We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favourites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trawling the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including a bargain sonic toothbrush, a wait-list only fleece, and a charming cooking knife. And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.
An expert plant guide
Our plant column — Big Plants, Small Space — demystifies the process of buying and caring for plants. Written by Sonia Patel Ellis, we’ve covered everything from how to identify which ficus or fern is best suited to your living space to foolproof ways to prune your devil’s ivy back to its full potential. We thought it was only right to mention that Patel Ellis has written a book (her third) called The Modern Gardener. It’s a houseplant encyclopaedia of sorts, detailing the characteristics of and best ways to care for over 100 common houseplants. It’s available now at all good bookstores.
Some maternity-friendly pyjamas
If your friend has just announced that she’s expecting — or is about to pop — you might be wondering what way to best say “Congratulations!” So, we spoke to 26 new mothers themselves for some gift-buying guidance. When Emma Whiley, a mum from London, welcomed her second child, she was gifted some comfortable pyjamas by a colleague. “They are button-through, which is super helpful for nighttime (or anytime) feeds,” Whiley explains. Also, the pyjamas are made from bamboo, which is ideal for those suffering from postpartum night sweats, as they’re moisture-wicking and regulate temperature.
A dentist-recommended toothbrush (on sale)
There are plenty of electric toothbrushes out there, so, with the help of 11 experts, we researched the six very best, including this inexpensive sonic option. It comes from Philips’ ProtectiveClean range and was recommended to us by dental therapist and hygienist Ann Middleton. “It features pressure sensors, which alert you when you’re brushing too hard, ensuring you don’t damage your teeth and gums,” she says. “And it has alerts when you need to replace your brush head — it’s hard to remember to do that every two to three months.” Currently the brush is on sale for a little over £80 — which is a saving of over 40 percent — so don’t dillydally.
The Telfar of dog fleeces
On a winter walk with her pug Tayto, contributor Róisin Lanigan noticed a particularly striking red jacket on every other dog in the park. Lanigan’s quest to find out about the fleece took her from Dulwich to Brighton and beyond. Eventually, she deduced that it was by Equafleece — a British-based brand that makes fleeces for dogs, either in a standard size or a custom-fit that requires measurements to the nearest inch. “As doggy fashion goes, the mountaineering-style coat has a mid-range price point (averaging at about £30) and is waterproof and tick-preventative, and it mimics swaddling, which supposedly calms anxious and reactive dogs,” reports Lanigan. The fleece is, however, perennially sold out, but you can join the waitlist — alongside Lanigan — here.
A charming kitchen knife
Whilst rifling through our directory of ESEA-owned businesses, this Minke Whale Knife from Native & Co caught our eye. It joins their series of whale-shaped knives, from the Beluga to the Rorqual. The knives are forged from carbon steel and hand-cut by master bladesmiths in Japan. We think that it could make a great gift for Mother’s Day or for anybody that’s been thinking about upgrading their knife block.
A Big Light alternative
After losing an argument with her boyfriend about Big Light (her pro, him con), contributor Sirin Kale found that ambient lighting didn’t quite cut it for an evening read. Thinking back to the head torches she’d taken backpacking in her 20s, she decided to order the Energiser Vision LED headlamp. “Four months on, the head torch is as much part of my nighttime routine as brushing my teeth and taking out my contact lenses,” she says. “It’s bright enough to illuminate a book in dim lighting but not so bright that it wakes up my boyfriend if he’s sleeping.”
And a delightfully squishy bath mat
Our cheap-but-nice-looking series has 38 inexpensive ideas for those looking to spruce up their bathrooms, including this slate-coloured shaggy bathroom mat. The machine-washable mat is both water-absorbent and non-slip, and reviewers say the micro-fibre rug feels delightfully cushy on their freshly showered feet. For more ideas, including vintage-looking soap dispensers and artisanal soap dishes, see here.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.