116 Actually Useful Gifts All Practical People Will Appreciate

It’s hard to know what type of useful gifts to get for someone you don’t know terribly well or the loved ones who either have unswervingly practical tastes or seem to already own everything (cough, Mom and Dad). You ideally want something that doesn’t add clutter, isn’t merely decorative, and is maybe something they never knew they needed (but will ultimately find themselves). A word to the wise: With Mother’s Day around the corner if you’re shopping gifts for mom, we recommend checking out ASAP, as there may be shipping delays (or, you know, time may just slip away).

There are some middle-of-the-road practical gift ideas you may be tempted to buy in the useful gift category, but let us steer you away from some of the more obvious ones: Socks, plain phone chargers, and gift cards are technically practical choices but not the best gifts or stocking stuffers. Candles, coffee mugs, notebooks, and hand-soap sets can be so meh they end up in a donation box, re-gifted, or gathering dust in a cupboard. And gadgets like containers that claim to sanitize your iPhone can feel so sensible (and sterile) that they’re almost not worth giving.

To help you find a truly unique gift for your family members, best friends, coworkers, or just yourself, we scoured retailers like Amazon, Uncommon Goods, Nordstrom, Etsy, Food52, Target, Anthropologie, and more to round up actually useful gifts that still feel special and surprising enough to give for any occasion. These gifts can work for special holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and more. And it includes everything from time-savers to space savers to travel gifts, kitchen gifts, fitness gifts, beauty gifts, home improvement, and more.

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