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The Best Products We Tried (and Loved) in 2021

Our picks include jitter-free CBD coffee, lap desks for WFH on the couch, a Theragun dupe that sweetly pounds your muscles to smithereens, and more.
VICE Editors Pick the Best Stuff of 2021
Composite By Vice Staff

What a year it’s been, from the quarantine outfits we created to the turkeys we basted; from the CBD and marshmallow fluff cocktails we’ve slammed, to the plant babies we fostered; and, of course, shoutout to all the new sex toys and dope socks we’ve brought into rotation. We have spared no expense for our happiness, which took on the form of affordable Theragun alternatives, Shrek butt plugs, and so much more that tickled our fancy (and then some) in 2021, because we deserve it—and so do you, you stealthy shopper. 

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There’s a lot of serotonin to be had in a new housecoat that feels like a whipped cloud, and there’s something magical about finding coffee that doesn’t give us the jitters, lip balm that finally delivers us from hellish winter dryness, and stiletto pole-dancing cowboy boots that yeet us to the heavens. Our god is an awesome god, and her sack is filled with our absolute favorite products of 2021, from the brains, desks, refrigerators, and beds of the editors of Rec Room. 

Consider this a short list of the best wellness items, kitchen appliances, and sartorial wins from the collective mind of the Rec Room staff; we’re dishing out the hot and cheesy deets on the air fryers we fell in love with, the lap desks that saved our WFH sanity, and the silk eye masks that restored our faith in relaxation. Massage, bon voyage, and please enjoy the Rec Room editors’ best product picks from 2021… 

Jibby CBD coffee 

Whilst working from home pretty much indefinitely, we need our morning caffeine boost, but we don't always wanna hit the stimmies too hard and feel like a rat in a cage. That's where Jibby comes in, making tasty cold brew coffee that has 25 milligrams of CBD per can, which helps you get that much-needed AM lift without the crazy jitters. 


$66 at Jibby

$66 at Jibby

OFFHOURS' ultra-cozy homecoats

When we first laid eyes on OFFHOURS' well-insulated, all-gender robes (which come in a variety of moody neutral shades), we thought they looked like ultra-chic Snuggies from the future. It turns out that they're all that—and more. Ridiculously warm and comfy, and visually appealing in a modern-art way, OFFHOURS' homecoats are definitely a splurge, but they instantly become essential for staying cozy in a chilly house during the winter. 


$295 at OFFHOURS

$295 at OFFHOURS
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Optimist’s non-alcoholic spirits

There's no shortage of fancy non-alcoholic spirits on the market these days, as more and more young people seek ways to unwind without getting totally loaded, but our fave of the bunch might be Optimist. Distilled from a variety of herbs and botanicals, Optimist's distinct varieties—Bright, Fresh, and Smokey—make satisfying, complex substitutes for vodka, gin, and tequila, respectively, with zero hangover or regrettable texts to exes. Bless you, Optimist, for giving us something to turn to when we decided to get our pandemic drinking under control and turn to sophisticated booze-free spirits instead.


$35 at Optimist Drinks

$35 at Optimist Drinks

$35 at Optimist

$35 at Optimist

A supremely affordable noodle pounder

We know, we know, you’ve heard us talk about this affordable sports-recover massager before, but it really is that good! While it isn’t the Theragun (we love those bad boys too), the Olsky massage gun is the next best thing—especially if you’re not looking to shell out hundreds of dollars. 


$49 at Amazon

$49 at Amazon

Roll out those appendages

We’ve been riding the fitness train for a while now, and sore muscles are just part of the game. In addition to a dope, menthol-infused CBD balm, a roller is a great way to help alleviate muscle soreness. The Tiger Tail is a favorite among runners and other athletes for blasting knots and loosening up stiff muscles.


$29.99 at Amazon

$29.99 at Amazon
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Sturdy and reliable sneaks

No more Yeezys in 2022—we’re getting back to our roots with these simple Adidas Grand Court Se sneakers. They last forever, go with pretty much everything, and have Cloudfoam Comfort insoles, which are soothing AF. 


$65 at Zappos

$65 at Zappos

This cold boi

We love a good chest freezer, and this frosty friend really doesn’t take up as much space as you’d think it would. It's perfect for deep freezing meats or setting up a DIY kegerator, and when the apocalypse happens, your stockpile of frozen burritos and Lean Cuisine meals will be great bartering tools. 


$190 at Amazon

$190 at Amazon

The humble lap desk

We owe lap desks our lives, as they saved us from burnt thighs during our year-long WFH stint. For the couch workers among us (we see you; we are you), lap desks are indispensable. Rec Room: brought to you by lap desks. 


$27.88 at Amazon

$27.88 at Amazon

DEUX adaptogenic cookie dough

Sometimes, bougie "health food" of dubious efficacy goes too far—and worse yet, tastes like grass clippings in addition to being snake oil. But we can confidently declare that as far as adaptogenic cookie dough DEUX goes, the experience is a delight on all levels, from the decadent texture to the rich flavors (oh boy, the brownie batter) to the added bonus of ingredients that boost immunity and can even help skin and nails (hello, collagen). Perfect for satisfying your late-night sweet tooth, one heaping spoonful at a time.


$14 at Foxtrot

$14 at Foxtrot

$45 at Amazon

$45 at Amazon

$14 at Foxtrot

$14 at Foxtrot
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OFFFIELD CBD exercise drink

Did you, too, get really into long walks and hikes during The Hell Times, then realized that hoofin' it remains a priority now and forever? Then you might also delight in OFFFIELD, a CBD/CBG sports drink that you can toss in your water bottle and take with you for a calm, cool, collected way of hydrating and staying peppy no matter whether you're walking to the bodega or on an eight-mile excursion. We tried this stuff during peak pandemic and loved it, and it's remained a fave ever since—although we really should stop calling it "weed Gatorade."


$39.99 at OFFFIELD

$39.99 at OFFFIELD

When the sun is your enemy

We need our beauty rest, OK? It was finally time to graduate from using a clean sock and shoelace as an improvised eye mask and get this impossibly soft, secure-but-not-too-tight mask from Brooklinen, one of our favorite bedding and home goods slingers. 


$29 at Brooklinen

$29 at Brooklinen

The absolute best lip-balm for chapped lips

The French wellness and beauty brand Nuxe is hands-down the reason everyone in Baguetteland has such hot, smart mouths, and we die on that hill. Rêve de Miel (which translates to "honey dream") lip balm is one of their best products; it’s a creamy, beeswax-y hydration station for your lips that should be applied before bed, in the morning, and whenever you need both moisture and protection. 


$11 at Amazon

$11 at Amazon
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A multi-tasking glass dildo 

Glass sex toys are perfection. Seriously. Name another sex toy that can catch the light of the sun and throw it back, in every sense of the word, with such horny energy? This double-duty dildo by Unbound Babes is a great G-spot and P-spot pleasing toy, can be used in temperature play, and looks stunning next to our crystal ball.


$35 at Unbound Babes

$35 at Unbound Babes

This velvet knot pillow is your new BFF

Did you also grow up eating Auntie Annie’s cinnamon pretzels at the mall, and redecorating your bedroom every week? Then twisty tube pillows are for you. Not only do they look amazing, but they have an almost sentient knack for cradling our neck, back, and whatever else needs some plushy TLC.


$150 at Chairish

$150 at Chairish

Yes, air fryers are worth it—and this one’s king

One of Rec Room’s bravest writers tested this Ninja air fryer, and found that not only did it air-fry everything she could dream up like a pro, but she also fell in love with the dehydration feature for fruit slices and herbs. “The Ninja feels like it was born from that sense of scientific wonder,” she concludes, “It is the High Speed Rail of air fryers, and I am happy to be aboard.”

$229.99 at Amazon
$229.99 at Best Buy
$229.99 at Amazon
$229.99 at Best Buy

Pole-dancing cowboy boots

We did not kid, when we said we had serotonin-poppin' pole dancing cowboy boots for you and the gang. Like Nancy Meyers set dressing and burrata appetizers, these cowboy stiletto boots were designed to make you, and everyone in your orbit, absolutely titillated. They’re not even that hard to walk in, according to one of our editors

$80.90 at Amazon
$80.90 at Walmart
$80.90 at Amazon
$80.90 at Walmart
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There’s a reason electric blankets have staying-power

… And that reason is that they’re incredible. Every time you have a slight chill during movie night, a stingy roommate who won’t blast the heat, and the universal need to feel cocooned by the sun during nap time, this blanket will deliver. It also has an automatic timer, so you can fall asleep with it on.  


$79.99 at Amazon

$79.99 at Amazon

See you in the new year!


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.