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The 11 best holiday impulse buy deals

While holiday shopping typically means crossing off items on your list, don't miss out on a chance to snag savings on purchases you may not know you need or weren't looking to purchase -- yet.
Written by Kayla Solino, Associate Editor
Apple Watch Series 9 41mm | Save $70 at Amazon
Apple Watch Series 9 41mm
Save $70 at Amazon
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iRobot Braava Jet m6 Robot Mop | Save $150 at Best Buy
Braava Jet m6 mopping on tile.
iRobot Braava Jet m6 Robot Mop
Save $150 at Best Buy
View now View at Best Buy
Dyson Airwrap | Save $101 at Amazon
Dyson Airwrap
Save $101 at Amazon
View now View at Amazon
Bose QuietComfort II Earbuds | Save $80 at Amazon
Bose QC II earbuds case and headphones
Bose QuietComfort II Earbuds
Save $80 at Amazon
View now View at Amazon
Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen) Kids + Echo Glow Bundle | Save $75 at Amazon
Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen) Kids + Echo Glow Bundle
Save $75 at Amazon
View now View at Amazon

If you've got shopping on your mind, you already know that holiday deals across retailers are here: Amazon's holiday sales are live and changing frequently, and Best BuyWalmart, and others have tons of competing sales online right now too. And with Christmas just two weeks away, there's no shortage of savings, either. 

You know you can find big discounts on bigger-budget items like TVs or iPads, and you've probably been planning to make those purchases. But don't miss the chance to also swipe up savings on products you didn't have on your list this year, but would make your life better -- or make a nice gift for a loved one. 

Also: The best holiday deals: Amazon, Best Buy, and more 

Our team at ZDNET is just like you this holiday season, and we're not shying away from sharing the best impulse buys -- those items you talk yourself into adding to cart and buying on a whim -- that you can get right now across several different retailers. No matter if you're purchasing a want or a need item, these impulse buys are all great this holiday season -- seriously, isn't it better when you can save some cash and shop?

Best Cyber Monday impulse buys available

Suggesting a portable power bank might seem like a total snooze-fest -- but just hear me out. If you live in an area prone to power outages or inclement weather, a power bank is great to have on hand to charge your devices and more when you weren't exactly planning to be off-grid. 

If you frequently camp, travel, or like to have power on hand in your vehicle for emergencies, a portable power bank is easily a justifiable purchase. This one from Jackery is practical, useful, and its $131 off now. 

This one is just common sense. Apple's products don't see many discounts or deals throughout the year, so when you can snag a bundle of the ever-useful AirTags and save some cash, I call that a win. AirTags are great for attaching to frequently misplaced or lost items such as keys, wallets, handbags, and they seamlessly provide location tracking that can be viewed from your Apple devices. 

If you're planning for 2024 to be the year you get your life together, you're going to need a practical (and portable) option to clean up those messes (you know, the ones both inside and outside your home). 

The Shark MessMaster can be used on wet or dry spills and for portable vacuuming or spot cleaning. With one gallon capacity and a Rinse and Ready self-cleaning feature, the VS101 can tackle anything you throw at it, and right now it's $30 off. 

Okay, so maybe you're fine writing your work notes on random scraps of paper shoved into your desk drawer or left on the counter (I see you jotting quick notes on your opened mail) -- or, you could streamline your note taking into one, smart place. With the Rocketbook, easily transfer your notes from the notebook pages to your phone. 

If you've been teeting on the edge of diving into virtual reality, now's your chance to explore the MetaQuest 2 for a nice savings, with the option of a bundle deal with an Amazon gift card (saving you even more). 

The Meta Quest 2 is light, portable, comfortable, and plays virtually all of the content in the Meta Quest ecosystem. It's the best VR headset for the money right now, according to ZDNET's editor in chief Jason Hiner. 

An air mattress might not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to holiday sales. But the usefulness of a quality air mattress (with a built-in air pump, too) cannot be understated. If you frequently have family or friends over but are limited on guest rooms or bed space, air mattresses are perfect -- but they usually aren't cheap. 

Right now you can save $54 on this ultra-plush, 18-inch queen mattress (no sinking to the floor included). This is a must-have for newlyweds, large families, and even college students for visiting friends or family, and is also perfect for sleepovers for children. It's truly such an easily forgotten home essential that's great to have on hand.  

  • Current price: $429
  • Original price: $499

Okay, so maybe you don't -- need -- a new Apple watch. But maybe you've been eyeing an upgrade or are looking to get your first smartwatch ever. Here's the good news: now's the time to add it to your cart. Apple's newest mid-range model watch -- the Series 9 -- is on sale ahead of the holidays for just $429, the same price as it was last month during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That's a $70 savings on Apple's most up-to-dat wearable. 

Also: The best holiday Apple Watch deals

The Series 9 offers all the newest features and is one step up from the base model SE. The Apple Watch Series 9 can track activity, steps, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen (lung function), wrist temperature, sleep, and environmental sound levels (to protect your hearing). And it uses algorithms and machine learning -- aka, AI -- to spot dangerous patterns and alert you to seek medical attention. 

More: Apple Watch Series 9 Review: Don't settle for less this year

The watch Series 9 is ZDNET editor in chief Jason Hiner-approved. "If you have one of the Apple Watch models from the past few years and your watch is running perfectly fine, you don't need to get the Series 9. There aren't enough upgrade benefits to justify it for most people. However, if you're coming from a Series 6 or earlier and you wear the Apple Watch every day, then you'll likely see a lot of benefits from an upgrade," Hiner wrote in his review earlier this year. "And this year I'd recommend getting the Series 9 over an Apple Watch SE or last year's Series 8 because it's notably better and more accurate at health tracking, as mentioned above." 

  • Current price: $299
  • Original price: $450

Enter your Jetson's era and cut down on your mopping time with a robot mop. While many robot cleaning devices are now the rage, they can be expensive purchases. There's no better time to optimize your cleaning schedule than right now, when you can save $150 on this ZDNET-approved robot mop. 

Review: Braava m6: A must have robot mop

When ZDNET expert reviewer Beth Mauder reveiwed the Braava m6, she was impressed with the mops ease of use and cleaning capabilities. "The bottom line is the Braava Jet m6 is worth every penny ... Mopping is time consuming and tedious, and giving this task to a capable robot frees up a good chunk of my time. For my peace of mind and sanity, this is a must-have device."

  • Current price: $499
  • Original price: $600

If you're a girls' girl like me, you know that the Dyson Airwrap is the styling tool to beat, and it has been for quite some time. The Airwrap uses air and Dyson's top-of-the line technology to style your hair flawlessly and with ease (you know, if you're a twenty-something with a vendetta against curling irons, like me). 

Despite its favor, the Airwrap is still an expensive buy, but right now you can save $101 on Amazon -- a deal we rarely see available. This is a great gift for any hair-obsessed family member or friend who doesn't already have one, and ZDNET Editor Sabrina Ortiz is living proof: "I was gifted the Dyson Airwrap two Christmases ago since I was influenced into making it the first thing on my Christmas wishlist. I can totally say its worth the hype. With one tool you can straighten, curl and blow dry your hair. Do I need to say more?"

  • Current price: $199
  • Original price: $279

Maybe you've been thinking about upgrading your wireless earbuds, or you lost one of your buds, or you're an awesome gift-giver looking for someone else. Regardless of your reasoning, now is the time to snag new wireless earbuds ahead of the holidays, and the Bose QuietComfort II's are top-notch. 

Also: The best Black Friday headphones deals 

ZDNET's pick for best true wireless earbuds prior to the release of the new Ultra model, the Bose QuietComfort II's offer 6 hours of pristine listening. Bose's top of the line Acoustic Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology provides true quiet (who doesn't want that?) within this pair of wireless earbuds.

Using hidden microphones in the earbuds, they also monitor external sound and emit an anti-sound wave to cancel out any noise other than whatever you're listening to. And when you want to tune back into your surroundings, an Aware Mode feature allows you to hear your music and surroundings at a lower level simultaneously. If you're looking to level-up your listening game, there's no reason to wait. 

Also: The best earbuds of 2023

  • Current price: $55
  • Original price: $130

Listen, I'm 22, and I would buy this Amazon bundle. Amazon's flagship tech products make great gifts for those of all ages, and I'm not exaggerating. Need something for a younger cousin? Echo Show. What about grandma? Echo Show. That one friend that seemingly has everything and nothing at the same time? Yeah, I'd still buy an Echo Show. The Echo Show is a smart home hub equipped with Alexa that allows you to ask questions, set reminders, and more. 

Also: Amazon's Echo Show 5 made me a smart believer

Not only does this bundle come with the newest kids model Echo Show 5, but it also comes with the Echo Glow light, which contrary to Amazon's advertising, is cool (and totally practical) no matter how old you are. Another great upside to saving $55 with this bundle? You can gift out the items separately, or choose to gift them together. 

How did we choose these holiday deals?

ZDNET only writes about deals we want to buy -- devices and products we desire, need, or would recommend. Our experts looked for deals that were at least 20% off (or are hardly ever on sale), using established price comparison tools and trackers to determine whether the deal is actually on sale and how frequently it drops. 

We also looked over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the deals we're recommending. Our recommendations may also be based on our own testing -- in addition to extensive research and comparison shopping. The goal is to deliver the most accurate advice to help you shop smarter. 

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