gifts they might actually want

25 Birthday Gifts You Can Buy for Every Kind of Dad

Photo: Courtesy of the vendors

When it comes to holidays and birthdays, dads are notorious for “not needing anything” — and as much as we appreciate the self-effacing sentiment, it doesn’t make them any easier to shop for. Even if your dad has a hobby or recent obsession, be it astronomy or 20th-century history, there are only so many star guides and World War II books you can buy him. To help you find the perfect gift for his next birthday, we’ve gathered 25 items across the useful-to-delightful spectrum (with many that satisfy both) for dads of all kinds. And to make your shopping even easier, we’ve selected things that are all available for order on Amazon.

For the dad who hasn’t updated his alarm clock since the ’90s

Philips Wake-Up Light
$40

Spare your dad the chaotic beeping of his old 1998 digital arm clock by giving him this wake-up light, which comes recommended by sleep experts and works by lighting up slowly for 30 minutes before he’s ready to rise ‘n shine.

For the dad who appreciates an old-fashion shave

This safety razor was a favorite of barbers, including Brian Porteous, owner of Heritage Barbershop in Portland, Oregon, who says the handle is “wide and well-balanced,” and because its on the shorter side, it’s “easier to grip” and more maneuverable.

For the dad who’s getting into fitness

Not only will your dad be able to tell you how many steps he took this week, he’ll also be able to tell you the number of laps he swam and how many miles he biked.

For the dad who loves to sauté

A liter of olive oil that works just as well served with bread as it does for sizzling some garlic.

For the dad who craves caprese

This “smart garden” comes recommended by Sera Rogue, owner of Brooklyn gardening company Red Fern, and can be used to grow everything from lavender to chili peppers. It comes with starter pods for basil, making it a good bet for the dad who loves pesto or caprese.

For the dad who brings hardcovers on vacation

Kindle Paperwhite
$100

Give him the gift of a lighter carry-on, while still allowing him to pack all of his favorite tomes. (Bonus points if you pre-load it with a new best seller that you know he’ll love.)

For the dehydrated dad

This reviewer-favorite water bottle will keep his water cold all day, and it’s stylish enough that he’ll remember to grab it when he leaves the house.

For the dad whose phone needs a charge

Strategist tech columnist David Pogue loves the design of this wireless charger, which “props your phone up so you can see it from your pillow or across the room.” And importantly, it allows you to charge your phone whether it’s placed vertically or horizontally, which will come in handy if your dad uses it to power up while watching a movie.

Give him a soap bar with particularly handsome packaging from Portuguese soap company Claus Porto, which has been around since 1887. One pleased reviewer described the scent as “absolutely nothing short of wonderful.”

For the dad with cold feet

A pair of cashmere socks made in Scotland takes one of the most classic dad gifts to a more luxe (and extra warm) level.

For the dad who prefers a novelty sock

If solid socks are a little too understated, he’ll enjoy choosing between the George Washington and Van Gogh–inspired socks in this multipack.

For the dad with a green thumb

Give him a status-y British watering can that will have him feeling like Monty Don in no time.

For the dad who’s getting into astronomy

If he’s always pulling constellations up on the Star Finder app, gift him a beginner telescope — specifically one that was recommended by astronomers when we asked them which ones were best for new star gazers.

For the dad with a minimalist wardrobe

He’ll appreciate the two-in-one factor of this shirt that one Strategist writer swears by; he suggests layering it like a sweater, over another shirt.

For the dad who travels for work

If he’s often boarding a plane for his job, make the long schlep more pleasant with this bluetooth eye mask. The gadget’s a favorite of one celebrity facialist who uses it to listen to a meditation playlist as she dozes off.

For the dad who swims laps

He’ll be the most in-the-know swimmer in the lap pool with this pair of goggles that come recommended by swimming teachers and an Olympic trial finalist.

For the dad who fancies himself an amateur sommelier

This decanter is the personal favorite of Junoon sommelier Marissa Copeland, and is nearly identical to the Riedel O at less than one quarter of the price.

For the dad who’s serious about keeping his white wines chilled

For the dad who hits the slopes

This pair of actually cool-looking touch screen-friendly gloves came recommended to us by a lifelong skier who says they’re like a base layer for your hands.

For the dad who’s a coffee snob

If he’s rather…particular about his coffee, give the gift of a coffee grinder. Joanna Lareau, general manager at Blue Bottle Park Slope, has this one and told us that “it’s simple to use and super consistent. I’ve had one for almost three years now and it’s still amazing.”

For the bearded dad

An elegant set of beard combs for the dad with a beard on the longer side (if it’s shorter, consider a beard brush). We heard about these from Gary Priore, the founder of New York Beard & Company, who says “basically anything from Kent is a home run.”

For the dad with a sweet tooth

Skip the Lindt chocolate truffle bag and give him a stack of Tony’s Chocolonely bars instead — not only were they last year’s status Halloween candy, they also come in festive wrappers that make them fun gifts.