sunday circular

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Robot Vacuums to Rotating Fans

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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 wristband for DIY aficionados, a sunscreen that will help fade acne scars and a bathrobe that looks like its been pinched from a fancy hotel.

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A solid-looking end table

This week, we did a deep dive through Amazon to find some cheap-but-nice-looking coffee tables, including this striking modern option. With a solid concrete finish, the end table looks far more expensive than its £70 price tag — and it even has space to stash magazines and coffee-table books, too.

A breezy, lightweight fan

Honeywell QuietSet Tower Fan
£59
£59

Notoriously light sleeper Rosie Percy, our associate director of audience development, was on the lookout for a quiet fan that would keep her cool during heat waves. Previously, we’d said the Honeywell Quietset was the best-rated quiet tower fan on Amazon, and its rave reviews, eight quiet settings, white-noise feature, and soundless remote control convinced Percy to order one. After testing it out on a particularly stifling evening, she “had my best night’s kip in weeks,” she says.

An insider sewing hack

Whilst handy, an overlocker sewing machine isn’t the most reliable at high speeds, and can often wobble across workspaces due to its heavy vibrations. This was an issue often faced by Raph Dilhan, a 2021 finalist on the Great British Sewing Bee, as he rushed to meet commission deadlines. But one evening, as his eyes fell on a set of cork placemats, he had an idea. “I wondered if their spongy, thin cork surface could be the shock absorber my juddering machine needed,” he says. “Grabbing one of the mats, I ran back up to the studio and placed it under the damned machine, holding my breath as I pressed the pedal down. Et voilà … it worked!” He now may be a mat down in the kitchen, but Dilhan says it’s a small price to pay to whizz through his deadlines — and he’s already placed another set on his wish list.

A dermatologists-hate-her! sunscreen

When we asked eight expert dermatologists how to deal with particularly tenacious acne scars, all of them emphasised the importance of wearing facial sunscreen. “Sun protection can make a big difference in whether or not these marks remain permanent,” says Arielle Nagler, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. Our experts’ sunscreen of choice is the EltaMD sun blocker. Dermatologist Natalie Moulton-Levy likes that it “contains lactic acid, an ingredient which causes a reduction in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” while Debra Jaliman, an assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, says it’s rich in niacinamide, another ingredient that works to fade dark spots.

A particularly plush bathrobe

Tracking down the perfect gift only becomes more daunting on a milestone occasion such as a 30th birthday. Luckily, we’re compiled a list of 47 gift ideas to give you some inspiration. If your friend is the type to mooch about in their pjs until lunchtime, we think they’d appreciate this luxurious robe from Morgenstern. With a stylish waffle finish, the handsome 100 percent cotton robe comes in a forgiving dark grey shade — ideal if they’re prone to spillages. It’s also machine washable and suitable for tumble drying, so as fuss free as they come.

A dog-friendly robot vacuum

If you’ve got a lot of square footage to keep clean in your home, why not consider a robot vacuum? According to canine trainer Shelby Semel, this option from Roborock has a particularly effective quiet mode — ideal for those with pets at home. “Stressing your dog out when you’re not home and they have no one to protect them can honestly have lasting effects,” Semel explains, which is why she recommends this robot vacuum to all her clients with skittish dogs.

And a handy DIY wristband

This magnetic wristband from Wearxi was a new entry to our reader’s favourites this month. It’s designed to hold all manner of bolts, nuts, washers, and screws securely, and can even be used to stow away an Allen key, or miniature tool. We think it would make a great gift for those that have just bought a new home, or anyone embarking on a DIY SOS–level renovation.

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.

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Vacuums to Fans