Some people are just really hard to shop for. Basically, another Instant Pot or pair of fuzzy socks just isn't going to cut it.
For those people, you need something a little more outside of the box. To help you, our product experts at Reviewed have scoured the internet to find some of the most unique—and most worth-your-money—gifts of 2021, including a mini waffle maker with thousands of fans, the world's first-ever weighted robe, and even wine "condoms."
1. For the one who loves a sweet treat: Baked By Melissa
If they love baked goods and desserts, Baked by Melissa is the way to go. When we tested this service we found these bite-sized cupcakes to be delicious, topped with the perfect amount of icing and packed incredibly well, so your giftee will receive their cupcakes both fresh and ready-to-eat. You can even choose the Pick Your Flavors box and customize it to add all the flavors your giftee will love.
2. For the person who appreciates art: Paint Your Life
Ever dreamed of a perfectly painted, realistic portrait of your dog, significant other or child? Paint your life can make that happen. We loved and highly recommended this service for its astonishingly realistic paintings, clear communication and roster of available artworks. Our dog portrait was made up of "well-painted brush strokes with proper angle, depth, and coloring." Surprise that unique person in your life with their own pet portrait, or relive that favorite childhood memory on the largest canvas available. Right now you can also use coupon code REVIEW60 at checkout for a whopping $60 off your final order.
3. For the person who's always cold: The Comfy
The day I bought The Comfy is the day I realized I never have to be cold in my house again. Half hoodie, half blanket, The Comfy is lined with the plushest sherpa and is the most comfortable—and most convenient—way for your giftee to essentially wear their favorite throw around the house. I also love that it has a roomy hood along with a large front pocket that is perfect for carrying snacks, phones, etc.
4. For the true crime junkie: Hunt A Killer
You can spice up monthly date nights with the help of Hunt A Killer, an interactive murder mystery subscription box. We tested out Hunt A Killer ourselves, and we quickly became obsessed with solving the (fictional) cold case murder. Each month, you’ll get a collection of evidence to sort through, as well as an objective, and as the “season” progresses, you’ll be able to put together the clues, unraveling what happened and bringing a killer to justice. It’s a great couple’s activity and sure to be a hit.
5. For the eco-conscious one: FinalStraw
Like the name implies, the FinalStraw may be the last straw your giftee ever needs. It conveniently folds up into a container that attaches to a keyring—a.k.a. they'll never be without their reusable straw. For this reason, we named it the best reusable straw on the market, and anyone who's passionate about the state of the environment will appreciate it.
6. For the bookworm: 100 Books Scratch-Off Poster
Your giftee has an extensive to-be-read list and follows a ton of book blogs—but they're still always stumped on what to read next. Challenge them to read 100 iconic titles with this scratch-off poster. It features the classics like Wuthering Heights to the more contemporary like The Hunger Games, giving your giftee tons of options.
7. For the person who puts Sriracha on everything: The Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauce Sampler Pack
With seven different flavors of hot sauce and a clever packaging design, this sampler pack from Thoughtfully is a standout gift idea for any person who loves a little (or a lot of) spice. It has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon with over 93 reviews. The spices range from mild to very hot, including even the fabled Ghost Pepper.
8. For the one intrigued by their past: Ancestry DNA kits
If your person has always been curious about their ancestors or where they come from, the Ancestry DNA kit will make a great gift. Our team has repeatedly tested the basic version of this popular service and found it to be easy-to-use and a great way to explore your family history. We also loved the site's family tree feature. This addition comes as part of the Ancestry subscription membership and can help them find potential connections to their family. Maybe they'll discover a long-lost cousin from the other part of the world—it happens!
9. For the one who's still working remotely: A work from home survival kit
If they're still stuck working from home and are still struggling in a sea of Zoom meetings and noisy distractions—get them this survival kit. It has all of the essentials (both serious and funny) that they need, from screen-cleaning cloths to earplugs to conference call "bingo."
10. For the person who's always on their phone: PhoneSoap Phone Sanitizer
Think about all the places their phone has been—yuck. Help them keep it clean and germ-free with the popular PhoneSoap sanitizer. Our senior scientist put some of the top UV phone sanitizers to the test to see if they actually work and found that PhoneSoap is your best option, successfully killing most (and sometimes all) of the bacteria during the experiment.
11. For the kiddos: Cuddle + Kind dolls
Little ones will love snuggling up with a Cuddle + Kind doll this holiday season. The hand-knit dolls and stuffed animals are popular for being very soft and plush and, more importantly, for giving back. Every doll sold provides 10 meals to hungry schoolchildren in the U.S. through the United Nations Food Program (WFP).
12. For the one who loves game night: What Do You Meme?
Your recipient constantly sends you memes in your group chat, so they'll be an expert at the hilarious game What Do You Meme? The premise is simple, just match a caption to an iconic meme and the funniest card wins. It's great to play with friends and family, making it the ultimate party game they'll want to use immediately.
13. For the one obsessed with weighted blankets: Gravity Weighted Robe
There are regular robes and then there are weighted robes. Made by the brand behind our favorite weighted blanket, Gravity, this robe has a removable weight in the collar that promises the same stress-relieving benefits of a weighted blanket. I have one and love the gentle pressure it applies as well as how soft the robe is—it makes for the perfect gift for people of all ages.
14. For the kombucha drinker: Kombucha Starter Kit
If you know someone who enjoys drinking kombucha, then this homemade kombucha starter kit will make for a thoughtful gift. One of our editors tried and loved it, as it was easy to set up and the result was tasty. It also came with all the essentials so you don't have to worry about buying anything extra. She’s been brewing her own kombucha while experimenting with different flavor combinations, which are delicious.
15. For the one you know a little too well: Tushy Bidet
Bidets are all the rage this year—and for good reason. One of our Reviewed staff members bought the cult-favorite Tushy bidet and swears it changed his life (just like it'll change your giftee's!). Not only will it greatly improve their overall bathroom experience, but it's incredibly easy to install (it just clips onto their toilet) and use.
16. For the brunch addict: Dash Mini Waffle Maker
In the eyes of the brunch-goer on your list, waffles are great, but mini waffles are even better. They can whip up their own snack-size brunch treat with this tiny waffle maker, which has hundreds of glowing reviews. We've tested it ourselves and like that it didn't take up much counter space, was easy to clean and produced evenly-cooked, perfectly browned waffles.
17. For the one who can't turn down a glass of vino: Wine Condoms
It doesn't really get more unique (or more hilarious) than gifting someone a pack of condoms—wine condoms, that is. With over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, these stretchy stoppers are very durable and will shrink or expand to seal up any size bottle, keeping that leftover rose fresh for days.
18. For the person who needs a massage: Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
Your giftee can work out all those aches and pains with one of the highest-rated pillow massagers on Amazon. Designed to target the back and neck, this pillow massager from Zyllion delivers a deep-kneading Shiatsu massage that can help loosen tight, overused muscles and relieve discomfort.
19. For the aspiring plant parent: A live plant from The Sill
Plants, like people, are unique living beings who require a varying amount of care. Plant delivery service The Sill offers a range of live plants from grow pots to gorgeous ceramic holders any recipient would be proud to display, no matter how much they know about gardening. The "plants for beginners" series helped one of our editors cure her black thumb, so we think any recipient would succeed with this gift.
- Get a Live Plant Subscription from The Sill for $60 per month
- Get the Petite White Orchid from The Sill for $75
20. For the person who likes their beauty sleep: Slip Silk Pillowcase
Friction between your hair and a regular cotton or polyester pillowcase can cause damage and breakage. If you’re buying for someone who wants to avoid tangles, breakage and frizz (a.k.a. everyone), gift them a silk pillowcase, which adds a friction-reducing slickness. The Silk Pillowcase from Slip comes in a queen and king size, as well as a variety of colors to suit your recipient's style.
21. For the one who enjoys a hot cuppa: Manatea Tea Infuser
We tested a bunch of loose tea infusers earlier this year in search of the best one. We were pleasantly surprised to find that this whimsical silicone manatee (or, rather, Manatea) came out on top, due to its tight-gripping fins and great steeping timing. Those factors, combined with its adorable anthropomorphic shape, will be sure to please any tea drinker in your life.
22. For the one who enjoys the finer things in life: Tapas and Cheese Board
If your giftee loves to relax with a slice of cheese and glass of wine after a long, grueling work week, consider getting them this Uncommon Goods cheese board. It's got a 4.9-star rating from nearly 215 shoppers, with many using it for entertaining their friends and family. It also comes with mini ceramic bowls for your olives, dips or nuts and features a rustic bamboo build, which will be sure to make the perfect centerpiece for their dining table.
23. For the person who prioritizes self-care: Dr. Jart+ Face Masks and Japanese washcloths
Self care-focused gifts are never a bad idea—especially when they contain this weird-but-fun “rubber” mask and these surprisingly useful Japanese washcloths. The rubber mask has a pretty shocking, almost Hannibal Lecter-esque look when you put it on, so it’s perfect for that friend who loves taking selfies in sheet masks, but it’s also genuinely effective for reinvigorating the skin. The washcloths are a cult favorite of Amazon reviewers (and our audience manager), due to their ability to exfoliate to the extreme without drying out the skin or soaking up bacteria like a loofah.
- Get the Dr. Jart+ Cryo Rubber Mask from Sephora from $11.69
- Get the Salux Japanese Nylon Washcloths from Amazon for $14
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.