If you like food and cooking, you probably look to professional chefs to learn what to eat and how to cook. You can also learn from the actual kitchen tools professionals use at the center of any conversation about food.
We asked some chefs to tell us the best gifts to give someone who loves being in the kitchen, whether that’s yourself or another avid home cook in your life. The chefs personally use these products in their professional or home kitchens, so you know that they stand up to some real heat and pressure.
Here are 20 cooking gifts, as recommended by professional chefs:
“The flavors of char and smoke are integral to the food that we make at the restaurant. As far as equipment goes, I’d say the most important piece is the medium that you are cooking with. When grilling, I’d really recommend seeking out high-quality charcoal. Lots of people cook with gas or propane, but it’s really no comparison to live fire.” — Nick Tamburo, chef at North Block
“A boning knife is essential for getting your meat ready to grill. A sharp reliable boning knife is what I recommend. It can help you with everything from frenching bones to trimming brisket or ribs.” —Matt Gillett, co-owner of Saddleback BBQ
“I always use OXO tongs. I think they’re good. They’re not fancy, but they’re good. And, I always want metal-tipped ones for grilling.” — Morgan Bolling, deputy editor for Cook’s Country magazine at America’s Test Kitchen
“A diamond sharpening steel is a great gift. A sharp knife is essential for any home cook. Hint: Include a link to professional knife sharpening instructions, because this is a simple tool, but if used incorrectly, will take the edge off the knife!” — Kraig Hansen, executive chefat Fable Lounge
“My top recommendation for a gift is the air fryer. It’s great for cooking things on the fly and getting the best results. It allows home chefs to enjoy their favorite fried foods without the added fat.” — Chelsea Knight, chef de cuisine at Fable Lounge
“This balloon whisk is perfect for a good handle when baking cacao or chocolate goodies at home. We create a lot of our products on-site, and therefore, need the proper tools to be successful.” — Oded Brenner, chocolatier and founder of Blue Stripes Urban Cacao
“We love Omsom — the sauces and the ladies behind it. Not only are the Asian sauces they’ve created delicious but they’re so easy and versatile to use. It’s been heartwarming especially during the pandemic to see how much they’ve been supporting the Asian community.
They raised over $8,000 for Heart of Dinner, which allows us to then purchase over 1,000 hot nutritional meals from our restaurant partners for seniors and at the same time provides funding to help our restaurant partners and keep them going during this rough time!” — Moonlynn Tsai, co-owner and operator of Kopitiam
A powerful blender to make creamy smoothies and soups
“This blender is great for combining professional power and ease of use at home. It makes perfectly smooth soups and sauces, along with the fastest hollandaise sauce on the planet. It’s my favorite kitchen appliance to use on a Sunday morning when making brunch at home.” —Brad Warner, corporate chef at Bodega Negra and Tao Group Hospitality
A spice rack to keep their cabinets and countertops organized
“This small utility knife is a little larger than the paring knife. It’s one of my most used knives in the kitchen. It is extremely versatile and is great for more delicate precision cuts.” —Tabitha Yeh, chef at Umma by Noodlelove
“One thing I feel lost without is this peeler. I peel everything: veggies, root veggies, squash, sweet potatoes, and regular potatoes. It makes it all fast and easy.” —Mee McCormick, owner of Pinewood Kitchen
A newly upgraded sous vide cooker that heats water very quickly
“This immersion circulator cooks food to precise temperatures over long periods of time, creating amazing texture in meats and seafood. I love to use it to impress my friends when I’m hosting dinner at my house.” — Brad Warner, corporate chef at Bodega Negra and Tao Group Hospitality
Another sous vide model that less than a foot tall and only weighs 1.3 pounds
“I love this sous vide machine because it is small, transportable, and reasonably priced. You can also operate it with the app on your phone, which makes it extremely easy to use.” — Leah Cohen, owner and chef of Pig & Khao and “Top Chef” alum
“There’s nothing more gratifying than making your own pasta at home. To make easy ravioli shapes, you can use a stamp to punch out the perfect pasta shapes with any fillings of your choice. Williams Sonoma makes a great option.
If you want an easy pasta maker to do the work, the Philips Pasta maker is a great tool to get fresh pasta at home, without the hassle of mixing and kneading the dough.” —Riccardo Orfino, chef at Osteria 57
A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters their cabinets
“I would gift the Made In Universal Lid set to myself, and then probably any other “foodie” out there! I’m sure many can relate to having a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with a million different lids. These Universal Lids fit on all pots and pans, so you only need one — making it a lot easier to declutter and streamline, or as some say, ‘Marie Kondo’ their kitchen. — Brooke Williamson, co-owner of Hudson House and “Top Chef” winner
A ‘smart’ waffle maker that automatically adjusts cooking time and temperature
“This is my favorite waffle maker to use on my days off when I am home with my husband Ben and now newborn. The waffles come out nice and crispy on the outside and chewy and tender on the inside. Easy to manipulate, too.” — Leah Cohen, owner and chef of Pig & Khao and “Top Chef” alum
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We rounded up the most unique and thoughtful gifts for dog lovers and their dogs.
Show them you care with a monthly subscription box, canine home decor, and all sorts of dog books.
Here are 51 useful, entertaining, and adorable gifts dogs and their humans will love.
As one of the most magical and amusing creatures on earth, dogs are more than deserving of a gift every now and again. And their human guardians? Yeah, they deserve a little something too.
In this list, we’ve curated 52 of our favorite gifts for dogs and the people who love them, including a stylish dog crate, a monthly subscription box filled with toys and treats, and custom pet stickers. Whether you want to add a little doggy decor to your home or give your favorite pet something new to play with, these gifts evoke pure joy of the canine kind.
Here are 51 of the best gifts for dogs lovers and their dogs:
Dog stickers that are (almost) as cute as the real thing
Give the gift of sticky immortality with these customizable pet stickers. Just upload a photo of their dog and My Sticker Face will create a spot-on version made from vinyl that they can affix to anything that needs a puppy pick-me-up.
Don’t bother trying to figure out exactly what the dog or dog lover in your life wants. Bark Box has done the work for you. Its monthly subscription boxes contain curated collections of toys, treats, and chews based on fun themes like summer camp, magic, and spa days. Send Bark Box as a gift or, better yet, get your own.
A pack of dogs to protect their smartphone
Pet Friendly Dog Pattern Phone Case, available on Society6 for both iPhone and Android, from $20.99
No more scrolling their social media feeds to find cute dogs. With this smartphone case, there will already be dozens of pups at their fingertips. The pack, which includes corgis, shiba inus, and poodles, can be customized as a slim or tough case for almost any iPhone or Android model.
These extra soft flannel pants will keep them warm and cozy on crisp nights. They’ve been designed for maximum comfort with a drawstring waist and pockets. Choose from three dog-tastic colors and prints and 13 sizes.
This charming adult coloring book is packed with 64 pages of intricately drawn black-and-white canines. Go ahead, make your great dane blue and your chihuahua pink. The book’s pages are nice and thick so the colors won’t bleed through.
A mind-blowing book about a dog who ‘talks’
“How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger,” available at Amazon and Target, $13.99
In this fascinating book, speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger chronicles her journey teaching her dog Stella to communicate using programmable buttons. This book not only details Stella’s education but breaks down Hunger’s techniques so that you, too, can teach your dog to “talk.”
Reseal your goodie bags with an assortment of canine faces. This posse of chip clips includes a corgi, Boston terrier, bulldog, collie, dalmatian, and shiba inu, each of whom are very good dogs. The clips are made from extra-strong plastic with steel springs.
A handsome dog crate to dress up your decor
Diggs Revol Dog Crate, available at Diggs and Amazon, $245
Down with ugly dog crates that mess up your decor! Diggs Revol isn’t just stylishly designed, it folds flat in seconds and has wheels for rolling out of sight. The crate is available in three colors and comes with a puppy divider and removable, easy-to-clean floor.
Just Food for Dogs uses fresh, human-grade meats and veggies to produce nutritious canine meals across six different recipes. The food is flash frozen and delivered right to their door. Read more about the best fresh dog food in our buying guide.
A food puzzle to work the canine brain
Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Dog Puzzle, available at Chewy and Amazon, from $12.50
For smarty pants dogs that need a job to do, these food puzzles are a great way to both entertain and work the brain. Pop treats or kibble into the compartments and tap into their dog’s under-utilized scavenging instincts.
The astrological sun sign under which your dog was born matters, according to this playful book by Stella Andromeda. Find out what an Aries or Leo looks like among the canine set, your dog’s luckiest days ,and whether you and your pup are a match written in the stars.
Accent their home with the friendly faces of adorable dogs. Hook-sewn by hand in the form of three different breeds — golden retriever, pug and Boston terrier — these 8-by-12-inch wool pillows will never shed, drool, or leave muddy paw prints on their sofa.
Artist Reed Evins hand-cuts paper to create spot on collage portraits of his canine clients. He’s selected a couple dozen of his favorites — droopy eared basset hounds, friendly schnauzers, and half-smiling fluffs among them — for his wind-resistant 42-inch umbrella. The water-blocking parasol has a black rubber handle with an automatic opener and comes with a dog-patterned sleeve for storage.
A pair of icy bulldogs to keep their highball cool
Bring a little canine class to their next cocktail with Williams Sonoma’s bulldog-shaped ice cubes. Made from flexible silicone, just fill the two molds with water, freeze, then run under warm water to release the hounds. The long-lasting cubes will keep their shape sip after sip.
A pet camera that lets them interact with their pup
Furbo Treat-Tossing Dog Camera, available at Chewy and Furbo, $161.99
For those who can’t stand to be away from their dog, it’s the Furbo dog camera to the rescue. With the free Furbo app, they can monitor their pet from afar with a 160-degree wide-angle view, speak to them through voice chat, and toss them a treat anytime they want.
Rubber boots to wear when it’s raining cats and dogs
Joules Raining Cats and Dogs Rain Boot, available at Zappos and Joules, from $29.95
Puddles are no match for these rubber wellies by Joules. Covered in hand-drawn pups, umbrellas, and a couple water-loving cats, the mid-calf rain boots have an adjustable side buckle, a dog bone-patterned interior, and thick grippy soles for traversing slippery sidewalks.
A pair of Bernie’s viral mittens to squeak and tug
Bernie Sanders’ mittens, one of the standout stars of the 2021 presidential inauguration, are now available in doggy form. Even if they have no upcoming political events to attend, playtime with these wooly squeakers on a rope will warm up your pup with practical, no-nonsense Vermont style. All proceeds go to the state’s PAWsitive Pantry, which provides families in need with food for their beloved pets.
A way to finally remember if the dog actually got fed
Did you feed the dog? Can’t quite remember, can you? But this simple little device, it knows. Just move the button at feeding time and they’ll never get taken by their pup’s second-dinner-desiring hungry eyes again.
Sweet long johns for a winter full of pajama parties
Dress up their pup for the world’s cutest pajama party in these “Toy Story” themed PJ’s from Chewy’s Disney collection. The outfit comes in six sizes so that even the big boys can let their snuggle flag fly.
A homemade dog treat maker
Dash Express Dog Treat Maker, available at Amazon and Target, $29.49
Treat your favorite chef to a pup-approved kitchen addition. Fill the waffle iron-like Dash with one of the recipes from the included cookbook (think: peanut butter pumpkin or cheddar bacon) for fresh bone-shaped treats hot out of the oven.
A squeezable dog water bottle for instant hydration
Offer the dog a drink single-handedly with this unique dog water bottle. Just squeeze the leak-proof canister to fill the attached dish with water. When they’ve had their fill, the leftover liquid drains back into the bottle for the next time they’re thirsty.
A hoodie with a kangaroo pouch to keep their pup close
Cuddly pups and the humans who love them never have to be apart with this soft cotton-polyester hoodie. The zip-up 14-inch by 9-inch by 4-inch pocket supports pets up to 15 pounds and comes in six colors.
A ball launcher for supercharged games of fetch
Chuckit! Launcher, available at Chewy and Amazon, $4.71
It’s almost impossible to tire out a fetch-loving high-energy dog before tiring out your throwing arm, that is, unless you have the Chuckit! With just a flick of the wrist, this simple plastic launcher sends the ball farther than puny human muscles alone and is guaranteed not to quit halfway through the game.
A matching bandana and face mask for twinning with their dog
They’ll wear their heart on their sleeve with these pet portrait cufflinks by designer Erin Harris. The engraved sterling silver accessories arrive with a bonus gift, too: a rubber stamp of their dog to use on anything that needs a bit of puppy love.
A collar for tracking their dog’s location and activity
Like a FitBit for the canine set, this smart collar will not only help them keep tabs on their dog’s daily activity (and compare it to other pups in the neighborhood) but on their location, too. Using GPS tracking technology, this little device sends alerts anytime a door-dashing escape artist is on the move.
Wrap their barking dogs in puppy love with a pair of customizable socks. Chewy will pattern a pair with the face of their furry friend using just a photo. Choose from four styles: holiday, tie-dye, mosaic, and dog paw.
Whether they’ve got a puppy who’s learning the ropes, an adult dog who loves a good game, or a slow-moving senior, the Kong Classic is a must for busting boredom and tapping into a dog’s scavenging instincts. Just pack the heavy-duty rubber cone with treats, kibble, or peanut butter (among other things) and that big, slobbery tongue will do the rest.
An elevated bed to keep their dog cool in the heat
Make the dog days of summer a little more bearable for their pooch with this elevated cot. Made from waterproof nylon with a mesh center, the raised design promotes airflow that helps keep dogs from overheating when the mercury rises.
A sleepy puppy hamper to snuggle their dirty clothes
Add a dose of cute to laundry day with this dog hamper. The folding, pop-up basket made of waterproof-coated cotton fabric with handles for ears also makes a great storage bin for toys, whether they belong to a dog or to a dog-loving kid.
A bucket list activity journal for dog lovers and their canine compatriots
Drawing from 20 years of experience, certified trick dog trainer and doggy writer extraordinaire Sassafras Lowrey’s “Chew This Journal” is jam-packed with fun activities for both dog and human. From urban agility and tips on setting training goals to dog-friendly crafts like DIY treat puzzles and tug-toy-making, this book will encourage them to never stop seeking out new adventures.
A bag of delicious treats with a minimal carbon paw print
Jiminy’s Chewy Cricket Treats, available at Chewy and Amazon, from $9.95
Maybe dog treats can’t save the world, but Jiminy’s cricket treats are doing their part to help our pups live more sustainably. These tasty morsels are hypoallergenic, probiotic, and produce 740% fewer greenhouse gasses than those made with beef. Choose from two chewy flavors, sweet potato and peas or pumpkin and carrot, or crunchy peanut butter and blueberry cookies.
Mattress company Casper takes dog bed comfort next level with a memory foam model that rivals those they make for humans. The result of 110 prototypes and 460 hours of lab testing, with this dog bed they’ll rest assured their best friend will be getting a good night’s sleep.
Anyone who’s ever loved a dog knows the best people are the fluffy, four-legged kind. And this canine-covered tea towel, it’s not afraid to speak the truth. Short-haired, curly-haired, little-legged, and big, they’ll be ready to go anytime a dish needs drying.
A custom cookie cutter for making edible puppy portraits
If they think their dog couldn’t get any sweeter, Bakers Street Cutters begs to differ. Send in a photo and they’ll 3D print a custom cookie cutter that makes a perfect impression of their pup every time.
A blueprint of their favorite breed’s best qualities
These vintage-inspired blueprints by canine architects Wet Nose Wiggly Butts break down the characteristics that make different dog breeds unique. Each 16-by-20-inch print features picture-perfect representations of 54 of the most popular pups, from chihuahuas to Newfoundlands. Choose to add their dog’s name to the drawing for a personalized touch.
For anyone with lingering doubts about where a dog parent’s disposable income goes, this fully customizable mug spells it out in plain English. No one needs to know that dogs work hard to keep us happy, too. Sloppy kisses and dog hair may not pay the bills but they’re worth their weight in gold.
A lickable mat for anxiety-reducing enrichment
Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mat 2-pack, available at Chewy and Amazon, $14.95
Licking a flavor-filled surface doesn’t just release calming endorphins in a dog’s brain, it gives them something to focus on when their stress levels become elevated. Spread these dishwasher-safe rubber mats with a soft-and-creamy favorite like yogurt, pumpkin, or peanut butter for a snack that will last and last. Read our full review of the Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mats.
A flirt pole for tough tugging thrills
Outward Hound Tail Teaser, available at Chewy and Amazon, $16.99
Release the hounds — or their energy, at least — with a doggy flirt pole. Like a beefed-up cat wand, this canine version features a squeaking, rattling faux-fur tail strung with durable nylon cord to a long, flexible pole that can be swung around for a high-speed game of chase, jump, and tug.
A collar from a company that supports and empowers Kenyan artisans
Yes, this fashion-forward collar produced by Maasai women in Kenya’s Ngong Hills looks good, but it does good, too. Ubuntu Life is a public benefit corporation that provides sustainable employment, education, and healthcare to its workers and artisans, as well as pediatric health and special needs education throughout the region. The carefully crafted, highly resilient collar is made from leather and glass beads and comes in three sizes and four colors.
A playful seat cover to brighten up the car
Molly Mutt Multi-Use Seat Cover, available at Chewy and Amazon, $59
Protect their car from doggy dirt and slobber with a fun toile-like dog patterned seat cover. The versatile cotton canvas can be draped over the back seat (the design features seatbelt slots, nonskid backing and adjustable headrest straps), converted into a car hammock or layered over the cargo hold.
A 2-in-1 tool to make bath time less stressful
Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool, available at Chewy and Amazon, $24.95
Speed up bath time with this flexible water sprayer and massaging scrubber. The tool slips over the palm, leaving their fingers free to reassure their pup or toggle the built-in on-and-off switch.
A smiling bouncy ball that doubles as a puzzle toy
This durable ball will put a maniacal grin on their pup’s face. Bounce it on the ground, float it in the water, or fill it with treats or kibble for extended play. It comes in four bright, impossible to lose colors and three sizes.
Encourage the little animal lover in your life with a play set that lets them practice pet care and the empathy and compassion that comes along with it. This kit comes packed with all they’ll need to make a house call, including a stethoscope, syringe, bandages, and a cone of shame, as well as two plush pets to practice on.
Up in the air or on the trail, their dog can go anywhere they do with Sherpa’s 2-in-1 travel backpack. The cozy, well-ventilated go bag has removable straps that convert it from a backpack to a traditional airline approved pet carrier that fits under the seat in the cabin.
Upgrade their naps with a mud-cloth inspired, upholstery-grade cotton bed cover. The durable, zip-up doggy duvet can be fitted over an old bed, pillow, or pile of blankets, or you can purchase a new memory foam or “Sustainafill” insert for maximum comfort. It’s machine washable and sold in three colors.
A book for youngsters about a dog’s most valuable superpower
“What the Dog Knows Young Readers Edition” by Cat Warren, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, $7.99
In the young readers edition of the New York Times bestseller “What the Dog Knows,” Cat Warren uncovers the science behind the amazing canine nose. If you know a kiddo with a love of dogs, this book full of photos and illustrations is sure to intrigue, surprise, and delight.
The best part of moving into your first apartment or home is getting to create a space that’s all yours. Finding the perfect decor and picking out furniture is the exciting part, but there are also small necessities to consider. A laundry hamper, bedding, pots, and pans – these are just some of the purchases a recent grad or young professional will need to make.
We recommend getting them some combination of the basics they wish they didn’t have to spend their own money on, and the little luxuries that can make life infinitely better.
40 gifts for anyone in a new apartment:
This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Gravity. It meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*
It can be hard to get to sleep in new surroundings, especially after a stressful move. Help them settle in to their new bedroom with a soothing and cooling weighted blanket. In a sleep study by Gravity, 72% of participants reported deeper, more restful sleep and 76% reported falling asleep faster when using the Gravity Blanket. This blanket comes in three different colors and in weights varying from 15 pounds to 35 pounds. Gravity recommends choosing a blanket size that’s about 10% of their body weight, but when in doubt, 15 pounds is a good place to start for those new to the sensation of a weighted blanket.
If they’re looking to cut the cost of cable out of their lives, a streaming stick is the way to go. It turns a regular TV into a smart TV by making all their favorite media apps like Netflix and Hulu available through a voice-controlled remote.
Bath mats are one of those necessities that no one likes to spend their own money on or think twice about. Gift them a punny bath mat that has enough personality to make them chuckle every day. If you know what their space looks like and want to get them something more even adventurous, check out more bath mat designs here.
A shower caddy that will follow them through multiple apartments to come
This shower caddy is one of the most useful things in my apartment. It uses an adjustable tension rod to hold itself into place and it can fit everything from a weirdly shaped bathtub ledge to a full floor-to-ceiling walk-in shower. It’s a little pricey, but Simplehuman is known for making quality home products that rarely if ever need to be replaced. I’ve had mine for more than three years and it hasn’t rusted at all (you can read my full review of it here).
More likely than not, they’ll be limited in outlets in their new space, which can be frustrating. Help them solve their outlet shortage with this handy power strip which has three regular outlets, four USB ports, and one USB-C port. This power strip was also designed to allow space for another plug to be used in the second outlet and has a length of five feet.
Dusting is one of the less glamorous responsibilities that comes with moving into an apartment. This Swiffer Heavy Duty Extender Kit has everything they’ll need to get the job done quickly and efficiently, including 12 duster refills. The handle can reach up to three feet, making it easier to reach into corners and crevices.
If they’ve been in their apartment for several months and still have bare walls, this hanging wall mount display is the perfect fix. This display is easy to set up and is a fun way for them to incorporate their favorite memories into their space. It comes in several finishes including black, gold, and natural wood.
Kitchen gifts are always appreciated, and there’s nothing that accentuates a new kitchen quite like a powerful espresso machine. If you have the budget to treat a loved one, we recommend the top pick in our guide to the best espresso machines.
Stemless wine glasses that won’t spill or break as easily
When my partner and I moved in together years ago, their mom bought us a nice set of tall, thin-stemmed wine glasses — likely because I had once served her Cabernet in a mason jar. Though I like using those to entertain occasionally, I prefer these stemless glasses that are much more casual and much less breakable (…kind of like a mason jar).
A gift card to buy the best set of sheets they’ve ever slept on
Our executive editor calls Brooklinen’s sheets one of the best purchases she’s ever made, and many of us at Insider Reviews feel the same way. They’ll be able to choose from quite a few weaves and materials as well as a huge selection of fun prints and colors. A basic full set costs around $130, for reference.
A personalized trinket tray for all their odds and ends
Catch-all trays are the kind of gift that may seem underwhelming until you realize how useful they are. That was certainly the case when I was gifted one after college. Now I have a few of them around my apartment — one for keys and sunglasses by the door, one for my rings and jewelry by the bed, and another in the living room for lip balm, candle matches, and other small items. This one is customizable with their initials as an extra sweet touch.
A single-serve blender for smoothies and small batches
They’re likely not going to need a full-sized blender for any reason other than making large batches of frozen margaritas. Gift them a personal-sized blender for making healthy smoothies at home — and if they want to make a few frosty cocktails, they’ll just have to put in a little extra work.
Vacuuming is one of the great time-sucks in life — literally. Give them back their Sunday afternoons with the gift of a robot vacuum that’ll take the work out of cleaning the house. We love this vacuum as a budget option that still performs well on carpet and hardwood. You can read a more thorough review this vacuum and our other favorites here.
If they’re living the big city life in a small city apartment, they’ll appreciate any extra storage they can get. These wall hooks can be hung up by the door to hold coats, keys, and bags, or they could go in the bedroom to store additional items that won’t fit in the closet.
A Dutch oven they’ll have for the rest of their life
A Le Creuset Dutch oven is one of those coveted kitchen items that most people don’t get until their weddings, if ever. It’s a special gift I only recommend giving to someone who really loves to cook. If you want to get them something a little less expensive but equally as useful, go for an eight- or nine-inch cast-iron skillet.
If they’re moving in the near future, their first apartment will likely be doubling as an office. This desk can be used while sitting or standing, and its complete portability allows it to move with them from room to room.
Otherland’s candles have the most beautiful packaging and intriguing scents (think: sandalwood and amber, or champagne and saffron). This is one gift you’ll love giving as much as they’ll love getting, and it’ll add a sweet touch to their space.
A jumbo pack of removable hooks that won’t damage the wall
Whether they have a proper bar cart or not, one simple way to add sophistication to space is to store liquor and/or barware on a pretty tray. This neutral option is great for anyone who entertains a lot — they can use it as a serving platter or hold their at-home minibar.
Redbubble helps more than 700,000 independent artists and designers share their work with the world through its online marketplace — all while committing to sustainable and socially responsible practices. The marketplace promises something for everyone with its “uncommon designs on awesome stuff.”
We love Redbubble’s original, quirky art printed on products ranging from canvas prints to cell phone cases to bath mats. This canvas print is a perfect piece of wall art for any Hitchcock film buff.
Help them get their kitchen fully stocked with the right tools. Potluck makes cookware comparable to brands like All-Clad and Calphalon, but at direct-to-consumer prices that won’t break the bank. Shop from a selection of well-curated bundles that fit all of their cooking needs. You can read a more in-depth review here.
Coat racks can go overlooked, but they need a place to hang their hat (and coat) just like everyone else, especially now that they have a place to call their own. Rustic and modern at once, this one will work almost anywhere.
Casper makes three equally excellent comforters, but this one is the more basic option. Its stitched compartments keep the ethically-sourced down from spreading through the blanket, and the organic cotton shell is gentle and cooling.
A laundry basket is another much-appreciated gift they’ll be thankful to not have to buy themselves. The lining of this one is removable, and if they already have a laundry basket, they can use it to store extra sets of sheets and towels.
Most people’s first apartments (and the next few after that, if we’re being honest) feature cabinets full of mismatched plates, glasses, and mugs they’ve collected over their time in college. Get them a new set of dishes, glasses, or flatware from Year & Day, one of our favorite new startups out there. If you’re not ready to commit, you can read a full review of their dinnerware here.
A room spray is a fun twist on the classic gift of scented candles — and you can’t go wrong with anything from Diptyque. During the cooler months, there’s nothing more gorgeous than the iconic, floral Baies (roses and blackcurrant leaves) scent, which you’ll find concentrated in this beautiful mist.
A smart device that can answer almost any question and play music
You can’t go wrong when it comes to gifting the Echo Dot. It’s a small speaker with major power, and Alexa can answer all their questions about the weather, traffic, and more. They’ll also be able to play music, games, and control other smart devices around the house.
A cost-effective investment in their seltzer habit
If La Croix sparkling water is their main source of hydration, they’ll love having a SodaStream around to make seltzer on demand. They can flavor it with drops meant to taste just like the real thing or create their own infusions — either way, they’ll save a lot of money over time.
Note: The more expensive of the two options comes with two soda bottles and two CO2 cylinders, while the less expensive one only comes with one bottle and one CO2 filter.
Every extra ounce of storage space matters in a small apartment, which is why this storage ottoman makes a perfect (and decor-neutral) gift. The lid lifts to reveal enough space for throw blankets and a pair of slippers.
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Shopping for coworkers doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money.
You can find a unique, thoughtful gift under $50 without much research (because we’ve done it for you).
Below, I’ve compiled 29 gifts under $50 that will serve you well – some are funny, some are thoughtful, all are affordable, and most are impossible to hate. If you’re still looking for inspiration, check out all of our gift guides here.
Shopping for coworkers can become a never-ending parade of mild pine-scented candles, Hallmark cards, and candy that is destined for retirement in a desk drawer for most of the month. It’s easier to buy thoughtful, impactful gifts for your closest loved ones, and it gets harder once you add in the subtleties and professionalism of the workplace.
But there are mountains of great coworker gifts out there. And they don’t have to be expensive – in fact, they probably shouldn’t be. The ideal colleague present is thoughtful, unique, and lands somewhere in the casual middle ground between re-gifting paperclips from the supply closet and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean.
Check out all 29 gifts under $50 for your coworkers:
A three-month subscription of freshly roasted whole bean, single-origin coffees
If they’re practically tethered to the coffee pot, they’ll probably love the thoughtfulness of a three-month subscription to this cool Brooklyn startup’s beans. Driftaway sends freshly roasted, whole bean, single-origin coffees from around the world to their doorstep.
If they like to cook, they probably already know the merits of high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive Olive Oil from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the bottle is designed to be left out on display in their kitchen.
An Atlas Obscura calendar full of daily photos and tidbits about the world’s strangest and coolest places
Add some fun to their day-to-day routine with the Atlas Obscura calendar. There are hundreds of photos that celebrate the world’s strangest and coolest places, festivals, and foods. Travelers and life-long learners are particularly good candidates for this one.
If your desk-mate doesn’t already have a plant, rest assured they would probably like one (fine print: if it requires next to no caregiving). Grab these ceramic planters from Amazon and fill them with an assortment of succulents. According to science, it may make them happier just to see the plants every day.
Fun kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foods
Homesick candles are a great gift for pretty much anyone in your life. They’re a nice acknowledgment of something important to someone else that you’re likely to know regardless of intimacy level. Plus, with a candle, they’ll get to enjoy it for weeks to come — and if your gift deals with nostalgia, scent is a great place to start.
A three-month subscription to the book club that put “Gone with the Wind” on the map
If your team includes a bookworm, they’ll appreciate a gift subscription to Book of the Month. It’s been around since 1926, and it’s credited with the discovery of titles like “Gone with the Wind” and “Catcher in the Rye”. A team of experts and celebrity guest judges curate must-read books — usually new releases, hot topics, and debut authors — and send them to the subscriber’s doorstep. If they’re more into audiobooks or e-reading, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here).
A funny mug that acknowledges the bond forged by people who have to fix the same defunct printer every week together
A “This is Fine” mug is the perfect gift for the only other people on earth who can truly relate to the particularities of your job: a defunct printer, last night’s too-fun team happy hour, and the occasional avalanche of meetings and high-priority emails. Here’s a $15 nod to the fond shared stressors.
A charging stand for their desk to keep things organized
It’s often the most practical coworker gifts that make the best and longest impression, and this is one stellar candidate. The Hydro Flask is double-wall vacuum insulated and will keep their cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours, with hot drinks staying hot for up to six. We’re big fans of the line.
If you want to get them something they’re sure to love, save them from a dead phone on their next long commute or work trip. We ranked this one as the best battery pack you can buy because of its capacity, charging speed, and affordability.
A self-betterment planner designed using the “best practices” of successful people in history
If you work with someone especially ambitious or concerned with self-progress, they’ll love this daily planner. It was created by a group of “human performance junkies” after researching the most successful, high-performing humans in history, and it uses their common practices and psychology tips to break down a 10-year plan into doable, bite-sized pieces.
Desk cable clips that keep cords neat and organized
The Rocketbook notebook is full of 21 reusable pages that wipe clean with a damp cloth when the owner uses a Pilot FriXion pen (included), so they can keep using the same notebook indefinitely. They can also send hand-written notes to Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, email, and more. I use my own a surprising amount.
A glass Chemex that makes full-flavored coffee every time
Pair the sloth “Do Nothing” card with a few relaxing accessories (like face masks) to gift a well-deserved night off to a coworker. Like all of Society6’s collection, it’s also made by an independent artist — making it a bit cooler than what you might pick up from CVS.
Daily Harvest is a meal delivery startup that makes healthy fast food that takes as little as 30 seconds to prepare. Meals are delicious, under $10 each, and designed by a chef and nutritionist team for taste and balance. It’s great for healthy eaters, busy lifestyles, and solves pretty much all of our main roadblocks to eating well.
A unique cocktail recipe book that matches a famous song with a complementary cocktail
Love with Food delivers organic, all-natural, or gluten-free snacks that serial snackers won’t feel guilty about eating. The better-for-you chips, candy, and bars come from new and trending food brands. Plus, with every snack box that’s delivered, Love With Food donates at least one meal to a family in need through a partnership with Feeding America.
Leatherology makes luxe leather goods for less, and their $45 business card case is a great workplace gift for under $50. It has an invisible magnetic closure, holds up to 20 cards, and comes in a variety of leather types and colors. You can also add a monogram for an additional $10.
A convenient, reusable bag that folds up to the size of a business card
Grab a trendy, reusable shopping bag that’s perfect for packing lunch, extra shoes, or taking a last-minute trip to the grocery store. This one folds up to about the size of a business card, and its signature version can hold 50 pounds of stuff easily.
When looking for unique gift ideas with that extra personal feel, Amazon may not be the first place that pops into your head to look. But it turns out you can find great options if you’re willing to dig. Amazon handmade offers artisan products from small businesses around the country and Amazon has even curated gift lists and ideas catered to different hobbies, styles, and more. You can also shop Amazon’s portal to specifically support Black-owned businesses.
We’ve done the tough work for you and scoured Amazon to find truly singular and cool gift ideas.
Here are 47 cool and unique gifts ideas, all available on Amazon.
An ideal gift for those with a nurturing spirit, the Planter’s Choice Bonsai Starter Kit is a great introduction to gardening and is a calming addition to their desk, nightstand, or entryway table. The kit comes with a learning guide, seeds stored in vials for germination, four biodegradable growing pots, one expanding-soil disc, four bamboo plant markers, and one bonsai clipper.
The Dimux coffee mug warmer is a necessary addition to any tea- or coffee-lover’s workstation and keeps beverages at a constant temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also work with their favorite candle to gently release the scent without the need to actually light it.
A wireless Bluetooth karaoke microphone for entertaining
Bring musical fun to their lives with this Bonaok karaoke microphone. A great accessory for any event or just to liven up a dull day, this Bluetooth microphone works as a speaker, plus records and plays music for up to ten hours.
Help them unwind from a long day and mentally turn on their “do not disturb mood” with the Renpho eye massager. The built-in heating pads relieve eye strain and stimulate blood circulation via acupuncture points. It even features a Bluetooth music option so they can put on soothing music to further destress.
Give the gift of zen with this soothing 11-inch tall tabletop fountain. Water trickles from each tier to mimic the sounds of a small waterfall and they can light the candles for an extra calming touch.
These gorgeous geode bookends add a magical touch to home decor and come in a range of colors from teal to amethyst. You can also choose from various weights and they come with rubber bumpers to ensure bookcases and shelves don’t get scratched.
This whimsical tortilla blanket is both funny and functional. Many from a cozy flannel fabric, it comes in four sizes from 47 to 80 inches. And just in case they have a food obsession beyond burritos, you can also opt for pizza, waffle, or pie blanket options.
A fanny pack for hands-free organization on the go
For hikers and day-trippers, this handy fanny pack has plenty of zippered pockets to keep essentials like their phone, keys, and credit cards organized while on the go. Made from a durable and water-resistant nylon, it even features a spot to keep their water bottle and the waist strap tightens to ensure a good fit.
From a backyard hangout to a beach picnic, this inflatable lounger will come in handy as a comfy seating option. No pump is required, it comes in a handy carrying case, and it’s available in 16 different colors and patterns.
You may be seeing trendy moon lamps popping up, but you can make your gift even more unique by opting for this Saturn lamp. The dimmable LED lamp has seven different settings and you can even set it to change colors to a bright hue. Easy to move from room to room, it lasts for up to eight hours after each charge.
Whether it’s used to carry their groceries or random knickknacks, everyone needs a good reusable bag. We love the original Baggu. It can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff, but can also be folded down to fit in your pocket. It also comes in tons of fun colors and patterns.
If you ask us, there is truly nothing better than 365 days of dogs. The calendar comes from the same brains behind WeRateDogs’ popular Twitter account, and don’t worry, every dog receives a rating of at least 11/10.
This fun light projector brings the night sky inside and features 10 lighting colors, three brightness levels, and three speed settings. It also includes built-in speakers and works with smartphones via Bluetooth or USB to play music as the lights twinkle around you.
If your giftee already has a Kitchenaid stand mixer, get them this attachment that lets them easily make their own fresh noodles. Six different interchangeable discs mean they can switch between noodle types, including spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, and large or small macaroni.
For outdoor and camping enthusiasts, this 10,000mAh wireless power bank works as a standard charger, but can also run via solar power as a backup option when outlets aren’t available. Its compact size makes it easy to pack and it also comes with dual flashlights and a compass kit.
French pharmacies are known for their readily-available, high-quality skincare products. Gifting your buddy a ticket to Paris may be out of the budget, but you can still snag them some of these cult-favorite products, like this seriously hydrating face cream.
A little fan to deal with their unpredictable office temperatures
Office dwellers know how unpredictable temperatures can get. To save them when their office (or home office) transitions from an icebox to a desert, gift them this little portable fan. It’s small, mobile, and plugs into any USB for a quick, cold breeze.
Everyone deserves some relaxation, which is why this calming bath soak makes such a great gift. Inside there’s dehydrated coconut milk, vanilla, and Himalayan coconut CO2 extract, which together help soothe the skin and calm the mind.
One of our editors asserted that “candles are the most classic gift of all time.” We have to agree, and while there are many to choose from, we love the sentimentality and customization Homesick candles offers. They have candles made to smell like each of the 50 states, many cities, and even experiences like watching Friday night football or taking a road trip. No matter where they call home, one of these candles is sure to bring them a rush of nostalgia.
If they like their beverages ice-cold, they’ll appreciate this thoughtful bottle holder. It can hold 12 oz. cans, 16-ounce cans, or be used as a pint glass holding 16 fluid ounces, so it’s really a three-in-one gadget. When they need a break from beer, this is perfect for keeping their water bottles chilled too.
A creative journal that’ll help them get some sleep
A great night’s sleep is essential to our well-being, but getting those eight hours each night can be easier said than done. If you know any night owls who need to catch up on their sleep, this journal will make a great gift. It’s full of prompts, illustrations, and questions to put their minds at ease when they’re up in the wee hours of the night.
For the wine lover in your life, this bag does double duty as a cute outfit accessory and an insulated bag to easily bring along a bottle of wine to that house party, backyard barbeque, or picnic at the park. It comes in numerous pattern and color options, including nautical stripes, black tweed, beaded patterns, and more.
For the friend who likes to keep it really organized, help them stay on track with this thoughtful set of sticky notes. With categories like “To Ponder,” “To Remember,” and “To Buy,” they can keep track of everything they need to accomplish in the near future.
A breakfast station with everything they need to make the most important meal of the day
From pizza ovens to pizza apparel, there’s no shortage of gifts catered to pizza lovers out there. We’re partial to these socks for their packaging, which is made to look like an actual pizza in an actual pizza box.
Simple illustrated prints to hang around the house
Finding unique home decor that’s also affordable can be a tough feat, but these artistic prints check off all the boxes. The illustrations of plants make a great addition to their kitchen, or even their bedroom if they want to show off their green thumb.
Reusable lunch bags that they’ll actually want to use
Plastic bags are an unnecessary expense when you could just have reusable ones. Their environmentally-conscious and frugal sides will thank you for these sandwich and snack bags, which are dishwasher safe and BPA free. They’ll save a ton of money and plastic waste by using these, plus the colorful patterns are much more fun than clear plastic.
We’ve sung the praises of the Trtl Pillow before — it’s an essential for any traveler. The cozy and supportive neck pillow is a great gift for any frequent travelers or anyone who’s about to head out on a trip.
Entertainers and those with state pride will love this cutting board. You can find a board shaped like any of the 50 states or Puerto Rico, each laser engraved with important landmarks, cities, and sights. It’s a fun, personal gift that they’re sure to love.
Nowadays, most of our photos live on our smartphones and social media apps, but many of us still love getting to look through or hang up printed pictures. This portable printer lets them do that super easily and with no wires so they can print pictures in a snap.
This gift is a no-brainer for loyal Apple users. Instead of dealing with a tangle of chords from charging all of their products, they can streamline with this singular hub, which has a designated spot for their iPhone, Airpods, and Apple Watch.
Your giftee will be saying “aah” when they use this set of three calming bath salts during their next deep soak. All three blends are made with Dead Sea salt and enhanced with essential oils to hydrate skin, relieve stress, and relax the muscles.
The easy thing about shopping for the outdoorsy sorts in your life is that chances are good they’re in need of one thing or another – be it an upgraded pair of hiking boots, a new set of binoculars, or any sort of knickknack or otherwise they can stuff into a backpack.
And no, playing around in the dirt and water is not a cheap hobby: Whether they’re climbing, fly fishing, camping, surfing, or just hanging at the beach, there are certain pieces of equipment that are simply essential, no matter the cost. But not just anything will do – good gear is good gear, and there are no cutting corners to produce it.
Below is a roundup of some gear (most of which we’ve tried and depended upon ourselves) that should fit the bill.
Thanks to the vortex created by its Bluetooth-controlled fan, Biolite’s Firepit is so smokeless you could almost light it indoors. Biolite strongly discourages your doing so, but it’s good peace of mind for those who fear a faceful of campfire smoke.
Picnics, hikes, or campsites — no matter what your next adventure brings, it’ll likely be even better with some good food. Hydro Flask’s complete outdoor dining set comes with a plate, bowls, a tumbler, flatware, and serving spoons, so your next meal will be ready to follow you wherever life takes you.
This kit, complete with hardwood cutting board, microfiber towel, serrated blade, straight blade, peeler, and wine opener, is all you really need to perform campfire meal prep. Toss in an oyster shucking tool for good measure.
Okay, so maybe it’s a bit cumbersome for a true trek, but a short hike to a campsite with this handy little kit will have them cooking, baking, or firing off pizzas just about anywhere they so please. The heat this thing generates also charges a battery, which can then power anything that runs through a USB port. Far out, indeed.
A waterproof, drop-proof, and virtually life-proof power pack
4ocean pulls a pound of trash from the oceans and/or coastlines with every bracelet purchased. Since the project began in 2017, 4ocean has removed nearly 10 million pounds of trash from waterways and coastlines.
Ocearch is on the forefront of shark research, catching and tagging fish that, at points, scientists never thought possible. Help support Ocearch by helping your loved one(s) protect their retinas out there.
A trusty reusable water bottle is a must for anyone who spends even a little bit of time outside, be it camping, backpacking, or hiking. The fact they have such a positive impact on the planet doesn’t hurt, either.
Sleep can be a delicious respite from the day’s stressors or an uncomfortable challenge of endless tossing and turning. Many of us can experience both at different times in our lives, so we can all appreciate a gift that helps us rest easy.
Whether they’re a new parent, a semi-professional napper, or a rise-with-the-sun morning person, everyone’s sleep quality can be improved. Put your loved ones on the path to dreamland with gifts designed to soothe them.
The 25 best sleep gifts for a restorative and relaxing slumber:
A warm, calming shower before bed is a great way to ensure they’ll sleep great every night. This set from Nécessaire includes a body exfoliator, body wash, and body lotion and is available in calming eucalyptus, bergamot, sandalwood scents, and even a fragrance-free option.
If they prefer to sleep with toasty feet, gift them these super soft, one-size-fits-all socks. The socks are available in 19 colors, with proceeds from the lavender shade donated to the brand’s food distribution and mask-making efforts initiative in Kenya.
Help them cut out screen time before bed with this fun but effective phone jail. While this tool is meant to discourage mindless scrolling, the jail unlocks with a key, making it possible for your giftee to retrieve their phone in case of an emergency.
Meditation can slow down racing minds, and the Calm app curates guided meditations to suit personal needs. A subscription to Calm gives access to a library of bedtime stories and meditations geared towards the user’s preferences. This app is likely to help even the most restless people sleep deeper.
If you have a friend who claims prophetic powers or loves introspection, a dream journal can encourage them to explore their subconscious mind. With illustrated prompts and a guide to common dream symbolism, this journal is an adventure into the unknown.
A low price doesn’t have to mean low quality, and Alaska Bear’s sleep mask is one of our favorites. The high-quality silk mask comes in one- and two-strap models, securely blocking out light without irritating skin all night long.
Don’t let the practical nature of this gift fool you. This compact machine produces blanketing white noise, canceling out street noise with fan sounds at various intensities. For anyone trying to get a good night’s sleep in a noisy space (who isn’t?), we can’t recommend this product highly enough.
As the popularity of weighted blankets soars, this product is sure to be on wish lists everywhere. The Brooklinen weighted comforter can replace regular bed covers, eliminating the need for layered blankets. We recommend also using a machine-washable duvet cover because the comforter itself is dry clean only.
Herbal tea is a favorite bedtime beverage for its soothing properties. With three flavors of loose leaf tea infusions, an eye mask, and a small teacup, this kit is almost like a spa vacation in a box for tea lovers. To help them find their next favorite, you can gift them a variety pack with four soothing flavors.
Two tenants of sleep hygiene are limiting screen time before bed and cultivating a winding down routine. With a short story collection, readers can go through one story a night, creating a screen-free bedtime habit. There are endless options, but the annual Best American Short Stories series is a great place to start.
Add some luxury to their bedtime with a high-quality silk pillowcase, featuring an envelope closure and hand-washing instructions. When we reviewed this pillowcase, we found that hot sleepers felt cooler, and testers with a variety of hair textures all noticed decreased frizz.
Night owls and early birds alike will love the soothing alarm clock alternative of this simulated sunrise and sunset. Though there’s no app (which is good because it’s one less device before bedtime), the SmartSleep’s manual controls are simple to use and allow some customization.
It’s one of our top picks in our wake up alarm clock guide, and our tester felt the mood-enhancing benefits of the light and felt more refreshed the morning after testing it.
For loungewear lovers, Jambys offers pajama separates that effortlessly go between work and sleep from home. Its gender-inclusive styles aren’t restrictive or heat-retaining, making them hard to give up when the day starts.
Almost everyone can enjoy the chewy deliciousness of Partake cookies, made without common allergens like gluten, nuts, and soy. The variety pack includes cookie butter, chocolate chip, and triple chocolate cookies just waiting to be part of a midnight snack.
There is nothing better than sinking into bed with amazing sheets, and L.L.Bean’s 280-thread-count set is the best we’ve tried. The fabric is breathable, crisp, and holds up after multiple washes for long-lasting quality worth the price.
For couch nappers or plane sleepers, a supportive travel pillow is a must-have to avoid neck stiffness. The Cabeau pillow comes in seven colors with a compact travel case and a strap to attach to uncomfortable headrests.
The lucky stargazer can fall asleep under drifting galaxies with this home projector. They can use the adjustable brightness and tilting base to suit their preferences, and the 1-year warranty ensures the magic won’t stop anytime soon.
If they won’t buy one for themselves, help them take the leap into comfort with a MeUndies adult onesie. Made from sustainably sourced natural fibers, this zip-up one-piece comes in four solid colors and 12 different patterns. Once they put it on, they’ll never take it off.
The best gift ideas for college students are useful, but fun – like comfortable sneakers, new headphones, or a good scented candle. As a recent college graduate, I feel confident saying the below list is a good place to begin.
Whether your giftee needs tech or a reliable skincare routine, you’ll find something for college-bound people.
Check out all 58 gifts for college students:
This gift guide includes a sponsored product that has been suggested by Gravity Blankets. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*
The Charge 4 offers stellar activity tracking (average and current pace, heart rate zones, calories burned, etc.) in a smaller footprint than a smartwatch and at a budget-friendly price point. Plus, it has a week-long battery life.
An undated planner that breaks down a 10-year plan into daily stepping stones
College invites students to plan for the rest of their lives — a question that can feel ambiguous and daunting. This should help. The Best Self Co. Journal breaks down daunting long-term plans into bite-size steps that make forming good habits easy, efficient, and stress-free. Plus, it has no dates, so you can gift it whenever.
The most comfortable socks college students can own
Bombas makes the best socks on the market. They benefit from upgrades like a supportive honeycomb stitch, blister tabs built into ankle-height styles, and a Y-stitched heel and “invisitoe” that minimizes annoying bumps. Even if it seems like socks aren’t an exciting gift, comfort is pretty much always a hit in college.
Plus, for every pair purchased, Bombas donates a specially designed sock to someone in need.
Mini portable Bluetooth printers make turning iPhone photos into tangible memories quick and easy — which is especially convenient for decorating their room. All they’ll have to do is download the app (which also has internal PhotoShop elements and features like themed stickers and collages) and connect via Bluetooth.
*This product is currently out of stock.
A cult-favorite tumbler to keep their drinks just the right temperature for hours
Most college students aren’t forking over a monthly payment to cable. This streaming player is, overall, the best one you can buy, and it transforms an otherwise ordinary TV into one that can stream shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and others all in one spot.
The Settlers of Catan is perfect for nights at home with roommates. It’s a fun multiplayer board game that relies upon strategy (and sometimes luck) to amass resources, trade them, and build civilizations — and it can last for hours.
Great coffee from all over the world to help them stay energized
If they drink coffee, they’ll likely drink a fair amount of it during college. And it’s really nice to have a good cup.
Atlas Coffee is a monthly subscription that’s sort of like a worldwide coffee tour — bringing the best single-origin coffee (with a postcard from its origin country) to your door. They’ll also get brewing tips and flavor notes.
Similar to the comfort created by swaddling babies, weighted blankets utilize deep-touch therapy to help users get deeper, more restful sleep, while also helping to reduce anxiety and stress — something that’s especially needed during finals week. In addition to its classic weighted blanket, we’d recommend Gravity’s Cooling Weighted Blanket for hot sleepers.
*Sponsored by Gravity Blankets
One of the all-time best facial cleansers for a clean and effective routine
FOREO’s cult-favorite Luna 2 cleansing device gently and effectively cleans with thin, antimicrobial silicone touch points, and it removes 98.5% of dirt and makeup residue without irritating the skin. Plus, it’s 100% waterproof and the battery life lasts for a few months per charge. Find a full review from a female reporter and a male reporter here.
A 10-minute breakfast that will save them money and time
The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker looks gimmicky but is actually deceptively useful. It’s compact and makes virtually every kind of egg (hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, or an omelet) perfectly, and in under 10 minutes.
As someone who transitioned from contacts to glasses because of increased screen time in college, I can attest that having a good pair of blue-light reflective glasses is crucial. Warby Parker is practically legendary when it comes to eyewear because of its relative affordability, size flexibility, and wide range of styles.
If you’re after the title of their favorite relative of the year, here’s a good place to start. AirPods are both easy to use and functional as well as trendy. The newer generation of AirPods can be purchased on Amazon for $200, but we also liked the earlier generation (which is slightly cheaper).
Startup Allbirds makes wildly popular shoes out of soft, sustainable materials. Their Runners made of super-soft merino wool have been nicknamed “the world’s most comfortable shoes.” You can find a full review here.
An Amazon Echo Dot for hands-free calls, alarms, music, weather updates, recipes, and more
The Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason — it’s compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (weather updates, recipes, music, news), which is the main reason most people buy an Echo device. A newer version of the Echo Dot was recently released, but the 3rd generation is a bit more affordable for comparable quality.
A book that helps them build good habits and break bad ones
Many college students are trying to map out what they want out of life and how to build the habits that get them where they want to go. In the popular book “Atomic Habits,” James Clear, an expert on habit formation, teaches practical strategies for building lasting habits (and ditching detrimental ones).
Colorful reusable straws that can go through the dishwasher
Beautiful passport sets are a great gift for plenty of reasons. They’re useful, likely something they won’t have already bought themselves, and are often associated with the joy and excitement of travel in the future. Sometimes, you want to own one thing for a long time — and luggage tags and the memories that accompany them are one of those items.
Popular wireless over-ear headphones for quality noise-canceling during studying and working out
If there’s one thing every college student needs, it’s good wireless headphones. This brand-new Beats pair has rich sound, active noise canceling, and up to 22 hours of listening time. And if they let the battery run out, a 10-minute charge converts to three hours of playback. You can also find steep discounts on other Beats headphones now that a new model has launched.
Anker’s Nebula Capsule is a powerful and versatile mini projector, and its portability makes it a great option for college students who want a cozy movie-viewing experience in the comfort of their own room. It’s 1 pound and the size of a soda can, but it has surprisingly crisp image quality and 360-degree sound. It’s also quiet and has a continuous playtime of four hours. Find a full review here.
An inexpensive way to get the iced coffee they love at home
A good-qualitybackpack is the most versatile bag for a college student. This model has adjustable padded shoulder straps and a sternum strap; a pocket for everything (including a side-access iPad pocket); and the exterior is professional, sleek, and slim while also being public transportation-friendly.
College students like to look and feel good, but tight budgets aren’t conducive to trying a lot of new, (and often expensive) grooming products. Birchbox sends samples of new and beloved products once a month, so they can test out new finds and discover products they may want to buy a full size of in the future. It’s also just fun to get a monthly gift that’s all about them.
If they have to travel downstairs or across the street to do their laundry, they’re not going to want to haul a hamper. This bag comes with comfy adjustable straps to make laundry less of a (literal) drag.
A splash-proof portable Bluetooth speaker for college events that call for music
Beach days, tailgates, outdoor parties of any kind (once it’s safe enough for them to return)— grab this under-$100 Bluetooth speaker for the many occasions when loud music and a spill-friendly speaker are going to come in handy.
A really nice blazer they can wear to an interview or internship
Most college students probably don’t have a wealth of professional clothing to pull from for high-pressure situations like interviews or a big internship. Help them make a good impression, and see your money go to good use, with a blazer they can use repeatedly and for years to come. We’ve also created a list of our personal favorite workwear stores — plus the best styles to buy from each one.
The newest Echo Dot is more convenient than ever. The all-new design features a larger speaker for better audio, a digital clock to display the time and timer countdowns, and all of Alexa’s other skills.
Away’s hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360-degree spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so they never have to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It’s also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here.
The decisions you make in your 20s can greatly impact the rest of your life. The best defense is a good offense and your grad should know now, before any life-altering events crop up, how to get the most out of their “defining decade.”
An Amazon Prime membership is one of those things that immediately makes life easier and ultimately better. If you decide to gift one, the recipient will enjoy free two-day shipping; access to the Prime Now app, which provides free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items; Prime Video, Amazon’s streaming video service; Prime Music; the Kindle Lending Library; Prime Reading; Prime Audible Channels; unlimited photo storage, and more.
They won’t want to lug their laptop everywhere, and they may either already have a TV in their room or not have the space for one. A tablet is small enough to be travel-friendly but large enough for convenient Netflix binging or note-taking. If you want more iPad options, find them here.
Magic Spoon is a new “childlike cereal for adults” that’s high in protein and low in sugar — and all four flavors are delicious. Here’s one way to show college kids it’s completely possible to transition to adulthood without losing all the joy of being a kid. You can read more in a personal review here.
Help them honor some of their best memories — whether it’s from friends now studying across the country, family, or best-loved locales. Framebridge is relatively affordable, but decor is one of the luxuries plenty of college students shirk to save elsewhere — even though it can make their home a much more inviting, happy place.
A monogrammed leather shave bag so students can keep all their things in one place
The dreaded truth of college is that you’ll most likely need to schlep your shower belongings to a communal area if you live in the dorms. No one wants to rely on a plastic shower caddy to do that. Grab them a leather shave bag that they’ll use for years to come — they probably wouldn’t justify the expense on their own, and they’ll be grateful to have it.
If you’re looking for a chic aesthetic, Dagne Dover also makes a great neoprene toiletry bag named the Hunter (from $35) that’s built to accommodate makeup. If they have a lot of toiletries, you’ll probably want to get the large size for $55.
A battery pack that charges an iPhone twice as fast as the original iPhone charger
I said before that college students primarily need a good pair of wireless headphones. They also need a portable external charger. This gift is extremely convenient, and will also give you peace of mind to know the lessened odds of them getting stuck somewhere unfamiliar with a dead phone.
MVMT makes beautiful watches for men and women at great prices, and they feel more contemporary to wear than most on the market. It’s a versatile, sentimental gift you can feel good about giving because you know they’ll feel good — and perhaps more put-together — wearing it.
The most comfortable lounge pants we’ve ever tried for lazy weekend mornings
MeUndies is a popular LA startup that makes some of the most comfortable underwear we’ve ever tried. Their lounge pants, however, are the real hidden gem — perfect for lounging around on weekend mornings, and they’re sleek enough to avoid feeling too unkempt.
Make sure they’re optimizing their sleep with the best pillow you can buy. Thanks to the shredded memory foam, they’ll get the support and comfortable “sinking in” sensation of a traditional memory foam pillow, but none of the excessive heat or firmness that can be a problem with solid foam. Read more in our Buying Guide here.
Boutique fitness classes are expensive. ClassPass makes them less so. If they like to be active, are looking for a newfound favorite class, or like yoga as much as boxing classes, this is a great gift they’ll actually use — and applies to virtual classes until in-person ones are safe again.
If they’re going to be tethered to devices, you may as well give them a long leash. This long charging cable means no matter where one is, they’ll have power — and they won’t have to sit at the foot of their bed to reach it.
If they drink coffee, they’re going to appreciate having easy, fast access to some for the many rushed mornings ahead. A Keurig is intuitive and ubiquitous. If you’d rather steer them away from single-use plastic K-Cups, grab these reusable and compatible cups as an accompanying gift.
It’s a good bet that many of their peers will also have this Snap-T pullover from Patagonia. It and the Better Sweater are long-held favorites, and both are comfortable classics that they’ll no doubt come to rely upon.
A Patagonia sweater is also a particularly good gift for students who are invested in sustainability. The company has been turning plastic bottles into polyester for its clothing since 1993, and continues to do so today.
A gym bag that can transition to a professional setting
Just like bringing a beat-up JanSport everywhere, lugging an old nylon gym bag isn’t ideal for anyone looking for versatile use. Herschel Supply Co. makes reliable, long-lasting bags, and this one has a separate compartment for gym or dress shoes.
A NutriBullet is convenient, doesn’t require a ton of space, and makes fruit smoothies in under 30 seconds. This is particularly great for the health-conscious, or anyone who can’t finish fruit or veggies fast enough; if it gets a little too ripe to eat, throw it in a smoothie to avoid waste.
A microwave-safe ramen cooker for the most stressful or time-crunched nights
Grab their favorite candy, this sherpa-lined fleece blanket with over 4,400 five-star reviews on Amazon, and a Hulu gift card to make their nights in actually fun.
Gift cards – perhaps the best gift you can give a cash-strapped college student
What a stressed, broke college student needs most is money and probably a hug. If you’re looking for a way to gift maximum convenience, gift cards are a surprisingly thoughtful way to do that — either for their favorite restaurant, transportation, school books, or music to keep them occupied during long study hours. Check out more gift card gifts here.
Bridesmaids are more than just a handful of people you choose to pose for pictures with on your wedding day. They are your closest family members and friends – the ones who have seen you through the hard breakups before you found the one and celebrated with you when you finally got that promotion.
Even if your wedding is a long while away, you can still celebrate in small ways by reaching out to your bridesmaids. Sending them nice, thoughtful, funny, and custom gifts can help you express how grateful you are that they’re involved in your life, outside of your special day.
We asked members of the Insider Reviews team to tell us the best bridesmaid gifts they’ve ever given or received. From silk robes and eye masks to custom Bobbleheads and personalized wine tumblers, we rounded up 23 gifts that any member of your “I do” crew will appreciate.
The 23 best bridesmaids gifts we’ve ever received or given, plus a few other recommendations:
Bridesmaids dresses so one expense is already taken care of for them
I followed what was done for me when I was a bridesmaid and gifted my bridal crew their bridesmaid dresses. There are a lot of costs involved when you’re a bridesmaid so I wanted to make at least one part of that job easier. Knowing that I was footing the bill for a group of six, I needed something affordable and high-quality.
I found Birdy Grey on Instagram and was impressed with the selection of colors, dress styles, and, more importantly, that each dress was $99. I picked out the Dusty Blue color and let my bridesmaids choose their own dresses. Even though I knew they wouldn’t wear the dresses again unless they’re part of someone else’s wedding and it had a similar color scheme, they told me that it was a big expense off their shoulders. —Jada Wong, former senior editor
A custom market tote that they can use for years after the wedding
I wanted to give my bridesmaids a gift that felt personal, looked cute for pictures, and that they could use for years after the wedding. I decided against any gift that said “bridesmaid” or had our names or wedding date on it since that limited the likelihood they would reuse it. I opted instead to personalize one of these market totes for each of them with the name of their hometown. I stuffed each one with other goodies, like a cookbook, candy, and a card. They were a big hit; even people who weren’t in our wedding party wanted to know where to get them. —Lauren Savoie, senior editor
If you’d prefer to gift something memorable that’s also highly useful, we’d suggest considering Mejuri’s leather travel jewelry cases which will keep their rings and necklaces from getting tangled or lost. The grain leather is soft and luxe — and Mejuri will monogram it with their initials. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
Memorable, elegant earrings they can wear many times in the future
Earrings don’t have to be incredibly expensive to look and feel luxe. A pair is an elegant way to remember the day — and your friendship — that’s as versatile as it is special. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
While the succulent is the perfect elegant desk accessory, the card it comes with is the main attraction. Each box can be customized so all of your bridesmaids feel special. —Ellen Hoffman, editor in chief
An eye palette with enough colors to work on a variety of skin tones
Before I was a bride myself, I was a bridesmaid many times over. One of my most favorite bridesmaid gifts I received was an Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette, which I still use to this day. It was the sort of gift I’d never splurge on myself but was so thrilled to receive. While makeup can often be a risky gift, palettes like this one offer many colors to work with a variety of skin tones. —Lauren Savoie, senior editor
My husband and I dated when we were teenagers, didn’t talk for more than a decade, and then met up serendipitously again 13 years later in a chance encounter hundreds of miles from my hometown. I was wearing a Bow & Drape sweatshirt that said “You Had Me At Merlot” for that chance meeting and it’s become part of the lore of our origin story now.
While that original sweatshirt made an appearance for our wedding photo booth, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to buy my bridesmaids some sassy sparkly sweatshirts of their own. I customized each one with an inside joke that was unique to them or us, and I loved watching my bridesmaids bust them out on the dance floor. —Lauren Savoie, senior editor
Gift them a delicious treat or meal that matches your wedding location from Goldbelly, a company that partners with iconic eateries around the country to deliver regional delicacies such as New York pizza, Memphis barbeque, and Philly cheesesteaks. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
The gift box was delivered to each bridesmaid and maid of honor. For the bridesmaids that are related to me, I organized a surprise brunch and had the boxes hand-delivered by my cousin. We rolled out a red carpet and I made him wear a suit for it! I recorded their reactions and plan on including them in the final wedding video. — Alana Yzola, senior video producer
Note: This product is currently sold by a third-party retailer on Amazon.
A silky bathrobe they can wear while getting ready for your big day
My sister asked me to be her maid of honor with my favorite type of wine and a label that said, “Will you be my maid of honor?” on it. She got each bridesmaid their favorite bottle of wine and asked in the same way. I thought this was a thoughtful, sweet, simple way to ask. —Victoria Gracie, associate distribution producer
A custom gift that’s both thoughtful and practical
I received a custom cell phone case from Etsy for one wedding I was in. The bride asked us our phone size a few weeks before the wedding. I loved that this gift was something I could actually use! —Chelsey Hoffman, senior producer
A gift you can mail to your long-distance bridesmaid
My sister gifted me and all of her bridesmaids’ personalized robes for the morning of the wedding. They were comfortable and perfect to wear while getting our hair and makeup done and even looked cute in any photos taken while getting ready. I love that this robe is something I can still use, too. — Victoria Gracie, associate distribution producer
A pair of getting-ready pajamas that you can wear even after the wedding
If you’ve been a bridesmaid before, you know it’s a LONG day of sitting around getting ready. My friend gifted us Gap pajamas to lounge in for the day. They were not bride-themed so they were not only great for the day-of, but afterward as well. —Chelsey Hoffman, senior producer
Custom gift bags that fit the theme of the wedding
We are having a destination wedding so I wanted to stick to the theme for my bridesmaids’ ‘proposal’ gifts. Our destination wedding will be in Jamaica so I took them to a cute brunch spot in Brooklyn called Negril and we sat near a neon sign that read “One Love.” I put their gifts in these cute bags. —Aliza Gulab, video producer
Hair towels that minimize damage and cut down on drying time
Also in the vein of things that will come in handy many times post-wedding is a hair towel that minimizes damage and frizz and cuts drying time by as much as 50%. Aquis towels are made from a proprietary fabric with ultra-fine fibers that are gentle on hair. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
A makeup bag that can be customized for each bridesmaid
I’ve received a few personalized makeup cases, but my Stoney Clover one is by far my favorite. They have the cutest styles and customization options. The options are endless! I use this to go to the beach and as a travel case. —Chelsey Hoffman, senior producer
A hilarious gift that even the groomsmen will appreciate
For my wedding, my husband and I created custom Bobbleheads for all the groomsmen (based on photos we submitted of them). Everyone was obsessed and loved getting something so personal. —Marni Wagner, lead project manager
We all know the old adage: The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. And most of us would agree it’s true.
Food is more than sustenance – it’s nostalgia, comfort, a common denominator in a world of difference. A bite of a tender lobster roll transports you back to road trips to Maine. The chewiness of a New York bagel beckons memories of lazy Sunday morning rituals from when you lived in the city. A whiff of a hot, gooey, cheesesteak will always be associated with cheering on the Phillies with your dad.
As we pack up and move on with our lives, we’ll continue to crave these nostalgic bites. Whatever the connection, wouldn’t it be lovely if you could experience your favorite meals from local, regional eateries no matter where you are?
It’s an online marketplace offering up some of the best bites from iconic food establishments all around the United States – and it’s the ultimate gift for food lovers, or honestly, yourself.
Insider Reviews Secret Sale
As part of our one-day only Secret Sale, Insider Reviews readers can take 15% off their entire order with code INSIDER15. But hurry, the deals will only last until 11:59PM EDT on August 2. Here are some of our favorite orders from Goldbelly:
Half Bo Ssäm Dinner for 4-6 (small)World Famous Banana Pudding Bowl (64 oz.) (small)Whole Brisket + Sausage + Texas Barbecue BBQ Sauce (small)
What is Goldbelly?
Every region has its own delicacies – Philly cheesesteaks, New York bagels, Kansas City barbecue – and Goldbelly is on a mission to make these local foods available to everyone, regardless of location.
There are also meal kits and monthly subscriptions for different types of foods like pizza or bagels, as well as subscriptions to foods from different cities. All proceeds from a City Subscription goes toward delivering Goldbelly care packages to healthcare heroes across the nation.
How Goldbelly works
Head over to Goldbelly and you’ll be met with a page filled with drool-worthy pictures of delicious eats from all over the country. Goldbelly helps you find what you’re looking for in a variety of ways. Choose by category of food, what’s popular at the moment, iconic shops, or check out one of Goldbelly’s curated gift guides.
Once you find what you’re looking for, it’s just like ordering anything else online. There is also an option to add a gift message and recipient information, which makes Goldbelly packages extra giftable. Shipping time and price is dependent on the product and where it’s coming from. Since Goldbelly works with independent vendors, it’s understandable that shipping would be varied.
Review of Goldbelly
We’ve tested Goldbelly on several occasions, here are our experiences.
Remi Rosmarin, reporter: “After visiting a friend in Seattle in July a few years ago, I was looking for the perfect thank-you-for-hosting-me gift.
Of course, there are always flowers, candles, and edible arrangements, but nothing felt personal enough for a friend who had gone out of her way to plan a wonderful weekend on the West Coast. As coincidence would have it, I came across Goldbelly the day after I returned. While in Seattle, my friend had mentioned her only real complaint about the city was that there are no good bagels (sorry, Seattle), so I figured, why not send them?
I perused Goldbelly’s curated guide to “Best Gifts from NYC“, knowing there had to be some great bagels inside. I landed on a package from Ess-a-Bagel – a New York institution and a personal favorite – which included enough bagels and fixings for six. The box cost $89.95 for six bagels, a 1/2 pound nova lox, and a 1/2 pound of any type of cream cheese. You can also add more cream cheese, lox, and spreads for an added price. I ordered it on Tuesday morning and it was delivered to my friend’s doorstep the next day on Wednesday afternoon.
Even though I was able to test this service for free, it’s clear that Goldbelly provides a pretty good value. A typical nova bagel sandwich at Ess-a-Bagel costs $13.25, but the Goldbelly price isn’t much higher, clocking each bagel and lox combo in at just about $14.20. Of course, there is also a delivery fee to consider, and you may get a heavier helping of lox and schmear at Ess-a-Bagel, but that’s beside the point. This delivery brought serious smiles to an East Coast transplant who had a hankering from some New York bagels, and for that, I’d definitely gift it again.”
Jada Wong, senior editor: “Goldbelly is great when you’re missing certain foods or want to deliver a special treat for someone’s birthday. It’s a delicious and practical gift for yourself or someone else.
So far, I’ve ordered fresh Maine lobster meat for homemade-ish lobster rolls from McLoon’s Lobster Shack and deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s when my husband and I were craving dishes due to cancelling trips during the pandemic, and cupcakes from Carousel Cakes for my dad’s birthday.
Prices are comparable to if you’d gone to the restaurants, though they seem pricey up first because items are usually in bundles and packs. You can’t just order one pizza – you have to order a pack of two or four.
The lobster meat prices were similar to online grocery store prices, but with the added benefit that the meat was fresh from Maine. We ordered two pounds of lobster meat and that was enough to make six rolls with generous piles of meat. If you get a 4-pack of deep-dish pizzas at Lou Malnati’s through Goldbelly for $95.99, each one comes out to $23.99 instead of the $22.40 they’d usually cost at the restaurant. These prices don’t include tax or shipping of course, but those won’t nearly be as expensive as a flight to Chicago or Maine.
All the orders arrived safely in padded styrofoam boxes, and in the case of the lobster and pizza, in boxes surrounded by ice packs so they were still fresh. There were easy-to-follow prep and cooking instructions for the lobster and deep-dish pizza, and the results were delicious.”
The bottom line
Nowadays, we’re comfortable with buying so many items online. If you can buy a mattress and have it delivered to your door, you should be able to do the same with bagels and lobster rolls.
Goldbelly has definitely filled a niche for food-lovers everywhere. While there’s nothing like eating the real deal in person, Goldbelly can get you pretty darn close.