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My husband and I moved into a new home on the other side of the country this summer and brought along everything that could fit in our POD, including my prized cat-scratcher and nearly 30 boxes of books (I wish I was joking). As we planned our move, we took a careful inventory of which possessions we wanted to keep and which we wanted to donate or sell.
Ultimately, we ended up buying a whole lot of new stuff for our house—partially because we had more space, but also because it made more sense to upgrade different areas of our new house. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or you’re trying to figure out what you need for your next big move, here are 25 of the best things you could buy for your new home.
1. A brand new mattress for your new bedroom
My husband is 6 feet tall, so when we moved into our new home, he said the only thing he wanted was a king mattress. I’m only 5’2”, so I could sleep on a loveseat if I needed to, but I gave in and we ended up upgrading to a king. We went with Nectar, which is our favorite mattress-in-a-box company. Matt and I love how comfortable the mattress is—we had only really purchased beds from brick-and-mortar retailers in the past, so we were shocked that the Nectar was not only dreamy, but it was also more comfortable than other mattresses we’d bought before.
Shortly after we bought our Nectar, our sleep writer Lindsey tested the Leesa Hybrid and named it our favorite upgrade mattress, meaning if you can splurge, the Leesa is the model to buy.
2. Chic bedding to match your new mattress
Whether you’re buying a new mattress or not, buying new bedding is the quickest way to give your bedroom a facelift. Depending on what you’re looking for, you could spend anywhere from $30 to $300 on a new comforter. When we tested comforters, we thought the Linenspa All-Season Quilted Comforter from Amazon was the best. It’s only $30 and it comes in 12 different colors, so you can pick the shade that best matches your taste.
We ended up buying this comforter in navy blue, and it’s every bit as cozy as promised. It looks great when piled with throw pillows, especially ones with blue and white tones.
3. Pillows to help you sleep in comfort
Pillows are every bit as unique as the person who uses them. Some people prefer fluffy pillows while others want to rest their heads on flat-like surfaces. We tested bed pillows and found that the Xtreme Comforts Memory Foam Pillow from Amazon was the best you could buy. It’s fluffy, it fits your frame, and it helped our testers get the perfect night’s sleep.
Personally, I own and swear by the Layla Kapok Pillow. She’s not cheap—about $100 for the queen-sized version—but it is truly the most comfortable pillow I’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping on. Truthfully, my husband bought this pillow for himself at the beginning of the year, but once I felt how comfy it was, I quickly claimed it as my own.
4. A set of sheets to round out your new bedding set
Think quick—how old are your sheets? If you can’t remember (or don’t want to), it’s time to upgrade. Use your new move as an excuse and pick up a set of high-quality sheets you can enjoy in your new home. Our favorite bed sheets are from Brooklinen, and while they’re a little pricey, they’re well worth the splurge. We found that they were ridiculously comfortable, easy to wash, and surprisingly kept a cozy temperature during warm months.
5. Bath mats for all your bathrooms
When I moved into my new house, I went from having one tiny bathroom to having three human-sized ones. It was truly awesome, but honestly, there’s a lot that goes into stocking a bathroom. You need shower curtains, soap dispensers, and importantly, bath mats.
You could pick up a cheap bath mat on Amazon for $5, but it won’t last very long—and honestly, you’ll be kicking yourself when you find wet footprints throughout your bathroom. We tested bath mats and found that the Gorilla Grip Bathroom Mat performed the best. It’s deliciously plush and absorbent, which is everything you could ask for in a bath mat.
6. Sets of towels for all the guests you’ll host
You may not be hosting people anytime soon, but as soon as your friends can visit, you’ll want to offer them a set of nice guest towels they can enjoy during their stay. And they’re not guest towels unless they’re the best, which means it’s time to splurge on some fancy (and effective!) towels. Our favorite bath towels are from Parachute, and the set we recommend comes with two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. It also comes in six colors, so you can pick the set that best matches your bathroom.
7. A sparkly new shower head (believe me, you need this)
I feel so passionately about buying new showerheads wherever you go. They’re cheap—you can get a quality shower head for about $20—and they’re yours, so you can kiss the previous owners’ gunk goodbye.
We tested showerheads and found our favorite at Walmart. This showerhead actually comes with two heads, which means you can seriously up your shower game. It maintains an impressive water pressure, but most importantly, the mist feature was so incredible, our writer described it as: “the absolute best sensation I have ever had in a shower: It felt like a bunch of angels were gently pelting me with wet cotton clouds.”
8. More rugs than you thought you’d ever buy
Sometimes the apartment gods bless you with hardwood floors, and sometimes you’re left with old carpets from generations of old tenets. Either way, you’ll need some new rugs, whether you’re hiding stains or protecting beautiful floors. Our favorite place to buy rugs is Ruggable, which offers machine-washable rugs in a variety of shapes and designs.
Personally, every rug in my house comes from Wayfair, which offers the best rug pricing I’ve seen in my own hunting. Plus, they offer smaller sizes, which were perfect for placing under my cats’ litter box.
9. Fresh plants to brighten up your space
Adding fresh plants is the quickest way to add life and character to your home. And when it comes to mail-order plants, it doesn’t get better than The Sill, which has carved out a special place in our hearts. Our managing editor Meghan Kavanaugh tried The Sill last year, and her precious plant baby Branche Deveraux is still thriving, even though she couldn’t see her for about six months during the pandemic.
I received a Pink Anthurium as a housewarming present, and while I don’t know anything about plants, I am absolutely obsessed with her. She’s low-maintenance, doesn’t like the sun, and she looks great on my desk.
10. Curtains to tie the room together
I had never really paid attention to curtains before, until I moved into a house with no blinds or curtains. Turns out you need some kind of window treatment to keep people from seeing directly into your home—who knew?
If you’re looking for cute curtains, I highly recommend Society6, which is where we got our curtains for our new home. Each curtain pattern is designed by an artist, so you know you’re getting unique and attractive designs. You can also shop from Wayfair, which offers a great selection of chic and affordable curtains, too.
11. Home decor, because your walls can’t be bare
There are two things I really love above all else: cooking and “Star Wars.” It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that my home decor really leans into both. My kitchen is spotted with the Le Creuset Star Wars collection, while my office is sprinkled with “Star Wars” posters from many different times and places.
My favorite thing I’ve picked up this year is from a small shop called Pocono Modern. They sell tea towels, recipe cards, and framed pictures all featuring Vintage Pyrex. As soon as I got my prints, I was obsessed—they’re absolutely adorable and blend perfectly with my aesthetic. Plus, they made my mom jealous, which always makes me feel like I’ve made a good decision.
12. A WiFi extender if your home is big (or twisty)
For the first time in my adult life, I’m living in a home with two levels. It’s cool, but it also means we had to figure out how to get the internet to work across the house, not just in one corner. We tested mesh WiFi systems, and our favorite was the Google Nest Mesh System. My husband and I ended up getting this system for our house and we were shocked at how easy it was to set up—and how quickly it worked.
The internet went from moderately stable to incredibly solid, which is really important considering that we’re both working all day from 9-to-5 on our computers. We also really appreciated the fact that the ports doubled as smart assistants.
13. Smart thermostats so you can start saving energy
You truly don’t appreciate how life-changing smart thermostats can be until you own one. We picked up a Google Nest for our home, and while it’s not Reviewed’s favorite smart thermostat (that would be the Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Thermostat), my husband and I are obsessed with our Nest. It was easy to install, it’s simple to use, and I can literally control the temperature from my phone, which is incredibly convenient.
14. A smart doorbell you can watch from your phone
Your thermostat isn’t the only device you can control from your phone—if you’re sick of running from the sound of a doorbell like a cat (or is that just me?), we definitely recommend picking up a smart doorbell. The Google Nest Hello Doorbell is the best one we tested—we liked it even more than the Amazon Ring.
We thought the Google Nest Hello Doorbell has superb video quality. We enjoyed how you can adjust its settings at night for better viewing, and that you can even set it to recognize faces).
15. A smart speaker to control all your new tech
If you’ve loaded up on new smart tech for your home, you may want to invest in a hub that can control all the other devices you’ve purchased. Our favorite smart speaker was the Bose Home Speaker 300, which is compatible with both Google Nest and Amazon Alexa products.
16. This smart plug that can help you control your home
Ever heard of a smart plug? Honestly, I hadn’t until I started working here. Smart plugs can turn pretty much any object in your home into a smart device. You can hook them up to your phone, then control the settings from wherever you are. We tested smart plugs and thought the Currant WiFi Smart Outlet performed best. It had superior connectivity compared to other plugs we tried, and worked flawlessly with Google and Amazon smart products.
17. A Swiffer WetJet to mop up those hard surfaces
My life changed the day I bought a Swiffer WetJet. I had owned a conventional Swiffer for years, but upgraded to the WetJet after a friend recommended it to me. I regret nothing.
Unlike the standard Swiffer, the WetJet allows you to swap out cleaning solutions, so I can Swiffer the bathroom tiles with the standard formula, but switch to a hardwood-specific one when I need to hit the living room. The Swiffer WetJet is Reviewed’s choice for the most convenient mop, but it’s my choice for “best cleaning tool in my house.”
18. A robot vacuum that can keep your home tidy
After years of writing about the iRobot Roomba i7+, I finally caved and bought our favorite robot vacuum during one of its summer sales. It’s sleek, effective, and my best friend even made me a label for it with her Cricut.
19. A standing vacuum, because there’s no true replacement
Even if you own a stellar robot vacuum like the i7+, you still need a standing vacuum. Robot vacuums are fantastic, but they can’t quite hit the corners like a traditional model. My husband is a cleaning aficionado, so if a product gets his seal of approval, I know it’s really good.
We owned the Bissell CleanView for nearly three years and loved every second of it. It’s actually Reviewed’s choice for the best affordable vacuum cleaner, and as a previous owner, I can vouch for how much power it gave us for its cost. It’s particularly effective for pet owners—we cleaned up after our two cats for years and never had a problem with clogs or broken parts.
20. A shop vac, aka my husband’s true love
When I told my husband I was writing this list, he told me I had to include our shop vac, which is, in his opinion, the best thing we’ve ever purchased. That’s quite a hefty statement, considering we bought a PS4 Pro because he was convinced our PS4 was “probably going to die soon maybe.”
We own the Rigid Shop-Vac, which comes with four different hoses, two nozzle attachments, a hose, a filter, and an entire leaf blower built on top. It works on both wet and dry messes, so we’ve used it to vacuum water from the basement and clean up debris after home improvement projects. If you own a fixer-upper, or just love home projects, this one’s a must-own.
21. This tool kit you can use to assemble furniture
I have assembled so many pieces of furniture over the past few weeks that I could build a bookcase blindfolded. While shipments usually come with allen wrenches and screws, they don’t come with a screwdriver—or a drill, a rubber mallet, or any number of other tools you’ll probably need to actually build your new furniture.
You need a good toolkit anyway, so you may as well buy the best one. We love this 65-piece kit from Stanley, which comes with a hammer, level, two screwdrivers, and much more. It’s got everything the first-time homeowner needs.
22. A lawn mower you can use for outdoor chores
If your new home has a lawn, you need to invest in a lawn mower. There are so many options to choose from nowadays. You can go push, electric, and even battery-powered, like the one I own, the Ryobi Cordless Battery Mower. This model can cut an entire lawn on one battery without dying. Even better, you can use that battery across any Ryobi-branded tool, so you don’t need to worry about buying 10 different kinds of batteries for all your fancy new power tools.
23. A sprinkler, because yes—you have to water grass
That’s right, grass doesn’t just water itself (unless it rains). Depending on where you live, you may need to water your grass daily to keep it healthy. Forget standing outside with your hose and invest in a smart sprinkler like the Rachio 8-Zone Smart Sprinkler, which is our favorite model you can buy. We found it incredibly easy to use and even thought it was a breeze to install.
24. A meal kit that requires minimal effort
Here’s the thing about moving: it’s exhausting, mentally and physically. The last thing you want to do after a day of unpacking is cook a large meal, which is where our favorite pre-made meal kit comes in. We thought Freshly had high-quality ingredients, appropriate portion sizes, and a great variety to choose from. If you’re looking for an easy dinner solution while you move, this is the one to try.
25. Wine delivery—because you deserve it
Let’s be real, I’m not sure I could have made it through our move without wine. I just want to plop down at the end of the day and drink my well-deserved goblet of Chardonnay, OK? I began subscribing to Winc in June and haven’t looked back since. Winc ships you four curated bottles of wine every month and even pairs each bottle with a hand-picked recipe to match the wine. Every bottle has been on-point, and look—you deserve some wine after your successful move.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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