We tested Oprah's favorite things of 2019—here's what's worth buying
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When it comes to life advice, there are few people we trust more than Oprah. So when we heard that she recently announced her favorite things of 2019, we had to check it out immediately.
And while we agree with most of her general picks—like a trendy pressure cooker, high-quality luggage, and must-have cookware—we don't necessarily agree with everything, based on what we've learned from hours of testing in our own labs. Here are 12 of the things from Oprah's list that are worth buying, along with our top recommendations for each.
1. A pressure cooker
Oprah's pick: Yedi Houseware Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker
Our pick: Instant Pot Ultra
Pressure cookers are having a moment this year—and for good reason. While Oprah likes one from Yedi, here at Reviewed, we're obsessed with the Instant Pot Ultra. It has 10 easy-to-use cook functions (including pressure cook, slow cook, and steam) along with a new high-tech display that shows the progress of your food. And according to Instant Pot, it can have your favorite dishes ready 70 percent faster than traditional cooking methods.
2. A smart speaker
Every home (and every person) could benefit from a smart speaker like the 2nd-Generation Amazon Echo, which is our experts' top pick for those of us who don't want a kids' model. It has the best sound quality of the ones we tested and also uses far-field voice recognition so Alexa can hear you even when you're in another room.
3. A suitcase
You've likely seen these recognizable hard-shelled suitcases all over Instagram. One of our writers put the trendy Away luggage to the test to find out if it's worth the hype. The verdict? Absolutely. Our writer says not only is the Away sleek and stylish but it's also incredibly durable and perfect for over-packers, with a spacious interior and powerful compression panel.
4. A cookware set
Oprah's pick: Hexclad Hybrid Nonstick Cookware
Our pick: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
Behind every good cook is an even better set of pots and pans. After testing all different sets—including the wildly popular All-Clad—our experts chose Cuisinart as the number one cookware of the year. Made of stainless steel, the Cuisinart pans conduct heat evenly to cook your food better (a.k.a it's not burnt on the outside and raw on the inside) and are very sturdy without being too heavy to handle.
5. A pair of wireless earbuds
If you haven't hopped on the AirPods bandwagon yet, we highly recommend you do. The iconic white earbuds may look a little ridiculous but their amazing sound quality, long battery life, and comfortable fit more than make up for it. They're also easy to pair (they connect automatically to any of your Apple devices) and have great range, which is why we'd pick them over the Powerbeats Pro any day.
6. A blender
We love Ninja's portable blender (the Ninja Fit), but when it comes to full-size blenders, we prefer this one from KitchenAid. With easy-to-use controls and dishwasher-safe parts, it performed exceptionally well at all of our chopping, mixing, and blending tests. Bonus: It also comes with a five-year warranty .
7. An espresso machine
A quality espresso machine allows you to make all those fancy coffee drinks at home. Of all the machines we tested, we found this Nespresso one to be the best. It offers a variety of brewing options and its attached frother makes a perfectly foam-topped cup of coffee every time. It's also very intuitive to use and was the only espresso machine we were able to operate without reading the manual.
8. A reusable water bottle
"I love drinking warm water," said no one ever. That's why so many people—including our own experts—swear by their Hydro Flask water bottles. When we tried one, it kept our water cold and our ice unmelted for over 24 hours. It comes in several color options (unlike the JewelChic, which only has two), and while it's stainless steel, it won't leave a funky flavor in your beverage and it's light enough to carry around comfortably.
9. An electric griddle
We agree with Oprah that an electric griddle is a great buy—but we'd choose this Hamilton Beach one. It has two reversible plates, so you can choose between a flat griddle and a ridged grill, which each have their own heat controls so you can cook multiple things at once. It also has a large surface area that's perfect for big-batch cooking and cooked our food evenly and uniformly.
10. A Bluetooth speaker
There's a lot that we love about this JBL portable speaker, like its incredible sound quality, durable exterior cover, and long battery life. Add to that the fact that it's waterproof and can connect to multiple Bluetooth sources at the same time? We're sold.
11. A makeup mirror
Beauty buffs rejoice! Lighted makeup mirrors are the solution to looking your best every day (no more trying to put on foundation in bad lighting, yikes). We chose the DeWeisen tri-fold one as the best makeup mirror of 2019 because it has touch-activated LED lights that mimic natural lighting along with three different magnification options. Plus, it folds up to the size of an iPad so you can easily store it when it's not in use, meaning it's larger and more versatile than the one Oprah picked.
12. A wireless charger
A dead phone? No one has time for that. Enter the Yootech X2, which is our current favorite wireless charger. At under $16, it's budget-friendly (and more more affordable than the Courant Catch) and charges devices quickly and efficiently. Another fun feature is its double charging coils, so you can charge your device in either landscape or portrait mode.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.