Best Deals Under $100
Headphones, smart home devices, kitchen appliances, and more
Sure, there are plenty of deals priced at less than $100. But it’s difficult to know whether that cheap coffee maker is a steal or a clunker that doesn’t deserve space in your home.
To help budget-conscious shoppers—who shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for a low price—we went searching through low-cost options looking for the most promising deals on items including headphones, smart speakers, and kitchen gadgets.
Keep in mind that these prices are accurate at the time of publication, but some deals may sell out and prices can change.
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Samsung Galaxy Buds
The Galaxy Buds are among the best true wireless headphones CR has tested, and the sale price has just dropped an additional $14, making this a truly great bargain. The model produces exemplary audio quality packed into a pair of unobtrusive earpieces, complete with easy-to-use touch controls for playback, volume, and skipping tracks.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Buds have a 6-hour battery life. They come with a powered carrying case that will recharge the earphones for up to 7 additional hours of playback on the go.
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Buds earphones
JLab Audio JBuds Air Earphones
Even at full price, the JLab Audio JBuds Air earphones deliver impressive sound quality, beating some competitors that cost more than three times as much and earning them a spot in CR’s picks for the best true wireless headphones of 2021. So when you can save 30 percent, it’s an even bigger bargain.
The JBuds Air have an advertised 3.5-hour battery life and come with a carrying case that will recharge the earphones for an additional two cycles. Other features include support for various digital assistants, three switchable EQ modes to change the tonal balance of the sound, and according to JLab, water resistance. (We don’t test that feature.)
CR’s test results: JLab Audio JBuds Air headphones
For more discounts: Best Deals on Headphones
Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat
The Honeywell Home T5 smart thermostat is a great option for shoppers who want a smart model without the premium price. This thermostat is available for almost half off its list price, making now a great time to buy. It performs quite well in our tests for manual operation and smart features, and is compatible with all the major smart home systems, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings.
CR’s test results: Honeywell Home T5 RCHT8610WF thermostat
Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen.) Smart Speaker
Unlike smart speakers with larger touch screens designed for the kitchen, this 7-inch model belongs in the bedroom, according to Google. It doesn’t have a camera, but it does have a sleep tracking function, which can be turned off, for those who are concerned about privacy. Our testers also found flaws in the sound: The bass has little impact, the midrange is grainy and congested, and the highs have an unpleasant papery quality.
CR’s test results: Google Nest Hub (2nd generation) smart speaker
Roku Streaming Stick+
This streaming device usually costs $49, so the $10 discount is a great chance to make it easier to watch your favorite shows. The Roku platform gives you the ability to access all your streaming services in one place, offering a category-leading assortment of channels so that you don’t have to switch between multiple devices.
CR’s test results: Roku Streaming Stick+ streaming device
Roku’s top 4K streaming media player just dropped in price at a few retailers. It boasts some new features, including built-in Bluetooth for streaming music from mobile devices, and support for both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos 3D sound. It also has an improved WiFi range, so the player can be placed farther away from your router than previous models. The remote even offers voice search and programmable buttons.
CR’s test results: Roku Ultra streaming device
Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Mouse
This is one of six models recently reviewed by CR’s in-house ergonomics expert, and it has been on sale for a few weeks. The model uses a trackball to guide the cursor on a computer screen, which may take some getting used to. But the overall design does reduce stress on the hand, forearm, wrist, and shoulder. Note, though, that the mouse is for right-handed users only. It’s rechargeable and features six programmable buttons.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse
This model has been on sale for a few weeks, and Amazon’s price has fallen a few bucks in that time. It looks a bit more like a traditional mouse than some other ergonomic options. The shape and exaggerated thumb rest help to reduce forearm stress but do little to relieve wrist strain. The device has five programmable buttons and a dedicated Windows Start button, making it better for PC users than Mac users. The Microsoft Sculpt is designed specifically for right-handed users.
For more discounts: Best Deals on Electronics
Samsung 9W Wireless Charging Pad
Samsung makes two of the best wireless chargers CR has tested, and they’re both on sale right now. This charging pad, which is about $7 more than last week but still a good discount, is relatively compact and has a built-in cooling fan for faster charging. The round status indicator changes color when the device is fully charged. But it takes up to 30 seconds to alert you if the device is positioned incorrectly on the charging pad, and that can be a nuisance if you’ve already walked away and didn’t notice. The 4-foot-long standard microUSB power cable can be replaced without much hassle if you need more length.
Samsung 15W Wireless Charging Stand
This wireless charging stand has been on sale for a couple of weeks. It has the fastest charge times among the models CR tested. Like the charging pad above, it has a built-in cooling fan, but it also features a gridded surface that lets air flow behind the device for added cooling. As a small trade-off, the charger is bulkier than many of its competitors.
The angled stand also allows you to view a phone’s screen in portrait or landscape position as it charges. The LED status indicator tells you when power is on, the device is charging, and the charging is complete. The model features a proprietary power cable, which could be a problem if you misplace it. It’s also relatively short at 3 feet, 2 inches long.
For more discounts: Best Deals on Electronics
Calphalon Drip Coffee Maker
Early risers and night owls agree on at least one thing: the need for a reliable coffee maker. This Calphalon brewer is one of the best-rated drip coffee makers in CR’s tests, with top marks for both brew performance and convenience. It hasn’t sold for its original $250 price in quite some time; we typically see it listed for around $160. But right now it’s going for about half that at Walmart and even less at Amazon (though it was cheaper on Monday morning than it is now).
CR’s test results: Calphalon Special Brew BVCLDCG1 drip coffee maker
Chefman InstaCoffee Pod Coffee Maker
The Chefman InstaCoffee brewer outperforms $200 machines, with stellar ratings in all our tests, including first-cup speed. You won’t get many features at this price, though. This Chefman’s only features are auto-shutoff and the ability to brew from K-Cups or loose grounds.
CR’s test results: Chefman InstaCoffee pod coffee maker
Cooking and Kitchen Products
Instant Pot Ace Blender
The 600-watt Instant Pot Ace blender earns high marks in our icy-drinks tests, so expect smoothies with a smooth, consistent texture, though it’s better at blending bananas and other soft fruits than it is at puréeing carrots and apples. There are settings for blending milk made of nuts, rice, or soy, and one for blending and cooking hot soup. We made a cannellini cauliflower soup in about 25 minutes following an Instant recipe and it turned out nice and hot, thanks to the blender’s 700-watt built-in heater.
CR’s test results: Instant Pot Ace blender
Instant Pot Duo60 6-Qt. Disney Mickey Mouse Multi-Cooker
The Duo 7-in-1 is Instant Pot’s oldest multi-cooker currently on the market. Although there are several newer versions available with more functions, this comparatively basic Disney-themed model is more than enough for most home cooks.
At its regular price, this wrapped Instant Pot retails for a little more than half the price of its fancier brandmate, the Instant Pot Max, and performs as well as the Max in our tests. It earns top marks for pressure-cooking and scores well for cooking rice and sautéing. But it’s only so-so at slow-cooking. In our tests, it took a long time to get meat and beans tender.
CR’s test results: Instant Pot Duo60 7-in-1 multi-cooker
Ninja 4-Qt. Air Fryer
Ninja’s air fryer has some of the best scores in CR’s tests, and it has a slightly larger capacity (4 quarts) than the other highly rated models on sale right now, which may make the higher price worth it. Our testers found that it operates a little more loudly than other options, but it’s easy to clean and the digital controls are a breeze to use.
CR’s test results: Ninja AF100 air fryer
SodaStream Fizzi One Touch
The SodaStream Fizzi One Touch, the only soda maker we evaluated that has to be plugged into an outlet, gets our highest marks in every test. It has three preset levels of carbonation, each with its own control button that you lightly touch to activate. Because the electric-powered One Touch doesn’t require you to hold down a button or lever, it alone earns our top mark for ease of use, and it’s ideal for someone with limited hand strength. If you’re shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond, only the black model is available at this price.
Zojirushi Conventional Rice Cooker
This budget rice cooker from Zojirushi has one of the best scores for cooking rice and is one of the fastest tested in CR’s labs. The reason it’s so low-priced compared with Zojirushi’s popular induction model? It’s bare-bones when it comes to controls and features. It has a single button to cook rice, and that’s it. No preset cooking options, no keep-warm feature, not even an audio indicator for when the rice is done. But it’s still a great option, thanks to its cooking capabilities, low price, and small size.
CR’s test results: Zojirushi NHS-06 3-cup rice cooker
For more discounts: Best Deals on Home and Kitchen Products
Health and Fitness
Samsung Galaxy Fit Fitness Tracker
This fitness tracker performs well in CR’s tests for ease of use, step-count accuracy, and heart rate monitoring, and Microsoft is selling it for half off right now. It’s water-resistant and has a claimed seven-day battery life, plus a wireless magnetic charging dock that makes it easy to connect the device. The setup is a little trickier with an iPhone than an Android phone. It requires an app separate from the one you use for data monitoring.
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Fit fitness tracker
Omron 7 Series Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Our testers found this monitor to be convenient and comfortable to use. As with many wrist blood pressure monitors, you need to be careful to position this device correctly to get an accurate reading, according to CR’s testers. However, it comes with a positioning indicator: When your wrist is in the correct position, a heart symbol on the screen turns blue and little dashes above and below the heart symbol indicate the need to raise or lower your wrist.
CR’s test results: Omron 7 Series wireless wrist blood pressure monitor
Omron Evolv Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
CR’s tests find the Omron Evolv to be highly accurate and comfortable to use. It has a molded cuff, which makes it easier to position on your own arm than models with softer cuffs. You don’t need to sync the device with the Omron app to use it, but if you don’t, you’ll be able to see only the current reading. One drawback is that the numbers on the display are small and harder to read than those in the other models we tested.
CR’s test results: Omron Evolv BP7000 blood pressure monitor
Norelco Multigroom 7000 Trimmer
This easy-to-clean trimmer gets high marks in our user tests. It works well cutting through coarse beard hair, is small enough for travel, and is simple to use once you get past the somewhat difficult-to-follow setup instructions.