The 20 Products Mental Floss Readers Loved Most in 2018

iStock.com/LeszekCzerwonka
iStock.com/LeszekCzerwonka

Mental Floss loves to surface the coolest, weirdest, most delightful products available online. We put together reviews, lists, and gift guides full of the best stuff available on Amazon, Kickstarter, and elsewhere in the hopes that our readers—that's you!—will enjoy those products just as much as we do. In the past year, we've recommended items like sushi-shaped pushpins, a shockingly well-reviewed $95 mattress, smart planners, and more.

Some of these products proved especially popular with our audience. Below are the 20 products Mental Floss readers enjoyed (and purchased) the most in 2018.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide to Hogwarts

A pop-up paper version of Hogwarts
Insight Editions, Amazon

While you're waiting on your acceptance letter from the greatest wizarding school in history and fantasizing about which house the Sorting Hat might choose for you, get familiar with the Hogwarts campus with this 3D pop-up guide to the castle and grounds, which we wrote about in August 2018. Once you finish flipping through this book, check out designer Matthew Reinhart's other 3D works, including pop-up guides to the worlds of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and more.

Find it on Amazon for $35.

2. Harry Potter Funko Advent Calendar

A Harry Potter-themed advent calendar
Funko, Amazon

As you might be able to tell, there are few entertainment franchises Mental Floss readers love more than Harry Potter. Between late October and December, readers bought more than 150 of Funko's Harry Potter advent calendars, which capture the expansive wizarding world in an adorably bite-sized fashion. Instead of chocolates, behind each door is a miniature Funko Pop! figure inspired by JK Rowling's beloved characters. But remember, it does not do to dwell on dreams—so if you want to get your hands on this bestseller for 2019, you should grab it early before it sells out.

Find it on Amazon for $63.

3. Pimple Pete Game Presented by Dr. Pimple Popper

The cover of the Pimple Pete board game shows zits popping out of an illustrated face
Spin Master Games, Amazon

Depending on what kind of person you are, this new board game from Mental Floss's favorite dermatologist, Dr. Pimple Popper, is either the grossest thing imaginable or the most satisfying game ever. Pimple Pete revolves around players taking turns pulling "pus" out of the eponymous Pete's zits. Even for those that find the act unappealing, it's a uniquely goofy activity that will surely get some good laughs at family game night.

Find it on Amazon for $10 and at these other retailers:

4. Nerdwax

A tube of Nerdwax
Nerdwax, Amazon

There have been countless niche products pitched on Shark Tank, but Nerdwax—a sticky substance designed to keep your glasses from slipping down your nose—has been the biggest hit with our readers. As Mental Floss's Michele Debczak puts it, the Chapstick-like tube allows you to "stop worrying about pushing up your glasses and focus on looking fabulous."

Find it on Amazon for $10.99.

5. Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse

The cover of Tiny Titans Vol. 1
Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, Amazon

Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse is the first of eight books that follow the adventures of DC’s beloved adolescent heroes. But instead of intense crime fighting, it’s about an even more perilous endeavor: elementary school. Comics are actually a great starting point for getting kids into reading, and this is one of many fantastic ones out there for young readers. Fans of the early 2000s Teen Titans show on Cartoon Network will find it especially endearing.

Find it on Amazon for $10.

6. Cat-Opoly

A Cat-Opoly board
Late for the Sky, Amazon

Love Monopoly but tired of the same old aesthetic? Get this paw-some unofficial remix called Cat-Opoly. The game has the same premise and rules of regular Monopoly, but instead of buying property, you buy different cat breeds. Instead of houses and hotels, you collect litter boxes and fish bones, all while trying to avoid dogs and water. It's a purr-fect activity for any cat-loving household—just hope your game doesn't last fur-ever.

Find it on Amazon for $18 and at these other retailers:

7. Paladone Moon Light

A moon-shaped lamp on a desk
Paladone, Amazon

If you’re a space-obsessed night person (and not a werewolf), this popular moon-shaped lamp might be just the thing for you. It’s designed with accurate crater formations that make it look just like the real Moon. The portable lamp would be perfect either as a night light or decoration for a space-themed party.

Find it on Amazon for $11.

8. Zollipops The Clean Teeth Pops

A box of Zollipops
Zollipops, Amazon

Great for kids and adults alike, Zollipops are designed for you to pop post-meal. The gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free candies contain erythritol and xylitol, two sweeteners that have been found to reduce acidity in your mouth and protect against cavities. Readers went wild for them after we wrote about Zolli Candy founder Alina Morse, who came up with the idea when she was just 9 years old.

Find them on Amazon for $6 for 25 Zollipops.

9. First Aid Only 299-Piece All-purpose First Aid Kit

An open first aid kit
First Aid Only, Amazon

Mental Floss fans like to be prepared, apparently. Tons of our readers purchased this compact all-purpose first aid kit in 2018. And who could blame them? The handy case features an extensive number of first-aid necessities and is wildly affordable.

Find it on Amazon for $13.

10. My Pen15 Club Set of 4 Golden Girls Celebrity Prayer Candles

Four prayer candles with the cast of 'The Golden Girls' on them
My Pen15 Club, Amazon

A lot of Mental Floss readers are praying to the patron saints of sitcoms these days. With one for each Golden Girl, this stellar set of four candles—which we wrote about back in December—is the perfect addition to any fan's home.

Find it on Amazon for $60.

11. Funko Pop! Mister Rogers Collectible Figure

A Mister Rogers figurine
Funko, Amazon

This Funko Pop! version of Fred Rogers released last June (just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) is as delightful as its inspiration. Like the man himself, it's bound to make anyone feel a little more wholesome. And if you're as obsessed with Funko Pop! figures as we are, read all about how the company conquered the toy world here.

Find it on Amazon for $6.

12. T-fal E91898 12-Inch Nonstick Pan

A nonstick pan with a glass lid on it
T-fal, Amazon

Every kitchen could use an everything pan, and this 12-inch one from T-fal seems to have made it into many Mental Floss readers' homes in 2018. It's nonstick, comes with a lid, and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Even better, it's massively on sale right now.

Find it on Amazon for $32.

13. Anker SoundBuds Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth headphones
Anker, Amazon

A stylish and affordable substitute for inconvenient and easy-to-lose AirPods, these Bluetooth earbuds are perfect for your workout, your commute, or your day in general. We suggest using them to watch a few of our videos.

Find them on Amazon for $26 and at these other retailers:

14. Extra Long Stainless Steel Metal Straws

Six straws and two cleaning wands
MalloMe, Amazon

Last year, many of us found out just how damaging disposable plastic straws can be to the environment. Several cities, companies, and tourist destinations began to phase them out, and as the trend spread, plenty of people decided to proactively cut back on their straw habit. Back in July, we recommended several different products that could help reduce the carbon footprint of that iced coffee addiction, but these stainless steel straws proved the most popular. (Readers also loved our video on the LOLISTRAW, a plastic-free straw that you can eat.)

Find them on Amazon for $12.

15. Sharpie 37001 Permanent Markers

A box of Sharpie pens
Sharpie, Amazon

Our readers sure do love Sharpies. Amazon regularly has great discounts on the beloved permanent markers, so we often feature them in our Smart Shopping section's daily deals posts. Last year, readers bought them in bulk. At $7 for a 12-pack, these ultra-fine-point versions are a permanent bargain.

Find it on Amazon for $7 and at these other retailers:

16. The Bob Ross Coloring Book

The cover of the Bob Ross coloring book
Bob Ross, Amazon

Coloring is already an incredibly relaxing activity, but coloring the paintings of legendarily chill TV art instructor Bob Ross is another level of tranquility. The official Bob Ross Coloring Book includes ready-to-color outlines of the beloved painter’s soothing nature scenes alongside some of his most famous signature quips, so you'll never forget the appreciate the happy little trees as you work. Almost a year and a half after we first wrote about it, this coloring book is still one of the most popular products we've featured on the site.

Find it on Amazon for $13.

17. 3D Crystal Puzzle, Saturn

A clear 3D puzzle in the shape of Saturn
Bepuzzled, Amazon

In 2018, Mental Floss readers added another dimension to their puzzle-solving skills with this 3D puzzle of Saturn by BePuzzled. When finished, the 39 translucent, interlocking pieces create a beautiful model of the ringed planet that's ready for display. (BePuzzled also makes versions in the shape of various fruits, animals, and other figures.)

Find it on Amazon for $13 and at these other retailers:

18. The Constellations Glow-In-The-Dark Star Map (Northern Hemisphere)

A star map of the Northern Hemisphere
Star Finders, Inc., Amazon

In the light of day, this sky map shows all the constellations visible in the Northern Hemisphere. At night, the stars glow in the dark and the lines fade away, creating a spellbinding night sky within your home. The poster was a particularly popular addition to our holiday gift guide for astronomy geeks.

Find it on Amazon for $25.

19. Go-Cat Da Bird Rod and Feather Toy

A feathered cat toy
Go Cat, Amazon

Cat-loving Mental Floss readers bought a whole bunch of these great, excellently priced Go-Cat feather toys after cat behavioral consultant Mikel Delgado recommended them in her July 2018 article “10 Science-Backed Tips for Getting a Cat to Like You.” Wand-style toys with feathers or other attachments that look like potential prey are some of the best ways to engage with a cat, leading to some excellent bonding time.

Find it on Amazon for $9.

20. Kikkerland Playing Cards

A spread of playing cards
Kikkerland, Amazon

Perfect your poker face with these stylish playing cards. Kikkerland offers glow-in-the-dark, translucent, and other unique card styles, but our readers particularly loved the pixel design, which gives the deck a retro video game vibe.

Find them on Amazon for $9.

These Rugged Steel-Toe Boots Look and Feel Like Summer Sneakers

Indestructible Shoes
Indestructible Shoes

Thanks to new, high-tech materials, our favorite shoes are lighter and more comfortable than ever. Unfortunately, one thing most sneakers are not is durable. They can’t protect your feet from the rain, let alone heavy objects. Luckily, as their name implies, Indestructible Shoes has come up with a line of steel-toe boots that look and feel like regular sneakers.

Made to be incredibly strong but still lightweight, every pair of Indestructible Shoes has steel toes, skid-proof grips, and shock-absorption technology. But they don't look clunky or bulky, which makes them suitable whether you're going to work, the gym, or a family gathering.

The Hummer is Indestructible Shoes’s most well-rounded model. It features European steel toes to protect your feet, while the durable "flymesh" material wicks moisture to keep your feet feeling fresh. The insole features 3D arch support and extra padding in the heel cup. And the outsole features additional padding that distributes weight and helps your body withstand strain.

Indestructible Shoes Hummer.
The Hummer from Indestructible Shoes.
Indestructible Shoes

There’s also the Xciter, Indestructible Shoes’s latest design. The company prioritized comfort for this model, with the same steel toes as the Hummer, but with additional extra-large, no-slip outsoles capable of gripping even smooth, slippery surfaces—like, say, a boat deck. The upper is made of breathable moisture-wicking flymesh to help keep your feet dry in the rain or if you're wearing them on the water.

If you want a more breathable shoe for the peak summer months, there's the Ryder. This shoe is designed to be a stylish solution to the problem of sweaty feet, thanks to a breathable mesh that maximizes airflow and minimizes sweat and odor. Meanwhile, extra padding in the midsole will keep your feet protected.

You can get 44 percent off all styles if you order today.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine
Letsfit/Amazon

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains
Eclipse/Amazon

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
JALL/Amazon

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light
Philips/Amazon

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket
Baloo/Amazon

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band
Philips/Amazon

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.