50 cheap highly rated things on Amazon you'll use for years

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by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 

I recently took a hammock that I purchased on Amazon for less than $30 on a kayak trip, and I slept better — on a tiny island in the middle of a big river — than I do in my own bed. I bought that hammock because it was rated so highly, but I didn't expect much. To my surprise, it's become a prized possession that I use often — and one that I'll probably use for years. As you could imagine, there are tons of highly rated things on Amazon that have longevity — and you can find many of them on this list.

Sometimes, I'm skeptical when I discover new products online — but it turns out that items with hundreds and thousands of four- and five-star reviews are usually worth it in the long run. Take these reusable straws, for example. They're made with durable silicone that you can keep washing and using for as long as you'd like (without needing to throw away and restock any plastic). You can even trim them to fit different cups. How cool is that?

Anyway, that's only one example — but there are so many good products here that you can use for years and years to come. Go ahead and start shopping.

1. This gadget that makes cleaning the microwave easier

This cartoonish, plastic gadget isn't actually angry — even though steam is coming out of her head. The microwave steam cleaner actually softens up all the yuck that's stuck to the inside of your microwave so you can easily wipe it away. Just fill her with water, vinegar, and lemon juice, and then stick her in the microwave for about five minutes.

2. A thin silicone keyboard cover that's waterproof

This keyboard cover is made of thin, waterproof silicone — and it'll help protect your laptop from spills, dust, and wear to the keys from typing. Just lay it down over your keyboard and type away. It won't impede your work, but the keyboard will last longer (and your laptop should stay dry). It's also easy to disinfect.

3. The outlet cover that puts a shelf where you need it

Replace your outlet cover with this one — which has a built-in shelf — and that space will be more useful. It'll give you a spot right above the power source that's big enough for an Amazon Echo Dot, your phone, a small light, or another small appliance. A cable channel in the back lets you plug your device in without running wires all over the place, too.

4. This trash can for your car that doubles as storage

Install this trash can in your if you need a place to put trash. This is a terrific vessel for that, with side pockets for items you want within reach, a roomy bin, and a top that won't let trash out. And once it's there, you'll discover that it's also useful as a cooler (since it's waterproof), or as a place to store snacks, wipes, cleaning supplies, or whatever clutters up your car.

5. A door draft stopper that's double-insulated

Slide this draft stopper under the door and it'll keep the cold out (and the heat in). It's also super easy to install; cut the white foam insulation to the width of your door and slide it into the fabric sleeves. Then, slide it under your door. With insulation on both sides of the door, your house will be warmer — or cooler in summer — as well as quieter.

6. The wool dryer balls that help eliminate static & wrinkles

You don't have to use disposable dryer sheets to keep the static out of your clothes. These wool balls work just as well to soften and reduce wrinkles in clothing while they spin in the dryer. You can even put a few drops of essential oil on them to naturally infuse your clothes with a mild scent, too.

7. This cover that makes better microwaved leftovers

If you ask me, heating up food in the microwave goes better if you put this big cover over your plate or bowl first. It not only stops food from splattering all over the hard-to-clean interior — but it also traps steam, which heats your food more evenly without nuking it into oblivion.

8. A vegetable scrubbing brush with a finger loop

This scrub brush is the right tool for scrubbing your potatoes and fruits without getting frustrated. A loop fits over your finger to give you grip on the brush, and the scrubbers get in the tiny crevices of the produce to get dirt out and remove stubborn wax.

9. The armrest cover that organizes your living room

Sling this arm cover over your favorite armchair and all of your essentials will be within easy reach while you're relaxing or working. The top part is made of soft cotton, and the underbelly is a grippy silicon mesh so that it doesn't move around. There are five pockets and it comes in 20 colors.

10. This mug warmer with 3 temperature settings

You don't have to experience the yuck of a cold sip of coffee because you were concentrating and forgot to drink when it was still hot. Set your mug down on this clever coffee warmer and your beverage will maintain the perfect temperature — without cooking — because it has three heat settings. There are many colors options to match your desk vibe perfectly.

11. A secret cache for your car so you can empty your pockets

Hook this slender pocket wherever you have a spot in your car. It'll slide between the seat and center console, stick to the dash, or hug the wall of your leg space, giving you a place for your phone, some pens, your wallet, or whatever else you'd like to take out of your own pockets when you drive. It's easy to install with the peel-and-stick adhesive back, too.

12. These grippy shelf liners that help keep the fridge clean

Line your fridge with these soft, grippy mats so that produce doesn't bruise and jam jars don't mess up the fridge interior. The foam sheets are also handy as placemats or drawer and shelf liners. The pop of color makes your shelves friendly and fun — inside or outside the fridge — and they are easy to pull out and clean.

13. A stick-on light strip you can easily customize

Better lighting for your desk, TV, bar, artwork, or closet is so easy with this stick-on colored strip light. Just pull off the backing, stick them on, and cut them to the size you need. Once installed, can choose whatever color you want from the remote to create exactly the look you like. And you can even change that look whenever the mood strikes.

14. This aluminum laptop stand for better ergonomics

Does working from your laptop give you a pain in the neck? That's probably because you have to hunch over to look at a laptop screen. Raise the screen up by setting your laptop on this aluminum stand so you can sit up straight and lean back. Your neck will likely feel much better. It's a solid, lightweight piece — so it holds firm and looks great on your desk.

15. These headphones that are a headband & a sleep mask

This clever pair of headphones will become your constant companion because the soft, wrap-around fabric. During the day, you can wear it like a headband to keep your hair up and listen to tunes. When you want a nap, you can pull it down over your eyes to block out light and listen to calming sounds. The speakers are thin for comfort, and you can easily take them out to wash the headband. With a full charge, you get up to 10 hours of uninterrupted listening.

16. These stick-on handles to make anything easier to access

Stick these adhesive handles on everything from a drawer to your toilet lid and you’ll be able to lift it with ease. The handles can be placed on almost any clean, smooth surface and they boast a solid weight-bearing capacity (although an exact weight limit isn’t provided, one fan reported they were as strong as their file cabinet’s original handles). For just under $10, this four-piece set is an affordable way to fix broken furniture, too.

17. A tool that touches door handles so you don't have to

If you leave your house often, you might want one of these tools to touch various surfaces that you don't want to. It pushes the buttons on the elevator or checkout kiosk, flushes the toilet, turns on the water, opens doors, and touches everything for you so you can stay away from possible bacteria exposure. There are three here, so you can put one in every bag or jacket pocket.

18. These mesh laundry bags that help protect your delicates

This set of five mesh bags will save you a fortune because they allow you to wash delicates, shoes, and underwear right in the washer without ruining them. The big one is also handy as an in-suitcase laundry bag so you can keep clean and dirty separate while traveling (and then toss the whole bag in the wash when you get home). Almost 30,000 people have given them five stars.

19. This foldable drying rack that is a “must” for small kitchens

The Tomorotec foldable dish rack is made of sturdy stainless steel with food-grade silicone edges, for an over-the-sink solution for drying vegetables and dishes — and it even can be used as an extra work space if you need a place to put your cutting board or as a trivet for cooling dishes. It can hold up to 70 pounds when all rungs are in use.

20. A set of food durable storage bags you can use for years

These reusable storage bags work just like the plastic zipper bags you've been using for years — but you can rinse them out and use them again hundreds of times, which makes them so much better for the environment and your budget. These 22 bags come in a range of useful sizes for various types of food.

21. This cellulose dishcloth that works like a sponge

These cellulose dish cloths are the perfect hybrid between sponges and a dishcloth. They grab and hold lots of water, fit nicely in your hand, and can go in the wash so you always have a clean one. They're also great for washing the dishes and just as terrific for drying them. And when they eventually wear out, you can compost them.

22. These silicone covers that fit different containers

End the struggle to find the right food storage container for leftovers by putting one of these stretchy silicone lids right over the dish you have. Whether it's a tiny can of cat food, a glass of orange juice, a big salad, or a pan of lasagna, there is a lid in this collection for it. There are seven sizes ranging from 2.6 to 9 inches, and they’ll stretch even bigger to fit your containers. These can go in the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher, too.

23. A set of reusable straws that feel good on your teeth

Reusable straws are something of a necessity now, and this set of 10 silicone straws is loved by almost 9,000 reviewers. Many of them appreciate that they're bendable, soft on the teeth, similar in size to the straws that come with takeout, and have their own storage bag. These even come with a cleaning brush, and you can trim them to fit different cups.

24. A desk hammock that'll keep you cozy while you work

Hanging a hammock under your desk so you can put your feet up might seem out of the ordinary during work — but in truth, you'll be glad you did installed it. That's because lifting your feet up and leaning back is more ergonomic and comfortable. This desk hammock is comfy and easy to hang from two hooks that clamp to the edge of your desk.

25. This tiny colander just for draining cans

Toss this can colander in your kitchen tool drawer and you'll never have to get a huge strainer just to remove the liquid from a can of beans. It snaps right over the top of a standard can and lets you turn the can over to get all the fluid out. You can turn it over and push it into the can for squeezing the water out of canned chicken or tuna, too.

26. The bagel slicer that'll give you perfect pieces each time

Slicing a bagel can be hard, because it's easy to cut unevenly or shred the bread and ruin breakfast. You don't need a better knife, though — you need this bagel slicer. Insert the bagel or roll into the trap and drop the pointed blade — locked in a safety shield — onto it. Then, you'll have even pieces.

27. This lavender-scented goo that dusts hard-to-reach crevices

This cleaning gel is not an ordinary duster, mainly because it's squishy and smells like lavender. To use it, simply press it into the crevices of your keyboard, camera, car vents, or other hard-to-access spaces where it'll mold to that shape, grasp anything loose in there, and pull it out. Use it over and over until it's no longer a bright blue, and then toss it. It's biodegradable.

28. An in-car table so you can eat or work in comfort

Instead of dripping sauce into your lap when dining on takeout in the car in between meetings, snap this table onto your steering wheel and have your dips and fries right where you want them. It stashes easily between the seats when you aren't using it and doubles as a desk if you need to catch up on work during a road trip.

29. This universal phone mount for your car that installs in seconds

Maybe you think there's no good spot for a phone mount in your car. But this one installs instantly in your car’s interior (think: almost anywhere on your dashboard) thanks to its magnetic metal disc that’s compatible with all smartphones. You don’t have to mess around with finding a vent or clipping it in a cradle. Reviewers report that the magnetic strength is strong enough to hold phones even over bumpy terrain.

30. A stovetop espresso maker that brews a strong cup

This style of espresso maker has over 2,500 five-star ratings because it makes fabulous espresso easily on a stovetop. It's made from cast aluminum, comes in six colors, and brew within minutes. And, at this price, it's no wonder why thousands of reviewers love it.

31. These dip clips that ride along on your plates

When dining outside, all of those little dip bowls you love for keeping your ketchup, ranch, and sriracha close enough to dip into usually get left behind. But these clip-on dip cups can go to picnics, the deck, or by the pool, because they stack easily and clip right to your plates. They work with all kinds of plates — even paper — and are also great for TV dinners.

32. A straw that turns basically any water into drinking water

If you're headed out for a long hike or bike ride, don't run out of water. Bring this straw that filters pretty much any water source and turns it into safe, pure drinking water. In fact, it removes over 99% of bacteria and protozoan parasites. All you do is immerse one end and use the other like a straw.

33. This portable hammock so you can nap anywhere

Wherever you go — whether it's the wilderness or a local park — you can nap in comfort and privacy with this roomy hammock. All you need are a couple of trees to attach the included straps and carabiner to, and you'll rest easy, swaying with the breeze. This hammock packs up small into the attached storage bag, too. That way, you can carry it anywhere.

34. A lumbar pillow with gel memory foam for leveling up your office chair

This pure gel-infused memory foam lumbar support pillow comes with two straps to secure to your office chair (or car seat) for an ergonomic fit that promises to help with back pain and even posture correction. You can machine wash the cover to keep it fresh, although the breathable design is meant to prevent back sweat altogether.

35. This cure for that gap between the stove & counter

Install this cover to eliminate that annoying gap between your stove or refrigerator and the counter, and you'll never again spend an hour trying to retrieve a spatula or food that fell in there. Just choose your size (it’s available in 25 inches featured here or in a smaller 21-inch size), fit it into place, and that gap will be gone. Over 16,000 people were so thrilled with this small kitchen upgrade, they gave it a perfect five-star rating.

36. A steel drying rack that rolls out over the sink

Made from stainless steel rods that have rubbery grips on each end, this dish-drying rack is durable and heat resistant. You can place it over the sink and use it as a dish-drying rack or work surface. You can also set it on the counter and use it as a trivet or cooling rack. When you aren't using it, roll it up and store it in a drawer.

37. This essential oil diffuser & humidifier for the car

Treat yourself to an aromatherapy treatment every time you drive by keeping this essential oil diffuser and cool humidifier in the cup holder of your car. It fits perfectly, plugs into a USB port, shouldn't leak water, and transforms the air in your vehicle from stale and dry to pleasant-smelling and soothing. It also glows in the color of your choice.

38. A toothpaste dispenser & rack that mounts on the wall

You can turn your bathroom into a futuristic and sanitary space with this toothpaste dispenser and toothbrush holder. There is a place for four brushes, and you can mount two flavors of toothpaste in the dispensers. Plus, a dust cover keeps stored brushes clean. It also comes with two wall racks to keep your electric toothbrushes off the counter.

39. These exercise bands that come in different resistances

Almost 75,000 people took a chance on these inexpensive resistance bands in an effort to work out, and thousands of them highly recommend the pack. These rubber bands are high-quality and come in five different levels of resistance for various exercises. They also come with terrific information about how to use them, and they store easily in the included pouch.

40. A handheld labeler with tons of programmed fonts

When you have this label maker at hand, the urge to put a label on everything is nearly overwhelming. The keyboard is clear and fast to type on, and you can adjust fonts and styles with a few button pushes. It also prints one or two-line labels, and there are lots of label tapes to choose from when you reorder. It runs on four AAA batteries, and thousands of reviewers love this thing.

41. An acupressure mat that'll help relieve sore muscles

You can give yourself an acupressure massage simply by lying down on top of this spiky mat. Many reviewers have given it five stars for alleviating muscle pain and stress. When you lie on the sharp plastic nubs, the experience starts out as painful — and then, as your muscles release and your blood circulation improves, it turns out to be very relaxing.

42. A tiered bento box that organizes your lunch & snacks

Create your own bento box lunches with this container that has a big compartment below for greens or rice, a divided section above for proteins, flavorings, and dip, and a lid that snaps down so it all stays put (no matter what happens in your bag). Over 11,000 people have given it five stars for being an excellent lunch box.

43. This touchless thermometer that gives an instant reading

If you need to know the temperature of someone without providing a standard thermometer, this touchless thermometer is basically necessary. Hold it an inch or more away from their forehead, and it'll give an instant reading that's color-coded to let you know if they have a fever.

44. A wall-mount charging station with lots of plugs

This charging station plugs right into the wall and gives you two USB ports as well as two standard outlets. It also adds a small shelf for your phone so that you can create a charging station wherever there's an outlet. It won't eat up desk or table space — and because the two USB ports share 10 watts of power, it should charge quickly.

45. This touchless foaming soap dispenser

You never have to touch this soap dispenser, so it's perfect for keeping near an entryway for hand washing as you come in the house. It delivers a precise amount of soap foam into your hand when it senses your fingers via infrared technology. And since it creates foam from any kind of diluted liquid soap, it uses far less soap than a standard dispenser.

46. An apple corer that's super simple to use

When you are whipping up snacks or pies from the big bag of apples you scored at the farmer's market, you don't have to spend ages coring them. Just push this clever corer into the apple and pull out the core. It's fast, surprisingly easy, and loved by thousands.

47. This 43-in-1 multitool that's the size of your credit card

Keeping a multi-tool in your wallet is a good plan. That way, when you need to open a box, fix your glasses, take a quick measure, or open a bottle, you don't have to search around for a tool. This one is forged from practically indestructible stainless steel, and it has 43 functions, including a phone stand, can opener, and more.

48. A pet hair remover that doesn't require sticky sheets

Thousands of reviewers on Amazon are calling this unassuming pet fur brush names like "miracle," "a dream," and a "lifesaver." It has a specially designed electrostatic brush that grabs pet fur without tape or suction, and it stores the fur in the waste compartment. Brush it over furniture, rugs, or clothes and it'll grab stray fur instantly. Just empty it occasionally and you can use it indefinitely.

49. This genius way to keep an avocado fresh

Once you cut an avocado open, it starts to oxidize and turn brown. This airless pod locks the avocado in to help slow that process. Just stretch it over the unused half of your avocado and lock it closed. Then, that fruit will probably stay fresher and greener for much longer. Unlike plastic wrap, you can keep using this for years.

50. This slim webcam cover for visual privacy

Having the reassurance that your webcam is really off is worth every penny — and with this webcam cover from CloudValley, you get that peace of mind for just $7. It’s slim enough to allow your laptop to fully close and it’s available in four different shades to blend seamlessly into your computer or tablet. Just make sure to check if it’s compatible with your tech device because it’s not designed to work with certain MacBook models.

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