Maybe it’s your first time binging or maybe you’re a veteran at it but are ready to take your viewing experience to the next level.
Binge watching a TV show or movie series means to quickly make your way through several episodes (or several seasons). This can mean to watch several episodes in one sitting, or watching lots of episodes over several days.
However experienced you are in television viewing or online streaming, here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your experience:
1. Use Netflix category codes. You can search by title on Netflix, but you can also search by genre. This is done by using “category codes” which are numeric. For example, if you type “10118” into the Netflix search bar, you’ll pull up all the comic book and superhero movies.
2. Use your phone as a remote. If you’re using a streaming tool like Roku or Apple TV, you can download an app that will allow your phone to act as the remote. With your phone as your control, you’re much less likely to misplace it as you can call it to find it.
3. Use blue light blocking glasses. Some people get headaches when they look at screens for too long and find that it’s helpful to use blue light blocking glasses. These are non-prescription and filter out the blue toned light that comes from screens and strains your eyes. A sturdy pair will cost you $10–$30.
4. Pick the right streaming service. There are so many streaming options to choose from, check out our ranking and reviews of top streaming companies to find the best one for you.
5. Multi-task. Don’t have time to binge? Binge while you’re doing household chores such as folding laundry, washing the dishes, or even cleaning the bathroom.
6. Do a face mask. If you’re already going to be sitting still, pamper yourself at the same time. While you’re sitting there, paint your nails as well.
7. Binge at the gym. You don’t have to be sitting. Pull up a show on your phone or iPad while you’re on a stationary exercise machine such as a treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical, or step machine.
8. Watch on a portable device. If you are watching your favorite show on a phone, tablet, or laptop, you can take it anywhere.
9. Pick a great show. You can find good shows by asking your friends what they like to watch, finding reviews on the internet, watching an award winning series, or looking in the popular or trending categories on your streaming service.
10. Don’t stick with it if you’re not hooked. Binge watching should be an enjoyable experience. If you’re not hooked after the first episode or two, move on. There are plenty of shows to choose from.
11. Try a foreign series. Though American programming is the most prevalent in the United States, you might love a show from another country and culture.
12. Get comfortable. Spend a few minutes to set up the perfect binge watching nest. Grab your nicest blanket, some pillows, warm socks, and anything else you might need to lounge.
13. Turn your A/C on. With your room nice and cool, you can feel comfortable bundled up in your blankets.
14. Use a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket helps you feel secure and snuggled, even if you’re all by yourself.
15. Get your snacks set up. Make your popcorn, open the bag of chips, get those Oreos open, and all within arm’s reach. If you’re going to have a warm drink like hot chocolate, heat up at least two cups of water in advance so you can make a second cup quickly. With your snacks ready, you’re ready to hit play.
16. Match your snacks to the weather. If it’s cold out, have warm snacks. If it’s hot out, have cool snacks like popsicles, cool fruit, ice cream, or cold soda.
17. Opt for healthy snacks. If you’re going to be sitting and munching for a while, you’ll probably feel better about it if it’s healthy. Small fruits and veggies like baby carrots, apple slices, or grapes are great binging snacks.
18. Have dinner delivered. Order dinner by phone, online, or through a food delivery app. They’ll bring the food to you and you won’t even hardly have to hit pause.
19. Use wireless headphones. If you use wireless headphones, you can move around without worrying about being tethered to your laptop. If you aren’t going to use headphones, a nice speaker can enhance your experience.
20. Take a break between episodes. Take a minute to stretch, walk around, refill your drink, or go to the bathroom. Taking a break between episodes will help you be able to binge longer.
21. Use a home theater system. Surround sound and a nice TV take binging to the next level.
22. Use a projector. If you don’t want or can’t afford a big TV, a mini projector will cost you about $100. A mini projector can hook up to your laptop and make your shows larger than life on your wall. If you don’t have a plain white wall, tack up a white sheet.
23. Make sure the room is dark. Pull the curtains and turn off all the lights, so you can focus on what’s coming from your screen.
24. Tweet about the show. Even if you’re by yourself, you can connect to more people who like the same show by tweeting about it or posting about it on other social media sites and using the show’s hashtags. Beware of spoilers!
25. Binge with a friend. When you’re watching with a friend you can enjoy, commiserate, and celebrate together through the moments of the show. You can form inside jokes, share snacks, and split the pizza bill.
26. Talk with friends about the show. Like you would after going to the movies, talk to friends about what part they liked in the show, what they thought about the characters, and if they saw that crazy twist coming.
27. Find a snuggle buddy. Whether a pet, a friend, a child, or a significant other, someone to snuggle with makes a show all that much more enjoyable.
28. Watch when you can. Sometimes binge watching lasts all night, but if you don’t have that kind of time, you can still squeeze in an episode or two.
29. Take care of other responsibilities first. Put the kids to bed, do your homework, send that email. Though binging might be your escape from these things, taking care of business first will help you clear your head from distractions and allow you to fully enjoy your show.
Thank you to these contributors who shared their binge watching experience and best tips with us: Tina Koenig, Kelsey Yeager, Beverly Friedmann, Tamara Ford, Laurelei Litke, Esperanza Nava, Aleksi Sampson, Stacy Caprico, Marco Gonzalez, Becky Beach, Alanda Carter, Dane Kolbaba, Megan Close Zavala, Corinne Evans