20 Practical Gifts That They’ll Actually Use and Love
We promise these practical gifts won't collect dust on your friend's shelf.
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It can feel nearly impossible to buy gifts for the person who “has it all,” especially if you don’t know their specific tastes. Practical gifts are always a stellar gift-giving option, as people can use them every day (and think about you whenever they do!). The key to finding the best practical gifts is to seek out everyday things you know they’ll love, but might never buy for themselves. Whether you’re shopping for a handyman, a shop rat or a gardener, here are some of our favorite practical gifts for the special person in your life.
For the One Constantly on the Go: Fjallraven High Coast Pocket
Crossbody bags are both trendy and functional. Not only do they look good, but they conveniently and compactly hold necessities for hands-free travel and hiking. This one from Fjallraven is made of 100% recycled materials, and is available in three colors to match your buddy’s style: bright Rowan Red, vibrant Ochre and understated Shark Grey. This is one of the best practical gifts to give your on-the-go friend, as they’ll think of you every time they head out the door.
For the Bubble Bath Indulger: Stone Bath Mat
Crafted from natural, durable materials, the luxurious stone bath mat from Sutera adds a touch of spa-like indulgence to the bathroom. Made of diatomaceous earth, this slip-proof bath mat dries almost immediately, keeping water off the floor and making soggy bath mats a thing of the past.
“I love my Sutera stone bath mat and hardly remember life before it,” shares our writer in her full review here. “Minimal upkeep, stylish modern design and a slip-free experience were enough to convince me that I need one for each of my home’s three bathrooms.”
For the Axe Enthusiast: Firewood Holder
Help them keep the fire roaring in their fireplace without hurting their back. This waxed canvas log carrier bag is dirt-proof, water-resistant and wear-resistant, so it conveniently transports firewood through the house without making a mess. The heavy-duty material and rugged straps make it easy to carry multiple logs at once, and with open sides, it can fit firewood of any length.
For the Rugged One: Outlaw Soap
These handmade natural soaps are well known for their intense scents that evoke the spirit of the outdoors. Outlaw’s Garage smells like cloves and campfire, and Lust in the Dust has notes of sagebrush and sandalwood. Help them discover their personal favorites with this affordable sample set, which features eight small bars in their most popular soap scents.
For the Disorganized Do-er: Heavy-Duty Storage Straps
Practical folks have practical gear, and if they’re into DIY or outdoor activities, there’s a good chance they’ve got a lot of straps lying around. These heavy-duty storage straps help them keep their gear organized in their garage, workshop, car or truck. They also make a useful stocking stuffer for DIYers!
For the One Who Just Remodeled Their Bathroom: Candle and Soap Set
As far as practical gifts go, you can never go wrong with the gift of a scented candle—especially one as luxe as those from P.F. Candle Co. The Functional Fragrance Bundle comes with a bottle of the brand’s vegan, sulfate-free Classic hand and body wash, and a soy candle in the scent of your choice: Teakwood & Tobacco, Amber & Moss or Ojai Lavender.
For the Friend that Needs to Focus: Loop Earplugs
Giving someone the gift of peace and quiet is invaluable. Loop earplugs are made of comfortable, flexible silicone, with different levels of noise cancellation for different situations. Loop Quiet is ideal for blocking out loud noises, making them the ideal gift for anyone that has difficulty sleeping or spends a lot of time working with noisy machinery. Loop Experience helps lower the volume of everyday activities—ideal for situations where someone needs to concentrate, or for use in the garage or workshop.
For the Backyard Nature Lover: Bird Watering Can
Know someone who loves sitting in their garden and enjoying all the action around their bird feeder? They’ll love this whimsical watering can that celebrates their love of flora and fauna. Handcrafted by skilled artisans in Bali, Indonesia, it’s available in two different styles, allowing you to choose between a bright red cardinal or a beautiful bluebird.
For the All-Around Handyperson: Leatherman Wave+
The Leatherman Wave+ is the be-all and end-all of multi-tools—trust us, we’ve tested it ourselves, and it’s damn near close to perfect. It’s crafted of durable, virtually indestructible materials, and will last for years (decades, even!) to come. With 18 tools that tackle just about any small job, this is one of the most practical gifts you can buy.
“The moment I removed the Leatherman Wave+ from the box, it was immediately clear why this multi-tool costs what it does. The quality is simply impeccable, made with top-grade stainless steel and an ingenious design,” writes our tester.
For Your Pizza-Loving Pal: Ooni Pizza Steel
Unfortunately, not everybody is lucky enough to have a professional-grade pizza oven at home. Fortunately, the Ooni Pizza Steel makes it possible to bake restaurant-quality pies in a standard home oven! Moreover, the durable stainless steel slab conducts and retains heat like a beast, achieving bottom crusts that are evenly browned and crackling crisp.
For the Clean Eater: Countertop Garden
Bring herbs inside to cook with AeroGarden’s most popular design, the Harvest. The six-pod indoor garden takes up minimal space on the counter and allows you to grow herbs, veggies and greens right in the kitchen. Simply plant the seed pods into the Harvest and let it go to work. In a few weeks, you’ll have ready-to-eat plants.
For the Friend Who’s Always Parched: Hydration Sling
Everyone knows how important it is to drink plenty of water, but it can be a struggle to remember to hydrate. Help them stay on track with this eco-friendly hydration sling from Talking Out of Turn, with a colorful, wavy print that radiates good vibes. They’ll be able to carry around their every day essentials in its zippered compartment, too!
For the Restless Sleeper: Weighted Blanket
It’s been scientifically proven that weighted blankets help people sleep better, with the weight feeling like a warm hug that safely escorts us to dreamland. This Baloo weighted blanket is made of 100% natural materials, including cool, breathable and (most importantly) machine-washable cotton. Every time they wake up rested, they’ll have you to thank!
For the Spooky Sipper: Bat Bottle Opener
Who said everyday kitchen gadgets have to be boring? Make popping open a bottle of wine a lot more fun with this adorable bat-shaped corkscrew—perfect for anyone with a spooky side, or an appreciation of adorable animals. Pair it with a bottle of their favorite wine for the most appreciated, practical gifts you can give.
For the Cat-Obsessed Friend: Cat-Shaped Eyeglass Holder
Know someone who’s always misplacing their glasses? Or maybe someone with a kitty cat that enjoys knocking their most important possessions onto the floor every time their food bowl is empty. Help them keep their glasses safe and sound with this adorable glasses holder, which doubles as a coin bank to also keep spare change (i.e. more cat ammo) off their desk.
For the Eco Warrior: Compost Tote
Composting becomes chic with this sleek countertop compost bin. Made of biodegradable materials, it comes in a modern matte black hue with a contrasting bamboo handle—ideal for toting their food scraps outside to toss into the compost heap. This tote comes with two filters to keep odors at bay, and is dishwasher friendly, too.
For the Hungry Hiker: Reusable Bags
Know someone who’s always ready to run away to the woods? With this set of reusable, stand-up, zip-top bags from W&P, they’ll be able to hit the trails with food to fuel their adventures. Made of thick, sturdy silicone, these eco-friendly bags won’t tear or pop open easily, and will stand up to being stuffed in a backpack full of hiking gear.
For the Slow Sipper: Chiller Sticks
Anyone who enjoys drinking beer, cider or other bottled beverages will appreciate this set of four chiller sticks, which will keep their beverages at optimal drinking temps no matter the weather. Simply stick these practical gifts in the freezer for 45 minutes, pop them into the bottle and sip away without worrying about drinks warming up (or being watered down).
For the Noisy Shop Rat: Bluetooth Hearing Protection
We all know hearing protection is critical, but any DIYer who loves to listen to music or podcasts knows what a hassle it can be to swap back and forth between protection and earbuds. Now, there’s no reason to compromise. The ISOtunes Link earmuffs provide Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-compliant hearing protection while maintaining a Bluetooth connection to any compatible audio source. A 14-hour lithium battery lets the music play while the vented headband and memory foam ear cushions keep things comfortable.
For the Road Warrior: Emergency Tire Inflator
Safety always tops our list of practical gifts, and with this portable digital tire inflator, you can make them a little safer on the road while easing their fears of flat tires. This portable pump can be used on car, bike or motorcycle tires, and can inflate two or more tires when fully charged via USB port. It’s small enough to be stashed in a glove compartment, and has an included flashlight for extra safety.