14 essential health and household items


Countries around the world brace for further disruption to travel, education and the workplace as COVID-19 cases continue to rise after the holidays. According to the CDC website, the United States recently surpassed 50 million cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

By the end of December, the United States had reached a seven-day average of more than 265,000 new cases of COVID-19, surpassing the previous record of 252,000 daily cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who have been hit, now is the time to be more careful than ever. We’ve rounded up a few essentials you can have shipped to your door, from cleaning supplies and thermometers, to COVID-19 self-tests that are much harder to find at home.

Also, be sure to check your FSA and HSA rules, as many of these things need to be covered and can save you money.

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Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Tests

IHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test ($ 17.98; amazon.com)

This 15-minute iHealth COVID-19 self-test does not require you to send a sample to the lab. The kit comes with 2 tests per kit and is performed by nasal swabbing. Approved for ages two and up.

The kit also comes with an app that can be used as proof of negative results, as well as to store a virtual copy of your immunization records. The kits have a shelf life of 6 months.

COVID-10 Rapid Home Self-Test ($ 24.88; amazon.com)

In progress

With a 4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, the On / Go Kit has been approved by the FDA for home use (but not the same as the one approved by the FDA). This kit comes with two testers and works for both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. Children as young as two years old can be tested. It claims to have a 95% accuracy rating.

This test also includes a companion app in the Apple and Google app stores.

It has been noted by reviewers, however, that the shelf life of these tests is extremely short compared to other tests on the market. Other reviewers noted a disturbing trend of false negative results.

Household cleaners

Lysol Disinfectant Wipes (Set of 4) ($ 12.47; amazon.com)

Lysol disinfectant wipes

A no-brainer when it comes to the wet wipe. Lysol Disinfectant Wipes have been tested and proven to kill the COVID-19 virus on hard, non-porous surfaces in 15 seconds. Can be used on kitchen and bathroom surfaces, remotes, tablets and smartphones.

Pink Stuff Cleaning Paste, Multi-Purpose Spray & Bathroom Foam ($ 21.99; amazon.com)

The Pink Stuff Bathroom Cleaner Paste, Spray & Foam

Pink Stuff Bathroom Paste, Spray and Foam are great for dirt, grime, and stains on everything from ceramic tiles and glass showers to patio furniture and pots and pans. Reviewers note to use it on a small test spot and not to leave it for more than a few minutes, otherwise it could remove paint from your more delicate items (like a car or furniture).

Microfiber Antibacterial Cleaning Cloth (Pack of 10) ($ 27.95; amazon.com)

Antibacterial microfiber cleaning cloth

Soft and scratch-free material, these microfiber cleaning cloths are absorbent and perfect for cleaning windows, cookware, the car and other delicate surfaces. They are safe, environmentally friendly, streak-free and reduce cross-contamination. They are also machine washable.

Affresh Front Load Top Load Washing Machine Cleaner (6 tablets) ($ 10.79; amazon.com)

Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner

Designed to dissolve and remove odor causing residue in washing machines, these Affresh Washing Machine tablets will dissolve in a wash cycle and break up residue, claiming to work better than bleach. It is safe to use in front load and top load washers, both high efficiency (HE) and conventional washers. Use once a month.

Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System ($ 7.69; amazon.com)

Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Cleaning System

The Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Cleaning System features toilet scouring pads that snap onto the toilet wand, then easily peel off for tossing in the trash. Preloaded with Clorox Cleaner, they will remove stains and help kill germs. The kit includes a wand, storage basket, 6 disposable refills and 3 bonus refills.

Personal items

Non-contact forehead thermometer ($ 19.99; amazon.com)

Non-contact forehead thermometer

A perfect non-contact thermometer for multi-person households. It has a tri-color display for different temperature levels with a large, clear display for easy reading. It has two modes for measuring both human body temperature and object temperature. Comes with two AAA batteries.

Amazon Smart Soap Dispenser ($ 54.99; amazon.com)

Amazon smart soap dispenser

This fun automatic soap dispenser will help reduce the spread of germs during cold and flu season, especially if you have young people around the house. After your soap has been dispensed, a 2-second LED timer will engage, guiding you to scrub for the amount of time recommended by the CDC. It pairs with an Echo product for voice control and the rechargeable battery can last up to 3 months on a single charge.

Beurer Bluetooth digital pulse and heart rate monitor ($ 38.82; amazon.com)

Beurer Bluetooth digital pulse and heart rate monitor

FSA and HAS eligible, the Beurer Bluetooth digital pulse and heart rate monitor measures your arterial oxygen saturation and pulse with your fingertips. It comes with an app, batteries, retaining strap and belt pouch. It is ideal for those at risk with heart disease or asthma. However, it cannot be used for continuous overnight monitoring.

Reusable Waterproof Household Dishwashing Gloves (2 Pairs) ($ 8.99; amazon.com)

Reusable Waterproof Household Dish Cleaning Gloves

These latex gloves are made of soft rubber and are stain and odorless. The palm and fingers have designs to increase friction to ensure better grip and a tighter cuff to prevent water from flowing into the glove. Can be used for dishwashing, car washing, indoor and outdoor cleaning, pet care, etc.

Yogasleep Portable White Noise Machine ($ 24.95; amazon.com)

Yogasleep portable white noise machine

The Yogasleep portable white noise machine has 3 noise settings including brilliant white noise, deep white noise, and smooth surf. It also includes an amber LED light, a great night light for the little ones.

Large Electric Heating Pad ($ 29.95; amazon.com)

Mighty Bliss Electric Heated Blanket

This Mighty Bliss Large Electric Heating Pad is helpful in relieving back pain, cramps and arthritis. Has multiple heat settings and can be used wet or dry. It is listed as a # 1 bestseller on Amazon.

Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler ($ 44.53; amazon.com)

Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler

The Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler provides a warm mist of vapor for temporary relief of coughs, congestion and allergies in 5 to 15 minute treatment cycles. Compatible with Vicks Calming Menthol VapoPads.

Prices are correct and items are in stock at time of posting.


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