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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Adjustable Pillows and Blooming Dolls

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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.

After five consecutive first-place finishes, a beloved dentist-approved electric toothbrush gets bumped to second place by an adjustable memory-foam pillow that’s a favorite of both Amazon reviewers and Strategist writers. Next up are two CeraVe moisturizers — a gentle everyday lotion in third and a rich night cream in fourth — that have both been on the list for a few weeks now as we settle into colder (read: drier) temps. Our fifth-place product, making its debut this week, is a “blooming” doll that experts predict will be the hottest toy this holiday season. Two more skincare products, a surprisingly effective wrinkle cream and an affordable vitamin C serum, remain on the list in sixth and seventh place respectively. A popular plush dog bed drops to eighth place from seventh this time around, while our perennial favorite pillow for side-sleepers falls from fifth to ninth. Finally, we recommend acting fast if you want to pick up our tenth place finisher: a cozy (and on-sale) fleece that we’re pretty sure will sell out soon.

First seen on our best seller list in July of last year (after former Strategist writer Lori Keong raved that “it’s adaptable enough to auto-adjust to my sleep positions, evenly supporting my head no matter how I’m angled”), this adjustable memory foam pillow returns after a lengthy hiatus. The pillow also has 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, with one happy customer calling it “the holy grail of pillows.”

This electric toothbrush is a favorite of dentists, Amazon reviewers, and, clearly, our readers, as it’s been on our list ten consecutive times (including five weeks in the top spot). The pros like that it both rotates and oscillates (vibrates) to clean teeth and remove plaque, and one reviewer raves: “This toothbrush leaves my teeth feeling like they’ve been power-washed.”

Now that the weather is getting colder, it makes sense that lots of you are stocking up on this thick cream (which can be used on both face and body) that dermatologists recommend for dry skin. Derms also like it for mature skin, or anyone dealing with the drying effects of taking Accutane. The experts say it replenishes ceramides, natural lipids that are often missing in dry skin. It’s also “fragrance-free, so it is suitable for those with sensitive skin and doesn’t feel greasy,” as well as budget-friendly. It remains in the top three after slipping a bit from a second-place finish last time.

Another CeraVe pick, this moisturizer that’s rich in ceramides and hydrating hyaluronic acid was rated the best-overall night cream when we polled dermatologists. “This is an excellent moisturizer for when the weather starts getting cold and your skin starts losing more moisture,” according to one doctor we spoke with. Others say it’s just as effective as much more expensive creams.

While last year’s hottest holiday gift for kids was Hatchimals, trend forecasters are confident that this year it’s going to be all about the Skyrocket Blume Dolls. Adrienne Appell, senior director of communications at the Toy Association, says the doll — which starts out looking like a potted plant and come with a little watering can — is a new take on the “surprise toy” trend, in that you don’t know which style doll you’re going to get until you open it. Appell explains “the hair of the doll is made of slow-rise foam, and when you water the ‘plant’ it looks as if your doll is blooming from the pot.”

This retinol night cream, which dermatologists say is actually effective in treating and preventing wrinkles, is becoming a staple on our list with its fifth-consecutive appearance. Although it drops a bit from last time’s fourth-place finish, it hangs on in sixth. 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 it’s more mild than its prescription cousin, retinoid, it’s also “gentle enough to use on more sensitive, wrinkly skin around the eyes.”

A standout skin-care ingredient, vitamin C is credited with everything from diminishing fine lines and wrinkles to fading acne scars and brightening skin. While the well-known (and very expensive) Skinceuticals version is deemed the “gold-standard vitamin C serum,” when Strategist writer Dominique Pariso asked dermatologists which ones they like, she discovered this surprisingly affordable alternative. Pariso writes, “In addition to skin brightening L-ascorbic and ferulic acids, the serum also has a soothing botanical blend of aloe, grape, magnolia, and orange peel to give the skin an added dose of nourishment.” The serum has been on our list four times since Dominique first wrote about it.

As Strategist writer Liza Corsillo learned during her research into the best dog beds, different breeds have different needs. For small pups, 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. And now that it’s made our list three times, we think our readers are fans as well.

If you’re thinking it’s time to replace your pillow, this long-time favorite of ours (it’s made the best-seller list 23 times now) 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.”

Now that we’re entering fleece season, there are lots of snug options to choose from, but this emerald-green number from J.Crew caught our eye last month. Lots of our readers pounced on it as we predicted the fleece would quickly sell out. Fortunately it’s still in stock and, for now at least, is 40 percent off for J.Crew rewards members (and 30 percent off with code FRIENDS for nonmembers), so you still have time to add one to your cart.

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: Pillows and Trendy Dolls