HelpGuide Handbook Methodology

Your guide to products and services that can help you live your healthiest life—backed by research and hands-on testing.

older couple looking at tablet together

The Handbook Team is made up of writers, editors, R&D professionals, and health and medical experts who are dedicated to developing highly accurate, meticulously researched content for the HelpGuide audience.

We are distinct from the HelpGuide staff—they are an independent nonprofit, and we provide trustworthy recommendations for health products and services based on first-hand experience. Our reviews never influence guidance from the HelpGuide staff.

Our reviews are really investigations: We hand-test products, mystery shop the purchasing experience, and work with healtha and medical professionals in a variety of fields to analyze whether a brand lives up to its claims. The resulting Handbook content is hyper-curated and completely proprietary, either boasting our stamp of approval or our strong word of caution.

We recognize that when you’re shopping for a health care product or service, you’re often in a hurry, navigating a sea of options, and putting the health of yourself or someone you care about in the hands of another. This can be very stressful, and that’s why we take our reviewing process so seriously. We’ve been there, and we care about helping you find exactly what you need, when you need it.

The first step in our process is deep research. What does our medical advisory board have to say? What does our research and development team think of the current product or service landscape?

Next, we’re ready to get our hands dirty. Our R&D team curates our hands-on product testing to the specifications of the device we’re handling. Not many products get our nod of approval. Some may call us picky—too discerning. To us, there’s no such thing. When it comes to health care devices big and small and health services of all kinds, you want the safest and most reliable ones available for yourself or the friends, family, or care recipient you’re shopping for. 

That’s why we thoroughly test every product and service ourselves. As one example of the lengths we’ll go, our Handbook Team physical therapist got folded into a human sandwich in an adjustable bed test gone wrong before crawling on the ground with a decibel meter to calculate how a brand’s “whisper-quiet” claim stacked up against an actual whisper. It’s all in a day’s work. Services face the same level of critique. We don’t recommend ones we haven’t tried ourselves.

We do what’s necessary to bring you the unbiased recommendations you need to understand whether something is worth your time and money. That’s because we’re experts who care about getting you the right product or service quickly and easily—we’re here to help.

Meet our Medical Advisory Board