As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the nation, many people are still quarantined at home—and to cope, they're stocking up on everything from household essentials to things to stay entertained while social distancing. This has led to a shortage of products across the country, as supply struggles to keep up with demand.
While doing our due diligence, we've seen a variety of products go out of stock, and we have compiled a list of the biggest ones below.
1. Toilet paper
Toilet paper is at the top of everyone's must-have list right now. And it makes sense—no one wants to run out of the one thing you use multiple times every single day.
2. Hand sanitizer
It's no secret that there's been a run on hand sanitizer—but while it may be hard to find, it isn't impossible. FYI: The CDC says that hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol are the most effective at killing germs.
3. Cleaning wipes and spray
Just as important as keeping your hands clean is keeping your home clean. That's why disinfecting wipes and spray—which are on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) approved list of disinfectants—are just as tough to find as hand sanitizer. If you're able to find some at the retailers, make sure you're using your cleaning wipes correctly. The CDC says to use enough wipes that your surface remains saturated for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Paper towels
Toilet paper isn't the only paper product that's hard to come by these days—paper towels are also selling out at many stores. That's likely because the CDC recommends using paper towels to clean and disinfect your home to protect against coronavirus.
5. Hand soap
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the spread of germs—and more specifically, coronavirus—is to wash your hands regularly. And for that, you'll need hand soap, which is sold out at a lot of stores. Fortunately, our team has discovered you can still find it at retailers like Target and Staples online.
New parents and caretakers alike are stocking up on diapers—which means they're becoming harder and harder to find in stores. We've found all the places you can still buy diapers online in a variety of counts and sizes (just keep in mind that many of these retailers are limiting you to two to three packs per order!).
Here's where you can still buy diapers online
With one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 being a fever, thermometers have become a popular purchase. Because of this, we've kept a close eye on the increasingly limited supply of digital thermometers—and while there are a few places online where you can still buy thermometers, be aware that many of those won't ship until the end of the month.
When you’re sick, the first thing you reach for is likely a box of tissues. After all, the CDC recommends that you always use a tissue to cover your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze.
9. Water filters
Bottled water is a rare find at the grocery store at the moment, which is why so many people are turning to water filters and pitchers instead.
Here's where you can still buy water pitchers online
One alternative to toilet paper that's becoming more and more popular? A bidet. According to Slickdeals, searches for bidets have been up 304 percent over the last month. We're big fans of the Tushy, a bidet that attaches directly to your toilet and that our tester says cleans your bum better than any amount of toilet paper.
Whether you're staying home by yourself, with family, or with roommates, we're all looking for ways to stay entertained. And that means that a lot of common products for beating boredom—like the ones below—are in limited supply at online retailers.
11. Board games
If you're lucky enough to be quarantined with family or roommates, playing board games is a fun way to pass the time. Whether you're up for a rousing round of Code Names or down for a Monopoly marathon, games are flying off the shelves. While my family loves both of the above, one of our new favorites is Exploding Kittens—it's as hilarious as the name suggests!
As people are desperate for new ways to stay entertained while social distancing, jigsaw puzzles have made quite the comeback. In fact, according to puzzle manufacturer Ravenberger, sales are up a whopping 370% (!!).
13. Nintendo Switches
One of the most popular things to do while #stayinghome? Playing video games. More specifically, playing video games on your Nintendo Switch, which was one of the top tech gifts of the last year. The cult-favorite video game console is almost impossible to find right now—but you can still snag one (or the Switch Lite) at one of these retailers.
If you've been on social media at all during quarantine, you've likely been flooded with pictures of homemade banana bread, sourdough starters, cinnamon rolls, and extravagant cakes. I.e. it seems that everyone is baking in their newfound free time. So it makes sense that baking products like muffin tins, loaf pans, and baking sheets are selling out everywhere.
All that baking you're doing requires more than just the right pans—many recipes require yeast. The bread-making ingredient is out of stock at most grocery stores right now but you can still find it at a few select retailers. And if you can't? Try your hand at one of these no-yeast-required recipes.
16. Fitness equipment
No gym, no problem—as long as you have a few home workout essentials, whether that's dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, or maybe even a yoga mat. But even if you don't have any of the above, you can still get in a good sweat sesh. Just ask our social media manager (and resident exercise guru) who rounded up some of the most creative ways to work out with everyday household products (including using wine bottles as weights!).
17. Sewing machines
Sewing machines are a hot commodity right now for two major reasons: first, because people are taking up sewing as one of their quarantine hobbies and second, because people are using them to make their own masks.
18. Hair dye
With salons closed, people are turning to at-home hair dye to fix their hair themselves (desperate times!). And subsequently hair dye is now running low at many retailers, with Nielsen research showing that hair color sales are up almost 25 percent compared to last year.
Now that there's nowhere to go (and consequently no reason to get dressed up), loungewear has become more just our everyday attire—it's also a top-selling product. Matching sets in particular are on everyone's wishlist. Some of our editors' favorite loungewear brands include Aerie, Summersalt, Brooklinen, and the cult-favorite Barefoot Dreams.
Just like many of you, all of us have now found ourselves transitioned from working at the office to working from home. And more WFH-ers means more demand for home office and tech essentials. Below are some of the top sought-after ones, from laptops to webcams.
Whether you have kids who need to print out their math worksheets or you have important documents that need to be signed/scanned/copied, a printer is a must-have. Of all the ones we've tested, we like the Epson WorkForce Pro as the best overall (because of its great image quality and ease of use) or the Brother MFC-J680DW as the best value. Psst: Don't forget to stock up on printer paper, too.
Trying to do all of your work on a tiny laptop screen is a struggle at best and impossible at worst. That's why so many people have been buying up monitors, which are tough to find now. If you have your choice of screens, we've ranked the best computer monitors based on factors like image quality, flexibility, and affordability.
Maybe your old laptop isn't going to cut it for full-time WFH life. Or your kids are now doing remote learning and need their own devices. No matter what your situation, a high-quality (and affordable) laptop is important—which is why so many people are buying them right now. To help you choose, we've reviewed the best laptops under $500 (hint: number one is the Acer Aspire) and the best laptops for students (your kids will love the Asus Chromebook Flip!).
23. Desks and office chairs
Apparently I'm not the only one guilty of splurging on a brand-new desk during quarantine—Slickdeals data revealed that searches for desks are up 87 percent while searches for office chairs are up 65 percent as people scramble to set up home offices for their new work-from-home status. If you don't want to spend a lot of money (which we totally understand), we've scoured the Internet for the best office chairs and the best desks that are all under $100. You're welcome.
If you feel like half of your day is spent in Zoom meetings, you aren't alone—most people are turning to video conferencing for all their WFH needs. That spike in Zoom meetings is not only forcing you to actually get dressed in the morning but it's also causing webcams to sell out everywhere. If you need on still, we recommend frequently checking office supplies retailers like Staples or Office Depot—products come back in stock constantly so just because something is sold out today doesn't mean it won't be available tomorrow.