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The holidays get expensive fast. Checking off everyone on your list can be daunting, especially for your bank account. The average American plans to spend $983 on holiday gifts in 2017, according to the American Research Group.

But we’ve got an early holiday gift for you: a list of 100 free gift ideas.

You’ll probably see at least four or five items you can easily give someone you know and love — which means four or five gifts you don’t have to buy.

Ready to get started? Gifts are divided into categories, so you can easily scroll to find the type of gift you need. Or, read the whole list and find inspiration for a frugal, fun and FREE holiday season!

Food and Drink

If your kitchen isn’t well stocked, you’re going to have to buy ingredients like flour and sugar. But if you already have the supplies, you can make a lot of free gifts from what’s in your pantry.

1. Bread

Bake a delicious loaf of bread (Think banana, zucchini and chocolate chip breads.), wrap it up in some colorful plastic wrap and you’re good to go.

2. Cookies

Many people wait all year to make their favorite holiday cookies, and many families have traditional holiday recipes. Why not share your favorites with your friends?

3. Cookie Mix in a Jar

You can bake cookies, or you can give people the gift of being able to bake cookies whenever they want.

Put dry ingredients (flour, chocolate chips, etc.) into a glass jar, tape the recipe to the outside of the jar and tie on a festive ribbon.

4. Casseroles

Don’t turn up your nose at the humble casserole. Anything that gives people an excuse to eat Fritos chips smothered with cheese is a hit, in our opinion.

Give it fresh out of the oven, or prepare a frozen casserole for your recipients to heat up on one of those “no-time-to-cook” days.

5. Breakfast Burritos

While we’re on the subject of “no time to cook,” a bulk supply of handmade, frozen breakfast burritos would be very welcome in a lot of our homes!

You do the work, and your recipients will think of you every morning as they eat a healthy, delicious and fast breakfast.

6. Muesli

If breakfast burritos sound like too much work, make muesli instead.

Just fill a glass jar 3/4 full of dry, raw oats, then add nuts and dried fruit. Put a lid on the jar and shake it a few times until the muesli is well mixed. Add a festive ribbon!

7. Other Holiday Treats

We know you’re already thinking of at least one other holiday treat you could make for your friends, from sugarplums to rugelach. You don’t need our permission to make it!

8. Recipe Book

If you love baking, but don’t have enough cash for the ingredients, give people a recipe book.

Write your favorite recipes on index cards, or print your recipes out and tie the pages together with a ribbon. Want to go completely free? Make a PDF version and email it.

9. Regifted Sweets

Even if you aren’t naturally skilled in the kitchen, you can still give people a delicious holiday gift.

Take some of your holiday sweets — like the box of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark you got at your office holiday party — and pass them along to someone else.

10. Wine

Want the easiest possible holiday gift? Put a bow on the unopened bottle of wine you have sitting in the cupboard.

From My Home to Yours

One of the easiest ways to give someone a free gift is to pass along something you already own — whether it’s the package of scented soap from your aunt or the favorite book that’s been on your shelf for a decade.

11. Regift Old Gifts

Take that thing you got last year that’s still in its box, and give it to someone else.

12. Regift This Year’s Gift

Take something you got this year and give it to someone else. We suggest scented soaps or candles.

13. Gift Card

Did your office give employees gift cards this year? Have an old gift card sitting around you haven’t spent? Pass ‘em along.

But check expiration dates and balances first. Gift cards are one present that should never arrive used.

14. Books

Give an old favorite, or wrap up the book you bought a year ago and didn’t read.

15. CD Coasters

Old CDs make great coasters, and you probably have a whole binder full of old ones collecting dust somewhere.

Group them into sets (the Weird Al collection?), add a card explaining the gift and pass them along to a friend who appreciates music and upcycling old technology.

16. CD Art

If you and a friend bonded over a band or album several years ago, dig up the CD and frame the jacket art.

17. Ornaments

If you have adult children or grandchildren, giving them treasured ornaments off your Christmas tree will make them feel special.

Plus, they’ll think of you every time they place the ornament on a branch.

18. Puzzles

People rarely do the same puzzle twice, so make sure your used puzzle has all the right pieces, and wrap it up.

19. Clothes

To get away with this type of gift, you’ll need to be a mother giving a favorite sweater to a daughter, an older sister giving a favorite T-shirt to a younger sister or a best friend passing along a treasured jacket.

20. Vintage Wear

You might know a teenager or young adult who’d love to wear the outfit you’ve been hanging onto since the early 90s.

Vintage is always in style!

21. Costume Jewelry

If you inherited a pile of costume jewelry from an older relative, share the wealth with the younger generation.

22. Family Heirloom

This is a more serious gift. Pass along the necklace or china set that’s been in the family for generations.

Make sure you give it to someone who will appreciate both its history and value.

23. Childhood Stuffed Animal

Pass along a beloved stuffed animal to make a special memory with a child or grandchild.

24. Pet Rock

Make a very special memory with a niece or nephew — pass along a beloved pet rock.

Only the coolest aunt or uncle would give out pet rocks.

25. Funky Mug

If you’re one of the people who loves collecting novelty mugs, it’s time to start distributing your collection.

Wash ‘em really well first — we don’t want to see any coffee rings or lipstick stains.

26. Collectibles

While we’re on the subject of collectibles — if you know someone who collects owls, trains or snow globes, pass along a respective item from your home.

We all have at least one snow globe in a drawer somewhere, right?

27. Storage Unit Surprise

If you have a storage unit, there’s probably at least one thing in it that you aren’t using and would make an excellent gift.

The Gift of Memory

Now that so many of our photos and videos are stored online, there’s something very special about receiving an actual photograph or home video.

Plus, these are items you probably already have in your closet — which makes them ideal free holiday gifts.

28. Old Photographs

Pass along old photographs of grandparents or great-grandparents to the younger generation.

29. Photographs From Childhood

If you’ve known a friend since childhood, slip an old photo of the two of you into a frame.

30. Old Home Video

Send everyone in the family a copy of old home video footage of children or other relatives.

31. New Home Video

Why not make a new home video this year?

Take video of your children playing the piano or singing holiday songs. Or get in front of the camera and tell the people you love how much you care about them.

32. Family Tree

If your family doesn’t have an updated family tree, put one together and send it to everyone in its branches.

33. Family History

Interview family members about their history and favorite memories.

Then put the interviews together into a book — or video!

34. Family Trivia Game

The family that plays together stays together.

Make a trivia game featuring details about your family members and play it over the holidays. It can be as simple as questions and answers on index cards or as complicated as your craft skills allow!

35. Book of Shared Memories

Give your closest friend a book of memories.

Write down as many stories and shared experiences as you can remember. Include doodles, photos and anything else you’d like to add.

You’ll give your friend a history of your friendship and a gift to truly cherish.

The Thought That Counts

When you don’t have enough cash for a real gift, give something equally thoughtful and memorable.

36. Heartfelt Letter

Tell a friend or relative how much they mean to you in a thoughtful letter.

37. Monthly Letter

Write a friend or relative a dozen thoughtful letters.

Put them in envelopes with instructions about when to open.

38. How Do I Love Thee

Begin with the famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Then count them.

39. Friendship Mad Libs

Remember the time when we went to [PLACE] but we ran out of [ITEM] and we had to [VERB] our way back home?

Give a friend a book of Mad Libs based on shared experiences — see if it sparks any memories!

40. Kid Mad Libs

Here’s another cool aunt or uncle gift.

Write up a few Mad Libs. Don’t worry too much about the story — the kids’ll fill all the blanks in with “boogers” and “farts” anyway.

41. Mixtape

The classic mixtape never gets old — especially if it’s on an actual cassette you have lying around.

42. Spotify Playlist

Don’t have a tape? Make and share a Spotify playlist instead.

43. Memory Jar

Fill a jar with strips of paper containing shared memories.

44. Inspiration Jar

Fill a jar with strips of paper containing inspirational quotes or thoughts.

45. Hopes and Dreams Jar

Give an empty jar with a bunch of blank strips of paper and tell your friend to put their hopes and dreams into the jar.

46. Change Jar

Give a kid a cute jar with some loose change inside. You might inspire them to become a future Penny Hoarder!

47. Time Together

Whether it’s an afternoon spent exploring a park or an evening spent knitting and chatting, sometimes the gift of time spent together is what really matters.

48. Binge Watch a Show

Tell your significant other (or teenager) that yes, you’ll binge watch a show with them.

You know the one. You’ll probably really like it.

49. Visit the Museum

Many museums have free days. Find out when they are and take someone special.

Something for Nothing

There are many ways to get new or nearly-new items for free. Check out this list for inspiration.

50. Buy Nothing Group

The Buy Nothing Project connects people who want to both give and receive gently used items for free.

See if there’s a Buy Nothing Group in your area, and take a look at what its members are offering. Maybe one of the free items will make a perfect gift!

51. Freecycle

Freecycle is another online group where members give away items for free. Check it out and see if there’s anything you might want.

52. Craigslist

Search Craigslist for people giving away free clothes, toys, furniture or household items. As always, watch out for scams!

53. Kijiji

If you’re in Canada, check Kijiji for free listings.

54. Ebay Classified Ads

Ebay Classified Ads might also have free items you can claim — it never hurts to check!

55. Reddit

Look at Reddit’s Barter, Recycle and Gift Card Exchange communities for free gifts.

56. Freebie Sites

Use our list of 30 online freebies for gift inspiration.

Some of the items are just utilities, but plenty would make great gifts — or you could bundle a bunch of useful stuff together for someone who’s strapped for cash.

57. Free Baby Products

If someone on your gift list is a new or expecting parent, here’s how to get free baby products.

58. Retailers Offering Free Gifts

You know the free makeup bag that comes with your cosmetics purchase? Gift it to someone else.

Retailers often offer free gifts around the holidays as an incentive to get you in the door. Buy what you want, and pass the free gift to a friend!

59. Gifts Purchased With Gift Cards

We already mentioned regifting gift cards, but what if you kept the gift card and bought five gifts with it instead?

60. Amazon Trade-In

Amazon Trade-In allows you to trade in old items for new ones.

Turn your old stuff into new gifts!

61. Pet

You can almost always find someone giving away free kittens or puppies.

Note: Make sure it’s a gift the recipient wants and the recipient is ready to handle the responsibility of caring for a pet. The kitten may be free, but pets need time, money and love.

Creative Work

Are you skilled with a pen, guitar or paintbrush? Here’s how to turn free holiday gifting into a work of art.

62. Art

Draw it, paint it, sculpt it, gift it.

63. Kid Art

If you have kids, ask them to draw or paint special pictures for their grandparents and other relatives.

64. Original Music

Record yourself performing an original song you wrote for someone you love.

65. Cover Album

Are you more of a musician than a songwriter?

Make a mixtape of you playing covers of the recipient’s favorite tunes. Or gather the whole family to sing holiday favorites.

66. Poetry

The original classic (and free) gift.

67. Audio Poetry

Record yourself reading original poetry or old favorites. (“How do I love thee…”)

68. Audiobook

Read a short story or classic text aloud.

For example, you can read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in just a couple of hours.

69. Audio Goodnight

Far away from grandchildren?

Make them an audio goodnight tape. Tell a story, sing a song, wish them goodnight and send your love.

70. Coloring Book

Get blank paper and a marker, and create a coloring book for a friend.

Draw pictures of items you both enjoy (e.g. pizza, Netflix) or memories you share.

71. Hand-Drawn Paper Dolls

Here’s how to draw a paper doll: Draw the body first. Then, put a sheet of paper over the body (so you can see the drawing underneath) and draw the clothes to fit.

Color the paper doll, or leave the outline for the recipient to fill in!

72. Comic Strip

Draw four panels, then add yourself and your friends enjoying a comic scenario.

73. Crossword Puzzle

Create a crossword puzzle where the majority of the clues are about the recipient.

74. Word Search

If a crossword puzzle sounds too complicated, make a word search!

The Gift of Labor

Trust us, some people will appreciate these gifts more than anything else they receive this year.

75. Handywork

Offer a friend or relative a weekend of your time to do all of their little house projects.

76. Housecleaning

Can you clean a house until it sparkles? Gift your talents.

77. Car Wash

If you have kids or teenagers who need to come up with gift ideas for aunts or uncles, have them offer car washes.

78. Massage

This free gift is classic for a reason. It’s best reserved for significant others and spouses, though.

79. Babysitting

Do you know how much a night of babysitting costs these days? This free gift is actually really, really valuable.

80. Petsitting

Give your friends peace of mind by being their designated pet sitter for a long weekend — or for every vacation they take next year.

81. Other Skills

If you know how to alter clothes, upholster furniture or wallpaper rooms, there’s a free gift idea.

The recipient has to come up with the clothing, the furniture and the wallpaper, and you provide the labor.

Holiday Crafts

Let’s end this list with a collection of holiday crafts.

As with the food and drink section, these gifts are only free if you already have the supplies — but we bet you’ll have enough to make at least one of these!

82. Soap Bubbles

Have a little dish soap and a cute container? You’re on your way to making a batch of soap bubbles.

Check out Apartment Therapy for a list of soap bubble recipes. Make circle and heart-shaped bubble wands out of pipe cleaners.

83. Play Dough

Flour, water, salt, oil and a bit of food coloring are all you need for this classic toy. PBS has the recipe.

84. Bathtub Crayons

Use grated soap and food coloring to make crayons for bathtime fun. Get Rich Slowly has instructions (#94 on the list).

85. Sidewalk Chalk

If you have plaster of Paris and tempera paint, you can easily make sidewalk chalk. Martha Stewart will show you how.

86. Framed Book Illustration

Cut out and frame a page of text or an illustration from a classic book.

87. Secret Compartment Book

Cut a hole in the center pages of a book to form a secret compartment. The Art of Manliness has a how-to guide.

88. Book Into Purse

You can also turn a hardcover book into a purse or clutch. A Beautiful Mess has the instructions.

89. Mason Jar Tea Lights

If you have a mason jar and some tea lights, decorate the outside of the jar with glitter, lace, ribbons, decoupage or plain ole’ permanent marker.

Put the tea light inside and you have a gift to light up anyone’s holiday.

90. Teacup Candle

If you have a half-melted candle and a mismatched teacup, combine them into an attractive gift. Get Rich Slowly has the details (#31 on their list).

91. Scrabble Ornaments

Take your Scrabble game out of the closet and turn the tiles into handmade ornaments. Spell “peace,” “joy,” “love” or anything else you like.

I Heart Naptime has instructions.

92. Scrabble Necklace

Or, turn your old Scrabble tiles into necklaces. Jewels of sayuri has the tutorial and diys.com has 24 other ideas for fun projects using Scrabble pieces.

93. Hand Warmers

Combine scraps of fabric and uncooked rice to make hand warmers. Just pop ‘em in the microwave, then take them out and warm up those hands!

Rae Ann Kelly has a how-to guide.

94. Sweater Mittens

Turn your old sweater into new mittens! Check out Creme de la Craft to learn more.

95. Sweater Pillow

Old sweaters also transform into soft, fuzzy throw pillows. PopSugar has a no-sewing-required guide.

96. T-Shirt Pillow

Turn old T-shirts into throw pillows.

Take a look at DIY Network’s guide — and if you don’t have pillow batting at hand, use an old throw pillow’s batting!

97. T-Shirt Quilt

If you have a bunch of old T-shirts and an old fleece blanket, stitch them together into a new T-shirt quilt.

Use Wellness Mama’s guide — unlike other T-shirt quilt guides, this one doesn’t require extra batting or material.

98. Sock Monkey

Got a sock, thread, embroidery floss and polyfill stuffing? Make a monkey.

Urban Threads has the instructions. This type of project can be easily adapted. If you don’t have buttons for eyes, stitch on colorful fabric scraps or make the eyes with embroidery floss.

99. Lip Scrub

Make a simple sugar scrub out of ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Our lip scrub recipe only requires sugar and olive oil.

100. Bath Bombs

Whip up a batch of homemade bath bombs with ingredients you might already have around the house. (If not, you can whip up this batch for less than $10.)

Our video tutorial shows you how.

 

The Greatest Gift Ideas

 

When we release our 2018 gift guides, we make sure all prices are current. But, prices change frequently (yay, deals!), so there’s a chance the prices are now different than they were the day of publication.

Finding the perfect gift for mom is a challenge! Not only can they be picky (sorry, Mom), but you probably already got your mom a gift Mother’s Day and her birthday, so ideas might be running thin.

That’s why we put together this list of some of our favorite must-have gifts for one of the most important women in your life this Christmas.

  • 1. Fitbit Versa Smartwatch, $200, Amazon

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Also available at Walmart, Target and other major retailers.

New Fitbits are here! Mom can reach her fitness and health goals in no time with this pretty smartwatch. It tracks heart rate, exercise and sleep stages to provide actionable insights. Plus, it works with Windows, Android and iPhones and the battery is meant to last four days or more.

  • 2. Bathtub Tray, $22, Amazon

It’s going to be really hard not to buy one for yourself. This bamboo bath caddy comes with adjustable arms, a smartphone slot, a wine glass holder and a book stand. Imagine how much “me” time mom can get with this little treasure!

  • 3. Gaiam Cargo Yoga Mat Bag, $15, Walmart

Any zen mom would love this yoga bag from Gaiam to carry her mat to the studio. It’s also a great size for toting around any oddly shaped items. And, if she needs a brand new mat for all those downward dogs, check out the Cap Fitness Yoga Mat — it’s only seven bucks!

  • 4. Oster Wine Opener, $30, Amazon

If your mom loves wine but has a harder time with corkscrews, this is the gift for her! This cordless wine opener easily uncorks bottles with the click of a button. Plus it comes with a stainless steel chiller to keep her pinot cool.

This precious 18-inch chain features a sterling silver mama bear with up to four bears in tow. It’s the ideal necklace for a proud and brave mama! This is one of TODAY Contributor Julie Loffredi’s favorite gift picks this holiday.

  • 6. Kate Spade ‘Heart of Gold’ Bracelet, $28 (usually $32), Amazon

If your mom really does have a heart of gold, gift her this bracelet as a reminder and a thank you.

  • 7. Kendra Scott Tessa Earrings, $65, Nordstrom

These sparkly studs are perfect for a mom’s night out or for a day at the office. Complete the look with the Elisa Pendant Necklace ($60-65) if you’re feeling like splurging.

  • 8. Heart Pendant Necklace, $31, Walmart

This 18-inch sterling silver and 18-karat gold plated necklace will fill any mom or grandmother’s heart with love. The inscription makes this piece of jewelry extra special.

  • 9. Domenica Fiore Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $40, Amazon

If she’s all about playing around in the kitchen, a good olive oil will be key to her arsenal. This Domenica extra virgin olive oil is totally addictive and will surely surprise the family with new and tasty experiences. Trust us, good olive oil tastes different!

  • 10. Krups Air Fryer, $90, Amazon

Fry little oil or even without oil? Yup. This air fryer promises to make crispy french fries, veggies and chicken in minutes. Mom will love how easy it is to make her favorite family meals. Plus, its healthy too!

  • 11. Oster Hand Mixer with HeatSoft, $99, Amazon

This smart mixer melts butter in seconds with heat technology. It’s great for last-minute baking projects! Plus, it’s easy to clean since it’s dishwasher safe.

  • 12. The Instant Pot Cookbook, $9, Walmart

If your mom already has an Instant Pot — or is getting one this year (wink) — this cookbook is filled with easy recipes.

  • 13. Instant Pot Pioneer Woman, $99, Walmart

If Mom loves florals as much as she loves cooking, check out this pretty pot by Ree Drummond aka Food Network’s Pioneer Woman.

  • 14. “Joy’s Simple Food Remedies,” by Joy Bauer, $14, Amazon

Does Mom love cooking healthy meals for the family? This beautiful book by TODAY health expert Joy Bauer offers recipes to heal everyday ailments, highlighting five power foods.

For other great books to give this holiday season, check out where to buy our favorites.

  • 15. Mom Coffee Cup, $15, Amazon

Remind mom how special she is with every sip. This coffee cup comes in a nice gift box too.

  • 16. Heys Marble Spinner, $144, Amazon

Mom will look stylish and stay organized on her next trip with this carry-on from Heys. The lightweight luggage piece is easy to haul around whether by plane, train or automobile.

  • 17. Tempur-Pedic Pillow, $90 for Queen, Amazon

Is Mom in desperate need of a great night’s sleep? This pillow, which is filled with Tempur microcushions, comfortably cradles your head and neck. No more tossing and turning at bedtime!

Mom’s piggies will always be warm this winter, thanks to this pair of cozy fleece socks. Bonus: The fuzzy pompom ties look adorable and they come in four colors.

  • 19. Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic Weekender Legging, $108, Zappos

Similar available at Lilly Pulitzer.

Athletic moms — and moms who simply love being comfortable all day — will feel stylish in a pair of these Luxletic Weekender leggings by Lilly Pulitzer.

  • 20. Dogeared “Amazing Mom” Necklace, $68, Amazon

Show your own “amazing mom” some love with this gorgeous necklace featuring a pearl disc at the center.

  • 21. Fortune & Frame Flowered Vines Locket, $82, QVC

The locket covered in flowered vines is one of our favorites! The best part? You can leave a special love note inside for mom to find.

  • 22. Drybar Glitter Gang, $215, Sephora

This Glitter Gang kit is packed with everything mom needs to create a beautiful Drybar-inspired blowout at home.

For a more affordable option, check out these great hair products.

  • 23. T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron, $89, Amazon

From straightening to curling, the SinglePass Compact offers full styling capability for a mom on-the-go. If you want a more powerful option, the larger T3 SinglePass goes for $180 at Sephora.

  • 24. Oliver Rocket Bath Bomb Set, $15, Amazon

If your mom loves to take warm baths on cold winter nights, this bath bomb set is for her. They are extra fizzy and come in six different fragrances from lavender to moonlight rose. Now, that’s a treat!

  • 25. Dafni Ceramic Hair Straightening Brush, $50 (originally $60), Amazon

As seen on “The Check Out,” this ceramic hair straightening brush can help a busy mom get a salon-worthy style in minutes.

  • 26. Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker, $69, Walmart

Crock-Pot recently launched new Express Multi-Cookers in 4-quart and 8-quart sizes. They can make everything from hard-boiled eggs to chicken dishes and cooked rice. Mom will love to know she can whip up a meal in less than 30 minutes.

  • 27. KitchenAid Limited Edition 5 Quart Mixer, $400, Walmart

This holiday season, splurge on a limited-edition misty blue mixer. Mom will love that this kitchen tool is full of power — it can mix up to nine dozen cookies at once!

  • 28. Ninja Blender, $90, Amazon

This powerful blender only rings in at $90 and has an impressive, 1000-watt motor that can handle fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.

  • 29. Vitamix Disc Container, $132, Amazon

If mom already splurged on a Vitamix blender, this accessory is a must. Use it to mix cocktails and drinks (without crushing ice) and master culinary tricks like whipping, foaming and muddling.

  • 30. illy Y3.2 iperEspresso and Coffee Machine, $150-199, Amazon

On a cold day, Mom will be thrilled to make a one-touch espresso or cup of coffee with her new stylish illy machine.

  • 31. Amazon Echo Dot, $50, Amazon

The new Amazon Echo (3rd generation) is here! This voice-controlled virtual assistant is a gift your mom will adore. Ask Alexa to check the weather, read the news, control your lights or play songs.

  • 32. AncestryDNA, $78 (usually $99), Amazon

Also available at Ancestry.

AncestryDNA will give mom a look inside her family tree and give her the chance to connect with relatives and learn more about her ancestral past.

  • 33. 23andMe, $20 (usually $30), Walmart

Also available on Amazon.

Since last Christmas, 23andMe upgraded its genetic test. In addition to genealogy, mom can also discover quirky genetic traits like whether she likes cilantro, attracts mosquitos or hates the sound of people chewing. Cool, huh?

  • 34. Amazon.com $50 Gift Card in a Greeting Card, $50, Amazon

Finally, if you are still stuck on what to give Mom this holiday, a gift card to her favorite online marketplace is always a winner!

 

Supporting Gifts

…because when you’re down to the wire you’re going to need a little help.  Time to get creative!

Cheap Christmas Gifts Under $50 in 2015: Last Minute Gifts 2016

Ho ho huh?  With dozens of people to buy for, there’s always going to be someone who you inadvertently forget.  Don’t worry, there’s still some time to place that order online or run to that store.  Check out our best ideas for your last minute holiday gifts.  All are under $50.  Most are under $25.   Shop our budget-friendly favorites of the season for anyone on your list.

For the Little One Who’s Afraid of the Dark:  Balloon Dog Night Light – Check The Price Here

Balloon Dog Night Light

LED light glows for 30 minutes at a time.

Buy Here


For the One Who’s Always Cold: Plaid Blanket Scarf – Check The Price Here

Blanket Scarf

Buy Here


New ‘What Do You Meme’ Card Game for Adults – Check The Price Here

What Do You Meme Adult Card Game Gift Idea 2017 - 2018

Buy Here

Move over ‘Cards Against Humanity’ there’s a new hysterical card game in town! Come up with the funniest meme by pairing the caption cards with the photo card in play. A rotating judge picks the best combination each round. For anywhere between 3 – 2o players!


For the Oprah Fan:  ‘What I Know For Sure’ – Check The Price Here

What I Know For Sure by Oprah

…because Oprah really does know everything.  On a serious note, this is one of our favorite reads over the past 2 years.  You can pick it up at almost any time and find some words of inspiration and motivation.  Now at a super low price.

Buy Here


For the Picky Shopper: Amazon.com Gift Card – Check The Price Here

Gift Ideas Under $50 for Christmas: Amazon Gift Card

You can buy literally almost anything at Amazon.com.  Plus Amazon Prime (2 day or less free shipping) has made my entire life.  Choose either a traditional gift card (and have it shipped to them or you) or you can even print out your own Amazon gift card at home.  So many options.

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For the Host:  United States Slate Cheeseboard – Check The Price Here

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For the Well Kept Man:  Jack Black Beard Grooming Kit – Check The Price Here

Jack Black Beard Grooming Kit

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For the Meditator:  DIY Zen Wishing Stone – Check The Price Here

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For the Kiddos:  Surprise Ride Monthly Activity Delivery – Check The Price Here  (Available as a one-time deal, or monthly service)

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Every month, receive a box of materials to do fun hands-on projects. Boxes cover a surprise theme ranging from art and science to food and geography! Perfect for ages 6-11.

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For the Whiskey/Bourbon Lover:  The Whiskey Ice Wedge – Check The Price Here

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For the Elite Shopper:  Nordstrom Gift Cards – Check The Price Here

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Buy Here


For the Drinker:  Micro Brew Beer Gift Basket – Check The Price Here (Available as a one-time deal, or monthly service)

Micro Brew Gift Basket

Buy Here


For the Bearded:  Beard Oil & Leave In Conditioner – Check The Price Here

Organic Beard Oil

Buy Here


For the Beauty Sampler:  3 Month Birchbox Subscription – Check The Price Here

Birchbox Sampler Gifts for Wife

Buy Here


For The Music Lover:  Led Flame Bluetooth Speaker Check The Price Here

LED Flame Bluetooth Speaker

Buy Here


For the Fun Photographer: The Diana Camera – Check The Price Here

Diana Camera

Uses 120 film and gives your photos an artistic edge by using unpredictable blurring and random contrast.

Buy Here


For the Makeup Lover:  Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette – Check The Price Here

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Buy Here


For the Wine Drinker:  Wine Enthusiast 3-Pack Wine Glass Writer Metallic Pens – Check The Price Here

Wine Glass Metallic Pens

Perfect add-on to a bottle of wine.  Because after a few glasses, who remember which charm is theirs?  Washes off in the dishwasher….write on the wine bottle as well!

Buy Here


For the Fragrance and Hygge Enthusiast: CLEAN How To Hygge Collection – Check The Price Here

CLEAN How to Hygge Collection

Buy Here


Tea Drop Sampler – Check The Price Here

Tea Drops Sampler

The sampler set includes 5 drops each of: citrus ginger, vanilla white, rose earl grey, sweet peppermint, and matcha green tea.

Buy Here


Pineapple Moscow Mule Cup with Straw – Check The Price Here

Pineapple Moscow Mule Cup

On sale now for $24 each, you can grab a set of 2 for under $50

Buy Here


Evershop Portable Outdoor Bluetooth Waterproof Wireless Speaker – Check The Price Here

Portable Wireless Speaker

Buy Here


Furious Gift Ideas

 

What’s the best gift to bring to a holiday gift exchange? It all depends on the group, the guidelines, and your own personal style.

Gag gifts are always a big hit, but there’s also nothing wrong with bringing a nice item that people actually want. Better yet, if you can find something that’s both funny and useful, you’ve hit the  jackpot.

Fortunately, the internet is chockfull of unusual products for sale, if only you know where to look. Here are my picks for the top gift ideas for under $20. Some are hilarious, some are nice – but all are perfectly unique.

Prank Pack NapSackTo be clear, the NapSack isn’t a real product. It’s just a funny parody box that you can put the real gift inside. What I love about this is that it allows you to turn any gift into a hilarious gag. Also, the sense of mystery (what’s really inside?) adds a fun touch.

People of Walmart Boxed Calendar: 366 Days of Shop and AweIf you’re going to bring a calendar to a gift exchange, you better make it a good one. This People of Walmart boxed calendar (based on the popular website) is funny enough to stand out from the crowd.

Big Mouth Toys Toilet MugThis gift combines two tried-and-true elements of gift swaps: coffee mugs and toilet humor. If you have a higher price limit, you can sweeten the deal with a pound of gourmet coffee.

Christmas Eggnog Moose MugFans of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation will instantly recognize this goofy moose mug. But even those who don’t get the reference should get a big kick out of this gift.

Muffin Tops Baking CupsEveryone overindulges around the holidays. These funny muffin top baking cups serve as a reminder of what happens if you eat too much of the yummy stuff inside.

Pick Your Nose Paper CupsFunny… check. Unique… check. Cheap… you bet. These novelty paper cups are ideal for gift swaps in the lower price range.

Christmas Story Sculpted Leg Lamp MugNext to “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid,” the most memorable thing about the movie A Christmas Story is the “special award.” It’s a perfect symbol of holiday tackiness, which makes this mug a perfect item for a gift swap.

Scotch Shoe Dispenser with Magic TapeWhen you think of funny or exciting gifts, a tape dispenser probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. This is no ordinary tape dispenser, however. Perfect for office gift exchanges.

Vosges Mo's Milk Chocolate Bacon BarThey say bacon makes everything better. This bacon chocolate bar puts that statement to the test. Find out who the real bacon lovers are in your gift exchange.

Butt/Face SoapThis soap has two sides – a white one for your face and a brown one for your you-know-what. It’s a great way to promote personal hygiene. Or maybe it’s just a hilarious gag gift that you can buy for less than $5.

Splat Stan CoasterThis rubber coaster makes it look like you’re crushing a little man with your coffee cup. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Another solid option for office gift exchanges.

Spinning Hat Social Shower CurtainThis may not be appropriate for all groups, but it’s great for the techie/geeky set. The shower curtain looks like a social media profile, with a clear square for the “profile picture.” How cute is that?

Mooning Garden Gnome Salt and Pepper Shaker SetLooking for a cheeky gift? You can’t go wrong with this cute and kitschy set of salt-and-pepper shakers.

Giant 1 Pound Snickers BarThe holidays are a time of big portions, but this is ridiculous. Given how popular Snickers bars are, you can count on this 1-pound monster being a popular item. Just remind the lucky winner of this giant candy bar that it says “share” right on the wrapper.

ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie CutterABC stands for “Already Been Chewed,” in case you’re wondering. These cookie cutters make a plate of Christmas cookies look like they’ve been ravaged by an 8-year-old.

Ozeri Nouveaux II Electric Wine OpenerIf you’re looking for something that people will fight over, you probably can’t do better than this electric wine bottle opener. It’s a brilliant invention, and a lot of people don’t even know that such a thing exists.

Prescription / Pill Bottle Drink KoolerThis foam koozie might not be the best choice for an office or church party, but it’s great for a group of friends. This is one of the cheaper items on the list, so feel free to combine it with a few cold ones if you’ve got a higher price limit.

Boston Warehouse Moose Oven MittThis moose oven mitt is funny, adorable, and appropriate for groups of all types. Some folks have complained that the oven mitt isn’t that protective, but as a cheap gag gift, it works just fine.

Knit Winter Crochet Beard BeanieWearing one of these beard beanie hats is undoubtedly the funniest way to stay warm during the winter. While bringing clothing to a gift exchange is usually a bad idea, these are one-size-fits-most. Great for groups of men, but can also make for lots of fun swapping if women are participating.

Stress BallsOkay, these obviously aren’t for mixed company (I don’t want to get anyone in trouble!). But for a group of girlfriends, these “stress balls” are sure to get lots of laughs. Great stress relief for when you start to get testy.

Find something you like? You can click on any of the images above to check out the product page.

Merry Christmas!

 

Top Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Now, since your dad has probably given you a lifetime of sage advice, we’re here with some sage advice of our own: it’s time to trade in that tie you get him every year for some out-of-the-box gift ideas. We’ve put together a list of need-to-know pointers to help get you started.

When Is Father’s Day?


We’re here to remind you that Father’s Day is right around the corner — it’s close enough that you should start putting some thought into it, but far enough that you still have time to figure out just how you’re going to surprise him. Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 17th this year and we’re here to help you find the perfect gift.


Shopping Tips To Find The Coolest Gift


  • Budget: If you’re stumped on what to get your favorite guy for Father’s Day, remember that showing appreciation doesn’t have to break the bank. It really is the thought that counts. Be realistic and stay within your means, especially if you find yourself celebrating several exceptional men on this special day.
  • Type Of Dad: What does your dad love? This is the type of question you need to be exploring. Is he a music buff? Consider getting him a pair of hip new headphones. Is he an avid runner or cyclist? He may very well enjoy a fitness tracker so that he can monitor his progress. Whatever it is, make sure you take his character into account while you shop. It will make it easier to come up with the ideal gift.
  • Personalized: If you have ample time, consider a personalized gift to make it extra special. Whether it’s with an engraving or a monogram, personalizing a gift is a sure way to honor your father, and make him feel exclusive.
  • Last-Minute: We get it. Life gets hectic, time flies and suddenly you’re left with no other choice than to get a last-minute gift. Luckily, there’s this thing called online shopping now and thanks to 1-day shipping and a little help on our part, there are still plenty of options out there for all of you last-minute shoppers.

Best Gifts For Dad


Shopping for dads is hard. Trust us, we know. But don’t you worry, that’s where we come in. We’ve rounded up some the best selling and top rated gift ideas we have found for every type of dad. Looking for something unique? We have you covered. There’s a little something in here for everyone.

Amazon Echo

transparent gif Ships in time for Father’s Day

Think of Amazon’s Echo as his new personal assistant. Operating via voice control, the Echo can recite daily news, read him an audiobook, blast his favorite classic rock, or even order him a pizza. The Echo can also help out with the chores, including controlling the thermostat, dimming the lights, setting outdoor sprinklers, and lock any doors. Available in a range of finishes, from a subtle wood to a sleek fabric, the Echo will blend into any home design.
$99.99 at Amazon.com

Vincero Watch

transparent gif They say clothes make the man, but in our opinion, it’s the accessories. Whether dad is more of a suit and tie guy or he prefers to be laidback in jeans and a t-shirt, a sleek and stylish watch, like this Vincero model, will elevate his look to new heights. Vincero has built up a great reputation for their high-quality materials and fine craftsmanship, and this watch is a true example of that. Featuring a rose gold case, top-grain Italian leather strap and scratch-resistant saphhire coated crystal glass, he’s sure to get a lot of wear out of this piece over the years.
$159.00 at Vincerowatches.com

Philips Norelco Vacuum Beard Trimmer

transparent gifShips in time for Father’s Day

It doesn’t hurt to have a little extra help when executing facial trims. A staggering 20 length settings optimized for precision makes this Philips beard trimmer simple and enjoyable to use. A rechargeable battery provides up to one hour of cordless use on a full charge — more than enough time to get even the thickest beard under control.
$49.95 at Amazon.com

SKLZ Gold Flex Strength And Tempo Trainer

SKLZ Gold Flex Strength And Tempo TrainerShips in time for Father’s Day

If your dad golfs, the only thing he’ll love more than the game itself is telling his friends all about the secret to improving his swing. With the SKLZ Tempo Trainer, he’ll not only be espousing the miraculous improvements out on the green, but maybe also throwing in a footnote about his whip-smart kid that got it for him.
$51.18 at Amazon.com

Ridge Wallet – Navy SEAL Aluminum Wallet

transparent gif Your wallet should be the safest of places, and that tattered wallet dad has been toting around for decades probably isn’t doing the trick anymore. Considering this wallet has ‘Navy Seal’ in the name, it’s safe to say it will keep his cards safe. While minimalistic in size, an expandable track can hold up to 12 cards and the outer money clip will keep dozens of bills safe. Slim enough to fit in his front pocket, the wallet is outfitted with RFID technology to protect his personal identity. 5% of proceeds go towards the Navy SEAL Foundation, so he can feel good about his wallet upgrade.
$65.00 at Huckberry.com

Taylor Stitch Shirts

transparent gifHelp dad upgrade his everyday ensemble with a button down shirt from Taylor Stitch. Originally a custom-shirt maker, Taylor Stitch has developed a signature fit with sizing based off the most solid indicator of a man’s proportions — his chest size. Whether his style is sleek and sophisticated or loose and laidback, once he throws on a Taylor Stitch shirt, there’ll be no going back to any other.
Find out more at TaylorStitch.com

Tile Sport

transparent gifOld age or not, we’ve all experienced the chaos of trying to remember where the heck you left your house keys. Enter Tile: the slim little tracker can be attached to wallets, keys, or whatever other items seem to walk out on their own. Next time dad loses an item, he can simply open the Tile app and Tile sport will locate the item. In addition, the Tile Sport is waterproof up to 1.5 meters so it can take on any spills or splashes that come his way. Take advantage of Tile’s Father’s Day promotions, with sales including two Tile Sports for $45.
$25.00 TheTileApp.com

Michael Symon’s Playing With Fire Cookbook

transparent gifShips in time for Father’s Day

Saying Chef Michael Symon, the man behind the new acclaimed BBQ joint Mabel’s BBQ and an Iron Chef regular, knows a thing or two about BBQ is an understatement. In his new book, he gathers the best of his favorite BBQ dishes, all of which are surprisingly easy to make at home — even if you aren’t equipped with a full smoker. From several different styles of ribs to a fireplace-roasted chicken to tips on what wood to use, it’s basically a BBQ bible.
$18.89 at Amazon.com

Trunk Club

transparent gifFor the sharp dresser, a Trunk Club gift card will certainly up his game. The service will set him up with a personal stylist who will take care of packing and shipping a trunk full of premium clothing to his doorstep. Upon arrival, he’ll get 10 days to try on the goods and send back anything he doesn’t want (shipping is free both ways). It’s time to return the favor to the dad who taught you a thing or two about style.
Get a Gift Card at TrunkClub.com

MeUndies

transparent gifRead our MeUndies Review
We get it, underwear isn’t the most glamorous of gifts. But if you’re looking for a gift he’ll actually use, look no further. The world’s best underwear for the world’s best dad. MeUndies makes their line of underwear from a special blend of Lenzing modal (known for being super soft and ecological) and original prints to boot. As an online-only service, they’re able to keep costs low, unlike other premium underwear brands. They also deliver straight to your door, free of shipping charges within the U.S. and Canada. Cheers to dad staying funky fresh day in and day out.
$20.00 (or $16.00 for subscribers) at MeUndies.com

MVMT Watches

transparent gifBorn from a love of the timepiece and the need to eliminate markups by popular brands, meet MVMT — the watch company single-handedly revolutionizing the art of the wristwatch. These leather, steel and silicon-clad watches offer a minimal design made from high-quality materials that exude fine detailing and premium quality. So good, you’ll probably want to pick one up for yourself while you’re at it.
From $99.00 at MVMTWatches.com

HyperChiller Iced Coffee Maker

transparent gifWho doesn’t love a chilled-to-perfection iced coffee on a hot summer day? Simple yet effective, the HyperChiller is able to chill hot coffee in about a minute — without diluting the beverage. If that’s not enough, it’s also able to chill whisky, wine and any other liquid vice Dad may have.
$29.99 at HyperChiller.com

Essential EDC Kit

Essential EDC KitWhether he has a passion for fishing or he prefers to spend his time in the wilderness hiking and camping in the bush, a paracord pod EDC (everyday carry) kit offers a subtle comfort when it comes to successfully trekking through the outdoors. With over 16 useful outdoor items wrapped into a handy and stylish kit, this is a tool he’ll want to have on-hand at all times.
$29.00 at Huckberry.com

Winc

transparent gifRead our Winc Review

Have you ever been absolutely dizzied by the prospect of picking out a bottle of wine at the store? Between the number of regions, the number of varietals and even the label, buying a bottle of vino can be stressful. Winc is here to lift that stress. Complete a short test to determine dad’s flavor profile (asking questions like how do you like your coffee? Do you like citrus?) and Winc will send off a selection of bottles. If he doesn’t like them simply let Winc know and they will adjust his future selections. Best part? Bottles start at a very affordable $13.
Starting at $50.00 at Winc.com

Bottle Breacher

transparent gif Kick off dad’s summer barbeque season with a bottle opener, cooler or drink coozie from Bottle Breacher. Known for their unique product selection — with many products featuring recycled 50 caliber ammunition —, this is the ideal gifting spot for the war history buff. Plus, take advantage of Bottle Breacher’s exclusive promotion offering $15 off any $75+ purchase through Father’s Day with the code.
Find out more at Bottlebreacher.com

Teroforma Whisky Stones

transparent gif While a drop of water brings out the flavors of whisky, no one wants a diluted drink. Whisky stones solve that conundrum. He can keep these stones in the freezer and when he’s craving a nightcap, all he has to do is drop them into his drink and they will chill the whisky, sans dilution. When finished, rinse them off (no soap, please!) and pop them back in the freezer.
$20.00 at BespokePost.com

BirchboxMan Gift Subscription

transparent gifRead our Birchbox Review
Meet Birchbox: the subscription service that sends a box full of neat accessories and grooming products straight to his door. Whether he’s a classic grooming fanatic or he’s always looking for something new, this box will offer something for everyone. Plus, not only will dad think of you every time his package arrives, all you have to do on your end is enter his address. Easy and thoughtful? Where do we sign up? Available for three, six or 12-month quantities.
Starting at $30.00 for 3 months at Birchbox.com

Mophie Power Reserve

transparent gifShips in time for Father’s Day

Between work calls and texting you gifs and emojis, it’s easy for dad to lose track of how much juice is left on his smartphone. Mophie’s powerbanks combine style and function, stuffing up to two times the extra battery power inside a sleek design. Built-in cables eliminate the need to carry a USB cord, so he can easily tuck this in his jacket or pants pocket.
$79.95 at Amazon.com

Bespoke Post

Bespoke PostRead our Bespoke Post Review
When is the last time he received something in the mail that wasn’t a stack of bills? Cue Bespoke Post, a subscription service that curates monthly boxes for the modern gentleman, with each one stuffed to the brim with small-batch luxury products. Each box has a specific theme, ranging from cocktail curation to grilling essentials to top-quality grooming products.
$55.00 at BespokePost.com

Harry’s Shaving Subscription

transparent gifRead our Harry’s Review
Even the grisliest of dads need to shave. This Father’s Day, help him look sharp with a subscription to Harry’s. Boasting razors composed of top-of-the-line German blades, a collection of hydrating shaving gels and creams and a skincare collection, dad can find everything he needs to complete his grooming regimen. Once he has tried out Harry’s products he can choose to purchase individual replacements or sign up for a regular supply of razors.
Find out more at Harrys.com

Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

transparent gif This is the ideal Father’s Day gift for the fitness-loving Dad. He’ll be able to keep track of his gains and so much more with the sleek Fitbit Versa. The simple and stylish smartwatch goes above and beyond the standard activity/sleep tracker with features including wallet-free payments, phone-free music, access to popular apps, on-screen workouts, and water resistance up to 50 m. It will be difficult to outshine this gift come next year.
$199.95 at Fitbit.com

Tiger Woods – Jeff Benedict

transparent gifShips in time for Father’s Day

While Tiger is famous for his prowess on the greens, his infamy lies in his extracurricular activities. Jeff Benedict has weaved all of Tiger’s highs and lows into a page-turning saga. It shares the moments of Tiger’s life, from his early childhood with his parents to that scandal to recording-breaking wins. Featuring exclusive interviews from those in Tiger’s inner circle, this book is a true page-turner. As the New York Times review stated: “It makes a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball.”
$20.98 at Amazon.com

The Norlan Glass Set Of 2 Whisky Glasses

transparent gifIdeal for the Scotch fan on your list, the Norlan Glass whisky glasses set offers a unique alternative to the typical drinking glass. The Norlan Glass set includes two hand-blown Borosilicate glasses that will actually make his whisky taste even better. This work of engineering magic was crafted to enhance the flavor and aroma of his drink of choice, thanks to the unique shape of its inner bowl.
$48.00 at Huckberry.com

Bose Wireless Headphones

transparent gifShips in time for Father’s Day

This may seem like a harrowing price tag for a pair of small headphones, but consider how many pairs of $20 earbuds he’s had to repurchase over the years. That’s a lot of money, right? Bose’s headphones are designed to stick with him for the long haul, right down to the “Find My Buds” feature that lets him track lost headphones. These completely wireless headphones are sweat and water resistant and feature Bose’s signature clear, high-quality sound. Whether he’s on a walk or working out these headphones will withstand whatever comes his way.
$199.00 at Amazon.com

S’well Water Bottle

transparent gifShips in time for Father’s Day

While a water bottle may not seem like a luxurious gift, this is one he will use for years to come. The insulated steel bottles, which come in an array of thoughtful designs to boot, will keep water icy cold for a full 24 hours, even in the heat of a full sunny day outdoors or a sweaty spin class. Come wintertime, he can keep his coffee or hot chocolate toasty warm for up to 12 hours.
$35.00 at Amazon.com

Kammok Roo Hammock

Kammok Roo HammockShips in time for Father’s Day

Built for the dad who loves roughing it in the woods, this hammock is ideal for summer adventures. Its durable, tear and water resistant material and easy-set-up design makes it a great camping companion.
$99.00 at Amazon.com


Didn’t find the perfect gift for your dad? Check out some more awesome gift ideas here:


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Gift For Furious Parents

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (beside the Super Bowl) and it’s time to figure out exactly what you should gift your parents this season.  We’re here to help.

 

So what do you really get the people who raised you (or at least tried to)?  And what do you really get your parents who already have everything?  Great question.  I mean, we’re at a loss, but we’ve rounded up some really fun and unique ideas that any parent would want and will possibly even share with you (or just borrow it behind their back).  Some of these killer gift ideas are perfect options for parents who want to do things together (really?) while others are perfect for the parent who wants to go it alone and have a little “me” time to themselves.  Whether they’re younger parents, older folk, working, or retired, shop our picks for some of the best Christmas gifts for parents (so far) this year.

The Musical Parents Gift:  Bose Revolve Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker – Buy It Here

Christmas Gifts for Parents 2017: Bose Revolve Portable Speaker 2018

Buy Now

Because they’re going to love bring the party with them! Bose is perhaps one of the best sounding speaker brands on the market and this little portable guy sounds amazing, is wireless, bluetooth enabled, and water resistant.  Bring it to the beach, the pool, the shower, you name it.


The Parents Who Sleep In:  Parachute ‘Percale Venice’ Comfy Sheet Set – Buy It Here

Buy Now

Because they deserve to sleep in and be uber-comfortable at the same time.  These sheet sets come in a variety of cool colors like slate blue, grey, white, light blue and more. See more of the best reviewed sheets (so far) this year!


For the Baking Parents:  SMEG ‘Retro’ Pastel Blue Stand Mixer – Buy It Here

Christmas Gifts for Parents 2017: Smeg Retro Stand Mixer in Pastel Blue 2018

Buy Now

Because you know they’re going to bake, so might as well do it in style.  These SMEG stand-mixers are retro in looks, but up-to-date when it comes to technology.  Plus, they also come in other cool colors like pastel pink, mint green, black, red, and more.


The Snuggly Parents:  Barefoot Dreams ‘Cozy Chic’ Ribbed Throw Blanket in Charcoal Grey – Buy It Here

Christmas Gifts for Parents 2017: Barefoot Dreams Throw Blanket 2018

Buy Now

Because, yes, they still cuddle together (when you’re not around) and this throw blanket is cozy AF.



The Stay-in-Touch Parents:  The New Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation) – Buy It Here

Buy Now

The latest from Amazon (genuflect).  Introducing the second generation “Echo Show.”  It has all the magic of the regular echo, but this one “shows” you things instead of just robotically telling you.  A “must-have” this season. It’s way more advanced than the original, not only because it has a crystal clear 10-inch HD screen, but also because it has killer premium Dolby sound! Because they want to see you when they talk to you and they’ll get a kick out of seeing what Alexa has to say.  It’ll make them feel like The Jetsons.  This one also comes in a cool white color option too.  See color options here!


The Grateful Parents:  Oprah’s ‘The Wisdom of Sundays: Life Changing Insights’ – Buy It Here

Buy Now

The perfect gift for anyone who needs a little “pick-me-up” from time to time.  It provides short nuggets of insight and inspiration from Oprah and her friends on Super Soul Sunday. Every time they read a passage, they’ll think of you!


The Supportive Parents Gift:  Hers-and-His Inspired T-Shirts:

Mom’s are Magical (Unicorn)  – Buy It Here

Buy Now

More: The Top Christmas Gifts For Mom in 2018


The Papa Bear Tee for Dad – Buy It Here

Buy Now

It’s a t-shirt for both of them.  The first is for mom and says “Moms are Magical” with a super cute unicorn on it.  It comes in a bunch of color options too like pink, grey, light blue and more.  There’s also the t-shirt for dad that says “Papa Bear” in it with a cool bear.  This one comes in a bunch of colors too.  Get one for each of them!

More:  The Most Popular Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad In 2018


The Classy Parents Gift:  Waterford Crystal Flowering Vase – Buy It Here

Christmas Gifts for Parents 2017: Waterford Crystal Vase 2018

Buy Now

Because, yes, you should still be sending your parent flowers and when you do they should display them in this kick-ass crystal lead bud vase.  #YouFancy



The Coffee Loving Parents:  ‘Good Morning’ Ceramic Coffee Mugs – Buy It Here

Christmas Gifts for Parents 2017: Funny Coffee Mugs

Buy Now

Because it’s really coffee that’s keeping them together (or at least keeping them from killing each other).


The Safety-First Folks:  The Blink XT Home Security Camera in Black – Buy It Here
Parents Gifts 2018: New Blink XT Wireless security camera
Buy Now

Outside of keeping their home safe, this is also the perfect gift for those busy-bodies in the neighborhood (like your parents) who just want to know what’s going on outside at all times.  It’s weatherproof, has 2-year battery life and cloud storage, plus is has motion detection which you can hook up to your phone or tablet to get an alert when something sets it off.  They’ll feel better having it and, to be honest, you’ll feel better knowing they’re safe and that no one is stealing their deliveries off their front porch!


The Nostalgic Parents:  Kate Spade ‘Glittery’ Picture Frame – Buy It Here

Christmas Gifts for Parents 2017: Kate Spade Glitter Picture Frame 2018

Buy Now

Because they still have your high school graduation picture displayed in the living so you might as well have them at least update the frame since you won’t be getting your picture professionally taken any time soon.



Michelle Obama’s New Book ‘Becoming’ – Pre-Order Here

Buy Now

This is the book that everyone is going to be talking about this upcoming holiday season.  It’s an inspiring memoir, a great look at her upbringing, behind the scenes of the road to the White House (and inside the White House) and so much more.  They’ll love reading this one cover-to-cover regardless of their political beliefs.


The Chef-Like Parents:  Hello Fresh Food Subscription Box – Buy It Here

HelloFresh Gift for Her 2018 - 2019

Buy Now

Because parents who cook together, stay together.  We think.  Either way, why not gift them food once, twice, or three times a week where all the ingredients show up to their door and all they have to do is follow the simple recipe and enjoy!


The Matching Relaxing ‘Rents:  The Most Comfy Bathrobes Ever – Buy It Here

Bathrobe Gifts for Parents from Parachute 2018 - 2019

Buy Now

For real, this is one of the most comfortable bathrobes we’ve ever had the privilege of wearing.  It’s from that company, Parachute, that everyone has been buzzing about all year.  Their bathrobes are super plush and have a really comfortable shawl collar.  Now you can get them matching robes of the same color of choose a color specific to their personality.  Our favorite is this one in ‘mineral’ but it also comes in stone grey and classic white too.  Check out the color options here.


The Drinking Parents:  His & Hers ‘Two of a Kind’ Drinking Glasses – Buy It Here

Christmas Gifts for Parents 2017: His and Hers Drinking Glasses

Buy Now

And parents who drink together, stay together.  This we know for sure.  These ‘his and hers’ glasses are perfect for a little after dinner drink, late night cocktail or just for water (boring).  Plus they’ll never have to fight over who’s drinking out of their glass.


 The Tech-Obsessed Parents:  All New Echo Spot – Buy It Here

Buy Now

The latest from Amazon!  We love how this handsfree device can fit pretty much anywhere in your home. Use 2nd generation far-field voice recognition to watch video flash briefings, see music lyrics, weather forecasts, recipes, to-do, shopping lists, face-to-face calls, and a ton more!


The Nostalgic Gift:  An Actual Live Charlie Brown Christmas Tree by Costa Farms (via Amazon) – Buy It Here

Buy Now

We’re dying over this one!  Now they can have their very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree and, yes, it’s actually live!  This one comes with ornaments and a gift tag.  It starts out super small (anywhere between 10-14-inches) and can grow up to 6-feet if they wanted it too!  It’s a gift they’ll remember for years to come!


The Lazy Clean Freaks:  The Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum – Buy It Here

Buy Now

Well they certainly don’t want to spend their time having to vacuum all those empty rooms in their house (ever since you left!).  This magical robot vac can go for 90 minutes without needing to be charged again, grab the smallest of dirt particles (hello dust) and larger stuff (hello dropped cereal) and everything in between.  Plus, it works on both hardwood floors and carpeting. They can even connect it to their WiFi and use it via their smartphone app.  Sold!


The Binge Watchers:  Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Streaming Media Player – Buy It Here
Amazon Fire Stick TV: Gift Ideas for Parents 2018 - 2019
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Now they can binge-watch all the shows they’re obsessing over.  This one now has Alexa voice remote and over 10,000 channels, 500,000 movies and more!


The Parents Who Cook Together:  Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System with Auto-Spiralizer – Buy It Here

Buy Now

They’ll love that they’ll be able to use this one machine to crush ice, make frozen drinks or shakes, ice cream, snow cones, soups, purees, dough, juices and also acts as a spiralizer so you can make fruit and vegetables into noodles.  Noodles!!  Obsessed.


The Parents Who are Always Misplacing Things:  The Tile Key & Phone Finder – Buy It Here

Best New Tech Gifts 2017: Tile Keys Finder 2018

Buy Now

Waterproof and durable these (set of 2) tiles allow you to easily find your keys, your smartphone, or anything that you attach it to.  You can even see it on a map where and when you left your prized belongings behind!  It’s a real marriage saver since it’ll cut down on the fights over where the phone or remote control is.


The Parents Who Love Fresh Flowers:  12 Months of Flowers  – Buy It Here

Hot Christmas Gift for Wife 2017: Flowers Every Month 2018

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Get them up to 12-months of flowers delivered to them each and every month.  It’ll put a smile on their face whenever they get delivered and, plus, you’ll totally lock in that you’re their favorite child.


The Lane & Mae ‘Chunky’ Merino Wool Throw Blanket in Grey – Buy It Here

Buy Now

Now this is the kind of blanket you can wrap yourself up in and nap the entire weekend away!  It’s made from 100% merino wool, is super chunky and snuggly, and comes in a variety of really nice colors like blue, light pink, light brown, silver grey, and a bright morning blue.  See more colors here!


The Parents Who Love History:  23andMe ‘Ancestry’ DNA Kit – Buy It Here

Buy Now

We’re digging this at-home DNA kit.  You basically take a swab of the inside of your mouth, send it back to the company, and in 6 to 8 weeks they’ll let you know exactly where you came from and could even possibly get you in touch with other relatives too.  Discover the breakdown of your heritage (are you 40% Italian, 20% Irish and 40% Scottish?)  You can even discover if any of your DNA dates back to Neanderthals.  Imagine?!


The Cooking Parents (Who Don’t Have Time):  The Instant Pot Duo Plus – Buy It Here

Buy Now

Because they’ll be able to cook just about anything they want all in one pot.  It’s a real miracle if you ask us.  Simply cook soups, stews, chili, cake, eggs, sauté, use it as a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, pressure cooker, steamer, and so much more!  It’s one of the best selling kitchen appliances of last year and this year, especially when it was Prime Day.  You can’t go wrong!


The Fragrant Folks:  Scentbird Perfume & Cologne Monthly Subscription – Buy It Here

2018 Scentbird Review - Is Scent Bird Worth It Monthly Cologne Perfume Subscription 2019

Buy Now

How about some monthly subscription boxes they’ll both love getting each and every month.  With Scentbird you can get a new cologne or perfume delivered each month so you can try it out and see what scent you actually like.  There are hundreds to choose from and the best part is that you’ll get enough of the fragrance each month to give you about 2-3 sprays per day for 30-days.  These aren’t tiny samples!  Learn more here (they’ll sure love it).


The Drinking Parents:  LSA International Shot Serving Set – Buy It Here

Buy Now

Who doesn’t love shots!  I mean, if they’re trying to class it up this is the way to go.  Their dinner parties just became a whole lot more fun.  The oak paddle makes it perfect to carry and present their guests with their must-have shots.


The Tech Savvy Parents:  Nest ‘Smart Learning’ Thermostat – Buy It Here

Buy Now

They’ll save money on their heating and air-conditioning bills thanks to this 3rd generation smart thermostat from Nest.  It’ll learn their living patterns and adjust accordingly. Plus, they can download the app and change the temperature from the comfort of their couch without ever having to get up.  Or, if they’re really tech savvy, they can hook this up to Amazon Alexa and basically just shout commands at her until they get the desired temperature of their choice.


The Indoor Gardeners:  The AeroGarden Harvest Elite 360 Home Garden – Buy It Here

Buy Now

Now they can grow their garden all year round right in the comfort of their own home! They can grow herbs, vegetables, flowers, and more.  Plus, you can grow up to 6 plants all at the same time.  Oh, and did we mention it’ll tell you when it needs water or nutrients?  How easy, delicious, and just plain old awesome!


The Smiley Parents:  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Electric Toothbrush – Buy It Here

Buy Now

This Mercedes of toothbrushes removes up to 10x more plaque and improves gum health up to 7x in just 2 weeks and removes up to 100% more stains in just 3 days!  Plus, you can recharge this and choose from various cleaning modes like: Clean, Whiten, Deep Clean, Gum Health, and Tongue Health!


The New Fire TV Recast DVR – Buy It Here

Buy Now

This is the latest and newest from Amazon that’s going to take over all of our lives!  Introducing the Fire TV Recast (DVR).  We love it because it lets us watch and record our favorite TV shows (including regular HD channels like NBC, ABC, and the rest!) either at home while you’re there or when you’re out an about (via your smart devices/phones).  The best part?  No monthly fees! Plus, you can even watch your recorded shows when you’re out via your devices.  Seriously, how cool is that?! It’s time to binge watch on your own time and from anywhere.  Learn more here!


The Clean Parents:  Dyson Pure Hot Cool Air Purifier in White – Buy It Here

Buy Now

This Wi-Fi enabled smart air purifier is the bomb.  Not only does it do what it’s supposed to do (purify the air), it also acts as a cooling fan in the summer and a heater in the winter.  Say goodbye to dust, pollen and other pesky allergens!  This Dyson (that works with Alexa) has been “Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly” and awarded the Quietmark accreditation.  Perfect!


 

Top Gifts for him

Christmas is a time to disconnect from work, catch up with family, sleep in, watch the season’s most anticipated movies and Netflix’s newest offerings (can you say, Maniac!), (over)eat good food and, yes, sleep it off. It’s also a great opportunity to hit the slopes or get out of town, if you can manage it. But despite these seemingly ideal conditions, the holidays are not all reindeer and fruitcake — the stress of holiday season gift shopping can take a serious toll. Never fear though, whether you are looking for the perfect stocking stuffers for men or need unique Christmas gift ideas, we’re here to help.

Even if you try to avoid last-minute gift shopping, the holidays always seem to bring out the worst in shoppers. People get competitive, impatient and it’s really no surprise when you consider the overall ambiance of the gifting season: dizzying lights, warbling choral music on repeat, fake Santas and bratty kids, packed parking lots and the pressure to please everyone — and then some. Hardly what you’d expect from a time touted as being reserved for charitable acts and peace on earth (OK, maybe that’s a little over the top).

But there is another way to win Christmas this year, if you’re open to ditching the frenzy and leaving the car at home. Shopping online can be your quick fix to getting all your shopping done with a little time leftover for pouring yourself a little rum and eggnog by the fire. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up this list of the perfect Christmas gift ideas for your husband, boyfriend, father, boss, brother, and more. All of which you can peruse and purchase from the comfort of your couch.From the latest tech gadgets to grooming essentials and drink accessories there’s something for every man on your list in this selection of gifts. Get ready to rule the gifting game this holiday season.

Vincero Watches

transparent gifThey say clothes make the man, but we’d argue that the power lies in the watch. Especially when said watch is a Vincero. From classic Italian leather banded timepieces to sleek, stainless steel chronographs there is a design fit for every man’s sense of style. Whether he’s a watch aficionado or new to the game, this gift is sure to be put to good use.

P.S. If you’re looking for a little assistance in narrowing down your watch picks, check out AskMen’s Top Picks and take advantage of their limited time promotion by using the code: ASKMEN for 15% off your entire purchase.

Starting at $139.00 at VinceroWatches.com

Bespoke Post

transparent gifThe great thing about Bespoke Post is that you can offer him either a subscription or a gift card, so that he can pick exactly what he wants. Bespoke Post is a New York-based service that curates monthly theme-oriented boxes full of unique gifts collected from around the States and the world. Each box is geared to fine-tune an aspect of his lifestyle, which means this is not only a fun gift, but a useful one too.
Find out more at BespokePost.com

The Norlan Black Whiskey Glasses – Limited Edition

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Ideal for the Scotch fan on your list, this limited edition Norlan Glass whiskey glasses set offers a unique alternative to the typical drinking glass. The Norlan Glass set includes two matte black, hand-blown Borosilicate glasses that will actually make his whiskey taste better. This work of engineering magic was crafted to enhance the flavor and aroma of his drink of choice, thanks to the unique shape of its inner bowl.
$58.00 at Huckberry.com

Philips Norelco Vacuum Beard Trimmer

transparent gifIf he has a beard, chances are that he’ll need to trim at least once in while. This Philips Norelco beard trimmer will be his go-to when it comes to keeping his look clean and polished. This handy model includes 20 built-in length settings and a vacuum feature — so the counters will remain as clean as his shave. Ideal stocking stuffer for him material.
$54.95 at Walmart.com

Holy Stone Drone

transparent gifThis small but mighty drone should not be dismissed as cute. Not only is it fun and easy to fly, he’ll actually be able to capture video thanks to the built-in VR capabilities, HD camera and Wi-Fi function. Great for drone beginners and flying experts alike, the 6-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity makes it easy to fly stable. Whether young or older, a drone is sure to evoke his inner kid on Christmas morning.
$119.95 at Amazon.com

MeUndies

transparent gifIt’s about time you’ve met MeUndies. This L.A. based company offers softer-than-soft underwear that comes in a variety of colors, designs and styles. Whether your man prefers an old-school boxer, a saucy trunk or the classic brief, it’s a breeze to pick the perfect pair and have them delivered straight to his door. P.S. If you’re looking for something a little festive don’t forget to check out MeUndies current plaid collection complete with onesies, lounge pants, socks, and undies — of course.
Find out more at MeUndies.com

Essential EDC Kit

transparent gifA reliable everyday carry kit is essential in the modern man’s repertoire, but all too often kits wind up feeling aggressively heavy duty. I mean, who really needs a shank on their key ring? Luckily Huckberry kept real needs in mind when they curated this kit. From a lighter to a screw key (both Philips and flat head) to a woodchuck with fire steel, a wire saw, and a striker nameplate, it has all the go-to essentials. Hanging on a sturdy split key ring with a lightweight frame, it’s easy to tote around wherever the day takes him.
$35.98 at Huckberry.com

Ember Travel Mug

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At first glance, $150 seems like a hefty price tag for a mug. But this mug is far more advanced than your run-of-the-mill travel mug. After downloading the app on his smartphone, he can plug in the desired temperature of his beverage in the app, and the mug will heat (or chill) his drink to the ideal temperature and keep it that way for hours. The app will also let him set and name different presets for different types of beverage. For the folks living in a colder climate (think New York City winters or Canadian cold fronts) the temperature control will keep coffee warm — even through a long commute.

$149.95 at Ember.com

Mizzen+Main Palmetto Navy Check Flannel

transparent gifA button-up shirt is arguably the most versatile item in a man’s closet. While his white button-up looked fresh and crisp in the summer, his winter wardrobe requires something a little cozier. Enter the Mizzen+Main Palmetto Navy Check Flannel. With a style that feels at once rugged and contemporary, this shirt can take him from brunch to the boardroom without a hitch. Plus, thanks to super soft, moisture-wicking, two-way stretch fabric he will feel as good as he looks.
$145.00 at Mizzenandmain.com

 The Mamba Mentality: How I Play – Kobe Bryant

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We watch him sprint up the court, we wear his jersey. And finally, with Kobe Bryant’s new memoir, we can get inside the mind of the legendary “Black Mamba”. This lavish, analytical book takes a deep dive into how Bryant prepares for each game, including how he sizes up his opponents, how he gets through injuries, how he prepares each day both mentally and physically, and ultimately, how he has persevered and succeeded over his twenty-year career. For the true enthusiasts, beside each coffee table-worthy portrait is a breakdown of the play-by-play of his most historic court moments.

$21.00 at Amazon.com

Carry On Cocktail Kit

transparent gifPerfect for the guy heading home for the holidays — or the guy who’s second home is in the air, a Carry On Cocktail Kit includes everything he’ll need to make the perfect cocktail on a flight — available in flavors like hot toddy, Moscow mule, and even margarita.
$16.49 at Amazon.com

Apple AirPods Bluetooth Earbuds

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Whether he’s tuning into an audiobook on the subway or lifting weights at the gym, there’s nothing more annoying than a dangling cord getting caught and tangled on everything within a foot radius. Enter the Apple AirPods. Sure, the price may seem a little steep at first, but when you factor in sound quality, durability, functionality and last, but not least, ease of use, these babies are worth every penny. Not only will the AirPods immediately connect to his Apple devices when removed from their charging case, but audio will automatically play when the buds are placed in his ears and pause when he takes them out.
$219.00 at Apple.com

Tile Pro

transparent gifIf he’s constantly searching for his keys or wallet, he’ll get a kick out of the Tile. Easy to attach to just about any item, including his wallet or keys, the Tile works by tracking its own location through the included app. Not only is it durable enough to withstand whatever adventure his belongings take throughout the day, but the tracker functions within a 300 ft range, so he can recover his items from near and far.
$35.00 at TheTileApp.com

Harry’s The Winston Set

transparent gifQuality, style and price reach a happy middle ground with Harry’s Winston Set. Equipped comes with a sleek five-blade ergonomically designed Winston razor handle, three German-engineered blade cartridges, a travel cover, and Harry’s stellar shave gel, this set will easily elevate his morning routine. Plus, if you’re looking for something extra special to take the gift to the next level, take advantage of Harry’s personalized engraving service and add a three character inscription to his razor.
$25.00 at Harrys.com

Allbirds Tree Runners

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The functionality of a sneaker, but with the comfort of a slipper? Say no more. Allbirds’ best-selling sneaker is cozy enough to go sock-free, and surprisingly, all-weather-proof! On the inside, you have an uber-comfy insole that forms to your foot, and a lightweight sole that is completely machine washable. If that isn’t enticing enough, each sneaker is made of recyclable and renewable eucalyptus tree byproduct, making it environment-approved.

$95.00 at Allbirds.com

Winc

transparent gifIf the man on your list loves nothing more than a glass of vino at the end of a busy day, then Winc is the ideal gift idea. Winc pairs delicious wines with curated items that somehow make the wine taste even more delicious. Craft chocolates, hand-poured candles and wine accouterments arrive beautifully wrapped alongside limited edition vintages. Add a customized message for good measure and your giftee will be toasting you for holidays to come.
Find out more at Winc.com

Olivina Grooming Essentials Kit

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Picking a grooming gift can be a feat — what if he doesn’t like the product? What if it doesn’t match his skin type? What if I only have the budget for only one full-sized product? With Olivina’s all-in-one-set, the all-natural brand packages up the best of their products in a try-em-all gift set that won’t shock a budget. Aluminum-free deodorant, 2-in-1 shave oil, all-in-one body wash, and a conditioning shave cream, all in Olivina’s best-selling bourbon cedar scent.

$35.00 at Olivinamen.com

National Parks Gift Set

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If your giftee is stuck in well, city slush, throughout the holiday season, bring the winter weather into their home with candles that exudes a snowscape. Each of these three different scents is inspired by three of Washington’s national parks. Olympic smells of woodsy red cedar and oakmoss, Rainier of pine needles with a hint of citrus, and North Cascades of season-appropriate peppermint and rosemary. The thoughtful candles are hand-poured in Washington with 100% vegan soy wax and perfume-quality oils.

$59.98 at Huckberry.com

Coach Zip Key Case

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For the men on your list, keep them organized and looking great with the aid of a tasteful key case. The handy cross-grain leather compartment can store well, your keys, as well as two credit cards and whatever other small valuables that are prone to get lost in your pocket thanks to a sturdy zip closure.

$115.00 at Coach.com

Nintendo Switch

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Got a gamer on your list? Give him a taste of nostalgia with the Nintendo Switch. Designed with the portable gamer in mind, the Switch can seamlessly transition from TV-connected at-home play to hand-held on the go gaming. Whether he wants to play with the kids, with his buddies or solo, the selection of 1,000+ games is sure to keep him entertained.

$299.00 at Amazon.com

The Best External Hard Drives of 2018

It’s a Great Time to Go for a Drive

In an era when Apple charges 99 cents per month for 50GB of iCloud storage and Google offers 100GB of free storage for two years with the purchase of a new Chromebook, mainstream external hard drives might appear less essential than they once were.

But modern external drives are faster, more stylish, and often more durable than their counterparts from a few years ago. They’re ever cheaper and more capacious, too. For about $50, you can add a terabyte of extra storage to your laptop or desktop by just plugging in a USB cable.

Choosing an external drive isn’t as simple as buying the most expensive one you can afford, however. The capacity and type of storage mechanism are the two most important factors to consider, and each one will increase or decrease the cost dramatically depending on your needs. Other factors include the physical size of the drive (is it designed to be carted around or to sit on your desk?), how rugged it is, the interface it uses to connect to your PC, and even what colors it comes in. This guide will help you make sense of all the options. Here are the key questions to ask as you shop.


The Need for Speed: Hard Drive or SSD?

Solid-state drives (SSD) have fewer moving parts than a traditional hard drive, and they offer the speediest access to your data. Unlike a conventional disk-based hard drive, which stores data on a spinning platter or platters accessed by a moving magnetic head, an SSD uses a collection of flash cells—similar to the ones that make up a computer’s RAM—to save data. (For an in-depth look at exactly how this cell-based storage works, check out this tech explainer from sister site ExtremeTech.)

Just how much faster is it to access data stored in flash cells than those stored on a spinning platter? Typical read and write speeds for consumer drives with a single spinning platter are in the 100MBps to 200MBps range, depending on their USB interface and whether they spin at 5,400rpm (more common) or 7,200rpm (more expensive and less common). External SSDs offer twice that speed and sometimes much more, with typical results on our benchmark tests in excess of 400MBps. Practically speaking, this means you can move gigabytes of data (say, a 4GB feature-length film, or a year’s worth of family photos) to your external SSD in seconds rather than the minutes it would take with an external spinning drive.

Not only is it faster to read and write data stored in flash cells than those stored on a spinning platter, but it’s also safer. Because there is no spinning platter or moving magnetic head, if you bump the SSD while you’re accessing its data, there is no risk that your files will become corrupted and unreadable.

Western Digital My Book Duo

While external SSDs are now readily available and cheaper than they were a few years ago, they’re not a complete replacement for spinning drives. Larger external drives designed to stay on your desk or in a server closet still mostly use spinning drives, taking advantage of their higher capacities and lower prices compared with SSDs. Want to know more about how hard drives and SSDs compare? Check out our explainer SSD vs. HDD: What’s the Difference?


Physical Size Matters: Desktop or Portable Drive?

If you have a large photo or video collection—perhaps you are a photo or video editor, or maybe a movie buff—you’ll likely need several terabytes of space in which to store it. So your best option is a desktop-class drive. We define these as having one or more spinning-platter drives inside and requiring its own dedicated power cable. Of course, in this scenario, your files are going to have to stay at your desk.

A desktop drive with a single platter mechanism inside will typically use a 3.5-inch drive inside and will be found in capacities up to 12TB, and most are roughly 5 inches tall and 2 inches wide. In addition to storing large media collections, these drives can also serve as inexpensive repositories for backups of your computer’s hard drive that you schedule using either the software that came with the drive or a third-party backup utility.

The next size up for consumer desktop drives is about the same height but twice as wide to accommodate additional drive mechanisms in the chassis, such as with the Western Digital My Book Duo. These larger drives are more expensive but also much more capacious; the highest-capacity current models employ two drives for up to 20TB of storage. Note: In the case of these and single-platter-drive products, you’re not meant to swap out the drive or drives inside.

The largest desktop drives are often much, much larger than the first two categories, so large that you’ll want to stick them under your desk or in a dedicated server closet. They’re mostly intended for professional use in editing studios, surveillance control rooms, and the like. Their defining characteristic is the ability to swap drives in and out easily, so they provide quick access to the drive bays at the front of the device. Most are sold without drives included, so you can install any drive you want (usually, 3.5-inch drives, but some support 2.5-inchers). Their total storage capacities are usually limited only by their number of available bays and the capacities of the drives you put in them.

At the other end of the physical-size spectrum are portable drives, some of which now use an SSD inside instead of a spinning platter to save space, as well as to increase throughput and durability. These drives can be truly tiny, weighing just a few ounces and with their largest sides measuring less than 3 inches long, like with the Samsung Portable SSD T5. Others use spinning platters and are a bit larger, like the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive, but they still fit easily in a purse or even a coat pocket. Portable drives get their power from the computer to which you connect them, through the interface cable, so there’s no need for a spare wall outlet.


Need Redundancy or Extreme Speed? Consider a RAID

If you buy a larger desktop drive with two or more spinning platters, you’ll almost certainly have the ability to configure the drive as a RAID array using included software. Depending on which RAID level you choose, you can prioritize capacity, speed, or data redundancy, or some combination thereof.

The Best External Hard Drives for Macs

A collection of spinning drives configured with a RAID level designed for faster access can approximate the speeds of an SSD, while you should consider a drive with support for RAID levels 1, 5, or 10 if you’re storing really important data that you can’t afford to lose. Hit the link above for explanation of the strengths of each RAID level.


What Interface Should You Look For?

How an external drive connects to your PC or Mac is second only to the type of storage mechanism it uses in determining how fast you’ll be able to access data. Unfortunately, these connection types are constantly changing, and the internet is littered with outdated references to legacy interface types such as eSATA and FireWire.

Right now, the fastest mainstream connection type is Thunderbolt 3, which is handy assuming you have a newer laptop or desktop with a Thunderbolt 3 port. All late-model Apple laptops have them, but they’re much scarcer on Windows machines. This interface uses a USB Type-C connector and offers blazing throughput of 40GBps. As an added bonus, a desktop drive that supports Thunderbolt 3 might also come with additional DisplayPort and USB connections that allow you to use the drive box as a hub for your keyboard, mouse, monitor, and other peripherals.

Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD

You’ll really only see the speed benefits of Thunderbolt 3, however, if you have a drive that’s SSD-based, or a RAID array. If you’d rather save money than time transferring your data, if you’re buying a desktop drive with a single platter-based mechanism inside, or if you have a PC that lacks Thunderbolt 3, you’ll want to make sure your drive has a USB 3.0 connection. Nearly every recent drive we reviewed supports USB 3.0, and the same goes for laptops and desktops.


Do You Need to Go Rugged?

If you carry your drive around frequently, you’ll want to pay attention to how rugged the drive is. Some models include plastic bumpers, and some even meet military standards for shock and dust protection. (Look for support for specifications such as IP67 or IP68; see our roundup of the best rugged hard drives and SSDs.)

And of course, if you’re carrying your drive around with you, you want it to look nice. Some, like the Samsung T5, come in multiple colors, while others, like the ADATA SD700, are super-slim and ready to be tossed in a pocket.

Perhaps the only thing you don’t need to pay much attention to is the warranty. If your drive breaks because you damaged it, the warranty likely won’t cover it. Even if the drive fails because of a manufacturing defect, most warranties simply replace the drive and don’t cover the cost of recovery services that attempt to rescue your data from the broken drive.


Let’s Look at the Top Models We’ve Tested…

Also know that you can find external drives that do way more than just store your data. Some include SD card readers to offload footage from a camera or drone in the field, while others have built-in Wi-Fi and can double as an all-in-one home media server. (See our roundup of the best wireless hard drives and SSDs.) Some of that kind even come with extra-large batteries that can charge your smartphone while you’re on the go.

To get you started in the right direction toward the right add-on backup/storage solution, below are 10 of the best drives we’ve tested of late, at a variety of prices and capacities. Some are SSD-based, while others are platter. For more options, also take a look at our guides to the best network-attached storage (NAS) devices, the top cloud storage services we’ve tested, and, for PC builders and upgraders, the best internal M.2 SSDs.


  • CalDigit Tuff

    Pros: Rated to survive 4-foot drops. Certified waterproof and dustproof. Comes with USB 3.0 and USB-C cables.

    Cons: Warranty limited to two years. SSD option is still unreleased.

    Bottom Line: Not only is the CalDigit Tuff a rugged hard drive designed to survive extreme conditions, it’s also a terrific value.

    Read Review

  • Western Digital My Book

    Pros: Comes in a variety of large capacities. Three-year warranty.

    Cons: Requires external power adapter.

    Bottom Line: With a full 8TB for less than $250, the 8TB version of the Western Digital My Book is a deep well of affordable storage for your photos, music, videos, and more.

    Read Review

  • Samsung Portable SSD T5

    Pros: Excellent performance. Includes USB 3.0 and USB-C cables. Compact. Android-, Mac-, and Windows-compatible.

    Cons: While a comparable good per-gigabyte value, the drive itself is expensive.

    Bottom Line: Samsung’s Portable SSD T5 drive has a speedy USB-C interface, plenty of reliable storage, and it takes up about as much room in your pocket as a short stack of credit cards.

    Read Review

  • ADATA SE730H External SSD

    Pros: Spiffy look. Pocket-size, all-metal shell. USB Type-C interface at both ends of cable. Fast performance. Resists water, dirt, and dust.

    Cons: Storage space tops out at 512GB. Not appreciably faster than USB 3.1 Gen 1 external SSDs.

    Bottom Line: The chic, compact ADATA SE730H External SSD delivers speedy data transfers over USB Type-C-and you can dunk it or drop it as much as you like.

    Read Review

  • Akitio Thunder3 RAID Station

    Pros: Excellent connectivity options and transfer speeds. Solid build quality and attractive aluminum finish. Easy disassembly. Cooling fan can be disabled. No software required for Macs. Hardware RAID controller.

    Cons: Expensive. SATA interface limits read/write speeds. Only 27W of power delivery.

    Bottom Line: With its wealth of ports, the Akitio Thunder3 RAID Station is both a connectivity hub and a capacious external hard drive for multimedia content creators.

    Read Review

  • Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

    Pros: Built-in USB cable. Ruggedized. Dust and water resistant. Hardware encryption. Mac and PC format utility.

    Cons: NFC card is easy to lose. Doesn’t unlock via smartphones.

    Bottom Line: The 1-terabyte Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC has a built-in cable you can’t lose, a rugged chassis that will survive a rough daily commute, and an NFC card and reader add some security to this portable hard drive.

    Read Review

  • LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive

    Pros: Sleek design and lightweight aluminum body. Good performance. 256-bit AES encryption. Includes both USB 3.0 and USB-C cables.

    Cons: A little pricey. Few extra features.

    Bottom Line: The 2TB LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive is a thin and super-fast portable hard drive that is not only attractive, but also USB-C compatible.

    Read Review

  • Samsung Portable SSD X5

    Pros: Extremely fast data transfer speeds, thanks to Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe NVMe interfaces. Multiple capacity options. Sleek design.

    Cons: Expensive. Heavy. No USB support. Difficult to connect to Windows PCs.

    Bottom Line: The sleek, expensive Samsung Portable SSD X5 offers the fastest single-drive external storage money can buy, but it’s suited mainly to well-heeled content-creation pros using late-model Macs.

    Read Review

  • Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim

    Pros: Good storage capacity, transfer speeds, and value. Stylish, thin design. NTFS driver for Mac included. Includes 200GB of OneDrive cloud storage for 2 years.

    Cons: Basic feature set. No rubber feet for grip.

    Bottom Line: The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim is an external hard drive that provides 2TB of storage space, quick data transfer speeds, and a sharp, super-slim design for just $100.

    Read Review

  • Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD

    Pros: Durable. Built-in SD card reader and USB port. Plex support. Doubles as a power bank.

    Cons: Expensive. No Thunderbolt support.

    Bottom Line: The Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD is pricey, but this feature-packed drive can do much more than just wirelessly transfer files.

    Read Review

Gifts for your partner

The most valuable presents don’t come from the store. They come from the heart and are offered as a reflection of the care and appreciation you feel for your partner.At the beginning of most relationships, tokens of affection — from love letters to iPod playlists to spontaneous weekends away — help cement a couple’s sense of connection. But those random acts of infatuation often wane as a relationship matures. Even finding the right gift for birthdays and holidays can start to feel like a chore.But a gift-giving mentality becomes even more important as a relationship evolves — and some of the very best presents can’t be wrapped. They’re the thoughts and gestures that come straight from the heart and can transform a good partnership into a truly great one. “One thing that stands out in the research is that the actions you perform are the most important,” says Gay Hendricks, PhD, coauthor with his wife, Kathlyn, of Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment. “A lifetime dedication to gift giving will take your relationship to the next level.”

Since it’s the time of year when presents are on everyone’s mind, it’s the perfect opportunity to transform your relationship from good to great — or from great to greater — by giving your partner these six very important gifts.

Gift 1: Learn Your Partner’s “Love Language”

Each of us wants to feel loved by our partner and wants our partner to feel loved by us. The challenge for many couples, according to Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, is that the way one person shows love often isn’t the way his or her partner intuitively feels it.

One person, for example, may experience physical affection as love, while her partner experiences help with the household chores as the ultimate token of affection. They are, in essence, speaking different languages. “These miscommunications aren’t a matter of not having good intentions,” says Chapman. “They’re a matter of not touching the heart or emotions of the other person.”

Most of us grow up learning the emotional language of our parents, he explains. And we become confused and upset when our partner doesn’t understand us.

To get past those miscues, Chapman advises couples to identify what he calls their “love languages” and share them with each other. If you’re not sure which of the following five languages best describes you, take Chapman’s Love Language Quiz to figure out your type. He also suggests asking yourself what you most often demand of your spouse. “The thing you have most often requested is likely the thing that would make you feel the most loved,” he notes. Here are Chapman’s five love languages:

  • Words of Affirmation. Some people experience love most directly through warm words, whether they’re verbal compliments or encouragements — anything from “I appreciate that you found a babysitter for tonight” to “I know you can run that 10K!” Whether or not words of affirmation are your primary love language, research suggests that supportive comments help couples develop a sense of “we-ness,” a feeling that enhances satisfaction with one’s partnership.
  • Quality Time. If this is your primary love language, you want your partner’s undivided attention. It’s important to you to have time together without distractions where you can nurture conversations and enjoy activities together. Quality time, according to Chapman, helps couples build reserves of positive memories, which are linked to increased marital stability and satisfaction.
  • Receiving Gifts. Actual presents have their place on the spectrum of relationship gift giving, too. The key to speaking this love language, however, has nothing to do with the price tag — it’s all about making your partner feel understood. This could be a store-bought bracelet or a beautiful rock you pick up on a hike or a watercolor you paint. These kinds of gifts demonstrate that you’ve been paying attention, and that you really see who your partner is and what she loves.
  • Acts of Service. This love language emphasizes doing things you know your partner would like you to do, from making dinner to changing the cat’s litter to paying the bills. These acts show your partner that you notice what’s going on in his life and want to help him.
  • Physical Touch. Backrubs, holding hands, deep hugs, kisses, putting your arm around your partner — for some people, physical intimacy is the signal of love and affection. If your primary love language is physical touch, nothing will say “I love you” more than being held or touched.

For more in-depth information on each of these languages, read “The 5 Love Languages“.

Gift 2: Pursue Passion

Passion often gets sidelined as a marriage becomes more established, but there are far-ranging benefits to bringing it back, says clinical psychologist David Schnarch, PhD, author of Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Marriage. For starters, tapping into passion helps us discover more about who we are, which allows us to share more of ourselves with our partner. “When we are the object of our partner’s passion, it makes us feel desirable and desirous,” says Schnarch.

Passion also improves relationships by making people more tolerant of one another. “When we think our partner likes us, we are much more forgiving of grievances, and we’re also more tolerant of the inherent nicks and bruises of being in a relationship,” he adds.

Good sex has other benefits, too. Orgasm increases levels of oxytocin, a hormone that boosts feelings of connection and trust. Higher oxytocin levels have also been linked to increased feelings of generosity, reduced stress and improved cardiovascular health. And sex increases self-esteem; a five-year study at the University of Texas found that one of the reasons people have sex is to boost feelings of positive self-regard.

If passion is in short supply in your life, Schnarch recommends these simple strategies:

  • Hugging to Relax. Most hugs last an average of four seconds, says Schnarch. Extending a hug to 10 minutes without the pressure that it should lead to sex can be a way to reconnect with your partner. “The focus of a 10-minute hug isn’t about holding your partner,” he explains. “It’s about putting your arms around your partner and calming yourself down. This calms the anxieties that separate people.”
  • Heads on Pillow. For many couples, it’s tough to transition from washing the dishes to rolling around in the sheets. That’s why Schnarch advises partners to lie in bed with their clothes on and face each other with enough distance so that you can clearly see each other’s faces. “Hold hands, look at each other, and stay there for 10 minutes,” he advises. Most people feel passion start to kick in when they’re relaxed and lying down.
  • Feeling While Touching. Many couples develop the habit of touching each other without really feeling each other. “It’s very irritating to be touched by a partner when their touch feels mindless, like your partner is not invested and you are being taken for granted,” Schnarch says.

Bring passion back to touch by connecting emotionally as well as physically. You can do this by having each partner tune in to what touching feels like. He suggests taking turns deliberately touching your partner and noticing how it feels to touch and be touched. Do this experiment once when each person is tuned in to the experience and once when each person is tuned out. This helps both people understand the importance of really being in the moment, he says.

When both people focus on the same spot at the same time on opposite sides of the skin, it creates an electric sensation that is the byproduct of emotional attention.”

Gift 3: Allow Space for Solitude

When author Laura Munson and her husband got married, their ceremony included a quote from the poet Rainier Maria Rilke, which read, in part: “A good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust.” Almost two decades of marriage and two children later, Munson’s husband began to have doubts about the marriage. But instead of begging him to stay, Munson took Rilke’s quote to heart and gave her husband the emotional space she felt he needed to reflect and reconnect with himself.

If a person needs to reconnect with who they are, the greatest gift a partner can give is the gift of space.

During an especially difficult stretch where her husband took up residence in another part of the house, Munson focused on what she knew in her heart: that she and her husband had a solid, loving bond that could transcend his personal crisis. “If a person needs to reconnect with who they are, the greatest gift a partner can give is the gift of space,” she says. “It’s a refueling time.” Today, Munson’s bond with her husband is stronger than ever.

Munson’s story, which she recounts in her memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season Of Unlikely Happiness, is a dramatic example of how powerful the gift of solitude can be. Giving your partner the gift of time not only helps repair relationships, as with Munson’s, but it can transform them from good to great. Time apart — whether it’s a night out with friends, a quiet morning alone or a solo weekend away — helps your partner get in touch with her needs, interests and priorities. And it allows her to more authentically share them with you.

Gift 4: Don’t Skimp on Time Together

Some solitude is healthy, but as with all things, balance is key. Too much can weaken a relationship by creating separate spheres of interest, which can lead to couples having less and less in common over time. After all, we tend to fall — and stay — in love with the person we have the most fun with. That’s why relationship expert Willard F. Harley Jr., PhD, advises couples to do the things they enjoy the most together. “Couples who spend their most enjoyable time together tend to have great marriages,” he says.

Giving each other the gift of what Harley calls “recreational companionship” benefits both giver and receiver by combining two important human needs: to have fun and to have a companion. Harley recommends spending most, if not all, of your recreational time with your significant other. Stumped about what to do together? To jump-start your imagination — and recreation — he developed the Recreational Enjoyment Inventory at www.marriagebuilders.com. It’s an extensive list of activities — from archery and astronomy to cribbage, croquet and gardening. Each partner ranks each activity based on his or her level of interest. When both people give an activity a high score, it’s one worth trying.

Gift 5: Crack Down on Criticism

Nothing can sink a relationship faster than unrelenting negativity, says marriage researcher John Gottman, PhD, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. In his research at the University of Washington’s “Love Lab,” Gottman has found that successful relationships have a 5-to-1 ratio of positive interactions — compliments, loving glances, offers to help out — to negative gestures such as criticism and nagging.

Whether you nag or simply turn your back when your partner is talking, these negative gestures erode your sense of togetherness. Researchers have even found that eye rolling after a spouse’s comment can be a strong predictor for divorce.

To bring your interaction ratio in line with Gottman’s recommendation, try to become more aware of how often you’re criticizing your spouse. One way to do this is to create some kind of lighthearted stopgap when you notice critical commentary — put a coin in a jar, or create a silly code word to let your partner know you’ve caught yourself (or her) in the act. Then try consciously focusing on each other’s strengths instead. Criticism will be naturally tamped down, and that will give each of you more opportunities to feel successful, appreciated and loved.

Accentuating the positive in your relationship doesn’t mean you should ignore tough issues. It’s just that you need to do it in an environment that’s fortified with positive feelings and exchanges.

“There’s a big difference between asking for change and criticizing,” says psychologist Noelle Nelson, PhD, author of Your Man Is Wonderful. “If what you want is more participation with the kids or the house, that’s fine. But you need to start out from the perspective that you respect your partner, and his way of doing things is as valid as yours.”

Gift 6: Actively Listen to Your Partner

During the courtship and honeymoon phase, it’s easy to hang on your lover’s every word. “Being listened to in childhood develops our sense of self and is how we know we are important, and the same is true for adults,” says psychologist Jan Hoistad, PhD, author of the Big Picture Partnering blog and the book Romance Rehab: 10 Steps to Rescue Your Relationship.

Unfortunately, when couples are together for a long time, it’s common to become less attentive — but with a little practice, you can renew your capacity for rapt listening. Hoistad suggests taking turns actively talking and listening at least four times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Alternate which of you goes first and talk about something important to you, excluding well-traveled topics and hot-button issues as much as possible.

Be honest, but don’t just focus on what’s bringing you down. Hoistad recommends sharing personal successes and things you find exciting, rewarding and worth celebrating. Then, when it’s your partner’s turn, actively listen to what he or she has to say without interrupting. What’s most important, Hoistad says, is to listen with a readiness to give and take. “When we’re generous with others it creates such nice feelings,” she says.  “And then the other person naturally starts giving back.”


is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Mother Jones, Parents and the Los Angeles Times.

Best Gadgets 2018: WIRED Recommends the best tech and gear

WIRED Recommends is our definitive guide to the best gadgets, gear and new products. This list covers our number one picks for every category we’ve tested so far, but you can always head to our dedicated guides for more options.

  • Wireless earbuds: Jabra Elite 65t

    Wireless earbuds: Jabra Elite 65t

    Price: £139 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Forget Apple’s AirPods, if you want genuinely wireless earphones for every occasion then we recommend the Jabra Elite 65t (£139). Unlike most of Jabra’s efforts, they’re less concerned with the gym and running and more tailored for everyday use. They sound, and look, great and you get five hours of use from a full charge and a further two from the charging case. Unlike some wireless headphones we’ve tested, we had no audio and video sync issues when watching Netflix and while they’re not designed with running in mind, they’re secure enough to be usable all the same.

    Read our best wireless earbuds guide for more options.

  • Laptop: Dell XPS 13

    Laptop: Dell XPS 13

    Price: £1,099 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    The Dell XPS 13 (From £1,099) is the definitive MacBook-killer. This 13-inch laptop weighs a mere 1.2kg yet is powerful enough to deal with a heavy workload. There are numerous configuration options, including non-glare screens and touchscreen versions. The tiny 4mm screen bezel means it has a very small footprint, making it easy to fit in any bag.

    For more options, including a great laptop under £500 and our favourite gaming laptop, read our guide to the best laptops.

  • Tablet: Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018)

    Tablet: Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018)

    Price: From £319 | Check price on Apple.com

    We love the iPad Pro, but for most people the standard 9.7-inch iPad is the best choice. The timeless design remains, as does the high-resolution screen, intuitive software and huge collection of apps. No platform can compete when it comes to apps designed specifically for tablets.

    The 2018 edition supports the Apple Pencil, adding one of the Pro’s key features at a fraction of the price. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and you have a capable alternative to a laptop and 4G versions give you the ultimate freedom to work anywhere.

    If you’re looking for something cheaper, or a tablet for kids, read our full guide to the best tablets for any budget.

  • E-Reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

    E-Reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

    Price: £120 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

    The Kindle Paperwhite (£120) isn’t the most advanced e-reader, but it does everything you need.

    The built-in light gives you perfect clarity in any light and the 300ppi screen is pleasantly sharp and detailed. It lacks water resistance, but unless you love to read in the bath then you won’t miss that feature.

    For options that are waterproof and for Kindle alternatives, read our full guide to the best e-readers and Kindles

  • Fitness tracker: Fitbit Alta HR

    Fitness tracker: Fitbit Alta HR

    Price: £100 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    If you don’t have a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Alta HR (£100) is a great place to start. Unlike a smartwatch, the battery lasts a whole week and the slim and discreet band houses plenty of tech. It tracks steps, calories burned, sleep and heart rate and comes in six colours. The only downside is it’s not waterproof.

    If you’re ready for something more serious, or want a tracker for specific activities like swimming, read the WIRED Recommends guide to the best fitness trackers.

  • Wireless Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM2

    Wireless Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM2

    Price: £329 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Bose used to be the king of wirelsss noise-cancelling headphones and the Bose QC35 II are an outstanding set of headphones, but WIRED Recommends the Sony WH-1000XM2. Bose just about edges things for noise cancelling, but Sony wins on sound quality and design. The touch controls on the right earcup work beautifully and the latest version of these headphones boosts battery life to a whopping 30 hours.

    Head to our guide to the best wireless headphones for more options, including the wireless earbuds, cheaper alternatives.

  • Soundbar: Q Acoustics M3

    Soundbar: Q Acoustics M3

    Price: £219 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Q Acoustics is one of the best kept secrets in audio. The company has been producing high-quality speakers at competitive prices for years, and its M3 soundbar is a perfect example.

    Its compact and elegant design will fit neatly under any TV, regardless of whether you mount the M3 on a shelf, in a cabinet or on the wall. Thankfully setup couldn’t be easier, ensuring maximum performance with minimum fuss, and it includes Bluetooth and HDMI connectivity, with the latter supporting Audio Return Channel (ARC).

    Most importantly the audio performance is excellent, delivering a room-filing sound with decent bass thanks to a built-in subwoofer. As a result the M3 can handle whatever you throw at it, whether it’s a new TV show, the latest movie or even your favourite music playlist.

    Not for you? Check out the WIRED Recommends guide to the best soundbars for our top picks.

  • Headphones for Running: Jaybird RUN

    Headphones for Running: Jaybird RUN

    Price: £170 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Our new favourite headphones for running are the Jaybird RUN (£170), a pair of wireless earbuds that tick nearly every box. Each earbud weighs just 15g, so you’ll barely notice you’re wearing them. Four hours of battery life is enough for most distances and a charging case stores enough energy for another four hours of use.

    These earbuds don’t protrude, creating a subtle look and they’re water and sweat resistant. The only thing they lack are tracking features, such as steps or heart rate. If you want them, read the WIRED Recommends guide to the best headphones for running and the gym for more options.

  • Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S9+

    Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S9+

    Price: £869 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    The Samsung Galaxy S9+ (£869) fits a 6.2-inch display into a shell that feels, well, normal. Granted, it doesn’t look that different to the Galaxy S8+, but Samsung’s hardware design is still ahead of most rivals.

    It shrugs off a few trends too. There’s a headphone jack, now a baffling rarity in new and expensive phones, and no notch. The most important change since the S8+ is a 2x zoom camera on the back, bringing it in line with the iPhone X. Samsung also followed Apple with its AR Emojis, but like a middle-aged uncle suddenly getting into grime music, it’s all faintly embarrassing.

    If you’d prefer something smaller, cheaper or an iPhone, head to the WIRED Recommends guide to the best mobile phones for our other picks.

  • Wireless Multi-Room Speaker: Sonos Play:5

    Wireless Multi-Room Speaker: Sonos Play:5

    Price: £489 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Sonos has long been the go-to brand for multiroom speakers, and the Play:5 (£499) confirms why. This understated-looking speaker easily fills rooms with rich sounds and its 3.5mm audio socket means you can also plug in your favourite non-streaming audio device.

    Head to our best wireless speaker guide for our verdict on the Sonos and its rivals.

  • TV Streaming Box: Apple TV 4K

    TV Streaming Box: Apple TV 4K

    Price: £189 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Apple offers loads of 4K and HDR movies through iTunes for the same price as its normal HD content, making this streaming box a no-brainer for viewers that want to stream the highest-quality films.

    At £179, however, the 4K Apple TV is on the pricey side, so if you’re after something simpler then read our guide to the best TV streaming boxes and sticks, which includes a great alternative that costs just £30.

  • Headphones: Oppo PM-3

    Headphones: Oppo PM-3

    Price: £350| Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    These over-ear headphones borrow planar magnetic driver tech from the much pricier Oppo PM-1 headphones (£350), and the end result is a well-balanced sound with good detail across the frequency range. The light and comfy design makes them ideal for commutes or long listening sessions at home.

    Our best headphones round-up includes budget alternatives, as well as our favourite headphones for listening at home and options if you prefer in-ear or on-ear headphones.

  • Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 3

    Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 3

    Price: From £329 | Check price on Apple

    The 4G version of the Apple Watch Series 3 (£329 without 4G / £399 with 4G) uses an electronic SIM so you can leave your mobile at home and take calls on your wrist while tracking your walks, runs and cycles through GPS. In the UK, you can only use the 4G Apple Watch if you’re with EE.

    The Apple Watch remains the standard for smartwatches, but the WIRED Recommends guide to the best smartwatches includes our picks for Android users and few more alternatives for keen runners.

  • 4K TV: LG OLED55C7

    4K TV: LG OLED55C7

    Price: £1,399 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Every pixel in this 55-inch OLED screen from LG (£1,699) produces its own light, delivering a huge contrast range with ample helpings of brightness and colour. The thin design and simple operating system makes this screen a cinch to use and easy on the eye, even when it’s off.

    In our full guide to the best TVs you’ll find our favourite alternatives, including our pick for gamers, cheaper alternatives and great second-room TVs.

  • Coffee machine: Sage by Heston Blumenthal Oracle Touch Next Generation

    Coffee machine: Sage by Heston Blumenthal Oracle Touch Next Generation

    Price: £1,199 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    This automatic bean-to-cup machine gives you a satisfying hit of coffee in a range of popular styles – simply swipe the interactive touchscreen and choose between coffee favourites including Latte, Espresso, Americano, Flat White and Cappuccino.

    The 2.5L, 15-bar pressure machine comes in a stylish stainless-steel finish, and although it takes up a lofty 45cm height on your worksurface, its body has a sleek design that you’ll want to show off in your kitchen space.

    Not your cup of coffee? Check out the WIRED Recommends guide to the best coffee machines to find the perfect brew for you.

  • Portable Bluetooth Speaker:

    Portable Bluetooth Speaker:

    Price: £200 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    AudioPro isn’t a household name, but the Scandinavian firm has a 40-year heritage and the Addon T3 (£200) is a top-notch portable speaker. It offers up to 30 hours of audio from the built-in battery and while it’s a little too large for throwing in a bag, it’s perfect for moving around the home. The larger size results in a gloriously rich sound that brings out the low, mid and high-range beautifully.

    If you’re after something a little smaller, head to our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers for more options.

  • Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34

    Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34

    Price: From £65 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 are ideal running shoes for beginners. They’re designed for comfort first and foremost and have great cushioning – handy if your feet are just getting used to running. They’re available in a variety of styles for men and women and weigh in at just 285g.

    If you’re looking for something more specific, such as running shoes for trail runs, the gym or for running on a mixture of surfaces, head to the WIRED Recommends guide to the best running shoes.