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:

These ASMR-Ready Headphones Promise to Lull You to Sleep

AcousticSheep
AcousticSheep

What do hushed whispers, gently tapping fingernails, and Bob Ross’s voice have in common? They’re all examples of triggers that may cause what’s known as an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), or, as Dictionary.com succinctly explains it, a “calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation” that can be triggered by soothing stimuli. ASMR has recently been recognized as an effective relaxation technique for those looking to calm their nerves; now, ASMR enthusiasts and novices alike can experience it in the form of a sleep-ready headband.

Upon first glance, SleepPhones: ASMR Edition may look like just a fabric headband, but the device actually features flat speakers tucked into soft, stretchy, eco-friendly material. Unlike regular headphones, SleepPhones can be worn comfortably to bed, even if you sleep on your side, and they come preloaded with content designed to help you relax. They feature eight hours of built-in ASMR content by 16 different ASMR artists (or ASMRtists), including but not limited to tracks with rhythmic tapping and "peaceful Italian whisperings."

A close-up of the SleepPhones speaker technology
AcousticSheep

The speaker components of SleepPhones
AcousticSheep

Using SleepPhones is designed to be a stress-free experience. The speakers have the ability to play for 20 ad-free hours with a mere three-hour charging time in between. There are also zero cords involved, meaning you won’t get all tangled up as you lie down or if you have a tendency to toss and turn at night. The small button located in the back of the headband allows you to start, pause, or skip tracks and control the volume.

For people looking for ways to relax beyond yoga and meditation, ASMR may be the way to go. One study observed that subjects watching ASMR videos not only reported feeling that aforementioned pleasant tingling, but were also found to have reduced heart rates.

You can get a pair of your own SleepPhones on Kickstarter with a pledge of $75 or more. They come in three different sizes with seven colors from which to choose.

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!

Make Shopping Easier With This Super-Light Reusable Bag

Nanobag 3.0
Nanobag 3.0

With the current state of our environment being what it is, it's vital to try to reuse, reduce, and recycle as much as possible. Every year, people consume billions of plastic bags, leading to tons of unnecessary waste. Many consumers have made the switch to reusable bags, but they're often not the sturdiest nor most attractive method of portage.

The Nanobag 3.0, which is now raising money on Kickstarter, claims to be a comfortable, easy-to-fold, high-quality bag that can reduce the number of single-use plastic bags needed per year. This super-soft sack can easily fit into the smallest of places, like the watch pocket in your jeans.

Putting a bag into the watch pocket of jeans
Nanobag 3.0

Weighing just 0.7 ounces, the Nanobag 3.0 is made of water- and dirt-repellant rip-stop fabric. You can carry about 66 pounds of goods in its 18-liter capacity, and the bag's reinforced handles work to distribute the weight evenly on your shoulder or arm. Attached to the bag is a small pouch that can carry keys or a small wallet, so you can have all your essentials in one place.

For each bag sold, one tree will be planted with the Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit organization that restores forests and reduces poverty in developing nations.

With over a month left in its campaign, the Nanobag 3.0 has already exceeded its goal of $3,831, raising over $73,000 as of June 17. By pledging $10 or more, you can get your own ultra-light and ultra-strong reusable bag on Kickstarter. Shipping is scheduled for December.

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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