This story is part of the GP100, our list of the 100 best new products of the year. Read the introduction to the series here, and stay tuned for more lists like it throughout the month.
If last year’s list of the best new products for your home highlighted performance above all else, this year’s list is the embodiment of comfort. This makes good sense: We spent nearly every waking hour in our homes at the start of the pandemic, so the best new things eased that transition. This year, the best new things mellow our neuroses. Take Seth Rogen’s striking new weed label, Houseplant. Oh, and Nebia’s affordable, water-saving spa showerhead. And lest we forget Solo Stove’s great looking new line of firepits, that are hotter and less smoky than any we’ve tested. Taken together, the best 2021 had to offer for the home make living just a bit cozier.
Game Changer: Dyson V15 Detect
Runtime: Up to 60 minutes
Charge Time: 4.5 hours
Weight: 6.8 pounds
When it comes to vacuum cleaners, Dyson leads the pack. The brand has become so synonymous with vacuum cleaners that “Dyson” and “vacuum” are about as interchangeable as “Kleenex” and “tissue.” But not all vacuums are Dyson, and with its latest model — the V15 Detect — the brand further posits itself as the end-all, be-all of vacuum cleaners.
What makes the V15 Detect special is its innovative slim laser head. You read that right: “laser.” Meant for hard floors, the brush head is equipped with a green laser that projects itself against the floor when in use. The laser does more than light a path for you to vacuum, however — it illuminates particles as small as 10 microns, which is about the diameter of human red blood cells. In a way, the laser head makes vacuuming feel less like a chore and more like a real-life game of Pac-Man. The Dyson isn’t just a vacuum for hard floor, as it also comes with a fluffy head brush for getting into rugs and carpets.
Sometimes when you vacuum, it can feel like nothing is really happening until you start to see an accumulation of crap in your dust bin. The V15 Detect takes things a step further by using something called an “acoustic piezo sensor.” In layman’s terms, the sensor registers the vibrations of the dust being vacuumed and uses those vibrations to measure the size of the debris — it’s then transferred into an electric signal, relaying how many particles (and the varying sizes of the particles) through an LCD screen atop the vacuum cleaner.
The V15 Detect maintains Dyson’s legendary suction power through its powerful motor, adding a 60-minute runtime, eight click-on attachments and a new anti-tangle hair brush. If you’ve ever felt like giving your home a deep clean, the V15 Detect is the vacuum to do it.
Founders: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Returns: 30 days
Shipping: Nationwide; weed only available in California
Seth Rogen might be Hollywood’s favorite toker, so it only made sense for the actor to release a weed brand in the United States (after a very successful run in his home country of Canada). Houseplant, founded alongside longtime creative partner Evan Goldberg, is a brand of well-designed weed accessories (available nationwide) and weed (available only in California).
The pair have graduated the gaudy Marley-adorned weed gear of the past into 2021 where form is as important as function. Some may find issue with two white men founding a weed business when Black people are more likely to be arrested for weed-related charges than white people. The pair know this. So aside from making excellent smoking gear, Houseplant aims to create a more diverse and equitable cannabis industry, from fighting unjust weed laws to advocating for minority-owned businesses.
Humanscale eFloat One
Dimensions: 28″ by 36″
Height Range: 23″ to 49″
Weight: 51.3 pounds
On the hunt for a tiny sit-to-stand desk, all I could find were ugly, poorly designed options from Amazon. Then Humanscale, one of the leading home office furniture brands, remodeled its popular Float desk into the smaller eFloat One. The 0nly change the brand had to make was to swap out the two-leg stand for a single center column to accommodate the smaller tabletop. Other than its smaller footprint, the desk retains much of what makes Humanscale’s desks such popular buys. The tabletop is made of sustainable bamboo, which also happens to be beautiful, and users can easily control the desk’s height through an intuitive touchpad.
Casper Glow Night Light
Best for: Hallways; bathrooms; kids rooms
Warranty: 12 months
Free Trial: 30 days
Price: $35 for two
Maybe this is sacrilege, but Casper’s best products may not be its mattresses. The Glow Night Light isn’t revolutionary, but it does its job just beautifully. During the day, it doesn’t stick out, both literally and in an aesthetic sense. At night, it emits extremely soft indirect light rather than a tiny beam of direct light — the functional difference between the two being that one wakes you up while the other guides your half-awake self to the bathroom.
Mavix M4 Gaming Chair
Materials: Mesh back; foam butt cushion
Color Options: Blue; green; red; black
Who could have guessed that the best chairs for gaming are just the best chairs for most time spent in front of a screen? Until recently, very few people. The plague of horribly designed “gaming” chairs began years ago, when, in a fit of absolute nonsense, it was decided gamers needed racing-style seats to sit in a chair and play League. Winged seatbacks and bucket seats were designed to keep actual racecar drivers stuck in their seats when ripping around a track; playing Dota 2 or Counterstrike shouldn’t lift you from your seat.
There are more negatives — the pleather, the elevated seat lip — but they hardly bear mentioning when the obvious is, well, obvious: an ergonomic chair is best for working long hours in front of a computer, meaning it’s best for long hour gaming hours in front of a computer. The brilliance of Mavix’s new M4 chair (and Mavix’s gaming chairs more generally) is its straightforward, body friendly design. It offers lumbar and neck support, adjustable armrests, a headrest, locking casters and a highly breathable mesh back for the sweatier nerds among us.
KonMari x The Container Store Collection
Products: Bins; hangers; drawer dividers; and more
Materials: Bamboo; paper; plastic
Size of Collection: 100+ items
If you haven’t heard, being tidy is cool. At least, that’s what sales of organizational tools is saying. Queen of organization Marie Kondo partnered with The Container Store on a collection of storage solutions that keep all the things that spark joy for you neat and tidy. The 100-piece collection comprises products for everything from the kids’ room to the kitchen. Each piece has a clear and intentional design, minimally adorned to draw as little attention as possible, yet somehow be the most eye-catching design solution we could find. The Japanese minimalism is complemented by sustainable materials — like bamboo and rattan — because at the end of the day, you’re still buying more stuff.
Solo Stove Elemental Series
Materials: 304 stainless steel
Dimensions: 19.5″ W x 14″ H
Log Capacity: 4 to 6
Solo Stove is not a brand new company, but it does feel like 2021 was the year it made a name for itself. Its backyard Bonfire line is essentially a performance-minded firepit, which is something firmly in the “I didn’t know I needed this until I had one” camp, and its new-to-2021 Elemental Series is its first that blends that high performance with variable looks (in this case, five earthy color options).
The premise beneath the Solo Stove’s all-steel build is simple: most firepits are built with looks in mind, not fires. The Solo Stove prioritizes fuller combustion, which makes for hotter and less smoky fires; a lot like a well-designed charcoal grill might. If you’re tired of stinging eyes, billows of thick smoke and meh heat output, it’s well worth the spend; especially now that you can get one that doesn’t look a little like a piece of a fallen satellite.
Bottle: BPA-free Tritan
Colors: Black and neon green
Don’t confuse the Budsy for your Nalgene. The latter will get you hydrated — the Budsy will get you high. Yes, you are in fact looking at a bong that’s disguised to look like a nondescript water bottle. Puffco, known for its weed vaporizers, released the Budsy on April Fools’ Day, but this was no joke. Fill the bottle to the fill line (at a very appropriate 420 milliliters), and smoke up like you would with any bong. If you take this on the go, which you very well could, just be sure you don’t chug that nasty bong water.
Nebia Moen Quattro
Spray Modes: Super saver; hard spray; mist; angel hair
Flow Rate: As low as 1.2 gallons per minute
Installation: About 3 to 4 minutes, no tools required
Nebia made a splash at launch with its extremely expensive showerheads and long list of tech celebrity investors, including folks like Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt of Google. The core function of the showerhead — cutting back on water use in the shower — was mostly lost in the hype. But that’s what happens when you sell $629 and $269 showerheads. In 2021, the company, now under the Moen umbrella, released a far more in the ballpark option — the $129 Quattro.
It is effectively compatible with all shower plumbing setups; a common pain point with the brand’s more expensive models. It also takes all of 180 seconds to screw on (I timed myself to be sure) and certainly has the look and feel of a premium showerhead. It comes in five metallic finishes and with four modes of operation, the best of which are the super saver and the mist setting. The former is nearly indistinguishable from a typical hard spray, but cuts the flow rate from 1.5 to 1.2 gallons per minute, while the latter makes your shower a miniature spa (it’s recommend to turn the temperature higher than normal when steaming, though).
Shinola x Crate&Barrel Detroit Collection
Includes: Furniture; home accessories; lighting; textiles
Materials: Oak; leather; steel
Style: Warm, modern industrial
Price: $15 to $7,498
Brand collaborations are no longer surprising, even when they don’t make much sense on paper (some feel arbitrary for randomness’ sake nowadays). But when done right, collabs take the best of both parties and make them even better. Such is the case with Shinola Detroit’s collaboration with furniture giant Crate&Barrel.
From leather sofas and lighting to pillows and alarm clocks, the collection is big enough to fill out multiple rooms, but the design throughline is strong throughout. The collection is anchored by the larger furniture pieces like the oak coffee table and leather sofa, both of which feature similar dowel joinery construction and heavy oak materials. And while Shinola’s design DNA does lean industrial Detroit, the use of metal — a massive feature of most modern industrial furniture — is selective (its use as the frame to hold the file cabinet up being a perfect example).