42 Home Essentials On Amazon That Are Beyond Functional — & Cute As Hell

By Anna Anderson

Shopping for home basics — like picking up a new set of sponges, replacing burned-out oven mitts, or ordering a kitchen sink strainer — is rarely exciting for anybody. I mean, who likes spending their hard-earned cash on a potato peeler? But, one has to wonder: must shopping for these ho-hum items be so unexciting? I don't think so. And I think these 42 home essentials on Amazon prove me absolutely right.

These home basics are anything but basic, because they all manage to combine the obvious need for the products to be functional with a fun design or an adorable aesthetic. Take, for instance, a cotton swab holder that's shaped like a lotus flower. Or a tea infuser that looks like a manatee popping out of your teacup. Or, my personal favorite, a sponge holder that's shaped like a bed. A bed for your sponge — imagine the cuteness!

Each one of these products is delightful and takes the drudgery out of the everyday. And I'm personally on board for anything that makes life a little less blah. So take a gander at these products. They'll add a dash of whimsy to your life — and they just might make scrubbing the dishes a little less painful.

Entertainment — 42 Home Essentials On Amazon That Are Beyond Functional — & Cute As Hell
by Anna Anderson

1. These Cheery Dish Scrubbers That Won't Retain Bacteria

Speckled Designs Silicone Scrubbers and Brush, $19 (5 Pack), Amazon

These brightly-colored silicone scrubbers have an impressive 4.9-star rating on Amazon. (Who knew people were so passionate about doing the dishes?) Unlike sponges, they're non-porous, so they won't harbor bacteria. They're BPA-free and heat-resistant up to 500 degrees, so you can stick them in the dishwasher. You can also use them to clean vegetables and fruit. And each pack of four scrubbers comes with a scouring brush for tougher jobs, like pots and pans.


2. A Tiny Humidifier That Doubles As An Essential Oil Diffuser

WINOMO Mini Humidifier, $19, Amazon

This mini humidifier doesn't just moisturize the air, it also doubles as an essential oil diffuser. You can add a few drops of lavender to relax or eucalyptus to give yourself a boost of energy. Add to your experience by brightening up the humidifier with one of seven adjustable LED colored lights that work on a dimmer. It has automatic shut-off capabilities is charged by USB, and is small enough to take with you anywhere.


3. These Panda Bear-Inspired Stackable Jars

SELEWARE Stackable 4-Piece Storage Jars, $14, Amazon

The design of these stackable storage jars is meant to look like a panda eating bamboo. (If you squint, you can see it!) You can use these to store nuts, candy, coffee, fruit, or other snack foods. The twist-lock lids are airtight and leak-proof, so nothing's going to spill out. The jars are also safe to use in the microwave, freezer and dishwasher.


4. A Bird Whisk For Fanciful Whisking

Fred WING IT Bird Whisk, $19, Amazon

This bird whisk takes cooking to a whole new level of whimsical. The "feathers" are made from heat-resistant silicone, so you can whisk right there in the pan without fear of it melting. It also has tiny hook "feet" that you can rest on the side of a pan or bowl to keep the whisk from falling in. Use it to add a touch of fancy next time you're whipping up an omelet.


5. This Adorable Hot Pot Cooker In Bubble Gum Pink

DCIGNA Electric Hot Pot Cooker, $30, Amazon

This electric hot pot cooker comes in diner-worthy pink or seafoam green. Plug it in to boil water — or to cook eggs, shabu shabu, and noodles. The stainless steel pot holds 1.5 liters and won't take up too much space in the kitchen. The pot will also shut off automatically when there's no liquid inside, so you don't have to worry about burning it out.


6. This Spoon Rest That Looks Like A Ravioli

Fred Ravioli Spoon Rest, $13, Amazon

Do right by Italian grandmas everywhere with this spoon rest. It's shaped like a ravioli, so it'll fit in seamlessly with your aesthetic anytime you're cooking up a marinara. And it'll keep that marinara from getting all over your stovetop, too. It's dishwasher-safe and made of stain-resistant silicone — so you only have to worry about keeping red sauce away from that crisp white shirt.


7. These Tea Infusers That Look Like Manatees Popping Out of Your Teacup

Manatee Loose Leaf Tea Infusers, $13 (2 Pack), Amazon

These loose leaf tea infusers that look like manatees surfacing from the sea are peak cuteness. To use them, just pop off the tail and fill them up with your favorite tea, then let their fins rest on the rim of your mug. The silicone material is stain-, heat-, and rust-resistant, and won't influence the flavor of your tea. Each set comes with one pink and one blue manatee, so you can share a cup of Earl Grey with a friend.


8. These Colorful Measuring Cups That Collapse For Easy Storing

Leepiya Collapsible Measuring Cups, $11, Amazon

There's only so much space in kitchen drawers — which is why these cheerfully-colored collapsible measuring cups are so genius. They expand when you want to use them, but fold up flat when you're ready to put them away. The durable cups are dishwasher-safe and have long handles that make scooping from deep bowls easy. Oh, and each set contains a set of collapsible measuring spoons as well.


9. A Key Holder That Makes It Look Like Your Keys Are Suspended From A Cloud

TWONE Cloud Magnetic Key Holder, $8, Amazon

This dreamy key holder has powerful magnets that attract your keys and hold them in place. The holder has adhesive backing so you can mount it on the wall right next to your door without having to hammer or screw anything in. It's also strong enough to hold bigger items like scissors — so put one of these next to your desk while you're at it.


10. A Tiny Bicycle That Slices Through Pizza

SOHO Kitchen Bicycle Pizza Cutter, $16, Amazon

This bicycle pizza cutter is basically the real deal — it even has details like handlebars, a seat, and the words, "Tour de Pizza" emblazoned across the frame. With two wheels, the dual stainless steel blades cut through pizza twice on the first run-through, so you don't have to run the cutter back and forth to get a decent slice. Get this for the bicyclist — or the 'za lover — in your life.


11. A Penguin You Would Never Guess Is Actually A Screwdriver

iThinking Penguin Screwdriver, $18, Amazon

This cartoonish penguin standing on an iceberg is actually a portable screwdriver with a magnetic head. The set includes 8 bits — and they're all stored in the body of the penguin. An extendable bar attaches the bits to the penguin when you're ready to use them, too. This makes installing shelves a whole lot more fun.


12. This Salt Lamp That Gives The Air Good Vibes

YuniYiSmart Himalayan Salt Lamp, $33, Amazon

This salt lamp works to purify the air by releasing negative ions. It's meant to help improve indoor air quality, reduce allergens, and induce feelings of calm and relaxation. The rock is hand-carved from Himalayan salt and features a far-out marbleized design — and it comes with a dimmer switch so you can control the amount of brightness it gives off. Turn this on after a stressful day.


13. A Ventilated Makeup Sponge Holder

Sunmore Makeup Sponge Holder, $6, Amazon

Keep your makeup sponges fresh longer with this makeup sponge holder. The spiral design encourages ventilation so that your sponges get a chance to dry out quickly, which helps prevent mildew or bacteria growth — something your skin will thank you for. Besides its sponge and skin-preserving functionality, the rose gold color of the holder looks great sitting on your counter.


14. A Green Apple Filled With Charcoal To Keep Your Fridge Fresh

Olivia's Home Goods Refrigerator Odor Eliminator, $6, Amazon

This refrigerator odor eliminator is better than baking soda. It looks like a green apple, but contains a deodorizer insert made with microporous activated bamboo charcoal. The eco-friendly charcoal absorbs any smell and also keeps excess moisture at bay, which prevents the growth of bacteria and mold. Place the charcoal insert in the sun once a month to reactivate it, and your deodorizer will last for up to two years.


15. A Set Of Bottle Stoppers That Looks Like A Garden

Charles Viancin Wine Bottle Stoppers, $13 (3 Pack), Amazon

Drinking wine is a beautiful thing, and that beauty shouldn't stop just because you've poured your last glass for the evening. Keep the beauty going with these wine bottle stoppers. Each set comes with three stoppers: a sunflower, a lily pad, and a hibiscus. These not-so-garden-variety stoppers will keep your wine fresh until you're ready for another sip of pinot.


16. These Ice Molds That Give You Sphere-Shaped Ice

Chuzy Chef Sphere Ice Molds, $14 (4 Pack), Amazon

Anyone can be a mixologist with these ice molds that make sphere-shaped ice. Each set comes with four molds that make extra-large ice spheres, measuring at 3.5 inches in diameter — and they're dishwasher-safe. These are sure to impress your friends the next time you have them over for Old Fashioned's.


17. A Bluetooth Speaker That's Also A Flowerpot

Moveteke Flower Pot Speaker, $9, Amazon

This flowerpot speaker does a lot more than you might expect. First of all, yes — it's a Bluetooth speaker that you can use for potting small plants. And don't worry, it's waterproof, so you can keep your plants most and happy. The pot also plays 15 piano tunes at the touch of a button. Last but not least, it has seven colorful LED lights that work as nightlights. The pot is available in pink, blue, and white.


18. These Memory Foam Slippers That Feel Like Walking On A Cloud

RockDove Memory Foam Slippers $18, Amazon

Memory foam is a dream to sleep on, and it turns out it's also a dream to walk on. These high-density memory foam slippers cushion your steps when you're shuffling around the house. They're made from microfiber machine-washable cloth, so you can keep them clean even if you step outside to get the mail. Choose from pink, blue, or gray.


19. This Little Dude That Props Your Saucepan Lid Open

Monkey Business Saucepan Lid Holder, $10, Amazon

Keep this little saucepan lid holder guy around for when you need to let off some steam in the kitchen. He hooks around the rim of pots to prop open your saucepan lid and keep things from boiling over. Plus it looks like he's diving straight into whatever delicious concoction you're making, which can only boost your confidence in the kitchen. Made from silicone, the lid holder is heat-proof and durable.


20. A Miniature Iron You Can Stash In Your Suitcase

Steamfast Mini Travel Steam Iron, $20, Amazon

This mini travel steam iron is perfect for when you're headed to a wedding. It allows you to pack light — but will iron out any wrinkles that show up in dresses, linens, and suits. The compact, lightweight iron heats up in 15 seconds and features steam control and three temperature settings. It operates on dual voltage, so you can take it with you the next time you travel overseas. The small size also means it's great for ironing small areas, like block seams and pleats.


21. A Pot Holder That Sort Of Looks Like A Guy Bench Pressing The Pot

Fivebop Iron Man Pot Holder, $11, Amazon

Ready for more cute guys helping you out in the kitchen? This pot holder — which vaguely resembles Spider Man — prevents burns on your counter or table by holding pots aloft on its arms and bent legs. Made out of steel, the pot holder is heat-resistant, flexible, and non-stick. Plus he's sturdy, so you don't have to worry about that pot of chicken soup tipping over.


22. These Dryer Balls Disguised As Puffer Fish

Kikkerland Puffer Fish Dryer Buddies, $8 (2 Pack), Amazon

Trade in your dryer sheets for these dryer balls that look like puffer fish. They lift and separate clothes in the dryer, removing static and softening fabric. They also save energy by decreasing dryer time. This puffer fish reviewer writes: "Not only are they basically eternally useful, they're freaking adorable. I no longer have to buy dryer sheets, as these little fish are fantastic at removing static and lint from my clothes. Even after quite a bit of use, they are showing no wear and tear, nor are they becoming any less effective."


23. An Herb Diffuser That Uses An Old Comedy Prop — The Rubber Chicken

Fred Chicken Herb Infuser, $14, Amazon

Apparently, rubber chickens aren't just old school comedy props. They're also great for making fresh, delicious meals, as this rubber chicken herb infuser demonstrates. All you have to do is fill the chicken with herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, or bay leaves and let them steep in any soup or stew. The chicken will keep all the herbs contained, so you won't have to fish them out later. The infuser is made from silicone that withstands heat up to 450 degrees.


24. A Griddle That's Perfect For Making Pancakes When You're Flying Solo

Dash Mini Griddle, $16, Amazon

Who wants to haul out a big griddle when you're just making an egg sandwich for yourself in the morning? This mini griddle is compact and perfect for single-serving meals. Just plug it in and use it for grilled cheese, pancakes, and eggs. It's non-stick and comes in a variety of fun colors like bronze, aqua, pink, red, and silver. This reviewer wrote: "It's the perfect size for me. I made eggs in about 10 minutes. So much easier to make in the mini maker then in a pan. I can't wait to try pancakes."


25. These Rainbow-Colored Straws You Can Use Over And Over Again

Hiware Reusable Drinking Straws, $9 (8 Pack), Amazon

I'm one of those people who hates the onslaught of ice that hits you when you take a big swig of something, so I always opt for a straw. But single-use plastic straws aren't so great for the environment. Enter these reusable silicone straws. They're BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and come with two cleaning brushes for that extra clean. The straws are extra-long and wide so they work great with thicker drinks like milkshakes and smoothies too. Plus, who can resist that rainbow selection of colors?


26. This Dinosaur Friend That's Actually A Soup Ladle

Krierah Dinosaur Soup Ladle, $10, Amazon

Keep this dinosaur friend close by when you're ready to serve up some soup. Holding up to 6 ounces of liquid, this soup ladle adds a playful touch to mealtimes. Made out of dishwasher-safe nylon, the ladle even has dinosaur "feet" that keep the ladle standing upright, so it won't fall over or get lost in larger pots.


27. A Tiny Bed For Your Kitchen Sponge

OTOTO Kitchen Sponge Holder, $12, Amazon

I legitimately gasped when I saw this kitchen sponge holder because it just might be the cutest thing of all time. It looks like a dollhouse bed, replete with little pillows which work to secure the sponge in place. Keep this next to your sink because — think about it — your hard-working sponge deserve a little rest after all that scrubbing.


28. This Sink Strainer That Makes Doing The Dishes A Little More Fun

Joie Oink Oink Kitchen Sink Strainer, $6, Amazon

Washing dishes can be a drag, but this adorable pig kitchen sink strainer adds a little fun to the process. The rust-resistant strainer lets water flow through freely, while capturing any food particles that didn't make their way into the trash can. This Amazon reviewer is won over: "This is a cute piece that works perfectly in my sink, and dare I say it adds a bit of "happy" to the chore of washing dishes. I hand wash most of the time and this keeps small items like silverware from falling in the disposal while they wait for a rinse."


29. A Single-Serving Blender-To-Go

PopBabies Personal Blender, $37, Amazon

No need to be near a wall outlet when you're ready to use this personal blender. It's charged via USB, so you can power it up and take it with you anywhere. Once you're done blending, it doubles as a cup, so you don't have to transfer your smoothie to a separate container. Take this single-serving blender with you on your next camping trip, or just to work for a midday smoothie break.


30. An Elephant That Drains Water Out Of Its Trunk

Agile-Shop Elephant Drainer, $9, Amazon

This elephant drainer is a super clever way to keep your counters dry. You can let him hang out by the sink in your bathroom to drain toothbrushes, or put him next to the kitchen sink for cutlery and sponges. Any residual water will pour through his trunk and drain right into the sink. The drainer comes in green, yellow, orange, beige, or gray.


31. This Magical Mushroom Mini Vacuum

HONBAY Mini Vacuum, $9, Amazon

This mini vacuum looks suspiciously like Toad from Nintendo — or just a really fun mushroom. Either way, it's a good gadget to keep around for vacuuming small spaces. It's powered by AA batteries, and you can use it to vacuum up lint and crumbs from your car, or run it across your desk or appliances to get rid of dust. This reviewer is sold: "I bought this as a joke Xmas gift, but the joke is on me because it is actually functional. You can totally use it to clean up desk dust AND it looks good."


32. These Grrrrreat Oven Mitts

Fred Polar Bear Oven Mitts, $20 (2 Pack), Amazon

Take cookies out of the oven with your "bear hands". (Sorry for the dad joke. I couldn't resist.) These oven mitts that look like polar bear paws are made from insulated cotton and heat-resistant silicone. They even have lifelike claws (OK, maybe not totally lifelike). Each order comes with two mitts — one for your right paw and one for your left.


33. This Lotus Flower That Holds Your Cotton Swabs

Bloss Cotton Swab Holder, $6, Amazon

Imagine cotton swabs sprouting from the leaves of a lotus flower — because it certainly adds a fairyland touch to these otherwise-utilitarian bathroom staples. This cotton swab holder is made from break-resistant plastic and includes a see-through dome you can place on top to keep out dust or water. And you don't just have to keep it in the bathroom. Put one in the kitchen to hold your toothpicks, too. Choose from green, pink, black, or white.


34. This Bowl That Doubles As A Colander

CHICHIC 2-In-1 Kitchen Strainer, $9, Amazon

Why waste space with two kitchen tools when you can have just one? This kitchen strainer is a combination bowl and colander. The colander on top angles out from the bowl on bottom, allowing you to tip the strainer over to drain water into the sink. Angle the colander back and you can use it as a bowl — without having to transfer everything in the process. It's BPA-free and available in fun colors, like pink, purple, and lime green.


35. This Lint Roller That Retracts When You're Not Using It — So You Can Use It Longer

Flint Reusable Lint Roller, $10, Amazon

The problem with regular lint rollers is that they tend to pick up lint and dirt even when you're not using them — significantly cutting down on the amount of use you get from each sticky sheet. This lint roller solves that problem with a retractable feature that guards your lint roller when you're not using it. It's smaller and skinnier than other rollers, so it's easy to stick in your purse or glove compartment. It also comes with 30 sticky sheets — all made from recycled paper.


36. A Mini Duster You Can Use To Clean Your Car Vents... And A Zillion Other Small Spaces

Senhai Mini Duster, $7 (3 Pack), Amazon

This mini duster is beyond practical. Use it in your car to dust air vents, the steering column, or that narrow space between your seat and the center console. You can also use in your house to dust your keyboard or clean out windowsills. One end of the duster is a bristled brush and the other end is a cleaning cloth separated into three "arms" — so you can get right up in those car air vents. And you can remove the cloth to wash it from time to time.


37. This Spiralizer That Makes Veggie "Noodles"

OXO Handheld Spiralizer, $15, Amazon

This spiralizer is a creative way to get more veggies into your meals. It makes perfectly uniform curly "noodles" out of vegetables like zucchini, cucumbers, squash, and sweet potatoes. Use them as a replacement for pasta, stick them in salads, or simply make fancy garnishes to impress your friends. It features a grip so it doesn't slip out of your hands while spiralizing, and it's extra-long to keep your hands away from the blade. It's dishwasher-safe, too.


38. A Tablet Stand That Gives You A Hand

HONSKY Tablet Stand, $10 (2 Pack), Amazon

This tablet stand holds your phone or tablet in place and gives you the "thumbs up" sign while doing so. Made out of flexible, recyclable plastic, the stand can stretch to hold any device between 3.5 inches and 8 inches. Sliding the hands up and down will angle the device for optimal viewing, and this Amazon writes: "Super cute for holding my phone and my small tablet. Love the flexibility and its ability to stand in place while watching movies or charging."


39. This Unbearably Cute Multi-Tool

UST Multi-Tool Carabiner, $10, Amazon

No, that's not a Christmas ornament. It's a bear-shaped multi-tool that performs a pretty impressive array of functions. It has a signal mirror, a hex wrench, a 1-inch ruler, a flathead screwdriver, a cord cutter, a Phillips head screwdriver, a butterfly wrench, a pry tip, a file, and a bottle opener. Plus it hangs on a handy carabiner, so you can attach it to your backpack and take it anywhere.


40. This Frosting-Filled Pencil For Writing Sweet Birthday Messages

Monkey Business Icing Pen, $16, Amazon

It's time to up your dessert game with this mega-cute icing pen. Wait, sorry — I meant pencil. All you do is squeeze the sides of the silicone pencil and you can write out "Happy Birthday" messages or create swirly designs on all kinds of desserts. The single tip makes it easy to create even lines, so you can fake good handwriting even if that's not your strong suit. The pencil works well with frosting, sauces, honey, and gels.


41. These Cheerful Twist Ties That Magnetize To Keep Things Organized

Monster Magnetics Twist Ties, $23 (10 Pack), Amazon

These twist ties just might be the ultimate in keeping things organized. Made out of stretchy, bendable silicone, the twist ties feature magnets on each end that keep your twist in place. You can use them to bundle earphones or electronics cords — or for keeping bags of chips closed. They'll even attach to the fridge, so you can hang your keys there if you like. And to keep things from getting boring, the set of 10 twist ties comes in a rainbow assortment of colors.


42. This Bird That Peels Apples And Potatoes For You

Home And Above Bird Potato Peeler, $8, Amazon

Is it just me or is this bird giving major side-eye? Either way, this peeler gets the job done. The stainless steel blade peels apples, potatoes, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables evenly. A shock of feathers on the bird's head removes eyes from potatoes (in case you're a potato perfectionist). The contoured body is easy on the hands, and will also keep the peeler from slipping out of your grip.

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