gifts they might actually want

A Gift for Every Type of Boyfriend (at Every Price Point)

Photo-Illustration: Retailers

Jump to section

Choosing a gift for your boyfriend might seem easy at first. Then you start to consider details like how long you’ve been dating, your budget, and his actual interests, and suddenly it’s a lot harder. But finding the right gift for a boyfriend doesn’t have to be rocket science.

If you need a little assistance discovering that special something, this list of gifts at a variety of prices should help, whether your boyfriend is an aspiring chef who needs new kitchen tools, a guy who misplaces his stuff and could use some organization, or a fitness fanatic who would enjoy a fresh set of workout clothes.

Having been a boyfriend myself for most of my 20s, I can vouch for the selection of thoughtful gift ideas below, some of which will make great Valentine’s Day gifts. While most of the items on this list are available on Amazon, I’ve found some of them elsewhere for those who like to shop around.

Under $25

For the boyfriend who’s the letter-writing type

This Strategist-favorite fountain pen was ranked No. 5 in our list of the 100 best pens for its feel, looks, and writing quality. It’s also beloved by AOC and one of the nine things writer André Aciman can’t live without.

For the boyfriend who’s anxious about flying

This “game-changing” eye mask equipped with Bluetooth speakers is what one globe-trotting celebrity facialist swears by for shutting out the world around her whenever she flies. If your boyfriend gets the jitters on the plane, it should help him relax — and hopefully get some shut-eye while he’s at it.

For the boyfriend who’s getting into rock climbing

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

These tiny plastic magnets look like the holds you’d see on the walls of a climbing gym. Now he can turn the fridge into his own rock wall.

For the boyfriend who gets hangry

Tuck a package of these celebrity-approved beef sticks in his bag so that he’ll never have another food emergency — or hunger-related meltdown — ever again.

For the boyfriend who moonlights as a writer

This stylish Japanese planner is great for journaling, creating schedules, and making to-do lists. It’s one of our favorite undated planners.

For the boyfriend who wants to cut down on Ziplocs

Stasher’s reusable silicone bags will not only make his fridge and kitchen more organized, but they’re good for the environment, too.

For the boyfriend who always wants to be the murderer (in Mafia)

Weekly game nights mean that he has mastered Bohnanza and Raccoon Tycoon, so fire up his competitive streak with this card game that Strategist writer Erin Schwartz says has made them enemies on both sides of the Atlantic. Similar to the games Mafia and Among Us, the objective of Saboteur is to discover which individual is working against the collective goal. “It can get downright Machiavellian,” Schwartz says — but that’s part of the fun.

For the boyfriend with chronically chapped lips

He would probably be very grateful for this trio of highly moisturizing SPF 25 lip balms with shea butter in a cooling natural mint flavor.

For the boyfriend with holes in his socks

If talking to cis straight men has taught us anything, it’s that most are not great about buying themselves socks. If that sounds like your boyfriend, he’ll appreciate the widely beloved SmartWool socks more than you know.

Under $50

For the creative boyfriend

Legendary music producer Rick Rubin compiled 78 different essays and meditations on the creative process into this book, which is just as much about mindfulness as it is about creating.

For the boyfriend with chronically cold hands

For the boyfriend with a drawer full of white tees

If he’s a white-T-shirt guy, you can’t go wrong with this tee, which we identified as the same one Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) wears in the FX show The Bear.

For the boyfriend whose favorite food is tacos

This was one of our favorite coffee-table books this year. Strategist writer Katherine Gillespie described it as a “delectably designed photographic recipe collection dedicated to all things corn flour.”

For the boyfriend who wants to travel light but still work on his novel

Strategist writer Katherine Gillespie packs this seven-ounce keyboard for international travel, and loves it for its ease of use and “decidedly non-Apple” aesthetic.

For the boyfriend who loves his coffee routine

Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Flask
From $29
From $29

This Hydro Flask from our guide to the best coffee-snob-approved travel mugs will help him keep his perfect brew nice and warm (or cold) whether he’s running errands in the car or stretching his legs on a walk.

For the caffeinated boyfriend who likes to camp

Just because he’s roughing it doesn’t mean he can’t still enjoy his favorite pour-over brew.

For the DIY boyfriend

Consider this highly rated tool set an ideal starter kit for the guy who wants to build more than Ikea furniture (though it would be good to have on hand for that too).

For the boyfriend who just realized he has dry skin

If you’re dating a man who doesn’t currently own a moisturizer, this is a good one to start him on. It’s lightweight, vegan, not too perfumy, and doesn’t leave a heavy residue.

For the boyfriend who wants to upgrade his nighttime skincare routine

Under $100

For the boyfriend who’s tired of his old cologne

This cologne comes recommended by Strategist columnist Chris Black, who describes the scent as “contemplating the meaning of life while soaking in a tub deep in the Japanese wilderness.” Its notes of cypress, turpentine, camphor, cedar, thyme, pine, Georgian wood, frankincense, moss, and vetiver make it a relaxing, year-round option.

For the boyfriend who’s always wanted to grill on the patio

This compact yakitori grill is great for tight spaces, according to Leslie Roark Scott of Ubon’s Barbeque in Yazoo City, Mississippi. “It’s the perfect size for a couple of steaks and holds heat like a champ,” she says.

For the boyfriend who’d appreciate a nice cashmere sweater

You can’t go wrong with gifting a buttery-soft cashmere sweater. This crewneck from Naadam is our overall favorite.

For the boyfriend looking to improve his swing

This collapsible net makes chip shots more like a fun Skee-Ball-like game.

For the boyfriend who loves to bake

Spend Valentine’s Day making a sheet (or three) of his favorite cookies with these Nordic Ware pans that come recommended by countless chefs and bakers. According to one chef, they’re made from “a heavy-duty aluminum with solid rims that prevent warping,” and several more experts say they’re durable enough to last for years.

For the boyfriend who’d rather order in than go out

He’d be much more comfortable — and look better — in a fresh set of sweatpants. These CloudKnits are our favorite pair of men’s performance sweats. “They’re sleek, soft, sweat-wicking, comfortable, and just as good for sitting on the couch, running errands, or working out,” writes the Strategist’s Liza Corsillo.

For the boyfriend who’s an actual prepper

Here’s an expert-recommended fixed-blade knife with a 4¾-inch partially serrated blade that doubles as a fire starter and comes with a whistle and an integrated sharpener.

For the boyfriend who wants a more comfortable ride

Cycling experts love this gel-infused saddle for its “nice and cushy without being overly so” seat and ergonomic cutout (for comfort and ventilation).

For the boyfriend who wants to perfect Grandma’s recipe

If he wants to take his home cooking to the next level, he’ll appreciate this “pasta artist”–approved hand-crank pasta-maker from Marcato Atlas, an Italian company that has been making pasta machines for nearly 100 years.

For the boyfriend you always catch playing video games on his phone

$60

Show him he doesn’t have to hide his hobby (and buy yourself some me time) with the gift of this mobile-gaming extension that was super-popular over the holidays, according to trend expert. As one explains, the Razer Kishi “snaps in place on your iPhone, and the format mimics design best practices from the Nintendo Switch, converting your phone into a true gaming device.” While the product shown is iPhone-compatible only, you can get a Razer Kishi for Android phones at the same price.

For the oenophile boyfriend

Pastry chef Jacques Torres loves a chilled rosé and swears by this wine cooler to keep his bottles “very cold.” He even travels with it.

For the boyfriend who wants to eat more greens

Snowboarder Shaun White loves this single-serving blender from Ninja for his daily smoothies. “It’s just so easy,” he told us. “The blender isn’t a nightmare to clean, either.”

For the boyfriend who wants to work on his mobility

From $74

Three different yogis recommend this mat for being “indulgent,” as yoga instructor Kyle Miller puts it. “It’s grippy, soft, and breaks in very well,” she adds.

For the boyfriend whose favorite white sneakers aren’t looking so white anymore

From $70

While it’s definitely appropriate (and encouraged) to scuff up white sneakers, there’s a not-so-fine line between their looking lived-in and on their last breath. If your boyfriend’s have crossed that line, a new pair of Stan Smiths — a timeless style still beloved by cool people — will freshen up his wardrobe without costing too much.

For the boyfriend who needs to replace his old, stinky gym shorts

We selected the Interval as the best overall pair of men’s gym shorts. I love my pair, which I’ve had for almost two years. I’ve worn them not only for workouts and runs, but for summer hikes and beach trips, and they show no signs of wear. They also come in five- and nine-inch inseam lengths.

For the boyfriend who is a plant dad

This handsome stoneware planter comes with a nifty iron stand, allowing your boyfriend to give his favorite plant baby pride of place in the living room.

For the boyfriend who hates flossing (but knows he has to)

$82

Patrick Schwarzenegger swears by this Waterpik and says he has convinced “everyone” to get one. Maybe that next person will be your boyfriend?

For the boyfriend you share a bed with (who sleeps hot)

These cooling percale sheets are a favorite of sleep experts. They’re made from organic cotton and have a light, breathable feel.

Under $200

For the bookworm boyfriend

When it comes to e-readers, the Paperwhite is the gold standard. Strategist tech writer Jordan McMahon has tested every Kindle model since 2013, and this model is the one he carries with him most often thanks to its “best-in-class reading experience.”

For the boyfriend who prefers his sandwiches hot

He’ll be excited to make paninis at home, but when you tell him this press can cook burgers, waffles, and Korean barbecue, he’ll be downright thrilled. This Breville machine was named the best high-end model in our review of panini presses for its precise temperature control (down to the degree) and wide range of functions (including “Super Sear” and a “Burger” button). Food writer and editor Alyse Whitney praises the versatility of this model, which allowed her to get rid of other equipment.

For the boyfriend who likes a cooking project

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

This starter kit comes with two two-pound bags of Masienda’s Heirloom Corn Masa Harina (one blue corn and one white corn), and a sleek tortilla press that comes in three colors.

For the boyfriend who just discovered pour-over coffee

Strategist kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman called the Stagg the “gold standard of electric kettles.” It’s our top pick and came recommended by baristas, coffee-shop owners, and celebrities like classical pianist Jeremy Denk, who packs one in his suitcase when he travels.

For the boyfriend with (literal) cold feet

Slippers might seem a little obvious, but any boyfriend would be happy to receive this timeless wool pair that will double as “picking up the mail” or “walking the dog” clogs in a pinch.

For the aspiring lumberjack boyfriend

I practically live in these pants during the winter — especially on frigid days. They’re made from a cotton-spandex blend that’s super-durable (I liked chopping wood in them when I lived in New Mexico), and they’ve got a soft flannel lining on the inside that’s downright cozy.

For the boyfriend who keeps complaining about his dull knives

From $95

Strategist kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman selected the Global G-2 as the best overall chef’s knife. Strategist editor Maxine Builder called it “comfortable to hold,” and noted it had “enough arc to the blade that you can really get into a rhythm with chopping and dicing, but the tip is sharp enough for some scoring and more delicate knife work.”

For the boyfriend who hates mornings

If he’s always a little groggy when he wakes up, the solution might be swapping his phone alarm for a gentle wake-up light like this one, which, according to sleep experts, helps “ease the users into wakefulness instead of jolting them awake with an alarm.” The Restore not only mimics a natural sunrise but works as a bedside light and sound machine.

For the anxious boyfriend who runs cold all over

We dubbed this Baloo blanket as one of the best weighted blankets to gift because it’s very breathable and actually sort of chic. (If you want to spend less — or more — we rounded up lots of other giftable weighted blankets at all sorts of prices here.)

For the boyfriend who always brings the party wherever he goes

A musician-recommended speaker that’s “portable but still loud enough to make the neighbors jealous of your sick-ass barbecue.” If you want to shop around, check out this list of the portable Bluetooth speakers our writers and editors swear by.

For the boyfriend who loves his tech gear

For the boyfriend you share a bed with

$109

This sex toy is particularly great for couples, according to Dr. Emily Morse, host of the podcast Sex With Emily. She describes it as “kind of a twofer”: It can function as a regular ring toy or a handheld vibrator that either partner can “hold during intercourse” and use for further stimulation thanks to its “really strong vibrations.” (It can be controlled remotely via an app, should you ever be apart for a stretch.)

For the boyfriend who’s all about good butt hygiene

Maybe it’s time to get him a bidet like this one from Tushy, whose users rave about how effective it is at keeping them clean down there (and how easy it is to install).

For the boyfriend with an intense exercise regimen