15 Father's Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad (and Every Budget)

iStock/Halfpoint
iStock/Halfpoint

Father’s Day can really sneak up on you. Once May rolls into June, your thoughts turn to sandy beaches, county fairs, or long-overdue vacations. Then it suddenly hits you: Dear Old Dad’s big holiday is coming up—and you still haven’t found that perfect, unique gift for your father (or stepfather, or grandfather, or husband)! Never fear. We’re here to help. On this list of ideas, there’s a little something for every kind of papa, from sports dads to foodie fathers to game-night-loving patriarchs.

1. Matador Travel Accessories; $10 to $13

Having to travel in close proximity to screaming babies or roaring engines is never a pleasant experience. The good news is, you can preemptively spare your father’s eardrums from that kind of cacophonous racket before he embarks on his next vacation or business trip with a nice pair of earplugs. We like this travel kit from Matador, which includes memory foam earplugs rated at a 32 dB noise reduction plus a silicone carrying case that doubles as a zipper pull so Dad doesn't have to worry about misplacing them.

Matador's other travel accessories would also make a great gift for any travel pro: The company's space-saving Flat-Pak bottles squish flat so as not to take up room in dad's suitcase after he's run out of shampoo, while the innovative soap bar case somehow manages to be totally leakproof while still allowing the bar to dry through the fabric.

Buy it: Matador

2. The Sopranos Family Cookbook; $14

The cover of 'The Sopranos Family Cookbook'

Grand Central Publishing, Amazon

This unique cookbook for pop culture geeks boasts a fun mixture of mouthwatering Italian recipes and colorful remarks from Artie Buco, Carmela Soprano, and other characters in the classic HBO series, which turned 20 in 2019. The Sopranos Family Cookbook is sure to be a hit with any dads out there who’ve got a taste for crime drama and/or lasagna.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Crossword Puzzle Coffee Mug; $16


The Unemployed Philosophers Guild, Amazon

Now Dad can enjoy his daily dose of caffeine with a puzzle on the side. The exterior of this ingenious mug from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild doubles as a blank crossword puzzle. Every month, your father can find the clues to a different puzzle online. Then he’ll inscribe the answers onto his favorite new piece of drinkware with a pencil.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Major League Ballparks Scratch-Off Chart; $25

Visiting all 30 major league ballparks is a popular bucket list entry for hardcore fans of America’s pastime. Using this scratch-off chart, your dad can track his progress while he tries to follow suit. And if baseball isn't his sport, fear not—Pop Chart also has scratch-off stadium charts for football fans and basketball arenas.

Buy it: Pop Chart

5. Insulated Beer Bottle Holder; $35

An open beer inside a BottleKeeper stands in the sand next to a surfer in a wetsuit.

BottleKeeper, The Grommet

Koozies are for amateurs. Using this insulated bottle-shaped holster, your dad can keep a 12-ounce bottle of his favorite beer nice and cold for up to two hours straight. Oh, and did we mention that there’s a screw-on cap that’ll let him re-seal the bottle after it’s been opened? As Toby Keith says: Proceed to party.

Buy it: The Grommet

6. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth; $42

The cover of 'Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth'

Bodleian Library, Amazon

If your dad pines for Mirkwood or Hobbiton, he’ll want a copy of this beautiful book. A 416-page tribute to the father of modern fantasy, it’s replete with hundreds of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original sketches, watercolor paintings, and manuscripts. Plus, there’s a wonderful set of essays from archivists, scholars, and mythology experts.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Stanley Master Vacuum Bottle; $56

A black Stanley vacuum-insulated bottle

Stanley, Amazon

Whether your pops prefers iced coffee or steaming hot java, the Stanley Master Vacuum Bottle will have him covered—for days. The 1.4-quart model keeps hot drinks hot for 40 hours on end. As for chillier beverages, it’ll help them stay cold for 35 hours straight, or, if there's ice involved, 160 hours.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Dyna-Glo Compact Bullet Charcoal Smoker; $56

A black barbecue smoker

Dyna-Glow, Walmart

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned barbecue. Using the temperature gauge as a guide, your dad can smoke or grill all manner of delicious entrees on this compact charcoal-based unit. It might not be a bad idea to throw in some nice barbecue tools as a bonus gift.

Buy it: Walmart

9. Holy Stone RC Quadcopter Drone; $70

A Holy Stone RC quadcopter flying above New York City

Holy Stone, Amazon

You’re never too old to enjoy flying remote-controlled gadgets—or to appreciate quality videos. The Holy Stone RC Quadcopter Drone lets dad create the latter by using the former. It’s a win-win.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Eagle Creek Backpack Cargo Hauler; $77

An Eagle Creek cargo backpack

Eagle Creek, Amazon

So your old man’s the kind of guy who likes to roam around. More power to him. Get the man a spacious, 45-liter travel bag with detachable backpack straps, exterior pockets, and a lifetime warranty. The hardy bag is equally suited to wandering through a new city, embarking on a business trip, or throwing in the back of his truck on the way to the campsite.

Buy it: Amazon

11. LifeProof FRE Series Waterproof iPhone Cases; $80 to $100

Might as well admit it: Everyone—dads included—gets their phone wet now and then. Go ahead and give your dad the gift of peace of mind. LifeProof's FRE series protective cases are waterproof and can keep a fully submerged phone safe underwater for up to an hour. They’ll also shield your dad's phone from snow, dirt, and dust. And better yet, when a mobile device is encased in one of these babies, it can withstand getting dropped from heights of up to 6.5 feet. FRE cases are available for most smartphone models in a variety of colors.

Buy it: LifeProof

12. Jenga GIANT Premium Hardwood Game; $118

A 5-foot-tall Jenga tower

Jenga, Amazon

Family game night is a time-honored tradition in many a household. But that doesn’t mean you can’t up the ante. Your pops will get a real kick out of stacking these precision-cut wooden blocks into toddler-sized towers. The starting height is 2 feet, but with a delicate touch, your dad can arrange these Jenga blocks into a 5-foot monstrosity. Sounds like a good time.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Bordo Big Alarm 6000 Key Folding Lock; $200

No cycling dad should be without a good bike lock. Every year, somewhere from 800,000 to 2 million bicycles are stolen across the U.S. To keep his beloved bike from becoming another statistic, your dad can secure it with this quality folding lock. It uses 5-millimeter steel designed to foil any would-be thieves, with a casing system designed to keep his paint job looking pristine. And in the unlikely event that the lock fails, it has a sophisticated alarm system that can alert your dad from afar that his ride is leaving without him.

Buy it: Competitive Cyclist

14. iRobot Roomba 690; $297

Help your dad tackle basic housework in style—all without lifting a finger. The mid-range iRobot Roomba 690 won't break the bank, but still has plenty of high-tech features that will change your dad's life for the better. It boasts Wi-Fi connectivity so he can monitor its progress via smartphone or control it with Google Home or Alexa. It can be pre-scheduled to clean overnight or at specific times during the day, and features virtual wall technology that will allow your dad to block off stairs, doorways, or pet food bowls that might trip the vacuum up. That’ll free him up to kick back and relax while he waits for the floors to get tidy.

Buy it: Amazon or iRobot

15. Fromaggio Automated Home Cheesemaker, $318

Fromaggio's home cheesemaking machine

Fromaggio, Indiegogo

A high-tech cheesemaking device that can fit on Dad’s kitchen counter? Yes, please. This beauty churns out delicious cheddars, mozzarellas, and provolones in as little as 30 minutes. And with Fromaggio’s handy smartphone app, your old man will be able to buy ingredients, find great recipes, and control the device from afar. The high-end countertop gadget won’t hit the market until 2020, but you can pre-order one today—a true cheese connoisseur like your dad will be willing to wait. In the meantime, we recommend you enroll your papa in Murray’s Cheese of the Month Club so he'll never be without gourmet cheese. (Between June 14 and June 16, you can get 10 percent off Murray's monthly cheese clubs with the code DADGIFTS10.)

Buy it: Indiegogo

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and 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!

This Stunning Tiny ‘Cliff’ House on Amazon Costs $105,000 (and Up)

Q-haus, Amazon
Q-haus, Amazon

Tiny houses are cheaper, simpler, and definitely more portable than full-sized homes, and thanks to online retailers, they're easier to purchase. On Amazon, you can shop for pre-fabricated tiny houses in between adding toilet paper and bed sheets to your cart. One of the latest minimalist structures Amazon has sold is a "Cliff" house with a few luxurious amenities you won't find in many conventional homes.

For $105,000, the third-party seller Q-haus will ship you its Cliff model in two ready-to-assemble modules, according to Southern Living. The 774-square-foot house is modular and can have two to three bedrooms and one to two bathrooms. The bathrooms—which are where many tiny homes cut corners—are spacious enough to house either a bath tub or a sauna. The space also boasts built-in furniture, smart-home technology, an outdoor terrace, and tall windows for letting in lots of natural light.

The Cliff is definitely cheaper than most brick-and-mortar homes on the market, but as Realtor.com warns, the Amazon price tag may be deceiving. Unless you're a skilled professional, you'll likely need to hire contractors to put the components of the home together for you. Add that to the cost of the land and the concrete foundation for the home's footprint and you're looking at a bill that's much larger than the $105,000 you'd pay up front.

Tiny homes may also seem like a good option if you're looking for new place to live immediately. But transitioning to tiny house life is rarely as easy as putting together a structure and calling it home. Zoning laws, insurance, and storage are all factors tiny home owners need to contend with before moving into their new abode.

Q-haus's Cliff design sold out shortly after it hit Amazon, and there's no indication of when or if it will be back in stock. But if you still have your heart set on downsizing your lifestyle, there are plenty of tiny dwellings available on Amazon for much cheaper prices.

[h/t Southern Living]

This Convenient, Comfortable Travel Pillow Doesn’t Wrap Around Your Neck

Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images
Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images

If an angry bit of airplane turbulence has recently whammed your forehead into the window, you probably have the bruises to prove that sleeping on the go can be a dangerous game. Though neck pillows can offer some security, not everyone’s a fan—some people can’t sleep totally upright, some don’t think it provides enough support, and others simply don’t like the feeling of a plush toilet seat curled around their necks.

For those people, there’s the Ostrich Pillow Mini, a tiny, oblong pillow into which you slip your hand, forearm, or elbow, depending on what’s most comfortable for you. It will stay in place and protect your head from airplane turbulence in a way that no balled-up, threadbare hoodie ever could, but it’s not just for those lucky winners (or purchasers) of window seats. You can use the pillow wherever you might be inclined to rest your head on top of your arms, including plane or train trays, piles of library books, and office desks. One Amazon customer even used the pillows as elbow pads to protect himself from unforgivingly hard arm rests.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

Since the Ostrich Pillow Mini essentially works as an extension of your arm, you don’t have to stay stone-still while you sleep. As Travel + Leisure’s Claudia Fisher puts it, “Sometimes, I even wake up from a nap to discover I’ve shifted in my sleep but brought my little arm pillow with me to support my head in its new spot.”

In addition to its main opening, the pillow has two other holes. One is a small, finger-sized opening through which you slide your thumb if you’re keeping the pillow on your hand. The other is a larger hole at the other end, through which you slide your hand if you want the pillow to stay on your forearm or elbow.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

It’s compact enough that you can easily fit it into your carry-on bag, backpack, or briefcase, and understated enough that you can power nap in public without drawing attention to yourself. The outer layer is light gray, and the inner layer comes in Midnight Grey, Blue Reef, or Sleepy Blue. You can order it for $35 from Amazon.

Check out some other ways to make flying more comfortable here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and 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!

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