It’s the most wonderful time of the year—when Oprah releases her Favorite Things list. This is the 20th year Oprah has compiled a list of her favorite things, and this year, we took a look at her recommendations and compared them to our testing to see how they matched up. We agreed with some of her picks, and found better alternatives to others. Here's what we came up with.
Orbit Bluetooth Tracking Card
Oprah prefers the Orbit Card, but we swear by the tried-and-true Tile tracker. Can’t find your keys (or luggage, or wallet, or sunglasses)? Open the app and tap the Find button. If you’re within 100 feet, a surprisingly loud chime will emit from the Tile. Not within 100 feet? The app will show you a map of the last place the Tile and phone were in the same proximity, and how long ago.
BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones
Sorry Oprah, but we like these 1More headphones better than BeatsX! When we tested the best headphones on the market, we found that the 1More E1001 Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones can compete with headphones that cost up to 10x as much. They're the best sub-$100 in-ears we've tested to date. They're stylish, sound great, and they complement every genre of music from hip-hop, to classical to blues.
Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System
We tested affordable and professional blenders, and loved the five-speed KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender. It can obliterate ice cubes into a fine slush, make creamy nut butter, and liquefy fruit into a delicious smoothie. Oprah likes the Ninja for it’s ability to spiralize, too, but we found that you don’t need a complex system to spiralize: Just get a Veggetti!
Fleischer & Wolf Seville Cookware
Oprah’s recommendation: Fleischer & Wolf Seville 10-Piece Cookware Set, $400
Buy instead: All-Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set, $640
Oprah loves these copper pots and pans, lined in easy-to-wash stainless steel. I get that: Copper is a beautiful kitchen accent. However, we still recommend tried-and-true All-Clad cookware—our readers can’t stop buying them, either.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Brush
The Diamondcare is the BMW 7-series of toothbrushes. The smart toothbrush has an app that gives feedback on brushing habits, brush heads for different cleaning modes, and sensors to adjust intensity or tell you if you missed a spot. Like that BMW, it works great, is top-of-the-line quality, and flashy...but most people do just fine with a dependable, efficient Corolla. The Oral B Pro 3000 is your Corolla.
Julep Beauty It’s Whipped Lip Mousse
Oprah’s recommendation: Julep Beauty It’s Whipped Lip Mousse, Set of 25, $250
Buy instead: Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick, $4
Luckily for you(r wallet), you won’t have to spend Oprah’s recommended $250 to get the best liquid lipstick on the market. We tested 13 top-rated matte liquid lipsticks and found that the $4 Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick is lightweight, smoothing, and wears for 10 hours without transferring, smudging, drying, or flaking. Plus, the contoured doe-foot applicator makes application a breeze. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s real!
Cangshan Knife Block
Oprah’s suggested Cangshan knife set has hollow-handle design, but we tested 15 knives from all price points to find the best and the clear winner was Zwilling Pro. The high-carbon German steel knife can handle heavy-duty tasks and has a super sharp edge that sliced up a tomato without issue. It's easy to grip, seriously comfortable to use, and worth the investment.
Gourmia Frozen Dessert Maker
When I tried out the Gourmia, I was pretty unimpressed with its cheap-feeling design. It’s a great concept, but it takes a lot of force to press the fruit down, and the flimsy machine doesn’t adhere to the counter: That makes it a little nerve-racking to commit your full body weight onto it. You can get the same, sorbet-like result from a food processor, which serves a much more functional purpose in your kitchen.
BakerStone Pizza Oven
Oprah recommends a model that turns your outdoor grill into a gourmet pizza oven. We prefer this well-designed, easy-to-clean countertop pizza oven that allows you to cook 4-6 mini pizzas in under 10 minutes. It’s perfect for fun, communal dinner parties.
Nespresso Creatista Plus
Oprah recommends this Nespresso Creatista Plus, but unless you’ve trained in Italy, a pod machine will do a better job than you can. Plus, it takes up less space on your counter. We tested and loved the Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo. It’s capable of creating both espresso and regular coffee beverages with the press of a button.
Prepd Pack Lunchbox
We reviewed the best food storage containers and loved the Glasslock Assorted Container Set. They aced all of our tests: They didn't leak, open or shatter when we shook them and dropped them from a countertop, or break a seal when we froze them. Sure, our pick is less glamorous than Oprah’s pick, but for $26, you get 6 times as many great containers. Use the extra $44 to buy yourself a cute bento lunchbox.
Sea-to-Table Meal Kit
Oprah loves Sea- to-Table because Harbour Trading Co. ships its catch of the week and ingredients for dinner and a QR code that leads to the fisherman’s location, bio, and method. But we tested 9 of the top-rated meal delivery kits and found Green Chef superior. It’s organic, fun, and the results are sometimes so "cheffy" you won't believe you cooked them yourself. Green Chef also caters to all types of diets, from Keto to Omnivorous.
Here's what we do like from Oprah's list
We didn't disagree with everything on the queen's list! We love the following three picks: They're great deals for the quality and performance they offer.
Oprah’s (and our!) recommendation: Echo Show, $230
Oprah: She’s just like us. We love the Show, too. It's Alexa with a screen: The visual smart speaker allows you to make video calls to other Echo Show owners, as well as watch videos, see the weather forecast, and check your timers on its 7-inch screen. You can use it to control smart lights, toggle smart switches and locks, and change the settings on a smart thermostat. If you have security cameras or video doorbells, the Show gives you a live feed.
Cailyn O! Wow Brush
Oprah’s (and our!) recommendation: Cailyn O! Wow Brush, $16
Yes, Oprah. Yes. We both know that a good foundation brush is the only makeup brush you really need. The unique, ergonomic shape on this bad boy is easy to use and comfortable to hold, and the large, flat surface allows for easy distribution, and the high fiber density means better, more even coverage.
Sorel Snow Boots
Oprah’s (and our!) recommendation: Sorel Slimpack 1964 Snow Boot, $135
Oprah and I agree on this one: Sorel winter boots are well worth the investment. As a lifelong New Englander, I know the importance of good snow boots, and as a native Mainer, I prefer my Sorels to L.L. Bean boots. They are indestructible, warm, comfortable, and most importantly, fully waterproof in even the slushiest, harshest winter conditions.