5 Best Water Heaters Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

If your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life and you’re thinking of replacing it before disaster strikes, you’ll be happy to know that you have better choices, thanks to recent federal regulations that require water heaters to be more energy-efficient. New storage tank water heaters are required to operate more efficiently, and tankless (on-demand) water heaters are even more efficient than that.

Typically, homeowners replace their old water heater with one of the same type that runs on the same fuel—natural gas or electricity. Switching from a tank water heater to a tankless unit can be expensive because it requires you to retrofit your plumbing and possibly your electrical system. But if you’re building a new home or adding to an existing one, installing a tankless water heater may make economic sense.

Top 5 Water Heaters

Bestseller No. 1
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 2.5-Gallon (ES2.5) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
888 Reviews
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 2.5-Gallon (ES2.5) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
  • CONVENIENT HOT WATER HEATER: 2.5 gallon point-of-use mini-tank fits under your sink to provide hot...
  • LONG LASTING QUALITY: This electric water heater is easy to maintain and has premium glass-lined...
$34.00Bestseller No. 2
Rheem RTEX-18 18kW 240V Electric Tankless Water Heater, small, Gray
151 Reviews
Rheem RTEX-18 18kW 240V Electric Tankless Water Heater, small, Gray
  • External digital thermostatic control with LED display (+/1 degree accuracy)
  • Most advanced self-modulation, adjust power to meet hot water demand
$82.68Bestseller No. 3
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 13KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology
1,094 Reviews
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 13KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Save up to 60-percent on your water heating cost with an ECOSMART electric tankless water heater
Bestseller No. 4
American Standard CE-20-AS 19 Gallon Point Of Use Electric Water Heater
32 Reviews
American Standard CE-20-AS 19 Gallon Point Of Use Electric Water Heater
  • Heavy gauge Steel tank
  • Factory installed Brass drain valve on all models allows for easy draining of the unit which reduces...
$16.00Bestseller No. 5
Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater, GRAY
151 Reviews
Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater, GRAY
  • External adjustable digital thermostatic control with LED display (+/1 degree accuracy
  • Durable Copper immersion two heating elements, field Serviceable.Self-modulating power control

Types of Water Heaters

Depending on how much hot water you use and how you’re heating the water (gas or electric), there are several choices. Some types are claimed to cut energy costs by up to half that of regular storage models. But their added up-front costs mean payback time might be longer.

Tankless (On-Demand) Water Heater

Rather than storing water, tankless water heaters use heating coils to heat the water as you need it. They’re more energy-efficient than a storage tank but provide only a limited flow of hot water per minute—about 3.5 gallons, depending on inlet water temperatures. They’re best for people who typically aren’t drawing water for more than one user at a time—such as running a shower and dishwasher simultaneously.

Storage Tank Water Heater

Storage tanks are the most common type of water heater. As the name suggests, these consist of an insulated tank in which water is heated and stored until needed then emerges from a pipe on top of the water heater. There is also a temperature- and pressure-relief valve, which opens if either exceeds a preset level.

Solar Water Heater

A roof-mounted cell absorbs the sun’s heat and transfers it to an antifreeze-like fluid in a closed-loop system that runs to the water tank. The best deliver stellar savings in summer, making them attractive for warm, sunny regions. But savings suffer on cold and cloudy days. Most models employ a backup system that kicks in when needed.

Condensing Water Heater

Condensing water heaters are an option if you heat with gas and need a unit with a capacity of more than 55 gallons. These models have a tank like a conventional water heater, but they capture exhaust gases that would normally go out the flue, which wastes energy. These gases are blown through a coil in the base of the unit, where incoming cold water can absorb most of the heat.

Heat Pump (Hybrid) Water Heater

These capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water. They use about 60 percent less energy than standard electric water heaters. And while they cost more than electric-only models, installation is similar and payback time is short. But they don’t work well in very cold spaces and need to be placed in an area that stays about 40° F to 90° F.

And because the heat pump is on top, a hybrid water heater needs as much as 7 feet of clearance from floor to ceiling. You’ll also need up to 1,000 cubic feet of uncooled space to capture enough heat from the air as well as a nearby drain to discharge the condensate.

Features to Consider

Warranty: Coverage for water heaters typically runs three to 12 years. While you’ll usually pay a bit more for longer-warranty models, we’ve found that they tend to have larger elements or burners that can speed up water heating and have thicker insulation for less heat loss. Choose a water heater with the longest warranty available.

Anti-scale devices: Some brands advertise features that are supposed to reduce the buildup of mineral scale at the bottom of the tank by swirling the water. While the scale can shorten the life of the heating element, you don’t need to invest in fancy features to get a water heater that lasts. Just look for one with a 12-year warranty, which typically includes a longer or thicker element.

Brass vs. plastic drain valves: These are situated near the base of the water heater for a garden hose that drains the heater. Look for brass drain valves, which are more durable than plastic.

Glass-lined tanks: Designed to reduce corrosion.

Digital displays: Help you monitor levels and customize operation. Some electric/heat pump hybrid water heaters let you set a vacation mode that uses just the heat pump for added efficiency when you’re away. Displays on solar water heaters often show tank and collector temperatures, along with pressure readings and other info.

5 Best Frying Pan Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

For lots of home chefs, the best frying pan is going to be nonstick, oven-safe, and able to withstand some wear and tear. We consulted with the pros, then tested 10 best-in-class pans, flipping fried eggs, baking cornbread, and searing steak to see which were the least sticky and the most comfortable to maneuver.

Top 5 Frying Pan

$5.00Bestseller No. 1
Utopia Kitchen 11 Inch Nonstick Frying Pan - Induction Bottom - Aluminum Alloy and Scratch Resistant Body - Riveted Handle - Dishwasher Friendly
485 Reviews
Utopia Kitchen 11 Inch Nonstick Frying Pan - Induction Bottom - Aluminum Alloy and Scratch Resistant Body - Riveted Handle - Dishwasher Friendly
  • The wobble-free bakelite handle is ergonomically designed and riveted strongly to the pan so you can...
  • The induction bottom of the frying pan is suitable for all types of cooking; including electric and...
$5.00Bestseller No. 2
Carote 8 Inch Nonstick Skillet Frying Pan Egg Pan Omelet Pan, Nonstick Cookware Granite Coating from Switzerland,Black
  • Eco-friendly Granite Coating – Natural Stone material from Switzerland,PFOA FREE
  • Non-stick & Easy to Clean – The nonstick interior is made of cast aluminum,which is more durable...
$16.44Bestseller No. 3
Ozeri 8' Earth Frying Pan, 100% APEO & PFOA-Free Stone-Derived Non-Stick Coating from Germany, 12-Inch, Lava Black
5,628 Reviews
Ozeri 8" Earth Frying Pan, 100% APEO & PFOA-Free Stone-Derived Non-Stick Coating from Germany, 12-Inch, Lava Black
  • Utilizes a stone-derived coating from Germany that is 100% free of APEO, GenX, PFBS, PFOS, PFOA, and...
  • Eco-friendly pan delivers unprecedented non-stick performance without risk of exposure to these...
Bestseller No. 4
T-fal Specialty 3 PC Initiatives Nonstick Inside and Out, 8', 9.5', 11', Black
3,870 Reviews
T-fal Specialty 3 PC Initiatives Nonstick Inside and Out, 8", 9.5", 11", Black
  • SET INCLUDES: 8 inches fry pan, 9.5 inches fry pan and an 11 inches fry pan
  • THERMO SPOT INDICATOR: The ring around the spot turns solid red to show when pans are perfectly...
Bestseller No. 5
T-fal Dishwasher Safe Cookware Fry Pan with Lid Hard Anodized Titanium Nonstick, 12-Inch, Black
4,650 Reviews
T-fal Dishwasher Safe Cookware Fry Pan with Lid Hard Anodized Titanium Nonstick, 12-Inch, Black
  • Built to perform: A true workhorse in the kitchen, hard anodized aluminum retains perfect heat and...
  • Heat mastery system: T fal's heat mastery system is a 3 ingredient recipe for perfectly delicious...

How We Chose the Best Frying Pans

Universally compatible, medium-sized, oven-safe pans

First, compatibility with all types of stovetops, including induction. Second, the versatility conferred by being oven-safe. Author and “kitchen gadget geek” Liana Green of Liana’s Kitchen likes oven-safe nonstick pans because you can, for example, brown a steak on the stove and put it directly into the oven without having to transfer it into a baking dish.

We also opted to only test 10- and 11-inch pans. This is a good size for cooking two fried eggs or a three-egg omelet, but if you’re interested in more (or less), most of the models we tested come in a range of sizes, typically from 9 inches up to 12.

Nonstick

Want to get a really quick sense of how good your nonstick pan is? Fry an egg on it. If you can successfully fry an egg without the white sticking all over the pan and with the yolk intact, you’ve got a keeper. We heated each of our test pans for two minutes, and then fried eggs on low heat without adding any oil or butter, specifically because we wanted to test the nonstick surface of the pan itself — without any additional lubricants. Same goes with our cornbread. We mixed the batter and spread it into each nonstick pan without any oil or butter. After 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven, we tested to see which could release a wedge leaving the fewest crumbs or crusts behind.

Heat distribution

We did two tests to get a sense of heat distribution. The first was heating two cups of cold water over medium heat to see where those mini bubbles appeared first, and if there were any hot or cold spots as the water grew warmer. We also tested searing 1-inch round eye steaks over medium-high heat to see if any pans cooked hotter, or didn’t release meat as well.

All 10 pans handled the meat well — no sticking, and all achieved about the same rareness after six minutes — but some pans definitely seared the meat more than others. When we double-checked each pan’s temperature with an infrared thermometer, we saw about a 135-degree temperature swing, but nothing that would cut a pan from the running.

Longevity

The true test of a nonstick pan is how it performs in the long term, so we did our best to cram a few years of use into a couple of days by breaking all the nonstick frying pan rules. We banged each pan against a concrete edge to see how easy it was to dent or warp the surface, and scraped metal forks across their surfaces to see if any flaked started flaking off. Then we ran all 10 pans through an industrial-strength dishwasher, including the ones that were “hand wash only.”

Holistic best

For us, the best nonstick cookware felt good to use, passed all our cooking tests, and sported a price point that wouldn’t make us gag. After a day in the test kitchen, we learned not all nonstick pans are created equally. Some are heavier than others; some have handles that dig into your hands or get hot while cooking, and some have surfaces that are more difficult to get clean. Turns out, some aren’t even all that nonstick.

How to Find the Right Frying Pan for Your Kitchen

Avoid nonstick pans with textured cooking surfaces

Some nonstick frying pans come with textured surfaces, such as the Frieling Black Cube Fry Pan and the Circulon Symmetry Hard-Anodized Nonstick French Skillet. It sounds a little like a no-brainer, but we found that the pans with textured surfaces were consistently less nonstick than pans with smooth surfaces — and the experts agree. “A raised pattern on a nonstick pan pretty much negates its nonstick ability,” Braun confirms. “Food tends to grip to the texture, so a smooth-bottomed pan is ideal in this category.”

Pick your ply

Of our top picks and honorable mentions, two pans are tri-ply: the KitchenAid Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Nonstick Skillet and the All-Clad Stainless Nonstick Fry Pan. The All-Clad d5 Stainless Nonstick Fry Pan, the Demeyere 5-Plus Nonstick Fry Pan, and the Swiss Diamond Prestige Clad Nonstick Fry Pan all have five layers — which helps explain why they are typically more expensive than the tri-ply options.

5 Best Refrigerator Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

When it comes to refrigerators nowadays, options go far beyond simply getting a glass of ice water without having to open the door. With custom panels, you can get a built-in that exactly matches your kitchen cabinets. And forget four doors—some newer models have five or more. You can even pull out a refrigerated drawer and find it full of frosty sodas. Our fridge-by-fridge guide helps you choose the right type for your family, demystifies claimed vs. usable storage space, and helps you find the quietest models—so you, and your groceries can chill out.

Top 5 Refrigerator

Bestseller No. 1
RCA RFR322-B 3.2 Cu Ft Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer RFR322, Platinum, Stainless
2,762 Reviews
RCA RFR322-B 3.2 Cu Ft Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer RFR322, Platinum, Stainless
  • Your purchase includes One RCA RFR322 Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer in Stainless Steel color
  • Fridge dimensions: 17-1/2” D x 18.5/8” W x 31.5/8” H | 84 L - 3.2 cu. Ft. inner space |...
$65.00Bestseller No. 2
hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler - 120 Can Mini Fridge with Glass Door for Soda Beer or Wine - Small Drink Dispenser Machine for Office or Bar with Adjustable Removable Shelves
1,292 Reviews
hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler - 120 Can Mini Fridge with Glass Door for Soda Beer or Wine - Small Drink Dispenser Machine for Office or Bar with Adjustable Removable Shelves
  • MODERN ELECTRIC BEVERAGE COOLER - This 3.2 cubic feet, free standing beverage refrigerator features...
  • LARGE CAPACITY BEER & WINE CHILLER - Under counter beverage cooler with large, internal storage...
Bestseller No. 3
RCA RFR320-B-Black-COM RFR321 Mini Refrigerator, 3.2 Cu Ft Fridge, Black, CU.FT
2,751 Reviews
RCA RFR320-B-Black-COM RFR321 Mini Refrigerator, 3.2 Cu Ft Fridge, Black, CU.FT
  • Your purchase includes One RCA RFR320 Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer in Black color
  • Fridge dimensions: 17-1/2” W x 18.5/8” D x 31.5/8” H | 84 L - 3.2 cu. Ft. inner space |...
Bestseller No. 4
Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator, WHD-113FSS1 - Stainless Steel
914 Reviews
Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator, WHD-113FSS1 - Stainless Steel
  • Your purchase includes One Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator, WHD-113FSS1 model in Stainless...
  • Refrigerator dimensions: 3.1 Cu Ft inner space | 18.50” W x 19.37” D x 32.95” H | Product...
$11.00Bestseller No. 5
BLACK+DECKER BCRK17B Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Feet, Black
588 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER BCRK17B Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Feet, Black
  • COMPACT & STYLISH - This space saving small refrigerator (17.5" x 18.5" x 19.7") stores food, soda,...
  • LARGE CAPACITY - The removable glass shelf expands the storage space and makes the fridge easy to...

How We Rate Refrigerators

In our labs, each refrigerator we test gets wired up with temperature sensors. We then monitor them for more than a month in a temperature-controlled chamber to evaluate thermostat control and temperature uniformity. CR’s test engineers collect more than 5.4 million temperature readings for each model to detect warm and cold spots and determine which refrigerators will keep your food fresh longest. The results reveal that many refrigerators simply don’t do well at their primary task, and that could mean more wasted food and bigger grocery bills.

To test the freezer compartments of refrigerators, our engineers fill the appliances with boxes and boxes of frozen spinach, then evaluate how well they keep the packages frozen. In addition, we measure usable storage capacity, which rarely matches what manufacturers claim. Our engineers then use these measurements to calculate energy efficiency. Finally, we incorporate survey data collected from CR members to judge predicted reliability and owner satisfaction for each brand and refrigerator type.

Pick A Style

There’s a refrigerator configuration to suit every household. French-door models are exploding in popularity. Some consumers prefer the convenience of bottom freezers, which put fresh foods at eye level, but top freezers and side-by-sides can make more efficient use of space in a smaller kitchen. Here’s what you need to know to make the best choice. See our full refrigerator ratings for how models in the different sizes and styles below performed in our tests.

Consider Size

Most refrigerator configurations come in a range of sizes and capacities. Always measure where you plan to put the refrigerator before you shop. And check that it can fit through doorways. Allow room for the refrigerator’s doors to swing open, and for a one-inch clearance around sides and back for adequate airflow.

As for capacity, most manufacturers recommend 19 to 22 cubic feet for a family of four. But if you do a big weekly shopping trip or buy in bulk, you may need more—up to 30 to 33 cubic feet. Note: Our tests found that the amount of usable storage capacity was often less than the amount claimed. Check our refrigerator ratings for more.

Decode the EnergyGuide Label

Energy efficiency has become a big selling point with consumers. All new refrigerators are a lot more efficient than they were a decade ago, but here’s a look behind the label—to help you go as green as possible.

The EPA Energy Star rating is a good place to start when shopping; it means that a product is in or around the top 25 percent of the market, but efficiency varies by model (i.e. an unlabeled top-freezer might be more efficient than an Energy Star-approved French door model). Additionally, we test for energy consumption, which can add up to a $50-60 difference a year, more than $500 over the life of the unit.

How to Find the Right Refrigerator for You

Measure your space

Fridges vary by height, width, and depth, and it’s important to know exactly what size you need to be looking for. Too large, and you risk not being able to fit your new fridge through the kitchen door, let alone fit it inside your kitchen. Too small, and it might look out of place.

Depending on the amount of space available, you might find that certain types of refrigerators won’t work for your space. If you are working with a small space, your most likely option will be a top freezer. If there is only a narrow gap between your refrigerator and your kitchen island, however, a refrigerator with two doors will make it easier to reach in and grab the carton of milk without hitting the door on the cabinetry.

Consider your ideal depth size

After height and width, the most important measurement you’ll need to note is depth. Most fridges are not counter-depth; most counters are 26 inches or shallower, while most fridges stick out at least 2 or 3 inches beyond that. If you prefer your fridge to blend in with your counters, look for counter-depth refrigerators. These typically have less space to hold food but won’t stand out from the rest of your kitchen.

Determine your refrigerator type

After factoring in physical constraints, choose your fridge based on the features that are most important to you.

  • Top freezers are the most economical, but they don’t look particularly fancy and usually don’t come with ice or water dispensers in the door.
  • French door refrigerators look like they belong in Martha Stewart’s kitchen and typically have nicer glass shelving options and drawers. That said, they tend to be among the most expensive of the refrigerators.
  • Bottom freezers look fairly attractive, typically coming in stainless steel finishes, and are user-friendly. By tucking away frozen foods at the bottom, they keep your everyday food at eye and hand level. This can make it more difficult to dig up your frozen peas, however, though some models come with freezer baskets to help organize the space.
  • Side-by-side refrigerators usually take up more space in your kitchen than other styles, in exchange for giving you more freezer space than with any other type of refrigerator. The freezer space tends to be slightly narrow, making it difficult to fit in large pizza boxes.

5 Best Juicer Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Claims for juicers in infomercials and celebrity endorsements range from the ability of juice to ease muscle aches, alleviate high blood pressure, and even increase sexual potency. And ubiquitous juice cleanses are touted as a way to flush out toxins, make your skin glow, and slim you down for that big reunion or red carpet walk. Don’t believe the pulp fiction. The evidence says otherwise. Juice cannot be any better than the produce from which it’s made. It can even be less nutritious if much of the dietary fiber is removed in the process.

That said, a juicer can certainly add vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to your daily diet. But only if you use it regularly and that’s not always easy. Some models we tested were so complicated to operate and so hard to clean that they’d probably end up collecting dust in a dark corner of your kitchen cabinet.

Top 5 Juicer

Bestseller No. 1
Mueller Austria Juicer Ultra 1100W Power, Easy Clean Extractor Press Centrifugal Juicing Machine, Wide 3' Feed Chute for Whole Fruit Vegetable, Anti-drip, High Quality, BPA-Free, Large, Silver
5,446 Reviews
Mueller Austria Juicer Ultra 1100W Power, Easy Clean Extractor Press Centrifugal Juicing Machine, Wide 3" Feed Chute for Whole Fruit Vegetable, Anti-drip, High Quality, BPA-Free, Large, Silver
  • WHY THE MUELLER ULTRA JUICER – Under it's sleek modern stainless-steel design and low counter-top...
  • DUAL-SPEED VERSATILITY - "1" low speed runs from 12000 to 15000 RPM for softer fruits like oranges,...
Bestseller No. 2
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth 3” Feed Chute, Centrifugal, Easy to Clean, BPA Free, 800W, (67601A), Black
4,601 Reviews
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth 3” Feed Chute, Centrifugal, Easy to Clean, BPA Free, 800W, (67601A), Black
  • Healthy, homemade juice in seconds- juice a variety of fruits and vegetables. Juicer is easy to...
  • Extra-large 3 inch feed chute fits whole fruits and vegetables- fit a whole apple, a peeled orange...
Bestseller No. 3
Juicer Machines, Aicok Slow Masticating Juicer Extractor Easy to Clean, Quiet Motor & Reverse Function, BPA-Free, Cold Press Juicer with Brush, Juice Recipes for Vegetables and Fruits
1,784 Reviews
Juicer Machines, Aicok Slow Masticating Juicer Extractor Easy to Clean, Quiet Motor & Reverse Function, BPA-Free, Cold Press Juicer with Brush, Juice Recipes for Vegetables and Fruits
  • UPGRADE THE SPIRAL SYSTEM - 7 segment spiral opening up each cell for maximum juice yield, minimal...
  • 80 RPM SLOW MASTICATING AND GRINDING - 90% More Nutrition Growth, without creating too much heat...
$3.00Bestseller No. 4
Juicer Wide Mouth Juice Extractor, Aicook Juicer Machines BPA Free Compact Fruits & Vegetables Juicer, Dual Speed Centrifugal Juicer with Anti-drip Function, Stainless Steel Juicers Easy to Clean
831 Reviews
Juicer Wide Mouth Juice Extractor, Aicook Juicer Machines BPA Free Compact Fruits & Vegetables Juicer, Dual Speed Centrifugal Juicer with Anti-drip Function, Stainless Steel Juicers Easy to Clean
  • WHY THE AICOOK JUICER –With a corrosion-resistant food grade 304 stainless steel sharp blades and...
  • DUAL SPEED VERSATILITY JUICER - Upgrade the motor for faster juicing but lower noise, under 60dB. It...
Bestseller No. 5
Juicer, Juice Extractor, Aicook Juicer Machine with 3'' Wide Mouth, 3 Speed Centrifugal Juicer for Fruits and Vegs, with Non-Slip Feet, BPA-Free
  • Health gurus - extracts up to 26% more juice and 36% more vitamins and minerals than other juicers....
  • Big timesaver - 3'' Wide Feed fit whole fruits & vegetables, without slicing and chopping,...

How We Chose the Best Juicers

Centrifugal vs. cold-press

We limited our focus to the two most common types — centrifugal and cold-press — excluding blenders, manual juicers, and citrus juicers. Centrifugal juicers shred produce and spin it rapidly to extract the juice.
Cold-press juicers (also called masticating juicers) crush the juice out by twisting the produce against a screen. Cold-press juicers take longer and tend to be more expensive, but extract slightly more juice.

Usability

Dietitian and nutrition writer Sharon Palmer told us that a juicer “should be easy to use, take apart, clean, and store.” Most of the juicers took about 10 minutes to assemble. The $300 Breville and the $400 Hurom both came mostly assembled, but the Tribes ($250) didn’t — and we found its instructions confusing and difficult to follow. KitchenAid’s $300 juicer attachment was hands-down the worst, requiring a full 20 minutes to assemble and almost causing injury thanks to its exposed blade.

Efficiency

Chef Liana Green told us that a good juicer can “juice green leafy vegetables and produce a high yield from ingredients.” The most efficient juicers will squeeze your fruits and veggies dry. The centrifugal juicers averaged a speedy two minutes per glass of juice, but they also tended to be quite messy, splattering juice everywhere if we placed our own glasses beneath the juice spouts. The cold-press juicers were generally quieter and neater during juicing, leaving us with a much cleaner countertop — but they required about seven minutes to fill one glass.

Ease of cleaning

While all juicers require scrubbing, we wanted to find the models that were as simple to clean as possible, free of nooks and crannies where pulp could collect. Despite a reputation that cold-press models will have you digging pulp out of their components for hours, our testing found that they were only slightly more difficult to clean than the centrifugal juicers.

Guide to Juicers

Assess your own health

Juicing isn’t for everyone. Registered dietitian Sylvia North warned us that “if you have a clinically diagnosed inflammatory bowel or kidney disease, some nutrients found in high concentrations in green juices may not be appropriate.” If you’re navigating any health challenges, it’s best to talk to your registered dietitian or doctor before you shop for a juicer.

Research recipes

Are you looking for a quick daily juice to take on your commute or something packed with all kinds of unusual ingredients to enjoy on a luxurious weekend morning? To make the most out of your juicer, get a head start by researching recipes involving your favorite ingredients. There are lots of online guides for beginners. The last thing you want to do is purchase a juicer and have it gather dust because you got sick of straight carrot juice.

Anticipate cleaning time

Be prepared to clean your juicer after every use. Bacteria love to feast on unpasteurized juices, so it’s important to clean your juicer every time you use it. And the sooner the better — the drier it gets, the harder pulp is to remove. During testing, we found that the strainer baskets and pulp spout tended to need the most attention. So think about how often you’ll use your machine, what kind of fruits and vegetables you’ll be juicing (some leave more behind in your juicer than others), and how much time you’ll have to clean your machine.

5 Best Hot Dogs Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

The Department of Agriculture requires that they are made from real meat (beef, chicken, pork, turkey, or some combination of those), and they can’t contain more than 3.5 percent of nonmeat binders or fillers (which include nonfat dry milk, cereal, or dried whole milk).

But even the hot dogs marketed as “healthy” can still be nutritional landmines—high in sodium, fat, and nitrates. “Summer cookouts, picnics, and trips to the ballpark often mean hot dogs are on the menu, and indulging once in a while is okay,” says Ellen Klosz, a Consumer Reports nutritionist. “But make sure they’re only an occasional treat, and limit your consumption to just one.”

Top 5 Hot Dogs

Bestseller No. 1
Printed Foil Hot Dog Bags - 50 Pack - Silver Red by Outside the Box Papers
  • Durable foil bags are grease resistant, retain heat, keep your guest's hands clean while they enjoy...
  • Perfect for your next cookout , picnic or carnival themed party
$3.03Bestseller No. 2
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hot Spot and Itch Relief Spray for Dogs and Cats – Medicated Topical Treatment for Skin Irritations and Hot Spots - Fast Acting, Heals and Soothes (8oz)
  • HEAL AND SOOTHE – Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hot Spot and Itch Relief Spray provides dogs...
  • FAST ACTING – Hot Spot and Itch Relief Spray works fast to help relieve your pet’s itching,...
Bestseller No. 3
Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine Spray for Dogs & Cats - Treats Yeast Infections, Hot Spots, Ringworm & Pyoderma – Anti Itch with Soothing Aloe - Broad Spectrum Veterinary Formula
  • Eliminates Skin Infections caused by Fungus, Yeast, Bacteria, Pyoderma and Ringworm in Dogs,...
  • Relieves Itching and Hot Spots; Aloe & Vitamin E soothes and nourishes Rashes, Redness and Dry Skin...
Bestseller No. 4
Berks Grill Hot Dog, 8 Hot Dogs (Pack of 3)
1 Reviews
Berks Grill Hot Dog, 8 Hot Dogs (Pack of 3)
  • 24 HOT DOGS: Berks Beef & Pork Grill hotdogs are made from a proprietary blend of spices, seasonings...
  • FAMILY FAVORITE: Fully cooked & hickory smoked, our hot dogs are perfect for barbecues, cookouts,...
Bestseller No. 5
Nostalgia HDR8RR Hot Dog Warmer 8 Regular Sized, 4 Foot Long and 6 Bun Capacity, Stainless Steel Rollers, Perfect For Breakfast Sausages, Brats, Taquitos, Egg Rolls, Retro Red
900 Reviews
Nostalgia HDR8RR Hot Dog Warmer 8 Regular Sized, 4 Foot Long and 6 Bun Capacity, Stainless Steel Rollers, Perfect For Breakfast Sausages, Brats, Taquitos, Egg Rolls, Retro Red
  • Great style & great taste: retro-looking hot dog Roller cooks up to 8 regular-size or 4 foot-long...
  • Stainless steel rollers: five continuously rotating stainless steel rollers rotate 360-degrees for...

Consider What’s Inside

When it comes to the quality of the meat they contain, not all hot dogs are created equal. Some, such as Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners and Ball Park Classic Franks, include what’s called “mechanically separated meat” (pork or poultry), which the USDA defines as “a paste-like and batter-like meat product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.”

The USDA says that mechanically separated meat is safe (however, mechanically separated beef is not allowed because of concerns about mad cow disease). But the European Food Safety Authority notes that the way this meat is processed increases the chance of microbial growth. “If hot dogs are properly cooked, I wouldn’t be concerned about bacterial growth,” says James E. Rogers, Ph.D., director of food safety at CR. See below for cooking safety tips.

If you prefer to avoid mechanically separated meat, check the ingredients list on your hot dog package—if it contains mechanically separated meat, the manufacturers are required to say so.   You may also want to opt for brands that are made with grass-fed beef (such as Applegate Naturals Beef Hot Dog) or organic hot dogs, which are made with meat from animals that have been raised without antibiotics.

Factor In What Else You Eat

No matter how healthy your hot dog may sound, it is still a processed meat product. The World Health Organization defines processed meat as “meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.” In addition to hot dogs, processed meats include bacon, beef jerky, deli meats, ham, salami, and sausage.

Processed meat has been shown to cause a number of negative health effects. A review of 20 studies including more than a million people, published in the journal Circulation in 2010, found a consistent link between processed meat intake and an increased risk of coronary heart disease. In fact, the researchers concluded that each daily serving of processed meat (a hot dog counts as one serving) was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease.

Don’t Be Swayed by ‘No Nitrite’ Claims

By USDA regulations, if a hot dog label says “cured,” it was made using synthetic nitrites or nitrates (such as sodium nitrite)—preservatives found in many processed types of meat. Curing is a process used to preserve meat, add flavor, and maintain color. However, nitrites and nitrates may form cancer-causing compounds called nitrosamines in the body. The same regulations require that hot dogs that don’t contain synthetic nitrites be labeled “uncured.” (Those labeled “organic” are also required to be free of synthetic nitrates or nitrites.)

If a product makes a “no nitrite or nitrate added” claim, check the fine print. The USDA requires that products making this claim include a line that says “except for those occurring naturally in” whatever naturally-occurring source the company used.

Keep an Eye on the Extras

Few people choose to eat their hot dogs naked, and how you dress them can either improve or worsen their nutrition profile. “Typical hot dog buns are made from refined white flour that has very little fiber or nutritional value,” says Kate Patton, R.D., a dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic. “Plus, they often contain added sodium and sugar.” Whenever possible, opt for a 100 percent whole-grain bun instead.

As for toppings, a little ketchup or mustard won’t hurt. But be sure to read the ingredients list and check the Nutrition Facts label for sodium and sugars content. Both can have around 160 mg per tablespoon. And ketchup and some mustards, such as honey mustard, can also contain added sugars. For example, a tablespoon of Heinz Tomato Ketchup has 4 grams of sugars, while a tablespoon of Gulden’s Honey Mustard has 6 grams—a hefty amount, considering that the American Heart Association recommends that women have just 24 grams of added sugars a day; men, 36.

Cook and Serve Safely

Be extra careful when serving hot dogs to children. Whole dogs or ones cut into circular slices, are a major choking hazard for children younger than 4 years old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The safest ways to serve hot dogs to young children is to cut them lengthwise and then into small pieces. If the hot dog has a casing, be sure to remove it before cutting into pieces; the casing can also cause choking.

5 Best Wine Refrigerators Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Wine coolers aren’t for storing wine forever. They’re forgetting it ready to drink. We talked to four wine experts, tested fridge temperatures, and drank our fair share of chilled rosés, all to find a good looking wine cooler with buttons that worked, could accommodate temperatures from 45–65 degrees and didn’t develop freezer burn.

Top 5 Wine Refrigerators

Bestseller No. 1
Ivation 28 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator w/Lock | Large Freestanding Wine Cellar For Red, White, Champagne or Sparkling Wine | 41f-64f Digital Temperature Control Fridge Glass Door Black
  • TEMPERATURE STABILITY - Ivation wine coolers’ compressor technology ensures temperature is not...
  • PRESERVE WINE’S FULLEST FLAVOR & AROMA - Set the temperature and let the wine cooler do the rest....
Bestseller No. 2
Ivation 12 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator w/Lock | Large Freestanding Wine Cellar For Red, White, Champagne or Sparkling Wine | 41f-64f Digital Temperature Control Fridge Glass Door Black
  • TEMPERATURE STABILITY - Ivation wine coolers’ compressor technology ensures temperature is not...
  • PRESERVE WINE’S FULLEST FLAVOR & AROMA - Set the temperature and let the wine cooler do the rest....
$67.36Bestseller No. 3
Kalamera 4.2 Cu.ft 50 Bottle Compressor Wine Refrigerator Single Zone with Touch Control, Stainless Steel Door and Handle (KRC-52SZF)
109 Reviews
Kalamera 4.2 Cu.ft 50 Bottle Compressor Wine Refrigerator Single Zone with Touch Control, Stainless Steel Door and Handle (KRC-52SZF)
  • FREESTANDING DESIGN: Built from premium black and silver stainless steel with tempered dual pane...
  • QUIET COMPRESSOR: Advanced cooling technology keeps compressor quiet without disturbing wine...
Bestseller No. 4
Antarctic Star 1.6cu.ft Wine Cooler/Cabinet Beverage Refrigerator Small Mini Red & White Wine Cellar Beer Soda Clear Front Glass Door Counter Top Bar Fridge Quiet Operation Compressor Adjust Temperature Freestanding Black
  • KEEP WINE COOL: Heat is enemy number one for wine. The Wine Cooler enables you to store your wine in...
  • IDEAL LIGHT and HUMIDITY: With its reinforced glass door with air tight seal and help to maintain an...
Bestseller No. 5
Antarctic Star 24 Bottle Wine Cooler/Cabinet Beverage Refigerator Mini Fridge Small Wine Cellar Soda Beer Counter Top Bar Quiet Operation Compressor Digital Freestanding Clear Glass Door for Office/Dorm
13 Reviews
Antarctic Star 24 Bottle Wine Cooler/Cabinet Beverage Refigerator Mini Fridge Small Wine Cellar Soda Beer Counter Top Bar Quiet Operation Compressor Digital Freestanding Clear Glass Door for Office/Dorm
  • KEEP WINE COOL: Heat is enemy number one for wine. The Wine Cooler enables you to store your wine in...
  • IDEAL LIGHT and HUMIDITY: With its reinforced glass door with air tight seal and help to maintain an...

How We Found the Best Wine Cooler

Good temperature range

First, we made sure our fridges could keep both whites and reds at the optimum temperatures for serving, based on recommendations from Wine Spectator:

  • Light dry whites, rosés, and sparkling wines: 40 to 50 degrees
  • Full-bodied whites and fruity reds: 50 to 60 degrees
  • Full-bodied reds and ports: 60 to 65 degrees

We cut any cooler without that full range of 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Adjustable shelves

If shelves can’t be adjusted, you are limited in the number, size, and shapes of the bottles you can store — not ideal for anyone with a varied collection, let alone an upcoming dinner party. With removable shelves, you can fit more bottles by stacking them like firewood, plus have the option of storing opened bottles standing up.

Energy efficiency

The amount of energy a wine cooler uses depends on how many hours per day the fan or motor is running, plus variables such as how often you open the door and the ambient temperature of the room. It’s measured in kilowatt hours per year (kWh/year). In general, manufacturers are not actually required to list energy consumption for wine coolers as they are considered luxury items. However, some manufacturers do estimate the energy consumption of their coolers; 15 of our contenders used 400 kWh/year or less.

Hands-on usability

As we whittled down the contenders, we got our hands on six wine coolers. From there, we tested things like the controls, shelving, door mechanism, etc. We played around with them all, pushing buttons and pulling out drawers, then tested each unit to find the accuracy of their temperature settings at 49 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit and how easily they could accommodate wine bottles of different sizes.

How to Find the Right Wine Cooler for You

Ask yourself what kind of wine you prefer

If you lean heavily to just reds or just whites, a single-zone cooler will work great. If you prefer to mix it up, choose a dual-zone model. But don’t forget: all wines can be kept at 55 degrees until a few hours before being served when you can pop them in the fridge to cool down or leave them out at room temperature to warm up. If you’re looking more for a short-term storage option (as opposed to a ready-and-waiting-to-be-consumed solution) a single-zone cooler with a limited temperature range could still be a great choice.

Assess room temperature

Thermoelectric models, while more efficient, struggle in anything but ideal temperatures. If you live in Florida and plan on keeping your wine cooler in an un-air-conditioned garage, a compressor model will definitely be the way to go.

Determine where you want the wine cooler

Most freestanding coolers don’t have a front vent, so they need several inches of breathing room around the back, top, and sides so they don’t overheat. For a more streamlined look, go with a built-in model that matches your appliances or cabinetry. Also, consider your space: Do you want a tall-skinny guy? A cube? Something else?

Are wine coolers reliable?

Experts warn that smaller free-standing units can be fickle. Matthew Goldfarb says that many smaller, off-the-shelf units only work well for a few years, and that larger, built-in models have more structural integrity. “I’ve had mixed success with the smaller freestanding coolers,” agrees Erik Liedholm, wine director for several of chef John Howie’s restaurants. The wine coolers we tested all had one-year warranties (except the Jenn-Air, which had a two-year warranty), but Goldfarb emphasizes that if you have invested in a quality wine collection, it’s worth it to invest in a quality cooler or cellar.

Will a wine cooler match my decor?

Wine coolers come in all finishes: wood, stainless steel, sleek black. They come in all sorts of shapes too: tall and skinny, small like a microwave, as giant as a dishwasher, and even the size of a full room. This is an appliance that’s going to be sitting on your countertop or taking up some floor space in your kitchen. Luckily, there are a variety of aesthetics to choose from.

5 Best Bosch Dishwasher Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

My family and I recently moved cross-country into a house that is still in the process of being remodeled. We have a barebones kitchen to work with. And, as I spend half an hour or so each day at the sink scrubbing away, there is no appliance I miss more than a trusty dishwasher.

When it comes to time savings, a dishwasher is well worth the investment. Our top pick is just a smidge over $800, but you can find decent models for half that price. When shopping for a dishwasher, there are a number of features that tend to lend themselves to better performance and durability. You should look for nylon-coated racks since they tend to have a longer lifespan. A soil sensor is also helpful because it will let your washer know when to end the cycle or if it should keep going.

Top 5 Bosch Dishwasher

Lab-Tested for Your Home

We test dishwashers year-round, spending 28 hours evaluating each one and identifying its features. Our testers load each dishwasher with 10 place settings of white ceramic dishes with baked-on food, then run it on the normal cycle (or its equivalent). When the cycle is complete, we record cycle time, and the amount of water and energy used. We use a photo-imaging machine to determine precisely how clean each dish is, we test how well each machine dries plastics, and panelists judge noise levels.

Dishwashers that perform well but don’t hold up over time aren’t winners. That’s why it’s important to consider our latest reliability and owner satisfaction survey findings. And to make it easier for you to choose the best dishwasher for your budget, we now incorporate lab-test results, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction into one Overall Score for each model.

A Dish Load of Brands
There are more than 20 brands in our dishwasher ratings. You’ll see familiar names such as Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, LG, Maytag, Samsung, and Whirlpool. Ikea is there, too—and no, you don’t have to assemble the dishwasher yourself. And our experts review the three B’s—Beko, Blomberg, and Bosch.

Manufacturers in the high-end price range include Bertazzoni, Dacor, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, GE Profile, Jenn-Air, Kenmore Elite, KitchenAid, Miele, Thermador, and Viking. We work to keep up with brands that you’ll see in stores and online. That’s why we also test models from Equator, Kuchta, and Thor Kitchen.

Name Your Price

The width and depth of a conventional dishwasher are intended for a cavity measuring 24×24 inches. But fitting your new dishwasher it could be a challenge if you’ve tiled the floor or redone your counters, changing the height of the cavity. So before you choose, measure your space and ask the retailer for the full height range (and don’t forget to account for adjustment of the leveling feet).

When shopping, take a close look at how the dishwasher’s interior is configured—the spacing of tines, and the placement of the silverware baskets and racks. You need a dishwasher that works for how you cook and eat.

Dishwashers for $500 or Less
Although they aren’t the top performers in our tests, you can still get a dishwasher that’s excellent at cleaning, and very good or even excellent at drying. Most dishwashers, including lower-priced models, now have a soil sensor. It adjusts the cycle’s time and water use to the load’s soil level, improving water efficiency. And some in this price range even has a stainless interior. So what’s the catch? The features are basic: Adjustable racks and stainless steel tubs are not a given, and most dishwashers in this price range are relatively noisy.

Dishwashers for $600 to $900
You can get a quieter machine, superb cleaning, and convenient features that might make it worth spending a bit more, such as adjustable racks and flexible flatware slots, along with a stainless tub, which tends to resist stains better than plastic. A soil sensor is a given.

Dishwashers for $1,000 or More
The styling changes and the dishwashers are fully loaded. You no longer have to choose between useful features. Innovative features—such as special wash zones for heavily soiled items, and WiFi connectivity—are added.

Dishwasher Drawers
They typically include two stacked drawers that you can use simultaneously or separately. But they’re expensive, and the models we tested haven’t performed as well overall as most conventional dishwashers.

5 Best Mini Fridge Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

A drab college dorm room or a stark office will feel more like home with a snack or cold drink at your fingertips. Putting a compact refrigerator in a media room, man cave, or home workshop can also save trips to the kitchen. Add in prices as low as $95 and it’s easy to see why Americans buy a few million of these appliances each year.

But don’t expect the same temperature performance as a regular refrigerator. In Consumer Reports’ refrigerator tests, the Frigidaire FFPH44M4L[M] ($220), with a claimed capacity of 4.4 cubic feet, is the only one that performed well enough in both the refrigerator and freezer compartments to make our recommended list. That’s why the best uses for compact refrigerators are to keep sodas and other beverages cold and to provide temporary storage of snacks. If you plan to store milk, mayo, or other perishables long term, it’s important to use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure temperatures don’t exceed 40° F, the point at which harmful bacteria start to thrive.

Top 5 Mini Fridge

Bestseller No. 1
RCA RFR322-B 3.2 Cu Ft Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer RFR322, Platinum, Stainless
2,762 Reviews
RCA RFR322-B 3.2 Cu Ft Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer RFR322, Platinum, Stainless
  • Your purchase includes One RCA RFR322 Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer in Stainless Steel color
  • Fridge dimensions: 17-1/2” D x 18.5/8” W x 31.5/8” H | 84 L - 3.2 cu. Ft. inner space |...
$10.90Bestseller No. 2
AstroAI Mini Fridge 4 Liter/6 Can AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer for Skincare, Foods, Medications, Home and Travel, White
1,157 Reviews
AstroAI Mini Fridge 4 Liter/6 Can AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer for Skincare, Foods, Medications, Home and Travel, White
  • COOL TO WARM: Cool up to 32°F (18°C) below ambient temperature, or keep warm up to 150°F...
  • 4 LITERS OF CAPACITY: Store ! (6) 12 oz cans ! medications and skincare with ease; Inner dimensions...
$11.00Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER BCRK17B Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Feet, Black
588 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER BCRK17B Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Feet, Black
  • COMPACT & STYLISH - This space saving small refrigerator (17.5" x 18.5" x 19.7") stores food, soda,...
  • LARGE CAPACITY - The removable glass shelf expands the storage space and makes the fridge easy to...
Bestseller No. 4
RCA RFR320-B-Black-COM RFR321 Mini Refrigerator, 3.2 Cu Ft Fridge, Black, CU.FT
2,751 Reviews
RCA RFR320-B-Black-COM RFR321 Mini Refrigerator, 3.2 Cu Ft Fridge, Black, CU.FT
  • Your purchase includes One RCA RFR320 Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer in Black color
  • Fridge dimensions: 17-1/2” W x 18.5/8” D x 31.5/8” H | 84 L - 3.2 cu. Ft. inner space |...
$65.00Bestseller No. 5
hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler - 120 Can Mini Fridge with Glass Door for Soda Beer or Wine - Small Drink Dispenser Machine for Office or Bar with Adjustable Removable Shelves
1,292 Reviews
hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler - 120 Can Mini Fridge with Glass Door for Soda Beer or Wine - Small Drink Dispenser Machine for Office or Bar with Adjustable Removable Shelves
  • MODERN ELECTRIC BEVERAGE COOLER - This 3.2 cubic feet, free standing beverage refrigerator features...
  • LARGE CAPACITY BEER & WINE CHILLER - Under counter beverage cooler with large, internal storage...

How to choose a compact refrigerator

Generally speaking, buy the biggest compact refrigerator that fits your space. Larger models not only hold more but may also be more energy efficient and deliver the most conveniences. Here’s how to proceed:

Pick the type
Compact refrigerators come in three basic configurations:

Tall. These models are among the largest compact fridges and the most practical overall. Most of the ones we tested have about 4 cubic feet of claimed storage capacity. Because their thermostat is located in the refrigerator, temperature performance tends to be better in that section than in the freezer. Prices are $95 to $200.

Two-door. These models have a separate freezer with its own door, similar to a full-sized top-freezer. Their thermostats are located in the freezer, so temperature performance is much better in that section than in the refrigerator. Prices are $100 to $240.

Cube. Named for their cube shape, these models are basically bare-bones boxes with few conveniences and less than 2 cubic feet of space, offering the least value. Consider one only if nothing larger fits your space. Prices are $110 to $130.

Weigh the features
Some features matter more than others. Among those you should consider:

Interior layout. Shelves and door bins that you can raise, lower, or remove facilitate storage. Glass shelves contain spills better than wire shelves. A door-mounted dispenser holds a vertical stack of cans.

Locking door. You might not need one in your house, but you’ll welcome being able to thwart freeloading co-workers or roommates in an office or dorm.

Less-important features
Finish.
 Compact refrigerators come in different colors and finishes, including black, white, faux stainless steel, and wood grain. Black is most popular, perhaps because it blends into many décors, and a stainless-look metallic finish is a close second.

Ice-cube tray. Even tall models often have just one. The tray produces miniature ice cubes, which melt quickly.

Interior light. It’s probably easy enough to find whatever you’re looking for in a compact refrigerator without one.

Before buying, check school rules

Sales of compact refrigerators spike sharply every August, an indication that many mini fridges are campus-bound. Although a lot of schools have no restrictions, there are some that ban refrigerators in dorms. Others provide a free compact refrigerator or microwave/refrigerator unit in every dorm room but prohibit all other models. Still, other colleges have capacity limits. So check with the campus housing authority or the college website before making a purchase.

How Much do Mini Fridges Cost?

Mini fridges vary substantially in price and can range from $70 to $300, and cost even more than that for deluxe models. The price is influenced primarily by the interior size you’re seeking, the quality and durability of the device, how flexible it is as far as reconfigurable shelving, and other factors.

What to Look for When Buying a Mini Fridge

Flexibility
Look for a compact fridge with a reversible door – that way, you have more options for where to put it. It’s also useful to get a fridge with adjustable, slide-in shelves, as they allow you to store large food items.

Energy Efficiency
Many top-notch mini fridges – including inexpensive models – are Energy Star certified and cost little to operate. Since most people leave fridges running all year round, the savings of an energy efficient model add up fast.

Good Freezer Space
Some mini fridges have no freezers. However, it’s nice to have some ice on hand for soft drinks, and it could be beneficial to have a few frozen microwave meals in your office or dorm mini-fridge. You often see small, box-type freezers in mini fridges, but the best option is a full-width freezer.

5 Best Drain Clog Remover Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Drains can get really dirty, and at times, even blocked. Both of these issues can be addressed with a good drain cleaner. This substance is able to absorb the contents causing the blockage and drain them away, restoring flow to your drainage system once more. Unfortunately, some drain cleaners are not very good at this.

Others will get the job done, but then end up ruining the drain construction material with the corrosive substances contained in them. And so, here are the best drain cleaners you can buy today if you want this important cleaning job done right the first time around.

Top 5 Drain Clog Remover

$3.00Bestseller No. 1
Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver, 31 oz
13,977 Reviews
Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver, 31 oz
  • DISSOLVES HAIR, SOAP, PAPER & GREASE: Forget the dirty work of plunging clogged toilets and end...
  • MAINTAINS FREE-FLOWING PIPES & DRAINS: The ultra thick formula of green gobblers hair clog remover...
$10.00Bestseller No. 2
Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener + Drain Cleaner + Hair Clog Remover - 64 oz (Main Lines, Sinks, Tubs, Toilets, Showers, Kitchen Sinks)
3,534 Reviews
Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener + Drain Cleaner + Hair Clog Remover - 64 oz (Main Lines, Sinks, Tubs, Toilets, Showers, Kitchen Sinks)
  • HIGH-DENSITY MAIN LINE DRAIN OPENER. Ultimate Main Line Opener’s thick, high-density formula sinks...
  • DISSOLVES ORGANIC MATERIAL AND PAPER. Ultimate Main Line Opener dissolves grease, hair, oils, soap...
$5.31Bestseller No. 3
Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner for Shower or Sink Drains, Unclogs and Removes Hair, Soap Scum, Blockages, 80 oz
  • Formulated thick to dissolve the tough clogs fast
  • Cuts through standing water straight to the clog
Bestseller No. 4
Vastar 3 Pack 19.6 Inch Drain Snake Hair Drain Clog Remover Cleaning Tool
6,672 Reviews
Vastar 3 Pack 19.6 Inch Drain Snake Hair Drain Clog Remover Cleaning Tool
  • 3 pack of plastic plumbing snake drain auger
  • 19. 6" flexible barbed wand can easily grab & remove clustered hair, food, garbage, and other...
$1.00Bestseller No. 5
Green Gobbler DRAIN OPENER PACS | Hair Clog Remover | Toilet Clog Remover | Sinks & Tub Drain Cleaner
2,394 Reviews
Green Gobbler DRAIN OPENER PACS | Hair Clog Remover | Toilet Clog Remover | Sinks & Tub Drain Cleaner
  • EASY TO USE: Fast and Powerful Single Use Pacs, No Measuring, No Guessing How Much To Use, No Mess....
  • WORKS FOR: Bathroom Sinks, Bath Tubs, Showers, Toilets, Kitchen Sinks, Floor Drains, Slop Sinks,...

However, it’s important that they’re used properly not just for safety reasons but also so they can do the job they were designed to do. With that in mind, we’ve put together a little guide which will help you to safely, and effectively, use drain cleaners to your benefit. So let’s go ahead and get started.

Using Drain Cleaners Safely & Effectively

 Step One: Buy the Best Drain Cleaner

Before you can start remedying your slow drains and minor clogs, you need to purchase the best drain cleaner possible. While we’ve assembled a list of what we feel are the top ten products above, not everyone should buy the number one listed product on the list. Some people may need the product at the number one position, but other people may need a drain cleaner at the number six position. What I’m trying to say is that everyone’s needs are different, so you should choose the best product for you and your particular plumbing.

You should choose your drain cleaner according to what you need it to do. If you’re looking to remove buildup in a drain that contributes to it draining slowly, then you may want to purchase a foaming cleaner. However, while foaming cleaners are great for slow drain buildup, they absolutely should never be used in a drain that’s completely blocked.

 Step Two: Learn What Not to Use It On

A common problem that people have with cleaners is that they try to use it in situations that it’s not appropriate to use it in. For example, these cleaners should never be used in toilets, tubs, garbage disposals or on other drains that the powerful acids contained in these products can damage.

And if you have a septic system, then you shouldn’t use these products at all. That’s because drain cleaners can kill the important bacteria that’s been breaking down your waste in your septic tank.

 Step Three: Using the Product Safely

The first thing you do before you use any form of drain cleaner is to thoroughly read all of its instructions and safety precautions. These safety warnings and instructions must be followed above all else, even above anything that might be mentioned in this guide. Just following this piece of advice will greatly improve the safety and effectiveness of your cleaner.

Make sure that you assemble the proper equipment before you begin clearing your drain. Some of the things you’re going to need while using drain cleaner include the following items:

  • Safety Goggles
  • Thick Rubber Gloves
  • Face Mask or Respirator

 Step Four: Clean the Drain

Using Liquid Cleaner:

While holding the bottle firmly with one hand, open it with your opposite handle. Make sure that you don’t squeeze the bottle or tip it. Now, pour the amount indicated on the product’s label down the drain. When you’ve done that, you’ll need to wait anywhere from 30-minutes to 60-minutes, depending on what your product’s label indicates.

Using a Granulated Crystal Cleaner:

When using most granulated drain cleaners, the steps are a little bit different. As is the case with other cleaners, always follow the directions specific to your cleaner. Usually, when using this type of cleaner, you would remove all standing water from on the drain, or as much as you could, and then you would add approximately 2 to 3-tablespoons of cleaner crystals into it.

Preventing Clogged Drains

Now that you’ve cleared your drain, you might want to think about preventing your drains from getting clogged in the first place. Below are some tips which will help you keep your drains free of annoying clogs. That way, you can spend less time clearing them and more time doing the things you enjoy.

Don’t Pour Oil or Grease Down the Drain: It’s important that you stop pouring bacon grease, oil or other fats down your drain. These can build up inside the drain and cause clogs. Instead, pour them into an old coffee can, secure the lid and place the can in the trash. Or better yet, recycle your old oils.

Make Sure Drains Have Strainers: Another thing you can do is to make sure that all of your drains have strainers in them and that they are frequently cleaned out. If a drain doesn’t have a strainer, then consider buying one for it. There are some great new sink strainers on the market these days including the Tub Shroom, the Sink Shroom, as well as some nifty basket-type strainers.

Run Water Down the Drain: While you’re using the garbage disposal, make sure that you leave the water running until the food has been ground up. Also make sure that at least once a week you pour hot water down your drains to help dissolve soap solids, grease and other things that may be building up in your drain.

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 14-piece kit (2nd Gen) – home security system with optional 24/7 professional monitoring – Works with Alexa
  • A great fit for 2-4 bedroom homes, this kit includes one base station, two keypads, eight contact...
  • Put whole-home security at your fingertips with Ring Alarm, a do-it-yourself alarm system with...
$70.00Bestseller No. 2
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...
  • IP66 Weatherproof Security Camera: Records in 1080P HD to capture crisp images, provide HD live...
Bestseller No. 3
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...
Bestseller No. 4
All-new Blink Outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera with two-year battery life and motion detection – 5 camera kit
  • Blink Outdoor is a wireless battery-powered HD security camera that helps you monitor your home day...
  • With long-lasting battery life, Outdoor runs for up to two years on two AA lithium batteries...
Bestseller No. 5
ANNKE 5MP Lite Home Security Camera System 8 Channel H.265+ DVR and 8X1920TVL 1080P Outdoor IP66 Weatherproof CCTV Cameras, Smart Playback, Instant Email Alert with Images, 1TB Hard Drive-S300
  • 【8 pcs 1080p HD Weatherproof Cameras】 Get 2MP Full HD crystal images (1920 X 1080) both day &...
  • 【H.265+ Video Compression with 1 TB Hard Drive】The H.265+ coding improves compression and...

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.