Our favorite plastic water bottle received perfect marks for its simple yet innovative design and durability. This transparent bottle was tinted seafoam green, which made it look similar to glass. Its lid had a rectangular handle that was big enough to comfortably hold while walking and could be easily attached to a backpack while hiking. Despite having one of the largest capacities in the lineup, it was still relatively lightweight when empty and not overly heavy when full. It had an easy-to-use screw-on spout (also referred to as a “chug cap” by YETI), so we didn’t spill water on ourselves like we occasionally did when drinking from bottles with just a wide mouth. We could easily remove the screw-on spout when we needed to fill the bottle or clean it. This bottle was superdurable—when it hit concrete, it bounced and sustained barely any scratches or nicks. It kept water cold for 4 hours, which is typical for plastic bottles. It’s a great option for hikers or those who prefer lightweight, high-capacity bottles.
This water bottle struck a happy medium: kids liked that it was easy to drink from and parents liked that it was easy to clean. It had a straw-free cap that allowed water to flow freely, as well as a cap lock that prevented accidental spills. It didn’t break or leak when dropped repeatedly or inverted and shaken. It also didn’t retain any smells or odors after the green smoothie test. The kids liked its grippy silicone sleeve and carrying handle that made for easy transport and found its lid easy to remove and put back on.
We’ve recommended this bottle for years and it once again received high marks for its comfortable wide mouth that made it easy to fill and clean by hand. We also liked that we were able to clean it in the dishwasher and could easily remove the silicone sleeve. Testers said the water held in this bottle tasted “clean” and fresh. The screw-on lid had an arced handle that was comfortable to hold. It remained leakproof even after being tossed around in a backpack and falling off of a 3-foot table. One drawback of its wide mouth was that testers sometimes spilled water on themselves while taking big gulps if they weren’t being careful. Like all glass water bottles, it’s not intended to keep water cold for long and is not as durable as plastic or stainless-steel bottles. It shattered when it fell on concrete.
Testers raved about this travel mug, which not only kept coffee hot and cold for far longer than any other mug we tried but also was the easiest to use. Slim from top to bottom, it was comfortable for hands of all sizes to hold, open, and close, but because the opening is narrow, we had to aim a little more carefully when filling it. A simple push of a button popped open its lid, exposing the clean drinking spout within. Testers also loved that this leakproof mug came with an equally easy-to-use locking mechanism, which provided good insurance against accidental spills. Just a few minor durability issues: Like the other models, it dented when dropped, and it smelled of coffee even after several washes. Also worth noting: Because it’s so good at retaining heat, you may want to cool your favorite beverage to the temperature you prefer before sealing the mug or you risk a very hot surprise on your first sip.
While it didn’t keep drinks cold or hot for quite as long as our stellar winner, this leakproof mug still outperformed most of the other models, keeping coffee hot and drinkable for nearly 6 hours. And with a slim, streamlined profile, it was also very easy to open, close, and hold, but because it’s narrow, we had to be a little more careful when filling the mug. As with our winner, all we had to do was push a button and its lid popped open, exposing a clean drinking spout; a sliding lock prevented accidental spills. Testers also liked that this model came with a loop handle for easy carrying. Like the other models, it dented when dropped and retained coffee odors after several washes.
This straw set came with two 8-inch-long and two 10.5-inch-long straws. Both were very comfortable to drink from, thanks to their 3-inch-long silicone tips. Because the silicone tips were detachable, both the straws and the tips were easy to clean. The 8-inch straw fit comfortably in a glass, a to-go cup, and a travel mug and came with an effective cleaning brush that had plentiful bristles and a grippy handle. These sturdy straws did not dent when we placed a weight on them for an hour and ably punched through the lid of a plastic to-go cup. The 10.5-inch-long straw is ideal for to-go cups and tumblers larger than 16 ounces. The downside is that this set did not come with a carrying case (OXO said it plans to release a set with one later this year); however, we felt that its performance, easy cleanup, and durability outweighed this drawback.
This set came with two 7.75-inch-long straws, each with its own carrying tin. The silicone used to make the straws was thin enough to allow us to bend them to fit them in their carrying tins yet thick enough to keep the straws sturdy as we drank from them. It took a bit more effort to pierce the top of a plastic to-go lid with these softer straws than it did with the stainless-steel straws, but these straws were among the sturdiest of the silicone options. These straws did not come with a cleaning brush, but the manufacturer recommended a cleaning technique: rubbing the straws between our fingers in warm, soapy water and then rinsing them, which worked well to clean bits of smoothie out of them. These straws did not become misshapen during testing nor stained by the turmeric. If you’re looking for a set of portable, functional silicone straws, these are a great option. More on this test
Using this bag was a cinch (pun intended): The combination of a smooth drawstring and a strong closure bead made filling and closing it simple and convenient. The bag also had the finest mesh among the synthetic options; it even held grits without leaking while still allowing us to view the contents. This bag had the largest capacity in the lineup, and it held strong when we tested its durability with a pineapple and dumbbells.
These wraps provided a happy medium between a strong seal that kept food fresh and a relative lack of waxy residue left behind on our hands and bowls. Though cleaning them still took some scrubbing, they were easier to clean than their much stickier counterparts, and they resisted stains for the most part. They held up to washings well, retaining their clinging ability after more than 10 rounds of cleaning.
These inexpensive pouches have wide openings and can stand on their own, so they were quick and easy to fill. We also appreciated their clearly visible fill lines, which prevent spilling, and the space to record the contents and date on the pouch. One tester who used these with his 1- and 3-years-olds liked the pouches so much he asked if he could keep them. Though this model was easier than other models to clean, you still have to rinse the spout and pouch thoroughly before placing it in the dishwasher so it stays open during the wash cycle.
These covers excelled by easily creating tight seals with only the slightest effort and resisting stains and damage throughout our durability testing. They stored fruit salad as effectively as plastic wrap did, and their nearly round shapes covered bowls nicely and sealed our winning 12-inch skillet well when we used it to cover the skillet and steam broccoli. They even maintained their seals in the microwave. The covers are available in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12.5-inch round models.
With a plastic lid that latched easily and securely and an airtight, leakproof seal that didn't drip or let moisture in, this container is our top choice for glass storage. Its ⅜-inch-wide, soft, square silicone gasket was easy to remove and replace for cleaning, and the faintly fishy odors it retained disappeared after rewashing. The plastic lid showed a slight orange tint after the chili test, but this faded as the container went through more dishwashing cycles. It also resisted warping and emerged intact at the end of testing. The 8-cup container, which looked like a glass loaf pan, held plenty of food, though we'd prefer a slightly flatter, wider shape to help foods heat and chill a bit more uniformly.
This medium-size container offers a good amount of space for most lunches but isn’t necessarily large enough to accommodate a large portion of leafy greens. Instead, think grain bowls, barbecued chicken, mac and cheese, or a random assortment of leftovers from the refrigerator.
With eight long arms and a stable base, this tall wooden rack has the biggest capacity in our lineup and did the best job drying multiple types of items at once. As a drying rack, it was the best overall, though it does not also function as a holder for filling bags. It stayed steady even when we placed an inverted water bottle and an inverted travel mug onto the rack to dry (though it teetered when a heavy item wasn’t balanced by other items). We appreciated that this eco-friendly rack is made of repurposed wood scraps from furniture making.
This sturdy, handsome steel rack was the heaviest and most stable model in our lineup, and it folded the flattest for storage. It was one of three models we tested with a dual function: It held open quart- and gallon-size bags as we filled them, making it doubly useful in the kitchen. While we had to exercise caution when filling the gallon-size bag with liquid, it held a quart-size bag firmly open, even when we poured liquid into it quickly. We docked a few performance points because this rack had just four arms, which limited the number of bags or other items we could dry at a time. But if you don’t need more capacity, it’s the best and most versatile choice.
The lightest of the metal three-piece utensil sets, this model truly provided the best of both worlds. It is compact and didn’t weigh down our bag, but having a true fork, knife, and spoon allowed us to eat a wide variety of meals. The fork was light and comfortable to hold and its sharp tines easily stabbed both steak and beets. We were able to cut bites of steak easily with the serrated knife. The bowl of the spoon was a bit small for eating soup but was a good size for eating ice cream; its wide handle provided us with more than enough leverage to scoop from a frozen pint. Our two favorite features of this set were that the pieces were held together by magnets and the case with the hook-and-loop closure contained them well. The only downside is that this set is not dishwasher-safe, as its colorful anodized aluminum coating can come off with harsh detergents.
Although this product is called a “spork,” it isn’t actually a true spork. There are two pieces: One piece features a knife on one end and a spoon on the other, while the second piece is a fork. The benefit is that, unlike a true spork, you can use the knife and fork at the same time. Plus, you can connect the two pieces end to end to create an extra long utensil with a fork on one side and a spoon on the other. This feature comes in handy when eating a bagged backpacking meal.
This spork was made of sturdy titanium and weighed only ⅝ ounces, striking a balance of lightweight and durable. On one end is a spoon and on the other end is a fork with a serrated edge, making it more multifunctional than most sporks. The serrated edge easily cut salad ingredients like beets and apples, but it took some effort to cut a bite of steak. The spoon’s bowl capacity was adequate for eating brothy soup, but it was slightly uncomfortable to hold onto the fork end while using the spoon. When reaching into the deep pouch of a backpacking meal, this spork was a bit too short, so our hands got a little messy.
Our winning bin is light—weighing around 4 pounds when filled. Its wide opening made dumping and emptying heaps of scraps a breeze. Even without a filter, it contained odors for a full week. It's spacious, capable of holding up to five days worth of peels, coffee grounds, and egg shells from a two-person household that likes to cook. Cleanup was effortless; the body is dishwasher-safe but easily cleaned by hand with soap and water. Its handle is securely attached to the bin and does not budge, even when swung back and forth while full of scraps. Another perk is the detachable lid, which stays open when adding scraps and has a collar that secures a bag between the lid and body of the bin.
This model received high marks for its spaciousness, odor containment, and easy cleanup. It held the largest amount of scraps—about seven days’ worth for a two-person household—and had a broad opening that made it easy to drop in coffee grounds or scraps without spilling or getting the outside of the bin dirty. It cleaned up in no time and its smooth surface didn’t hide any food or mold. Although its handle wasn’t as sturdy as the OXO model, it was easy to transport and empty.
Made by a company that focuses on reducing the use of plastic, this stainless-steel bin is attractive and functional. It has a sizable opening, is easy to clean, and offers fuss-free changing of the filter. Although the handle was the less preferable hook-style, it was tight enough that it never came loose or felt compromised even when the bin was filled to the brim. Our one quibble was that we couldn’t easily flip the lid open while cooking.
Our winning stainless-steel model was a champion in cold retention. It kept water well below room temperature for more than 8 hours. Even when a tester walked around in 80-degree weather, the water stayed cool and refreshing. Like our favorite plastic model, it had a screw-on “chug cap” that opened up for a wide mouth for filling and cleaning. The spout on the chug cap was made from glass, which felt comfortable and clean while we drank. We liked the handle on the lid, which helped us carry it or attach it to a backpack. It sustained a couple of dents when dropped on concrete but nothing fatal. However, it was still quite heavy despite having only a 26-ounce capacity and it couldn’t fit in a car cup holder. Those issues aside, it’s the perfect bottle for anyone who wants to keep their water ice-cold for a day and doesn’t mind some bulk.
These reusable bags were an easy substitute for single-use bags. They have the same flat, rectangular shape as a typical gallon-size single-use plastic bag, but they have rounded bottom corners that are easier to scrub clean and a slightly wider opening that made loading large foods and pouring in liquid very simple. They quickly seal with a satisfying snap. The bags are top-rack dishwasher-safe, which makes them convenient to wash; in our testing, the bag warped a bit in the dishwasher’s heat, but this didn’t affect its function. Its translucent white color became stained with turmeric and tomato sauce, and the stains remained even after vigorous scrubbing and several dishwasher cycles, though the bag didn’t hold onto the odor of cumin or fish sauce. After being submerged in water, the bag kept its contents only slightly less perfectly dry than our top-rated single-use plastic bag. It held soup for freezing without leaking a drop, and it stayed firmly shut when filled with water, seven ears of corn, or 4 pounds of carrots and shaken 10 times upside down. Unfortunately, the tomato-sauce-filled bag didn’t stay sealed when dropped from a countertop onto the floor. The bag’s flat shape kept it close to food in the freezer, preventing frost from forming, and after more than a month in the freezer, everything from bone-in pork chops to slices of bread remained in excellent condition.
Our winning bamboo rayon option had perforated sheets that allowed us to tear off a sheet like traditional paper towels. They absorbed more than double their weight in water in our absorbency test and effortlessly dried a load of dishes without linting. They were aptly named “tough sheets,” and resisted tears even after being dragged along an abrasive plastic cutting board 100 times. The sheets wiped up messy counters in no time, shined wooden tables with ease, and cleaned glass windows without streaks. Even after multiple uses, they remained strong. We were worried about staining after we used them to wipe up bright red hot sauce, but after a quick rinse in the sink they were almost as good as new. They’re great for people who want a reusable option but want the ease of cleaning with a product similar to a traditional paper towel. One flaw Although the company claims that a roll of these sheets can fit on any paper towel holder, they weren’t universal—a tester struggled to fit them on hers.
This colorful collection of reusable cotton flannel towels comes on a roll that you can add to your paper towel holder. Although we had to wash them before our first use, we could easily clean them in a washing machine. They were effective at absorbing spills, dried dishes thoroughly, and left our glasses sparkling. We also loved how soft they were in our hands and while shining wood surfaces. Testers liked that they could use them as napkins as well and appreciated that their edges were sewn down to prevent fraying. A couple of small quibbles Their fleece texture caused them to pill slightly, which made them look worn, and they linted a bit. These are great for people who want to store their towels on a paper towel holder.
This set of durable and easy-to-clean cloths successfully replaces wet paper towels and kitchen sponges in many applications. Wiping counters and cleaning appliances was effortless. They soaked up more than 10 times their weight in liquid and were able to scrub through sticky messes. Their size also worked well for washing dishes. We were able to rinse them out in the sink or toss them in the washing machine or dishwasher for a deeper clean.
We first reviewed these sponge cloths over a decade ago and they still perform well. They were able to erase crusty spots and grab scattered crumbs on our countertops. Each cloth was big enough to wash a load of dishes and effectively clean flat surfaces. Rinsing them clean in the sink or laundering them in the washing machine or dishwasher was effortless.
We liked that this product’s small glass vials of concentrate saved us storage space. We also loved how easy they were to pour from and recycle after using. The liquid concentrate reconstituted quickly with only a few shakes of the spray bottle, and we liked the spray’s pleasant citrus-rosemary scent. Best of all, this spray performed well in all of our tests, scrubbing away messes on a variety of surfaces and leaving behind minimal streaks. It was especially adept at breaking down grease and oil. It left a few more streaks than our conventional cleaning spray winner in one test, but otherwise performed just as well—and has the added advantage of requiring no single-use plastic.