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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Dog Beds and Travel Pillows

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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.

In this edition of the list, we have a healthy mix of returning champs, old favorites, and newcomers. This dentist-recommended electric toothbrush holds down the top spot for the third consecutive time, while our second-place finisher, a travel neck pillow, makes its debut. Another new product, a cozy dog bed, rounds out the top three. Next up are two picks for little ones that have been enjoying a good run on the list: a set of colorful bath toys in fourth and an interactive board book for toddlers in fifth. A wrinkle cream beloved by dermatologists finishes in sixth for the second time in a row. A callus eliminator last seen on the list two years ago returns in seventh, followed by a low-carb cereal (a number-one best seller back in June) in eighth. Our ninth-place finisher is a perennial favorite pillow for side-sleepers, and a hair oil recommended by Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton closes out the list at number ten.

Is there anyone who doesn’t love this electric toothbrush that’s a favorite of both dentists and users? The pros like that it both rotates and oscillates (vibrates) to clean teeth and remove plaque, and one Amazon reviewer raves: “This toothbrush leaves my teeth feeling like they’ve been power-washed.” Our readers are certainly fans. It’s appeared on our list seven times now, and this week marks its third first-place finish.

Although we discovered this travel pillow back in 2017, this is its first time on our best-seller list. Former Strategist senior writer Lauren Levy described it as “essentially a padded scarf, taking up the same amount of space as a couple of magazines.” Hidden underneath a layer of cozy fleece are three interconnected bands that you can position to cradle your head on either shoulder. Velcro straps make it adjustable for a just-right fit. Novelist Celeste Ng also told us it’s the only thing that helps her sleep on planes. Why the surge in interest now? We suspect it was due to a big sale earlier this month.

As Strategist writer Liza Corsillo learned during her research into the best dog beds, different breeds have different needs. For small pups, though, this shaggy faux-fur bed is one of the best options. Certified professional animal behaviorist Jessica Gore says, “It’s great for warm snuggling and cuddling and provides just enough support and security for smaller body types.” Amazon reviewers agree, with more than 1,000 reviewers awarding it five stars and describing how soft it is and how much their dogs love it.

These colorful bath toys have been regulars on the list for several weeks now. Previously in third place, they slip a bit this week to fourth. For the uninitiated, the pipe toys attach by suction to the side of the bathtub and have different moving parts that little ones can activate in the water. The set came recommended by child-development expert Sarah MacLaughlin as a perfect gift for a 1-year-old. “The idea that there are moving parts goes right along with that curiosity of the in, out, up, and down,” says MacLaughlin. “Moving parts are pretty attractive to a 1-year-old, which is why you’ll find them going after everything in your home that’s not a toy.”

Another good gift idea for babies and toddlers (child-development experts especially like it for 2-year-olds), this interactive board book holds down its fifth-place spot for the second time in a row. Illustrated by artist Hervé Tullet, it features colorful “buttons” to let toddlers learn about cause and effect. “Each page offers an exciting new proposition and encourages interactive play,” we wrote in our gift guide.

When Strategist writer Dominique Pariso asked dermatologists which wrinkle creams actually work, this retinol night cream was a clear winner. The derms explain that it can “increase cellular turnover and encourage the formation of new skin, as well as the production of collagen and elastin, all of which help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.” Because retinol is more mild than its prescription cousin, retinoid, this is also “gentle enough to use on more sensitive, wrinkly skin around the eyes.” This is its second consecutive sixth-place finish.

If sandal season has wreaked havoc on your feet, this callus remover can help them get back in smooth and supple shape. Writer Alison Freer saw her pedicurist using it and decided to pick up a bottle for herself. She told us: “It was one of the smartest things I’ve done in forever, because I’m now the owner of two soft, smooth, very uncallused feet. (And it took very little effort on my part.)” ProLinc quickly became a best seller soon after Alison wrote about it in the summer of 2017, and with summery-ness still lingering it’s seeing a nice resurgence.

Strategist contributing editor Jessica Silvester was pleasantly surprised with this low-carb, high-protein cereal, writing that it “tasted delicious, as cereals tend to do — in this case, like a shimmery space Cheerio, weightless and crunchy and sweet.” But unlike other breakfast cereals, this actually kept her full until lunchtime, she said. Sweetened with allulose, a type of sugar that doesn’t elevate blood-sugar levels, and featuring “very neo–Lisa Frank” pastel packaging, it quickly became a favorite among our readers as well, hitting the best-seller list immediately after Jessica’s review and returning this week.

If you’re thinking it’s time to replace your pillow, this longtime favorite of ours would be a solid replacement pick. We discovered it when we tested out a wide selection of pillows designed for side sleepers 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.”

Our beauty writer Rio first heard about this smoothing hair oil from Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho but initially balked at its steep price. But when a “shiny-haired friend” also recommended it to her, she decided to take the plunge and wasn’t disappointed: “This is the best hair oil I’ve ever tried in my life,” she says. “The texture is thick, which makes it really easy to work it into your hair evenly … immediately, my hair is smoothed, feels softer and more hydrated, and looks extra, extra shiny.”

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.

What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Dog Beds and Pillows