The first time I used a potato ricer at a cookery class, it was a revelation. Even after Nigella had been banging on about them for years, it had seemed like an added extra and something that I couldn't justify space for in a tiny kitchen.
I'm still not going to pretend that they are essential but a ricer is to fluffy potatoes what a hand mixer is to cake making, i.e. you could use a wooden spoon to cream butter and sugar, but you're mainly building up builders' biceps on one arm.
There are different types of ricer, mainly metal or plastic. I went for a metal one, and didn't realise it came with two discs in it to produce different consistencies of mash - slightly rough or super fine. I'd recommend choosing one or the other and not trying to smush the potato through both at once, ahem.
My only problem with the metal ricer is that the handle which you squeeze together together to push the spud through the chamber and the disc is a little bit sharp. I'd recommend one of the plastic ones instead, which are easier on the hands. Ricers retail from about £10 upwards, such as the Lakeland one pictured which is £12.99.
Look forward to making the creamiest mash, easy purees and pillow-like gnocchi with your new toy!