Finding the perfect holiday gifts is a delicate balancing act, and that task can feel even more difficult if you try to do all of your shopping at one store. The good thing about finding most of your gifts at one retailer is that you save time and money on shipping and you have to deal with less packaging. (If you’re doing curbside pickup, which Best Buy offers, then there is no shipping cost at all and even less wasteful packaging.) To help you find your way through the rows and rows of digital offerings at Best Buy, we’ve gathered this curated list of Strategist-approved gifts for every person you may be shopping for this holiday season.
For the grandparents who just discovered Netflix
It can be hard to find tech items for grandparents. If the setup process isn’t simple and straightforward, a thoughtful gift can quickly turn into a forgotten item that will forever live in its box in the closet. The Roku+ is impossible to mess up: Plug it into an HDMI port on the TV and connect it to the Wi-Fi, and they’ll be ready to binge The Crown.
For the parent who’s obsessed with sound
Jade Baker, partner and assistant buyer at the British department store John Lewis, likes the Sonos One, which has Alexa and Google Assistant built in. Baker calls the Sonos One “the classic starter speaker for your multiroom collection … With the ability to link up to all other Sonos speakers in the range, you can kit out your whole house with room-filling sound.”
For the friend who always brings their music with them
This compact Bluetooth speaker is great for nearly any situation, whether it’s hiking, cycling, or a weekend trip to the countryside.
For the sibling who’s not giving up on backyard (socially distant) hangs
It may look like an alien egg, but this speaker produces incredibly clear sound and has a 20-hour battery life.
For the co-worker who wants to start a podcast
Even if you’re not sold on their being the next Terry Gross or Sarah Koenig, you can still support their broadcasting dreams. According to Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, the Yeti provides “studio-quality sound at home — no crispy mouth noises, vocal fry, fuzziness, or echoes.”
For the cousin who suddenly loves vinyl
“This is the bread-and-butter piece for most people. It will get the job done really, really well,” says Mark Steinberg, the chief technologist and turntable specialist at B&H Photo and Video. This record player is fully automatic, so all you need to do is push the button, and the tone arm will fall into place and start the record.
For the remote college student who still wants dorm room vibes
These multicolor light bulbs change colors using an app on your phone or a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google. You can also sync up sleep and wake cycles based on whatever college schedule you create for yourself in your childhood bedroom.
For the roommate who wants to control everything from their phone
With this smart plug, you can turn any regular device into a smart one, whether it’s your coffee machine or a lamp on the other side of the room.
For the daughter who loves to take photos
Five of the experts we asked about instant cameras recommended the Instax because of its simplicity. “It’s foolproof,” says photographer June Kim. “You can just pop in the film and there’s no way to mess it up.”
For the nephew who just got into photography
The One Step+ allows for more creative control than the Fujifilm Instax. You can set long or multiple exposures, and you can trigger the camera’s shutter with your phone’s Bluetooth. “If you were to put it on a tripod you could take self-portraits. You could do long exposures playing with light painting or anything else. You can even trigger it by sound or movement,” says Dan Rubin, a photographer and designer.
For the significant other who always forgets to charge their stuff
If they have relatively new gadgets that use wireless charging, they can just drop them on this 7.5-watt charging pad.
For your clumsiest friend
OtterBox cases may be heavy, but they are tough. This is a no-nonsense gift for anyone whose phone has been dropped as many times as it’s been answered.
For the sibling who would eat rice with everything
“I used a basic Zojirushi model with just an on-off switch for more than a decade before upgrading to the newer Zojirushi Micom this year,” says Mia Leimkuhler, the Strategist’s manager of audience engagement. “It truly prepares flawless rice with just the push of a button. I mostly make Japanese-style Calrose rice, but the Zojirushi has perfectly cooked every other variety I’ve thrown into it: short grain, long grain, Vietnamese broken rice, brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, even a mixed-grain blend including millet and quinoa. (I really love rice.)”
For the friend who doesn’t drink enough water
They’ll drink more water if they always have it with them — and if it’s always cold and refreshing. Strategist editor Alexis Swerdloff is “firmly on Team Zojirushi,” she says. “It’s truly mind-boggling how cold my water stays in this thing and the open/close lock is extremely fun to fiddle with at my desk.”
For the partner who has a hard time waking up
Sunrise alarm clocks subtly simulate the sunrise for people, helping your body wake up much more naturally than a screaming phone alarm.The Smart Sleep’s light changes from a soft red to orange, until a room is eventually filled with a bright-yellow light, simulating the sunrise.
For the best friend who loves to work out
Of the 21 athletes we spoke to in our guide to workout headphones, eight recommended AirPods. They all liked the compact size and that there are no wires to get in the way of any movements.
For the niece or nephew who’s obsessed with games
According to the gamers we spoke to, the Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular game consoles currently available. “Not only does it easily dock to your television, but there are also lots of great new games on it. For those who are looking for something really versatile and social, it’s a perfect device,” says Jamin Warren, founder and CEO of Kill Screen.
Animal Crossing was one of this year’s biggest hits, with its laid-back vibes, funky character creation, and endless design elements. Across the internet, people started posting fully developed Animal Crossing islands with things like famous streetwear collections. (Celebrities like Elijah Wood and T-Pain are fans of the game, too, appearing on an Animal Crossing virtual late-night talk show.)
For the mobile gaming aficionado
Sam Byford, Asia editor at our sister site, the Verge, says the Kishi “solves many of the biggest pain points of mobile game controllers: They can be awkward to carry, attach, detach, and pair with your device.”
For the spouse whose laptop finally gave out
According to Monica Chin at the Verge, the Envy X360 is one of the best midrange laptops you can buy, “thanks to its sturdy and compact build, chic convertible design, and excellent performance.”
For the dad who wants to upgrade his home theater
When we interviewed Lesley Rohrbaugh, the research director at the Consumer Technology Association, about the hottest tech, she mentioned that TV’s were the fourth-most-wanted tech gift this holiday season. The clear picture on Vizio’s new OLED TV — and its incredibly low (relatively speaking) price point — will be an improvement on nearly any set he might be currently using.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.