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The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are getting colder, which means one thing: Winter is coming. To help you prepare for the snowy, chilly months ahead, we've rounded up the 21 things you should buy before winter actually arrives. From our favorite snow shovel to the best space heater, here's everything you need.
1. This top-rated snow shovel
Snow days are all fun and games—until you have to spend hours shoveling the drive, a task you usually pay for in backaches and sore muscles the next day. To help you shovel smarter, our experts recommend this sturdy snow shovel. Its metal blades scoop snow more efficiently and its ergonomic design keeps your back safe and prevents you from fatiguing as quickly.
2. Our favorite weighted blanket
Fluffy blankets are great, but weighted blankets are even better, especially for winter. Here at Reviewed, we love the Gravity blanket because it provides just the right amount of pressure without being too heavy and it's super cozy and luxurious to curl up under. P.S.: You may want to snag one soon—weighted blankets are one of the hottest gifts of 2019, after all!
3. This space heater that can warm up even the coldest room
A space heater can be a game-changer in the winter—but the key is choosing one that's as safe as it is efficient. Our favorite of the ones we tested is this one from Delonghi, which came out on top for warming power, portability, and safety. It has an automatic shut-off feature along with overheat protection and can warm up a chilly room in less than an hour.
4. These gloves you don't have to take off to text
You're walking to work and want to respond to an urgent email, but you don't want to expose your fingers to the freezing cold. If you have these touchscreen-friendly gloves, you won't have to. They have little rubber grips on the index finger and thumb so you can easily type without removing your gloves or worrying about your device slipping out of your hands. They've also received positive reviews for being very warm.
5. This splurge-worthy parka
A good quality winter coat is something you don't want to cheap out on. That's why so many people swear by Canada Goose, the luxury brand that produces parkas that may be pricey but are worth investing in. Customers like that the coats (which are insulated with goose down feathers) are incredibly warm and built to withstand even the most extreme weather.
6. This cold-weather essential for your car
When you don't have 30 minutes in the morning to wait for your windshield to defrost, you need a trusty ice scraper. This one has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon for being durable and comfortable to use (it has a curved, soft foam grip that makes for easy handling). Its extra-wide blade also has tiny "ice chippers" in it to break up tough ice, along with a brush to wipe off snow.
7. These snow boots that will last for more than one season
Just like winter coats, snow boots are a purchase that are worth spending a little extra on. That being said, Columbia boots—which are some of the most durable and most comfortable winter footwear, according to reviews—are also surprisingly affordable. These pairs are waterproof and well-insulated, so your feet will stay toasty and dry no matter the weather.
8. This thermostat you can control from anywhere
Looking at your energy bill in the winter can be painful at best and terrifying at worst. And while it’s normal to spend more in the colder months when you’re heating your home, a smart thermostat can help keep those costs under control. We chose the Emerson Sensi as the number one smart thermostat because it’s easy to integrate into your home and can be controlled via your smartphone (even when you’re away from home) or any voice-enabled smart assistant.
9. This expert-approved outdoor extension cord
Christmas lights and all of your other outdoor decorations may look pretty but they can be a pain to put up (and keep up). To power up safely, we found that this outdoor extension cord is the best one that money can buy. The durable cord has an impressive power capacity and, at 50 feet long, can reach the furthest corner of your yard.
10. This 'smart' coffee mug
Yes, a smart coffee mug exists and yes, it’s 100 percent worth buying. One of our writers put the popular Ember mug to the test—and was thrilled to discover it really does work. She raved about how you can control the temperature of your mug with your phone so you never have to drink lukewarm coffee (or tea) again.
11. This door guard to keep your energy bill low
From finding the perfect temperature to set my thermostat to using space heaters, I'm a person obsessed with cutting my energy costs in the winter. So I, like many people, could benefit from this door draft stopper. It has glowing reviews for keeping cold air out and hot air in. Plus, it's magnetic so it snaps right into place, no tools necessary.
12. This moisturizer with over 2,000 reviews
Dry skin is one of the biggest winter woes. But it doesn't have to be, if you have this ultra-moisturizing cream. It's the number one dermatologist recommended moisturizer brand and its nearly 2,000 reviewers like that it hydrates their skin without leaving it feeling greasy.
13. The best slow cooker
We love Crock-Pots as much as the next person but of all the slow cookers we tested, this Cuisinart one was our favorite. It's the easiest to use and made near-perfect food every single time we used it. It's exactly what you need for cozy comfort food and stews to warm up this winter.
14. This hat that's designed for subzero temperatures
Why are thousands of people obsessed with this unisex winter hat? Maybe because it's 100 percent windproof on the outside yet 100 percent fuzzy and warm on the inside. Reviewers love that it comes with a removable face mask for the days when it's really cold and that it also looks stylish enough to wear every day.
15. This spray to protect your shoes
Between the salt and slush, winter is not exactly kind to your shoes. To avoid ruining your favorite pair of leather boots, spray them with this protectant. According to its rave reviews on Amazon, it works well at preventing everything from water damage to salt stains and won’t alter the color or feel of your shoes’ original fabric.
16. This heating pad for your pet
You aren't the only one who gets cold in the winter—your four-legged friend does, too. Help them stay nice and cozy all season long with this powerful warmer, which plugs right into the wall. Pet parents have given it high marks because it fits inside almost any dog or cat bed and can heat up to 102 degrees, so you can rest easy knowing your pet is comfy.
17. The warmest socks you can buy
No slippers, no problem. All you really need for toastier toes is a pair of these thick thermal socks, which use an extra-heavy lining so your feet stay warmer for longer. According to their hundreds of glowing reviews, the socks are ridiculously soft and comfortable to wear around the house.
18. The most powerful flashlight
Winter storms may bring snow days and sledding, but they can also bring power outages. For that, you'll need the upgraded version of our experts' top-tested affordable flashlight. As tough as it is durable, the Anker flashlight has a bright beam that extends up to 1,000 feet and even runs on a USB-rechargeable battery.
19. These heavy-duty gloves for working outside
Whether you work outside or are simply shoveling snow, those thin knit gloves aren't going to cut it. If you're looking for a solid pair of work gloves for winter, look no further than these Carhartt ones. When we tested them, not only were they comfortable and protective but they are flexible enough that we could still use a pocket knife and even type without taking them off.
20. Our number one humidifier
That dry winter air is not only bad for your skin, it can also you make you sick (studies have found that the flu virus thrives in dry air). An easy solution is to use a humidifier, like this one from Vicks, which proved to be the best-performing during our testing. It has enough capacity to run for 10 hours straight and is incredibly powerful.
21. This must-have for drying your boots and shoes
The only thing worse than going out in the cold is going out in the cold with wet boots on. This shoe-drying rack has nearly 2,500 reviews because it keeps your footwear (and feet) warm and dry. Still not convinced you need it? Consider this: Users say the dryer also eliminates odors and prevents your shoes from getting water damage.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 21 things you need to buy for winter now