially with its long-lasting flax seed and lavender scents.

A monthly subscription to handpicked rental jewelry pieces

Rocksbox under $25

Rocksbox Jewelry Subscription Box, available at Rocksbox, $21 per month

Let her experiment and curate her jewelry tastes with this monthly jewelry subscription box. It offers a three piece jewelry rental according to her personal style. From a choker necklace to statement earrings and rings, the choices are affordably limitless. The monthly membership allows her to wear and swap sets whenever she likes, with the option to eventually buy them at an additional price. It’s hard to gift jewelry she’ll absolutely love, so give her options. 

Handcrafted Set of Minimalist Coasters

Handcrafted Set of Minimalist Coasters

The Vintage Vogue Linea Coasters (Set of 4), available at West Elm, $29

A clever way to keep her home clean and stylish is with these vintage Vogue Linea coasters. These minimalist chic coasters provide any home decor with more flair and care. 

A female figure candle

Goddess Figure Candle

Goddess Figure Candle, available at Uncommon Goods, $50

Any candle or art enthusiast would love how this candle exquisitely captures the female form. It shows an appreciation of women’s beauty in its varying body types that promote body positivity and inclusivity. Available in black, brown, or a natural wax color, this single candle evokes the inner goddess in her.

A pair of one pound wearable weights

Balabangles Wearable Weights

Balabangles Wearable Weights, available at Uncommon Goods, $49

If she’s into fitness or enjoys accessorizing her athleisure outfits, these one pound weights are a chic and comfy choice. They are adjustable weights that can be worn on the wrists or ankles. In either black or pink soft silicone material, this stylish workout tool adds intensity to any workout whether it’s pilates or a mini workout like simply running errands.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best desks for your office in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

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

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

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

The best desks for your home office in 2021

The best standing desk

Fully desk with plants and office supplies on it.

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

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

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

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

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

The best desk for corners

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

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

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

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

The best desk for small spaces

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

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

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

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

The best desk for cable management

Union & Scale desk with white background.

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

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

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

The best affordable desk

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

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

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

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

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

The best minimalist desk

Ikea white desk.

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

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

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

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

The best extra-wide desk

Article desk with white background.

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

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

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

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

The best wall-mounted desk

Pottery Barn Trenton desk with white background.

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

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

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

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

The best writing desk

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

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

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

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

The best drafting desk

Zeny light brown desk with stool in front of it.

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

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

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

What to look for in a desk

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

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

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

Height

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

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

Depth

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

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

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

Thin table top without drawers in the center

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

Material

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

Storage

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

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

Design

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

What type of desk do I need?

Four different types of desks in one photo.

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

Height-adjustable desks

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

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

Computer desks

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

Writing desks

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

Corner desks

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

Executive desks

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

Drafting desks

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

How should you sit at a desk?

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

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

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

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

How should you style a desk?

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

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

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

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

Check out our other home office guides

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

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The best office chairs


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The 13 best planners for staying organized in 2021, including tips and tricks from experts

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Person writing in planner using a ballpoint pen. Photo cropped to only show hand and planner.
  • A planner is an all-in-one productivity tool for writing down events, to-do lists, and goals.
  • Planners come in all varieties, from dated and undated to daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
  • The best planner is a personal choice, whether it’s small and undetailed or big and densely packed.

Paper planners are calendars that help you keep track of tasks, appointments, ideas, and so on. They let you see the week or month all at once, in a clear and legible way. But no planner is one-size-fits-all: The best planner for you might be unsuitable for someone else’s needs.

Picking a planner comes down to personal preference, whether you like to schedule things down to the minute or just jot a few weekly notes. Many have space for notes, to-do lists, and other tasks. Some people want a balance of enough space for their jottings but in a book that can easily fit in their backpack.

Planner styles get even more detailed, and we break down the ways to choose what’s right for you at the end of this guide. We talked to two stationery store owners and a productivity expert to get their advice on how to pick a planner.

“There’s lots of different, great planners, and it just kind of depends on thinking about how you want to plan your week and how you want to visualize your week,” said Jeremy Crown, who co-owns Little Otsu, a paper store in Portland, Oregon.

Whatever style of planner you prefer, you’ll be able to find something in the list below. Keep in mind that manufacturers often make their planners in several styles and sizes, and we try to reflect that in the list.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Here are the best planners

Apica CD Free Monthly Planner

Apica Schedule Book Planner open page to schedule.

The Apica CD Free Monthly Planner is very affordable, with minimal frills.

Basic but very functional, Apica’s monthly planner has 32 pages, a cardstock cover, and thread binding. It’s undated, so you can pick it up and start scheduling any part of the year. There are 16 sheets of monthly calendars (one month stretches over two pages), plus another 15 pages of grid paper. There are also a couple of pages for a yearly overview. If you don’t need a super-detailed calendar but still want something with nice paper and an affordable price, the Apica is a great option. 

BestSelf Co. the Self Journal

BestSelf Journal open on desk with a pen on it, with various desk items like sunglasses, a wallet, and plant to the side.

The Self Journal from BestSelf is geared toward quarterly planning, with daily, intensive options for tracking your goals.

If you’re looking for a lot of structure and prompts, the Self Journal might be right for you. It has pages of tasks and templates to guide your goal-setting. While undated, it’s only meant to last 13 weeks, so you won’t have a full year at your fingertips. The idea, though, is to break the year down into chunks and do the same for daunting projects. There are spaces to fill out what you’re grateful for, goals, and targets. 

With 240 pages, the size is fairly portable, and it has a hardcover. The paper is also fountain-pen friendly.

Bloom Daily Planner

Bloom Daily Planners

The Bloom Daily Planner comes in many versions to suit many styles, all with plenty of supplemental sheets for tracking progress.

Bloom’s planners are full of lists and charts for you to fill out and help you figure out how to schedule the year ahead. There are vision boards and habit-tracking options included. You can also sign up for additional, downloadable sheets for bill tracking, meal planning, and so on. 

The nice thing about Bloom is that it has almost countless options for getting exactly what you want. The planners come in both softcover and hardcover options, and there are several planner layouts to choose from. For teachers, there are undated versions, as well as ones that start in July. If you have a wedding or new baby on the horizon, there are planners for that, too.

Clever Fox Non-Dated Daily Planner

Clever Fox Planner opened with two hands and one is holding a pen to write in it.

With a full page for each day, the Clever Fox Non-Dated Daily Planner gives you space for your packed schedule or brainstorming sessions.

Clever Fox‘s daily planner has scads of room for those with busy days — or anyone who likes to doodle and brainstorm in their calendars. Each day of the week has its own page, with space to schedule from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. There are also prompts for weekly goals (both work and personal priorities) and productivity tracking. The planner also comes with stickers to help you personalize your pages. With a sturdy cover in colors from black to rose gold to royal blue, it should be easy enough to find one that matches your style. 

In addition to the daily version — which is only for six months — there are weekly options that have space for a full year. If you want a larger planner, the pro version measures 8.5 by 11 inches. 

Cultivate What Matters Powersheets Goal Planner

Cultivate What Matters Powersheets open on a table with a blue pen to the side.

From Cultivate What Matters, the PowerSheets Goal Planner has lots of prompts to keep you on track and inspired.

Getting started with PowerSheets is a bit of a commitment; it can take a couple of hours to fully fill out your goal sheets. There are also video explainers to help you check all the boxes. The planner is hefty and sturdy and should have no problem lasting the year. There are 160 pages, with the months spread over two pages. There are also two pages per month for monthly, weekly, and daily ideas and action items. PowerSheets aren’t made for day-to-day notes but are more for bigger-picture projects and goals. 

There are lots of stickers and a pastel palette, which won’t appeal to everyone. 

Day Designer Daily Planner for Blue Sky

Day Designer Planner for Blue Sky open to a page to write in.

A thorough planner with lots of room for notes, the Day Designer Daily Planner for Blue Sky is great for people with busy days or lengthy to-do lists.

Usually, Day Designer planners are $59, but the Blue Sky collaboration version is $28. The Blue Sky planner does have lower-quality paper and a flexible cover that may not stand up to wear and tear as well as a hardcover. The day has a 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. schedule, along with room for to-do lists. At the top and bottom are boxes for gratitude, your “top three” important items, and notes for the night. 

If you have a larger budget and prefer a daily calendar, Day Designer’s flagship planner has a page dedicated to each weekday, with a single page for weekends. 

2021-2022 Academic Year Daily & Monthly Planner (small)
Field Notes 56-Week Planner

Field Notes 56 Week Planner flipped open to write on a blank planning sheet.

Robust yet portable, the Field Notes 56-Week Planner is a great low-priced choice that still lasts a full year.

Compact yet rugged enough to toss in a backpack, Field Notes‘ 56-week planner is no-frills but fully functional. Each week gets two pages, with Saturday and Sunday sharing space. They’re undated, so you can start anytime, miss a couple weeks, and pick back up without wasting pages. As the name suggests, you get space for over a year, with 112 pages total. 

At less than $20, it’s one of the more affordable planners on the list, though we wish there were a few options for the cover. 

Happy Planner

Happy Planner faced open on a desk with two pens on the right page.

Happy Planner has lots of customization options, including layout and length.

Happy Planner is all about making its products work for you, so there are quite a few ways to customize your planner. It offers horizontal, vertical, and dashboard layouts, as well as a few different sizes and undated options. You can also buy plenty of stickers to add more flair. The covers tend to be pastel, boldly colored, or Disney-themed, so it might be hard to find something more understated. We also like the planner’s discbound binding, which is like a three-ring binder you don’t have to open and close.

Happy Planners are popular with teachers, and they offer 18-month versions that start in July. 

Classic Planner (12-Month) (small)
Panda Planner

Person looking at their Panda Planner with pen in hand and coffee to the left.

The Panda Planner is meant to be hyper-focused on a three-month period, with daily tracking.

The classic version of the Panda Planner is undated, with room for three months of daily tracking. There are also weekly and monthly sections. The planner is designed for those who need lots of on-page support, with boxes for morning and end-of-day reviews, habit tracking, and priorities. Each day gets a two-page spread, and they’re undated, so you can skip weekends if you want something more work-focused. The cover and interior designs are less flowery than many other planners on the list, which may be a positive or negative, depending on what you like. 

Panda Planners also come in undated, six-month and dated, full-year versions.

Passion Planner

Passion Planner faced open on a desk.

Designed with motivation in mind, the Passion Planner has a few layouts to help you follow through with your goals.

The Passion Planner is focused on motivation and helping you achieve your yearly goals. The weekly version has places for you to note what you’re focusing on and good things that happened. The layout is vertical, so keep that in mind if you prefer a horizontal setup. There are a few styles to choose from, including undated daily and weekly layouts. On the website, you can choose whether you want your planner’s week to begin on Sunday or Monday. Small, medium, and large sizes are available, with the biggest being a bit larger than a standard sheet of paper. 

If buying a Passion Planner doesn’t fit into your budget, the site has downloadable content that you can print and fit into a regular, three-ring binder. There are also digital versions available. 

Rhodia Webplanner

Rhodia Webplanner

With nice paper and a stylish design, the Rhodia Webplanner may appeal to those looking for a mix of structure and freeform planning.

Rhodia is a French notebook company with a trademark orange and black scheme, so there aren’t a ton of color options. Unfussy, with a faux leather cover and nice paper, the Webplanner gives room for a weekly schedule on one page and a grid for notes on the right. It’s a nice compromise for those who like bullet journaling but want a little more structure. 

Quo Vadis Weekly Business Planner

Qua Vadis Business Planner open to pages.

Good quality yet affordable, the Quo Vadis Weekly Business Planner is a no-nonsense way to keep tabs on your weekly to-dos.

A well-designed, pocket-sized planner from Quo Vadis, it has a textured, faux leather cover. It’s helpful to go on the Quo Vadis website because it lays out all the options available for its planners: academic or calendar year; daily, weekly, or monthly format; and small, medium, or large size. The planner’s weekly layout is vertical, with scheduling space from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. There are large squares on the right page for extra notes. The cover comes in several colors, and you can also find the planner in faux suede or smooth faux leather options. 

Though there isn’t a lot of extra space for habit tracking, the back of the planner does have some space for personal notes and a map of the world’s time zones. 

Wit & Delight Stay on Track Desktop Notepad

Wit and Delight Desktop Planner faced open with hands and a pen in one hand.

Portable planners aren’t for everyone, so the Wit & Delight Stay on Track Desktop Notepad is a great (big) way to jot down notes, appointments, and the like.

If you want a planner that you can’t ignore, this desk version from Wit & Delight is a good option. It’s undated, with 180 sheets. Each page has vertical space for Monday through Friday. There aren’t Saturday and Sunday spots, but there’s a “home life” box that could work for weekend activities. There are also places for notes, projects, and big picture items. 

How to choose a planner

There are an overwhelming number of planner types. “I used to try to just stock as many as possible because it’s such a personal thing,” said Chandra Greer, who owns Greer, a stationery store in Chicago, Illinois.

She eventually realized it was impossible to cover every base and now just selects functional, quality options, knowing they might not be the right fit for everyone. “I’m more interested in the function of it,” she said. “Is the layout useful? Is the layout well-designed? Is the paper great? Is it something that is going to withstand being your daily friend for 365 days?” 

To find out what will work for you, you can start by considering what qualities are most important to you. “I think if you sort of start with, ‘What is it that I want to use this for?’ that gives you a good starting point,” said Alexandra Cavoulacos, founder of The Muse and author of “The New Rules of Work“.  You can start with format — daily, weekly, or monthly — and overall length. Do you want to keep it to a few months for a specific project, or would you prefer something that gets you through a month or even longer? 

Daily, weekly, monthly

For some people, a planner is merely a portable calendar, Cavoulacos said. “They want to know where they need to be, when they have a doctor’s appointment, those sort of things,” she said. Other people want to track projects and create to-do lists. The amount of detail per day will start to dictate how much space you need. “There’s a hundred ways somebody might schedule their day,” said Greer. Some people need an hour-by-hour breakdown. If you’re mostly making to-do lists, a weekly calendar might work. If it’s more about keeping tabs on a few appointments, monthly might work. 

“It’s all about what works for you,” said Cavoulacos. 

Dated or undated

There are many reasons you might decide to buy an undated calendar. “People might decide on March 28th, they want a planner,” said Greer. “But if a planner is dated, they’re already three months through the year.” With an undated planner, they can get more bang for the buck by having it carry them through the next March. 

Another reason might be you know yourself to be a fickle planner user. If you keep it undated, you can always pick up where you left off without wasting days’ worth of paper. People working on a big project, planning a wedding, or focusing on a specific goal might also prefer an undated planner, for more flexibility or to keep everything contained in one book. 

Months or years

Some hyper-focused, daily planners will only last a few months. It helps keep them from being too bulky and cumbersome. Others are much bigger picture, with five-year plans. In between, there are standard yearly planners and academic versions, which tend to start in the summer or early fall. 

The only thing that might stop you from buying an academic planner in January is that most manufacturers don’t have the current year’s available, so you’re better off waiting a few months for that. 

Horizontal or vertical

You’ll often see weekly planners arranged with each week covering two pages and the days spread out horizontally or vertically. When someone comes into Little Otsu looking for a planner, co-owner Jeremy Crown first asks, “Are you more of a task-oriented planner?” He thinks people with detailed schedules or long to-do lists will prefer the column format of vertical layouts. Those who like making notes or doodling might like the horizontal layout better. 

Some planners use a “dashboard” view, with a week or day on one page and the other dedicated to habit trackers, gratitude prompts, and other fill-in-the-blanks. 

Size

Doctors, nurses, and chefs always want pocket-sized notebooks and planners, said Crown. You might want something big enough to hold your sprawling handwriting but small enough to carry around in your purse or messenger bag. Many planner makers will offer at least a couple of choices when it comes to size. 

Minimalist or full of prompts 

Planner aesthetic ranges from very barebones to packed with extras. What you like is completely personal. You’ll find plenty of basic books with a plain cover and just the calendars. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can get a planner with quotes, charts, and check-ins. You may want something in between, with a pretty cover but few internal embellishments. 

“You want your planner to inspire you, whatever that means for you,” Cavoulacos said. That could mean a simple planner with zero distractions, she said, or something with quotes and your horoscope that makes you look forward to opening the book every day. “I do think the sort of aesthetic piece, the inspiration piece, is also something that shouldn’t be forgotten,” she said.  

If you do want something more stripped down, Greer suggests looking to Japanese planner makers. “You’re not going to see little flower illustrations and little quotes and 85 pages of guided journal meditation,” she said. “They keep it very simple. They’re very serious about it.” 

Both Greer and Cavoulacos point out that you can add your own quotes and personalizations to even the most minimalist planner, as long as there’s space. “It could become more of a person’s little command center,” said Greer. 

Paper quality

For some, the quality of a planner’s paper isn’t really a factor. There are a few things to know, though. Two Halloween-ish-sounding words that are useful to know, stationery-wise, are bleeding and ghosting. Bleeding is when the ink leaks through. Ghosting is when you flip the paper over and can see what’s written, even though it hasn’t actually bled through. “Good paper, whether it’s thin or thick, doesn’t ghost,” Crown said. 

In many countries, fountain pen use is much more widespread than in the United States. The paper made there reflects that. “As a general rule, Japanese paper tends to be softer and smoother, and American paper is kind of the roughest — or we’d say the toothiest — and Europe’s kind of in the middle,” Crown said. 

“Fountain pen usage is a really big factor,” Greer said. “It’s probably the number one question we get about any of our notebooks and planners, ‘Is the paper fountain pen friendly?’ and not all papers are.” If paper quality is high on your list of importance, Greer suggests taking a close look at who makes a planner. 

“I definitely gravitate towards manufacturers who have a background in paper,” she said. “So they’re not so much about being a planner company. They’re about a notebook/paper company that has planners.” Some of the manufacturers that make planners with excellent paper include Midori, Paperways, High Tide, and Kokuyo Jibun Techo, she said.  

Cover

Even if you’re not into paper, you’ll want to pay attention to the cover’s material. Hardcovers will stand up to more wear and tear than softcovers. “Sometimes people will trade off that durability for something that doesn’t cost very much so, but definitely people are expecting, when they purchase a planner, that it’s going to get through the whole year and not look like it was run over by a truck,” Greer said. 

Binding 

It’s important that planners lie flat since you’re writing in them. Many are spiral bound, but others are stitch bound. Either will let you write on them, but you can flip one side of the book behind the other with a spiral binding. “A lot of people are kind of indifferent between spiral and stitch bound now, as long as it lies flat because that’s really what they’re looking for,” Greer said. 

Discbound is similar to spiral-bound, but it’s a bit different. The pages in a discbound book can be easily removed and put back in, but you don’t have to open the discs, as you would with a three-ring binder. Instead, there are little notches in the paper that fit around the disc. It makes planners more customizable because you can quickly and easily move pages from one section to another. 

Another concern with the binding is whether it will keep the planner together for the whole year. Some glued-in pages might not hold out as well. “If you have something that’s stitch bound or spiral, it’s very sturdy for the long haul,” Greer said.

Bullet journaling 

Bullet journaling is a system of tracking and tackling tasks, goals, and projects. It can be used with basically any notebook, but it’s not for everyone. “I think for some people you want the prompt and you want the structure to guide you because you’re not exactly sure how to organize everything,” Cavoulacos said. 

“There’s a lot of stationery enthusiasts in the United States, and so there’s all these different subcultures with people who are really into making their own space on paper,” Crown said. “And that’s what bullet journaling is perfect for.” 

If you’ve never tried it, you can either start with an ordinary notebook you have lying around. There are also plenty of hybrid options, with calendars and space for notes or bullet journaling. 

Extras

There might be some little perks with certain planners that might be deal-makers for you. Maybe you want a front pocket to keep extra papers. Perhaps you prefer a planner with an elastic band to help keep it closed. 

If the extra that’s most attractive to you is stickers, keep in mind that you can probably buy them separately.  

Why not just use your phone as a digital planner?

“I don’t necessarily think a planner is for everybody, just like any particular productivity hack or tool,” Cavoulacos said. There are plenty of people who prefer to keep their calendars and notes strictly digital, and getting a paper planner might not make sense for them. 

If you’re on the fence, she suggests asking yourself what’s attractive about a paper planner. “I think for a lot of people it’s slowing down, right?” Cavoulacos said. “It’s like the lack of distraction. It’s the moments to think, to cross things off — the satisfaction of crossing things off.” 

Greer said she went through a few years where not many people were buying planners. Now she’s seeing more customers who want something physical to carry around and write in. She even gets tech workers buying them. “They’re saying that their schedule’s more accessible to them in some ways, in terms of getting the big picture, if they’re using a physical book,” Greer said. 

For Crown, it’s more personal than a phone calendar. “It’s your life in a book,” he said. “That’s kind of what’s special about them. The end of the year, you have this book that was like, this is what I did. That’s something that the phone doesn’t do that well.” 

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65 free online courses from the best US colleges, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, and more

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Free online courses Harvard
  • Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn let you take classes from top colleges for free.
  • Paid options grant access to certificates of completion, feedback, and even final grades.
  • Course topics vary widely, from business and programming to writing and medicine.

Every year, US News & Reports releases its ranking of the top universities in the country. The schools included in the rankings are renowned for their rigorous academic programs, high-profile faculty members, and beautiful campuses. But they’re not easy to get into, nor are they affordable without scholarships.

Thankfully, online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn are increasing access to high-quality education for anyone with a computer and internet access. The sites’ free and low-priced courses are taught by instructors from the best universities and academic institutions around the world, so anyone can advance their education, pursue new professional goals, or audit a class for fun.

You can browse unlimited free online courses from schools like Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Duke, and The University of Michigan, or pay a fee to earn a certificate of completion that you can display on your LinkedIn profile or resume.

We rounded up the Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn courses from each of the top schools so you can skip directly to your favorite university or browse all that each has to offer.

Note: The following list includes archived courses on edX. They are designated with an asterisk (*).

65 free online classes from the top universities in the country:

1: Princeton University

students princeton
Two students walk around the Princeton University campus in New Jersey, November 16, 2013.

Browse all courses from Princeton University on Coursera here

Browse all courses from Princeton University on edX here

2: Harvard University

Free online courses Harvard

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3: Columbia University

Free online courses Columbia

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4: MIT

Free online courses MIT

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4 (tie): Yale University

Free online courses Yale

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6: Stanford University

Free online courses Stanford

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6 (tie): The University of Chicago

university of chicago

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8: The University of Pennsylvania

university of pennsylvania

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9 (tie): The California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Caltech

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9 (tie): Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins

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9 (tie): Northwestern University

Northwestern university

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12: Duke University

Free online courses Duke

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The best 5 gliders and rocking chairs

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Rocking chairs may seem old-fashioned, but they are extremely comfortable.
  • If you’re looking for a great rocking chair, we like the Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner.
  • Thanks to its reclining capabilities and 360-degree swivel action, we think it suits most people.

Often used by new parents, gliders and rocking chairs are useful additions to a nursery. But almost anyone can enjoy a rocking chair, and there are many modern styles to choose from these days.

Rocking chairs are even having a resurgence these days. You don’t have to be a baby to enjoy the gentle and calming rocking sensation. You can enjoy your new rocker in cushioned comfort, whether you’re in the baby’s nursery, on the porch, or in a living room watching TV.

We’ve checked all the reviews and looked over the feature sets of every rocking chair in our guide to find only the best ones. Whether you’re a new parent, a grandparent, or just someone who loves rocking chairs, we have a pick for you here.

Here are the best gliders and rocking chairs in 2021

The best gliding chair overall

best_rocking_chair_ _Baby_Relax_Mikayla_Swivel_Gliding_ _from_Amazon

No matter what style of rocking chair you prefer, the versatile Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner fulfills your needs, with a glider, recliner, and swivel chair all wrapped into one.

Pros: Versatile rocking chair offering glider and swivel features inside a recliner, soft and comfortable cushioning, high back is good for tall people, nice looking design, easy to clean microfiber fabric

Cons: May squeak a little

The Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner combines many of the best features in modern rocking chairs, all in one comfortable package.

It’s able to serve as a glider, a recliner, and a swivel chair. Because of its high-quality construction, all of the chair’s movements are extremely smooth and controlled, which is especially important for nursing mothers.

A padded leg rest invites you to put your feet up while you’re using the Mikayla as a recliner, and the button tufting on the backrest acts as both a generous cushion and a fun design detail. 

Speaking of design, it’s also nice that the chair comes in several different colors and fabrics. You can choose between beige linen, gray linen, gray microfiber, and mocha microfiber. Note that the microfiber fabrics will be the easiest to clean.

The best glider for nursing babies

best glider chair for nursing babies Dutailier

If you’re looking for a rocking chair specifically for nursing a baby — and you don’t mind spending a little extra — the Dutailier Nursing Grand Modern Glider Chair offers several desirable features.

Pros: High construction quality, easy to assemble, built-in nursing pillows set this rocking chair apart, very comfortable cushions, position of glider can be locked in place during feeding, also available with an ottoman

Cons: Narrow (18.75″ wide)

The Dutailier Nursing Grand Modern Glider provides high-quality fabric, a sturdy build, and generous cushioning.

It also includes built-in feeding pillows that make this rocking chair even more appealing to nursing parents. The pillows tuck into the back cushion when not in use. You’ll just pull the pillows out of place when you need to position them.

It also includes a fully adjustable backrest with extra seating space that’s perfect for sitting comfortably with your baby. You can lock the glider into place, ensuring you remain in just the right position without movement while feeding your baby. It’s also available with an ottoman

The best traditional rocking chair

best_rocking_chair_ _Coaster_Rocking_Chair_With_Carved_Detail_ _from_Amazon

If stylish and traditional is your taste in furniture, it doesn’t get much more traditional than the all-wood Coaster Milton Indoor Rocking Chair.

Pros: Beautiful looking traditional rocking chair, all wood construction, assembly takes a short amount of time, lightweight chair is easy to move around, easy to clean the chair

Cons: Customers report some problems with customer service, no included cushions

Some items are just better when you stick to the original design. If that’s your feeling regarding rocking chairs, the Coaster Milton Indoor Rocking Chair is the way to go.

The Coaster rocking chair has the two arc rockers, the four spindle legs attaching the chair to the rockers, the curved arms, and the all-wood design that represents the traditional look of a rocking chair. This model has no cushions on it, but you can easily add tie-on cushions to the seat and back for a bit of comfort.

This chair also weighs less than 20 pounds, making it easy to move around. 

The best outdoor rocking chair

best_rocking_chair_ _Outdoor_Interiors_Resin_Wicker_Rocking_Chair_ _from_Amazon

The Outdoor Interiors Resin Wicker and Eucalyptus Rocking Chair stands up to almost any kind of weather, but it will continue to look great with just a little bit of maintenance.

Pros: Very durable outdoor rocking chair, materials look nice, chair is comfortable for sitting for long periods, good build quality, wood only requires occasional maintenance care

Cons: Assembly can be tricky

The Outdoor Interiors Resin Wicker and Eucalyptus Rocking Chair provides the right mix of stylish construction and weatherproof materials, making it a great option for using on an outdoor patio.

It has a wooden frame and a wicker seat for a classic look. The materials are fairly durable and meant to tough out the weather on your patio. You may want to occasionally apply linseed oil to keep the wood in top condition.

You will have to pay a bit more than average for this outdoor rocking chair, but it has plenty of durability to make it worth the extra cost, thanks to its combination of wicker and eucalyptus.

A common complaint in online reviews is the chair’s tricky assembly process, as lining up the parts while tightening them is difficult for one person alone. However, once it’s made, it’s a great chair.

What to consider when buying a rocking chair

Rocking chairs and gliders are available in many shapes, designs, styles, and sizes. All of them allow you to create a gentle rocking motion, but they go about the process in slightly different ways. 

  • Fabric: If you’re often rocking your baby in the chair, the chair is going to become soiled at some point. It’s inevitable. So pick a type of chair and fabric that’s easy to clean.
  • Glider or platform: A glider rocking chair moves forward and backward, leaving the base in a stable position, rather than having the entire chair move in an arc like a traditional rocking chair. The movement of a glider is often smoother than a rocking chair, which is good for moms and babies. Gliders and platform rockers operate in a similar manner.
  • Locking mechanism: Some rocking chairs can be locked in place, which makes it easier for you to stand up while holding a baby.
  • Ottoman: Many rocking chairs come with an ottoman, which allows you to put your feet up when you don’t want to rock. Some ottomans that ship with glider rocking chairs also move in the same manner as the glider, allowing for a smooth motion.
  • Outdoor: Some rocking chairs are made for indoor use, while others are made for outdoor use. If you plan to leave your rocking chair exposed to the weather, be sure to pick a chair rated for outdoor use.
  • Padding: A rocking chair may provide padding to support your back, neck, and arms. You may be spending a few hours in the chair to comfort a sick baby, so padding is important. Even an all-wood rocking chair can be made more comfortable with removable padding that ties onto the chair.
  • Recliner: Some rockers have a reclining feature, which allows you to lock the rocking chair in place and put your feet up on a footrest.
  • Swivel: Some rocking chairs have a circular base, which allows you to spin the chair 360 degrees in addition to rocking in it. This is a great feature for being able to swing around and see other children playing in the room while sitting with a baby.

 

Check out our other guides to baby essentials

Baby crib

The best umbrella strollers


The best organic and eco-friendly disposable diapers


The best changing pads

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 3 best electric skillets we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A good electric skillet heats and cooks quickly and evenly and is easy to use and clean.
  • We cooked fried chicken, hamburgers, and pancakes in six electric skillets to find the best.
  • The Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert is our top pick with its user-friendly features and even cooking.

Electric skillets are one of the most underrated kitchen appliances. If you live in a dorm, tiny home, RV, or just don’t have access to a stove, an electric skillet comes in handy for an array of cooking tasks. In addition to sautéing and pan-frying, a skillet is useful for deep frying, browning meats, and griddle cooking. You can even find recipes for baking cakes and other treats in electric skillets. While working on this guide, I frequently referenced and enjoyed The Sensational Skillet Cookbook.

Even if you have a spacious kitchen with several burners, it’s smart to keep an electric skillet around when the summer heat makes using the stove unbearable, when kitchen space is at a premium during the holidays, or when you just want to keep your food warm at a potluck.

For this guide, I fried 15 pounds of chicken thighs and eight pounds of burgers, and made more than 50 pancakes in six electric skillets.

I have reviewed kitchen appliances for four years and have developed many objective tests to determine which models are best for different budgets and cooking needs. You can find details about how I test electric skillets here.

Here are the best electric skillets of 2021

Our testing methodology

6 pieces of chicken thighs getting cooked in the Presto Electric Skillet

We put each electric skillet in this guide through several objective tests. The most important factors to take into account when buying an electric skillet are how evenly it heats and cooks and how easy it is to use and clean.

Here are the main attributes we consider and the ways we test for them:

Ease of use: I set up each of the units without referencing the user manual to assess how easy they were to use. Even with some minor assembly, none of the skillets took more than 10 minutes to set up. I also examined how easy the handles were to grab barehanded when hot and covered with slippery cooking oil. The handles stayed cool on all of the models, but there were a few instances where the handles were small or poorly placed so that it was hard to avoid coming in contact with the hot pan. I also looked at special features that improved usability, such as a long power cord, easy storage, or a built-in pour spout.

Even heating: To test how evenly the skillets heated, I sprinkled 1/3 cup flour evenly over the cooking surface of each. Then, I turned the heat on high and closely watched the coloration of the flour. If the skillet heats evenly, all of the flour should darken at the same time. This was not the case with any of the skillets. With every unit except our top pick, the flour darkened where the heating element was located under the pan.

Speed: I poured two cups of peanut oil into the skillet, cranked the heat, and timed how long it took the oil to reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit as measured with a probe thermometer. Most of the models took five to seven minutes. Only our top pick took a little longer — eight minutes and 30 seconds.

Cleaning process: I washed each of the electric skillets several times per the manufacturer’s instructions and noted how difficult the cleaning process was. For the units that are dishwasher safe, I ran them through the dishwasher at least once. I found washing by hand to be more convenient than machine washing; the skillets hogged a lot of dishwasher space and the nonstick surfaces made removing grime with a sponge fairly easy. 

Cooking performance: I put the electric skillets through three cooking tests.

  • Fried chicken: I preheated two cups of peanut oil and filled each skillet with as many chicken thighs (coated with gluten-free flour and Tajín Clásico Seasoning) as I could fit without crowding. I timed how long it took for the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, I assessed how evenly the chicken cooked and how good it tasted.
  • Hamburgers: After preheating the skillets, I added as many quarter-pound patties as I could fit without crowding and timed how long it took them to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once done, I assessed how even the sear was and how the burger tasted.
  • Pancakes: I made pancake batter from Krusteaz mix and scooped quarter-cup dollops onto the preheated and bacon-greased skillets. I timed how long it took the pancakes to cook through. Then, I rated how evenly the pancakes cooked based on taste and appearance.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR): I assessed how socially responsible the manufacturers of each skillet are based on information the organizations provided as well as my own research. I considered environmental initiatives and whether the companies are engaged in any questionable practices, and I looked at data from sites like CSRHub and Glassdoor to get a sense of diversity in leadership and employee satisfaction. Since it’s virtually impossible to collect consistent data across all companies, I didn’t weigh this attribute heavily, but I did note any information that consumers may want to know before supporting a company.

The best electric skillet overall

5 burgers getting cooked in the Zojirushi Gourmet d'Expert Electric Skillet

The Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet comes with two pans and a steamer, has a user-friendly design, and did the best job of heating evenly in our tests.

Pros: Heats evenly, comes with two pans and a steamer, user-friendly controls, easy to clean, long cord that detaches easily for safety, produced delicious and evenly-cooked fried chicken, burgers, and pancakes

Cons: Small cooking surface

There are several features that set the Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet (model EP-RAC50) apart from other skillets we tested. First of all, it comes with two pans: a deeper pan for soup-type foods, including hot pots, and a flatter plate for frying and grilling. The set also includes a tempered glass lid and vented steamer. 

The skillet comes with a long cord that detaches when something pulls on it so it’s hard to accidentally send the skillet’s contents flying across your kitchen.

Setup was intuitive and took about five minutes. And, the Gourmet d’Expert has user-friendly controls. You simply move the slider on the face of the unit to the temperature you want. In contrast, the other models we tested relied on poorly-placed dials. 

I was impressed with the even heating of the Zojirushi. While the other models were hotter around the heating element — exhibiting a telltale dark ring in our flour test — the heating element location wasn’t as clear with the Gourmet d’Expert as the flour darkened more evenly.

The Zojirushi skillet did a good job of cooking fried chicken, burgers, and pancakes. While it was the slowest to heat oil, it was the fastest to cook the fried chicken, only taking 25 minutes. And, the skin was as evenly-cooked and tasty as it gets. The meat was juicy with just the right amount of grease. Plus, the skillet produced a great sear on the burgers, and the pancakes were cooked evenly and quickly. 

Cleanup was a snap. While the pan isn’t dishwasher safe, you can remove it from the base to wash it by hand, and grime slid right off thanks to the nonstick coating.

The biggest negative with the Gourmet d’Expert is it’s the smallest model we tested, and fit the fewest burgers, pancakes, and chicken thighs. 

While I would have liked to take Zojirushi’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) rating into account during my evaluation, the company did not provide the info I requested. If that changes, I will update this guide accordingly.

The best budget electric skillet

A red Dash Family Size Electric Skillet on a black marble kitchen counter.

The Dash Family Size Rapid Heat Electric Skillet not only costs less than $50, but it heats quickly and has a large capacity.

Pros: Large capacity, fast preheating, produced outstanding burgers, simple design, lightweight, easy to store

Cons: Heats and cooks unevenly, not dishwasher safe

The Dash Family Size Rapid Heat Electric Skillet (model DRG214RD) is the only skillet under $50 that we recommend. It also has the largest capacity of the units we tested, fitting the most chicken thighs, burgers, and pancakes, which makes it ideal for families. 

The Dash skillet has a basic design and setup. The unit consists of the base with its built-in nonstick pan, a power cord with a dial control that plugs into the back, and a lid with a silicone ring to form a tight seal. Setup took about five minutes, and the only assembly was attaching the knob to the lid. 

The handles are large and easy to grip (even when greasy), and, as the name suggests, the Dash Rapid Heat Electric Skillet heats quickly. Unfortunately, that speed comes at the expense of even heat distribution. In the flour test, I could clearly see where the ring-shaped heating element was located. This led to fast but uneven pancake cooking. And, some of the chicken started to burn in spots, while other pieces were still undercooked. However, the hamburgers were the most forgiving. The Dash skillet produced beautifully-seared burgers that tasted delicious.

Cleaning the skillet was a pain. It’s big and isn’t dishwasher safe. Fortunately, it has a nonstick surface so debris comes right off, and the unit is lightweight, which makes it easy to move around and store.

Dash is a subsidiary of Groupe SEB, which has a strong record of social responsibility. For more info about how we evaluate CSR, see our testing methodology.

The best electric skillet for frying

3 pancakes cooking in the Presto 16-inch Foldaway Electric Skillet

At just a few dollars more than our budget pick, the Presto Electric Foldaway Skillet did an outstanding job of frying chicken and cooking pancakes in our tests, and it folds up for easy storage.

Pros: Did an outstanding job frying chicken and cooking pancakes, easy to clean and use, folds up for compact storage, features a pour spout

Cons: Cooked burgers slowly and unevenly, heats unevenly

Presto is arguably the biggest name in electric skillets. The company even published the most popular electric skillet cookbook on Amazon, the Eclectic Electric Skillet Cookbook. And, the Presto Electric Foldaway Skillet (model 06857) is one of the best-selling skillets with its unique design that folds up for compact storage, making it ideal for RVs or other tight quarters. Another unique feature is a pour spout on the rim for accurate pouring of the pan’s contents.

The setup of the Presto Foldaway is a little more involved than most skillets since you need to clip the pan into the base, but it was easy to do without instructions, and the setup process only took five minutes.

The Presto skillet did an excellent job of making chicken and pancakes. The oil preheated in under seven minutes, and the fried chicken took 26 minutes to get to a safe internal temperature. The results were absolutely delicious. Pancakes took about three minutes and were cooked evenly.

The burgers didn’t turn out as good. It took 10 minutes to cook them in the Presto Foldaway — longer than any other model — and they browned unevenly. The flour test more clearly revealed the uneven heating as a ring of darkened flour formed where the heating element was located.

Fortunately, cleaning the Presto Foldaway was easy since the pan detaches from the base. The pan is dishwasher safe, but Presto encourages washing by hand to prolong the life of the nonstick coating. I preferred washing it by hand anyway, since the coating kept bits of debris from sticking.

Presto’s parent company, National Presto Industries, may be problematic for some, with its low social responsibility ranking, lack of diversity in leadership roles, and production of warheads. For more info about how we evaluate CSR, see our testing methodology.

What else we tested

6 of the electric skillets we tested lined up

We tested six electric skillets for this guide. These are the ones that didn’t make the cut.

What else we recommend and why:

De’Longhi (model BG45, $54.99): We almost included the De’Longhi electric skillet in our guide, but it wasn’t the best in any category. It does a great job cooking fried chicken, is dishwasher safe, and has a large cooking area for such a compact appliance. Plus, the company has an impressive 97% CSRHub ranking. However, it did not heat evenly, and other electric skillets made better pancakes and hamburgers. Still, this is a solid alternative if our top picks are out of stock.

What we don’t recommend and why:

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Non-Stick (model CSK-150, $139.99): In the fried chicken test, the Cuisinart skillet was the fastest to heat the oil, and the resulting chicken was evenly cooked and delicious. And, since it’s dishwasher safe, it’s easy to clean. Those were about the only positives though. The small handles made it easy to accidentally burn your hand on the hot pan, it didn’t always heat evenly, and the temperatures on the dial control appeared to be inaccurate. 

Presto Grey Ceramic (model 06856, $44.99): The Grey Ceramic skillet made excellent chicken and pancakes, like the Presto Foldaway skillet. However, it wasn’t as easy to clean since the pan doesn’t detach from the base, and it doesn’t fold up for easy storage or have a pour spout. It also performed poorly in our flour test and didn’t cook burgers evenly. Plus, we have concerns about National Presto Industries’ CSR record.

What we look forward to testing

We’re always testing new electric skillets and retesting our top picks to determine the best ones. Here’s what we’re looking forward to testing for potential inclusion in this guide:

Bella Ceramic Titanium (model 14607, $32.09): Featuring a copper ceramic titanium coating on cast aluminum, we’re curious to see how durable and even heating this is. It’s on the smaller side so it might be a good solution if you’re cooking for one. 

Nesco (model ES-08, $24.33): This model costs less than half as much as our top budget pick, and at eight inches square (per the manufacturer), it’s quite a bit smaller than any unit we tested. It seems like it could be a good option for college kids living in kitchen-less dorms. 

FAQs

What can I cook in an electric skillet?

Electric skillets are underrated, versatile appliances that can make a broad range of foods. An electric skillet can be used to cook all of your breakfast favorites, including crispy bacon, hash browns, eggs, pancakes, French toast, and more. You can use it to toast bread, which I like to do in bacon grease for added flavor.

You can simmer soups, chilis, and chowders in an electric skillet, but you’ll want to keep the heat low and stir often to avoid burning. And I’ve found it’s fun to use an electric skillet to cook right on the dining room table. For instance, you can make fondue or have a non-traditional hibachi grilling experience.

An electric skillet can also be used for baking cakes, cookies, and pies, making pizza, and cooking one-pot pasta dishes (like lasagna or spaghetti) and casseroles. Basically, anything you can bake, fry, deep fry, sauté, simmer, boil, steam, or slow cook can be made in an electric skillet. When you purchase one, I recommend picking up some cookbooks as well. The two I use are The Sensational Skillet Cookbook and Electric Skillet Cookbook Complete.

Check out our other great cookware guides

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What it’s like to use the Gravity Blanket, a $250 weighted blanket that’s designed to reduce stress and help you sleep

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Gravity blanket
  • The Gravity Blanket is a weighted blanket that’s intended to help you feel less stressed and sleep better.
  • The blanket began as a Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $4.7 million.
  • I tested the blanket for a few weeks and got some of the best sleep of my life.
  • The Gravity Blanket helped my mind to stop racing and put me to sleep almost instantly.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyBlanket (25 lb, Single) (small)

When first I got a Gravity Blanket to test out, I had big plans for turning it into a scientific experiment.

I would wear an Apple Watch, I reasoned, to test how my heart rate responded to a weighted blanket. I planned to take notes about my mood and stress levels to measure whether the blanket could actually relax my central nervous system and calm me down.

The problem is, I kept falling asleep.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of the Gravity Blanket or weighted blankets in general, think of it like a Thundershirt for humans. The concept behind weighted blankets is that lying underneath constant and evenly distributed pressure will produce a calming and relaxing effect. Studies have shown that weighted vests or blankets can also help those with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, high anxiety, or insomnia.

But at the most basic level, weighted blankets mostly just feel like a gentle hug.

About Gravity

Gravity’s version of the weighted blanket began as a Kickstarter project in 2017. Gravity raised more than $4.7 million from nearly 24,000 backers to create a plush, single-person blanket that weighs up to 25 pounds.

Now, Gravity says it’s sold more than 60,000 weighted blankets, resulting in $15 million in sales. Gravity has now expanded its product lineup to include a weighted sleep mask, a cooling blanket for those who “sleep hot,” and more.

Review of the Gravity Weighted Blanket

I had the chance to test out the original $250 Gravity Blanket and the $30 weighted mask for a few weeks. I offered them up to friends, coworkers, and anyone who was willing to sit with a 20-pound blanket on top of them. For some people, the experience felt strange and uncomfortable. Others described it as “womb-like.”

Me? I had some of the best naps of my life.

Gravity blanket

Weighted blanket sizing

The first and most important thing you need to know about the Gravity Blanket is that it comes in varying weights. The right blanket for you depends on your size, since it should be equivalent to about 10% of your body weight.

Not realizing that, I went with the 20-pound blanket and after a few weeks of testing, found it to be slightly too heavy for me. For most adults, 20 pounds doesn’t seem like that much, but it can be overwhelming when you’re lying underneath it (or trying to schlep it home on the subway).

The other thing to know about the blanket is that it’s not the size of a full comforter or duvet, and it’s not really meant to be shared. It won’t replace your bedding – unless maybe you sleep in a twin bed – and it won’t cover both you and a partner at the same time.

Plus, at $250, it’s one very pricey blanket.

Gravity blanket

‘It felt like I was in the womb’

All that aside, I was curious to see if a seemingly simple – albeit heavy – blanket would have the same effect that is usually found with pharmaceuticals or meditation. Could it really reduce stress and anxiety? Could it help me sleep?

I decided to offer up the Gravity Blanket to friends, my boyfriend, and coworkers. Let’s just say that reactions were … mixed.

“It feels like an animal is laying on you,” one person said.

“I feel relaxed!” another told me. “But maybe it’s just a placebo effect?”

A friend came over to my house to try it and informed me that the Gravity Blanket made him feel like he “was in the womb.”

“I … am …. so … content,” he drowsily told me.

But for me, testing a Gravity Blanket was like taking a sleeping pill.

I’m not someone who typically has a hard time falling or staying asleep – actually, sleeping is one of my favorite pastimes. But I’m not much of a napper, and I have a hard time taking “power naps” or falling asleep when it’s still light out.

The Gravity Blanket changed all that.

Every time I went to go test the blanket, hoping to track how my heart rate changed or at least document how I was feeling, I passed right out. One night, I laid down with the blanket in the early evening and ended up sleeping under it all night. Another night, I used the blanket and sleep mask while in the throes of a migraine, hoping it might alleviate some of my symptoms – I slept for three hours and woke up with a much milder headache.

Here’s proof, kindly snapped by my boyfriend:

Gravity blanket

The bottom line

I haven’t been able to try the blanket yet without passing out within moments, but it seems as though I’ve been reaping the benefits of a weighted blanket, even while asleep. My mind usually races when I’m lying in bed, and I tend to stress about everything from what I’m going to wear the next day, to trips I have planned months from now. The Gravity Blanket seemed to calm my mind enough that I fell asleep instantly, time and again.

So while my tests certainly haven’t been scientific, I can definitely say the Gravity Blanket helps me feel calm, relaxed – and very, very sleepy.

Blanket (25 lb, Single) (button)

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