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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Acupressure Mats and High-Design Vibrators

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Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top ten products that you, devoted Strategist readers, all bought in droves. Think of this as the TL;DR of the Strategist: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to, too.

If we had to give this week’s list a theme, it’d definitely be relaxation. Two shiatsu massagers rank high — one for the back and neck takes the top spot (after ranking seventh last time), and one for feet makes its debut in sixth. The only other new product (this list is a bit of a hit parade, with eight returning champs) is an acupressure mat, also designed to ease aches and pains, at number three. More picks for chilling out make the list, like an anxiety-reducing weighted blanket in eighth (down from fifth) and a pillow for side-sleepers holding steady in tenth. If you’re in the bedroom but not to sleep, we’ve got a fancy bottle of lube in fourth place (down from second) and a high-design vibrator, which hasn’t been on the list since right before Valentine’s Day, in ninth. Finally, two best-seller-list regulars pop up once again: a tiny-but-mighty dustbuster in second place (up from eighth) and our long-time favorite beard trimmer is in fifth after a few weeks on hiatus.

In our roundup of Valentine’s Day gifts for guys, we offered this suggestion for the especially hard-to-shop-for men in your life: “If you don’t know what to get a man, you can’t go wrong with a back and neck massager.” One Amazon reviewer advised, “consider it an investment in your health,” and lots of our readers agreed.

Last week’s eighth-place finisher, this powerful little cordless vacuum makes a big leap to second place. According to one Amazon reviewer, it’s “very powerful for a hand vac. With three young kids and a very messy cat, we’ve used this vac to pick up spilled cereal (wet and dry), cat food, cat litter, cat hair on furniture, drywall dust (fixing holes the kids made), and every kind of spilled food imaginable with young kids. Never had a problem. [Plus], it is easy to empty. You can either take the front off and dump it or take the back off (for cleaning the filter) and empty it that way. Finally, it is easy to clean the filter.”

After coming home from work with a sore back and shoulders, Strategist writer Lori Keong decided to give lying on an acupressure mat — which uses little plastic spikes to apply pressure to “acu-points” for pain relief — a try. She says, “After only five or six minutes on the first go-round, I found that the soreness had mysteriously melted away and didn’t return,” and calls it “a comfortable middle-ground for someone who’s not ready to dip her toe into acupuncture and too cheap to fork out money on regular massages.”

Earlier this month, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, we updated our story on the best lubes, and this very elegant-looking one still tops the list. Samantha Bard, co-owner of the sex-positive shop Shag in Williamsburg, says it’s “one of the highest-quality silicone lubes out there,” and Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of Sex With Emily on SiriusXM, is impressed that it has only two ingredients: “pure silicone with a trace of Vitamin E.”

This beard trimmer, with a radial dial that lets you choose lengths down to the half-millimeter (for guys who don’t want to go totally clean-shaven), is back on the list for the first time in 2019. Writer Kurt Soller loves how it keeps stray hairs out of the sink: “A vacuum-suction feature that collects the majority of your shaven hairs — up to 90 percent of them, according to the company, but who really knows? All I can say is that this is a godsend.”

Along with the Zyllion massager for neck pain and the acupressure mat for back pain, this massager for foot relief rounds out the list’s trio of muscle soothers. We were drawn to this one by its stellar Amazon reviews (one user raves, “I love this machine! It’s worth every penny!”), and our readers must’ve been convinced as well.

We’re sure that many of our readers — like us — spend most of their days staring at screens, so it makes sense that you’ve also been curious about blue-light-blocking glasses, designed to filter out the type of light that causes eyestrain and disrupts sleep. Strategist writer Maxine Builder did a deep dive on the subject and found that these orange-hued glasses have been shown to improve sleep. Finishing in ninth place on our last list, they inch up to number seven this week.

Designed to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality, weighted blankets were a runaway-hit gift this holiday season — and are apparently here to stay. When Strategist writer Karen Iorio Adelson went in search of the best one to give, she tested a handful out and concluded, “Baloo’s thoughtful design makes it the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing one of the bunch.” These go out of stock often, so act quickly if you want to try one out.

Photo: Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

In our roundup of women-founded sex toy brands, we called the Vibe “the Day Heel of vibrators” (in fact, one of Maude’s co-founders comes from Everlane) because of its streamlined, modern design, and the company’s direct-to-consumer model. Discreet and attractive enough to be displayed on a nightstand, the Vibe was our testers’ favorite. And it doesn’t just look good. One of our testers said, “The best way to describe this was that an orgasm just zipped out of me.” Looks like our readers are getting in on the action.

First hitting the list over a year ago, this pillow hangs on to its tenth-place spot for the second week in a row. We discovered it when our deputy editor Jason Chen tested out a wide selection of side-sleeper pillows and concluded that the Wamsutta Extra-Firm was the most comfortable and supportive of them all: “Unlike other pillows that mistake plushness or fluffiness for support, the WEF didn’t sink as soon as I rested my head. Instead, it had a firm, satisfying spring — it’s a different sensation, but one I took to right away. And even though I didn’t do any measuring, my head felt more propped up from the mattress and sheets than with any other pillow.”

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Massagers and Pillows