25 thoughtful and fun tech gifts under $100

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Tech gifts under $100 4x3
  • The right tech can bring your friends and loved ones a much-needed upgrade in quality of life.
  • Even on a budget of under $100, there are plenty of exciting and useful tech gifts to choose from.
  • If you’re on an even tighter budget, here are the best tech gifts under $50.

Technology doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

There’s a surprising amount of excellent tech gifts out there – accessories, fitness trackers, tablets, and smart speakers – for less than $100. That is, if you know where to dig.

Fret not, however: there’s no need to trudge through the pages of Amazon, Target, and Best Buy to find the best affordable tech. We’ve done that hard work for you.

Through research and direct testing we’ve uncovered the very best tech gifts under $100. We included a number of gifts in every price range, so you’re bound to find the right gifts for your loved ones.

A smart speaker with Alexa, the most popular smart home assistant

Best Echo Amazon Echo 4th gen

Amazon Echo, $99.99, available at Amazon

The new Echo is an excellent smart speaker and Alexa can answer your giftee’s questions, play music, and control smart home devices like lights and TVs. The new fourth-generation model also features an updated design with a spherical shape that fits nicely with most decor.

Read our full Echo review here

If your giftee isn’t into Amazon’s products but still wants a smart speaker, the Google Nest Audio is a great alternative. The smart speaker is reliable at answering queries, can control smart home gadgets, and play music with good sound.

Google Nest Audio, $99.98, available at Walmart

Read our full Nest Audio review here

A dedicated fitness tracker without the distractions of a smartwatch

fitibt inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2, $98.50, available at Amazon

Fitbit’s affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to track your giftee’s fitness metrics. The tracker has a heart rate monitor that helps improve the accuracy of tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones. As an added bonus, buyers also receive a free one-year trial of Fitbit Premium.

While more expensive devices like the Apple Watch have many of the same features, they also can bring added distractions and unnecessary steps for a user who primarily wants to keep track of their health.

A countertop display that’s also a smart home hub

Amazon Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5, $69.99, available at Amazon

The Echo Show 5 is an affordable smart display that has Alexa built-in. Your giftee can watch recipes and videos on it, see the time at a glance, and ask Alexa questions. It can also play music and control smart home devices.

A Philips Hut smart lighting starter kit

Philips Hue Starter Kit

Philips Hue White LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit, $99.99, available at Amazon

Philips Hue smart light bulbs can be controlled using an app or a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google Home. That means you can dim the lights, set them to change at specific times, or turn them off with a voice command if you’re using an assistant.

The hub included in this starter kit can connect and control your lights without a separate virtual assistant, and the smart button will let you turn the Philip Hue bulbs in your house on and off without any extra wiring.

A 4K streaming devices to help pass the time

57 Roku Stick +

Roku Streaming Stick+, $39.99, available at Best Buy

Anyone who likes to spend their free time streaming videos at home can make use of the Roku Streaming Stick+. Roku’s media streamers are the best in the business, and the Stick+ can stream TV shows and movies from all the major streaming services, including Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. 

Roku Ultra, $69.99, available at Target

If you’re looking for the absolute best features then the Roku Ultra is an ideal streaming player. It’s the best media streaming device we’ve tested, thanks to its easy-to-use interface, 4K playback, voice control, and simple remote. It can transform your so-called dumb TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and other streaming services. Unlike the cheaper Roku Stick model, this version adds Bluetooth, a USB port for external playback, and Dolby Vision capabilities for even better HDR performance on select apps. 

Read our full Roku Ultra review here

A PopSocket grip for your phone

PopSockets  Collapsible Grip & Stand for Phones and Tablets, $8.97

PopSocket Grip, $8 and up, available at PopSocket

PopSocket Grips stick to the back of your phone and can expand whenever you need a grip or a stand. Use one to take photos, text, hold a large device, watch movies, and video chat with ease and comfort. Many cost less than $10 and they come in a variety of colors and patterns to fit your recipient’s personality.

An ebook reader with a built-in light

kindle prime day deals 5

Amazon Kindle, $89.99, available at Amazon

The entry-level Kindle is a great gift for book worms who want a digital library of ebooks to take with them on the go. For young or new readers, the lack of apps on Kindle can help them stay focused on reading.

Newer Kindle models include a front light for night reading, and the Kindle can retain battery for weeks on a single charge. The $90 version includes ads on the home screen, so you may want to consider spending an extra $20 for the ad-free Kindle; though your gift recipient can also pay the $20 later on.

 

 

A smart herb garden

click and grow

Click and Grow Smart Garden 3, $99.95, available at Amazon

With the Click and Grow Smart Garden, your loved one can grow fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or thyme in a matter of weeks. The garden kit includes LED lights and basil plant pods — once set up, it will automatically water the herbs on a regular basis for two to three weeks.

A phone case that’s lovely to look at and built to last

nomad leather case iphone 12

Nomad Leather iPhone Cases, $49.95 and up, available at Nomad

Nomad uses genuine Horween leather to craft gorgeous, durable iPhone cases that age beautifully. We can’t recommend the brand’s cases enough. Nomad also makes a few Samsung and Google Pixel cases.

Otterbox case, $40 and up, available at Otterbox

Otterbox has a reputation for bulky protective cases that can withstand a lot of drops, but that doesn’t mean they’re ugly. In fact, Otterbox has tons of super fun cases with Star Wars, Disney, Pixar, and Marvel characters on them as well as some stylish designs.

A custom-designed iPhone case filled with familiar photos

21 Casetify Custom

Casetify Custom iPhone 12 Case, $45 and up, available at Casetify

Casetify’s easy to use tool lets you turn your favorite photos into a custom iPhone case. There are three case styles and dozens of templates, so you can turn your friend’s best Instagram photos into a unique way to protect their phone.

An excellent pair of wireless headphones

Sennheiser showcase

Sennheiser HD 350BT Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, $99.95, available at Amazon

Sennheiser makes some of the best over-ear headphones. Though not one of its flagship models, the HD 350BT are still strong performers. They’re comfortable, deliver outstanding sound quality, and have a long battery life of up to 30 hours.

Tech-friendly gloves

12 L.L. Bean Touch Screen Gloves

L.L.Bean Touchscreen Gloves, $29.99 and up, available at L.L.Bean

Protect your loved ones’ fingers when it’s cold outside and they still want to text their friends and family. These touchscreen gloves are super warm and work well on screens.

A durable, weighted iPhone charging cable

31 Native Union Night Cable

Native Union Night Cable, $39.99, available at Amazon

Native Union makes some of the most attractive phone accessories around. The Night Cable is the best long lightning charging cable for the iPhone. It has a 10-foot cord and a handy weight to hold it in place while your phone charges.

A desk lamp with a wireless charger

32 TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger, $49.99, available at Bed Bath and Beyond

If your giftee has a phone with wireless charging built in, the TaoTronics Desk Lamp is a great gift. It has a built-in wireless charger and a USB port so you can charge your devices wirelessly or with a cable. The lamp is also well made and fully adjustable. It has multiple brightness and color temperature settings so you can make it your own.

A beautiful wireless charger

51 Native Union Drop

Native Union Drop Wireless Charger, from $49.99 and up, available at Amazon

Native Union always impresses with its stylish tech accessories. If your giftee hates boring black and white tech, get them Native Union’s attractive wireless chargers, which come in multiple colors, including rose, sage, indigo, and more.

An instant camera

fujifilm instax mini 11 camera lifestyle

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, $69.99, available at Best Buy

Instant cameras are the perfect gift for shutterbugs who wish they’d lived during the age of the Polaroid. Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 11 comes in cute colors and takes fun, retro pictures that are printed right after they’re taken.

A light for better smartphone photography

lume cube 2.0

Lume Cube 2.0, $89.85, available from B&H

Any smartphone shutterbug will love having the Lume Cube 2.0 in their mobile photography kit. The little light helps illuminate the subject of a photo when the lighting is subpar.

An iPhone USB memory stick

55 Sandisk Xpand

SanDisk iXpand and Flash Drive 128GB for iPhone, $49.99, available at Amazon

Even though iPhones now come with more storage built in, it’s still easy to run out of space. For people who take too many photos, download tons of music, shows, and games on their phones, the SanDisk iXpand is the perfect gift.

An iPhone dock

58 Twelve South HiRise

Twelve South HiRise 2 Deluxe, $29.99, available at Amazon

An iPhone dock looks nice on any desk, nightstand, or table, and it gives your giftee a good place to charge their phone. The Twelve South HiRise 2 Deluxe comes with lightning and Micro USB cables. The device also features a handy design that holds your iPhone up off the base. This prevents your phone’s speakers and home button from getting blocked. 

A set of Tile trackers

Tile Mate Essentials pack

One Tile Mate Tracker, one Tile Slim Tracker, and two Tile Stickers, $64.99, available at Amazon

Tile trackers are one of the most practical tech gifts you can give. Once they’re paired, your giftee can use their phone to make the trackers send them a notification to help find a lost item, or show the tracker’s last known location on a map.

This pack comes with one Tile Slim, which is thin enough to slip into a wallet, one Tile Mate, which has loops so it can fit onto key rings, and two Tile Stickers, which can be attached to a remote or other electronic device. 

A temperature-controlled mug

74 Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug

Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug, $99.95, available at Amazon

It seems like everything is high-tech these days and a lot of it seems pointless, but this is not one of those things. Ember’s smart mug can keep your loved one’s drink at the perfect temperature so they never burn their tongue again. It uses a smart heating coaster and an app to help you decide how hot you want your drink to be every time.

A kid-friendly tablet with a year’s worth of children’s books and videos

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, $79.99

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, $99.99, available at Amazon

Kids love tablets, but they can also be destructive fiends when it comes to tech. Luckily, Amazon’s Kids Edition of the Fire 7 tablet is here to save the day with its protective case and warranty against accidental damage. The Kids Edition also comes with one year of Amazon Kids, which adds tons of kid-friendly content you can find via Amazon apps like Kindle and Amazon Prime Video.

Fire HD 8, $89.99, available at Amazon

The Fire HD 8 tablet is also a solid option for teens and adults who don’t need the extra power of an iPad or Microsoft Surface. The latest Fire HD 8 has a 1,280 x 800-pixel screen, 32GB of storage built in, and room for expansion via a Micro SD card slot.

An alarm clock with a soothing light and built-in Bluetooth

83 iHome Speaker

iHome Zenergy Light Alarm Clock, $69.99, available at Bed Bath and Beyond

No one likes waking up to a blaring alarm, so a light therapy alarm clock that tries to awaken you with a gradual, sunrise-like increase of light is a nice gift. The iHome Zenergy offers a number of great light alarm features, but it also has a decent Bluetooth speaker built into it, so your giftee can play music, too.

A waterproof Bluetooth speaker

JBL Flip 5 ilfestyle

JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $79.95, available at Amazon

If you’re shopping for someone who’s planning on a warm vacation — or lives someplace nice all the time — this waterproof speaker will let them rock out without worrying about dropping it into the pool or ocean.

The JBL Flip works in horizontal or vertical position and will play for up to 12 hours with a full battery. While the Flip 5 has an improved battery and charges faster, the Flip 4 is $50 cheaper and will still suit most needs for a portable speaker.

A pair of budget-friendly wireless earbuds

1more earbuds

1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds, from $59.99, available at Amazon

These wireless earbuds are cheaper than AirPods, but they sound even better. They also last for 24 hours of total playtime and 6.5 hours of continuous use. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

All the sneaky ways flower-delivery services get you to spend more money

  • You’ve probably turned to flower-delivery sites when you’ve needed a go-to gift for Mother’s Day.
  • Chances are, you’ve ended up with way more items in your cart at checkout than you expected.
  • Floral wires work as middlemen between the florist and the consumer, pocketing a big chunk of the florist’s money.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Whether you wanna show someone you care, freshen up your home, or apologize ’cause you really, really messed up, everyone loves flowers, but they can get pretty pricey. Hop on a flower delivery site, and chances are you’re gonna spend a minimum $50 but you gotta pay, right? Maybe it’s a birthday or a holiday, but your special someone needs a bouquet to make their coworkers jealous.

Let’s look at buying flowers online. In order for a dozen red roses on the week of Valentine’s Day costs this much from major online retailers. Across the market, there’s a strong effort to upsell. Add a vase, additional $10. Want those roses long stem? How about balloons? Stuffed animal, Godiva chocolate, delivery before noon, a $40 bouquet of roses can easily turn into $100 order. These companies have a vested interest in getting you to add extras. Why? ‘Cause flowers themselves are pretty cheap.

And since flowers are most often gifts, consumers are more likely to add on other items to pad the perceived value of the gift, tacking on plush animals, chocolate, balloons, gift baskets and anything else you can think of. So where do all those add ons come from? Chances are you just bought your flowers through a floral wire delivery service. No, not floral wire, floral wire services or companies like these. They work as a nationwide network of brick and mortar florists. When you buy from any of these sites, it’s actually coming from a local florist.

Floral wires began 110 years ago as a way to build a delivery network outside of a specific florist limited delivery range. It started out through telegraph’s, hence the first one, Florists Telegraph Delivery Service. This was a cooperative of florists across the country. You know it today as FTD. And it stayed that way for over 80 years. It wasn’t until 1994 that something changed the entire industry. FTD was acquired and converted to a for-profit company, eventually listing on the stock market in 2005.

This began an industry-wide change as independent for-profit companies created competing wire services, which you recognize today as one 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora. It also changed the focus from florist helping florists to, hey, there’s money to be made here. Today wires work as floral brokers, middlemen between the florist and the consumer. Participating florists pay fees to be part of the network and to send and receive orders. The sending florist also gets a cut but a much smaller one.

Remember those add on items? Chances are, those have to do with the many acquisitions the wires have made in the last 15 years. For example, FTD has purchased florists.com, Shari’s Berries, and Interflora. 1-800-Flowers has acquired flower adjacent businesses like Harry and David as well as Napco which sells flower pots and vases. As flowers became a more competitive industry, wires started to run out of their consumer base.

Remember that delivery fee you paid, there’s a good chance that’s going directly to the wire. Florists have reported wires pocketing up to 40% of a given order, leaving the fulfilling florist to cover the cost of flowers, vase, add ons, labor and delivery and hope that there’s some profit left over.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average floor salary at $25,000 a year and jobs are expected to decline over the next 10 years. For every few florists enrolled in a wire service, there’s an independent florist trying to do it the old school way. Instead of working with a wire service, they maintain relationships with other florists for long-distance deliveries. In addition, fewer people are looking for arrangements, preferring loose cut flowers, which they can find at the local supermarket.

The last piece of the puzzle are the startups, new companies like the Bouqs company and UrbanStems. These aim to disrupt the floral wires control with a new model, buy flowers directly from growers or grow and assemble flower arrangements themselves and then ship them to you via UPS or FedEx. This drop shipping method is their innovation that aims to cut out the middleman, the traditional floral giants. As floral wires began to lose profits, they became acquired by companies that were not as familiar with the industry. FTD filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019, selling parts and paying debts on 217 million dollars.

According to court filings, it struggled to merge the new businesses and then blamed customers for being not as open to delivery fees in a world of Amazon free shipping. FTD lost 6% of its business in 2018, nearly 224 million. It sold its European business Interflora to The Wonderful Company, Teleflora’s parent company for only $60 million. Flower delivery services are still some of the worst-ranked industries when it comes to customer reviews and it makes sense we bring these delicate decapitated blossoms into our home and put emotional meaning into them while expecting them to travel from Colombia to our doorstep in peak condition.

People will always buy flowers, but florists need to adapt to a changing landscape if they don’t want to get snipped.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in February 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 8 best online flower delivery services we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Fresh flowers are a thoughtful way to commemorate any occasion – they also make great last-minute gifts.
  • We ordered 29 bouquets from 13 well-known brands and had them delivered to 10 testers all over the country.
  • UrbanStems is our top pick for its quality and options, including plants, dried bouquets, and subscriptions.

Whether it be a holiday, a milestone, sympathy, or just because, sending fresh flowers is a thoughtful way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. And it’s easier than ever: a plethora of online delivery services have streamlined the process down to a couple of clicks. There are now dozens of these merchants out there, with a wide array of options – fresh bouquets, live plants, dried or preserved arrangements, subscriptions, and more – all at varying price points.

While our reporters and editors have used nearly every one of these services to send loved ones bouquets over the years, we wanted to know exactly how they stack up against one another. To find the best flower delivery service, we ordered 29 arrangements from 13 popular brands, sending the flowers to Insider Reviews team members all over the country. Our goal was to find a service that delivers the freshest, most attractive flowers that arrive on time no matter your location. You can read more about our methodology, and find out more about what services didn’t make the cut here.

Here are the best online flower delivery services in 2021

  • Best flower delivery service overall: UrbanStems
  • Best flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowers: Farmgirl Flowers
  • Best flower delivery service for custom arrangements: Floracracy
  • Best flower delivery service for same-day delivery: FTD
  • Best flower delivery subscription: BloomsyBox
  • Best flower delivery service for preserved roses: RoseBox
  • Best flower delivery service for fresh roses: Roses Only
  • Best flower delivery service for dried bouquets: East Olivia
The best flower delivery service overall

Best flower delivery 2021 UrbanStems 4x3

UrbanStems makes some of the most stunning bouquets we’ve found and offers something for everyone, with a diverse selection of fresh flowers, dried flowers, plants, gifts, and subscriptions.  

Pros: Lots of options to choose from, including dried bouquets and plants; attractive floral designs in a range of styles, sizes, and prices

Cons: Some testers noted flowers lasted a few days less than other brands

UrbanStems offers a robust selection of modern, fresh bouquets, along with dried flowers, plants, candles, chocolate, and subscriptions. It’s a great one-stop shop to find something that feels unique to your recipient. We tried the Juliet, Luna, and Double the Pink Champagne fresh bouquets, along with the Aspen dried bouquet and Claude plant. Everything arrived on time and in excellent condition. The arrangements were some of the freshest, most attractive bouquets we tested, and were filled with lively, creative blooms in a range of colors.

The bouquets lasted a little over a week — average for fresh-cut flowers — and the dried bouquet and plant are still going strong. The site is also very easy to navigate and lets you filter by occasion, color, price, and more.

Read our full review of UrbanStems.

The best for flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowers

Best flower delivery 2021 Farmgirl Flowers 4x3

Farmgirl Flowers offers unique and playful arrangements that change with what’s in season and with many blooms sourced from California farmers.

Pros: Whimsical, in-season blooms; each bouquet is unique; moderately priced; offers some rare flowers; some florals are grown in the US 

Cons: Surprise bouquets not ideal if you have specific flowers you want to include or avoid; some customers report wilting or short-lived blooms

If you’re after an arrangement that looks like it was recently plucked from the garden, Farmgirl Flowers offers inventive and playful bouquets based on what’s in season. Farmgirl’s flagship offerings are the Mini, Midi, and Maxi bouquets, available either wrapped in burlap or “mittened” in a vase. You don’t get to choose what you receive; instead, Farmgirl puts together a bouquet based on what’s available and in season. The company’s website and social media give you an idea of what to expect, but every bouquet is slightly different, giving it a special, unique feel. 

I received a Midi and a Maxi, and had another Midi sent to a tester in California. I love that the arrangements had a whimsical, wild shape to them, and they were gorgeous from every angle. The Midi and Maxi both appeared the same size when I first received them, but after a few hours in water, the Maxi’s closed buds opened up to create a fuller bouquet. 

If you want your bouquet to include (or avoid) certain flowers, Farmgirl also offers a few dozen specialty bouquets, including some rare blooms like flower breeder David Austin’s Juliet and Patience roses.

The best flower delivery service for custom arrangements

Best flower delivery 2021 Floracracy 4x3

Floracracy‘s custom arrangements are a unique way to mark life’s meaningful moments, and make gifting flowers feel incredibly personal and special. 

Pros: Completely customizable arrangements, online tool helps you choose the right arrangement, beautiful presentation and packaging, thoughtful extras like a petal pressing book and mini shears, letter writing service

Cons: Online tool can be a bit tricky to navigate, lots of packaging (though most is compostable or recyclable), few budget options

If you really want to wow your giftee with something special, a custom arrangement from Floracracy is perhaps the most personal flower gift you can buy. Every aspect of the design can be customized, from the shape, to the colors, to the blooms. If you’re not sure where to start, the company’s design tool walks you through a quiz that lets you select the intended recipient, occasion, and meaning you wish to convey, and then makes a recommendation for you. Each flower is paired with a meaning from the company’s thorough research of historical flower symbolism. You’re also given the option to write a letter yourself or have the company write one for you based on information you provide.

The arrangements we received from Floracracy were the most lush and vibrant we’ve ever seen from a flower delivery service. Each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, a handbound book for pressing petals, and an illustrated card with each of the flowers and their meaning. Our blooms lasted almost three weeks; longer than any other arrangement. While this service is pricier and requires some of your time to design, it makes for a truly meaningful and memorable flower gift. 

Read our full review of Floracracy here.

The best flower delivery service for same-day delivery

Best flower delivery 2021 FTD 4x3

FTD offers hundreds of bouquets, gifts, and plants for delivery in all 50 states and 150 counties, with many options for same-day arrival.  

Pros: Orders filled by local florists; a large selection of bouquets, plants, and gifts

Cons: Experience can vary based on which florist fills your order, designs are more traditional and less modern

When you need to send flowers fast, a floral wire service is your best option. Florists’ Transworld Delivery Service (FTD) has been in the flower delivery business for more than 100 years and partners with local florists to fufill and deliver orders in all 50 states and more than 150 countries. In many cases, you’ll also have the option of same-day delivery. The arrangements lean toward more traditional colors and flowers, instead of more modern or unique designs.

Compared to other similar floral wire services, both my testers and I had the better experience with FTD. The bouquets and plants we received were fuller, fresher, and in better condition than blooms from 1-800-Flowers. Of course, since orders are typically filled by local florists, your experience may vary depending on who ultimately fills your order.

If you need to send flowers quickly, internationally, or to hard-to-reach places, FTD is the best same-day service we’ve found.

Read our full review of FTD.

The best flower delivery subscription

best flower delivery service 2021 bloomsybox

BloomsyBox offers a la carte bouquets and plants, but its wide variety of subscription plans are where the service really shines.   

Pros: Multiple weekly and monthly plans to choose from, offers month-to-month and prepaid plans, bouquets are gorgeous, a la carte bouquets and plants available

Cons: Don’t get to choose which flowers are in your bouquet, which might not be a good option for those with allergies or pets

Flower subscriptions are a great way to brighten someone’s day on a more frequent basis — or to liven up your own home with regularly-scheduled blooms. BloomsyBox offers a robust fleet of weekly and monthly subscription options at reasonable prices. You can pay month-to-month or save a few dollars by prepaying for 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscriptions. While the retailer also sells a la carte bouquets and plants, we think it’s subscriptions offer the best value.

I tried BloomsyBox’s priciest subscription: its NYBG Collection. Each bouquet in the subscription curated by the New York Botanical Garden’s floral experts and features blooms that are in season. A portion of the subscription goes to supporting the NYBG’s plant science and conservation efforts.

I’m two bouquets into my 3-month subscription and so far, everything has been stunning. It’s a nice treat each month when I get an e-mail in my inbox saying my bouquet is on the way. April’s bouquet featured white and purple lilies with a bunch of lush greenery, while March’s selection was a springy mix of pink roses and purple veronica. I highly recommend BloomsyBox’s subscriptions to anyone looking for a bit of floral cheer on a regular basis.

The best flower delivery service for preserved roses

Best flower delivery 2021 Rosebox 4x3

Preserved roses are incredibly popular and can last more than a year with proper care. We love Rosebox for preserved roses because of its robust selection of arrangements, vases, and colors.

Pros: More than 20 rose color options, many container types, smell and look like fresh roses, can last a year or longer with proper care

Cons: Don’t have the same feel as real roses

If you’ve been on Instagram lately, chances are you’ve seen these trendy preserved roses somewhere on your feed. Usually packed into boxes or displayed in a classic ball arrangement, these flowers are incredibly popular with influencers and celebrities. 

We tested three preserved rose brands and found the quality very similar. Ultimately, we chose RoseBox as the best preserved roses for its diverse range of color and display options. We particularly liked that its plentiful display containers had discreet branding or none at all, unlike other preserved rose brands that their cover containers (which can’t be separated from the flowers) with logos.  

Almost all of RoseBox‘s 90+ products can be customized with 21 or more different rose color options. One of our testers opted for turquoise, while others opted from more classic red and pink varieties. 

Preserved roses are expensive, no matter what brand you choose. A single preserved rose will cost you anywhere from $44 to $89, which is the same price as a full-sized bouquet from most of our other top picks. Expect a medium-sized array of preserved roses to cost about $300. That said, they can end up being an economical alternative to buying flowers every week. We’re eager to see if our arrangements live up to their purported longevity.

The best flower delivery service for fresh roses

Best flower delivery 2021 Roses Only 4x3

As the name implies, Roses Only sells just one product but it does it remarkably well, delivering some of the most pristine, stunning, long-stemmed roses we’ve ever seen.

Pros: Stunning roses; beautiful presentation; long-lasting flowers; available in quantities from six to 100

Cons: Limited product and color choices.

Roses are such a big seller that I made sure every arrangement I received as part of this guide included at least some of them. Having seen the spectrum of what’s out there, I can confidently say that Roses Only delivers the most pristine, long-lasting roses I’ve found.

So much care is put into the delivery: the cartoonishly perfect long-stemmed roses (which you can order in quantities of six to 100) come packaged in a long, elegant box with a linen ribbon, and every rose has its own water reservoir to ensure it arrives pristine. The roses themselves are flawless, with big velvety petals. They lasted about two weeks and gradually opened up until each bud was about the size of my palm. At about $8 per flower, Roses Only sells some of the most expensive roses out there, but if it’s just fresh roses that you’re after, no flower delivery service does it better.

Th best flower delivery service for dried bouquets

Best flower delivery 2021 East olivia 4x3

Fresh flowers have a short lifespan but dried florals from East Olivia can last for years with proper care and feature inventive colors and textures not found in traditional fresh bouquets. 

Pros: Unique and inventive designs, each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, options change seasonally, arrangements can last a year or longer with proper care

Cons: Order processing can take up to five business days, limited edition collections can sell out quickly

No matter how pretty the bouquet, fresh flowers will all eventually wilt. Dried bouquets are a good solution for those who love the look of florals but hate the upkeep. Some of the most creative and beautiful preserved arrangements we’ve seen come from East Olivia.

The offerings change seasonally, but at the time of our testing the brand featured a winter collection and Valentine’s Day collection, both featuring ornamental grasses and filler flowers dyed dreamy pastel colors. We tried The Rose from the winter collection and The Harper from the Valentine’s Day collection. Each bouquet comes fully arranged and delicately packaged with its own matching ceramic vase. The Rose features miscanthus, pampas grass, ruscus, helecho fern, and bunny tails in varying shades of pink, set in an ivory porcelain vase. It currently lives in my office, where it makes me smile every time I walk past it. I love knowing that I’ll get many, many months of enjoyment out of it. 

The fact that East Olivia‘s collections change with the season makes each arrangement feel special and limited edition. Order processing can take up to five business days, so you’ll want to plan ahead if you plan on gifting one of these dried arrangements, especially considering the limited edition collections can sell out quickly.

What else we tested

Best flower delivery 2021 Ode a la Rose 4x3

We tested 12 brands for our guide to the best flower delivery services. Here are the ones that didn’t quite make the cut.

  • Ode à la Rose (starting at $54.99): Founded by two Frenchmen who were disappointed by the bouquet selection available in New York City, Ode à la Rose makes beautiful, minimalist bouquets often consisting of just one to three flower types each. The bouquets we received from Ode à la Rose were breathtaking, and this service is a fantastic option if you live in New York City, Philadelphia, or Chicago where you can choose from a wider selection of arrangements and have the option of same-day delivery. However, the selection is limited, especially for nationwide delivery (only 10 bouquets were available for delivery to Boston). Our Gemma and Felice bouquets were gorgeous, though, and we’re looking forward to seeing this service expand its offerings. 
  • The Bouqs Co. (starting at $39): Many of our reporters and editors have ordered bouquets from the Bouqs, and we’ve been impressed with this brand in the past. However, compared to other services we tried, bouquets from the Bouqs were notably smaller and less full. My grand Santa Cruz’n arrangement was supposed to have 120 blooms, but actually came with about half that and several stems were wilted. A small note on the product page says “please note that spray roses feature multiple smaller blooms per stem,” but I still only counted around 60 in my arrangement. The packaging also wasn’t very protective; my flowers were zip-tied directly to the shipping box with only a single sheet of paper laid over them for protection. Our California tester had a similar experience; her bouquet arrived small and wilted, though it perked up a bit in water. While we hoped that our experience was an outlier, other review sites have also noted a dip in the quality of Bouqs bouquets in the years since the service launched. We’ve always loved the diverse selection of creative bouquets from The Bouqs, so we hope it fixes these issues soon. 
  • Rosepops (starting at $32): This preserved rose brand sends its arrangements packed in lidded boxes. When it arrives, you remove the lid and pull on the box strings to “pop” the roses up above the lid of the box for presentation. The popping mechanism was unique (and nice for storage), and the roses felt softer and more natural than other preserved roses we’ve tried. However, our testers thought the large and prominent logos on all the containers cheapened the presentation, and the website isn’t intuitive to navigate.
  • 1-800-Flowers (starting at $34.99): Before the internet, calling 1-800-Flowers was the primary way to send bouquets to someone if you didn’t know a good local florist. The retailer still offers hundreds of bouquets and gifts, now through its website, many of which are available for same-day delivery via local florists. While the selection is robust (I counted 53 bouquets available for same-day delivery in my area), the website is a bit tricky to navigate. Even when I specifically browsed for flower bouquets, the results were integrated with gift baskets, edible arrangements, and teddy bears, and there was no way to filter out the categories I wasn’t interested in. It made finding what I wanted more tedious. The bouquet I received was skimpier and less impressive than others from similar services and only lasted a week. Our California tester noted that the orchid she ordered wasn’t packed very well for shipping, and a lot of the gravel and soil in the container was spilled when it arrived.
  • Venus Et Fleur (starting at $44): This preserved rose brand delivered fresh-smelling, attractive roses. We loved the quality of the blooms and the creative options available on the site. However, we wished there were more container options; especially those that don’t have Venus Et Fleur branding so prominently displayed.

Our testing methodology

Best flower delivery 2021 4x3

To find the best flower delivery service, we conducted hands-on testing of every brand in this guide. We ordered two to three arrangements from each brand, evaluating the selection, ordering, and delivery process. We sent bouquets to testers in different parts of the country — including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, rural Colorado, and suburban Connecticut — to see if quality and delivery time varied based on location. In all, we tested 29 bouquets from 13 brands. Here’s what we looked for in the best flower delivery service:

Ordering: We scrutinized the ordering process of each service, noting whether the website was simple to navigate, what the product selection was like, and how easy it was to place an order. We also looked at shipping options and estimated delivery times.

Delivery: We noted whether the arrangements arrived when they said they would (all did), evaluated packaging, and looked at the condition of the flowers when they first arrived. Testers across the country compared notes; we found delivery times and quality consistent across the country.

Quality of flowers: We looked for full bouquets of lively-looking flowers that matched the description and photo of the arrangement we ordered online. We read all care instructions and followed them meticulously, noting how long the flowers remained fresh enough to display. 

Consistency: A good flower service should deliver quality blooms no matter the location of your recipient. Our testers across the country took photos and detailed notes about delivery and bouquet quality to compare experiences.

What we’re testing next

We continue to test flower delivery services in pursuit of the best place to buy bouquets. Here are some brands we’re currently testing or looking forward to testing:

  • Matilda’s Bloombox ($39 per arrangement): Matilda’s Bloombox is somewhere between a subscription service and a DIY kit. Each box costs just $39 and contains all the flowers you need to craft a stunning floral arrangement. However, right now the service is primarily limited to the San Francisco Bay area and Austin and Houston, Texas. The company does offer nationwide delivery with a fee, but only with the “gift a box” option.
  • Bouquet Box (starting at $119): Like Matilda’s Bloombox, Bouquet Box offers you a chance to hone your flower arranging skills with a kit of flowers and instructions for arranging them. Bouquet Box appears to be pricey compared to other comparable services, but we’re looking forward to giving it a try. 
  • Fresh Sends (starting $55): We’ve been seeing these modern, newspaper-wrapped bouquets all over social media. Fresh Sends offers two products: a one-time purchase or a subscription, both in either “regular” or “full” bouquets. You don’t know what sort of arrangement you’ll be receiving; the offerings change daily. We’re interested in trying this popular, modern service.

Check out related guides

How to keep fresh-cut flowers alive longer


The 8 best chocolates in 2021, according to a professional chocolatier


The best wine subscriptions in 2021


The best Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wines for any budget

Read the original article on Business Insider

All the sneaky ways that flower-delivery services get your order

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Whether you wanna show someone you care, freshen up your home, or apologize ’cause you really, really messed up, everyone loves flowers, but they can get pretty pricey. Hop on a flower delivery site, and chances are you’re gonna spend a minimum $50 but you gotta pay, right? Maybe it’s a birthday or a holiday, but your special someone needs a bouquet to make their coworkers jealous.

Let’s look at buying flowers online. In order for a dozen red roses on the week of Valentine’s Day costs this much from major online retailers. Across the market, there’s a strong effort to upsell. Add a vase, additional $10. Want those roses long stem? How about balloons? Stuffed animal, Godiva chocolate, delivery before noon, a $40 bouquet of roses can easily turn into $100 order. These companies have a vested interest in getting you to add extras. Why? ‘Cause flowers themselves are pretty cheap.

And since flowers are most often gifts, consumers are more likely to add on other items to pad the perceived value of the gift, tacking on plush animals, chocolate, balloons, gift baskets and anything else you can think of. So where do all those add ons come from? Chances are you just bought your flowers through a floral wire delivery service. No, not floral wire, floral wire services or companies like these. They work as a nationwide network of brick and mortar florists. When you buy from any of these sites, it’s actually coming from a local florist.

Floral wires began 110 years ago as a way to build a delivery network outside of a specific florist limited delivery range. It started out through telegraph’s, hence the first one, Florists Telegraph Delivery Service. This was a cooperative of florists across the country. You know it today as FTD. And it stayed that way for over 80 years. It wasn’t until 1994 that something changed the entire industry. FTD was acquired and converted to a for-profit company, eventually listing on the stock market in 2005.

This began an industry-wide change as independent for-profit companies created competing wire services, which you recognize today as one 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora. It also changed the focus from florist helping florists to, hey, there’s money to be made here. Today wires work as floral brokers, middlemen between the florist and the consumer. Participating florists pay fees to be part of the network and to send and receive orders. The sending florist also gets a cut but a much smaller one.

Remember those add on items? Chances are, those have to do with the many acquisitions the wires have made in the last 15 years. For example, FTD has purchased florists.com, Shari’s Berries, and Interflora. 1-800-Flowers has acquired flower adjacent businesses like Harry and David as well as Napco which sells flower pots and vases. As flowers became a more competitive industry, wires started to run out of their consumer base.

Remember that delivery fee you paid, there’s a good chance that’s going directly to the wire. Florists have reported wires pocketing up to 40% of a given order, leaving the fulfilling florist to cover the cost of flowers, vase, add ons, labor and delivery and hope that there’s some profit left over.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average floor salary at $25,000 a year and jobs are expected to decline over the next 10 years. For every few florists enrolled in a wire service, there’s an independent florist trying to do it the old school way. Instead of working with a wire service, they maintain relationships with other florists for long-distance deliveries. In addition, fewer people are looking for arrangements, preferring loose cut flowers, which they can find at the local supermarket.

The last piece of the puzzle are the startups, new companies like the Bouqs company and UrbanStems. These aim to disrupt the floral wires control with a new model, buy flowers directly from growers or grow and assemble flower arrangements themselves and then ship them to you via UPS or FedEx. This drop shipping method is their innovation that aims to cut out the middleman, the traditional floral giants. As floral wires began to lose profits, they became acquired by companies that were not as familiar with the industry. FTD filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019, selling parts and paying debts on 217 million dollars.

According to court filings, it struggled to merge the new businesses and then blamed customers for being not as open to delivery fees in a world of Amazon free shipping. FTD lost 6% of its business in 2018, nearly 224 million. It sold its European business Interflora to The Wonderful Company, Teleflora’s parent company for only $60 million. Flower delivery services are still some of the worst-ranked industries when it comes to customer reviews and it makes sense we bring these delicate decapitated blossoms into our home and put emotional meaning into them while expecting them to travel from Colombia to our doorstep in peak condition.

People will always buy flowers, but florists need to adapt to a changing landscape if they don’t want to get snipped.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in February 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider

25 gift ideas from ‘Shark Tank’ that you can get on Amazon

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

Rapid ramen cooker

  • If you gift a product from the show “Shark Tank,” then you know it’ll be both creative and practical. 
  • Games, kitchen tools, and food are thoughtful gifts to give the “Shark Tank” fan in your life. 
  • Most of these items are available with Prime two-day shipping, so they will likely arrive quickly.

One of our favorite shows to spot new products and enjoy some entertaining celebrity judge banter is “Shark Tank,” which is currently in its 12th season. 

As we’ve seen over the years, some pitches do extremely well, while others aren’t so lucky – but the fact remains that the show brings forward new and innovative ideas most of us have never considered.

That’s why the products from the show tend to make especially good gifts. They’re far from generic and they usually solve a common problem or annoyance. Conveniently, most are also available on Amazon with free two-day shipping for Prime members, so you can get them as last-minute gifts.

If they love watching ‘Shark Tank,’ they’ll recognize these 25 awesome gift ideas:

A tool to help them reach every last drop

Amazon spatty

The Spatty & Spatty Daddy Last Drop Spatula, Two Piece Set, $11.99

They’ll never have the guilty feeling of tossing a semi-full container again with this fun and useful two-piece set. The Spatty can be used in cosmetics, condiments, and any other container they can think of. Afterwards, it’s safe to throw in the dishwasher for cleaning.

An eco-friendly alternative to paper towels

tree free paper towel

Bambooee Paper Towel Replacement 30-Sheet Roll, $10.99

If they are passionate about creating less waste, these reusable paper towels are a great alternative to their one-time use counterparts. Made of organically-sourced bamboo, these paper towels can be machine washed up to 100 times. The eco-friendly benefits don’t stop there: for every Bambooee roll sold the company pledges to plant a tree.  

A tool to protect their fingers during home renovation projects

Safety Nailer

Safety Nailer Framer, $8.99

This simple tool will help them get through their ambitious home renovation projects without injuring their fingers. The Safety Nailer holds screws and nails steady when drilling or hammering and is designed to be used with either hand. 

A memorable 3D card

Lovepop card 1200x900

Lovepop Marvel Black Panther Pop Up Card, $15

The cards are available in eight different “Marvel” designs, or you can visit Lovepop’s Amazon page to find other types of themes. Don’t worry — there’s still room to write an actual message for your recipient in the included notecard. 

A funny gift box

Bathe & brew

Prank Pack Bathe & Brew Gift Box, $6

The Prank Pack isn’t the actual gift, but it is a funny way to prank your recipient and trick them into thinking they’re receiving a strange or gimmicky present. The co-founder is a former writer at The Onion, so expect nothing less than hilarious fake products and product descriptions that your recipient will have to pretend to enjoy. 

A travel accessory that combines a hoodie with a memory foam pillow

15

HoodiePillow Memory Foam Travel Pillow, $29.95

The clever design of this two-in-one hoodie and memory foam pillow, which feels like their favorite fleece sweatshirt, lets them fall asleep comfortably while traveling. The hood helps block out light and noise, while the pillow provides soft neck support.

A baking pan that gives them more edge pieces

16

Baker’s Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan, $36.95

The days of fighting over the limited number of edge pieces are over. With this unique pan, every piece has two delectable, chewy edges. Other than to make brownies, they can also use it for other desserts, pasta, or any baked good that requires some extra crust.

Rich, dessert-like peanut butter spread packed with protein

Nuts 'N More Chocolate Maple Under $25

Nuts ‘N More Chocolate Maple Pretzel Peanut Butter Spread, $12.99

For the family’s resident sweet tooth or fitness enthusiast, get these chunky, sweet-and-salty peanut butter spreads. They contain whey protein isolate, providing 11 grams of protein per serving, and they’re low-sugar and low-carb. Spread the creative flavors, which include birthday cake and gingerbread, over pancakes or fruit, or enjoy them straight out of the jar. 

A fun outdoor game

1

Spikeball 3 Ball Kit, $59.95

On a beautiful sunny day at any park in the city, you’ll probably see at least one group playing this fun and active game. With rules similar to volleyball, it’s easy to learn so the whole family can get involved. Prior to the pandemic, the company even held nationwide tournaments. 

A glass that makes any wine bottle into a single serving

Under $25

Guzzle Buddy 2GO Wine Glasses, $12.99

This handy tool can attach a glass to nearly any bottle of wine. It’s odor-free, virtually unbreakable, and top-rack dishwasher safe. Plus, it lies at the intersection between a humorous white elephant gift and an actually useful accessory, given how the past year has panned out. 

An appliance that turns any beer into draft beer

Shark Tank gifts Fizzics

Fizzics FZ403 DraftPour Beer Dispenser, $124.99

Using sound waves, this cool appliance turns any can or bottle of beer into fresh draft beer by turning its natural carbonation into compacted micro bubbles. All they have to do is insert their favorite beer, then pull and push the tap to receive the enhanced version of their IPA, pilsner, or stout. 

A balance bike

2

KaZAM No Pedal Balance Bike, from $87.80

Featuring a patented footrest design that helps young kids find their center of gravity, this bike builds the confidence needed to transition to riding a proper bike. The ergonomic, adjustable handles and seat will get kids comfortable and ready to ride right away. The bike weighs only eight pounds and the puncture-free tires never need air. 

A beach towel that gives back

shark tank gifts 6

Sand Cloud Turkish Towel, $39.99

This beautiful 100% Turkish cotton towel also works as a throw or wall tapestry. It’s thin and compact, but durable. Plus, the company donates 10% of profits to help preserve marine life.

A sturdy, inflatable paddle board

actually 6

Tower Inflatable 10’4″ Stand Up Paddle Board, $629.99

Gift an avid outdoor adventurer this premium paddle board and you’ll have a difficult time getting them to return to shore. Its design provides for better balance and stability, while a bottom fin makes it easier to maneuver. It inflates and deflates quickly, so it can be brought anywhere — but unlike many other inflatable boards, it’s strong and rigid. 

High-fidelity earplugs to protect their ears during concerts

Under $25 (2)

Vibes High Fidelity Concert Earplugs, $23.98

If they plan on attending a lot of loud shows as soon as concerts are safe again, their eardrums may be facing the consequences. Wearing these comfortable earplugs can reduce decibel levels by up to 22 decibels, but they don’t cancel out noise completely. Instead, they only filter out certain frequencies, so your recipient will still be able to enjoy the crisp vocals and instrumentation of their favorite band. 

The famous “Comfy” sweatshirt that they’ll never want to take off

shark tank gifts 3

The Comfy Sweatshirt, from $39.99

You can practically feel the comfortable softness and warmth of this oversized blanket sweater just by looking at it. Cozy up in The Comfy by the fireplace, at sports games, or while watching rom-coms. 

Adorable leather moccasins

8

Freshly Picked Kids’ Soft Sole Moccasins (Newborn Baby), $39 

The creator of the cutest little baby shoes you’ve ever seen got her start picking up yard sale leather scraps and selling on Etsy. Today, parents everywhere are obsessed with the unique and comfortable 100% leather designs that infuse style into their baby’s every step. 

A better protein mixing bottle

10

Ice Shaker 26-Ounce Stainless Steel Protein Mixing Cup, $35

The problem with traditional plastic protein powder shakers is that they tend to absorb odor and won’t keep the contents cold. Former NFL player Chris Gronkowski’s stainless steel water bottle is double-insulated, spill-proof, and odor-free — the upgrade that fitness enthusiasts deserve.

A funny card game that tests the financial limits of various outrageous scenarios

Under $25 (4)

Pricetitution Card Game, $19.99

Every card begins with the prompt, “How much money would it take me…” followed by a funny situation. It was a big success on both “Shark Tank,” with four Sharks giving offers, and on Kickstarter. 

A smart video doorbell

14

Ring Video Doorbell Pro, Works with Alexa, $249.99

Ring may not have secured a deal with the Sharks, but it did strike up a deal with Amazon for over $1 billion in 2018, so it’s doing just fine. The smart security system has two-way talk, sends motion-activated alerts, and works with Alexa, giving homeowners the peace of mind that their house will be safe, regardless of whether or not they’re home. 

A pair of lightweight running sandals

19

Xero Shoes Barefoot-Inspired Sport Sandals, Men’s Z-Trek, $64.99

Xero Shoes Barefoot-Inspired Sport Sandals, Women’s Z-Trek, $64.99

After constantly getting injured while running, cofounder Steven Sashen switched to barefoot running and loved the effects, so he created a thin running sandal. These comfortable and supportive shoes are great for runners and could inspire them to kick-start their 2021 running goals. They can also be used for outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking. 

A suction silicone place mat

Under $25 (5)

Ezpz Happy Mat, $24.99

Parents will appreciate any help they can get. The placemat stays right in place on any flat surface, making it that much easier to get food from the plate into their child’s mouth.

A temperature-regulating machine that goes under their bed

Shark Tank gifts BedJet

BedJet 3 Climate Comfort for Beds, $339

As an engineer who developed the heating and cooling systems of NASA spacesuits, the creator of BedJet has the perfect background to improve the sleep experience. Since temperature often impedes a good night’s sleep, the BedJet blows hot or cold air onto the bed and over their body and creates “biorhythm sleep sequences” throughout the night. 

A drink accessory that keeps their beer cold

11

BottleKeeper The Standard 2.0, $34.99

Is there anything more frustrating to an avid beer drinker than a cold one that’s less than cold in just half an hour? The insulated stainless steel BottleKeeper, complete with bottle opener, keeps their beer colder for a longer period of time. It’s also a smart way to protect against drops and spills. 

A rapid ramen cooker

Rapid ramen cooker

Rapid Ramen Cooker, $10.98 

What seems like a gag gift has actually come in handy for many busy students, parents, and office workers because it takes away the need for a stove and dish-washing session, cooks the noodles more quickly, and requires less water. It’s the perfect size for a block of ramen and a faster, more reliable alternative to stovetop cooking. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

24 best Valentine’s Day gift ideas for kids of all ages in 2021

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

primary
Primary’s rainbow heart pajama set is a comfy and cute Valentine’s gift for kids.

  • This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the little ones in your life. 
  • You can’t go wrong with teddy bears or sweets, but if you’re looking to get a little more creative, we rounded up great Valentine’s Day gifts kids will love. 
  • Looking for more gift ideas for everyone in your life? Check out all of Insider Reviews’ Valentine’s Day gift ideas, including our favorite gifts for him and her.

You found the perfect gift for your partner – now it’s time to find something special for the little ones you love. As adults, we show the kids in our lives we love them every day with our kindness, support, and all that good stuff, but Valentine’s Day is a unique time to show your little ones you love them with some good old-fashioned gifting. 

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a newborn, a rambunctious toddler, or a clever elementary-schooler, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up 24 Valentine’s gifts ideas that are great for all kinds of kids – think books, crafts, and lots of sugary treats. 

Keep reading for 24 Valentine’s Day gifts that any kid will love:

An adorable new stuffed animal

llama

Lulu the Llama, available at Brooklinen, $38

Brooklinen’s aptly and adorably named baby line, Brooklittles, has everything you need to make the cutest nursery ever, including this soft and cuddly stuffed animal that your little one will love snuggling with. 

The cutest little mittens

mittens

Valentine Mittens with Heart, available at Etsy, from $31.50

These adorable mittens will keep their little hands toasty on cold days, plus the red heart adds a festive touch. There are sizes to fit babies, children, and even adults, so everyone can have a pair. 

A cute pair of knit loafers

rothys

Kids Loafer, available at Rothy’s, $65

Little kids will love getting to wear the same shoes as the big kids. Rothy’s are made out of recycled water bottles and are comfortable enough (and machine-washable) for all of their adventures. There are sneakers too if that’s more their style.

A super sugary treat

truffles

B’Day Truffle Dozen Box, available at Milk Bar Store, $24

Is there anything kids love more than sugar? These dense, chewy, rainbow cake truffles are sure to satisfy their sweet tooth. 

A kinetic sand bakeshop

kinetic sand bake shoppe

Kinetic Sand Bake Shoppe Playset, available at Target, $9.59

This kinetic sand can be easily molded into all sorts of fun shapes. This set comes with some “baking tools” so they can make cookies and cupcakes to start. Sensory toys like kinetic sand are also great for soothing overstimulated kids.

A Disney+ subscription to watch their favorite movies

disney plus 4x3

Subscribe for $6.99/month or $69.99/year

Get unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here. And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A city they can build themselves

little architect stem toy

Arckit Play Little Architect, available at Maisonette, $69

With 130 pieces of all different shapes, kids can create the pastel-colored city of their dreams with this STEAM toy.

A festive pair of pajamas

primary
Primary’s rainbow heart pajama set is a comfy and cute Valentine’s gift for kids.

Rainbow Heart PJ Top, available at Primary, $16

Rainbow Heart PJ Pant, available at Primary, $16

Any kid will love getting these cozy pajamas with a festive twist in the form of lots and lots of colorful hearts. 

A heartfelt book you’ve filled out

love book, $10

“What I Love About You by Me” Book, available at Barnes & Noble, $9.95

Give your kid a book filled with all of the reasons you love and appreciate them. They can look back on it whenever they need a little reminder that they’re awesome. 

A fuzzy, decorative pillow

heart pillow

Heart Faux Fur & Velvet Throw Pillow, available at Target, $16.99

Show your kids you “heart” them with this heart-shaped decorative pillow that adds a warm and fuzzy touch to their bed. 

A rainbow silk streamer

sarahs silks waldorf streamer

Sarah’s Silks Rainbow Silk Streamer, available at Amazon, $12.95

Kids love using their imaginations, which makes something as simple as a rainbow silk a great gift. Whether they use it for twirling, dancing, or playing dress-up, they’ll have fun getting creative with it.

A festive and funny book

junie b jones

“Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime” by Barbara Park, available at Amazon, $4.24

Junie B. Jones is an iconic and hilarious Kindergartner that kids love. Little ones have been reading her series for over 25 years! Any tiny bookworm will love working on their reading skills with this funny story about Junie B. Jones navigating “Valentime’s Day”.

A rainbow scratch-off note pad

melissa and doug scratch pad

Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Box of Rainbow Mini Notes, available at Amazon, $8.99

A note pad doesn’t seem all that exciting, unless you give them this one. Once they scratch off the black coating, a bright rainbow pattern will be revealed. They can use it to write notes or just create fun drawings. 

Crayons that are customized with their name

crayons

Personalized Rainbow Name Crayons, available at Etsy, from $19.95

Show your love for a young artist in your life with a personalized gift. Coloring gets a lot more fun with these giant rainbow crayons that spell out their name. 

A challenging LEGO set

Legos ideas ship $61.75

LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle, available at Amazon, $85.43

This LEGO set is a challenging and fun way for kids to work on their building and problem-solving skills. 

An inspiring poster

heros

Heroic Girls in Books Poster, available at Uncommon Goods, $29

Inspire your kids, no matter their gender, with this cute poster, featuring 100 inspiring women characters from great books. 

A heart-shaped teether

chewbeads heart shaped teether

Chewbeads Brooklyn Teether, available at Amazon, $14.50

On theme for Valentine’s Day, this teether — which features silicone and wood parts — can be attached to strollers and car seats so babies are distracted from the discomfort of teething.

A snuggly teddy that turns into a hoodie

cubcoats

Cubcoats hoodies, available at Cubcoats, from $35

What looks like an adorable stuffed animal at first glance can be rolled out into a full-sized, fuzzy hoodie. Kids will be so excited when they realize they can take their favorite snuggly toy with them everywhere they go. 

Read our full review here.

A singing pillow inspired by a viral song

baby shark

WowWee Baby Shark Official Song Cube, available at Amazon, $12.99

Kids are constantly singing a song about baby sharks — we don’t know why, but it seems like they’re really into it. Give them this plush cube that sings four different versions of “Baby Shark” so they can listen to the viral song all the time.

A playset for an aspiring baker

melissa doug slice bake cookie set

Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set, available at Target and Walmart, from $15.79

Start little bakers off with a wooden slice and bake cookie set. They can use the knife to slice through the cookie “tube” and mix and match the icing toppings. 

Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A craft kit for making sweet cards

Valentines Day Craft Kit Amazon

Kid Made Modern Valentines Craft Kit, available at Amazon and Maisonette, from $16.99

Make home decorations or little love notes with these art supplies, from gel pens to metallic paper and more. The popsicle sticks and felt hearts are perfect for handmade valentines, but the crafting can continue long after February 14.

Recommended ages: 6 years and up

A tee to spell out how you feel

alphabet_heart herwholeheart etsy

ABC I Love You Shirt, available at Etsy, $21.94

This love-themed baseball tee is sweet and neutral enough to wear year round. Stick with red and white, or choose from a variety of color combinations.

Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

A colorful slime pack

Elmer_s_Glue_20_Count_Slime Amazon

Elmer’s 20 Count Mini Premade Slime Party Pack, available at Amazon, Target, and Walmart, from $14.99

For a slime super-fan, nothing says love like 20 jars of premade slime. Each slime comes with a set of mix-ins for even more gooey fun. 

Recommended ages: 3 years and up

A toy full of surprises

Two Pack_Mini Brands_Surprise_Balls Amazon

Zuru Mini Brands Double Pack, available at Amazon, $13.99

Surprise them with Mini Brands and let the unboxing joy begin. Plus, in this two-pack, collectors have double the chances to find a rare gold or glow-in-the-dark Mini Brand.

Recommended ages: 3 years and up

Read the original article on Business Insider

42 thoughtful and fun tech gifts under $100

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

Tech gifts under $100 4x3
  • Not everyone asks for tech gifts around the holidays, but tech products can certainly bring your friends and loved ones a much-needed life upgrade.
  • Even on a budget of under $100, there are plenty of exciting and useful tech gift ideas to choose from.
  • If you’re on an even tighter budget, here are the best tech gifts under $50.
  • For more gift ideas and deals this holiday season, check out all of our gift guides for 2020 here.

Technology doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

There’s a surprising amount of excellent tech gifts out there – accessories, fitness trackers, tablets, and smart speakers – for less than $100. That is, if you know where to dig.

Fret not, however: there’s no need to trudge through the pages of Amazon, Target, and Best Buy to find the best affordable tech. We’ve done that hard work for you.

Through tough research and direct testing we’ve uncovered the very best tech gifts under $100. We included a number of gifts in every price range, so you’re bound to find the right gifts for your loved ones.

A smart speaker with Alexa

Amazon Echo 4th gen

Amazon Echo, $69.99, available at Amazon

The new Echo is the best smart speaker you can give as a gift this holiday season. Alexa can answer all your giftee’s questions, play music, and control many smart home devices. The brand-new fourth-generation model also features an updated design with a spherical shape that fits nicely in any decor.

Read our full Echo review here

A pair of wireless earbuds

1more earbuds

1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds, from $50.39, available at Amazon

These wireless earbuds are cheaper than AirPods, but they sound even better. They also last for 24 hours of total playtime and 6.5 hours of continuous use. 

A fitness tracker

fitibt inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2, $68.95, available at Amazon

Fitbit’s affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to track your giftee’s fitness metrics. The tracker has a heart rate monitor that helps improve the accuracy of tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones. As an added bonus, buyers can currently receive a free one-year trial of Fitbit Premium.

A Philips Hut smart lighting starter kit

philips hue

Philips Hue White LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit, $69.97, available at Home Depot

Philips Hue smart light bulbs can be controlled remotely, set to go on at specific times, and controlled by voice commands if you have a smart speaker.

A swim-proof Bluetooth speaker

UE wonderboom

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Speaker, from $69.99, available at Amazon

The small-yet-mighty Bluetooth speaker can go swimming in the pool or ocean. It’s also dustproof and therefore suitable for hikes and other outdoor adventures. 

A PopSocket grip

PopSockets  Collapsible Grip & Stand for Phones and Tablets, $8.97

PopSocket Grip, $8 and up, available at PopSocket

PopSocket Grips stick to the back of your phone and can expand whenever you need a grip or a stand. Use one to take photos, text, hold a large device, watch movies, and video chat with ease and comfort. Many cost less than $10 and they come in a variety of colors and patterns to fit your personality.

An earbud organizer

Bluelounge Cableyoyo Earbud Cable Holders, $9.95

Bluelounge Cableyoyo (2-pack), $16.94, available at Amazon

The Cableyoyo is an affordable rubber and metal spool, around which you wrap your earphones (or any other smallish cable) for safekeeping.

A 4K streaming stick

57 Roku Stick +

Roku Streaming Stick+, $49.99, available at Best Buy

Anyone who likes to stream video in 4K on their TV needs a Roku Streaming Stick+. Roku’s media streamers are the best in the business, and the Stick+ can stream TV shows and movies from all the major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. On the downside, fans of HBO Max will have to look elsewhere for the time being.

The ultimate console for old-school Sega fans

Sega Genesis Mini

Sega Genesis Mini, $79.98, available at Amazon

Finally joining the mini retro game console craze is Sega, and it brought the big guns. This console packs 40 games inside pulling both from storied classics to games that were never released in the US. For the retro gamer in your life, this could be a no-brainer.

The best game machine for retro arcade fans

neo geo mini 2

Neo Geo Mini International, $45.97, available at Walmart

If the gamer in your life was more of an arcade nut, then consider this console that doesn’t even need a display. This contains 4o of the most popular Neo Geo arcade games ever, including the entire Metal Slug shooter series.

An ebook reader

kindle prime day deals 5

Amazon Kindle, $89.99, available at Amazon

The entry-level Kindle is a great gift for book worms who want to have a digital library of ebooks to take with them on the go. This version includes advertisements and lasts for weeks of reading on a single charge.

A smart herb garden

click and grow

Click and Grow Smart Garden 3, $99.95, available at Amazon

With the Click and Grow Smart Garden, your loved one can grow fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or thyme in a matter of weeks.

A phone case that’s built to last

Disney Frozen Otterbox iPhone case

Otterbox case, $40 and up, available at Otterbox

Otterbox cases are built to protect phones and withstand a lot of drops, but that doesn’t mean the brand’s cases are ugly. In fact, Otterbox has tons of super fun cases with Star Wars, Disney, Pixar, and Marvel characters on them as well as some stylish designs.

A smart display

Amazon Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5, $44.99, available at Amazon

The Echo Show 5 is an affordable smart display that has Alexa built-in. Your giftee can watch recipes and videos on it, see the time at a glance, and ask Alexa questions. It can also play music and control smart home devices.

The Echo Show 5 will be in stock on December 20.

A fun case for the Echo Show

Otterbox Echo Show 5 case

Otterbox Echo Show 5 Den, $19.96, available at Otterbox

If you are getting your loved one the Echo Show 5 mentioned above, you may also want to get them this hilarious Toy Story case.

A cleaning kit for your phone

11 Whoosh Cleaning Set

Whoosh! Cleaning Kit, $13.99, available at Amazon

Phones are breeding grounds for germs, so a good cleaning kit is both a thoughtful and practical gift. This one from Whoosh! leaves your phone clean without leaving any streaks behind.

An excellent pair of wireless headphones

sennheiser hd 4.40

Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, $79.99, available at Best Buy

Sennheiser makes some of the best over-ear headphones. Though not one of its flagship models, the HD 4.40 are still strong performers. They’re comfortable, deliver outstanding sound quality, and have a long battery life of up to 25 hours.

A waterproof phone case

Lifeproof fre

LifeProof Fré Case, starting at $42.26, available at Amazon

The LifeProof Fré iPhone case is perfect for people who love to be in or near the water all the time, and for those who always drop their phone in some kind of liquid. This case is fully submersible in water that’s up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) deep for 1 hour. It’s also fully sealed with its built-in screen protector and port covers, so it’s safe from the elements.

Tech-friendly gloves

12 L.L. Bean Touch Screen Gloves

L.L.Bean Touchscreen Gloves, $24.99 and up, available at L.L.Bean

Protect your loved ones’ fingers when it’s cold outside and they still want to text their friends and family. These touchscreen gloves are super warm and work well on screens.

A custom-designed iPhone case

21 Casetify Custom

Casetify Custom iPhone 12 Case, $45 and up, available at Casetify

Casetify’s easy to use tool lets you turn your favorite photos into a custom iPhone case. There are three case styles and dozens of templates, so you can turn your friend’s best Instagram photos into a unique way to protect their phone.

A durable, weighted iPhone charging cable

31 Native Union Night Cable

Native Union Night Cable, $39.99, available at Amazon

Native Union makes some of the most attractive phone accessories around. The Night Cable is the best long lightning charging cable for the iPhone. It has a 10-foot cord and a handy weight to hold it in place while your phone charges.

A desk lamp with a wireless charger

32 TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger, $49.99, available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond

If your giftee has a phone with wireless charging built in, the TaoTronics Desk Lamp is a great gift. It has a built-in wireless charger and a USB port so you can charge your devices wirelessly or with a cable. The lamp is also well made and fully adjustable. It has multiple brightness and color temperature settings so you can make it your own.

A sleek leather iPhone case

41 Nomad Case

Nomad Leather iPhone Cases, $49.95 and up, available at Nomad

Nomad uses genuine Horween leather to craft gorgeous, durable iPhone cases that age beautifully. We can’t recommend the brand’s cases enough. Nomad also makes a few Samsung and Google Pixel cases.

A set of screen protectors

43 InvisibleShield Screen Protector

InvisibleShield Screen Protectors, $8.99 and up, available at Zagg

Smartphone and tablet screens are fairly fragile and often shatter or get scratched, so it’s a good idea to gift the klutz you love a screen protector from InvisibleShield. The brand makes excellent screen protectors that offer special features like blue light blocking and privacy shielding in addition to protecting your screen.

An Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot 2020

Echo Dot, $29.99, available at Amazon

The all-new Echo Dot is a great way to incorporate a smart assistant into any home without spending a ton of money. Alexa can do everything from answer questions, play games, play music, and control smart home devices. The fourth-generation model features an updated design with a spherical shape rather than the traditional puck shape. 

A Google Home Mini

google nest mini 2

Google Nest Mini, $24.98, available at Walmart

If your giftee isn’t into Amazon’s products but still wants a smart speaker, the Google Nest Mini is a great alternative. The smart speaker is reliable at answering queries, can control smart home gadgets, and play music with good sound.

Read our full Nest Mini review here

A beautiful wireless charger

51 Native Union Drop

Native Union Drop Wireless Charger, from $49.99 and up, available at Amazon

Native Union always impresses with its stylish tech accessories. If your giftee hates boring black and white tech, get them Native Union’s attractive wireless chargers, which come in multiple colors, including rose, sage, indigo, and more.

An instant camera

fujifilm instax mini 11 camera lifestyle

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, $69.99, available at Best Buy

Instant cameras are the perfect gift for shutterbugs who wish they’d lived during the age of the Polaroid. Fujifilm’s Intax Mini 11 comes in cute colors and takes fun, retro pictures that are printed right after they’re taken.

A light for better smartphone photography

lume cube 2.0

Lume Cube 2.0, $89.85, available from B&H

Any smartphone shutterbug will love having the Lume Cube 2.0 in their mobile photography kit. The little light helps illuminate the subject of a photo when the lighting is subpar.

An iPhone USB memory stick

55 Sandisk Xpand

SanDisk iXpand and Flash Drive 128GB for iPhone, $45.99, available at Amazon

Even though iPhones now come with more storage built in, it’s still easy to run out of space. For people who take too many photos, download tons of music, shows, and games on their phones; the SanDisk iXpand is the perfect gift.

An iPhone dock

58 Twelve South HiRise

Twelve South HiRise 2 Deluxe, $19.99, available at Amazon

An iPhone dock looks nice on any desk, nightstand, or table, and it gives your giftee a good place to charge their phone. The Twelve South HiRise 2 Deluxe comes with lightning and Micro USB cables. The device also features a handy design that holds your iPhone up off the base. This prevents your phone’s speakers and home button from getting blocked. 

A pair of blue-light blocking glasses

felix gray

Felix Gray Glasses, $95 and up, available at Felix Gray

Blue light can interfere with sleep patterns and cause eye strain, so your giftee is sure to love these blue-light-blocking glasses.

A set of Tile trackers

Tile Mate Essentials pack

One Tile Mate Tracker, one Tile Slim Tracker, and two Tile Stickers, $68.04, available at Amazon

Tile trackers are one of the most practical tech gifts you can give. This pack comes with one Tile Slim, which is thin enough to slip into a wallet, one Tile Mate, which has loops so it can fit onto key rings, and two Tile Stickers, which can be attached to a remote or other electronic. Once they’re paired with your giftee’s phone, the trackers will send them a notification when it’s lost contact with the tracker, and show them its last known location on a map.

Basically, you’re giving someone in your life the gift of being able to digitally retrace their steps.

A temperature-controlled mug

74 Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug

Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug, $99.95, available at Amazon

It seems like everything is high-tech these days and a lot of it seems pointless, but this is not one of those things. Ember’s smart mug can keep your loved one’s drink at the perfect temperature so that they never burn their tongue again. It uses a smart heating coaster and an app to help you decide how hot you want your drink to be every time.

The Fire HD tablet

amazon fire hd 8 2020 10th gen

Fire HD 8, $64.99, available at Amazon

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great tablet, and the all-new Fire HD 8 proves that. This 8-inch tablet has a 1,280 x 800-pixel screen, 32GB of storage built in, and room for expansion via a Micro SD card slot.

A light-up alarm clock

83 iHome Speaker

iHome Zenergy Light Alarm Clock, $59.99, available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond

No one likes waking up to a blaring alarm, so a light therapy alarm clock that tries to awaken you with a gradual, sunrise-like increase of light is a nice gift. The iHome Zenergy offers a number of great light alarm features, but it also has a pretty great Bluetooth speaker built into it, so your giftee can play music, too.

A waterproof Bluetooth speaker

JBL Flip 5 ilfestyle

JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $89.95, available at Walmart

If you’re shopping for someone who’s planning on a warm vacation — or lives someplace nice all the time — this speaker will let them rock out without worrying about dropping it into the pool or ocean.

A phone sanitizer

phone soap

PhoneSoap Smartphone Sanitizer, $79.95, available at PhoneSoap

If your loved one hates germs, they’ll love this phone sanitizer. PhoneSoap kills 99.9% of common household germs, including bacteria that lead to E.Coli, Salmonella, Staph, the flu, and the common cold — without harming their phone.

A high-end, clip-on smartphone lens kit

91 Ollocip

Olloclip Lens Kit, $24.99 and up, available at Olloclip

Olloclip makes great lenses that you can attach to many different phones so that you can get a wide-angle, fish-eye, or macro effect on your photos. 

A 4K media streamer with HDR

Roku Ultra 2020 angle with remote

Roku Ultra, $99.99, available at Target

The Roku Ultra is the best media streaming device we’ve tested, thanks to its easy-to-use interface, 4K playback, Dolby Vision support, voice control, and simple remote. It can transform your so-called dumb TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and other streaming services. The only notable downside is that it doesn’t currently support HBO Max.

Read our full Roku Ultra review here

A record player

audio technica turntable

Audio Technica Turntable, $99.99, available at Best Buy

Whether you’re shopping for someone who’s getting into vinyl for the first time, or wants to resurrect a collection they haven’t touched in years, they’ll need a turntable. Audio Technica’s has an RCA output, so you can plug it into any pair of powered speakers or stereo receiver, drop the needle, and enjoy.

A kid-friendly Fire tablet

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, $79.99

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, $69.99, available at Amazon

Kids love tablets, but they can also be destructive fiends when it comes to tech. Luckily, Amazon’s Kids Edition of the Fire 7 tablet is here to save the day with its protective case, warranty against damage, and tons of kid-friendly content.

Read the original article on Business Insider