There are times when you can pop down to the bodega for a roll of paper towels, or head to the local hardware store for some security-deposit-saving spackle. However, there are also times where you find yourself in need of, say, specialty toothpaste, an Obama shrimp magnet, a giant can of Castelvetrano olives, a Danny Devito couch pillow, or a grill for your pontoon boat. For that, dear readers, there is but one place to begrudgingly go: Amazon.
Amazon’s vast universe of big-brand products, practical wares, gadgets, and random shit, for lack of a better term, is pretty crazy. Its huge inventory has such a wild variety of things that it's hard for shoppers to know exactly which products rock, and which are decidedly janky. The insurmountably huge and complicated world of Amazon’s depths is made even more convoluted by the massive amount of knockoff merch and “hidden” items (think: “MæL3 Ma$tübat0rs”) that could be surprisingly awesome and affordable… or be total garbage. Since Amazon isn’t always 100-percent reliable in terms of quality, there needs to be a way to discern between the “screenshot you send to the group chat for a laugh” items and the “add to your cart right now and don’t worry about your bank statement” products. But that's what the reviews are for—after all, the reviews section does tend to be bangin'—and that's also where we come in.
We spend a medically inadvisable amount of time testing products and poring over Amazon reviews, ratings, and recommendations to bring you the crème de la crème of “cult-fave” everything, from affordable Theragun alternatives and luxury sex toys to hard-to-find home goods, beloved beauty products, WFH essentials, and more. That’s why we put together this running list of some of the internet’s favorite Amazon products that have garnered serious online followings from happy customers and enthusiastic raters and reviewers—all of them have cumulative ratings of at least 4.5 out of 5 stars, and we've tried (and loved) almost every single one of them ourselves. Peruse at your leisure, and from our cart to yours, enjoy.
The Imarku Chef Knife made our editor a better cook
If you haven't upgraded your knives since that starter pack you bought at IKEA sophomore year of college, it's time, yo. While there are plenty of options out there for fancy chef's knives for under $100, this Imarku knife on Amazon reigns supreme for affordability and sharpness, garnering more than 9,000 five-star ratings. Rec Room editor Ian Burke swears by it, writing that “with an ergonomic handle and more than 9,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this ultra-affordable chef’s knife is the way to go if you’re just dipping your toe into the knife game.” (And to reiterate, this thing is sharp, so please note that Band-Aids are not included.)
Zinus's Wen Wood Bed Frame is West Elm-worthy but Amazon-cheap
One of our editors purchased this bed as her [gasp] very first bed frame, and found it was both easy to assemble and so stylish; since, all of her friends (yes, all two of them) have ordered it as well. “If you want a wooden bed frame that looks expensive and takes 20 minutes to put together, it’s perfect,” she says. “It’s also high enough off of the ground to offer space for storage, but still leans on the low-slung side of bed frame heights, which I always think looks more chic and breathable in a bedroom.” The Zinus also has over 14,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, because you get so much aesthetic bang for your buck. “Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!!” writes one customer. “This baby is SOLID wood.”
The Satisfyer Pro 2 is the ultimate cult-fave sex toy
If there’s any other sex toy (besides, perhaps, the Hitachi Magic Wand) that has garnered a bigger cult following than the Satisfyer Pro 2, please slide into our DMs. “As much as I wanted to find a bone to pick with the Satisfyer Pro 2, I get why this toy is a mainstay in ‘best sex toys’ lists,” writes Mary Frances Knapp for Rec Room. “It’s versatile, and an ideal clitoral toy for beginner and experienced sex toy users.” This is the best-selling sex toy for VICE readers, and likely the best-selling clitoral suction toy of all time—and yep, you can buy it on Amazon.
This RENPHO eye massager cured our writer’s screen-time headaches
If you feel like your head has a giant metal clamp on it after staring at your laptop and phone all day, this cult-fave eye massager is just the ticket to releasing all that tension and restoring peace and quiet in your head. Our staff writer Nicolette Accardi bought one after years of headaches and wrote, “As soon as I strapped in and turned it on, the upper half of my face and head simply felt like it was resting in a padded steam room, in the best way possible.” With a cumulative rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon, this “heated vibrator” for your head is offering a lot of people relief from the bad screen(s).
Xenvo's Pro Lens Kit makes your cell pics better—and makes you hotter on Zoom
Hate looking fugly in Zoom calls? Us, too—that’s where the Xenvo Pro Lens Kit swoops in to save the day. For a measly 45 bones, Rec Room director Hilary Pollack grabbed this clip-on lens that not only makes you look better on video calls (several people in the VICE office use it now!), but also doubles as a wide angle and macro lens for shooting high-quality photos on your phone. With more than 15,000 stellar reviews, it's a #1 Amazon best seller in cell phone attachments and accessories. "This looks like something I might have purchased for my SLR. Very nice," writes one reviewer. "And they give me excellent options when taking photos...which adds to my creativity. They are practical as well because now I can take wide angle shots that capture far more of the view--enabling me to take pictures of more people in a small room, for example."
Loop's ear plugs saved our staffer from getting tinnitus at a metal festival
Now that the world is opening up again, we’ve been trying to make up for lost time by going to as many concerts as we can. The only downside? Our hearing. While you might be able to get those $1 foam ear plugs from the bar, you're way better off going with Loop ear plugs, which are a big hit on Amazon for their noise-reduction capabilities and cool, Klingon-jewelry-esque design. “After taking them to three hardcore shows, a Kool & the Gang fireworks extravaganza, a goth show, and an entire metal festival, I’m a huge fan,” Rec Room's Hilary Pollack writes, explaining that the plugs reduce sound by “an amount significant enough to protect your hearing, but that still allows you to hear your friend leaning over and asking if you'd like another tequila soda.” They might not be the cheapest ear plugs you can get on Amazon, but they are the absolute best bang for your buck, especially for wearing to concerts and loud live events.
Olsky's Massage Gun is the ideal Theragun dupe (for way less money)
Hitting the gym harder in 2022? We feel you, and your muscles feel you, too. Blast away the pain with a cheap—but very effective—percussion recovery gun, which has become a VICE reader fave for those seeking a powerful Theragun-esque massage with a lower price tag. “This affordable Theragun alternative rocks,” Ian Burke writes for Rec Room in his review of the Olsky Massage Gun. “It's the perfect home workout accessory or gift for a fitness-focused loved one, especially if you’re not in the mood to drop a paycheck on a body blaster.” More than 4,000 reviewers have given it a cumulative 4.5-star rating—not too shabby.
Advenor's exercise bike is a super-affordable way to work out in your living room
Look, your fitspo Instagram page isn’t going to blow up unless you’re on your #grind. For at-home cardio that won’t upset your neighbors (see: jumping rope in your living room) we suggest picking up this ADVENOR Exercise Bike. With a smooth and quiet flywheel, an adjustable resistance knob, a heads-up display, and a 4.5-star rating from almost 4,000 reviews, you’ll be burning calories and posting sweaty selfies in no time.
The HUANUO Lap Desk is the most essential WFH accessory
We're not sure when the "lap desk" was invented, but there was certainly no better time for it to garner popularity as a WFH accessory than during the last two years. For those of us who either don't have a "real" desk or simply choose to work from the couch despite having a perfectly good one (we can't help ourselves), a lap desk is a lifesaver. When we came across this HUANUO lap desk with a pillow bottom, wrist pad, and phone slot, we instantly understood when it's so popular (and highly rated). It's the perfect size for lounging all around the house, and reviewers praise its lightweight design and cushiony feel. "I don't know how I ever lived without it," reads one top review.
Honeydew's Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow solved our editor's existential crisis
When it comes to getting good sleep, many of us are very particular about the perfect mattress, the best bed sheets, and the products that help us doze off—and stay dozin'. That's why when we find a pillow that's the Goldilocks of support, softness, and shape, we wanna hold on to it, take it everywhere, and gift it to our loved ones. Honeydew's Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow is just that—the ideal pillow for side sleepers, thanks to its cooling copper gel memory foam fill and head-cradling curvy shape. It's truly changed the game for not just hundreds of stoked reviewers, but also an esteemed member of the Rec Room team.
Marvis's Rambas Toothpaste makes brushing your teeth a tropical vacay
Fancy toothpaste is a perfect example of something we'd buy on Amazon: It's an add-to-cart moment that, while certainly worthwhile, might not be worth a hunt around town on its own. Thankfully, for those of us who are frighteningly deep into the luxury toothpaste game, Amazon stocks the cult-fave Italian brand Marvis. So, if you've been curious to break away from the standard drugstore stuff and try jasmine-mint, licorice-, cardamom-, or even tropical-fruit-flavored toothpaste, here's your chance. The Rambas flavor is a huge fave of ours—and many other happy customers—with one memorable review stating, "It does not taste like banana candy or children's toothpaste, it tastes like a $100 cocktail you'd get at a five-star tropical resort." We're sold.
Certain Dri's antiperspirant is the best sweat-stopper you can get OTC
Are you sweaty? Like, really sweaty? Then the Certain Dri Prescription Strength Clinical Antiperspirant, which over 17,000 formerly sweat-drenched folks on Amazon say does not fuck around (we’re paraphrasing), is your best bet. You apply it at night, and it’s literally a doctor-recommended treatment for hyperhidrosis (the fancy medical term for excessive sweating).
Tabino Yado's Hot Springs Milky Bath Salts turn your bath into a Japanese spa
Loads of products on Amazon have 4.5-star ratings, which is about the best you can get, but only a select few have the coveted five-star mark. That's the case with these top-rated, "milky" Japanese bath salts, which are an affordable luxury that transforms your bathtub into a fragrant, relaxing, pastel-colored spa, for an "onsen at home" experience.
Überlube might just be the best lube ever
The lube to rule all lubes. Granted, there are many factors to keep in mind when finding the right lubrication for you and your horny holes, from sex toy and condom material to your own ingredient preferences—but if you’re on the lookout for a silicone-based solution, Überlube ist der König. “Genuinely the best lube I have ever used, and I've tried a lot of them,” writes one Amazon customer about the brand, which has over 25,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating on Amazon. “It's silky smooth, doesn't dry up, [it] isn't sticky, and [it] doesn't start getting uncomfortable or itchy after you're done with it. I wholeheartedly recommend it.”
TOPMAX's KN95 face masks were lifesavers during Omicron
Just because you’re being careful doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your ~aesthetic~. This 25-pack of black, five-ply KN95 masks are not only great for helping protect yourself, but go with virtually every outfit and style. Safety is sexy, folks, and the 4,285 shoppers who gave this pack a 4.5-star rating agree.
Njoy's Pure Wand is a dreamy stainless steel sex toy
This stainless steel wand is a proclaimed desert island sex toy by actual sex workers, because it requires zero batteries and has a deceptively simple, multi-tasking design: You can use the wand as a traditional dildo and use the curvature to target your G-spot, or use it for anal play as well. “Both ends offer different sensations,” writes one Amazon reviewer, “the smaller for precise direct pressure, and the larger for full-feeling heaviness. It [also] requires very little lubricant to last a long time.”
BISSELL's Zing vacuum vastly improved our staff writer's quality of life
Are you a moderately responsible adult who just wants a clean house, but you’re not quite ready to throw down hundreds on a Dyson vacuum? We gave the best-selling Bissell Zing an honest review, and found it to be a legit powerhouse for its shockingly affordable price tag. For the cost of a lobster dinner, you can take home a vacuum capable of sucking carpets, tiles, floors, and all those hard-to-reach, dust-bunny-filled corners, and keeping them squeaky clean. The vacuum has a 4.5-star rating from over 23,000 reviews on Amazon, with many folks praising how lightweight it is and how easy the Zing is to clean. “It's [not] even 10lbs,” writes one reviewer, “it wouldn't matter much anyway bc of the huge wheels on the canister base. I can just pull it along behind me, no problem.”
CeraVe's tinted sunscreen is considered the GOAT
A healthy tan? Sexy. Skin cancer in your golden years? Decidedly un-sexy. With a 4.5-star average from 27,641 ratings, this CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 30 provides serious, broad-spectrum protection with 100% mineral filter sunscreen, which instantly leaves skin with a healthy glow without any whitecast.
Harney & Sons Paris Tea is downright exquisite
Another five-star whopper, this one is for the tea-heads. Harney & Sons' beloved Paris tea can be tricky to track down in chain grocery stores, but has a rock-solid five-star rating on Amazon for a reason: It's delicious, and you can get a generously sized 50-pack bag of the vanilla-caramel black tea sachets for just $19. Our editorial director is obsessed with this stuff, calling it her absolute fave, while reviews describe it as “heaven,” “EXQUISITE,” and “worth buying in bulk.”
The Winco Blade Chinese Cleaver is what our writer uses to chop EVERYTHING
Contributing writer Adam Rothbarth is a huge fan of this super-affordable but heavy-duty cleaver, which he says is “surprisingly light for its size, but still packs a strong, thorough force when you bring it down on carrots, beets, or other tough-to-cut ingredients.” But he’s not the only one impressed with it; it’s a staple in restaurant kitchens all over the world.
Sunbeam's Heated Throw Blanket keeps us crazy-cozy
“I knew electric blankets existed before joining the Sunbeam family, but I’d never used one,” writes Mary Frances Knapp in a review of her much-loved electric blanket. “It’s been over a year since [and] I use it when I’m trying to fall asleep as a topper, or when I’m cuddling and watching movies on the couch all day.” It has almost 10,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, with customers in praise of everything from the blanket’s plushness to the automatic timer feature that makes it impossible to leave it switched on for more than a few hours.
This DHC Skincare starter set
Our staff writer Mary Frances Knapp also swears by the Japanese skincare brand DHC, and this set in particular has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and Knapp’s personal stamp of approval. It includes a sample/travel size of the brand’s four-step routine products that includes the brand’s deep cleansing oil, mild soap, mild lotion, and virgin olive oil which all have their own cult-fave followings on Amazon as well—the cleansing oil alone has a 4.7-star rating from over 10,000 reviews, and that’s just the beginning. “I know everyone’s skin is different, but this regimen is damn near perfect,” she writes. “No colorants, no perfumes, just a job well did for oily and dry skin alike. It’s so good, it feels almost... stealthy?” If you’re looking to take your skincare routine a step further (but are still kind of lazy), it’s a game-changing regimen.
Sabre's pepper spray is the easiest to use—because you just might need it
No one wants to use pepper spray, of course, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared. There are actually loads of self-defense tools and weapons on Amazon, from tasers to noise makers and even bear spray, but only the Sabre pepper spray has a whopping 80,885 ratings and a 4.7-star average. The spray comes as a key chain and in a variety of colorways, and is easy to hold. “I decided to give the spray a test,” writes one reviewer. “I was SHOCKED at how far and with what strength the spray shot. Would EASILY be able to reach an attacker from 10-12 feet. I would not want to be on the receiving end of that infernal blast.”
The affordable gold hoops that are YouTube-famous
The cult of PAVOI jewelry is real, dude, because all of its 14-karat gold jewelry hits the same updated-classic note as higher-priced brands such as Mejuri or Catbird, but at a much more affordable price tag that doesn’t compromise on quality and presentation. Every item is shipped in a stylish box, and this pair has a nice amount of weight without feeling heavy on your ears. “10,000 [times] YES,” writes one of the over 34,000 reviewers for the best-selling earrings, “I saw them in a fellow YouTube Faves video and had to try them out for myself. Have you seen Niagara starring Marilyn Monroe? I honestly feel just as stunning as she.”
A beanie for not losing your nephew
Everyone has to find a gift for the obligatory kid in their life at some point, and one of our editors purchased this light-up beanie for her four-year-old nephew for Christmas. “It was a big hit for both him and his parents,” she says. “His interests right now are digging for worms at night, and the color orange, so this is perfect for keeping him both warm, and well within their sight.” It has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon and over 600 reviews praising how much easier it makes walking at night and during the snow, and how easy it is to recharge with a USB port. “I also love that the orange is bright enough to see in the dark,” writes one reviewer. “And the light is very bright and has three settings. Great beanie!!”
Maldon salt, the gourmet salt so good, “it is an almost surreal experience”
On the 8th day, God made Maldon salt. Seriously though, once you taste these mouthwatering salt flakes—be it on your breakfast or as the final touch to a gooey chocolate chip cookie—you’ll never want to live without them. With over 33,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, we think the savory world agrees that they slap. “I know more than average about salt,” writes one reviewer. “I read a book on it, and have tried some of the fine salts, smoked salts [but] I tried this for the first time on my poached eggs. Suddenly, I understand why, long ago, salt was so valuable it was used as currency. Yes, it was a clean, clear taste [...] It is an almost surreal experience.”
Moleskine notebooks, because you're a literary genius
When it comes to the best planners and notebooks, Moleskine sets the standard. “If you want something timeless, it does not get better than [this],” writes Mary Frances Knapp for VICE about the best planners and notebooks. “The Italian brand’s journals feel more and more buttery with use, are easy to keep closed, and look mighty fine laying on your desk.” No wonder it has a 4.8-star rating on Amazon froma over 7,000 reviews.
This deep tissue back massager is everyone’s favorite gift
We call it like we see it, and this neck and back massager by is always a best-seller for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Groundhog Day, and every other day-kinda gifts. It also has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and over 41,000 reviews.
Love is not a strong enough word, writes one reviewer, “I never would have thought that a neck massager could be this good but it literally feels like a person massaging you. WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT!?!”
The best men’s undies for ~enchancing~ your junk
There’s hella online discourse about how to make your penis appear larger, and the boxer briefs by David Archy are right there in the middle because they lift–but doesn’t flatten–all your goods. They have 4.5 stars on Amazon, almost 2,000 stellar ratings saying these are just the perfect pair of echancing boxers that feel not just comfortable but… at peace with the world? “I was concerned my meat would leave his private apartment to visit the potatoes,” wrote one reviewer, “I am happy to report that it hasn’t happened even once after have worn these for two weeks now. Now there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Now my potatoes swing in their breathable hammock.”
A tool for cleaning gunk out of your AirPods
The best thing about Amazon, besides the ability to get us a vibrator in less than 48 hours, is the wide breadth of INVENTIONS that we never knew existed; it’s truly like Shark Tank up in here, nonstop. One such genius problem-solving product is this cleaning pen specifically designed for getting all of the dust and earwax off of your AirPods or other ear buds of choice. Our contributing editor Marshall Bright named it one of her best purchases of the year, and it’s accrued almost 6,400 rock-solid reviews from happily degunked customers.
The most iconic sunglasses
The Blues Brothers, Roy Orbison, Johnny Marr—Wayfarers have been rocked by some of the world’s most iconic cultural figures, characters, and musicians, and, yes, you can get ‘em on Amazon. Ray-Ban’s latest polarized RB2132 shades have a 4.6-star rating and over 5,000 stoked reviews on the site. “[They’re the] best all-around sunglasses I've ever owned,” writes one reviewer, “They're built to last a long time, they're comfortable over a long period of time (which is why they're great driving glasses), they're polarized which also makes them great for travel. Best of all the lenses are made out of real honest-to-goodness GLASS!”
This $11 exfoliant deserves “100 stars”
Paula’s Choice is our choice, too. The viral skincare brand’s most iconic item is a gentle salicylic acid exfoliant with a 4.6-star rating and over 63,300 reviews on the Amazon, where reviewers have said it’s helped clear up rosacea, acne, excessive oil, and more. “I’ve been trying to turn my skin around for YEARS!! This was the product that did it. If I could give it 100 stars I would,” wrote one reviewer. Another fan said, “My face was in a terrible state before this product. I looked like an alligator, but not like those kinds Jimmy Choo wants. More like the kinds you find in the Florida Everglades. Those wild ones that snap at humans out of jealousy for their glowing, smooth skin […] I've been using the product exactly two weeks and applying twice daily as instructed. Let me tell you it has changed the game for me! I don't make milkshakes so it has to be this exfoliate bringing all the boys to my yard.”
This icy migraine mask/hangover helper
This gel migraine mask (which can be cooled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave) has a 4.5-star average rating on Amazon and over 9,100 reviews. Rec Room editor Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp tested out the TheraICE Rx migraine mask, and said “that not only can [it] stave off my petty hangover headaches and cure the plight of my fuggo, tired/puffy face, but it has also helped me stop migraines from going off the rails and ruining my day, thanks to its ability to get glacially cold and apply an even pressure around my entire head—kind of like a weighted blanket for your face.”
A pool for your pup (or… you)
A little over $20 can buy your pup some sweet relief this summer. The Jasonwell foldable pool is the #66 best-selling item in Pet Supplies on Amazon (no small feat considering there are over 12 million items on the site) and has earned a 4.5-star average rating and over 31,000 reviews. “My senior 98 pound Golden Retriever LOVES his new pool! It's the best day he's had in months when we filled it with water and toys for the first time!” writes one reviewer. Another reviewer said it works well for people, too, and that “it's the perfect size for our kids to cool off on a hot day. So easy to pop up, so easy to collapse, and so easy to store!”
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.