Amazon reviewers say they can't live without these 50 ridiculously useful things under $25
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Some items in life just sit there gathering dust, forgotten and never used. Others, they become so essential you consider buying a backup in case they break or go missing. It’s weird and hard to conjecture. Price certainly isn’t a good predictor of a thing’s eventual usefulness. I’ve ignored expensive kitchen gadgets and fancy electronics, instead relying on cheap kitchen tools and tech items I bought on a whim. It’s the way with all aspects of life, which is one reason we love to hear about it when someone finds a cheap item so functional that it becomes essential. Want to hear lots of experience-based advice on this topic? Very vocal Amazon reviewers say they can't live without these 50 things under $25 that are ridiculously useful.
Take, for example, the insulated tumbler on this list. It’s not expensive. And it might seem like every other insulated tumbler (though not as pricy as some). But a combination of factors — the two lids with different functions, for example — make it so useful you’ll probably have it in your hand all day. Another good example is the silicone-bristled scalp massager. Maybe you never thought about owning such a device, but Amazon reviewers are waxing positively poetic about the thing, describing it as both necessary and blissful. And, when it comes to popping up some microwave popcorn, I have to agree — I love popcorn and have prepared it using every available method. This simple silicone bowl, though, beats them all.
What else will you find? Scroll on to find the unexpected little gadget of your dreams.
1. A compact Swiss Army knife that fits on a keychain
When a pocket knife suffers from feature bloat, it can become hard to carry with you everywhere. This classic Swiss Army knife gets this and stays slender, portable, and essential. It has everything you need — scissors, a toothpick, tweezers, a sharp blade, a screwdriver, and a bottle opener — and nothing you don’t so that it fits easily into a pocket or on your keychain.
2. The book that wants to rid your home of clutter
This book about decluttering is so wildly popular that it has become a meme. But the tenets of the Marie Kondo method for cleaning your house once, so you never have to do it again, hit a mark with so many folks that many reviewers say it changed their lives. Will it change yours? This Kindle version is an easy way to find out.
3. These snap-on lenses for better phone photos
Leave your bulky DSLR camera at home and take terrific close-ups and wide-angle shots using your phone by carrying this two-lens kit instead. The macro lens snaps over your phone camera for taking ultra-detailed close-ups of flowers, insects, and other small, intricate things. The wide-angle lens screws onto the macro for taking landscapes and other larger perspective photos. It comes with a carrying pouch, lens cover, and cleaning cloth.
4. An automatic beer opener that pops the tops quickly & neatly
If you want to remove a bottlecap without straining, this is the opener you need (it also removes caps without bending them, if you’re a collector). Just slide it onto the top of the bottle and press down — a spring-loaded mechanism pulls the cap off cleanly and quickly. A magnet holds it inside so it doesn’t drop to the floor. Since the whole thing requires almost no effort, it’s great for anyone with wrist sensitivities (and cap collectors).
5. This kit with everything for a luscious beard
If your beard is part of your look, treat it right with this complete kit of tools and grooming products. The shampoo, conditioner, beard oil, and beard balm are unscented so don’t interfere with other scents you rock — or let you just smell like you. It also comes with a pair of beard-trimming scissors, a boar-bristle brush, and a wide-tooth wooden comb.
6. A massage wand so you can treat your own sore muscles
This curved massage cane has firm balls in strategic locations, and is the tool you need when your neck aches, your back is stiff, or that last workout caused your glutes to spaz. The cane is firm and just the right length so you can get a good grip and some leverage, and go to town applying as much pressure as you like with either the single or double trigger-point massage balls.
7. This lightweight fleece hoodie at a buy-multiples price
This lightweight fleece hoodie is an ideal option if you want a layer of warmth, but don’t want something bulky (or high-priced). It has a soft fleece interior, comes in 22 colors, has a kangaroo pouch pocket, drawstring hood, and is 50% cotton and 50% polyester. Almost 52,000 people rate it a perfect five stars.
8. The weird pink paste for a fast & thorough clean
When your sink, tub, or shower door seem impossible to clean, this tough-stuff cleaning paste might be your best friend. Touted by all sorts of cleaning gurus and charting on Amazon with nearly 77,000 five-star reviews, it’s also simple to use. Wipe it over your mess. Wipe it off. It takes the mess away with it. “I have tried so many cleaning solutions to get out hard cooking stains on my stovetop and nothing worked!” says one reviewer. “This stuff took it right out without a problem!!”
9. An electric candle lighter that never runs out of fuel
That frustrating moment when the lighters in the house are dead and you can’t even light a candle — that’ll never happen if you own this rechargeable lighter. The long neck bends so you can reach into the deepest of candles to light the wick, and it juices up via USB. A display lets you know when it needs charging again. Nearly 12,000 people love it and give it five stars.
10. This battery backup with built-in cables
Pocket this credit-card-sized battery backup and keep your iPhone charged no matter how long your day is. It’s tiny but powerful — able to charge an iPhone X from zero to 40% in half an hour — and has a Lightning cable built in to make charging easy. A USB-C port in the side lets you charge any other device, too. It comes in four colors.
11. A rechargeable headlamp that you need for outdoor excursions
If you’re heading out camping or on a night jog soon, make sure you add this rechargeable LED headlamp to your cart before you go. This lamp has four different lighting modes, including UV, strobe, high, and low, and can be juiced up with a simple USB charger. It’ll last you a long time, too, making it ideal for anyone who frequents the outdoors and often needs a dependable light for safety purposes.
12. These satin pillowcases that baby your hair & skin
If you wake up with bed head, pillow marks on your face, and a feeling of dry skin, it might be because those absorbent, rough-thread pillowcases you sleep on are wicking away the moisture from your hair and skin. These satin pillowcases are gentle, don’t catch and pull hair, and won’t absorb your natural moisture. They also feel delicious, look gorgeous, come in 22 colors, and get 162,000 five-star reviews.
13. The insulated tumbler with 2 lid styles
This tall, 24-ounce, double-wall, vacuum insulated tumbler has two lids to handle whatever beverage takes you through your day. The flip-top sipping lid seals tight so you can put coffee, water, or your daily brew in and sip away. Then close the lid and toss the tumbler into your bag. It seals leak-free! The straw lid is great for smoothies and on-the-go sipping. It comes in 37 colors and patterns so you can make it your own.
14. This set of reusable straws that come with a special cleaner
Instead of adding plastic straws to the planet’s problems, consider using reusable ones instead, specifically ones that aren’t a pain to clean. This set of ten silicone straws come in their own carrying bag and with a cleaning brush that gets into the small opening of each straw for a better clean. Each straw is dishwasher-safe, too, for those times you want an even quicker clean.
15. This little cooker for perfect eggs with ease
If the challenge of perfect hard-boiled eggs is standing between you and a potential egg-salad habit, this rapid egg cooker is the appliance you need. Just load it up with eggs, push the button, and it lets you know when your eggs are perfect. It also does soft-boiled and poached eggs, as well as omelets. It comes in eight colors, gets almost 14,000 five-star reviews, and weighs only one pound so it’s easy to stash when not in use.
16. A leave-on exfoliant that helps with so many skin issues
With 2% salicylic acid, this easy-to-apply leave-on exfoliant is a terrific way to repair clogged or enlarged pores, smooth skin texture, brighten skin, and even out skin tone by exfoliating away dead skin cells that can cause breakouts and clogs. “This stuff should be called a miracle in a bottle,” says one reviewer. “When I use it on my (pretty dry) skin, it transforms it from congested, irritated, and bright red to calm, clear, and glowing, overnight.” Over 38,000 people give it five stars.
17. These patches that help cure & hide your breakouts
Instead of slathering pimples in concealing makeup that can make matters worse, apply one of these hydrocolloid patches that drain, heal, and protect your poor skin. Then apply makeup right over the patch. You can also wear them to bed and let them heal your breakout while you sleep. These little miracle workers get 57,000 five-star reviews from people who call them “witchcraft” and “a lifesaver.”
18. A jar opener for when you can’t open ‘em yourself
If you’re someone who can’t ever open jars on their own, you’re not alone. This jar opener helps those with weak grips like you to open everything from pickle jars to mayonnaise jars, all without having to call in a friend to help you. It mounts to the underside of any kitchen cabinet — all you have to do is position the jar lid underneath it and twist.
19. A handy stand for your Apple Watch
Give your Apple Watch a charge and turn it into a charming display by setting it up with this clever silicone stand. Your watch not only looks great sitting on it, but it becomes a usable alarm clock while charging. It’s made from durable silicone and comes in nine muted colors.
20. These LED light strips that transform your space with color
Make your home beautiful without painting or remodeling — it’s all about lighting. These LED strips are a smart, colorful way to create gorgeous ambient effects. Stick to the underside of the bed, desk, or counters so colored lights reflect off the floor. Or put them behind a dresser or headboard to light the wall. This is over 65 feet of lighting that you can trim to fit what you need, and and control with the included remote.
21. This insulated wine tumbler so you can sip wine anywhere
This affordable double-wall insulated wine tumbler will keep wine, cocktails, or any beverage cold or hot for hours, yet it feels like a wine glass in your hand. It’s one that won’t break, though, so you can tote it to the pool, outdoors, or anywhere you like. The lid keeps drinks from spilling and stops bugs from swimming in the vino. It comes in 15 colors and reviewers love it, giving it almost 13,000 five-star reviews.
22. The foam roller that treats all your sore muscles
Rolling sore muscles with a roller — against the floor, couch, or wall — is a great pain reliever. And this inexpensive foam roller has won hordes of fans by offering the right firmness in many sizes, and at the right price. “I would never have thought I had so many knots in my legs until this showed me right where they were,” says one reviewer. “After just the first session with it, I was glad I bought it.” It comes in five colors and five sizes.
23. A decorative alarm clock that’s also a mirror
Say bye to those faux-wood, shrill buzzers of yesteryear. This decorative alarm clock is easy on the eyes and also rich in functions. A big snooze button lets you grab a few more minutes of shut-eye — and you can set how long you prefer. It has three brightness levels and senses ambient light to adjust automatically. Mount it to the wall or use the included stand. It comes in six color options and the display turns off to use as a mirror.
24. This affordable face wash that’s gentle & hydrating
You don’t have to spend a fortune for a quality face wash that hydrates skin as you wash. This 16-ounce pump bottle of hydrating cleanser is loaded with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin to protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier while its gentle, paraben-free, fragrance-free, soap-free, non-comedogenic, non-drying, and non-irritating cleansers remove makeup, oils, and dirt.
25. A scalp massager for a pleasurable & effective shampoo
Take ablutions to the next level by upleveling your shampoo experience with this gentle scalp massager. It feels amazing. But it also exfoliates and invigorates scalp to improve circulation, and distribute product and natural oils throughout hair. “This thing is a life-changing experience for your head,” effuses one of the more than 78,000 five-star reviewers. “It’s an all-expense paid round trip to heaven and back for every single hair follicle on my head. [It] will make your hair sing with appreciation.”
26. The silicone popper that makes excellent microwave popcorn
If you love microwaveable popcorn bags for their convenience and the way they limit dirty dishes, this is the reusable silicone version you’ll love more. It lets you use your own ingredients, doesn’t create trash, and makes perfect corn every time. Just scoop some kernels into the base and add oil. Then microwave and season. It goes right in the dishwasher when you’re done. It comes in 13 colors.
27. A sophisticated decanter for your favorite liquor
This glass liquor decanter will make any bottle of whisky, brandy — whatever you prefer — look ten times fancier. An ideal gift for liquor lovers or beloved dinner party hosts alike, this decanter helps preserve the taste of your liquor and keep it crisp for a long time with the beautiful geometric glass stopper that fits perfectly at the top.
28. This rolling hand massager that works in 2 ways
When you spend long days at a keyboard or doing any activity that stresses hands, this dual-sided hand massager is an enormous relief. The single roller massages tight muscles in the palm, wrist, or back of the hand. The pincer rollers feel terrific on fingers or thumb. “Excellent for easing my aching hands,” says one reviewer. “It's also nice to use on my wrists, forearms, and neck. It gets in the little crevices between bone and muscle.”
29. The stick that connects your TV to all the streaming channels
Plug this Roku Express stick into the HDMI port on your TV and unlock all the streaming channels out there. It connects to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and much more. And it streams in sharp, 4K resolution without hiccups or glitches. But the part you’ll love most might be the remote, which can manage all your devices — eliminating that remote pile on the coffee table — and lets you call up content simply by asking, because it’s voice enabled.
30. A lap desk that brings order to working from the couch
With two cushions that rest on your legs so that the angle is perfect and you’re comfortable, this lap desk makes working from the couch much more effective and organized. A lip stops laptops from sliding down, while a built-in mouse pad improves efficiency and gives hands a break. There’s a slot that keeps your phone handy so you can see notifications and make calls. It comes in six colors and patterns and people give it over 33,000 five-star reviews.
31. This pour-over brewer for an easy & delicious morning joe
This pour-over coffee maker brews the most delicious cup of coffee with the bare minimum of effort, expense, and space. The shape of the carafe is the secret. The included stainless-steel mesh filter fits perfectly up top so all you have to do is scoop grounds into it, and slowly pour hot water over them and into the heat-resistant borosilicate glass container below. The cork bib protects hands from heat when pouring that tasty brew into your cup.
32. An inflatable ball for your desk chair or home gym
Sit on this anti-burst exercise ball at your desk if you want to incorporate a little core work, balance, and movement into your day. And when it’s time to work out, it doubles as stretching ball, helps with Pilates exercises, or acts as a balance challenge for a host of workouts. It comes in eight colors and five sizes, and shows up with a hand pump, two air plugs, a valve remover tool and access to online training workouts.
33. The cool-touch bamboo blanket that can help you sleep
The fibers of this lightweight bamboo blanket feel cool to the touch so sleeping under it is wonderful in hot weather, overheated bedrooms, or for anyone who sleeps hot. You can always find a cool surface to touch even if you use it in combination with other blankets. “This thing is amazing! It really does keep you cool,” says one of the nearly 7,000 five-star reviewers. “Even on the hottest days, I can have this on me without feeling warm.” It comes in nine colors and three sizes.
34. This closet organizer that creates more storage for your clothes & accessories
If you have a tiny closet or no room for a dresser in your room, consider this hanging organizer with five roomy shelves to help store all of your clothes and accessories. This fabric organizer takes up only two hangers but takes full advantage of all the unused vertical space in your closet to comfortably store folded clothes, purses, and even shoes.
35. These food storage containers with leakproof lids
You’ll feel fully confident that these food storage containers will keep your meal prep, packed lunch, or leftovers both safe in your bag and safe to eat. These containers are made from glass (a eco-friendly and more food-safe alternative to plastic containers) and come with locking lids that won’t leak your salad dressing or soup into your bag when you’re on-the-go. They’re dishwasher-safe, too, for the easiest clean ever.
36. A travel pillow to relieve neck discomfort
If you don’t already own a memory-foam neck pillow like this one for travel, this is your sign to add one to your cart. This neck pillow is an essential for long flights or card rides, all thanks to the cushy memory foam that helps support your neck and relieve any pain. Plus, the cover is so soft you won’t want to take it off, even after your travels are done.
37. This fabric shaver that keeps fabrics looking pristine
When your new sweater is covered in fuzzies after the wash or your favorite cashmere has seen too many winters, pull out this battery-powered fabric shaver and bring it back from the brink. It has three depth settings so you can get the shave as close as the fabric wants. The handle is easy to hold, it’s portable, and comes in six colors. Over 58,000 people give it five stars and some of them have become quite obsessed.
38. The cold butter knife you never knew you needed
If you thought all butter knives were the same, you haven’t met this easy spreader. There’s a serrated edge on one side, perforations on the other, and a hole in the tip. When you start spreading cold butter, these things all make sense. The serrated edge cuts a clean pat. The perforated side peels long tubes of easy-to-spread buttery goodness that melts into toast. And the end pulls off a big curl that’s pretty and meltable.
39. This memory foam pillow made for side sleepers
If you’re a side sleeper, you’re going to want to check out this memory foam knee pillow. This pillow is meant to sit between your knees while you sleep to relieve back, leg, and hip pain and allow for better leg circulation, therefore helping you get a better night’s sleep, every single time you use it. And, it’ll keep its shape no matter how often you sleep with it.
40. These fridge organizers that come with labels
Instead of letting small items disappear into the fridge never to be found again, add these clear organizers to your fridge’s shelves to help you know just exactly where everything is at all times. These come in a set of six bins that can be stacked on top of each other or situated side-by-side, keeping everything from yogurts to produce to your favorite sparkling water neat. They also come with labels to make it even easier to organize.
41. The wired earbuds you’ll always have with you
When your wireless earbuds have no charge or won’t connect, you’ll be glad to have this affordable pair of old-school wired earbuds in your backpack or tucked in your pocket. They are small, sound great, come in five colors, are available with or without a microphone for phone calls, and sport comfortable silicone earbud covers.
42. These produce bags that are a lot better than plastic
End the interminable struggle with those flimsy plastic bags in the produce aisle by packing in these mesh, reusable bags that are much more pleasant to use and don’t end up littering the ocean. These nine, roomy bags are transparent so you can see what’s in them, let the checkout scanner read the bar codes, breathe so your produce lasts longer, and go into the washer to clean up.
43. This caddy that adds pockets to your couch, bed, or coffee table
This clever organizer caddy makes it easy to keep glasses, the remote, or your phone nearby without cluttering up the coffee or bedside table. Just tuck the anchor under the mattress, couch cushion, or a pile of books and let it hang where you want it. A big pocket holds a magazine or laptop while three mesh pockets hold smaller items.
44. A rack to keep cutting boards & baking sheets in order
Storing cutting boards, baking sheets, and cupcake pans is a challenge in any kitchen, but especially a small one. Don’t let them eat up an entire cupboard. Stand this organizer rack inside a cupboard or on the counter and store them on their sides. They take up a minimum of horizontal space, and so you can grab the one you want without digging through a noisy pile.
45. This rug gripper that prevents your rug from sliding around
Rugs that don’t stay in place are both an annoyance and a safety hazard, so add this gripping rug pad to your cart to keep your area rugs from sliding around. This five-by-six-inch gripper pad sits underneath any area rug in your home and keeps your rug from budging on hardwood floors. It’s discrete enough to not add height or bulkiness to your rug, but powerful enough to lock it into place no matter what.
46. A place for everyone’s keys and mail
When there’s a place for everything, it’s a lot easier to put everything in its place — this wall basket and key hook is a great one. Mount it at the entryway and you can empty your hands when you get home without cluttering counters. And when you’re looking for that missing bill or your keys, you’ll have a great place to start. It comes in eight colors and the mounting hardware is included.
47. This lazy Susan that’s perfect for your fridge’s condiment collection
If your condiments, dressings, and other bottled items in your fridge are overflowing on a too-cramped shelf and it’s become impossible to find what you need when lunchtime comes around, this lazy Susan turntable might be of assistance. This 12-inch lazy Susan gives you easy access to anything in it and won’t slip and slide around your shelves thanks to the non-skid liner.
48. A genius solution to broom & mop storage
When unwrangled, brooms, mops, rakes, and long-handled tools end up consuming an unreasonable amount of space. They also fall over and become a general nuisance. This wall mounted holder solves the problem permanently. Just push the long handles into the ball clamps and your tools stay put on the back of a door, or tidily and quietly on one wall of the closet. The six hooks also hold dusters, hand tools, and other hanging items.
49. The role-up rack that every kitchen needs
Every kitchen needs this super useful steel and silicone rack that opens over the sink to drip-dry pans and other hand-wash items. Even if you already have a dish rack, this thing is handy for overflow. It also serves as a hot trivet for pans, a place to cool bread or cookies, and will hold a pan under the faucet — even when the sink is full — for filling with water. When it’s not in use, it rolls up and tucks into the edge of a drawer.
50. This memo board that mounts to your monitor
Where do you jot reminders, phone numbers, and notes when you are working at your computer? This memo board takes advantage of space that’s empty (and that you’re certain to look at) by mounting to the side of your monitor. There’s a ledge at the bottom to hold a pad of sticky notes or your phone, a clip at the top you can use as a document holder, and plenty of display room for sticky-note reminders.
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