Consumer Reports September 2021

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 Reports, Inc.
$6.69(Incl. tax)
$32.18(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
cr’s handy new home app

HOMEOWNERSHIP IS an incredible achievement. And when you’re handed the keys to your home, it can even feel as if you’ve won a race. But as many of us have learned, the work has only just begun at that moment: The race, it turns out, is actually a lifelong marathon of maintenance. From fixing your appliances to refinishing your deck, these tasks can be annoying and complex, and many homeowners don’t even know where to start. So we sometimes put off projects until it’s too late—and the cost of setting things right starts spinning out of control. That’s why, in July, Consumer Reports released Upkept, our new home maintenance app. One of the trickiest parts of maintaining a home is simply knowing what to do and when to do it. Upkept will…

4 min
building a better world, together

Cleaning Up Credit Reports WHAT’S AT STAKE In our March issue, we told you about the launch of our Credit Checkup project. Almost 6,000 people volunteered to check their credit reports and let us know what they found. Now we have results to share: More than a third of the volunteers told us they discovered at least one error, and about 1 in 10 said they found errors related to their financial data, such as payments wrongly reported as late. This underscores a 2021 nationally representative CR survey in which 12 percent of people who had ever checked their credit reports said they found errors. Such errors can hurt your credit, keep you from securing a loan, and even prevent you from getting a job, an apartment, or affordable insurance. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK In…

7 min
your feedback

MY SON was almost run over [on his] first day of kindergarten by a super large red pickup. The truck was first in line, and my car was second. I saw the teacher cross in front of the truck leading a line of kindergartners. As soon as the truck driver thought the last kid was by, she started to roll her wheels. I had the most horrible feeling and screamed “Stop!” at the top of my lungs. She did, and out from behind her bumper came a little blond head: my son.—Patty Kennedy, via Facebook A NOT SO HIDDEN danger with these trucks: The headlights are mounted so high off the ground that when a truck is behind a smaller car, its headlights shine straight into the rearview mirror. The driver…

3 min
what we’re testing in our labs…

Video Doorbells WE TESTED: 23 models WE TEST FOR: Quality of a model’s video in regular and low light, the availability of smart features and functions, how quickly it alerts you to motion, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 58 Range: 28-83 BEST OVERALL & GEOFENCING CAPABLE Nest Hello Video Doorbell (works with Alexa & Google) $230 83 OVERALL SCORE OFFERS COLOR NIGHT VISION Logitech Circle View Doorbell 961-000484 (works with Apple Smart Home) $200 81 OVERALL SCORE BARGAIN BUY WITH EXCELLENT VIDEO QUALITY Wisenet SmartCam D1 (works with Alexa & Google) $50 80 OVERALL SCORE Backpack Leaf Blowers WE TESTED: 10 models WE TEST FOR: How quickly and quietly a model can move leaves and other debris on a lawn. ABOUT THE SCORES: GAS Median: 78; Range: 66-84 BATTERY Median: 82; Range: 82-83 EXCELLENT GAS BLOWER Husqvarna 350BT $320 84 OVERALL SCORE POWERFUL BATTERY BLOWER Ego LB6002 $300 83 OVERALL SCORE QUIET FOR A GAS BLOWER Stihl BR-200 $280 83 OVERALL SCORE Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin WE TESTED:…

3 min
ask our experts

Are the purple varieties of vegetables—like cauliflower and carrots—better for you than others? THEY COULD BE. The purple versions of more commonly orange, yellow, and white vegetables are like other purple produce, such as eggplant and blueberries: They contain plant pigments called anthocyanins. These antioxidant compounds may help to prevent chronic illness, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Although there’s no recommended intake of violet-hued veggies—or anthocyanins, for that matter—eating more of them could be a healthy move, especially given that almost one-third of American adults don’t get any anthocyanins in their daily diets. Purple potatoes, for example, have been found to have five times as much antioxidant activity as white and yellow ones. So if you come across a purple version of your favorite produce, give it a try. “Different…

2 min
can ‘adjustable’ pillows help you sleep better?

Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft $60 CR’S TAKE: Top of the heap in our testing, this pillow’s memory foam and microfiber filling is comfortable and easily adjusted by the handful. Plus, it kept its supportive, fluffy shape even after our tough resilience test. DO YOU FIND yourself bunching up your pillow under your head at night? Or trying to spread it out so that your neck isn’t at an odd angle? You may want to try an adjustable pillow, which allows you to add or remove the pillow’s filling, usually through a side zipper. (The pillow manufacturer provides extra filling for this purpose.) And you can keep making adjustments until your neck is at the perfect angle for your sleep style, whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper. Ideally, your spine…