Let’s face it—there’s a lot of junk on Amazon! It’s hard to know which products are good and which ones are a waste of money. The reviews can only tell you so much, so you’ve probably ended up ordering more than a few duds over the years!
Hopefully this post will keep that from happening with your next purchase! Today’s post is about the most useful gadgets of the year—the ones that will make your life easier, safer, and save you some money, too.
I’ve personally used a lot of the products on this list (#notspon), so I’m going to give you my firsthand review of them. The others on this list had glowing reviews and are now all sitting in my Amazon cart waiting to be purchased! So without further ado, here are the most useful gadgets of the year!
Useful Kitchen Appliances
If you want to be a top chef, then you’re going to need the right tools! These useful kitchen appliances will have you whipping up gourmet dinners in no time. Watch out Bobby Flay!
ThermoWorks Meat Thermometer with WiFi Bridge
Is it just me, or is it really hard to cook meat the right way? I either undercook it or overcook it—I can never get that perfect, medium cook that I’m after.
If you have a hard time cooking your meat, too, you should think about purchasing a meat thermometer! It’ll tell you exactly what temperature your meat is, so you’ll be able to take it right off the grill when it reaches that ideal temperature. You’ll never burn your ribs again!
If you get the ThermoWorks meat thermometer and the WiFi bridge, you’ll be able to monitor the temperature of your meat remotely. It’s a great feature to have on hot summer days… you’ll be able to stay cool inside instead of having to stand next to your grill the whole time!
Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Have you ever heard of sous vide? It’s a French cooking method that’s caught on recently. It involves placing food like meat or fish in a plastic pouch and then cooking it in a water bath. It’s a low and slow cooking method that keeps meat moist and infuses a lot of flavor into it, especially if you put herbs in the plastic pouch.
If you’ve never tried to cook something this way, then having a smart tool like the Anova precision cooker to guide you is really helpful! It knows exactly when your food is done cooking and sends you a notification on your smartphone to let you know too. You can put some meat in a bag, heat up some water, and then set it and forget it. That’s the way we like to cook!
Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machine
Nespresso machines offer all the convenience of a Keurig and all the flavor of your local coffee shop! Their espresso pods are surprisingly good—I have a Nespresso machine and haven’t noticed a difference between the shots it produces and ones made by professional baristas.
If you spend way too much money at Starbucks, you may want to consider investing in one of these machines. You’ll be able to make amazing lattes at the touch of a button and save money doing it!
Cosori Air Fryer
Air fryers are all the rage, and I can see why! I recently got one and it makes things crispy even without oil. The hype is warranted!
If you’re about to go on a diet, then this is a super useful kitchen gadget to have on hand. You’ll be able to cut a lot of fat and calories out of your diet just by using the air fryer instead of the deep fryer, and you won’t feel deprived at all. You’ll be able to make crispy french fries, fritters, chicken tenders and more without all the oil and fat. Doesn’t that sound great?
When Instant Pots first came out, I was skeptical. I already had a Crockpot and a rice cooker… did I really need another kitchen appliance?
But I was gifted one for Christmas and became an instant believer! You can make lots of great dinners in it—soups, stews, rice dishes, pressure cooked beef, roast chicken—you name it.
But you can also whip up baked goods in this thing! It’ll make delicious cheesecake, cobbler, jam, yogurt, pudding and more. Isn’t that awesome? Between the air fryer and the Instant Pot, you may never need to use the oven again!
There’s a reason why this blender is so expensive! It’s truly the best blender on the market. I have one and I can make nut butters in it, which is something I was never able to do with other blenders. It’s so powerful that it can blend up hard to crush items like ice, nuts, and whole vegetables in seconds.
I got my Vitamix for full price, but I sort of regret it. I’ve heard from several friends and family members that the refurbished models work super well, and they’re a lot cheaper.
I’d recommend getting a refurbished version of the same model I have—the Standard Programs Blender—because it has three convenient presets for soups, sorbets, and smoothies. I use the smoothie preset almost every morning and it works like a dream!
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
If you’re an avid baker like I am, then you need a stand mixer! You’ll be able to make bread, cookie dough, whipped cream, cake batter, and all sorts of other yummy treats in this one by KitchenAid.
When I moved into my first apartment, I didn’t buy myself one, and I regretted that decision within a few weeks! I tried making a batch of cupcakes and frosting without a mixer, and they turned out pretty poorly. I’m either a bad baker, or this stand mixer is amazing!
Cheap Useful Kitchen Gadgets
Just because a gadget is cheap doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be useful! We’ve compiled this list of the most affordable, useful gadgets Amazon carries in their kitchen section to make your meal prep easier!
Pot Clip for Dirty Spoons
I never know where to put my dirty spoon while I’m cooking. I never have the forethought to grab a plate or paper towel to put it on, so I always end up dripping spaghetti sauce all over my counters and floors while I try to find a place to put it!
If that sounds like you, you probably need this pot clip. It attaches directly to your pot and gives you a place to put your spoon or spatula. Problem solved!
Pasta Pot with Built-In Strainer
I’m always on the lookout for useful kitchen gadgets that serve multiple purposes to save space and reduce clutter. This pot definitely fits the bill—it’s a pasta pot and a strainer all in one!
If you can never remember to get the strainer out when you’re cooking pasta, then this is the pot for you. The lid has holes in it that strain the pasta, so you just pop the lid back on when the pasta’s done and pour. Simple!
There are some things that a knife just can’t do, and spiralizing veggies is one of them!
This spiralizer can turn zucchini into zoodles and make your pasta night a lot healthier! Turning veggies into noodles is a great way to cut down on the carbs and calories in your diet. Whenever I have spaghetti, I like to add some spiralized zucchini in with the regular noodles to make the meal a little better for me.
This is also one of the most useful kitchen gadgets for students who don’t have access to a cooktop. You can make “spaghetti” without having to boil any water! Cool, right?
Brownie Pan with Dividers
Who else loves those crispy brownie edges? If you’re an edge lover like me, then you’ve gotta get this pan.
It has dividers that bake the brownies in individual portions, so all four sides of each brownie have those sweet, caramelized edges!
This nonstick pan isn’t just for brownies, though! You can bake pretty much anything in it, from mini frittatas to mini pizzas to individual cake bites. It’s super nonstick, so everything you bake will just slide right out, which makes cleanup easy.
Recipe Holder for Phones and Tablets
Nobody uses cookbooks these days, so it’s about time that somebody created a “cookbook” holder for smartphones!
This stand will keep your phone upright so that you can view recipes on it while you’re cooking. It holds your phone at an angle, so you won’t get any harsh glare on your screen that’ll prevent you from cooking your best meals!
You can use this useful gadget outside of the kitchen too to watch videos or read books handsfree. Aren’t multipurpose gadgets great?
Air Pressure Wine Opener
If you’re like me, you can’t use a corkscrew to save your life. Opening a bottle of wine doesn’t have to be a struggle, though!
This useful kitchen gadget will make things a lot easier. It’s a wine opener that pulls the cork out using air pressure. It has a needle and a pump, and all you have to do to operate it is slide the needle into the cork and move the pump up and down a few times. Then the cork will slide right out!
Sounds a lot easier than using a corkscrew, huh?
Dishwasher Clean or Dirty Magnet
Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I can never tell whether the dishes are clean or dirty, especially if somebody else in my house turned on the dishwasher!
That’s why I think this dishwasher magnet is kind of a genius invention. Whoever runs the dishwasher flips the magnet to “clean” and whoever loads it with dishes flips it to “dirty.” You’ll never wonder whether the dishes are clean or dirty again!
This magnet is definitely one of the most useful gadgets under $10. It’ll save you way more than $10 on your utilities over time, so it’s a great purchase!
Cutting up jalapenos and getting the seeds out is a lot of work, and it gets your hands all covered with hot, spicy jalapeno juice. Have you ever put your fingers in your eye after cutting a jalapeno? I have. Not fun!
That’s why I invested in a jalapeno corer. It helps me minimize my contact with the spicy jalapeno juice so I can touch my face without having to vigorously wash my hands first. No more bloodshot, teary eyes for me!
Sandwich Bag Rack
Do you have trouble keeping plastic bags open while you pour leftovers in them? I do! They always seem to flop over on me at the most inopportune moments.
If you don’t want to have to put the pot of leftovers down to readjust your flimsy plastic baggy, then get this rack! It’ll keep your plastic bags open wide so that you can pour your leftovers into it without asking your roommate for help.
French Fry Crinkle Cutters
Ok, so, maybe this is more of a novelty item than a useful kitchen gadget! It’s a crinkle cutter that turns regular potatoes into crinkle cut potato slices.
You don’t absolutely need it, but it is a nice gadget to have. After all, crinkle cut french fries are far superior to regular french fries.
I like to put the finished slices in the air fryer to get them nice and crispy. Yum!
I may not have the best knife skills, but I find it really hard to cut a whole, fresh pineapple.
Luckily this pineapple corer does all the legwork for you. It peels, cores, and slices your pineapple into nice rings much more easily than a knife. Now you won’t have to splash out extra money for the cut pineapple at the grocery store!
Useful Gadgets for Home
These useful smart gadgets help you save money on your utilities, keep you safe, and make everyday tasks more convenient. They’ll improve your quality of life, which is what any good, useful gadget should do!
SmartDry Wireless Laundry Sensor
If you own an old or low-end dyer, you may be spending a lot more on your utilities than you have to!
Newer, higher end dryers usually have moisture sensors that detect when the clothes are dry and stop the cycle at the right time. But if you have a less advanced dryer, your dryer may be running for a lot longer than it needs to!
This smart laundry sensor solves that problem, though. You place it in your dryer and it detects when the clothes are done just like a built-in moisture sensor would. Then it sends a notification to your smartphone so you can turn off your dryer and save energy. One reviewer said that her dryer was running for thirty minutes longer than it needed to… that’s a lot of wasted energy!
Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener
This is one of those awesome useful gadgets that you need to get! It’s a smart garage door opener that allows you to open and close your garage door remotely with an app.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve left the house and wondered whether or not I shut my garage door so many times. It’s easy to forget whether or not you closed the door when you’re busy rushing to an appointment or work. It’s so important to ensure that your garage door is closed and your home is secure… so this smart garage door opener is a lifesaver!
Nest Secure Alarm System
One of the things I hate about traditional security systems is that you have to rush to enter your passcode as soon as you get home. You only have a few seconds to do it, so it’s pretty stressful, especially if you’re carrying a lot of bags!
The Nest security system eliminates all of this hassle. You can disarm your security system from the app from anywhere. So before you even get inside, you can turn it off. Neat, huh?
Yale Smart Lock
We think that useful household gadgets like this one are the future! This is a smart lock that allows you to enter your home with a code instead of a key. No more fumbling around with your keys while you’re trying to get the groceries inside!
You can give a code to your cleaning lady, babysitter, or dog walker and limit the days and times when they can enter your home. Pretty cool, right?
It works with your Nest security system so you can have the fully connected smart home of your dreams!
OK, we’re a little obsessed with Nest. We think they make some of the most useful house gadgets on the market!
This Nest smart thermostat is no exception. It spends some time learning your habits and then automatically adjusts the temperature to save you money on your utilities. It’s been proven to save you between ten and twelve percent on heating bills and fifteen percent on cooling bills.
It also has complete Alexa compatibility and there are countless Alexa commands for it – like “Alexa, is it hot in here?”.
That adds up to a huge savings over time! This is one of those useful gadgets that will probably save you more money than it costs you.
Philips Hue Light Bulb Starter Kit
Ever wanted to turn off the lights in a room but felt too tired to get up? Yeah, we’ve all been there!
If you get this smart bulb starter kit, you’ll never have that issue again. You’ll be able to turn off the lights using only the power of your voice. You’ll be able to turn the lights on and off remotely too, so if you always forget to turn the lights off when you leave the house, this is the gadget for you!
These also have so many Alexa Commands, here’s a full list that Kate made:
Ring Video Doorbell
Want to know if that ring at the doorbell was the pizza guy or just another solicitor without opening the door? Then you need this video doorbell!
It allows you to see who’s at your door from your phone, tablet, or computer and talk to them without getting off the couch! If you have an Echo Show or Spot, you’ll get a notification when someone’s at the door and be able to talk to them through that, too.
At the end of a long, hard day, it’s hard to find the energy to vacuum. Floors accumulate dirt, dust, and pet hair quickly, and it’s hard to keep them clean without vacuuming them multiple times a week… but who has the time for that?
That’s where the iRobot comes in. This trusty little vacuum will glide around your floors all on its own and vacuum up everything in sight.
If that’s not reason enough to buy it, have you seen those videos of dogs riding around on robot vacuums? Seeing your dog take it for a spin will be priceless!
Useful Gadgets for Traveling
We’ve compiled a list of the most useful gadgets travelers like you need to have. We’ve reviewed everything from portable espresso makers to travel foam memory pillows so that you have the most comfortable trip possible!
Dexam Travel Mug
This isn’t just any travel mug… it’s a travel mug that won’t fall over!
Have you ever had a piping hot cup of coffee in your travel mug and spilled it? I bet a lot of coffee leaked out of the sides and the top and got all over the papers on your desk. Yeah, we’ve all been there!
That won’t happen with this travel mug, though. I have one of these things, and once it grips onto a surface, it’s not falling down, no matter how hard you try to push it over. You have to deliberately pick it up from the top to get it to detach. It’s a super useful kitchen gadget to have if you’re a klutz like me—it prevents me from having to clean up many messes per year!
Flight Flap Phone and Tablet Holder
There’s no good place to put your phone or tablet on an airplane. If you hold it in your lap, you’re going to have to crane your neck to see it. If you hold it up at eye level, your arms are going to get sore real quick. What’s a frequent flyer to do?
Bring this phone and tablet holder with you, of course! You can tuck it into the tray table in front of you and it’ll get you that perfect viewing angle you’re after, minus the sore biceps!
TSA Approved Luggage Locks
This is one of those useful gadgets travelers need—luggage locks. Traveling is hectic, so your eyes probably won’t be on your luggage the whole time you’re in the airport. This gives thieves an opportunity.
Sadly, there have also been reports of things being stolen from checked bags, so your luggage still isn’t safe even after you’ve checked it.
That’s why you need to have a luggage lock like this on your bag while you’re traveling. It’s super durable and fits on both backpacks and pieces of luggage. The code won’t reset if the lock gets bumped around, which is a concern with other kinds of luggage locks, and it won’t get cut off by security because it’s TSA approved.
Hanging Luggage Scale
Do you always overpack and worry that your luggage will go over the weight limit? Well now you can actually check what your luggage weighs before you get to the airport!
All you have to do is attach the scale to your bag’s handle and then lift the bag up by pulling on the scale. It’ll give you an accurate weight reading within 0.1 pounds. Handy, right?
Wacaco Portable Espresso Machine
Can’t find a good shot of espresso on the road? Make your own!
This portable espresso machine allows you to do just that. It’s hand operated and works with Nespresso pods, so you don’t need electricity to operate it—just water. You can use it on road trips, camping trips, or even in your kitchen if you fancy!
Travel Shoe Bags
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my dirty shoes laying on top of my clothes in my suitcase. That’s why I use shoe bags when I travel.
It keeps my clothes clean so that I don’t have to launder them when I get to my destination. That means more time for relaxing!
Compact Outdoor Blanket
This is one of the most useful camping gadgets ever!
It’s a compact blanket that you can bring with you on hiking and camping trips in case you get cold, want to have a picnic, or need shelter from the rain. It’s great for festivals and outdoor concerts, too!
Portable Travel Door Lock
If you’re staying in an AirBnB, you need this travel lock!
You never know who might have the keys to your short term rental. Someone you don’t know could have the keys and try to break into your apartment.
If you have this travel door lock, though, you’ll be safe. Even someone with the key won’t be able to get in when you wedge this lock into the doorjamb. It’s a great, extra security measure that will give you peace of mind whether you’re staying in a short term rental or hotel.
Zero Grid Passport Holder
It’s hard to keep track of your passport and boarding pass while you’re at the airport. You have to take them out and put them away so many times that it’s easy to forget where you stashed them.
I usually tuck them into a random part of my backpack after security and then have a minor anxiety attack when I can’t find them!
That could be avoided if I bought a passport holder like this. It’s the perfect place to keep your passport, ID, credit cards, cash—all the important stuff. It’s slim, discreet, and can even be worn around your neck to keep it safer from pickpockets. It also has RFID blocking, so you can be sure that all of your data is safe!
Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Is it just me, or are those neck pillows that most people bring on airplanes not comfortable at all? They’re not soft, fluffy, or flexible like a pillow should be.
Luckily, this one is! You can twist it into that classic neck pillow shape, but you don’t have to. It’s flexible and twisty enough to be bent into whatever shape is most comfortable for you. It’s also made of memory foam, which is a huge plus!
Don’t forget to check my fun article on useless gadgets too:
A Useful Conclusion
We scoured the Internet, and those are the most useful gadgets we could find! What do you think of the items we found—are any of them going on your Amazon wishlist? Let us know in the comments section below!
The PBR Editorial Team takes care that all the articles on the website are up to date and relevant to your interests. If any article you stumble upon seems outdated, leave us a comment and we’ll get to it! We’re already doing the best we can to keep everything nice and neat, but our schedule might have missed something so do let us know!