— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today’s newsroom and any business incentives.
Doing your taxes might suck, but getting your tax refund back feels fantastic. It’s as if you’re getting free money added to your bank account (even though it’s really just money you earned that the government took too much of). Now, you just need to decide on what to spend it on. I mean, a tax refund is the perfect excuse to treat yourself.
Instead of blowing your newfound money on some trendy piece of clothing or cool-looking gizmo, you might want to invest a high-quality product that will last you years to come. Here at Reviewed, it’s our job to test and rate hundreds of products throughout the year, and we take it very seriously, so we know a thing or two about what’s actually worth buying.
We used our product insights to narrow down a list of 50 incredible products at every price point. But first, here are our 10 favorite products that are definitely worth a buy—whether you have a tax refund or not.
Our 10 favorite tax return buys
If you’re an avid home movie lover, the only TV you should be using is an OLED TV. With 4K resolution that creates incredible picture quality and viewing experience, OLEDs put whatever else you’ve been watching on to shame. The LG C8 OLED TV is the best TV we’ve ever tested, and with good reason. But its cinema-quality picture doesn’t come cheap, which is why it may be the perfect investment for your tax refund.
After a rough 2018, you deserve a good night’s sleep on the best mattress on the market. We tested a variety of mattresses in a box, and we found that Purple was our favorite luxury one. It was easy to roll out and it’s made with a unique gel-like material that gave us one of the best sleeps of our lives. It’s a little on the pricier side, but that’s what tax refunds are for, right?
Use your tax refunds this season to upgrade your outdated home stereo. Sonos speakers not only have amazing sound, but they also have WiFi connectivity, meaning you can control everything from your phone or with voice commands to an Amazon Echo. Purchase multiple speakers and link them to create an epic home audio system, and jam out during your next get together.
Apple AirPods come with an air of elitism, which is why they’re the perfect thing to buy with your tax refund. Not only are they trendy, but we were honestly shocked by how amazing Apple’s AirPods are. They have incredible sound, are super easy to connect to Bluetooth, and have no pesky wires to deal with. These “pods” will give a major update to your commute—and to your life, apparently.
You’ve seen them on everyone’s wrists—small, glowing bracelets that are tracking steps. The Fitbit Charge 3 is our favorite fitness tracker because it has an easy-to-read screen and incredible battery life, and it notifications constantly remind you to be active as well as alert you to texts, calls, and more. With a new firtess tracker, you can see your tax refunds transform into health returns.
Planning to travel more this year? Set aside some of your tax refund for luggage to get you where you want to go. The Away Suitcase is an amazing upgrade. In fact, it’s the best hard-sided suitcase we’ve ever tested. Not only is its colorful polycarbonate shell completely Instagrammable and easy to spot on the luggage carousel, but it will protect everything inside no matter how much it gets jostled on the way to its destination.
We all hate vacuuming, right? This year, spend your tax refund on a robot vacuum that will do your dirty work daily and keep things nice and tidy before deep cleanings. The Eufy RoboVac 11s is our favorite affordable robot vacuum because of its impressive dirt pickup and quiet operation. The slim profile also makes it easier to reach every nook and cranny.
Le Creuset has been considered the top maker of Dutch ovens for years, but it’s time for the aspirational brand to move over and make way for Staub. After testing the best Dutch ovens, we found that Staub bested the Le Creuset. They both did a great job cooking, but Staub’s size and shape are much more versatile, making it the ultimate choice for cooking just about anything. It may be pricey, but with your tax refund you can afford to buy something Ina Garten would approve of.
A tax refund is a great excuse to get new books—or more specifically a new e-reader. The all-new Kindle Paperwhite earned the top spot of the best Kindle we’ve ever tested thanks to its incredible upgrades. It now has more storage, a more even backlight, a lighter and thinner design, and waterproofing, making this personal electronic library more impressive than ever.
It’s finally time to get in on that Instant Pot craze you’ve been hearing about. Multi-cookers are the ultimate cooking appliance: They combine the slow cooker, rice cooker, and pressure cooker in one device, meaning you can cook basically everything in it and clear some space in your kitchen. If you want the best of the best, go with the Smart Wifi Instant Pot, which is the best electric multi-cooker we’ve ever tested and completely worth the price. It also goes on sale from time to time if you want to wait.
If these 10 items don’t strike your fancy, there are a ton of other amazing things you can spend your tax refund on that fit with every budget from $50 to $500. We rounded up a bunch at various price points so you can do a little window shopping and decide what you’re going to splurge on.
Trying to save some of your tax refund, but still want to get something special for yourself? These top-rated products won’t cost you more than $50, but will still spark joy. Or you can grab a few things off this list if you want to spend your entire refund (we won’t judge).
Everyone deserves a smart personal assistant and with a tax refund it’s the perfect time to buy one. If you’re just hopping on the smart home train, start small with the Echo Dot. It’s the most affordable Echo in Amazon’s smart speaker lineup, and it’s been improved with better sound and a sleeker look than past versions.
After testing a ton of essential oil diffusers, we found that our overall pick from InnoGear is the best options, and it is also one of the most affordable We loved the colorful, customizable LED glow, as well as the diffuser’s locking top cover, which made it easier to move the diffuser without spilling water. It’s pretty inexpensive so you can get a few and make your entire home smell incredible (or gift one to a friend who maybe didn’t get a refund this year).
Springtime is the perfect weather for smoothies, and a personal blender is a great product to spend your money on. With a powerful, 700-watt motor packed into a compact machine, the Ninja Fit can whip up any smoothie or health shake in seconds—or maybe an icy cocktail, if it’s been a long day. It’s also the best personal blender we’ve ever tested, and we love the affordable price point too.
If you really love coffee, the Sterling Double Wall French Press makes an amazing cup of coffee. It is double insulated so it keeps coffee nice and hot, it looks fantastic, it’s dishwasher safe, and it’s the best French press we’ve ever tested. Best of all, this French press is about a third the price of many other stainless steel French presses, meaning you can stretch your refund even further.
Now that you have some extra cash, you can finally splurge on a high-end water bottle. Hydro Flask is a cult-favorite and with good reason. Not only does it come in fun colors, but it actually keeps your water cold for hours on end. It’s so good in fact that it’s the best water bottle we’ve ever tested.
What better way to treat yourself than a home cooked meal? With a meal kit you can take out half the work by having both recipes and ingredients shipped right to your doorstep. After testing and eating our way through 10 different meal kit delivery services, Home Chef was the best of the bunch for its great flavors and easy-to-follow recipes.
Earlier this year, we threw a handful of the most popular travel mugs in a good old fashioned cage match. When the dust settled, this stainless steel mug from Zojirushi emerged as the champion on our list of the best travel mugs you can buy. We love how easy the Zojirushi mug is to use, and its temperature-retention abilities absolutely floored our tester.
If you always drink your coffee cold, no matter what the temperature is outside, then you need to invest in cold brew maker for iced coffee year ’round. This one from Takeya is the best cold brew coffee maker we’ve ever tested and it’s less than $20. It’s easy to use and brews a full quart of concentrated cold brew coffee that can last the whole week.
Treat your phone to an upgrade with a wireless charger. The Samsung Fast Wireless Charging Pad is our favorite wireless charger because it’s compatible with Samsung Galaxy phones, as well as the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, and XS, and any other Qi-rated smartphone. The best part? This fast-charging pad will juice your handheld back up to 100% without the need for extra cables and clutter. It’s that easy.
Use your tax refund to streamline your breakfast with a Dash Rapid Egg Cooker. It quickly whips up nearly every style of egg and will help you finally make the perfect poached egg for your avocado toast. We were a bit skeptical if it actually worked, but after testing it in our office, we were sold, and a bunch of us still use it to make our breakfast during the workweek. The best part is that it’s so affordable, you’ll have plenty left over for MORE shopping.
Sometimes the best things in life cost less than $100—like an Instant Pot, an Amazon Echo, and an Oral-B electric toothbrush. Trust us, they’re worth spending your tax return on.
If you wanted a more affordable Instant Pot than the WiFI one we mentioned earlier, then the popular DUO60 model is your best bet. It doesn’t have smart functionality, but it does have the pressure, sauté, and rice settings you’ll need for cooking almost everything. Plus, your tax refund is the perfect excuse to finally get one.
When we tested the best streaming devices, the Roku Ultra stood above the competition as the one to buy. With the Ultra, you can sayh goodbye to your cable bill and watch your favorite shows and movies in 4K and HDR from all your streaming services. We love Roku’s simple platform and the remote control is by far the easiest to use of all the devices we tested.
A cozy night in isn’t complete without a warm cup of tea. If you love tea but are still boiling water on a stove or heating it in the microwave, than you need an electric kettle. Believe me, heating up water in the microwave is for peasants, and you always just end up burning your hand on the mug anyway. Plus, different teas require different temperatures, which our favorite electric kettle can handle.
There’s no better splurge than a shopping trip at Lululemon, and thanks to your tax refund you can finally justify buying their incredible yoga mat. Whether you want to tote our favorite yoga mat to a strenuous heat yoga class or simply turn on some YouTube yoga in the living room, this mat will ensure a firm grip and zero slippage.
The Wahl Clippers Stainless Steel Beard Trimmer won our roundup of the best beard trimmers, with its top-notch battery life, trimming ability, and professional-quality build. It’s not waterproof, but it is easy to keep clean, so if you wanted to up your beard game, tax refunds are the perfect opportunity to do so.
If you want to get a new pair of high-quality, safe headphones for your music-loving tot, look no further. Between the long battery life and comfortable over-the-ear fit, the Puro Sound Labs headphones have a lot to offer. After testing all the top options, we named Puro’s headphones the best headphones for kids for those features as well as their consistent ability to play only at safe levels for developing ears.
Use your refund to finally get your life together with the Tile, a small tracking device that you can attach to your most important—or most often forgotten—personal items (think: keys, wallet, purse, luggage, laptop, etc.) You can use an app on your phone to track your Tiles—but you can also use the Tile to track your phone if (read: when) you lose it. One main user gripe has been that its battery life gives out after a year—but luckily, last year Tile finally released replaceable batteries for these little lifesavers.
A tax refund can be put to good use to improve your dental hygiene. Electric toothbrushes really give your mouth a whole new feeling of clean, and the Oral-B Pro 3000 is our favorite electric toothbrush. It has three cleaning modes and breaks up your two minutes of brushing into four 30-second segments, so you brush every quadrant of your mouth equally and for enough time. Get one of these and your dentist will be so proud of your dental hygiene.
Amazon has a ton of Echo smart speakers on the market, but the flagship Echo is hands down our favorite. It has impressive sound and comes with all of Alexa’s skills and features at a great value. Plus, asking Alexa what the weather is or to remind you to switch the laundry in an hour, or set a timer for your favorite frozen pizza honestly never gets old.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so using your tax refunds to buy a waffle maker is completely justified. This one from Cuisinart is the best Belgian waffle maker we’ve ever tested. Seriously, it made the thickest, fluffiest, and crunchiest waffles we’ve ever had, and I can basically guarantee you will be going back for seconds.
Tax refunds are a great reason to buy something that’s just out of your normal budget. So, there’s never been a better time to get that cult-favorite hair dryer or the KitchenAid stand mixer you’ve been wanting for months.
Using a bad hair dryer can actually add damage to your hair—not to mention it takes forever to dry. A good hair dryer, on the other hand, can make your hair look incredible in a fraction of the time. The Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 is the best hair dryer we’ve ever tested because it dried hair in the shortest time (just 22 minutes compared to others closer to a full half hour) while still leaving the look of a sleek salon blowout. Right now, it’s even 25% off so you can save a little on this cult-favorite product.
There’s nothing that makes you feel quite like a sophisticated coffee drinker like ordering an espresso. What if you could enjoy one in your home every morning? The Nespresso Citiz is the best single-serve espresso maker and will change the way you make coffee at home. We love this machine because it pours an espresso in about 25 seconds (as opposed to waiting 10 minutes at a coffee shop), has two drink size options, and is super easy to use. It’s possibly one of the best gadgets to splurge on for a daily treat.
Let’s face it, your TV could sound better, and if you’re tired of cranking up the volume just to hear the dialogue in your favorite shows, it may be time to get a sound bar. The Sonos Beam is the best sound bar under $500 we’ve ever tested. At $400, it’s quite pricey, but completely worth it for a sleek design and the high audio quality Sonos is known for. Did we mention that it connects with Alexa, too?
After tax season is finally over, the weather’s (hopefully) going to be warm enough for smoothie season. A professional blender is essential for anyone who wants a creamy texture void of any kale chunks, but they’re usually a little pricey, making them perfect to splurge on with your tax refund. A Vitamix blender is typically super expensive, but you can get a refurbished Vitamix 5300, our favorite affordable professional blender, for a little over $350.
A tax refund is as good a reason as any to get that gaming console you’ve been eyeing. The Nintendo Switch is the latest family-friendly video game console from Nintendo (you know, the company responsible for Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Kirby, and all the other games most people have actually heard of). The Switch combines the power of a full home gaming console with the ability to “undock” the smaller screen and take it on the go like a tablet. Whether you’ve got kids or a sense of nostalgia (or both), this is a great time to buy one of your own.
The KitchenAid brand is synonymous with “stand mixer” for a reason—their timeless, high-performing mixers are simply better than the competition. The 5-quart Artisan stand mixer remains top dog in our roundup of the best stand mixers on the market, thanks to its powerful, quiet motor and user-friendly design. This may be the perfect chance to finally bring one into your kitchen.
It’s time to take action and block out all the stresses of life with a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are the best noise-canceling headphones we’ve ever tested. Not only do they have great sound, but they’re really good at muting the world around you. Plus, strangers, coworkers, and loved ones alike are far less likely to bother you when you have these huge things on.
Tax refunds are a great way to fully stock your kitchen, especially if you’ve been aching to invest in a new knife set. This 18-piece set by Zwilling J.A. Henckels is the best knife set we’ve ever tested. It includes pretty much every knife you will ever need, and each one is sharp, well-balanced, and stunning.
You’ll feel a bit more luxurious snuggled up with the best heated blanket on the market. This one from L.L.Bean may seriously change the way you sleep (or survive the cold office), which makes it a worthy candidate to spend your tax refund on. It has basically every feature and heat setting you could ask for in a heated blanket, and it feels oh-so-soft, unlike others that can feel scratchy, stiff, and thin.
After tax season comes grilling season, so you might as well spend your refund on a new grill and get ready for burgers and dogs. This one from Weber is the best charcoal grill we’ve ever tested and it will satisfy everyone at your next barbecue. I think we can all agree that nothing tastes better than the smokey flavor from a charcoal grill.
Lucky enough to get a huge refund this year? If you’re thinking of really splurging and spending it all on a luxury product that will last you years to come, we’ve got a bunch of great suggestions to help you narrow down your options..
There’s no better thing to splurge on than a new mattress. After finishing your tax returns, you’re going to want a good night’s sleep and this purchase will last you for years to come. Tuft & Needle makes the best mattress in a box we’ve ever tested. Not only is it on the less expensive side compared to other popular options like Purple (our favorite luxury mattress), Casper, and Saatva, but it also offers great support while still feeling soft.
A great entertainment space isn’t complete without a really good TV. This 55-inch TCL is the one worth spending your tax refund on—our TV reviewer loved it. It has built-in Roku functionality, awesome performance, and a sleek, angular design that makes it a great TV to upgrade to. Plus, the 4K resolution, great HDR, and intense color saturation will fascinate tech lovers and leave movie-lovers in awe.
Keeping a tidy home is a luxurious thing when you’re not the one cleaning it. That’s why robot vacuums were created. If you have a good one, it will do the work for you, and if you have room to splurge, why not? When we tested the iRobot Roomba i7+, our robot vacuum expert gave it a nearly perfect score. This robot vacuum can empty its dirt bin all by itself and then continue vacuuming. It’s truly the most luxurious robot vacuum we’ve seen, and worth every penny so you have to do even less work to enjoy a clean home.
Dyson is a household name when it comes to vacuums, and if you were finally planning to upgrade to one, we suggest the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute. It’s the best cordless stick vacuum we’ve ever tested and comes with a ton of attachments to clean in ways you never thought possible. We also loved that it picked up the most dirt out of all the cordless models we tested and can run for up to 60 minutes on a low setting.
If you’re already spending a ton of cash on Soul Cycle classes, then you might as well take the plunge and get a Peloton with your tax refund. One of our editors has this bike and absolutely loves how convenient it is to take spin classes right in her living room. A monthly subscription is only $39 a month, so you can actually save money in the long run, too. Plus, no more scrambling to get out of bed to make it to class in time!
Nothing screams “I just got my tax refund” like buying an expensive coat like the coveted Canada Goose. These expensive jackets promote ultra-warmth with goose feathers, and people love them. Bonus: Since we’re on our way out of winter, you might be able to find one on sale for next year.
Having a movie theater in your home sounds pretty great, but your tax refund probably won’t cover a home renovation. Well, what about a projector? With the Nebula, our favorite portable projector, you can binge watch Netflix in 720p on your own DIY big screen. It’s just like having your own theater.
If you want to impress guests at your next pizza party then you’re going to want to have the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo on hand. This fancy pizza oven can pop out Neapolitan-style pizzas in under three minutes, and absolutely wowed us in our tests. A professional pizza chef even said he would buy this if he had extra cash to spare—meaning it’s the perfect thing to spend your refund on.
Whether you’re watching movies or a big game, you deserve to see it on the best quality possible. The Samsung Q9 QLED TV is one of the best TVs we’ve ever tested and it might have changed the way we look at other screens. It’s one of the brightest TVs, which gives whatever you’re watching extremely vivid, saturated colors. It’s quite pricey, but that’s what tax refunds are for, right?
If you want an upright vacuum that’s going to last, we recommend spending your tax refund the more expensive Miele. The Miele Dynamic U1 has line of high-end upright vacuums that look and feel like nothing else out there, which is why it’s the best upright vacuum we’ve ever tested. It resists tipping over and this model in particular is great if you have pets.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2019/03/15/50-best-things-buy-your-tax-refund/3160613002/