If you snag all of your go-to essentials on behemoth e-commerce sites like Walmart, Ikea, and most notably, Amazon, know you’re not alone. While there are some things that we will never buy through the web (live animals, luxury vehicles, exotic produce, large estates), we’re prepared to make an exception for the items we need and want on a day-to-day basis. Slowly, but surely, the online marketplace has turned us into curious couch potatoes with a small (okay, seriously major) shopping addiction—but we’re not ashamed. I mean, the click of a shopping cart is much easier than pushing one around IRL, right?
Like all of you, our greatest online finds tend to come from Amazon. From hard-to-find skincare products and living room furniture to nifty closet organizers and acupressure massage mat, the site is an endless treasure trove of extremely practical (and weird-as-hell) products. Be it the utter convenience of ordering things from the comfort of our beds or the fact that everything is just so damn affordable, sometimes, shopping on Amazon beats going to a brick-and-mortar store.
While we all have that one hilariously absurd Amazon purchase we like to show off (like our handy facial mister, 3-in-1 avocado slicer, or microwave-safe rice steamer), there are certain items we buy on repeat. Some of these items are little weekly necessities like toilet paper, command strips, or Nutella, while other must-haves include strange and special products only sold through the site. Ahead, our editors dish on the practical (and, maybe, impractical) Amazon finds that keep them coming back for more.
The Amazon-Whole Foods union has to be one of our favorite collaborations yet. Instead of ensuring the stress of waiting in a check out line, we can all get a hold of healthful treats and other kitchen staples at the click of a button.
“I just discovered Amazon Prime Now Whole Foods. Living in NYC and constantly having to schlep heavy bags around, I feel like this is a total game-changer. I cook most of my meals (‘sup food allergies!) and make frequent grocery store runs. I also don’t live close to a Whole Foods, so I often am dragging heavy bags home on my 45-minute commute. Now I can spend 15 minutes ordering groceries online (that come from an actual store, not a warehouse) and it shows up in a time frame I choose. Upside: Saving time and body pains. Small downside: There is a lot more packaging involved like multiple paper and plastic produce bags.” – Lahaina Alcantara, Digital Photo Editor
Carry-on Travel Essentials
The secret to flawless travel? A well-organized, TSA-approved carry-on bag. If you take the time to prep your bag for an effortless trip through security, you’ll bring yourself one step closer to a smoother trip.
“This is about to be so oddly specific, but I buy a lot of containers explicitly for travel liquids off Amazon. I say “a lot” because I’ve accidentally warped the plastic by melting them in the dishwasher a few times—but as long as you don’t do the same, they’re super handy to have if you’re a frequent traveler. This set isn’t the most stylish, but it is one of the most comprehensive ones I’ve found. Everything comes in a clear pouch for minimal TSA hassle. It even includes little pots, so you can leave bulkier face creams and sunscreens at home on quick trips.” – Elly Leavitt, associate digital editor
Personally speaking, I really try to take care of everything I own, but when it comes to headphones I can’t seem to keep it together. I never lose them—only step on them, smash them, tear them (yes, that’s possible). It’s a horrible, unconscious habit that I can’t seem to break. Because this is an unfortunate, and frequent, occurrence, I source all my new pairs off Amazon. One, because they have an awesome selection of brands (the only upside of this never-ending process is getting to test every pair on the market) and they’re generally pretty inexpensive. Clearly, I’m not looking to invest in anything too nice, as its lifespan will inevitably be cut short. Even as we speak, I have a pair on the way in the mail.
If you’re the type of person that already has an Amazon dash button stuck to your refrigerator, you’ll relate to this one. Whether you hate haphazardly running to the grocery or convenience store for one forgotten item or simply don’t care where your home and pantry basics come from, sourcing your everyday must-haves from Amazon is the way to go if you want to live easy.
“Let me preface this by saying I buy everything on Amazon (smile.amazon.com, actually). Aside from thinking I’m getting the best deal, I’m sold on the convenience of not having to run errands to multiple stores around NYC then lug my haul back to my apartment.” – Amanda Johnson, Digital Content Strategy Manager
“I’m sold on the convenience of not having to run errands to multiple stores around NYC.”
All Things Tech
It’s no secret that Amazon is making major moves in the tech and entertainment industry, so why not embrace it? Instead of roaming the aisles at your local Best Buy, consider snagging your swag online.
“I’ve bought my home electronics through Amazon for as long as I’ve had an account, way before Alexa became my best friend. But now, the best part is how easy the site makes it to find things that pair well with the Echo system. I just snatched up some amazing speakers that were both highly rated on Amazon, and hooked up to my Alexa, so it was a win-win. I may slowly be turning into a smart-home person…” – Mackenzie Dunn, Contributing Writer
While you can get a lot of things on Amazon almost anywhere else (be it another site or brick-and-mortar chain), there are a handful of goods—namely, luxe, exotic beauty products—that you can’t get without purchasing a hefty plane ticket first.
“When I was in Japan a handful of years ago, I practically spent the entire trip in drugstores stalking the skincare and makeup aisles. The offerings are magical and super unique, and I especially fell in love with the incredible beauty brand Canmake while in Tokyo. It’s not readily available here in the states, except for… yep, Amazon. I think it’s kind of like Maybelline in Japan—but I could be totally wrong on that? I love some many of the options the brand makes, but especially their blushes, which are jelly-esque, blend beautifully, and really last. I recommend trying Clear Red ($7.80), which sounds intimidating and bright, but it’s beautifully blendable.” – Kristin Limoges, Beauty Editor
“I’m a big coffee nerd and make at least one cup a day at home so I’m always going through filters like crazy. When I notice I’m getting low on something I go straight to Amazon to re-up on hard to find items like Kalita 155 filters. They’re near impossible to find in that size locally so shout-out to Amazon sellers for coming’ through!”- Aaron Bengochea, Associate Photo Editor
Haven’t checked out Amazon’s pet section yet? From big-name food brands and chew-proof toys to full-size aquariums and cushy beds, pet parents can find just about everything they might need to keep their littlest friends happy.
“Since I just got a puppy, I’ve been buying all things dog-related on Amazon—from dog beds and dog food, to toys and food/water bowls, to a harness & leash, to a sling that’s makes him look like he’s a baby (AKA the cutest thing that was ever created for puppies).”- Hayley Squire, Email Marketing Manager
“While I love shopping small, I can’t help but turn to Amazon when it comes to scooping up the latest book releases. Cookbooks are a standout favorite of mine—I may or may not be a cookbook hoarder, but that’s neither here nor there—and with so many fascinating titles coming out each season, I can’t not possibly collect them all.” – Anna Kocharian, Digital Editor
Miscellaneous Camera Items
Got a knack for photography but the closest camera shop is miles away? Stocking up on the essentials is infinitely easier when you can gather all your gear—film, batteries, and lenses included—online and in one place.
“I often find myself buying camera gear on Amazon, from batteries to color gels to occasional late-night impulse lens purchase. Amazon is a great site to grab anything you forgot to buy or you need ASAP.” – Cody Guilfoyle, Domino In-house Photographer
See more of our favorite Amazon products: