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The Best Things We Bought in 2020


The SmarterTravel staff indulged in some shopping therapy in 2020. These are the seven best things we bought all year.

Bose Sleepbuds II

Insomniacs and light-sleepers, the Bose Sleepbuds II will change your life. As a picky sleeper who needs total darkness and zero noise to sleep, this little gadget has improved my sleep significantly. The Sleepbuds are wireless headphones designed to be worn during sleep—they’re so comfortable that you don’t feel them even when lying on your side. I’ve tried white noise machines with no success, but these Sleepbuds play noise-masking sounds that are clinically proven to help people fall asleep. These miracle workers drown out everything from traffic noise to barking dogs so you can sleep more deeply, and I’ve become totally dependent on them for a good night’s sleep. — Caroline Teel

Eero Pro 6 Mesh Wifi Network

I’m stuck at home with my family. Everybody is on their devices streaming movies and using Zoom. The Eero Pro 6 Mesh Wifi Network helps to make sure that we have good signal and speed in all the little corners of my house — Adrian Byng-Clarke

Lululemon Align Joggers

I bought these thinking they would be a great lazy day lounge pant. Are they? Yes, but they are also so much more. These are my new go-to work-from-home pants that transition perfectly into running errands or getting a workout in. They are oh-so-comfortable and the perfect mixture of a “loose pant leg” fit with a well-fitting waistband. I love how versatile these joggers are, and I have barely managed to restrain myself from buying them in every color. I’m already planning on getting a pair for my mother for Christmas, and likely gifting myself another pair as well… — Sarah Tobin

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

An affordable 3d printer to pass the time and learn new skills. Make toys, fix things around the house, and more. The Ender 3 Pro is a great entry-level 3D printer that you can level up as your skills improve, leveraging various modifications, some of which are 3D printed. The Internet is full of tutorials related to 3D printing, including printer setup and calibration, making your first print, and even 3D modeling. 3D printers are soon to be a tool you find in every home, a modern appliance like a dishwasher or microwave.  Each time you inadvertently break something around the house and are able to 3D print a fix, you feel like a hero.  3d printers also augment other hobbies, as can be evidenced by the different items available on websites like Cults3d, MyMiniFactory, or Thingiverse.  Jump into a fantastic hobby and vibrant, growing community today with the Ender 3 Pro by Creality.  — Anthony Carbonaro

Wrinkle-Free 420 Thread Count Cotton Sheet Set

These sheets from Overstock were surprisingly soft and comfortable. Wrinkle-free is a stretch, but they feel great! — Alfe Hossain

Simple Houseware Laundry Cart Rolling Sorter

I hate laundry with a passion but this rolling laundry cart with separate bags for each load makes it a lot less awful.Clio Flikkema

Magnetic Quick-Release USB cables

In a work-from-home world, your desk now has to deal with rotating between work and home computers. I had to keep bending over to unplug my keyboard from one computer and plugging it into my laptop. These magnetic quick-release USB cables solved that problem. Now to switch between work and home I can quick-swap the cables without leaving the keyboard. Sounds like a small win, but it’s really very nice.—Eamonn McHugh-Roohr

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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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