How We Test Products
This research is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen products, which earn us a commission at no additional cost for you. Learn More
For you to buy our ideas, recommendations, and choices, you need to trust us. And this can only be more efficient if you understand the steps we take in our product tests and how we come about reviews.
Take a dive with us as we analyze the reasons behind our reviews and the types of tests we conduct to determine performances.
The reason behind our reviews
Giving you (our readers) a first-hand and unbiased description of what each product felt like during use means you get to make the right choice with the tools and parameters we provide you. In addition, with our in-depth product reviews, you make decisions only from the best options available instead of a wide array of choices.
How do we test sleep products?
Our primary goal is to identify the strong and weak points of every product we review, which is exactly what we do with our tests. We use the products till we’re satisfied (minimum of 5 days up to 2 weeks), keeping an open mind while also paying attention to complaints and praises from other users.
While reviewing mattresses, we cover the following areas before making an overall conclusion;
Here, we seek to answer questions like, does it look the same as on the website? How long does the mattress take before reaching its full size? Is there any off-gassing smell? We time the whole package opening and expansion process, taking notes on whether the mattress has physical flaws. In addition, we also look at the mattress’s stitching.
• Composition and layers
Mattress type, how it feels when laid on, remove the cover, test each layer
We move on to the mattress’s composition by stripping off the mattress cover and looking at how the layers are stacked. We check each layer to understand how it contributes to the mattress regarding responsiveness, cradling, and support.
Next up is the mattress’s heat retention capacity. Is it gel-infused? How does it react to body heat? We answer these questions by using the mattress in different stages of undress to see if the coolness can still get to the skin. And finally, we switch off the AC and check how long the mattress can maintain our body temperature without air conditioning.
• Firmness and edge support
We confirm the edge support by sleeping and sitting on the mattress's edge, taking notes of sagging or stability. Same as support, we try out different sleeping styles with different body weights to pinpoint which category of user the mattress will be best for.
• Motion isolation
This test is conducted by having one person lie down while the other sits on the mattress edge, gets up, and lies down. We switch places to fully understand how it feels for different body weights and sleeping styles. In addition to that, we also place a 1-liter bottle of water on the mattress and apply pressure on different mattress spots to see how isolated motion transfer can be.
Just like support, we measure how much sinkage the mattress has for this part of our test. One person lies on the mattress while the other measures how the main parts, like the upper and lower sides of the body, sink. And we do this for different sleeping styles and weights.
The tests we conduct for mattress toppers are similar to the mattress tests; however, here is an overview of the questions we hope to answer with the review. For our mattress toppers, we perform our tests to determine the following:
How well does it stay on the mattress? Does it have straps? Although some models have straps, others don’t. We check to see how much the topper can stay in place on a mattress despite extra-hard tossing and turning all through the night. And we sometimes jump on the mattress toppers too, to solidify our concerns in case of strenuous mattress activities.
What type of material it's made from will determine things like responsiveness and thermoregulation. We aim to answer questions about how the cover feels for thermoregulation and how conforming the mattress topper type is.
We check for cushioning, support, and motion isolation as the thickness of a mattress topper is commensurate with the amount of sinkage and firmness it offers.
Note: All mattress topper tests are conducted on a medium-firm mattress since it’s the most popular mattress firmness level.
Weighted blankets create a warm and relaxing feeling when appropriately used. Too heavy causes discomfort; too light, and it’s ineffective. To gauge performance though, we perform our tests with these areas in mind:
We like to know if the material is organic or inorganic and whether they’re flurry, fluffy, or fuzzy, as this affects the feeling it’ll generate in a user. How is the fabric made and processed? How does it affect user comfort during sleep?
Does it use glass beads or plastic beads? How much does it weigh? And how does it affect temperatures? Even though most of these questions can be answered from the company’s brochure, our first-hand experience allows us to understand how it really feels for an individual.
• Care and maintenance
While most models can be machine-washed, many others require special handling. We take the blanket for a spin and see how it comes out after being washed. Is it bunched? Is it fraying? Are the beads still in place?
Other sleep products
Besides the products already listed, we offer reviews on other sleep products, and we conduct our tests by seeking answers to the questions, does the product work? And is it worth the money? We test the products for a minimum of 5 days up to 2 weeks while sticking to specific product parameters.
We check for loft, firmness, and material for pillows; ease of assembly, durability, and stability for bed frames; temperature, feel, and material for bed sheets; while we check smart settings, app compatibility, and remote features for smart devices.
How do we test home appliances?
Keeping in line with our testing guidelines, we sometimes use the product for a minimum of 5 days or two weeks. Our major goal is to understand the appliance’s drawbacks and whether it’s exactly as advertised or not. And due to the nature of home appliances, we subject the products to intense scrutiny from multiple testers before drawing a conclusion.
Coffee is an international beverage that’s enjoyed in various ways by many people. However, because of its diversity, finding a coffee maker that suits you ideally can be challenging. Our tests review products to ensure that they offer you more than the bare minimum. Here are the things we test for:
We test to see if its auto-features are up to par and how effective/efficient they are. This includes the auto-brew, auto-off, brew pause, preference programming, customizable timers, and the keep warm function. We do this to identify how smart the coffee maker is and whether it can implement instructions without hands-on monitoring.
• Ease of use and cleaning
Is the device’s controls easy to grasp? Or do we need some particular type of knowledge? A coffee maker’s ease of use is one of its most vital points, as this ensures a stress-free brew. Same as cleaning, is the process straightforward? Or does it require special handling?
We check the filter to understand what type it uses, as this might sometimes affect the overall coffee taste. We conduct our tests with and without filters, taking notes on how it affects and how effective it is for different coffee types.
• Capacity and coffee type
How long can it hold coffee for? How many people can be served at once? What type of coffee does it make best? We engage the whole team for this aspect of our test to make different types of coffee and see how each tastes.
When performing our toaster review tests, we pay extra attention to the following aspects, as all toaster types have it in common:
What is the shade setting like? How many browning options are available? Can the toaster be trusted to deliver exact commands? All these questions are answered through our tests. We also ensure our tests aren’t limited to bread alone but includes bagels, waffles, and the occasional reheated pizza.
This test ensures that we know how much the toaster can implement commands, what type of food it can process efficiently, and if it can deliver exactly what we want.
• Ease of use and cleaning
Toasters are expected to be some of the easiest-to-use kitchen appliances available on the market. And so we conduct our tests to verify this claim. Are the controls easy to understand? Are the dials straightforward? Same as cleaning.
• Extra features
What types of extra features does it have? And how efficient are they? Does it have auto-lift, and does it work? More browning? How much power does it consume? These features you might think don’t matter but are great for reducing your cooking stress.
As health aficionados, we understand why you may not trust fries and other crunchies purchased from public places. You want your own air fryer, which is why we go to the trouble of screening the choices for you by performing the following tests:
• Noise and smoke
To determine the fryer’s noise pollution level, one person uses the fryer while the other stays in a different room and notes how loud the emanating sound is. And then we also try this with headphones on; if the sound is still audible after this, then the test has failed. We also check to see any visible smoke and how thick it might be. Is it thick enough to activate smoke detectors?
• Ease of cleaning and safety
Does the tray stick or not? Do the handles grow hot? Does it have a non-stick base? Using the fryer allows us to answer these questions and understand how safe and easy to clean it is.
• Controls, features, and power
The cooking temperature range is affected by the power consumption of the air fryer. At the same time, features like auto-off, pre-programmed cooking modes, rotating bowls, and precise temperature settings help you maintain better control over your cooking. These are aspects we note in our tests as it's a significant part of your air fryer.
Other kitchen appliances
We follow the same pattern of 5 days to 2 weeks of first-hand use when reviewing other kitchen appliances like food processors, juicers, and milk frothers. This allows us to be familiar with the device’s strengths and weaknesses. We also pay attention to complaints from customer reviews to see if we notice the same flaws.
Tankless water heaters
The price and installation cost of tankless water heaters are quite high, which is why we ensure you only get the cream of the crop (best picks). We conduct tests to determine the following:
• Flow rate
To gauge the heater's efficiency, we open multiple faucets and check whether the water temperature is consistent or lacking in some outlet areas. This allows us to know how much hot water can be generated simultaneously so that you’ll know how to distribute and possibly conserve it.
• Temperature rise
How long do they take to deliver hot water? How often does cold water come out instead of hot water? We time the delivery process and watch out for cold-water sandwiches.
Apart from being a potential breeding ground for allergens, no one likes the musty odor that comes with wet, humid air. However, it’s our job to ensure you only get the best device that’ll get the job done for you. And to this end, we conduct tests on the following:
• Noise level and energy consumption
How much energy does it consume compared to the work it’s doing? Can it be run through the night without disturbing our sleep? We run it through the night and make a tab of the energy consumed over the duration of our tests.
• Ease of use and auto-features
We test to see if its auto-features like auto-shutoff, smart memory, adjustable humidistat, and built-in hygrometer are up to par and how effective/efficient they are. In addition, we check to see if the controls require special knowledge or if they’re easy to grasp.
• Tank capacity and auto-drainage
We spread some wet laundry in a room and check how efficient the device is while monitoring how quickly the tank gets filled.
Other home appliances
As for other home appliances (washing machines, air conditioners, dishwashers, etc.), we test them in accordance with their product parameters. The end goal is to understand whether the device is functional, has value for money, and whether it’s easy to use. The review tests are conducted using the device for a minimum of 5 days, with some tests reaching two weeks.
Our reviews aim at providing our readers with the data generated from our first-hand experience with products. Having all the pieces of the puzzle with the knowledge gained through our tests means you get to make the right choice once you’re ready to make your purchase.