Curious about what your fellow CNN Underscored readers are buying? Every month we’ll round up our readers’ favorite products — those products readers like you scooped up the most over the past 30 days.
August saw readers leaning into the long-term reality of social distancing: investing in products to look great on camera, make home life productive and comfortable and, as always, help keep themselves and others safe. From ring lights to stepladders, check out the 20 Amazon products Underscored readers loved most in August.
Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($29.99, originally $34.99; amazon.com)
Good lighting can make or break a selfie. Look good while socially distanced with our pick for the best ring light around, which features warm and cool light modes plus 11 brightness levels to cast a perfect glow while you’re video chatting.
Assacalynn Disposable Face Masks, 50-Pack ($12.99, originally $27.88; amazon.com)
Don’t let your guard down when it comes to Covid-19, especially with fall and winter just around the corner. These three-ply disposable masks have been a reader favorite for months and are an easy way to help protect yourself and others from the spread of the virus. (Check out our roundup of face masks for every personality too!)
Coleman SkinSmart DEET-Free Insect Repellent Spray ($4.87, originally $7.99; amazon.com)
Whether you’re exploring the backcountry or your own backyard, you’ll need something to keep pests away. This DEET-free repellent from Coleman earned a spot in our breakdown of the best bug sprays of 2020, thanks to its effectiveness combined with a quick-drying, nongreasy finish.
Slice Ceramic Blade Safety Cutter ($9.19; amazon.com)
One of our picks for inexpensive products that may vastly improve your life, Slice’s safety cutter features a tiny ceramic blade perfect for everything from opening packages to working on crafting projects. It’s also magnetized and has a hole for a key ring, so you can stick it on the fridge or take it with you on the go.
CRZ Yoga Women’s Naked Feeling High-Waist Yoga Pants (starting at $24; amazon.com)
Proven Insect Repellent Lotion ($12.99; amazon.com)
Proven is another brand that scored highly in our bug spray roundup. If you prefer the longer-lasting coverage of lotions over sprays, Proven’s product contains 20% picaridin — approved by the CDC as an effective DEET alternative. It’s also odor-free and protects wearers for up to 14 hours.
Bedsure Satin Pillowcase, 2-Pack ($9.99; amazon.com)
Satin and silk pillowcases tug less on your hair and skin throughout the night, making them great at preventing frizz and face creases in the morning. Bedsure’s popular pillowcases come in a wide range of colors and have more than 7,500 5-star reviews.
Whellen Selfie Ring Light ($16.99; amazon.com)
For a cheaper and more portable ring light than the Emart (our top pick above), check out Whellen’s excellent model. We love that it’s small enough to toss in your pocket or purse and that it clips directly onto your phone or laptop.
TubShroom Ultra Edition ($13.88, originally $15.99; amazon.com)
Another of our favorite life-changing products, this upgraded TubShroom catches all the hair and gunk that can clog your drain and is made from easy-to-clean stainless steel.
Ovalware Airtight RJ3 Cold Brew Maker ($29.99; amazon.com)
Why spend $5 on an iced coffee every morning when you can so easily make your own at home? Ovalware’s Airtight Cold Brew Maker is both stylish and a breeze to use, thanks to helpful fill lines printed on the glass carafe. These qualities and more earned it a spot on our list of the best cold brew coffee makers of the year.
Anker Powerline II Lightning Cable ($12.99; amazon.com)
If you’ve lost the Lightning cable that came with your iPhone or simply want a spare in a different color or length, Anker’s Powerline II is a reliable choice. We love that it comes with MFi certification and features a thick, durable cord that we found to be less prone to tangling. (We’ve got even more great MFi-certified cables for you here.)
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Headphones ($44.99, originally $59.99; amazon.com)
Our choice for the best budget noise-canceling headphones, Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20s offer top-quality sound and comfort at a fraction of the price of their competitors. Pick up a pair to help tune out any distractions while you’re working from home.
Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot ($20.52; amazon.com)
The Hario Mizudashi snagged the top spot in our aforementioned list of the best cold brew makers of 2020, thanks to its seamless blend of style, functionality and affordability. It won’t make as much coffee as the Tayeka, but it will take up less space in the fridge and also brewed a consistently excellent cup in our testing.
ArtToFrames GlassesShield ($7.99, originally $8.50; amazon.com)
For an alternative to cloth masks or an added layer of protection, this acrylic face shield helps block droplets and saliva. It attaches to a pair of included acrylic glasses frames for comfortable wear.
Baby Foot Original Exfoliant Foot Peel ($25, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ($15.99, originally $17.47; amazon.com)
The LifeStraw is an invaluable tool for camping, hiking and general emergency preparedness. The portable filter removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites — no bulky contraptions or icky iodine tablet taste required.
Cinch Magnetic Dry Erase Whiteboard Sheet ($17.99; amazon.com)
This magnetic whiteboard comes with four markers and is a simple and effective way to keep track of everything from grocery lists to household chores. One of our editors deemed it the item that “has saved my sanity more than anything else I’ve bought during the pandemic.”
Acko Folding Step Board (starting at $16.99; amazon.com)
This step stool is a lifesaver for those of us who stopped growing in fifth grade and now are confronted daily with the quite frankly disrespectful height of modern kitchen cabinets. Featuring an anti-slip top and ergonomic carry handle, the compact step stool also folds in half for easy storage.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream ($9.17; amazon.com)
Frequent hand-washing requires a follow-up with some heavy-duty hand cream. O’Keeffe’s top-rated moisturizer soothes even the roughest of skin, as evidenced by its 6,000 5-star reviews. (Be sure to check out our breakdown of the best dermatologist-recommended hand creams too.)
Elago W3 Stand Designed for Apple Watch ($9.99; amazon.com)
Fans of Apple Watch’s nightstand mode will love this useful, retro-looking stand, modeled after the classic design of an old Macintosh computer.
Zacro Gel Bike Seat Cover ($21.99; amazon.com)
Riding a bike is a great way to stay fit and get around without braving public transportation. Keep your rides comfy with this squishy gel cover, designed to fit over any bike seat (including stationary ones if your cycling is more of the indoor variety).