• Kitchen

  • Totally Bamboo Kauai Cutting Board

  • KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer

  • Philips Airfryer XXL

  • Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte

  • Big Red House Oven Mitts

  • simplehuman 45L Rectangular Step Can with Liner Pocket

  • Kuhn Rikon 3-Set Original Swiss Peeler

  • KitchenAid Adjustable Hand-Held V-Blade Mandoline Slicer

  • Ninja Fit

  • OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless-Steel Colander

  • Zojirushi NS-ZCC10

  • Williams Sonoma All-Purpose Pantry Towels

  • EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe Can Opener

  • Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY

  • Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus

  • Baratza Encore

  • Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 (6 Quart)

  • Cookware & Bakeware

  • Cooks Standard 13-Inch Wok

  • Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick 9-Inch Round Cake Pan

  • OXO Non-Stick Pro 10 Inch Open Frypan

  • Viking 3-Ply Roasting Pan w/ Non-Stick Rack

  • Cuisinart MCP-12N Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

  • Cuisinart TPS-10 10-Piece Cookware Set

  • Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet

  • Cutlery

  • Wüsthof 8845 Grand Prix II 7-Piece Block Set

  • Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, Tempered Glass Block

  • Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set

  • Wüsthof Classic 6-Inch Flexible Boning Knife

  • Zwilling Pro 8" Chef's Knife (38401-203)

  • Chef'sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect

  • Coffee Makers and Tea Kettles

  • Nespresso VertuoPlus

  • Technivorm Moccamaster KB

  • Hario V60 Coffee Dripper 02 Ceramic

  • Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EC-120 12 Cup Percolator

  • SterlingPro SS Double Wall Cafetiere

  • Counter Culture

  • Cuisinart PerfecTemp 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle

  • Fred & Friends Manatea Tea Infuser

  • Living Room

  • Winix 5500-2

  • Nest Learning Thermostat

  • Bose Home Speaker 300

  • Bathroom

  • Parachute Classic Bath Towel

  • Frontgate Resort Bath Mat

  • Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-Way 2-in-1

  • Bedroom

  • Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set

  • Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

  • Linenspa All-Season Down Alternative Quilted Comforter

  • Berkshire Heated Blanket with Intellisense

  • Nectar

  • DeLonghi HMP1500

  • Laundry and Cleaning

  • Electrolux EFLS627UTT

  • Electrolux EFME627UTT

  • iRobot Roomba i7+

  • Dyson V11 Torque Drive

  • Travel

  • Samsonite Flexis 21" Spinner

  • Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 29" Expandable Spinner Suiter

  • Tom Bihn Western Flyer

  • Outdoors

  • Toter Wheeled Blackstone 32-Gal.

  • Big Green Egg Large

  • Weber Spirit II E-310

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Kitchen

Whether you're a foodie or an amateur chef, these kitchen gadgets are a must-have.

Cutting Board
Credit: Reviewed

Best Cutting Board
Best Cutting Board
Totally Bamboo Kauai Cutting Board

The Totally Bamboo Kauai Cutting Board has the best feel and balance of all the cutting boards we tested. It's heavy enough to pass our stability and balance tests, but light enough to easily maneuver and clean. Plus, its 14.5 x 11.5-inch size makes it a perfect choice for most household cutting tasks.

The Totally Bamboo board also looks beautiful, thanks to a two-tone bamboo color scheme. Bamboo looks like wood, but it isn't. It's a hard grass that grows very quickly (as much as two feet a day!), making it a sustainable, renewable resource. Some say that bamboo is too hard and can dull your knives, but we didn’t measure any noticeable dulling during our tests.

Like wooden cutting boards, bamboo does require regular maintenance to keep the board from splitting over time. Never allow it to sit in a pool of water or take a spin in the dishwasher. If treated regularly with food-grade mineral oil, these cutting boards will last for years. In fact, I’ve owned this exact board for over five years and it’s still as flat and stable as the day I bought it.

Read More: The Best Cutting Boards

Pros

  • Strong enough to pass the stability test

  • Easy to maneuver and clean

  • Bamboo is renewable and sustainable

Cons

  • Requires routine maintenance

Best Stand Mixer
Best Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer

The Artisan is the quintessential stand mixer. It’s easy to set up, a pleasure to use, and it passed all our tests with aplomb. Quickly and efficiently, it can do everything from whipping egg whites into meringue to beating a super chunky cookie batter to kneading a double batch of bread dough into a smooth ball.

According to KitchenAid, it has the power to tackle recipes for 72 cookies or 4 loaves. Despite its many competitors, our tests prove that this mixer is still number one out of the best stand mixers you can buy.

Its merits are many: KitchenAid attachments like the wire whisk and wire whip are easy to put on, remove, and clean; the tilt lever lock works well; the bowl has a handle and installs smoothly, and the splash guard fits the bowl and can be slid on when needed without taking apart the mixer.

Our only gripe: While the speed lever on the Artisan is durable and effective, it’s not as pleasant to use as the dials found on most other brands; it has sharp edges and because it offers some resistance it’s easy to push too hard and turn the mixer on faster than intended.

On the front of the Artisan, there’s a hub that connects with a myriad of accessories including a meat grinder, a spiralizer, and a pasta maker. You can choose from 47 gorgeous colors from basic and bestselling white to trendy pinks and aqua blues.

This classic comes at a price—usually an MSRP of $379.99, but it may vary according to colors and sales. But owners of KitchenAids consistently get great performance from their mixers for years, so while it’s costly, an Artisan mixer is well worth the money.

Read More: The Best Stand Mixers

Pros

  • Durable and reliable build

  • The motor is quiet

  • Attachments are easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Speed lever not pleasant to use

Related content

Best Air Fryer
Best Air Fryer
Philips Airfryer XXL

The Philips Airfryer XXL was the most user-friendly air fryer we tested, making it our top choice. During testing, I tasted a ton of french fries and this appliance made the ones that I couldn’t stop noshing on. They had the combination of crunchiness, tenderness, and potato flavor that make great fries so delectable. Even when I loaded the basket with more than 3 pounds of frozen fries, they all came out crispy. Battered Nashville hot chicken came out with a crackling crust as if it had been deep-fried, and hamburgers rivaled ones made on the grill with the Philips Airfryer.

What makes the Philips Airfryer our top pick is that it’s consistently the very best at air frying, even with large family-size portions of healthier fried foods. And you can sense that for top dollar, you’re getting a solid well-built machine. If you cook for a discerning crew that really likes fried food but not the fat, we think the Philips is definitely worth the investment.

That said, the XXL is a big, heavy, and very expensive machine that’s noisier than most of its competitors while it’s operating. It doesn’t have digital controls and therefore it’s hard to set the temperature and cooking times precisely. With a few more parts than most, there’s more to clean and while all of the parts are dishwasher safe, the air fryer basket will eat up considerable shelf and counter space. However, it’s still relatively easy to use—no preheat is required—and the results are worth the payoff. An easy-to-read recipe book with lots of cooking ideas is also included.

Read More: The Best Air Fryers

Pros

  • Huge capacity

  • No preheat required

  • Foods come out crispy

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Takes up a lot of space

  • Noisy and Heavy

Best Dutch Oven
Best Dutch Oven
Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte

Solidly built, perfectly round, and easy to clean, the Staub Round Cocotte dutch oven aced every test. From braising meat and vegetables to simmering a stew, this Dutch oven nailed it. Sometimes there really is a correlation between price and quality—and this is one of those times.

In our tests, the Staub Round Cocotte Oven narrowly beat out the well-known (and well-loved) Le Creuset. This mostly came down to the shape of the Dutch oven, and how much better it fits on the stove and in the pantry. While a little heavier than some of the others, the evenness of cooking and the large sauteing area that doesn’t bar you from putting other large pots on the stove bumped this one all the way to the top.

Read More: The Best Dutch Ovens

Pros

  • Cleans easily

  • Well built, solid

  • Cooks evenly

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Oven Mitts
Best Oven Mitts
Big Red House Oven Mitts

Sometimes a product just gets everything right—and the Big Red House mitts get everything right. We hardly would’ve expected a layered cotton mitt to hold its own against silicone and Teflon varieties, but they're the only ones that protected our hands for more than four minutes while we held a baking sheet straight from a 450°F oven. In comparison, the runner-up for that test was only comfortable for just over one minute.

The heat protection is surely the most important thing, but there’s more to like about the Big Red House mitts. They’re nice-looking (simple and classic) and lined with soft, comfortable terry cloth. Silicone striping helps with grip. They don’t dwarf smaller hands, but they aren’t so small that those with larger hands couldn't comfortably wear them. We found it easy to shift a hot oven rack while wearing them, though picking up spoons in our gloved hands proved slightly more difficult. Finally, at $13 a pair, they’re an excellent bargain.

Read More: The Best Oven Mitts

Pros

  • Simple and attractive look

  • Great protection from heat

  • Silicone striping gives extra grip

Cons

  • Dexterity somewhat impeded

Best Kitchen Trash Can
Best Kitchen Trash Can
simplehuman 45L Rectangular Step Can with Liner Pocket

This trash can is a reliable winner in a bevy of "best of" lists, and our review is no exception. The 45L can is about as glamorous as waste receptacles get. The gleaming, stainless steel unit (which also comes in black, white, bronze, or rose gold) has custom-fit liners that dispense from inside the can, a wide rim that both secures and obscures the bags, a lid with patented “shox” technology that facilitates a smooth, silent close, and a steel foot pedal supposedly designed to withstand 20 steps a day for 20 years. Clean, rectangular dimensions allow it to be tucked into corners or set along a wall, and while it’s still quite heavy, a handle in the back assists in lugging it around. It also has a Nano-Clear coat (frequently used on cars) that harnesses UV rays in order to repel fingerprints, inhibit germs and microbes, and eliminate odors. Granted, you’ll pay for all these features, but an impenetrable build and 10-year warranty ensures you won’t be coughing up cash for a new can for a while.

Read More: The Best Kitchen Trash Cans

Pros

  • Easy to store

  • Repels fingerprints

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Vegetable Peeler
Best Vegetable Peeler
Kuhn Rikon 3-Set Original Swiss Peeler

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner in the kitchen, the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler is the perfect peeler for you. It's the perfect gadget to round out your kitchen tool set. And, for $9.70, you actually get a green, red, and yellow peeler! This "three-for-one" price might have made me suspicious about the longevity of the peeler, but my personal Kohn Rikon peeler has held up for years after much restaurant use and abuse.

The peeler is bright and attractive with a simple, super lightweight design. Its low profile easily fits in any knife roll or gadget drawer, and when it comes to performance the Kuhn Rikon peeler aced every test we threw at it. It was sharp, fast, and effortless to use. It moved through potatoes and lemon peels quickly and barely got caught up on celeriac’s awkwardly bumpy surface. Of all the peelers, this was the fastest and most comfortable, earning it our top spot for vegetable peelers.

Read More: The Best Vegetable Peelers

Pros

  • Three-piece set

  • Sharp and easy to use

  • Long lasting

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best Mandoline Slicer
Best Mandoline Slicer
KitchenAid Adjustable Hand-Held V-Blade Mandoline Slicer

Our top two picks were in a tight race, but in the end, the KitchenAid Adjustable Hand-Held Mandoline just barely edged out the Prepworks model. It was the only hand-held model we tested with a V-shaped blade, which allowed it to smoothly slice through everything from hard sweet potatoes to tender tomato skins. Its five thickness settings—from 1/4-inch to 1/32-inch—were easily changed with a twist of a knob.

The rubber feet at the bottom kept the KitchenAid from moving as you comfortably gripped it by its rubber handle. The plastic finger guard was fairly effective with its larger-than-most size and super sharp prongs to grip onto the food. This model was immediately our favorite during testing and its score backed it up, solidly placing this mandoline in its spot as best overall.

Read More: The Best Mandolin Slicer

Pros

  • Sharp V-shaped blade

  • Non-slip feet and handle

  • Five thickness settings

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best Personal Blender
Best Personal Blender
Ninja Fit

While it was a close race to the top, Ninja’s most basic model of their Nutri-Ninja, the Fit, ultimately earned its place as our favorite personal blender. It’s the Goldilocks of the category: not too big and powerful, not too small and weak, but just right. We were impressed by its speed and strength when whipping up fruit smoothies, which turned out smooth as can be, and its 700-watt motor’s relatively low noise level while grinding away.

While the blender’s design isn’t visually stunning, the black-and-silver base is sleek and unassuming and, most importantly, small and light enough to easily be stored away. The blender’s 16-oz. containers with measurement marks are similarly sleek and perfectly transportable (they come with tight travel lids!) for on-the-go sipping. The Fit requires users to hold the container down or use the “pulse” method while blending, but this precaution works to prevent motor burn-out and means the blender will last longer than many of its counterparts. It’s so fast, you might not even notice.

As a proud owner of the Fit for seven months, I can attest to its capabilities throughout daily use (and misuse). I’ve used it to mix up smoothies and shakes, blend butternut squash soup, whip up salad dressing and dips, and even grind granulated sugar into powdered sugar. While I don’t recommend that last one, the Nutri-Ninja Fit has taken everything I’ve thrown at it in stride. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose personal blender that’s portable and powerful in equal measure, this is your guy.

Read More: The Best Personal Blender

Pros

  • Fast and efficient

  • Durable

  • Easy to transport and store

Cons

  • No buttons or automatic programs

  • Limited volume

Best Colander
Best Colander
OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless-Steel Colander

The OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless-Steel Colander passed every test we threw at it with flying colors. Covered from rim to base with perfectly sized holes, this stainless steel colander features an easy-to-grip rim and non-skid feet that stayed put as we tossed food into it. It was well-shaped to funnel water out of the perforated sides, and never clogged with pasta or rice. It was the most expensive colander we tested at just under $30 but it also aced all of our tests, earning it our pick for best overall.

Read More: The Best Colanders

Pros

  • Easy-grip rim

  • Non-skid feet

  • Even holes and drains well

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best Rice Cooker
Best Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10

After producing consistent and flavorful batches of brown rice, short-grain white rice, and jasmine rice, this Zojirushi rice cooker came out on top. It’s the only cooker with side handles on the inner pan, which makes removing cooked rice easier and safer. It incorporates “fuzzy logic,” meaning the microchip inside the appliance adjusts the temperature and cook time to make up for any mismeasured water to rice ratio.

The Zojirushi has convenient presets for most rice types that, when combined with the machine's "fuzzy logic," can turn out perfectly cooked brown rice, porridge, sushi rice, and more. Its retractable power cord and plastic fold-down handle also make both transport and storage easy. Assembled in Japan, this rice cooker is sturdy and its brand name guarantees durability.

Although we love its presets, we found this cooker's control panel to be less than intuitive. To successfully select the proper menu option and start cooking, we had to hold the rice cooker still with one hand and press hard to get it to respond. However, this minor inconvenience didn't discourage us from loving this Zojirushi, as it consistently made the best quality rice in our testing.

Read More: The Best Rice Cookers

Pros

  • High quality rice

  • Can cook different types of rice

  • Useful safety features

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Control panel isn’t intuitive

Best Dish Towel
Best Dish Towel
Williams Sonoma All-Purpose Pantry Towels

This classic towel from Williams Sonoma not only looks good in any kitchen in white (it comes in six colors), but it gets dishes dry without any fuss. Made of ribbon cotton terry, this dish towel was the best at drying irregular objects like wine glasses and vases while still feeling soft to the touch.

Although the towel itself took longer to dry after we hung it up compared to some of the thinner towels we tested, it also retained the most amount of water (13 ounces when wrung out), which means it should handle drying many dishes before you need to grab for another towel.

Bonus: It’s also one of the cheaper options on our list at just $5 a towel in a pack of four.

Read More: The Best Dish Towels

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Terry cloth material

Cons

  • Stays damp longer than thinner towels

Best Manual Can Opener
Best Manual Can Opener
EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe Can Opener

The unassuming EZ-DUZ-IT probably looks exactly like the can opener you grew up with—and for good reason. What it lacks in special features and flashy design it makes up for in pure power and rock-solid construction, making it our top choice for most people. Throughout our testing, the EZ-DUZ-IT easily pierced lids, stayed attached to the edges, and made its way around cans without catching or resisting along the way. Its slim rubberized handles were easy to grip and prevented hand fatigue when opening can after can. And with such an intuitive, straightforward design, there’s little room for user error.

While the EZ-DUZ-It excelled in ease of use and speed trials, its durability is what pushed it ahead of the pack. Its all-metal construction makes us confident that it will survive many years of daily use, including being jostled around in drawers and dropped off the counter, and its Amazon user reviews support our theory. You could probably drop this thing off a four-story building without breaking it, but we wouldn’t recommend it. In a world of flimsy plastic levers and dulling blades, the EZ-DUZ-IT is a steadfast companion that's in it for the long haul. The only drawbacks of the opener are that it produces sharp-edged lids and is designed for right-handed people, but these are standard features of most traditional rotary openers.

Read More: The Best Manual Can Openers

Pros

  • Exceptionally durable and well-constructed

  • Easy to use

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Produces sharp edges

  • Right-handed only

Best Food Processor
Best Food Processor
Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY

Cuisinart was the first food processor sold in the US and, in our opinion, the Cuisinart “Custom 14” food processor (model DFP‑14BCNY) is the best one on the market today. It excelled at almost every task, chopping onions and slicing tomatoes as well as a razor-sharp chefs’ knife, as well as kneading pizza dough into a smooth elastic ball. It's a great tool to have if you're prepping for a big dinner party.

Shredding mozzarella was the only chore at which it faltered. Although it shredded without stalling, like every model we tested it failed to produce shreds evenly.

It’s not small, but the nearly 16-inch tall Cuisinart will fit under a cabinet, and at 17 pounds it isn’t too heavy to move around. The operation is simple: There are two large levers to press, one to run the processor continuously and then shut it off and one for pulse. In addition to the basic chopping/mixing/dough blade, it comes with shredding and slicing discs. To use the discs, you attach them to a stem that sits in the bowl. Be aware that it’s a little tricky to click them into place.

The food chute locks into place at the rear of the bowl, which is slightly inconvenient when you’re feeding in food but makes it easier to see what’s happening in the bowl during processing. As the tube is large, there’s no need to cut a block of mozzarella or a beefsteak tomato in half before processing them. While it’s running, the Cuisinart is so quiet it won’t shut down conversation in the kitchen.

The Custom 14 is easy to clean: Cuisinart is the only manufacturer that actually encourages you to wash the parts in the dishwasher. It’s available in white or black with stainless accents or all brushed stainless steel. A disc storage unit, a flat lid, other size shredding, and slicing discs, and whisk attachments can be purchased separately.

Read More: The Best Food Processors

Pros

  • Excels at every task

  • Fits under a cabinet

  • Quiet

Cons

  • Slightly inconvenient chute lock

  • Doesn't shred mozzarella evenly

Best Hand Mixer
Best Hand Mixer
Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus

From whipping cream to kneading bread, you can’t beat the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer with Storage Case. It simply didn’t have any weak spots on any of our tests. We didn’t have to stop and scrape the bowl when we were making sponge cake batter and when it came to cookie dough, it sailed right through, easily beating in oats and raisins thoroughly so we didn’t have to do a quick mix with a spatula before forming cookies. The Cuisinart kneaded yeast dough into a smooth elastic ball as well as the human hand.

The on/off switch and speed controls are intuitive to use, and the mixer always starts off slowly, so you never get an initial spatter of flour in your face. Of all the hand mixers we tested, it has the most helpful manual, which even includes recipes you might actually want to make. The attachments are dishwasher safe and can be stored in the included case, snapped on the top of the mixer. The only drawback is that this is the noisiest model we worked with, although it is certainly nowhere near as loud as a blender or a hairdryer.

Read More: The Best Hand Mixers

Pros

  • Intuitive speed controls

  • Includes helpful manual

  • Dishwasher safe attachments

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best Coffee Grinder
Best Coffee Grinder
Baratza Encore

The Baratza Encore is simplicity defined. This burr grinder has a 40-setting grind size selector, an on-off switch for continuous grinding, and a push-button for manual control. That's it. Other grinders include complicated timers, built-in scales, strength adjustment sliders, and other doodads, but Baratza suggests that you don't need them—and they're right. Measure your beans using a separate scale, grind them fresh for each cup. That's the way to do it.

This grinder produced the most even grounds out of all the machines I tested, and its range of output is all-encompassing. The coarsest setting produces large flakes, while the finest setting produces puffy grounds akin to powdered sugar—perfect for Turkish coffee. In between, I was quickly able to find the ideal settings for my Hario Woodneck, Aeropress, and even mason jar cold brew.

The machine itself is large, but not as monstrous as some of the other grinders I tested. It's also very bottom-heavy, which makes it feel more durable than other machines and means it won't rattle all over your counter while grinding. The heavy-duty translucent plastic collection cup generates less static cling than the glossy clear plastic cups I tested, and the chute that connects the burrs to the cup collects less debris than other models. Cleaning is simple: Just remove the top burr and use the included wire brush to remove residual grounds.

Read More: The Best Coffee Makers, Grinders, and Beans

Pros

  • Even grinding

  • Durable

  • 40-grind settings

  • Uncomplicated

  • Little static cling

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Pressure Cooker
Best Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 (6 Quart)

After putting a new crop of pressure cookers through their paces, the Instant Pot Ultra rose to the top as our new favorite (though our former favorites are still worth the money). Not only does it match the Instant Pot Smart WiFi in cooking ability, but the updated interface offers a simplified dial and comprehensive display that takes the uncertainty out of cooking times. Rather than buttons, a dial lets you scroll through the myriad of cooking functions and an intuitive press of the same dial allows you to customize times and pressure. The best part of the new display, though, is the progress graph. Once you start the cooking process, this graph appears at the bottom of the display and keeps you appraised on how far into the preheating, cooking, or “keeping warm” process you are. So unlike the other Instant Pots, you’re not left wondering how long it will take for the cooking process to start.

While you do have the ability to customize your cooking time and setting, it also comes standard with 16 cooking programs ranging from soups to sauté to cake. Each one of these we tried worked well and was easy to alter to fit our specific recipe. Another nifty feature we enjoyed was the ability to update the cooking parameters while cooking was in progress. So, if you’re like us and will occasionally add the wrong time to your cooking timer, this is a great bonus.

A final feature that improved the cooking process was the updated steam release valve. While most other pressure cookers have a single valve that you adjust to release a steam plume, the Instant Pot Ultra has a small, separate nob you adjust to start the steam release. This meant we were far less likely to spray ourselves with the steam and felt far safer about this part of the process—that's an important safety feature. We also loved that the stainless steel inner cooking pot inside of the Instant Pot is dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean.

So while our new top Instant Pot doesn’t come with a WiFi-connected app, it still earns the top spot based on its excellent cooking performance, new interface, and updated steam release.

Read More: The Best Pressure Cookers

Pros

  • Cooks perfectly

  • Intuitive to use

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Not "smart"

Cookware & Bakeware

Your kitchen isn't complete without a great cookware set.

Cookware
Credit: Reviewed
Best Wok
Best Wok
Cooks Standard 13-Inch Wok

There’s nothing traditional about the Cooks Standard 13-Inch Wok, but it was our favorite out of the group. It had more surface area on the bottom as compared to the other woks, making it a true hybrid between our favorite skillet and a wok. The rounded, sloped sides were effective at holding cooked food as we went, and it was light enough to toss the vegetables while we stir-fried. This pan was also our favorite for deep-frying potato chips, creating minimal splatter and perfectly browning the chips on all sides.

It’s worth noting that traditionalists don’t like stainless steel woks because they take longer to heat up and don't usually heat as evenly as carbon steel pans. While the former was definitely true when we tested the Cooks Standard, we were impressed at how much more effectively it retained that heat once it got there. The aluminum core and multi-clad metal construction was a game-changer, making the pan light enough to use comfortably while also creating even heating with little to no hot spots.

It was not only our favorite wok to use, but it was also the only one that came with a dome lid. Put it all together, and you’ll see why the Cooks Standard is our choice for Best Overall.

Read More: The Best Woks and Stir-Fry Pans

Pros

  • Retains heat well and distributes evenly

  • Includes domed lid

  • Large surface area

Cons

  • Stainless steel rather than carbon steel

Best Cake Pan
Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick 9-Inch Round Cake Pan

This 9-inch cake pan (also available in 8-inch) from Chicago Metallic aced our tests, coming out at the top of a very solid cake pan lineup. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some other cake pans, but it does its job superbly. The Chicago Metallic cake pan baked perfectly round yellow cakes without significant doming and one evenly browned pound cake with a moist interior texture and a patina-like finish.

The unmolding process was smooth and easy—it was one of the few pans that didn’t struggle in this step. It’s made from heavy-duty aluminized steel, which is a more costly material than others used in cake pans, but the functionality and durability of the pan is also significantly higher. The dual-coating technology makes the pan nonstick and safe to use.

In terms of care, this cake pan doesn’t require too much cleaning. As the pan is nonstick, there was nothing for us to scrub. Run it under warm, soapy water and dry immediately, then you’ll be ready to bake again. If all you need is a round cake pan that can bake perfect chiffon, sponge, and tiered cakes consistently, then this is your best choice.

Read More: The Best Cake Pans

Pros

  • Easy to release the cake

  • Heavy-duty construction

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No special feature

Best Nonstick Pan
Best Nonstick Pan
OXO Non-Stick Pro 10 Inch Open Frypan

We were pleasantly surprised when one of the least expensive pans in the test group also received the highest scores on our tests. We’ve tested several OXO Good Grips products over the years, and their attention to detail rarely disappoints. This 10-inch Non-Stick Pro Open Fry Pan was a winner from the beginning. The long metal handle was smooth with an ergonomic design, and it made this medium-weight pan comfortable to hold and balance.

When it came to performance, the OXO aced all our tests. The fried eggs moved freely around in the pan—even without any cooking oil—and the angle of the pan’s edges made it effortless to flip over-easy eggs with the flick of a wrist. The omelet we made was similarly impressive. It didn’t stick at all or leave any residue in the pan, and we ended up with a dish we’d be proud to serve at a restaurant.

The pan heated quickly, and when we added room-temperature water to the pre-heated pan, it was one of the only pans to recover to its original temperature within one minute. That heat recovery was further evidenced by our pancake test, creating a light and fluffy pancake that had even browning on both sides.

When we put it all together, we had no problems naming this 3-layer PTFE, heavy-gauge anodized aluminum pan our choice for Best Overall. In fact, I ordered a set of 8- and 10-inch pans for my home kitchen right after testing it! The only flaw we could find is that it’s not induction-capable, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for induction cooktops.

Read More: The Best Nonstick Pans

Pros

  • Heats quickly

  • Retains heat

  • Comfortable handle

  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Not induction-capabale

Best Roasting Pan
Best Roasting Pan
Viking 3-Ply Roasting Pan w/ Non-Stick Rack

Whether you're planning to use your roasting pan all year round or you just want a fuss-free way to cook your holiday meals, you can't go wrong with the Viking 3-Ply Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Nonstick Rack. It was the top-performing roaster in the group, both on the oven tests and the stovetop tests. This tri-ply stainless steel roaster definitely has some heft, but the handles are super wide and comfortable, distributing the pan's weight nicely. It had excellent heat distribution as well, searing the pork loin perfectly on all sides and cooking the vegetables evenly from the center to edges.

If it's in your budget to pay for the highest-quality pan on the market, this is definitely the one to get. It's big and sturdy enough to handle a 20-pound turkey and it's capable of cooking anything you throw at it. Since it also happened to be the easiest to clean, even after we let the chicken pan drippings cake-on overnight, this pan solidly earned our pick as Best Overall.

Read More: The Best Roasting Pans

Pros

  • Comfortable handles

  • Distributes heat evenly

  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Hefty

Best Cookware Set
Best Cookware Set
Cuisinart MCP-12N Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

The Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set offers incredible performance at a great value. We had no complaints with the medium-sized sauté pan (which not only comfortably fit four chicken thighs but also seared each one to perfection). The large stockpot is well-sized for making soup, cooking pasta, or blanching vegetables.

In addition to performance, these pans are easy to use. The triple-ply construction gave the pans the benefit of heat conductivity, but the aluminum core ensures they’re not too heavy to handle. The set includes everything you need to cook a meal: two saucepans (1 1/2- and 3-quart), an 8-quart stockpot, a medium-sized 3.5-quart sauté pan, two skillets (8- and 10-inch), and a steamer insert—all with comfortable handles and a design that creates a nice balance when holding the pan.

All in all, it was easy to crown Cuisinart the winner in this competition: this set has everything you need for a starter kitchen and it’s a great choice for those looking to upgrade their old sets, too.

Read More: The Best Cookware Sets

Pros

  • Great value

  • Easy to use

  • Sears meat perfectly

Cons

  • Nothing we could find

Best Cookware Set Under $200
Cuisinart TPS-10 10-Piece Cookware Set

The Cuisinart TPS-10 10-Piece Cookware Set is the slightly smaller version of the best cookware set we tested. We originally reviewed the 12-piece set, but this 10-piece set is almost the same. It's missing the steaming insert and the pots and pans are tri-ply, instead of multi-clad. But the price is friendlier to your wallet.

While testing the multi-clad 12-piece set, we loved its incredible performance: We had no complaints with the medium-sized sauté pan (which not only comfortably fit four chicken thighs but also seared each one to perfection) and the large stockpot is well-sized for making soup, cooking pasta, or blanching vegetables.

In addition, these pans are easy to use. The triple-ply construction gives the pans the benefit of heat conductivity. The set includes everything you need to cook a meal: two saucepans (1 1/2- and 2 1/2-quart), a 6-quart stockpot, a medium-sized 3-quart sauté pan, and two skillets (8- and 10-inch)—all with comfortable handles and a design that creates a nice balance when holding the pan.

All in all, it was easy to name the Cuisinart as a top cookware set. It has everything you need for a starter kitchen and it’s a great choice for those looking to upgrade their old sets, too.

Read More: The Best Cookware Sets Under $200

Pros

  • Triple-ply construction

  • Conducts heat well

  • Comfortable handles

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best Baking Sheet
Best Baking Sheet
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet

There’s a reason this American-made baking sheet tops charts around the internet. It’s lightweight, large enough to fit more than a dozen cookies, and distributes heat like a dream. Measuring 12 by 17 inches, we're confident we can use it to cook enough vegetables for a small crowd—or for one person with plenty of leftovers. Even covered with goodies, this tray is light enough to hold with one hand while you scoop whatever you’re making onto a waiting plate.

My biggest concern was cleaning. While the pizza slid off easily, cookies and vegetables took a bit more work and left a bit of residue. However, everything came off with a few minutes of soaking. Personally, we'd use parchment paper or a Silpat mat under my cookies to ensure that nothing sticks.

Given the high-quality construction, if you take care of this pan—wash it by hand and don’t even think about touching it with a metal spatula or fork—there's no reason why it shouldn't last for ages.

Read More: The Best Cookie and Baking Sheets

Pros

  • Versatile

  • Distributes heat evenly

  • Large and lightweight

Cons

  • Lining (parchment, foil, Silpat) recommended

Cutlery

These knives are a cut (ha) above the rest.

Knife
Credit: Reviewed

Best Knife Set
Best Knife Set
Wüsthof 8845 Grand Prix II 7-Piece Block Set

To earn our top ranking for knife sets, we were looking for a set that had it all: Knives with sharp edges, comfortable handles, and sets that include the right types of knives for a starter kitchen, all available for a great value with a promise of longevity. We’re not asking for too much, right? Apparently not, because the Wüsthof 8845 Grand Prix II 7-Piece Block Set had it all. We’ll start by saying these aren't the lightest knives we tested. In fact, they have quite a bit of heft. We didn’t count that as a negative, though, because they were also perfectly well-balanced, keeping our hands from tiring out after extended use. That heft also helped the sharp blades effortless cut through a variety of different size, shape, and textured ingredients.

Most of the knives in this set were our favorites in the group as we tested: The chef’s knife was not only super sharp, but it was also very maneuverable as we chopped onions and sliced through delicate basil leaves. The paring blade was perfectly lengthed for on- and off-the-cutting board tasks, like peeling apples or segmenting oranges. The utility knife had no problem slicing soft tomatoes and hard cheese alike, and the bread knife tore through crusty baguette like it was butter. As a bonus, the shears are the same highly-ranked pair that we liked when we put kitchen shears to the test.

These precision-forged knives are made from a single piece of continuous high-carbon stainless steel, so they’re super sharp and won't rust easily. The full-tang blade is seamlessly attached to a comfortable polypropylene handle that didn’t slip in our hands, even when they were wet. It’s certainly not a set for the budget-conscious, but these are incredible knives. With proper care, we have no reason to believe they won’t last for a long time. Add in the fact that Wüsthof provides a limited lifetime warranty, and these high-quality knives impressed us enough to be named our Best Overall.

This set includes four knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 4.5-inch utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, and a large, wooden block.

Read More: The Best Knife Sets

Pros

  • Super sharp chef's knife

  • Comfortable to use

  • Easy to maneuver

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Could be heavy for some cooks

Best Knife Set Under $200
Best Knife Set Under $200
Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, Tempered Glass Block

It's easy to like the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set with Tempered Glass Block. The set provides the essential knives plus a bonus boning knife, although it's one of the few that didn’t include a honing steel or shears. In the end, we found it hard to complain considering you’ll receive five impressively sharp knives that performed as well as sets three times its price. In addition to the sharp blades, each knife has a great balance and we love the grip of the handles. To top the cake, the serrated knife is one of our favorites in the group.

After testing the knives, we can see why the Mercer brand is the common supplier of culinary school knife kits. Because of its performance and low price, it's easy to choose the Mercer Culinary Genesis as our Best Value pick.

This set includes five knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, and a 6-inch boning knife) which are stored upright in a thin, glass case.

Read More: The Best Knife Sets Under $200

Pros

  • Performs as well as more expensive sets

  • Great balance

Cons

  • Doesn't include honing steel or shears

Best Knife Set Under $100
Best Knife Set Under $100
Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set

The Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set is an excellent choice if you’re on a tight budget. The chef’s knife has great balance and a comfortable, nicely shaped handle. It was well suited for a variety of chopping tasks and took down onions with ease. In addition to the full-sized chef’s knife, the set also includes a few bonus knives, including a 5-inch Santoku knife. That smaller, wide-bladed knife always comes in handy for quick prep items or for those with smaller hands.

We’re impressed that this set bundles so many knives for such a low price. Because it meets our quality standards, we would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for an affordable knife set.

This set includes six knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 5-inch Santoku knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 4.5-inch utility knife, and an 8-inch slicing knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, 6 steak knives, and a large, wooden block.

Read More: The Best Knife Sets Under $100

Pros

  • Great value

  • Good design

  • Includes a 5-inch Santoku knife

Cons

  • Knives not as sharp as other sets

Best Boning Knife
Best Boning Knife
Wüsthof Classic 6-Inch Flexible Boning Knife

I knew very early on in testing that the Wüsthof Classic 6-Inch Flexible Boning Knife would be a personal favorite. It's incredibly sharp and the blade is just flexible enough to weave around chicken joints with ease. Of all the knives we tested, this one got closest to the bone, sacrificing the least amount of usable meat as we carved. The thin blade can expertly remove the skin without creating any jagged edges. If you’re looking to buy one knife that can work with meat, poultry, and fish, you definitely can't go wrong with this one.

Read More: The Best Boning Knives and Fillet Knives

Pros

  • Very sharp

  • Thin and flexible

  • Gets close to the bone

Cons

  • None we could find

Best Chefs Knife
Best Chefs Knife
Zwilling Pro 8" Chef's Knife (38401-203)

J.A. Henckels is one of the most recognizable names in the knife making industry, so it’s not surprising that this knife rose to the top of our list. The Henckels Zwilling Pro is a serious workhorse, pulling ahead of the pack in nearly every one of our tests and earning the top spot as Best Overall Chef’s Knife.

This high-carbon German steel knife weighs in at 9.5 ounces, making it one of the heftier knives we tested. The weight gave it the strength to handle the heavy-duty tasks we threw at it, cutting through butternut squash with ease. A heavier knife can be less adept at precise cuts, but the Zwilling Pro has a super sharp edge that sliced up a tomato without issue. The design of the wide, tapered bolster made this knife easy to grip and seriously comfortable to use.

Overall, this is a really solid, well-balanced blade with excellent control, allowing you to confidently work through large cuts with precision and comfort. It's a perfect starter knife for beginners and would make a great addition to any pro’s knife collection.

Read More: The Best Kitchen Knives

Pros

  • Durable and heavy

  • Easy to hold and maneuver

  • Well-balanced blade

Cons

  • Slightly too heavy for very precise cuts

Best Knife Sharpener
Best Knife Sharpener
Chef'sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect

If you have a serious collection of pricey knives, this is the sharpener you want. The Trizor XV EdgeSelect (yes, it's a very silly name) has three stages of sharpening which gradually build up a smooth, even, incredibly sharp knife edge that glides right through a ripe tomato and will stay that way longer than blades sharpened by other methods. Because it's electric, the diamond abrasives in each stage move very quickly. That means they not only work faster but do a better job of fine honing. It's just about impossible to use the Chef's Choice incorrectly because guides hold your knife at the correct angle. The manual that comes with this sharpener is extremely thorough; if you’re a real knife geek, you’ll appreciate all the info about customizing your blade. You can also use the Trizor to sharpen serrated knives. While not large for an electric appliance, you will need to find some room for it in a cabinet or deep drawer.

Read More: The Best Knife Sharpeners

Pros

  • Three-stage sharpening

  • Holds knives at perfect angle

  • Sharpens serrated knives

Cons

  • Too large

Coffee Makers and Tea Kettles

These coffee makers are sure to suit every need.

Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser
Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Nespresso VertuoPlus

Our clear winner, the Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville, is exactly what we look for in a single-serve pod coffee machine. With the VertuoLine centrifusion brewing method, our coffee came out with foamy crema on top, a truly luxurious experience. The technology behind this dense, rich, and aromatic coffee is simple—a machine head penetrates the capsules in the center and around the edges, allowing water to enter in the center opening and push through the 20 edge holes, maximizing ground coffee interaction and pressure. It also brews espresso capsules so you can make espresso, double espresso, and regular coffee.

Unlike most of the other pod brewers we tested, the Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville’s compact design makes it easy to keep on your countertop or store where space is limited. It boasts a 40-ounce water tank that can also swivel out easily. The motorized head opens with a light lift, different from traditional Keurig machines that often require a forced push and thus increase the chance of wear and tear.

The machine can also automatically eject the used coffee pods into a hidden container, saving you from burning your fingertips by manually taking out the pods. And the capsules can be dropped off at various collection sites and their boutique retail stores for the manufacturer to recycle them. Oh, and there’s an additional milk frother—which took first place in our best milk frother roundup—included in bundles if you’re interested in latte or steamed milk in your coffee. As one Amazon reviewer notes, “The Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville machine is like Keurig on steroids.” It’s true.

Read More: The Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers

Pros

  • Compact

  • Fast brewing

  • Options such for double espresso drinks

Cons

  • Water tank is relatively small

Best Drip Coffee Maker
Best Drip Coffee Maker
Technivorm Moccamaster KB

With its mid-century design and an exposed reservoir, you'll want to leave the Moccamaster out on the counter even when it’s not in use. But it doesn't just look great. Indeed, the pricey Moccamaster brews a complex and smooth pot of coffee that ranked highest in our taste test. This machine also fills a full pot quickly—a necessity for the morning rush.

Only two optional settings are available: You can control the heating element under the carafe and turn down the temperature if desired. Other than that, the Moccamaster doesn't have—and doesn't need—anything else. Technivorm boasts that its heating element can get water between 196ºF and 205ºF, which specialists say is the ideal temperature for brewing coffee.

The Moccamaster isn't for everyone. Handmade in the Netherlands, it costs around $300—and would never win an award for value. It lacks a programmable timer, and it was also a bit more difficult to set up than the rest of the coffee makers—in fact, most were ready to go right out of the box. But a quick look at the instruction diagram should clear up any confusion, and the end result is well worth the effort.

Read More: The Best Drip Coffee Makers

Pros

  • Brews smooth coffee

  • Fast brewing speed

  • Well-made

Cons

  • Lacks programmable timer

  • Pricey

Best Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Best Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Hario V60 Coffee Dripper 02 Ceramic

The Hario V60 Coffee Dripper 02 Ceramic pour-over coffee maker’s design doesn’t appear to be unique. At first glance, it looks exactly like every other over-the-mug model we tested. What sets this model apart (and puts it at the top of most coffee enthusiast’s lists) is the interior spiral ribs and extra-large drip hole. Most of the pour overs we tested had one to three tiny holes in the bottom, which slow down the draining process. With the Hario’s large drainage hole, you can brew coffee as fast as you like! Not only that, but those ribs give the grinds more room to expand, increasing the amount of water you can hold in the cone.

Fast isn’t necessarily better, but it does give you more options. You could brew a cup in less than two minutes, or you can slow down the rate at which you pour the water and draw things out to a full four minutes. At the end of the day, both our fast- and slow-pour tests resulted in a delightful cup of coffee with a rich mouthfeel, a robustly fruity backbone, and almost no detectable bitterness.

We also liked that a standard paper filter fit perfectly in the cone, and the ceramic construction retained the water’s heat well enough to create an even brewing process and a hot cup of coffee. And since the Hario also happens to be low-profile enough to store amongst your coffee cups and it was one of the easiest units to clean, it was a shoo-in for our pick as Best Overall. Considering it was priced at $20 during the time of this testing, it’s also an incredible value for the money.

Read More: The Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers

Pros

  • Fast brewing

  • Uses standard filter

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Electric Coffee Percolator
Best Electric Coffee Percolator
Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EC-120 12 Cup Percolator

Except for a transparent top knob (which aids in one of the understood pleasures of percolating—watching the coffee circling), the Maxi-Matic is composed mainly of stainless steel. That speaks to why it brewed one of the most balanced, flavorful cups of the bunch since plastic mechanisms (especially when they contain BPA) can transmit chemicals, and lead to off-tastes and aromas. It has all of our preferred percolator elements such as separate power and ready-to-drink indicator lights, its comfortable-to-hold, heat-resistant handle, and a thin, curved spout that aids in pouring and prevent drips. Yet the Maxi-Matic also one-ups the other models we tested with a few unique advantages. The pot can be lifted off the heating element completely for seamless, cordless serving, then returned to its base, where it will be kept warm automatically. But it also has a boil dry safety feature, which, even when plugged in, ensures the pot won’t continue to heat once there’s no liquid inside.

Read More: The Best Electric Coffee Percolators

Pros

  • Produces balanced, flavorful coffee

  • Pot can be lifted off element for serving

  • Smart safety feature

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best French Press Coffee Maker
Best French Press Coffee Maker
SterlingPro SS Double Wall Cafetiere

Receiving top marks across the board during all of our tests, SterlingPro's double walls provide excellent insulation, meaning the coffee stays hot, while the exterior unit remains cool to the touch (neither of which is guaranteed from other materials). The lid can also be spun around to seal off the pouring spot and hold in heat when not in use. The snugly fitting filter is equipped with double screens, preventing grounds from sneaking into your cup, and every part of the press is constructed from rust-free stainless steel, meaning it would take an act of God for this baby to deteriorate or break. It’s relatively lightweight for a metal model, and easy to operate too; the lid fits snugly, and the plunger pushes down smoothly, without excess effort. It’s a cinch to clean because it's dishwasher safe, but not a problem to scrub by hand, as the filters can be removed, and the canister doesn’t include any outer casings to fumble with. It boasts an especially large capacity (holding about six mugs, where the average in this size-class is four), and is multi-use, good for making anything from cold brew to hot chocolate, and produces perfectly frothed milk in seconds. On top of that, it’s available for a great price —while stainless steel presses can flirt with the $100 range, the SterlingPro clocks in at around $30.

Read More: The Best French Press Coffee Maker

Pros

  • Excellent insulation

  • Double seal that prevents grounds in coffee

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No measurement markings

Best Coffee Subscription
Best Coffee Subscription
Counter Culture

Counter Culture is a huge name in specialty coffee. Their operation spans from wholesale to retail, allowing them to deliver their freshly-roasted beans in the shortest amount of time possible with responsive customer support. They’re also transparent about their beans, with a label that includes origin (if it’s a blend, they’ll include all the varieties in one bag), altitude, roasting date, and variety. Their offerings change constantly, covering a range of coffee varieties for subscribers who are looking for new beans. That’s why we think they’re the best coffee subscription service for most people.

When it comes to customization, you can choose your blends based on the tasting notes they provide, or you can choose single-origin beans that they switch up every four weeks. The packaging is minimal, but it tells you everything you need to know about each bag you receive. For a reasonable price, we think Counter Culture offers the best way to get fresh, single-origin beans from a coffee subscription.

Read More: The Best Coffee Subscriptions

Pros

  • Short off-roast time

  • Affordable

  • Transparent business practice

Cons

  • Lack of roasters selection

Best Electric Kettle
Best Electric Kettle
Cuisinart PerfecTemp 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle

This kettle may not look like anything special, but it does its job exceptionally well, and at a very fair price for what it offers: Six preset heat settings between 160°F and 212°F for steeping different types of tea; and easily discernible, intuitive buttons. Simply select your desired temperature and press start, and in a snappy 5 minutes, a series of beeps will let you know that your water is boiling.

The machine automatically flips to a handy keep warm mode that resumes its cycle regardless of how many times you remove the kettle from the base, and it won’t boil if you turn it on without filling it up first. This kettle is easy to use and speedily effective, earning it our top spot—plus, it comes with a three-year warranty.

Read More: The Best Electric Kettles

Pros

  • Pre-set temperatures for brewing tea

  • Intuitive

  • Fast boiling

Cons

  • A little heavy

Best Tea Infuser
Fred & Friends Manatea Tea Infuser

No one is as shocked as I am to find the silly Fred & Friends tea infuser in our top spot. I’ve passed over it in gift shops for years, thinking that its punny name and cute manatee form disqualified it from being a quality tea infuser. I stand corrected.

The design, which hangs the infuser from the rim to look like a manatee poking its head out of the ocean, is wonderfully functional. Even when tipping the mug more than 90 degrees to get the last few drops of tea, the Manatea holds on tight, eliminating the need for a separate dish to catch drips. And while that means you may keep it in the mug longer than other infusers, as you sip, and the water level decreases, steeping stops. (That being said, make sure you initially fill your mug to cover all of the infuser’s holes—you’ll see it start working immediately.)

Made of silicone, the Manatea is easy to clean, and leaves don’t escape or get stuck in the holes. The one downside is that when leaves expand in its narrow body, they need a little extra help being removed (I used my finger), but then they generally come out in one relatively clean clump.

A great gift? Absolutely (especially since it was the least expensive product we tested). But this is one tea infuser even avid tea drinkers should buy for themselves.

Read More: The Best Tea Infusers

Pros

  • Grips strongly to the side of a mug

  • Easy to clean

  • Steeps evenly

Cons

  • Some leaves can get stuck inside

Living Room

Elevate your living room space with an air purifier.

Winix_5500-2_air_purifier
Credit: Reviewed.com / Betsey Goldwasser

Our findings show that the Winix 5500-2 is the best air purifier for most people.


Best Air Purifier
Best Air Purifier
Winix 5500-2

The Winix 5500-2 air purifier, while not the most technologically advanced product on our list, has intuitive controls and thoughtful extras like a sleep mode, a timer, and a light sensor that automatically adjusts the back-lighting on the control panel. It also comes with a number of status lights for the filter integrity, air quality, and odor detection. Changing the filters is easy, and most of the fan settings were quiet enough to not prove disruptive during conversations or at night.

While the Winix 5500-2 employs plasma as one purification method, it is certified by the California Air Resources Board, meaning that it emits minimal, safe levels of ozone. If you have a strong ozone sensitivity, though, all you have to do is turn the PlasmaWave function off.

The Winix 5500-2 did well in our smell tests; it was able to noticeably remove odors like cinnamon and cigarette smoke. Of the two scents, cigarette smoke seems to be more pervasive, so the fact that the Winix was able to remove enough smoke that not all of our testers could immediately identify it is praise-worthy. These smell tests, it must be noted, were conducted without the PlasmaWave function, so regardless of whether you use it or not, you should see strong air cleaning performance.

Our testers also commented favorably on the Winix's ability to make a basement seem less musty, and to noticeably diminish cooking smells as well as the amount of allergens in the air. If you want to see an improvement in your air quality and don't need a lot of high-tech features, the Winix 5500-2 won't let you down.

Read More: The Best Air Purifiers

Pros

  • Easy to move

  • Easy to change filters

Cons

  • None that we could find


Best Smart Thermostat
Best Smart Thermostat
Nest Learning Thermostat

Google's Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the biggest names in the space, partially because it was one of the first well-designed connected thermostats on the market. But now, nearly 10 years after its introduction, it's still the best smart thermostat for most people, thanks to its sleek, intuitive design and robust set of smart features.

If you've ever used an iPod, the Nest Thermostat will be familiar to you—in fact, it was designed by Tony Fadell, the designer of the original iPod hardware. Changing the temperature is as simple as rotating the thermostat's dial. You can use the app to set a traditional time-of-day schedule—far simpler than most non-smart thermostats—or let the Nest learn your daily habits and adjust the temperature automatically. This feature is great for those who don't want to put in any effort, but might be a bit too confusing for people who like to fine-tune their schedules, so you can turn it off if you wish.

Like many other smart thermostats, the Nest can save you energy by adjusting the temperature when you aren't home, as determined by your phone's location and the Nest's built-in motion sensors, and it's also compatible with the energy-saving plans and rebates offered by many utility companies. You can adjust it with your voice using Alexa or Google Home and even get reminders when it's time to change your HVAC filter. Nest offers sensors you can put in different rooms to adjust the temperature based on where you are at any given time—but their functionality is limited compared to competitors like Ecobee and Honeywell. Still, overall the Nest is so easy to use that we think it's the best overall.

Our only other gripe with the Nest—besides its heftier price tag (which, again, rebates can help with)—is its setup. The actual process is quite easy, and the Nest app will walk you through it step-by-step if you've never installed a thermostat before. But in an effort to stay simple and compatible with a wide variety of systems, the Nest uses a workaround to draw power in homes without a common wire (or C-wire). The thermostat will function normally in most cases, but can cause problems with certain HVAC systems. If your home doesn't have a C-wire, we recommend having an HVAC professional install one, or using a thermostat like the Ecobee SmartThermostat which uses a slightly more complex (but reliable) conversion kit to power itself.

Read More: The Best Smart Thermostats

Pros

  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Straightforward setup

Cons

  • Does not support Apple HomeKit

Best Smart Speaker
Best Smart Speaker
Bose Home Speaker 300

We weren’t sure what to expect upon opening the Bose Home 300 for testing, but we were pleasantly surprised on almost every level. While the sound quality can’t quite compete with the (much larger) Echo Studio, the Bose Home 300 allows users to choose between Alexa or Google Assistant; it has handy preset buttons on the top of the speaker; and it can stream audio over Bluetooth, AirPlay, WiFi, or via an old-school auxiliary cable.

Through its app and smart assistants, the Bose Home 300 can play music from a large number of streaming services, such as Spotify, TuneIn, Amazon Music, Tidal, Pandora, and even Apple Music via Airplay or Bluetooth. The compatible music and podcast sources will vary a bit depending on which smart assistant you choose (you can only use one assistant at a time, however it is very easy to switch in the Bose app).

Though not any larger, this speaker is much louder than most of the other smart speakers we included in this roundup. While the audio quality isn't what we'd call exceptional, it is definitely sufficient for the way most of us use our smart speakers. And if it isn’t, you have the option to group Bose speakers together to create a stereo setup.

Read More: The Best Smart Speakers

Pros

  • Bluetooth capable

  • Alexa or Google Assistant

  • Physical preset buttons

Cons

  • None that we could find

Bathroom

Up your bathroom game with these super plush towels.

Towels
Credit: Reviewed

Best Bath Towel
Best Bath Towel
Parachute Classic Bath Towel

The Parachute Classic Towel checked all the boxes for texture, performance, and overall experience. Plus, it’s a solid investment if you want to turn your bathroom into the lap of luxury.

This quality towel is made from long-staple Turkish cotton, which is supposed to be softer and more absorbent than regular cotton. While it feels wonderful and soaks up water like a champ, I didn’t find its performance to be noticeably superior.

This bath towel is very comfortable to wrap around yourself after washing off. In my notes, I wrote that this towel was a good middle-of-the-line option in terms of weight and softness—you could say it’s “just right!” The Goldilocks of towels, if you will.

It did really well in other tests, too. It didn’t develop a musty smell over the course of testing, and it shed its soda stain without the assistance of any stain remover. Overall, this towel does its job and does it well!

If you're working with a flexible budget, then this is the towel to pick. I love the serene, muted colors it comes it—so modern!—but that’s a personal preference of course.

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Absorbent

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Bath Mat
Best Bath Mat
Frontgate Resort Bath Mat

The Frontgate Resort Bath Mat was incredibly soft to the touch and sucked up all of the water I had spilled on it. The elegant design goes with any decor, too. It felt cushiony soft underfoot and it held up nicely after multiple uses (no sign of wear and tear). This mat did not pill at all when I ran it through the washer and was dry in only a few hours. It also comes in a convenient (and compact) size at 21 x 34.

Made of 100 percent long-staple Turkish cotton, the Resort Bath Mat is woven to 1,200 GSM for ultra plushness and absorbency. This mat is designed to acquire a more lush feel each time you run it through the wash. The Frontgate comes in a variety of colors, from soft blues and greys to neutral tones and bright red, green, and orange shades. While it’s more expensive than other bath mats on this list, the Frontgate is well worth the upgrade.

Read More: The Best Bath Mats

Pros

  • Absorbent

  • Stylish

  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Showerhead
Best Showerhead
Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-Way 2-in-1

The Hydroluxe 24 Function Ultra-Luxury easily earned our top spot for the best showerhead because it offers a high-end shower experience at a low-end price. It delivers very good water pressure, includes 24 different functions to choose from, such as a standard jet experience, a pause feature, and a mist setting, and it’s easy to install.

Unlike many other models, changing the settings on the Hydroluxe is a breeze. Just move the dial around the showerhead and it gives a satisfying clicking noise to let you know that it’s set perfectly in place.

Each of the two showerheads (overhead and hand shower) has water-flow settings including, Power Rain, Massage, Stay-Warm Mist, Water-saving Economy Rain and Pause, that can be used separately or at the same time. Combined with additional controls, there are 24 different ways to take your shower. The Mist function is the absolute best sensation I have ever had in a shower: It felt like a bunch of angels were gently pelting me with wet cotton clouds. The pause feature—which stops the flow of water for as long as you need it—is also great for when you are shaving.

To install, all you need to do is unscrew the old showerhead, apply some plumber’s tape to the threads of your shower pipe (this often comes with your showerhead) and then screw the new head onto your shower pipe. Use a wrench to ensure a tight seal, do the same with the handheld attachment and you’re done.

Read More: The Best Showerheads

Pros

  • Easy to use and install

  • 24 different settings

  • Good water pressure

Cons

  • None that we could find

Bedroom

From silky sheets to spacious storage bins, this list has it all.

Sheets
Credit: Reviewed

Best Bed Sheets
Best Bed Sheets
Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set

Here’s the skinny on these amazing sheets. Each set comes with two pillowcases, a flat sheet, and a fitted sheet that fits mattresses up to 15 inches deep. They’re made from 100 percent cotton and are constructed in a sateen weave, which means they’re smooth to the touch and have a somewhat shiny appearance. There are more than a dozen standard colors and patterns to choose from, and you can get this set in sizes ranging from Twin XL to California King. The only size they don’t carry is a Split King.

In my testing notes for these sheets, my first comment is, “I’m actually sad I have to take these off my bed.” When I washed them in warm water and put them through the dryer, they came out soft and wrinkle-free. Not only are they soft, but I also love the slightly heavier weight as well. When I napped in these sheets, I expected I’d be hot since the weather was quite warm, but to my surprise, I stayed at a comfortable temperature.

The Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheets aced our other tests, as well. They wrinkle significantly less than other options, likely due to their sateen weave, and stains come out easily.

Read More: The Best Bed Sheet

Pros

  • Fits mattresses up to 15 inches deep

  • 100% cotton

  • Plenty of colors to choose from

Cons

  • Not available in split-king sizing

Best Pillow
Best Pillow
Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

After a battery of tests, we determined the best pillows for most sleepers are made by Coop Home Goods. Both models we tested, the Original and Eden, ranked as top picks in our three position-specific reviews. Coop Home Goods pillows are stuffed with shredded memory foam, which has a similar plush feel to down or down-alternative fills, but its amount can be added or removed for a customized loft and feel. We tested other adjustable foam pillows, but these from Coop Home Goods outpaced them in comfort as well as in their relative lack of chemical smell, an issue for foam bedding in general. Getting the fill level just right may be a chore at first—our testers fussed with it over the course of several nights—but after that, the pillows are a dream.

Coop Home Goods pillows are covered in a bamboo fabric that’s super soft, which our testers appreciated, even though they encased them with zippered pillow protectors (a good practice for hygiene for any pillow). The Original pillow is an excellent choice for side and back sleeping, because it provides the right amount of support, and anyone who prefers a softer or less-lofty feel can remove filling. Those seeking an even softer pillow, particularly stomach sleepers, should look to the Coop Home Goods Eden, which has a softer texture and the same adjustability, in terms of removing fill.

Coop Home Goods pillows are fully machine-washable—both the covers and the internal, zippered, foam-filled bag. In our testing, they emerged from the laundry no worse for wear though damp, so you’ll need multiple dryer cycles to get them ready to sleep on. The company recommends washing the foam only once a year anyway, which, again, is why using pillow protectors is the best practice. Both pillows come with an extra half-pound bag of stuffing in addition to what’s in the pillow itself, which may be enough to save and completely swap out the contents down the line—for folks who prefer less stuffing, it could mean two pillows for the price of one.

Coop Home Goods also offers a generous 100-night sleep trial, so you have plenty of time to tinker with the fill level and decide if their pillows are truly the best fit for you.

Read More: The Best Pillows

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Adjustable fill

  • Washable

Cons

  • May need to tinker with fill levels

  • Needs to air out

Best Comforter
Best Comforter
Linenspa All-Season Down Alternative Quilted Comforter

It might seem a little strange that the least expensive comforter in our testing roundup beat out its competition, especially when several are more than 10 times its cost—we were surprised, too. However, our testing scores don’t lie. The Linenspa Comforter edged out the other comforters in a few key areas.

For one, the Linenspa blanket has a microfiber exterior, which is incredibly soft and feels great to sleep under even without a duvet cover. In comparison, other comforters, like our "Best Luxury" pick, the Company Store's Legends Hotel Alberta Comforter, is a little bit rough to the touch. We also found the Linenspa blanket was easier to remove stains from—they came out quickly with minimal scrubbing.

Where the Linenspa lacks, however, is its construction. It doesn’t have the best stitching quality, so it might be more prone to fraying in the long run. But at its current price, replacing it every few years will still cost you less than some of our other picks.

This Linenspa Comforter is available from Twin XL to California King size, and there are several basic colors and patterns to choose from as well. With the exception of the white option, these comforters are reversible, giving you two styling options, and they’re super soft thanks to their microfiber fabric. Plus, the comforter is incredibly warm in a twin or king size, as it’s filled with a hypoallergenic down alternative.

Don’t worry about getting this comforter dirty—stains come out quite easily with a little bit of scrubbing, and you can always throw it in the washing machine for a more thorough wash. Its microfiber exterior doesn’t hold too many wrinkles, and it boasts box stitching to keep its fill evenly distributed throughout the blanket.

The only downside of this budget-friendly comforter is that the color doesn’t exactly match what is shown online. In real life, the gray has a noticeably blue undertone, while it looks more neutral in its online pictures. However, you can choose to put a duvet over this comforter, as it comes with eight fastening loops on the corners and sides. Did we mention it's super affordable, too?

Read More: The Best Comforters

Pros

  • Soft microfiber exterior

  • Affordable

  • Not prone to staining

Cons

  • Color doesn't match online image

  • Low quality stitching

Best Electric Blanket
Best Electric Blanket
Berkshire Heated Blanket with Intellisense

For an electric blanket that’s extremely cozy, comfortable, and toasty warm, we’d definitely recommend the Berkshire Electric Blanket with Intellisense. This blanket was by far the most enjoyable to use of all the products we tested.

This heated blanket from Berkshire is made from two different fabrics. On top is a super soft, touchable material velvet, and on the bottom, there’s an equally soft ribbed material that’s supposed to serve as a barrier to trap heat underneath the blanket. There’s also a layer of insulation between the two. Both of these materials feel delightfully luxurious, and they’re thick enough to prevent you from feeling the inner wires, which are sewn into narrow channels to keep them in place. Unless you make a point to look for the wires, you might not even know this was an electric blanket!

When you purchase a full, queen, or king-size model of this blanket, you get two controllers that allow you to set each side of the bed independently. The controllers themselves are a bit confusing—they have a power switch on the back, and you have to press the timer button before you can adjust the temperature. However, after reading the instructions, we found it easy enough to adjust them to our liking.

Each controller has heat settings one through five, as well as a preheat option, and you can choose to have the blanket on for one, three, six, or nine hours at a time. When testing this blanket, we were impressed at the range of heat it provided, even with just a few settings. The lowest setting was just enough to banish the chill from the bed, while the higher settings provided noticeable warmth. There were never any hot or cold spots, and as an added bonus, this blanket can be cleaned in the washer on a delicate cycle, unlike many other products.

While its overall performance was great, there are a few small things we didn’t love about the Berkshire Electric Blanket. For one, its white cords are unusually thick, making them immediately noticeable under your bed. Additionally, the ports sewn into the blanket are about a foot in from the hem, instead of just a few inches. We found that this prevented us from being able to pull the blanket all the up on the bed, as the cords weren’t long enough.

Despite its minor quirks, the Berkshire Electric Blanket won us over with its unbeatable performance and construction, and we think it’s every bit worth the price on those chilly winter nights.

Read More: The Best Electric Blankets

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Toasty warm

Cons

  • Thick cords

  • Difficult to wash

Best Mattress in a Box
Best Mattress in a Box
Nectar

Nectar is the best mattress we’ve tested. It checks a lot of boxes for many shoppers, with its excellent balance of firmness to plushness and its middle-tier price.

The first thing our tester noticed upon lugging the box up the two flights of stairs to her apartment was how light it felt compared to other boxed mattresses. At 65 pounds, it’s only a few pounds lighter than most, but that can make all the difference for moving and opening a memory foam mattress. Nectar also offers white-glove delivery that starts at $149. Like most foam mattresses, it emits a weird “packaged” smell at first, despite the site claiming you shouldn’t notice any odors, but that dissipated after about 12 hours and was never an issue for our tester, her partner, or their cat.

The “wine glass” test, which evaluates motion transfer, proved to be one of our most important and insightful tests. When our tester’s partner thrashed around and kicked his legs on the bed, the wine glass hardly even wobbled, and never came close to tipping over, meaning you aren’t likely to get jostled awake if you share this bed with a restless sleeper, or feel bad about getting up to pee at 2 a.m, and then slinking back to bed. Additionally, though our tester tends to sleep hot, she had no issues with the Nectar mattress.

After sleeping on the mattress for 30 days, our tester didn’t want to give it up and took her time arranging to have it hauled away—and her partner, who formerly swore by the Purple mattress, admitted that this was the most comfortable mattress he’s slept on so far. But if you don’t get as attached to it as they did, Nectar offers a 365-day trial period, one of the longest windows of all the mattress-in-a-box retailers.

Read More: The Best Mattresses in a Box

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Stays cool

Cons

  • May be too soft

  • Felt warm at times

  • Limited edge support

Best Space Heater
Best Space Heater
DeLonghi HMP1500

If you want a space heater that does it all, this space heater is the one for you. The Delonghi HMP1500 aced our spot-heating and room-heating tests. Our thermal sensors recorded the HMP1500 outputting a maximum temperature of almost 95°F. This Delonghi also raised the temperature of a 1350-cubic-foot room six degrees in an hour, more than enough to warm a chilly room.

Performance aside, the HMP1500 also has design elements that can fit any lifestyle. Users that want their heater to follow them from room to room can install the included wheels. Where stairs are a concern, a handle on the back lets you easily lift the 8-pound frame anywhere. If you have one room in your home that needs supplementary heating, the HMP1500 can be mounted to a wall as a permanent fixture.

Read More: The Best Space Heaters

Pros

  • Can be wall mounted

  • Easy to move

  • Powerful

Cons

  • Expensive

Laundry and Cleaning

From robot vacuums to washing machines, we've got you covered.

Electrolux_627
Credit: Electrolux
Best Washing Machine
Best Washing Machine
Electrolux EFLS627UTT

The Electrolux EFLS627UTT front-load washer stands as one of the best front-load washers on the market. One reason? It is the world's first washer to have a special place for detergent pods in the drawer, allowing for even distribution of soap. However, this washer also has powerful stain removal and efficient cycles; it managed to do a solid stain-removal job in both the 46-minute-long Normal cycle and the 15-minute-long Quick cycle.

The EFLS627UTT has a stainless steel tub and is chock-full of features and options including Sanitize, Perfect Steam, StainSoak, and Extended Refresh. StainSoak reheats and recirculates the detergent so that it has more time to tackle your really tough stains. Extended Refresh is great for those who can't stick around to immediately get wet laundry into the dryer; it continues to tumble your wet laundry in the washer until you get home. Between the bevy of features and great cleaning performance, it's no surprise that the EFLS627UTT is our favorite washer.

Read More: The Best Washing Machines

Pros

  • Pod detergent slot

  • Excellent stain removal

  • 15-minute Fast Wash

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Dryer
Best Dryer
Electrolux EFME627UTT

The Electrolux EFME627UTT dryer is great-looking, has simple controls, and is rich with cycles and options, including Perfect Steam, which can help to relax any wrinkles away. Its Quick Dry cycle completes in a mere 15 minutes. Though the Normal cycle is slow, the Heavy cycle takes only an hour. While cycle times may vary, we found that the Normal and Delicates cycles both got our test loads 100% dry and that temperatures never got hot enough to start damaging clothes. The Electrolux EFME627UTT represents the perfect balance between cycle times and cycle temperatures.

As the counterpart to the stellar Electrolux EFLS627UTT washing machine that has a spot in the detergent drawer for laundry pods, this dryer is another great addition to the Electrolux laundry family.

Read More: The Best Dryers

Pros

  • Heavy cycle done in one hour

  • 99% dry clothes

  • Steam options

Cons

  • Normal cycle takes over an hour and a half

Best Robot Vacuum
Best Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba i7+

The iRobot Roomba i7+ is the first robot vacuum that can empty itself. A vacuum in the charging base suctions everything out of the bin into a sealable bag. That means you don't have to see, touch, or smell what your robot vacuum picks up. Also for your convenience, the i7+ has a whole host of smart features. Plus, it’s Alexa and Google Home compatible. The i7+ can even make virtual maps that can track cleaning cycles and even keep them out of individual rooms.

Fancy tech aside, the i7+ picks up quite a bit. On average, it picked up 10 grams of debris, so in a week, it can keep up with a mild manual cleaning. The i7+ is expensive, but every penny is accounted for in a large number of features and excellent performance.

Read More: The Best Robot Vacuums

Pros

  • Can empty itself

  • App allows you to choose what rooms to clean

  • Powerful dirt pickup

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Cordless Vacuum
Best Cordless Vacuum
Dyson V11 Torque Drive

The Dyson V11 Torque Drive is a no-compromise cordless vacuum. It has powerful cleaning, great battery life, and features you won’t find anywhere else. The V11 has two major features that set it apart from all other cordless vacuums: an LCD screen on the back and automatic suction adjustment.

The screen lets you know, down to the second, how much battery life you have left. This feature ensures you’ll never be caught short while vacuuming between the cushions. The self-adjusting suction is a little more subtle. When you’re cleaning, the V11 lowers or increases the amount of suction based on the type of surface you’re cleaning. This increases battery life and helps keep this Dyson from damaging your floors.

Shiny new toys aside, the V11 also aces the basics. Our testing showed that this Dyson picked up 95 percent of the dirt we laid out for it. The large debris tests also impressed us. A lot of vacuums just plows crumbs from one side of the room to the other. The V11, however, has specialized gaps in its brush head to ensure pick up.

The major downside is that the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is expensive. What you’re getting is a vacuum that has features no other brand has and the top-tier performance is the icing on the cake. However, there are vacuums with better value, providing a clean that’s almost as good for a fraction of the cost.

Read More: The Best Cordless Vacuums

Pros

  • Powerful suction

  • Excellent UI

Cons

  • Expensive

Travel

These suitcases are as practical as they are stylish.

Carry On
Credit: Reviewed

Best Carry-On Luggage
Best Carry-On Luggage
Samsonite Flexis 21" Spinner

The Samsonite Flexis 21" Spinner is the best carry-on bag of the moment. It’s the direct replacement for our previous pick for best carry-on bag, the MightLight 2, which Samsonite has discontinued. The Flexis’s total dimensions, at 22.5 x 15.0 x 9.0 inches, make it a little bit smaller than the MightLight 2. As such, it fits in our sizing device, wheels and all, with no difficulties.

The Flexis 21” Spinner features the same high-quality wheels that its predecessor came sporting. I found that they made crossing over the sun-cracked pavement, concrete sidewalks, wood floors, and tile comfortable and easy. As it’s a four-wheeled spinner, you’ll have no trouble maneuvering the Flexis around obstacles. The handle on the side of the bag is oriented to make grabbing it out of an overhead compartment a breeze, while the one on the top is cushy enough to carry the bag comfortably for a long time. The locking, retractable handle offers height adjustments, making this bag easy to wheel along, no matter how tall you are. That the expandable handle can be unlocked by either of the two buttons built into it makes it easy to use and provides a bit of redundancy.

The 21-inch version of the Flexis offers 2520 cubic inches of packing space. There are three pockets on the outside of the bag: the large exterior pocket is ideal for stuffing a sweater, iPad, or magazines into it. Two smaller zippered pockets—which are well-sized for an e-reader, passport, and charging cables—are built into the bag’s zippered lid. Speaking of charging cables, you should know that one of the pockets comes with a smaller, zippered compartment designed for storing a rechargeable battery pack in. Plug your power pack into the Flexis’ integrated USB port and you’ll be able to use it to charge your phone or other small electronics, without a mess of cables getting in your way. As your battery pack isn’t integrated into the bag, as it is with some smart luggage, you can easily remove your battery to keep in another carry-on or personal item should the Flexis need to be stowed in your flight’s cargo hold.

The inside of the suitcase boasts a large open area with elastic retention straps for securing your clothes or packing cubes into place, as well as mesh stash pockets for organizing smaller items. On the inside of the bag’s lid, you’ll find a zippered, mesh compartment that’s perfect for jamming socks or underwear in.

The Flexis comes equipped with self-healing YKK Strong Grip Zip, which is significantly more reliable than traditional coil zippers; if one of the bag’s zippers gets messed up (but doesn’t break), zipping and unzipping it should make it as good as new. The main compartment can be sealed up using a TSA-approved luggage lock—an important feature, should you ever need to check the bag. Without anything in it, the 21-inch version of the Flexis weighs seven pounds. It strikes the perfect balance of affordability, features, and build quality. I highly recommend taking it for a spin (sorry).

I’ve only got a couple of complaints about this bag: the Flexis 21 doesn’t come with a built-in waterproof bag for sealing up your toiletries in—but if you own a good toiletry bag, it’s no big deal. In addition to this, when not in use, the Flexis can’t be compressed down for storage. If that’s a deal breaker, check out our pick for Best Soft-Sided Carry-On.

Read More: The Best Carry-On Luggage

Pros

  • Excellent, smooth riding wheels

  • Great build quality

  • Well thought out organizational aids

Cons

  • No built-in waterproof pocket for toiletries

Best Checked Luggage
Best Checked Luggage
Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 29" Expandable Spinner Suiter

Travelpro's Platinum Magna 2 is the best suitcase to invest in right now. It’s made well enough that it’ll survive years of vacations, trips back and forth from university, or extended business travel.

The 29-inch design offers 137 liters of packing space, which was more than adequate to house all of the items we packed into it during testing. Measuring 29 x 20.5 x 12.75 inches in size and weighing in at just over 11 pounds, it won't fit into an airplane's overhead bin or slide under a seat. But its rugged Cordura exterior ensures it'll come out of your plane's cargo hold in one piece, no worse for wear. The suitcase’s four spinner wheels are aligned by magnets. This guarantees that all of the wheels move in the same direction at the same time, no matter which way you push or pull the suitcase. Whether you’re wheeling through customs or throwing it in the back of a rental car, this suitcase is easy and pleasurable to steer.

On the front of the Travelpro you’ll find an expandable zippered pocket that’s ideal for last-minute items, shoes, or wet towels. Look inside and you’ll find that the cavernous main compartment is flanked by two zippered pockets that run the full length of the suitcase. One is lined with transparent plastic, making it a great choice for toiletries and other liquids. The other is made of breathable mesh, perfect for undergarments, socks, and other small items. Zippered storage panels are also sewn into the main compartment’s compression straps, there's a large mesh pocket inside the lid, and a compression panel helps you stuff in and organize as much clothing as possible for longer trips. Should you need the additional space, the Travelpro is expandable—just be sure to weigh your overstuffed suitcase with a luggage scale before leaving for the airport.

You should know that while this suitcase does come in a couple of different colors, it’s not the most stylish bag. For something a little more fashionable, check out The Large AWAY Travel Suitcase or the Briggs & Riley Large Expandable Spinner.

Read More: The Best Checked Luggage

Pros

  • Excellent build quality

  • Excellent organizational tools

  • Wheels stay in perfect alignment using magnets,

Cons

  • Not the most stylish suitcase out there

Best Carry-On Under Seat Luggage
Best Carry-On Under Seat Luggage
Tom Bihn Western Flyer

Constructed from either 1050 Ballistic Nylon or lightweight 400 Halcyon fabric and available in an assortment of colors, the Tom Bihn Western Flyer will fit under an airline seat with room to spare—a fact you’ll appreciate when you stretch out on your next cross-country flight. Its exterior front panel contains a stowaway water bottle holder and two large, zippered pockets: one which provides ample space for your car keys, passport, and other small essentials. The second pocket is large enough to store an eReader, 8” tablet, smartphone, or paperback novel to read on your flight.

With 26 liters of interior space, the Western Flyer is large enough to use as a small suitcase for a weekend getaway with room to spare for a laptop, snacks, and magazines. Its interior space is broken down into two large compartments: The first contains a fabric partition to help you stay organized, when needed, or zipped out of the way to allow for one large chunk of space that’s ideal for a laptop. The second pocket proved large enough during testing to contain a complete change of clothing, or if you prefer, multiple pairs of underwear, socks, and a couple of dress shirts. In addition to all of this, the Western Flyer is incredibly versatile. It can be carried by its built-in handle like a briefcase, be paired with a shoulder strap (sold separately,) or worn like a rucksack, thanks to a pair of backpack straps that stow away when not in use. What’s more, thanks to Tom Bihn’s selection of packing cubes, padded electronics cases, and their organization Freudian Slip insert, this bag can be customized to please most any traveler.

Read More: The Best Carry-On Under Seat Luggage

Pros

  • Plenty of storage space

  • Sturdy construction

  • Customizable

Cons

  • None that we could find

Outdoors

A good outdoor trash can is a must-have.

Outdoor Trash
Credit: Reviewed

Best Outdoor Trash Can
Best Outdoor Trash Can
Toter Wheeled Blackstone 32-Gal.

The Toter Blackstone beat the competition by being versatile, flexible, and mobile. When you first see the Toter, you'll notice that it towers over other garbage cans, measuring in at 37.5 inches tall. During testing, we found that the taller and funnel-like profile increased the odds that the trash bags we dumped were secure. When loaded with trash, we also noticed that the entire barrel lists forward. This design choice lent itself to stability, absorbing normal bumps and shocks without tipping.

Aside from tipping over, the next biggest headache comes from animals getting into your trash. The Blackstone does not come with a method to secure its lid. The swinging lid makes it easier to open with one hand and we noted that since it's attached you'll never lose it. However, a single bungee cord can turn this garbage can into a critter-proof fortress–all you need to do is to hook the cord onto the handle on the back and stretch it to the one on the front.

After taking into account its ergonomic design and rugged construction, we think the Toter Blackstone is going to suit most households. It's more expensive than most models but you get quality in return.

Read More: The Best Outdoor Trash Cans

Pros

  • Fits plenty of garbage bags in its tall frame

  • Well-balanced and stable

  • Attached lid swings open

Cons

  • Doesn't have a way to secure lid down

  • Pricey

Best Kamado Grill
Best Kamado Grill
Big Green Egg Large

Before testing the Big Green Egg, I thought kamado grills were way too pricey. Now, I understand why people are willing to pay a premium for them. Kamado grills light almost as quickly as a gas grill, are easy to use, and can be transformed into a smoker or an oven. I liked this Big Green Egg so much that we not only named it the best kamado grill to buy, but I saved up and bought the XL model for my home.

Cooking on the Egg is an absolute pleasure. Like the other kamado grills in this guide, it’s large and heavy, but its cart’s wheels glid while moving it around and lock firmly into place, once it reaches its destination. The Large model had an 18-inch grill space that was large enough to fit a dozen burgers, up to six chickens (cooked vertically), a large turkey, or a few whole pork shoulders. Add in the optional EGGspander tiered cooking system, and you can cook even more. When cooking over high heat, the Egg reached temperatures over 700°F, creating beautiful grill marks on steaks and burgers and becoming hot enough to create a restaurant-quality wood-fired pizza. Using the grill with indirect heat was just as successful, resulting in deeply smoky chicken drumsticks and super juicy, tender pulled pork and ribs.

Temperature control is one of my favorite features of the Egg, and the area where it excelled more than the other kamado grills. After a few sessions, I got the hang of adjusting the top vent and bottom draft door to create precise temperatures. Slide the lower vent so it’s barely open, and you can achieve low, 200°F temps without worrying about extinguishing the coals. Open it up, and you’ll ignite the coal bed, burning them red-hot to reach the grill’s maximum temperature. I also liked that the rEGGulator top vent cap opened all the way, letting in more air than the other kamado grills I tested. Both vents were cool to the touch, even while cooking over high heat. As a bonus, when I closed down the vents once I finished cooking, the Big Green Egg extinguished the coals faster than the other grills—outperforming both charcoal grills and kamado grills by preserving more charcoal for the next grilling session. I cooked on the Big Green Egg for a full week, spending hours cooking burgers, chicken, pork shoulder, ribs, and multiple pizzas. Even after all that cooking, I only used somewhere between 10 to 15 pounds of charcoal.

Of course, the biggest drawback to the Big Green Egg is its price. The $899 Large grill might not seem too expensive until you consider that it's price doesn’t include the cost of accessories. The stand, side tables, and other accessories (like the ConvEGGtor deflector plate, an absolutely essential accessory that turns the grill into a smoker or outdoor oven) add to the total cost of owning this grill. Before you know it, you could easily spend over a thousand dollars on your initial purchase.

If I had one complaint about the grill itself, it's the lack of an ash bucket. Cleaning out the spent ashes from the bottom of the Big Green Egg was a bit of a chore and required a proprietary ash tool (an additional purchase) to work the coals around the firebox, pushing the dust and ash through the holes at the bottom. Then, to remove them, you have to open the screen on the bottom vent and use the tool to rake the ashes into a bowl or bucket. It would have been nice if they automatically fell into a removable bucket.

Unlike most of the grills we tested, the Big Green Egg isn’t available at national chain stores. It’s available at most Ace Hardware stores, but other individual dealers also sell the Egg. Prices tend to vary by dealer, who may sell it as part of a package deal or a special. You can find a Big Green Egg dealer near you to get the price.

For residential (non-commercial) use, the Egg comes with a limited lifetime warranty for materials and workmanship on all of its ceramic components, including the dome, base, damper top, firebox, and fire ring. The warranty on Eggcessories varies from one to five years. Keep in mind you have to be the original owner and register each product.

Read More: The Best Kamado Grills

Pros

  • Very versatile

  • Very efficient

  • Great temperature control

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Slow to cool

  • Hard to clean

Best Gas Grill
Best Gas Grill
Weber Spirit II E-310

The Weber Spirit II E-310 may be the brand’s entry-level grill, but it didn’t act like a lesser product when it came to performance. It was our favorite grill to use on every test, producing perfect sear marks on burgers, evenly cooked chicken, and picture-perfect asparagus. It can’t hold quite as many burgers as our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310, but the 18 or so burgers that do fit will be cooked evenly to perfection.

This grill is proof that BTUs are not the end-all-be-all in grill choice. Its 30,000 BTUs (or, 71 per square inch) cranks out an impressive amount of heat—we created indirect heat by turning a single burner on high heat, then heating the grill to 300 degrees; and when we turned all the burners on low, it hit an impressive 400° F (which was 25 to 50 degrees hotter than some of the higher BTU grills we tested).

We also loved some of the aesthetic features, and the grill itself felt well put together and built to last. They really thought of everything with this grill: a side-mounted propane tank with a gas meter, sturdy side tables, and cooking grates that fit together perfectly. It was also one of the few grills that had hooks on the side for hanging your grilling tools, and the Weber lids were the only ones designed to vent smoke away from tunneling into your face. A bonus, this grill is also compatible with a iGrill3, which is a Bluetooth enabled thermometer that mounts permanently to the grill table and can send grilling alerts and data right to your smartphone. As compared to some of the other grills, the Weber was significantly easier to build, too. Although there were a lot of little parts to put together, the instruction manual was clear-cut and easy to understand.

The Weber Spirit II E-310 isn’t the cheapest grill on the market, but it’s absolutely worth the price. When you take all the factors into account—performance, ease of use, and aesthetic appearance—this grill was a no-brainer for our choice as Best Overall.

Read More: The Best Gas Grills

Pros

  • Cooks evenly and perfectly sears meat and veggies

  • Produces impressive heat for 30,000 BTUs

  • Sturdy, well-built design and features

Cons

  • Only holds about 18 burgers

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