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    9 Products on Deep Discount in January

    CR's lab tests and shopping tips will help you find what you want—and what to avoid

    Illustrated GIF of a smart watch, treadmill, and bathroom scale. Illustration: Lacey Browne/Consumer Reports

    With a little planning and patience, you may never have to pay full price for anything. Sales take place throughout the year, but some months and holidays are better for finding deep discounts on certain items. Coming on the heels of the holiday season, January tends to be a great time to find a good price on fitness equipment, from big investments like treadmills and ellipticals to fitness accessories like smartwatches and fitness trackers.

    And if you happen to be in the market for new bedding, a soundbar, a wireless router, or a humidifier, January is the perfect time to keep an eye out for the lowest prices. You may also see more sales around Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, especially when it comes to bigger purchases, such as mattresses and large appliances. But because January follows two months of heavy holiday sales, discounts tend to be a bit sparser overall. So if you’re looking for big savings on something other than what’s on this list, it may be better to hold off until a later date, if you can. If you want to learn more about the best time to buy other products, check out our calendar of deals.

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    Treadmills are the most popular workout machines in the U.S., and there’s an option for most every budget and fitness goal. That can make choosing one complicated. While a top-of-the-line treadmill can cost $4,000 or more—our highest-rated machine comes in at $3,500—our recommended models start at just $1,500. If you’re looking to save a bit more, you can get a reasonably well-rated foldable treadmill for $1,000.

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    The key is to find a machine that’s durable, comfortable, and easy to use. Try one out in a store before making a purchase, and read our treadmill buying guide to familiarize yourself with the available options. To learn more about the ones we consider top-notch, check out our treadmill ratings.

    Look to big-box retailers—such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart—and sporting goods stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods for sales on fitness equipment. And be sure to see whether manufacturers are offering other ways to save as well.

    Check out the following treadmill deal.

    Bowflex Treadmill 10
    The deal: $1,699.99 at Best Buy
    This folding treadmill comes with quick, easy-access speed and incline controls—and four cup holders, in case you prefer to run with multiple beverages. It’s $300 off the list price and $100 less than we’ve seen in recent months.


    Whether you’re buying a new TV or you want to make the one you have sound better, soundbars offer a great upgrade option. They’re much easier to set up than traditional surround-sound systems with three or more speakers, and you can add additional speakers to many models if you want to expand later.

    January is a great time to save on these increasingly popular devices as retailers make room for new inventory. You may be able to find discounts at major retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart or member-exclusive deals at BJ’s, Costco, and Sam’s Club.

    Most soundbars are long, thin enclosures that are mounted on a wall or placed on a shelf above or below the TV. There are also pedestal-style devices called sound bases that can serve as a base for a TV.

    To help you decide which is the right one for you, check out our soundbar buying guide and see which models we recommend.

    Check out the following soundbar deals.

    Bose Soundbar 900
    The deal: $699 at Abt Electronics, Amazon, Best Buy, Bose, and Crutchfield
    The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is a 5.0.2-channel Dolby Atmos soundbar with satisfying sound quality and a decent number of features, including Chromecast and two-way Bluetooth, plus built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for using voice commands. You can add a wireless subwoofer and wireless rear surround speakers for a true surround-sound experience. There was a $100 price cut on the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 at numerous retailers on Black Friday, but it’s now even $50 cheaper.

    LG SP8YA
    The deal: $399.99 at Best Buy
    It’s getting harder to find the LG SP8YA, a 3.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X soundbar. In our tests it performed well, with satisfying sound quality, and the system can be expanded for true surround sound with an optional LG rear-speaker kit. It has LG’s Sound Mode Share, which lets it take advantage of an LG TV’s processing power.

    Sony HT-A5000
    The deal: $659 at Walmart
    The Sony HT-A5000 is a 5.1.2-channel all-in-one Dolby Atmos Sony soundbar—it has two subwoofers built into the enclosure—offers good overall sound; it has upfiring drivers to support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and a few of Sony’s own virtual surround modes. It also has built-in support for Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, and WiFi audio, and it works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and AirPlay 2.


    Elliptical exercisers are part stair climber, part cross-country ski machine. Unlike a treadmill, which allows you to move free-form, an elliptical limits your movement. That’s why it’s especially important to test out machines in a store before you buy one.

    High-end ellipticals cost upward of $2,500, but you can get a good machine for less than half that price. More expensive machines are often heavier and have a larger footprint because of their beefier frames. The number of features also tends to increase with the price. 

    Our elliptical buying guide and elliptical ratings will help you select a machine with the quality and features you want. Once you’ve selected a model, you can shop around for the best discounts. As with treadmills, you’ll have the most luck scoring a deal at major retailers or buying directly from manufacturers.

    Check out the following elliptical deal.

    Schwinn 470 Elliptical
    The deal: $899 at Amazon
    The Schwinn 470 is a very good elliptical with a built-in display that provides a well-organized and comprehensive variety of exercise statistics. Its programs can monitor heart rate and automatically adjust resistance level and exercise intensity, and users can create additional custom programs. The machine also includes an electronic incline feature, which means the incline can be adjusted while the elliptical is in use to allow for slight variations in movement and muscles used—an unusual feature at this price.


    As the temperatures drop and we crank up the heat at home, the air we breathe becomes drier, which can lead to chapped skin, nosebleeds, and sore throats. Thankfully, this is a good time of year to find one at a deep discount.

    When shopping for a humidifier, you can choose between two types: warm mist and cool mist. Warm-mist humidifiers essentially boil water and emit a warm vapor into the air. Cool-mist humidifiers use a variety of methods to create a cool vapor without boiling water.

    In addition to deciding on the type of humidifier to buy, there are a few other things to consider. For instance, you’ll probably want to look for a model that’s easy to move and clean. And if you want to run the unit for long periods of time, you might need one with a shutoff timer or a humidistat that turns it off if the humidity gets too high (otherwise, your windows could fog up).

    Make sure to check our buying guide, ratings, and recommendations before you start shopping so that you have the information you need to make the best choice.

    Check out the following humidifier deal.

    Crane Owl Humidifier
    The deal: $44.99 at Amazon
    On just about every measure, including moisture output and noise, the Crane Owl humidifier soars. It’s convenient to use, though not being able to get a hand into the tank for cleaning is a drawback. The 250-square-foot claimed coverage area is on the high end for a small-room model. Other animal figures in this Crane series include Wyatt the Fox, Puffington the Penguin, Misty the Unicorn, Sidney the Sheep, The Crane Train, Hello Kitty, Freddy the Frog, Mya the Monkey, Violet the Hippo, and Elliot the Elephant. They all perform similarly and may be on sale for a similar price.


    January is often a good time to start shopping around for a smartwatch, according to our data. Look for New Year’s resolution-related sales that are likely to crop up at many online retailers, and you can finally take the plunge on some high-tech jewelry without overspending.

    You’ll want to make sure the smartwatch you choose is going to fit your lifestyle. First and foremost, it should be compatible with your smartphone. But do you want one that has its own network connectivity? How about a heart rate monitor? Or the ability to pay for purchases? You should also take into account things like size, battery life, and replacement bands.

    Read CR’s buying guide to learn more, then check out our ratings to find the best smartwatch for you.

    Check out the following smartwatch deal.

    Apple Watch SE (40mm) GPS
    The deal: $199 at Walmart
    Apple introduced an updated version of its high-value SE watch in September, which has triggered a series of solid deals on the first-generation Watch SE. The first-gen SE uses a less powerful processor than the new model, but it performs most of the functions that make the SE one of our highest-rated smartwatches. The major difference between the prior-gen SE and the Apple Watch Series 8 is that it lacks a blood oxygen sensor that helps boost sleep tracking accuracy, as well as a temperature sensor that can provide retroactive estimates of ovulation. The prior-gen SE also lacks the high-speed G-force sensor that can sense whether you’ve been in a car crash, a feature found on the latest SE, which starts at $249. But on your wrist, the first-gen SE is almost identical to the new SE or even the Series 8.

    Fitness Trackers

    Much like smartwatches, fitness trackers are often discounted in January as retailers target shoppers with New Year’s resolutions that focus on health and wellness. Fitness trackers range from simple to sophisticated, with corresponding prices. Some simply count your steps while others use GPS to map your workouts, and many also measure your heart rate and can even monitor your sleeping patterns.

    With so many different options, there’s sure to be a fitness tracker that fits your new lifestyle and your budget, especially if you find one on sale. Take a look at CR’s buying guide if you want a little more guidance to find the right tracker for you.

    Check out the following fitness tracker deals.

    Fitbit Inspire 2
    The deal: $56.55 at Amazon
    The Fitbit Inspire 2 fitness tracker has been on sale since mid-April, but the price continues to fall. It’s now only $7 more than the lowest we’ve seen all year. It gets top marks from our testers for step-count and heart rate accuracy, and it earns a spot among the best fitness trackers for its ease of use, pairing, and readability in low light. The Inspire 2 also has a very generous claimed battery life of 10 days (we don’t test that characteristic) and built-in GPS, a feature not found on many other fitness trackers.

    Garmin Forerunner 35
    The deal: $99 at Amazon and Walmart
    While technically a fitness tracker, this model offers a watchlike feel. You get a 1.3-inch monochrome display that shows your step count and heart rate. The Forerunner 35 has a built-in GPS and a claimed battery life of nine days, and we found in our testing that it makes good on its water-resistance claim of 164 feet. CR testers give the fitness tracker top marks for heart rate tracking and step-count accuracy, as well as ease of use. This is the best price we’ve seen, but it’s only available for the black model.

    Wireless Routers

    A good wireless router can help boost your WiFi signal, eliminate any dead spots in your home, and ensure that everyone in the family can stream, play, and otherwise spend time online uninterrupted. January can be a great month to find a new router for less, according to Consumer Reports’ data.

    There’s a lot to consider when choosing a new router, including the size of your home and cybersecurity protections. Start with CR’s buying guide, which walks you through all the factors to consider.

    Check out the following router deals.

    Google Nest WiFi (3-Pack)
    The deal: $144 at Walmart; $177.90 at Amazon
    The Google Nest Wifi three-pack provides decent all-around performance, scoring well for throughput at near- and medium-range distances. It may fall a bit short in large homes, though, and it’s “only” WiFi 5 compatible. Walmart’s new low price is the best we’ve seen.

    Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6600 (RAX70-100NAS)
    The deal: $224.77 at Amazon
    If you don’t need (or want) a multi-router mesh setup, this single-unit WiFi 6 model from Netgear should be near the top of your list. It aced our throughput tests at all distances and was easy to set up via a smartphone app or an old-school, web-based wizard. There’s automatic firmware updating to keep your data safe, plus four Ethernet ports and one USB port for connecting peripherals. The sale price is $50 lower than we saw last week, coming within $10 of the best price we’ve seen.

    Bathroom Scales

    Today’s digital scales track more than just your weight; they also offer additional information, such as your body-fat percentage or body mass index (BMI). Some even connect to your phone, fitness tracker, and other smart devices for easier data tracking. You’ll often pay more for such features, so it’s important to decide what you want before you start shopping.

    Check out our buying guide to see whether extra features are worth the added cost. According to our testers, weight measurements are consistent and accurate across most digital scales, but body-fat measurements aren’t.


    The new year is a chance to start fresh, and many retailers will hold white sales where they offer big discounts on bedding, including sheets and pillows. These winter sales, made famous by the department store owner John Wanamaker, have been used since the turn of the last century as a way to boost sales.

    These sales provide a great chance to replace worn-out bedding. Check out our sheet buying guide to determine what material and thread count you should look for, and browse our top-rated pillows to find the right fit for your sleeping needs.

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    Head shot of CR Shopping Deals Editor Samantha Gordon

    Samantha B. Gordon

    I am an avid writer, editor, and consumer with an unusually deep love for finding amazing deals on amazing products, especially when those things can make my life, or yours, a little easier. When I'm not critiquing deals to find the best of the best, you can find me crafting on a barstool with a fancy cocktail or editing a science fiction novel (also with a cocktail). Follow me on Twitter (@sam_the_editor).