How do you even make a mom-themed gift guide? Some moms are in their 20s. Some moms are in their 90s. Some moms like to cook. Some moms like to drink. Some moms like linen. Some moms like lavender. Coming up with the best gifts for mom is an impossible task! (Best gifts for dads can be tricky, too.) So, what we’ve attempted to do below is find gifts for several dozen specific mom archetypes that we hope will at least spark some ideas. Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here, too.
For the mom who needs a cozy new scarf
A scarf makes a perennially successful gift. We recently tallied up some of the best ones to buy for women, and geometric prints and blanket-size proportions kept showing up. We also like this striped wool one, which is both printed and oversized. And it’s Pendleton, so it’ll last forever.
For the coffee-drinking mom who’s retro
Writer Matthew Kassel told us about this French stovetop-coffee-making invention: “Here’s what’s special about it: It makes the perfect amount of coffee for one person — I know it says six, but it makes about four cups’ worth max — and produces a clean but concentrated cup. The texture doesn’t get as muddy as French-press coffee, and its a little less intense than Moka coffee.”
For the coffee-drinking mom who’s minimal
Strat’s deputy editor Jason Chen uses this pared-down pour-over kit. In his words: “When I’m not drinking bad work coffee (I know), I like to make a pour-over at my desk with this guy. The dripping sounds are a little extra, but it’s perfect for making a cup or two for one person, and the double-walled glass just looks nice.”
For the mom who’s kind of Floridian
If mom just noticed all those Cult Gaia Ark bags floating around at weddings and parties, may we redirect your attention to this bamboo handbag that’s $35, not $150. Writer Alison Freer pointed out that it’s not even a knockoff of Cult Gaia, because the Gaia bags are themselves a rip-off of vintage 1950s fan-shaped bags. This Vintga one, fortunately, is far less rickety than its pre-owned counterparts.
For the mom who misses Michelle
The odds aren’t bad that this will be the next book-club book, too.
For the mom who’s always asking for a foot rub
We put this in our guide for dad gifts, too, but it’s because this is one of the best-reviewed (and heated) foot massagers on Amazon. If she’d rather more of a foot-spa situation, try this one.
For the mom who likes cashmere
Hard to think of a material (second only to linen, maybe) that moms love more than cashmere. This sweater-shawl hybrid (which is currently 50 percent off) is from Amazon’s house fashion line Lark & Ro.
For the mom who likes linen
And speaking of linen: some of the best flaxen sheet sets can be bought on Amazon. We just updated our guide to shopping for linen sheets and were delighted to find that this small company, with a workshop in upstate New York, makes heirloom-level linen bedding.
For the candle-loving mom who’s kind of groovy
A recent investigation into the candle that would replace Diptyque’s yielded lots of votes for Boy Smells, a candle line from Los Angeles with scents more akin to incense and the outdoors than anything perfumy. St. Al is a lovely mix of sandlewood, clove flower, and ylang-ylang, but for the mom who doesn’t partake, we also recommend Stalker, a mix of celery, parsley, and oud, for the kitchen.
For the candle-loving mom who’s kind of fancy
And if your mom still loves Diptyque, get her an even fancier French candle. Anything coming from Ramdane Touhami, the skateboarder turned artist and designer who rebranded Cire Trudon in addition to Buly 1803 and Carrière Frères, “is very status-friendly for sure,” said Anna Polonsky from the New York design studio MP Shift.
For the mom with a Drybar habit
Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, this is a $950 beauty appliance. It’s the newest Dyson hair tool, and is both a blow dryer and a waving device that uses hot air instead of hot metal to create salon-perfect waves. And there’s a case to be made for buying it: If mom spends $45 a week on a blow out, this thing will pay for itself in five months.
For the mom who needs a new bathrobe
This kimono-style bathrobe is stylish to the point that you could almost wear it as a light jacket. Plus, it’s made of cotton, which keeps the whole thing from getting too bulky.
For the mom who needs new pajamas
These pajamas are a perennial Strat favorite. Among those who recommends them is Cup of Jo’s Joanna Goddard: “A few years ago, my husband and I went on a trip with another couple. The first morning, I stumbled into the kitchen, where my friend was making eggs in a classic pajama set. She looked so beautiful and elegant that I was immediately converted. Eberjey makes the softest, most buttery version.”
For the mom who’s part of the food co-op
For the mom who can’t wait for season three of The Crown
For the mom who’s always redecorating
Our very own Wendy Goodman has a book out, documenting all the eccentric, lavish, singular interiors she’s had access to over the past 20 years. Some of the home owners are famous — Amy Sedaris, Todd Oldham — but many aren’t. Regardless, inspiration and ideas abound.
For the mom who draws
Filled with illustrations, this book is “a charming, quirky, and sentimental tribute to the life of Sara Berman, beautifully illustrated by her daughter, artist Maira Kalman. It is an immigrant’s tale of reinvention and finding contentment in the simple things later in life,” say Michael Lyons Wier and Deanne Shashoua, the directors of the Lyons Wier Gallery.
For the mom always asking for more pictures of the grandkids
The best thing about this excellently reviewed digital picture frame is that it is very simple to set up and has a very easy-to-use app, so you can remotely drop new photos in there, so she can be surprised with, say, a just-thinking-of-you selfie, or a real-time photo from the kid’s piano recital.
For the mom who wants to hang the pictures of the grandkids on the fridge
For the mom going through old family photos
This scanner can handle old photos as well as slides, negatives, and medium-format panoramic film, which means your mom will be able to preserve all of the family’s memories.
For the gorpcore mom
Everyone loves a fleece pullover.
For the mom working on her core
For the mom working on her gut health
The latest in probiotics is actually prebiotics, which are essentially fibers (found naturally in foods such as bananas, leeks, and garlic) that help probiotics thrive. This stylish line carries several varieties, some for skin health, some for digestion, but this simple combination is good place to start.
For the mom who wants her home to smell like a spa
This bamboo diffuser is perfect for the mom who is dipping her toe into a new, Zen lifestyle.
For the mom who wants her home to smell like New Mexico
For those who love camping but don’t always have time to go camp, this line of incense is made from the bark of trees native to the Southwest. Writer Caroline Bankoff, who says the scent reminds her of Colorado, told us about it: “When burned, it gives off the invigorating, pleasantly rustic aroma of a campfire or fireplace, with no perfumey or musky qualities.”
For the mom who’s glamorous
For the mom who likes to cook
If you (or mom) watched Samin Nosrat’s Netflix show Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, you probably noticed the sunny yellow pot in Nosrat’s very photogenic Berkeley kitchen. A quick investigation found that the pot is a Dansk Kobenstyle, and while it’s not widely available in yellow, this cherry-red one is just as good-looking.
For the mom who really likes to cook
Okay, yes, $399 is a lot to spend. But giving your mom the DynaCube is essentially hiring a sous-chef for her to dice all of her fruits and vegetables, so she doesn’t have to. We learned about it from chef Michael Solomonov, of Dizengoff fame, who told us it was at the top of his wish list this year: “Apples, Asian pears, radishes, turnips, peppers, and anything else from your farm share will go into the chopper and come out freshly diced, waiting to be seasoned, mixed, and eaten without using or having to clean a knife or a cutting board.”
For the mom who likes to cook (and hates clutter)
Among chefs, most knife sets are considered gratuitous. Strat writer Maxine Builder offers another way of looking at them: “Instead, think of kitchen knife sets as starter packs, not definitive tool kits.” This Mercer set is good for intermediate cooks, “angling at getting the most blades for their money.” One major perk: The knives are suspended neatly in this stand, so water and grime won’t collect in a wooden block.
For the mom who wants to make nut milk
Time and time again, we’ve pointed out that the much-hyped Vitamix really is as powerful and agile as the price tag suggests. “The Vitamix Ascent 2500 has ten speeds,” wrote Maxine, “and you can easily switch between them while you’re using the blender with the turn of a dial. That gives you way more versatility when you’re cooking.”
For the mom who likes her lattes
For the mom who likes her Pinot Grigio
A perennial favorite of ours, the Corkcicle is a wine-bottle-sized plastic ice popsicle that can instantaneously chill a bottle of white — with none of the dilution you get when you resort to ice cubes.
For the mom who likes her Nebbiolo (and who’s clumsy)
For the mom who likes her Cab Franc (but just one glass)
Rather than sticking a cork in an already-open bottle, she can store her wine in this elegant contraption for up to a week. The “float” inside the carafe automatically adjusts (depending on how much wine is left) to maintain freshness.
For the mom who just became a mom
For the mom who just became a mom for the second time
This white-noise machine might not be the most attractive nightstand accessory, but, as editor Alexis Swerdloff wrote in her review of the Dohm white-noise sound machine, “[I]t’s what puts me (and now my husband) to sleep every night, like a warm cup of milk,” which is just the kind of sleep a new mom needs.
For the mom hooked on K-beauty
Sulwhasoo is widely regarded as some of the best of the best in the K-beauty-sphere. Strat beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton likes the brand’s night mask, and K-beauty blogger Jude Chao told us that this youth-in-a-bottle serum is one of her all-time favorite products.
For the mom who’s moved on from K-beauty to Australian beauty
Rio recently swapped out all of her usual skin-care goods for all-Aussie skin diet (meaning fewer chemicals and more rare, natural ingredients) and says she was aglow more than ever. This oil has Vitamin C, making it a “double whammy,” Rio says, for brightening and moisturizing.
For the mom who believes Goop
The rose quartz face roller is the quintessential Goop recommendation (second only to the jade vagina eggs). Besides the loving energetic vibes you (allegedly) get from rose quartz, these assist in lymphatic draining and boosting circulation in the skin. Good for tired moms.
For the mom who wears no-makeup makeup
Goes on lips, but also on cheeks and eyes.
For the mom who’s always behind on salon touch-ups
“My mom’s experience with the Color Wow was major,” said Rio, after she used it to brush up her mother’s grays. “Within seconds, her bright-gray roots were completely and totally concealed, with no evidence that they ever existed. And, even better, she said it didn’t feel like there was anything in her hair, the way pigmented sprays can get dry and crusty.
For the mom who needs a bath towel upgrade
For the mom whose ankles swell
“The beauty of Vim & Vigr is that it takes nice-feeling black or tan compression socks and injects them with actual style,” said Allison Freer, who actually gifted to these her post-op mom. (Her mom cried when she opened them.)
For the mom juggling lots of schedules
Strategist editors Alexis and Jason are big fans and power users of this Japanese planner, which gives you a full page for each day but is still small enough to stick into most any purse or work bag.
For the bath-loving mom
Himalayan pink sea salt adds a detoxifying element to the bath.
For the mom who always has chapped lips
It’s a sheet mask, but for your mouth.
For the mom who just heard of Elena Ferrante
For the mom who leaves you notes when you sleep in late
For the mom who wants to start composting
This attractive compost bin is an eco double whammy: You compost in it, obviously, and it’s made out of biodegradable bamboo fiber.
For the mom ready to take composting to the next level
For the Upper East Side mom
Last year, a curious thing happened uptown: a puffy coat went real-life viral. “It’s like the Moncler, when it first came out,” said one stylish Orolay owner. Good looks were a factor, as was the $100 price tag. Nab one for the mom who lives in a chilly climate.
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