mother's day 2020

25 Tech (and Techish) Gifts Under $50 That You Can Buy for Your Mom

Best tech gifts
Photo-Illustration: Retailers

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.

Tile Sticker
$32 for 2

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’s worried that she spends a little too much time staring at screens, give her blue-light-blocking glasses. These aren’t the most stylish, but they’re Strategist best sellers.

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.

Anker PowerCore Slim
$26
$26

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.

These dimmable LED light bulbs are both energy efficient and actually look really good (and are a nice home upgrade if mom’s trying to be more ecofriendly this year).

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.

Strategist editor Alexis Swerdloff’s favorite white-noise machine isn’t the most high-tech thing in the world — just the most effective.

Nearly 35,000 reviews on Amazon (verified purchases, mind you) will tell you how floored people are by the quality of these very affordable wireless headphones.

Ten-year-old girls know all about the beauty of the PopSocket, a retractable stick-’em for the back of your mom’s phone that will allow her to keep the phone secure while taking selfies — or just sending a text.

These ten-foot-long charging cables will (practically) free her from the drama of being tethered to the outlet.

$29

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.

We’ve heard consistently good things about this shockingly affordable Bluetooth speaker.

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).