50 hidden gems on Amazon people call their most amazing finds of the year

hidden gems on Amazon people call their most amazing finds of the year
Amazon
Impact
ByMaria Cassano

How many things have you bought so far this year? Now how many of those things would you say have been truly life-changing? The first number is probably significantly larger than the second; some people might even say that nothing they've purchased this year has really made their lives all that much easier, more enjoyable, or more efficient — yet. Good thing Amazon reviewers are quick to point out the products that they've deemed their most brilliant finds of the year.

Believe it or not, these hidden gems on Amazon aren't even all that expensive. In fact, almost all of them are less than $35. And though they might seem like minor purchases, they still manage to improve your day-to-day experience in a big way. Your iced coffee stays colder and your fridge stays cleaner. Tasks like washing the dog, snaking the drain, and scrubbing the floor take half the time. Some of these things keep you safer on the road, more productive while working, cooler while on the move, or more comfortable while sleeping — and then there's this pair of glasses, which lets you watch TV while lying flat on your back.

According to past buyers, these are the most life-changing products they've purchased in the past year. So they might make a big difference in your home, too.

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.

01

These sliding camera covers that protect your privacy

You may have heard that hackers can gain access to the built-in cameras on your laptop, phone, or tablet; that explains why these CloudValley webcam covers have more than 30,000 reviews. They attach to almost any device using a durable adhesive, and they're extra-thin so they don't get in your way. When it's time to use your camera, the sliding cover leaves the lens accessible within seconds.

02

These cheap exfoliating mitts that buyers call the "best ever"

More convenient and effective than loofahs, these exfoliating mitts slide over your hand so you can clean and polish every inch of your body. The fabric is made from a mix of viscose and rayon, which effectively removes dull skin cells and calluses. "Where have these cloths been all my life?" one reviewer asked, while another wrote: "By far the best body exfoliators ever."

03

These laptop pads that cushion your palms while typing

"Just what I needed to help with typing fatigue on my laptop," one reviewer wrote about these palm pads. The tacky silicone lets you stick them exactly where you need them, while the soft material cushions your hands from the hard plastic of your computer. They're also washable, reusable, and easy to reposition. Choose from two sizes.

04

This weighted set that lets you jump rope in small spaces

Skip rope without the tangles, risk of tripping, or large open space. The APLUGTEK jump rope is actually ropeless, and instead has weighted balls that seamlessly rotate 360 degrees around using ball bearings. The handles feature memory foam for comfort, and the design is easy to store and travel with. Get the set in three colors.

05

These compression sleeves for "immediate relief"

"It was immediate relief as soon as I put them on!" wrote one reviewer who's been experiencing foot pain for a while. "I wear these with most shoes. I even work out with these arch sleeves!" They're made from a stretchy compression fabric that slides on, boosts circulation, and has targeted ribbing to minimize aches. It's also moisture-wicking and comes in various colors and sizes.

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large

06

A uniquely shaped pillow that works for all sleep positions

No matter what position you sleep in, your spine should remain in a straight, ergonomic position. Due to its high-density foam, butterfly-like shape, and special indentation for your head, the Elviros cervical pillow has been called "the one" by multiple reviewers. It's also soft, breathable, supportive, and comes with a removable, machine-washable cover. "Best pillow I've owned," wrote one buyer who's tried dozens.

07

These washable liners that keep your food fresher

Since they're made from BPA-free EVA, these shelf liners are durable, nonslip, and safe for direct contact with your food. They not only keep your refrigerator shelves cleaner (especially since they're washable), but they even help to prolong the freshness of your produce. Each order comes with seven sheets, and you can easily cut them to size.

08

These flameless candles that look like the real deal

Set the mood in your home without worrying about open flames. These OSHINE candles are battery-operated and have a built-in LED flame — but they look like the real deal thanks to their flickering wick and genuine wax base. Each set includes three candles and a remote control with timer and dimming functions, and buyers report that they're the "most realistic and brightest" faux candles they've found so far.

09

Some wall-mounted hooks that minimize clutter

Using a strong self-sealant, these hooks attach to the wall in order to hold most standard-size pump bottles. That way, your hand soaps, shampoos, conditioners, or lotions are all suspended above the counters and tub rims, minimizing clutter in your bathroom. They're suitable for tiles, glass, marble, or smooth wood, and each one can hold up to 8 pounds.

10

This double-sided knife-sharpening stone with a 4.6-star rating

For $25, you can ensure that virtually every knife in your household cuts like new again. This Sharp Pebble premium knife-sharpening stone has two different sides with two different grits: a 400-grit side for shaping edges, and a 1000-grit side for smoothing. One of over 3,400 five-star reviewers wrote, "As a chef of 30 years, this is the best stone I've used." It even has a non-slip base.

11

A cleaning paste that's extremely effective

A-BEN-A-QUI's all-purpose cleaning paste contains no bleaches or solvents. In fact, it's eco-friendly and totally biodegradable — but it still manages to clean countless materials such as stainless steel, aluminum cookware, linoleum or porcelain tiles, glass windows, outdoor furniture, cement, and more. Its secret ingredient is a non-abrasive mineral found in nature, and a reviewer raved, "hands down my favorite cleaner."

12

An insulated iced coffee sleeve "you need" — even if you don't know it yet

Insulate your iced coffee and keep your hands comfortable while holding it. These Java Sok neoprene sleeves come in three sizes and 13 designs — and according to one reviewer, "You need one, even if you don't know it yet." They're reusable for eco-friendliness, carefully stitched for durability, and high-density for optimal thermal insulation. You can even hand-wash them in warm water to keep them looking like new.

13

This magnetic door prop that keeps your washer smelling fresh

If your front-load washer door closes automatically, odds are, you're having trouble keeping the mildew in check. Cue this brilliant door prop, which attaches to the machine with a damage-free magnet and keeps the door propped open with its flexible, strong rod, so the interior can fully dry after every wash. Reviewers agree that it solved the "sour smell problem," but it's also useful while you're tossing your clothes in.

14

This alarm that beeps when your freezer door is open

"It saved us from having to buy a new fridge," one reviewer wrote about this FRIDGGI freezer door alarm. Another said, "This has saved us many dollars in ruined frozen food!" In other words, if your freezer door doesn't always shut properly, this $24 purchase is a game-changer. When the sensor is separated from the base, it emits a beep in your choice of four different modes. It's also easy to install with double-sided tape.

15

This damage-free putty that keeps your valuables & antiques in place

"If you have bratty cats, this is a life-saver," one reviewer wrote — but catless buyers also use Quakehold! Museum Putty to protect their valuables and antiques against children, high-traffic areas, moving RVs, rickety shelves, and actual earthquakes. Basically, you just stick this putty to the bottom of any object and secure in place on wood, glass, or marble. It won't budge on its own, but you can just twist and lift for damage-free movement.

16

Some floating shelves that are sturdy & easy to install

When installed correctly, reviewers say these metal invisible bookshelves "can hold 15 pound of books" each — and since they come with all the mounting hardware, another wrote that it's an "easy install for just one person." The finished result? Your books look like they're floating on the walls, so it's a simple DIY project that adds a lot to your home.

17

These clear sticky notes for annotating a borrowed book

The avid notetakers of Amazon have called these Multibey sticky notes "best thing [they've] bought in a while" and "perfect if you want to annotate a borrowed book." Since they're completely transparent, you can mark up the text without damaging the page. They're also waterproof, and you can remove or reposition them without leaving a sticky residue.

18

These "life-saving" mirrors that minimize blind spots

The 12,000-plus ratings and best-selling status on these Ampper blind spot mirrors are pretty impressive, but there are a few reviewer comments that really stand out like: "They saved me from an incident the very afternoon I put them on the car," one buyer wrote. Using a self-adhesive glue, a pivoting base, and some convex glass, they seriously increase your visibility when using your side-view mirrors.

19

These hanging racks that are a "great drying solution for small spaces"

No room for a traditional drying rack? No problem. These hanging racks attach to your closet rod or various outdoor structures before expanding, so you get three tiers of flat surfaces to dry your delicates, sportswear, and more. They also have mesh straps to keep your clothing in place, a wind-proof hook, and a collapsible design that folds up for storage.

20

This genius cloth that wipes water marks from wood

"This removed the most stubborn watermark on earth!" one buyer raved about the Guardsman cloth, and there are thousands more where that came from. Using a special reusable fabric, it removes water and heat blemishes on wood. Plus it conceals scratches, gets rid of latex paint, and even removes permanent marker. Basically, if you have wood furniture at home, this is a must.

21

A brush for curly hair that has almost 60,000 reviews

Why does a simple brush have almost 60,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating overall? Because it's not actually that simple after all. The Denman curly hair brush has seven rows of rounded nylon pins in an anti-static rubber pad. As a result, it's effective at removing knots and defining ringlets without damaging hair — and it even comes in a few different designs for different curl types.

22

This kit that stores your bottles upside-down, so you can get every drop

Reviewers are asking themselves, "How did I ever function without these?" and "Why didn't I think of this?" The Flip-it! bottle-emptying kit includes squeeze lids with stabilizing lids, so you can store your lotions and other toiletries upside-down; that way, you can get every last drop — and you can easily transfer all that product to a single bottle without the need for funnels.

23

This tiny acupressure tool made from stainless steel

Even though it fits in your pocket, the FeelFree Sport Acupressure tool has gotten some hard-to-ignore feedback. "Love this little guy so much," wrote one reviewer who uses it on their face, hands, and knots in their neck. It's double-sided with two different-sized nodes, so you can relieve tension and stimulate pressure points all over the body. Since it's made from stainless steel, it's durable and skin-friendly, too.

24

These glasses that let you watch TV or read while lying on your back

Some reviewers just want to lounge, which is why they love using these Valuu horizontal glasses. Others, however, call them a "life-saver" and provide genuine "relief" for neck pain, back soreness, or relaxation. Because the built-in mirrors create a prism that directs the image straight to your eyes while you're lying down flat on your back, you can watch TV or read a book without ever having to lift your head.

25

These hangers that free up countertop space

Mount them under your overhead cabinets using the included adhesive or screws, and these ABS-plastic hangers will free up surface space by holding six kitchen utensils each. They also rotate 360 degrees so you can always grab the one you need. Use them for mugs, bathroom accessories, or dishrags, too. "Great way to declutter the counter," one buyer wrote.

26

This accordion bookend for books, magazines & papers

The MDHAND adjustable bookend extends to 19 inches and helps you organize your books, magazines, and important papers. While its powder-coated accordion design definitely keeps things neat, straight, and condensed, it's also stylish. "This is exactly what I was looking for to hold my cookbooks and keep my cabinet tidy," one buyer wrote. An intellectual property attorney also raved, "I only wish that I had found this product sooner."

27

These 11-slot wire organizers that open for easy access

These PZOZ wire organizers ensure that your cables and charges are always within arm's reach — no more losing them behind your desk — but the functionality doesn't stop there. Thanks to the clip design, you can also effortlessly remove a charger when you need to take it with you. Every order comes with three clips, each with 11 slots, and the sticky pad adheres to wood, glass, metal, tile, and even your car's dashboard.

28

These disposable drain protectors for the kitchen or bath

If cleaning the hair out of the drain grosses you out, Amazon has a solution for you: These disposable drain filters. The non-woven fabric mesh catches hair and buildup, and after about three weeks, you can just toss the whole in the trash and start over with a new one. It works just as well for kitchen sinks, and one reviewer wrote, "These strainers are a major improvement over the previous ones I had."

29

This budget-friendly lap desk with all the right features

A built-in cup holder, a storage drawer, a tablet slot, ample room for your lunch or laptop — what more could you want from the HIWE lap desk? Since it costs less than $30 and has legs that fold flat for easy storage, this one's a no-brainer for people who like to work, eat, learn, or lounge in bed or on the couch.

30

Some top-rated dumbbells with 5 adjustable weight options

Since the ends screw off and metal bars can be added or removed, these adjustable dumbbells allow you to choose between five different weight options, from 2.3 to 4.5 pounds. The exterior features comfortable, non-slip neoprene, and you can get the set in four different colors. "My favorite purchase of the year," one reviewer wrote. "I don’t have enough room to have a dedicated workout space," but these are "easy to use and store away."

31

This portable neck fan that's been called the "best invention ever"

Whether you're working, exercising, commuting, gardening, or unwinding, buyers have called the U-miss portable neck fan a "life-saver" and the "best invention ever." Just charge it up via USB and enjoy up to seven hours of low-noise, hands-free airflow. It's also comfortable to wear around your neck and has three different wind speeds to choose from.

32

These polarized glasses that clip over your prescription ones

Thanks to their clip-on design, these polarized sunglasses attach right over most prescription glasses. They also minimize glare with an anti-reflective lens, protect against rays with a UV coating, and flip up for better visibility when you're in a low-light environment. Most importantly, the soft rubber clips won't scratch your real glasses.

33

This 8-foot-long shower or hose attachment for easier pet baths

Turn your existing showerhead or hose into a doggy shower with this Waterpik Pet Wand, which has over 8,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating overall. The 8-foot hose screws right on, while the elongated sprayer with specialized nozzles provides maximum coverage and removes dirt and residue from thick fur. It even has an ergonomic rubber grip and a wheel that controls the waterflow.

34

These self-draining soap dishes with suction-cup bases

Available in several colors and shapes, these YUOROS self-draining soap dishes serve multiple purposes: They keep your surfaces scum-free, they provide a storage spot for your soap, and they extend the bar's life by automatically draining the water out after each use. The design even features a sturdy suction-cup base to keep it in place.

35

This mountable tablet holder that also stands on its own

Attach the mounting base under your kitchen cabinet or to your wall to use your tablet without taking up valuable counterspace — but you're not limited to that spot, either. The Moutik stand also slips right out and has flip-out feet, so you can prop your tablet up on any flat surface, too. It's compatible with most devices under 13 inches, and it adjusts in several spots to give you the ideal viewing angle.

36

A clip-on ring light for streaming or video calls

This SELFILA ring light clips onto your laptop to provide various warmth levels and brightnesses. That way, no matter how dark your environment, your video calls, recordings, and streaming sessions are always well-illuminated. Since it plugs into any open USB port and has an on-device controller, it's always powered up and ready to go. "It creates a perfect amount of diffused light and provides an excellent zoom environment," one reviewer wrote.

37

An extendable razor so you can shave virtually anywhere

Shave almost any area of your body without reaching, bending, straining, or enlisting someone else's help. The Evolve razor has a 16-inch reach when extended, but folds up and locks for easy storage and travel. It also comes with four triple-blade replacement cartridges, and so far, buyers have incredible things to say including: "I wish I had had one of these when I was pregnant," "worked perfectly [after] hip surgery," and "very easy to use on my back!"

38

This book holder & travel pillow in 1

According to reviewers, you have no idea how useful The Book Seat is until you have one. "After using ours we wouldn’t be without," one fan reported. While the front securely props up your books, E-reader, or even tablet, the bottom molds to virtually any surface, whether lap, desk, bed, or fold-out table. Thanks to the soft interior and faux-suede fabric, it also doubles as a travel pillow. Get it in eight different colors.

39

This brush that "makes cleaning [your] shower so easy"

Since the BOOMJOY floor scrubber is both a brush and a squeegee in one, it "makes cleaning [my] shower so easy," one reviewer raved. It can also be used as a dry broom, and the handle extends all the way up to 50 inches so you can scrub tiles without bending down or reach way up to the top of your shower. "Literally anyone who has a shower or a bathtub [...] needs to get one of these," another buyer wrote.

40

These silky satin pillowcases that are gentler on hair & skin

These Bedsure pillowcases have more than 190,000 reviews, a best-selling status, and a 4.5-star rating overall. Since they're made from a polyester-blend satin, they cost significantly less than silk, but they still minimize friction on your skin and prevent frizz, dryness, and breakage for your hair. Plus, you can wash them in the machine. You can get them in just about any color, and reviewers say they're "life-changing" because they're "cooling," "luxurious," and "kept [their] hair perfect all night."

41

This reusable (& washable) alternative to sponges & paper towels

Swedish dishcloths are trending like nobody's business right now, all because they offer a reusable alternative. These ones come in a pack of 10 and washed dozens of times. They're strong, absorbent, dishwasher-safe, machine-washable, and a great eco-friendly swap for your sponges and paper towels.

42

An insulating water bottle sleeve with pockets, loops, & straps

Insulate and protect your favorite water bottle, all while turning it into a brilliant storage solution. The Go Time Gear Exo-Tek bag fits most popular wide-mouth bottles (including the 40-ounce Klean Kanteen, the 38-ounce Nalgene, and the 32-ounce HydroFlask). It then offers a straw hole, a zipper-off top, a utility pouch, a self-draining moisture hole, loops for carabiners, and straps for hands-free carrying.

43

This toiletry bag that lays flat, but unfolds for easy access

For the smart traveler, this might just be the best purchase you ever make. The eBags Pack-It-Flat toiletry bag has a streamlined shape that takes up minimal room in your suitcase — but since it unfolds and hangs from a hook, it has plenty of organizational pockets and allows you to access them all at once. Get it in five different colors, all with rip-resistant fabric.

44

A reversible cast iron sheet that turns your stove into a grill & griddle

Like the rest of Lodge's cult-favorite products, this reversible grill is made from pre-seasoned cast iron. It's flat on one side and textured on the other, so your stove immediately becomes in an indoor grill or a large griddle. "I am giddy with joy now that I can make diner-style breakfasts from my tiny kitchen in a New York City apartment," one reviewer wrote, while another said, "Love the ridged side for grill mark on steaks and burgers."

45

These super affordable sheets that have 90,000+ reviews

These Utopia Bedding sheets have almost 100,000 reviews and a 4.6-star overall rating for several good reasons: For one, the brushed microfiber is soft, temperature-regulating, shrink- and fade-resistant, and well-fitted. For another, they come in six sizes and nine colors. And finally, each order includes a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and pillowcases, but they still cost less than $30 in any size.

  • Available sizes: Twin — California King

46

A cold brew coffee maker that's "easy," "cheap" & "delicious"

If you're still spending several dollars a day on café-bought iced coffee or cold brew, reviewers urge you to stop: "This is so easy to use and so much cheaper," one wrote. The Bean Envy cold brew coffee maker uses a precision-cut filter to provide rich, smooth flavors with 70% less acidity. Just put the grounds in the filter, add water, and let it brew in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

47

These silicone earplugs that mold to your ears

Sleeping, swimming, travel, concerts, studying — no matter the reason, thousands of reviewers use and love Mack's Pillow Soft earplugs. These are made from moldable silicone, so they work with any ear size and seriously block out disturbing noises. Each purchase comes with 12 pairs.

48

This durable, nonstick baking pan with a pre-slicing divider

The GOTHAM STEEL baking pan is made from aluminized steel which resists warping, offers good heat conduction, and lasts a really long time — even when washed in the dishwasher. But it's the brilliant divider (which precuts your brownies and other treats so each one has dense edges and is uniformly sized) that really sets this apart. Since it's nonstick, reviewers report that it's "really easy to clean" and the desserts "just slide right out when you want one."

49

These cheap snake drains that'll save so much money

Reviewers have said things like: "Every home needs these on hand," "More than worth the price," and "Saved be big $$$ on a plumber's visit." While they cost just dollars a piece, and they're durable enough for reuse, these drain snaking tools easily remove hair and debris from your drains. The barbed hooks and flexible wands effortlessly break up clogs, while the built-in handles allow you to pull it all right out.

50

This water filter that removes parasites, bacteria & heavy metals

Using the same technology as the original LifeStraw (which filters out parasites, bacteria, heavy metals, and micro plastics), the LifeStraw home water filter gives you the cleanest possible water on a larger and sleeker scale for your home. It's made from shatter-resistant glass and holds up to 7 cups at once. Lastly, despite its superior water-cleaning abilities, the filter still manages to preserve essential minerals.