The Good Housekeeping Research Institute tests thousands of products each year to find the ones that will improve your life. Rosemary Ellis, the magazine's editor-in-chief, shared some of the most useful innovative 2011 products with "Good Morning America." They earned the institute's VIP designation as Very Innovative Products.
You can see the full list of 2011 VIP Award winners in the February issue of Good Housekeeping.
This appliance features an overnight washing and drying mode that will clean and dry up to eight garments. They emerge from the washer wrinkle-free and ready to wear. By setting the machine on delay-start, you can schedule your clothes to be ready when you are. Lightweight items can be ready in just a few hours.
Heavy jugs of laundry detergent are a pain. Method's new detergent gets rid of the hassle. The small bottles hold a formula eight times as concentrated as others, so only a few pumps will clean a whole load. According to Christina Peterson, home care product analyst, "the pump design also turns the bottle into a targeted stain pretreater tool."
Some fabrics lose wrinkles best with a steamer, and others are better when pressed. This iron does both. It converts from an iron to a handheld steamer with the turn of a dial. "You can press out deep creases from the back of a blouse, then gently steam ruffles on the front without missing a beat," says Christina Peterson.
This self-propelled robot moves up and down and all around bare floors, sweeping or mopping with any dry or wet disposable cleaning cloth, or you can use the reusable microfiber cloth that comes with it. With its low profile and less-than-10-inch width, Mint's GPS–like technology "maps" the room so the machine can get around and under furniture.
This sleek, bladeless electric fan isn't only a cool conversation starter, its unique design makes it child-safe because there are no places for small fingers to get caught. It's also really easy to clean. The airflow mechanisms are housed underneath so air is pulled into the base, then sent out through the cylinder, making the fan bottom-heavy and more stable.
With the Zoku, you can create your own ice pops from good-for-you ingredients like pureed fruit in under 10 minutes. First, you freeze the unit for 24 hours and then pour in juice, fruit – any of the ingredients you'd like – and in 7 to 10 minutes, you have your own popsicles.
Here are a few more products that made the list this year.
The Evo, the first U.S. phone to use a 4G network for Internet speeds that rival a home DSL's and are up to 10 times faster than 3G. And then there are the features: the best Android operating system to date, livestreaming video, and dual cameras for video chat, plus a huge 4.3-inch screen.
Long-haired testers found these pins very helpful. "These simple corkscrew pins held updo styles more securely and elegantly than twice as many bobby pins," says GHRI Beauty Lab chemist Charmaine Gillespie. Testers raved that these mane tamers were invisible when anchored in hair and, unlike elastics, didn't leave dents.
The iPad is one of the great hits of the last year. Part of its genius, aside from speedy Web browsing, elegant e-reading, stunning video display, and crystal-clear sound, is the ease with which it can be used. The iPad is comfortable thanks to its light weight, convenient size, and touch screen.
Good Housekeeing testers were able to set up this roomy eight-person tent in under three minutes; dismantling took just 10. "I was amazed at the ease with which it went up on my family's very windy camping trip," says Kathleen Huddy, GHRI textiles director. "And having two rooms is great for separating kids from adults — or your gear from you."
You can read about the rest of the VIP products in the February issue of "Good Housekeeping" magazine and get more information at GoodHousekeeping.com.
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