Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports January 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.
making colds less costly

.... ¡¢£ ¤¥¦¤. a common cold, it turns out that the virus slowing you down could be di.erent from the one causing your daughter’s sni¨es, your co-worker’s cough, or your neighbor’s congestion. That’s because what we call the common cold is actually a catch-all term describing more than 200.viruses that can lead to similar symptoms. And as many di.erent strains of cold and «u as there are, there may be just as many popular treatments, from extra-strength medicines to herbal supplements to chicken soup—some of which work much more e.ectively than others. In 2016, Americans shelled out an estimated $5.8.billion to treat their cold and «u symptoms— a hefty price tag for such seemingly simple ailments. This month, we’re helping you get the relief you need with advice on steps to…

4 min.
building a better world, together

Removing Dangerous Furniture what’s at stake A 2-year-old boy from California died after an unsecured Ikea dresser fell on him. He was the eighth child reported to have died in a tipover accident involving an Ikea dresser, and the rst death since the company recalled 29?million dressers (including certain Malm models) for tipover hazards in June 2016. The tragedy raises renewed concerns about the e.ectiveness of the Ikea recall. The California boy’s family was reportedly unaware of the cited danger. And Ikea’s responses to requests for recall data suggest that the overwhelming majority of the dangerous dressers are still in homes. how cr has your back In 2016, we urged Ikea to recall the dressers, pointing to previous deaths. We also called on the company to release its product-safety records in the interest of transparency. With…

8 min.
your feedback

In our November 2017 “Eat Smarter, Eat Healthier”cover story, we served up clarity about conflicting nutrition news concerning sugar, salt, fat, and gluten. Readers in turn shared a buffet of health tips and comments. To join the conversation, go to CR.org/eatsmart0118 THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the “Eat Smarter, Eat Healthier,” article. As a health and fitness coach, my focus is making sure people feel empowered to make smart choices. By having this information available, I can pass it along to others. Obesity in America is a serious concern, so thank you for doing your part to help people be healthy. —April Payne, Pasco, WA YOUR REPORT ON “Sugar: The Gateway to Weight Gain” left out one excellent natural sweetener, 100 percent pure maple syrup. It is excellent because it has a lower glycemic…

1 min.
ask our experts

START WITH CLEAN HANDS, but try to avoid using alcohol wipes, says CR’s chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D. “That can diffuse the blood drop,and possibly make the reading artificially low.” Instead, simply use soap and warm water, and dry thoroughly; the warm temperature helps the finger capillaries to dilate. Also, don’t milk your fingertip for blood because that can dilute the blood drop with tissue fluid and may cause a low reading. To get enough blood for the strip, brace the tip of your finger against a stationary surface, then prick it with the lancet. For meter picks, see facing page.…

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

Portable Generators WE TESTED: 21 models WE TEST FOR: Power delivery and quality, noise levels, ease of use, and hours of run time. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 65 Range: 41-79 Best Overall Honda EU7000is $4,000 Great Power Delivery Kohler PRO7.5E $1,400 Good Deal but Noisy Generac GP5500 5939 $700 Humidifiers WE TESTED: 62 models WE TEST FOR: Output, convenience, energy efficiency, noise, and how the unit works with hard water. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median:74 Range:26-91 Best for Small Rooms CVS GUL540V1 $30 Smartest Programmable Air Innovations MH-701B $90 Best for Large Rooms SPT SU-4010 $75 Smartwatches WE TESTED: 12 models WE TEST FOR: Ease of use and interaction, readability, scratch resistance, water resistance, heart-rate monitor accuracy, step-count accuracy, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 86.5 Range: 80-95 Awesome for Android Samsung Gear S3 Frontier $350 Apple of Your Eye Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) $400 Weekend Warrior Winner Garmin Fenix 5 (not cellular) $600 Wireless Portable Headphones WE TESTED: 56 models WE TEST FOR: Sound quality, noise reduction…

3 min.
ask our experts

“Road hazard insurance—a warranty you can purchase with your tires that will repair or replace tires damaged on the road—is probably a smart idea,” says Gene Petersen, the tire program manager for CR. “Some retailers offer it for free (some don’t), so shop around, and be sure to ask if there are mileage or time limits,” Petersen says. You can also consider getting run-flat tires, which can safely operate for about 50 miles even if punctured, thanks to thick, stiff sidewalls that can support the load of a car, even when they’re out of air. This can help drivers continue on to a service station or final destination— thus saving the cost of being towed. But there are limited choices for replacing damaged or worn-out run-flat tires. I see airport signs for…