One of our favorite ways to live more simply and sustainably (while saving a lot of time and energy) is to “buy it for life” and invest in well made products that are long lasting and of very high quality.
The BIFL acronym is sometimes used by people who forgo mass produced merchandise and instead choose top quality, durable products that don’t need to be frequently replaced.
In addition to keeping obsolete things out of landfill, investing in classic, well made products will save you money in the long run. Many top quality products have lifetime warranties so you can get a repair or replacement if something goes wrong.
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We’ve assembled a collection of extremely well made products, based on research and reviews. Many of these items are things we use ourselves. If you have suggestions for this list, be sure to drop a comment below!
“Sustainability starts with longevity. The longer a product lasts, the less waste we create and the fewer resources we consume.” – Yves Behar, industrial designer and sustainability advocate
Click on any of these headings to jump ahead:
- Everyday Household Items
- Kitchen Products
- Premium Quality Clothing and Accessories
- Top Yard and Garden Products
Everyday Household Items
For the things we use and touch every day, good quality will save frustration and make life easier. Here are some of our favorite recommendations:
Boll & Branch Sheets – We love the generous proportions and soft feel of these 100% organic cotton sheets, which are produced in a fair trade and sustainable manner. We use these sheets, and can attest that they definitely encourage a better night’s sleep.
Pendleton Blanket – These classic blankets are woven from high-quality wool, are exceptionally warm and cozy, and feature beautiful and unique designs.
Birch Organic Mattress – Made entirely from premium hypoallergenic and organic materials like cotton, wool and natural Talalay latex, Birch mattresses have won numerous awards for comfort and long-lasting quality.
Miele Vacuum Cleaner – The company’s canister vacuum cleaners are quiet, highly efficient, and built to last for decades.
Fiskars Scissors – For cutting everyday things like paper and fabric, you can’t beat Fiskars Razor-Edge Softgrip Scissors. Fiskars scissors come with a full lifetime guarantee.
Zojirushi Vacuum Insulated Mug – For taking hot or cold drinks on the road, this handsome stainless steel and BPA-free plastic mug/bottle fits in most car drink holders. The product gets rave reviews and has a 5 year warranty.
L.L. Bean Waxed Canvas Tote – This classic canvas tote has a waxed finish that is water resistant and tough, making it a perfect choice for hauling groceries, toting firewood or packing a picnic.
Surefire Flashlight – With a good flashlight, you’ll always be prepared for the unexpected power outage. Surefire produces high-quality flashlights for the military and law enforcement, and its sturdy flashlights are known for brightness, durability and long battery life.
Simplehuman Trash Can – These functional trash receptacles offer features like foot pedals, motion sensors, and silent closing lids.
Rimowa Suitcase – Rimowa produces high-quality luggage using materials like aluminum and polycarbonate. Their suitcases are known for being both durable and lightweight, with features like multi-directional wheels and built-in TSA-approved locks.
Grizzly Cooler – Made from environmentally-friendly LLDPE, this tough cooler is especially good if you camp or spend time in the mountains as the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee has certified it as being “bear resistant.”
The best cooking equipment and kitchen gadgets are durable, long-lasting and high performance. While they may be more expensive up front, investing in top quality cooking utensils saves money over time and also makes food preparation more enjoyable.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer – This classic kitchen workhorse is known for its durable and powerful motor, versatile attachments, and timeless design.
Vitamix Blender – The Cadillac of blenders, the Vitamix features a powerful motor, durable construction, and the ability to blend everything from fruits and vegetables to ice and nuts into smooth and creamy textures.
All-Clad Cookware Set – Known for its superior heat distribution, durability, and classic design, All Clad pots and pans are a top choice for serious home cooks and professional chefs.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – Renowned for its versatility, durability, and ability to retain heat evenly, the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is an essential tool for any kitchen. If you season your cast iron skillet properly and maintain its finish, you can pass it on to your grandchildren!
Le Creuset Dutch Oven – With its high-quality enameled cast iron construction, superior heat retention and distribution, and stylish design, the Le Creuset Dutch Oven is a top choice for slow-cooking, braising, and baking.
KitchenAid Kitchen Scissors – These sharp shears can make easy work of deboning a chicken or cutting slippery bacon strips. They have a comfortable grip, protective sheath for storage, and a lifetime warranty.
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups – These classic cups have stood the test of time due to their durability, accuracy, and Pyrex’s limited two-year warranty against defects.
OXO Good Grips Soft- Handled Garlic Press – The beauty of this efficient garlic press is that it has a built in cleaning attachment which quickly removes the spent garlic. The die cast tool is sturdy and meant to last.
Microplane Zester/Grater – With its sharp and precise blades, comfortable handle, and ability to grate everything from citrus zest to hard cheese with ease, this grater and zester is an indispensable tool.
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner – Renowned for its sturdy and ergonomic design, easy-to-use mechanism, and ability to dry lettuce and vegetables quickly and efficiently, this salad spinner is a top choice for healthy eaters.
Rösle Stainless Steel Strainer – With durable and rust-resistant stainless steel construction, fine mesh, and a comfortable handle, the Rösle Stainless Steel Strainer is a top choice for straining pasta, vegetables, stocks and sauces.
OXO Good Grips Potato Masher – With its sturdy, ergonomic design and comfortable grip, this masher quickly breaks down cooked potatoes and other vegetables until they’re smooth and fluffy.
Chemex Coffee Maker – This simple, pour-over coffee maker features a unique, elegant design and a precise brewing process that hard-core coffee aficionados swear by.
Bodum French Press Coffee Maker – Bodum uses high-quality materials like borosilicate glass and stainless steel for their French press coffee makers.
Dualit Toaster – This handsome workhorse toaster is well built and sturdy. It toasts evenly, and is manufactured to be easily repairable with replacement parts that can be ordered from the manufacturer.
Imperia Pasta Maker – This classic, wooden-handled manual pasta maker is considered among the best due to its solid construction, ease of use, and the brand’s five-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Premium Quality Clothing and Accessories
When you build your wardrobe with classic clothing of very high quality, you’ll look good, feel confident, and enjoy the peace that comes from making a sustainable buying decision.
Here are some of our favorite, durable clothing and accessories brands.
Levi’s Jeans – Classic Levis are made with high-quality denim, have a timeless design, and are durable enough to last for many years.
Uniqlo T-Shirt – Made from heavy Supima cotton, a Uniqlo U crew-neck T-shirt won’t lose its shape and will grow softer with wearings and washings.
Pendleton Plaid Flannel Shirt – This classic features soft, comfortable fabric, a timeless design, and the brand’s lifetime warranty against defects.
NAADAM Cashmere Sweater – Naadam is a high quality, sustainable cashmere brand that sources its cashmere from Mongolia and uses a vertically integrated supply chain to ensure transparency and fair treatment of workers.
Patagonia Jacket – Patagonia’s responsibly sourced apparel features high-quality materials, durability, and the brand’s Ironclad Guarantee, which allows customers to return any product for repair, replacement, or refund.
Darn Tough Socks – Vermont-made Darn Tough merino wool socks are not only built to endure the toughest of conditions, they’re also designed to withstand everyday wear and tear. Amazingly, they come with a lifetime guarantee, making them the only socks you’ll ever need to buy.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Original Sneakers – They’re not cheap, but these retro sneakers handcrafted from durable full-grain leather are built to last and practically indestructible.
Danner Hiking Boots – Assembled by hand in the company’s Portland, Oregon plant, these heavy duty hiking boots have features like GORE-TEX waterproof liners, cushioned footbeds and Vibram soles.
Slimfold Minimalist Wallet – This thin wallet is constructed from an extremely durable material the company describes as being like a cross between Kevlar and GORE-TEX. The RFID blocking option prevents personal and payment information from being stolen at a distance.
Ray Ban Sunglasses – Iconic Ray Bans are known for their very high quality, superior craftsmanship and use of premium materials such as high-grade metals and scratch-resistant lenses. The brand’s original Aviator sunglasses were developed in 1936 to protect pilots’ eyes from the intense glare of the sun while flying.
Top Yard and Garden Products
These well made goods for tending your landscape include some of the best garden hand tools, as well as equipment for pruning, weeding, planting, and other gardening tasks.
DeWit Garden Hand Tools – These high quality gardening implements are hand-forged from high-quality Swedish boron steel and have a lifetime guarantee.
Felco Pruning Shears – Made in Switzerland with high-quality materials and construction methods, these practical garden clippers and are designed to last for years.
Hori Hori Garden Knife – With a durable stainless steel blade and comfortable grip, this heavy duty garden knife and is versatile enough to be used for a variety of garden tasks.
Ames True Temper Wheelbarrow – Made with a sturdy steel frame and a durable poly tray that can handle heavy loads and rough terrain.
Fiskars PowerGear Lopper – Designed with a patented gear technology that maximizes leverage to make cutting easier, this cutting and pruning tool also has a durable and lightweight construction.
CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator – This manual weed whacker is considered among the best because of its unique design, versatility, and the brand’s lifetime warranty.
Dramm Watering Can – These cans feature sturdy construction, balanced design, and the brand’s lifetime warranty.
Bully Tools Steel Rake – Made from high-quality steel, this rake features a strong, durable head and handle, making it ideal for heavy-duty yard work.
DeWit Forged Hoe – This hoe is hand-forged from high-quality steel and features a comfortable ash wood handle, making it a sturdy and reliable tool for gardeners.
Peterboro Basket – Handcrafted from durable, high-quality materials, Peterboro hardwood woven baskets feature a classic design that is both practical and beautiful, making them perfect for transporting just-picked produce to the kitchen.
Muck Garden Boots – These boots are made from high-quality materials and feature a waterproof design, a comfortable fit, and excellent traction, making them ideal for working in wet or muddy conditions.
Greenworks Leaf Blower – A lightweight leaf blower with up to 70 minutes of run time, this machine runs on a clean 80V battery which comes with a rapid charger.
Black & Decker Hedge Trimmer – This powerful machine is lightweight, easy to use, efficient, and built to last.
Sources for Quality Goods
For more ideas, reviews and information about extremely high quality items, check out Well Rigged and Buy Me Once.
The Buy It For Life Reddit group also has many great recommendations from group members.
What are your favorite high quality brands? Drop a comment below!
About Eliza Cross
Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.