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Woman wearing headphones

November is one of the best months to find discounts on, well, just about anything. Black Friday, which falls on Nov. 27 this year, has long been the biggest shopping event of the year, and retailers big and small offer ways to save to entice people to shop with them both in stores and online.

This year, because the COVID-19 pandemic created a strong shift toward online shopping, Black Friday sales are starting sooner than ever and will only increase as the month goes on. 

Consumer Reports tracks prices of everything we test to spot drops in price, and we have found that there are 39 products that tend to get even more deeply discounted than other items this month. In addition to popular gifts like televisions, headphones, air fryers, and cookware, you’ll also see big sales on large appliances and mattresses, especially around Veterans Day (Nov. 11).


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

Headphones

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, but this year you can expect to see more sales and savings all month.

More on Shopping

Whether you’re looking for true wireless earbuds or a comfy pair of over-ear headphones that offer noise cancellation, it’s important to research brands and models to ensure that the pair you buy will have the features you’re looking for.

Consumer Reports tests headphones in our labs to measure things like volume, noise cancellation, sound quality, and battery life. Review our recommended models to get more familiar with the best options before you start shopping. 

Apple AirPods Pro
The deal:
$219 at Amazon and Walmart
CR’s test results: Apple AirPods Pro true wireless earphones
The AirPods Pro reduce unwanted distractions with active noise cancellation and provide interchangeable ear insert tips. The sound quality should satisfy even critical listeners of music and movie soundtracks.

Apple Powerbeats Pro Headphones
The deal:
$159 at Amazon and Target (in select colors)
CR’s test results: Apple Powerbeats Pro
You can get these headphones in Lava Red, Moss, and Spring Yellow for about $15 less than we saw on Prime Day. This model doesn’t score high enough to earn a CR recommendation; our tests find that the bass is overpronounced to the point that it distorts the sound of original recordings. It’s also worth noting that the charging case—a standard accessory with all true wireless headphones—is unusually bulky. Still, some bass fans might be happy to sacrifice audio clarity for an extra boost on the low end, and you can’t argue with the model’s popularity.

Beats Solo Pro Headphones
The deal:
$180 to $230 at Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart
CR’s test results: Beats Solo Pro noise-canceling headphones
These noise-canceling headphones are usually a little too expensive to justify their performance, but they’re a decent deal—some colors are discounted as low as $180 right now. The Solo Pro Wireless gets an above-average rating for sound quality in our tests, and the noise cancellation is superb. Before you pick them up, though, you may want to check out other noise-canceling options available for $200 or less.

Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earbuds
The deal:
$79 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Jabra Elite Active 65t true wireless headphones
These true wireless earbuds are designed for active users. You can even use the right-hand earpiece alone to listen to music or podcasts. The model delivers high-quality audio and comes with convenient features, such as a quick-charge function that boosts your battery for an extra 1.5 hours in little more than 15 minutes, according to Jabra. 

Televisions

The holidays are the best time of year to find a deep discount on a new TV. Usually, you’d expect the biggest sales to happen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but this year retailers are stretching their sales out through the whole month. 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 the 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. Paid members should consult our TV ratings to make sure you get a set that performed well in our lab tests.

Insignia 32-Inch 720p Fire TV Edition Smart TV
The deal:
 $120 at Amazon and Best Buy
CR’s test resultsInsignia NS-32DF310NA19
This 32-inch 720p set from Insignia, Best Buy’s house brand, is a pretty nice set for the money, provided you’re okay with its high-definition resolution. We tested this model, and it had very good HD picture quality, and Amazon’s Fire TV smart TV system is easy to use and provides access to streaming services. You’ll find Insignia sets only at Amazon and Best Buy, where this model is priced the same.

LG 55-Inch 4K Smart TV
The deal:
 $380 at Costco
CR’s test results: LG 55UN7300AUD
This set, an entry-level 4K model, is part of Costco’s early Black Friday sale that kicks off Nov. 5 and runs through the 19th. (Another pre-Black Friday sale starts Nov. 20 at the club.) We tested this set, which had decent, if not great, picture quality. It’s selling at a few other warehouse clubs, including BJ’s and Sam’s Club, for about $430.

Air Fryers

Air fryers have numbered among the top holiday gifts for the past few years, so you’ll find plenty of discounts. But with so many different models out there, it’s especially important to check out your options before you buy.

Among the models CR has tested, there turned out to be no discernible difference in the food the testers made, but some air fryers had easier controls, were easier to clean, or were quieter than others.

Learn more about the various features and other factors to consider in CR’s buying guide, then take a look at the recommended models to find the best one for you (or whomever you want to give it to).

Farberware 3.2-Qt. Air Fryer
The deal:
$50 at Walmart
CR’s test results: Farberware HF-919B air fryer
This Farberware air fryer is one of the quietest we’ve tested. The dials are fairly easy to read and use, but the nooks and crannies of the basket make it tough to clean. If you’ve been thinking about buying an air fryer, this may be a good choice, especially because Walmart is offering it for $50 less than it originally cost, which is about twice the discount we’ve seen from other retailers we track. 

Cameras

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, like a DSLR, 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 different models, as well as information on features and brands. 

Computers and Laptops

Similar to all the above products, laptops and computers are very popular gifts. This year, there might not be quite as many or the discounts might not be as deep. The pandemic has created increased demand 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.

LG Gram 14-Inch Laptop
The deal:
$1,045 at Amazon
CR’s test results: LG Gram 14 (2020) laptop
The LG Gram practically defines thin-and-light design. The 14-inch version weighs a feathery 2.2 pounds—you almost want to hold it down if the wind kicks up. Better yet, it logged 19.5 hours’ worth of battery life in our web-browsing tests. (For watching video, the figure is closer to 9 hours.)

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The deal:
$742 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Core i5) laptop
With fast processing speeds and a convenient touch screen, the Surface Pro 7 does very well in our tests. It has been on sale for around $800 since late summer but has hovered between $740 and $755 in the past few weeks. Keep in mind that the keyboard, which detaches so that you can use the touch screen as a tablet, costs an additional $130. 

Tablets

As with laptops and computers, tablet sales are also prominent this month. In fact, some of the laptops listed above can convert to tablets for added functionality.

When choosing the best tablet for you or your giftee, consider how it will be used. For 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.

To learn more about what will work for you, check out CR’s buying guide and recommended tablets.

Apple iPad 10.2-Inch Tablet (8th Generation)
The deal:
$299 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Apple iPad 32GB 2020 Tablet
This tablet, which usually starts at $329, got top scores in CR’s tests. It also gets high marks from CR’s owner satisfaction and reliability surveys. This model has 32 gigabytes of storage and will ship in mid-November.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
The deal:
$279 at Amazon and Walmart
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite tablet (128GB)
This 10.4-inch tablet has been selling for $280 at a few retailers lately, though it was modestly cheaper during Prime Day. All in all, it’s a good option for the money—particularly given the sharp, color-accurate display. The model we tested had 128 gigabytes of storage. This one has 64GB, but that should be plenty for most people. And, if need be, you can always add more with a low-cost SD card.

Washers and Dryers

Large appliances tend to see big discounts at the end of the year, mainly for Black Friday but also to help retailers clear out their inventory before the new year. Typically, washing machines and dryers are designed and sold as sets, which means when one goes on sale, the other usually does as well. And they tend to have the same, or very similar, prices. But not all pairs are created equal; in some cases you may want to avoid buying a matching set. 

Washers range in price from $275 to $2,500, and there are many types to choose from. You’ll see multitasking machines that allow you to wash two loads at once, all-in-one front-loaders that go straight into dryer mode, pod-dispensing front-loadersbuilt-in pretreat featureswashers with a steam option, and more. 

When it comes to choosing the best dryer, you want one that will get your clothing dry efficiently and safely. Dryers that perform well but don’t hold up over time aren’t winners. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the most and least reliable brands.

Cookware

Cookware often goes on sale in November 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 different 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 Lodge, All-Clad, Cuisinart, Pioneer Woman, and more to help you make an informed purchase.

Cuisinart 12-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
The deal:
$199 at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Wayfair
CR’s test results: Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard Anodized GG-12 Cookware
This cookware set is one of the top nonstick sets CR has put to the test, and it’s about $50 less than usual in a few places right now. The set aces all CR’s key cooking tests, including evenness and food release. Sauces stay at a low simmer, and the 6-quart Dutch oven quickly brings water to a near-boil. Nonstick durability is a notch below the top. This anodized aluminum set is dishwasher-safe, and oven-safe to 500° F. 

Flooring

Among all the sales you’ll see in November, flooring may be the least expected. But if you’re planning any home renovation projects, this can be a great time to pick up new flooring for less. This is often one of the more expensive renovation costs, so take advantage of savings if the flooring you want is discounted.

Most flooring falls into one of the following six types: solid wood, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl, linoleum, and ceramic tile. The type of flooring you choose will depend on your needs, budget, and personal style and aesthetic. You should also consider how much foot traffic, sunlight, and wear and tear your flooring will endure.

CR’s buying guide is a good place to start if you want to learn more about the different options.

Mattresses

The holiday shopping season is often a good time to find a solid discount on a mattress. Retailers going to offer savings for Black Friday, and, thanks to Veterans Day on Nov. 11, you’ll also see deals almost all month from popular mattress brands like Avocado and Tuft & Needle, as well as retailers like US-Mattress and Mattress Firm.

There’s a lot to consider when buying a new mattress, and your decision will depend mostly on your body type and sleeping habits. Some mattresses are made with organic materials, some incorporate coils and memory foam, and some have special materials like cooling gels. And they range from a few hundred dollars to well over $1,000, so your budget will affect your choices as well.

You can find out more about mattress options by reading CR’s buying guide and reviewing our mattress ratings. A good mattress should last you eight to 10 years, so explore your options and invest in one that will suit your sleeping style for years to come.

Helix Sleep Midnight Luxe Mattress (Queen)
The deal:
$1,649 at Helix Sleep
CR’s test results: Helix Sleep Midnight Luxe innerspring mattress
In our tests the Midnight Luxe proves to be a great choice for people of all sizes, whether they sleep on their back or side. When you use the code BLACKFRIDAY200, you’ll actually save only $150 on this mattress—despite what the website says. It originally cost $1,799, but it’s still a sizeable discount. This deal also includes two free pillows. 

Sealy Response Performance Elm Avenue Mattress (Queen)
The deal:
$649 at US-Mattress
CR’s test results: Sealy Response Performance Elm Avenue Firm 11 innerspring mattress
This innerspring mattress is an especially great option for small and average-sized back sleepers. Side sleepers and large/tall back sleepers might not enjoy quite the same comfort, based on CR’s test results. But if you find yourself in the first group, this mattress—especially at this impressive sale price—is worth considering. US-Mattress is offering an additional $100 off if you buy two Sealy mattresses with the code BUY2SAVE. 

Serta Perfect Sleeper Hybrid Mattress (Queen)
The deal:
$899 at US-Mattress
CR’s test results: Serta Perfect Sleeper Hybrid Standale II Luxury innerspring mattress
The Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress combines innersprings and gel-infused memory foam and, based on our tests, is a decent choice for almost any type of sleeper. This mattress typically sells for around $1,000, so you’re getting $100 off during US-Mattress’ Early Black Friday Savings event.

Printers

If you’ve been meaning to get a new printer, you may be able to find a good deal on a top model thanks to Black Friday sales. There are plenty of options to choose from—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 different options and the best models so that you’ll be ready to buy when the printer you want goes on sale.

Ranges

You might also find decent sales on ranges this month, again thanks to holiday promotions. If you’re replacing your existing range, you may want to stick with a similar make and model because it will mean less hassle. Switching from electric to gas or vice versa requires more prep work and a more intensive installation and removal process. Even if you find a good deal this month, a new range may be a purchase to consider putting off unless absolutely necessary.

To learn more about the different kinds of ranges, read CR’s buying guide, which will help you determine which options will work in your kitchen.

Frigidaire Single-Oven Slide-In Range
The deal:
$989 at Walmart
CR’s test results: Frigidaire FFEH3054US single-oven slide-in electric smoothtop range
This Frigidaire is on sale for about $200 off the regular price. It has chunky, pro-style knobs, a cooktop warming element, and a storage drawer beneath the oven cavity. One thing you’ll give up is convection, which you won’t find at this price in a slide-in.

Samsung Single-Oven Electric Smoothtop Range
The deal:
$468 at Best Buy
CR’s test results: Samsung NE59M4320SS single-oven electric smoothtop range
It’s tough to find a range with so many features at this price, particularly one that performs as well as this Samsung. In addition to strong performance in our tests, this range has two high-powered burners, a rarity in this price range, as well as a convection oven. Best of all, you’ll score it for about $250 off the regular price, making this the best price we’ve seen all year by about $50.

Refrigerators

As with other large appliances, November can be a good time to find a deal on a new refrigerator if you need a replacement or a second fridge, or if you’re ready to upgrade.

There are so many types and styles to choose from, including French-door fridges, bottom-freezers, side-by-sides, and more traditional top-freezer models. You’ll also want to consider the style and features of the ideal refrigerator. Do you want a water dispenser? Is freezer capacity important? Are you short on space? Take a look at CR’s buying guide to get a better sense of which type of fridge is best for you. 

Kenmore Side-by-Side Refrigerator
The deal:
$1,399 at Sears
CR’s test results: Kenmore 51335 side-by-side refrigerator
Looking for a stylish side-by-side? This Kenmore offers good looks and great performance, and crushes CR’s test for temperature uniformity. Kenmore side-by-sides are also fairly reliable, according to our latest member survey. However, this 36-inch model’s only standout features are a through-the-door water and ice dispenser, and digital controls. But if you care about only the basics, this fridge is a great buy.

Samsung Top-Freezer Refrigerator
The deal:
$673 to $675 at Home Depot and Sears
CR’s test results: Samsung RT18M6215SG top-freezer refrigerator
This Samsung top-freezer is an incredible performer for the price. This particular Samsung is the white version of the Samsung RT18M6215SG that CR tested in black stainless steel; it should offer similar performance for less than the stainless model. The tested model scores high marks in most of our tests, and Samsung top-freezers have a solid predicted reliability in our latest member survey. 

Vacuums

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 different 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.

Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead Stick Vacuum
The deal:
$400 at QVC; $450 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead cordless stick vacuum
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead is superb on carpets and bare floors, and it’s great at picking up pet hair. It makes a bit of a racket as you work, but you’ll appreciate the clean emissions. Like many other cordless stick vacuums, though, this model has subpar reliability ratings because of battery problems.

iRobot Roomba i7+
The deal:
$699 at Amazon
CR’s test results: iRobot Roomba i7+ Robotic Vacuum
The top-of-the-line Roomba i7+ is $100 less than usual right now. It 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 the vacuum’s 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, or with voice commands to an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker. Our testers did note that pet hair had to be manually removed from the brush.

Shark Rotator Upright Vacuum
The deal:
$200 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 upright vacuum
If you have mostly bare floors, this Shark vacuum is for you. It’s not bad on carpets, either, according to CR’s test results. This vacuum is easy to maneuver and keeps dirt trapped inside. But it’s not the best bet for households with pets; in our tests it struggled to vacuum up pet hair. It weighs 17 pounds and has a 30-foot cord.

Wireless and Bluetooth Speakers

Similar to many items on this list, wireless speakers make great gifts and retailers roll out discounts on them this time of year for that exact reason. Decent Bluetooth speakers can range from $20 to $800. Some are waterproof, some have a longer-than-average Bluetooth range or extended battery life, and some may have smart features such as Amazon Alexa compatibility or companion apps. Of course, not all speakers sound the same, so if you fancy yourself an audiophile, be prepared to spend a bit more for quality playback.

CR’s buying guide and product ratings can help you determine the best options so that you can navigate Black Friday sales and find the speaker you want for less.

JBL Xtreme 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
The deal:
$200 at Amazon and Best Buy
CR’s test results: JBL Xtreme 2 Speaker
The Xtreme 2’s sound quality ranks toward the top of our portable speaker ratings, but it is large and heavy for a portable speaker. The Xtreme 2, which originally cost $350, delivers strong bass that our testers found to be a bit too prominent, and enough volume to fill a large room. It features an internal power bank that can charge other devices, and the manufacturer says it’s waterproof to 3 meters, a claim that CR didn’t test. 

Other Products on Deep Discount

In addition to the 16 products listed above, a whole lot of products go on sale in November, thanks largely to Black Friday. CR’s data has found that the 23 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.