If we lived the kind of life where we could spend mornings leisurely crafting a delicious breakfast and sipping on perfectly brewed coffee, we would. But more often than not we're mainlining caffeine and scrambling to get everything together before bursting out the door at a full-on sprint.
So. We need coffee that brews quickly, a mug that won't spill, and a container for our lunch that won't burst open when it's thrown into a bag. Good thing we have friends at Wirecutter—they tested hundreds of products to help us find the best tools to make our mornings
super efficient slightly more efficient than usual.
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If you want affordable but functional, the Hamilton Beach 12-cup coffee maker (46205) is your guy. Its no-fuss features and straightforward design make it the best choice if you just want to grab your coffee and go in the morning. And with the option to schedule your brew ahead of time, you can do just that.
"When it comes to brewing a simple cup of coffee fast, nothing beats a French press," Wirecutter says. "The whole process takes just over four minutes, so it's a great choice for anyone looking to save some time in their morning routine." And if you're going to get a French press, make it the Bodum Brazil—it brews a flavorful, grit-free cup of coffee as well as some of its more expensive competitors.
You could spend a fortune at Starbucks every morning. Or you could bring your own coffee... and still spend a fortune replacing everything in your bag that your subpar travel mug leaked all over. Solution? The Zojirushi SM-SA48 stainless steel mug. It keeps liquids hot (even after 8 hours in a freezer), won't leak, and is easy to clean.
With a good slow cooker, you can prep your breakfast (and lunch, and dinner) ahead of time so it's all ready for you in the morning. Hamilton Beach's Set & Forget 6-quart programmable slow cooker is Wirecutter's long-term favorite slow cooker for good reason—it's sturdy and reliable, with an intuitive interface.
Plastic storage is the way to go if you're constantly losing or breaking your lunch containers—or if you're looking for something lighter to lug around. Though there are tons of options on the market, Wirecutter recommends the Snapware Total Solution plastic food storage 18-piece set because it seals tightly and won't retain stains and smells. (Gross.)
If lunch is a sandwich, a water, and a piece of fruit, L.L.Bean's lunch box is a good pick. It's compact enough to fit inside a backpack, and it won't leak or hold on to smells, no matter what spills in there. It's great for kids, but many adults will find the size perfect as well.
For more substantial lunches, the Coleman 9-can soft cooler with hard liner does the trick perfectly. Food will stay colder since there's more room to pack multiple ice packs, and it'll hold a 20-ounce water bottle plus a vat of that amazing soup you made last night. Easily. Clearly it's a favorite for a reason.