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The end of December is near, and we can feel the new year coming with the need for some serious home refreshes. In 2021, we tested a wide range of different home products and brands across the categories of bedding, decor, devices, and more to find the best among them. From comforters to washable rugs and dog beds to robot vacuums, we found the top items worth snagging so that you can cut your own research short. We’ve detailed exactly what to look out for when shopping for these products, showed you our methods, and offered winners in multiple categories, from the best budget-friendly to the best overall. While we’ll be testing even more product categories in 2022, we know you’ll find many solutions for your needs below. Without further ado, read on to discover the best bath towel, cotton percale sheets, laundry bin, and other home essentials we tried in 2021.
The Best Home Essentials of 2021
Testing for the best mattress is, by far, our longest-running test period of the year. There are quite a few out there, not to mention the variety of materials and designs as well as the types of sleepers they’re best suited for. After testing 30 mattresses, we determined the best among them for back, side, and stomach sleepers, in firm or plush feels, and more. In the end, we found Helix to be the best overall mattress brand for their large variety of options and the high performance of the Midnight LUXE mattress. It’s a hybrid-style mattress with a combination of memory foam, gel foam, and wrapped coils for a medium feel. It also has a quilted pillow top so you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, even with superior support, which makes it suitable for nearly any kind of sleeper. It features zoned lumbar support for body contouring as well, so pressure points are alleviated and the spine stays aligned.
Our tester, real estate and finance editor Madeline, describes herself as both a hot sleeper and a side sleeper. Her most recent mattress was a 2015-era hand-me-down from a friend, and she says the Midnight LUXE is a major upgrade. Some of the adjectives she uses to describe it: supportive, squishy, comfortable, and cozy. “I feel like a queen sleeping on a Queen. It’s softer and squishier, for sure, which means I don’t need a topper. And it provides so much more support than my old mattress.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep hot; side sleepers; those who want a hybrid construction; those who appreciate long trial periods.
Good to Know: Military, first responders, teachers, and students are all eligible for a 15 percent discount. Helix has a showroom in New York City where you can schedule an appointment to feel the mattresses before you buy. Helix also has a referral program, so the benefits keep coming while you’re getting your best sleep.
Mattress toppers are one of the most personal bedding elements because of their ability to alter the feel of your current mattress subtly or dramatically, depending on what you need. When choosing the best topper, we went with the one that would take any mattress situation and level it up dramatically at the best price. It’s no surprise that Coop Home Goods, which makes one of our favorite pillows, has such a fantastic mattress topper as well. Made from CertiPUR-US certified foam, this topper has a few features that make it stand out from the rest. First, it’s flippable, with both a plush and a firm side. If you tend to go through periods of different sleep positions (like me), the ability to change your bed completely with one quick flip is a huge relief — literally. What if you think you prefer plush but it turns out you actually need something firm? The firm side is great if you need extra support or want to improve alignment, while the plush side turns any old mattress into a cozy wonderland. The Flip already comes covered with a waterproof mattress protector, saving you money if you need both. Plus, having a protector will give you peace of mind if you have pets or little kids jumping into bed with you (or if you enjoy drinking wine in bed).
Who It’s Best For: Those who want flexibility with their mattress feel; those who want something waterproof.
Good to Know: It’s a mattress topper and waterproof protector in one, so there’s no need to invest separately in a protective cover.
In our hunt for the best pillow, we knew it had to offer support to the widest range of sleepers — it can’t be too flat, isolating side sleepers, and it isn’t the one with the most volume, which can put back and stomach sleepers’ necks out of alignment. The best pillow is a perfect medium, much like the ones at nice hotels that work for a large population of people. Our winning brand Fluff Co.‘s pillows are inspired by those luxe hotel pillows we all covet, commerce writer Sarah says. The idea is to “get luxurious, hotel-style pillows into everyone’s hands at a fraction of the price (those fancy pillows can run well over $100 a pop!).” Everything Fluff Co.’s got has been sourced from the same factories that make 5-star hotel products. Their limited catalog only includes what they’ve meticulously tested and perfected. “I ADORED this pillow!” says Sarah. “The second I laid down, I knew I was in for a treat as I let out an audible, ‘ooooh.’ The support was great, I slept soundly, and didn’t wake up with any neck pain — a sign of a good pillow.” Another sign that this pillow was a winner was how Sarah’s best friend — a back sleeper with a history of neck problems and surgeries — reacted to it. “I didn’t mention anything about the pillow, I just let her use it when she stayed over,” says Sarah. “After five minutes, she turned to me and said, ‘You HAVE to send me the link for this pillow.’ Coming from someone who I know has spent so much time and money trying to find something for her delicate neck, it made me a believer that these might just be one of the best pillows around.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a luxe hotel-style pillow; those who don’t want to break the bank.
Good to Know: You can try your Fluff Co. pillow for 30 days and get a full refund if you’re not happy. (Pillow shopping might have a leg up on dating after all.)
For the second year in a row, Riley’s White Goose Down Comforter reigns supreme as our best overall comforter. For this category, we tested for quality, feel, weight, and durability — Riley came out on top on all accounts, including improving our quality of sleep. This pick continues to be a standout because it’s luxe, feels cozy, and is perfectly weighted. Made with a 100 percent long-staple combed cotton sateen cover and 700 fill power white goose down, the comforter is airy enough for a breathable sleep yet insulating enough to keep you snug in frigid temperatures. “This comforter gives me all the fancy hotel room feels,” says AT contributor Samantha, who put it to the test. “It’s the perfect weight and helped keep me warm through a wintery snowstorm. The material is sturdy yet soft, narrow yet puffy, and resort quality. It’s the ultimate treat yo’ self comforter.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want the luxury of down; those who have trouble staying at the same temperature through the night; those who want something that will last.
Good to Know: Comes with a five-year warranty and a 60-day money back guarantee. You can also buy Riley’s down alternative version that starts at $179.
It couldn’t be denied that this set by My Sheets Rock blew every other competitor out of the water with its eponymous temperature-regulating powers. Testing for this category of sheets is fairly black and white: They either cool or they don’t. Made from high-grade, sustainably sourced OEKO-TEX-certified bamboo rayon, these sheets boast eight heat-fighting benefits, including breathable construction, moisture-wicking technology, and a lightweight feel that’s buttery soft and inviting all year-round. Commerce writer Sarah attests that they’re not only the softest pair of sheets she’s ever encountered, but they’ve also allowed her to sleep sweat-free at last. “These sheets seem to combine the positive traits of two other beloved textiles: the smoothness of silk (sans the slip) and the lightweight, classic design of cotton,” she says. “Not only did I sleep soundly and comfortably, but I also woke up sweat-free and without a hair out of place.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want to sleep on the coolest sheets possible; those who love a silkier feel to their sheets.
Good to Know: These sheets have sold out several times and fly off shelves when they re-stock, so don’t wait if you think you could benefit from a set of your own.
Linen sheets, while attractive and trending, have a bad rap for being so textured and taking quite a bit of use and washes to break in. In looking for the best linen sheets, we expected 100 percent high-quality linen, breathability, and coziness after just one wash. Wayfair-exclusive brand Greyleigh, which was named our best budget brand last year, crept all the way to the top spot with their Hilma linen sheet set as our best overall pick for linen sheets in 2021. Made from 100 percent French linen, these sheets are soft, lightweight, and, best of all, under $160 for a Queen set. Commerce director Mark calls these sheets “life-changing,” while applauding them for their breathability. “They’re soft with a bit of a gauze-y feel, which I really love,” he says. “They’re also completely breathable and keep me comfortable through the night.” Because these linen sheets are on the thicker side, he anticipates being able to swap out his comforter for the set’s top sheet during the sweltering summer months. Since they’re comparatively inexpensive, the Greyleigh Hilma sheets are a good starter option for those testing the linen waters. We appreciate the clean design, which comes in four colors and breaks up the all-white bedding look without going rogue.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a perfect combination of soft and sturdy; those who want luxury quality at a more attainable price.
Good to Know: This sheet pick tends to sell out, especially when it goes on sale, so if you see it available in your size and color preference, don’t wait to purchase — and keep an eye out for a restock.
Those opting for cotton percale sheets are often on the hunt for something high quality, cooling, and free of mysterious materials. Percale is characterized by a matte finish and crisp feel thanks to its “one-over-one-under” weave. We tested over two dozen sets of percale sheets across a variety of brands and thread counts and determined Brooklinen’s to be the best of all. “These sheets truly make getting out of bed a challenge — that’s how darn comfortable they are,” says senior commerce editor Jasmine. Though they have a bit of weight to them, these 270-thread-count sheets are completely breathable, making them ideal for both hot and cold nights. And while the sheets are already soft to the touch, they get even better with each wash, developing a sort of lived-in quality. “What I love most is the hotel-like crispness from these sheets, which I’ve only ever experienced when I’m vacationing somewhere fancy,” adds Jasmine. To round out how awesome they are, the sheets also come with a lifetime warranty(!) and are available in a really nice range of colors. Keep an eye out for Brooklinen’s limited-edition colorways — they tend to sell out fast, but the brand typically launches new ones every season.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want percale sheets but don’t like an ultra crisp feel; those who want to invest in quality sheets but don’t want to spend a lot.
Good to Know: You can also buy a starter set that doesn’t include a top sheet, if that’s your thing.
Macy’s has a full range of sheets in every style and material imaginable, but when it comes to jersey softness, it’s gotta be Martha Stewart Essentials. We tested a spectrum of jersey sheets across a range of prices for softness, durability, breathability, and warmth, and found this Martha Stewart Essentials Jersey Knit set to be the best performing at the best price. Real estate editor Madeline thinks they are the perfect balance between ultra soft and lightweight. “My apartment in Brooklyn runs really hot in the wintertime (thanks, radiators!), so I’m usually on the lookout for lightweight sheets and blankets that won’t make me too warm when I’m trying to fall asleep,” she says. In fact, Madeline notes that the sheets feel like her softest fitted tee in the best kind of way. The set can outfit mattresses up to 15 inches (take note, dorm dwellers), and is available in an array of six moody and muted tones — rich purple and vivid aqua included.
Who It’s Best For: Those who run warm at night; those who want lived-in softness; those who are working with a budget.
Good to Know: This set is exclusive to Macy’s.
The best overall flannel sheets have to be of the highest quality material and construction, and made with a long-lasting, ultra-soft weave that keeps you cozy, not stuffy. Warm and weighty, Coyuchi’s simply amazing Cloud Brushed flannel sheets are our best overall pick. They rival the most expensive flannel sheets we tried when it comes to softness, weight, and quality. They’re also organic and consciously made. The velvety finish is smooth and pill-resistant, and you have seven different colors to choose from, ranging from a fresh spring white to an autumnal ginger, so they’ll work all year round. Shopping editor Blair says, “I’ve only owned one pair of flannel sheets in my life, which I did like a lot, but I admittedly had nothing else to compare them to — that is, until I got Coyuchi’s version, and I’ll never look at my prior set the same. I love Coyuchi’s because, yes, they add an extra layer of warmth to my bed, as all flannel sheets do, but their unparalleled softness really makes them superbly next-level. What’s fascinating, too, is that they’re fairly thick but still feel especially breathable — which, as a habitual hot sleeper, I SO appreciate.”
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for the softest sheets around; those who want something breathable; those who are picky about color; those who want something organic.
Good to Know: Even the packaging is eco-friendly — all sheets come in a reusable organic cloth bag.
It was not an easy task to select just one weighted blanket as the best overall, but when everything’s said and done, the Baloo Living blanket checks pretty much every box. First, its cover is made of cotton and it has a glass microbead fill, so there’s zero plastic and zero polyester — a plus for hot sleepers or those with sensitive skin. There are also quite a few different options, including a smaller throw blanket, regular bed blanket for sleeping, and a large comforter for those who are really serious about their weighted blanket life. The only con is that this blanket looks like your standard duvet insert, so you might want to invest in one of Baloo’s linen duvet covers. AT lifestyle editor Ella went with a weight higher than the 10 percent rule, and she says that it “puts me out like a light.” Even better? “Overall I love it, and I love that it doesn’t make me too heated when I sleep because I run really hot.” So whether you’re a hot sleeper or cold, looking for a throw blanket or heavy-duty comforter, prefer white bedding or something else, Baloo can make it happen.
Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep hot; those who want something machine washable; those who want something plastic free; those who want something attractive.
Tried and true, the ultrasonic diffuser from Muji is as reliable and chic as minimal, high-performance diffusers get, making it our best overall pick. I’ve used the Muji diffuser for years with very minor (even somewhat neglected) upkeep, and it still diffuses any aroma or essential oil like the day I first tried it. It starts diffusing immediately once the button is pressed, filling even the biggest spaces in whatever home I’m in at the time (up to 500 square feet). Its internal light, which has two brightness settings when on, gives off a warm, ambient glow. It allows for 30 minutes to 180 minutes of diffusion with multiple other lengths of time in between. In terms of reliability, longevity, diffusion functionality, range, and appearance — being both chic and discreet — this one by Muji is our best overall diffuser winner.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for one reliable diffuser to use for years; those who prefer minimalist decor.
Good to Know: Give your Muji diffuser a good rinse with mild soap after every few uses (ideally after each one) to free it of residue buildup, especially between using different essential oils or aromas.
We can’t get enough Parachute. This popular DTC brand has dominated our lists of the best linen sheets, best bathrobes, best duvet covers, etc., but it really is one of the best bedding and bath companies out there. This bath towel hits the sweet spot: It’s warm, soft, and plush, yet absorbent and textured enough to swipe you dry quickly. Out of all the towels we tried, the Parachute classic Turkish cotton towel is the one we keep reaching for weeks later — and it only gets better with washing. “Now THIS is a LUXE TOWEL,” says AT commerce managing editor Ivy, who put it to the test. “This is a towel that belongs in the bathroom of a $10 million home in Malibu with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and cutting-edge smart appliances.” Flatter, heavier, and sleeker than your average bath towel, the Parachute Classic is the “weighted blanket of bath towels,” says Ivy, adding that it gave her a “luxe post-spa feeling, almost akin to being in a robe.” With each wash, it’s gotten softer and softer but has stayed as absorbent as ever. Says Ivy, “If you want to upgrade your bathroom or impress your visiting in-laws, I’d buy these stat!”
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for something warm and weighty but not overly plush; those who like a clean, modern look.
Good to Know: Parachute’s towels are free of synthetic dyes, making them safer for you and healthier for the planet. However, this makes them susceptible to discoloration when exposed to harsh chemicals found in certain skin-care items (think benzoyl peroxide). So, if you’re worried about possible discoloration, opt for a white set.
Sitting at the top of our list of the best shower curtain liners is the one by Glacier Bay PEVA, which wins for its effortless texture and impressive mold resistance. We typically never go for a white shower curtain because of how easily it highlights stains and buildup (and nothing grosses us out more than a dirty, mildewy shower curtain). However, we can say that this was not the case with the Glacier Bay curtain. It had just the right amount of thickness that we needed without feeling like a stiff sheet of plastic. It kept clean even on the weeks that we skipped giving it a thorough wipe down. In testing, we kept it up for about four months before replacing it with a new shower curtain, and we noticed no mold or mildew buildup within that time. The metal grommets that reinforced the liner head kept the curtain from tearing away from the shower hooks (a common occurrence when the clumsy among us step into the shower).
Who It’s Best For: Those who want to use a shower liner in combination with a fabric shower curtain or by itself as a solid-color shower curtain.
Good to Know: This curtain is easy to clean with a quick wipe down or sponge.
OXO is, unsurprisingly, the go-to source for shower organizers, and their 3-Tier Aluminum Caddy is the best of the best. It’s a tad bigger than similar hanging organizers but isn’t so bulky that you can’t hang it in smaller showers. OXO truly thought of everything when they designed this caddy, from the rust-proof aluminum construction to the pop-out tray that’s perfect for storing soap or another razor. Another feature worth mentioning: the thick wires around the baskets, which prevent bottles from slipping out and falling to the floor. It’s not the cheapest option, but it will last for years and work well in pretty much any shower.
Who It’s Best For: Honestly…everyone!
Good to Know: Two of the side hooks can be used together to store a razor.
Brabantia makes some of the most modern and elegantly designed laundry bins (among other things!). While the brand’s classic Bo Laundry Bin is also a solid winner, their cork-lidded model comes out on top for its ergonomic shape, ventilation, soft cork entry barrier, and clean look. While it’s not the cheapest on our list, it’s certainly not the most expensive either. But the price is justified the moment this bin is unboxed and its supremely high-quality construction is revealed. It actually gets more worth it from there. Assembly takes all of two minutes, and the included machine-washable cotton liner actually fits and sticks around the perimeter of the bin, thanks to its non-skid top. The bin’s bottom is also non-skid, adding a safety anchor that is especially necessary if you’ve got little ones at home.
The cork top has multiple benefits: For starters, it helps the bin to contain smells like coffee spilled on sheets and wine…also spilled on sheets (if you’re new here, this is a safe space). In our tiniest room, which is about 8 by 10 feet, you couldn’t detect any odors at all. The cork also acts as a kind of funnel, allowing you to safely toss or drop in laundry piece by piece so there’s room for airflow and nothing gets shoved into any wrinkly positions. Lastly, against the black base, the cork adds a touch of Scandi charm. If you’re looking for a bin that does it all and looks good doing it, Brabantia is it.
Who it’s Best For: Those who want something sturdy and non-corrosive; those who want a hamper everyone can use for all linens; those who want something ventilated.
Good to Know: This could also be our best pick if you prefer to keep your hamper in the bathroom, as it won’t mold, rust, or mildew over time.
For this category, we looked for one robot vacuum that did it all, from working on multiple surfaces to being app-controlled and smart home compatible, without costing a month’s rent. The Roomba 675, best overall robot vacuum winner for the second year in a row, has all the bells and whistles at a surprisingly low price. It’s got the patented iRobot dual-roller cleaning system all Roombas have, which makes the brand unparalleled when it comes to cleaning carpets and rolling over multiple surfaces. This model can be controlled via the iRobot app or your Alexa or Google Assistant smart home devices and automatically re-docks and recharges when its battery is low. Yep, you can handle the entire cleaning process without even touching your vacuum until its storage needs a refresh. It even has a full suite of sensors, making it reactive to furniture and barriers before it comes in contact with them. This robot vacuum is also lightweight and easy to clean out and get reset for the cleaning jobs ahead. For all these reasons, the Roomba 675 is exceptional for its price point, but even if you are willing to shell out extra dough, you need not look further unless smart mapping or extra debris storage is necessary for your home size and lifestyle.
Who It’s Best For: Those who need something to simplify their general floor-cleaning routine; those who want something hands free; those working with a tighter budget.
Good to Know: We’re not the only ones who love it — more than 40,000 Amazon reviewers also give it all the stars.
Picking the best overall vacuum was, to put it mildly, not easy. Choosing a vacuum is quite personal and dependent upon a lot of factors, so we went with the one that checked the most boxes and wouldn’t be a bad buy for anyone in the market for a quality vacuum. What makes the LG Cordzero A9 Kompressor stand out? Its name, for one. It’s powerful, lightweight, easy to use and store, not outlandishly expensive against its competitors, occasionally goes on sale, and can be purchased online. It cleans remarkably well, and unlike other stick vacs, it’s actually suited for carpets, thanks to a powerful cleaner head. “Using this vacuum felt like I was seeing the full, unbelievable range of filth in my home for the first time,” says our tester, AT contributor Olivia. The Cordzero’s charging base can hold the vacuum upright or charge just the motor in a smaller space. It’s also got two batteries, so even if you go on vacuuming for 60 minutes (do you!) and your A9 Kompressor dies, you can quickly replace the battery and keep on cleaning for another 60. It’s a bagless model, which saves time when it comes to clearing the canister. On top of this, the filter is removable, washable, and replaceable, so you always have a like-new vacuum cleaner when you need one.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something powerful, lightweight, and cordless; those who don’t want to wait to recharge; those who don’t want to replace filters; those with hard floors and low-pile carpet.
Good to Know: LG also recently launched the latest version of the Cordzero, the All-in-One Auto Empty cordless vacuum, which automatically empties its canister when replaced to its charging dock.
Vintage rug purveyor Revival Rugs launched its Recess collection of washable rugs in 2021, which quickly made it to the top of our list as the best washable rug on the market. As is expected from Revival, these washable rugs are luxurious and design-forward without costing an arm and a leg. This particular design, Holding in Taupe, blew commerce managing editor Ivy away. She calls it “very neutral-chic” and says that it would go great in any room. “This is a high-quality brand and the rug stood up great to stains,” Ivy recalls after putting it in her husband’s office (aka “the ultimate test!”). Its flat weave design keeps this rug low to the ground, allowing it to seamlessly contribute to your decor. This weave also means it’s lightweight enough to carry to and from the washing machine. Since it’s made of 100 percent organic cotton, it develops a subtle lived-in, almost vintage look after a few washes, which we love, but if you prefer to preserve the rug’s original color payoff, opt for dry-cleaning. Says Ivy, “If you want a chic washable rug for a good price, this is it!”
Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want to sacrifice design or quality for easy machine-washability; those who prefer natural fiber rugs.
Good to Know: Revival Rugs has a ton of gorgeous styles to choose from across their collections. To help, they have a team of designers who can assist you in hand-picking the best rug for your space.*
*Honorable Mention: West Elm’s Herringbone Washable Rug impressed our social media manager Rachel with how easy it is to wash (and get into the washer), even after keeping it in a high-traffic area. She also calls it “super soft — so soft, that my two puppies quickly confiscated it for lounging.”
Our best overall dog bed has to work for both pets and their owners. It has to be inviting, comfortable, and durable, and serve a wide range of dog sizes, breeds, and ages. While we’re already big fans of Tuft & Needle’s human beds, we went into testing this dog bed with an open mind and let our pets’ reactions speak for themselves. Still, Tuft & Needle’s dog bed came out on top as our best overall option. Commerce intern Stella says her energetic pup usually won’t stay on dog beds, but this one is different. “She loves to play in it, lay in it, and I can see she is comfortable,” she says. “I think she loves it especially because the sides are firmer than the center, so she can rest her head higher than her body.” Stella also appreciates the bed’s design, which is three styles in one. “When the center pillow is in and attached (by durable sailing rope that is easy to undo but stays put), the bed becomes a soft center with a firmer outer ridge. When you remove the center, the bed becomes my pup’s play den. She loves having high walls so she can slip and slide around the roomy space. Finally, the insert can be used as a bed alone — it is durable, still comfortable without the foam support beneath, and has a rubbery grip on the underside, so it won’t slide. I would easily roll this up and put it in my car for road trips.” Portable, popular with the pups, and pretty to look at, Tuft & Needle’s dog bed is a hero for dogs and humans alike.
Who It’s Best For: Dogs who like to rest their heads on elevation; dogs who prefer bolster-style beds; owners who want color options.
Good to Know: Your dog can try this bed for 100 days before you can return it risk-free.
Balsam Hill has spent years perfecting the shape, fullness, angles, and needles of a multitude of different tree types to create the most realistic versions of each, so its overall win in its category is no surprise. We got to test the best-selling Fraser Fir, which did not disappoint. If you’re familiar with the differences between spruce, pine, and fir needles, you’d agree that this artificial Fraser fir appears as real as the real thing. Its needles are thick and cylindrical versus the thin, harshly rectangular needles you often see on low-quality artificial trees. It comes in three elegantly labeled pieces, the first of which goes into the included stand with the remaining two atop the first. The string lights are already in position and there’s no digging into the tree to find one unattached cord to plug into the next section’s. All in all, assembly of the 7.5-foot tree was a one-person job — but the more, the merrier — and took all of 5 minutes. It comes with a storage bag and a smaller tool bag, in which you’ll find tools for securing the tree if necessary and several pairs of gloves so everyone can get involved in the fluffing stage of assembly. Its branches are sturdy enough for even the heaviest of our ornaments, but it also doesn’t need any at all in order to look cozy and natural (especially if your style is more minimalist).
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a robust Christmas tree; those who prefer thick needles; those who want something realistic; those who want something to last a long time.
*Honorable Mention: The Arhaus Faux Cashmere Pine, while rather different, is a close runner-up, as its cashmere tips give it a voluminous, fluffy look (and feel!) that effectively cozies up any room, even without a single ornament.
The best overall carry-on has to be reliable, durable, sturdy without being bulky, spacious without being heavy, and something you’d be proud to pluck from the baggage carousel. Meet the Platinum Elite Hardside Spinner from Travelpro, the founding brand behind rollaboard luggage. It includes portable USB charging, lets you pack more while somehow staying in regulation (it fits more than any other hardside carry-on we tried), and glides smoothly and quietly. The handle and zippers never get stuck (no matter what we put it through), and its appearance is classic — not too youthful, not too antiquated. Stickers peel off without residue, and scuffs buff away with just a cloth and some water. We’ve even used this carry-on as a step stool during pandemic lockdowns when we rearranged our apartments (okay, that was me), and now it’s zipping and rolling as smoothly as ever. Travelpro has our trust and we couldn’t recommend it more.
Who It’s Best For: Those who travel frequently and want a single carry-on to last years; those who want utility and style.
Good to Know: Usually priced around $650 to $750, this Travelpro suitcase is worth catching when it goes on sale (like now during end-of-the-year sales events!).
This delicate ASUTRA mask has a silk outer shell and is filled with flaxseed and lavender herbs that work in tandem to help you float away on a cloud of relaxation, making it our best eye mask pick. It feels smooth and lush against the skin, and does an excellent job of blocking light so that you get the most restful sleep possible. It’s so effective, in fact, that it turned our sleep mask-avoidant commerce writer Sarah into a believer. “After moving into an apartment with lots of natural light that was waking me up hours before my alarm clock, I knew I needed to bite the bullet and find the right sleep mask,” she said. “The pressure this one provides is perfect and the aroma is just the thing I need to lull me to sleep.” Sarah loved the mask’s fit — the fully adjustable strap ensures it won’t slip off in the middle of the night, and the mask has a zippered opening that lets you add or remove as much of the filling as you’d like. “I never thought I’d be a mask girl,” said Sarah, “but here I am, doing my best Holly Golightly impression and loving every minute of it.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want want a spa-like experience with their sleep mask and don’t want to spend big to get it.
Good to Know: This mask comes with an additional gel eye mask that you can freeze and apply to your face to reduce the appearance of puffy or tired eyes. Also, for an extra $10, you can get the sleep tight kit which includes a lavender and chamomile spray.