Bob Vila editors reveal their favorite home buys


It’s probably no surprise to reveal that Bob Vila’s editors focus on home equipment and maintenance: our product review team researches, tests and reports on thousands of products. every year, and we’re all always on the lookout for cleaning, decorating, and home improvement solutions to suit our homes and families.

A lot has happened to BV staff in 2021: a few of us have moved, others splurged on big-ticket items and renovations (many of which are explained to us in Wanted Product Guides). de Bob Vila) or became parents, but most of us have simplified, modest improvements around the house. The following are some of the products that have had the biggest impact on our daily lives this year and surprisingly haven’t made any big bumps in our wallets either. We hope our favorite things make you buy this a special thing you also ogled for the house.

1. AmazonBasics Outdoor Patio String Lights

favorite buys 2021


It probably sounds silly to say that a product I see in every outdoor restaurant in every city (New York, Burlington, New Haven – those things are everywhere) has had an impact on my everyday life, but it’s the truth. This spring my husband and I wanted zhuzh up to our back patio on the second floor, so we dyed six 8ft furs, screwed the straps to our patio posts, and hung three sets of those AmazonBasics string lights on cup hooks at the top of each strip. This project brought me so much joy. We put the lights on an outdoor smart plug timer so that they come on at dusk and again just before dawn, and they cast just the right amount of light during those intervening hours. When I come home at night, I look up the hill, see our lights, and smile. Our house looks chic! Our neighbors must think that we have parties every night. – Daryna Tobey, Associate Editor-in-Chief, Service & News

Get the AmazonBasics 48ft Outdoor String Lights for $ 59.89

RELATED: The best outdoor fairy lights of 2021

2. Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

favorite home shopping 2021


I have tried composting for years, but live in an apartment with no access to municipal composting. But the FoodCycler was a game-changer: it takes all the mess, time, and labor (and, let’s face it, the smell) out of composting. I put my leftover food in the bucket and once it’s full I put the bucket in the machine and let it spin. In a matter of hours, the food scraps are completely dried and crushed into this fluffy, powdery substance that I will throw in our garden bed outside or give to friends and family for their gardens. Even once we move somewhere where I can do traditional composting, the Foodcycler makes the process so much faster and easier that there is no way I will try regular composting again. – Sabrina Serani, Associate Editor, Special Projects

Get the Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 on Amazon for $ 299.95

RELATED: The best countertop compost bins for your home

3. LuxClub Wrinkle Free Eco Friendly Bamboo Sheet Set

favorite buys 2021


Last year we decided to make improvements to the house purely for comfort, and finding new linens was top of the list. Ordering linens online was something I avoided, unsure if they would be too warm to sleep comfortably or if they would be rough or pilling after just a few washes. I was looking for a particular color to match our bedspread, and since these sheets come in 40 different colors and at a fair price, I thought it was worth trying them out. We’ve been using them exclusively for almost a year now and I ordered another set for a spare bedroom. They’re buttery soft, cool to sleep on, and they come out of the dryer without a wrinkle in sight. After a year of washes, they are still pill-free. – Becky Helzer, editor-in-chief

Get the LuxClub Eco-Friendly Wrinkle Free Bamboo Sheet Set at Amazon for $ 34.95

RELATED: The best bamboo sheet sets for the bed

4. KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker

best buys of 2021


The KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a must-have for any iced coffee lover like me. The coffee maker has a removable and reusable coffee filter. I make a coffee concentrate by simply filling the coffee filter with a cup of my favorite ground coffee, adding water, and letting it steep. Brewing takes around eight to 12 hours and the result is a smooth, full-bodied concentrate. As an all day cold brew drinker, it’s easy for me to fill my Yeti with about 8 oz of water, then fill the rest of the mug with the cold brew concentrate for a delicious dose of caffeine. . The small footprint is perfect for storing in the fridge for easy access to cold brewed coffee any time of the day. – Stéphanie Cronk, Editor-in-Chief, Commerce

Get the KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker on Amazon for $ 109.99

RELATED: The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers for Your Caffeine Consumption

5. NorthCape Bainbridge Patio Furniture

best buys 2021

Photo: Beth Cranston

This all-weather resin wicker cabinet (3-seater sofa, swivel glider, and end table) lives up to its name, having endured a scorching summer, high winds, torrential rains and now a freezing midwestern winter. Sunbrella cushions complement the versatile taupe wicker and are just as easy to maintain. Thanks to the durability and versatility of these transitional pieces, my family have enjoyed our backyard more than ever this year and look forward to next year as well. – Beth Cranston, Associate Editor, Commerce

Get Bainbridge patio furniture at All Backyard Fun for $ 279 to $ 3,516

RELATED: Solved! Now is the best time to buy patio furniture

6. Set of universal grow bags

best buys 2021

Photo: Kathleen Corlett

Last year, My Gardener’s Supply Company’s Universal Grow Bag and Tomato Grow Bag Set helped me transform a small concrete patio into an urban garden filled with square footage plots. Each reusable cloth bag holds 20 liters of soil, and the sturdy cloth walls are breathable enough to aerate soil and drain water. (Four sleeves built into one bag even contain the stakes for my expandable tomato cage from the same kit!) Most of all, I appreciate that their colors are vibrant and uplifting, even when the limited sunlight from my garden only produces one. small crop of Roma tomatoes. – Kathleen Corlett, editor-in-chief

Get the best gardener’s tomato grow bag set at Gardener’s Supply Company for $ 36.95

RELATED: 5 important things to know about gardening with grow bags

7. Breville Nespresso Vertuo coffee and espresso machine

best buys 2021


After working in a cafe until college and living in a house that praised good coffee, I searched for an espresso machine that lived up to the task and came with an easy-to-use nozzle. For a long time, I leaned on a filter coffee machine while doing my research. But since I bought the Nespresso Vertuo machine from Breville, I wake up every morning excited about my morning treat. The new Nespresso range offers more than 30 flavors for Vertuo users, making it possible to brew espressos to great coffees. This variety makes it easy for customers to choose their ideal flavor and type of drink. The included frother also has cold and hot functions for making an iced latte or hot cappuccino. Although not economical, this coffee maker is convenient and well designed for long life and great coffee, every time. – Alexandra Mantella, Business Content Update Editor

Get the Nespresso BNV250BKM Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine from Breville on Amazon for $ 239.99

RELATED: The best Nespresso machines for your dose of coffee

8. Classic wooden mirror

best buys 2021

Photo: Katie Nolan

I moved into a new apartment at the end of 2020, so most of my shopping in 2021 was about finding furniture in stock, finding affordable accents, and picking up various items like Command rugs and bands. Decorating my bedroom is still an ongoing process (someday I’ll be able to hang some artwork), but one simple element made it more “complete”: this classic wooden mirror from Target. I needed a full-length mirror for convenience, but wanted one that was stylish – I graduated from the cheap dorm versions. However, I got a bit of a shock with the stickers when I started looking for a large full-length mirror, especially taking into account the risk that it might break during shipping. When I stumbled across this reasonably priced one from Target, it was obvious to me. At 18 inches x 65 inches, it does the job of being large enough to lean against the wall (although it has an adjustable easel back if you prefer), and its lightweight wood frame feels cool without being overly so. modern. It didn’t disappoint when I took it out of the box! My favorite part is the way it adds dimension to my room. It makes my city apartment bigger and brighter. – Katie Nolan, editor

Get the Classic Wood Mirror at Target for $ 90

RELATED: 10 Ways to Decorate With Floor Mirrors That Are Trendy

9. Bialetti Mini Express

favorite buys 2021


Coffee is essential in my house, and over the past year it has grown to become even more than that. Now that’s an entertaining treat, thanks to my Bialetti Mini Express. I’ve owned two traditional espresso machines – not the high-end, super-expensive type, but the mid-size, $ 200 type – and both broke prematurely. So when I spotted the Mini Express cooker in a TikTok video, I needed to give it a try. Its simple design excludes electrical components which in my experience break easily. Priced at around $ 40, it brews two espressos using the heat from your hob, which is as fun to watch as it is to drink. It’s easy to clean and fits in my coffee drawer, although I often leave it out for display as it goes with my kitchen color scheme. – Jenny Stanley, Editor-in-Chief, Service and News

Get the Bialetti Mini Express at Sur la Table for $ 29.99

RELATED: The 31 best gifts for coffee lovers

All prices are correct as of the date posted 12/29/21.

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