Buying gifts for your mom — or any maternal figure in your life, for that matter — can be tough. It’s true for many of us that the closer you are to someone, the trickier it can be to whip up clever gift ideas without second-guessing yourself. Lucky for you, we tap the collective minds at The Verge for gift ideas every year, helping ensure you can gift mom something truly unique.
Like in previous years, our gift recs lean more on the tech-adjacent side, but what tech items are included are meant to make everyday life a little easier, more colorful, and a lot more fun. Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Evo ($190), for instance, is a forward-thinking instant camera with the utmost flexibility in mind, while budget-friendly gifts like the fifth-gen Echo Dot ($28) are designed to add smarts to any room. We even have a few more generalist picks, like Lego’s adorable Succulents set ($50), which can bring a bit of visual pizzazz to any room without the need for a watering can or any semblance of a green thumb.
You can find all that and more below, whether you intend to cross your mom off your list well ahead of the holiday season or just a few hours beforehand. Either way, we’re not here to judge.
Bodum French Press (34-ounce)
With all of the things that mom has to do every day, being able to easily make a few cups of strong coffee is pretty important. Thankfully, Bodum's elegant French press boasts solid build quality for the price and can make 34 ounces of joe in just a matter of minutes. There's a reason the Bodum's glass beaker and overall design haven't changed much since their debut in the mid-1970s.
Lego's Succulents kit isn't like most Lego sets. Instead of spending hours assembling busts of Baby Yoda or the inner corridors of Hogwarts, you're building cacti, which can be an inviting creation for your coffee table or bookshelf. And unlike most plants, you don't have to ruthlessly monitor their water intake in order for them to survive. How's that for convenient?
Jabra Elite 3
Like most tech categories, wireless earbuds can be spendy. But if your mom fears losing them or just wants a no-frills set with good sound quality for the price, there's little to lose and a lot to gain by taking a chance on Jabra's Elite 3. The lightweight earbuds have a low-profile design and even work in mono mode just in case she wants to wear one at a time.
Apple Watch SE (2022)
The Apple Watch SE is a present fitness buffs and health enthusiasts will particularly appreciate. Apple's entry-level wearable tracks all the basic metrics you’d expect from a modern smartwatch, while offering things like car crash detection, heart rate monitoring, and an assortment of watchOS 9 upgrades. It does so for a lot less than the more premium models, too, making it a great gift for those who've never owned a smartwatch before.
It's true that you don't need to spend $179.99 on a portable Bluetooth speaker, but the perks you get with the Sonos Roam make it worth the high price tag. It has fantastic sound quality and a slick design, and it can be integrated via Wi-Fi with other Sonos speakers to create an even bigger sound. It also carries an IP67 rating, so you don't have to worry about partying with it in the rain or out by the pool.
Anker 637 Magnetic Charging Station (MagGo)
Outfitting your desk with a fast charger and an abundance of power plugs is certainly possible, but it typically requires multiple charging devices. Thankfully, Anker's handy MagGo charger is an eight-in-one solution that can push 7.5W of power to an iPhone 12 and newer models with the help of magnets. It also has three power plugs, two USB-C ports, and two USB-A ports. Voila.
Klean Kanteen Straw (four-pack)
There are a lot of options when it comes to reusable straws, but Klean Kanteen makes a sustainable set that mom might particularly enjoy. Each straw features a stainless steel stem and a soft, easy-to-clean silicone tip that makes it comfy to slurp smoothies, juices, coffee, maté, or whatever liquid vice literally keeps your mom up at night.
iPad Mini (2021)
Don't be fooled by the iPad Mini's compact stature. The redesigned 2021 tablet is nearly as powerful as larger models and touts many of the same features, including USB-C charging, a nice display, and compatibility with a number of great accessories. It lacks a headphone jack, sure, but it's high time your mom makes the jump to wireless anyway.
Tiled Margot Monogram Mug
For just $14, you can get your mom a drinking vessel that'll stand out in the cupboard. The 15-ounce Monogram Mug looks ritzy but comes at an affordable price point and is part of Anthropologie's larger tiled collection. This means that, if your mom falls in love with the look, there's an assortment of matching plates, platters, and other household wares to choose from.
Wideboy Alarm Clock
The Wideboy Alarm Clock is the perfect gift for fans of tradition and simplicity, especially for those who eschew smart displays in favor of the analog variety. The AA-powered timepiece measures a healthy eight inches wide and takes design cues from the classic British clocks of the 19th and 20th centuries, making it a unique gift that’ll stand out on your mom's nightstand or desk.
Modern Witch Tarot Deck
If your mom is into giving or receiving tarot readings to glimpse into the future (or to better understand the past and present), consider getting her the Modern Witch Tarot Deck. It comes with 78 gorgeously designed cards for a reasonable price as well as a guidebook so she can better understand cards like the Hierophant and the Hermit without resorting to Wikipedia.
Google Pixel 6A
The Google Pixel 6A is sneakily one of the best Android phones of the year — and that was at $449. Google's latest budget phone offers similar performance to the pricier Pixel 6, with only a few areas of compromise to meet the lower price point. The camera, while great, doesn't quite stack up, and its display has a 60Hz refresh rate, not a 90Hz rate. Even so, it's still a great phone with years of software updates ahead of it.
Bose Sleepbuds II
While Bose is typically known for producing excellent headphones and earbuds, the Sleepbuds II could be the key to better sleep. They don't play music but, instead, deliver a range of sounds intended to mask snoring, traffic, and other distracting noises that might otherwise keep you awake. After all, few sounds are as relaxing as the occasional rain or the crackle of a warm fire.
LectroFan white noise machine
Not all white noise machines are created equal. LectroFan's basic offering remains one of the best around, even though it's digital. It can produce a selection of deep, non-looping sounds — including lesser-known color noises like pink and brown — helping it reduce external noise to a low murmur. Plus, it comes with global power plugs, making it as suitable for the EU as the US.
Tandem coffee subscription
Tandem Coffee Roasters out of Portland, Maine, roasts some fantastic single-origin beans, and you can get a 12-ounce bag delivered to your home with one of its subscriptions starting at $21. Whether your mom is into sweet, full-bodied blends or fruit-forward beans from western Ethiopia, Tandem offers plenty of ways for your mom to get her fix.
Aura Carver Luxe HD photo frame
Reminiscing is one of those things moms do best, and while there are countless digital frames that will allow her to do so, Aura makes some of the finest. The landscape-oriented Carver Luxe HD is classy and, most notably, works with an easy-to-use app available for Android and iOS that lets trusted family and friends contribute new photos remotely whenever they want.
Nite Ize DoohicKey
The aptly named DoohicKey from Nite Ize is a travel-friendly multitool that can easily attach to your keys, backpack, or really any item with a chain, loop, or strap. The affordable gizmo packs five tools in one — including a bottle opener, a screwdriver, and a wrench — rendering it clutch for those times when your dedicated flathead is nowhere to be found.
Your mom, just like everyone else on your wish list, needs a Switch to call her own. Nintendo's revolutionary device functions as both an exceptional handheld and a home gaming console, with a rich game library of games that includes turnip-touting mainstays like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and evocative indie titles like Celeste and Gris.
Meta Quest 2
The Meta Quest 2 is a virtual reality headset that's good for both entertainment and exercise. With downloadable games and apps ranging from Beat Saber and Supernatural to immersive horror games like Resident Evil 4, the Quest 2 is a multipurpose system that mom might enjoy escaping with from time to time.
Poler Reversible Napsack
Poler's Reversible Napsack could be the perfect gift if your mom likes to stay cozy while napping at home or while she's camping during the cooler months. The synthetic napsack can be used like a sleeping bag of sorts but can also be hiked up to your waist so you can still strut around camp without sacrificing that toasty (but not too toasty) feeling.
Samsung M8 Smart Monitor
Serving as both a TV and a computer monitor, Samsung's feature-rich M8 Smart Monitor is a smart gift for the mom who wants an all-in-one display. With the M8, she can watch Netflix and Apple TV Plus, along with several other streaming apps, and then hammer out some work in Google Docs with a computer attached via HDMI or USB-C.
Madewell Short-Brimmed Bucket Hat
Look, we don't know your mom or other moms in your life, but we think they'd all look pretty snazzy in Madewell's Short-Brimmed Bucket Hat. It's simple and lightweight, with zero branding, and its cotton bill sticks out just enough to keep the sun out of her eyes while she continues to keep the spirit of the '90s alive.
Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo
If you're a fan of that old-school camera look, the Instax Mini Evo delivers that but with a twist. It's an instant camera that can print out photos on the fly. Unlike most instant cameras, however, this one offers multiple shutter speeds and shooting modes as well as smartphone connectivity. It even allows you to view your photos before printing them, which makes it a little less instant and a lot more practical.
Fringe Studio journal
Journals come in all shapes and sizes, but their purpose is the same across the board: to provide space for personal thoughts, dreams, motivational quotes, and a whole lot more. If you think your mom might benefit from jotting a few things down, Fringe Studio offers an expansive collection of slick journals and spiral notebooks that are heavy on vibes yet light on your wallet.
Lyric Massage Gun
Lyric's Massage Gun might not be as powerful as a Theragun or other premium models, but it remains a relatively low-cost and feature-packed option. It's ideal for pain relief or relaxation, and it includes an extension and four massage heads for digging into tender spots in the perfect way. Whether your mom is active or just needs to loosen a few muscle kinks, this is a gift that shows you care about her quality of life.
Stasher Sandwich Bag
Sandwich bags aren't expensive, but they can be wasteful if your mom is churning through them day in and day out. Instead, equip her with one of these silicone multipurpose bags from Stasher. You can store food in them or use them to stow makeup during travel. The leakproof containers are also safe to use in the freezer or a microwave, adding to their versatility.
Echo Dot (fifth-gen)
Amazon's new Echo Dot might look exactly like the one that came before it, but don't get the two mixed up. The fifth-gen smart speaker features improved sound quality, a built-in temperature sensor, and the ability to add up to 1,000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage if you connect it to your Eero network. So much for dead zones, huh?
Mexican falsa blanket
A Mexican falsa blanket like that of El Paso Designs can add a pop of color and comfort to any room, wardrobe, or festive occasion. The woven offering can be used as a yoga blanket, helping provide support for your head or legs or as a small throw for your living room or bedroom. Trust us, your mom will find something cool to do with it.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Emily Henry's People We Meet on Vacation is the quintessential beach read — and that's not a knock. The breezy, pitch-perfect tale about a decade-long romance between two college friends might be just the kind of mental escapism your mother needs, especially if she hasn't yet found the time to get in that post-pandemic vacay to Croatia or wherever else her jet-setting heart desires.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Samsung's Galaxy Chromebook 2 isn't a cheap Chromebook, but it is one of the more capable models available. The midrange laptop has a 13.3-inch QLED display with slim bezels surrounding it, meaning it's great for watching shows and movies, and its specs and storage capacity allow for a great computing experience no matter where your mom might find herself.
Few plants qualify as indestructible, but the ZZ plant comes pretty close. The feather-like piece of foliage is great for those who lack a green thumb and often struggle with more demanding house plants, especially since the hardy offering requires little light and only needs to be watered every few weeks. It may be grow at a glacial pace, but at least you don't have to hire a plant sitter when you leave town.
Baggu 3D Zip Set
Baggu's reusable wares are as fun as it gets when it comes to inexpensive tote bags — and the company's packing cubes showcase the same kind of flair. Each pouch in the 3D Zip Set quickly folds flat for easy storage and makes use of a durable ripstop nylon that comes in a variety of imaginative patterns, thus ensuring they're as easy to clean as they are to look at.