Thursday, May 30, 2024

We Tried a Bunch of Simplehuman Products—Here’s What’s Worth the Splurge

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WHO IS THIS FOR? Someone looking for accessible custom cabinetry that doesn’t require heavy-duty installation

Tester: Noah Kaufman, senior commerce editor

Though you might balk at the $100 price tag, this rack sets a whole new standard for dish racks. This isn’t some plastic eyesore that you indiscriminately place dinnerware on for drying. No, this ultra-sturdy stainless steel behemoth offers specific spaces designed to fit individual pieces of cookware and servingware. In addition to the typical slotted area for dishes, you get a caddy for utensils, pegs designed to hold mugs, and—the pièce de résistance for senior commerce editor Noah Kaufman—a stemware rack that holds up to four extra-large Bordeaux glasses. (Simplehuman also offers a compact size that doesn’t include the stemware rack.) When Noah’s dishwasher was broken, he discovered he could fit an “entire night’s worth of dishes from a complicated meal for a family of four” on this Simplehuman rack.

It also features a well-designed drip tray with a swiveling drainage spout that helps keep the counter dry and free of water spots—a problem Noah didn’t even know he had until it was solved. Bottom line: Noah calls the Simplehuman dishrack “absolutely the most useful” model he’s ever tried.

Is it worth it?

This purchase is absolutely worth it for anyone who doesn’t have a dishwasher, but be warned: this thing is big. If you live in a small space without counter space for a coffee maker and food processor, you might not have enough room for this dish rack.

Simplehuman Steel Frame Dishrack

UNIQUE FEATURES: Dedicated spaces for each item you’re drying, including a wine glass rack; a drip tray with a drainage spout.

WHO IS THIS FOR? Apartment dwellers without a dishwasher (who also have ample counter space).

Tester: Tiffany Hopkins, commerce writer

The people on the Internet who complain about the price of trash cans are probably mostly complaining about Simplehuman. While the brand sells a variety of step-to-open trash cans, they’re especially well-known for their voice-activated and motion sensor bins. The 58L Simplehuman Sensor Trash Can that we tested features touch-free voice and motion activation, a fingerprint-proof finish, and odor-sealing capability. It’s not so much a garbage can as it is a sexy trash robot.

When commerce writer Tiffany Hopkins tested this model in her hunt for the best trash cans, she came to feel that the luxury of a bin that opened before she even walked up to it was unmatched. The can has with three microphones, which Simplehuman claims offer optimal voice recognition accuracy even with outside noise. You can say “open can,”, and the bin will open. During her tests Tiffany never had to give the command more than once, and the voice control’s range worked from her living room about 20 feet away. It can get set off by other loud sounds, though: “It once opened when I sneezed loudly,” she says.

The Simplehuman Sensor Can also conceals smells better than any other trash bin Tiffany has ever used, thanks to a smell-neutralizing Odorsorb pod that sticks to the bin’s inner lid. While Simplehuman does recommend using the brand’s own trash bags, Tiffany says she’s also used random bags from the grocery store and they worked just fine. You can also purchase an additional four-liter compost caddy to turn your brushed stainless steel trash can into a dual compartment waste bin.

Is it worth it?

“I don’t know if I believe any trash can should cost $250,” Tiffany says. No matter how much she liked the feature, a voice activated trash bin certainly isn’t necessary—especially when you consider that this one can be overly sensitive to loud noises.

Simplehuman Voice & Motion Control Sensor Can

Simplehuman does sell motion sensor and step can models that might appeal if the idea of a voice-activated trash can sounds, frankly, absurd to you. A few BA staffers especially love the regular single and dual compartment rectangular step cans—and they’re both a little cheaper than the voice-activated model. “Simplehuman’s design features are really on point; they’ve thought of all the ways to make a trash can easy to access, easy to clean, and easy to change bags,” associate commerce director Emily Johnson noted when reviewing the dual compartment step can as part of BA’s best trash cans testing, and Tiffany feels like that applies to all of the brand’s models. Foot pedal, motion control, or motion and voice control—you really can’t go wrong. It’s just a matter of how much you want to spend.

Simplehuman Semi-Round Sensor Can

Simplehuman 55L Rectangular Step Can

Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular Step Can

UNIQUE FEATURES: voice and motion activation; fingerprint resistant stainless steel; odor locking

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