The most ground-breaking home innovations of 2018

They're the Best of What's New.

Home
Included: a cordless reciprocating saw just as powerful as its tethered counterpart.Brian Klutch

Because we rely on home products for the intimate and urgent matters of our everyday lives, we need these staples to serve us well. A true innovation for the house should either work better than its predecessor (Post-it’s super-strong sticky notes or Milwaukee’s cordless saw that outperforms the wireless kind) or fulfill a need we didn’t realize we had (keeping our coffee at the perfect temperature or instantly detecting plumbing leaks).

Post-it Extreme Notes by 3M
Post-it Extreme Notes by 3M
Grand Award Winner Unshakeable stickies
3M's new Extreme Post-its can cling to the surface of rough materials such as plywood and concrete. That's thanks to a new adhesive made of tiny spheres, which give the glue extra stretch to better conform to uneven surfaces. The goo gets added help from flexible paper that's coated with polymer layers, which make the notes water-resistant—and also more durable and less prone to smudging than plain stickies. Samples we tested stayed firmly stuck to a house's exterior walls and windows, Tupperware in a freezer, and even a canvas cooler bag whose handles constantly tugged on the note.
3M
M3 Mattress by Bedgear
M3 Mattress by Bedgear
The first modular mattress
The modular components of Bedgear's M3 mattress—a chassis, springs that fit into it, a foam pad, and a cover—literally zip together so you can customize every part. New slumber buddy has back trouble? Swap in stiffer springs on their side to give them more support. The summer heat make you sweaty? Zip on a warmth-deflecting cover (Bedgear is developing cotton- and wool-based ones for chilly weather). The chassis also has ventilated panels to keep air flowing—without letting in allergens like dust mites.
Bedgear
Sidekick Grill Accessory by Camp Chef
Sidekick Grill Accessory by Camp Chef
Smoke and grill simultaneously
When you're smoking a slab of bacon on a pellet grill, the meat can monopolize your cooking surface for hours. To keep preparing the rest of your meal while you wait, hook Camp Chef's Sidekick onto the larger appliance as a bonus cooker. Its propane-fueled aluminum burner can produce 30,000 BTU to cook your food. Don't limit yourself to the griddle that comes with the accessory: You can purchase additional options—such as a pizza oven or small-but-conventional grill—to sear, bake, and boil as well.
Camp Chef
Ceramic Mug by Ember
Ceramic Mug by Ember
Climate control for your coffee
Plenty of thermoses will insulate your drink, helping it stay hot or cold a little longer. Ember pioneered a ceramic mug that brings your java to the exact temperature you want, and keeps it there indefinitely—with a little help from a "coaster" that's also a charging pad. That nice-feeling ceramic is actually a coating that covers stainless-steel walls lined with thermometers and electronics, all powered by a battery in the base of the cup. You set the temperature via an app, which notifies you when the beverage hits just the right level.
Ember
Flo by Flo Technologies
Flo by Flo Technologies
Quick detection for hidden leaks
The sooner you detect and fix a hidden leak in your plumbing, the better off your house will be. So slap Flo on your main water supply line. Its sensors monitor your home's H2O flow, pressure, and temperature, looking for changes that indicate the system might have sprung a pinhole leak. When it spots a problem, the connected device pings your phone so you can call the plumber early. If Flo detects a major issue, you can use the app to remotely shut off the water.
Flo Technologies
Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System by John Deere
Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System by John Deere
Oil changes in a snap
To make any engine live longer, you need to regularly change its oil. Still, when it comes to ride-on lawn mowers, many people avoid the messy and time-consuming process. John Deere's Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System takes away those excuses, allowing people to replace both oil and filter by tidily snapping in a new cartridge that contains both. When we tried out the system, making the swap really did take just 30 seconds.
John Deere
Dual Inverter Air Conditioner by LG
Dual Inverter Air Conditioner by LG
Finally, a quiet air conditioner
Air conditioners are noisy energy guzzlers. They run on alternating current, which means the compressor—and its loud churn—can only be either on or off. The Dual Inverter runs on direct current, which can vary the amount of power going to the chiller and better control its speed. This smooth variation keeps noise levels down to about 44 decibels (that's library levels) and allows the machine to use 25 to 40 percent less energy than ACs of similar power.
LG
M18 FUEL Super Sawzall by Milwaukee
M18 FUEL Super Sawzall by Milwaukee
A cordless saw that out-cuts the rest
Milwaukee's corded Sawzall is the go-to reciprocating slicer for chewing through multi-layer wooden doors, 5-inch iron pipes, and other hardy materials. Now a cord-free version, the M18 Fuel Super Sawzall, cuts even faster than the original (3,000 strokes per minute versus 2,800). The lithium-ion battery pack can fuel up to 150 cuts per charge and runs 50 percent cooler than its predecessor. The company's hush-hush about exactly how it achieved these gains, but the saw's motor, battery, and electronics—everything down to the magnets in the motor and the total amount of copper—got a complete overhaul.
Milwaukee Tool
24” Front Load Washer with QuickDrive by Samsung
24” Front Load Washer with QuickDrive by Samsung
Faster laundry
A washing machine with QuickDrive reduces cleaning time by up to 35 percent compared to standard Samsung models, so it consumes 20 percent less energy. A back plate helps to account for the speed: It and the main drum move independently, churning laundry in four directions (backward, forward, up, and down) instead of the usual two. The washer also mixes detergent with air and water to froth up a foam that more quickly disperses through fabrics. Beyond hastening cleaning, this lets cold water clean as well as hot does.
Samsung
Smart Microgarden by SproutsIO
Smart Microgarden by SproutsIO
The best garden for black thumbs
When you plant root veggies, leafy greens, or fruit in the SproutsIO soil-free indoor smart garden, it will create the ideal environment to grow your chosen crop. Pre-programmed "recipes" automatically tailor the amount of water, nutrients, and light. You can also tweak these parameters to, say, modify the sweetness of your tomatoes. Thanks to this high level of control, the device uses two percent of the water that traditional outdoor gardens do, while encouraging plants to grow up to three times faster.
SproutsIO