8 Small-Scale, Big Impact Home Products


There are endless home products on the market that claim to make living easier, cleaner or healthier. Wading through the noise to find something that really works can require rounds of research, and it’s even harder to find those items in sizes that don’t take up valuable space. And whether you live in a multi-story house or a small city apartment, who doesn’t want to be able to tuck a powerful vacuum into your smallest closet or not have a thermostat stick out amongst art on a wall?

Thankfully the Good Housekeeping Institute’s reviews can save you some searching. The Institute rigorously tests to expert standards, and these eight home products all fit the bill of small-but-mighty.

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Triflex HX1 Cordless Vacuum



A 3-in-1 master of a vacuum, the Miele Triflex HX1 Cordless Vacuum combines nimble flexibility with powerful cleaning. The vacuum’s clever design allows you to move the power unit from the bottom of the machine to the top, so you can comfortably clean flooring and reach crown molding—and it converts into a handheld device for quick pick-ups. You get up to 60 minutes of cleaning per charge from the replaceable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

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630 Medium Air Circulator



Across the board, Vornado fans pack a punch. The small 630 model is no different, with a 70 foot airflow range according to the manufacturer (and a five-year warranty to boot). It’s appropriate for tabletops or the floor, and the head swivels up and down depending on where you want to direct air. Three settings allow different air speeds, but if you want more control, there is an energy-efficient variable speed version as well. 

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Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier



Blue Pure’s 211+ Air Purifier is a GHI favorite — it’s impressively quiet, sleekly-designed and non-obtrusive. The three-part filtration system claims to rid your air of 99% of common airborne pollutants, and it includes an activated carbon filter, which helps banish odors. The purifier is designed for spaces between 400 and 600 square feet — perfect for those places where people congregate or spend long hours, such as living rooms, bedrooms or offices.

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UV Cool Moisture Germ Free Humidifier



Relatively quiet and easy to clean—two things to love about Honeywell’s very portable Cool Mist Humidifier. The manufacturer claims that the humidifier’s evaporative technology helps moisture diffuse into the air more quickly and it has three speed settings that alter output and sound level. In our road tests, GHI found that it can humidify a mid-size room for a full day on the lowest setting.

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Nest Cam IQ Indoor Security Camera



It’s important to get clear on a few things before investing in a security system for your home: wired versus wireless, indoor versus outdoor and how much you are willing to spend. When it comes to indoor cameras, it’s hard to beat the tiny Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor Security Camera. Google Assistant is built in, there is two-way communication and it can superzoom in on a detected person.

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Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner



This portable 12,000 BTU air conditioner can tuck away into a corner while still working hard for you. It cools rooms up to 550 square feet and the cylindrical body helps distributes air evenly. You don’t even have to wait until you get home to turn it on since it’s Wi-Fi enabled for remote cooling. While priced on the high end, it has many bells and whistles—you can create schedules and get alerts for filter changes—and the controls are sleekly designed and easy to use. 

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Self-Sealing and Self-Changing 4 Gallon Trash Can

There’s more to this compact trash can than meets the eye. Just four feet tall, its diminutive size belies its power, which lies in  self-sealing technology and its trash bag rings. With the touch of a button, the bag will seal itself and be ready to be taken out. Then, the ring will automatically pull in a new trash bag to start the process over. On average, each recyclable ring has about enough material to last a month, which is conveniently about how long the battery charge should last. 

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SmartThermostat with Voice Control



The intuitive interface of ecobee’s SmartThermostat is easy to navigate from the first use, and demure enough in design that it won’t detract from your home’s aesthetic. You can set schedules for the day or week, remotely monitor temperatures, and it claims to help save on energy costs. Additionally, with built-in voice control, you can manage your home’s heating and cooling systems with a spoken directive rather than by touching the thermostat.

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