The best indoor herb gardens in 2021

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  • Indoor herb gardens make for delicious meals year-round.
  • The best options are easy to set up and have successful seed growth, even if you don’t have gardening experience.
  • Our top pick by Click and Grow allows for year-round growth and automatically feeds your plants.

Herbs enhance the flavor of any meal, but it’s too easy to run out of a particular herb once you’ve already started preparing dinner. Buying an entire bundle of parsley at the store doesn’t make much sense if you only need a bit of it for a recipe. Growing an own indoor herb garden solves these problems, and ensures that you’ll have herbs on hand, year-round.

When it comes to indoor herb garden kits, though, you’re sure to run into variations in quality. Some kits have poor seed growth success rates, while others are made with flimsy materials that you’ll soon need to replace. We did the research and have found the best indoor herb gardens you can buy.

The herb gardens in this list are ideal for indoor use, although some of them can be transferred outside. The kits are beginner friendly, so if you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry. These herb gardens have been chosen for their quality, practicality, and design. Some of the planters use innovative ways to grow a garden within your home, and the kits offer just about everything you’ll need to get started, making gardening a hassle-free experience.

If you want to add a bit of freshness and flavor enhancement to your cooking and love the idea of always being able to harvest just the right amount of fresh herbs, then these indoor herb gardens are right for you.

Here are the 3 best indoor herb gardens in 2021:

The best indoor herb garden overall

Best low maintenance indoor herb garden shown with a beige base and growing basil.

The Click and Grow Smart Garden Indoor Gardening Kit simplifies gardening with automatic maintenance so you can grow herbs year-round.

Pros: Automatic watering and lighting makes for hassle-free gardening, year-round indoor plant growth, easy to set up and maintain

Cons: Smallest version has space to grow only three plants at a time, pricey

Growing herbs indoors couldn’t get any easier than with the Click and Grow Smart Garden Indoor Gardening Kit. You can set this kit up in just seconds — drop the plant cartridges into the container, fill the water reservoir, plug the unit in, and you’re done.

Using Click and Grow’s Smart system, the special plant pods gradually release nutrients to your plants, so there’s no worry about forgetting to add a nutrient solution into the soil. The watering system works through capillary action; it’s completely silent and keeps the soil appropriately moistened. Energy efficient LED lighting means you don’t have to rely on window light to grow your plants.

This kit includes pre-seeded basil capsules, but you can grow countless herbs with Click and Grow’s variety of plant pods. Choose from parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, and cilantro. Salad greens and fruiting plants are also available. None of the Click and Grow plant pods use any GMO seeds or herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides.

This particular kit is the smaller version, which has room for growing only three plants at a time. A larger option, with space for nine plants, is available.

The best indoor herb garden for decor

A hanging plater made of cotton rope and three white, ceramic pots.

Sleek, charming, and conveniently sized, the Mkono Ceramic Hanging Planter adds style to an indoor herb garden.

Pros: Cords allow you to adjust the distance between the pots, aesthetically appealing design, pluggable drain holes

Cons: Ceramic pots are heavy, careful mounting is required

With the Mkono Ceramic Hanging Planter, your herb garden won’t just be functional, but it also makes an attractive statement in your home. This sleek and chic planter is crafted from quality white ceramic and cotton rope. It fits right in with modern aesthetics but is also a wonderful way to add stylish contrast to a country design. Hang it in a sunny spot in your kitchen, dining room, or sun room for a living art piece.

This planter is ideal for an herb garden, though you can also use it for succulents, ferns, and other small plants. Each ceramic pot includes a small drainage hole and plug, so you can open up the hole only when it’s needed. The pots measure 6.5 inches long by 3.75 inches wide and 2.5 inches high, making them large enough to accommodate your herb garden without overwhelming a room. If you don’t have a windowsill or countertop space to spare, this planter is a convenient alternative since it’s hung from above.

The best space-saving indoor herb garden

The best stackable indoor herb garden with five levels of three pots each.

The Amazing Creation Stackable Planter lets you create a comprehensive herb garden even if you’re short on space.

Pros: Accommodates up to 15 different plants, easy to assemble, sturdy construction

Cons: Limited colors

Want to grow an assortment of herbs in your home, but don’t have the window or counter space for a large garden? The Amazing Creation Stackable Planter lets you utilize vertical space, so you can plant an herb garden without restriction. This five-tier planter consists of five different stackable pots that can accommodate up to 15 different plants. Each pot has 5 inches of space, so your creativity is the only limit to your herb garden.

This stackable planter includes built-in drainage grids, so water will drain down through the whole planter — all the way to the bottom tier. The planter is easy to set up and maintain, which is great for beginners. If you choose, you can take the planter outdoors during the summer and bring it indoors during the winter. The high-quality polypropylene is resistant to harsh weather.

Check out our other gardening guides

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Gardenite 10 Pattern Garden Hose Nozzle
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Amazon offers Prime subscriptions at a discount for EBT and Medicaid cardholders – here’s how to sign up ahead of Amazon Prime Day 2021

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amazon boxes stacked at doorstep

Though it may be easy to write Amazon Prime off as another frivolous subscription cost, being a member is full of perks and benefits that in the end can save you money.

For those that are EBT or Medicaid cardholders, you can sign up for a Prime Membership at 50% off, bringing the rate down from $12.99 per month (or $119 per year) to $5.99 per month for qualified users. For a membership that includes a streaming service, same-day grocery delivery, two-day shipping, and Amazon Prime Day 2021 access on June 21, that’s a steal.

If you are ineligible for the EBT or Medicaid cardholder discount, another way to save on membership is to sign up for Amazon Prime Student if you have an active .edu email address.

Prime for EBT or Medicaid Cardholders ($5.99/month) (medium)

The best Amazon Prime benefits

In addition to free next-day or two-day shipping on millions of items, Amazon Prime can you save money on essentials like groceries, diapers, and baby food – not to mention trips to the store. It’s also worth noting that Amazon now accepts SNAP EBT on qualifying grocery items.

With access to a massive library of TV shows, movies, and original content through Prime Video, membership can also help you cut the cord if you’re still paying for cable or satellite TV. The cost of Prime with all of its features also matches that of other major streaming services alone.

Amazon Prime Day 2021, Amazon’s big two-day sale is another major benefit of having Amazon Prime. Members will have exclusive access to thousands of exclusive deals, many of which are just as good or better than Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 deals land on June 21 and 22 this year. It’s going to be an event of equally grand scale compared to previous years, filled with rare, short-lived sales on popular items including streaming devices, smart home speakers and displays, robot vacuums, and more.

If you’d like to give Amazon Prime and its many benefits a try before committing to the monthly fee, now is the perfect time to sign up for a trial. Signing up for the free 30-day period now will grant you Amazon Prime Day 2021 access when it rolls around June 21.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

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This is the best espresso machine you can buy for under $500 – I’ve used mine for 3 years without a hitch

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  • You don’t have to spend four figures to produce quality espresso in your own kitchen.
  • Gaggia’s new Classic Pro is our overall pick for the best espresso machine.
  • It’s an excellent choice if you want to learn how to use and dial an espresso machine, without any training wheels.
  • See more: The best espresso machines

The $449 Classic Pro Espresso Machine from Gaggia is an update of the brand’s original consumer-priced espresso machine without many changes, but that’s only because they weren’t necessary.

We’ve been using this machine for almost three years with minimal maintenance and without a hitch. If you’re really looking to learn how to make quality espresso at home, pair this with a good burr grinder and you are on your way to mastering how to dial in a shot and get the most out of your fresh grounds.

This is the machine for those who really care about the craft of making espresso.

Gaggia is a classic name in home espresso, and there’s a reason why the Italian brand has stood the test of time: these machines make great coffee.

The latest Classic Pro has the same brew head and portafilter as the previous version – which Gaggia also places in commercial espresso makers – along with the three-way solenoid valve that purges any residual steam or water after you stop the machine. That keeps pressure and temperature consistent and helps keep your coffee from getting burnt by any stored steam or water in the chamber. Modifications are slight but appreciated: a frame that allows you to see how much water is left in the reservoir, a small silicone grip on the purge valve and the frother, and a simple on/off switch and light setup.

Along with an updated boiler that’s better secured inside the machine so that it stays steady and a little quieter, this all adds up to one hardy espresso maker that offers you a good bit of control over how your shot turns out. You won’t be able to regulate temperature or pressure in the way you can with a $5,000 machine like the La Marzocco Linea Mini, but this is your transition from an automatic to a manual transmission; it’s time for some real, unfettered fun.

Below, I’ll walk you through every aspect of the Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine.

The design of the Gaggia Classic Pro

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Simple, understated, and (mostly) steel, this is how any home espresso machine should look on your counter.

This machine looks like it belongs on your grandfather’s kitchen countertop, and he may well have a Gaggia; the brand has been making professional-quality espresso machines for the home since they introduced the Gaggia Baby in 1977.

Wrapped in brushed stainless steel, the Classic Pro has a timeless look. It’s not much larger than a pod machine and costs only a tad more. But it doesn’t come with a built-in burr grinder, which, when bought separately, can be pricey and equally cumbersome. In fact, if you plan on buying any espresso machine of this size, take the amount of counter space you’ve set aside and double it to accommodate a grinder.

The one thing I don’t like about the design is that the wrapped stainless steel frame has some sharp, exposed edges, and if you’re ever bleary-eyed and having trouble fitting your portafilter into the brew head early (or late) in the day, you might slip and lose a small chunk of your knuckle. Still, you’ll learn to dodge them as I have.

The specs

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There’s not too much to this machine, but that’s part of why we like it. Fewer parts mean fewer pieces to break and or lose.

This machine is almost foolproof. There are only three two-way switches and a dial to turn the frother on and off. 

The Classic Pro has a respectable 1450 watts of power and 15 bars of pressure (equivalent to the Breville Barista Pro, our favorite two-in-one espresso machine in our full guide), and a three-way solenoid valve that prevents pressure from building up in the group head, making things a lot cleaner. Without the latter, taking the portafilter out too soon can result in a scalding spray of soppy espresso grounds. You can tell that the solenoid is working when, after finishing pulling a shot (that is, turning off the middle switch), you see a little water running from the purge valve to the left of the group head.

The steam wand is not particularly special, but that’s a good thing. Switch off the group head valve, switch on the steam valve, wait for the light to turn on, blow out any excess water in the chamber (preferably over the drain reservoir in the machine), and you’re ready to go. Turning the valve one way engages it and increases the pressure, and going in reverse eases and shuts it off. We’ve found that the more complicated a frother, the less likely we are to use it, and while there are all sorts of fancy ones out there, good pressure from a powerful machine is all you really need.

There’s also a warming plate on top (more or less standard), a full-sized 58mm portafilter with pressurized and non-pressurized baskets (the latter for pre-ground espresso or pods), and a stainless steel drip tray with an easy-to-remove reservoir for collecting overflow and spillage.

Essentially you’ve got everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The set-up and brewing processes

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A bit of dialing goes a long way, but with a little patience, you’ll eventually arrive at a rich, frothy goodness no pod machine could ever replicate.

The Gaggia Classic Pro comes more or less set up for you. Make sure to clean out the water reservoir with soap before inserting it into place in the base of the machine.

Before you begin prepping your shot, turn the power switch on. This gets the machine ready, but if you put the portafilter in during this stage, it’ll warm that up, too. Espresso can turn sour when it’s made cold, and if the scalding water from the boiler hits a cold portafilter, it can do funky things to your brew.

Next, you want to insert the portafilter basket that corresponds with the type of coffee you’ll use (pre-ground and/or ESE pod, or freshly ground). Just make sure you use the little plastic riser piece if you’re going to use one of the pressurized baskets.

Once your portafilter is ready to go, grind your coffee (if you’re grinding your own) and load up the basket. Remember, grind size and tamping are two key components. A good rule of thumb is to get your grounds somewhere between the texture of flour and table salt, but what works with one roast may not work with the next, so be prepared for some experimentation. Give it a good bit of tamping pressure, but, more importantly, distribute your grounds evenly throughout the basket.

Between about 25 and 35 seconds of brew time should do the trick, but while 35 seconds might nearly incinerate one type of coffee, it could be just right for another. Play around with dialing in your machine. This should be part of the fun, after all.

Lock your portafilter into the brew head and, if the light beneath the brew switch is on, that means the machine is primed and ready. Flip it, and delight in the caramel-colored tonic that runs in two perfectly even streams into your demitasse. If the stream is but a slow drip, your grind size (for that particular bean, remember) is either too fine, or you’ve tamped it with too much force. (Pro tip: use a small measuring cup or a demitasse with measurements on it to learn how much of an extraction you like.) You want a steady, even-colored trickle.

And, again, remember to have some fun and play around. Talk to any good barista and you’ll be appalled at how much coffee they dump out just to get their machines and beans right in the morning. Two-time UK Cup Tasting Champion (also 8th in the World Cup Tasting Championship in 2013) barista master Jason Gonzalez once told me that he often spends up to half an hour dialing shots every morning at his Burlington, VT espresso shop Onyx Tonics.

The frothing process

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Yes, and there’s an extremely high-powered frother that’s remarkably easy to clean.

My favorite thing about the Gaggia Classic Pro, especially compared with similar machines, is that the steaming wand is manually adjustable (using the knob, right of center in the image above). This feature is especially handy for frothing various sorts of milk, which all have their own consistencies and boiling points.

Plus, it’s quiet. On some machines, like the Breville Barista Express, the steam is either on or off, and “on” produces a high-pitched screech. 

 

Potential cons

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There’s a lot to be said for having a high-powered frother at the ready, both for your morning cup, and dazzling guests after dinner.

For one, you don’t want to have the brew and steam switches on at the same time, which is just part of the responsibility of owning a professional-grade espresso machine. You’ll get used to it, and the budding barista within you will be all the better for it.

The only limitation of the steam wand, which is still my favorite out of any frother-equipped machine I’ve tested, is that it’s not gimballed, like on the Breville Barista Express. You’re confined to working with specific angles, and purging it of excess water requires either awkwardly placing a glass underneath or twisting it around so that it spills into the drip reservoir. All in all, not a big deal.

The only true issue I have with the Gaggia Classic Pro, and the original line before it, is that the stainless steel housing has unfinished corners, leaving hazardously jagged edges. I’ve been using the new Pro for a few months now, and twice I’ve missed locking in the portafilter and jammed my thumb right into one of those corners, taking a nice little bite of my knuckle. Be a little more careful than I am (not difficult) and you’ll be fine. 

Lastly, the latest version of this machine comes with an undersized plastic tamp, which feels a little cheap on the brand’s behalf given they have previously included a nice stainless steel one. Do yourself a favor and spring for a proper 58mm tamper that fits this portafilter and makes tamping even, and easier.

The bottom line

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Look, it takes a while to get this right. Maybe start with cheap coffee so you don’t tear through a whole bag of precious coffee when you’re still learning. But most importantly: Have fun.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a temperamental machine in comparison with something like the Breville Barista Express, but if you want to learn how to use a real espresso machine, and you either already have a good burr grinder or don’t want an all-in-one maker, this is a compact but powerful machine that will serve you well.

Pros: Powerful, commercial-grade, compact, not terribly expensive

Cons: Misuse can cost you (i.e., it’s not foolproof) but the new Pro model is slightly more user-friendly than the original, sharp edges on corners can cut your hands, no longer comes with 58mm stainless steel tamper

 

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26 funny but useful Father’s Day gifts that’ll give your dad a good laugh

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A meat bouquet.

  • If the father you’re shopping for is known for his humor, he’s sure to enjoy these 26 funny gifts.
  • From a meat bouquet to scotch-infused toothpicks, our top picks all include lots of laughs.
  • Need more ideas? Check out our overall best Father’s Day gifts and our specialized gift guides.

Editor’s note: It’s likely that many families will be spending Father’s Day apart this year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus. Nothing takes the place of time spent together, but if you’re looking to send a gift to Dad in lieu of a visit, we hope this list will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Many dads are – for better or worse – known for their humor.

Whether he really is the funniest guy you know or his dad jokes are simply hall of fame worthy, he might appreciate a good joke (and some lighthearted sentimentality) more than anything else on Father’s Day.

If he’s hard to shop for, these 26 funny gifts are an especially good jumping-off point. Pair them with one of our other favorite Father’s Day gifts or keep them short and sweet on their own.

The top 5 funny Father’s Day gifts:

1. A Beeropoly board game

2. A meat bouquet

3. Scotch-infused toothpicks

4. “Game of Thrones”-inspired glasses

5. A custom portrait of your dad or family dog in the Renaissance style

If you’re looking for more Father’s Day gift ideas, we have you covered:

Below are 26 funny gifts for Father’s Day:

A Beeropoly board game

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Beeropoly, $35

For a fun night in with his family and kids, or for the next get-together with friends, this is something he’ll get a kick out of (and probably won’t already own). 

A meat bouquet

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A meat bouquet.

Olympia Provisions Salami Bouquet, from $50

If a bouquet of delicious meat is more his speed than flowers, he’s going to really love this one filled with salami. 

Scotch-infused toothpicks

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Scotch-Infused Toothpicks Gift Set, $35.95

For the man who has everything, scotch-infused toothpicks take his love of the stuff to the next level. 

“Game of Thrones”-inspired glasses

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Premium Game of Thrones Hand-Etched Whiskey Glass (Set of 2), $36.96

Whether he reminds you of Jon Snow or he’s just demonstrated a great love for all things “Game of Thrones,” your dad will get a kick out of having this around. To make it more personalized, pick up a nice whiskey to pair with it. 

A custom portrait of your dad or family dog in Renaissance style

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Custom Royal Portrait, from $25.00

Send dad’s photo off to the professionals at Etsy for his very own custom royal portrait. Or, if you think he’d rather have this with the family pet as the subject, by all means get one of Fido in a Victorian-era dress.

A bidet

Tushy bidet in a toilet

Tushy Spa Premium Warm Water Bidet Attachment, $119

I’ve given several bidet attachments and seats as gifts, and they always get a laugh, especially if the person enjoys potty humor. Long-term, bidets are lifechanging, and your dad will appreciate how useful it is. If $119 is a bit much for your budget, consider this under-$40 model instead or visit our bidet buying guide.

A mousepad with your smiling face

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Custom Mouse Pad, from $9.99

If your pops regularly uses a mouse, you can put a smile on his face by creating a custom mouse pad featuring his favorite kid. Make a funny face, take a super-close-up selfie, or let your imagination run wild, and use the photo for your gift.

A breakfast sandwich maker that means business

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Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $39.99

If he loves breakfast sandwiches, he’s probably going to be pretty enthusiastic when he opens this. It might seem gimmicky, but it has over 2,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.6 rating. It’ll get some laughs as well for dad-sized breakfasts in the future.

Slang flashcards to keep up with the teens

slang flashcards

Slang Flashcards, $12.62

Sometimes the jargon of “the youths” can sound like a foreign language. If dad might appreciate getting in on all the lingo, these helpful slang cards aspire to camouflage each and every parent as just another teen.  

An eye glasses holder

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Eye Glasses Holder, $18

If dad is somehow always losing his glasses, a fun holder is a nice way to liven up his desk area, and keep track of them.

A box of fun and functional socks

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Father’s Day Gift Box, $38

Socks are every outfit’s opportunity for some flair. If dad might appreciate a few unforgettable pairs from a new brand, check out Happy Socks’ Father’s Day Gift Box, full of fun yet functional pairs. As with any holiday set, it also arrives looking gift-ready.

A book of “dad jokes”

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Dad Jokes: Terribly Good Dad Jokes (Volume 1), $6.99

For more callous dad humor, you might look at the unapologetic “Sh*t My Dad Says.” 

White Walker scotch

Johnnie Walker White Walker, from $30

Johnnie Walker White Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, from $39.99

An ode to eight beautiful, bittersweet seasons of “Game of Thrones” fandom.

A cookbook that is one long “ode to the Southern breakfast”

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Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day, $15.99

This book is basically a how-to for making every mouth-watering Southern breakfast Dad might ever want, and he’ll probably have a lot of fun making his way through each one. 

A customized saint candle

Candle

Custom Prayer Candle, from $20

Yes, finally a way to express to dad just how miraculous you find him to be. Whether he’s fixing your garbage disposal because it’s making a weird sound or he always knows the right things to say, a saint candle with his face on it is one reminder that he’s pretty great in your eyes.

A customized bobblehead

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Custom Bobblehead, $79.50

What’s a better homage to your dad than a bobblehead made exactly to his likeness? Send in a photo and the figurine will be made to order in an LA studio. 

“Game of Thrones” Monopoly

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Monopoly: Game of Thrones Collector’s Edition Board Game, $50

Use this to give a nod to his “Game of Thrones” obsession and institute a family game night. 

A card that shows you appreciate his dad humor

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Dad Jokes Card, from $4.85

If your dad is the funniest guy you know, he probably knows it. Even if he isn’t, he probably thinks it. 

A matching T-shirt set for dad and baby

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Papa Bear and Baby Bear Matching Set, from $46.80

Especially for new Papa Bears, this matching T-shirt set is just as fun as it is adorable. 

A hilarious card game

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Cards Against Humanity, $25

If dad loves to laugh, he should probably own a personal Cards Against Humanity set. Bring it over with some of his favorite snacks for a memorable Father’s Day he’ll enjoy every minute of.

A punny BBQ apron for the grillmaster

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The Grillfather BBQ Apron, from $17.95

For an avid “The Godfather fan or just a humble grill-master with dreams of making the perfect steak, Dad will have fun wearing this around knowing you got it for him. 

“Star Wars” novelty posters

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Star Wars Movie Lover Gift, $56.10

If Dad loves “Star Wars” and might appreciate a faintly artistic approach to some new decorations for his man cave, he’ll probably love these.

The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness

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Culturenik Parks and Recreation Ron Swanson Pyramid Workplace Poster Print, $9.95

For those that already live by Swanson rules or would put “masonry” and “cabins” as fundamental building blocks in their life.

A brownie pan made of only edges

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Baker’s Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan, $36.95

So Dad never has to accept the limitations of a regular brownie pan again. From now on, the man will only have his desired edge pieces. 

A mug with a message for dad from the Donald

Father's Day Trump Mug

Father’s Day Message from Trump Mug, $16.80

This mug is sure to get any dad laughing, whether he is or isn’t a fan of Trump.

This shirt for a “Mandalorian” fan

Dadlorian Shirt

The Dadalorian Shirt, from $17.99

A riff on the beloved Disney + TV Show,”The Mandalorian,” fans and dads will love it.

Looking for more gift ideas? We’ve got you covered.

Fathers Day Gift Guides End Post 2020
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49 perfect Father’s Day gifts that are all under $50

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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  • Father’s Day is June 20, and the holiday is fast approaching.
  • If you’re looking for thoughtful, affordable gifts, start with these 49 ideas, which cost under $50.
  • Need more gift ideas? Check out our overall best Father’s Day gifts and our specialized guides.

Editor’s note: It’s likely that many families will be spending Father’s Day apart this year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus. Nothing takes the place of time spent together, but if you’re looking to send a gift to Dad in lieu of a visit, we hope this list will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Ideally, you’d be able to empty the coffers for dad on Father’s Day. If money was of no object, you could rent out an amusement park or buy him a little quaint island for when retirement rolls around. But, if you’re working with a more realistic budget, you can still give him roughly the same feeling with any of these thoughtful gifts under $50.

To help with your shopping, we’ve put together 49 gifts that fit the bill. Even if you just grab a comfortable throw blanket for a night of movie and popcorn, Dad might just love the gesture most.

The top 5 Father’s Day gifts:

1. A Hydro Flask water bottle

2. A delicious but guilt-free cereal

3. A waterproof speaker

4. A Harry’s shaving kit

5. White Walker scotch

If you’re looking for more Father’s Day gift ideas, we have you covered:

Below are 49 gifts under $50 for Father’s Day:

A Hydro Flask water bottle

hydro flask $40

Hydro Flask 32 oz. Wide Mouth, $49.90

Perfect for everything from camping to everyday use, this Hydro Flask water bottle is our top pick for the best water bottle you can buy. During Outdoor Gear Lab’s testing, ice resisted melting for nearly 24 hours, and water was ice cold for more than a full day.

Delicious, guilt-free cereal

Magic Spoon 3

Magic Spoon Variety Case, $39

Magic Spoon Subscription, $35.10 per month

Magic Spoon is a new “childlike cereal for adults” that’s high in protein and low in sugar — and all four flavors are delicious. If you want to treat him to cereal that tastes like it should leave you with a mouthful of cavities without actually doing so, check it out. 

A waterproof speaker

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JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, from $59.99

Perfect for the summer months spent at the beach, barbecuing by the pool, or simply for the demands of the rugged lifestyle of dads everywhere, a waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker is always a good idea. 

A luxurious shaving kit

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Harry’s Winston Shave Set, $25 (+15 to engrave)

If your dad could stand to take more time for himself, setting him up with nice tools for a quick — but nonetheless indulgent — routine is a great gift. The option to engrave Harry’s Winston Shave Set is a thoughtful and practical gift you can feel good giving, especially if dad is still using disposables.

White Walker scotch

Johnnie Walker White Walker, from $30

Johnnie Walker White Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, from $39.99

An ode to eight beautiful, bittersweet seasons of “Game of Thrones” fandom. 

A beard trimmer

Norelco OneBlade

Philips Norelco OneBlade Face & Body Hybrid, $49.95

If your father likes to sport facial hair, this is the perfect tool to maintain it when he doesn’t have time for an old-fashioned shave. It also comes with a foil shaver head and ear and nose trimmer. Plus, it’s easy to clean with water.

A throw blanket

LL BEAN WICKED THROW

L.L.Bean Wicked Plush Throw, $29.95

This plush throw is a great option for dad when he refuses to turn up the thermostat during the cold months. It features soft fleece on both sides making it a great accompaniment whether he’s watching the game or a movie.

A pair of shoes

Merrell Shoes

Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe, from $44.99

For dads who love practical shoes, the Merrell Jungle Moc is an excellent choice. Whether he likes to go on weekend hikes or just needs something to throw on while running errands, these waterproof slip-on shoes can handle all sorts of weather and will last him for years to come.

The Echo Dot

Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot, $39.99

Alexa can tell dad jokes or the weather forecast, order him pizza, and play his music among lots of other helpful skills. 

His new favorite jerky

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4-Pack of Chef’s Cut Original Jerky, $23.95

For jerky-loving dads, we’re fans of Chef’s Cut. The flavors in this Chef’s Sampler run the gamut so he can try a little bit of everything. 

A personal styling service

Stitch Fix men

Stitch Fix Gift Card, from $20

Shopping isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, or, if it is, not all of us have the time for a trip to the mall. That’s where the stylists at Stitch Fix come in. A great gift for busy dads, the service delivers the newest trends and styles to fit any occasion and price point.

A fancy shaving cream

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The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream, 5 oz, $25

Grabbing a nice shaving cream that smells like sandalwood is an easy way to get dad into enjoying daily luxuries. 

A nice leather case for his phone

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Nomad Rugged Case, from $49.95

An understated, rugged leather case will keep his phone safe and hopefully blend in seamlessly with the rest of his gear. Especially if he’s a man of few accessories, why not pay extra mind to the ones he does have?

A tablet he’ll love using

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Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7″ Display, 16 GB, $49.99

For casual internet perusing, Facebook updating, and game playing, Amazon’s Fire Tablet is a tough value to beat. It isn’t exactly high tech, but it’s $50 and works well. If dad isn’t a self-proclaimed tech fiend, it’ll do what he needs it to do. 

A make-your-own hot sauce kit

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Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit, $40

If your old man is big into the make-your-own movement, he’ll probably have a lot of fun mixing his own hot sauces — whether they turn out well or not.

A card that shows you appreciate his dad humor

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Dad Jokes Card, from $4.85

No matter which gift you decide to give Dad, odds are good he’s going to be most thankful for a thoughtful card that makes him feel celebrated and appreciated. If you want to make his day (and give him something he can hold onto if he wants), a fun card is a great addition. 

A useful external battery

Elecjet PowerPie battery pack

Elecjet PowerPie P20 Portable Charger, $49.99

Perfect for dads accustomed to running around, a portable charger will keep his gadgets ready to go whenever he needs them. 

A stainless steel tumbler to maintain his drink’s temperature

yeti tumbler

YETI Rambler 20 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, $29.98

This stainless-steel vacuum-insulated tumbler was built to withstand the extreme conditions of the outdoors, and the over preparation for day-to-day life is pretty great. This will keep your dad’s cold drinks cold, and hot drinks hot, for hours on end. 

A Tommy John gift card for comfortable clothes he can pick himself

tommy john

Tommy John Gift Card, from $25

Tommy John makes some of our favorite comfortable loungewear (as well as basics like underwear, which is where most of their recognition comes from). You might not know exactly what to get your dad or in what size, but a gift card lets him look around for himself (with you still covering the tab). 

A family movie night

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Fandango Gift Card, $15 and up

Whether there’s a new summer blockbuster out or not, nothing beats going to the movies with his kids.

A breakfast sandwich maker

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Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $39.99

If he loves breakfast sandwiches, he’s probably going to be pretty enthusiastic when he opens this. It might seem gimmicky, but it has nearly 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and a 4.6 rating overall.

A must-read book

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, $14.63

If dad loves reading, medicine, or moving books, “When Breath Becomes Air” is a must-read — and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To lend extra meaning, write your own inscription to him on the inside cover. 

A wireless charging pad

Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, $30

Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, $38.99

What’s a better gift than total convenience? If he has an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, or the iPhone 8 Plus, he’ll be able to set it down on this pad and see it instantly charging. This one is our top overall pick for the best wireless chargers you can buy

Smart light bulbs

TP Link Smart Bulb

Wyze Labs Smart Light Bulb, $36.92

These smart light bulbs connect to the internet and can be controlled through an app on his smartphone or a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. Overnight, he’ll never have to get up to dim the lights for the perfect late-night reading or movie-viewing experience again. 

Tickets to the next big show or game

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Live concert and game tickets, from $15 per person

Is there a good concert, play, or game coming up in the next few months he’d love? Grab tickets and make a night of it — or, if you live far away, make sure he gets to go with a friend or two.

A cheesy mug

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Top Dad Coffee Mug, from $11.85

Every dad deserves to have at least one unapologetically cheesy mug for his morning coffee. This one is well-placed to become a regular. 

A Himalayan salt block to spice up cooking

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Himalayan Salt BBQ Plank, $30

If he loves to cook, salt blocks will bring his meals to the next level. Himalayan salt is supposed to give a more nuanced flavor than regular table salt, and the amount of saltiness will be auto-regulated by the type of food (moist food absorbs more, fatty foods repel it).

Bourbon-infused coffee

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Bourbon Infused Coffee, $20

Bourbon and coffee, what’s not to love? 

A gift set of fun socks

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Father’s Day Gift Box, $38.00

Socks are every outfit’s opportunity for some flair. If Dad might appreciate a few unforgettable pairs from a new brand, check out Happy Socks’ Father’s Day Gift Box. As with any holiday set, it arrives looking gift-ready. 

A fun, local class

Airbnb Experiences, from $30

Gift Airbnb Experiences, from $7

Local pasta-making classes, wine tours, pottery workshops, secret concerts, nature outings — you can book thousands of local classes and activities on Airbnb Experiences to make wherever you live feel new, exciting, and full of possibilities. 

Read our review of Airbnb’s virtual experiences

A leather passport holder

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Leatherology Passport Cover + Luggage Tag, $65 (+$20 for monogram)

For big upcoming adventures, a leather passport cover and luggage tag (which you can engrave) is likely not something he’d pick up for himself but will love having. 

A trusted babysitter

urbansitters app

UrbanSitter Gift Card, from $25

If he has young kids, one of the most impactful gifts you can give is probably a worry-free night out. Nationwide service UrbanSitter is home to more than 150,000 trusted babysitters and gathers mutual connections and recommendations from their community of fellow parents. Give a gift card to dad for the service; a $34.95 one-month access pass (or $99.95 annual membership) allows parents to browse, interview, and book a sitter that meets their needs.

His new favorite summer shoes

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Soludos Men’s Original Classic Stripe, from $29.99

Do Dad a big favor and pick up what will undoubtedly become the pair of shoes he spends the whole summer in. Comfortable, breathable, lightweight, and travel-friendly, they’re a natural-born default. 

A craft beer-making kit

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Northern Brewer 1 Gallon Craft Beer Making Starter Kit, $64.99

Gift Dad the tools to make his own craft beer. This kit comes with easy instructions, customer service to contact for troubleshooting, and all the essentials. It also has one of the most positive ratings online and earns an “A” grade from FakeSpot

A media streaming stick

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The Roku Streaming Stick is a small but powerful device.

Roku Streaming Stick, $59.99

A straightforward interface and lots of streaming options make Roku’s streaming stick among the best streaming devices out there, especially in affordability. 

A lifetime REI membership

REI Classes and Events

REI Membership, $20

An REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here.

“Game of Thrones” Monopoly

monopoly $41.13

Monopoly: Game of Thrones Collector’s Edition Board Game, $50

Use this to give a nod to his “Game of Thrones” fandom, and institute a family game night. 

Really nice face cream

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Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, from $22-$68

If he isn’t married to a skin care routine yet, he might love Kiehl’s. It’s nicer than what he’d pick up at the drugstore but not so expensive he can’t bring himself to replace it when this pot runs out.

A handy dopp kit

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Dagne Dover Small Hunter Neoprene Toiletry Bag, $35

A nice dopp kit goes a long way in making Dad’s life easier and his essentials more organized. Dagne Dover’s neoprene makes this look much more luxe than its price suggests.

A personalized coupon book he can redeem

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Personalized Father’s Day Coupon Book, $9.98

This personalized Father’s Day coupon book is sweet and thoughtful, but more polished than if it was entirely homemade. You can gift him his choice of TV, free take-out-the-trash days, or anything else that might make his next few months better.

A gift card to Patagonia

patagonia

Patagonia Gift Card, from $10

If Dad loves the outdoors, you might put the purchasing power in his hands for a change. You don’t need to haunt his friends, siblings, and other family members for ideas. Instead, he can shop for the latest edition of something or replace the old. 

An engraved money clip

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Personalized Money Clip, from $18

Understated, elegant, and personalized, this money clip looks nicer than its price suggests.

A body wash he can’t find at the drugstore

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MALIN+GOETZ Rum Body Wash, $24

Nicer than what he might pick up at the drugstore, this MALIN+GOETZ body wash smells great and uses natural glycerin and amino acid technology to cleanse the skin without stripping it.

A craft beer flight holder

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Craft Beer Flight Holder, $55.95

He most likely doesn’t have this yet, but a beer flight holder is great for entertaining — or just having more fun with the hobbies he already loves. 

A great beard oil

jack black $24

Jack Black Beard Oil, $26

If Dad is letting his stubble grow out, or he’s already sporting a beard, this is a grooming product he should have, but might not. 

A backpack cooler

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Eddie Bauer Bygone Backpack Cooler, $42

This cooler is perfect for when a picnic or tailgate party involves more gear than he can carry in two hands. Its 20-liter capacity will hold a 12-pack plus ice, and two side pockets with adjustable toggles can handle wine or water bottles.

A cookbook that is one long “ode to the Southern breakfast”

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Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day, $30

This is basically the how-to book for every mouth-watering Southern breakfast dad might ever want, and he’ll probably have a lot of fun making his way through each.

An engraved docking station

Engraved Docking Station

Engraved Docking Station, $36.00

This custom engraved docking station is perfect for making things look organized and neat with a personal touch. It will make it easier to find all that he needs and ensures none of his charging cables become tangled.

A cool beer foamer

Beer Foamer

Beer Foamer, $19.99

This device gives any beer-loving dad that soft, rich creamy foam feel they love. Just attach it to the top of any beer bottle and push the button.

Looking for more gift ideas? We’ve got you covered.

Fathers Day Gift Guides End Post 2020
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Amazon’s new Echo packs powerful sound and smarter features into a $100 speaker, signaling a big upgrade for the company’s popular smart home device

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Amazon Echo (4th generation)

  • Amazon’s newest Echo feels like the most meaningful upgrade in years.
  • The smart speaker has better sound, a new design, and an integrated smart home hub.
  • It’s the right balance of convenience and solid audio quality for most people.
  • Check out our guide to the best true wireless earbuds for more audio product buying advice.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyEcho (4th Gen) (small)

Amazon’s popular Echo speaker has finally gotten a makeover.

Nearly six years after Amazon quietly unveiled the original Echo, the company has completely changed the speaker’s look, marking a big departure from the glowing cylinder that we’ve come to associate with the Echo since late 2014.

But the latest Echo is far more than just a cosmetic upgrade. Amazon’s most recent entrant to the smart speaker space also features a boost in sound quality, its own dedicated Amazon-designed processor that should make Alexa more responsive, and other extras, like a temperature sensor and a built-in smart home hub.

Taken together, the improvements represent the most significant upgrade to the standard Echo we’ve seen in years, helping it stand out in Amazon’s lineup. It’s a much more notable update than 2019’s third-generation Echo, which didn’t add much to the speaker other than improved sound quality.

But the new Echo also launched as Google and Apple have been investing more heavily in their own smart home speakers. Just days after Amazon unveiled the new Echo in September 2020, Google introduced its $100 Nest Audio. Apple, meanwhile, announced a smaller and less expensive version of its HomePod smart speaker for $100 called the HomePod Mini.

Here’s a closer look at what it’s been like to use the new Echo.

Amazon Echo 2020 specifications

Amazon Echo 2020 Specifications
Dimensions 5.7 inches x 5.7 inches x 5.2 inches
Weight 34.2 ounces
Colors Charcoal, white, and blue
Processor Amazon AZ1
Speaker 3-inch woofer and dual 0.8-inch front-facing tweeters
Input/output 3.5mm line in/out
Other features Integrated smart home hub, temperature sensor

Design

New Amazon Echo vs. Old
The third-generation Amazon Echo (left) vs. the new Amazon Echo (right)

To say the new Amazon Echo looks different than its predecessor would be an understatement. Gone is the cylindrical shape that’s been a hallmark of the smart speaker series so far. Instead, the new Echo takes the form of a compact, fabric-laden orb that glows at its base when Alexa is listening.

The new Echo looks less like a traditional speaker than its predecessor, and that’s a good thing. It has more of a standout look that differentiates it from rivals, like the Nest Audio, and the spherical shape enables it to fit more naturally into my home decor. The placement of the glowing ring at the bottom of the speaker rather than at the top also feels less distracting.

But unlike the Nest Audio, which comes in black, white, green, pink, and blue, the Echo is only available in three colors: charcoal, white, and blue. For a device that most people will be prominently displaying in the living room or kitchen, it would have been nice to see a broader range of color options like those offered by Google.

Sound quality

Amazon Echo Top
The new Amazon Echo

Amazon’s new Echo has received a big boost when it comes to its most important job: serving as a home speaker. Amazon says its new speaker can now detect the acoustics of the room it’s in and adjust the audio accordingly, just like the $200 Echo Studio.

The new shape also gives the Echo better sound projection and richer bass thanks to its surface area to volume ratio, the company says.

The upgrade is certainly noticeable when compared alongside the third-generation Echo. Across the board, music sounds louder and much more open and full-bodied compared to its predecessor, with better bass as well.

The older Echo sounds a bit shallow in comparison, and isn’t able to fill the room with audio nearly as well as its successor. This is true whether I listen to pop, rock, or hip-hop on the new Echo.

It’s not quite as loud and clear as the $200 Sonos One, but it certainly comes a lot closer than the standard Echo ever has before.

Smart home hub

Phillips Hue Smart Lighting
Philips Hue light bulbs and connectivity bridges

If controlling smart home devices is one of the primary reasons you’re interested in Amazon’s smart speaker, the new Echo will feel like a step up.

Amazon has built a smart home hub into the device much like it did with the Echo Plus speaker it introduced in 2017. That means you can quickly set up devices that use Bluetooth low energy or the ZigBee protocol – one of the major protocols that allows smart home devices to communicate with one another – without requiring a separate hub or bridge. It will also support Amazon’s long-range Wi-Fi network called Sidewalk when the feature launches on June 8.

Getting a Philips Hue light bulb up and running with the new Echo requires virtually no set up since it’s compatible with Zigbee. I simply screwed the light bulb into my bedroom lamp and asked Alexa to discover new devices.

After a few short moments, Alexa confirmed that my Echo had discovered the new light and added it to the “My devices” section of the Alexa app.

The third-generation Echo, on the other hand, requires a bridge in order to connect to the same Philips Hue light bulb. The Echo also has a leg up over Google in this regard since Google devices don’t offer voice setup for smart home devices and require you to connect through the company’s app.

Other features

Amazon Echo New

The Echo series may be nearly six years old, but Amazon is only just introducing its own custom processor for its smart speaker line. Amazon’s new AZ1 processor promises to make Alexa faster and more responsive when processing requests. This functionality wasn’t available at launch but has since begun rolling out to the fourth-generation Echo and Echo Show 10.

However, the fourth-generation Echo is only slightly faster than the third-generation Echo at answering basic questions in my experience, often only beating it by less than a second.

The new Echo also comes with another unexpected addition: a temperature sensor. This makes it possible to not only ask Alexa for the weather outside, but also the temperature indoors.

For many, the decision to side with an Echo device or Google Nest device will largely depend on what ecosystem best suits your needs.

Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant can both handle many of the same tasks, but also offer their respective perks. Alexa, for example, supports a wider variety of smart home devices, as the company says there are more than 140,000 gadgets that work with Alexa. Google, on the other hand, supports more than 50,000 internet-of-things devices.

Alexa also has some extra skills, including the ability to detect sounds, like breaking glass and alarms, when you’re not home. Google requires a Nest Aware subscription for this, whereas Amazon offers these features as part of the free tier of its Alexa Guard service. And of course, Alexa makes it incredibly easy to shop on Amazon via your voice.

The Google Assistant, however, has generally performed better when it comes to answering general knowledge questions, which should come as no surprise considering it has the world’s most popular search engine at its disposal.

In a 2019 test conducted by Loup Ventures that involved asking the Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri 800 questions, Google answered 93% of those queries correctly. Alexa answered 80% of them correctly while Siri correctly responded to 83%.

Google’s smart speakers also have extra features, like an interpreter mode that translates full conversations into another language, which is more sophisticated than Alexa’s ability to translate individual phrases and words.

Privacy

Amazon Echo Light

Privacy is also crucial for a microphone-equipped device meant to sit in your living room or bedroom. Amazon, Google, and Apple have all come under scrutiny in the past over their previous policies when it comes to sharing saved recordings with human annotators for the purposes of improving their voice assistants.

Both the new Echo and Google’s Nest Audio include a physical button for turning off the microphone.

But unlike Google and Apple, you must opt out if you don’t want your voice recordings to be used by Amazon to help improve Alexa’s functionality. You can do this from the Alexa app under the Alexa Privacy section in the settings menu.

Google doesn’t retain audio by default, and announced last September that users would have to opt in to a setting that enables the search giant to share recordings with human reviewers to improve the Google Assistant.

That said, both Amazon and Google have announced privacy updates over the course of the past year. Amazon now allows you to choose to automatically delete your voice recordings after Alexa has processed your request.

You can also delete all of your previously saved voice recordings just by asking Alexa, or you can ask Alexa to send you a link to privacy settings for your device in the Alexa app.

Google also launched new features earlier this year for telling its voice assistant to forget an utterance that was detected by accident and asking the Google Assistant for more information about Google’s data collection policies.

Google recently announced a Guest Mode for the Google Assistant as well, which, like Incognito Mode, prevents Google from saving queries to your account or offering personalized responses.

The bottom line

Amazon Echo New

With improved sound, a sleek new design, and a built-in hub for setting up smart home devices, the new Echo feels like a significant upgrade for Amazon’s smart speaker.

The standard Echo model has inherited some features from its more premium predecessors, such as the $200 Echo Studio’s ability to adjust audio to match a room’s acoustics, and the integrated smart home hub that debuted on the $150 Echo Plus from 2017.

As a result, the new Echo feels like the right balance of quality audio and convenience for most people in need of a basic smart home speaker that’s not quite as high-end as the Studio, but more powerful than the $50 Echo Dot.

That could make it more difficult for rivals, like Apple and Sonos, that specialize in offering superior sound quality to compete with Amazon’s latest Echo. It also feels like an execution of the vision that Amazon has been working toward for a while when it comes to the Echo: a home speaker that doesn’t make big compromises when it comes to audio quality or smart home features.

If you have a third-generation Echo, you probably don’t need to upgrade immediately. But if you have an older model or were thinking about purchasing a second Echo anyway, you’ll certainly appreciate the upgrades.

Pros: Improved sound, attractive new design, built-in smart home hub makes it easy to set up devices

Cons: Not as much choice when it comes to color selection compared to Google, Amazon still saves and uses your voice recordings by default

Echo (4th Gen) (button)

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The best places to buy beef, pork, poultry and more online in 2021- plus exclusive discounts on our favorites

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

rastellis meat and fish delivery 4
  • Beef, pork, and poultry suppliers are turned to direct-to-consumer (DTC) models amidst the pandemic.
  • Here, we’re keeping a running list of our favorites, from old classics to newer DTC brands alike.
  • Read more: The best places to buy groceries online

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Meat purveyors ran into a shortage last year as the pandemic began to take hold, but as restaurants sat empty, many restaurant suppliers kept busy by turning to smaller supply chains and direct-to-consumer (DTC) models and blossomed. As a result, there are now more places than ever to purchase your beef, pork, and poultry online.

We’ve been keeping a running list, an online compendium of sorts, of our favorite online meat purveyors we’ve tried, broken down by general brands, specialized brands, and those offering meal kits and “meatless meats” and other meat alternatives.

Depending on the type of meat you’re after, we have recommendations, from free-range antibiotic- and hormone-free free animals to products from large and less artisanal, but much more affordable, purveyors.

Insider exclusive deals on our favorite meat purveyors

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  • Chicago Steak Company: If you don’t require grass-fed-and-finished, hormone-and-antibiotic-free beef, Chicago Steak Company offers certified USDA Prime or upper-1/3 USDA Choice beef, which as far as flavor goes, is tough to beat. If you want to step it up a bit, consider the American Wagyu, which isn’t quite like the Japanese Wagyu, but is noticeably more marbly than USDA. The assortments are generally the best deals on the site: look to the Chicago’s Best Seller, which comes with two filets, two strips, two sirloins, and two ribeyes. Right now as part of Insider Reviews’ Grill Week, you can save 17% off sitewide with code INSIDER17. 
  • Cooks VenturePasture-raised and antibiotic- and GMO-feed-free, Cooks Venture’s beef and chicken boxes are about as simplistic as meat delivery gets. There are only four main options (individually sealed whole chickens, various chicken parts, various beef parts, or a combination of chicken and beef) and a few add-ons like a tray of drumsticks or a couple of ribeye steaks. The heirloom chickens are the brand’s own breed, the cattle are grass-fed and -finished, and everything is pasture-raised in northwest Arkansas. Read more about its farms hereAs part of Grill Week, take 20% off your order with code INSIDER.
  • Crowd CowA subscription-based delivery service known for top-notch cuts of meat from livestock that lived the high life, Crowd Cow offers delicacies like Japanese Wagyu, organic and grass-fed American cattle, and on down to more pedestrian breeds, and works with multiple farms. You can read about the farms they partner with as you shop individual cuts. You’ll also find a variety of fresh and smoked fishes, predominantly from fishing cooperatives. Subscriptions start at $99 with free shipping and the company is currently offering a 5% discount on every shipment. Crowd Cow’s food all comes in compostable packaging and is 100% carbon-neutral. Crowd Cow works with small independent ranches, which you can read more about here. This week, save $15 on your first order from Crowd Cow with code GRILLWEEK15.
  • Omaha SteaksIf you’re after meats from the good old US of A that received top marks from the USDA, look no further. Bison, ribs, roasts, veal, ham, and bacon; it’s all there. Through May 16, get four free top sirloins on orders $159+ when you shop through our link.
  • Porter Road: Porter Road has all the basic meats, but while the steaks are great, we’re huge fans of the sausages and bacon. The brand hasn’t had any delays and plans on restocking regularly. Read more about its pasture-raising process in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania here. For Grill Week, save $20 off a first order of $100 or more with code INSIDER20.
  • Pursuit FarmsIf you’re looking to go all-out for the best of the best Wagyu beef you can get your mitts on right here in the US of A, Pursuit Farms sells it in both small packages and in bulk. You’ll pay a lot for meat of this quality, though maybe not as much as you’d expect, and it is, after all, the best beef we’ve sampled yet. What’s more is that there’s flat rate shipping (two-day, air) regardless of how much you order. Read more about Pursuit Farms’ process here. Use code BUSINESS10 for 10% off your order through May 16.
  • Rastelli’s: This veteran New Jersey outpost sells responsibly-raised meat in single servings and in bulk. Boxes of different bundles and cuts of meat are available, but you can also subscribe to regular shipments with a 5% discount. Antibiotic, steroid, and hormone-free, you can read more about Rastelli’s sourcing here. Save $20 off your first purchase with code INSIDER through May 16.
  • Thrive Market: Thrive Market is a subscription-based online superstore of sorts, selling certain things, like meat and seafood, in bulk. You won’t necessarily find the most outstanding quality on everything, but it is very well packaged and sourced on the more sustainable side. Read more about Thrive Market’s qualifications for their organic, GMO-free offerings here. Get 25% off your first order and a free gift when you join Thrive Market (1 year and 1 month memberships available) through our link.

General and specialty meat purveyors

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  • Belcampo: Balcampo sells all things beef, pork, and poultry out of a Northern California farm and butcherie. The animals at Belcampo have some 50,000 acres of free range and the meat is xertified humane. You can read more about Belcampo’s farms here.
  • ButcherBoxWhile most meat subscription services offer pre-existing bundles, ButcherBox lets you curate and build a box yourself. The brand offers both pasture-raised meat and wild-caught seafood, and you can read more about its sourcing here.
  • D’Artagnan: One of the earlier DTC meat distributors, D’Artagnan started out selling some of the first US-made foie gras to New York City chefs in 1985, but quickly branched out. Now the company offers specialty game birds, beef, veal, duck (from muscovy and moulard to Rohan duckling), truffles, charcuterie, and plenty more. D’Artagnan is our favorite pick for special occasions. Think pig roasts, and the over-the-top charcuterie platter of your dreams.
  • FarmFoods Market: Farmfoods offers your everyday cuts of beef and pork like anywhere else, sure, but what you don’t get elsewhere is a carefully selected co-op of 14 farms and seafood outfits for the job. We sampled a wide range of seafood and meat from around the world, and, sure enough, everything came immaculately vacuum-sealed. We received a filet of wild Alaskan sockeye salmon from Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood, a rack of free-range New Zealand lamb from Ovation, a pheasant-based cognac sausage from Chateau Royal, a pork chop from Redtop Farms, an Ossobucco from Fantasma’s Finest, and, well, you get the idea. Everything comes from a farm or fishing outfit that specializes in doing a few things just right. There’s also free shipping when you order over 10 pounds. Read more about the farms they work with here.
  • Flannery Beef: Selling California Reserve and Midwestern (USDA) beef along with lamb and pork at very reasonable prices, Flannery offers affordable but flavorful cuts of beef. Our favorite is the Midwestern Hanger steak. That said, if you’re looking to buy organic, free-range beef from small co-ops who can tell you the name of the animal you’ll be dining on —  which, yes, comes at a cost — look elsewhere.
  • Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative: The Grass Roots Farmer’s Cooperative provides pasture-raised beef, pork, and poultry from a cooperative of families producing small batches of some of the highest-quality animal protein you can get your hands on. Read more about its farms here.
  • Holy Grail Steaks: Very few meat purveyors in the United States offer Japanese Wagyu, but in addition to its US-raised beef, Holy Grail stocks several choice cuts of the rich, marbly stuff (though be aware that it rings in at top dollar).
  • LaFrieda Meat Purveyors: LaFrieda Meat Purveyors sells beef (and veal), pork, poultry, and lamb directly on its own site and on Goldbelly. The three-generation-old New Jersey-based vendor is best known for its fresh and dry-aged cuts of USDA Prime Black Angus beef: bone-in rib and strip steaks, tomahawks, and burger patties made from short rib, brisket, and dry-aged beef.
  • Maui Nui Venison: Axis deer were introduced to the Hawaiian islands over 150 years ago as a gift to King Kamehameha. Fast-forward, and as with many introduced species around the globe, their population numbers have become a problem. Fortunately, axis deer is some of the best-tasting venison on the planet, and Maui Nui has carved out a way to manage them as a resource, rather than an invasive species. We recommend the rib racks for something a little different. Read more about the farm here.
  • Meat N’ Bone: Based in Florida, Meat N’ Bone offers everything from heartland-raised American Wagyu to specialty game and seafood, too. Think wild boar, elk, stone crab claws, hogfish, yellowtail snapper, and gulf shrimp.
  • Silver Fern FarmsSilver Fern Farms offers 100% grass-fed, antibiotic-free New Zealand-raised beef, lamb, and venison. Everything arrives expertly vacuum-sealed and double-packaged, which lends everything from this brand to a long freezer life, free of freezer burn and spoilage. This is some of the best lamb we’ve ever tried. Read more about the farms here.
  • Snake River Farms: Snake River Farms offers top-notch, responsibly produced meat, and it’s also available in bulk. The brand’s US-based Wagyu is an excellent — and much more affordable — alternative to Japanese Wagyu. SRF crafted its own Wagyu hybrid in the 1980s, and its entire process is performed in-house. Read more about Snake River Farms here.
  • SustainibeefIf you’re looking for wholesale beef from a small family farm, Sustainibeef offers a community-supported model that operates like a cooperative. You can either start a subscription or make a one-time purchase, and the offerings are simple: One 10-pound box of frozen cuts, or a half of a steer, butchered down and delivered in an included freezer chest. Read more about the fourth-generation family farm here.
  • US Wellness Meats (AKA Grassland Beef): US Wellness offers all of your basic French cuts of beef, but all of the brand’s cattle are 100% (non-GMO) grass-fed and grass-finished, as well as antibiotic- and hormone-free. The most exciting thing about US Wellness Meats’ offerings, though, is the selection of bulk-size “primal cuts,” which range from around three to 15 pounds, and allow you to portion and cut your own steaks, sandwich meat, ribs, and more. We can also vouch for the brand’s lamb. Delivery has been on the slower side lately, with orders arriving about 10 days after they’re placed.

Meal kits

Sun Basket 2

Meal kit delivery services come with everything you need to make delicious dishes at home — including any meat required for a certain recipe. It’ll be more expensive overall than buying meat and produce separately, but it’s a smart way to ensure you get all of your ingredients at once.

  • Home ChefFresh, chef-designed meals based on your preferences (like calorie-conscious or vegetarian). Starting at $6.99 per serving.
  • Blue ApronBlue Apron offers well-balanced meals made from responsibly sourced ingredients. Meal kits start at $7.49 per serving.
  • Goldbelly: Goldbelly facilitates deliveries to all 50 states (when and where possible) so that you can, for example, send Raoul’s Steak Au Poivre Kit or a meal kit from Cote Korean Steakhouse to your friends or family anywhere in the greater US. Note that some merchants are experiencing delays on an individual basis.
  • Sun BasketSun Basket offers sustainably-sourced meals, three ways: oven-ready, pre-prepped, and classic (meaning the prepping and cooking is up to you). Starting at $10.99 per serving. Deliveries might be delayed according to this Covid-19 update.
  • HelloFresh: A box of high-quality, fresh ingredients shipped directly to you from the farm for $7.49 per serving. The brand also offers flexible meal plans so you can skip a week here and there, as well as swap recipes. HelloFresh hasn’t reported shortages or slow-downs, but according to its Covid-19 update, you’ll receive an email if there are any issues with your order. 
  • Dinnerly: “Unfussy and affordable” weekday meals are what Dinnerly advertises, and that description is spot-on: at $4.49 per serving, it’s the most budget-friendly meal plan or kit we’ve found yet. According to the brand’s most recent Covid-19 update, your delivery date might shift depending on where you live.

Non-meat meat delivery options

blue apron beyond meat

If sustainability is on your mind, you’re thinking of transitioning to a more plant-based diet, or members of your household are vegetarian or vegan, you might want to consider signing up for a non-meat meal kit service, too. At the very least, you’ll have backup options for dinner if you do run into meat delivery issues at some point. 

  • Beyond MeatBeyond Meat has done an outstanding job of using plant-based ingredients to replicate beef. The brand also offers vegetarian takes on sausages, breakfast sausages, and ground beef, and you can expect to see more soon. 
  • Blue ApronBlue Apron also offers vegan and vegetarian meals, including some featuring the Beyond Meat burger. Meal kits start at $7.49 per serving.
  • Dr. Praeger’s Purely Sensible Foods: This is one of the early birds of vegetarian and vegan prepared foods: Veggie burgers, tenders, patties, etc. Just note: The seafood DOES contain seafood.
  • Meatless FarmsMeatless Farms is one of those brands offering meatless meat in all its various forms, ready to cook and be swapped in for whatever meat for which a recipe calls. We really like its veggie burgers.
  • Morningstar Foods: Another early player in plant-based meat substitutions, Morningstar has long been popular for its black bean burgers. Faux chicken, hot dogs, and veggie takes on meat-heavy appetizers are all on offer.
  • Purple CarrotPurple Carrot offers healthful, plant-based meal kits starting at about $9.99 per serving. Options include protein-rich and carb-rich dishes. 

Check out our other grilling guides

Weber Premium Charcoal Grill

The best charcoal grills


The best gas grills you can buy


The best charcoals for grilling


The best grilling tools


The best cast-iron skillets


The best meat thermometers

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Amazon offers the Prime subscription at a discount for EBT and Medicaid cardholders – here’s how to sign up

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

amazon boxes stacked at doorstep
  • EBT or Medicaid cardholders can save 50% on an Amazon Prime membership.
  • This brings the cost down to $5.99 per month.
  • Below, we’ll tell you how to sign up plus the benefits Prime includes.

Though it may be easy to write Amazon Prime off as another frivolous subscription cost, being a member is full of perks and benefits that in the end can save you money.

For those that are EBT or Medicaid cardholders, you can sign up for a Prime Membership at 50% off, bringing the rate down from $12.99 per month (or $119 per year) to $5.99 per month for qualified users. For a membership that includes a streaming service, same-day grocery delivery, two-day shipping, and much more, that’s a steal.

If you are ineligible for the EBT or Medicaid cardholder discount, another way to save on membership is to sign up for Amazon Prime Student if you have an active .edu email address.

Prime for EBT or Medicaid Cardholders ($5.99/month) (medium)

The best Amazon Prime benefits

In addition to free next-day or two-day shipping on millions of items, Amazon Prime can you save money on essentials like groceries, diapers, and baby food – not to mention trips to the store. It’s also worth noting that Amazon now accepts SNAP EBT on qualifying grocery items.

With access to a massive library of TV shows, movies, and original content through Prime Video, membership can also help you cut the cord if you’re still paying for cable or satellite TV. The cost of Prime with all of its features also matches that of other major streaming services alone.

Prime Day, Amazon’s big two-day sale is another major benefit of having Amazon Prime. Members will have exclusive access to thousands of exclusive deals, many of which are just as good or better than Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Prime Day 2021’s date has yet to be announced, but we expect it’ll land sometime in June or July this year. It’s expected to be an event of equally grand scale compared to previous years, filled with rare, short-lived sales on popular items including streaming devices, smart home speakers and displays, robot vacuums, and more.

We’ve only just scraped the surface of Amazon’s many, many benefits. You can learn more about all 25 of them here.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

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The 5 best tables for kids in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Tables give kids their own spot where they can comfortably create, eat, do homework, and just be.
  • We tested 11 kids tables to find the best ones for activities indoors and outside.
  • The Ikea Dundra is the best table for kids because it is sturdy, competitively priced, and has storage.

Kids deserve their own space where they can sit or stand comfortably to create art, do homework, eat, and play. Plus, when they have their own table for these activities, it reduces the mess on the dining room table or kitchen counters.

The market is saturated with kids tables, with many different sizes, styles, and types. We tested 11 different tables for kids, from picnic tables to basic-use tables, considering their durability, stability, ergonomic positioning, and ease of cleaning. We put these tables through the ringer, using them daily for at least a month each and purposely getting them messy just to see how well they clean up.

To inform our product selections and testing, we also spoke to two occupational therapists who specialize in pediatrics: Chaye Lamm Warburg and Ashley Stoffel. Jump to the end of this guide to read more about our full testing methodology and FAQs about kids tables.

Here are the best kids tables in 2021

The best kids table overall

Ikea dundra kids table

The Ikea Dundra activity table is big, sturdy, cleans well, and has a large storage drawer, all for under $100. 

Pros: Affordable, easy to clean, raised edges, added storage, very sturdy   

Cons: Doesn’t come with chairs, liquid spills drip into drawer 

 The Ikea Dundra activity table checks all of our testing boxes, and it does so as one of the more affordable tables we tested. The table has raised edges to stop crayons, markers, and other supplies from rolling off, and it has a large storage drawer with two compartments. The table surface is gray while every other surface is white. 

Although it doesn’t come with chairs, it’s the right height for younger kids to stand at the table and for older kids to kneel or sit. The table is 19.5 inches from the ground, which is about belly button height on my 3-year-old.

In our cleaning test, everything came off easily with a basic household cleaner with the exception of the colored pencil, which came off with a Magic Eraser. The storage drawers in the front have pros and cons when it comes to cleaning. The pro: If you’re in a rush, pull out the drawer and push everything in with one arm swipe. The con: If you don’t clean up a liquid spill on the table quickly, it will drip into the drawer. 

From the second I picked up the box, I could tell the table would be very sturdy. It does not budge unless you have one or two adults trying to move it. It has also proven to be durable, with no dents, chips, or other signs of wear. 

The best activity table for kids

Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow With You Activity Table

The Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow-With-You Activity Table has the look and feel of being high quality plus it’s durable and easy to clean — two musts for kids tables.

Pros: Two leg-length options, very sturdy, raised edges, three color options  

Cons: Pricey, crumbs get stuck in corners 

With a high-end design and three color options, the Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow-With-You Activity Table will not be an eyesore in your home. Ideal for crafts and activities, it has raised edges to keep everything on the surface. 

It has proved to be very durable and stable in our tests. The table doesn’t wobble or tip, and we haven’t seen any chips, cracks, dents, or other signs of wear. In addition to our clean test, this table also saw a lot of daily use throughout our testing as the main craft table for my toddler. 

In our cleaning test, everything came off very easily with a basic household cleaner. However, cleaning crumbs and other small scraps was a bit more difficult. Because it has raised edges, small detritus tends to get stuck in the corners.  

Like other activity tables, it does not come with chairs. However, there are two leg-length options, fulfilling the “grow-with-you” moniker. We tested the 15-inch legs; 24 inches is the other option. When kids are old enough for the 24-inch legs, the table becomes tall enough to add on chairs. This table is so beautifully crafted and low to the ground that my husband attempted to overtake our testing and convert it into a coffee table. 

The best basic kids table

Kidkraft farmhouse activity table for kids

The Kidkraft Farmhouse Table and Four Chairs was the easiest to clean out of everything we tested. 

Pros: Very easy to clean, comes with four chairs, durable and sturdy 

 Cons: Messes can get stuck in screw holes  

A basic kids table and chair set should be a staple in every child’s home. The Kidkraft Farmhouse Table and Four Chairs stood out as a high-quality kids’ furniture set that looks just like a miniature version of a dining set. It comes in four colors: espresso, white, natural, and pecan. 

Easy cleaning is a parent’s dream and this table passed our cleaning test with flying colors. Everything wiped clean using a regular household cleaner. The only downside when it comes to cleaning is that the chairs have quite a few uncovered screw holes. Cleaning can become a bit tricky when messes get into those indentations.  

Like our other top picks, this set is very durable and looks new after months of use. It doesn’t have any dents or chips. The table and chairs are also sturdy and have never wobbled or tipped over. 

As a basic set, this table doesn’t come with any bells and whistles. It’s simply a flat surface for kids to eat, play, and create without distractions. 

The best picnic table for kids

Little tikes easy store picnic table

The Little Tikes Easy Store Jr. Picnic Table is built to withstand outdoor conditions, and it even has a built-in multipurpose tray with cup holders. 

Pros: Very sturdy, multipurpose tray and cup holders, folds up for storage, can withstand harsh weather conditions 

Cons: Umbrella is flimsy, max seating capacity would be a tight squeeze  

The Little Tikes Easy Store Jr. Picnic Table was a clear winner between the two picnic tables we tested. It’s sturdy, cleans easily, and can seat up to six kids, though four is more comfortable. It’s available with or without an umbrella. We found the umbrella a bit flimsy, but it does the trick if you want some shade. 

During our testing period, we left the table in a backyard surrounded by other large toys. When high winds sent a small slide playset and a playhouse flying, this table stayed put. It also never wobbled or tipped, even when we sat one adult on one side, within the 200-pound weight limit.

In our cleaning test, most messes came out easily. This table has some texture, which trapped the crayon and colored pencil marks. With a bit of scrubbing using regular household cleaner for the crayons and a Magic Eraser for the colored pencils, everything cleaned off. 

After over one month of testing, the table does not have any dents, cracks, or other obvious signs of wear. As an outdoor table, it does get a bit dirty, but dirt, pollen, and other outside messes clean quickly with a hose. 

The table can seat up to six kids with a maximum weight of 200 pounds per bench. Based on experience, I’d say it seats four comfortably; six kids would really need to squeeze to fit. 

One of our favorite features is the indentation in the middle of the table. It’s described as a multipurpose condiment/crayon tray, and it does not disappoint. It also includes two cup holders. 

When you’re ready to store the table, it folds nicely into one flat piece. It’s so easy that you could feasibly fold it to store after each use if you don’t want to leave it sitting out. 

The best budget kids table

Ikea Mammut picnic table

The Ikea Mammut is about as inexpensive as you can get, but it still received top marks in all of our tests, and it’s appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.  

Pros: Sturdy, easy to clean, affordable, appropriate for indoor or outdoor use, lightweight

Cons: Doesn’t come with chairs, slides slightly on hard surfaces 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a safe and sturdy kids table for less than the Ikea Mammut. The table doesn’t come with chairs, but you can add two on for $15 each, and it will still be the most inexpensive option in our guide. In testing, we often used it with this active balance chair, which we received as an editorial review sample from its manufacturer.

The Mammut is available in white or red. The nonporous material of the table even makes it ideal to use outside. It’s very lightweight and easy to move around outdoors and indoors. 

In our cleaning test, crayon marks came out with a Magic Eraser, and everything else cleaned off easily with basic household cleaner. This is another one that my toddler got a lot of use out of during our testing, and it still looks like it did when we took it out of the box. No dents, cracks, stains, or other signs of wear. You can purchase it in white or red.

As expected, the lightweight table slid a bit on hard surfaces, but never so much that it flew out from under our tester, and I never felt the need to remove it from our home due to safety concerns. 

All in all, this table gets the job done for a fraction of the price of others we tested. 

Our testing methodology

Testing kids tables

We used four main parameters to test each table: durability, stability, ease of cleaning, and ergonomic positioning. We tested each table with regular use for at least one month and some for more than six months. With the exception of the Pottery Barn Kids Carolina Grow-With-You Activity Table and B. Spaces by Battat set, we received editorial review samples of each table for testing purposes. 

  • Durability: After at least one month of regular and appropriate use, we checked for chips in paint or finishes, dents, splinters, cracks, or other obvious signs of wear.  
  • Stability: Stoffel emphasized the importance of finding a sturdy table and chair set. The table shouldn’t wobble when kids put their elbows on it, for example. To test stability, we observed daily and regular use and noted any instances of tipping or wobbling in both the chairs and the tables.
  • Ease of cleaning: It’s a fact of life: Kids make messes. On each table, we purposely made messes with: crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, glue, and food.

    We first cleaned each mess with a regular household cleaner like Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner or Lysol Multi-Purpose Cleaner. For messes that persisted, we followed up with a Magic Eraser. Almost all messes were gone at that point. We noted any messes that persisted beyond the Magic Eraser. 

  • Ergonomic positioning: Both experts we spoke to emphasized the importance of ergonomic positioning. This is difficult to assess because children grow at rapid rates. We followed this sizing guide recommended by Stoffel. Although ideal chair and tabletop heights vary by a child’s age, ideal differences between chair seat height and table top height are consistent. All of the tables we recommend come within 1 inch of these guidelines. 

What else we considered

Kidkraft picnic table for kids

We tested 11 kids tables in total. Here are the ones that didn’t make our top picks:

Kidkraft Outdoor Table with Benches and Umbrella: This is a beautiful table, but it’s not the most practical option for kids. Crayons, colored pencils, and markers didn’t clean off in our tests, and the wood started to chip and splinter after less than a year of use. 

Lalo The Play Kit: This set is very solid, has rubber bottoms to prevent sliding, and the chairs come in four colors. Unfortunately, the table wobbled in our tests. For a $250 set — the most expensive we tested — a structural issue like wobbling is a deal breaker.

B. Spaces by Battat – Kids’ Furniture Set: This is a nice set that has a few minor flaws. Because the chairs curve up on the edges, we found that they tip and can fall over if kids sit on the very edge. Additionally, we couldn’t get both chairs to fully fit under the table, and this one needed some extra scrubbing in our cleaning test.

Delta Children Chelsea Chair Set With Table: I really, really wanted to love this set. It has storage under the table and it includes a reversible chalkboard/whiteboard. Unfortunately, it had a strong off-gassing smell that lasted over a month, and within a couple months of use, the chair legs became loose and almost fell off. 

Melissa and Doug Wooden Table and Chairs: We really liked this set and didn’t find any major flaws. There simply wasn’t anything that made it stand out, and it’s more expensive than some of the similar tables we tested. 

Humble Crew Tot Tutors Forever 2-in-1 LEGO Compatible Activity Table: We were unable to spend much time testing this table. It quickly became apparent that it was unsafe. The table and chairs repeatedly slid and flipped out from under my toddler during testing. This happened with appropriate use on both hard floors and carpeting. 

What we look forward to testing

Ikea Flisat kids table

We’re always looking for the best products to test and recommend to our readers. We’ll continue to test kids tables for a future update to this guide. 

Ikea Flisat Children’s Table: This table has a flat top, but it can also become a sensory table with two storage bins that fit inside. It was out of stock at the time of our testing, so we’re looking forward to trying it out for a future update. 

FAQs about tables for kids

What are the benefits of tables for kids? 

Both of our experts emphasized the importance of ergonomic positioning so kids can be comfortable and have support for their bodies. “We all benefit from having our feet supported either on the floor or a sturdy footrest so a child-size chair might support a child in being able to more comfortably place their feet on the floor,” Stoffel told Insider Reviews. 

Stoffel also explained that this position helps support the upper body and allows kids to have more coordination and control in their hands. Warburg emphasized this as well. “Dangling feet cause children to round their backs and lead to back pain and sloppy handwriting,” she said.

Warburg noted that having a good table and chair fit is critical when kids are expected to sit for long periods of time. Having proper positioning is helpful for eating, completing school work, completing artwork, and playing and kids might even sit for longer periods of time for meals or homework if they’re seated comfortably. 

“Another benefit of a chil- size table and chair is that it gives the child a specific and special place for daily activities,” Stoffel said. “Knowing the table and chair are their own, the child might be more motivated or invested in the activity.”


How can I tell if a table is the right size for my child? 

According to Warburg, a good table allows a child to sit with their feet flat on the floor. Tabletop height  should be 2 inches above the height of the elbow when the child is sitting. Hips, knees, and ankles should also be at 90-degree angles when the child is seated.

Stoffel added that kids should be able to gently rest their elbows on the table without reaching up or leaning down. She also gave us an example of what a child might look like if the chair and table are not a supportive size. “You might observe the child squirming, shifting around in the seat, getting up from the table frequently or demonstrating decreased success with fine motor tasks,” she said.

Our sources

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37 gifts for new dads that will help them through the first year as a parent

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

gifts for new dad
  • No dad is ever 100% ready to take on the first year with a baby, but handy gifts can make it easier.
  • These gifts are great for adding some coffee, comfort, and relaxation back into a new dad’s life.
  • Here are 37 gifts new dads will appreciate as they go through the wonderful but sleep-deprived first year.
  • For more gift ideas for everyone in your life, check out all of Insider Reviews gift guides.

No baby book or anecdotal advice will ever fully prepare someone to become a dad. There are, however, some thoughtful gifts that will be invaluable for maintaining some semblance of normalcy during this truly remarkable time in a new dad’s life.

These gift ideas for new dads have been curated by the people who know all too well the first few months of sleepless nights, spit-up-stained shirts, and days without showers. From coffee to footwear to a portable white noise machine, these gifts make life easier for dads – and that’s priceless.

Here are 37 thoughtful gifts for new dads:

A travel mug for coffee time

gift for new dad: travel mug for coffee

Gift the Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug, available at Stanley, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon, from $20

New dads rarely have both hands free, so eliminating the need to twist, pop, flip, or open their coffee container makes life so much easier. They can simply add their coffee, screw on the top, and pull the trigger to open up the world of caffeine goodness.

Comfortable shoes that slip on

slip-on shoes for new dads

Vasque Satoru Moc, available at Backcountry and Vasque, $99.99 

As any parent will tell you, getting out the door is rough. And getting your shoes on can be downright annoying when you’re holding the baby, diaper bag, keys, and much, much more. Thankfully, footwear brand Vasque has a new dad’s back…or their feet. The sock-like upper and memory foam footbed means they’ll probably just wear them all day, but the easy on and off makes them infinitely versatile.

A portable white noise machine

new dad gift: white noise machine for baby

Marpac Portable White Noise Machine, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $28.54

The compact Marpac produces impressive volume, has a variety of white noise options, and offers a small nightlight. It also comes with a clip for connecting to the stroller for a walk (remember the outside?), in the car for an errand, or on the carrier as they bounce baby to sleep.

Instant pourover coffee

coffee gift for new dad

Kahawa 1893 Coffee Box, available at Kahawa 1893, from a 12-pack for $18

Restless nights and uncertain mornings may have dad missing their morning pourover coffee ritual. Turns out they can still have that rich flavor thanks to third-generation Kenyan coffee farmer Margert Kemunto Nyamumbo. Kahawa has created a single serve coffee that looks more like a tea bag, is ready in five minutes, and 100% compostable. Bonus: You can send a tip directly to the women who picked the coffee.

A fitness app with extras

fitness gift for new dad

Centr Fitness App Subscription, available at Centr, from $30/month or $120/year

Built by Thor and his legion of trainers, Centr is a one-stop-shop for workouts ranging from yoga to full gym routines as well as guided meditation and delicious meal recipes. The app includes short, effective workouts that are perfect for that new dad schedule and the guided mediation will slow dad’s anxiety.

A wireless charging station

nomad base station

Nomad Base Station, available Nomad, $99.95

If the secret to success as a new parent is organization, the Nomad’s beautiful wireless charger fits the bill. It’s slim, sleek, and able to power two devices simultaneously while also allowing for a USB-C and USB-A cord to be plugged in for a total of four devices at once. Mom and dad’s phones, AirPods, and the portable white noise machine will all be full and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

A device to keep track of everything

tile essentials

Tile Essentials 4-Pack, available at Amazon, $61.99

This grab bag of Tile options lets new parents rely on technology instead of their overtaxed brains. New dads can attach tiles to their keys, diaper bag, and wallet in order to make sure those items never stay lost for too long. And if they have their keys but not their phone, they can double tap the tile to make it ring. 

One tool for almost every job

leatherman wingman tool

Leatherman Wingman Multi-Tool, available at REI, $59.95

There’s something about being a dad that really brings out their inner handyman. The Leatherman Wingman is loaded with 14 tools, including a knife, screwdrivers, bottle openers, and even a 1-inch ruler, so they can fix just about anything and pop open a cold one when they’re done.

Comfortable underwear

saxx quest underwear

Saxx Quest Boxer Briefs, available at Amazon, from $25.60

The right underwear makes everything go so much smoother. The lightweight material is soft and breathable, and the patented BallPark Pouch keeps everything in place, whether they’re getting up for an early morning feeding or pushing a stroller around the park on a hot summer day.

A hammock

newdora camping hammock

Newdora Garden Hammock, available at Amazon, $16.99

Stealing away for a midafternoon nap in a hammock is an incredible way for a new dad to take a break from diaper changes. The Newdora Garden Hammock is easy to set up, adjustable, and packs down small enough to take anywhere.

A diaper backpack

Bag Nation Diaper Bag Backpack

Bag Nation Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Amazon, $44.95

Made with the same look of a commuter bag, this 14-pocket backpack is durable and carries all the essentials, from diapers to bottles and everything in between. There’s even a foldout changing pad.

A new set of sheets for parents and baby

new dad fathers day gifts 3

Gift the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set, from $110

Brooklittles Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $26.50

Sleep, when it does happen for both dad and baby, is so much better on a set of soft sheets that make them feel like they’re sleeping on a cloud. These are great for delicate skin and hot sleepers, too, and they come in a variety of colors and prints.

A comfortable pillow

Coop Home Goods body pillow

 Coop Home Goods Original Pillow, available at Amazon, $59.99

A comfy pillow might be the most important ingredient for a restful night. The adjustable fill on the Coop pillow means it works for every kind of sleeper, and a 100-night trial means they’re not stuck with it if they don’t like it.

Stroller phone mount

skip hop universal phone mount

Skip Hop Stroll and Connect Universal Phone Holder, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $14.99

Made with tough plastic and rubber grips, the Stroll and Connect mounts easily to a stroller or shopping cart and won’t fall off in crowded aisles or on bumpy terrain. It lets a parent keep their hands free in case they need to use the phone on the go.

A quick hang

metolius project board

Metolius Project Board, available at Backcountry, $64.95

With a variety of holds, from jugs to crimps to pockets, the Metolius Project Board is great for releasing tension with a quick upper body workout. It can go just about anywhere inside or outside, and the fine texture is easy on the skin.

A funny book about fatherhood

Man vs. Baby  The Chaos and Comedy of Real Life Parenting

Man vs. Baby: The Chaos and Comedy of Real-Life Parenting, available at Amazon, $16.69

Nothing will fully prepare him for the chaos and confusion of being a new dad. However, Matt Coyne’s sleep-deprived take on parenting will give him a hilarious and honest reassurance that he’s doing alright, no matter how stressful it seems.

A shaving kit

Harry's

 Harry’s Truman Shave Set, available at Harry’s, $15

This essential shave set includes a razor with a comfortable handle and textured rubber grip, three German-engineered blade cartridges, foaming shave gel for a rich lather, and a travel cover to protect the blades.

A cold brew maker

Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, One Quart, Black

Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $21.41

Dad will love a cup of cold brew coffee, with less acidity and a smoother taste, when they need a pick-me-up after sneaking in an afternoon nap. The Takeya Deluxe makes up to 1 quart of concentrate. Plus, it’s easy to use and an incredible value. 

An Instant Pot

Instant Pot Duo 6qt 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker, $99.99

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 (6-Ot.), available at Amazon, $89

The Instant Pot makes cooking dinner for the whole family a breeze. It makes soups, meats, yogurt, and pretty much everything else, even baby food. Easy cleanup means more time to spend with the little one too.

A meat or seafood box

crowd cow 4

Crowd Cow Gift Box, available at Crowd Cow, from $39

Give a new dad something delicious to cook with a gift box of meat or seafood that’s sourced from independent producers that practice sustainable farming and ethical treatment of animals.

Single-origin coffee beans

COLECTIVO Sumatra Highlands Hero

Colectivo Coffee—Sumatra, available at Colectivo, from $14.25

If they’re a coffee fanatic, they’ll love a bag of single-origin beans. Grown in the volcanic soil in the rugged mountains of the Indonesian island Sumatra, this rich, complex blend has notes of molasses and pineapple. And for those mornings where there’s no time to hassle with a French press, don’t overlook instant coffees, which have caught up in quality to the whole bean version.

Super soft lounge pants

tommy john loungers

Tommy John Second Skin Lounge Pants, available at Tommy John, $68

New dads will love a pair of comfortable pants for sleeping or lounging around the house that won’t embarrass them when the in-laws show up announced. These soft, light micromodal pants from Tommy John are perfect, and they hold up nicely wash after wash.

A play kit of curated toys

new dad fathers day gifts 7

Play Kit Subscription, available at Lovevery, from $36/month

Make those long hours playing on the floor count with a subscription to Lovevery curated age-appropriate toy kits. Delivered every two months, each one includes guides that show how each toy helps with a child’s development. They’re also a lot of fun.

A pair of chinos

bonobos

Bonobos Chinos, available Bonobos, from $98

Unfortunately, a new dad can’t wear lounge pants all the time. But just because they’re leaving the house for a bit, doesn’t mean they’ve got to sacrifice comfort. Bonobos chinos come in multiple fits and sizes, and the signature curved waistband give them an unobtrusive fit that makes them great for the office, a trip to the store, or a playdate in the park. 

An interactive photo journal

artifact uprising baby book

“The Story of You” Baby Book, available at Artifact Uprising, $99

A phone full of pictures and videos is great, but they’ll want something to capture and hold onto the most special moments. This photo book, featuring a fabric cover and foil stamped title, lets him write down his memories and the details of each milestone.

A lightweight button-up for a put-together look

tie bar short sleeve shirt

Tie Bar Short-Sleeve Shirt, available at Tie Bar, from $45

It’s nice for dad to feel put-together sometimes. The light, 100% cotton button-ups from Tie Bar are perfect for a rare night out or day at the office.

A shaving set

dollar shave club

Dollar Shave Club Complete Shave Gift Set, available at Dollar Shave Club, $35

This set comes with a razor handle and four four-blade cartridges that make for a great shave for when dad needs to clean up a little. It also includes a gentle prep scrub, shave butter, and hydrating post-shave cream.

A durable water bottle

Hydro_flask_lifestyle

Hydro Flask Wide Mount Water Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, $37.95

When life gets as hectic as it does for new fathers, it’s easy to forget to drink water. This durable insulated metal bottle keeps water cold and within arm’s reach.

A basketball jersey for baby

nba jersey

NBA Baby Jersey, available at NBA Store, from $29.99

It’s going to be a while before baby gets into it, but it’s still a lot of fun for a new dad to watch the game with his progeny decked out in their very own jersey.

An adjustable baby carrier

Omni_Baby_carrier

Ergobaby Omni 360 All-in-One Carrier, available at Buy Buy Baby and Ergobaby, $179

Whether you’re running errands or spending a day in the park, a good baby carrier makes it so much easier. Made with 100% premium cotton, the Ergobaby Omni 360 is super soft and easily adjustable to fit waists and shoulders of all sizes. It works in multiple positions, too, front or back, face-in or face-out. 

A foam roller

TriggerPoint_foam_roller

TriggerPoint GRID foam roller, available at Amazon, $39.95

Knots and tight muscles go hand in hand with parenting. He’ll appreciate the textured surface pattern of this foam roller to roll away the aches and pains of being a new parent.

A tool kit

CARTMAN Orange 39 Piece Tool Set

Cartman General Household 39-piece toolkit, available at Amazon, $18.99

There’s just something about being a dad that turns everyone into an overnight handy man. This tool kit includes all the basics he’ll need for assembling or repairing all that new gear in the nursery and beyond.

A soft cooler

Clevermade_cooler

CleverMade SnapBasket Soft-Sided Cooler Tote, available at Amazon, $34.99

Dad is going to need a good cooler for bringing food home from the store or packing up milk and baby food for a road trip to see the grandparents. This one has a 50-can capacity, but it still folds up small enough to stash under the seat when they don’t need it.

A delicious baby blanket

tortilla

Tortilla Baby Blanket, available at Uncommon Goods, $48

This blanket is made of breathable cotton/polyester blend fabric that will keep baby comfortable and cool. And the flour tortilla print that makes them look like a bundle of burrito joy is impossibly adorable.

A custom print of baby’s footprints

baby footprints personalized art

Baby Footprint Art Print, available at Etsy, from $18

It’s always hard to believe how little they used to be. This is an attractive, thoughtful piece that fits nicely anywhere in the home.

A smart speaker for baby’s room

echo dot

Echo Dot, available at Amazon, $29.99

A smart speaker is a nice addition to baby’s room. It can play lullabies or classical music at bedtime, or dad can use it to listen to the game while they’re playing with toys. 

An REI membership

REI Membership

REI Co-op Membership, available at REI, $20

Getting active and outdoors is great for kids, and something a new dad can do right from the start. With an REI membership, they’ll get annual dividends, exclusive offers, and more to get the gear they and their family will want. 

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