46 cheap things on amazon that are really, really helpful

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by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 

When I moved into my place, the kitchen was such a nightmare to cook in that—more often than I’d like to admit—I gave up on even simple food prep and ordered takeout. But, after a few months of that, I had to stop. And it turns out that the difference between my current kitchen, which is a joy, and that one was a matter of a few useful tools. The same was true of the bathroom, where the difference between love and hate turned out to the showerhead. This edict is most true of a home office, though, because I have to work, even if I don’t want to, and hating my home office affects my mood and productivity. Tweaking these rooms—and probably the living room and deck—is as easy as adding a cheap tool, an ergonomic upgrade, or something that makes a task I hate easy. Whatever room you hate on, you can probably turn that into love with one of these 46 cheap things on Amazon that are really, really helpful.

Maybe your hair is dry and out of control, and your skin breaking out. Do you need a better face scrubber or hair mask? Or could the problem be the water, which is easily solved by upgrading the showerhead to something that improves the water? And how do you feel at the end of a long day of working on your laptop? If the answer is “broken,” you probably need an ergonomic upgrade because prevention is much easier than repair when it comes to your spine, eyes, and brain.

I’m sure you’ll find something here that will make your space work for you, so be prepared to drop a tiny and insignificant amount of money!

1. This trap that quietly eliminates bugs

When fruit flies, gnats, or mosquitos take over your home, it’s frustrating and annoying—and they often very difficult to get rid of. This trap uses light to pull them into its interior, where they are sucked down by a fan and trapped on a sticky surface. It’s a quiet, effective way to get rid of the pests. Just set it near the plants, window, trash, or whatever is attracting the bugs.

2. This tiny camera that keeps an eye on the house

A good security camera that lets you look in on the pets—and speak to them—was once a spendy proposition. But this small, mountable camera not only lets you look in at your house from your phone or Echo Show, but it has a wide viewing angle and two-way audio. Motion detection notifications let you know when there is something you need to see.

3. These facial scrubbers that lather and exfoliate

If you want clean, exfoliated skin without wetting a face cloth or spending a fortune on a sonic face brush, these little silicone brush pads are the solution. There are two, and each one has small silicone fingers that reach in and cleanse deeply, exfoliate, and lather. They come in lots of colors and get almost 16,000 five-star reviews.

4. These popsicle or cake molds for healthy treats

You can fill these molds with juice, yogurt, or something you want to freeze and pop them in the freezer or you can fill them with cake dough and bake them to make cakesicles. They are silicone, so they withstand extreme temperatures and come with popsicle sticks and bags to keep your pops in.

5. This laptop stand that also holds your phone

This lightweight, all-plastic laptop stand will go anywhere you and your laptop do, and you will feel so much better when you work with your screen at the right height. You’ll look better in Zoom calls, too, because raising the screen up puts your web camera at a more flattering angle. This stand also holds your phone.

6. This inexpensive bidet gets the job done without TP

Curious if a bidet does a better job of cleaning your posterior than TP? It’s not expensive to find out. Just install this seat attachment—a simple matter of connecting a few hoses—and sit down. The spray is either gentle or fierce; just dial up what you can tolerate. It doesn’t connect to the hot water, which makes installation easier, and reviewers say this is not an issue at all and give it over 8,000 five-star reviews.

7. This oil sprayer with a dual-action spray stream

Depending on how you press the nozzle, you can get a fine mist or a steady stream from this large-capacity oil sprayer, which makes it versatile for spreading oil on the food, filling a hot pan, or dressing a salad. The precise control of the oil spray helps reduce how much oil you use while giving better coverage.

8. This tray that lets you set a beverage on a chair arm

When you are kicking back with a beer or cocktail, you want a place to set your glass down that’s within reach, right? This simple, bendable tray turns the arm of your chair into a solid surface where you can set a glass or coffee cup. Weighted sides and a non-slip surface on the bottom keep it from moving.

9. This pet hair remover that works quickly and easily

Just wipe this textured wand over a surface that’s covered in pet fur, and it will grab it all. Then insert the wand into the case to remove the fur from the wand. Repeat. Reviewers are raving about how well it works—it gets almost 5,000 five-star reviews. You get a large-sized wand with a case as well as a travel-sized wand with a case.

10. This converter that connects your phone to your car

Want to listen to Spotify on your car speakers, answer the phone through your car’s stereo system, and bring your car into modern times without dropping a lot of money? Plug this Bluetooth converter into the lighter and connect your stereo. Your phone connects to it via Bluetooth, and your car is now connected to your phone, so you have hands-free dialing and can listen to calls or music from your phone through the car’s stereo.

11. The ice tray that makes big, fresh-tasting cubes

Fancy ice makes a better cocktail, and this ice-cube tray makes better fancy ice. The trays freeze whatever you put into them—water, fruit and herb-infused water, juice—into large squares that fill the glass and melt slowly. Putting a lid over the ice as it freezes makes sure your cocktail never tastes like whatever else is in the freezer.

12. This organizer keeps everything handy next to the bed

Whatever you want to keep handy so you can reach it from bed fits into this handy bedside organizer. Just push the metal frame between the mattress and box spring or platform, and the four big pockets will always be at your side holding a phone, remote, water bottle, Kindle, or whatever you reach for from bed.

13. This Fire Stick so you can stream from any TV

It is so simple to stream Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and almost everything else from any TV. Just plug this cute little stick into the HDMI port of your TV or projector and go. You can use your voice to search for the movies you want, and it streams content in HD. You can also play music through the TV this way. Almost 125,000 people give this little device five stars.

14. These smart plugs that are so easy to use

Just plug one of these two connected plugs into an outlet, connect it to your phone using the Gosund app, and you can control the lights, appliances, or whatever you plug into them with your phone or smart home system. They are easy to use, reliable, and super affordable, which is why over 11,500 people give them five stars.

15. A connected light switch with a dimmer

Change out your light switch for this smart, dimmable one and upgrade the lighting in your house. Use it to adjust the brightness in the room, turn lights on and off from your phone—even if you aren’t home—and connect it to your smart home system to turn lights on, off, up, or down with your voice or by setting up routines.

16. This racket that zaps bugs dead

Got flies? Get this tennis-racket style bug zapper and swat them. You’ll have fun, and they will die on contact because they get zapped with 2000 volts when you hold the button down and swat. You don’t have to wait for it to charge up because it runs on two AA batteries. Getting rid of flying insects is suddenly fast and fun.

17. A portable blender for smoothies on the go

Buying smoothies from smoothies bars is crazy expensive, and it’s often hard to know if the ingredients are healthy, which is why you need this portable blender. Put the fruit, veggies, and supplements you like in it and push the button. It’s rechargeable, so you can do this anywhere, and it holds 17 ounces to make a nice meal.

18. This neck fan cools you down wherever you are

If you are tired of sweating at your desk or while running on the treadmill, put this portable fan around your neck and enjoy a breeze that’s constantly in your face. There are no blades, so it's safe for children and your hair. And it’s quiet and subtle, so you can wear it out into the world, and no one will notice.

19. This genius sponge holder and soap dispenser

This one brilliant container does everything you need sinkside in a neat, tidy, and functional package. Fill the container below with the dish soap of your choice, and set your sponge on top. When doing the dishes, just press the sponge down to load it with soap. When you are done, set the wet sponge back down on the caddy and keep your counters dry.

20. This set of cable clip organizers that keeps wires secured

Control that phone cord you can never find, the laptop charger that’s always in the way, or any wires you want to stay put with these simple-to-deploy cable clips. Just peel the tape off the back and stick a clip to a counter, the underside of a desk, or the back of the bedside table. Then push the wire into the clip. They are so easy and effective that they get well over 10,000 five-stars.

21. A shower filter that lights the water to show temperature

The filtering stones in the shaft of this multi-function shower head filter your water and correct its PH, which makes bathing easier on your hair and skin while increasing your water pressure. Water-powered LEDs change color depending on the water temperature—red for hot, blue for warm, and green for cool—and the handle removes from the base so you can easily wash pets and children.

22. A small humidifier for your bedroom or office

Whether the office air is dry because of the air conditioning or you’re getting a sore throat sleeping in dry air at night, this is the perfect personal-sized humidifier to correct the situation. Fill it, turn it on, and it immediately emits a fine mist into the air around you and runs for about eight hours. Reviewers give it almost 4,000 five-star reviews.

23. A simple way to get all the toothpaste out of the tube

If you have trouble throwing away the last bit of toothpaste or lotion that’s impossible to get out of the tube, put these tube squeezers on there and slide it toward the opening until all the product is out. There are four, in different colors, in this package so you can use them all over the house, and over 7,500 reviewers give them five stars.

24. A cute little chopper that also whips cream

This simple chopper is great for quickly chopping nuts, onions, garlic, or other small jobs. It has two speeds, so it handles everything from soft foods to hard ones—including ice—with the metal blade. Switch out the metal blade for the plastic whipper, though, when you want whipped cream or dressing, and it does a great job of that, too. Reviewers say it’s handy and cleans up easily.

25. A complete set of dishwasher-safe reusable bags

This set of reusable storage bags comes in every size you need for snacks, sandwiches, and freezer storage. They seal well enough to carry lunch in, and—the best part!—you can put them in the dishwasher to clean them. Reviewers say they make it easy to give up plastic because they work just as well or better than disposable plastic bags.

26. An easy and pleasant cure for dry feet

These weird socks are infused with healing coconut oil, milk extract, and hyaluronic acid so that all you have to do to repair your dry, cracked, and rough feet is pull on some socks, kick back, and relax. After about twenty minutes, your feet will feel moisturized, and the healing will commence.

27. This memory foam pillow that adjusts to your sleep style

This shredded memory foam pillow is designed so you can create a custom thickness that precisely suits your sleeping style. If you are a back sleeper, you might like it full, the way it shows up, but if you are side or stomach sleeper, simply unzip the inner case and remove some of the shredded foam until it feels right to you. This approach clearly works since over 12,000 people give it five stars.

28. This outlet extender with USB and USB-C plugs

Plug this outlet extender into a wall outlet, replace the center screw with the one that comes with this one to secure it, and it will transform that outlet from two standard plugs to five standard plugs, three USB plugs, and one USB-C plug so you can plug every type of device into it. Reviewers say it is “very useful.”

29. A knee pillow designed to align your back while you sleep

If you suffer from lower back pain, sciatica, or trouble sleeping and are a slide sleeper, using this knee pillow can help reduce pain and tossing and turning. It’s not only designed to align your back while you sleep on your side, but it also supports your knees so that you can rest. Over 10,000 people love it and say it prevents hip, knee, and back pain.

30. This tag tracks your stuff and controls your smart home

Attach this tracker to your pet, keys, luggage, or whatever you want to keep track of. If you lose that thing, open the SmartThings app to see where it is and make your tag ring so you can find your stuff. Tracking is precise within your house, but this also works outside that range using the Galaxy network. You can also program it to turn on lights, the TV, or anything else in your smart home, just by pressing its button.

31. These strange Swedish dishcloths

These super absorbent dishcloths are hard and stiff when dry but turn into a soft sponge when you wet them, then they wring out completely and soak up tons of water. They are great for wiping liquids off counters and leave no streaks so you can use them to clean appliances. They come in lots of colors, so you can create a color-coding system or just enjoy some brightness while you clean.

32. These lazy susans that make storage more accessible

Put all your spices, condiments, or supplements in one of these spinning trays, and you can tur it to find what you are looking for. There are two; one is nine inches in diameter, and the other is twelve, and they have a non-slip base, so they stay put. They are great in the kitchen, bathroom, or office for keeping lots of small items within reach.

33. A battery tester so you know which batteries are live

When you have a pile of batteries, it’s so frustrating to load them into the remote or another device to learn which are live and which are dead that it’s easier to recycle them all, right? Pop them into this battery tester and get an instant-read on the power they have left. Reviewers give it almost 4,000 five stars, saying it saved them from recycling batteries that were still live and from installing dead ones.

34. This memory foam anti-fatigue mat for your kitchen

Set this comfy mat down in front of the counter where you wash dishes or prepare food, and your feet, legs, and back will thank you. It’s thick, water-resistant, easy to clean, won’t curl up at the edges, stays where you put it, and the black color goes with everything and hides messes. Unlike most mats like this, though, this one is super affordable.

35. A double-sided tape that will hold anything

Want to hang something without damaging the wall, secure plants so the cat can’t knock them over, or hang shelves in a closet or bathroom? This double-sided tape is strong, easy to use, and removes without leaving a trace. Reviewers are using it to hang everything from posters to TVs and raving, occasionally with hilarious hyperbole, about how strong it is.

36. These shelves that spruce up the fridge

Line the interior of your fridge with these colorful shelf liners, and you will smile every time you open the door. Your vegetables will have a soft, absorbent, mold-free place to land, and the liners soften the sound of glass-on-glass when you put bottles in to chill. They work just as well in drawers and cupboards.

37. This water bottle that helps you stay motivated

If you are trying to stay hydrated, a water bottle that helps you track your intake is helpful. This one offers motivational encouragement throughout the day while showing you how much water you consumed and still need to down. It holds 32 ounces, comes in 14 colors, has a removable infuser for herbs or fruits, and a flip-top lid that’s easy to drink or pour from.

38. A cool blanket for people who sleep hot

This blanket is woven from a breathable fabric that is cool to the touch on both sides so that you can always find something cool to chill you in the night. It comes in three colors and sizes to fit your bed or throw on the couch. It’s so lightweight you could travel with it, and it comes with its own travel bag.

39. A personal alarm to bring help fast

Clip the Birdie personal alarm to your backpack, keychain, or purse, so you don’t have to rely on your keys for protection. If you feel threatened, press the button, and it releases a super loud alarm and flashing lights to deter attackers and bring help. Choose from five colors and get a slick brass keyring to go with it.

40. These sheets that dim the lights on your devices

It seems as if every gadget in creation has a little light on it, which when they accumulate in the bedroom, make it hard to sleep. Cut these dimming sheets to cover those lights and dim them, so they don’t light the room. They are just transparent enough, though, that you can still see that the light is on or the digits it’s displaying. They use static—not an adhesive—to cling to your gear so they won’t leave a residue.

41. A tower of plugs so you can power everything

This spinning tower of eighteen standard outlets and four USB plugs will power everything you have without making you scramble on the floor. It comes in five decorative colors to compliment your décor and each row has an independent switch so you can power things off and on from here and prevent power vampires from running up your bill.

42. A sleep mask that reads to you

This sleep mask has a pair of integrated Bluetooth speakers so that when you don it, it blocks out all the light and plays audiobooks or music to effectively shut out all the distractions of the outside world while you sleep. It gets over 5,500 five-star ratings, and reviewers say it is comfy and life-changing.

43. This stick vacuum that transforms into a hand vac

This versatile vacuum cleaner goes from a stick vac to a handheld one just by removing the long handle. A crevice attachment hides inside the wide capture nozzle, the interior filtration system is washable, the head swivels to get into corners, and the power cord is eighteen feet long. It’s a vacuum with a cult following and over 21,000 five-star reviews.

44. This mask that restores hair’s moisture

Rub some of this avocado hair mask into your locks and let your hair drink in the coconut, avocado, and Argan oils while feasting on the biotin and vitamins. It makes hair stronger, thicker, shinier, and easier to brush, according to reviewers. It’s terrific for curly hair and reduces split ends, too.

45. These shower steamers turn bathing into a relaxing spa

Throw one of these shower steamers into the water stream when you shower and relax as the aromatherapy fills the room. They are scented with pure essential oils that are crafted into six aromatherapy treatments pulled right from nature: watermelon, grapefruit, menthol and eucalyptus, peony and pear, cacao & orange, and lemongrass & coconut.

46. A meter that tells you precisely what your plants need

Stick this meter in the ground near your plants, and it will tell you if you are watering too much or not enough, the PH of the soil, and how much sun that spot gets so you can make informed decisions about where to plant and what mitigations to apply to plants in need. Reviewers love it because it helps them be a better plant parent and is super easy to use.

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