As shopping experts, we’re constantly on the hunt for items we can recommend to NBC Select Readers. Whether it’s by sharing screen protectors that’ll keep your device safe or by helping you figure out which carpet cleaner will effectively remove pesky pet stains, we’re here to help you find products that’ll make life easier.
In September, we tried over 200 bed and bath products from popular brands to see which ones were the best and worth our approval. We reviewed the Hulken bag, Solawave red-light therapy mask and the Brooks Ghost Max running sneaker. We even helped beginners get their green thumb on and spoke with experts about how actually to install peel-and-stick wallpaper so it lasts.
Below, we’re sharing the items our team loved most during September. Some are items we directly purchased, while others are courtesy gifts from brands.
Cleaning the sink is one of my least favorite tasks. Cleaning the sink drain? Bottom of the list. This strainer makes that job a little less miserable: It catches kitchen scraps, which prevents them from blocking the drain. When it’s full, you can flip it and push the silicone center to invert the entire thing — the food scraps then fall out naturally, without needing to scoop them out by hand. — Harry Rabinowitz, NBC Select reporter
It’s officially sweata weatha in New York. I run hot and avoid chunky sweaters that make me overheat, which is why I love this lightweight cashmere crewneck. It has a timeless silhouette that isn’t overly thick or heavy. If you run cold, you could easily layer it over a button-down or under a blazer or coat for more warmth. What hooked me most, though, is the price; a cashmere sweater for $50 is pretty unbeatable. And while the brand did initially send me this one to try out, I’ll certainly be purchasing more in the very near future. — Lindsay Schneider, NBC Select editor
My 7-year-old pitbull is getting older and I wanted to upgrade her dog bed to give her some luxury. This bed has two foam layers, one thick base to elevate my dog off the floor, and one to provide pressure point relief. Assembly is super easy, and all you have to do is unroll it and watch the foam shift back into shape. You can also add a leather cover that’s available in multiple colors. — Bianca Alvarez, NBC Select associate reporter
I’ve been searching for a long, jean skirt for months, but couldn’t find one that matched my budget and style preferences. When I found this $45 option from Old Navy, I bought it immediately and fell in love. The jean material is butter soft and super flexible — I was worried it would feel stiff and be uncomfortable to sit down in, but that hasn’t been my experience. I wear it with boots, Birkenstocks and sneakers, and can wear it over a bodysuit or tuck a cozy sweater into it. I just bought the skirt in a lighter color, too, since one just wasn’t enough. — Zoe Malin, NBC Select associate updates editor
My Magic Bullet gave out a couple months ago and after realizing how much money I was spending on smoothies in the interim, I thought, it’s time to finally get something new. My kitchen is pretty small so I love that this can chop vegetables and blend protein shakes. The only downside is that it can get quite loud. — Nikki Brown, NBC Select SEO Editor
I recently bought this personalized wax stamp to seal my wedding invitations and love how they turned out. I was able to customize the stamp with my desired initials, and the dainty floral design translates well on the wax. I also added the brand’s Maker’s Kit, which includes a low-temperature wax gun and a 6-pack of wax that can make up to 50 wax seals. - Mili Godio, NBC Select updates editor
I’m on a hair care journey, trying to fix the dryness and damage that came with years of color-treating, so I recently switched over to the Saltair Recover & Restore shampoo and matching conditioner. The set’s been helping repair and moisturize my dry and damaged hair — it feels and looks healthy with less frizz and more shine. It also leaves my hair with a subtle floral scent since it has notes of pear, jasmine and sandalwood. — Bianca Alvarez, NBC Select associate reporter
I was determined to finally get my hands on Boston Birkenstock clogs this fall after they sold out in my size last year. I find the platform on these to be more comfortable than a flat sole — they’re similar to the platform on my beloved Arizona Chunky Birkenstock sandals that I wear in the summer. The clogs feel like a slipper especially when I wear them with soft socks, which I appreciate in the fall weather. — Zoe Malin, NBC Select associate updates editor
I’m a huge gamer and my biggest qualm with the original Xbox Series S is the limited storage — I quickly ran out of space on my 512GB console. The new 1TB Series S is now my go-to gaming console of choice. Not only can I store more digital games on it, but I can also stream from my favorite apps, and connect up to three additional devices via USB. I also personally love how much lighter and more compact it is compared to the Series X (which I also own). It’s also easy to take on long-haul vacations — like the upcoming holiday season. The 1TB console comes in a new black color too. — Nishka Dhawan, NBC Select associate commerce editor
In an attempt to level-up my daily self care routine, I’ve dipped my toe into the world of fragrance. The scent is light, sweet and bright, which feels like a great choice for my everyday perfume. I’m not a fan of extremely strong scents, so I love that this is fragrant without being overpowering. The rollerball packaging — aside from being a cute shade of pink — also makes it so easy to throw into any of my bags (even the mini ones). My absolute favorite thing about this perfume is how unique the smell is to whoever is wearing it. My roommates and I all put it on, and it smelled slightly different on each of us — it’s truly the embodiment of a signature scent. — Ashley Morris, NBC select associate SEO reporter
I recently moved apartments and it was finally time to say goodbye to my old Ikea bed frame. The disassembly process was a huge headache, and made me think more about how all of my larger furniture assembles and disassembles. That (plus Labor Day sales) led me to purchase the Thuma bed frame. It was by far the easiest piece of large furniture I’ve had to put together — each piece of the wood frame slots together like a set of Lego bricks. Over the past two months, it’s been comfortable and stable to sleep on. The next time I move, I know it will be easy to take apart and transport. — Harry Rabinowitz, NBC Select reporter
I was originally gifted this spread duo by the brand, but quickly purchased it myself after seeing how much of a hit it was for my family and friends. The set, which comes with a calamansi marmalade, a tart and citrus spread and a coconut spread, is inspired by Filipino flavors. The coconut spread is my favorite — it has a creamy, sweet and true coconut-y taste. I’ve been spreading it on toast and baked goods, adding it to cocktails and putting it on charcuterie boards too. — Bianca Alvarez, NBC Select associate reporter
Why trust Select?
Lindsay Schneider is an editor for NBC Select has covered the lifestyle space for 6+ years. She also writes and edits Select’s weekly newsletter, The Selection. For this story, our staff shared their favorite gifts and purchases from the past month.