Walmart might be best known for its affordable prices, but just because something is cheap, doesn't mean it's worth buying. These days, Walmart is sought out by everyone from interior designers to mommy influencers for stylish and useful products that are must-haves regardless of their price tag. Read on to hear from retail experts about the best thing to buy in every department at Walmart. Whether you're looking for shoes, toys, furniture, gardening gear, or household items, your shopping experience and home life will benefit from these insider picks.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Walmart Employees.
Clothing: Scoop Collection
Like Target, Walmart does clothing collaborations with big names like actress Sofia Vergara and menswear company Bonobos. But it's their Scoop line that really got the fashion world excited when they relaunched the brand in 2020. The former NYC boutique was reborn in consultation with its founder Stefani Greenfield, but more recent collections have been overseen by well-known fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, who was hired as Walmart's consulting creative director in 2021.
In a review of the 2022 summer Scoop collection, Today described the brand as "a size-inclusive fashion line offering quality materials and the latest styles at an affordable price." Their favorite picks were all under $40 and included wide-leg cropped jeans, a color-block maxi dress with side cutouts, and several pairs of cute earrings.
Christine Brownstein, chief marketing officer of leather jacket company Palaleather UK, tells Best Life that she is a big fan of Scoop's tie-neck denim shirt dress—which is only $7! "It resembles a '70s New Yorker ambiance with its long sleeves [and] the tie-neck also accentuates the wearer's accessories," she says.
Clarks has been around since 1825 and is one of the most trusted, well-made, and comfortable footwear brands today. But of course, all of those accolades don't come cheap. For example, a pair of women's booties range in price from $130 to $220. This is why Caitlyn Parish, founder and CEO of bridesmaid brand Cicinia, suggests buying your shoes from Walmart's Clarks line.
When comparing women's booties, some of the pairs at Walmart are still pricey, but many are under $100. Parish says to pay special attention to the care instructions. "With proper care, your Clarks shoes will last for many years to come."
And for what to wear inside your shoes, Parish says Walmart's SmartWool socks are a must. The high-quality merino wool socks are "perfect for hiking, running or just everyday wear," and they are machine-washable and dryer-safe. Parish notes that the new brand isn't widely available yet, so Walmart is one of the few places you can find them. She also says they're usually 10 to 20 percent cheaper than at other retailers.
Baby: Parent's Choice Supplies
As any new parent can tell you, baby supplies get very expensive. According to Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews, Walmart's Parent's Choice brand offers affordable diapers, wipes, and training pants, as well as accessories including bottle brushes and warmers, crib sheets, eating utensils, food, and more.
"Given that in 2022, the cost of raising a child from babyhood through high school has jumped to over $300,000, it helps to save in every area that you can, and with Parent's Choice, products start at just 62 cents each," notes Ramhold.
Toys: Spark Create Imagine Toys
If you have a young child, chances are you've heard of Melissa&Doug wooden educational toys. They're great, but they're not available everywhere. For something comparable, Ramhold suggests Spark Create Imagine toys. "They're a Walmart brand, which means you won't find them elsewhere, and they cover a wide variety of categories, so pretend play sets, stuffed animals, musical toys for kids, and more." She notes that they're not necessarily cheaper than Melissa&Doug, but "very often the Spark Create Imagine toys have more pieces to them compared to the bigger brand."
Ramhold calls out the Spark Imagine Create toy pressure cooker, "which looks like an adorable Instant Pot, makes 'realistic cooking sounds' and even releases 'realistic steam' if you add water." She says it's the first time she's ever seen a toy pressure cooker, plus it's only around $12 at Walmart.
Earbuds have become almost an extension of our body. But the high-quality pairs are pretty up there in price. Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review, says Walmart is a great place to find Apple Airpods and Beats headphones "for impressively low prices." He advises shoppers to "be on the lookout for sales/clearance events" for even more savings.
Appliances: Tineco Smart Carpet Cleaners
Tineco's cordless vacuums and floor washers are top-of-the-line, but they don't always come cheap. Luckily, Walmart has their products in a range of prices and functions. As a mom of three, lifestyle influencer Farah Merhi is a fan of the Tineco Pure One S11 Spartan Cordless Smart Stick Vacuum Cleaner. "Not only does it keep my rugs and carpets dustless, but at any moment there is that 'oops spill' on our rugs or on our furniture, I am able to clean it up immediately!" she says.
The cordless vacuum automatically adjusts its suction based on what it senses (dust, hair, dirt, etc.), and it has a handheld option for hard-to-reach places and furniture.
For more retail advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Kitchen: Beautiful by Drew Barrymore Appliance Collection
One of Merhi's other go-to's is the Beautiful by Drew Barrymore appliance collection. The Beautiful brand was started by actress Drew Barrymore and Made by Gather founder and CEO Shae Hong in 2021. According to a press release at the time, the line of small kitchen appliances and cookware "combines elegant design, contemporary colors, and modern silhouettes with innovative touchscreen technology." And how convenient that much of the brand is available at Walmart?
"I have searched high and low for appliances that work well but also match my kitchen decor," Merhi explains. "Your everyday appliances like your toaster, blender, griddle, and coffee machine can now be styled on your kitchen counters, making a statement and matching with the rest of your decor!" Her personal pick is the white and gold, but other color options include black, cornflower blue, and sage green.
Furniture: Desert Fields Upholstered Platform Bed
Beautiful headboards can be so expensive that many of us bypass them and stick with a simple bed frame. However, David Lee, founder of mirror brand Neutypechic, has a designer bed pick at Walmart that has over 800 reviews. The Desert Fields Rose Upholstered Platform Bed is only $307.99 for a king-sized bed. "Even a less pricey bed from a well-known furniture store can cost around $500 – $1,000," Lee points out. He also notes that this bed is super sturdy and comes in four different color/material options. As one reviewer said, "It is comparable to the look that I was going for, which I initially saw on West Elm's website."
Home Decor: The Home Edit Collection
Marie Kondo kicked off a trend that hasn't slowed down. The latest organization obsession is the Netflix show Get Organized With the Home Edit, which features The Home Edit founders Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin helping celebrities achieve their organization dreams. If you want to style your space in the same way, you can shop The Home Edit collection at Walmart.
"Whether you're looking to organize your cabinets and pantries, or your closet, the collection has everything you need," says Merhi, noting that the items are also accessible and affordable. Some bestsellers include a headband organizer (if you know, you know), a hair tool bin, and the five-piece laundry storage system.
READ THIS NEXT: If You Shop at Walmart, Get Ready for This "Fantastic" New Change.
Home Improvement: Color Place Paint
Paint is one of the easiest ways to liven up a room, but with so many options at so many different stores and e-retailers, it's almost impossible to choose a brand. Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy Painters Plano, recommends Walmart's proprietary Color Place brand. For a great price, he says "many of Color Place's selections will offer good coverage and decently high-quality finish, especially when paired with a good primer." He also notes that Walmart carries other bigger-name paint brands for "excellent prices."
Garden: Better Homes&Gardens Products
You probably know the long-time magazine Better Homes&Gardens, but did you know it's also a home and garden brand at Walmart? Ramhold says "it's one of the more premium brands that Walmart has and has a ton of items that look more expensive than they really are." This includes patio furniture, planters, and other outdoor items, but it also offers a full roster of interior decor and furniture. "You can pick up things like candles and complete dinnerware sets for a fraction of the cost of bigger brands," she notes.
Ramhold also points out that a lot of what you'll find in the Better Homes and Gardens line is "very similar to the sort of 'farmhouse chic' you might see in [Target's] Magnolia line from Chip and Joanna Gaines."
Case in point—in April 2022, Walmart launched the Marrs Collection for Better Homes&Gardens. Dave and Jenny Marrs became household names thanks to their HGTV show Fixer to Fabulous, in which they restored their own historic home. For their collaboration with Walmart, outdoor items feature "neutral colors and handcrafted elements with natural wood and clay, chunky open weaves and antique brass," according to a press release.
Outdoor: Ozark Trail Cooler
For those who love outdoor adventures and camping, you must have the Ozark Trail 45QT High Performance Rolling Thermocooler, according to Mark Wilcox, co-founder of Camping Forge. "It is almost as good as my Yeti cooler at half the price," he says. He adds that the cooler was tested by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee which certifies bear-resistant gear, so it'll stand up to bears, as well as smaller critters like raccoons.
For all your other camping needs—tents, sleeping bags, fishing gear, and cookware—Ozark Trail has a full line at Walmart.
READ THIS NEXT: Never Buy This One Food at Walmart, Customers Say in New Survey.
Spices are a pantry staple that seems so inexpensive but can add up (especially when you realize half your spice cabinet expired five years ago!). For that reason, Dan Gallagher, a registered dietician at Aegle Nutrition, suggests buying Walmart's Great Value spices. "It's pretty widely known how low Walmart's spice prices are, especially for this brand. It's worth stocking up your spice cabinet—especially since Great Value is a pretty high quality for the value."
Home Office: Pen+Gear Supplies
Whether you need office supplies or school supplies, Ramhold says Walmart's Pen+Gear brand is the way to go. You'll find ink and felt-tip pens, highlighters, notebooks, copy paper, and more. If you're looking for basic items like yellow number-two pencils, you'll find them, but you can also pick up fun, colorful items for the kids.
Aside from the great selection, Ramhold likes the year-round affordability. "We often see these kinds of things on sale around back to school with some items falling below $1 each, but this brand is always affordable."
Another thing to note is that printer ink at Walmart averages "nearly 50 percent less expensive than leading office supply stores," according to Costa.