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What Readers Are Buying: Silk Pillowcases, Foaming Cleanser, and Board Games

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Welcome to Your Shopping Cart, wherein 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 sees two new entries in our top ten, a couple of regulars (like a plant mister and a gel moisturiser), and a trove of board games to entertain lockdown-fatigued readers.

The Flairosol spray bottle has now claimed the top spot in our most-bought list, moving up one place since January. This inexpensive mister is now spending its tenth month in the Strategist’s most-bought — a rare accolade it shares with one other product (also on this list — see below). Lisa Muñoz, interior plant designer and founder of Leaf and June, says this bottle is “typically something you’d see in salons,” but it’s her favourite mister for plants. “It’s small and lightweight, even when full of water, and it creates a gentle, steady mist.”

Moving one place up to number two and marking its 11th month in our top ten is the affordable, effective, and highly popular gel moisturiser by Neutrogena. It contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid, meaning it can hydrate skin without the need for emollients, which can make skin feel heavy. And it’s both alcohol- and oil-free, too. It has come recommended by experts for dry-skin types, the rosacea-prone, and even pregnant women — and staff writer Chris Mandle swears by it.

3. Patchwork

Patchwork has been in our most-bought four months in a row — and this month, it’s gone up three places from number six. It first came recommended to us by four experts when we looked into the best board games for two players. The game challenges players to strategically collect different pieces to create a quilt. Greg May, owner of The Uncommons and Hex & Company, calls it “the perfect game for couples” that is sure to delight “fans of Blokus or Tetris.”

4. Jaipur

Last month, Jaipur — a fast-paced trading game — debuted in our most-bought at number one (which doesn’t happen very often). This month it’s fallen three places, but it’s still proving immensely popular as board games continue to dominate our leisure time. Players must trade items to amass rupees, and it only takes 30 minutes to complete. Reviewers frequently brought up the gorgeously illustrated cards as a huge selling point.

After a brief respite from our top ten, Codenames is back at number five. It was last at number three back in December and has fallen two places since then. The rules are relatively straightforward: Players must make associations between words as they cooperate to identify targets with a limited number of guesses.


Another returning product is this foaming cleanser by CeraVe, which hasn’t been in our top ten since October. Back then, it was one of our most popular face washes on the Strategist, having been in the most-bought roundup every month since March. It first featured in our roundup of the best face washes for oily skin, where it was deemed the best overall by a number of our experts. Dr. Michelle Park of Washington Square Dermatology says it’s a gentle product that’s suitable for all skin types.

7. Imhotep: The Duel

Now in its third month in our most-bought, Imhotep sees players try to win by unloading ships from a shared waterfront and earning points by collecting six different types of goods. According to Andy Matthews, the founder of board-game review site Meeple Mountain, “This game is everything I want a two-player game to be: It’s streamlined, it’s tactical, and it’s fun,” he says, adding that because there are a limited number of choices during each turn, every decision is important. This also marks Imhotep’s highest placement, moving up two spots from number nine last month.

Though it’s fallen three places since last month, Bananagrams — now spending a third month in our top ten — came recommended by Strategist UK editor Ailbhe Malone. She wrote about it in her piece on her favourite two-player board games, saying that “it took us a couple of rounds to learn how to play, but it’s very easy to pick up.” The game is a bit like Scrabble, but with two players racing against each other to make words.

Photo: retailer

Our first new entry this month is this inexpensive handheld massager by Renpho. We first featured it in our look at the best massagers on Amazon — where it took the top spot thanks to over 26,000 reviews — but it sold in high numbers this month due to being spotlighted in our Deal of the Day. One customer likened it to a “magic wand” after it alleviated 20 years of back pain. Another reviewer, who said their chiropractor used the same model, described feeling as light as a feather after using this on their muscles. The massager comes with five different screw-on heads to offer different kinds of treatments, with the deep-tissue setting singled out as the best in 204 reviews.

Our tenth most-bought item this month is actually a tie. First up is Sushi Go!, a board game that debuted last month in the same spot. It’s a lightning-quick, pick-and-pass style card game, with the overall goal being to create different collections of dishes to score the most points.

Our second new entry this month, and tied for tenth place, is this silk pillowcase that contributor Natalya Lobanova wrote about for the Strategist’s Sleep Week. She bought them to help keep her hair “frizz-free,” and found them on Amazon after being unimpressed with cheaper ones on the market. “These pillowcases are a dream to sleep on, and they’re machine washable (though only on the delicate setting, of course),” she said. “I have washed them at least a dozen times, and the silk is still very shiny and luxurious-looking, and there are no signs of any seams fraying. I’ve had them for about four months, and even with regular machine washes, they’re still as lustrous as ever.”

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: Silk Pillowcases and Cleanser