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Published Dec 2, 2022 4:00 PM
Holiday shopping can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, so we assembled this guide of top-tier gifts that all cost less than $100. We’ve done our best to collect gifts that work for everyone on your shopping list regardless of age or interests. Whether you’re shopping for a precious child, an avid home chef, or someone who always complains about being cold, you’ll find what you’re looking for below. We also have a guide to the 50+ gifts under $50 if you’d like even more recommendations in this price range.
Best for napping anywhere: Ostrichpillow Original
You’ve seen Moira Rose wear this pillow on Schitt’s Creek. Get one for yourself or your stressed-out friend to nap anywhere thanks to its immersive, plush design. Use it to rest your head against the wall, or pop your hands inside to put your head down on a table. It looks kooky, but getting a power nap anywhere will be your new superpower.
Best sheet pans: Great Jones Little Sheet
Sheet pans are essential for the home cook who bakes or roasts food often, and this eye-catching pair of quarter-sheet trays from Great Jones will liven up every kitchen. They’re dishwasher safe, and the perfect size for a personal pizza, small sheet of cookies, or cornbread. We’re especially fond of their raised lips, which makes it possible to use them for small sheet cakes. Most home cooks have half-sized sheet pans but may sleep on smaller ones. Great Jones also offers a bundle that includes these two trays and a larger one.
Best kitchen scale: OXO 11-Pound Food Scale
Everybody knows a home baker who uses measuring cups instead of weighing ingredients, and you can help them seriously up their game by gifting them a kitchen scale. Their bakes will turn out consistently, and the scale can be used in savory applications to portion meat and vegetables before cooking them. We like OXO’s scale because of its magnetic slide-out screen, which makes it possible to use the scale when weighing food in a large container. These containers would block the display of a lesser scale, which defeats the purpose of using it. OXO is one of our go-to cookware companies, and we can recommend its salad spinner as another great gift idea for picky chefs and its Burr grinder for coffee connoisseurs.
Best sous vide: Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide
OK, sure … we’ve heard it said that Instant Pots are the new sous-vide machines. But that doesn’t mean the real things went away. If anything, they’re just hitting their stride. With more options coming to the market, recipes and uses for sous-vide cookers are exploding. Did you know you can use one to make perfectly safe-to-eat cookie dough? You can also cook a steak to any level of doneness, poach eggs at the perfect temperature, or even take your custards to the next level (get fancy!).
Best for plant parents in shady spaces: Metal plant stand with grow lights
Gift this stand with built-in grow lights for someone whose plants are craving some individual attention. It’s also just a nice aesthetic display for their budding family.
Best for sustainability: Lifx LED Light Bulb
There are many smart light bulbs on the market, but the Lifx bulb simplifies the process of upgrading. They don’t require a hub like most of the other Wi-Fi bulbs, they throw out the equivalent light of a 75-watt bulb, and, best of all, they work natively with all of the different smart assistants, like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.
Best battery pack: Anker 733 Power Bank
Nobody wants to realize their phone, tablet, or game console is about to run out of juice in the middle of a trip, which is why the multi-tasking traveler in your life needs Anker’s 773 Power Bank. The 10,000mAh battery pack can fully recharge a smartphone once, and extend the life of a tablet or computer for a couple of hours. Power banks are ubiquitous at this point, but the 733 stands out because it’s also a multi-port charger that can top off up to three devices when plugged into an outlet. These two functions are what make Anker’s 733 a great gift for travelers when they’re at home and on the go.
Best for the couch potato: The Comfy Wearable Blanket
The Comfy looks ridiculous, but any semblance of pretension melts away whenever one puts it on. This is basically a blanket masquerading as a one-size-fits-all oversized hoodie. The Comfy is probably best recommended for at-home use, but it’s well worth a look if you’re shopping for someone who wants to binge-watch shows all winter without freezing. The Comfy’s sherpa inner lining and microfiber outer lining are soft to the touch, which makes it easy to wear for hours at a time, while the centered pouch gives one a place to put their hands. The Comfy is objectively ridiculous, but it’s also ridiculously warm.
Best for the cook: Fuego Box Spicy Box of Awesome
Sometimes you want to be heated from the inside out, which is why a Fuego Box’s Spicy Box of Awesome is the ideal gift. The box comes with three hot sauces, jalapeño and garlic rub, and Himalayan ghost salt. The site also offers a subscription service that sends between one and three hot sauces to the recipient’s door every month. Sauces can also be purchased a la carte, and each is branded with a heat level from one to four peppers, so you know whether the bottle you’re picking is mild or extra hot. One of our favorite parts about the Fuego Box is that sauces are sent in a wooden crate, which makes it a lot more fun to open before you get to the gift itself.
Best scent for her: Etat Libre d’Orange You Or Someone Like You
This ethereal perfume is inspired by Anne Rosenbaum, the main character in New York Times perfume critic Chandler Burr’s 2009 novel You or Someone Like You. Anne is a gardener in the story, and it shows in this scent—it smells like you’re running through a garden barefoot. Timeless, comfortable, and crisp, this perfume is an enchanting mix of mint, citrus, rose, and musk.
Best scent for him: L’homme By Yves Saint Laurent
This scent includes ginger, lemon, and bergamot top notes; spicy, basil-and-violet middle notes; and base notes of tonka bean, vetiver, and cedar. Altogether, it makes for a well-rounded fragrance that can go from day to night and everywhere in between.
Best project: We Are Knitters Himba Snood Kit
One of the best ways to free your mind from stress is to fidget. Help your loved ones fully enjoy their next Netflix binge by giving them something to keep their hands busy: a beginner’s knitting kit. We Are Knitters provides everything they’ll need to execute a simple project, like this comfy snood.
Best team-building exercise: Backyard League Gaming Baseball
You can give the office this Bluetooth-connected baseball to get them to go outside for a friendly competition. Paired with a mobile app (iOS or Android), the advanced sensors in the Backyard League Baseball have a 70-yard range and let you play single and multiplayer games, create leagues, and invite coworkers, friends, and family to take part in all kinds of fun challenges—no subscription required. The 5-ounce, 9-inch baseball (with a weight-adjustable core) feels like an official issue and tracks your actions for all skill- and bond-building opportunities.
Best alarm clock: Echo (4th Gen)
Good sound used to be limited to large stereo speakers, but the fourth-generation Echo can give music lovers great tunes and excellent audio with just a simple “Hey, Alexa” command. Alexa, Amazon’s smart assistant, can be used for everything from controlling smart-home devices, setting timers, checking your schedule, or managing reminders. It can even work as a Wi-Fi range extender on networks that use Eero routers. If you’re shopping for someone who wants to start or expand their smart home, you won’t find a better gift to give.
Best for campers and commuters: Hydro Oasis 128 oz Insulated Cup
Hydro Flask’s Insulated Cup is a double-insulated stainless steel mug made from proprietary materials that allow it to keep beverages hot for several hours without requiring fancy technology. The cup is available in over a dozen colors and three sizes. Still, we’re recommending the massive 128-ounce Oasis, which is the ideal choice for day hikers, travelers, or people who never want to refill the water glass at their desk. The leakproof lid creates a tight enough seal that Hydro Flask’s Oasis can be stored in a backpack without spilling all over the place. This model comes with a canteen-style opening, which makes drinking from it easier. The icing on the cake is that this mug can be cleaned in a dishwasher.
Best controller: 8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller
8Bitdo’s Ultimate Bluetooth controller lives up to its name. The gamepad, which works with both the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs, feels great in the hand, has a familiar button layout, and can switch between Bluetooth and a 2.4GHz wireless connection. Additionally, buttons on the back can be programmed on the back to trigger custom commands in compatible games. Perhaps the coolest thing about this controller is the included charging dock, which makes topping up its battery a lot easier. If you keep the controller docked when you’re not playing, it’ll never run out of juice. Xbox and PlayStation players shouldn’t feel left out, as the official first-party controllers for the Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5 are available.
Best mobile gaming controller: Backbone One
The Backbone One effectively turns your iPhone into a Nintendo Switch. This controller shell connects directly to the iPhone’s Lighting port and grips itself to both sides of the device. Once connected, gamers can play iOS titles that support external controllers with traditional buttons, triggers, and control sticks. The Backbone One can also be used by iPhone gamers who want to stream cloud games using Microsoft, Sony, and NVidia services. This accessory brings out the full gaming potential of the iPhone. If you’re an Android user, the Razer Kishi offers the same functionality for smartphones on that platform.
Best for bread lovers: John Boos Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board
The John Boos Edge Grain Reversible RoundCutting Board is an essential tool for the kitchen, but also a display piece from a company that’s been making them since 1890. Handcrafted in Illinois, this handsome cutting board is offered with three types of wood: maple, cherry, and walnut. The 1.5-inch thickness gives these boards heft; plus, they’re reversible. And the company uses sustainable practices, including planting trees and recycling sawdust.
Best for e-nthusiastic e-readers: Amazon Kindle
We all know someone trying to read more, so what better gift to give them than a Kindle? The device has a 6-inch display that’s similar to that of a paperback, has enough storage to hold hundreds of books, and can last several weeks on a charge. The Kindle is a better device for reading than a smartphone or tablet because its e-ink screen will diffuse light rather than create a glare. This display is also easier on your eyes, which is helpful during late-night reading sessions.
Best portable party: UE Wonderboom 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
If you’re searching for a portable Bluetooth speaker in this price range, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 is your best bet. The speaker is totally waterproof, boasts an impressive 131-foot range, and lasts up to 14 hours per charge. If you’re shopping for a klutz, you’ll be happy to know that the speaker has a 5-foot drop-proof rating in addition to its IP67 designation, which means it should survive an accidental spill or two (into the bath, pool, ocean, or onto the patio) without sustaining any real damage. Finally, the speaker is made from 31% post-consumer plastic, making it some of the most eco-friendly audio gear we could recommend.
Best audio oasis: 1MORE Aero ANC TSW Earbuds
If you’re looking for a pair of budget-friendly noise-cancelling earbuds that offers features usually reserved for flagship-tier choices, you should consider 1More’s AERO earbuds, which supports spatial audio and head tracking. The AEROs have 12 preset EQs that you can switch between to customize the response of the 10mm drivers, and these earbuds can dynamically adjust their 42dB noise cancellation based on your environment. The earbuds typically cost $109.99, but Amazon is currently offering a $20 off coupon that takes them under $90.