At The Spruce, our goal is to make your life easier with practical, real-life advice to help you make the best buying decisions for your home and family. That's why we test over 10,000 products a year in our labs and our homes to make sure that the things we recommend really are the best of the best and worthy of a spot in your home.
How We Test 100s of Products Every Single Month
The Spruce Approved Badge
When you see The Spruce Approved badge on a product, you can trust that it lives up to our high standards for quality, design, and value.
Over the last five years, we've built a reputation for delivering expert-driven design inspiration and plant care guidance, step-by-step DIY instructions, and tried-and-true "What to Buy" recommendations. We've also made substantial investments in our research and testing processes.
All Spruce Approved recommendations are based on rigorous, hands-on testing conducted in The Lab, our full-service testing facility in Des Moines, Iowa, and long-term lifestyle testing in our editors' own homes and offices. Our testing teams also collaborate with subject matter experts—including master craftsmen, artisans, professional plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians—and other trusted sources to ensure that every product review is complete and unbiased.
How Do We Test?
Every product we test is evaluated using comprehensive and repeatable testing methodologies established to pressure test a product’s functions and features. We grade products on how they measure up in essential factors you care about, such as comfort, usability, value, and design to help decide which one we believe will be a good fit for most households.
We also collect qualitative data on the experience while testing these products—what did we like about the product, was it easy to set up, did the instructions make sense, did the product work as expected, and was it easy to clean? We infuse our insights with the testing data to provide you with easy-to-understand reasons why we think these products are great.
To give you the complete picture, we also include details of any flaws we found during the multiple test processes in The Lab and in the real world. We also re-test products that have been awarded The Spruce Approved badge—because the best product today might not be the best one tomorrow. We spell out everything for you in plain, straightforward language and share detailed reasons why these products are considered The Spruce Approved. When a product stands up to our rigorous testing process, we'll recommend it to you with The Spruce Approved badge, a seal that we stand behind with confidence.
Testing in The Lab
The Lab is our testing space in Des Moines, Iowa. With over 7,000 square feet and two test kitchens, we can test everything from vacuums to mattresses side-by-side to see how they stack up against each other. We capture photos, videos, and personal insights from our editors and testers during the testing process to provide our readers with a behind-the-scenes look at our tests and how the products perform.
In The Lab, we get creative with testing—from hiding a kids' building block under a mattress pad to measure how much cushioning it provides, using chocolate pudding to see if a robotic vacuum will avoid pet messes, and leaving a bowling ball on a pillow overnight to assess its firmness. Our pressure tests evaluate how things perform in various situations to show you which products will work with your lifestyle. Whether you're a dog lover who needs a vacuum to handle tons of pet hair or a parent looking to vacuum up Cheerios from the floor in a flash, we'll help you find the right product based on your needs.
Testing at Home
As crucial as stress testing in The Lab is, we also need to test products in real-life situations. When it comes to real-world testing, we can vet how delivery, setup, and product features work in real-life and monitor how things like appliances, furniture, bedding, and more hold up over time. Home testers don’t just focus on how the products feel out of the box, but how they perform days, weeks, and months later—after 25 washes, 100 charges, and the occasional wine spill. We capture the whole lifecycle of a product. Like our team in The Lab, our home testers rate products according to a set methodology and focus on the traits we know readers will care about, like durability, ease of use, and long-term value.
Why Trust Us?
While we receive an affiliate commission on some of the products you purchase, we only recommend what our experts, writers, and test results show to be worth the money. Not every product will serve every consumer, but we hope to give you insights that go above and beyond what you will find on the product page of a brand or retailer. We will always tell you what we like and what we don’t love about the products we recommend. We want our tests to provide an unbiased layer of information you can trust so that you can shop with confidence.
We occasionally receive press samples for review, but we purchase most of the products we test—and we never agree to positively review something, even if we receive a sample.
Before testing products, we interview experts in the industry to find out the most important things to keep in mind when you're researching a purchase. We take those expert interviews seriously and use that feedback to guide our product selections. Once an article is ready to be published, we also have the content fact-checked for accuracy. Some articles get vetted by a member of our review boards, who follow a process for vetting our home improvement and gardening and plant care content.
While our primary focus is on the products, we also evaluate customer service, warranty information, and the delivery experience for hundreds of online merchants to give you a complete picture of the buying experience. We regularly re-test products awarded The Spruce Approved seal and update our findings to ensure you have access to the most up-to-date offerings and information.
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 on the CPSC website that may be related to the products you purchase.
Our goal is to help you make an informed buying decision, so you'll know what you're getting before you click the buy button. We spell everything out for you in an easy-to-understand way, sharing in-depth information about why we know these products deserve to carry The Spruce Approved seal.
If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org