We all know the immediate nostalgia that sets in at the start of a new year.
Ringing in Jan. 1 means looking to the future, but it's also quickly followed by memories from the 365 days prior and all the noteworthy milestones worth looking back on.
We were curious about the most popular purchases in 2019, so we studied our website traffic, data from retailers, and information from stories we published this past year to determine which products were the most popular of 2019.
Here are last year's 16 frequently bought items that you may want to consider for your 2020 shopping list.
There's no better way to feel like you're living in the future than by having a robot clean your house for you. iRobot's robot vacuums have been hot sellers for years now, but the Roomba 675 was a particularly popular buy for 2019.
Weighted blankets have caught on in recent years as a way to calm anxiety and promote a more restful night's sleep. This 10-pound blanket from Sharper Image won devotees in 2019 because of its breathable, super-soft velveteen exterior that makes it a year-round option. BPA-free, high-density microbeads are evenly distributed throughout the blanket to target your body's pressure points. It's not just for a good night's sleep, though -- curl up with this blanket on the sofa when you're watching TV or reading to help soothe anxiety, too.
Cast iron cookware has been around for decades and is a classic kitchen addition, but the cast iron skillet has had a particular recent resurgence. This Lodge skillet in particular topped shopping lists in 2019. Available in both 3- and 5-quart options with lids, it's versatile enough to be used in the oven, on the stovetop, or even over an open fire. That means you can use it for frying, sauteing, deep-frying, and even baking.
As self-care has become a collective fixation in the last few years, people have focused on both emotional and physical wellbeing. An air fryer strikes the perfect balance: letting you enjoy craving foods guilt-free while also cutting down on heavy fats. It's no surprise that the appliance has become so popular. This Ninja model lets you air fry your favorite foods with up to 75% less oil than the usual frying methods, and its 4-quart nonstick basket can hold plenty of food and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
The Nespresso represents the marriage of the convenience of a single-cup coffee brewer and the rich taste of artisan, freshly roasted beans. Discerning coffee drinkers loved this gourmet espresso machine in 2019 -- and for good reason. Thanks to its capsule system, it can brew actually good-tasting espresso and coffee with the touch of a single button, so it's as convenient as other pod brewers but makes tastier coffee.
Timepieces have always been a practical accessory as well as a status symbol, and the latest and greatest trend in wearable tech has been the smartwatch. It's easy to stay constantly connected whether at the gym, at work, or anywhere else, and the lastest Apple Watch in particular was a big seller in 2019. The most noteworthy feature of the gen 5 model is the always-on Retina display that keeps you from having to touch the screen or raise your wrist to check the time or read a text.
Modern life is all about balancing busy schedules with healthy lifestyles. Instant Pots only seem to get more and more popular each year since the creation of the appliance in 2009, and the Duo 60 was a top seller in 2019. Its 14 one-touch Smart Programs make operation a breeze, too, and the safety features provide peace of mind. The 6-quart capacity can also feed up to 4 people, which makes it a solid option for families.
With so many new shows and films available to stream at home, TV technology is always improving to keep up with the striking cinematography that now sets the standard. This crystal-clear 4K model from Samsung was an especially big hit in 2019. Its screen provides vivid colors from every angle and can minimize glare for a better viewing experience. The LED backlighting helps sharpen details, too, and the automatic built-in adaptation technology means you'll always have the ideal brightness and sound for the conditions in your room.
2019 was the year that seemingly everyone wore Airpods. The Pro version of these super-trendy wireless headphones was released in late-2019, offering significant upgrades on the original, such as active noise cancellation and tapered tips that conform to almost any ear shape. These not only look fashionable, but they also offer truly immersive sound and provide unmatched convenience for anyone who spends time on public transit, traveling, at the gym, or even in an office. These will likely continue to be popular into 2020 and beyond.
You don't have to be a fan of Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV series to appreciate the cuteness of Baby Yoda, which is why this Funko figurine was such a popular buy in 2019 (even though Baby Yoda didn't step onto the scene until November). So popular, in fact, that it's currently sold out on Amazon -- though we're confident that it will be restocked soon, considering the wide appeal of the Baby Yoda memes. Standing just under 4 inches tall, it's the perfect decoration for any desk -- or another great addition to a Star Wars fan's collectible case.
Amazon's Echo smart speaker has been a big seller since it was introduced, but the Dot model took the device to the next level. A voice-controlled speaker, it's the perfect companion for Alexa because you can just ask for your favorite music, news, or a weather report and the smart home assistant will take care of the rest. It also allows you to make calls and control any smart home devices with your voice. You can use it as an intercom to talk with family members in any room of the house, too, so it gives you total control over your domain.
In 2019, this gaming system was a big hit with gamers both young and old who appreciate the versatility of a console that can be used in multiple modes. That's because it's not just a single or multiplayer system for home use, but a device that can also be taken on the go for gaming anywhere. Best of all, in the portable mode, the battery can last up to 9 hours depending on the game you're playing.
If 2019 was the year of self-care, it was also the year of streaming. Whether you like to watch your favorite movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, or the new Disney+, the Fire Stick is one of the most popular streaming devices around. This model was so popular in 2019 because it allows you to enjoy 4K ultra HD content so you can get the most from those streaming subscriptions you pay for. It also offers a voice-controlled remote with Alexa built-in, so it's easy to find the movies and series you're looking for.
Eco-conscious footwear had its moment in 2019, and Allbirds took off because these sneakers strike the balance between comfort, style, and sustainability. Finding shoes that feel as good as they look is no easy task, but these runners from Allbirds combine form and function perfectly. Made of merino wool, they're temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking, making them ideal for all kinds of weather. The shoes are also super soft and feature plenty of expert cushioning, but they're still durable enough to hold up well to regular wear, so the trend isn't likely to fade anytime soon.
Who isn't looking for healthy recipes that are easy to prepare during a busy work week? Plus, Whole30 was a hot diet fad of 2019 (and is still trendy now). This cookbook sold plenty of copies in 2019 because it contains delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free recipes that don't lack anything in flavor. They all feature easy-to-find ingredients, too, so you won't have to spend hours shopping.
If you still have the Baby Shark song running through your head from time to time -- or if your kids are still singing it incessantly -- you won't be surprised that this doll was such a hot buy last year. Not only is it a soft, cuddly toy that your kid will love to hug, but it also plays the famous song when you squeeze its belly. You can even buy Mommy and Daddy sharks to go with your Baby to complete the family.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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