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It was a year like no other. A year in which the world saw—amongst a great deal of general tumult—dramatic changes in what and how we shopped. For a hot minute there, it seemed like the humble roll of toilet paper might be the most sought-after product of 2020, but the new normal proved to be something more than just a raid on the "paper products" aisle.
Entire product categories rose and fell. Out: travel goods. In: Home office, home improvement, home gyms, and basically anything else home-centric. And through it all, the Reviewed team was there doggedly testing everything we could get our hands on.
So far this year, we've tested over 1,050 products. When we couldn't do it in our labs (due to social distancing), we tested in our own kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and yards. We evaluated dozens of face masks for grown-ups and kids. We built a new-and-improved testing chamber for air purifiers. And in case, you needed to take some frustration out, chain saws.
In short, we did what you did: we made the best of it. Fortunately, so did a lot of the companies that make these products.
The Reviewed Best of Year Awards represents the absolute best of what we've experienced in 2020. Ranging across eight categories—Tech, Home Appliance, Kitchen & Cooking, Laundry & Cleaning, Smart Home, Health & Beauty, Parenting, and Pets—we've winnowed down hundreds of nominees to just 102 winners. You'll see some old favorites returning, as well as a lot of new faces.
Congratulations to all the winners. You made 2020 just a little easier for us and we thank you. Scroll down to see a short list of some highlights or jump over to see the complete 2020 Best of Year award winners.
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Best Robot Vacuum: iRobot Roomba i7+
Thanks to the iRobot Roomba i7+, a robot vacuum can finally empty its dirt bin all by itself and then continue vacuuming. The i7+ also offers excellent cleaning performance and useful smart features, representing the benchmark to which to compare all high-end robot vacuums. See all Laundry & Cleaning winners.
Best Meal Kit: Home Chef
Like its name suggests, Home Chef provides customers with the tools necessary to become true masters of the kitchen. From Home Chef’s fresh, high-quality ingredients to well-written recipes that break down intimidating cooking methods into digestible steps, everything about this service made me feel like we were preparing restaurant-worthy (or at least guest-worthy) meals without running around like a maniac. See all Kitchen & Cooking winners.
Best Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4
When Sony’s new WH-1000XM4 over-ear noise canceling-headphones launched this year, we were very excited—and for good reason. The latest version of Sony’s flagship headphones deliver the same plushy, padded materials and pleasingly detailed sound we’ve come to expect, while adding in some really cool extra features. Throw in great battery life and some of the best noise canceling in the industry and you’ve got a recipe for the best headphones this year. See all Tech winners.
Best Laptop for the Money: HP Envy x360 13
HP's Envy x360 series is meant to be its mid-range model, the budget alternative to its stellar Spectre laptops. Instead, HP took all our favorite design cues from the Spectre, added the wonderful AMD Ryzen processor, and produced an incredible all-around laptop that is perfect for students, professionals, and everyone in between. Best of all? You can get an extremely fast version for around $700 that keeps up with laptops costing twice as much. See all Tech winners.
Best TV: LG CX OLED
The LG CX OLED is our pick for the best TV of the year thanks to its stunning, class-leading picture, its cutting-edge features, and its sensational design. Whether you’re a casual channel surfer or a diehard cinephile, you’ll likely be blown away by the CX’s phenomenal performance, which features perfect black levels, voluminous color, and excellent motion handling. Gamers will be thrilled with the LG CX’s HDMI 2.1 support, which paves the way for next-generation gaming features. All told, there’s not a better TV we’ve tested in 2020. See all Tech winners.
Best Smart Outdoor Security Camera: Arlo Pro 4
Arlo’s Pro 4 is a reliable outdoor security camera that captures sharp video in 2K resolution, sends timely alerts, can differentiate between cars, people, and animals, and is loaded with other must-have security features for your home. The night vision is even in color. Nice. See all Smart Home winners.
Best Mattress in a Box: The Nectar Mattress
For a mattress that suits all sleepers’ needs at a mid-tier price, look to Nectar. Our tester raved that it struck the must-have balance between firm and plush, and neither she nor her partner felt nary a stir if the other tossed or turned during the night. The company is so confident that you’ll love it, too, it offers a full-year trial period for returns if you’re not satisfied. See all Health & Beauty winners.
Best Stroller: Baby Jogger City Mini GT2
The sturdy Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 is incredibly easy to use for everyday life in the city and suburbs alike. Lifting it in and out of the car (or up and down stairs) did not leave us sweaty, cursing, and near tears. It even held up well to being hosed down after an entire ice cream cone got dropped on the seat. Plus, it can be folded in seconds with a single pull of its innovative Quick-Fold handle. See all Parenting winners.
Best Refrigerator: Frigidaire Gallery FG4H2272UF
The Frigidaire Gallery FG4H2272UF has it all: beauty, brawn, and value. As a French-door model, it is quite affordable while still offering superior storage space and nifty features like an adjustable deli drawer that can also double as a wine chiller or freezer. The best refrigerator we've tested, the FG4H2272UF showed us it's a workhorse as well, boasting above-average performance in keeping a consistent temperature and humidity retention. See all Home Appliance winners.
Best Front-Load Washer: Electrolux EFLS627UTT
The Electrolux EFLS627UTT front-load washer stands as one of the best front-load washers on the market. One reason? It is the world's first washer to have a special place for detergent pods in the drawer, allowing for even distribution of soap. However, this washer also is powerfully competent at removing stains and efficient cycles; it managed to do a solid stain-removal job in both the 46-minute-long Normal cycle as well as a quick 15-minute-long wash time. See all Home Appliance winners.
Best Pet Carrier: SleepyPod Air
If you and your pet are going anywhere together, you'd do well to tote them in the SleepyPod Air carrier. This sleek pet carrier, which boasts a snuggly plush lining, can be adjusted to fit below the seat of an airplane—when needed for takeoff and landing—but can also be expanded, giving your fur baby a little more space to stretch out while staying contained. Its upper is made of polyester mesh and opens completely, providing excellent air circulation and easy in-out transitions. See all Pet winners.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: Reviewed announces 2020 Best of Year awards