The cheapest, most clever hidden gems on Amazon

Little treasures, great value.

by Christina X. Wood

When it comes to discovering a remarkable tool, kitchen appliance, or life hack, I love to scroll through the reviews on Amazon. I can’t count the times that I’ve thought I would have to pay a high price or hire an expert to fix some problem in my home or kitchen only to discover that there’s a cheap and easy way to solve that problem hidden in the depths of the internet.

I have no idea how anyone shopped or managed a home before the Amazon-review hive was born. (Well, I do, actually. It took all weekend, every weekend, and cost a lot more.) But I am forever grateful to the hive for helping me on my mission to uncover the cheapest, most clever gems on Amazon — and now, for you, they are hidden no more.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


This light camping kettle for fresh coffee outside

If camping, for you, involves recreating the inevitable scene in westerns where someone pours coffee made over a fire, you need this anodized aluminum camping kettle because it’s light enough to carry in a pack, is durable, has a short but smooth-pouring spout so you can do pour-over coffee. It even has a silicone-covered handle to keep your hands safe in the process.


An ergonomic arm rest so you can mouse with more comfort

Resting your wrist on a pad when you are mousing can actually become uncomfortable after a while, but this soft, memory foam armrest helps give your shoulder a break by supporting the weight of your arm while you work. It makes typing at a computer more comfortable and helps you attain a more ergonomic position.


The strainer that’s so much easier than a big colander

This snap-on pot strainer is such a genius cooking hack. Instead of clearing the sink, setting a big colander in there, and aiming hot water at the target, clip this colorful, silicone strainer right onto the pan and tip the water into the sink — right on top of whatever dirty dishes are in there. It stores easily, too, and comes in lots of bright colors.


This bacon grease catcher so you can reuse that tasty fat

Pouring bacon grease down the sink can create a clog — and that stuff is like gold when you are making popcorn, frying chicken, or want a high-quality fat for frying. So why not store and reuse it? This bacon grease container is made for that. It strains out stray bacon pieces, has a lid so you can store the fat, and hold five cups.


These fabric resistance bands for a better workout

This set of resistance bands is made from a high-quality, stretchy fabric that shouldn’t roll or snap — and it’s available in three color combinations. “I was using thin latex bands that rolled up and pinched hairs,” said one reviewer. “These wide, fabric bands have not disappointed. They have excellent resistance, fit my legs perfectly, and maintain shape and position while in use.”


A knife sharpener that takes your kitchen blades from dull to razor-sharp

This handy knife sharpener is the tool your kitchen needs to keep your blades honed to the kind of edge that slices through tomatoes without a hitch. It has three slots. Run a very dull blade through each of them, in order. (They are numbered.) The first slot straightens the blade and repairs damage. The second roughly sharpens it. And the third puts a fine edge on the blade. It’s so easy! And the blade will be so sharp that a pair of cut-prevention gloves are included.


The adjustable measuring spoon you slide to measure

Tired of looking for the right size measuring spoon on a big ring of them? This adjustable tablespoon has all the sizes in one. Just slide the plastic divider to the right measure — printed on the handle — and fill the spoon. It can handle wet or dry ingredients with ease.


A big, leakproof trash can to keep your car tidy

If the back seat of your car turns into a dumping ground for fast-food packaging and water bottles, you need a trash can back there — because prevention is easier than cleanup. This car trash can attaches easily to a headrest or console, comes with 20 liners, and solves the trash problem, even for long road trips. “I have a young niece and nephew who are often in my car,” said one reviewer. “They would constantly leave garbage in the back seat. Now that there is a place to put it, they have no problem throwing away their garbage.”


This over-the door shoe organizer that’s so useful

Whether it’s shoes, shampoo, or pantry items that are creating chaos in your closets, this over-the-door shoe organizer will bring order. Just hang it over a door and fill the 24 roomy pockets with shoes, cleaning supplies, snacks, or personal care products. You will be able to see your entire collection at once and grab the thing you want easily.


These quick-drying towels that pack up small & absorb a lot

These microfiber travel towels are perfect for your gym bag or camping kit because, though they are so small you will hardly know they are there, they can absorb seven times their own weight in liquid and dry out super fast. They come in three sizes and three colors.


The pastry brush that will become a kitchen MVP

The name pastry brush might lead you to believe that you only need one if you make pastries. But you will use this pair of silicone basting brushes to paint oil onto chicken before you air fry it, sauce onto fish, and melted butter onto toast. The silicone brushes hold lots of liquid, are flexible, and go right into the dishwasher for cleanup.


This insulated mug that keeps your beer or coffee icy cool

This stainless steel, double-wall insulated beer mug can help keep your drink cold — whether you’re sipping on beer or coffee. Not only that, but it also shouldn’t sweat on your furniture or require a coaster. There’s a lid, too, in case you want to pick up your brew and move to another location without incident.


A flat wall charger that fits behind the furniture

If your bed is blocking the only handy phone-charging outlet, this thin and flat USB wall charger plug is an easy way to fix that. It’s thinner than many baseboards so you don’t have to pull the furniture away from the wall. And the cables come out of the bottom, so their plugs won’t get in the way of the furniture either. Toss one in your suitcase for troublesome hotel furniture, too. It comes in three colors.


This pour-over coffee maker that makes excellent coffee fast

When you need a cup of great coffee and you need it now, this pour-over coffee maker will deliver. The laser-cut, stainless steel mesh filter is always there so you never run out of filters. The cool touch collar makes it easy to handle. And the borosilicate glass carafe is the right shape for brewing and pouring. All you need is hot water and ground coffee to make up to two cups of terrific pour-over anywhere.


A set of soft microfiber pillowcases with hordes of fans

People love these ultra-soft microfiber pillowcases — they get over 16,000 five-star reviews — calling them “wrinkle-free,” “very soft,” and “beautiful!” They are very affordable, yes, at two for $8. But it’s the gorgeous colors — a dozen of them — and delicious texture as well as the roomy fit that wins people over.


This cast iron grill press for next-level grilled cheese & burgers

You could invest a lot of money in a panini grill that will also take up a lot of space in your kitchen. Or go analog with this heavy, cast-iron grill press and a skillet. Heat the grill while you heat the pan, put your grilled cheese or burger under the press, and let it cook. Reviewers are eating this up and give this handy press almost 23,000 five-star ratings.


A phone mount for your bike so you can off-road & know where you are

Why do cars get all the phone mounts? When you travel by bike, getting lost can be much more serious. Fortunately, this bike and motorcycle phone mount grabs the handlebars of your bike and grips your phone safely in its grasp. It also has backup security in the form of elastic bands that make sure your phone stays put. Now you can navigate, take calls, or even listen to music while you ride.


The cable clips that make all your cables stay put

Why is the charger cord always under the bed? This set of six cable clips will quickly put an end to those shenanigans. Just peel and stick it to the bedside table or wall and clip that cord into it. It will stay put. Almost 14,000 people have solved this universal problem happily with these clips and give them five stars.


A battery backup your fur baby would approve of

This slender and highly portable backup power bank is a handy little device that you will be glad you have with you next time your phone threatens to conk out before you get to a power source. It has two USB ports to charge two devices at once and a built-in flashlight because you might need one of those. And the cute paw print power-level indicator is a nice touch that will please your pet.


The clever cleaning pen for your earbuds

The state of earbuds after sticking them in your ears, dropping them frequently, and carrying them clutched in your fist is likely less than pristine. Now that you have contemplated that, you will need a way to clean them. This cleaning pen for earphones is it. It has a pointy top that can reach in and pull out debris, a high-density brush, and a flocking sponge (that can reach into the charger crevice) all packed into a pen-shaped tool that’s easy to cart along.


This compact outlet expander packed with plugs & USB portals

When outlets are in short supply, this multi-plug outlet will save the day. Use it to plug in four standard plugs and three USB plugs at once. Keep it in your travel kit to solve for bad hotel room or cruise-ship wiring and other emergencies, or use it in an underpowered bathroom or kitchen to plug in all your modern appliances.


The microwave splatter cover that gets over 40,000 five-star reviews

Dread cleaning the microwave? Preventing that splatter mess is a lot easier. Simply set this vented, collapsible microwave cover over the food before you hit the start button and it will capture any splatter that happens. It also helps your food heat more evenly. And you can put it in the dishwasher. It collapses to store and comes in three sizes and three colors.


These big claws for tearing apart meat with ease

When you are lifting a turkey out of the oven or tearing apart roast pork to make pulled pork sandwiches, these meat claws will give you the power you need to get that job done quickly and easily. There is an easy-to-grip handle to give you purchase, and six bear-sized claws to tear into the meat. “I can shred a pork butt in half the time!” said one reviewer.


This monitor stand for a more ergonomic home office

That crick in your neck that seems to be getting worse? It could be caused by your laptop position. If you set your rig on a monitor stand and attach an external keyboard when you plan to work for more than a few minutes, things can feel a lot comfier. This adjustable stand has three height settings so you can dial in the ergonomics. The perforated surface channels heat away from your machine. And it creates storage under your laptop for the things you like to keep on hand.


The oven mitts made with durable silicone

Pull on these silicone oven mitts when you are cooking and they will help protect your hands from the heat, just like the big puffy ones — but they are flexible and grippy and allow you more dexterity. They are also easier to clean since you can just run them under water, and they come in lots of colors and get almost 28,000 five-star ratings.


The grill cleaner set that’s fast & easy

This grill cleaner set makes cleaning your grill so easy that you’ll do it more often. Just clip the cleaning wipes onto the handle and scrub off all the grease and dirt. There is a scraper on the end for difficult baked-on messes so you don’t need any other tools for this. Then just toss the wipe and start cooking!


This classic wine opener that bartenders swear by

This simple, pocketable wine opener is one that professionals use (just peep the reviews). It has every tool needed — foil cutter, leverage, and the corkscrew all packaged in an elegant and svelte ebony wood handle that slides easily into a pocket so you have it with you. Once you learn how to use this, you will never consider any other method because it’s fast, easy, and reliable.


A pizza paddle so fine you’ll want to hang it on the wall

Getting a pizza or bread dough in and out of the oven is very difficult without a pizza peel. But a tool that big is difficult to store. You won’t want to store this wood pizza paddle, though. You will want to hang it on the wall so you can look at it. It’s made of a lovely piece of acacia wood, has an easy-to-hold handle, and is treated with mineral oil so your bread and pizza slide right off.


These suction cup hooks that help hang anything anywhere

Want to hang your washcloth in the shower or the ice scoop on the front of the freezer? Or maybe you have some obscure use case that requires a hook. This eight-pack of suction cup hooks will stick to any smooth surface and hold whatever it is you want to hang there. They can handle up to a pound of weight and mounting them is a matter of pressing them to the surface.


A slim, insulated tumbler that’s easier to tote

This triple-insulated stainless steel slim tumbler is an ideal way to sip water on the go because it will slide easily into even an undersized backpack pocket, yet still fit just fine in your car’s cup holder. But the tall, slender design and its ability to keep your beverage hot or cold for hours transition well to sipping a cocktail from the couch, too. The sturdy flip-top lid won’t leak and it comes in lots of colors.


These durable kitchen shears that cut everything from chicken to packaging

Keep this double pack of kitchen shears in a drawer and save yourself the daily frustration of getting food out of packages. They are also great for cutting up a chicken or slicing herbs right into the pot. They come in a wide range of great colors and have a blade cover to keep your hands safe when they are stored. There is even a bottle opener built into the handle.


These 2 travel soap dishes that don’t let soap get soggy

This pair of travel soap containers is the ideal solution for your next trip. They are sized perfectly for a normal-sized bar of soap and have a built-in drainer so that bar can travel immediately after a shower without turning into a slimy mess. You can set the bottom section in the shower, as a soap dish, at your hotel or campsite. And the lid seals it all in snugly so it doesn’t leak into your luggage.


A document stand to make reading & typing easier

When you are reading from a piece of paper and trying to type at the same time, you can save yourself a lot of time and neck pain by snapping the page into this document holder and standing it next to your monitor. A reading guide slides down the page as you go so you don’t lose your place as you read, and it folds up to store in a drawer.


The rack that finally organizes all the pot lids & cookie sheets

Bring quick order to chaotic cupboards with this handy pot lid organizer that stands baking sheets, pot lids, and other awkward-to-store items in a neat row. With 10 slots it will gather a lot of space-wasting gear together into a small footprint while making it easy to find everything. “This is sturdy and really helped organize and declutter my pots and pan cabinet,” said one reviewer.


An oil sprayer bottle so you know what’s in your cooking spray

Instead of spraying your food with whatever is in those canned cooking sprays when you want to lightly coat a pan or piece of food, use your own olive or grapeseed oil. Just fill this oil sprayer with the fine oil you prefer. The glass bottle holds over three ounces. Just press the big button on top to mist your food lightly.


These comfortable over-ear Bluetooth headphones that are so affordable

When you want to tune out your neighbor's dog or another irritating noise so you can focus while you work or listen to the TV while others try to sleep, pull on this affordable pair of Bluetooth headphones. They are comfortable, look good on, have a noise canceling feature, fold up for storage, and come in lots of great colors. They can operate as wired headphones, too. All this for less than $20? That explains the over 40,000 five-star reviews.


The tea infuser mug that brews loose tea as easily as a teabag

If you want to expand your tea option beyond easy-to-brew tea bags, this tea infuser mug is the ticket. The stainless steel infuser fits neatly into the cup. Just spoon some loose tea leaves in and pour hot water over it. Put the lid on to keep your brew hot while it steeps. Then use the lid as a drip tray for the infuser while you sip.


This decorative & tidy remote control organizer

This little remote control organizer creates easy-access storage for all your remote controls right on the coffee table. The bamboo divider in the center pairs nicely with the white exterior and creates a space that stands remotes perfectly on end. It works well for office supplies, vanity tools, and other small items that tend to create clutter, too.


The multipurpose ramen bowl that makes lunch easy

If you like to pack your lunch, this four-piece ramen bowl expands your options beyond sandwiches. It makes cooking ramen in a microwave — with all your drop-in condiments separated — super easy. The divided lid holds the toppings and the included travel chopsticks, while fill lines on the bowl make it easy to load with water and noodles. And it can be cleaned in the dishwasher.


A sleek, wall-mounted rack for toothbrushes or razors

Stick this slick, wall-mounted toothbrush holder to the wall and get the clutter off the vanity. Or peel-and-stick it to the shower wall for your razors. It’s decorative, impervious to water, easy to install, and holds three toothbrushes or razors upright so they drip dry.


An anti-fatigue mat so your legs & back have cushiony support

Your feet will love standing on this cushioned anti-fatigue mat whether you set it in front of your standing desk or the kitchen sink. The surface is easy to clean and the squishy and thick mat softens a hard floor so that standing is easier on your feet, legs, and back. It comes in four colors and six sizes so you can fit it easily into the size and look of your room.


This colorful set of stacking mixing bowls

Pick a color palette and enjoy the graduated expression of that color in this set of four mixing bowls that stack, pour, and have a convenient handle to make using them easy. Each bowl in your set will be a slightly different hue of the color you chose. They are beautiful, functional, and easy to store.


This little magnetic chess set you can take anywhere

If you enjoy a game of chess, pack along this travel chess set so you can play at bars, while you wait for your food in restaurants, on train rides, or wherever you go. The board folds in half, creating a compartment in the center that holds the pieces in velvet bags. And the pieces are magnetic so they stick to the board, making it possible for the game to go on while in motion.


The automatic eraser that speeds up your drawing projects

If you like to sketch, plan, or draw with pencils, you will love how quickly this electric eraser removes mistakes and extra pencil lines. Just push the button and let it do all the rubbing out. It comes with 51 eraser refills to keep you productive for a long time and runs on two AAA batteries.


This portable wireless keyboard that turns any tablet into a computer

Connect this rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard to your phone or tablet so you can input at the speed of QWERTY, anytime and anywhere. The keys are backlit in your choice of seven colors so you can see the keys even when ambient light is low. And it’s so light, thin, and compact that it’s easy to toss in a bag and have at the ready whenever an idea or the need to take notes strikes.

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