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 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.” As for their most recent update, the Ilsa won’t deliver before Christmas. Instead, we recommend another retro, six-cup coffee maker: the all-time classic stovetop Moka pot.
For the coffee-drinking mom who’s minimal
For the mom who misses Michelle
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 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 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
We originally listed the Dyson Airwrap styling set, which, yes, 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. (If mom spends $45 a week on a blow out, it would pay for itself in five months.) That kit will no longer ship in time for Christmas, so the Dyson hair dryer is the next best thing, which is still remarkably high-tech and luxurious.
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.”
Editor’s Note: Most of these long-sleeve pajama sets from Eberjey aren’t set to arrive in time for Christmas, but you’ll have a lot more luck with the short sleeve sets from Eberjey.
For the mom who’s part of the food co-op
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 homeowners 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
This excellently reviewed digital picture frame brand makes frames that are simple to set up and have a very easy-to-use app, so you can remotely drop new photos in there, and 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 pictures of the kids on the fridge
Odds are she’ll know how to work it.
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 squat little aromatherapy diffuser looks slicker than some of its bamboo counterparts, more closely resembling a mid-century Braun device.
For the mom who wants her home to smell like New Mexico
Palo Santo, or holy wood, usually comes in wooden stick form. It smells earthy and ethereal all at once but is a pain to burn compared to regular incense. This box is an exception: it’s Peruvian Palo Santo rolled into burnable incense sticks.
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 teal one is just as good-looking.
For the mom who really likes to cook
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
For the mom who likes her Nebbiolo (and who’s clumsy)
Purists might still decline a wine glass without a stem, but the fact that this is Riedel — and came recommended by no less than the wine director at Eleven Madison Park — should dispel anyone’s doubt.
Editor’s Note: This set of Riedl wine glasses won’t arrive in time for Christmas, but the Schott Zwiesel red wine glasses that Zach Jones – wine director at Chicago restaurant Pacific Standard Time – likes are a great backup option.
For the mom who likes her Cab Franc (but just one glass)
This wine-sealing contraption is $200, but think of all the good wine mom will save by keeping opened bottles free from oxidation.
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
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 tools 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 and cheeks, and even 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
This mustard-seed powder is one of the best bath soaks, full stop. It emulsifies in hot water and relaxes muscles instantly. As a bonus, it leaves skin silky and soft after the bath.
For the mom who just heard of Elena Ferrante
For the mom ready to take composting to the next level
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best hostess gifts, gifts for dad, baby shower gifts, gifts for your boss, bar mitzvah gifts, and things on sale. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
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