From clever bath toys to a mouse that makes me want to work longer hours, these are the top products I tested in 2019.

By Brandi Broxson
December 23, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

There’s so many new “game changer” products jockeying for our attention these days. Without spending the money, it’s hard to know exactly what works…and what will upsettingly flop. That’s where I come in. As products editor for Real Simple, I test the very latest to bring you the best in my monthly print column Little Helpers. Does it actually hold up in the dishwasher? Will it really remove that pesky mustard stain on a white tee? Do the shoes that say they’re waterproof survive a downpour? These are all little questions floating around in my head as I test.

In order for a product to make the cut, it’s got to work well (and last), it must be reasonably priced, and it can’t have the annoying factor. What’s that, you ask? The annoying factor is a product that makes you work too hard to use it, or one that requires very particular handling or upkeep. After all, if you’re going to buy something to make a task easier, it can’t make other things more difficult. Here, I bring you the tried-and-true standouts of 2019 that I just know will make your life easier.

RELATED: The 22 Cleverest Items to Simplify Your Life This Year

Smart mouse

This wireless mouse puts your hand in a more natural position and requires four times less hand movement, which reduces strain. One battery charge keeps it juiced up for up to four months.

To buy: Logitech MX Vertical Advanced Ergonomic Mouse, $84;

No-mold bath buddies

These ocean-themed bath toys come apart for quick cleaning and drying after the bubble bath is over. Even better, they’re squeezable, making them a great toy for hand-eye coordination.

To buy: Munchkin CleanSqueeze Mold-Free Bath Squirts, $9 for 4;

Grocery bag 2.0

This handy set of bags fits inside your shopping cart to make bagging at check out an eco-friendly cinch. Includes a large insulated cooler bag, plus pockets for eggs and wine.

To buy: Lotus Trolley Bag, $36;

Kernel peeler

No more cutting the peel off the cob with a butter knife. This dishwasher-safe wonder easily trims kernels from the cob with a stainless-steel blade that does not rust.

To buy: OXO Good Grips Corn Prep Peeler, $7;

Brian Henn

A comfortable (really!) bra

A wire-free bra that stills provide up to an inch of lift? Sold! This buttery soft number also has a mesh backing to keep you feeling cool on the hottest of days.

To buy: True Body with Mesh Scoop Neck Lift Bra, $64;

Peter Ardito

Knife set to-go

This kit makes peeling, chopping, and wine opening possible whether you’re at a vacation rental or having a picnic in the park. Includes a large serrated knife, a corkscrew knife, a vegetable peeler, a cutting board, and a microfiber cloth.

To buy: Opinel Nomad Cooking Kit, $85;

Workhorse tote

This durable 19 by 24-inch zip-top bag is the perfect place to stow off season coats, up to 12 beach towels or, my favorite, an unwieldy air mattress. Comes in more than 15 patterns.

To buy: 4 Boys Bag, $58;