You’re Missing Out if You Haven’t Tried These Things People Call Their Most Amazing Finds of the Year

The sorts of products you’ll wonder how you lived without.

by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 
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You know that feeling when you order something from Amazon and receive an item that changes your world? Maybe it’s a small thing to others. For example, perhaps you finally discovered the tool that makes it super fast and easy to remove pet hair from your couch, pants, and desk chair so you don’t have to be that person that’s always covered in fur. Or you bought some paint on a whim and — three hours later — are living in a beautiful home and you don’t know how you got there.

I have selected some such stories from the commerce editors at Bustle and plucked some from the reviews on Amazon. Because, right after having a transformative experience with a product, you’ll probably tell your coworkers (or everyone you know) about it. When they are tired of hearing it, you will tell your tale in the reviews, as many have done before you. That’s how the cycle goes! So read on, and don’t miss out on these fabulous things people call their most amazing finds of the year.


This simple pet-fur remover that works so well you will obsess over it

There are over 93,000 five-star reviews for this clever pet hair remover and, once you try it, you will likely be back to add yours. It’s so simple, but is so fast and effective at removing pet hair from couches, fabrics, and carpets, that people quickly become obsessed with it. Just rub it back and forth on the furry area and open the fur trap to see how much fur it removed. Your fur problems are solved.

Editor review: “I have the furriest cat in the world and this saves my couch (and jeans) from becoming a fuzzy nest. I also have a rug that’s sensitive to vacuuming — of course it’s my cat’s favorite to roll around on, and the ChomChom works like a charm. I love that it's reusable too! No need for messy sticky sheets.” Cassandra Seale


These absorbent dishcloths that will replace so many paper towels

If you want to cut down on how many paper towels you use, these weird dishcloths that are a blend between a sponge and a cotton cloth (half cellulose and half cotton) are the ticket. They are super absorbent, flexible, fit neatly in your hand, and are perfect for wiping off counters, sopping up spills, and polishing glassware. When they are dirty, throw them in the wash and grab a clean one.

One reviewer said: “These dishcloths are AMAZING! Every person who has used one of these clothes in my house has immediately turned around and bought a set for their home.”


This clever roll-up drying mat that fits over the sink

Turn part of your sink into a minimalist drying mat — that lets water drip right down the drain — by unrolling this roll-up dish drying rack. The stainless steel rods are impervious to water and heat so you can set a hot pan on it. It makes a good cooling rack, in a pinch, too.

One reviewer said: “I really should [have] gotten one a long time ago. Clears up so much counter space. Would recommend to anyone who needs more room! Love it ... Makes my life so much easier!”


A decorative cell phone stand that makes your phone more useful

Turn your phone into a screen you can see and use while you work or do chores by setting it on this adjustable, aluminum alloy cell phone stand. There’s a channel for the charging cable, you can set it to the angle you prefer, and it comes in nine colors.

Editor review: “I constantly misplace my phone, so having a place to stash it while I work or cook in the kitchen has been super helpful. This phone holder is simple in design and gets the job done for a super reasonable price — and it’s got near-perfect reviews on Amazon.” — Anna Anderson


A digital meat thermometer that takes the guesswork out of cooking

When you have this meat thermometer, you no longer have to guess if that steak is medium or well done, if the water is the right temperature for your pour-over, or if the chicken is ready to eat. Just stick the probe in and read the internal temperature on the clear, digital screen. It makes cooking so much easier. Over 50,000 people gave it five stars.

One reviewer said: “How I wish we had bought this years ago. My last ‘instant’ digital thermometer took 30 seconds or more to give a temperature reading. This Kitzen reads in under 2 seconds! It’s [going] to make baking & jam cooking so much easier. Very happy with this purchase!”


These cold-brew tea bottles so you always have iced tea on hand

These cold-brew tea maker bottles make keeping some delightful iced tea on hand so easy. Just put tea leaves and water in the bottle and put them in the fridge. The built-in filter keeps the leaves out of your glass when you pour.

Editor review: I have two of these bottles in my fridge at all times. It makes cold brewing tea so simple. Just throw in six heaping teaspoons of loose-leaf tea and fill the bottle with a liquid of your choice — you can obviously use water, but I love using coconut milk, oat milk, or even lemonade.

Leave it to brew for at least 1 hour if you are using water or lemonade and four or more hours (I do overnight) if you are using a milk or milk alternative. There is a strainer in the mouth of the silicone topper so that when you pour the tea, none of the leaves will end up in your glass. It's super easy to take apart and clean, too.” —Chelsey Conroy


These 3 silicone spatulas that are super easy to clean

Update your kitchen with these three silicone spatulas that work with all your pans — even those delicate nonstick ones. The handles are easy to grip and protect your hands from heat. And they go right in the dishwasher for breezy cleanup.

Editor review: “When I realized the black bit on my veggie burger wasn't a bean, I knew it was time to invest in some new spatulas, and these ones from Di Oro have made me very happy. They are heat resistant up to 600 degrees, which is huge because my stovetop is always ablaze, and the silicone and stainless steel combo is really easy to clean. The wide spatula is amazing for making quesadillas, while the longer one has helped my fish stay intact as I flip it.” — Carolyn Menyes


A splatter screen that keeps the stove free of bacon grease

Set this splatter screen over your skillet when you fry up some eggs and bacon and, after breakfast, cleanup will be so much easier. The stainless steel mesh traps oil and grease so it doesn’t burn you or splatter all over the stovetop. And the heat-resistant plastic handle lets you handle it without an oven mitt.

One reviewer said: “Best splatter screen ever. Works as it should and has ‘feet’ on the bottom, so you aren't laying it down flat on the counter when you take it off to stir (or serve) what you're cooking. Great design and very sturdy. Holds up to lots of hand washing and not hard to clean. Kudos for making this a very handy, high quality product.”


This shoe cleaner that quickly restores dirty kicks of all materials

Cleaning your shoes with this shoe cleaner kit is impossibly easy. Just put a few drops on the included brush and scrub away all the dirt. Dry your shoes with a towel and get on with your life. Over 19,000 people give this cleaner five stars and are thrilled with how their kicks turned out.

Editor review: “Gave even some old favorite shoes new life with a quickness — even light pink suede. Pretty amazing!” — Cassandra Seale


This wallet case for your phone that has a kickstand

Cover your iPhone with this clever, heavy-duty wallet case and it will make that device even more useful than it already is. There is a compartment on the back that holds a credit card and has a hidden mirror under the flap. And when you want your phone to stand up, just open its lid and it acts as a kickstand.

Editor review: “This is the best phone case I've ever had. It's durable and has a built-in compartment for cards and cash. Plus, the door to that compartment has a built-in mirror which is always convenient for makeup touchups on the go.” — Amanda Fama


The easy-to-use chalk paint that requires almost no prep

Pick a color and clean the dresser, side table, or shelves while this chalk-style paint ships to you. When it arrives, unscrew the jar and start painting. That’s all the prep that’s required and the results are beautiful: a chalky, matte finish that’s easy to distress or looks great as is. There are lots of colors to choose from.

Editor review: “I wanted to repaint some shelves and went off from there — shelves, room divider, dresser — now my whole apartment feels refreshed. The paint is super easy to use and goes on smoothly and beautifully.” — Cassandra Seale


A phone mount for your car that’s easy to install & use

Mount your phone to the car dash by clipping this universal car mount to one of the AC vents — you will always be able to glance at your navigation and quickly decline robocalls while you drive. There is a magnetic holder for the charging cable, and removing your phone from the mount is done by pressing one easy button.

Editor review: “I was looking for a car phone mount that I wouldn't have to use glue with — and this has worked out perfectly. It clips securely to the vent, and its design makes it super easy to click the phone into place and remove it with one hand.” — Wesley Salazar


A collapsible kettle so you can make your own hot beverages when you travel

The body of this small-size, collapsible travel kettle squishes down flat so you can fit it into your suitcase. But it otherwise works like a traditional electric kettle. It heats the water quickly and has an automatic shut-off.

Editor review: “When I'm traveling, I like being able to heat up water for tea or oatmeal in the morning. I used to rely on my hotel room having a microwave but this was always hit or miss. This electric kettle is my perfect solution... it folds up so nicely, has a cute little handle that pops out, and it heats up water so fast. It's my new favorite thing!” — Danielle Kraese


The hair mask that helps rescue damaged hair fast

If your hair is starting to look a bit weak, give it a spa day with this nourishing, deeply hydrating hair mask. Coco & Eve’s “Like A Virgin” hair mask is a social media fave for its five-in-one abilities to hydrate, condition, improve hair texture and shine, correct split ends, and tame frizz. The mask treats your hair to a medley of lush ingredients: There’s raw virgin coconut for shine and strength, linseed for gloss and texture, fig and butter for moisturization, and argan oil to combat frizz.

One reviewer said: “After dealing with frizzy hair most of my adult life, and trying numerous products, I am happy to say this works!! This is the first time in over 10 years that I've written a review for ANYTHING. So when I say this product has helped my hair become much more manageable, easier to style, and softer to the touch, please believe me.”


This set of night lights that help make your home easier to navigate

Plug these LED night lights into spare outlets all over your house so that you can see even when your hands are too full (or your eyes too sleepy) to turn on the overhead lights. They have an ambient light sensor and only turn on when it’s dark, so they won’t mess with your day or evening lighting scheme.

One reviewer said: “These are small, but they do provide just the right amount of light so I can see if necessary. I really like that they are soft lights. I have put them all over my house and plan on buying more.”


This kitchen scale for easy & accurate meal planning & baking

A kitchen scale brings a level of ease and accuracy to baking projects and portion control that cannot otherwise be achieved — and this digital food scale makes using one so easy. It’s small enough to store in a drawer, tares out your container or previous ingredients for quickly assembling recipes, comes in a wide selection of colors, is easy to read, and gets almost 91,000 five-star reviews.

One reviewer said: “... we use this thing every day to portion gyro meat, grilled chicken, grated cheese and deli meat. And I mean every single day. I've checked it often and I can assure you it is accurate and so easy to use. We've gotten such incredible value for the price.”


The sleek silicone oven mitts that protect your hands from high heat

If you hate traditional cloth oven mitts because they are bulky and awkward, pull on a pair of these silicone oven mitts. You will be able to feel what you are doing and use the tacky texture of the hands to get a better grip on hot pans — up to 450 degrees — all while being protected up to your forearms.

One reviewer said: “I love these oven mitts! They actually fit my large hands unlike others and have amazing grip! When holding items, I can’t feel any heat as these are heat resistant.”


A car trash can that straps on to keep your ride clean

If the back seat of your car collects trash, causing a cleanup scramble before allowing in passengers, strap this roomy car trash can to the back of one of the front seats. Emptying the trash will no longer require you to crawl around in the back seat. You can just unclip the liner and throw it away.

One reviewer said: “I bought a new car and have two toddler boys. I was looking for something to help keep it clean and this is amazing. I love how it’s washable! It has two hooks on the side to keep the bag in place.”


The motion-sensing LED pucks that transform your space with custom light

Nothing transforms a dwelling like lighting, and these two motion-triggered LED lights are fantastic tools when it comes to creating thoughtful lighting effects. Stick them to the underside of shelves and cabinets and inside dark storage areas to create spot lighting that’s only there when you need it. You can set timers and adjust brightness with the included remote.

One reviewer said: “These lights have changed the way I feel about my kitchen and life and bedroom closet on a fundamental level. Combined with a buttload of rechargeable batteries, they’re an affordable, life-changing force to be reckoned with.”


This giant, insulated water bottle that will keep your beverage cold or hot for hours

Pack along this huge — 40 ounces! — sports water bottle and you will stay hydrated for your entire road trip, or at least the day. The double-wall thermal bottle keeps ice cold all day and coffee hot for hours. It comes with three lids so you can choose the way you sip. It comes in 28 colors and over 93,000 reviewers love it and gave it five stars.

One reviewer said: “I have two of these bottles (about to [buy] a third because they're just that amazing.) I love my water icy cold and these bottles can keep water cold for a whole day.”


The organizer that holds all your pans securely

Instead of tossing your pans into a cupboard and struggling to find the one you want when you want it, set this heavy-duty pan organizer down in there and stack those pans so you can reach for exactly the one you want every time. It’s adjustable so you can set it up to hold your collection and comes in six colors.

One reviewer said: “Instead of always having to get on the floor to get out the right pan[,] this product makes it super easy to just grab it. Love it.”


The slim velvet hangers that dress up your closet

Revamp your entire getting-dressed routine by hanging your clothes from these space-saving velvet hangers. They come in seven great colors, are thinner than most hangers so they take up less space in the closet, and the velvet texture is grippy so your clothes don’t slide off. The 360-degree swivel hook makes hanging your clothes fast and easy.

One reviewer said: “The hangers are super sturdy and my clothes do NOT slip around on or off the hangers. Very happy with my purchase!”


A set of blackout curtains that lets you sleep, even in a sunny room

When you want to nap but the sunlight pouring in through your window is too bright to allow that, pull this pair of blackout curtains closed and snooze anyway. The thermal insulated lining blocks light, as well as heat and cold. So not only does this help your room go dark when you want it to, but it also helps reduce the cost of heating and cooling.

One reviewer said: “Material is nice, soft, wrinkle-free, and they do an amazing job with keeping the sun out, and the room dark.”


The mixing bowls that nest & are pretty enough to serve from

This set of stainless steel mixing bowls will be your go-to kitchen tool. The six bowls range in size from small enough for a dip bowl to large enough to whip up an 8-quart salad, and they are pretty enough to go from mixing to serving. They have a flat bottom for stability, nest for storage, and come in five colors.

One reviewer said: “These bowls are light and thin but sturdy! Very easy to clean and makes your kitchen prep work so much easier and manageable! Amazing for the price!”


This pair of cooling racks that are super versatile in the kitchen

These oven-safe cooling racks are the sturdy, versatile tools that will make you wonder how you managed so long without such a thing. Set them into a baking sheet and put them in the oven to roast vegetables. Use them to cool cookies or to oven-dehydrate fruit. They come in three sizes, won’t warp, and have a grid design so small things don’t slip through.

One reviewer said: “It's amazing how often these racks get used around our kitchen. I'm not really sure how we got along without them.”


The inflatable exercise ball that also makes a great seat or footrest

Add this exercise ball to your home gym so you can stretch, crunch, and lift with an added balance challenge whenever you want to boost your burn. You choose the size and color that suits your workout and space, inflate it with the included pump, and enjoy a more interesting workout. It comes with a workout guide to get you started.

One reviewer said: “Where has this ball been all my life? [It] gives you an amazing stretch, [and is an] excellent foot rest while watching TV to help with blood circulation! An amazing buy, easy to inflate, and has excellent stability for all ages and weight pressures.”


This set of super sharp knives that brings a pop of color to the kitchen

Set your kitchen up in color with this bright knife set that comes with blade covers, a sharpener, and a cutting board to match. There is an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, and a paring knife, each in a different bright color. The board has a moat to trap juices and can go in the dishwasher.

One reviewer said: “These knives are absolutely amazing and very sharp.”


The luxurious pillowcases that are super affordable

Rest your weary head on the silken softness of this pair of microfiber pillowcases without investing a fortune in the experience. The microfiber threads that are used to weave these affordable pillowcases are as thin as silk so the feel of the fabric is almost as soft. They are light, cool, come in beautiful colors, and can go easily into the washer and dryer.

One reviewer said: “I was absolutely shook at the amazing quality of these pillowcases! I expected them to be small and sorta rough because of the price point but, ohmygoodness [sic] they are my all-time favorite pillowcases.”


This wood-handled corkscrew for pro-level wine opening

This beautiful wine key is the choice of professionals because, once you learn to use it, it will make getting the cork out of a bottle so easy. The foil knife quickly removes the cover so you can accurately place the corkscrew deep in the cork, and use the two-piece, hinged fulcrum to leverage it out. It fits in a pocket and looks beautiful on the bar.

One reviewer said: “Very professional, sturdy, and durable wine opener! I’ve had so many guests ask where they can buy their very own.”


The masher that’s so much more powerful than your whisk

This meat masher will make fast work of breaking up ground meat when browning, but it also excels at mashing potatoes, stirring batter, and other kitchen tasks. It’s heat resistant, strong, and cleans up so much easier than a whisk that it will be your go-to tool.

One reviewer said: “This meat smasher spatula device takes me half the time to cook meat. [It’s] much better and more efficient than using my potato masher or regular spatula.”


This hair-trapping drain strainer that looks like a mushroom

If you want to prevent a clogged shower drain, install this mushroom-shaped hair catcher in the drain. It will catch all the hair that washes down the drain in the mushroom’s stem, holding it there until you clean it out. And, unlike most shower strainers, you don’t have to look at that hair while you bathe. It’s hidden under the mushroom cap.

One reviewer said: “This thing is amazing! It catches all the hair that would otherwise go down and clog your drain! I used to have to use Drano almost monthly to remove the clogs ... I haven't had to use it since buying this product!”


A big pack of 16 cable clips for every cord you have

This giant pack of cable clips — there are 16 of them, in various sizes — will solve every messy cable situation you have. Use the single clip to hold a charging cable near your phone. The three-clip piece is great for a watch, phone, and earbuds rig. And the five-clip cord manager will be super useful on the desk. Nearly 36,000 people gave this kit five stars.

One reviewer said: “Love these! Tried some plastic ones that were total garbage but these are amazing! Keeps my cords beautifully organized and within easy reach. No more piles of tangled cords!”


The quick trick for turning old outlets into useful, modern ones

If the outlets in your kitchen or bathroom are wholly inadequate to the demands of your tech gear, toothbrush, and small appliances, this six-outlet extender will quickly fix that. Plug it into the existing outlet and secure it with the center screw. Now you have six, roomy standard outlets (that you can use simultaneously) and two USB plugs, as well as an adjustable, automatic dusk-to-dawn light.

One reviewer said: “This is the most convenient, awesome outlet ever created! It has a small light that automatically turns on when it’s dark. And the multiple plugs [are] amazing!”


These completely wireless earbuds that are so affordable

Pop these handy wireless earbuds into your ears and go through life with your own soundtrack. They are light, comfortable, run for six hours on a charge, and connect to your phone wirelessly, with volume and track controls right on the earbuds. They also charge wirelessly. Pop them into their case, which holds another 30 hours of charge, and drop that case on a wireless charging pad to charge it all up. They are even waterproof! Over 210,000 people gave them five stars.

One reviewer said: “[They’re] so comfortable!! [Genuinely] the only pair of wireless earbuds i've ever owned where the left earbud wasn't wildly uncomfortable ... basically, [I] can't recommend these earbuds enough, they are my absolute favourites and [I’m] about to order another set.”


This wireless charging pad with so many fans

Plug this colorful, wireless charger pad in on your bedside table or desk, and never again struggle to plug in a tiny USB cord in the dark. Drop your phone on the pad, the green light will flash briefly to let you know it’s charging, and then it will go dark so you can sleep while it quickly charges your phone. It comes in six colors and gets 121,000 five-star reviews.

One reviewer said: “I really like this [charger] and it’s always working. When my friend and family visit, instead of looking for a charger, this charger is always available. Family members race to the charger ... I leave it on the counter for myself as well. Great and convenient purchase.”


The Bluetooth speaker you can hang in the shower

This waterproof Bluetooth speaker has a built-in cord so you can hang it in the shower, from your kayak, or off your beach chair and enjoy music wherever you are. It sounds great, comes in six colors, and can even drop into the water and keep right on playing.

One reviewer said: “It is the BOMB! The sound is amazing. The battery life is great. It connects so [easily] and it will have you literally dancing in the shower.”


A pair of silicone baking mats that help reduce kitchen waste

When the recipe says, “grease a baking sheet,” pull out one of these two silicone baking mats instead of foil and oil. Just lie them on the cookie sheet and bake your cookies, bread, or biscuits right on them. Your food won’t stick while it bakes and they don’t add calories and fat to your creations. They also won’t catch on fire the way parchment paper can and they roll up so you can store them in a drawer.

One reviewer said: “Where have these been my whole life?? No more torn up foil on baking sheets! They have made baking that much easier and are very sturdy!”


The much-needed solution for organizing storage container lids

Eliminate the recurring hassle of trying to locate the right lid to the food-storage container you already filled with leftovers by using this adjustable food storage lid organizer. Simply set it in a cupboard and bring filing-cabinet-like order to your collection.

One reviewer said: “Thank you to whoever ... came up with this solution for lid storage. We no longer have to rummage through the lid drawer to try and find the lid that fits the container.”


A cast-iron burger press that makes pro-level smashburgers

When you are grilling burgers or cooking them on the stove, set this cast-iron burger press on top of that ball of meat and press to create thin, smashed hamburgers that are perfect — like the burgers you get from your favorite restaurant. The weight is ideal for leaving on a burger while it cooks, the lip traps juices and makes a patty of the perfect thickness, and the wooden handle protects your hands.

One reviewer said: “Multi-Use Wonder. I've used mine for everything. Grilled cheese, fish, smash-burgers, etc. Works great and cleans up with little effort.”


The touchless soap dispenser that gets thousands of 5-star reviews

This touchless soap dispenser is a clever way to wash your hands because it doesn’t ask you to touch the same pump top everyone else with dirty hands just touched. Just put your hand under the dispenser and wait for it to drop soap into your hand. The clear tank lets you see how much soap is left, you can adjust the size of the soap serving, and filling it and changing the batteries are easy.

One reviewer said: “I didn't know what I was missing until I bought this. It has made my life so much easier and it's got such a fancy look to it. It's also really quiet when dispensing soap which is just amazing.”

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