With winter comes shorter days and freezing temperatures and whether you call yourself a cold-weather person or not, you might be feeling the woes that this season can bring. "Winter blues" is a real thing. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, the winter elements actually can affect your mood, especially if you live in the northern part of the United States. Thankfully, there are a few products to help you beat these dreaded winter blues.
Consumer Reports Digital Lifestyle Editor Elliot Weiler joined TODAY to share some of the brand's top-rated products when it comes to winter home essentials. From a space heater to give you a little extra warmth to a humidifier that can provide a multitude of benefits, CR has tried-and-true products to help you feel physically and mentally better during these colder months.
Read on to see all of the Consumer Reports-approved home essentials to help you beat the winter blues.
Best winter home essentials, according to Consumer Reports
If you have a drafty room or chilly office, Weiler says space heaters can provide extra warmth. After Consumer Reports tested multiple options, they gave this Honeywell heater an excellent rating for heating a room. According to the brand, it has two heat settings and weighs just over three pounds, which allows you to easily move it from room-to-room. Also, Weiler likes the automatic shut-off and tip over feature and he advises to practice the following general safety rules: Always place it on a hard and nonflammable surface, never put it in a child's room and always shut it off when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.
There's no better way to destress and take the chill out of your body than by taking a warm shower. If your current shower head delivers slow water pressure and lukewarm water, Weiler says this one will put it to shame. It is the best-of-the-best and will have you feeling warm from head-to-toe. According to the brand, the nozzle has five spray modes, from rain massage to mist. You can grab this shower upgrade for under $18!
Since darker and shorter days come with winter, Weiler says a sunrise alarm clock can help trigger your circadian rhythm and sync your brain to the 24-hour cycle. He says this will ultimately have you feeling energized in the morning and able to wind down easily at night. According to CR, this option by JALL stood out among others because it's easy to use. It features two independent alarms, seven different sounds and a light that simulates the sunrise, says the brand.
Weiler likes how customizable smart bulbs can be, from choosing different shades to various brightness levels. Coming in a pack of three, the brand says this option can be programmed to shift colors and brightness throughout the day and can be completely controlled through the app, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
If you're new to smart lighting, Weiler says this bulb is budget-friendly and can generate an array of colors — over 16 million colors, according to the brand! They also mentions that you can control your lights from anywhere via the app, including voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant.
The winter air can be extremely drying, both outside and inside your home. Weiler says a humidifier can relieve discomforts that dry air can bring, such as chapped skin and even cold and flu symptoms. In addition to health benefits, he says that having more moisture in the air can make it feel warmer and keep your belongings — like leather items — in good condition. Featuring an adjustable mister, the brand says it will run for up to 60 hours and has an automatic shutoff. And CR says the humidifier received an excellent rating across categories.
If you're looking to get your steps in without worrying about the weather or having to shell out a lot of money for a gym membership, Weiler says a treadmill is a great way to motivate you to exercise more and this foldable option allows you to workout from the comfort of your home. According to CR, this XTerra treadmill received high ratings for ergonomics and construction quality, and Weiler says it's a great choice for all fitness levels.
For more stories like this, check out our Best Product Reviews hub with Consumer Reports.