The early bird, as they say, gets the worm. You could embark on a mad last-minute gift-buying scramble in the days leading up to the holidays … or you could wrap up your shopping before Halloween and get out while the getting’s good. Here’s another compelling reason to get it all done early: Lots of great would-be gifts are being discounted during Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale (also known as Prime Day 2), and we’ve spotted tons of toys, games, and other goods that are sure to please everyone on your list. To help you get a jump start, we’ve rounded up some tried-and-tested favorites whether you’re shopping for big-ticket items for your BFFs or stocking stuffers for your whole family.
One last thing: The Prime Early Access Sale ends tonight (at 3 a.m. ET), but we can’t guarantee that these discounts will last or that everything will be in stock until the clock runs out. This is our last update of the day, so we suggest that if you do spot something you like the look of, go to checkout sooner rather than later.
For the person with a weekly blowout appointment
For the person who always has the sniffles
An air purifier is just what they need to help reduce their wheezes and sneezes. This one is not only nice-looking, it’s equipped with a high-efficiency activated-carbon filter to capture pet dander, smoke pollution, and dust particles.
For the person with curls for days
Curly hair can be high maintenance, but DevaCurl’s microfiber towel can at least help speed up the drying process. We included it in our roundup of the best hair towels because it’s “larger and thicker” than average, according to hairstylist Monaé Everett, so it can dry curly hair more quickly.
For the person whose yard is their pride and joy
These ultrasharp loppers are designed to slice through branches like a hot knife through butter, making trimming and pruning a breeze. Help them prepare for next spring’s yardwork by snagging a pair now at the lowest price we’ve seen since 2015.
For the person with perpetually chapped lips
For the person with perpetually cracked lips
If their lips could use some more TLC, Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask is a Strategist favorite, championed by everyone from model Beverly Johnson to actress Storm Reid to our own writer Lauren Ro. “The formula definitely feels stickier than your average lip balm, but I always immediately forget about it because it just soaks in,” Ro writes. “In the morning, my lips feel rejuvenated.” It was also mentioned by more than one of the high schoolers we talked to for our back-to-school survey — so if you have a teen on your gift list, take note.
For the person whose thrift-store blender desperately needs an upgrade
Although it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of this brand’s more expensive models, the Vitamix One blender features a sleek, streamlined design that won’t take up too much space on their kitchen counter and is more than capable of handling morning smoothies.
For the kid who’s always got a toy in tow
For the person with a well-established 12-step skin-care routine
Mario Badescu’s collagen mask is touted by aestheticians for its ability to plump, smooth, and purify your complexion.
For the person who’s skin-care curious
Even if they’re overwhelmed by the K-beauty landscape, they’ll love the Face Shop’s rice-water-enhanced cleanser, which helps dissolve makeup and wash away impurities without stripping the skin.
For the fashion obsessive with a knack for DIY
For the person who’s very hygge
Kitchen-and-dining writer Emma Wartzman has named this Cosori kettle one of the Best in Class electric kettles. With glass walls and a stainless-steel filter, it produces “clean hot water that has virtually no contact with any plastic parts,” says one satisfied Amazon reviewer.
For the person who can’t get behind AirPods
If they want a pair of wireless earbuds but don’t like the fit of AirPods, Ghetto Gastro co-founder Jon Gray recommends this pair from Beats. “I can go on runs with them or take calls with them,” Gray told us. “They stay in, and it’s not like I’m wearing a bulky set of headphones.”
For the pickleball convert
So they gave pickleball a try and now they’re on the court every weekend and thinking about joining a league. Gift them this Franklin Sports pickleball starter pack that’s vouched for by actor Emile Hirsch: “This set has everything you need. I’ve got the pickleball, my paddle, my bag — it’s nice,” Hirsch says. “It’s so much fun … I play probably twice a week.”
For the baby with musical inclinations
This xylophone encourages musical exploration while also promoting skills such as dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Who knows — they may just end up becoming Kid Beethoven.
For the baby who’s still getting the hang of block towers
Tegu’s magnetic blocks are among the best wooden toys for kids and come recommended by the child-development experts we spoke to for our gift guide for 1-year-olds. The set comes in lots of fun designs, including a cat, a spaceship, and this adorable tugboat.
For the person who’s impossible to shop for
Anyone and everyone can appreciate a reusable water bottle, so you really can’t go wrong with gifting someone a widely beloved Hydro Flask. Our Best in Class drinking vessel is championed by multiple Strategist staffers, including kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman, senior editor Simone Kitchens, and editor Maxine Builder. Builder brings this wide-mouth, flex-lid style “on long car rides, where I don’t want my water bottle to get baked and weight isn’t a primary concern.”
For the person who wants to know their origin story
This AncestryDNA kit can help them trace their family tree by searching for matches from over 1,500 regions around the world.
For the serious home baker with limited kitchen space
Strategist contributor Erica Murphy says KitchenAid’s miniature mixer is “25 percent lighter and 20 percent smaller than a regular KitchenAid mixer” but can handle “all the same attachments as its predecessor.” It’s currently on sale in a cornucopia of colors, including candy-apple red, hot-sauce orange, and icy turquoise.
For person who needs their beauty sleep
Casper’s silk pillowcase and sleep mask, made from 100 percent mulberry silk, are bound to help them snooze more sleekly. According to Strategist beauty writer Tembe Denton-Hurst, sleeping on silk is said to reduce skin irritation, wrinkles, and hair frizz.
For the kid with a bed full of stuffed animals
Squishmallows — soft, cuddly plushes that come in tons of adorable designs — are a big hit among teens and tweens. Jennifer Lynch, content developer at the Toy Association, says the seemingly endless options mean that “kids can use them to customize their space,” and their “collectibility” makes them a hot item year-round.
For the person who’s always asking if you’ve seen their keys
Help them keep better track of their stuff with Tile Mates, which can be attached to key chains, bags, and more. Model Yumi Nu loved hers so much that she bought some “for my parents and sister, too, because we all lose our keys and phones.” All you have to do is “connect the little square thing to an app on your phone and press a button in the app … then the actual tile plays a song and you follow the sound,” Nu explains.
For the person who wants to expand their palate
Julia Child’s classic book of French recipes made her a household name. This two-volume boxed set, packed with detailed instructions and beautiful line drawings, is destined to be passed down from one generation to the next.
For the person who just wants to figure out dinner
On the other hand, if they have little time or energy for big cooking projects, Alison Roman’s book of simple, straightforward recipes may be more their speed. Author and chef Joshua McFadden described himself as a “big fan” of Roman’s cookbooks because “they’re fun and get people to cook, and that is the point.”
For the person who can’t stop watching Sylvanian Drama
These classic animal figurines are ostensibly for kids, and they’re a great toy for toddlers, especially … but they’re also the stars of TikTok account Sylvanian Drama, which creates chaotic reality-show-esque story lines using a whole menagerie of Calico Critters. This sharply dressed rabbit family would make a great gift for anyone hoping to replicate the viral account’s success.
For the person with an extensive scented-candle collection
They’re obsessed with making their space smell nice, but they already own 1,000 different candles. So how about switching things up with an essential-oil diffuser? Kara Smith, an activist and social-media and community manager, decorated her home office with this sculptural Vitruvi one that she says helps freshen stale air and, as a result, her mood.
For the person who can’t function without a soundtrack
Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo takes her Bose SoundLink speaker “to the park or the beach and also in the shower.” Even though its diminutive size is “smaller than most books,” it still manages to “fill her two-bedroom apartment with rich, high-quality sound,” Corsillo says. Since it comes with a microphone, she’ll even use it for conference calls.
For the forgetful tea drinker
They brew a fresh cup of chamomile every morning … but it’s lukewarm by the time they remember to drink it. Gift them Ember’s self-heating mug to keep their tea piping hot for at least an hour. When former Strategist senior writer Karen Adelson tested it out, she reported that it kept her tea “within seven degrees of the set temperature for 95 minutes.”
For the person whose top priority is flawless skin
Gifting someone pimple patches can be a tad dicey, especially if they’re a sensitive, moody teen. But if you’re positive they won’t take offense, these TikTok-approved ones from Hero Cosmetics are currently 20 percent off. Beauty blogger Sabrina Molu says they’re “cheaper than other brands and they’re thin enough that I can put them along my nose or on my hairline without killing when I take them off.”
For the person who pops melatonin like candy
For the frequent flier
This handsome toiletry bag, which comes with four separate compartments and a convenient hanging hook, is perfect for someone who’s constantly on the go.
For the passionate dog parent
If being away from their beloved pup gives them separation anxiety, they can keep an eye on Fido and even dispense treats remotely with Furbo’s doggie cam. “The Furbo lets you interact with your pet even when you’re far away, sharing treats, telling them they’re ‘such a good girl,’ and snapping some photos, too,” says Kate Jaffe, a trends expert at Rover.
For the person who’s always impeccably groomed
When contributor Kurt Soller tested out a bunch of beard trimmers, he named this one his favorite because of its “convenient radial dial” for selecting your preferred cutting length and its “vacuum-suction feature” that allows for a mess-free trim.
For the person who gets really intense about board games
Fans of Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, or any other elaborate fantasy world will go wild over this nostalgic ’90s board game. Board-game designer Rob Sparks calls Twilight Imperium one of the “most ambitious, all-encompassing space dramas” but warns it’s “not for the faint of heart”: An average game will take between seven and 12 hours to play.
For the person who just wants a nice family game night
Ticket to Ride is one of the best board games to play during the holidays, according to family therapists. It’s recommended by James Kling, Behavior Consultant and founder of Alternative Teaching, because it “requires more skill and [you don’t] attack players directly.” It’s also one of the best board games for adults, so rest assured that it’ll provide hours of fun for the whole family.
For the person who’s trying to quit doomscrolling
If they want to spend more of their subway commute reading a book instead of scrolling through Twitter, a Kindle is the perfect gift. Brenda Song loves hers because it’s “just so convenient. If I’m out and about and I have a few minutes, I just pull out my Kindle.” She has even ended up using it more than her phone or iPad.
For the person who’s a little bit messy
Dust and crumbs don’t stand a chance against this reusable putty. With a sticky, slimelike texture, it’s capable of cleaning out all the hard-to-reach crevices of their car or keyboard.
For the kid with a need for speed
Kids will love scooting around on a PlasmaCar, but even some adults can take it for a joyride — it supports weight up to 220 pounds. “We have carried this toy for years, and they always sell,” says the Dolphin Bookshop’s Holly Magelof, who recommended the PlasmaCar in our Toy Matrix gift guide for 3-year-olds.
For the person who could use some pampering
L’Occitane’s five-piece gift set is a great gift for the new mom, stressed-out sibling, or mother-in-law in your life. It contains sample sizes of the brand’s popular hand cream, anti-aging serum, facial moisturizer, body lotion, and shower gel.
For the teen who wants to upgrade their room
Kasa’s LED light strips offer a quick and easy way to completely switch up the vibe of a room. This one comes with 50 customizable color zones as well as dozens of preset animated effects and can be controlled through an app or a smart-home device like Alexa.
For the person contending with some aches and pains
If they already own a foam roller, a Thera Cane, and an acupressure mat, the next logical gadget to add to their arsenal of massage tools is the Theragun. Curator Larry Ossei-Mensah uses his to “massage my quads and calves while I’m watching TV. Or sometimes I have back problems from sitting in front of a computer, so I can manually use this.”
For the kid who builds elaborate pillow forts
For the person who loves leafing through old photo albums
We named Nixplay’s frame one of the “Best in Class” digital picture frames thanks to its touchscreen capabilities. “You can flip the frame from landscape to portrait mode and easily swipe between your favorite photos or adjust the settings right on the screen,” says former Strategist tech writer Jordan Bowman. You can also upload video clips and invite multiple people to contribute photos.
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