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The 31 most influential books ever written about business

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25 most influential books 4x3

  • Reading is an important common denominator amongst many of the biggest names in business.
  • It's a fast way to acquire new information, think creatively, and diversify your perspective.
  • Below, we've chosen and compiled 31 of the most influential business books of all time, from "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries to "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith.

Warren Buffett — arguably the most skilled investor of our time — said reading 500 pages a day was the key to success. "That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest," he explained.

That's probably why so many important businesspeople make reading a daily ritual. It's why Bill Gates reads 50 books every year (roughly one per week) and perhaps why Mark Zuckerberg kicked off 2015 with the goal of reading one every other week.

If you want exposure to new ideas, modes of thinking, and a compounded aggregate of diverse knowledge, then reading is important. And it's going to help you in business, be it by a mixture of accounts on other corporate successes or failures and lessons on lean startups, or a 2,500-year-old military tome that has been known to influence tactics in boardrooms as much as in war.

We researched and cross-referenced lists of the best business books according to influential business people and major media outlets to bring you this list.

Descriptions provided by Amazon and edited for length.

"Business Adventures" by John Brooks

Buy it here >>

What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.

Note: Bill Gates wrote in his blog, gatesnotes, that Warren Buffett not only recommended this as his favorite book about business, but actually sent Gates his own personal copy to read. Gates writes that more than four decades after it was first published, "Business Adventures" remains the best business book he's ever read. 



"The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham

Buy it here >>

The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham's philosophy of "value investing" — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made "The Intelligent Investor" the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.

Note: Warren Buffett refers to "The Intelligent Investor" as the "best book on investing ever written."

 



"The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business" by Clayton M. Christensen

Buy it here >>

Offering both successes and failures from leading companies as a guide, "The Innovator's Dilemma" gives you a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.

Note: Steve Jobs used this book as an explanation for one reason Apple needed to embrace cloud computing and is frequently associated with both Jobs and Jeff Bezos.



"The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success" by William N. Thorndike

Buy it here >>

What makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: "a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise." Others might point to the qualities of today's so-called celebrity CEOs — charisma, virtuoso communication skills, and a confident management style. But what really matters when you run an organization? What is the hallmark of exceptional CEO performance? Quite simply, it is the returns for the shareholders of that company over the long term.

Note: "The Outsiders" was #1 on Warren Buffett's recommended reading list in the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter (2012).



"Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Ola Rosling

Buy it here >>

When asked simple questions about global trends ― what percentage of the world's population lives in poverty; why the world's population is increasing; how many girls finish school―we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.

"Factfulness" offers a radical new explanation of why this happens, outlining the ten instincts that distort our perspective―from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).

Note: Bill Gates gave away free copies of this book to college graduates. Gates has lauded "Factfulness" as "One of the most important books I've ever read ― an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world."



"Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant" by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Buy it here >>

"Blue Ocean Strategy" argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating "blue oceans"— untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.



"How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

Buy it here >>

Dale Carnegie's rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and ageless bestsellers, "How to Win Friends & Influence People" will teach you: six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, nine ways to change people without arousing resentment, and more.



"Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" by John Carreyrou

Buy it here >>

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.



"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu

Buy it here >>

Written in the 6th century BC, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is still used as a book of military strategy today. Napoleon, Mae Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap and General Douglas MacArthur all claimed to have drawn inspiration from it. And beyond the world of war, business and management gurus have also applied Sun Tzu's ideas to office politics and corporate strategy.



"Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek

Buy it here >>

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?



"Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ" by Daniel Goleman

Buy it here >>

Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.



"Think and Grow Rich!" by Napoleon Hill

Buy it here >>

Through researching billionaires, Napoleon Hill crafted the philosophy and lifestyle behind those who experienced financial success. Although Hill's aim was to coach others to become like said billionaires, "Think and Grow Rich" is more about encouraging people towards their own perspective goals.



"Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg

Buy it here >>

"Lean In" continues [the conversation around women in the workplace], combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to change the conversation from what women can't do to what they can.



"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey

Buy it here >>

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents — in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.



"Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" by Brené Brown

Buy it here >>

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, LMSW, dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. "Daring Greatly" presents a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability.

Note: Melinda Gates named "Daring Greatly" as well as Dr. Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection" as two of her favorite books of all time.



"The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries

Buy it here >>

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. "The Lean Startup" is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.



"Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't" by Jim Collins

Buy it here >>

The findings of the "Good to Great" study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. "Some of the key concepts discerned in the study," comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people."



"Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder" by Arianna Huffington

Buy it here >>

In this deeply personal book, Arianna Huffington talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters — of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her "aha moment." Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.



"The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Buy it here >>

A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we — especially the experts — are blind to them. 



"Too Big to Fail" by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Buy it here >>

In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin-a New York Times columnist and one of the country's most respected financial reporters-delivers the first definitive blow-by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink.

Note: Winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Best Business Book.



"The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith

Buy it here >>

["The Wealth of Nations"] describes what builds nations' wealth and is today a fundamental work in classical economics and touches upon such broad topics as the division of labor, productivity, and free markets.



"Barbarians at the Gate" by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

Buy it here >>

A #1 New York Times bestseller and arguably the best business narrative ever written, "Barbarians at the Gate" is the classic account of the fall of RJR Nabisco. An enduring masterpiece of investigative journalism by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, it includes a new afterword by the authors that brings this remarkable story of greed and double-dealings up to date twenty years after the famed deal.



"The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron" by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

Buy it here >>

The Enron scandal brought down one of the most admired companies of the 1990s. Countless books and articles were written about it, but only "The Smartest Guys in the Room" holds up a decade later as the definitive narrative.



"When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management" by Roger Lowenstein

Buy it here >>

Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term's partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall.



"Guerrilla Marketing" by Jay Conrad Levinson

Buy it here >>

When "Guerrilla Marketing" was first published in 1983, Jay Levinson revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Based on hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson's philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it.



"In search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies" by Thomas Peters and Robert H. Waterman

Buy it here >>

Based on a study of forty-three of America's best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, "In Search of Excellence" describes eight basic principles of management —action-stimulating, people-oriented, profit-maximizing practices — that made these organizations successful.



"Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by Jim Collins and Jerry I Porras

Buy it here >>

Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors.



"Den of Thieves" by James B. Stewart

Buy it here >>

"Den of Thieves" tells the full story of the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street, the men who pulled it off, and the chase that finally brought them to justice.



"Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution" by Michael Hammer and James A. Champy

Buy it here >>

Building on their firsthand experiences, Hammer and Champy show how some of the world's premier corporations use the principles of reengineering to save hundreds of millions of dollars a year, to achieve unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction, and to speed up and make more flexible all aspects of their operations. The key to reengineering is abandoning the most basic notions on which the modern organization is founded.



"The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Fourth Edition" edited by Lawrence A. Cunningham

Buy it here >>

[This book's] popularity and longevity attest to the widespread appetite for this unique compilation of Buffett's thoughts that is at once comprehensive, non-repetitive, and digestible. 

Note: Warren Buffett says this is the book he autographs most.



"First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently" by Jim Harter

Buy it here >>

Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its revolutionary study of more than 80,000 managers in "First, Break All the Rules", revealing what the world's greatest managers do differently. With vital performance and career lessons and ideas for how to apply them, it is a must-read for managers at every level.



How to turn off an Oculus Rift or put it in sleep mode

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oculus rift

  • To turn off an Oculus Rift, you should take it off of your head, close the Oculus app on your computer, and then disconnect the cable from the headset.
  • This should also turn off the Oculus Rift controllers — and you can always take the batteries out of the controllers to power them off. 
  • However, it is safe to leave an Oculus Rift in sleep mode for days or even weeks at a time (it won't drain much battery), and it should automatically go into standby when you take it off your head. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The most important thing you need to know about turning off an Oculus Rift is that you really don't need to. 

When you remove the headset from your head, it automatically goes into sleep mode, and in this standby setting it drains very little power. 

The controllers will also go into sleep mode once you take off the headset, with their indicator lights shifting from solid to a gentle pulsing. 

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Oculus Rift (From $399 at Best Buy)

How to turn off an Oculus Rift

If you do want to turn your Oculus Rift system off completely, you can do that as well.

First, remove the headset, which will put it into standby mode. Then close the Oculus application on your computer. Finally, you should physically disconnect any USB power cable that is supplying energy to the Rift.

oculus rift

The system should now power down completely. In addition, you can always remove the batteries from the Rift's controllers to force them to shut down.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

SEE ALSO: How to pick out the best VR headset for you, even if you've never experienced virtual reality before

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 8 weird robots NASA wants to send to space

The best duvet covers

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  • Your cozy down-filled duvet needs a stylish cover to keep it clean and add some spice to your bedroom's décor.
  • Our favorite is the Classic Duvet Cover from Brooklinen with its reasonable price tag and high-quality fabric.

Duvets and their covers are a popular bedding choice. Cozy and comfortable, stylish and versatile, and available in a huge range of fashionable colors, designs, and fabrics, there's a duvet cover for every taste, whether you're young, old, or somewhere in between. Sometimes, however, too much choice makes it nearly impossible to make a decision; your brain gets bogged down in an overload of options. That's where we step in.

We've whittled down your buying choices to just those options that really deserve a second look. We conducted the research — testing, studying the top consumer buying websites, as well as listening to what experts in the field and actual buyers of the products have to say — to present our findings to you. So, if you'd like to give your bedroom a style makeover — after all, changing your bedding is the fastest and easiest way to give the space a whole new look — then read on. We've rounded up the five duvet covers likeliest to suit your style, budget, and needs.

Here are the best duvet covers you can buy:

Updated on 12/18/2019 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated prices, links, and formatting.

SEE ALSO: The best sheets you can buy for your bed

SEE ALSO: The best sheets you can buy for kids

The best duvet cover overall

Not too hot, not too stiff, and not too boring — the Classic Duvet Cover from Brooklinen is just right.

Here at Insider Picks, we're pretty jazzed about Brooklinen. We chose their bed sheets as one of our best picks in that category, and we're in full agreement with all of the internet buzz garnered by the new-to-the-scene bed linens company. So it's no surprise that we picked its Classic Duvet Cover as our best-of-the-best duvet cover as well. 

The Classic Duvet Cover is crafted from 100% premium long-staple cotton and has a 270-thread count. One of the things we love about Brooklinen is that it doesn't artificially inflate thread counts like so many other manufacturers do. The lightweight percale weave is slightly crisp against your skin, but still pleasantly soft enough to fuel your sweet dreams. There are internal ties to simplify bed making, and large buttons to close the duvet cover once the duvet is inside.

Brooklinen customers heap praise on the duvet cover. Out of the 2,164 reviews on the site at the time of this writing, it has a 4.7 average rating (out of 5-star). "Cool," "comfortable," "soft," and "crisp" are the words that appear over and over in customer reviews.

Choose from several neutral solid colors, including navy blue. Brooklinen also offers the duvet cover in stripes or dots. If you aren't pleased with your duvet cover, Brooklinen has a 60-nights risk-free return policy, plus a lifetime warranty on its products.

The Wirecutter also chose Brooklinen's duvet cover as one of its favorites, praising its reasonable price, long-fiber cotton, and the crisp, breathable feel of the fabric. We can't help but agree.

Pros: High quality, soft feel, lovely colors

Cons: A bit pricey, does not include shams



The best budget duvet cover

The HC Collection Duvet Cover Set adds plenty of pizzazz to your sleeping space without costing you a fortune.

Made from the softest, finest, double-brushed microfiber, the HC Collection Duvet Cover Set is silky and cool against your skin. It's also a great choice for allergy sufferers because microfiber resists dust mites and other allergens. It's also easily machine-washable to further remove tiny particles that might cause asthma or allergy flare-ups.

Although the HC Collection duvet cover is woven from threads even finer than silk, it resists pilling, wrinkling, shrinking, and staining. The duvet cover is strong and durable, and fairly breathable as well, although microfiber will never beat 100% cotton in that regard. Still, if you are counting your pennies, this is a great deal that looks far more expensive than its actual price.

However, we did come across some reviews by customers who felt the manufacturer's claims of "Egyptian quality" were deceptive, as those words describe cotton, not microfiber. Still, the vast majority of customers were very pleased with their purchase.

The duvet set closes with buttons, but it has no inner ties to simplify bed making. The set — which includes two matching shams — comes in 12 different solid colors, including burgundy, navy, lavender, taupe, and chocolate brown.

Pros: Inexpensive price, soft feel, easy-care, lots of colors to choose from

Cons: No inner ties, no twin size, microfiber is not as breathable as cotton



The best zip-up duvet cover

Crane & Canopy's Nova Duvet Cover has a clever zip-up design that makes it easy to use, plus, it has attractive piping along the edges for added style.

Putting your comforter into your duvet and making sure it stays put is a difficult task more often than not, but if you have Crane & Canopy's Nova Duvet Cover, it's a lot easier, thanks to built-in ties that hold the duvet and comforter in place and a clever zipper that seals the comforter inside. 

Decorative piping along the edges of the duvet cover effectively hides the zipper from view, too, so you're left with a sleek, attractive bed that looks like it belongs in a fancy hotel. A couple members of the Insider Picks team — myself included — have tried the Nova Duvet Cover in our own homes, and we love it.

The 400 thread count, extra long staple cotton fabric is exceptionally soft right out of the package, thanks to the sateen weave Crane & Canopy uses. You can get the Nova Duvet Cover in a wide range of colors and patterns to suit your style.

I had a remarkably hard time choosing between the many lovely patterns and colors but settled on the Avery Blue with its classic diamond pattern that mixes a heavenly shade of blue with crisp white and subtle green accents. It is the softest duvet cover I own, and it's also the easiest to put on top of my Ikea comforter. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Easy to use, great zipper, fun colors and patterns, soft cotton, innovative design

Cons: Pricey



The best patterned duvet cover

The Cool Supima duvet cover from Casper is made from one of the best cottons you can buy.

Supima is the name given to a specific US-grown cotton with "extra-long staple fiber that gives the cotton its premium properties: strength, softness, and color retention," according to the organization that licenses that name to companies that use Supima. When used in bedding, like Casper's Cool Supima line, you get a high-quality product that feels soft and incredibly well-made.

Both Insider Picks reporter, Connie Chen, and director of content strategy, Ellen Hoffman, tested the Cool Supima duvet cover and would recommend it. Connie said the duvet cover had a balanced weight and was well-designed, while Ellen praised the "superior design details that solve for the annoying inconveniences of typical duvet covers." There are hidden openings that let you easily readjust the quilt if it shifts around. It has a good weight, but it's not so heavy that it overwhelms.

Available in 14 colors, Casper's Cool Supima Duvet Cover skews toward pricey, but it's competitively priced when pitted against other high-quality bedding. You're also getting a product sourced from high-quality cotton from the US, which is what you're paying for.

Pros: Made from high-quality US-grown cotton, cool and crisp, balanced weight, well-designed

Cons: On the pricey side



The best duvet cover for kids

The Reversible Duvet Cover from Where the Polka Dots Roam brings an entire zoo's worth of creatures to keep your child company on the trip to dreamland.

What kid doesn't love animals? Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! Butterflies, penguins, llamas, foxes, alligators, pandas, and many more cute and colorful creatures adorn Where the Polka Dots Roam's Reversible Duvet Cover in animal print. Sure, there are lots of cutesy kids' bedding prints out there. But not all of them will appeal to as vast a range of children (and let's admit it, plenty of adults as well) like this adorable, and yet not too sweet, bedding set.  

The animal-print Reversible Duvet Cover Set is made from soft, durable, and easy-care microfiber. That means that it will be cozy-soft against your child's skin, is hypoallergenic, shrugs off stains and spills, and easily washes clean without pilling, shrinking, wrinkling, or becoming scratchy. Plus, your little one might even be eager for bedtime when an entire menagerie is waiting to share in the sleepy-time fun. That's a win-win all the way around.

There are inner ties for the duvet, and the cover closes with a row of buttons. The set includes one pillowcase with the twin duvet cover and two pillowcases with the full/queen set.

Pros: Super cute and very easy care

Cons: Some customer reviews complain that the fabric is a bit thin



Everything you need to know about duvet covers

What's the difference between a duvet, a duvet cover, and a comforter?

Although duvets were used for centuries in northern Europe, they didn't really catch on in the UK until the 1970s, and they then spread across the pond to the US a couple of decades later. As duvets and duvet covers are a bit new on the bedding scene in the United States, there's still some confusion over exactly what they are, and how they differ from a comforter.

  • What is a duvet? A duvet (pronounce it "due-vay" not "dove-it"; the word comes from the Old French for "down") is a type of quilt that is typically solid white and stuffed with feathers, down, or a down alternative. You'll sometimes find duvets referred to as "down comforters" in the United States. Duvets are generally warm and snug, although some are lightweight for use in the summertime.
  • Why does it need a cover? A duvet cover is a fabric "envelope" that is used to cover and protect a duvet, in the same way a pillowcase covers and protects a bed pillow. In Europe, it's unusual to use a top sheet; the duvet cover serves the same purpose and is removed for washing along with the fitted sheet. The duvet cover adds color and style to the bedroom, as well. One edge of the duvet cover closes with ties, buttons, or a zipper so you can insert or remove the duvet when it's time to wash the cover.
  • How is it different from a comforter? Comforters are usually colored or patterned, not solid white, so they don't require a cover to add style. And because comforters are normally used over a top sheet, they don't require an additional layer of fabric for protection from skin oil, sweat, and other nighttime body detritus, either. Comforters are most often stuffed with synthetic fill, although you can also find down-filled comforters.

How to choose a duvet cover

For the most part, the right duvet cover is the one you like best. There are nearly endless colors and patterns available, so choose whatever complements your bedroom's décor and brings a smile to your face. Aside from style, there are just a few things to know about buying a duvet cover:

  • Size: Duvet covers are sized the same as regular bedding, so choose the size that matches your duvet; don't go larger or smaller. You'll find many duvet covers sold with matching shams. That makes it easy to coordinate your bed's good looks.
  • Materials: Duvet covers are made from the same fabrics as bed sheets. Many are cotton, and as with cotton sheets, the softest, highest quality comes from Egyptian, Supima, or Pima cotton. But don't assume you need a duvet cover with the highest thread-count: 250 to 500 is generally sufficient. While cotton is very popular, you'll also find microfiber and other synthetics, flannel, and jersey duvet covers.
  • Care: The easier the care, the more often you'll be willing to wash your bedding, so look for duvet covers that safely machine-wash and dry.


How to put a duvet cover on your duvet

The struggle is real: putting your duvet into its cover

The frustration over putting a duvet inside its cover is enough to drive many people back to comforters. But don't give up. Here's how to do it without breaking a sweat or pulling out your hair.

  1. Start by turning your duvet cover inside out, and then spreading it across your mattress with its opening at the foot of the bed.
  2. Lay your duvet on top of its cover.
  3. If your duvet and duvet cover have inner ties, fasten them now. If not, you can use safety pins to fasten the corners of the cover to the duvet, or simply do without.
  4. Roll the duvet and its cover together like a burrito, starting from the head of your bed. It's easiest if you have a partner, but if not, switch from side to side as you work.
  5. When your "burrito" is rolled, fold the duvet cover opening back around the bedding bundle.
  6. Close your duvet cover with its zipper, buttons, or ties.
  7. Unroll your "burrito" towards the top of the bed.
  8. Fluff as necessary, and voila! Your duvet is back in its cover. 


Check out our other great bedding buying guides

The best mattresses

A great mattress can be the difference between a good night's sleep that results in a productive day or a horrible night that makes you feel like you didn't sleep at all. Here are our top picks for the best mattress you can buy: 


The best mattresses for side sleepers

Finding the perfect mattress is tough for side sleepers. That's why we did the research and testing for you. Regardless of which one you choose from our favorites, though, we're confident that you'll get a good night's sleep. And if you find that these mattresses don't work for you, rest assured that they come with a sleep trial so you can take these beds for a test run before making a long-term commitment. Here are the best mattresses for side sleepers: 


The best pillows

A good pillow means a good night's sleep. We reviewed dozens of pillows to narrow down the choices to the ones you'll love best. Here are our top picks:



'Why is my location wrong on my iPhone?': 4 reasons your location isn't accurate and how to fix it

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iphone maps location

  • If your location is wrong on your iPhone, there are a number of ways you can fix it to get a more accurate location. 
  • Make sure location services are enabled for the app you're using, and that both the app and your iOS are fully updated.
  • You can also try changing your cellular data options to pinpoint a better signal, but if you're not connected to Wi-Fi or a strong cellular network, your iPhone will likely have trouble with location accuracy. 
  • Here are four common reasons why your location is wrong on an iPhone, and how to fix the issue. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Can you find me now?

Occasionally, the answer is no when it comes to your iPhone.

Whether it's the third-party app you're using, factors like the cellular or Wi-Fi signal, or a problem with your iPhone itself, sometimes the device just can't seem to figure out where you are. 

And an inaccurate location can be a big deal in an age when many of us rely on GPS for directions and navigation.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

Why your location is wrong on an iPhone, and how to fix it

Fortunately, most iPhone location issues are easily solvable. 

Here are four common reasons why your iPhone can't find you, and how to troubleshoot them:



You don't have location services enabled

Privacy concerns are a great reason to withhold your location from apps that don't really need it, but you may have been overzealous in an effort to cloak some of your personal information.

Make sure you've enabled location services for apps that you want to be able to find you:

1. Open Settings.

2. Go to "Privacy."

3. Select "Location Services" at the top.

4. Toggle to enable them.

5. Double-check in the listed apps below that you've set permission "While Using."

 



You need to update your iOS

An out-of-date iOS can account for software bugs that suddenly scramble your location accuracy.

Check that you have the most recent software update on your iPhone:

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap "General."

3. Open "Software Update" at the top, and you will see if your iOS is updated. 



You need to update the app you're using

Likewise, location accuracy bugs will plague third-party apps if there's been an iOS update, and you haven't updated the app. 

While iOS 13 users will have their apps automatically update, if you're running on an older iOS, you may need to go to the App Store and change your settings to automatically update apps, or manually update the ones with location issues



You have a poor cellular or Wi-Fi signal

Your location is estimated from sources like GPS satellites, the closest Wi-Fi networks, and nearby cell towers. 

If you don't have a strong signal, chances are you won't have an accurate location. But you can try and change your cellular data settings to find a better connection. 

1. Go to Settings.

2. Open "Cellular."

3. Tap "Cellular Data Options."

LTE generally gives you the best signal, but you may want to try out your other options, like 3G or 4G, to see if that works better. You can also try to enable data roaming, especially if you're in another country — but you may incur extra data charges. 

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Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:



'Why won't my iPhone update apps?': 6 ways to fix iPhone apps that won't update

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iphone apps

  • If your iPhone won't update apps normally, there are a few things you can try to fix the issue, including restarting the update or your phone.
  • You should make sure that your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi. You can also uninstall and reinstall the app. 
  • It's also possible that your Apple ID's payment method is no longer valid. Remove it and add a new payment method.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ordinarily, your iPhone updates your apps automatically in the background, so you never need to worry about keeping your system up to date. 

Occasionally, however, things can go awry, and you need to intervene to get a misbehaving app to update. 

Here are some things you can do to get your iPhone's updates working again.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (from $699.99 at Best Buy)

How to fix iPhone apps that won't update

Try to update your apps manually from the App Store

Your first step should be to see if you can force an app to install manually from the app store. 

1. Start the App Store app.

2. Tap your account avatar in the upper-right corner of the screen. 

3. In the "Upcoming Automatic Updates" section, find the app update you want to install and then tap "Update."

Why won’t my iPhone update apps 1

4. Wait to see if the app installs. 

Make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi

Some apps won't update if you're using cellular data. You should wait until you're in a location where you have a Wi-Fi signal and try to install the update. 

To check for Wi-Fi, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen on an iPhone X or later (or up from the bottom of your screen on an earlier iPhone) to display your Control Center. Check to be sure the Wi-Fi icon is solid blue. 

Why won’t my iPhone update apps 2

Pause and restart the update

Sometimes, an update gets "stuck." You can see this visually when an app icon is greyed out, as if it's in the process of updating, but never leaves this state. You might be able to tap the icon to pause it, and then tap it again to restart the update.

Why won’t my iPhone update apps 3

If that doesn't work, you can try an alternate method of restarting the update available to iPhone users with iOS 13. Tap and hold the icon until you see a menu appear. Tap "Pause Download" and then choose to "Resume Download."

Why won’t my iPhone update apps 4

Restart your iPhone

Sometimes, all it takes to get an update working again is to restart your phone. 

Turn off your phone and then turn it back on again – if you're not sure how to do this, read our article "How to restart and force-restart any iPhone model."

Uninstall and reinstall the app

Sometimes it seems that no amount of troubleshooting will get an update to proceed. If that happens to you, simply delete the app and reinstall it from the App Store. 

If it's a paid app, don't worry — you won't need to pay for it a second time. The App Store keeps track of every app you've ever installed, and allows you to reinstall them with a tap. 

When you reinstall the app, you'll automatically get the latest version, which includes the update. 

Why won’t my iPhone update apps 5

Change your payment method on your iPhone

If you see a message saying that your payment method has been declined, this might be why you can't update your apps. If you have an unpaid balance in the App Store, your phone may prevent you from installing additional apps (even free ones) or performing updates. 

To investigate, follow the steps in "How to remove a credit card from your iPhone, and disconnect it from Apple Pay or your Apple ID" to get to your Apple ID's payment methods page. 

If any of your payment methods are expired or declined, remove it and then add another. Once you have a working payment method entered, try once again to update your app. 

Why won’t my iPhone update apps 6

If all else fails, it might be to time reset your iPhone to its factory default settings. For information on how to do that, check out our article, "How to reset an iPhone to its factory settings, whether you're selling it or troubleshooting the device."

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone accessories from cases to lightning cables

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why it's so hard for planes to land on water

The best emergency kits

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  • An emergency kit is something you should have around, in case an unexpected dangerous event happens.
  • You can make your own, or purchase a preassembled kit that has everything you may need.
  • The Sustain Supply Co. Four-72 Emergency Survival Kit is our top choice because it not only covers the critical needs like water, warmth, sustenance, and first aid, but it also has lots of redundancies.

Statistically speaking, it's unlikely that you will ever find yourself in a situation calling for an emergency preparedness kit, but "preparedness" is the operative word. Should a disaster strike in the form of an earthquake, tornado, civil unrest, a major storm, or what have you, you may well find yourself cut off from outside help, relying on your wits and depending on the rations and supplies you have on hand. If that ever happens, you'll be glad some rations have a multi-year shelf life, and that your supplies include first aid materials, light sources, fire-starting tools, and other such essentials.

But remember, buying an emergency preparedness kit is only the first step in readying yourself and your household to respond to a crisis properly. As my chosen emergency prep kit comes from Sustain Supply Co., I reached out to the brand for some insider insight. I spoke to Brent Stern, founder of Sustain, who offered some sage advice for making the most of your kit.

"When you're in a stressful situation, your ability to problem-solve is going to be diminished," Stern said. So he advises people to not only procure supplies but to study what they have. "Take some time, at least a half-hour, to go through your kit. Know what's in there and where things are in the bag. And put some cash in ... and any prescription drugs or specific first aid needs you or a family member might require."

Ultimately, according to Stern, "a good survival kit gives you the ability to be self-sufficient." The emergency prep kits on our list each allow you and a small group to do just that, fending for yourselves for a few days as you wait for the restoration of civil support systems in your area or else hike your way to a safer region.

Here are the best emergency kits you can buy:

Updated on 12/18/2019 by Jen Gushue: Updated prices, links, and formatting.

SEE ALSO: The best first aid kits you can buy

The best emergency prep kit overall

The carefully curated Sustain Supply Co. Comfort4 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit offers basic needs and redundancies in critical areas such as hydration and warmth.

I chose the Sustain Supply Co. Comfort4 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit as my family's emergency preparedness kit because after looking at many different options, it seemed to be the most thoughtfully curated option. There is simply nothing in this kit that feels superfluous, and there is no glaring omission, either.

Many survival kits have items like toothbrushes and hair combs that might make morning ablutions more pleasant but that really aren't imperative for survival during an emergency. In other words, that means they are just extra weight. The Comfort4 kit, on the other hand, is stocked almost exactly as I would have built up a kit from scratch.

When I got the founder of Sustain Supply Co., Brent Stern, on the phone, I learned how they pulled that off. Stern explained that they used Amazon analytics to determine which prep/survival products people tended to buy at the same time and then made the leading choices of discerning shoppers the products they included in the kit.

Thus the Comfort4 comes stocked with foods that may have a 30-year shelf life, but they actually taste good once rehydrated and cooked. It includes more emergency drinking water than you will find in almost any other emergency kit. The kit also has all the basics, like first aid supplies, fire starters, emergency blankets, a razor-sharp knife, and more. But toothpaste and a hairbrush? Not so much. If you feel you need those to survive, you tuck them in yourself.

But there's another reason I chose the Sustain Supply Co. Four-72 Emergency Survival Kit both for my own home as well as for the top pick on this list: redundancy. The kit comes with two lanterns, two flashlights, and multiple chemical snap lights (glow sticks), so if something breaks, you always have a backup. As noted, it comes with a lot of drinking water, but it also has a water filter included. It has enough fire starting supplies to make more than enough fires for the three days. The kit is designed to sustain four adults.

Yes, it's expensive. But your safety is priceless. And yes, this kit is kind of heavy, but if you're with other adults, you can spread the weight around or pass the backpack from person to person as needed.

Pros: Thoughtful and comprehensive curation, included rations actually taste good, comes with plenty of water and with filtration system

Cons: Quite expensive compared to other options



The best emergency kit for severe weather

When a storm drops buckets of rain on your home, you'll be glad you have ER Emergency's waterproof bucket filled with all the supplies you need to ride out the storm.

The ER Emergency Ready Tornado/Hurricane Survival Kit is designed to help people safely shelter in place during a serious weather event. For an area prone to wildfires or earthquakes, get yourself a backpack emergency kit. If the natural disaster most likely to ravage your hometown is a hurricane, flood, or some other event involving a whole lot of water, then this is the kit for you.

The ER Emergency Ready Tornado/Hurricane Survival Kit packs all of its supplies into a rugged and watertight bucket, so even if your home is flooded, your survival gear won't be damaged. Along with the gear you'd expect in any good emergency prep kit, like first aid supplies, a flashlight, and some rations, this kit also has several tools that will become of paramount importance during severe storms.

These include a utility shutoff tool that can help you turn off an at-risk or ruptured gas line or water pipe, a crowbar that could help force a damaged or swollen door or window, and work gloves and face masks that can help keep you safe in unsanitary conditions. 

What's missing here, though, is a good fire-starting tool. ER Emergency Ready included decent matches, but those will run out in time, so toss in a fire starter kit of your own for good measure.

Pros: Packed in a watertight bucket, ideal for areas prone to flooding, comes with several multi-purpose tools

Cons: Not readily portable



The best low-cost emergency preparedness kit

The Ready America 2-Person 3-Day Emergency Kit has the basics you'll need to shelter in place or cover some ground for a few days.

There are some notable items "missing" from the Ready America 2-Person 3-Day Emergency Kit. It lacks a flashlight or lantern, with the only light source being two chemical light sticks. There is no blade or tool of any sort. And there is no fire-starting gear, not even a lighter or a pack of matches.

But here's the thing: The basic necessities needed for survival don't actually include a light source, a cutting tool, or even fire. They amount to hydration, nutrition, and protection from the elements, and this low-cost emergency prep kit has you and one other adult covered on those fronts.

The pair of emergency blankets and ponchos can keep you relatively warm and dry even in harsh environs, the food and water rations will keep you sufficiently nourished, and the first aid kit will help with most minor medical issues. 

So while basic, the Ready America 2-Person 3-Day Emergency Kit is sufficient to check the "Prepared" box off your household to-do list. I recommend you go ahead and add a light, a pocketknife, and some storm matches, though.

Pros: Great low price, high visibility backpack, covers basic needs

Cons: Lacking several key items, the backpack itself is low quality



The best emergency kit for evacuations

If you have to leave the area ASAP in the wake of an emergency, you'll be glad you have the ready-to-roll Emergency Zone Urban Survival Bug-Out Bag on your back.

Sometimes you can see trouble on the horizon. Hurricanes don't exactly appear out of thin air, for example. But at other times, disaster strikes without warning. Earthquakes come to mind as events that don't give you the heads-up.

The Emergency Zone Urban Survival Bug-Out Bag was designed for those situations when you find yourself with zero time to spare before you clear out of your home, office, dorm, or anywhere else that is suddenly unsafe to inhabit and unlikely to soon be fit for return.

The Emergency Zone Urban Survival Bug-Out Bag is ergonomically designed and comfortable to wear despite the 15 pounds of supplies loaded into the kit. Within the multi-compartment backpack, you'll find all the gear and rations you'd expect, including food and first aid materials, water and ponchos, a multi-tool pocketknife, and so forth.

What sets this kit apart from the others isn't so much the included items, but the bag itself. Though tactical in composition, the Emergency Zone Urban Survival Bug-Out Bag looks much like an ordinary backpack, easily blending in with the pedestrian traffic in any city. So if you are clearing out without wanting to make a scene, this is the kit to use.

Note that fire-making tools are absent here, so add some before the next bout of civil strife or natural catastrophe strikes.

Pros: Backpack suitable for long hours of wear, subtle pack design draws no attention, a good blend of survival and comfort supplies 

Cons: No fire-making tools included



Get yourself a first aid kit or ready-to-eat foods from our guides

The best first aid kits

While you never want to need a first aid kit, should that need arise, you'll be glad you planned ahead and kept some high-quality medical supplies on hand. Here are the best first aid kits you can buy.


The best backpacking food 

Fortunately, enjoying a great "real" meal while you camp, trek, or climb isn't all that hard to do provided you planned ahead. None of the meals on this list require anything fancier than a pot, some water, and a stove (or fire) to prepare, and some don't even require the pot. Here are the best backpacking foods you can buy.



The best sleds you can buy for winter fun

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  • There's a lot to consider when you're buying a sled. Like, how fast do you really want to zip down that hill? Is maximum speed your only speed, or are you looking for a gentler ride? Who's going to be using the sled? A taller-than-average adult? A small child? And, how much storage space are you working with? (That could determine whether you go old-school metal runner or inflatable.) 
  • With all of the above in mind, the Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme Toboggan Snow Sled is still our top pick because it's swift, stable, and large enough for an adult and child to share a ride.

When I was a young man, I was hard to beat in a downhill sled race. My technique, perfected between the ages of about eight to eleven, was a blend of refined skill and innate passion. First, I would run down the hill for a few steps. Next, I would jump onto my sled — a bright orange plastic toboggan — landing chest-down and often knocking the wind from my lungs. Then I would hang onto the sled and hope not to hit any trees as I flew downhill, my only option for countering a collision being the bailout.

As an adult, the sledding hill near my parents' house looks a bit smaller, and I doubt I would fit onto that beloved orange toboggan anymore. I also seem to spend more time pulling my son around the neighborhood on his sled than I do flying down the hill myself. (Also I spend more time working and taking out the garbage and going to the gas station and stuff. Adulthood ... yuck.) But just because I have less free time and have outgrown my childhood sled doesn't mean I've outgrown that same passion for downhill speed that informed so many winters of my youth.

If you, too, crave the thrill of downhill snow sledding despite the curse of adulthood, you're in luck: We have put together a list of the best sleds for adults. With one of these grown-up sized sleds, the fearless kid lurking within you will be unleashed again, albeit this time likely with a more refined sense of self-preservation. They're also suitable for use with your kids.

Whether you love the classic sleigh-style runner sled, the Griswold go-to saucer, or a big and comfy inflatable tube, you're sure to find a perfect downhill vehicle on our list.

Here are the best sleds you can buy:

Updated on 12/18/2019 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated prices, links, and formatting. Added related guides. 

The best sled overall

The Slippery Racer Downhill XTreme Toboggan Snow Sled was designed for top speeds, but it's also stable enough for a parent and child to safely enjoy together.

The Slippery Racer Downhill XTreme Toboggan Snow Sled is the closest adult-sized approximation to my cherished childhood downhill sled that I have yet to find. It has the classic plastic toboggan shape with a few upgrades I would have been glad to see as a kid but that we can all enjoy today.

These include cutout handles for a secure grip and easy carrying, a proprietary IceVex cold-resistant coating that helps prevent cracking and scratching, and construction using such a durable yet flexible plastic that the sled can bend to 90 degrees without breaking.

The bottom of the 48-inch long Slippery Racer toboggan is smooth and slick, helping it to glide over all sorts of snow, from soft, fresh powder to heavier, wetter packed snow. The sled features a slight taper toward the front that increases its dynamic performance and also serves to accommodate a smaller rider during an adult-child tandem ride.

While you should always avoid rocks, trees, and other solid objects during a sled ride, should you endure an impact with some such obstacle, know that the sled can take the abuse without breaking. That's backed up by a yearlong warranty Slippery Racer throws in with each purchase.

And while the Slippery Racer Downhill XTreme Toboggan is an adult-sized sled, it's also more than suitable for kids. The site ToyTruckToys.com recommends it for kids over the age of four, calling it a "beginner to intermediate" sled.

Pros: Fast on most types of snow, fits adult and child, durable plastic body

Cons: Bottom scratches and loses slickness over time



The best inflatable snow tube

The A-DUDU Inflatable Snow Tube gives a swift, comfortable ride down the hill and its air-filled design cushions riders against the jolts and bumps along the way.

One of the best things about an inflatable snow tube is the fact that when it's not being used, it can be deflated, folded up, and stored in a cabinet or even in a drawer. That makes the A-DUDU Inflatable Snow Tube a great choice for the apartment renter or the college dorm dweller for whom free space is at a premium.

This tube can zip riders up to 250 pounds down a snowy hill at great speed. The A-DUDU Inflatable Snow Tube measures 47-inches in diameter, easily supporting larger, taller adults and is suitable for use by two kids at the same time, provided they're ready to share those handles.

The rugged PVC exterior of the tube resists tears and punctures and resists cracking even in temperatures as cold as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The tube inflates quickly by mouth or with an air pump and stays sealed shut thanks to a double locking valve.

Snow tubes might be nearly impossible to control, but they do absorb many of the bumps and jumps along the way, thanks to that huge cushion of air. And besides, less control means more excitement.

Pros: Smooth and comfortable ride, supports up to 250 pounds, easy to store when not in use

Cons: Requires inflation prior to use, cannot be steered or controlled



The best classic runner sled

The Flexible Flyer Steel Runner Sled is a timeless classic made with a birch wood deck and red steel runners.

You could easily be forgiven for buying the Flexible Flyer Steel Runner Sled as a piece of faux-vintage decoration. It would look great beside the fireplace, above the mantle, or among the collection of wacky tchotchkes on the wall of a casual dining restaurant. But where this sleigh-style sled truly belongs is flying down a snowy hill at breakneck speed. Actually...let's not use the term "breakneck" here — just pretend I said "really fast" instead.

Though a wood and steel runner sled may look antiquated, there's a reason they have been produced since the late 1880s: they work. While not suitable for use on fresh powdery snow, in the right conditions, this sled will not only zip you downhill as fast as any more modern option, it also allows you to control your ride. Using the flexible steering bar at the front of the sled, you can steer right or left and enjoy the ideal route down, avoiding obstacles and people and hitting jumps and drifts, if that's your thing.

The sled is recommended for ages five and older and can accommodate most adults. I'd probably recommend you wait until the kids are a bit older than five, personally, as the chance for injury is a bit higher with this sled than with a plastic toboggan or inflated snow tube. Wood and steel just hurt more than plastic.

Pros: Steering bar controls direction, beautiful classic style, last for years

Cons: Rather expensive, greater risk of injury than with other sled types



The best saucer sled

The Lucky Bums Powder Coated Metal Saucer might be impossible to steer, but it's also basically impossible to ride without a smile on your face.

If you've seen the classic comedy "Christmas Vacation," starring Chevy Chase, then you know a flying saucer style sled can potentially lead to a tragicomic tableau. Skip the extra grease on the bottom, and you should be able to enjoy this saucer without quite as much risk of personal injury as Chase's Clark Griswold while still having lots of fun this winter.

The lightweight but virtually indestructible Lucky Bums Powder Coated Metal Saucer is fun for kids and adults alike thanks to the simplicity and durability of its design. Even a smaller child or a larger adult should be able to fit on this sled thanks to its 25-inch diameter. You'll just have to sit cross-legged, of course. And despite being made of metal, the saucer only weighs six pounds, so even a younger child can carry it back up the hill.

You can't steer a saucer — that much is important to know going in — but they also tend to work well on all sorts of snow, from slush to ice to powder to those perfect large, downy flakes. While a runner sled bogs down on lighter, fluffier snow and a toboggan can sink into slushier snow under a larger rider's weight, this smooth disc will slip along over all sorts of wintry precipitation with ease.

Pros: Works on most types of snow, built to last for years, suitable for wide age range

Cons: Impossible to steer



Check out our other winter gear guides

The best snowshoes

Modern snowshoes are lighter, more efficient, and more highly specialized than ever before, allowing outdoor enthusiasts and mountain athletes to travel faster and more confidently in the backcountry. Snowshoeing is also a casual activity that many novices can learn easily. Here are the best snowshoes you can buy for various types of terrain and individuals.


The best space heaters

If you don't have central heating, or do but don't want to use all that energy, then a space heater is a great way to ensure you keep nice and warm during those long winter months, whether you're in your frigid office, that one cold room in your house, or your chilly dorm room. Here are the best space heaters you can buy.


The best thermal gloves

Thermal gloves are often the warmest because of their insulated interior with an outer shell built to protect your hands from the elements. Whether you are planning a fun ski trip or will be just stuck shoveling snow this winter, thermal gloves will keep frostbite at bay. Here are the best thermal gloves you can buy.



The year in pictures: From iconic IPOs to the backstage of Carnegie Hall, these are the best photos from Business Insider in 2019

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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Business Insider's photo team has covered a lot of ground this year — we've sat down with some big names in politics, entertainment, and business, tasted some incredible food (and some wine, for good measure), driven Lamborghinis, made it all the way to Carnegie Hall, tested state-of-the-art phones and gadgets, and illustrated some of the most pressing stories and questions of the day. 

It's been quite a year, and we've seen it all — here's some of the best work we've done in 2019.

All photos are by Crystal Cox and Hollis Johnson. 

THE TRUTH ABOUT ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: The inside story of how, in just one year, Sandy the bartender became a lawmaker who triggers both parties.

Read the full story here.



People are turning to medication made for horses to treat rosacea, and dermatologists are concerned.

Read the full story here.



Amazon warehouse employees speak out about the 'brutal' reality of working during the holidays, when 60-hour weeks are mandatory and ambulance calls are common

Read the full story here.



Samsung's new Galaxy S10 is almost a master class in how to make a superb, premium smartphone.

See more images here.



An Amazon Air plane crashed in February, killing all 3 people on board. Weeks earlier, several pilots said they thought an accident was inevitable.

Read the full story here.



Iconic denim company Levi Strauss went public last week. Here's a behind the scenes look at what a typical IPO looks like.

See more images here.



We did a blind taste test of cheap wines from Costco, Target, and Trader Joe's, and one of the losers 'tasted like butter that was left in the garbage.'

See more images here.



The first-time founder's ultimate guide to pitching a VC.

Read the full story here.



We brought Snapchat's new $380 smart glasses on a trip to London, and their biggest selling point was a major letdown.

Read the full story here.



We drove a $250,000 Lamborghini Urus to see if the radical SUV lives up to the hype

See more images here.



Trying Jaclyn Hill's new makeup convinced us it could redeem her from that disastrous lipstick launch

See more images here.



We took the two-day, $1,300 'biotech for dummies' class where healthcare executives, HR managers, and investors catch up on science for the first time since high school

See more images here.



Pain is a great teacher': How Ray Dalio, the world's most successful (and mysterious) hedge-fund founder, came back from financial ruin

Read the full story here.



The inside story of how Robinhood, a $6 billion investing app for millennials, blew a huge launch so badly that Congress got involved

Read the full story here.



One reporter discussed how her life changed when she stopped wasting time on terrible sex

Read the full story here.



Here's what it's like behind the scenes at NYC's Carnegie Hall, the 128-year-old concert venue that's hosted Duke Ellington, Tchaikovsky, and the Beatles

See more photos here.



Inside the mysterious Manhattan apartment building on East 66th Street, where underage models, lawyers, and key players in Jeffrey Epstein's sex-trafficking circle all live. Ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is a frequent visitor.

Read the full story here.



What Alexander Wang's unexpectedly brief stint at Balenciaga can teach you about dream jobs and the importance of clear career goals

Read the full story here.



We tried Apple's new iPhone 11 for a few hours to see if it's dramatically different from its predecessor — here's what we found

See more images here.



We went to the New York City bar recently named the best in the world, and saw firsthand why it deserves that title

See more images here.



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins Bernie Sanders for the 1st time on the 2020 campaign trail, drawing 25,000 supporters to a Queens rally

See more images here.



We also got some portraits of Governor Bill Weld and Rep. Joe Walsh for the GOP primary debate held by Insider.



Plus, some portraits of Whoopi Goldberg during a Business Insider Today taping.



We photographed the shocking amount of sugar in popular Halloween candies

Read the full story here.



More women are using marijuana while pregnant, but doctors aren't sure how it might affect their babies

Read the full story here.



A Michelin-starred chef told us why people shouldn't feel intimidated by fine dining

See more photos here.



Tommy John, the popular underwear brand, has grown to be a line of wardrobe essentials — here are our favorite pieces

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Tommy John

  • Tommy John started out as a men's underwear startup, but has evolved into a line of wardrobe essentials for everyone. You can find dress shirts, blazers, loungewear, and activewear, and more at Tommy John
  • While the underwear and undershirts are some of the best we've tried, I've been consistently impressed with everything I've worn from Tommy John. It's one of few brands that I pay for, even after receiving free samples for review. 
  • To help you get familiar with the brand, I rounded up seven of my absolute favorites and why I like them so much.  

Many men assume that all pairs of underwear are created equal and that brand names or clever marketing are the only factors that drive up costs. As a result, guys of all ages limit themselves to cheap underwear that are ill-fitting and poorly made. If this sounds like you — and your worn-out briefs — there's one brand that can completely change your perspective on essential undergarments: Tommy John

Founded in 2008 by Tom Patterson, the brand started with the simple goal of modernizing men's undergarments to meet the comfort standards of today — and tomorrow. Over the years, the brand has gradually evolved from only offering underwear and undershirts for men into a brand with essential wardrobe pieces for everyone.

It's become one of the few brands that the Insider Picks team in its entirety agrees to be the best in its category.

Readmore: A Facebook post prompted Tommy John to launch a line for women — and it's worth every penny

Tommy John Stay Tucked Dress Shirt

As someone who regularly covers menswear, I've had the opportunity to test a wide range of Tommy John products, and it's been great to see the brand's progression. I've yet to come across a product I didn't like, even in categories like dress shirts where you'd think an underwear brand has no business in. If being thorough and descriptive wasn't a part of my job as a product journalist, the only words in this review would be, "You should pick Tommy John over other brands."

Since I can't do that, I've rounded up all of my favorite men's products by Tommy John, from underwear and undershirts to dress shirts and blazers. Keep reading to learn more about each item and why I like them so much.

Shop men's clothing Tommy John now

Tommy John Boxer Briefs

Shop all Tommy John underwear, $18 to $42

The first product I tried from Tommy John was a pair of Go Anywhere Boxer Briefs, and they single-handedly changed my perception of what it means to be comfortable in underwear.

Since then, I've worn Tommy John Boxer Briefs in a variety of different materials, and they're all a solid choice for comfort. I can't say that any material is better than another because it all comes down to preferences like whether you value breathability or silky texture.

They're slightly longer than most other boxer briefs I've worn, but I actually like that. They're form-fitting, stay in place, and never ride up my legs from regular motion or heavy activity. 

As someone who's received an untold number of boxer briefs to test, I have a unique perspective on what's truly a good value. There are brands that I fully dislike and won't recommend, brands that I like and recommend but won't personally pay for considering how many pairs I already own, and then there's Tommy John. It's the one underwear brand I'll happily pay for.



Tommy John Undershirts

Shop all Tommy John undershirts, from $35 to $58

I always struggled to find a valid reason to buy and wear basic short-sleeve undershirts. They're usually sloppy and uncomfortable to wear under my clothes. And after a few wears and washes, they lose shape.

However, Tommy John's undershirts are engineered for comfort. Their patented design makes them a bit longer and easier to stay neatly tucked. The brand offers three undershirts in material types — Second Skin, Cool Cotton, and Air — and in my experience, they've all been more comfortable than standard cotton undershirts.

Regardless of which material you choose, you'll get a thin, form-fitting (but not tight) shirt. I also really appreciate the different styles available. Crewnecks are great for wearing under button-up shirts with ties or other crewnecks, V-necks are good for wearing a shirt casually unbuttoned, and deeper V-necks are good for wearing undershirts that are more drastically unbuttoned.

Read our full review on Tommy John undershirts



Tommy John 360 Sport Leggings

Shop Tommy John 360 Sport 2.0 Leggings, $45 to $65

I wouldn't recommend leggings as your first Tommy John purchase because they're more expensive and naturally less useful than a pair of underwear that you could wear anywhere or any time. But if you've experienced the comfort of their underwear and want to extend that into your arsenal of sportswear, this is the best way to do it. 

The Tommy John 360 Sport 2.0 Leggings are just as comfortable as the underwear and have many of the same attributes in terms of fit and support. Additionally, they have a media pocket on the right side, which fits my iPhone 11 Pro Max nicely.

Although I'm not a leggings-under-shorts kind of guy, I've gotten great use out of them as a base layer in cold weather. Even when I'm not working out, I find myself wearing my Sport leggings under jeans to stay warm. 



Tommy John Go Anywhere Joggers

Tommy John Go Anywhere Quick Dry Jogger 2.0, $128

When I'm not wearing jeans and I need to put on comfortable pants, Tommy John Go Anywhere Joggers are my go-to pair.

The quick-drying, moisture-wicking material is made from polyester, Tencel, and spandex, and as the name suggests, I feel like I can go anywhere (within reason) while wearing them. I wouldn't wear them to work, but I've worn them to the gym, out to run errands, and casually a countless number of times, and they're super comfortable.

I might sound like a broken record by now, but the fit — just like everything else at Tommy John—  is what makes them so great. I ordered my true size and both the waist and inseam length fits me well. I also appreciate the extra zippered pockets on the front and rear, the locking cuff zippers, and the drawstring waistband.



Tommy John Second Skin Sleep Jogger

Tommy John Second Skin Sleep Jogger, $64

Personally, I like to sleep in my underwear, but when it's a bit too cold or I'm just lounging rather than sleeping, I like to wear Tommy John Second Skin Sleep Joggers. They're super soft against the skin, non-restrictive, and they feature two functional front pockets. 

I'll admit that $64 is a lot of money to spend on pants just to sleep in, but they make for a great item to splurge on or give as a gift.



Tommy John Stay-Tucked Dress Shirts

Tommy John Stay-Tucked Dress Shirts, $128

I've always been impressed with Tommy John's different products, but the Stay-Tucked Dress Shirt was the most impressive because it's surprisingly well made. If you were to take any other brand that's best known for underwear, you probably wouldn't expect them to be able to make a quality dress shirt. 

The Stay-Tucked Dress Shirt uses a cotton stretch fabric to keep its shape after multiple wears and allows for full range of motion without coming untucked. Although you can find similar features with other performance dress shirts, Tommy John takes performance to another level with an innovative technology called InvisiGrip Snap, which keeps the shirt tucked in. 

InvisiGrip Snap Technology consists of three snapped buttons and an elastic hem the bottom of the shirt. It feels a little awkward to wear at first, but you'll quickly get used to it — and most importantly, your shirt won't come untucked. You can buy the stretchiest of stretchy performance dress shirts and still not get a fit this good.

Read our full review of Tommy John Stay-Tucked Dress Shirts



Tommy John Go Anywhere Everyday Blazer

Tommy John Go Anywhere Everyday Blazer, $298

The Go Anywhere Everyday Blazer is special because it maintains a relatively classic look while still working in modern comfort and convenience features.

It's made from an innovative four-way stretch material that's breathable, moisture-wicking, and water-repellent, and it has 360-degree underarm stretch, which allows for a full range of motion. 

I personally wouldn't recommend it if you're going for an extremely dapper and formal look, but it's great for commuting and wearing in the office.

 



42 last-minute holiday gifts from Nordstrom that you can still get in time

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l'occitane $52

If you asked us why we love shopping at Nordstrom, we wouldn't even know where to begin.

Maybe it's the curated selection of top brands across clothing, home, and beauty, or the unique limited-time collaborations with celebrities, influencers, and top designers. Perhaps we really enjoy the great customer service, on top of perks like free shipping all year round, in-store tailoring, and its free rewards program

For these many reasons, we look to Nordstrom when it's time to shop for holiday gifts. It only carries the best brands, so it's hard to fall short while shopping here. But if we had to narrow down the selection, these are the gifts we would choose. 

With the holidays right around the corner, Nordstrom is a great place to shop if you're crunched for time. If you want to use standard, free shipping, you'll need toplace your order by Sunday, December 22 to ensure your gifts get under the tree in time for Christmas. If you're willing to pay extra for next-day shipping, you can order as late as Monday, December 23. If you want all the details, head over to Nordstrom to check out its complete holiday shipping calendar. Just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

The top 5 best gifts from Nordstrom:

  1. A cozy pair of Ugg boots
  2. A set of gummies inspired by holiday flavors
  3. A luxurious, decorative candle
  4. A unique set of whiskey glasses
  5. A retro record player

Check out 42 of the best holiday gifts from Nordstrom:

A high-tech record player with retro appeal

Crosley Radio Cruiser Deluxe Turntable, $69.95

Though it has a classic look, the turntable is also Bluetooth-compatible, bridging the gap for the tech-savvy who also happen to love a solid vinyl record. 



Gummies inspired by holiday treats

Sugarfina Happy Holidays Bento Box, $65

Take a sip of champagne, a slice of pumpkin pie, or a bite of a sweet sugar cookie with this holiday-inspired gummy set from Sugarfina. It's even packed up in a festive gift box. 



A bottle of essential oil

Vitruvi Grapefruit Essential Oil, $13

Pure essential oils have a range of uses, from cleaning to air freshening. Vitruvi's are organic and sourced from the US. 



A sleek wine chiller

Vinglacé Wine Chiller, $89.95

The stainless steel, vacuum-insulated chiller keeps the bottle cold for longer, ensuring a crisp, refreshing pour of wine or Champagne every time. Available in five different finishes, it also looks good enough to keep on the table instead of stashed away. 



A Polaroid camera

Polaroid Originals OneStep2 Instant Camera, $129.99

Experience the gratification of instant photos from the pioneer brand itself. The film is pricey, but the vintage appeal and cool photos produced from the OneStep 2 camera can be worth it. 



A cozy and classic pair of boots

Ugg Neumel Chukka Boot, $129.99

The classic chukka boot style coupled with Ugg's soft shearling make these work indoors and out. 

 



Etched whiskey glasses

Cathy's Concepts With a Twist Tipsy Whiskey Glasses, Set of 4, $58

If they like their whiskey neat while their friends like it straight up or on the rocks, they'll be able to claim one of these etched glasses as their own. 



A leather phone case

Native Union Click Card Leather iPhone X Case, $49.99

Not only does this durable case protect your phone from dings and cracks, but a smart leather pocket on the back lets you conveniently keep your important cards at arm's reach. 



A genuine leather jacket

Allsaints Balfern Leather Biker Jacket, $450

Real leather jackets aren't known to be cheap, so if you know your recipient has been considering the investment, make the choice easier for them with this buttery-soft moto jacket. 

 



A box of decadent caramels

Nordstrom Makers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, $32

These soft caramels covered in dark chocolate will be gone in no time. The sprinkle of sea salt on each bite ensures the candy never tastes too rich. 



Perfume from a cult-favorite brand

Le Labo AnOther 13 Eau de Parfum, $82 to $275 (price varies based on size)

Le Labo is famous for its distinctive packaging and subtle yet inviting scents. The AnOther is musky and woodsy, but it's balanced out with ingredients like jasmine petals. 



A compact facial cleansing brush

Foreo LUNA fofo Compact Facial Cleansing Brush & Cleanser Set, $99

The Foreo Luna is a small and gentle facial cleansing brush that leaves their face cleaner and softer than ever. This one can be used up to 400 times on a single charge and comes with a travel-size cleanser, everything they need for a fresh face. 



Cozy socks for someone whose feet are always cold

UGG Pom Pom Fleece Lined Socks, $49.50

These cable knit, fleece-lined socks are going to be a hit during the dead of winter. 



A face mask that harnesses the natural benefits of citrus

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, $25 t0 $62 (price varies based on size)

Packed with 50% crushed citrus fruits like orange, lemon, and clementine, the mask will provide a gentle and natural boost to their complexion. 



A pair of Bluetooth earmuffs

UGG Genuine Shearling Bluetooth Earmuffs, $100

They don't have to sacrifice warmth or music thanks to these stylish, fuzzy Bluetooth earmuffs. They're made from leather and soft genuine shearling. 



A picture book personalized with the child's name

I See Me! "Goodnight Little Me" Personalized Book, $34.95

Kids who like bedtime stories won't be able to get enough of this special story that's personalized with their own name. Type in the child's first name (up to 12 characters), and it'll appear throughout the book. 



A set of moisturizing lip balms

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm Duo, $15

Chapped lips are no match for these bestselling formulas. Available in flavors like lemon shea, grapefruit ginger, and black tea blackberry, they also happen to taste great. 



A travel jewelry case

Wolf Caroline Travel Jewelry Case, $85

They don't have to leave their jewelry behind or risk tangled pieces if they travel with this organizer case.



A fringed cashmere scarf

Nordstrom Men's Shop Colorblock Cashmere Scarf, $74.62

This soft, color-blocked 100% cashmere scarf is a closet staple that will last for years. 



Luxurious candles that can serve as centerpieces

Diptyque Lucky Charm Candle Carousel, $60

This candle is an even more beautiful sight to behold when displayed with the golden carousel, which rotates with the help of the flame's heat. 



A large knitted scarf

Free People Jaden Rib Knit Blanket Scarf, $48

This extra-long ribbed scarf looks and feels incredibly cozy when looped around the neck multiple times. There are both peachy colors and darker neutrals that should fit a variety of personal styles. 



A handsome pair of leather gloves

Ted Baker London Blokey Leather Gloves, $139

The interplay of textures — the leather palm and lining made of wool and cashmere — make these gloves functional and fashionable. 



A fancy mirror compact

Simplehuman 4-Inch Sensor Mirror Compact, $100

This small mirror is going to go everywhere with them, especially when they realize the benefits of its clear 3x magnification and light system that simulates natural sunlight for more accurate makeup application. 



An ultra-sleek smartwatch

Movado Bold Connect 2.0 Leather Strap Smart Watch, $550

Inconspicuous sophistication reigns watchmaker Movado's design philosophy. Behind the refined look is Google's Wear OS to keep them connected to their digital life. 



A refined leather passport wallet

Ezra Arthur Leather Passport Wallet, $125

This handsome wallet, which has a passport pocket, currency pocket, and two card slots, gets their essentials in order so they'll always feel organized and composed during their travels. 



A simple, staple gold necklace

Bony Levy Bar Pendant Necklace, $495

Fine jewelry doesn't only have to be worn on special occasions. This versatile necklace can and should be worn every day. 



An adorable stuffed animal

Jellycat Medium Odell Octopus Stuffed Animal, $48.50

They probably have plenty of stuffed bears. A plush octopus? Probably not. 



A cute and scratch-resistant faux leather backpack

Calpak Kaya Faux Leather Round Backpack, $75

This backpack has it all: style, structure, and durability. It's better suited to casual everyday wear and day outings and is sure to draw compliments. 



Shower products that nourish their skin with almond

L'Occitane Almond Home & Away Set, $52

Two sizes each of the almond shower oil and almond milk concentrate let them enjoy smooth, moisturized skin at home and while traveling. The pretty packaging is designed by fashion designer Castelbajac Paris. 



A comfortable winter sweater

Patagonia Better Sweater Zip Jacket, $139

Whether they're Patagonia-til-they-die or only a recent convert, they'll love wearing this roomy and warm sweater. The only challenge is getting them to take it off. 



A portable, waterproof speaker

Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker, $69

This waterproof, dent- and scratch-resistant speaker offers big sound for its size. It even has a silicone strap for easy portability — they can throw it in their bag for anything from a picnic to a pool party. 



A cult-favorite hair dryer

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Set, $399

This lightweight, powerful dryer will give them a sleek blow-dry fast. If they love tech and beauty, this thoughtful gift is the perfect intersection. 



A pure silk sleep mask

Slip "Slipsilk" Pure Silk Sleep Mask, $50

Slip's 100% pure Mulberry silk sleep mask is lightweight, super soft, and makes something as simple as going to bed feel luxurious. 



Festive wares for their furry friend

Bedhead Pajamas Print Dog Nightshirt, $29

Pet owners will love getting their furry friend in the holiday spirit with this cute T-shirt. With a range of festive, wintry patterns, the shirts are holiday-ready, so pets can join in on all the family matching fun. 



A simple and stylish backpack

FJÄLLRÄVEN Kånken Water-Resistant Backpack, $80

This bag is spacious enough to hold a day's worth of belongings, but beyond the practical, the unique square shape looks undeniably cool with any outfit. It comes in over 20 colors, so there's something for everyone. 



A cozy cashmere beanie

Halogen Cable Cashmere Pom Beanie, $59

Soft, cable-knit cashmere and a big faux-fur puff make for a chic beanie that'll keep them cozy on chilly winter days. 



A matching pajama set

Moonlit Pajamas Nordstrom Lingerie, $65

Winter days are best spent lounging around the house, wearing something cozy. This pajama set, with its silky-soft knit and fun color options, is the perfect outfit for lazy winter days. 



A bestselling throw blanket

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Throw, $109.90

They'll love cuddling up with this fuzzy microfiber throw. It's even machine washable, so keeping it clean will be a breeze.



A portable kit of tech essentials

Pinch Provisions Tech Emergency Kit, $27

There's nothing worse than forgetting your earbuds for your commute or having your phone lose battery when you don't have a charger. This little pouch filled with eight last-minute tech essentials will make sure they never have to deal with those annoyances again. 



A set of essential shoe-cleaning supplies

Jason Markk Essential 2019 Shoe Care Gift Set, $30

If their shoe collection is their pride and joy, this shoe cleaning kit will be put to good use. With a shoe-cleaning foam, wooden brush, water-repellent spray, and quick cleaning wipes, they'll have everything they need to keep their footwear in prime condition. 



A play set for aspiring chefs

Melissa & Doug Set of 4 Play Foods, $79.99

This play food set will keep young minds occupied with cookie baking, pizza making, and making other fun food combinations. Soon enough, they'll be on their way to "MasterChef Junior."



A set of colorful coasters

Anthropologie Aliye Coasters, Set of 4, $54

Sturdy metal protects tabletops from drink rings while the intricate, colorful designs brighten up their space. 



Looking for more gift ideas? We've got you covered.



How to delete all of the email on your Samsung Galaxy S10

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Galaxy S10

The Email app on the Samsung Galaxy S10 is a convenient way to manage your email on the go. But if you're drowning in email, you might be wondering if there's a way to delete them all at once.

There are dozens of guides on how to do this across the internet, but most will only tell you how to remove email from your Inbox, not delete all of the email on your phone.

If you want to truly, completely delete all of the email in your Samsung Galaxy S10's Email app, read on for the how-to.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Samsung Galaxy S10 (From $899.99 at Best Buy)

How to delete all email on a Samsung Galaxy S10

1. Open the Email app and sign into your account.

2. Tap and hold any email in your Inbox. This will highlight the email you select.

3. Tap the small circle labeled "All," located in the upper left corner of the screen. This will highlight all of your email.

12 17 How to delete all emails on Samsung Galaxy S10   1

4. Tap the button labeled "Delete," located in the lower-right corner of the screen. To confirm that you want to delete the highlighted email (which, in this case, will be all of the email in your Inbox), tap "Delete" in the pop-up menu.

5. Repeat the process for your Spam and Sent folders, if you want to delete all the email you've ever received or sent. To open these folders from your Inbox, tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the screen, then tap on "Spam" or "Sent."

12 17 How to delete all emails on Samsung Galaxy S10   2

If you've deleted an email, it will be sent to your Trash (which is essentially just a folder to gather email marked for deletion). If you want to permanently delete all your email data, you'll need to clear out your Trash too.

6. From your Inbox, tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the screen. In the menu that opens, tap "Trash" to open the Trash.

7. Tap and hold any email in the Trash, then tap the small circle labeled "All" in the upper left corner of the screen.

12 17 How to delete all emails on Samsung Galaxy S10   3

8. Tap the button marked "Delete" in the lower right corner of the screen, then tap "Delete" on the pop-up menu.

There you have it, an email account completely devoid of email — until you receive a new message, that is.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech

SEE ALSO: The best true wireless earbuds you can buy

Join the conversation about this story »

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Hilton's LondonHouse Chicago has quickly emerged as a top booking for affordable prices, a central location, well-appointed rooms, and great views

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LondonHouse Chicago 4x3

  • One of the original Chicago landmarks surrounding the Michigan Avenue Bridge (now called DuSable Bridge) in the heart of the city, LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton has been meticulously restored with a contemporary feel.
  • Most rooms feature stunning views of the Chicago River, only rivaled by those observed from the four-star hotel's rooftop, a favorite among locals. 
  • Standard rooms begin as low as $119 while suites climb to $239 to start. I spent a night in the latter and found it to be a great deal for Hilton's boutique Curio brand.

Since I work from home on the north side of Chicago, I don't find myself downtown all that much. But being able to stay in the heart of the city overnight at The LondonHouse instantly rekindled my love affair with my adopted hometown.

The hotel building is one of four enduring 1920s skyscrapers that anchor the DuSable Bridge (the others are the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and 333 North Michigan). 

After a detailed renovation and restoration, the 452-room LondonHouse Chicago opened in the spring of 2016 with the addition of a 22-story glass tower and an extremely popular three-level rooftop lounge. The structure, the interior design, and panoramic views of downtown make the hotel a feast for the eyes.

The hotel is part of Hilton's Curio boutique brand, where hotels come with all the Hilton services guests expect, but with a more individual feel. It also offers guests the chance to earn and redeem Hilton Honors loyalty points, too.

But perhaps its biggest draw comes from its downtown location overlooking the river, mere steps from the corners of vibrant Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

With rates starting at $119 in low season (about $299 in high season) for a standard king or double room, it's affordable most times of the year.

I stayed in a Vista Suite, which was comped for review purposes but starts at $239 in low season, or $419 in high season. All the Vista rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows for prime views of Chicago's skyline.

Though, you won't go wrong in standard rooms either, a savvy pick for business travelers and young couples alike looking to show Hilton loyalty in prime downtown Chicago.

Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by the LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton.

SEE ALSO: Walking into the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is like entering a scene straight out of Harry Potter, minus the children and wand-waving

SEE ALSO: The Ace Hotel Chicago speaks to the modern traveler who values design, personality, and an accessible price point



As our Uber crossed one of the many historical bridges on the Chicago River and pulled up to the hotel, I felt an immediate rush gazing up at the architectural marvel.

The structure is actually two buildings combined into one. There is the 1920s landmark London Guarantee & Accident Building (which later also housed the London House, a famous jazz club — hence the hotel's name), a Beaux-Arts beauty with classical references like Corinthian columns and engraved Roman figures in the limestone façade. There's also the adjacent brand-new glass and steel Vista Building, which was built on top of what used to be a parking lot.



Upon entering, my boyfriend and I were greeted by a bellhop in a wool newsboy cap, which set somewhat of an early 20th-century vibe, who told us to take the elevator up to the second-floor lobby to check-in.

The lobby was bright, open and inviting with cushy seating and modern touches. 

Checked in, we were escorted to "smart" elevators where you enter your floor number on an LCD touchscreen and are then assigned a car to whisk you to the right floor. Supposedly, the algorithm makes the elevators more efficient, although we felt like we waited a while several times. 





I was quite impressed by my Vista Suite. Just like the lobby, it was comfortable but not over-sized. There was a small den-like living area with a charcoal loveseat facing a large flat-screen TV. A black, glass-topped coffee bar and console with a Nespresso machine sat beneath the TV.

The bedroom had striking floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Chicago River, Wrigley Building, and immediately across, the Trump Tower with its larger-than-life eponymous sign at eye level. 

Mod hanging lamps flanked the King-sized, captain's bed with clever storage drawers underneath. The bed itself was minimal, a white on white affair with feather pillows and LH-monogrammed duvet cover. 



The bathroom felt updated, with a dark grey hexagonal tile floor, black marble-topped vanity, and white marble tiled shower.

Like other Hilton hotels, the LondonHouse is part of the "clean the world" program and recycles all partially used soaps. They stock indie-darling Malin + Goetz products and Italian Frette robes hung in the closet. 

Everything felt new though the frame around the bathroom mirror showed wear with chipped metallic paint. 

There was no stocked minibar, but the room did have a smart fridge, which turned on only when something is placed inside it. 

I found my suite to be spacious and well-appointed, but for a better deal, standard rooms are quite similar and include many of the same features, minus the extra living area. If you don't need the extra space, or plan to spend most of your time sightseeing, a standard room is a fine option. However, business travelers on an extended visit or those looking to indulge in a special stay will enjoy the upgraded accommodation.

No matter your room type, for the best view, ask for a north-facing room.

Compare room types and prices for LondonHouse Chicago





LondonHouse's fitness center promises a good workout with treadmills, elliptical machines, and weight machines.

On the same floor, there's a full-service spa for massages, facials, and mani-pedis.

There are five restaurants on-site, though not all are affiliated with the hotel. On the ground floor are three businesses that are building tenants as opposed to being hotel-owned. So, you can't charge to the room there.

LondonHouse's official dining comes from a lobby bar that serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. On the top floor, you'll find the main restaurant, LH, which is a clubby spot putting a contemporary spin on American classics.

More exciting is the rooftop bar, LH on 22. In the summertime, a line forms downstairs at the elevator for those who want to come enjoy some of Chicago's best views. We're told that they have two to three marriage proposals a day up here in high season!

Besides the views themselves, the coolest feature is the ancient-Greek looking cupola that sits atop the roof. It's made up of a ring of columns and a domed top.  Since it was colder during our stay, we were able to enjoy the roof with fewer crowds, and even snuck in a romantic dance under the cupola. 



Sitting at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, the hotel is steps from coveted shopping on North Michigan Ave, as well as live music and public art (like the Bean) at Millennium Park. The Chicago Architecture Center and the renowned Art Institute are a short walk away, too.

Right across the street is the newly completed Chicago Riverwalk. Jog along the river for about a mile each way (like I did) or stop into waterfront eateries and bars. When the weather's nice, about a dozen or so bars and restaurants open up with outdoor seating all along the river for a very fun atmosphere. 



LondonHouse Chicago is the highest-rated Hilton property in Chicago. The property has an "awesome" 9.2 rating on Booking.com and is ranked #10 out of 205 on Trip Advisor

Unsurprisingly, reviewers love the location and rave about the views and friendly, attentive staff.

Those who had complaints mentioned noise issues from outside (a higher floor may help this, but, it is downtown after all) and noise near elevators and stairwells. Knowing there is a late-night rooftop bar, the elevators work overtime whisking clubbers up and down until late, so light sleepers (or those like me who just have that sensitivity to noise) should request a room away from there.

Read reviews, compare prices, and book LondonHouse Chicago on Trip Advisor



Who stays here: Business travelers, couples on weekend getaways, Hilton Honors members, and partiers attending on-site wedding, or seeking a crash pad after a night on the rooftop.

We like: Don't miss the ornate rotunda at the "main" entrance on the Michigan Avenue side, with its fully restored, gold-leaf ceiling and étoile (star) in the center of the floor. It's a nice nod to the building's storied history.

We love (don't miss this feature!): Those killer views. From the lobby, any north-facing room, or the amazing rooftop, the views are unbeatable. Definitely take in the 360-degree views from the cupola. 

We think you should know: Rooms located in the original 1920s building have smaller windows and may face another building. Whatever your room type, I highly suggest asking for a north-facing room. 

We'd do this differently next time: I'd love to return when the weather is warmer and the rooftop has bar service. During colder months, the rooftop does remain open for viewing, but there's no full-time bar service until spring. Though, they sometimes host a warm-drink pop-up bar with drinks like spiked cider.



Attracting business travelers and young professionals, LondonHouse Chicago, a Hilton Curio brand, is a well-appointed property with affordable prices, especially if you book standard rooms, which are downright cheap in the off-season.

The landmark building also boasts gorgeous design, which feels special in a city revered for architecture. With nicely updated rooms, stellar views of the river, Hilton points earning potential, a central location, and a hot rooftop bar, there's plenty to like about LondonHouse.

Book LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton direct, starting at $119

 



The best puffer jackets for men

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  • Puffer jackets are comfortable outerwear with plenty of insulation to keep bodies warm in the outdoors, during late fall or winter.
  • The best puffer jacket is the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody, which combines comfort and style in an eco-friendly package. 

Once worn almost exclusively by the outdoors crowd, the humble puffer jacket has become a mainstream favorite for when conditions turn chilly. The name comes from the use of a quilted pattern and thick insulation, which gives it a "puffy" look. In the past, these jackets were generally seen as being bulky and unfashionable, but, now they are thinner and more attractive while still managing to maintain a high level of performance — keeping the body warm, repelling water, being breathable, etc.. This evolution is what made the puffer both utilitarian and fashionable.

The classic puffer is built for winter outdoor activities, such as hiking or snowshoeing in the backcountry or hitting the slopes. But the modern, sleeker versions of these coats are equally useful when heading out to run errands around town, meeting friends for dinner, or just taking the dog for a walk. Many are lightweight, compressible, and resist water, and that's achieved through the use of high-tech insulation and fabrics.

Our favorite puffer jackets come from familiar names in the outdoors industry and for good reason. These companies have been making winter gear for a long time and are continually looking for innovative ways to improve performance while at the same time reducing bulk and weight. The result is an outstanding lineup of jackets that have demonstrated their warmth and comfort. 

Here are our top picks for the best puffer jacket:

Updated on 12/18/2019 by Jen Gushue: Updated pricing, links, and formatting. Added best vegan pick. We are also looking into the West Rib Parka from Marmot, which uses its new WarmCube technology for its puffer design.

The best puffer jacket overall

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is warm, comfortable, sustainable, and stylish — ticking all the right boxes.

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is exactly what most people are looking for when it comes to a puffer jacket. Not only is this garment warm and comfortable when worn, it also happens to be good looking too.

Patagonia uses 800-fill goose down to ensure that the jacket maintains a good balance between warmth and bulk. The result is plenty of protection without making it impossible to move. 

One of my favorite things about this jacket is its versatility. The Down Sweater Hoody can be worn on the trail all day and then used around town or at the lodge at night. Perfect for travel or as an extra layer while backpacking, it even slips nicely under a shell for added warmth on the ski slopes. Whether you wear it on its own or as part of a larger layering system, this is a jacket that delivers good performance. 

The Down Sweater Hoody's outer-fabrics and inner-lining are all made from 100% recycled materials. Patagonia has long been a leader when it comes to protecting the environment and that extends into the garments the company manufactures. This makes the Down Sweater one of the more eco-friendly down jackets on the market today, which is something that certainly appeals to Patagonia's core customer. 

There aren't many faults to be found in this particular coat, although at 15.1 ounces, it is on the heavy side when it comes to puffer jackets. Switchback Travel noticed the same thing in its review, although it rightfully lauded the Down Sweater for being very durable. Outdoor Gear Lab gave the jacket high marks for its stylish and simple design, but it called out Patagonia for not using hydrophobic down, which can be helpful in keeping the jacket's insulation dry in wet conditions. 

Pros: Versatile and warm, not overly bulky, eco-friendly

Cons: On the heavy side, doesn't use hydrophobic down



The best budget puffer jacket

Affordable, lightweight, and well-made, the REI Co-op 650 Down 2.0 Jacket is a ridiculously great bargain.

REI's Co-op 650 Down 2.0 Jacket might appeal to the masses thanks to the approachable price, but most importantly, the outdoor gear retailer managed to create a lightweight, comfortable, and good-looking garment. The Co-op 650 offers solid, all-around performance, while also significantly undercutting the price of the competition.

In order to reach a low price point, it's clear REI had to make a few compromises when it comes to construction and design. This is most notable in REI's choice to use 650-fill down as an insulator, which means the jacket isn't as warm or compressible as jackets that use a higher fill count. REI's designers also used nylon as an outer shell, which isn't as durable.

That said, in reality, the Co-op 650 is still a great option for winter hikers and skiers who are looking for an inexpensive mid-layer to add to their kit. Its DWR coating works reasonably well in light rain and snowstorms, while the nylon shell is surprisingly adept at protecting the wearer from cold winds, too. Because of the actual performance, we can overlook the jacket's deficiencies.

One of the best features of the jacket is its ability to compress down to actually fit into its own left-hand pocket, despite using a lower-fill down. This makes it incredibly easy to store in a backpack or luggage, making the Co-op 650 a good choice for travelers; it also helps that it weight only 11 ounces.

Switchback Travel liked the "impressive warmth-to-weight ratio," but didn't like that there is no way to adjust the hem, allowing cold wind and snow to sometimes reach the interior. Outdoor Gear Lab lamented that the jacket didn't come with a hood and it didn't find it to be very warm either. But almost everyone agrees that for the money, this down jacket out-performs expectations.

Pros: Incredibly affordable, lightweight, good looking

Cons:  Not as warm as jackets with higher-fill counts



The best for outdoor pursuits

If you're an outdoors enthusiast who is into winter camping, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, or other cold-weather sports, The North Face Summit L3 Hoodie is made for you.

When you're climbing, hiking, camping, and dogsledding during the cold winter months, your demands from a puffer jacket are a bit different. Sure, you need something that will keep you warm and is comfortable to wear, but you also want a jacket that is athletic and formfitting but doesn't restrict your movement too much either. That's exactly what you get with The North Face Summit L3 Hoodie, which was built with winter outdoor athletes in mind.

For use in alpine environments, this jacket offers protection from both the wind and snow. It is also amongst the warmest jackets that The North Face offers and yet, it still manages to remain fairly lightweight at just 13.4 ounces. Add in a fit that hugs the body nicely, while still providing a surpassingly full range of motion, and you get a jacket that will make the active outdoors enthusiast extremely happy during the long, cold winter months.

Other nice features include a warm, protective hood, deep hand pockets, and an adjustable hem to help keep the wind and snow at bay. The 800-fill down is used as an insulator, but curiously it is not hydrophobic as The North Face relies on its durable water repellent (DWR) coating to help prevent moisture from reaching the interior of the jacket. The Summit L3 Hoodie is also listed as being "packable/stowable," although it does take a bit of effort to get it into its stuff pocket.

Gear Patrol is a big fan of this jacket as well, listing Summit L3's soft and stretchable cuffs as a favorite feature, along with its wide range of motion. Meanwhile, Outdoor Gear Lab gave it a coveted "Editor's Choice" award for its great fit and outstanding warmth. It is on the more expensive side, said Outdoor Gear Lab, which is something I definitely agree with as well.

Pros: Warm, lightweight, comfortable, built for spending extended periods of time in the outdoors

Cons: High price, no hydrophobic down



The best ultralight puffer jacket

The Mammut Broad Peak Light is so lightweight that you'll forget you're actually wearing it.

Even though most modern puffer jackets aren't particularly heavy, there is always someone looking to shed a few extra ounces in order to go faster and lighter in the outdoors. For these folks, the Mammut Broad Peak Light is the jacket of choice. At 8.6 ounces, it is one of the lightest down jackets on the market, yet its performance in cold conditions is uncompromising.

The Broad Peak Light is made with water-repelling Pertex fabrics on the exterior and 850-fill goose down insulation on the inside. This gives it an extremely impressive warmth-to-weight ratio while offering durability and compressibility. With zipper pockets, elastic cuffs and hem, and a form-fitting, athletic cut, you end up with a jacket that hits all the right notes when it comes to pursuing your favorite outdoor adventures.

The Broad Peak Light offers an excellent range of motion, which is much appreciated while climbing, skiing, or even hiking. The jacket's low-profile design also allows it to fit nicely under a shell jacket and over a base layer to create a lightweight yet effective layering system.

Due to its light weight, this jacket isn't quite as warm as our other top performers. Designed for active pursuits, the Broad Peak Light is actually very good while you're on the move, but if you slow down or stop for a break, the chill just might catch up to you, which is why it's great for people who are constantly on the move.

Pros: Incredibly lightweight, built for outdoors athletes, form-fitting cut

Cons: Not as warm as some other jackets due to light weight, expensive



The best vegan puffer jacket

Thanks to its PlumaFill down-alternative insulation Patagonia has developed its warmest puffer jacket to date, the Micro Puff Hoody— and it's completely vegan.

Though all of our picks source their down ethically according to the Responsible Down Standard— meaning that down can never be harvested from live birds and that the birds are never force-fed to encourage growth — down is still an animal product, which can be a point of contention for some.

Patagonia, in its quest to make the best outdoor gear using the highest technology, has developed PlumaFill, a down alternative that has actually enabled them to make their warmest puffer jacket to date — even warmer than those that use authentic down.

PlumaFill is a synthetic feather-like insulation that was developed and perfected over the course of a decade. It has a high warm-to-weight ratio, it's water-resistant, it's highly compressible, and it maintains its puff even after getting wet. These are all advantages of down that couldn't be mimicked until Patagonia developed this new tech.

The Micro Puff Hoody utilizes this technology to its advantage. It weighs in at 9.3 ounces, making it one of the lightest picks on our list, and it's compressible to fit in its own front pocket, meaning you can stash it in a backpack if you're on the go.

Insider Picks reporter Amir Ismael reviewed the Micro Puff Hoody and loved how lightweight it was. He praised the high collar and hood that kept his neck and head warm and was impressed by how well it transitioned through fluctuating temperatures. — Jen Gushue

Pros: Completely vegan, lightweight, Patagonia's warmest puffer jacket yet

Cons: Not warm enough for temperatures below 35 degrees



The best puffer jacket for boys

Patagonia's Hi-Loft Down Sweater Hoody takes everything that was great about the adult version and shrinks it down for kids.

Much like the adult version of this jacket, the kid's Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater is a high-quality garment for keeping youngster warm in the outdoors. Its outer shell is made from water-resistant fabrics and it uses 600-fill down as an insulator. It even comes with a three-panel hood with a spandex binding to help keep the wind and snow at bay. That same spandex binding is used around the cuffs as well, while two zippered hand pockets provide some extra warmth too. 

Patagonia's eco-friendly approach to making its apparel extends to the kid's version of the Down Sweater as well. This jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester, as well as 100% recycled down.

Other nice touches include an internal chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack, a zipper garage to help protect the chin, and reflective webbing used along strategic points. A tag allows parents to write their child's name in the jacket to make it more distinguishable from others, while a distinctive quilted pattern provides warmth in all of the important places. 

Some customers said the jacket isn't as durable as they would like, while others were disappointed by Patagonia's decision to go with matte colors.

Pros: Wind- and waterproof fabrics, warm and comfortable, included hood, made from recycled materials

Cons: Expensive



About insulation

Today's puffer jackets are generally lightweight, highly compressible, and made from water-resistant fabrics. Their insulating properties are provided by either hydrophobic down (down that is treated to absorb less water) or a synthetic equivalent, which is integrated into the quilted design to provide a maximum level of warmth across the wearer's core section. Even the style of the jacket's stitching can have an impact on performance, with the quilted regions designed to hold the thickest insulation in the places where it is needed most. 

When it comes to down insulation, manufacturers often tout their level of "fill power," sometimes hinting that the higher the fill power, the warmer the jacket will be. That isn't necessarily always the case, however, although fill power and warmth are somewhat related.

Put simply, fill power is a way of measuring the ability of down to expand after it has been compressed. In other words, a jacket that has a higher fill power rating will be more likely to expand back to its previous levels of loft, even when it has been shoved into a backpack or suitcase. In doing so, it continues to provide warmth over the life of the product, keeping the wearer more comfortable as a result.



Check out more of the best winter gear on Insider Picks

The best winter coats for men

A good winter coat will keep you warm and dry even when the snow is falling and the wind is howling. A great winter coat will keep you warm, dry, and looking good, too. Here are the best winter coats you can buy.


The best beanies you can buy

The word "beanie" is a catch-all that encompasses a ton of different styles, from slouchy cuts to ultra-fitted ones with a variety of embellishments and fabric variations. The sheer number of options is overwhelming, so we did the work of narrowing it down. Here are the best beanies you can buy.



34 cool online startups you might not have noticed are now at Nordstrom

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Outdoor Voices

  • Popular online startups like Casper and Dagne Dover are making their products more accessible by partnering with Nordstrom.
  • Their presence on Nordstrom means you can put them all in the same cart along with your buys from traditional brands, and you'll benefit from Nordstrom's free two-day shipping policy in most cases. 
  • We found 34 great startups ranging from clothing to home goods that are now available on Nordstrom.

Though a popular business strategy for new startups today is to sell direct-to-consumer through their own websites, the practice often serves as a springboard for other retail opportunities, not an outright boycott.

Many online startups eventually find their way into popular retail stores that you've been shopping at for years. It's another way to get their products in front of more eyes, plus it's undeniably convenient to shop all your favorites at one site and enjoy free shipping and return perks.

Startups tend to be careful about the traditional retailers they do decide to partner with. They don't want to dilute their brands and they want to reach the right types of customers. Understandably, Nordstrom, with its reputation for curated style and quality, is a popular retail partner for up-and-coming online startups. 

On Nordstrom's site, you can shop 34 brands that the internet has been buzzing about for the last few years. They tend towards clothing and shoes, but you'll also find skin-care and home products. 

With the holidays right around the corner, Nordstrom is a great place to shop if you're crunched for time. If you want to use standard, free shipping, you'll need to place your order by Sunday, December 22 to ensure your gifts get under the tree in time for Christmas. If you're willing to pay extra for next-day shipping, you can order as late as Monday, December 23. Head to Nordstrom to check out its complete holiday shipping calendar. Just remember that the sooner you place your order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

Summersalt

Shop Summersalt swimsuits at Nordstrom

Along with standbys like Aerie, new startups like Summersalt are also catching waves with their eye-catching styles and comfortable, supportive fits. Unlike trendy women's swimsuits that you can only lounge in, Summersalt's one-pieces and bikinis are both cute and functional, made for beach games, ocean swims, and more.



Senreve

Shop Senreve bags at Nordstrom

The price of these beautiful bags can be difficult to swallow, but we've personally discovered they're worth it— they're distinctive, they come in attractive colors and finishes, and they can be worn many different ways (backpack, crossbody, tote). Inside, you'll find plenty of organizational compartments for everything from your tech to your makeup essentials. 



Amour Vert

Shop Amour Vert clothing at Nordstrom

Amour Vert— or "green love" in French — lives up to its name by making clothing sustainably. Pieces are made in limited quantities to reduce waste, and the company uses sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, merino wool, and Tencel. Plus, for every T-shirt purchased, it plants a tree in North America through American Forests, an organization working to reforest the region. 

 



Revtown

Shop Revtown jeans at Nordstrom

When a new denim brand is founded by former Under Armour execs, you can rightly expect that the jeans will be comfortable and ready for any type of activity. Even better, they're not expensive at all. All of Revtown's jeans on Nordstrom cost just $79. 



TomboyX

Shop TomboyX underwear at Nordstrom here

TomboyX was created with the mission of making underwear everyone regardless of size and gender could feel comfortable in. It adapts styles like trunks and boxer briefs for women's bodies so that there's a masculine aesthetic, without the design shortcomings of trunks and boxers. 



Boll & Branch

Shop Boll & Branch bedding and bath products at Nordstrom

Startups can hold their own against the big brands, too. Boll & Branch pulls ahead of companies like Patagonia and Nike in its use of organic Fair Trade Certified cotton, which results in more luxurious, soft, and durable sheets for a good night's sleep. 



Universal Standard

Shop Universal Standard clothing at Nordstrom

Though it probably shouldn't be, Universal Standard's approach to making clothing is revolutionary: All the clothing is available in sizes 00 through 40, and the styles are sophisticated and well-made. This type of "fashion freedom," as the brand calls it, makes shoppers feel like they never have to compromise as they look for dresses, shirts, pants, and outerwear. 



Ritual

Shop Ritual vitamins at Nordstrom

The one-month supply of women's multivitamin and a convenient travel case are available only at Nordstrom for a limited time. Ritual's vitamins contain the nine essential nutrients that women lack the most, and the company prides itself on transparent ingredient sourcing. 



Hatch

Shop Hatch maternity clothing at Nordstrom

Forget the unflattering sack dresses of days past. Hatch's easygoing and stylish maternity clothes are nice enough that even people who aren't pregnant want to wear them. The breathable and low-maintenance clothes can certainly be worn after pregnancy, so it doesn't feel like you're wasting money on something you'll only wear for less than a year. 



Caraa

Shop Caraa bags at Nordstrom

Athleisure brand Caraa is one of our favorite bag brands, making the "everything bags" we stuff and tote to work, the gym, and on travels. We especially love the cloud-like bags made from ultra-soft and puffy nylon. 



Frank And Oak

Shop Frank And Oak clothing at Nordstrom

This Canadian startup has impressed us ever since we tried the style plan subscription available on its website. Nordstrom has a limited selection of the brand's quality basics, but it's a strong collection, featuring cozy pullovers and everyday button-ups. 



Care/of

Shop Care/of supplements at Nordstrom

Best known for sending you personalized vitamin packs, Care/of is also helping you get your protein intake so you can reach your health and fitness goals. It offers two types of protein, plant and whey, and you have the opportunity to try the $15 sampler before committing to a bulk container. 



LIVELY

Shop Lively bras, underwear, and swimwear at Nordstrom

If you don't want to spend more than $35 for a good bra, look no further than Lively. It can be hard to feel confident in your skin if your bra is uncomfortable, but Lively nabs the comfort factor (even for much-maligned strapless bras) without sacrificing style. 



MVMT

Shop MVMT watches and sunglasses at Nordstrom

MVMT's sleek watches look a lot more expensive than they are, but have no fear — you can get an automatic watch for $300 and other watches for even less. Grab a pair of its sunglasses to make a powerhouse pair of accessories. 



Youth to the People

Shop Youth to the People skin care at Nordstrom

Spinach and kale go well in salads, smoothies, and according to startup Youth to the People, skin care products, too. These safe creams, cleansers, and masks containing powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients have been described as "a superfood smoothie for your skin." 



Dagne Dover

Shop Dagne Dover bags at Nordstrom

Dagne Dover handles all your bag needs — work tote, laptop bag, travel or gym bag— with the same poise and sophistication you hope to approach your busy schedule with. We're continually impressed not only by the distinctive styles but also by their smart interior compartment organization. 



Casper

Shop Casper bedding at Nordstrom

While you can't pick up a Casper mattress from Nordstrom, you can buy its surprisingly impressive bedding products or a small bed for your best friend. A good night's rest relies on a number of factors, not only the mattress type, so don't sleep (or do) on Casper's sheets and duvet covers. 



Bombas

Shop Bombas socks at Nordstrom

We wear our Bombas socks whenever we can: to the gym, for hiking, or with our winter boots. That's because they're just the right thickness, they feel supportive, and they never slip down our legs or ankles. 



Foreo

Shop Foreo skincare devices at Nordstrom

After trying many other facial cleansing devices, we always find ourselves returning to Foreo's gentle yet highly effective silicone brush cleansers. They're not cheap, but you'll feel the difference in your skin after just one use, and we love that they stay powered for weeks (if not months) on a single charge. 



Baggu

Shop Baggu bags at Nordstrom

Baggu's founder calls these cotton and ripstop nylon bags "simple, useful, and delightful." Its famous tote bags are often used for activities like grocery shopping and laundry, but its other bags (backpacks, weekenders) are also practical options to shop. 



Tommy John

Shop Tommy John underwear and loungewear at Nordstrom

"Do I really want to spend $30 on underwear?" you might ask yourself. The Insider Picks team's unequivocal answer is yes, and you won't regret it. Guys can't go wrong with any of Tommy John's innovative and comfortable fabrics; ladies, unfortunately your styles aren't available on Nordstrom yet. 



Outdoor Voices

Shop Outdoor Voices athletic wear at Nordstrom

Cult-favorite brand Outdoor Voices revolves around the concept of "Doing Things." Sporting its distinctive color-blocked leggings and sports bras, you'll always feel motivated to take this mantra to heart. 



Birdies

Shop Birdies slippers at Nordstrom

The velvet, cushioned slippers from Birdies bring the warmth and comfort of indoor lounging to the city streets in a fashionable way. You can choose between slides and classic smoking slippers in a variety of colors and patterns. 



Stance

Shop Stance socks and underwear at Nordstrom

Once the NBA's official on-court sock, Stance is the rare brand that's as beloved by athletes as it is by artists and rock musicians. Part of the reason has to be its bold, graphic prints that reveal a refusal to stick to the status quo. If you have enough socks in your drawer, its underwear is also worth checking out



Native Union

Shop Native Union tech accessories at Nordstrom

Tech, while useful, can be written off as cold and impersonal. Native Union brings personality back to tech accessories like phone cases, charging cables, and charging hubs with its unique and modern designs. 



Bonobos

Shop Bonobos menswear at Nordstrom

As a direct-to-consumer startup that started early in the game, Bonobos offers the advantage of having many styles available at its traditional retail partners. From graphic print T-shirts and swim trunks to sport coats and tuxedos, you'll be comfortably suited for any occasion in your life.



Sugarfina

Shop Sugarfina candy at Nordstrom

Candy lovers should be familiar with Sugarfina, a playground of elevated treats for adults with sweet tooths (or is it sweet teeth?). It's always coming out with fun collaborations and seasonal collections, which can often also be found at Nordstrom. 



Greats

Shop Greats shoes at Nordstrom

We've lusted after many a designer sneaker but have never been able to justify paying thousands of dollars for a pair. Thanks to Greats, we don't have to. Its under-$300 sneakers combine premium Italian craftsmanship with classic, Brooklyn-inspired style. 



Richer Poorer

Shop Richer Poorer loungewear at Nordstrom

Some of the most impressive startups are the ones that do "simple" really well. Richer Poorer, maker of organic cotton T-shirts and bralettes, comes to mind immediately. Good luck getting yourself out of the bed or couch once you've slipped on its soft and cozy loungewear. 



Freshly Picked

Shop Freshly Picked baby shoes at Nordstrom

Babies and toddlers nowadays are more stylish than I ever was at that age, and that's thanks in part to the influence of Freshly Picked, a leather shoe company that grew out of a mom's Etsy shop. The adorable moccasins are made from 100% genuine cowhide leather and they're easy to pull on and off. 



State Bags

Shop State Bags at Nordstrom

Adults are carrying backpacks well past their school years and State Bags is one of those brands making the transition a seamless one. They're more affordable than luxury backpack options but still made with quality materials including leather and water-resistant nylon. 

 



True & Co.

Shop True & Co. bras at Nordstrom

Part of a wave of new lingerie startups challenging Victoria's Secret, True & Co. asked 6 million women what their perfect wireless bra looked like and delivered accordingly. The $49 True Body Wireless Bra is stretchy, seamless, and so light you might forget you're wearing it. 



Happy Socks

Shop Happy Socks at Nordstrom

Happy Socks are socks that you actually want to peek out from under your pants. In fact, whole outfits could be styled around this small article of clothing. Because of their flashy patterns and bright colors, they're highly giftable — for a loved one or yourself. 



Thinx

Shop Thinx underwear at Nordstrom

Thinx makes innovative period-proof underwear that lets women carry on with their daily activities and workouts without a worry in the world. The super-absorbent underwear is even machine-washable. 



32 cool, last-minute gifts for teen boys that they won't return

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Portable Charger Jackery Bolt

Buying gifts for teens can be a daunting task, and that can be especially true for teen boys, especially if you've already bought them the same Nike T-shirt in every neutral color.

But it doesn't have to be so difficult. There are tons of great gifts on the market — cool, innovative, thoughtful, and ranging in price from big-ticket items to under-$25 purchases you can make on Amazon.

Below, you can find a mix of 32 gifts that cover tech, grooming, nods to hobbies, and practical gifts for everyday needs. If you need more gifting inspiration, check out all of our gift guides here

The top 5 best gifts for teen boys:

  1. A DJI drone with cool features
  2. A Nintendo Switch
  3. Apple AirPods
  4. A pair of Adidas Ultraboost sneakers
  5. A Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover

Check out all 32 gifts for teen boys below:

An Echo Dot that works as a speaker and alarm clock

Echo Dot (3rd generation), available on Amazon, $24.99

The Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason: It's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (voice control, music, news, weather updates, and more). They'll love that it has a decent speaker. Parents will love that it works well as an alarm clock. 



A pair of gloves he can use with his phone

The North Face Apex Etip Tech Gloves, available on Nordstrom and Macy's, $45

The North Face's Tech Gloves have silicone palm grips and touchscreen-friendly fingertips so he can use his devices without taking them off. 



A Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T fleece pullover

Patagonia Men's Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover, available on Patagonia, $119

Like Champion, Patagonia is a brand that's gaining increasing popularity among teens. Its Snap-T Fleece Pullover is one of their best and most popular products. Available in five colors and two prints, there's bound to be one that fits his style.

 



Super convenient Apple AirPods with a wireless charging case

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, available on Amazon, $199

When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're incredibly easy to use. The newer generation of AirPods can also be purchased on Amazon for $234.98.



A streaming service that includes the Star Wars and Marvel universes

Disney+ Monthly Subscription Service, available on Disney, $6.99/month or $69.99/year

Disney Plus is the new Disney-centric streaming service, but it carries much more than the nostalgic movies they may have grown up watching and the Marvel movies. The platform includes Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox — and you can also bundle ESPN+ and Hulu with it. Disney Plus offers two subscription options: $6.99 a month, or a slightly cheaper $69.99 a year ($5.83 a month). With ESPN Plus and Hulu, it's $12.99 a month (a $17.97 a month value).

If you'd rather test Disney Plus out before buying, you can sign up for a free weeklong trial.



Gift cards to virtually anything they could need or want

To a teen, there's probably nothing more useful than a gift card. Here are a few of the best you can give.

Everything: Visa Gift Card / Amazon Gift Card / Gift Amazon Prime Membership

Coffee: Starbucks Gift Card

Books: Amazon Gift Card / Barnes & Noble Gift Card

Entertainment: Netflix Gift Card / Hulu Gift Card / Sling Gift Card / StubHub gift card

Transportation: Uber Gift Card 

Music: Spotify Gift Card

Food: Taco Bell Gift CardChipotle Gift Card

Clothes: Nordstrom Gift Card / Everlane Gift Card / Nike Gift Card / Under Armour Gift Card / Adidas Gift Card

Tech: Best Buy Gift CardAmazon Gift Card



A pair of cool new Adidas Ultra Boost sneakers

Adidas Ultraboost Shoes, available on Adidas, $180

In 2015, Adidas introduced the Ultraboost as an entirely new running silhouette, but it was quickly adopted by sneaker heads for its comfort and style. It's responsive, supportive, and they'll probably wind up wearing it for both sports and around town. 



A 4,108-piece, app-controlled Lego kit that incorporates advanced engineering elements

Lego Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator 42100 Building Kit, available on Amazon and Target, $449.95

Lego's new excavator building kit was designed in partnership with Liebherr and has over 4,000 parts that mimic the real thing — incorporating advanced elements of engineering and accurate details like access ways and extensible ladders. It's operated via the Lego app, so they can control the boom and bucket, create movement sequences, and complete fun challenges with real-time feedback. 



A skin-care starter set of Kiehl's products

Kiehl's Men's Skincare Starter Kit, available on Saks Fifth Avenue, $39

Whether he'd buy it for himself or not, he'll love using these Kiehl's products. This set includes an energizing face wash, body scrub soap, brushless shave cream, and a moisturizer. 



A unique retro-style poster of their favorite movie

Retro Style Movie Poster Art Print, available on Etsy, $48.46

If he's into film or just happens to be at the age where he's discovering cult classics like "Fight Club" and "Donnie Darko," getting him a cool, retro-style art print is a thoughtful nod to his interests.



A book they'll reread in the years to come

'The Book Thief,' available on Amazon, $6.50

Some of my favorite gifts ever have been books, and I've revisited many of the ones I read as a teen now in my adult years. If he loves to read, the award-winning "The Book Thief" is a good place to start. It follows Liesel Meminger as she comes of age in Nazi Germany. Recognizing the power of the written language to inspire hope, she begins stealing books that the Nazi party tries to destroy, and writes her own story. It's been translated into more than 60 languages, and the New York Times said it's "the kind of book that can be life-changing."

We've also made a list of the 37 best young adult books Business Insider staff ever read, and Amazon has curated a list of the 100 books you should read in a lifetime that's a great jumping-off point as well. 



A Kindle Paperwhite for reading on the go

Kindle Paperwhite, available on Amazon, $99.99

Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof, has double the storage of its previous model, and is its lightest and thinnest version yet. The glare-free display adjusts to accommodate even bright sunlight, and it has a battery charge that lasts for weeks. 



A popular streaming media player

Roku Express Streaming Media Player, available on Best Buy, $24.99

The Roku Express Streaming Media Player turns an otherwise dumb TV into a smart TV with access to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and HBO Now to cable alternatives like Sling or YouTube TV.



A simple sweatshirt from a classic brand

Champion Men's Pullover Eco Fleece Sweatshirt, available on Amazon, from $14.25 (prices vary based on size and color)

Champion is having a moment with the teen demographic. If they don't already have one, pick up one of the brand's most popular items in a color and style they'll wear often.



A powerful portable charger

Jackery Portable Charger, available on Amazon, $28.04

Whether for traveling or keeping in contact with friends or parents while on the go, this external battery is great for giving parents and teens convenience and peace of mind. We named this model by Jackery the best portable charger iPhone users can buy



A projector the size of a soda can that's great for movie-watching

Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector, available on Amazon, $299.99

Anker makes a mini projector the size of a soda can that's perfect for screening their favorite movies. It weighs only 1 pound, and it offers four hours of continuous playtime. Find a full review here.



A drone with 1080p video capabilities

DJI Spark Mini Drone, available on Target, $329

For the price point, this drone has some impressive features. The camera has automatic stabilization and can recognize objects and track them for better-quality sports videos and images, as well as hand motions that tell the drone to take selfies. The DJI GO 4 app also allows users to edit videos and share them on social media.



A small, travel-ready camera that stabilizes shaky video footage

GoPro Hero7, available on Amazon, $189.95

For travel, adventures, and even school projects, a GoPro is one tech gift that's hard to oversell. It also makes a great gift for teens who are interested in photography and film. If you have a larger budget, there's a newer version of the GoPro for $200 more.



Soaps from Kobe Bryant's new line of body products

Art of Sport Body Bar Soap, 2-pack, $8.95

Art of Sport is Kobe Bryant's new line of unisex body products that was developed with feedback from pro athlete testers like James Harden. It also features natural ingredients like tea tree oil and aloe vera rather than parabens or talc. You can find a full review here



A speaker they can spill on and drop in the pool without breaking it

JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, available on Amazon, from $77

This under-$100 Bluetooth speaker connects to smartphones to give their songs a stereo-sound treatment. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, so they don't have to worry about spills or drops in the pool. Read our full review of it here.



A new cologne that's a little more unique than what they already have

Proper Cologne, available at Duke Cannon, $25

If you want to gift him a slightly nicer and more unique cologne, Duke Cannon makes a few that we really like. They smell good, are relatively affordable, won't be the same thing all his friends have already, and every year the brand donates 5% of its net profits to causes (typically one for each quarter of the year) that benefit veterans and active-duty military. Learn more here



A Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con, available on Amazon, $299.99

If you're gauging the success of your gift based solely on the excitement it elicits, this is a good option. This model has a battery life of up to nine hours and can be played with friends or solo at home or on the go.



A durable, weather-resistant backpack from Under Armour

Under Armour Gameday Backpack, available from Dick's Sporting Goods, $65

Under Armour's black backpack has a water-resistant finish, padded shoulder straps, and a tough bottom panel that can handle less-than-gentle handling. 



The most popular and useful Fitbit

Fitbit Charge 3, available on Amazon, $118.95

The Fitbit Charge 3 isn't the newest model the company has released, but it is perhaps the best and most popular. It has a lot of useful activity-tracking features without a big, clunky screen or an exorbitant price. It has a built-in heart rate monitor, in-depth sleep tracking, advanced workout features, and real-time workout tracking on the screen. 

 



A cult-favorite water bottle

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle, available on Amazon, from $44.95

These cult-favorite, vacuum-insulated stainless steel water bottles work really well. It'll keep hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours.



A beanie with Bluetooth connectivity so they can listen to music on the go

Tenergy Wireless Bluetooth Beanie Hat, available on Amazon, $24.95

An increasingly popular accessory among teen boys is the Bluetooth Beanie Hat, which lets them listen to music while wearing it. The headphones pair with a tablet, Apple watch, or smartphone, and the Bluetooth range is up to 33 feet. There are even built-in controls for adjusting the volume, skipping songs, and pausing/playing music.



Smart lights with bright lights for studying and dimming at night before bed

Bulbrite Solana A19 WiFi Connected Color Changing LED Smart Light Bulb, available on Amazon, $17.99

Smart lights mean he can change the lights to a range of colors, create customized lighting for watching a movie or studying, and set a schedule for the lights to turn off and on or brighten and dim at different times during the day. 



An electric skateboard

Boosted Mini X Battery-Powered Board, available on Best Buy. $999 and Amazon, $799

The Boosted Mini X is a shorter board that's easy to carry and compact enough to be stored under desks, and its a few hundred dollars less expensive than the company's longboards. It can reach speeds of up to 20 mph, has up to 14 miles of range, and a battery charge time of 1.75 hours.

If you're looking for an under-$300 option, you may want to check out the RazorX DLX Electric Skateboard (currently $199.99, originally $289.99) that provides up to 40 minutes of continuous use. 

We want to remind parents that electric skateboards can be dangerous, and if used improperly, they can cause serious damage. We suggest buying pads and a helmet to go with this and strongly encouraging your teen to wear this protective gear.

 



An audiobook subscription

Audible Membership (3 months), available through Amazon, $45

If they love to read, or you're trying to get them to love to read, a gift subscription to Audible is a great idea. They'll get three free titles for each month they're a member (one audiobook and two Audible Originals), and 30% off any additional audiobooks they buy. They can listen and read anywhere and anytime using the free app. 



A cult-favorite duffel bag that's durable and cavernous

Black Hole Duffel Bag, $139, available at Patagonia, $139

Patagonia's Black Hole duffel bags deserve their cult status: They're seemingly neverending, extremely durable, and are now made out of recycled plastic bottles



A T-shirt from a new outdoors brand with great gear and a philanthropic mission

Do Good Men's T-Shirt, available on Cotopaxi, $30

Whether he's into the outdoors, volunteering, or might appreciate an introduction to a cool new startup he hasn't heard of, he'll appreciate a soft, unique T-shirt from Cotopaxi



An online class from one of the greats

Tom Morello Teaches Guitar (single class), available on Masterclass, $90

Masterclass hosts online classes on virtually every topic taught by the experts themselves — from Neil Gaiman teaching the art of storytelling to Annie Leibowitz teaching photography. This class, by Grammy-winning musician Tom Morello, teaches you the guitar techniques that define his style. 



Looking for more gift ideas? We've got you covered.



27 thoughtful and sweet gifts to give your grandma

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  • Treat your grandmother this year for everything she has done and continues to do for you with one of these 27 gifts.
  • Pair it with a phone call or brunch date — after all, she really just wants to hear your voice and see your face.
  • You can find even more holiday gift ideas for everyone in your family here.
  • Don't wait too long to order your gifts, though, since shipping deadlines for delivery by Christmas Eve are nearly here.

From swooping in to change your diaper while your mom had her hands tied to slipping you an extra piece of candy after dinner, Grandma is another important woman in your life who you know always has your back.

This holiday season, make sure to show some love and appreciation for your grandma with these 27 thoughtful and useful gifts.

They'll make life a little more comfortable, efficient, and entertaining for her, or simply show her you're thinking of her.

The top 5 best gifts for Grandma: 

  1. A subscription to the biggest book club in the country, price varies
  2. A subscription-free way to watch live TV, $130
  3. A journal to record her life story, $30
  4. A classic cashmere sweater with half the carbon footprint, $95
  5. A lottery ticket that gives back, $20

Make Grandma feel special during the holidays with these 27 gifts. 

SEE ALSO: Check out all of our holiday 2019 gift ideas

A subscription to the biggest book club in the country

Gift a 3-Month Book of the Month subscription, $49.99

Book of the Month offers five new book choices a month, and they're always all top-quality picks. The biggest struggle of being a Book of the Month member is deciding which one to read.



A pair of new glasses

Gift a Zenni Gift Card, from $25

Give her a gift card from this affordable and stylish glasses brand so she can pick out a new pair of frames for herself. Frames start at less than $10 and after she enters her prescription info online, they'll be on their way straight to her front door.



A set of art-inspired tea towels

Gift the Siren Song Old Masters Cotton Tea Towel, $30

Tea towels don't have to be boring. These artistic still lifes bring a beautiful and dramatic flair to her countertop. 



The next-in-command cookware after her trusty cast iron

Gift the Made In Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan, $69

No way is she going to part with the cast-iron pan that's been passed down through generations. The carbon-steel pan is like a close cousin that will never directly replace the classic cast iron. With its heat control and cooking speed, it comes in handy when she's cooking in a rush, and it's lighter to hold, too.



A pillow that provides back support whenever she needs it

Gift the Purple Back Support Cushion, $35

Purple Cushions feature the same Hyper-Elastic Polymer material used in its supportive, adaptive mattresses, so she can be comfortable whether sitting in a car, plane, or stadium. Unlike other pillows that might simply absorb weight, this one provides active support.



Thick and warm socks

Gift the United by Blue Ultimate Bison Sock, $38

United by Blue makes some of the most comfortable and warmest socks we've ever worn. They're made of merino wool, bison down, and nylon and have reinforced heel and toe areas. We're also big fans of Bombas socks



A fun and convenient way to freshen up her wardrobe

Gift 1 month of Rent the Runway Unlimited, $89

It's natural to settle into a dressing routine, but if you sense that she's no longer excited by her closet, a Rent the Runway membership is the perfect solution. She can try out different brands and styles that she wouldn't ordinarily buy, and it's easy to return pieces with the provided prepaid shipping labels.



A customizable gift box

Gift a custom Greetabl box, price varies

Choose a cute box design, personalize it with photos and a message, and fill it with a small gift like candy or a candle to surprise the grandma who insists she already has everything she wants for Mother's Day.



A luxury candle made from the scent suppliers behind Le Labo and Tom Ford

Gift the Italic Scented Candle (in 5 scents), $35

The same candle from a name brand might cost twice as much, but we all know Grandma would never want you spending that much on a single candle. Italic provides a reasonably priced alternative that's still sophisticated and formulated with sustainable ingredients. Choose from soothing scents like Black Pomegranate Rose and Palo Santo Cedar. 



A comfortable slip-on shoe

Gift the Allbirds Wool Lounger, $95

The soft, cushioned, and lightweight Loungers are made for the grandma who's always on her feet and needs to be comfortable.



Dinner with Grandma that doesn't include the rest of your family

Gift an Eatwith Gift Card, $85

Eatwith offers cool dining experiences that bring together delicious menus, professional chefs, and interesting guests. Available in major cities like New York, Paris, and London, they're usually hosted in beautiful homes and rooftops so you and your grandma can enjoy a cozy and intimate environment with your fellow diners. If she loves meeting and socializing with new people, she'll love this unique dinner. 



A versatile, thoughtfully designed bag

Gift the Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote, $89.60 on sale (originally $128) [you save $38.40]

A common problem — finding a bag that didn't hurt her back — inspired the founding of travel bag company Lo & Sons, so you know these totes will be comfortable for your grandma to carry. The canvas bag has a bunch of different organizational features, including a bottom pocket just for shoes and an expandable main compartment.



A triangle coin purse

Gift the Cuyana Triangle Pouch, $50

The distinctive shape is easy to spot and feel in a purse, while the tiny size is made for spare change, earrings, and other small knickknacks. Make it personal by adding a monogram for an additional $15. 

 



A subscription-free way to watch live TV

Gift the Fire TV Recast DVR, $129.99

So you've convinced her to cut the cord, but she might still miss watching her favorite daytime shows as they happen. Amazon's Fire TV Recast works with an HD antenna and Fire TV device to bring her live shows and events without the commitment of monthly fees.



Prints of your favorite moments together, and the pretty stand to display them

Gift the Artifact Uprising Brass Easel & Prints, $55

The sleek brass display is a little different from the usual photo frame, and it weathers nicely over time. The set includes 12 prints, printed on a weighty, matte paper.



A pure silk sleep mask to help her fall asleep and stay asleep

Gift the Slip "Slipsilk" Pure Silk Sleep Mask, $50

Slip's 100% pure Mulberry silk sleep mask is lightweight, super soft, and makes something as simple as going to bed feel luxurious. 



A way to keep track of all the states she's traveled to

Gift the ThunderBunnyLabs 50 States Photo Map, $69

Chances are your grandma has already seen much of the country. She'll be able to feature the memories and experiences with this photo map. 



A warm burst of pink and red flowers

Gift the Bouqs Co. Strength Bouquet, $69

If all else fails, a flower bouquet is a gift that stands the test of time. Make sure to place your order of these assorted tulips soon to ensure availability and timely delivery.



A chestnut-themed gift set that feels all too appropriate for the holidays

Gift the Maison Boissier Roasted Chestnut Gift Set, $99

These treats aren't as sweet, nor as predictable, as the traditional gift of chocolate. There are glazed chestnuts with a hint of vanilla, a chestnut cream to spread over crackers, and a tin of fruit-infused black tea. 



A subtle, personal necklace

Gift the Mini Gold Letter Charm Pendant, $200

No need to get excessive or gimmicky with the Grandma gear — pretty and simple convey thoughtfulness even better, in our opinion. 



Fitbit’s latest fitness tracker

Gift the Fitbit Inspire HR Tracker, $79.95

This new tracker is more affordable than Fitbit's other models, but still gives her all the necessary info to keep tabs on her fitness and health. She can monitor her calorie burn, heart rate, sleep patterns, walking and biking activity, and other important stats.



A lottery ticket that gives back

Gift the Lotto Love Variety Pack, $20

LottoLove turns playing the lottery into a charitable act: When you buy a card, LottoLove donates to charities that help people receive clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, and literacy tools. She'll scratch off the stickers to find out which cause she has supported.



A better designed set of baking tools

Gift the GIR 3-Piece Premium Spatula Set, $39.95

GIR's stronger, more flexible, and heat-resistant spatulas will make Grandma's baking prep a breeze (which means you won't have to wait as long for her famous cookies to be ready).



A classic cashmere sweater with half the carbon footprint

Gift the Everlane ReCashmere Vintage Crew, $95

The simple joy of a soft and cozy sweater can never be understated. Everlane's take on the winter essential is doubly impressive because it's made from recycled cashmere. We won't blame you if you want to pick up a matching sweater for yourself. 

 



A journal to record her life story

Gift the My Life Story - So Far Journal, $30

You know that Grandma has an arsenal of entertaining stories and life wisdom up her sleeve. The best way to ensure they're preserved and passed on to future generations is this journal that contains prompts ranging from the specific ("TV shows I watched while in school" to the nebulous ("Some thoughts on love and marriage").



A travel mug that lets her make tea anywhere

Gift the Espro Travel Tea Press, $26.26

A grandmother without her tea is not one you want to cross. This insulated travel mug contains a micro-filter so she can steep and sip her Earl Grey whenever she wants.



A handmade stoneware sewing station

Gift the Uncommon Goods Sewing Station, $58

Plastic sewing supply storage boxes may work, but this sturdy clay sewing station will actually get her excited to sit down with her tools.



Looking for more gift ideas? We've got you covered.



How to share an Instagram post with people on Instagram or off of the app

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instagram iphone computer mac

Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to social media. So in that case, here are two ways to share an Instagram post — the first, for people who aren't Instagram users, and the second, for people who are on the platform.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

Samsung Galaxy S10 (From $899.99 at Best Buy)

How to share an Instagram post using a hyperlink

Perhaps you've seen an Instagram post displaying a darling gift that you'd love your partner to get you for Christmas, but unfortunately they aren't on Instagram, so you can't just tag them in the comments section and expect them to see the post.

Luckily, you can copy the public post's hyperlink and email, text, or message the link to any non-Instagram users.

1. Open the Instagram app on your iPhone or Android.

2. Navigate to the post that you'd like to share.

3. Tap the ellipses, or "..." symbol,  above the top-right corner of the post.

How to share Instagram post

4. Tap "Copy Link."

How to share Instagram post

The link will be copied to your keyboard, where you can then paste it in a tweet, text, or other messaging app to share.

How to share Instagram post

How to share an Instagram post on your Instagram Story or in a direct message

Like with sharing a hyperlink, to share a post on your Instagram Story it has to be public.

1. Go to the post that you'd like to share on your Story.

2. Tap the paper airplane icon below the post, next to the comments bubble.

How to share Instagram post

3. Tap "Add post to your story."

How to share Instagram post

4. Share the post like you would any other story, by tapping the "Your Story" icon on the next page.

You can also direct message the post to a friend by simply tapping the check mark next to their username in the window after you tap the paper airplane icon. You can scroll through the list to find their username or search for it in the search bar at the top.

How to share Instagram post

 

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

SEE ALSO: I tested the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus for 2 months, and it made me question everything about my 'iPhone or nothing' mentality

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How autopilot on an airplane works

The best winter coats for women

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Part of the problem with finding a satisfactory winter coat is that it's really hard to tell whether a jacket will be warm enough for the dead of winter until you're wearing it in the dead of winter. Sure, the coat might seem cozy from the comfort of a dressing room. But is it really going to stand up to subzero temps once you bring it outside?

When shopping for a winter coat, it's essential to keep your lifestyle and location in mind. Are you looking for a heavy-duty parka? Something stylish to keep you warm from the office to the train station? A full-on duffle coat for Arctic temperatures?

Regardless, winter coats are getting cooler by the second. It's certainly possible to both be warm and look stylish at the exact same time. Not every option on this list will appeal to everyone's individual aesthetic, of course, but they will all keep you warm without much of a style sacrifice. And that's pretty important.

Types of insulation:

Down: Still the most popular fill for winter coats, down is the name for the fluffy layer of under-feathers harvested from ducks and geese. That fluffiness serves a purpose: down's thousands of tiny air pockets trap and retain heat, keeping the wearer warm. It's also ultra-compressible, lightweight, and breathable. However, down loses its insulating powers when it becomes wet, and it can take a while to dry out. Plus, lower-quality down can harbor dust and debris, triggering allergies in those who are sensitive to such things. 

Water-resistant down: No down filling is completely water-resistant, but polymer-treated down is definitely better at wicking away moisture. It also tends to be very expensive and still doesn't handle dampness as effectively as synthetic insulation. 

Synthetic insulation: Made from a combination of water-resistant compressed fibers, synthetic insulation mimics down in its ability to trap warm air via tiny holes. Synthetics are often heavier than down, and they're not quite as compressible, but on the upside, they dry faster and are often significantly less expensive. Some common synthetic fills: Thinsulate, Polarguard, Thermolite, Dryloft, and Hollofil. 

Down/synthetic insulation: Coats made with a combination of down and synthetic materials either have a mix throughout, or are designed so that some areas are down-filled (like the core) and others (the arms, for example) contain synthetic insulation.

A word on fill power:

Down is rated according to fill power, which is represented by the number of cubic inches one ounce of down occupies (to test it, the down is compressed by a weight in a glass cylinder and then allowed to bounce back). The better the quality of down, the higher the fill power, with numbers typically ranging from 300 to 900. Down outerwear typically falls between 600 and 800, with anything higher considered premium.

Here are the best women's winter coats you can buy:

Updated on 12/19/2019 by Jen Gushue: Updated prices, links, and formatting.

The best winter coat overall

You can't get much cozier than a puffer coat, and The North Face Metropolis III Hooded Down Parka is the best of the best — warm and not too puffy.

Sometimes, you just need to be warm. On those occasions, you can't go wrong with the Metropolis III Hooded Down Parka from The North Face. It's a long-length quilted goose-down puffer coat designed to fit from the neck to the knees.

Despite the description, it's not actually that puffy. The silhouette is rather sleek, albeit designed to withstand bone-chilling temperatures.

The coat comes with a cozy removable hood, which is nice if you're not a hat lover or when it isn't needed. The material is water-resistant, making it ideal for snowy weather. It's also machine washable.

The North Face coats are exceedingly well-reviewed, and the Metropolis III, in particular, has a high rating among Nordstrom shoppers.

One shopper wrote of the Metropolis II, "I've had the opportunity to wear this in temps below 15 degrees F and have been comfortably warm. I love the fact that the coat is very lightweight and even stylish as far as winter down parkas go."

Note: We previously recommended the Metropolis II. We've updated our recommendation to the newer Metropolis III, a similar parka that offers more wind resistance and uses recycled materials. However, it is slightly heavier. — Erin Mayer

Pros: Sleek design, not too bulky, super warm, water-resistant with detachable hood, improved wind resistance, use of recycled fabric

Cons: Slightly heavier than the Metropolis II, pricey



The best affordable coat

It's not often that a winter coat becomes an online sensation, but the Orolay Thickened Down Jacket is the exception.

I'm always skeptical of items that have thousands upon thousands of reviews online but that I've never heard about in real life. The Orolay Thickened Down Jacket is a hit with its fans and a number of fashion experts. Plus, I have proof people wear it — I saw a former co-worker of mine in the jacket at New York Fashion Week.

This puffer coat, which became a sensation a couple years ago, has a "downtown cool" silhouette with a high-low hemline and oversized front pockets. It's well-priced for a 90% duck down jacket that will actually keep you pretty warm. It's not the winter coat you'll want to wear in extreme cold, but it's certainly cozy enough for the walk from the train to your front door.

This coat has been compared to the more expensive options from Canada Goose, though it's worth mentioning that it is not waterproof, so you'll probably want something else for rainstorms or intense snow. — Erin Mayer

Pros: Stylish, relatively inexpensive for down, unique design

Cons: Not waterproof



The best wool winter coat

You don't need a down jacket to stay warm in winter — the wool L.L.Bean Classic Lambswool Polo Coat can do the job and provide some style, too.

If you're not a fan of puffer jackets or anything stuffed with down, wool is warm enough to withstand cold temperatures and allows for a more sophisticated look than many other materials.

The L.L.Bean Classic Lambswool Polo Coat is a 3/4-length jacket with lapels and three buttons down the front. It's a simple, timeless silhouette that will go with anything. It comes in four colors, including a fun raspberry shade of pink and traditional olive green.

"This coat is warm and comfortable," one L.L. Bean shopper wrote. "The fabric is notably good: dense but soft. The lining is very well done, with what looks like sturdy sticking. The fit was as expected, with room for a couple layers underneath." The coat is also recommended by Good Housekeeping. — Erin Mayer

Pros: Lined wool jacket warm enough for colder climates, sophisticated silhouette that goes with more formal outfits

Cons: May need to size up if you want to layer

Shop all women's winter coats at L.L. Bean



The best with lifetime guarantee

If you're tired of going coat shopping year after year, Patagonia's Down With It Parka could last you a lifetime.

On the surface, the Patagonia Down With It Parka is your average long puffer jacket. It has quilted fabric, a detachable hood, a zipper obscured by a front placket, and princess seaming along the waistline for definition.

There are a few details that make this jacket special, however. The outside is made of 100% recycled polyester. Inside, the jacket is stuffed with what the brand calls Traceable Down, which is "duck down traced from parent farm to apparel factory to help ensure the birds that supply it are not force-fed or live-plucked," according to the company

Like all Patagonia outerwear, the Down With It Parka comes with an "Ironclad Guarantee" that allows you to have the coat replaced or repaired at any time. The coat is not waterproof, but the knee-length silhouette and roomy hood will give you plenty of cover from wind, rain, and snow.

The Patagonia Down With It Parka also comes in a shorter style if you prefer something trendier. — Erin Mayer

Pros: Recycled materials, detachable hood, lifetime guarantee

Cons: Not waterproof or packable

Shop all women's winter coats at Patagonia



The best women's winter parka

Fjällräven's Singi Down Jacket has a feminine fit, classic parka style, and a rugged design that's made to last for decades.

If you're the kind of person who likes to go ski, snowshoe, or hike in the snow-covered forest, you need a more active-friendly parka that can take you where you need to go. Fjällräven's Singi Down Jacket is that parka.

Having tested this jacket myself during an intense surprise snowstorm in New York City, I stand by the protective warm and durability of this jacket, and many other happy Fjällräven fans agree with me.

Fjällräven has been making outdoor gear that can handle the extreme cold and powerful snow of Scandinavia since it was founded in 1960. Skiiers, hikers, snowshoers, and adventurers of all types love the company's outwear because it is made to last.

The G-1000 canvas fabric on the outside of the Singi jacket is made from a blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton that's durable. You can wax it down for added water-resistance or leave it bare for more breathability.

The jacket has a wealth of pockets, too, and they're roomy, so you can stuff your gloves, phone, sunglasses, and whatever else you need into them for safekeeping.

To keep you warm, Fjällräven uses a mix of 80% goose down and 20% feathers for the 600 CUIN filling. Because the Swedish company is heavily focused on sustainability, the down is responsibly sourced. That means you don't have to worry about the maltreatment of the geese who gave their feathers and down for your warmth.

You won't find real fur on this parka, either, which is a relief to animal lovers. Instead, the hood has a removable faux-fur ruff that's of much higher quality than the scraggly looking faux fur you find on cheaper coats. 

Even though the build quality is exceptional, what really makes this winter coat shine is the attention to detail. Fjällräven adds unique little touches to the design like its iconic fox design on the button snaps and arm patch. The leather zipper pulls are also imprinted with the little fox.

The shape of the jacket is surprisingly feminine, too, and it has drawcords so you can accentuate your waist and not look shapeless in the snowy weather. I love the extra details because they make the jacket stand out. The extra color options — like the deep reddish-purple garnet shade I chose — make a big difference, too.

The Singi jacket also happens to have the best hood I've ever found on a winter coat. It doesn't fall in my eyes, it stays in place, and it truly blocks out incoming snow and wind gusts. 

This parka would have been our overall pick if it wasn't for the high price tag. Still, we absolutely recommend you consider this parka if your budget allows. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Sustainable down, rugged design, feminine fit, good color options, made to last, very warm, water-resistant

Cons: Expensive



Check out our other winter gear guides

The best winter boots for women

To test these boots, we dunked them in a tub filled with icy water and tried to make them slip on patches of ice. We wore them on cold days to see how warm they were and stepped into deep puddles on rainy days to test water resistance. We walked for miles on snowy stretches of sidewalk in New York City and waded through snowbanks in Central Park to vet these boots. Here are the best women's winter boots.


The best winter coats for men

A good winter coat will keep you warm and dry even when the snow is falling and the wind is howling. A great winter coat will keep you warm, dry, and looking good, too. Here are the best winter coats for men.


The best beanies

The word "beanie" is a catch-all that encompasses a ton of different styles, from slouchy cuts to ultra-fitted ones with a variety of embellishments and fabric variations. The sheer number of options is overwhelming, so we did the work of narrowing it down. Here are the best beanies you can buy.


The best places to buy scarves online

Your choice of scarf can make or break your comfort level in the wintertime. Opt for one that's wooly and warm and you'll be toasty. Choose a too-thin fabric and you, well, won't. Scarves are also a great opportunity to infuse a bit of personality into your winter wardrobe. And when you get bored with your outerwear, you can always pick a new scarf to mix things up. Here are the best places to buy scarves online.


The best thermal gloves

A good pair of thermal gloves can make all the difference on a cold winter day. We did the research to find the best thermal gloves you can buy to keep your hands nice and toasty for the rest of this winter and for many more winters to come. Here are our picks for the best thermal gloves.


The best places to buy winter hats for men, women, and children

Your body loses a significant portion of its heat through your head, so keep yourself warm this winter with a great winter hat. The winter hat makers we're featuring offer hats in myriad styles, so once you've narrowed down the type of winter cap you need, you should be able to find several fine options from each brand. Here are the best places to buy winter hats.


The best mittens you can buy

Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves, so if it's cold where you live, work, or play, slip a pair on and keep the chill out. Here are the best mittens to keep you warm.


The best snow pants for men, women, and kids

Make the most of that winter wonderland this year by keeping yourself warm and dry with well-made snow pants when you're skiing, sledding, or generally romping about in the snow. Here are the best snow pants.



This NordicTrack treadmill's immersive display made everything but the cobblestone of Boston's streets feel real — and it's worth every penny of its $3,000 price tag

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NordicTrack 2950 Treadmill review

  • A high-quality treadmill accommodates a broad range of speeds and inclines, adjusts quickly, offers plenty of workout programs, and keeps you coming back. 
  • I like the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill because it utilizes the iFit interactive trainer's library of more than 1,500 workouts, folds easily to free up space, and has excellent speakers.
  • Though it's much more expensive than other treadmills (currently $2,879 on Amazon), the price covers full assembly, a two-year warranty on labor, as well as a lifetime warranty on the drive motor and frame

 

I live in Michigan where for seven months a year, the weather is terrible for running. In the summer, when it's supposed to be ideal, I often run as early in the day as possible to avoid heat and humidity. During its frigid winters, there's no chance of logging miles outside, no matter how bundled up I get. Because of this, I typically hang up my running shoes for the season come October.

Then the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill arrived in my home. Now, no matter the season or the weather, I can still go on an enjoyable run. From its near-endless supply of interactive workouts to the ability to create custom routes via Google Street View, the 2950 has so much to offer. I even find myself still drawn to it when it's nice enough to run outside.

Read more: The best treadmills for your home gym

The treadmill also features impressive speed and incline ranges capable of adjusting in a matter of seconds, as well as a quality set of speakers. Though there are plenty of other at-home treadmills on the market, there's a lot to the 2950 that sets it apart from the competition.

Specs

The 2950 comes standard with a heart rate chest monitor and a 1-year iFit Coach subscription, which features live interactive training with elite personal trainers. The training programs allow you to either do workouts in a studio, or you can opt for the trainers to take you on runs to beautiful spots throughout the world. After the 1-year iFit trial expires, expect a $180 per year cost for an individual plan and $396 per year for a family plan (up to 5 accounts). 

The treadmill measures 79 inches long, 39.2 inches wide, and 66.9 inches high. You can, however, fold the running surface in order to reduce its footprint to 41.9 inches long, 39.2 inches wide, and 70.7 inches high. The tread belt is 22 inches wide by 60 inches long, which offered plenty of room for my six-foot-tall frame and less-than-perfect running stride.

The arms on either side of the treadmill are roughly 15.5 inches long, and there are trays on either side of the console that easily fit my 1-liter water bottle. There's also another tray beneath the display that offers plenty of room for towels, a smartphone, or other sundries. The weight capacity is 300 pounds. 

The 2950 features a 4.25 continuous-duty horsepower (CHP) DurX Commercial Plus Motor, which is designed to reduce noise and avoid overheating. It also adjusts for declines of up to 3% and inclines up to 15%, and features a top speed of up to 12 miles per hour.

The frame and drive motor are each backed by lifetime warranties, while its parts carry a 5-year warranty and assembly labor a two-year warranty.

Set-up Process

Amazon buyers get a bit of extra incentive when purchasing the NordicTrack treadmill as the price includes free delivery and assembly. The 2950 comes in a box that weighs well over 300 pounds, meaning this isn't a DIY type of project. Three men carried the box up my double L-shaped staircase before assembling the treadmill in a little over an hour. They also hauled all the packaging away.

From there, I connected the unit to the internet, which turned out to be an easy process. Next, I spent 20 minutes updating the software to the latest firmware; registration took another 15. But within an hour of the delivery crew finishing the assembly, I was hiking through a digital version of the Swiss Alps. 

Nordic2950Tread1

A Versatile Treadmill

The treadmill sits in my office, which isn't the most spacious area of my home. Fortunately, the hydraulic system makes folding the treadmill so effortless, I'm able to do it with just one hand. This frees up plenty of room and avoids turning my office into being only a treadmill room. 

In the three months I've used the NordicTrack Commercial 2950, I've logged more than 175 miles of running. One of its highlights is its versatility of workouts. Not only are you able to either choose a workout video where you run with an instructor but it also lets you create custom courses via Google Street View. I've even been able to use this as a way to get familiar with a new town I might travel to for work. I appreciate that the incline adjusts to accurately match the topography where I'm running.

I usually listen to audiobooks while running, and I like that my phone connects to the treadmill seamlessly over Bluetooth. And, the speakers are loud enough to be heard over the fan and the thudding of my feet. When I choose to tune into the trainer, I appreciate how positive they always are. They do a good job of pushing me to keep going. 

Running the Boston Marathon

My favorite workout program is the Boston Marathon Series with Ashley Paulson. This consists of five videos that take you through the entire Boston Marathon course at a pace of about 10 minutes per mile. Ashley tells you a bit about the race as you go, chats with fellow runners, and helps keep a positive vibe along the way. 

Since I'm just a run-for-fun runner, I invited my friend, Ted Westbrook, a competitive distance runner, to give the treadmill a go for himself. He admitted it was among the best he's used. One aspect that particularly impressed him was how quickly the speed adjusts. After starting at a pace of 7 mph, he upped it to 12 mph and the treadmill adjusted to the new speed in under 8 seconds. As a frequent Boston Marathon finisher, Ted appreciated the machine's ability to adjust the incline to match the course — a feature that would be a useful training tool since the marathon starts with several declines.

Sweat it Out

I sweat — a lot. I'm usually pouring sweat within the first mile of a run and since I typically run roughly four miles each workout, this leaves the machine covered in perspiration. I do make a point of wiping it down after each run, but some areas are hard to get dry, such as the tray under the console. The vertical uprights even appear to have permanent streak marks from my sweat.

The user manual does recommend regularly cleaning it with a damp cloth and some mild soap, which has helped a bit. If you sweat as much as I do, you may want to consider giving it a wipe down after each use. 

Minor Drawbacks

Though the treadmill's 22-inch touchscreen display is a nice feature, the fact it's unable to function as a computer monitor to stream media is unfortunate. I sometimes enjoy getting a few steps in while catching up on TV shows or watching a sporting event and was only able to do this by using my laptop and positioning it just right on the unit. Being able to do this on the screen provided would be much more convenient.  

Another drawback was how the treadmill seemed to rock a bit after it was first assembled. This could've been due to the uneven hardwood floors of my old house but to fix it, I placed a Square36 Exercise Mat under it. This not only stopped the rocking but also protected my floors from the treadmill — and my buckets of sweat.

The Bottom Line

Though I had a few nitpicks, none were significant enough to steer me away from wanting to constantly use the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill when I wanted to go for a run. But, at $3,000, is it worth it?

Should you buy it?

If you have the money, then yes. With a sizable track, strong motor, large touchscreen display, and impressive workout programs, the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 is a versatile and full-featured at-home treadmill. This is a particularly good investment for your health if you live in an area where the weather makes it difficult to routinely exercise outside or suitable gyms are inconvenient and expensive.

However, $3,000 may well be out of most runners' budget. Fortunately, there are some ways you can save if you're willing to give up a few of its features. Though the 2950 is the top-of-the-line model in NordicTrack's Commercial Series of treadmills, there are two other models which cost significantly less: The 2450 and the 1750.

What model should you get?

The 2450 currently costs $2,299 on Amazon, but expert assembly costs an additional $112.97. It has less power than the 2950 with its 4-CHP motor, as well as a smaller screen (14 inches as opposed to 22 inches). Other than that, all its major specs are virtually identical: It has the same size track, along with the same speed and incline options. It also comes with a one-year iFit membership. 

The 1750 is $1,799 right now on Amazon and includes free expert assembly, making it the cheapest option of the three. The major differences from the 2950 are its weaker (but still quite powerful) 3.75-CHP motor, its smaller 10-inch touchscreen, and the fact it only inclines to 12 percent. All other major specs are the same.

What are your alternatives?

If none of the NordicTrack Commercial Series treadmills appeal to you, we encourage you to check out our guide to the best treadmills. Perhaps you're on a budget and want to consider the Horizon Fitness treadmill that only costs $600, or maybe you prefer a race-specific model like ProForm Pro's 2000. 

If you have the money, however, I strongly recommend considering the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill. It offers an enjoyable and convenient way to boost your cardio health when the weather outside is poor. If you're like me, you might even prefer to still run on it when it's nice. It's that good. 

Pros: Comes with a chest heart rate monitor and a one-year iFit membership, adjusts to speeds up to 12 mph quickly, features an incline range of -3 to 15%, comes with a lifetime warranty on frame and motor, free expert assembly

Cons: Screen is limited to workout functions and programs and can't stream personal media, requires frequent cleaning if you sweat a lot

 

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Train-bragging has become so popular in light of Greta Thunberg's activism that a Swedish Facebook group devoted to the topic has seen a 200% increase since April

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg boards a Madrid bound train at Santa Apolonia station in Lisbon Thursday, Dec 5, 2019. Thunberg arrived by catamaran in Lisbon after a three-week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from the United States before heading to neighboring Spain to attend the U.N. Climate Change Conference taking place in Madrid. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

  • In an effort to reduce her carbon footprint, climate activist Greta Thunberg — who is Time's 2019 Person of the Year— hasn't flown since 2015. 
  • Thunberg's travel habits have inspired travelers from around the world and Sweden, in particular, to opt for more eco-friendly transportation. This has been dubbed the "Greta Effect."
  • Two Swedish terms have become zeitgeist buzzwords in 2019: flygskam (flight-shaming) and tagskryt (train-bragging).
  • A Swedish Facebook group dedicated to traveling sustainably by train now has 170,000 train-bragging members, up 200 percent since April. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg caused quite the media stir in September when she arrived in New York City for the UN Climate Summit not by plane, but on a 60-foot solar-powered yacht

Thunberg, who is Time's 2019 Person of the Year and a suspected frontrunner for the Nobel Peace Prize, hasn't flown since 2015 in an effort to reduce her carbon footprint.

Thunberg's activism has set in motion what has been deemed the "Greta Effect," inspiring travelers to book more eco-friendly travel options. 

And Swedes are leading the charge. Two Swedish terms — flygskam (flight-shaming) and tagskryt (train-bragging) — have become 2019 buzzwords.

A popular Swedish train-bragging Facebook group has seen a 200% increase since April

Serving as a testament to the rising popularity of train-bragging, a Swedish Facebook group dedicated to traveling sustainably by train has seen its membership soar to 170,000 members this year. That's a 200% increase since April and a significant jump from January 2018, when it had a mere 4,000 members.

Susanna Elfors founded the group in 2014 to make traveling by train to other countries less of a headache.

Upon starting to travel exclusively by train, she told Public Radio International's Carol Hills, "... I got quite frustrated because I thought it was hard."

"It was tricky and not so comfortable," she continued. "I had been working in sustainability for many years so I thought 'if I'm finding this difficult, others must be.'"

Posts in the group range from travel anecdotes to destination tips and questions about how best to get from point A to B. 

"For 400 [Swedish kroner] and some luck I got a whole compartment for myself on the night train between Hamburg and Zurich," one member train-bragged in September. "Have slept like a starfish over all seats and listened to audio book at the highest volume while the sun has gone down and then up again. 1000 times more festive than all the flygplansstolar [aircraft chairs] in the whole world!"

Some of the most frequently asked questions in the group are related to travel from Sweden to Greece, how to travel as a tall person, how to travel with a dog, and what the food is like, Elfors told Global Citizen's Helen Lock in July.  

In 2018, train travel throughout Sweden increased by 2 million trips compared to 2017, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). This year, the Swedish government has also pledged to invest $5 million in overnight sleeper trains, the WEF reported.

The train-bragging sentiment has outpaced flight-shaming, Elfors told Lock. "Before it was all about posting pics on Facebook from Thailand, but now that could bring 'flight shame' and it's more about train-bragging now," she said. "That's what I like about what we're doing. It's not about shame, it's about encouraging people. We're hoping to inspire people."

Are you a train-bragger with a story or itinerary to share? Email this reporter at mwiley@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Greta Thunberg's refusal to take any flights since 2015 has spawned a whole 'train-bragging' movement, and it's ushered in a new era for luxury travelers around the world

NOW READ: Greta Thunberg clapped back at Deutsche Bahn after it appeared to accuse her of staging a picture of her sitting on the floor of an 'overcrowded' train

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