12 Thoughtful Gifts for Mom

The Ninja Foodi
The Ninja Foodi
Amazon

If you're like most, childhood gifts to mom involved macaroni, macrame, and possibly glitter. Now that you're fully grown, it's time to graduate to something just a little nicer. Whether your mom likes beauty products or tech gifts, we've rounded up some of the best presents to help her rest, relax, and enjoy the year ahead in great style.

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. Ninja Foodi

If mom's a foodie who likes things fast and low-fat, she'll love this pressure cooker, steamer, and air fryer in one. The easy-to-clean, ceramic-coated 4-quart Cook & Crisp basket can handle a 5-pound chicken or three pounds of french fries—not to mention an almost unlimited variety of other foods—and finish them all to perfection. Buy it for her and then invite yourself over for dinner.

Find It at:

2. Nodpod

The nodpod weighted sleep mask
The nodpod weighted sleep mask
Amazon

Weighted blankets are all the rage, so why not give the sleep mask version? The microbeads in the nodpod provide a gentle pressure that reduces anxiety while promoting deep sleep. The scalloped design features a notch at one end that the wearer slips the other end through, which allows the mask to stay on in any position, or if they're the type who tends to toss and turn. (If Mom wants a looser experience, she can also just drape it across her head before falling asleep—the weight makes it more likely to stay in place than the average eye pillow.) The machine-washable Jersey cotton side is cooling, while the fleece side is warm and cuddly.

Find It at Amazon for $25 and also at these other retailers:

3. Sips by

The Sips by tea subscription box and sample contents
The Sips by tea subscription box and sample contents
Sips by

Sometimes it seems like there are almost as many tea varieties in the world as there are tea drinkers. But since tea can be a little on the expensive side, not everyone wants to splurge on a whole box or tin just to try something new. Enter Sips by. After mom (or anyone else) takes a quiz to develop their own "tea profile," they can receive a monthly box that includes four premium teas chosen from over 100 brands around the world. Each box makes at least 15 cups, and includes biodegradable filters for loose-leaf teas. It's a great way to try niche brands or unusual tastes—and who knows, mom might end up with a new favorite.

Find It at Sips by for $45 and up.

4. Overnight Footcare Kit

The Overnight Footcare Kit from Uncommon Goods
The Overnight Footcare Kit from Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

This gift set is a great way for mom's feet to get some pampering with minimal effort on her part. She can just rub in the rosemary-and-mint-scented cream, slip on the fuzzy socks, and drift off to moisturizing heaven. Reviewers say the socks are just the right weight to sleep in, and they're machine washable, too. Even a shorter session—maybe while watching TV—will help mom's feet make it through the winter in tip-top condition.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $18.

5. Rifle and Paper Co. Queen Anne Recipe Box

The Rifle and Paper Co. Queen Anne recipe box
The Rifle and Paper Co. Queen Anne recipe box and recipe cards
Rifle and Paper Co.

This handsome black-and-gold recipe box is perfect for moms who like to keep their cooking ideas organized analog-style. The set includes a dozen letterpress dividers and 24 recipe cards printed with charming black spoons on the top. If mom's recipe box hasn't seen an update since the 1970s, she's sure to appreciate this charming gift.

Find It at:

6. Merino Wool Chunky Blanket

Merino Wool Chunky Blanket from Etsy
A Merino wool chunky blanket from Etsy
Etsy

Chunky knitted blankets are on trend, so why not give mom a super-luxurious version in Merino wool? Made-to-order, hand-knit, and available in a dozen colors from vanilla to lime, they'll keep her toasty—and stylish—for many winters to come.

Find It at: Etsy for $81 and up.

7. Amazon Home Cleaning

A bucket of cleaning supplies and rubber gloves
iStock.com/Tatomm

Ultimately, love is saying "I will do the dishes for you. Or at least, I will hire someone to do them for you." Amazon Home Cleaning makes it a snap to book professional house cleaners who are background-checked and licensed—they'll even stick to eco-friendly products if that's what mom prefers. They'll dust, mop, clean the tub and toilet, and even change the sheets. Because these days, she probably has better things to do.

Find It at Amazon.

8. Kodak Scanza Digital Film Scanner

Kodak Scanza Digital Film Scanner
The Kodak Scanza Digital Film Scanner
Kodak

Does mom have a hoard of precious family photos on old camera film? Help her upgrade to the 21st century with this digital film scanner, which converts 35mm, 126, 110, Super 8, and 8mm negatives into JPEGs. Easy to use and with built-in color correction, she can just scan and save to a microSD card, then store, print, or—maybe the most likely scenario—share on Facebook.

Find It at: Kodak for $170 and also at these other retailers:

9. Dry Baby Bodysuit

The Dry Baby Bodysuit in Starry Night
The Dry Baby Bodysuit in Starry Night
Amazon

If you're looking for a gift for a new mom, these water-, stain-, and odor-repellant bodysuits from Dry Baby are both adorable and practical. They're developed by a former NASA scientist and made in the USA from 100 percent cotton, with no fluorocarbons or other weird additives that can irritate a baby's skin. Plus, this bodysuit has a high neckline to prevent spills and drool from landing on skin, and it features a super-cute stargazing design.

Find It at: Amazon for $14.

10. Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

The AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven in red
Amazon

Le Creuset enameled dutch ovens are seriously covetable, but the hefty price tag can put them out of reach. Fortunately, Amazon sells its own well-reviewed version of the kitchenware starting at just $40. It's got a similar look to the Le Creuset, and is just as handy for mom's stews, soups, and braises.

Find It at Amazon for $50.

11. Lusomé Donna Classic Sleep Shirt

The Lusomé Donna Sleep Shirt and Pants in Dark Shadow
The Lusomé Donna Sleep Shirt and Pants in Dark Shadow
Amazon

Night sweats are an uncomfortable fact of life for women of a certain age, but it's not something many fashion brands take into account. The folks at Lusomé designed their ultrasoft nightwear to wick away moisture and bacteria by commissioning a unique material from an activewear fabric producer. Lab tests show it's 10 times more effective at eliminating perspiration and bacteria than its nearest competitor, but the menswear-inspired designs still look great. Complete the set with the Donna Relaxed Fit Sleep Pant for a mom who stays cool as a cucumber during the night.

Find It at Amazon for $25 and up.

12. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment

The Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment in Sheer Pink
The Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment in Sheer Pink
Sephora

The Fresh Sugar lip line is a cult favorite both for its smoothing properties and lemony scent—it seriously works magic on dried-out lips in a way many brands can't match. This balm smooths out fine lines, plumps, and helps improve lip definition, which can fade a little with age. The sheer pink tint is subtle and lovely on its own, although there's also a clear version that works well layered with lipstick. A good stocking stuffer for a mom who's always going for her chapstick.

Find It at: Sephora for $26 and also at these other retailers:

15 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Buy on Amazon

iStock.com/Julie Clopper
iStock.com/Julie Clopper

As we near the end of the gift-giving season (and Christmas shipping deadlines), you may be starting to panic about a certain someone on your list. Perhaps you forgot that one cousin was coming for Christmas dinner, or you’ve been so busy at work that you haven’t even had time to make a list, much less go shopping. Luckily, there’s Prime shipping. Shipping is already free this holiday season, whether you’re a Prime member or not, but Amazon is also offering free same-day shipping on millions of items for members. There’s no excuse for late presents now.

Here are 15 last-minute gifts you can buy on Amazon, from bargain to luxury.

1. Codenames

Codenames cards laid out on a table
Czech Games, Amazon

Not quite sure what kind of gift that last person on your list might like? Get them a game. It’s cheap, social, and if you’re really insistent, maybe they’ll even invite you over to play. We recommend the spycraft-themed Codenames. It involves just enough strategy to keep things interesting, but isn’t so intricate that no one wants to take the time to learn the rules. It works with both big and small groups of people, making it perfect entertainment for holiday festivities.

Find It at Amazon for $15 and at these other retailers:

2. The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Little Thinker Doll

A Vincent Van Gogh doll sitting on a couch
Unemployed Philosophers Guild, Amazon

If someone on your gift loves art, science, or history, the Unemployed Philosophers Guild’s Little Thinker dolls are a whimsical way to celebrate their passion. With a wide array of famous figures including Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Ada Lovelace, and Alexander Hamilton, there’s something for everyone to appreciate. We have soft spot for Vincent Van Gogh, but really, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these little guys.

Find It at Amazon for $19 and at these other retailers:

3. Utopia Bedding Reversible Blanket

A gray blanket draped over an armchair
Utopia Bedding, Amazon

When in doubt, go cozy. Everyone could use another very, very soft blanket, especially as the weather gets colder. This reversible blanket features microfiber on one side and faux-sheepskin on the other. It comes in twin, queen, king, and throw sizes, with navy and gray options. The throw version is a good all-purpose size for cozying up on the couch, but if you want to really splurge (affordably) on someone, the king size is only $33.

Find It at Amazon for $20.

4. DOSS SoundBox Touch Bluetooth Speaker

A DOSS speaker on a table during a party
DOSS, Amazon

This sleek portable speaker pumps out far better sound than its price point would suggest. With 360-degree sound, a 12-hour battery life, and a Bluetooth connectivity range up to 33 feet, it’s designed to keep the party going long into the night. It also doubles as a speakerphone, should your favorite home DJ also need to occasionally make phone calls across the kitchen or sit in on a conference call while working from home.

Find It at Amazon for $30.

5. Joy Mangano My Little Steamer Deluxe

A black handheld steamer
Joy Mangano, Amazon

Whether you’re shopping for a family member or a white elephant gift, give someone the gift of wrinkle-free clothes this year. This is one of the best handheld steamers out there, and it’s super affordable, as appliances go. It heats up quickly, puts out a sizable cloud of steam, and has a retractable cord for easy storage. For a cheaper option, the travel-sized version also comes highly reviewed.

Find It at Amazon for $30 and at these other retailers:

6. Homesick Scented Candle

One of Homesick's Washington candles next to family photos
Homesick Candles, Amazon

Candles are a great all-purpose gift for a host, a distant relative, a coworker, or anyone whose taste in gifts you just can’t pin down. Homesick’s candles add a touch of personalization: They’re designed to smell like particular locations. You can buy someone a candle designed to smell like their home city, state, or country. Give them a whiff of Florida with scents of citrus and Spanish moss, a reminder of Washington, D.C. with scents of cherry blossoms and leather-bound books, or memories of Australia with scents of eucalyptus and salt water.

Find It at Amazon for $30 and at these other retailers:

7. Cuirg Instant Pot Accessory Set

An egg-bite mold, steamer basket, egg rack, cooking mitts, and dish clip for the Instant Pot
Cuirg, Amazon

The Instant Pot is one of the hottest kitchen gadgets around right now, but to truly make the most of the pressure cooker, your favorite home cook will need more than just the appliance itself. This accessory set comes with a steamer basket, a rack for hard-boiled eggs, an egg-bites mold (which can also be used for mini-muffins and other treats), a springform pan for cakes and cheesecakes, a dish clip to help lift out food, and silicon mini-mitts that make it far easier for the Instant Pot cook to remove their full pot of hot food without singeing their fingers. The accessories fit in the 5-quart, 6-quart (the most popular model), and 8-quart Instant Pots. (Note that the image looks like it only has six accessories, but is listed as a seven-piece set—the sides and the bottom of the springform pan come apart, so they're counted as two pieces.)

If you're shopping on a budget, though, you don’t need to buy a full set of accessories. The $12 Instant Pot starter set comes with a heat-resistant pad, a silicon suction lid for storing leftovers, and silicone mini-mitts. (The latter are also available on their own for $10.

Find It at Amazon for $37.

8. Sustainable Village Mister

Two vintage-looking plant misters in copper
Sustainable Village, Amazon

House-plant parents will appreciate these charming misting cans, which will please both picky ferns and picky decorators. Misting increases humidity for houseplants with a more tropical bent, but it can also provide desert plants like succulents with the limited moisture they need. These classy cans come in copper, brass, or silver, and are only available in a two-pack, so feel free to hand them out to multiple people on your list.

Find It at Amazon for $45.

9. Spigo Intelligent Indoor Led Light Garden

A self-watering planter with an LED light
Spigo, Amazon

For someone with a green thumb but no garden, an LED-powered indoor gardening system is a great gift that will allow them to grow their own herbs, succulents, and other small plants even if their home doesn’t provide a lot of direct sunlight. The timer-based light and unique water reservoir make this the “set it and forget it” of indoor gardening tools—it provides up to 30 days worth of water and 16 hours of automatic light a day, making it a breeze to use. The sleek device, which comes in black or white, can be a stylish addition to any kitchen, living room, or bedroom. (If you’re on a budget, Mindful Design provides a serviceable alternative at a lower price point, minus the automatic watering system.)

Find It at Amazon for $65.

10. The Wine Savant World Decanter

A glass decanter shaped like a globe on a stand with two glasses of whiskey
The Wine Savant, Amazon

For your fanciest whiskey-loving friends and family, this globe-shaped decanter is a great reason to say, “Excuse me, I’m going to retire to my study.” The hand-blown glass decanter contains a delicate glass ship inside that appears as the user pours the whiskey into the two matching globe glasses. While it’s advertised as a whiskey accessory, it works for wine, too.

Find It at Amazon for $58 and at these other retailers:

11. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide

A pop-up book unfolded to reveal a model of Hogwarts
Insight Editions, Amazon

There are a lot of potential gifts out there for Harry Potter fans, but Matthew Reinhart’s Hogwarts pop-up book is truly magical. The intricately engineered work of paper art folds out into re-creations of key parts of Hogwarts Castle and its grounds, with plenty of insight into the movies at each turn.

Find It at Amazon for $68 and at these other retailers:

12. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Coffee Maker

The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System on a countertop
Amazon

While coffee aficionados are known to be picky about their brewing methods, you can’t go wrong getting them the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, which is made to do it all, from tea to drip coffee to specialty drinks with foamed milk to cold brew. (Mental Floss’s Erin McCarthy calls the latter function “a gamer changer.”) And the best part? No filters or pods needed, so it's perfect for your more eco-conscious friends. If you really want to treat someone, we recommend upgrading to the slightly pricier ($200) version with a thermal carafe, which will keep your favorite coffee lover’s brew at just the right temperature for hours.

Find It at Amazon for $180 and at these other retailers:

13. Amazon Echo Plus

If you know someone who hasn’t already gotten on the smart-home train—or only has a smaller Dot—the premium Echo model makes a great gift that they might not otherwise splurge on themselves. It’s got better speakers than the other Alexa devices and a built-in smart hub, so they can pump up their Spotify playlist, then ask Alexa to turn their smart lights to their favorite party-ambiance setting. If they’re a master chef or baker, they can use it to set hands-free timers in the kitchen and ask Alexa to convert measurements and do recipe math. The Echo can also be used to deliver news and weather updates, listen to the radio, and play trivia games, meaning it provides a little something for everyone.

Find It at Amazon for $150.

14. KitchenAid Classic 4.5-Quart Plus Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

A white KitchenAid stand mixer on a kitchen island next to a plate of whoopie pies
Kitchen Aid, Amazon

If someone in your life has recently gotten into sourdough bread or The Great British Bake-Off, there's a high chance they’ve been lusting after this wildly popular KitchenAid stand mixer. There are a lot of different KitchenAid mixers (here’s a nifty guide to choosing one), but this tilt-head model, which offers easy access to the bowl, is the classic option. If you’re willing to shell out a bit more, KitchenAid makes similar models in a bunch of fun colors, most of them at a slightly higher price point—this cute 5-quart azure number with a glass bowl is available for $280.

Find It at Amazon for $189 and at these other retailers:

15. Neato Robotics Botvac D4 Connected Robot Vacuum

A Neato robotic vacuum and a smartphone open to the Neato home-mapping app
Neato Robotics Amazon

OK, so you may have waited until the last minute to get someone a gift. But you know how you can show them you truly care? Take some domestic labor off their plate. Whether your loved one is a neat freak or a slob, a robot vacuum can change their life, either by taking over the cleaning they do all the time or by taking on the cleaning they’d never do otherwise. Neato’s robot vacuum scans and maps its way around the house with lasers and can be set up to avoid potential messes like bowls of pet food or a pile of cords. It even works with Alexa.

Find It at Amazon for $399 and at these other retailers:

11 Brilliant Gifts for the Film Buff in Your Life

iStock.com/Geber86
iStock.com/Geber86

Can’t figure out what to gift the cinephile in your life, now that DVDs have pretty much bitten the dust? Here are 11 suggestions sure to delight movie lovers who know their stuff.

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. Criterion Designs Coffee Table Book

If there's one word that can get any rabid film fan's pulse pounding it's this: Criterion. For nearly 35 years, the home video distribution company has been putting out pristine versions of an eclectic lineup of foreign films, indie favorites, cult classics, and even a few recent hits, including Richard Linklater's Boyhood and the Coen brothers's Inside Llewyn Davis. The company's DVD and Blu-ray releases are as well known for their cover art as they are their special features, and it's this former attribute that takes center stage in the Criterion Designs book.

Find It at Amazon for $120 and also at these other retailers:

2. Vizio 2.1 Channel Sound Bar System

A talented cast of actors delivering lines from a well-written script may be the first things that come to mind when thinking about the most important elements of "a great movie," but all the clever dialogue and George Clooneys in the world won't help much if you can't hear the film properly. This Vizio sound bar brings the movie theater experience into your living room with a compact sound system that turns any movie (or television series, football game, etc.) into a totally immersive experience. You'll never see—or hear—Jurassic Park quite the same way again.

Find It at Amazon for $180.

3. Scratch-off movie bucket list poster

Think you're a true cineaste? Prove it. See how many of the iconic films included on this poster you've already screen and scratch off the titles. Then, queue up the rest of them in order to complete your film education, and get the full aesthetic effect of this poster. The titles range from bona fide classics like Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany's to newer titles like The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonlight.

Find It at UncommonGoods for $15.

4. Inflatable Movie Screen With Storage Bag

Turn any gathering into a movie party with this gigantic inflatable movie screen that can be blown up for either indoor or outdoor use. Stick it in the basement for your kid's next sleepover party or, when the weather allows, set it up right next to the pool, have all your guests grab a raft or inner tube, and settle in for a terrifyingly vicarious screening of Jaws. The screen measures 12 feet in height and 11.5 feet across, so there won't be a bad seat (or flotation device) in the house.

Find It at Amazon for $18 and also at these other retailers:

5. Fictional Movie Hotel Notepads

Great for stirring up the imagination or just scribbling out a shopping list, these fictional movie hotel-inspired are like a souvenir from a favorite film. Choose from one of eight iconic hotels from The Shining, Vertigo, Dirty Dancing, National Lampoon's European Vacation, and more.

Find It at Herb Lester Associates for $12 per set.

6. Roku Ultra

Give the gift of unlimited entertainment with the Roku Ultra, compatible across a range of devices (including smartphones and tablets) plus over 300,000 movies on demand. Even the biggest movie buff is sure to find a new favorite with that many options. Plus, you can use the device to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and hundreds of other streaming networks.

Find It at Amazon for $74 and also at these other retailers:

7. Minimalist Movie Posters

These handcrafted, beautifully designed canvas prints are perfect for the movie lover looking to class up their home's mise-en-scène while still representing their favorite flicks. The artists at iCanvas make even the goofiest movies into works of fine art worthy of displaying (check out their classy Borat poster for proof).

Find It at iCanvas for $30 and up.

8. Retro Movie Theater Popcorn Maker

The only thing better than a fresh tub of movie theater popcorn is a fresh tub of movie theater popcorn that you didn't have to remortgage your house to pay for. The "Throwback" popcorn maker cooks up kettle-fresh popcorn in a flash, and even comes with the all-important popcorn scoop.

Find It at Williams Sonoma for $100.

9. Movie Buff Trivia Game

Let the movie lovers in your life show off their film knowledge with the ultimate movie trivia card game, featuring quotes, roles, movie facts and more.

Find It at Amazon for $25.

10. Movie Ticket Stub Diary

The Ticket Stub Diary from UncommonGoods comes with clear sleeves to fit all ticket sizes and space in the margins to write notes, so your cinephile can preserve all their silver screen memories. (It also makes a great gift for sports fans, loyal concertgoers, or anyone else who likes to preserve ticketed proof of a night out.)

Find It at UncommonGoods for $14.

11. Deco 79 Metal Glass Accent Table

Directors might be going digital these days, but this glass top wrought iron film reel-inspired side table will let your movie lover pay tribute the bygone days of film—plus, it’s the perfect accent for any movie room.

Find It at Amazon for $60.

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