From water filters to bath mats, here are eight bests in household products that you can buy online today.

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Whether you have sliding glass doors, picture windows, large bathroom mirrors, or all the above, it's a chore to keep them clean and smudge-free. But not if you own a window vacuum cleaner.

They come in two styles -- handheld and robotic -- and each has its pros and cons. While a handheld window vac requires your full attention, it gives you more effective control over the end result. A robotic window vac, on the other hand, uses suction or magnets to attach itself to vertical surfaces and work its way across the glass, freeing you from drudgery and allowing you to clean surfaces that may otherwise be dangerous to access -- you just don't have as much control over the outcome.

Either way, ditch the drippy window cleaner spray bottles and messy paper towels and let our shopping guide give you tips on which model is best for your needs. Our favorite is the high-tech Hobot 198 Glass and Window Cleaning Automatic Robot, which can be monitored via an app.

Handheld and robotic window vacuum cleaners both have water tanks to hold the dirty water during cleaning. Handheld window vacs have larger water tanks than robotic models. The smaller the water tank, the more frequently you'll need to empty it while cleaning. Look for robotic models with detachable tanks to make the job easier.

Handheld window vacuum cleaners can become tiresome to hold. That's the appeal of using robotic window vacs. Look for a handheld vacuum that weighs about a pound to make the task easier on your arms and back. The water tank may be smaller, but it's worth it if the vacuum cleaner doesn't weigh you down.

The nozzle of a handheld window vac is part vacuum head, part squeegee. A longer (side-to-side) nozzle lets you get the job done quickly. However, a shorter nozzle allows you to get into tight spots and corners of windows. Look for models with nozzles that can be easily swapped out from long to short. Robotic vacs have a different design: Small rotating nozzles spray water, pads or brushes clean the windows, and drying pads or squeegees mop up the excess water.

Handheld window vacuums with telescoping handles will eliminate the challenges of cleaning tall windows. Telescoping handles are invaluable for cleaning ceiling-height windows, skylights, or the corners of tall windows. Telescoping handles are ideal for short people, as well. Make certain the handle locks into place so it doesn't slide back down as you're cleaning.

When considering a cordless handheld or robotic window vacuum cleaner, the time it takes to charge is important so you can get all of your windows done in one shot. Charging time ranges from vacuum to vacuum but look for speedy charging times. Your vacuum needs to be able to hold a long enough charge, as well. On the other hand, consider corded handhelds or robotic window vacuum cleaners. The downside: they have to be physically attached to an outlet, which limits where you can use it.

Cordless handheld window vacuums are relatively more affordable than robotic window cleaners. Cordless handheld window vacs range in price between $50 to $100. Robotic window vacuum cleaners with basic functions can also be found in the $50 to $100 range, but they are small, simple magnetic units. For better robotic window vacuums, look to spend over $150 up to $400 for quicker movement speeds and area mapping.

Q. How can I prevent streaking on my windows and mirrors? A. Regardless of which type of window vac or cleaner you have, your windows may streak due to hard water and other residue that gets onto the glass. Regularly clean your vacuum's pads and use glass cleaner as your go-to cleaning solution. Or, finish your windows using a pure white vinegar to remove streaks. If that doesn't work, manually dry the windows you can reach using a microfiber towel.

Q. What's the benefit of a robotic window vacuum cleaner? A. They free up your time and energy, they can handle tall windows that are tough to reach, and they can also handle frameless glass and mirrors because of their sensors. Many can also be monitored via an app on your smartphone so you can leave the house to do other errands while it does its job. Don't worry about your robotic vac crashing to the ground; look for one with tethered safety cords in case the suction loosens up and it falls.

Best of the best: Hobot's 198 Glass and Window Cleaning Automatic Robot Our take: A well-liked robotic window vacuum cleaner that easily cleans hard-to-reach surfaces, inside and out. What we like: Three cleaning modes with stay-put technology make cleaning a breeze. It has a remote controller, but it can also be monitored through your smartphone with an app. What we dislike: It's pricey.

Best bang for your buck: Karcher's WV1 Plus Surface Cleaner Our take: A streamlined, lightweight handheld window vacuum from a reliable manufacturer with loads of accessories. What we like: It's a quiet device with a long 10-inch-wide (side to side) blade. Accessories include a spray bottle, microfiber pad, detergent, and charging cable. What we dislike: Suction power may not be strong enough for some users.

Choice 3: Gladwell's Gecko Robot Window Cleaner Our take: An affordable robotic window vacuum-cleaning device with all the options of its more expensive counterparts. What we like: Easy to use, works well on most windows, and has a back-up safety tether just in case it decides to fall. What we dislike: The pad has to be just wet enough or it'll leave streaks.

Marilyn Zelinsky-Syarto is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

If hard tap water makes it difficult to drink from your faucet, consider filtering it with an under-sink water filter. When you install an under-sink water filter, you can drink clean and tasty water right from the tap.

Under-sink water filters are as low maintenance as you can get when it comes to filtration. Once installed, there are months between filter changes. That means you can say goodbye to your pitcher filters and bottled water bills. It also means you can enjoy the healthy perks of filtered water, as there's a massive reduction in sediment, lead, rust, and other pollutants.

If you're looking to enjoy crystal-clear, fresh-tasting water, read our buying guide. Our top choice, Filtrete's Advanced Under-Sink Water Filtration System, boasts easy installation as well as a 99.3% lead reduction.

Particulate filters: Particulate filters remove sediment, sand, silt, rust, and other large particles. In multi-stage under-sink water filters, these are often the first ones filtered out.

Activated carbon filters: These filters excel in getting rid of mercury, lead, and chlorine. By removing these impurities, water tastes and smells better.

Oxidation reduction (redox) filtration: Redox filtration targets chlorine as well as heavy metals through an electrochemical reaction. In order for under-sink water filters to include redox, they must meet EPA and FDA standards.

Ion-exchange filtration: Ion-exchange filtration is best understood this way: out with the old, in the new. In this case, it's a matter of replacing undesirable ions, like calcium and magnesium, with sodium. These also reduce zinc and copper, which helps to remove a metallic taste in water.

Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration: Reverse osmosis is an extreme filtration system in which water is forced through a membrane. This results in the collection of any contaminants larger than water. Unfortunately, that means a single gallon of purified water is the result of three to five gallons of wasted water.

Ultraviolet (UV) filtration: These filters are effective at targeting some viruses and bacteria that travel in water, though it's not always clear which ones those are. It won't, however, remove larger particles or certain microorganisms.

When you're considering the overall investment of an under-sink water filter, think of the lifespan of its filters. Some last as little as three months, whereas others can last six to 12 months.

Compact under-sink water filters generally fit most spaces, but large multi-stage filtration systems have difficulty in tight spaces. It's important to measure for clearance, as well as to determine how awkward it will be to maneuver around it for filter changes.

Certain under-sink water filters only work with dedicated faucets. These require extra installation steps, though it's well worth the effort since experts agree that direct faucets deliver the cleanest water possible.

Busy people, beware: some under-sink water filters have low water pressure, which means it takes longer to fill a glass. On the other hand, it means the filtration stages are working and as far as many drinkers are concerned, good things are worth waiting for.

Like any home appliance, compare manufacturer warranties between under-sink water filters. Generally speaking, the longer the warranty, the better the quality. Be sure to save all your paperwork and proof of purchase so you can take advantage of it.

For less than $100, you can find modest under-sink water filters that last for six months to three years. Mid-range units cost closer to $150 and filter out far more contaminants. For superior filtration, invest in a multi-stage process unit for up to $250.

A. Yes. Contact the manufacturer for uninstallation directions, and inquire whether you need any new parts to install the unit in your new home. Make sure you hook up the sink to its original state for the next tenant.

Q. I don't notice much of a difference in the taste of my water with the under-sink water filter. Is it working?

A. You might be able to discern a slight taste difference, however, you should be able to test your water to determine the filter's efficacy. If you didn't test water prior to filtration, you may not have a baseline for comparison.

What we like: 3,000-gallon filter. Won't reduce water pressure. Impressive quality and performance considering the price.

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Bath mats not only help complete the décor in your bathroom, but they can also prevent slips and falls. You can find bath mats in a wide range of textures, styles, and materials, including bamboo, microfiber, and memory foam.

To learn more about your options, keep reading this buying guide, which will help you narrow down the field to find the right one for your home. Our top pick, the Gorilla Grip Luxury Chenille Bath Mat, is both pleasing to the eye and super absorbent.

When you get out of the shower, it's important that you have a stable surface to stand on. Wet, slippery feet and a smooth bathroom floor make for a dangerous combination. That's why a bath mat is an important accessory for any bathroom. In addition to catching the water that drips from your body, they also dry the bottoms of your feet and keep your bathroom floor clean and dry.

Think about the layout and size of your bathroom when you choose a bath mat. Depending on your bathroom's square footage and floor plan, you might choose to get a long runner-style bath mat or even several small mats. Think about your post-shower routine as a guide for what kind of bath mat or bath mats to purchase.

Cotton bath mats are some of the most absorbent and comfortable models available. However, while easy to wash, cotton bath mats can take a long time to dry after use.

Bamboo mats are durable and stylish. Keep in mind, though, that bamboo mats will generally not be as comfortable as many other options.

Teak is a sensible alternative to bamboo. It looks sleek, is resistant to mildew, and dries quickly. Teak bath mats are quite expensive compared to other materials, so keep this in mind when shopping.

Microfiber bath mats are reasonably priced and comfortable. Beware, though, of microfiber mats that are too cheaply made. They can fade and degrade quickly, so make sure you get a decent quality microfiber model if you choose to go that route.

Memory foam mats are ergonomic and extremely absorbent. They're also one of the easiest materials to clean. Many people find memory foam to be the most comfortable material for their feet.

Chenille is a lesser-known material that has multiple uses. It catches debris and dust and absorbs water reasonably well.

Decide whether you prefer low-pile or high-pile texture when choosing your bath mat. Low-pile rugs have shorter loops of material, giving a neat, chic look, while high-pile rugs have longer loops of material for a shaggier look and a more comfortable feel.

Style is almost as important as any other factor when choosing a bath mat. Take a look at as many different styles and colors as possible when shopping to determine what you prefer. After all, if you don't like how it looks in your bathroom, you probably won't use it for very long.

Bath mats that have a nonslip backing are a smart choice because they won't slide around on your bathroom floor. Furthermore, they don't require you to buy an additional nonslip rug pad to go beneath your bath mat.

Most non-wood bath mats are machine washable, so you can simply throw them into the washing machine when the time is right.

Most bath mats cost between $15 and $90. Bath mats on the lower end of the price scale are small -- 20 x 30 inch models usually made from chenille, cotton, or synthetic fibers. For $30, you can get a set of multiple basic bath mats in different sizes. If you spend $90, expect to get a premium-quality mat made from bamboo or another wood material.

A. Although not entirely impervious to wear and tear, bamboo and teak are both water resistant and should last for a long time without falling victim to water damage.

A. No. Both terms describe the same item. What makes them special is that they are made of quick-drying materials, unlike standard floor rugs.

What we like: Soft to the touch, super absorbent bath mat that dries surprisingly fast. Bright colors are an attractive plus.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Choosing paper towels isn't always easy. You may feel guilt about creating more waste, or you may worry you're spending too much money. Others simply want the best paper towel regardless of cost in order to make cleaning up hassle-free.

Ply, strength, size, and cost are all important to consider when making your decision. To learn more about how to choose a decent well-priced paper towel, we've put together this shopping guide. Our favorite is Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels; these help cut down on waste and save money by allowing you to tear small squares from the roll.

Absorbency is the most important part of a paper towel. High-quality double-ply towels tend to absorb more liquid than basic single-ply paper towels. If you use a lot of paper towels, using premium paper towels will likely save money in the long run because you won't need as many to clean each mess.

Plies are layers of paper toweling. A paper towel with more than one ply typically means it has more area and space to absorb liquid. A single-ply paper towel might be less expensive to buy, but it also might not hold up well when wet. A two-ply paper towel may cost more, but it'll be stronger. Its added strength also comes from a water-based adhesive that holds the layers in place.

Full-size-only paper towels are less expensive than rolls that have perforations for tearing off smaller sizes for smaller cleanups. Many economy paper towels won't have the select-a-sheet option, so the price can remain affordable. However, using a select-a-sheet roll may mean that your stash of paper towels will last longer than if you use a full-size sheet roll.

If you like to pay attention to the design details of your kitchen, you'll love paper towels that come with varied and colorful patterns and designs. However, you'll only find towels that have patterns and designs on white backgrounds. Excess ink could bleed when you're cleaning, and pigments could increase the cost of the paper towels. It's rare to find tinted paper towels for residential use.

If you have the room, buy in bulk for the best price. Multi-pack paper towels in the $3 to $12 range are basic versions that likely won't have custom perforations or a luxury hand. Between $12 and $22, you'll find multi-packs of favorite brands with select-a-size options. If you're interested in generic paper towels, you'll find much larger packs of no-name products in this range. However, for more than $22, you'll find more options for 12-plus packages of rolls that have custom perforations and come in giant to mega sizes with the best absorbency.

A. A paper towel with superior wet strength means it's reusable because it's made with top-quality fiber and resins. If a paper towel breaks apart after you use it to clean up a single mess, it has poor wet strength. However, you will pay more for paper towels with better wet strength.

A. To avoid headaches, you may simply want to buy your favorite brand of paper towels in bulk, and forget about the calculations of price per sheet, sheets per roll, or the square feet per roll. Some brands will tell you the price you're paying per 100 sheets on a roll, but there's no standard size of a sheet brand to brand, nor is there a standard of how many sheets a roll needs to have. To make matters more complicated, manufacturers with select-a-size rolls note how many smaller sheets you'll find on the roll. There is an easier way to deduce the price of paper towels, however. If you like mega rolls (that each have about 100 sheets each), compare the cost of 100 sheets of your favorite brand's mega roll to 100 sheets of equal brands of mega rolls. But remember, it's not always an accurate comparison.

What we like: Quarters can substitute as napkins. Two-ply towels are highly absorbent. They're soft enough to use on a baby's bottom in a pinch.

Our take: An Amazon private-label brand that mimics some of the more high-quality towels at a similar price.

Our take: Bounty is one of the most popular paper towels thanks to its durability and high absorbency, but it's also one of the pricier brands.

What we like: Thick enough to use to pack dishes, according to fans of the towel. Thick and absorbent enough to reuse same towel for multiple clean ups, which means rolls may last longer. Ability to tear off a smaller size sheet also lengthens life of a roll.

What we dislike: Bounty's Quick-Size sheets (11" x 5.7") are slightly smaller than Bounty's Select-a-Size sheets (11" x 5.9"), which makes it difficult to see much of a difference in these two options from the same brand.

Marilyn Zelinsky-Syarto is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Although grills are intended for outdoor use, they aren't designed to weather the elements without protection.

If you want your grill to last for a long time, then you need to equip it with a high-quality grill cover. Doing so will protect it from the sun, the rain, and everything in between. Grill covers vary in their materials, durability, and features.

For advice on choosing the right cover, keep reading our buying guide, which includes a few product recommendations, like our top pick, the Classic Accessories Hickory Grill Cover. Its water-repellent fabric will keep your grill dry in even the wettest conditions.

Measure your grill before choosing which grill cover to purchase. You'll need to measure the maximum width, height, and depth of your grill to determine the right size cover. Most grill covers are between 44 and 64 inches wide.

Most grill styles have covers designed for a specific type of grill. A charcoal grill will need a different-shaped cover than a smoker or electric grill. As such, shop around for a grill cover shape that fits your grill style.

Polyester is durable and strong. A polyester cover that has been chemically treated will probably last longer and be better at weathering the elements than one that isn't treated.

Canvas grill covers are also often treated or coated with polyurethane. They are durable like polyester but tend to be slightly heavier.

Vinyl covers offer the best waterproofing option. However, durability on some vinyl grill covers can be questionable. Be sure to choose a high-quality model if you decide to go with a vinyl cover.

Some grill covers include tie-downs. It's important to consider whether your grill cover is at risk of flying away in windy conditions. If so, you probably need to opt for a cover that has tie-downs or hook-and-loop straps. Some even come with hooks that can attach to the lower part of your grill, which helps to keep the cover taut

Most high-quality grill covers include air vents. This helps air circulate through the grill and avoids buildup of moisture inside. This can be an effective way of keeping rust from building up on your grill.

Stitched handles built into your grill cover are helpful when you need to move the grill without taking off your cover. Make sure the handles on your cover are durable before using them to move your grill.

The seams are the most vulnerable part of any grill cover. Double or reinforced stitching is more durable than standard single-stitched seams. Because your grill cover will be outside, you want to get something that's going to last for a long time.

Zippered pockets on a grill cover are helpful for keeping your grilling tools all in one place and protected from the elements. While it's not a necessity for most users, it can be a nice added convenience.

Most grill covers cost between $10 and $50. A $15 grill cover does a decent job, but is not as durable as more expensive models. For $30, you can get a more durable cover with added features like handles and tie-downs. If you spend $50, you can expect a grill cover to come from a trusted brand and feature a highly waterproof design.

A. No. Although most grill manufacturers also offer covers, there are plenty of available covers from other companies. Some of them offer added features that grill makers don't.

A. It shouldn't as long as it's being used properly. While it is important to dry your grill off before putting a cover on it, the cover itself should not trap moisture.

What we like: The Velcro straps make securing the cover a breeze and the extra fabric on the sides of the cover easily accommodate most gas grills.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

At the end of a long grueling day, soaking in a warm bath is one of the surest ways to relax. But if you want the most soothing bathing experience, an air bathtub can take your home spa time to the next level. Unlike whirlpool baths that shoot jets of water, an air bathtub shoots jets of air into the tub for a gentler massage-like experience. The air jets give the water an effervescent quality that never feels too aggressive, so it's incredibly relaxing to soak in one of these tubs.

Explore our convenient buying guide to learn everything you need to choose the best air bathtub for your home. We've included some specific tub recommendations, too, like our top pick, the Ariel Platinum Whirlpool Bathtub, which has a large deep design that can comfortably accommodate one to two adults, and it features a sturdy acrylic and fiberglass construction for added durability.

The size of an air bathtub is obviously a key detail to consider when shopping because you want to be sure you have space for it in your bathroom. It also has to be large enough to hold as many people as you'd like. The smallest air bathtubs are about the average size for standard tubs, which is five to six feet long and two to three feet wide. But you can find larger versions, too. Measure the area in your bathroom where you plan to install the tub to ensure that any model you're considering will fit.

Most air bathtubs can hold only a single person, but you can find some models that are wide enough for two people to fit comfortably. You'll typically want to choose a tub that's at least three feet wide for two people.

A freestanding air bathtub doesn't require installation against a wall or to be sunken into the floor. It usually uses more space than a drop-in model, but the installation is fairly easy.

A drop-in air bathtub is installed to sit up against one or more walls, or it's recessed into the floor or wall. It uses less space in the bathroom, but it involves a more complicated installation process.

An air bathtub can hold more water than a standard bathtub, so it may require a specialty plumbing connection and drain to deal with the greater amount of water. Most air bathtub warranties require installation by a licensed plumber to ensure that it's hooked up correctly.

Because an air bathtub requires electricity to generate the jets of air, you'll usually need a licensed electrician to handle the electrical connection. In most cases, you'll need a 110V/60Hz connection, but you may need a 15-amp dedicated circuit for the tub to prevent your breakers from being tripped.

Most air bathtubs are rectangular, but you can find models in other shapes. Oval tubs are common, and some rectangular models feature rounded-off corners. In general, you'll have the most options in terms of shape with a freestanding model.

While a standard bathtub is often made of porcelain, air bathtubs are typically constructed with acrylic. Some models also contain fiberglass to help improve the tub's durability.

Some air bathtubs feature electronic controls that make operating the tub as user-friendly as possible. You can even purchase high-end models that feature Bluetooth controls, so you're able to control the tub via a smartphone application.

The number of jets that an air bathtub offers determines how powerful the massaging action is. The more jets that it features, the more powerful the massage sensation will be. But you'll pay more for a model with a large number of jets, so your budget may determine how many jets you look for. You can find models with as few as 10 and as many as 30 jets.

Air bathtubs usually cost between $850 and more than $7,000. You can find basic models that cost between $850 and $1,000, but for a larger deeper tub with plenty of jets and special features, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,300. High-end air bathtubs that can hold more than one person and offer special features like Bluetooth controls generally cost $1,800 or more.

A. An air bathtub is usually quieter while it's running than a whirlpool tub, which can help create a more relaxing mood. Air tubs are also self-drying and self-cleaning, so they're easier to maintain than a whirlpool bathtub.

A. You can use bubble bath in an air tub, but it's important to use a small amount to prevent the bubbles from overflowing. Stick to one teaspoon of bubble bath or less.

Our take: An air tub that offers both a classic attractive design and high-end features, making this one of the best options on the market.

What we like: Can hold as much as 70 gallons of water while accommodating a large adult or two mid-size adults. Features a large deep design for added comfort. Boasts 14 multidirectional jets and six water-flow settings. Includes chrome faucet and drain fixtures.

What we dislike: Plumbing fittings may not fit all pipes, so they may require adjustments that can void the warranty.

Our take: A high-quality air tub that combines effective performance with a more affordable price tag.

What we like: Features a classic design that can work with most bathroom décor. Air jets provide a relaxing and refreshing massage sensation. Provides 20 total jets, including air and whirlpool options. Boasts an underwater mood lamp for a truly relaxing bathing experience.

Our take: An excellent freestanding tub that's made of lucite acrylic and fiberglass for durability. It also boasts a high-gloss finish for style.

What we like: Features sloping interior angles to conform to the body for greater comfort. Interior surface resists scratching and offers easy maintenance. Offers 10 air jets and 10 whirlpool jets. Can hold as much as 60 gallons.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Keeping the chemicals in your pool at the right level is a delicate balancing act. If not properly maintained, your pool can be home to insects, bacteria, or even harsh chemical smells. The only way to be sure of the health of your pool or spa water is by using a pool water test kit. These kits utilize the water in your pool, either on a paper test strip or in a mixing container with testing chemicals, to determine if your pool or spa has the right amount of chemicals in it for safe swimming.

If you want help choosing the right pool water test kit, keep reading. We've created this helpful buying guide and even included some reviews at the end. You're sure to be impressed by our top pick, the Taylor Service Deluxe Pool and Spa Water Test Kit. It's one of the most comprehensive test kits available.

Free chlorine: This is the chemical that generally keeps your pool water clean. Free chlorine needs to be maintained between one and three parts per million (ppm).

Total chlorine: This term refers to the combination of chlorine that is currently sanitizing the water, and "leftover" chlorine after the sanitizing process. If you notice the pool smells of chlorine or your eyes get irritated when in the pool, then the total chlorine level is probably too high.

Bromine: Bromine can be used instead of chlorine. It's popular to use in spas because it is more resilient in warm or hot water than chlorine. The bromine level in your pool or spa should be between three and five ppm

pH: The acidity of your pool or spa water is indicated by a pH reading. A lower number reflects higher acidity. The water in a pool or spa should have a pH reading that ranges from 7.4 to 7.6.

Base demand: Base demand does the opposite of an acid demand test. It tells you how much alkaline substance you need to raise your water's pH

Calcium hardness: This is a basic calcium test. High calcium leads to clogged filters and cloudy water.

Total dissolved solids: This is an overall test that measures everything dissolved in your pool water. Your pool or spa water should ideally have a reading of 1,500 ppm or less.

Temperature: While most testing kits don't come with a thermometer, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your water temperature, as it can also impact the overall chemical health of your pool or spa.

Test strips offer the most basic type of testing. Each strip has between three and six treated squares on it. Every square performs a different type of test. You simply put some pool water on the strip and wait a few seconds for the results. The container often has a color chart to help you interpret the results. Test strips usually test for free chlorine, bromine, pH, and alkalinity.

Test kits usually include two polyethylene containers and a number of small bottles filled with reagents (testing chemicals). The reagents are mixed with the pool or spa water in the container, changing the water's color. You can then use the color chart on the container to determine the status of your water.

Digital testers, although highly accurate, are often intended for use on drinking water. If you get a digital water tester, make sure it will give you the test results you need specifically for pool or spa use. Digital testers either use a probe that goes into the water or require mixing the water with a reagent. Digital testers are usually more expensive than the other two types, so be prepared to pay more if you prefer a digital model.

Most pool water test kits cost between $8 and $60, while more advanced professional-style kits can cost more than $100. An $8 test kit will most often be a small canister of 50 test strips. If you spend $25, you can expect to get a more comprehensive kit that includes a carrying case and reagents. For $60, you can buy either a high-quality digital test kit, or a comprehensive kit with enough reagents to last you for many months.

A. No. Saltwater pools have all the same chemical needs as a freshwater pool, and most testing kits should be fine for both. Saltwater pools, however, have a recommended salt level that should be maintained. As such, you'll need to test a saltwater pool for its sodium chloride level.

A. While both kill bacteria and other pollutants, bromine is more stable for warm water, and it's less irritating to sensitive skin than chlorine.

What we like: The kit includes enough reagents to last for months worth of testing. The reference chart is also helpful in reminding you of test protocols.

What we like: The strips are simple to use and test free and total chlorine, pH, cyanuric acid, calcium hardness, bromine, and alkalinity.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Do you love your wardrobe and take pride in what you wear? Caring for your clothes properly keeps them looking fresh and new -- though sometimes that means they require extra-special attention. That's why a drying rack is a smart investment to protect delicate materials from harsh dryer heat that could ruin them.

Drying racks are an adapted -- and enhanced -- version of the outdoor clothesline. They have a series of rungs to hang clothes for air drying, and in some styles, they're adjustable to accommodate larger garments. Another perk is that drying racks take up less space, since many of them are collapsible and tuck behind doors.

Check out our buying guide on drying racks so you can choose the one that's right for you. We're including our favorite, the Aero-W's Stainless Steel Folding and Drying Rack, which features a wall-mounted design fit for both indoor and outdoor use.

The most popular items to hang on a drying rack are blouses, lingerie, and towels -- though some people are drying-rack loyalists and hang everything to dry. If you're only hanging select items, follow your garment tags' recommended-care instructions.

Generally speaking, lace, Spandex, rayon, Lycra, nylon, acrylic, silk, wool, and polyester items should be hung. Cotton, linen, and some blends can go in the dryer, but the heat could cause fading, shrinking, or pilling. With that said, drying racks also solve the problem of complicated care. Not every garment requires the same heat level in a dryer, but with a drying rack, everything dries safely at room temperature.

Drying racks are available in a number of different styles that suit various situations, so consider your needs before deciding.

Pop-up racks: Assembly is simple, and they break down in seconds for easy storage. They're ideal for any home, especially in small spaces like apartments or dorms. However, some styles are a bit flimsy, so they could buckle or topple over with heavier garments or damp towels.

Freestanding racks: These are larger and more durable and are well-prepared to handle a full rack of wet clothes. They often have more adjustable features, especially gull wing racks, which expand to hold longer garments. As such, they take up a considerable amount of space, so they're best used in homes where they won't get in the way.

Over-the-door racks: When the laundry room doesn't have enough floor space, these racks solve the problem vertically. They're often used in bathrooms to dry wet towels as well. These racks are generally more compact, so you're limited as to how many garments you can dry at a time.

Mounted racks: These wall- and ceiling-mounted racks are also convenient if you're short on floor space. Some styles are foldable to optimize space when they're not in use, and they tend to be constructed well enough to handle a full rack of heavy clothes. Since they're essentially permanent fixtures, make sure you're sold on their placement. Removing them could require repairing and spackling drywall or the ceiling.

Portability: Portable drying racks are popular for small spaces, such as apartments, studios, or RVs. These racks could be collapsible for easy carrying, or have wheels to be rolled out of the way. Portable racks are convenient, but they're not always the most durable.

Durability: This should be a top priority when comparing drying racks. Lightweight racks might not cut it if you intend to dry heavy materials like towels, jeans, or sweaters -- especially if you're piling them on the rack. Heavyweight racks are a better choice, especially if you're air drying clothes regularly. They handle the extra weight and withstand frequent pulling and hanging.

Adjustability: Racks with adjustability are ideal if you need to spread out certain garments while they dry, like sweaters or pants. Look for gull wing, accordion, or swivel racks if you need more options to accommodate different types of garments.

For the budget-conscious, a simple pop-up style will cost less than $30. Wall-mounted racks, or those with more rungs, cost around $50. If you need a sturdy rack to handle a full load of heavy wet clothes, expect to spend closer to $80.

A. Probably. There are some garments that must be hung to dry, especially blouses, fitness apparel, and pants. By using a drying rack for these garments, they retain their integrity and shape much longer.

A. It depends on their material. Cotton blends could take up to a day, whereas polyester clothing dries in a few hours. It also depends on the room's humidity, as the moisture in the atmosphere makes all clothes take longer to dry.

Our take: Space-savvy wall-mounted design with a shocking weight capacity. Ideal for small laundry rooms.

What we like: Holds up to heavy daily use. Can handle weighty wet clothes without sagging or collapsing.

Our take: Many drying options, including a large horizontal configuration for drying long garments or towels.

What we like: Can be adjusted to different angles. Foldaway design fits in tight spots despite its large size.

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Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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