We’re always hearing about items that go “viral” on Amazon. First there was a mysteriously perfect
puffer coat that slowly took over New York City; then a ‘ 90s-style maillot that magically flattered nearly everyone. A few months back, we filled you in on the $3 $2.65 pack of pearl barrettes that started appearing on influential heads all over our IG feeds. And in May, there was the DIY tiny house. You heard that right — a structure that provides shelter to human beings was available for purchase on Amazon. And not only that — it kept selling out! SMDH.
We don’t cover tons of breaking news here on the shopping team — not as much as our Kardashian-hawk compatriots over in Entertainment or the newshounds monitoring AOC’s every move. What we do constantly monitor, however, is Amazon. It’s become one of our favorite pastimes to scour the site for
“hidden gems” — we even have a reader-sourced column devoted to it — and we’re always on the lookout for the item that’s primed to go from obscurity to ubiquity overnight; racking up tons of reviews and customer photos, in addition to appearing everywhere IRL.
To suss out some potential contenders for this distinction, we turned to some friends whose tastes and shopping habits we trust, including home-goods designer
Jonathan Adler and Orange Is The New Black costume designer Jenn Rogien. We also consulted some expert R29ers, like our content strategist Melissa Katz and global editor-in-chief Christene Barberich. We wanted to know their predictions for that soon-to-be-trending item, and more importantly, the reasoning behind their choice. And, as with most things Amazon-related, their answers may surprise you, and leave you wondering how you ever lived without the item in question.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
The Perfect (Extended Size) Summer Dress
Makeda Saggau-Sackey; blogger, The Glamazon Diaries “This dress is going to be a summer hit because it goes up to size XXL, comes in 29 colors, and is under $35. The silhouette and the billowy skirt are Instagram-worthy.” VintageClothing Floral Maxi Dress, $34.99, available at Amazon
High-Capacity Hydro Flask
Morgan Baila, entertainment editor, Refinery29 “This season’s hottest accessory? A water bottle the size of a small child. Seriously. This 64 oz. Hydra Flask water bottle is one of the best investments I’ve made for NYC’s grueling summer months. If you drink one a day, you hit the recommended amount of water and you make everyone jealous because this water bottle is randomly chic as hell. Plus it makes a great desk accessory. Hot tip: Get the white one — if it isn’t already sold out.” Hydro Flask 64 oz Double Wall Water Bottle, $59.95, available at Amazon
Detox Powder and Skin Therapy Wand
Susan Alexandra; designer “I buy this every month, it is a MIRACLE worker for anyone who has experienced dreaded, miserable constipation. Literally magic! I’m also newly addicted to this skin therapy wand, after reading about it on Into The Gloss. It zaps painful, pesky pimples and most importantly, gives you the sense that you have control over your own skin!” Global Healing Center Natural Intestinal Cleanser, $46.95, available at Amazon
Jenn Rogien; costume designer, Orange is The New Black and Russian Doll “I’m obsessed with my growing Birk collection (and I was laaaaate to the Birk game by at least three years), and the EVA styles in hilarious seasonal colors are my faves. I’ve replaced all my flip flops with the EVA Gizeh or EVA Arizona styles because they’re insanely comfortable, waterproof, have the signature Birkenstock anatomical footbed, and come in the most delightful colors.” Birkenstock Birkenstock Essentials EVA Sandals Scuba Blue, $39.95, available at Amazon
Linda Meyers; co-founder, Wary Meyers “Painful in a blissful way, this acupressure ball of nails dropped into my life from Nirvana. This massage ball is made by experts in the Ukraine and offers a number of benefits such as chronic pain and fatigue relief, aiding circulation and even combating cellulite!” LYAKPO Acupuncture Hand and Foot Massage Ball, $29.1, available at Amazon
Michelle Rothman; vice president, Amazon Fashion “Customers tell us they are looking to refresh their swimwear wardrobes with fun, flattering styles this summer. This high-waisted bikini is a great example as it’s a retro silhouette, and the pom poms add a playful touch. Like many styles available on Amazon Fashion, this bikini comes in various colors and a wide range of sizes.” Cocoship Striped High Waist Bikini, $25.99, available at Amazon
Collapsible, Re-useable Straw
Melissa Katz; director of content strategy, Refinery29 “I think these reusable, collapsable steel straws will be the next viral Amazon product. This one comes in a cute, compact case and with a cleaning squeegee. I ordered one for my mom and sister, too. With straws being banned across the country and bars practically shaming you for asking in New York, now’s a good time to get one. Summer drinks taste so much better with a straw!” Vantic Telescopic Stainless Steel Metal Straw, $9.99, available at Amazon
Titi and Zakiya, creators and hosts of Dope Labs podcast “In the past year we’ve seen jade rolling, drinking celery juice, and wearing sheet masks to the grocery store all marketed as essential for self-care. But we can all agree that one of the most important parts of the self-care routine is SLEEP. Want to reduce stress and really sink into REM sleep? Look no further! We think the next hot item is the weighted blanket. It’s basically like the thunder shirt, but for humans. Think of it as a hug throughout the night without the awkward conversation in the morning.” Weighted Idea Cooling Weighted Blanket 15 lbs, $64.9, available at Amazon
May Hong; actor, Tales of the City “I pick at my fingers, especially when I’m watching tv or a movie, so I find it helpful to have something in my hand to replace that behavior. I used to use Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty (also an extremely satisfying fidget item) but it will destroy clothing if you accidentally leave it laying around. These magnet balls are so stupid but so good. They move like putty but you can keep it in your pocket, make it into a bracelet, whatever. Irresistible object.” Yukkio 216-Pieces Magnet Sculpture Building Blocks, $12.99, available at Amazon
Aroom Han; founder, Style Otaku “Whether you think you need this or not, no one ever complains when you take this out in a humid NYC subway station. No one. And when people approach you and ask you where you got it, they already know — Amazon. If you ask us, we wish this would be the next viral item — to fight the summer city smells.” O2COOL Deluxe Necklace Fan, $9.99, available at Amazon
Jonathan Adler, furniture and home accessories designer “I don’t know what could go viral, but I know what should go viral: the Cloud Chair from Now House, my brand on Amazon. You may not think you need a cloud-like chair, but you do: It’s dreamy, it’s chic, it’s comfortable, and it can be at your home in days with Prime shipping. It’s kind of perfect, and I’m not just saying that because I designed it.” Now House by Jonathan Adler Cloud Chair Club, $598, available at Amazon
Christene Barberich; global editor-in-chief, Refinery29 “I can’t wait to bring [my baby] Raffi on plenty of summer beach and park trips, and having a little shaded nook like this will be a literal God send.” Nequare Baby Beach Tent, $31.99, available at Amazon
Hard-to-Find Workwear Pants
Jian DeLeon; editorial director, Highsnobiety “I don’t know about viral items, but I will only buy Dickies 874 pants from Amazon. They sell them in ultra rare 28” inseams, which means I don’t have to get them hemmed. Another thing I’m getting into is dyeing socks — and Amazon sells my go-to Nike Dri-Fits as well as a plethora of home tie-dyeing kits. I’m sure that’s gonna be big for the summer.” Dickies Dickies Men’s Original 874 Work Pant, $22.99, available at Amazon
Farideh Sadeghin; culinary director, Munchies “These grooming gloves are the perfect gift for the cat lover in your life, because Cat Appreciation Day is coming up on August 17. They say they’re soothing and meditative, so it’s got wellness written all over it. A great way to bond with your pet.” Delomo Gentle Deshedding Brush Glove, $12.86, available at Amazon
Memory Foam Cushion
Liz Buxton; associate lifestyle market editor, Refinery29 “ I think this memory foam seat cushion is going to be everywhere soon. My entire row of coworkers ordered it collectively after a long convo about poor desk posture — after an Amazon deep dive search for the top reviewed solution, we settled on this cushy butt supporter!” ComfiLife Premium Comfort Seat Cushion, $29.95, available at Amazon
Miniature Light Reflector
Holly Falcone, manicurist “I use this tiny wonder for nail photos to light hands up with a healthy glow that makes me feel like a professional photographer! It’s also great for an impromptu food shoot, or capturing a moment with your dog. You’re a pro now!” PhotoTrust Super Portable and Tiny Reflector, $8.99, available at Amazon
Desktop Charger and Drink Warmer and Juul-Compatible Phone Case
Stephen McGeachy; IT support manager, Refinery29 “Wireless charging and keeping your beverage just the right temperature wirelessly feels like the future! Big time desk upgrade! Also, I have been seeing many people with these Juul-compatible phone cases. I don’t use Juul, but I can understand why it being attached to your phone would be essential, as you’d typically not leave your phone at home.”
Nomodo Wireless Charger with Mug Warmer/Drink Cooler, $79.99, available at Amazon Akatie Cell Phone Holder Compatible with JUUL, $5.87, available at Amazon
’90s Swimsuit Style
Jasmine Chavez Helm; co-host, Unravel: A Fashion Podcast “Styles from the mid to late-’90s are in full effect. It’s only natural that in summer 2019 that bikini bottoms are higher-waisted and higher-cut. This suit is a triple threat as it embodies all the classic elements of ’90s swimsuits, bold animal print, high-waisted, and high cut.” Omkagi 2pc Bandeau Bikini Swimsuit, $21.99, available at Amazon
Marissa Rosenblum; senior shopping director, Refinery29 The tiny house that went viral last month for selling out on Amazon has (at least) one major design flaw — no bathroom. Seems like a prime seller’s market for the folks making compost toilets. Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet, $960, available at Amazon
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