Welcome back to “Your Shopping Cart,” where we break out the top products that you, devoted Strategist readers, 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 as well.
With Father’s Day and the official start of summer both falling in June, this month’s roundup of best sellers had a mix of gifts for Dad and some warm-weather essentials — as well as a couple of more unexpected purchases tied to a major weather event. While we weren’t super-surprised to see Tom Colicchio’s meat thermometer, a well-loved Bluetooth adapter, and a sunscreen that basically lives on this list, we were impressed by how quickly our readers moved to scoop up face masks and air purifiers in response to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires that affected the New York metro area earlier this month.
What were our top sellers in June?
Before we dive into the details, here are our best sellers ranked by the number of items sold (rather than total cost):
Our favorite travel pillow finally nabbed the No. 1 spot after hovering around on our best-sellers lists for months. The pillow’s win suggests that many summer trips have at last made it out of the group chat — and that those days off might be much needed, as the Oral-B dental guard rose to second place after consistently ranking for the past three months. It also looks like readers are preparing for the hot, humid days ahead, as the $15 Jisulife handheld mini-fan that kept Strategist contributor Annachiara Barretto-Grignoli cool on 101-degree days in Milan made third place. Standard Strategist favorites continue to dot the top ten, including Beckham Hotel pillows and Elta MD UV Clear, our best overall sunscreen, for upcoming beach days.
Father’s Day was two weeks ago, and the gifts for dads that made it into the top ten were a heated massage chair cushion and Meater’s wireless smart meat thermometer that Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio says makes “perfect meat every time” because it alerts him when his roast reaches the right temperature. June’s other (unofficial) major event was a series of smoggy days, during which readers purchased our top-recommended 3M Aura Particulate Respirator N95 mask and Levoit air purifier, the latter of which returned to the winners’ circle for the first time in two years. On a more cheerful note, the newcomer to the list is the Lands’ End sheets Nancy Meyers’s family has used for years. Meyers’s daughter, Annie Meyers-Shyer, says they’re soft, luxurious, and “cool and warm all at once,” making them suitable for year-round use.
What did Dad actually want for Father’s Day?
Just to watch John Wick 4 on the plane without getting tangled up with his seatmates, it seems. Our compendium of Father’s Day gift guides was our most-visited story in June, with many readers subsequently purchasing this AirFly Pro BlueTooth adapter that lets Dad use his wireless headphones to watch in-flight movies, with gym treadmills, and more. Other readers chose to give their fathers the gift of relaxation, as our second best Father’s Day seller was this heated back massage cushion that can secure on any chair.
Did finding a gift for Dad take a toll on your complexion?
Same (and we do this for a living). Coming in third for the most-trafficked story this month: our Best in Class guide to vitamin-C serums to fade dark marks and diminish fine lines and wrinkles. Many readers sought one that wasn’t too strong, as this CeraVe formula with hyaluronic acid for sensitive skin was our top seller out of 11 recommendations. Dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal says it’s his go-to, as it’s good for people who have dry skin or experience irritation from other formulas. CeraVe’s lower-strength version uses 10 percent L-ascorbic acid (the recommended minimum amount for a formula to still be effective).
What pair of Strategist-loved sandals will you most likely see on the subway this summer?
We’re not the only ones obsessed with these strappy, waterproof Voyas. Readers hit buy on many, many pairs after we updated Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens’s much-read ode to the Mary Kate–approved sandals. At least four Strategist staffers also picked up a pair in May and June. Writer Arielle Avila recommended them in our May Strategist Haul and said they’re “comfortable right out of the box,” and editor Maxine Builder also got a pair recently, after which Kitchens told her to get ready for “the best summer ahead.”
Did Strategist readers want a packed lunch that sparks joy?
Let’s just say there’ll be a lot fewer sad desk lunches after this month. Marie Kondo uses this Takenaka x Poketo Bite Dual Bento Box to make a nutritious and balanced lunch (rice, veggies, and protein), while still maintaining a nice overall presentation. The brightly colored box has two tiers and an airtight seal, so she says it’s easy to bring to work or use for packing her kids’ school lunch. “Things that look really pretty spark joy for me, so I definitely want to get all the colors right and placed nicely inside the bento box,” she says.
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.