Home Goods | April 13, 2020 4:02 am

5 Household Essentials That Are Touch-Free (and on Sale)

Never put your hands on doors, garbage cans or your TV again

Simplehuman makes several motion-sensor household items

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.

In my two-person household, one of us is an essential worker and the other has to go out occasionally for groceries and pharmacy runs. The wipe-down following any outdoor excursion is necessary and annoying; did we touch a remote or turn on the sink before we washed our hands? Should we just wipe and spray everything down yet again?

It’s time to touch fewer things in your house.

This is the time to invest in smart devices and motion-sensor products so you can limit the amount of surface time you spend in your dwelling. Below, we have five different product ranges that are currently on sale and provide less of a need for daily hand contact.  


Your smart lock

Never fumble for your keys again. Know when your door is closed and keep track of all comings and goings. In this climate, August’s Smart Lock — which attaches to your existing lock and keys and includes Alexa integration — is a lifesaver, and right now three different versions of the device are $50-$80 off at Amazon.

Your everyday household items

It’s 25% off soap dispensers, faucets, trash cans and other touch-free appliances through April 10th at  Simplehuman — though even after the sale, it looks like buying directly from the company is much cheaper than going through a third-party seller. Some of the household goods here motion activation or voice sensors, and some (like certain models of trash can) simply involve an old-school step. 

Your robot vacuum

The robot vacuum is the greatest cleaning invention of all-time — a “set it and forget it” device that not only offers convenience, but it does a better job than you would. Eufy’s BoostIQ takes lazy cleaning one step further, offering up Alexa/Google Assistant voice controls (but you can easily set cleaning schedules from an app). It’ll even dock itself for a recharge. Now $50 off.

Google Home

Your smart home hub

The problem with smart speakers is that either they’re small and cheap (and sound kind of cheap) or they’re Sonos and they’re awesome but also setting you back a nice chunk of change. Google’s well-reviewed Home Smart Speaker isn’t gonna replace your home-audio setup, but it’s a jump from any puck-sized device, and it’ll pair with Chromecast and smart home setups like Nest, so you can pretty much go hands-free in your house with media. And now it’s just $49, a 50% savings.

Philips Hue

Your lights

The Philips Hue system offers ambient and multicolored lighting, integrates with switches and motion sensors and is compatible with all the major voice assistants (even Microsoft’s Cortana). Plus, they have a robust integration with the platform IFTTT, so you can build “applets” or recipes to make your home even smarter; for example, you could have the lights automatically turn on as you arrive home or change color to correspond to the weather. Right now a two-pack starter kit is 15% off at Amazon.

Just need to turn your existing lamps on and off, and maybe measure your usage? Buy a couple of $18 Samsung SmartThings smart plugs — they’ll work without a hub.