November is a great month for deals, with discounts beginning on Veterans Day and then ramping up to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday. According to Consumer Reports analysts, who track prices year-round, it’s a particularly good month to find deals on televisions and household appliances. If you’re in the market for these items, we’ve got the shopping tips, buying guides, and ratings that can help you find the right models. Want to know what’s on sale the rest of the year? Check our calendar of deals. Below is a list of products with major discounts this month.
If you’re planning to buy a television this month, the average price hits bottom on Cyber Monday.
Most new models are LED LCD sets, so that helps streamline your decision-making process. Size and price are likely to be the biggest factors you’ll need to consider.
HDR TVs. The hottest feature in televisions these days is High Dynamic Range (HDR), which can boost a TV’s brightness, contrast, and color. It’s possible to find some 65-inch 4K sets with HDR from lesser-known brands selling for as little as $500. You may also find good deals from major brands such as LG, Samsung, and Vizio.
Consider clarity. Ultra HD (UHD) TVs, also called 4K models, have higher resolution because they offer more pixels. Practically all the televisions in our ratings now use 4K technology except for the smallest TVs. The programming is lagging behind, so you’ll have to rely on streaming services to really see a difference in the resolution.
Think about screen size. Few people buy a TV and wish they’d chosen a smaller screen. For your primary set—for your living room or family room, for example—figure on a 50- to 60-inch screen, or even bigger if your room is very large. For a bedroom or kitchen, 24 to 32 inches should be plenty.
Buying a refrigerator can be complicated and expensive. Even a basic model can run for more than $1,000. Fancy fridges can come with a much higher price.
Think about the configuration. Remember that refrigerator styles can be customized to match your your kitchen décor. Consider what kind of configuration would work best for you. You’ll have think about whether French doors would work, for example, and whether the freezer should be on top or the bottom.
Pay attention to Energy Star ratings. In addition to the price of the refrigerator, consider the costs of all that cooling. We take Energy Star information into consideration when measuring how much it costs to run a refrigerator. Don’t overlook this, even if a sale tempts you.
To make a more informed choice, check Consumer Reports’ refrigerator ratings.
A blender burning out mid-margarita can really put a damper on a party. While they’re ideal for making icy drinks, whipping up smoothies, crushing ice and puréeing vegetables and fruit, choosing a reliable blender can be tricky.
Blending speeds. Most have a number of speeds from one to 17, but three speed options usually do the trick. More than a dozen and it starts to become difficult to distinguish one speed from another.
The height of the blender. The height of a full-sized blender varies from 14 to 22 inches. Take note of this spec if the blender needs to fit under your cabinets. Planning to store it? Some blenders weigh just 4 pounds, but the heaviest weigh in at 22 pounds.
Prices: They can vary wildly. You can spend as little as $27 on a new blender—or well over $600.
To help you chose wisely, Consumer Reports has rated the top brands. Check our blenders buying guide and ratings.
4. Coffee Makers
Waking up to the smell of coffee brewing early in the morning is one of life’s small pleasures. You can spend $200 or more for a coffee maker with interactive displays and the kind of stainless steel detailing you’d find on pro-style appliances. But our most recent tests show that a consistently good cup can be had for half that.
Extra features. If you want more features than a simple on/off switch, consider conveniences such as programmability, a thermal carafe to keep coffee hot longer, and settings that let you adjust brew strength. Keep in mind that when it comes to cost, more expensive models merely indicate more options, not necessarily a better brew. You can get a top-rated drip model for $25.
Number of cups. If one cup is enough to jump-start your day, choose a one- or two-cup drip model or single-serve machine. Need more? Choose a larger automatic drip or one of the specialty machines, such as an electric French press. Most large models brew 10 to 12 cups, although typically a “cup” is really only 5 to 6 ounces, not eight.
5. Fitness Trackers
A fitness tracker is a useful tool for monitoring and measuring your physical activity so that you can achieve your objectives. The best prices are typically offered on Cyber Monday, according to our analysts.
Trackers generally fall into two categories: “all day” models that measure steps, sleep, and active minutes, and “training” versions that will also monitor your breathing and track your heart rate and your pace (say, for running or swimming).
Consider your fitness goals. Are you trying to jump-start a lapsed fitness routine? Fine-tune an exercise regimen? Train for a triathlon? The right fitness tracker can help you achieve your objectives.
Style. Many trackers are designed to be worn on the wrist, but some can be worn as pendants or clipped to your clothing. Choose a look you’ll feel comfortable wearing every day.
Display. The more advanced trackers reveal their data—using words, numbers and symbols—on a watchlike display. Others share that info via a simple LED light display or only via an app. When you sync the data to your smartphone or computer, the tracker’s companion app archives the information and helps you interpret and analyze it. Before you make a final decision on which kind to buy, preview the tracker’s companion app in the Apple App Store or on Google Play to make sure it lives up to your expectations.