Whether you’re looking to find a certain item for yourself or just want a great, non-obvious gift idea for someone else, shopping — even in the age of the Internet — can be a frustrating proposition. With so many stores, advertisements and countless iterations of popular products, it’s difficult to know where to find the best, proven functional items.
Well, hunt no further. We did the work for you, compiling a list of essentials which will fit into, elevate, and maybe even revolutionize your day-to-day life.
The best part? All of these items have at least 1000 reviews with an average rating of at least 4 stars on Amazon. Translation: they’ve been thoroughly vetted by a huge cross-section of your fellow consumers. So you can shop with confidence!
(And if you’re shopping for a gift, remember that it’s still the thought that counts and nothing says “thoughtful” quite like “this gift was verified by 20,000 other people”.)
4.5 stars – 14,465 customer reviews
If you’re married and have an outdoorsy, hands-on job or hobby, that you don’t want to risk losing your wedding band over or can’t risk having metal on your hand, you need a silicone wedding ring to swap in.
4.5 stars – 34,995 customer reviews
Tighten up your shoelaces with one hand, in less than a second. I kinda feel like these should be the standard for all shoes, this far into the 21st century. Primer’s editor and founder Andrew Snavely used them for years and loved them.
4.5 stars – 9,522 customer reviews
A classic style that can work with almost any look, available in multiple colors, and manages to remain affordable without sacrificing quality? The future is bright.
4.5 stars – 10,774 customer reviews
By combining the comfort of a natural cotton shirt with modern synthetic technology to battle sweat and odor, this shirt is a staple that can elevate your workout game – for less than the cost of most athletic wear.
5 stars – 7,135 customer reviews
Get rid of that mismatched set of random blades and streamline every part of your cooking routine by adding this renowned knife from the brand that brings you the Swiss Army Knife. This thing has a 5 star average!?! We almost never see that.
4.5 stars – 12,592 customer reviews
A vintage, military-inspired look redefined for the modern age.
4.5 stars – 4,600 customer reviews
A great way to upgrade an old watch (as outlined in our Life Hacks article) or to provide you with multiple color options when it comes to coordinating your timepiece with any given outfit. Hey, you could even use them on your new Timex Weekender.
5 Stars – 6,869
When you whip up your family-favorite homemade bread recipe during the holidays, you can't cut it with a chef's knife.
4 stars – 15,159 customer reviews
The perfect shorts for working out, handling chores around the house, just lounging, or in 2020, working from home. Plus, they come with a handy backup pair!
4.5 stars – 14,708 customer reviews
Lightweight, odor-fighting, moisture-wicking 4-way stretch shorts with built-in sun protection? Why don’t all of us already own these?
4.5 stars – 8,976 customer reviews
Keep dry and cool down there when staying active (your thighs will thank you).
4.5 stars – 69,769 customer reviews
One of the most versatile and durable pieces of kitchenware you’ll ever own (and it’s invaluable on camping trips, if you’re into that). Cast iron skillets can literally last generations if cared for. And if they’re not? You can refurbish them, even decades later.
4 stars – 7,400 customer reviews
Fun fact: spheres of ice melt more slowly than cubes of ice. So keep your drinks from getting quickly diluted and invest in these molds.
4.5 stars – 10,340 customer reviews
When it comes to workhorse kitchen appliances, you don’t want to gamble on a cheap product from a no-name brand. Trust in Ninja.
5 stars – 21,965 customer reviews
Weighted blankets are a simple way to reduce anxiety and help you achieve restful sleep. (And the removable cover eliminates the added anxiety of throwing a 20-pound blanket into the wash.) Andrew picked one up earlier this year and loves it, sleeping with it every night.
4.5 stars – 76,922 customer reviews
Ensure your house is secure when you’re out of town or just keep a high-definition eye trained on your dog, cat, or elderly relative during the day, all directly from your smartphone.
4.5 stars – 38,523 customer reviews
Terrific sound, terrific battery life, and modern design — what more could you want from a wireless speaker?
4.5 stars – 19,093 customer reviews
While GoPro is the big name in the action sports camera game, they also come with the price of being #1. If you’re looking for something cheaper to capture vacations or hikes — trust the 19000 reviews and the 4.5 star rating earned by this compact, tough camcorder.
4 stars – 17,685 customer reviews
Start commemorating special events and trips with instant, pocket-sized prints. The 80s and 90s are already back in style so, why not?
4 stars – 10,332 customer reviews
The most efficient way to make those power smoothies or those cheat day milkshakes (no judgment).
4.5 stars – 12,108 customer reviews
Written by former Navy seal and retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, this is an excellent, insightful book for anyone’s nightstand (whether they already make their bed or not).
4.5 stars – 31,523 customer reviews
A funny, modern self-help book for people who are not into self-help books.
5 stars – 31,570 customer reviews
If you want a quick, accessible way to begin to understand what you contribute and take away from all of the relationships in your life, look no further. It's one of the books we recommend to read if the honeymoon period is over.
4.5 stars – 39,356 customer reviews
A mixture of Russian Roulette, Uno, and Hot Potato (except with explosions and kittens), this simple, fast, tense, hilariously absurd game is great for parties, friends, and family alike.
5 stars – 40,397 customer reviews
A simple, stylish, reliable design which can improve your phone habits at work, at home, and everywhere in between.
4.5 stars – 6,184 customer reviews
While digital calendars are invaluable, sometimes you just need a physical planner. And this one boasts unique features designed to keep you focused, confident, and ambitious.
4.5 stars – 6,480 customer reviews
Sprays last minutes. Candles longer, but they’re expensive and involve fire. Using essential oils and a diffuser can give you 6-10 hours of aromatherapy to cover up the kitchen trash you’ll get to eventually.
4.5 stars – 6,908 customer reviews
Ensure your sleep routine keeps your neck supported, your face cool, and your allergies calm.
4.5 stars – 7,843 customer reviews
If you haven’t been wiping down gym equipment after use, we won’t tell anyone but please change that with this towel.
4.5 stars – 46,039 customer reviews
Instantly add an inconspicuous smart speaker to any room with a product that boats a 4.6 star rating after a boggling 46,000+ reviews. Your music collection, TV, and guests will thank you.