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November 2014

 

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October 2014

 
October 31, 2014

* Our clothes iron guide now has results from our testing over the last six months. In short, we still love the T-Fal Ultraguide Easycord and have had no problems with it at all. However, some users say their T-Fal iron has been leaking or dripping water, but we think this is a care and maintenance issue that's fairly easily solved. See our guide for more.

* Best Deals: Our favorite multi-bit screwdriver, the Megapro 13-in-1, is down to a great low price, $20 (from $30). [Amazon]

October 31, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of October 31, 2014
In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, we share the story behind why we carve pumpkins on Halloween, tips for avoiding cabin pressure sickness, and ways to save some battery life on your Android phone.
October 31, 2014
Gear for Making Great Pour-over Coffee Kalita Wave
We spent more than 30 hours on research and testing with a professional barista, plus we interviewed 10 coffee experts from across the US to find the best coffee brewing gear. The Kalita Wave 185-Series Glass makes pour-over coffee that’s easy to brew and highlights the individual flavor of high-quality beans. We also have recommendations for other gear (like grinders and kettles) if you need them.   Read More >
October 29, 2014

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In the six months we've been long-term testing the Vitamix 5200 it has performed beautifully. We have seen a couple complaints about a black residue forming on the inside of the jar, but we've been unable to recreate it ourselves. We're still waiting to hear back from Vitamix about the issue, but we stand by our pick because it's come recommended by so many experts. [Best Blender]
October 28, 2014

* Want to help us find the very best coffee machine? Fill out this survey.

October 27, 2014

* The Enviro World FreeGarden EARTH Compost Bin is our new runner-up choice for best composter. We like that it holds 82 gallons, is made from 100 percent recycled materials, and is super-simple to set up--there's no assembly required. [Best Composters for Kitchen Scraps]

October 24, 2014

* Best Deals: A great stand mixer very similar to our recommendation, the KitchenAid Tilt-Head 4.5-Quart, is down to $210 (from $270). [Best Buy]

October 24, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of October 24, 2014
In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, we show you how to remove the discoloration and odor from plastic Tupperware, why what you eat affects your productivity, and how to get stains out of hard wood with oxalic acid.
October 22, 2014
The Best Air Purifier Coway AP-1512HH Mighty
After more than 100 hours of research and testing—conducted by an airborne particle physicist and former NOAA scientist using $100,000+ of equipment—we found the best air purifier. Our tests showed the $200 Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is as effective at removing common allergens like pollen, mold, and dander as other air purifiers twice its size and twice as expensive.   Read More >
October 20, 2014
The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum Hoover Linx BH50010
After 35 hours of research and testing with cordless stick vacuums, we found the Hoover Linx BH50010 is the best for small homes with short carpets and bare floors. The Linx's 15-minute running time can handle homes up to 1,000 square feet, is powerful enough to suck up a plethora of small items that its peers struggled with in our tests, and it's cheaper than any other worthwhile competition.   Read More >
October 18, 2014
The Best Gear for Small Apartments
Many of us at the Sweethome live or have lived in tiny, 250-500 sq. ft. apartments with babies, pets, and significant others. Together with the small-living-space experts at LifeEdited, we put together a list of the best gear to make small-space living enjoyable.   Read More >
October 17, 2014

* Best Deals: Our runner-up pick for the best snow shovel, the Bigfoot Power Lift, is down to a great low price, $22 (from $32). [Expired]

October 17, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of October 17, 2014
In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, we show you a recipe for making a giant pancake using a rice cooker, a great how-to on enabling two-factor authentication for all your online accounts, and the houseplants you should own to improve indoor air quality (according to NASA).
October 14, 2014

* We've updated both our paring knife and nail clippers guides with long-term testing results.

October 14, 2014
The Best Leaf Blowers Toro Ultra
If your lawn needs more help than a rake can provide, we found the best leaf blower after 50 hours of research and testing eight leading blowers with three pro landscapers. The $70 Toro Ultra Leaf Blower is a corded, electric blower that's as powerful as many gas models at a fraction of the cost, but we also have gas picks for those who need to cover more property.   Read More >
October 13, 2014

* Best Deals: Take 10% off our favorite comforter, favorite bed sheets, and a great pair of furry slippers, at L.L. Bean with code FALL10. [Expired]

October 10, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of October 10, 2014
In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, we share tips on defeating jet lag, how to measure the square footage of your home with a handy iPhone app, and determining how many keystrokes you have left in your hands before you die with Keysleft.
October 7, 2014

* We compared our $10 Private Preserve wine preserver pick to the $300 Coravin system, and while Coravin does keep wine slightly more fresh over a five-day period, Private Preserve is still our choice for most people. [The Best Way to Keep Open Wine Fresh]

October 7, 2014
The Best Shower Caddy OXO Good Grips 3 Tier Shower Caddy
If I were buying a shower caddy to keep my shampoos, soaps, and toiletries tidy and handy while bathing, then I would buy the OXO Good Grips 3 Tier Shower Caddy.   Read More >
October 7, 2014

* Who doesn't use some kind of broom in their house or apartment? Please take our reader survey to help inform our research on the best ones.

October 6, 2014

* We've continued testing our favorite bike pump and budget alternative pick, and both are working just as great as when we picked them six months ago. [The Best Bike Pump]

October 6, 2014
The Best Juicer Tribest Slowstar
After pushing almost 25 pounds of crunchy, leafy, pulpy produce through nine top machines, we found the Tribest Slowstar is the best juicer for home use. It's one of the slowest juicers available, but that's a good thing since you're getting more juice and nutrients with less waste than the competition.   Read More >
October 6, 2014
The Best Electric Kettle Cuisinart CPK-17
We spoke to three tea experts, considered 12 electric kettles, and performed in-depth testing on five in order to conclude the Cuisinart CPK-17 is still the best for most people. It's temperature-variable so you can match water temperature to tea type, and it's made of metal, meaning it will last longer in everyday use. We also have a step-up pick if you need to boil larger volumes of water.   Read More >
October 3, 2014

* Best Deals: Our favorite bike lock, the Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2, is down to $31 with a code (from $43). [BuyDig]

October 3, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of October 3, 2014
In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, we show you how to open a bottle of wine with a shoe, a great tip for using a + symbol to secure your Gmail account, and how to use murals to make your room seem larger.
October 3, 2014
The Best Leaf Rake Ames True Temper Jackson Kodiak Spring Brace Rake
The Ames True Temper rake is our favorite leaf rake for the second year running, after more than 27 new hours of research and testing with five top rakes with a landscaping crew. The Ames is lighter, its tines are springier, and its handle is sturdier and more firmly attached than the competition’s.   Read More >
October 1, 2014

* We're on the hunt for a deals assistant, creative director, PC & PC accessories writer, social media manager, and more. Check out our jobs page for details.

September 2014

 
September 30, 2014

* Please take this survey to help us research the best beard trimmers.

September 29, 2014
The Best Dishwasher Bosch 500 Series
After 50 hours of research and interviews with experts, we’ve decided the Bosch 500 series is the best dishwasher for most people. It has as much rack space and loading flexibilities as dishwashers that cost $1,000+, plus it's quieter than any other models in its price range.   Read More >
September 26, 2014

* After six months of using the OXO Good Grips Locking Can Opener with Lid Catch as our go-to can opener, it’s still working as well as when we first got it. [Best Can Opener]

September 26, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of September 26, 2014
In this weekends edition of Inner Vision, we share tips for getting the most out of a small kitchen, the one page you need to see if you’re switching from Android to the new iPhone, and some scientific info on why you can’t smell your own home.
September 23, 2014
The Best Stroller Britax B-Agile
The NightLight spent the better part of seven months researching, testing, and talking to parents about strollers to find the best choice for most people. The Britax B-Agile is on par with higher-end strollers without the matching price tag.    Read More >
September 19, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of September 19, 2014
In this weekends edition of Inner Vision, we show you how to get the most out of your drawer space by flat-filing your t-shirts, how reading slowly can benefit you, and a few Netflix hacks to improve your weekend binge-watching.
September 19, 2014
The Best Ice Cube Tray OXO Good Grips No Spill
Long-term smell and taste tests led us to a whole new round of research and testing on ice cube trays. Ice for everyday use is basically the same no matter what mold you use, but the OXO Good Grips No Spill has the most useful design of those we tested: its silicone lid allows you to store the tray at an angle without spillage.   Read More >
September 18, 2014

* We've used the Shark Navigator Lift-Away on and off for the last six months and it's still our favorite cheap vacuum cleaner despite minor wear. [Best Cheap Vacuum]

* Best Deals: Our favorite chef's knife and favorite paring knife from Victorinox are in a 3-piece set for just $35 (from $55). [Woot!]

September 17, 2014
The Best Dish Rack Polder 4-Piece Advantage
After 60 hours of research, interviews with two industrial designers, and washing the equivalent of 35 loads of dishes, we found the Polder 4-Piece Advantage is the best dish rack for a four-person household that cooks 5+ meals a week. We have additional picks too, if you'd rather spend less money or need a rack that's more compact.    Read More >
September 16, 2014

* Ecobee unveiled a new smart thermostat that we want to test called the Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat. It's available for $250 with the option of adding remote sensors in multiple rooms. [Best Smart Thermostat]

September 12, 2014

* Best Deals: Our step-up pick for the best tea maker, the Breville One-Touch, is down to a low price, $150 refurbished (from $250 new). [Woot!]

September 12, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of September 12, 2014
In this weekend’s edition of Inner Vision, we bring you the definitive guide to folding fitted sheets, tips on how to grow citrus trees indoors, and the best places to sell your old iPhone (especially helpful if you plan to upgrade to the iPhone 6/6 Plus).
September 11, 2014
The Best Step Stool Gorilla EasyReach Aluminum 2-step
We took a hard look at new competition in the world of step stools, but it was the new version of last year's favorite Gorilla EasyReach 2-step that came out on top. It's a great size for most use cases, is surprisingly light, and gives you a bigger lift than other stools we tested. Plus, this newer version features a built-in tool shelf.    Read More >
September 11, 2014
The Best Kitchen Scale Jennings CJ4000
After 30 hours weighing everything from bread dough to coffee beans, the $26 Jennings CJ4000 is the best digital kitchen scale for most people. It’s the only model we tested that measures in half grams—something our prior pick can’t do—for better precision. For accuracy down to .1 g for coffee and spices, we also have a great pocket scale.   Read More >
September 8, 2014

* At readers' request, we had five women test hammers for us and four of them preferred the lighter Estwing EC-12C over our main pick. [Best Hammer]

* After several more hours of research, we couldn't turn up anything better for tea steeping than the Finum Brewing Basket, which we still love. We did find an intriguing new (very expensive) tea pot design coming later this year and included the Zojirushi Travel Mug with Tea Leaf Filter in the guide as our favorite portable option. [Best Tea Steeper]

September 7, 2014
The Best Soft Cooler Polar Bear 24-Pack
After more than 30 hours of research and ice-melt testing on eight models, the Polar Bear 24-Pack is the best soft cooler we found. Ice stayed solid for 44 hours in the Polar Bear, outperforming all but one (now-discontinued) cooler. We like the origami-like structure because of its light weight, open-cell insulation, and sturdy, waterproof liner.    Read More >
September 5, 2014

* Best Deals: Our step-up pick for the best instant-read thermometer, the ThermoWorks Thermapen, is down to a temporary low price, $88 (from $99). [ThermoWorks]

September 5, 2014
Inner Vision for the weekend of September 5, 2014
In this weekends edition of Inner Vision, we introduce you to a beginners guide to drills and bits, tips on how to take the best macro photographs ever, and make sure you never pick a bad Netflix movie again with A Better Queue.
September 4, 2014

* The Dyson 360 Eye, with a 360-degree camera navigation system, is a robot vac we're looking forward to testing when it's released some time next year. [Best Robot Vacuum]

September 3, 2014

* Because the FDA does not regulate the use of the words “natural” or “organic” on cosmetics labels it's difficult to make a definitive organic lotion recommendation, but we do have an alternative suggestion. [The Body Lotions We'd Get]

September 3, 2014
The Grow Lights We Like Hydrofarm FLT24
If you're ready to get seedlings started indoors for the winter, we spent 50 hours on research and interviewed six experts (one of whom designed plant lighting for Antarctica and the moon) to find the best grow lights. The $91 Hydrofarm FLT24 is low-maintenance, runs cool in small spaces, and provides bright light for stout plants.   Read More >
September 2, 2014

* We took a look at the Trudeau Graviti pepper mill now that it has been released. If you prefer electric, it’s the one to get (though we don’t recommend it over manual mills).