Amazon Prime Day promises hundreds of thousands of deals, but not everyone has been saving all year for a big-ticket purchase. Beneath the noise, there are some great finds on deals under $50. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite items on sale, from smart home products to books and board games.
The WIRED Gear team tests products year-round and sorted through hundreds of thousands of deals by hand to make these picks.
Crossed out products are out of stock or no longer discounted. Our Amazon Prime Day coverage page has the latest stories, and our Prime Day Shopping Tips will help you avoid bad deals. You can also get a 1-Year Subscription to WIRED for $5 here.
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Table of Contents
If you’re planning on spending at least $50 anyway, you can email yourself a gift card worth that much and get $12.50 for free. But remember to use code EGCPRIME22 to get that extra.
Stasher bags are the easiest way to replace single-use plastic baggies. They’re dishwasher-, freezer-, microwave-, and boiling water-safe. This bundle comes with six bags in sandwich and snack sizes. A four-pack is also discounted to $38 ($14) and comes with two sandwich bags, a snack size, and a half-gallon. If you need one or two specific sizes, single options are all on sale too: Stand-Up Mega for $22 ($8 off), Mid for $15 ($7 off), and Mini for $13 ($5 off); 1/2 Gallon for $15 ($7 off), Go Bag for $14 ($6 off), Pocket for $10 ($4 off), Sandwich for $9 ($4 off) and Snack for $7 ($3 off).
I haven’t used this particular Crockpot, but I have another one I’ve used for years. They can last you a long time with proper care. This one can serve around eight people and cook from 30 minutes to 20 hours. This is the lowest we’ve seen it since last year; it went for $80 in May.
I haven’t used this Crockpot either, but it’s genius. The 20-ounce size is ideal for lunches, and because it plugs in and heats up, you don’t have to wait in line at your office’s communal microwave. Just plug it in at your desk about an hour before lunchtime. It’s also a great option for those who don’t have a lot of time to sit down and eat—food will stay warm even if you have to run around. An Amazon reviewer even used it on an Amtrak train.
If you buy one thing for potential emergencies or backpacking trips, let it be this. LifeStraw filters out 99.9 percent of waterborne bacteria for up to 1,000 gallons of water. It often goes on sale, but it generally is around $18. The brand also has a 22-ounce water bottle with the straw built-in that’s also discounted to $20 ($27 off).
Contigo’s Luxe AutoSeal is our favorite travel mug for road trips. A button on the side of the lid opens the slot for drinking, and there’s a lock to prevent that from happening, like when it’s bumping around on your car floor. WIRED writer Matt Jancer says this was the easiest to use one-handed.
You can use a smart speaker to play sounds for sleeping (like an Echo Dot), but if you don’t want a voice assistant to invade your home, just stick with a dedicated sound machine. The Yogasleep Dohm Classic has a fan housed inside it, with two volume settings. (Marpac is the same company as Yogasleep, so don’t be alarmed by the name listed on the Amazon page.) If you need more than one, the three-pack is also discounted to $89 ($38 off).
Genuinely good, cheap sheets are hard to come by, but this affordable set is WIRED writer Matt Jancer’s personal fave. He says the quality is incredible, especially at this price. There are nice color options too, like blue and blush.
Quip toothbrushes are a favorite of ours. They’re simple but work well, and the smart version connects to an app to give you feedback on your habits. My biggest complaint is with the precariously thin and bendy neck, which could be improved. This price is for the metal handle. If you don’t want the smart version you can get the metal regular brush for $32 ($8 off). The plastic version (which I tried) is also on sale for $20 ($5 off).
We like the hands-free voice control of the more expensive Streaming Stick 4K Plus, our top streaming device. However, this one is just as capable and still supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. You can get it from Best Buy as well.
I have a nearly identical vacuum from Black+Decker that we use almost daily in my house, from cleaning dust off our desks to the litter that always manages to escape the box.
Smart Home and Audio Deals
This is our favorite smart bulb because it was the easiest to set up—it took me less than a minute in the Cync app—and it’s affordable. This set is for the full-color bulbs. If you’ll only use shades of white, a two-pack of warm soft white is $16 ($7 off) and tunable white for $16 ($7 off) are both on sale. The latter offers warm and blue-white shades.
Clicking the on-page coupon button gets you an additional 7 percent off the Prime Day sale price. We also like Sengled’s smart bulbs—they’re in our honorable mentions—and this four-pack is cheaper than buying two two-packs of Cync’s bulbs. These ones are soft white, so there aren’t any color options that are discounted just yet, though they may drop too.
Cync’s smart plugs also work well with little work on your part. This one is our outdoor pick because it can withstand the elements to control your holiday decorations or year-round lights, and it works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, too. It has two outlets but plugs into just one, so you can double your space. The price for this plug has gone up and down in recent months, but we’ve seen it hover mostly at $23.
We haven’t tried this exact version, but we did try an older model when the brand was still C by GE. All the products work just as well, so we’re confident that this is a solid smart plug for inside.
Echo Dots (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are solid smart speakers that take up very little real estate on your counter or bedside table. For $20 you can’t go wrong—last year we saw it dip to $25. It can play sleep sounds or music, or help you get ready for the day by telling you the weather. We have a guide on making your Amazon Echo device private.
We love the Echo Dot as is, but this kid’s version has easy-to-use parental controls so you can set time limits and filter out explicit content. Included in the sale price is a year of Amazon Kids+, which includes thousands of Audible books, plus games and other kid features.
These are surprisingly fantastic earbuds considering the ultra-low price (8/10, WIRED Recommends). They’re lightweight, comfy for small ears, have an 8-hour battery life, and are waterproof. But they’re not so great for calls, and the Bluetooth connection can be finicky.
We like Jabra headphones and recommend the brand’s Elite 7 Active buds. These Elite 3 earbuds are about $70 cheaper right now than those ones, and you don’t lose a lot of the company’s best features. For the money, WIRED associate editor and sound expert Parker Hall says they have decent sound and microphones, plus seven hours of battery life. They have Alexa built in if that’s your smart assistant of choice, and they’re available in a pretty lilac color, too.
The Elite 45h is our favorite affordable pair of wireless headphones. They’re comfortable and look sleek, plus they pack 50 hours of battery life. Unlike some other cheap wireless headphones, the mics are decent enough to not sound like you’re underwater in a Zoom call.
Mechanical keyboards make typing away at your desk all day a much more enjoyable experience, and Logitech’s G413 is our favorite option under $100. Most budget keyboards are plasticky junk, but this one is far from that. You get a lot of the same specs, like the type of switches and RBG lighting available in more advanced Logitech models, so it’s great for those who haven’t tried one before or who don’t need to deck out their board. Sales on this keyboard usually dip to $60, so this is a good time to buy.
The Arctis Prime is our favorite gaming headset under $100, and now it’s under $50. You’ll get rich and expansive sound and a retractable mic in a body that is comfortable enough to wear all day. Plus the build quality is better than the Arctis 1 below. There’s no active noise cancelation, but noise-isolating ear cups do a good job of keeping sound out.
The Arctis 1 takes the best under $50 prize if you want to spend even less than the Prime above. WIRED writer Jaina Grey says this headset feels and sounds more expensive than it is. This price matches the best deal we’ve tracked. It works with PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Switch, PC, and mobile.
We also like the Arctis 3. Its cushy AirWeave ear cushions feel good, and its distortion-busting S1 speakers are a solid improvement over the Arctis 1. There’s also a retractable microphone.
This reliable and cheap wireless mouse has been a mainstay for a few WIRED writers. It has speedy response times (it relies on a wireless dongle receiver instead of Bluetooth), and the single AA battery can last for months before it needs replacing.
Use code PRIME30 at checkout to see the discount. If all (or most) of your devices support wireless charging, Ampere’s Unravel Charger is handy for traveling. It can charge three devices wirelessly at once but takes up little space in your bag, so you can avoid finagling with twisted wires once you get to your hotel.
Working from the couch or bed is sometimes good for your health. This bamboo stand is best for those days, with a base that can be angled to your liking. The smaller surface on the right stays flat, so you can put a drink there if you’re careful. There’s also a little drawer.
You don’t need a Pixel phone to use this wireless charger, though Pixels will get some additional benefits, like automatically triggering Do Not Disturb mode when you place the phone on the charger. (It can even mimic the sun and light the screen up in a golden orange before your alarm starts to ring.) Phones that support wireless charging can be recharged in portrait or landscape orientation, and this charger doesn’t have distracting LEDs that could keep you up at night.
This USB mic will give you a basic boost in quality over the built-in mics in your laptop or headset. It’s not quite good enough for podcasts, but expect some compliments when you start talking over Zoom.
The travel-friendly size, combined with a processor upgrade and a Plus model ($110) with 3 gigabytes of RAM and wireless charging, make the Fire HD 8 series nearly as capable as its larger sibling. You probably aren’t going to want to work on it like an iPad, but for Netflix and playing games in the car, it’s a nice tablet.
Anker’s PowerCore Slim is the best portable charger for phones—it can charge an iPhone three times or even a Fire HD 8 tablet. Its tiny body has one USB-A port and one USB-C.
Laptops without ports are frustrating, so getting a good hub can make work easier. This one gets you one USB-C for passthrough charging, an HDMI, SD card readers, 2 USB-A, and an ethernet port. Check out our guide to the Best USB Hubs and Docks for more suggestions.
This version is for MacBooks, and it will take up both USB-C ports on the left side of compatible machines (we’ve tested it with the M1 MacBook Air). It supports charging adapters up to 100 watts and offers up a 4K HDMI port, a MicroSD card reader, and more.
I’ve been using a few reusable Rocketbook products, and these cards are a standout. Write out your notes, upload a photo to the app for storing, then wipe them clean. If you just need a little organizing today but don’t need to keep notes long-term, you don’t even need to use the app. It just helps to not waste so many note cards when you just need to jot something down. Rocketbook’s Fusion Notebook is also discounted to $18 ($15 off). It offers the same reusability with a mix of page types like calendars, blank pages, and project outlines.
We’ve tried a handful of Blue Sky paper planners and love them all—we’re paper planner enthusiasts over here at WIRED. I prefer a vertical weekly layout, but if you like horizontal, this one is for you. This is the cheapest we’ve tracked for nearly any of our favorite planners.
It might be hard to read, considering (gestures broadly to the world), but since its publication in 1985 The Handmaid’s Tale has rung true time and time again. In her Masterclass, author Margaret Atwood said, “When I wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, nothing went into it that had not happened in real life somewhere at some time.”
As an animal lover, this sale caught my eye. James Herriot recalls his early work as a veterinarian working across the Yorkshire Dales in England treating animals from dogs to cattle.
For a less emotional journey, opt for this coffee table book full of gorgeous photos and histories of the most famous artists from the early Renaissance to now.
Board Games and Toy Deals
If you have a group of people to play with, Clue is an old-school fun detective game. This version is the one you remember, thanks to Hasbro’s Retro Series releases. It was definitely Colonel Mustard in the ballroom with a candlestick, right? Might as well watch the 1985 movie, too.
I’m unfortunately a terrible speller, but I still find Scrabble fun to play every once in a while to try to work out my brain muscles. This is another revamp from Hasbro.
Toddlers will love this game that teaches addition and subtraction. This version features the cartoon character CoComelon.
Guess Who? is aimed at kids 6 years old and up, but unlike a lot of kids’ games, adults might find it fun too. This one includes two decks, one with people and one with animals.
Trivia is my all-time favorite game to play because, unlike spelling, I’m actually really good at it. This version has cards for both kids and adults to enjoy, so no one gets bored. You can play by the rules to crown a winner or just draw cards.
If you’re traveling with small children, card games are one of the easiest and most portable ways to prevent epic tantrums while waiting to board a plane or for dinner to come to a restaurant table. We also like the Guess Who? card game and Spot It!
If you have a big family willing to act out scenes or flex their art skills, Cranium could make for a fun game night. It’s best for those 16 years old and older and includes 600 cards.
Green Toys are made in the United States using recycled plastic, which is something we can get behind. This set is for the pool or bath, as each of the sea creatures is designed to pour out water in fun different ways like trickles or waterfalls off the jellyfish’s legs.
Cats need something to scratch. There are a few different materials available for this, but corrugated cardboard seems to be widely accepted among felines. This deal gets you three large rectangles for kitty to go wild on, and each one is double-sided (you have to pull the tab to reveal the second side).
I’ve used and like a bunch of PetFusion products, including this bed. It’s designed to mimic a soft blanket, so there’s an extra fabric that pets can nuzzle into. This size is best for cats or small dogs, but there is also a medium size available.
This is a classic round pet bed for small pets that’s made well. One of my cats loved it, the other didn’t bother (cats, am I right?). The whole thing is also machine washable.
A ton of Furhaven pet beds are discounted right now, but this nice chaise design offers a pillowed edge for pups to rest their heads. It’s available in a bunch of colors and sizes, too, and this jumbo size is good for dogs up to 95 pounds. There’s a version with a third pillowed edge too, or if you think your dog would prefer a flat slab or a contoured version, those are discounted as well.
We haven’t tried this so we can’t speak for its longevity. However, it has decent reviews, and for $23 you can try the brand and see whether your cat is into this kind of lounger. It has a good mix of materials, including two poles made for scratching. My cat has a similar brush toy that she goes absolutely nuts over.
When I think of spending any time out in the elements, I think about Coleman. This lantern’s light goes up to 1,000 lumens and has what the company calls “battery guard” to prevent battery drain. It can last up to 14 hours on its highest setting. You do need to get four D batteries separately though.
If you’re a casual camper who likes to spend a night or two at a local campground, a no-frills Coleman tent is an affordable option. WIRED senior writer Scott Gilbertson says it won’t stand up to strong winds and the zippers could be stronger, but for a starter tent it’s a good deal.
The price of this drill is all over the place from $95 to $50. Still, $39 for a basic drill and 30-piece set is pretty solid, especially for those of us without any basic tools around the house. Black+Decker’s Mouse Electric Detail Sander is also discounted to $30 ($10 off).