A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

The 2018 Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands in America

Updated: May 26, 2023

To find the Most Trusted Brands in America, Reader's Digest teamed with a top research firm to poll 5,500 Americans about 40 different types of products. The envelope, please.

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 Always: Most Trusted Feminine Product

This Proctor & Gamble company has a mission: to ensure women live life without limits. They make good on the claim by offering not only feminine hygiene products (including pads, liners, and wipes) women can trust to never to let them down, but also through education. Their website is a wellspring of information about periods, puberty, and women’s health and wellness. Check it out for its insightful articles on building confidence in your teenage girls and nurturing mother-daughter bonds.

Reader’s Digest surveys its readers every year so that you know which products you can trust when shopping. Check out the results of the 2020 Trusted Brands survey.

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Aveeno: Most Trusted Body Lotion/Moisturizer

Appearing for the third time in four years as the winner in this category, Aveeno has been working to earn America’s trust since 1945. The founders (Albert and Sidney Musher) were driven by a “profound curiosity about how things work and how substances interact, and a belief that centuries-old remedies hold the promise for human wellness.” Their first big breakthrough came with their finely milled colloidal oatmeal bath, which has been endorsed by the Mayo Clinic as an effective eczema treatment. (Here’s what you need to know about eczema).

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Behr: Most Trusted Interior Paint

The brand has been around since 1947, but for its first 40 years, it focused exclusively on wood stains. In 1986, based on consumer demand, Behr expanded into the paint business. It’s now the official paint brand of Home Depot—another “Most Trusted Brand.”

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Blue Cross/Blue Shield: Most Trusted Health Insurance

Roughly one in three Americans have Blue Cross/Blue Shield—making it one of the biggest in the industry. To keep your medical costs in check, check out these health insurance secrets you might not know about.

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Carnival: Most Trusted Cruise Line

For the fourth year in a row, Carnival takes the category. Maybe that’s because Carnival was founded in 1972 for the purpose of making cruises available to everyone (before that, and for most of the 20th century, cruises were considered to be super-high-end luxury vacations that were only available to the very wealthy). Find out the best cruise you can take every month of the year.

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Centrum: Most Trusted Vitamin

Owned by Pfizer, Centrum has also passed Consumer Reports‘ stringent lab testing, and the supplements come at a reasonable, mid-range price. That’s valuable: According to Consumer Reports, half of multivitamin users question whether they’re taking the right product for their needs, and 56 percent said they were worried their supplements contain harmful ingredients.

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Claritin: Most Trusted Allergy Relief

For the second year in a row, Claritin takes the category. Did you know that you can double-up on your dosage with this drug? If you find that your allergies are more stubborn than most—and here are the signs that your allergy medicine may need a boost—check with your doctor about taking a stronger dose.

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CLIF Bar: Most Trusted Nutrition Bar

CLIF Bar was the brainchild of a baker and former mountain guide, Gary Erickson. In 1990, Erickson went on a day-long 175-mile bike ride and wasn’t particularly impressed with the energy bars he’d packed. Two years later after experimenting in his mother’s kitchen, he settled on a recipe for what would become the CLIF Bar.

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CVS: Most Trusted Pharmacy

As a health-focused company, CVS made the notable decision to stop selling cigarettes; it has also expanded its healthy food choices. This year, the company announced a new effort to help customers compare drug prices to help keep consumers’ costs down. Here are some secrets your pharmacist may not tell you.

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Depend: Most Trusted Incontinence Product

For over 35 years, Depend has offered solutions for adults with bladder issues. Their absorbent products give users a sense of confidence and control. Check out some of the surprising reasons for an overactive bladder.

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Dove: Most Trusted Soaps/Body Wash

The brand not only delivers America’s most trusted moisturizing bar soaps and delicious-smelling body washes, but also started the Campaign for Real Beauty, which has evolved into the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem. Shonda Rhimes is a fan and she’s teaming up with Dove for this very important initiative.

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Fidelity: Most Trusted Retirement Investment Service

Voted the most trusted investment firm in 2016 and 2017, Fidelity earns the most trusted retirement investment service title this year. You can use the Fidelity website to calculate your “retirement score” (which measures how prepared you are for retirement) in just 60 seconds.

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Folgers: Most Trusted Coffee

James Folgers began selling coffee all the way back in 1850. The key to the brand’s high rating is its dedication to authenticity, which resonates with Folgers’ longtime core consumers as well as its new and quickly growing fanbase—millennials. Here’s the right time to enjoy your morning mug.

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Ford: Most Trusted Trucks/Van:

Last year, Ford celebrated 100 years of leadership, innovation, capability, and durability for its iconic trucks. Check out the role Ford played in making this woman’s trucking business a giant success.

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General Electric: Most Trusted Large Kitchen Appliances

Did you know that GE is also the brand that brought us Silly Putty? It was discovered by accident when a World War II-era GE engineer was trying to come up with an alternative to rubber.

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Hilton: Most Trusted National Hotel/Resort Chain

Thanks to Hilton’s more than 570 locations across six continents, customers can find a reliable, consistent experience almost anywhere they travel. Reader’s Digest featured the Hilton Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in our survey of the world’s most unique hotels.

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The Home Depot: Most Trusted Home Improvement Store

There’s some brand overlap here: The Home Depot also happens to be the exclusive distributor of America’s Most Trusted Paintwi—Behr. Check out these 8 money-saving secrets Home Depot employees want you to know.

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Kellogg’s: Most Trusted Cold Cereal

The brand has been a favorite on American breakfast tables since 1906 with the launch of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Kellogg’s has earned its reputation over the years through notable acts like creating an additional shift during the Depression in order to employ more workers and creating Raisin Bran to help boost nutrition during the food rationing of World War II.

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Kraft: Most Trusted Salad Dressing

This is the third year in that Kraft has made the list. Kraft started out as a cheese company but entered the salad dressing biz in 1925 when it launched its first pourable French salad dressing. Learn where French dressing really comes from.

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Listerine: Most Trusted Mouthwash

For the past four years, Listerine has made the list. Yes, mouthwash can help keep your mouth healthy and your breath sweet, but it also can be used as a skin toner/astringent because it’s antiseptic: Here are some other unexpected uses for antiseptic mouthwash.

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Lysol: Most Trusted Bathroom Cleaner

This cleaner has an amazing history: Lysol was first invented to help stop the cholera epidemic; a quarter-century later, it helped fight 1918’s deadly flu pandemic. Today, Lysol continues its “Mission for Health” through partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Find out which cleaning products you shouldn’t be mixing.

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Maytag: Most Trusted Washer/Dryer

Maytag has been selling washing machines since 1893, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it began to really captivate the attention of Americans. That’s when Maytag began supplying washers and dryers for self-service laundromats. With the tagline, “the dependability people,” Maytag began earning the trust of consumers by devoting itself to manufacturing better washers and dryers (and resisting the move into other household appliances).

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MetLife: Most Trusted Life Insurance

Life insurance has to be there when you need it most, and since 1864, MetLife has been proving itself to be a reliable, trustworthy provider of end-of-life benefits for Americans.

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Milk-Bone: Most Trusted Dog Treat

Since 1908, Milk-Bone has been crafting crunchy treats “to give your dog the genuine joy that he or she gives you every day.” The treat’s name is due to its cow’s milk content (along with minerals and meat products). Milk-Bone is manufactured exclusively in Buffalo, New York, but it’s available pretty much everywhere.

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NyQuil: Most Trusted Cold and Flu Remedy

Did you know that NyQuil came out in 1966 and was revolutionary not just because it helped with sleep but also because it came in liquid form? Here’s how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu.

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Olay: Most Trusted Anti-Aging Skin Care

For the past three years, Olay earned the highest scores for facial moisturizer; this year, it garnered “most trusted” status as an anti-aging skin-care product. Olay has many anti-aging skin-care products.

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Purina: Most Trusted Cat Food

For the fourth year in a row, Purina takes the category. Founded in 1894, its name matches its company slogan: Where purity is paramount.” Those who grew up watching television in the 1970s will remember this Purina Cat Chow jingle. Find out the 17 things your cat wants you to know.

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Purina: Most Trusted Dog Food

The same brand also earns America’s trust for dog food. Perhaps the fact that Purina basically invented “kibble” has something to do with it? Or perhaps it’s because the dogs that went with Admiral Richard E. Byrd to Antarctica in 1933 thrived despite the harsh climate, in part because they were fed Purina Dog Chow? Not coincidentally, shoppers of Walmart (your most trusted mass merchandiser, hello!) give Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult Dog Food the highest possible rating.

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Quaker Oats: Most Trusted Hot Cereal

The Quaker name is pretty much synonymous with oatmeal. The brand has something for everyone, including gluten-free oatmeal, high-protein oatmeal, and low-sugar versions of your favorite flavors. For more ideas, don’t miss these 27 healthy breakfast recipes.

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Silk: Most Trusted Nondairy Milk

Taking this category is saying a lot, considering the wide variety of choices out there. Silk has plenty of choices in the tasty nondairy milk substitute category, plus the company makes a commitment to using renewable energy sources and non-GMO foods.

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Tide: Most Trusted Laundry Detergent

This is Tide’s fourth year on the list. Manufactured by Proctor & Gamble since 1946, Tide was introduced as the first heavy-duty laundry detergent in the United States. Because the company wanted to reach stay-at-home wives and moms, Tide became a prominent sponsor of daytime TV; and that’s why daytime serials are known as “soap” operas.

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Toyota: Most Trusted Hybrid/Electric Car

The company really changed the hybrid/electric car game when they introduced the Prius, the first hybrid/electric car to be mass-produced. Over the past 60 years, Toyota has invested in American industry, spending more than $21.9 billion to open ten manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships, and pay 136,000 employees.

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TOYOTA: Most Trusted Passenger Car

By producing reliable, affordable passenger cars, the company has dominated the automotive category (wait until you see the next slide). Toyota also gets points for its diversity-related initiatives and its campaign to keep music education alive in schools!

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TOYOTA: Most Trusted SUV/Crossover

Sweeping the car categories, Toyota edged out last year’s SUV/Crossover winner. (Here are all of last year’s winners, in case you were wondering). Another reason the company wins out: Toyota is providing funding for STEM research in Kentucky schools.

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Tylenol: Most Trusted Headache/Pain Reliever

Tynenol’s active ingredient, acetaminophen was discovered in Europe more than a century ago, but it took another half century for it to become available over-the-counter in this country. These are the 24 secrets pain doctors won’t tell you.

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Verizon: Most Trusted Wireless Provider

Verizon is a relatively young company compared to other classic American brands on this list, but its devotion to innovation and new technology has quickly made it a favorite.

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Visa: Most Trusted Credit Card

In 1958, Visa began as a credit card program of Bank of America, and most notably, it was the first one accessible to middle-class Americans. Nowadays, Visa is the card Americans are most likely to trust to make purchases and to take care of their private information. Just make sure you know the 10 times you shouldn’t use a credit card for payment.

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Visine: Most Trusted Eye-Care Product

For those looking to “get the red out,” Visine is the go-to eye drop, and it has been for the past 40 years. Shoppers recognize it from the distinctive shape of its bottle. But if you forgot to pick it up at the store, here are some home remedies for itchy, dry, and red eyes that may give you some relief.

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Walmart: Most Trusted Mass Retailer

The brand has been an American staple since 1962 when the first one opened in Rogers, Arkansas. Today, Walmart employs 2.3 million associates around the world and has invested $2.7 billion over the past two years to offer workers better wages, education, and training.

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Weight Watchers: Most Trusted Weight-Loss System

Americans have been trusting Weight Watchers to help them lose unwanted pounds since the early 1960s, when founder, Jean Nidetch, began inviting friends into her Queens home once a week to discuss how best to lose weight. Now, U.S. News and World Report ranks Weight Watchers as the top weight loss system—ahead of 39 other competitors.

To get a glimpse of all the winning brands from every year starting in 2015, check out the full list of Reader’s Digest’s Trusted Brands.