Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

23 Practical Gifts For People Who Are Hard To Shop For

If you know someone who just kind of shrugs when you ask them what they want for Christmas or their birthday, and who just doesn't love STUFF, this list is for you.

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

Hey! While we try to keep our posts updated as much as we can, this post is actually from 2017, so we can't guarantee that the pricing and/or availability of the products featured are accurate. Check out the 2018 version of this post for our most up-to-date practical gift recommendations!

Because God has a sense of humor, I β€” a person who just loves stuff, and whose love language is gifts β€” am surrounded by a lot of practical people who just don't, like, care about presents. (?????) I used to find this frustrating, but over time I've found ways to give them gifts that surprise and delight them.

Julia_Sudnitskaya / Getty

Here are some of my faves:

1. An electric blanket for their car.

This one comes in three colors, and has good reviews and an A on Fakespot.

Get it on Amazon for $29.39.

2. A well-designed mug in their favorite color.

I love, love, love Joco mugs. They come in 24 colors and three different sizes (I'm partial to the 12-ounce one) and are practical and beautiful. It's also a great gift for people you don't know well (like, say, a sibling's girlfriend) and/or your kid's teachers.

Get the red one on Amazon for $26.95, and browse more colors and sizes here.

3. A nice lunch box.,,

Get them all on Amazon β€” the Mier (comes in three colors) for $16.55, the Mango for $19.95 (for a set of two sizes), and the Baloray (comes in two colors) for $11.99.

4. A neck, back, and shoulder massager.

This one has great reviews and an A on Fakespot, and my BFF swears by it.

Get it on Amazon for $39.95.

5. An electric kettle.,

I didn't grow up in an electric kettle family, so for a long time I didn't really get them. But now I know that there are so many situations in which quick access to hot water is incredibly useful.

Get it on Amazon for $24.16. And if you're up for spending more for one that's higher quality/will last them longer, go for the Cuisinart β€” $79.96 on Amazon.

6. An umbrella that won't fail on them.

More than 4,000 Amazon customers approve of this lil' one. (So do my friends and I!)

Get it on Amazon for $23.95.

7. A squatty potty.


Get them on Amazon β€” white plastic for $23.74, teak for $59.99, bamboo for $79.99, or a travel one for $29.99.

8. And while we're on the topic of butt stuff, a bidet isn't a bad idea.

I mean, know your audience, but...I'm just saying.

Get this one (a bestseller!) on Amazon for $34.99.

9. Just a bunch of batteries.

I know it doesn't sound sexy, but after seeing the look of joy and appreciation on my uncle's face every year when he opened a new box of batteries from my mom, I firmly believe that this might be the greatest gift ever.

Get them all on Amazon β€” a 48-pack of AA for $12.49, a 36-pack of AAA for $8.99, a 12-pack of D for $10.92, and an 8-pack of 9-volt for $9.99.

10. A grocery bag organizer.

Get it on Amazon for $14.97.

11. A new pillow.

Because sometimes practical people forget to treat themselves to nice new things!

Get this one on Amazon for $49.99.

12. A high-quality ice-scraper.

Anyone who drives in a snowy climate knows that scraping your car is a terrible task; having a tool that gets the job done better than others is actually incredibly useful. (I bought this one for my hard-to-shop-for grandma in 2015. It also pairs nicely with the electric car blanket.)

Get it on Amazon for $24.99.

13. Reusable bags for shopping for and/or storing produce.,

Get them all on Amazon β€” a set of five produce bags for $8.97, or a set of nine (in varying sizes) for $11.97. And get a set of four silicone storage bags for $14.58.

14. A portable phone charger.

This one has 13,000+ positive reviews (and a B on Fakespot), and it can charge an iPhone 5.5 times on a single charge.

Get it on Amazon in white or black for $31.99.

15. A clothing steamer.

Everyone I know who owns a handheld steamer says it's a game changer!

Get it on Amazon for $21.99.

16. A versatile pushcart.

This one has a cover (in case you don't want the items in it to be seen/get wet/get swiped) and folds down for easy storage.

Get it on Amazon for $64.95.

17. A lil' butter saver or a big-ass butter dish.,

Raise your hand if your mom has a cut-off stick of butter in the door of her fridge! Get this little cap for it on Amazon for $3.43.

And the butter dish is simple but elegant and can hold Kerrygold butter, which is all that matters. Get it on Amazon for $19.99.

18. A hot water bottle.

It's a classic for a reason!

Get it on Amazon in five colors for $19–$22.50.

19. A pair of cushy knee pads., Rachel Miller / BuzzFeed

Read more about why knee pads are so useful for anyone who gardens, does chores, or does any sort of DIY here, and then grab these for $24.99.

20. A pack of razor blades.

As anyone who removes any sort of body hair knows, these things are hella expensive.

Get a pack of 12 on Amazon for $33.97.

21. A new shower cap.


It's not cheap but as someone who wears a shower cap for most showers, I can tell you that it's incredibly practical and worth every penny.

Available in six colors/patterns; get it for $43 on Sephora or Bloomingdale's.

22. An incredibly practical book.

Tom Vellner / BuzzFeed

I *told* you this book would be on every gift guide I write this year! Read why I love it so much here.

Get it on Amazon for $14.55, Barnes & Noble for $16.68, or from your favorite local bookseller on IndieBound.

23. And a roll of quarters.

Bdoty / Getty Images

Put one in every stocking you stuff, my friends.

Do your holiday shopping with BuzzFeed. Check out all of our gift guides here!

Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

Need A Shopping Buddy?

Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
Newsletter signup form