I can say with certainty that the best advice I’ve received—product-related and otherwise—has come from my mother. My mom is my best friend, but not in a sometimes-dysfunctional Lorelai and Rory way (I’m a Gilmore Girls fan but let’s face it, they’re a little too close). Not unlike that dynamic duo, though, my mom and I revel in the time we get to spend together and we love to shop.
Even now, as I work at Reviewed among the foremost product experts, I turn to my mom when I need a second opinion on a purchase I’m eyeing. There’s something extra comforting about seeking buying advice from someone who knows me, the environment I live in, and my financial situation. Plus, she has about 30 years on me and has purchased her fair share of duds and successes in everything from clothing to cookware. So, after a very official work call with my mom (read: we video called in our pajamas, each lying in our beds), I compiled the best product advice she's given me over the years.
1. Your sheets should make you excited for sleep
As my mom puts it, “You want your bed—in fact, your whole room—to be like your little oasis.” The centerpiece of your bedroom (of course) is your bed, and as you spend about a third of your life in between the sheets, you should invest in them. “Even if you only have one nice set of sheets, make sure they’re in a high thread-count and a fabric that you like.”
I’m admittedly not sure what sheets I currently have on my bed (I do know that I consulted my mom first, though), but after testing bed sheets, Reviewed’s favorite is the Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set. These sheets are made from 100 percent cotton and are constructed in a sateen weave that make them ultra-smooth to the touch. Plus, you can buy them in several colors and patterns to match your style.
Get the Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set on Brooklinen for $149
2. A heated mattress pad is life-changing for someone who’s always cold
While we’re on the topic of bedding, the best gift my mom has ever given me (besides the surprise Christmas gift of Penny, our now-14-year-old Yorkshire terrier) was a heated mattress pad. My mom and I are always cold, so getting into a chilly bed is unacceptable to us, if we can help it.
We love this mattress pad from Sunbeam because it fits over your mattress like a fitted sheet and has 10 heat settings. We both leave our mattress pads on our beds year-round so that we can heat up our beds as soon as the temperature dips. (I’ve even used mine on some chilly summer nights in Massachusetts.)
Get the Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad on Amazon for $47.82
3. Fresh blooms liven up any home
Background information: My mom was president of her garden club. The outside of my childhood home was dressed up with a huge garden bed, an arch with climbing roses, and flowerpots on either side of the front door. And when you went inside, there was always a bouquet of handpicked blooms on the dining room table and potted perennials scattered about. I carried my mother's appreciation for flora with me to my current apartment, where I have plants on every windowsill.
Whether you have a green thumb or not, you can incorporate some greenery into your own home with subscriptions like Bloomsy Box and The Sill. Our reviewer loved Bloomsy Box, a monthly or weekly subscription service that delivers locally sourced flowers, because each flower arrived in pristine condition after an easy ordering process and quick delivery. For plants, we recommend The Sill, a monthly or one-time delivery service that helps you choose your new foliage or flowers based on how much care it requires and sends it to you already potted in a chic planter.
4. Finding the right blow dryer gets you out the door faster
Starting at a young age, my mom would blowdry my hair for me if I showered before bed and didn’t want to sleep on wet hair (again, I’m always cold, so damp hair is less than ideal), or in the morning if my ego was keeping me from going to school with frizzy hair. At some point I started doing it myself, routinely used her hair dryer until I left for college and realized I had to purchase my own.
While my mom is the person who introduced me to hair dryers, the roles have reversed now that I test them for Reviewed. And this Mother’s Day, my mom already knows she’s getting the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer (I had to cave and tell her I bought it for her because she was going to buy one herself after reading my rave review.) This magical tool can take hair from wet to blowout-level styled in a half-hour or less, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a smooth, voluminous style.
Get the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer on Ulta for $59.99
5. A bathrobe and slippers are necessities
My mom possesses this impressive psychic power to know exactly when I need a new bathrobe. I don’t think I’ve ever owned one that she hasn’t purchased for me. Why? Because she has strong feelings on them. She bought me my favorite yet this past holiday season: The L.L. Bean Women’s Organic Terry Cloth Robe, which feels like a thick, luxurious towel that can both keep you warm and dry you off after a shower. Oh, and she bought herself, my brother, and her fiancé each a robe, too, so there's no jealousy.
My mom also imparted her strong feelings about slippers to me. A good pair keeps your feet warm and won’t cause you to slip (ironic, given the name) on slick surfaces like hardwood floors. I bought my current pair at T.J. Maxx in a pinch after an unfortunate glass shattering incident rendered my Minnetonka moccasins unwearable (there were tiny specks of glass inside my slippers). My replacement pair is fine, but allow me to recommend Reviewed’s favorite from our test, the Minnetonka Women’s Chesney Slippers—these have plush, thick soles that keep your feet comfy and toasty and a stylish suede exterior.
- Get the Women’s Organic Terry Cloth Robe on L.L. Bean for $84
- Get the Men’s Organic Terry Cloth Robe on L.L. Bean for $89
- Get the Minnetonka Chesney Slippers on Minnetonka for $44.95
6. The right tool makes salad prep so much easier
By far the most random thing that I'm thankful my mom introduced me to is a salad spinner, a gadget that helps you wash your greens properly to reduce the risk of consuming unhealthy bacteria, such as E. coli. Even when I buy baby spinach or arugula in the bags or plastic containers labelled “triple washed,” I wash my greens in my salad spinner to be on the safe side. Why wouldn’t I, when it’s this easy?
All you have to do is plop your greens into the basket sitting inside the larger plastic bowl, then put the contraption under the sink and let the bowl fill with water as you toss the lettuce in your hands. Once the bowl is full of water, take the basket out and dump the water. I do this at least twice, until the rinse water is clear. Then you're ready to spin! Put the lid on and pump the top to spin, flinging any remaining moisture off of the leaves in the process.
This is a must-have in my kitchen and I even use it to submerge other fruits and veggies in water for a good soaking to get any hidden dirt off. The salad spinner I use is also the highest-rated on Amazon, the OXO Good Grips, which can fit about three chopped romaine hearts at once to get your prep time over and done with sooner. I'm more likely to reach for greens throughout the week if they're already chopped and washed, so this tool is perfect for me.
Get the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner on Amazon for $29.95
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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