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We’ve detailed exactly what to look out for when shopping for these products, showed you our methods, and offered winners in multiple categories, from the best budget-friendly to the best overall. While we’ll be testing even more product categories in 2023, we know you’ll find many solutions for your needs below. Without further ado, read on to discover the best home essentials we tried in 2022.
The Best Home Essentials of 2022
Best of Tools & Small Appliances
Fluff Co.’s mission is to bring the experience of a luxuriously high-end hotel stay to your home at an affordable price. And because they use the same manufacturers as top-tier brands like The Ritz Carlton and The Four Seasons, Fluff Co.’s 5-Star Luxury Hotel Towel tops our list as the best overall bath towel we’ve tried. Commerce SEO Editor Sarah says, “Its oversized design (I’d liken it to a bath sheet) meant I could easily wrap myself up in its cozy plushness, and as I unraveled myself from that first wrap, I was shocked to find myself essentially dry — without so much as a pat. After I hung it back on the rack, I continued with my nightly skincare routine and found that when I went to dry my hands afterward, the towel was already almost dry! I was smitten and I couldn’t wait to tell everybody.” We’ll help you out, Sarah.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for something plush, soft, and weighty without being bulky; those who like a clean, modern look.
Good to Know: You can opt for a single towel or get a set of two, both options boast a 30-day trial period. What have you got to lose?
*Honorable Mention: “Now THIS is a LUXE TOWEL,” says AT contributor Ivy, who put the Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Towel to the test. “This is a towel that belongs in the bathroom of a $10 million home in Malibu with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and cutting-edge smart appliances.” Flatter, heavier, and sleeker than your average bath towel, the Parachute Classic is the “weighted blanket of bath towels.”
“Even though I’ve tested other bath mats, this is still my favorite one for regular use,” Assistant Shopping Editor Britt says of Weezie’s Piped Edge Bath Mat, part of the brand’s Piped Edge bath linen collection. During her first impression, she “really got a feel for how brightly the Weezie bath mat shines.” Weezie’s organic long-staple cotton mat is “super absorbent and somehow feels even softer after a bath,” says Britt. “I loved that it had grips covering the bottom to keep it in place and a discreet loop to hang it up to dry when it’s not in use. I thought after a few uses, it would start to show signs of a week’s worth of hard work, but it didn’t get gross and grimy like most other bath mats.”
When it eventually does need a wash, it’s as easy as tossing into the washer with your bath towels. And that crispy, bright white? Britt says the French blue piping and fresh white cotton style she opted for “looks just as new as it did when it arrived.” An aesthetic mix between classic cotton bath mats and the unique and stylish ones we’re seeing from a number of trendy home brands, the Piped Edge Bath Mat earns fives stars for functionality, longevity, and design.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something easily washable; those who want something soft and plush; those who like the classic white look (but want a little something extra).
Good to Know: You can personalize your Weezie bath mat with a custom monogram for an additional $15.
The Best of Cleaning in 2022
“I’ve had this vacuum since January, and it’s one of the best I’ve tested by far,” Commerce Managing Editor Tamara says of our overall winner. What makes the Shark Wandvac Self-Emptying System stand out enough to be the best? It’s lightweight, sleek, not outlandishly expensive compared to its competitors, has its own self-emptying charging dock, and it’s easy on the eyes. “One of the first things I noticed when I began using it is the strength of its suction,” Britt, who also tested it, says. “While vacuuming, I would see dust, dirt, and more being pulled toward the device before I physically reached it. I also couldn’t believe how much dog hair it pulled out of the fibers of my carpet with the help of its PowerFins brushroll.”
Tamara has “two messy kitties,” she shares, “so I use the handheld vac multiple times a day for quick litter and dust cleanups. I love the cordless design and that there are multiple ways to store the rechargeable base depending on your home’s setup. It’s super easy to clean as well — you just push down one button to dispense the dust trappings.” Adds Britt, “Along with how effective and efficient the vacuum is, it’s also incredibly versatile. In its extended wand form, I’m able to reach high to clean my ceiling fans and get rid of dust, cobwebs, and more without awkwardly moving around furniture or having to use a step stool.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something powerful, lightweight, and cordless; those who don’t want to wait to recharge; those who don’t want to replace filters; those with hard floors and low-pile carpet.
*Honorable Mention: Our runner-up is another one of Shark’s impressive vacuums: The Vertex Pro Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum with DuoClean PowerFins. AT News & Culture Director Tara raves about its “powerful suction that beats out my older cordless Dyson model and stays charged for much longer.” It has its own headlights, “so I can see under furniture or in dim corners. It maneuvers well over all of my floor types: hardwood, area rugs, and tile. It has a sizable canister as well, so you don’t have to stop and empty it while you’re cleaning.”
The Neato D8 wins best overall robot vacuum for its ergonomic shape and superior navigation intelligence. We’re also adding points for having a set-up process that isn’t the daunting, day-long activity it often is with other smart robot vacuums. It’s app-controlled but can be turned on manually or via Alexa smart-home devices as well. The best part, though, is that it uses LiDAR technology, which means it has “cool scanning and mapping abilities that self-driving cars use as opposed to cameras,” says AT contributor Terri. “It does a much better job of both navigating and cleaning my home,” compared to other robot vacuums we’ve tested. “I don’t have to move stuff off the floor or worry about it bumping into my floor lamps and scratching my furniture. Also, my WFH setup includes a tempered glass chair mat, so that’s a major no-go zone this vacuum intelligently avoids.” What’s more, “the Neato D8 is also smart enough to notice when it’s approaching the stairs to avoid tumbling down.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who need a little extra help with daily maintenance; those who want a robot vacuum that can clean corners and angled spaces; those who appreciate the latest and greatest in navigation technology.
Good to Know: The Neato D8 is designed to work with even high-pile carpeting like shag rugs, rugs with fringe, and other fluffy, stringy, or otherwise inconsistent surfaces.
“The Bissell AeroSlim is a sleek handheld vacuum that really doesn’t look like a vacuum at first glance,” says Britt, who tested it. “Its storage stand keeps both the hand vac and its brush and crevice tool contained, so there aren’t a lot of spare parts to deal with.” Small-space friendly and easy on the eyes, the AeroSlim is our choice as the best overall handheld vacuum. “The filter and USB charging cord are even small enough to fit inconspicuously into a drawer,” Britt continues. “I love the convenience of handheld vacuums, so I’ve come into contact with plenty. The AeroSlim is the first one that I haven’t felt compelled to keep hidden away with the other vacuums behind the door of my laundry room. Instead, it sits proudly on top of a bookshelf!”
At under $50, the sleek AeroSlim and its multi-purpose accessories are suitable for tight storage spaces as well different aesthetics when displayed. It’s got all the expected (and helpful!) bells and whistles, like being cordless, having a washable filter, and including a USB charging cord, so it can be used anywhere for up to 12 minutes. The Bissell AeroSlim’s got it all and does it all.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a compact yet powerful handheld vacuum; those who don’t want to spend too much; those who want something with a trustworthy name (like Bissell).
*Honorable Mention: With the same powerful cleaning ability as full-sized Shark vacuums, the “pint-sized” Shark UltraLight Corded Hand Vacuum is a high-performance handheld vacuum that’s loved by reviewers. Because it’s corded (with a 15-foot cable, no less), it maintains consistent, reliable, and strong suction power throughout every cleaning session — no unexpected loss of battery life or need to stop mid-vacuum to recharge.
“For starters, where has this vacuum been my entire life?” AT contributor Sholeen asks. The Dyson V8 Animal has the suction power, maneuverability, lightness, range of pet hair-specific attachments, and price of an undeniable winner when it comes to cleaning pet hair. Dyson has a few models designed specifically for households with pets as well as vacuums with even higher suction power, but when all the pros, cons, wattages, prices, and features were weighed, the “new-classic” V8 Animal model came out on top. At 115AW, it performs well above the suction power range (between 50AW and 100AW, FYI) of other vacuums at its price point, so pet hair, large debris like dirt, and torn tissue paper (my dog’s favorite) don’t stand a chance. Because most of its parts are washable, including the filter that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime, all kinds of pet messes are easy to take care of without destroying your vacuum. And thanks to the V8 Animal’s unique, agitating roller heads, pet hair doesn’t tangle in the head or clog the tube. For anyone looking for the right vacuum at the right price for apartment living with animals, the Dyson V8 Animal is our number one pick.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want the convenience of a stick vacuum; those living in homes with limited storage space; those who want a Dyson for the least amount of dough.
Good to Know: The Dyson V11 is the only other version we might recommend over the V8 for its supremely high suction power, but it’s also got a price tag to match!
Our number one pick goes to the editor-loved Melaleuca PreSpot Concentrate, a natural stain-blasting formula that relies on tea tree oil and three naturally derived enzymes to lift all types of stains, so you can simply dab them away with a damp cloth. To explain why PreSpot is such a winner, allow us to get technical for a moment: The protease enzymes de-bond protein stains while the amylase enzymes work on starch stains and lipase enzymes attack oily stains. PreSpot is a concentrated liquid that’s meant to be diluted with water (don’t worry, the formula’s enzymes prevent any further water-based staining), but because it’s still a plant-based product, you can experiment to find your perfect ratio and apply multiple times without damaging your fabrics. Tested on red wine, coffee, turmeric, oil, paint, and some other mysterious stains on both untreated white cotton and colorful polyester, PreSpot is fast, consistently reliable, doesn’t require a wash after use, and dries quickly after you’ve blotted the stain away. Not only is it one of the most impressive stain fighting treatments we’ve tested, it smells beautiful.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a single stain product for everything; those who prefer decanting an eco-friendly concentrate into your own vessels.
Good to Know: Melaleuca can be a hard brand to get your hands on if you’re not a member with the company, and there are only a handful of legitimate Amazon listings. Rest assured, though: This one’s tried and true.
The Best Bedding Essentials of 2022
Helix, as a brand, wins our best overall mattress for the second year in a row, not only because they sell quality beds, but also because they have a whopping 14 options to choose from. Start by taking the brand’s sleep quiz to find your match — there are six standard options (two each for soft, medium, and firm feels), plus another option for plus-size folks. Helix also offers six LUXE options and one organic option, the Birch mattress (which we’ve also tried!).
The Midnight LUXE mattress is Helix’s most popular option and the one that continues to blow us away. It has a medium feel, is made with side sleepers in mind, and features zoned lumbar support for better body contouring. It’s a hybrid mattress, with a combination of memory foam, gel foam, and wrapped coils for ultra comfort and support, and it has a quilted pillow top so you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.
Our tester, deputy lifestyle director Madeline, describes herself as both a hot sleeper and a side sleeper. She upgraded her mattress to the Midnight LUXE in 2020 (from a 2015-era hand-me-down) and she still calls it a major upgrade. Some of the adjectives she uses to describe her Helix: supportive, squishy, comfortable, and cozy. “I feel like a queen sleeping on a Queen,” Madeline says. “It’s softer and squishier for sure, which means I don’t need a topper. And it provides so much more support than my old mattress.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep hot; side sleepers; those who want a hybrid construction; those who prefer long trial periods.
Good to Know: Military members, first responders, teachers, and students are all eligible for a 15 percent discount. Helix has a showroom in New York City where you can schedule an appointment to feel the mattresses before you buy. Helix also has a referral program: If someone buys a mattress through your recommendation, they’ll get $125 off their purchase, and you’ll get a $50 Amazon gift card.
Not only does Intex’s Comfort Plush Elevated Du ra-Beam Air Bed have more than 15,000 positive reviews on Amazon, but it also received top notes from Apartment Therapy founder and CEO, Maxwell. “While I grew up with Aerobeds,” he says, “and thought that the prize would go in this direction, I was surprised by how crowded the field has become and how similar so many of the beds are. The Intex Comfort Plush walked away from the competition a winner, scoring the office vote as well, because it slept just as nicely as all the others and costs less than half as much.”
This 22-inch-high, Queen-sized mattress, which features a built-in electric pump, is simply “better than many standard air beds,” according to another reviewer. Maxwell adds, “The quality of the construction (while we didn’t attack it with sharp instruments, but did throw it around the room during the week) felt tough. And, personally, I found the flat top surface the most comfortable of the lot.”
Who It’s Best For: Hosts who want to give their guests a good night’s sleep without breaking the bank; those looking for a reliable air bed under $100.
Good to Know: This air mattress can inflate in under five minutes, which relieves users from what can typically be the worst part of dealing with an air mattress.
When it comes to bedding brands, Saatva is absolutely beloved by the AT team: The Saatva Classic Mattress made our list of the best mattresses, so it may not come as a huge surprise that the brand’s mattress topper earned rave reviews as well. Saatva’s graphite mattress topper has a soft, plush feel and withstands movement while maintaining the integrity of the mattress and keeping its shape over time. That, along with its secure hold, breathability, and moisture-wicking fabric, made it the best overall pick on our list. “My partner and I have gotten some amazing sleep,” says Home Assistant Editor Savannah. “We already had a pretty expensive, quality mattress. So we honestly didn’t think our sleep could get THAT much better. We were so wrong.”
The topper attaches to your mattress with four corner straps that hold it in place, which Savannah said is super helpful with their dogs that like to hop in and out of bed. “I also really love how the topper keeps its shape!” she adds. “When you put pressure on it, it adjusts to your body a bit, but when you get up, it snaps right back into shape. It never looks flat or lumpy. I honestly can’t think of anything I would change about this mattress topper!”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a natural topper; those who are hot sleepers; those who prefer a plush feel as well as subtle body contouring.
Good to Know: The Saatva mattress topper is available in two additional types: foam and latex. The foam topper is good for those seeking more plushness, while the latex topper, which was tested by commerce executive director Mark, provides a firmer feel. “My Saatva mattress was already comfortable but it got even better with this topper, and I did sleep a little better,” he says of the latex topper. While Mark loved his Saatva mattress as is, he “always thought it could be a little bit firmer” for what he needs. “The mattress topper gives me the exact level of firmness that I love.”
Rarely in life is there a “total package” product that checks all the boxes, but the Sijo Eucalyptus Mattress Protector actually does. If you’re looking for comfort, utility, temperature regulation, sustainable materials, and an affordable price point all in one, Sijo’s got it. Not only is it 100 percent waterproof, but it’s also made from eco-friendly Tencel lyocell, a fabric crafted from responsibly farmed bamboo and other wood sources. Don’t let the thought of sleeping on bamboo or wood scare you: These natural fibers actually create a super soft fabric that is naturally cooling, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic. And unlike many other waterproof mattress pads that crinkle and have a plastic-y feel, Sijo’s Tencel fabric makes zero noise as you move around in bed.
AT contributor Stella was impressed by how undetectable the Sijo mattress protector was when she tried it: “You can’t even tell it’s on with a sheet on top of it, and it doesn’t change the texture of my mattress either. I love that it’s 100 percent waterproof so my mattress can stay feeling brand new. It’s no hassle to put on or take off, and I really can’t emphasize enough how silent it is.” With a continuous elastic hem that wraps securely around the mattress, it stays snugly in place and won’t bunch or shift.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a waterproof mattress protector without having to feel or hear a waterproof mattress protector; those who sleep warm and want a cooling layer.
Good to Know: There are no chemical treatments or coatings used, and yet, both the mattress protector’s top and sides are 100 percent waterproof with a protective barrier. While that may sound like music to a parent’s ears, unfortunately for those with young kids, Sijo does not make this mattress protector in Twin size.
Determining the best overall bed pillow gets harder to do with each passing year, but we did manage to crown a winner. Not only is the Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow cooling, which is one of the most sought-after qualities for shoppers, but it also comes with a number of perks. You can actually adjust it to your ideal thickness level by removing some of its cloth fill, but don’t worry about the extracted stuffing getting lost in the sauce (a.k.a. your linen closet) — this top-rated product includes a complimentary cloth bag, so you can safely store away any unwanted fill for a later day. Britt tested the pillow and says she “was really impressed with the shape… it’s discreet and smart to give it a slightly square shape that’s more evident when it has more fill inside of it. I’ve become more of a combination sleeper these days, alternating between my stomach and side, so a firm-but-not-too-firm pillow is perfect for me.” Adjustable, cooling, suitable for all sleeping positions — Nest Bedding came through with a real winner.
Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep on their stomach and/or side; those who want something adjustable.
Good to Know: This pillow’s cover is machine washable and its fill is totally protected, so you can sleep on a freshly washed pillow as often as you’d like.
*Honorable Mention: The Casper Hybrid Pillow is a dream come true for me, personally. After one night on the Casper Hybrid, I woke, frankly, in disbelief. In a single night, it was able to free me from my morning pain, get me to sleep in record time, and allow me to stay asleep without tossing and turning.
Our best overall pillow for side sleepers had a lot to achieve (not to mention some pretty particular editors to impress), and Cushion Lab’s Deep Sleep Pillow, with its gentle contouring and perfect medium-firm feel, comes out on the top of our list. Britt says, “I was never really a sculpted-pillow person before, but the Deep Sleep Pillow has changed my mind. It has high and low neck supports and side-sleeper bolsters that create a cushioned cradle whether I turn to the left or right, as well as ample support when I am on my back. I’ve never before slept on a pillow that made me sigh in relief every time I change positions. I haven’t had any recent shoulder or neck aches, and I wake up feeling vacation-level rested. Deep sleep, indeed!”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want supportive contouring without the obvious look of it; those who sleep in multiple positions.
Good to Know: Need several? When you shop multiple Deep Sleep pillows, you can save up to $20 off the total.
MYK Silk offers among the highest quality varieties of silk pillowcases ranging between 19 and 30 momme (a measure of the fabric’s quality and durability), all at affordable prices, which earned the brand our best overall spot this year. AT contributor Allison tested MYK Silk’s 25 momme version and said it “is one of the thickest, smoothest pillowcases I’ve tried and costs less than $45.” Most silk pillowcases are 19 or 22 momme and come at a much higher price, which makes MYK Silk a steal hidden in plain sight. It comes in three sizes and several beautiful colors, and it’s OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified to boot. “I love a zipper closure for silk pillowcases,” Allison continues, “because they keep it from moving around, and the MYK Silk pillowcase fits my pillow perfectly, allowing it to stay nice and plump throughout the night. After washing, sleeping on, and comparing it to the others tested, MYK’s pillowcase remained the softest with the least amount of post-wash wrinkles. The only downside? I don’t want to get up when my alarm goes off.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want durable, smooth silk with a high momme count at a manageable price; those who want a variety of sizes and colors to choose from.
Good to Know: MYK Silk has silk pillowcases from 19 to 30 momme, some with a cotton underside, so you can get the best of both worlds of bedding.
*Honorable Mention: As Best List writer, I’ve tried several silk pillowcases and Casper’s is still my favorite. I wake without bedhead or pillow marks, my skin is far less irritated, and I’m not sticking to the pillowcase, no matter how toasty I get. The smooth and durable silk pillowcase can also be purchased as a bundle, which includes a matching sleep mask.
When it came to finding the perfect sleep mask, we had an ideal in mind. It was multi-layered, soft, relatively seamless, comfortable to wear in a range of sleeping positions, and able to successfully block out intruding light. FRESHME’s Sleep Mask ticked off all of the boxes… and then some. The magic lies in its clever “nose wing” design, which effectively blocks out any light that could potentially come from the mask’s nose opening. And, thanks to its adjustable strap and mostly cotton construction, FRESHME’s mask is my personal go-to. I was given it as a gift when I was a guest at a friend’s place, and it’s definitely among the top 10 gifts I’ve ever received. It covers my entire eye line with a smooth, breathable jersey material that doesn’t pull at my skin, trap sweat or oil, and doesn’t move throughout the night. The filling is about half-an-inch thick, so not only does it give a super blackout effect, but whatever it’s filled with forms to my face comfortably (yet non-restrictively!), so there aren’t any weird gaps that let light through. It’s got an adjustable Velcro back with plenty of non-Velcro border space so my hair never get caught — I also haven’t felt or heard the Velcro once while using it.
Who It’s Best For: Those who love a cashmere-like softness; those who travel; those who want something mildly sound blocking.
Good to Know: Want to get a good night’s sleep on the go? FRESHME’s mask folds and comes with a complimentary carrying case, making it a great option for travel, too.
Parachute consistently ranks at the top of our lists, and as much as we love to test the latest and greatest, the brand’s trustworthy standing in our books is well earned. Parachute is known for stylish and high-quality bedding, so it’s no surprise that they have the best comforter in the game. This down duvet insert is classic yet oh-so-luxurious. It has a white cotton shell that’s filled with down, and it’s quilted so the feathers stay evenly distributed. AT contributor Stella can’t recommend it enough and thinks this is a piece of bedding that everyone needs: “It quite literally feels like sleeping beneath a cloud. It’s lightweight but instead of feeling hollow or bouncy, it feels like it’s giving you a gentle hug every time it settles on top of you.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who like a bit of weight to their blanket but still want to stay cool; those who are looking for a down option.
Good to Know: This comforter has two density options: lightweight and all-season.
It’s not exactly a surprise that Brooklinen earned the No. 1 spot in this category for its Luxe Duvet Cover. It remains one of our all-time favorite brands for bedding, including comforters, silk pillowcases, and sheets. “I got to enjoy everything I adore about my comforter along with the added bonus of the creamy-smooth feel of the duvet cover,” says Britt, who is now a whole-hearted duvet cover supporter. “It didn’t add a ton of weight, which meant I didn’t overheat while I slept; and it gave me the chance to change up the look of my bedding without buying a brand-new comforter.” This duvet cover has a 480 thread count and is made of cotton in a sateen weave, which means it’s smooth and shiny. We’re absolutely obsessed with the color and print options — and you can even snag limited-edition shades and patterns seasonally.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want the perfect combination of comfort and style without breaking the bank.
Good to Know: Not only does Brooklinen offer a 365-day return window, but they also cover return shipping for U.S. customers. So, if you’re not totally sold, then you have the flexibility to test the brand out first.
It still can’t be denied that this set by My Sheets Rock blows every other competitor out of the water with its eponymous temperature-regulating powers. Testing for this category of sheets is fairly black and white: They either kept us cool or they didn’t. Made from high-grade, sustainably sourced OEKO-TEX-certified bamboo rayon, these sheets boast eight heat-fighting benefits, including breathable construction, moisture-wicking technology, and a lightweight feel that’s buttery soft and inviting all year round. Sarah attests that they’re not only the softest pair of sheets she’s ever encountered, but they’ve also allowed her to sleep sweat-free at last. “These sheets seem to combine the positive traits of two other beloved textiles: the smoothness of silk (sans the slip) and the lightweight, classic design of cotton,” she says. “Not only did I sleep soundly and comfortably, but I also woke up sweat-free and without a hair out of place.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want to sleep on the coolest sheets possible; those who love a silkier feel to their sheets.
Good to Know: These sheets have sold out several times and fly off shelves when they re-stock, so don’t wait if you think you could benefit from a set of your own.
Our best overall pick when it comes to organic sheets are not only OEKO-TEX 100, GOTS, and Fair Trade certified but also hit the sweet spot between slick sateen, textured linen, and weighty hemp. Boll & Branch, an editor-favorite bedding brand, impressed us with their organic cotton percale Signature Hemmed Sheet Set. “I am not a lover of uber-soft sheets — I don’t like something scratchy, of course — but I’ve never been into sateen or even a really soft percale,” Stella says. “I LOVE these sheets. They are crisp with a light texture and are perfect for me.”
Stella tends to sleep a bit cold, but also lived in southern California at the time, and these sheets served her well. “They have a bit of weight without feeling claustrophobic, and I feel they are less wrinkled than other percale sheets I have tried. These sheets are for the person who wants that hotel sheet feel — a set that stays clean feeling and crisp” wash after wash, year after year. The sheets, a perennial best-seller for Boll & Branch, are available in a wide range of colors and sizes, easy to clean, and dress a bed beautifully.
Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want sheets that are either cooling or warming; those who want something that will soften with each wash and last a long time.
Good to Know: Boll & Branch offers free shipping and returns, but you can also try these sheets risk-free for 30 nights.
*Honorable mention: West Elm’s 400-Thread Count Organic Percale Sheets (which are also on deep discount!) have apparent high quality “right out of the package,” Mark says. “They are lightweight, yet… substantial and the pleated edge makes them feel so fancy.” Mark is “a huge fan of these sheets” and, since he doesn’t wake up either freezing or sweating, he “highly recommends,” no matter what kind of sleeper you are.
We tested more linen sheets this year than probably any other type, but Parachute’s luxurious textiles, which don’t necessarily cost a fortune, are the ones many of us on the team still rave to all our friends about. Scouts honor: Parachute’s linen sheets are one of the most reliable sets I’ve tried right out of the packaging. They’re lightweight without being totally sheer, and the price point doesn’t exceed $200 — a rare find in the world of quality, even luxury linen bedding. Made in a generations-old, family-owned mill in Portugal, these sheets are softer out of the box than many other brands because Parachute pre-washes them in small loads to relax the fibers so they’ll be comfortable on night one. I absolutely love the array of earthy colors they come in, too, with Bone, Clay (my favorite!), and Dusk being standouts.
Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want to deal with a longer wear-in period; those looking for the perfect intersection of price, quality, and color options.
Good to Know: The basic set does not include a top sheet but can be added for $100 more. You can also buy these sheets separately by the piece. Fitted sheets tend to wear out faster than top sheets, so if you don’t need a whole new set, it’s nice to buy only what you need and save where you can.
So, what is it about Brooklinen’s Percale Sheets that also consistently lands them at the very top of our list of the best cotton percale sheets? “These sheets truly make getting out of bed a challenge — that’s how darn comfortable they are,” says contributor Jasmine, who put them to the test a few years back. Since then, they’ve become a mainstay in a few editors’ linen closets. Though they have a bit of weight to them, these 270-thread-count sheets are completely breathable, making them ideal for both hot and cold nights. And while the sheets are already soft to the touch, they get even better with each wash, developing a sort of lived-in quality.
“What I love most is the hotel-like crispness from these sheets,” Jasmine adds, “which I’ve only ever experienced when I’m vacationing somewhere fancy.” To round out how awesome they are, the sheets have “long” and “short” side labels, taking the guesswork out of the eternally confusing task of making the bed on laundry day. Plus, for those who love a little pattern in their lives, these sheets are available in fun prints, in addition to classic solids. Keep an eye out for Brooklinen’s limited-edition colors — they tend to sell out fast, but the brand typically launches new ones every season.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want to invest in durable, luxe sheets but don’t want to spend hundreds; those who want to take their sheets for a full test sleep-and-wash before committing, as Brooklinen’s generous return policy allows for that.
Good to Know: Not into using top sheets? You can save money by buying a Starter set that includes just the fitted sheet and pillowcases.
Though I’m definitely a self-proclaimed jersey sheet fiend, I typically retire them during the warmer spring and summer months. I’m a hot sleeper, but I can’t resist the instant softness these give me right as I get in bed. I totally changed my tune, though, when I found Bedsure’s Jersey Knit Sheets. Made with 100 percent cotton, the bedding set makes you feel like you’re wrapped in your favorite tee: It’s lightweight, breathable, stretchy, and oh-so-soft to the touch. These sheets also have ultra-deep pockets, so they’ll stay put as you clock in eight glorious hours of sleep. And, thanks to their moisture-wicking properties, these sheets can be used during all seasons. From all the (many) jersey sheet sets I’ve tried, this is the only one I’ve been able to get that instantly warm-and-cozy feeling from without totally sweating through them by 3 a.m. TMI, maybe, but I know I can’t be the only one. If you’re like me and never really know what your temperature is going to be like when you sleep, these are a total fail-safe option (and cozy to boot!).
Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep hot; those who want something year round; those who prefer shopping on Amazon (fast shipping!).
Good to Know: To keep your sheets ultra-soft, wash this set in cold water and dry on a low temperature every time — but especially before their first use.
*Honorable Mention: Target’s bedding initially turned me onto jersey sheets when I was a teen, so I still turn to the red-and-white retailer to get my quicket fixes. Casaluna, Target’s new-ish, much more elevated home brand, seemed to pinpoint exactly what made me fall hard for jersey sheets and combined them with higher-quality OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified cotton and gorgeous earth tones. Overall, the look and feel of these sheets never gets old for me, and I love how easy they are to find.
Consciously crafted, they’re the perfect flannel sheets for those whose definition of “the best” includes environmental consideration. AT Partnerships Director Laina calls them “the perfect fall sheets. I love the feel of flannel sheets but not too thick and hot,” she continues. “These are a perfect combination of lightweight and breathable with that favorite flannel feel. Just the first touch of them makes you get so excited about getting inside. They stayed the same perfect soft touch after washing them.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who are eco-conscious; those looking for something luxurious and durable; those looking for unusual sizes.
Good to Know: These sheets are available in unique sizes like Split King and Twin XL.
*Honorable Mention: The Quince Flannel Sheet set is an extremely close runner up, because it’s supremely soft and competitively luxurious for a fraction of the price. I tested these myself, and they are my personal favorite sheets at the moment and a set I intend to use year-round because they’re lightweight but, again, unbelievably soft.
Listen: Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. Our mission is to find and celebrate the best option in a given category regardless of cost, brand reputation, or anything irrelevant to quality. But when we determined the value of each throw we tested by its material, quality, look, feel, and ease of care, there was no denying that Avocado Green’s collection of Luxury Natural Throws uses the best materials and are crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail. The collection has natural and organic throws, including a delicious cashmere, organic cotton (our favorite!), and some merino wool.
Avocado’s variety makes finding a throw for any and every room easy — it’s as if they hand-picked the best design and color of each luxury natural material and housed them in one spot. The Luxury Organic Cotton Throw is one of the softest throws (if not the softest) I felt across a variety of materials. It’s tightly knit without any fringe and is both elegant and cozy. It’s breathable thanks to the cotton, but it’s also got some heft, making it the ideal year-round throw blanket option. It’s made in limited quantities by artisans, sustainably produced, climate neutral, and beautifully designed using natural dyes. While the price point is steep, the value checks out.
Who It’s Best For: Environmentally conscious shoppers; those looking for one perfect throw; those who want one trustworthy source for a variety of throw types.
Good to Know: Avocado Green is a carbon negative brand, which means they voluntarily offset 100 percent of their emissions in a variety of ways (including work with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation).
Balsam Hill has spent years perfecting the shape, fullness, angles, and needles of a multitude of different tree types to create the most realistic versions of each. In putting the brand’s best-selling Fraser Fir to the test, it did not disappoint. If you’re familiar with the differences between spruce, pine, and fir needles, you’d agree that this artificial Fraser fir appears as real as the real thing. Its needles are thick and cylindrical versus the thin, harshly rectangular needles you often see on low-quality artificial trees. It comes in three elegantly labeled pieces, the first of which goes into the included stand with the remaining two atop the first. The string lights are already in position and there’s no digging into the tree to find one unattached cord to plug into the next section’s. All in all, assembly of the 7.5′ tree was a one-person job — but the more, the merrier — and took all of 5 minutes. It comes with a storage bag and a smaller tool bag, in which you’ll find tools for securing the tree if necessary and several pairs of gloves so everyone can get involved in the fluffing stage of assembly. Its branches are sturdy enough for even the heaviest of our ornaments, but it also doesn’t need any at all in order to look cozy and natural (especially if your style is more minimalist).
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a robust Christmas tree; those who prefer thick needles; those who want something realistic; those who want something to last a long time.
*Honorable Mention: The Arhaus Illuminated Monaco Pine, while rather different, is a close runner-up, as its cashmere tips give it a voluminous, fluffy look (and feel!) that effectively cozies up any room, even without a single ornament.
These are the real deal when it comes to achieving, as the name suggests, total blackout in any room. Not only do the SUN+BLK 100% Recycled Total Blackout Curtains win our best pick overall, but they also happen to be our favorite budget-friendly pick. In testing, we were so impressed by their ability to block natural light that we even draped a panel directly over a forcefully bright spotlight, the bulb of which shouldn’t be looked at with the naked eye, and there wasn’t even a sparkle detectable behind it. These aren’t any heavier than your average curtain — in fact, they may even be lighter weight — nor do they have that unappealing plasticky look or feel typical of inexpensive curtains. On the contrary, they are among the most attractive blackout curtains we tried. They are backed with an extremely thin and flexible layer of foam, which absorbs any and all light rays from behind while allowing the recycled polyester outer material to remain lighter in color. Forget draping big, dark curtains just for the sake of blocking light — these allow you to keep the integrity of your space’s indoor lighting and decor scheme. Lastly, the rod pocket heading allows the curtains to work with your curtain rod’s design (especially if you have one made for blackout curtains) without giving way to any sneaky rays that can come through grommets or other heading styles.
Who It’s Best For: Those ready to invest in interior design-friendly blackout curtains; those who want a luxe-looking velvet curtain; those who prefer rod pocket headings.
The Best Tools & Small Appliances of 2022
As far as handheld steamers go, the Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam 2-in-1 Steamer and Iron is our overall winner for its reliability, dual-function wrinkle-releasing power, and ease of use. It’s small enough to be portable when necessary but large enough to be considered heavy duty. It’s powered by 1,875 watts, which is nearly triple the amount of your average small-sized handheld steamer, and exceeds that of some industrial-level stand-up models. While this means it uses more power, it also cuts the time it takes to steam wrinkles out of practically any material in half. AT contributor Ella raves that this do-it-all steamer “comes with four attachments that help with everything from pressing pleats to protecting delicate fabric. To use it, you fill the detachable chamber with water, place it back into the front of the machine, and select your desired setting. The default setting is an effective steamer, which got the wrinkles out of a very-crushed dress in about five minutes. But if you adjust the settings, and turn the handheld gadget so that its metal face points downward, you have a handy iron. (There’s no ironing board that comes with it, but I used my bed in a pinch.)” She says it’s intuitive, quick, and allows her to “feel prepared for any event and any fabric.” Sounds like a winner to us.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something handheld; those who steam often; those who want something somewhat portable; those who steam heavier fabrics; those who want something that works on delicates.
Good to Know: It comes with several attachment heads, so delicates are just as steamable with the Conair as heavier cotton and denims are.
Out of all of the electric kettles we tested, the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Electric Kettle Pro takes the cake as our best overall option (and I’m not the only one who’s in love with it). It’s an excellent multipurpose kettle with six preset temperatures, including one for coffee and another for warming a baby bottle (there are also instructions on how to use the boil setting to clean the bottle). One of my least favorite things is waiting for pasta water to boil, and with its large 1.5-liter capacity, this kettle easily cuts down the time it takes to whip up a a pasta dish. Thanks to its double-walled body, the kettle retains heat while the exterior stays cool, and it also has the ability to hold a temperature up to 30 minutes. Bonus: You can keep your counter clutter-free with hidden cord storage in its base.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a versatile kettle; those with kids.
*Honorable Mention: If you like the look and feel of the Zwilling but don’t need the temperature presets or ability to hold a temperature, the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Kettle is nearly identical to the pro version but at a lower price point.
The HoMedics TotalClean 5-in-1 UV-C Deluxe Large Room Air Purifier takes the winning spot as our best overall air purifier for its easy-to-navigate functionality and reliability. It’s a powerful unit that’s extremely easy to set up, and it helped our contributor Erin alleviate seasonal allergies, reduce dust in her home, and eliminate food odors from cooking. “It also has UV-C technology and HEPA filtration that can reduce bacteria, virus, mold, and fungus,” she says. “I appreciate this living in an apartment where you sometimes don’t always know what’s going on behind your walls!” Because it draws in and purifies the air from 360 degrees of its surroundings, not even the darkest and dustiest corners stand a chance against the TotalClean purifier. And, just as its name suggests, it’s a solid option for those with pets and kids, as it detects and eliminates dander and pollutants that can be potentially harmful, especially if your outdoor pets also spend time indoors. What’s more, you can add drops of essential oils to a dedicated tray in the purifier and allow it to emit your chosen scent (and simultaneously contribute something holistic to your air’s purification).
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a simple, reliable, and easy-to-use air purifier for any space; those who have pets and kids; those who live in apartments.
Good to Know: This purifier includes a UV-C light that kills 99.99 percent of bacteria and virus particles (even by itself).
When it came time to determine our best overall humidifier, we knew it had to be compact enough for bedside use yet fully functional in large spaces. The Levoit LV600S achieves both while also being quiet, providing impressive moisture output, having a clear digital humidistat and multiple settings, and being easy to clean. It can be controlled manually or via the Levoit app so you can adjust humidity levels remotely, but you can choose from multiple warm and cool mist temperatures either way. In testing, the LV600S proved to be the quietest and lightest-weight model for its size, and its six-liter water tank has a handle for easy lifting, refilling, and replacing. It’s free of tight spaces where debris could settle and bacteria could secretly thrive, making it a breeze to clean. And since it can run for an entire day on a single full tank, both cleaning and refilling are not only effortless but also don’t need to be done so often. Oh, and it’s got a compartment for adding essential oils if you choose. What more could you want?
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a versatile humidifier for multiple spaces; those who prefer little to no noise; those who want something easy and convenient to use and clean.
Good to Know: You can adjust humidity by percentage rather than by simply choosing between high, medium, or low levels, which makes this humidifier suitable for spaces, people, and things with specific humidity requirements.