While some people are drawn to the insanely weird items flooding Amazon's marketplace, others prefer receiving practical and functional items, instead. So even though the
sensible gifts on Amazon might not be everyone's cup of tea, we all have friends and family members who opt for function over funky.
A personal preference for practicality might seem lame — after all, who wants socks and insulated water bottles when there's a whole world of fitness trackers and 24 karat gold face masks? But these people are actually onto something, because, when your fascination with the latest gadget wears off, they'll still be keeping warm in their socks and commuting comfortably with piping-hot coffee. By putting rationality over fascination, these so-called "boring" loved ones end up with gifts that have a long lifespan
and get used on a regular basis. Also, sensible products are an easy way to find a gift for your friends that are really hard to shop for.
So whether you want your sibling to have an external battery pack for their phone that's always dying, or kitchen supplies for that new apartment they just moved into, here's a selection of
the most useful gifts on Amazon. Just keep your fingers crossed that they'll never find out you got it from a list that called them boring.
A Best-Selling Tablet That's On Sale For $40
What's better for your practical friend than an affordable tablet that's great for streaming videos, playing games, or using apps.
This one is designed with a 7-inch HD screen and has 16 gigabytes of storage. It also comes with Amazon's signature Alexa voice control features, so you can ask the tablet to let you know the weather, read the news, or play music. According to one reviewer: "I love my new tablet. I bought it at an awesome price and love all the features. I highly recommend purchasing this tablet."
A Planner Designed To Boost Productivity
Help your loved one accomplish their New Year's resolutions with the
productivity planner that thousands of users are raving about. The undated journal is divided into monthly, weekly, and daily templates to keep track of goals with detailed schedules that increase motivation. With enough templates to cover nine months, it also features two ribbon bookmarks, premium-quality paper, and a sturdy elastic closing. According to one reviewer: "Bought as a Christmas gift for my sister. She loved it. With [three] kids and sports and school and parties, and activities she can now use this planner for everything."
A Hand Steamer That Heats Up Water In Just 30 Seconds
handheld steamer heats up in 30 seconds to remove wrinkles, refresh clothing, and sanitize germs in a hurry. The removable 8.79-ounce tank holds enough water for 15 minutes of continuous use. Designed with a stainless steel faceplate that allows for a high output, it also comes with a detachable fabric brush and lint brush. According to one reviewer: "First of all... I bought this steamer myself, and was not asked or paid to leave a review. I'm a tv wardrobe stylist, and I do A LOT of steaming. This is, hands down, the best steamer I've ever used."
This Streaming Stick That Basically Turns Their Television Into A Smart TV
For anyone who loves to watch movies or television shows at their leisure, a
Fire TV stick like this one is a fantastic present. For one, it is compatible with most network apps (as well as streaming apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu), so they'll have access to all their favorite programming at the touch of a button. It even has built-in Alexa, so you can use voice control to ask questions or start a movie. According to one reviewer: "Have purchased several Fire TV sticks in past. Just purchased this new "lite" version of it for an additional television of mine. Works just as well as any other version of the Fire TV Stick. Super easy to set up and get started with it. Highly recommended."
A Handheld Vacuum With A 16-Foot Power Cord
Dirt Devil Scorpion weighs under 4 pounds for a breezy clean even in hard-to-reach places. The integrated quick-flip crevice tool lets you clean tight spaces, like couch cushions or car seats, while the 16-foot power cord gives you the flexibility to move around the room without unplugging. Tiny but mighty with an extra-powerful motor, it's also bagless, so you can easily dump the dirt and go. With over 7,000 reviews, it's clear this vacuum not only gets the job done, but also does it extremely well.
A Sanitizer & Deodorizer That Cleans With Light, Not Chemicals
sanitizer and deodorizer uses UV-C light technology to sanitize germs, viruses, and spores. All you need is a standard outlet to immediately combat smells from pets, smoking, cooking, and more. Best of all, the sanitizer doesn’t have any filters that you need to replace, making it a low-maintenance alternative to traditional plug-in air fresheners.
A 3-Pack Of Motion Sensor Lights You Can Install Anywhere
You can stick these
motion sensor lights literally anywhere, and they’ll light up as you walk by. They’re perfect for lining your way to the bathroom at night, illuminating dark closets, or for creating a basement path. The lights are easy to install and adhere with magnets and 3M adhesive. Once you’re no longer in the lights’ motion sensor range, they turn off automatically after 15 seconds to save energy. According to one reviewer: "Bought this for a gift for my daughter. She loves these lights, especially in her guest room when company visits. No more stubbed toes at night."
This Book Light That Clips To Whatever You're Reading
Help your loved one create the perfect reading environment with this
clip-on lamp. It comes with LED lights and a flexible neck that gives the user complete control of where it's angled. It's also battery-operated, so you can easily bring it with you anywhere without having to remember a charging cord. Its simple design is so practical, it's won reviews from 14,000 Amazon users. According to one reviewer: "Such a convenient light to have on hand while traveling or in a room without a lamp.I love that it is sturdy, but lightweight so that I can use it on paperback books."
This Amazon Echo For Cars That Let's You Use Your Phone Hands-Free
Go hands-free in your car with
this Amazon Echo that connects your phone to your car's speaker system, and even has Alexa built in, so you can ask for weather updates, traffic updates, or place calls or send text messages without taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. According to one reviewer: "Listening to music is much easier now and asking for directions is hands-free. Perfect example. I moved it from my regular car to my work car. Hopped on the freeway and realized I hadn't entered the address of the new site I was going to visit. I asked Alexa to take me to the address and easy, it was displayed on my phone and I could hear the directions over the cars Bluetooth."
This TV Backlight That They Can Customize To Any Color
TV backlight instantly elevates a home television set-up to movie-theater level. This light can change from any of 32 vibrant colors and six different brightness levels, so it can truly be customized. It also comes with a remote control so it can be adjusted from anywhere in the room, and can even be synced to your music to pulse with the rhythm of your favorite song. According to one reviewer: "This made my room/TV look waaaay better. You have the ability to choose any light you want. I also like the music (noise sensitivity) function, it goes with the beat of the music you are playing, it also goes well with any games you are playing."
A Pen Light That’s Practically Indestructible
Nearly 14,000 Amazon users have vouched for this
90-lumen LED pen light. It provides light for more than six hours and can be recharged up to 1,000 times, so you can basically rely on it forever. The sturdy pen light is made with anodized aluminum and is impact tested for up to one meter. It also has a non-slip, rubber grip, so you won’t drop it, and it's water-resistant. According to one reviewer: "I bought this flashlight as a gift for my husband and he uses it all the time. I ended up getting a second one for my son. Light is super bright and the battery lasts for a long time between charges."
A Clothes Folder That Creates Uniform Drawers Of Laundry
For the friend who has everything but folding skills, the
Ohuhu laundry folding bar is the easiest way to speed up and standardize the process. The durable, high-quality board uses three steps in just three seconds to perfectly fold trousers, shorts, sweaters, or shirts. Created with adjustable rings for fabrics with different thickness levels, it can easily be stored under the bed or tucked away in the closet when not in use. According to one reviewer: "This little device is helping me organize my closet. It is sturdy, easy to use and folds everything uniformly so it stacks easily in a closet."
An Adjustable Dish Rack For Organizing
Save your friends from struggling through stacks of baking sheets with this
adjustable bakeware rack. The rectangular base is ideal for pantries and lower cabinets, and the main base comes with non-slip feet and a natural curve that keeps round pans centered. Each rack comes with seven steel dividers that securely fit into the base, so they won't pop out or cause scratches, either. According to one reviewer: "Loved it so much I bought a second one immediately! Works great for circular pans, 9x13 cake pans, heavier pans, jelly roll pans, awkward collapsible colanders, cutting boards, whatever you want. Non-skid feet is a big plus."
This Water Bottle That Tracks How Much Your Drink Throughout The Day
genius water bottle counts how many times you fill it up, a proxy for how much water you've consumed that day. Every time you twist the cap another dot illuminates along the side, keeping track of how many 20 ounces of water you drink. The simple design is leakproof and BPA-free. What's not to love? 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."
A Bamboo Charging Station For Multiple Devices
Help your loved ones stop fighting over USBs with this
multi-device charging station. The eco-friendly bamboo dock can hold one heavy laptop, a tablet, and three smartphones at once. Doubling as an organizer that stores cords and cables out of sight, this station is a great solution for families, offices, and conference rooms. This is also a great gift for your boss who has everything. According to one reviewer: "I really like this charging station. It came nicely wrapped and seems to be very sturdy. It currently holds my iPad mini, iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. It looks really nice and keeps everything nice organized and hides most of the straggly wires."
This Useful Wall Charger That Turns A 2-Plug Outlet Into A 6-Plug Outlet
wall charger turns a standard, two-plug outlet into a six-plug outlet in seconds. It also has two USB ports in it for easy charging. Collectively, you can charge eight devices in this outlet extender. No matter who you're shopping for, there are few gifts as useful as this. It even has a built-in nightlight that can help you find the outlet in the dark. Over 17,000 Amazon reviewers have added this to their homes and the reviews are largely rave. According to one reviewer: "We've been using for a month or so and it's been perfect. I hate seeing wires running all over the place and they can't be hidden. With this unit I have taken care of that problem. I couldn't be happier with my purchase."
An Ultra-Thin Credit Card Wallet That Attaches To Phones
Friends don't let friends lose their credit cars — and this
ultra-slim wallet guarantees that. Made from a durable elastic fabric, the CardNinja attaches to any smartphone with adhesive. Available in 10 colors and patterns, it can store crash and up to eight credit cards, as well as small items like ear buds. Just 2.5 millimeters thin, most people don't notice the added depth. It's a great stocking stuffer for the person who's always losing things.
This Over-The-Sink Dish Rack That Saves So Much Space
space-saving dish rack is a great addition to any kitchen. Simply roll it out over top your sink and it can hold multiple plates, cups, and silverware. It's made of a collapsible silicone-wrapped steel that's easy to roll up and store away, and it's also heat-resistant and food-safe. According to one reviewer: "This would be a great gift for someone with a small kitchen. Love that it rolls up and I can put it away out of sight. No ugly, eye sore drying rack necessary. I highly recommend!"
Wildly-Popular Microfiber Sheets That Are Hypoallergenic
Once you try
microfiber sheets, it may be hard to return to cotton — or even flannel. Ultra-soft, thanks to a double-brushed technique, they're resistant to fading, staining, shrinking, and even wrinkles, and as an added bonus, they're naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. Sold in a standard set with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases, you can pick from 42 different colors. These sheets are also a cult-favorite to the tune of 172,000 Amazon reviews.
A Spill-Proof Tumbler That Comes With 63,000+ Amazon Reviews
stainless steel tumbler keeps coffee hot (for up to seven hours) or water chilled (for up to 18 hours). This 20-ounce thermos is made of durable stainless steel and has a built in grip that ensures you'll never drop it. It's also available in a bunch of fun colors and some designs that have a built-in handle for extra grip. Over 63,000 Amazon reviewers (not a typo!) have invested in this travel mug. According to one reviewer: "LOVE LOVE LOVE these travel mugs! I have them in 3 different sizes. This is the only mug that I've found that actually keeps my coffee, tea or other hot beverages HOT for several hours! They hold up well, fit in my vehicles cup holder perfectly, and do exactly as they claim to do. Even after 8 hours my coffee is still warm (if I have any left)."
This Splatter Screen That Keep Stovetops Clean
The worst part of cooking is the mess afterwards, but this
splatter screen will make it a bit smaller. It's heat-resistant to up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and fits pans up to 15 inches in diameter. Not only does it prevent oil splatters, but the screen also releases air and steam while cooking, and can even be used as a strainer for rinsing food. To top it off, it's dishwasher-safe. According to one reviewer: "This very heavy duty and works as expected. Extremely good quality!! After I used my splatter screen for a while, I ordered two more as gifts. I will probably order more of them as gifts. I am very impressed with this product. "
Bamboo Cotton Towels That Are Super Absorbent
Everyone loves the feel of a fresh, fluffy bath towel, which makes these
bath towels the ultimate gift. Made from a high-quality blend of bamboo and cotton, these are naturally anti-bacterial, lightweight, and resistant to mildew and odors. The addition of bamboo fibers also makes them three to four times more absorbent than standard cotton variety. Available in eight colors, each bath set comes with four premium-sized bath towels. According to one reviewer: "Bought this for a gift for my daughter. She loves these lights, especially in her guest room when company visits. No more stubbed toes at night."
A Memory Foam Pillow That Can Be Customized
Give the troubled (or sweaty) sleeper in your life the best rest ever with this cooling
memory foam pillow. It's machine-washable and can be customized by either adding or removing foam to create the perfect pillow for every sleep position. Each one is hypoallergenic and made with a bamboo-derived fabric that's designed to be breathable and not retain heat, keeping the body cool all night long. It's also super plush and comfortable. According to one reviewer: "My neck pain is gone! This pillow gives the right amount of support, but if you need more there is extra filling you can add for even more support. I am getting a great night sleep with my new pillow."
A Bullet Journal That Has A Cult-Following On Amazon
hardcover notebook is the Rolls-Royce of notebooks. Every detail of this journal has been thought out, from the table of contents to the thread-bound, flat-lay binding to the bleed-proof paper. The pages are dotted and numbered, it has an expandable inner pocket, as well as eight perforated sheets, and it even includes stickers for labeling and archiving. It's available in more than 15 colors, and this one is 5.75 by 8.35 inches. According to one reviewer: "As we approached the end of [the year], I wanted to a new journal to WELCOME [the new year] in. This specific journal has been recommended a number of times so I found a color I loved and ordered it. I am so looking forward to my first entries of the New Year and to carrying it around with me...thanks for an awesome product and design."
A Heated Blanket Made Of Soft Flannel
There are few gifts as great as a heated blanket. It's the sort of home essential that people don't even realize they need until they have one. This
popular flannel blanket has 10 different heat settings and an auto shut-of setting that will automatically turn off the heat after one, two, or three hours depending on what you choose. Best yet, it's machine-washable. According to one reviewer: "This heated blanket is so soft and comfortable. It heats well and has 10 different heating levels. There is a timer with an automatic shut off for safety purposes. This electric blanket is lightweight but well made and durable. I like that I can machine wash it too."
A Reusable Silicone Food Bag That Can Hold Liquid
Help your loved ones go green with this
reusable silicone food bag that stores both solids and liquids. The seal uses a leakproof vacuum and zip-lock to preserve food in the freezer, fridge, or microwave. Made without any chemicals or fillers, these bags are a safe and non-allergenic alternative to plastic. Easy to clean in the dishwasher, they can last for years. According to one reviewer: "I really like these bags. I most of my fruit and veggies in them. I feel they help keep the food fresher longer. I also use a small one at work to keep chapstick, cough drops, pencil that I need with me as I'm a supervision aide at a school."
A Best-Selling Humidifier Perfect For Winter
small but powerful humidifier is a great home purchase that will hydrate the air around you to alleviate dry nose and skin. This humidifier can work for up to 24 hours and has a 1 gallon water tank that can cater to rooms up to 500 feet in size. This is a fantastic practical gift for anyone in your life living through cold weather months. It also has an optional nightlight and an automatic shut off. According to one reviewer: "This is my second Pure MistAire and I'm really happy with this humidifier. It is smaller than other units I've owned, but it really does the trick. It's really quiet, it fits anywhere, and I'm surprised how long it lasts. I really like that the mist level is controllable."
A Bamboo Drawer Organizer That Expands To Provide Extra Width
expandable drawer organizer keeps even the most disastrous cutlery drawer clutter-free. Made of durable bamboo, it measures just under 18 inches long by 13 inches wide, making it the perfect fit for any standard drawer. It has eight total compartments and expands about 4 inches in width. It's easy to clean with soap and water, and can also be used to organize office supplies or jewelry. According to one reviewer: "Love it! I purchased this for my brothers new apartment and am going to order one for myself too. It is easy to clean, easy to use depending on your utensils and really beautiful!"
A Detangling Hair Brush That Massages The Scalp
detangling hair brush has durable bristles that help stimulate blood flow to encourage the movement of healthy nutrients to hair follicles for a healthier scalp. Great for use on both wet and dry strands, this brush naturally conditions the hair by distributing oil along the shaft. According to one reviewer: "This brush feels amazing. The hairs get combed easily, they never get staticky, or hard to untangle. The brush is easy to clean from the hair that stays on it. I would recommend for everyone. The bristles are round and nice, safe and pleasant for scalp."
This article was originally published on
April 6, 2018