5 Ways to Prepare for Prime Day 2019 Before Amazon's Sales Start

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Check out Amazon's running list of Prime Day deals leading up to July 15 and 16 here.

Amazon's members-only summer anniversary sale, Prime Day, is just about the biggest online shopping event of the year after Black Friday. This year, the 48-hour sale will last from 2:59 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday morning, July 15 (midnight Pacific) and run through Tuesday, July 16. In previous years, the sale has only lasted 36 hours, so you'll get some extra shopping time this year.

Outside the U.S.? No problem. Prime Day deals are available in 18 different countries, including the UK, Canada, India, Germany, France, Australia, and more.

Limited-time flash sales can be stressful, and you want to be prepared to grab those amazing deals before they're gone, so here are five ways to prepare to have the best Prime Day yet.

1. Sign up for Prime (obviously).

As the name suggests, Prime Day deals are only for Amazon Prime members. If you don't have a membership yet, sign up for a free trial now—the promotional period lasts 30 days. After that, Prime costs $13 a month or $119 a year. If you're considering whether or not to make the jump to a full Prime membership, check out our list of all the perks Prime gets you beyond just free 2-day shipping.

2. Start thinking about what you want to buy on Prime Day.

Amazon devices are certain to go on sale, so Prime Day would probably be a great time to grab a Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, Ring doorbell, Fire TV Stick or Cube, or an Echo. Bookmark this page to see all the Amazon device deals next week. What kind of discounts should you expect? Last year, Kindle Paperwhites were discounted $40 for Prime Day (going for $80), while Fire HD 10 tablets were listed for $100, a $50 discount. Prime Day is also often a good day for books: Last year, Amazon offered customers credits toward a future book purchase when they bought Amazon Charts books or Kindle e-books, as well as discounts on Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

Other things that have gone on sale in previous years: Instant Pots, 4K TVs, luggage sets, Blu-rays, smartphones, FitBits, robot vacuums, and more. There's a higher likelihood that last year's models will go on sale rather than the latest and greatest gadgets, so if there's anything you coveted for Black Friday in 2018 that you didn't end up buying, Prime Day might be your lucky day.

3. Choose the right products—and prepare to comparison shop.

Trying to to decide what to buy? Check out our guide to fake reviews to learn how to spot the real deal, and consider downloading browser extensions like Fake Spot and Honey to help you analyze the quality of reviews and past prices to make sure that what you're buying is actually the killer deal it appears to be. Otherwise, you may discover too late that the massive "discount" you're getting is the same price the item has been listed at for months.

Prime Day has become a big enough event in the shopping world that other retailers have started offering competing deals, too. Macy's is running Black Friday in July deals until July 14 (use the code JULY for up to 25 percent off). Walmart is hosting Google Week, which includes up to 50 percent off products like Google Home and Nest from July 8 to July 16. You'll also want to check out Target's Deal Days on July 15 and 16 (and beforehand, because some things are already on sale), which will include discounts of 30 to 50 percent on small appliances, cookware, furniture, rugs, and more.

4. Check out the pre-sale deals you can already get.

Amazon is already offering a bunch of Prime-only deals in the lead up to Prime Day next week, including discounted Audible subscriptions ($120 per year, with an Echo Dot thrown in for just $1), discounted Marvel movie rentals ($2 each), 25 percent off Pepsi-owned brands like Lay's and Gatorade, and more.

You can already save on products sold by Woot, like this Wi-Fi-enabled countertop garden kit ($140 off right now), Stone and Beam home goods (including cookware sets, furniture, and decor for up to 20 percent off), and various Amazon-branded household goods, like coffee pods, toilet paper, trash bags, pain relief medication, and laundry essentials (all 20 to 25 percent off).

5. Check back with us next week.

Don't forget to return to Mental Floss on July 15 and 16, when the Smart Shopping team will be rounding up the best Prime Day deals as they become available.

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.

Make Breakfast for the Family in a Flash With the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

Dash/Amazon
Dash/Amazon

The number of ways you can eat eggs is limited only by your cooking ability and imagination. Now, thanks to the foolproof Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, even that doesn't have to hold you back, because you'll be able to prepare your eggs exactly how you like them in just minutes—no flipping, stirring, or frying required.

Weighing roughly 1 pound and measuring 7.5 inches across, this egg cooker is the perfect size for a shelf or countertop. Its design accommodates a variety of egg preparations, so if you like your eggs boiled, you can fit up to six of them on the tray at once and cook them until they're soft-boiled, hard-boiled, or somewhere in between. The cooker also features trays for poaching eggs and making omelettes.

Rapid Egg Cooker.
Dash/Amazon

The device comes with a measuring cup showing how much water you need to cook each style of egg, and it buzzes and shuts off automatically when they're done. That way, you can make your perfect breakfast even before you've had your first cup of coffee.

The gadget is super popular with breakfast-lovers. It has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, and the online retailer lists it as one the most-loved items on the site. You can purchase it on Amazon today for $20.

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