Navigating a pandemic is uncharted territory for all of us. We are working, teaching, and living at home full-time. With the uncertainty caused by the quarantine, now is a perfect time to make your home as comfortable as possible.

“As we quarantine, likely spending more time at home than ever before, many of us are longing for security and to feel hopeful,” said John Riddle, President & CEO, Howard’s. “Rather than looking at our time as a sentence to be endured, this is the perfect occasion to take control of our environment, surrounding ourselves with the things that make our homes more enjoyable—items that reinforce comfort, convenience, and peace of mind.”

Below is a list of five items that you may want to consider upgrading or replacing to turn your home into a haven.

Sanitizing Appliances
Early research indicates that COVID-19 can live up to 3 days on metal and plastic. Experts don’t yet know how long it remains on clothes and fabrics, but you can effectively kill most other bacteria on bedding, towels, cleaning cloths, clothes, and stuffed animals using the sanitizing cycle on your washer and dryer. Similarly, you can disinfect dishes with a dishwasher’s sanitizing mode. With their higher temperatures and longer wash cycles, these appliances eliminate many of the harmful germs living on items in your home and may be key to your health.

Refrigerators & Freezers
As soon as Americans began stocking up on food for quarantine, enterprising shoppers began buying refrigerators and freezers to decrease or eliminate trips to replenish supplies. Consumers sought proper storage for the produce, meats, and bulk food products purchased to feed themselves and their families for the long haul. Chest freezers and spacious refrigerators can eliminate the need for unnecessary repeat trips to the supermarket.

Elevate Your Mattress
For some people, whether already prone to sleep issues or not, the time in quarantine has led to sleep difficulties. Sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, for re-energizing our bodies, and for keeping our circadian rhythms functioning normally. More time at home means more time in bed, so make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible. According to researchers, a good night’s sleep on a comfortable mattress promotes good health, strengthens your body’s natural defenses, heightens brain function, and enhances mood.

Smart TVs
Your home is now serving as living space, school, and office. One device can benefit all three when you aren’t leaving your home much: a Smart TV. Smart TVs’ internet connections make them great for streaming content including TV, movies, and games, and for interacting with your smart devices/smart home. They also perform better and faster due to using the most current technology. Most importantly right now, Smart TVs are also great communications tools with access to web browsers and video-conferencing (if equipped with a camera) for those Zoom calls, virtual classrooms, and Houseparty virtual happy hours.

Air Purifiers
Running an air purifier at home is always a good idea for filtering dust, allergens, pollutants, and germs. Now that we are all indoors nearly 24/7, this is especially true. Air purifiers with HEPA filters help to remove viruses and germs from the air by drawing in unclean air and particles refreshing the air we breathe. Although there is currently no direct evidence indicating that air purifiers can kill the coronavirus, their ability to remove similar viruses like SARS from the air, argue that they may be useful by reducing the transmission of harmful particles.

It can be a challenging time, but we can also take steps to lessen obstacles and turn our homes into sanctuaries. If you do not currently have any of these home essentials—or if it’s time for a refresh—some stores continue to offer online ordering with touchless or secure delivery following social distancing guidelines. Work and school are important. but above all take care of yourself and your family. Take steps to surround yourself with the things that help you to embrace and even enjoy your time at home.