35 Products on Deep Discount in December
CR's lab tests and shopping tips help you find what you want—and what to avoid
December is one of the best times to find almost anything you want on sale. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals often extend into December, and you’ll find plenty other holiday discounts as well.
This means you’ll see sale prices that match or come close to the savings available over the sale weekend on a wide variety of products. And many of those deals will continue throughout the month, because retailers often run special promotions all the way up to the end of the year.
Consumer Reports tracks the prices of everything we test all year long to determine when they’re most likely to drop most steeply. And there are 35 products that tend to reach their deepest discounts in December, including popular gift items like headphones, TVs, and cameras, as well as useful ones like vacuums, printers, and more.
But because of the supply chain issues affecting inventory levels and shipping times, this year you should plan for less availability. The items you want may be out of stock, or you might not get them in time for the holidays if you wait too long. So don’t wait to buy if you’re holiday shopping, or look for alternative options in curbside or in-store pickup.
To see more of what gets deeply discounted the rest of the year, check out our calendar of deals.
Headphones are always a popular gift item, and you can often find great deals on top models in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Typically, the best deals will roll out around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and they usually carry over into the rest of December.
The holidays are the best time of year to find a deep discount on a new TV. You might expect the biggest sales to happen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but because these shopping holidays fell right at the end of November, Cyber Week is taking place in the first week of December. So you’re likely to see the biggest savings early in the month, with residual deals through the end of the year.
If you’re planning to order a larger TV, buy early if you want it delivered, to reduce the risk of shipping delays. Or order from a retailer that offers in-store or curbside pickup to get your new TV even sooner.
It pays to do some research before heading to a store because there are countless options available. There are plenty of highly rated makes and models in our ratings, from brands such as LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio.
Our TV buying guide will help you get the most bang for your buck no matter how much you want to spend. CR members should consult our TV ratings to make sure to get a set that performed well in our lab tests.
Check out these discounts on TVs.
Hisense 58-Inch 4K Smart TV
The deal: $338 at Walmart
CR’s test results: Hisense 58R6E3
This 58-inch 4K smart TV from Hisense, a model in its Roku TV lineup found mainly at Walmart, delivers satisfying high-definition and 4K picture quality, but its HDR performance is ineffective, mainly because of limited peak brightness. (This TV supports the HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats.)
Samsung 65-Inch QLED Smart 4K TV
The deal: $548 to $550 at Best Buy, Target, and Walmart
CR’s test results: Samsung UN65TU7000 65-inch TV
This 65-inch 4K smart TV from Samsung, an entry-level model in the company’s mainstream non-QLED 4K TV lineup for 2020, is a decent overall performer, though its HDR performance is ineffective, mainly because of peak brightness limitations. (Samsung TVs support the HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG HDR formats.) This set lacks a few features, including an enhanced game mode, and it has only two, rather than three, HDMI inputs.
Toshiba 32-Inch 4K Fire TV
The deal: $160 at Amazon and Best Buy
CR’s test results: Toshiba 32LF221U21 32-inch TV
Consumers looking for a smaller value-priced smart TV should consider this 2020 set. It has fine overall picture quality, plus Amazon’s Fire TV smart system built in. Like many sets this size, it has a fairly narrow viewing angle, but odds are you’re not planning to host a movie-night party around a 32-inch screen, so that’s not a big concern. And this is a decent discount: The model was only $10 cheaper during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
For more discounts: Best Cyber Monday TV Deals Still Available
Coffee makers are great gifts for any caffeine lovers on your gift list, and there are loads to choose from no matter their brewing style or your budget.
Some drip coffee makers sell for under $30 while others that grind the beans or connect with your smartphone can run you well over $200. But you should be able to find the model you want on sale this month.
If your giftee loves their lattes, there are espresso makers and pod coffee makers that can deliver the barista experience at home. And for the loved one who drinks iced coffee all year long, you can often find discounts on cold-brew makers in the chillier months.
Not sure where to start? Take a look through CR’s buying guide to learn about the types of coffee makers and explore some of the top tested models.
Check out these deals on coffee makers.
Cuisinart Coffee Center Combination Coffee Maker
The deal: $140 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 drip coffee maker and single-serve coffee maker
If you prefer the ease and speed of K-Cups but like to brew a full pot of coffee every now and then, the Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 is the machine for you. It’s really two machines in one, with a drip coffee maker with glass carafe on one side and a K-Cup brewer for single servings on the other side. We run these combination machines through our drip and single-serve coffee maker tests, and the Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 is one of the few to do well in both. Click the on-page coupon at Amazon to get the full savings.
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
The deal: $19 at Walmart, $32 at Wayfair
CR’s test results: Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R
This unassuming, inexpensive drip coffee maker might be easy to miss, but it can brew a mean cup of joe at a fantastic price. It’s not terribly flashy, with a basic black plastic finish, but it has the essentials. It’s programmable, as its name says, and has auto-shutoff—and it offers solid brewing performance, making a fresh pot in just 10 minutes. This model even earns an above-average score for convenience. This simple model will get the job done.
Ninja Specialty Drip Coffee Maker
The deal: $120 at Amazon and Kohl’s
CR’s test results: Ninja Specialty CM401
The Ninja Specialty CM401 is one of the most versatile coffee makers in our ratings: It’s capable of brewing lattes, macchiatos, iced coffees, and more, thanks to its built-in milk frother, rich brew mode, and brew-over-ice mode. It also does well in our tests, especially when it comes to brew performance.
Oxo 8-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
The deal: $140 at Amazon, Home Depot, Sur La Table, and Target
CR’s test results: Oxo 8-cup 8718800
This Oxo drip machine is both stylish and a strong performer. In our tests, it receives a strong score for brew performance and offers a decent set of convenience features, such as auto-shutoff, a cleaning indicator, and a small-batch setting. This capable machine is on sale at a number of retailers for about 20 percent off its list price.
Vacuums, including robotic vacuum cleaners, are among the more popular gift options around the holidays, and you’ll find lots of discounts on top models. This is an ideal time to finally replace your old one with an upgrade or surprise a loved one.
There are so many kinds of vacuums to choose from that it can be daunting to decide on the best option for your home. To make the choice easier, review our vacuum cleaner buying guide as well as our ratings to select the right brand and model for your budget. Once you know which kind you want, check out some of the best deals available right now.
Ecovacs Deebot 711 Robotic Vacuum
The deal: $134 at Amazon and Walmart
CR’s test results: Ecovacs Deebot 711 robotic vacuum
The Deebot 711 makes a great choice if you have mostly hardwood floors (it excelled in CR’s bare-floor tests) and don’t want to spend too much. But if your home is carpeted, and especially if you have pets, this isn’t the best choice because its test scores in those categories are middling and lackluster. The Deebot 711 can be controlled via a smartphone app, giving you an easier way to start a cleaning cycle.
iRobot Roomba i7+ Robotic Vacuum
The deal: $549 at Best Buy
CR’s test results: iRobot Roomba i7+
The top-of-the-line Roomba i7+ cleans floors efficiently, moving fast and gathering up a lot of debris on a single pass. When it returns home, it has an automatic process to empty its contents into the dock, meaning it can run more cycles than most robotic vacuums before you need to step in and empty the bins. And because it’s smart, you can start a cleaning cycle from your phone via IFTTT or with voice commands to an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker. Our testers say pet hair has to be manually removed from the brush.
LG A9 Kompressor Stick Vacuum
The deal: $500 at Amazon and Best Buy
CR’s test results: LG A9 Kompressor stick vacuum
The LG A9 Kompressor is one of CR’s top picks for stick vacuums this year. It aces our carpet, bare-floor, and pet-hair tests, and leaves nothing behind when you vacuum along the edges of a room. It’s not quite as quiet as other models we’ve tested, but the sound won’t bother you during short bursts of cleanup. It runs for almost a full half-hour on one battery charge. Better yet, it comes with two batteries.
For more discounts: Best Cyber Monday Vacuum Deals You Can Still Get
Computers and Laptops
Laptops and computers are always popular gifts. But this year, there might not be quite as many and the discounts might not be as deep.
The ongoing chip shortage has led to lower inventory for computers that’s resulting in less availability and fewer sales. There will still be discounts on select models, so get an idea of the type of computer or laptop you want with the help of CR’s buying guide and recommended models. If you can find a few models that may fit the bill, you’ll have better luck spotting a deal on at least one.
Your best bet to find a discount on a good laptop or computer will be to shop early in the month. Thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday falling right at the end of November, these sales typically continue into early December.
Check out these deals on laptops and Chromebooks.
Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
The deal: $800 at Best Buy
This is a higher-end, 14-inch 2-in-1 convertible, which means you can fold the display behind the keyboard via a 360-degree hinge and use the device like a tablet. It has an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 512GB of solid state storage. We tested a model with an AMD processor, and it performed well in our labs.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
The deal: $680 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
Recently replaced by the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, this 13.3-inch model still offers good value with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a spacious 256GB solid state drive. That makes it fast and versatile, especially when you factor in the touch-screen display. The battery life is a modest 7 hours, though, so this model may be best suited for those who are fine with being tethered to a charging cable for part of the day.
As with laptops and computers, tablet sales are also typically prominent this month, but they face the same chip shortage issues.
When choosing the best tablet for you or someone else, consider how it will be used. For watching Netflix or editing photos, look for something with a larger, higher-quality screen. For simpler tasks, such as playing games and browsing the web, you don’t need to spend a ton. Other factors to consider are battery life, storage size (and expansion options), size, weight, and processor power.
Check out the following tablet deal.
Apple iPad Pro 11
The deal: $749 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Apple iPad Pro (128GB) 2021 tablet
Apple’s high-end iPad Pro represents the ultimate in tablet design, earning admiration from professional users and strong scores from our testers for performance, display quality, and the 14-hour battery life. Once again, all that muscle is likely to go to waste if you merely want to read e-books and browse the web, but if you—or someone you know—love to edit photos and videos, this is a great choice. Just note that the 128 gigabytes of storage make it slightly limited for that sort of work.
Smart speakers enable a lot of entertainment and smart home options, and they make great gifts, so you’ll usually see a slew of deals on all the top brands this month, especially from Amazon, whose Black Friday sales tend to last into December. They originally were best used as virtual assistants, but now there’s a wide world of options that offer impressive sound quality for music playback.
There are three virtual assistants: Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant. Siri is available only in the Apple HomePod, but you can find a variety of brands offering smart speakers that rely on Alexa or Google. These assistants can set reminders and timers, call an Uber, order pizza, answer trivia questions, share news and weather updates, and so much more.
Smart speakers can be especially useful if you have any smart devices in your home, providing voice control for things like lights, thermostats, and even TVs. Just make sure to check compatibility because not every device works with every smart speaker.
CR has tested 42 smart speakers for sound quality, versatility, and ease of use, among other factors, to help you choose the best option for your home.
Check out the following smart speaker deals.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd-Gen.)
The deal: $20 at Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe’s
CR’s test results: Amazon Echo Dot (third-generation)
That’s a nice price. And the Dot’s smart speaker functionality rates right up there with Amazon’s best options, because the processing of Alexa voice commands is done on the company’s cloud-based servers. But the model’s sound leaves a lot to be desired. This is not a bad choice, though, as a stocking stuffer, a speaker for podcasts and other less-than-demanding content, a way to add smart speaker functionality to a higher-quality Bluetooth speaker.
Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd-Gen.)
The deal: $40 at Best Buy and Target, $45 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Amazon Echo Show 5 (second-generation)
The Show 5 is Amazon’s smallest smart screen, which makes it flexible in terms of where and how you position it. But our testers report that the sound is kind of unpleasant: Grainy, hazy, smeared, and sizzly are some of the terms they use to describe it. So unless you’re very tight on money or space, you may want to spring for the larger and better-sounding Show 8.
Google Nest Hub (2nd-Gen.)
The deal: $50 at Best Buy and Google
CR’s test results: Google Nest Hub (second-generation)
This smart speaker has a sleep tracking feature that uses a sensor described as a “miniature radar” to monitor your activity while you snooze. As for the sound quality, our testers were less than impressed. If you’re just looking for a device to deliver news and weather reports in the a.m., though, this is a nice offer.
Cameras have become something of a luxury because most people now rely on their phones to take photos. That makes cameras perfect for gift-giving, so retailers often discount them for the holiday shopping season.
Once you’ve settled on your budget (cameras can range from a hundred to thousands of dollars), you’ll need to decide on the type of camera you want. A simple point-and-shoot is great if your phone camera isn’t up to snuff. But you may want something more powerful, such as a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) model, if you’re looking to capture top-notch photos.
Because choosing the right digital camera can be overwhelming, spend some time doing a little homework before you shop. Determine which type will best suit your needs and how much you’re willing to spend, taking into account accessories such as lenses, SD cards, card readers, spare batteries, and more. Our digital camera buying guide and ratings give you the details on various models, as well as information on features and brands.
Check out the following deals on cameras.
Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Camera (Body Only)
The deal: $1,500 at Best Buy and Walmart
CR’s test results: Fujifilm X-T4 camera
The X-T4 takes sharp pictures, features a high-quality swiveling LCD display, and delivers long battery life for a mirrorless model. The only drawbacks: It’s a little heavier than most mirrorless models and lacks a built-in flash. Getting $200 off on this body-only deal on a rarely discounted model makes this a solid bargain.
Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Camera (Body Only)
The deal: $1,404 at Walmart; $1,600 at Amazon and Best Buy
CR’s test results: Nikon Z6 camera
The Nikon Z6 features a full-frame sensor and takes great video, and our testers liked the way it feels in the hand, even if it’s a bit heavier than similar models. This body-only deal represents a serious value on a serious camera.
Cookware often goes on sale in December because it’s perfect for gift-giving and often sought after by anyone throwing holiday parties or hosting loved ones.
Whether you want a Dutch oven, a frying pan, or a full cookware set, you may be able to find a deal on a top-tested model.
There are many factors that define quality cookware, whether you’re looking for cast-iron, nonstick, or stainless steel. Consumer Reports tests dozens of pots, pans, and Dutch ovens from brands such as All-Clad, Cuisinart, Lodge, Pioneer Woman, and more to help you make an informed purchase.
Check out the following cookware deals.
Cuisinart 12-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
The deal: $220 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard Anodized GG-12 cookware set
The 12-piece Cuisinart Green Gourmet nonstick set aces all our key cooking tests. Pancakes brown evenly in the frying pan, and eggs slide out one after another without sticking. We were able to easily maintain sauce at a low simmer, and the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brought water to a near-boil. This top-scoring set is made of anodized aluminum, a process that hardens the surface. One of the pieces is a steamer insert.
This set originally sold for more than $500 but typically retails for closer to $260 and rarely dips lower.
Kenmore Elite 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
The deal: $135 at Walmart and Wayfair
CR’s test results: Kenmore Elite Devon Tri-Ply cookware set
This nicely priced 10-piece set should satisfy most of your cooking needs. The lids are glass, so you can watch what you’re cooking without letting any heat escape. Cooking evenness is top-notch, and this set earns high ratings for both speed of heating and gently releasing eggs from the pan. The handles stay cool to the touch but could be sturdier.
If you’ve been meaning to get a new printer, you may be able to find a good deal on a top model left over from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are plenty of printers out there. Some models can scan and fax, and others just stick to basic printing functions.
You’ll have to choose between two main types of printers: laser and inkjet. Some may be able to make copies or offer wireless printing over WiFi. CR’s buying guide can give you a more in-depth look at the options and the best models so that you’ll be ready to buy when the printer you want goes on sale.
More Products on Deep Discount
In addition to the 10 products listed above, a whole lot of other products are on sale in December, thanks largely to holiday sales that carry over from Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday sales. CR’s data has found that the 25 categories below are also deeply discounted this month. So if you need or want to gift anything below, you should be able to find opportunities to save on top options from our tests.
- Blood pressure monitors
- Blu-ray players
- Carpet cleaners
- Cell phones
- Cordless drills
- Cordless phones
- Electric razors
- Fitness trackers
- Food processors and choppers
- Home security cameras
- Microwave ovens
- Snow blowers
- Sound bars
- Steam mops
- Toasters and toaster ovens
- Wireless and Bluetooth speakers
- Wireless routers