your shopping cart

What Readers Are Buying: Tower Fans, Suitcases, and Rice Cookers

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Welcome to “Your Shopping Cart,” where we break out the top ten products that you, devoted Strategist UK readers, bought in droves. Think of this as the TL;DR of the Strategist UK: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to as well.

This month saw four new entries in your baskets since June: a tower fan, a musical piano baby toy, a smoothing facial cleanser, and a rice cooker (all discounted on Prime Day). You also opted for suitcases and an Olaplex hair treatment.

If you hadn’t heard, it’s been a little warm recently. And, just as this time last year, your most-bought item was this tower fan from Honeywell. Our associate director for audience development Rosie Percy loves it, picking it up last year after seeing its ranking as the best quiet tower fan from Amazon (according to hyperenthusiastic reviewers). It was on offer during Prime Day, and is popular for several reasons, including a white-noise option, silent remote control, and multiple quiet settings so you can run it at night. In Percy’s words: “I had my best night’s kip in weeks.”

Dominating our most-bought with a 28-month run is ​​Neutrogena’s gel-like moisturiser, rising two places. It usually costs £13.50, but Prime Day shoppers would’ve scooped a steal at almost 50 percent off. In fairness, it’s still on offer on Amazon for under a tenner. Lighter moisturisers continue to work well in summer, and this gel’s particularly soothing on sunburn, according to former staff writer Chris Mandle. Best of all, its alcohol- and oil-free formula is suitable for all skin types, as you’ll see in our story on the best moisturisers for oily skin.

Photo: retailer

It’s another strong showing for this vitamin C serum, previously our most-bought item for two months. Now in its fourth month in our top ten, it seems you all can’t get enough of its 20 percent L-ascorbic-acid formulation and airtight pump. Though it’s a little pricier at £30, beauty journalist Rhea Cartwright told us it’s an “insider secret” dupe for Skinceuticals’ serum. Of course, you should remember to slather on even more SPF when using a vitamin C serum, especially if applying it in the morning.

It comes as little surprise that Olaplex’s hair perfector still ranks highly after 15 months in our most-bought list, moving up one place this month. Though it wasn’t on sale for Prime Day, Olaplex comes highly recommended for hair of all types, including curly hair and dry hair, and was previously deemed a “lifesaver” by author Shon Faye in her guest Strategist haul.

Heat waves leave us panting and tired, but they also wreak crispy havoc on houseplants. No doubt that’s why Strategist readers continued to invest in misters, increasing the humidity around plants, rather than simply making them wet. Best on the market is Flairosol’s spray bottle, which has now been in our most-bought for 27 months and was also on offer for Prime Day. Plus, if you’re really warm, you can always mist yourself down for some temporary relief.

Strategist readers returning to travel this summer heavily opted for this lightweight suitcase by Aerolite. It’s been in our top ten since May, dropping down from second place last month. It’s now our sixth-most-bought item. Strategist UK senior editor Ailbhe Malone has personally owned this case for over seven years, and it’s accompanied her from “Tokyo to Tasmania to Toulouse.” Crucially, it’s hand luggage–compatible on 15 airlines — no one wants to experience the agony of this summer’s lost-luggage fiasco.

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

This smoothing cleanser is a favourite of ex–staff writer Chris Mandle for its gentle exfoliation. It was another Prime Day deal, bringing CeraVe cleaners back into your shopping baskets after the brand’s foaming wash dropped out of the list in June.

We saw this piano baby toy pick up plenty of interest last summer, after experts recommended it as a gift for 1-year-olds. It appeared in our Prime Day kids and baby deal roundup this year, costing less than £20 and earning an average 4.7-star Amazon rating from more than 15,000 reviewers. New parents will be happy to hear that it also has a volume control.


Though not as popular as Neutrogena’s lighter gel option, this Strategist-approved moisturising cream from Cetaphil is now in its sixth month in our top ten. According to Dr. Rachel Nazarian, it’s “incredibly lightweight and comfortable for daily use throughout the year,” knocking CeraVe’s heavier moisturising cream out of our top ten for the first time in months.

We’ve previously crowned this the best simple rice cooker — its favourable Amazon reviews were enough to convince ex–staff writer Chris Mandle to buy one for his own kitchen a couple of years ago. The Reishunger can hold rice for up to six people and comes with a handy steamer insert for cooking vegetables. It’s also regularly on sale, and was a Prime Day bargain this year.

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.

What Readers Are Buying: Fans, Suitcases, and Rice Cookers