Our most prized purchases do not define our lives — but, they can serve as effective reminders of the times during which they were made. While living through a most unusual year, we wanted to cast a wider net outside of our usual monthly top-bought product roundups. So we posed a question to our readers, coworkers, friends, and family: What is the single most useful item you've bought in 2020?
From the most basic of utility buys (like butter) to bigger non-essential investments (like a foldable electric bike) and everything in between, we've lined up the shopping stars of quarantine. Scroll on for a glimpse into the goods that helped save someone's butt (literally) while WFH, changed another's coffee habit completely, and enabled one runner to comfortably (and safely) maintain their exercise regime.
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Jewelry Cleaner To-Go Pen
"Over the last few months, I've been washing my hands about a million times a day. I usually take off my rings when washing my hands and while using hand sanitizer, but I needed to find a way to make sure my jewelry was just as clean as my hands. Germs can cling to jewelry and I didn't want to risk picking up germs, but I still wanted to wear my jewelry. I bought this on-the-go jewelry cleaner pen so that I can easily clean my rings whenever I am out of the house, and this one fits in my purse. Crystal Clear Carats is the one new purchase besides my mask that I use daily, making it my top purchase of the year. Also, as surprising as it may be, this jewelry cleaner pen actually brings me joy. Not only am I giving my rings a thorough cleaning, but my jewelry looks brand new after each use." – Kerry, 30
The Mine Company Mine On-The-Go Ring & Jewelry Cleaner Pen, $, available at Amazon
Reusable Coffee Filter
"Without access to office coffees and coffee shops, I was going through a zillion coffee filters at home. I finally bought a reusable filter that's coated in copper, which helps keeps things sanitary, but also looks really pretty — plus, I swear my coffee tastes better now. Between that and my milk foamer, I'm pretty sure my homebrews taste way better than the $4 cups I used to buy every day. I use it every day, it's literally changed my habits, and is a small way to cut down waste and cost — that's a powerful product!" – Connie, 32
Ovalware Reusable Stainless Steel Pour-Over Coffee Filter, $, available at Amazon
"I was a month into my maternity leave when quarantine suddenly became a way of life. I bought two of these camping chairs, as I figured if we wanted to get any fresh air, we'd be spending a lot of time on our roof. Not only have we used these chairs on our rooftop to enjoy a glass of wine at sunset; we've also brought them to our local park while picnicking with friends, sat in them while eating lunch in my in-laws' driveway so that they can see their grand-daughter at a safe social distance, and even to enjoy a pizza in the parking lot of a restaurant that was open for takeout only. I think the colors are incredibly stylish, and the chairs are super light-weight, making them incredibly portable. They’re also really comfortable." – Emily, 36
Helinox Sunset Chair Multi Block, $, available at Helinox
True & Co. Body Scoop Neck Bra
"Needed a comfortable WFH bra :). This one is so incredibly comfortable and provides great support — I look forward to putting it on every day. (I ordered 3 more after the first!!)" – Amy, 42
True & Co. True Body Scoop Neck Bra, $, available at True & Co.
Automatic Milk Frother
"Since quarantine and working from home, I've been making coffee for myself at least twice a day. I needed something to heat my oat milk so it wouldn't curdle every time I poured it into my hot coffee….it was making me really sad. It's super easy to use and can make hot or COLD foam! I feel like a real (fake) barista and it makes my mornings so much happier." – Kate, 30
Miroco Stainless Steel Milk Steamer, $, available at Amazon
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