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- Affordable gifts can be just as useful and thoughtful as expensive gifts.
- We rounded up gifts on Amazon for under $50 that anyone would love to receive.
- If you’re looking for more gift ideas, check out all Insider Reviews gift guides.
Your friends and family don’t necessarily need or want an expensive gift. And it’s a myth that a higher price tag equals one that’s more meaningful. It doesn’t take more than $50 to pay homage to an interest of theirs or to improve day-to-day life by fixing the squeaky cupboard or replacing a beat-up coffee thermos with a much, much better one.
Finding a perfect gift also doesn’t necessarily need to require an hour of your time in the trenches of Amazon search results. Below, we’ve rounded up 51 of the best finds on Amazon – with all the perks of easy, fast shipping and saved payment information.
Check out all 51 cool gifts under $50 on Amazon:
A coffee table book is a great housewarming gift. But this hardcover book does more than just look pretty. It’s an expansion of Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” photography project. Page after page follows Stanton’s travels across the world, documenting portraits and short, but impactful stories of the people he’s encountered.
The gift of light
Give the gift of light with Insider Reviews’ best budget ring light. This simple, easy-to-use light has everything that phone videographers need to get started. It includes a tripod setup that’s easy to move and adjust to your angles. You can also toggle between its three different light settings — white, warm yellow, and warm white — to find your perfect glow.
An ambient moon lamp
Earning the title as Insider Reviews’ best multi-color moon lamp, this light basks the room in 16 different soothing hues. Its wooden stand props up the 3D moon and, thanks to its sleep timer, you can fall asleep to its glow without needing to worry about leaving it on all night.
A portable picnic blanket
The Oniva Outdoor Picnic Blanket Tote is a huge blanket that fits six people easily. Our Insider Reviews team loved it so much they named it the best picnic blanket overall. Its soft fleece interior has water-resistant backing that folds up quite compact.
A Bluetooth microphone to sing karaoke
It’s a gift for everyone to enjoy, whether or not you can carry a tune. You can connect your phone and play music through the microphone’s speakers, and turn the volume up and down depending on your comfort. It’s the perfect thing to shake up a night in or to break the ice at a holiday gathering.
A vintage puzzle that doubles as cute home decor
All the puzzle lovers in your life will be beyond grateful for this gift. From house plants to constellations, Cavallini Papers & Co. puzzles are both challenging and aesthetically pleasing. Once they’re done, they can frame it and hang it up as wall decor.
A smart home camera at a fraction of the cost
With 18,000+ five star reviews, the Wyze Indoor Camera is a popular and inexpensive smart home option that rivals expensive models. It’s Alexa- and Google Assistant-enabled and lets you view anywhere on your mobile device.
The viral all-in-one hair dryer that’s like an at-home blowout
This all-in-one hairdryer gained a cult following on TikTok and won the hearts of the Insider Reviews team. It rivals luxury hair tools like the Dyson Airwrap at a tenth of the price. It’s a gamechanger for cutting down on time spent getting ready, without sacrificing your look.
A media streamer that can turn a basic TV into a smart one
Essentially, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is your standard media streaming stick and can convert a basic TV into a smart one that can stream Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and more. It’s Alexa-enabled, too, so you can control it by voice.
Homemade breakfast made with a heart-shaped waffle maker
Get up early, and make your friend, significant other, or family member heart-shaped mini waffles for breakfast. The Dash Mini Maker is compact enough to keep for special occasions without cramping your kitchen, too.
A wooden caddy tray for the world’s most luxurious bath
Few things are as luxurious as a long bath filled with plenty of activities and treats. This one is waterproof, slip-resistant, and designed to accommodate one or two bathers at once.
A compilation of the love letters of great men
If you find yourself at a loss for words, let the love letters of great men do the talking for you. This volume includes love letters written by Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, James Joyce, John Keats, Dylan Thomas, and more.
A calendar for dog lovers
If they’re a dog person (and even if they’re not), they’ll appreciate waking up each day to a new pup photo with an exciting backstory. The calendar follows the same format as WeRateDogs’ popular Twitter account, and don’t worry, every dog receives a rating of at least 11/10.
A vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle that people swear by
Hydro Flask is a cult favorite for its water bottles, and these vacuum insulated stainless steel mugs work just as well. They’ll keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to twenty-four hours.
A USB-C hub adapter for MacBooks
Upgrading laptops do come with a few annoyances. If their new MacBook only has USB-C inputs, this hub adapter will give them access to other devices, including SD cards, flash drives, and USB printers.
This year’s iPhones won’t come with a charging adaptor in the box, so if you’re getting someone a new phone during the holidays, they’ll definitely need one of these. The Anker Nano charges three times faster than the typical Apple charger and is physically the same size.
Echo Dot with Clock
The newest Echo Dot is more convenient than ever. The all-new design features a larger speaker for better audio, a digital clock to display the time and timer countdowns, and all of Alexa’s other skills.
*This product had a price below $50 when selected, but prices can often fluctuate slightly above or below $50.
A soap bar that’s a great life hack for tough stains
This is another early Insider Reviews favorite because it’s relatively cheap and works exceptionally well. The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar is one of the only things that can bring white clothes back from the brink of donation piles, as we’ve attested in our roundup of the best things we bought on Amazon under $25.
An unfussy cookbook meant for hosting one person or many
“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” is a New York Times bestseller and a James Beard Award winner for a reason. This book offers a great explanation of exactly why food tastes so good, breaking it down into four main elements.
A powerful wireless charger for their desk
Get them a wireless charger that lets them charge their phone without having to plug it in or take off their phone case first.
A durable, inexpensive Fire tablet
Amazon’s Fire tablets are a relatively great deal for a tablet if you’re not looking for anything super high-performance driven or luxe. For the average user, they’re a good fit. It’s Alexa-enabled, so you can ask for quick access to music and entertainment or messages and calling, and it has up to seven hours of battery life.
You can shop the latest versions for a bit more money here.
A portable laptop desk
As more and more people find themselves working from home, a laptop desk is essential for comfort, convenience, and efficiency. This model is height-adjustable, so it can easily double as a breakfast tray or writing station.
A notebook that they can fill with their favorite travel memories
If they’re always recounting memories from their favorite trip, a travel journal is an excellent place for them to put all of these stories to paper. This particular model comes with binder rings, so they can easily include tickets, photos, and other mementos.
A popular reusable shopping bag in a fun print
Baggu bags are popular for a reason — they come in tons of fun prints and can fold down to pretty much nothing even though they can hold 50 pounds of stuff. If you’re looking for another option, we also like Ecobags.
A cheeky “I love you” mug
A subtle, aloof way to say the L-word — and in a puzzle they can decode even without the help of their first cup of coffee.
A candle that pays homage to their favorite place on Earth
Gift them a candle customized to smell like their beloved hometown, college town, or favorite getaway.
*This product was selected at a price point below $50, but prices can often fluctuate slightly above or below $50.
A bestselling book
A bestseller and one of the most talked-about books, “Where the Crawdads Sing” is an ode to the natural world and a heartbreaking coming-of-age story. It’s set in a coastal town in North Carolina and follows a possible murder and the local suspect, the misunderstood Kya Clark, who’s been known simply as “Marsh Girl” for years.
A tough, wind-resistant umbrella they can rely upon
Hear me out. It may seem boring, but everybody needs an umbrella, and this is way better than whatever version they bought the last time they veered into a CVS while it was raining. We think it’s the best umbrella you can buy thanks to how well it resists wind and how long it lasts, and they’ll find themselves thankful for it often.
A portable and waterproof speaker
This wireless Bluetooth speaker is waterproof, durable, and easily portable. It has 24 hours of playtime and maintains sound quality even at high volumes.
Another noteworthy book
Ocean Vuong is an American poet, and “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is his much-anticipated debut novel. Published in 2019, it’s a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read that delves into family history, addiction, violence, trauma, compassion, and tenderness. If they’re a bookworm looking for the next bittersweet American classic, you may want to start here. Looking for other options? Amazon has a list of 2020 bestsellers, and a list of 100 books to read in a lifetime.
A cast-iron skillet with almost 10,000 five-star reviews
This 10.25-inch cast-iron skillet is one that became minorly famous online and garnered over 62,000 Amazon reviews. Lodge has been making cast iron cookware since 1896, so they’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a great kitchen tool.
An electric bottle opener
This slim device cuts foil and uncorks wine bottles seamlessly, then stows easily out of sight. It has to be charged, but it’ll open 30 bottles per charge.
Highly rated in-ear earbuds
Whether for everyday use, the gym, as a backup, or just for travel when Bluetooth headphones won’t connect to the in-flight entertainment, there are ample uses for really solid in-ear buds with a stereo plug. This pair has an extended cord and three sets of ear pads for the perfect fit.
A famous hot sauce made from peppers grown in over 30 community gardens in the Bronx
This all-natural, tangy hot sauce is best known for its part in the popular Youtube series “Hot Ones.” It’s made from peppers grown in community gardens across the US.
Anthony Bourdain’s bestselling culinary and travel memoir
This is Anthony Bourdain’s New York Times bestselling chronicle of traveling the world in search of the globe’s greatest culinary adventures. From California to Cambodia, Bourdain spent much of his adult life searching for the perfect meal.
A cold brew coffee maker
This cold brew maker is as inexpensive as it is convenient, and it can even save hundreds of dollars per year. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once. If they need more than one quart, there’s also a two-quart option under $40.
The cult-favorite clay mask that took over the internet
The Aztec Clay Mask is one of those cult-favorite products of the internet that’s driven from the obscure depths of Amazon to beauty vlogs, Youtube testimonials with over 4 million views, and even the Sephora beauty blog.
It’s been called “the world’s most powerful facial,” and it’s also under $10. It can be mixed with water, but it works best with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. You can read a full review here.
A salt plank for cooking
A salt block is a multipurpose tool. It’s a stable crystal structure, which means it can hold temperature very well. It can be chilled and used as a serving platter for sushi or heated over a grill or stovetop to cook flavorful veggies. Himalayan salt is more nuanced than table salt, and the amount of saltiness imparted varies with the type of food (moist foods absorb more salt, fatty foods repel it, etc.). It’s also long lasting and naturally antibacterial.
A universal USB wall charger that fits four devices
Double the outlet space with this four-port USB wall charger. Its advanced charging capacity also means their tech will charge faster than average.
An Atlas Obscura calendar full of daily photos and tidbits about the world’s strangest and coolest places or festivals
The Atlas Obscura calendar is a fun, novel way to infuse each day with an anchor of appreciation and wonder for the world. There are hundreds of photos that celebrate the world’s strangest and coolest places, festivals, and foods. Travelers and life-long learners are particularly good candidates for this one.
A milk frother so they can make their favorite coffee or hot chocolate drinks from home
A milk frother is an unexpectedly convenient tool to have around the house, and it can make an otherwise normal cup of coffee or hot chocolate closer to what you’d buy at the cafe. With it, they can make lattes, cappuccinos, and frothy coffees every morning for less.
The best travel pillow we’ve found
We know it sounds gimmicky, but these travel pillows from Trtl really do make a difference, which is why we’ve voted them the best travel pillows you can buy. Once traveling is safer, it will offer a better, more restful sleep on the move. There’s a slightly more expensive version that’s even better, too.
A delicious gift basket of caramel, chocolate, and crunchy gourmet treats
For less than $40, you can gift gourmet chocolates and caramels pre-wrapped in a keepsake basket. The set includes seasonal favorites like caramel corn, chocolate pretzels, and peanut brittle.
A hair turban that will cut drying time in half
Aquis’ cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of product reviewers.
The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that’s composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction the hair experiences while in its weakest state. It also prevents hygral fatigue — the stretching and swelling of wet hair that makes it vulnerable to frizz and damage — by cutting the hair’s drying time by 50%.
A keychain that finds their keys for them
Never let them lose their keys again. This Tile keychain pairs with their smartphone so they’ll always be able to locate them. Conversely, you can press the Tile button to locate your phone if it’s lost, even if it’s in silent mode.
A charging case that protects and charges wireless devices on the go
This compact, portable case charges wearables like the Fitbit Flex, Beats by Dre, and JBL Wireless Earbuds on the go. The 1,4000 mAh rechargeable battery translates to about 60 hours of audio playback in wireless earbuds.
Alexa-enabled smart plugs
These plugs turn your devices into smart tech. They help your giftee control their lights and appliances from a free app on their phone, or by voice using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
A hilarious card game
This hilarious popular card game brings together the funniest memes of the Internet with over 350 caption cards for funny combinations.
A highly rated pump with universal wine stoppers to keep open bottles fresh for longer
This hyper-popular pump and universal wine stopper set keeps open bottles of wine from prolonged exposure to the air, which is what causes the breakdown of its character and taste. This version makes a “click” sound when the user has managed to create an airtight seal and has almost 3,000 five-star reviews.
A photo book from one of the most renowned wildlife photographers
Paul Nicklen is an acclaimed Canadian photographer, film-maker, and marine biologist known for his work in the Arctic. He’s a frequent contributor to National Geographic and has won the BBC Wildlife Photographer award of the year as well as the prestigious World Press Photo award for photojournalism, and this coffee table book is a beautiful homage to polar landscapes.
A powerful external battery
It’s not groundbreaking to give your partner a portable charger, but they’ll find themselves grateful for it repeatedly. It’s perfect for traveling and commuting, when it’s safe to again, and acts as insurance for long days away from home. It reportedly charges iPhones twice as fast as the original iPhone charger.
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