I’m a huge fan of surprises; there’s just something about having zero clue what’s coming my way that gets me excited. But when it comes to shopping, I want the
right kind of surprises — like how a cozy sweater is shockingly lined with soft fleece. That’s why I always shop on Amazon, as there are tons of amazing, unexpected finds that people are calling some of their best purchases of the year.
I know what you’re thinking: “The
best purchases of the year? That’s a pretty big claim to back up.” But it’s no exaggeration, as many of the products you’ll discover below come with thousands of four- and five-star reviews. Take this oversized sweater as an example. Just like I mentioned before, it’s lined with soft microfiber sherpa, making it perfect for snuggling up in cold weather. And if that isn’t enough? There are also laptop-friendly travel backpacks, shaggy donut beds for dogs, and even a space-saving dish rack that you can stash away inside of drawers.
Even if you aren’t into surprises, you can still appreciate how unexpectedly amazing all these
genius products are. So what are you waiting for? If you listen closely, I think you can even hear that oversized sweater calling your name.
A Wearable Blanket That’s Oh-So Comfy
There’s a reason this hooded sweater is called
The Comfy: Not only is it lined with soft microfiber sherpa, but its oversized fit makes it feel like you’re wrapped up in a plush cocoon. “I did not expect to love my Comfy as much as I do,” says Bustle commerce editor Amy Biggart. “It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.” Choose from two styles: original or quarter zip.
The Fairy Lights That Are Perfect For DIY Decorations
Not sure how you can use these
fairy lights to make your own decorations? If you need ideas, I’ve put them in glass Mason jars on shelves to add some soft light around my house. They’re battery operated, and one pack comes with six bundles. “I bought these battery-operated fairy lights and strung them around my bookcase,” explains Biggart. “They’re such a small detail, but they really make the whole space seem cozier at night.”
A Roomy Travel Backpack With Space For Your Laptop
travel backpack has a dedicated sleeve for laptops up to 15 inches, as well as an external port where you can thread a charging cable through. Bustle commerce editor Amanda Fama also explains that it’s “simple to travel with because it fits right over your suitcase handle and opens from the top, making it easy to reach your belongings.” The best part? It’s also water resistant in case it starts to rain.
This Pet Food Bowl That Helps Keep Ants Away
If your pet food has been attracting ants into your home, try switching out their current
food bowl with this clever alternative. “I had a ton of ants in my apartment over the summer and this bowl helped keep them out of my cat’s food,” explains Fama. Just fill up the moat surrounding the two feeding bowls with water — ants shouldn’t be able to cross it, which’ll help keep your pet food inaccessible to them.
A Powder That Helps Keep Insects Out Of Standing Water
Whether your plant soil is moist or if you’ve got standing water around the house, you might be attracting insects — so grab this
powder. “If any plant friends are having trouble with fungus gnats, this came up in a YouTube video and has made a huge difference,” explains Bustle commerce editor Jen Fiegel. Plus, the instructions are simple: Dissolve two tablespoons in a half-gallon of water, then water any affected plants with it.
The Insulated Water Bottle Made From Stainless Steel
Double-wall insulated to help keep your drinks warm or cold, this
water bottle is one of the absolute must-haves on this list. “Drinking more water has been on my to-do list for years, but this water bottle is light and convenient enough to actually make it happen,” says Fiegel. “The straw also makes sipping extra easy and spill free.”
A Lounge Dress With A Victorian Style
You’ve gotta admit that this
lounge dress looks seriously comfortable — and the Victorian style even gives it a royal feeling. The weave also has a touch of spandex so that the material has some stretch. “I wasn’t expecting much, but this nightgown is surprisingly soft (after you wash it) and makes lounging a little more fun,” explains Fiegel. “But be warned, it’s pretty sheer.”
Available sizes: Small — X-Large
These Straps That Keep Your Fitted Sheet From Riding Up
After buying a new mattress this past spring, Bustle commerce editor Carolyn Menyes was suddenly stuck with sheets that were coming undone at night. “These fasteners were a small, easy solution to a problem that was driving me nuts; my only regret is not buying them sooner,” she explains. And since they’re also adjustable, you can easily choose how tight or loose your sheet fits.
A Scratcher Board To Keep Your Cat Away From Furniture
“I didn’t want my new couch to turn into a scratching post like my last one did, but I wasn’t sure if my cat would be able to commit to a cat tree, so I bought this
textured board kind of randomly,” explains Menyes. “He loves what we now affectionately call ‘his cardboard.’ He scratches this instead of my furniture now and lays on it pretty much all day. I’ve bought two more since, and I honestly think this is the best $10 a cat parent can spend.” Plus, the reversible design gives you two sides to work with.
This Pet Hair Remover That’s Infinitely Reusable
Instead of using wasteful sticky sheets to pick up pet hair, try using this
roller. Thousands of tiny bristles latch onto pet hair, while the built-in dust receptacle keeps it all stashed away until you’re ready to empty it out. Bustle commerce editor Anna Anderson also says that after adopting a long-haired cat, “this reusable roller has been the easiest and most reliable way to keep my furniture fur-free.”
A Small Food Scale That Can Measure Up To 11 Pounds
Whether you’re measuring your portions or weighing out ingredients, this
scale is a great pick. Not only can it handle up to 11 pounds, but Bustle commerce editor Kori Perten also finds that it’s easier to “measure everything on a scale instead of in many individual measuring cups.” The small size also means that it takes up very little space in your cabinets — a gadget every home cook can use.
The Food Carrier That Helps Meals Stay Warm
Lasagna, roasts, casseroles — all of them and more can fit inside of this
carrier. The insulated walls help keep your meals warm for hours, and it also works just as well with cold food. “I never understood why my mom had hot food carriers until I tried to transport something to a dinner party using just oven mitts and a pan,” explains Anderson. “This is truly the Cadillac of thermal-insulated carriers, replete with a carrying handle and leather-wrapped zippers.”
A Shaggy Donut Bed That Pups Love To Snooze In
If your pet likes ripping up their bed, try giving them this
shaggy donut to sleep in. “My dog has a history of chewing his dog beds apart, so I’m shocked to say this Sheri bed, which I bought on the recommendation of multiple coworkers, has actually lasted for months now,” raves Perten. “My pup really loves his Sheri, so much that he’d rather curl up inside it than chew it to bits. And it looks a lot nicer than the pile of blankets we’d been using since he destroyed his last bed.”
This Lip Butter That Helps Hydrate Your Pout
Looking for a quality
lip butter? Anderson recommends this one. “No it’s not cheap, but the Sol de Janeiro lip balm lasts forever and is the only one I’ll buy now,” she explains. “It’s hydrating without being greasy or waxy, and the light tropical scent makes you feel like you’re on vacation without being overpowering.” Plus, coconut and acai oil are only a few of the nourishing ingredients you’ll find listed on the ingredients list.
These Joggers That Reviewers Can’t Get Enough Of
Looking for a
pair of joggers that are seriously cozy? These ones are made from a soft cotton-polyester blend with a relaxed fit. The drawstring waist is easily adjustable, and Anderson even raves that “the fleece lining on these classic joggers is so super soft, I’ve worn them an embarrassing number of days this last year.” They’re available in over 25 colors.
Available sizes: X-Small — 6X
A Serum That Can Help Boost Your Lashes
Simply line your eyelids with this
serum morning and night, and it can help boost your lashes so that they appear to be thicker. Powerful amino acids work to boost thin, sparse, or brittle lashes, with many reviewer seeing results within about two weeks. “Turns out it isn’t necessary to break the bank to get a good brow and lash serum,” says Anderson. “Consistent use of this formula has given my naturally faint eyebrows a surprising amount of fullness.”
A Night Light That Gently Illuminates Your Toilet
Bustle commerce editor Cassandra Seale also suggests grabbing this
toilet night light — especially if you’re tired of that bright overhead light. “I’ve been blinded into awakeness by bright bathroom lights at night too many times,” she explains. “A colorful toilet light is easy on the eyes (and fun). I sling it over the edge of my bathtub for more substantial night-lighting. The motion sensor works great!”
This Litter Box You Can Take With You When Traveling
Bringing your cat with you on your next trip? Don’t forget to pack this
travel-friendly litter box. The zippered lid is stain- and odor-resistant, which helps keeps unwanted smells to a minimum. “I like to bring my cat along on adventures (i.e. visiting family), and when I stay over for a couple days this travel box is great,” explains Seale. “It’s easy to line with even a kitchen trash bag so is simple to keep clean. It folds up super slim for convenient transport.”
A Roll-Up Dish-Drying Rack That Helps Save Space
Don’t have a ton of counter space in your kitchen? Bustle commerce editor Wesley Salazar suggests taking a look at this
over-the-sink dish rack. “This roll-up rack fits perfectly over my sink and tucks away in a cabinet when we occasionally don’t need it,” she explains. “It’s ideal for drying hand-washed dishes, but I also use it as a place to set washed veggies before chopping, too.”
A Comfortable Bra That’s Perfect For Relaxing
With supportive triangle cups and adjustable straps, this wireless
bra helps keep you supported without digging into your skin. It’s even made with a soft, stretchy combination of nylon and elastane. Bustle commerce editor Danielle Kraese even says that it lives up to the hype: “I’ve tried a lot of ‘comfortable’ bras over the years and this is the first one I can say that I truly forget I’m wearing.”
Available sizes: 30DDD — 40DD
This Borosilicate Glass French Press With A Stainless Steel Filter
Whether you prefer a morning cup of Joe or tea, Bustle commerce editor Carina Finn suggests grabbing this
French press that can handle both. “I’m a major coffee snob, and this French press was a game changer for me,” she explains. “The micro-mesh filter and vacuum seal make the smoothest, best-tasting French press I’ve ever had. There’s literally no grit, and it keeps my coffee warm for over half an hour.”
A Decorative Mirror Tray That’ll Dress Up Your Vanity
Not sure how to dress up your plain vanity? Make sure to check out this
mirror tray. It’s the ideal size for skincare bottles, jewelry, and other small items. Or, if you need somewhere to rest a drink while in bed, Finn also says that it’s “the perfect place to rest my mug and a book without worrying about spilling.” She continues, “It also looks shockingly nice in photos. One of those random purchases that I can’t live without.”
A Pair Of Water Shoes That Go From Land To Sea
With their spandex upper and tough rubber sole, these
water shoes easily transition from land to sea. “They’re great for kayaking and canoeing, but I’ve also worn them on beach hikes, snorkeling trips, and just for walking around on vacation,” explains Finn. Drainage holes on the top and bottom help them dry quickly when wet, and elastic straps on the top make it easy to adjust how they fit your feet.
Available sizes: 4.5 Women/ 3 Men — 15 Women/ 13.5 Men
These Magnesium Chloride Flakes That Can Help Ease Your Mind
If you’re seeking more calmness before trying to sleep, try soaking in the tub with these
magnesium chloride flakes. Bustle commerce editor Karen Belz raves that “these flakes took baths to the next level.” She continues, “They’ve helped me create the perfect self-care routine, and every bath-lover should give them a try.” Plus, they’re even made with USDA organic essential oils, including cedarwood and lavender.
A Pack Of Steamy Eye Masks That Bring The Spa To You
You don’t have to pay spa prices for a spa-like experience, and these
steamy eye masks are proof. Not only are they affordable, but Belz also says that “bad winter allergies caused my eyes to hurt, but I found instant relief with these steam masks.” They can also help stimulate blood circulation to give tired eyes a refresh, no microwave for electricity required.
The Shower Shelves That Don’t Require Drilling
De-clutter the sides of your tub by moving all those soap and shampoo bottles onto these
shower shelves. Each order comes with waterproof adhesive so that you can hang them up without having to drill into your walls. “They were easy to install, can hold a lot of stuff, and have never once slipped out of place,” explains Finn. “They look way more expensive than they are, too.”
A Heat Protectant That Also Helps Hydrate Hair
heat protectant does a little bit of everything, as it’s able to detangle, hydrate, and help strengthen damaged hair. Give your strands a few spritzes before using your blow dryer or flat iron to help keep heat damage to a minimum. Belz even says that “it’s made a noticeable difference.”
This Moisturizing Hair Treatment That Works Quickly
Just how quickly does this
Wonder Water hair treatment work? In just eight seconds, it can help make your hair silkier, shinier, and just all-around hydrated — without relying on any silicones or parabens. Instead, amino acids penetrate deep into your strands to help smooth hair without weighing it down. Bustle commerce editor Chelsey Conroy was even surprised at her results, as she “didn’t expect this to have such a big impact on the look and feel of my hair after just eight seconds.”
A Pair Of Hangers That Hook Onto Your Car Headrests
Leaving your purse on the floor of your car is an easy way to get it dirty, so why not loop it onto one of these
hangers instead? They latch onto your headrests so that they’re easily accessible, and can hold up to 18 pounds each. Use them for purses, groceries, baby supplies, and more.
The Treatment That Helps Soften Rough Skin In Just 3 Days
Rough, callused heels, parched hands, cracked elbows — this
cream can help smooth dry skin all over your body, not just your feet. It can help stimulate new cell growth in your skin, and it should only take about three days to work, per the brand. Plus, it has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon.
A Pack Of Grippers That Help Keep Rugs From Curling
Having curled rugs isn’t ideal, so make sure to take a look at these
grippers. Thousands of tiny suction cups latch onto smooth-style floors so that your rugs don’t curl up or shift around — and you can easily reposition them as needed. They currently have over 13,000 five-star ratings on Amazon.
This Knife Sharpener That Takes Up Little Space In Your Kitchen
Whereas some knife sharpeners are large and bulky, this
compact one easily fits inside a drawer when you’re not using it. Two slots let you not only sharpen, but also hone your blades — and the patented edge grip feature helps keep your blades from dragging across the counter once pulled through.
The Refrigerator Shelf Mats That Keep Messes To A Minimum
Not only do these waterproof
shelf liners help keep your refrigerator clean from spills, but you can also put fresh fruits and veggies directly on top of them — no bags required. They’re also non-slip, non-stick, as well as completely free of unwanted odors.
This Adjustable Fan That Sits Behind Your Neck To Keep You Cool
With the wind speed adjustable up to four levels, this
neck fan — which has a 4.5-star rating — makes it easy to stay cool during your workouts or in warm environments. It’s also completely blade free, and the rechargeable battery even lasts for up to 21 hours.
This Cordless, Weighted Jump Rope With Memory Foam Handles
cordless jump rope one features weighted balls at the ends of both handles make it feel like you’re swinging a full rope, but the rope actually isn’t there. Plus, the handles are covered in memory foam to help make every workout an enjoyable experience.
These Seriously Cozy Socks That “Really Feel Like A Cloud”
socks were recommended by Biggart, who says, “These Barefoot Dreams socks are probably the coziest pair I’ve ever worn, and are definitely worth the price tag. They’re super warm but don’t make my feet sweat, and they really feel like a cloud.” They’re made with a fluffy combination of polyester as well as spandex, and they’re available in nine colors. Plus, these socks are machine washable.
A Stylish Zig-Zag Shelf That Fits Right In The Corner Of Your Room
shelf that Belz recommended can sit directly in the corner of your room — and since hardware is included, installation should be simple. It’s made with study wood that features a walnut stain, and Belz says, “I constantly get compliments from this little shelf. It’s sturdy, fairly easy to assemble, and a great place to put figurines, photos, and small plants. It’s an excellent buy for the price.” She continues, “I’m thinking of getting more to place around my house for extra storage. I also love that it comes in a couple different colors.”
This Sleek, Touch-Operated Mug Warmer To Keep Your Coffee Hot
mug warmer is powered by the touch of a button, and it’ll help keep your coffee hot throughout the work day. It was recommended by Salazar, who says, “I’ve always been a slow coffee drinker, and that has resulted in sad, cold cups of joe as the days wore on. But I recently got this mug warmer, and it has truly been life-changing.” She continues, “I can sip as slowly as I want, and the coffee stays warm. It has two heat settings, simple touch activation, and auto shutoff after eight hours, making it super easy to use.”
The High-Quality Vacuum Cleaner That’s Completely Bagless
Floors looking a little dusty lately? Salazar also recommends this
bagless vacuum by Bissell. “For the past decade, I’ve lived in homes with hardwood flooring, which allowed me to put off buying a full-size vacuum,” she explains. “But after adopting a dog, I decided that it was time to get one to make my life easier. I honestly can’t believe how effective this vacuum is at tackling pet hair, human hair, and debris on our area rugs and furniture, especially for the price.” She continues, “Best of all? It hasn’t clogged yet.”
The Tripod That Helps Stabilize Your Moving Phone
With its built-in gimbal stabilizer, this
tripod can help your videos come out smoothly — even if you aren’t exactly gliding across the ground. The best part? With its ActiveTrack 3.0, you don’t even need to be behind the camera. Instead, the tripod can recognize people and pets, then automatically direct your phone towards them when they’re moving.