The most clever things under $30 on Amazon, according to shopping researchers

Shoppers share their best finds.

The most clever things under $30 on Amazon, according to shopping researchers
ByRachel Bar-Gadda
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

When it comes to combing through the massive amount of Amazon products on offer, overwhelm can be a common response. That’s why it’s imperative to turn to the experts who browse thousands of items day in and day out and assess their usefulness. Input has been gathered from Reddit threads, shopping experts, and Mic’s own editors to name the most clever things under $30 on Amazon. The shopping researchers have spoken — now all you have to do is take heed and click “add to cart.”


A lightbulb safe to stash cash or valuables

Featured on Reddit’s Best On Amazon thread, this light bulb diversion safe is an ingenious way to hide cash or valuables nearly in plain sight. Designed to look like a traditional E26 lightbulb, you can easily remove the top to reveal an inner compartment. Store it with the rest of your bulb supplies with no one able to suss the decoy.


This silicone handle cover for hot cast iron pans

If you’ve ever accidentally grabbed a hot cast iron pan amid a cooking frenzy, you won’t soon forget it. Thankfully, the answer to a future of safer cooking lies in this budget-friendly silicone hot handle holder recommended by Reddit user drewcash83. The silicone material is heat-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and fits the handles of Lodge skillets that measure 9 inches and upwards.


A scratch-off world map to show where you’ve traveled

Reddit users are fans of a scratch-off world map for a fun way to visually log where your travels have taken you — and this one boasts over 4,000 Amazon ratings and 4.7 stars. Use the included scratch tool to mark where you’ve been, revealing the vivid colors underneath the black and gold surface. Scratchable flags of each country are also included as well as an individual map of the United States.


This wireless charger that’s sleek & portable

Make it easy to quickly power your device with this wireless charger that barely takes up any space. With the ability to also charge your earbuds, Oleg Segal, CEO and founder of the coupon platform DealA, calls it “an ideal tech accessory with a versatile design and reliable charging capability.” Use it with anything from iPhone to Android models and enjoy great portability thanks to a slim profile.


A set of packing cubes for efficient, organized travel

With over 31,000 ratings and 4.7 stars, these packing cubes will upgrade your travel game with their ability to fit far more clothing in your suitcase. Available in a pack of six in three different sizes, Segal praises them as “a must-have travel accessory for organized packing,” adding that they’re “an affordable and useful product for those with wanderlust.” Choose from lots of color options, all of which feature mesh panels for breathability and quick identification of the contents.


This slushy cup to create frozen drinks from home

Give yourself the joy of a frozen beverage on the regular with this slushy cup recommended by Alex Zaman, the creator of “This cup offers a delightful way to enjoy slushies at home, transforming any drink into a frozen treat within minutes,” says Zaman. “It's a perfect companion for warm days, parties, or whenever you need a refreshing beverage.” Put the cup in the freezer for four to five hours, add your drink of choice, and squish the sides together repeatedly to create a frosty treat.


A desk fidget kinetic toy to focus your mind

For those who might find themselves easily distracted at work (a seemingly universal condition), turn to this desk kinetic toy recommended by Zaman to focus the mind. When spun, it creates a mesmerizing optical illusion “designed to reduce stress and improve focus through its calming motion,” says Zaman. Made of aluminum, choose from nine available colors such as blue, gold, or rainbow.


This vegetable chopper with 4 interchangeable blades

Make cooking any meal that much more efficient with this ingenious vegetable chopper. Zaman tells Mic, “Revolutionizing kitchen prep, this four-in-one tool not only streamlines the process of chopping and spiralizing but also keeps the workspace neat with its integrated container.” With easily interchangeable blades and an under-$30 price point, Zaman adds that this chopper is “a testament to the blend of functionality and simplicity.”


A pair of flashlight gloves great for DIY fixes

If you’ve ever struggled to keep a flashlight in your mouth while working on a fiddly fix, there’s a better way. “These innovative gloves illuminate your work area, enabling hands-free operation,” recommends Zaman, who says they’re “ideal for DIY enthusiasts, campers, and anyone needing extra light while keeping their hands unoccupied.” The fingerless gloves are made of breathable and stretchy material with adjustable hook and loop closures to suit a range of sizes. Conveniently charge the LED lights on the thumb and forefinger via USB.


This mini pet hair remover that’s easily portable

When it comes to presenting a pet hair-free appearance while on the move, Mic editors recommend this mini pet hair remover that’s extremely portable. It features a double-roller design that requires no lint paper refills or batteries. Roll it energetically over your sweater, upholstery, or car interior to trap all hair in a built-in receptacle that can be easily emptied into the trash.


A foldable laundry hamper to easily carry & transfer clothing

This editor-approved foldable laundry hamper allows you to quickly and easily transfer clothing from the bedroom to the laundry room or from the washer to the dryer. Made of sturdy, stretchy material, it features a popup design that collapses into a small footprint when not needed. It’s available in a small or large size with built-in handles for easy maneuvering.


This coffee & tea brewing straw for an individual steaming cup

Enjoy a delicious cup of hot tea or coffee with only hot water required when you use this brewing straw. Recommended by Mic editors for its portable design, it features a stainless steel filter at the end that can be filled with coffee grounds or loose-leaf tea, allowing you to brew a perfect single cup. Arriving with its own cleaning brush and travel pouch, you’ll want it for every camping or outdoor adventure.


A set of self-gripping cable ties to organize cord storage

These self-gripping cable ties are recommended by Mic editors for their ability to instantly tidy up chaotically stored cords. They come in a pack of 40 in two different lengths and remain attached to their designated cord, even when not needed. Available in either a black or a multi-color option, their hook and loop closure helps them self-fasten securely.


This mushroom coffee mix to lend focused energy

Instead of bouncing off the walls on a caffeine rollercoaster, enjoy calm and focused energy with the help of this mushroom coffee mix. Made with lion’s mane and chaga mushrooms, Mic editors recommend it for its immune-boosting qualities and adaptogenic ingredients. It contains instant coffee powder that clocks in around half the amount of caffeine as a normal cup and only requires hot water for a perfect brew.


A pack of rug corner grippers to prevent slipping & sliding

For carpets that stay neatly in place no matter how many times your cats get the zoomies, Mic editors recommend these rug corner grippers. Available in a pack of four, apply them to each corner with a sticky adhesive helping to keep rugs from sliding around. If the stickiness ever diminishes, you can easily renew it with a bit of rubbing alcohol.


These washing machine cleaner tablets that remove grime & odor

Make sure every clean load that emerges from the machine is genuinely clean by using these editor-approved washing machine cleaner tablets. They come in a pack of 25 and are recommended to be used twice monthly to rid all parts of the washing machine of built-up grime and odors. Use them with all machine brands, dropping one into an empty basin and running a normal cycle.


A touch-up paint pen to fix up wall imperfections

Instead of dragging out a huge paint can, Mic editors suggest easily fixing little flaws using this clever touch-up paint pen. It comes in a pack of five and is easily filled with your paint of choice which will stay good for years thanks to the airtight canister. Use the fine brush to fill in scuffs or scratches with precision.


These versatile storage bins that can be used in any room of the house

With a near-perfect 4.8-star rating, these plastic storage bins are favored by editors simply for their sheer versatility. Available in a pack of four, they can be used to organize pantry items, bathroom supplies, or craft materials, just to name a few uses. Handles on either end make them easy to move around and they also can be stacked to save room.


A dumpling stress ball that you can knead & stretch

Relax and unwind using this delicious-looking dumpling stress ball, a pick inspired by the shutupandtakemymoney subreddit. With the look of a steamed bun, you can knead, squeeze, and stretch this dumpling to help deal with anxiety. Made of durable material, it will always return to its original shape and even comes with its own plastic steamer basket.


This fabric shaver to de-pill garments

According to this Reddit thread, there’s nothing as game-changing as a fabric shaver. This one features stainless steel blades in a chic minimalist housing that includes a digital display to tell you how much battery power remains and which of the three speed levels you’re currently using. The shaver charges via USB-C and removes pills and fuzz, restoring clothing to its former glory.


A soap dispensing dish brush from a cult favorite brand

Redditors on this thread are fans of “OXO anything” and this clever new soap dispensing dish brush serves as a perfect example. It allows you to dispense soap directly from the handle and then scrub using the sturdy yet non-scratching nylon bristles. There’s a built-in food scraper and it even comes with a nonslip holder that catches any falling drips.


This compact stapler that fastens without staples

Mentioned as a “buy it for life” product on this Reddit thread, this compact stapler uses an innovative folding technique to fasten paper together. Free of annoying and sharp metal staples, it can fasten up to five sheets at a time and is small enough to be tossed in a bag or backpack. As a bonus, it makes it easy to quickly shred or recycle documents.


A pair of running socks with plush cushioning

These Redditor-favorite running socks have also earned a high 4.5-star rating from Amazon reviewers. They’re made with lots of cushioning in the ball and heel that helps soften impact and prevent blisters. Available in over 30 colors and a range of sizes, they hit at the ankle and feature a heel tab that makes sure the sock won’t slip down.

  • Available sizes: Small – X-Large
  • Available colors: 32


This stain remover spray that’s tough yet gentle

If you’re tired of seeing the leftovers of your pet’s dinner on your upholstery, Mic editor Cristina Sanza has a solution. “I was dealing with stubborn pet and food stains on my couch and this spray lifted them more easily than any DIY hack or product I'd tried,” she says. The spray uses a bio-enzymatic formula to remove stains at their root, yet is designed to be gentle on your upholstery and carpet.


A multi-balm derived from moisturizing lanolin

Who knew that sheep’s wool could provide so much more than simple warmth? Made with deeply hydrating lanolin (an oil produced by wool), Sanza says, “I use this multi-balm on my lips, cuticles, and any patch of super dry skin.” The lanolin creates a breathable skin barrier and is a sustainable product that’s cruelty-free. Flavors include peach, peppermint, strawberry, watermelon, and coconut.


This jar scraper spatula shaped like a happy cat

For a bit of adorable whimsy around the house, Sanza suggests this jar scraper spatula shaped like a contented feline. The flexible silicone material and elongated shape of the tail help it reach all corners of a jar, extracting every bit of deliciousness. Use the tail to spread your jam or peanut butter evenly and smoothly on your food of choice.


A magnetic paper towel holder that saves countertop space

To save kitchen countertop space, Mic editors recommend this clever magnetic paper towel holder. Made of sleek stainless steel, mount it to any metallic surface in your kitchen whether that be the refrigerator or microwave. Use it vertically or horizontally, whatever suits your space the best, to always have easy access.


This microwave potato bag for easy dinner prep

When it comes to whipping up a side or main dish in a matter of minutes, Mic editor Kate Miller reaches for this microwave potato bag saying it “has revolutionized my dinner prep — for baked potato lovers, this is a must." Simply pop in your potatoes and cook for four to six minutes depending on their size. The bag is washable and reusable, making its under-$10 price tag all the more enticing.


A set of solar string lights to add outdoor ambiance

Give your outdoor space a cozy and warm atmosphere with these editor-approved solar string lights. They’re designed in a charming globe shape and require no wiring for power, instead relying on a solar panel that charges automatically during the day. Once you mount them, leave them up all season thanks to their water and weatherproof material.


This pop container to keep pantry items fresh

Keep pantry staples fresh for as long as possible using this pop container recommended by Mic editors. It comes in a range of sizes that can all be conveniently stacked in different orientations to save space. Made of BPA-free and dishwasher-safe plastic, simply push the button on the lid down to create an airtight seal and push it again to release it.


A set of stylish toiletry travel bottles that won’t leak

Mic editors not only appreciate these toiletry travel bottles for their chic design but more importantly, for their ability to never leak. Available in a set of four in a TSA-approved 3-ounce size, they feature a three-layer design and a no-drip valve to prevent leaking. Made of silicone in a ribbed pattern, choose from a range of color palettes such as apricot, gray, malachite, or mint.


This laptop stand with near-perfect ratings

Make your work-from-home situation that much more ergonomic with this laptop stand that’s editor- and shopper-approved with a near-perfect 4.8-star rating. Great for laptops measuring 10 to 15.6 inches, its aluminum alloy body provides a sturdy platform with rubber to keep the computer in place. Elevating your laptop by 6 inches, the stand helps improve posture for more comfortable hours at work.


A smart button pusher that turns lights on & off for you

Mic editor Amy Biggart added this smart button pusher to her cart immediately, calling it “the coolest solution to turning out my lights from my bed.” Great for one-way power buttons or rocker switches, mount it using self-adhesive and connect it to your phone, smartwatch, or smart device via Bluetooth. When triggered, it will control your lights or appliances without you needing to leave that cozy bed.


This legging storage bag that takes advantage of closet space

If you’re someone with a robust leggings collection, take a tip from Biggart and opt for this legging storage bag that hangs in your closet. “I waste way too much space trying to fit all my leggings in my workout clothes drawer,” she says. “This is so much simpler.” It can hold up to 24 rolled pairs in clear pockets and comes in a variety of colors such as black, purple, and gray.


A set of food storage bins with built-in colanders

For a pick that streamlines your meal-making process, Biggart says, “Meal prep has to be one of my least favorite activities, but these food storage containers have built-in colanders that make it so much easier.” They come in a set of four, all in different sizes, and feature airtight locking lids. Not only do the colanders help to quickly rinse produce, but they also help that produce to last five times longer when stored.


This translucent highlighter tape that’s removable

What seemed like an important sentence yesterday could appear insignificant today — which is where this handy highlighter tape recommended by Biggart comes in. ​​"I love marking up my books, but have commitment issues,” she says. “This is such a perfect solution." It comes in a pack of 12 rolls all in different vivid colors and all featuring a translucent finish. Tear it by hand to apply it to the page and remove it just as easily without leaving any residue.


A set of bento snack boxes with perfectly sized compartments

Snack lovers will feel seen by Mic editor Karen Belz, who says, “If you're a fan of snacks, these bento snack boxes deserve a space in your cabinet.” Made of BPA-free and dishwasher-safe material, they come in a set of four and feature four compartments in each to store anything from nuts to cheese to fruit. Belz adds, “They're easy to wash, easy to pack for a lunch on the go, and pretty durable.”


This 3-tier collapsible cooling rack for avid bakers

Devoted bakers will appreciate this recommendation by Belz that makes use of a limited countertop. "I have a pretty small kitchen, so it's important to find clever ways to maximize my space,” she says. “Enter this tiered cookie rack, which is especially wonderful around the holidays (but ideal for anyone who happens to enjoy baking.) It's foldable to save space when not in use, and it's built to last.” With over 10,000 ratings and a near-perfect 4.8 stars, this rack will open up the possibilities for large-batch baking within a small footprint.


A pair of grippy yoga gloves to lend stability

Experienced and beginner yogis alike might need a bit more security at times, which is where this pick from Belz comes in. "If you find yourself feeling unsteady on your mat, I'd suggest giving these grippy yoga gloves a try. They're a great way to feel more confident and secure in your poses, and also happen to look pretty darn cool," she says. Available in universal sizing, the fingerless gloves are made of stretchy, breathable fabric and feature silicone grips on each palm.


The first aid kit that has everything you need

Have every single supply you could need for accidental scrapes with this editor-recommended and highly rated first aid kit. In addition to ointments and pain relievers, it also includes tons of bandages in different shapes made of flexible fabric that’s comfortable on the skin. Cleansing wipes and nonstick pads protect wounds, and all the supplies fit into a small (and cute) tin.


A set of bed sheet straps that keep your fitted sheet in place

You never know what will make the difference in your day-to-day life and for Mic editor Carolyn Menyes, it turned out to be these bed sheet straps. “This is the number one most useful thing I've ever bought from Amazon, and whenever anyone learns my job and asks for Amazon products, this is what I recommend,” she says. “My bed sheets stay crisp and tidy until I'm ready to change them, when before I had to totally remake the bed multiple times a week.” Using metal clasps, the straps attach to the middle and either side of the corner of your fitted sheet, firmly securing it to your mattress with no fear of slippage throughout the night.


This insulated tumbler that’s stylish & functional

For those in search of a stylish insulated cup, Menyes shares, “I really love my Simple Modern tumbler. I think it looks so sleek, and it keeps my drink ice cold overnight easily.” Designed in a chic monochromatic matte finish, it comes with its own straw and double-wall insulation to keep drinks cold or hot for many hours. Able to hold up to 40 ounces, it features a base that can be easily placed in your car’s cup holder.


A food container lid organizer to tidy up chaotic cabinets

Keep the tops of your food storage containers neat and accessible with this ingenious lid organizer recommended by Menyes. “After seeing this every week during my edits, I finally caved and bought one,” she says. “I regret not doing it sooner! It tidied up my cabinet so much.” The organizer comes in a range of sizes and includes movable dividers to separate lids by type or size. Use the built-in handles to easily move it around and grab what you need.


These mug organizers that prevent chipping

Those with a treasured mug collection will love this pick by Mic’s editors which prevents them from becoming chipped while stored. The mug organizers come in a pack of six and allow mugs to be stacked one on top of each other, protecting the rims from each other. Squeeze the tabs on either side to adjust the size as well as create a secure hold.


A daily sunscreen that’s packed with antioxidants

Nourish skin as you protect it from harmful rays with this editor-recommended sunscreen. In addition to providing SPF 50 protection, it also contains moisturizing rice bran oil that’s been infused with antioxidant-packed black rice. Niacinamide helps create an even skin tone while ceramide and daisy flower extracts leave a luminous finish — all without white cast or greasiness.


This foot peel mask to completely renew feet

A favorite of Mic’s editors, you can remove years of accumulated dry and callused skin in one fell swoop with this foot peel mask. Slip on the booties for only 60 minutes and wait as all that dry skin sloughs away within two weeks thanks to a blend of fruit extracts and acids. The masks are available in multiple scents such as peach, tea tree, or rose.


A squishy pencil case with 100 pops you can press

This fidget popper pencil case performs double duty, organizing your office supplies and keeping your hands busy during meetings or classes. Recommended by Mic editors, the pouch has 100 pops you can press to promote calm and focus. It’s made from squishy, water-resistant silicone and comes in rainbow-colored or pink styles.


A hanger hook that maximizes your closet space

Sometimes the smallest things can make the hugest difference. Just take these ingenious hanger hooks recommended by Mic editor Lauren Beach as an example. “These are such a good deal and they let you customize your closet storage with ease,” she says. They come in a pack of 60 for a mere $10 and slip over your hanger hook to provide you with yet another hook to hold additional clothing, purses, or accessories.


These multipurpose clips that double as hooks

Create flexible storage wherever you are with these multipurpose clips suggested by Beach. “Use these clips in your bathroom, when doing laundry, or even in a hotel to add some extra spots to hang items,” she offers. “Because one end is a clip and the other is a hook, they have tons of uses.” Available in a pack of eight, they feature nonslip teeth and a strong metal spring to maintain a tight hold on clothing. Flip it to securely attach to a rod, for example, giving you a sturdy hook for more hanging possibilities.


A set of wine glass markers to help guests keep track of their drink

Have guests keep track of their drink while embracing their creativity with these wine glass markers recommended by Beach. “Forget wine charms — these make it easy to keep track of drinks at a party and they can also be used to label charcuterie on a glass board or dish,” she says. The markers come in a pack of eight colors and are completely nontoxic and food-safe. The ink dries quickly without smudging yet washes away easily with soap and water.


This fabric water shield that maintains breathability

Mic editor Allison Bolt says of this fabric water shield spray, “As someone with a white couch (who also likes to eat dinner on the couch), this is definitely going in my cart to prevent stains.” The spray gives your upholstery the ability to repel water-based stains yet still allows the fabric to breathe and remain comfortable on your skin. It’s completely odorless and can also be used on delicate clothing to provide protection from the elements.


A cold brew coffee maker in the elegant shape of a wine bottle

Lend a bit of modern design to your everyday with this favorite of Bolt’s who says, “This cold brew maker looks so chic on my counter and is also super practical for my morning cup of cold brew.” Shaped like a wine bottle for effortless pouring, it’s constructed of heatproof glass and features a removable fine mesh filter. Choose from six available colors such as black, mocha, or deep teal, and store it on your counter or in your fridge door.


This weighted cord holder to keep your cables tidy

If you’re over the chaos that your cords are wreaking on your space, smart shopping expert Trae Bodge has the answer. “This weighted silicone tool sits on a table or desk and has six channels to keep cords in place. You can even wrap cords around it to shorten them, and it can be used as a phone stand and earbud holder as well,” says Bodge. The tool is made with carbon steel to keep it securely in place without any adhesive needed yet is small enough to be popped in a handbag.


A long-lasting car air freshener made with activated carbon

Take Bodge’s recommendation and enjoy a fresh-smelling car interior that lasts an incredibly long time, all for less than $30. “This air freshener for the car is hung behind one of the front seats. There’s no cloying fragrance, yet it’s effective enough to keep a car odor-free, no matter how many stinky kids or pets you’re carting around,” she says. “It’s made with 100% bamboo charcoal, which naturally absorbs odor for a full year, and when it stops working, place it in sunlight for several hours and it’s as good as new.”


This baker’s dusting wand for gourmet presentation

Give your desserts that expert finish with this baker’s dusting wand recommended by Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews. “It's the perfect tool for having just the right amount of sugar to sprinkle (or cocoa or spices) over your treat of choice (or even your homemade cappuccino),” says Ramhold. Popular with over 5,500 ratings and a near-perfect 4.8 stars, it’s constructed of stainless steel with a perforated side for dusting and a solid side to rest on the counter. Simply twist the wand to open and fill, twisting again to close.


A pack of glitter highlighters that make your page sparkle

Pen people (you know who you are) will appreciate these glitter highlighters picked by Ramhold for their ability to add a touch of sparkle to everyday note-taking. “If you enjoy making annotations of any kind — whether highlighting notes for a class, favorite passages in books, or even just important info in your daily planner — these are a fun accessory to keep on hand,” she tells Mic. Available in a pack of eight, they come in pretty shades such as mint green and lavender, with a chisel tip for narrow or broad highlighting.


These self-heating foot masks made with Epsom salts & menthol

Made with soothing ingredients such as Epsom salts, menthol, and shea butter, Ramhold recommends these self-heating foot masks to relieve soreness. “Even if you just want an at-home spa night, these are great to add to your cart. Travelers swear by these for making their feet feel better after a long day, as well,” she says. Available in three pairs, the heat helps the ingredients to penetrate the skin and soothe the muscles.


A gift wrap cutter that slices a perfectly straight line

Shopping expert Mandy Cordia, owner and founder of The Kindness Cause, shares with Mic her game-changing pick: "I constantly find myself wrapping gifts year-round. The Elf Gift Wrap Cutter makes cutting wrapping paper so much easier!” Say goodbye to jagged edges cut by hand with scissors — this cutter is designed to fit around a roll of wrapping paper to cut a perfectly straight line neatly. Additionally, trim with ease without causing any rips or tears.


A compact power strip that charges up to 16 devices

If your home is lacking in power outlets, Cordia has a solution. “This extension cord with multiple outlets is perfect for creating a single charging hub in our home,” she says. It features 12 AC outlets, three USB-A ports, and one USB-C port, all in a compact tower that won’t take up much space. Overload and surge protection help keep your devices safe.


This cleaning bundle that tackles any room in the house

Cut through any grease, grime, and scum around the house using this cleaning paste and multipurpose spray recommended by Samantha Landau, a consumer expert at TopCashback. “This cleaning bundle is completely vegan and highly rated, using natural ingredients and able to tackle tough stains,” Landau tells Mic. Both cleaners can be used anywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom to the patio, leaving a fresh and fruity rhubarb scent behind.