Pandemic Purchases

2020 has revealed some unique trends in spending habits.
Raya Garrison

The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly tough for many families in our community and around the world. For some, spending has increased in the last year on items that were not quite as popular before 2020, including home renovation projects and ways to entertain while staying put. According to Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and director of the Impulse Control Disorders Clinic at Stanford University’s medical school, physical objects can help people feel more anchored. “In uncertain times, there’s some comfort people can find in the physicality or realness of items they buy, because everything else can feel uncertain and undetermined,” he says in an interview with TheWashington Post. While some popular purchases may seem obvious, others are a little more surprising. Here, we’ve compiled our top 11 pandemic purchases.

Top 11 Pandemic Purchases

Home Improvement

Staying at home day after day has made people increasingly aware of all the flaws and areas in need of improvement around the house. Many even scrapped the renovations and bought new homes instead. And to go with the new updates? New furniture, of course.

Exercise Equipment

With gyms closed or available with limited hours, it’s no surprise people are looking to exercise more at home. Peloton bikes have been especially popular as they incorporate group workouts and teacher-led classes for those who need the added motivation and accountability of others.


More time at home is perfect for acquiring (and potty training) a new family member, which is why many people adopted new pets. Humane societies and rescues responded to the overwhelming demand, and many animals found forever homes during the pandemic.

Inflatable pools

In the heat of the summer, many people wanted to bring the pool to their own backyards. Pools were in such high demand that they were often sold out or purchased for well above the normal price. Similarly, trampolines and backyard swing sets were increasingly popular ways to keep kids entertained outdoors while remaining at home.

Fire Pits

For socially distant outdoor gatherings with family and friends, fire pits became a backyard must-have as the nights turned increasingly cooler.

Cooking Supplies

Forced to eat at home more than ever before, cooking became increasingly popular during the pandemic, which led people to buy more cooking supplies. One particularly popular appliance was the bread machine, and the sales of yeast were astronomical as a result.

Computer Accessories

To replicate the feeling of being in an office, many people upgraded their at-home office setup, including computers, monitors, desks and chairs.


With pandemonium over toilet paper at the start of the pandemic, many people opted for a toilet paper-free way to use the bathroom.

Roller Skates

More time on people’s hands has meant more time for trying new hobbies. Roller skating became an incredibly popular way to get exercise and spend time outdoors. Sales were through the roof and skates became almost impossible to find.

Nail & Hair Care

Many nail and hair salons were closed at the beginning of the pandemic, forcing people to get creative and purchase at-home nail kits or bravely trust their loved ones to cut their precious locks.

Leisure Clothing

With people working from home more than ever before, the typical suit-and-tie work attire lost its allure. Loungewear and activewear continue to remain popular when paired with a Skype-or Zoom-friendly top.