gifts they might actually want

A Gift for Every Type of Sister

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Even if you know all your sister’s secrets (and she pinky-promised never to share yours), it can be hard to choose a gift for her. Perhaps you’ve already worked through popular options like getting her something monogrammed or picking up a luxury item that’s been on her wish list since forever. Or maybe you have more than one sister to buy for — and the pressure’s on because you know they will compare their respective presents.

To make gift-giving a little more painless, we went through the Strategist’s archives to find the best gifts for sisters. And since we know every sister is different, we tried to think of every possible scenario — from the sister who cooks to the sister who’s always seeking new thrills to the sister who could really use some stress relief. All of these gifts are available on Amazon (though we’ve noted whenever you can get them elsewhere, too, if you like to shop around), and we’ve organized them by price, so you can easily find a present that fits your sister and your budget.

Under $25

For the sister who overplucked

The overtweezed can bring back some fullness to their brows with this tinted gel — it’s a favorite of Calvin Saldana from L.A. salon Striiike for its long-lasting wear and even color distribution.

For the sister who’s newly natural

This curl-protecting bonnet can be worn as a slouchy beanie outside bed, according to Strategist beauty writer Tembe Denton-Hurst. “Being a Grace Eleyae fan is sort of like being part of a stylish bonnet-wearing sisterhood,” she explains.

For the sister who’s a bit of a hypochondriac

If she tends to Google her symptoms instead of calling the doctor, this coffee-table book is “a treasure trove of information and compelling vintage artwork” with descriptions of all sorts of conditions and “images so you can compare it to your own ailments — real or imagined,” says Denton-Hurst, a self-proclaimed bibliophile. Consider it a crash med-school course.

For the sister who’s accident prone (and always has her phone in her hand)

Having a PopSocket has saved actress Lana Candor from “the heartbreak of a shattered screen.”

For the sister who’s accident prone (especially around glass)

Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla uses this “earthquake fastener” to secure her most treasured breakables against her “Urkel-like clumsiness.” Although it seems like “something out of a 3 a.m. infomercial,” the clear adhesive will protect your sister’s fancy glassware and prized porcelain against unfortunate tumbles.

For the sister who’s in desperate need of some R&R

Help her (literally) lighten up with these incense sticks favored by My Year of Rest and Relaxation author Ottessa Moshfegh. The smell reminds her of church, “like really fragrant dirt and herbs and some kind of resin.”

For the sister who does her best thinking in the shower

Crime writer Karin Slaughter relies on this waterproof notepad to write down dialogue and plot points such as “Sara finds clue in dead man’s intestines.”

For the sister who needs to take a breather

Flight attendant Katherine Gibbons likes to spritz on these Mario Badescu facial sprays after a long day of flying. She says the scents — which include lavender, aloe vera, chamomile, and cucumber — are quite calming, and she likes that they work over makeup.

For the sister whose hero is Dr. Pimple Popper

Strategist beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton featured these facial ice globes on her list of everything she used to kick her skin-picking habit. Icing is “the closest sensation to skin-picking I can have without actually ruining my skin,” she explains.

For the sister who never misses a workout

For days when she can’t make it to the gym, this weighted Hula-Hoop offers an easy way to workout at home. We heard about it when surveying teens about the stuff they buy: “I like it because it’s not an intense workout — it’s more relaxed,” a teen named Ava told us. “I watch TV while I do it sometimes.”

For the sister who loses everything

$13

If she can’t be trusted with really nice earrings, get her this inexpensive set that looks like it costs much more than $13.

For the sister who can name every single Real Housewife

Strategist writer Arielle Avila (a noted Real Housewives fan) loves this “slightly deranged” coloring book featuring some of the best scenes from RHONY. Part of the appeal is the drawings of the Housewives themselves; Avila says “their eyes look as if they’re melting right off their faces.”

For the sister who prefers tea

This cheery tea kettle will start her day off on a positive note. It features a stainless-steel base that’ll help heat water faster.

For the sister who fancies herself a “hostess with the mostess”

Tonne Goodman, Vogue’s sustainability editor, found these tear-off cocktail napkins in an eclectic Parisian general store. These are “the simplest solution to the tedious task of serving hors d’oeuvres,” she says.

For the sister who’s a condiment snob

Brighten up her pantry with this preserved-lemon paste. Strategist contributor Lauren Joseph considers the superpotent condiment so essential that whenever she whittles down her extensive collection to make room for new groceries, she never considers getting rid of it. Joseph uses it in everything from cocktails to olive-oil cake.

For the sister who can’t stand her phone’s alarm sound anymore

As former Strategist tech writer Jordan Bowman pointed out, this clock features big, bright numbers to see the time when you’re still half asleep in the morning — and you can dim them if your eyes are a little more sensitive.

For the sister who’s especially competitive about board games

This word-deduction game is “a bit more cerebral” than you’d think, requiring “some good clue-giving skills as well as some imagination,” says Dale Yu, the editor of the Opinionated Gamers. It’ll be much more fun than another round of Monopoly with your sister as the banker.

For the sister who’s committed to packing her lunch

Instead of packing up her sandwich with plastic, she can bag it in a reusable Stasher — a favorite of sustainability experts.

For the sister whose bullet journal is her lifeline

Give her the gift of blank space. This handsome notebook from Moleskine (a longtime Strategist favorite) can be purchased with blank, dotted, or ruled pages, so there should be a style that works for her process.

For the sister who’s trying to tame her sweet tooth

Celebrities and Strategist contributors alike rave about SmartSweets, the candy brand that makes dupes of treats like Swedish Fish and Haribo Happy Cola but with less sugar and simpler ingredients. Comedian Hasan Minhaj is among their many fans. While these candies aren’t exactly the same, “the fact that they made them close to the real thing is impressive,” he says.

Under $50

For the sister who’s an unabashed chocoholic

A collection of status chocolate bars to last her a couple of weeks (maybe).

For the sister who’s (reluctantly) going back to the office

Help her (finally) tidy up her desk with this minimalist Yamazaki storage solution. Daniel Loya, the owner of Spaces Transformed, describes it as “simple organization balanced with clean lines that make it a work of art.”

For the sister who’s (happily) working from bed

Maybe her apartment is too small for a proper desk, or maybe she just prefers the comfort of clacking away under her covers. Either way, this nice-looking lap desk that tops our list of the best-reviewed ones on Amazon will help make her bed feel more like a professional during her nine-to-five.

For the sister who can never sleep on the plane

Trtl’s travel pillow is one of the Strategist’s most-stood-behind products. Contributor Lauren Schwartzberg introduced us to the “padded scarf,” which is easily adjustable thanks to a Velcro strap that can be tightened to provide more support while nodding off. And Madison Blancaflor, travel editor at the Points Guy, says “it’s the only way I can survive long-haul flights in economy.”

For the sister who’s a serious egghead

Craig Koketsu, the executive chef of Quality Branded, recommended this pan in our guide to the best chef gifts because it “allows you to roll a perfect omelet that’s evenly filled from end to end.”

For the sister who hates putting on sunscreen

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Supergoop’s widely beloved Unseen Sunscreen lives up to its name: Viera-Newton loves how it’s “totally transparent” with “a weightless, velvety finish.”

For the sister with too much stuff to schlep

It’s no secret that Strategist staffers are fans of Baggu’s bags. Not only do we use them ourselves, they’ve been recommended to us over and over again. “You can’t go wrong with a Baggu,” says Lisa Bühler, the founder of Lisa Says Gah! This set of three will be useful whether she’s doing a big grocery shop, heading to the park for the afternoon, or browsing for souvenirs while traveling.

For the sister with an hour-long shower routine

From statusy Australian beauty brand Aesop, this scrub features a fresh scent that won’t overwhelm the bathroom, courtesy of the botanical oils in its ingredient list. Dianna Cohen, the founder of the hair-care brand Crown Affair, is a fan of its fine granules, which make for a mild exfoliation.

For the sister who’s determined to become TikTok famous

These are the lights the pros use. The smart strip lights “add character to your room during streams and videos,” says Alexander “Alexotos” Medeot, a Twitch streamer.

For the sister who loves mocktails

All this herbaceous, nonalcoholic spirit needs is a splash of club soda (or mixer of her choosing). It just may become a permanent fixture in her (alcohol-free) home bar.

Under $100

For the sister who bought you your first moisturizer

Repay the favor by introducing her to this statusy sleeping oil from Sunday Riley. Drag queen Farrah Moan puts it on before bed and wakes up in the morning with “really refreshed-looking skin.”

For the sister who’s an amateur sommelier

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Cabernet Glass
$68 for 6
$68 for 6

This glass (which you can buy in two-, four-, or six-piece sets) is elegant yet strong. The crystal features a trace amount of titanium, “giving it great strength and feel,” explains Jason White, the senior food and beverage director at the Soho Grand Hotel.

For the sister who spends a lot of time on Twitch

This headset may have cat ears, but it still means business: Emily Heller, a recommendations editor at Vulture (who happens to be a gamer, too), likes how it features a cooling gel in the ear cups to keep your head from getting overheated.

For the sister who’s never not on vacation

It’s a convincing dupe for the sun hat Hailey Bieber has been spotted in — which can only be acquired with a pricey reservation at the Amangiri resort (or if you call the front desk) — at a very affordable price.

For the sister who makes the best playlists

“It’s smaller than most books” but can “fill my two-bedroom apartment with rich, high-quality sound that I’d describe as whatever the opposite of tinny is,” says Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo of this Bose speaker.

For the sister who’s always waiting on another package to arrive

So instead of tearing open a box with her bare hands, she can use this multitool to cut through the packing tape. Strategist contributor Dan Dubno even used one of its serrated edges to slice into a steak at a Peter Luger Steak House when the cutlery was too dull.

Under $200

For the sister who spends too much money on blowouts

With this best-in-class blow-dryer brush from Drybar, she can bring the salon — and salon-quality results — home while saving some money in the long run.

For the sister who needs a brand-new bag

Madewell’s tried-and-true Transport tote is our pick for the best overall work bag. Graphic designer Meagan Sapashe is a fan, calling it “quite literally the perfect medium” size, as it fits all her everyday essentials without being a pain to carry around.

For the sister who hates the Notes app

$120

The Aurora Ipsilon was a top-five finisher on our list of the 100 best pens. It writes especially smoothly, “never skipping even when first touching down on the paper,” our testing revealed.

For the sister who’s on her feet all day

Instead of a onetime spa gift certificate, give her this foot massager, which will be there whenever she needs it. “It works wonders on cramps,” says Marcela Correa, the owner of Medi Pedi in New York City. “For those with tight muscles, like athletes or super-active people, the deep-kneading setting breaks up tension and helps loosen sore muscles.”

For the sister with a rebellious streak

A classic pair of Docs (worn by the Clash) you’ll likely want to steal for yourself.

For the sister who’s an ambitious new mom

This sleek-looking machine can steam, cook, and blend homemade purées for your young niece or nephew. Cristina Hochkeppel, the director of editorial operations at StyleCaster and SheKnows, points out that it’s definitely designed for “one-handed operation (key for assembling things while juggling a hungry baby).”

For the sister who fosters cats

This carpet cleaner is sure to make the life of your cat-loving sibling a lot easier. Brooklyn-based pharmacist Sera McNutt, who has two cats named Santana and Konni, calls it a “godsend,” as it’s “worked on every stain I’ve tried it on.”

For the sister who used to be a barista

We named Baratza’s Encore the best coffee grinder for its performance, design, and price. It’s easy to use and grinds “fine espresso to the most coarse setting for French press or cold brew,” says Elliott Foos, the director of coffee at Daymoves in Brooklyn.

For the sister who’s trying to cut back on soda

Strategist editor Maxine Builder got a chance to try the Aarke at-home soda machine with excellent results. “The seltzer you get from the [machine] is satisfying. It’s not as aggressively fizzy as Gerolsteiner or Hal’s, but the bubbles are strong, fine, and even, almost like Perrier,” she says.

For the sister who runs cold

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Throw Blanket
From $127
From $127

Give her a fluffy, warm blanket from the teen-loved, celebrity-recommended, and Strategist-approved brand Barefoot Dreams to wrap herself up in at home.

For the sister who’s especially proud of her Spotify Wrapped

Jabra Elite 85t
$140

More affordable than a set of AirPods, these Jabras made an appearance in our guide to the best wireless earbuds. Their noise-cancellation feature is top-tier and blocked out “even the loud sounds of construction workers slicing through concrete” in our tests.

For the sister who’s especially picky about her toast

This toaster comes with two important settings: “Lift and Look” so she can check if her slice is done just right, and “A Bit More” to let it brown a little longer. Anna Stockwell, a food stylist and recipe developer, also points out that “the slots are plenty wide for bagels and thick slices of sourdough.”

Over $200

For the sister who’s a nosy neighbor

Technically built for birding, these binoculars have an exceptional optical quality, according to David Barrett, creator and manager of Manhattan Bird Alert. So they’ll come in equally handy if she’s watching a woodpecker or snooping on the folks in the apartment across the street.

For the sister who’s big on traveling solo

To break through language barriers while traveling, blogger Jessica Ufuoma suggests this device, which can translate your own words into another dialect or translate street signs with its built-in camera.

For the sister who mostly orders takeout

This microwave will make it easy to reheat leftovers — and will look rather handsome on the countertop. “Visually, it’s more attractive than a lot of other microwaves,” says Sarah Leon, an editorial consultant and former executive digital director of W magazine. “It looks luxe.”

For the sister who’s serious about anti-aging

“If you think you need Botox, you can start using this gadget instead,” says celebrity aesthetician Taylor Worden of this micro-current device.

For the sister who dreads the end of daylight savings

The right SAD lamp could help cheer her up by mimicking sunlight to provide a boost of serotonin. “If you want the closest thing to an ‘official’ SAD lamp, this is your best bet,” Corsillo writes, adding that its legs give the box “a slightly sentient vibe.”

For the sister who spends most of her time at a campground

$275

You can’t go wrong with Yeti if you need a top-of-the-line cooler, and the Tundra 35 lives up to its name. According to LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy, “Nothing ever gets warm in there.”

For the sister who drinks everything on the rocks

Keep her supply of ice cubes stocked and her beverages frigid with this handy GE. The ice machine is a splurge, “but if you have the budget, it’s the quietest and sleekest I’ve come across,” explains Jada Wong, shopping director at Kitchn.

For the sister who’s always on a roll

This is our pick for the very best of the best roller skates. Strategist writer Dominique Pariso got them right after learning the basics and going trail skating — she “clocked ten miles on these babies and my feet and ankles felt completely comfortable the entire trip,” she says.