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

    • Trump’s campaign manager got called out at the final debate and it was probably the best part

      As if this election season wasn’t already ~messy~ enough, there’s even more messiness to behold. By now, you probably know that Trump’s campaign manager,…

      Hello Giggles
    • Girl Reportedly Died Taking an"Extreme Selfie"

      She allegedly sent the selfie to a friend right before falling.

    • Whoa: Has the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle just been solved?

      Stop and take a seat because the gravity of this news will probably pull you down anyway. According to The Science Channel,…

      Hello Giggles
    • Man died 'horror-movie' death from flesh-eating bacteria

      OCEAN CITY, Md. — On Sept. 11, Michael Funk was cleaning crab pots at his bayside condominium; four days later he was dead, the victim of flesh-eating bacteria. For Marcia Funk, his wife of 46 years, his death is compounded by what she called a lack of information here about the bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus. "I really feel they kept it quiet because it's a tourist resort," Marcia Funk said. "It's like something out of a horror movie." The bacteria, along with about a dozen others that are related, occurs naturally in areas of warm, brackish waters with low salinity. Most of the 80,000 people who become ill across the USA each year consume raw or under-cooked seafood, according to the Centers for

      USA Today q
    • Woman Carrying Skull on Stick Leads Police to Human Remains

      Police in Sacramento say human remains were discovered after officers confronted a transient woman seen carrying a skull on a stick Wednesday.

    • Hillary's Security Detail Hated Her So Much, They Laughed When She Fell and Broke Her Arm

      It's no secret that there is no love lost between Hillary Clinton and her security detail, but the intensity of their dislike for the woman who may become our next president is still a bit jarring. According to the New York Post, members of her diplomatic security detail while she was secretary of state hated her so much that they "privately snickered" after she fell down and broke her arm. The incident happened in the State Department basement in 2009, one of her former guards told the Post. Clinton, then 61, was on her way to meet President Obama when she took a tumble and ended up in the hospital with a shattered right elbow. “We sort of got the last laugh. It was kind of like payback: You’re

      Trending q
    • Investigator Claims 'Ufo Wreckage' Is Evidence Aliens Visited The Earth 250,000 Years Ago

      The discovery of an ancient piece of aluminium is being hailed as evidence that aliens visited Earth 250,000 years ago. The mysterious hunk of metal was found in Romania during the 1970s, when the country was under communist rule. Now tests at a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, have revealed that the strange fragment of metal is made up of 90 percent aluminium and is 250,000 years old. Aluminium was not produced by mankind until about 200 years ago, so the discovery of the large chunk that could be up to 250,000 years old is being held up as a sensational find. Gheorghe Cohal, the Deputy Director of the Romanian Ufologists Association, told local media: "Lab tests concluded it is an old UFO fragment

      Fox News q
    • Kim Kardashian: Apologize, Or I’ll Sue You For Calling My Robbery Fake

      Kim Kardashian‘s preparing to drop the legal hammer on a writer who published a story claiming the Paris robbery was a total sham … purley cooked up for publicity.

    • Dallas Cowboys Rookies Spend Nearly $55,000 On Dinner At Nick & Sam’s

      At some point in the season, the Dallas Cowboys’ newest players are hazed in a particularly expensive way — buying dinner for their undoubtedly hungry teammates. At this year’s “rookie dinner,” newcomers like quarterback Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott racked up a beyond massive bill at a Dallas steakhouse. A photo of a receipt detailing $50,341.65 in pricey steaks, shrimp cocktail, and caviar from Nick & Sam’s was reportedly posted to defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford’s Snapchat account on October 19, and was later posted to Twitter by a Cowboys fan site.

      Eater Dallas q
    • These factors predict how likely you are to support Donald Trump

      There are clear demographic patterns in who does or doesn't like Donald Trump, according to a...

      Business Insider
    • 'I'm the victim,' Iowa teacher who had sex with student says on 'Dr. Phil'

      DES MOINES — A substitute teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old high school student in Cedar Rapids claims the student seduced her. Mary Beth Haglin was charged in July with sexual exploitation by a teacher. On Monday, she appeared on Dr. Phil, accusing the student of seducing her and sharing sexy photos with his friends. “Many people see him as the victim and me as the perpetrator. From a psychological standpoint and from every other standpoint, I feel like I am the victim,” Haglin said on the Dr. Phil show, citing the student's intelligence and “elevated vocabulary” as part of the seduction. Haglin pleaded not guilty to sexual exploitation by a school employee. Her trial is set to

      USA Today q
    • Tiger Woods Takes Manhattan (8 photos)

      Tiger Woods was a busy man this week as he made the rounds in New York City to promote his new brand and celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Tiger Woods Foundation. Here's a photographic look back at his spin around the Big Apple. 

    • Amy Schumer’s Instagram post about the debate is the most accurate thing we’ve ever seen

      If it’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that Amy Schumer is a comedic angel sent from the heavens above. Girlfriend…

      Hello Giggles
    • U.S. warship challenges China's claims in South China Sea

      By Idrees Ali and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, drawing a warning from Chinese warships to leave the area. The U.S. action was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, U.S. officials said. The Chinese Defense Ministry called the move "illegal" and "provocative," saying that two Chinese warships had warned the U.S. destroyer to leave.

    • Clinton's goodwill among progressives corrodes after leaked email insults and Wall Street comments

      If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, she may not be able to rely on progressives in government to facilitate her transition and agenda. For that, she can thank the content of thousands of emails hacked from campaign chair John Podesta's Gmail account that WikiLeaks continues to publish daily. The emails see Clinton staff and confidants taking a dismissive posture toward those on their left, Politico reports, calling progressives and their causes "puritanical," "naive," and "dumb." Some progressives were labeled "freaks" who should "get a life;" and Podesta called Sen. Bernie Sanders a "doofus" for wanting stronger environmental regulations than those in the Paris climate change accord.

      The Week q
    • Wells Fargo employees on the front lines say they were so stressed, they were chugging hand sanitizer and having anxiety attacks

      The Wells Fargo scandal ousted its CEO John Stumpf, drew Congressional ire, and resulted in a...

      Business Insider
    • Kourtney Kardashian awkwardly 'blanks' TV hosts who ask about Kim

      Kourtney Kardashian had an awkward on-air moment Thursday morning when hosts of an Australian morning program asked how her sister Kim Kardashian is holding up after her robbery ordeal.   The questions was met with bizarre silence, while the reality TV star sat staring off camera, presumably listening to the panicked advice of her publicists.  SEE ALSO: Khloe Kardashian DGAF about Donald Trump calling her a 'piglet' Making matters worse, the connection was dropped. When producers got Kardashian back on the line post-ad break, she explained "we had a bad connection."   "I think she's totally blanking me on that question," said David Campbell, co-host of Today Extra , adding, "She could just say her sister is fine! I mean I think we just said that you know we're very concerned and we were onside and we hoped that everyone's fine, which I still do." According to The Herald Sun , Kourtney insisted that she be re-connected to the show’s host in order to address the question. Once connected, she discussed how the Kardashian klan was feeling after her sister was held at gunpoint during the Paris robbery.  "I think we're all really still shaken up and I just — you know, I think she has a big supportive family and I know that, like, all of the traumatic things that we've been through, you know, we get through them together as a family and that's what family is all about," she said.  While it might not be the most informative response ever uttered, it may have been worth it as an act of "saving face." What's a potential little white lie about a technical glitch between friends, anyway?   Many of us would love to use the old "we just had a bad connection" excuse to get out of conversations IRL, sometimes.   Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint in Paris

    • Virginia Tech Students Made An Awful Jose Fernandez Sign To Mock Miami Football

      College students, ironically, are not always known to be the brightest of bulbs, and whoever decided to hang this banner at Virginia Tech certainly isn’t doing anything to improve that reputation. Mocking the death of Miami Marlins’ pitcher Jose Fernandez, who passed away in a tragic boating accident last month, the sign was put out in advance of the Miami Hurricanes’ visit to Blacksburg for their ACC battle on Thursday night. Whoever made this sign wanted to make sure everyone knew that they respect Fernandez, as they extended the “courtesy” to throw an RIP at the end.

    • Trump used an unusual word in the third debate and now everyone is googling it

      Republican nominee Donald Trump is known for some unusual speech patterns.  During the third...

      Business Insider
    • Minnesota firefighter discovers teen son killed in car crash

      ADA, Minn. (AP) — A volunteer firefighter from northwestern Minnesota made a grim discovery at a car crash — his teenage son was the victim.

      Associated Press