Walmart: What to buy and what to avoid

Consumer Reports

View gallery

.

( Photo: Scott Olson | Getty Images )

Walmart is known for value, but there are also plenty of top-performing products on its sprawling shelves. Then again, you could easily end up with a low-priced dud—which is no bargain in the long run. With those divergent facts in mind, Consumer Reports pulled together a list of Walmart-exclusive winners and washouts from its latest tests.       

Walmart winners

White Cloud 3-Ply Ultra toilet paper.

Our top-rated toilet paper is sold only at Walmart. Its strong, soft, and disintegrates cleanly, so it shouldn’t pose a problem for plumbing. What more could you ask for? How about a very competitive price of 29 cents per 100 square feet? It is currently priced at $5.97 for 12 rolls. Add it to the shopping cart!

View gallery

.
Great Value Strong & Absorbent paper towels.

These paper towels just missed our recommended list, but we’ll still call this a Walmart-exclusive winner as they scored highly for absorbency, scrubbing, and wet strength. Plus they're true to their name, with a low price of $6.84 for 8 rolls.




View gallery

.
Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50 sunscreen.

Hot sunny weather is still a fantasy in many parts of the country, but when it does arrive, this Walmart-exclusive sunscreen will be an excellent option. It was very good at blocking UVA raditation and costs just $9.00 for a 16-ounce bottle.




View gallery

.
Grill King 810-2545-C gas grill.

Grilling season is just around the corner. Here’s a very good Walmart exclusive model to consider. The $258 grill is fairly quick to preheat, offers great high temp evenness and very good low temp evenness, and its coated-cast-iron grates should resist corrosion.




GE AEW06LQ air conditioner.

Also looking ahead to summer, this GE air conditioner offers exceptional comfort at a very appealing price of $191.43. Several models scored better in our tests, but they often cost a lot more. Plus the GE’s score was dropped by the fact that it doesn‘t blow air well to the right, which might not be an issue depending on your room configuration.   


View gallery

.
Walmart washouts

Great Value Naturals laundry detergent.
($8.97 for 100 oz.)

This detergent is safe for use in all types of laundry machines—just don’t expect sparkling results.

Indeed, it is the lowest scoring of all tested detergents, only a bit better than plain water at tackling soils. Though they missed our recommended list, Great Value Original Clean and White Cloud laundry detergents are much better options. 

Better Homes and Gardens BG1755B gas grill.

Here’s a Walmart grill you should probably pass on. The $360 midsize gas grill got a poor in our tests for high and low temperature evenness, and it was only so-so at preheating.

View gallery

.
Bissell Rewind CleanView Pet 18M9W upright vacuum.

You can’t beat the price on this $90 bagless upright vacuum, but you can definitely find a better performing model. It was especially poor at emissions, or a vacuum’s ability to hold on to the dirt and dust that it picks up.

Farberware FP3000FBS food processor

This $60 food processor does some things well, including chopping, slicing, and shredding. But it was subpar at puréeing, a function that many people look to when making soups, sauces, and other blended foods.

View gallery

.
Plus it was one of the noisier models we tested, which could grate on your nerves over time.    

GE 169210 toaster.

This $25 two-slice toaster was among our lowest-scoring models. It was especially bad at maintaining consistent results over successive batches of toast. It also was merely average at making an evenly browned single slice of toast.



More from Consumer Reports:


Best new cars for under $25,000

3 ways to create your own Internet bundle for less

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on Yahoo.

Copyright © 2006-2014 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.



Having conquered the world of big box discount retail Walmart has set its sights on taking over dollar stores. It’s good news for consumers but not even execution is likely to move the needle for long suffering shareholders.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Gamer dies while attempting 24-hour livestream for charity

      VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man who died at home while playing a 24-hour video game marathon was part of an online livestreaming community where members sometimes go to extremes to build their audiences, experts say.

      Associated Press
    • Mama June’s Weight Loss Was a Total Revenge Move Against Sugar Bear

      Mama June Shannon‘s motivation to lose weight has been revealed. The reality star opened up on the premiere of her new show, Mama June: From Hot to Not, that she decided to lose weight when her ex, Sugar Bear, revealed he was getting married and that he wanted her to be there. June’s daughters, Alana “Honey Boo Boo,” and Lauryn “Pumpkin,” encouraged her along the way.

      People
    • Witnesses: Bar gunman shouted 'get out of my country'

      OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — In the middle of a crowded bar, Adam Purinton yelled at two Indian men to "get out of my country," witnesses said, then opened fire in an attack that killed one of the men and wounded the other, as well as a third man who tried to help.

      Associated Press
    • Mysterious sea creature that washed ashore in Philippines is identified; video

      The remains of a hairy, white sea creature that washed ashore Wednesday afternoon on a beach on Dinagat Island in the Philippines created a buzz among the locals of Barangay Poblacion and on social media. Most speculated it was a sea cow. Some said it resembled an Old English sheepdog. The creepy beast measured 20 feet long and, as it sat on the shoreline, became the subject of many selfies, photographs and videos. Sky News reported that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources at first believed it could be the remains of a sea cow. But after testing samples it was determined to be the carcass of a whale in an advanced stage of decomposition, according to the Sun Star. The type of whale

      GrindTV.com q
    • A Mysterious Blob Has Washed Up A Beach In The Philippines

      A giant, hairy blob that washed ashore in the Philippines baffled local residents. Some suggested it looked like a huge Shitzu, or even Appa, a fictional character from the animated TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender. The whale appeared after a deadly earthquake struck the region on Sunday, causing a number of strange creatures to come ashore.

      The Huffington Post UK q
    • Dear Abby: Creepy boy follows around eighth-grade girl

      DEAR ABBY: I’m an eighth-grader with a good life. I go to a good school, have good friends and a happy family. But at school, there is this boy who follows me around. I tell him to stop, but he keeps doing it. When I tell my friends about it, they laugh and think it’s funny. I don’t feel like it’s a joke. It’s creepy. I have tried to tell adults, but they don’t do anything. Recently I dyed the tips of my hair blue, and at lunch he walked up, grabbed my hair and felt it. I feel like it was an invasion of my personal space. Because he won’t stop following me around and being creepy, my grades have dropped. I’m distracted in class and nervous. What do you think I should do? — INVADING MY SPACE DEAR

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • 'Country Over Party': Dershowitz to Leave Dems If Ellison Elected DNC Chair

      Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a high-profile Democrat for decades, said in an op-ed published Friday that he will leave the party if Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is elected chairman this weekend. "My loyalty to my country and my principles and my heritage exceeds any loyalty to my party," Dershowitz, who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, wrote in "The Hill" newspaper. Dershowitz recounted Ellison's history of controversial statements and actions many deemed anti-Semitic, including the congressman's history with Louis Farrakhan's "Nation of Islam" movement. "A prominent lawyer ... told me that while he was a law student, Ellison approached her and said he could not respect her because she was a Jew and because she was a woman who should not be at a law school," Dershowitz claims in the column.

      Fox News Insider q
    • Honey Boo Boo Reveals How Mama June Hid Shocking Weight Loss from the Public: ‘She Went Overboard’

      Honey Boo Boo is spilling all of the details surrounding her mother’s body transformation. Stopping by PEOPLE Now, Mama June Shannon‘s daughters Alana Thompson (AKA “Honey Boo Boo”) and Lauryn (“Pumpkin”), opened up about watching their former pageant mom go from 460 lbs. to a size 4. Since losing weight and filming for WE tv’s new docu-dramedy Mama June: From Not to Hot, Shannon, 37, has remained hidden from the public eye as to not reveal her drastic new transformation before the show’s premiere — and it hasn’t been easy.

      People
    • JaVale McGee-Shaquille O'Neal beef is so bad the Warriors reached out to TNT

      Golden State is trying to mediate the situation, according to report. The Golden State Warriors have reached out to TNT and Turner Sports after JaVale McGee and Shaquille O’Neal had a Twitter exchange about the network’s coverage of the Warriors player, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes. On Thursday night, the network aired an entire “Doctor Strange” segment highlighting McGee’s various gaffes, which may have been the impetus for McGee lashing out at O’Neal on Twitter.

      SB Nation q
    • GPS device-maker Garmin reeling after workers gunned down

      OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — GPS device-maker Garmin long has revered diversity in its workforce, even when the locale of its ever-sprawling operational headquarters — a largely white Kansas City suburb — didn't reflect it.

      Associated Press
    • Boy miraculously survives spider bite thanks to quick-thinking dad

      A 10-year-old Australian boy has survived a bite from one of the world’s deadliest spiders after taking a record 12 vials of anti-venom, local media reported. Matthew Mitchell was helping his dad clear out the back shed at their home north of Sydney when he was bitten on the finger by a funnel-web spider that had been lurking in his shoe. “It sort of clawed onto me and all the legs and everything crawled around my finger and I couldn’t get it off,” he told the Australian Daily Telegraph. His family used his shirt as a compression bandage to try to slow the venom’s spread and rushed him to a hospital. He experienced convulsions but survived after being given 12 vials of anti-venom, which local

      New York Post q
    • Latest: Church went into lockdown after Kansas bar shooting

      OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly shooting at a Kansas bar that some witnesses said was racially motivated (all times local):

      Associated Press
    • The Trump team may have gone even further to knock down news about its Russia ties

      White House officials allegedly sought to recruit congressional lawmakers and the US intelligence...

      Business Insider
    • Amber Tamblyn announces utterly ridiculous baby name - and people aren't quite sure what to think

      The US actress Amber Tamblyn and her husband, comedian and actor David Cross, have welcomed a new baby daughter – and, as per modern tradition, have taken to social media to announce the name of the new arrival. "David and I are proud to announce the birth of our daughter, Dauphinoise Petunia Brittany Scheherazade Von Funkinstein Mustard Witch RBG Cross Tamblyn-Bey jr.," wrote 127 Hours and Two and a Half Men star Tamblyn in a post on Tuesday, as she shared a video of her daughter's foot via Instagram.

      The Telegraph
    • Pink Dog Abandoned with Brother at Shelter Responds Well to Treatment and Rescuers’ Love

      The pink pup and a buddy, who are actually boxers, were there waiting on the morning of Feb. 13 — both suffering from a treatable skin condition called demodex mange. “I felt so badly for Artie and Asia when I first saw them,” says Jennifer Glover, a registered veterinary technician for the shelter, who was the first to meet the dogs that day. Both Asia, the pink 10-month-old, and Artie, 2 years old, suffer from the common infestation of the skin by tiny, eight-legged mites.

      People
    • Former Nursing Home Worker Accused of Giving Lap Dance to 100-Year-Old Patient Speaks Out

      A former Ohio nursing home worker accused of performing a lewd act on a 100-year-old patient with dementia is speaking out.

      Tribune
    • 22 Times Justin Bieber's Clothes Made No Sense (23 photos)

      If anyone can make these looks work, it's Bieber. From Cosmopolitan

      Cosmopolitan
    • Falcons are still finding ways to help Patriots even after the Super Bowl

      The Atlanta Falcons did the New England Patriots a solid by blowing a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI, and they’re still doing them favors weeks later. Falcons are too kind to Pats. When the Patriots traded Jamie Collins to the Browns, it was for a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick.

      SB Nation q
    • Call Her Hot Mama June! Honey Boo Boo and Pumpkin Talk About Their Mom’s Journey from 460 Lbs. to a Size 4

      Mama June Shannon may just need to change her name to Hot Mama June. After undergoing weight loss surgery, the matriarch of the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo family will reveal her new body on the reality TV screen in WE tv’s new docu-dramedy Mama June: From Not to Hot. But first, her daughters Alana (known better to fans as “Honey Boo Boo”) and Lauryn (AKA “Pumpkin”) stopped by Entertainment Tonight to explain how their mother went from 460 lbs. to a size 4. “She had gastric sleeve back in May of 2015, and then she slowly started losing weight, and the reason she got the gastric sleeve was because she hit a plateau — she couldn’t lose any weight,” Pumpkin explained of her mom’s surgery to make her stomach smaller.

      People
    • Amal Clooney debuts her baby bump on the red carpet, is perfection as usual

      She’s a busy human rights attorney who kicks ass on the daily, but Amal Clooney took some time out of her busy…

      Hello Giggles