Consumer Reports: Eight products on deep discount in July and for the holiday
In July you’ll find markdowns on many items, including dehumidifiers, gas grills, and several household appliances. A big shopping day to keep in mind is Amazon Prime Day, which is expected to take place in the middle of the month, so set an alert to watch for an announcement. On that day you can often find discounts of up to 40 percent on items such as coffee makers, blenders, electronics, and outdoor gear.
Consumer Reports tracks the prices of the products we test, so they can tell you, month by month, what to buy on deep discount. If you are in the market for these items, here’s shopping tips and advice to help you find the best deals.
To see more items on sale in July—and the rest of the year—check out our their Calendar of Deals.
Make the dog days of summer a little more bearable with a dehumidifier, which can not only provide comfort but also cut down on mites, mildew, and mold. Because all newer models must comply with recent federal energy standards, you’re likely to see savings in operating costs if you’re replacing an older dehumidifier. The damper and larger your space, the higher-capacity dehumidifier you’ll need, but a bigger price tag doesn’t always mean better.
Also, think about where you will place it. You’ll want the dehumidifier to be where humidity can do the most damage. But there are other concerns to think about, such as noise. Our noise measurements from 3 feet away usually range from about 55 to 67 decibels for the models we test. That’s about the difference between the sound of a loud conversation and the din of street traffic.
You can read more in Consumer Report’s dehumidifier buying guide.
If you’ve been thinking about taking your barbecues to a new level this summer, you may find some great prices on grills this month. Look for a gas grill that gets high marks on the temperature-range score in our ratings, particularly if you’ll be cooking more than the basic hot dogs and hamburgers. You can read more in Consumer Report’s grill buying guide.
- Check the construction. The more stable, the better. Stainless steel carts with seamless construction and welded joints are usually sturdier than painted steel carts assembled with nuts and bolts. Wheels or casters at all four corners make a grill easier to maneuver, and wheels with a full axle are better than those bolted to the frame.
- Look into the warranty on the grill’s burners. Those that come with a warranty tend to last longer, but if you need to replace a burner, it’s a 10-minute do-it-yourself job.
If your washer and dryer aren’t up to handling all the swimsuits, towels, and picnic blankets that your family may use this time of year, this is a good month to upgrade. While matching sets may look nice, they’re not always the best choice. Learn more by reading Consumer Report’s washing machines and clothes dryer buying guides.
Prices on washing machines can run from just under $300 to more than $2,000, depending on the style, capacity, and features of the appliance. If you need enough space to wash a king-size comforter, you’ll need a washer with a capacity of more than 4.5 cubic feet, but measure your space because larger-capacity machines can be 2 to 3 inches wider than the standard 27 inches.
In our brand reliability survey, we found that Speed Queen stands out as a reliable brand for agitator top-loaders. Among high-efficiency top-loaders (those without an agitator), LG is tops in reliability, although statistically speaking, its estimated breakage rate is not meaningfully lower than that of most other brands. As for front-loaders, LG is tops in reliability but is not meaningfully better than most of its competitors.
The best dryers get the job done quickly and efficiently. The size and type of dryers vary greatly. So do prices: Dryers range from about $350 to $2,000. Electric and gas dryers tend to perform equally well, so purchase the one that your home can most easily accommodate. An electric dryer needs a 240-volt outlet, while a gas dryer requires a 120-volt outlet and a gas hookup.
You may spend less time in the kitchen this time of year, but getting a good deal on an appliance could pay off all year. Read Consumer Report’s ratings and buying guides for dishwashers, freezers, and over-the-range microwaves for tips on what to look for.
Expect to see dishwashers selling for about $225 to $2,200. You can get a dishwasher that does a decent job for less than $500, but it may be noisy, with fairly basic features and long wash times. At the higher end of the price range—above $1,000—you’ll find more bells and whistles, such as WiFi connectivity and special wash zones for the dirtiest items.
You can read more in Consumer Report’s dishwasher buying guide.
You can choose between a chest freezer and an upright freezer. Chest freezers are a better choice if you tend to lose power, because they keep food frozen longer without electricity. Uprights, by comparison, take up less floor space and come in more finishes, including slate and stainless steel.
- Most manufacturers say their freezers can operate in a room where the temperature can reach up to 110° F, but check product specifications if you plan to put the freezer in an area that’s not air-conditioned or heated, such as a garage.
- Don’t expect your new freezer to be quite as energy-efficient as its yellow EnergyGuide label implies. On average, our latest tested models used 17 percent more energy. Read more in Consumer Report’s freezer buying guide.
- If you plan to keep the freezer in a living area, consider how noisy it is.
Over-the-range microwave ovens are a good choice if you have limited counter space and prefer a model with a finish that matches the rest of your kitchen suite.
And if your OTR microwave needs to be replaced, it’s good to know that you can get a new one for as little as $200. (Installation often won’t cost much more than that.)
Look for a model with a steam sensor, which automatically turns the microwave off exactly when cooking has finished, and a turntable or tray that keeps food moving for uniform heating. One feature that’s less handy is the ability to switch over to a convection oven. Most models don’t consistently provide the same results that you’d find from a regular oven.
Amazon Prime Day Items
Amazon’s annual attempt at Christmas in July usually occurs midmonth. On this day, Amazon offers deals on thousands of items across almost every department and category the retailer offers.
Sign up for a trial. If you don’t currently pay the $119 annual fee for Amazon Prime, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial and still enjoy the savings. Just be sure to cancel before the trial period is over, or you will be charged the membership fee.
Download the Amazon shopping app. It lets you sort and track upcoming deals in product categories and add deals you’re interested in to your wish list. The app will notify you when the products you like go on sale.
Best Fourth of July Mattress Deals
If you’ve been tossing and turning on a mattress that has seen better days, this holiday weekend is a good time to get a deal on a new mattress—whether you prefer to shop online or in a store.
“Independence Day is a great time to search for a discounted mattress,” says Claudette Ennis, CR’s market analyst for mattresses. “In the summer, retailers are clearing out mattresses from last year and are even offering slight discounts on newer ones.”
CR combed through advertised sales for savings on mattresses that performed well in Consumer Reports’ mattress tests and found a number of options—from Beautyrest to Tempur-Pedic—that are worth a look.
Independence Day Mattress Deals
Below, we’ve rounded up the standout mattress deals we found for Independence Day. Many of the promotions continue a few days after the holiday. And even if a particular mattress model you like isn’t on sale, look for discounts or promotions on the manufacturer’s website or try to haggle for a better price. (You can haggle with online retailers for a mattress deal, too.) We’ll continue to add deals as we find them between now and the holiday.
Avocado Green, the maker of our top-rated innerspring mattress, is offering $150 off any mattress purchase through July 9, 2018, by using the online discount code FIREWORKS150 on its website. Military personnel can save an additional $50.
The queen-sized Avocado Green mattress rated Excellent in our support tests for average-sized side and back sleepers, large/tall side and back sleepers, and petite back sleepers, and it’s almost as good for petite side sleepers, making it an all-around good choice for many mattress shoppers.
If you’re shopping at Macy’s this weekend, you’ll find what looks like a great mattress deal. The retailer has the Beautyrest Silver Golden Gate Pillowtopmarked down from $1,580 to $797. That’s not a bad price, but it’s not as deep a discount as you might expect—CR paid $800 for the sample we tested. The Silver Golden Gate Pillowtop rated Very Good in support for petite, average, and large/tall side sleepers but just so-so for petite, average, and large/tall back sleepers.
This online-only bed-in-a-box retailer is offering discounts on its namesake mattress, the GhostBed. You can get up to $100 off (the company lists the original price at $895), and it’s throwing in two free pillows. So on sale for $795, the price for the GhostBed queen-sized mattress is the same as what CR paid for our test sample. The GhostBed earned an Excellent rating for petite back support and top marks for durability, which means it shows little change in performance after eight to 10 years of simulated use in our tests.
At Sleep Number’s retail stores and website, you’ll find the highly rated Sleep Number c2 bed on final closeout for $600, marked down from its full price of $900. CR paid $700 for this mattress, so you can grab the adjustable air bed before it’s gone knowing you’re getting a deal. The Sleep Number c2 earned an Excellent rating in our tests for back support for both petite and average-sized sleepers, and it’s a very firm mattress, with a 9 on our firmness scale (of 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest).
Stearns & Foster
Macy’s has two mattress deals on CR-rated Stearns & Foster models, the Signature Garrick Luxury, $1,427, and the Estate Lux Belleville, $2,147. The current price for the Garrick is more expensive than what CR paid—we found the mattress for $1,319. The Estate Lux Belleville, though, is a true deal: last year CR paid $3,700 for our test sample, so the Macy’s price represents a markdown of almost 50 percent.
The Signature Garrick Luxury is a good choice for petite sleepers. It earned an Excellent rating for small folks who sleep on their back. It scored a 4 for firmness on a scale of 1 to 10. The Estate Lux Belleville is a good choice if you sleep on your back, earning an Excellent rating for petite and average sleepers and almost as good for large/tall back sleepers. It’s considerably firmer, with a firmness score of 7.
Tempur-Pedic is marking down one of its CR-rated mattresses, the Tempur-Flex Supreme Breeze. It’s listed for $3,250, which is $250 less than what CR paid for its test sample. The mattress rated Excellent in CR’s durability test and showed no changes in performance after eight to 10 years of simulated use. However, it’s not the best bet for large/tall sleepers.
Copyright Consumer Reports by Beth Braverman & Haniya Rae.