Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.

Treat Yourself: Use Your Gift Cards on These Top Home Products

Spend those holiday bucks on cookware, an air fryer, a vacuum, and more from CR's tests

An air fryer cooking a shrimp dish
When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. Learn more.

The presents have all been unwrapped, the guests have gone home, and you're the proud owner of a whole bunch of gift cards. So what should you spend those holidays bucks on? From a new Dutch oven to a do-it-all cordless drill, we think you should treat yourself, starting with these top-performing home products from Consumer Reports' tests.

Go to Consumer Reports’ 2018 Holiday Central for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

1
Air Fryer
NuWave Brio Air Fryer 36011
NuWave Brio Air Fryer 36011

    NuWave Brio Air Fryer 36011

    If you had an air fryer on your list but Santa didn’t deliver, consider the NuWave Brio: It has a 2.6-quart capacity and electronic control with preprogrammed settings that are among the easiest to see and use of the 14 models we tested.

     

    For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for air fryers.

    2
    Drip Coffee Maker
    Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable DCC-3200
    Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup...

      Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup...

      A traditional drip coffee maker, the Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable DCC-3200 makes plenty of java for a full house, thanks to its 14-cup glass carafe. It features programming, auto-shutoff, a cleaning indicator, a permanent filter, a water filter, brew-strength control, and a small-batch setting. This model receives an Excellent rating for brew performance and does well in our other tests, too. It’s a bit pricey, but for the investment you can count on an all-around great machine dependable for dinner parties and crazy mornings alike.

       

      For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for coffee makers.

      3
      Toaster Oven
      Breville BOV650XL Oven
      Breville BOV650XL Oven

        Breville BOV650XL Oven

        The Breville BOV650XL toaster oven earns a Very Good in our reheating test, evenly cooking a single serving of lasagna after 15 minutes of baking. In other words, it won't take you long to get leftovers on the table. Functions include bake, broil, and roast, and dedicated settings for pizza and toasting bagels. This toaster oven offers a temperature range of 120° F to 450° F and uses 1,800 watts. (The higher the wattage, the more energy is delivered.) Models in our toaster oven ratings range from 800 to 1,875 watts, so this one, along with most on this list, is near the top in terms of power.

         

        For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for toasters and toaster ovens.

        4
        Cookware Set
        Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard Anodized GG-12
        Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard...

          Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard...

          The 12-piece Cuisinart Green Gourmet nonstick set scores high enough in our tests to make our recommended list, earning an Excellent in cooking evenness. And the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brings water to a near-boil. This set is made of anodized aluminum, which you may appreciate. (Anodizing is a process that hardens the surface of aluminum and renders it nonreactive, so you can cook acidic foods in the pan without worrying about aluminum leaching into it.)

           

          For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for kitchen cookware.

          5
          Dutch Oven
          Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven
          Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven

            Le Creuset Signature Dutch Oven

            The 5.5-quart Le Creuset Signature tops our ratings. It earns an Excellent rating in our browning tests, the only Dutch oven to do so, and is a cinch to clean. It weighs 12 pounds, less than most, and has an 8-inch cooking diameter. The loop handles are nice and wide. 

             

            For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for kitchen cookware.

             

            6
            Blender
            Vitamix 5200
            Vitamix 5200

              Vitamix 5200

              You’ll see eight Vitamix models in CR’s ratings; this is the best one that goes for $500 or less. The Vitamix 5200 has an 8-cup capacity and a seven-year warranty. It’s skilled in making both smoothies and hot soup. Vitamix is the only full-sized blender brand that rates Excellent for predicted reliability. At 20 inches, this model is on the tall side. Measure your undercabinet space before you buy any blender. You can compare dimensions in our ratings.
               

              For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for blenders.

              7
              Stick Vacuum
              Bissell Air Ram 1984
              Bissell Air Ram 1984

                Bissell Air Ram 1984

                For an affordable price, you get a top-notch and self-standing cordless stick vacuum. The Bissell Air Ram 1984 scores an Excellent rating on our carpet cleaning test and is just as good at bare floors. It has the longest run time among the cordless vacuums in our labs, with a charge that lasts 47 minutes. Even though it's a basic model, the Bissell Air Ram has held its place near the top of our ratings for some time. But unlike other stick vacs, it doesn’t convert to a hand vacuum or come with any accessories—it’s just a stick vac.

                 

                For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for vacuums.

                 

                8
                Robotic Vacuum
                Ecovacs Deebot M88
                Ecovacs Deebot M88

                  Ecovacs Deebot M88

                  This little vac earns an Excellent rating at cleaning both carpet and bare floors; for under $400, it’s a good deal. The Ecovacs Deebot M88 can be scheduled to clean your home anytime you choose. You have to manually clean the brushes, but it’s easy enough that you might not mind. This bot also has cliff sensors, so it won’t crash down stairs—peace of mind if your home has multiple floors.

                  For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for vacuums.

                   

                  9
                  Cordless Drill
                  Makita FD07R1
                  Makita FD07R1

                    Makita FD07R1

                    The brushless Makita FD07R1 weighs just over 2 pounds and stands barely 6 inches tall. Despite its slim profile, the Makita packs a serious punch, making it a solid alternative to some of the larger, 18- and 20-volt models in our ratings. It comes with two batteries and a rapid charger, which tops off an empty battery in an impressive 60 minutes, so you’ll never be without a drill. Also nice, the battery mounts to the bottom of the drill, so unlike the Bosch, it stands upright. Included: two 2.0-Ah batteries and a reversible Phillips-/flat-head bit.

                     

                    For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for cordless drills.

                    Mary Beth Quirk

                    A native Wisconsinite and avid cheese enthusiast, I've written thousands of stories—on topics ranging from product safety to the best way to cook a burger—in my six-year career as a consumer-focused journalist. I live in Brooklyn, N.Y., and I have a very hard time passing up pizza. Follow me on Twitter (@marybethquirk).