In my mind, there are three types of products you can buy in any category. Firstly, there are the strict necessities — think cotton T-shirts or toothpaste. Then there are the “nice-to-haves”: Your reusable water bottle, your favorite cologne, etc. You could live without them, but they make life a little more enjoyable. And then there are the life-changers. They're unexpectedly clever, fulfill a specific purpose, and complete your life even though you never knew you needed them before.
This list is full to the brim of the latter. And I know they’re life-changing because they’re flying off the shelves. As consumers, it can be hard to cut through the noise and determine what's actually worth it. But two things to look for are skyrocketing popularity and positive reviews on Amazon, and these 45 products check those boxes.
For example, consider this car cell phone mount, which displays your directions and helps you keep your eyes on the road. Or these elastic shoelaces, which athletes love because they stay on securely without tying your shoes. People love them, and they come in handy all the time. Go ahead and browse through these 45 items, and you might just find something those life-changers that you’ll wish you bought years ago.
1. A travel pillow that actually supports your neck
Traditional travel pillows just won’t cut it on long trips, so try swapping it for this uniquely-shaped neck support travel pillow instead. It wears like a scarf and can be ergonomically adjusted to keep your head in an upright position while sleeping. Lined with super soft fleece and filled with cozy internal cushioning, the patented design provides scientifically-proven neck support so you won’t wake up with aches and pains (or on your neighbor’s shoulder!). It’s also much less bulky than traditional travel pillows, so it’s easy to pack in your carry-on or attach to the handle of your bag.
2. A slim wallet that blocks RFID signals
Protect your identity, your credit cards, and your sense of style with this slim leather wallet. Available in over 30 colors, this wallet has eight slots for your license, credit cards, gift cards, and other necessities, but it’s slim enough to slide into any pocket. The best thing about this highly portable wallet is its ability to block RFID signals, keeping your identity secure as you travel and shop.
3. This innovative cup holder that fits oversized bottles
I love my 32 ounce water bottle, but I hate how it doesn’t fit in most car cup holders. The Swigzy car cup holder expander solves that problem, adding an adjustable adaptor to your car’s cup holder that conveniently fits most 20 to 40 ounce bottles. Simply twist the top of the adaptor to expand or retract the base, and the xtra thick pads will ensure it stays in place. The best part about this item is that it’s easily adjustable so as not to block the adjacent cupholder, keeping that coveted space available for smaller cups and bottles.
4. A pack of reusable cloths that you can use on any surface
These Swedish dishcloths are an effective, sustainable replacement for paper towels. Made from biodegradable cellulose and cotton, they become soft to the touch when wet and are safe to use on nearly all surfaces, including wood, glass, marble, stainless steel, and tile. They’re super absorbent and clean up spills more efficiently, and all you have to do for cleanup is toss them in the wash. These multipurpose cloths can be used to clean basically anything, which is why they have over 26,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
5. A set of colanders that collapse for easy storage
These are some things that are just awkward to store in your kitchen cabinets, like colanders. This set of silicone colanders are actually collapsable down to just 2 inches, which means they slide easily into the nooks and crannies of your cupboards. Made of durable, BPA-free silicone that’s heat resistant up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, this duo has a 2-quart colander with handle and a 3-quart round colander and is available in five different colors.
6. A weather radio that’s also a power bank & flashlight
This emergency weather radio has three sources of power. It can be charged with a crank lever, solar panel, or AAA batteries, making this a handy thing to have for camping or at home just in case. In addition to receiving NOAA emergency broadcasts and AM/FM radio frequencies, this device can also be used as a phone power bank and as a LED reading or flashlight.
7. A hard working, ultra-moisturizing hand cream duo
This duo of hand creams from O’Keeffe’s are ultra concentrated and conditioning. The daytime cream adds a protective layer to your hands, so it’s good to keep in your bag, especially during winter months. Meanwhile the nighttime cream can restore extremely dry, cracked hands overnight. These hand creams come highly rated on Amazon, with over 11,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating overall.
8. A tiny device that stops hair from clogging your drain
You could potentially save yourself thousands of dollars in plumbers bills just by installing the TubShroom hair catcher in your bathtub drain. The patented design fits neatly inside standard drains and collects hair before it washes away, preventing clogs before they start. Since hair wraps neatly around the TubShroom, cleanup is easy: All you have to do is periodically remove and wipe it down. This item is pure genius and has nearly 70,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
9. This compact pod that keeps herbs fresher, longer
Fresh herbs can make or break your meals, but they wilt quickly in the fridge. Enter: the Prepara herb savor pod. Thiss compact pod fits easily into your fridge door and protect your herbs from being crushed by other products. Just rinse and pat dry your herbs (or asparagus), place them in the pod, and add some fresh water. According to the manufacturer, your herbs will stay fresh and delicious for up to three weeks.
10. This brush that gently detangles even the worst knots
A good hairbrush can make all the difference in your haircare routine, and Amazon reviewers love the Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush. It has flexible bristles that work to gently separate your strands sideways instead of ripping through knots, and you can use it on wet or dry hair without fear of breakage. It’s even gentle enough to use on kids: One reviewer wrote: “I'm a single dad of a 6 years [sic] old girl and combing her hair is the hardest part of taking care of her. She gets really bad knots in her hair. This brush is the only thing that has ever worked.”
11. A popcorn popper that has 30,000 five-star reviews
I’m a bit of a popcorn fiend, but I hate the mess that accompanies making it on the stovetop. Fortunately, all you have to do to make delicious, fresh, homemade popcorn with this microwave popcorn popper is measure your kernels into the dual-function lid, pour them into the popper, and place in the microwave for three minutes or so. The heat-safe glass will pop the popcorn to perfection, and you can even use the lid to melt the butter as you go.
12. This portable lock that gives you peace of mind anywhere
Whether you’re looking to supplement your home security or want safety at a hotel or AirBnB, this portable door lock is an easy answer. It can be installed on any door in seconds without tools. Just insert the metal piece into the slot of the door at the lock, close the door, and place the red handle in the groove of the metal sheet. No one will be able to open the door from the outside, even with a key. This $15 investment can provide peace of mind while traveling or living alone, which is why it has nearly 6,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
13. A phone armband with 31,000 five-star reviews
Keep your phone handy while running with this water resistant cell phone armband, so you can talk, text, and control your music as needed while exercising. The comfortable elastic armband is easy to put on and adjust, and beyond holding your phone, this band has a hidden slot to keep keys and a headphone cord organizer; these smart features have helped this simple but useful accessory gather over 31,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It comes in a few different sizes to comfortably accommodate most smartphones and is available in 11 different colors and styles.
14. These refrigerator drawer liners that prevent food waste
Storing your produce properly can really make a difference in your food’s lifespan. These fruit and veggie life extending fridge liners will help you in your efforts to toss less food. They sit on the shelves and drawers of your refrigerator, absorbing moisture and allowing air to circulate, which prevents any food in contact with it from spoiling and rotting. Each of the six liners measures 12 by 15 inches, and can easily be cut to size to fit your fridge.
15. An all-natural skin cream that does almost everything
I can’t prove that Cleopatra herself actually used Egyptian Magic all purpose skin cream, but I can tell you that it’s been an all-natural skincare remedy for 30-plus years. Amazon reviewers of all skin types love it for its ultra-moisturizing properties, and it can be used all over the body to achieve soft, healthy, and glowing skin. Beyond that, you can use this all-purpose skin cream for almost any purpose, including as a lip balm, hand cream, makeup remover, eye cream, face mask, and hair conditioner.
16. An outlet extender with room for all your devices
Who decided outlets only need two plugs? It’s 2022, you’ll need all the space this outlet extender has to offer. The three-sided outlet makes the most of your outlet and has space for up to eight devices between the three high-speed USB charging ports and five AC outlets. There’s even a smart night light at the base that turns on automatically when the room becomes dark, and it’s equipped with surge and overheating protection to keep your electronics and home safe.
17. These house shoes that are made of breathable fabric
If your feet tend to get warm but you still want all of the comfort of a slipper, these house shoes just may be the solution to all your woes. They have a plush lining and memory foam insoles that make you feel like you’re walking on a cloud, but the upper half of the shoe is made of a breathable, flexible fabric that’s very comfortable. A velcro strap allows you to adjust these shoes to your comfort, and they’re available in 27 different colors and patterns.
18. These wet wipes that work better than toilet paper
Quit toilet paper for good and replace it with DUDE wipes, which clean up down there (or anywhere!) gently and effectively. The wet wipes are made with 99% water and plant-based ingredients, and are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free to instantly clean and refresh sensitive skin. They contain gentle aloe and vitamin E to prevent irritation, and are 25% larger than your average flushable wet wipes. And these really work; they have over 31,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon.
19. The pouches that keep your phone protected underwater
For your next adventure, don’t forget to pack your phone into one of these universal waterproof phone pouches. It seals any phone inside (up to 7 inches tall and 4 inches wide), keeping it safe from water damage while still allowing you complete use of the camera and touchscreen. It’s fully submersible up to 100 feet deep, and has an adjustable lanyard to keep it securely attached around your neck while swimming, kayaking, hiking, fishing, snorkeling, and more. Use it for any other valuables you’d like to keep dry too, such as credit cards, ID, or cash.
20. A desk organizer that will transform your junk drawer
If you’re anything like me, you have one of those drawers in your home that holds everything from everyday essentials like scissors and pens to sewing supplies, tape, extra batteries, and the directions to assembling your dresser. Get that junk drawer in order with this best-selling desk drawer organizer. It has 10 compartments of different sizes that can be interlocked, mixed, and matched to suit your needs. The plastic compartments are easy to wipe clean and even easier to snap together, making that stressful overflow area an organized oasis.
21. A dryer vent cleaner that attaches to your vacuum
Remove years of built-up lint in one go with this dryer vent cleaner that attaches to your vacuum. It has a narrow opening and an extra-long hose to reach within your lint trap. There’s also a long brush included to help retrieve lint, and you can use it to clean out both your inside and outside dryer vents. “I used the vacuum attachment as soon as I got it because our dryer was not working as well as it used to. I could not believe the amount of lint that I was able to vacuum out of the filter area, even though I conscientiously clean the filter every time I dry a load of laundry. The attachment works great and was able to access the lower area of the filter space that I didn't even know was there. It also worked well on cleaning the vent on the outside of our house,” one of the nearly 12,000 five-star reviewers on Amazon wrote about this attachment.
22. This reusable bento box to pack your lunch in style
You (or your mom) packed your lunchbox for school as a kid, now get ready for the adult version. This BPA-free reusable bento lunch box has three roomy compartments to separate your meal, and comes with matching silverware that clips onto the lid neatly. It’s microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe, made from eco-friendly materials in a compact size to easily fit in your work bag.
23. A conditioning mask that restores dull hair
So many things can damage your hair like over-washing, heat styling, color, and environmental factor. Breathe new life into your strands with this deep conditioning hair mask, a professional salon-quality treatment that repairs, restores, and strengthens weak and damaged hair. It’s rich in argan oil to detangle, hydrate, and revive hair of all textures, leaving it shinier, healthier, and easier to manage. This hair mask is an Amazon favorite, with over 26,000 five-star reviews.
24. An easy-to-use car mount with 57,000 five-star reviews
The iOttie universal car phone mount is the No. 1 best selling car dash/window mount on Amazon with over 57,000 five-star reviews, and it’s easy to see why. It uses their patented easy one touch mechanism to place and remove your phone from the mount with just one hand, and the suction cup provides a secure hold whether it’s place on the dash or windshield. The telescopic arm extends up to 6.5 inches on a 260 degree arc, so you can position your screen optimally and keep your eyes on the road where they belong.
25. The pocket-sized hand warmer that runs for eight hours
For camping, hiking, skiing, or just a walk around the neighborhood on an especially cold day, you won’t want to leave the house without this rechargeable electric hand warmer. It offers constant, double-sided heating, up to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, for as long as eight hours and just takes a few seconds to get to temperature. It also serves as a backup battery for your phone, and the sleek, slim design means it slides easily into a pocket or glove.
26. These elastic shoelaces that stay on while exercising
Originally designed for triathletes, these elastic no-tie shoelaces are a must-have for runners, athletes, children, people with arthritis, and those who just hate tying their shoes. Swap the laces in any of your sneakers for these, and they’ll stay on your feet securely, even while you’re being active — the 48,000-plus five-star reviews don’t lie. They’re easy to swap for your normal laces, and come in a black, white, gray, yellow, red, and a wide variety of neutral and bright colors to match every pair of kicks in your closet.
27. A comfortable lap desk with some really clever features
If working from home means working from bed, then you need this home office lap desk. Large enough to hold a laptop or notebook, there’s even a built-in ledge to keep your device from falling, so you can sit (or lay) in whatever position you’d like. Beyond the basics, this lap desk has an integrated mouse pad and cell phone slot to keep you organized, and the dual-bolster cushion on the bottom conforms to your lap comfortably.
28. This handy car table that clips onto most steering wheels
This auto steering wheel desk is a road trip necessity. This best-selling tray easily clips onto your steering wheel (while you’re parked, of course) and provides a tabletop surface to work or eat off of. There’s a cupholder on right side, and a flat surface on the left with raised edges to prevent spills. It’s even large and sturdy enough to hold a laptop or notebook, so as long as you’ve got internet, you can work from the car.
29. These blue light glasses that help with eye strain
If you spend all day on your computer, phone, and watching TV (which, let’s be honest, is a lot of us), then it’s about time you try these blue light glasses. Available in a pack of two, these surprisingly stylish glasses filter out the harmful blue light that comes from screens, which can help alleviate headaches and eye strain. With over 25,000 five-star reviews, you can trust that these glasses work well.
30. This tiny food processor that speeds up prep work
If you cook with a lot of onion, garlic, and ginger, then you know how long it can take to mince all of those flavorful ingredients. This mini food processor speeds up all of that prep work, just toss your ingredients in the 3-cup chopper, press the top, and watch magic happen. This compact kitchen tool is also great for chopping nuts, making pesto and dressings, and blending baby food.
31. This roller stamp that can replace your paper shredder
If you can’t make the investment in a paper shredder, this identity theft protection roller stamp set is a suitable privacy solution. The busy pattern blocks out any private information and makes it impossible to read, so your sensitive paperwork, such as bills, medical documents, tax information, and more, can be recycled normally afterwards. The 1.5-inch wide roller quickly and easily covers large swaths of text, and the set comes with three sets of refill ink.
32. These immunity-boosting gummies that help you sleep
Olly makes a variety of sleep-related supplements, and their immunity sleep gummies in particular are designed to support a healthy immune system while you catch snooze. They contain melatonin and L-theanine to help you fall and stay asleep through the night, while elderberry, echinacea, zinc, and vitamin C act as a line of defense against illness. They’re free of colors and flavors, making them a tasty thing to take for a good night’s sleep while recovering from common illnesses.
33. The BlenderBottle that will upgrade your shakes
The classic shaker BlenderBottle is a solid investment for those who drink protein shakes. Use the one-of-a-kind wire whisk to evenly blend your ingredients, mixing your drink to a smooth, drinkable consistency every single time. The leakproof lid and other smart design details, like ounce measurement markings, make it a top choice for athletes, gym-goers, and more, which is why it has 40,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
34. A memory book that can help you sustain a daily diary
You don’t have to commit to writing a novel to foster a daily journaling habit, the One Line A Day five-year memory book only requires you to write a single sentence. It’s a great way to start or end your day, and the keepsake diary will offer valuable snapshots of your life throughout the five years it lasts for.
35. A face oil that uses cocoa butter to restore your skin
Winter weather and other factors can take a real toll on your skin, leaving it dull, dry, and generally unhappy. The Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Skin Therapy Oil uses a variety of powerful ingredients to restore moisture, smooth texture, and brighten the skin, all without clogging the pores or leaving you greasy. The 10 pure oils and cocoa butter hydrate and smooth, while retinol and vitamin C brighten and help even out skin tone and texture. Apply a thin layer to your face and neck two to three times a week after cleansing, and be sure to follow up with an SPF to seal in all the benefits and protect the skin from sun damage.
36. A pooper scooper that makes picking up after your pup easier
This heavy-duty pooper scooper makes it easier to clean up after your dog. Use the rake and tray around your yard to neatly and easily scrape up their, ahem, debris, without bending over or kneeling. The large, rust-proof metal tray holds a lot of waste, so you won’t have to walk back and forth to finish the task.
37. A tiny two-in-one emergency car escape tool
This car escape tool weighs less than 1 ounce, but it has two tools in one to rescue you in an emergency. The keychain-size tool comes equipped with a stainless steel seatbelt cutter blade and a spring-loaded spike to break your car window. Keep it handy on your keychain or hanging from the rearview mirror: Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it offers peace of mind should the worst case scenario come true.
38. A hard-working boot tray made for muddy shoes
Don’t track your wet or muddy shoes through the house: Kick them off directly onto one of these boot trays, made from durable recycled materials that help contain messes. Place one on your porch or entryway for convenience — they’re large enough to hold a family’s worth of footwear, and come in a two pack. You can even use one as a tray for your pet’s food and water bowls to prevent spills, or inside your cabinets to prevent cleaning products from dripping and damaging its surface.
39. An innovative mat that traps kitty litter
Cat owners know the pains of always having to vacuum up loose litter. Instead of whipping out your Hoover every day, outfit their litter box area with this cat litter mat to keep them from tracking gross debris across the house. Think of it as a doormat: The double-layer mat has a honeycomb design which allows litter to collect at the bottom, so all you have to do is dump it back in the box or trash as needed. The EVA material is soft on their paws, and the bottom layer is waterproof to protect your floors and make cleaning up other pet messes as easy as turning on the hose.
40. A portable phone charger with a genius design
You’ll never regret carrying this high capacity portable charger power bank around with you, especially while traveling, whether you’re going across the world or across town. On a full charge, this universal charger can power an iPhone 11 five times over, and has three ports to plug in multiple devices at once. The LCD display screen shows the current battery level, so you’ll know exactly when it’s time to recharge this battery, unlike other power banks that keep you guessing.
41. These silicone food storage bags that are endlessly reusable
If one of your goals is to reduce your use of single-use plastics, these reusable silicone food storage bags can help you on your journey. This set of four and are microwave, freezer, sous vide, and dishwasher safe for easy prep, storage, cooking, and cleanup. The signature airtight Pinch-Loc technology keeps food fresh and safe, whether your stashing leftovers, taking snacks on-the-go, or marinating meat.
42. The resistance bands with a 4.7-star rating
Add a little intensity to leg day with this three pack of resistance bands. Each of the differently colored bands add increasing resistance to basic exercises. Use these durable bands that won’t roll as a companion to crunches, squats, lunges, leg raises, and more to up the ante and strengthen your muscles. They’re made of a thick, non-slip polyester blend fabric, and are easy to throw in your bag to take to the gym or wherever else you may want to work out, which is why they have a 4.7-star rating on Amazon with over 26,000 total reviews.
43. A Macbook adapter with seven extra plug-ins
If you have a newer-model MacBook that lacks HMDI ports, you know the struggle. This USB-C hub adapter plugs in to the existing ports on your MacBook, extending the two USB C ports to accommodate HDMI, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0 devices, as well as SD and micro SD cards. It also allows you to mirror your display or extend the display to another monitor or TV, ideal for dual-screen work or entertainment. It’s a convenient and portable device that even the least tech savvy among us will use all the time.
44. A cult favorite insulated water bottle that’s so sleek
This Simple Modern water bottle with a straw lid is a bona fide cult favorite, with over 38,000 reviews on Amazon and an overall 4.8-star rating. Available in 35 different colors and patterns, this BPA-free water bottle keeps the liquid inside at its ideal temperature for hours thanks to its vacuum seal and double walled stainless steel material. The straw lid is leak-proof when closed, and is also top-rack dishwasher safe to keep things nice and clean.
45. These reusable grill mats that make BBQ cleanup a breeze
Love to barbecue but hate the cleanup? These non-stick BBQ grill mats are for you. Lay them directly on top of the grill before you start cooking to keep food morsels from falling through the grates — they’ll also help prevent your food from burning and sticking to the grill. They’re made from ultra-thin, food-safe materials that can withstand heat, and you can even pop them in the dishwasher when you’re done and reuse them over 100 times.