From the Scrub Daddy to the Squatty Potty, these are the products worth buying
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If I got paid to watch Shark Tank, I’d be a very rich woman—maybe even on par with Barbara, Kevin, Mark, Lori, Daymond, or Robert. It seems like the show is on every single night of the week. And if my husband and I can’t find something else to watch within five minutes, well, Shark Tank it is… again.
Though I’ve spent far too much of my life watching hopeful entrepreneurs walk into the shark tank and pitch their life’s work to money-hungry investors, I realized I’d never actually tried any of the products.
Just how genius are these genius inventions? I had to know, so I ordered 13(!) of the top-sellers, and put them to the test. These are the 8 Shark Tank products that are worth every penny:
I’d never struggled with body odor—until I had a baby. Postpartum B.O. is a real thing! I’ve always been a big fan of this deodorant by Fresh, but post-baby, it just wasn’t cutting it anymore. This all-natural charcoal deodorant was like a miracle worker. I was skeptical when I opened the jar and saw a clay-like gray cream, but sure enough, it turned clear after 3 to 5 seconds of rubbing. And the best part? I smelled pretty darn good—slightly minty, slightly herby—all day long.
If there’s a downside, it’s the consistency. It’s a little chalky, and it gets stuck under my nails during the application process. It turns out there’s a stick version—I’ll have to try that next time.
The verdict: I love that this deodorant is a great-smelling natural alternative. I’m a total convert, especially if the stick works as well as the cream does.
Like many items marketed to kids and babies, my first thought was, this cup is absolutely adorable. There’s a lot more than aesthetic to love about this cup, though. The weighted straw makes it extremely easy for babies as young as nine months to sip from it, because it keeps the straw anchored at the bottom of the cup at the right angle. It’s the first cup my nine-month-old ever drank out of, and he took to it instantly.
The downside? The second he turns the cup over—which he does frequently—it pours water out. Although it’s easier for him to drink from, it’s much messier than his Munchkin Mighty Grip Trainer Cup. We also tested the best sippy and transition cups, if neither work for your child.
The verdict: It’s a great product to help teach your child learn how to use a cup. Just be sure to limit the contents to water until your child is able to keep it more reliably upright. We now alternate between this cup and the other one we own, depending on what our son is drinking.
This thing happens when you own a home: projects build up, you finally find time to start them, then they live in a state of half-finished glory for weeks on end. (At least that’s what happens in my house.) We recently started repainting the spindles on the stairs, but when that tedious project was derailed by something more fun to do on a Saturday afternoon, we put the wet brush in the paint brush cover, which claims to do keep a used paint brush wet and in working order between uses. Two weeks later, it’s as wet as the day we put it in there.
The verdict: This product is amazing, considering the time it takes to wash and dry paint brushes between uses. I need a half-dozen more, stat!
This product claims gently exfoliate and moisturize—it’s even touted as a remedy for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. I have neither, but my skin does err on the dry side. There are formulas for body, foot, and face care, and I tried the facial option.
When I first opened this product, I wanted to close it right back up—it looked oily and messy. The directions told me to stir the mixture, but there was no spoon included, so I managed with a cotton swab. I dug into the mixture with my bare hands, and ended up with sugar all over the sink, but proceeded anyway.
After five solid minutes of scrubbing the sugar into my skin, what bothered me more than the sugar all over my sink was how raw my skin felt—this was supposed to be a gentle, moisturizing process!
Then came time to rinse. Any sugar remnants came off easily, but my face was like an oil slick—water beads ran right off of it. I gave up after a few minutes, and grabbed a towel. Once I got that slimy feeling off, I actually said wow out loud. My skin really had never felt so soft. The softness lasted all day, and I haven’t noticed any adverse effects like breakouts or excess oil.
The verdict: I wanted to hate this, but I kind of love it. I’ve used it frequently since that first experiment—I’ve just learned to apply it in the shower for a mess-free experience.
Who likes to spend money on something as mundane as socks? Certainly not me, which is why H&M has always been my go-to for inexpensive pairs. But then these glorious socks arrived in my mailbox. They claim to be soft, supportive, and moisture-wicking. Plus, with each pair purchased, a pair is donated to someone in need.
Bombas delivers on their promises: The socks are warm, but breathable; they are soft and springy, but don’t feel bulky in shoes; they are the best socks I have ever worn.
The only downside? I got a neon pink pair that stained a few items the first time I washed them. Note to self: Learn how to better separate clothing.
The verdict: I will never, ever buy another cheap pair of socks ever again. Bombas for life!
I spent every beach day this summer trying to restrict my son to one towel and begging him not to eat sand. On many occasions, my husband and I talked about how badly we needed a large mat to give him more space to play. I really could have used the Monkey Mat, a 5x5 water repellent mat that’s lightweight and folds up into a small pouch.
The pouch has a carabiner that clips onto my purse, and the mat itself is lightweight and easy to spread. Despite that, each corner of the mat features a small weight that keeps the blanket from blowing in the wind. I tried it on an exceptionally windy day—the mat didn’t go anywhere. I was most skeptical about whether I’d be able to get the mat back into the tiny pouch, but it couldn’t be simpler.
The verdict: Though it didn’t take long for my child to find his way to the edges of this blanket, too, it’s a fantastic solution for lounging outdoors. Plus, the fact that I don’t have to throw a bulky towel or blanket in the wash every time we play outside? That’s a huge win.
In the last month, I’ve managed to burn rice (maybe I need a rice cooker?!), hard-boiled eggs (I forgot about them and let all the water evaporate!), and homemade applesauce. Needless to stay, I need a good sponge that can tackle cooked-on grime. The Scrub Daddy promises to do just that.
It’s specially designed so that it’s soft in warm water (for more delicate jobs) and firm in cold water (for tougher jobs). The eyes and mouth are made to hug utensils and straws, and its round shape fits perfectly in glassware. And it’s dishwasher-safe, so you don’t end up with a grimey sponge on the ledge of your sink.
The verdict: I’m a believer! The sponge really does go from soft to firm, depending on the water temperature. I’ve used it on delicate wine glasses and heavy-duty pots, to equal success. It's no surprise it ranked well when we tested the best kitchen sponges. Though it has worn a bit and will eventually need to be replaced, we wash a lot of dishes—I’d expect nothing else.
I’d consider myself a Scrub Daddy convert—the texture is much more appealing than a regular sponge. It’s easier to wring out any water, so the sponge doesn’t feel grimey, even after tackling dirty jobs.
There’s something supremely frustrating about your child throwing their entire dinner on the ground. This mat suctions to tables and high chair tables to help keep food where it belongs—on the plate. It also has three little compartments to help you portion out and separate food (picky toddlers do not like food to touch!).
The verdict: For the most part, it works. Rather than dish out small servings of food at a time, I can put my child’s entire meal down on his high chair. But it’s not foolproof: If he pulls hard enough, the mat eventually makes it to the edge of the table or high chair and onto the ground. I think of it as a way to delay the inevitable. (And I’ll gladly take those few extra minutes.)
These five products simply aren't worth the money. They ranged from vaguely nonsensical to downright infuriating—spend your hard-earned cash elsewhere!
I’m a big fan of kitchen hacks, but I’m generally not a fan of superfluous kitchen tools. I have a small kitchen, and can make do with just the essentials. So while I thought this clever brownie tray fulfilled its promise—to give every serving that crisp exterior you get from corner pieces—I just didn’t feel like I couldn’t live without it.
The verdict: Probably skip it. While there was certainly more crust on each piece, it wasn't significant enough to warrant buying this pan. Plus, a standard brownie recipe doesn't produce enough batter to adequately fill all the nooks and crannies. Because of this, trying to even out the batter made filling the pan was tedious, and I ended up with very thin brownies—and I'm not willing to make a double batch.
Moral of the story? I’m perfectly happy with my more-versatile square cake pan. (Bonus: It’s easier to clean, too.)
I have a confession to make: I’m burying this one in the middle of the list, because well, this one takes me out of my comfort zone. I’ve never had any bathroom issues, so I was skeptical: Do I really need this plastic stool that claims to make it easier to go No. 2 in my bathroom?
The verdict: I can go just as well with a Squatty Potty as I can without one, so I’ll pass. For me, the best part of the Squatty Potty is the entertainment factor you get from watching their bizarre promotional videos. It does have rave reviews on Amazon: 4.2k and an average 4.3 star rating—so maybe there's something to it after all. If you’re a bit backed up? Well, I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself.
In rental units and college dorm rooms, there’s a definite need for a product that can help you hang artwork without drilling holes in the walls. Enter GoodHangups. The idea is simple: You place a sticker with a small magnet in it on the wall (brick, drywall, you name it), place a poster or a picture over it, and secure with tiny silver magnets.
The verdict: It does work, but not the way I wanted it to. The magnets aren’t strong enough to support more than an unframed photograph or poster, so it doesn’t appeal to me: I’m at a stage where having a cohesive, finished look is more important than not making holes in the walls. (Plus, you can almost always patch those small holes.) I also didn’t like that the magnets sit over the wall hanging—why not just use a Command Strip?
This summer, I nearly lost my favorite sunglasses in the ocean every time we visited the beach. When I bend over, they slide right down and off the bridge of my nose. Nerdwax, a sticky substance you put on the nose pads, promises to keep your specs firmly planted on your face.
The verdict: The lip balm-like tube is a great idea—it’s certainly convenient—but it made it difficult to apply. The space between my nose pads is simply too small to get the right angle. And while my glasses did stay put initially, they began to slide down within 30 seconds. It’s a Band-Aid for a problem better fixed by getting your glasses properly fitted and tightened regularly.
Going from damp hair to bouncy, beautiful curls sounds like a total dream come true, but that’s what the Sleep Styler promises, which several soft, microfiber curlers you sleep in. On my first try, I couldn't even figure out how to get them in, despite watching numerous tutorials. I tried again a week later, and I successfully got them all in. I thought, wow, maybe this will work after all!
Then I went to bed. The packaging says wearing these soft curlers is like sleeping on a cloud, but I beg to differ. They feel lumpy and force your head to the side. I decided there was no way I was sleeping that way. With a 10-month-old who still wakes up throughout the night, my sleep is too precious to be that uncomfortable.
The verdict: I wanted to throw these away as soon as possible.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.