60 cheap things you didn't know you needed from Amazon

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.

ByClaire Epting
Originally Published: 

When it comes to shopping, almost everything falls into two categories: things you want and things you need. But then again, there are things you didn't even know you needed, like all of these cheap things on Amazon. These very necessary products will change your life in unexpected ways, all without breaking the bank.

For example, maybe you've had trouble sleeping lately. Rather than settling for a less-than-average night's sleep, it's worth investing in a completely adjustable pillow stuffed with shredded memory foam. You can remove as much (or as little) memory foam as you want to find the perfect amount of support for your neck and head. Or, check out this a knee pillow that aligns your spine while you're sleeping on your side, so you won't wake up with a crick in your back in the morning.

And a lot of the devices on this list are so compact, you can take them with you anywhere. For example, I've included a waterproof Bluetooth speaker that you can not only use in the shower, but can also stash in your backpack for your next camping trip or pool day. Or there's this pair of silicone shoe covers that can easily be tossed in your duffel bag while traveling. When it starts to rain, your sneakers can be instantly transformed into rain boots. Below, I've gathered more cost-effective essentials and ridiculously useful gadgets that will make you wonder how you ever lived without them.

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.


A shredded memory foam pillow for a perfect night's sleep

If you're struggling to fall asleep at night, your pillow could be the culprit. Switch to this shredded memory foam pillow that offers form-contouring support to your head, neck, and shoulders. The pillow's filling is removable, so you can adjust its loft by adding or taking away as much foam as you like. The soft, hypoallergenic pillow case is also removable and machine-washable.


A compact car humidifier for your morning commute

All that dust and pollution buildup in your car is a recipe for an allergic reaction. Soothe your sinuses with this mini car humidifier that purifies the air and adds moisture as you drive. You can even add a few drops of essential oil to receive aromatherapy benefits. Your morning commute will never be the same.


These smart plugs that add voice control to any outlet

These high-tech (but still affordable) smart plugs allow you to add voice control to any electrical outlet in your home. You can voice-command the outlets to turn on and off with your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device to enjoy hands-free control in your kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Even better? You can control lights and appliances (and even set schedules) when you're away from home with the Kasa app.


This filtered shower head that fantastic water pressure

This amazing shower head is designed with a multi-layered filter that removes impurities and softens water while you scrub. Not to mention, the head's micro-nozzle feature increases your shower's pressure while saving water at the same time. Plus, with three settings — rainfall, massage, and jetting spray — you can customize your shower experience.


An exfoliating body scrubber for all skin types

Traditional shower loofahs can be rough on sensitive skin —and tough to fully clean them when you're finished — but this silicone body scrubber gently exfoliates and dries quickly to prevent bacteria buildup. More hygienic than a loofah, the double-sided brush features bristles on one side and a massaging surface on the other to stimulate circulation.


A trash can that fits inside your car

For many, a car is like a second home, so you might want to keep it in tidy shape. This hanging trash can fits in your vehicle, easily attaching to your headrest or center console. The waterproof bag has a 7-liter capacity, so it can handle messes big and small, without taking up unnecessary space. It's also insulated, so you can remove the trash bag and use it as a drink cooler or snack holder.


The durable phone chargers with a unique right-angle design

This right-angle USB-C charger is specifically tailored to make it easer to use your Samsung Galaxy phone or Nintendo Switch while powering up. The unique design also reduces wear and tear on your cables by allowing them to lay flat against your device, rather than stick out. The nylon-braided cord is tough enough to last you for years, and if you're an iPhone user, you're in luck — there are right-angle charging cables for you too.


A cell phone mount that easily attaches to your car's air vent

Hands-free calling and navigation are so much easier when you have a cell phone mount in your car. This one attaches to your car vent, and since it's adjustable, it's compatible with almost every type of phone. It rotates 360 degrees, and the quick-release button means you can grab your phone and be on your way when you reach your destination.


These resistance bands that create a more challenging workout

Looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade your home workout routine? This set of five resistance bands can be used to make yoga, Pilates, and strength training more challenging. Each band has a different resistance level, ranging from extra-light to extra-heavy, so you can build muscle at your own pace.


This mighty light therapy lamp you can take anywhere

Bring the healing power of the sun wherever you go with this compact light therapy lamp that can help boost your mood and regulate circadian rhythms at home or even while traveling. The non-invasive, UV-free light has three adjustable brightness levels, and it's powerful enough to provide energizing effects while still being gentle on your eyes and skin.


A relaxing eye pillow that smells like a lavender garden

Combine the softness of velvet and the subtle, relaxing fragrance of lavender and with this luxurious eye pillow. The pillow's gentle weight offers light acupressure to your eyes, soothing eye strain and helping you unwind. You can even pop it in the freezer to add a cooling sensation to your aromatherapy experience.


A set of ultra-moisturizing lotions from a trusted brand

Over the past 25 years, O'Keeffe's has built a solid reputation with their highly effective and but still economical lotions and creams. Experience their guaranteed moisturizing relief with this skin repair variety pack that's earned a 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon. Complete with three tried-and-true products that target dry hands, feet, and bodies, you'll be on your way to soft, hydrated skin in no time.


A waterproof Bluetooth speaker you can use in the shower

Lather up in the shower with your favorite tunes using this waterproof Bluetooth speaker that can be immersed in water for up to 30 minutes. The device comes with a suction cup that secures to your bathroom tile or mirrors, and the lightweight design also makes this speaker a great addition to a camping trip, hike, or kayak ride. Now, the music never has to stop.


The self-cleaning brush that removes pet hair with a single swipe

Pet owners know the struggle of getting fur off furniture and clothes, but it's so much easier with this pet hair removal brush that collects fluff and lint from any surface with just one swift motion. The best part? It comes with a self-cleaning base that strips the brush of hair without any effort on your part. You'll also get a travel-sized brush, so you can be fur-free no matter where you are.


This dinnerware set that's completely unbreakable

With this wheat straw dinnerware set, you'll never have to worry about your plates, cups, or bowls breaking again. The natural material is completely indestructible, and just as important, an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. The dishwasher-safe, 16-piece set includes cups, bowls, and two sizes of plates, and you can choose from an array of pleasant pastel colors that will liven up your kitchen.


These nonstick copper grill mats that are easy to clean

Whip out these copper grill mats at your next barbecue, and you'll never go back to your old grilling ways. Each nonstick mat can withstand heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while also preventing food from falling between the grills, which will significantly cut down on post-dinner cleanup. They're dishwasher-safe for even more convenience.


These no-sew repair patches for clothes

Quickly fix tears and rips in your clothes, camping tent, and other gear with these no-sew nylon repair patches. The strong adhesive backing can be applied directly to fabric, instantly mending rips (and adding a cool design, to boot). Each pack includes a variety of shapes and sizes for repairs of all kinds.


A 3-pack of cutting boards with 25,000 five-star reviews

This three-pack of cutting boards will come in handy every single time you cook. Made of a non-porous, easy-to-clean plastic, these BPA-free cutting boards have non-slip handles and feet, which will keep you safer while slicing and dicing. These cutting boards also have deep grooves on one side, which make them great for chopping up juicy ingredients, like fresh tomatoes or a perfectly-cooked steak.


These drain covers that keep your pipes clog-free

These drain covers can be used in the shower or the kitchen (or both) to protect your pipes. Made from flexible, nonslip silicone, they fit right over drains where they keep hair or food from sneaking past, while also allowing for rapid water drainage. Each set comes with five covers in colors like gray, sky blue, and sage.


20.These no-tie shoelaces that turn lace-ups into slip-ons

Convert your lace-up sneakers into slip-ons with these silicone shoelaces. Waterproof and highly elastic, the no-tie laces can be threaded through the eyelets on your running shoes, boots, or casual shoes, where they provide a perfect fit. The best part, of course, is that they won't come undone when you're running errands or playing sports.

  • Available sizes: adult size, kid size
  • Available colors: 26


These reusable batteries you can charge over & over again

Traditional batteries need to be tossed after they run out of power, but these rechargeable batteries will last you for years, making them a money-savvy buy. Available in AA, AAA, D, and 9-volt options, they can be recharged up to 1,000 times, after which they can be recycled through Amazon. Over 132,000 customers have given these batteries a five-star rating. In short? They work.


A cushion insert that will make your couch feel brand new

It's a fact of life that over time, the cushions in furniture can start to sag. If you're not ready to replace your furnishings just yet, this furniture seat cushion insert can restore your chair or couch to a like-new level of comfiness. Just place the insert underneath and watch your couch bounce back to life.


These nifty can lids that reseal your opened beverages

There's nothing like cracking open a cold soda or beer on a warm day, but the trouble is, you can't close it back up and save all those bubbles. These ingenious can lids allow you to reseal the tops of beverages, preserving carbonation (and keeping out any bugs if you're outside). This pack of six is perfect for beaches, lakes, and tailgate parties.


These shelf liners that keep your refrigerator in pristine condition

Don't wait for your refrigerator to get gunked up with food crumbs and residue, and keep it nice and clean instead with these foam shelf liners. The nonslip, waterproof, and mildew-resistant mats preventing any spillage into your fridge's crevices, and they're easier to wipe clean — as opposed to scrubbing the shelves themselves.


A wireless charging station for your smart devices

Between your iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, and Apple Pencil, it can be hard to keep all your gadgets powered up at once. This wireless charging station makes it easy to charge all four devices at the same time, with specific slots and compartments for each one. The dock is outfitted with over-voltage protection technology, so you don't have to worry about overheating or short-circuiting.


A screen protector that shields your eyes from blue light

If you're working all day or attending classes online, chances are you spend a good deal of time staring at your computer screen. Relieve your strained eyes with this screen protector that fits on the front of your laptop or desktop. The shield filters out blue light and reduces screen glare, so your eyes won't get nearly as tired. Another plus? Blocking blue light can help you sleep better at night.


These reusable shopping bags that fit inside your grocery cart

Make the most of your grocery cart's space with these colorful shopping cart bags. Made with heavy-duty fabric, these reusable bags can hold up to 50 pounds of groceries each, and the rods on the top keep them upright in your cart. The set comes with four, including one that's insulated to keep cold foods chilled.


These absorbent car coasters available in lots of fun designs

Trick out your vehicle with these fun car coasters that fit right in your cupholders. The absorbent neoprene coasters keep your cupholders free of condensation while adding a fun pop of personality to your car. Choose from patterns including leopard print, rainbow tie-dye, and an American flag.


A minimalist bamboo tray that lets you eat anywhere

This sleek bamboo breakfast tray lets you eat any meal anywhere, whether you want brunch in bed, lunch on the couch, or dinner on a blanket in the yard. The attractive bamboo is durable yet easy to clean with warm, soapy water. When not using, the legs of this tray fold up, allowing for easy, discreet storage.


A portable phone charger that runs on solar power

A portable phone charger is essential for any camping trip, but they can only last for so long before needing to be recharged. This one though, has a solar panel, so you can harness the sun's energy to charge your phone anywhere. The charger is also equipped with a compass and a flashlight to assist you on your outdoor adventure. Get one for your preparedness kit too.


This headphone stand that attaches to your desk

If you're looking to save space in your room or office, this collapsible headphone hanger is a great way to start. It attaches directly to the underside of your desk, giving you a place to hang your headphones (there's even a built-in cable organizer to keep cords out of the way). When not in use, the stand can be folded flat against the wall for compact storage.


A digital graphics tablet for drawing & gaming

Here's a digital drawing tablet and stylus that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The miniature screen and pen allow you to draw, write, and play games without using a mouse, and the polished, lightweight design makes it totally portable. To use, just plug the tablet's USB into your computer and let your creativity flow.


A 30-pack of slim, nonslip hangers for your closet

Not all hangers are created equal, so to organize your closet, you'll want these nonslip velvet hangers that are sturdy enough to hang suits, coats, and other heavy garments, but slim enough to not take up too much space on your closet rod. This pack of 30 comes in ivory with rose gold hooks, adding a sleek touch to your wardrobe.


These rug grippers that secure your rug to the floor

If you want your rug to stop slipping and sliding all over the place, you should try these rug grippers that create a vacuum-tight suction to the floor. The adhesive backing attaches to the corners of your rug to keep it secure, but since there's no adhesive on the other side of the grippers, they won't leave residue on your floor. They're also washable — just peel them off and give them a quick rinse.


This multipurpose toothbrush holder that saves counter space

For those of us who aren't blessed with a big bathroom, counter space is a precious commodity. This toothbrush holder and dispenser affixes to your wall, decluttering your sink area and counter. The holder has space for four toothbrushes, a dispenser for toothpaste, and a storage compartment. Plus, it comes with two rinsing cups.


This set of reusable produce bags that are better than plastic

Reduce your environmental impact by carrying your produce in these reusable mesh bags instead of plastic ones. The set of 15 machine-washable bags includes options in three different sizes, so you can organize your fruits and vegetables at the farmer's market or in the grocery store. The transparent mesh is double-stitched so your bags won't rip, and they won't add heft to your produce weight.


These reusable food storage bags with rave reviews

Ditch your disposable plastic storage bags and invest in these reusable ones. Made with eco-friendly material, these bags are good for the earth — and your wallet — and the pinch-seal closures keep everything fresh. With an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars on Amazon, these durable bags exceed expectations.


These beeswax food wraps that preserve your leftovers

Beeswax has a lot of uses, but did you know it can help keep your food fresh? These washable and reusable cotton food wraps are coated with a blend of beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin to wrap securely around your food and keep it fresh, so you want have to use disposable plastic wrap. Use them to pack a picnic lunch, an afternoon snack, or to store last night's leftovers.


A metal drying rack designed for reusable storage bags

While reusable storage bags are better for the environment, it can be hard to get the insides dry. This rack is perfect for drip-drying up to nine silicone storage bags at once, and the rack's prongs keep the bags wide open for more air circulation. You can also use this versatile item as a desktop bookshelf or file organizer.


The discreet webcam covers that protect your digital privacy

These subtle webcam covers offer a cost-effective way to boost your digital privacy while using (or not using) your laptop. Just stick one of the covers over your webcam, then use the little sliding mechanism to control whether you want it open or closed. Thousands of satisfied customers report that it works much better than a piece of black electrical tape.


These handy stickers that dim the bright lights on your electronics

Ever have trouble sleeping because the light from your charger or router is just too bright? It doesn't have to be that way. These light-dimming stickers attach to your electronics, reducing their light output by by 50 to 80%. You'll still be able to see important status indicators, but they won't keep you up at night.


This sleek, insulated tumbler for cold & hot drinks

This stainless steel tumbler keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end, so you always have the perfect sipping temperature. It comes with two different tops — a flip-top lid and a lid with a reusable straw— so you can drink from it in both summer and winter without stressing about spills. Plus, it comes in a bunch of cool designs and colors, like deep ocean, black, and ombré blue.

  • Available sizes: 16-ounce, 20-ounce, 24-ounce, 28-ounce


This organizer that stores & tests your batteries

Ditch that zip-top bag of loose batteries and keep them in this battery organizer instead. This durable plastic container with a waterproof and shockproof build can store up to 93 batteries, including 45 AA, 25 AAA, four 9-volts, and more. This organizer also comes with a battery tester, so you can finally ditch those old, non-working batteries.


A silk pillowcase that's good for skin & hair

Here's a pillow gives a whole new meaning to the term "beauty sleep." Made from all-natural mulberry silk, this pillow reduces the friction of your hair and skin on the pillow, which prevents hair breakage and pillow creases. Just as good, silk is temperature-regulating, so you'll stay cool all night long. With a sea of colors to choose from, you'll be able to find one that complements your bedroom.

  • Available sizes: standard, queen, king
  • Available colors: 33


A motion-activated string of lights for under your bed

Nobody likes accidentally stumbling into their bed frame in the dark. This string of motion-activated lights can be easily adhered onto the underside of your bed, illuminating your bedroom with a soft, cozy glow. They'll automatically turn on when they sense motion, and turn off again when you're tucked back under the covers.


A colorful toilet light for late-night trips to the bathroom

Trips to the bathroom at 3 in the morning can be precarious, especially when you don't want to wake anyone. Luckily, this motion-activated toilet light has five brightness settings, so you can keep your bathroom light completely off while you go about your business, and the 16 LEDs let you switch up the colors. The light easily attaches to your toilet bowl and runs on AA batteries.


A memory foam knee pillow that aligns your spine as you sleep

If you're a side-sleeper, this knee pillow will change your life for the better. Made with firm, long-lasting memory foam, the pillow fits between your calves or thighs, naturally aligning your spine and reducing bodily discomfort. With a soft, machine-washable cover that keeps you cool, this knee pillow is a no-brainer for better sleep.


These bamboo dividers that expand to fit your drawer

An organized home is a happy home, and these bamboo drawer dividers are a budget-friendly way to get there. The expandable dividers are recommended for drawers that measure anywhere from 13.5 inches to 16 inches in length, and they can be used in just about any space — kitchen drawers, desks, and even dressers.


This splatter screen that helps keep your kitchen clean

Keep your oil in the frying pan and off of your stove, shelves, and counter with the help of this splatter screen. Made of a fine mesh that stops splatter but still allows for steam to escape, this screen is effective yet easy-to-use thanks to a cool-touch handle and durable design. It has little feet on one end so it can rest on the counter without masking a mess, and a handle that allows you to hang it up when not in use.


These eucalyptus-scented shower tablets that clear your sinuses

If you experience congestion on the regular, you owe it to yourself to get these aromatherapy shower tablets infused with sinus-clearing eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils. Just place one tablet on the shower floor, and enjoy the refreshing steam that rises up as the tab dissolves. With 15 tablets to a pack, you'll be able to enjoy them for weeks.


A satin sleep cap that prevents hair damage while you rest

This satin-lined sleep cap keeps your curly or wavy hair in place and damage-free while you sleep. The cap is adjustable, so you can get the most comfortable fit, and since the exterior is made with cotton, you'll get major breathability. There's 24 vibrant shades available, so you can even pick one that matches your pajamas.


These LED flashlights that fit in your pocket

Whether you're experiencing a power outage or just away on a camping trip, a mini flashlight is a great tool to have on hand. Stock up with this pack of six LED flashlights that come with AAA batteries, so they're ready to go. The compact flashlights are small enough to fit in your pocket, your car's glove compartment, your first-aid kit, or anywhere else you want to stash an extra light.


A slim, wireless charger that powers your phone without plugging in

With this streamlined wireless charger, you don't have to deal with plugging in a power cord to power up your phone. Compatible with all Qi-enabled phones, the super slim charger fits neatly on your bedside table or desk, and the LED lights will tell you when your charge is complete.


A chain accessory that holds your face mask

Add a little bling to your mask with this chain holder that keeps your face covering attached to you at all times. Just fasten the clips on either side to your mask straps, and you're ready to go. Adorned with two small crown charms, this accessory is also compatible with eyeglasses and sunglasses.


A lightweight, cooling blanket made from bamboo

On particularly hot nights, fleece and flannel blankets just won't do. This bamboo blanket is the perfect solution. The breathable fabric offers superior softness, and it remains cool to the touch all night long, helping to regulate your body temperature, so you can get a good night's sleep.


These silky shower caps you can use repeatedly

If you like to wait a few days between rinses so your hair doesn't dry out, it's worth investing in these reusable satin shower caps that keep your hair protected while you shower. The silky material adds an extra level of luxury to your shower or bath, and the elastic ensures a perfect fit.


These stretchy lids that are great for leftovers

This set of seven stretchy silicone lids can fit over nearly any bowl, pot, mug, or jar in your kitchen, which means you don't have to go to the trouble of transferring food to storage containers. With a variety of sizes from 2.6 to 12 inches, you can preserve anything from last night's salad to this morning's smoothie. These lids are temperature-resistant and freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe.


A set of book lights with 3 different lighting modes

These clip-on book lights let you read in the dark without disturbing anyone else in the room, but they also have a bunch of handy features other book lights lack. These lights have three different lighting modes — white, amber, and natural daylight — so your eyes can be comfortable as you read. They’re also rechargeable, and each power-up lasts for 30 hours of nighttime reading.


A modestly priced bidet you can install yourself

Adding a bidet to your bathroom isn't nearly as costly or time-consuming as you think. This reasonably priced model attaches to your two-piece toilet in just a few simple steps, so you don't have to call a plumber at all. You can control the pressure of the spray using a simple dial on the side of the unit, and the self-cleaning nozzle keeps everything hygienic.


A clothes steamer so you never have to iron again

There's no bigger hassle than hauling out an ironing board and then trying not to iron new creases into your clothing. If you relate, this clothes steamer is for you. This affordable and easy-to-use device quickly works out wrinkles with steam and heats up in just two minutes, so you can even use it when you're in a rush to get out the door.