15 Useless Tech Gadgets That Are a Complete Waste of Money

Save money and eliminate clutter by taking a pass on these purchases

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Just because you can buy a gadget doesn’t mean it warrants a place in your house. New gadgets appear on store shelves every day, but not all are useful or practical.

Maybe you're looking to save money when you go shopping and don't want to risk wasting it on something that won't serve you as well as you thought.

Here's a list of gadgets you might want to skip as you'll eventually find them to be unnecessary purchases.

Editor's note: prices are subject to change and may vary by location.

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Dyson air-purifying headphones

Courtesy of Dyson dyson air purifying headphones

Now you can reduce noise pollution and air pollution at the same time!

For a mere $1,000, you can purchase noise-canceling headphones with a detachable high-tech, contact-free face mask that blows a stream of purified air into your face.

Sorry, Dyson. No amount of marketing will make this look cool.

Egg-shaped smart toilet

Courtesy of Kohler egg shaped smart toilet

The toilet’s basic design hasn’t changed much over the last few centuries. But for those who have dreamed of an egg-shaped, remote-controlled, motion-activated commode, Kohler’s got you covered.

You’ll pay a handsome sum — around $3,750 at the time of this writing — for these fancy features.

Amazon Astro

Courtesy of Amazon amazon astro

We all have fantasies of household robots doing the dishes or taking out the trash. Amazon recently launched the Astro, a “household robot for home monitoring.”

However, it falls a little short of its innovative promise: The Amazon Astro is basically an Alexa mounted on a Roomba that doesn’t vacuum.

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Banana phone handset

Courtesy of Amazon banana phone handset amazon

Doubtlessly inspired by children’s entertainer Raffi’s iconic “Bananaphone” song, this handset connects to Android and iPhone devices so your inner child can talk on a banana. While this handset has little practical use, it might make a good gag gift.

Smart water bottle

Courtesy of Amazon smart water bottle amazon

Sure, many of us could stand to drink more water. So, investing in a nice water bottle to give yourself an incentive to do so isn’t a bad idea.

But smart water bottles might be a bit over the top. You can find such bottles that track your water intake via Bluetooth and light up with rainbow colors.

Those features are nice, but you can pick up a great water bottle for a fraction of that price if you don’t need all the bells and whistles.

Levitating Bluetooth speaker

Courtesy of Amazon levitating bluetooth speaker amazon

Even if 2023 didn’t bring us mass-produced flying cars, at least we have levitating Bluetooth speakers, right?

On Amazon, you can purchase a speaker that looks like a UFO and actually levitates. While this looks cool, some user reviews note that the speaker must be perfectly positioned over the base. They also grumble that the quality of sound and construction are lacking.

If you’re going for a great sound from a speaker that will last a while, it may be best to look at one that doesn’t also strive to defy gravity.

USB clock fan

Courtesy of Amazon usb clock fan amazon

If you’re feeling a little warmish after some intense PC gaming, you’re probably better off buying a standard desk fan instead of this gadget.

Reviewers of one USB clock fan on Amazon complain that it wears out quickly. The device also resets the time after the computer shuts off or the device is unplugged, making it a poor purchase.

And remember, the laptop or desktop you’re using already has a built-in clock.

Screen magnifier

Courtesy of Amazon screen magnifier amazon

Watching your favorite show or movie on a tiny smartphone screen can be annoying. A screen magnifier solves a problem but might not do so as effectively as you would hope.

Reviews of one such product on Amazon state that the reflected image isn’t very clear due to circles in the glass.

Sonic automatic toothbrush

Courtesy of SonicBrush sonic automatic toothbrush sonicbrush

This toothbrush allows you to brush all your teeth simultaneously, saving a couple of minutes each time you brush.

Unfortunately, replacement trays cost around $13 a piece. If you want the dental hygiene benefits of an electric toothbrush, a typical Oral-B or Sonicare will cost much less over the long term.

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Smart fridge

Courtesy of Samsung smart fridge samsung

Okay, we’ll concede that some new modern smart fridge features are cool. Some appliances use an internal camera to show you the contents of your fridge from your phone, for example.

But the “cutting-edge” ability to play recipe videos and update the family calendar on your fridge are technological advances we achieved years ago with smartphones and $8 whiteboards from Target.

Countertop pizza oven

Courtesy of Amazon countertop pizza oven  amazon

You probably already own an oven that cooks pizza just fine. And even if you don’t, a countertop pizza oven may only cook smaller pies, meaning you’ll spend a lot of time cooking small pizzas sequentially if you have more than one or two people to feed.

It’s probably more efficient to go out when you’re craving authentic New York-style or brick-fired pizza and use a standard oven to make pizzas at home the rest of the time.

Fat-burning ab belt

Courtesy of Sharper Image fat burning ab belt sharper

This gadget made Time magazine’s list of 50 worst inventions, so that should tell you something.

Some studies have found that electrically stimulating abdominal belts can increase core strength but have minimal effects on changing your appearance. If you want rock-hard abs, you’ll have to do the crunches yourself.

Electric wine bottle opener

Courtesy of Amazon electric wine bottle opener

Some inventions, such as a corkscrew, are so simple and effective that they don’t need to be improved upon.

Unless you have arthritis or you’re a server opening dozens of bottles in an evening, you can safely give the purchase of an electric wine bottle opener a pass.

Egg cooker

Courtesy of Amazon egg cooker amazon

Many different kitchen gadgets can be used to cook eggs: pots, pans, microwaves, waffle makers, ovens, instant pots, and more.

So, even if you love eggs, there’s little justification for purchasing a device dedicated specifically to cooking them.

Breadmaker

Courtesy of Amazon breadmaker amazon

Making bread in a stand mixer is just as easy as using a breadmaker, and the results are often better.

Breadmaker bread often comes out crusty and dry. This gadget falls solidly in the category of one extra thing you don’t need that simply takes up space on your kitchen counter.

Bottom line

luismolinero/Adobe woman taking a lot of money

It can be easy to be attracted to shiny new tech gadgets. However, many of these products solve niche problems and are unnecessary in the end.

If the item you’re considering is likely to end up in a giveaway box or the landfill soon, consider skipping the purchase and saving the money to get ahead financially.

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Author Details

Jenni Sisson

Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. She has been published in Business Insider and The Ways to Wealth. In addition to writing, Jenni hosts the Mama's Money Map podcast to help fellow stay-at-home moms on their journey to financial freedom.