sunday circular

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Book Hampers to Bed Sheets

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked 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 curated book hamper for new (and nocturnal) mums, some high-quality dog food, and TikTok’s favourite air fryer.

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A handheld vacuum that’ll reach anywhere

The handheld vacuum cleaner comes into its own for sudden crumb spills, less cumbersome cleaning down the back of the sofa, and during times when you just can’t be bothered to crack out a big corded version. This compact one by Black+Decker is among our best in class of all vacuums. Reviewers particularly appreciated its sleek and bendy head, ideal for reaching awkward spaces. They also liked how easy it is to clean, its suction power (ruthless with pet hair), and the fact it’s fully cordless.

This printed, discounted fitted sheet

When we spoke to design experts about the best bedsheets, Kate Watson-Smyth, interiors podcaster and Mad About the House author, switched us on to La Redoute. “They have a huge range of affordable bedding, the only downside being that there’s a lot to wade through,” she says. “But if you can spare the time, you will find some treasures — not to mention that there’s often a sale on.” And indeed, this Monille fitted sheet is currently 50 percent off.

A tried-and-tested air fryer

Speaking to expert chefs and home-cooks about the very best air fryers, Strategist contributor Chris Mandle kept hearing about this model from Ninja. Ally Farrell, a TV development producer at Whisper told Mandle he’s been impressed by the Halloumi fries he’s made in his, which come out “restaurant standard.” It’s also favoured by popular TikTok creator Sean Casey, who cooks chips and breadcrumbed chicken, as well as other bits, in his.

A no-duplicates baby-shower gift

If you’re heading to a baby shower, why not support a small business with your gift? Nina Malone, Dope Black Mums podcast host, recommends getting one from Beige Store. They work with artisan artists in Ghana to produce feeding bibs, cribs, and baby baskets that are “handmade start to finish.” We particularly like this Grab and Go basket, made of elephant grass. It’ll be something they haven’t received already, as well as a gorgeously crafted place to store the mountains of baby grows and toys they’re sure to receive.

Some treats for a new mum

For a new mum themselves, we also have some gift inspiration, like this pastel, squishy knee pad. “The thing that saved me was a kneeling mat for the bathroom floor. Your knees take some hammering bathing a baby,” says Laura Simpson, a social-ad strategist at Chameleon Social and mum of two from Nottingham. Simpson loved it so much that she gifted it to an expecting friend, who went on to gush that it was “the best gift they received.”

If, instead, you want to give something purely for mum instead, we have a thoughtful suggestion. “I found that with nighttime feeds and long newborn naps (make the most of those!), I was reading a lot,” says Liz Bleakley, a PR and communications director from Manchester and the mum to a 14-month-old. “My husband noticed that I was racing through books and started to quiz me on my favourite reading materials. Little did I know it was for my Christmas present. The Beautiful Book Company do amazing gift hampers, and it is honestly one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.”

And vet-approved dog food

For parents of a different kind, we spoke to vets about finding the perfect food for your dog. They advised looking for a food suitable for your dog’s age, with FEDIAF approval, and some quality ingredients. This wet food by Marley Bones has all three, and has “a lower cost compared to equivalent-quality wet foods out there,” says Chloé Nerina Fuller, companion animal nutritionist and DogFest performer. You subscribe to the service, letting the brand tailor-make a meal plan for your dog by asking you a few questions. Their range includes chicken, salmon, and beef — so you can pick whichever your pet’ll like best.

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: Books to Baskets