Refinery29 Readers Confess Their Amazon Hidden Gems

Amazon is essentially an IRL version of Ariel's treasure trove, famously detailed in her The Little Mermaid number, "Part Of Your World." Only instead of a cavernous hole 1000 leagues under the sea, all that "neat" stuff is housed on digital shelves across the web. And, instead of useless, "whozits," "whatzits," and, "thingamabobs," Amazon's best booty is a collection of secret weapon stuff that we never knew we needed and now we that we have it, simply can't live without — a collection we've come to call, the hidden gems.
Since this particular online product ocean runs deep, we decided to poll an in-the-know pool of online-shopping mermaids across the country for their absolute favorite buys. From fashion to tech, beauty, travel, home decor, and health and wellness, the hidden gems' list ahead covers products so unique that you may be entirely surprised to find they were snagged off Amazon. Scroll on to shop our secret treasure trove of Amazon's hidden gems and become a part of a world filled with 100% linen shirts for under $30, diamond engagement rings, lint rollers the size of mops, sleep-support gummies, and trendy totes galore. And spread the good goods for our next round of Amazon hidden gems — we'd love to know what treasures you've tried, tested, and approved.

Submit your secret Amazon scores, here.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
1 of 49

Perfume Bottle Shaped AirPods Case

Vanessa, 26

How She Discovered It: "Looking for something to differentiate my air-pods from everyone else."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Cute and special design for an affordable price."
2 of 49

Volume & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara

Sarah, 27

How She Discovered It: "Japanese makeup and skincare top 10 lists on a whole bunch of different makeup blogs I follow all gave this particular brand glowing reviews, so I had to check it out."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I have a fraught history with mascara, especially waterproof formulas. Drugstore mascara wands get gunky really fast and don't give me an even application. Higher-end brands aren't much better, plus they're exorbitantly expensive. Mascara removal sucks too. Those Almay pads people swear by? That Lancome forumla? They're both oily as hell and I end up having to rub pretty hard to get my eye makeup off. BUT! This Heroine Make stuff? Comes off with a swipe of Pond's and lasts all day. The price is right, too. Bless up."
3 of 49

Portable Aluminum Alloy iPhone Fan

Vicky, 26

How She Discovered It: "I was going to an outdoor rave during a heat wave and I was desperate."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It's compact and such a knick-knack that you'd likely only be able to find online."
4 of 49

BAGGU Duck Bag Canvas Tote

Cristina, 38

How She Discovered It: "I was searching for a new tote bag."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I love everything about it, the size, color and pattern, the material and the fact that as a tote bag, it's more robust and you can close it, so things don't drop out. It also comes in so many cool themes. "
5 of 49

Anntrue BPA-Free Collapsible Water Bottle

Emily, 33

How She Discovered It: "I was searching for a water bottle to bring on my honeymoon, and I was thrilled to find a collapsable option."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I hate burning through single-use plastic bottles, but most reusables are too bulky for my lifestyle. This is so easy to compress and pop into my bucket bag on my way out."
6 of 49

Missha Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50

Serena, 25

How She Discovered It: "My coworker gave me her 12 step skincare routine and this is by far one of my favorite recommendations."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I used to associate SPF with sticky, slimy and something that would clog my pores. But leaving the house without SPF on my face makes me feel like having intercourse without a condom. UNPROTECTED. This sunscreen feels almost like a serum that sinks right into the skin and doesn't smell like I just made out with a life guard."
7 of 49

Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper

Laura, 25

How She Discovered It: "Last year, I started having difficulty falling asleep due to stress. When I started waking up with back pain, I began searching on Amazon for memory foam mattress toppers because I knew it would be a cheaper alternative to buying a new mattress. Plus, the mattress I already had was good - it just needed some improvement."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "This topper transformed my mattress into a marshmallowy oasis. I've never slept so comfortably!"
8 of 49

Baleaf High-Waist Compression Shorts

Nicole, 23

How She Discovered It: "I wanted biker shorts from Girlfriend Collective but all the black ones were sold out all the time so I turned to Amazon."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "They are possibly the best running/yoga shorts I own."
9 of 49

Avarelle Acne Absorbing Cover Patch

Katie, 25

How She Discovered It: "Surfing Amazon's indie-beauty scene."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "As one reviewer said it best, these little patches are 'miracle workers.' Coming from someone with sensitive skin prone to additional flareups from using harsher acne-related formulas, this absolute hidden gem of a product caused no irritation whatsoever and actually soothed my skin while clearing up my blemish overnight. I'm a believer."
10 of 49

Fancy That Cat Key Ring 

Steph, 27

How She Discovered It: "I kept getting served chic keyring targeted ads, so I took to Amazon to find a cheaper alternative."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Not only is this minimalist keyring chic and cat-shaped, but it's also an under $10 guarantee that I won't lose my keys...again. Oh, and it also comes in a lightning bolt shape that I ordered as a flashy backup (incase of misplacement emergencies)."
11 of 49

Turkish Towel Bundle

Susie, 28

How She Discovered It: "Searching for top-rated towels that weren't going to cost an arm and a leg."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Aside from loving the blue and white stripe style of this 100% Turkish cotton set, the bundle itself breaks down to under $10 per luxe pool-sized towel."
12 of 49

Ionic Hair Straightener Brush

Julia, 25

How She Discovered It: "Prime Day Lightening Deal."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I bought this because I recently went up to a coworker and asked what the occasion for her blowout was. She then told me she just quickly used a heat brush that morning. Her hair looked amazing so I took advantage of Prime Day and bought this one. I am truly shocked with how well it works. I now use it almost every morning instead of a regular brush and it makes me just look that much more put together!"
13 of 49

Hoxis Pu Leather Tote

Erin, 36

How She Discovered It: "Through R29's Instagram-like handbag story!"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I feel like the best Amazon finds are pieces that don't try and do too much, and this minimalist tote is a perfect example of that. I get so many compliments on how elegant it looks and no one can ever believe it's a faux leather bag that I snagged for under $20."
14 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

Makeup Sponge Blender Set 

Kellie, 32

How She Discovered It: "I was looking for an alternative to the Beauty Blender, and these were highly reviewed and so cheap, I just had to try them."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Under $2 a sponge vs $20 for the beauty blender and I like it better! I went back to the beauty blender for a day when I ran out of these sponges and I didn’t like it anymore! I’m never spending $20 on a sponge again!"
15 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

French Linen & Cotton Blend Sheets

Mimi, 26

How She Discovered It: "I was searching for linen sheets but all the high-end brand companies sell for $4-500 and up. I've had my sheets for a couple months now and they just get softer and softer. I love them!"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "There's nothing like falling into a bed that you're never too hot or too cold in. But usually that comes at a cost. These are the same price as my nice Pottery Barn sheets but the quality will last me a lifetime."
16 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

Lint Roller Mop

Libby, 28

How She Discovered It: "Hilary Rhoda's Instagram (her husband is a neat-freak)."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I mean, it's a giant lint roller! Enough said! It's especially helpful on my cowhide rug (vs. dealing with it getting sucked into vacuum) and it takes half the time to de-lint my coats/sweaters. I love it so much — by far my favorite Amazon purchase!"
17 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

Scalp Massager & Exfoliating Dandruff Brush

Loreto, 20

How She Discovered It: "On one of my late night Amazon rabbit holes."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I was looking for a dandruff solution when I came upon this gem. All the other options seemed to only work for a couple of weeks before the silicon brushes would break, so I took a chance on this brush and it’s completely changed my life! Every time I wash my hair and use this brush my scalp feels so clean, and it does a better job than my fingers ever will, plus it’s helped remove my dandruff almost to nothing. I truly appreciate this product."
18 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

Oversized White Linen Shirt

Liz, 28

How She Discovered It: "An entire afternoon spent Googling cheap white linen shirts that could double as a beach coverup."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Based off the few but glowing reviews, under $30 price tag, and Prime shipping eligibility, I ended up ordering this white linen button down in an XXL size for coverup duty — it was my best impulse purchase to date (well-made, accurately sized, light, breezy, and oh-so-soft). I sported it overtop my swimsuit paired with a white-cotton hat all weekend long, answering all 'where did you get that?!' commenters with a shock-and-awe-inspiring 'for $27 bucks on Amazon' reply."
19 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

100% Pure Hyaluronic Acid

Carey, 47

How She Discovered It: "Searching on Amazon."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I add three drops of this to my expensive serums and creams and it extends the life and adds moisture. Lasts forever and is inexpensive. Game changer!"
20 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

Rechargeable Bug-Zapper Rackets

Maria, 37

How She Discovered It: "At a friend's house upstate."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "My best friend has newborn twins and likes to keep the windows open to enjoy the nice fresh air breeze. This fly zapper-racket came in handy when the flies came in since Raid and other sprays are not an option around the babies. Plus it was fun to use in a sort of twisted low-stakes sporting kind of way."
21 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

36-Pack Of Assorted Velvet Scrunchies

Kara, 24

How She Discovered It: "My heart skipped a beat when I came across this scrunchie gold mine on 'Recommended For You' page. (What can I say? Amazon knows me very well.)"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Not only do you now have a scrunchie for every outfit, you can theoretically go a full month (plus about an extra week) without repeating a. single. one. Plus, at $14, each one comes out to less than 50 cents each. (!!)"
22 of 49
*July Hidden Gem

SofSole Instant Sneaker Cleaner

Steph, 30

How She Discovered It: "I’m having a white sneaker moment, almost everyday. When my #1 shoe spot stopped carrying my favorite cleaner, I knew Amazon would be the place to find it."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "After I clean my shoes with Sof Sole people legit say, ‘Oh! New sneaks?’ Every time!”
23 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Reusable Storage Bags

Megan, 29

How She Discovered It: "Searching for a sustainable alternative to plastic ziplock baggies...a pack of those things used to fly off my cabinet shelves like hotcakes."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "These eco-friendly storage solutions aren't only ideal for saving leftovers and snacks, but they're also perfect pouches for keeping everything from loose change to vitamins and makeup essentials organized inside a chaotic purse or gym bag."
24 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Sheer Soft Cup Bra

Jacqui, 31

How She Discovered It: "I took a punt one day cause I was Googling mesh bras and stumbled upon this one. I am never not wearing this bra."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It is literally the best bra known to man, super cheap and the best material ever."
25 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

All-Day Liquid Eyeliner

Karina, 25

How She Discovered It: "Before I started working in beauty, I heavily researched every makeup purchase I made, whether I was shopping at the drugstore or Sephora. This Maybelline liquid eyeliner pen was one of my earlier purchases, but years later, I keep coming back to it because it's just that good. Plus, if I ever forgot to pack my eyeliner when traveling, I'll always know it's a solid pick for an emergency shopping trip."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It can be intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, a felt-tip liquid eyeliner is like the little black dress of beauty products. It makes a chic, clean statement worn by itself, but also compliments virtually any eyeshadow look you're going for. And as the name aptly points out, the tip is super precise, which allows me to create a barely-there wing or go more dramatic with the shape. In other words, it's the perfect drugstore liquid eyeliner."
26 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Velvet Tufted Headboard

Rebecca, 23

How She Discovered It: "I really wanted an Anthropologie channel tufted bed when I moved into my first apartment, but I also wanted to stay within my budget so I tried to find a similar look elsewhere. I looked on several home furniture sites until I decided to give Amazon a go. I found this adjustable headboard right away and it looks just as good as the $700+ ones I had wanted earlier."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "There were so many cute color options (I went with the light blue, but I loved the blush as well), it was easy to attach to my bed, it's very sturdy, and I got the look I wanted for my room for a really great price."
27 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Ice Roller

Stephanie, 37

How She Discovered It: "The girls in my office found these for a Palm Springs' bachelorette weekend to use as hangover remedies."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "They loved them so much that we ended up stocking them in our office freezer for 3PM pick me ups and early morning meetings! Game changer in 45 seconds — also helpful for feeling refreshed if you have to head straight from the office to after-work plans."
28 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Silk Fringe Handbag

Melissa, 32

How She Discovered It: "I wanted the Cult Gaia mini fringe bag for a wedding in Mexico, but couldn't pay the $300+ price for it so I researched small fringe bags on Amazon and found one similar."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I have a lot of trips this summer and don't like traveling with anything too expensive, so this bag is perfect."
29 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Dermaplaning Razors

Freya, 43

How She Discovered It: "I was intrigued by Dermaplaning (an exfoliating treatment that will remove peach fuzz & dead skin with a very sharp razor/scalpel) & was looking into those cheap Tinkle razors that I kept hearing about. Well they sucked. I ended up investing in some very expensive Dermaplaning razors ($35!) & although they worked well, I wasn't feeling the price, especially since the razor needs to be sharp so it's best to use a new one every other Dermaplaning session. I ended up browsing Amazon for a cheaper alternative (as you do) & I came across these razors from the brand KAI for less than $5 for 5! I immediately placed an order & had them in my grabby little hands two days later! "

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "These Dermaplaning razors are incredibly high quality & sharp AF! They're made from stainless steel & the handle is coated, which makes them comfortable to hold & allows you to get a really good grip. But most importantly, they do a fabulous job of exfoliating & removing any & all unwanted facial hair (without any irritation, when done correctly, if course), leaving my skin feeling insanely soft & smooth! Plus my skin care products absorb 100 times better after using them. These are the BEST Dermaplaning razors I've ever used & I pray that they're never discontinued."
30 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Ceramic Lip Ashtray

Cait, 30

How She Discovered It: "Last year, I started noticing funky, sculptural ashtrays seemed to suddenly be everywhere (thanks legalization!) and I wanted to buy one. I have a weird obsession with lip motifs and saw something similar to this somewhere else, but for much more money. I searched around and couldn't believe how inexpensive this one was. It looks very high quality IRL!"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It definitely adds a little extra oomph to my coffee table. Even if you don't smoke, it's perfect for storing jewelry or other odds and ends in, and it's a great conversation piece."
31 of 49
*June Hidden Gem

Platform Bed Frame

Reid, 23

How She Discovered It: "I had a lot of requirements for what I wanted in a bed for my apartment. I needed a bed that didn't require a box spring, tall enough that I could put bins under the bed for storage, and had holes for attaching my headboard. I didn't like the look of the frames that unfold, and needed a frame with wooden slats to make my foam mattress last longer."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "This frame hit every requirement I had and then some. I got the 18" frame (there's also a 14" version) so its super tall and I was able to stack my bins and suitcases underneath. I have never had an easier piece of furniture to put together. It took me and a friend all of 10 minutes to assemble, and it's so sturdy."
32 of 49
*May Hidden Gem

Black High-Waist Leggings

Casey, 36

How She Discovered It: "Trial & error + lots of Amazon comments section trolling."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "This pair of leggings passes the see-through squat test in flying colors. No underwear showing here! They are super matte and on the thicker side which I like. I also like how high they are on the waist for indoor cycling so everything stays comfortably in place. Bonus: lots of pockets which is a take it or leave it for me personally but a bonus for runners etc."
33 of 49
*May Hidden Gem

Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands

Kelly, 33

How She Discovered It: "I just typed in "thigh savers" in to the search bar."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I don't have to cry every time I wear a dress now. The rub is gone!!"
34 of 49
*May Hidden Gem

Cute Cheap Sunglasses

Marissa, 39

How She Discovered It: "In a Refinery29 story that I researched and wrote. Hi, hello, yes, I work here."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I have finally accepted that I'm a serial loser of sunglasses. After my favorite pair of Céline sunnies — that I owned all of one (!) year — disappeared into thin air, I said, never again. No longer will I spend money on an item that I can't trust myself to keep track of even if said item is perched on my head. These cat-eye sunnies are cheap and light. The lens quality is meh but they are so cute and fit every face that tries them on — even my own little head, as exhibited in this selfie with Amazon shades. If/when I lose these sunglasses I will buy another pair and feel good that the person who finds them will hopefully enjoy them too.
35 of 49
*May Hidden Gem

Travel Makeup Case

Rebecca, 29

How She Discovered It: "I was looking for a travel make up bag and a friend recommended this one."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I love the print, it's the perfect size and it keeps my make up safe (due to hard outside) and organized. It's also reasonably priced and makes for a great gift for girlfriends, family,. etc. "
36 of 49
*April Hidden Gem

Cotton Ruffle Socks

Ruby, 31

How She Discovered It: "I was browsing for interesting socks, like always! And am always on the hunt for high-cotton blends that don't feel cheapy."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I mostly wear loafers and oxfords, which I love pairing with skirts or cropped pants and kooky socks or colorful socks, and this six-pack of cute ankle socks was a no-brainer!"
37 of 49
*April Hidden Gem

Diamond Wedding Ring

Kristyn, 29

How She Discovered It: "So this is a similar style ring - I can't find my exact ring. But, it was given to me on Christmas eve when I got engaged :) My main stone is 1.6 ctw "very good" quality diamond and i think was around 4k he never told me the exact amount."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "My husband and I both really enjoy deal shopping — it's one of our pastimes haha so he knew I'd have no issues with him getting a great deal on my ring — I just wanted to be married! It's an antique-style setting and really fits my style so I immediately fell in love with it. Once we got it appraised it was valued at a lot more than he paid — like 7k more! It came with an appraisal certificate that was already more than he paid but we took it to a reputable jeweler who went NUTS for it and appraised it even higher. Jewelers especially often ask me if its a family heirloom because they say it's beautifully crafted. I love it so much i choose to wear it on my right hand because I don't want a band taking any attention away from the details on the sides."
38 of 49
*April Hidden Gem

White Marble Ring-Holder

Sarah, 30

How She Discovered It: "I was looking for something on trend and unique to display my many rings. Something that was also stylish and looks good on my vanity."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "This is one of those items that you didn't know you needed until you had one. I absolutely love that its made of solid marble. It feels good to hold and is an affordable way to add some marble accent to my home. I use it everyday to hold my engagement ring when I'm not wearing it. I've also gifted this many friends and they all loved it! It's a small and lovely gift that I've given for engagement parties, bridal showers, coworkers, etc."
39 of 49
*March Hidden Gem

Selfie Tripod

Claire, 27

How She Discovered It: "Through my own research!"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "This tripod has changed my life and my social content game! There's no shame in snapping an outfit pic with a tripod when you live alone, and it also lets me make funny videos that bring me SO much joy!"
40 of 49
*March Hidden Gem

Pearl Hairclips

Sasha, 29

How She Discovered It: "I was searching for cute, cheap hair clips after seeing an influencer wearing them."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Hair clips are all over Instagram right now and these are the perfect detail to get the look for an affordable price."
41 of 49
*March Hidden Gem

Wig Tape

Katherine, 34

How She Discovered It: "Years ago when I was a fashion assistant, the stylist I was assisting used it on a photo shoot to keep shirts and makeshift hems in place."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "This wig tape is cheaper, stronger, and more reliable than the traditional 'fashion tape.' Works like a charm to make sure blouses don't gape and garments stay in the right place when there's lots of movement on set. It's great for swim shoots too. It's one of my many secret weapons I keep stocked in my styling kit."
42 of 49
*March Hidden Gem

Face-Mask Collection

Sally, 26

How She Discovered It: "Browsing around!"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Less than 2 dollars per sheet mask. Plus they feel amazing after putting them in the fridge for a couple minutes."
43 of 49
*February Hidden Gem

Cute Portable Mini Vacuum

Rebecca, 28

How She Discovered It: "I discovered it in the shuk while I was living in Tel Aviv. When I moved to NY I needed one for my new apartment so I searched on Amazon and voila! Now every person who comes to our apartment asks where it's from and we give them out as gifts. We probably have at least 5 of them stocked in our closet right now."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It's just so useful! We keep it on our coffee table and use it at least once a night after we eat by the tv or have company over."
44 of 49
*February Hidden Gem

Heartburn Relief & Sleep Support Gummies

Tina, 30

How She Discovered It: "Found it on Amazon after searching for nighttime acid reflex / sleeping aid."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I suffer from both acid reflux and have a hard time falling asleep and this product seems to help a lot with both!"
45 of 49
*February Hidden Gem

Glamorous Swimsuit

Colette, 28

How She Discovered It: "I spent longer than I'd like to admit looking for a cute black one piece. I read a ton of reviews and finally landed on this one."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "Bathing suits are my least favorite thing to buy, but this one checks all the boxes. It's well made, comfortable, cost only $25 but looks at least twice as expensive, and most importantly I feel really good in it. It's the only bathing suit I want to wear for the rest of eternity."
46 of 49
*February Hidden Gem

Soft Shag Rug

Colleen, 28

How She Discovered It: "I spent weeks looking for a blush colored rug that was high quality and fit my budget and finally stumbled upon this lovely rug!"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It's so soft, fluffy, and pretty and keeps my feet cozy and safe from my freezing hardwood floors. And you can't beat the price for such a large and high quality rug."
47 of 49
*February Hidden Gem

Oribe Après Beach Wave & Shine Spray

Cara, 35

How She Discovered It: "I actually think it might have been through a Refinery beauty article."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It's more of an expensive gem than a hidden gem, this stuff ain't cheap. But after trying so many other products, this is the one that really works. A lot of people pay top dollar to be in the Oribe good hair club, but, for me, snagging it off Amazon makes it feel a bit more budget because of those Prime shipping perks!"
48 of 49
*February Hidden Gem

Affordable Formal Dress

Arianna, 27

How She Discovered It: "I was going to a black tie wedding and didn't want to spend a lot of money on a dress, and I had an Amazon gift card so...I googled formal dresses on Amazon and found one with rave reviews. A lot of girls mentioned using it as a bridesmaid dress!"

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "I only paid $40 for it, I got a lot of compliments on it AND have turned multiple people onto the same dress, so a lot of my friends own it as well."
49 of 49
*February Hidden Gem

A Trendy Down Jacket

Ashleigh, 28

How She Discovered It: "On a social media feed."

Why It's A Hidden Gem: "It is the best winter coat I have ever had. It's warm enough for the cold winters and trendy enough for my hip Brooklyn neighborhood. I own the grey one and always get so many compliments on it. My first response is always 'Thanks! I got it on Amazon!'"

More from Home