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Every November, shoppers lose it over Black Friday. Whether you’re buying online or in stores, there’s an intensity to shopping during this legendary retail holiday that can be overwhelming. For most people, the prospect of saving huge amounts of money on the season’s most highly sought-after gifts makes all the insanity seem worthwhile.
But what if the best gifts of 2019 were ones that you shouldn’t wait until Black Friday to buy? I’m talking about the biggest, most hyped gifts of the season. From the Nintendo Switch Lite to the Hatchimals Wow Llalacorn, these are the presents that are on everyone’s wishlist, but gift givers are holding off until Black Friday to buy them because they think they’ll get a better deal the more they wait.
That’s where they’re wrong though. By getting these products while they are still available, you’ll not only get a jump on your holiday shopping, but you can save yourself all the stress and hassle that comes with waiting until Black Friday. Here are 15 things you should get before Black Friday.
1. For the one who really wants an Instant Pot: The Instant Pot Duo
Chances are, you know all about the wonders of the Instant Pot by now. You know how it works, how easy it makes cooking (especially for busy home chefs and those with packed work schedules), and you’ve probably heard a thing or two about how you can even make cakes and yogurt in it.
If there’s one kitchen gadget you gift this season, it ought to be an Instant Pot. The trouble is, there are so many to choose from, it can be hard to tell one model from another. To muddy the field even more, Instant Pot just released 10 new appliances. But in our opinion, you should snag the Duo now, since it’s model that everyone loves and it sells out the fastest. In fact, if this year’s Prime Day is any indication, it could be one of the biggest gifts of 2019.
2. For the gamer: Nintendo Switch Lite
Loved the Nintendo Switch? Meet its smaller, cheaper, more portable alternative: the Nintendo Switch Lite. Terrific for on-the-go use and designed for games that support handheld play, this much sought-after gadget is causing the same kind of excitement that the Switch did back when it was initially released in 2017. This means its one of the hottest products that people will be fighting for on Black Friday. The Nintendo Switch Lite is awesome for kids, gamers, or anyone who loves handheld gaming. By grabbing it now, you can get ahead of the curve and have it ready to gift while everyone else scrambles to find one.
3. For the audiophile: Apple Airpods
You’ve seen then everywhere: On the subway, on the sidewalk, and even right beside you while you’re at the gym trying to burn off that bagel breakfast—Apple Airpods. These wireless earbuds are a scene onto themselves, and they’ve inspired everything from jokes to full-blown skepticism, but they really are our favorite true wireless earbuds. Ideal for anyone who uses Apple products already, these earbuds sound spectacular and will make it so you never look at wired earbuds the same way ever again. These are always a win with our readers. Since you can get the latest model on sale for $30 off right now, it’s possible that these could sell out by Black Friday, so you shouldn’t put off this purchase.
4. For the beauty lover who’s obsessed with haircare: Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler
This self-twirling curling iron caused a sensation when it first hit the scene back in October 2018. Among beauty experts, it quickly gained a reputation for being completely innovative and changed the way people think about hair styling tools. Designed to use air instead of heat, this device styles and dries simultaneously and harnesses steam instead of heat to curl strands. It’ll leave your giftee with flawless, frizz-free ringlets or waves—no intense heat needed. It’s even great for at-home blowouts.
The downside? First it sold out, then it acquired a 133,000-person waitlist. It was impossible to get a hold of up until very recently, but now this versatile styling tool is finally back at Sephora. It’s a wonderful gift for that person in your life who loves trying new styling tools and doesn’t want to damage their hair in the process.
5. For the kid who wants the hottest toy of the season: Hatchimals Wow Llalacorn
Shopping for the hot holiday toy can be a scary—but also kind of exhilarating—adventure for parents, aunts, uncles, and caregivers alike. Every time a big toy hits, I think of that episode from The Office where Dwight is scamming frazzled parents for hundreds of dollars (spoiler: he makes a killing). Don’t be like those parents, and whatever you do, don’t put off buying the big “get” of the season.
According to our Parenting Editor Anna Lane, the Hatchimals Wow Llalacorn is one of the best toys of 2019. This weird llama-unicorn hybrid can hatch and re-hatch all over again, and can grow up to 2 1/2 feet tall. It also comes with 250 different reactions, sounds, motions, and more. If you’re smart, you’ll grab it now before it becomes impossible to find come late November.
6. For coffee or tea lovers: Monogrammed mugs
Monogrammed mugs are the most adorable thing and they make super-sweet presents for friends and family, especially if that special someone is a big tea or coffee drinker. The tiled mug at Anthropologie is one that our readers are constantly buying whenever we feature it, so much so that it’s sold out more than once. If there’s a particular letter that you have in mind, snatch one of these mugs up as soon as you can, since there’s no telling whether it’ll be around by the time the next Anthro sale rolls around.
7. For the family historian: DNA kits
Every family has that one member who seems to just know things: Who came from where, who married whom, and so forth. The one thing that amateur genealogist is perhaps lacking? Actual proof of your family’s heritage. That’s what makes DNA testing kits such a fun and rewarding gift idea, especially for loved ones who absolutely relish learning about this sort of stuff.
But not all DNA testing kits are the same—there are several on the market right now, including AncestryDNA and 23andMe. Both offer a broader idea of a person’s ethnic background, possible genetic predisposition toward health issues, and even possible migration patterns from ancestors. These kits (especially AncestryDNA) are bestsellers and they can sell out, so if you have it in mind as a gift for the holidays, it’s better to buy while you can.
8. For the neat freak: Eufy Robovac 11S
Ostensibly no one likes to vacuum—it’s annoying and can involve heavy lifting and lots of maneuvering. Plus, getting on your hands and knees to get those dust bunnies trapped under the sofa? Yeah, no thanks. But people do like the results that come from frequent vacuuming and the peace of mind that comes from living in a tidy home.
Enter: Robot vacuums. These things exist to make the hassle of vacuuming so much easier, and when it comes to buying a really good one, the Eufy 11S is the way to go. Not only is it the best affordable robot vacuum we’ve ever tested, but it frequently goes on sale too. It was a huge hit around Prime Day and last year’s Black Friday, but for that reason, it’s also a smart idea to shop for it early, since this could definitely sell out if you hold out for long.
9. For the one who always skips breakfast: Dash Rapid Egg Cooker
Cooking eggs can be surprisingly complicated. It’s easy to overcook or even burn your batch, and for the kitchen impaired among us, it’s enough to send you running to your nearest coffee shop every morning instead of handling breakfast at home. The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is a game-changer though, since it simplifies the whole process of boiling or poaching eggs.
If your giftee is short on time, it’s no problem either, since all they have to do is set the timer, choose their preferred egg method, and boom—breakfast is served. It was one of the biggest sellers during Prime Day and has over 12,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, so there’s a good chance this will continue to be a massive hit come Black Friday. If you know a recent college grad or perpetually cooking-challenged person, this fast-working egg cooker is the gift you need to give.
10. For the techie: Apple Watch Series 4
While it’s not the latest and greatest (that would be the recently released Apple Watch Series 5), the Series 4 is still our favorite smart watch and a serious upgrade from the Series 3. Designed to help your giftee stay on top of the news and their calendar without ever having to use a smartphone, this innovative device is also at its lowest price ever on Amazon right now. This model is far from obsolete, however. For you, that means that this is an awesome time to snag what could surely be an unforgettable gift for the Apple lover in your life. Since this price won’t last through Black Friday, you’d be really missing out if you didn’t grab this while it’s at such a great discount.
11. For the one you don’t know very well: InnoGear Oil Diffuser
Stumped over what to get that certain person in your life—like a coworker or distant relative—that you don’t know really well but still want to impress? Oil diffusers are the way to go. They’re great for virtually anyone because they help make a space more relaxing and inviting, plus certain models like our favorite oil diffuser function as a cute piece of home decor. The InnoGear in particular even lights up, so you can use it as a light without any mist if you prefer.
While this is already an established and much-celebrated oil diffuser, it’s smart to grab it now because it’s actually on sale for $3 off its usual price. It’s smart to pick it up while you can, because there’s no telling if the price will be this low come Black Friday. Snag this top-rated set of six essential oils pairs perfectly with your savings, too.
12. For the one who needs help staying hydrated: Hydro Flask
You don’t have to be a VSCO girl to appreciate the beauty of a good Hydro Flask. This stainless steel water bottle comes with double-wall vacuum insulation that helps to keep cold drinks icy cool well past the 24-hour mark. That makes it a fantastic gift regardless of whether the recipient follows trends or not. In our tests, we loved how easy this was to carry around and that it was made from recycled materials, plus its lifetime warranty more than justifies the price. If there’s a particular color you had in mind, it’s better to buy this now rather than wait for Black Friday. Chances are the most popular shades (like blue and teal) will sell out by the time the holidays roll around.
13. For the fashionista who cares about practical footwear: Bean boots
Every season, without fail, L.L.Bean’s highly coveted Bean Boots go on backorder around the holidays. And every time they do, scores of folks around the country—not just New Englanders—shed a few tears. After all, what is winter without a pair of these cozy yet oh-so-durable boots? You can wear them through rain, sleet, and snow, and they’re designed to keep a person’s feet dry throughout it all.
If your giftee has been desperately wanting a pair of their very own, you really ought to grab them right now while they’re still available for delivery. Although you might be able to save a few extra bucks if you wait until Black Friday to snag Bean Boots, these much-loved boots will likely be on backorder by then and your giftee will have to brave yet another winter without them.
14. For the fitness fanatic who wants more: Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbits are one of the best gifts of 2019 because they can can help your giftee track their heart rate, sleep patterns, steps, and other activities, which can help support their fitness goals. The Fitbit Charge 3 is the best fitness tracker we’ve ever tested, since it works for newbies and gym buffs alike.
But the real Fitbit to get pumped about during the holiday season is actually the brand new Fitbit Versa 2, which has been making waves lately since it comes with some additional features. It has a better processor than its predecessors, a brighter touch screen, and it’s the first Fitbit to be compatible with Amazon Alexa. So your giftee can interact with Alexa, deliver voice demands, and get much-needed insights from a VA. Given how hot this fitness tracker is, don’t expect it to stick around long this holiday season.
15. For the insomniac who’s always tossing and turning: Weighted blankets
Tossing and turning is no way to get through the night. If someone you love is constantly struggling to get a good night’s rest and nothing—not tea, not melatonin, not oil diffusers—seems to do the trick, weighted blankets could be the solution they’ve been waiting for. Right now, you can get one of the best weighted blankets we’ve ever tried on sale for $15 to $25 off, which is one of the better prices we’ve ever seen for it and this price won’t last to Black Friday.
If the YnM weighted blanket seems too cheap looking, you could always spring for a Gravity Blanket instead. Although it’s more expensive, reviewers (and our own testers) swear it can work wonders.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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