41 Unexpected Buys On Amazon That Reviewers Say Changed Their Lives


Saying a product "changed my life" is the kind of groan-inducing sentiment you might expect to hear when you accidentally come upon an infomercial while channel surfing. I mean, really? A microfiber cleaning cloth changed your life? Well — let me rephrase that. I don't believe paid actors on TV when they say that, but I definitely believe Amazon reviewers. I'm a lot more likely to listen up to their thoughts on, well, microfiber cleaning cloths or any other unexpected buys on Amazon. Knowing they're genuine consumers just hoping to steer other genuine consumers in the right direction gives me a lot more confidence in their opinions.

Now, I know it still seems ridiculous for any person — paid or unpaid — to say a product changed her life. But honestly? Small things can change your life, even if it's just in tiny ways. Take my hair volumizer, for example. It gives life to my otherwise flat-ish hair. And that makes me feel a little more glam when I step out of my house every morning. It's a small thing, but it makes a significant difference.

And that's what I'm hoping these products do for you. I hope they're purchases that do, indeed, change your life, in small — or maybe even big — ways.

1. A Phone Case With A Secret Storage Compartment

EYN iPhone 5/5s Case, $9, Amazon

This smartphone case does so much more than just protect your phone from unexpected drops. The back of the case hinges open to reveal a compartment pocket where you can store credit cards, cash, hairpins, or even a house key. The hinge feature also works as a phone kickstand so you can set your phone upright on any flat surface. Oh, and, there's even an included mirror for touching up your lipstick.


2. A Smart Little Winder That Wraps Up Your MacBook Cable

The Side Winder MacBook Charger Winder, $29, Amazon

The Side Winder makes wrapping up your MacBook charging cable so much faster and more efficient. (In fact, it winds it up in just five seconds.) It also prevents fraying, which will extend the life of your cable. And it's small — about the size of an iPhone — so you can stash it in your bag without taking up too much space. Keep your cable around it at all times — you can adjust the length between 12 inches and 12 feet.


3. A Water Bottle With A Built-In Fruit Press

Pressa Bottle, $30, Amazon

Need a way to get more hydration into your life but find the taste of water to be rather boring? Get a hold of a Pressa Bottle. It's a water bottle that comes with a built-in juice presser. Just place any fresh fruit in the inner cylinder and press down on the plunger to extract juices — and infuse your water with the taste of berries, kiwi, watermelon, or any other fresh fruit. The bottle fits easily into car cup holders, and comes outfitted with a snap-shut lid and silicone sleeve.


4. A Hyaluronic Serum For A Healthy, Moisturized Complexion

Eve Hansen Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $21, Amazon

If the idea of putting any kind of "acid" on your face makes you shudder — don't let it. Hyaluronic acid is actually produced naturally by your body, but your skin could always use more of it. This hyaluronic acid serum works to moisturize skin, while decreasing inflammation and reducing the appearance of pores. It even helps ease dark under eye circles and puffiness. The addition of green tea and vitamins C and E make this a skin-nourishing powerhouse, and it's vegan and cruelty-free. One reviewer writes: "I am really enjoying seeing a positive transformation on the look and texture of my skin. I have only used this for two weeks but I am getting several compliments on how my skin seems to have a glow about it."


5. A Purse Hook To Keep Your Handbag Off The Floor

Tapp Collections Purse Hanger, $10, Amazon

You spent good money on that handbag — don't just put it under the table at the restaurant where breadcrumbs and dried spaghetti sauce might be hanging out. Hook it onto this purse hanger instead. With cushioned, non-slip padding, it clasps onto the edge of any table. It's sturdily constructed and holds up to 20 pounds, so it works for those who stash everything in our purses.


6. An Egg Cooker That Makes 12 Eggs At Once Without Any Hassle

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, $26, Amazon

You invited a bunch of friends over for brunch on a whim. Don't stress — just put this rapid egg cooker to work. With the push of a button, it hard boils, soft boils, scrambles, and poaches eggs. It even makes individual omelets. The cooker holds up to 12 eggs at a time, and even has an automatic shut-off button so you don't overcook your breakfast.


7. A Suctioned Cup Holder So You Can Sip Your Wine In The Bath

Sip Caddy Bath & Shower Cup Holder, $14, Amazon

For ultimate relaxation, treat yourself to a glass of wine while taking a bubble bath — and let this cup holder secure your glass of sauvignon blanc while you suds up. It attaches to tile walls via a powerful suction cup, and it also works for beer cans if you prefer an IPA. This stoked reviewer writes: "Not having to give up drinking a glass of wine (or a beer) when showering? Genius! I love mine. It works wonderfully and, as if you thought it was impossible, it makes the experience of a hot shower that much more perfect."


8. A Waterproof Case To Shield Your Laptop From The Rain

Aqua Quest Waterproof Laptop Sleeve, $35, Amazon

If you live in a rainy city (I see you, Seattle), you know the anxiety that comes with hauling your laptop around in the bad weather. Protect your technology from the elements with this waterproof laptop sleeve. It's double-sealed, has welded sleeves, and is padded for extra protection. It also works great for tablets, phones, or important documents that need to stay dry — and it's available in four sizes and four colors.


9. This Herb-Based Balm For Soothing Sore Muscles

Tiger Balm, $11, Amazon

Tiger Balm has been around for a long time, and for good reason — it really works. The balm is formulated with camphor, menthol, and other herbal ingredients that work to soothe sore muscles and ease aches and pains. Simply rub a little of this ointment on your skin and wait for relief to set in. This reviewer is a fan: "Lower back pain occasionally causes problems with my sleep. I just put on some Tiger Balm and I can sleep comfortably throughout the night. This also works great for exercising; I will put some on my shoulders before a workout and it loosens them up."


10. A Melatonin-Inducing Light Bulb To Help You Catch Some Zzz's

Sleep-Ready Light Bulb, $20, Amazon

All that blue light being emitted from your phone, computer, and TV screens can interfere with your body's natural melatonin production, making it hard to get a good night's sleep. Screw in this Sleep-Ready light bulb to help counteract that. It gives off a warm amber glow that simulates a sunset, helping to kickstart melatonin production. The 7-watt bulb screws into any lamp — so be sure to put one in the room you spend the most time in before bed.


11. A Little Pot That Keeps Your Lunch Warm Right At Your Desk — No Microwave Needed

Crock-Pot Lunch Warmer, $21, Amazon

Bring your lunch to work and heat it up with this Crock-Pot lunch warmer. Just plug it in and the warming plate will heat up your soup, stew, or fried rice in no time. The dishwasher-safe warmer holds up to 20 ounces and is outfitted with a spill-proof lid and carrying handle. It's a great way to save money on buying lunch — and avoiding the office microwave.


12. A Miniature Keyboard To Go With Your iPad Mini

BrydgeMini Tablet Keyboard, $50, Amazon

The portability of mini tablets is great, but typing long emails on those touchscreens is no easy task. Enter this mini tablet keyboard. The 180-degree rotating hinges secure to your tablet, allowing you to adjust the screen to your perfect angle. In other words, it replicates the feel of typing away on your regular laptop. Weighing in at only 11 ounces, the keyboard is lightweight, slim, and features backlit keys.


13. This Smokeless Grill That You Can Use Indoors

Hamilton Beach Smokeless Indoor Grill, $59, Amazon

There's nothing like a good cook-out in the summer, but it shouldn't be relegated to just summer months. You can grill indoors, anytime, with this smokeless grill. Temperature controls allow you to sear meat to seal in flavor, and then you can bring down the heat to cook to your preferred done-ness. The non-stick plates and hood are removable and can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and it's small enough to put on your countertop, so you can grill right there in your kitchen.


14. A Neck Pillow That Takes Up Next-To-No Space In Your Carry-On

Trtl Travel Neck Pillow, $30, Amazon

The Trtl neck pillow is a welcome alternative to traditional travel neck pillows which tend to be pretty bulky. It folds up flat when you're not using it and when you are ready to use it — it simply wraps around your neck like a scarf. An internal neck support props up your head so that you don't literally nod while you're nodding off. One reviewer writes: "It's been on dozens of flights with me. This is the little trick that ensures I show up at my destination well rested and pain-free."


15. This Portable Seat Cushion Made With Memory Gel

ComfiLife Memory Gel Seat Cushion, $33, Amazon

This memory gel seat cushion is better than the rest. It's ergonomically-designed to take pressure off your tailbone and the memory gel aspect means you're getting optimal weight distribution benefits. The velour cover can be unzipped and washed in the washing machine, and a built-in handle makes it easy to carry around. Use it for road trips, sports games, and long hours in an office chair.


16. This Set Of Packing Cubes That Help Keep Your Suitcase In Order

Gonex Compression Packing Cubes, $36 (5 Pack), Amazon

These packing cubes make travel organization a breeze. You can use them to keep different items separate in your suitcase, so you don't have to go rummaging through all your T-shirts just to find a pair of socks. And when you zip them closed, they compress so you can actually pack more in your suitcase. They feature mesh covers so you can see exactly what's inside each bag, and it comes with five different-sized cubes, plus a laundry bag. They work great for at-home storage too.


17. An Electric Toothbrush With Five Different Settings

Fairywill Electric Toothbrush, $28, Amazon

This top-notch electric toothbrush works on five modes, so you can tailor your brushing experience: medium for regular cleaning, strong for teeth-whitening, gentle for sensitive gums, polish mode for the front of your teeth, and massage mode for your gums. You can brush twice daily for up to 30 days on just four hours of charge, so you don't have to worry about bringing along the charger on trips.


18. A Natural Deodorant That Actually Works

nasanta Natural Deodorant, $15, Amazon

Aluminum-free deodorant is a preference for many because of its lack of chemicals, but oftentimes, it doesn't work as well traditional deodorants. This natural deodorant is one of the exceptions. Formulated with Japanese magnesium, reviewers say that this deodorant works "even after hiking, biking, dancing, and sweating" and that it "goes on completely clear and leaves no residue". Another great benefit? Magnesium is beneficial for muscle relaxation, protein synthesis, and nerve transmission.


19. A Deodorizer For Your Cat's Litter Box

Smiling Paws Cat Litter Deodorizer, $14, Amazon

The scent wafting off a cat litter box is by far the biggest (and perhaps only) downside of having a furry feline best friend. Luckily, this cat litter deodorizer can help. Sprinkle it over cat litter to absorb moisture and neutralize any not-so-pleasant smells. The litter is biodegradable, non-toxic, and safe for your kitty.


20. This Shower Caddy That You Can Install Without The Help Of Tools

Zenna Home Shower Caddy, $15, Amazon

If you're tired of storing your shampoo bottles on the floor of the shower, get a hold of this shower caddy. It fits neatly into the corner of your shower and attaches securely to the floor and ceiling with adjustable tension rods. The four shelves give you plenty of space for shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razors, and soap. You can also raise or lower the shelves to make room for taller items.


21. A Hand Sanitizer Made With Natural Ingredients

Everyone Peppermint & Citrus Hand Sanitizer, $18 (6 Pack), Amazon

Keeping hand sanitizer around is a must during cold and flu season. I like this particular hand sanitizer spray because the citrus and peppermint scent is a welcome change from the clinical scent of most sanitizers. It's also made with natural ingredients like jojoba, plant-based glycerin, and essential oils, so it doesn't dry out your hands — and it's still incredibly effective, killing 99.99 percent of germs on contact.


22. A Laptop Desk That's Intelligently Designed

LapGear Lap Desk, $40, Amazon

This lap desk truly was designed with the user in mind. It has a built-in mouse pad, a slot to keep your phone upright, and a ledge to keep your laptop from sliding toward you while you type. Dual bolster cushions rest the desk comfortably on the tops of your legs, and the flat surface of the desk also keeps your laptop from overheating — a risk you run when you rest your laptop on softer surfaces like pillows.


23. This Argan Oil Hair Mask That'll Give You A Luxurious Mane

Nature's Potent Argan Oil Hair Mask, $25, Amazon

This argan oil hair mask is pure magic for your hair. It's fortified with almond oil, vitamin B-5, and hydrolyzed silk to moisturize and repair dry and damaged tresses — without weighing them down. You can even massage it into the scalp to help encourage new hair growth. And at a 4.7-average rating, users swear by it: "My hair, which has been bleached, highlighted, and tortured with my hair dryer every day, has never felt so clean, light, soft and full of body and shine."


24. A Compression Eye Mask For Headache Relief

IMAK Compression Eye Pillow, $12, Amazon

This compression eye mask provides gentle pressure to help you get major relief from headaches, migraines, and sinus pain. Strategically placed cross-stitching ensures there isn't any uncomfortable pressure placed over the eyes, and the exterior is made from breathable cotton and can be removed and put in the wash. Keep it in the freezer for extra cooling relief — the ergo beads in the interior will keep the mask flexible even when frozen.


25. A Weighted Blanket That Helps Decrease Feelings Of Stress

Quilty Weighted Blanket, $125, Amazon

I have this thing where I need blankets — not just sheets — to fall asleep at night. And if you have anxiety, insomnia, or just enough a little extra, this weighted blanket exists for you. And studies show that weighted blankets can actually help release serotonin while decreasing stress hormones, so you get a better night's sleep. This 15-pound blanket is filled with hypoallergenic glass beads and has a mink-like cover that can be removed and washed. One reviewer writes: "Bottom line: If you have anxiety or insomnia, I recommend this blanket 100%. It won't cure you, but it certainly will help. I've taken fewer sleeping medications since owning this blanket, and that's a win in my book."


26. A Storage Container Meant Specifically For Onions

Hutzler Onion Saver, $10, Amazon

A recipe calls for half an onion — what do you do with the other half? Store it in this onion saver. It keeps onions fresh so you can use them later, and it also prevents onion odor from seeping into the rest of your fridge. Plus it saves on single-use plastic bags, so you can rest assured you're doing your part for the environment.


27. A Water-Purifying Filter For Your Shower Head

AquaBliss Purifying Shower Head Filter, $32, Amazon

A water purifying shower head filter can do wonders for your skin and hair. It removes chlorine, pesticides, heavy metals, and bacteria, while preventing the growth of algae, fungi, and mold. It's ideal for sensitive skin, helping to reduce dandruff, itchiness, and eczema. The filter works with all types of shower heads, including fixed, rain, and handheld versions. The filter cartridge is removable, and can be replaced when needed.


28. An Anti-Fungal Foot Cream Made With Essential Oils

The Yellow Bird Anti-Fungal Foot Cream, $17, Amazon

This foot cream is an effective — and natural — way to get rid of unwelcome fungus. Made with a blend of peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus oils, the cream has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, so it's ideal for a variety of foot conditions. The cream is also super hydrating, so it can help repair callouses and cracked heels. This reviewer says, "I've been struggling with nail fungus for about 13 years, and after using this cream every night for about a month I'm seeing drastic improvement... I mean significantly drastic, which is more than anything else I've ever tried!"


29. This Gadget That Holds Baggies Open For Easy Food Transferring

Jokari Baggy Rack, $12 (2 Pack), Amazon

Pouring food into plastic storage bags can get messy fast —especially if you're working with sauces and soups. These baggy racks eliminate all that mess. They stand upright and keep baggies wide open, allowing you ample space to pour in your food. When you're done, just remove the bag from the clips and seal closed.


30. A Foot Hammock For Long Plane Rides

Sleepy Ride Airplane Footrest, $20, Amazon

Airplane seat space seems to be getting smaller and smaller, so I'm all for anything that makes long plane rides a little more comfortable, and this airplane footrest does just that. It slings around your tray table (it can be up or down) and hangs there, providing a hammock for your feet. The footrest itself is made from memory foam, making things even cushier. The strap is adjustable, too.


31. A Futuristic Desk Lamp That Charges Your Phone

Vont Dimmable LED Desk Lamp, $32, Amazon

This is no ordinary desk lamp. First off, it has a built-in USB charger so you can juice up your phone or tablet right there on your desk. It also has four adjustable lighting settings: studying, reading relaxing, and sleeping — so you can choose a setting based on whatever activity you're doing at the moment. The lamp even includes a timer that you can set so that it turns itself off automatically.


32. This Air Purifier To Keep The Air Clean And Clear

LEVOIT Air Purifier, $90, Amazon

Keep the air in your house free of dust, mold, allergens, smoke, pollen, and pet dander with this air purifier. The three-step system uses a fine preliminary filter, an activated carbon filter and a HEPA filter to remove impurities and pollution so you can breathe easy. It operates quietly and works on three speed settings. The air purifier is ideal for small spaces like bedrooms and home offices. Reviewers say it's "worth its weight in gold."


33. An Electric Nail Clipper For Your Pets

Hertzko Pet Nail Trimmer, $23, Amazon

Trimming your pet's nails can be tricky, but constant trips to the groomer can add up. Luckily, this pet nail trimmer makes at-home grooming a little easier. It's outfitted with a grinder which essentially files nails down without having to worry about hitting a vein. There are openings of three sizes, so you can use the opening that fits your pet best. The trimmer also works for dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds.


34. This Closet Organizer For All Your Sweaters And Scarves

StorageWorks Closet Organizer, $35, Amazon

There's no such thing as too much closet space and anything that frees up more space is, well, wonderful. This closet organizer hangs from standard closet rods and provides six shelves of additional space where you can stow sweaters, purses, shoes, and scarves. The organizer is made from sturdy canvas, and the six hanging shelves can hold up to 40 pounds. The organizer includes two drawers and has side pockets for smaller items.


35. A Cleaning Mat And Rack For Your Makeup Brushes

Esarora Makeup Brush Cleaning Set, $14, Amazon

Washing your makeup brushes properly can significantly extend the life of the bristles. This makeup brush cleaning set comes with a textured silicone mat to help thoroughly cleans brush bristles after they've been lathered up. Once clean, hang makeup brushes upside down on the rack to preserve their shape while speeding up drying time. The rack holds up to 28 brushes at a time, and is collapsible for easy storage.


36. A Key Holder That's A Lot More Compact Than A Regular Key Chain

KeySmart Multi-Tool Key Holder, $35, Amazon

This multi-tool key holder is very cool. You screw your keys into the holder, and then they can swivel into the holder where they neatly stack on top of each other. When you're ready to use a key — swivel it out. In essence, it's like a Swiss army knife for your keys, and it's a lot less bulky than old school key chains. The key holder also comes with a handy bottle opener.


37. This Acupressure Mat That Hits All The Trigger Points

ProSource Acupressure Mat, $20, Amazon

Lying on an acupressure mat for 20 minutes a day is a great way to relieve muscle tightness stimulate blood flow, and promote relaxation. The mat is covered in dots, each of which has 27 individual spikes that (gently) poke into your skin. That mat also comes with a bolster pillow — place it under your neck to support your head or stand on it to stretch your feet and relieve foot tension. It can even help ease stress.


38. An Anti-Dandruff Shampoo For A Dry, Itchy Scalp

Puriya Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $23, Amazon

Tea tree oil has potent anti-fungal properties, which is why it's such a powerhouse ingredient in this anti-dandruff shampoo. The formula also includes arnica, sage, rosemary, and vitamin B complex — all of which work together to fight of flaking, itchiness, and dryness. The addition of aloe gives your scalp major moisture benefits, and tons of reviewers are happy with the results: "I started having dandruff and a very itchy scalp a couple months ago ... After the first time I used it I had less dandruff and my hair was so soft and had new life in it. I’ve only used it three times but my dandruff is gone!"


39. These Dish Scrubbers That Resist Mold Growth

Peachy Clean Scrubber, $10 (3 Pack), Amazon

The Peachy Clean dish scrubber is a pretty impressive improvement on traditional sponges and cleaning cloths. The extra-large pores help the sponge dry out more quickly, making it incredibly resistant to mold growth and odor. It's abrasive enough to get pots and pans clean, but won't scratch your plates. Plus it's really flexible, so you can even get into the nooks and crannies of a muffin pan.


40. These Refrigerator Liners That Help Keep Produce Fresh

Any Kitchen Stuff Fruit & Veggie Extender, $11 (4 Pack), Amazon

Sometimes it takes a while to get around to eating that spinach, which is why these fruit and veggie life extenders are so handy. They're essentially shelf liners for your refrigerator that help encourage air circulation which, in turn, prevents premature wilting and spoilage of fresh produce. They're made from foam and can be washed with soap and water.


41. A Nail "Polish" That Keeps You From Biting Your Nails

Mavala Switzerland Nail Biting Preventer, $16, Amazon

Bite your nails when you're nervous? Swipe on a little of this nail biting preventer. The transparent polish has a bitter taste which makes biting a lot less appetizing. Use for a few months to break the habit and you'll find yourself with healthier, totally intact nails.

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