About the BHG Recommends Seal of Approval

Top recommendations from our home experts.

As a Better Homes & Gardens fan, we bet your home—and everything it embodies—holds great significance to you. We bet your home is your favorite place to entertain friends and family. You probably love to get your hands dirty planting blooms to brighten your outdoor space and enjoy decorating your home in a way that feels uniquely yours. To achieve your personal sense of home, we believe it takes three things: creativity, useful inspiration from the experts, and great products that help everything come together.

That's where our BHG Recommends seal of approval comes in.

For one hundred years, Better Homes & Gardens has been America's go-to resource for everything from how to apply wallpaper to starting your herb garden. And now, we want to go even further by sharing the products we think you need to make all your home dreams come true.

We've assembled a team of experts and testers from across the country who have a passion for finding products that are worth the hypeand which ones fall flat. Our top priority is to save our loyal readers from wasted time, useless spending, and bad online shopping experiences. That's why a product only receives our BHG Recommends badge if it's legit.

Tineco Pure One Mini Product Testing in BHG lab

Better Homes & Gardens/Tamara Staples

So let us tell you about the process.

First, we figure out what to test.

We always start by combing the market to figure out which products to test. Our team determines what makes the list by looking into trends, paying attention to social media conversations, and being on the lookout for new product announcements. Once we find the products we want to test, we usually buy them ourselves. Sometimes we will ask for samples, but we never exchange good reviews just because something was free. In fact, we always make a point to explain to the company that sending us a sample will not guarantee it will be on our final list. It's very important to us that we test every product, whether we paid for it or not, using the same methodology. This way, we can give you all the information you need to make your own decision.

Next, we start crafting our testing standards.

We like to focus on the key factors we find most important–such as comfort, usability, value, and design. So, if we're testing a blender we might ask, "How easy was it to use?" … "Does the price seem to line up with how it worked?" … "Does it look nice sitting out on my counter?" After we decide which questions are worth asking, then we set up our scoring guides for every product to be judged on based on the factors we think matter most when it comes to product performance.

BHG Recommends Product Testing

Better Homes & Gardens/Dera Burreson

Then it's on to the lab!

We have labs in Des Moines, Iowa; Birmingham, Alabama; and New York that span over 100,000 square feet and include more than 50 test kitchens. Every month our experts test thousands of products side-by-side across categories such as bedding, kitchen gear, and gardening equipment.

In the lab, our team gets to work planning the specific tests that will help us figure out which products are really the best. To truly test towels, we judged how well a towel absorbs water, then ran that test again after each towel had been through a wash cycle. For irons, we've wrinkled up different types of fabric to see if a steam iron can easily smooth out all materials.

We know every shopper is differentand therefore want to make sure we're paying attention to various needs and circumstances. That's why you'll see a list detailing our picks for special circumstances, as well as our overall best pick that will work for most households. We might recommend one vacuum for most people, but list a model specifically engineered to suck up hair for those with pets in their home.

Also as part of our commitment to diversity, it's not only our goal to include a variety of brands, like those that are BIPOC-owned, into our testing groups whenever possible, but also that we make sure our testers themselves are representative of many different walks of life. That way we can help a diverse audience with their shopping needs.

BHG Recommends Clowood Plush Bamboo Cotton Product Testing

Better Homes & Gardens/Dera Burreson

After the lab, we turn to the home testers.

Once a product has passed our lab tests, we might ask various members of our team to test some of our top picks in their homes. When we reach this stage, things aren't always tested in the same way, but it helps us get a wider range of perspectives from people who have actually used the product. It also allows us to get a better sense of how something works after continuous use and in more real-life scenarios that can be tough to recreate in a lab setting.  

We believe certain items such as water-filter pitchers and sheets need to be tested over weeks or months to ensure we won't lead you astray with our recommendations. In these cases, we ask the tester to keep the product and require them to answer detailed surveys so we can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses over time.

Lastly, we share the best with you!

After testing is complete, we collect all the results from each product category and select which ones will be rewarded with our BHG Recommends stamp of approval. Then we share our lists with you!

We promise every product review will include detailed notes from our testers with photos. We like to highlight the features that really excite us, but we won't gloss over the things we found cumbersome. Also, just because we've published a review, doesn't mean our work is done. Our team is constantly reevaluating and updating our findings whenever we discover something new worth sharing, whether it's the latest model release or new information on something we're testing at home. You can trust us to bring you the products that'll enhance your home in a way that will (hopefully) only bring you smiles.

Better Homes Recommends testing chair

Better Homes & Gardens/Dera Burreson

Affiliate & Safety Disclosure

There is a chance we could receive a commission on some of the products you purchase through the links included in our articles. However, as mentioned before, we do not allow this to influence our testing and we never accept any input from manufacturers.

All products may occasionally be subject to recalls, including those we recommended. If that happens, we do our very best to revise our reviews as soon as we can. While we try to update you as soon as the news is released, we strongly encourage you to monitor any official announcements from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that may be related to the products you purchase.

If you have any questions about testing—please feel free to contact us at:  bhgrecommends@bhg.com