It’s finally here: the end of 2020. As we say goodbye to a year like no other, we’re looking back on the products that made the past 12 months a little brighter. This year saw readers shopping for items to make life more efficient, look better on video calls and, of course, treat themselves to some well-deserved self-care. From hot sauce to hand cream, check out the products Underscored readers loved most in 2020.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ($15.81, originally $19.95; amazon.com)
Readers’ favorite item of the year was the ingenious LifeStraw portable water filter, which removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites — sans iodine tablets or unwieldy purifiers.
Elago W3 Apple Watch Stand (starting at $11.98; amazon.com)
Add some vintage vibes to the bedroom or office with this Apple Watch stand, which looks like a classic Mac monitor. Elago’s stand is made from scratch-free silicone and is also compatible with Apple Watch’s Nightstand Mode.
It’s always a good idea to have extra batteries on hand! Power all your devices with this combo pack, which comes with 24 AA and 24 AAA batteries.
Esarora Ice Roller ($24.99; amazon.com)
Dash Rapid Egg Cooker ($19.99; amazon.com)
Make perfect eggs every time with Dash’s foolproof egg cooker, which can soft, medium or hard-boil up to six eggs at once. It also comes with nifty attachments for poaching, scrambling and omelet making.
Swedish Dishcloth Cellulose Eco-Friendly Sponge Cloths ($19.95, originally $24.99; amazon.com)
You can reuse Swedish dishcloths multiple times and just toss them in the washing machine for a refresh, making them an eco- and wallet-friendly alternative to paper towels. Check out our full Swedish dishcloth review here.
TubShroom Ultra Edition ($13.48, originally $15.99; amazon.com)
A life-changing product for anyone with long or thick hair, the TubShroom is an easy means to prevent annoying drain clogs. This stainless steel edition is simpler to clean than its rubber counterpart, so we think it’s worth the upgrade.
Slice Ceramic Blade Safety Cutter ($12.99; amazon.com)
This tiny, ultra-sharp blade makes everything from opening packages to scrapbooking easier and safer. And because the blade is ceramic, it also won’t ever rust.
Viktor Jurgen Neck Massage Pillow ($39.99; amazon.com)
Though labeled a neck massage pillow, this highly rated shiatsu massager can also be used on your back, feet and abdomen, and you can even attach it to a car headrest for relief on the go. It features deep-kneading massage nodes, plus optional heat.
This versatile charger/stand from Anker lets you power up your phone in both portrait and landscape orientations, and even works through protective cases. It’s also compatible with nearly all smartphone models.
Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($31.99; amazon.com)
We’ve deemed this the best ring light of 2020 based on its handy tripod mount, 11 brightness levels and three light modes — all of which add the ultimate flattering glow to your selfies and video chats.
This nifty gadget “splits, pits and slices,” making it easier than ever to get your avocado toast fix each morning.
Sondiko Butane Torch ($21.99; amazon.com)
Whether you use it to sear steak, caramelize crème brûlée or make a festive flaming cocktail, this kitchen torch will add a gourmet finishing touch to meals. It also features a safety lock and adjustable flame, so even novice chefs can take their home cooking up a notch.
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($39.99, originally $59.99; amazon.com)
Apple AirPods With Charging Case ($128.98, originally $159; amazon.com)
One likely reason AirPods were a bestseller in 2020: There aren’t any pesky cords to get tangled in the straps of your mask! They’re also just great headphones, offering high-quality audio and up to five hours of listening on one charge.
Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Sheet Mask Combo Pack ($11.59, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
Give your skin a little pick-me-up after a hard year with this sheet mask combo pack, which includes 16 masks designed to brighten, clarify, moisturize and soothe.
MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener ($29.98, originally $39.98; amazon.com)
Upgrade almost any existing garage door opener with MyQ, which lets you open and close your garage from your smartphone. You can add up to three additional users to your account, and MyQ’s app will even alert you whenever you’ve accidentally left the garage open.
A year of intense hand-washing calls for an intense hand cream. O’Keeffe’s bestselling Working Hands not only soothes dry skin but also creates a protective barrier on your skin’s surface. Check out our roundup of other dermatologist-approved hand creams here.