Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports March 2018

Ratings, recommendations, reliability reports, safety and price comparisons from the world’s largest consumer testing center. Helps consumers make better choices for everything from cars to cell phone service. The only magazine of its kind: Expert, independent, nonprofit. 100% unbiased. Consumer Reports accepts no outside advertising.

United States
Consumer Union
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$7.01(Incl. tax)
$33.75(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
your mattress matters

IN RECENT YEARS it has seemed that no industry is safe from being upended and reimagined by new challengers offering innovative solutions to familiar problems. That’s precisely what has happened in the mattress industry, as startups have emerged to challenge the status quo of the walk-in mattress outlet by marketing affordable bed-in-a-box options for customers who would rather shop online than deal with the hassles of an in-store sales pitch. These upstarts are gaining traction, too: Direct-to-consumer mattress companies have reportedly doubled their market share since 2014, and their annual retail sales have jumped from $852.million two years ago to $1.8.billion today. At CR, we always have our eyes open for new business models like beds-in-a-box that spring up to challenge sleepy industries. That’s why we’re peering under the covers to…

4 min.
building a better world, together

Reducing Arsenic in Rice WHAT’S AT STAKE We’ve known for years that consumers unwittingly ingest unhealthy amounts of a known carcinogen—arsenic—when eating certain rice and rice-based products. That’s why CR is supporting a new bill, the Reducing food-based Inorganic Compounds Exposure (RICE) Act, that would require the Food and Drug Administration to set a maximum permissible level of inorganic arsenic for rice. “The FDA has a responsibility to ensure [that] our food supply is safe, especially for infants and children, but there are currently no limits on the amount of arsenic allowed in our food,” says the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. “That is why Congress must take up the RICE Act to protect all Americans’ health and well-being.” HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK Testing by CR brought the problem to public attention, first…

7 min.
your feedback

I HAVE WOOD FLOORS; a Lhasa Apso that sheds long, fine hairs; and a tight budget. I bought an iLife V3s for $160, and it has done a terrific job of cleaning up the dust and hair. I run it two to three times a week, and my floors haven’t been so clean in years. Its one failing is that it has ambitions beyond its navigational abilities; it often gets stuck. So I don’t run it when I’m away from home. And it can’t reach into small spaces. I plan to supplement it with a handheld vacuum for edges, crevices, and upholstery. My upright vacuum is better for carpets but is inconvenient. If I find a good handheld, I’ll happily find a new home for the upright. —Donna McMaster, via CR.org EDITOR’S…

1 min.
subscription scam alert

Readers should be on guard against offers of new Consumer Reports subscriptions or renewals from companies that are not authorized to offer subscriptions on our behalf. The ones we’re aware of are Global Publication Processing, National Publishers Group, Pacific Magazine Billing, Publisher Payment Center, and Atlantic Publishers Group, and there may be others. Consumer Reports is taking action to address this problem. Meanwhile, you can spot unauthorized mailings because they may include the phrase "continuation/new order offer" (language CR never uses) or might not specify the subscription’s expiration date. The back of the form states, "However, once we have processed your order a $9.00 processing fee will apply plus our costs to submit your order." CR never charges a processing fee. Here’s how to be sure a subscription or renewal mailing came…

1 min.
is it true that i can clean a dirty cast-iron pan by putting it in the oven during its self-clean cycle?

‘FOR THE GENERAL cleaning of a cast-iron pan, it’s overkill to put your pan in the oven during a self-clean cycle,” says Cindy Fisher, CR’s cookware tester. Further, many manufacturers of cast-iron pans don’t recommend it. “The high heat melts the seasoning [the oil baked into a cast-iron pan to help form a slick surface and prevent rust] o. the pan,” Mark Kelly, a representative for the cookware brand Lodge Cast Iron, told us. For everyday cleaning, rinse with water, or use a paper towel to wipe clean. “For tougher messes,” says Fisher, “add a little water to your pan and simmer for a minute.” Or try gently scrubbing with coarse salt and a splash of water, then wipe dry. For some of our frying pan picks, see above.…

2 min.
what we’re testing in our labs …

WiFi-Only Tablets WE TESTED: 32 models WE TEST FOR: Convenience, ease of use, display quality, versatility, performance, camera image quality, battery life, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 71 Range: 59-84 Best Overall Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM T820 (32GB, 9.7-inch screen) $600 84 OVERALL SCORE Large Screen; Lots of Storage Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (64GB, 12.9-inch screen) $800 80 OVERALL SCORE Great Value Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (16GB, 8-inch screen) $80 72 OVERALL SCORE Frying Pans WE TESTED: 30 models WE TEST FOR: Cooking evenness, how easily fried eggs slide off a nonstick surface, how durable a nonstick surface is over time, ease of cleaning, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 60 Range: 31-87 Best Overall Zwilling J.A. Henckels Energy Nonstick $100 87 OVERALL SCORE Sizzling Hot Deal Daily Chef (Sam's Club) $15 81 OVERALL SCORE Best Cast Iron Le Creuset Signature $150 52 OVERALL SCORE Toaster Ovens WE TESTED: 34 models WE TEST FOR: How evenly a model bakes a batch of muffins and a…