Gift Edit 2023

71 Best Practical Gifts for When You Have No Idea What To Buy

updated Nov 30, 2023
Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.
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This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

Some people love receiving over-the-top gifts, like a cashmere potholder or diamond-encrusted anything. But then there are the giftees who only crave what they can actually use. They’d willingly forgo the bells and whistles and high-tech upgrades if it meant the product they’d receive would function well and improve their lives dramatically.

Enter: our guide to the most practical and useful gifts you can buy. The selections below are fantastic for a person who’s hard to shop for, or for when you’re just stumped on what to get. Sure, these gifts aren’t the sexiest items, but they all serve a purpose (and serve it well), and your loved one is guaranteed to get great mileage out of them. Whether it’s an item to make daily life easier, a smartly designed travel accessory, or a beauty product they’ll use and love, you’ll find all sorts of handy options on this list. Shop these practical presents and you’ll see what we mean.

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From our partner
Coop Sleep Goods

Everyone has their pillow preferences, but Coop's Original pillow is a definite crowd-pleaser. Filled with a hypoallergenic blend of cross-cut foam and microfiber, it provides all-night support. Your giftee will also appreciate the pillow's easily adjustable dual-case system and machine-washable materials, as well as its breathable construction. No overheating or neck cramps here!

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While cleaning gifts are typically seen as a big no-no, we have a feeling your giftee will appreciate unwrapping the revolutionary Nori Press this holiday season. Thanks to its innovative "flat-iron-esque" shape, this handheld iron is magic for anyone who loathes traditional ironing. It has six fabric settings, and a steamer function, and it's especially nice on small, tricky areas like collars and hems, smoothing them in one quick press.

3 / 71
was $19.99

It’s a nightmare scenario: you get to an adorable restaurant or bar with your group, only to realize the only place you can safely put your bag is on your lap. Remedy this for the bag lovers in your life with the Clipa 2 bag hanger. This hinged clip opens up to attach to edges, ledges, bars, and openings, keeping bags up to 33 pounds safe and off of the floor. Best of all, the Clipa2 is also pretty stylish, coming in eight finishes. What's not to love?

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If you're giftee is a travel fanatic, there's nothing better than giving them with the ultimate carry-on: The Quince Carry-On Hardshell Suitcase. This pick made AT's MVPs as a must-have for Mark, AT's director of commerce, after he took it on two trips. "The suitcase handled the 20-minute walk to Penn Station nicely, gliding smoothly across the bumpy pavement of the sidewalk and streets, and taking knocks from going up and down curbs like a champ," said Mark's review of the Quince suitcase. "Once on board my train, the lightweight luggage easily fit into the overhead compartment and still looked good as new." Right now, you can buy your own carry-on for more than 50 percent off!

5 / 71
was $24.99

Homemade iced coffee can be pretty disappointing. It either takes FOREVER to chill or it’s completely watered down from all the added ice. But if your coffee-loving friend has this nifty gadget in their freezer, they can chill their favorite brew to a refreshing 72 degrees in just one minute. Cool!

6 / 71
was $14.99

Easily removing lint balls, pills, and pesky fuzz from clothing, upholstery, and more, there’s a reason why the Conair fabric shaver is an Amazon and AT-reader favorite. Its blades are sharp and durable, and it comes with three adjustable shave heights that help maintain wool garments and delicate fabric. I mean, 84,000 five-star reviews can’t be wrong, right?

7 / 71
was $24.99

This mini personal-sized fan is the next best thing to a personal cabana assistant. Banish sweltering temps with its mini-but-mighty motor and dual speed settings. It also contorts into two folding designs, so you can go hands-free, and boasts a flashlight and charger on one end for when the sun (and battery) goes down. We're calling this pick the ultimate stocking stuffer.

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We're all about small-space-friendly finds and this tiny, tabletop lamp is as eye-catching as it is smart. "Measuring around 3 inches tall, the Mina lamp fits easily in the palm of my hand, but should you desire a larger lamp and more light, there are also medium and large versions that are about an inch or two taller," wrote contributor Caroline in her glowing review. "Its teensy size, combined with the USB-recharging functionality, makes it highly portable." The lamp takes inspiration from mid-century modern and Scandinavian design, so it'll add a sophisticated touch to any reading corner.

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Fall is the best time of the year to pull out the Dutch oven and if you're foodie fanatic friend is missing one in their cooking arsenal, this Lodge pick makes the perfect gift. Combining versatile porcelain enamel with Lodge’s legendary cast-iron technology, this vessel sears, roasts, and braises just as good as the big names.

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Ah, the bidet. Everyone has an opinion on them. But if the Squatty Potty has become universally beloved, then why can't this? The Tushy bidet is a modern take on a classic, attaching to most toilets in just 10 minutes and ready for instant use, no electricity required. An incredibly useful bathroom accessory, it would also make a great gift — maybe a little bit funny when someone first unwraps it (because, ya know, butts), but also pretty darn useful, too.

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Anyone who loves to travel knows that packing jewelry can be one of the hardest tasks — except with this tiny pick from Benevolence LA in tow. Perfect for anyone looking for something compact, we love this viral pick for its multiple color options, divided storage space, and included mirror (ideal for getting ready on-the-go).

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From our partner

Peace of mind is a top-tier gift idea. Add to that the convenience of two-way talk and motion detection (with real-time notifications), and the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) can easily become everyone's new favorite home addition. This model captures crystal-clear 1080p HD video and has added night vision, so you'll be helping improve your giftee's home security around the clock.

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From our partner
was $359.99

Everyone could use a helping hand on cleaning day, and the Shark HydroVac Cordless Pro XL is the ultimate cleaning companion. This powerful 3-in-1 device vacuums and mops for an easier clean, no matter the surface. It's even self-cleaning! Best of all, it works in tandem with an odor-neutralizing solution that instantly eliminates and prevents bad odors from reforming on floors and area rugs, for a fresher-smelling home even days after.

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If you're looking to spoil someone, get them this next-level travel suitcase. It has all the convenient features they could want — hard, durable sides; zippered storage compartments; a built-in combination lock; rotating wheels; and an extendable handle — plus, its internal structure pops out to become a portable closet. This piece of luggage actually helps people stay organized while traveling, which is quite a rare and beautiful thing. Read our full review for more details.

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Artifact Uprising

Create a one-of-a-kind gift by personalizing a calendar with your friend's or loved one’s favorite photos. They’ll be able to relive their most treasured moments one month at a time, and when the year is over, they can turn it on its side and use it as a photo frame. This 2-in-1 gift is super thoughtful and super practical.

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The Bandolier Emma Crossbody is the perfect mix of function and style. This stylish phone case comes with a strap for easy, hand-free carrying and features a hidden card slot helping it double as a wallet. It's the ultimate pick for anyone who likes to travel light when they go out and also wants to keep their essentials in perfect proximity.

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was $123.59

Another cleaning gift that's sure to brighten someone's day (especially given that it's one pick that is on dozens of wishlists) is this small but mighty upholstery cleaner. The TikTok-favorite device gets rid of food stains, pet accidents, and more while also steam cleaning rugs, carpets, sofas, armchairs, car seats, and more. Its dual spray and suction function also make sure stains are gone for good.

18 / 71
was $23.99

Tracking mud into the house will be a ghost of Christmas past, thanks to this portable paw washer. All pet parents have to do is fill the cup with warm water and dip and twist their dog’s paws for an easy wash on the go. It's a gift they're sure to love you for.

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was $29.00

If you're really having trouble thinking of a gift and want something you know they'll use, get them an Apple AirTag. This nifty device is especially helpful for keeping track of luggage and backpacks, and once it's synced with someone's phone, all they have to do is drop it in their bag and never think about it. The next time an airline loses their suitcase, they'll know exactly where it is (and they'll know exactly who to thank).

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Encourage your loved ones to do their part in saving Earth with this set of reusable dishcloths. Meant to replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels, they can absorb 15 to 20 times their own weight in liquid and will last up to 200 washing cycles in the washing machine. Plus, in a variety of cute patterns and colors, they're a great way to add a bit of cheer to the kitchen.

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If you know someone who loves brunch and breakfast for dinner, this waffle maker from editor-loved brand Dash will be a much-used gift they'll absolutely adore. The non-stick surface enables finished waffles to seamlessly slip from the pan to the plate, and the no-drip design keeps the kitchen counter free of batter and mess.

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Dagne Dover

For the style-conscious traveler in your life, take a look at this sleek glasses case from Dagne Dover. One AT editor (a self-proclaimed sunglasses devotee) says that it's a total game changer both at home and on the go because it keeps up to three pairs of glasses or sunglasses free from scratches and other damage. Choose from three colors: black, white, and olive green.

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Crafted from durable coconut coir, this eco-friendly doormat is a gift that's both practical and thoughtful, whether for the holidays or a housewarming. The editor-favorite find is compostable, biodegradable, and super easy to clean. It's available in a wide range of styles, multiple sizes, and two thicknesses. Bonus: It's great for both indoor and outdoor use.

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Think of this ingenious device as a vacuum-powered dustpan. Just sweep all of your dirt, crumbs, and pet hair into it, and the motion-sensor-activated machine will suck it all up — no bending or dirt-to-hand contact needed! Trust us, this baby will be much appreciated and get loads of use.

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Urban Outfitters

Not only does this lovely heart-shaped vanity mirror exude charm, but it will also come in handy every single day. It illuminates via a smart touch button, and it has a catch-all base for storing jewelry, makeup, and skincare items.

26 / 71
was $179.00

These Brooklinen sheets are so luxe that they make AT contributor Jasmine want to stay in bed all day. “Made from long-staple cotton with a percale weave, these sheets were made to mimic that hotel-style sleep experience you typically only get when vacationing somewhere fancy,” she writes. “Not only do these sheets totally live up to the hype, but they’ve single-handedly raised the bar for how I shop for bedding.”

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Whether they’re achy from a workout or from sitting at a computer all day, Hydragun’s compact Atom massager is ready to provide relief. Roughly the size of an iPhone, the rechargeable mini massage gun comes with three attachments: a foam ball for super comfortable soothing; a pointed, steel-tipped attachment for deeper penetration; and a flat aluminum attachment that can be chilled for a cooling experience. It also includes a carrying case so they can take it on the go.

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There's always a note to be taken or a to-do list to be written. Gift your friend a charming notebook from Papier where they can throw all their thoughts into one place. We love this graphic, plant-inspired design, but there are hundreds to choose from, ensuring you can personalize your pick to whoever your recipient is.

29 / 71
was $70.00

Perfect for travel enthusiasts or on-the-go commuters that bounce from work to the gym to home, these personalized Dopp kits will fit everything they need to keep their day running smoothly. Use them to stash skincare and toiletries or as a handy place to corral everything from tech charging cords to art supplies.

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Aura Frames
was $179.00

Keep friends and family up-to-date with your little ones (or your travels!) by gifting them this digital photo frame from Aura. Gone are the days where you have to create a shared album on your phone — instead, Aura will corral all your favorite shots into a rotating slideshow on this gorgeous frame for a perma-trip down memory lane.

31 / 71
was $519.99

Practicality meets perfection in the ultimate do-it-all vacuum from Dyson. The V8 Absolute has a wall-mounted charging dock to save space, transforms into a hand-held vacuum, and features no-touch emptying with just a push of a button. From hard floors to carpets, it works on practically every surface and gets a lot of help from its five included cleaning heads. Check out our full review of it to learn more.

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Made from 100-percent pure mulberry silk, this satiny-smooth pillowcase is as luxurious a gift as you can get. It's easy on your face (begone wrinkles!) and hair (farewell frizz!) and makes your bed feel like a five-star hotel room. Plus, gifts that grant a better night's sleep are always practical in our book.

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Lo & Sons
was $205.00

We’ve sung the praises of this versatile weekender before, and we still have big love for the genius piece. “To start, its design is the definition of smart,” reports SEO commerce editor Sarah. “It features everything from deep side pockets and multiple interior pockets (including a bottom compartment to keep shoes or dirty clothes separate from the rest of your belongings), to a key leash and a luggage sleeve that easily slips over most suitcase handles… The first time I used this bag, I was shocked at how much fit inside.”

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These Souper Cubes may seem like a quirky pick at first, but they'll be a game changer for anyone in your life who loves to batch-cook soup or save copious amounts of leftovers. They can simply fill the silicone vessels and freeze worry- (and leak-) free, gifting them the freedom to defrost a cup of hearty soup any time the craving hits.

35 / 71
was $110.00

Whether their idea of adventure is a five-day backpacking trip in the wilderness or a picnic in the park, this Rumpl blanket is the perfect accessory. Made entirely of recycled water bottles, it's lightweight, waterproof, and surprisingly warm, allowing it to flex between a cuddly camping companion and a waterproof perch during weekends in the park.

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This chic, cordless handheld vac is roughly the size of a wine bottle, making it a compact and practical pick for homes of all sizes. Good looks aside, this Eufy device packs a punch, with a powerful 5,500Pa suction power, a washable high-efficiency filter, and a multi-use crevice tool to reach every nook and cranny.

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Williams Sonoma

Few things in life are more annoying than when your morning cup of coffee goes cold before you can finish it off. Well, Ember is here to solve that problem with this genius, temperature-controlled mug. It keeps coffee, tea, and other hot beverages (yes, hot toddies included) at the ideal temperature for up to 90 minutes. Just adjust the temperature within the app and sip as slowly as you'd like.

38 / 71
was $27.99

Many home cooks rely on their favorite cookbooks to guide their way in the kitchen, but juggling constantly flipping pages and messy hands is (literally) a recipe for disaster. Snag them this cookbook stand to keep their pages in place.

39 / 71
was $140.00

Not only is this blanket made from 100-percent recycled fibers (a total environmental win), it also boasts Outer's patented Insect Shield technology, which will cut down on the number of pests that come to nibble on you as you're enjoying the great outdoors. Snag a throw for your favorite camping fan (or just your pal that loves to chill next to a bonfire with a glass of wine), and they can say goodbye to drenching themselves in bug spray.

40 / 71
was $45.00

You’ll feel like a grown-up version of the tooth fairy when you gift this sleek, sophisticated electric toothbrush with a fanatic following. If you’re feeling generous, you can throw in a subscription that will send them a new toothbrush head replacement every three months.

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At this point, our WFH offices are a constant work in progress. This wall organizer will certainly take your friend's setup up a notch, making getting organized both effortless and chic. The calendar and checklist will make life a lot easier, so they can come within striking distance of that elusive work-life balance.

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A true classic for any kitchen, this versatile stand mixer does it all. It comes with a polished stainless steel 5.5-quart mixing bowl, a whisk, a dough hook, a flat paddle, a splash guard with a pour spout, and a recipe book. Plus, because it comes in 11 stunning shades, so there's a color for any decor vibe.

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Crane & Canopy

“What was immediately noticeable about the Crane & Canopy plush bath towel is that it absolutely lives up to its name,” writes AT contributor Jasmine. “It was so dang soft to the touch, even before throwing it in the machine for its first wash. In fact, it’s only gotten softer over time. Plushness aside, it’s also very easy to spot the high quality of this towel’s construction.”

44 / 71
was $9.99

A massager is key to a healthy scalp, doing everything from boosting hair growth to gently exfoliating. “Nothing — and I mean nothing — has ever soothed my dandruff like this thing,” writes AT contributor Olivia. “Each morning when I shower, I simply pour my shampoo onto the brush side of the massager and make small circles across my scalp while applying gentle pressure. It makes for a nice daily head massage, and I haven’t had any trouble with flakes since I started using it.”

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Nest Bedding
was $119.00

Side, back, and tummy sleepers will snooze equally well on this memory foam pillow that's designed for everyone. It comes overstuffed so that whoever you gift it to can adjust it to get a custom fit that's perfect for their sleeping style.

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An always-charged phone or tablet is a gift that keeps on giving. This portable charger has two USB outputs to ensure their gadgets are always juiced up. Plus, it can charge two devices at once — both at top speed.

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Sleep Number

There's no better gift than the gift of a good night's sleep. The first step? A great pillow. Sleep Number's ComfortFit Curved Pillow is a can't miss, best-seller, and an AT Best List winner! Featuring a memory foam and down alternative fiber fill, it forms to the contours of your head and neck for comfortable support all night long, meaning no more bothersome adjustments to be made throughout the night — something side sleepers will especially appreciate.

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Joseph Joseph

Beauty junkies will swoon over this sleek makeup organizer. With a combination of deep and shallow compartments, it has slots for everything, including the removable magnifying mirror. There’s even a magnetic closure drawer for cotton pads and makeup sponges.

49 / 71
was $12.99

Do your part to help the planet with these reusable silicone bags that are BPA- and PVC-free. Each one saves thousands of single-use plastic bags from ending up in a landfill or the ocean. They are designed to keep food fresh, plus they're dishwasher and microwave safe.

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Truly a next-level planner, this device allows you to save digital versions of the pages to cloud services — including Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, and email — all with the free app. There are five sections to help you boost productivity, from daily tasks and a monthly overview to quarterly and annual goals. Check out AT writer Britt's review here.

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“This multifunctional air fryer comes loaded with six different cooking functions, as well as manual time and temperature controls, so you can be hands-on or let the machine do the work for you,” writes AT contributor Vanessa about the Magic Bullet Air Fryer. “With a heat range of 180°F to 400°F, it handles recipes that cook gently and slowly, or you can bring on the heat to add flavor and char. The fryer’s 2.5-quart basket gives the body of the machine a compact footprint that home cooks with limited space will appreciate, but it’s roomy enough for an entire head of cauliflower, a pound of frozen French fries, or several servings of protein.”

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was $21.99

Essentially a handyman in your pocket, this TSA-friendly tool does it all. It fits on your keychain and has more than 16 functions, including a bottle opener, screwdriver, ruler, wrench, bit driver, file, and bike spoke key.

53 / 71
was $109.99

Give the gift of peace of mind with this emergency kit that's sure to be a hit. The backpack contains everything necessary to sustain two people for 72 hours. We’re talking first-aid kit, survival blanket, power station, multi-tool, food, and water. It's no wonder one of our editors loves to give it as a housewarming gift.

54 / 71
was $149.00

Getting out of bed in the morning is a lot easier with the Loftie by your side. “Designed as an alarm clock fit for the 21st century, the Loftie is an all-in-one nightstand essential meant to help you both unwind before bed and wake refreshed,” writes commerce writer Sarah. “With features including a clock, sound machine, breathwork exercises, and a nightlight, this stylish wellness device incorporates the essential tech you may need at night while keeping all the distracting parts (emails, texts, and late-night doomscrolling) in another room — where they belong.”

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Our Place
was $150.00

The makers of the Always Pan 2.0 say this sauté pan can perform the job of 10 different cookware pieces — and they're right. With walls that are slightly taller than regular nonstick pans, a vented lid, and a removable metal steamer basket, this one device can easily be someone's go-to daily cooking vessel for big and small dishes. This updated version is also safe to put in the oven, so broiling and baking are options, too. Check out our full review to see it in action.

56 / 71

You can be one with nature while still being connected to the modern world thanks to these gardening gloves that feature touchscreen fingertips. Made with comfort in mind, they're constructed from four-way spandex and have adjustable wrist straps to prevent dirt from getting in. There’s even a terry cloth patch on the back of the glove to wipe away dirt and sweat.

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This editor-favorite spatula is great for your pal who fancies themselves a home chef and loves their non-stick pans. Available in three colors, it's dishwasher-safe, high-heat tolerant, and won't damage any of their cookware, no matter how hard they scrape. Read our full review of it here.

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When it comes to food prep, kids' lunches, and just generally eating away from home, good storage containers are key. Apartment Therapy editors have big love for Stojo containers for exactly that reason. Not only are they stylish (and available in a slew of cute shades), they're also leak-proof, dishwasher-safe, and completely free of any harmful chemicals that may give you pause. This set is comprehensive, collapsable, and a total must-have.

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The Container Store

The nice thing about this practical tech accessories kit is that it makes an excellent gift both for the home and the office. It includes all the small gizmos and gadgets that we're always looking for and often misplace, such as a charging cable, USB adapter, and screen cleaning cloth. It also has helpful upgrades such as a webcam cover, phone stand, and earbud cleaning tool, which is good enough to be a gift on its own. The fact that everything comes in a handsome zippered case is truly the bow on top.

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For a gift that is both practical and indulgent, look no further than Vitruvi's stone essential oil diffuser. Part of our 2021 Best List, it combines style and substance into a handy little gadget that will allow your recipient to start their day with an energetic essential oil charge and end it with a relaxing blend at night. With two time settings and the ability to scent up to 500 square feet of space, it's perfect for apartment dwellers and homeowners alike.

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Pillow Cube
was $129.99

This cube-shaped pillow might look quirky, but our editors promise it will revolutionize your friend's sleep — especially if they tend to snooze on their side. Apartment Therapy editor Mark writes, "It's seriously comfortable and I feel like my head is resting on a cushy cloud. Because I’m not repeatedly adjusting and readjusting my pillows throughout the night, I’m sleeping better than I have in months. I no longer arise from bed feeling sore and stiff, and I’m much more well-rested."

62 / 71

Your intended gift recipient doesn't have to be an audiophile to appreciate the convenience of having a high-quality speaker at home. This Bluetooth-enabled speaker produces a fantastic range of sounds without costing too too much, and it has a timeless look that fits with all home decor schemes. Plus, it only has a few buttons and one knob, so it's easy enough for anyone to use.

63 / 71
was $24.99

Help your coffee-loving friend save money on buying pre-packaged cold brew coffee with this simple cold brew coffee maker. It's incredibly easy to use and requires zero barista skills, and it includes a reusable metal filter, so whoever receives this won't have to worry about buying replacement filters. Plus, the next time you visit this friend, you know you can treat yourself to some deliciously refreshing cold brew!

64 / 71

Desk organizers may not seem like very exciting gifts, but this magnetic cord holder is a surprisingly chic find that anyone will love to have. It prevents phone and laptop charging cords from falling off the table by simply holding them in place with internal magnets, which is the kind of modern problem that we all experience but often don't think about solving. Whoever you buy this for will be extremely grateful to have it.

65 / 71

Even if the person you're shopping for has too many water bottles, they definitely don't have one like this. This double-wall insulated water bottle has a secret storage compartment in the bottom that can hold keys, money, and other valuables and keep them out of sight. Great for anyone who goes to the gym and wants a convenient and discreet way to keep their stuff nearby and secure.

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L.L. Bean

These shearling-lined moccasins are maybe the comfiest and coziest slippers ever made. After you give these as a gift and see how much your friend loves them, you'll be ordering a pair for yourself. The lining maintains its shape and insulation powers after extended use and the outsole is a durable rubber that can withstand short trips outside to get the paper or even grab a cup of coffee. Available in men's sizes, too.

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Give the gift of a great night's rest with this highly-rated sleep mask. As its name suggests, it's made from 100 percent pure silk, which is key to helping hair and skin retain moisture throughout the night. It's also a great gift for anyone who travels and wants to bring a cozy comfort from home to help them sleep.

68 / 71
was $249.99

Quality cookware is a lasting investment, and this Ninja Ceramic 9-Piece Set is stylish, durable, and oven-safe up to 550 degrees. Cook with minimal oil, making it a perfect gift for health enthusiasts!

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Looking for a gift to help someone you love catch Z's? Featuring an integrated sound machine, soft-glow reading light, meditation prompts, sunrise alarm, and more, this clever gadget from Hatch is basically like having your own personal sleep coach right on your nightstand. Sweet dreams await!

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These enamel-safe teeth whitening strips offer a pain-free experience and are enriched with mint and natural coconut oil for a refreshing sensation. In just 30 minutes, they do the trick thanks to their non-slip design. Save your giftee a little money on their annual teeth whitening with these strips — they'll surely appreciate it!

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Gift the perfect lip care with this serum that's packed with hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter, prickly pear, and watermelon extracts for silky, healthy lips. It's free from Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates, and more so you can give the gift of plump, nourished lips without any guilt.