The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
From January through December, you can find us testing and writing about products and services we think will benefit our readers.
Sometimes, they’re the best-selling cult-favorites that have already been around for a few years, and we want to confirm for you whether they really live up to the hype. Other times, we’re on the front lines of product drops and we get our hands on the newest products to see if they’re worth your time. In 2018, many of our favorite brands introduced shiny new things to get excited about.
Notable new products of 2018 include cool tech that doesn’t come from the big names you would expect, comfortable clothing you’ll never want to take off, and kitchen tools that can help you make the most delicious meals of the year.
Check out the 23 best new products of 2018, along with their original reviews, below.
Best new candle: Otherland
Beautiful packaging and limited-edition collections play a big role in Otherland’s success. Our editors, a pair of ardent candle enthusiasts, agree that its whimsical scents and bold designs are unlike any other in the candle space right now. For $89, you can send off a custom gift box by picking three favorites, choosing a matchbox message, then writing a personal note. Just one candle will cost you $36.
Best new cordless vacuum: Dyson V10 Absolute
The trade-off for the convenience of a cordless vacuum is usually power, but we found that the V10 Absolute actually compared to a corded Dyson in suction power. It’s lightweight, powerful, and versatile, with three power modes, two different cleaning heads, and four additional cleaning tools.
Though it’s expensive and may not be suitable for larger homes because of its relatively short battery life, it cleans efficiently and thoroughly, a godsend to anyone who enjoys living in a sparkling clean space. Insider Picks senior editor Ellen Hoffman said, “You’ll never look back if you get a Dyson vacuum.”
Best new women’s underwear: Tommy John
- Tommy John/Instagram
Some of our favorite and most memorable products aren’t fancy gadgets by any means. If you can perfect a basic essential, then you have our hearts, and that’s just what Tommy John did this year with its launch of women’s underwear.
The very comfortable underwear is available in three different fabrics (the light, barely there Air; soft micro modal Second Skin; and breathable Cool Cotton), four cuts (Boyshort, Brief, Cheeky, and Thong), and a variety of colors. By providing coverage and comfort without pilling, rolling, or bunching, they’ve nailed exactly what we’ve been looking for in our underwear. The underwear isn’t cheap, but it is definitely worth the cost.
Best new soundbar: Sonos Beam
If you don’t have the space or patience to build up a home theater setup, a soundbar is a compact and affordable compromise. The new Sonos Beam is one we love because it delivers a big, balanced sound you wouldn’t expect from a device of its size and enhances the sound quality of anything we’re watching and listening to.
With Alexa built in, it doubles as a smart home hub. It also supports Apple’s AirPlay 2, letting you ask Siri to play songs or complete other tasks through HomeKit-enabled smart home accessories.
Best new flats: Everlane Day Glove
It’s hard to believe the Day Glove was only introduced in 2018 – the soft leather flats have molded to our feet so perfectly we can’t remember a better, more comfortable pair before them. $115 might seem like a lot to pay for flats, but we’ve worn them so many times and walked so many miles in them that we’d probably be willing to pay even more. The Italian leather starts out buttery soft and just gets better with each wear, and there are 13 beautiful color options.
Best new T-shirt: Stance
We like Stance’s socks and underwear, but we’ll admit, we didn’t expect its shirts to be so good, too. They’re made from cotton or the brand’s proprietary Butter Blend, but if we had to choose one and you’re willing to splurge a little for a nice T-shirt, go for the Butter Blend. It’s a blend of SeaCell and Pima cotton, resulting in amazing softness and comfort.
The cut of the shirts is also more comfortable and flattering than other t-shirts we’ve tried. You can get them in basic, neutral colors and edgier, graphic designs.
Best new multi-cooker: Ninja Foodi
This multi-cooker has a long list of capabilities: it can pressure cook, steam, saute, slow cook, bake, broil, dehydrate, and the big healthy cooking style of the moment – air fry. With these features that let you cook pretty much anything, it’s no wonder the all-in-one kitchen appliance is sold out at most major retailers right now.
Despite its larger size, it’s not intimidating at all to use, and you’ll quickly learn the steps and proper combination of cooking settings to create a fast, delicious meal.
Best new dress shirt: Tommy John Stay-Tucked Dress Shirt
- Tommy John
Tommy John deserves another nod, this time for its foray into performance workwear. We called its new Stay-Tucked Dress Shirt “the brand’s biggest innovation in 10 years” and a model for men’s dress shirt design.
It’s constructed with a premium, stretchy ComfortStrength Thread and you won’t have trouble moving your arms around in it. But the most unique design features are the three-button InvisiGrip Snap Technology and hidden elastic hem that keeps the shirt equally tucked and snug all the way around.
Best new leggings: Girlfriend Collective LITE Leggings
- Girlfriend Collective
One of the best pairs of workout leggings we can recommend come from startup Girlfriend Collective. The main drawback of its classic leggings, however, is that they’re too thick and compressive for HIIT activities. Lighter, more breathable, and supportive, the LITE leggings are an improvement from its predecessor.
This is especially impressive because they’re made from recycled materials, specifically fishing nets, and they help the environment. A percentage from every LITE Legging sale goes to the Healthy Seas initiative to help clean oceans and preserve marine life.
Best new cookware: Milo Dutch Oven
The Dutch oven is one of those kitchen workhorses you know you should own – but what probably stops you from buying one from a heritage brand like Le Creuset and Staub is the $200-to-$300 price tag. Milo stepped up to the plate against the big guys this year with a $95 Dutch oven that retains heat well and cooks evenly, making us wonder why anyone would overpay for legacy names. This reliable piece of cookware is available in two good-looking colors, a glossy white and matte black.
Best new headphones: Sony WH1000XM3
Our associate editor has tested dozens of headphones and holds this light and comfortable pair in high regard, calling it the closest he’s ever heard to perfect headphones. A couple cool features ensure you only get the best listening experience.
First, it takes factors like head size into account to optimize the sound for you. It also detects your surroundings and altitude, then balances the noise-canceling levels accordingly, so you can stay safe as you listen to music while walking outside or fully immerse yourself in music while on a noisy train.
Best new credit card: American Express Gold Card
American Express rebranded and refreshed its Premier Rewards Gold Card this year to simply the Gold Card, and the perks are better than ever if you frequently dine out at restaurants. Cardholders earn 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at US restaurants, as well as on the first $25,000 spent each calendar year at US supermarkets.
The card will also earn 3x points on flights booked directly with an airline, and 1x point per dollar on everything else. Through January 9, 2019, you can request a limited-edition rose-gold version of the card.
Best new laptop bag: Dagne Dover Ryan Laptop Bag
- Dagne Dover/Instagram
Functional laptop bags are rarely also stylish, and it’s about time a company has made an organized, fashionable laptop bag. Handbag startup Dagne Dover brings its signature premium neoprene construction and thoughtfully designed compartments to an oft-overlooked work and school bag.
Its Ryan Laptop Bag is roomy enough for your laptop, a couple notebooks and folders, and other daily essentials, but manages not to get too bulky. Capable of being comfortably carried a few different ways, the simple but distinct style thrives in both casual and formal situations.
Best new adjustable bed frame: Nectar
You’ve bought a supportive mattress and a pillow to match, but if you’re still not resting or sleeping comfortably, the culprit might be the mattress angle. Adjustable bed frames are resurging in popularity as people discover the benefits of elevating their legs or back as they sleep.
Nectar’s bed frame is easy to control and has programmable positions. Going above and beyond, it even has a three-zone massage function, two USB charging ports on the side, and a small flashlight on its remote.
Best new sous vide cooker: Anova Nano
Anova’s under-$100 sous vide cooker is an affordable way to cook expensive-tasting meals like juicy, tender steaks and pork chops. Smaller, lighter, and made of plastic, it’s a more manageable sibling of the 900W Anova with WiFi. The Nano may not be WiFi compatible, but you can still control and monitor the cooking process remotely through the Anova app.
Best new automatic watch: MVMT Arc Automatic Watch
An automatic option was a highly requested style from this online watch startup, where you can typically find quality, minimalist watches under $200 and even $100. Instead of using a battery, automatic watches are powered by your natural wrist movement. MVMT’s Arc Automatic has a clear back window so you can see the mechanics of this design in action.
The collection looks and feels like the most luxurious of MVMT’s offerings thus far, but it’s still not exorbitantly priced – $300 for a refined automatic watch is a great deal.
Best new down jacket: Patagonia Silent Down Jacket
If you want winter outerwear that’s simultaneously light, non-bulky, and really warm, look no further than the new Silent Down jackets from Patagonia. They’re insulated with 700 fill-power down and are windproof and weather-resistant – all the features that will protect you during your treacherous (or so it feels) walk to the office on the weekdays and your hiking or camping trips on the weekends.
The real innovation, however, is that the down is 100% recycled, while the polyester shell and lining is 70% recycled. Though not quite silent, the jacket is noticeably more quiet than others.
Best new towels: Brooklinen Super-Plush Towels
Brooklinen has been synonymous with high-quality online sheets, but now has another product to wow customers. After two years of development, it stepped into the bathroom with thick and plush 100% Turkish cotton towels. You’ll feel like you just stole the towels from a fancy hotel, but they really are yours to wrap yourself in and enjoy every day out of the shower.
Thanks to the use of strong long-staple cotton and “z-twist” construction, they’re designed to be used for many, many years.
Best new T-shirt bra: ThirdLove 24/7 Cotton T-Shirt Bra
ThirdLove’s hugely successful Classic T-Shirt Bra (30,000+ reviews) got a refresh in soft Pima cotton, and we loved it. With ultra-thin memory foam cups, two-way convertible straps, gold alloy strap adjusters, and a keyhole detail, it’s so comfortable we often forgot we were wearing it. It’s well on its way to becoming another one of the bra startup’s lauded best sellers.
Best new smart speaker with a screen: Lenovo Smart Display
Lenovo’s new smart home hub with a display is so good it’s making our resident Amazon Echo fan consider switching over to Google. The Smart Display has a 720 HD touchscreen, two speakers, and a webcam, and it uses Google Assistant to answer all your questions and complete tasks.
Since it has built-in Google Chromecast, it’s great for watching online videos. The screen is also conducive to making the most of the capabilities of other smart home devices (e.g. showing a live video feed from a Nest camera).
Best new robot vacuum: Eufy RoboVac 11S
iRobot’s Roomba vacuums have a worthy competitor in the Eufy 11S. Robot vacuums can be pretty expensive, but Eufy’s 11S is actually reasonably priced and does a thorough, efficient cleaning job.
The slim, 2.85-inch device zips around your house sucking up the dirt and dust you wouldn’t be able to (or don’t have time to) get yourself. It features multiple cleaning modes and auto-clean scheduling, a 0.6-liter dustbin, and a 100-minute continuous run time to take care of your most-dreaded household chore.
Best new laptop: Huawei Matebook X Pro
We’re calling the MateBook X Pro “a PC laptop that really wants to be a Mac” and we only mean that as a compliment. In many ways, it’s even better than the MacBook Pro because it’s practical and doesn’t inconvenience its users. It’s thinner and lighter, and thank goodness, includes a USB port and adapter with HDMI, VGA, and USB-C ports.
It’s also incredibly fast, and has a fingerprint reader, hidden webcam, and touchscreen display. Don’t sleep on this new laptop – it may not run MacOS, but it’s an excellent choice nonetheless.
Best new work pant under $100: Everlane Work Pant
The newest addition to our rotation of favorite work pants has to be this flattering and structured, yet slightly stretchy pant that only costs $50. 12,000 people signed up for the waitlist before its launch in January and it was completely worth the wait.
It’s available in classic black, navy, and gray colors that go easily with the rest of your work wardrobe, as well as colorful options like ochre and surplus green. Since the price is more than palatable, you can pick up multiple pairs without feeling the guilt.