Most people associate the best tech gifts with the highest price tags. But there are plenty of great tech-gift ideas that won’t decimate your budget and can still improve the life of any mom, whether she’s the most serious nerd or just a casual tech user — like accessories for her new iPhone, gadgets that’ll turn a regular home into a smart one, streaming devices that can give you access to hundreds of shows and movies, and even an Alexa-enabled singing fish. To make your Mother’s Day hunt for tech gifts a little easier, we found 24 of the best gadgets and gizmos to bring a little joy to your mom this Mother’s Day. They’re all under $50 and in stock. While all of the things on this list are available on Amazon, we’ve found many of them elsewhere, too, for those who like to shop around.
If your mom is constantly losing her keys or misplacing her wallet, the Tile Sticker is a simple Bluetooth tracker, about the size of a nickel, that will stick to nearly anything she cares about. The next time she loses something with a Tile Sticker, instead of starting a frantic search, all she has to do is open the app.
This hand-crank radio has a built in flashlight and a phone charger, making it ideal for camping or in case of weather emergencies (or for peace of mind during a worldwide pandemic). If you crank the hand turbine for 60 seconds it can power the radio for up to 20 minutes — or just let it charge out in the sun with its built-in solar panel. Plus, it’s approved by the American Red Cross.
If she’d prefer blue-light-blocking glasses that have magnification (and a little more style), these tortoiseshell frames are a nice option.
Smartphone games are great, but there’s something endearing about an old-school Tamagotchi. Especially for a mom who’s still a kid at heart.
Carrying a lightweight and compact portable charger while on the go takes at least one great stress out of her day. (Or at least it will once she’s allowed to leave the house again.) It’s especially useful for moms whose batteries always seem to be at 4 percent.
If your mom is obsessed with her Nintendo Switch, get her a memory card. That way she can buy games online and have access to her entire gaming library without having to swap gaming cartridges.
If she’s really into mood lighting (better not to ask) or needs to feel like she’s on the set of a music video (definitely ask), this LED light bulb can be tuned to any color of the rainbow using the accompanying smartphone app.
These ten-foot-long charging cables will (practically) free her from the drama of being tethered to the outlet.
The Speck case has a simple design and a sleek matte finish, and the dual-layer construction is purported to be better at absorbing damage. It also has a raised bezel around the edge of the screen that should help prevent scratches.
If she prefers an even slimmer iPhone case, this is a great option that doesn’t add any unnecessary bulk, while still protecting the phone from scratches and scuffs.
It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing your mom to turn on any connected device — whether it’s a lamp in the other room or her coffee maker in the kitchen — without getting up from her chair.
If she’s not that into technology but willing to dip her toes in it, the Amazon Echo Dot is basically training wheels for the digitally unsavvy. She can use it to control smart lights (that you help install), set cooking timers, or just listen to music around the house.
If she’s already caught the smart-light bug but has older fixtures that she wants to turn into smart lights, the new C by GE Smart Switch Dimmer can replace any light switch, allowing her to control the lights with an app or a voice assistant.
Strategist contributor Alison Freer says that sitting in front of this light-therapy lamp for an hour each morning boosts her entire day: “It’s exactly like sitting outside with your face turned toward the full morning sun.” Morning exposure to a bright light like this one signals to the brain that the day has officially started, resetting your internal clock, so it’s a good bet to help your mom fend off any quarantine-induced insomnia she might be feeling lately.
Writer Jinnie Lee told us about the best tablet accessory (or Switch accessory or phone accessory) we’ve ever seen — a twisty clip that lets you watch hands-free.
If she needs to turn her regular TV into a smart one.
If she has a Qi-enabled device (like an iPhone 8 or a later model, or most major Android smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S9 or Google Pixel 3 or later), give her a simple and elegant way to charge it. With this pad, all she has to do is set her phone down. No annoying cables to trip over. Nothing to plug in (other than the mat).
In case she’d like the wireless charger to also serve as a makeshift phone stand while she works at her desk.