60 gifts under $25 on Amazon that'll go over well no matter what

Gifts that are perfect for when you’re not quite sure what to get.

by Christina X. Wood and Cassandra Seale
Originally Published: 
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When seeking thoughtful gifts that people actually want (or things you actually want, for that matter), what is an intrepid shopper to do? Fear not, brave seekers. For we live in a world with a nearly endless array of unique, life-enhancing gadgets.

I’ve traversed the deepest recesses of the Amazon-ian wilderness to come up with a list of items that are useful, unusual, and adorable — possibly all of these simultaneously. Whether the person you’re trying to bowl over with your gift-giving prowess is into nature, self-care, or cocktails, there’s something fun and enjoyable for them below the fold.

1. These insulated bowls so ice cream doesn’t melt

Scoop ice cream into this double-wall insulated bowl and it won’t be a race against melting to eat it. It will stay frozen for much longer, while hands remain comfy. If soup is your jam, this will keep it hot until you are ready to eat it — however long that takes. The shape is perfect for holding in one hand.

2. This fun collection of decorative fridge magnets

Stick notes, lists, or photos to the fridge or a metal bulletin board with this sweet collection of 12 refrigerator magnets that look like a diverse assortment of tiny cacti in pots. The super-strong magnets won’t slip or mar metal finishes. If cacti aren’t your jam, there are 14 magnetic options.

3. These fun bookmarks that sprout from the pages

Anyone who is a serious reader is always looking for a bookmark — or their place in one of several books. These leafy silicone bookmarks will be a big hit. The slender stems hold a reader’s place while the leaves grow out of the top, reminding them where they left off. There are six leaves, in three shades of green.

4. This curtain of lights that transforms a room

Create an ethereal ambience by hanging this curtain of lights behind a bed, in a window, or wherever you want to place a lighting element that seems to be made of magic. There are eight modes — wave, twinkle, fade, and more — shine with a warm white color and are waterproof.

5. This tool for making delicious dumplings at home

Enhance someone’s dumpling habit by putting this perfect tool for creating potstickers, won ton, ravioli, or even sweet little hand pies in their life. Use the rings to cut circles of dough, lie desired ingredients on top, and fold it closed to seal the goodies inside. They are easy and fun to use.

6. This buddy that wrestles beverages open

When opening a beverage, it can be done with a tool that’s boring — or with the skills of one of these Lucha Libre wrestlers. One of three — red, blue or black — luchadors put a lock grip on the bottle cap to get it off. They are designed by Andres Lhima as part of a Mexico design challenge and will brings flair to any kitchen.

7. A drink holder for your shower beer

Know someone for whom the best moment of the day is when they get home from work and have a beer in the shower? This is the cup holder that will make that even easier. It sticks to the shower wall and holds a beer within reach, while freeing up your hands and other surfaces for shampoo and soap.

8. This foot peel mask that exfoliates feet for crack-free heels

This weirdly satisfying foot peel begins working in just three to seven days to remove calluses and exfoliate dry skin and cracked heels. The painless process involves soaking feet and applying the foot masks for just 90 minutes at a time. The masks are free of sulfates, paraben, and silicone and they’re not tested on animals.

9. A pair of helpful bamboo salad hands

Making a delicious salad is much easier if with the right tools for tossing it. These bamboo salad hands make it super easy to toss even the most complex salad because they give terrific control. They go right to the table, for serving, and have a little knob that stops them from sliding into the bowl.

10. An adorable koala tea infuser

Every cup of tea will be fun and full of koala charm when it’s brewed using this smiling koala tea infuser. It grabs the edge of the glass so it’s easy to remove from the mug while its belly keeps the loose tea leaves submerged. Tea never looked so darling.

11. A tiny sauce holder for road trip snacks

As seen on Shark Tank, this small yet mighty sauce holder makes a big difference if you’re often eating on the road. It clips onto air vents to keep your dip of choice close at hand without the mess, and its unique shape accommodates five types of sauce cups from almost every major chain. Included is a reusable ramekin that can hold up to five packets of ketchup, so you’ll never run out of your favorite sauce.

12. This insulated lunch tote with tons of space

Perfect for backpackers, travelers, and those who have to commute to work but hate to get takeout, this insulated lunch box is seriously spacious. It has a double decker design with two huge compartments, mesh pockets on the side, and two front pockets for small items. With a padded handle and comfortable fabric shoulder strap, this durable lunch box is easy to carry around.

13. A submersible dry bag that’s ultra lightweight

These dry bags from Wise Owl let you adventure with peace of mind. They’ll keep your gear dry on the water thanks to a watertight ripstop shell with BPA-free coating — you can even fully submerge the bags, but they’re also handy for keeping out sand, snow, dust, and dirt. The cylindrical shape is optimized for packing, while the roll-top closure cinches down tight with a D-ring. They pack down and take up no room, which makes them ideal for backpacking, travel, and camping.

14. A multi-color touch lamp that goes anywhere

This rechargeable table lamp is so versatile that it can be used for everything from a table lamp to a bedside lamp to a nightlight, or even a camping or emergency lantern. Just touch the top to cycle through its five brightness levels or choose the color (there are 13) or mode (there are 3) you prefer, using the remote.

15. This sleek wireless charging pad

This slim wireless charging pad does not look a bit like the piece of high-tech convenience it is. Plug it in and set a phone or other tech that’s capable of Qi charging down on it and it will charge it right up, while looking like a coaster from your favorite space opera. It comes in 12 colors, is capable of three charging modes, and works with most phones.

16. A pretty glass syrup dispenser that saves you from mess

The brunch fiend in your life is sure to love this glass syrup dispenser, which pours out the perfect amount of syrup with the simple press of a top button. Known for making a sticky mess on the table and in cabinets, this aesthetically-pleasing dispenser also comes with a cap and glass container, which catch any rogue drips.

17. This small nonstick pan that’s perfect for eggs

Fry up a perfect egg in this little nonstick pan and cut lots of oil and butter from your diet at the same time. The eggs won’t stick to the ceramic surface, so you hardly need any fat to cook your breakfast. You can use metal utensils with it and it won’t scratch, disintegrate, or leach toxins into your food.

18. A running armband that allows your phone to rotate

No more straining the neck and twisting the arm to be able to switch up tunes or podcasts while jogging when using this rotatable running armband. It has the ability to shift the phone 180 degrees for easy handling and includes an elastic harness that stretches to fit any model. Store keys and headphone cables easily in the integrated pocket and strap.

19. The cup holder that fits any couch

This gadget makes lounging in an easy chair (or couch) even easier by neatly holding a beverage of choice within reach. This silicone cup holder slings over the arm of a couch or armchair, and the weighted arms hold it in place. Removeable cups in the cup holder portion accommodate most sized bottles, cups, glasses, or cans. A cutout in the holder even lets you sip from a mug with a handle. It comes in four colors.

20. A barbecue scraper tool that cleans any kind of grill

Barbecue fanatics will be obsessed with this super portable barbecue scraper tool that has different-shaped grooves to clean any kind of grate. It’s as thin as a credit card and comes with six notches for round grates, five for v-shaped grates, as well as three for grates found on campground barbecues. It’s made of stainless steel and even includes a bottle opener and griddle scraper just to make it even more versatile.

21. This universal socket tool that can loosen any screw & tighten any nut

Get your favorite home improvement enthusiast one tool to rule them all with this universal socket tool. It’s made with 54 hardened steel spring pins that adjust to any sized nut, bolt, hook, or screw, as well as even the most oddly-shaped fasteners. It comes with its own power drill adaptor to make it even more useful.

22. A sleek mirrored alarm clock

This slick alarm clock blends into modern decor so beautifully, you will wonder why you lived with that black plastic thing for so long. It displays the time on the mirrored face in your choice of three brightness levels, has two USB ports for charging devices, comes in five colors, and sits in the included stand or hangs from the wall.

23. This garlic crusher in the shape of everyone’s favorite vampire

Though it might seem kind of cruel to use a Dracula-shaped tool as a garlic crusher, there’s no denying this classic vampire gets the job done while keeping fingers odor-free. Simply add one or more cloves to the crusher and manually press the top down as little or as much as you like for textures ranging from chopped to minced. Use it additionally for peppers, nuts, or ginger.

24. A memory foam seat cushion for the car

Make the car more comfortable (and less sweaty) by installing this memory foam seat cushion on top of seats. It stays put because anchor hooks go between the seat and seat back to hold it in place. It’s soft and breathable, so you stay cool and comfortable no matter how long the drive.

25. These 10 reusable straws in handy drink-identifying colors

Keep these reusable silicone straws handy when you’re handing out water and juleps and, in addition to being friendly to the environment, folks can ID their beverages based on straw color (provided they remember them). This set comes with a convenient cleaning brush to keep things flowing, and the soft silicone doesn’t clink on teeth like the metal ones.

26. This wearable blanket with sleeves

Pull this blanket on and curl up on the couch with a good book. Your shoulders stay covered, even when holding a book, and there’s a pocket in the front for a phone or remote. It’s also great for working at a desk that’s too cold because you can be warm and use your hands at the same time.

27. A gorgeous, relaxingly-scented candle with a 45-hour burn time

This handsome rose and sandalwood candle looks as elegant as it smells. The hand-poured candle is made of soy wax blended with essential oils — soft, floral notes of fresh-cut roses and soothing, woody sandalwood. It arrives in a lovely black and gold box that’s just begging to be gifted.

28. This battery organizer that neatly stores 180 different-sized batteries

Change someone’s life when you gift them this battery organizer that will clean out the junk drawer of those old slash new batteries that keep everyone guessing. It stores up to 180 batteries of all shapes and sizes within an organized case and even comes with its own battery tester.

29. A jar opener that mounts under the cabinet

Everyone knows the physical struggle (and emotional pain) of not being able to get the lid off that delicious jar of pickles or peanut butter. Enter this clever jar opener that mounts easily to the underside of the cabinet and features a v-shape that is lined with metal teeth. Lids large and small will release instantly, letting you dive into that nut butter asap.

30. A charcoal soap bar that treats lots of skin issues & is better for the environment than bottles

This pair of charcoal soap bars is packed with bamboo charcoal along with organic tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, and other essential oils which work together to gently cleanse all skin types. The magic mix is said to help combat athlete’s foot, acne, blackheads, eczema, and psoriasis and soothe dry skin, all while smelling divine.

31. A fancy ice cube maker for craft cocktails

This ice cube mold is highly rated on Amazon, boasting a 4.4-star overall rating. It creates oversized cubes and spheres that’ll upgrade any beverage — not to mention, keep them cold with less dilution — and it’s made from sturdy yet flexible silicone so the shapes are easy to dig out. “A much better impression than the automatic ice from the freezer,” one shopper commented.

32. A diminutive diffuser that fits in the car

When the air in a car, bathroom, or other small area is dry or stale, refresh it with a cool mist and a hit of your favorite essential oil using this tiny, USB-powered diffuser. It is sized to fit in a cup holder but looks nice on a desk or vanity. It works continuously or intermittently, serves as a night light, and will shut off automatically when out of water.

33. A car seat organizer that makes clever use of overlooked space

This simple hack transforms the no-man’s land between car seats from a black hole to downright organized. Just slip this car seat storage sleeve between the front seat and center console to corral your phone, sunglasses, and charging cords. They’re made from vegan leather for an upgraded finish, and even come with adjustable spacers inside to create a custom storage grid.

34. These ice-cube shaped stones for sipping whiskey on the rocks

Anyone who enjoys a nice whiskey understands the dilemma. You want that whiskey cold as ice but you don’t necessarily want the ice that makes that possible to dillute your spirits. These whiskey stones let you sip that distilled elixir on the rocks with actual stones instead of ice. All the cold. None of the water. They look amazing in the glass, too.

35. These olive oil dispensers that make any kitchen fancy

Made of gorgeous amber glass, this set of two olive oil and vinegar dispensers are slim and sleek, so they’ll look great on any table. The pouring spouts allow you to control the flow of oil or vinegar, which makes them ideal for the chef in your life. When not using the pouring spouts, this set actually comes with two airtight lids too, which help lengthen the life of oils.

36. These travel bottles that make every flight easier

If every flight you take is preceded by a mad dash to the sample size aisle at the drugstore, these squeezable silicone bottles are the perfect life upgrade. Each of them holds three ounces and has a flip top for dispensing, along with a wide-mouth screw top for easy filling. They come with their own transparent bag to make the trip through airport security go without a hitch.

37. The sharpening stone that makes knives like new

Everyone has kitchen knives. And unless your recipient is a super handy perfectionist, those knives probably need to be sharpened. Help everyone master this essential life skill by setting them up with this premium whetstone knife sharpener. Sharp knives make every food-prep project so much easier and this tool makes getting them that way — and maintaining that edge — easy to do at home.

38. This universal car mount for safe & easy in-car phone use

Driving while holding a phone is dangerous and illegal so make sure your people are never tempted to do that by putting this slim, cute, and super functional magnetic car mount in their vehicle. It clips to the air vent so installation is easy. And it firmly clings to the phone with no awkward or bulky clamps. Stick the phone to it in any orientation and go.

39. A personal blender for smoothies anywhere

If your mornings would go better with a smoothie, this little blender is here to help. Not only is it simple — with just one button — and easy to clean, but you can drink right out it. It easily travels with a lid designed for sipping, and is sized to fit in your car’s cup holder.

40. This three-in-one cable for all the gear

This super strong cable has three plugs ends so can be used to charge USB-C, micro-USB, or Lightning devices with a quick reconfiguration. And the cable is so durable that Anker gives it a lifetime warranty. So, this could be the last cable you ever buy. It’s three feet long and comes in white or black.

41. This sponge that solves all foggy window problems

Keeping a car window from fogging up is, in some conditions, a calculation too complicated to do while driving at high speeds. Keep this windshield cleaner within reach and you can wipe and see quickly without leaving streaks or fingerprints. Everyone in your life will appreciate this quick solution to an irritating and dangerous problem. “This product is a lifesaver!” said one reviewer. “ When your windshield becomes a science project[,]...grab this little miracle eraser and give that foggy glass a quick swipe.”

42. A milk frother for the home barista

Not only can this milk frother make a great cappuccino, it will also whip up protein shakes, smoothies, and eggs in record time. (15 seconds, to be precise.) The rust-proof stainless steel wand is dishwasher-safe and attaches to an ergonomic silicone handle with convenient one-touch operation. Plus, it comes with a convenient stand for storage if you don’t want to toss it into a drawer.

43. A multitool that looks like Bigfoot

This multitool is handy. It clips to a keychain or backpack with the included carabiner, and has a multitude of tools built in. There are several hex wrenches, a bottle opener, a cord cutter, a 1-inch ruler, a flat-head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a butterfly wrench, and a can opener. Obviously, though, the best part it that it looks like a silhouette of Sasquatch. If Bigfoot is not your obsession, there are 31 other options. You just hit gift-giving mecca with this one handy, inexpensive, tool.

44. These dryer balls that replace fabric softeners

Anyone who is still using fabric softener will love these dryer balls. They are a permanent, reusable replacement that adds no chemicals to the laundry. They bounce around in the dryer, aerating clothes so they don’t wrinkle, dry faster, and come out soft and fluffy. They save money and make for a greener wash day. “Each load comes out wrinkle-free and perfectly dry in much less time,” confirms one reviewer.

45. A set of telescoping roasting sticks for tastier campfires

When you have a campfire — in the back yard, at the beach, or at your campsite — what’s the first thing you want to do? Cook over it, right? And these telescoping forks make that clean and easy. They hold a hot dog or a couple of marshmallows a safe distance from your hands, won’t catch on fire, and store in their own zippered pouch so they’re easy to find next time.

46. This rechargeable, hands-free reading light

Need a gift for a book lover? This reading lamp provides adjustable task lighting without bulky clips. With six brightness levels, three color temperatures, and flexible arms, your bookworm can get exactly the right kind of light they need to finish that page-turner. Once they close the final chapter, it recharges via USB-C for another 80 hours of run time.

47. A digital meat thermometer that takes accurate readings in seconds

Over 67,000 reviews on Amazon show this is a go-to digital meat thermometer that any serious home chef will appreciate. It gives accurate readings in under three seconds and is made with a foldable probe that keeps your hands at a comfortable distance. A backlit display allows it to work just as well during a nighttime barbecue and a built-in magnet means it can be kept handy on any metal surface.

48. A bamboo thermos for loose-leaf tea

It can be a messy challenge taking your loose-leaf tea to go, but this tea thermos has everything you need to brew a cup. It contains a detachable tea infuser and strainer, which can be used for short- and long-term infusions alike. (You can also use a tea bag, or even infuse the water with fruit.) The vacuum-insulation stainless steel body keeps your drink at temperature for up to 24 hours, while the bamboo exterior is leakproof and eco-friendly.

49. This collection of fine-point markers in beautiful colors

The 18 colors in this collection of fine-point markers takes journaling, note-taking, sketching, or planner rituals to the next level. They deliver a fine and precise line and don’t bleed through the paper. The price can’t be beaten either, which is probably why they get almost 57,000 five-star reviews.

50. A bird feeder that sticks to the window

Suction this clear acrylic bird feeder to the outside of the windows and watch as the birds sidle right up close to feed. A tall roof keeps the birds and seed dry, while letting larger feathered friends inside, and a padded grip gives them a comfy place to perch. They’re basically pets without the nighttime squawking.

51. A cookie sheet liner that virtually guarantees perfect pastries

With a variety of outlines and center points, these cookie sheet liners make it a cinch to bake perfectly-sized pastries without the guesswork — and save you from extra scrubbing if anything gets burnt on. They’re made from lightweight, flexible silicone shown here in two half-sheet sizes, and are both freezer- and dishwasher-safe.

52. These LED coasters that light up your car’s cupholders

These cool LED coasters make it easier to find your car’s cupholder in the dark, and they even turn on automatically when they sense the vibration of a moving vehicle. The USB-rechargeable coasters offer seven colors and three modes to choose from, and they’ll run for up to eight hours on a single charge. Each order includes two waterproof, dustproof coasters.

53. This stainless steel tool that’s perfect for slicing pizza pies, chopping veggies, & more

Ensure that homemade pizza nights go off without a hitch with this pie cutter, which boasts a sharp stainless steel blade for effortless slicing. Just hold it at the handle and gently rock it back and forth across your pizza pie. This tool is also useful for other tasks like chopping veggies and herbs or slicing brownies. When you’re done using it, the cutter is dishwasher safe and comes with a plastic sheath for safe storage.

54. This telescoping tool with a magnet to rescue dropped hardware

This magnetic pickup tool is a handy thing to keep in a workshop, garage, or anywhere else you might be working with (and dropping) bits of hardware. It has a telescoping design that extends up to 22 inches in length, but it folds up small so that it won’t take up too much space. It even has three LED lights to help brighten dark corners where it may be hard to see what you’re doing.

55. This highly compact Bluetooth speaker that you can take just about anywhere

Small enough to fit inside a purse or backpack, this portable Bluetooth speaker is the perfect way to bring the party with you anywhere. At just 5 ounces, it’s incredibly lightweight and comes with an optional lanyard so you can easily carry it around. Choose from seven fun colors.

56. These well-constructed packing cubes that make travel so much more seamless

With this efficient set of packing cubes, you can say “bon voyage” to the stress of getting ready for a trip. With five pieces in a set, each cube features a transparent mesh top so you can easily peek inside, but the sturdy zippers will ensure everything stays in its place during your travels. The set includes cubes of varying sizes and comes in your choice of 10 colors.

57. This cocktail shaker set for bar-worthy drinks from home

You might be tempted to snag one of these cocktail shaker sets for yourself when you realize just how many amazing drinks can be made right from home. It comes included with everything you need including a double jigger, bottle pourers, a bar spoon that flips to be a muddler, a bottle opener, and, of course, a 26-ounce shaker with an accompanying lid that has a built-in strainer. Every piece is made from stainless steel and can be popped into the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

58. This at-home cold brew maker that’s so easy to use

Prep this cold brew maker with your favorite ground beans, let it steep overnight, and when you wake up you’ll have fresh, homemade iced coffee — it’s that simple. It comes in two sizes (20 ounces or 30 ounces), and the glass canister has handy measurement markers along the side so you can get the proportions just right. And it has a tight-fitting lid to keep every batch fresh until it’s time to make more.

59. This witchy spoon rest that’s actually really useful

This spoon rest adds a dose of spooky fun to kitchens while also solving for a couple annoying problems. Made of heat-resistant silicone, it will sit on the lip of a pot or pan and create a convenient spot to balance a spoon. You can also flip it around and use it to hold the pot’s lid open to let stream escape.

60. These reusable silicone lids that can cover most food containers

A set of these reusable silicone lids can save so much trouble in the kitchen. They promise to be leak-proof, they can replace multiple sizes and styles of container lids, and they’re safe for the fridge, freezer, and microwave. And the best part? You can pop them in the dishwasher for quick and easy washing.

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