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Ugh, another Wednesday. The East Coast is getting battered by a big, crazy storm and it's just too long until the weekend. So whether you're stuck at home with a house full of kids enjoying their snow day or you're in need of a mood boost, online shopping might help. Even daydreaming about buying yourself something nice if you're not looking to spend money right now can be a fun mini mental vacation.
The best deals I found on Amazon this morning are for products we here at Reviewed have tested and found to be the best in their respective categories. Some you may know about already, and others might not yet be on your radar, but these are some really great and useful items. And getting something awesome at a discount is always a win.
1. A smart plug that lets your control any device from your phone
Smart plugs are awesome for so many reasons. I have one for my bedside lamps that I synced with my Echo. So when I'm ready for bed, I don't have to shuffle out of my comfy position to click off the lights. I just say "Alexa, turn off the lights" and they click off on their own. TP-Link makes some of the best we've ever tested, and this mini version is especially great because it doesn't take up much space. It's also a tiny bit more affordable than the larger version, making it the best option if you're in the market for one right now.
The Mini works with Google Assistant as well as Alexa. You could also use the app on my phone if you wanted to, which is great if you have something like a curling iron or tea kettle plugged in that you need to turn on or off while you're out of the house. You can even use it to schedule your coffee pot to click on when your alarm starts blaring.
2. Headphones that keep kids' ears safe and have fun designs
Kids' ears are sensitive, and the headphones we use can actually damage their hearing. So, there are headphones that limit the maximum volume to safer levels. We put these and a bunch of others to the test and found that the Sakar headphones offer some of the most reliably safe sound. Plus, they come in all sorts of fun designs. Prices vary depending on the design, but they usually sell for $15-$20, which is already a great deal. And right now, the Ninja Turtles pair is only $11.3. You can get the Peanuts pair for $3.80 ($5.99 shipping) too.
3. The best way to catch up on all those books you've been meaning to read
Amazon's Kindle lineup is fantastic from the entry-level Kindle all the way up through the top-tier Oasis, but the Paperwhite stands out as the best all-around e-reader. It blends all of the best Kindle qualities with a great value, and when it goes on sale it's the perfect opportunity to pick one up. Not only can you read the Paperwhite even in direct sunlight, but it's comfortable to hold, lasts what feels like forever on a single charge, and gives you access to Amazon's extensive library of millions of titles.
If you're looking for something at a more affordable price, the Kindle is also on sale for $60. It's got most of the same features, save the backlighting that gives the Paperwhite its name, and it's nearly half the cost.
4. A light switch that makes your house feel like it's from the future
If you've been thinking about converting your house to a smart home, consider adding this in-wall switch. It's super easy to set up (but you do need to connect it to a neutral wire), and allows you to control your lights from your phone. You can also set up schedules for your lights to turn on and off, which is especially great if you're going on vacation or you want to come home to a well-lit house when the days are short. Not only did we find this to be the best overall from the different options we tested, but it's also the best for anyone with an Echo or Google Home too.
5. A smart speaker that's way more useful than you might think
The Echo Spot is a fantastic Alexa speaker. It features a screen that defaults to a clock face, but also displays weather and news updates, and has a camera for video calls with other Spot and Echo Show owners. It's only been available since mid December, and while we recently saw a discount for buying two, this marks the first time the Spot has been discounted $15 off its original price as a standalone deal.
Having an Alexa device in your home is a bit weird at first, but once you get familiar with it, you'll love having it. If you don't want or need a screen, but still want to enjoy Alexa, you can get the Echo for $15 off, or the super affordable Dot for $10 off. And if you'd prefer a larger, square screen, the Show is a whopping $50 off.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.