These weird products are the very definition of clever

While living in a fully customizable smart home may be out of reach for some of us (ahem), I’m still constantly awed by the number of gadgets and conveniences out there that are available and affordable for the masses. I mean, sure, generations before us had milkmen and no ability to check their messages after they left the office, but we have pocket microscopes, doorstop security alarms, and toothbrush organizers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

There’s an entire world of products available these days that falls into that sweet spot of being both weird and clever. Blacklight markers, USB projection lights, and furniture-leg socks — not only are they real, but they’re readily available on Amazon. And the best part? They come well-reviewed and, in some cases, even boast best-seller status.

So, if you’re looking to add a little more cleverness, convenience, and yes, even silliness to your home, then this is the round-up for you. Prepare for some “add to cart” action and get comfortable. And, if that sounds like a tall order, then I recommend paying extra attention to the footrest and the lap desk ahead. And, if you feel like time melts away as you scroll, there’s an oversized decorative wall clock that’ll help, too.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1. This set of cable management boxes that creates sleek space for wires & cords

Did you know that the mess of cables behind your TV or on your nightstand can actually be tamed? These cable management boxes have two slots to allow cords and wires to snake through. They come in a set of three, and each box is a unique size with a coordinating lid. Plus, cable ties are included, too.

2. These storage bins that fold down when not needed

These versatile storage bins are not only collapsible (so they don’t take up a ton of space when not in use), but they’re stackable and transparent too, making it super easy to stay organized and keep track of your belongings. Stacks of clothes never looked so good. These come in white, pink, and blue.

3. The invisible markers that glow under blacklights

If you’ve been looking for more excuses to bust out your blacklight, then look no further. The ink in this trio of blacklight markers looks invisible in regular lighting situations, but shows up under — you guessed it —blacklights. Each set comes with red, green, and blue, giving you lots of options for secret messages, codes, and surprise notes.

4. A cooling blanket for when you want to be cozy without overheating

This uniquely lightweight cooling blanket is made with bamboo pulp, and it stays cool to the touch, so it’s great for hot sleepers and snuggling up even when the weather is warm. It comes in three sizes, so you have options for your couch or bed, and there are eight colors to choose from.

5. An extender that turns any outlet into a charging station

If you’re faced with the age-old conundrum of not having enough outlets and jacks for your cords and devices, then this outlet extender will be your new favorite gadget. Available in both white and black, it offers a flat plug and 5-foot cord, plus three outlets and three USB plugs.

6. A hanging trash can you can put wherever you need it most

What if you could throw away trash without taking a single step? With this clever hanging trash bin, you can (pun intended). There are two methods of installation — hanging it over a cabinet or drawer, or adhering it right to your preferred surface. It also makes a great container for kitchen scraps and compost. It comes in both white and grey.

7. A bag resealer that keeps the snacks extra fresh

The only thing worse than being out of snacks is having snacks and discovering they’re stale. With a bag resealer, you’ll never suffer this terrible fate. It can give opened bags a new, airtight seal in seconds, and it’s rechargeable too. Even better, it’s pocket-sized, so slips easily into a drawer — or you could be a snack-sealing machine on the go.

8. This cord wrapper that prevents snarls & countertop clutter

This cord wrapper allows you to keep cords and wires contained, and works well with countertop appliances, hair tools, office gadgets, and more. It comes with adhesive, so you can stick it right onto the appliance or gadget in question, and tuck cords away in seconds. They come in a set of two.

9. A sleek wooden alarm clock that doubles as charging pad

If you’ve ever looked at your alarm clock or charger and thought, “Wouldn’t that be nice made of wood?” then today is your lucky day. This multitasking alarm clock and charging pad is equal parts attractive and efficient, with various display functions, brightness settings, and more. It works with a variety of phones, and comes in four different colors.

10. The versatile Bluetooth headband you can wear during work, play, or rest

If you think a comfy sound experience that can go from running, to yoga, and even to sleep sounds good, look no further than this wireless Bluetooth headset headband. It has built-in button controls, is stretchy and comfortable, and comes in eight different colors. The controls are removable so it’s machine washable, too.

11. The hair clips with a handy hidden talent

These strange-but-useful multi-tool hair clips are perfect for long-haired gear-heads and gadget enthusiasts. They work as regular clips, and also feature a wrench, a ruler, three screwdrivers of varying sizes, plus a cutting blade. Each set comes with 15 clips, and they also work as self-defense tools, too.

12. A phone mount for your car that uses nothing but a strong magnet

No need to keep your phone in your lap while you drive thanks to this magnetic phone mount that sticks in your air vents. Using nothing but a strong magnet, this mount will keep your Apple or Android smartphone (no matter the model) secure and upright, allowing you to better see navigation or your driving playlists while you’re on the road.

13. This pen that lets you record notes & your own voice

Great for class, lectures, brainstorming sessions, and more, this clever voice recording pen has a built-in recording device so you can capture up to 400 hours of audio. A subtle jack allows you to connect included ear phones, and it comes with a USB cord too, so you can easily connect to a computer for playback and file storage.

14. A furniture riser that gives you inches of elevation

This set of furniture risers is designed so that each piece fits underneath a leg of a chair or piece of furniture. When used together, they can lift your piece up to 2 inches off the ground, giving you extra space underneath and a potentially more aesthetically pleasing display. They’re available in black, white, or brown, and in sets of four, six, or eight.

15. This light-up shower head that creates a dreamy (or sci-fi) shower experience

It may not be super safe to do the robot in your shower, but this handheld light-up showerhead may make you want to. It has a color-changing LED light that transitions when water runs through it, and it can be used as a handheld nozzle, or positioned for a traditional shower. Buyers note that it’s easy to install, too.

16. A garlic chopper that keeps your hands scent-free

This best-selling garlic chopper minces garlic quickly and easily, with minimal effort from you. Simply zoom it around on a table or counter top, and ta-da, your garlic is minced. Even better, it’s top rack dishwasher-safe too, so cleaning it between uses is a cinch.

17. A tumbler and infuser for brewing & drinking tea on the go

There’s an easy way to enjoy freshly brewed tea while you’re out, thanks to this tea cup with infuser The stainless steel infuser is great for loose leaf tea or your tea bags of choice, and it can be removed once you’re done steeping. Buyers especially raved about how well it retains heat, and how well the infuser works.

18. A phone sanitizer that uses UV light to clean devices

That’s right, UV light can be used to sanitize your phone, keys, cards, and more in just 15 minutes. This rechargeable, portable phone sanitizer is easy to pop into your bag for on-the-go use, and it most fits phone sizes and styles. Even better, it also serves as a wireless charger, too.

19. A color-changing nightlight & speaker because it’s fun to switch things up

This Bluetooth light and speaker is the best of both worlds — it serves as a great tabletop lamp, plus it’s a fun and functional speaker with speakerphone capabilities. It has six light color options, and you even can set it to pulse with your music. Weird? Maybe. Futuristic? Yes.

20. A sturdy, space-saving tray table that sits right on the couch

If you’re short on space, this sleek sofa arm table can eliminate the need for bulky end tables or coffee tables. The folding arms have springs so they grip your furniture, giving you a stable platform for drinks, snacks, remotes, and more. There are two shapes to choose from — round and octagonal.

21. A laptop stand with colorfully cooling capabilities

This laptop cooling pad has three built-in fans that blow individually to keep your device cool and working well. Made with metal mesh designed to help with airflow, it also features side lights that glow in RGB colors. There are two adjustable height settings for maximum comfort and efficiency, too.

22. A hot pot that allows for cooking without needing a stove

An electric hot pot is a versatile way to streamline your kitchen or elevate your dorm. It has a rapid function that’s great for ramen and oatmeal, plus it can be used to sauté, and there’s even an egg tray included, along with a silicone spatula. Even better, it’s nonstick so is easy to clean, and is compact enough for travel, according to reviewers.

23. This nightstand organizer that keeps clutter at bay

Finally, you won’t knock a zillion things off your nightstand when you reach over to turn off the alarm. This elegant wooden nightstand organizer has multiple compartments and hooks for essentials, including space for a phone, glasses, jewelry, and more. If your nightstand doesn’t need to be organized, it also works as a great catch-all by the front door or on your desk, too.

24. A stick-on wall shelf that creates usable space from thin air

Whether you want to replace a nightstand, display photos or decor, or create a landing station in a busy part of your home, this stick-on wall shelf has you covered. It comes with the necessary adhesive so the toughest part will be deciding where to hang it. It’s available in both black and white.

25. The charging station & lamp that keeps things orderly & illuminated

If you don’t have room for both a lamp and a charging station on that side table, today is your lucky day. This charging station lamp is both objects in one, with space for multiple devices and USB plugs. It also includes a wood base (in both black or natural wood) plus a linen shade that complements a variety of spaces.

26. A waterproof speaker that elevates your shower routine

Turns out, you can have your favorite true crime podcast broadcast at a reasonable, audible volume right in the shower. This waterproof Bluetooth speaker can comfortably join you while you bathe, swim, hang out at the beach, or just stroll through a rainstorm. Plus, it’s compact, rechargeable, and available in six different colors.

27. This doorstop alarm that alerts you whenever a door is opened

For a fraction of the cost of a full home security system, you can slip this doorstop alarm under your door of choice and be alerted — loudly — whenever there’s been an attempt to open it. It’s battery-operated, and includes an indicator light so you know when it needs to be changed, too.

28. A room spray that eliminates all kinds of smokey smells

You’ve probably heard of air freshener before, but did you know that some are designed to tackle specific odors? Case in point is this smoke odor eliminator. All it takes is a few sprays into the air, and it can make quick work of the lingering smells of cigarettes, cannabis, campfires, and more. It comes in a single pack, or sets of four or eight.

29. An ergonomic mouse pad so you can comfortably work & play

At 14-by-8 inches, this ergonomic mouse pad is larger than most standard versions, and it has a tilted wrist rest that’s built right in. The entire surface is memory foam and it has a non-slip bottom, so it’s both comfortable and functional. It comes in a neutral black that fits easily on most desks.

30. These touch-control wireless earbuds that are also waterproof

Not all wireless earbuds are created equal, and this set has earned its best-seller status thanks to features like one-step pairing, touch control, and water resistance. Plus, they come in six unique colors and can hold up to six hours of charge (or 30 hours with the case).

31. The toothbrush organizer with fancy automatic dispenser

This toothbrush organizer just might make your bathroom dreams come true. It includes space for up to four toothbrushes and four magnetized cups (included), plus has an automatic toothpaste dispenser, an entire shelf for storage, and two additional drawers, too. It comes with adhesive, so no tools are necessary for installation.

32. This ergonomic foot rest that provides cushion & comfort

If you spend a fair amount of time sitting, then you probably know the importance of a good foot rest. This memory foam cushion is shaped and sized to fit perfectly under your desk chair, and your body heat warms it for extra softness. It also offers arch support, and you can turn it over for use as a calf rocker, too.

33. A salt block to elevate the way you cook & serve your favorite foods

Curious about Himalayan salt block cooking? Look no further than this set that includes both the block itself and a convenient metal serving tray. You can grill a variety of foods with it, or use it for serving either hot or cold dishes, since it holds temperatures for up to two hours.

34. A set of portable phone stands you can use almost anywhere

You can keep one of these pocket-sized phone stands in every room in your house, or in every bag you own, to make sure you never have to use your phone at a less-than-ideal angle. Each set comes with eight folding stands in a rainbow of colors, and they’re sized to fit a variety of phones.

35. A mini fridge that you can keep in your room or in the office

This mini fridge will keep all of your favorite drinks, snacks, and even skincare products chilled and at arm’s reach from your bed or office chair. Ideally compact and with seven colors/prints to choose from, this mini fridge is a great fun addition to any small space.

36. These LED strip lights that instantly elevate home lighting

Not only do these flexible light strips come with 3 feet of lighting per strip, but the adhesive is included, too. They’re battery-powered, so there are no unruly cords to manage, and the power button is built-in. They look great under cupboards and cabinets, closets, shelves, and anywhere you want to add a bit of ambiance.

37. An extendable tripod with remote for awesome & easy photos

This tripod and remote set will take your selfies and streaming to the next level. The stand folds down to less than 18 inches, extends up to 51 inches, and even doubles as a selfie stick, making it super versatile. It works with a variety of phones and cameras.

38. A pocket microscope that turns you into a scientist anytime, anywhere

What, you don’t already carry around a pocket microscope wherever you go? The reviews of this gadget might have you reconsidering. Not only is it compact and portable, but it offers 60x to 120x lighted magnification, so you can see objects around your home like never before. And, it requires just one AA battery.

39. This pouch organizer that works with tables, beds, couches, and more

Facts are facts; you can never have too much storage space. This pocket organizer is practical and versatile, with both mesh pouches and solid slots. The attached covered board slides under a mattress or cushion, or can even rest on a surface (set some books on top), giving you lots of flexibility over placement. It comes in multiple colors and sizes, and many a reviewer describes it as “perfect.”

40. A laptop privacy screen to comfortably & confidently use your device on the go

Never again stress about that stranger looking over your shoulder when you’re working in a coffee shop. This laptop privacy screen is offered in 15 different sizes to fit laptops and monitors from 13.3 inches to 27 inches. Two mounting options are included (tabs or adhesive slides), along with a microfiber cloth for dusting and cleaning.

41. A lovely starry light projector that pops into any USB port

This unique star projector can be plugged into any USB port so you can create a mini night sky wherever you go. It’s great mood lighting for watching movies or gaming, makes for an eye-catching Zoom or photo background, or adds extra vibes to your nighttime routine. It’s available in blue, green, or red.

42. This Bluetooth thermometer so you can monitor the conditions of your home with ease

Whether you want your home to be climate-controlled for kids, pets, plants, or another reason completely, these Bluetooth thermometers have you covered. They have a range of up to 230 feet, so you can read data (and receive alerts when specs are outside your preferred range) throughout your home.

43. A cool mist humidifier that’s whisper quiet

The benefits of humidifiers are well-documented, so your job is to make sure you find one that suits your space and budget. Enter this cool mist humidifier that holds up to 2.5 liters of water, and has a runtime of up to 24 hours. You can adjust the air flow, and there’s even an auto-shutoff mechanism in place for when the water level gets low.

44. These versatile countertop shelves that transform the kitchen or bathroom

These freestanding, bamboo countertop shelves come in a variety of configurations, including corner options and some with metallic hooks. They’re sleek and sophisticated, and are great for holding coffee supplies, showing off a plant collection, or displaying collectibles. And, according to reviewers, they’re easy to assemble, too.

45. This comfortable, cushioned lap desk that’s easy on your legs

This versatile lap desk has a wrist pad that doubles as a laptop stopper, plus a device slot so it can be used with phones, books, tablets, and more. Pouch pockets on the backside allow you to keep small essentials like pens and thumb drives on hand, without taking up valuable surface space.

46. This simple & sleek litter box with an entrance on top

If you (and your cat) prefer litter boxes to be subtle and — dare I say — discrete, then this unusual top entry litter box will be a welcome addition to your space. Cats climbs in and out from the top, and are mostly hidden from view as they do their business. It comes in white, black, and grey, and a scoop is included, too.

47. A dry bag for safeguarding valuables while in & around water

You can never be too prepared, especially when it comes to keeping track of keys, phones, and other essentials in the outdoors. This waterproof, floating dry bag keeps your belongings safe and secure while boating, fishing, and more. It’s available in sizes ranging from 5 liters to 40 liters, and there’s a rainbow of 18 colors to choose from.

48. A heated travel mug that keeps drinks heated longer

Few things are worse than coffee that goes cold before you’re done with it. With this 16-ounce heated travel mug, you don’t have to worry. The detachable cord plugs into your car’s adapter so drinks stay piping hot while you drive, and then you can unplug and bring the mug with you when you reach your destination.

49. This wall clock that’s both a timepiece & a conversation piece

If you’re bored by standard analog and basic digital clocks, this decorative 3D wall clock might strike your fancy. Not only does it offer a mix of words, numerals, and dot indicators for the hours, but the ultimate spacing and sizing are up to you since each piece adheres separately to your wall or surface. It comes in five different colors.

50. These furniture leg covers for when you want your tables and chairs to look more like cats (no, seriously)

Finally, a way to make furniture and chair legs look like cat paws. These weird but-functional furniture socks come with nine different sets of four, for 36 socks in total. And they’re not just for aesthetics — they protect floors from scratches and make furniture easier to move. They’re great for everyday use, and are a fun way to decorate for the cat-lover in your life, too.

This article was originally published on

https://www.inverse.com/innovation/these-weird-products-are-the-very-definition-of-clever These weird products are the very definition of clever

Emma James

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