There are so many weird habits, foods, and life hacks clever people have discovered when inspired by necessity because, as you know, necessity is the mother of invention. But before the era of Amazon reviews, it was slow-going to discover them. You had to either find out yourself or go to parties, get involved in random chit-chat, and hope your friends were clever enough to discover genius hacks that can save tons of money (and that are worth implementing). Now, you can find thousands of clever people sharing wisdom just by doing one product search on Amazon. And you will learn not only why this seemingly random item is worth having, but also how to use it. That’s what I did. And I found 58 weird but genius things you may not realize people are obsessed with.
I was unaware until recently, for example, that you can buy a telescope that fits in a pocket. Instead of peering at that lump out at sea and wondering if it could be a whale, it can be seen close and in detail. And it turns out you don’t have to suffer the tears and anguish of cutting onions. There is a pair of goggles to wear while chopping so the onion fumes can’t reach eyeballs. And there is, apparently, a near cult of people out there who turn vegetables into spiralized pasta shapes with a specialized tool. I have just learned that I am one of their people and I can’t wait to start spiralizing.
Whether shopping for yourself or a hard-to-please friend, read on to find a host of weird things that just might become a new obsession.
1. A dispenser that neatly stores all the fresh eggs
If you buy your eggs fresh from the farmer’s market or farm — or get home delivery from your own hens — this countertop egg storage dispenser is a must-have. Put the eggs in from the top and the eggs you’ve had the longest will always be ready to grab from the bottom. No more elaborate systems for keeping track of egg freshness, it takes up only a small footprint on the counter, and it looks awesome.
2. This elevation pillow that’s like at-home therapy for tired legs
This firm memory foam leg-elevation pillow gives a full eight inches of lift to one or both legs for those times when it’s necessary to elevate an injured foot, leg, or ankle, or to provide support for pain-free back sleeping. Reviewers are huge fans of the relief offered from back and nerve pain, and over 9,000 of them rate it five stars.
3. The genius hack to keep rug corners from curling
If the corners of your rugs curl up, causing a trip hazard and thwarting the look you were going for, stick these stiff, grippy rug corners to the underside of the rug. The weight of it will instantly stop the curl, and the rubbery, grippy bottom that touches the floor will prevent slipping without using adhesives that could damage the floor.
4. This hairbrush that detangles without damage or pain
Whether faced with a screaming child and a mass of knotted hair, or your own strands need some gentle detangling, this brush is the tool everyone seems to be turning to. The bristles separate and pull apart tangles and knots without pulling hair and causing breakage or pain. Over 34,000 people say it’s the right tool for the job and give it five stars.
5. A soap with activated charcoal that heals & refreshes
These two bars of soap clean, clarify, and treat what ails the skin. Their black color comes from activated charcoal, which helps remove impurities. And they have a delightful tingly sensation that comes from organic tea tree oil, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils. These not only smell and feel terrific, but have antibacterial and antifungal elements that combat skin conditions like acne and athlete’s foot.
6. These clever under-bed storage bags
Free up closet and drawer space by storing off-season linens, a massive shoe collection, or extra sweaters under the bed in this easy-to-access and roomy storage bag. It zips open completely to make it easy to find stored items. The handle on the side makes retrieval easy, and its fabric is breathable so the items don’t molder in airless storage.
7. A quick set of shelves for the closet
Add five shelves of sweater or shoe storage to any closet in just a couple minutes with this hanging shelf system. Hook it over the closet rod to create a set of roomy 12-inch wide shelves for folded clothing, bags, or shoes. There are also six mesh pockets on the sides for hard-to-store items like clutches and wallets. It comes in four colors and nearly 9,000 people give it five stars.
8. These fun dinosaur keychains that are also bottle openers
Ideal for adding style to keychains — and for being able ID keys at a glance — these little dinosaur keyrings are a perfect package. They come in three types (T-Rex, Triceratops, or Stegasaurus) to satisfy the dino enthusiast in your life. Also, each one doubles as a bottle opener so you or your friends will never be stuck with a beer that can’t be opened on the spot.
9. The collapsible straw that’s easy to always have on hand
Nobody likes a paper straw that falls apart in seconds. Instead, pull out one of these collapsible metal straws. It fits on any keychain in a tiny metal case, and telescopes to a silicone tip that prevents teeth-to-metal clinkage. There’s even a retractable cleaning brush that fits inside for cleaning on the go. With this handy two-pack keep one for yourself and gift the other.
10. A beer glass with a funny golfball “garnish”
When your game is golf and your drink is beer, this is the glass you want to sip from. A new Titleist golf ball is embedded in what looks like a crater in the glass from when an errant (or expert) shot left the course and hit it. Each of these pint glasses is crafted by hand in Wisconsin and will make any golfer who loves beer very happy.
11. This e-reader that puts an entire library in hand
With a battery life that goes for weeks, a capacity that can hold thousands of books, and a front light for reading in a dark room, this Kindle lets anyone easily take a reading habit on the road. Pack hundreds of books along so a great read is just a pocket away. You can even connect Bluetooth headphones and let the Kindle read the books aloud.
12. A tiny monocular telescope that fits in a pocket
When the bird, critter, or whale is just out of sight, any nature enthusiast can pull this monocular telescope out of their pocket to get a good look. It magnifies distant objects 16 times so it’s easy to make out fine details, but is only six inches long so it easily fits in a pocket or the side of a backpack. It’s waterproof and won’t fog up in the rain.
13. This pillow that aligns joints for better side sleeping
Tuck this cooling knee pillow between your legs when you sleep on your side and it will align your back, take pressure off your knees and ankles, and make everything about side-sleeping more comfortable. The memory foam molds to your body shape, a cooling gel keeps you from overheating, and a removable cover makes it easy to keep clean.
14. A storage ottoman for quick cleanups
Need a place to store toys, video games, or spare blankets? This storage ottoman is an attractive and functional piece of furniture that can be used as a coffee table or a place to kick up your feet. Remove the lid, though, and neatly tuck any clutter out of sight.
15. These goggles that prevent crying when cutting onions
When chopping onions starts prompting waterworks, it’s easy to don these padded goggles and carry on. The neoprene seal around the outside keeps onion fumes from getting to eyes so cooks can chop all the alliums they like without shedding a tear. Wear them to keep bugs and wind away from eyes, too, when gardening or riding a bike.
16. The skinny spatula that gets the last drop from the jar
This slender spatula is the tool you want for reducing wasted product. Easily get that last bit of batter or smoothie out of your blender jar, or the remains of peanut butter from the container. The handle is long and the business end is super slim so you can reach into corners, and deep into the jar. It’s formed in one piece for easy cleaning.
17. This trick for getting the last drop from bottles
Instead of struggling, shaking the bottle, and giving up, trade the lid of a hand soap, lotion, or shampoo bottle for one of these two caps with a tripod top that stores the bottle upside down. Instead of fighting gravity, it becomes a friend so that even the very last drops of the bottle slip out easily.
18. These two little bag sealers so chips never go stale
Too often, opening that bag of chips, cookies, or cereal becomes a race against time to eat the contents before they go stale. It doesn’t have to be like this. These two small bag sealers quickly reseal packages so they feel fresh from the store. Just press the open end into the mouth of the sealer and slowly heat it closed. These hang from a handy hook, run on batteries, and come in four colors.
19. A stand that turns a smartphone into a useful display
Whether following a recipe, watching a video, or just glancing at the time from across the room, it’s super handy to set a phone in this sleek aluminum stand. There are spaces for charging cables, the phone holder easily adjusts to just about any viewing angle, and it can hold a phone even in a heavy case. Choose from seven different colors that complement any tablescape.
20. The lap pad that cools down laptops
When working from bed or the couch, laptops can build up a lot of heat. That’s not only uncomfortable, it’s bad for the machine. This laptop pad actively cools down laptops while protecting legs from the heat. An LED indicator shows the computer’s temperature, two fans dissipate heat, and it also puts two USB ports within easy reach.
21. This weird hammock footrest for desks or flights
This sling-style footrest easily hangs from the tray table on any flight and offers real comfort from the seat. It elevates feet while allowing some movement, so travelers can lean back without feeling restricted, and get some rest. It works at the desk, too. And it rolls up small so it’s easy to pack.
22. A handy spiralizer for quick meals with veggies
Turn carrots, zucchini, beets, or any vegetable into the shapes of pasta that can be tossed into quick stir-fries or salads. Just load them into this spiralizer and crank the handle. There are five blades that create different shapes, it locks firmly to the counter so it doesn’t budge while its working, and it fits tidily into a cabinet.
23. These gloves that work with touchscreens
You don’t have to go offline to keep your hands warm. These handy gloves have a warm lining, come in 13 colors, and have a grippy palm to help you hold onto your phone or steering wheel. They also work with a touchscreen so you don’t have to expose your fingers to the cold to consult Google or send a text.
24. The Squatty Potty rendered in a stylish bamboo
The Squatty Potty has changed the way people go, for the better, allowing humans to sit on a toilet in a natural pose more conducive to elimination. If a white plastic stool messes with the ambience of a stylish bathroom, though, this bamboo version is even better. It looks modern and minimalist and flips easily to change between a seven-inch tall stool and a nine-inch tall stool.
25. A cooling blanket for better sleep in overheated rooms
This queen-sized blanket is cotton on one side and a combination of mica and other cooling elements on the other, creating a blanket that feels cool to the touch. Hot sleepers can climb under it when the room is too warm, and it will help them feel cozy and also get some Z’s. The fabric is breathable, too, to wick moisture away from skin and diffuse body heat.
26. This neck tube for staying cool in the heat
This neck tube is filled with a polymer designed by NASA to freeze at cool temperatures. Put it in cool water, the fridge, or in a car’s AC (anywhere that’s less than 64 degrees) and it turns to a chilled ice-like filling in just a few minutes. Wrap it around your neck — it’s not as cold as ice — for a cool feeling that lasts for hours. It comes in four colors.
27. The spice rack that comes with spices & free refills
This spinning spice rack is a complete and instant solution for a messy-kitchen-spice quandary. It comes with a rack to hold the 16 prefilled, glass spice jars so culinary options are instantly improved, and spices are organized. When any of the spices run low, the company will refill the jars — for five years — for the price of shipping.
28. This toaster that cooks hot dogs & buns
If you love a hot dog — especially one that has been cooked up to perfection — this red, retro beauty will earn a permanent spot on the counter. Drop a couple buns and two hot dogs of any type into the appropriate slots and push the button. A few minutes later, your dinner is impeccably ready to eat. Almost 7,000 people give it five stars.
29. A four-in-one bar soap for beard, body, & head
There’s no need to cart bottles of product into the shower, to the gym, or on a plane when this one bar of charcoal-based soap cleans hair, skin, and beards, and also serve as a shaving balm. It’s loaded with coconut oil, shea butter, and palm oil so beards and skin don’t dry out and itch, and is lightly scented with essential oils.
30. This hand warmer that also charges phones
When it’s cold outside and extremities tend toward the icy, it’s easy to warm up with this rechargeable hand warmer that easily fits inside a pocket. It has three levels of temperature to warm fingers up fast or just maintain in-pocket warmth. It’s made of aircraft aluminum in a slick, ergonomic shape, recharges via USB-C, does double duty as a phone charger, and comes in three colors.
31. A brownie pan that delivers more crispy edges
The crispy edges are always the best part of the brownie, right? So why not bake them in a pan that maximizes that crispness? This one lets you pour brownie batter into a single pan, but has raised squares that install crispy edges throughout the delicious treats so that you get a whopping 48 edges of goodness.
32. This multipurpose projection alarm clock with a mirror face
If sitting up to look at the clock feels like too much trouble in the wee hours, this projection alarm clock is the solution. Just look up at the ceiling. Turn the projector to exactly the spot where you want the time to display and set the brightness to your preference. It displays time on the mirrored face, as well, and in a pinch, it can be used as a makeup mirror. It also has two USB charging ports and a built-in radio.
33. The sturdy tray table that slides over a couch arm
This tray table solves the only problem with the most comfortable seat in the house: There’s no place to put a drink and phone. Just sidle this over the arm and it holds on, providing a grippy velvet surface that’s perfect for setting a drink, phone, mouse, or remote. The bamboo slats make it flexible enough to work on any arm, or even lie flat on a seat or ottoman.
34. A weird bowl that solves the soggy cereal problem
When eating cereal involves a race against sogginess, this funky divided bowl is the solution. Crunchy cereal goes in one side and milk in the other. The two will not meet until they’re put together, so every perfect, crunchy mouthful is authored by design. It works great for chips and dip or cookies and milk, too.
35. This all-in-one cleanup station for the car
Whip looking a mess? With a wipe dispenser in the front, a waterproof trash bin, and side pockets for sundries, this cleanup station will help make car rides tidy and clean. It comes with two removable, waterproof liners to make emptying the trash a breeze, and straps to a seat or console so it stays put.
36. These racks that turn the closet into a space-saving shoe display
Turn any shelf into a clever shoe display with these ten adjustable shoe stands. One shoe goes on the top level so it’s easily visible, while the other slips beneath to save space. Adjust the angle to account for heel height and line them up — in half the space they would take side-by-side — for an organized and appealing arrangement any sneaker (or stiletto) head will love.
37. The glasses that let you see when lying flat on your back
When you can’t get comfortable in a sitting position, pull out these weird Lazy Glasses and lie down. Through the clever use of mirrors, you can now see the book or device you are holding or the TV across the room. They are designed to fit over your own glasses and work even if you lie completely flat.
38. This bamboo box that neatens cable snarls
Tidy up a desk or bedside table quickly and permanently — gather the power strips and charger cables together and hide them in this attractive bamboo box. Decorative cutouts serve as cable ports as well as ventilation. The lid slides open for easy access for adult hands, but pets and small children won’t be able to open it.
39. These slippers that mop the floor while walking
These may appear to be adorably fuzzy slippers, but they also clean the floor as the wearer shuffles around the house. They’re cute and whimsical while working to pick up dust, fur, and wet spills with long microfiber treads on the sole. When the mops are dirty, they can be pulled off and thrown in the wash. They’re easy to detach and reattach, and the slippers can be worn without the mops, should you or your cleanliness-aficionado choose.
40. A nightlight that looks like the moon
This 3D-printed moon makes a beautiful night light, and displays a realistic image of the moon on its surface. Choose a color or mode using either the included remote control or a button on the globe. Since it’s rechargeable, it can be moved anywhere. It comes with an elegant wood stand, and over 15,000 cosmos-lovers give it an obsession-worthy five stars.
41. This safe slicer for opening packages or cutting paper
Opening a box doesn’t have to become an exercise risking life and limb. This handy tool has a sharp, ceramic blade secured in a hand-safe case so slicing open packages, cutting open mail, or getting into boxes is done without exposing flesh to a sharp edge. Only a tiny bit of the blade is exposed so it won’t cut the contents of the packages, either. It works in both hands.
42. A pair of flashlight gloves that make it easy to see while working
When you need to see in the dark and don’t have a hand to spare for a flashlight, these illuminating gloves are a nifty solution. With bright LED lights in the index finger and thumb that shine on whatever you’re handling, you can see to work without giving up any dexterity. A power switch on the back of the hand makes them easy to turn off and on.
43. The light-blocking sleep mask with built-in headphones
When sleep is evasive because of noise, light, or other distractions, create a dark and comfortable place where only sounds that relax can get in. Slip on this light-blocking sleep mask with a comfy, memory foam interior, adjustable strap, and imperceptibly thin built-in Bluetooth headphones that play music or audiobooks from within.
44. These colorful stands so tacos don’t spill
These fun and vibrant holders are just the thing for taking taco night up a notch. They keep tacos upright, even after being loaded with all the fixings. This is a set of six stands that holds two big tacos or three smaller ones — just flip them over for the desired option. They go in the dishwasher and microwave, stack for storage, and are BPA free.
45. The giant claws that make fast work of meat shredding
Bears are built to shred meat, and these big, meat-shredding claws are built like bear paws. The thick handles give a firm grip, while the strong, wide-tooth claws shred barbecued meats quickly and thoroughly. Pulled pork lovers will never go back to using two pathetic forks for this task again.
46. This paper that makes anything look like marble
If you have an ugly piece of furniture, counters, or a vanity that would be so much better if it were made of marble — because most things would — this marble wallpaper is how you can fake it. Just peel-and-stick it to the surface you want to upgrade, and it mimics the look of stone. It’s durable, glossy, and wipes clean easily.
47. A handy multi-tool that fits in any wallet
One never knows when a bike, car, glasses, or anything else will need a quick repair. And sometimes having the right tool is the difference between giving up and getting it done. This multitool will be there because it fits in a wallet and has, among other things, a screwdriver, bottle opener, box opener, can opener, cell phone stand, eyeglass screwdriver, fruit peeler, hex wrenches, and a nail puller. The best part? They’re all labeled.
48. This sound machine that promotes relaxation & ignoring noise
It might not be possible to control the neighbor’s barking dog, music, or loud conversations, but turning up the white noise with this sound machine is a cinch, and sends the offending distraction into the background. There are 20 continuous, calming sounds to choose from, like birds, waves, rain, and fire. Pick a volume that works and set a timer to suit nap or work schedules. Over 20,000 fans give this machine five stars.
49. A Himalayan salt block for enhancing grilled foods
Foodies, ahoy! Grill right on this big block of pink Himalayan salt to create a next-level culinary experience with very little effort. Then serve right off the block. It comes in a fitted metal frame for handling, is big — 12 by 8 inches — and thick. It retains heat and cold beautifully, and makes a smashing barbecue display.
50. These trays for ice sticks that fit in water bottles
These three-inch-long ice cube sticks are perfect for fitting through the narrow opening of standard water bottles so you can have icy cold beverages wherever you go. You can also drop them into soda or tea bottles for that extra refreshment. This set of three trays makes 30 ice sticks, and is made from BPA-free silicone so it’s easy to get the ice sticks out.
51. The webcam covers that secure privacy
If you have concerns that your computer’s web camera isn’t 100% secure, don’t fret about it. Just cover it when you aren’t using it. These three webcam covers are easy to open when you want to use the camera, and slide closed again when you don’t. They install in just a minute by peeling and sticking right over the camera. Hang onto one and hand out the others to friends.
52. These efficient hangers that hold five items
Quickly expand the capacity of your closet by using these s-shaped hangers to hold all your slacks, skirts, ties, or leggings in the space normally occupied by just one item. Each hanger holds five articles, and the silicone-covered steel hooks are grippy so nothing slides off. One passionate reviewer describes it as “a closet’s dream.”
53. A huge pack of silicone drink identifiers
Make sure no one at the party accidentally sips from someone else’s drink by issuing everyone one of these 24 stretchy, colorful silicone drink markers. There are six hues and if everyone notes their color, they will recognize their drink. They work great when there’s no party, too. Just mark your glass and keep using the same one all day to cut down on dishes.
54. This long-armed phone mount for hands-free viewing
Whether following a recipe in the kitchen, joining a video call, or watching something in bed, the long gooseneck on this clamp-on mount will position phones precisely where they’re wanted. The neck bends in every direction. The clamp grips just about anywhere. And phones snap easily into the versatile clip grip.
55. A Star-Wars-Themed cheese serving set
Any Star Wars fan can win the party by whipping out Star-Wars-plated charcuterie. This hardwood cheese-serving set has a detailed carving on the top, and swings open to reveal a complete set of cheese cutting and serving utensils. There’s a crumbly cheese cleaver, a planer, fork-tipped cheese knife, and a spreader. The recessed moat around the ship makes sure no sauces or juices escape onto the table.
56. This card game that’s loaded with inappropriate humor
If your family or friends have a dark sense of humor, don’t mind when the jokes go off color, and maybe enjoy a libation while they play, this game will fuel the next game night. “This game is filthy and hilarious and just wow,” says one reviewer. “We laughed so hard we cried. My abs actually hurt the next day from laughing so much.”
57. The tool that slices and chops in one move
Just set an onion, potato, or whatever’s on the menu atop this multi-chopper and close the lid. The clever design pushes the entire thing through a grid of sharp blades, chopping it all at once. Or, switch the blade out for one of the slicers and it becomes a mandoline. Freshly cleaved veggies land right in the storage basin beneath. The slicer has a safety handle, cleaning comb, and storage compartments for the eight blades.
58. These stretchy silicone elastics that replace tie laces
Install these stretchy elastic silicone strips into your lace-up shoes to create slip ons with clean lines that you never have to tie. They’re textured to look like laces, give a firm fit without popping out, and are easy to install. They come in 12 color options, and one ardent fan calls these “the best thing for sneakers.”