Hopeful entrepreneurs and inventors go onto Shark Tank in search of a deal and funding to get their dream off the ground, but not all of them are successful. Along with the huge successes come many Shark Tank failures as well. However, those who do achieve success find themselves launching their product to a national audience and growing their business to levels they only dreamed of.
Shark Tank debuted in 2009 and is still going strong 14 years later. Many of the products featured on the show over the years are still being made and found online and in stores. They were created because their inventors were looking for a solution to a problem, but discovered no one was filling a niche. The following is a look at the best Shark Tank products, what makes them awesome, and why they were created.
For years, the Snuggy dominated the couch wear market with its sleeves-in-a-blanket design. Then the creators of the Comfy pitched their idea to the Shark Tank panel and that was all she wrote. Now you can get off the couch and not have to leave the warmth and convenience of the Snuggy behind. The Comfy’s oversized hoodie design makes it easy to bring warmth with you along with the convenience of being fully covered when you get up to go to the kitchen.
The Comfy features a slinky velvet-like exterior and a fake Sherpa interior that feels like wearing a hug. It’s a piece of loungewear that you’ll reach for when you get home and you probably won’t take it off when you go to bed. The hoodie and hand-warming pocket on the front add the final touches of coziness you need for a night of Netflix, but you won’t get a chill when wearing the Comfy.
Brothers Michael and Brian Speciale came up with the idea when Michael saw Brian’s son wearing an adult-sized hoodie and had the thought of scaling it up for adults. Investor Barbara Corcoran saw the brilliance in the concept and wasn’t put off by the fact the inventors had no pending orders before appearing on the show. She took a leap of faith to help them get the idea into production and the rest was history.
Scrub Daddy Sponges
You’ll be yelling “who’s your daddy” after your sink of dirty dishes becomes sparkling clean when using the Scrub Daddy sponges. These aren’t your average scrubbing sponges as they’re made from a material that’s non-toxic and wears down slowly while removing every last speck of food stuck to your pots and pans.
A single one of these smiling sponges easily outlasts their inexpensive counterparts and saves you money over time. The goofy design is actually practical in that it helps you clean both sides of a kitchen utensil at once without collapsing under pressure.
The inventor of the Scrub Daddy, Aaron Krause, came across the sponge material while working in the automotive industry. He figured out how to turn it into a sponge and took his invention to Shark Tank. Shark Lori Greiner saw the potential of this smiley scrubber and chipped in. Now Scrub Daddy has almost 50 products in its lineup, attesting to the power of a happy little sponge.
Drop Stop Car Seat Gap Filler
Ever have your keys, change, or other items fall into the gap between your car seat and center console? Have you wondered how the heck you’re going to fish them out from that tight gap? The Drop Stop car seat gap filler eliminates these issues by filling in that gap and preventing stuff from falling through.
It’s made from neoprene for its compressibility and ease of cleaning and features a loop that goes over the seat belt buckle for anchoring in place. Just put the Drop Stop into place and you’ll never worry about losing your items in the black hole that seems to form between your car seat and console ever again.
The Drop Stop is another one of Lori Greiner’s investments that she made back in 2013. The product is still experiencing strong sales almost 10 years later which begs the question “did the automotive industry miss out on an opportunity?”
Squatty Potty Bathroom Stool
The Squatty Potty has revolutionized how we go, when we go. The bathroom stool is used when you’re on the porcelain throne and makes it easier for you to relax when the pressure is on. It elevates your feet so your hips drop and relax a band that holds your intestines in place. This allows you to relax and not strain as you take care of business.
Medical studies have shown that taking a squatting position during the act is better for your body as opposed to sitting upright. The Squatty Potty helps you elevate your legs so you don’t have to lean forward in an attempt to achieve a squatting position. Now you can lean forward and look at your phone without straining yourself because you can put your feet up on the Squatty Potty.
Once again, Shark Lori Greiner bit on the Squatty Potty, putting up $350,000 for a 10% share in the company. This is another product where her instincts paid off because the stool generated $33 million in sales in 2017. The Squatty Potty is still selling well and its lineup has expanded into stools made from different types of materials and comes in sizes for kids.
Stasher Silicone Reusable Bag
The Stasher silicone reusable bag changed up the lunch game of parents across the U.S. No more do moms and dads have to put their kids’ sandwiches and snacks in flimsy disposable bags. Now they can reuse a single bag and reduce the amount of single-use plastics in the waste stream with the Stasher silicone reusable bag.
What makes the Stasher such a great product that caught the attention of the Shark Tank panel is the fact it’s made from 100% pure platinum European food grade silicone, a durable material that’s reusable, washable, won’t absorb smells, and flexible. Just pull it out of the drawer, unfold, put in the food, seal it, and put it into the lunch bag. What’s not to like?
Inventor Kat Nouri was inspired to create the Stasher after she realized how much plastic bag waste her kids’ lunches were generating. She also wanted to stop contributing to the plastic waste streams that eventually reach the ocean. Nouri has a company that creates silicone products, but needed more money to get the bag idea off the ground. She turned to Shark Tank where Shark Mark Cuban saw the genius in her idea and jumped in with a $400,000 stake.
ReadeREST Magnetic Eyeglass Holders
The ReadeREST magnetic eyeglass holder replaced the need to put multiple pairs of glasses on your head in order to keep them handy. The holders consist of two parts: One side goes on the back of your shirt and connects to a hanger placed on the front side. The front side of the holders comes in multiple colors, enabling you to match your wardrobe or make the holder unobtrusive.
The ReadeREST is easy to use, and you can position it anywhere that’s convenient. Simply place one arm of your glasses through the hanger and let the magnets do the rest. They work on every type of material and are handy for those times when you’re wearing a shirt without pockets. The magnets have another advantage in the form of not poking holes in your shirt.
ReadeREST inventor Rick Hopper spent his career inventing useful items and had been manufacturing his eyeglass holders by hand prior to appearing on Shark Tank. He knew his product had potential but he needed more capital to get ReadeREST into production. Shark Lori Greiner saw the utility of his design and invested in the company. The ReadeREST was offered on QVC where it sold out in five minutes.
Bombas socks weren’t breaking new ground with their socks in terms of material, construction, or design. What Bombas did do was change how people could help others get a much-needed item while living on the streets and in shelters. The founders of Bombas, David Heath and Randy Goldberg, found out that socks were the most requested and needed item at homeless shelters across the country.
The two went into partnership together to sell socks at retail, then donate a pair of socks to a shelter for each retail pair purchased. Their slogan is “One Purchased = One Donated”. Bombas Socks are made from high-quality materials and feature fun designs and colors for men, women, and children. Not only are you getting a great pair of socks when you buy from Bombas, you’re also helping those in need get an important item of clothing. Bombas socks has expanded their lineup to include t-shirts and underwear and has donated over 50 million items to homeless shelters.
The founders initially got the company off the ground through Indiegogo, but needed more funding to grow the company further. Daymond John, the founder of FUBU, put his money down for a stake in the company, helping Bombas with its outreach program. As of 2022, the company has over $237 million in annual revenue.
Who would have thought that someone would have been able to make millions on ugly Christmas sweaters, much less get someone on Shark Tank to bite? These ugly things are the worst thing to happen to Christmas since someone came up with the idea of buying ugly sweaters at the thrift store and turning them into a contest at the office party.
The founders of Tipsy Elves were already on the road to success before appearing on Shark Tank, but their pitch to the panel helped them reach new heights. You can get ugly Christmas sweaters in men’s and women’s sizes as well as women’s plus sizes. Now everyone can look their worst at the Christmas party at the click of the buy button.
Shark Robert Herjavec bought into the ugly sweaters with a 10% stake for $100k and helped this seasonal item generate $6 million in revenue every year. The company has expanded into a variety of clothing items including Halloween costumes and Hawaiian shirts. Tipsy Elves sales revenue goes to show you that ugly isn’t necessarily bad.
Simply Fit Board
The Simply Fit board gets its name from the fact that it’s simple but helps you get fit. There’s not a whole lot to the Simply Fit, but it’s more about what you do with it than what it’s capable of doing. The board looks kind of like a flimsy see-saw, but it’s made from a high-density ABS that’s capable of holding your weight while you twist and rock back and forth to develop your core muscles.
The goal is to balance your weight evenly on both sides of the board and keep it stable. Once you’ve gotten that down, you start working your way through a series of exercises that get your abdominal muscles working along with other muscle groups. By the time you’re done with your workout, you feel like you got put through your paces and then some.
The Simply Fit board was invented by a mother and daughter team who were inspired by a skateboard deck. Linda Clark and Gloria Hoffman figured out that the simple action of balancing on the board directly affected core muscles, and the board design opened the door to performing countless exercise routines. Shark Lori Greiner saw the potential in the board and offered $125k for an 18% share. The duo took her up on the offer and the board is still in production with over $160 million in sales by 2021.
The Sleep Styler rollers are a game-changer when it comes to putting curls in your hair and not having to deal with the discomfort of hard plastics against the scalp. These curlers don’t damage your hair, use microfiber cloth to absorb moisture from damp hair, and have elastic straps to hold everything in place. There’s no need for heat and worrying about breakage, either.
What makes the Sleep Styler rollers work is the fact that they feature a memory foam core that is comfortable to lay on as you sleep. The memory foam doesn’t flatten or distort as you lay on top of it. Each roller uses a strap that stays out of the way, then is brought back around the roller and fastened in place once you’re done. There are no metal clips to dent or pull on your hair, and you get to start your day with a head full of fabulous curls.
Inventor Tara Brown was looking for a way to simultaneously dry and style her hair in a convenient fashion, but couldn’t find anything on the market. She took it upon herself to create her own rollers out of microfiber material and memory foam. Brown initially got funding for her company on Kickstarter, and had a successful campaign which the Shark Tank panel appreciated. Shark Lori Greiner stepped up with an investment of $75k for a 25% share of the company.