Skip To Content
    Dec 14, 2017

    41 Useful Gifts That Will Make Anyone's Life Easier

    Practical gifts they’ll be eternally grateful for.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — 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. For our most up-to-date recommendations, check out the 2018 version of this post!

    1. An Echo Dot that'll play music, order pizza, request rides from Uber, read the news, and answer even the wackiest questions. Unlike a SO, it won't pretend to not hear you from across the room 😒.

    amazon.com

    It'll also control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, set alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and much more!

    Promising review: "Alexa makes life easier. It is all about convenience. You can turn on the lights, adjust room temperature, listen to music or change the TV channel — all controlled by voice commands from the comfort of your chair. Once you try it, you have to have it." —Sergio Hinojosa

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in two colors).

    2. An adorable key cover for someone who has a LOT of keys that all look the same. Now they'll know which one is which immediately.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Heavy duty! Been on my keys for about nine months and still looks new." —ryley vossler

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99 (available in 12 designs).

    3. A bamboo tub caddy to hold all their bath time necessities securely in place.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Simply put, this tray is awesome! It looks beautiful on my tub, and it functions very well. The grooves for the tablet and phone holders are deep and secure, so the devices are very stable when they are in them. I love this tray." —Cosmopolitan

    Get it from Amazon for $44.97.

    4. An eyeglass-holding necklace that's attractive enough to wear on its own.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This was a Christmas gift for my sister who was CONSTANTLY looking for her glasses. She hates those 'granny' eyeglass necklaces but LOVES this! It looks like a regular necklace. Great quality, great gift! (And now I need to get me one!)" —DDH

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95.

    5. A buckle-less belt so they'll never have to deal with the hassle of unbuckling/buckling when going to the bathroom.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love being buckle-free. Never liked the buckle bulge that buckles created. Plus, it's so much easier to not have to open a buckle when removing my jeans, and the belt stays in place. I can highly recommend this product." —C. SMITH

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in two sizes and four colors).

    6. A dog bowl water bottle for a convenient way to keep their furry friend hydrated on the go.

    uncommongoods.sjv.io

    Promising review: "We bought ours nine months ago and use it constantly. It's not awkward and is always ready to dispense when your fur babies need a drink. We take long walks including on the beach. Our mutts adapted to it immediately — even the one fella who is afraid of anything new! It can attach to your bag or belt, or you can carry it in a compartment of your bag as I do or keep it in the car for trips." —Jean on the go

    Get it from Uncommongoods for $15 (available in two colors).

    7. A toilet night light so midnight trips to the bathroom don't require turning on the way-too-bright overhead light.

    amazon.com

    This LED toilet light has 16 colors that can work on a rotation or as a solid color!

    Promising review: "Love this item. The wife made jokes about it at first, but has come to love it, too. It stays out of the way and comes on when you approach the toilet in the dark, providing multiple soft LED light colors. For me, it makes it easier to get back to sleep after visiting the bathroom in the middle of the night, vs cutting on the overheads. I will be buying more of these as Christmas gifts this year!" —Silverback

    Get it from Amazon for $14.55.

    8. A cuff bracelet designed to hold elastic hair-ties and prevent those awful red indentations.

    thegrommet.com

    Get it from The Grommet for $19.95 or Amazon for $19.

    9. A portable steamer that'll transform a pair of pants from balled-up-mess to interview-ready in five minutes.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Love it; saves me so much time in the morning when I’m late and at night if I need to prepare my dress shirts before I work. On top of that, it came with a glove and a smooth little carrying bag!" —Ae

    Get it from Amazon for $23.99.

    10. An automatic handbag light so they can quickly find what they need with zero amount of rummaging.

    uncommongoods.sjv.io

    Promising review: "I wanted to get my grandmother a clever gift but something she could use every day, and this was it! I had this sent to her, and she absolutely loves it. Aside from how clever the actual item is, it works extremely well and is a size that is just right for her purse or handbag. She loves that it turns on and shuts off automatically, and said it has proved to be extremely helpful when looking through her purse. She has no trouble finding what she needs now!" —Granddaughter

    Get it from Uncommongoods for $29.95 or a two-pack from Amazon for $57.99.

    11. A stand mixer to be the perfect kitchen helper, whether they're baking a batch of cookies or whipping up mashed potatoes.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "If you're trying to decide what brand mixer is right for you, stop now and purchase a KitchenAid. Yes, they're more expensive than other brands, but they last. And really, a mixer is an appliance you should only buy once in your life (my mom still has hers from the '70s and uses it often!). Not only does this appliance work as a mixer (it comes with a beater, whisk, and very useful dough hook), but I also use it constantly with the KitchenAid ice cream attachment. The KitchenAid pasta attachment is also easy to use with the mixer as is the meat grinder. This mixer does the work for you and will make cooking and baking so much easier. You'll wonder how you ever survived without it!" —Susie Williams

    Get it from Amazon for $259.99 (available in 44 colors).

    12. A multi-use pocket tool that'll open bottles, tighten/loosen screws, open letters, peel oranges, and more!

    thegrommet.com

    It can also act as a phone kickstand, door latch slip, ruler, and headphone wrap!

    Promising review: "I purchased two: one for my BF's Christmas stocking, and one for myself. I am a realtor, and I carry this on my person at all times! I recently used it to rehang a real estate sign that had blown off in the wind, and I also tightened the handlebars on a little girl's bike. Get one! I guarantee that you'll use it and need it!" —Cathleen

    Get a two-pack from The Grommet for $19.95.

    13. A tiny sleep sound machine perfect for troubled-sleepers who travel. It also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker!

    amazon.com

    It comes pre-installed with fan sounds, white noise, and ocean sounds!

    Promising review: "I love this little device! The volume of sound it produces can be easily adjusted. It gets plenty loud! It completely blocks out a train noise in my bedroom at night, allowing me to sleep without earplugs!

    The large version of this item has a greater variety of sounds, but this one is great!" —Fantasy Fan

    Get it from Amazon for $31.99 (available in two colors).

    14. A cookbook holder so the recipes are easy to read and the pages are protected from pasta sauce.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "After having too many of my recipe books get damaged with splatters/liquids while cooking, I decided it was time to buy a cookbook holder. This one has been great — I have over 100 cookbooks in my collection of all different sizes/thickness and haven't had any problem adjusting to the size of any of them. The clear screen cover has been invaluable and cleans up easily when splatters invariably happen. Highly recommend this to anyone who cooks on a regular basis." —Ngaio

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

    15. An egg cooker that'll make breakfast for the whole family while everyone gets ready in the morning.

    amazon.com

    This cooker comes with a poaching tray, a measuring cup, an omelet tray, and a six-egg holding tray!

    Promising review: "Why did I not buy one of these sooner? My life is so much easier now that I have my egg cooker, and I have sold three other people into buying one since I got mine. We make a lot of hard-boiled eggs, and this makes it SUPER EASY — no more boiling water. You set it and forget it. My husband also uses it almost daily to make an omelet and then when the timer goes off, throws a slice of cheese on top, and it melts perfectly. I will forever have an egg cooker in my life! Best purchase ever." —Niki

    Get it from Amazon for $15.98+ (available in four colors).

    16. A pair of narwhals who are happy to warm up cold feet. They have built-in UBS-powered heating pads!

    amazon.com

    These adorable slippers fit up to women’s size 12!

    Promising review: "I LOVE THESE SLIPPERS. I have feet that are constantly cold. These slippers heat up quickly and keep me nice and warm. I also like how cute they are. I have worn them for well over a month, and they work just as well as the first day. I have size 7 feet (women's), and these slippers are roomy but still hug my feet. I believe they would fit people with larger feet as well." —Amazon Customer

    Get them from Amazon for $39.95+ (available as a wired or wireless version).

    17. A couch caddy so they can have a couple drinks and the remote within reach at all times. They may never leave the couch again.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I ordered the Cupsy for the couch in the living room because there were spills at least once a week while watching TV. Not only does Cupsy hold two large cups, there is also a slot for the remote which is so helpful when watching TV. We have a sectional, and it fits perfectly and doesn't tilt the cups at all while we are sitting down. We have only had it for a few weeks but so far it's been great! I would recommend this product for all ages and couches!" —danielle hoffberg

    Get it from Amazon for $24.97 (available in three colors).

    18. A notepad that'll motivate anyone to get through the daily grind.

    knockknockstuff.com

    Get it from Knock Knock for $6.99.

    19. An Instant Pot (with seven functions!) for making quick and delicious dinners in three steps: dump ingredients in, turn the pot on, and serve.

    amazon.com

    To specify, the seven functions are: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and warmer. Check out a full review of the Instant Pot here!

    Promising review: "This is the best thing to own for all the working moms out there! Its program ability makes my life so much easier. I can put my steam buns in the night before and have it ready for breakfast for the kids the next morning. I can have frozen chicken cooked in 15 mins after I come home from work! I love this pot and will be getting one for my mom for Christmas. She has to have it!" —Stephanie Wu

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99+ (available in three sizes).

    20. A purse hanger so they don't have to choose between bag on the (dirty) floor or bag in the lap.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "These are great to throw in your purse and use when there's not a purse hook at a bar. I also use them to hang my work bag under my desk at my office. They come in handy!" —Lindsay R

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $12.55.

    21. A handy gadget that'll a turn hot coffee into an iced one in a matter of minutes — without diluting it!

    amazon.com

    It works well on any non-carbonated drink!

    Promising review: "Bought this as a gift for my wife's birthday, and she LOVED it. No more watered-down iced coffees for her! Works just as described. Can actually get two or three drinks chilled before you have to freeze it again. Great product and great gift idea for coffee drinkers!" —L. Brock

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    22. A ceramic cup warmer, because sometimes people get called into meetings after making their coffee, and when they come back, the coffee is cold and undrinkable. No more!

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I'm a very slow tea/coffee drinker, so having this mini hot plate is amazing. I can have hot tea until the last sip! Life-changing. I use it every day. I'm using it as I write this review. I drink more tea because I know it won't get cold and sad. My roommates all want one now." —PDT

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

    23. A mini Crock-Pot so they can skip the line to the microwave and enjoy a warm lunch right at their desk.

    amazon.com

    This lunch Crock-Pot has a 20-ounce capacity and a spill-proof lid!

    Promising review: "I am sure that Amazon got an influx of orders after I brought this little gem to work. Everyone loved it, and no wonder why! It works so well. I personally do not like microwaving plastic containers, so this is the best alternative for reheating leftovers, soups, etc. It doesn't take long; I usually plug mine in for an hour or 1.5 hours. Highly recommend this product!" —Susan Murro

    Get it from Amazon for $19.89+ (available in four colors).

    24. A cosmetic bag that'll lay flat (so every product is visible) and can be closed up with the pull of the string.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "OMG I love this. I have searched for makeup bag after makeup bag that would actually hold all my stuff, was easy to clean, and convenient to carry, and this bag knocks them all out of the park! This bag holds everything and is expandable to fit more. It even has brush holders in it! How can this bag get any better? I don't know, but I do know that it even washes easily! There is also a zipped pocket. Overall, this bag is excellent." —Katie Fornwalt

    Get it from Amazon for $29.95+ (available in 14 colors).

    25. A waterproof speaker (with a built-in suction cup) for listening to music or podcasts in the shower. It can also be used to take a hands-free call.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Now it's easier for me to sing along in the shower without having to open the shower door just to hear my tiny phone speaker. Just a word to the wise, set up a timer for the shower; you'll forget how long you've been in there, and the water bill will come and blow your mind, and the rest of your Earth-conscience friends will judge you for your inconsiderate waste of water." —GJones

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in three colors).

    26. A laundry care symbols print so they'll always know the right way to wash each piece of clothing.

    society6.com

    Get it from allhaildesign from Society6 for $13.99+.

    27. An electric toothbrush that'll make teeth-brushing a fantastic experience.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've used it for a week now, and I wish I'd bought it sooner. I'm able to brush my entire mouth in two minutes, and my teeth have that just-came-from-the-dentist feel when I'm done. I'm so excited about brushing with this toothbrush that I'm even brushing more regularly than I did before. I also love the compact brush head that it came with, as full-sized brushes are too big for me. This has definitely been one of the best purchases I've ever made." —Carol

    Get it from Amazon for $59.95.

    28. A bamboo cutting board with seven color-coded mats to make meal prep and clean-up a breeze.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this cutting board! This board is the best of both worlds: you get a sturdy bamboo base, with interchangeable color-coded covers so you don't cross-contaminate! Plus they even have cute little icons on them, so you never forget which color is for what kind of food product. Also makes for easier clean-up and the ability to use just one cutting board while preparing a meal, without having to repeatedly wash it between items!" —Pegasus

    Get it from Amazon for $24.49.

    29. A washable keyboard for someone who regularly snacks while typing.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I have had this keyboard for approximately a year now. I brought it into my office to use there since I have a bad habit of eating my lunch at my desk. Even after tons of crumbs and spills, it is still going strong. Easy to clean, hasn't lost its 'clickity-ness' nor any stuck keys. Great product." —blindv

    Get it from Amazon for $64.88.

    30. A device cleaner that'll sanitize and polish a grimy phone/tablet ASAP.

    youtube.com

    Promising review: "I really like this little guy! I'm a nut about keeping my iPad screen clean and sometimes a cloth just doesn't do the trick. I feel like a cloth for quick swipes during the day is fine, but every couple of days I really get it clean with HANS. I like that I can remove the microfiber cloth and give it a cleaning as well. This isn't a throwaway product. It's meant to last. It's washable and refillable and that's what really sold me." —DesignerBee

    Get it from Amazon for $22.95 (includes one device and a bottle of refill cleaning solution).

    31. A critter catcher with a long handle so they can safely remain two feet away from the "Nope."

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This thing is amazing. I definitely struggle with the dilemma of not wanting buggers in my house but also not wanting to kill them. THIS SOLVES IT! It keeps me far enough away from them and grabs them the first time! Super easy to use, and then I get the happy conscious of releasing them outside to go on their happy way." —Haley

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    32. A compact yet powerful portable charger to ensure they never run out of juice on the go.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've had this over a year now and have used it many times. It takes hours to fully charge, but I can charge my iPhone 7 four to six times from it. I'm glad I bought this as opposed to a smaller model, as I would not want to have to recharge after every use. I take it with me when we travel, and I also make sure it's charged before storms come in. It's a good peace of mind for us." —Kim

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in three colors).

    33. A foot scrubber/massager that sticks to the floor, so they don't have to lift a finger to get perfectly soft feet.

    thegrommet.com

    This foot scrubber comes with a bottle of cleaning gel!

    Get it from Amazon for $27.89+ or from The Grommet or Walmart for $39.95.

    34. An adhesive credit card wallet so all their essentials stick together.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Have been looking for a cute wallet case for a long time, and I love that you can put this on any case you want! I have had it on my phone for over two months and it's still sticking strong." —grelmcmu

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (available in 12 colors).

    35. A USA-shaped magnetic key holder for an attractive way to keep keys visible and organized.

    uncommongoods.sjv.io

    Get it from Uncommon Goods for $44 (also available in shape of different states).

    36. A light-up alarm clock that simulates sunrise to make waking up a (slightly) more pleasant experience on a dark winter morning.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I buy *everything* on Amazon, and this has to be my all-time favorite purchase. I was hesitant to spend this much on an alarm clock, but you cannot put a price on starting the day with a pleasant wake-up. If you have blackout curtains, this is almost a must. Waking up with this clock is like gradually transitioning from sleep like you would if you woke up on your own without an alarm. This is even true when you haven't slept as much as you would like. I had/have awful insomnia, and this alarm clock also has a sleep setting which gradually lowers the light over the time you set. This feature has really helped me reset my body after weeks of not sleeping well. Now that I have this clock, I will never be without it again." —J. Taylor

    Get it from Amazon for $117.93.

    37. An anti-theft backpack to keep their belongings safe during a crowded bus ride or a trip abroad.

    amazon.com

    It's also water-resistant and shock-proof! There are two reflective lines along the back that make the backpack visible in the dark.

    Promising review: "This backpack is truly amazing. Everything I wanted — minimalistic, sleek, and anti-theft. I use the bus as my main form of transportation, and it's scary thinking about how someone could steal something from a normal backpack. This backpack takes care of that worry. There's only one main zipper that is only accessible to you. I asked some friends to try and open it, and they literally couldn't find the zipper. I fit my 13" (it can also fit a 15" laptop) MacBook, my iPad, and some folders easily. There's also some decent cushioning around the straps so my shoulders never get tired. All in all, this is a great backpack that I would definitely recommend to others." —Dalvir Sekhon

    Get it from Amazon for $40.99+ (available in two colors and sizes).

    38. A lap desk (with a built-in mouse pad and drawer) so working in bed/couch is actually comfortable.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Love this tray! Works perfectly for when I need to do thank you cards, menu planning, paperwork, etc. while sitting on the couch to keep an eye on my toddler while she plays. Works so much better than any other lap tray I've bought in the stores! Love that there's a spot to prop my iPad up and that there's a drawer to hold pens and a small pad of paper. Beautifully designed; glad I bought it!" —Jenna C. Corridoni

    Get it from Amazon for $39.86.

    39. A Squatty Potty that'll make going number two an easy and smooth experience.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This has changed our lives. Not to give up too much personal information, but this has made the bathroom-going part of our lives much easier, quicker, and more comfortable. No negatives, whatsoever! I think this should be a staple in every person's bathroom." —Savannah K

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

    40. An organizer to make the inside of their bag less of a tangly mess.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "A true lifesaver for those seeking organization. Bought this for my new laptop bag and have an easier time finding everything that I need." —Mo

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+.

    41. A seat gap filler so they'll stop losing things to the bottomless pit between the seat and the console aka the "Carmuda Triangle."

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've used these for a couple of years now, and can't count the number of times I've been grateful for them! I used to drop things between my seat and the console all the time, or not be sure where I dropped them and have to look like crazy to find them. Now I know they're not in that dark, hard-to-reach space, and they're much easier to find. I can tuck my umbrella and coupon envelope there and know they won't get spilled on. When I do spill on the Drop Stops, it wipes right up with a damp cloth or wipe. They don't show at all and always look clean." —B. Gifford

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $19.99.

    Your gift will definitely get a nod of approval.

    NBC

    Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

    Shopping Newsletter

    Find great products and the best-money saving deals around, delivered right to your inbox.
    Newsletter signup form