The 13 best things our editors bought in 2020
Between coping with the pandemic and working from home, we needed these things.
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At the beginning of the year, we all had "2020 vision." But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, we switched gears to entertain ourselves in quarantine and adjust to a new lifestyle of working from home. That means the editors at Reviewed purchased a few things to get through these trying times.
Below, you'll find 13 of our editors' absolute favorite things they've bought in 2020, from a tea kettle that made our homes cozier to fitness equipment that made working out at home easier.
1. A super powerful vacuum
"Unsurprisingly, the game-changing purchase I made is my Dyson V10. I'm germaphobic so I clean my floor regularly, but dragging a vacuum around my house was painful and honestly, I didn't like its performance at all (our old vacuum cleaner is from Miele). Not only does the Dyson feel much lighter and more powerful, but it also comes with attachments that allow me to clean my beddings, couch, and other areas that a traditional vacuum cleaner couldn't reach. It's a 10/10 experience." — Valerie Li Stack, Kitchen and Cooking Writer
2. A comfy loungewear set
"As soon as I started working from home regularly, I realized that wearing the same clothing all day and night was not ideal. Leggings used to be my nighttime attire, but now I wore them during the workday (what are jeans? I don’t know her anymore). I needed nightclothes. In my quest to find pajamas and loungewear, I ordered Lou and Grey’s crazy popular sweatpants and sweatshirt combo—and found it to be the most comfortable (and reasonably priced, as I got it on sale) apparel items I have ever owned, even after tons of washes. If 2020 gave me one thing, I’m glad it was Lou & Grey loungewear." — Samantha Matt, Shopping Director
- Get Lou & Grey Signature Softblend Sweatshirt at Loft for $69.50
- Get Lou & Grey Signature Softblend Sweatpants at Loft for $69.50
3. A well-used pepper grinder
"There’s just no faking the taste of freshly ground pepper. For years, I’ve settled for pre-ground tins of black pepper, but this year I decided it was time to graduate to the big leagues. The Hay Snowden Salt and Pepper Grinder is extremely easy to fill—literally, just lift the lid off—and holds enough pepper to keep your food seasoned for months (I’ve had it since October and still haven’t had to refill). Plus, it looks gorgeous on my countertop. For pepper to fill it with, I’d recommend the Anraya Pepper from Diaspora Co." — Madison Trapkin, Kitchen and Cooking Editor
4. An exercise bike for at-home workouts
"As a mom of two, I struggled with finding time to get to the gym even before the pandemic. When COVID hit, my friends all bought Peloton bikes, but I was on the lookout for a more budget-friendly connected fitness bike. My research led me to the Schwinn iC4, and it's been life-changing several months. Not only have I lost 15 pounds, but it's also motivated me to try other workouts like running and strength training classes within the Peloton app that I wouldn't be doing otherwise. Most importantly, at the end of a long day living in quarantine with my family, hopping on the bike is one of the best ways I've found to reduce my stress levels and calm my anxious mind. — Rachel Murphy, Smart Home Writer
5. A laptop stand for an ergonomic workspace
"I needed to give my work-from-home set up a bit of a revamp. My neck was hurting from always looking down when my laptop sat on my desk. This stand allows for better posture and it's very sturdy, so I'm not adjusting and messing with it all day. I also love that I can put my laptop on any surface and not worry about it overheating. This is great for propping your laptop up in bed or working on the couch with the laptop in your lap. It's the best thing I've purchased during this crazy year." — Jessica Kasparian, Lifestyle Writer
6. A fashionable electric kettle
"I could not have imagined getting through 2020 without my trusty Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle. I received it as a gift at Christmas and immediately fell in love with how quickly I could boil water for my morning tea—and how beautiful the matte finish looked on my counter. Once I started working from home full time, using it became the most routine part of my day. It's programmed to my perfect temperature so with literally one push of a button, I have piping hot water, enough for two large mugs. The kettle stays warm for an hour so I don't need to worry if I forget to pour. Plus, the ergonomic handle makes it easy to manage the slow pour-over water flow without putting any awkward strain on my wrist. It may not have earned the very top spot on our list of the best electric kettles, it's been my number one essential this year. — Meghan Kavanaugh, Managing Editor, Core Content
"Honestly, a subscription to Disney+. It has kept us sane this year during quarantine, offering family-friendly entertainment that isn't mind-numbing (sorry, YouTube). The streaming service's programming extends way beyond "Frozen" and classic Mickey Mouse shorts; in fact, there are so many things that appeal to both kids and adults. My 8-year-old daughter loves to watch Disney Nature docs about penguins, elephants, dolphins, African cats—you name it. We've introduced her to Gordon Ramsey—minus most of the swearing—and the foods of different world cultures in "Gordon Ramsay Uncharted." And, we've toured Petra and learned about King Tut among other topics in National Geographic specials ("Petra: Secrets of the Ancient Builders" and "Tut's Treasures: Hidden Secrets," respectively.) Increased screen time has been unavoidable over the last months, but Disney+ offers plenty of options that can capture the interest of a kid and be educational, too." — Leigh Harrington, Senior Editor, Home
8. A popular handheld gaming console
"I got my Switch in April because I wanted to play Animal Crossing, my second favorite purchase of 2020. I went with a Switch Lite because all Switches were sold out, but I'm so happy I went with the Lite. I sunk about 100 hours in Animal Crossing on my Switch this summer, and being able to play on a handheld device meant my partner got to play his video games while I played my own. It was literally a quarantine lifesaver, especially since I got to hang out with my friends virtually." — Kate Ellsworth, Managing Editor Partner Content
9. An at-home workout system
"Pre-pandemic, I had a fairly robust yoga practice (one of the benefits of having a studio in the commercial space of your apartment building). When we went into quarantine, I signed up for their virtual classes, but discovered that the trip downstairs was a major motivator for me. Rolling out my mat in the living room didn't have the same sense of urgency that attending an in-studio class three flights down did.
While I love yoga, it just wasn't enough for my fitness goals. I wanted to incorporate more strength training. When I got served ads on Instagram for the Flobody gym, I was intrigued. It's a fitness mat with a detachable tube at the end for resistance bands and weights. Essentially, it's almost a pilates reformer, but for apartment dwellers and other folks with little room to work out. I decided it was worth trying out for a month the $139 price tag, which is less than I would've spent in a month for boutique classes in The Before Times. This is truly the first time working out has been genuinely FUN instead of relaxing, strengthening, etc. Those benefits are still there, but I genuinely look forward to getting on the mat every day." — Heather Muse, Audience Development Director
10. An inflatable hot tub
"This inflatable hot tub is instant bliss and excellent for stress relief. Upkeep is minimal once you get the chemicals, though you do have to change the filters regularly. I've had a few quirks with the heater/pump, but overall this has been one of the best things I have ever bought and among the most COVID-y purchases you could make, in all the best ways." — Ryan Waniata, Managing Editor, Electronics
11. A comfortable, new couch
"Honestly, the best thing I've bought was a new couch! I was so sick of our gross old couches, and they were making me even more depressed than COVID life did. Plus, with all of us at home all of the time, I wanted a couch that we could all fit on to watch TV and movies. I also like that the chaise is reversible so it can be on either the left or the right side. It's the first piece of furniture we've ever bought new!" — Anna Lane, Parenting Editor
12. A cold brew iced coffee maker
"At Reviewed, we found this cold brew maker to be our absolute favorite after testing many on the market. I finally bought one this year and it has changed my life. I'm that New Englander that is always drinking cold coffee even if there's a blizzard outside. Now I can finally drink all the cold brew that I want without spending tons of money at Dunkin or Starbucks. I'm so obsessed I even bought one for my house, my boyfriend's house, and my parents' house so I'm never without it." — Rachel Moskowitz, Senior Manager, Audience Development
13. A pepper grinder that does all the work
"By far one of my new favorite items for the kitchen is this electric salt and pepper grinder. The grinder is super easy to set-up—just load up your favorite peppercorns or coarse salt into the vessel, add batteries, and you're ready to go. To add fresh salt or pepper to your dish, just flip the grinder upside down and the machine will light up, beginning to dash finely ground seasoning out of the spout. I can confidently say I've added more salt and pepper than necessary to many meals just because of how fun and satisfying this gizmo is. It's such a simple pleasure, but those are the best kinds of things to keep you sane in 2020. I've had this for almost two months and have had no issues thus far, so I'd say it's pretty reliable for the price point." — Felicity Warner, Home Staff Writer
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.