If you’re looking to save money, waste less time or prevent future headaches, Amazon is a treasure trove of handy products. But like many great shopping destinations, you have to wade through a lot of junk to find the hidden gems.
Fortunately, we did that for you, polling the HuffPost newsroom to find people’s favorite Amazon purchases over the past year. Here’s what our staffers chose, with prices as listed when we published.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability are subject to change.
1. Dreamy weighted blanket
“I saw people tweeting about this weighted blanket that was on sale on Amazon so I bought it. It was a really reasonable price (there is a $15 off coupon for it) and came in the mail super quickly. It’s super nice for relaxing and I feel like it helps me sleep better. I got the 15 lb one, I wish I had gone a bit heavier!” ― Samantha Tomaszewski, audience editor
GET ONE: Samantha’s weighted blanket is $54.90.
2. Alexa for the car
“I bought an Amazon Echo for my car, and I really love it. I realize I’m probably sacrificing some privacy in the car, but I do love being able to add things to my to-do list and shopping list without touching a screen. My kid loves that she can request songs and jokes and keep herself entertained while we’re going from school to ballet to play dates.” ― Kate Palmer, head of HuffPost Life
GET ONE: Kate’s Echo Auto is $39.99 .
3. Ultra sleek battery pack
“This battery pack is one of the best things I’ve bought from Amazon. It’s the same shape as my iPhone, super light, fits in my pocket without being uncomfortable and holds about 150%, which is about one to two full charges, depending on how much you have left in the tank. It’s great for traveling ― not having to carry a cord, looking for an outlet and being stuck to it while waiting for enough juice to move on.” ― Michael Caravella, video director
GET ONE: Michael’s battery pack is $26.99.
4. A driver’s best friend
“My BABY. When I learned earlier this summer that there’s an easy way to top off my car tires without scrounging on the ground for quarters and sweating in the sun at the gas station air machine, bent over beside a busy road, I knew this portable tire inflator would be the greatest Amazon purchase I made all year. Now if I drive over a nail or the ‘tire pressure low’ light comes on, I’m all set for a quick fix or able to take care of it when I reach home, no coins necessary.” ― Janie Campbell, senior editor
GET ONE: Janie’s portable tire inflator is $17.82.
5. Sustainable food storage
“My boyfriend and I purchased two of these reusable Stasher silicone food bags this year, and they’ve saved us so much money. They’re kind of like reusable alternative to Ziploc bags. We bought them specifically to use with our compost food scraps. We collect our food scraps in them throughout the week, store them in the freezer and take them to our compost drop-off on the weekends. Of course, they can also be used just as you’d use a normal Ziploc bag. They’re really durable and can be washed in the dishwasher. Overall, it feels good to know I’ve made a tiny, more sustainable swap in my daily routine.” ― Brittany Nims, manager of commerce content and strategy
GET ONE: Brittany’s silicone food bags are $19.99.
6. Fashionable fanny pack
“I bought the JanSport Fifth Ave Fanny Pack in Lilac this summer to free up my hands and it has changed how I commute in the mornings. Before, I would be encumbered by a tote that would weigh me down as I lugged it to the subway. When I have a big tote, I am compelled to fill it. My shoulders complained enough that I knew I needed a lifestyle change. This fanny pack is big enough to fit essentials like keys, my work ID, phone and money for coffee, but not so big that I’m going to overfill it. I no longer have to juggle holding coffee in one hand as I keep my bag on my shoulder. Having my hands free is one less stress that makes my commute a little better. I wear my fanny pack across my chest like I see my stylish friends do, and it makes me feel like a sporty athlete, even when all I’m doing is walking around the park or going to work. It has saved me from shoulder pain, and for that alone, I recommend it.” ― Monica Torres, reporter
GET ONE: Monica’s fanny pack is $18.73.
7. Next best thing to a real massage
“I was skeptical at first, but this $35 massager actually feels like someone is giving you a massage. Everyone who comes over and tries it says the same thing. It’s pretty incredible!” ― Ashley Rockman, senior editor
GET ONE: Ashley’s massager is $34.99.
8. Sous vide and all the delicious accessories
“This year my best buy was the Anova Sous Vide setup (plus the container, lid and bags) which takes up a not insignificant space in the kitchen but made me into a dinner party sensation. Yeah, it’s a whole to-do. But this thing will take a gigantic hunk of meat, or fancy steaks that you really don’t want to ruin, and make them restaurant quality every time. I love it! The other night I took a gigantic, frozen, $5 pork loin and threw it in there, and after a few hours it came out tender and a perfect medium rare. After the sous vide, you just sear your meat or veggies on a hot-as-hell pan and then you look like a genius. In total, the full setup cost about $150, but I’ll be using it forever.” ― Andy Campbell, senior reporter
GET ONE: Andy’s Anova sous vide is $146.69.
9. Life-changing vacuum
“I’ve been stuck with a $30 Dirt Devil that does nothing but push dirt and hair around my floor into little piles, so I finally sucked it up (literally) and ordered a Dyson vacuum from Amazon, thanks to a recommendation from a friend. There are like 11 versions at this point, each more expensive than the other and ranging up to $700, but I realized I only needed a less-expensive V7, because my apartment is only like two square feet. This is the lamest thing I may ever say, but that vacuum has changed my home life. Now that my vacuum actually gets the floor clean, I can do yoga without seeing hairballs rolling across the floor, and I feel like a more put-together human. This thing sucks up EVERYTHING.” ― Kristen Aiken, senior editor
GET ONE: Kristen’s cordless vacuum is $271.95.
10. Phone case that does it all
“My whole life is from Amazon, regrettably. I swear by Subscribe & Save and get everything from shoes to water bottles for my kids to bras on Amazon. My most favorite recent purchase is my phone case. I love it not only because it was $15 but it holds in my metrocard without getting loose. I get compliments on it all the time and find it so handy. It was one of those ‘Amazon recommends’ buys and it was right on the money.” ― Kate Auletta, senior editor
GET ONE: Kate’s phone case is $16.99.
11. Super handy purse clip
“I love it and other women always ask me about it: It’s a purse clip that’s sleek, simple and not tacky at all. Sometimes I clip two bags on it. And it always just hangs on the straps so I don’t have to go digging for it.” ― Kritzie Roberts, executive assistant
GET ONE: Kritzie’s purse clip is $15.95.
12. The TubShroom
“My roommates and I used to use a basic hair-catcher for our shower like this. It was fine, but would eventually get super moldy. I had heard good things about the TubShroom — I am a little obsessive about researching reviews once I decide I should buy something — and finally spent the money on it. It just looks like a regular drain cover and catches all the hair. It’s better than what we had, and way better than having a stopped-up drain. I’ve had it for a few months now and haven’t seen any mold or rust on it, so hooray. Bonus: ‘TubShroom’ is also fun to say.” ― Jillian Capewell, editor
GET ONE: Jillian’s TubShroom is $16.99.
13. Plastic-saving produce bags
“I’ve become a big fan of these cotton produce bags this year. After reading article upon article about the awfulness of single-use plastic, I’ve been making an effort to cut down. These bags, which come in several sizes, are organic, reusable and easy to clean. Just toss ’em in your grocery sacks and wash when necessary.” ― Jade Walker, editor
GET ONE: Jade’s produce bags are $15.95 for a set of six.