Everything Ever

September 2016

 
September 27, 2016
The Best Coffee Maker for Camping REI Table Top French Coffee Press
After brewing 3 pounds of beans on tabletop camp stoves, we think the REI Table Top French Coffee Press is the easiest way to prepare a tasty, fresh pot for a group of campers.   Read More >
September 26, 2016
The Best Fireproof Document Safe First Alert 2030F
We burned safes at up to 1,300°F in a professionally built burn room and found that the easy-to-lock-and-open First Alert 2030F kept valuables dry and cool.   Read More >
September 23, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of September 23, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision we explore the benefits of setting aside 5 minutes of your day to practice mindful failure, we share what distinguishes seltzer from sparkling water or club soda, and—in a parting thought—demonstrate how to perfectly comb your hair.

September 22, 2016
The Best Washer and Dryer LG WM3570HWA
After more than 100 hours of research, we think the LG WM3570 is the best washing machine for most people, but have tons of other recommendations in this guide.   Read More >
September 20, 2016
The Best Blender Oster Versa
The Oster Versa is our favorite blender for the second year running (and after testing 20 during the past four years). It blends almost as well as machines more than twice the price.   Read More >
September 19, 2016
How to Pack Away and Protect Your Summer Clothing
Four experts share their advice for storing seasonal stuff so it stays clean, organized, and free of bugs.
September 16, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of September 16, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision discover what we learned during our first time experiencing shinrin-yoku (aka forest bathing), learn how to properly hold a chef’s knife for optimal control, and find out just how far you can continue driving once the low-fuel warning light turns on.

September 15, 2016
The Best Fire Escape Ladder X-It 2-Story Emergency Escape Ladder
The X-It 2-Story Emergency Escape Ladder is simpler to set up, easier to climb, and more convenient for storage and practice use than any other ladder we tested.   Read More >
September 15, 2016
Ask Sweethome: What Kind of Comforter Is Best for a Mild Climate?
All-season comforters are best for mild climates, but if your home tends to feel warm, you might be more comfortable with a lighter comforter. Here’s what we recommend.
September 13, 2016
The Best Knife Set Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Walnut Block Knife Set
After more than 60 hours of researching knife sets and testing 11—chopping, slicing, and peeling over 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables—we’re confident that you won’t beat the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Walnut Block Knife Set.   Read More >
September 13, 2016
How to Create Your Own No-Filler Knife Set
Buy these excellent knives one by one and you can put together a kitchen cutlery dream team that’s better than any prepackaged set.
September 9, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of September 9, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision we stop to recognize one of the most dependable technologies of all time, extol the virtues of using plenty of salt while cooking a steak, and explain why buying second hand suits might be superior to purchasing new.

September 8, 2016
How to Set Up Off-the-Grid Solar Power
Here’s a guide to the equipment necessary to generate and store minimal power for a remote property, from the solar panels to the breaker panel.
September 8, 2016
Ask Sweethome: What Is the Best Reusable Grocery Bag?
There is no perfect reusable grocery bag, but the one you choose should at least be easy to clean. Here’s what we recommend.
September 7, 2016
The Best Flannel Sheets L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set
For maximum coziness this winter, we recommend curling up in L.L.Bean’s Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets. After 75 hours of research and testing, we found they’re softer and more comfortable than sets almost twice the price.   Read More >
September 7, 2016
The Best Bidet Toilet Seat or Washlet Toto Washlet C200
Out of the dozens of models we looked at and the five we installed and tested, the Toto Washlet C200 stands out as the best bidet seat for most people.   Read More >
September 7, 2016
Are Bidets Better for You Than Toilet Paper?
Bidets are often marketed for their so-called medical benefits. They’ll clean your butt, sure. Can they—and should they—really do any more than that?
September 7, 2016
How to Shop for a Diamond Engagement Ring
Here’s everything a fiancee-to-be should know about choosing and buying a diamond: What determines price and value, where to buy, and what to ask a jeweler.
September 2, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of September 2, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision learn how to safely clean your camera lens, watch and learn how to wrap cords like a concert stagehand, and take in the splendor of Lego creations as planned and executed by a group of professional architects.

September 1, 2016
Ask Sweethome: Will an Air Purifier Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke?
Air purifiers can substantially reduce cigarette smoke particles, but they won’t eliminate everything—and what you’re removing from the air depends on the type of filter you have.

August 2016

 
August 30, 2016
The Best Bike Chain Tool Birzman Damselfly Universal
If you want to repair or replace a broken bike chain, you’ll need a chain tool. We tested eight and think the Birzman Damselfly Universal is the best for most people.   Read More >
August 29, 2016
The Best Intermediate Sewing Machines Janome DC5100
After researching dozens of computerized sewing machines, we think the Janome DC5100 is the most versatile for intermediate sewers or beginners who want to invest in more advanced features. We also have picks for quilters, small apartment dwellers, and people who want to buy from a dealer.   Read More >
August 26, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of August 26, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision we show you how to use your flatbed scanner as a gigantic still-life camera, direct you to a browser extension designed to help reduce wasting time online, and celebrate living life in a nonlinear fashion.

August 25, 2016
Ask Sweethome: Should I Switch to Aluminum-Free Deodorant?
The suspicion of health risks caused by aluminum in antiperspirant is generally not backed up by scientific studies. If antiperspirant helps your pits stay pleasant, use it (and don’t sweat it).
August 24, 2016
The Best Chainsaw Ego Power+ 16″ Chainsaw
The cordless Ego Power+ 16″ Chainsaw has plenty of power and run time for routine property maintenance, and it’s simpler to start, easier to maintain, and quieter than a gas tool.   Read More >
August 24, 2016
The Best Clothing Steamers Joy Mangano My Little Steamer
After seven hours testing 18 models, our favorite clothes steamer is the Joy Mangano My Little Steamer. Compact, fast, and reliable, it’s great for a morning smarten-up.   Read More >
August 24, 2016
Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken and Vegetables Recipe
This crowd-pleasing, fork-tender shallot-lemon chicken and vegetables is a great way to explore a pressure cooker’s versatility (and make a quick weeknight dinner).
August 19, 2016
The Best White Noise Machine LectroFan
The LectroFan is the best white noise machine we’ve found after 20 hours of research and testing, including interviews with a sleep researcher, audiologists, and a sound engineer.   Read More >
August 19, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of August 19, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision learn how to pick the sweetest watermelon by looking out for five indicators, discover how to (re)awaken posture awareness by crawling like a toddler, and witness how much light pollution has robbed us of the night sky.

August 18, 2016
Ask Sweethome: How Do I Keep Homemade Bread From Going Stale?
Homemade bread has a short shelf life because it lacks the preservatives found in commercially produced loaves. Here’s how you can get the most out of it.
August 17, 2016
How to Dispose of a Window AC Unit
Tossing out an old window AC unit is complicated—but with major potential consequences for improper disposal, it’s worth doing it right.
August 16, 2016
How to Keep Food From Sticking to a (Not-Nonstick) Pan
Tri-ply metal pots and pans are far more capable than nonstick skillets—and they can be just as easy to clean. Here’s how to unlock their full potential.
August 15, 2016
The Best Mini Fridge Danby Designer DCR044A2
The Danby Designer DCR044A2 is the best mini fridge for most people, with the best shelves and storage layout of any model at its price.    Read More >
August 12, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of August 12, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision follow one man’s journey to turn a good cut of beef into a great bite of steak, become more fluent in the iOS language of Siri, and discover how to use your blender to make, frosé, the official “it” drink of summer 2016.

August 11, 2016
The Best Paper Towel Bounty Select-A-Size
Bounty Select-A-Size paper towels have more scrubbing ability and wet strength than anything else available, as we’ve confirmed over years of use and in interviews, research, and tests.    Read More >
August 11, 2016
16 Disgusting Home Items You’re Not Cleaning Enough
Bacteria, mold, and more can hide in unpredictable places—here’s where to find it and what to do about it.
August 11, 2016
Ask Sweethome: What Kind of Nail Gun Should I Get?
The type of nail gun you need depends on what type of project you’re working on, and for some projects, you may not need one at all. Here’s what we recommend.
August 10, 2016
The Best Air Purifier Coway AP-1512HH Mighty
The Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is the best air purifier we found in 180 hours of research, due to its excellent performance, affordable price, and low maintenance.   Read More >
August 9, 2016
The Best Pressure Cooker Instant Pot IP-DUO60
The electric Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and stovetop Fagor Duo 8-Quart are the best options we found after 40 hours researching and testing 12 pressure cookers.   Read More >
August 8, 2016
The Best Measuring Spoons Prepworks by Progressive Magnetic Measuring Spoons
After about five hours and many hundreds of spoonfuls testing nine different sets of measuring spoons, we think the Prepworks by Progressive Magnetic Measuring Spoons are the best choice for most home cooks.   Read More >
August 8, 2016
Blue Shift: Green Cleaning—Are Eco-Friendly Products Really Better for the Planet?
Green products’ labels make big claims—sustainably sourced, fewer emissions, safe for your favorite ecosystems—but it’s a bit more complicated than that.
August 8, 2016
What to Do If You Have Bedbugs
Think you’ve got a bedbug infestation? Don’t panic. We talked to two entomologists and an exterminator to figure out the smartest way to identify and treat this creepiest of crawly problems.
August 8, 2016
The Best Mattress and Pillow Protectors Protect-A-Bed AllerZip Smooth Pillow Protectors
After 17 hours of research and testing 17 protectors, we think the Protect-A-Bed AllerZip Smooth Mattress Encasement and Pillow Protectors are the best for protecting your bed from bedbugs and dust mites. These encasements are comfortable to sleep on, have very secure seams and zippers, and come with a great warranty.   Read More >
August 5, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of August 5, 2016
August 4, 2016
Ask Sweethome: Do High-Efficiency Washers Leave More Detergent Residue Behind Than Non-HE Washers?
Q: I purchased the LG washer/dryer combo suggested last year. I’ve been really unhappy with it, and here’s why: I have sensitive skin. If I used the average washer detergent I would break out in a rash, or get itchy or even get swelling. My solution in the past has just been to use one […]
August 3, 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 >
August 1, 2016
Four Times I Went Cheap and Regretted It
Sometimes I look at a Sweethome pick and just think: Really? Almost twenty bucks for a can opener? I am both cheap and stubborn, and if I have it in my head that an item oughta cost a certain (usually unrealistically low) amount, this prejudice clouds my thinking about the entire purchase. I have made […]

July 2016

 
July 29, 2016
How to Shop for Solar Power: Solar Panels, Inverters, and More Suniva Optimus 335W Monocrystalline Solar Panels
We recommend a grid-tied system made up of Suniva Optimus 335W monocrystalline solar panels paired with SolarEdge P400 power optimizers and a SolarEdge inverter, a combo we decided on after installing two systems firsthand, doing a ton of research, and interviewing industry experts.   Read More >
July 29, 2016
Inner Vision for the Weekend of July 29, 2016

* In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision we’ll introduce you to the basics of designing and decorating a room, share our favorite scrambled egg recipe as instructed by Gandalf himself, and propose a great way to turn kitchen scraps into an edible garden.

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 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. Personally, I hate grocery shopping. […]
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
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!
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.Oh! Thanks, Environmental Working Group! Right […]
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. PTFE (aka polytetrafluoroethylene) is the stuff that gives pans its nonstickiness. Teflon is a kind of PTFE made […]
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.