26 things on Amazon that will make your life easier

USA Today Technology 2 months ago

– Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives.

Let's face it: Life is hard. But it doesn't have to be, especially if you have these 26 products from Amazon. From a robot vacuum to a smart pet feeder, your day to day routine is about to get a lot easier.

1. The best smart speaker

There's a reason almost every home these days has a smart speaker—they can do everything from play your favorite Spotify playlist to turn up the thermostat. Of all the ones out there, we prefer the 2nd Gen. Amazon Echo because it offers the best performance and value. It has great sound quality along with far-field voice recognition so Alexa can hear you from another room.

2. This powerful robot vacuum

Vacuuming is one of those things that you have to do, but you hate every second of it. So it's no surprise that robot vacuums have become so popular. Our experts chose the Eufy RoboVac as the No. 1 affordable robot vacuum because it picked up dirt better than other models and was so quiet it wouldn't even interrupt a conversation.

3. The cult-favorite Instant Pot

The thought of coming home after a long day of work to slave away in the kitchen cooking dinner is enough to make anyone cry. Enter the Instant Pot, the pressure cooker that's taken kitchens across the country by storm. From steaming to slow cooking, the Ultra does it all and can have a meal that would usually take an hour ready in just 20 minutes.

4. These containers to help you meal prep

Weekday mornings are busy enough as it is, so trying to pack a healthy home-cooked lunch before you rush out the door is a serious struggle. The solution is meal prepping at the beginning of the week and storing your food in these containers. Our kitchen and cooking writer loves that they're glass (no harmful chemicals here!), stackable, and easy to see what's inside when they're in your fridge.

5. These best-selling packing cubes

Notorious over-packers, raise your hands. I've been known to pack for a weekend trip the same way most people pack for a week-long vacation—so I get it. These packing cubes, which our experts found to be the best packing cubes they've ever tested, can help with that. Available in six different sizes, they're very durable and will keep your suitcase organized, so you can fit more inside.

6. This hair dryer designed by a professional stylist

Reason No. 34098 that I hate showering? How long it takes me to dry my hair afterwards. That wouldn't be an issue if I had this hair dryer, however, which our reviewers named the best hair dryer of 2019. It's surprisingly speedy at drying hair and delivers a smooth and sleek blowout time after time.

7. This 'smart' pet feeder

Regular dog bowls are so 2018. Here at Reviewed, we're all about the smart pet feeders, like this one from WOPet. It's Wi-Fi-enabled and lets you schedule up to six feedings per day, which you can control from anywhere via your phone. Plus, it has two-way audio and video so you can watch and talk to your pet.

8. This water bottle that reminds you to drink

If staying hydrated included drinking coffee and beer, I'd be a pro. But sadly, I think my doctor was talking about water, which can be hard for me to make sure I'm getting enough of. Thousands of reviewers like this water bottle because it helps you drink more H2O. It has both time markers and measurements, so you can track how much you drink throughout the day.

9. This device to keep track of your things

From my keys to my credit card, I am the person who is always losing things. But I wouldn't be if I had the Tile tracker. It easily locates whatever you misplace the most—all you have to do is press a button on the app and the Tile will ring loudly enough for you to hear it from up to 300 feet away.

10. This three-in-one electric griddle for a better breakfast

Is it a griddle or a grill? The answer is both. One of the best breakfast gadgets of the year, this 3-in-1 griddle has two reversible plates, which you can control the temperature of individually and you can change out as needed. This makes it easy to switch from making pancakes to grilling salmon. Our experts chose it as the top electric griddle because it cooked food evenly and quickly.

11. These sticks to keep your plants alive

Good news for those of us who manage to kill every plant we buy including cacti: These plant food spikes could finally make you a successful plant parent. According to Amazon reviews, each spike contains micronutrients to keep plants healthy and will continuously feed your plant for up to two months, so you don't have to do it yourself.

12. This game-changing cleaning product

The name says it all: The Magic Eraser really is magic. Just ask our writer Rachel Murphy who swears by the little white sponge. As someone who has both kids and pets, she says the Magic Eraser is her secret to cleaning up everything from scuff marks to crayon on the wall to dirty paw prints. 

13. This wearable nail polish holder

Getting your nails done is nice but paying for it isn't. If you're team at-home mani, you need this nail polish holder that slips right onto your fingers. It received high marks for holding the polish bottle securely in place, so there's no spills or mess and so you can get every last drop.

14. This top-rated portable charger

We all know the panic that is a phone that's less than 10% charged and no outlet in sight. To prevent your phone from dying, our experts recommend the RavPower Turbo Series. We ranked it the top USB battery pack because it can power up any device (including your laptop) and can charge your phone multiple times over before the pack itself needs to be charged.

15. This kitchen accessory every home cook needs

The only thing standing between you and that delicious recipe you found on Pinterest? Manually cutting up vegetable after vegetable after vegetable. Instead, get our favorite mandoline slicer, which is professional chef-approved and has a V-shaped blade to cut much smoother than other models. It can also easily be adjusted to five different thicknesses depending on what you're cutting. 

16. This brilliant Shark Tank blanket

After testing popular Shark Tank products, one of our writers deemed the Monkey Mat one of the few worth buying. She found that the water-repellent blanket was easy to clean after a day at the beach or park and conveniently folds up into a tiny pouch. It also has weights on each corner to hold it down even on the windiest days.

17. This alarm clock that simulates the sunrise

Waking up to a blaring alarm clock is the actual worst. To make your mornings easier, thousands of people on Amazon and some of our own editors recommend getting this Philips alarm clock, which gently wakes you up with natural light. The lamp has adjustable brightness settings and a speaker that lets you choose from five wake-up sounds.

18. This tiny but mighty microwave cleaner

Trying to get crusted oatmeal off the inside of your microwave is basically impossible—unless you have the Angry Mama. One of our writers tried out this microwave cleaner, and while she admits it was one of the weirdest purchases she's ever made, also says it worked miracles. Using steam from the water and vinegar mixture inside of her, the Angry Mama softened hardened food enough to make it easy to wipe off.

19. These mesh bags for laundry day

The only thing worse than folding laundry is sorting it after it's been through the dryer and twisted up into one giant heap. That's where these mini laundry bags come in. According to the more than 3,500 5-star reviews, they're great at keeping delicates separate and protecting clothes from getting damaged or tangled.

20. Our favorite smart plug

It's no secret that smart gadgets make your life easier, whether it's a smart thermostat controlled by Alexa, a smart doorbell that lets you see who's at the door, or a smart plug like this one from Eufy which tracks and controls your energy usage. We picked it as the best affordable smart plug on the market, and you can turn it on or off from anywhere via your smartphone, saving you the worry if you forgot to turn everything off.

21. This gadget so you can chop onions without crying

Cutting onions is so tedious it literally makes you cry. But it's a necessary cooking task—and one that one of our writers now does tear-free and painlessly thanks to her Chop Wizard. She loves how easy it is to handle and that it can be used for different fruits and veggies other than onions.

22. These motion-activated lights your home is missing

How many times have you waken up in the middle of the night and stumbled around trying to find the bathroom light, painfully crashing into furniture as you go? These motion sensor LED lights will (hopefully) prevent that. They have thousands of five-star reviews for being easy to install as you stick them anywhere from your closet to your bathroom wall and fare being bright enough, so you can see where you're going without straining your eyes.

23. This expert-approved meal kit for busy weeknights

There's a happy medium between cooking a three-course meal from scratch and ordering Chinese for the fourth night in a row. It's called Amazon Meal Kits. Our kitchen and cooking editor tested out the Amazon service for a week along with other popular meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and raves that all of the meals are easy to make and use high-quality, fresh ingredients.

24. This incredibly popular sponge

Washing dishes may be America's most hated chore, but this adorable sponge will make it a little more tolerable. Featured on Shark Tank, the Scrub Daddy ranked high on our list of the best kitchen sponges because it removes even the most cooked-on grime and changes from soft to firm based on the water temperature, so you can use it for any pot or pan.

25. This planner to keep you organized

Life without my planner would be even more messy than it already is. This one, designed for the ambitious goal-getters out there, is one of our favorite planners of 2019. With more than 4,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, people claim it has helped them with time management, productivity, and even positive motivation.

26. This must-have for shaving your legs

Maybe you can't bend down to shave your legs because you have an injury, you're pregnant, or maybe you're just too lazy. No matter the reason, this handle, which extends up to 20 inches long, is the answer to your showering struggles. Users like that it grips your razor securely and rotates to different angles so you don't miss a spot.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews, and more.

Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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