Share on Facebook

22 Essentials You Didn’t Realize You’d Need While Stuck at Home

Amazon is prioritizing essentials, so hopefully it’s not too late to stock up on these must-haves that you didn't know you needed before COVID-19.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

1 / 23
things you need while stuck at homevia (2), via

Oops—you missed a few things!

Welcome to our strange, new COVID-19 world, where social distancing and shelter-at-home orders make it necessary to think about what you really need to get through an extended stretch at home. Of course, you’ve made sure you’re covered for things like food, medicine, toilet paper, and the household products that will kill coronavirus, but do you have the second-tier items? We’re talking about the things that didn’t occur to you at first but are still very necessary to your daily life, whether you’re working from home, taking care of your kids, or just trying to stay sane. Chances are, you probably forgot a few of them—or didn’t even realize you’d need them. Well, don’t worry: It’s not too late to get your hands on these essentials that will make your new normal a whole lot more streamlined, productive, and, well, normal.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

2 / 23
wireless printervia

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer


Shop Now

If you never bought a printer of your own because you always printed what you needed at the office, now’s the time to change that. Not only will it come in handy with work, but it is also essential for printing any assorted forms you may need to fill out and mail, as well as the Internet’s many free printables that will keep little ones educated and entertained. You can’t go wrong with the Epson EcoTank. With a high-capacity, 100-sheet paper tray, no print job is too big or too overwhelming. This wireless printer can even print up to 6,000 pages in color, thanks to supersized ink tanks.

3 / 23
printer inkvia

Epson T502 EcoTank Replacement Ink Bottles


Shop Now

Whether you’re getting a new printer or you already have one, don’t forget to stock up on ink. These Epson replacements are actually auto-stop bottles instead of traditional cartridges. (But, of course, make sure to get the right product for your particular printer!) While you’re at it, order a few packages of printer paper, too. Here are more work-from-home essentials you can find at Target.

4 / 23
assorted batteries via

Insignia Assorted Batteries


Shop Now

Batteries might be among the dullest purchases on Earth, but they’re also totally essential. Stock up on assorted sizes to make sure your remotes, children’s favorite toys, household items, and cordless tools don’t conk out on you at the worst possible moment. This handy pack from Insignia includes multiples of the most popular battery sizes—including 12 AAA and 12 AA batteries, as well as four Cs, four Ds, and one 9 volt—and a storage box. By the way, here’s why you shouldn’t keep batteries in the junk drawer.

5 / 23

Sony Noise Canceling On-Ear Wired Headphones


Shop Now

If you’re trying to focus on work but have chatty roommates or rambunctious children in the house, noise-canceling headphones are a godsend. Try this inexpensive but still effective leather version from Sony, which has a 47-plus-inch cable cord, compact swiveling ear cups, and pressure-relieving ear cushions. Ambient noise will be reduced by up to 95 percent, meaning you’ll be able to hear yourself think (and not hear your kids bickering). Speaking of being sequestered at home with your new coworkers, check out these tips to stay focused from a man who’s worked from home for 20 years.

6 / 23
space heatervia

Lasko All Season Fan and Space Heater Combo Tower


Shop Now

Now that you’re spending 24/7 in your home, you’re probably discovering that some spots are drafty—while others get downright stuffy. That’s why we’re loving the Lasko All Season Comfort Control Tower Fan & Heater in One because it’s a space heater (with three heat settings) and also a cooling fan (with 4 speeds), so you can bring any room to a comfortable temperature any season of the year.

7 / 23

Coyuchi Women’s Solstice Organic Romper


Shop Now

You’ve probably already done several video conferences from home. While there’s no point in getting all decked out like you do when you’re at the office, a romper ensures that you look presentable on camera while still feeling comfy. Coyuchi’s offerings are organic and sustainable, and the brand aims to become a fully circular business in 2020. Every romper purchase equals 366 days of drinking water saved, one mile of driving emissions avoided, and 39 square feet of land farmed pesticide-free. Don’t miss these other style secrets of women who always look put together.

8 / 23
Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powdervia

Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder


Shop Now

No one is getting all decked out to work from home, of course, but have you seen yourself on a video conference call yet? Yeah, let’s just say that experience can be sobering. In addition to positioning yourself in some decent lighting, dusting on a bit of this lightweight translucent powder from Becca can work wonders. The water- and glycerin-based formula both hydrates skin and reflects light, blurring fine lines, brightening skin, and just making you look better—instantly. Don’t miss these 11 working from home cartoons we can all relate to right now.

9 / 23

Wall Pops! Dry Erase Calendar Decal


Shop Now

After a while, the days can become a blur. It’s easy to forget about meetings when you’re in the zone at home, and let’s not even get started on the Google Chat and Zoom classes your kids are suddenly being required to attend at random hours of the day. This Wall Pops! Dry Erase Calendar Decal will be your new favorite thing. It easily sticks to and peels off the walls (without ruining them), and it will keep you on task and on schedule every day of the week. Make sure to grab some dry-erase markers as well, so you can color-code your to-dos.

10 / 23
wifi routervia

Netgear AC3000 Nighthawk X8 Smart Wi-Fi Router


Shop Now

High-quality Wi-Fi is essential when working from home. This tri-band router features a dual-core processor for multiple devices, maximum range, and uninterrupted streaming at hyper-fast speed. There’s also a Smart Connect to separates Wi-Fi bands between slower and faster devices, a USB 3.0 port for high-speed storage access, and Circle with Disney Smart Parental Controls (in case the iPad addiction needs curbing). Just FYI, this is how often you should be rebooting your router settings.

11 / 23
desk lampvia

OttLite LED Power Up Desk Lamp


Shop Now

With a flexible neck, a brightness-level adjuster, touch controls, and ClearSun LED technology designed to reduce eyestrain by up to 51 percent, this desk lamp is a winner. Even better, its LEDs are energy-efficient and will last up to 40,000 hours. It also does a whole lot more than just light up your workspace: It features wireless Qi charging for devices including the iPhone 8 and above, as well as a 5V, 2.1A USB port to fully charge tablets and smartphones.

12 / 23

HÅG Capisco Ergonomic Office Chair


Shop Now

Just because you’re not in your regular office setup, it doesn’t mean that your back and posture should suffer. Invest in a high-quality office chair, like this one by HÅG, to provide both support and comfort for the long days at home. Bonus: It’s fully adjustable, so you can even use it with a standing desk. It’s also 90 percent recyclable and is made from 50 percent recycled material. Both the environment and your back will thank you. Here are another 13 high-quality items that more than pay for themselves.

13 / 23

UNICOO Height Adjustable Sit Stand Workstation


Shop Now

If you’ve set up camp at your kitchen table and your work items are everywhere, it’s going to drive you nuts eventually (if it hasn’t already). That’s why you need this genius UNICOO workstation. Sleek and compact, it doesn’t take up a lot of space and can even be rolled into the corner when you’re done for the day. And here’s another amazing feature: You can use it sitting down or standing up, so you can stretch your muscles and boost your energy when you need to without skipping a beat. To make your workspace even more user-friendly, check out these clever ways to organize everything at your desk.

14 / 23
amazon fire hd kids tabletvia

Amazon Fire HD8 Kids Edition


Shop Now

Screen-time rules? What screen-time rules? When you need some quiet time to work or simply take a much-needed break, flexibility (and a good tablet the kids won’t break) reigns. Try the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, which is specially designed for the littles. Aside from having a battery that lasts up to 10 hours, it offers one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, front- and rear-facing cameras, 32GB of data storage, and—most importantly—a kid-proof case.

15 / 23
tone it up resistant bandvia

Tone It Up Resistance Band


Shop Now

It’s important to get your body moving and your blood pumping while you’re stuck inside—not just to stay fit but also because exercise releases feel-good endorphins, which will improve your mood. A Tone It Up Resistance Band allows you to do a variety of workouts at home, and the accompanying app gives you unlimited access to on-demand live classes and 10- to 40-minute workout videos; activities include yoga, HIIT, boxing, weight training, and more. The app also provides accountability, nutrition programs, and thousands of recipes. Bonus: The app is available for free until April 13th for new users at the Apple App and Google Play stores. Aside from getting in shape, here’s what else you can do when your whole life gets canceled.

16 / 23
brita filtersvia

Brita Replacement Filters


Shop Now

Even though your Brita seems to work like magic, it does need some essential parts to function properly. And now that you’re home a whole lot more (and that’s putting it kindly), you’ll be going through them a lot more quickly. Chances are, you forgot to stock up when you were getting all of your other kitchen essentials. Order a pack to make sure that your tap water stays top-notch and that you continue to stay hydrated. If you’re used to drinking bottled water, this is a good chance to rethink what you drink and switch to tap water for good.

17 / 23
espresso machinevia

Nespresso by Breville Creatista Plus Espresso Maker


Shop Now

Missing your daily latte (or three)? With this at-home espresso and coffee maker, you’ll still get your high-quality java fix. The Nespresso Breville Creatista Plus combines Nespresso’s single-pod system (think flavor favorites like Ristretto, Arpeggio, and Cosi) with an LCD display featuring eight coffee types, including Espresso, Lungo, Flat White, and Americano. You can also foam milk to your liking, thanks to an adjustable milk texture level and temperature control, for a true coffee-shop experience. While sipping your homemade brew, look up the best coffee shop in your state and plan a visit once this is all over.

18 / 23
peets coffe subscriptionvia

Peet’s Coffee Subscription

Prices vary

Shop Now

Even if you’ve already got a coffee maker, you’ll still need a regular supply of beans. Sure, you can order a few bags of the good stuff, or you can get it delivered regularly to your doorstep by signing up for a subscription service, eliminating the worry that it might not be available at some point. And let’s face it: Being surprised with a package like this is fun, and fun is something we could all use more of right now. Peet’s is a solid option, and you can order your tried-and-true favorites or let the experts curate small-batch, single-origin blends for you. Either way, you’ll be well-caffeinated and happy. If you want to send someone the perfect pick-me-up, you can’t go wrong with one of these subscription boxes.

19 / 23
bidet via

Luxe Bidet Neo 120


Shop Now

One of the big lessons of 2020? We haven’t given enough thoughts to bidets in this country. With toilet paper practically more valuable than gold at the moment, Americans are increasingly turning to bidets to keep themselves clean, fresh, and free of toilet-paper-shortage anxiety. The good news is that you don’t have to get a whole new bathroom setup if you want a bidet. This highly rated and affordable Luxe Biden Neo attaches easily to your toilet in minutes.

20 / 23
menstrual cupvia

Saalt Menstrual Cup


Shop Now

Guys, you can skip to the next entry, but ladies, listen up: With basic supplies running low at many drugstores, now’s a great time to switch to menstrual cups (if you haven’t already). Try the Saalt Menstrual Cup, an eco-friendly and comfortable option for even the most sensitive bodies. Created from medical-grade silicone, it lasts for 12 hours and is completely reusable, replacing the need for an endless supply of tampons and pads. Before you check out, you might want to add these 12 things you should always buy at Target to your cart.

21 / 23
inflatable chairvia

AirCandy Inflatable Chair


Shop Now

If you’re unexpectedly home around the clock with your family or roommates, you might find that you’re running out of space for everybody to comfortably lounge together. Make more room and brighten up your living space with a cheerful AirCandy Inflatable Chair (or two). It’s easy to pump up and equally easy to put away when things are back to normal.

22 / 23
the big activity book for anxious peoplevia

The Big Activity Book for Anxious People


Shop Now

Anxiety levels at an all-time high these days? You’re not the only one. Confined to the house, scrolling through upsetting updates online, it’s easy to find yourself inching closer and closer toward panic. Keep the worries at bay with a soothing adult coloring book like humorous bestseller The Big Activity Book for Anxious People. It may not completely erase your fears, but it’ll certainly help distract, amuse, and engage your brain, which is the next best thing. Another good idea: getting lost in a good book, which you can do with these 10 books that have been downloaded the most from Barnes & Noble over the last 10 days.

23 / 23
sherlock holmes board gamevia

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective


Shop Now

There’s only so much Netflix you can watch. (No, really.) To while away those hours and keep your brain sharp, try a fun but challenging game like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, which you can play by yourself or with a group. To solve one of the ten mysteries, players must sort through clues, newspapers, and stories to solve a difficult mystery. It’s sort of like an Escape Room but in the privacy of your own home. If you like this idea, you’ll love these 71 brain games guaranteed to boost your brain power.

Nadine Jolie Courtney
Nadine Jolie Courtney is a Virtuoso travel advisor and regular contributor to Reader's Digest, covering travel, culture, and health. A former magazine editor based in Santa Monica, she also covers lifestyle and parenting, with regular outlets including The Healthy, Oprah Mag, Town & Country, Business Insider, and many other publications. Courtney is the author of four books, including ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL, a Kirkus Best Book of 2019. Follow her on Instagram @nadinejoliecourtney

Newsletter Unit

CMU Unit

Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 84%!