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It’s been a heck of a shopping year thus far, and it’s only going to ramp up during the holiday season. So we thought it’d be fun to see all of the wonderful things our readers have bought so far in 2018. With the incredible sales we’ve seen on popular products and the crazy prices of Amazon Prime Day, we have quite the hodgepodge of items on this list.
We can tell that our readers are big on buying cooking products and meal kits—especially when they’re on sale. There are some so fun and inexpensive health and wellness items that have made the list too. Curious what our readers bought? Here are the 25 most popular purchases of 2018:
1. The cult favorite Instant Pot
It’s no surprise that this popular multi-cooker topped the list. People love this kitchen gadget because it has all the functions of a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, and more. It was at its lowest price on Amazon during Prime Day and a few sales have popped up throughout the year that our readers jumped at. We’re expecting it to drop lower in price again during Black Friday, but if you want it now, it's currently $20 off.
2. Our favorite affordable meat thermometer
No one wants to cut into a piece of undercooked (or worse, overcooked) meat. But if you’re an amateur griller, getting your dinner just right can be hard to perfect. That’s why our readers love this meat thermometer from Habor. It’s the best affordable meat thermometer we’ve ever tested, and it works just as well as some of the more expensive models.
3. An easy meal kit delivery service
Meal kits are all the rage right now for home cooks everywhere, so we decided to test them out for ourselves. Although Home Chef didn’t earn our top spot, our readers preferred it most out of all the meal kits out there. We loved that the recipes always have great flavor, and we had a ton of fun using it. Plus, it had one of the lowest cost per serving of all the meal kits we tested.
4. Charcoal powder for whiter teeth
We all want a brighter smile, right? This charcoal powder claims to start a process called adsorption that's said to help remove stains from teeth naturally. Although we haven’t tried it, it has more than 17,000 reviews and a 4.3 out of 5-star rating, making it a cult favorite product on Amazon. It’s not too expensive, so if you're curious, you might as well give it a shot.
5. A pressure cooker without a huge price tag
The Instant Pot may hold the title as the pressure cooker on the market, but if you don’t care about brand names we found one that works just as well for a lot less. After testing the best electric multi-cookers, we gave Crock-Pot's pressure cooker the top spot because it has all the same functions and performance of an Instant Pot for about $30 less—and our readers seem to agree.
6. A smart water detector for unknown leaks
Leaks are not only expensive to repair, but they also damage the stuff around it. But you can install a smart water leak detector near high-risk areas, such as the water heater or washing machine, so you can catch leaks before they happen thanks to phone notifications. This one from Honeywell is the best smart water leak detector we’ve ever tested. During the summer it went on sale a few times, and our readers jumped at the opportunity to keep their valuables safe while they were away.
7. An inexpensive wireless charging pad
If your phone has wireless capabilities, then you should definitely take advantage of it. But some wireless chargers are pretty expensive, which is why our readers loved this one from RAVPower that’s only $10. It’s not the best wireless charger out there, but it gets the job done. At this price, you can get multiple for different rooms of your home and office.
8. Our favorite affordable hair dryer
We all want to spend as little time as possible styling our hair. Thankfully, this hair dryer only took about 20 minutes to give a good blow out in our tests of all the best hair dryers. We also gave it our Best Value award because it costs less than $20. It has gone on sale a few times, but at this low price, we still think it’s worth the purchase even without a discount.
9. An affordable robot vacuum
We all hate vacuuming, right? But most of us also don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a Roomba. That’s why our readers loved this one from iLife, which used to top our list of the best affordable robot vacuums. Although it got bumped simply because there are newer, inexpensive models, we still like the A4s because it gets the job done with no frills for not too much money.
10. A sharpener so your knives are always ready
Dull knives are useless and can be dangerous, but it’s expensive to replace them or invest in a fancy knife sharpener. But this inexpensive knife sharpener gets the job for just $5. It’s a cult favorite Amazon product and our readers seem to love it too.
11. A smart robot vacuum to do your dirty work
We’ve said it before, but vacuuming sucks. So when there’s a sale on a robot vacuum our readers usually jump on it. We loved the Ecovacs Deebot N79 after testing it, and the N79S was upgraded with Alexa connectivity, which our readers go for whenever it drops in price.
12. A shower curtain liner that keeps clean
Your shower can get pretty gross, especially if you don’t clean it all that often. Our readers understood that and decided to buy this shower curtain liner from Liba when it appeared on our list of products with a cult following on Amazon. It inhibits mold and mildew growth and is made with non-toxic, chlorine-free PEVA material—and it’s only $10, so you have no reason not to replace your current liner.
13. A meal kit with unique flavors
After testing a bunch of meal kit delivery services, Green Chef came out on top. We loved how unique the recipes were and how it had the most numerous and diverse ingredients of any meal kit. Plenty of our readers decided to give it a shot, too.
14. An easier way to slice vegetables
Whether you’re attempting to make ratatouille or just want to get through chopping cucumbers for a crudite platter, a mandoline makes things way easier. This one from KitchenAid is the best one we’ve ever tested because it provides even slices and a finger guard so you won’t slice yourself. Our readers mostly bought it when it was on sale, but we still think it’s a good buy at $20.
15. A streaming stick for your TV
We all love our Netflix, our Hulu, our HBO Now, and our Amazon Prime Video, but it all looks even better watching on a TV rather than your small laptop screen. The Amazon Fire TV Stick isn’t the best streaming device we’ve ever tested, but we still think it’s a great choice for its relatively low price. Plus, you can usually find it for $10 off, like right now.
16. A DNA test that shows you more than your heritage
A DNA testing kit can actually reveal more than where your ancestors are from. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry test gives you insights about your health through your DNA, like traits, health risks, and carrier status. It’s pretty cool. It’s also pretty pricey at $200, but our readers love it when it's on sale.
17. An upgraded Instant Pot
Although the Instant Pot Duo60 is the most popular model, there are a few other models that can do even more. When the Instant Pot Duo Plus went on sale for the same price as the Duo our readers went for the upgrade. It has two additional functions for sterilizing and cake making, and its digital screen is easier to read than the Duo60.
18. All-Clad cookware when it's on sale
Every so often we find an awesome All-Clad factory seconds sale, which features this incredible (and incredibly expensive) cookware at up to 80% off. The goods have a few imperfections like slight scratches and dings that stop them from being sold at full price and the sale only happens every so often. But if you wanted a brand new set, we still recommend it—if you can afford it.
19. Another upgraded Instant Pot
When the Instant Pot Ultra was the same price as the Instant Pot Duo, our readers couldn’t help themselves. This upgraded model had new features like altitude adjustment, a cooking indicator, and a steam release reset button that made it even easier to whip up an easy meal.
20. Tax software that helped out during tax season
During April, our readers needed help with their taxes—as we all do—so they purchased some tax software from TurboTax when it was on sale. We actually preferred H&R Block in our tests of the best tax software. Although it won’t be time to file your taxes anytime soon, you should keep an eye out for more sales. Last year, we started to see tax software discounts in early December.
21. The most affordable Echo model
The Echo Dot is the perfect size for a small apartment or dorm room. You can use it to set timers, ask about the weather, or just talk to someone when you’re lonely. It’s also the cheapest Echo you can buy, which is why we think our readers gravitated towards it. Now that Amazon has unveiled the 3rd-gen. Dot, you can snag the second-gen. for $10 off (but we recommend waiting for or preordering the new one, as it's going to sound much better).
- Get the Echo Dot (2nd Generation) at Amazon for $39.99
- Preorder the Echo Dot (3rd Generation) at Amazon for $49.99
22. The easiest way to clean your cast iron
Cast iron skillets are a fan favorite in any kitchen, but they're almost impossible to clean without using major elbow grease. To make things a little easier, our readers like to use a chainmail scrubber made of stainless steel that will cut through crusted food without scratching the pan. This one from Amagabeli is a reader favorite, and isn’t too expensive either.
23. Our favorite car charger
You don’t want to be on the road without a car charger. If your phone runs out of battery, how will you listen to music, make calls, or use your GPS? This one from RAVPower is the best USB car charger we’ve ever tested and it went on sale a few times this year. However, it’s still only $9 at full price, so we think it’s worth buying any time.
24. The best transition cup for toddlers
We get a lot of parents perusing our site, looking for the best products for their little ones. They bought a ton of the OXO Tot Transitions Cup, which is the best sippy and transition cup we’ve ever tested. It’s easy to clean and it doesn’t leak, making it perfect for young children and busy parents.
25. One of our favorite smart plugs
Smart plugs are one of the easiest ways to make your home a little smarter. Plug your electronics into one and you can turn them on and off from your phone (or via Alexa or Google Home). This one from TP-Link is one of the best smart plugs we’ve ever tested. Although it doesn’t have the most functions on the list, it does a lot for its low price.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.