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25 must-have useful Amazon finds under $25

Molly Flores/CNN Underscored

Appliances and electronics like vacuum cleaners and smart televisions hog the spotlight in our homes. The truth is, it can actually be the smallest tools that make day-to-day life at home and on the go just a little bit more harmonious — and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Since our editors test out products that serve a purpose in every corner of your home, we’re particularly equipped to tell you about all our favorite kitchen tools, must-have travel gear and more. Whether you’re looking for a mini speaker with surprisingly good sound quality or a compact trash can that will keep your car tidy, there are so many useful Amazon finds out there that we promise will make life easier, and all our picks are under $25.

Picked by: Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor

I grabbed these space-saving hangers on sale (luckily, they’re on sale right now too), and they’ve completely transformed how I store my pants. Now, I can ensure all of my denim and trousers stay wrinkle-free and easy to access (no more digging through stacks of pants in my dresser) thanks to the convenient tiered hangers. Each hanger holds five pairs of pants, so you can really optimize your closet space, and now I have a whole dresser drawer open for other storage needs.

Picked by: Elisabeth Sherman, associate writer

My family eats a truly astonishing amount of fruit every week — and fruit is expensive! But those flimsy clamshell containers that fruit is stored in at the store do not keep produce fresh — condensation gathers at the bottom, which leads to mold, and the tops are not airtight. That’s why I started using these Rubbermaid produce containers. They feature air vents in the lids, and the elevated bottoms prevent fruit from sitting in moisture that causes rot. Berries stay fresh at least a week longer than they would in a plastic container, saving me money in the long run.

Picked by: Chelsea Stone, editorial director

While initially I painstakingly chopped up garlic with a knife (hello, garlic fingers), I eventually resorted to buying jarred minced garlic. That is, until I came across the Chef’n Garliczoom this past fall. It’s incredibly easy to use: Pop a few garlic cloves into the round chamber, then roll the green wheels along your countertop to chop. More rolling means a finer mince, while less results in a coarser chop. 

Picked by: Kai Burkhardt, outdoor and sustainability editor

This little scraper is my all-in-one cleaning tool when it comes to stubborn messes. I use the soft, silicone edge to get sloppy leftovers out of pans; the harder plastic edge to scrape stuck-on food from counters and dishes; and the stainless steel edge to hack away at burnt residue that’s baked itself into my cast iron. I haven’t met a mess yet that could stand up to the Oxo scraper, which is why I keep one handy at all times when cleaning my kitchen.

Picked by: Jill Waldbieser, contributor

There’s a reason the Kitchen SinkShroom stainless steel strainer has won several design awards. It fits standard kitchen sink drains, and it’s easy to place: Just set it in the drain and let it do its thing. Functionally, I have not found any food or scraps that will clog this strainer. It catches everything neatly and is large enough that I don’t even need to empty it on a daily basis. However, doing so is easy — just grasp the protruding black center and tap the strainer upside down against the side of the trash can. The food debris falls out, and you never have to dirty your hands.

Picked by: Kai Burkhardt, outdoor and sustainability editor

The Yeti Colster Can Insulator is amazing at keeping drinks cold. I threw a can in there right out of the fridge, and it stayed refreshingly cold the whole time I drank it. Normal koozies do an OK job at this, but I always find my drinks to be around room temperature during my final few sips. Not with the Yeti. Using the same technology featured in the brand’s insulated water bottles, my can stayed cold for so long, I really don’t think I can go back to other koozies.

Picked by: Joe Bloss, production editor

Cleaning a water bottle can be more difficult than you’d expect, especially if its top is too narrow to fit a sponge or towel. This brush has the reach to fix that problem and has kept my 24-ounce Hydro Flask germ-free for years. It’s even versatile enough for other hard-to-reach dishwashing duties, like cleaning my glass Chemex coffeemaker.

Picked by: Andrew Kunesh, senior money editor

The WineHero Bottle Protector Bags protect your bottles, your clothes and everything else in your checked bag. Each bottle protector has a tough and flexible plastic exterior and a bubble-wrap-lined interior. This keeps your bottles safe from drops and bumps. Each bag seals shut with two zip-close seals and a Velcro closure. This means that on the off chance a bottle does break in your bag, the liquid should stay inside the WineHero, not all over your clothes.

Picked by: Carolina Gazal, associate testing writer

I know this may seem like just a sponge, but it is by far the best one I’ve ever used. As someone without a dishwasher, this scratch-free, durable sponge saves me so much time, since it fits in pretty much every mug, pan and vase I own. The textured side of it actually scrubs my plates clean but is gentle enough to use on glass and other fragile items. I’ve even used it to get stains off a jacket. I appreciate that I can easily wash both sides of my utensils with a smile, and it rinses clean every single time.

Picked by: Jillian Tracy, associate editor

After having the Sinjimoru Strap on my phone for about a year now, I have to say — at the risk of sounding a bit dramatic — I truly cannot imagine life without it. Every time I pick up my phone, I instinctively slip my hand under the strap, and it has completely changed how I interact with my device. I bought the Sinjimoru Strap for better mirror selfies, but it also allows me to run with my phone in my hand without fearing that it might come loose and get damaged.

Picked by: Alex Bracetti, contributor

Anker’s mini sound blaster is a fantastic option for budget-conscious shoppers who want loud, satisfying sound in a portable design. This speaker delivers surprisingly good sound for its size and hardware limitations. The Soundcore Mini only has a 5W driver, but it comes paired with a passive subwoofer that amps up bass and fills an entire room with sound.

Picked by: Rachel Quigley, managing editor

I somehow managed to get to the age of 40 without ever mastering the winged eyeliner look no matter how many times I tried. Someone finally let me in on this beauty hack, and I never looked back! I was worried the stamp would look exactly like that, a stamp on my eyes, but it blends perfectly with the rest of the eyeliner and doesn’t smudge. I often get complimented on my winged eyeliner but until now, I never revealed my secret. You’re welcome.

Picked by: Tobey Grumet Segal, reviews editor

There is very little that aggravates me more than opening the dryer to find my bed sheets in a knot. Who knew that this $20 piece of plastic could finally stop this common laundry headache? Just pull your sheets through the four holes in the Wad-Free for Bed Sheets and they will not only come out cleaner and dryer, but with (amazingly) fewer wrinkles. I have been using these wad preventers for the last month for both flat and fitted sheets and hallelujah! I’ve never been happier parting with $20.

Picked by: Kai Burkhardt, outdoor and sustainability editor

You might think you don’t need a car garbage can and that the plastic grocery bag hanging from your passenger seat headrest works well enough. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. Hotor’s can is better. It comes with little bits of plastic that you can insert beneath the handles of the trash can to give it structure. The Hotor trash can is also completely waterproof on the inside, so even if you toss a half-full drink in there, it won’t leak through the bottom into your upholstery.

Picked by: Sofi Cisneros, editorial intern

The Phinox Ice Cube Tray may just be the antidote to our ice-making dilemmas. The set contains two ice trays, one pillar plate, a lid, a storage bin and an ice scoop. With no more than a simple push of the lid, the ice trays release 32 perfectly square cubes into the bin. And with the bin’s capacity to hold more than 100 cubes, you’ll never be iceless again.

Picked by: Lauren Levy, contributor

I admit, the $25 price point is what first caught my eye about these glasses. I figured the point of them is for me to pretty much destroy them during my months of salty, outdoor long runs and not to get too upset when they get scratched up, broken or lost. But they ended up proving me completely wrong. Not only did these lightweight, nonslip sunglasses stay in place during every step no matter how sweaty I got, but the polarized lenses help reduce glare and block harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Picked by: Alex Bracetti, contributor

The Kikkerland Earbud Cleaning Kit is a serviceable accessory to have in your drawer when your earbuds start looking filthy and sound quality diminishes. A few quick steps will clean up both issues. My AirPods Pro 2 look much cleaner than they did the past several months. Any sticky grime in and on the case has been completely removed. Cleaning out the tips and sound ports was a breeze.

Picked by: Mike Andronico, senior tech writer

As someone who often leaves their dog with friends or at daycare while traveling, I’ve found AirTags to be a great way to keep tabs on my pet’s location and enjoy some peace of mind — though they’re no good for your furry friend without a proper collar attachment. This $10 Stouchi AirTag Holder provides just that, packing your AirTag into a durable rubber shell that attaches securely via a set of stainless steel nails. This holder was a breeze to affix to my dog’s harness, and has stayed attached for many, many dog walks and play sessions over the course of a month. If you’ve ever seen how hyperactive my Frenchie is, you’ll know that’s an impressive feat.

Picked by: Rachel Dennis, editorial coordinator

My shower has no built-in shelving, so for the longest time I was placing all of my skin, body and hair care products on the floor. As you can imagine, it was not only annoying having to constantly bend down to reach anything, but also a massive eyesore. These sturdy, rust-proof shelves from Amazon have been an absolute game changer. I’ve had them up for a year, and they have yet to budge, thanks to the incredibly strong adhesive tape.

Picked by: Amina Lake Abdelrahman, home and gifts editor

I get so grossed out by hand-washing dishes — the combination of food particles and running water is enough to make me queasy. It was always such an uncomfortable feeling, until I realized how helpful rubber dishwashing gloves would be. I’ve been buying these reusable gloves for the past four years, replacing them every few months when they get gross, and they’re a total game changer. I love that they have a drip cuff that prevents hot soapy water from running down my arms (another thing that gives me the ick while washing dishes).

Picked by: Jillian Tracy, associate editor

I love no-fuss, minimal jewelry that just goes with everything, and I’m still astounded by the way these $9 earrings have held up. They hold tight through workouts, showers, chlorine swims, sleeping and everything in-between — truly the only time I ever take them off is to clean them. And after four years, there are no real visible signs of tarnish anywhere, which is seriously impressive considering I’ve had much more expensive pieces wear out much quicker. They always help me feel a little more put-together, are really comfortable to wear and have never come loose on me. I don’t know what kind of metal magic is at play in these earrings, but I do know they won’t be leaving my ears or earring rotation anytime soon.

Picked by: Amina Lake Abdelrahman, home and gifts editor

I always pour way too much oil while cooking, so I prefer olive oil sprays for a thin but even coating on my pans. These refillable sprayers allow me to pour in my own olive oil, giving me freedom over the brand and type of oil I want to use, and I never have to worry about running out as long as I’ve got a bottle of oil at home. The nozzles occasionally get clogged and need to be cleaned or wiped down, but they save me money and make cooking easier by allowing me to use so much less oil. 

Picked by: Mike Andronico, senior tech writer

Being a musician isn’t cheap — especially when you play in two bands and are constantly upgrading your setup with new gear. As such, I wasn’t looking to spend a ton on a gig bag for all of my road essentials, which led me to this great $20 option from Tuoren. It’s got enough room to comfortably store my pedalboard, cables, water bottle and plenty of extras, and its durable nylon design has survived plenty of trips to shows and rehearsals without any noticeable wear.

Picked by: Stephanie Griffin, director of social

For years, I’ve dealt with cystic acne, an uneven complexion and questionable body rashes — and this product single-handedly saved my skin from all of these issues and more. It’s similar to the Tower28 SOS Spray, but you can pick up a bottle of the magical hypochlorous acid spray for just $12, and it regularly goes on sale for even less. 

Picked by: Gabriella Triolo, social coordinator

Say goodbye to dry, cracked hands! This hand cream is essential for having super-soft skin. It smells so good and is cruelty-free. Mine has lasted forever and is perfect for taking on the go.

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