The Spruce Product Review Editorial Guidelines & Mission

Our Team

We’re a team of experienced writers and editors who obsessively scour the retail landscape (both online and off) to find the best products for your life. Besides being experts in our fields, having worked for brands like Real Simple, This Old House, Food & Wine, and Amazon—we’re consumers too—and we personally have a passion for products and services that make your life easier.

Our Mission

It is our mission to help our users make the best purchase decisions—it’s that simple. The internet offers endless consumer choice with millions of products at your fingertips. To be honest, it can be more than a little overwhelming and time-consuming to sort through all the options. That’s where we come in. We streamline the research process so you can find what you’re looking for—quickly and reliably.

The Spruce
 The Spruce

What We Do

We exhaustively research and recommend a broad range of products and ultimately make a curated list of recommendations from writers with subject-matter expertise in every product category we cover. We do receive an affiliate commission on some, but not all, of the products that we recommend if you decide to click through to the retailer site and make a purchase.

After we publish an article, we don’t just forget about it. Our team is relentless when it comes to updating and keeping our existing recommendations fresh, accurate, and helpful. We have our fingers on the pulse when it comes to the latest household releases, from washers and dryers to vacuums and more. Our recommended products run the gamut from budget to splurge-worthy, and we’re not loyal to any one specific retailer or brand. We make it a point to source recommendations from reliable companies who deliver exemplary customer service, so you can have a seamless shopping experience.

The Spruce
 The Spruce

Please note that all products, including those we review and recommend, may from time to time be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. We, therefore, urge you to monitor any official announcements here https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/ that may be related to products you purchase.

We also know how frustrating it can be to do your research on a product only to add it to your cart and see that it’s out of stock, so we try to mitigate this by having dedicated editors check availability daily to provide you with the best user experience possible.

Why You Should Trust Us

The product recommendations from The Spruce are purely editorial. Our team never takes free samples for reviews nor lets retailers, public relations firms, or salespeople dictate our content and product coverage. Instead, we do the heavy lifting ourselves by tapping into our network of experts and testers to help you make smarter purchases—and to avoid that dreaded buyer’s remorse.

The Spruce
 The Spruce

How We Test Our Products

We believe in using these products just like you would—on the streets, at home, at the gym—in real-life settings that put them through their paces. We buy all of the products that we test and send them straight to the homes of our thorough testers. We never accept anything for free from manufacturers.

We have over a hundred reviewers spending weeks and months evaluating everything from bed sheets to couches to find out if these products are worth purchasing. We typically send our testers three to five products in the same category, so that they can make comparisons, which gives you real insights into how different brands and models measure up against each other. Our testers also take dozens of photos to help you see what the product will actually look like in your home or in your hands. They make sure to capture all the important angles and details to give you the most information before you buy.

The Spruce
 The Spruce

In addition to writing about their personal experiences, each reviewer fills out a comprehensive questionnaire that collects over ten data points. The testers rate their products on a scale of 1 to 5 for each factor—like comfort, design, or battery life—to come up with a rating that reflects their overall opinion. We tailor these ratings to each category and never use a one-size-fits-all method. For instance, we rate kids’ toys on their entertainment value and durability but evaluate towels based on their absorbency and drying time, among other factors.

You can find our testers’ honest feedback—both positive and negative—under the “Tested by The Spruce” badge to help you make the most informed buying decision. We give you an overall star rating, pros and cons for each product, and experiences and opinions directly from our reviewers.

We want to make sure we’re providing you with the most unbiased feedback that we can.

Meet Us

Tory Brangham, Head of Commerce

Tory joined the commerce team at Dotdash in 2017 after three years of overseeing lifestyle content for About.com and ultimately launching The Spruce. Tory brings over twenty years of retail and digital publishing experience to Dotdash—having worked most recently at Amazon and Quidsi (Diapers.com, Soap.com) and before that she enjoyed a long tenure at iVillage. She combines her years as a Merchandise Director with her experience in editorial content to create a best in class commerce team of editors and writers all working in concert to help our users make their best purchase decisions. Tory received her BA from Colgate University.

Dwyer Frame, Commerce Editorial Director, Lifestyle

Dwyer joined the commerce team in September 2017 and has worked in the print and digital publishing industry for over 15 years. Throughout her career, Dwyer has always focused on gift guides and product roundups concentrating in the lifestyle and health space. She has worked at InStyle, Time Inc., and Health, and her work has appeared in Real Simple, People, Rachael Ray Every Day, What to Expect, Brit + Co, Woman’s Day, and Redbook. Dwyer received her BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Julia Warren, Director of Product Testing

Julia joined the commerce team in May 2018 and brings with her a decade of experience working in the digital publishing industry. Prior to working at Dotdash, Julia was a freelance commerce writer and the editorial producer at TravelandLeisure.com, where she managed the site’s sponsorship initiatives. Her work has appeared online for What to Expect, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, and This Old House. Julia received her BS in food science from Cornell University and graduated from the culinary arts program at the International Culinary Center.

Taysha Murtaugh, Senior Lifestyle Editor, Product Testing

Prior to joining Dotdash in February 2019, Taysha was the Lifestyle Editor at Country Living and Woman’s Day, where her work was featured throughout the Hearst network. She has served as a lifestyle expert for publications and received a nod from The New York Times for her original reporting. From her first gig at Meredith’s Better Homes and Gardens to her time at Martha Stewart Weddings, Taysha has spent her career creating and editing content across a range of lifestyle topics. She hails from the Midwest, received her BS in Journalism at Iowa State University, and currently resides in New York City.

Chelsea Stuart, Lifestyle Editor, Product Testing

Chelsea has been with Dotdash since May 2018. Before joining the team, she was an editorial assistant and staff writer at Jetsetter, a TripAdvisor company where she drove the site's commerce initiative publishing destination-specific packing guides, travel accessory roundups, and the like. Prior to that, she was also a freelance contributor to online travel outlets like Matador Network. Chelsea received a BA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College and sailed with Semester at Sea in Fall 2013.

Katherine Louie, Commerce Editor

Katherine has been with Dotdash since August 2018. Through her background as an English/Creative Writing major at Marist College and her previous work experience at Hearst Magazines, she prides herself in creating content that inspires and informs readers. She has contributed to a variety of online publications including NBC Today, Reader’s Digest, Everyday Health, What to Expect, Brit + Co, Men’s Health, and Women’s Health. In her role as Commerce Editor, she looks forward to bringing her talent, passion, and creative energy to the Dotdash brands.

Kate Geraghty, Commerce Editor 

Kate has been with Dotdash since August 2019. Before joining the commerce team, she was an editor at What to Expect, where she wrote and edited commerce roundups and contributed to What to Expect's social media channels. Kate's earlier experience includes working for lifestyle brands like All You and Girls' Life. She received a BA in English from Northwestern University.

Avery Stone, Associate Editor, Product Testing

Avery has been with Dotdash since September 2018. Before joining the team, Avery worked as an associate digital editor at the luxury magazine DEPARTURES covering travel, food, and culture. She has also worked as a staff writer at For the Win (USA TODAY Sports) as well as a news and trends reporter at HuffPost. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Elle, Billboard, Noisey (VICE), Travel + Leisure, PAPER, Lenny Letter, and more. Avery received a BA in English Literature from Amherst College.

Mary Kate Hoban, Associate Editor, Product Testing

Mary Kate joined Dotdash in December 2018. Previously, Mary Kate worked as an assistant editor at American Media Inc. where she covered fashion and beauty for Life & Style, In Touch Weekly, and Closer magazines. She has also worked as an entertainment news editor at Elite Daily and a social media account manager at Socialfly, an agency specializing in strategy and content for clients in the hospitality, fashion, and lifestyle industries. Mary Kate received a BA in Journalism from The University of Georgia.

Jordan Provost, Commerce Photographer

Jordan Provost has been with Dotdash since November 2018. Prior to joining the team, Jordan worked as a producer, art director, and freelance photographer shooting interiors, stills, and food for various branding firms and magazines. She brings with her 15 years of photographic experience. Most recently, Jordan worked as the Photography Director at Landor Associates before moving to West Africa to teach photography. She received a BS in Photo Illustration from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University.

Mallory Leibowitz, Senior Revenue Product Manager

Mallory joined Dotdash in 2016 and has been the product manager for commerce since it was a small team. She previously worked at The Atlantic magazine, where she managed the creation of branded content digital experiences for brands such as Jaguar, H&M, TIAA, and National Geographic. Mallory received her BS in Marketing and minor in Web Design from the University of Florida.

Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at commercefeedback@dotdash.com