How to Shop Target Like a Domino Editor
We share our favorite in-house brands and hidden-gem finds.
Updated Jan 12, 2023 5:43 PM
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Getting in the checkout line at Target with one too many not-on-your-list items is a rite of passage. Straying from your checkboxes while meandering the retailer’s aisles (or clicking through all of its online options) is easy because, well, you can buy pretty much anything—including exclusive home decor collaborations with the likes of Studio McGee, one of our favorite kids’ nightlights, and even KitchenAid mixers. We keep an eye out for freshly stocked products and stuff we thought we’d never find in a big-box store—all to help you wade through it without click after click. Below, shop our short list, organized by type, of the best things to buy at Target.
Our Top Target Shopping Tips
Shopping Target online versus in person is a totally different ball game. Not only is it more difficult to discern the quality of a piece through your computer screen, but the retailer also stocks its virtual shelves with an overwhelming amount of third-party vendors. To cut through the clutter of outsourced duds that are not sold or shipped directly by Target, there are a few easy steps you can take.
Know Your Keywords
Navigating the Target categories’ drop-down can be a dizzying task, as there are a number of subcategory holes you can find yourself sucked into. To stay on task, we recommend entering your keyword (e.g., “rattan chair”) in the search bar at the top of the home page to kick-start your shopping journey. This will help maximize your results while also allowing you to focus on what it is you came for (and steering clear of what you didn’t).
Don’t Forget to Filter and Sort
Once you’ve popped your keyword into the search bar, you’re going to find yourself in a sea of product results (we’re talking pages upon pages, and they’re not the easiest to jump between). Here is where filtering comes into play: Our commerce content director recommends selecting “Target brand” from the brands filter at the top of the page to narrow it down to sold-by-Target stock only. Next, you can sort the page results by pricing, newness, average rating, and best-seller status.
Read the Reviews
Since you won’t be able to touch the goods before bagging them, reviews are your best bet for sussing out the actual quality of a product. Target customers are known for their loyalty to the retailer and, therefore, you can count on honesty when it comes to their feedback. If a product has a plethora of reviews with rankings of 4 stars and above, then it’s safe to consider that it’s a bona fide best thing to buy.
Explore the Exclusive Collections
If you do choose to go the “Explore All Home” category route—maybe you just want to window-shop—then a hot tip from our editors is to explore the exclusive collections. About halfway down the page, past the subcategories and new arrivals, you’ll find a section that reads “Style your space with our exclusive collections.” This section is your friend. Some of our favorite retailer-exclusive brands (such as Opalhouse with Jungalow and Threshold with Studio McGee) are plugged here. It’s also a space where new and noteworthy collection launches are spotlighted (like Target’s latest collaboration with Tabitha Brown).
Our Target Short List
Furniture is the bread and butter of Target’s high-profile design collaborations. Whether it’s Justina Blakeney’s jubilantly colorful collection for Opalhouse or the soothing neutrals of Studio McGee’s Threshold line, current offerings range from the upholstered to solid wood. We’ll be picking up the fringed Alberhill accent chair, thank you very much. Other lines worth perusing: farmhouse-y Hearth & Hand with Magnolia; first apartment–friendly Project 62; and cheerful, not-just-for-kids Pillowfort.
It’s all about the reviews where Target’s outdoor furniture is concerned. Threshold’s French-inspired bistro furniture ranks among our best patio dining sets, but the 5-star-rated, faux rattan Mulberry trio would also make for a supremely relaxed setting. If you’re in the market for a lodge look, we suggest Project 62 Adirondack chairs (a Domino-reader favorite). The best-selling seats are made from durable Polywood—a proprietary polyethylene lumber and mix of salvaged landfill- and ocean-bound plastics.
Throw pillows, while a wonderful design addition, always seem to feel just a little too expensive. Thankfully, Target’s Studio McGee line has many that are $30 and under. (We particularly like the in-house brand’s block-printed versions, which, unfortunately, tend to sell out.)
For your walls: Project 62 has a wide selection of highly rated frames on offer. And we think Target is a smart source for stylish floor mirrors that don’t feel over the top. You can even find decor that reads more handmade than hokey, but it’s all about the materials (like the rattan used in this tray).
One hundred percent French linen bedding for around $200? Sign us up. We are particularly drawn to Bosker Home’s cozy canyon heather colorway—dare we say the charcoal pinstripe is a dupe for even fancier labels? You can get mattresses and pillows from top-loved brands, too. Think: Beckham Hotel pillows, which number among our favorites for side sleepers.
We said it before and we’ll say it again: Keep an eye on material. When it comes to shopping tabletop at Target, the real hidden gems can be found in durable stoneware, outdoor-appropriate melamine or acrylic, and even on-trend stainless steel.
Lighting is another category Target’s design collaborations do particularly well. Although the floor lamps don’t have us screeching our carts to a halt, we’re really here to talk table and task—oh, and don’t forget ceiling. The retailer’s in-house offerings are on trend and look far more expensive than what you’re actually coughing up.
Classic brands like KitchenAid and Zwilling mingle with newcomers in Target’s kitchen section, which has an expansive offering of cookware, countertop appliances, and utensils. The surprisingly large mix of quality, extensively reviewed kitchen knives is a boon, too.
Take a deep dive into Target’s organization products and you might get a little dizzy. (We’ve done it and, trust us, you’ll need to come up for air multiple times.) There are all kinds of in-drawer options—in-house brand Brightroom offers many, and for multi-room use—as well as toy and office storage you’ll be cool with leaving out. Lazy Susans make kitchen cabinet storage that much more put-together, and we really like this 5-star-rated one.
We’d say any Target shopper is familiar with Method home and cleaning products, but did you know its Vetiver + Amber scent will make your hands smell like they’ve been washed with Le Labo? And our top-ranked humidifier (plus many others we love) is available with quick delivery.
Planters and Vases
Planters and vases are something of a specialty at Target, but filtering by material, brand, and size will help you narrow down your search. Here’s what we’re liking from the shelves right now: a $3 indoor-outdoor planter that comes in eight colors and six sizes; a Jungalow-designed brassy beauty; and a squat, opaque mauve vase from Studio McGee. (Oh, by the way, Target’s faux plant selection is A+.)
Target’s kids’ section is brimming with whimsical (and, in our opinion, highly giftable) goodies—namely any of the offerings from in-house brand Pillowfort. Our trustworthy favorites worth coming back for are affordably-priced and aesthetically pleasing soft goods (bespoke-quality bedding and plushies) and organizing solutions (colorful storage bins and woven baskets), plus decor accents (charming nightlights galore).
Similarly to the kids’ category, Target’s pet offerings strike the perfect balance between affordable and design forward. Whether you’re in need of a bed your pup will actually want to sleep on or a chew toy you won’t mind leaving out, the retailer carries a bounty of options from cult-favorite in-house labels and popular name brands (like Wild One).