Lindsey M Roberts
THE WASHINGTON POST – Who would you go to for toothbrush recommendations? A dentist, of course. What about a great file cabinet? A professional organiser. At least, we would if we wanted to spend our hard-earned money on a household product that works well, looks good and lasts. During 2019, experts pointed us to dozens of great products worth your coin. Here are our favourites.
The best doormats
For a multiseason mat that can handle whatever winter throws at it, try a lobster-rope mat, said owner of home-goods store Capers in SeattleLisa Myers. “They work to shed the water and they have a little bit of coarseness to the rope that takes the dirt off,” Myers said. She highlighted the Rope Co’s doormats, handmade in Maine by fifth-generation lobstermen (USD65-129, theropeco.com). “They’re super durable. I had a similar one for many years and I just hosed it down and it keeps looking great.”
The best toothbrushes
When people really like their toothbrush, they are more likely to brush regularly, said Mountain View, California, periodontist Daniel Nelson. An expert on the buildup of bacteria and plaque, Nelson uses a manual brush called the Nimbus (USD11.99 for five, nimbusdental.com). It is also the one he recommends to his patients. “It has soft bristles that clean under the gum line,” he said.
The best space heaters
At True Value, the top-performing space heaters meet consumers’ three most important requests, said senior product merchant Tory Tesdal. They have tip-over switches, overheat protection and a dial to easily adjust temperature. “Ease of use” is what matters, Tesdal said. True Value sells products to more than 4,000 of its individually owned stores across the country, and the top seller is the 81/2-inch-tall Pelonis Compact Ceramic Heater (USD33.99, truevalue.com). “It’s also energy-efficient, because everyone cares about saving money.”
The best garden hose
Editorial director of HGTV.com and author of “Vegetable Gardening Wisdom: Daily Advice and Inspiration for Getting the Most from Your Garden”Kelly Smith Trimble found both basic hoses that kink and special “kinkless” hoses maddening, she said. Last year, she finally settled on her hose of choice: the Dramm ColorStorm Premium Rubber Hose (USD50.99 to USD60.35, walmart.com). It resists kinking and coils up nicely, she said, plus it comes in “really bright, fun colours like purple, yellow and red” that match the colours of Dramm’s watering wands, hose adapters and sprayers. “Quality watering tools can make the difference between watering feeling like a chore and watering feeling a bit like meditation,” she said.
The best file cabinets
Poppin’s 3-Drawer File Cabinet comes in several colours, so you can choose a neutral to blend in or a colourful one that stands out (USD249, poppin.com). “I don’t think anyone could go wrong with this gray-and-white combo, but I also love the beautiful aqua colour it comes in,” said owner of organising firm Rachel and Co in Washington, DC Rachel Rosenthal. “We’ve put these in tons of different spaces.”
The best shower heads
Moen’s Magnetix has “the appeal of a fixed shower head, but it rests there on a magnet,” said project designer at Case Design Remodeling in Charlotte Melissa Haas (USD69.99, bedbathandbeyond.com). “You can pull off the shower head and use it as a hand shower, whether you’re cleaning the tile, rinsing your feet off or cleaning the dog.” She added that “it’s really popular in a hall bathroom or a kids’ bath setup, where you don’t need this luxury-spa setup – you just need an all-in-one sort of thing.” It comes in chrome and brushed nickel.
The best coolers
If you think you cannot bring ice cream camping, think again. Head ice cream maker and co-founder of scoop shop Salt & Straw in Portland, Oregon, and author of an ice cream cookbook Tyler Malek likes to pack it up in the Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler (USD79.30-166.66 for 54-quart cooler, amazon.com). The retro-looking steel is rust-resistant and the handles have comfort grips.
The best beach accessories
Frequent road-tripper and author of the book “The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas: Illustrated Adventures Along the West Coast’s Historic Highways” Chandler O’Leary of Tacoma, Washington, is often sketching at the beach. She keeps her sketchbooks in a Matador Droplet Wet Bag (USD14.99, matadorup.com). “It’s super handy and stuffs down into a teeny tiny case that can hang on my key ring when I’m not using it,” she said. She also keeps her phone, camera and anything else she wants dry in the bag.
The best phones for kids
The lead analyst for mobile at PCMag.com in New YorkSascha Segan believes the Sonim XP3 flip phone (USD189.99, att.com) “is the best choice for kids who aren’t ready for a smartphone yet: It has a loud speaker, is super tough and has a three-year warranty.”
The best dining tables
“People have this romantic idea of hosting a 12-person dinner,” said founding principal of Basicspace in BrooklynKaitlyn Payne. But her clients in New York City, especially those without a dining room, generally end up with a table that seats “six to eight people, max.” A fan of Ikea, Payne likes the Ekedalen extendable table for seating six (USD299, ikea.com). Storing the leaf inside the table means it does not have to be squeezed into a coat closet.