From AirPods to immersion blenders.
We’re recovering from holiday shopping, but we all know, gift-giving isn’t the only reason for an Amazon binge. We can always find an excuse to browse the site for niche clothing items or random home goods we didn’t know we needed. Because that’s what Amazon is, isn’t it? It’s an online shopper’s dream, full of essentials and not-so-essentials that arrive in that little (or big) brown box with the happy arrow on it.
The Katie Couric Media staff scoured the virtual shelves to find the best Amazon finds — from bestsellers to hidden gems to undeniable deals. To make your shopping experience easier, we compiled them into a single list of the best things to buy on Amazon. We included winter-ready accessories and gadgets, alongside kitchen tools that truly deliver in the convenience department, and plenty of other low-risk high-reward finds to add to your cart, whether you’re looking to splurge or save on an item for yourself or a gift. And since Amazon is ever-evolving, stay tuned as we update this list with our most recent purchases (and repurchases).
Best Things to Buy on Amazon Right Now
Apple AirPods Pro
There’s no denying that Apple makes really great audio gear. Their AirPods Pro are regular bestsellers, and for good reason. Not only is the sound quality unbeatable, but they have bonus features like noise cancellation and transparency mode that lets you safely listen to music while biking, and they fit surprisingly well, even through a workout.
Apple AirPods Max
If you know someone who loves the immersive experience of escaping the world through music, the Apple AirPods Max will allow them to do that no matter where they are. These are more comfortable than earbuds that sit in your ear, and the design is sleeker than your average pair of over-ear headphones, so they don’t look as dorky as other options. Apple offers a variety of colors to choose from, but we’re partial to this sleek Sky Blue.
Mueller Immersion Blender
Soup season is upon us, and we’re ready to break out those cozy recipes without having to use a clunky blender. An immersion blender is a must for all fans of creamy soups: It makes it easy to achieve the rich texture you’re looking for without adding a ton of dairy or simmering for hours. This one also comes with a milk frothing attachment for your morning latte or evening hot chocolate and a whisk attachment for making whipped cream or frosting.
Spring Chef Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set
There aren’t many items more essential to baking than measuring spoons, but it’s really difficult to find the perfect set. The round spoons don’t always fit into spice jars, the rectangular spoons don’t work well when the jars are almost empty, and maneuvering around the other spoons on the ring can be a real pain. Well, we just found the ideal set from Spring Chef. They’re double-sided to work well with jars of any shape and size, and they’re magnetic so they stay together when you need them to and come apart when in use. As an added plus, the set comes with a leveler so you can stop using jar lids and getting cinnamon all over the counter.
Hot To Go Reusable Heat Packs
Winter is officially here, along with its requisite football games, chilly yard work, and hours on the sidelines of youth sports games. If the thought of snow storms already has your hands stiffening up, we found just the thing: reusable heat packs. After being briefly boiled, the packs are primed for activation and can be carried around until needed — each one contains a small disc that triggers the heat when clicked. Kiss your boxes of disposable hand warmers goodbye.
Bedsure Heated Blanket
Curling up under your coziest blanket is one thing to look forward to about the cold weather, but curling up under a heated blanket? That’s a different level of luxury. This sherpa/fleece option has 10 temperature levels and 10 time settings, heats up quickly, and is even machine-washable (just remember to detach the controller). It’s a must-have for drafty houses, cold offices, or older apartments where the heat levels are beyond your control. Plus, it comes in a queen and king size. Buy one for every room, we say!
Vobaga Coffee Mug Warmer
If you can’t seem to drink your coffee fast enough to avoid that disgustingly cold last sip, look no further than this mug warmer. Place your fresh cup of coffee or tea on the coaster, choose your setting and sip away at your leisure. Though it doesn’t offer the same level of personalization as the Ember smart mug ($125), this warmer works well at a much lower price point. A light on the warmer alerts you when the surface is still hot to help avoid accidental burns.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Was $50 (40% off)
We’re big fans of cooking in cast iron skillets for their even heating power and high heat tolerance. You can take this one from the stove to the oven to the grill without worrying about shattering finishes or melted coatings. We love that Lodge’s skillet is economical without sacrificing quality and comes with a handy pot holder to make lifting your pan easier. Don’t forget a stainless steel scrubber ($10) to go with it, and make sure you read the care instructions to keep it in good shape for years.
Cosori Electric Kettle
Electric kettles have been around for quite a while, but it seems like the U.S. just discovered them in the past couple of years. They boil water more efficiently than stovetop kettles, so you can get your tea faster or even use them to speed up your cooking process for pasta and more. This one has an automatic shutoff after your water is done boiling, and is designed not to turn on when there’s no water inside. Plus, it’ll look sleek on your counter.
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
We’re big fans of the Dutch oven for its unbeatable versatility and ease of use. Risotto? No problem. Bread? Sure. Pot Roast? You betcha. It’s easy to wash and can handle high temperatures — we’re talking 500 degrees Fahrenheit — that your average pot cannot. Some of the more famous brands are quite expensive, so we love that this Lodge option is much more economical while still getting the job done. It comes in enough colors and sizes to match any kitchen and family size, and we can guarantee it will become your go-to after your first use.
Outdoor String Lights
Festival lights are still very much in, and they’re the perfect way to jazz up your backyard, porch, balcony, or patio bonfire setup. This classic set is durable enough to stay outside year-round.
The Spatty Last Drop Spatula
Finally, the perfect tool to help you get that last smidgen of foundation, peanut butter, or lip gloss: the Spatty. This mini rubber spatula was born out of founder Cheryl Rigdon’s frustration with having to throw away almost empty bottles of expensive makeup, and she has since developed versions perfect for the kitchen, crafting, and home improvement projects. The Spatty makes it simple to cut down on wasted products and food, and a portion of the proceeds is donated to efforts to improve access to clean water.
Kolder Salad Dressing Mixer Bottle
Take the guesswork — and spilled oil — out of salad dressings with this handy bottle, which has recipes and measurement guides printed right on it. Simply add the ingredients and shake: No measuring cups, messy container lids, or whisking necessary. Its leak-proof, easy-pour top will help you avoid drenched salads, and the whole thing is dishwasher safe.
Wide-Brimmed Sun Hat
If you have an exotic vacation planned for the holidays, we have two things to say to you: 1) We’re jealous, and 2) This packable sun hat should be on your packing list. It comes in a bunch of colors and the wide brim will keep you shielded from the sun on any beach walk.
Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hot Air Brush
You’ve heard of a certain $300-plus blow dryer brush, but for a more budget-friendly option that will still give your hair the lift and shine you’re looking for, we recommend the Revlon Volumizer Air Brush. You can use it to style and dry your hair with one hand, rather than wrangling a brush and blow dryer at the same time. There’s also a Plus ($48) version with a ceramic barrel to protect your hair, a smaller width to get closer to your scalp, and a medium heat setting.
Electric Candle Lighter
Burning your fingers on matches and lighters is so last year. With the rise of candle care accessories like wick dippers and trimmers, it was inevitable that someone would come up with a better way to light your favorite jar candle. Enter the flameless candle lighter, which lights the wick with a little zap of electricity — no tilting necessary.
Glass Water Tumbler
Drinks just taste better through a straw — sorry, we don’t make the rules. Take your favorite cold drinks on the go, and keep them cold, with this dishwasher-safe glass tumbler. The bamboo lid has a rubber lining to keep the top tightly sealed against leaks, and the tumbler comes with a silicone sleeve that makes it easy to grip and can be tossed in the dishwasher with the rest of the cup. This tumbler has a wide mouth that makes it easy to pile in ice or chunks of fruit, and it comes in a bunch of different colors to suit your style.
Finishing Touch Flawless Hair Remover
Let’s be real here: Whatever your facial hair removal method is, you’ve probably just about reached the end of your rope with it. Tweezing is time-consuming and painful, professional waxing or threading is expensive and painful, and at-home waxing is messy and, again, painful. Plus, all those methods leave your face red for hours afterward, precluding last-minute upkeep. Enter Finishing Touch’s Flawless hair remover, a pocket-friendly little razor that gently and effectively removes facial hair in a matter of seconds. Whether you incorporate it into your daily routine or use it in emergencies only, the Flawless will definitely be a lifesaver.
Zulay Original Milk Frother
If you’re a little skeptical about the need for frothers, you’re not alone: We were, too, until we actually tried one. Even if you aren’t a latte or cappuccino person, frothers make mixing up hot drinks so much easier. Whether you like to add collagen or protein powder to your morning cup of coffee or you’re just a powdered hot chocolate fiend, trust us when we say you won’t regret this addition to your kitchen gadget drawer.
Island Soap & Candle Works Surfer’s Salve
Between endless shoveling, dry air, and blasting the heat every day, winter can be tough on the skin. We’re loving this Surfer’s Salve, a one-stop shop to soothe any and all irritated skin. The all-natural balm comes in a 4-ounce tin that will last you for months, and it has a light, herby smell that will remind you of the beach no matter where you are.
Please bear with us as we sing the praises of this unusual but 100-percent-worth-it gadget. You. Will. Love. It. The flexible metal prongs truly relax you and relieve stress, and you can bend them to match the shape of your head. The well-made massager is easy to clean and comes with a lifetime warranty. That’s really all we can say…go try it out!
Ullo Wine Purifier and Aerator
Was $80 (25% off)
We were shocked to find that there are ways to avoid wine headaches without actually giving up wine! Most wines have sulfites added to them, which can cause headaches, stuffy noses, rashes, and stomachaches, among other reactions. While the Ullo is expensive and you have to replace the filter after every couple of bottles, it’s worth it for those who love wine and wish they could drink it more often. You can even adjust the aeration level to suit different wines. You can also try these single-use wands for a more portable solution.
Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
This handy gadget functions as a sleep aid, an alarm clock, and a night light all in one. The light brightens gradually over 10, 20, or 30 minutes, making it perfect for anyone who struggles to wake up during shorter, darker winter mornings. The clock has seven soothing alarm sounds, including birds chirping, running water, and soft music, to further improve your wakeup experience. To top it off, the light can be turned to different colors and it has an FM radio built in. Ditch your phone alarm for this clock — you won’t regret it.
Food Huggers Reusable Silicone Food Savers
Few things match the annoyance of opening a can of tomato paste, scooping out two tablespoons, and then covering the can with plastic wrap that eventually loses its seal. With these food huggers, you can keep canned goods and produce fresh without using endless amounts of plastic or bulky Tupperware. This set comes with five reusable covers that can stretch to fit a wide range of produce and containers. As an added bonus, they’re dishwasher safe and come in environmentally friendly packaging.
Drop Stop Car Seat Gap Filler
Next on the list of solutions you didn’t know existed are these car seat gap fillers. The neoprene inserts fill the space between the seat and center console in most cars to prevent your phone, keys, chapstick, or one of the many other items you’re juggling from falling into the abyss. The fillers slip over and snugly attach around the seat belt so they don’t slide around, and they move with the seat in most cars.
Wool Dryer Balls
Made from 100 percent New Zealand wool, these reusable dryer balls are gentler than the spiky plastic alternatives and more environmentally friendly than disposable dryer sheets. The balls prevent wrinkles, decrease lint, and help keep clothes soft without introducing unwanted chemicals. They also decrease drying time and are machine washable. The list just goes on!
Onion Cutting Set
If cutting onions feels like the bane of your existence, look no further than this handy and fashionable set. It comes with protective glasses and a holder that allows you to slice onions thinly without the risk of cutting yourself. If you’re concerned about the glasses fitting over your actual glasses, try these highly-rated goggles.