All posts in “Home”

Grid Studio Framed Smartphones

While we absolutely love most aspects of the current, connected world that modern smartphones give us access to, there’s something to be said for the nostalgia of previous devices. We don’t have any desire to…

The post Grid Studio Framed Smartphones first appeared on Cool Material.

This Robotic Vacuum Will Change Your Outlook on Cleaning

The act of taking out the vacuum, plugging it in and walking around your house dragging it back and forth until your arm is sore is a chore of the past. Roborock’s S6 premium robotic vacuum not only replaces your vacuum and gives you more time to sit on the couch, work, get outdoors or anything else you might rather be doing, but it also replaces your mop as well thanks to its built-in mopping function. Add to that a highly precise laser navigation system, a full suite of smart sensing technologies, easy maintenance and the largest battery in its class that will last up to three hours, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t toss your vacuum and upgrade to a Roborock S6 ages ago. Plus, right now you can pick one up for 30 percent off — no code necessary.

Price: $600 $420

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      A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

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    This Good-Looking Organization Collection Sparks Joy

    Right when you thought you heard the last of the phrase “spark joy,” the queen of sparking joy herself, Marie Kondo, just released her collection of minimally designed organization goods with The Container Store. The cleaning expert behind the KonMari method of organization, host of Netflix’s “Tidying Up” and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” helped to design a 100-plus piece collection that, simply put, sparks joy.

    From kids’ rooms to kitchens, the Container Store x KonMari collaboration features a hefty number of items to bring order to an otherwise unorganized home. Each item is conceptualizes Kondo’s ideas for a well-designed product: clean, simple designs with a clear and intentional function. To counter product consumption, the collection also aims to be sustainable. Items like the Hikidashi Bamboo Drawer Organizers and the rattan bins are made of renewable resources like bamboo.

    The collection is not Kondo’s first foray into home organization products. When she launched her KonMari marketplace, critics disparaged Kondo for going against her main tenet: fewer items for a less-cluttered life. (A $75 tuning fork seemed to draw the most ire.) While buying something to achieve a less-is-more philosophy, the KonMari line of goods as well as its collection with The Container Store helps to keep the items you do have in proper order. And if your random housewares are the only thing that get some order this year, at least that can spark some joy in 2021.

    The Container Store x KonMari line is available for purchase now, with prices starting at $4.

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    Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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    The New Ikea Store Is Hard to Get Lost in and Doesn’t Require a Pick-Up Truck to Shop at

    Ikea is starting off the new year by opening its first small-format location in Queens. While an exact date hasn’t been announced, the Swedish furniture giant is slated to open the store sometime this month.

    The new Queens store will occupy a 115,000 square feet space in the Rego Center shopping mall in the Queens neighborhood of Rego Park. Its location puts it near multiple bus stops, a subway station and the Long Island Expressway, a major highway. The store’s small-format layout will retain the showrooms of other Ikea stores, but will mainly operate as a marketplace for shoppers to buy home furnishings and accessories.

    Furniture will be on display, but shoppers will have to set up delivery rather than schlepping boxes of deconstructed pieces home. Customers can also set up an appointment with Ikea workers to plan out their rooms. In the initial announcement of the new store, Ikea mentioned a new food offering for shoppers on the go, but because of the pandemic, it’s unclear whether or not that will happen.

    Originally announced in September 2019, The new location had been set to open in summer 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic. The Queens Ikea will follow the 2019 opening Manhattan’s Ikea Planning Studio, and it will be the third location in New York City.

    Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

    The Best Home Office Products of 2020 Made WFH Less Miserable

    This story is part of our end-of-year series This Year in Gear rounding up the most notable releases of 2020. For more stories like this, click here.

    No one knew how long we’d be working from home because of the pandemic. A week? Two weeks? A month? For most people, it’s been about nine months of waking up and rolling into your makeshift home office. A number of brands have risen to the occasion to make gear that meant you didn’t have to work on top of a stack of books anymore. So whether you were a WFH veteran or you were thrust into the struggle, at least these products from this year made things just a little better.

    Floyd x Fully Standing Desk

    standing desk

    Floyd

    Two of our favorite direct-to-consumer brands — Floyd with its furniture and Fully with its home office gear — teamed up to make a standing desk that pulls from both of their strengths. It features Fully’s Jarvis standing desk frame, which runs smooth, and is topped with Floyd’s signature birch plywood tabletop, available in three finishes.

    Price: $865

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    Grovemade Laptop Riser

    grovemade laptop riser

    Grovemade

    You’re probably straining your next reading this. Ideally, the top of your laptop screen should be at your eye level. If not, you’re really screwing with your body. Grovemade’s laptop riser makes it so your laptop screen is at the right height, and like the rest of the brand’s impeccably designed goods, adds some much-needed style to a drab workspace.

    Price: $140

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    Gantri x Ammunition

    home

    Courtesy

    Gantri hit the jackpot when it teamed up with design firm Ammunition. Or maybe it’s the other way around, as Gantri is hands down the coolest brand making lamps right now — they’re 3D-printed using plant polymers so they’re as environmentally friendly as they are beautiful. The trio of designs — Gio, Signal and Carve — span across table lamps, wall lamps and floor lamps, the latter two a new product category for Gantri, and they really nailed it with the collection.

    Price: $148+

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    Gantri Palm Collection

    gantri

    Gantri

    All lamps are work lamps. Gantri’s Palm collection, however, is designed specially for getting things done. Its in-house designers created Palm with a space-saving design, clean, smooth edges and a silhouette that better diffuses light across your work surface to reduce eye strain.

    Price: $98+

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    Coway Airmega 150

    home

    Courtesy

    Coway, one of the leading brands for air purifiers, released its nicest — and smallest — models to date. The Airmega 150 effectively covers rooms up to 214 square feet, with CADR ratings of 138 for smoke, 161 dust, 219 pollen. In other words, it looks great and works just as well. While air purifiers weren’t so prevalent in home offices in 2019, they sure are this year and likely for a while.

    Price: $150

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    Humanscale x Razer Pro Click

    razer mouse

    Razer

    The ergonomic specialists at Humanscale worked with gaming company Razer on a wireless mouse designed to make you more productive. The shape of the mouse helps to alleviate wrist strain, and a sensitive sensor can track your tiniest movements for optimal precision. Eight programmable buttons allows users to assign specific functions to remain as productive as they can as they work from home.

    Price: $100

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    Grovemade Leather Notebook

    grovemade slim leather notebook

    Grovemade

    Leather makes everything better, even notebooks. Grovemade’s leather-bound books are designed to last. The material will patina with time, and because the pages are refillable, you’ll own this notebook for a lifetime.

    Price: $60+

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    Orbitkey Desk Mat

    this year in gear desktop gadgets tech

    Courtesy

    Cluttered desks result in unproductive work. The Orbitkey desk mat has a couple standout features that do make desk organization something to get excited about. The top layer hides a document slip, and sliding magnetic cable holder keeps your pesky charging cables and random wires in check.

    Price: $65

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    Craighill Eyewear Stand

    craighill eyeglass holder

    Craighill

    Reading glasses users now have somewhere nice to put their frames instead of having them strewn across the desk. Craighill’s brass eyewear stand holds up your specs like a piece of art. Plus, the Harpo Marx resemblance is a funny little Easter egg for those in the know.

    Price: $48

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    Made by Choice Fem Work Desk

    home

    Courtesy

    This no-assembly desk is made for those who don’t expect to work from home forever. Opt to use the back panel as it is for a simple-looking desk, or convert the back panel into a top shelf when you don’t want a home office anymore.

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    Windmill

    home

    Courtesy

    Air conditioners are ugly, but Windmill didn’t get the memo. Its AC unit features an 8,500 BTU engine with a dual-air filter, and it uses a new refrigerant called R32, which has lower global-warming potential than the type used in those dinosaur units. And for good measure, it’s WiFi- and voice-enabled.

    Price: $395

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    Dyson Lightcycle Morph

    light cycle morph gear patrol lead featured

    Courtesy

    Dyson’s Lightcycle Morph is more than a lamp — it’s supposed to help you wake up, stay productive and go to sleep. As we said in our review of it, “it’s effectively your mom.” The Lightcycle Morph is truly a do-it-all lamp. Adjust the color temperature and lumen intensity to your choosing whether you want to use it as a desk lamp, accent lamp or floor lamp.

    Price: $650

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    Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

    La Invernada Is a Cabin Designed to Disappear into the Chilean Forest

    Now more than ever, we’re all looking for an off-grid escape we can use to simultaneously satiate our wanderlust and satisfy our desire to escape the current world. If you also want to reconnect with…

    The post La Invernada Is a Cabin Designed to Disappear into the Chilean Forest first appeared on Cool Material.

    STEAL: Save Big During Huckberry’s End of Year Clearance Sale

    Our good friends at Huckberry just kicked off their End of Year Clearance Event. Much like previous years, you’ll find plenty of great buys for up to half off original MSRP that cover the entire…

    The post STEAL: Save Big During Huckberry’s End of Year Clearance Sale first appeared on Cool Material.

    Winston Churchill and Napoleon’s Favorite Soap Is a Perfect Stocking Stuffer

    I’m currently smashing through the absolutely stunning book The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larsen, which tells in vivid, horrifying, exciting and often funny history of Winston Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister of the U.K., 1940. Through exhaustive research, Larsen gives life to Churchill’s huge personal and governmental challenges as the momentum of World War II builds to a frenzy: Hitler defeats France and the United States has not yet joined the fight. (Larsen’s equally incredible The Devil in the White City, another work of nonfiction that weaves together the concurrent stories of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and serial killer Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, is also worth your time.)

    While reading the other day, among all the destruction and tension, a much lighter tidbit caught my eye: the inventory of items ordered by Churchill’s wife, Clementine, as the family prepared to move into the PM residence at 10 Downing Street. This list included “wine glasses and tumblers (the whiskey had to go somewhere), grapefruit glasses… knives, jugs, breakfast cups and saucers… 36 bottles of furniture polish… and 78 pounds of Brown Windsor soap, a favorite of both Napoleon and Queen Victoria.” Having steeped myself in Churchill’s quips and mannerisms and all things British for some 75 pages already, suddenly I found myself wanting Brown Windsor soap, even though I had no idea what it was.

    The origins of Brown Windsor soap may be largely hearsay and legend, but it seems to have first come to prominence around 200 years ago. Napoleon, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, even Lewis and Clarke were said to be ardent fans. The soap’s basic formula is mostly the same, regardless of retailer. It is, of course, brown. Its fragrance is spicy across the board, with some variation. (By the way, try to avoid confusing the soap with Brown Windsor Soup, a quintessential English stew.)

    Herbaria Soap’s formula comes from “‘Perfumery and Kindred Arts, a Comprehensive Treatise on Perfumery’ by Richard Cristiani, published in Philadelphia in 1877” and includes “lavender, bergamot, caraway, petitgrain, cinnamon, and clove.” Their version of the stuff also “looks like granite—russet brown with shreds of pure white soap. Coffee makes the rich brown color but adds no aroma.”

    Another recipe, from Traverse BayBath and Body lists as ingredients including a string of saponified and unrefined oils (olive, coconut, castor, almond, etc.) plus “essential oils of bergamot, caraway, clove, lavender, petitgrain, and cinnamon. aloe, vitamin E.”

    There’s something about an old-school scent in a brick of handmade soap, don’t you think? We unfortunately romanticize war and wartime, partially as a coping strategy, partly as propaganda. But Churchill and his soap-loving contemporaries are objectively larger than life individuals who could afford only the best their eras had to offer, so their tastes are, perhaps, to be trusted. Maybe that’s what has me clicking around for a few bars of my own.

    Problem is, looks like lots of others have the same idea. You’ll be hard pressed to find any Brown Windsor Soap available on Amazon for shipment in time for Christmas, but plenty of bars are available direct from small businesses via their websites. Whatever route you go, please just leave some of the splendid stuff for me – or consider yourself among the vile.

    Shop Now: $6 (Herbaria) | Shop Now: $18 (Amazon, 3-pack)

    Nick Caruso is Gear Patrol’s coordinating producer and former Motoring Editor.

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    Syng Cell Alpha Smart Speakers

    If you’re looking for the best-of-the-best when it comes to an integrated home audio experience, there aren’t many better options than what’s available from former Apple, HomePod and Nest engineers / designers. Which brings us…

    The post Syng Cell Alpha Smart Speakers first appeared on Cool Material.

    Our Most Shopped Home and Furniture Guides of the Year

    Body-friendly desk chairs that limit trips to the chiropractor. Built-to-last mattresses that blend the best of memory foam and traditional spring designs. Lounge chairs that serve diligently as a reward for getting through the day, and offer a spot to open a book to pass the time. The through-line? A year indoors. From the moment offices closed and sent employees home to become teachers, chefs and permanent homebodies until now, GP readers have been invested wisely. These are the guides you shopped the most.

    The Best Office Chairs You Can Buy


    Starting at just over $100, we’ve tested nearly 75 desk chairs and narrowed our list of the best down to 19. Whether you’re on a budget of looking at a more permanent work-from-home situation, we’ve got a rec for you.

    Read Now

    The Best Sofas & Couches You Can Buy Online


    Whether you’re into leather, mid-century modern or a good deal, we’ve pulled nearly 30 of our favorite sofas and couches to window shop.

    Read Now

    The Best Mattresses to Buy Online


    Upgrading the thing you spend 40 percent of your life perched on is a wise move, pandemic or not.

    Read Now

    The Best Desks to Buy Online


    Small desks, standing desks, cheap desks, normal desks — there is a desk for every kind of work from home office setup here.

    Read Now

    The Best Bed Sheet to Buy Online


    We tested dozens and dozens of bed sheets to find the ones that are actually worth buying. Hint: “Egyptian” cotton and high thread counts ain’t it.

    Read Now

    The Best Reading Chairs You Can Buy Online


    For reading, for napping, for minutes spent not working.

    Read Now

    Assistant Editor, Home and Design Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

    The 10 Best Meat Companies to Have Steak, Pork, Chicken and More Delivered to Your Door

    There’s an essential question the world should ask itself about mail-order meat: why order it?

    Online meat purveyors offer more diverse, more interesting and frankly better cuts of meat than what’s found at a standard grocery store. And where does the intrepid cook whose town doesn’t have a proper butcher get their hands on heritage chickens? Or aged Osso Buco? Or internationally-renowned country ham and bacon? Or just a steady stream of meat to put on the table that’s better than whatever is available to them? Without these companies, the answer is nowhere. These are the best places to buy meat online in 2020.

    Crowd Cow

    Must Try: Beef ($30+)

    Crowd Cow was founded when its founders caught wind that their friends were all going in on a cow from a local ranch. They thought that this practice could be streamlined and simplified, so they created Crowd Cow, which essentially acts as crowdfunding for the purchasing of beef. Instead of calling up a dozen ranches, coordinating shipping and storing what is frankly way too much meat, Crowd Cow allows you to buy high-quality meats (it’s not just beef) from local ranchers at fairer prices.

    LEARN MORE

    Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors

    Must Try: Dry-Aged Burger Blend ($29)

    There is little fame to be had in the world of meat production. Unless you’re Pat LaFrieda, who’s been called “the Magician of Meat.” His company supplies beef to some of the best restaurants in the country and just so happens to offer a good portion of its protein online. LaFrieda’s client list speaks to the quality, but if you’re going to try the marquis meat purveyor of almost 100 years, you’d be wise to steer toward the burger mixes, which are equal parts revolutionary and plain delicious.

    LEARN MORE

    Porter Road

    Must Try: Loose Chorizo Sausage ($8)

    Porter Road started because chefs James Peisker and Chris Carter were annoyed with a lack of truly good meat for their newborn catering business. That frustration turned into a full-service butcher shop, which has since evolved into a sizeable online collection of beef, chicken, lamb and pork. All of Porter Road’s meats are raised sans antibiotics or filler feed. They’re also priced moderately and arrive (unfrozen) within two days of ordering. As an added bonus, the cooling foam inside the packaging can be disposed of by running it under the sink for a few seconds.

    LEARN MORE

    Holy Grail Steak

    Must Try: Certified A5 Kobe Wagyu Filet Mignon ($299)

    Holy Grail Steak operates under what it calls the the Golden Rule of the Cow, which dictates that a steak only tastes as good as it was raised. This mantra led the mail-order meat outlet to become one of six retailers of certified Kobe beef, and the only official online retailer of Kobe beef, what’s widely considered the most sought after meat in the world.

    LEARN MORE

    e3 ranch and co meat
    A 28-day wet-aged ribeye from E3.

    E3 Ranch & Co.

    E3 Meat Co.

    Must Try: Beef Ribs ($99)

    Major league level beef brought to you by former major leaguer Adam LaRoche and his Fort Scott, Kansas cattle ranch. All beef E3 sells is antibiotic-, added hormone- and steroid-free. The red and black angus cows are permitted to roam and graze before a grain finishing, a process which adds a final bit of tasty fat to the eventual cuts. Plus, it’s all processed in-house and wet-aged for nearly a month by E3’s butcher team.

    LEARN MORE

    Benton’s Country Ham

    Must Try: Benton’s Bacon ($32)

    Allan Benton was a high school guidance counselor. Now, his name is on menus at some of the best restaurants in the country. Benton’s Bacon, which by sheer prestige has made itself a proper noun, is prized by chefs and pork lovers across the country. What’s available on his web store changes with regularity (peak holiday season will see less of the good stuff available as demand eclipses a limited supply), so bookmark and wait for what you want.

    LEARN MORE

    D’Artagnan

    Must Try: Terrine of Foie Gras ($50)

    As the name might imply, D’Artagnan is luxurious. Its store is filled to the brim with game birds, duck fat, foie gras, wagyu beef, lamb racks and all other things that trigger thoughts drooling and thoughts of bank accounts past. The outlet partners with local farms and farmers with tight ethical and quality standards.

    LEARN MORE

    e3 ranch and co meat
    A classic: bacon-wrapped filet with rosemary.

    E3 Ranch & Co.

    Snake River Farms

    Must Try: Kurobuta Pork Chops ($16+)

    Founded in 1968, Idaho’s Snake River Farms produces a lot of headliners — American wagyu, dry-aged tomahawk steaks, huge hams among them. But the crowd-favorite is the Kurobuta pork, which is often described as the Kobe beef of pork, and Snake River Farms is one of few to carry it, much less sell it online.

    LEARN MORE

    Peter Luger Butcher Shop

    Must Try: Porterhouse Steaks ($215)

    Peter Luger Steakhouse may be shorter on hype and blog posts than the small plate restaurants that pepper the surrounding neighborhood, but it does not need those things. Named best steakhouse in New York since 1984, the restaurant famous for its porterhouses, sky-high prices and a prickly wait staff was good enough to earn a Michelin star in 2006. It is a destination restaurant for anyone with a taste for steaks, and nowadays a load of its house-aged beef is available online.

    LEARN MORE

    Heritage Foods

    Must Try: Goat Shanks ($99)

    Heritage Foods ethically sources, butchers and sells a wide variety of meats — turkey, chicken, beef, pork and so on. But the Brooklyn-based company is perhaps most notable for its treatment of goat through its “No Goat Left Behind” program, which supports farms that allow goats to mature more before heading to the abattoir. The result is a meat that’s lighter than lamb and carries a naturally herbacious flavor.

    LEARN MORE

    Assistant Editor, Home and Design Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.

    Everything You Need for the Ultimate Date Night In

    While we each may be spending more time in our homes than we would otherwise, that doesn’t mean that we can’t have meaningful date nights with our significant others. As they say, it’s the thought that counts, right? It’s easy to fall into the same routine of flipping on that same TV show you’ve seen from start to finish five times through. Instead, what about a night of wine tasting? And complimenting that with a board game? Or even just refreshing your available content with a new streaming service? We’ve collected everything you need for a memorable night in — all it takes is a little effort.

    A Word of Advice

    A meaningful date night in doesn’t mean pulling out all the stops and cooking a five course meal complete with the most expensive bottle of wine you can reasonably pony up the cash for. Keep it simple. Mixing things up goes a long way and sharing new experiences is the hallmark of any successful date — whether inside or out on the town.

    For an Intimate Wine Tasting

    As stated above, a wine tasting doesn’t have to include the latest juice to hit 100 points from Robert Parker and James Suckling. Picking a few choice bottles and tasting through each of them can be a far more enjoyable experience. Pick wines that interest you and fit your budget (if you don’t know where to start, take a look at a few sommelier-recommended bottles below or our overall guide here). Then, add a Coravin Model Three to your cart. This unique wine preservation system will allow you to taste through each of your picks without needing to open a handful of bottles to share between two. More on that below.

    coravin wine
    Coravin Model Three

    Coravin

    The Coravin Model Three is the ultimate wine preservation system. In the simplest terms, it allows you to pour single glasses from a bottle of wine without opening it. In a more detailed explanation, it works by inserting a specially designed needle through the bottle’s natural cork closure, pressurizing the bottle with inert, medical-grade argon gas and pouring the wine into your glass as well as your significant other’s. When you’re done and ready to pour the next bottle, simply remove the System from the first bottle and insert it into the second one. When you remove the System, the natural cork closure reseals and the argon gas creates a blanket over the wine, protecting it from oxidation. All of that is to say, once you remove the Coravin System from the bottle, you can continue to savor that bottle for weeks, months or even years, without impacting the quality of the wine.

    Price: $200

    SHOP NOW

    everything you need for the ultimate date night in

    Zalto

    everything you need for the ultimate date night in

    Verve Wine

    everything you need for the ultimate date night in

    Verve Wine

    everything you need for the ultimate date night in

    Chelsea Wine Vault

    • Denk’Art Universal Glass by Zalto $59
          • Bourgogne Blanc 2015 by Maison Leroy $75

              The Other Essentials

              To round out your experience, add a few choice products to make your space the best date spot on the block. You don’t have to go crazy here, but the fool-proof combination of a nice candle, cozy blanket, a classic board game and the latest hit show is hard to beat.

              everything you need for the ultimate date night in

              Boy Smells

              everything you need for the ultimate date night in

              Brooklinen

              everything you need for the ultimate date night in

              MoMA Design

              everything you need for the ultimate date night in

              HBO

                Gear Patrol Studios is the award-winning branded content agency of Gear Patrol based in New York City.

                This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

    One of the Best Parts of Ikea Is About to Become Extinct

    It’s a coffee table book, a coaster and a door stop. It is the Ikea print catalog. And whether you requested one or not, you’ve undoubtedly come across the bible of cheap homewares and furniture before.

    After 70 years, the Swedish furniture megastore announced Monday it would no longer be publishing its annual catalog. Ikea will instead focus on its digital offerings like its website and apps. Consumers’ shift towards online drove over four billion visits to its website and a 45-percent increase in worldwide online retail sales last year, both of which played into the decision to axe the publication.

    “We have been transforming many aspects of how to reach and interact with our customers,” Konrad Grüss, an Ikea executive, says. “And the work continues to find new ways to amplify unique Ikea home furnishing knowledge, products and solutions in the best possible way — to inspire the many people through new ways, channels and format.”

    ikea catalog
    The first issue of the Ikea catalog, put together by Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, came out in 1951, featuring the MK wing chair.

    Ikea Museum

    Since 1951, the catalog – first compiled by Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad himself — has acted as a road map for those trying to navigate their way around interior design. The catalog has been a way to announce new product offerings and to offer design inspiration around some of the most iconic Ikea pieces. Public reaction to the news was swift, with fans of the catalog taking to Ikea’s social media to voice their disappointment.

    ikea catalog 1981
    The cover of Ikea’s 1983 catalog.

    Ikea Museum

    ikea 2018 catalog
    The cover of Ikea’s 2018 catalog.

    Ikea

    ikea 1965 catalog
    A cover of Ikea’s 1965 catalog.

    Ikea Museum

    The Ikea catalog first launched online in 2000, and at its peak in 2016, 200 million copies of the catalog were distributed in 69 versions, to over 50 markets in 32 languages. According to the BBC documentary, “Flatpack Empire,” the Ikea catalog out-printed the Bible and the Quran, making it the largest publication in the world.

    ikea 1981 catalog
    The 1981 cover of the Ikea catalog featured a grid layout of products — older gentleman not included.

    Ikea Museum

    This year’s catalog, which came out in October, will serve as the final edition of the print catalog that we all remember. Every issue of the catalog lives online at the Ikea museum, and in fall 2021, Ikea will release a tribute book to commemorate the book’s legacy.

    Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

    Get 25% Off a Better Night of Sleep

    If weighted sleep aids are so helpful, why not use more than a blanket? Gravity, maker of one of the best weighted blankets, answers that question with its Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask. It uses the same science and materials as the brand’s weighted blankets to provide pressure stimulation on your face that helps you relax and sleep. Plus, its micro-plush and imitation cashmere make your face feel like it’s nestled in a warm cloud, and block out all light. End result? A good night’s sleep. And what’s even better is right now, you can save 25 percent on a Weighted Sleep Mask of your own. Simply use code HOLIDAY2020 at checkout.

    Price: $40 $30

    SHOP NOW


    A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

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    Give Them a Gift They’ll Actually Use with a Deejo Customized Pocket Knife

    Looking for a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift for everyone on your list? Look no further than French pocket knife manufacturer Deejo comes in. Deejo knives are customizable pieces of art that also cut things. You choose…

    For Café-Quality Drinks at Home, Look No Further

    • Brand: De’Longhi
    • Product: La Specialista Espresso Machine
    • Price: $800
    • From: bestbuy.com

        There’s something magical about waking up, walking into your kitchen, and making café-grade coffee right there in your slippers. That’s the goal behind De’Longhi’s La Specialista home espresso machine. Well, maybe not the slippers part, but certainly the café-grade coffee part. The machine is purpose-built to make pulling a perfect shot of espresso at home easy — even for the coffee novice. To see just how easy, De’Longhi provided us with a La Specialista to test for a week, to learn the ins and outs, get a feel for all of the features, and most importantly, stay well-caffeinated through the holiday rush.

        From the Brand

        “La Specialista is a beautifully designed espresso machine that allows you to handcraft consistently great espresso-based coffee drinks from the comfort of your home. We’ve incorporated four innovative features to make the process more streamlined and personalized, while preserving the hands-on creativity and satisfaction of brewing authentic espresso and Americano. With no additional heat-up time, and minimal cleanup, La Specialista empowers you to handcraft your espresso the right way.”

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        Gear Patrol Studios

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        What We Like

        Right out of the box, the build quality on the La Specialista is immediately noticeable. From the considered packaging to the polished stainless steel shell, the La Specialista makes a great first impression.

        But looks are only part of the story. What good is a pretty espresso machine that makes bad coffee? To find out if the La Specialista makes espresso as successfully as it turns heads, our tester went through the setup process and began to dial in the machine.

        It’s easy to be intimidated by an espresso machine — there’s something about the way baristas move swiftly and smoothly behind the café bar, with grinders whirring and steam rising that makes it seem like only professionals can pull a great tasting espresso shot. Thankfully, the La Specialista is anything but intimidating. The quick guide makes setup a breezee; clean the machine, drop your basket into the portafilter, grind some coffee and see where you’re at. On first pull, our tester noted that the machine was surprisingly close to dialed in, and with some fine tuning was pulling Instagram-worthy espresso shots before needing to check in at work in the morning.

        The process of crafting a shot is remarkably simple with the La Specialista, as everything you need is built right into the machine — no tamps, separate grinders, milk frothers, doohickies, etc. De’Longhi’s built-in grinder with Sensor Grinding technology lays a solid foundation. It delivers precise, consistent grinding and hits damn close to the optimal dose of grounds every time. But the grind is only part of the story. One of the biggest plights of the home barista is tamping; too hard or too soft and your shot is destined for failure. The Smart Tamping Station takes the majority of the human error out of the equation. For our tester, this was the most crucial of features on the La Specialista. The built-in lever lets you replicate the perfect tamp shot after shot. Top that off with the Active Temperature Control to keep your machine at a stable temp for optimal coffee extraction and you’d be hard pressed to make bad coffee on this machine.

        So, now you’ve got a great shot of espresso. But what if, like our tester, you prefer a milk drink? Say, a cortado, cappuccino or latte? De’Longhi has an intelligent answer for that too. The machine is equipped with the Advanced Latte System, which is more or less a slidable selector that allows you to switch between a flat steamed milk or foamy steamed milk. In practice, our tester noted that it was markedly easy to get great texture out of the Advanced Latte System, and more importantly, that there was no wait time between pouring a shot and steaming milk. That’s thanks to the La Specialista’s Dual Heating System, which is comprised of one thermoblock for extracting coffee and an independent heating system for steaming milk.

        And of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the knob feel and finishing touches that bring the La Specialista over the top. The knurling on the dials is at once both functional and industrial while showing a dedication to refinement that presents itself in the coffee as much as it does in the machine.

        delonghi

        Gear Patrol Studios

        Who It’s For

        The La Specialista makes a strong case to be for anyone who wants to make espresso-based coffee drinks at home, without the fuss of café-grade machines. The machine is incredibly easy to set up and is very approachable (box to espresso in under 30 minutes). Even the most novice of coffee drinkers will find using the machine intuitive, but old hat coffee pros will appreciate the hand-crafted yet simple approach of the La Specialista.

        Verdict

        If you’ve been missing your local café, the La Specialista makes it easy to recreate the handcrafted espresso experience at home. De’Longhi’s take on a manual espresso machine factors in design, and aesthetics — two things that are more than welcome when you’re sacrificing precious countertop space in your kitchen to have one. But the true beauty in the La Specialista isn’t in what it gives you but what it takes away. De’Longhi has taken as much of the human element out of the equation as possible, while still offering the ability to tweak, fine-tune and handcraft your espresso. The result? Great coffee, dead simple to brew.

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        Gear Patrol Studios is the award-winning branded content agency of Gear Patrol based in New York City.

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    The 10 Best New Home Products of 2020

    This story is part of the GP100, our list of the 100 best new products of the year. Read the introduction to the series here, and stay tuned for more lists like it throughout the month.


    Since the day our homes became de facto offices and schools, we’ve asked much from them. The year’s best home products helped us make the best of it. No more working from your sofa thanks to a convertible work desk. A budget air purifier that eats 99.97 percent of airborne baddies, and looks good doing it. A famous designer’s take on an affordable (and planet-friendly) lawn chair. What to take away from a year indoors? Function, thoughtfulness and beauty are needed in equal measure. These products embody that spirit.

    Buffy Soft Hemp

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    Thread count: 102 single-ply
    Sizes: Full–California King
    Colors: White, natural, natural contrast
    Price: $249+

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    In the past five years, the hemp industry has boomed, with industrial hemp farming in the U.S. growing exponentially, but its applications are still being uncovered. Buffy, a young direct-to-consumer company, wants you to sleep with it.

    “In the U.S., we know hemp still feels like a really new and weird material to show up inside the home, but we want to be part of building the demand for the broader hemp market,” Matt Breuer, Buffy’s vice president of marketing says.

    The bedding brand’s Soft Hemp line of sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers fully realizes hemp as a better bedding material. The plant is environmentally friendly — it grows without herbicides and is nontoxic and biodegradable — and its growth is environmentally friendly in and of itself, as the plant naturally reinvigorates the soil and cleans the air. Plus, it grows, well, like a weed.

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    When it comes to sleeping with the stuff, its closest relative is flax linen, a bedding material most famous for breeziness and eye-watering price tags. Imagine the same breathable structure as flax linen, the same antibacterial qualities, the same durability, but a softer feel and a far superior sustainability record. That’d be Buffy’s hemp bedding.

    The company’s design team sought to make its hemp bedding as natural as possible. It’s 100 percent hemp, washed for softness (sans chemicals) and either left uncolored or bleached with hydrogen peroxide.

    “We’re thrilled to expand our work with hemp and will welcome the competition,” Breuer says. “At the end of the day, it’s a win for the planet.”

    Hemp won’t get you high, but it makes for a pretty wicked bedding fabric.

    Magis Bell Chair

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    Colors: Sunrise (orange), Highnoon (white), Midnight (black)
    Material: Recycled polypropylene
    Designer: Konstantin Grcic
    $105

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    Earlier this year, Vitra released a $3,245 lounge chair that, because of subtle metal wire connections between the back and the seat, appears to float in midair. Imagined by the high-profile designer Konstantic Grcic, its destiny is to live as a statement piece for the wealthy and well connected.

    The Bell Chair — also a Grcic design — couldn’t be more different.

    Effectively a cheap, plastic lawn chair, albeit one made by one of the most notable designers in the world, the Bell Chair began as a thought experiment: Could Grcic and his partner company Magis design and sell a chair for or less? Simple enough. Make it out of plastic.

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    A breakthrough came when the design team figured out a way to make a mass-produced plastic chair less reprehensible — 100 percent of the chair is made of recycled polypropylene thermoplastic, which is comprised of waste from Magis’s other furniture production (and the surrounding region’s auto industry). The entire chair is recyclable post-production, forming a near-closed material cycle.

    To keep the price low, Grcic and his team had to be judicious with the amount of plastic used for each chair. They sliced weight off and designed it as a shell-like bowl with slightly splayed legs to do more with less material. The final iteration weighs less than six pounds — roughly the weight of a comparable plastic chair. And it’s stackable, up to 12 chairs. The design team even built a custom, smaller shipping pallet (made with the same custom plastic the chair is made with), to fit more chairs in shipping spaces.

    In Europe, the chair sells for the targeted . Mission accomplished. But because of international taxes and tariffs, expect to pay a little north of $100 in the U.S.

    Gantri x Ammunition

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    Colors: Sedona, snow, carbon, stone, forest
    Lighting Styles: Accent, task, area
    Switch: Dimmable
    Price: $148+

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    If a brand wants a well-designed product, it turns to design firm Ammunition. Founded by Robert Brunner, the man who hired Jonny Ive at Apple, Ammunition has worked with Beats by Dre, Nook e-readers, Polaroid, Square, Adobe and more. Then Brunner bought a lamp from Gantri, a small San Francisco-based design company.

    Gantri’s founder, Ian Yang, says its 3D-printed lamps are for those who want high-design homeware that isn’t in your face — items that are “elegant, but also fresh.” Brunner’s introduction to Gantri led the way for the two brands’ collaboration.

    In a year, the 10-piece collection went from idea to launch; something Yang describes as an “insane feat,” considering design firms release maybe a couple products a year altogether. And it’s all thanks to Gantri’s 3D printing. The technology shrinks the time between idea and final product, and prices are kept down relative to other designer lighting, too. And rather than using toxic and environmentally unfriendly oil-based plastics, Gantri developed the world’s first plant-derived polylactic acid, or PLA, to make its lamps.

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    “We let Ammunition have full control of the process and go all out,” Yang says. “Like what would an Ammunition designer want in their own home without worrying about this one SKU selling in the millions. Ammunition could push the boundaries with this process.”

    The result is three core shapes — called Gio, Signal and Carve — that span across table, wall and floor lamps categories. Each piece combines Gantri’s signature rounded, smoothed- surface aesthetic with Ammunition’s penchant for sharply honed minimalism.

    For Ammunition, working with Gantri let its designers flex their creative muscles. For Gantri, the collaboration furthers its thesis that high design can be made accessible through 3D printing, a process once reserved for hobbyists but that now sits at the cutting edge of manufacturing capabilities. For the rest of us, there’s a fairly priced collection of kickass lamps — a win on all accounts.

    New Airweave Mattress

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    Sizes: Twin–California King
    Warranty: 10-year warranty
    Thickness: 7.9 inches
    $1,400—$2,100

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    Motokuni Takaoka thinks outside the box. The Stanford School of Engineering graduate took over his uncle’s floundering fishing-line company and turned it into one of the largest mattress brands in Japan.

    Airweave mattresses are constructed of airfiber, a network of interwoven plastic — like a bundle of fishing line — which aids in temperature regulation, body support and the reduction of motion transfer. In 2016, it was the official mattress supplier of the United States Olympic Committee; it’s also the official bedding partner of the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Despite entering the U.S. market in 2015, it was met with little fanfare. “Too firm,” Americans criticized. The Japanese are accustomed to firmer mattresses because of traditional Japanese futons, Takaoka says. And he hopes to get Americans on the same page.

    People can turn up to 30 times during a night’s sleep. On a soft mattress, that means exerting a significant amount of energy to move. A 2018 report found that people who sleep on airweave mattresses produce 60 percent less muscle activity than when sleeping on memory foam.

    To cater to American consumers, Airweave launched its New Airweave Mattress (yes, that is the official name), which reduced the density of its airfiber, making the mattress softer without compromising support. It also added a pillow topper to further soften the mattress.

    “We found that [American sleepers] prefer a softer mattress, as there is a belief that ‘the softer, the better,’” Takaoka says. “That is understandable because it feels comfortable when you lie on something soft. However, you must remember that it’s not what you feel when you get into bed — it’s how you feel when you wake up.”

    August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

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    Installation time: 15 minutes
    Compatible Smart Home Ecosystems: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings
    Finishes: Silver, matte black
    Price: $250

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    In 2013, August released its first smart lock; seven years later, it perfected it. The Wi-Fi Smart Lock is smaller than its predecessors, and because it attaches to your existing deadbolt, you can continue to use your physical key if you want. While the price tag is marginally higher than other smart locks, the updated August lock’s WiFi bridge is integrated into the device, so there’s no need to spend extra on an external device. As long as you have your phone, you have a key to your home.

    Revival Rugs Aide-De-Camp Chair

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    Country of Origin: Vietnam
    Reclined Angle: 105°
    Assembly Required: None
    Price: $549

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    This is not your typical tailgate camp chair. The Aide-De-Camp Chair is all luxe materials — solid oak frame, liquid-resistant coated leather. Who makes it? A rug company. Revival Rugs’ inaugural furniture collection came unexpectedly, but it sure as hell made an impression. For the chair, the brand tapped Turkish designer Gizem Yuce, whose simple, elegant design was inspired by outdoor furniture (we still wouldn’t use it outdoors).

    Coway Airmega 150

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    Eliminates: 99.97 percent of airborne particulates
    Covers: 215 square feet
    Available Colors: Green, white or pink
    Price: $190

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    There’s a fine line between lifestyle and performance gear, and the products that strive to straddle it often find themselves compromising to the point of mediocrity. Coway’s Airmega 150 is not one of those products. The lauded manufacturer’s latest is an air purifier that walks the walk — it’s equipped with a True HEPA filter and a washable pre-filter — and it doesn’t need hiding in a corner. Plus, at $190, it’s a steal compared to its pricey peers.

    Windmill

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    Cooling coverage: 350 square feet
    Noise: Starts at 50 dB
    Warranty: One year
    Price: $395+

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    Windmill makes window A/C units for the 2020s. The brand successfully marries the dull (but important) – it’s equipped with a 8,500 BTU engine with a dual-air filter – with the new and increasingly necessary. The unit uses a refrigerant called R32, which has lower global-warming potential than the refrigerant used most commonly by what came before. And like any modern home appliance, Windmill is WiFi- and voice-enabled for absolute remote control, and it actually works, unlike the A/C old guard.

    Made by Choice Fem Work Desk

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    Finishes: Untreated birch or matte-lacquered ash
    Height: 41” upper tabletop; 29” lower tabletop
    Weight: 66 pounds
    Price: $335 for untreated birch; $618 for matte-lacquered ash

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    Because of COVID-19, people are asking more of their homes than ever before. Designed by Fyra for Made by Choice, the Fem Work Desk is a workspace for the times we live in and then some. The sitting desk transforms into a standing desk by converting the back panel into a second tabletop. Headed back to the office? It can be a shelf, side table or bookcase, too. All without any screws, minimal assembly and for a reasonable price.

    Sundays

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    Nutrition Facts: Protein (min) 35%, fat (min) 20%, fiber (max) 2%, moisture (max) 15%
    Calories: 550 kcal/cup
    Purchasing: Available via subscription or one-time purchase
    Price: $75+

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    Sundays is an air-dried dog food that combines the ease of kibble with the freshness and nutrients of homemade dog food. Designed by husband-and-wife duo Tory Waxman, a veterinarian, and Michael Waxman, an engineer, the dog food’s ingredients list reads like a shopping list for a lunch bowl — beef, quinoa, pumpkin, zucchini, flaxseed and shitake mushrooms are all included. Its ingredients and processing methods set such a high standard that they pass FDA safety standards for human consumption, so you could literally eat Sundays yourself.

    Assistant Editor, Home and Design Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.
    Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

    The 10 Best Air Purifiers of 2021

    There’s something in the air, and it’s not good. Between coronavirus and wildfires, consumers are stocking up on air purifiers like their lives depend on it. Air purifiers aren’t the end all be all of health and wellness, but they will drastically improve your indoor air quality so you can breathe easier. From air purifier terminology to the best models to buy, this is our definitive guide to air purifiers for 2021.

    The Short List

        The Best Air Purifiers

            The Short List

            Best Overall Air Purifier: Coway Airmega 1512


            The Airmega 1512 offers some of the best air purification — with CADR ratings of 240 for pollen, 246 for dust and 233 for smoke — at its price point, and it does so in rooms up to 361 square feet. Plus, its small build makes it easy to tuck away.

            It has a triple filter system, a pre-filter, HEPA filter and activated carbon filter, plus an ionizer. A built-in air quality monitor tracks air quality and, when running in auto mode, will adjust the fan speed according to its readings (faster for low quality, slower when it’s contented). Our reviewer found that the device worked well at eliminating kitchen odors and smokes even in an open floor plan that was about 200 square feet bigger than recommended. Connect the Airmega 1512 to the companion app, IoCare, for remote access to your device, and if you have Alexa, you can ask her for updates on your indoor air quality, tell her to change the fan speed or buy more filters. One negative: our tester wasn’t a fan of the shiny plastic body, which they compared to “terrible luxury styling trends that were popular in the early ’90s.”

            Price: $230

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            Best Upgrade Air Purifier: Dyson Pure Cool TP04


            If you’re buying a Dyson product, you’re usually set to get a high-quality device, albeit at a very high price point. The TP04 follows this trend. At $550, it’s not cheap, but it also does more than just purify the air. It also doubles as an oscillating fan, which helps to circulate clean air in a larger space. Use the Dyson Link app, which our reviewer deems as the air purifier’s greatest asset, to keep track of everything you need to know about your air quality and air purifier. With 360-degree activated carbon and HEPA filters, the Dyson will effectively track pollutants and odors, and the machine will notify you when it’s time to swap out the filters. The display is a bit tiny, but you’re more likely to track the device through your phone, and with its auto mode, you can be sure the TP04 is doing what it should be.

            Price: $550

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            Best Cheap Air Purifier: Partu BS-03 Air Purifier


            The Partu proves that you don’t need a loan to afford cleaner air. It’s good for rooms just over 100 square feet, making this more of a small-room air purifier. For an air purifier that costs $60, it’s surprising that it’s fitted with a HEPA filter, in addition to an activated carbon filter and pre-filter. There are no bells and whistles, like an auto mode, remote control, or app connectivity, but then again this thing costs under $100. It also has an interesting fragrance feature, which allows users to add drops of essential oil to scent the room. The biggest knock against it is its noise output on the higher fan settings, but you’ll only need to let it run on high for a few seconds before dropping it down to its slower, quieter fan speed.

            Price: $60

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            Air Purifier 101

            Do Air Purifiers Work?

            In short, yes, air purifiers work. Air purifiers filter and remove airborne particles that can aggravate allergy symptoms and underlying health conditions and improve the overall air quality of the indoor environment. They are not, however, a panacea of air perfection. They won’t eliminate 100 percent of the unwanted particles in your home, namely those that are stuck on hard and soft surfaces. In general, air purifiers will greatly impact your respiratory health — and we found 10 that do this the best.

            How Do Air Purifiers Work?

            Air purifiers basically use fans and filters to trap airborne particles so that you’re not breathing them in. Different filters will act in different ways, whether they’re trapping large particles or small particles, or eliminating odors. A short list of particles that air purifiers can eliminate include: smoke, pet dander, odors, allergens and indoor toxins.

            Do Air Purifiers Help With COVID-19?

            This is a tricky question. Yes, air purifiers equipped with True HEPA filters may be apt at removing the virus from the air, but COVID-19 is primarily spread through person-to-person contact. Just because an air purifier could work well to filter the air of the coronavirus, it will not make you immune to it if someone infected with the virus is sitting right next to you, mask-free. As the Environmental Protection Agency mentions on its website, “by themselves, portable air cleaners and HVAC filters are not enough to protect people from the virus that causes COVID-19.” However, as it further explains, when used in conjunction with social distancing and wearing masks in public, air purifiers can further protect you and your family from contracting the disease.

            Do Air Purifiers Help With Wildfire Smoke?

            Yes, air purifiers can help with both cigarette smoke and smoke caused by wildfires. However, not all air purifiers will eliminate smoke particulates effectively. The biggest threat from smoke is from fine particles, which can cause stinging in the eyes, runny noses and respiratory complications. It can also worsen chronic heart and lung diseases, as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency. Air purifiers with HEPA filters will do a good job of filtering those fine particles, and are recommended for those who live in areas affected by wildfire smoke. For the smell, air purifiers with carbon filters will help to eliminate the smoky odor that can irritate the senses. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency advises against using air purifiers that produce ozone, which will worsen indoor air quality. The California Air Resources Board has a list of air purifiers that are certified to not emit excess ozone, and can be found here.

            Air Purifier Terms to Know

            Activated carbon: A type of porous material that is good for absorbing unpleasant odors for the air. It is not apt at removing VOCs from the air.

            Air quality: The extent to which the air is free of pollutants, which is usually expressed as an average concentration during a given time period.

            Allergen: In short, any substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Potential allergens include pollen, pet dander and mold spores. Allergens can have a reactionary effect through touch or inhalation.

            AHAM-Verified mark: Products tested and approved for the Energy Star program by The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Air purifiers with this certification ensure that the device’s “energy consumption rating is consistent with the measured energy consumption,” per the Aham Verifide website.

            Clean-air delivery (CADR) rating: Established by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, clean-air delivery ratings measures an air purifier’s effectiveness by noting the volume of clean air produced per minute based on the space of a room. Devices will be given a rating for smoke, pollen and dust, with the higher the number, the better the efficacy.

            Indoor Air Quality: This is “Indoor Air Quality” with a capital “I,” “A” and “Q” is an environmental study that relates to the air of indoor spaces as it relates to human health.

            Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) rating: A rating used to determine an air purifier’s filter’s ability to catch large particles (between 0.3 and 10 microns). The higher the MERV rating, between 1 and 16, the better a filter is at trapping specific particles. For exact ratings, see here.

            Pollutant: Any substance that, when in large concentrations, can degrade health conditions.

            True HEPA filters: High-efficiency particulate air filters that must remove 99.97 percent of particulates measuring .3 micron in diameter. These have become the baseline for all air purifiers. If you find a filter rated as HEPA-type, don’t buy it as it’s trying to sell you an inferior product — by using the HEPA buzzword — with weaker filtering capabilities.

            Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Compounds with high vapor pressure and low water solubility that are emitted as gases from solids or liquids. These can come from things such as paints and pesticides. VOCs, a common type of indoor pollution, can accumulate easily, especially if you rarely open a window. Inhaling VOCs can lead to adverse health reactions and may cause cancer.

            The Best Air Purifiers

            Best Air Purifier for Large Rooms: Coway Airmega 400


            With a coverage area of 1,560 square feet, the Airmega 400 offers excellent air purification for extra-large rooms. It’s a big machine, but it’s necessary to house the power fans and filters to ensure it’s effectively working to clean huge rooms. One of our testers, who has been dealing with the smoke of the California wildfires, says the Airmega 400 has been valuable since day one. Immediately upon its first use, the machine went into overdrive on auto mode, detecting unsafe levels of pollutants in the air. And its projected coverage area is no joke — our tested lives in a two-floor home, and the machine was able to run a full clean sweep. Night mode is good for, well, nighttime use; it’s quieter, but when the air quality is OK, it doubles as a low-power mode to make sure your air quality remains good. The baseline Airmega 400 does not have app connectivity, though, so if that’s important to you, look to the Airmega 400S ($749).

            Price: $480

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            Best Air Purifier for Small Rooms: Blueair 411


            For rooms up to 161 square feet, get the Blueair 411. It completes up to five air changes an hour, and it weighs only three pounds so you can easily transport the device from room to room without issue. The fabric pre-filter, which is machine washable and helps to extend the life of HEPA filter, comes in various colors to fit your interior design aesthetic, so it doesn’t look too sterile in your impeccably designed home. Because of its 360-degree air intake, you can place the purifier almost anywhere and still experience peak performance. The 411 also boasts energy efficiency unlike most others on the market, which makes this budget pick a good deal in the long run, too.

            Price: $120

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            Best-looking Air Purifier: Coway Airmega 150


            When the Airmega 150 came out, we were taken by its looks. As our reviewer noted, “the fact that a serious air purifier manufacturer is taking aesthetics seriously is a necessary step in making these things more widespread.” It’s essentially a compact box with a bunch of tiny holes in it (trypophobia sufferers beware). And because it’s a Coway, you can be sure it’s still a quality device. Its CADR rating in a 214-square-foot room clocks in at 138 for pollen, 161 for dust and 219 for smoke. Our reviewer used this in his bedroom, and both he and his partner have noticed their bedroom air quality has drastically improved as have their sinus issues. One qualm is its noise levels. While Coway’s website notes that the Airmega 150 has decibel levels between 19.98 dB and 48.3 dB, we found that when the purifier kicks into medium- or high-mode, it really makes its presence known. However, unless your space is particularly polluted, the Airmega 150 shouldn’t need to run on anything above low speed for too long.

            Price: $190

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            Best Air Purifier for Smoke: Blueair 211+


            The most important factor in purchasing an air purifier is its effectiveness, but many also consider how it looks. Some either look too sterile or like a droid out of Star Wars. The Blue Air 211+ is simple in its looks — essentially a two-toned rectangular box with customizable colored pre-filters — and has high-tech features to boot. The 211+ has CADR ratings of 350 across the board, and our tester noted the machine is exceptionally good at removing odors from cooking, both quickly and effectively. The 211+ can complete up to five air changes an hour in a 540-square-foot room, and our tested found it worked well in combatting smoke and food odors in an open-floor plan. Because the 211+ is small and lightweight (under 13 pounds), you can somewhat easily carry the air purifier from room to room depending on where you need it. One downside is the air purifier does not have an auto function. And while most modern-day air purifiers eschew buttons for touch-sensitive controls, our reviewer was a huge fan of the device’s tactile buttons, a small, but satisfying product detail that plays into its overall aesthetic

            Price: $300

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            Best Air Purifier for Allergies and Dust: Honeywell PowerPlus True


            If you deal with seasonal allergies, or are particularly sensitive to allergens and dust, the Honeywell PowerPlus True will help you breathe a breath of fresh air. It has exceptionally high CADR ratings — 342 for smoke, 339 for dust, 335 for pollen — and completes five air changes an hour spaces up to 530 square feet. The PowerPlus True has four cleaning levels for allergens, general cleaning and germ fighting, though it makes no claims to have the ability to remove COVID-19. As someone who suffers from sensitivity to dust and pollen, I found that the air purifier helped to alleviate symptoms like a stuffy and runny nose and nasal congestion. The air purifier has an easy-to-read air quality indicator, and even though it shows my air quality to be in the green, or good, it doesn’t go into detail how good or bad your air is, just a general idea. But once the device is on, food smells wafting from my neighbors’ homes dissipate, and my allergy symptoms are alleviated, so the air purifier is doing something good.

            Price: $269

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            Best Air Purifier for Odor: Austin Air HealthMate Standard Air Purifier B400


            A motif that runs throughout reviews of this Austin Air air purifier is this: it helps remove the odor of secondhand cigarette smoke. If you live next to someone who happens to be a chainsmoker, the B400 may be the way to go so their terrible habits don’t interfere with your health. The B400 uses a four-stage filtration system to ensure a deep clean of your air. The first two filters are two types of pre-filters, one for large particles and one for medium-sized particles. The third stage of filtration comes in the form of an activated carbon and zeolite filter, the combination making for enhanced odor trapping. Zeolite is particularly good at trapping toxic gases and odors, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, as Austin Air’s website claims. It has a 780-square-feet coverage area, three fan speeds and a 360-degree air intake system.

            Price: $595

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            Best Air Purifier for Smoke: Blueair 211+


            The most important factor in purchasing an air purifier is its effectiveness, but many also consider how it looks. Some either look too sterile or like a droid out of Star Wars. The Blue Air 211+ is simple in its looks — essentially a two-toned rectangular box with customizable colored pre-filters — and has high-tech features to boot. The 211+. has CADR ratings of 350 across the board, and our tester noted the machine is exceptionally good at removing odors from cooking, both quickly and effectively. The 211+ can complete up to five air changes an hour in a 540-square-foot room, and our tested found it worked well in combatting smoke and food odors in an open-floor plan. Because the 211+ is small and lightweight (under 13 pounds), you can easily carry the air purifier from room to room depending on where you need it. One downside is the air purifier does not have an auto function. And while most modern-day air purifiers eschew buttons for touch-sensitive controls, our reviewer was a huge fan of the device’s tactile buttons, a small, but satisfying product detail that plays into its overall aesthetic

            Price: $300

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            Best Quiet Air Purifier: Levoit Core 300


            For $100, this is an excellent base-level air purifier. It has good CADR ratings (145 for pollen, 140 for dust and 141 for smoke), a good performance range (215 square feet) and a much-appreciated quiet mode. Levoit’s QuietKEAP Technology reduces the noise levels so you can continue to get clean, purified air while you’re sleeping. Three-stage filtration is pretty much standard, even with higher-end units, so the fact that the Core 300 doesn’t eschew this despite being a budget air purifier. While there is no auto mode, the timer function is helpful, and you really can’t beat the price, or features, of the Core 300.

            Price: $100

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              Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.