Best Early Amazon Prime Day Fitbit Deals 2021

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

Several FitBits on Orange Background - FitBit Deals Amazon Prime Day 2021

Fitbit is one of the most reputable names in fitness wearables and rightly so – the brand offers a huge variety of fitness and health trackers and smartwatches at different price points for different people’s needs.

Whether you’re a serious runner who wants to track their mileage or someone who just wants to improve their health and set a few fitness goals, you won’t have to look far to find a Fitbit catered to your active lifestyle.

Taking advantage of sales during Amazon Prime Day has historically been one of the best ways to join in on the Fitbit craze at a discount – and this year is no different. Amazon just announced that Prime Day 2021 will run on June 21-22 start at midnight PDT on June 21 and run through the end of June 22. All new or existing Amazon Prime members (new members get a free 30-day trial when they sign up) are able to take advantage of the deal.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

We don’t yet know all the deals, but during last year’s sale, Fitbit discounted its popular Versa 2 (and Versa 2 Special Edition) and Versa Lite smartwatches, as well as its smart scale, the Aria Air.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Early Prime Day 2021 Fitbit deals happening now

If you’re on the fence about buying either activity tracker, or even if you just want to give a Fitbit as a gift, Prime Day 2021 is the perfect time to take the leap – and it lets you save some money in the process. Check out our Fitbit buying guide for more information on the brand’s trackers and which might be the best fit for your lifestyle.

Versa 3 (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Versa 2 (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Sense (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Charge 4 (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Inspire 2 (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

What Fitbit deals do we expect during Prime Day this year?

Prime Day 2021 deals have yet to be announced but last year, we saw serious discounts on some of the top Fitbit models. The Versa 2 was discounted by $50 and ran at $129 – and is our top budget Fitbit, perfect for those in the market for a health and fitness tracker or smartwatch without breaking the bank.

The Versa Lite was down from $180 to $125, and its smart scale, the Aria Air, was running at $35, roughly $15 below MSRP.

What Fitbit should I buy?

The Fitbit you buy is a matter of both personal preference and how you intend to use it. Fitbits are great for tracking health metrics like stress, sleep, and resting heart rate, but they’re also amazing for tracking workouts or training for a race or event. Since each model automatically tracks your sleep and activities, which to choose comes down to individual features.

We’ve tried nearly every Fitbit on the market and go into great detail about which is right for whom in our guide to the best Fitbits. But for the quick-hit highlights, here are our top picks:

If you’re looking to become healthier, we love the Fitbit Sense. This tracker has just about every bell and whistle you need from a Fitbit including 20 exercise modes, built-in GPS, water resistance, and in-depth exercise stats. It also has health-specific metrics like oxygen saturation and ECG readings to monitor your heart, electrodermal activity (EDA) readings to analyze your stress levels, and mindfulness programs to help you lower them.

If you just need a tracker to keep you active each day or to help you train for a race, the Charge 4 is budget-friendly, doesn’t take up too much room on your wrist, and has fitness features like built-in GPS, 50m of water resistance, 20 exercise modes, and a long battery life.

Then there’s the Versa 3, a full-featured smartwatch that’s able to fit seamlessly into your daily life and improve everything from your health and fitness to your productivity at work. It’s our favorite overall Fitbit, and features a bright colorface display, long battery life, built-in GPS, and music storage, as well as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant connectivity.

Prime Day 2021 FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is like Black Friday but exclusively for the online mega-retailer. Amazon runs special promotions and discounts on some of the most coveted items including Kindles, smartphones, smart home gadgets, and more. This year, Prime Day 2021 will start at midnight PDT on June 21 and run through the end of June 22.

When is Amazo Prime Day?

Prime Day 2021 is set to run from midnight on June 21 through the end of June 22. Keep in mind that some deals may not be active or available for the full 48 hours of the sale, so check back to the Prime Day landing page often to see new discounts throughout the event.

Do I need to be a Prime Member?

Yes, you have to be an Amazon Prime member in order to access all Prime Day 2021 deals. If you’ve yet to sign up for the service, Amazon offers a free 30-day trial of Prime via its website. We recommend signing up for the free trial for the sale.

What are the benefits of being a Prime member?

In addition to having access to Amazon’s annual Prime Day sale, Prime members also enjoy a variety of benefits that make the recurring yearly or monthly dues worth the price of admission. These benefits include free two-day shipping on eligible items (where available) and access to the extensive library of movies and television shows on Amazon Prime Video.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best toaster ovens we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A good toaster oven is easy to use, preheats quickly, and stays at the temperature you set it to.
  • We cooked whole chickens, frozen pizza, cookies, and toast in eight toaster ovens to find the best.
  • The Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven is our top pick with its fast and even cooking.

Toaster ovens are the unsung heroes of kitchen appliances. If your living situation doesn’t allow for a standard oven, a toaster oven allows you to bake, roast, and make anything else you might cook in a regular oven, only on a smaller scale.

During the holidays when a big turkey is hogging the oven, you can prepare your sides in the toaster oven. And, in the summer, you can cook meals efficiently without heating up your home.

Many convection toaster ovens are now marketed as air fryers. You should know that “convection cooking” and “air frying” are the same thing. Both methods brown your food by using heat and a fan. So, if you see that a toaster oven is an “air fryer,” know that it also does convection cooking and vice versa. We use both terms in our guide.

So, what’s the difference between the two? Convection toaster ovens give you the option of baking or broiling, while air fryers tend to only have one function: convection baking. Also, the typical toaster oven looks like a miniature standard oven with a window, while most air fryers have a small drawer that you put your food in.

For this guide, I roasted, toasted, air fried, and baked 32 pounds of chicken, eight dozen chocolate chip cookies, eight pizzas, and four loaves of bread in eight toaster ovens.

I also consulted with Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore, known as “The Electrified Cooks” and authors of the new toaster oven cookbook Toaster Oven Takeover.

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

Here are the best toaster ovens in 2021

Our testing methodology

A cooked whole chicken on a baking sheet

I tested all of the toaster ovens in this guide. I put each through many objective tests, and during the testing period, my traditional oven sat idle as I relied exclusively on the toaster ovens. When testing toaster ovens, the most important factors to consider are ease of use, temperature accuracy and consistency, and how quickly it preheats.

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

Ease of use: I evaluate ease of use several ways. First, I look at how intuitive the functions are. I was able to get all but the Anova up and running without the use of instructions. I see how easy it is to clean each, if there’s a removable crumb tray, if there are a few rack positions for different types of cooking, and if the timer allows you to run the unit for extended periods. I also looked for helpful functions, such as smart connectivity, convection/air fry cooking, and steam. 

Temperature variance: When you set a toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you want it to reach that temperature and stay there. To assess this, I set each unit to 350 degrees and took digital readings of the temperature every 15 minutes for two hours. Then, I looked at the average and range of the temperatures. All of the models I tested averaged less than 350 degrees. The median was about 336 degrees, and the median range was 9.7 degrees.

Preheating: One of the main benefits of a toaster oven is that it preheats faster than a standard oven, and thus, you can enjoy your meal faster. I timed how quickly each oven reached 350 and 425 degrees, repeating each test several times, to see which models preheated fastest. Most models reached 350 in under six minutes, and half of the units had trouble even achieving a reading of 425 degrees.

Cooking performance: I put each toaster oven through four cooking tests:

  • Toasting bread: I evaluated how many slices of Hillbilly Old Fashion Bread each model held. Then, I set the controls to toast the bread to a medium shade. I looked at how long and how evenly each toasted.
  • Frozen Pizza: In addition to evaluating how large of a pizza each unit can fit, I timed how long it took to bake the pizza and how even it turned out. I used Kirkland Signature Pepperoni Pizza in all but two of the toaster ovens. The Hamilton Beach and Panasonic models couldn’t fit the 10.5-inch pizza so I used Totino’s Party Pizzas in those models instead.
  • Whole chicken: I cooked a whole chicken (between 3.5 and 4.5 pounds) according to the recipe in Toaster Oven Takeover. I used the Meater Block to monitor the internal temperature and removed the chicken once it hit 165 degrees. I timed how long it took to cook the chicken, how evenly it was cooked, and how different parts of the chicken tasted.
  • Cookies: I baked gluten-free chocolate chip cookies using a homemade dough and evaluated how quickly and evenly they cooked.

The best toaster oven overall

The front of the Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven with three pieces of bread in it

The Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven maintains consistent heat to cook quickly and evenly, and it doubles as an air fryer and dehydrator.

Pros: Has convection cooking/air frying, large enough to fit a 12-inch pizza, provides consistent heat, cooked pizza, chicken, and cookies quickly and evenly 

Cons: Temperature settings appear to be inaccurate, did not toast evenly

The Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven (Model TOA-65) had the best overall performance in our objective tests. It took less than five minutes to set up and features an easy-to-read backlit digital display. You navigate through the many different functions by turning a knob and pressing it to select the function and adjust the time and temp.

The Cuisinart toaster oven was one of the best models for making pizza, chicken, and cookies. It heated a frozen pizza in under six minutes, and the cheese, crust, and pepperoni were evenly cooked. Using the convection cooking function, the chicken reached a safe internal temperature in 52 minutes, and the skin was a beautiful golden brown and tasted outstanding. The meat was moist and flavorful. And, the cookies were evenly cooked in about 12 minutes, which was significantly faster than the average, 13 minutes and 45 seconds.

When we ran the Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven for two hours at 350 degrees, we noticed the temperature only varied by four degrees. However, the display said it was preheated when our thermometer read 270. It continued to heat up and reached 350 after eight minutes. The average temperature during the test was 314, well below 350.

The Cuisinart toaster oven fell short of perfection in two other categories. We used the presets to toast six slices of bread, but after a blazing fast toasting speed of less than three minutes, the top was lighter than the medium shading we set it to. And, the bottom was uneven with the center almost burnt and the edges barely toasted. If I were to use this toaster oven for regular toasting, I’d likely up the time a little bit and flip the bread halfway through.

Lastly, by our measurements, the Cuisinart was slower than average to preheat to 350. However, it was quick to get to 425, which made it ideal for frozen pizza.

The best budget toaster oven

The Black+Decker toaster on a kitchen counter with a chicken in it

If you want a cheap toaster oven but don’t want to sacrifice performance, we recommend the Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven with its fast preheating and accurate temperatures.

Pros: Fast preheating, accurate temperature settings, even cooking, features air frying/convection cooking, timer has stay-on function

Cons: Uneven toasting, was among slowest to roast a chicken

Despite costing less than a third of the price of the other models in our guide, the Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven (Model TO3217SS) held its own in our tests. We like that it has intuitive, no-nonsense analog knob controls, a roomy interior, and convection cooking/air frying. Another nice touch is the “stay on” option on the timer, which makes it so you don’t have to keep adding more time during longer cooks.

The Black+Decker toaster oven appeared to have the most accurate thermostat. At 347 degrees, it came closest to reaching a 350-degree average during our two-hour test. However, the temperature varied by 13 degrees, which put it in the middle of the pack.

It was consistently one of the fastest to preheat. The oven reached 350 degrees in under four minutes, and getting to 425 only took about a minute more. 

The Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven excelled at making cookies and frozen pizza. Each batch took about 14 minutes to bake, which was just fair, but the results were even and delicious. The story was the same with frozen pizza: the cooking time was about average, but the pizza was excellent. The chicken was also great: flavorful, juicy, and evenly cooked. However, it took nearly an hour and a half to finish, which made it one of the slowest models.

The Black+Decker oven’s toasting was subpar. It toasted six slices of bread in three-and-a-half minutes, which was about average, but the results weren’t very even. The top of the toast was close to consistent, but it was noticeably less done near the front, and the bottom was much less toasted than the top.

The best large-capacity toaster oven

The Breville Smart Oven on a kitchen counter with a pizza cooking

The Breville Smart Oven is large enough to fit nine slices of toast, a dozen cookies, or a 12-inch pizza making it ideal for larger families or if you just want to use it in place of your standard oven.

Pros: Can fit nine slices of toast and a 12-inch pizza, provides consistent and even heat, features convection cooking/air frying, attractive backlit digital display with several functions and sub-functions

Cons: Temperature settings were consistently higher than what we measured, slow to preheat

Along with our best combination pick below, the Breville Smart Oven (Model BOV800XL) was one of two models that could toast nine slices of bread at once, and it did a good job of it. Plus, it can hold a 12.5-inch pizza. This is impressive considering the exterior dimensions aren’t inordinately large.

Like our top pick, the Breville Smart Oven has a backlit digital display with separate knobs for quickly adjusting the function, temperature, and time. It also has sub-functions that adjust the cooking time and heat based on the size of the pizza you are baking or the slices of toast you’re toasting. Plus, the Smart Oven features convection cooking/air frying.

The oven excelled at chicken and cookies. It took a little more than an hour to roast a whole chicken, and it was the best tasting and most evenly cooked of all the birds in our tests. We baked a dozen cookies at once in the roomy Breville Smart Oven using the Cookie function, which utilized 350-degree convection cooking. The cookies came out evenly baked in 14 minutes, which was average.

The oven also cooked pizza evenly, but it took 17 minutes, which was longer than all but one of the models. It was also one of the slowest ovens to preheat. And, we weren’t able to get it to preheat to 425 degrees. It maxed out at 387. This was a consistent problem. In our temperature variance test, we measured an average temp of 292 despite setting the controls to 350. Because of this, we’d recommend utilizing an oven thermometer to find your target temperature setting. 

On the plus side, the Breville toaster oven held its temperature consistently, only wavering by four degrees over the course of two hours.

The best combination toaster oven

The Anova Precision Cooker on a kitchen counter cooking a steak

In addition to baking, toasting, and air frying, the Anova Precision Oven offers sous vide cooking, and you can control it and monitor the internal temperature of your food using your phone.

Pros: Features sous vide and air fryer/convection cooking, smart WiFi connectivity via app, comes with probe thermometer that connects to oven, does a good job of roasting

Cons: Slow to preheat, bake, and toast, temperature didn’t stay consistent during our test

The Anova Precision Oven is the first toaster oven that offers sous vide, in addition to air frying/convection cooking. And, while most sous vide devices require vacuum sealing, the Precision Oven cooks your food without the need for additional packaging. 

I cooked several steaks and pork ribs using the sous vide function and found it worked just as well, if not better, than an immersion circulator. I especially liked that the oven comes with a probe thermometer that plugs into the unit so I could monitor the internal temperature of the meat while it cooked, which you can’t do with vacuum-sealed meat in an immersion circulator

The touch buttons on the handle of the oven aren’t as responsive as I would like, and adjusting the temp one degree at a time using the up and down buttons is a hassle. So, I mainly used the Anova Oven app (available for iOS and Android), which allows you to key in your preferred temp and time. Or, you can automate the cooking process. The app features hundreds of recipes. One time, I used the app to preheat the oven as I waited in line at the store to pay for a frozen pizza so I could just pop it in when I got home.

This feature is particularly important since the Anova Culinary Precision Oven was one of the slowest to preheat. It takes about 10 minutes to heat to 350 degrees and 17 minutes to reach 425. 

Also, while it has a relatively accurate setpoint, the temperature varied by 16 degrees during our two-hour test, which was more than most models.

The Anova Precision Oven also took a long time to toast. We used the toast preset, which involved a little steam to keep the bread from drying out. However, the process took longer than any of the other models, and the toast was still underdone. 

It did much better on the other cooking tasks. The Anova oven fits a dozen cookies, and they baked quickly and evenly. We had the same experience with pizza: fast and even cooking. But, the oven really excelled at roasting a whole chicken. It completed the task in under an hour. The skin was crispy and flavorful, and the meat was moist and delicious. I particularly liked that the thermometer let me monitor the internal temperature of the chicken in the app.

What else we tested

We tested eight toaster ovens for this guide. These are the ones that missed the cut.

What else we recommend and why:

Hamilton Beach Countertop (Model 31401): There are two main reasons why you should consider the Hamilton Beach toaster oven. First, at $50, it’s the cheapest model we recommend. Second, it was one of the best at quickly preheating. Plus, it was in the middle of the pack in our toasting, cookie, and temperature variance tests. However, there are a few negatives. The oven is small, only fitting four slices of bread. It also took the longest to cook pizza and chicken.

Dash Chef Series 7-in-1 (Model DAFT2350GBGT01): There’s a lot to like about the Dash toaster oven, but it just wasn’t the best in any category. It has convection cooking/air frying and did an outstanding job baking cookies and pizza. The Dash oven was also one of the fastest to roast a chicken and one of the most even toasters. Yet, it took a long time to toast, parts of the chicken skin were burnt, the unit took longer than most to preheat, and it had the largest variance in temperature during our tests.

Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360 (Model S∙AFO-001): Though we prefer to roast our chicken on a roasting pan, we like that this toaster oven from superstar chef Emeril Lagasse comes with a rotisserie spit. It also has an easy-to-use knob control system with backlit digital display. The Power AirFryer 360 preheated quickly and did a good job with chicken, pizza, and cookies, but it took a long time to toast and was uneven. It also did the worst in our temp variance test.

What we don’t recommend and why:

Panasonic FlashXpress Compact (Model NB-G110P): We really wanted to like this attractive toaster oven because it looks like something you might find in a child’s kitchen playset. It did the best job toasting and maintaining a consistent temperature. However, it was a pain to use. There are only eight temperature settings, and the timer only goes to 25 minutes. If you want to cook anything longer, you have to keep resetting the timer. Despite its small size, it took a long time to preheat. And, it didn’t do well making cookies, pizza, or chicken.

What we’re testing next

We’re always testing new toaster ovens 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:

Chefman Toast-Air (Model RJ50-SS-T – $135.97): We’ve tested several Chefman kitchen appliances and have found the manufacturer makes quality products at an affordable price. We like that this features several preset functions and comes with two dehydrator racks, an air fry basket, baking/drip pan, and more.

Breville Smart Oven (Model BOV900BSSUSC – $399.99): This is the best upgrade pick in our air fryer guide and appears to be quite similar to our best large-capacity toaster oven pick. I’m curious to see how it stacks up and if it’s worth its hefty price tag.

Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop ($199.99): I tested this years ago but wasn’t able to put it through our current testing methodology. I’m hoping to give it another try since it performed well, has an attractive appearance, and the digital display has an impressive array of functions and precise presets.

Oster (Model TSSTTVMNDG-SHP-2 – $91.11): We think the Oster Toaster Oven has a chance to contend for the best budget model. It has convection cooking/air frying, an attractive display, easy to read and adjust buttons, and a large capacity.

FAQs

What are the benefits of using a toaster oven over a standard oven?

Roxanne Wyss, co-author of the toaster oven cookbook Toaster Oven Takeover, gives several reasons, including that it’s a green alternative. “When compared to a standard oven, the toaster oven preheats quickly,” said Wyss. “This means it is convenient to use for quick, everyday meals. It also means that it is a ‘green choice’ as there is no big oven to heat up and the toaster oven will not put a strain on the AC on a hot summer day.” 

“Newer toaster ovens on the market, with electronic controls and even heat, brown food beautifully and cook quickly,” added Wyss. “You can place a toaster oven where it is convenient to use, which means at countertop height so no bending or lifting. It also means you can place the toaster oven in the family room or on the bar so it is easy to use for appetizers and snacks when friends gather.”

Additionally, since I started testing toaster ovens more than a month ago, I have not touched my standard oven. Every meal I’ve wanted to make for my family of four, I’ve been able to make in a toaster oven.


Should you get a toaster or a toaster oven?

Wyss believes toaster ovens are superior to toasters in several ways. “The versatility of the toaster oven outshines the regular toaster,” said Wyss. “You can toast a wide variety of bread sizes and often toast the number of slices you need for a larger family. Once toasted, you can top the toast with sandwich fixings or appetizer spreads so hot sandwiches or crostini are ready to serve in minutes. The toaster oven easily toasts English muffins, bagels, rolls, and a wide range of specialty rolls, pastries and buns.”

As with the standard oven, I found my toaster gathered dust while I was testing toaster ovens. The single-purpose toaster just didn’t seem worth the counter space. And, when making BLTs, it was nice to be able to toast six or more slices of bread at once.

However, there are a few key ways in which a toaster is often superior. First, most of the toaster ovens I tested didn’t toast as evenly or as quickly as most toasters. Second, toasters tend to cost much less than toaster ovens. Lastly, they take up less countertop space.


What should you look for when shopping for a toaster oven?

Kathy Moore pointed to several tips covered in the Toaster Oven Takeover cookbook she co-authored. “Think about what you want to prepare,” said Moore. “Do you want to cook a pizza or do you know you want to broil steaks? Do you foresee casseroles or toasted sandwiches? What pans fit into the oven? If you want to cook pizza, does your 12-inch pizza pan fit? What about a 9 by 12-inch rectangle pan? Some toaster ovens accommodate larger pans while others do not. Select one that accommodates the pans you own and for the food you would like to prepare.”

She also suggests thinking about where you will put the toaster oven. “Does it fit under your upper cabinets with room to spare or is it too wide to sit securely on a cart?” added Moore. “Does the door open conveniently for you?” To help you with this, we list the interior and exterior dimensions of each unit in our guide.

Also, think about the settings that are most appealing to your cooking preferences. “If your toaster oven advertises that it has a dehydrating setting, but that is not something you will do, it is not a necessary function,” said Moore. “Many now slow cook, but if you typically use a slow cooker and enjoy taking a hot meal in a slow cooker to a gathering, you may never use your toaster oven’s slow cook setting. Many people enjoy the toasting settings for bagels while others will enjoy the air fry settings. Evaluate the array of settings offered and be willing to experiment, but do not feel obligated to purchase an oven with settings you may never use.”


What’s the difference between a toaster oven and an air fryer?

Air fryers use a fan to blow hot air over your food to produce the Maillard reaction, which gives food its distinctive browning. Prior to the rise of air fryers, blowing hot air on food was known as “convection cooking,” and it’s something that all convection toaster ovens do. “Air frying” is essentially a wildly successful marketing campaign for technology that has been around for decades. 

That said, not all toaster ovens can air fry, or convection cook, but a lot of them can these days. If this is a feature that’s important to you, look for a model that advertises that it air fries or convection cooks. In my experience, this is a useful feature. It can cut down on cooking times, give your food a nice browned exterior, and I’ve found it does an excellent job of revitalizing leftovers, especially pizza and french fries.

Check out our other buying guides for small appliances

Best microwaves 4x3
Read the original article on Business Insider

Disney theme parks are notoriously pricey, but these proven tips and tricks can help you save hundreds

how to save tips on disney vacations

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Disneyland and Walt Disney World have reopened to all visitors.
  • The parks are notoriously expensive, but you can save hundreds with some creative planning.
  • Here are our top 14 expert tips for saving money on your next Disney Parks vacation.
  • Head to Insider Reviews for more travel recommendations

There are no two ways about it: Planning a family vacation to the Walt Disney World or Disneyland resorts can be an expensive proposition.

The cost for tickets, food, and souvenirs alone can rapidly add up; it skyrockets when you factor in airfare, hotel, car rental, parking, and other incidentals. For a family of four, for a five-night stay, the average price of the trip is approximately $4,500 and can quickly increase by the hundreds, if not thousands.

While there are few discounts on admission, there are proven ways to save significant money elsewhere that won’t hinder the enjoyment or limit the experiences. After all, not having to stress about money makes for a far more enjoyable time – the key is to plan ahead and know what to expect.

As a travel writer who has covered Disney vacations extensively for over a decade, I have figured out the best ways to maximize the fun while keeping costs down. These top tips, based on what I’ve learned over the years, can help ease the damage a Disney vacation could have on your bank account.

In addition to money-saving tips for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, I’ve also included a few that are unique to each property. Here are the best tips for saving money on a Disney parks vacation.

disney carousel

Top tips to save money on Disney vacations

Pick the right time to go

As with any popular destination, prices for resort stays tend to rise during peak season, especially during school breaks in the summer, Thanksgiving week, and the days around Christmas and New Year. Weekends are always more expensive as well. Traveling during non-peak dates may be a challenge, but you can save an average of $400 a night.

Forgo the Park Hopper

Disneyland and Disney World are comprised of multiple parks, each with its own entrance fees. As the name suggests, Park Hopper is an option that lets you visit multiple parks per day, but you will pay significantly more for this privilege. The difference between a single park ticket and one with Park Hopper can be up to about $85 per day; for a family of four, that’s a savings of $300 to $350.

Another reason to skip the Park Hopper concerns logistics. There’s plenty to do at each of Disney’s parks, so I recommend dedicating an entire day to one park, instead of stressing to rush to another. You can take it slow and enjoy all the amenities of a single park. This is especially true for Walt Disney World, where the parks are located far apart and you would waste time shuttling from one to another.

Explore your ticket discount options

While Disney doesn’t generally offer discounts on park tickets, there are a few money-saving options to explore before paying full price. First, nail down how many days you plan to be in the parks; there is a price break depending on how many days you visit. For example, if you go to Disney World for just one day, it would be about $109 per day. If you opt to go for five, the price drops to $88 a day. Keep in mind that the standard tickets don’t include water parks, golf courses, and other non-theme park areas.

Know a friend or relative in Florida? State residents can save 40% off a four-day ticket in addition to other discounts. The catch is that the resident must be present and show verification at the time of entry, so they will need to be included in your group. If it’s a close family friend or grandparent, that may not be an issue. From time to time, Southern California residents may also receive a similar offer.

Make wise restaurant choices

There is a large selection of dining options at either resort and prices range from budget to premium. For example, a New York Strip at the upscale Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel costs $58 (that is just for the steak, sides not included). But at the casual Bengal Barbeque eatery inside Disneyland, you can enjoy a delicious Bengal Beef Skewer for $5.49.

The key is to research the various food outlets available at the park you will be visiting, basing it on your budget and family’s eating habits. If you don’t care about sit-down meals and can run on hot dogs and churros from a street cart, you can cut down on food expenses.

Note that some restaurants, such as the aforementioned Steakhouse 55, are still temporarily closed.

Get food delivered

Another option for cutting down on food costs is to have groceries delivered to a hotel, as many rooms have mini-fridges and microwaves – great for stocking up on water, sodas, snacks, and even quick-heat and pre-made meals and alcohol. If your room has a full-sized kitchen, consider cooking some meals “at home” or for bringing inside the park (see our tip above). Amazon Prime delivers to hotels, while Garden Grocer specializes in Disney World deliveries.

Bring a refillable water bottle

With all the walking you will do, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during the hotter months in Florida and California. Skip the bottled water the park sells (a bottle of Dasani costs around $4) and opt for a money-saving and environmentally friendly refillable water bottle instead.

You can fill water bottles at restaurants or one of the refill stations. But keep in mind, refill stations are few and far between, and due to COVID-19 cleanliness protocols, it is harder to fill your own water bottle.

Insider Reviews recommends the Vapur Element and Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle because they are lightweight when empty and easy to pack.

Collapsible Water Bottle (small)Collapsible Water Bottle (small)

Stick to a souvenir budget

Disney is skilled at dividing guests from their money, especially when it comes to keepsakes. In most areas of the parks, you won’t be able to go more than 20 feet without being lured by the siren song of souvenirs. It can be very tempting to walk away with a droid from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ($99) or a replica of the Enchanted Tiki Room Sign ($150), but try to keep those temptations at bay.

Instead, spend your money on less expensive, classic park items that will hold their value (in sentimental ways), such as a pair of Mickey Mouse ears with a name embroidered on them (about $23) or, my favorite, a hand-cut silhouette from one of the artists on Main Street ($10).

Walt Disney World

Tips to save money at Walt Disney World

Stay at a value resort

While Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are lovely, they are also expensive – the Grand Floridian starts at around $400 per night. If a hotel is purely a place to sleep, Disney’s Art of Animation or Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort are two of the more inexpensive options inside the Disney bubble, starting at around $179 a night.

Check out all our choices for the best Disney World hotels here. If you’re willing to stay at a non-Disney resort, there are also many excellent hotels in Orlando and Kissimmee from as low as $66 per night, depending on the season.

If you want to go deluxe, consider renting DVC points

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s popular timeshare program that lets you rent studios, villas, and suites at one of the deluxe resorts. Membership is a big investment, but my friends who joined have been pleased with the program. Here’s a secret: You can take advantage of the program without being a member, by renting DVC points.

When you rent DVC points, you are essentially booking through a DVC member, not Disney. For a negotiated fee, you get access to their points and preferred rates (a member has a set number of deductible points that must be applied in order to get those rates), which can make those deluxe resorts drop down drastically in price.

For example, the price for a deluxe studio at Disney’s Riviera – depending on the date – is $559 a night, but you can rent points and pay about $275 for the same night. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, a studio is $616 a night, but with DVC points you pay $380. You are basically getting the same room for almost half the price. And, it’s not just for Florida: DVC also includes California properties.

Companies such as David’s Vacation Club Rental and the DVC Rental Store can facilitate the points rental from DVC members, and the booking process is similar to a regular hotel reservation. There are plenty of caveats with this system, so make sure to go over all the restrictions and conditions from the broker or DVC member.

Schedule a non-park day

Save on park tickets by scheduling a non-park day. There are many ways to get a Disney resort experience, including spending hours by the pool, checking out the lobbies and restaurants at hotels, and heading to the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment center. Keep reading for our suggestions on free stuff to do at Disney World.

disneyland reopening

Tips to save money at Disneyland

Stay at a Good Neighbor hotel

There are only three Disney-owned hotels within Disneyland – the Grand Californian, the Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier. While the hotels are fantastic and convenient, they are also expensive. For example, rates at the Grand Californian start at $586 a night. Thankfully, there are lots of affordable options surrounding the park. Read our roundup of nearby hotels ranging from the budget-friendly Hampton Inn & Suites to the new JW Marriott, which, even though it is a four-star property, is about half the price of the Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel.

Splurge on the MaxPass (when it’s back)

While the MaxPass program is currently on hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the MaxPass is well worth the extra $20 per ticket and will enhance the experience by saving you time. The MaxPass allows you to make FastPass selections from your phone and eliminates the need to trek over to the attraction to manually pick up a FastPass from a kiosk. A FastPass, for those unfamiliar, allows you to join a much shorter line for a ride (the feature is also paused).

Get the Disney experience for free

Admission to Disney’s parks is expensive, but there are several fun attractions you can check out that don’t cost a penny. They add to the overall Disney vacation experience while keeping the cost down. (Some of these places and activities may be temporarily closed or unavailable.)

Walt Disney World

Disneyland

Consider waiting until next year

While Disneyland and Walt Disney World are open for business, to get the most bang for your buck, it might be best to wait. There’s a case for going now: reservations are required and capacity is controlled to promote distancing, so it’s less crowded than normal. But parades, fireworks, most live entertainment, the ease of the FastPass system, and close-up character encounters have yet to return. Dining options are also limited, and some hotels haven’t reopened.

Instead, take this time to plan and save up for the trip. When all of the parks’ amenities return, you and your family will have a more memorable experience.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Memorial Day 2021 appliance sales going on now, with savings on fridges, washers, dryers, and more

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

best buy appliance delivery truck

  • Memorial Day isn’t until May 31, but we’re already seeing retailers turn up to offer deals.
  • Appliances are rarely discounted, but you can often find some great drops for this holiday.
  • We’ve listed the best ones below – you can also find a round-up of the best Memorial Day sales here.

It’s not quite Memorial Day yet, but plenty of stores are getting a head-start on the long weekend by slashing prices early and offering steep discounts on all kinds of products. Large appliances, like refrigerators and washing machines in particular, rarely see discounts, but this week is an exception – it’s when we see some of the best appliance deals of the year.

Below, we’ve listed the best appliance sales happening from retailers across the web. If you’re looking to shop for a mattress or some meat for the grill instead, check out our round-up of all the best Memorial Day sales here.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The best Memorial Day appliance sales going on right now

  • Abt: Get 10% off via online rebate on LG Appliance packages of 3, 4, or more pieces.
  • Best Buy: Save with special offers during Best Buy’s Memorial Day Appliance sale.
  • The Home Depot: Save on select appliances through June 9.
  • Lowe’s: Save on appliances including refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers during the Memorial Day Values sale.
  • Macy’s: Get up to 60% off small appliances with promo code MEMDAY.
  • Overstock: Get up to 70% off select kitchen appliances.
  • Sears: Get up to 35% off select appliances plus 10% off select purchases of $599 or more through June 5.
  • Walmart: For a limited time, save on vacuums, refrigerators, and kitchen appliances.
  • Wayfair: Get a $100 Wayfair gift card when you buy two GE appliances.

When is Memorial Day 2021?

Memorial Day lands on May 31 this year.

Many sales have already begun, for appliances and other products.

What should I buy during Memorial Day 2021?

In celebration of the warmer weather, retailer sales typically focus on deals for hanging out at home, especially outside. Appliances, mattresses, outdoor furniture, outdoor gear, TVs, and grilling accessories are some of the best items to shop for during the week – though other products are definitely discounted as well.

If you’re figuring out what to prioritize in your cart, appliances should be up there. Outside of Memorial Day, Black Friday, and President’s Day, we don’t often see appliance price drops.

Are Memorial Day appliance deals worth it?

In short: yes. Appliance deals are few and far between all other times of the year; more often than not we don’t see deals on them unless it’s a major holiday. Many of the sales above also feature savings over $100.

When do Memorial Day appliance sales end?

It depends on the store. Some retailers are cutting off the deals after May 31 while others are carrying on through the first week of June.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A complete guide to Amazon Prime’s return policies

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

Amazon Warehouse: Amazon Prime Return Policies
  • Amazon offers easy returns for most items within 30 days of receipt, with a few exclusions.
  • You can find an overview of Amazon Prime’s return policy and answers to common questions below.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Amazon is one of the most convenient sites to shop for everything, from gifts to daily essentials. The massive online retailer offers a ton of products to choose from, including tons of tech, outdoor gear, beauty and grooming products, and fashion for the entire family.

But what if that Kindle e-reader or cashmere sweater you buy during Amazon Prime Day 2021 doesn’t work out as you planned? While some products vary based on the category and return reason, most new and unused items can be returned to Amazon within 30 days.

Below, we’ve answered the most common questions about Amazon’s return policy – including how to make a return, what items are eligible, and when to expect your refund.

What is the Amazon Prime return policy?

Typically, most items purchased with an Amazon Prime account have a 30-day return window. Some products may vary based on product category or seller.

Are there free returns on Amazon Prime?

Most items delivered within the US qualify for free returns. To confirm that an item qualifies, you can look to see if it has “Free returns” listed next to the price. There are a few exceptions for things like items that weigh more than 50 pounds, fashion items purchased from The Drop, and products bought through third-party sellers.

How do you return things to Amazon?

To start a return, visit the “Your Orders” page under your account. From there, select “Return or Replace items,” choose your return method, print the label, and package for shipping.

In addition to shipping your item, you can also choose the Label-Free, Box Free option and bring your unwrapped item to a dropoff location with a provided QR code. Here are your options:

  • Amazon Physical Stores: Customers can walk into one of Amazon’s physical locations, like Amazon Books or Amazon 4-Star stores, show the QR code, and complete the return there, just as long as the product comes with its original box.
  • Amazon Hub Locker and Locker+: Shoppers can use Amazon Lockers to return items in a box or shipping envelope and use the barcode or six-digit code sent after starting a return to place the item in the slot. Some Locker+ locations allow shoppers to use the free packing materials available onsite.
  • Whole Foods Market: Some Whole Foods locations have free no-box and no-label return drop off for eligible items. Some Whole Foods also offer Amazon Locker and Amazon Locker+ return options.
  • Kohl’s: You can now return eligible Amazon items, without a box or label, at a Kohl’s near you. With over 1,000 stores nationwide, it should be relatively easy for you to find a Kohl’s and drop off your Amazon return.

Will I have to pay a restocking fee?

You’ll never have to worry about a restocking fee if you’re returning an item that arrived defective. Similarly, if you change your mind and return an undamaged item within the 30-day return window, you won’t have to pay either.

The most common situation in which you’d owe a fee is if you return an item that isn’t in its original condition or you miss the return window. The exact amount depends on your situation, per Amazon’s guidelines.

What items are not eligible for a return?

Unless they arrive damaged or defective, certain items cannot be returned. Some of these include groceries, customized or personalized products, gift cards, downloadable software, and subscription services after they’ve been accessed. You can find out if an item is non-returnable under the “Your Orders” page.

When can I expect a refund?

You should expect it to take around 2-3 weeks total to receive your refund, including the time it takes to ship, receive, and process the return. Most refunds are fully refunded within 7 days of receiving your item, but you can read more about estimated return times here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

33 gifts for coffee lovers they’ll use every morning

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

hario

Coffee drinkers are a diverse lot, and if you’re going to buy a gift for one of them, you better have their branding down pat.

There’s the quintessential café brooder, who might need a little pick-me-up. Or how about the peppy, workout-devoted early riser? They could probably stand to have a French press in their on-the-go life, and the do-it-yourself artisan might fancy a cold-brew kit for home.

Whatever the temperament of your oh-so-temperamental coffee lover(s), you’ll be sorted out with these 33 fun and useful gifts for coffee lovers.

Here are the 33 best coffee gifts:

A collection of summer inspired coffee blends

La Colombe Summer Favorites Gift Box

Summer Favorites Gift Box, available at La Colombe, $44

Popular coffee brand La Colombe’s Summer Favorites Gift Box is filled with unique flavors that are perfect for the warmer months, including pear, raspberry, and mandarin.

A vintage creamer inspired by the French countryside

Food52 Vintage Creamer

Vintage French Stoneware Creamer, available at Food52, $45

This beautifully crafted vintage creamer is designed to keep creamer colder for longer. The stoneware creamer is made of grey clay and is oven- and microwave-safe.

A coffee blend with a cause

Blk & Bold  coffee

BLK & Bold Rise & Grind Coffee Blend 2 pk, available at Amazon, $26.99

Not only is this blend unique with flavors of lemon and caramel, but BLK & Bold also donates 5% of its profits to support at-risk youth across the country. 

Steeped coffee bags to speed up their morning routine

Uncommon Goods coffee bags

Steeped French Roast Coffee Bags, available at Uncommon Goods, $22

Help them speed up their morning coffee routine with these easy-to-use coffee bags. Simply add a bag (or two) to a cup of hot water, and in 3-5 minutes they’ll be able to enjoy a full cup of coffee with a fraction of the effort.

An nostalgic NYC coffee cup

coffee cup

Ceramic Greek Coffee Cup, available at Uncommon Goods, $14

Bring them all of the New York City nostalgia with this ceramic version of the classic NYC takeout cup.

A coffee subscription to help them learn what they love

angel's cup

Angel’s Cup Coffee Subscription, available at Angel’s Cup, starting at $8.99/month ($3 shipping within the US; $6 to Canada)

Coffee, much like beer, is undergoing a renaissance, and there are more options than many of us know what to do with these days. Angel’s Cup sends an increasingly curated box (there are several options) to help them blind-taste a flight of several samples or receive a bag tailored to their palate each month.

A ceramic-lined, insulated bottle

que insulated

Que Insulated Bottle, 17-ounce, available at Madewell, $32.95

This could be their new favorite coffee (or tea) mug and water bottle. Our favorite thing about this is that it doesn’t impart any metallic or plastic-y tastes like some other options out there. 

Our favorite milk frother

hic milk frother

Harold Import Co. Milk Frother, available at Amazon, $22.82

A no-fuss manual milk frother, and our favorite to boot. Read our full guide to the best milk frothers here.

An adjustable 2-in-1 espresso tamper and leveler

Best Tampers 2020_IMG_0952

Matow Dual Head Coffee Leveler, available at Amazon, $37.99

Whether they’re new to the espresso game or not, they can step up their barista skills big time with an adjustable leveler and tamper, fit for the standard-sized espresso machine portafilters (58mm).

A cordless electric kettle

cuisinart kettle

Cuisinart Cordless Electric Kettle, available at Amazon, $99.95

Whether it’s for pour-over, French press, or the occasional spot of tea, the Cuisinart Cordless Electric Kettle will sit tidily on their countertop, tangle-free, and boil to their exact desired temperature.

A Vietnamese pour-over latte kit

Copper Cow Coffee Vietnamese Pour Over Kit

Copper Cow Coffee Vietnamese Pour-Over Kit, available at Amazon, starting at $14.85

If their home-coffee routine is getting a little dull by now, here’s something they might not have tried, or might be missing from their local cafe.

An old-school hand grinder

Hario Skerton

Hario Skerton Pro Manual Coffee Grinder, available at Amazon, $36

That noisy old blade grinder doesn’t only wake up everyone in your house, but it doesn’t really make the best coffee either. A handheld coffee mill makes supremely uniform grounds at a fraction of the cost of a quality burr grinder. As for the noise, you’ll finally get to sleep in.  

A latte-and-cappuccino-capable espresso pod machine

nespresso bundle

Nespresso Coffee and Nespresso Machine with Aeroccino, available at Amazon, $249.99

So they don’t even have to step outside the house for their precious morning latte or cappuccino.

Check out our guide to coffee and espresso pod machines here.

An Aeropress

aeropress

Aeropress, available at Target, $29.99

For the peripatetic French-press enthusiast or the home barista looking for something new and perhaps not so expensive as espresso, the Aeropress can’t be beat.

A chart of espresso drinks

FORMAT

Coffee Guide Print, available at Etsy, $6.66

As self-proclaimed coffee lovers, they should probably know these breakdowns. But just in case they forget, this cool poster reminds them of the difference between a breve and a black eye. This is also an instant digital download, so it’s a great last-minute gift — roll it up with ribbon and you don’t even need to get an extra frame.

A pressurizer for their Aeropress

Fellow Prismo

Fellow Prismo, Pressure-Actuated Attachment for Aeropress, available at Fellow, $25

This might not make bonafide espresso per se, but it will certainly get the Aeropress devotee in your life a little closer to what they’re after. And if they haven’t yet mastered the Aeropress, feel free to send them this way.

A worldly coffee subscription

atlas coffee cyber monday deal

Atlas Coffee Subscription or Gift Set, available at Atlas Coffee Club, starting at $60

The flavor profile, tasting notes, suggested brewing methods, a little history lesson in origins, and, last but not least, festive packaging make this an all-around pleaser for any time of year.

A coffee grounds sifter

IMG_0589

Kruve Coffee Sifting Device, available at Kruve, $89.99

Apart from fresh beans, the real trick to making the best humanly possible cup of coffee lies in properly sized and consistent grounds. The Kruve sorts out the odd bits and will help them find the perfect grind setting, and in turn, the perfect cup of coffee every day for the rest of their life.

A stainless steel mug

Gifts for Mom Yeti

Yeti Rambler 10-ounce Stackable Mug, available at Yeti, $24.99

For remote life, wherever that may take them, be it the couch or the cabin.

A mokka espresso pot

bialetti mokka pot, $30

Bialetti Mokka Espresso Pot (3-cup), available at Walmart, $36.99

This should be a staple in every household. Easy, rich, and oh so crema-y when done right. 

Check out our full guide to stovetop espresso makers here.

A porcelain demitasse set

Under $25 (3)

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sorrento Double-Wall Espresso Glasses, Set of 2, available at Sur La Table, $15.95

If they’re going to go through the trouble of making espresso, they may as well drink it right.

A temperature-controlled mug

Ember Mug 2

Ember Generation 2 Mug, available at Best Buy, $99.99

This mug will alert them when their coffee gets to the optimal temperature, and it keeps it from cooling after that. 

Read our full review of the Ember Mug 2 here

An airless coffee-bean saver

Evak Fresh Saver Airless Canister FORMAT

Evak Fresh Saver Airless Canister, available at Amazon, $18.99 and up (depending on size)

If you know someone who’s opening their coffee bags and letting them go stale, this is a quick fix that will blow their mind. These canisters are stackable and great for herbs and other sundries as well.

A sleek, glass pour-over coffee pot

Chemex, $45

Chemex Classic (6-cup), available at Amazon, $46.95

Stylish and sophisticated, yet simplistic. This is the kind of understated elegance anyone can appreciate.

Read our guide to the best drip coffee makers here.

A manual espresso press

Best espresso machine 2021 flair espresso maker

Flair Manual Espresso Maker, available at Amazon, $159

If you have a friend or family member that is constantly in search of the best espresso machine south of $500, this is the ticket. They’ll still need a grinder, but they can foot that bill. The Flair is about the price of most espresso pod machines, but there’s no arguing as to whether or not it makes real espresso: the crema it produces is priceless. That’s why we named it the best manual espresso maker in our guide

Reusable K-Cup pods

Under $25

IParts Plus More Reusable K-Cups, available at Amazon, $9.89

If they love the convenience of the Keurig, but not at the expense of the environment, these reusable K-cup pods are a worthy compromise. 

Check out our full guide to coffee and espresso pods here.

A 100% compostable coffee sampler box

driftaway

Driftaway Coffee Sampler, available at Driftaway, starting at $32

If they’re forever in search of the perfect roast, here’s how they’ll find it.

A home espresso machine

Best espresso machine 2021 gaggia classic pro

Gaggia Classic Pro, available at Amazon, $449

Our top pick for the best espresso machine for most people, the Gaggia Classic Pro has been around for decades, and there’s hardly a home machine more classic.

Read our guide to the best espresso machines.

A twisting alphabet game on faux coffee beans

Jabuka Under $25 (1)

Jabuka Twisting Alphabet Game, available at Amazon, $19.93

Because all coffee hounds are bookworms, too, right? And, yes, it would be cool if they were real coffee beans, but we all know they wouldn’t last.

A pair of coffee mugs with an open mind

Gifts for coffee lovers kissing mugs

Kissing Couple Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, $65

Everyone knows a coffee-loving couple in need of these.

A durable stainless steel French Press

Bodum Chambord French Press Under $25 (3)

Bodum Chambord French Press, available at Bodum, $23.99

Okay, so they might already have this, but maybe it’s time for a new one. If they don’t already have a French press, though, and they’re in need of a new coffee pot, this one won’t disappoint.

Check out our guide to the best French presses here.

A guide to help them make better coffee

How to Make Coffee Under $25 (1)

How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean, available at Amazon, $13.33

Because we could all use a few pointers on our morning cuppa. 

A proper espresso machine

breville

Breville Barista Express Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine, available at Amazon, $697.95

You’re really going to have to love this person, but if you share a roof with them, the pleasure of our favorite two-in-one espresso machine may well be just as much yours.

Check out our full guide to espresso machines.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best places to shop for women’s active swimsuits in 2021

  • To surf, swim, play, or chase kids around the beach or pool, you need a swimsuit that’ll stay put.
  • Active swimsuits should hold everything in however you move, not ride up, and survive many washes.
  • These are six of our favorite brands for active bikinis, one-pieces, rash guards, and more.

There are two approaches to buying a swimsuit: worrying about tan lines and worrying about staying covered. If your main focus is looking good by the pool, check out our guide on the best women’s swimsuits. But if you’re swimming laps, surfing in the ocean, diving for volleyballs, or chasing kids around the beach, you need a bathing suit that will do more than just make you feel good – you need a top and bottom that will stay put and keep everything in.

Luckily, there are more brands than ever making cute, active swimsuits, whether you’re looking for a one-piece, a bikini, or a rashguard.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Here are the best places to buy active swimsuits:

The best active swimsuit overall

Athleta Swim

Athleta’s swimwear is comfortable, stylish, and good for both curvey and athletic figures alike.

Size range: XXS-XL for swim suits, XXS-3X for sun shirts

Athleta is known for producing high-quality workout gear that is equal parts functional and stylish, so it’s no surprise its active swimsuits would hit that same sweet spot to look as good as they feel whether you’re swimming, playing beach volleyball, or turning cartwheels on the shore.

The swimsuits range from sexy to functional to high coverage in every design from bikinis to tankinis to one-piece suits to rash guards, so there’s truly something for everyone. While its designs are great for curves, unfortunately, its swimsuits only go up to an XL; however, Athleta is known for running large, so that should fit more like a traditional XXL (small consolation).

Much of the collection is made from sustainable materials like recycled nylon and many of the suits also have UPF sun protection, which protects the fabric and your skin from the sun’s rays.

Athleta’s swimwear is perfect for water sports including swimming, surfing, and paddle-boarding, thanks to the stretchy, breathable fabric that moves with you.

Athleta’s swimwear is priced on the mid-to-high end ($55-75 for a bikini top; $95-120 for a one-piece) but splurging on one well-fitting swimsuit is better than multiple ill-fitting cheaper options. 

What to buy:

Colorblock Crop Top (small)Sculpted Bikini Top (small)High Waist Jacquard Bikini Bottom (small)Colorblock One Piece (small)Cross Train One Piece (small)
The best eco-friendly active swimsuit

patagonia swim

Patagonia’s swimsuits are fair trade certified-sewn from recycled materials, they look great, and they stay in place whether you’re surfing or swimming.

Size range: XXS-XXL

Considering Patagonia is a leading brand for clothing designed to stand up to the elements and movement of the outdoors, it’s no surprise its line of women’s swimwear lives up to its reputation.

The swimsuits range from rash guards and long-sleeved one-pieces to bikinis, tankinis, and board shorts. In our opinion, the brand really excels on cute one-pieces that will stay put. In fact, when a few Insider Reviews editors tried Patagonia’s active swimsuits, they found them to be comfortable, supportive (including for DD cups), and reliable for playing in the surf.

We were all impressed by how comfortable the suits were and how well they stayed in place. Women’s swimsuits are often designed more for style than substance, so Patagonia’s collection stood out as a great choice for women who like to actually move around in the water in their swimsuits.

All the swimsuits are made of recycled nylon or polyester that has UPF sun protection and is non-slip. Patagonia also states that these suits are Fair Trade Certified-sewn, so you know you’re buying eco-friendly, ethical swimwear.

The biggest downsides are that sizing is limited (XS to XL) and the suits are pricey, around $120 to $180. — Malarie Gokey

What to buy:

Women’s Glassy Dawn One-Piece Swimsuit (small)Women’s Reversible Extended Break One-Piece Swimsuit (small)Long-Sleeved Swell Seeker One-Piece (small)Bayou Palmetto (small)Stretch Wavefarer Board Shorts (small)
The best luxe active swimsuits

sweaty betty swim

If you want a luxury feel to your sporty beach day, Sweaty Betty’s line of swimwear is very well-designed and flattering. 

Size range: XXS-XXL

Sweaty Betty is known for its high-end activewear and applies that same ethos to its swim line. The founder and creative director of SB surfs and paddleboards, and she brings this first-hand knowledge of needing to focus more on movement and less on staying covered into its designs.

The brand truly excels in its well-designed one-pieces which are made with swimming laps in mind. The one-pieces are always surprisingly cute and flattering for the category, with small details like a chest zipper or open back to elevate your basic one-piece without losing the swimming-efficient shape. They usually have chlorine-resistant fabric and are designed for performance with a high neck and supportive straps.

When it comes to its bikinis and rash guards, most pieces have 50+ UV protection as well as quick-drying properties to help avoid chafing. 

You’ll definitely pay for the silky, well-fortified fabric, but the higher quality also means the suit will last you many seasons.

What to buy:

Coral Surf Short Wetsuit (small)Medley Swimsuit (small)Harlyn Bikini Top (small)Carve Swimsuit (small)

 

The best budget swimsuits

speedo swim

Score a professional-grade one-piece for swimming laps or a bikini for secure surfing without dropping too much money from Speedo.

Size range: XS-XL, 4-42

There’s a reason Speedo has been a go-to source for professional swimmers for years. The brand makes high-quality, durable swimwear that offers both support and comfort.

Its classic one-pieces still hold strong with compression in all the right places and a design built for improved performance and faster recovery time. The quick-drying suits feature wide straps for added support and durability, while the smooth and soft fabric is chlorine-resistant.

Speedo also makes very cute and very functional bikinis, albeit only for the small-chested. In general, its suits run small, so the biggest downside is that these suits won’t fit the majority of American women (although Speedo does have a limited plus-size line).

However, if you are smaller and looking for functional, flattering swimsuits that won’t cost you too much, the majority of Speedo’s suits can be nabbed for $28-35 for bikinis, $50-88 for one-pieces, and $48-98 for rash guards. 

What to buy:

Solid super pro – prolt (small)Solid Tie Back Top (small)Zip Front Paddle Suit (small)Quantum Fusion Splice (small)
The best plus-size active swimsuits

swimsuits for all

Swimsuits for All crafts suits made to move with a wide range of body types — sizes 4 through 40.

Size range: 4-40

Swimsuits for All is one of our favorite swimsuit brands period, but we particularly love how well their bikinis, tankinis, one-pieces, and swim dresses stay put as your chasing after kids on the beach or popping up on a surfboard.

Swimsuits for All also has a ridiculously robust catalog of styles including collaborations with awesome body-positive advocates like Ashley Graham, and really cool offerings like chlorine-resistant lycra bike shorts and swim skirts, in case a traditional suit isn’t your jam.

Five of our editors who wear sizes 8 through 20 tried different styles from the brand and said all the styles fit shockingly well and no one reported any mid-swim malfunctions.

What to buy:

Ashley Graham CEO Lace Up One Piece (small)Halter Ruffle Swimdress (small)Gabrifresh Tie Front Bikini (small)
The best for high-movement activities

carve designs

Carve Designs was created by surfer girls and makes some of the most flattering cuts and cutest prints available for bikinis that will actually stay on.

Size range: XXS-XL with Tall options

Born out of a surf trip in Mexico, this women-owned business started out selling rash guards and boardshorts for women. As women’s style evolved in surfing to be more accepting of bikinis, the founders shifted their focus to also crafting two pieces that would actually stay put while paddling, popping, and carving — and in designs women would actually want to wear.

A decade-and-a-half later, its line features every kind of bikini cut, including more modest high-neck designs and swim skirts to fully cover your booty if that’s where you gravitate. But what we love about Carve is it also makes cheeky bottoms that make you feel empowered on the beach but won’t slip off when you go underwater. 

Also worth noting: The brand also recently launched a recycled swim line with suits made from plastic bottles collected out of the ocean.

The main downside, like many brands on this list, are that the suits don’t fit a huge range of body types or sizes. 

What to buy:

Madeline Sunsie Rashguard (small)Barbados Short (small)Melanie Bikini Top (small)Mustique Reversible Bottoms (small, Preferred: Backcountry)

Read the original article on Business Insider

34 Amazon Prime-eligible Mother’s Day gifts that are all under $25

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

Driftaway mother's day
Give Mom her caffeine fix with a sampler from Driftaway Coffee.

  • Finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift doesn’t have to cost a lot or require endless searching.
  • Below, we rounded up 34 of the best gifts on Amazon, all under $25 and eligible for Prime shipping.
  • Still looking? Check out more Mother’s Day gift ideas here.

If the enthusiastic reaction to handmade cards, misshapen ornaments, and school plays is any barometer, getting your mom or guardian a great gift doesn’t have to mean emptying your wallet.

And thanks to Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping perk, it also doesn’t require weeks of planning. Below, you’ll find 34 gems that are Prime-eligible, under $25, and solid gifts you can feel good about giving this year.

Don’t have Amazon Prime? Sign up for a free 30-day trial here to access all the benefits, including free two-day shipping. Due to COVID-19, some items may take longer than usual to deliver.

An irreverent adult coloring book

Maybe Swearing Will Help  Adult Coloring Book

Maybe Swearing Will Help: Adult Coloring Book, available at Amazon, $6.99

Adult coloring books have had a resurgence in recent years as a great de-stressor (Kate Middleton was one notable fan). But before then, we assume humans used swearing as the next best thing. Why not pair the two together for some truly balanced catharsis?

A milk frother for cafe-quality drinks at home

PowerLix Milk Frother Handheld Battery

PowerLix Milk Pro, $17.95

In order to make cafe-level drinks at home, you’re going to need a milk frother. And we think the best milk frother money can buy — for the casual foamed milk (and milk-alternative) enthusiast — is the Powerlix Milk Pro

A guide to the country’s best road trips

Road Trip USA  Cross Country Adventures on America's Two Lane Highways

Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways, $24.28

There are countless travel adventures to be had right in our own country. This guide to 11 cross-country road trips will inspire them to pick up their bags and travel as safely as possible

A coffee mug that will keep her drinks hot for hours

SUNWILL Coffee Mug

SUNWILL Coffee Mug, $11.89

This travel mug is insulated with stainless steel that will keep their hot drinks hot for at least three hours and their cold drinks cold for up to nine. You may not be able to brew her coffee every morning, but you can make sure she enjoys her cup of Joe for as long as possible. 

A media streaming stick

Roku Express HD Streaming Player

Roku Express HD Streaming Player, $24.99

The Roku Express is the most affordable of all the Roku streaming devices and comes with no shortage of features. They can confidently cut the cord since it houses all the major streaming services and channels, including the new and wildly popular Disney Plus

A sweet, handwritten card

Hallmark Pop Up Mothers Day Card

Hallmark Pop Up Mothers Day Card, $4.60

Sometimes the only thing they want is a card with a handwritten note inside — especially if you go big. But, if you’re looking for something simple and sweet, we’d recommend this one.

A funny book about crafting with cat hair

Crafting with Cat Hair  Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat

Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat, $9.38

Remember that lovable cat you adopted way back in March? You thought its talents stopped at giving you attention, love, and physical touch in isolation. But what if you told mom it could also help you make the rest of your gifts this year?

Aromatherapy soaking salts

herbivore botanicals

Herbivore Botanicals Natural Soaking Salts, $18

Detoxifying Himalayan pink salts and aromatic essential oils come together to make bathtime even more relaxing.

A dog calendar that will make the family pup look like an angel

Dog Shaming 2021 Day to Day Calendar

Dog-Shaming 2021 Day-to-Day Calendar, available at Amazon, $6.99

If they also have a dog whose diet consists of chair legs and their favorite pair of slippers, they’ll get a kick out of this dog-shaming calendar.

A stainless steel water bottle for temperature regulation

takeya water bottle

Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Water Bottle with Insulated Spout Lid, $20.99

Takeya’s affordable sport water bottle is perfect for running errands or hitting the gym. It’s sleek, durable, and its double-wall vacuum insulation will keep hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold drinks cold for up to 24.

A few Insider Reviews team members swear by Takeya bottles. I still found ice cubes in this model 24 hours after filling it

A hidden gem cast iron fry pan

fry pan

Victoria 10-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, $24.99

The Victoria Cast Iron 10-Inch Skillet Fry Pan is the perfect skillet for cooking just about anything. It’s well-designed, extremely affordable, and as durable as you’d hope a cast iron pan would be. It has a long primary handle and a shorter secondary handle for steadying the pan as you carry or move it, as well as good depth and a wide surface perfect for searing steaks. The large pour spouts on either side make it easy to rid the pan of grease without any mess.

It’s also our top overall pick in our Buying Guide for cast iron skillets.

Smart light bulbs that connect to Amazon Alexa and Google Home

kasa

Kasa Smart Light Bulb, $14.99

A smart light bulb is a perfect gift to get someone who’s been getting more curious about starting their own smart home or just loves the perfect ambiance. TP-Link’s bulb connects to the internet and can be controlled through a smartphone app, or a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

An award-winning cookbook

81ABBZDod+L

“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking” by Samin Nosrat, $18.24

This “New York Times” bestseller and winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best General Cookbook teaches cooks how to master cooking techniques by looking at those four important elements — salt, fat, acid, and heat — that are in everything we cook and eat. It also includes 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by renowned illustrator Wendy MacNaughton. The book has also been adapted into a Netflix series. 

Fun, organizational sticky notes

sticky notes packet

Knock Knock To Accomplish Sticky Notes Packet, $12.55

If she’s juggling more than her fair share of obligations, these fun (and helpful) sticky notes are a thoughtful way to make her daily tasks a bit more manageable. 

A deep-conditioning hair mask

hydrating hair mask

Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask, $12.95

Encourage Mom to take some time to pamper herself with this deep conditioning treatment. It’ll cost you less than $15 and has more than 4,500 five-star reviews.

A hair towel that cuts drying time by 50% and prevents damage

Aquis, $21

Aquis Original Hair Turban, $20.99

Aquis’ cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we’re happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there’s less damage to wet hair while it dries.

A cute loose-tea infuser

61FaEFlp4yL._SL1200_

Bunny Rabbit Silicone Tea Infuser, $9.98

Add some fun to Mom’s tea time with a silicone tea infuser shaped like a cute animal — for example, this relaxed, reclining bunny. 

A magnetic phone mount

$8

TechMatte MagGrip Car Phone Mount, $6.99

If she uses her phone to navigate, an unobtrusive, convenient car mount is a surprisingly thoughtful gift. This version is a favorite with over 6,000 five-star reviews. More than a few of our colleagues swear by this for hands-free navigation.

A popular micellar water

micellar water

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, $14.99

If you asked a beauty veteran what to pick up from a famed Parisian pharmacy, this micellar water would be on the top of the shortlist. The company estimates that a bottle is sold every two seconds, and it’s firmly seated on Amazon’s bestselling skincare products.

It gently cleanses skin and removes makeup without disrupting the skin’s natural hydrolipid film. Thanks to the water’s unique physiological pH, you shouldn’t even have to rinse. It’s also formulated to work with any skin texture.

An external battery

external battery

Anker PowerCore External Battery, $19.99

Make sure Mom never has to deal with the frustration of a dead phone again. The Anker PowerCore is equipped with high-speed charging tech and carries enough juice to provide nearly a full charge for iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9, or almost two charges for an iPhone 8.

A multi-functional humidifier

essential oil diffuser

Urpower Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier, $25.99

Urpower,’s big humidifier has racked up over 9,500 five-star reviews and functions as an aromatherapy diffuser, humidifier, and optional low-key night light. 

A cutting board shaped like her favorite place

cutting board

Totally Bamboo State Serving and Cutting Board, $19.99

Celebrate Mom’s favorite place on earth with these customized state cutting boards, which she can use during meal prep or for serving.

A plug that turns ordinary devices into smart ones

smart plug in

Kasa Smart WiFi Plug, $13.99

Turn her appliances into smart devices without shelling out hundreds of dollars. These plugs create smart outlets (no hub required) that will work with voice control through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. She’ll also be able to turn electronics on or off from anywhere with her smartphone using the Kasa app.

Savvy, reusable alternatives to plastic wrap

bee's wrap

Bee’s Wrap Medium 3-Pack, $15

Introduce Mom to Bee’s Wrap, a safe, reusable, and sustainable alternative to plastic wrap that’s perfect for covering bowls, packing snacks, or saving cheese, fruit, veggies, and bread.

The tech is pretty simple — the warmth of your hands softens the wax-coated wrap and, as it cools, it sticks and creates a seal to store food naturally. She should be able to use each wrap several times a week for up to a year. 

A hard copy of Michelle Obama’s bestselling book

becoming by MO

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama, $11.89

Michelle Obama’s witty, candid memoir “Becoming” was a #1 “New York Times” bestseller. If your mom has any interest in learning more about the former First Lady, she may love owning her own hard copy — and getting to share her favorite parts with you.

A convenient, at-home cold brew maker

cold brew maker

Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Maker, $19.99

Takeya’s Amazon-famous cold brew maker is an affordable, effective way to make a lot of cold brew at home without any expensive or out-of-the-way trips to Starbucks. It’s easy to use and fits nicely into most standard refrigerator doors. Personally, it saves me a few hundred dollars every year.

A better-looking Apple Watch band

apple watch band

Wearlizer Thin Tan Leather, $12.99

Dress up a potentially bulky watch with a more unobtrusive leather style. A leather band is strong and comfortable, and the Wearlizer option is one of the most affordable options.

A rapid egg cooker

Dash egg cooker

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, $19.99

Whether Mom likes her eggs hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, or served in individual omelets, this rapid egg cooker is bound to be a big morning routine improvement. It lives up to the name with eggs ready within minutes.

An affordable and effective wine bottle stopper

wine cork smart

The Original Vacu Vin Wine Saver with 2 Vacuum Stoppers, $15.99

Vacu Vin’s internet-famous Wine Saver removes the air from wine bottles to keep it tasting fresh for up to a week — both red and white.

A cinematic cookbook

movie cookbook

“Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers” by Andrew Rea, $16.12

Behold, the perfect cookbook for the movie buff. It converts iconic movie moments into recipes — from the redemptive birthday cake in “Sixteen Candles” to the elaborate Timpano from “Big Night.”

A family-friendly board game

watch ya mouth

Watch Ya’ Mouth Original Mouthpiece Game, $15.99

A memorable Mother’s Day gift could be bringing over a fun game for game night!

A famous $13 at-home facial

healing clay mask

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, $14.95

The Aztec Secret clay mask is one of the bestselling skincare products on Amazon, and with good reason. It uses 100% natural calcium bentonite clay to deep-clean pores and refresh your skin. It’s so good – and cheap – that you might want to pick up an extra jar for yourself while you’re at it. It’s also one of the purchases we swear by for saving money on salon services like professional facials.

A ‘Humans of New York’ coffee table book

HONY

“Humans of New York” by Brandon Stanton, $16.11

Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” series is one of the most powerful photographic campaigns to be conducted in the 21st century, leveraging the intimacy of random human-to-human connection and the powerful community of social media. This book serves as a tangible photographic census of New York City. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

30 best tech gifts for women that she’ll love this summer

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

Fitbit_Versa_3_Lifestyle_Bedroom_Stats_Pink_Clay_BJ_1056
The Fitbit Versa 3 makes a great gift for women who want a fitness tracker that doubles as a smartwatch.

  • Tech makes a great gift for anyone and everyone – no matter what time of year it is.
  • Ahead of the summer, we’ve found some incredibly useful tech gifts that will best fit her life and style.
  • Shopping for more gifts? Read all of our gift ideas in this helpful roundup of all our gift guides.

Every year, tech devices seem to get a little smarter and more useful. They make great gifts, too, because they often make life easier but aren’t necessities that people are willing to splurge on for themselves. As tech editors and reporters with decades of collective experience, we’ve pulled together a list of the best tech gifts for women that she’ll actually like.

Whether the lady in your life wants a pair of fantastic headphones that look good and sound great, hopes to track her fitness in style, or would love cool accessories for her phone, we have a tech gift for her in this guide. The picks below cover a variety of budgets, so there should be something for everyone whether you’re looking to spend $40 or $400 during the spring and summer gift-giving seasons.

A phone grip and stand

PopSocket

PopSocket Grip, available at PopSocket, from $10

PopSocket grips make it super easy to hold even the largest of phones. The grips stick onto almost any phone case, pop out twice to give excellent grip, and double as a stand when she wants to watch videos. PopSockets come in a multitude of colors, patterns, and styles, so you’ll be sure to find one she’ll love. PopSockets also sells grips that give back to select charities. I have PopSocket grips on all the different phone cases I use because I can’t imagine using my phone without one.

Apple’s new tracking tool to keep all of her essentials close by

Apple’s AirTags help you find lost items using the company’s network of 1 billion iPhones

Apple AirTag, available at Apple, $29 (additional case required for keyrings)

It’s easy for anyone to lose track of their things, but it suffices to say that women generally have more things to carry around and keep track of than most men. If the lucky lady in your life happens to be an iPhone user, then Apple’s new AirTags should be a well received gift. AirTags are shockingly affordable by Apple standards given their usefulness, offering direct navigation to tagged items (on iPhone 11 or newer) as well as using Apple’s FindMy network to track items outside of Bluetooth connectivity range.

A leather wireless charger

Courant wireless charger

Courant wireless chargers, available at Courant, $56 to $122.50

Wireless chargers don’t have to be ugly or boring. Courant’s wireless chargers and wirelessly charging battery packs are sophisticated and beautiful. They’re covered in leather and come in a few classy colors, including off white, black, rose, and light blue. We’ve used these chargers ourselves, and we’re certain she’ll love them. We particularly like the catch-all that has a space for keys, wallets, jewelry, and any other small items she may have. You can also personalize it with a short phrase.

Possibly the last umbrella she’ll ever need

yellow blunt umbrella

Blunt Metro Travel Umbrella, available at Amazon, $69

Chances are high that you can’t count how many umbrellas you’ve purchased in the past. The Blunt Metro Travel umbrella costs a pretty penny, but it’s designed to last, named our top pick for the best heavy duty umbrella. The umbrella features a 38-inch canopy with a wind-resistant radial tension system that can withstand winds of up to 55 miles per hour as well as blunted tips for safer commuting. And, with nine different colors to choose from, there’s sure to be one for her aesthetic.

A smart display

google nest hub

Google Nest Hub, available at Best Buy, $69.99

The Google Nest Hub puts all the smarts of the Google Assistant into a smart home hub with screen. That way, she can see visual answers to her questions, the weather forecast, news reports, YouTube videos, and more right on the screen as the Assistant reads back the information. It also has a speaker, so she can play her favorite music. Plus, the Nest Hub can control smart home devices. I use this smart display on my desk in my home office.

An affordable smart dog collar for keeping track of her best friend

Link AKC Smart Dog Collar

Link AKC Smart Dog Collar, available at Amazon, $109.99

This relatively affordable connected dog collar would be an excellent gift for the dog-loving lady in your life. Known to us as the best affordable dog tracking GPS collar, the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar offers what it says on the tin as well as activity tracking to see how much exercise old doggo is getting on a daily basis. The collar comes in a variety of sizes as well as leather and “sport” fabric finishes.

However, just know before buying whether she will be willing to pay a subscription fee to get the most out of the Link AKC. This service costs either $9.95 monthly, $95.40 annually, or $166.80 for two years. This is certainly a considerable expense, but the service also includes a three-year replacement warranty, access to the Pet Poison Hotline from within the app, and the option to upgrade the collar if her pup outgrows it.

A solid tablet for ebooks, emails, and excellent streaming on a larger display

iPad Air Apple Pencil

Apple iPad, available at Apple, for $329

While most of us use our phones for almost every digital interaction and and distraction these days, sometimes a 6-inch won’t cut it. Apple’s base-level $329 iPad is an excellent gift for anyone seeking a tablet that can do just about anything. This iPad has a sharp display, lots of long battery life, and impressive performance (for its price) for anyone in your life that’s looking for that bridge between their phone and their laptop. 

Check out our review of Apple’s 8th-generation iPad

A piece of smart jewelry

bellabeat leaf

Bellabeat Leaf Urban and Leaf Chakra, available at Amazon, from $74.99

Bellabeat has been making gorgeous pieces of smart jewelry for years now, and the Leaf Urban and new Leaf Chakra make excellent gifts. Not only does Bellabeat’s smart jewelry look fabulous as a necklace, bracelet, or brooch, it also packs a lot of smart features. The Leaf Urban and Chakra can track activity, mindfulness breathing exercises, and sleep patterns. It also doubles as a silent alarm so she’ll awaken peacefully each morning. The company also has a new Leaf Crystal tracker that has a Swarovski crystal on it for $149.00 (pictured above).

A high-tech hair dryer that delivers salon-like results at home

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer (refurbished)

Dyson Supersonic for $399.99

It may be expensive, but reviews suggest it’s worth splurging for. Dyson’s futuristic hair dryer measures air temperature over 40 times per second to prevent heat damage and operates much more quietly than other hair dryers. But what really makes the Dyson Supersonic worth the high price, is its results. Not only does it dry hair significantly faster than the average hair dryer, but it’s also probably the closest thing you’ll get to a professional blowout at home. Considering many of us may be reluctant to go to a salon for quite some time, Dyson’s dryer could be the perfect gift for anyone who dries and styles their hair daily.

Check out our guide to the best hairdryers in 2021

A bike mount for her phone

QuadLock

Quad Lock Bike Kit Universal Mount, $54.90, available at QuadLock 

Quad Lock’s bike mount makes an excellent gift for any cyclist who likes to take her phone along for the ride. The company makes several versions, but this universal one will fit any phone, thanks to its two-part design. The adapter sticks to the back of a phone and locks into the bike mount securely. It’s one of the best ones we’ve tried.

A smart herb garden

aerogarden harvest

AeroGarden Harvest, available at Walmart and Amazon, $129.06

Who doesn’t love fresh herbs? AeroGarden’s Harvest herb garden isn’t super high-tech, but it is techy in that it uses hydroponics to grow delicious herbs and other produce quickly without much effort on her part. All she has to do to get her herbs growing is pop the seed pods in the planter, give it water regularly, and add the included plant food now and then. The planter does the rest, providing light on a schedule, moving the water, and alerting her when it needs more. In our tests, we had great success with this garden, and we’re sure she will, too.

A well-made desk pad that looks nice

grovemade desk pad

Grovemade Desk Pad, available at Grovemade, from $40

Desk pads serve multiple functions: they make a desk look nicer, they protect the desk from spills, and they can also provide a nice uniform workspace. These desk pads from Grovemade are very well made, with grippy natural cork backings and natural linoleum tops. The company also makes fancy leather and wool ones, but they do cost more. There are a few fun color options as well, so you should be able to find one that suits her style. I personally have the blue linoleum one on my desk, and it looks wonderful. Prices vary by size.

A Tile Bluetooth tracker for everything

Tile Pro, $34.93

Tile Mate and Tile Slim Bundle (two each, 2018 versions), available at Tile, $39.99

Everyone has lots of things to keep track of in their lives, and it can be easy to, well, lose track. That’s where Tile Bluetooth trackers come in. She can throw one of these on her keys or in her wallet so that she never has to go scrambling for one of those things when it’s time for work or an appointment.

A cool, artistic smart light

lifx beam

LIFX Wi-Fi LED Beam Kit, available at LIFX, $149.99 (available soon)

If her design aesthetic is modern and a bit funky, she might just love Lifx’s cool smart light beam kit. The Kit comes with six light beams that she can arrange on a wall in cool patterns to create accent lighting in her home. In the app, she can choose which colors she wants the beams to display and turn her space into an art exhibit. We tried the Beam Kit and we loved it.

The best portable game console around

Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite, available at Walmart and Amazon, $199

It’s widely known by this point that women make up half — if not more — of the overall population of gamers, so chances are your favorite lady is just as excited for the next Super Mario as the boys are. Nintendo’s latest console is easy to take on the go and already features hundreds of excellent games.

An affordable home security camera

Eufy Security_Indoor Cam 2K Pan and Tilt

Eufy Security 2K Indoor Cam Pan & Tilt, $51.99, available at Amazon and Eufy

Eufy’s 2K Pan & Tilt Cam is one of the best home security cameras we’ve tested, and it makes a great gift for smart home enthusiasts. It offers crisp video footage, two-way audio, motion detection, and other smart features for a very reasonable price.

An attractive hybrid smartwatch

Fossil Charter HR

Fossil Charter HR, available at Fossil, $195

If she doesn’t like smartwatches, but she still wants to feel connected to her phone, a smart hybrid watch is a great gift to give. The Fossil Charter HR hides high-tech features inside a classic, attractive, simple, analog watch body.

You’d never know that this watch is so smart by looking at it, but it has a black and white screen that shows notifications, metrics, and the time. It can buzz with notifications, adjust to different time zones, track fitness with a heart rate monitor, control music, and wake her up peacefully with a silent alarm.

A gorgeous Bluetooth speaker

marshall stanmore ii speaker

Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Multi-Room Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker, available at Best Buy, $349.99

Marshall’s aesthetic is all about rock-n-roll, and this speaker will look great in her home. The Stanmore Bluetooth Speaker comes in three different colors: black, brown, and off-white with subtle gold or rose gold accents. It sounds great, too.

A fitness tracker that’s also a smartwatch

Fitbit versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3, available at Fitbit, $179.95

The Fitbit Versa 3 is the best-looking fitness tracker Fitbit has made to date. It looks a bit like a more angular Apple Watch and you can choose from a lot of different brands to personalize it to match her style. The Versa 3 has smartwatch features and apps, but it’s best at fitness tracking and keeping tabs on workouts.

An instant camera

sq20

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ20 Camera, available on Amazon, $164.99

Instant cameras make cute, fun gifts for shutterbugs, and the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ20 is a great option. Thanks to a nifty screen on the back, she can preview any photos she takes with it before she prints them — that way she won’t waste film on blurry shots. The camera also has 16 different filters, so she can get artistic with her photos.

A pretty phone case

case mate

Case-Mate Phone Cases for iPhone and Samsung, available at Amazon, from $5

Case-Mate has a huge range of cases for iPhones and Samsung phones, so you’re sure to find one that matches her style. Whether she wants a classic slim leather case, a clear case, or one that’s bedazzled, full of glitter, or covered in real pressed flowers, Case-Mate has an option.

The most popular e-reader

Kindle Paperwhite 2018 open cover.JPG

Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $209.99

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof, so she can take it into the bubble bath with her and read until the water cools and the bubbles disappear. The text appears crisp and sharp, thanks to the great backlight and high-quality E-INK screen. Amazon has an unrivaled selection of ebooks available for download and she can get free ebooks or borrow library books on the Kindle. We tested this ebook reader, and consider it one of the best ones you can buy.

A good-looking smartwatch

Apple Watch SE Heart Rate

Apple Watch SE, available at Best Buy, from $279

The Apple Watch SE is Apple’s new, affordable smartwatch. We tested it and found that it offers nearly all the same features as the more expensive, high-end Series 6, but for much less. It comes in several great finishes including a classic rose gold one and she can choose from many different watch band options to suit her style. The 40mm casing is also perfect for smaller wrists. Beyond beauty, the Apple Watch has serious brains, too. It can track fitness, monitor her heart rate and health, and buzz with important notifications.

A pair of stylish glasses that block blue light from electronics

Felix Gray

Felix Gray Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95

Blue light from electronics can lead to eye strain and make it hard to fall asleep at night, so why not get her a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses? Felix Gray makes both prescription and non-prescription glasses that look great and work well to block out those harmful blue rays. I wear a pair of these every night to help ease my eye strain.

A beautiful wireless charger

Native Union

Native Union Drop Wireless Charger, available at Amazon, from $39.99 to $59.99

Most wireless chargers are boring black or white pucks that are functional but not very pretty. Native Union’s Drop charger is the opposite. It comes in a soft rose or dark graphite color that looks gorgeous. The top has grippy silicone on it in a cool pattern so her phone won’t slide off it while charging. There is also a leather version.

A pair of touchscreen gloves that are actually warm

Ugg

UGG Touchscreen Compatible Gloves, available at UGG, $165

Touchscreen gloves aren’t always attractive, but Ugg makes some very nice ones with genuine leather and shearling for warmth and style. These gloves will make it easy for her to use her phone no matter how cold it gets outside.

A mega-popular smart speaker

Best Echo Amazon Echo 4th gen

Amazon Echo, available at Amazon, $69.99

If she doesn’t have a smart speaker yet, the new, round Amazon Echo will be a game-changer. This speaker has Alexa inside so she can ask the speaker to play music, answer questions, order products, play games, and so much more. If she has some smart home gadgets, Alexa can control many of those, too. We reviewed the new version and think it’s the best one yet.

A pair of truly wireless earbuds

Airpods

Apple AirPods, available at Walmart and Amazon, $128.98

When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. Apple’s AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look fair subtle compared to many other bigger earbuds, and they’re incredibly easy to use.

A great pair of over-ear headphones

b&o h4

Bang & Olufsen H4 Headphones, available at Bang & Olufsen, $300

Bang & Olufsen makes some of the most beautiful over-ear headphones you can buy. The new H4 headphones are made from high-quality leather and anodized aluminum. Depending on what color palette your giftee likes, you may want to get her the black ones or the “limestone” ones. They sounded amazing in our tests, too.

A smart mug that keeps drinks hot

Ember_Mug_2_on_Charging_Base

Ember Mug 2, available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Best Buy, $129.99

With the app-controlled Ember Mug 2, her favorite hot drink will never get cold again. In the app, she can choose the exact temperature she likes her beverage to be at for drinking, and the mug will keep it at that temperature for up to 80 minutes per charge. The mug itself is made of stainless steel that’s been coated in ceramic. We tested the mug and found it to be a life-changer.

Read the original article on Business Insider

21 gifts for tea lovers – from loose-leaf teas to fun teapots and more

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

T2 teapot

There’s nothing better than a steaming cup of hot tea. If you know someone who subscribes to that philosophy and has more teapots and tins of tea than you can count, you probably know a tea lover.

Tea lovers can never have too many kinds of tea on hand, nor yet too many cute teapots and mugs in their collection. Still, you want to surprise them with a mix of old and new favorites. If you’re struggling to figure out where to buy excellent loose-leaf tea, porcelain tea sets, and all the other tea-making tools they use, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

I’m a self-professed tea lady with several shelves dedicated to my tea collection and everything that goes with it. I’ve personally tasted and used nearly every tea and tea-related gift I’m recommending here, so rest assured – your tea fanatic will enjoy any of these gifts.

The 5 best gifts for tea lovers:

  1. A sampler box of different teas from David’s Tea ($24.50)
  2. A travel mug for their tea ($35)
  3. An electric kettle with adjustable temperature settings ($99.95)
  4. A monthly tea subscription ($45)
  5. A tin of ceremonial-grade matcha ($29.96)
A cute mug with an infuser and some loose leaf tea

T2 mug set

T2 Tea Fine Bone China Mug with Stainless Steel Infuser and English Breakfast Tea, available at Amazon, $34.35

Tea lovers can never have enough cute mugs, and this one is not only made of fine bone china, but it also comes with a stainless steel infuser and a pack of loose-leaf tea. All the sets come with mugs and teas that match a certain theme, including London, Paris, Melbourne, New York, or a good night’s sleep. The English breakfast tea mug set has rain clouds, London Bridge, the crown, and the Queen’s guards on it, for example. No matter which one you get, your giftee is bound to love it. 

A bubble tea set

boba bubble tea gift set

Bubble Tea Set, available at Harney & Sons, $39.95

Bubble tea is a delicious treat, and making it at home may seem intimidating, but it’s fun and easy with this gift set. It comes with tapioca pearls, wide-mouthed metal straws, and two of Harney & Sons’ finest tea blends that are just perfect for traditional black milk bubble tea: Paris and Milky Oolong. Harney & Sons even provides instructions on how to make the boba. I recently ordered this cute set, and it came in a beautiful gift box with a ribbon. 

A smart mug that keeps tea hot

ember mug 2 tea

Ember Mug 2, available at Amazon, $99.95

There’s nothing more disappointing than a cup of tea gone cold. With the Ember Mug 2, that will never happen to your loved one again. This smart mug keeps the drink inside nice and hot at temperatures ranging from 120°F to 145°F. The temperature is set in an easy-to-use app. The mug itself can keep drinks hot for about an hour and a half on its own, but with the electric heated coaster that plugs into the wall, the drink will stay hot as long as it’s plugged in. 

Honey that’s made for tea

savannah bee company honey tea set

Tea Lover’s Gift Set, available at Savannah Bee Company, $22.50

There’s nothing quite like really high-quality honey dissolved in a cup of tea. Savannah Bee Company’s tea lover’s gift set is the perfect accompaniment to a nice brew. Not all types of honey are ideal for tea, but this one is specifically crafted to sweeten a variety of brews from chai to green and even Earl Grey. The set also comes with a wooden dipper that’s perfect for stirring honey into tea and two tea-flavored lip balms.

A beautiful handmade Japanese tea tin

japanese tea tin etsy

Japanese Tea Tin, available at Etsy, $12.50

Sure, you could buy a set of plain tea tins, but where’s the fun in that? These beautiful handmade Japanese tea tins are made of stainless steel with patterned washi paper on top. There’s also a plastic lid on the inside to keep tea fresh. This tin holds 3.5 ounces of loose-leaf tea and features Japanese cranes, trees, and wisteria flowers. This Etsy seller has many other designs in their shop, so you’re sure to find one your giftee will love.

A tea subscription

sips by

Sips By 3-Month Tea Subscription Gift Card, available at Sips By, $45

Sips By’s tea subscription is one of the most affordable tea subscription services out there, so you can gift your loved one three months of delicious tea for $45. Once the recipient activates the gift card, they’ll take a quiz so Sips By can customize each tea box to their preferences. Then, each month, they’ll get four different teas — good for at least 15 cups of tea — based on their tea profile.

Sips By chooses its teas from more than 100 brands, and you can get tea bags or loose-leaf tea along with reusable, biodegradable filters. The box also comes with steeping guidelines and your giftee can check out recipes and lessons from Sips By’s experts.

High-quality organic loose leaf tea

rishi tea

Loose-Leaf Tea, available at Rishi

Rishi uses organic certified teas and herbs from artisan growers and specialist producers in its blends. The company’s direct relationship not only aims to ensure that farmers are compensated fairly for their crop, but also that the tea and herbs used in its blends are of high quality. I’ve bought lots of tea from Rishi, and it makes a great gift. Whether you want oolong, chai, chamomile, or just about any other kind of tea, Rishi has a brew that’ll make a great gift.

 

A sampler box of different teas

David's Tea Sweet Indulgence Tea Sampler

David’s Tea Sweet Indulgence Tea Sampler, available at David’s Tea, $24.50

Shop more tea gifts at David’s Tea

Tea fanatics love nothing more than trying new blends, and David’s Tea Sweet Indulgence Tea Sampler Gift Box contains 12 of the tea shop’s most unique loose-leaf tea blends. The teas are all inspired by famous sweets, from banana nut bread to English toffee. The company has lots of fun gifts, so if this sampler isn’t your giftee’s cup of tea, you can probably find another great option in the gift section.

 

A matcha tea set

tenzo tea

Modern Matcha bundle, available at Tenzo, $80

This bundle comes with everything they need to make delicious matcha drinks at home. The tea is of excellent quality and the electric whisk mixes up the matcha perfectly, and the little scoop ensures each drink has the right amount of matcha in it. I use this set at home to make matcha lattes and other drinks.

 

A tea brewing basket

finum tea basket

Finum Brewing Basket, available at Amazon, $10.99

Finum’s brewing basket is the best tea infuser you can buy to brew loose tea leaves because it is spacious enough to let the tea leaves brew to perfection. It’s also easy to clean and will keep most tea leaf particles out of the brew.

 

A porcelain tea set

royal albert

Royal Albert 3-Piece Tea Set, available at Overstock, $165

Nothing says tea time like a porcelain tea set made in the traditional English style. Royal Albert’s bone china is top-notch, so it’s made to last. In this set, you get a teapot, creamer, and sugar bowl. The company also makes matching teacups, saucers, platters, and tiered tea trays.

 

A teaspoon

tea spoon

Samirah Collections Tea Time Teaspoon, available at Etsy, $16

Even if your tea lover doesn’t put sugar in their tea, they’ll love this silver-plated and hand-stamped teaspoon. Samirah Collection uses vintage silver plated teaspoons to create unique hand-stamped gifts.

 

A zodiac-inspired blend

zodiac tea

Zodiac Sign Tea, available at Uncommon Goods, $17

If they’re as passionate about astrology as they are about tea, they’ll appreciate this clever combination of the two. Each scent is crafted with a particular sign in mind — creating blends like the Aries-inspired lemongrass and sunflower-infused Yerba Mate, and Scorpio-based mango, ginger, and lime. 

 

A travel mug for tea

T2 mug

T2 Stainless Steel Flask with Tea Strainer, available at Amazon, $35

T2 makes the best travel mug for tea lovers hands down. The tea mug is made of stainless steel to keep tea hot for hours and hours. Best of all, it has a long stainless steel brewing basket that reaches deep enough into the travel mug that actually gets submerged in water and gives the tea room to brew properly. Also, if you happen to live near a T2 location, you can stop in every Friday with this mug in hand and get free brewed tea. How’s that for a gift that keeps on giving?

 

An electric kettle with adjustable temperature settings

Gifts for tea lovers OXO kettle

OXO Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle, available at Amazon, and Bed Bath & Beyond, $99.95

Every self-respecting tea drinker in England and Europe has an electric kettle, and tea lovers on this side of the pond should have one too. OXO’s gooseneck electric kettle has adjustable temperature settings so you can ensure that your tea fanatic’s brew is made at exactly the right temperature — and yes, if you didn’t know already, the water’s temperature matters.

 

A “tea” shirt

tea shirt

BlockMerch Tea Shirt, available at Etsy, $24

Etsy is full of cute “tea” shirts, and this is one of them. We love the fun font and cute tea cup on the shirt. Plus, it has excellent reviews, and you’ll be supporting a small business.

 

A tin of ceremonial-grade matcha tea

matchabar

MatchaBar Premium Ceremonial Grade Matcha Green Tea Powder, available at Amazon, $29.96

Matcha is made from green tea leaves that grow in the shade and have been ground into a perfectly fine powder that dissolves in water when whisked properly. The result is a fresh, energizing, delicious tea. MatchaBar sells excellent matcha that’s ceremonial grade, so you can trust that this matcha will be top-notch.

 

A proper brew

yorkshire tea bags

Yorkshire Tea, available at Amazon, $6.38

If you want to give your loved one a proper brew, you need to get some Yorkshire Tea. This famous British tea is rich and strong. This family-owned business has been producing high-quality tea since 1886 in Harrogate, Yorkshire. The tea itself comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified Growers in Africa and India.

 

A box of high-quality tea bags

numi tea

Numi Tea Bag Gift Set, available at Amazon, $24 

If your tea fanatic prefers tea bags or likes to have them on hand, Numi’s tea bag gift set is a wonderful buy. You get a wide assortment of organic, Fair Trade tea bags in a lovely bamboo tea box that you can use over and over again.

 

A tea party in a box

globein tea gifts

GlobeIn Tea Party Box, available at GlobeIn, $60

GlobeIn sells Fair Trade, handmade products that are produced in ethical working conditions by workers who are compensated fairly for their labor. This set includes a handblown Mexican glass pitcher, tea from India, handmade tealight candles, a lovely lantern, and felt pompoms in fun colors.

 

Ethically sourced teas

teapig teabags

TeaPigs Tea Bags, available at Amazon, $8-$25

If the tea lover in your life contemplates the idea of tea bags with dismay, TeaPigs may be able to win them over. The company uses real whole tea leaves, whole flowers, and whole herbs to ensure that the brew’s quality is equal to that of tea brewed from loose leaves. Each biodegradable mesh bag is filled with an ample amount of tea instead of a little bit of dusty tea leaf pieces. TeaPigs also takes care to ensure that its tea comes from sustainable, eco-friendly tea estates.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider