The Best Water Flossers for Easy and Effective Oral Hygiene

Woman flossing with a water flosser
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Brushing your teeth only cleans so much of the tooth surface. To get to everything inside your mouth, you really need to floss in some way. Flossing isn’t exactly most people’s favorite activity, however, but these water flossers can make short work of the task.

A water flosser (also called an oral irrigator) uses pressurized water that either applies continuous pressure or pulses against your gums and between your teeth to remove food debris and plague. It’s not as effective as going for a professional clean, but it does give you that same satisfying super-clean-teeth feeling afterward. Water flossers are also a fantastic option for people with limited mobility (who can’t effectively use string floss) and people with dental work such as braces. Compared to the traditional flossing tools intended for people with braces, water flossers are far more comfortable and easy to use.

Some water flossers have reservoirs that you fill with water before using from anywhere in the home (although, flossing in the bathroom makes the most sense), while others plug into your faucet or shower and gain access to water that way. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Regardless of the type you’re looking for, here’s the pick of the bunch for giving your teeth some extra attention from the comfort of your home.

Best Overall: Waterpik Aquarius ($80)

Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser
Waterpik

The Waterpik Aquarius is the Cadillac of water flossers and a runaway bestseller on Amazon with a staggering 14,500+ reviews averaging 4.5/5 stars—and all for good reason. The flosser has 10 pressure settings so even those with sensitive teeth will feel comfortable using it. All pressure settings offer continuous pressure, without pulsation. It also includes 7 Waterpik water flossing tips for every kind of surface from plaque seeking tips to orthodontic geared tips designed to make cleaning around braces and other orthodontic work a breeze.

The flosser reservoir holds enough water for 90 seconds of water flossing and is easily refilled. The device is easy to hold with easy pressure controls and clear LED indicators. It’s a great way of improving your oral hygiene with minimal effort.

Do note that the Aquarius runs on wall current so you’ll need an outlet (and some counter space to park it) wherever you intend to use it.

Best Cordless Option: Panasonic Dental Water Flosser ($69)

Panasonic Dental Water Flosser
Panasonic

The Panasonic Dental Water Flosser is a great option for folks short on counter space and spare outlets in their bathroom. It looks like a regular electric toothbrush except it uses pulsating water and jets to more deeply clean your teeth than any conventional toothbrush can. It has three flosser pressure settings including a deep and targeted cleaning mode, normal speed, and a lower-speed pulsing mode for children or those with sensitive gums. At its fastest, it offers up to 1500 pulses per minute. The water flosser comes with two flosser nozzles.

There’s the added benefit that its water tank is dishwasher safe so it’s easy to clean and maintain. It’s important to clean the water reservoir of any water flosser you use to avoid mold and mildew, so the dishwasher option on this model is particularly nice.

Best Faucet Flosser: Profloss Waterflosser ($20)

Profloss Waterflosser
Profloss

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The Best Electric String Trimmers for Your Lawn Care Needs

Person using an electric string trimmer to weed whack and trim grass
Fotos593/Shutterstock.com

It’s that time of year where the lawn needs maintaining. An electric string trimmer is a great way to take care of grass that’s grown out of control, weeds, and even tidy up edging. Here are the best electric string trimmers out there.

When it comes to serious weed whacking—like clearing all the overgrowth across an entire park—it’s tough to beat the run time and power of a gas-driven string trimmer. But for yard work at home, it’s tough to beat the convenience of an electric model. They’re less noisy, they don’t belch out exhaust all over you, and there’s no fussing with gasoline/oil mixtures.

We’ve mostly focused on cordless electric string trimmers as they’re just so much more convenient than having to drag a cable around your lawn—when you go cord-free there’s no wire to trip on, damage, or be frustrated by. However, cordless trimmers cost more than corded ones so we’ve made room for one great budget option if you’re willing to put up with all the extra hassle that a cable brings with it.

Regardless of what you go for, here’s the pick of the best electric string trimmers out there.

Best Overall: Greenworks 13-Inch 40V Cordless String Trimmer ($120)

Greenworks 13-Inch 40V Cordless String Trimmer
Greenworks

The perfect mix of good value and extensive features, the Greenworks 13-Inch 40V Cordless String Trimmer will keep you (and your lawn) happy. It lightweight at only a little over five pounds and sports a 13″ wide cutting path to help you cover more ground with less movement.

In addition to that, it has a 90 degree rotating head with an edging wheel that makes tidying up your lawn almost as easy as simply cutting the grass. Its 40V battery gives you about 60 minutes of runtime so you should easily be able to tackle up to half an acre of land before you need to recharge. It’s lightweight (at 9.3 lbs) and quieter than most too, ensuring you’ll be happy throughout using it.

Best Premium: Greenworks PRO 16-Inch 80v Cordless String Trimmer ($200)

Greenworks PRO 16-Inch 80v Cordless String Trimmer
Greenworks

The Greenworks PRO 16-Inch 80v Cordless String Trimmer is the heavy duty equivalent of the previously mentioned Greenworks string trimmer. You might only get 45 minutes of run time here but it’s a far more powerful engine. Greenworks reckons it’s equivalent to a 32cc gas engine and it’s able to cut a 16″ wide area at a time.

The trimmer includes a variable speed trigger for different areas that need work, and you’re able to add a number of attachments for different kinds of work such as edging. If your grass is liable to grow fast or get out of hand (we won’t judge), it’s able to stay revved up and cut down the lawn without feeling like too much work or getting clogged up like cheaper trimmers. It’s a little heavier than most electric models at 16 pounds if your lawn needs a little more effort thrown its way, you’ll be happy with the results.

Best For A Neat Trim: Worx WG184 13″ Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger ($127)

Worx WG184 13" Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger
Worx

All the trimmers here provide some kind of edging tool but the Worx WG184 13″ Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger does things the best. If you’re keen for a lawn that also looks good around the edges, this is the tool for you. For the price, you get two batteries for a combined power of 40V so it’ll last about an hour. You can easily change it from conventional trimmer to an inline wheeled edging tool in seconds via a push button, so that you can get to the finer details of your lawn.

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The Best Air Mattresses for You, Guests, and Even Camping

The best air mattresses

An air mattress is a useful thing to have whether you camp regularly or simply have numerous visitors coming to stay and you don’t want to make the room for a permanent mattress and bed. We’ve looked at some of the best air mattresses out there, no matter the situation.

It’s important to have an air mattress that’s easily inflated and deflated so we’ve looked specifically at those features. You also want a mattress that’s comfortable to lie on because otherwise what’s the point, right? Each of the mattresses here is just right for the job and you’ll be a happy sleeper no matter which one you go for.

Best Overall: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress ($120)

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
SoundAsleep

The SoundAsleep range of air mattresses is a great range to check out. Whatever you buy from the company is sure to be a decent quality place to sleep. If you just buy one, however, go with the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress. It uses the company’s ComfortCoil and SureGrip technologies to ensure firmness and stability as you snooze. Unlike other air mattresses, you won’t have to worry about slipping off the mattress. It has 40 internal air coils for added durability and comfort so you’ll feel comfy all night long.

It’s a big enough mattress to comfortably sleep two people on it but that doesn’t mean it takes a long time to pump up. It inflates in just under 4 minutes thanks to a 1-click internal pump system that’s really user friendly (you just click the control knob over to inflate or deflate and it, no fussing). To round off the great bunch of features, it’s made of puncture-resistant PVC and has a textured non-slip bottom so it stays put.

Best Elevated Air Mattress: Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam ($50)

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam
Intex

An elevated air mattress can be a huge help if you or your visitor have trouble rising from a lower surface. It can also feel more relaxing and comfier, simply because you don’t feel so low to the floor. At 22″ high, the Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam is very close in height to most standard foundation/mattress beds and definitely offers an experience closer to sitting down on the edge of a regular bed instead of crawling down onto the floor.

Its sleeping surface is covered in soft flocking for extra comfort with indented sides that keep your fitted sheets from slipping. It’s a good way of keeping you comfortable no matter how much you might toss or turn at night.

Inflation time takes just under 5 minutes and it comes with a handy carry bag, so it’s easy to store.

Best For Camping: SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress ($90)

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
SoundAsleep

When camping, it’s important to have a durable yet easy to store air mattress. Predictably, SoundAsleep has the best of the bunch here. Its Camping Series Air Mattress is specifically designed with outdoor durability in mind so it’s made from extra thick material to better withstand the odd sticks, rocks, and bumps you wouldn’t run into in your living room. It also has a carry bag that makes it easy to transport to your car or campsite.

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The Best Tools For Working in Your Yard and Garden

Gardening tools spread out on a lawn
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It’s that time of the year where we’re all looking out at our gardens and realizing we need to maintain them. Fortunately, we’ve got a bunch of pruning and gardening tools that are perfect for the task.

Whether you’re trimming your hedges into shape, pruning back your roses, doing some serious tree trimming, or just popping in some new plants you picked up at the local nursery, we’ve picked out favorite tools to help you get the job done so you can spend more time enjoying your garden and less time sweating in it.

Hedge Trimmer: Worx 20V PowerShare 20″ Cordless ($80)

Worx 20V PowerShare 20" Cordless
Worx

Hedges and shrubs grow fast. You want to use a hedge trimmer that’s not unwieldy but still powerful so you can cut them back efficiently. The Worx 20V PowerShare 20″ Cordless is a great bet. It has a 20V battery that provides more than enough juice for tackling multiple trees, shrubs, and hedges without running out of power. The battery also works with other Worx tools, everything from power tools to electric leaf blowers, so it’s sure to be handy if you invest in the platform.

It has dual-action cutting blades for a fast and clean cut with minimal vibration, with a D-grip front handle so you can easily grip onto it whether you’re holding it from the top or the side. It’s lightweight too, only weighing about 6 pounds. It’s mostly everything you could want from a hedge trimmer.

Bypass Hand Shears: Fiskars Pruning Shears ($10)

Fiskars Pruning Shears
Fiskars

When cutting back light branches or stems, it can be useful to use a good pair of pruning shears. The Fiskars Pruning Shears are the best of the bunch. The fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade stays sharp even with frequent use and the low-friction coating that helps it glide through stems and small branches without getting gummed up with sap.

The handles provide non-slip grips so you can easily hold onto it and wrap your fingers around it without an issue. These are ideal for those pesky clean-up jobs when pulling out the hedge trimmer would be overkill.

Needle Nose Fruit Pruner: ARS Stainless Steel Fruit Pruner ($24)

ARS Stainless Steel Fruit Pruner
ARS

Do you find yourself regularly deadheading plants or harvesting fruit? In which case, you need the ARS Stainless Steel Fruit Pruner. Its needle-nose design means it’s perfect for such tasks. That’s backed up by its all-metal construction and high-quality spring that means it puts the hard work in so you don’t have to.

The handles are ergonomically designed with an easy to grip plastic coating, so you don’t feel too much force in your hands when you’re squeezing the pruners. It’s a great time and effort saver.

Bypass Loppers: Fiskars Bypass Lopper ($22)

Fiskars Bypass Lopper
Fiskars

Loppers are designed to cut small tree branches without needing to climb up on something to reach them or busting out a full pruning saw. Like other Fiskars products, the Fiskars Bypass Loppers have a precision-ground blade that stays sharp through heavy use. That’s backed up by a low-friction and rust-resistant coating that helps it glide through wood while avoiding getting gummed up with sap.

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Creative Stage Air Review: Cheap and Cheerful Computer Soundbar

Creative Stage Air Soundbar
Creative

Part mini soundbar, part portable Bluetooth speaker, the Creative Stage Air is a somewhat unusual amalgamation of familiar features. At a budget price, you shouldn’t expect perfection by any means, but it’s easy to forgive a device that’s only going to set you back $40. Here’s how we got on with this cute looking soundbar.

Small Yet Mighty?

Designed to live under your monitor, the Creative Stage Air is really lightweight—it only weighs two pounds, and you can easily carry it around with one hand. The thinking behind it is that it’s a social device too. You can easily take it with you to a friend’s house for instance, or you could take it to a party thanks to its built-in battery.

The sound output isn’t quite significant enough for a big gathering, but if you just want a little extra oomph when watching or listening with friends, it’s quite appealing. And for it’s intended purpose—improving the speaker experience while using your laptop or desktop computer—it puts on a good show.

Creative Stage Air
It’s not much longer than a 13″ MacBook Pro Jennifer Allen

For the price, you don’t get much in the box. There’s the soundbar itself which measures a mere 16 x 3 x 2.75 inches, along with a micro-USB and 3.5mm cable. Both of these are only a little over half a foot long so expect to buy longer cables separately if you want to do anything more advanced than just slot it under your PC monitor, such as place it under your TV.

It’s predominantly plastic with a glossy finish and matte sides. It won’t set the world alight with its looks, but it’s subtle and easily blends in with your other devices. There’s a metal grill that covers two dynamic drivers, along with an oversized passive radiator. Predictably, the glossy finish loves to collect fingerprints but hey, what tech doesn’t?

Creative Stage Air side buttons
Jennifer Allen

On one side are four rubberized buttons. Expect to need to look closely at what each does as the descriptions are a little awkward to spot, plus it loves to attract dust. One is power, along with Bluetooth connectivity, and volume controls. It’d be nice if the buttons were a little easier to distinguish from each other, but when it came to volume control, I mostly stuck with using whichever device I had it hooked up to. It’s one of those things that would feel like a bigger issue if the Creative Stage Air costs more than it does.

Connectivity Options: Not Too Shabby

Creative Stage Air
Did we mention that it loves to suck up dust? Jennifer Allen

The Creative Stage Air has three physical inputs. There’s USB-A for plugging in a flash drive for instant playback. This is one of those things that seems useful but is fairly limited. When you plug in a USB drive it just starts playing all the files in the order in which they appear on the flash drive—there’s no ability to skip, go back, or control the music playback with a companion app or anything. While you can’t expect much from a device with no screen, some basic button-based functionality would be nice. Still, if you just want to dump a giant pile of music on a flash drive and leave it to play without worrying about somebody staying in Bluetooth range, it’s useful.

Additionally, there’s the 3.5mm input which comes with that very short cable but is useful for hooking up a multitude of things (even more so if you buy a longer cable). Then there’s the micro-USB socket that’s there to charge the battery. The battery capacity is 2200mAh, so you’re good to go for a while with Creative reckoning a maximum battery life of about 6 hours. Expect that to drop to about 4 hours if you turn up the volume.

As anything with the word Air in the title suggests, the Creative Stage Air also works via Bluetooth. It’s fairly standard and reassuringly straightforward. Hooking it up to my phone took seconds, and there’s always the option of connecting it to your computer this way too. The downside for some here is that it’s Bluetooth 4.2 and only works with the SBC audio codec which isn’t the best of codecs, but it’s not something that most users will notice. Basically, if you know what any of that means, you’re probably already intent on spending a lot more on your speakers than the price of this one.

Middling Sounds

Creative Stage Air
Jennifer Allen

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