The 31 best gifts under $25

When you feel pressured to find the perfect gift, it’s easy to forget that high price tags don’t necessarily signify a better present. You can stick to a budget while showing a friend, family member or co-worker that you care. Whether you’re shopping for a techie, a home chef or baker, a wellness enthusiast or someone who doesn’t quite fit into any of those categories, the best gifts are the ones that they can actually use on a regular basis — and they’ll think of you every time they do.

To help you find practical, thoughtful gifts under $25, we’ve compiled a list of highly rated and NBC Select editor-favorite brands and products, many of which have made our best-of guides in the past. If you were too busy to shop this season or still have a few people to cross off your list, we also rounded up the best last-minute gifts to consider.

Best gifts under $25 in 2023

To make your holiday shopping as easy as possible this year, we curated a list of our favorite gift ideas under $25. All of these products are personal recommendations from Select editors or brands we’ve used, loved and featured before.  We also included highly rated gifts from several shopping categories to suit a range of recipients.

Apple AirTag

If your loved one is known for misplacing their items, Apple’s AirTag helps them keep track of essentials like their keys, wallet and luggage. Once they pair and set up the AirTag with an iPhone or iPad, they’ll be able to track their personal items using the Find My app.

Lamicall Adjustable Cell Phone Stand

This stand, which is available in nine color options, helps anyone multitask more efficiently. It will securely hold your giftee’s phone at a convenient viewing angle while they read recipes, watch YouTube, check their emails or FaceTime their friends. It fits most smartphone brands and models between 4 inches to 8 inches wide. Plus, its aluminum base has cutouts to feed the charging wire through. 

Kitsch Satin Pillowcase

This NBC Select Bed & Bath Awards winner for the best pillowcase, is designed to minimize breakouts and frizz by absorbing less moisture and creating less friction than cotton pillowcases, according to Kitsch. Needless to say, it’s a foolproof gift idea for beauty enthusiasts. You can get the satin material in over a dozen designs, including animal print, Barbie and “Harry Potter” themes. 

Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer

If your loved one is too busy to sit down and enjoy a hot cup of coffee, this is the gift for them. With an average 4.2-star rating from over 50,000 reviews on Amazon, this mug warmer has been a Select-staff favorite for years. It’s portable, easy to clean and plugs into a standard outlet, after which it heats your beverage to 200 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few minutes and keeps it there for hours, according to the brand. 

JLab Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

JLab makes some of the best cheap earbuds for working out — this model, which differs slightly from the ones in our workout guide, is a great budget find for anyone on your list. The battery life lasts up to 32 hours with the included charging case, the built-in microphone lets you make hands-free calls and the on-device controls let you adjust your music with a simple tap, according to the brand. 

Baggu Reusable Bags

Help your favorite environmentalist shop in style. Available in fun prints and solid colors, these Select-favorite reusable bags are made from recycled ripstop polyester that can hold up to 50 pounds, according to Baggu. They’re also machine-washable and compactly fold down into their included pouches. “These are my go-to when running errands, I always keep one in my work bag to help me bring products home,” says NBC Select editorial projects manager Rebecca Rodriguez. “It never ceases to amaze me how much I can actually fit into one of these.”

Wildsam City Guides

Pick up one of these city guides for the amateur historian, homesick traveler or person whose coffee table is looking a little sparse. The brand has over 25 major cities to choose from; inside each guide, you’ll find illustrated maps, stories from respected writers, portraits, dishes to sample and fun activities. 

Peace Out Puffy Eyes Under-Eye Patches

These under-eye patches have caffeine, Vitamin B and hyaluronic acid to de-puff, brighten and hydrate tired-looking eyes, according to Peace Out. They’re a great gift for beauty gurus, tired mothers or stressed-out co-workers — really anyone who could use 15 minutes of self-care during their morning routine. 

Fly By Jing Shorty Spice Set

Whether they’re a novice or a professional, the chef in your life will love experimenting with this mini spice set from one of our favorite AAPI-owned food brands. The set comes with three of Fly By Jing’s top-rated flavors: Sichuan chili crisp, Mala spice mix and Zhong sauce. Your giftee can use them to add sweet and spicy flavors to just about everything, including pizza, popcorn, dipping sauces, ice cream and cocktails. 

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

Multitasking beauty products help anyone simplify their routine and look their best with less effort. A tinted gloss and a balm in one, this lip butter, which comes in seven colors and scents, is designed to hydrate lips with shea and murumuru seed butter and add a touch of color with its sheer, shiny shades. “As a self-proclaimed lip balm connoisseur, I can confirm that these are it — I love that my lips actually feel and stay hydrated when I use this and the finish is perfect since it gives a glossy appearance without being overly sticky,” says NBC Select associate reporter Bianca Alvarez.

Ceramic Greek Coffee Cup

This gift immortalizes the classic New York takeout cup that was once a staple of almost every corner deli. While its Greek motif and red-and-orange design look like they’re printed on paper, the cup, which is a favorite of NBC Select editor Lindsay Schneider’s, is actually made from ceramic that’s dishwasher- and microwave-safe. That way, your recipient can continue sipping from it long after the design disappears from city streets. 

Quince Flowknit Breeze Performance Tee

This T-shirt is made mostly from recycled polyester and treated to resist odors, moisture and UV rays, according to Quince (a Select-favorite brand). As a result, the men in your life will get plenty of use out of it. Reviewers say it’s also stretchy and soft enough for lounging, and looks polished enough to wear out too. It’s sold in five colors and four sizes. 

Graf & Lantz Wine-Os Glass Identifier

Made from 100% merino wool, these colorful tags help guests identify their drinks at a crowded party. They wrap around the stems of most wineglasses due to their split design, and guests just need to remember which color they have, in order to keep track of their drink.

Stress Relief & Selfcare Cards

This stress-relief deck encourages your giftee to take care of themselves more throughout the day. Developed by a team of therapists and yoga professionals in combination with over 25 years of mental health research, it has 52 exercises for stress management, mindfulness and anxiety relief. Since the cards are lightweight and travel-sized, they’re easy to take to and from school or the office too. 

Zab’s Hot Sauce

Zab’s is a no-brainer for the person who puts hot sauce on everything. Whether you opt for their original, St. Augustine style or tasting set that includes both, the star ingredient is habanero, which has a slow but sweet burn, according to the brand. Made in small batches in California, each bottle contains non-GMO vegetables, herbs and spices. 

Hunt a Killer: The Detective’s Puzzle Book

Everyone knows someone who lives and breathes true crime documentaries — and Hunt a Killer is their chance to prove that they could actually solve some (fictional) crimes. Guided by a private eye, this puzzle book is filled with ciphers, codes, brain games and intriguing riddles that are designed to take your loved one from amateur sleuth to lead detective in no time. 

Leatherology Cord Wrap

Sold in two sizes and 11 colors, the Leatherology cord wrap helps them bundle and organize their chargers in style. Each one is made with Italian leather and secures closed with a magnetic clasp.  For $5 more, you can add two debossed letters to personalize it, making it an especially great gift for co-workers or bosses. While it’s a convenient accessory to have for travel, it’s also an easy, stylish way to tidy up a desk or bedside table.

Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag

While it looks like a classic Ziploc, this Unzipped bag is actually made from washable borosilicate glass. As a result, it your giftee can use it as a reusable bowl for snacks, candies or even small office supplies. It has a 4.5-star rating from over 1,700 reviews on Uncommon Goods, and it’s a great gift for anyone who appreciates quirky, conversation-starting decor. 

TheraFlow Foot Massager

I have and love this TheraFlow foot massager, which I keep under my work desk. The rollers feel great on achy feet, but they also help improve my circulation and give me something to fidget with when I need my hands for typing. The base and rollers are made from wood and the bottom is lined with anti-slip foam to keep it in place. Perfect for truly anyone on your list including Grandma and your co-workers.

Genius Music Playing Cards

Your favorite music lover may have plenty of speakers, records and concert posters, but they probably don’t have this unique playing card set. A different genre represents each suit: pop for hearts, rock for spades, folk and country for diamonds and soul, blues and R&B for clubs. Each card has an illustration of one of history’s musical greats, including David Bowie and Taylor Swift to name a few. 

We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game

One of our favorite gifts for college grads, this card game is designed to create meaningful connections, whether played with strangers at a party or people your recipient’s known your whole life. Each deck has 150 questions split into three levels (perception, connection and reflection), and you can play it with groups of two to six people at a time. The brand also makes decks for couples, families, friends and kids.

W&P Silicone Ice Sphere Mold

Since it has a larger surface area, spherical ice melts slower than standard ice, diluting your drink less and keeping it colder for longer, according to the brand. This ice mold makes four 2-inch spheres at once in its silicone-wrapped steel tray, which you can fill from the tiny holes on top and snap in place to prevent leaks. It’s also dishwasher-safe and BPA-free. “I love all of W&P’s ice molds — especially ones with the cubes this big, it makes drinking the most simple drinks,  just a little bit more special,” says Schneider. 

Baby Foot Peel Mask

This three-step foot mask has disposable booties that your giftee will wear for an hour to heal their skin. The gel formula soaks into callused heels, and within three to seven days, the dead skin will begin to peel off, revealing the soft skin underneath, according to the brand. It has a 4.4-star rating from 48,000 Amazon reviews and it’s a great gift for anyone in your life who could use a little self-care moment. 

Threshold Wood Letterboard

Decorative signs are an easy way to personalize a space, and this Threshold letterboard lets your recipient change their message depending on the season or occasion. Each wood-bordered sign comes with 181 letters, numbers and punctuation marks, which attach to the laser-cut grooves. They can lean it against a mantle or mount it to the wall using the sawtooth hangers on the back. 

A24 x Wary Meyers Test Card Soap

Made in collaboration with Wary Meyers, this card soap is a whimsical but practical gift for TV lovers. It’s handmade in Maine using vegetable-based cleansers and it smells like herbs and flowers. Each one also comes with a collectible A24 Tub Card. 

Valdivia Vinyl Record Coasters

A perfect gift for any music lover, these coasters are designed to look like retro records and come stacked on a base that resembles a record player. The coasters come in a set of six and are made of durable vinyl material. Each coaster also has a non-slip rubber pad on the bottom to avoid spills, according to the brand.

Genuine Fred Tea Infuser

This sea turtle infuser is an adorable and practical gift for the tea drinker in your life. They can fill the shell with loose tea and hang the turtle’s flippers over the rim of their mug to let it steep. It’s made of food-safe silicone that’s both dishwasher and microwave-safe, according to the brand.

Umbra Trigg Ceramic Hanging Planter

This set of two wall planters is a unique way to help add some greenery to your loved one’s home. Made with water-resistant metal wire frames, the vessels can hold small indoor plants or serve as storage for pens, jewelry and more, according to the brand. They also come with wall mounting hardware. 

Geode State Ornament

With the holidays around the corner, these geode ornaments can add a  unique touch to any tree. They come in shapes resembling all 50 states, as well seven Canadian territories and provinces. Made with different stoneware, glass and colored glazes, each ornament is handmade and one-of-a-kind, according to the brand.

Dot Journaling The Set

This set is great for bullet journaling beginners or anyone that needs help organizing their tasks and to-dos. It has 208 numbered dot-grid pages inside a flexible cover with an inner pocket and an elastic closure. This set also comes with a how-to guide that leads you through setting up and maintaining your journal.

Graza Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This Graza extra virgin olive oil is a Select staff favorite for its delicious flavor. Derived from 100% Picual olives harvested in Spain, this olive oil has a more mellow flavor, and Graza recommends using it for everyday cooking like searing, roasting and baking. It comes in a 25.3-ounce squeeze bottle for easy drizzling.

Why trust NBC Select?

Maria Cassano is an e-commerce writer, editor and consultant who specializes in shopping. Over the past seven years, she’s written hundreds of gift guides for publications such as Bustle, Elite Daily, Allure, CNN and Food & Wine. For this article, Cassano scoured NBC Select’s past articles and spoke with NBC Select editors to highlight editors’ favorite brands and products as well as highly rated products. 

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