Everything Ever

July 2016

 
July 28, 2016
Ask Sweethome: What Type of Fire Extinguisher Do I Need?
Q: In an effort to be a real adult, it hit me that I should probably own a fire extinguisher, but I don’t really know what type (what class, what size) is suitable for a typical person in an apartment with no unusual needs. I’d love to get a more informed recommendation on that—seems like […]
July 25, 2016
The Best Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Bissell SpotClean Pro
After 25 hours of research and testing five portable steam cleaners and carpet cleaners, we think the Bissell SpotClean Pro is the best tool for spot treating rugs and upholstery. It was the best at lifting chocolate, wine, and coffee stains from couch cushions and a white shag carpet.   Read More >
July 25, 2016
The Best Watering Can (Outdoor and Indoor) Fiskars 2.6-Gallon Easy Pour
The Fiskars 2.6-Gallon Easy Pour is the best outdoor watering can we found after testing 10 cans daily in a community garden. The Bloem Living 56-Ounce Aqua Rite is the best indoor can we’ve used.   Read More >
July 22, 2016

* Brooklinen added duvet cover hooks to the All-Season Down Comforter and now offers a lifetime warranty, so we’ve promoted it from runner-up to top pick. [Best Comforter]

July 22, 2016
The Best Comforter Brooklinen All-Season Down Comforter
After 120 hours of researching comforters and testing dozens, we think the Brooklinen All-Season Down Comforter offers the best value for most people. It’s lightweight but warm and quiet to sleep under, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.   Read More >
July 22, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of July 22, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision discover an unexpected material you can use to keep BBQ grills tidy, watch one of the most drool-inducing ASMR videos, and get informed about where to drop off your leftover house paint responsibly.

July 21, 2016
Ask Sweethome: Will an Under-Sink Water Filter Remove Lead?
Q: I love your site, and come to you before making most of my purchases. I live in Portland, Oregon, and as you may have seen on the news, we have lead in our water at schools. Yay! So, I was thinking that because I live in a home built in 1924, with city infrastructure […]
July 20, 2016
The Best Reel Mower for Your (Small) Lawn Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
The Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is the manual lawn mower we chose after spending 30 hours interviewing a turfgrass scientist and testing four models with a golf-course grounds crew.   Read More >
July 19, 2016
The Best School Supplies for Back to School
We’ve spent over 160 hours evaluating school supplies over the past three summers to find the best pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, and other school supplies.   Read More >
July 19, 2016
The Best College Dorm Essentials
We’ve spent more than 150 hours over the past three summers evaluating the best dorm bedding, appliances, and other essentials to ease the transition from childhood home to dorm room.   Read More >
July 18, 2016
The Best Lunch Boxes L.L.Bean Lunch Box
After 30 hours researching and testing more than a dozen lunch boxes, we think the L.L.Bean Lunch Box is the best for kids and adults who pack a smaller lunch. The Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler works better if you pack a large lunch and don’t have access to a fridge.    Read More >
July 15, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of July 15, 2016
July 15, 2016
Blue Shift: Green Cleaning—Lies, Damn Lies, and Advertising
“Green” cleaning—it’s hip, but is it helpful? There’s zero question that our presence on earth is changing our environment, but is using green cleaners going to make a difference? In this three-part series, we’ll examine if green products are really better for you, your house, your planet, and your wallet. Curious to know what’s coming […]
July 14, 2016
So You Got an Instant Pot on Prime Day—Now What? So You Got an Instant Pot on Prime Day—Now What?
If you were one of the 215,000 people who bought an Instant Pot on Amazon’s Prime Day, you may be wondering if you made the right choice. You did! We’re actually wrapping up our guide, and we think the best electric pressure cooker is the Instant Pot IP-DUO60.   Read More >
July 14, 2016
How to Mix and Match Your Bed Sheets for the Season
Percale, sateen, linen, or flannel? Mix them for optimal temperature and wear, say the experts. If you’re like most people, you probably purchase sheets in a set. But there’s no rule that says your sheets have to match. In fact, you might sleep better if you incorporate a variety of sheeting fabrics on your bed […]
July 14, 2016
Ask Sweethome: How Can I Prevent Discoloration in Sheets?
How can I prevent discoloration in sheets? Q: Anyone have tips on preventing discoloration? I got the L.L.Bean sheets in the sand color recently. By the time my partner and I used them once, the pillowcases were really discolored. Looks like sweat stains or possibly bleaching from benzoyl peroxide. Only on the pillowcases, too. Nice […]
July 11, 2016
The Gear You Need to Survive Pokémon Go

* Going to spend all day chasing Pokemon around town? Our Pokémon Go Survival Gear will make sure both you and your phone get through in one piece!

July 11, 2016
Blue Shift: Don’t Let the Internet Scare You About Sunscreen
Oh, Internet—how you love to scare us so. One day we hear that cell phones will give us cancer (they won’t), the next it’s how eating microwave popcorn might kill us. Right now we’re in the early summer, so cue the reports on how our sunscreen is slowly poisoning us. Curious to know what’s coming […]
July 8, 2016
The Best Adjustable Wrench Channellock 8WCB WideAzz 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench
After testing 15 wrenches over the past three years, we’ve determined that the Channellock 8WCB WideAzz 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench, with its comfortable handle and wide jaws, is still the best for all-around home use.   Read More >
July 8, 2016
The Best Twin XL Sheets for Your Dorm Room Threshold Performance 400 Thread Count Sheet Set
After considering dozens of twin extra-long bed sheets, we think the Threshold Performance 400 Thread Count Sheet Set is the best twin XL bed sheet set for most dorm rooms.   Read More >
July 8, 2016
The Best Sheet Sets Under $50 Threshold Performance 400 Thread Count Sheet Set
After more than 200 hours researching and testing sheets, and trying 20 new sets, we think the Threshold Performance 400 Thread Count Sheet Set is the best set under $50 (for a queen bed).   Read More >
July 8, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of July 8, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision we’ll teach you how to grow an endless supply of culinary herbs indoors, direct you to a guide for hunting down the cheapest airline fares, and share our favorite supercrispy fried chicken recipe that tastes so nice, you have to fry it twice.

July 7, 2016
Ask Sweethome: What Is the Least Toxic Mattress?
Q: What is the least toxic mattress? A: I wrote a little bit ago about how the polyurethane foam in some online mattress companies’ products will off-gas, or release volatile organic carbon compounds (VOCs). The gist is that the level of VOCs released is low, lower that what scientists consider harmful amounts. You may be […]
July 6, 2016

* We’re hiring a part-time, LA-based editorial assistant with editorial, photographic, or video experience to help expand our outdoors coverage of camping, cycling, fitness, and more.

July 6, 2016
The Best Bug-Killing Gear
We killed, captured, and repelled a lot of bugs to find the best traps, zappers, swatters, and chemicals to keep you free of flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests.   Read More >
July 6, 2016
What We Learned When We Tried (and Failed) to Find the Best Blood Glucose Meter
Chris Hannemann, a 32-year-old product engineer in San Diego, California, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 8. For the past 24 years, multiple times a day, every day, he’s pricked his finger and used a blood glucose meter to measure the amount of sugar in his blood and decide whether to administer […]
July 5, 2016
The Best Blood Pressure Monitors for Home Use Omron Series 10 with Bluetooth
After testing finalists with nursing professors and students, we found that the Omron Series 10 with Bluetooth is the most accurate and comfortable blood pressure monitor we tested, with the best combination of useful features. It lets you send data to a smartphone for long-term health tracking, and it has the ability to automatically average three measurements in a row for greater accuracy.   Read More >
July 5, 2016
The Best Nonstick Pan Tramontina 10-Inch Professional Nonstick Fry Pan
The Tramontina 10-Inch Professional Nonstick Fry Pan is the best nonstick pan. It offers a slick nonstick coating, good heat distribution, and excellent maneuverability and comfort. It’s a great value, performing as well as—in some cases even better than—pans over twice the price.   Read More >
July 5, 2016
Blue Shift: Will Cooking in a Nonstick Pan Give You Cancer?
Tl;dr: No. Some people are reluctant to use nonstick cookware because they think it can transfer carcinogens into their food, but it ain’t so. It’s safe to cook with as long as you avoid very high temperatures. Curious to know what’s coming up next week? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to grab a sneak […]
July 1, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of July 1, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision master 30 different ways to tie a tie, learn how to redirect a wandering mind back onto the path of focus, and discover how to make the deliciously crispy-crunchy “sizzling cake”, bánh xèo.

June 2016

 
June 30, 2016
Ask Sweethome: Will an Electric Sharpener Ruin Your Expensive Chef’s Knife?
Each week our editors will answer your most pressing questions. Although we try to cover as much as we can in our reviews and guides, if you’re looking for further advice please write to us at notes@thesweethome.com, and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. Curious to know what’s coming up […]
June 29, 2016
The Best Spatulas Victorinox Chef's Slotted Fish Turner
We spent over 40 hours researching and testing six different types of spatulas—including fish, plastic, silicone, metal, wood, and offset spatulas—to discover the best in each category.   Read More >
June 28, 2016
How to Anchor Furniture to a Wall
Anti-tip hardware for furniture is a critical safety measure in homes with young children, as a recent recall of IKEA Malm dressers unfortunately reminds us.   Read More >
June 28, 2016

* Due to popular demand, we’ve added a pick for an induction range to The Best Electric and Gas Ranges. If you’re willing to pay for the performance, safety, and efficiency advantages, we think the Electrolux EI30IF40LS is the best value thanks to a versatile cooktop, a huge oven, and a relatively reasonable price. [The Best Electric and Gas Ranges]

June 28, 2016
The Best Electric and Gas Ranges Samsung NE59J7630SS
After 35 hours of research, we think the Samsung NE59J7630SS (electric) and Frigidaire FGGF3058RF (gas) have the features, versatility, and durability most people need.   Read More >
June 27, 2016
The Best Linen Sheets West Elm Belgian Flax Linen Sheet Set
After considering a dozen linen sheet sets and testing four, we think West Elm’s Belgian Flax Linen Sheets offer the best value. They feel luxurious to sleep in, they’re softer and cheaper than other sets, and they receive fewer complaints about wearing thin.   Read More >
June 24, 2016
The Best String Trimmers Ego ST1502-S Power+ 15" String Trimmer
After testing seven string trimmers (aka weed whackers) on 12,598 square feet of field, the Ego ST1502-S Power+ 15" String Trimmer is our choice—a long-running cordless tool as powerful and affordable as a gas model but with less noise and hassle.   Read More >
June 24, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of June 24, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision we share the fine art of positioning audio speakers for tonal balance, spotlight the austere lifestyle of Japanese minimalists, and show how to make matcha ice cream with just three ingredients and a whisk.

June 23, 2016
The Best Window Fans Pelonis 9-Inch Twin Window Fan
We researched 16 window fans and tested the five most promising contenders. The Pelonis 9” Twin Window Fan from Home Depot is our pick because it offers the best combination of value, power, and features.   Read More >
June 21, 2016
The Best Commuter Bike Lights Light & Motion Urban 350
We’ve tested 54 commuter lights in the last four years and think the Light & Motion Urban 350 is currently the best way to see and be seen in traffic, without spending a fortune. Our favorite taillight is the Cygolite Hotshot 50, due to its long battery life and attention-getting flash.   Read More >
June 20, 2016
The Best Microwave GE JES1656SRSS
After 75 hours of research, two hands-on trials, and years of ownership, we’ve come to a conclusion: We love GE microwaves—like our new pick, the small, sub-$200, high-performing JES1656SRSS.   Read More >
June 20, 2016
The Best Gear for Small Apartments
We’ve spent more than 100 hours researching and testing the best small apartment furnishings and accessories to optimize your small home.   Read More >
June 20, 2016
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells Bowflex SelectTech 552
After almost three months of research and more than six weeks of personal and panel testing, we think the Bowflex SelectTech 552s are the best adjustable dumbbells for most people. They are great for building muscle, but they stood out from the others because they are versatile enough to use in cardio workouts and circuit training.   Read More >
June 17, 2016
The Best Cheap Coffee Maker Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker (46201)
After considering 17 coffee makers and testing six top candidates, we think that the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker is the best cheap coffee maker. The only machine that made better-tasting coffee costs five times as much.   Read More >
June 17, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of June 17, 2016
June 16, 2016
The Best Hard Cooler Coleman 70 Qt. Xtreme Marine Cooler
After another five hours of research, we’ve tracked down a cheaper Marine version of our top pick for hard coolers, and we think it’s the best deal we’ve seen for a cooler this summer.   Read More >
June 10, 2016
The Best Duvet Cover Brooklinen Classic Duvet Cover
After spending 60 hours on research and testing, we think Brooklinen’s Classic Duvet Cover is the most comfortable to sleep under. It is super soft, crisp, and breathable (like good hotel bedding), durably stitched, and comes at a great price for the quality.   Read More >
June 10, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of June 10, 2016
June 8, 2016
The Best Bath Towel Fieldcrest Luxury Solid Towel
After more than 42 hours of new research and testing, we think the affordable Fieldcrest Luxury Solid Towels are best for most people. They’re almost as soft and absorbent as others twice the price.   Read More >
June 8, 2016
For Product Reviews, Tests Aren’t Everything
Testing is a great way to learn about a product, especially about how it compares with its competitors. Testing can tell you which detergents are best at removing certain kinds of stains, which clothing irons glide the smoothest, or which skillet distributes heat the most evenly. But controlled tests only tell part of a product’s […]
June 6, 2016
The Best Ladders Gorilla GLF-5X Fiberglass Hybrid Ladder
After 30 hours of research comparing more than 35 ladders, we recommend the 5.5-foot Gorilla GLF-5X Fiberglass Hybrid Ladder for common indoor/outdoor tasks and the Werner D6228-2 28 ft Type IA Fiberglass D-Rung Extension Ladder for getting even higher.   Read More >
June 6, 2016
The Best Fitness Trackers Garmin vívosmart HR
After 60 hours of research, surveys, expert interviews, user-experience analysis, sleep, and exercise, we've determined that the Garmin vívosmart HR is the best fitness tracker for most people. It effectively collects the same data as top competitors but offers a larger, more legible touchscreen and more useful smartphone-notification options. It's also fully waterproof to 50 meters, whereas other models are merely splash-resistant.   Read More >
June 6, 2016
The Ceiling Fan I Always Get Westinghouse Comet 52-Inch Five-Blade
Senior editor Harry Sawyers says there’s no one Best Ceiling Fan out there, but in four different installations, Westinghouse Comet 52-Inch Five-Blade has always worked perfectly for him—a silent, inexpensive, subtle model that blows plenty of air.   Read More >
June 6, 2016

* Best Deals: Our pick for the best food processor, the Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup, is down to $159 (from $198) [Amazon]

June 3, 2016
The Best Beach Umbrellas, Chairs, and Accessories for Enjoying the Sun and Surf
Our team of ocean-loving gear testers have spent dozens of hours over the past three summers finding the best umbrellas, chairs, and accessories for a comfortable, relaxing day at the beach. Whether it’s sunscreen, sun shades, or flip-flops, we’ve got you covered.   Read More >
June 3, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of June 3, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision we’ll help you optimize your Netflix queue for quicker decision making, share our favorite summertime backyard party grill recipe, and show you how to sharpen a knife using an unexpected surface.

June 2, 2016

* Best Deals: Our upgrade pick for the best drill, the Bosch DDS181-02 18-Volt, is available for $125 (from $155) [Amazon]

June 1, 2016
The Best Cold-Brew Coffee Maker Filtron Cold Water Coffee Concentrate Brewer
We tried five cold-brew makers, brewing enough for 200 cups of coffee, and the Filtron Cold Water Coffee Concentrate Brewer made the best-tasting coffee for the lowest price per cup.   Read More >
June 1, 2016
The Best GPS Running Watch Garmin Forerunner 230
Out of 20 GPS running watches tested, the Garmin Forerunner 230 feels best, shows the most relevant stats, and provides the smartest training plans.   Read More >
June 1, 2016
The Best Sheets L.L.Bean Pima Cotton Percale Sheets
After a combined 200 hours of research and testing 20 new sets, we think L.L.Bean’s 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheets and JCPenney’s sateen Royal Velvet 400tc WrinkleGuard Sheet Set offer the best comfort and value for most people. They’ve both topped our list three years running.   Read More >
June 1, 2016
Blue Shift: How the Panic Over BPA Accomplished Nothing
“BPA-free” products still have BPA-like materials in them that pose similar health risks. Was the freakout worth it?

May 2016

 
May 31, 2016
The Best Portable Air Conditioner Haier HPN12XCM
All portable ACs are a compromise, but after 20 hours of research and testing, we found that the Haier HPN12XCM is the best bet for people who need one.   Read More >
May 27, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of May 27

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, track the forecast for the season’s best sunsets wherever you live, discover why you may be able to make ice cubes more quickly using hot water, and learn how a dollar bill can help you find the best fit for a wristwatch.

May 26, 2016
Ask Sweethome: Disturbing Refrigerator Reviews and a Lighter Hybrid Bike
This month’s questions: Terrible Amazon reviews for one of our picks, and a search for a lighter hybrid bike.
May 25, 2016
Blue Shift: DEET Is Actually Quite Safe—Really
If you’re worried about the Zika virus (and the CDC says there’s reason to be), you should use DEET. Experts say the danger of Zika to an unborn baby is higher than any potential danger from DEET.
May 25, 2016
The Best Bug Repellent Cutter Backwoods Dry
After putting in more than 25 hours of research, reading ginormous stacks of scientific papers on safety and efficacy, and coating ourselves with 10 bug repellents, we think that Cutter Backwoods Dry with 25 percent DEET is the one you should get.   Read More >
May 24, 2016
The Best Eyelash Curler Shiseido Eyelash Curler
We tested nine eyelash curlers, and the Shiseido Eyelash Curler remains the best one for most people. Our diverse test panel found that it created smooth curls without crimping lashes or pinching skin.   Read More >
May 24, 2016
The Best Serrated Bread Knife Victorinox Fibrox Pro 10.25-inch Serrated Curved Bread Knife
We spent over 15 hours researching and testing serrated knives, and the well-made, versatile Victorinox Fibrox Pro 10.25-Inch Serrated Curved Bread Knife beat knives that cost three times as much.   Read More >
May 24, 2016
The Best Knife-Sharpening Tool Chef’sChoice ProntoPro 4643
After 15 hours of research and testing, and several adult lifetimes of kitchen experience, we recommend the manual Chef’sChoice ProntoPro 4643 knife sharpener. Tomatoes (and everything else) don’t stand a chance.   Read More >
May 23, 2016

* Best Deals: Our runner-up pick for the best reel mower, the Fiskars Staysharp Max Reel Mower, 18-Inch, is down to $143 (from $185) [Amazon]

May 20, 2016

* Best Deals: Our pick for the best hex wrenches, the TEKTON 25282 26-piece Long Arm Ball Hex Key Wrench Set, are down to $11 (from $16) [Amazon]

Inner Vision for the Weekend of May 20, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, learn how to make a healthier and lower-calorie version of table sugar imparted with the taste of caramel, organize your tab collection by site and time visited with a browser extension, and be amazed at how easy it is to determine if a gas grill’s propane tank is in need of replacement.

May 19, 2016
The Best Air Conditioner LG LW8016ER
After five summers of research and 35 hours of new testing, we think the feature-rich, relatively quiet LG LW8016ER is the best window AC for most rooms.   Read More >
May 18, 2016

* Best Deals: Our runner-up pick in our best bathroom scale guide, the Taylor Glass Digital CalMax Electronic Scale, is down to $18 (from $28) [Amazon]

May 18, 2016
Blue Shift: Why Dishwasher Rinse Aid Makes Dishes Cleaner and Drier
Take a look in your dishwasher. You should see a little compartment for the detergent—and next to that, another little compartment. The second one is for the rinse aid, liquid stuff made up of surfactants and salts and acids. It’s designed to help your dishwasher work better, to give you cleaner and drier dishes that are all sparkly […]
May 17, 2016

* Best Deals: Our pick for the best combo desk and room fan in our best fan article, the Dyson AM06, is down to $200 (from $270) [Dyson through Ebay]

May 17, 2016
The Best Portable Induction Cooktop Duxtop 8100MC Induction Cooktop
After putting in more than 40 hours on research and testing, we’re confident that the Duxtop 8100MC Induction Cooktop is the best for most people. It’s a reasonably priced induction burner that offers up a solid performance and an easy-to-use interface.   Read More >
May 13, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of May 13, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, learn how to erase scratches marring furniture or floors using a heart-healthy snack, watch how the best in hospitality make a 4-stars bed, and rediscover your inner child’s fearlessness to adapt new skills more effectively.

May 12, 2016
The Best Food Storage Containers Glasslock 18-Piece Container Set
After three years of long-term testing, we still think the sturdy and leakproof Glasslock 18-Piece containers are the best for storing your leftovers.   Read More >
May 10, 2016
The Best Skillet All-Clad Stainless Steel 12-Inch Covered Fry Pan
After over 50 collective hours on research and testing, and three years of long-term testing, we still think the All-Clad Stainless Steel 12-Inch Covered Fry Pan is the best skillet for the money.   Read More >
May 10, 2016
The Best Portable Dishwasher Danby DDW1801MWP
The best portable dishwasher is the Danby DDW1899WP-1. It costs less and cleans more reliably than other wheeled stowable dishwashers that hook up to a faucet.   Read More >
May 6, 2016
The Best Espresso Machine, Grinder, and Accessories for Beginners Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine
After spending more than 60 hours to research and test five top-rated espresso machines, four grinders, and a dozen accessories, we’ve put together the best espresso setup under $1,000.   Read More >
May 6, 2016
The Best Spiralizer OXO Good Grips Spiralizer
We spent over 20 hours spiralizing several pounds of vegetables after consulting with multiple culinary professionals and chefs; we think the OXO Good Grips Spiralizer is best for most people.   Read More >
May 6, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of May 6, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, learn how to pronounce “hugelkultur” and discover what it means, elevate your avocado-cutting skills to another level, and find out which international airlines offer the best economy-class experience when traveling abroad.

May 5, 2016

* Best Deals: The runner-up pick in our guide on the best ice cream maker, the Breville Smart Scoop, is down to $339 (from $400). [Amazon]

May 4, 2016
Why Startup Mattresses Cost Less
The mattress industry is dominated by four brands that control 77 percent of what’s sold. Here’s how Big Mattress tries to confuse buyers, and how companies such as Casper, Leesa, and Tuft & Needle may be changing the game.
May 2, 2016

* Best Deals: Our pick for the best garden hose, the Craftsman Premium Rubber Hose, is down to $18 w/ in-store pickup (from $30) [Sears]