In 2023, AT editors tested just about every home essential there is: mattresses, vacuums, laundry baskets, air purifiers, sheets, and so much more. We also tried a bunch of pet cameras, from compact models to high-tech treat-tossing versions, tested a variety of cosmetic organizers that help to streamline bathrooms and vanities while you get ready, and slept on nearly every type of pillow in search of a good fit for all kinds of sleepers. Each one of our team members lent at least a hand to put as much to the test as we could across a range of home products and brands to find the best of the best. From comforters to dish drying racks, we found the ultimate items worth snagging so that you can cut your own research short and get right back to enjoying your space.
We’ve detailed exactly what to look out for when shopping for these products, showed you our methods, and offered winners in multiple categories, from the best overall to the best budget-friendly. While we’ll be testing some slightly different categories in 2024, we know you’ll find many solutions for your needs below. Without further ado, read on to discover the best home essentials we tried in 2023.
The Best Home Essentials of 2023
Best of Decor, Office, and Travel
Best of Tools & Small Appliances
If you’re looking for a truly well-rounded towel, look no further than the Havly Classic Bath Towel. This “perfectly sized” towel is also woven with patent-pending Wünderweave cotton that’s ⅓ quick-drying for the body and ⅔ plush for your face and hair. “The size of this towel is what makes it great,” says AT contributor Madeline. “It falls between a bath towel and a bath sheet — and it’s perfect. I also love the rainbow loop for hanging it on the back of my bathroom door. They’re two qualities you don’t find in your everyday towel, making it really special.” The bleach-proof, reinforced loop also comes in a variety of colors and designs.
Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer a larger towel; those who prefer spa-quality towels; those who prefer a loop to easily hang and organize their towels.
Good to Know: As a more sustainable alternative to dryer sheets, Havly recommends using wool dryer balls instead.
Our best overall shower caddy was unfortunately discontinued earlier this year, but the best budget-friendly find makes an excellent substitute. If you have a tricky showerhead, you most likely won’t want to hang anything from it. Instead of reinventing the wheel here, the S&T INC. Shower Organizer was designed to hang with your shower curtain on the same rod. It also only takes seconds to install! The organizer may be a simplistic design with mesh detailing as the main material, but it does the job quite well. With seven pockets, you’ll be able to keep everything you need perfectly organized. Did we mention it’s also under $15?
“This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for!” says shopping editor Blair. “I got a new shower head a few months ago and my old hanging caddy didn’t fit anymore. I didn’t want to get shelves because they’d probably fall. Plus, my shower is very weirdly shaped like an L, so I have to have two shower curtains, which eliminates a lot of storage opportunities anyway. This mesh organizer has three holes designed to fit into your shower curtain rods, and you can’t see it from the outside of the shower at all. It essentially blends right in with my curtain liner and barely takes up any room at all, even filled with all my products. I like that it has individual pockets, too — it’s way more organized than any shower accessory I’ve ever owned. Even if you install two side-by-side, they don’t get in the way when you’re actually showering. 10/10!”
Who It’s Best For: Those with limited wall space or no shelving; those who cannot hang a caddy from their shower head.
Good to Know: If you only need a single organizer, this one is also sold individually.
The Quiet Town Sun Shower Curtain is a favorite among TikTokers, thanks to the way it transforms showers — especially those with windows — into gorgeous, glowing bathing oases. The thick, EVA curtain is waterproof, making it a great liner, too. That said, thanks to the more than a dozen colors it’s sold in, many owners prefer to let it shine on its own.
“I love the look of this shower curtain … it makes my bathroom feel so much bigger,” says AT associate social media director, Rachel. “Also the grommets are so stylish and durable.” Her only complaint about the beloved curtain is that it accumulates water spots quickly, which she found very hard to fully remove. According to the brand, the trick to keeping your Sun Shower Curtain looking its best is to wipe it clean with a spray cleaner at the first sign of soapy residue buildup. Another thing to keep in mind? If you have a dark bathroom, the color of your Sun Shower Curtain might not look as saturated IRL — it all depends on lighting.
Who It’s Best For: Anyone in the market for a high-quality shower liner; those who prefer clear shower curtains and fun colors. (The Lime Sun Shower Curtain is an absolute vibe.)
Good to Know: Because this curtain is made of EVA, it can’t be washed in a washing machine, as high heat will melt it.
The importance of convenience can never be overstated, which is a big reason why the N&Y HOME Waffle Weave Shower Curtain with Snap-In Liner is at the top of our list for shower curtain liners. There are few things more annoying than removing a shower curtain liner out of the individual hooks on your curtain rod, so the fact that this N&Y Home liner features a snap-off liner is cause for a huge sigh of relief. “I was so impressed with this shower curtain and liner combo because of how smart and stylish it is!” says Best List editor Britt. “It’s so convenient to have an all-in-one piece that helps to make cleaning the shower curtain liner less of a chore.” The liner is also machine washable, furthering the ease of keeping your liner nice and clean.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for an easy-to-clean liner; those who prefer fabric liners
Good to Know: With the exception of black, grey, linen, and navy, all of the snap-on liners for this shower curtain are white.
According to AT senior commerce editor Alicia, a former beauty writer, the Syntus 360 Rotating Makeup Organizer is the most impressive makeup organizer she’s ever owned. The rotating plastic organizer ships flat and can be customized to create sections that serve the user’s specific needs. “I have a lot of tall toners that often can’t fit in makeup organizers, so I strategically made two taller sections to accommodate them,” Alicia says. While the plastic organizer was a bit unsteady with nothing on it, as soon as Alicia loaded it with her toners and other skin-care and makeup goodies, it functioned steadily.
Beyond its ability to hold a shocking number of products (she fit three cases of makeup and skincare onto it), Alicia is a fan of how simple it is to manage. “The plastic material is easy to wipe down if there are any spills,” she says. “It’s collapsible, so when it comes time to inevitably move to the next apartment, it’ll be easy to pack.”
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for shockingly spacious vertical storage.
Good to Know: “The only downside is that it can’t fit large eyeshadow palettes,” Alicia says.
The Best of Cleaning in 2023
The Shark Cordless Detect Pro blew us away during testing. What makes this machine stand out is its portability, convenience, and overall effectiveness. It comes with a charging port that not only ensures it’s always fully amped for your next cleaning sesh but also totally empty. That’s one of the wow-factors of this vacuum: While it can hold up to 30 days’ worth of dirt and debris, it self-empties while docked, so you never have to worry about an overflowing canister. Additionally, with HEPA filtration and an anti-allergen complete seal, you can rest assured that the Shark Cordless Detect Pro keeps your floors and the air around you clean.
Other things we love? In addition to a self-emptying canister, the Shark Cordless Detect Pro has a self-cleaning brush roll, so the machine stays effective in its cleaning. (If you’ve ever dealt with a knotted-up brush, you know how major this is.) And, best of all, it promises up to 60 minutes of run time in ECO mode, so you can clean your home without having to constantly recharge.
“The Shark Detect Pro is a definite upgrade from the last Shark self-emptying vacuum I’ve used (and also loved!),” says Britt. “What I really love about this model is that it has a tall dock that takes up less space, so it’s easier to fit in narrow areas of my home. The vacuum is so much quieter than I expected it to be and has done a great job picking up pet hair from my two dogs.”
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a powerful cordless vacuum that’s easy to maneuver and even easier to charge and clean.
Good to Know: Since this is a cordless vacuum — albeit a powerful one — it’s best used on low-pile carpet and hard floors for best results.
*Honorable Mention: Our runner-up is another of Shark’s impressive vacuums: The Cordless Pro Vacuum, which touts a portable design, odor-neutralizer technology, true HEPA filtration, and powerful suction that works well on low-pile carpet and hard floors. The reason it didn’t earn the top spot in our review, though, is because it only offers a 40-minute run time and, as AT commerce editorial assistant Morgan points out, “It needs to be propped up against the wall when it isn’t in use,” as it doesn’t stand on its own or have a docking station. Instead, it has a removable battery that can be charged anywhere in your home. While the brand likely thought this was more convenient, it actually can put the vacuum at risk of falling over and getting damaged. Still, if you have somewhere to store it and like the idea of not having to hang a dock, you might just love this machine.
The Shark HZ702 Ultra-Light Pet Pro Corded Stick Vacuum came out on top of our list of the best vacuums for pet hair, thanks to its stellar suction; easy-to-maneuver, lightweight silhouette; and convenient attachments. “I wasn’t expecting such a lightweight vacuum to pack such a powerful punch, but one pass of my couch picked up so much pet hair. Like embarrassing, is-my-couch-a-shade-lighter-now? amounts,” says AT Creative Studio senior writer, Courtney. “It’s so much easier to use on my staircase runner than my bulky vacuum. It’s so small and easy that I vacuum more often, too, which is a bonus!” Plus, it has an odor-neutralizing HEPA filter, so it helps take care of pet smells and dander, too.
“This thing is small and mighty,” Courtney adds. Weighing just under 10 pounds, this Shark vacuum feels almost too light, which may require some getting used to. “My only quibble is that it’s so lightweight that it can be a little unwieldy to maneuver, but I got used to it,” Courtney says. “And I’ll take that for the ease of carting it up and down my stairs. Such a great addition to my routine.”
Who It’s Best For: Anyone in need of high suction to clean up excess shedding.
Good to Know: Because it’s corded, you will have to change outlets to get through every room in your home, which can slow down the cleaning process.
There’s nothing so convenient as a handheld vacuum. Alicia loves the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX vacuum particularly because her dusty, 1970s-constructed Brooklyn apartment was no match to its power. “I was shocked at how powerful the suction on this vacuum is,” she says. “I just hovered it over my dusty floorboard heater and the dust disappeared. I didn’t even need to make direct contact with the surface. It honestly seems more powerful than my stick vacuum.”
Alicia adds that this little guy is super compact and light, which makes it really easy to store, regardless of the size of your space. “I can easily store it in one of my kitchen cabinets and hide it out of sight,” she says. “It comes with a small charging station that is 4″-5″ long and wide, so it’s also easy to stash away.”
Who It’s Best For: Someone with a small living space and lots of hard-to-reach spaces.
Good to Know: It has an expandable crevice tool, which is great for cleaning crumbs out of couch cushions or other tricky spots.
Our pick for the best overall steam mop is simple to use, highly effective, durable, and affordable: Meet the Shark Genius Pocket Mop. Before AT contributor Erin found this gem, grease from her stove and New York City dust coming in through the window made her whole space feel dirty nearly all the time. But ever since her grandmother gifted her the Shark Genius, Erin has been able to keep her apartment feeling and looking clean. “I’ve found this helpful in my kitchen to get up food stains, clear out corners, and even clean my grout.” Erin says. “I can honestly say I look forward to cleaning my floors now with how simple this steam mop is to use, from set-up to clean-up.”
With the Shark Genius Pocket Mop, getting to work is as easy as locking the cleaning pad onto the mop head, filling the water tank (using the included pouring tool), plugging it in, and turning it on. “I was surprised that the mop was instantly ready after filling with water and turning it on, as other mops I’ve tried sometimes required heating up,” says Erin. You can switch between three modes that apply different amounts of steam, and for truly stubborn stains, the Steam Blaster feature releases a targeted burst of steam directly where you want it.
As for the mop’s effectiveness, Erin says “the pads are large and thick, capable of collecting a ton of dirt and grime.” When you’re done cleaning, just release the dirty pad from the mop head, toss it in the dishwasher, and tuck the rest of the system away for storage.
Whom It’s Best For: Those who can never seem to get their floors truly clean.
Good to Know: This winner comes with a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Brabantia makes some of the most modern and elegantly designed laundry bins (among other things!). While the brand’s classic Bo Laundry Bin is also a champ, their cork-lidded model comes out on top for its ergonomic shape, ventilation, soft cork entry barrier, and clean look. While it’s not the cheapest on the list, it’s certainly not the most expensive either. But the price is justified the moment this bin is unboxed and its supremely high-quality construction is revealed. Assembly also takes all of two minutes, and the included machine-washable cotton liner actually fits and sticks around the perimeter of the bin, thanks to its non-skid top. The bin’s bottom is also non-skid, adding a safety anchor that is especially necessary if you’ve got little ones at home.
The cork top has multiple benefits: For starters, it helps the bin to contain smells like coffee spilled on sheets and wine… also spilled on sheets (if you’re new here, this is a safe space). In AT contributor Kendall’s tiny 8′ x 10′ room, no odors were detected at all. The cork also acts as a kind of funnel, allowing you to safely toss or drop in laundry piece by piece, so there’s room for airflow and nothing gets shoved into any wrinkly positions. Lastly, against the black base, the cork adds a touch of Scandi charm. If you’re looking for a bin that does it all and looks good doing it, Brabantia is it.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something sturdy and non-corrosive; those who want a hamper everyone can use for all linens; those who want something ventilated.
Good to Know: This could also be our best pick if you prefer to keep your hamper in the bathroom, as it won’t mold, rust, or mildew over time.
The eco-friendly Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover Laundry Spray is at the top of our list when it comes to stain removers. The spray doesn’t have added bleach, chlorine, or phosphates, and yet it still manages to obliterate any stain that comes its way. Just spray a small amount directly onto your stain, wait anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes, and then pop in the washing machine for best results. This non-toxic and biodegradable formula targets so many different types of blemishes, such as oil, paint, blood, pet stains, grease, makeup, grass, clay, inks, tar, coffee, rust, fabric bleed, and more.
Sarah, our commerce SEO editor, agrees: “I absolutely adore Grandma’s Spot Remover Laundry Spray! I first put this spray to the test on the stain of all stains — turmeric. I had little faith that I was going to be able to get such a notoriously stubborn stainmaker out of my favorite white blouse, but alas, a couple sprays, some patience, and a wash later, and my shirt was good as new!”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a single stain remover for everything; those who prefer eco-friendly sprays.
Good to Know: This spot remover is also available as a two-ounce dropper that’s perfect for travel or trying out the formula before you commit to the spray.
The Dash SmartStore dish rack checks all the boxes: functional, easy to assemble, and totally stylish. It lives up to its name, as the rack has room enough for dishes, cups, cutting boards, and more. It even has an off-to-the-side rack for bottles and fragile wine glasses. Britt loves hers because it prevents dishes from becoming piled on top of each other. “It’s best for those who have a lot of counter space to work with since it’s so big, but it can store a lot of dishes,” she says. “It looks neat and organized, which is all I want for my kitchen.” You’ll also be happy to find that this family-friendly rack has extra high slots in its utensil holder to keep fingers safe from sharp chef’s knives.
Have you struggled with drainage in the past? This dish rack has a removable drying mat underneath its main surface, as well as a drainage spout that adjusts to three different positions, allowing you to choose which side you want it to face. The narrow spout ushers all excess water directly into your sink. The tray can also be removed for cleaning. The whole thing isn’t the most lightweight options you’ll find, but it’s certainly one of the sturdiest.
Who It’s Best For: Those who live with two or more people; those who regularly hand-wash their dishes.
Good to Know: It can safely hold up to 40 lbs. of dishware.
At first glance, the Yamazaki Tower Airtight Rolling Trash Can looks like your typical rectangular trash can, but it’s actually a rolling receptacle. Designed with hidden casters, it can sit off in the corner or be rolled over to wherever you are, all while maintaining its minimalist allure. “This trash can is beyond impressive,” says AT’s executive lifestyle director, Charli. “It’s super sleek and blends in seamlessly with any decor, and it’s compact and small enough to fit under a kitchen sink but also holds a good amount of trash before you need to change the bag.”
Best of all, the airtight lid ensures the can will keep odors in and critters out. “The airtight lid helps me sleep well at night knowing that pests won’t stand a chance getting inside,” Charli admits.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a sleek, minimalist trash can that can be tucked away and rolled out when necessary.
Good to Know: This trash can doesn’t come with a hands-free lid mechanism.
The Best Bedding Essentials of 2023
Earning high scores on major features like pressure relief, reduced motion transfer, and cooling, it’s no wonder The Chill Mattress from Cocoon by Sealy is our Best Overall mattress winner. The Chill Mattress is constructed out of a combination Perfect Fit memory foam and fabric-encased coils, which provides back and hip support and relieves pressure points. The mattress also has Quantum Edge support, which allows you to use every inch of the mattress rather than rolling to the middle, and responsive coils, which help isolate motion. This pick is especially great for couples for that reason. And if all of that wasn’t enough, this memory foam mattress is cooling. The words “memory foam” and “cooling” usually don’t end up in the same sentence, but this is called The Chill Mattress for a reason — the coil design also promotes airflow and the top of the mattress has a built-in cooling cover that’ll keep you comfortable even during the summer months. Plus, it’s the perfect small space pick because it’s shipped in a box. You won’t have to channel Ross in “Friends” and worry about pivoting this mattress around any tight corners on staircases.
“This is the first boxed mattress I’ve ever tried and, to be honest, I was skeptical about it,” says AT sales research & consumer insights associate director Marisa. “But it’s become my preferred mattress over the one I had previously. It’s extremely comfortable, doesn’t move or bounce when your partner gets out of bed/moves around, and is very light/easy to move.” Assembly is easy too: All you need to do is unwrap it out of the box and let it unroll.
Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep hot; those who share a bed; those looking for pressure point relief.
Good to Know: The mattress is compatible with power bases, flat foundations, and platform beds. However, it’s not compatible with box springs or being placed on the floor.
If you need a layer of security to shield your mattress from anything that might damage it — like water, stains, and dust mites — a good-quality mattress protector is where it’s at. They get a bad rep for being uncomfortable and noisy, but not all mattress protectors are the same. Our top choice of the year is the Saatva Waterproof Mattress Protector, a find that’s great for hot sleepers and those who need complete silence to get much-needed rest.
Charli tested this model and noted that it was “super quiet underneath our fitted sheet and very breathable and easy to wash — win, win!” This is likely due to the super thin polyurethane material that protects against liquids but allows airflow at the same time. What’s more, this mattress protector comes in a wide variety of size options, is finished off with a comfortable cotton lining, and has an elastic band that keeps it fitted and shaped to whatever mattress you have. “I think the price point is excellent for the quality of this mattress pad,” Charli says. “I highly recommend it!”
Who It’s Best For: Those who are sensitive sleepers; those with pets and/or children; those looking for a quiet mattress protector.
Good to Know: Micro-perforations in this mattress protector help air flow through it and increase breathability.
As far as pillows go, the Sijo Fluffbase Eucalyptus Pillow really does tick all the boxes for any type of sleeper. Its eucalyptus down alternative material promises cloud-like sleeping conditions, and ensures you’ll have a cool and dry sleep all night long. “It caught me by surprise how well I slept with this pillow!” says Britt. “It’s soft but not too soft, so it provides great support whether I’m on my back, stomach, or side. It also stays cool, which is fantastic for me as a hot sleeper, especially since I’ve been using it during some of the hottest days of the year.”
The super breathable eucalyptus materials also boast natural antibacterial properties, and Sijo goes the extra mile by adding a silver-ion antimicrobial treatment to reduce the spread of fungus and bacteria on top of it. The Fluffbase Pillow is available in two sizes and two levels of support so you can pick your preference. It’s also moisture-wicking to keep the night sweats away.
Who It’s Best For: Hot sleepers; those who want a down-like feel without the feathers.
Good to Know: The materials for all Sijo pillows are sustainably produced.
A popular pick for side sleepers, the Indulgence by Isotonic Side Sleeper Pillow offers a cushy feel while also giving quality support. It’s also a great option to provide in a guest bedroom or take with you while traveling. The pillow comes with a removable cover, and usually, that means only the cover is washable. However, that’s not the case for the Isotonic Side Sleeper Pillow — both pillow and cover can be thrown into the washing machine for convenience without compromising their luxurious feel. Many reviewers report that they’ve repurchased these pillows time and time again just because of how much they love them!
“I am prone to a painful neck if sleeping with pillows that are too firm or too flat, but this pillow is at the perfect intersection of puffy and supportive that has led to many lovely nights of slumber,” says AT social media manager Sam. “It’s also held up its shape over many nights, which was great since many don’t.” The pillow easily fluffs right back up after a night of sleep, so it will feel brand new each time you crawl into bed.
Who It’s Best For: Those who need extra neck and shoulder support but don’t want a firm, high-density option.
Good to Know: Macy’s has an extended holiday season return window for those who want to give these pillows as gifts.
The dual-sided TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow combines the benefits of two pillow types into one product. One side of this Best List winner is slightly arched to appeal to back sleepers, while the other is flatter for those who sleep on their sides and stomachs. “This pillow is a hybrid sleeper’s dream!” says Charli. “I’m a side sleeper who often winds up on my back in the middle of the night. I love that I can flip it over to meet whichever need I have.”
Made from adaptive TEMPUR Material foam, the TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow is specially designed to relieve pressure and adapt to your specific shape the more you use it. “I have a lot of neck pain at night and this pillow made me forget that was even a thing,” Charli says. It even comes with a hypoallergenic polyester cover that’s easy to remove and throw into the washing machine.
Who It’s Best For: Back and hybrid sleepers who want a pillow that’s incredibly supportive.
Good to Know: This pillow ranks as “soft” on TEMPUR-Pedic’s firmness scale.
The Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow is beloved by hundreds of shoppers for its breathable design that’s sold in two sizes, as well as two profile options. Where low profiles are ideal for back and stomach sleepers, the brand says that high profiles work well for side sleepers, as the denser pillow helps to better fill the space between the shoulder, neck, and head. “My husband is a hot sleeper who sweats sometimes at night from his hairline,” Charli says. “He says there was a noticeable difference in his comfort here and credits that to the breathability of this pillow. He also snores a ton less when sleeping on his back (even during allergy season), so it’s providing the necessary height/support he needs to breathe and sleep more peacefully.”
In addition to the customizable nature of the Brooklyn Bedding Pillow (as opposed to only having one standalone option to choose from), this memory foam pillow is made with antimicrobial, allergen-resistant materials, so it’s less likely to cause any sort of adverse reaction. Lastly, the pillow comes with a removable knit cover that’s both cooling and easy to clean.
Who It’s Best For: Hot sleepers of all support preferences.
Good to Know: Because this pillow’s cover is very smooth, there’s a chance your pillowcase could slide off easily. If this happens, try a pillowcase with an envelope or zipper closure.
This one is the best for a reason: It makes you feel like royalty. Britt experienced that first-hand: “The pillowcase arrived rolled in a little box that made it feel special before I even opened it. The long-staple mulberry silk was so shiny and buttery smooth that it slipped right between my fingers, a good sign for how it would affect my hair — I couldn’t wait to start using it.”
And it just got better from there. Britt says the pillowcase left her hair and skin looking perfect. “I’m a stomach sleeper, so I know all about waking with pillowcase wrinkles on your face,” she adds. “With Brooklinen’s silk pillowcase, there’s no stiffness or resistance to cause bunching. As a result, I wake up with my skin as smooth as it was when I went to bed the night before.”
The biggest pro might be the way this pillow feels. “I’m a hot sleeper, too, and this pillowcase helped me stay cool,” Britt says. “I usually flip my pillows throughout the night for some relief, so it was so nice to sleep on something super soft that doesn’t trap heat.”
Who It’s Best For: Someone who sleeps hot and wants to feel good from the second they open the box.
Good to Know: You can also purchase Brooklinen’s Mulberry Silk Pillowcase as a bundle, which includes a silk eye mask so you can really catch those Zzzs. Scrunchies and a solo eye mask are also available.
When it comes to finding the perfect sleep mask, you ideally want a layer that’s soft and comfortable to wear in a range of sleeping positions. It’s even better if the mask can successfully block out intruding light. Fortunately, Drowsy Sleep Co.’s Silk Sleep Mask ticks all the boxes and then some. The magic lies in its clever “nose wing” design, which effectively shields you from any light that could potentially come from the mask’s nose opening. Thanks to its adjustable closure, cloud-like padding, and smooth mulberry silk fabric, you can sleep well knowing your skin and hair are protected. Its wide strap helps to keep the mask from slipping, which means you can sleep uninterrupted and wake up feeling refreshed.
“I slept very well when I used this product on a plane,” says Angel, our tester. “It’s so soft and definitely also helped me when I had a migraine to block out the light and slight sound and fall asleep. This mask is so good compared to many others I have used!” She adds that it’s also a good choice for those with long eyelashes since “some masks can be super harsh on them, but this one was so soft and gentle.” It certainly helps that the mask is adjustable and doesn’t put more pressure on your face than you prefer. If you need further proof that the Drowsy Sleep Co. Silk Sleep Mask is a cozy game-changer: Angel liked it so much she bought a second one to gift to her mom.
Who It’s Best For: Honestly, anyone. Not only is this light-blocking mask super comfortable, but it also works with an array of sleep styles.
Good to Know: Want to get a good night’s sleep on the go? Drowsy Sleep Co. masks fold and come with a complimentary carrying case, making them a great option for travel, too.
Buffy consistently turns out high-quality bedding, all while utilizing natural and recycled materials and making it their mission to have a low environmental impact with their products. Their Buffy Breeze Comforter, constructed using eucalyptus rather than polyester, is perfect for hot sleepers. The sheets are also fully biodegradable and compostable.
“I am obsessed!” says Charli. “As a VERY hot sleeper, I’m embarrassed it took me so long to try it out. Now that I have, it’s the only comforter I can imagine using in the hotter summer months or on a cold winter night where I’ve gone overboard on the heat. It is unbelievably soft, and I feel so cool both from the time I slide underneath it right on through the night to the next morning. It’s like magic and I’ll never go back!”
Who It’s Best For: Hot sleepers; those who prefer environmentally friendly brands.
Good to Know: If you take advantage of Buffy’s free trial, a temporary hold will be placed on your card, but the charge won’t go through until the seven days are up.
Not only does Parachute offer a large range of home products, but they also have consistently high-quality goods. The Parachute Sateen Duvet Cover is no exception; it’s buttery smooth and adds a feel of glamor to any bedroom set. If you’re a hot sleeper, bedding with a breathable sateen weave is one step you can take to stay cool at night. This luxe duvet cover will protect your comforter without adding another layer of heat to your bedscape.
Don’t let the softness of this duvet cover fool you: It’s smooth and durable, thanks to its 100 percent premium, certified long-staple Egyptian cotton fabric. “I love how silky smooth this duvet cover is. It makes the bed feel so luxurious, and the creamy texture is great to get comfortable under,” says Sam. “The neutral color is also great but subtle in a way that complements the room’s decor.” This machine-washable duvet cover also comes in seven neutral shades that are sure to complement any space.
Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer the look and feel of silk without the upkeep of actual silk; those looking to invest in a high-quality duvet material.
Good to Know: Matching sheets and pillow shams are sold separately. Parachute also offers carbon-neutral shipping and returns.
The Riley Four-Layer Coverlet features four layers of 100 percent premium combed cotton for an airy-yet-plush-feeling bed linen. While it’s primarily sold in neutral, cool tones, you can find some out-of-the-ordinary shades — like lavender-hued Quartz — if you check it out at the right time. However, aside from its complementary neutrals, this blanket’s lightweight nature and notable softness make it our top pick out of all the quilts and coverlets we tried this year. “I used this blanket last summer after putting away my heavy winter comforter,” says AT shopping writer Nikol. “It was the perfect lightweight covering, and it prevented me from overheating.”
Pro tip: The sooner you can get your hands on the Four-Layer Coverlet, the better. It’s one of Riley’s more popular picks that tends to sell out from time to time. Its bestseller status is understandable when you consider that the coverlet can conveniently be used all year round, has a unique, handcrafted appeal, and makes for a cozy layer to your bed or a comfy throw for lounging.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a cushy coverlet in a solid neutral hue.
Good to Know: According to the site, “exact dimensions and color may vary slightly due to the construction and individual dyeing process.”
While our Best Overall bed blanket is understandably sold out, we’ve got a runner-up that’s warm, soft, easy to care for, and super affordable. It’s the Bedsure Fleece Blanket, our Best Budget-Friendly find. “Trust me when I say that the phrase ‘You get what you pay for’ doesn’t apply to Bedsure’s Fleece Blanket,” says Britt, whose entire family, from Louisiana to California, owns and adores this Amazon find. And they’re not the only ones; this baby has more than 124,000 five-star reviews. Although the cozy microfleece blanket is lightweight, it’s warm enough for tons of users (including Britt) to use all year round. And it’s available in a whopping 33 colors!
Bedsure’s buttery-soft blanket comes in eight sizes, including standard bed sizes and an oversized throw that’s perfect for sharing. Says Britt, “I’ve used it as an additional bedding layer on chilly nights, and even draped it over a section of the couch to prevent my dog’s hair from getting all over the furniture.” Don’t worry, it’s machine washable, so the hair-covered blanket was good as new on laundry day.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something affordable; those who want lots of color choices.
Good to Know: Though you might see some slight shedding at first, that effect goes away after a few washes.
A high-quality sheet that also doesn’t leave you drenched in a pool of your own salty sweat in the morning is already not an easy find. But to find sheets that not only cool you down, don’t shed after a first wash, and make you feel like you’re sleeping on a literal bed of silk? Almost impossible! Alicia says she’s tested a lot of sheets (come on, that’s her job), so it can be hard to tell one set from another. But she won’t be forgetting the AiryWeight Sheets from Sijo, made from TENCEL lyocell (aka eucalyptus fibers). “Within one sleep, they won me and my boyfriend over,” she says. “I am a hot sleeper, but I like the weight of sheets and blankets over me. I sweat in my sleep and noticed I didn’t sweat at all while using these cooling sheets, which is a miracle.”
Alicia’s boyfriend is, unlike many millennials who run hot with worries about the world, someone who sleeps cool and unbothered. He doesn’t exactly need cooling sheets — must be nice — but he loves these just as much as she does. That must also be because they are pretty lavish. “I haven’t tested TENCEL lyocell before and was surprised when these sheets felt like silk (but not slippery like silk can be),” Alicia says. “I love the color, too. I got them in Forest, and they are by far the most luxurious sheets I own.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who like their cooling sheets to also feel like a silky dream and get their money’s worth.
Good to Know: Due to the nature of the fabric, some light piling is expected, but to prevent excess piling avoid using bleach, fabric softeners. wool dryer balls, and abrasive fabrics.
*Honorable Mention: The TEMPUR-Pedic ProAir Sheet Set is another great option for a cooling sheet that has a luxurious feel. Charli says these are a great option for summer, spring, and fall, when you’re likely to heat up the most. She adds that they come with a handy “accessory”: the built-in, Staytight Corner Straps, which keep your sheets from slipping off the corners. Besides, what good is a cooling sheet if it doesn’t even stay on your mattress?
Boll & Branch, an editor-favorite bedding brand, impressed us with its organic Percale Hemmed Sheet Set that’s OEKO-TEX 100, GOTS, and Fair Trade certified. Smooth and crisp, these 100-percent long-staple organic cotton sheets have a cooling weave that’s ideal for hot sleepers. “I LOVE these sheets!” says tester Hernetta. “I originally put them on my bed as a stand-in for my usual sheets that were being washed, but ever since sleeping on Boll & Branch’s percale sheets, I’ve been washing them and putting them right back on my bed!”
The Percale Hemmed Sheet Set comes with pillowcases, a flat sheet, and a fitted sheet that can accommodate mattresses up to 17 inches thick. They’re available in a range of neutrals and eight sizes, so whether you have a Twin or a Split King, you’ll be able to dress your bed beautifully. “They’re soft and I don’t get too hot sleeping under them, which has been good for the quickly changing spring weather in Louisiana, but I could easily use them all year round, too,” Hernetta adds. “They wash well, haven’t shed, and look great!”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want cooling sheets; those who want sheets to use all year round; those who want something that will soften with each wash and last a long time.
Good to Know: Boll & Branch offers free shipping and returns, but you can also try these sheets risk-free for 30 nights.
If you’re looking to upgrade your lightweight bedding, Brooklinen’s cozy Linen Core Sheet Set is the perfect place to start. Casually chic, these sheets are breathable enough to use when the weather is warm and will still keep you comfortable on cooler nights. They’re made from European flax that’s dyed in small batches to give each set its own unique appearance. These sheets come in five neutral shades and patterns, as well as nine limited-edition and sale colors. They’re also stone-washed before you buy them to achieve what Brooklinen calls a “perfectly imperfect” relaxed feel.
“Bottom line is that these sheets are comfortable, seem high quality based on a handful of washings, and I have really liked the feel of them,” says AT home projects director Megan. “I have had linen duvet covers but not linen sheets, and I wasn’t sure how I’d like them. Sometimes linen does not feel that soft! But these were pretty soft out of the package and have only gotten softer after each wash.”
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a luxury sheet investment; those looking for softer linen sheets.
Good to Know: There is a chance that these sheets may thin over time after many washings.
For cooling cotton percale bedding, the Nest Bedding Crinkle Percale Organic Cotton Sheet Set is the way to go. They’re on trend, both in texture and color, and are even recyclable since they’re made without any harsh chemicals. These durable, breathable, and antibacterial sheets have the ultimate temperature control and a washed look that brings an extra helping of comfort to your bedroom.
According to Sam, Nest Bedding’s crinkle percale sheets are “very soft” and “perfect for sleeping in hot weather.” Made from 100 percent organic cotton, these percale sheets were woven to provide optimal airflow sure to keep you cool throughout the night. They also come in five muted colors perfect for adding an extra cozy vibe to your bedroom.
Who It’s Best For: Those who are hot sleepers; those who prefer cotton sheets; those who like the look of “lived-in” sheets.
Good to Know: These sheets will get softer after every wash.
Made with 100 percent organic cotton, Bare Home Organic Jersey Sheets make you feel like you’re wrapped in your favorite tee: They’re durable, breathable, stretchy, and oh-so-soft to the touch. “The sheets are really comfortable and feel super soft, very much like I’m on a cloud,” says AT programmatic operations & yield analyst Jasper. “Having used them now in the summer and fall, they’ve held up great and don’t feel sticky or cheap.” They also get softer with every wash, so you can enjoy buttery-soft sheets all year long.
Bare Home’s Organic Jersey Sheets are sturdier than the average jersey sheet set since they’re constructed with a heavier weight of fabric. But don’t worry, they aren’t as thick as flannel. In addition to their stretch from ring-spun cotton, the fitted sheet is also fully elasticized, so it’ll stay put as you clock in eight glorious hours of sleep.
Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep cold; those who want affordable sheets for fall and winter.
Good to Know: To keep your sheets ultra-soft, wash this set in cold water and dry at a low temperature every time — but especially before their first use.
The Best Decor, Office, and Travel Products of 2023
Forget draping big, dark curtains just for the sake of blocking light — SunZero’s Nordic Theater-Grade Blackout Curtains allow you to keep the integrity of your space’s indoor lighting and decor scheme. They effectively block light no matter which color you choose – even pearl white — and trust us, there are plenty of shades to pick from. The all-polyester curtains are available in 24 colors and eight lengths, making them a solid choice for windows of all sizes. Make no mistake, these are 100 percent blackout curtains with a black backing that absorbs light and will make your living room or bedroom the perfect setting for movie night or restful sleep.
“Light had been disrupting both my boyfriend’s and my sleep patterns for months. He’d wake up way earlier than he meant to, and I’d struggle to fall asleep with our regular, non-blackout curtains,” says Alicia, who got SunZero’s 52” x 63” curtains for her short windows. “The blackout curtains evened us out, and we’re no longer waking up exhausted due to too much light, whether it’s man-made or natural.”
Sold individually or in pairs (if you want to save money), each curtain comes packaged in a sturdy box that’s nice enough to keep for storing small items. “I was surprised by how stylish and lightweight the curtains were,” says Alicia. “We have a flimsy curtain rod that was almost pulled down by the regular curtains, but Sun Zero’s don’t strain our tension rod.” The curtains have grommet holes, making them incredibly quick and easy to hang, and once they’re up, you immediately get the added bonus of up to 50 percent reduction of lost energy, up to 45 percent noise reduction, and of course, 100 percent light blockage.
Read our full review of the Sun Zero Nordic Theater-Grade Extreme 100-Percent Blackout Curtains.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for affordable 100% blackout curtains, even with short windows.
Good to Know: Use a steamer to smooth out any wrinkles in the curtains from being folded, and they’ll look good as new.
If you love the visual appeal of a pothos but can’t seem to keep one healthy, then take a look at this artificial version. “Thanks to Afloral, it looks like I’m capable of keeping a plant alive and thriving,” says Alicia. “If my fake plant sat next to a real one, I would honestly not be able to tell the difference. It looks like it was plucked out of a garden.” As its name implies, this option not only resembles an actual plant in appearance, but it also feels real to the touch, too.
Rather than leaves and stems that “grow” upwards, this beauty features a mix of leaves that hang down from the top. Alicia showcases it on a bookshelf, cascading it over the side for a dramatic, brightening effect. It doesn’t come with its own planter, though Afloral does have recommendations you can tack onto your order. Choose from options that sit on a surface or hang from the wall or ceiling. “I could definitely see putting it in the living room, dining room, bedroom, foyer, and even the patio,” adds Alicia.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want to use a hanging pot and/or add a dramatic “natural” element to their space.
Good to Know: Your order is guaranteed to ship within 24 hours of when you place it.
Finding a washable wool rug is rare, and Revival comes in clutch with their Tschudi rug. Boasting a funky and modern design complete with cutouts, this washable wool rug is a great way to add some character to your space. Britt also loved that even though this rug was made of a traditionally tricky material, “it can be tumble dried on a low setting, which was extremely convenient since I don’t really have a good spot to hang dry it.” It will shed a bit in general, but that’s to be expected when working with natural fiber. Britt also confirms its durability, saying “It held up nicely in the kitchen, which is obviously a high-traffic area at our home.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer natural fiber rugs; those who want something plush with a high pile.
Good to Know: This rug would benefit from pairing it with a rug pad for both comfort and longevity.
Throughout our research and testing, we found the Flexispot Ergonomic Chair Pro to be the best office chair overall. “This chair is extremely comfortable and breathable,” says AT associate email editor Carolyn. “The style looks a little too much like a gaming chair for my personal style but is truly one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve had. It’s extremely customizable, sturdy, and low maintenance.”
Logistically, the chair features a high, structured back made of stretchy-yet-supportive mesh, which makes it a breathable, comfortable seating option for hours on end. And since the seat and armrests are adjustable, it’s easy to create the perfect sitting scape. That said, the customization isn’t fully without fault. “The one wish I have is that the armrests locked, because they tend to slide a bit when in use,” Carolyn admits. “Other than that, it’s a wonderful chair!”
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a neutral, comfortable office chair that moves with ease.
Good to Know: While this chair is shown in four colors, it’s currently only available in two.
Away has taken the luggage world by storm, so it only makes sense that their bestselling Bigger Carry-On tops our list. This suitcase ensures that you can maximize packing space and still fit it into the overhead bin thanks to the interior compression system within its lightweight shell that holds everything in place. Simply tighten the double-buckle compression pad over your items to keep them extra safe and secure.
The suitcase also features 360-degree wheels, a laundry bag, and a TSA-approved combination lock. You’ll also appreciate the underside handle, which makes hoisting the carry-on into the car or airport shuttle hassle-free.
“I love this carry-on and use it as my go-to piece when traveling domestically,” says AT brand strategy and innovation associate director Susan. “It’s sturdy but doesn’t feel too heavy, and the wheels are great on it.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who like to maximize packing space while still carrying on luggage; those who prefer a hard-shell suitcase.
Good to Know: This suitcase easily nests into any larger suitcase size that Away offers.
*Honorable Mention: If you love all the features of the Bigger Carry-On but don’t need as much space, the original Away Carry-On is a great alternative. This carry-on measures 21.7″ x 14.4″ x 9″ and weighs just 7.5 pounds. “I know they make a bigger carry-on size, but I wanted something that would reliably fit on international flights,” says ATM culinary producer Rachel. “One of the sides has an interior compression panel, which makes all the difference traveling with bulky sweaters or general overpacking. Plus, it looks very chic.”
The electric kettle at the top of our Best List is the TeaSmart Electric Turkish Tea Kettle. “The TeaSmart Electric Turkish Tea Kettle from SAKI isn’t jam-packed with a ton of features, but what it does, it does well,” says Britt. “It’s super sleek and modern, and has a filter built into the smaller pot so that loose-leaf tea can be steeped directly inside of it and poured into a cup without anything extra getting into your drink.”
This kettle also boasts a live temperature display, putting the heat control entirely in your hands. Once it reaches your desired temperature, you can then utilize the Auto-Keep Warm feature. It kicks in as soon as the water hits boiling temperature and keeps your beverage warm up to three hours. Plus, it’s the first plastic-free tea maker ever built, with a fully stainless steel body!
Who It’s Best For: Loose-leaf tea drinkers; those who prefer a specific temperature for their hot beverages; those who prefer a plastic-free kettle
Good to Know: The kettle isn’t compact, but as long as you have room for it the kettle shouldn’t get in the way.
No, this is not a supersized iPod shuffle. The Airmega AP-1512HH air purifier and its unique design is perfect for sleek homes that could benefit from the device but can’t give up a ton of space. The compact air purifier is just above a foot in height and width, and only about 10 inches deep. It’s relatively quiet and comes with a pollution sensor that shows indoor air quality in real time.
“This air purifier is a true powerhouse when it comes to cleaning the air in my apartment,” says AT’s commerce and branded content social media manager, Brian. “It captures and filters out dust, pet dander, city odors, and other airborne particles, leaving the air noticeably cleaner.” Don’t wanna spend too much time thinking about how to use the gadget? No worries. Its auto mode controls the fan speed and turns the gizmo off when air is detected to be clean.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a discreet yet powerful air purifier; those who want a sleek and stylish air purifier; those who want an air purifier that reacts quickly.
Good to Know: The air quality light is large and bright, but can be turned off by holding down the ionizer button for a few seconds.
A compact yet powerful humidifier is one of the biggest reasons the Levoit OasisMist 450S Smart Humidifier made it to the top of our list of the best humidifiers. With the ability to run up to 45 hours, there is minimal maintenance required and you only need to remove the top lid for a quick refill. Depending on your needs, you can use warm or cool mist. There’s also a sleep mode that can turn on quietly while you sleep. “I love the warm mist for winter and for my tropical plants! They’re so happy with the humidity. The humidifier tucks away nicely and has a hearty design. It definitely works well in the space and spreads moisture throughout the house very well,” says Carolyn. Best of all, if you love using essential oils, there’s a tray where you can add yours for a personalized home scent.
Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer a humidifier with little to no noise; those who want a humidifier that’s simple to use and clean.
Good to Know: Not only can you control the device from the provided remote, but you can also operate it with your smartphone.
For a sound machine that hits all the right notes, Hatch Restore is our top pick. Not only does it boast a wide range of sounds, but it’s also a smart light with 22 color options. Even better, you can use it as a sunrise alarm clock that mimics the progression of light at dawn, prompting your body to wake up naturally. “I’ve completely stopped using my phone as an alarm during the week because the Hatch works so well,” says AT’s Best List editor, Britt. “I love that the alarm is less jarring than my phone alarm and much softer, so I can easily wake up without a jolt.”
This high-tech machine works in conjunction with the Hatch Sleep app, through which you can pre-program your nighttime and morning routines. That’s right, with just a few swipes, you can totally customize your experience. “The app is required to change your sound and light settings,” says Britt. “But once those are programmed, you can turn it on and off with the press of a button directly on the device as well as make adjustments to volume and brightness.” You can also opt to pay for a Hatch Sleep Membership to access additional features like playlists, mind-body exercises, and more ways to put your self-care first.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want to truly customize their nighttime and morning routines.
Good to Know: Because the sound machine works in conjunction with your smartphone, you need to be connected to wifi when using it.
The Google Nest Wired Security Camera is one of the most popular home security cameras on the market — and we found it to be the best option for keeping an eye on dogs and cats. The compact camera can be perched on a table or shelf or mounted to the wall and features motion traction, so it will be able to follow movement anywhere within the frame, from wherever it is. “This little machine gave me so much peace of mind while I’m at work or on vacation so I can quickly check in on my two kittens,” says AT commerce managing editor Tamara.
“The picture is so crisp and when my pet enters the room the app sends me an alert telling me that there was ‘an animal seen,’ which is so helpful when I’m not at home and trying to keep an eye on them,” adds Charli, who owns two dogs. “The zoom and camera quality is unmatched. I don’t just see them, I can see how they’re doing and feeling.” Best of all, she says, the frame of the camera is expansive. “One camera covers a very wide space — I’m able to see our living room, den, and entryway just by having one sitting on the fireplace mantle,” she shares.
Who It’s Best For: People who want to buy a single camera to cover an expansive section of their home.
Good to Know: You have to buy a Nest Aware subscription if you want to save more than three hours of event video history.
You can find this Best List-winning window A/C in the home of more than one AT editor! Midea’s U-Shaped Smart Window Air Conditioner is stylish, quiet, innovative, and effective. It’s available in four sizes that accommodate rooms from 350 to 550 square feet and has earned a five-star energy rating. In fact, it was the first window AC to score ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient certification in 2022. Midea’s AC unit can be controlled by voice with Alexa or Google Assistant as well as via app on iOS or Android. The air conditioner’s design allows you to open your window while the unit is in use, and it’s equipped with an anti-theft mechanism that locks your window when it’s closed.
“When I lived in a bedroom with one window, I loathed the summer because it meant placing an AC in my window and a lack of fresh air for at least three months,” says Sarah. “With this air conditioner, I was finally able to get the best of both worlds. Thanks to the U-shape design, I’m able to open the window without it falling out, meaning I can get both fresh and air-conditioned air anytime I want! Not only did it solve a problem, it’s also incredibly stylish and powerful, cooling off my space in minutes. I never thought I’d be in love with an AC, but alas, here we are!”
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a window AC that doesn’t look like a traditional AC; those who want an AC that still gives them window access.
Good to Know: While the AC unit does come with a quick-start guide, it’s recommended that you use the installation instructions provided in the larger manual for an easier setup.