Life

13 Brilliant Alternatives To Boring Gifts — From A Multi-Tool To A Smart Water Bottle

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Amazon
Updated: 

Gifter's block: not unlike writer’s block, this pesky problem happens when you’ve got a tight deadline (like a housewarming party that’s an hour away) and zero gift ideas. Out of desperation, you reach for some basic “Stay Calm and Party On” t-shirt that you're not even sure the recipient will like, let alone wear. But don't worry — there are so many cooler alternatives to boring gifts, a.k.a. the foolproof solution to gifter’s block, because believe it or not, socks don’t have to be boring. There are coffee mugs that people will actually use, as well as notebooks that inspire your creativity and ties that literally work like keyboards. You just need to know where to look.

These new and improved gift alternatives are entirely within your grasp. You just need to do a little bit of research beforehand. If you’re currently reading this article in the housewares aisle of a Bed Bath & Beyond two hours before your mom’s birthday party, then you’re probably out of luck — but if you’ve got a solid week before said event, then check out these awesome gift ideas that you can purchase entirely from the comfort of your own home. Fortunately for you, the Internet is loaded with genius ideas that give your go-to options a complete facelift. And best of all, they all deliver in more ways than one.

1. A Best-Selling Egg Cooker That Can Make Eggs In Minutes

This handy kitchen gadget can cook up eggs in minutes, in any style you want. Whether you prefer poached, scrambled, or hard-boiled eggs, you can make six delicious eggs in this quick cooker. Any eggs can be achieved in less than 10 minutes if you invest in this kitchen appliance. Thousands of fans rave about how great it works, and many received and gave them as gifts.

According to one reviewer: "Received one as a gift...can not use it enough!!! So easy to use and clean up. Purchased [four] for friends and family and they all can't say enough positive about it. My 9-year-old grandson can do it by himself and make breakfast for the family. GREAT gift!"

2. A Candle Making Kit That's Great For Beginners

Designed for beginners, this candle making kit has everything you need to make your own candles at home. For anyone looking to pick up a hobby in the new year, or planning on spending time at home (aren't we all?) this makes for a fantastic present that they'll get tons of enjoyment out of. This kit comes with candle tins, wax, dyes, wicks, and four essential oils so you can make multiple different scents.

According to one reviewer: "Love this kit, easy to make candles... The dye for colors are vibrant and easy to mix or dilute. Overall, enjoyed this kit and can make homemade candle gifts for family."

3. A Can Cooler That'll Keep A Drink Cold For Hours

Over 30,000 Amazon reviewers agree that this insulated can cooler is a fantastic purchase. It's double-wall insulated to keep your can ice cold, and is even designed to fit into a cupholder seamlessly. This can fit a 12-ounce can of beer or seltzer, and won't sweat even in hot weather.

According to one reviewer: "I bought this as a gift for a friend who loves White Claws. She loved it and was thrilled with the color! Awesome gift."

4. This Cool Desk Clock That Flips To Reveal The Time

This retro desk clock flips to reveal the time, and is made of a durable stainless steel design and ABS cards that will last forever. And, since it runs on batteries, you can put it anywhere in your home without worrying about a nearby outlet. Amazon reviewers love putting this clock in their home offices and say it's surprisingly quiet for a clock that moves.

According to one reviewer: "I received this clock as a Christmas gift. Since it has been a constant conversation piece for nearly every visitor to my office. It has been running off a single D cell battery for two months and still keeping perfect time."

5. This Bottle That Tracks How Much Water You've Had

Every time you twist the bottle cap shut on this water bottle, a dot appears on the side of the lid, essentially keeping track of how many times you fill up your water bottle (or how many you've finished). The simple design holds 20 ounces of water (you can also upgrade to the 25-ounce option) and is even dishwasher-safe, leak-proof, and BPA-free. The long and short? This is a super cool water bottle to gift that only costs $10.

According to one reviewer: "I would say this bottle has been a game changer. I like the way I can keep track of my water intake. It really helps me to hold myself accountable."

6. An Under-$50 Tablet That's Great For Using Apps, Reading, & More

This super affordable tablet makes for a great gift that's bound to be well-received. Whether your gift receiver likes reading books, streaming videos, or browsing the web, this tablet is perfect and has 16 gigabytes of storage for photos, videos, and more. No wonder it has 122,000 Amazon reviews.

According to one reviewer: "Fits right in my purse so easy to use. I love that i can just pop it out while in a waiting room or the car and use it so easily."

7. A Moon Nightlight That Can Change From Cool White To Warm Yellow

This 3-D-printed moon lamp has all the same texture and coloring of the actual moon, and can shift colors from a cool white to a warm yellow glow depending on your preference. Charge this for just a few hours and you'll get eight hours of use out of it. Hundreds of reviewers rave that this works great as a lamp or a nightlight.

According to one reviewer: "I received this as a [C]hristmas gift. I really love how I can adjust the brightness and make the color warm. [G]reat product and lovely gift!"

8. A Solar-Powered Phone Charger, So You're Never Without A Charge

This solar-powered power bank is a great gift to give anyone, especially if they love spending time outdoors. Instead of searching for an outlet and charger, they'll be able to use this power bank whenever they need. Leave it in the sun for around six hours and you'll get enough power to recharge an iPhone twice (it works with other phones as well). This portable charger also runs on regular battery as well, and many users will use a combination of solar and traditional power to charge this. It even has a built-in flashlight. Over 11,000 Amazon reviewers have invested in this solar charger.

According to one reviewer: "The product has great quality. it's really good to use when you need to go outdoor.It can be charged through the solar panels or through usb charger. This power bank also includes a flashlight and a compass. It's very light and comfortable to carry in the pocket."

9. A 46-In-1 Multi-Tool That's The Size Of A Credit Card

This multi-tool can perform 46 functions in one credit-card-sized metal plate. It's a ruler, it's a letter opener, it's a bottle opener, it's a fruit peeler, the list goes on and on. The steel design is thin but durable, and it's a useful tool to just have sitting in anyone's wallet.

According to one reviewer: "I absolutely love this multi tool. It’s very strong and super convenient. The best tool you got is the one on you. Make sure this is the one you got."

10. A Genius Bacon Cooker That Goes In Your Microwave

This microwaveable bacon cooker is a super useful kitchen tool you can almost guarantee whomever you're shopping for doesn't already have. Lay bacon out over this rack and pop it in the microwave for just one minute per slice. Because the fat drips off the side of the bacon, you'll have crispier strips that have up to 35% less fat (according to manufacturers), when compared to normal bacon. It's even dishwasher-safe.

According ton one reviewer: "This is the second one I have purchased. We have one at home and bought this one for our winter home. It works great. Takes less time than frying bacon. You can determine how crisp[y] your bacon gets by adjusting the time in the microwave, and it is much, much less greasy than fried bacon."

11. A Screen Cleaner That Works Wonders On All Your Tech

It might not seem like an exciting gift, but one swipe of this genius screen cleaner, and you'll be a convert. This reusable cleaner removes smudges and dust from any technology you have, tablets, computers, phones, and more. This gift makes for the perfect stocking stuffer, or a fantastic present for the practical person in your life.

According to one reviewer: "This thing works great on everything! I have used it on my Kindle HD, my Galaxy Note 10.1 and my Galaxy S4. It completely removes fingerprints without using liquid. I have even used it on my S4 case. I love touch screens, but hate the fingerprints."

12. Sushi Socks That Are Cozy & So Funny

Packaged to look like a sushi order, these cozy socks are a great gift for the sushi lover in your life. These come in three pack of fun colors and patterns that resemble their favorite sushi dishes. In fact thousands of Amazon reviewers have picked up these socks, many as gifts for their friends and family.

According to one reviewer: "My brother loves both sushi & fun printed socks. Almost every year I get him socks for Christmas. This year I found these and they were awesome! The packaging is so cute, it looks just like take out sushi."

13. A TV Backlight That Makes It Feel Like You're At The Movies

Giving a home-themed gift right now just makes sense. And this bias lighting that goes behind a television will instantly make a home seem more like a movie theater. Not only can it change colors, but it's all remote-controlled, so they can change the color from where they're sitting, no movement required. You can even sync these lights to "music mode" where they'll light up to the rhythm of whatever music you turn on. They even work on computers. Thousands of reviewers have outfitted their televisions with these lights and say they're super easy to install. This is such a great gift, you might even want one for your own television.

According to one reviewer: "With a push of a button I was able to sync the lights to my music!! You Very cool product. These lights would make a great gift for anyone."

This article was originally published on