Gas grill. At $1,600, the Costco exclusive Urban Islands 4-Burner by Bull is actually more expensive than most midsize grills in our gas grill Ratings. And it's nowhere near as proficient as our top-rated models. It's particularly bad at maintaining even heat at high temperatures, a must for perfectly seared steaks. A better bet from Costco is the KitchenAid 720-0733A for $750, which misses our recommended list but was very good overall.
Gel dishwasher detergent. With an overall score of 34, the Kirkland Signature Gel is one of our lowest-rated detergents. It struggled with dishes, pots and pans, and resistance to water spots. But all is not lost in the Costco detergent aisle. While it fell short of our picks list, the Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs was very good or better in each of our tests.
Facial tissue. With an overall score of 60, Kirkland Signature facial tissue, $1.23, is middle of the pack in our facial tissue Ratings. So-so strength is its big shortcoming, though the tissue is pretty soft. A better bargain buy is the Puffs Basic, $1.23, which combines superb softness with very good strength.
Mattress. The best mattresses in our Ratings offer very good, if not excellent, support for back or side sleepers. Costco's $1,100 Ara 13" 100% Visco Memory Foam is just so-so for side sleepers and even worse for people who sleep on their back. It's also mediocre at providing stabilization.
Toilet paper. Though it's quite soft, Kirkland Signature toilet paper offers only so-so strength and tearing ease, making it an also ran in our toilet paper Ratings. Though it costs twice as much, White Cloud 3-Ply Ultra, a Walmart exclusive, combines superb strength and softness, making it our top-rated toilet paper by a wide margin.
Shop at Walmart? Check out what to get and what to forget.
—Daniel DiClerico (@dandiclerico)