gifts

A Gift for Every Type of Sister

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy of retailer

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As an older sibling, it’s virtually a requirement that I keep up with my younger sister’s changing tastes (and opinions) — and to prove just how well I know her, I’ve learned to lean on my expertise in the gift-giving department. In my experience, sniffing out a real winner means choosing an item that’s surprising (as in, she wouldn’t think to buy it for herself) but touches on her interests or a memory we’ve made together. With that methodology, I’ve found numerous presents — for her birthday, important holidays we’ve spent apart, her college graduation, and her next big gig — that she can actually put to use while reminding her of our bond.

To help you find a gift that suits your sister, I’ve combed through our archives to uncover 67 standout ideas — many of which are Strategist-tested and -approved by a sister or were successfully gifted to one. And because no two are exactly alike, I found delightful options for every type of sister, including an action-packed card game that unlocks a rush to rival her daily Wordle attempts and an electric massager for on-demand (and deep-tissue) foot rubs. Below, I’ve organized each selection by cost for those with a specific price point in mind, plus every product is available on Amazon for purchasing ease.

Have a more specific gifting question? Try our new gift search tool here!

Under $25

For the sister who runs hot

Jisulife Handheld Mini-Fan
$18
$18

This foldable fan does double duty as a portable battery, so she can both stop complaining about the radiator and stop “borrowing” your phone charger when you’re out.

For the sister who always has her phone in her hand

$10

We’ve been seeing this wavy mirrored phone case everywhere, and your perennially online sister who’s the one you ask about TikTok drama will recognize it immediately.

For the sister who never has her phone in her hand

A sister with deep notebook affection (or one who can’t stand the Notes app) will be able to achieve “organization ecstasy” with this cherry-red hardcover journal. Each of its 144 pages features a different grid design, so there’s endless space for inspiration.

For the sister who can never find the toilet during 3 a.m. bathroom breaks

During the day, this charming mushroom-shaped nightlight will look like a toadstool sprouting from a wall, and at night, it’ll save your sister from turning on jarring overhead lights. It’s also color-changing, for a little extra magic.

For the sister who’s a fan of fluffy brows

This styling goo will allow your sister to fake the appearance of eyebrow lamination. Jenny Lewis, who gets her brows done at the Anastasia salon in Beverly Hills, says she’s “addicted” to applying the tacky wax every day.

For the sister who complains about tech thumb

Logitech Pebble
$18
$18

This wireless mouse will be more comfortable to use than any laptop trackpad, and it’s ultraquiet — meaning it won’t create annoying clicking or scrolling sounds. And what’s a better gift than something that’ll save her a trip to the PT?

For the sister who offers you a face mask before every travel day

Whether she’s boarding a long-haul flight or just trying to push through a 3 p.m. slump, she can use this Mario Badescu face mist for a refreshing boost.

For the sister who’s a bit clumsy

Using a box cutter (or shaving with a razor) might not be her greatest skill, but that doesn’t mean she has to use boring bandages when she gets a cut or scrape. Give her these tie-dyed ones, which come recommended by stylist Linda Rodin, who has been collecting colorful bandages for four decades.

For the sister who prefers her drink on the rocks

W&P Everyday Ice Tray
$15
$15

No less than five Strategist staffers own and love this ice tray that makes fancy-cocktail-bar-esque cubes. The mold comes with a lid for easy stacking, and the material is so thin and flexible that “you can remove the cubes with almost alarming ease,” says our kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman.

For the sister who bought you your first pair of studs

This space-saving case — which is lined with a row of removable loops with snaps for hanging necklaces and bracelets — will make it easy for your sister to bring all her favorite jewelry pieces on her next trip.

For the sister who has embraced the ’90s resurgence

$14

This faux-fur bucket hat feels straight out of the pages of a 1990s Delia’s catalogue — and she can wear it through winter and into chilly spring days.

For the sister who’s studying for the MCAT

Preparing for med school is overwhelming, and this coffee-table book will lighten her mood with its humorous tone that’s also mixed with “a treasure trove of information and compelling vintage artwork,” according to Tembe Denton-Hurst. Its descriptions of rare and common conditions that can affect the body (from anus to zygomatic bone) will add a fun twist to her regular anatomy lessons.

For the sister who’s curious about cold therapy

Not only can she roll these ice globes around breakouts to reduce swelling, but they can depuff her under-eye area and massage away headaches when applied to her temples. Plus, she’ll never run out of them.

For the sister who gets hypercompetitive about game night

Codenames
$20
$20

This word-deduction game is a bit more cerebral than her classic charades. We also think it’ll be more fun than another round of Monopoly with your sister as the banker.

For the sister who would much rather skip group exercise classes

This weighted Hula-Hoop would make an excellent gift for a teen sister who’s still experimenting with movement because it’s a low-intensity workout she can do practically anywhere — even while watching TV. It was the only workout item mentioned multiple times when we surveyed teenagers about the (actually cool) stuff they’ve purchased.

For the sister who never takes off her jewelry

These hypoallergenic earrings, which are made with 14-karat gold plating on sterling silver, are perfect for everyday wear — and they’re somehow under $20 if she ever needs to replace them.

For the sister who sends Real Housewives memes on repeat

A RHONY-obsessed sister will appreciate unwinding with this “slightly deranged” coloring book that contains some of the most iconic moments from the show, like the infamous Herman Munster–shoe scene. To complete the gift, we recommend adding a pack of Prismacolor’s adult coloring pencils, which are favored by artists for their vivid pigments and buttery-smooth lead.

For the sister who can’t wait to watch Priscilla

To go along with the sunflower-colored kettle above, here’s the tea-sommelier-approved Yorkshire Gold that Sofia Coppola drinks every morning.

For the sister who isn’t a fan of frilly bonnets

Photo: Retailer

This silk bonnet is stylish enough for her to wear during work-from-home Zoom calls or while running quick errands. It’s a favorite of actress Regina King, who says it’s deep enough to fit her hair when it’s in braids.

For the sister who’s quitting her acrylics

If she finally gave gel extensions the boot, this tinted polish will repair her natural nails while making them look instantly healthier. It contains hydrating and strengthening ingredients, such as vitamin E, calcium, and bamboo extract.

For the sister who (literally) spices up every meal

For a twist on her go-to Cholula, get your sister this two-pack from Zab’s that includes the brand’s Original and St. Augustine sauces. The duo will add a well-balanced mix of heat and vinegar to any dish she can think up.

For the sister who stockpiles lotion

Amanda Seyfried likes to gift these delightful tins of shea butter, which come in 12- or two-ounce containers that are ideal for travel. The gentle balm moisturizes super-dry skin and can soothe conditions such as eczema.

For the sister who likes to be up on the latest beauty trends

This thick, high-shine gloss is a true dupe for the TikTok-famous Dior Lip Oil. The formula is lightweight but more pigmented, so it’s just as worthy of a permanent spot in her handbag.

For the sister who tries to sneak mushrooms into every dish

This grow-at-home mushroom kit is a fun, low-commitment gift that’ll bring year-round delight — and last longer than any flower arrangement you were going to send her.

For the sister who’s prone to chipping her manicure

These press-ons will give your sister a long-lasting gel-like manicure — without going to the salon.

Under $50

For the sister who introduced you to Benetint

My sister and I are big fans of lip stains, and this Clarins formula happens to be my favorite because it’s super-pigmented yet transferproof. (I personally think it’s even better than Benetint.)

For the sister who thinks she’s Dr. Pimple Popper

These star-shaped pimple patches draw out oil and gunk from active acne spots and are also an effective way to prevent skin-picking. They also just look cool on your face, according to Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams.

For the sister who prefers her brew served piping hot

For mornings when she’s feeling rushed, this teakettle will get her out the door on time (and with a cup of tea in hand) thanks to its stainless-steel base that helps to heat water super-quickly. Plus, its retro design and cheery yellow color might just make her less of a grouch in the a.m.

For the sister who hits her step count on the West Side Highway

$34

This stretchy neoprene belt can fit your sister’s phone and other small essentials, like keys. It’s tight enough to keep from bouncing when she’s running or on a quick (“hot girl”) walk. I own one and appreciate how comfortable it is to wear, and it blends in with any pair of leggings or shorts.

For the sister whose Longchamp bag is a black hole

It’s no secret that Strategist staffers are fans of Baggu, and this set of three pouches will make your tote-using sister an organized Mary Poppins. They’re durable and stain resistant, and will separate her bag items into neatly zippered bundles.

For the sister who wants Rapunzel-length hair

If healthier hair is her goal, this nourishing mask will lock in moisture and boost shine. The sulfate-free formula works for all hair types (even those with finer hair).

For the sister who aspires to be a master mixologist

$26 for 6

If her bar cart is fully stocked for every occasion, it’s about time she practiced her bartending skills — and these funky wide-rimmed glasses are a nice way to elevate a margarita-loving sister’s presentation. (Hailee Steinfeld owns them and calls them highly giftable.)

For the sister who needs to replace her Chacos

These skinny-strapped Tevas, which were initially spotted on Mary-Kate Olsen by Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens, are supportive enough to wear on morning walks and appropriate for dressier occasions. And because they’re comfortable right out of the box, there’s no break-in time, which means she might even forget she’s wearing shoes.

For the sister who likes a high chocolate chip-to-dough ratio …

$30

With this six-pack of Tony’s Chocolonely candy bars, a sister who’s into baking (or chocolate) will have a rainbow of flavors to choose from, and the cheery packaging doesn’t need to be wrapped. This set includes milk chocolate hazelnut, caramel sea salt, and dark chocolate, which Strategist kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman likes to buy to bake cookies.

… and the one who has a lifetime’s worth of ice cream in the freezer

This vacuum-sealed container keeps ice cream at scoop-shop consistency for several hours. Plus, it’s compatible with 12 supermarket brands, including Halo Top, Häagen-Dazs, Oatly, and Van Leeuwen.

For the sister whose couch doubles as her office

We think this lap desk makes a great gift because it will let her recline anywhere while answering emails in (physical) comfort. It can easily fit a MacBook Air or Pro, plus it features a mouse pad, a phone stand, and a built-in ledge to keep her laptop from slipping.

For the sister who’s bored of frittatas

If she’s mastered her folded French omelet, switch things up with this tamagoyaki pan for rolling eggs Japanese style. This method creates a softer and more delicate texture that’s perfect for sandwiches or for serving sliced as a course in a DIY omakase.

For the sister who’s strictly a shower person

This body scrub, which contains sugar crystals, guaraná, and coconut oil, will transform her shower into a five-star spa experience. It’s infused with the same warm scent as the brand’s popular body cream.

For the sister who’s fine-tuning her booze-free home bar

If she always goes for light, floral mocktails, gift her this spring-y nonalcoholic spirit that only needs a splash of tonic. Garden 108 has hints of hay, spearmint, rosemary, and thyme, plus it’s from the U.K.–based company Seedlip, a brand every expert mentioned when we asked them about everything you need to stock an alcohol-free bar.

For the sister with too much stuff to schlep

If your sister’s go-to tote has seen better days, replace it with this collapsible bag that can effortlessly carry her next massive grocery haul to her apartment or the closest park. (We also heard it’s great for flying with kids because it can store books and toys without the risk of losing those items between plane seats.)

Under $100

For the sister who loves an everything shower

This fluffy bathrobe is an easy upgrade that will make your sister feel like she’s visiting a luxury spa. It has a tie waist and pockets, and the material is highly absorbent, so she can go straight to lotioning up without needing a towel to wipe away leftover water.

For the sister who brags about her status on Delta

While this travel pillow may look like a padded scarf, it will feel like she’s in first class as she snoozes comfortably at 30,000 feet. When our writer Rachael Griffiths tested the Trtl on a 12-hour flight to Seoul, she was out like a light, because the Trtl keeps your neck at a more natural and supportive angle, she says.

For the sister used to be a barista

Krups Precision Grinder
$52
$52
Photo: retailer

Your sister likely knows that a good grinder is the key to better-tasting brews — so why not give her the gift of café-level coffee every morning? She’ll be able to pour her favorite beans into this machine that features a powerful burr blade and 17 grind-size settings.

For the sister who’s personally invested in Paris Hilton’s DJ career

She’ll appreciate these self-tanning drops that come recommended by Paris Hilton herself and give an Ibiza-like glow. Hilton says she uses the drops with a lotion, and the application lasts around a week.

For the sister who’s makeup bag is overflowing with products

She’ll finally stop rifling through her makeup bag with this compact vanity case that’s designed to organize cosmetics of every size. It comes with a removable insert to keep taller products like serums and foundations upright, which means there’s less chance of leakage.

For the sister who stuffs her feet into any old shoes to bring the groceries in

These insulated North Face mules have an elastic heel (unlike a pair of stepped-on tennis shoes), which means they’re ideal for slipping on when she’s running out to grab the mail or taking her pup for a quick bathroom break. Strategist writer Arielle Avila, who received a pair from her sister during her first New York winter, says the outer P.E.T. material and fleece lining are especially cozy on frigid days.

For the sister who’s always planning her next vacation