11 Smart Gifts $25 and Under

Amazon
Amazon

Thoughtful, useful gifts don’t have to cost a lot of money. Whether you’re delighting friends and family with small indulgences or making their lives better with practical gadgets, these under-$25 gifts are a pleasure to both give and get.

1. MAXONAR PORTABLE IPHONE FAN; $12

One of the few things your smartphone can't do is cool you down. This gadget to the rescue: It's a clip-on high-speed fan you can aim at yourself at an outdoor concert, while hiking, or on a sweltering subway platform.

Find It: Amazon

2. ANKER POWERCORE+ MINI LIPSTICK-SIZED CHARGER; $20

Anker PowerCore+ mini Lipstick-Sized Charger
Amazon

Few things are worse than a dead phone. Save your friends from that predicament with this lipstick-sized charger, which holds one full iPhone 6 charge (and about one charge for most other phones). Available in five different colors, it's easy to slip into a purse or bag, and can be recharged with the included Micro USB cable.

Find It: Amazon

3. FRED MANATEA SILICONE TEA INFUSER; $10

Fred MANATEA Silicone Tea Infuser
Amazon

Add a little joy to your loved one's morning ritual with this MANATEA infuser, constructed of food-safe silicone. Since it perches cutely on the edge of the cup, they won't have to worry about fishing it out with their fingers. If manatees aren't your thing for some reason (too adorable? too gray?), the same company offers a variety of other nautical infusers, including a deep sea diver, an octopus, and the "TEATANIC."

Find It: Amazon

4. RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS GLOWING COASTER SET; $20

Radioactive Elements Glowing Coaster Set
Amazon

Impress the chemistry geek in your life with these pressure-sensitive coasters featuring radioactive elements, which light up when you put your drink on them. Each one in the set of four features the atomic number and isotopic mass of the most stable or common isotope of the respective element. Batteries are included.

Find It: Amazon

5. LIBRARY CARD ART PRINT; $12

Library Card Art Print
Etsy

Pay tribute to your favorite reader's favorite book with one of these old-fashioned library card prints, each featuring the Dewey Decimal System number, title, author's name, and first and last lines of a treasured classic—whether it's Tolstoy or Anne of Green Gables. Choose from two sizes (5x7 or 8x10) and a wide variety of titles (or customize with your own).

Find It: Etsy

6. CERAMIC HEDGEHOG PLANTER; $15

Ceramic Hedgehog Planter
Plum & Punch

It's not every day you find a planter pretty enough to be given as a gift, but the gold accents on this hedgehog make him feel extra special. For extra fun, fill it with succulents or air plants (bonus: hard to kill!) before gifting.

Find It: Plum & Punch

7. PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW FINE ART PRINT; PRICES VARY

Louis Renard’s "Fish," Folio 4
Public Domain Review // Public Domain

One of the most interesting history sites on the web also has a gift shop featuring prints of public domain images, drawn from the pages of natural history, travel, ethnography, and other types of fascinating books. (This one is Louis Renard’s Fish, Folio 4, from 1719—the earliest color publication on fish.) Prices vary, but many are around $25 and can be ordered with one of an assortment of frames for an additional fee.

Find It: Public Domain Review

8. PRE DE PROVENCE BUTTERFLY SOAP GIFT SET; $12

Pre de Provence butterfly soap gift set
Pre de Provence

Soaps are an easy hit: Most people like to smell good. This pack of seven pretty shea butter-enriched guest soaps includes familiar favorites like lavender and rose, as well as more distinctive fragrances including sage and starflower. The slightly nubby texture gives them a rustic, hand-made feel that will look beautiful in a bathroom, and the scents will linger.

Find It: Pré de Provence

9. PURE VERMONT ORGANIC MAPLE SUGAR CANDY; $25

Mount Mansfield Maple Products candy
Amazon

Food purists won't be able to quibble with these: The only ingredient is pure certified organic Vermont maple syrup, formed into the shape of a maple leaf and coated with concentrated, crystallized syrup to keep it fresh. Straight from the people at Mount Mansfield Maple Products in the foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains, the candy is packaged in an elegant black-and-gold box and will last for 10 weeks on the shelf—assuming the giftee doesn't eat it all.

Find It: Amazon

10. CAPABUNGA REUSABLE WINE SEALERS; $13

CapaBunga Reusable Wine Sealers
Amazon

Store leftover wine without fear (even on its side) with these caps made of 100 percent silicone, which provides an airtight seal. Each cap in the set features "cheers" in a different language: "Cheers," "Prost," "Santé," and "Salut." Give it to your favorite vino-lover—one who also knows how to practice a little self-control.

Find It: Amazon

11. RAW HONEY SAMPLER; $18

Raw Honey Sampler
Etsy

Who wouldn't love these little luxuries? Eight varieties of pure raw honey, including seasonal harvests and herb-infused treats, straight from a family-run farm in Central Ohio. Aside from being tasty, raw honey is known for a host of healing benefits, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antibacterial properties.

Find It: Etsy

This Ingenious Hanger Makes Hanging Pants a Breeze, No Clips or Folds Required

Hurdle Hanger
Hurdle Hanger

Get ready to clean out your closet. No, we don’t mean going all Marie Kondo on your clothes. There’s a new type of clothes hanger that promises to change the way you store your clothes, taking the headache out of hanging up your pants.

The Hurdle Hanger, which has currently raised more than $33,000 on Kickstarter, calls itself the “one-second pants hanger.” Rather than relying on cumbersome clips or requiring bulky folding techniques, the hanger design employs one very simple change: It hooks into the belt loops of your pants.

The angular hanger is open on one side so that you can slide the bar through the belt loops of your pants, letting you secure your pants in one smooth motion rather than struggling with the pant clips that will just wrinkle your waistband anyway.

A person slides the Hurdle Hanger through the belt loops of a pants to hang them.
Hurdle Hanger

Just slide the hanger bar through the belt loop (or loops) farthest from you, then hang the belt loop closest to you from the hook. There is another hook midway across the bar that secures the middle belt loop, keeping your pants from drooping while they hang. In another subtle touch, you can use the same hook to hang smaller items, like belts or hats, off the side.

The Hurdle Hanger is an example of smart design at its finest—the kind of idea that, when you see it in action, makes you think, “Wait, how did no one think of this before?” It takes a once-cumbersome task and makes it seamless, eliminating at least some of the burden that may be keeping you from accomplishing the chore of hanging up your clothes. No more messing with clips or trying to shove pants through the cramped hole in the hanger to fold them over.

There are already open-end pants hangers that make it easier to slide a folded pair of slacks into your closet, but the belt loop hooks take the Hurdle Hanger to another level. You might even get inspired enough to start hanging your jeans.

A 10-pack of hangers is $20 on Kickstarter—though anything that makes you actively excited to organize your closet is priceless.

The 20 Products Mental Floss Readers Loved Most in 2018

iStock.com/LeszekCzerwonka
iStock.com/LeszekCzerwonka

Mental Floss loves to surface the coolest, weirdest, most delightful products available online. We put together reviews, lists, and gift guides full of the best stuff available on Amazon, Kickstarter, and elsewhere in the hopes that our readers—that's you!—will enjoy those products just as much as we do. In the past year, we've recommended items like sushi-shaped pushpins, a shockingly well-reviewed $95 mattress, smart planners, and more.

Some of these products proved especially popular with our audience. Below are the 20 products Mental Floss readers enjoyed (and purchased) the most in 2018.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide to Hogwarts

A pop-up paper version of Hogwarts
Insight Editions, Amazon

While you're waiting on your acceptance letter from the greatest wizarding school in history and fantasizing about which house the Sorting Hat might choose for you, get familiar with the Hogwarts campus with this 3D pop-up guide to the castle and grounds, which we wrote about in August 2018. Once you finish flipping through this book, check out designer Matthew Reinhart's other 3D works, including pop-up guides to the worlds of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and more.

Find it on Amazon for $35.

2. Harry Potter Funko Advent Calendar

A Harry Potter-themed advent calendar
Funko, Amazon

As you might be able to tell, there are few entertainment franchises Mental Floss readers love more than Harry Potter. Between late October and December, readers bought more than 150 of Funko's Harry Potter advent calendars, which capture the expansive wizarding world in an adorably bite-sized fashion. Instead of chocolates, behind each door is a miniature Funko Pop! figure inspired by JK Rowling's beloved characters. But remember, it does not do to dwell on dreams—so if you want to get your hands on this bestseller for 2019, you should grab it early before it sells out.

Find it on Amazon for $63.

3. Pimple Pete Game Presented by Dr. Pimple Popper

The cover of the Pimple Pete board game shows zits popping out of an illustrated face
Spin Master Games, Amazon

Depending on what kind of person you are, this new board game from Mental Floss's favorite dermatologist, Dr. Pimple Popper, is either the grossest thing imaginable or the most satisfying game ever. Pimple Pete revolves around players taking turns pulling "pus" out of the eponymous Pete's zits. Even for those that find the act unappealing, it's a uniquely goofy activity that will surely get some good laughs at family game night.

Find it on Amazon for $10 and at these other retailers:

4. Nerdwax

A tube of Nerdwax
Nerdwax, Amazon

There have been countless niche products pitched on Shark Tank, but Nerdwax—a sticky substance designed to keep your glasses from slipping down your nose—has been the biggest hit with our readers. As Mental Floss's Michele Debczak puts it, the Chapstick-like tube allows you to "stop worrying about pushing up your glasses and focus on looking fabulous."

Find it on Amazon for $10.99.

5. Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse

The cover of Tiny Titans Vol. 1
Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, Amazon

Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse is the first of eight books that follow the adventures of DC’s beloved adolescent heroes. But instead of intense crime fighting, it’s about an even more perilous endeavor: elementary school. Comics are actually a great starting point for getting kids into reading, and this is one of many fantastic ones out there for young readers. Fans of the early 2000s Teen Titans show on Cartoon Network will find it especially endearing.

Find it on Amazon for $10.

6. Cat-Opoly

A Cat-Opoly board
Late for the Sky, Amazon

Love Monopoly but tired of the same old aesthetic? Get this paw-some unofficial remix called Cat-Opoly. The game has the same premise and rules of regular Monopoly, but instead of buying property, you buy different cat breeds. Instead of houses and hotels, you collect litter boxes and fish bones, all while trying to avoid dogs and water. It's a purr-fect activity for any cat-loving household—just hope your game doesn't last fur-ever.

Find it on Amazon for $18 and at these other retailers:

7. Paladone Moon Light

A moon-shaped lamp on a desk
Paladone, Amazon

If you’re a space-obsessed night person (and not a werewolf), this popular moon-shaped lamp might be just the thing for you. It’s designed with accurate crater formations that make it look just like the real Moon. The portable lamp would be perfect either as a night light or decoration for a space-themed party.

Find it on Amazon for $11.

8. Zollipops The Clean Teeth Pops

A box of Zollipops
Zollipops, Amazon

Great for kids and adults alike, Zollipops are designed for you to pop post-meal. The gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free candies contain erythritol and xylitol, two sweeteners that have been found to reduce acidity in your mouth and protect against cavities. Readers went wild for them after we wrote about Zolli Candy founder Alina Morse, who came up with the idea when she was just 9 years old.

Find them on Amazon for $6 for 25 Zollipops.

9. First Aid Only 299-Piece All-purpose First Aid Kit

An open first aid kit
First Aid Only, Amazon

Mental Floss fans like to be prepared, apparently. Tons of our readers purchased this compact all-purpose first aid kit in 2018. And who could blame them? The handy case features an extensive number of first-aid necessities and is wildly affordable.

Find it on Amazon for $13.

10. My Pen15 Club Set of 4 Golden Girls Celebrity Prayer Candles

Four prayer candles with the cast of 'The Golden Girls' on them
My Pen15 Club, Amazon

A lot of Mental Floss readers are praying to the patron saints of sitcoms these days. With one for each Golden Girl, this stellar set of four candles—which we wrote about back in December—is the perfect addition to any fan's home.

Find it on Amazon for $60.

11. Funko Pop! Mister Rogers Collectible Figure

A Mister Rogers figurine
Funko, Amazon

This Funko Pop! version of Fred Rogers released last June (just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) is as delightful as its inspiration. Like the man himself, it's bound to make anyone feel a little more wholesome. And if you're as obsessed with Funko Pop! figures as we are, read all about how the company conquered the toy world here.

Find it on Amazon for $6.

12. T-fal E91898 12-Inch Nonstick Pan

A nonstick pan with a glass lid on it
T-fal, Amazon

Every kitchen could use an everything pan, and this 12-inch one from T-fal seems to have made it into many Mental Floss readers' homes in 2018. It's nonstick, comes with a lid, and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Even better, it's massively on sale right now.

Find it on Amazon for $32.

13. Anker SoundBuds Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth headphones
Anker, Amazon

A stylish and affordable substitute for inconvenient and easy-to-lose AirPods, these Bluetooth earbuds are perfect for your workout, your commute, or your day in general. We suggest using them to watch a few of our videos.

Find them on Amazon for $26 and at these other retailers:

14. Extra Long Stainless Steel Metal Straws

Six straws and two cleaning wands
MalloMe, Amazon

Last year, many of us found out just how damaging disposable plastic straws can be to the environment. Several cities, companies, and tourist destinations began to phase them out, and as the trend spread, plenty of people decided to proactively cut back on their straw habit. Back in July, we recommended several different products that could help reduce the carbon footprint of that iced coffee addiction, but these stainless steel straws proved the most popular. (Readers also loved our video on the LOLISTRAW, a plastic-free straw that you can eat.)

Find them on Amazon for $12.

15. Sharpie 37001 Permanent Markers

A box of Sharpie pens
Sharpie, Amazon

Our readers sure do love Sharpies. Amazon regularly has great discounts on the beloved permanent markers, so we often feature them in our Smart Shopping section's daily deals posts. Last year, readers bought them in bulk. At $7 for a 12-pack, these ultra-fine-point versions are a permanent bargain.

Find it on Amazon for $7 and at these other retailers:

16. The Bob Ross Coloring Book

The cover of the Bob Ross coloring book
Bob Ross, Amazon

Coloring is already an incredibly relaxing activity, but coloring the paintings of legendarily chill TV art instructor Bob Ross is another level of tranquility. The official Bob Ross Coloring Book includes ready-to-color outlines of the beloved painter’s soothing nature scenes alongside some of his most famous signature quips, so you'll never forget the appreciate the happy little trees as you work. Almost a year and a half after we first wrote about it, this coloring book is still one of the most popular products we've featured on the site.

Find it on Amazon for $13.

17. 3D Crystal Puzzle, Saturn

A clear 3D puzzle in the shape of Saturn
Bepuzzled, Amazon

In 2018, Mental Floss readers added another dimension to their puzzle-solving skills with this 3D puzzle of Saturn by BePuzzled. When finished, the 39 translucent, interlocking pieces create a beautiful model of the ringed planet that's ready for display. (BePuzzled also makes versions in the shape of various fruits, animals, and other figures.)

Find it on Amazon for $13 and at these other retailers:

18. The Constellations Glow-In-The-Dark Star Map (Northern Hemisphere)

A star map of the Northern Hemisphere
Star Finders, Inc., Amazon

In the light of day, this sky map shows all the constellations visible in the Northern Hemisphere. At night, the stars glow in the dark and the lines fade away, creating a spellbinding night sky within your home. The poster was a particularly popular addition to our holiday gift guide for astronomy geeks.

Find it on Amazon for $25.

19. Go-Cat Da Bird Rod and Feather Toy

A feathered cat toy
Go Cat, Amazon

Cat-loving Mental Floss readers bought a whole bunch of these great, excellently priced Go-Cat feather toys after cat behavioral consultant Mikel Delgado recommended them in her July 2018 article “10 Science-Backed Tips for Getting a Cat to Like You.” Wand-style toys with feathers or other attachments that look like potential prey are some of the best ways to engage with a cat, leading to some excellent bonding time.

Find it on Amazon for $9.

20. Kikkerland Playing Cards

A spread of playing cards
Kikkerland, Amazon

Perfect your poker face with these stylish playing cards. Kikkerland offers glow-in-the-dark, translucent, and other unique card styles, but our readers particularly loved the pixel design, which gives the deck a retro video game vibe.

Find them on Amazon for $9.

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