“I saw it on TikTok.”
You’ve probably heard someone say that over the past few years. Maybe you said it yourself. The popular app started out as a platform for creative dance routines, quick skits, and memes, but it’s quickly turned into a catalog of shopping recommendations. But can you trust a viral TikTok product rave? Or will it turn out to be one of those shoddy products from as-seen-on-TV ads? Don’t worry, the WIRED Gear team has you covered! We found some of the most popular TikTok gadgets and put them to the test, to find out if they’re both viral- and gift-worthy.
Updated November 2022: We’ve added more items, like the AirPods Max, Shark FlexStyle Drying & Styling System, Windmill AC, and Stanley Tumbler.
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For the Beginner CookDash Mini Waffle Maker
I never made waffles from scratch until I used the Dash Mini Waffle Maker. I’ve always relied on an old-fashioned toaster to warm up frozen waffles from the grocery store, but this mini (and cheap!) contraption opened my eyes to a world of delicious homemade recipes. I’ve used it to make chocolate chip waffles, cinnamon roll waffles, and “chaffles” (a waffle made from shredded cheese and eggs for those not on keto TikTok). I even ventured out of waffle territory and successfully made cheese quesadillas and breakfast sandwiches.
Its compact size means it doesn’t take up much room in my already cluttered countertop, and it’s easy to stow away in my cabinets. I do recommend grabbing a dish brush for cleaning though; a traditional sponge won’t reach all the crusty crevices. —Brenda Stolyar
For the Mom On-the-GoStanley The Quencher H2.0 Flowstate Tumbler (40 oz)
Yes, you’ve probably seen one of these (or a dozen) in the hands of your favorite long-haired, balayaged Utah Mom on TikTok. But you might not know that Stanley’s tumbler bears a remarkable resemblance to the gigantic plastic hospital mug everyone gets right after they give birth. In those chaotic postpartum days, we cling to our huge tumblers of water, clinking with life-giving ice, and drink from the straw that saves a precious tiny bit of energy from having to bend our head, using the handle to guide the mug toward our exhausted, dehydrated face. The Stanley tumbler will never disintegrate when you need it most; I cling to it like my kids clutch their blankies.
Back in September, Stanley launched a new and improved “2.0” version of its viral tumbler. We haven’t tested it, but it comes complete with a splash-resistant lid, ergonomic handle, and new colors. It’s available for purchase through Stanley’s site, but you can also purchase the original at third-party retailers (which we’ve listed below). —Adrienne So
For Those Bougie BlowoutsDyson Airwrap
Since the Dyson Airwrap (8/10, WIRED Recommends) has been at the top of many holiday wish lists for a while now, it constantly fluctuates in stock. But if you can find it, it’s worth the effort. The multi-use hair tool comes with a variety of attachments, including a round brush, soft smoothing brush, curling barrels, and a hair dryer attachment. When used correctly, you can achieve salon-level blowouts in the comfort of your own home. If you’re confused about where to even start (as I would be with that many attachments), you can find plenty of tutorials on TikTok.