5 Best Motorcycle Helmets Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

The best motorcycle helmet? It doesn’t exist. There is no “one size fits all,” and there is no one, definitive “best helmet” for all riders. There is only the best helmet for YOU; for your head, your riding style and your individual needs. That lid is precisely what the Best Motorcycle Helmets 2019 Gear Guide is designed to help you find. And if you don’t see a lid that gets your enthrallment cortex (not a real cortex) redlining with excitement, you can see last year’s champions in the 2018 Best Motorcycle Helmet Gear Guide to find an option that best suits your needs, style, and price point.

Top 5 Motorcycle Helmets

Bestseller No. 1
Bell Qualifier Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Solid Matte Black, Large)
1,094 Reviews
Bell Qualifier Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Solid Matte Black, Large)
  • Helmet shown with optional tinted shield. Ships with clear shield only
  • LIGHTWEIGHT POLYCARBONATE/ABS COMPOSITE SHELL – Lightweight construction
Bestseller No. 2
Vega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Half Helmet with Sunshield for Men & Women, Adjustable Size Dial DOT Half Face Skull Cap for Bike Cruiser Chopper Moped Scooter ATV (Large, Patriotic Flag Graphic)
631 Reviews
Vega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Half Helmet with Sunshield for Men & Women, Adjustable Size Dial DOT Half Face Skull Cap for Bike Cruiser Chopper Moped Scooter ATV (Large, Patriotic Flag Graphic)
  • The Rebel Warrior Motorcycle Half Helmet for Men & Women by Vega Helmets is the ideal motorcycle...
  • OPTICALLY CORRECT DROP DOWN SUNSHIELD – Protect your eyes from sun, bugs, and debris while...
Bestseller No. 3
ILM Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip up Modular Full Face Helmet DOT 6 Colors (L, MATTE BLACK)
1,736 Reviews
ILM Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip up Modular Full Face Helmet DOT 6 Colors (L, MATTE BLACK)
  • High Resistance ABS Shell With Micrometrically Adjustable Strap
  • Meets or Exceeds FMVSS-218 and DOT Safety Standards
$21.42Bestseller No. 4
Motorcycle Bluetooth Helmet, FreedConn BM2-S Flip Up Modular Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Voice Dial/Hands-Free Call/ 500M/ 2-3 Riders/ MP3/ FM/DOT Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth 3.0
644 Reviews
Motorcycle Bluetooth Helmet, FreedConn BM2-S Flip Up Modular Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet Voice Dial/Hands-Free Call/ 500M/ 2-3 Riders/ MP3/ FM/DOT Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth 3.0
  • [ DOT Modular Motorcycle Helmet ] FreedConn Bluetooth helmet supports max intercom range up to 1640...
  • [ 3.0 Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmets ] Motorcycle helmet with Bluetooth 3.0 technology allows you to...
$4.80Bestseller No. 5
GLX Unisex-Adult GX11 Compact Lightweight Full Face Motorcycle Street Bike Helmet with Extra Tinted Visor DOT Approved (Matte Black, Large)
151 Reviews
GLX Unisex-Adult GX11 Compact Lightweight Full Face Motorcycle Street Bike Helmet with Extra Tinted Visor DOT Approved (Matte Black, Large)
  • Boasting a compact, aerodynamic DOT shell design with sharp and aggressive styling for impeccable...
  • Multiple conscientiously designed ventilation panels effective in streamlining the cooling process...

Safest Motorcycle Helmet Type

There are numerous styles of helmets, but the three main designs are the full face, ¾, and the ½ helmet. In regards to safety, the full face helmet is the safest choice of the three.

The full face helmet offers the most coverage surrounding your head and neck. A full-face helmet protects you from the environment you’re riding in, whether it be inclement weather or debris and bugs hitting your visor. One of the distinguishing features of a full face helmet is a chin bar, which ¾ and ½ helmets lack. According to an Australian study, the chin encounters fifty percent of severe impacts during an accident. Only a full face helmet will offer you the protection to keep your chin and jaw safe.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards

There are several safety standards for motorcycle helmets, and knowing what they cover can be confusing. They can overlap in requirements, and have different criteria in other respects.

According to motorcycle blogger, Motorbike Writer, “The most important feature in a helmet is its safety rating, so I’d check official ratings such as the UK SHARP website” (which will be discussed below). Here are the main safety standards and what you need to know about each:

Snell Memorial Foundation (M-95 / M2000)

The Snell Foundation certification is not a requirement by law in the United States (or around the world), but they go above and beyond the minimum criteria to thoroughly test helmets in many respects. Beyond motorcycle helmets, they test for bicycling, karting, and professional motorsports. Below are the safety features they test for:

  • Impact Testing – The impact test uses controlled impacts to simulate different impact surfaces. The object is to measure gravitational (G) force or acceleration. If the peak acceleration in any test exceeds a value, the helmet is rejected.
  • Positional Stability (Roll-Off) Test – A head form is mounted so that it points face downward at an angle of 135 degrees. The helmet is placed on the head form and the straps and buckles adjusted to obtain the best fit condition. Weight is connected via wire rope and dropped from a determined height. The helmet is turned 180 degrees and the test conducted again. The helmet may shift, but must not roll off the head form to pass the test.
  • Dynamic Retention Test – The helmet is placed on a head form with the chin strap fastened under a device representing the jaw. The jaw piece has a 23 kg weight applied for around one minute. The retention system is tested by simultaneously removing the 23 kg weight and applying a 38 kg mass in an abrupt guided fall. The retention system fails if it cannot support the mechanical loads or if the maximum instantaneous deflection (stretch) exceeds 30 mm (1.18 inches).
  • Chin Bar Test – The test helmet is attached to a base with the chin bar facing upward. A 5 kg weight is dropped to hit the central portion of the chin bar. Maximum downward deflection of the chin bar must not exceed the stated distance.
  • Shell Penetration Test – The test helmet is attached to a base. A sharp pointed 3-kg object is dropped from a prescribed height. The test striker must not penetrate the helmet or even achieve momentary contact with the head from inside the helmet.
  • Faceshield Penetration Test – The face shield (also called a visor) is attached to a test helmet and shot along the center line in three separate places with an air rifle. The rifle shoots sharp soft lead pellets at speeds approximately at 500 kph (310 miles per hour). The pellets must not penetrate the visor for it to pass the test.

SHARP

SHARP is a testing a rating system only available for helmets sold in the UK (United Kingdom / England). It measures just impact protection of the helmet based on similar testing to the other standards and rates helmets with a star rating system instead of a pass / fail result. The ratings are shown from a 1-star (lowest) to a 5-star (highest).

Motorcycle Helmet Fit

Each manufacturer helmet will fit slightly different. One brand may be a better fit for a round head, while others may fit better for an oval shape. You can read reviews from each manufacturer, but you may get the best understanding of what will fit you best by trying a few one. Sizing will vary from brand to brand, therefore, a medium in one brand may fit like a large in another. Again, trying on a few may give you the best feedback.

Current helmet technology involves an inner liner to absorb shock, made of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam. There is a comfort liner that riders often mistake for a protective component, which also does provides some padding. A helmet should also have EPS foam in the lower area to properly protect the face and jaw.

When To Replace Your Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcycle helmets should be replaced every five years, assuming you have not had any direct impacts that would jeopardize the impact protection of the helmet. This recommendation is from a consensus of helmet manufacturers and the Snell Memorial Foundation after studying the effects on a helmet from regular use. Helmet degradation is caused by normal wear and tear, hair oils, and body fluids and cosmetics. Cleaners, paints, fuels and other materials also affect the liner materials and overall helmet performance.

 

5 Best Security Systems For Homes Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

We evaluated the biggest home security systems and compared the process of ordering, installing, and using them in our own homes. Each security company offers the same basic security features, but our top picks rose above the rest with their cutting-edge technology, user-friendly equipment, and helpful customer service.

Top 5 Security Systems For Homes

Bestseller No. 1
All-new Ring Alarm 5-piece kit (2nd Gen) – home security system with optional 24/7 professional monitoring – Works with Alexa
  • A great fit for condos and apartments, this kit includes one base station, one keypad, one contact...
  • Put whole-home security at your fingertips with Ring Alarm, a do-it-yourself alarm system with...
$80.00Bestseller No. 2
SimpliSafe 9 Piece Wireless Home Security System w/HD Camera - Optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring - No Contract - Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Ready to protect right out of the box. Just plug in the base station, place your sensors, plug in...
  • Optional 24/7 professional monitoriting and cloud recording with police, fire & medical dispatch...
$20.99Bestseller No. 3
Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit (1st Gen) – Home Security System with optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring – No long-term contracts – Works with Alexa
5,667 Reviews
Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit (1st Gen) – Home Security System with optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring – No long-term contracts – Works with Alexa
  • Ring Alarm puts whole-home security at your fingertips. Get alerts on your smart phone when doors or...
  • Optional 24/7 professional monitoring is just $10/month. No long-term contracts or cancellation...
$30.00Bestseller No. 4
XVIM 8CH 1080P Security Camera System Home Security Outdoor 1TB Hard Drive Pre-Install CCTV Recorder 4pcs HD 1920TVL Upgrade Surveillance Cameras with Night Vision Easy Remote Access Motion Alert
279 Reviews
XVIM 8CH 1080P Security Camera System Home Security Outdoor 1TB Hard Drive Pre-Install CCTV Recorder 4pcs HD 1920TVL Upgrade Surveillance Cameras with Night Vision Easy Remote Access Motion Alert
  • 【Security Camera System with 1TB Hard Drive】--XVIM 1080P CCTV security DVR recorder with 1TB...
  • 【Indoor/outdoor CCTV cameras with Night Vision】--This Home Security System come with 4 PCS 1080P...
$40.00Bestseller No. 5
HeimVision HM241 1080P Wireless Security Camera System, 8CH NVR 4Pcs Outdoor WiFi Surveillance Camera with Night Vision, Waterproof, Motion Alert, Remote Access, No Hard Disk
2,566 Reviews
HeimVision HM241 1080P Wireless Security Camera System, 8CH NVR 4Pcs Outdoor WiFi Surveillance Camera with Night Vision, Waterproof, Motion Alert, Remote Access, No Hard Disk
  • 【Plug & Play and Easy Setup】The wireless cameras are paired with the NVR system at manufacturing...
  • 【Motion Detection and Email Alert】Smart notifications with email/ snapshot alerts will be pushed...

How We Chose the Best Home Security Systems

Robust security options

In order to really outfit your home with the level of security in which you feel most comfortable, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice. Your home security system shouldn’t stop at basic motion sensors and an ear-piercing alarm to target intrusions only. In some way, you should be able to integrate protection outside of the home and for other hazards, like fires and carbon monoxide leak. This is why we evaluated each provider’s standard and supplemental security options, which, in our experience testing, should include a healthy combination of these features:

  • Intrusion: door, window, and glass-break sensors
  • Environmental: carbon monoxide, fire, and flood sensors
  • Surveillance: indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras
  • Safety: life alert and panic buttons

Smart home integration

The more we automate and become intertwined with the Cloud, the more vulnerable our personal data becomes to hacking. The demand for greater smart home automation also paves the way for voice assistant compatibility, which is helpful but also opens another window of opportunity for hacking or data leaks. However, big names — like the ones in this lineup — either tend to move quickly in the event of a data breach and/or constantly update security features to make sure your information isn’t leaked into the wrong hands. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful and keep tabs on your network’s security, enabling two-factor authentication, and constantly updating your system’s software, among others.

Broad incorporation of wireless protocols

At the very crux of integration lies the wireless protocols that actually enable device communication. Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and WiFi are among the biggest names in the home automation industry, so we took special note of those that offered at least one of the above.

User-friendly equipment

A home security system should be easy to navigate, and the system’s design should make sense in your home. Most of our testers had positive things to say about living with their home security systems. They reported that their systems improved their overall peace of mind. If you’re prone to fretting late at night or while away on vacation, home security systems deliver on their promise of reassurance. That’s not to say there weren’t annoyances — which can become major sore points if you’re interacting with your system every time you leave the house.

Customer service

The majority of home security companies recommend or require you to call when ordering your service. We recommend this as well because regardless of whether calling beforehand is required, having an attentive lineup of customer service comes in handy, especially when self- installing or encountering difficulty with the system. You can often get a lower price by discussing your quote with a salesperson. Sometimes home security systems require an installation fee, equipment fees, or an activation fee. It’s quite common that special deals can waive or lower those. In fact, sales reps from eight of the nine security companies we considered offered us a discount over the phone — we didn’t even have to ask.

Guide to Getting the Best Home Security

Research plans before you call

We recommend you get a good idea of what features and packages you want before calling to purchase, but be open to the advice from the sales rep. Our Frontpoint tester called on two separate occasions. The first time, she had a good idea of what she wanted system-wise but said she was still shopping around for a provider. The second time, she pretended to be an easy sell who just wanted a system but hadn’t done any research.

Explore DIY vs. professional installation

A few of our favorite providers allow you to DIY your alarm system installation, while others send a professional to do the task. The professional installation allows for a home security expert to evaluate your home’s security needs and educate you on how to best utilize your system. The drawback is that professional installation often involves an additional fee. When you opt to DIY, the process is typically quicker and you can avoid any appointment-scheduling acrobatics.

Understand your home automation needs

Home automation may not be something you’ve considered, but many home security providers offer it with higher-tier packages. Not everyone needs complete control over their lights, locks, and robovac, but home automation comes in handy if you travel frequently or desire complete convenience. Before choosing a home security package, think about your smart home needs and if this technology may be something you’ll want in the future.

Look at home automation protocols

If you decide that home automation is an important part of your home security, it’s a good idea to research home automation protocols to learn which one will work best for you. A protocol is the language smart devices use to communicate with each other, and it serves as the foundation on which a home automation system is built. Not all protocols are the same, with some supporting more devices or using less power. Before committing to any home automation devices, look into which protocol works best for your home and if it supports the devices you wish to incorporate into your home automation system.

5 Best Foam Pillows Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

A good pillow is a key to getting restful sleep, but finding the best one is no simple task. The experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Textiles Lab have tested all kinds of pillows including foam, fiberfill, down, and more. These top picks offer something for everyone based on your personal preferences, sleeping position, and budget.

Your sleeping position can also help dictate the type of pillow that’s best for you: Side sleepers should choose a thick, firm pillow; stomach sleepers need a soft, thinner one; and back sleepers need somewhere in between. The goal is to have your head and neck aligned so that when you’re lying down, your neck isn’t tilting in any direction.

Top 5 Foam Pillows

Bestseller No. 1
2 Pack Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillows for Sleeping - Bamboo Cooling Hypoallergenic Sleep Pillow for Back and Side Sleeper - Queen Size
3,262 Reviews
2 Pack Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillows for Sleeping - Bamboo Cooling Hypoallergenic Sleep Pillow for Back and Side Sleeper - Queen Size
  • SHREDDED MEMORY FOAM PILLOWS: Plixio designed the best pillows for sleeping. Our bamboo memory foam...
  • WASHABLE HYPOALLERGENIC BAMBOO PILLOW CASES: Our ultra-plush, hypoallergenic bamboo pillow cases are...
Bestseller No. 2
WEEKENDER Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow - Washable Cover - Standard Size
3,951 Reviews
WEEKENDER Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow - Washable Cover - Standard Size
  • Soft, yet supportive CertiPUR US certified memory foam provides superior pressure relief and comfort
  • Infused with temperature regulating gel for more comfortable sleep conditions
$4.00Bestseller No. 3
Milemont Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow, Bed Pillows for Sleeping, Neck Support for Back, Stomach, Side Sleepers, CertiPUR-US, Queen Size
2,093 Reviews
Milemont Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow, Bed Pillows for Sleeping, Neck Support for Back, Stomach, Side Sleepers, CertiPUR-US, Queen Size
  • 【Uncompromised Medium Firmness】 Firmer than traditional down or down alternative. Firm pillows...
  • 【Cooling Gel Memory Foam】The Gel-infused memory foam does a better job of regulating sleep...
Bestseller No. 4
Sealy Molded Memory Foam Pillow, Standard, White
  • STANDARD SIZE PILLOW: The Sealy Memory Foam Bed Pillow provides the ideal balance of comfort and...
  • PREMIUM MEMORY FOAM: Pressure-relieving memory foam adapts to your unique shape and supports your...
Bestseller No. 5
Memory Foam Pillow 2 Pack Standard Size for Neck Pain Cooling Bed Pillows Home & Hotel Collection with Removable Zipper Case
237 Reviews
Memory Foam Pillow 2 Pack Standard Size for Neck Pain Cooling Bed Pillows Home & Hotel Collection with Removable Zipper Case
  • Adjusted Comfort :Zipper removeable pillow cover (40% bamboo and 60% polyester)allows you to add or...
  • Quality Memory Foam Filling : The shredded memory foam filling is CertiPUR-US certified for its...

Starter Pillow Shopping Tips

Get to know the materials. Down pillows tend to be the fluffiest, but a combination of down with feather will be less expensive. A pillow made out of a synthetic fill or down alternative will also probably be cheaper, and still, feel soft while offering supportive resistance. And memory foam pillows tend to be thicker and firmer. You also want to make sure that the outer fabric is tightly woven to keep the fill in and allergens out. The stitching should be very tight, and no feathers or fibers should poke out.

Consider any recent health changes. Health-related changes (like weight fluctuation, new aches, and pains, or other changes in your body as you age) affect the type of support you need, says Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D., an environmental scholar at the National Sleep Foundation.

Note how you’ll need to care for it. Before purchasing a pillow, check the care label to make sure you’re willing to wash it as recommended. Most are machine washable, but some are dry clean only, have front-loading machine restrictions, or only allow spot-treating. Your pillow will last longer if you wash it two to four times a year, and if you use a pillow protector to keep it clean and safe from wear.

Pillow Buying Guide

We use pillows to make us comfortable whenever we recline for sleeping, watching TV, reading or just cuddling. Pillows, especially the soft ones, give us a more relaxed feeling. Some people sleep with lots of pillows on their beds while others choose to have only one or two. But nevertheless, it cannot be denied that pillows serve a great purpose for providing us a comfy environment.

Parts of a Pillow

Pillows have different parts. On the inside, that is what we call fillers. This filler is used to create a bulky appearance in the pillow. Without the fillers, pillows serve a no good purpose. Fillers, most of the time, will define how comfortable a pillow is. There are a lot of materials used to fill a pillow. Some filler is made of feathers, plastic fibers, artificial foams, and cotton.

Types of Pillows

Generally, pillows are used to provide comfort. Nevertheless, there are more specific purposes that each type of pillow provides to us. Pillows can be classified into bed pillows, orthopedic pillows, and decorative pillows. So whenever we decide to buy a pillow, we should be conscious of the specific purpose that this pillow will be used.

Decorative Pillows

This sort of pillow is mainly used for aesthetic purposes. They are normally displayed on the sofa in the living area to create an attractive interior inside the house. These pillows are normally fancy and embellished. Most of them are custom-made to suit the existing design of the house.

Materials Used in Pillows

Today, there are different types of materials being used to make a pillow. It is important that before we buy a certain pillow, we should familiarize ourselves with these materials to avoid future discomfort.

Latex

This material is the extract coming from a rubber tree. The sap of that tree is what we call the latex. This latex is being mixed with water and other chemicals to create a composition that can be molded into a pillow.

Feathers

This material is the ones that come from different avian species particularly fowls and ducks. They are used as fillers to create a fluffy and soft feeling in the pillow. Feathers are even warmer than other materials used.

Gel

This material is a synthetic one made from silicone. The material itself is a semi-solid, semi-liquid substance that provides warmth. Gel has also cooling properties that give relief to the one using the pillow.

Polyester

These particles are used to fill the pillows and create mass. However, this material is not much used today because it offers lesser support.

Visco-Elastic

This material is also known as memory foam. This material is created by adding chemicals to polyurethane. By doing this, the material’s viscidness increase and it creates bulkiness in the pillow. This material allows the pillow to mold into the shape of the body which makes it more comfortable to use.

5 Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

High blood pressure—known as the silent killer—has no obvious symptoms, yet one-third of Americans have the condition, many without knowing it. Hypertension can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and a number of other serious health problems.

But when it comes to keeping track of this important number, an occasional doctor’s office check of your blood pressure may not be giving you the full picture, experts say. “Blood pressure varies a lot during the day,” says Beverly Green, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator and family physician at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and Kaiser Permanente Washington in Seattle. “A single good blood pressure measurement … may not be enough information.”

Top 5 Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

$13.01Bestseller No. 1
Blood Pressure Monitor, Automatic BP Monitor Irregular Heart Beat Detection Cuff with Large Display Screen Support Charging Supply for Home Use
  • [Dual User Mode]--Available for 2 users, 90 sets of memory for large capacity storage. Checking...
  • [Large LCD Display Screen]--Adopt LCD liquid crystal digital display, shows result of high pressure...
$10.00Bestseller No. 2
Care Touch Fully Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff Monitor - Platinum Series, 5.5' - 8.5' Cuff Size- Batteries Included
8,296 Reviews
Care Touch Fully Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff Monitor - Platinum Series, 5.5" - 8.5" Cuff Size- Batteries Included
  • QUICK AND CONVENIENT: Our fully automatic blood pressure monitor gives you clinically accurate...
  • KEEP TRACK OF YOUR HEALTH: Manage your blood pressure and overall health with the internal memory...
$13.00Bestseller No. 3
Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor by Paramed: Blood-Pressure Kit of Bp Cuff + 2AAA and Carrying case - Irregular Heartbeat Detector & 90 Readings Memory Function & Large LCD Display
3,643 Reviews
Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor by Paramed: Blood-Pressure Kit of Bp Cuff + 2AAA and Carrying case - Irregular Heartbeat Detector & 90 Readings Memory Function & Large LCD Display
  • SMARTLY DESIGNED TO FACILITATE EASY, CLEAR READINGS: Paramed blood pressure cuff features a LARGE...
  • THE ULTRA LARGE STORAGE CAPACITY: 90 MEASUREMENTS allows you to keep track of your blood pressure...
$21.11Bestseller No. 4
OMRON 7 Series Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor, Black
81 Reviews
OMRON 7 Series Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor, Black
  • Manage/track up to 90 readings on your monitor and unlimited readings and users on your smartphone...
  • Omron exclusives: Cuff Wrap Guide to alert you if the cuff is wrapped too loosely; Heart Zone...
Bestseller No. 5
Blood Pressure Monitor-Wrist Accurate Automatic Digital BP Monitor with Large LCD Backlight Display and Includes Batteries,High Blood Pressure Machine Cuff with 180 Memories 2 Users Mode for Home Use
6 Reviews
Blood Pressure Monitor-Wrist Accurate Automatic Digital BP Monitor with Large LCD Backlight Display and Includes Batteries,High Blood Pressure Machine Cuff with 180 Memories 2 Users Mode for Home Use
  • 【ACCURACY&IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT】This wrist blood pressure monitor has undergone clinical testing...
  • 【TWO USERS MODE &2*90READING MEMORY】The bp machine supports 2 users data storage, each user for...

Why Monitor at Home?

Research shows that home blood pressure monitoring can help people with hypertension keep it under control. A 2010 analysis from the independent Cochrane Collaboration, for example, found that self-monitoring led to lower numbers in both systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure. And recent preliminary research suggests that using a home blood pressure monitor may help people with uncontrolled hypertension get their numbers under control.

How to Buy the Best Monitor for You

Pick a top-scoring model that has the features you need and that will make testing easier for you. For example, some models allow you to store readings for more than one user. All the models we recommend are rated Excellent for accuracy, but there are other factors to consider, too. Follow these tips to help you select the best monitor for you:

Check the Fit
Make sure the blood pressure monitor you choose has a cuff that fits the circumference of your upper arm or wrist. (Use a tape measure to be certain.) Using a cuff that’s the wrong size can result in inaccurate readings. Most of the arm models we tested have two cuffs or a cuff that can be adjusted to fit most people. Wrist models also fit most people.

Consider Cost
The recommended models in the ratings (available to members) were priced from $40 to $100. But shop around. And find out whether your insurance covers blood pressure monitors.

Choose One That’s Easy to Use
The display on the monitor should be easy to read. The buttons should be large and intuitive. The directions for using the cuff and operating the monitor should be clear.

Select the Features You Need
There are many features to look for when selecting a blood pressure monitor. Here are some to consider: irregular-heartbeat detector, risk-category indicator, multiple user memories, multiple cuffs, memory download capability, large-digit display, and data averaging function. For more details, check out our ratings and click the Features and Specs tab.

How We Test

We rate blood pressure monitors based on their difference from a reference model. Our testing methods are patterned after but are not identical to, the U.S. ANSI/AAMI/ISO 81060-2:2013, British Hypertension Society and European Society of Hypertension (rev 2010) standards. For simplicity, in our rating tables, we generally show summarized results of our tests. For example, the displayed result for accuracy is a composite of the tests based on the three standards mentioned above.

Using Your Home Monitor Properly

Take the blood pressure monitor you’ve purchased to your doctor’s office, so your care team can make sure you’re using it correctly and test whether its results are the same as the office monitor’s. The American Heart Association recommends doing this once a year to make sure your device is still working properly and getting accurate readings. And note that even the best home blood pressure monitor can still give inaccurate readings if it’s used improperly. The following tips from the AHA can help:

• Don’t smoke, drink any caffeine, or exercise for at least 30 minutes before you measure your blood pressure.

• Use the bathroom and then rest quietly for 5 minutes before taking a reading.

• Wrap the cuff around your bare arm, without any clothes in between the cuff and your skin.

• Sit on a sturdy chair with a supportive back (not a sofa), with your feet flat on the floor. Your arms should rest on a flat surface. The cuff of the device, whether it’s on your arm or wrist, should be at the same level as your heart.

• Take readings at the same time every day—such as morning and evening—for whatever time period your doctor advises. And each time you sit down to take your blood pressure, you should take two or three readings, 1 minute apart. Record your results and take them to your next appointment.

5 Best Teeth Whitening Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

If you yearn for a brighter smile, you might be considering one of the many tooth whitening kits available over the counter at drugstores and chain stores. These products come in a variety of forms, including stick-on strips, dissolving strips and gels, and tooth-shaped trays that you fill with gel before placing on your teeth for a recommended period of time.

Top 5 Teeth Whitening

$1.50Bestseller No. 1
Crest 3D White Whitestrips Vivid Plus Teeth Whitening Kit, 24 Individual Strips (10 Vivid Plus Treatments + 2 1hr Express Treatments), Basic
3,360 Reviews
Crest 3D White Whitestrips Vivid Plus Teeth Whitening Kit, 24 Individual Strips (10 Vivid Plus Treatments + 2 1hr Express Treatments), Basic
  • Removes 5 years of tough coffee, wine, and smoking related teeth stains for a whiter smile
  • Use Crest Vivid White strips for visibly whiter teeth with full results in 10 days
$11.04Bestseller No. 2
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit, LED Light, 35% Carbamide Peroxide, (2) 5ml Gel Syringes, Tray and Case
13,763 Reviews
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit, LED Light, 35% Carbamide Peroxide, (2) 5ml Gel Syringes, Tray and Case
  • Teeth whitening kit includes accelerator light that speeds up the whitening process. LED light...
  • Kit includes (2) 5mL teeth whitening gel syringes, containing 35% carbamide peroxide and a total of...
Bestseller No. 3
Smile Titan Teeth Whitening Kit, Teeth Whitening Gel with 5x LED Accelerator Light and Tray Teeth Whitener
639 Reviews
Smile Titan Teeth Whitening Kit, Teeth Whitening Gel with 5x LED Accelerator Light and Tray Teeth Whitener
  • SMILE TITAN TEETH WHITENING KIT – Smile Titan is the ultimate teeth whitening kit which comes with...
  • EFFECTIVE REMOVAL OF VARIOUS STAINS – this teeth whitening kit is of premium quality and superior...
Bestseller No. 5
AsaVea Teeth Whitening Pen, 2 pens, More Than 20 Uses, Effective, Painless, No Sensitivity, Travel Friendly, Easy to Use, Beautiful White Smile, Natural Mint Flavor
5,832 Reviews
AsaVea Teeth Whitening Pen, 2 pens, More Than 20 Uses, Effective, Painless, No Sensitivity, Travel Friendly, Easy to Use, Beautiful White Smile, Natural Mint Flavor
  • Remove Years of Stains: Our professional teeth whitening pen can effectively and quickly remove...
  • Convenient and Travel Friendly: The compact design measured at 5 munites makes it so easy to whiten...

At Home, Teeth Whitening Kits Can Significantly Whiten Some People’s Teeth

Most of us have to spend hours at the dentist each year to have coffee stains scrubbed from our teeth, with the help of those scary looking scrapers and machines that seem like they are removing half the enamel.

It, therefore, seems hard to believe that simply applying some products from a kit at home would be able to make your teeth sparkle. Groom+Style’s favorite top 7 teeth whitening solutions. From 2 hour to 30-day kits, quick touch-up to professional grade options, we have tried them all. If you still have questions then please contact us directly via email, or via the comment section below, to ask our team’s advice.

Gum Irritation and at Home Teeth Whitening

A word of caution, when using teeth whitening solutions that place the whitening gel (which in most cases contains Peroxide) in a tray (such as the Rembrandt, GLO Science or AuraGlow).  Be careful to only place enough gel to cover the teeth (keep the gel away from the gums – and wipe off any excess gel with a cotton bud) and only apply the product for the recommended period of time.

In the quest to achieve great results it is tempting to overapply the gel and to keep the guard in place for extended periods of time.  Doing so, however, increases the risk of gum damage which, although temporary, is quite uncomfortable – trust us we know!

When They Work

Home tooth whitening treatments usually rely on the chemicals hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide—which releases hydrogen peroxide—to bleach some of the discolorations that can build up over time in the outer layer of tooth enamel.

These tooth whitening products can effectively lighten tooth stains caused by smoking and highly pigmented foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine, according to Jay W. Friedman, D.D.S., M.P.H., a consumer healthcare advocate and dental adviser to Consumer Reports.

Most home tooth whitening products will leave teeth one to two shades whiter based on a 16-shade tooth bleaching scale when used as directed, according to a 2014 review published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice.

When They Don’t

As good as home tooth whitening kits can be at tackling stains on the enamel that covers teeth, they are less effective against some other kinds of discoloration.

For example, tooth enamel normally thins with age, so dentin—the hard tissue under the enamel, which can be gray, brown, or blue in tone—may begin to show through. Keep in mind that both home tooth whitening and dentist-office whitening only work on natural teeth. So if you have caps, crowns, veneers, dentures, or white fillings, you’ll see no difference in those parts of your smile.

Safety and Side Effects

When used as directed, our experts say, home tooth whitening kits are safe.

But it’s worth checking in with your dentist first to rule out oral health issues that should be addressed. “Whitening with an unfilled cavity could be painful,” Hewlett notes. In addition, be aware that home whitening can cause uncomfortable—but temporary—side effects.

“Some users develop gum irritation, especially if whitening strips or other products are in too much contact with gums,” says Hewlett. “And most people experience a little tooth sensitivity.”

If sensitivity occurs, consider skipping a day in between use of your home kit. Avoiding extremely cold and hot foods and drinks during whitening can also keep you more comfortable.  And don’t use at-home kits more often than recommended. Doing otherwise can increase the likelihood of irritation and sensitivity.

Getting the Most From Home Tooth Whitening

Which type of home whitening product is most effective? It’s unclear.

A review of studies, published in the journal Clinical Oral Investigations, found products containing carbamide peroxide worked only slightly better at whitening than products containing hydrogen peroxide. (And see what our experts say about whitening toothpaste.)

When it comes to highly pigmented foods and drinks, be aware that in one study at least, cola caused even more staining in freshly whitened teeth than coffee.

“Cola should be avoided because it is an unhealthy drink—too much sugar,” Friedman says. “It stains the teeth and also causes erosion of the enamel due to its acidic content.”

5 Best King Size Mattress Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

While we think it’s great to have so much choice in life, there are some purchases that require some simplifying, with clear facts and guidance to cut through all the sales jargon. And when you happen to be making one of the most important purchases you’ll make – a new mattress – we’re here to help you make the right choice. When it comes to choosing your new mattress, size is everything, but all those options and names and dimensions can get pretty confusing, so we’ve created a straightforward, no-nonsense guide so you can find the mattress that’s just right for you. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve made a smart purchase that will have you sleeping soundly–and with a Forever Warranty, you’re investing in a mattress that fits your room and your life.

Top 5 King Size Mattress

Bestseller No. 1
Ashley Furniture Signature Design - 12 Inch Chime Express Memory Foam Mattress - Bed in a Box - King - Firm Comfort Level - White
5,445 Reviews
Ashley Furniture Signature Design - 12 Inch Chime Express Memory Foam Mattress - Bed in a Box - King - Firm Comfort Level - White
  • King size bed in a box: For deep sleep you've always dreamed of, this body contouring memory foam...
  • Sleep soundly: Designed with layers of memory foam for firm support and pressure relief. The support...
Bestseller No. 2
Olee Sleep 13 inch Galaxy Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam and Pocket Spring Mattress (King)
3,653 Reviews
Olee Sleep 13 inch Galaxy Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam and Pocket Spring Mattress (King)
  • Composed of 5 layers includes pocket spring
  • Memory foam adapt to your body shape and temperature
Bestseller No. 3
Linenspa 8 Inch Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid-Mattress - Medium-Firm Feel - King
  • 8 Inch hybrid mattress combine hypallergenic memory foam with the traditional support of an...
  • A plush layer of memory foam helps align the spine to minimize pressure points for increased comfort
Bestseller No. 4
Zinus 10 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress / CertiPUR-US Certified / Bed-in-a-Box / Pressure Relieving, King
  • THE RIGHT COMBINATION - Our special recipe for rejuvenating rest? Refreshing green tea and...
  • PRESSURE-RELIEVING FOAMS - 2.5 inches conforming memory foam, 2 inches soft, airflow enhancing...
Bestseller No. 5
Classic Brands Cool 1.0 Ultimate Gel Memory Foam 14-Inch Bonus 2 Pillows Mattress, King, White
6,371 Reviews
Classic Brands Cool 1.0 Ultimate Gel Memory Foam 14-Inch Bonus 2 Pillows Mattress, King, White
  • 76" W x 80" L x 14" H
  • Premium pressure-relieving memory foam and high-density aerated cool gel memory foam are combined...

How to Choose the Right King Size Mattress

Finding a new mattress can be a confusing, frustrating process. Choosing a mattress based on material composition, price, and other factors require extensive product research — no easy task, considering hundreds of brands and retailers offer new mattresses online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

This guide will explore the following:

  • Signs it may be time to replace your mattress
  • Similarities and differences between memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid, and airbed mattresses
  • Key performance and purchasing factors to consider
  • Potential places to find a new, high-quality mattress
  • Common myths about mattress buying and performance
  • A final checklist for mattress shoppers

How to Choose a New Mattress

When it comes to choosing a new mattress, there are two types of things you must consider: (1) what type of sleeper you are, and (2) the basic qualities of mattresses available on the market. By considering your unique sleeping qualities within the context of what types mattresses are available, you’ll be able to narrow your options significantly.

Please note that although we’ve found that certain mattress types tend to work better with certain types of sleepers, mattress preference is ultimately subjective. Consequently, we recommend going to a local store and trying different mattress types before purchasing online.

What type of sleeper are you?

Sleeping Position

Everyone has their favorite position to sleep in. Different positions have different support requirements, so your ideal mattress will depend on whether you are a side, back, stomach, or combination sleeper. In general, stomach and back sleepers prefer firmer, less conforming mattresses while softer or conforming mattresses are perfect for supporting side sleepers.

Weight

Heavier sleepers tend to sleep hotter (see below) and experience more sinkage on soft mattresses than their lighter peers. Most lighter sleepers tend to choose softer mattresses while heavier sleepers prefer firmer options. Supportive, less-conforming mattresses like innerspring and hybrid choices are also popular among heavy sleepers.

If you have a different preference than what is suggested for your weight group, make sure your mattress provides adequate support. For example, a heavier side-sleeper might choose a latex or foam mattress to avoid problems with pressure points. This is perfectly fine so long as it provides support and is not too difficult to move on.

Do you sleep cool or hot?

Some mattresses sleep warmer than others. For example, soft, conforming mattresses allow less airflow around your body and trap more heat than firmer options. Mattress material can also retain heat, like foam mattresses with solid support cores. If temperature regulation is an important factor for you, consider choosing a hybrid or innerspring mattress style. These allow for more air circulation and sleep considerably cooler.

Mattress Qualities to Consider

Material

Five material types make up the bulk of mattresses on the market. These include:

MATERIALDESCRIPTION
InnerspringSteel coils support a comfort layer of polyfoam
FoamEither pure polyfoam or a combination of supportive polyfoam and memory foam
LatexLatex or high-density polyfoam support core with a natural or synthetic latex comfort layer
Hybrid2+ inches of memory foam or latex for comfort and pocketed coils for support
AirbedAir chambers are inflated or deflated to reach the desired firmness

Size

Most mattresses are available in six standard sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full/Double, Queen, King, and California King. Some models come in additional sizes (such as Full XL or Short Queen). They may also be available in ‘split’ Queen, King, or California sizes, which include two separate mattresses that can be pushed together or separated.

Thickness

Most mattresses measure at least 10 inches (10?) in height, though mattress thickness varies from less than five inches (5?) to more than 15 inches (15?). Your body weight may affect your preferred thickness. Lighter individuals may prefer shorter beds, whereas heavier people tend to feel more comfortable on thicker beds.

5 Best Background Check Site Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission enforce laws that are in place to prevent employment discrimination. It is illegal to use the information found in a normal background check to make employment decisions (hiring, firing, promotions, etc.), screen tenants, or determine someone’s eligibility for credit or insurance. Consumer reporting agencies can be used for pre-employment screening and tenant screening. A company must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to qualify as a consumer reporting agency.

Top 5 Background Check Site

Bestseller No. 1
Huffington Post
  • Provides mobile access to one of the most popular web news sites
  • Generates news from numerous sources
Bestseller No. 2
Phonics Volume 2
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Luci Christina, Brad Caudle (Actors)
Bestseller No. 3
INNERCISE: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power
203 Reviews
$3.30Bestseller No. 4
Rat Race
  • Breckin Meyer, Jon Lovitz, Kathy Najimy (Actors)
  • Jerry Zucker (Director) - Janet Zucker (Producer)
$7.96Bestseller No. 5
Rick Steves' Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Steves, Rick (Author)

How We Analyzed The Best Background Check, Providers

 TYPES OF BACKGROUND CHECK
  • Reference check – Reference checks are commonly done by rental companies, or employers during the hiring process. Their main goal is to know more about a person’s character by contacting references such as family, friends, former teachers or coworkers.

  • Employment and education verification check – Employment and education verification checks are done to corroborate the accuracy of the employment and education information found on a person’s resume.

  • Criminal records check – Criminal records checks verify a person’s criminal history, and include things such as misdemeanor and felony convictions, warrants and past arrests.

  • Credit check – Credit checks investigate a person’s credit history and are particularly useful for rental companies, banks, and insurance providers.

  • Identity verification check – Identity verification checks are designed to verify that you really are who you say you are.

  • Civil judgments check – Civil judgments checks reveal any court judgments or liens that a person may have in their history, though these usually won’t turn up if they’re more than a decade old.

  • Driving records check – Finally, driving records checks to examine a person’s driving history, accidents, and license suspensions.

Background checks are not a “one-size-fits-all” type of product. So, when vetting the companies, we started by selecting the ones that offered at least three types of checks to ensure they catered to different needs.

REPORT QUALITY

A good background report must be comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date. In order to determine which companies offered reports that met these standards, our team of researchers took on the task of putting them to the test.

With the help of a volunteer who agreed to be our background check guinea pig, we signed up to the different companies’ most basic subscription. We then ran a “people search” with the name of our subject. Once the results were in, we compared reports to see which ones were the most complete and accurate. Based on this, we managed to narrow down our list even more.

ACCREDITATION

Since “people search” companies are not credit reporting agencies, they don’t need to abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, nor do they need to be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.

However, if you’re running a background check for hiring or tenancy purposes, you’ll want a company that’s both FCRA-compliant and accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, to protect yourself and others from liabilities. In our efforts to find the best companies for employment and business purposes, we chose companies that are accredited by this entity and comply with the FCRA.

VALUE

Many background check companies offer “unlimited reports” when you sign up for a monthly subscription. While this may sound like a tempting offer, some people just want to purchase one report. Our top picks offer both affordable and flexible pricing models that accommodate every consumer and business need, including trials or demos, one-time reports, and monthly subscriptions or volume pricing.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

After evaluating our volunteer’s background reports, we contacted the companies’ customer support staff to experience the cancelation process firsthand. Based on this, we chose the companies that were responsive and made the process easy.

Additionally, our team selected companies with a strong reputation as shown on consumer reviews across different outlets, such as the Better Business Bureau. We also took into consideration how many contact methods each company provided, favoring those that had multiple ways to get in touch.

BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR PERSONAL USE

Online Dating and Catfishing

According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the number of 18- to 24-year-olds using dating apps in the United States nearly tripled from 2013 to 2015, and 29% of those surveyed reported knowing someone who had met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.

Locate a long-lost relative, learn about your new neighbor, or check yourself out

Background checks have become increasingly popular, and online dating is just one of the many scenarios where they could be useful on a personal level. Since many reports include previous and current contact information like phone numbers, social media accounts, email, and residential addresses, people also use them as a way to track down old friends and family members. Still, others use them to find out more information about new acquaintances and neighbors and ensure they’re surrounded by people they can trust.

PEOPLE SEARCHES

One way of obtaining background information for personal use is through an online people search service. Just like their name suggests, people searches are designed to find individuals by entering their first and last name, city, state, phone number, email, or any known physical addresses.

Most people search companies offer background checks as part of their services, creating reports that can include the searched person’s contact details, any known aliases, social media accounts, birth, death, marriage, divorce, driving, liens, bankruptcies, and property records. It can also show details about their assets, associates, any existing lawsuits, employment, and education history, along with criminal and arrest records.

5 Best Interior Paints Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

The trickiest part of handling a paint job yourself is choosing the right product — there are tons of brands out there, but you want the one that will leave you with a professional-looking finish rather than messy streaks. To see which brands are worth the money and effort, the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute traded their lab coats for old t-shirts and spent two weeks testing. First, scope out some of this year’s color trends then finds the paint you need to get the job done.

Top 5 Interior Paints

Bestseller No. 1
Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz,  Linen White
3,025 Reviews
Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz, Linen White
  • Use on a variety of interior surfaces like wood, metal, ceramic, canvas and easily distress to...
  • Low-odor, latex formula allows for easy clean up with soap & water
Bestseller No. 2
Rust-Oleum 323860 Glitter Interior Wall Paint, Quart, Iridescent Clear
394 Reviews
Rust-Oleum 323860 Glitter Interior Wall Paint, Quart, Iridescent Clear
  • Easy to apply with roller, brush or spray for easy application on a variety of interior surfaces
  • Water-based formula creates a multi-dimensional shimmer that increases with additional coats.Flash...
Bestseller No. 3
Prestige Interior Paint and Primer in One, Sea Wall, Satin, 1-Gallon
  • Ultra premium paint and primer in one
  • Ideal for living rooms, family rooms, media rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and hallways
Bestseller No. 4
Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior Paint - Semi-Gloss Finish (Gallon, White)
  • NOTE: CUSTOM COLORS ARE NON-RETURNABLE. PLEASE MESSAGE US MAJOR MANUFACTURER'S COLOR NAME AND NUMBER...
  • Zero VOC, excellent hiding, low odor, great touch up.
$5.00Bestseller No. 5
Bates Paint Roller - Paint Brush, Paint Tray, Roller Paint Brush, 11 Piece Home Painting Supplies, Foam Brush, House Painting Tray, Painting Tools, Roller and Paint Brushes, Interior Paint Brushes
  • COMPREHENSIVE SET: Package includes 11 piece: Tray, Roller Frame (9"), 2 Roller Covers (9"x1/2"),...
  • PROFESSIONAL QUALITY: This paint tray set is high quality intended to be long lasting and easy to...

Choose Your Sheen and Color
Choosing a color is where some folks start. Color-matching systems have improved to the point where you can get close to the color you crave in just about any brand. The sheen can vary by brand, however, and that can affect your perception of color. So decide which sheen is needed for the job (you’ll see the pros and cons spelled out below), the color you love, and then the best paint for your budget. (Despite all the colors available, whites and off-whites remain the top-selling interior colors. With dozens to choose from, zeroing in on just the right white can be tricky.)

Look at the biggest paint chips the store offers. A store’s lighting affects your take, so step outside to get another look in natural light. Once home, place the chips on the wall, next to the trim, and look at them at different times throughout the day as the natural light changes. Do this over the course of several days, omitting colors that aren’t working. Keep in mind that indoors, the color tends to intensify over large areas, so it’s generally better to go too light than too dark in a given shade.

Pick Your Paint

You can choose the most beautiful shade, but if the paint is mediocre, the end result is likely to disappoint. Our tests find that economy grades of interior paint don’t perform well overall, and you may need to apply three or four coats to cover dark colors. Paints scoring Very Good or Excellent in hiding cover most colors in one coat. Most of the tested paints are claimed to eliminate priming.

In response to stricter federal and regional standards, manufacturers have reduced the levels of volatile organic compounds—some of the noxious chemicals that can make paint smell like paint—in their products. Earlier low-VOC paints lacked the durability of higher-VOC finishes, but now all the paints in our tests are claimed to have low or no VOCs, and many perform very well.

The best budget interior paints

Although painting is considered one of the most budget-friendly ways to spruce up your home, if you have a lot of space to cover, the cost can quickly add up. Interior paints span the price spectrum from $20 per gallon (and sometimes a few dollars less) to $70 per gallon or more for premium paints. Overall, however, we found that price isn’t necessarily correlated with quality; some of the top-rated interior paints differ in price from the cheapest paints by only about $5 or so per gallon.

One option if you’re on a tight budget is Olympic ONE (Est. $20 per gallon), sold exclusively at Lowe’s. It retails for around $22 per gallon, but always-available rebates can reduce that cost to as little as $17 — you just have to do the work to apply for the rebate.

Shopping tips for interior paint

The best interior paints should go on smoothly, without sticking or streaking as you roll or brush them on a surface, or having a visible brush or roller marks when fully dried. Top-rated interior paints resist fading and staining and don’t lose their color, texture or sheen when scrubbed or cleaned.

Choose low-VOC or no-VOC paint

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are the potentially harmful chemicals in paint fumes that create strong paint odors and have been linked to a number of health concerns. VOC levels in wall paint are regulated by the federal government and are currently set at 250 grams per liter for flat paints and 380 grams per liter for other finishes, with stricter limits in California. All of our top-rated paints claim low- or zero-VOCs.

Determine the proper sheen

High-luster finishes, such as satin or semi-gloss, are best for high-traffic, high-moisture areas like kitchens or bathrooms because they’re easier to clean, but you should also look for paints that offer good mold and mildew resistance for these areas. Low-luster finishes, such as flat and matte, are ideal for low-traffic rooms and ceilings, and many recommend eggshell for medium-traffic rooms like a living room.

How to buy enough paint

Multiply the length of the walls all around the room by their height to get the square footage. Add the square footage of the ceiling (if you’re painting the ceiling). Subtract out the square footage of the ceiling (if you’re not painting the ceiling). Subtract out the square footage of the doors and windows, then add 25 percent to that figure. Manufacturers provide information about the coverage you can expect under normal circumstances on the paint can, but a gallon of top-quality paint should cover 350 to 450 square feet.

5 Best Foam Mattress Topper Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

The best mattress topper is designed to cover your mattress and improve the way you sleep. Mattress toppers are made of various types of materials.

Some are made of memory foam while others are constructed of other types of materials. They vary in softness and support to suit the needs of different people. A mattress topper can help you get more years of use out of an old mattress without having to purchase a new mattress.

It’s important not to confuse the mattress topper with a mattress pad. A mattress pad protects the mattress where the topper is actually used to add comfort, support, or regulate temperature. Choosing the best mattress topper will depend on what you need to get a good night’s sleep. Some people may need a mattress topper that adds an extra layer of support.

Top 5 Foam Mattress Topper

$2.50Bestseller No. 1
Linenspa 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Full
12,750 Reviews
Linenspa 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Full
  • Two inches of ultra plush memory foam that conforms to your curves and hugs you to sleep;...
  • Infused with temperature regulating gel beads that capture and dissipate heat to help prevent...
Bestseller No. 2
Zinus 1.5 Inch Swirl Gel Memory Foam Convoluted Mattress Topper / Cooling, Airflow Design / CertiPUR-US Certified, Twin
443 Reviews
Zinus 1.5 Inch Swirl Gel Memory Foam Convoluted Mattress Topper / Cooling, Airflow Design / CertiPUR-US Certified, Twin
  • 1.5 inches of cool gel memory foam for ideal sleeping comfort
  • Air flow pattern for cool support
$4.14Bestseller No. 3
Zinus 4 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress Topper / Green Tea & Charcoal Infused for Freshness / CertiPUR-US Certified, Twin
4,559 Reviews
Zinus 4 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress Topper / Green Tea & Charcoal Infused for Freshness / CertiPUR-US Certified, Twin
  • Rejuvenate your mattress with memory foam and support foam for ideal comfort and support
  • Green tea extract and castor natural seed oil naturally eliminate odor causing bacteria
$34.01Bestseller No. 4
Sure2Sleep Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper Made in USA 2-Inch (Queen)
  • COOL GEL SWIRL INFUSED MEMORY FOAM provides total comfort. Cool Gel Swirl infused memory foam,...
  • GREAT WAY TO REJUVENATE AN OLD MATTRESS. Easy to place on top of your mattress and under your...
Bestseller No. 5
LUCID 4 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper-Ventilated Design-Ultra Plush-Full
6,989 Reviews
LUCID 4 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper-Ventilated Design-Ultra Plush-Full
  • 4 inches of thick, plush gel memory foam add a soft and conforming feel that will result in a deeper...
  • Infused with gel material that captures and distributes heat for a cooler memory foam experience

How We Picked These Best Mattress Toppers?

We realized that so many customers are going through a hard time searching for the best mattress toppers to enhance the quality of their sleep. We, therefore, took it upon ourselves, tested and researched what the top rated mattress toppers were made of, their special features, their cost and what other customers had to say about them after sleeping on them at home. The top 8 best mattress toppers featured above came out on top in all categories. So any one of them would be a perfect choice for your bed.

What is a Mattress Topper?

Mattress Topper

In simple terms, a mattress topper is a thick layer of cushion that rests on top of a mattress to enhance its comfort. It provides additional support to the neck, the back and pressure points banishing all potential pains allowing you to fall asleep in no time.

Benefits of Using a Top Mattress Topper

The best-rated mattress toppers may help provide benefits and spare you a serious amount of cash. Here are some of the benefits associated with a great bed pad, as they are also called.

  • It’s a Cost-Efficient Alternative

As you may be aware of, a brand new and great mattress could easily cost you a small fortune. And, as you already know, failing to pick one which is capable of bringing the necessary support and comfort could result in unpleasant aching throughout your entire body. A mattress topper, on the other hand, is cheap and it’s going to provide you with everything you may need.

  • Extends the life of your mattress

The mattress topper is definitely going to extend the life of your mattress (find out how long they typically last). So even if it’s brand new, you might want to consider supplementing it with a comprehensive topper. This is due to the fact that it would add more height to it and you wouldn’t be sleeping on the mattress so much as on the topper. This would reduce the wear and tear of the former.

  • It’s comfortable

Not only is a topper comfortable, but it’s also customizable. You can pick the mattress pad you need based on the specifications of your current bed. For example, if you have a firmer mattress, you might want to adjust that by adding a softer topper to increase the comfort and vice versa.

  • It sleeps cool

The majority of the mattress toppers, such as the ones we’ll be reviewing down below, are perfectly well ventilated. This is going to ensure that the airflow is consistent and that the sleeping temperature is kept fairly regular throughout the entire night.

  • It’s eco-friendly

There are quite a lot of different materials that you can pick for but the truth is that most of them are eco-friendly. Examples include bamboo toppers as well as natural latex ones which are free of any toxic chemicals.

  • Pain-Relief

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that can cause fatigue, muscle pain, and a lot of tender points on the body. The New Life Outlook recommends a mattress topper for anyone that suffers from fibromyalgia (memory foam is preferred).

In addition to fibromyalgia, a bed pad is a great choice for anyone that suffers from chronic back pain or hip pain. We put together a buyer’s guide for each:

  • Best Mattress Toppers For Back Pain
  • Best Mattress Toppers For Hip Pain

As you can see, there are quite a lot of different perks of using a topper and this is undoubtedly something that you might want to take into proper consideration.

5 Best Dog Food Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Choosing the right food for your dog can be one of the most important decisions you make in your dog’s lifetime. Dog food has been specifically designed to meet the needs of dogs based on the nutritional needs required for them to be happy and healthy.

Most brands of dog food are created by a team of veterinarians who use science and medical knowledge to come up with formulas that are healthy and nutritious. Many dog foods are free of various ingredients that are not considered healthy for dogs. These ingredients may include wheat, corn, soy, and all types of grains.

Dog food is designed specifically for dogs based on the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need each day. Most dog foods will include a feeding recommendation on the bag based on the weight and size of your dog. It’s important to follow these recommendations to optimize you

Top 5 Dog Food

Bestseller No. 1
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs – Chicken and Brown Rice – 30 lb. Bag
5,348 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs – Chicken and Brown Rice – 30 lb. Bag
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient. High-quality...
  • FOR ADULT DOGS: BLUE Life Protection Formula adult dog food contains essential proteins and...
$4.04Bestseller No. 2
PEDIGREE Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dog Kibble, 33 lb. Bag
  • Contains One (1) 33 Lb. Bag Of Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Grilled Steak &...
  • Complete And Balanced Nutrition Provides Optimal Levels Of Omega-6 Fatty Acid To Nourish Skin, And...
$2.01Bestseller No. 3
Purina ONE Natural Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula - 31.1 Lb
5,240 Reviews
Purina ONE Natural Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula - 31.1 Lb
  • Real Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient; Calorie Content (fed): 3993 kcal/kg, 383 kcal/cup
  • Dual Defense Antioxidant Blend To Help Support A Strong Immune System
Bestseller No. 4
Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe, 28 Lb
4,416 Reviews
Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe, 28 Lb
  • Contains 1 - 28 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
  • U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient
Bestseller No. 5
Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison
2,463 Reviews
Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie with ROASTED BISON & VENISON REAL MEAT is #1 ingredient optimal amino...
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for...

How we chose our favorite dog foods

We started with 3,009 formulas

We began by collecting every adult dog food currently sold in the U.S. That came to 3,009 dog foods. We then made two exceptions: We excluded products that failed to list their ingredients and any manufacturer that lacked a working website. This gave us a list of 2,969 formulas, including both dry and wet dog food. It took us about a month to compile our list. But we wanted to be sure we considered every formula pet owners are likely to run into, whether they’re browsing for dog food online, at the grocery store or at a specialty retailer.

Cut: Toxic ingredients

We weren’t surprised to find that most of our 2,969 formulas were free of ingredients known to be toxic to dogs, like avocados, grapes, and chocolate. We were surprised to find that garlic and onion turned up in almost 200 formulas. Despite the punch that these two ingredients add to bland food, they are members of the Allium plant genus, which is toxic to both dogs and cats. Along with leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots, garlic and onion can make dogs immediately sick in large quantities. If eaten in small amounts over time (say, as a flavoring in their regular food), they can damage red blood cells, causing anemia.

Cut: Low-quality mystery “meats” and “meals”

Whole meats are expensive, and many manufacturers supplement their formulas with meat meal to ensure your dog is getting a balanced diet at an affordable cost. Although meat meal sounds gross if you’re not a dog, there’s nothing terrifying about it. It’s created through a high-pressure, high-temperature process called rendering: Fat and moisture are separated out from dried, solid protein by grinding everything up and steam cooking it all at extremely high temperatures. The dried solids make up the meal.

First, manufacturers aren’t required to be transparent about how their meals are rendered. The nutritional quality of meal can vary since natural enzymes and proteins are sometimes destroyed during very high-temperature manufacturing processes. But there’s no way for consumers to monitor this since companies aren’t required to disclose their exact practices.

Second, the animal parts that meal is made out of are often low quality, to begin with. The American Association of Feed Control Officials, a group that helps the FDA establish labeling standards, allows anything that’s labeled “meat meal” to be sourced “from mammals other than cattle, pigs, sheep or goats without further description,” which means you can’t be sure exactly what’s in it. We were pretty grossed out to learn meat meal can also be sourced from stuff like restaurant grease, diseased livestock and expired supermarket meat.

Guide to Finding the Best Dog Food

Explore flavors

Just like humans, dogs have preferences. One of our office dogs, for example, devours salmon with gusto but acts offended if he’s served bison. Since no single protein source is superior, it’s fine to cater to your dog’s preferences — or to explore a variety of flavors if you’re a new pup owner.

Consider allergies

Signs that your dog may have a food allergy include itchy skin, diarrhea, and gassiness. If you don’t think your dog has a food allergy, he’s probably fine: Food allergies make up 10 percent of all dog allergies. But if you’ve noticed any of the issues above, it might be time to switch formulas. “When pets have food sensitivities or allergies, it is most commonly due to protein in the food,” Dr. Gary Richter told us. “Sometimes the problem is meat like chicken or beef, and sometimes it is the protein component of plant material, such as wheat, corn or rice.”