The 13 Most Popular Items Our Readers Are Buying Right Now
Jun 17, 2023
You can even grab a few of them on sale
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We test and evaluate more than our fair share of products here at CR. And more often than not, we come across a few that pop up on our radar every month due to their popularity with our readers.
A few heavy hitters this summer include colorful luggage, must-have cooking gadgets, and top-rated home appliances, like the best air purifiers and video doorbell cameras.
And unlike many fads, these items have merit. They’ve either been rigorously tested (and approved) in our labs or thoroughly vetted in our editors’ homes, where they’ve gone through the rigors of real life.
Ahead are the standout favorites, according to what our readers are buying right now.
Dash Safe Slice Mandoline
If “safety first” is your motto, this stand-up mandoline from Dash can’t be beat. Its safety features are great for people who fear traditional mandolines or have mobility issues. Unlike other mandolines where the blade is stationary and exposed, this mandoline has an internal guillotine that slices your food, not your fingers.
As seen in: Best Mandoline Slicers
Crocs Classic Lined Clogs
These slippers are made with ethylene-vinyl acetate foam, a form of plastic that softens and molds to your feet with time, and they are lined with faux fur. These clogs, as Crocs calls them, feel stable and secure, with a thick, textured sole that doesn’t slip and provides ample distance and insulation from frigid floors in the winter. They’re also machine washable (in cold water only), though we haven’t tried washing these shoes ourselves.
As seen in: We Tried Ugg Fluff Yeahs and 7 Other Popular Slippers
1MORE ComfoBuds Pro
The 1More ComfoBuds Pro channel Apple’s AirPods in terms of styling, and our testers report that they’re not far off in terms of performance at a small fraction of the price. This wireless model delivers top-notch sound quality and active noise reduction. They also feature ambient sound monitoring, which means they will provide some muffling and electronic canceling of external noises.
As seen in: Best Noise-Canceling Headphones
Mellanni Brushed Microfiber 1800
Brushed microfiber isn’t as breathable as cotton, but for those who don’t find synthetic fibers to be a problem, this Mellanni sheet set is a top-notch pick. It offers a softer feel than most cotton options, it’s pretty resistant to wrinkling, and you can expect a great fit even after a year of laundering. You can also expect to have this set in rotation for a while because it does pretty well in our strength test. The one area where these bedsheets miss the mark a bit is in our fit test. Though the packaging claims “deep pockets,” this set is best suited for mattresses with a depth of 10 inches or less.
As seen in: Best Sheets
TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Lightbulb Multicolor KL125
The TP-Link Kasa Smart KL125 does a great job generating an array of colors. And with its ability to reach 1 percent brightness, it was one of the dimmest bulbs we’ve evaluated. Its responsiveness was also impressive, with the bulb responding to app commands from the Kasa Smart app, Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings almost instantly. The bulb offers some useful automation features, including automation based on sunrise/sunset and changes in other TP-Link smart home devices. Plus, it receives decent scores in both our data privacy and data security tests. The bulb works surprisingly well considering its budget-friendly price, and it offers enough features to please most people, especially those who are new to smart lighting.
As seen in: Best Smart Lightbulbs
Certified International Talavera 12-Piece Melamine Dinnerware Set
These flawless, medium-weight plates and bowls are ideal for almost any situation in which you might require unbreakable plates. The set comes with four dinner plates, four salad plates, and four all-purpose bowls that are small enough for cereal but wide enough for small salads or pasta. These beautiful plates and bowls are neither especially heavy nor flimsy, making them a great option for a camping trip, picnic, or dinner party.
As seen in: Best Melamine Dinnerware Sets
Compartés Signature Truffle Gift Box
This truffle set from the Los Angeles–based Compartés is poised to please. In fact, we were blown away by the flavors in an evaluation of the best boxed chocolates. As CR reporter Angela Lashbrook put it: “For a chef or a cook, a true sign of success is taking a flavor your audience is known not to love and convincing them that they’ve been missing out this whole time. That’s the case with this beautiful, elegant little box of chocolates.”
As seen in: Best Boxed Chocolates
Serman Brands 1.0 RFID Blocking Wallet
Serman Brands’ 1.0 RFID Blocking wallet wins hands-down in one category: nicest packaging. In fact, the leather wallet’s elaborate box makes it an easy choice as a gift. It has a suedelike feel. After only a few days of use, however, the material got pretty scuffed up just from inserting and removing cards from an outside slot. The money clip holds cash tight but adds thickness in the fold.
As seen in: Best Slim Wallets
Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + Cellular (41mm)
The Series 8 Apple watch features new body temperature sensors for retrospective estimates of ovulation, which can be useful in family planning and other healthcare decisions, as well as a high g-force sensor for car crash detection. It also has an ECG function designed to detect unusual heart rhythms and a blood oxygen sensor for added sleep-tracking accuracy, which differentiates the Series 8 from the value-priced SE. There’s no change in battery size, though the latest version of the Watch operating system adds a new function that can double battery life, Apple says, but it does disable many functions. The Series 8 performs well in our tests, including the new health features score.
As seen in: Best Smartwatches of the Year
Petlibro Capsule Automatic Dog & Cat Water Fountain
A cat water fountain was by far the most popular product pick for pet owners during the winter holidays, according to our colleagues. Joe Novotny, a CR marketing associate, recommends this version from Petlibro. “The pump has a five-level filtration system, a translucent container for seeing when water is running low, and comes with a cleaning brush as well,” he says.
As seen in: Great Gifts for Pet-Lovers
Blink Outdoor Security (3rd Gen)
The third-generation Blink Outdoor security camera has 1080p video resolution and a 110-degree field of view. Overall this model earns top marks in our video tests with results showing higher-quality detail than many. It also scores highly for data security, offering the highest level of protection from your data being hacked or stolen, and it responds very quickly to be able to speak with a visitor. It features two-way audio communication, can be used indoors or outdoors, and is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa.
Secura Electric Kettle SWK-1701DB
The 7-cup Secura Original electric kettle is plastic on the outside, stainless steel on the inside, and almost 11 inches high. It’s the only model to snag a top rating in our time-to-cool tests: It keeps 4 cups of boiled water warm for 75 minutes, longer than any of the other kettles. The warranty lasts two years.
Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A
The FlatWave FL5500A is among the top antennas in our ratings. Like many newer models, it has a super thin, flat design that lets you mount it on a wall or place it on a window using the included adhesive strips. Like other amplified models, it needs power, but it gives you the flexibility of either using a TV’s USB port or plugging it into a wall outlet. This model comes with a 3-foot USB cable, plus a long 18.5-foot coaxial cable. Because it’s hardwired, you may have to coil the cable and hide it behind the TV or in a media console. This antenna has a claimed 50-mile range, according to the manufacturer.
As seen in: TV Antenna Review: Top Picks for Getting Free Over-the-Air Channels
Anna Kocharian is a shopping editor at Consumer Reports who focuses on home, organization, and the consumer marketplace. She previously covered interior design, product reviews, and market trends as the digital editor of Domino. Anna has over a decade of experience in lifestyle journalism and has written extensively on the subject matter for publications including Apartment Therapy, Food52, and more. She currently resides in New York City.As seen in: Best Mandoline SlicersAs seen in: We Tried Ugg Fluff Yeahs and 7 Other Popular SlippersAs seen in: Best Noise-Canceling HeadphonesAs seen in: Best SheetsAs seen in: Best Smart LightbulbsAs seen in: Best Melamine Dinnerware SetsAs seen in: Best Boxed ChocolatesAs seen in:Best Slim WalletsAs seen in: Best Smartwatches of the YearAs seen in: Great Gifts for Pet-LoversAs seen in:TV Antenna Review: Top Picks for Getting Free Over-the-Air Channels