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The 25 Most Popular Products People Bought In 2021, Including Always Pans, 'Star Wars' LEGO Sets, and More

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

As we say goodbye to 2021, it's also a good time to look back at all the great purchases that we've made over the last 12 months. Whether you treated yourself to a new pair of wireless earbuds or bought someone a cool LEGO set for Christmas, it was a great year to shop for tech, toys, and other nifty gadgets.

So, we've compiled a list of the top items that are already giving us nostalgia (and that seemed to catch everyone's attention the most over the past year). Here are the 25 most popular products Mental Floss readers couldn't get enough of in 2021.

1. New Apple AirPods Pro; $179

Amazon

After their release this fall, Apple's new AirPods Pro wireless earbuds quickly became the season's hottest gift. Though not much changed between the versions, this model comes with a MagSafe-compatible case, making it easy to wirelessly charge up your earbuds. Thanks to a series of Black Friday discounts, they dropped from $249 to an all-time low price of $159 in November, which helped make them even more appealing to our readers. You can still get them on sale right now for $179, so if you haven't tried these silicone-tipped 'buds yet, consider snagging a pair for yourself before they go back up to full price.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Always Pan; $145

Our Place

This 8-in-1 pan has become a must-have item for anyone looking to scale back on kitchen clutter and improve their skills over a stovetop. Braise, steam, sauté, and more with this sleek cookware that was on sale for a rare discount throughout November. It also comes in 10 unique colors, so you can serve your next feast up in style.

Buy it: Our Place

3. Solo Stove Fire Pits; From $250

Solo Stove

This portable fire pit makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors even when you're freezing cold. The Bonfire model from Solo Stove can fit logs up to 16-inches long but will be smokeless, so you can avoid smelling like a chimney and coughing the rest of the night. If you want a bigger version, the brand also has the Yukon, which can fit logs up to 22-inches long. You can still get both of these fire pits on sale, so if you've been thinking of ways to winterize your outdoor spaces, they're absolutely worth checking out.

Buy them: Bonfire; Yukon

4. LEGO Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child Building Kit; $64

LEGO/Amazon

Even though Star Wars: The Mandalorian premiered on Disney+ in November 2019, fans still can't get enough of the bounty hunter's little green companion, Grogu (a.k.a. The Child or Baby Yoda). This 1073-piece LEGO building kit of the character features a moveable head, mouth, and ears. In addition to the bricks to build the statue, you'll also get a minifigure of the Child, a name plaque, and a gearshift knob, his favorite toy.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows, set of two; From $50

Beckham Luxury Linens/Amazon

With over 157,000 reviews and a 4.4-star rating on Amazon, it's no wonder this set of two Queen-sized pillows was one of the most popular items that people purchased in 2021. These machine-washable pillows from Beckham Hotel Collection use an alternative down filling, cooling gel fibers, and the company's “bounce-back construction," which will help both keep their shape for years to come. They dropped in price a number of times throughout the year, so if you've been meaning to replace your old yellowed pillows, be sure to keep an eye out for future deals on this set.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Hulu; $7 to $65 per month

The past couple of years have proven that escapism is a powerful tool, and streaming services are ready to provide it on a silver platter. Hulu's three subscription levels let you watch live and network television, so you can finally ditch cable and advertisements. In addition, you'll have access to the streaming platform's original shows and movies like The Great starring Elle Fanning playing Russian empress Catherine the Great and Andy Samberg's Groundhog's Day-esque film, Palm Springs.

Subscribe: Hulu

7. Echo Dot (3rd Gen, 2018 release); $20

Amazon

Though the Echo Dot (3rd Generation) may look simple in design, it packs a punch with all its features and functions. This compact speaker from Amazon lets you listen to music, catch up on the news, make phone calls, and control your home with the help of Alexa virtual assistance. You also have the ability to turn off the microphones for control over your privacy.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Massage Guns; From $100

RENPHO/Amazon

Whether you're an athlete or a casual gym-goer, a massage gun can help treat muscle aches and fatigue. This portable one from RENPHO features five speeds and comes with five heads to tackle different muscle groups. If you're looking for a massage gun with even more accessories, this one from Tocolo has double the heads to choose from and only costs $20 extra.

Buy them: RENPHO Portable Massage Gun; Tocolo Portable Massage Gun

9. The New York Times Custom Front Page Puzzle; From $50

Uncommon Goods

Why solve a regular old puzzle when you can have one that's customized? Whether you want to treat yourself or send someone a gift, this 500-piece puzzle will feature the front cover of The New York Times from whichever day you choose dating back to 1851. If you want a real challenge, you can opt for the 1000-piece version, which offers even more detail.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

10. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star 8-Piece Knife Block Set; $200

Zwilling J.A. Henckels/Sur La Table

You don't have to be a Michelin-star chef to deserve a set of high-quality knives. This 8-piece block set comes with various blades, including paring, serrated, bread, and chef's knives. The best part, though, is that this set normally costs $735 but is now over 72 percent off at Sur La Table, and at this retailer, knives ship for free.

Buy it: Sur La Table

11. Sur La Table Electric Salt & Pepper Mill Set; $20

Sur La Table

Instead of putting in the elbow grease to grind peppercorns and sea salt by hand, let technology do it for you. This set of two electric mills will pulverize salt and pepper for you with the touch of a button and features a window in each canister, so you can always see when it's time to refill them.

Buy it: Sur La Table

12. All-Clad HA1 Nonstick Skillets, set of three; $140

All-Clad/Sur La Table

When you think of timeless cookware, chances are, you think of All-Clad—or at least, our readers did in 2021. These All-Clad HA1 skillets were among the most purchased items of the year and are available in 8-, 10-, and 12-inch diameter sizes. You can also use these hard-anodized, nonstick cookware pieces on any heat surface, including induction cooktops, and the stainless steel handles stay cool, making it easy to cook up a storm with them. Even with these great features, the best part of this collection has to be that they're now $85 off—all the more reason to give them a try yourself.

Buy it: Sur La Table

13. BoxLegend Clothes Storage Bag; $9

BoxLegend/Amazon

This waterproof storage bag features side handles, zippers, and a transparent window to let you see all the contents stored inside. The rectangular storage solution can easily hold linens, towels, comforters, clothes, shoes, and more. If you get multiples, you can place them on top of each other for even more organization.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers, set of six; $20

Cleverfy/Amazon

Bath bombs have been a popular self-care option for a while, but if you prefer to shower, you might have felt a little left out. This set of six shower steamers solves that problem. All you have to do is place one of these septic-safe discs in the corner of your shower and wait. As it fizzles and dissolves, it releases essential oils and scents like eucalyptus and menthol into the air, so you can get the spa experience right at home.

Buy it: Amazon

15. VAHDAM Tea Gift Assortment, set of three; $19

VAHDAM/Amazon

If you still need a last-minute gift for someone, this VAHDAM tea assortment could be a crowd-pleaser and will arrive before the new year. Inside the box, you'll find three golden tins filled with three types of loose-leaf tea blends: Sweet Himalayan Detox Green Tea, Saffron Premium Masala Chai, and Earl Grey Spice Masala Chai. This brand regularly shows up on Oprah Winfrey's list of favorite things, so it's no surprise our readers love their blends, too.

Buy it: Amazon

16. Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips; $40 with on-page coupon

Procter & Gamble/Amazon

You could brush your way to a brighter smile, but if you want quick results (as many of our readers did in 2021), then going the Crest Whitestrips route could be the best option. This at-home kit is cheaper than going for professional treatments and comes with 20 treatment strips that you can use daily for 30 minutes a day; according to the brand, the strips may take off up to 14 years worth of stains. The box also comes with two 1-hour express treatments, for even faster results.

Buy it: Amazon

17. Simple Trending Can Rack Organizer; $26

Simple Trending/Amazon

Instead of rummaging through your pantry for a can of tomato sauce or beans and wasting valuable cooking time, grab this organizing rack like so many of our readers did in 2021. It can help you see where everything is at a glance and can be an effective way to store non-perishables. Maximize your shelves by placing up to 36 cans on a single rack; if you get multiple racks, stack them on top of each other for even more efficiency.

Buy it: Amazon

18. Apple AirPods Max in Space Grey; From $478

Apple Computer/Amazon

Those who prefer over-the-ear headphones to in-ear buds will be happy to learn about Apple's AirPods Max. Like the brand's other headphones, this version features active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, and are Bluetooth-enabled for a dynamic listening experience. According to the brand, you can get up to 20 hours of listening time off a single charge. The cans are made with memory foam cushioning that molds to your ears, so they're as comfy as they are snazzy to use.

Buy it: Amazon

19. BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill with 30-Piece Accessories; $49

BLACK+DECKER/Amazon

Whether you want to start a tool collection or have a project you plan to work on soon, a drill set with various bits will be a crucial element. This one from BLACK+DECKER features a 20-volt cordless drill that holds up to 18 months of battery life and comes with 30 accessories, including different types of bits and nut drivers.

Buy it: Amazon

20. Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote; $30

Amazon

For the ultimate streaming experience, you can't go wrong with the Fire TV Stick 4K, which comes with an Alexa-enabled voice remote. If you tend to use Amazon Prime, this device will be even more in tune with your needs than a Roku or comparable device because the interface favors Prime Video. That said, even if you prefer Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, or other streaming platforms, you can still access them and watch content in brilliant 4K easily via this gadget.

Buy it: Amazon

21. Laptop Bed Tray Desk; $90

SAIJI/Amazon

Many of us work from home now, which means we can stay in bed in our pajamas if we want and take Zoom calls. This laptop stand seems designed with that in mind, offering a no-slip leather surface, adjustable angles and heights, and sled legs for stable typing, so you don't have to leave your bed if you don't want to.

Buy it: Amazon

22. TopVision Battery Starter for Car; $72

T Topvision/Amazon

You never want to end up stranded somewhere because your car's battery unexpectedly dies. This portable car jump starter can help if you ever find yourself in that situation, however. It's designed to work on vehicles with 12-volt batteries and up to 7-liter gas or 6.5-liter diesel engines, and can deliver up to 50 jump-starts off a single charge. Just make sure this battery booster has at least 20 percent left itself, and you're good to go. Besides helping your car, this battery can also charge your phone and transform into an LED or SOS light to signal help when you need it.

Buy it: Amazon

23. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush; From $35

Helen of Troy/Amazon

The Revlon One-Step hair dryer and volumizer hot air brush is so beloved by fans that it has over 334,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating on Amazon. Our readers are just as gonzo over this much-hyped haircare tool, which will not only dry your hair as you brush it, but also reduce static and frizz along the way, for sleek at-home blowouts that'll rival any salon look. For the best results, the company says to use it on damp hair, so make sure to towel off and spritz your locks with a heat-protectant spray before use.

Buy it: Amazon

24. Babycakes Mini Cake Pop Maker; $23

Select Brands Inc./Amazon

Cake pops are an adorable treat, and now you can make them at home with this tool from Babycakes. This compact kitchen gadget has nine semi-spherical nonstick openings for you to pour batter into. Then, after a few minutes of cooking, you'll have perfectly round morsels of cake to decorate, serve up to loved ones, and savor.

Buy it: Walmart

25. Nidra Eye Mask; $14

Nidra/Amazon

If you need complete darkness to sleep, this eye mask can help. It features an adjustable strap and molded cups that curve away from eyes and eyelashes, so the fabric won't rub against skin. The cups are also designed to fully cover eyes and block out all light, so you can sleep at any time with peace of mind.

Buy it: Amazon

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