painless shopping

35 Gifts for Every Type of Host

Photo: Retailers

It’s always hard to figure out the best way to thank a generous host. You want to give them something more unique than a bottle of wine, but not so unique that it risks living in that closet with all the other stuff they never use. We think it’s best to keep things relatively simple, and focus on something that will be easy to use around the house — like fun and design-y upgrades of stuff your host already uses on a regular basis. In preparation for the slew of parties to come over the next few months, we’ve gathered some of our favorite gifts for hosts that are easy to buy online and will definitely be appreciated (even if they insist you don’t bring anything).

For the host who’s terrible with fresh flowers

A preserved flower bouquet is a bouquet they’ll never need to water. No need to fuss with those little powdered plant food envelopes, just stick this in a vase and they’re good to go.

For the host who always has fresh flowers

This handblown glass vase from the West Elm x Bower collaboration is part vessel, part objet d’art.

For the host who’s a regular at the farmers market

This Click and Grow counter top “Smart Garden” uses an automated hydroponic system with a built-in grow light, so they can grow their favorite fresh herbs from the comfort of their own kitchen. It comes with three basil seed capsules, but they can also mix and match from over 40 other options like mini-tomatoes and wild strawberries. We featured this model in our roundup of the best indoor garden kits.

For the host who knows Catan is a bad idea


While board games can be a great idea for parties, it’s important to choose the right one. When writer Dominque Pariso asked a bunch of board game experts about their favorite party games, this emerged as a top pick, especially for large groups. The experts love the fun graphic design and the fact that it’s easy to learn. As Dylan Speed of Meeple Mountain explains, “Over three rounds that allow progressively fewer words — from unlimited, to one, to none (charades) — everyone will shout and laugh their way through an evening of making nonsense and new inside jokes.”

For the host who already has habanero bitters

If they’re into making cocktails — hopefully they don’t still call it “mixology” — they’ll definitely appreciate this set of two copper cups, perfect for making Moscow Mules or mint juleps.

For the host who already has copper Moscow Mule cups


If they already have a fully stocked bar, then maybe it’s time to start practicing their craft. From our roundup of this season’s most giftable coffee-table books, this cocktail-focused tome is written by spirit legend Leo Robitschek, the bar director at the NoMad Bar (and Eleven Madison Park). It has nearly 300 recipes, dozens of illustrations, and an in-depth service manual.

For the host who’s an umami fiend

Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski told us this black garlic salt is “freaking delicious,” and we’re just going to leave it at that.

For the host who opens beer bottles with a lighter

It’s probably time to start using an actual bottle opener. This one is nice-looking enough that it can stay on the counter, and it even has a little magnet to stick to the fridge for easy access.

For the host who just got a new coffee table


This set of six geometric coasters can be arranged together to double as a trivet.

For the host who needs a book to place on said coffee table

Try this hardcover with photographs and write-ups on 150 of Picasso’s most notable ceramic works, recommended by our very own Chris Black.

For the host that like positive affirmations

Rayo & Honey, makers of affirmational but still stylish pennants, is a favorite of Black-Owned Brooklyn co-creator Cynthia Gordy Giwa, who likes the company’s welcoming messages. “It’s been a very grounding and centering meditation for me to sit with at this time,” she says.

For the host who’s getting into natural wine

Featured in our roundup of the best gifts for wine lovers, this affordable decanter was recommended by Marissa Copeland, the head sommelier at Junoon.

For the host who enjoys the occasional glass of red

Or, if they’re the type who prefers to just have a glass or two with dinner, this sommelier-approved wine stopper might be a better gift because it helps preserve the bottle for future enjoyment. “The Vacu Vin system has been around forever for a reason,” says Eric Tschudi, the sommelier and head bartender at Shuko in NYC. “While I wouldn’t recommend it for sparkling wines, the included pump gets the wine-killing oxygen out of the bottle and helps keep still wines fresh for days.”

For the host who insists on a coarse grind

When we asked baristas and coffee roasters about their favorite coffee grinders, they all told us that if you’re serious about coffee you really need to start using a conical burr grinder because it gives a more consistent and even grind. This model, the Baratza Encore, was the clear favorite, recommended by five our experts. (For something a bit less expensive but still expert-recommended, we also featured a Krups burr grinder on that list and it’s under $50.)

For the host who loves a good pour-over

This ceramic pour-over dripper also appeared in our roundup of the best gifts for coffee lovers. It’s one of the simplest ways to get started with pour-over, and there’s no crazy laboratory-looking glass equipment to worry about. It came recommended by Yasmina Palumbo, a co-owner of New York City’s Mud Coffee, who told us she loves how you can just place it right over your mug “so you’re brewing cup by cup,” and that everything stays “super fresh and hot.” Hario is a coffee-nerd-approved company, so your host should be impressed.

For the host who names all their houseplants

If they’re into houseplants, they’ll appreciate this brass watering can that looks good enough to leave out on the shelf.

For the host redecorating their living room

Bolé Road sells textiles made by Ethiopian artisans, like this pillow, which is made from handwoven cotton and has a subtle ombre pattern that’ll go with virtually any design style.

For the host who “hosts” a lot

Here’s a host gift that will actually come in handy while hosting. Former Vogue fashion director Tonne Goodman first told us about these cotton cocktail napkins that conveniently come in a roll. She first discovered them in Paris and has been re-ordering them every since. [They’re] the simplest solution to the tedious task of serving hors d’oeuvres,” she says, and “indispensable during the holidays.”

For the host who likes to send you home with leftovers

If they don’t like to waste food, they likely would prefer not to create excess waste in the form of plastic shopping bags. We are not shy about our love for the affordable, stylish, and always practical Baggu tote. This set of three comes in fun pastel shades, perfect for a casual grocery store flex.

For the host who always throws movie night