Visiting the Test Labs of Good Housekeeping

Visiting the Test Labs of Good Housekeeping

Gregory Han
May 17, 2010

This past week while in New York for ICFF and our annual editorial meet up amongst Apartment Therapy staff, we had the pleasure of traveling up to the architecturally impressive digs of Hearst Publishing and getting a tour of the Good Housekeeping test labs, where the grandmother of all consumer testing publications puts thousands of electronics, appliances and consumer products through the rigors of exact testing each year, online and in their famous publication.

Good Housekeeping has been awarding their much desired Good Housekeeping Seal since 1901 (they've since added the Green Good Housekeeping Seal for eco-related products, reflecting the changes in the market), while regularly testing and reporting back about a myriad of consumer products that range from Dyson vacuums to the dubious claims of eye creams purporting to turn back time (complete with a machine that evaluated your relative age compared against a database of population average that everyone on the Apartment Therapy team was very curious to try).

The test labs were truly impressive in the breadth of products being testing and the exacting scientific standards utilized to report back to the 20 million or so readers who trust Good Housekeeping for their unbiased opinions about consumer products. Our personal favourite test room was the vacuum lab which utilized a robotic machine mimicking the cleaning motion of a human using an upright vacuum, complete with arcing sideway motion. The testing system even included a dirt embedding system which equally and consistently embedded particles for vacuums to (hopefully) clean well.

If anything we learned that afternoon was the secret to fair testing is exacting standards of an equal and consistent basis for testing any and all products to rule out any x-factors. Hopefully one day Unplggd can afford such facilities, but for now we tip our hats and steer your eyes to their site, just in case you haven't recently explored their expansive database of products tested (and also product recalls!)

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