When it comes to making products, it's clear that some designers came to work with their thinking caps on. (No disrespect to those who forgot their thinking caps at home.) These thinking cap-wearers have come up with some pure genius products that vastly improve upon the design of common everyday products, which is the case with all these things on Amazon under $30 you're about to discover.
Most of these products solve everyday problems you thought you just had to put up with — like sore throats during cold season, hair that looks flat no matter how much volumizing mousse you put in, or the guilt of continuing to buy environmentally un-friendly plastic wrap. (Heck yes, there are real solutions to all these annoyances.)
And personally, I love digging through the thousands of pages on Amazon searching for these kinds of clever products — because knowing you can actually improve your life through shopping in a way that's practical and doesn't involve buying expensive French perfume is extremely satisfying to me. I mean, I love an expensive perfume too, but there's a lot to be said for the practicality part.
So put your thinking cap on and do some very smart — even genius — shopping.
1. A Contoured Bath Pillow That's Actually Comfortable
This bath pillow is so comfortable, you might just doze off while you soak. An extra layer of cushioning bolsters the head and neck, while the wings on each side support the shoulders and upper back. The wave stitching gives softer support to sensitive areas like the spine and shoulder blades, and the 3-D quilted mesh material won't stick to your skin like vinyl. Six strong suction cups keep the pillow firmly in place — and it dries quickly when you're done using it.
2. These Massaging Slippers That Promote Healing In The Whole Body
Give your feet an actual massage while you shuffle around the house in these reflexology slippers. The admittedly very strange looking slippers are outfitted with 41 strategically placed acupoints that massage the feet while offering reflexology therapy. In case you're not familiar, reflexology is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that uses applied pressure on specific parts of the foot to stimulate circulation and promote healing in other parts of the body, like the neck, ear, or stomach. Wear these for about 15 minutes a day to reap the full benefits.
3. A Mat With Hundreds of Bristles To Scrub And Massage Your Feet In The Shower
Your feet do a lot of hard work; give them some much-earned TLC with this shower foot scrubber. It suctions to the floor of the shower where the hundreds of flexible bristles clean, scrub, and massage your feet. The scrubber is made with quick-drying silicone — you don't have to worry about bacteria build-up — and it's available in four colors: blue, pink, gray, and clear.
4. These Portable Organizers So You Don't Have To Keep Everything In Your Suitcase When You Reach Your Hotel Room
Keeping everything in your suitcase once you reach your destination is a recipe for frustration. (Somehow that one black T-shirt has always gone missing.) Unpack and display everything on these hanging luggage organizers. The three-tier organizers hook right onto a closet rod where they provide space for pants, shoes, pajamas, that one black T-shirt, and more. When they're not hanging, the organizers collapse flat so you can easily pack them in your suitcase.
5. A Power Bank That Charges Up Your Phone On-The-Go
Keep your phone fully charged — even when there's no outlet in sight — with this portable power bank. The power bank is compatible with all smartphones and it's lightweight and compact enough to stash in a purse pocket. It provides one full charge at a high speed, and the indicator lights on the side let you know when the power bank itself needs to be recharged. It comes with a micro-USB cable and carrying pouch.
6. These Stain Removers That Reviewers Swear By
With an impressive 4.4-star rating, reviewers say this stain remover is "the absolute BEST at removing any stains from garments," and has "never met a stain it couldn't handle." All you have to do is apply a drop of the remover — no scrubbing involved — and you'll be able to work out even tough, set-in stains. The non-toxic, biodegradable formula is safe for all fabrics, and since this set comes with three smaller bottles, you can keep one at home, one at your desk, and one in your car glove box.
7. These Reusable Food Wraps So You Can Do Away With One-Use Plastic
If you're trying to reduce the amount of plastic you use, these reusable food wraps are a great next step. Made from organic cotton with a layer of beeswax and jojoba oil, the wraps can be used to cover bowls and plates — or they can be used on their own to keep produce, sandwiches, and pastries fresh. When you're done with each wrap, just wash in cold water and let dry. Each set comes with five wraps: one large, one small , and three medium-sized versions.
8. A Reusable Food Storage Bag That Keeps Food Extra-Fresh
While you're at it, go ahead and replace your plastic sandwich bags with this reusable food storage bag made from 100% pure platinum silicone. The self-sealing bag is BPA-free and freezer-, dishwasher-, and microwave-safe. You can even put it in boiling water to cook foods sous vide. The bag is available in gallon, sandwich, and snack sizes and a variety of fun colors, like aqua, lime, and raspberry. Pack your sandwich in this for a more eco-friendly lunch.
9. These Ankle Weights That Will Help You Strengthen Your Lower Body Fast
Adding these ankle weights to your workout are a great way to add a challenging element that will help strengthen your lower body. The 2-pound weights are made with breathable cotton and feature an adjustable strap to fit ankles of all sizes, — and they're an easy way to incorporate more resistance into leg lifts, CrossFit routines, and hikes. Want to work out your arms? You can wrap the weights around your wrists too.
10. These Air-Purifying And Odor-Fighting Charcoal Bags
These air purifying bags are a great way to keep your home smelling fresh without having to use diffuser sticks or air freshener. The bags are filled with bamboo charcoal, which naturally absorbs excess moisture in the air and neutralizes odors. And they can be used for up to two years — just set them in the sun once a month to reactivate. Each order comes with 12 small bags; stick them in gym shoes, closets, cars, or use a couple to freshen up larger spaces like living rooms.
11. This Inverted Umbrella That Keeps You Dry While You Get Into Your Car
With over a thousand reviews and a 4.5-rating, you know this inverted umbrella has got to be doing something right. Instead of folding down, the umbrella folds up — so you stay dry when getting into your car or boarding a bus or train. That inversion also keeps floors and belongings from getting wet since the dry interior of the umbrella becomes the exterior once it's folded up, and the C-shaped handle fits over your wrist to free up your hand to find your keys. Choose from dozens of colors and designs.
12. This Drain Cover That Lets You Get A Deeper Bath
You know that drain on the side of your bath tub just under the faucet? It's there to prevent overflowing by draining water once it reaches a certain level. But that drain can also keep you from getting an extra-deep bath. (Sigh.) This bathtub overflow drain cover, though, moves that drain a few inches up by blocking the existing drain while still allowing excess water to flow through, thanks to the 1-inch hole at the top of the cover.
13. A Black Light To Help You Locate Pet Stains So You Can Clean Them Up
Cat and dog owners: if you're having trouble locating the source of a not-so-pleasant odor, use this black light flashlight to find it. When used in the dark, the 51 powerful LED black lights illuminate pet stains, so you can clean them up with a little remover and odor eliminator. The battery-operated flashlight is super compact and this reviewer writes, "Any cat urine that you cannot see (only smell!) in normal light, stands out like a sore thumb in the black light. An added bonus is that it finds all kinds of other hidden stains that you can then clean up."
14. This Smart Thermometer That Connects To An App So You Can Track Your Health
Yep, temperature-taking has entered the digital age with this smart thermometer. The thermometer connects to an app on your phone where it creates individual profiles for each member of the family, stores readings, interprets temperatures based on age, tracks symptoms and medications, and provides guidance on what to do next. Use it whenever you're sick, or use it to track temperature changes for family-planning purposes.
15. A Germ-Fighting Sore Throat Spray Made From Bee Propolis
Soothe a sore throat and boost your immune system with this throat spray made with bee propolis. Bee propolis is a natural sealant made by bees to protect their hives — and it has properties that fight inflammation, bacteria, and viruses. This non-GMO formula is made with high-grade Canadian propolis, and it's free of pesticides and common allergens like gluten and soy. Spray this in the back of your throat during cold season or anytime it starts to feel a little scratchy.
16. A Copper-Infused Sleep Mask That Promotes Collagen Production
This sleep mask quite literally helps you get your beauty sleep. The unique mask is infused with copper, which helps promote collagen production. In other words, wearing the mask over time can actually plump the skin around your eyes, so you look well-rested even if you didn't get a ton of sleep. Of course — you probably will get a ton of sleep, since the mask also performs that all-important task of blocking out light.
17. A Hot Air Popper So You Can Make Oil-Free Popcorn
Put this hot air popcorn maker to work on your next movie marathon night. Instead of using oil, the maker uses hot air to pop the kernels with just the touch of a button. It makes up to 16 cups of popcorn and the included measuring cup doubles as a butter melting tray — just place it on top of the machine while it's popping. The maker comes in in three color options: red, white, and retro aqua.
18. An Electric Griddle For Pancakes, Quesadillas, Paninis, And More
Plug this electric griddle in and use it to make delicious pancakes and frittatas — and perfectly melty quesadillas, paninis, and grilled cheese sandwiches. The non-stick plates make cleanup a breeze and since the griddle measures in at a compact 8 inches, it takes up minimal storage space in your kitchen. The griddle is available in red and aqua and comes with a recipe book to help you get creative with your cooking.
19. These Socks With Pockets That Hold Your House Key Or Cash When You Go On A Run
I'm obsessed with these socks with pockets. The crew socks have small zippered pockets on the sides where you can stash a key, credit card, and cash while you work out at the gym or head out for a run. The moisture-wicking socks also feature stay-put arch bands, strategic cushioning on the soles, and smooth toe seams to up the comfort factor.
20. A Vacuum That Sucks Out Dirt And Impurities From Your Pores
This very-satisfying-to-use blackhead remover actually uses the power of suction to vacuum out dirt, oil, and impurities from your pores, leaving you with clear, smooth skin. The rechargeable vacuum comes with five attachment heads of different sizes and operates on five suction levels, so you can tailor your at-home facial to suit your skin type. There's even a light therapy option — use the red light to diminish the appearance of scars, the green light to smooth texture, and the blue light to soothe skin and tighten pores.
21. These Extra-Durable Charging Cables That Will Never Ever Fray
These USB-C charging cables have over 2,000 glowing reviews, with buyers writing that they're "super fast charging," and "the best USB C cables on the market." At 6.6 feet, they're extra-long, so you can still use your phone while it's plugged into the wall, and the braided armor nylon cords which make them more durable and resistant to fraying — so you won't have to replace them anytime soon.
22. These Shoe Deodorizers That'll Keep Your Sneakers Smelling Fresh
Keep your gym shoes and your nose happy with these smiley face shoe deodorizers. Designed to fit into tight spaces, the deodorizers release a light, clean scent when you twist to activate them. Each set comes with three pairs of deodorizers that fight odors for up to six months. Put them in sneakers, boots, heels, and your gym bag.
23. This Teeth Whitening Pan That's So Much Easier To Use Than Strips Or Trays
This teeth whitening pen is a lot more convenient and portable than trays or strips, and it still does a bang-up job of brightening your teeth. Just twist the tip of the pen to release the solution, brush onto your teeth, then let your teeth absorb the whitening gel for about an hour before brushing off. Reviewers say you'll start noticing an improvement within a couple days, with noticeably whiter teeth after two weeks.
24. This Hair Straightening Brush That's Less Damaging To Your Hair Than A Flat Iron
This hair straightening brush straightens hair twice as fast as a flat iron, which cuts down on styling time in the morning and minimizes heat damage. The highly-rated brush uses ionic technology to promote shine and it's temperature-adjustable, so it's safe enough for thin, damaged hair — yet powerful enough for thick, curly hair. It shuts off automatically in 30 minutes and the accompanying silicone pouch lets you pack it in your bag without having to wait for it to cool. One reviewer wrote: "I would give this product ten stars if I could!"
25. A Travel Makeup Case With Adjustable Dividers
The top of this travel makeup case flips open, so you can get a complete view of all your makeup — instead of having to dig through a jumbled up bag. Made from Oxford cloth with a spill-proof interior, the case features a zippered mesh pocket and padded divider inserts that can be configured any which way to maximize space. Choose from fun patterns, like flamingos, flowers, or the lemons pictured here.
26. A Coconut Oil Hair Serum That Promotes Growth And Makes Hair Shine
This hair serum is made with fractionated coconut oil, which penetrates deeply into the shaft of hair strands to deliver deep hydration and nourishing fatty acids. The formula is boosted by other moisturizers, like almond oil and aloe, along with growth-promoting algae extract and hair-strengthening keratin. Apply this after towel drying: it'll protect hair from heat damage and give it a glossy, silky smooth finish without weighing it down.
27. A Hair Waver That'll Make It Look Like You Just Got Back From A Beach Vacation
Use this hair waver on 1-inch sections of hair to create tousled, natural-looking waves — or use it on larger sections to create a sculpted look worthy of any retro silver screen goddess. The deep barrel waver uses tourmaline ceramic technology to fend off frizz and the multiple heat settings let you adjust the temperature to your hair type. Dual voltage makes this super travel-friendly, and an automatic shut-off function ensures the waver turns off... even if you forget to unplug it.
28. These Easy-To-Use Tools That Help You Create Intricate Hairstyles
Create sleek chignons, romantic updos, and dressed-up ponytails with the help of these hair tail tools. After securing hair with an elastic, thread the tail of your hair through the tool's loop, then use the pointy end of the tool to thread the tail through the section of hair between the elastic and your head. Each set comes with four pairs of tools that work on all hair types — use the smaller tools for intricate work and the larger tools for looser, sweeping styles.
29. This Mini Broom That Cleans Oil And Styling Reside From Your Hair Brush
Cleaning your hair brush may not be first on your list of tasks, but the truth is that there's probably a significant build-up of oil and styling residue on the bed and bristles — which you probably don't want to be brushing back onto your hair. Use this hair brush cleaning tool to clean it — the comb-like end works the strands out of bristles, and the broom-like end sweeps away dried oil and residue from the bristles and bed.
30. A Hair Dryer Brush That Gives Your Tresses A Major Boost Of Volume
This hair dryer brush is a dream for any of us who aren't particularly talented in the styling department. It dries and and styles at the same time, and — depending on how you use it — can give you a smooth and sleek look, major volume, or a slight curl or flip at the ends. The brush features a combination of nylon pin and tufted bristles, three temperature settings, two speed settings, and an oval design that gives even fine hair a boost of body.
31. This Better Way To Slice Tomatoes, Potatoes, Onions, And Citrus
Make a better caprese salad with this ingenious tomato slicer. The slicer grips the tomato and the dividers guide your knife as you slice it into precise, uniform segments. It's dishwasher-safe and works with other produce too — slice onions for burgers, cut up lemon for water, or use it to make scalloped potatoes.
32. This Chemical-Free, Scent-Free Way To Fend Off Mosquitos
With this bug zapper, you can keep mosquitos at bay without the use of chemicals or strong scents like citronella. The black light of the zapper attracts bugs and then zaps them, which means you can spend a long summer evening in the backyard without having to deal with a lot of itchy bites afterward. The zapper also keeps houseflies, midges, and fleas at bay, so you can live your best bug-free life.
33. This 4-In-1 Slicer That Does A Better Job Of Slicing Fruit
This four-in-one fruit slicer features different blade configurations that allow you to make small wedges, large wedges, and halves — which means you can use it for apples, mangos, pears, guava, and citrus. The slicer works in tandem with a base that allows you to slice all the way through (unlike other slicers) and it also catches run-off juices. The slicer comes with eight fruit forks, so you can dig in right after slicing.
34. This Charging Station That Does Away With The Mess Of Cables On Your Desk
Organize and charge all your smart devices with this charging station. Made from eco-sustainable bamboo, the station has slots for six phones or tablets, a magnetic stand for a smart watch, and a tray for thumb drives. Just place a 10-port wall charger in the box below and thread through your charging cables to keep everything powered up without having a mess of cables on your desk or bedside table.
35. These Reusable Bowl Lids That Keep Food Fresh
Invest in these eco-friendly reusable lids and you can stop shelling out for plastic wrap every time you go to the store. The lids fit neatly onto bowls where they instantly create a suction that seals in freshness. Each set comes with three lids of different sizes — 6-inch, 8-inch, and 11-inch — and they all snap together for easy stacking and storage.
36. This Salad Spinner Because Life Is Too Short For Soggy Salads
Lettuce that's crisp versus lettuce that's soggy can make the difference between a good salad and a great salad, which is why a salad spinner is a must. This salad spinner doesn't just dry lettuce leaves, though, it also rinses them first. After putting your lettuce in, pour a little water into the outlet, then pump to spin. After that, pour the water through the spout into the sink and spin a few more times to thoroughly dry the leaves.
37. This Sling That Makes It Easy To Lift Trays Out Of Multi-Cookers
Removing a cheesecake, tray of lasagna, or frittata from a pressure cooker is tricky, but this pressure cooker sling makes it a cinch. Made from heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe silicone, the sling is designed to fit into 6- and 8- quart pressure cookers and multi-cookers, like the Instant Pot. Just place your tray or bakeware onto the sling, lower into the pot, then interlock the handles so they tuck neatly under the lid. When done cooking, simply lift up the handles to remove —without risk of spills or drops.
38. These Scrubbing Brushes For Bottles, Stemware, And Reusable Straws
These highly-rated bottle scrubbers are a great addition to your dishes routine. Use the big fluffy scrubber for glasses, stemware, and to-go cups, the medium scrubber for champagne flutes and reusable water bottles, and the two skinny scrubbers for reusable straws. The extra-long handles make it easy to reach into jugs and decanters, and scrubbing bristles are safe to use on all kinds of surfaces — including crystal, stemware, and stainless steel.
39. This Cutting Board That Pops Out So You Can Use It As A Basin Too
This is not your average cutting board. It actually pops out to create a basin where you can rinse your fruits and veggies before you get to slicing. The drain at the bottom of the basin allows water to flow freely through, but you can also twist the plug to keep water in if you want to use the basin to wash dishes. The handles on each side make transporting it to the counter easy, and because it collapses flat, it takes up minimal storage space.
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