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It’s hard to believe August is already behind us—schools are back in session, many people are back in offices and fall is right around the corner. Our readers have been busy gearing up with essentials for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and widespread wildfires like face shields and air purifiers. In addition, coffee makers and TV entertainment systems are among some of the most popular things they’re buying as the bustle of summer begins to wind down.
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At Reviewed, we lab test and thoroughly review thousands of products from kitchen tools to mattresses to the latest tech to make sure you’re buying the best products. How do we decide what to test? Well, we monitor the cool products that our readers are buying, among other things. Here’s what caught Reviewed readers’ attention this August on Amazon, from humidifiers to AirPods to our favorite cold brew maker.
If your preferred way of listening to your favorite tunes is through a music streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited is an option that stacks up against Spotify and Apple Music. Amazon’s service features unlimited access to 75 million songs and millions of podcast episodes, all with unlimited skips and without any ads. With individual, family, single device and student plans, there are plenty of options for picking the right service for you.
Right now, Amazon Music Unlimited is a $4.99/month subscription, but you can take advantage of a 3-month free trial. And students can also get an epic deal on a subscription—just 99 cents a month for access to music, podcasts and every other benefit Amazon Music Unlimited offers.
Try Amazon Music Unlimited free for 3 months
Get Amazon Music Unlimited for 99 cents/month if you’re a student
For the dedicated Apple fans out there, the Apple AirPods Pro are a favorite for their handy noise cancellation feature and sleek, all-white design. We have to be honest: The AirPods Pro aren’t necessarily our favorite wireless, noise-canceling earbuds on the market—that would be the Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless earbuds. Still, we think the AirPods Pro are the best headphones Apple ever made after testing them out ourselves. They’re easy to use, have an exceptional battery life, offer strong noise cancellation and fit the ear much better than the previous AirPods model.
Get Apple AirPods Pro at Amazon for $189.98
Between wildfires raging on the West coast and spreading smoke and soot across the country, COVID-19 posing a risk in indoor settings, and other health and home concerns like VOCs and mold, air purifiers are a hot commodity right now.
According to experts, air purifiers are likely effective in reducing unhealthy particulate matter found in wildfire smoke. In addition, when used along with best practices like universal masking and social distancing, the EPA says air purifiers can be a great addition to a COVID-19 mitigation plan, as they can help to reduce airborne contaminants like viruses when used properly. Air purifiers are also useful beyond wildfires and COVID-19—they can help to soothe allergy and asthma symptoms and can filter out dust, pollen mold and other bacteria. Essentially, any home can benefit from an air purifier.
The best air purifier that we’ve ever tested—the Winix 55200—impressively removes heavy odors and contaminants, like smoke, from a room. It’s also easy to move, has a straightforward filter and is certified by the California Air Resources Board. On top of that, it’s a decent price point for an air purifier.
Get the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier at Amazon for $159.99
If you love streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, having a streaming device is essential in having convenient, high-quality access to your favorite TV shows and movies.
We tested and reviewed the Roku Express 4K+ and found that it’s a pretty great value, especially in comparison to other Roku models. You get access to 4K, HDR and Dolby Atoms sound on select services with a compatible TV and audio system. Plus at this price point, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get top-notch streaming quality.
Get the Roku Express 4K+ at Amazon for $29
In addition to wearing a mask, you can use a face shield for an extra boost of protection for yourself. The NoCry FlipUp Face Shield has thousands of rave reviews for being lightweight, easy to use and convenient for those who wear glasses. The face shield features a comfortable forehead padding that keeps the shield secure, along with adjustable metal hinges that make it easy to push up and down when necessary.
Get the NoCry FlipUp Face Shield (2-Pack) at Amazon for $12.99
Whether it’s for school, work or travel, some of us may have to wear masks for an extended period of time throughout the day. And while masks should never feel too uncomfortable off the bat or restrict your breathing, you may start to feel some pain after several hours. But don’t worry—that can easily be resolved. A common annoyance is mask ear loops—especially those that aren’t adjustable on disposable or cloth masks—as they can start to chafe or tug at your ears.
An easy solution to this common problem is a mask extender. When we asked medical experts how they keep masks comfortable for long shifts, one suggested using a mask extender, which connects the ear loops of your mask around the back of your head, alleviating your ears of any weight or tugging. This pack of mask extenders from Amazon is loved by reviewers for the well-made material that’s easy to use and comfortable to wear. Reviewers also note that the extender makes it easier to wear masks when using hearing aids or wearing glasses.
Get the Zbro Mask Extender Strap Hook (4-Pack) at Amazon for $12.99
For perfecting your favorite recipes, you’ll want to ensure your oven is cooking at the exact temperature you want it to. Enter: The humble dial-face oven thermometer. While there aren’t a ton of variances across different oven thermometers on the market, we did find that the KT Thermo Oven Thermometer stood out from the competition for its extremely accurate temperature measurements, easy-to-read temperature markings and snug fit for any oven rack. The thermometer can measure anywhere between 100 and 600 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a must-have for any recipe you want exact readings for.
Get the KT Thermo 3-Inch Dial Oven Thermometer at Amazon for $11.20
With the highly contagious delta variant sweeping across the country, many households are gearing up with more COVID-19 essentials to stay safe this fall. To help monitor any potential COVID-19 symptoms, consider getting a pulse oximeter for the house.
These medical devices attach to the finger to measure oxygen saturation in the blood. Low levels of oxygen in the blood can be a warning sign that you may need medical assistance soon. The CDC says that even those without signs or symptoms of shortness of breath can have low oxygen levels, so this small yet mighty tool can be very useful for those in your home with COVID-19.
Get the Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter at Amazon for $19.93
Amazon entered the compact streaming race in 2015 with its Fire TV Stick—and it has been a favorite choice for many customers ever since. However, the 4K version of its streaming device is an absolute dream for Alexa and Amazon Prime Videos users. It provides a similar interface to the original Fire TV Stick, plus it supports video searching and control via your Alexa-compatible devices. The Fire TV Stick 4K supports the majority of streaming options like Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and more. Our only qualm is that the service favors and prioritizes Amazon content above other services in its interface—other than this minor con, we think the Amazon Fire TV Stick is an excellent and seamless choice for any Amazon device-filled home.
Get the Fire TV Stick 4K at Amazon for $39.99
Air fryers have become a staple in kitchens across the nation, as this little countertop appliance can deliver crispy, delectable goods faster than any deep-fryer or oven could.
After testing tons of air fryers on the market, we found the Cosori CP158-AF Max XL Air Fryer to be an incredible appliance that cooks deliciously crispy food, has intuitive digital controls and features a large cooking cavity—all at an excellent, inexpensive price point.
Get the Cosori Air Fryer Max XL at Amazon for $119.99
You never know when an emergency or natural disaster can strike—that’s why every home should have a survival kit stowed away. One essential item every kit should have is a rugged flashlight that can stack up against all odds—this means something durable, water-resistant and extremely bright to keep you safe wherever you are or need to go.
The PeakPlus Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight scores top ratings on Amazon for its high lumen LED brightness and high-strength anti-shock body. Reviewers also can’t get enough of the long-lasting battery and convenient battery charger that comes with the product.
Get the PeakPlus Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight at Amazon for $16.99
Cold brew has quickly become a popular (and trendy) way to consume your favorite coffee. But did you know just how easy it is to make cold brew at home? This deluxe cold brew coffee maker sold at Amazon allows you to get your caffeine fix with ease—and it’s the best one we’ve ever tested. This convenient cold brew maker comes in a tall pitcher shape with a pouring spout, making it easy to throw it in the fridge, take it out and pour yourself a glass.
Get the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker at Amazon for $24.99
Right now, it looks like masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, but it can be a challenge to get kids to mask up. Thankfully, there are plenty of fun and comfortable masks for kids to try out, which can help encourage your kids to actually want to wear one.
The Crayola Kids masks are an unsung hero when it comes to kids masks—they come in tons of awesome colors, feature a dual-layer 2D fabric design and even come with name tags, which can help parents keep track of whose is whose. With a 4.4-star rating, plenty of other parents seem to agree with just how great these masks truly are.
Get the Crayola Kids Face Mask (5-Pack) at Amazon for $19.99
Can openers: These little kitchen tools are great for everyday use, but are especially essential for opening an emergency stock of canned goods when in a crisis. We’ve tested plenty of can openers and found the Ez-duz-it can opener is the best one we found on the market. It’s nothing fancy—which is exactly what you want in a can opener. It easily pierces through lids, stays attached to edges and makes its way around the can without a hitch. Not to mention, it’s super affordable.
Get the Ez-duz-it Deluxe Can Opener at Amazon for $11.08
Robot vacuums have become a wildly popular household product and, just in a matter of a few years, have advanced into ultra-smart and connected devices that can be controlled with your smartphone.
Among the smart robot vacuums that we’ve tested at Reviewed, the Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C is our chosen smart vacuum for the best value. It’s an exceptional robot vacuum at a stunningly affordable price point, especially for its useful smart features. It connects to the Eufy app where you can dictate cleaning schedules, initiate cleaning cycles and check the battery status. You can hook the vacuum up to your Alexa or Google devices for convenient use. But most importantly, the robot vacuum picks up dirt and debris like a charm, leaving behind a clean surface.
Get the Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C at Amazon for $219.99
Another great streaming device option is the Roku Streaming Stick+, which lands the title of our best value choice out of all the Roku devices we’ve tested, coming in at $39. It offers 4K resolution, HDR support and is nearly as fast as the full-size Roku Ultra. The remote control is also identical to that of the Ultra, boasting a voice command feature that makes it convenient to search your favorite titles. For the price and performance, you can’t go wrong with this streaming stick.
Get the Roku Streaming Stick+ at Amazon for $39
For another great face shield, the Carestream Shield is an awesome option for donning a little extra protection. The shield features a baseball cap-style strap that creates a perfect fit on your head along with an extendable shield holder that allows you to adjust the shield’s distance from your face.
Get the Carestream Face Shield (2-Pack of Shields) at Amazon for $15.99
Your phone is probably dirtier than your toilet seat—really, we’re serious. It’s never been more important to consider disinfecting your phone to help ward off bacteria.
A phone sanitizer is an awesome and convenient product to quickly clean your phone without any work or hassle on your end. Simply pop it in and allow it to work its magic. We tested three separate phone sanitizers and found the PhoneSoap Smartphone Sanitizer to successfully kill most bacteria on phones. Plus, the sanitizer doubles as a phone charger, making it totally worth the cost.
Get the PhoneSoap 3 UV Cell Phone Sanitizer and Dual Universal Charger at Amazon starting at $71.95
Ah, the coffee percolator—perhaps one of the most classic ways to make a cup of coffee. There’s a reason percolators are so popular in our coffee culture—it brews up copious amounts of strong coffee and keeps it hot and fresh for hours.
Our favorite coffee percolator we’ve ever tested is the Elite Platinum Maxi-Matic Percolator—it refuses to reinvent the coffee wheel, which is why we love it so much. It brewed some of the most balanced, flavorful cups in our testing thanks to its stainless steel material. It features a pot that’s not only sleek and stylish but also comfortable to hold. Aesthetics aside, it also has a smart safety feature that ensures the pot won’t continue to heat once there’s no liquid inside.
Get the Elite Gourmet EC-120 Electric 12-Cup Percolator at Amazon for $49.98
If you’re on the hunt for a stylish lamp that recreates the lighting effect of a sconce, this sleek LED flood lamp from Brightech is just for you. The lamp itself looks like a slender pole with a flat disc at the top—perfect for any minimalist design style—and it evenly distributes light upwards for a gorgeous splash of light in any room. With over 5,000 5-star reviews, this lamp is a certified must-have for your home.
Get the Brightech Sky LED Torchiere Super Bright Floor Lamp at Amazon for $59.99
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