We live in a world where many of us are flush with a large number of clever things for the home. So, when seeking thoughtful gifts that people actually want (or things you actually want, for that matter), what is an intrepid shopper to do? Fear not, brave seekers. For, we also live in a world with a nearly endless array of unique and life-enhancing gadgets, doodads, and gizmos. The trick is to go clever-er. Regular cleverness can see its way out now, please.
I have traversed the deepest recesses of the Amazon-ian wilderness to come up with a list of items that are useful, unusual, downright transformative, and adorable (and possibly all of these simultaneously). They’re sure to be welcome additions that enhance the lives of those who receive them. Meaning, they’ll go over well.
There’s a much-loved, full-size body pillow (at a smashing price) for anyone who loves building the snuggliest nest your side of the Mississippi. There’s a non-tipping can cooler for when cold beverages may need safety, and temperature control, outside the home. There’s a Bigfoot-shaped multitool that just might help you snag that sasquatch (actually, if you’re that close you should run).
But, whether the person you’re trying to bowl over with your gift-giving prowess is into nature, self-care, working from home, cocktails, or s’mores, there’s something fun and enjoyable for them below the fold. And, again, if that person is yourself, please scroll on — because you deserve to enjoy neat new toys that bowl you over, too.
1. This tool for making delicious dumplings at home
Enhance someone’s dumpling habit by putting this perfect tool for creating potstickers, won ton, ravioli, or even sweet little hand pies in their life. Use the rings to cut circles of dough, lie desired ingredients on top, and fold it closed to seal the goodies inside. They are easy and fun to use.
2. These insulated bowls so ice cream doesn’t melt
Scoop ice cream into this double-wall insulated bowl and it won’t be a race against melting to eat it. It will stay frozen for much longer, while hands remain comfy. If soup is your jam, this will keep it hot until you are ready to eat it — however long that takes. The shape is perfect for holding in one hand.
3. This buddy that wrestles beverages open
When opening a beverage, it can be done with a tool that’s boring — or with the skills of one of these Lucha Libre wrestlers. One of three — red, blue or black — luchadors put a lock grip on the bottle cap to get it off. They are designed by Andres Lhima as part of a Mexico design challenge and will brings flair to any kitchen.
4. A drink holder for your shower beer
Know someone for whom the best moment of the day is when they get home from work and have a beer in the shower? This is the cup holder that will make that even easier. It sticks to the shower wall and holds a beer within reach, while freeing up your hands and other surfaces for shampoo and soap.
5. These six tiny planters for coordinated succulents
These tiny planters are perfect for creating a window display of succulents or creating beautiful gifts by propagating sprouts from your own collection. Each one comes with a bamboo basin that catches any water overflow and fits the pot perfectly. Drainage in the bottom assures your plants will be happy.
6. A pair of helpful bamboo salad hands
Making a delicious salad is much easier if with the right tools for tossing it. These bamboo salad hands make it super easy to toss even the most complex salad because they give terrific control. They go right to the table, for serving, and have a little knob that stops them from sliding into the bowl.
7. An adorable koala tea infuser
Every cup of tea will be fun and full of koala charm when it’s brewed using this smiling koala tea infuser. It grabs the edge of the glass so it’s easy to remove from the mug while its belly keeps the loose tea leaves submerged. Tea never looked so darling.
8. A camping kettle that’s light enough for backpacking
You love the freedom of the trail and the beauty of the outdoors, but you also enjoy an excellent cup of coffee and a hot meal. So pack this super light kettle along. Coming in at just over 7 ounces, it pours accurately without dripping, is easy to lift off the stove, and has a shark-fin lid lifter so you won’t burn your fingers. It holds over a liter of water and comes with its own carrying bag.
9. These stackable racks that create wine storage anywhere
Create snazzy wine storage in a bookcase, on the counter, or in the fridge with these modular, stacking wine bottle racks. This is a set of three and each transparent piece holds a single bottle to make finding what you want, and storing new acquisitions, easy. Keep several bottles cold in the fridge or create an entire wine cellar, three bottles at a time.
10. These fun bookmarks that sprout from the pages
Anyone who is a serious reader is always looking for a bookmark — or their place in one of several books. These leafy silicone bookmarks will be a big hit. The slender stems hold a reader’s place while the leaves grow out of the top, reminding them where they left off. There are six leaves, in three shades of green.
11. This insulated tumbler for your daily beverage
It doesn’t matter if your daily sip is a big cup of coffee while you drive to and from work or the water you want to have constantly in your hand, this double-wall insulated tumbler will keep it hot or cold all day. It won’t spill, and is easy to hold. It fits in the car’s cup holder, has a sipping lid that closes to stop spilling, will accommodate a straw, and comes in 14 colors.
12. A multi-color touch lamp that goes anywhere
This rechargeable table lamp is so versatile that it can be used for everything from a table lamp to a bedside lamp to a nightlight, or even a camping or emergency lantern. Just touch the top to cycle through its five brightness levels or choose the color (there are 13) or mode (there are 3) you prefer, using the remote.
13. This sleek wireless charging pad
This slim wireless charging pad does not look a bit like the piece of high-tech convenience it is. Plug it in and set a phone or other tech that’s capable of Qi charging down on it and it will charge it right up, while looking like a coaster from your favorite space opera. It comes in 12 colors, is capable of three charging modes, and works with most phones.
14. A pen for turning pancakes into works of art
Unleash your creativity on breakfast with this pen that distributes pancake batter onto a hot griddle with whatever artistic flourish you want to bring to the process. Just put your favorite pancake mix or recipe into the bottle and shake to mix it, then start drawing in the pan. It’s contoured and squeezable for an easy hold and precise delivery, and has a cap so batter can be stored in the fridge for tomorrow.
15. This small nonstick pan that’s perfect for eggs
Fry up a perfect egg in this little nonstick pan and cut lots of oil and butter from your diet at the same time. The eggs won’t stick to the ceramic surface, so you hardly need any fat to cook your breakfast. You can use metal utensils with it and it won’t scratch, disintegrate, or leach toxins into your food.
16. A French press for quick & tasty coffee
Whether you take your coffee hot or cold brewed, this French press will deliver it to your mug, perfect, every morning. Just measure the coffee into the thickened borosilicate glass carafe and add hot water. The glass can handle high temperatures and maintains the heat of the water. A few minutes later, plunge the double-filtered press into the water to settle the grounds. Your coffee — all 34 ounces of it — is ready.
17. The cup holder that fits any couch
This gadget makes lounging in an easy chair (or couch) even easier by neatly holding a beverage of choice within reach. This silicone cup holder slings over the arm of a couch or armchair, and the weighted arms hold it in place. Removeable cups in the cup holder portion accomodate most sized bottles, cups, glasses, or cans. A cutout in the holder even lets you sip from a mug with a handle. It comes in four colors.
18. This curtain of lights that transforms a room
Create an ethereal ambience by hanging this curtain of lights behind a bed, in a window, or wherever you want to place a lighting element that seems to be made of magic. There are eight modes — wave, twinkle, fade, and more — shine with a warm white color and are waterproof.
19. A mini grill for fast & easy breakfasts
This electric griddle is super small and sweet, but also very useful. Make a burger for one, a quick fried egg, a pancake, or even a single cookie on its hot surface. Close the lid and the dual non-stick cooking surface makes fast work of your meal. Cleanup is easy, too. Just wipe it down.
20. The macabre ice mold for all the scary drinks
Whether sipping whiskey and watching horror movies, or if your decor vibe is year-round Halloween, these skull ice molds are begging to be added to your repertoire. The silicone is flexible so it’s easy to get four two-inch tall skulls out of them and into your drink. Put on some creepy music and enjoy.
21. A sleek mirrored alarm clock
This slick alarm clock blends into modern decor so beautifully, you will wonder why you lived with that black plastic thing for so long. It displays the time on the mirrored face in your choice of three brightness levels, has two USB ports for charging devices, comes in five colors, and sits in the included stand or hangs from the wall.
22. This smasher for excellent burgers
Make burgers with a crispy edge and juicy center by dropping a ball of meat mix on the grill — or pan — and smashing it with this cast-iron burger press. It’s heavy, over six inches in diameter, has a wooden handle, and gets over 17,000 five-star reviews. Plus, it’s really satisfying.
23. A memory foam seat cushion for the car
Make the car more comfortable (and less sweaty) by installing this memory foam seat cushion on top of seats. It stays put because anchor hooks go between the seat and seat back to hold it in place. It’s soft and breathable, so you stay cool and comfortable no matter how long the drive.
24. These ten reusable bags that look like fruits & veggies
Keep these reusable shopping bags in a bowl in the entryway and they look like a festive collection of fruits and vegetables. But each one comes out of its built-in, cinch-closed pouch to turn into a festive shopping bag. Just shove them back in and cinch them closed to store them away.
25. This wearable blanket with sleeves
Pull this blanket on and curl up on the couch with a good book. Your shoulders stay covered, even when holding a book, and there’s a pocket in the front for a phone or remote. It’s also great for working at a desk that’s too cold because you can be warm and use your hands at the same time.
26. A book stand for studying or reading recipes
This adjustable, bamboo book stand holds a book so you it can be seen without keeping hands free for other tasks. So, you can study, take notes, or cook from a recipe because your hands are free rein. It’s useful for drawing, too, because it holds a sketch book at a more ergonomic angle.
27. The easy way to make great kabobs on the grill
This stainless steel kabob rack keeps delicate veggies, fish, and meat from getting too close to the flames or sticking to the grate by keeping them neatly in a line. The foldable frame holds six steel skewers with handles (included) that make it easy to rotate those tasty kabobs. It comes with 50 bamboo skewers, too.
28. An insulated can cooler that won’t tip over
This double-wall insulated can cooler is designed so tasty beverages can travel into the wilder parts of life. It has a suction-cup bottom that is designed to stay strong against anything that wants to tip it over, but that lets go easily when lifted. So, you can sip a cold beverage for hours but the waves, dog, or accidents can’t tip it over and spill its precious cargo.
29. This fun collection of decorative fridge magnets
Stick notes, lists, or photos to the fridge or a metal bulletin board with this sweet collection of 12 refrigerator magnets that look like a diverse assortment of tiny cacti in pots. The super-strong magnets won’t slip or mar metal finishes. If cacti aren’t your jam, there are 14 magnetic options.
30. These smart food storage containers for easy lunches
These two containers stack on top of each other — with a divider and strap that keep them that way — so you can pack much more than sandwiches for lunch. Two compartments in one container keep smaller portions separate, while the other container is perfect for pasta, salad, or the main part of your meal. A set of plastic cutlery snaps in so you can snack anywhere and there are eight color options.
31. A six-pack of delicious nature-sourced soaps
These six soaps are not only delicious and beautiful, but they are also vegan, cruelty-free, cold pressed, and triple milled. They will fill your house or gift bin with cleanliness that is easy on the eyes and the skin. It will clarify and hydrate sensitive and damaged skin while smelling terrific. The collection includes African black soap, mud & green clay, activated charcoal, black tea & tea tree, Dead Sea mud and salt, and black coffee soaps.
32. A diminutive diffuser that fits in the car
When the air in a car, bathroom, or other small area is dry or stale, refresh it with a cool mist and a hit of your favorite essential oil using this tiny, USB-powered diffuser. It is sized to fit in a cup holder but looks nice on a desk or vanity. It works continuously or intermittently, serves as a night light, and will shut off automatically when out of water.
33. This LED light strip that elevates TV viewing
This simple hack transforms a TV-watching experience from ordinary to downright theater-like. Just peel-and-stick this LED light strip to the back of the TV and plug it into one of the set’s USB ports. When you turn the TV on, it will throw lights behind that enhance and expand your view to reduce contrast, beautify the room, and display a wide range of colors on the wall behind the TV. Choose from 16 colors and four modes using the included remote.
34. A slick aluminum mouse pad
Do you think they’d take neoprene mousepads into space? No! Everyone will use aluminum ones like this slick disk with a smooth surface that allows the mouse to dance easily upon it. An anti-skid bottom keeps it connected to the desk, it comes in seven elegant colors, it’s water resistant, and it’s easy to clean.
35. A cocktail glass worthy of the fanciest libations
These stemless martini glasses are everything you want in a glass of mixology creations, without a delicate stem that’s hard to wash. They hold over eight ounces, are elegant and modern, and go right in the dishwasher. They also make a great vessel for ice cream and other desserts.
36. These travel bottles that make every flight easier
If every flight you take is preceded by a mad dash to the sample size aisle at the drugstore, these squeezable silicone bottles are the perfect life upgrade. Each of them holds three ounces and has a flip top for dispensing, along with a wide-mouth screw top for easy filling. They come with their own transparent bag to make the trip through airport security go without a hitch.
37. A big body pillow that’s comfy & elegant
This big body pillow insert is great for wrapping yourself around when you want to sleep with comfortable support for legs, arms, and back. It’s soft and comfortable and almost 5,000 people give it five stars. It’s also an elegant way to make the bed because it fits — all in one piece — across the top. Put a coordinating cover on it and create a beautifully made bed.
38. This weird exfoliating shower towel
Hang this long exfoliating scrubbing towel in the shower, lather it up, and exfoliate your entire body. It’s an amazing feeling and your skin will feel fresh, soft, and clean afterwards. It gives serious lather with whatever bar or liquid soap you prefer, and dries quickly so it doesn’t molder. It’s a delightful upgrade from a loofah or nylon scrubber sponge.
39. A personal blender for smoothies anywhere
If your mornings would go better with a smoothie, this little blender is here to help. Not only is it simple — with just one button — and easy to clean, but you can drink right out it. It easily travels with a lid designed for sipping, and is sized to fit in your car’s cup holder.
40. This three-in-one cable for all the gear
This super strong cable has three plugs ends so can be used to charge USB-C, micro-USB, or Lightning devices with a quick reconfiguration. And the cable is so durable that Anker gives it a lifetime warranty. So, this could be the last cable you ever buy. It’s three feet long and comes in white or black.
41. A quirky claw-foot soap dish or planter
This cute claw-foot tub looks authentic right down to the distressed finish, and makes a perfect soap dish or tiny planter for succulents or other small plants. The holes in the bottom of the tub provide terrific drainage so soap doesn’t melt and plants don’t rot — but would make it challenging for tiny people to bathe in.
42. The mug that’s perfect for dipping donuts into coffee
Donut lovers, this is your mug. It’s shaped like a donut. And it looks like a sprinkled-covered frosted delight — in chocolate brown, pink, or blue. On the reverse side, it says, “Mmmm…donuts.” It’s perfect for Homer fans who can’t get enough donuts. The mug even has a “hole” in the middle.
43. A multitool that looks like Bigfoot
This multitool is handy. It clips to a keychain or backpack with the included carabiner, and has a multitude of tools built in. There are several hex wrenches, a bottle opener, a cord cutter, a 1-inch ruler, a flat-head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a butterfly wrench, and a can opener. Obviously, though, the best part it that it looks like a silhouette of Sasquatch. If Bigfoot is not your obsession, there are 31 other options. You just hit gift-giving mecca with this one handy, inexpensive, tool.
44. A folding laptop stand for ergonomic work anywhere
Even if you take your laptop to a café or the library to work or study, you can create an ergonomic workstation with this folding, adjustable stand that vents heat away from your machine. You can set it to the height that’s right for you to alleviate hunching and neck pain just by pulling it up or down. It folds up flat to fit in a laptop bag.
45. A set of telescoping roasting sticks for tastier campfires
When you have a campfire — in the back yard, at the beach, or at your campsite — what’s the first thing you want to do? Cook over it, right? And these telescoping forks make that clean and easy. They hold a hot dog or a couple of marshmallows a safe distance from your hands, won’t catch on fire, and store in their own zippered pouch so they’re easy to find next time.
46. This snazzy cocktail shaker for a fully-outfitted bar
When the time has come to graduate from cans of beer to mixed drinks, it’s time to add a cocktail shaker to the bar. This handsome version is made from stainless steel, won’t leak when it’s shaken, is dishwasher safe, and has a built-in strainer in the pour spout. It comes in four finishes.
47. A pair of comfy memory-foam slippers
There’s nary a more useful item — for yourself or someone else — than comfy slippers. This pair has a memory foam footbed with a plush lining to make them deliciously comfortable, and a rubber sole so they stand up to a quick run outside to get the mail. They come in 16 colors and you can throw them in the washer if they get dirty.
48. A long-spouted watering can for hard-to-reach roots
It can be a messy challenge to get water to the roots of succulents and other big-leaved potted plants, but this watering can has a long, needle-like spout. It pours from the bottom of the pitcher so all you have to do is tuck the spout under the leaves and tip slightly, and water effortlessly flows onto soil without spilling. It holds almost 34 ounces and comes in three colors.
49. This collection of fine-point markers in beautiful colors
The 18 colors in this collection of fine-point markers takes journaling, note-taking, sketching, or planner rituals to the next level. They deliver a fine and precise line and don’t bleed through the paper. The price can’t be beaten either, which is probably why they get almost 57,000 five-star reviews.
50. A bird feeder that sticks to the window
Suction this clear acrylic bird feeder to the outside of the windows and watch as the birds sidle right up close to feed. A tall roof keeps the birds and seed dry, while letting larger feathered friends inside, and a padded grip gives them a comfy place to perch. They’re basically pets without the nighttime squawking.
51. A long goose-neck phone mount
Clamp the base of this 33-inch-long phone mount to a table, counter, cabinet, or desk and bend the gooseneck so that it holds a phone exactly where you want it. You can quickly clip just about any phone into it so it’s easy to follow recipes in the kitchen, join a video call hands free, or watch YouTube in bed.
52. This double-layer serving bowl with a place for shells
This clever bowl is the perfect way to serve pistachios, edamame, olives, shrimp, or anything that has a piece you want to discard. Put the pistachios in the top bowl and it’s easy to drop the shells into the side openings, to neatly store them out of sight. It comes in two colors to complement your tablescape.
53. This toiletry bag to organize your away ablutions
This water-resistant toiletry bag has a plethora of pockets to organize everything from your shampoo and lotions to your cosmetics and toothbrush, all in one bag. It’s a cinch to grab and take into the bathroom when traveling. It hangs from a shower hook or door, has an easy to grab handle when closed, is big enough for all your gear, and comes in 14 colors and patterns.
54. These pleasantly-hued storage containers with airtight lids
Add a little fun (and function) to the kitchen with these colorful canisters. They’re made of smooth porcelain and have wooden lids with airtight rubber seals so the coffee, tea, sugar, or candy you drop inside will stay fresh. Designed to be stacked, they save space while looking elegant and streamlined.
55. These unique dessert spoons for digging into ice cream
Sure, these conversation-starting spoons can be used anywhere spoons normally go, but they’re total ‘chef’s kiss’ for literally shoveling ice cream into your mouth. They’re made of durable stainless steel with strong edges ideal for scooping frozen desserts (or things like watermelon), and have a mirror-polish finish so your dessert-lovin’ mouth stays safe.
56. This easy aerator that up-levels even cheap wine
One fan says “this turned a bottle of two buck Chuck into a really nice Chardonnay.” Consider this aerating decanter spout an easy investment for all future bottles. Over 13,000 wine lovers give it 4.6 stars, with the consensus being it improves the flavor and mouthfeel of every pour it touches. It impeccably aerates the wine, decanting it in less than 30 seconds. Also, it comes in a gift-worthy case.
57. These Mason jar lids with reusable straws to enhance jar-sipping
There’s a lot to love about sipping from a Mason jar — they’re solid, time-tested, and hold a nice amount of your bev of choice. Add these bamboo lids to the picture, and the experience is now spill-resistant and straw-friendly. The set comes with reusable straws in two different sizes, so sipping thick drinks like shakes and smoothies is a breeze. Detachable silicone rings ensure the lids fit a variety of jar mouth sizes (Note: Mason jars not included).
58. A custom photo-roll keychain for precious memories in your pocket
Make scrolling thousands of phone photos a thing of the past — tangible photos are rather avant-garde these days (as wild as that is). This film roll keychain features five, 10, or 20 of your images HD printed onto a real roll of film, so sweet moments are right at hand. They retract into the roll for easy keychain carrying. This makes a great gift when choosing the best (or troll-iest) photos of your recipient.
59. A desktop Skee-Ball game.
Whether you agree that Skee-Ball is the finest arcade game of all time or not, this officially licensed desktop version delivers loads of nostalgia. It easily snaps together and comes with five balls. There’s even a 32-page illustrated guide for playing the game if you want to brush up on your 50-point shot (in mini or traditional renditions).
60. This satisfying, deep-cleansing facial “spatula”
Using high-frequency vibrations, this adjustable facial skin scrubber delivers an effective, pore-dredging cleanse. It has a stainless steel edge for getting under blackheads and the like, and two silicone covers for achieving various results. Skincare enthusiasts have four modes to choose from: cleaning, lifting, deep-cleaning pores, and aiding product absorption.