- Business Insider 18:41July 14, 2020The best mattressesA high-quality mattress should last for more than a decade, provide the right balance of comfort and support for your body type and sleeping style, and offer superb motion transfer isolation.
The Leesa Hybrid Mattress is our top pick in 2020 because it sleeps cool, has impressive edge support, and features motion isolation so good that you won't notice when your partner gets up in the morning.
Many of these mattresses are made with foam or a mix of foam and spring, so if you're looking for one with just springs, check out our guide to the best spring mattresses.
And if you're shopping around for good mattress deals, here's where you'll find current sales.
Check out Business Insider Coupons for potentially even more savings. One of the most important purchases you will make in your life is a mattress. The cliché that you spend a third of your life sleeping may be tired, but it's true.
As someone who has spent years and hundreds of nights (and afternoons) testing mattresses for a living, I've found that one of the biggest mistakes shoppers make is putting too much emphasis on the price tag. Budget is definitely a factor when purchasing anything in life, but with mattresses, you should pay attention to the risk-free trial period and return policy instead.
We can tell you all about what to look for when mattress shopping, but the best way to tell if a bed is right for you is to sleep on it for a while. Fortunately, most of the brands we've tested offer trial periods of at least 90 nights and offer a full refund if you decide the mattress isn't right for you.
Most mattresses also have warranties of at least 10 years, so if you splurge on a $2,000 mattress, that works out to about 50 cents per day over the life of the warranty — and I'd say that your comfort is worth at least that. They also have also financing options of their own or work with a place like Affirm to help pay off large purchases over time.
In order to determine the best mattresses on the market, we put each mattress through an extensive range of tests. We also look closely at a mattress's trial period, warranty, in-home delivery/white-glove service, and the type of foundation needed for best performance. If you'd like to read our full testing methodology before diving into the products, you can do so here.
Along with testing out dozens of mattresses, we researched countless expert and buyer ratings and reviews of the top brands while researching this guide. Our guide features mattresses that performed well in our tests, have long trial periods, and are designed to suit a broad range of sleepers.
All of the prices listed in our guide are for the queen size. You can follow our links to find the prices for other mattress sizes.
The best mattresses you can buy in 2020: Best overall: Leesa Hybrid Mattress
Best for hot sleepers: Tempur-Pedic PRObreeze Mattress
Best all-foam mattress: The Casper Original Mattress
Best for back pain: Saatva Classic Mattress
Best eco-friendly mattress: Birch Mattress by Helix
Best ultra-firm mattress: Plank Mattress by Brooklyn Bedding
The best budget mattress: Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress Prices and links are accurate as of 7/10/20. We've also added the Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress after testing and adjusted copy to better highlight why we recommend these mattresses. We've also tested all five of Casper's newest mattresses and will consider them for this guide. The best overall
The Leesa Hybrid Mattress is the best mattress for exceptional motion transfer isolation and edge support. It has the perfect balance of comfort and support for a broad range of sleeping styles and body types.
For about a year, the Leesa Hybrid Mattress, formerly known as the "Sapira," was the bed my wife and I slept on when I wasn't testing other models. My wife is tall and weight-proportional. She sleeps on her back. I'm six feet tall and weigh 250 pounds and sleep on my stomach and side. This mattress is the most comfortable of the countless varieties I've tested.
I usually overheat in bed, but the Leesa Hybrid keeps me cool at night by dissipating the heat. It's ideal for couples thanks to its outstanding edge support and superb performance in the motion transfer tests I put it through.
The firmness level of the Leesa Hybrid is right around average. The company recommends using a "firm, flat, and sturdy" foundation. I used the Leesa Foundation, which did the job but had several minor annoyances you can read about in my full review of the Leesa Hybrid.
The mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty, and Leesa offers a 100-night risk-free trial. You can also choose the white glove service for $150, which covers setting up your mattress and foundation and removing your old bed. Though the mattress is bulky and hard to move around, most individuals in good health should be able to set it up with the help of a friend.
Slumber Yard recommends the Leesa Hybrid for stomach and back sleepers who want a great combination of springs and soft memory foam feel. The reviewer was impressed with how well-made, comfortable, and supportive the bed is.
Wirecutter also recommends this model because of the pressure relief afforded by the memory foam and the subtle bounce of the coils. The reviewer found the bed had excellent cooling abilities and worked for side, stomach, and back sleepers along with people who weigh over 200 pounds.
Pros: Works for a broad range of sleepers, excellent heat dissipation properties, extraordinary motion isolation, impressive edge support
Cons: Petite side sleepers may find the mattress is too firm
Read our full Leesa Hybrid Mattress review
The best for hot sleepers
If heat-trapping mattresses have kept you tossing and turning through the night, the Tempur-Pedic PRObreeze Mattress will help you rest easy with its cooling benefits.
The Tempur-Pedic PRObreeze Mattress is what my wife and I currently sleep on when we're not testing other brands. It's passed all of my motion transfer tests, and I don't even notice when my wife gets up before me in the morning. Though I've found it holds my body heat when I come back from using the bathroom at night, overall, the PRObreeze sleeps cooler than most mattresses.
The PRObreeze is 12 inches thick and features a cooling cover, Purecool+ phase change material, a Tempur CM+ comfort layer, and the original Tempur material support layer. It's also available as a hybrid, which is what I have. Tempur-Pedic offers a 90-night risk-free trial and 10-year warranty. Plus, you can try it out in hundreds of stores across the country.
Tempur-Pedic supplies free white glove delivery, which was incredibly helpful since our king mattress is a bit much for even two people to carry. We use the Tempur-Ergo Extend with Sleeptracker as the foundation, which is worth the investment if you like to watch TV or read in bed. And, if you are looking for an even cooler sleeping solution, consider the PRObreeze's sibling the LUXEbreeze, which is designed to be up to 5 degrees cooler.
Pros: Good cooling, impressive motion isolation, great for side sleepers and petite individuals, free white glove delivery
Cons: Expensive, questionable edge support, only available in medium firmness
Read our full Tempur-Pedic PRObreeze review
The best all-foam mattress
The Casper Original mattress has a firm feel that provides excellent support right to the edge, and it will keep your body cool through the night.
Last year, Casper updated its best-selling all-foam mattress with a zoned-support layer, which provides specialized pressure relief to targeted body parts. The slightly firmer than average support is ideal for back and stomach sleepers, but it was significantly less comfortable when I moved to my side. The firmness also rendered the bed less bouncy but made rotating the mattress and moving around on it easier.
The Casper Original passed my motion transfer test with flying colors. And, I found the edge support was also impressive. Plus, on hot summer nights, the breathable design kept my usually overheating body nice and cool. You can check out my full review here. I've also tested and recommended the Casper Hybrid mattress, which you can read about here.
Consumer Reports recommends the Casper Original Mattress as the "best buy" and best overall memory foam mattress. In the review site's tests, the mattress was excellent for petite side and back sleepers and very good for average and large individuals. After eight years of simulated use, the mattress only showed minor changes in performance. The only negative noted was the lack of grips, which could make moving the mattress difficult.
Sleepopolis and Sleep Advisor also recommend the Casper Original Mattress. And Wirecutter does as well but only if you are looking for a medium-firm foam mattress and "don't mind possibly overpaying for it."
Pros: Includes 100-day risk-free trial, has great edge support, has excellent motion transfer dampening, offers firm support, breathable open-cell foam top layer helps keep you cool
Cons: Has very little bounce, might be too firm for side sleepers
Read our full Casper Mattress review
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best men's and masculine-style wallets for everyday useThe best knife sharpenersThe best sleep masks
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guides, Home, Bedroom, Mattress, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, Sleep, Best Guides, >
- Business Insider 18:40July 13, 2020The best gas grillsThe gas grill is the centerpiece of your backyard during summertime barbecues, so you should invest in a great one if you can.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Gas Grill is our top choice because it's compact and will fit on most patios and balconies alike, but it also comes with an ample 529 square inches of cooking space and three burners.
We also like models from Broil King, Dyna-Glo, Cuisinart, and Lynx Grills.
Check out our guides on charcoal grills and grilling accessories, too, including the 8 grilling tools Pat LaFrieda can't live without. I'm not a believer in the whole "grilling season" thing. For me, the grilling season starts on January 1 and ends on December 31. So while many people won't take the cover off their grill until the weather warms up in the springtime, know that all of the grills in our guide can be used year-round.
I've cooked plenty of Thanksgiving and Christmas eats on our Broil King. With proper cleaning and care, a good gas grill should last you at least five years — and likely more than 10 — with regular year-round use.
While all the grills in our guide are certainly good choices, selecting the best gas grill for your home is a personal decision. Do you have limited outdoor space but want plenty of cooking surface? Are you going to hardline your grill into your home's natural gas line, or do you want something portable? And what kind of cooking is your gas grill intended for — flipping burgers and dogs, roasting whole birds, or for smoking brisket? How much heat and power do you need? BTUs (British Thermal Units) are something of an indicator, but they don't really matter all that much (more on that below); almost all gas grills reach the same maximum temperature of 500-550 degrees.
In the end, there is an endless array of propane grill options out there, but that's why we're here.
Here are the best gas grills you can buy Best overall: Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Gas Grill
Best compact grill: Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3 Burner LP Gas Grill
Best multiuse grill: Cuisinart 3-in-1 Five-Burner Gas Grill
Best natural gas: Broil King Regal S590 Pro 5 Burner Natural Gas Grill
Best luxury built-in grill: Lynx Grills Professional 54" Built-In 5-Burner Natural Gas Grill with Rotisserie Prices and links are accurate as of 07/13/2020. We realize some people are after the best and longest-lasting gas grill on the market, so we added the Lynx Grills Professional 54" Built-In Grill with the guidance Food Network and ABC Good Morning America personality Chef David Rose. Other grills we're still considering in the high-end market are from Viking, Napoleon, and Blaze grills, and we will report back with findings and updates soon.The best gas grill overall
The Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Gas Grill performs as well as grills that cost hundreds of dollars more thanks to the proprietary GS4 Grilling System.
What makes the Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Gas Grill, an ostensibly simple grill, so special? It's not the 529 square inches of ample cooking space for a relatively small grill. Nor is it the multiple tool hooks on which you can hang tongs, a spatula, a fork, and more. And it's not even the durable porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates.
What stands out about this Weber gas grill is the GS4 Grilling System, which is superbly designed and crafted. The system starts with the highly reliable Infinity Ignition System, a starter that fires up one, two, or all three of the 10,000 BTU burners. Thirty thousand BTUs total might not seem like a lot, but this is a smaller grill box and it's really all you need. These burners lie beneath "Flavorizer Bars" that spread the heat evenly, and above a grease management system that catches and collects drips and spatters, so cleaning the interior of the grill is blissfully easy.
Wirecutter called this grill an "exceptional value" that offers "exceptional performance" and creates "perfectly cooked" foods time after time.
A 10-year warranty on all parts should also give you plenty of confidence in the Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Gas Grill.
Pros: Great price for the quality, excellent ignition system, heats quickly and evenly, 10-year warranty on all parts
Cons: Awkward to move because there are no handles
The best compact gas grill
The Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3 Burner LP Gas Grill has 390 square inches of primary cooking space, but the entire grill is actually quite compact.
If you love to grill but you live in an apartment with a balcony, a townhouse with a small patio-style yard, or any other residence with limited outdoor space, then the Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3 Burner LP Gas Grill is a perfect choice.
This grill offers 390 square inches of primary cooking space and more than 500 square inches of total cook surface if you count the upper shelf, with three 12,000 BTU burners pumping plenty of heat for any job the grill can fit. That's comparable to our top pick, the Weber Spirit II E-310, which has 529 square inches of cooking space and three 10,000 BTU burners.
Thanks to its two folding side tables, there is also ample room to store foods that are ready to be cooked or fresh off the heat. And you can stash a few grill tools and a brush inside the cabinet alongside your propane tank.
Of course, what we're focused on here isn't the ample grilling surface or the handy storage features, but the rather small overall footprint of this gas grill. Weighing just 77 pounds (that's light for a grill), it measures 23 inches deep and 45 inches across. As we mentioned, the handy side tables fold, so it can fit on even the smallest patio, deck, or balcony, and you can easily tuck it away in a shed or garage when it's not in use. Thanks to its four caster wheels, two of which lock during use, moving the Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3 Burner LP Gas Grill is easy.
While the grill does boast great heat retention, we have to note that we found some uneven heating across certain parts of the grill surface. Still, that's pretty normal, especially in this more economical price range, and it's also worth noting that CNET likes it for low-and-slow cooking. You'll learn quickly where the heat is and isn't, but consider this a factor in your grill-purchasing decision. If you're after perfect even heat, have a look at our top pick, or the best gas and charcoal hybrid below.
The warranty is where this grill comes up short: one year on all parts and only five years on the burners.
Pros: Compact and easy to move around, great low price, easy to assemble
Cons: Uneven heating across some parts of the grill surface, relatively short warranty
The best multiuse grill Cuisinart's robust, stainless-steel 3-in-1 Five-Burner Gas Grill grills with the best of them, but it also hot-smokes, and comes with a 12,000-BTU side burner so you can do a bit of everything in one station.
Cuisinart has done an excellent job of getting into the grilling game, and an affordable one at that.
We assembled the 3-in-1 Five Burner Gas Grill in about two hours, and while it was a painstaking affair, it revealed just how well-built this thing is. The true testament, though? After a year outside in the New England elements without a cover, it still looks shiny and brand spanking new.
The BTUs are at 48,000 and in a 435-square-inch grill box, we got it up to 500+ degrees to grill steaks, then brought it down in the 220 range while using the smoking tube (included) to smoke whole fish and whole chicken. We also used the 12,000-BTU side burner to boil shellfish. Everything works extraordinarily well, temperature control is a breeze, and while the glass front window might come across as just a fancy final touch, we assure you it is everything: not having to open up your grill and let the heat out to see how things are doing inside is a game-changer.
The grill's casters are exceptionally sturdy: I've taken them off-roading on my broken and obstacle-strewn patio, across rocks, yard waste, and more, and they've yet to give. This might seem superfluous but it's not. Look at any number of other grills with cheap wheels (Weber's charcoal grills, while still our favorite, are notorious for this and we hope they'll take a tip from Cuisinart).
The coated cast iron grates are built for the long-haul, and moderately non-stick on their own (though you'll still want to coat them in oil). We should also mention that the burners come with a 15-year warranty. All in all, you really can't do much better for a versatile grill in this price range.
Note: Far as we're aware, this grill is only available through Walmart, and while we have confirmed with the brand that the grill is here to stay, it does come in and out of stock sporadically.
Pros: Sturdy and stainless steel, good heat control, handy glass window, 15-year burner warranty, durable casters
Cons: Doesn't come with a cover
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best espresso machinesThe best mattresses you can buy in 2020The best bug sprays and repellentsSEE ALSO: The best grill brush and cleaning tools
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- Business Insider 21:08July 9, 2020The best pizza stonesHigh-quality pizza stones are easy to use, will not crack under high temperatures, and produce pizzeria-quality pies.
The Solido Rectangular 14-by-16-inch Pizza Stone is our top pick because it cooks your pizza evenly, can be used in your oven or on your grill, and is easy to clean.
Read more: The best pizza ovens Do you ever make pizza from scratch and wonder why it doesn't taste anything like what you get at your favorite pizzeria? The toppings might come out unevenly cooked, or the crust may not be right. If you want to put an end to these problems, then a pizza stone is the way to go.
Most of the time, when someone mentions a "pizza stone," they're referring to a round or rectangular slab of stone, typically made of cordierite. This is a popular material because it can heat evenly and absorb moisture, which is important for a crispy crust. The problem with cordierite is it's susceptible to breakage if not cared for properly.
Pizza stones can also be made of other materials, including metal. Cast iron is sometimes used because it gets up to temperature faster than stone, heats evenly, and it will not break or crack. Baking steels are the latest fad because they conduct heat and bake more evenly at low temps than stone. The steel won't break, but it's expensive, very heavy, and hard to maneuver.
Most companies recommend that you put the pizza stone into your oven cold and preheat it for up to an hour before putting the pizza in. For this task, we recommend using a good pizza peel, such as the Pizza Royale Peel. When you are done cooking, let the stone cool down inside your oven. This will protect it from thermal shock or warping. Many people prefer to just keep their pizza stone in the oven at all times, and some claim that it helps everything in the oven cook better, even when the food isn't placed directly on the stone.
Our guide features stones that will cook your pizza quickly and evenly, have a track record of durability, and are effortless to clean.
Here are the best pizza stones: Best overall: Solido Rectangular 14-by-16-inch Pizza Stone
Best round pizza stone: Love This Kitchen The Ultimate 16-inch Round Pizza Stone
Best cast iron pizza stone: Lodge 14-inch Cast Iron Baking Pan
Best steel pizza stone: The Original Baking Steel
Best versatile pizza stone: Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone Prices and links are current as of 7/9/2020. We also adjusted copy to better address why we'd recommend these pizza stones.The best overall
If you want delicious, evenly-baked pizza from the oven or off the grill, the Solido Rectangular 14-by-16-inch Pizza Stone is a durable, must-have solution.
As you look at the Solido Rectangular 14-by-16-inch Pizza Stone, the unique spiral design on the bottom stands out the most. The heat spiral is designed to allow for airflow and even heating. Plus, it helps the stone get up to temperature faster, which cuts down on pre-heat time.
This pizza stone can go on your grill and it fits most standard ovens, and the feet of the stone are easy to grip if you want to move it.
The Solido stone comes highly recommended by many product reviewers. The Kitchen Byte gave the Solido Pizza Stone high marks because it heats evenly, and the pies it produces are pizzeria quality. The reviewer also noted that cleaning was easy, though grease does leave stains. Another downside is its hefty weight, which made it hard to handle.
Kitchen Sanity also recommends this stone for people who want something they can throw on the grill. The reviewer was impressed with the airflow and heat distribution afforded by the grooved bottom.
Pros: Produces professional-quality pizza, easy to clean, even heat distribution
Cons: Weight makes it hard to maneuver, stains easily
The best round pizza stone
Love This Kitchen
The Love This Kitchen Ultimate 16-inch Round Pizza Stone features a helpful stopper that makes it easy to remove the pizza and grab the stone.
The pizzerias make using a pizza peel look so simple. They just shove it under the pizza and pull it out. Yet, you know this seemingly effortless skill takes plenty of practice if you've ever sent a pizza flying to the back of your oven.
Enter the Love This Kitchen Ultimate 16-inch Round Pizza Stone with its raised no-slip stopper. It has a lip that blocks the pizza from falling off the stone, saving your oven a self-cleaning mode or two.
This stone also has a unique design on the bottom that directs the heat so the center cooks first. This is helpful because the center of the pizza is usually the last part to cook. The stone is also an impressive 0.83 inches thick and can withstand temperatures up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Love This Kitchen backs the quality of this product with a 60-day full refund if not satisfied and a limited lifetime guarantee.
Best Reviews recommends the Love This Kitchen Ultimate Pizza Stone because the no-spill stopper did an excellent job of keeping the pizza from sliding off in their tests. However, the reviewer did note that the stone produced an off-putting chemical odor.
Cookware Junkies recommends this stone because the porous cordierite does absorb the moisture well to create crunchy crusts. Yet, the reviewer found that it was too large for some ovens. In its review, Morning Chores notes that the stone makes excellent cookies, flatbread, and baked bread.
Pros: Features a stopper that makes moving the stone and removing the pizza easier, produces a crispy crust, handles temps up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit
Cons: Complaints of a chemical odor, your oven must be at least 17 inches deep
The best cast iron pizza stone
If you are looking for an affordable, non-traditional pizza stone, consider buying the evenly heating Lodge 14-inch Cast Iron Baking Pan.
Many experts consider Lodge to be the best manufacturer of cast iron cookware, and the Lodge 14-inch Cast Iron Baking Pan appears to be no exception. This "stone" comes pre-seasoned and is designed for decades of cooking.
As with other cast iron, you wash it by hand, dry it promptly, and wipe it down with a light layer of cooking oil. The pan features two large handles on either side for easy removal from the oven. A rim around the edge keeps ingredients from spilling onto the oven bottom.
Serious Eats recommends the Lodge 14-inch Cast Iron Baking Pan over traditional pizza stones because it's more durable and produces better, crispier crusts. This makes sense, as cast iron is known for its superior heat retention capabilities. The reviewer also liked how the built-in handles made it easy to move. However, he didn't like that the rim made it hard to slide pizzas on and off.
Pros: Affordable, even heating, nonstick, cleans up easily
Cons: Rim may make it hard to slide pizzas off
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best knife setsThe best wine glassesThe best Bundt pans
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- Business Insider 21:51July 8, 2020The best Bundt pansHigh-quality Bundt pans are easy to maneuver, bake evenly, produce attractive cakes, release your baked goods effortlessly, and are a snap to clean up.
The Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan is our top pick because it's inexpensive, lightweight, and has easy-to-grip handles. There is no single recipe used to make a Bundt cake. Rather, the term refers to the shape of the cake, which generally has ridges or grooves and a cylindrical hole in the middle. Though the cake has been around for centuries, it didn't get its "Bundt" moniker until Nordic Ware trademarked it in 1950 to describe its new line of pans.
Today, there are dozens of companies selling their own Bundt pans, only you will often see these pans referred to as "fluted tube pans" to avoid potentially infringing on the trademark. Nordic Ware continues to be the most popular brand thanks to its selection of countless designs.
Bundt pans are used for a variety of purposes, including molding frozen desserts and gelatins and baking festive breads. For this guide, though, we are going to focus on which pans are best for crafting cakes.
A good Bundt pan should produce cakes that are attractive to look at. There are two factors that play into this. First, the shape of the actual pan will give you a good idea of what your baked goods will look like. The designs range from your classic symmetrical round pan with ridges to incredibly intricate grooves for catching glazes. The other factor to consider is the product's tint. Typically, the darker the pan, the darker your cake will be. So, you will likely want a pan that is lighter in color.
Several different materials are used to make Bundt pans: silicone, ceramic, glass, and an array of metals. We only included aluminum and steel pans in our guide because silicone is floppy and fails to brown correctly and glass and ceramic do not conduct heat well. A heavy-duty aluminum or steel pan with a nonstick surface will cook your cake evenly and give it a nice even browning.
While researching the best Bundt pans, we read through hundreds of expert and buyer reviews and ratings of dozens of models. Our guide features pans that have a track record of ease of use, performance, and durability.
Here are the best Bundt pans: Best overall: Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan
Best on a budget: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan
Best high-end: Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan
Best large size: Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan
Best easy-grip: Anolon Advanced Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Mold Pan Updated 7/8/2020. We updated prices and links for accuracy and reformatted.The best overall
Thanks to its nonstick surface and easy-grip handles, the Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan makes baking Bundt cakes a pleasant experience.
The Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan features a nonstick surface and is made of steel so it bakes evenly, releases your food effortlessly, and is easy to clean. This container is dishwasher safe, though Wilton recommends washing by hand.
It produces cakes that are approximately 9.25 inches in diameter and 3.37 inches high so they are slightly smaller than your usual Bundt cake. Wilton backs the quality of this pan with a 10-year limited warranty.
This pan is a solid option due to its ease of use and release, and the fact that the handles are easy to grab thanks to built-in ridges. However, the shallowness of the cake fluting may lead to a less impressive-looking finished product.
Pros: Lightweight, easy to maneuver, excellent nonstick surface for quick release and effortless cleanup
Cons: Small, concerns about durability
The best on a budget
If you are interested in trying to make Bundt cakes, the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan is a durable and affordable option that is ideal for beginners.
The Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan is made of a heavy-gauge aluminized steel that is designed to bake evenly. Food releases easily thanks to the nonstick Whitford Xylan coating. To prevent warping, the edges are extra-thick rolled.
You can even pop this pan into the dishwasher for easy cleaning and Cuisinart offers a quality promise of great performance for a lifetime.
For the price, this pan offers excellent quality in terms of producing cakes that brown uniformly and cook all the way through with minimal cracking. However, the end shape won't be as impressive as with some other options.
Pros: Affordable, durable construction, cooks cake evenly, lifetime warranty
Cons: Produces cakes with an unimpressive appearance
The best high-end
The Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan is an excellent tool for creating breathtakingly beautiful cakes that also taste great.
It only makes sense that the company that invented Bundt cake pans would have the most attractive collection to choose from. Nordic Ware has developed dozens of different pans featuring intricate designs, including pine forest, Star of David, fleur-de-lis, and more. Check out the entire selection here.
The Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan is one of the best in the business. It's made of cast aluminum, which is ideal for even baking. The pockets in the resulting cake are great for catching glazes, and the diamond pattern has hidden hearts in its design. As with all of its Bundt pans, Nordic Ware makes this pan in the United States and backs it with a lifetime warranty.
However, this pan is not dishwasher safe and much more expensive than other options on the market.
Pros: Produces beautiful cakes that are evenly-browned and have a moist crumb, lifetime warranty
Cons: Expensive, not dishwasher safe
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best espresso tampersThe best men's shorts7 places to buy alcohol online now and get it delivered right to your door
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- Business Insider 19:23July 8, 2020The best men's shortsA good pair of men's shorts should look good, fit well, and be comfortable to wear.
With large selections of styles and colors, some of the best places to buy men's shorts are Bonobos, Patagonia, Levi's, and Amazon. Whether you're dealing with summer heat or you live in warmer climates year-round, everyone should own several pairs of shorts, as they go a long way toward helping your body keep cool. Shorts come in countless varieties, so before you pick out the perfect pair (or pairs), start by thinking about what you'll be using them for.
Although casual wear is the most common use for shorts, you'll find pairs specifically designed for running, hiking, water activities, lounging around, and sleeping. We rounded up 13 of the best shorts from brands like Bonobos, Patagonia, Levi's, and Amazon.
Regardless of your personal style or your favorite summer activities, you'll find a good pair of shorts to add to your wardrobe, below.
Here are the best shorts in men's sizes: The best chino shorts: Bonobos Stretch Washed Chino Shorts
The best shorts for outdoor activities: Patagonia Baggies
The best running shorts: Janji 8-inch 2-in-1 Traverse Short
The best affordable shorts: Amazon Essentials Classic-Fit 9-inch Shorts
The best lightweight shorts: Outerknown Stringer Seersucker Shorts
The best denim shorts: Levi's 511 Slim Cut-Off 10-inch Shorts
The best shorts to wear with Nike sneakers: Nike Sportswear Swoosh Shorts
The best shorts to wear with Adidas sneakers: Adidas Must Have 3-Stripes Shorts
The best vintage-style shorts: Todd Snyder x Champion Lightweight Warm Up Short
The best casual shorts: J.Crew Dock Shorts
The best lounge shorts: Brooklinen Bowery Shorts
The best shorts for athletes: Under Armour UA RECOVER Sleepwear Shorts
The best convertible shorts: The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible Pants Updated on 07/06/2020: Included a new introduction and all new categories and product picks.The best chino shorts
Bonobos' Stretch Washed Chino Shorts are our go-to chino shorts because they come in a wide range of sizes, fits, and colors for everyone.
As a brand that originally specialized in only making pants, it's no surprise that Bonobos knows how to make really good chino shorts. Aside from the high level of quality we've come to expect from all Bonobos products, the brand's variety is what really makes them the best pick for chinos.
The Stretch Washed Chino Shorts come in three different fits (slim, standard, and athletic), four inseam lengths (5-inch, 7-inch, 9-inch, and 11-inch), and waist sizes 28 through 40. That means that people of most sizes will find a pair that fits their body and style well. In addition to basic colors like tan and navy, Bonobos offers plenty of unique colors to work into your summer wardrobe.
The best shorts for outdoor activities
Dubbed by the brand as Life's Shorts, Patagonia Baggies are great for swimming, hiking, and everything else life has to offer.
I've honestly never had a bad experience with a product from Patagonia, so I had high expectations while reviewing the Baggies and I wasn't disappointed.
In men's sizing, the Patagonia Baggies are available in 5-inch inseams and 7-inch inseams, which are referred to as Baggies Shorts and Baggies Longs. I went with the Baggies Longs because I'm not a fan of shorts that stop mid-thigh, which I found to fit true to size.
The brand describes the Baggies as "life's shorts" because they're designed to go wherever life takes you and I'd say that's an accurate description.
I've worn them for swimming, biking, and just casually hanging out. I was also impressed with how quickly they dried. I didn't have to change my clothes or walk around for the rest of the day with slightly damp shorts.
The best running shorts
Designed with mobility and storage in mind, the Janji 8-inch 2-in-1 Traverse Shorts has everything a runner needs.
Janji creates running gear collections that are inspired by countries affected by the global water crisis and then donates 5% of proceeds to clean water initiatives in those countries.
I've loved plenty of the brand's gear, but the 8-inch 2-in-1 Traverse Shorts, in particular, are one of my favorites because they're super technical and thoughtfully designed for runners. They feature a built-in 8-inch compression lining and a shorter breathable outer. You'll find a full-size stash pocket on each leg of the compression lining, and two small stash pockets on the exterior shell. Between the four pockets, you'll have enough storage for items that typically come with you on a run like a smartphone, headphones, keys, and wallet.
The shorter inseams on the exterior lining help provide better mobility and allow you to reach the stash pockets with ease. They do run a bit snug, so don't be afraid to size up if you want a more relaxed fit.
Even if you're not a runner, Janji simply makes smart clothes. Whether you're a cyclist who needs extra pockets on bike rides or someone who just likes clothes with useable storage, you'll appreciate these shorts.
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best headlampsThe best places to shop for kids' clothes by age rangeThe best roasting pans
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Men's Clothing, IP Style, Men's Shorts, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 19:19July 8, 2020The best espresso tampersIf you love to make espresso at home, you need a high-quality tamper to ensure that your grounds are ready to make the best shot of espresso possible. Our top pick is the Decent Espresso Tamper because its calibrated pressure settings and precise design make it the best espresso tamper you can buy. Making espresso is all about precision. Tiny changes in temperature, pressure, dose, and yield can turn a delicious shot into something so bitter it's undrinkable. Tamping the grounds is a key part of the espresso process.
Every barista has their preferred tamper, and many professionals even bring their own to work. Once you find your favorite tamp, it should feel familiar in your hand and allow you to apply even pressure to your portafilter without much thought. That's particularly important when you're in a pre-coffee morning haze.
When selecting the best tampers for our guide, we looked for a few key attributes. The first is precision. If a tamper isn't the same size as your portafilter, some of the coffee will go uncompressed, and this will result in an uneven extraction as the water from your espresso machine will follow the path of least resistance through the untamped grounds, and you won't get the delicious drink you're looking for.
We also looked for tamps that felt good in the hand, both in terms of size and weight. Finally, we assessed durability and aesthetics because when something lives on your kitchen counter, you want it to look good and stay looking good.
Here are the best espresso tampers: Best overall: Decent Espresso Tamper
Best for precision: Push Press
Best for people with small hands: Rattleware Round Handle
Best for small portafilters: Apexstone Tamper
Best classic design: Reg Barber Tamper Updated 7/8/2020. We updated prices and links to be current and added a selection of relevant buying guides for convenience.The best overall
The Decent Tamper's calibrated pressure and precision manufacturing ensure you get the same tamp on your coffee every time and the big, round, burnished handle feels and looks great.
The two major tamping errors that lead to bad coffee are uneven tamping and a ring of untamped coffee due to imprecise manufacturing. For professional baristas, tamping can also lead to injury, either from overuse of the wrist or from slipping. Decent Espresso took its science-based approach to espresso making and got to work on solving these problems. The result was the Decent Tamper.
The genius of the Decent Tamper is in its carefully calibrated spring. This ensures exactly the same tamping force of 25 pounds is used every time.
Decent Espresso worked with two dozen baristas including Scott Rao, a globally recognized coffee expert, to design a tamp that would work equally well for shop baristas who pull hundreds of shots and home baristas making their morning macchiato.
Another potential pitfall when tamping coffee is an uneven tamp, which compresses one area of the puck more than another. This will lead to water flowing through the least-tamped area in the coffee puck and a poor-quality espresso. The Decent Tamper addresses this problem with a precisely machined to fit exactly into a modern 58.7-millimeter portafilter basket without leaving any untamped coffee around the circumference of the puck.
The fit is so tight that Decent Espresso had to machine grooves into the tamper to prevent it sucking the puck out of the portafilter as it is withdrawn. This tight fit also makes it much easier to achieve a level tamp, which ensures even extraction.
In our testing, we found that the Decent Tamper feels great in the hand and delivers consistent and reliable results. With several machines to test, that allowed us to change everything from temperature to pressure to flow rate, it was a relief to have tamping pressure be a consistent variable.
Even when focusing on testing a machine or a grinder, this was the tamper that we reached for again and again, making it our pick for the best espresso tamper.
Pros: Precisely calibrated pressure, precision machined to eliminate the untamped coffee ring, big, rounded burnished handle
Cons: Only one color available, might feel too large or heavy for users with small hands, not as cheap as some other options
The best for precision
The wide variety of colors and unique appearance of the PUSH Tamper might be what appeals to buyers at first, but the precision and repeatable tamp depth will make this a favorite over time.
The PUSH tamper appeared on the specialty coffee scene after being used by UK Barista Champion Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood at the 2015 World Barista Championship. The chances are, you won't be competing with your coffee any time soon, but if you are looking to get the best possible cup, there's a lot we can learn from the pros.
The PUSH tamper doesn't look like any of the other tampers in this lineup. Indeed, you might mistake it for a hockey puck. The PUSH tamper works by pre-setting the depth to which it will tamp and then only tamping that far. This means that, as long as you do not change the dose of coffee in the portafilter, your tamp will be level and equal every time.
Made by a company called Clockwork Espresso, the design came out of a desire on the part of founder Pete Southern to help his office colleagues make better espresso. The design has caught on thanks to the ease of use and consistent tamping that it offers.
We found that the hockey puck-sized tamper was easy to master and allowed us to dial in our shots without worrying about tamping as a variable.
Pros: Consistent flat tamping, unique appearance, less chance of wrist injury
Cons: Takes a while to adjust and requires an allen wrench, cost
The best for people with small hands
Classic design combined with precision manufacturing make the Rattleware tamp a dependable tamper that is comfortable for smaller hands.
Baristas come in all shapes and sizes, and yet tampers often come in only one. For baristas with smaller hands, long handles can make for difficult tamping and often lead to uneven pressure or just feel uncomfortable. Fortunately, Rattleware produces its tampers in short along-handled versions ensuring that everyone can have a comfortable tamping experience.
The Rattleware tamper might be smaller, but this is no toy. The stainless steel construction means it will far outlast cheaper tampers.
Fit is also precise, where many cheaper tampers are close to their stated size, this tamper is a perfect fit at its stated size, which is important for ensuring an even tamp and quality shots.
The Rattleware tamper feels weighty enough to be sturdy without being annoying to hold and it comes with a short and long handle, meaning that even home baristas with small hands will find it a comfortable fit. And, unlike lightweight plastic models, the Rattleware Tamper provides the right amount of heft.
Pros: Precision fit, sturdy construction, sized perfectly for small
Cons: Not calibrated to a certain pressure, only available in one color, expensive compared to some other basic tampers
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best cutting boardsThe best gel pillowsThe best BBQ smokers
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Coffee, Espresso, Kitchen, Kitchen accessories, Insider Picks 2020, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 23:09July 7, 2020The best kettlebellsKettlebells are a great way to make the most of every exercise session as they allow you to combine strength work with cardio and flexibility training.
Before you start using a kettlebell, take the time to learn proper form and make sure you start with an appropriate weight in order to minimize the risk of injury.
Our top pick, the Everlast Vinyl Dipped Kettlebells, features a thick vinyl coating, a color-coded weight system, and comes in a variety of weight options perfect for any home gym. If you get into serious strength training, it won't be long before you find your hands wrapping around the grip of a kettlebell. Even if you've yet to use those large, bell-shaped weights with thick handles on top, it's likely you've seen them in the corner of your local gym or the centerpiece of a live-streamed workout. They're popular for good reason.
First, the odd shape of a kettlebell allows for a more dynamic range of movement than you get with a traditional dumbbell. Thus, kettlebells are used not only for strength training but also for cardio work, flexibility and balance training, and to target multiple muscle groups at once.
Though I've wrapped my hands around many a kettlebell, I figured it was a good idea to get some professional perspective. For that expert insight, I spoke with R.J. Cincotta, director of fitness with Orange Theory Fitness Long Island and 15-year veteran of the professional training and fitness world. Though most Orange Theory gyms don't use kettlebells, Cincotta spoke to Business Insider based on his own extensive fitness experience.
"Kettlebells are best used for power movements," Cincotta said. "You're going to use them for squats and for swings, and you'll use them for a lot of single-sided exercises often referred to as asymmetrical movements. You can even use kettlebells for stability work, as well."
What makes a kettlebell harder to use than a dumbbell lies with its shape which puts its weight several inches away from your hand. This means you'll need to activate more of your muscles as you stabilize the weight. With a kettlebell, every single-handed exercise like curls, shoulder presses, snatches, and so on is that much more productive. And for two-handed exercises like goblet squats, the grip shape means added stability so you can focus on your form, as well as your core, glutes, quads, and other muscles.
Before you start swinging your new kettlebells around wildly, make sure you take some time to learn how to properly execute the exercises for which they are so helpful when used correctly.
"When you're using kettlebells, safety is the first thing," Cincotta said. "Many people just start swinging them around and don't focus on form. There's such a dynamic difference using them [compared to other weights] that you really need to learn form first. And you don't want to go too heavy too quickly; that's a very easy way to get injured."
With that advice in mind, we tested a variety of kettlebells from brands like Everlast, TRX, and Bowflex to find the best currently available. So, no matter if you're just looking for a set to round out your home gym or want to kick your weekly fitness routine up a few notches, there's a set of kettlebells perfect for you.
Here are the best kettlebells: Best kettlebell overall: Everlast Vinyl Dipped Kettlebell
Best kettlebell for interval training: TRX Training Kettlebell
Best adjustable kettlebell: Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell
Best low-cost kettlebell: AmazonBasics Vinyl Kettlebell
Best soft kettlebell: Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell
The best kettlebell overall
Everlast's Vinyl Dipped Kettlebells are coated with a thick, colorful layer of vinyl which makes them safer to use and allows for quick identification of each weight.
It only takes smashing a cast-iron kettlebell into the side of your knee one time to teach you that smashing a cast iron kettlebell into the side of your knee is no fun. That's why these kettlebells from Everlast are a great choice.
"I've used Everlast kettlebells for years," Cincotta told Business Insider. "When the bell itself is coated like this, as opposed to metal-based, you're able to do much more with the bell without accidentally tearing up your body."
You're also at less risk of grabbing the wrong weight for a given exercise thanks to the bright coloring of the vinyl casings of these kettlebells. Each different weight increment has a distinct color, so within a few minutes of using a given kettlebell, you'll know at a glance how much it weighs. They're also available in multiple increments between five and 35 pounds.
Whether used for suitcase squats, lunges, presses, or core training, these are reliable kettlebells from a company with more than 110 years of history in the fitness gear arena.
Pros: Protective vinyl coating, easy-to-use color coding, decent price point
Cons: Maximum weight too low for some athletes
The best kettlebell for interval training
TRX Training Kettlebells have lightly textured handles that allow for a secure grip and easy transitions, ideal for use during high-intensity exercise.
If you're a fan of HIIT exercise (high-intensity interval training), then you'll appreciate these kettlebells that are perfectly suited to the fast, highly specific motions used in such routines. Their textured grips ensure you keep a steady grasp even when you're sweaty, moving fast, and rapidly switching between various different exercises.
TRX offers kettlebells weighing just four kilograms (8.8 pounds) all the way up to 40 kg (88 pounds) with moderate increases between each option, so you can choose the exact amount of weight to suit your body for any given exercise.
Another feature to note is the broader flat base these kettlebells have over most competitors. That extra flattened surface area makes these kettlebells more stable, a bonus when you're setting them down fast during HIIT workouts especially, but useful all the time.
One significant drawback is the price, however — these aren't cheap.
Pros: Textured handles for secure grip, multiple weights offered, broad flat base adds stability
Cons: Quite expensive
The best adjustable kettlebell
With your Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell you get six kettlebells in one, which is ultimately one of the best values around.
Yes, $149 is a lot to pay for a kettlebell. But when you factor in that you're paying for six kettlebells, it turns into quite the deal.
The 840 gets its name from its lowest and highest weights, which are eight pounds and 40 pounds, respectively. In between those low and high options, you get 12-, 20-, 25-, and 35-pound increments, a good spread for people of varying strength and for a single person's use at varied exercises.
Switching between weights is quick and easy, too. You simply turn a dial and lift up on the handle, and the extra weight is left sitting there on the ground. Beyond the ease of use during active exercise, you'll also appreciate what is effectively six kettlebells only occupying the space of one.
The benefits of the design are clear here but with that said, there are a few drawbacks, the largest of which is that kettlebell is less ergonomic than a standard option. The handle is slimmer and doesn't have the flared shape of most kettlebells, and the overall unit is larger than solid options, which might make some exercises harder to execute properly. With a few reps, you should get used to the shape, though, and the pros far outweigh the cons.
Pros: Six kettlebells in one, affordable compared to buying six weights, easy to adjust
Cons: Handle is less ergonomic than standard options, bulky especially for use at lighter weight
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best BBQ smokersThe best comforters for your bedThe best spice grinders
< Features, Insider Picks 2020, Insider Picks Guides, Fitness, Workout, kettlebell, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Buying Guides, At-Home Fitness, At-Home Workout, >
- Business Insider 23:08July 7, 2020The best BBQ smokersSmoked meats are tender, flavorful, and sure to please the crowd.
Smoking takes more time than just about any other cooking method but is always worth the wait, and the process is relatively hands-off, allowing you to enjoy the day with only occasional checks.
The Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker is our top pick because it doesn't take up too much space, yet offers a large 1,890 square-inches of cooking surface. In Texas, barbecues — and smoking, in particular — are a matter of state pride. But you don't have to be from Texas to take up the task.
After all, once you have eaten perfectly smoked ribs, brisket, or pork, you may never want to eat meat prepared any other way. Smoking produces flavorful and tender meat thanks to the extended exposure the meat gets from flavor-imbuing smoke and the low cooking temperatures.
And smoking is far from being a bastion reserved for diehard barbecue devotees. Anyone can smoke up a great meal as long as they have a fine smoker, a recipe or two to follow, and several hours of free time. Because while smoked meats are delectable, they're certainly not time efficient.
While you could (and probably should) spend hours finding the best marinades and rubs for your smoked meats, it need not take as long to find the right smoker for your household. We compiled a list of top BBQ smokers across several categories, based on how hands-on you want the process to be, where you'll use your smoker, your budget, and the number of mouths you have to feed.
Here are the best BBQ smokers: Best overall: Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
Best pellet smoker: Traeger Renegade Pro Wood Pellet Grill
Best electric smoker: Masterbuilt 30 Inch Digital Electric Meat Smoker
Best propane smoker: Cuisinart Vertical 36-inch Propane Smoker
Best on a budget: Nexgrill 29-inch Barrel Charcoal Grill with Smoker Updated on 7/6/2020 to edit the prices, titles, links, and remove reviews and ratings from third-party sites, because we've found them to be unreliable in the past. We're currently testing and researching barbecue, gas, and electric smokers, and will update based on findings and new picks soon.The best overall
The Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker is one serious piece of meat-smoking hardware, with six cooking grates that can each handle up to 25 pounds of food.
The proper name of this smoker is the Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker. That's a mouthful, to be sure. But you know what else is a mouthful? Up to 150 pounds of food slowly smoking away inside the behemoth main chamber of this pro-grade smoker.
It comes with six steel shelves, each capable of supporting up to 25 pounds of food, creating a total cooking area of 1,890 square inches. For reference, that classic 22-inch Weber charcoal grill your dad used has a 363 square- inch cooktop.
Sheer volume aside, there's a lot to love about this Dyna-Glo Smoker. In fact, the real beauty here is in the details. The ash management system allows you to remove and clear out ash without disrupting the charcoal or wood burning in the offset box, allowing for hours of uninterrupted cooking. Plus, the pair of adjustable dampers — one on the side and one atop the chimney — allow for custom smoke control. There are also helpful sausage hooks and rib racks.
Also, be sure to take a look at the thermometer on the front. It has an ideal smoke zone indicator so you can raise or lower the heat to maintain the ideal slow-cooking temperature, no guesswork required. And for all that, this smoker carries a pretty good price, too.
Pros: Huge cooking area, efficient ash management system, easy smoke control, decent price point
Cons: Some smoke loss through door gaps
The best pellet smoker
The Traeger Renegade Pro Wood Pellet Grill uses a digital controller to automatically maintain the temperature you set.
There is a common misconception that cooking with a pellet grill is complicated. It's not, unless you consider pouring a few pounds of pellets into a chamber, turning a dial, and flipping a switch to be complicated, that is.
The Traeger Renegade Pro Wood Pellet Grill uses digital controls to set temperature and hold it there within plus-or-minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which is critical for proper meat smoking.
This grill also functions well as a traditional barbecue. With the heat cranked up, the Traeger Renegade Pro Wood Pellet Grill makes a perfect conventional grill for baking or roasting. Just note that with all that versatility comes a price: this is the most expensive option on our list, and that's not including the optional add-ons.
When slow cooking at lower temps, the grill will only go through about a pound of pellets per hour; at higher temperatures, you'll burn through three or more. While a pellet grill like this does, of course, necessitate the purchase of wood pellets, with that added expense comes the bonus of flavor options. Traeger offers all sorts of wood pellets, from hickory to maple to mesquite.
Pros: Precision temperature control, efficient pellet use, easy to clean and maintain
Cons: Very expensive, requires additional items
The best electric smoker
For the best possible control of your smoking temperature and timing, go electric. Specifically, go with the Masterbuilt 30 Inch Digital Electric Meat Smoker.
If you'd like your smoked foods to come with a side of convenience, then an electric smoker is best for you, and the Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Meat Smoker is your go-to.
This smoker digitally monitors timing and temperature and can be operated by remote control. Rest easy on a patio lounger or even sit inside watching the game while still having total control over your smoking meats.
And thanks to a side-loading wood chip system, you can add more wood without interrupting the smoking process or throwing off the temperature in the cooking chamber, which can accommodate up to 12 whole chickens, four racks of ribs, or 24 burgers at once.
While this smoker is a pretty bulky affair, weighing in at nearly 65 pounds, a set of wheels on the rear and a large handle make moving it around on level surfaces surprisingly easy. This is handy, as you'll need to be near an electrical outlet to operate it.
Pros: Can be controlled remotely, side-loading wood chip system, easy to move on flat ground
Cons: Does not produce as much smoke as other options
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best spice grindersThe best gel pillowsThe best spice racks
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, barbeque, Outdoor cooking, Outdoor Guides, Cooking, Barbecue, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, product card, >
- Business Insider 23:00July 7, 2020The best gel pillowsGel pillows are ideal for people who need extra support to deal with neck and back pain, as well as for people who run hot but like to sleep cool. The Coop Home Goods Eden Gel Foam Pillow is our top pick, thanks to its support and cooling, and because it can be adjusted for ideal custom comfort. While standard pillows feel soft and snuggly at once, they don't offer much actual neck and back support and they often heat up. Gel pillows tend to hold their shape, offering all-night support, and they stay relatively cool thanks to the gel's propensity to draw heat in and away from your body. Upon initial contact, gel pillows are often firm with a rubbery texture that's a far cry from the feathers or fabric stuffing to which most of us are accustomed. But the support they provide is unparalleled, especially if you're a side or back sleeper who often deals with back or neck pain.
Are there drawbacks? Sure. Each time you shift with most gel foam pillows, you need a moment to sink in again to reestablish ideal comfort. And also some of them are a bit pricey. Do the benefits way outweigh those minor issues? Oh yeah. At least, if hours of comfortable sleep followed by a day during which you feel well-rested matters much to you.
In selecting the best gel pillows you can buy, we factored in everything from price to shape to intended use. Some are ideal for cervical support (spinal support, e.g.), while some are great at keeping you cool. Others still have all the bases covered, though you'll need to pay for that level of quality and capability.
Here are the best gel pillows: Best gel pillow overall: Coop Home Goods Eden Gel Foam Pillow
Best for side sleepers: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Ergo Cooling Neck Pillow
Best for hot sleepers: Classic Brands Cool Sleep Ventilated Gel Pillow Prices and links are current as of 7/7/20. We added a product showcase at the top of the guide to help you see all our picks at a glance. We removed our pick for the best for neck pain due to stock issues. We also added a selection of related buying guides.The best gel pillow overall
Coop Home Goods
The Coop Home Goods Eden Gel Foam Pillow is comfortable, cooling, and customizable — you can remove its filling until it's just the right density for your preference.
The Coop Home Goods Eden Gel Foam Pillow is sort of a best of both worlds situation. Most gel foam pillows are essentially solid blocks of viscoelastic memory foam that either have a layer of cooling gel material or that have gel infused into the foam itself.
This unique gel pillow does indeed use a gel-infused memory foam, but it's not a solid block of the material. Rather, the pillow is stuffed with hundreds of little bits of gel foam, thus the best of both worlds. When you first put your head down on this pillow, you will settle into it much like with a feather or synthetic fill pillow.
So comfort right off the bat? Check. The more time you spend lying down with your head, neck, and shoulders on the Coop Home Goods Eden Gel Foam Pillow, the more you'll start to realize that gel foam isn't just a term bandied about by the fat cats in the pillow industry. This stuff actually does draw more heat away from your body than feathers or polyester could ever hope to.
Thanks to the shredded gel memory foam fill, the airflow throughout this pillow is unrivaled. Thus you enjoy that immediate comfort and all night cooling.
Pros: Custom adjustable fill, immediately comfortable, backed by satisfaction guarantee
Cons: Less supportive than solid pillows
The best for side sleepers
If you sleep on your side, your head and neck need a specific kind of support for comfort, and the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Ergo Cooling Neck Pillow provides it perfectly.
When you sleep on your side, you are asking a lot of your spine in the name of comfort. In fact, you are asking your spin to align itself in a way that it doesn't really want to align, namely bent sideways at the neck. This hardly bothers some people, but for others, it can cause pain both acute and chronic.
But if sleep on your side you must, whether for everyday comfort, during pregnancy, or after an accident that requires specific positioning during recovery, do your spine a favor and get the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Ergo Cooling Neck Pillow.
With your head and neck cradled by the TEMPUR-Ergo, a pillow purpose-built for supporting side sleepers, your spinal column will be kept in line and without undue stress.
Beyond cervical ergonomics, your head will sink down into the memory foam and be cradled all night long. Also, a layer of cooling gel set near the surface of the pillow will keep you nice and cool during all those hours of ergonomic spine support.
Pros: Provides ergonomic spinal support, lasts for multiple years, washable knit cover
Cons: Quite expensive, too firm for some users
The best for hot sleepers
The memory foam that makes up the Classic Brands Cool Sleep Ventilated Gel Pillow is both infused with cooling gel and ventilated with several channels to keep you cool through the night.
The Classic Brands Cool Sleep Ventilated Gel Pillow provides the support and comfort you expect of memory foam. You sink into it slowly and steadily, and then your head is cradled until you shift. The fact that said memory foam is infused with a cooling gel that readily absorbs and redistributes endothermic body heat is the second plus.
But what truly sets this pillow apart from other gel pillows are the multiple channels that perforate the foam and that allow air to circulate throughout the pillow. Most gel pillows can draw off some heat but then essentially hold onto it, albeit holding it removed from your person. This pillow can actively dissipate heat and bring cool air thanks to the many channels bored into the foam.
Pros: Excellent cooling properties, good for side or back sleeping, hypoallergenic materials
Cons: Too dense feeling for some people
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best spice racksThe best shower curtain linersThe best comforters for your bed
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Home Goods, Pillows, Home, Bedding, Bed, Bedroom, Insider Picks 2020, Sleep, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, product card, >
- Business Insider 21:38July 7, 2020The best cutting boardsThe cutting board is perhaps the most essential tool in your kitchen for meal prep.
Plastic and wooden cutting boards both have their pros and cons, so we've found the best of both worlds in the plastic OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board and the wooden John Boos Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board. A high-quality cutting board is an essential culinary tool. The preparation of most foods and meals requires that you use one. In addition, a high-quality cutting board can help keep you and your family healthy by preventing foodborne illness. Some of them are even beautiful to display on your kitchen counter.
Most experts agree that you should have a minimum of two cutting boards: one for cutting raw meats and one for chopping raw vegetables and everything else. There are cutting boards made from a variety of materials, but according to most experts, plastic and wood are best for most kitchens. You can also get glass ones, but they are prone to shattering and they dull your knives quickly. We've selected the best cutting boards in a variety of materials. For a full breakdown of the advantage of plastic vs. wood, check out the full explainer at the end of this guide.
Here are the best cutting boards: Best overall: OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board
Best high-end wood: John Boos Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board
Best bamboo: Totally Bamboo Cutting Boards
Best teak wood: Teak Haus Edge Grain Cutting Board
Best cutting mat: Imperial Kitchen Cutting Mat Set Updated on 7/7/2020. We updated prices and links and added more relevant buying guides.The best overall
The OXO Good Grips Cutting And Carving Board is affordable, light, and easy to maintain.
The OXO Good Grips Cutting And Carving Board plastic board is the darling of kitchen appliance and utensil reviewers everywhere. The double-sided cutting board helps prevent cross-contamination. Use the side with a juice groove for carving meat, and then simply flip it over to chop vegetables on the other side. Soft, tapered handles make the board easy to maneuver, and non-slip edges keep the board from shifting during use.
Made of durable polypropylene, the non-porous surface is odor-resistant and doesn't scratch as easily as other plastic materials. It won't dull sharp knives quickly, either. To top it all off, this cutting board is dishwasher safe.
The OXO cutting board gets consistent praise on Amazon for being durable and not absorbing odors or colors from pungent foods like onions and garlic.
Some Amazon users complain that the board warps in the dishwasher. Other users say they want to avoid this fate so they happily hand-wash the board with warm, soapy water. Other negative reviewers remark that the surface gets gouged too easily by any kind of knife, but that is a common occurrence for plastic cutting boards.
Pros: Great value, double-sided board prevents cross-contamination, juice groove, easy to clean, durable plastic, lightweight and easy to maneuver, doesn't dull knives
Cons: Users note that it sometimes warps in the dishwasher
The best high-end wood
John Boos/Business Insider
The John Boos Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board is a work of art made out of solid wood.
The name John Boos is synonymous with high-quality wood cutting boards and butcher blocks. In fact, by the 1940s, John Boos butcher blocks were found in almost every restaurant and butcher shop in the country. Rumor has it that John Boos cutting boards are even the standard in the White House.
This reversible cutting board is part of the esteemed Boos RA collection, which is known for its beautiful edge grain construction. The John Boos board is much thicker than many other cutting boards on the market, coming in at 2.25-inches thick. This heavy board weighs in at 27.5 pounds, so it won't slip or slide around the kitchen counter as you chop away. It's so gorgeous that you can even leave it on your kitchen counter permanently.
The RA03 features a hard maple edge grain construction with a cream finish, two flat sides, and slightly rounded edges. In addition, inset handles make it easy to move and rotate the board or to flip it to the reverse side. The cutting board comes with a one year warranty.
After using, this cutting board should be washed by hand in warm soapy water and dried immediately. It requires oil treatment as frequently as once a week.
Some Amazon users complain that the board started to crack very shortly after receiving it. Other reviewers jump in and remind everyone that you really do have to oil it on a weekly basis, which may be too high-maintenance for some home cooks.
Pros: FDA-approved, constructed with beautiful and strong maple wood, reversible, heavy and thick
Cons: Expensive, heavy, requires weekly oil treatments
The best bamboo
Versatile and affordable, the Totally Bamboo Cutting Board Set is perfect for eco-minded consumers.
Totally Bamboo introduced the world's first bamboo cutting board in 2000, and the company remains the leader in producing innovative bamboo houseware products.
The Totally Bamboo Cutting Board Set includes three different sized boards to accommodate a wide range of chopping and carving needs. The boards measure 6 x 8 inches, 8 ½ x 11 inches, and 9 ½ x 13 inches, respectively. All three boards are just 3/8-inch thick, which makes them easy to maneuver and also to store.
These simple but attractive boards are made from organically-grown Moso bamboo in a tri-ply, cross laminate construction with a specially formulated high-temperature adhesive. The boards are strong and sustainably made.
Just like other wooden cutting boards, the Totally Bamboo boards need to be hand-washed with warm water and oiled on an occasional basis. The company offers a 100% satisfaction replacement warranty.
Pros: Affordable, sustainably-made, hard bamboo surface varying sizes, easy to maneuver and to store, attractive set for cutting and serving
Cons: Some users report that the boards break very easily
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best spice racksThe best comforters for your bedThe best spice grindersSEE ALSO: The best knife sharpeners you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Kitchen, cutting board, Best Guides, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, Kitchen Guides, >
- Business Insider 19:10July 7, 2020The best spice racksSpice racks are available in all shapes and sizes, so you're sure to find one to keep your many bottles of spices well organized.
The adjustable and affordable Spicy Shelf Patented Spice Rack rules the market with its space-saving design.
See more: The best spice grinder If you're an avid home cook, you likely have dozens of spice jars filling up your cabinets. If you're constantly having to rearrange them to find what you need, it's time to implement a better system of organization in the form of a spice rack. The best spice racks can make better use of your precious kitchen cabinet or countertop space and make it easy to find what you need on the go.
We've selected spice racks that are space-saving, fit a variety of cabinets or kitchen configurations, and make it easy to see everything you have at your disposal. If you'd like to read more about what we looked for while creating this guide and what you should look for as you shop for a spice rack, you'll find a full breakdown at the bottom of the page.
Here are the best spice racks: The best spice rack overall: Spicy Shelf Patented Spice Rack
The best small spice rack: Seville Classics 3-Tier Expandable Bamboo Spice Rack
The best large spice rack: AllSpice Wooden Spice Rack
The best customizable spice rack: Gneiss Spice DIY Magnetic Spice Rack
The best free-standing spice rack: DecoBros Spice Rack Stand Prices and links are current as of 7/7/20. We added a product showcase at the top of this guide so you can see all our picks at a glance. We also added a selection of related buying guides.The best spice rack overall
The Spicy Shelf Patented Spice Rack has an expandable design to fit many pantry and cabinet sizes, and it can hold dozens of spice jars easily.
The flexible design of the Spicy Shelf Patented Spice Rack is our favorite feature of this spice rack. It looks simple, but it can collapse to 7 3/8 inches in width or expand to 16 3/8 inches to fit your cabinets perfectly. Because it ships with two units, you can stack them or place them side by side for more flexibility. The design is a clever way to minimize the amount of wasted space in any kitchen cupboard.
With the U-shaped design of the Spicy Shelf, you'll be able to see all of the bottles clearly. The free space in the center of the shelf makes it easy to grab the bottle you want without disturbing the others, and you'll be able to read the labels on each bottle clearly, thanks to the U-shaped design. Though the bottles in the corners can get obscured, so save those spaces for spices you don't use often. Although the plastic construction looks a little flimsy, each unit can hold up to 40 pounds, which is quite a lot for a spice rack.
One aspect of the Spicy Shelf design that some customers won't like is the fact that its depth is not adjustable. You'll need a cabinet that can accommodate at least 10 1/2 inches of depth. Some customers report struggling with assembling Spicy Shelf, too, because it doesn't ship with directions.
We appreciate the fact that the Spicy Shelf isn't just for spices, either. It will work with small bottles and containers of other products that are tough to organize. Craft supplies, cosmetics, and average-sized medicine bottles all work great with this design too.
Overall, it's a great affordable, adjustable spice rack for putting inside your cabinet.
Pros: Extremely flexible design, plastic construction looks a little flimsy but is tough, fits a variety of cabinet sizes, surface is tacky to avoid slipping, price is great
Cons: Directions for putting it together are lacking, no lip to hold larger bottles in place
The best small spice rack
The Seville Bamboo Spice Rack is available in cabinet or drawer configurations to meet your needs, it's affordable, and it's beautiful.
Bamboo is a type of wood that's commonly found in kitchens, thanks to its clean look, toughness, affordability, and environmentally friendly makeup. So if you already have some bamboo tools in your kitchen, the Seville Classics 3-Tier Expandable Bamboo Spice Rack can fit right in while keeping your spices organized. Plus, for an all-wood spice rack, it's very affordable.
The stair-step design of the Seville Bamboo Spice Rack helps you see all of your spices at once, but you may want to place labels on the lids of the spices to make sure they're easier to find. The labels on the spice bottles in the back may be hidden by other bottles.
My favorite aspect of this Seville unit is its flexibility. Seville offers two designs for use inside a cabinet or drawer. The cabinet version can expand horizontally several inches to allow for storing more bottles. This is a great feature for ensuring it'll fit tightly in a drawer or cabinet without wasting space.
However, we'd strongly recommend that you precisely measure the space in which you're planning to store the Seville Bamboo Spice Rack before ordering it, just to ensure that it'll fit.
For reference, the cabinet spice rack unit measures 8.25 inches long by x 3.3 in. high and ranges from 8.75 to 15.5 in. wide. The flatter drawer version measures 15 in long by x 8 in. wide and 2 in. high.
Pros: Extremely low priced spice rack, sharp looking design using bamboo, adjustable size to fit different cabinets, can see all spices because of stair-step design
Cons: Only accommodates a limited number of jars, may not fit some drawers or cabinets
The best large spice rack
If you cook a lot and have a ton of spice jars, the AllSpice Wooden Spice Rack will keep all of them sorted perfectly.
Sometimes making choices is difficult. So if you have a cabinet with a ton of spices, and you don't want to have to pare down your collection, the AllSpice Wooden Spice Rack is built with you in mind. The AllSpice unit offers a rack with 30 jars and a rack with 60 jars, each of which can hold about one-half cup of spice
It's one of the biggest spice racks on the market, and the company makes a smaller design with 12 jars, too. The 60-jar unit is huge, weighing 28 pounds and measuring 24 x 16 x 4.75 inches, so be certain you have space for it on your countertop.
There's nothing fancy about the AllSpice Wooden Spice rack, but it's made of beautiful, solid wood. It looks like a wooden wine crate, and the jars slide into their own individual slots. You will have to transfer your spices from their current containers into the jars that ship with the AllSpice unit, as those jars are the only ones that will fit in the spice rack.
The lids of each of the jars will hang away from the spice rack just enough to make them easy to see. The AllSpice kit ships with more than 200 sticker labels to mark each jar clearly. One of my favorite aspects of this unit is the fact that AllSpice offers shaker lids with different size holes to accommodate spices consisting of powders, flakes, and seeds.
Even though the AllSpice Wooden Spice Rack's design is simple, it is available in a variety of wood styles, including bamboo, cherry, natural, oak, and walnut, as well as white paint.
The AllSpice Wooden Spice Rack isn't for everyone, but for those who love spices — and have a bunch of them — its design is nearly perfect.
Pros: Accommodates up to 60 jars of spices, extremely strong build quality, variety of wood finishes and styles available, easy to see each jar in the spice rack
Cons: Very high price tag, heavy and large spice rack
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best spice grindersThe best pepper mills and salt grindersThe best beach chairsDON'T MISS: The best electric kettles you can buy for boiling water or brewing tea
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- Business Insider 18:50July 7, 2020The best shower curtain linersA shower curtain liner protects your decorative, more expensive shower curtain and helps prevent water from escaping to the bathroom floor.
We researched several shower curtain liners to find the best ones to fit every budget and shower configuration. When it's time for a shower, you probably don't give much thought to a shower curtain liner until you see puddles of water all over the floor. A shower curtain liner helps keep water contained and protects your more expensive decorative shower curtain from mildew, cleaning products that could cause discoloration, and frequent washings that can fade the fabric.
We've selected the best shower curtain liners that will resist mold and mildew and keep your bathroom dry. A shower curtain liner shouldn't break the bank, but if money's tight we even have recommendations that are just a few dollars. Before you buy, be sure to measure your shower curtain to ensure your liner is the right size. We offer a few tips at the end of this guide.
Here are the best shower curtain liners: Best on a budget: Room Essentials Solid Super Soft PEVA Shower Liner
Best extra large liner: N&Y Home Extra Wide Shower Curtain Liner
Best fabric liner: Barossa Design Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain
Best with storage pockets: Maytex Quick Dry Mesh Pockets Waterproof PEVA Shower Curtain Liner
Best mildew-resistant liner: LiBa Mildew Resistant Anti-Bacterial Shower Curtain Liner Prices and links are current as of 7/7/20. We replaced our picks for the best fabric liner and the best with storage pockets due to our old picks going out of stock. We also added a selection of related buying guides.The best on a budget
If you are looking for an inexpensive but functional shower curtain liner, Target's Room Essentials Solid Super Soft PEVA Shower Liner is a great choice.
While this shower curtain liner is not on the cutting edge of fashion, Target's Room Essentials Solid Super Soft PEVA Shower Liner is an excellent buy for anyone on a budget. The 71-by-70-inch liner offers features that you probably won't find in other lower-cost liners.
Made of a soft non-chlorinated PEVA or polyethylene vinyl acetate, the liner is a good choice over PVC or polyvinyl chloride liners. There are concerns about the health effects and fumes that arise when PVC is heated. The liner header has a reinforced buttonhole top for curtain rings to slip through or can be used with clips. And, the three magnets at the bottom of the liner will keep it flat against tub walls.
The liner can be washed with sheets and towels in warm water and hung to drip dry. At this price, you may just want to replace it every few months and use the old one as a drop cloth.
Pros: Very affordable, weighted bottom, made of soft, non-toxic vinyl
Cons: Slightly smaller than some liners, lightweight and can tear if pulled on excessively
The best extra large shower curtain liner
Do you have a claw-foot tub and shower or a custom-designed shower stall? The N&Y Home Extra Wide Shower Curtain Liner provides the coverage you need.
You finally have the bathroom of your dreams and it includes a huge walk-in shower or a claw-foot tub and shower fixture. Now, where are you going to find a shower curtain liner large enough to fit the space properly? Fortunately, there is N&Y Home Extra Wide Shower Curtain Liner to come to the rescue.
While this liner comes in 26 different sizes, it is one of the few on the market available in a 108-by-72-inch size. The liner is made from a white closely-knit polyester fabric with a subtle diamond pattern that is water-repellent, quick-drying, and sturdy. To help support the weight of the fabric, the reinforced top header includes 18 metal grommets for easy and reliable hanging.
The liner is machine-washable in cold water and comes with a three-month warranty against mildew and bacterial growth. It can be tumbled dry and ironed on low heat if you decide to use it as a shower curtain.
Pros: Extra-wide width, quick-drying fabric, mildew resistant
Cons: Not weighted at the bottom, the fabric may not be as water-resistant after washing
The best fabric liner
For a shower curtain liner that can stand alone and add a bit of flair to your bath decor, the Barossa Design Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain is an excellent choice.
Not everyone wants to spend money on both a shower curtain liner and a decorative outer curtain. Perhaps you're simply renting or plan to move soon and just want something that looks good and keeps the water contained. Or perhaps a plasticky liner just isn't to your taste and you'd prefer to keep things simple. The Barossa Design Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain will provide a clean aesthetic at a reasonable price — and it will keep your bathroom floor dry too.
The liner comes in many different sizes so you're sure to find one that fits your shower dimensions. This textured heavyweight polyester curtain has a thick cotton-like feel, but it's water-resistant so droplets will bead off and it will dry quickly. The reinforced header is finished with rust-proof grommets for shower curtain rings. Easily machine-washable, the fabric is resistant to wrinkling.
Pros: Comes in several colors and sizes, water repellent, easy care
Cons: Can mold if not washed regularly
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best spice grindersThe best beach chairsThe best pepper mills and salt grinders
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Shower curtains, shower curtain liners, Bathrooms, Bathroom Guides, Home Guides, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Insider Picks 2020, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 00:26July 7, 2020The best comforters for your bedComforters keep you extra warm and cozy at night and they can also add a fun splash of color or pattern to your bedroom. Of all the comforters we researched, our top pick is the comfortable and well-made Topsleepy Luxurious All Size Goose Down Comforter.
Read more: The best weighted blankets When you're shopping for a bed, salespeople will tell you not to skimp on quality. After all, you're in bed eight hours per day — maybe more if you're lucky. That's equal to one-third of your life.
And with so much of your time spent in bed, you might as well be warm while you're there, which is why investing in a high-quality comforter is key. A wide variety of comforters are available in a spectrum of price points, depending on the type of fill, the color options, the insulation level, and the size.
Understanding terms for comforters
When shopping for a comforter, you will encounter a few different pieces of terminology, according to The Wirecutter. Understanding each of these terms will help you find a comforter to meet your needs. Baffle box vs. sewn-through: A baffle box comforter is sewn with flexible boxes that create pockets. The idea is that the fill inside the comforter cannot shift too far out of its box, ensuring the fill remains properly spread throughout the entire area of the comforter. Meanwhile, a sewn-through comforter has sewing through both the top and bottom layers of the comforter, creating patterns such as diamonds, channels, or curved rectangles. The fill does not shift at all with a sewn-through comforter, performing slightly better than a baffle box comforter in terms of evenly distributing warmth.
Duvet vs. comforter: For most comforters and duvets sold in North America, the terms are used interchangeably, as the bedding company Crane & Canopy explains. Technically, a duvet is very similar to a comforter but doesn't have an outer shell, meaning it's usually placed inside a duvet cover. Duvets often are not used with other types of bed linen, such as sheets or blankets, while a comforter is used with those types of bed linen. Some of our picks can also be used with duvet covers.
Fill power: This measures the amount of volume that one ounce of down occupies. A larger fill power number equals a comforter that provides a greater level of insulation. In other words, the comforter with the higher fill power number offers greater warmth without being heavier. A fill power of around 600 provides average warmth and durability, according to Good Housekeeping. Higher fill power numbers have greater durability and insulation; lower numbers won't provide as much warmth, which may be desirable in warmer climates or in the summer.
Thread count: Similar to a bedsheet, the thread count in a comforter indicates the number of yarns within an inch of the fabric. Higher thread counts equal finer yarns, which are more comfortable and softer than larger yarns. Because a comforter probably won't be touching your skin, thread count for softness isn't quite as important as with a bedsheet. More importantly for a comforter though, a higher thread count ensures the fill will remain inside, rather than leaking out through gaps between yarns. Types of fills for comforters The fill used inside the comforter plays a key role in your enjoyment of it, as explained in Sleepedia, Good Housekeeping, and The Wirecutter. Down alternative: If the comforter doesn't use goose down or duck down as a filler, you may see down alternative listed in the specifications. This can include cotton fibers, cotton-polyester blend fibers, and gel fibers. Gel fiber is the most expensive type of down alternative, as it provides the most softness.
Down cluster: The down cluster is the fluffiest portion of a duck feather or goose feather, existing under the main part of the feather. When used in a comforter, it provides greater warmth than the main part of the feather. A comforter manufacturer may list the percentage of down cluster used in the fill in the blanket's specifications. A higher percentage of down cluster equals a higher quality comforter and a higher fill power number.
Duck down: In North America, duck down is a more common comforter fill material than goose down. As a general rule, duck down is not as fluffy as goose down, so it's not often found in the highest-end comforters.
Goose down: Goose down is the most common fill material in European-made comforters. It provides a little more fluff versus duck down on average, although exceptions do occur. Look at the specification list for a particular comforter, and you should see the percentages of the types of fill it contains. Now onto our top picks for the best comforters.
Here are the best comforters you can buy: Best comforter overall: Topsleepy Luxurious All Size Goose Down Comforter
Best comforter from a startup: Brooklinen Real Goose Down Comforter
Best colorful comforter: The Company Store LaCrosse Down Comforter
Best budget comforter: LinenSpa All-Season Down Alternative Quilted Comforter
Best luxury comforter: Highland Feather Carmel Hutterite Goose Down Comforter
Best hypoallergenic alternative down comforter: Superior Solid White Down Alternative Comforter
Best goose down comforter: Puredown Real Goose Down Comforter
Best 1,200 thread count comforter: Egyptian Bedding 1200 Thread Count Goose Down Comforter Prices and links are updated as of 7/6/20. We added additional comforter options (down alternative and weighted) from Brooklinen, our pick for the best comforter from a startup. We also added a section breaking down the other comforters we considered for this guide, including Equinox, a popular Amazon brand, and Buffy, another startup. The best comforter overall
The Topsleepy Luxurious All Size Goose Down Comforter provides just the right level of warmth at a great price point.
The Topsleepy Luxurious All Size Goose Down Comforter will keep you warm and cozy all year round with its 50% goose down filling and baffle stitching. It's not too heavy or too warm, so you can use it most of the year.
Since it's a plain white comforter and it doesn't have the highest thread count at 300, you may want to put it inside a duvet cover. A duvet cover will protect the comforter from staining and losing feathers and it'll also add some color or a fun pattern to your bed. You can check out the best duvet covers on Insider Reviews for some ideas.
Additionally, the Topsleepy Luxurious Goose Down Comforter is very easy to clean. Just use lukewarm water to spot clean the comforter and air dry it. A duvet cover will keep it even cleaner and ensure it lasts longer, though.
Should you have any problems with it, Topsleepy says it's guaranteed for 15 years. You can check the instruction book it comes with for information on how to send the comforter back for a refund or exchange. The price is also much more reasonable than most other comforters, making it a good pick for most people.
Pros: Low price point, good construction quality for the money, provides comfort in all types of weather, easy to clean, goose down fill, baffle design keeps down from shifting
Cons: Low thread count allows some fill to escape, only 50% goose down fill
The best comforter from a startup
The Brooklinen Down Comforter is super luxurious and well made with a 700 fill power and 400 thread count.
If you don't like buying from big-name companies and you'd much prefer checking out a startup, Brooklinen is our favorite new bedding brand. Its down comforter is a great buy.
It's hand-made in the Hutterite communities of Northwest Canada, and contains 700 fill power white down, making it extra cozy and warm. The fill is covered by a 400 thread count cotton sateen shell that's soft to the touch, just like Brooklinen's sheets, which are among our favorites.
Brooklinen has a lifetime warranty, too, so if you don't like it for whatever reason, the company offers free exchanges or replacements.
For those who experience allergies, don't worry — Brooklinen offers a down alternative version, too.
Meanwhile, if you know you like weighted blankets but don't like how they may shift or slide on your existing comforter, Brooklinen also offers a weighted comforter, which we've tested and loved for its thick, fluffy feel and built-in heft.
Pros: Made in Canada, 700 fill power, real goose down, 400 thread count cover, lifetime warranty
Cons: More pricey
The best colorful comforter
The Company Store
The LaCrosse Down Comforter from The Company Store works great in all seasons and it comes in fun color choices.
If you're tired of boring white comforters, The Company Store LaCrosse Down Comforter is a smart choice. It carries a slightly above average price point, but you'll be able to find just the right shade to go with your bedroom's décor.
You can get the comforter in colors like ivory, russet, bubblegum, walnut, navy, chino, coal, guava, and silver. It has a 250-thread-count combed cotton shell that's Oeko-Tex certified, so you know it's chemical-free. It's made with a sewn-through 12-inch box construction that ensures the 100% duck down filling never spills out.
If you do want to pop it in a duvet cover, the comforter has corner loops to attach duvets with ties. You can check out the best duvet covers on Insider Reviews for some ideas. Additionally, the LaCrosse comforter is machine washable for easy cleaning.
In the Home Construction Improvement review of the LaCrosse comforter, the reviewer appreciated the high-quality sewn-through design, as well as its warmth in cold weather. Even though this comforter provides a good deal of warmth with its fill power of 500 to 550, one Amazon customer reviewer found it worked great in summer, too.
Pros: Large number of color options, works well in all kinds of weather, includes loops to keep comforter in place on the bed, high-quality sewn-through design
Cons: Pricey, lower thread count than some of our other picks
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best spice grindersThe best pepper mills and salt grindersThe best coffee mugsSEE ALSO: The best duvet covers you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Home, Bedroom, Comforter, Best Guides, Guide Update, Bedding Guides, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 00:26July 7, 2020The best spice grindersFreshly ground spices brighten just about any dish, so if you love to cook, you may want a versatile spice grinder. The Secura Electric Coffee & Spice Grinder is our top pick with its strong motor that is resistant to overheating and two bowls for chopping and grinding. The idea of grinding your own spices may seem like a hassle when it's just so easy to pick up pre-ground options at the grocery store. Yet, taste test after taste test reveals that freshly ground spices produce dishes with a superior roundness of flavor, vibrancy, and aroma. Therefore, a good spice grinder provides a fairly simple way to step up your culinary chops.
We looked at dozens of different alternatives while researching the best spice grinders. The grinders included in our guide are highly rated by buyers and experts alike because of their ease of use, consistent performance, and how painless the cleaning process is.
Here are the best spice grinders: Best overall: Secura Electric Coffee & Spice Grinder
Best manual spice grinder: Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder
Best electric grinder on a budget: KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
Best manual grinder on a budget: Bazaar Anatolia Turkish Grinder
Best pepper mill and salt grinder: Peugeot Paris u'Select 9-inch Pepper and Salt Mill Prices and links are current as of 7/6/20. We added a product showcase at the top of the guide to make our picks easier to see at a glance.The best spice grinder overall
If you are looking for an effective, mess-free way to grind spices quickly, the Secura Electric Coffee Grinder & Spice Grinder is an excellent option.
The Secura Electric Coffee Grinder & Spice Grinder comes with two stainless steel bowls. One has two stainless steel blades, which are designed for grinding spices. The other "chopper" bowl has four blades for chopping vegetables, oats, and nuts. The exterior of the grinder is also made of stainless steel.
The grinder is relatively easy to use because there is only one switch for turning the device on and off. For safety, the plastic, transparent lid must be in place in order for the motor to run. And, the motor features built-in overheat protection, which is meant to extend its lifespan. Secura backs up the grinder with a one-year limited warranty.
You can use it to grind just about anything from pepper and sea salt, to coffee beans and nuts.
Pros: Motor resistant to overheating, removable bowls for chopping and grinding
Cons: Motor can only run for several seconds at a time
The best manual spice grinder
The Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder is ideal for people who don't want to waste electricity on tasks they can easily perform with a little muscle.
Unlike most manual spice grinders that utilize a rotating crank, the Kuhn Rikon grinder works using a back-and-forth motion.
First, you load the spices you want to grind into the front door. Then, you adjust the desired coarseness by turning the knob on the bottom of the device either clockwise for a finer grind or counterclockwise for a coarser grind. To operate, you move the ergonomic BPA-free hard plastic handle back and forth. This causes the ceramic stone grinder to break the spices into smaller particles.
You can use it to grind all kinds of spices, including pepper, sea salt, and more. Its ceramic grinder won't corrode, and the large capacity makes it easy to grind a lot of your favorite spice quickly. On the finest setting, the grinder produces a true powder.
Pros: Doesn't require electricity/batteries, easy on the hands
Cons: Reports of durability problems
The best electric grinder on a budget
The KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder is a fast grinder that is easy to use and can double as a coffee grinder in a pinch.
The KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder features a strong 200-watt motor with stainless-steel blades. It's able to achieve uniform grinds thanks to the unique oval design. For ease of use and safety, the grinder is activated only when the lid is on and the button is pressed. The grinding compartment holds up to three ounces of grains, nuts, herbs, spices, coffee, and more. KRUPS backs up the quality of this product with a two-year warranty.
The Insider Reviews Deputy Editor, Malarie Gokey, had a chance to test the KRUPS grinder for her guide to the best coffee grinders you can buy. Though much of her review was based on its usability for grinding coffee, Malarie noted that the unit was surprisingly easy to clean with nothing more than a pastry brush.
In Cook's Illustrated's look at the top electric spice grinders, the KRUPS grinder came out on top. In its testing, the grinder was able to grind all spices exceptionally fine and left little on the lab screen. It received high ratings for ease of use and grinding abilities. The Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder was also the top choice at Serious Eats. Though the reviewers found it annoying to clean since only the lid is removable, the grind was the best compared to the other options they tested.
Pros: Affordable and achieves an even, fine grind
Cons: The grinding bowl is not removable for cleaning
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best comforters for your bedThe best pepper mills and salt grindersThe best coffee mugsSEE ALSO: The best pepper mills and salt grinders you can buy
DON'T MISS: The best coffee grinders you can buy
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- Business Insider 22:12July 6, 2020The best beach chairsA beach chair is of the utmost importance in ensuring you have a comfortable day at the beach or any outdoor event.
The best beach chairs offer a combination of value, comfort, portability, and durability, assuring that you'll not only enjoy sitting in them but that they won't break the bank and will last for several years. Our top pick, the RIO Brands 5-position Lay Flat Beach Chair, is affordable, comfortable, easy to transport, and can recline in five different positions, making it great for backyard BBQs, weekend camping outings, or trips to the beach. When I was a kid, I thought beach chairs were for old people. When it was time to stake out my sand territory, I'd happily spread out my colorful, oversized beach towel and never thought twice about sitting in an upright position.
Now, as an adult, I won't spend even a minute on the beach without a proper chair. It's absolutely necessary for comfort and for keeping my drink of choice upright and sand-free.
Of course, beach chairs have changed a lot since my childhood. Not only are there more lightweight options, but today's chairs are packed with fun accessories like drink holders, insulated cooler pouches, pockets, attached umbrellas, and much more. In addition, many of them can be transported on your back or over your shoulder.
What to look for when shopping for a beach chair
It's important to keep a few key features in mind while shopping, most notably the frame, the kind of seat it uses, the build material, its weight range, and portability. The frame of the chair may be steel, aluminum, or wood, and choosing between either depends not just on personal preference but also on how you intend to use it. Wood chairs might not be as portable while a steel chair will inevitably be more durable.
Meanwhile, the chair's seat may be made from marine-grade canvas, polyester, nylon, or cotton. For durability, you should aim for a denier strength (a measurement of fabric thickness and weight) between 420D-600D. Beach chairs typically support weights ranging from 225 to 400 pounds, but always check before purchasing.
If you plan on transporting the chair, you'll want to select one that's capable of being carried easily. Some beach chairs fold in half vertically or horizontally, while others fold into three sections. Look for chairs with an attachable sling shoulder carry strap, a separate carry bag with strap, or backpack style carry straps.
To help you find a chair suited to your lifestyle, we've tested a selection from brands like Tommy Bahama and Coleman to find the best currently available.
Here are the best beach chairs: Best overall: RIO Brands 5-position Lay Flat Beach Chair Best with a cooler: Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair
Best reclining chair with an umbrella: Sport-Brella Recliner Chair
Best quad beach chair: Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler
Best backpack chair: ONIVA Fusion backpack chair Updated on 7/6/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the introduction to include section on what to look for when shopping for a beach chair, checked the availability of each pick, and updated the formatting, pricing, and links throughout. The best beach chair overall
Affordable and easy to carry, the simple yet sturdy RIO Brands 5-Position Lay Flat Beach Chair will keep you comfortable all day long.
Founded in 1947, RIO Brands focuses on creating beautiful beach and backyard furniture. Made of durable 300-denier polyester and a lightweight, rust-proof aluminum frame, the RIO Brands 5-Position Lay Flat Beach Chair is built to last. It's also built for comfort. Five positions, including a flat position ideal for tanning (or napping!), means you can adjust throughout the day for the perfect lounging mode. The armrests have a no-pinch feature.
The Rio 5-Position is also easy to transport. It's lightweight at 6 pounds, foldable, and comes with an adjustable padded shoulder strap for easy carrying.
Pros: Lightweight, affordable, sits close to the ground, durable fabric and frame, carrying strap, attractive designs
Cons: Depending on where it's set up, it can be hard to get out of
The best beach chair with a cooler
The attractive and comfortable Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair is lightweight, easy to adjust, and holds everything from your phone to a six-pack of Coke.
Carry this lightweight chair on your back with comfortable padded straps? Check. Cooler? Yes. Cup holder? Of course. This five-position Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair has all the features you could possibly want in a beach chair.
It allows you to lay flat and comes with a built-in adjustable pillow for extra comfort throughout the day. Two large storage compartments keep you organized. One is insulated to keep your food and drinks cool, too. The contour molded armrest has a hanging cup holder, as well as a phone compartment. A folding towel bar on the back of the chair allows you to easily dry your towels and wet clothes.
The chair is lightweight and its rust-proof aluminum frame is enhanced with durable 600-denier polyester and can hold up to 300 pounds. The chair's back is made of canvas.
Pros: Lightweight, 5-positions, zippered storage compartments, insulated cooler that can hold up to 7 12-oz cans, adjustable pillow, easy to carry
Cons: The fabric isn't terribly durable
The best reclining beach chair with an umbrella
The Sport-Brella Recliner Chair comes with a swiveling umbrella, as well as insulated cooler and drink pouches.
Sit up, lay back, or nap. You can get comfortable in three different positions with the Sport-Brella Recliner Chair. The chair's umbrella has a 50+ UPF rating to protect you from the sun and a metallic underside to deflect heat. The umbrella is versatile, too. Not only can you attach it to either side of your chair, but it swivels into three different positions to ensure you are always in the shade.
The chair has a built-in insulated pocket that holds up to four drinks, a cup holder, and a zippered storage pocket that has a built-in bottle opener. Its lightweight, stainless steel frame supports up to 250 pounds, too.
Pros: Detachable footrest, ample storage, insulated storage, cup holder, detachable and adjustable umbrella, lightweight
Cons: The umbrella can be a little flimsy
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best pepper mills and salt grindersThe best golf ballsThe best coffee mugs
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Beach, beach chair, Insider Picks 2019, Best Guides, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 21:40July 6, 2020The best pepper mills and salt grindersThe best pepper mills and salt grinders use steel or ceramic gears to grind spices to the exact size you want.
Of all the pepper mills and salt grinders we've tested, Peugeot's Paris u'Select 9-inch Pepper Mill and Salt Mill are the very best you can buy. If you've never had freshly ground pepper or salt, you may wonder why on Earth you'd want to have to do all that work to season your food. However, once you've tasted the beauty of freshly ground salt and pepper, you'll never want to go back to pre-packaged spices.
Pepper, in particular, loses its flavor and strength when it's packaged already ground. It goes stale and loses its bite quickly. Salt can also take on a special flavor when you grind it freshly — especially if you're using sea salt and a grinder that lets you determine how fine you want it.
The best pepper mills and salt grinders last a lifetime. They're made with high-end steel or ceramic gears that grind your spices as finely or as coarsely as you want them. Mills should also be easy to fill up and pretty enough to grace your dining room table or kitchen counter.
I tried several different brands before I finally settled on the best set for my needs. The picks in this guide are based on personal testing and research into the best grinders and mills you can buy.
Here are the best pepper mills and salt grinders: Best overall: Peugeot Paris U'Select 9-inch Pepper and Salt Mill
Best modern design: Fletchers' Mill Border Grill Salt or Pepper Mills
Best clear set: Cole & Mason Derwent Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
Best set on a budget: OXO Good Grips Lua Salt and Pepper Mill Set Prices and links are current as of 7/6/20. We also added a selection of related buying guides.The best overall
Peugeot's Paris u'Select 9-inch Pepper and Salt Mills set the gold standard with their gorgeous, durable design and adjustable grind settings.
Peugeot has been making pepper and salt mills since 1840, so the French company knows what it's doing. When I first started my hunt for pepper mills, I was trying very hard not to buy from Peugeot because of the high price tag. However, having tried many others before I finally caved and bought these exact mills, I can confidently say that they are the very best you can buy.
The Paris u'Select mills have six different settings, so you can grind your pepper as coarsely or as finely as you wish. To change your grind settings, simply twist the bottom half of the mill to your preferred setting. Both the pepper and salt mills are made from beechwood and you can choose between a few finishes and a range of sizes. I have the dark chocolate colored ones, and they develop a nice polished patina from the oils in your hands over time.
A two-stage burr-style system made from case-hardened steel grinds the peppercorns. Helix-shaped grooves inside the mill crack the peppercorns before grinding to ensure that all the oils and flavors survive the process. The finer settings are really nice for most use cases, I've found.
The salt grinder works a bit differently: Two ribbed plates break and crush sea salt to whatever size you choose. The salt grinding mechanism is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel for added durability. I've found that the middle setting is best for sea salt so that you don't have to grind for ages to get enough fine sea salt to season your dish.
These mills will last you a lifetime. I've had mine for several years now, and they're still going strong. Peugeot has a lifetime guarantee on the grinding mechanism and a two-year warranty on the mill itself.
Pros: Gorgeous wood construction, strong steel grinding mechanism, durable, adjustable settings, lifetime guarantee for grinding mechanism
The best modern design
Fletchers' Mill Border Grill Salt and Pepper Mills are proudly made in America with a lifetime guarantee, variable grind settings, and a gorgeous wooden design.
Fletchers' Mill makes beautiful wooden pepper mills, salt mills, and rolling pins right in New Vineyard, Maine. It's a family run business that uses sustainable wood to craft beautiful products that are guaranteed to last a lifetime. The company's pepper and salt mills are terrific.
Fletchers' Border Grill Salt and Pepper Mills are made from cherry, mahogany, or walnut wood, and you can buy them in fun colors, too. They look classy and simple on any kitchen counter or dining room table.
The mills use a special lock and grind system that allows you to adjust the grind to the exact level of coarseness or fineness that you want. The metal nut on the top is used to adjust the grind. The grind level is a bit less precise than our top pick from Peugeot, but it's perfectly adequate.
Its pepper mills use a stainless steel two-step mechanism that crushes the peppercorns before it grinds them so as to enhance the flavor and keep the natural oils in the pepper. Meanwhile, the salt mills use an adjustable nylon crushing system to pulverize sea salt.
Fletchers' Mill makes the second-best mills around, so if you prefer something that's made in America to the Peugeots that come from France, these are your mills.
Pros: Strong wooden construction, attractive design, adjustable grind settings
Cons: Expensive, grind not as precise as Peugeot
The best clear set
Cole & Mason
The Cole & Mason Derwent Salt and Pepper Grinder Set looks gorgeous with its slick acrylic and copper design.
If you're not into the solid wood design of our top two picks, the sleek modern look of the Cole & Mason's Derwent Salt and Pepper Grinder Set may be a welcome change. These grinders have a clear acrylic body that showcases the peppercorns and salt chunks inside. Accents in either copper, stainless steel, or dark wood sit at both the top and bottom of these mills.
You can choose from six precise grinds, ranging from coarse to fine. Unlike the grinding systems used by our other picks, Cole & Mason's set doesn't crush the peppercorns, but rather "strips them down by their individual layers as it grinds." As such, you may not get the same complexity of flavor as you would with the Peugeot mills. Most people are unlikely to spot much of a difference, and the company claims its method is better.
The pepper grinder uses carbon steel gears to grind the peppercorns, while the salt mill uses ceramic gears. Both mills have a lifetime guarantee on the mechanism, which is great. The physical mill may be less long-lasting than wood, but we expect it will hold up just fine.
Pros: Pretty modern design, adjustable grind settings, comes in a set, strong grinding mechanisms
Cons: Expensive, not as durable as wood, questionable longevity
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best coffee mugsThe best mini fridgesThe best golf ballsSEE ALSO: The best KitchenAid mixers you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Kitchen, Cooking, Insider Picks 2020, Kitchen appliances, Kitchen Tools, Best Guides, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 20:07July 6, 2020The best golf ballsLike picking out the right clubs, choosing which golf ball to use for a day spent on the links is an important decision — and not all are created equal.
Whether you're just learning the game of golf or have several years of the sport under your belt, you'll want to make sure you find a ball suited to your play style and preference — and just because you like the balls the pros use on the weekends, doesn't mean you'll have the same outcome they do.
To help, we've tested a variety of the top golf balls currently available from brands like Titleist, TaylorMade, and Callaway to find the best for a variety of golfers.
Our top pick, the Titleist Tour Soft golf ball, delivers outstanding performance and feel, and has a distance that'll work nicely for any mid- to low-handicap players. One of the best things about the game of golf is that you can test yourself on many of the same courses and hole distances the pros you watch on television play. Better yet, you're even able to use some of the same equipment they use to make the weekend cut.
Of course, once you take a look at the cost of some of the drivers and irons the pros use, you may want to seek out a cheaper way of copying your favorite pro's game. One way to do that is to pick up a pack of the same golf balls they use. No matter if it's Tiger's signature Bridgestone ball or Jordan Spieth's Titelists, picking up a pack of the same brand or style takes little more than a simple Google search.
And perhaps the golf skill to pull off using a ball intended for elite golfers.
What to keep in mind while shopping for golf balls
Even though it may feel cool to use the same ball as whoever just won the Masters, it's worth mentioning that you're highly unlikely to receive the same performance from that pro-level golf ball as the pro does. Pro-level balls react differently to the skills professional players have versus the talent of the occasional weekend golfer's skill level.
This means that those balls are often fine-tuned to respond exactly as that golfer sees fit. If they favor a fade shot while driving on the fairway, then a golfer who tends to draw will likely have a far different experience. The contact sweet spot which allows for greater driving distances can also be much smaller which may produce more off-the-mark strikes for less accurate golfers.
But even if you aren't yet cut out for the PGA Tour, it doesn't mean you have to ditch seeking out your favorite golfer's preferred ball altogether. Different levels of golf balls are available to meet the needs of different levels of players, both in terms of skill and in terms of price. So, maybe you can play with a ball from the same company as your favorite pro but just choose a level or two lower than what he or she uses.
To help, we've tested a variety of golf balls from a who's who in the business such as Callaway, Titleist, and TaylorMade to find the best currently available. And don't fret, our guide includes picks for every skill level and type of player, too.
Here are the best golf balls: Best golf ball overall: Titleist Tour Soft
Best ball for amateurs to learn to spin: TaylorMade Project (a)
Best golf ball for straight flight: Bridgestone e6 Speed
Best value golf ball: Callaway Warbird
Best high-end golf ball: Titleist Pro V1 Updated on 7/6/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the introduction to include a section on what to keep in mind while shopping, checked the availability of each selected golf ball, and updated the prices, formatting, links, and copy throughout. The best golf ball overall
The Titleist Tour Soft has been redesigned for better distance and feel versus other two-layer golf balls.
The Titleist Tour Soft golf ball is a new ball from one of the best golf ball makers around, and it delivers a great mix of distance and feel. Whether it will be as popular as its predecessors — the Titleist NXT Tour and the Tour S — remains to be seen, but it's an interesting choice at a great price.
The Tour Soft is a two-layer golf ball with an extremely thin cover, which may leave some golfers skeptical that it can deliver the performance of a three- or four-layer ball. Titleist is banking on the huge core to give advanced golfers the control they want and expect from a multiple-layer ball.
Titleist redesigned the cover on the Tour Soft ball, making it with a mix of materials, to better handle the large core that allows for greater exit velocity for the ball.
The thinner cover delivers feel and spin. Golf Info Guide says the Tour Soft should give you a better level of feel than the balls it's attempting to replace. However, it's a little more difficult to spin the Tour Soft on short approach shots and chip shots than some other high-level golf balls.
The softness of the Titleist Tour Soft is noticeable on the greens, too. It takes far less force to putt with this ball, which should give you more control over your stroke on long putts.
Pros: Smart new design gives you more feel than a normal two-layer ball, huge core delivers more exit speed and distance, offered at a reasonable price point for a newly designed ball
Cons: Spin control on chip shots lags a little bit, only a two-layer ball, which leaves some golfers skeptical
The best golf ball for amateurs
When you want to learn how to spin a golf ball on approach shots, the TaylorMade Project (a) golf ball will give you more control than most balls aimed at bogey-level golfers.
One of the best ways for mid-level amateur players to make a jump in their scores is to improve their performance on approach shots and around the green. To become a high-level golfer, learning how to spin the ball off iron and wedge shots will help quite a bit, as the right spin can help you keep the ball closer to the pin.
When you're just learning how to spin and control the ball, the best ball to help you is the TaylorMade Project (a). This ball, which has been upgraded in 2018, carries a high spin rate when struck properly.
Of course, if you don't strike it properly, it can cause a greater severity of hook or slice, which means this TaylorMade ball probably isn't the best choice for high-handicap golfers. Still, this ball can potentially help a bogey golfer to start consistently shooting in the 80s.
TaylorMade uses a three-layer design to give the Project (a) golf ball its high level of spin. The better spin results should give mid-level handicappers the ability to keep the ball closer to the pin on approach shots, leading to shorter putts and better scores. However, you may notice more spin off the face of the driver, too.
Pros: High level of spin on approach and chip shots, good price point for such a responsive ball, TaylorMade recently gave ball a slight design upgrade, three-layer construction works great for many levels of golfers
Cons: Mis-hits will slice or hook more severely than other balls, thin cover on the ball will scuff easily
The best golf ball for straight flight
For less-skilled golfers, golf balls with high levels of spin could lead to more severe slices and hooks, so the Bridgestone e6 Speed golf ball's promise of less spin makes it a great choice.
One of the biggest frustrations for mid-to-high-handicap golfers is hitting the ball straight. It doesn't take long to ruin a solid score by slicing your drive on the 12th hole into the trees and taking five shots to work your way out.
Certainly, improving your swing is the best way to avoid unwanted slices and hooks that leave you in big trouble off the tee. The Bridgestone e6 Speed golf ball can help you stay straighter off the tee, too, while also delivering a nice level of distance.
These golf balls carry a really nice price point, closer to the value end of the market than the top end and it works well for amateur players who don't have a high club speed and exit velocity rate for the ball.
Don't expect to have a lot of spin control with these Bridgestone balls, though, as the design of the e6 Speed causes for a slower spin rate, which provides a straighter shot.
Bridgestone is betting on the fact that for most amateur golfers who are fighting their swings a bit, a straighter ball is more beneficial than a spin control ball. The company uses a three-layer construction with the e6 Speed, but its middle layer works to reduce spin, rather than enhance spin like many three-layer balls.
Pros: Designed to reduce the spin of the golf ball for straighter shots, when struck properly should give you a bit more distance, works well for amateur players who don't have a high club speed, nice price point
Cons: Less backspin means it can be tougher to hold the green, not really made for advanced players who want ball control
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best coffee mugsThe best vinyl cuttersThe best baking sheets
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Sports, Golf Balls, golfing, Sports Equipment, Insider Picks 2019, Guide Update, Fitness Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, >
- Business Insider 20:05July 6, 2020The best tabletsTablets are ideal for kids, travelers, and professionals — it just depends on which one you buy.
The best tablet for most people is Apple's 2019 10.2-inch iPad, but we've also included a number of other excellent tablets that are best for different uses. There aren't nearly as many tablet options as there are smartphones, but there's a tablet for pretty much anyone.
You'll hear it from us, and you'll hear it from most tech authorities — the most highly recommended tablet for most people is almost always going to be Apple's standard iPad. At its $329.00 full retail price, it's affordable enough while offering the best set of features and apps. And if there's ever a deal on Apple's standard iPad, it's pretty much a no-brainer for anyone in the market for a tablet.
Still, there are other worthwhile options, especially when it comes to lower price ranges that might be more suitable for certain users, like kids, or using a tablet exclusively as a video streaming device where power and features don't really matter.
And there's the opposite end of the spectrum, where powerful tablets are better suited for power and professional users who can justify the extra cost that comes with performance and high-end features.
Here are the best tablets you can buy: Best tablet overall: 2019 Apple 10.2-inch iPad
Best budget tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8
Best high-end Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Best iPad Pro: 2018 Apple iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch
Best for kids: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition
Best small tablet: 2019 Apple iPad Mini
Best Windows tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Updated on 7/6/2020 by Antonio Villas-Boas: Checked all links and prices for accuracy. Adjusted iPad Pro category to "Professional" category. Updated tablets to latest models. The best tablet for most people
The 2019 10.2-inch iPad is a great tablet for the vast majority of tablet users, and it supports the Apple Pencil.
Apple's iPads have always been the best tablets you can buy, but the high price tags made it tough to find an iPad on a budget. All that has changed with the 2019 10.2-inch iPad. It costs a mere $329.00, but it offers nearly all of the same high-end specs and features as the top-of-the-line iPad Pros. It just has an older processor, and it's missing some of the extra bells and whistles that aren't totally necessary, from our experience.
If you own an aging iPad or iPad Mini, the new 10.2-inch iPad is an excellent upgrade. If you have an iPad Air 2 or an iPad Pro, you don't need to get the new one. The entry-level iPad is for anyone who has always wanted an iPad, but couldn't afford the $500+ price tag. It's an absolute steal at $329.00, and even more so if you can find a deal on it.
The screen is sharp, the A10 processor is very capable (even though it's not the iPhone 11's A13 chip), the battery life should be great, and you can even buy things on it with Apple Pay, thanks to the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
It also supports the Apple Pencil, an incredible stylus with virtually no lag. You will have to pay $100 extra for the Pencil, but if you like to take notes or draw on your iPad, it is well worth it. Naturally, any Bluetooth keyboard also works with the iPad, so if you want to use it as a quasi-laptop, you can pick up a great keyboard.
You simply can't beat those specs at that price point. Comparable Android tablets cost hundreds of dollars more, and the iPad still has a better app library and accessory support.
The aluminum build looks and feels premium, and the 10.2-inch screen size makes it a very portable device that's easy to stow away in your bag. It's quite light, too, so you can happily binge-watch Netflix in bed on your new iPad. Tech nerds will say it's a boring old design, but it's tried and true. Plus, the aluminum build is durable. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Incredible price for an iPad, slick aluminum design, Touch ID for security and Apple Pay, gorgeous screen, supports the Apple Pencil, iOS 13
Cons: Runs on a four-year-old chip, so it's best suited for light users
The best budget tablet
The latest 10th-generation 2020 Amazon Fire HD 8 is super affordable, but it still delivers a good set of features that you'll enjoy using for watching videos and running simple apps.
Normally, you get what you pay for when it comes to technology. Once in a while though, you receive more than what you expect with a bargain-priced piece of tech.
The latest 2020 model of the Amazon Fire HD 8 is going to surprise you with its sub-$100 price tag and great performance. This certainly isn't a tablet that's going to compete with high-end iPads, but it has a good set of features for those who need only the basics from a tablet.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 also offers good parental controls, so it's a great tablet to give an older kid.
Pros: Extremely low price point, performs basic functions of a tablet well, offers expandable storage with a memory card slot, good for kids, works especially well for those with Amazon Prime accounts
Cons: Can't compete with powerful iPads, battery charges very slowly, display size of just 8 inches
The best high-end Android tablet
Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6 is the best powerful Android tablet you can buy, and it comes with a great stylus.
Although the iPad is the best tablet for most people's needs, there are those who prefer to have an Android tablet and want one that's just as high-powered as the iPad Pro. For those people, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the answer.
Its 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen has a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel resolution, and it's absolutely stunning. I binge-watched an entire new Netflix series on it and was deeply impressed by the picture quality and clarity. Most people tend to use their tablets for streaming video, so the high-quality screen is a major plus.
In terms of sound quality, the quad speakers — tuned by AKG — sounded great. Just make sure you don't cover them with your hands. The battery also lasted through the five-episode series with juice to spare. Samsung says the tablet gets 15 hours of battery life, and that proved true in my experience. Thanks to fast charging, the battery replenishes quite quickly.
It weighs less than a pound at 0.92 pounds, but you will likely need two hands to wield it, due to its size. The tablet is slim and lightweight enough to be a portable travel companion.
Beyond streaming, the Tab S6 is also fully capable as a laptop replacement in a pinch if you pay extra for a Samsung's keyboard case or another Bluetooth keyboard. It's a shame that the keyboard isn't just included in the price. The tablet does come with the S-Pen stylus, so at least you don't have to pay extra for that. I love using the stylus to take notes and draw.
The tablet's Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB of RAM handled all tasks with ease. You can get 128 or 256GB of storage built into the tablet, and you can expand the storage by up to 512GB with a MicroSD card. That's good news for people who download lots of apps, games, and videos from Netflix and other services.
If you want to use it as a 2-in-1 tablet and laptop, you can get the compatible keyboard case, but it will cost you more. The tablet does come with the S-Pen stylus, so at least you don't have to pay extra for that.
It is an expensive tablet on the whole, but if you want a top-of-the-line Android tablet that will last you for years, it's a good option.
Pros: Big sharp screen, powerful processor, comes with a stylus, long battery life
Cons: Expensive, keyboard costs more
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best TV deals for the Fourth of July include $400 off LG's brand-new CX 4K OLED TVI've been using this $450 Android phone that has features even Apple's $1,000 iPhone 11 Pro is missing — here are the best and worst things about it so far4 times that major tech companies, from Apple to Google and Amazon, tried and failed to break into video games
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Tech, Tablet, iPad, Tech Guides, Tablet Guides, Buying Guides, Best Guides, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, IP Guide, IP Guides, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, >
- Business Insider 19:30July 6, 2020The best coffee mugsNo matter how groggy they are in the morning, everyone's got their favorite mug they reach for to drink their perfect cup of coffee.
Our favorite is Le Creuset's classic stoneware mug. An iconic, strong mug from a brand with a superlative kitchenware reputation. According to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association, coffee drinkers in the United States consume an average of 3.2 cups a day — that's over 1,100 cups of coffee per year. With coffee being the second most popular drink in America — behind only bottled water — we all should have sturdy coffee mugs from which to consume all those dark roasts, lattes, mochas, and decafs. That's not to leave out all the tea and hot chocolate drinkers who also make up a significant share of hot-beverage consumers.
Though a good coffee mug can be a pretty subjective thing — you might be convinced that your "World's Okayest Dad" mug is the best mug in the world — there were a few criteria we looked at when researching and testing our picks for the best mug. We considered durability, heat retention, dishwasher safety, and price when ranking our top choices.
Here are the best coffee mugs: Best overall: Le Creuset Mug
Best travel mug: Autoseal West Loop Insulated Travel Mug
Best smart mug: Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug 2
Best for brewing on the go: Espro Travel Coffee Press
Best set: Set of four Serami Classic Diner Mugs Updated on 7/6/2020. We updated pricing and links and added related buying guides for convenience.The best overall
Le Creuset's mug is a classic piece of kitchenware that will last through many, many cups of coffee, trips through the dishwasher, and spins in the microwave, thanks to its thick stoneware construction.
Le Creuset has been a giant in the cookware industry for nearly a century — and a favorite among the Insider Reviews team. Though most famous for their enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, Le Creuset has expanded into all sorts of kitchenware, from nonstick pans and ramekins to our top pick for the best mug you can buy.
We love Le Creuset's mug not only for its aesthetic — it's available in many colors, all of which have that signature Le Creuset ombré and three stripes at the bottom — but more importantly, we love it for its durability.
The mugs are made of thick stoneware — a type of ceramic fired at a high temperature with glass added for strength. They are coated with Le Creuset's standard high-quality enamel glaze that prevents scratching and resists staining — a hugely important quality for a coffee or tea mug. Weaker mugs quickly take on a permanent brown ring on the inside if you let your coffee sit for too long, but not a Le Creuset mug.
I frequent a restaurant in Manhattan that uses Le Creuset mugs as part of its standard serving set, and even after countless cups of tea and coffee, I've never encountered one that was stained or discolored by the notoriously acidic drink.
The fact that a restaurant uses these mugs is also a testament to their durability. The thick stoneware is resistant to chips and cracks, and while it's not drop-proof by any means, an occasional bump off a desk or a fall onto the carpet, likely won't spell doom for your Le Creuset mug.
Though Le Creuset has a reputation for its high price tag, their mugs are relatively affordable if you're just buying a couple or snagging one to be your desk mug at work. If you're going to buy a full set, you might find yourself running up a significant tab, but Le Creuset does offer a set of six that takes some of the sting out of the cost. — Jen Gushue
Pros: A durable, dishwasher safe, stoneware mug from one of the kitchen world's most respected brands
Cons: A full set can be expensive
The best travel mug
The Contigo Autoseal West Loop travel mug stays sealed thanks to its locking lid and push-button spout that closes automatically when you're not drinking, and it's a great budget option that tops our list.
The Autoseal West Loop from Contigo ticks all the boxes when it comes to a great travel mug — so much so that it's our top pick among all travel mugs we tested. It fits perfectly in most cup holders, its automatically sealing spout won't leak, and it keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours at a time thanks to its double-walled vacuum insulation. Its 20-ounce capacity is equal to a Starbucks Venti, so it'll get you plenty caffeinated as you make your way to work in the morning or survive the drop-off line at your child's school.
Our favorite feature of the mug is right in its name — the Autoseal. The lid stays securely shut the entire time unless you push a button that opens the spout to allow you to drink your coffee. When you're done drinking, simply let go of the button and the mug will automatically seal itself back up. If you're jostled while drinking and accidentally lose your grip, the Autoseal mechanism will ensure there's no major spillage, preserving both your outfit and your drink.
It's a great option for the price, coming in under many other options on the market, but users have experienced some denting if dropped. The plastic lid is also prone to wearing out over time, leading to some leakage once the seal loses some of its strength. — Jen Gushue
Pros: Fits in cupholders, keeps drinks to temperature, spill-proof
Cons: Plastic lids wear out over time, dents when dropped
Check out our guide on the best travel mugs
The best smart mug
Nothing ruins the coffee experience like a cup going lukewarm too fast. The Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 eliminates the problem by keeping a drink warm, and at the optimal temperature.
One of the more annoying things about me is that I am a very slow coffee drinker but also cannot tolerate it dipping below steaming temperatures. If it's not cold brew, it needs to be hot. But regular mugs don't keep liquids at high temperatures for very long because of, well, science. As a result, I microwave the same coffee over and over again until it probably isn't even really coffee anymore.
That's why I'm convinced the Ember was made for me. It's an electronic coffee mug that keeps your liquids at the ideal temperature for as long as you're drinking them. The mug is rechargeable via a coaster that doubles as a charging station. If you remove the mug from the coaster it will still keep your beverage hot for up to an hour; keep it on the coaster and it will stay warm for as long as it's full.
The mug can detect the amount of liquid in the mug, the temperature of the liquid, and knows when you've finished your drink — at which point it will shut itself off. You can adjust the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius and create presets for different drinks using the Ember app.
According to Les Shu, Insider Picks Guides Editor, the mug is brilliant at keeping coffee or tea hot, but not too hot that it isn't drinkable. It's durable, but it's definitely not dishwasher safe, due to all its internal tech. The app works well, but because it uses Bluetooth, your phone needs to be nearby if you wish to make any settings adjustments. One disappointment he noticed is that if a drink is left in the cup for too long, the milk develops a film on the surface.
The major downside is the price, which is steep for a mug. Some customers also complained about the inside of the mug breaking down quickly, but Ember does have a 30-day money-back guarantee that should take care of any initial quality issues. Ember also offers a 14-ounce version and a travel mug. — Erin Mayer
Pros: Keeps coffee or tea hot for up to an hour when fully charged (longer when sitting on the charging station), app allows you to control it remotely and preset preferences, modern design
Cons: Price is high for a mug, not dishwasher safe, constant warming may curdle dairy
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best cookbooks for beginnersThe best mini fridgesThe best vinyl cuttersSEE ALSO: The best travel mugs you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Coffee Guides, Home Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Kitchen Guides, Kitchen, Home, Home and Kitchen, Insider Picks 2020, Coffee, >
- Business Insider 19:25July 6, 2020The best mini fridgesMini fridges come in all shapes, styles, and sizes and are ideal for a home office or dorm room.
If you're looking for the perfect mini fridge, the Danby 4.4 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge offers advanced features and enough space to hold all the perishables you could want for an affordable price. Back to school is one of the most popular times to purchase a mini fridge as many students want a refrigerator in their dorm rooms. But these small refrigerators also work well for offices, rec rooms, and garages.
Mini fridges aren't as energy efficient as standard-sized refrigerators, and some don't maintain a consistent enough temperature to preserve food safely for long periods. However, for keeping beverages and quickly consumed items cold, they work just fine.
The key is finding the right size and features for your needs that fits into your budget. As a general rule, a larger mini fridge will cost more than a smaller mini fridge, and stainless steel or glass-door mini fridges also tend to be pricier.
A mini fridge's capacity is listed in cubic feet. This gives you an idea of the size and number of items you can place inside, although shelves and freezer space take up some of this capacity. Some companies also list capacity for a mini fridge as the number of 12-ounce cans the unit can hold.
Most mini fridges contain at least a small freezer compartment. However, they are not accessible through a separate door like with a full-size refrigerator. This causes the freezer to not be as efficient as what you'll find in a standard refrigerator. Many freezers are too small to even hold a large frozen pizza, for example.
But if keeping drinks and snacks cool is your goal, these are the best mini fridges available.
Here are the best mini fridges: Best overall: Danby 4.4 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge Best small size: Insignia 2.6 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge
Best compact size: Midea 1.6 Cubic Foot Compact Refrigerator
Best mid-size: Frigidaire 3.3 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge
Best convertible freezer: EdgeStar 1.1 Cubic Foot Convertible Refrigerator/Freezer Updated on 7/6/2020 to edit the prices, titles, and remove reviews and ratings from third-party sites, because we've found them to be unreliable in the past. The best overall
The Danby 4.4 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge is large enough to meet the needs of three or four students and has excellent features for a nice price point, too.
The Danby 4.4 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge is a versatile mini fridge that is also at the larger end of what you'll need in a dorm room or office refrigerator, but it has plenty of interior space at 4.4 cubic feet, as well as several nice features. It's a good choice if you're looking for more than a simple beverage refrigerator.
The Danby mini fridge measures 20.7 inches wide and 20.9 inches deep. At 32.7 inches in height, this unit may not fit well in a small room. It does offer a tiny freezer unit of 0.5 cubic feet, which actually is an above-average size freezer for a dorm fridge.
We also really like the fact that the shelving is adjustable and you can reverse the direction of the door, which allows you to place the refrigerator in any location in the room. It has a beverage dispensing rack, too.
Pros: Large capacity for a three- or four-person dorm room, good price point, plenty of advanced features for a dorm fridge, beverage dispensing racks built-in, good shelving system that's adjustable, quiet operation
Cons: Freezer system may struggle to hold a consistent temperature, might be too large for some dorm rooms
The best small size
If size is at a premium, you'll love the tiny Insignia 2.6 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge.
If your college student is going to be cooking for themself, buying a dorm refrigerator that's too small is just going to encourage more pizza orders since they won't have enough storage for the ingredients they need to cook. But for students on a cafeteria meal plan, a small fridge to hold some beverages and midnight snacks is a nice option.
For a small refrigerator that'll fit well in a tiny room, our favorite is the Insignia 2.6 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge. It's a short, almost cube-shaped model that offers measurements of just 27.6 inches in height, 19.1 inches in width, and 17.7 inches in depth, allowing you to put it in almost any area of your room.
It offers a can storage rack and adjustable shelving, which are features not often found in such a small refrigerator. It also has a tiny freezer area and thermostat control, which are nice features in such a low priced fridge. And the door hinges are reversible, allowing you to adjust the door to make it fit in exactly the spot you want.
Pros: Small refrigerator fits great in a small dorm room, just the right size for storing snacks and beverages, reversible door hinges, thermostat control ensures stable temperature, small freezer included
Cons: Could be too noisy for some students' liking, too small for storing food for students who cook for themselves
The best compact size
The Midea 1.6 Cubic Foot Compact Refrigerator will keep a small amount of food and drinks cold.
If you want to have milk, drinks, and other perishables on hand but our first two picks are still too big, the Midea Compact Refrigerator will be just the right size, measuring 17.7 x 18.6 x 19.4 inches.
The Midea fridge is smaller than the others in our guide, but if you really don't expect to use it to store much food, and saving space is key, this fridge will do the trick.
It has one shelf that divides the fridge in two and additional storage in the door that can hold a 1-liter soda bottle and then some. It also has a tiny freezer for ice cubes or other small frozen items.
Pros: Compact size for small spaces, keeps items cold, reliable
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best futons for under $500The best cookbooks for beginnersThe best baking sheetsSEE ALSO: The best college supplies and dorm room essentials
< Insider Picks Guides, College, Back to School, Insider Picks Back-To-School, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, Kitchen, >
- Business Insider 23:14July 2, 202010 products I use to stay fit and healthy while spending more time insideWith people spending more time indoors, and gyms and fitness studios still mostly closed, it's hard to keep up with a steady fitness routine, especially if access to workout gear is limited. Setting up a home gym is one solution, but not everyone has enough space in their apartments or homes for large workout equipment — which is why gear like ab rollers or massage balls are great alternatives.
We rounded up 10 of our favorite products that help you keep fit and healthy while spending more time indoors, including streaming yoga programs, noise-canceling earbuds, and fitness trackers. As a freelance writer, I haven't worked in an office in years. It's not unusual for me to spend most of my time at home aside from the occasional work travel or trips to the store to buy groceries — I also find time to get in a few turns at my local ski resort, too.
I'm also experienced in working out at home. Without access to a gym either in the city, at my apartment, or at an office, I'm used to getting creative in finding ways to keep fit and healthy around my house. In other words, I know how to turn a living room or bedroom floor into a full-on fitness studio.
The importance of keeping active
Working out is a great way to beat the antsiness caused by living in a small bubble. Sure, you may be used to hitting the gym when you need to squeeze in a cardio workout but don't think the lack of a dedicated workout space means you can't stay in shape. Whether you're used to yoga classes, hitting the treadmill, or lifting weights, there's plenty of gear designed to replicate your favorite workouts that are both cheaper and easier than you may think.
Working out at home has a lot of perks and it also compliments a remote lifestyle, according to Peter Callahan, a life coach and speaker at Fresh Perspectives Life Coaching in Connecticut. He suggests that time working from home is a great chance to build healthy life habits, like moving around more throughout the weekdays.
"Our moods and energy change throughout the day," Callahan told Business Insider. "So, with more autonomy when working from home, we can experiment with our schedules and try moving and exercising at different times."
To help stoke your creativity when it comes to keeping active at home, here are 10 of my favorite products I use each week. Be it noise-canceling earbuds that help me focus on my workout or a weighted blanket for getting some much-needed rest each night, these all have a positive impact on my weekly fitness.
Here are 10 products to keep you fit & healthy while spending more time inside: An easy to use yoga service: GLO
A water bottle that alerts you when it's time to hydrate: Hidrate Spark 3
A washable yoga mat: Yogo
A fitness tracker to chart your progress: Garmin Vivosmart 4
Noise-canceling earbuds that won't fall out: Apple AirPods Pro
An exercise ball kit with included workouts: URBNFit
A snug waist pack for outdoor running: Nathan VaporKrar
An ab roller to improve your core: Kamileo
A foam roller to massage sore muscles: 321 Strong
A gravity blanket to help you reset each night: Gravity Blanket Updated on 7/2/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated copy and added more on the importance of keeping active, linked out to other Insider fitness stories, checked the availability of each pick, and updated the prices, links, and formatting throughout.An easy to use yoga service
Sign up for Glo, a streaming service that gives you access to more than 2,500 yoga, mediation, and pilates classes.
What makes GLO ideal for at-home workouts is that sorts its classes by time (if you want a quick lunch break workout) or by class content. If you normally hit the rock climbing gym a few times a week, you'll be pleased to see classes specifically for climbers and muscle toning. If you sit in a chair all day, search for courses designed for office workers to build shoulder and back strength.
You'll also find classes on breathwork, classes designed specifically for demographics like older men or pregnant women, and a variety of instructors from various age groups. It works with smart TVs or can be streamed via your laptop, phone, or iPad. Membership costs $18 a month but there's a two-week free trial for any new sign-ups.
A water bottle that alerts you when it's time to hydrate
Staying hydrated can be one of the easiest ways to keep healthy — and the best way to do so is to have easy access to water.
Make staying hydrated throughout the day easier to remember by picking up a smart reusable water bottle from Hidrate. The Spark 3 glows when it's time to drink more water and because it links up with the Hydrate app, you can track your total water intake over the day, set reminders, and link up with friends to hold each other accountable.
An especially useful feature is its GPS locator, so you'll be able to easily find your bottle in the event you leave it on a park bench during a morning jog.
A washable yoga mat
This foldable yoga mat takes up way less storage space than rolling a traditional mat — and its extra-grippy top ensures you won't slide around during the sweatiest of yoga sessions.
Though this mat from Yogo is thin, it features an extremely grippy top which helps you avoid losing your footing or slipping during an ab workout or pilates session. You can feel good about the purchase, too, as the mats are planet-based, vegan, and made with sustainably sourced rubber.
Perhaps its biggest selling point is its super-hygienic folding process. If you fold it according to the instructions, the top never touches the bottom (unlike with a rolled mat), which helps keep germs off the parts of the mat you touch. After rinsing it off, hang it up to dry in the shower with the included straps and clips.
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:Jeff Bezos' net worth just hit an all-time high. Here's how the richest person in the world makes and spends his $171 billion fortune.These are the top 25 US presidents, according to historians and biographers (and why you won't find Trump on the list)Jeff Bezos' fortune just surpassed $171 billion. Here's how he built Amazon into a $1.4 trillion company and became the world's richest man.
< Features, Insider Picks 2020, Insider Picks Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, IP Roundups, IP Graphics, Fitness, At-Home Fitness, At-Home Workout, >
- Business Insider 22:45July 2, 2020The best futons for under $500Futons are space-saving pieces of furniture that do double duty as both couches and beds. If your home has limited space, buying a futon is an easy way to add a seating and sleeping area for guests. We've rounded up five great futons for less than $500.
The Jerry Sales Montreal X Espresso Futon is our top pick because it works equally well as a pull-out bed and a couch. Futons were pretty much made for small living spaces, and are perfect for putting up overnight guests. The trick with picking out a futon is finding one that works as well as a couch as it does a bed, and vice-versa. That's especially the case when you're trying to find a futon online, without testing it out first. Plus, if you're sticking to a $500 budget, the objective becomes even more difficult.
We've spent a dozen hours reading professional reviews and scouring the web, and below are our picks in the sub-$500 range.
Uses for futons
When picking a futon, think about how it will be used. Different futons are better suited for different tasks. Sitting: If the futon will primarily be used as a couch and only occasionally as a guest bed, look for a model that has legs, armrests, and a backrest that's part of the frame for the most comfort. Also look for one with less ridges, which sometimes offer more support in the bed position, but can be purely punishing as a seat.
Sleeping: As Slumberland discusses, some futons take up a lot of floor space when they're unfolded. So if you plan to use the futon as a guest bed on a regular basis, you'll need to have clear space around it. You don't want to put it in a spot where you constantly have to move other furniture in order to unfold it. You'll also want to look for a thick and comfortable mattress, along with a supportive frame.
Mixture: If the futon will be used for both sitting and sleeping equally, look for one that's easy to convert from couch to bed and back again. Loveseat-style futons, which feature leg extensions that fold into the frame, tend to provide the most versatility considering how little floor space they take up, according to Futonland. Key considerations
Once you've figured out how you plan to use the futon, you can home in on the specific features you want. Do you want to deal with a frame? Is a traditional Japanese futon (that is, a mat on the floor) the best and easiest solution, or do you want a sofa, too? The options are endless, but figuring out what you're basically after first will ease the difficulty. Bifold mattress: Most futon mattresses are bifold cushions, meaning they fold once when used in the couch setup. However, a few cushions are trifold, which can be a little trickier to set up and use.
Easy to clean: Pick a futon mattress that has an easy-to-clean surface material. After all, there's a tiny chance the dorm room futon will have something spilled on it at some point. And by tiny chance, we mean 99.9%. As The Spruce says, using a removable futon cover is a good solution, because it's easy to throw in a washing machine.
Frame construction: For a futon that's easier to move around, it's helpful if the frame can be taken apart for transport and reassembled later. This can be especially handy if you're moving a lot.
Frame materials: Futons are available with wood or metal frames. Overstock says metal frames offer more durability than wood frames, and are typically less expensive, making them perfect for dorm rooms. Wood futons often fit better into the décor of a room, and can be more comfortable, but if you do spring for wood, you may want to spend more than $500—the cheap particle board that's often used doesn't hold up well over time.
Innerspring coils: For the most comfortable sleep, a futon mattress with innerspring coils inside — similar to a traditional bed mattress — is the right choice. Some futon mattresses are filled with foam or cotton batting, which isn't as supportive.
Size: You can buy futons in a variety of mattress sizes, based on your sleeping needs. Futon Life offers a great list of futon mattress measurements to help you decide what works best for you.
Weight: If you want to move the futon and mattress regularly from room to room, you don't want a heavy frame. Here we should note that innerspring coil mattresses are heavier than their foam counterparts. Here are the best futons you can buy: Best futon overall: Jerry Sales Montreal X Espresso Futon
Best small, stylish futon: Kodiak Futon Lounger
Best Japanese futon: FULI Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon
Best folding sofa: Lucid Mattress-Sofa Updated 7/1/2020. Prices and links are up to date. We added recommendations for a Japanese futon (the FULI Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon) and a folding sofa (the Lucid Mattress-Sofa). We aren't currently testing any other futons in the $500 or less range, but will update this guide accordingly when we do.The best futon overall
You'll pay a bit extra for the Jerry Sales Montreal X Espresso Futon, but it's an extremely sturdy and comfortable piece of furniture for both sitting and sleeping.
If your budget can accommodate it, one of the most comfortable futons for less than $500 is the Jerry Sales Montreal X Espresso Futon.
This model uses an 8-inch thick innerspring mattress that offers plenty of support for sleeping. It's a queen-size mattress, which your overnight guests will appreciate. However, it may be too large for some dorm rooms, so be sure to measure your space. The couch is 85 inches long, which makes it one of the larger futons in our guide. As such, it may be better suited to an apartment than a dorm.
The wood frame includes armrests and good back support, making the Montreal X excellent for sitting, too. More than a dozen mattress colors are available to match the look of your apartment or dorm room. There are several different wood stains available for each frame as well.
You can expect to spend some time on assembly with this futon, but for a piece of furniture with this kind of build quality, the extra effort is well worth it.
Pros: High-quality frame and comfortable mattress, more than a dozen mattress colors available, queen size fold-down bed, excellent back and neck support, large couch for multiple people to sit on
Cons: Assembly is a complicated process, may be too large for some dorm rooms, comparatively pricey
The best small, stylish futon
If you need a small futon for a dorm room that's also colorful and stylish, the Kodiak Futon Lounger is a great pick.
If you want a splash of style and color in your dorm room or small apartment, the Kodiak Futon Lounger is the perfect answer. You can choose from a spectrum of colors and patterns on Amazon.
This futon works better as a small sofa than as a bed, because when the mattress folds out, it only measures 31 inches in width and 76 inches in length. If you mostly need it for seating, or your guests are comfortable with the limited amount of sleeping space, it's a great pick.
The back cushions remain in place when you turn this futon into a bed, while the sides fold down, so you could choose to leave one side upright to create a lounger.
The mattress is almost six inches thick, making it comfortable to use for sleeping or sitting. However, as The Sleep Judge points out, you'll want to place the futon against a wall for support when using it as a couch, as the back cushions don't provide significant support.
The futon is small, too, measuring only 66 inches in width, so it'll fit well in most dorm rooms, as Heavy says. It's not really made for more than two people to use at once, so it may be too fragile for certain dorm room situations.
Pros: Numerous color and pattern choices, small couch should fit in many dorm rooms, thick mattress, can be set up as a lounger in addition to a bed or couch
Cons: Not much back or neck support as a couch, sleeper mattress is only 31 inches wide, too fragile for more than two people
The best Japanese futon
Japanese futons are portable, storable, and often much more practical than their American counterparts, especially in smaller spaces. FULI's futons come in bed sizes from twin to king, and roll up to fit in your closet.
Despite its association with a slatted, fold-out sofa stateside, a futon, which is a Japanese word, is by definition a quilted mattress that rolls out on the floor and is used as a bed. It's a practical piece of furniture that, unlike a bed or a (western-style) futon, does not need to dominate a room when it is not in use.
This one, from FULI, is a three-layer piece made of 100% cotton fabric and 100% polyester stuffing. The queen size weighs only 10 pounds, and can fold to 27" x 37" x 3.5", which means it should fit in most closets and beneath most beds and couches.
It's a pretty simple, quilted pad, which you'll either put directly on the floor or atop a tatami mat. We recommend the tatami mat, both to set up a little support and to keep your futon clean.
Keep in mind, though, that this is not a mattress — at least not in the American sense. It does not have foam, it does not have coils, and it will not offer significant support. It will, however, save you space and put up a friend or two in a pinch (provided they're willing to get cozy).
Pros: Affordable, storable
Cons: Not a ton of support, not a couch
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best cookbooks for beginnersThe best baking sheetsThe best flats for comfort and styleSEE ALSO: The best college supplies and dorm room essentials you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Insider Picks Back-To-School, Dorm Room, Futon, living room, Insider Picks 2020, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Furniture, Bedroom, >
- Business Insider 22:04July 2, 2020The best cookbooks for beginnersWhether you're a newbie in the kitchen, looking to expand your repertoire of cooking techniques, or just in search of more recipe options, a good cookbook that spells out the steps involved in preparing a dish is a must-have. There are plenty of books geared toward new cooks, but our top pick is "How to Cook Everything: The Basics" by Mark Bittman.
Read more: The best cookbooks There are some cooks — my mother is one of them — who don't need a cookbook to whip up a delicious recipe. And then there are cooks like me. Those who are easily able to follow a recipe in a cookbook and turn out tasty results, but not so good at thinking up new recipe ideas independently.
As a result, I own a lot of cookbooks, and my preference is the simpler, the better. I don't want to spend too much time figuring out complicated techniques, hunting down exotic ingredients, or hovering over the stove.
If you share that kitchen philosophy, you'll enjoy the following five cookbooks, all of which are excellent resources for beginners and make it easy to turn out delicious results even if you don't possess the skills of a contestant on "Top Chef."
Here are the best cookbooks for beginners: Best for all the basics: "How to Cook Everything: The Basics"
Best for a Mediterranean diet: "The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook"
Best for quick meals: "Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast"
Best for vegetarians: "The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook"
Best for one-pot dishes: "One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals" Updated on 7/2/2020 to edit the prices, titles, and remove reviews from third-party sites, because we've found them to be unreliable in the past. The best for all the basics
You'll learn everything you need to know in the kitchen from "How to Cook Everything: The Basics" including kitchen equipment, basic to advanced techniques, how to design a complete meal, and plenty of tasty recipes.
Wondering what must-have equipment you need for your kitchen? Want to learn how to peel, trim, or dice? Not sure how to poach an egg, roast a chicken, or tell if the meat is done? With "How to Cook Everything: The Basics," you'll learn all of the above, along with much, much more.
Reading this nearly 500-page hardback cookbook by acclaimed food journalist Mark Bittman is like taking a class with a helpful cooking instructor. It's filled with photographs that clearly illustrate basic techniques, detailed notes telling you what to do and look for while cooking, helpful tips on how to buy, store, and cook food groups such as grains, seafood, and vegetables; and of course, 185 recipes for everything from side dishes to main courses and desserts.
Pros: Very thorough coverage of basic cooking techniques, photos clearly illustrate cooking techniques, helpful tips on shopping and storing
Cons: A few customers complained that the book's binding didn't hold up well
The best for a Mediterranean diet
"The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook" teaches you all you need to know about this heart-healthy, weight-busting, delicious, and good-for-you style of eating and cooking.
The Mediterranean diet — named the best diet for 2020 but US News & World Report — is a cooking philosophy, method, and group of recipes that center mostly around plants, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and olive oil, with just a little bit of fish or meat to add flavor and protein.
"The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook" from America's Test Kitchen briefly covers everything you need to know about the Mediterranean diet, including its history and benefits, the staple foods that make up the diet, its particular food pyramid, how to design a well-balanced meal, and pantry basics to keep on hand. It then dives into the heart of the 440-page hardback book (paperback and Kindle versions are also available) with 500 recipes with color photos and clear explanations. You'll find chapters on cooking vegetables, grains, soups and salads, seafood and meat, beans, eggs, fruits, and desserts.
Fans of America's Test Kitchen, the cooking show on television (as well as the magazines and books), know the recipes are extensively developed and tested by a team of chefs and food experts, and you'll find that same level of meticulous detail in this cookbook.
Pros: A thorough introduction to the Mediterranean diet, plenty of color photos, a wide variety of delicious recipes including some that are vegetarian and gluten-free
Cons: The font in the cookbook may be too small for some, some recipes require harder to find ingredients
The best for quick meals
If you want to cook fresh, delicious food, but don't have much time to spare, you'll love the many fast, easy, and simple recipes in "Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast."
Need dinner on the table in a hurry? Don't we all. If you want to avoid recipes that have a dozen or more ingredients yet are still delicious and reasonably easy to make, you'll want to add "Fresh Food Fast" from Cooking Light magazine to your collection.
This paperback cookbook has more than 250 recipes — many require only five ingredients — that go from cupboard to table in as little as 15 minutes or so, meaning, you can prepare a healthy and tasty meal at home faster than drive-through at a fast-food joint.
"Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast" provides clear directions and plenty of shortcuts to help you make the most of your time. Recipes cover all the basics: soups and salads, sandwiches, poultry, meat, and seafood, as well as a full chapter on meatless main dishes. There are color photos of every recipe and suggested substitutions for ingredients that might not be easy to find.
Pros: Reasonably easy and fast recipes, few ingredients required for many recipes
Cons: Some recipes take longer and require more ingredients, many recipes call for precut produce or canned produce or similar "convenience" items
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best travel mugsThe best baking sheetsThe best vinyl cutters
< Features, Cookbooks, Vegetarian, Cooking, Kitchen, Insider Picks Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Cooking Guides, Kitchen Guides, Book Guides, Insider Picks 2020, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 21:36July 2, 2020The best vinyl cuttersVinyl cutters are incredibly versatile, invaluable machines for creating custom stickers, decals, labels, magnets, signs, stencils, and more.
Vinyl cutters can not only cut but also etch, emboss, scan, draw, and more.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 vinyl cutter is the best all-around model because it's dependable, precise, and versatile — in materials as well as in functions. Think of a vinyl cutter as a digitally controlled scissor, shaped like a printer with a computer's brain. Instead of printing images, a vinyl cutter carves letters and shapes from sheets of vinyl or other materials. You first upload an image — either premade or your own design — and adjust font, sizing, etc. Then, load the machine with a sheet of vinyl from which your design will be cut. Adjust the cutter's settings (e.g., speed, knife depth, cutting pressure) if your cutter model doesn't do this automatically. Push start: The machine carves the image before ejecting the sheet with your design cut out.
Sound too simple to be true? It isn't, especially if you choose the right model for your needs. Consider size (to accommodate your projects); speed (especially when producing multiple copies); output quality (precision in cutting), versatility (in materials it can handle and in its functions), and software (user-friendliness and library of designs); and connectivity (wired vs. wireless, online vs. offline functionality).
It may seem like a lot to think about, but don't worry — plenty of crafters recommend watching YouTube tutorials on vinyl cutter use and searching project ideas online. Just be sure not to use copyrighted images on items you plan to sell. After reading crafter reviews and interviewing users, we compiled this list of top vinyl cutters for different needs.
Here are the best vinyl cutters: Best overall: Cricut Explore Air 2
Best on a budget: Silhouette Camio 3
Best with a scanner: Brother CM350 ScanNCut2 Electronic Cutting Machine
Best portable vinyl cutter: Silhouette Portrait 2
Best for big projects: USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Prices and links are current as of 7/2/20. We added a product showcase at the top of this guide so you can see a quick snapshot of our recommendations. We also added a selection of related crafting guides.The best overall
The Cricut Explore Air 2 is fun to use, precise, versatile, and fast for quick jobs.
Owners gush over the Cricut Explore Air 2. It's able to cut many different materials (e.g., vellum, card stock, leather, fabric, balsa wood, etc.), opening up endless possibilities for projects. Also, it's multifunctional — it cuts with a German carbide premium blade (included), writes with a black pen (included), and even scores and embosses with a stylus (sold separately).
The Cricut Explore Air 2 also comes with a cutting mat and materials for conducting a test-run project as well as practicing using the pen with the blade. It features two compartments for holding accessories, a magnetic strip for grasping extra blades, and a cup-holder-like area for stashing pens or tools. Best of all, this model comes with Bluetooth for cord-free connections to computers, phones, or tablets.
The Explore Air 2 uses Cricut's Design Space software, which contains more than 100 free images and fonts (available for Mac and Windows computers, and iOS and Android mobile devices). Because Design Space is only accessible through the manufacturer's website, you will need access to the internet. However, the iOS version of Design Space lets you download content for offline use.
Nonetheless, when all systems are go, this model cuts intricate designs with accuracy and surgical precision. And if you are in a hurry, simply switch it to Fast Mode for cutting and drawing at twice the speed.
Pros: Versatility, precision cutting, Bluetooth connectivity
Cons: Needs to be connected to internet for downloadable content, software has learning curve for some
The best on a budget
The Silhouette Cameo 3 delivers more than expected for its price — it holds two tools at once, can scan and print, and is able to work offline.
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is a super-handy cutter that offers nearly limitless possibilities in creating projects and supports a variety of materials. In fact, with the Silhouette Deep Cut Blade (sold separately), it can slice through materials up to 2 millimeters thick.
This model has a dual-carriage system that holds two tools at once (e.g., two blades or one blade and one pen) for efficient multi-functionality. For example, you can cut card stock with the blade and then embellish it with the pen, in one pass — no need to change tools manually. Simply tell the machine which tool to use.
And there's more: The Silhouette Cameo 3 has a Print and Cut feature that lets you create a design using the included Silhouette Studio software and print it out. Then, feed the printed design into the cutter for scanning; the cutter then carves out your design.
What users really find convenient is that the Silhouette Cameo 3 doesn't have to be connected to the internet in order to operate. As a stand-alone machine with Bluetooth, it offers lots of freedom during use.
Pros: Dual-carriage holds two tools, has Print and Scan feature, able to work as a stand-alone machine
Cons: Software takes a bit of studying for some
The best with a scanner
The Brother CM350 ScanNCut2 Electronic Cutting Machine is perfect if you want to hand draw and scan in your own original designs; it's also great for quilters.
Fast and portable, the Brother CM350 ScanNCut2 Electronic Cutting Machine comes loaded with 631 built-in designs, including 100 quilt patterns. This model not only cuts these images, but also scans and carves out any original designs you create. With its 300 dots-per-inch scanner, you can scan in practically anything (a magazine clipping, photos, your own drawings, etc.), save it to the machine's memory, and then cut out its image.
This lightweight model operates as both a stand-alone machine and a Wi-Fi-ready device. The cutter's design software is CanvasWorkspace, a free cloud-based web application that comes with a library of images, shapes, and fonts. Using this collection as well as the machine itself presents a learning curve that crafters say is well worth climbing in the end.
The versatile Brother CM350 ScanNCut2 Electronic Cutting Machine easily slices through diverse materials with precision and speed to produce intricate designs. Its hardworking German carbide blade can cut materials up to two millimeters in thickness. Although it cuts through fabric — and even adds a seam allowance in quarter-inch increments for sewing — some users noted its performance on felt is only so-so.
The Brother CM350 ScanNCut2 Electronic Cutting Machine has a 4.85-inch touch-enabled display for convenient on-device editing. You can see the scanned images on the screen and then make any adjustments. Just use the stylus to resize, reshape, reposition, rotate, and/or combine images before cutting.
Pros: Worth the investment, scans as well as cuts, great for quilter and sewers
Cons: Library of images fine for some but only basic for others
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best baking sheetsThe best travel mugsThe best closet and drawer organizers
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, DIY Guides, Crafts, Vinyl Cutters, Amazon Product Coverage, Craft Guides, Insider Picks 2020, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 21:32July 2, 2020The best baking sheetsA top-quality baking sheet is easy to handle, cleans up effortlessly, and bakes food without warping or buckling.
The Nordic Ware Aluminum Baker's Half Sheet is our top pick because it is cost-effective, won't warp, and produces evenly-baked goods. A baking sheet is just one of those tools that you need in your kitchen. Whether you are baking cookies, roasting vegetables, reviving frozen foods, or making a fancy jelly roll, you need a baking sheet (also known as a cookie sheet).
All of the baking sheets in our guide are made of aluminum or aluminized steel. Aluminum is a popular material for cookware because it is durable, resistant to corrosion, inexpensive, and, most importantly, distributes heat evenly. When aluminum is paired with steel to make aluminized steel, you get even more heavy-duty cookware, which also tends to cost slightly more. Stainless steel is another popular material, but it does not conduct heat as well and requires more finesse when cleaning.
Pay special attention to the size of the baking sheet you are looking to buy. Though the standard half-sheet size is 18 by 13 inches, companies try to save on materials by shaving fractions of an inch off of this measurement. For most purposes, that's fine, but it's still important to be aware of a pan's dimensions.
You'll have to consider whether you want a rimmed or rimless baking sheet. There are benefits to each style. With a rimmed baking sheet, you can cook items that might release juices or roll around without making a mess in your oven. On the other hand, rimless sheets take up less storage space and baked goods slide off easily.
We also recommend buying a cooling rack that fits inside of your baking sheet. This will allow air to circulate around your food, which lends itself to more even baking and roasting.
While researching the best cookie sheets, we examined hundreds of buyer and expert reviews as well as the ratings of dozens of pans. The baking sheets included in our guide have a sturdy construction, bake foods evenly, and are simple to clean.
Here are the best baking sheets: Best overall: Nordic Ware Aluminum Baker's Half Sheet
Best set: Wilton 3-Piece Cookie Pan Set
Best rimless: AirBake Nonstick Cookie Sheet
Best high-end: OXO Good Grips Pro Nonstick Cookie Sheet
Best jelly roll pan: Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Cookie/Jelly-Roll Pan Updated on 7/2/2020. We updated prices and buying links for accuracy.The best overall
The Nordic Ware Aluminum Baker's Half Sheet is not only sturdy and cooks your goodies evenly, it is also very affordable.
The Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet is made of aluminum, which allows for excellent heat conductivity and makes the pan resistant to rust. The one-inch rim around the pan is reinforced with encapsulated steel to keep the pan from warping due to quick temperature changes or just normal wear and tear.
The overall interior dimensions of the pan are 16.5 by 11.4 inches, and the exterior is 17.9 by 12.9 inches. The sheet is made in the United States and is hand wash only, which may seem inconvenient, but your cookie sheet will last longer if you don't subject it to the dishwasher.
This cookie sheet allows for even baking and has high durability. The Wirecutter has been using the Nordic Ware baking sheet heavily for about five years, and the reviewer has found that it has maintained its shape and still produces golden brown cookies.
Pros: Produces evenly baked goodies, resistant to warping, affordable
Cons: Susceptible to scratching, hand wash only
The best set
The Wilton 3-Piece Cookie Pan Set includes baking sheets for a variety of jobs at a low price point.
What sets the Wilton Cookie Pan Set apart from the other baking sheets in our guide is that you get three rimmed sheets for under $20. The largest pan is slightly smaller than the standard half-sheet at 17.25 by 11.5 by 1 inch. The other sheets are 10.25 by 15.25 by 0.75 inches and 13.25 by 9.25 by 0.63 inches (fairly close to a quarter-size sheet.)
The pans are made of aluminum and covered with a non-stick coating for effortless cookie removal. Each of the sheets has wide reinforced rims on the ends for a good grip. Because you get three pans in different sizes, you'll have a baking sheet for every job.
The pans stack well for easy storage and while most reviewers praise durability, a few have had issues with warping.
Pros: Affordable, store easily, durable, set of three
Cons: Some complaints of warping
The best rimless baking sheet
If you are looking for a rimless baking sheet so your cookies slide right off when they're done, get the AirBake Nonstick Cookie Sheet.
The AirBake Nonstick Cookie Sheet is unique because it has two heavy-duty aluminum layers with air between them. T-fal, the manufacturer, calls this insulated effect "micro-dome technology." Basically, with this design, the temperature of the metal that comes in contact with the food is reduced, which leads to moister baked goods, no burning, and better browning.
The pan measures 16 by 14 inches, and though it doesn't have a rim, there is a lip on one side that makes it easy to remove from the oven. Before using the sheet for the first time, spread a teaspoon of cooking oil over the interior to condition it. This cookie sheet is backed by a 10-year warranty.
One downside is the sheet can be a pain to clean since you can't put it in the dishwasher or let it soak due to the air pockets. Several buyer reviews stressed the importance of handwashing the sheet and not letting it soak. If you do get water inside the air pockets, put it upside down in the oven at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Pros: Bakes cookies evenly and burning is unlikely, 10-year warranty, nonstick
Cons: Have to clean it carefully
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best travel mugsThe best closet and drawer organizersThe best weighted blanketsSEE ALSO: The best cooling rack you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Baking, Home, Kitchen, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, Kitchen Guides, >
- Business Insider 01:44July 2, 2020The best flats for comfort and styleIt's surprisingly hard to find comfortable flats that actually look good with most outfits, but the Everlane Day Glove flats are the answer. They won't give you blisters or create an awkward leg line when you wear dresses — what more could you want? One of the most cliché but true pieces of fashion advice we all come across at one point or another is this: Buy at least one good pair of flats. Heels are great and all, but flats are the shoes that you can really live your life in. They don't hold you back — unless they give you massive blisters, of course.
To use another cliché, comfort is key here. Otherwise, what's the point? Just wear those heeled booties that everyone pretends are comfortable but actually make your backache by midday. Your flats should be cozy enough to wear morning and night, cute enough to elevate a basic outfit, but simple enough to go with most of the items in your closet.
But for shoes that profess to be comfortable, flats have given me some of the worst foot pain of my life. Even the pointiest stilettos can't hurt me the way a stiff pair of leather ballet flats can. We've rounded up six pairs of flats that members of our team have personally tested or deeply researched to help you break the cycle of hope and bleeding ankles that so often comes with finding the perfect pair of shoes.
Here are the best flats for women: Best flats overall: Everlane Day Glove
Best travel-friendly flats: Allbirds Tree Breezer
Best sustainable flats: Rothy's Flat
Best flats for wide feet: Margaux Demi
Best ballet flats: Sam Edelman 'Felicia' Flat
Best luxury flats: M.Gemi Stellato Anello Suede Updated on 7/1/2020 by Mara Leighton: Updated prices, formatting, and added links to individual reviews and a section for what else we're considering. We're in the beginning stages of testing Oliver Cabell's Dream Flats and Everlane Mesh Day Glove, and we're also researching and testing pointed-toe flats for a new pick. Check back soon for our updated findings. The best flats overall
The hardest part of shopping for flats is finding a pair that combines comfort, style, and versatility. Enter: The Day Glove flats by Everlane.
This is it — the wear-with-anything shoe you've been waiting for all your life. Everlane's leather Day Glove flat is an almost (but not quite) ballet slipper guaranteed to go with just about all your clothing, even workwear. It's like the perfect "nothing" shoe. It's cute enough not to ruin your outfit but plain enough not to make a huge statement.
Everlane's product description boasts "a snug, glove-like fit" that "will give with time and mold to the shape of your foot." Not only will the flats last, they'll get more comfortable over time! The shoes also feature pull tabs, ventilation holes, and comfy insoles to eliminate some of the most common comfort-related issues flats pose.
The Day Glove flats come in 8 colors, including classics like black and white as well as some fun shades like Metallic and Embossed Snake, and they cost $118-$128. While not inexpensive, this is a great deal for shoes that will last you more than one season. Since the Day Glove flat first launched in 2018, it has become the number one bestseller at Everlane. The Insider Reviews team wrote up a full review after test-driving these flats, and they remain an all-time favorite from the brand.
"Everlane's Day Glove flats are much more comfortable than any other flats I've tried," writes Insider Reviews guides editor Malarie Gokey, "They actually fit my foot and move with me — not against me."
The shoes also garnered several rave reviews on The Cut, and Bustle editor Olivia Muenter reported that 100 Everlane customers who tried the shoes before the official launch had overwhelmingly positive feedback: "While the 100 reviewers all had slightly different takeaways from the shoes overall, there was one description that came up again and again: that they actually fit like gloves."
In addition to the original leather style, you might also consider the new Mesh version for summer heat or the ReKnit version, which has a textured, breathable knit upper and is made from recycled materials. They're also both more affordable at $98 and is just as comfortable as its predecessor. — Erin Mayer
Pros: Molds to your foot shape over time cushioned insoles for support, ventilated, pull tab for easy slip-on
Cons: On the pricey side, reviewers noted that snug fit means you may want to size up.
Read our full Everlane Day Glove review here.
The best travel-friendly flats
You don't have to resort to wearing sneakers when you travel thanks to the soft, pliable, and supportive Allbirds Tree Breezer.
Allbirds is probably better known for its Silicon Valley uniform-mandated sneakers like the Wool Runners and Tree Runners. But when you don't want to wear sneakers but still need the same comfort and support, you're better off with its flat silhouette, the Tree Breezer.
These are the flats you'll want to pack in your suitcase because a) they're very light and you can fold them up to maximize packing space, and b) you can walk around in them all day long.
Quell any fears you have of hobbling through a walking tour or calling it an early night because your feet have become one giant blister. The Breezers have bouncy outsoles made from sugarcane and soft, odor-minimizing merino wool-lined insoles. The knit collar wraps onto your foot securely, and the rest of the shoe's knit body is breathable and feels silky smooth against your skin.
Since the style is more sleek and formal than Allbirds' other shoes, they won't look out of place in a dressier environment. Instead of packing multiple pairs of shoes, you can just bring your all-in-one Tree Breezer flats. If you don't have a chance to try them first before you board your flight, don't worry — most of the Insider Reviews team didn't need to break them in. — Connie Chen
Pros: First Allbirds style available in half sizes, lightweight, foldable, machine-washable
Cons: Not as sleek as other pairs
Read our full Allbirds Tree Breezer review here
The best sustainable flats
On top of being versatile, lightweight, and machine-washable, the Rothy's Flat is sustainably made, and comes in a pointed-toe silhouette. It's the ideal shoe for the conscious consumer.
Shoe brand Rothy's was born out of the desire to repurpose wasteful, single-use plastics into something beautiful and practical. All of its knit shoes are made from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles, which are hot washed, sterilized, then fused into a fiber that is knit into yarn.
The insoles contain recycled foam, while the rubber soles are carbon-free. The adhesives used are non-toxic and vegan. Even the packaging is made from post-consumer recycled materials and is biodegradable.
The lofty challenge of reducing your impact on the planet feels more manageable when you start with the things you use in your everyday life. Thanks to Rothy's, the endeavor won't compromise style or comfort.
Rothy's Flat is the choice for many modern working women because it boasts zero break-in time, a sleek look, and moisture-wicking breathability. You'll feel the difference immediately after slipping your feet in; the flats are very light and flexible, with a bit of give, and there aren't any uncomfortable seams or edges. They come in both round toe and pointed-toe silhouettes.
Keeping them in top shape is as easy as throwing them in the washing machine. You can also buy extra insoles to help prolong their life. After wearing them often (and you will because of their versatility), you might wonder if they'll actually hold up. But we've been wearing and washing our pairs for more than a year and they look and feel as good as they did on day one.
As a Vox article highlights, some women are such fans of the look and comfort that they wear the flats almost exclusively. It's also not unexpected to own multiple pairs since Rothy's offers many different colors and patterns. Most of them have limited runs, so don't wait too long on a style that catches your eye, and check back on the site often for new colors. —Connie Chen
Pros: Eco-friendly construction, machine-washable, don't stretch out over time, good variety of rotating colors and patterns
Cons: Fit might be narrow (particularly the pointed-toe style), so could need to size up
Read our full Rothy's Flat review here
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best travel mugsThe best closet and drawer organizersThe best cat brushesSEE ALSO: The best strapless bras you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Women, Shoes, INSIDER, Style, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Style Guides, Women Guides, Women’s handbags & accessories, Women's accessories, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 00:26July 2, 2020The best closet and drawer organizersProper drawer and closet organization can make the difference between a calm, enjoyable morning routine and a frenzied mess to find the right clothes and accessories before you rush out the door wearing less than your best outfit. Our top pick for drawer organization are the low cost, easily customized Soydnee Foldable Cloth Bins, while our favorite closet organizer is the refined and stylish John Louis Home Deep Simplicity Closet Organizer.
For more tips on how to organize your bedroom closet, check out our how-to guide. When you know exactly where each type of clothing belongs, the process of choosing an outfit is quicker and easier. And while dumping clean clothes on the floor may be easier than putting each article away in its place, clothing tends to stay more crisp and clean looking when folded or hung than lying in a mound of fabric.
Whether you are looking to start a closet and drawer organization system from scratch or you just need a bit of assistance straightening out your accessories or underwear, we've got you covered. Our guide features a range of hardware ideal for all sorts of garments and for all sorts of closets and dressers, too. We have included options from up and down the price spectrum as well as those that are ideal for permanent installation in your home or for temporary use in an apartment or dorm.
The only thing you'll need to worry about when it comes to drawer and closet organization is actually sticking to the system you create.
Here are the best organizers: Best closet organizer overall: John Louis Home Deep Simplicity Closet Organizer
Best drawer organizer overall: Sodynee Foldable Cloth Drawer Bins
Best basic closet organizer: Simple Houseware Freestanding Garment Organizer
Best drawer organizer for underwear: Simple Housewares Underwear Organizer
Best modular closet organizer: Rubbermaid Configurations Custom Closet Deluxe Kit
Best drawer organizer for accessories: Seville Classics 5-Piece Bamboo Drawer Organizer Updated on 7/1/2020. We updated prices and buying links to be the most current.The best closet organizer overall
John Louis Home
The John Louis Home Deep Simplicity Closet Organizer looks like a custom-built unit, but it arrives mostly constructed and requires little assembly.
The John Louis Home Deep Simplicity Closet Organizer isn't what you would call cheap, but compared to a custom closet organization system build, it's a veritable steal. Especially because this handsome solid wood system has the look of a custom-built closet organizer.
The unit has a 12-inch shelf depth and creates an overall 20 feet of shelf space, while it's hanging bars create as much as 10 feet of hanging storage space. The system can be altered to fit a closet measuring six, eight, or 10 feet in overall width.
The John Louis Home Deep Simplicity Closet Organizer comes in two finish options: a warm honey maple or a classed red mahogany. It features an angled shelf ideal for shoes and two adjustable shelves that can be raised or lowered to best accommodate folded clothes, bins, blankets, and more. Every time you look into your closet, you'll love the organization offered by this hardware as well as the handsome look of the organizer itself.
Just be careful during the install and as you hang clothes or take them off hangers, as the rather soft wood dents and scratches easily.
Pros: Handsome and stylish design, easy customization, good price for the quality
Cons: Wood dents and scratches easily
The best drawer organizer
The Sodynee Foldable Cloth Drawer Bins can be used for T-shirts, ties, underwear, and more, and the six-bin system is yours for just $15.
Unless every item of clothing you wear is the exact same size, then you need storage bins of varied sizes to help you properly organize your drawers. The Sodynee Foldable Cloth Drawer Bins set comes with two bins each in three different sizes, the largest of which are ideal for shirts, the smallest of which are good for socks or ties, while the medium bins will accommodate scarves, underwear, and more.
While many drawer organizing systems are designed to fit into a single drawer, I like the idea of splitting up the bins in this set. You could use each of the larger bins, which measure 11 inches by 11 inches, to divide different drawers in half, and then use the mid-sized bins, measuring 11 inches by 5 inches, to create varied storage areas in other drawers.
Anyone shopping for drawer organizers will like the fact that the Sodynee Foldable Cloth Drawer Bins cost just $15.
Do note that a few shoppers have complained of a chemical odor when the bins were new, so plan to allow some time for them to air out before use.
Pros: Easily customizable, great low price, bins collapse for easy storage
Cons: Unpleasant odor when new
The best basic closet organizer
The Simple Houseware Freestanding Garment Organizer sets up in a matter of minutes with no tools or drilling needed.
If you want to enjoy better closet organization but you don't want to spend much cash, consider the Simple Houseware Freestanding Garment Organizer.
If you want decent clothing organization in a location where you can't install hardware permanently, such as in an apartment or dorm, then definitely look at the Simple Houseware Freestanding Garment Organizer, because this unit sets up and breaks down in mere minutes, requires no use of tools in its build, and does not need to be affixed to the walls either.
The freestanding Simple Houseware Freestanding Garment Organizer might not be all that stylish, but it provides ample space for the clothes that keep you looking that way. It has four square-shaped wire shelves and a large rectangular shelf on top and two rows of bars that create plenty of space for hanging shirts, slacks, coats, and more. Plus, it's hard to beat the price here.
Just don't load the shelves with too much weight, because they may well buckle under the pressure, according to a few other owners.
Pros: Quick and easy assembly, low price point, perfect for temporary use
Cons: Shelves can't support much weight
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best shower headsThe best camping stovesThe best cat brushes
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Organization, Home, Closet, Home Guides, bedroom guides, organization guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Insider Picks 2020, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 23:38July 1, 2020The best weighted blanketsWeighted blankets can provide an evenly distributed amount of pressure and steady sensory input that help ease anxiety and stress, allowing you to sleep better.
Our top pick is the Gravity Blanket because it is a premium-grade, therapeutic weighted blanket that can help improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
Read more: The best comforters for your bed Table of Contents
If you've spent countless sleepless nights tossing and turning, it might be time to try a weighted blanket. These cozy therapeutic blankets may look and feel like normal comforters, but instead of being filled with lightweight down feathers or cotton, they are stuffed with anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds of glass beads or plastic pellets.
The constant pressure provided by the weights can help produce a hug-like sensation that stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine, the naturally occurring chemicals our bodies use to feel calm, relaxed, and happy. Your body then converts these chemicals into melatonin, which makes you sleepy.
Studies have shown that the soothing effect of weighted blankets can help both children and adults who suffer from anxiety, insomnia, autism, and ADHD. But they are just as useful for anyone who wants to fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night.
At Insider Reviews, we've tested many models and read through hundreds of buyer and expert reviews to find the best weighted blankets you can buy. Whether you are in the market for a hypoallergenic option or one that keeps you cool throughout the night, you'll sleep soundly with these picks.
How to choose the best weight for your weighted blanket
The general rule of thumb is to choose a blanket that weighs 10% of your body weight. Weighted blankets are typically available at weights of 15, 20, 25, and 30 pounds. Certain brands are also available in lighter weights, which may be better suited for napping or use by children.
Here are the best weighted blankets you can buy: Best weighted blanket overall: Gravity Blanket
Best cooling weighted blanket: YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket
Best hypoallergenic weighted blanket: Good Knight Weighted Blanket
Best dual-sided weighted blanket: Brooklyn Bedding Dual Therapy Weighted Blanket
Best weighted knit blanket: Bearaby Napper
Best weighted comforter: Brooklinen Weighted Comforter
Best weighted blanket for kids: Quility Premium Kids Weighted Blanket Links and prices are accurate as of 7/1/20. We added guidance above on how to choose the best weight and included updates below on blankets we're currently testing, like Bearaby's new eight-pound Nappling blanket.The best weighted blanket overall
The Gravity Blanket uses deep touch pressure stimulation to help you relax and sleep better.
What started out as a Kickstarter campaign has quickly become one of the most popular weighted blankets available. The Gravity Blanket is a high-quality therapeutic blanket that comes in three different weights, ranging from 15 to 25 pounds. It measures at 72 by 48 inches making it the perfect size to ground one person at a time.
The blanket features gridded stitching that ensures its internal weighted beads are distributed evenly throughout each use. Each blanket also comes with a super-soft, removable micro-fiber duvet cover that's available in two colors: gray and navy. Both the blanket and duvet cover are machine washable and super cozy.
Business Insider tech reporter Avery Hartmans is a huge fan of the weighted blanket, and says that she falls asleep instantly every time she uses it and it's responsible for "some of the best naps of my life." She also says "the Gravity Blanket makes me feel calm, relaxed — and very, very sleepy."
Gravity has a cooling version of its weighted blanket, which we've tested and reviewed here. It works the same way but is made with a breathable "faux tencel" material that keeps you from overheating.
Pros: Helps you fall asleep fast, super soft, removable duvet, machine-washable, three different weights to choose from
The best cooling weighted blanket
The YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket is a high-quality weighted blanket that will keep you cool throughout the night.
Many weighted blankets are made with fuzzy fleece or microfiber fabrics that are very cozy but can cause you to overheat throughout the night. The YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket is made from a breathable, moisture-wicking 300-thread-count bamboo viscose fabric that will keep you cool all night long, making it the perfect option for people who get hot while they sleep.
The inside of the soft blanket is filled with thinner polyfill and premium glass beads. There are different weights to choose from. The blanket is machine washable and comes with a three-year warranty for free mending if unexpected damage occurs.
While the YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket is made from a more breathable fabric, the rest of the blanket works the same way as the brand's original option that was tested by Insider Reviews senior reporter Mara Leighton, "It has markedly improved the quality of my sleep, and it's something that has made me genuinely excited to climb into bed after a long day."
Previous reviews called out that there weren't many color options, but YnM has since introduced more colors and patterns, including leopard and flower prints.
Pros: Affordable, keeps you cool at night, moisture-wicking and breathable, good weight distribution
Cons: Pellets shift in their pockets
Read our full review of the YnM Weighted Blanket
The best hypoallergenic weighted blanket
Good Knight Blankets
If you have allergies or sensitivities towards certain fabrics and materials, opt for the hypoallergenic Good Knight Weighted Blanket.
The Good Knight Weighted Blanket is a quality-made hypoallergenic weighted blanket. It is made from 100% premium cotton and is weighed down with tiny, non-toxic, poly-pellets. You can also buy your blanket a separate duvet cover, which is made from 100% premium cotton as well.
The blanket comes in two different weights — 15 and 17 pounds — and they all measure 60 by 80 inches. It comes in a sleek dark gray color that complements practically everything. Customer reviews note the blanket's soft, cozy material, and strong stitching.
Pros: Hypoallergenic, made with 100% premium cotton and non-toxic pellets, soft and comfortable, helps you fal sleep faster
Cons: Duvet cover sold separately
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best equipment for starting your own home gymThe best fansThe best sprinklers
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Bedroom, Blanket, Weighted blanket, Home, Bedding, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Insider Reviews 2020, Best Guides, >
- Business Insider 21:36July 1, 2020The best shower headsShower time should be relaxing, and the choice of shower head plays a huge role in making your shower more soothing. Some people love a rain-style shower, while others want a strong, pulsing jet to massage sore muscles.
The Moen S6320 Two-Function Rain Shower Head is our pick for the best overall shower head because it can switch between both types of shower styles, depending on your mood. To ensure your shower is as relaxing as possible, you will need to make some choices about the kind of shower head you want to use. You might be surprised by how many options are available.
Modern shower heads work differently than older shower heads, so there are quite a few advantages to purchasing a new one. An older shower head's interior often was a cavity that filled with water, forcing the water through the tiny nozzles, meaning the individual nozzles had very little water pressure.
A newer shower head has individual channels that feed the nozzles, increasing the ability to deliver water pressure.
With all of the different options and features in shower heads, you can pick exactly the type of shower you'd like to experience, including rain-style, pulsing jets, or steady spray. If you want to read more about the types of models that are out there, we've included a short explainer at the end of this guide.
Here are the best shower heads: Best overall: Moen Two-Function Rain Shower Head
Best on a budget: Delta Single Function Shower Head
Best rain shower: WaterPoint 8-inch Rain Shower Head
Best for high pressure: Speakman Signature High Pressure Shower Head
Best high-efficiency: High Sierra Low Flow Shower Head
Best handheld: ShowerMaxx Detachable Handheld Shower Head
Best with LED: DreamSpa Color Changing LED Shower Head
Best combination shower head: Hydroluxe 24 Function 3-way 2 in 1 Combo Shower Head Updated on 7/1/2020 to edit the prices, titles, and remove reviews and ratings from third-party sites, because we've found them to be unreliable in the past. The best overall
Unlike most rain-style shower heads, the Moen S6320 Velocity Two-Function Rain 8-inch Shower Head also offers a surprisingly powerful jet spray.
Most rain-style shower heads don't offer any other type of water delivery. However, the Moen S6320 Velocity Two-Function Rain 8-inch Shower Head is able to deliver both rain and jet spray styles in one shower head.
The shower head is also a great size and uses 100 nozzles to create its signature effect. The Moen S6320 offers immersion technology, which allows for a concentrated jet spray.
It is an expensive shower head, but it does come with a lifetime warranty that can help protect your investment.
Pros: Versatile shower head, 100 nozzles for rain-style shower, jet-style setting provides surprising water pressure level, four finishes available
Cons: Longevity is questionable, price is high
The best on a budget
The Delta 75152 Single Function Shower Head's low price point and good water flow make it a great choice for those on a tight budget.
There's nothing that particularly stands out about the Delta 75152 Single Function Shower Head, but it does provide a good all-around performance level at a really low price point.
The Delta 75152 can deliver water flow of between 1.85 GPM and 2.5 GPM, which is a good level for most people. It's easy to install, but the all-plastic construction means it is more prone to cracks and leakage than other metal models.
In rare occasions, defective models or improperly sealed connections can lead to immediate leaks, but reports of this are few and far between.
Pros: Extremely low price, good water flow level, extremely easy to install, two jet spray settings, two water flow settings, includes H2Okinetic water droplet technology
Cons: All-plastic construction materials affect longevity, some customers reported immediate leaks
The best rain shower
The low-priced WaterPoint 8-inch Rain Shower Head delivers an impressive amount of water pressure and water volume for a rain shower.
If you've hesitated to purchase a rain-style shower head in the past because of concerns over high water usage, the WaterPoint 8-inch Rain Shower Head contains a flow restrictor that limits the shower head to 2.5 gallons of water per minute. You can remove the restrictor if you'd like more water flow. Depending on how you use the shower, removing the flow restrictor may actually help you spend less time in the shower.
Perhaps the best thing about the WaterPoint Shower Head is its low price, which makes it another great budget option. The tool-free installation process also means you'll be able to do it yourself, keeping your labor costs at zero.
Pros: Delivers a large volume of water, low price, good water pressure for rain-style shower head, large 8-inch diameter, restrictor inside cuts water usage to 2.5 gallons per minute
Cons: Air intake yields noisy shower head, some plastic in construction
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best cat brushesThe best video baby monitorsThe best sous vide machinesSEE ALSO: The best shower curtains you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Shower, Bath, Bathroom, Shower head, Home Guides, Bathroom Guides, Guide Update, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Home Improvement Guides, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 21:26July 1, 2020The best smartwatchesWe have tested and extensively researched dozens of smartwatches to find the best makes and models for all sorts of users. After much testing, we find that the Apple Watch Series 5 is the best smartwatch overall currently, thanks to a now always-on display, improved design, and extensive health-related features.
Of course, the Apple Watch is exclusive to iPhone owners, so we have many options for Android users as well from the high-end to the more approachable. Smartwatches aren't yet the most necessary tech purchases even in 2020, but they may be one day. For those of you who like to live on the cutting-edge side of the tech world, there's no better techie status symbol than one of the best smartwatches.
Thankfully, smartwatches are a lot more attractive than they used to be, so you don't have to worry about strapping a clunky, futuristic gadget on your wrist anymore. We've tested dozens of smartwatches over the years, and these are the very best ones we've used.
There's a smartwatch for everyone on this list, whether you're an iPhone user who needs the latest and greatest Apple Watch, a tech geek who wants to pay for your latte with your wrist, a fashionista, or a WearOS aficionado, we've got you covered.
Here are the best smartwatches you can buy: Best smartwatch overall: Apple Watch Series 5
Best smartwatch for Android users: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
Best feminine smartwatch: Kate Spade Scallop 2
Best stylish smartwatch for men: Fossil Q Carlyle HR
Best fitness smartwatch: Garmin Forerunner 935 Updated on 07/01/2020 by Antonio Villas-Boas: Updated links for accuracy. Added new links to related buying guides to help readers make a more complete purchase decision. Added fitness enthusiast option. Added best option for Android users. The best smartwatch overall
Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider
The Apple Watch Series 5 has a new always-on display and great new fitness features that make the best smartwatch you can buy better than ever.
It doesn't get better than the Apple Watch Series 5. The unique modern design works for both men and women. The smartwatch comes in 40mm and 44mm styles to fit wrists big and small. You can buy it in several finishes to match your style and there are dozens of Apple-made and third-party watch bands to make the Watch your own.
No other smartwatch offers this much variety and customization, especially when it comes to female-friendly options. The Apple Watch is the only smartwatch I've ever worn regularly each day for months on end. I've reviewed dozens of WearOS watches, and although many of them are nice looking as well, they're not as fully featured or easy to use as the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch boasts cutting-edge smartwatch tech including mobile payments with Apple Pay, stand-alone GPS, full waterproofing up to 50 meters, and thousands of apps. The user interface is very simple and attractive. It's easy to use and it has advanced, easy-to-use fitness tracking features, thanks to a plethora of sensors and an excellent heart rate monitor. The Series 5 even has a built-in compass for navigation.
The Series 5 now has an always-on display, so you don't have to raise your wrist to activate the watch face — now you can always see the watch face just like you would on an analog watch. It's a cool feature that you can turn on or off. Some reviewers have said that it impacts battery life negatively, so keep that in mind if you enable the feature.
Best of all the Apple Watch has several great health-focused features, including the ability to detect when you fall and even alert emergency contacts if need be, as well as an electrical heart rate sensor that works with an app to alert you to heart health issues. The electrocardiogram (ECG) app has been certified by the Food & Drug Administration.
You can also get an LTE version of the Series 5 for standalone smartwatch functions like calls, texts, and internet access. That way, you can leave your phone at home when you go out on a run or a long hike.
The LTE connection will cost you about 10 bucks a month at most carriers, and the LTE model does cost more. There's a non-LTE version, too, if you're not interested in the new feature. Most people probably don't need LTE, frankly, unless you regularly go on hikes or long runs and you don't want to be weighed down with your phone. Still, it's a nice option to have.
The Series 5 lasts a full day on a charge, but you can get more out of it if you don't get notifications from every app on your iPhone.
While other companies struggle to pack tons of tech into bulky smartwatches, Apple effortlessly offers all the tech you need in the most compact and attractive smartwatch you can buy.
Pros: Gorgeous larger screen, slimmer watch case, haptic feedback from the crown, great watch faces, tons of band options, lots of apps, new health-focused features
Cons: Expensive, battery life is short, only works with iPhone
The best smartwatch for Android users
Malarie Gokey/Business Insider
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is a fantastic fitness-focused smartwatch for Samsung fans.
The Samsung's Galaxy smartwatch lineup has been getting better every year as more apps and features are added. While it has the word "Active" in its name, the Galaxy Watch Active2 perfectly suitable for fitness or general wearing.
You can get it in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm — just like the Apple Watch. It has a slim, sleek round watch case so it looks more like a normal watch than a piece of tech.
You can get it in a aluminum (WiFi/Bluetooth) and stainless steel (LTE) and choose between silver, gold, and black finishes. The watch has a simple silicone band, but you can also get leather bands for the watch. It's rated at 5ATM for water resistance, so you can swim with it.
The Galaxy Watch Active2 can automatically track workouts, which is surprisingly a big plus for the Samsung watch, as Google's Wear OS watches don't have automatic workout detection. The heart rate monitor also helps the watch track the intensity of your workout.
The watch even has sleep tracking built in, something the Apple Watch doesn't come with. Based on your metrics, the companion app generates insights to help improve your overall fitness.
Just like with any other smartwatch, you'll also get notifications from your phone and you can access many popular apps.
Pros: Sleek design, gorgeous screen, great fitness tracking, heart rate monitor, LTE option, auto workout tracking, sleep tracking, swim-proof
Cons: Requires a bunch of extra Samsung apps to work if you don't own a Samsung smartphone
The best feminine smartwatch
The Kate Spade Scallop 2 is a truly feminine, whimsical, and charming smartwatch that packs serious tech features like a heart rate monitor, GPS, and NFC for mobile payments.
Most smartwatches are unisex and are not specifically made for women. Even though Fossil, Skagen, and Apple make very convincing unisex watches that women can wear, none of them are unapologetically feminine. If you, like me, have been waiting for a super feminine smartwatch that's made for women, you're in luck.
The Kate Spade Scallop 2 is the ultimate women's smartwatch. The round metal watch casing is relatively slim, very sleek, and absolutely adorable because it has the cute little detail of scalloping around the watch face.
The watch face options are classic Kate Spade designs. You get a sultry winking moon face with perfectly curled lashes, calling you a leading lady; cute bubbly balloons for a digital watch face with numbers; a speeding cab that reassures you that you'll be there in a New York minute; and a daisy that loses petals as the time ticks away in a classic game of "He loves me; he loves me not."
The cute scalloped silicone band in black or a leather band in blush pink and the well-made, slim metal bracelet style watch band complete the feminine look. It is these little touches that make this watch so fun.
Google's WearOS software (formerly Android Wear) lies underneath the cute exterior with all its skills and limitations. Like all the other WearOS watches in our guide, you can pair it an iPhone or Android device to get apps and all your notifications.
The second-generation Scallop even has GPS, NFC for payments, and a heart rate monitor, making it more high tech than the original.
Pros: Adorable design, feminine watch faces and casing, cute straps, subtle details for fun, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitor
Cons: A bit expensive
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best laptops for college studentsThe best Nintendo Switch gamesApple is expected to release a larger iPhone 12 Pro later this year — here's everything we know about Apple's next high-end iPhones so farSEE ALSO: 10 Apple Watch bands that look great and cost under $25
SEE ALSO: The best smartwatches for women
< Features, Tech, Smartwatch, Apple, Apple Watch, Insider Picks Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, IP Guide, IP Guides, Android Wear, Android Wear 2.0, Wear OS, Watch, Watches, >
- Business Insider 00:35July 1, 2020The best cat brushesBrushing a cat regularly can help reduce shedding, matted fur, and hairballs.
We tested 14 cat brushes, dematting tools, combs, and grooming gloves to select the best for short- and long-haired cats.
The Andis Premium Deshedding Pet Tool is our top pick for its ability to reach deep into the undercoat and remove excess hair. There's a world of difference between grooming a cat and grooming a dog. Some cats love to be brushed or combed, while it can make others downright ornery. But even though the average cat is excellent at self-grooming — cats spend anywhere from 15% to 50% of their day cleaning themselves — those with long or short hair can benefit from regular brushing or combing, according to Dr. Aimee Simpson, VMD, medical director of VCA Cat Hospital of Philadelphia.
There are a wide variety of tools available for grooming a cat: Grooming gloves and curry brushes: These help remove loose hair, dirt, and debris while stimulating circulation and distributing the natural oils that keep the skin and coat healthy.
Deshedding tools: These types of tools are used to remove excess hair from the undercoat of cats with long or thick hair. They help minimize hairballs, shedding, and mats.
Slicker brushes or dematting combs: Both of these tools are effective in removing uncomfortable tangles and knots from the undercoat. For this guide to the best cat brushes, I tested 14 different grooming tools over a three-month period with two cats, one with short hair and one with long hair. I received editorial review samples from their manufacturers with the exception of the Furminator, Resco comb, and SleekEZ tool, which Insider Reviews purchased.
For additional expertise on grooming a cat at home, I consulted with Simpson as well as two professional groomers: Loel Miller, owner of Mobile Grooming by Loel in Walnut Creek, California, and Melissa Tillman, owner of Melissa Michelle Grooming in San Leandro, California.
Here are our top picks for the best cat brushes: Best cat brush overall: Andis Pet Deshedding Tool
Best grooming glove: HandsOn All-In-One Bathing & Grooming Gloves
Best slicker brush: Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats
Best curry brush: Furbliss Pet Brush
Best dematting comb: JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Comb Prices and links are current as of 6/30/2020. After extensive testing, we have updated our picks for the best overall (formerly Furminator), curry brush (formerly Kong Zoom Groom), and dematting comb (formerly GoPets). We also added a category for the best grooming glove.The best brush overall The hooked teeth on the Andis Pet Deshedding Tool deftly remove hair from a cat's undercoat without irritating the skin.
Out of the 14 brushes and combs I've tested over the last three months, the Andis Pet Deshedding Tool is hands down the most effective at removing excess fur from both short- and long-haired cats. Its hooked teeth gently catch hold and remove hair deep in the undercoat without causing discomfort or irritation to a cat's skin.
I literally did not know how much hair my cats had concealed in their undercoats until I got ahold of this deshedding brush. I've long been a fan of the Furminator, but the Andis Deshedding Tool is simply better at its job. In just a few strokes, this brush removes at least twice the hair of any of the others I tested, including the Furminator.
The power of the Andis deshedder lies in its 17 curved metal teeth, which reach beneath the topcoat to pull hair from the undercoat. The tool itself is lightweight, less than a 1/4 pound, and its polymer handle is easy to grip. From tooth to tail, the brush is 6.25 inches long. The width of the head, about 4.5 inches long, is an ideal size to get the job done quickly while still fitting into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
While I'm not convinced of Andis' claim that their deshedding tool can help reduce shedding by "up to 90%" is correct, after using this tool a few times a week for a month, I have noticed a reduction in loose hair on the floors and furniture. I've also noted that my hairball-prone long-haired cat has had fewer of them since we began using this brush. Neither of my cats seem to experience discomfort while being brushed with this deshedding tool and the hooked teeth prevent me from accidentally nicking or over-raking their skin.
The only thing I dislike about this brush is that it inevitably leaves a thin layer of loose fur on the topcoat. How I remove those excess loose hairs depends on the day. Sometimes I break out another brush like the Furbliss Pet Brush (our pick for best curry brush), but a thorough sweep over the coat with my flat palms seems to work just as well.
Read our full review of the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for cats.
Pros: Curved teeth easily remove undercoat fur while protecting skin from irritation, lightweight, easy to grip, small enough to reach tight spots, removes more hair than any other brush tested
Cons: Leaves behind a layer of loose hair after brushing, pricey
The best slicker brush
Shoshi Parks/Business Insider
The Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush helps detangle matted undercoat fur and can be cleaned out with the push of a button.
Each of the four slicker brushes I tested worked reasonably well to smooth out matted fur and remove excess hair, but the retractable pins on Safari's Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush make it stand head and shoulders above the rest. When the brush's pins are full of hair, press a button on the back to push the front plate forward and dislodge the hair in a solid, furry rectangle.
Unlike deshedding tools, slicker brushes have thin, blunt pins that can slide into tangled hair and break mats apart. This brush did a great job helping me combat the mats on the chest and under the arms of my long-haired cat. While they couldn't remove every mat alone, the brush has made a difference in keeping his undercoat tangle-free.
The brush has an ergonomic handle with rubber grips, is just under 9 inches in length, and weighs only 4 ounces. Its 288 stainless steel pins (yes, I counted!) measure 3-by-2 inches, a size nimble enough to get into hard to reach places. The plastic button on the back of the brush is a cinch to press one-handed.
While this brush can be used on both long and short hair, it does its best work with long-haired cats whose undercoats tend to be heavier and thicker. Short-haired cats may prefer a soft, rubber curry comb to the blunt pins of the slicker brush.
If your cat's coat is severely matted, though, the tangles will likely need to be cut out. That job is best left to professionals, according to Simpson. "You should never try to cut mats out of your cat's hair with scissors. This can lead to accidental laceration of the skin," she said.
It's worth noting that if you keep up with brushing a long-haired cat with a deshedder like our best overall pick from Andis, they are less likely to form the mats that a slicker brush tackles best. But for cats that are prone to the occasional tangle, the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is an affordable, easy-to-use tool that gets the job done.
Pros: Self-cleaning button retracts pins for easy hair removal, ergonomically designed handle with rubber grips, stainless steel pins help to detangle mats and tangles, good for undercoat care, affordable
Cons: Short-haired cats won't get as much out of this brush
The best curry brush
Shoshi Parks/Business Insider
The versatile Furbliss Pet Brush, which not only combs and massages your cat but also removes fur from upholstery and clothing, is the only grooming tool most short-haired cats will ever need.
A good curry brush is ideal for grooming a short-haired cat, according to Tillman. I was impressed by the Furbliss Pet Brush not just because its flexible silicone nubs are gentle and effective at removing loose hair, but because it can also be used to massage a pet, remove hair from clothing and upholstery, and dispense shampoo in the bath (for those brave souls who are willing and able to bathe their cats).
The patented two-sided design of this brush is made from 100% medical-grade silicone that attracts loose hair and dirt. On the front, the brush has flexible nodules that smooth out the topcoat and provide a gentle massage to stimulate circulation in the skin, joints, and muscles. The brush can be used wet or dry and the backside is crisscrossed with reservoir cells to hold shampoo for deep-cleaning while bathing. When dry, the backside can also be gently rubbed over clothing and upholstery to remove hair and lint.
The Furbliss comes in two different styles for cats. The blue brush has dense, cone-shaped teeth for short-haired pets and the green brush has larger nubs spaced more widely apart for long-haired pets. I tried each one on both my long- and short-haired cats and didn't notice a major difference between them. Each one worked well on both types of fur.
The brush is 4.5-by-2.5 inches in size and weighs just under 4 ounces. I found it easy to grip and use, but it may be a little less comfortable for those with very large hands. Because fur sticks to the silicone material, the brush is a challenge to clean out when dry. Run it under warm water or pop it into a dishwasher or washing machine, though, and the durable brush (which can withstand temperatures up to 250 degrees) comes out squeaky clean. It is also made in the US and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
While the Furbliss can help to remove loose hair, dirt, and dander from long-haired cats, it really shines on cats with shorter hair. Its durability offers a lifetime of grooming, massaging, and cleaning up after your pet.
Pros: 100% medical-grade silicone, two-sided design, can be used wet or dry for grooming and massage, back side can be used to remove hair from clothing and upholstery, available in two styles, dishwasher or washing machine safe, 100% satisfaction guarantee
Cons: Hair difficult to remove from brush when dry, may be less comfortable for people with very large hands
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best electric razorsThe best cat litter boxesThe best at-home waxing kits
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Cat, Pet Accessories, Pets, Pet Guides, Cat Guides, Guide Update, IP Freelance, Buying Guide, Insider Picks 2020, Best Guides, >
- Business Insider 23:52June 30, 2020The best camping stovesA dependable camp stove lets you prepare hot meals, whip up a batch of freshly brewed coffee, and can even help purify gathered water no matter where your outdoor adventures take you.
The best camp stoves are portable enough that they don't take up too much space in your vehicle, are easy to light with a lighter or match, and can hold up in a variety of weather conditions and environments.
Our top pick, the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe, is compact enough for backpackers to use, intuitive and easy to operate, and has a built-in igniter that's reliable all year long. There really is nothing like a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning while camping. Except, perhaps, a hot meal on a cold evening while camping. Neither of these is possible, however, without access to a reliable camp stove.
With the right camp stove, not only can you expect fresh-brewed java in the morning or a warm meal at night but you can rely on it for a range of use cases. Maybe you want to grill up some fresh fish minutes after you've pulled it from the stream, or you crave a mug of hot cocoa to sip by the campfire. You can even heat up some water for a refreshing shower. Have the right camp stove at your disposal, and you're able to enjoy whatever creature comfort you prefer — no matter how far off-grid you might be.
What to look for in a camp stove
Although all camp stoves largely have the same overall goal (i.e. heating food, boiling water, etc.), they're not all necessarily created equal. Some function better for rapidly boiling water while others are light enough for backpacking trips or pack a more powerful cooking punch.
Any decent stove produces plenty of heat and resists the elements, but beyond that, there are all sorts of differences between various brands and models that make a given unit ideal for one user but a poor choice for others. In discussing the six camp stoves on this list, we'll cover not only each option's inherent qualities but will also talk through why each model is well suited to specific activities, as well as why a given stove may be a poor choice for other scenarios.
Here are the main features to consider when shopping for camp stoves (and the criteria we judged when doing our own testing): Boil time: How quickly a stove can bring water to a boil is one of the most important features for anyone who wants to quickly prepare food that only requires hot water, campers who want the ability to reliably purify gathered water, or those who need their coffee brewed mere moments after they wake up in the morning.
Ease of setup and use: Being able to easily set up your stove when you need it is vital. Most stoves are intuitive once you get the hang of them but it's still nice to have one without steep learning curve.
Wind resistant: Depending on where you plan to do the bulk of your camping, a stove that's able to not only light but stay lit while it's windy is highly useful. While most stoves won't have a specific wind-resistant rating, many should list how well they'll work in blustery conditions.
Heating power (and total BTUs): Lighting the stove is one thing but how powerful it ends up being while lit is something else entirely. After all, you don't want to be sitting around for upwards of an hour waiting for a simple can of soup to heat up. The higher the BTUs (British thermal units), the more powerful the stove will be. Look for a stove between 10,000 and 30,000 BTUs.
Fuel type: There are generally two kinds of camp stove fuel: Gas fuel like propane and butane or liquid fuel. Propane and butane canisters tend to be easier to use in terms of lighting the stove and don't require priming before being lit. Liquid fuel stoves require a bit more work (such as priming) but perform better in colder weather. They're also liable to be more dangerous to use. If possible, we recommend using propane or butane canisters as they're far easier to manage.
Price point: The importance of price point is completely up to you. If you have the budget to buy are more full-featured stove, by all means, go for it. If you're looking for a budget option, there are plenty of those, too, and many have negligible differences to more expensive options. Narrowing the list down to just five choices was a tough ordeal, so we included six of our favorites after rigorous testing. The final choices are a who's who among the outdoor industry with brands like MSR, Coleman, and BioLite unsurprisingly making an appearance.
Here are the best camp stoves available: Best camp stove overall: MSR PocketRocket Deluxe
Best budget camp stove: Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove
Best high-powered camp stove: Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill
Best high-tech camp stove: BioLite CampStove 2
Best stove for fast boiling: Jetboil Flash
Best stove for travel: MSR Whisperlite International Updated on 6/30/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the introducing copy and included a specific segment on how to shop for a camp stove, including the main features to look for in a stove, checked the availability of each pick, and updated the pricing, links, and formatting throughout. James Stout and Steven John contributed to earlier versions of this guide.The best camp stove overall
James Stout/Business Insider
The MSR PocketRocket Deluxe is a compact and lightweight stove that fits inside a coffee mug but has a convenient auto igniter and simmering capability.
You shouldn't need to carry an extra piece of gear to make a spark, yet, many camping stoves still rely on matches or a lighter to light the flame. Not with the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe, which has a built-in automatic piezo igniter that's cased in steel for reliability.
Despite its small size and weight, the PocketRocket Deluxe is no slouch. It can boil a liter of water in less than four minutes. The burner is adjustable, so you can lower the heat for a simmer — something that's hard to achieve with a one-setting burner. There's also a built-in pressure regulator to ensure you get reliable and fast cooking until the gas canister is depleted.
As long as you place the stove (with gas canister attached) on a level surface, it supports anything from a frying pan to a small cup. Like all lightweight backpacking stoves, the PocketRocket Deluxe will only run on self-sealing isobutane fuel canisters. If you're flying to a destination, simply do what I do: Since you can't bring a gas canister onto a plane or have it shipped, I stop by a local outdoors retailer after I've arrived, to pick one up (you can also get advice on where to camp, hike, and climb, if you aren't familiar with an area).
I've used this stove extensively, as well as other PocketRocket variants. I like the simplicity of the design, and with the deluxe version, I now have the convenience of a push-start igniter; the igniter adds an extra 10 grams when compared to the standard PocketRocket, but it's totally worth it. What I also like is MSR's warranty: Even after years of abuse, MSR stands by its products and offers extremely economical repair or replacement options.
Whether I'm camping in my car or on a complicated thru-hiking trip, the PocketRocket Deluxe's excellent durability and the convenience of the built-in igniter make it one item I now bring along. — James Stout
Pros: Lightweight and compact, self-igniting, simmers well
Cons: Not the best in high-wind without a screen
The best budget camp stove
The Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove acts like a standard stovetop burner, and it's powerful, rugged, and well priced.
You know how the razor companies get you by selling the handles cheap but then pricing the blade cartridges at astronomical rates? It can be like that with camp stove fuel, too. But the best field stove in the world is just a paperweight without fuel, so buy it you will, regardless of the price.
With the Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove, those canisters of propane fuel are surprisingly low-priced — you can often get a two-pack of the 16-ounce fuel cylinder for less than 10 bucks. One such tank will burn for two hours at full blast and as long as eight or nine hours on a low setting. So if you want to make campsite risotto, go for it. Oh, and the stove itself is affordable, too.
Flame control is remarkably easy with this stove, just twist that large plastic knob all the way open for a roaring 10,000-BTU output or dial it back for hours of simmering. And thanks to the deep bowl shape and generous wind baffles, this stove will maintain a consistent burn in all but the most powerful gusts of wind. The burner is large and stable enough to accommodate an 8-inch pan or pot, so you really can almost treat it like a standard stovetop.
I used one of these stoves for several years and still keep one on hand in case the stove in my house ever has a problem or for some sort of apocalyptic nightmare during which I still wanted to cook pasta. But you'll probably never see me bringing this stove along for another hike or climb.
Why? Weight and size. This stove weighs more than two pounds, with the canister adding another three pounds or more when filled. That's heavier than some tents and sleeping pads combined. So while I highly recommend this stove for car campers or emergency preparedness, it's a poor choice for climbers or trekkers. — Steven John
Pros: Low price point, long burn time, easy flame output adjustment
Cons: Very heavy and bulky
The best high-powered camp stove
The Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill cranks out 14,000 BTUs and can heat up to an astounding 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're pushing for the mountain summit of Denali or the Eiger, then it's probably best to leave the Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill back at base camp.
At around 30 pounds and measuring 25 by 16 by 16 inches, this is most definitely a car camping grill. But with that size comes 165 square inches of cooking space, below which an immensely powerful ceramic infrared burner can heat up to as much as 1,000 degrees. Not that you will need that much heat most of the time, but hey, it's there for you.
The Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill works with a standard one-pound propane cylinder (the squat green ones, like the ones the Coleman stove uses) and has an electronic ignition system.
When you're not using the grill, you can fold its legs up for easier storage or transport, and when you are using it, you'll appreciate the cool-to-the-touch silicone cover on the handle and a latch that can hold the cover open while you're flipping burgers. — Steven John
Pros: Amazing heat output, large cook surface, electric ignition system
Cons: Expensive, not suitable for hauling on foot
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best canteensThe best lanternsThe best sous vide machines
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Camping, Travel, Cooking, Stove, Insider Picks 2019, Outdoors Guides, Best Guides, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 23:15June 30, 2020The best video baby monitorsThe ability to both hear and see baby makes video monitors a popular choice over audio-only baby monitors. Video baby monitors are generally safe to use, but parents should observe a few security precautions.
The sleep tracking and insights along with an excellent user experience put the Nanit Plus at the top of our list of the best video baby monitors. I grew up believing my parents had eyes in the back of their heads, but, sadly, I didn't immediately sprout an extra pair of eyes immediately after donning the title of mother. Video baby monitors are the next best thing.
Video monitors allow caregivers to keep both eyes and ears on the baby, answering questions that a simple audio monitor cannot, like, When did he fall asleep? and in the toddler years, Did she just climb out of the bed? Just 10 years ago, these monitors were clunky gadgets that played constant audio and offered a pixelated picture of the crib. Now they can send a detailed sleep analysis to your smartphone, play white noise and lullabies, and even track breathing.
While the exact feature list varies by model, video monitors typically come equipped with a night mode to see the room in the dark, a thermometer to see if the baby's room is too hot or cold, and two-way audio to talk to the baby (or tell the toddler to get back in bed).
Some baby monitors are fixed in place, while others allow the camera to remotely pan around the room using the parent unit. And with smart baby monitors, the list of possible features is even longer.
I tested nine of the top-ranked video baby monitors with my now 10-month-old across several categories. Each one was tested for at least five days, including naps and nighttime snoozes.
Here are our top picks for the best video baby monitors: Best video baby monitor overall: Nanit Plus Baby Monitor
Best smart video baby monitor: Miku Smart Baby Monitor
Best stand-alone video baby monitor: Vava 720P 5" HD Display Video Baby Monitor
Best budget baby monitor: VTech RM5754HD Wi-Fi Remote Access Video Baby Monitor
The best video baby monitor overall
Hillary Grigonis/Business Insider
The Nanit Plus video baby monitor is so good that it may actually help both caregivers and babies get more sleep.
Unlike many breathing monitors, the Nanit Plus doesn't require any extra devices. The baby wears a patterned fabric band, swaddle, or sleep sack, and the camera detects pixel-level changes in that pattern to monitor the rise and fall of the baby's chest. Even without the patterned accessory, the monitor can still recognize movement to track sleep.
The app's interface is clean, simple, and easy to navigate. It charts sleep times, duration, time it takes to fall asleep, and times when a caregiver visits the crib. Using that data, Nanit Insights offers personalized sleep tips.
It also has the most reliable app of all the monitors I tested, providing nearly instantaneous notifications. It never crashed while livestreaming, though it can run few seconds behind depending on internet speeds. The one time the app stopped working, it sent a push notification so I could restart. For added security, it allows for two-factor authentication, and Nanit says the system is "constantly audited" for security compliance.
The Nanit Plus also excels at the basics. The audio didn't create constant white noise, and I could turn the volume down enough not to hear the music or fan playing in my son's room but still hear his cries. Background audio also allows you to listen to the baby while using other apps. Picture quality is excellent, even for the night camera.
Outside of the downsides of any app-based monitor, like quickly depleting the smartphone battery, I have very few complaints. One minor inconvenience is that you need to go into the app and start a session in order to monitor breathing.
The Nanit Plus is one of the pricier smart baby monitors, although the wall mount option is cheaper than the floor stand. Insights, the part of the app that analyzes sleep and sends sleep tips, also requires a paid subscription after the first year.
Pros: Sleep tracking and tips, contactless breathing monitor, quick alerts, reliable app, good video and audio quality, two-factor authentication
Cons: Pricey, sleep insights require subscription after first year
The best smart video baby monitor
Hillary Grigonis/Business Insider
The Miku accurately tracks breathing and sleep patterns without any wearables.
With a radio-wave sensor built into the camera, the Miku needs no accessories to track the baby. This monitor tracks both naps and nighttime sleep, creating a color-coded chart that illustrates how well the baby slept and even when the baby stirred.
Its well-designed app tracks data such as how long it took for the baby to fall asleep, sleep quality, and average bedtime, which is helpful for new parents establishing a routine. The app can send push notifications that the baby has woken up, but in order to avoid false alarms simply because the baby rolled over, there's an intentional delay on those alerts. For that reason, I preferred streaming the audio. During my testing, the app never crashed.
The baby's breathing pattern is shown on an overlay right over the clear, high-quality video. Separate tabs in the app house the sleep analytics and alerts. Video is also easy to review with an option to watch the feed from any time the app detected motion or noise. Unlike the Nanit, the Miku also has a built-in sound machine — you can play lullabies or white noise and control them from the app.
Simple setup requires pressing a physical button to start a new connection, which feels a bit more secure. The Miku also has a built-in crypto security chip and includes features like two-way authentication.
This monitor narrowly missed being the top pick in this guide, largely because the audio had constant white noise detectable even at the lowest volume. (Audio performance could possibly differ based on the smartphone you are using — I tested using an iPhone 7.) The notifications were too slow to be a suitable substitute. However, the easy sleep tracking without any form of wearables can make up for that if white noise also helps put you to sleep instead of the other way around.
Read our full review of the Miku smart baby monitor.
Pros: Sleep tracking, contactless breathing sensor, simple to use, plays lullabies or white noise, reliable app
Cons: Slow push notifications, white noise during livestreaming
The best stand-alone video baby monitor
Hillary Grigonis/Business Insider
With excellent picture and sound, the Vava is an affordable video baby monitor that has everything you need.
Most stand-alone video baby monitors use a low-resolution fixed camera that doesn't offer a look at the finer details. This can make it difficult to tell if the baby's eyes are open or closed. But the video quality coming from the Vava is so good, that, at times, I could see my son's chest rise and fall as he slept.
The handheld unit's 5-inch screen is what really allows you to see the detail picked up by the Vava's 720p resolution camera. Night vision also offers better quality than other units I tested, which is the mode that parents will use most often.
With the controls on the parent unit, the Vava can be turned 270 degrees and tilt up or down 108 degrees. This provides a view of almost the entire nursery except for the wall behind it. The remote pan and tilt are preferable to using a wider lens because you can get a closer look at the baby while still being able to see if, say, a pet is accidentally locked in the nursery.
The Vava's solid video quality is also paired with excellent audio. There's no voice-activated alert (VOX) option, but the volume settings are varied enough that the fan in my baby's nursery, while slightly audible, wasn't annoying.
Although the Vava lacks the fancy features of a smart monitor, it's easy to use and offers clear audio and picture, with a few extras including temperature monitoring and two-way audio. The 900-feet range didn't once drop a connection in my house or even when I went out to the porch. The parent unit battery lasted for two daytime naps before needing a charge.
This is an excellent monitor for the price point, and because it doesn't use Wi-Fi, hacking isn't a risk. There are a few features that I would have liked to see, such as VOX, but the Vava had better video and audio quality than similarly priced monitors.
Read our full review of the Vava video baby monitor.
Pros: Clear video and audio, easy setup, remote panning and tilt, affordable
Cons: No VOX
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best sous vide machinesThe best canteensThe best sprinklers
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Parenting, Parenting Guides, Baby Guides, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, Tech, IP Freelance, >
- Business Insider 23:09June 30, 2020The best sous vide machinesHigh-quality sous vide machines — also known as immersion circulators — get up to temperature quickly, maintain an accurate temp, and feature an intuitive interface.
The Breville Joule Sous Vide is our top pick because of its high-tech features, compact size, and excellent customer service. Sous vide machines work by preheating a water bath to a specific temperature. Food is then sealed in a container — usually a plastic bag — and lowered into the bath. It stays there until it reaches the temperature of the water. This is not a fast process, but it virtually guarantees that you will not overcook your food.
There are two main types of sous vide machines: stick-like units called "immersion circulators" and all-in-one boxes, known as water ovens. Water ovens are great because they generally come with everything you need to start cooking right away. With immersion circulators, you use your own container — a large pot should work fine.
Though any airtight bag should work just fine, you may want to consider purchasing a vacuum sealer along with your sous vide machine. The transfer of heat through water is eleven times more efficient than through air, and the vacuum sealer removes all of the air pockets and decreases the chance of uneven cooking. It also ensures that water won't leak into the food you're cooking.
The sous vide machines and immersion circulators featured in this guide have a track record of performance and durability and have shown that they can produce delicious steaks, vegetables, and other dishes.
Here are our picks for the best sous vide machines: Best overall: Breville Joule Sous Vide
Best for high-tech cooking: Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Best on a budget: Kitchen Gizmo Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
Best for beginners: Tribest Sousvant SV-101 Complete Sous Vide Circulator Prices and links are current as of 6/30/2020. We removed our pick for the best water oven because it was discontinued. We are currently looking into new options to test.The best overall
If you need a compact, high-tech sous vide machine that is powerful enough to get water up to temperature quickly, look no further than the Breville Joule Sous Vide.
Aside from the ability to heat water to precise temperatures, there are a couple of features that set the Breville Joule Sous Vide — also known as the ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide, prior to Breville acquiring the company — apart from other similar machines. First, it is only 1.3 pounds and 11 inches tall so it is much smaller and easier to store than the other options available. Secondly, Breville has clearly put a lot of work into its app. Not only does it allow you to monitor your meal, but it also has a "Visual Doneness" feature that shows you how your food looks as it cooks so you can easily achieve your preferred doneness.
Insider Reviews writer Brandt Ranj tested it and was very impressed. He said it "lets me cook steaks as perfectly as a professional chef" and called it "one of my favorite kitchen tools."
The Joule connects with your phone via Bluetooth or the internet, and the app has more than 100 cooking guides. Plus, it works with Amazon Alexa so you can cook using your voice. Breville backs the product with a one-year limited warranty. And, if you are not completely happy with the Joule within 90 days of purchase, the company will give you a full refund.
This is a great option because it's small enough to fit in a cooking utensil drawer, has a magnetic bottom that keeps it in place in metal receptacles, and is quiet when operating. However, keep in mind that you do need a phone and Bluetooth or Internet connection to use it.
The Sous Vide Guy tested this and was impressed with how quickly the small device could heat 6 liters of 75-degree water to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (about 12 minutes).
It's worth noting that early reviews of the Joule had harsh criticisms of the app. Breville has addressed this, and many reviews have since updated their ratings to reflect the improvements.
Pros: Compact design, excellent customer service, ongoing app improvements
Cons: Requires a smartphone and Bluetooth/internet
Read our comparison of the Joule and the Anova sous vide immersion circulators
Read our review of the Joule Sous Vide
The best for high-tech cooking
The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker can be programmed through an app or manually on the device itself.
In the world of sous vide machines, the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule are in a class of their own. When it comes to which of our top two picks are better, it's really a toss-up. We gave the Joule the edge because it has a higher wattage and smaller size. But, the Anova Culinary model can be used manually without an app in case you want to put your smartphone away.
The unit attaches to your container via a ring clip. This allows you to adjust the depth of the circulator to fit the container. The Anova has a temperature range of 32 to 197 degrees Fahrenheit, a timer that runs up to 99 hours, and it can heat up to five gallons of water (that number goes up to 13 if you're using a lid). This product is backed by a two-year warranty.
Gizmodo's reviewer liked the compact size and easy-to-read display, and he found the resulting meals to be juicy, tender, and cooked perfectly. However, he was turned off by how hard it was to use the timer, and the app didn't have much functionality. That being said, the review was written a few years ago, and Anova has continued to make improvements to the app.
If you can do without the Wi-Fi function and can deal with less power, Anova makes the affordable Precision Cooker Nano. This is a sleek device that connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth, but it can also be programmed on the unit — just like the non-Nano version, except smaller. In fact, this is the top pick from Wirecutter. Despite its fewer features, Insider Reviews Guides Editor Les Shu, who uses the Nano, found it very capable in cooking steaks beautifully. It just requires a bit more time to bring the water to temperature.
On the other hand, if you're looking for an even more powerful version, Anova has the Precision Cooker Pro, which pumps out 1,200 watts. This is for those who are serious about sous vide cooking and are willing to spend a bit more.
Pros: Second smallest option on our list, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible, works with a variety of containers
Cons: Some dislike using it without a smartphone
Read our Anova Precision Cooker Nano review
Read our Anova Precision Cooker Pro review
The best on a budget
If you're interested in giving sous vide cooking a try and don't care if your cooker connects to a smartphone, then the Kitchen Gizmo Sous Vide Immersion Circulator is an excellent choice.
Unlike our top two choices, the Kitchen Gizmo Sous Vide Immersion Circulator does not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You simply set it up using the intuitive controls on the top of the device. This is ideal for when you want to put your phone away and avoid distracting notifications from countless apps.
The 800-watt motor heats to temperatures up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit with a margin of error of 1 degree. This circulator clips to the side of your container and can circulate up to eight liters (or a little more than two gallons) per minute.
Sous Vide Guy tested how long it took the Kitchen Gizmo Immersion Circulator to get six liters of water from 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 135 degrees. It was a somewhat sluggish 20 minutes. However, he still recommends it to buyers looking for an inexpensive sous vide machine.
Pros: Affordable, energy-efficient, quiet, easy to set up and operate
Cons: Doesn't have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, questionable customer service
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best dishwashersThe best canteensThe best equipment for starting your own home gym
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Sous Vide, Kitchen, Cooking, Kitchen Guides, Appliance Guides, Best Guides, Guide Update, Buying Guide, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 22:44June 30, 2020The best equipment for starting your own home gymWorking out at home is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to stay fit without having to worry about paying for or commuting to an actual gym.
Building out your own home gym allows you to start improving your health, fitness, and well-being whenever you want from the comfort of your living space — and doesn't always require a large dedicated room or weeks of setup to create.
To help you figure out how to start setting up your own personal workout space, we've rounded up the best home exercise equipment, including treadmills, stationary bikes, foam rollers, dumbbells, and more. You want to tone up, improve your health, lose a little weight, and gain greater flexibility. What you don't want to do, however, is pay a sign-up fee plus monthly costs, drive to the gym, and wait your turn for equipment. Top it off with having to deal with potential discomfort or embarrassment if you're surrounded by people in better shape than you — don't worry, you'll get there with time and dedication — then shower in a crowded and possibly dirty locker room.
Thankfully, there's a far better alternative: a home gym. Getting fit at home means you can work out whenever the mood strikes with no need for travel. Not only will you also not have to wait for equipment but once you piece together some workout gear of your own, you won't have to shell out a monthly fee to use it.
If you've shrugged off a home gym because you think it requires a dedicated room, a huge expenditure of money, or more knowledge than you possess, we're here to help. You can get a great workout whatever your budget and you don't need a ton of space to do it.
We've gathered up the best home gym equipment for cardio, strength training, and flexibility. So whether you want to go high, stay low, or meet somewhere in the middle, you're set for a fit and healthy year and an in-shape and stronger you.
Here is the best home gym equipment: Best treadmill: ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
Best training strap system: TRX GO System
Best resistance band: TheraBands
Best yoga set: Complete Yoga Kit Set from Clever Yoga
Best jump rope: Survival and Cross Jump Rope
Best dumbbells: Powerblock Elite
Best stationary bike: Exerpeutic Folding Upright Bike
Best slam ball: Everlast Flex Slam Ball
Best workout machine: Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Best exercise ball: TheraBand Exercise and Stability Ball
Best foam roller: LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller
Best pull-up bar: Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar Updated 6/30/2020 by Rick Stella: Added the Crossrope Get Lean Set as the best jump rope pick, checked the availability of each pick and made notes on products that are out of stock, and updated the prices, formatting, and links throughout. The best treadmill
The ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill is a versatile at-home option that's great for racers, casual runners, and anyone looking to keep up with steady cardio exercise.
The beauty of a treadmill is that it accommodates you no matter where you're starting from fitness-wise. You can walk, jog, or run all at your own speed and preference and the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill is an excellent choice no matter your fitness level or skill.
ProForm's Pro 2000 may remind you of the treadmills you see in physical gyms as it has the same type of features. There's the ability to incline up to 15%, decline down to negative 3%, as well as a 7-inch color screen that's compatible with a range of interactive workouts from iFit.
This treadmill also has a reliable 3.5-horsepower motor, a wide belt deck that's great for almost all runners, and a soft belt that helps reduce the impact of each stride. There's even a music port for plugging in a music player and fitness app access.
Pros: Strong construction, great features, iFit compatibility, ProShox cushioning for soft landings
If the ProForm Pro 2000 is too pricey for your budget, we also recommend the following: Horizon Fitness T101-04 Treadmill ($599.99) Read our full buying guide to the best treadmills
The best training strap system
If you're looking for a reasonably priced whole-body workout that uses your own weight to provide resistance, check out the TRX GO System.
The TRX GO system is essentially a series of sturdy straps, handles, and hooks. But fasten it to a door, rafter, beam, or even a sturdy tree branch, and you have the equivalent of a full-on gym.Not only does the system strengthen and build muscle but it also helps improve stability and flexibility. Best of all, you can apply as much resistance as you need, making the system suitable for beginners and fitness buffs alike.
You'll love the effectiveness and versatility of the system, along with the fact that it's easy to take along while traveling. It even comes with an extensive workout guide, as well as access to other workouts online.
Pros: Great for travel, offers a versatile, effective muscle strengthening workout
Cons: Might be hard to use in smaller living spaces
The best resistance bands
TheraBands' resistance bands are thin and lightweight, yet offer a surprising amount of resistance perfect for a variety of home workouts — the fact they're under $20 makes them even more valuable.
Resistance bands are simple pieces of workout equipment that offer a wide range of uses, and this kit from TheraBands is the perfect addition to any home gym. The kit allows for a weight range of 2.4 pounds on up to 21.3 pounds, giving you the ability to add minimal resistance to a high-intensity routine or ramp it up for deadlifts or upright rows.
Each resistance band is lightweight and thin, though still delivers durable performance (even if it feels like they might tear). Also, their latex-free design means anyone with a latex allergy can rest assured they won't run into any issues.
The TheraBands resistance band kit is also highly portable. Void of any handle or extra material, each band folds down compact enough to throw into a small gym back for easy transport or storage. And at $16, they're inexpensive, too. This makes them an easy addition to anyone's home gym, no matter if you're looking to add another layer to your strength training or increase the intensity of your cardio workouts.
Pros: Inexpensive, lightweight, offers a wide range of resistance
Cons: Might not be suitable for someone looking for intense resistance
For workout inspiration, check out our favorite resistance band routines
Read our full guide to the best resistance bands
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best running shoes for menHow to master the bench press and the equipment you need to build your own setupThe best grilling gloves
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Fitness, home gym, Workout, Guide Update, Buying Guide, Fitness Guides, Insider Picks 2020, at-home gym, At-Home Fitness, At-Home Workout, IP Graphics, Alyssa Powell, Best Guides, >
- Business Insider 18:30June 30, 2020The best fansWhen you're trying to beat the summer heat outdoors, a glass of lemonade at the pool works great, but indoors, you'll need a good electric fan. Our pick for the best electric fan is the Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan, as it provides a great mix of versatility and airflow. Most people love summer, but there are three little things that can make it rough: excessive heat, sticky sweat, and nasty tan lines.
Fortunately, the best electric fans can help with the first two problems. Electric fans move a volume of air around your body, allowing you to feel cooler and sweat less. When a larger fan moves air, it circulates the air throughout a room, eliminating hot and cold spots.
Electric fans have been around for decades, but that doesn't mean they've stood still, just spinning their wheels … or blades. Even a simple home appliance like an electric fan has seen impressive gains in function and performance over recent years. With all of the available designs, finding a fan that can meet your specific needs has never been easier.
Here are the best electric fans: Best overall: Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan
Best tower: Honeywell TurboForce Tower Fan
Best quiet fan: Rowenta VU5670 Turbo Silence Oscillating Fan
Best with a tabletop clip: Genesis Convertible Table-Top and Clip Fan
Best contemporary design: Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 Table Fan Updated on 6/30/2020 by Emily Hochberg: We updated the prices, copy, and removed reviews and ratings from third-party sites because we've found them to be unreliable in the past. We are currently researching and testing new options for a future update.The best overall
The Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator fan sets itself apart from the crowd with multiple airflow settings and a small footprint.
For a versatile electric fan, the Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator earns high marks from our team. It works in a number of different situations and locations, so it should fit almost everyone's needs. The fan is small enough to set on a desk and keep you cool as a personal fan, but the Vornado 660 has enough power at the highest setting to circulate the air properly in a large room, too.
It only measures about 15 by 13.5 by 12 inches, so it can fit just about anywhere. But don't let its small size fool you. This fan is small but mighty. And with its four-speed settings, it can cool just about any room quickly with its blades.
The fan's 6-foot-long power cord also frees you up to place the fan in multiple locations. Keep in mind that this fan is not new, but it's a tried-and-trusted model.
The Vornado 660 runs nearly silently on the lowest power setting while delivering an impressive level of airflow at the highest power setting (if you don't mind a bit of noise). Noise is really the only downside, as it is noisier than some of our other picks.
Vornado backs the fan with a five-year warranty.
Pros: Four power settings to precisely adjust airflow, small footprint versus some fans of equal power, 6-foot power cord, silent operation on low setting, available in black or white
Cons: High price point, noisy on high setting
The best tower
The two-in-one design of the Honeywell TurboForce Tower Fan means better airflow and more efficient cooling, setting it apart from other tower fans.
The Honeywell TurboForce Tower Fan is our top pick in our larger guide to the best tower fans. What sets it apart from the competition is its secondary fan that sits atop the tower unit.
As the tower fan does its thing, blowing cool air at one of three speeds, the smaller fan on top oscillates up and down, covering more of the room than a typical tower fan. Best of all, the two fans are independently controlled, so you can have each running at a different speed if you wish.
Insider Reviews freelancer Steven John tested the Honeywell TurboForce and writes, "With the top fan aligned with the tower, the wall of air the unit produces is formidable, easily felt more than 40 feet away. This fan works well in keeping air moving in a room and is powerful enough for use on a patio or deck, too."
The one downside is the level of noise it produces, though John doesn't mind it, even calling it an upside in some cases. "The noise is a bonus, in my opinion, for drowning out background sounds, but if you prefer a quiet unit, this is something to consider."
Pros: Two-in-one design covers more surface area than a traditional tower fan
Cons: Noisy fan, does not come with a remote
Click here to read our guide to the best tower fans.
The best quiet fan
The cool Rowenta VU5670 Turbo Silence Oscillating Fan is so quiet you may not even know it's running. Plus, you can get it in a smaller, 12-inch table-top size.
The Rowenta VU5670 Turbo Silence Oscillating Fan is one of the quietest and most impressive oscillating fans. Rowenta says that while it's running, this fan only emits 35 decibels of sound; a quiet library is rated at 40 decibels. It so whisper-quiet that you may not even know it's running.
Even though it's quiet, this fan is also really effective at cooling a room and circulating the air. The fan's head measures 16 inches in diameter and has five blades. Those blades can run at five different settings, including a night mode that's extra quiet so you can sleep peacefully without the endless whirring of the fan keeping you up at night.
The control panel is easy to use to set the speed, start an eight-hour timer, or enter energy-saving mode, which slows the fan down to an optimal setting so you don't run up your electric bill. It also comes with a remote control, so you can turn it on and off without leaving the bed or couch.
If you prefer small fans, Rowenta has a 12-inch table-top version. We tried the 12-inch Silence Extreme table fan and found the smaller version is made for use on a table or windowsill, making it ideal for use in smaller spaces like a bedroom or office.
It has three standard speed settings, a Turbo Boost feature (for even stronger airflow), and oscillation. Based on our experience with the smaller version, we can confidently say that these fans are super quiet and effective at cooling a room without interrupting sleep. — Malarie Gokey, Insider Reviews Deputy Editor
Pros: Wide angle of oscillating movement, oscillates vertically as well as horizontally, pedestal design offers 16 inches of height difference, sturdy base keeps fan steady, good looking fan, five-speed settings
Cons: Grill may rust in high-humidity environments, high price point
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best wine openers and corkscrewsThe best beginner climbing harnessesThe best natural deodorantSEE ALSO: The best window air conditioners you can buy
SEE ALSO: The best USB desk fans you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Home, Electric Fan, Fan, Guide Update, Best Guides, Home Guides, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 18:30June 30, 2020The best highlighter makeup products you can buyFor a high-impact highlight with an incredible shade range, you can't go wrong with BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector. The pressed powder formula is buildable, so you can wear it day or night. My ride-or-die, desert island beauty product has to be a highlighter. It's not that it's my favorite to apply (I love the artistry of eyeshadow) or the thing that makes me look most human (that award goes to under-eye concealer, certainly). But nothing quite beats the thrill I get from turning my face toward the light and seeing the glowy flash of my cheekbone. That, my friends, you can only get with highlighter.
There are so many beautiful illuminators on the market, not to mention different formulas that give you varying, yet equally beautiful, affects — how can you possibly choose between them? My answer is that I basically don't choose. I have dozens of highlighters and I'm not in a rush to whittle down my collection anytime soon.
If, however, you consider yourself a reasonable person who doesn't need six versions of champagne gold highlight, I'm here to help you narrow things down. The options on this list vary from "natural" to "strobe light" in terms of intensity, but they all make you glow without emphasizing texture or making you look like the Tin Man — unless that's the vibe you're shooting for, in which case, it's totally doable.
Here are the best highlighters you can buy: Best highlighter overall: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed
Best stick highlighter: Glossier Haloscope
Best natural highlighter palette: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Best intense highlighter: Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter
Best cream pot highlighter: Decorté Dip in Glow Cream Highlighter Updated on 06/26/2020 by Remi Rosmarin: Updated links, prices, and formatting. The best highlighter overall
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector is the first word in highlighter, known for its intense glow and impressive shade range.
The first highlighter I ever fell in love with was Champagne Pop, a best-selling illuminator that BECCA Cosmetics developed in conjunction with YouTube star Jaclyn Hill. Though I now prefer dewier cream highlighters on a daily basis, it remains a staple in my collection.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector is by far one of the most popular highlighter formulas on the market — the pressed powder formula alone has more than 5,000 Sephora reviews and a 4.6-star rating — and I consider it responsible for my personal highlighter awakening.
These highlighters manage to be intense without looking too wild for the office or a casual setting. I use a fan brush and a very light hand to apply the powdered version to my cheekbones for bold highlight, but they're super buildable if you want to go "full glam" with your look.
There are 12 Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed shades available to accommodate most skin tones, from icy Pearl to deep Chocolate Geode. Some of the colors also come in liquid and cream formulations, so you're sure to find one that matches your highlighter personality.
I'm partial to the powders because they are super smooth and versatile. I even wear them as eyeshadow sometimes. One downside to note: BECCA pressed powders are super delicate, so store them somewhere safe and pick a more durable formula for travel.
Pros: Intense and buildable highlight, shade range incorporates a variety of skin tones, comes in multiple formulas
Cons: Powder is really delicate and breakable
The best stick highlighter
With just one quick swipe, Glossier Haloscope gives you a dewy, natural highlight — if "natural" means "glowing like you dipped your face in icing," that is.
I'm a creamy stick highlighter devotee, especially for daytime, and Glossier Haloscope is one of my favorites. It's considered a "dew effect" highlighter (read: glossy and natural, not overly sparkly) with a nourishing formula containing coconut, castor seed, and sweet almond oil and real gemstones that give it pizazz.
It comes in three versatile shades — bronzey Topaz, pearly Quartz, and opalescent Moonstone. I use all three in different ways, treating Quartz and Moonstone as traditional highlighters and Topaz as a bronzer for a sun-kissed look. Sometimes I even pop them on my eyelid. The effect: kind of sweaty, but in a hot way.
Haloscope is pretty sheer, so each color adapts to multiple skin tones. Moonstone, for example, looks almost white in the tube, but blends out to a clear gloss with subtle opalescent sparkles.
I adore these for everyday use, and I'm not alone — Glossier won a Glamour Beauty Award in 2016 and has been recommended by countless other publications, including The Strategist.
"When it comes to daytime makeup, this product is one of my go-tos and certainly one of my most-used 'natural' highlighters," writes Rio Viera-Newton.
Pros: Dewy, natural highlight; convenient stick packaging, great for travel, three versatile shades
Cons: Avoid if you are sensitive to oils
The best natural highlighter palette
The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is not a highlighter palette in the traditional sense, but that's exactly what makes it so special.
If you're not a fan of a really intense, strobing highlight, here's something different. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette contains six powders that give you a glow visible from the moon, but without the sparkle you find with many highlighters. This is a true "lit from within" vibe.
I've tried these powders in a variety of different ways, but I love Dim Light, which blurs imperfections and gives skin luminosity under my eyes and in the t-zone, Incandescent Light on the cheekbones as a subtle highlight, and Radiant Light under the cheeks for a natural bronze glow.
This is roughly how the brand recommends applying the powders, but you really can mix it up to find what's best for your face and skin tone — there's even an entire Reddit thread dedicated to discussing how to use it.
Many of the more than 1,000 reviews on Sephora (the palette has a 4.3 rating) also point out how incredible this palette makes their skin look in photos, so it could be a fabulous option if you have a big event, like a wedding, coming up.
The biggest note of praise I can bestow on these powders? They considerably lessen the trauma of accidentally opening your phone to the front-facing camera.
Pros: Gives a gorgeous and natural glow, works for a lot of skin tones, minimal sparkle
Cons: There's a bit of a learning curve and the price tag is high
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best fansThe best sprinklersThe best lanterns
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- Business Insider 18:17June 30, 2020The best canteensEven in a world filled with hydration belts, collapsible water bottles, and backpack water bladders, you can't go wrong with a proper canteen.
A canteen offers a high level of durability, ease of use, and reliable convenience no matter if you're just out for a day hike or on a longer backpacking trip.
Our top pick, the Pinty G.I. Army Stainless Steel canteen, features a lightweight design, rugged construction, and a companion steel cup that can be used to cook food or boil water. When it comes to hydration, it doesn't get much simpler than the time-tested and reliable canteen. Backpack hydration bladders are great for use on hikes or bike rides, but they require a laborious effort to refill. Hydration belts distribute water weight well, but they tend to come with multiple diminutive flasks, none of which can slake the thirst adequately. Collapsible bottles are great for out of the way storage and use during travel, but often lack the capacity for sufficient water.
Even vacuum-sealed double-walled water bottles are often heavy even before being filled. Thus, it is the humble canteen that still has its place on your belt, in your pack, or on the seat of the car beside you despite being millennia-old hardware.
I've trusted it as my go-to water source for outdoor adventures for years, too. When I'm on a long-distance hike, I like to have gear redundancy in the major areas, with at least two sources of light, two sources of flame, two knives, and so forth. I usually bring a water bladder that tucks into my pack and puts a spout at ready access for sips and at least one large canteen. And while I take sips from the hydration pack when on the go, whenever I stop moving, especially if resting near a water source, I use the canteen.
Canteens are easy to fill, give good, big sips of water, and they can be cleaned out quickly and efficiently. Remember, just because there is a newer way to solve a problem that doesn't mean it's a better solution.
After many days and nights spent hiking, camping, and backpacking to test models from brands like Stanley, Laken, and Rothco, we've rounded up the best canteens suited to anyone's lifestyle.
Here are the best canteens: Best canteen overall: Pinty G.I. Army Stainless Steel Canteen
Best stylish canteen: Laken Camping and Hiking Canteen
Best canteen for work: Stanley Adventure Steel Canteen
Best budget canteen: Rothco 3 Piece Canteen Kit
Best canteen for wine: Stansport Bota Wine Bag Updated on 6/30/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the introduction copy and each selected canteen, checked the availability of all picks, and updated the prices, formatting, and links throughout. The best canteen overall
The Pinty G.I. Army Stainless Steel Canteen is lightweight but rugged, and it comes with a form-fitting steel cup that doubles as cookware.
You can carry a full quart of water in the Pinty G.I. Army Stainless Steel Canteen, a lightweight but almost indestructible piece of hardware in the classic military canteen design favored by generations of soldiers.
With the included stainless steel cup — which slips snugly around the base of the canteen when not in use, adding negligible weight and size to the package — your water carrying capacity is increased by a further 50%.
The Pinty canteen comes with the cup, which can also be used to boil water or cook foods, as well as with a cloth case that secures the canteen to your belt or pack strap and adds some insulation. A heavy-duty, stitch-reinforced belt is also included, but most people choose to set it aside and instead use the carrying pouch on their preferred belt or backpack straps.
The canteen's mouth is wide enough for quick and easy filling, but small enough to get your lips around so you won't spill a drop as you gulp down refreshment.
Pros: Built to last for years of use, comes with a versatile steel cup, can be used for boiling/cooking
Cons: Chain connecting cap and canteen weak, comes with a low-quality belt
The best stylish canteen
The Laken Camping and Hiking Canteen holds a generous 1.5 liters of water, plus, this Spanish-made canteen also looks great at the campsite or slung next to your daily commuter bag.
Laken has been making canteens that look almost identical to this one since the year 1912. When something has remained popular for more than 100 years, it's generally a good idea not to mess with its design too much, although there are a few improvements the modern Laken Camping and Hiking Canteen has over its decades-old forebears.
For starters, while the disc-shaped body is still crafted from sturdy aluminum, the modern variation is lined with a polyamide inner coating that imparts no flavors and protects the quality of the water, sports drink, or other beverage you pour inside.
The Laken canteen is a fine example of form meeting function. Its circular shape is handsome but also practical, as the canteen can store 1.5 liters in a relatively narrow package that slips right into a backpack.
The cool fabric that's applied to the exterior of the canteen adds style, but it's also there for a reason. When you soak the fabric panels, they help to keep the contents of the canteen chilled, thanks to the natural process of evaporative cooling.
Pros: Large capacity, evaporative cooling, handsome and stylish
Cons: Fabric on exterior frays with heavy use, weak cap chain
The best canteen for work
Go ahead and drop a brick on the Stanley Adventure Steel Canteen — you're not going to break it.
The Stanley Adventure Steel Canteen isn't going to win any awards for its design aesthetic, and it doesn't have any special features that set it apart from the pack for its innovation or uniqueness. What makes this canteen notable is an understated quality and resilience. In other words, you'll own this canteen for years, even if you use it daily under trying conditions.
The Stanley Adventure canteen is made from 18/8 stainless steel, a food-grade and durable blend that resists rust and corrosion and resists damage from drops or bumps. It features a two-stage lid, with a narrow spout for sipping that is capped with a steel lid when not in use and that unscrews to reveal a wider opening for adding ice or for cleaning out the canteen.
The unit's 1.1-quart capacity will keep your thirst at bay and its narrow, ovular design allow it to tuck into a toolbox or backpack with ease. The canteen also has loops that can be used with an included shoulder strap, allowing you to carry your water along hands-free.
Pros: Durable design, dual spout width options, easy to clean
Cons: Not compatible with most canteen cups or carrying pouches
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best lanternsThe best bed framesThe best sprinklers
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- Business Insider 17:50June 30, 2020The best sprinklersWater is essential for plant life and maintaining a healthy garden, lawn, or outdoor grounds.
Selecting the best type of water delivery system can save money, protect natural resources, and provide the gardening results you desire.
We tested sprinklers and selected these five options as the best for durability, water distribution, ease of use, and price.
For a gardener on a budget, the Melnor XT 4000 Oscillating Sprinkler will provide the irrigation your plants need. Every gardener, including those without a green thumb, needs the right tools and knows that plants need water to survive. Even if you are devoted to cacti and other drought-tolerant xeriscaping grasses and plants, they still need some moisture.
That's why it's important to understand the watering requirements of different plants, your local climate and soil, and how to properly add supplemental water.
One of the best places to start – and it's free – is your local county extension office. Tied to land-grant agricultural colleges in every state, Extension horticulturists can answer your questions and help determine your gardening needs. I'm a farmer's daughter, and I still learned so much from the horticulture specialists and county agents I worked with at Clemson University Extension who advised me to spend some time observing these four things before simply sprinkling water everywhere: Plant variety in the garden: Trees, shrubs, lawn grasses, annuals, and perennials all have different water needs. If you are just getting started, try to group plants with similar water needs together. Climate and annual rainfall: Windy, dry climates are very different from cloudy, humid areas and require different water levels and methods of delivery to get the most moisture to the plant's root system. Soil type: Get to know your dirt. Clay soil is heavy and water is absorbed slowly so you need to water at a slow rate. Water passes through sandy soil quickly and plants need to be watered more often. Loam soil, a combination of sand, clay, and organic matter, distributes water evenly and is the easiest to manage. Size and slope of the garden: Sprinkler choices will depend upon the terrain and the size of the area that needs watering. If you don't have an automatic irrigation system installed, and don't have time to water every area of your garden with a garden hose or watering can, you will need a sprinkler to help distribute water in your garden. We tested sprinklers for durability, water distribution, ease of use, and, of course, price.
Here are the best sprinklers: Best for large lawns: Nelson 1865 RainTrain Traveling Sprinkler
Best for small lawns: Melnor XT Turbo Metal Oscillating Sprinkler with Flow Control
Best shelf sprinkler for flowers and vegetables: Gardena 1951 Spike Sprinkler
Best soaker hose: Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose
Best on a budget: Melnor XT 4000 Oscillating Sprinkler Prices and links are current as of 6/8/2020. Formatting has been updated.The best for large lawns
The Nelson 1865 RainTrain Traveling Sprinkler moves along a garden hose allowing you to water large areas without having to move the sprinkler.
When you need to provide water to a large, open expanse, the bright yellow Nelson 1865 RainTrain Traveling Sprinkler that can cover 13,500-square-feet is a perfect choice.
Moving along a customized hose path that you lay out, and powered by the force of the water, the RainTrain is both practical and fun to watch.
The body of the train is made of cast iron with a fired, rust-proofed coating and weighs about 17 pounds. The sprinkler arms are made from aluminum and can be set to cover an area with a diameter of 15 to 55 feet at three different speeds. An automatic shut-off keeps the sprinkler from overwatering at the end of the line.
After several seasons of use, I am still impressed with the high-grade materials and durability. And even though I've had no problems, it's good to know that the RainTrain has a two-year warranty. There is a bit of a learning curve, however, to make sure the sprinkler runs at the speed you desire, and how to set up the hose path.
One tip that will make the operation more trouble-free is to use a 5/8-inch hose. A smaller hose can cause the train to jump the tracks. Lay out the hose properly, especially curves, (read the manual) to avoid kinks and the train will chug along easily.
Pros: Covers large lawns without having to move the sprinkler, made of durable materials, two-year warranty, replacement parts available
Cons: Necessary learning curve for first use, not suitable for heavily planted, or highly sloped natural areas
The best for small lawns
Made with durable materials, the Melnor XT Metal Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with Flow Control provides precision watering for small areas.
When I moved from my after-college apartment to my first home, I happily went out and bought "yard stuff." I didn't give much thought to quality or appropriateness for my garden, and just bought a lawnmower, hose, sprinkler, and rake that I could afford.
If I had been a bit more astute, I would have known that you get what you pay for and chosen a more durable sprinkler like the Melnor XT Metal Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with Flow Control.
The sprinkler I bought was 100% plastic, light-weight, and the hose connection soon cracked and began to leak. That's why I prefer the metal components of the Melnor XT. The base of the sprinkler is metal so it stays in place. There is a removable metal filter that can be cleaned and the end plug doubles as a cleaning tool for the nozzles.
Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, the sprinkler features controls to adjust the width, range, and flow of the watering pattern. I can pinpoint specific areas that need watering, like a newly-planted bed. There are 20 nozzles that can cover up to 4,500-square-feet.
I am particularly impressed with the smooth movements and the ability to adjust the spray so I don't shoot water high into the air, which then evaporates before it ever hits the ground.
While I use this sprinkler for specific planting beds around the house, I also gave it to a friend as a house-warming gift for her patio home and she finds that it covers all of her garden-watering needs. She agrees that I chose a winner.
Pros: Adjustable width, range, and flow of water pattern, all-metal components, heavy-duty, limited lifetime warranty
Cons: Must be moved frequently to cover large areas of lawn
The best shelf sprinkler for flowers and vegetables
For newly seeded areas or tender young plants, the Gardena 1951 Spike Sprinkler delivers the water they need without harming their growth.
Just as babies need a gentle touch, so do young plants and freshly planted seeds to encourage growth. Whether I direct-sow into the soil or start the seeds indoors, the water they need must be delivered gently or the seeds will wash away or drown. That's why I love the Gardena 1951 Spike Sprinkler , which delivers moisture in a fine mist spray that protects your investment and hard work.
The easy-to-move and connect spike delivers water in a fine mist that soaks into the soil slowly and doesn't beat down fragile seedlings. The mist is delivered in a circular pattern that can reach a diameter of up to 10 yards. However, by just reducing the water pressure, the diameter can be adjusted to cover much smaller areas.
Pros: Simple to install, delivers water in a fine mist spray, adjustable for coverage area, compatible with other Gardena sprinkler components, 12-month warranty
Cons: Hose connector is plastic and can break if not handled carefully
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best baby thermometersThe best sport sunscreenThe best robot vacuums
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- Business Insider 23:23June 29, 2020The best lanternsWhether you're using it to light up your tent or cabin while camping or to help you see during a power outage, you'll be glad you have a lantern on hand to ward off the dark.
The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern is our top pick because it's bright, compact, and shines for hours on end. A couple of years ago, I went on a 10-day trek through the jungles and mountains of northern Colombia. Besides the usual outdoors gear such as a water filter, binoculars, and a rather large and very sharp knife, I brought along my trusty solar lantern, a device that weighs a couple of ounces and requires nothing more than a few hours of sunshine to provide enough energy for hours of soft, steady light after the sun slid behind the peaks.
Having a lantern stashed away somewhere in your home is just a good common sense idea. In the event of a prolonged power outage, a lantern creates room-filling light that allows for easier cooking, reading, and other basic activities that you can't accomplish with the directional beam of a flashlight. A lantern is immensely helpful in an emergency situation should you need to administer first aid, repair a piece of equipment, and so forth. The long battery life (or fuel burn time) of a good lantern is another bonus when compared with most flashlights, which tend to consumer batteries more quickly.
For the camper, a lantern makes a tent, cabin, or the campsite itself more comfortable and inviting. The beams of headlamps and flashlights can be unpleasant and even blinding as they slash through the night, leaving most of the surrounding area dark while often washing out the spots on which the fall. Lantern light, on the other hand, is softer, filling a space with illumination and allowing all in its proximity to enjoy the glow.
When figuring out which lantern best suits your needs, consider its weight, size, and power source, brightness output, and special features. But also give equal thought to where and how you will most likely most often use the lantern.
Here are the best lanterns: Best overall: CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern
Best on a budget: Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern
Best propane-powered: Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern
Best for emergencies: HeroBeam V3 LED Lantern
Best solar-powered: Survival Frog LED Solar Pocket Light Lantern
Best for backup power: Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern and USB Power Hub Prices and links are current as of 06/29/2020. We updated our choice for "Best for emergencies" to the newer HeroBeam model. We also added a selection of similar buying guides for convenience. The best overall
The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern puts out enough light to fully illuminate a midsized room or to light up your campsite, porch, or picnic area.
The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern casts a halo of light that brightens an area measuring 60 feet wide — and that is on its low setting. When at full power, the lantern's beam stretches out 45 feet, illuminating a space 90 feet across.
Equally impressive are the run-times: The lantern will shine for 19 hours at full power and for an amazing 65 hours at the lower setting. Its diffuser tube ensures that its light is evenly distributed and is bright but not harsh.
The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen lantern weighs a little less than a pound and is small enough to tuck into a backpack. While it's slightly heavier and larger than the distance trekker or the climber will want to carry, it's a great choice for use on shorter hikes or for the car camper or RV enthusiast.
Despite its small size, the power of this lantern also makes it a fine choice for use in equipping an emergency preparedness kit or for more mundane, everyday tasks like grilling after dark or just hanging out in the backyard.
Pros: Super bright output, great battery life, good price for the quality, durable construction
Cons: Uses pricey D batteries, needs dimmer setting
The best on a budget
The Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern is small, bright, and built to last, but best of all, it comes in a two-pack for $20.
What can you get with ten dollars? Quite a lot, really. You can get a decent cocktail or a fine sandwich, a month's worth of streaming video and TV programming, or a compact and capable lantern that will shine for hours at a time and last for many years of regular use. The Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern costs only $20 for two, but it is backed by a 10-year manufacturer's warranty. That's money well spent if you ask me.
When fully collapsed, the Etekcity LED lantern is less than five inches tall, and it weighs well under a pound. That makes it a fine choice for the trekker who is watching gear weight.
The intensity of light output is regulated based on how far you extract the globe section from the outer casing. The more of the 30 individual LED bulbs that are exposed, the more light that the lantern emits. This is a pleasantly simple way to regulate brightness, but there's also a drawback in that the bulbs that are hidden away are still glowing, thus draining a bit of power needlessly.
The lantern is powered using three AA batteries and runs for 12 hours on its lower intensity setting and eight hours at maximum output. That's not a laudable runtime, but the money you save on the unit can be applied to some extra batteries.
Pros: Great low price, compact and lightweight, durable construction
Cons: Short run time, light quality rather pale and harsh
Buy a two-pack of the Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern on Amazon for $19.96
The best propane-powered
As long as you planned ahead and stocked up on fuel, the Coleman NorthStar Propane Lantern can provide you hours upon hours of amazingly bright light.
LED lanterns are all the rage these days, and for many good reasons: They produce no appreciable heat, making them safe for use in confined spaces and around pets and kids, they tend to be compact and lightweight, and they're easy to use. But that doesn't mean there's not still a place for a propane-powered lantern at the proverbial table — or at the actual campsite, in your yard, at the RV park, and more.
The duration of burn time you can expect from the Coleman NorthStar Propane Lantern is entirely dependent on the size of the propane bottle you choose. With a compact one-pound tank, you can expect about eight hours of super bright light and as much as 20 or even 24 hours on a low setting. With a 20-pound tank, you could leave the light burning for a week straight.
While shopping for a propane tank and connecting one to the unit are both more involved tasks than buying and replacing batteries, the sheer volume of light this lantern creates beats out almost every battery-powered electric lantern money can buy. Its top 1,500-lumen setting matches the light output of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb.
Once you have the propane tank connected and the lantern securely placed on a flat surface or hung from a branch, you fire it up, using a simple push-button ignition system. Brightness is controlled with an easy-to-use dial on the front of the unit. And that's that. This is a durable, reliable lantern that works much the same as devices people have trusted for many generations.
The only real drawback here is that indoor use is ill-advised, but not because of the fire hazard, but rather because propane burning equipment should always be operated in open-air environments.
Pros: Amazingly bright, long run time, wide range of brightness settings
Cons: Slightly loud while operating, not suitable for indoor use, large and heavy
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best dishwashersThe best bed framesThe best cleaning products for pet owners that can tackle any messSEE ALSO: The best tents you can buy
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- Business Insider 22:09June 29, 2020The best laptop standsA laptop stand makes your laptop more convenient and comfortable to use a laptop on a desk. This is an especially good look with a secondary monitor.
Of every model we've looked at, the Rain Design mStand360 is the best laptop stand, with its 360-degree swivel base and sturdy design. For some people, using a laptop equals back pain, neck pain, and headaches. If this describes you, don't blame the laptop. Instead, these problems are almost certainly related more to your desk, chair, and laptop setup.
To deal with these problems, we'd suggest swapping the ibuprofen for a laptop stand (also called a laptop riser). The stand will make the laptop more comfortable to use, limiting the aches and pains. According to Dohrmann Consulting, making workstations more ergonomic helps people stay pain-free, leading to fewer missed workdays and more productivity during work times.
Now think about how you sit at a desk and work on a laptop. As Wirecutter points out, you're probably hunched over, tilting your head downward to see the screen. This will not be comfortable during a long working session, leading to aches in the neck, back, and shoulders.
UCLA Ergonomics says you want the top of the screen to be a few inches above your eye level when you are seated. Having the keyboard and the display screen connected makes it nearly impossible to use the laptop at a desk in a proper ergonomic position because the monitor will be too low. The laptop stand will raise the level of the screen to eye level, making it more comfortable for you to use.
With the laptop stand, you almost certainly will need to purchase an external keyboard and mouse, because the keyboard on the laptop may not be comfortable to use once the laptop is positioned on the stand. You also could use an external monitor on a stand attached to the laptop instead of a laptop stand to raise the display to eye level, but this is a much more expensive option.
Depending on your needs, you'll want to get a laptop stand that's fixed or has an adjustable height, a good-looking design, strong build quality, and easy portability. Some stands also have slots for cable management or bases that swivel.
Here are the best laptop stands: Best overall: Rain Design mStand360
Best on a budget: Steklo X-Stand
Best for travel: Roost Laptop Stand
Best alternative stand for travel: Goldtouch Go! Travel Laptop and Tablet Stand Prices and links are current as of 6/29/20. We are currently testing new laptop stands for a larger update to this guide.The best overall
The Rain Design mStand360 gives you the ergonomic benefits you need and the base swivels a full 360 degrees.
The stylish Rain Design mStand360 will look great on your desk, while also holding your laptop at the ideal angle for good ergonomics. It can also swivel 360-degrees, which is a fun bonus that not many laptop stands offer.
The laptop stand is made out of a single piece of aluminum for added stability and strength. Aluminum also dissipates heat from your laptop so it doesn't overheat mid spreadsheet. You can slide all the cables through the circular hole in the back to keep your desk clutter-free.
Although it's primarily designed to work with Apple MacBooks, the laptop stand will work with any brand of laptop. The mStand360 has soft rubber feet and pads that ensure the laptop won't slip around as you're working on it.
The only huge downside is that this is a fixed stand that is not adjustable, so if the height is wrong for you, you should get a different adjustable stand like our next pick.
Pros: Three different colors available to match Apple laptops, base can swivel 360 degrees to show screen to others, stand contains rubber feet to maintain stability, aluminum panel's construction will help cool the laptop
Cons: Some issues with longevity, the laptop could slide off the stand if glued pads on laptop stand surface fail, height not adjustable
The best on a budget
The Steklo X-Stand has a simple design that's lightweight and portable, plus, it's very affordable.
The Steklo X-Stand laptop stand is inexpensive when compared to other options. It also does a nice job of lifting the laptop a couple of inches above your desk to keep it cool by allowing air to flow around it.
However, this small size means the Steklo stand may not work well for those of you who need a laptop stand that will elevate the laptop screen to your eye level. The lightweight aluminum stand is quite portable, though, so it may be good for students or frequent travelers.
You can use the Steklo stand with laptops that range in size from 12 to 17-inches. It folds down to a very small size and weighs just 5.8 ounces.
Pros: Great price point for a laptop stand, good option for allowing air to flow around the unit to keep the laptop cooler, extremely lightweight and portable for use while traveling, comfortable to use
Cons: Hard plastic design doesn't grip laptop, doesn't provide many ergonomic benefits, materials don't seem like they'll hold up for extended use
The best for travel
The fully adjustable Roost Laptop Stand collapses down to a small size when you're not using it, plus, it's lightweight and sturdy.
If you feel a little leery about trusting your laptop to the Roost Laptop Stand, it's understandable. This fold-down stand weighs less than half a pound, which may have you questioning its toughness. But have no fear — this is actually a very sturdy and strong laptop stand that can hold your precious PC.
The Roost stand gives you the option of adjusting the height of the top of the laptop screen from 6 to 12 inches, so you can position the screen for your exact needs. Note: Many found it difficult to adjust the height, including testers at Wirecutter.
At only 5.8 ounces, this stand ranks as one of the lightest in our guide. Even so, it's very tough and sturdy. The rubber grips ensure that it won't move around on your desk and your laptop will stay safely in place.
It can hold most laptops with ease. According to Roost, as long as the keyboard section of the laptop measures 0.75 inches in thickness or less, this laptop stand will support it successfully.
Pros: Folds down to a small size for carrying anywhere, lightweight laptop stand that provides a sturdy base, rubber grips will hold most laptops in place tightly, works with many different models of laptops
Cons: Expensive laptop stand, difficult to adjust height
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best 2-in-1 laptopsThe best 4K computer monitorsThe best speaker deals — save $300 on Samsung's Dolby Atmos soundbarSEE ALSO: The best laptops of 2020
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- Business Insider 20:41June 29, 2020The best bed framesYour bed is not only the highlight of your bedroom, it's also the only furniture you spend 33% of your life on.
The Zinus Lottie Upholstered Square Stitched Platform Bed Frame is our top pick because it's well-crafted with impressive strength and has an attractive design.
If you're looking for a great mattress to put on top of your new bed frame, check out our guide to the best mattresses. Table of Contents
Your bed frame can make or break the overall look and feel of your bedroom. Certain bed frames make the room feel cozier, while others add a bold and modern style. Your mattress certainly matters in terms of comfort, but from a design aspect, your bed frame is the foundation of your bedroom.
Beyond design, bed frames can elevate your sleeping position, ideally making it easier to get in and out of bed. Sometimes they make room for additional storage below your sleeping area or in the headboard. Bed frames also extend the life of your mattress by providing support and preventing weak, sagging spots.
Buying a bed frame may seem simple — just match frame size with mattress size — but there are more buying options than you might realize, which can make the shopping process seem overwhelming. That's why we've compiled this guide to the best bed frames.
Here are the best bed frames: Best overall: Zinus Lottie Upholstered Square Stitched Platform Bed Frame
Best on a budget: Zinus Shawn 14-Inch SmartBase Platform Bed Frame
Best adjustable bed frame: Reverie 9T Adjustable Bed Base
Best simple frame: Casper foundation and frame
Best faux leather frame: DHP Dakota Faux Leather Platform Bed Prices and links are current as of 6/29/20. We've added a section of additional bed frames we've considered or are actively testing. We also plan on adding picks for the best modular bed frame and the best canopy bed frame for our next update. The best bed frame overall
The Zinus Lottie Upholstered Square Stitched Platform Bed Frame is completely squeakless and it has a classic, timeless look.
The Zinus Lottie Bed Frame is naturally simple with a classic design that we can't see going out of style anytime soon. The plush square-stitched dark gray upholstery adds a soft-to-the-touch design aesthetic to the already handsome piece. It's an all-around high quality, timelessly designed bed frame.
As a cost saver, the headboard, frame, and ten wood slats that support the mattress are included in the price. All purchased parts, including the frame, legs, and wooden slats conveniently fit into the headboard and are shipped that way as well.
It's available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. The king-size frame stands 14 inches off the ground, providing extra storage space. In other sizes, the frame is eight inches off the ground.
The Zinus Lottie is featured on MattressPicks where it boasts a 5 out of 5-star rating. Users often comment that the bed frame is worth the money, sturdy, easy to set up, and noticeably quiet.
Overall, the Zinus is a bed frame that can blend quietly into the background of a loud bedroom or hold its own as the centerpiece of an otherwise neutral room. The sturdiness and easy setup are two major plusses, and the strong mattress support and soft upholstery complement each other, creating an overall high-quality bed frame we can't help but recommend.
Pros: Very sturdy, helps your mattress last longer, easy assembly, reasonable price, footboard option, adaptable style
Cons: Middle of the bed support may not be the best, shipping issues result in damaged parts a bit too often
The best bed frame on a budget
Space is valuable, especially in small apartments, and this Zinus Shawn 14-inch SmartBase Platform Bed Frame lets you make the most of it at an affordable price.
If you don't have bedroom space to waste, then a bed frame that provides plenty of under bed storage is the way to go. This Zinus Shawn Bed Frame does just that, as it is raised 14 inches off the ground with 13 inches of clearance, so you can easily store medium to large plastic bins filled with the items you don't need access to daily right under the bed.
It can be purchased as a standard bed frame, a bed frame with a skirt, or a deluxe edition, which has an upgraded design for reinforced stability with t-shape leg construction and a locking system.
The most popular choice is the standard bed frame, which is made from strong, durable steel, and has a unique folding design that makes it easy to move around as needed. Unlike some other models, it's easy to assemble in just two pieces.
The steel bed frame eliminates the need for a box spring and can support spring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses. We like that it's a rather standard 14-inch height, but if you want even more under bed storage, Zinus also has this very similar 18-inch bed frame model.
There are no bells and whistles to this bed frame, so you can achieve a super minimalist style, or add a headboard of your choice to jazz it up a bit.
While other so-called storage bed frames often have drawers that can be pulled out from the sides or have a compartment under the bed that you can only access by lifting up your mattress, the Zinus 14-inch SmartBase Platform Bed Frame simply provides free space, so you are not as limited by the size of drawers or under bed compartments.
Senior reporter Connie Chen has used this frame for one year and loves the easy assembly and spacious storage for her tiny NYC bedroom.
Pros: Tons of under bed storage, easy to assemble and disassemble, frame keeps things quiet, super affordable price point
Cons: Some mattresses may slip, no clear indication of how much weight it can hold
Read our full review of the Zinus Shawn Bed Frame here
The best adjustable bed frame
The Reverie adjustable base is a high-tech sleep machine that will not only meet your comfort needs, but also give you a massage, charge your devices, and more.
When is your bed more than a bed? When it's as capable of multitasking as you are. Once you've slept in a Reverie 9T Adjustable Foundation, it's likely that you'll never leave it again. That's because you can adjust the Reverie to just about any position you'd like.
While I wouldn't recommend turning your bedroom into your home office, the Reverie makes it easy to spend just about all day in one place, but in multiple positions. Trust me, I've (almost) done it.
Thanks to its remote-controlled adjustability, you can elevate your head, feet, or both to an optimal position for sleeping, watching tv, reading, or eliminating snoring. The remote control comes with presets for Flat, Anti-Snore, and Zero Gravity, which involves elevating your legs way up in a position that I find ideal for relaxation.
There two more programmable positions that you can set with whatever your unique preferences may be. The frame also features lumbar support, which can be adjusted by degrees to best suit your needs.
When it comes to appearances, the foundation boasts a sleek design, and the gray upholstery goes well with the slighter darker gray wood on the lower half. If you're into minimalist or contemporary decor, this is an aesthetically pleasing bed.
One of my favorite aspects of the Reverie is that it features quiet, 3D Wave massage therapy that comes in four waves and an impressive 10 intensities. Most other beds that offer built-in massage only offer two or three waves, and around five intensities. While it's not quite like having an in-house masseuse, it's pretty darn close.
As for the additional tech elements of the bed, the Reverie boasts a unique charging pad that can charge compatible smartphones wirelessly, all while simultaneously charging the accompanying remote via the built-in USB port. You can also program your bed via a companion smartphone app, and as an added bonus, there's an under the bed LED nightlight for your midnight bathroom breaks.
And should anything go wrong with your bed, it does come with a 20-year limited warranty. — Lulu Chang
Pros: Frame can be adjusted to just about any position, great massage capabilities, charge your devices wirelessly or with USB port
Cons: Expensive, some reports of hard-to-reach customer service
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best cooling mattress toppersThe best flatware and silverwareThe best wine subscriptionsSEE ALSO: The best mattress you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Home, Bedroom, Bed frame, Best Guides, Guide Update, Home Guides, Sleep, Insider Picks 2020, >
- Business Insider 19:40June 29, 2020The best cooling mattress toppersIf you sleep hot, dread warm summer nights, or suffer from night sweats, a cooling mattress topper can help to regulate your bed's temperature for a better night's sleep. Our top pick, the Therapedic Tru-Cool 3-inch Serene Foam Performance Mattress Topper, offers a combination of cooling and other valuable benefits, like reduced motion transfer, to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
If a mattress topper simply won't get the job done and you need to make a bigger upgrade, check out our guide to the best mattresses. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to desperately kick off your covers and wait as the cooler air washes over you? Do you dread getting into bed in the summer, knowing that your mattress is going to be uncomfortably warm? Whether you're someone who just sleeps hot or needs to get better sleep during warm weather, investing in a cooling mattress topper can make you more comfortable and help you to sleep through the night.
When your bed isn't working for you, buying a mattress topper can help to correct some of the issues at a more affordable cost than you'll see if you buy a new mattress. They can refresh an older mattress, or they can add cushion, breathability, or cooling properties to a newer mattress that you don't want to replace.
These mattress toppers — as opposed to mattress pads or covers — offer significant cushion and padding in addition to their cooling properties. Some are thicker than others, so you'll want to think about how much height they'll add to your bed when deciding which product is right for you. Also be sure to consider whether you'll like a topper that's firmer or softer, since everyone has different preferences.
The mattress toppers in this guide all offer some sort of cooling effect. For the best results, pair them with breathable sheets and comforters, and try to lower the temperature of your bedroom before going to bed. The National Sleep Foundation states that the ideal bedroom temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. It's easier to both fall asleep and stay asleep when your room is cool.
Buying a mattress topper can be a challenge since you can't try them out and most stores don't carry a wide selection for you to feel and inspect in person. We have researched and ranked the following toppers according to their cooling effect, their benefits, such as washable covers and reduced motion transfer, their price, and their overall performance, taking the guesswork out of your purchase.
Here are the best cooling mattress toppers: Best overall: Therapedic Tru-Cool 3-inch Serene Foam Mattress Topper
Best on a budget: Linenspa 2-inch Convoluted Gel Swirl Mattress Topper
Best hypoallergenic topper: 3-inch Lucid Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Best luxury topper: PlushBeds Luxury Wool Topper
Best for intense cooling: Cool Flash Sleeping Gel Body Pad Prices and links are current as of 6/29/20. We removed our pick for the best for pain relief because of stock issues. We added a new pick for the best on a budget. We also added a selection of related buying guides.The best overall
Bed Bath & Beyond
Not only does the Therpedic Tru-Cool 3-Inch Serene Foam Performance Mattress Topper feature cooling technology, but it also reduces motion transfer.
Cooling technology can go a long way in helping you to sleep more comfortably, but it's not the only factor in getting a good night's sleep. The Therapedic Tru-Cool 3-Inch Serene Foam Performance Mattress Topper is our top pick because of the multiple ways it keeps you comfortable at night.
TruCool cooling technology helps to keep this topper comfortable, even on hot nights, and the Serene Foam allows heat to dissipate quickly, contributing to your cool sleep.
The Serene Foam offers other benefits too. It has billions of microscopic air capsules that help to enhance the support that the foam provides while simultaneously reducing the pressure on your body. This is a valuable quality since pressure on hips, knees, shoulders, and ankles (depending on how you sleep) can lead to pain, stiffness, and sleep disruption.
This foam also reduces motion transfer, so you're disturbed less when your partner shifts around. The polyester blend cover is breathable and made of a double-knit performance fabric that is both soft and durable. The cover is also machine washable for convenience.
This topper is backed by a 5-year manufacturer's warranty and is available in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. It's a good all-around choice that offers cooling properties plus features that enhance the overall quality of your sleep. This topper is endorsed by the American Sleep Association and is made in the US.
Pros: Cooling technology, reduced motion transfer, reduced pressure points for a more comfortable sleep, 5-year manufacturer's warranty
Cons: Foam can be spot cleaned only, 3-inch topper may add too much height to some beds
The best on a budget
The egg crate design of the Linenspa 2-inch Convoluted Gel Swirl Mattress Topper helps improve airflow while cooling gel beads disperse heat to keep you cool.
While most of the picks on our list rely on simply gel beads to keep you cool, the Linenspa Convoluted Gel Swirl Mattress Topper also integrates an egg crate design to improve airflow. Memory foam is known for getting notoriously warm overnight, and gel beads may not be enough to overcome that if you sleep particularly hot.
The improved airflow you get with an egg crate design means your entire body won't be firmly hugged by heat-retaining foam. But don't worry, the memory foam is still soft enough that it will cradle you as you sleep and reduce pressure points.
The Linenspa Mattress Topper comes in both a two-inch and three-inch thickness, but the two-inch design is much more budget-friendly. It will also sleep a bit firmer since there's not as much foam for you to sink into. If you prefer a softer feel, the three-inch design might suit you better, but it will be more of an investment.
It may actually serve you, in the long run, to opt for the three-inch topper, though. The three-inch design seems to be more durable than the two-inch topper. There are several reports of the two-inch topper tearing with repeated use simply due to how thin it is at troughs of the egg crate design.
Pros: Cooling gel-infused foam, egg crate design improves air flow, memory foam helps soften sleep surface
Cons: Two-inch topper is vulnerable to tearing
The best hypoallergenic topper
The 3-inch Lucid Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper offers temperature regulation, moisture-wicking, and odor-reducing properties.
The 3-inch Lucid Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper takes a unique, natural approach to enhancing your mattress. This topper is infused with StayFresh bamboo charcoal, which gives it some desirable properties.
The topper harnesses charcoal's ability to reduce odor, which helps to keep the topper smelling fresh. Additionally, the bamboo charcoal infusion wicks away excess moisture, which helps to keep you cool and comfortable even on hot nights.
This mattress topper is also equipped with a PureFlow ventilated design, which maximizes breathability and airflow to help regulate temperature and prevent heat buildup. The moldable foam conforms to your body's curves while also eliminating pain on pressure points like elbows, hips, and knees.
The topper is naturally hypoallergenic, reducing bacterial growth and discouraging mold. It's backed by a 3-year warranty. The topper has CertiPUR-US certification, meaning it was made without the use of any harmful chemicals, so you can sleep well.
This mattress topper is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
Pros: Odor-reducing, moisture-wicking, ventilation maximizes airflow for temperature regulation, hypoallergenic, 3-year warranty
Cons: Can take a few days to fully expand after being unpacked, no cover included
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best truck-bed tentsThe best wine subscriptionsThe best meat thermometers
< Features, Mattress Pad, Mattress, Home Goods, Insider Picks Guides, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Insider Picks 2020, Guide Update, Sleep, Home Guides, >
- Business Insider 00:13June 27, 2020The best meat thermometersIf you like to grill or cook meat at home, it's a good idea to have a probe thermometer on hand.
The Lavatools Javelin Digital Meat Thermometer is our top pick because it's intuitive to use, provides fast and accurate measurements, is easy to read, and has a magnet on the back so you can store it on your fridge.
Read more: The best gas grills Table of Contents
There are plenty of hacks out there for telling if your meat is done. You can cook your chicken until the juices run clear. You might press your hand on your steak to determine how rare it is inside. Or, you may simply slice the cut of meat in half and eyeball it (we don't recommend this method if you want to preserve those juices, though).
All of these techniques are valid, but I prefer precision. I want to know the moment my roast reaches a safe internal temperature. If I wait any longer, I fear that I might lose some flavor and tenderness. If perfection is your goal, then a meat thermometer should be an indispensable tool in your kitchen repertoire.
Types of meat thermometers
There are two types of meat thermometers that tend to work better than the rest: probe thermometers with cords and digital instant-read thermometers. Instant-read thermometers generally take less than 10 seconds to provide an accurate reading, work well in all sorts of foods, and are not designed to remain in the meat while it's cooking.
Probe meat thermometers with cords typically cost a bit more but they remain in the food while it's cooking in the oven, grill, or smoker. And, many of the best models will also alert you when the meat is at the optimal temperature.
Beyond these alternatives, there are analog dial thermometers, thermometer-fork combinations, thermocouples, disposable indicators, and the infamously inaccurate pop-up indicator that comes with your turkey. We didn't think any of these latter styles performed well enough to include them in our guide, but if you would like to learn more about their pros and cons, the USDA gives a helpful rundown.
We also want to note that ThermoWorks produces many of the highest-rated thermometers, but we didn't feel their performance justified their exorbitant prices. There are several options that work just as well at a fraction of the cost.
Our research into the best meat thermometers involved a close examination of countless reviews and ratings from consumers and experts. The five meat thermometers we chose to include in this guide exhibited a strong track record of accuracy, easy usability, and durability.
Here are the best meat thermometers: Best meat thermometer overall: Lavatools Javelin Digital Meat Thermometer
Best meat thermometer on a budget: Polder Stable-Read Digital Thermometer
Best high-end meat thermometer: ThermoPro Wireless Remote Meat Thermometer
Best meat thermometer for fast readings: Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Digital Meat Thermometer
Best smart meat thermometer: iDevices Kitchen Thermometer Updated on 6/25/2020. Links and prices are up to date, and we still stand by all of our picks from last year. We recently tested the Meater+ as a potential replacement for our recommendation for the best smart meat thermometer, but while it's more compact, we ultimately think having two probes is better than one. You can buy two, or a four-probe kit, but that gets expensive.The best thermometer overall
The Lavatools Javelin Digital Meat Thermometer is a low-cost instant-read thermometer that provides quick, accurate readings.
Formerly known as the "Thermowand," the Lavatools Javelin thermometer is designed to produce readings in four seconds with an accuracy of ±0.9 degrees Fahrenheit within a range of -40 to 482 degrees. The accuracy improves the closer the item you are measuring is to room temperature. The food-grade tapered probe is 2.75 inches long and made of 18/8 stainless steel. The device is covered with an anti-microbial coating to prevent bacterial growth.
The Javelin is available in six colors, including chipotle, butter, sesame, and indigo. It runs on one CR2032 3V battery for at least 4,000 hours of continuous use. Lavatools backs this product with a lifetime warranty.
Wired found that it takes only 4-6 seconds for the thermometer to return a stable temperature and the reviewers liked that it is inexpensive. However, the testers didn't like the short probe length, or the fact that the range topped out at 482 degrees. Serious Eats compared this thermometer to the ThermoPop from ThermoWorks and found the Lavatools thermometer has the edge when it comes to cooking thinner cuts of meat but can't reach the center of large roasts like the ThermoPop can.
Pros: Inexpensive, accurate readings, magnetized for convenient storage, lifetime warranty
Cons: Short probe, limited temperature range
The best budget thermometer
If you want to get an accurate internal temperature reading for your meats but don't want to pay porterhouse prices, consider the Polder Stable-Read Digital Thermometer.
The Polder Stable-Read thermometer provides accurate readings in as little as four seconds. You insert the probe into your roast, press the button, and once you hear the beep, you know the thermometer is ready to read.
The large, easy-to-read screen holds the reading until you reset it. It measures temperatures ranging from -49 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit and runs on one CR2032 3V battery.
Do be careful when washing the probe. You do not want the electrical components to be exposed to moisture, or they may fail.
Note: For the small price difference, we recommend spending slightly more for our top pick, the Lavatools Javelin thermometer.
Pros: Accurate, fast, inexpensive
Cons: Questionable water resistance, limited temperature range
The best high-end thermometer
If you like to cook your meats to precise temperatures and don't want to let heat out of your oven to get a reading, the ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer is a game-changer.
If you are used to having to open the oven or grill to measure the temperature of your meats, the ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer has the potential to revolutionize your cooking experience.
You simply put one or both probes into your slab of meat, close your oven or grill with the transmitter on the outside, and let the transmitter know the temperature you want your food to reach. An alarm will go off once the meat gets to the right temperature. It comes with a wireless remote that has a range of up to 300 feet and measures temperatures between 32 and 572 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can walk away and prep side dishes or watch the game while your meat comes to temperature. You can also set a timer for up to 100 hours for slow-cooking or smoking processes. Each probe has 40-inch stainless steel mesh cables, so you can reach from afar.
This is the meat thermometer I use for everything: roasting flavorful turkeys, smoking pork butts, and making everything from candy to candles. I usually put both probes into different parts of the meat I'm cooking because I'm not always the best at finding the deepest, most centrally-located part of the roast, which is ideally where you should be taking your temperature readings.
You may find it more useful to use one of the probes to monitor the internal temperature of your oven or smoker. Once everything is set up, you just affix the remote to your belt.
The ThermoPro TP20 is the top pick in Kitchen Sanity's look at the best meat thermometers. The tester rated it so highly because of the lifetime sensor probe warranty, the fact that it reads temperatures up to 572 degrees, and the way it notifies you when your food is at the right temperature. The reviewer does note that the transmitter uses up batteries quickly.
Pros: Lifetime probe warranty, alerts you when your food is at temp, can handle extreme heat
Cons: Runs through batteries relatively quickly, expensive
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best blendersThe best flatware and silverwareThe best wine subscriptionsSEE ALSO: The best charcoal grills you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Kitchen, Cooking, Thermometers, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Guide Update, Insider Picks 2020, Kitchen Guides, Cooking Guides, >
- Business Insider 22:53June 26, 2020The best truck-bed tentsTruck-bed tents are the latest camping accessory designed to help campers sleep more comfortably.
As the name suggests, these tents create a sleeping area using the entire area of a truck's bed. They're compatible with standard, compact, and extended truck beds.
Our best overall pick is the Napier Outdoors Backroadz thanks to features like a sewn-in floor, plenty of headroom, and the fact it only takes a few minutes to pitch. As camping continues to grow in popularity, the methods by which people enjoy the activity has steadily evolved. Gone are the days where the only option for sleeping is a ground tent that takes 30 minutes of fumbling with poles to set up. Campers today have many options for how they sleep including travel trailers, roof-mounted tents, or, the latest craze, truck-bed tents.
As the name suggests, truck-bed tents sit in the empty bed of a truck to create a similar structure to that of a ground tent. Like the size of the truck beds themselves, these tents vary in size, shape, and ease-of-use. The best models feature a sewn-in floor to offer added protection from the actual truck bed, while others have large awnings to provide added shade or an area to keep dry while it rains.
It's easy to see the benefit of a truck-bed tent, too. Like rooftop tents, they allow campers to sleep off the ground, protecting them from animals, insects, and an uneven sleeping surface. Most are designed to have plenty of interior space as well, creating a roomy sleeping area that affords campers enough room to store additional gear.
As the industry of truck-bed tents continues to grow, so too does the number of companies that offer their own models and designs. Leading the charge is Napier Outdoors, a company that specializes in vehicle-based camping tents. But they aren't alone. After field-testing the latest models, we've hand-picked the five best truck-bed tents currently available, perfect for warm weather campers, owners of compact trucks, and everyone in between.
Here are the best truck-bed tents: Best overall: Napier Outdoors Backroadz
Best for durability: Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent
Best for rainy weather: Napier Outdoors Sportz
Best for smaller truck beds: Righline Gear Compact Truck Tent Prices and links are current as of 6/26/20. We also added a selection of related buying guides for convenience.The best overall
Dick's Sporting Goods
The Napier Outdoors Backroadz fits a wide range of truck bed sizes, has a full floor, can fit around truck-bed toolboxes, and features an easy-to-pitch design that can be set up in roughly five minutes.
Though the market for truck-bed tents continues to grow, no brand does it better than Napier Outdoors. With the Backroadz, Napier delivers a tent with quality materials, thoughtful design, and a fully-covered floor that's easy to assemble. Not only is it our favorite tent we've tested, but it's one of the least expensive.
The tent features 5.5 feet of headroom which may not allow most people to comfortably stand up but does give the interior a roomy, spacious feel. Its fully-covered floor means that it's able to sit on top of even the dirtiest truck beds without bringing any of that dirt or grime inside. It also helps keep rain from dripping down the sides and into the tent.
Its color-coded tent poles make it incredibly easy to pitch, and it can even be done with just one person, though we recommend getting a second person to help. The tent is also versatile enough to be pitched on the ground and moved into the truck bed, or constructed in the bed itself.
The Backroadz comes with an included rain fly to protect against rain or snow, and its entryway extends to the end of a bed's lowered tailgate, providing extra space to store luggage, gear, or pairs of shoes. One downside, however, is that it doesn't come with an extended awning, which would offer even more protection in inclement weather.
With a price tag under $200, a roomy interior, and an easy-pitch design, the Napier Outdoors Backroadz is not just our favorite truck tent but one of the best on the market.
Pros: Inexpensive, color-coded poles make pitching easy, 5.5 feet of headroom, and fits many truck bed lengths
Cons: Doesn't feature an extended awning
The best for durability
Gear takes a beating while camping but the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is designed to withstand whatever the outdoors throws at it, thanks to its watertight, waterproof 100% cotton duck canvas exterior.
One of the most important qualities of any type of camping gear is its durability. Regardless of its use, you want it to last. For the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent, durability is its best asset.
Constructed out of a 100% cotton duck canvas shell (Kodiak Canvas calls it Hydra-Shield), the tent is tough enough to withstand a beating. Its heavy-duty materials don't limit the tent elsewhere, however, as it's still highly breathable and offers a watertight fit into the bed of a truck.
The actual design of the tent differs from the others in our guide in that it's shaped like a tunnel, and less like dome. This helps maximize the amount of interior space and helps it feel much roomier, even though it only has a 5-foot tall ceiling. It also has an extended awning that helps prevent rain from getting inside and creates a sort of staging area for getting in or out of the tent.
Its interior features gear pockets to stow headlamps, smartphones, or other smaller pieces of gear. Since it extends to the end of a truck's tailgate, the opening creates a small area to store backpacks or duffle bags, as well.
One downside is that it doesn't come with its own floor. This means the bed of the truck stays exposed the entire time. It also isn't as comfortable as a tent with a built-in floor. We brought along a sleeping bag to help with this.
It's the most expensive tent on this list, but for anyone who camps often and wants something capable of holding up in extreme conditions, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is the best pick.
Pros: Has a durable canvas exterior, its awning adds protection from the elements, able to be used in nearly any weather condition
Cons: Expensive, doesn't come with its own floor
The best for rainy weather
When the inevitable rainstorm hits, the Napier Outdoors Sportz tent has you covered with its 6-by-6-foot awning and rear access door, which lets you get inside your truck's cab without having to step outside.
Camping in the rain doesn't have to be a miserable experience, so long as you're prepared. With the Napier Outdoor Sportz truck bed tent, being prepared is as simple as pitching a tent. Featuring a nylon exterior, tape-seamed rainfly, and a huge extended awning, this tent offers plenty of protection from inclement weather.
Measuring 5.6 feet in length with 5.5 feet of headroom, the Sportz offers enough interior space for two people plus gear. It even has a built-in gear loft which helps free up valuable floor space. The Sportz also comes with a sewn-in floor, which is considered a luxury for truck-bed tents.
Its tape-seamed rainfly and nylon exterior work well in keeping moisture like rain or condensation out, yet still provide enough ventilation to keep it from getting too stuffy. Its best feature is its 6-by-6-foot awning, which works well at keeping the entryway dry while also creating a sort of staging area directly outside. This is great for changing into dry clothes or having an area outside the tent for fresh air.
Napier color-coded the tent poles to allow for easy setup, though pitching the tent is much easier with two people. Expect the process to take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes depending on if there's help or not.
The Sportz is well worth the investment for anyone who camps in areas with frequent rain, or who enjoys camping in either spring or fall. Napier makes some of the best truck-bed tents available and its Sportz is no different.
Pros: Has a large, 6-by-6-foot awning, features a rear access door for entry to a truck's cab, has a built-in gear loft, and comes with a sewn-in floor
Cons: Setup can be difficult with just one person
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best wine subscriptionsThe best cotton sheetsThe best heat protectant sprays under $25
< Features, Camping, Trucks, Tents, Insider Picks Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Outdoor Guides, Camping Guides, Insider Picks 2020, Guide Update, >
- Business Insider 22:39June 26, 2020The best wine subscriptionsThere are only 172 Master Sommeliers in the United States, but just because you haven't earned that distinction doesn't mean that you can't pick a great wine.
After lots of taste testing, we've found that Winc is the best wine subscription service to get you drinkable, affordable wines you can enjoy anytime.
Read more: The best wine glasses Table of Contents
No matter how many apps you have on your phone or how many books you've read, buying wine is never an easy process. With so many varietals and vineyards to choose from, it's hard to discover if you'd prefer a Cabernet Franc to Cabernet Sauvignon without taste-testing both. And even then, there are so many regions to choose from.
Enter wine clubs.
Wine clubs have been around since the early 1970s. But in recent years, a few startups have started to personalize the process of buying wine even further, introducing quizzes and algorithms to better predict what kind of wine would best suit your palate. That way, even those of us who know nothing about the art of alcohol can educate ourselves while sipping on a glass. After all, what better way to determine what we like than by trial and error?
We've tested multiple services and their wines to determine the best wine subscriptions to try.
Here are the best wine subscriptions: Best wine subscription overall: Winc
Best wine subscription for sampling: Vinebox
Best wine subscription for customization: Bright Cellars
Best wine subscription for developing your taste: Firstleaf
Best wine subscription for organic wines: Plonk Prices and details are accurate as of 6/26/20. We tested Vegan Wines, Ninety + Cellars, and Plonk Wine Club, and added Plonk Wine Club as the best wine subscription for organic wine.The best wine subscription overall
From the packaging to the bottles themselves, everything about Winc is elegant and sophisticated.
As the first personalized wine club, Winc is one of the older players in this relatively new game of wine subscription startups, and with age comes experience. Formerly known as Club W, Winc has become quite the VC darling, having successfully raised over $40 million in funding to help bring its selection of wines to a wider audience. With more than 70 styles sourced from vineyards around the world, you can think of Winc as the digitized version of your favorite wine store.
Rather than charging a flat rate per box, Winc's wines are priced per bottle, beginning at $13 and going up to $40. While each box comes with four bottles, you may never pay the same price twice. That said, you won't have to worry about shipping or handling, so the price you see is the price you get. By sourcing wines directly from vineyards, Winc is able to provide a more interesting selection at a lower cost.
To help you decide which wines are best for you, Winc starts off its process with a quiz that asks questions like how you take your coffee, whether or not you like earthy flavors, and how much you enjoy citrus. From there, you'll indicate if you want reds, whites, or a combination of both, and Winc will recommend the best bottles for you, your palate, and your budget. All of Winc's wines have extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations, which can be found online. If you're particularly fond of a certain bottle, you can check out what else Winc recommends from the same family.
A favorite of mine was Dime, a striking bottle with a simple name, but a rather surprising taste. With strong cherry notes and a deep earthiness, it felt as though this red blend was designed with my quiz in mind. Dime appears to be popular with a number of wine drinkers, scoring an average score of 89.8 on Cellar Tracker. I was also a fan of the Diviner Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Ynez Valley, which Winc's tasting notes describe as "rich but not opulent" and "generous and balanced."
You can read our full review of Winc here.
Pros: Fantastic wine selection, reasonable prices, fast delivery, thorough tasting notes
Cons: If you don't want to think at all about what wines you're getting, the sheer size of Winc's portfolio may feel a bit intimidating at first
The best wine subscription for sampling
Vinebox sends vials of wine so you can get a taste for them before buying a whole bottle.
Unlike other wine subscriptions that send you multiple bottles of wine to enjoy, Vinebox hopes to introduce you to new wines with small samples. Think of it as a way to test drive your wines before you commit to buying them. Vinebox doesn't send you a 750 mL bottle, but rather 10 centiliters in a rather attractive vial. It's enough for a glass, and enough to help you determine whether or not it's something you want more of.
The membership operates on a quarterly delivery system. Every three months, you'll get nine wines that are curated based on seasonality and interesting themes. Even though you'll be asked about your wine preferences, Vinebox will often throw in wildcards or wines that don't fit those preferences exactly, in the hopes that you'll discover something new and expand your horizons.
All wines come with tasting notes, recommendations, and pairings. And once you've finished tasting, if any particular wine stood out, you're welcome to buy the full-sized bottle.
The wines that Vinebox sends are certainly already at the top of their game. The company notes that it taste tests 11,358 wines and only allows 1% of those to be sent to its customers, so rest assured that you're already sampling the cream of the crop.
You can read our full review of Vinebox here.
Pros: Healthy glass-sized pours, great wine selection, ability to buy a full-size bottle
Cons: The glass-sized pours might feel too small if you're hoping for more
The best wine box for customization
Bright Cellars relies on algorithms to match you to your favorite wines, so the longer you subscribe to the service, the better suited your wines are to your palate.
Bright Cellars has long pushed the fact that it was founded by two MIT graduates, and despite its relatively new entrance into the wine subscription industry (it's only been around since 2015), it's already made quite a name for itself.
The company gives you a fun but detailed quiz about preferences — what kind of chocolate you like, how you take your tea — to determine what wine suits you best.
Then, after you receive your four bottles per month, you rate them online, and Bright Cellars uses your feedback to determine which wines to send you next. The more you rate and the more you subscribe, the more likely it is that you'll be paired with a wine that's exactly up your alley.
Back in 2016, Bright Cellars began "matching the wine to our members," as co-founder and CEO Richard Yau said. Basically, that means that Bright Cellars began making its own wine known as Bright Cellars exclusives, which are meant to reflect customers' tastes.
Yau notes that most of Bright Cellars' drinkers are "moving up from Barefoot and Yellow Tail," which is to say that more veteran wine drinkers may not be thrilled by the options provided by Bright Cellars. While I wasn't disappointed by any of the wines I tried, I wasn't exactly excited by any of them, either. They were, however, easy to drink, and would've made great party favors that could be roundly enjoyed by a diverse group of folks.
Moreover, Wine Club Reviews noted that, as Bright Cellars promised, each subsequent shipment contained better and better wines (or at least, wines that matched their drinkers' tastes).
One of the most notable aspects of Bright Cellars is its Delight Guarantee. The company promises that if you're matched with a bottle you don't love, a Bright Cellars Wine Concierge will help you select a free replacement bottle in your next box.
If you're going with Bright Cellars, you might also consider a subscription to its sister company, The Tasting Board. This monthly cheese club also leverages a quiz to help determine what dairy products you'll like best, because what's a bottle of wine without a cheese plate? For $55, you'll get four cheese selections a month, and like the Bright Cellars guarantee, any cheese that doesn't match your palate will be replaced for free in next month's box.
Pros: Helpful wine concierge, algorithm-based wine selection, unique wines you can't find elsewhere
Cons: You may have to stick with Bright Cellars for a bit longer to really get the payoff
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:How to disinfect every room in your houseThe best baby monitorsThe best women's hiking pantsSEE ALSO: The best wine openers and corkscrews you can buy
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Wine, Subscription Box, Best Guides, Guide Update, Buying Guide, Insider Picks 2020, Kitchen, Food & Beverages, Alcohol, >
- Business Insider 20:55June 26, 2020The best 4K computer monitorsWe found the perfect productivity display in the Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Monitor (U3219Q), our pick for the best 4K computer monitor overall. It's an ergonomically designed panel that both business professionals and gamers will appreciate.
The U3219Q's ergonomic design allows for you to find the perfect position with a flip of your hand. Whether it's time to work, game or stream a movie, you can easily adjust color and contrast to fit the moment.
Below, we've also picked what we think are the best 4K monitors for budget buyers, office use, gaming, and more. This is the year that — for the first time ever — the Super Bowl, the halftime show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, and all of those million-dollar ads were streamed in crystal clear 4K resolution and HDR (high dynamic range). The Fox Sports announcement caused scores of football fans to toss out their "old-school" 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) TVs and pick up flashy 4K upgrades.
Back in the 1950s, even my grandparents found themselves jumping on the color television trend, purchasing the first model in their neighborhood. (Yes, loads of kids asked my mom if they could come over to watch cartoons in color.) Later, television tech upgraded to various standards, from high-definition (HD) 720p (1,280 x 720), 1080p, and now, 4K. So, what's the wow-factor with 4K and why upgrade your computer monitor now?
For starters, a 4K display delivers an improved color space and a sharper picture quality, with a display resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. That's four times as many pixels as the current standard of 1,920 x 1,080. With more 4K content available than ever before, upgrading is a smart way to future-proof your desktop computer. Most operating systems, like Windows or Mac, can already output higher resolutions than 1080p. So, when you plug in a 4K display, as long as your computer's graphics card supports the resolution, you get an instant upgrade.
Plus, since we all sit much closer to our computer screens than we do our TVs, we're more likely to see the superb details of things like freshly mowed grass and the feathers on a bird's wings much clearer. Who doesn't want to count the individual blades of grass on a football field, or at least see the plays better?
Here are the best 4K computer monitors you can buy in 2019: Best 4K monitor overall: Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Monitor (U3219Q)
Best value 4K monitor: LG 27UD88-W
Best 4K monitor for office use: BenQ PD2700U
Best 4K monitor for gaming: Acer Predator X27
Best budget 4K monitor: Asus MG28UQ
The best 4K monitor overall
The Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Monitor (U3219Q) is a quality productivity panel that both business professionals and gamers will appreciate. Its ultrawide screen displays a wide color gamut and is ideal for multitasking.
The U3219Q has an ergonomic design and its stand height is adjustable. The rotating panel can tilt, swivel and move horizontally or vertically. There are no latches or screws needed to move it, as the monitor spins easily with just the touch of your hand. The panel is simple and slim enough to fit on your desk without taking up too much space.
You have two options to adjust settings like brightness and contrast: the onscreen display (OSD) menu or Dell's Display Manager software. Display Manager is ideal for making a few quick changes using your keyboard and mouse. In the OSD, you can find a wider range of settings, including Dell's picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture options, which allow you to run two feeds from different inputs simultaneously on the same screen.
There are four different HDR display modes including Desktop HDR, Movie HDR, Game HDR and Reference. Even on sunny days, you'll get a clear picture, thanks to its anti-glare coating. This general display panel has color-space coverage of 99% Adobe RGB, meaning it could work well for photographers and those in creative fields.
Port options include one DisplayPort 1.4b, one HDMI 2.0 and one USB Type-C. The latter allows for easy connection to slim laptops and other systems. In addition, there is a USB 3.0 upstream port, two USB 3.0 downstream ports, and two USB ports with device-charging capability. Some games will be disappointed that this panel does not support any Variable Refresh Rate technologies, like AMD's FreeSync or Nvidia's G-Sync.
In its quality test, PCMag found that the U3219Q passed color reproduction exams with high marks. Ultimately, the tests determined that in addition to being a solid general media display, the panel has superb gaming performance and 4K movie clarity. The full review said users will enjoy the U3219Q's screen, which can pivot a full 90 degrees from horizontal to vertical and back again.
A Forbes review said the U3219Q's high-resolution screen is best for office use, and was appreciative of the ergonomic design. While the panel does work for gaming, they point out, it may be better suited for casual gamers. It's worth noting: The monitor does not have any internal speakers or extra gaming overlays.
Pros: Excellent HDR color profiles, great for multitasking
Cons: Pricey, backlight not flicker-free
The best value 4K monitor
While it may be small at just 27 inches across, the LG 27UD88-W is mighty. Its size makes for a nice and tight pixel grid, to make your viewing experience even crisper.
This 4K Ultra HD monitor boasts immense color accuracy, and is perfect for creatives looking for a deal, or a gamer looking to try 4K for the first time. AMD's FreeSync technology is installed, which means a variable refresh rate is automatically supported on the display. Overall, the 27UD88 reaches 99% of the sRGB color space. You can customize the monitor for games, movies and reading through the easy-to-use onscreen display (OSD) menu, which includes options to change colors to precise hues.
The panel has a slim design and an elegant, curved stand with a matte silver appearance that can be rotated in any direction. Gamers will appreciate that the system has multiple ports, including two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB-C port. Using just one cable, you can hook up a laptop to this panel via the upstream USB Type C-port with DisplayPort alternate mode option. This feature allows you to control the display and charge your laptop all at once. In addition, the Quick Charge port can charge a tablet or phone.
As PC Gamer pointed out, the 27UD88 is limited to 60Hz refresh and doesn't support HDR. However, they note that it's a quality IPS panel that avoids TN tech for colors and contrast, which is often seen in inferior 4K monitors. Called one of the best monitors on the market by TechRadar, the 27UD88 is largely touted for its high degree of color accuracy.
Pros: Superior color options, USB-C connectivity, Freesync compatible
Cons: 60Hz refresh rate, does not support HDR
The best 4K monitor for office use
The BenQ PD2700U is a 27 inch 4K monitor with a tight pixel pitch, a luminescent picture and all the essentials you need for a long day at work.
This screen has a robust, industrial look, along with a full range of rotation options. You can turn it 90 degrees to portrait mode, swivel it from side to side, tilt it backwards or forwards and adjust its height to 5.5 inches. Ports on the PD2700U include two DisplayPorts, one of which is a Mini connector, USB 3.0 and HDMI 2.0. An integrated keyboard video mouse (KVM) feature allows you to add two PCs to the monitor and toggle between them with one mouse and keyboard.
While you won't get the full HDR experience with this monitor, the PD2700U is HDR10 compliant. You'll find a wide color gamut with an estimated 100% of the sRGB color space reached. Calibration options include five gamma presets and four color temperatures. There are eight pictures modes, including CAD, Animation and Darkroom modes. In User image mode, RGB sliders allow you to pinpoint the perfect grayscale. You can mix colors even more with hue and saturation nozzles. Overall, the color is noticeably sharp and bright.
A small, ambient, light sensor automatically adjusts the monitor's brightness to complement the space you're working in. You can also disable this feature if that's not a concern. Another bonus: This panel has built-in two-watt speakers. An anti-glare layer contributes to the grain-free picture quality.
A TechRadar review said that, while the PD2700U is not on the cutting-edge of 4K monitors and is a bit low-key in its design, it's still a high-quality IPS panel with a lot of pixels and clear color accuracy. Tom's Hardware wrote that you get a lot of bang for your buck in its assessment, saying the panel delivers high performance at a low cost.
Pros: HDR10 support, precise calibration options
Cons: No adaptive sync, no USB Type-C connectivity
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best 2-in-1 laptopsThe best webcamsThe best Twitch Prime gaming deals we expect on Prime Day 2020
< Features, 4K Monitor, computer, Gaming, Insider Picks Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Tech Guides, Computing Guides, Insider Picks 2020, Computers, Tech Accessories, >
- Business Insider 20:49June 26, 2020The best 2-in-1 laptopsThe best 2-in-1 laptops offer the performance of a laptop and the versatility of a tablet, allowing for more modes of use than traditional laptops.
So far in 2020, the Lenovo Yoga C940 is our top pick for the best 2-in-1 laptop, due to its brilliant balance between power and versatile style. It's not a laptop; it's not a tablet, either. It's both! The 2-in-1 laptop has grown a whole lot better over the past few years, to a point where — in many cases — it's a no-brainer for some buyers over traditional laptops.
The two main types of 2-in-1 laptops are the detachable 2-in-1 and the convertible 2-in-1. With a detachable, you can completely remove the screen from the keyboard — usually a keyboard screen cover of sorts — to turn your laptop into a real tablet. The convertible, on the other hand, allows you to turn the display completely around the device on a hinge, so that the keyboard is at the bottom when using the device as a tablet.
When shopping for a 2-in-1 computer, you should look out for most of the same hardware and features you'd want in a normal laptop. When it comes to operating system (OS), most 2-in-1 laptops run Windows 10, but some use Google's Chrome OS, which revolves around Google's Chrome browser and can run many Android apps. Currently, there aren't any 2-in-1 devices that run Apple's macOS.
Of course, what's under the hood still matters — a lot. Things like the processor (CPU), storage, and memory (RAM) all impact how well a computer performs. Whereas the CPU dictates pure speed at any given task, memory decides how many concurrent tasks can be handled at once, while storage is simply the available space for your various files.
Last but not least, you'll also want to think about any extra features. Many people buy 2-in-1 laptops for creative reasons. Many 2-in-1 laptops come with a stylus that can be useful for illustration and graphic design. Other 2-in-1 laptops also have features like a fingerprint sensor and enhanced speakers for video watching.
To find the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy, we've tested several devices and read up on all the expert reviews. If you need deeper buying advice, we have that for you here.
Here are the best 2-in-1 laptops: Best 2-in-1 laptop overall: Lenovo Yoga C940
Best detachable 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Best 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Book 2
Best 2-in-1 Chromebook: Google Pixelbook
Best budget 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Go Updated on 06/26/20 by Joe Osborne: Added new language in introductory paragraphs for timeliness. Added deeper buying advice for buying laptops of all kinds, including 2-in-1 models. Added links to products we've already tested or reviewed.The best 2-in-1 laptop overall
The Lenovo Yoga C940 strikes a sublime balance between performance and a sharp, intentional design, producing a 2-in-1 laptop that can go toe-to-toe with most.
We have the newest Lenovo Yoga C940 topping our list of the best 2-in-1 laptops because it strikes an elegant balance between power and panache, not to mention included features. Now the third time around topping our list, the Yoga C940 simply doubles down on an effective, versatile, and intentional design.
Everything about this laptop was designed knowing full well its varied use cases. The C940's primary speakers sit in the 360-degree hinge of the laptop, tuned by Dolby with its Atmos simulated surround sound. The laptop comes with a stylus not only in the box, but stowed away in the device itself for easier portability and charging.
We also appreciate the exquisite, 13.9-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen with its 400 nits of brightness and 100% sRGB color gamut coverage. All told, these features come together to produce the most multimedia-ready 2-in-1 laptop to date, whether you're simply consuming it or creating it, that can last up to 15 hours on a charge.
The Lenovo Yoga C940 starts at $1,099.99, which nets you the aforementioned features powered by the latest, 10-nanometer (nm) 10th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU with integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). There are several upgrade options from there, including a 4K display, up to Core i7 processing, as much as 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD. There's even a 15-inch option available with dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics inside. All told, the Lenovo Yoga C940 is the current 2-in-1 laptop to beat in 2020.
Pros: Clever design, excellent display, classically solid keyboard, improved speakers
Cons: A little dense and hefty, fingerprint sensor placement
The best detachable 2-in-1 laptop
Microsoft's seventh Surface Pro tablet finally brings out USB-C and 10th-gen Intel power, making it the most powerful and versatile Surface to date, and it's still a standard bearer for all 2-in-1 devices.
While we wouldn't say that the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a mind-blowing 2-in-1 tablet, it's most definitely the best of the bunch. Sure, Microsoft may be resting on its laurels a bit when it comes to the Surface Pro design and hardware, but it's sitting on a standard that it set for the rest of the market years ago.
The Surface Pro 7 is nearly identical to the one that came before it save for one small design change: This model now features a USB-C port for both faster data transfers and more versatile connectivity options. This makes it much easier to connect the Surface Pro 7 to a monitor, for instance.
Of course, Microsoft has improved the Surface Pro's internals with the seventh model, introducing it to the 10th-gen Intel Core CPU lineup. This makes the Surface Pro 7 the most powerful model yet, and one of the best-performing detachable 2-in-1 tablets to date. The tablet is also equipped with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, making it ready for the future of wireless as well.
The Surface Pro 7 starts the pricing at $749.99, which features an Intel Core i3 CPU with integrated Intel graphics, backed by 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. This is all behind the same vibrant, sharp 2,736 x 1,824-pixel touchscreen as before. From there, you can upgrade everything but the display before checkout, and we'd suggest springing for the Core i5 option to make the most of the powerful, new 10nm Intel technology. It's still a bummer that the Type Cover keyboard costs an additional $129.99, since it's basically essential to the device, but the Surface Pro 7 remains the detachable 2-in-1 tablet to beat regardless.
Pros: USB-C finally, new Intel power
Cons: Worse battery life than before, no other design changes, accessories sold separately Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review The best 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop
Microsoft's Surface Book 2 may still be pricey, but it's still the most intelligently designed 15-inch 2-in-1 and a boon for creators.
Microsoft has iterated upon its Surface hardware for years, but perhaps the longest in the tooth is its Surface Book 2. Regardless, the Surface Book 2 remains plenty powerful, intelligently designed, and equipped with excellent battery life.
It's clear that this whoppingly 4.2-pound device is built to be both a laptop and a tablet. The Surface Book 2 is a detachable 2-in-1 laptop, but operates a bit differently from most in that category. Rather than use a detachable keyboard cover, the keyboard on this device acts as the base of the laptop, containing a massive battery and dedicated graphics inside. It helps that this base also features an excellent keyboard albeit a relatively small trackpad.
Starting at $1,999.99 list price, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is still a beast. With a 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160-pixel touch display, the device boasts an 8th-generation, Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That can be configured to up to a Core i7 quad-core CPU with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
This top-tier model also comes with discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, which should still hold up for content creation. The Surface Pen stylus also happens to be among the best we've used, which should make digital illustration and media editing easier. On top of that, Microsoft says the Surface Book 2 will last 17 hours on a charge — that is, of course, in laptop mode. We've seen the tablet on its own last about half as long.
Pros: Well-designed, long battery life, powerful, sharp screen
Cons: Expensive, could use more ports Read our Microsoft Surface Book 2 review
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best webcamsA Silicon Valley investor is living through the pandemic in his 500-square-foot San Francisco apartment, teaching himself to play the violin and fly-fish in the bayAll of the companies no longer advertising on Facebook due to the platform's lack of hate speech moderation
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Tech, Laptops, Tech Guides, Laptop Guides, Insider Picks 2020, Buying Guide, Best Guides, Tablets, Computers, >
- Business Insider 17:08June 26, 2020The best heat protectant sprays under $25If you style your hair daily with a blow dryer or curling iron, your hair needs protection from heat damage.
The TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray will protect your hair from heat damage without weighing it down, keep frizz at bay, and give you silky hair at an extremely affordable price. If you use any type of heat styling tool on your hair — whether it's a hairdryer, curling iron, or straightener — a heat protectant is a must-have.
Exposing your hair to any type of heat without applying a protectant first is like laying out in the sun without any sunscreen. It may not be super noticeable at first, but the consequences won't be pretty. Without a properly applied protectant, the heat will dry out your hair, making it brittle and prone to breakage.
To find the heat protectant that's best suited to your hair type, there are a few things you should consider. The most important factor is your hair type and texture.
If you have fine or frizz-prone hair, you'll want a protectant that will smooth flyaways without weighing down your strands. If you have hair that is already prone to damage, look for a protectant that provides maximum protection of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have thick hair, a protectant that can be applied to wet hair is ideal so it can soak up all the product.
Knowing how you want to style your hair can also help you decide which heat protectant will best serve you. Heat protection should be applied at the very beginning of your styling routine while hair is damp.
If you just plan on blow drying your hair, a conditioning protection mist may be all you need. If you plan on using a hair straightener, using a protectant that will help smooth your hair and create shine will make styling easier. For wavy or curly styles, a protectant that provides texture, volume, and hold can help you achieve curls that won't go limp after a couple of hours.
We did the research to find the best heat protectant sprays that cost less than $25, which you'll find below.
Here are our picks for the best heat protectant sprays that cost less than $25: Best overall: TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray
Best for straightening hair: HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector
Best for curling hair: Matrix BIOLAGE Thermal Active Setting Spray
Best for fine hair: Kenra Professional Thermal Styling Spray 19
Best for thick hair: Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray Updated on 6/24/2020 by Mara Leighton: Updated formatting, links, and prices. The best heat protectant overall
If you're looking for an effective and affordable heat protectant that will leave your hair looking healthy, the TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray won't disappoint.
It comes as no surprise that the TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray has received consistently positive reviews. It costs less than $5 and holds its own among the more expensive options of heat protectants. It's a hair product that works, and unlike many heat protectants, its light formula won't weigh hair down.
TRESemmé's spray makes hair more manageable while softening and adding shine. Most importantly, it lives up to its name by protecting your hair against heat damage so you can blow dry, straighten, or curl to your heart's content. This spray is infused with vitamins to help your hair continue to look and feel healthy after you're done styling.
It's also versatile. You can apply it to damp hair before drying — a must to ensure total heat protection — or to air-dried hair before straightening or curling. While it's an excellent heat protectant, be aware that this formula doesn't provide any hold, so if you're curling your hair, you'll want to layer it with another product like hairspray. Since it has a lightweight formula, it can be layered with other products without your hair feeling greasy or weighed down.
And experts agree. In its review, Allure praises this TRESemmé heat protectant for being "light as a feather" on hair, and for the spray gun style nozzle that "covers hair quickly and evenly."
As with any hair product, for the best results, you'll need to follow the instructions on the packaging. For this heat protectant, it's advised to spray 6 to 8 inches away from your head, from mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. For the most thorough heat protection, you should use on your hair while its damp, before drying, and then again if you're using additional heat styling tools once it's dry.
Those with fine hair and with thick hair have had good luck with this product, and it smells pretty good. Some reviewers say they had trouble with the nozzle breaking or not spraying properly, but most found the spray function easy to use, and appreciated the lock and unlock function on the nozzle.
Pros: Affordable, lightweight formula won't weigh down hair, infused with vitamins to enhance hair health, pleasant scent, can be used on wet or dry hair
Cons: Doesn't provide hold for curly or wavy styles, some reviewers had trouble with the nozzle breaking or not spraying properly
The best heat protectant for hair straightening
The HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector will protect your hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees, thanks to nourishing argan oil.
It comes as no surprise that the makers of the bestselling hair straightener on Amazon also have an effective heat protectant that's a bestseller in hair sprays.
While this one isn't a "hair spray" per se, HSI Professional Heat Protector is infused with antioxidant-rich argan oil to make your hair sleeker and shinier. Most importantly, it creates a protective barrier against heat styling tools.
If you blow-dry and straighten your hair often, this heat protectant will help keep your hair healthy. Even if you aren't using heat styling tools every day, this heat protectant can also work as a leave-in conditioner to create a frizz-free look. It's sulfate-, paraben-, and phosphate-free so it can also be used on color-treated hair and even human hair extensions.
While the HSI Professional Heat Protector can work with any heat styling tool to protect your hair, its high heat protection and infusion of argan oil make it ideal if you want to straighten your hair — especially if it's naturally very curly. The argan oil will smooth and get rid of frizz, while the heat protection of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit will allow you to use higher heat settings if needed.
You may equate anything with oil in it to be heavy, but this heat protectant still manages to have a weightless feel while protecting your hair and infusing it with moisture. This makes it ideal for straightening both fine and thick hair. It can be applied to wet or dry hair for styling too, but if you're starting with wet hair, you should spray before using a blow dryer to provide full coverage against heat damage.
While you may find the smell of the protectant a bit strong, it does work well.
Pros: Heat resistant up to 450 degrees, infused with argan oil for a sleek look and frizz control, weightless feel, can be used on wet and dry hair
Cons: Some people don't like the scent
The best heat protectant for curling
The Matrix BIOLAGE Thermal Active Setting Spray provides heat protection as well as light hold for long-lasting curls and waves that won't feel stiff or crunchy.
Hair products that serve a dual purpose make for a great addition to your style routine, saving you time and money. If you curl your hair often, a heat protectant that provides both protection against heat and hold to keep your style in place is definitely worth considering. The Matrix BIOLAGE Thermal Active Setting Spray does both, and won't leave your hair feeling stiff or crunchy like some hairsprays tend to do. Most users appreciate that it helps fine hair hold curl, keeps frizz at bay, and that their hair stays in place without feeling too heavy.
It will also add volume and shine, so your hairstyle won't go limp and dull halfway through the day. It's happened to the best of us, but getting up early to style your hair is a wasted effort if your style doesn't last.
This is a non-aerosol spray that can be applied to both wet and dry hair. You can apply a layer before blow-drying for thermal protection. Then, apply another layer to hair once it's dry before you start using any other heat styling tools to provide extra hold. If you have fine, naturally straight hair that typically doesn't hold a curl very well, you're in luck with this spray.
In addition to providing hold, volume, and shine this protectant will also help control frizz and flyaways. While it works great with curling irons and hot curlers, it can also be used with a hair straightener or just a blow dryer for a frizz-free style that stays in place and has extra shine.
Some users did experience stickiness after using this product and felt that it coated their hair too heavily. As with most hair products, hair type and user applications do influence the effectiveness of a heat protectant. With hair products that provide any sort of hold, it's important to remember that a little goes a long way. Start with the minimal amount of product, and only add more as needed, otherwise, you can easily end up with stiff, greasy feeling hair.
Pros: Provides soft hold for curly and wavy hairstyles, adds volume and shine, can be used on wet or dry hair
Cons: Some experience stickiness after using it, and felt the formula was too heavy
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:The best mosquito repellent productsThe best laundry detergentThe best gardening shovels
< Features, Insider Picks Guides, Hair, Hair care, Hair care products, Women, hair-care guides, Insider Picks 2019, Hair Guides, Best Guides, Buying Guide, Guide Update, Beauty, Personal Care, >
- Business Insider 23:01June 25, 2020The best blendersWhen selecting a blender for your kitchen, you're going to want one that's powerful enough to do whatever job you need, whether it's creating a simple smoothie or crushing ice.
The Calphalon Auto-Speed Blender is the best one you can buy with a powerful motor, decent price tag, and easy-to-use preset blending functions. A blender seems like a simple kitchen tool, and for the most part, it is. Blenders give you a variety of settings to help you achieve the consistency you need for a particular recipe. And even if you don't use it specifically for cooking, a blender is essential when you want to whip up, say, kale smoothies or homemade vanilla milkshakes.
Although blenders all seem to perform the same task, there are a few different types, each with its own unique features: conventional, multi-function, personal, and immersion.
A conventional blender is the most common type for use in your home kitchen; it can perform a variety of functions from making soup to blending smoothies. Multi-function, professional-style blenders have powerful motors and are often used in restaurants. Finally, there's the personal blender, which is a small appliance that makes single servings and may run from a battery for portability. We left immersion blenders (also called hand blenders) off of this list because they have their own comprehensive buying guide, which you can check out here.
When choosing a blender, think about how you want to use it. The motor is the most important part of any blender, and the higher the wattage, the better the performance. Always get a blender with a motor that's more than 500 watts. If you want to make frozen drinks, you may need one with 1,000 watts of power.
You'll also want to look at the type of blades on each blender. Some blenders have blades made for solid objects like ice, while others are better equipped for blending softer foods. Stainless steel blades are best. The size and material of the blender jar are also key factors, as is the tightness of the lid.
Here are the best blenders: Best overall: Calphalon Auto-Speed Blender
Best on a budget: KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender
Best high-power blender: Ninja Professional Blender BL660
Best professional-style: Vitamix 750
Best vacuum blender: Breville Super Q Blender and Vac Q attachment
Best personal blender: Breville Boss To Go Sport Prices and links current as of 6/25/20. We also added more purchase options for products on the list so you can choose which retailer you'd like to shop from.The best overall
True to its name, the Calphalon Auto-Speed Blender automatically senses the correct speed for the ingredients you're blending and can be used for smoothies, dips, and milkshakes.
The Calphalon Auto-Speed Blender has four preset functions, 10 adjustable speeds, and a 1100-watt motor that automatically senses the thickness of your ingredients. It applies the power necessary so all the manual guess-work is taken out of blending, making it convenient to use and resulting in a great final product whether you're making a smoothie or a salsa.
Having tested this blender myself, I can personally attest to how well it works. Call me a creature of habit, but my morning smoothie is an almost daily ritual — one that's been going on for close to eight years now — so a high-quality blender I can count on is a must. I put the Calphalon Auto-Speed through its paces, and it's held up well to daily use, resulting in thick, silky smoothies.
The Calphalon Auto-Speed can do much more than make smoothies, which makes it a great multi-purpose tool to have on your kitchen counter. The pulse feature allows for food prep and chopping — and results in a great salsa. There are also four preset functions for dips, milkshakes, frozen drinks, and smoothies as well as adjustable speeds for more hands-on control.
I especially like the addition of the reverse pulse button which helps pull the ingredients further down into the blade if necessary to prevent any jams, resulting in a smooth blend. The 6-point stainless steel blades are both durable and easy to clean thanks to the way they're angled.
Presets and speeds are controlled by a dial on the front that's clearly labeled, and you can start, pause, pulse and reverse pulse at the push of a button. The easy to read digital interface is also a nice touch, showing you how long you've been blending, or counting down to the finish if you choose to use one of the preset functions.
Each part of the blender that attaches to the base is also dishwasher safe for further convenience. I've cleaned each of these parts in our own dishwasher multiple times with no issue.
With such a powerful motor, this blender is much quieter than I expected. It's by no means silent, but it's much less deafening than others I've used in the past, making it a little less grating to listen to in the morning if you're a breakfast smoothie fanatic like myself.
When blending, you can either use the 2-Liter pitcher for larger quantities, or the convenient 25-ounce Blend-N-Go Jar for single-serving-sized smoothies and drinks. While I liked using the Blend-N-Go Jar, I did find the drinking lid that comes with it slightly awkward to use. It prevented any spills, but the attached cap was sometimes more of a nuisance than anything else. — Kylie Joyner
Pros: 1100-watt motor that automatically senses ingredients and adjusts for best results, four preset functions, 10 adjustable speeds, easy to clean, features durable stainless steel blades, comes with a Blend-N-Go jar for added convenience
Cons: Lid that goes with smoothie cup is slightly awkward to use
The best on a budget
The KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender is a solid, affordable blender that can make soups and smoothies easily.
Although you certainly can spend hundreds of dollars on a blender, you don't have to if you only want an occasional smoothie, soup, or blended dessert. I've owned the KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender for several years, and it's still going strong.
The Die Cast Metal Base is sturdy, so it doesn't shake as it blends, which is something that a lot of cheap blenders tend to do. Although it's not as powerful as many of the blenders in our guide, the KitchenAid has a perfectly capable motor that helps the stainless steel blades blend just about anything with little effort.
KitchenAid's Intelli-Speed Motor Control tech ensures that ingredients are blended equally. The 56-ounce BPA-Free pitcher is easy to clean, as is the two-piece lid. Years of use haven't harmed the sturdy plastic pitcher or the lid, which still fits snugly. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Sturdy, affordable, makes good smoothies, decent motor, five speeds
Cons: Not as powerful as others
The best high-power blender
The Ninja Professional Blender delivers plenty of power to crush ice and blend a variety of ingredients to create perfect smoothies every time.
If you're looking to create great-tasting smoothies at home, you'll want a blender with plenty of power to ensure the ingredients are well mixed and delivered at the desired texture. The Ninja Professional Blender has the features needed to pulverize ice and create the highest quality smoothies possible.
It boasts 1,100 watts of power with three speeds, a pulse setting, and a single-serve function. Ninja also includes two 16-ounce to-go cups so you can take your breakfast smoothie with you. The blender's 72-ounce pitcher is a good size and it has a form-fitting lid and a nice big handle.
Guides Editor Les Shu has seen the Ninja in action. The multiple sharp blades that run up the core of the blender cup, while befitting of the Ninja name, look both frightening and ridiculous. When it's running, the blender is jet-engine loud. But it did a terrific job cutting through ice and fresh pineapple for piña coladas.
Indeed, the Ninja blender does a great job with all kinds of blending needs, including crushing and pureeing for smoothies. It's the perfect choice for people who don't want to invest in our top pick but still need a powerful blender.
As for downsides, the Ninja blender is difficult to take apart and clean, in large part because of the sharpness of the blades. The lid also has some crevasses that are tough to clean properly. But otherwise, this is a great pick. — Kyle Schurman
Pros: Perfect option for creating smoothies at home, good price point, offers many different kinds of blending options, works to crush ice, blends many kinds of foods successfully
Cons: Unit's lid can be difficult to clean, blades are sharp when you take blender apart for cleaning
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