Pretty Opinionated turns 10 this month, and I’m taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane by digging through my review archives to find the most “stand out” products of the decade. These are all things I’ve either bought or would buy again and again! In other words, they’re totally worth your hard-earned money.
The last 10 years has brought me some amazingly wonderful opportunities and partnerships. I only work with brands I personally like and accept products that my family will actually use. I’ve written well over 500 honest reviews over the years, and genuinely enjoyed everything I’ve shared here. It was hard to narrow down a decade’s worth of work, but I’ve come up with a relatively reasonable list of my favorites. Take a look!
- 15 Amazing Products Reviewed Over the Last Decade That I’d Buy Again
- 1. PlasmaCar
- 2. GIANTMicrobes
- 3. Contigo Insulated Mugs (really, anything by Contigo)
- 4. Fellowes Powershred
- 5. Rootology Breathe Free
- 6. Acer Chromebooks
- 7. Aera Smart Fragrance Electric Diffuser
- 8. Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Meditation Pillow
- 9. NOCO Genuis SmartBoost
- 10. Brightech Sky Colors Lamp
- 11. Perfect Pod EZ-Scoop
- 12. Mollieollie Diaper Caddy
- 13. Gravity Defyers Sneakers
- 14. Philips Air Fryer
- 15. Keurig Coffee Maker
15 Amazing Products Reviewed Over the Last Decade That I’d Buy Again
A few quick notes and ground rules (I needed some for myself to narrow down my massive list of favorites):
- First, I’m leaving books off this list and sticking to actual products. I may do a separate book list to celebrate 10 years of telling you what to read next, though, so stay tuned.
- I’ll start with the oldest product reviews first and work my way up to 2020, and I’m only including companies still in business today.
- While I’m including a mix of inexpensive items that I love as well as big-ticket products, I’m skipping basic essentials (toilet paper, non-gourmet food, national brand cleaning products) that we all pretty much already buy again and again.
- I’m not including anything from 2020 right now, mostly because I was super selective last year and literally everything would be on this list if I did that. Also because I want to go back in time a bit more.
- Last note- this post contains affiliate links. If you buy through the links, I get a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for your support!
I received the PlasmaCar back in October of 2011, when they sponsored a giveaway hop that I was part of. Remember those? They were fun! A lot of work, but fun. Anyway, this cool ride-on toy was a huge hit with my son, his friends, and really everyone in my family. They can hold up to 220 pounds, so we’d break it out at parties and watch my super-tall uncle ride around on it!
Almost ten years later, it’s still going strong. In fact, we just gave it to our neighbor’s son so a whole new generation can enjoy it. Check out my original PlasmaCar review here. It’s short and full of blurry pictures. Back in those days, mom bloggers weren’t expected to be professional photographers, since Pinterest and Instagram didn’t even exist yet. If you’re looking for a fun kid-powered ride-on that’s also adult-friendly, this one is definitely worth your money.
- NO BATTERIES, GEARS, OR PEDALS, the Original PlasmaCar is kid friendly; kid approved
- USE INDOORS OR OUT while reaching exhilarating speeds up to 6 mph / 10 km/hr; ADULT FRIENDLY it supports up to 220 lb / 100 kg on smooth, flat surfaces
- A SLEEK DESIGN with a patented safety seat PlasmaCar by PlaSmart is great for children 3 yrs and up, and it’s easy to use – just prop your feet up on the footrests and turn the steering wheel to get moving
- ENJOY PEACE OF MIND: PlasmaCar meets and exceeds all US, Canadian, and European safety standards; CPSIA, CCPSA, ASTM, EN71, ISO and ICTI certified. PlaSmart cautions against using PlasmaCars with standard wheels on hardwood floors. PlasmaCar wheels may damage some wooden floors. Please note that the PlasmaCar booklet warns that it is not recommended for use on wooden floors
- A MULTIPLE AWARD WINNER including the prestigious Oppenheim Portfolio Platinum Seal Award 2006, and Gold Seal Award 2005, Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Winner 2005, TDmonthly Top Seller 2007, recipient of the 2016 Totally Awesome Awards Seal, 2005 TNPC Seal of Approval, and 2007 TOTY Nominee
I’ve reviewed many GIANTMicrobes goodies over the last decade, from a cuddly bone cell to these super cute Christmas ornaments that adorn my tree every year. Not only are their over-sized cells and germs are both adorable and educational, the brand also gives back to charitable organizations that focus on bettering the world.
Right now, they’re donating a portion of your purchase to charities that support healthcare workers and vulnerable families affected by coronavirus such as Combating COVID-19 Fund, No Kid Hungry and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
These make perfect gifts for teachers, nurses, doctors, and just plain nerds like me. 😀
- History is written not only by people, but also by microbes. These plush representations of deadly bacteria and viruses will surely give us all some perspective and plagues to reflect upon
- This educational box set includes Smallpox, Black Death, Cholera, Typhoid Fever and Spanish Flu
- Fun hands-on-way to learn about plagues, biology, public health and history. Includes educational information on the box!
- Memorable and unique gift for students, educators, public health professionals, scientists, lovers of history and anyone with a healthy sense of humor
- Clip them onto your backpack, keys and anywhere you go! Includes 5 microbes. Each microbe measures 3 inches
3. Contigo Insulated Mugs (really, anything by Contigo)
Way back at the end of 2011, Contigo sent me one of their highly-rated Autoseal West Loop insulated mugs. I used it pretty much every day when I still managed the Santa set at the mall. Then one day, I lost it…or so I thought.
About 5 years later, I was going through a box of random old stuff that I had for the set for the new manager. There it was, still half-full of the last cup of coffee that I put in it. While the coffee had long-since gone moldy, not a single drop spilled outside the mug. Even more impressive, once I emptied it, aired it out, and washed it, it still worked great!
Contigo sent me other products over the years- all of which are almost equally as wonderful- but that remains among my favorite products received in those early days of Pretty Opinionated.
- Travel mug's autoseal technology is leak and spill proof
- Drinks stay hot up to 5 hours or cold up to 12 with Thermalock vacuum insulation
- One Handed drinking with the push of a button
- Easy clean lid opens completely for thorough cleaning and locks for added peace of mind
- Top rack dishwasher safe lid, hand wash only stainless steel body
- 100 percent BPA free
4. Fellowes Powershred
I reviewed the Fellowes Powershred back in 2013, and it’s still working as flawlessly as it did back then. In fact, I just pulled it out last month to shred a bunch of old checks and whatnot (I deposit them with my banking app, then hold onto them for like a year).
While I don’t use it nearly as often as other things on this list, it’s definitely something I’d buy again if ever there comes a time when it stops working. True to its word, it’s never once jammed on me no matter how much I overstuff it. It tears through everything from cardboard to old credit cards, too!
- 100% Jam Proof System: Unlike other paper shredders, the 79Ci automatically detects and powers through tough jobs to prevent jams instead of just reversing them
- Powers Through Tough Jobs: The 79Ci can shred 16 sheets at a time and also shreds staples, credit cards, paper clips, CDs/DVDs and junk mail
- SafeSense Protection: Our proprietary technology automatically disables the shredder when hands or paws touch the paper opening, helping to protect more than just your identity
- Continuous 20 Minute Shredding: Runs for up to 20 minutes before a cool down period is needed allowing you to complete multiple shredding jobs in one sitting
- Cross-Cut P-4 Security: Shreds paper into 397 (5/32 x 1-½ ” Security Level P-4) cross-cut particles for enhanced security on highly confidential documents to help keep your information safe
- SilentShred: The 79Ci offers ultra-quiet paper shredding for shared workspaces
- Bin Full Indicator: Includes 6-gallon pull-out bin with LED bin-full indicator to keep shreds contained and reduce mess
- Energy Savings: Provides optimal energy efficiency through power saving functionality both when you are shredding and when the paper shredder is idle
- 100+ Years of Innovation: Driven by a commitment to quality, Fellowes is dedicated to developing solutions to help you be at your best
5. Rootology Breathe Free
Allergy season is killer on me because I can’t take any sort of medication during the day. Even so-called “non-drowsy” formulas knock me out. Most of them also give me migraines when I take them too many nights in a row. So, back in 2014, when Rootology first contacted me, I was both hopeful and skeptical.
They made a believer out of me within a single day, though! Rootology truly is what every allergy sufferer needs! Natural herbs and supplements provide nearly instant relief without all the wonky side effects. Totally worth buying again and again! It may seem pricey, but it’s still cheaper than a month’s worth of most OTC allergy meds!
- NATURAL SUPPLEMENT: fast acting natural supplement to support nasal and sinus health, allowing you to breathe easier all year round.
- SUPPORTS SINUS & NASAL HEALTH: protect your sinus health against sneezing, congestion, sinus pressure, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and headache with the 100% natural Breathe Free capsules.
- NON DROWSY FORMULA: the pure and natural ingredients eliminate the risk of any drowsiness and the capsules are doctor recommended allowing you to take with ease.
- POWERFUL HERBAL EXTRACTS: the combination of the 13 concentrated herbal extracts provide almost instant nasal and sinus relief caused by pollen, dander, dust, mold, pollution, chemicals, smoke and other irritants.
- REGULAR DOSE: unlike many other natural products for nasal and sinus relief, Rootology Breathe Free capsules do not need to build up in your system or be taken daily, you can simply take 2 capsules as needed. You may combine it with other products, however Rootology products are effective on their own.
6. Acer Chromebooks
I’ve reviewed three Acer Chromebooks (and one Acer laptop) over the last 6-ish years. My son uses this one from three years ago every single day to watch movies in bed. Another one that I reviewed back in 2015- the CB515– actually still works today, too. The OS is outdated and it doesn’t hold a charge without being plugged in anymore, but it does technically still run.
I’m actually shopping for a budget-friendly laptop for myself now, and considering the Acer pictured here. I’m not sure if I’ll go with a Chromebook or a Windows laptop, but Acer is at the top of my list for it either way.
- Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - an operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically*, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time. (*Internet connection is required).
- All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, which means you can edit, download, and convert Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
- Get access to more than 2 million Android apps from Google Play to learn and do more.
- Chromebooks come with built-in storage for offline access to your most important files and an additional 100GB of Google Drive space to ensure that all of your files are backed up automatically.
- CB315-3HT-C296 comes with 15. 6” Full HD Touch IPS Display, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB LPDDR4 Memory, 32GB eMMC, Google Chrome and Up to 12. 5-hours Battery Life.
7. Aera Smart Fragrance Electric Diffuser
I actually have two of these, but only one currently works because Freya ate the cord off the other when she was a puppy. Yes, it’s relatively pricey for a fragrance diffuser, but I’d buy it again in a heartbeat for two reasons.
First, the fragrance capsules last a VERY long time. I reviewed the AeraSmart back in 2017 and I STILL have quite a few capsules left out of the 6 that they sent me. Granted, I don’t run it all day, every day, but I definitely use it a lot.
Second, the fragrances really fill your whole home. I keep mine in my living room on top of my bookshelf, and I can smell it all the way up in my room. It’s also a very sleek and modern unit that won’t look out of place with your décor.
8. Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Meditation Pillow
Brentwood Home sent me this back in 2016 and I use it literally every single day. Not for meditation, mind you. I actually use it as couch table for my Kindle Fire. I stack it on top of flat pillow, then put my Kindle on top propped up against a book stand. Perfect viewing angle for reading and watching TV!
I know, that defeats the purpose of a meditation pillow, but hey, binging on movies or reading is MY form of meditation. For four years, this perfect-sized pillow has taken a beating from dogs knocking it on the ground and stepping on it, cats using it as their own personal throne, and more. While the cover definitely needs a good washing, it’s held up flawlessly through it all. Oh, it’s also great for its actual purpose (I’ve used it occasionally for that as well).
9. NOCO Genuis SmartBoost
If you take my advice on just one thing on this list, let it be the NOCO. I received it back in 2018 for my holiday gift guide. Charged it up once to get an idea of how it works, then forgot about it for two years. Fast-forward to about a month ago, during our 5th MetEd power outage of the month. I went out to charge my phone on my car in accessories mode only and drained the battery.
We are a one-car family and my car faces my fence, so getting a jump would have required a tow. Something I definitely cannot afford. I also cannot afford a new car battery at the moment. I remembered that I had the NOCO and thought, “well, let’s see if it actually works as well as the reviews say?”
We charged it up and took it out to my car. Less than one minute later, all was right in the world again! Since my battery keeps dying, I’ve used it about half a dozen more times over the last few weeks. Once, I didn’t drive long enough and had to jump it down at the grocery store. It was easy enough to do on my own (which is a big deal because the car guts scare me). Definitely a MUST-HAVE for every single-car family!
- Start Dead Batteries - Safely jump start a dead battery in seconds with this compact, yet powerful, 1000-amp portable lithium car battery jump starter pack - up to 20 jump starts on a single charge - and rated for gasoline engines up to 6 liters and diesel engines up to 3 liters.
- UltraSafe - Safe and easy to use car battery jump starter pack without the worry of incorrect connections or sparks. Safely connect to any 12-volt automotive car battery with our mistake-proof design featuring spark-proof technology and reverse polarity protection.
- Multi-Function - It's a car jump starter, portable power bank, and LED flashlight. Recharge smartphones, tablets, and other USB devices. It's easily rechargeable from any powered USB port in 3 hours at 2.1-amps. Plus, an integrated 100-lumen LED flashlight with seven light modes, including emergency strobe and SOS.
- Advanced Design - Our most advanced portable car battery jump starter ever. Featuring high-discharge lithium technology for safe operation in any climate. A rugged and water-resistant enclosure rated at IP65. A rubberized over-molded casing to prevent scratching or marring of surfaces. And an ultra-compact and lightweight design weighing just 2.4 pounds.
- In The Box - GB40 UltraSafe Portable Lithium Car Battery Jump Starter Pack, Heavy-Duty Battery Clamps, 12-Volt Car Charger, Micro USB Charging Cable, Microfiber Storage Bag, User Guide, 1-Year Warranty, and Designed in the USA.
10. Brightech Sky Colors Lamp
I actually have a few lamps from Brightech that I really love, but this one has to be my favorite. It’s in my son’s room, and we both have the app on our phones. So basically, I can turn his light up and down or change the colors while standing right outside his room! Tee-hee-hee. 😀
Of course, Jake only fell for it like once before he figured out that it was me, but it’s still amusing! The lamp itself puts off beautiful colors in pretty much every shade in the ultraviolet rainbow. I’d definitely recommend this and buy it again.
11. Perfect Pod EZ-Scoop
This is probably the most random thing on this list (well, aside from the last item below), but it’s something that I use every single day. When it breaks (it’s made of plastic, so eventually it will happen), I’ll buy it again.
I’ve wasted far less coffee since I started using the Perfect Pod EZ-Scoop. One quick scoop into my grounds and I have the exact amount for a perfect cup. I dump it out the top into my refillable coffee pod and pop it in my Keurig. No mess, no fuss. It a simple little kitchen gadget that makes my mornings so much easier.
- PERFECT TOOL FOR REUSABLE K-Cups: Fastest, cleanest & most convenient way to fill reusable coffee pods. Our Patented EZ-scoop is the ideal solution for refilling your reusable capsules and filters. Just scoop, flip, and dispense for a perfect cup of coffee every time.
- EASY TO USE - Simply scoop, close, flip, and pour. EZ-Scoop's capacity scoops the perfect amount of grounds for a single-serve coffee pod, no measuring! The built-in funnel assures no grounds escape and prevents messy spills.
- VERSATILE: Works with all reusable single-serve coffee pod capsules. (refillable K-Cups). Universal Compatibility including Keurig, Breville, Cuisinart, FARBERWARE, Hamilton Beach, Mr. Coffee, Mueller Austria ultima, & more!
- MULTI-PURPOSE: Not only is our EZ-scoop an excellent coffee scooper, but also convenient for use as a scoop for baby milk powder, tea leaves & other herbs, protein/vitamin powder when making shakes, and other broad usages.
- OUR BRAND PROMISE: Backed by Perfect Pod, 100% customer satisfaction. Perfect Pod is the leader in Reusable Coffee Pods and Filters located and shipping from Southern California.
12. Mollieollie Diaper Caddy
Although my diaper-changing days were long gone when I got the Mollieollie back in 2019, it’s still one of my favorite storage products that I’ve reviewed over the years. Whether you use it for baby products, office supplies, or as a catch-all for random stuff, it’s incredibly stylish and super roomy.
It really is the diaper caddy that grows with your kids! Also, the company was founded by a working mom, so purchasing it helps support small women-owned businesses.
13. Gravity Defyers Sneakers
I’m not the type of girl to go ga-ga over shoes. I don’t care about the name or logo on the side of a sneaker, and certainly would never pay extra for it. So, for me to recommend a pair of sneakers that costs more than $30 is a HUGE deal. Believe me, if they weren’t THAT good, I would never in a million years tell you to spend $100+ on a pair of shoes. Ever.
I’ve had a pair of Gravity Defyers for over FIVE years, and they’re still as comfortable as they were the first day I put them on (they didn’t even need to be broken in like other shoes). While they don’t look brand-new and the colors have faded a bit, there are no holes or structural issues that you’d expect from a 5-year-old pair of sneakers. In fact, they even have the original laces!
- VersoShock Patented Technology: shown to relieve pain in the knees.
- Roomy Toe Box extra room for comfort and better blood circulation.
- Front Rolling Design designed to reduce foot stress by isolating 28 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles from harm.
- Durable Breathable Mesh provides proper ventilation & flexibility.
- BONUS FREE PAIR CorrectiveFit orthotic insoles in every box - designed to correct body alignment and help with plantar fasciitis.
14. Philips Air Fryer
I have a much older Philips Air Fryer that I got from BuyDig back in 2015, but when it finally meets its maker in the great kitchen gadgets afterlife, I’m considering upgrading to something more like the one pictured here. I’m hoping that will still be a while from now. I mean, if I can’t afford a new car battery then I definitely can’t really afford to upgrade my air fryer, right?
Thankfully, I don’t have to just yet. While the basket looks a bit dingy, this baby is still going strong and serving up healthier fried foods on a regular basis. In fact, I just learned that you can make all sorts of desserts in an air fryer, so I’m breaking it out this week to give a few a try!
- Fat Removal technology separates and captures excess fat Eat healthier dishes with excess fat removed from food. The Philips Airfryer is the only Airfryer with Fat Removal Technology that separates and captures excess fat. Enjoy delicious food that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with maximum taste and minimum fat.
- Digital display with 4 preset cooking programs The digital interface is easy to use with preset cooking programs for one-touch cooking of frozen fries, meat, fish and chicken drumsticks. A QuickControl dial sets both temperature and cooking time.
- Our most compact Airfryer fits 0.8 kg of fries You don’t need a lot of space for an Airfryer. The new Philips Airfryer is 20%* more compact – but cooks the same amount of food that it always has. That’s 0.8kg of fries, up to 4 portions. So you can easily keep it on your kitchen countertop, and use it everyday.
- Rapid Air technology for delicious crispier results Philips' Rapid Air technology creates 7x faster airfow for deliciously crispy results*. Enjoy healthier and tasty snacks and meals that are crisped to perfection yet tender on the inside
- 1.5 times faster than an oven* Cooking is faster and more convenient than ever with the Philips Airfryer. Thanks to our instant heat and Rapid Airflow technology, your food will cook 1.5 times faster than in an oven. Best of all you don't need to preheat your AirFryer. Just turn it on and start cooking.
15. Keurig Coffee Maker
Despite the fact that I actually DO have to keep buying this again and again- and the fact that my last one melted and almost caught on fire (a fluke, I think, as that model no longer exists)- I just can’t seem to give up on Keurig. I’ve had other single-serve coffee makers over the years that I’ve absolutely loved, but sadly they all died, too (and, apparently, went out of business).
They’re not built to last, but when they’re within their life cycle, they absolutely make your mornings a whole lot easier. When this one inevitable breaks down (I keep an emergency back-up coffee pot for those times), I’ll buy another one. And another. And another.
- Brews multiple k-cup pod sizes: (6, 8, 10 ounce) – the most popular k-cup pod brew sizes. Use the 6 ounce brew size to achieve the strongest brew.
- Large 48 ounce water reservoir: Allows you to brew 6 plus cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. The water reservoir is removable, making it easy to refill whenever you need to.
- Descaling: An important part of cleaning your keurig brewer. This process helps to remove calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a coffee maker over time.
- Auto-off: An auto-off feature is easily programmed to turn off your coffee maker after it has been idle for 2 hours, helping to save energy.
- Simple button controls: Just insert a pod, select your desired cup brew size, and brew a great-tasting cup in under a minute.
- Fabric type: Plastic
Like I said earlier, I’ve reviewed so many wonderful things over the years that it was really hard to choose just a handful for my little trip down memory lane. I tried to stick to things that most of us aren’t already buying over and over again to give you some new ideas of things that are worth your money.
Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API