By Maria Ricapito published
Let’s face it: Holiday gift shopping can be a downright overwhelming pursuit. If the mere thought of figuring out the right gift for every person on your list—particularly those who are very hard to buy for—triggers heart palpitations, fear no more. Months of research went into putting together this year’s list of failsafe gifts that work for everyone. The result is a grouping of items that includes standout cozy pieces, quirky novelties you’ve likely never thought to gift before, reviewer-obsessed finds, and timeless pieces at every budget. Ahead, our roundup of the best failsafe gifts for anyone and everyone—and especially for those moments when you don't know what to get.
Origins Feel Good Hug™ Bedtime Body Wrap
This body wrap pillow actually feels like a warm hug when heated up in the microwave, which makes it a thoughtful idea to send a loved one you might not be able to see this holiday season. The gentle notes of lavender have a relaxing and soothing effect too.
The Nue Co Functional Fragrance
This crisp, woodsy unisex fragrance was designed to help people concentrate and re-center during stressful times. Here, a thoughtful gift for anyone on your list who's working from home with their partner. I've been spritzing this on every day the last few months and can attest to the scent being conducive to productivity.
Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Robe
Parachute’s unisex bathrobe had a 2,000-long person waitlist before it launched and has consistently been a bestseller since. If you’re after a luxe, hotel-like robe for anyone on your list, look no further.
Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
lucky These Beats are the brand's most affordable option ever. I was to be able to review these a few weeks back, and can attest firsthand to how sound quality and comfort haven't been compromised for a lower price tag. Delivering 12 hours of battery life, and chargin fast, these bluetooth wireless headphones are the most impressive affordable option out there.
Toes Home Women's Plush Slipper Socks (Set of 6)
Amazon reviewers are also low-key obsessed with this set of fuzzy socks, which happens to be a steal at this price. (Think 2.3k ratings and counting, with an average of 4.6/5 stars!) A handful of designs are available, but the heart motifs here are especially kitschy-chic.
MADEWELL Leopard Recycled Faux Fur Quilted Scuff Slippers
These fuzzy slippers will provide more than just a respite for her frozen toes. The fun leopard print will make all of her roommates green with loungewear envy.
Maje Aries Pendant Necklace
Have an astrology lover on your list? French ready-to-wear brand Maje makes surprisingly affordable jewelry, which includes this line of Zodiac coin pendant necklaces.
A.P.C. Black Demi-Lune Card Holder
With four card slots and one for cash, this leather beauty will be able to hold all of their credit cards, random small bills, and business cards exchanged at networking events. Its sleekness is reserved for a sophisticated individual (cough cough) such as your gift-ee.
Eberjey Gisele Long PJ Set
The expression "soft as butter" gets thrown around way too much, but in the case of female-founded lingerie and loungewear brand Eberjey, it's completely apt. Here, a chic pajama set she'll be able to enjoy for years to come.
Veja Women's Condor Low Top Sneakers
These ridiculously comfy sneakers from Meghan Markle's favorite sustainable shoe brand work for running errands and running distance alike. They're a splurge you can feel good about too as Veja makes their sneakers with rubber instead of plastic.
Mented Vegan Red Matte Lipstick
Founded by Amanda Johnson and KJ Millers, Mented Cosmetics is a vegan, cruelty-free makeup brand beloved for their inclusivity. Oprah herself is a fan—the brand's Lipstick Trio made her Favorite Things list last year. Treat the lipstick lover in your life to this bold and classic red shade.
Beonueni Classic Greek Pythian Apollo Bust
Nothing subtly says "I'm an Intellectual" like having a bust of a Greek god on display in one's home. Your loved one won't see this gift coming, but they'll love it all the same.
SLIP Pure Silk Adult Pleated Face Covering
Nordstrom reviewers are obsessed with this washable silk face mask from cult-favorite brand, Slip. As one shopper wrote, "If you’re getting acne from your mask then you need this mask. It’s easy to wash and feels soo smooth on my skin." *Adds to cart.*
AJISAI 7/8 Jogger Travel Pants with Pockets
These flattering, budget-friendly joggers are the only pair of sweatpants I've ever loved. They're comfy enough for wearing around the house all day, but cute enough to get away with wandering around galleries in (with a mask on, of course).
UGG Kadence Faux Fur Zip Hoodie
Fleece jackets have had a major glow up since you were in middle school. (Editor's note: I relate!) This hooded number from UGG will be a go-to cozy staple all winter long.
MarvellousPets Marvelous Pets Custom Pet iPhone Case
If half their camera roll is filled with pictures of their dog (which, fair), surprise them with a customized phone case featuring their pet. Cases can be made for pretty much any iPhone or Samsung model, and the turnaround time for this top-rated Etsy seller is about two weeks.
PhoneSoap Pro UV Smartphone Sanitizer & Universal Charger
File this nifty tech gift under universally useful gifts for 2021. In just five minutes, PhoneSoap's Pro UV smartphone sanitizer is able to kill up to 99.99% of germs thanks to its powerful UV-C light.
Sheep Q-Tip Holder
Whether you're shopping for an aunt that does her own thing or a friend with a unique Instagram aesthetic, this sheep storage containers just hits differently. This can be used for holding Q-tips, paper clips, etc.
MOMA DESIGN STORE Set of Six Geo Stacking Coasters
Coasters are the rare decorative entity that nobody ever seems to have enough of, and yet nobody ever wants to buy 'em for themselves. Here, a vibrant set from the MoMa Design Store that looks far more expensive than its $30 price tag.
Miguel Bolivar An Architecture-Inspired Kama Sutra
This creative Kama Sutra from London-based architect Miguel Bolivar is for cultured significant others only. Each sex position is inspired by a famous building or furniture design with detailed data and annotated scale drawings.
Missoma Gold Round Signet Ring
If you're after a gift with a personalized touch, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton-beloved jewelry brand Missoma offers engravings at no extra cost on a range of pieces, including this 18-carat gold vermeil signet ring.
Aurate New York Diamond Signet Ring
This Art Deco-inspired 14k gold and diamond signet ring is simply beautiful. Sizes four through 10 are available, in addition to half sizes.
HYGGE GAMES The Hygge Game
Containing 330 questions that are thought-provoking yet not mentally draining (i.e. "What's the most annoying sound?"), this game will be fun to play on FaceTimes with loved ones and at future dinner parties.
Roebury Outdoor Picnic and Beach Blanket
For the nature-loving couple on your shopping list, this waterproof and sand proof outdoor blanket (big enough for 2!) can be used for picnic and beach trips as well. Even better? It includes a compact tote which will make transporting it a breeze.
LEXON Tykho 3 FM Radio & Bluetooth® Speaker
Another Lexon favorite, this silicone rubber bluetooth speaker can connect with your phone to play music, in addition to functioning as a normal FM radio. Aesthetic appeal aside, the speaker has impressive sound quality, charges easily through a USB port, and is splash-proof in case you want to bring it poolside.
Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings
To give you a sense of how popular Sweaty Betty's Power leggings are, one pair has sold every 90 seconds this year. I can personally attest to these being some of the comfiest and most flattering leggings I've ever owned, and how they're well-suited for every pursuit from running to yoga to Netflix surfing.
Alo Yoga Muse Sweatpant
'If you're after a luxe-feeling loungewear gift, these best-selling joggers are made from a dreamily soft ribbed knit. As one reviewer put it: "They are flattering, lightweight, and just detailed enough to make you feel 'dressed' while wearing sweats."
Mejuri Bold Herringbone Chain Necklace
Herringbone chain necklaces look good on everyone, in addition to pairing well with nearly everything. If she doesn't already have one in her jewelry box, Mejuri's gold vermeil option is the perfect length.
NORDSTROM SIGNATURE Rib Half-Zip Sweater
This luxe cashmere half-zip works with everything. Your loved one will be able to wear this while lounging around at home, on Zoom calls, or with a pair of cool leather pants when we're feeling more social again.
DeMellier London The Mini Venice Bag
DeMellier's royal-loved Mini Venice bag (Meghan Markle and Duchess Camilla have both worn this exact style) is a luxe gift that gives back. As part of the British brand's "A Bag, A Life" program, for every bag purchased, a donation is made to SOS Children's Villages—a charity that funds vaccines and medical treatments for children in over 136 countries. The Mini Venice comes in 7 other colorways as well, including a lovely reptilian version.
Haute Diggity Dog Pawda Bag Squeaky Dog Toy
When I said "everyone on your list," I wasn't kidding. For the fabulous dog in your life (hi, Amber!), this Pawda bag will be the chicest toy they own.
Ceramic Face Planter Pot With Legs
For your loved one who has a small botanical garden growing in their home, it's a tiny planter (perfect for succulents!) that comes in three colors.
NOSHINKU Travel Size Bergamot Hand Sanitizer
It goes without saying that hand sanitizer is its own kind of "must" for 2021. Here, an option that won't leave hands sticky and smelling like an old bottle of tequila. Think: bergamot with a hint of coconut.
Shopbop @Home New York City Map 1000 Piece Puzzle
Give this 1,000-piece puzzle to someone who loves to travel—and is ready to start planning their next trip to the Big Apple.
Aēsop The Protector 3-Piece Set
For the couple that's impossible to buy for, this gift set from the holy grail of fancy soap makers is sure to please. Contents include the brand's Cythera Aromatique Room Spray, Post-Poo Drops, and the cult-favorite Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash.
Quest Love Food LLC Mixtape Potluck Cookbook
There are regular cookbooks and then there’s Questlove’s cookbook, which imagines the greatest potluck of all time and has celebrity recipe contributions from the likes of Amy Poehler, Gabrielle Union, Natalie Portman, Q-Tip, Fred Armisen, and so many more. For the chef in your life, this is sure to be a hit (pardon my extremely nerdy music pun).
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour
The Canotier nail polish from Chanel Beauty offers a just-right level of metallic sparkle and is as glamorous as under-$30 gifts come. The polish is formulated with special pigments that allow for an even application and dramatic look.
Glossier The Nightstand Duo
This winter-friendly set from Glossier includes the brand's hand cream and best-selling lip balm. Both will get to work in keeping hands and lips hydrated. As an added bonus, it will look good when they're on standby.
Amazon 'Drinking Animals Coloring Book'
Each page in this delightful coloring book opens up to a different animal and new cocktail recipe. To give you a sense of how beloved this budget gift is, it currently ranks as the #1 best-selling book in the "Event Planning" section on Amazon.
54 THRONES Ivorian Cocoa + Ghanaian Coconut Beauty Butter
Peak dry skin season is upon us, which makes this hydrating face and body butter a useful gift for anyone. Maybe you saw founder Christina Funke Tegbe pitching her brand (an Oprah "Favorite Things" pick) on Season 13 of "Shark Tank."
teNeues 'Living in Style Paris'
For the interior design lover, this tome is sure to dazzle. Written by Paris insider Caroline Sarkozy, the coffee table book brings readers inside some of the most awe-inspiring apartments in Paris with photography that should come with a drool-warning.
MALIN+GOETZ Cannabis Votive Candle Duo
What's better than one bestselling candle? A pair of them—from husband-and-husband-run, NYC-based brand Malin + Goetz just hits different. Capturing the joy of a lazy afternoon spent enjoying a great record, the THC-free candle has a subtly seductive scent with opening notes of bergamot, black pepper and orange, and a base of patchouli, cedarwood, amber, and musk.
Phaidon Press 'Anni and Josef Albers: Equal and Unequal'
For the coffee table book lover on your list, this luxe visual biography chronicling Anni and Josef Albers’ works in modern art and design is sure to spark joy.
Lululemon Arise Mat Made with FSC-Certified Rubber 5mm
For the loved one that's just getting into yoga, this vibrant Lululemon option is a splurge you can feel good about. The mat is Forest Stewardship Council-certified, which, per Lululemon, supports the protection of forest ecosystems and the people, plants, and animals that inhabit them.
Alessi Pulcina Geometric Espresso Pot
This espresso pot from Italian design brand Alessi not only brews a perfect moka, but is kitchen counter eye candy. The recipient will want to keep this on display 24/7.
Nova Deruta Salt and Pepper Shaker Set
Behold: the thoughtful souvenir you would've brought back for the couple you love from Italy this year if 2020 through 2021 hadn't been...like this. Nova Deruta's earthware uses traditional handcrafted techniques inspired by Italy's Umbrian region, dating all the way back to the renaissance.
Harvest Peace Organic Palestinian Extra Virgin Olive OIl
'Tis the season for peace, and this delicious olive oil is sourced from a land where olive trees have been grown for millennia. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle goes to re-planting trees and groves lost due to regional conflict.
Three IV Seven Idyllic Soy Candle
Surprise a changemaker you admire by way of a natural soy candle. The scent is a dreamy vetiver and lemon peel blend with green floral notes.
Thames & Hudson 'Supreme Glamour'
Anyone who loves The Supremes or retro glamour will swoon over this new coffee table fixture, which chronicles the fashion history of the beloved 1960s Motown group. Founding member Mary Wilson tells her friend and co-author, Mark Begu, the whole story of the band.
Filson Mackinaw Blanket
Stay cozy this winter with a lumberjack-plaid blanket. It's a gift sure to be appreciated by anyone on your list as soon as it starts to snow.
White + Warren Cashmere Pop Top Gloves
Spare someone you love the wintery dilemma of not being able to answer that text or missing a single call with a pair of text-friendly gloves (in three muted colors). Certain to come in handy (not sorry for the pun).
Senreve Mini Maestra Bag
Senreve's bags take versatility to another level with their ability to be worn as a backpack, crossbody, or top handle. Now that we're living in a hands-free world, this bag is sure to be useful for everyday wear as it fully zips at the top and has enough space to hold a small umbrella and 10.5" tablet, while still feeling like a small bag.
Hotel Chocolate The Unbelievably Vegan H-Box Chocolates
Until now, have the vegans in your life been doomed to a life of solely dark chocolate? This H will make them happy! Try the luxury candy brand's dairy-free treats made with Nutmilk (from hazelnuts).
Wilfred Reversible Wool Triangle Scarf
This wool triangle scarf is soft on the skin, easy to style, and reversible. I own this in two of the 10 color ways it comes in and am tempted to buy a third. This will be a godsend for hiding the fact that someone is still wearing pajamas during morning Zoom calls.
'Canines of New York' Coffee Table Book
Who doesn't like looking at pictures of cute pups? This coffee table book with fuzzy feels is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for hipsters, grandparents, and city-goers of all ages.
Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set
As humans, we spend a third of our life asleep (or, at least, trying to fall asleep), so upgrading a loved one's bedding situation is a thoughtful move. This cotton sheet set from what's arguably the most beloved sheet brand on the internet includes a fitted sheet, top sheet, and two pillow cases.
Caribbean Craft Paper Maché Rainbow Giraffe Head
There is so much to love about independent brand Carribean Craft's upcycled creations. The ethos of the women-run brand is celebrating Haitian culture and empowering Haitian women. Here, a decorative paper mache fixture that'll add sunshine to any child's room.
Fenty Beauty Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette in True Neutrals
Just in case a makeup lover in your life has yet to try Fenty Beauty, introducing them to Rihanna's beloved line will be the beauty gift that keeps on giving. A personal Fenty Beauty favorite of mine is the True Neutrals palette, which contains six smooth, easily-blendable shades in a range of matte, shimmer, and glitter finishes that can be mixed and matched to create both natural and dramatic looks.
Jungalow Azul Face Pillow by Justina Blakeney® X Loloi
Based on an original watercolor painting by Justina Blakeney, this decorative pillow will bring a contemporary touch to any room the recipient places it in.
Tribesigns End or Side Table
For the loved one who could use an end table or nightstand upgrade, this acrylic option is equal parts chic and practical—with two drawers and a shelf. The best part? Since it's available on Amazon Prime, you won't have to pay extra for shipping.
South Shore Maliza Bar Cart
This apartment-friendly bar cart provides space for an artsy cocktail connoisseur to display some of their favorite liquors and wine glasses. It's a sophisticated storage piece that exudes understated glamour and is suitable for the outdoors as well.
SOKO Laine Mini Hoop Earrings
Minimal yet playful, SOKO's mini squared-off hoop earrings pair well with just about any look. In case you're unfamiliar with the women-founded and sustainably-sourced brand, SOKO's pieces are handcrafted by artisans in Kenya.
Olivela Ruby Heart Pinky Ring
Heart jewelry has come a long way since season six of 'The Office' when Pam insinuated that women wouldn't ever buy heart-shaped jewelry for themselves. Dainty and special, this gold pinky ring will add a subtle kitschy touch to all of her outfits. For every ring sold, Olivela donates chemotherapy care supplies to children through St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Outdoor Voices Doing Things Unisex Hat
Not only is it cute on anyone, but also this hat helps keep harmful plastic pollution from mucking up our oceans. The brim is made of 100 percent recycled fishing nets.
Polo Ralph Lauren French Bulldog Knit Hat
To put it simply, this is for the dog-loving dude who's tricky to buy for.
Ray-Ban Shades for Him
You know his sunglass face type better than he does, so treat him to a pair of high-quality, super comfortable shades that he'll be able to enjoy year-round.
Allbirds The Scarf
Like their sneakers, the pieces in Allbirds' clothing collection fall into the category of "splurges you can feel good about" since they're environmentally friendly. This scarf from the collection is equally soft and suave.
Balenciaga Homewear Socks
If he's a cool socks guy, this luxe camo pair from Balenciaga will quite literally knock his off.
A-COLD-WALL* Men's Utility Style Hooded Jacket
This utility style zip-up from Samuel Ross's label A-Cold-Wall* will be the coolest jacket he owns. Versatile and lightweight, it features a concealed fastening system, which allows for an individualized fit.
Cole Haan Men's 4.ZERØGRAND Hiker Boot
Whether he's an outdoorsman or a Brooklyn native, these hiking boots from Cole Haan are sure to be a hit.
Ugg Hank Joggers
For the guy on your list who insists he doesn't need new sweats for at-home lounging, but you know absolutely does. Pick from four must-have neutral colors.
Daem Watches x Basquiat 'Now's The Time' Watch
If he's an art lover, the creations from Brooklyn-based men's watch label Daem Watches in collaboration with the Basquiat Estate are otherworldly. Here, a one-of-a-kind piece that reads "Now's The Time."