13 Random but Useful 2021 Purchases PureWow Staffers Swear By

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

If you take a second and look back at all of your purchases of 2021, we’re sure you have a lot of “What was I thinking?” reactions alongside some “I’m so glad I found this game changing product” moments. Right? Same, here. From counter-worthy kitchen appliances to super-cute workout dresses to TikTok-famous cleaning products, we really got our money’s worth from most of our random but useful buys.

Here, PureWow staffers’ favorite random but useful purchases of 2021, all of which will be just as shoppable come ’22.

17 of the Best Scented Candles to Make Your House Smell Heavenly


1. hurom Hp Slow Juicer

Commerce Editor Olivia Kappler is going into 2022 with a healthy habit thanks to her new juicer. “I’ve always had a hard time getting the right number of fruits and veggies into my diet and decided to get into starting my day off with some fresh green juice. Listen everyone, this slow juicer has helped control my hormonal acne, reduce my inflammation and keep me regular (if you know what I mean). My body is starting off the day with key vitamins and minerals and it’s definitely made a difference,” she says. “My go-to concoction? Carrots, kale, ginger, green apple and celery. This juicer comes apart super easily making it simple and quick to clean up and my juice is always smooth because it omits any pulp from making it chunky.”

wheelable grocery bag

2. hulken Grocery Bag On Wheels

Senior Editor Dana Dickey maintains that this wheelable grocery bag was a total lifesaver for her grocery shopping endeavors. “It lets me grocery shop without touching cart handles, and it carries so much stuff. Plus, it’s shiny, gold and turns a grocery trolley into a fashion accessory. I even use it as a weekender bag.”

welly bandaids

3. welly Bandages

“Everyone needs a first-aid kit, right? That's especially true if you have kids. But I'm not kidding, this kit—and really any set of band-aids from the brand—has provided hours of entertainment for my three-year-old,” raves Senior Editor of Special Projects Rachel Bowie. “He lays them all out by shape and pattern, puts them on us, on his stuffed animals, on anyone who will oblige his interest in fixing "owies." But he also is actually OK with us putting them on his own cuts and scrapes, an experience he used to fear. A total hit and practical to have on-hand, too.”


4. keurig K-mini Single-serve Coffee Maker

Despite her initial apprehension, Senior Commerce Strategy Manager Pam Masin is obsessed with her new Keurig. “I have always been a French Press person and thought I would never turn to the dark side of instant coffee. Before working from home, I would get coffee from the office—yes, we had cold brew on tap—which meant that I would only make my French Press on the weekends and I always enjoyed doing it. But I got so tired of making coffee every single morning and the days I was really rushed I wouldn't have time to make coffee until the afternoon. Enter: The Keurig. It's honestly a godsend when you need a quick cup. I bought pods from Trader Joe's that are much better than the K-Cups I remember trying when Keurig's first came about like 10 years ago now. It's also small enough that I tuck it away and only use it when I need to!”

neck fan

5. torras Portable Coolify Portable Air Conditioner Neck Fan

The heat was no match for Assistant Editor Chelsea Candelario thanks to her portable neck fan. “Back in August, I went to California and I know I was going to spend all day in the parks under the Cali heat, so I decided to buy a neck fan. I’ll admit I was skeptical, but it was hands down the best purchase I made this year! It was comfortable around my shoulders and actually really cooling. Plus, the battery life was superb. Highly recommend!” If that doesn’t sell you on buying one for summer (or the gym), we don’t know what will.

cabinet organizer

6. g-ting Pull Out Cabinet Organizer

Staying organized takes way more than a quarterly cleaning of your house, and organizers like this are designed to help you keep your space consistently tidy in those in-between periods. “I have deep cabinets, and the stuff in the back tends to get forgotten about…until it’s way past its expiration date. This pull-out organizer helps me actually use everything I buy, and Amazon sells a ton in different sizes—including double-decker varieties—to fit just about any space,” says Executive Editor Candace Davison.

silicone spatulas

7. dfsx Silicone Spatula Set

There is no wasting even a drop of peanut butter in our houses—and Fashion Editor Abby Hepworth agrees, which is why she got herself a mini spatula. “I freaking love this little cutie. No more wasting the bottom of the peanut butter jar for me! I love that it can fit into narrow spaces, like sauce bottles and jam jars, to get every last drop out of there.”

zippo lighter

8. zippo Rechargeable Candle Lighter

Nobody enjoys black soot all over their hand after trying to light the last of a favorite candle. Thankfully, Assigning Commerce Editor Nicole Briese found a solution that doesn’t involve cheap gas station lighters. “As someone who struggles to light my beloved three-wick candles in one fell swoop before burning my fingernails (ew), Zippo’s rechargeable candle lighter has been a GAME-CHANGER. It’s such a small thing I never really thought about before I got it, and now I’ll never go without one. I also like the rose gold exterior (though they have a bold red and a neutral gray, too).”

slip scrunchies

9. slip Small Slipsilk Scrunchies

“I bought a bunch of Slip hair ties during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and I have so many scrunchies to choose from now! I used to only have a black thin one and I held on to it for dear life, but after a year+ it started to stretch. I even bought multiples to give as gifts throughout the year because I know they're such a hit,” says Pam Masin, again. “Silk scrunchies are also great for avoiding hair breakage if you are a chronic ponytail-wearer.”


10. brita Basic Water Faucet Filter System

Olivia Kappler says this is definitely her top favorite purchase of 2021. “My husband and I prefer filtered water—he likes it room temp while I prefer it chilled. After going back and forth whether to keep the Brita Pitcher in the fridge or on the counter, I purchased this faucet filter to solve our problem. He can now easily enjoy his room temp filtered water from the tap, and I from the refrigerated water—it’s a win-win.”

drawer organizer

11. oxo Good Grips Expandable Kitchen Tool Drawer Organizer

Kitchen tools are a struggle to keep organized, but having a drawer separator like this baby will definitely help deter missing can opener incidents. “When you go from throwing your random kitchen tools into a loaf pan to this, wow, the difference is night and day,” says Food Editor Katherine Gillen.

kids goggles

12. aegend Kids Swim Goggles

“2021 will go down in history as the year I taught my kids to take showers. My lifesaver? These $17 goggles, which helped them brave the shower head without fear of water in their eyes,” says Editor-in-Chief Jillian Quint.

olive and june press ons1
Olive & June

13. olive & June The Instant Mani Press-on Nails

Becoming an at-home nail artist has been something of a hobby for a lot of us, and it really doesn’t get any easier than press-on nails. “They have been a game changer this year when I don't have time to paint them but want them to look good for an outing or for work,” says Audience Development Strategist Ali Brown.

purewow author

Our editorial team works with a variety of writers and experts across all fields to produce thoroughly researched stories that resonate with you. Our mission is to be that...