Cheap household items
New Reviews: Cookware, Vacuums, & More
Looking for some cheap household items? We've recently published new buying guides on cookware, pepper mills, and shampoo and updated our picks for best vacuum cleaners. Here are some of the highlights.
Our new cheap cookware guide features 10- to 12-piece cooking sets ranging in price from $25 to $85. Our top picks cook high-quality meals and are easy to use and clean, according to online reviews of these cheap household items. A common material for pots and pans is stainless steel, and most lids are made of tempered glass. Our favorites are the T-fal Basic Nonstick Easy Care (starting at $59), a 10-piece set with a steamer and 11-inch griddle in addition to pots and pans, and the Cuisinart Advantage 10-piece Nonstick (starting at $70).
Season your perfectly cooked sirloin or seafood with one of the cheap pepper mills in our new buying guide, which includes steals as low as $7. There's quite a variety of designs: ceramic vs. stainless steel, electric vs. manual. Keys to a good pepper mill are consistent grinding -- biting into a large chunk of pepper isn't so tasty -- and little leftover residue. Our best pick in this category of cheap household items is the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder 1140700 (starting at $15). This acrylic pepper mill has a ceramic grinder on the top, so it doesn't get pepper on the table when you set it down. The William Bounds Key Mill WB-1 Pepper Mill 901 (starting at $20) crushes the pepper rather than grinding it, a method usually found only in more expensive models. The Vic Firth Pump & Grind Stainless Steel Pepper Mill STS06PM01 (starting at $13), which operates with a one-thumb push, is another good pick.
If you do make a mess with your pepper mill and need to clean up, we've updated our cheap vacuum cleaners and cheap canister vacuums buying guides. For under $150, you can get an upright or canister vacuum by one of the leaders in the industry that cleans easily and effectively. Our top picks for upright vacuums are the Bissell 3950 Velocity Bagless (starting at $130) and Eureka 4870 Boss SmartVac (starting at $120). Other good options are the Hoover U5140-900 Tempo WidePath Bagged Upright (starting at $79) and the Dirt Devil M088160 Breeze Upright Bagless (starting at $48). If you're looking for more portability and want a design that can get into all the corners and crannies, our favorite canister models are the Dirt Devil 082700 Vision (starting at $125), the Kenmore Magic Blue 24195 (starting at $100), and the Eureka Maxima 972B (starting at $50). The list includes both bagged and bagless models.
And if your hair could use a good wash before … OK, so shampoo has nothing to do with any of these other cheap household items. But it's another category in which we've recently identified the best cheap products. Obviously, the kind of shampoo that's best for you depends on factors such as gender and age. We researched the best formulas for a variety of hair types, and many of our picks cost less than $5. The best everyday shampoo we found is Garnier Fructis Fortifying Daily Care (starting at 28 cents/oz.), which users say gives their hair more shine and body. We picked Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo (starting at 9 cents/oz.) and Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo (starting at $1.06/oz.) as the best clarifying shampoos. Dandruff shampoos are a little pricier because of the ingredients they require. Our top pick is Aveeno Nourish + Soothe Shampoo (starting at $7.99), which de-flakes and cuts down on itchy scalps, according to consumers. It also has some natural ingredients like lavender and peppermint. You can check out other top shampoo picks geared toward men, babies, and people with curly hair in our cheap shampoo buying guide.