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Gifts can be pricey. Do you want to spoil Mom but don’t have the money to do it? Here are 21 ways to treat her that won’t cost a cent.
Sometimes gifts for Mom that involve effort are so much more effective than expensive ones. Go big… rearrange the lounge, dim the lights, get the popcorn popping. Line up Mom’s favorite DVD, or simply give her exclusive rights to the remote for the night. Give her something to prop her feet up on and keep a steady supply of tea, hot chocolate or coffee flowing. Make sure she knows that you will clean up afterwards otherwise she won’t be able to relax.
Treat those hands that have done so much for you with a relaxing hand massage.
Agree to stop all bickering for the day. Yes, the whole day! Bite your tongue, sit on your hands – do whatever you must … but don’t fight! Mom will be delighted, or shocked. Either way, this gift will be appreciated.
Give Mom the day off. Do as many jobs as you can that she does around the house. NB! Just giving her the day off and NOT doing the stuff, does not count! All it means is that she’ll have twice as much to do the next day.
Take your mom for a walk. As you go, pick up little treasures along the way – tiny wildflowers, pretty stones. As you present each gift to your mom, tell her something that you appreciate about her.
Fill a notebook with your favorite memories. Think back as far as you can, dig out all the gems of togetherness, all the little things you shared. You can glue in photos, bits of fabric from special occasions…
Let your fingers do the talking and give Mom a relaxing back massage.
So you’re not Nigella or Jamie, don’t stress. A mommy with a get-out-of-the-kitchen pass is easy to please. Go simple, make it with love and use a recipe if you need to. If all else fails, call for backup. And remember: CLEAN UP AFTERWARDS!
If you thought these were reserved for school projects and boring boardroom meetings, this one might surprise you. How about using it to make Mom feel special? Haul out your favorite family photos, throw in a song that will tug at her heartstrings and watch her face. You get bonus points if she needs a tissue while watching.
Feet are a lot like moms, they work hard and seldom get the attention they deserve. Now is the time to change that. Learn how to give a great foot massage here.
If you have nail varnish, beading wire and nimble fingers, you can make your mom a mini bouquet that will last forever.
Get busy in the kitchen and throw together some sweet treats to serve with tea. If you are new to baking, or keen to get little people involved, here are six great recipes to get you started.
Get creative with cardboard and pens and make Mom a voucher that entitles her to stay in bed and read her book for as long as she wants. To make this gift effective… go back to point 4!
Find a smooth rock in the garden. Use whatever you have in the house to decorate it and make it special. Sequins, feathers, buttons, paint… whatever you make, she’ll think of you every time she uses it.
Your mom might not be too keen if you come at her armed with a nail file and clippers, but she won’t say no to some cream rubbed into her cuticles and a good buff to make her nails shine.
Set aside an hour or two and get Mom to tell you about her life. When she talks, listen. Treasure her words. She might need a little prompting, so ask questions like; What is your earliest memory? Your most embarrassing moment? What did you enjoy most about growing up? If you could change anything about your life, what would it be? Is there anything your parents did that you vowed never to do as a parent? What did you love most about your mom?
Use some blank paper, cut it to size and punch holes in the top. Tie it together with some pretty ribbon or string for Mom to use as a shopping list. Before you give it to her though, write little love notes on random pages throughout.
Send the first one on the special day, with the promise of more to come. Each email can be unique. Find quotes that you like, or pictures that make you happy. Write little things about your day, moments that made you think of her. They don’t have to be long, just short reminders of how special she is to you.
Write a dozen “Why I love you” notes on cardboard. Hide them throughout the house. If you are adventurous, write the clue to the next card on the back of the card before. If that sounds too tricky, let her find them by playing hot and cold, or leave some of them hidden for her to fall over later on.
Give Mom a mini facial. Use the products that she normally uses on her skin.
If the weather is fine, throw a blanket under some trees, take some snacks and juice and have a picnic outside. Lie on your backs and find shapes in the clouds.
Just enjoy the gift of being together.
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Shopping for Mom can be a struggle, especially if you’re looking for an upgrade from the homemade macaroni necklaces and IOU coupon books she may have received one too many times already. So if you don’t know where to start, we have some ideas to inspire you.
Whether it’s her birthday, Mother’s Day, or just because, these gifts are a sweet way to show Mom or a mother figure in your life that you care. They also make great gifts for any mothers in your life, whether you have a friend who’s a new mom or a mother-in-law you’d like to celebrate.
Whether she’s a bookworm, a techie, a fitness fiend, or a luxury lover, we have rounded up the perfect gifts for every type of mom below.
Style gifts for mom
Food and kitchen gifts for mom
Tech gifts for mom
Home gifts for mom
Beauty gifts for mom
Hobby-related gifts for mom
Daily Legging, available at Vuori, $89
Best for: The mom who prioritizes comfort
Vuori is well-known for its super-soft fabrics and flattering cuts, and the Daily Leggings are just another example. This style looks like a pair of joggers but fits like a pair of leggings. The high waistband and drawstring allow for a snug feel while the brand’s smoothing technology gives an airbrushed appearance.
Read more about the Daily Legging here.
Women’s Wool Lounger Fluffs, available at Allbirds, $115
Best for: The mom who loves sneakers
Keep mom looking cool and feeling comfy every time she leaves the house with these slip-on sneakers. Made with cozy soft merino wool inside and out, these shearling shoes are ideal for cool fall days running errands or meeting up with friends for lunch. The best part: The entire shoe is machine washable.
Y’all Graphic Sweatshirt, available at Outdoor Voices, $88
Best for: The mom with Southern pride
Any Southern mom will adore this loud-and-proud declaration of their heritage. She’ll be as comfy as she is cheery in this yellow “y’all” soft cotton terry sweatshirt.
Dagne Dover Allyn Tote, available at Dagne Dover, from $340
Best for: The mom who’s picky about bags
Dagne Dover’s Allyn Tote is a sophisticated and spacious work bag with a padded laptop sleeve, water bottle holder, and other thoughtful interior pockets that will keep Mom organized and always ready to go.
Go-To Flatform Sandal, available at Nisolo, $130
Best for: The mom in search for a good summer sandal
Nisolo is known for its ethically and sustainably made footwear. The aptly named Go-To Flatform Sandal is a basic summer staple that can be dressed up or dressed down — a practical wardrobe necessity.
MVMT Signature Square Bracelet Watch, available at Nordstrom, $128
Best for: The mom who hates using her phone for a watch
This elegant square watch bears a minimalist and luxurious design that elevates any look. The gold watch is so impossible to miss that she’ll now be on time for every occasion with it as a reminder.
Birth Month Flower Scarf, available at Uncommon Goods, $48
Best for: The mom who likes sentimental gifts
Give her something beautiful to wear that will remind her how thoughtful you are every time she wraps it. This scarf is patterned with the flower of her birth month, a nice touch of under-the-radar personalization.
Alunna, available at Senreve, starting at $645
Best for: The mom who hates lugging stuff on her shoulder
A purse is an obvious gift for Mom if she has an eye for handbags, but you can mix things up by giving her one that’s both a purse and a backpack. The Alunna by Senreve is versatile and stylish, and it can be worn on her back, hand, over the shoulder, or across the body. Plus, it can organize all of Mom’s essentials with its two interior pockets and exterior cardholder.
Slippers, available at Margaux, $148
Best for: The mom who refuses to walk barefoot on hardwood floors
Made from a soft wool-cashmere blend and cushiony foam padding, Margaux slippers feel like stepping into a cloud. Mom will enjoy wearing any of the three styles — Slide, Ballet, or Cozy — around the house.
Klyde Continental Wallet, available at Leatherology (+ $10 for monogram), starting at $70
Best for: The mom with the wallet that’s falling apart
A sophisticated leather wallet instantly elevates a busy mother’s everyday style and keeps her organized when she’s constantly moving from place to place. You can get this leather wallet from Leatherology in 11 colors and three different personalization options.
Midi Sac, avaliable at Claire V., starting at $335 (+ $50 for hand-painted monogram)
Best for: The practical yet stylish mom
This leather crossbody bag comes in tons of colors and is great for travel and daytime outings — for an extra $50, you can customize it with a gold foil or hand-painted monogram.
Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine, available at Amazon, $369.85
Best for: The bartender mom
Summer’s almost here, which, for some moms, means it’s time to break out refreshing cocktails. This cocktail maker will make Mom’s life a whole lot easier, since all she has to do is pop in a cocktail capsule, choose her preferred strength, and press mix. She’ll be sipping a margarita, cosmopolitan, or gin martini in seconds.
Read our full review of the Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine here.
Murray’s Cheese Greatest Hits Gift Box, available at Murray’s Cheese, $95
Best for: The mom who *always* says yes to cheese on her pasta
Cheese lovers will find a lot to like in this wooden gift crate (yes, crate) from Murray’s Cheese, which includes two mouthwatering pounds of English cheddar, brie, cave-aged Gruyere, and one-year-aged Manchego along with snacks to pair with each cheese: spiced cherry preserves, sea salt crackers, and Marcona almonds.
For more of the best from Murray’s Cheese, check out our guide to the best cheeses you can buy online.
Read our review of Murray’s Cheese gift boxes.
Milk Street Vegetables Cookbook, available at Amazon, $26.35
Best for: The vegetarian chef
If your mom is a vegetarian (or just trying to do more Meatless Mondays), this cookbook takes inspiration from the many ways in which vegetables are celebrated by different cultures around the world.
Jukes 6, available at Jukes Cordialities, $55 for 9 bottles
Best for: The sober mom
If mom loves vino, she’ll love this tasty non-alcoholic substitute for nights where she’s craving a glass but wants to stay sober. Created by a British wine critic, Jukes Cordialities are thoughtful and complex — the closest to the real stuff we’ve tried.
We personally love the full red mimic, Jukes 6, which is deep and spicy like a glass of Rioja, and pairs well with food in the same way wine does — all without the buzz and with the added health benefits of organic apple cider vinegar (the base).
Fitbit Charge 5, available at Best Buy, $119.95
Best for: The fitness enthusiast
If your mom’s looking to stay on top of their health, we highly recommend gifting a very practical Fitbit. The Charge is one of our top picks for covering all the basics — counting steps, tracking sleep, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, tracking 20 different exercises — without breaking the bank, and all with an easy-to-read display and sleek design on the wrist.
(If she’d want smartphone notifications on her wrist, too, we recommend the Versa 2, which has a bigger display but is still reasonably priced.)
Lovebox Spinning Heart Messenger, available at Uncommon Goods, from $100
Best for: The mom who loves being reminded of how much you love her
Moms love nothing more than being randomly told their kids love them, and this creative box lets you do it in a way more special than just a text. When you send a message, the heart on the box will spin and she can open it up to read the digital display of your loving words.
Carver Digital Picture Frame, available at Aura, $179
Best for: The mom who can’t decide on one photo to frame
It’s hard to find a mom who isn’t obsessed with taking photos and displaying them all around the house. But instead of buying tons of picture frames, she can show off all her family photos using this digital picture frame. You can upload an unlimited amount of pictures to the Aura app, connect the frame to Wi-Fi, and she’s all set.
Read our full review of Aura here.
Philips Light Alarm Clock, available at Amazon, $79.95
Best for: The mom who struggles waking up in the morning
Just because Mom has to wake up before the sun rises doesn’t mean they have to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.
Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds, so Mom can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. You can find out why we recommend this alarm clock in our guide to the best sunrise alarm clocks.
Read our full review of the Philips Wake-Up Light.
Theragun Mini, available at Therabody and Amazon, from $149.99
Best for: The mom who’s always working out
If she’s achy from regular exercise or a pulled muscle, every type of person will see benefit from using a massage gun. We love the Theragun Mini because it’ll work out kinks and aches anywhere you place it with a powerful motor and easy-to-hold grip.
Memory Candles, available at Homesick, starting at $19
Best for: The mom who loves reminiscing
Whether your best memories are childhood ski trips, your annual beach vacation, or just baking in the kitchen together, share the sentiment with mom. Homesick makes a deliciously-scented candle for nearly every memory — and if that doesn’t work, it also has a candle for every state and city, astrology sign, and even one that simply says, “Thank you, Mom.”
Brooklinen Queen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $230.25
Brooklinen Queen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $272.25
Best for: The mom who needs to be comfier
Brooklinen’s luxe sheets are the ones we always recommend to friends, family, and readers, for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and comfort.
The Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything she needs to completely makeover your mom’s bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. Each bundle includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. This is another item that features in our list of the All-Time Best products we’ve tested.
Read our full review of Brooklinen sheets here.
Hardcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $61
Best for: The mom with 17 old photo albums
Honor any mother figure with a custom hardcover photo album that commemorates their best life moments. You can tie in her life story with a display-worthy dust jacket that puts her front and center. Choose from 11 fabric binding colors to complement her bookshelf or coffee table.
Bearaby 15-pound Cotton Napper, available at Bearaby, $249
Best for: The mom who cherishes being cozy
Made of soft organic cotton just like her favorite T-shirt, this weighted blanket can help Mom fall asleep faster and its buttery softness is perfect for wrapping up in. We ranked it as the best weighted throw blanket in our guide to the best weighted blankets.
Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $30
Best for: The mom who loves physical calendars
A desk calendar can add a decorative touch to her desk, but one that displays photos of family makes for an even better gift for Mom. She’ll love glancing at her calendar and being reminded of her favorite memories with you.
“Women: The National Geographic Image Collection,” available at Amazon, $26.49
Best for: The mom who loves a good coffee table book
You can’t go wrong with a coffee table book gift for Mom, and this one is a true standout. The photography is sure to be top-notch, since National Geographic created this book. Moms often serve as constant sources of inspiration, so why not pass along this book of powerful women?
Slip Silk Queen Pillowcase, available at Amazon, $89
Best for: The mom who appreciates luxury
Upgrade Mom’s beauty sleep with a pillowcase or two from Slip. Not only do silk pillowcases look and feel luxurious, but because they’re made of a material that’s not too absorbent, they’re great for keeping skin and hair moisturized.
Mini Loves Mini Masks Set, available at Walmart, $44.74
Best for: The mom who never passes on a face mask
Moms need time to themselves, too, and these face mask minis will have her and her skin feeling rejuvenated. She can kick back and relax with one of the black tea masks, the clay mask, the rose mask, or even the sugar exfoliator.
ZIIP GX Series, available at ZIIP Beauty, $495
Best for: The mom who cares about her skin
Switch up her facial appointments with the ZIIP experience that beautifully improves your skin beyond your imagination with every use. The ZIIP devices employ energy from tiny electrical currents with a conductive gel to sculpt and tighten the skin for a radiant glow.
Nodpod Weighted Eye Mask, available at Anthropologie, $34
Best for: The mom who prioritizes beauty sleep
Move over, weighted blankets. These eye masks have gentle weights with just the right amount of pressure to lull her to sleep. The four equally weighted pods let her rest easy no matter her sleep position.
English Pear & Freesia Cologne, available at Jo Malone, $155
Best for: The mom who collects perfume
If she prefers a light yet luscious fragrance, this Jo Malone perfume makes for a lovely layer. This floral perfume accentuates her style with a smell of autumn from the freshness of the pear and freesias along with the subtle woodsy scents.
ProLite Yoga Mat, available at Manduka, $99
Best for: The yoga enthusiast
For the mom who starts every morning with yoga, this mat has just the right amount of padding, is made of eco-friendly materials, and has a no-slip grip texture. It has even earned the title of best yoga mat overall in our guide to the best yoga mats.
Panda Planner Daily Planner 2021, available at Amazon. $19.97
Best for: The journaler
Even the most organized mom could use the help of a trusty planner. This one from Panda Planner has monthly, weekly, and daily sections for all of her needs. She’ll have her schedule, tasks, goals, and projects all in one place. We like the layout of this planner so much that we include it in our guide to the best planners.
Personalized video message, available at Cameo, starting at $1
Best for: The celeb-obsessed mom
When trying to think of a unique gift for Mom, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous people she might want a personalized video message from, like her favorite actor from “The Office.” Whether it’s for her birthday, Mother’s Day, or a different milestone, there’s something for everyone on Cameo, with all types of categories and price points to choose from.
Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo.
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We’ve tried countless great coffee subscriptions, but for the caffeine-craving mama with a global palate, your best bet is the Atlas Coffee Club. Each monthly delivery hails from a different country, many of which are less-customary coffee destinations such as Peru, India, and Nicaragua. Atlas works directly with local farmers so they can get creative with the bean production; one recent project lauded by Wirecutter editor Ben Keough used anaerobic fermentation to extract more-unusual flavors from an uncommon Indian coffee. You have the choice of sending the 12-ounce delivery monthly or bimonthly, and each also arrives with a postcard featuring trivia about that country’s coffee industry. And Mom can choose her preferred roast and grind specifications.
If your mom would enjoy working out in the yard untethered by earbuds, or they just want a way to bring some jazz to a picnic, a portable Bluetooth speaker is the perfect gadget. Our favorite is the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2, which offers clear, full sound and is nearly unbreakable (it survived a 5-foot drop, no problem). And this speaker is small, so it’s easy to take on any journey; if that journey is just as far as the shower, this model is waterproof, too.
With all of the comfort of an oversize tee—but a far cuter aesthetic—these jersey pajamas from Eberjey were among our absolute favorites from testing. After using them for over two years, our staff tester reports that they still fit properly and feel soft, showing only minimal wear. The set offers several mix-and-match options for the tops and bottoms (you can choose short sleeve or long, with either shorts or pants). And these PJs come in 16 pretty colors to suit any mom on your list.
The pleasure of receiving a bundle of blossoms is nearly unparalleled. We get a jolt of energy every time we walk through a room and see cut flowers in a vase. Rather than presenting Mom with merely one bouquet, though, why not give her a year’s worth of joy? UrbanStems, our pick for the best online flower-delivery service, offers subscriptions of classic or seasonal arrangements that arrive weekly, twice monthly, or monthly. The first bouquet comes with a simple, clear glass vase. But you could also buy her a hand-blown Aurora Pill Vase, which comes in a range of shapes and colors.
Every mom deserves a luxurious self-care moment, and this at-home pamper set from Kate McLeod will step up her game. Included is a body brush, which gently exfoliates with horse hair and sisal bristles, and a solid lotion “body stone,” which softens on contact with skin to dispense a delicious-smelling formula of cocoa butter, almond oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. The whole thing comes packaged in a pretty makeup bag, so she won’t have any trouble finding it among her other bathroom items. Wirecutter editor Daniela Gorny credits the set with keeping her skin soft even in the California desert she calls home.
For the mom on your list who loves dried fruits or jerky, an at-home dehydrator will become her new favorite kitchen gadget. The Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Dehydrator stood out among those we tested for its superior drying ability, quickly dehydrating apples, beef jerky, onions, garlic, and fruit puree (for fruit “leather”). To further expand Mom’s snack-making skills, give it alongside a copy of The Dehydrator Bible, which Wirecutter senior staff writer Lesley Stockton says offered the best recipes and advice out of the six dehydration cookbooks she read while putting together our guide.
Many moms know the struggle of trying to finish a cup of coffee in one sitting. But no matter what responsibility pulls her away, she shouldn’t have to settle for a lukewarm brew. Enter the Ember Mug: It was the most portable of the mug warmers we tested, because its heat source is battery-powered and built into the base, rather than a plug-in hot plate. Mom can adjust the temperature of her java using the Ember app on her smartphone. The mug cannot be run in the dishwasher, so make it a better gift by hand-washing it yourself.
Adorably casual, the mom on your list will love throwing on this hat, which proclaims her role loud and proud. Though one size fits all, the navy topper can be adjusted with a brass buckle in back. And for a twinning opportunity, you can also get a matching BABE hat for her little one.
In this beautifully photographed cookbook, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and food writer Julia Turshen share recipes and stories collected from bibis (grandmas) across eight countries in Africa. The easy-to-follow recipes for delicious dishes like date bread, chicken biryani, and shiro (an Eritrean ground-chickpea stew) are reason enough to give this cookbook to the gourmand mama in your life. And the stories of these women’s lives (both the bibis and the writers) will have Mom returning to the book again and again.
Depending on how deep in the mom trenches your recipient happens to be, her own sleepwear is likely the last thing on her mind. Change that up with a white cotton nightgown. The Victorian-style offerings from Heirloom Art Co. are just right for glamorously streaming Netflix after bedtime. They’re perfect for waltzing around in the wee hours of the morning like a modern-day Sylvia Plath. And they’re great under a cardigan for when you need to hop in the car to do a school drop-off. The versatile coverups are unlined and not entirely opaque, so they’re subtly sexy, and they come in a number of lengths and sleeve options to suit your mom’s style.
If you’re the offspring of a literature-loving mom, we’re guessing she worships at the altar of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Recently published, this hardback annotated edition of the 1925 classic is a rich and satisfying update. The book includes an extensive introduction and is annotated throughout with newly gleaned insights drawn from both biographical research and an examination of Woolf’s earlier drafts. This version is also dotted with 150 illustrations, including paintings, a map of Clarissa Dalloway’s London, and relevant archival photographs. For there she was, indeed.
The mom in your life deserves—nay, needs—a warm pair of slippers to take her around the house in style. Get her these lightweight, breathable wool slippers from Glerups, among the best we’ve ever tested. Made from just one piece of felt, they’re less prone to splitting or degradation than other felted wool slippers. And they’re easy to slide on and off, when Mom doesn’t have time to bend down and fiddle with footwear. For chilly ankles, Glerups also makes a felted wool boot. Both are also available in rubber-soled versions to wear inside and outside the house.
Aura Mason (starting at about $180 at the time of publication)
A digital photo frame can serve as a direct link between you and your mother, allowing you to send new photos right to her mantle, no matter how far away. The Aura Mason, our favorite digital photo frame, is easy to set up and has a sharp, vivid display. And it works seamlessly on Android and iOS through a proprietary app. Simply upload your photos through the app (this makes Aura especially good for documenting Little League triumphs and other fleeting-but-important moments you’d like to share), and they’ll show up in the frame. One tip: After you receive the frame, start contributing photos so that when Mom opens the package and powers up the Aura, they’ll be ready and waiting.
For the mom who’s curious about her ethnic origins or family background, a DNA testing kit makes a great, informative gift. Our favorite is AncestryDNA. This kit presents test results in a clearer manner than other services do, and it places ancestry information in a useful historical context. We do urge you to spend a few moments reading the privacy section in our guide, though, because using even the best DNA testing service involves data and privacy risks.
The mama who loves espresso drinks will enjoy and likely use this gift every morning for years. After more than 80 hours of research and testing, we think the Breville Bambino Plus makes the best espresso at home: It’s easy to use, yet it produces consistently rich shots and perfectly steamed milk. And with its sleek, compact design, this machine will look pretty in any kitchen that’s lucky enough to have it.
For the mom who likes spending time in the backyard or on the patio, help extend her outdoor hours well into the evening with a portable fire pit. One of our favorites is the Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit, which, when operated correctly, burns wood with almost no detectable smoke. The airflow created by the stove’s double-walled design intensifies the heat of the fire, making it more efficient and less smoky.
There are few pleasures on this planet that are better than padding around home in a soft robe on a lazy morning, a cup of coffee in hand and no jeans or obligations in sight. The mom in your life deserves such a moment, and you can supply the uniform (even if you can’t guarantee the other elements). We tested dozens of robes, and this Turkish cotton model is one of our favorites. The robe is lightweight, and it comes in a wide range of women’s sizes (from XS to 2X), two lengths (long or short), and almost a dozen colors. For just $6 more, you can have the robe personalized with mom’s initials or a cheeky nickname, and there’s a slew of fun fonts and thread hues to choose from.
This little light catcher will add some magic to any space. Just suction it onto the window, and when the sun hits the solar battery, the hanging crystals will start to rotate, refracting sunlight all around the room and transforming it into a rainbow wonderland. To see it in action, check out this video.
What Mom really deserves is a weeklong stay at a fancy resort, but she’ll no doubt also appreciate an exceptionally nice bath (unless you can swing that spa weekend, in which case, do that!). For an elevated experience, we love Lush’s Bath Bombs, the very best we tested. They “explode” as soon as they hit the water, filling the tub with gorgeous, shimmering shades, long-lasting fragrance, and skin-soothing oils. All of which is to say that the mom in your life will emerge from the tub good and relaxed.
Supervising editor Marilyn Ong recommends the Google Nest Hub Max for moms who spend a lot of time in the kitchen—especially those who seem to have everything already. With the Max, your mom can upload family photos to use as screensavers, and watch TV shows or listen to music or podcasts while cooking. She can also access all of her favorite recipes—the device has a recipe-search function baked in. In our testing, we found the Max was better than the Amazon Echo Show at walking us through cooking instructions step by step. (And the Max has gesture control, so your mom won’t have to touch the screen with dirty hands.)
Yes, buying Mom an apron might seem a little Leave It to Beaver. But the absurdly comfy Rough Linen Original Pinafore Apron is good for anyone who spends time in the kitchen, regardless of how much they cook. (Even someone who’s just “supervising” risks being splattered.) A rectangle of fabric with two straps and big pockets, the Original Pinafore Apron looks less “prissy apron” and more “artsy smock,” yet it’s actually really well designed. It’s loose in all the right places, but it won’t slip around as she moves. When testing the apron, we also liked the two giant hip pockets, which can fit everything from a phone to a meat thermometer to folded dish towels.
A common rite of adulthood involves the passing down of a well-used Le Creuset casserole dish or saucepan from parents to children who are leaving the nest. (Equally common: said children sneaking a piece or two into a moving box and claiming, “I have no idea how that got in there.”) We say it’s time to turn the tide, starting with Le Creuset’s Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart Round French Oven, the upgrade pick in our guide to the best Dutch ovens. It’s large enough for soups and stews, and it makes great no-knead bread, too. Any mom who loves to cook will find herself repeatedly reaching for her Le Creuset throughout the year.
If the mom in your life has a toddler but has been yearning for the trail, help her start hiking again—with her child. Designed specifically for carrying kids over long distances, a hiking baby carrier has a freestanding frame structure, a cockpit for a child, and storage for traditional hiking gear such as food, water, and other essentials. The lightest one we tested, the Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL is made for people who have shorter torsos. But even our 5-foot-8-inch writer said it fit her better than other options. This model also has a kickstand and an easy-undo harness, so kids can get out for a little mid-trail exploration.
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 is fun for everyone, especially moms and kids. They can break out this instant camera at parties or bring it on weekend trips to capture those sillier moments—who can resist the anticipation of waiting for the photos to appear? Our top pick for the best instant camera, the SQ6 cranks out photos that are just a little smaller than the Polaroids you may remember; it produces sharp images with a wide range of tones and pleasing-looking colors. And don’t forget to include plenty of film with the camera—once your mom starts playing with this gizmo, she won’t want to stop.
We wouldn’t try to talk you out of getting your mother a gift certificate to a spa, but we would suggest you bundle it together with a DIY spa kit. The Evanhealy French Rose Clay Mask is a delight. And if your mom applies it before slipping into a tub filled with Dr Teal’s Soothe & Sleep Foaming Bath, she’ll have all the makings of a blissful afternoon. Afterward, she can finish things off with a facial massage using the Kimkoo Jade Facial Roller kit. The best part of this spa kit? The relaxation doesn’t happen just once a year—Mom should be able to find an hour here and there to unwind whenever the mood strikes.
For many moms, a handbag is less an accessory than a utilitarian carryall, toting everything they could possibly need in a day: Band-Aids, sunscreen, extra hair ties, a bottle of water, and sometimes even an emergency PB&J. This year, upgrade your own mom’s go-everywhere, do-everything bag to the Cuyana Classic Structured Leather Tote, one of Wirecutter’s favorite tote bags. It’s large enough to hold water bottles or a bag of string cheese, all while still looking chic. Take this gift a step further by adding a Cuyana Tote Organization Insert, to help her find everything in the bag more quickly.
The Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair is a perfect gift for the outdoorsy mom. Despite its admittedly ridiculous appearance, the Stargaze Recliner—a swinging seat suspended on an aluminum frame that looks like a cross between a hammock and a recliner—is wildly comfortable. After a long day of wrangling kids, the mom in your life deserves the best seat by the campfire.
Whether your mom dreams of Olympic glory or just likes to jog around the block, you can help her make the miles pass more smoothly with a pair of Jabra Elite Active 75t, the best workout headphones we’ve found for someone who wants to block external noise (with the option of letting it in when necessary). The Jabras have great sound, solid battery life, a durable build, a secure fit, and easy-to-use controls, all of which will make your mom’s run as pleasurable as possible. And they’re protected against dust and sweat, so they’ll endure even the most intense workouts.
Affordable and understated, these custom bracelets feature a dainty silver or gold chain of varying lengths to perfectly fit your recipient’s wrist size. You can get the bracelet with just one gem—maybe your mom’s birthstone, or perhaps a stone in her favorite color. My grandmother wears all of her grandkids’ birthstones on one chain, an idea that’s easy to replicate (and easy to split with your siblings, for a lot of kids). If you don’t know your recipient’s wrist size, you may be able to figure it out by measuring a bracelet or watch she already owns.
A super-sharp, super-comfortable knife set will make a mom’s cooking experience heavenly—especially if she spends a lot of time in the kitchen. During our testing, we found that the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Walnut Block Knife Set was the best for the job. This Wüstoff set includes the most-useful kitchen knives, as well as pull-apart shears, a honing steel, and an attractive storage block.
The Planetarium Throw from Jungalow checks every box: It’s soft and machine-washable, and the fringe along its edges is endlessly fun to play with. Based on original artwork by Jungalow owner Justina Blakeney, the blanket looks equally gorgeous draped over a chair or thrown onto a bed (something we can personally attest to). The mom on your list will love snuggling under it or just admiring it.
True, you can deliver your mom breakfast on almost any tray. But we love the Fionia Teak Tray because it’s also an object she’ll also enjoy using during all those non-breakfast moments. Initially designed in 1982 by a family-owned Danish company, the teak wood tray remains classically stylish, thanks to its pretty checkered inlay and minimalist lines. It has deep sides and sturdy handles, which make it ideal for transporting not only breakfast but also cocktails and appetizers. And this tray also looks elegant just sitting on a table with a vase of flowers on it.
For the serious biker mom with a serious haul, you might consider getting a bike rack. But if the mom you know needs only to transport a purse, a baguette, and a picnic blanket, a beautiful bike basket makes the perfect gift. We particularly like these from Baba Tree. Each basket is handwoven in Ghana from locally sourced straws, so this basket is not only utilitarian but also an objet d’art. Two adjustable leather straps secure the basket to a bike’s handlebars, so it’s a cinch to put on and take off.
Being a mom is a wonderful experience, but it’s also a relentless and exhausting one. You may fool yourself into believing that you can give Mom a “night off” at home by pouring her a glass of wine, drawing her a bath, and giving her space. But it will be hard to keep her from responding to that little voice screaming, “Mommmmmmy!” Instead, give the mom you love a night away from it all: A one-night stay at a luxury hotel (somewhere with a bathtub and a nice view, ideally) would be the perfect escape—without any potential interruptions. Bonus points if the house is spotless when she returns.
Whether the mom in your life is a toast devotee or a baker who enjoys using great ingredients, chances are good she’ll love a beautiful bundle of jams. This customizable assortment from We Love Jam is one of our favorite gift-basket ideas, thanks to the high-quality jams and the pretty packaging. To make the gift even more special, include a card with a personal message during checkout.
Whether your favorite mom could benefit from better organization in a baby stroller, a tea drawer, or a carry-on, these do-it-all pouches will be a godsend. Each set of three features a small, medium, and large pouch in a botanical print. And since they’re made from machine-washable fabric and feature a water-resistant lining, she won’t have to worry about being too cautious: Spilled applesauce, smeared lipstick, and leaky sunscreen should wash right out.
As Aristotle famously decreed, a mom can never have too much alone time … or too many small bowls. To elevate a scoop of Stracciatella or Greek yogurt from simple snack to refined dessert, put it in a translucent, hand-blown glass bowl from Tuscany. These come in colors like blush, purple, and indigo, and you can choose either the flat or the more-expensive footed version. We think any mom will find these faceted treasures ideal vessels for holding everything from mise en place and olives to pistachios and gum drops.
For hiding second-day hair, dressing up a simple tee, or making an old purse feel new, a bandana is the perfect sartorial solution. This cute, 100% cotton option from Carleen features the state flowers of both New York and California (poppies and roses, respectively), so it will be adored by the bicoastal mama and floral lover alike. For a slightly loftier gift, consider using it to wrap up a bottle of something festive or to fold around the book that’s been on your favorite mama’s reading list.
This article was edited by Catherine Kast, Hannah Morrill, and Jennifer Hunter.