50 things that are so cheap & so good, you'll wish you knew about them sooner

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ByClaire Epting
Originally Published: 

In today’s modern world, we sometimes don’t expect enough bang for our buck. When something is really well-made, we assume it must cost a lot of money. But this isn’t always the case — in fact, there are actually a ton of cheap and genius products on Amazon that will improve your life without breaking the bank. The only downside? You’ll wish you knew about them sooner.

We live in the 21st century, where voice-activated gadgets are no longer a marvel of the future. In fact, it’s never been more convenient to add this high-tech feature to your home. These smart light bulbs can pair up to your Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, allowing you to turn them on or change their colors with just a single voice command. Other smart items on this list include an essential oil diffuser that lets you control the misting action from your phone, and a motion-sensor path light that notifies you of any activity on your front walkway. There are also plenty of cool devices that you can bring on your next outdoor adventure like a personal water filter that makes any water from lakes, streams, and rivers safe to drink, as well as a portable lantern that zaps mosquitos without any harsh chemicals.

While you may not have known about these amazing, budget-friendly Amazon products until now, you know what’s great? Now you do. These items are backed up by thousands of positive reviews from real customers, so you can feel confident in your purchases.


These spice jar grippers that mount to the inside of a cupboard

De-clutter your kitchen shelves by investing in these spice jar grippers that stick to the inside of your cabinet door. Perfect for compact kitchens, this set comes with six strips, each of which can hold up to five jars. Simply peel off the adhesive backing and mount them wherever you like. No more rummaging around for your pepper or thyme — you can easily see all your spices at once.


A compact umbrella you can take anywhere

Never be caught without an umbrella again by packing this one that folds into a compact size for easy packing. With a vented double canopy and a Teflon coating, the highly rated umbrella is sturdy enough to stand up to gusts of wind and rain, and quickly opens with the press of a single button, so you can use it at a moment’s notice.

  • Available colors: 11


This universal socket wrench that can fix anything

Every tool kit should have a universal socket wrench, and this one is durable, affordable, and easy to use. Made with 54 sturdy steel spring pins, the socket can automatically conform to any shape, so you don’t have to waste time looking for a specific wrench. This can be used for a wide range of DIY projects and repairs, and it hardly takes up any room in your toolbox.


The Amazon smart shelf that never lets you run out of essentials

Great for busy households and offices, Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf uses cutting-edge technology to keep your space stocked with everyday essentials. The smart shelf has a built-in scale that senses the weight of the items you place on it. When you’re running low, the scale automatically places a reorder of that item on Amazon — so you’ll never run out. It’s ideal for pantry items, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and more.


A laptop & phone cleaner that’s reusable

Our fingers are on our laptops, smartphones, and tablets all day, every day. Keep those electronics spic and span with this reusable device cleaner. One end features a retractable brush that sweeps dust and crumbs away from your computer keyboard, while the other end features a microfiber cleaning pad that removes fingerprints and smudges with just a few swipes.


This Ring path light with smart capabilities

Illuminate your outdoor walkway with this smart path light that pairs with your Amazon Alexa device for customizable control over brightness and motion sensitivity. The adjustable light has a built-in motion sensor that only activates when movement is detected, and for added security, the light sends your phone a notification when new activity is detected.


The grab & go coffee maker that streamlines mornings

This grab-and-go coffee maker can help make mornings just a little bit easier, whether you’re trying to head out the door to get to work or drop kids off at school. It brews directly into the included 15-ounce stainless steel coffee mug (which is dishwasher-safe), so you don’t have to mess with transferring or extra dishes. The coffee maker features a permanent filter, an eco-friendly touch that does away with single-serve pods.


A self-draining silicone drying tray that prevents water pooling

Sleek and streamlined, this silicone drying tray works wonders in compact kitchens with limited counter space. The mat has a sloped surface that allows water to run directly into the sink, so your dishes and glasses dry faster — with no puddles left behind. “These are the perfect solution to our island sink! The water goes right where it is supposed to-back into the sink and not onto the counter,” one reviewer raved.


Some smart light bulbs that can be voice-activated or app-controlled

Give your home a high-tech touch by getting these smart light bulbs that pair up with your Alexa or Google Home device. Adjust the lights’ brightness, set timers, and switch between colors; all with the sound of your voice. And speaking of colors, these bulbs can produce a total of 16 million shades, even syncing up with your music for a personal light show. They also connect to your smartphone, so you can adjust their settings from anywhere.


This color-changing LED light strip

Create the perfect party atmosphere in your home with this 50-foot LED light strip that changes colors. Also great for adding under-cabinet lighting, the strip can easily be mounted to any smooth surface with the strong self-adhesive backing. Once you’ve set them in place, you can set timers and rotate between colors using the accompanying smartphone app or the included remote.


The fan-favorite smart plug with 450,000 reviews

You can add voice control to any outlet in your house with the Amazon smart plug, which just so happens to boast 450,000 reviews(!) and a stellar 4.7-star overall rating. It’s Alexa-compatible (if you want to use those aforementioned voice commands), but you can also set schedules or control appliances remotely from an app on your phone.


These mini mirrors that help you see your car’s blind spots

These rotating convex mirrors are designed to stick onto your car’s sideview mirrors, allowing you to see your blind spots while changing lanes or parking. Compact and adjustable, they install with 3M backing. (According to several customers, these flexible mirrors are also great for seeing what’s going on behind your desk in the office. )

  • Available styles: 4


This universal knife block that fits any size blade

Have knives that don’t fit into the slots of your existing knife block? This universal knife block is an easy fix, as the long and flexible slots can accommodate blades of any shape or size. Made from stainless steel, it boasts a small footprint that won’t take up too much counter space, but can fit up to 12 knives.


The portable neck fan that keeps you cool

Whether you’re working out, sitting at your office desk, or hanging out at home, this portable neck fan keeps you nice and cool. The hands-free design rests on your shoulders, with two fans that blow a gentle breeze up towards your face. Ultra-quiet and adjustable, the USB-powered device can last for up to 12 hours on a single charge.

  • Available colors: 4


A lantern that zaps mosquitos with UV light

Rid your porch of pesky mosquitos with this lantern that uses UV light to trap and zap bugs. The lamp emits a soft, ambient light that attracts mosquitos into its grid, eradicating them without the use of pesticides. The USB-rechargeable unit has two brightness settings and a built-in handle for easy hanging and portability.


The Echo Show smart assistant with a vivid screen

The Amazon Echo Show 5 is a compact device that has so many uses, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one. The smart display allows you to video chat with friends, stream music, view photos, check the weather, watch movies, and more. Perhaps the best part? You can access all of the aforementioned features with nothing but a simple voice command. It’s like having your own personal assistant.


A dimmer switch with smart capabilities

With this smart dimmer switch, you can adjust the brightness of your lights from your phone or with voice commands via your Alexa or Google Home device. The easy-to-install switch makes creating schedules a breeze, and you can even set the lights to turn on or off gradually.


This fabric shaver that removes fuzz & pilling

Remove pills from your favorite sweaters, furniture, and blankets with this handheld gadget that shaves the fabric. The mesh shaving surface lifts bits of lint and fuzz, trapping them inside the catching chamber for easy disposal. There are three different settings that work on almost all fabric types, allowing you to easily restore your items back to like-new condition.

  • Available colors: 6


The hair catcher that doesn’t block the flow of water

If someone in your home has long hair, you know the value of a hair catcher in the tub when it comes to preventing clogs. Boasting 94,000 reviews, this upgraded drain protector winds hair around the cylinder for removal, while the perforations throughout still allow water to flow through — a game-changer if you’re tired of showering in a puddle.


A space-saving toothbrush dispenser that mounts to the wall

With individual compartments for four toothbrushes, toothpaste, and two included water cups, this toothbrush dispenser clears up the clutter on your bathroom counter. The sleek, minimalist unit mounts to your wall with a self-adhesive hanger. Perfect for households with families or roommates, this organizer dispenses the perfect amount of toothpaste on your brush every single time — without making a mess.


The snap-on strainer that makes draining easy

One of the more brilliant kitchen inventions, this strainer snaps onto the rim of any pot, freeing up both hands for easy draining. Plus, the spout on the bottom ensures all the water goes into the sink — not all over your counter. Just as good, it collapses flat when you’re done, so it won’t take up unnecessary storage space in your cabinets.


An essential oil diffuser with smart capabilities

Upgrade your aromatherapy experience with this smart essential oil diffuser that has Wi-Fi capabilities. Pair it with your Alexa, Google Home, or the accompanying smartphone app to easily turn the device on and off without getting up off the couch. A built-in light can turn a variety of colors, creating a display of soothing hues for your relaxation. The large tank creates up to 12 hours of continuous mist on a single fill.


This insulated bottle that shakes up protein drinks

Making post-workout protein drinks has never been more convenient, thanks to the Ice Shaker. This patented protein mixing cup is made from durable stainless steel, keeping your drink cold for up to 24 hours. Just add protein powder and your desired liquid, screw on the vacuum-sealed lid, and shake it up. An easy-open lid allows you to drink your concoction on the go.


A streaming stick with voice-control and 4K quality

The Amazon Fire TV Stick makes it easy to watch your favorite streaming shows and movies in vibrant 4K ultra-HD quality. It even has a voice control function, so you can find the title you’re looking for simply by speaking it out loud into the remote. The sleek, all-black stick discreetly plugs into the back of your TV, so guests won’t even be able to tell it’s there.


This multi-use opener for jars, bottles & cans

Besides regular beer and soda bottles, this nifty little tool can open up jars, soda cans, nail polish bottles, and much more. Built with two sets of easy-grip teeth, the bottle opener latches onto stubborn lids and helps you twist them off. The opposite end has a hook that works with old-fashioned bottle caps and ring-pull tabs. At just 6.4 inches long, the compact tool is easy to store in your kitchen drawer or pocket.


The cube-shaped power strip that saves space

Ditch your unsightly power strip and opt for this compact cube-shaped one. The box-shaped unit fits perfectly anywhere, and has four AC outlets on the top of the device, as well as four USB ports on the side. It has a built-in surge protector to protect all the devices plugged into it.

  • Available colors: 11


A portable light therapy lamp to boost your mood

A little bit of extra light may be able to boost your mood and your productivity. When in a windowless office or on a cloudy day, you can use this light therapy lamp to receive 10,000 lux wide-spectrum light. The portable lamp mimics natural sunlight, with multiple intensity levels and programmable timers. Bring it with you to the workplace, the yoga studio, or even on vacation to help you adjust to a new time zone.


This mouse pad that supports your wrist

Made with soft, squishy memory foam, this mouse pad has a built-in cushion that supports your wrist. You also get a long memory foam pad for your keyboard, keeping your wrists lifted as you type. Ideal for work-from-home setups, the pads each have an anti-slip rubber backing that keeps them firmly on your desk.

  • Available colors: 7


Some kitchen scissors that mince your herbs in record time

Unlike traditional kitchen shears, these herb scissors have five separate blades that quickly chop up your thyme, mint, basil, oregano, and more. They come with a plastic cover that has a comb on one end, which allows you to remove plant residue from the blades before storing.


A mini portable espresso machine

Espresso lovers, you’re in luck: There’s a way to make a steaming cup of espresso anywhere you go, and all you need is this portable Minipresso. It’s completely hand-powered, so it doesn’t require any charging or batteries. Just add coffee grounds and boiling water, then press away. Whether you’re camping in the woods or on a road trip, a piping hot mug of espresso is only a few minutes away.


This suction tool that removes car dents

This heavy-duty suction cup affixes to the side of your car, allowing you to fix minor dents that happen as a result of accidental bumps. The strong handles allow you to get a good grip, so you can pull the dent out with ease. “I popped out a dent on the top of my truck,” one reviewer wrote. “It was a large, shallow dent made from someone standing on it.”


The 7-in-1 multitool pen that’s so useful

Why settle for an average pen when you can have one that doubles as a bottle opener, stylus, and level? And that’s not all — this pen also works as a ruler and two different types of screwdrivers. The sleek ballpoint pen writes smoothly, while providing you with the convenience of having a toolbox on hand at all times. Once you get used to the slightly heavy weight of the pen, you’ll never go back to a regular pen again.


A chain mail cleaner for cast iron cookware

A cast iron skillet is a must for any home chef, but cleaning it can be a hassle, since it can’t go in the dishwasher. That’s where The Ringer comes in. This chain mail scrubber helps you get the grit and residue off your cast iron cookware, without stripping off the seasoning. Not to mention, the stainless steel rings are more sanitary than a sponge, so you can use The Ringer to clean off other items, such as grills, baking sheets, and griddles, too.


This device that keeps your beverage warm

Sometimes, life’s pleasures are as simple as a hot cup of coffee in the morning. But how do you keep your coffee or tea from going lukewarm? This mug warmer with three temperature settings. It has a spill-proof design and comes in design-forward colors and styles like sky blue, faux wood grain, and minimalist white.


The griddle that makes mini donuts

Breakfast just got a whole lot better with this mini donut maker. Great for small crowds, this machine whips up seven fun-sized donuts in just a few minutes — no frying required. It works with cake mix, brownie batter, or any other dough you can think of. Add glazes, icing, sprinkles, and other fun toppings for a totally customizable baked treat.


A cooling pad for your laptop to prevent overheating

If you’re working from your laptop all day, you might notice that it starts to overheat after long periods of use. This cooling pad has two built-in fans that bring down the temperature when your computer gets too hot. The ultra-slim pad accommodates laptops anywhere from 12 to 16 inches, and it’s super quiet, so you can use it without disturbing anyone else.

  • Available colors: 2


This under-desk hammock that supports your feet

Here’s an under-desk hammock that cradles your feet while you work. Made from a soft, breathable cotton, the hammock is supported by two wooden beams and suspended by a pair of nylon ropes. The footrest lifts your feet off the ground while you’re sitting, alleviating pressure on your lower back muscles and thighs. Easy to install with the included rubber clamps, this foot hammock will have you kicking your feet up all day long.

  • Available colors: 3


The personal water filter for camping & hiking

When you’re spending time in the great outdoors, having access to clean water is essential in case your water bottle runs out. The LifeStraw personal water filter works like a drinking straw, removing waterborne bacteria from streams, lakes, and rivers as it passes through the tube. Boasting an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars after 81,000 reviews, this water filter is no joke. At such a budget-friendly price, there’s no reason not to keep one in your backpack.


A clip-on book light with adjustable warmth & brightness

Trying to squeeze in one last chapter before bed? This clip-on book light makes it easy to read in the dark, without disturbing anyone sleeping next to you. With a flexible neck, the light can be positioned directly over your page, and it has three temperature settings (warm, cold, and neutral) and can be dimmed or brightened to suit your needs.

  • Available colors: 4


The rolling & bouncing alarm clock for heavy sleepers

If you struggle with getting out of bed each morning, allow me to introduce you to Clocky, the alarm clock with wheels. What’s wheely great about this clock — excuse the pun — is that it rolls around your room, forcing you to catch it. Clocky can run, hide, and jump off nightstands up to 3 feet tall, all the while making a loud beeping noise that you won’t be able to sleep through. You’ll never doze through that morning alarm again.

  • Available colors: 9


This under-cabinet jar opening tool that’s so handy

Don’t waste your time and energy struggling to get those stubborn lids off your jars. Instead, invest in this simple solution — a jar opener that installs to the underside of your cabinet with the included adhesive backing and screws. Then, any time you need to open a jar, just place the lid into the V-grip and twist. The sharp, serrated blade cuts right underneath the lid, popping it off the jar in just seconds.


A slim bidet attachment that’s easy on the wallet

Adding a bidet to your bathroom is much easier (and more cost-effective) than you might think. This one has two different cleaning modes, allowing you to control the intensity of the water spray. Sleek and discreet, this bidet attachment blends in with the rest of your toilet. Once you get used to it, you might never want to switch back to your old ways again — especially with all the money you’re saving on toilet paper.

  • Available colors: Rose Gold, Silver


This backlighting kit that upgrades your TV

Give your home entertainment system a major upgrade by installing this LED light strip on the back of your TV. The lights have a strong self-adhesive backing that sticks to your TV, illuminating it from behind. It comes with a remote that allows you to adjust the brightness and change the color of the lights. You can also use this to enhance your computer gaming or at-home office setup.


The outlet cover with a built-in shelf

This outlet cover has a built-in shelf, providing the perfect perch for your electronic devices while they’re charging. The shelf can support up to 10 pounds, and can also be used for electric toothbrushes, an essential oil diffuser, a smart home assistant, or any other small item you want to power up. A narrow opening at the top of the outlet cover allows you to run your charging cord through for easy access.


A steam cleaner that deep cleans anything

Complete with three round brushes, a grout brush, and a flat scraping tool, this steam cleaner has everything you need to clean hard surfaces in your home. Use it on bathroom tiles, microwaves, stoves, kitchen counters, and anywhere else that needs a deep clean. It can loosen grime and lift dirt out of hard-to-reach areas, all with a steady mist of sanitizing steam.


This label printer that’ll level up your organization game

Organize pantry staples, office supplies, planters, and more with this handheld label maker. Complete with six font sizes, eight text styles, and over 200 symbols, this device makes it easy to create streamlined, easy-to-read labels that stick onto any smooth surface. The battery-powered unit comes pre-stocked with a roll of label tape, which can be easily replaced once you run out.


The memory foam pillow that regulates your temperature

Here’s a cushy gel memory foam pillow with added ventilation holes that dissipate your body heat while you rest. Ideal for hot sleepers, the pillow has an ultra-soft, machine-washable cover. One reviewer wrote, “I like that it doesn't seem to get too hot on warm nights and it doesn't freeze on cold ones. It really helps me sleep - I fall asleep when I use this pillow much easier than when I don't. It lets your head sink in more than a normal pillow but not so much that you sink right through.”


This personal blender set that takes up minimal storage space

If you live by yourself — or your kitchen is really small — you can save space in your cupboard by getting this personal Magic Bullet blender that’s earned a 4.5-star overall rating after 65,000 reviews. The compact unit chops, grinds, and mixes fruits and veggies, allowing you to make smoothies, shakes, and dips in a snap. Once you’ve created your blended concoction, you can drink it straight from the cup. This set even comes with snap-on lids so you can bring your beverage out the door.


An ergonomic vertical mouse that’s easy on your wrist

Using a computer mouse while working or gaming for extended periods of time can cause wrist tension, but there’s an easy way to fix this issue — a vertical mouse. With a unique, oblong shape, the mouse is designed to fit the natural curve of your hand, and comes with a detachable pad that supports your wrist. It has right- and left-click options, a scrolling button, and back and forward buttons.


The weighted blanket that helps you sleep

Sleeping with a weighted blanket can help relieve stress and give you a more restful slumber. This one is filled with durable glass beads, with a quilted design that keeps them in place while you sleep. The ultra-soft cover is made of a lightweight, breathable fabric that won’t cause you to overheat. It comes in several different weights — aim to buy one that’s approximately 10% of your body weight.

  • Available weights: 10 pounds, 12 pounds, 15 pounds, 17 pounds, 20 pounds, 25 pounds

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