43 genius things under $40 that make being at home way more fun

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Originally Published: 

If there's one thing many of us have learned, it's that cabin fever can reach levels you never dreamed possible. In a revelation that's not at all surprising, making the rounds from your bedroom to your kitchen to your living room, and then starting all over again can get pretty... boring. So to add a little kick to your weekends and your day-to-day, I've rounded up some genius things that make being home more fun. Now, last I checked, putting a roller coaster in at your place is a fairly expensive endeavor, so I left that off, and to make things even more wallet-friendly, I've kept everything under $40.

A lot of the things you'll find on this list are designed to upgrade the entertainment factor, which is why I've dug around on Amazon for games that have won huge fan followings (because there's nothing better than cultivating a little healthy competition on Saturday nights.) And for my weekend warriors out there, I've included items that'll make you feel productive in your down time, like a kombucha brewing kit that comes with everything you need to get started, including the actual yeast that gives you all those belly-friendly probiotics. And because we could all do with a little less stress these days, this list wouldn't be complete without some tools to help you relax and unwind. (Hello, camping hammock you can string between two trees in the backyard.)

Scroll on for more ideas that will make being at home a little less ho-hum.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


The shiatsu massager with slings for your hands

This shiatsu massager has slings for your hands to help keep it in place, so you don't have to deal with constantly repositioning. Even better, you can get a little more massage pressure just by pulling down. The eight bidirectional massage nodes powerfully work out knots, and the optional heating function can help soothe soreness while loosening tension.


An LED galaxy night light with a built-in Bluetooth speaker

Transform your bedroom ceiling into a starry night sky with this LED galaxy projector. The USB-powered night light projects an array of stars with 10 dimmable color options, including blue, white, and green. There's also a built-in Bluetooth speaker with a sound-activated mode that makes the lights flicker to the beat of the music.


This waterproof Bluetooth speaker you can use in the shower

With this compact Bluetooth shower speaker, you can listen to music and podcasts and even answer phone calls while you shower. The durable, waterproof speaker offers up to 12 hours of playtime on one charge and connects to your Bluetooth-enabled device from up to 66 feet away. It comes with a suction cup and lanyard, so you can either stick it to the shower wall or hang it on a hook, and there are five colors to choose from, including black, teal, and navy.


The yoga pose cards for quick stretching breaks throughout the day

This deck of yoga cards is a great way to break up the workday and help prevent any muscles from freezing up. And since you can select just one card at a time, you don't have to commit to a whole session. The deck comes with 70 pose cards, as well as nine sequences, in case you want to get a little more in-depth.


A bamboo bathtub tray that holds all your gear

Make your bath even more relaxing with this waterproof bamboo bathtub tray. The minimalist tray has places to hold a book or tablet, a glass of whiskey or wine, your phone, a candle, and bath accessories. The handles are extendable, so it'll fit most bathtubs, and there are nonslip grips to prevent sliding.


A moon lamp based on NASA satellite photos

Create celestial vibes with this modern moon lamp, which is based on NASA satellite photos to realistically capture the moon's surface. The rechargeable lamp features a simple touch control that allows you to switch between cool white and warm yellow light, and the eye-catching ceramic hand base comes in two colors: black and white.


An easy-to-install shower head with 7 color-changing LED lights

This handheld LED shower head has seven color-changing lights to create a full sensory experience while you shower. The lights are powered by running water, and the polished chrome shower head has self-cleaning silicone jet nozzles, so it's easy to install and requires no more maintenance than a traditional shower head.


A popcorn maker that prepares your movie snack in minutes

Making fresh popcorn at home couldn't be easier, thanks to this silicone popcorn maker. The highly rated gadget can make up to 15 cups of popcorn at a time — enough for you and a date, or for the whole family. And since you can smother the popcorn with whatever toppings and flavors you want, the creative baking possibilities are endless. Plus, i’s available in 13 colors.


These waterproof LED lights you can place in the bathtub, spa, or pool

Customize the lighting in your bathtub, pool, or hot tub with these submersible LED lights. Sold in a pack of two or four, each waterproof light has a sturdy suction cup and features 13 color options with adjustable brightness that you can control with the included remote. Each light is powered by three AAA batteries, sold separately.


A fermenting kit for making sauerkraut, kimchi, & more

Make your own sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and more with these easy-to-use fermenter lids. The three lids screw onto your wide-mouth jars (sold separately), and they're specially designed to let gas escape but keep mold and bacteria at bay. Each lid also a built-in date tracker, so you can time fermentation perfectly, and an easy-release tab to quickly remove the lid when your food is ready.


A kombucha brewing kit that has everything you need to get started

Speaking of fermented flavors, you can also brew your own fermented tea with this kombucha starter kit. It includes everything you need to brew fizzy tea that's packed with probiotics, enzymes, and other ingredients that promote good gut health, like a brewing jar, temperature strip, step-by-step instructions, and live SCOBY culture.


The cold brew coffee maker that'll keep you caffeinated

Speaking of creating your favorite beverages at home, check out this cold brew coffee maker. It's ridiculously easy to use: Just add your grounds and water, mix, then store in your fridge for 12 hours. It's made from durable glass (which looks like a chemistry beaker for an appropriately scientific touch) and comes with a reusable stainless steel filter.


A color-changing table lamp that's Alexa-compatible

If you hate commitment, you'll love this smart table lamp that lets you toggle between 16 million colors, including traditional white and warm white. You can also adjust the lamp's brightness or set it on a schedule, all from the convenience of your phone, or — if you have an Alexa or Google Home — with voice commands.


The digital jump rope that lets you keep track of your stats

For an amazing cardio workout from the comfort of your living room, check out this digital jump rope with an LCD display that shows you stats like time and revolutions. The jump rope handles are weighed for optimal comfort and performance, and if you want the workout without the rope, you can detach it and use the cordless mode.


A dimmer switch for creating mood lighting in and around your home

If you’re using fairy lights at home without the help of a dimmer switch, you may want to sit down for this one. This add-on switch works with multiple styles of LED lights, and it allows you to set and adjust the brightness settings from across the room with the help of the included remote. There are 20 brightness levels to choose from, plus you can use the remote for on/off, too.


A portable ping pong set for competitive games in small spaces

No space for a ping pong table? Get this portable table tennis set instead. It comes with everything you need for a competitive tournament with your arch-rival (read: your roommate), including two paddles, a net you can set up on your kitchen table, three ping pong balls, and a storage bag for all of it.


A pizza grilling set that's like a mini trip to Naples

If your travel plans only include trips to the kitchen — and not Italy — you'll want to check out this pizza grilling set that'll help you make an authentic pie at home. It comes with everything you need to perfect your pizza game, including a stone for even heating, a peel for transferring your pizza from the stone to the cutting board, and a slicer, so you can divvy up the pieces.


The TV backlight that adds atmosphere to your space

This TV backlight kit is a great way to level up your movie marathons, but it also just makes your living room look cool, whether you're watching TV or not. The USB-powered LED lights offer multiple color and brightness options, and you can even set them to flashing or fade modes for a little more action. They come in three sizes and are easy to install to the back of your TV with the self-adhesive.


This terrarium that'll add some green to your space

Whether you're a dedicated gardener or can barely keep a houseplant alive, you can add some green to your space with this tabletop terrarium. Along with a natural wood stand, the terrarium features three durable glass planters that are suspended in mid-air, so your plants can show off their roots while they grow.


This 2-In-1 shuffleboard & curling game

With this tabletop shuffleboard game, you can crack open a cold one and enjoy a few rounds of competitive play, right there in your kitchen. Even better, you can flip the board over for tabletop curling once you've maxed out on shuffleboard. The board is made with solid wood for long-lasting durability, and comes with eight rollers


The hot dog toaster that just may be the key to happiness

Do you need this hot dog toaster? Not really. Do you want it? Absolutely. The pop-up toaster has space for two hot dogs and two buns at a time, and the included tongs make it easy to grab them when they're piping hot. This is the best way to enjoy the Saturday game when eating a hot dog in the stands isn't an option.


This machine that makes mini handheld omelets

Make mini omelets you can eat with your hand (no fork required) with this ingenious egg bite maker. Just whip up your ingredients, then pour into the molds to make four bites at a time. You can also use the machine to make simple sous-vide style eggs for delicious breakfast sandwiches.


The tool that de-stems your herbs

If you've ever wondered if there's a faster and easier way to de-stem cilantro, thyme, rosemary, and other herbs, this herb stripper is the answer. The ergonomically shaped tool features holes in multiple sizes, and when you pull a stem through one of them, you can quickly separate the stem from the leaves.


A defrosting tray that thaws meat in as little as 30 minutes

If you're the kind of person who forgets to take the meat out of the freezer to thaw in time (raises hand), this defrosting tray is for you. Made from high-density aluminum alloy, it conducts heat evenly, making the thawing process eight times faster — no microwave or hot water required.


A cult-favorite game with ultra-high ratings

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza has earned a pretty stellar 4.8-star overall rating from Amazon reviewers, and play is deceptively simple: Players keep repeating the sequence of words out loud as each player takes turns laying down a card from their hand. When the spoken word matches the word on the card, everyone slaps the pile with their hands. Last one there has to take the pile of cards, and the first one to get rid of all their cards wins. Rounds are fast, and reviewers report that the game is "hysterical" and "the greatest hand crushing game ever."


These disco lights that turn your living room into a party

Pay homage to Saturday Night Fever while you eat dinner, courtesy of this disco light projector. The projector has tons of customization modes, so you can choose the color, pattern, rotation, and speed, and you can even set the lights to pulse to the beat of the music. The projector comes with a remote, so you don't even have stop dancing (or eating dinner) to adjust.


A camping hammock that's lightweight & portable

Pack this camping hammock the next time you set off for the wilderness, or just use it in your backyard for a getaway right outside your door. Made from parachute nylon, the hammock is lightweight and portable, and it can hold up to 400 pounds of weight. It comes with straps that can be attached to trees, along with a convenient pouch for packing.


These roasting sticks for perfect backyard marshmallows

Continue the camping theme with a set of marshmallow roasting sticks that work just as well in your backyard as they do in the woods. With a telescoping length of 32 inches long, you and your guests (young and old) can keep a safe distance from the flame. Wooden handles, dual prongs, and color indicators make them easy to use, too.


The pillow that holds your beverages upright on the couch

Keep your drinks right next to you on the sofa with this pillow that doubles as a couch cupholder. The holder has spaces for five drinks, including two with notches for mug handles, and the soft cover is removable, so you can wash it if you ever drip a little coffee on it.


This understated cookbook holder made from eco-sustainable bamboo

If you've been flexing your chef skills recently, you'll want to have this cookbook stand in your kitchen to keep your recipes in easy view. Made from eco-sustainable bamboo, it's angle-adjustable and has two tabs that flip up to hold the pages open. Of course, it works just as well with tablets, if you're the kind of chef who prefers to follow instructions in digital form.


The cornhole set that makes backyard hangs more fun

Spend the afternoon in the backyard with this cornhole set that comes with two boards, eight bean bags, eight stakes, and a convenient carrying case. The boards collapse flat for easy storage, and since they're made with double-lined duck cloth, they'll stand up to rain if you forget to haul them in after you're done playing.


An aromatherapy set that's key to relaxation

Everyone could use some help in the stress department nowadays, and this aromatherapy set is a great way to turn your space into a calm sanctuary. It comes with an essential oil diffuser, as well as eight essential oils, including jasmine to sharpen mental clarity, spearmint to help boost your mood, and lavender to promote relaxation and restful sleep.


The herb growing kit for farm-to-table cooking at home

With this indoor herb growing kit, you can exercise your green thumb while cooking meals that are next-level fresh. The set stocks your kitchen with all the essentials: three high-nutrient soil discs, nine reusable pots, and nine seed packets for growing everything from basil to parsley to thyme. Plus, there are bamboo markers to boot, so you know exactly what's popping out of the soil first.


A backlit keyboard & mouse that takes PC gaming to the next level

Take PC gaming to the next level with this wired gaming keyboard and mouse combo. The quiet, backlit keyboard has seven light modes and four brightness levels, and there's dedicated multimedia and anti-ghosting technology to ensure you don't lose any keystrokes. Plus, the responsive, backlit mouse has five programmable buttons and allows for five memory profiles.


This bath pillow that makes your tub even more relaxing

Check out this bath pillow that one reviewer says “is exceptionally soft and comfortable. The other great thing about it is that it doesn't go flat when I am laying on it so it remains in perfect condition for the duration of my bath.” It adheres to your bath with suction cups, and also comes with a wash bag for protection in the washing machine, plus a travel bag for easy packing.


A pair of memory foam slippers that you'll wear all day, every day

There's absolutely no reason to be wearing shoes if you're at home, but there are many reasons to be wearing these memory foam slippers, chief among them the fact they make it feel like you're walking on clouds. Made from soft microfiber with a fleece lining, the slippers feature durable, treaded soles, so you can run out and grab the mail. Choose from gray, blue, and black.

  • Available sizes: men's 5/6 — 13/14


The reading light with an amber mode that helps prep you for sleep

These clip-on reading lights feature three color modes: gentle white, daylight, and amber — the last of which helps signal to your brain that it's time to go to bed soon. You can get up to 30 hours' worth of illumination on just one charge, and the arms are flexible, so you can aim the beams where you need them most.


A toilet night light with 16 dimmable color options

Instead of turning on the bright overhead light for middle-of-the-night bathroom trips, you can use this colorful toilet night light. The easy-to-install, battery-powered light is motion-activated and features 16 color options and five brightness levels. With over 10,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.5-star rating, this fun night light is definitely a conversation starter.


The game that combines cards with dodgeball

Boasting an impressive 4.7-star overall rating from Amazon reviewers, Throw Throw Burrito is a cross between a card game and dodgeball. (Why has no one thought of this before?) The object of the game is to collect matching cards faster than your opponents, all while dodging squishy burritos being launched your way.


These molds for making your own gummy bears

Make your own Saturday night movie snacks with these gummy bear molds. The four molds make a grand total of 140 gummies, and since they're made from flexible silicone, it's easy to pop them out. You'll also get two droppers that make it a breeze to insert the ingredients. Plus, the molds are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.


These molds for fruit popsicles & pudding pops

If icy treats are more your speed, you'll want to stock up on these popsicle molds. The mold makes 10 at a time and comes with 50 popsicle sticks and a funnel for adding fruit juice or pudding. And since the mold is made from flexible silicone, you can remove the popsicles one at a time.


An ice cream maker that lets you come up with your own sweet concoctions

With this ice cream maker, you can get super creative with ingredients, which is arguably a lot more fun than opening the freezer to see what you have stocked. (Spoiler alert: It's still just mint chip.) The machine can make up to 16 cups of ice cream, sorbet, or gelato in just 30 minutes, and all you have to do is add ingredients and press the button.


A fan-favorite game with 26,000 ratings

If you think you have it in you to create the next great meme, What Do You Meme? will put you to the test. The game comes with 75 photo cards and 360 caption cards, and you'll be challenged to find the funniest combo of the two from your deck. The winner of each round is decided by a rotating judge — here's hoping you have the same sense of humor.

This article was originally published on