With so many people to shop for, it can be difficult to come up with unique, thoughtful birthday gift ideas every time you have a celebration. While it might be easy to come up with ideas for your own birthday wish list, shopping for others isn’t always so simple — especially when you’re trying to stick to a budget.
No matter who you’re shopping for — the foodie, the techie, the outdoors person, or even kids — we want to help keep you on track with a creative idea that won’t break the bank. Every item on our list of the best birthday gifts comes in at under $50, which includes luxurious splurges, practical presents, and offerings that are purely fun!
After all, you want to give them something special. You want them to actually use your gift and not just tuck it away in a closet. Your giftee should look at your present and smile, not wonder what the heck you were thinking. (Just a heads up that we did include a couple of quirky gift ideas, just in case you’re shopping for an oddball, or someone who enjoys the stranger things in life).
Most of the items on our list are available on Amazon, so you can get them in just a day or two — in case you get a last-minute invite or (gasp!) forgot their special day. Check out these 25 best birthday gifts under $50!
It smells like rosemary.
No one in their right mind would spend $40(opens in a new tab) on a hand soap for themselves, which is what makes this such a special gift idea. It brings a little bit of luxury to an everyday item, and elevates it for a unique present. Available in a variety of scents, this soap is paraben-free, and Leaping Bunny certified. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Sleep, relaxation, study, and more with this sound machine.
Credit: Adaptive Sound Technologies
They’ll want to take this all-in-one sleep sound machine and portable Bluetooth speaker with them everywhere they go. Pair it with a smartphone for streaming audio and making calls with the built-in microphone, or select sleep sound mode and enjoy a choice of five digital fan sounds, four variations of white, pink, and brown noise, and two ocean surf sounds. It’s just $34.95 on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
It comes in 16 colors.
Credit: Wearable Blankets
Your recipient is sure to stay warm and cozy whether at home or on the go with the Comfy. The blanket’s huge, one-size-fits-all design combines an ultrasoft microfiber exterior with a luxurious, sherpa-lined interior to make the wearer feel like they are being hugged by a cloud. And it comes in just under our $50 limit, at $49.99 on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
The Wiggle Candles come in a pack of two.
Credit: 54 Celsius
We bet you’ve probably never seen a candle like this before — in a unique, squiggly shape. This set comes in a pack of two candles for $25(opens in a new tab), and is available in a choice of four colors. It fits any standard-sized candle holder, but you could always add one in for a larger gift. The unscented paraffin wax won’t cause headaches like some scented candles, and it’s made in the USA. Get it at 54 Celsius(opens in a new tab).
Seal your split ends and tame your frizz.
This ultra-rich mask is packed with vitamins and nutrients to condition the hair — making it soft, silky, and smoother than ever. Used as a weekly treatment or as a daily deep conditioner, this sea buckthorn-infused formula is rich and creamy but will never weigh hair down. Formulated with jojoba seed oil, powerful antioxidants, and vitamins, this $30 per container(opens in a new tab) mask leaves hair 7x more moisturized after one use, and is suitable for all hair types. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
A great gift for ages 5 and up.
Credit: Stomp Rocket
You certainly can’t stop kids from asking for their own iPad, but you can give them low-tech toys that are just as fun. This racer set of cars uses the power of their stomp to shoot forward and race for the win. It retails for $29.99(opens in a new tab) and comes complete with two cars, so they can play with a friend. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
This vacuum insulted tumbler is 20 ounces.
This isn’t just any coffee mug — it’s a Yeti. And while it might be tough to swallow shelling out $35(opens in a new tab) on a coffee mug for yourself, it makes a really thoughtful gift idea. Puncture- and rust-resistant, the double wall vacuum insulation keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold down to the last sip. Cleanup is a breeze — just pop it in the dishwasher for effortless washing. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
It holds up to 15 cards.
Some people are notoriously hard to buy for, and birthday gifts are no exception. This sleek yet affordable ($19.99)(opens in a new tab) wallet gives them the best of both worlds: a slim profile and easy access to all of their cards. There’s also room for a bit of cash and a key. Classy, professional, casual, or active — the NOMATIC wallet is right for any situation. Choose from multiple colors to match your recipient’s personal style. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
This body wash is made for sensitive skin conditions.
Credit: Dr. Jacobs Naturals
Dr. Jacobs Naturals is the only castile soap brand that has been awarded the NEA (National Eczema Association) seal of acceptance, and is also the first and only castile soaps that are certified hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested! Priced at $32(opens in a new tab), this set includes a lavender option to calm and soothe, and a peppermint version to cleanse and cool. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
An easy (and cuddly) emotional communication tool.
Gift the kiddos in your life an adorable reversible mood plushie on their big day! This octopus mood plushie is available in a wide range of vibrant colors and makes a fun gift for little ones. TeeTurtle also makes reversible unicorns, narwhals, cats, dogs, pandas, turtles, and more, in tons of different colors for just $15 on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Good fortune is coming your way.
Spitfire Girl is a uniquely curated online store for gift boxes, candles, teacup sets, jewelry, and more. While they have a number of different gift boxes to suit recipients of all walks, this $42 Abundance Box(opens in a new tab) has been curated to bring the recipient good fortune. Included in this set is a candle, aventurine bracelet, aventurine stone, feather, and dried flowers in a wood box tied up with a bow for easy gifting. Get it on Spitfiregirl(opens in a new tab).
Seriously upgrade your coffee stirrer game.
A great gift for the host(ess) with the most(ess) in your life, these reusable beverage stir sticks are perfect for mixing up their favorite cocktail or ice coffee. There are 6 pieces in this $12.95 set(opens in a new tab), which includes a mix of animals and fruit characters on top. Simply wash and reuse again and again! You can even upcycle the stirrers by giving houseplants cute new accessories that add some flair. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
The pieces are shaped like cats. This is not a drill.
Credit: Nautilus Puzzles
The perfect birthday gift for the homebody in your life, this $49.95 puzzle(opens in a new tab) is a lovely at-home activity to pass the time away and sharpen anyone’s mind. Nautilus Puzzles elevate the growing enthusiasm for this time-honored pastime to new levels. They craft intricate wooden jigsaws uniquely designed with fun and vibrant pieces. Hundreds of designs to choose from means there is something anyone would enjoy. All puzzles are made in the USA, in California. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Take the adventure with you everywhere.
If you’ve got an outdoors lover on your gift list, this $39.99 hammock(opens in a new tab) makes a practical present. The lightweight, packable hammocks from Coalatree are perfect for anywhere adventure calls, be it backpacking through the deep woods or a glamping trip with their pals. It packs into itself so they’re always ready for adventure. Two ropes are included with carabiners, making it easy to secure this hammock anywhere. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Enjoy a card game with a twist with Lingo Cards. What better way to learn a language or pick up some slang? Choose from uniquely themed, premium-quality playing cards with the world’s most popular languages and slang. Featuring the most commonly-used phrases essential for travel accompanied by phonetic pronunciations, these $11.99 playing cards(opens in a new tab) offer a fun and easy way to learn a new language while playing some of your favorite card games. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Just add the whiskey!
Credit: The Cocktail Box Co.
Make cocktails anywhere with this $22.99 kit(opens in a new tab) — just add your favorite whiskey. This compact metal box is easy to wrap, and comes with everything needed (minus the whiskey and ice, obvi) to make six hand-crafted old-fashioned cocktails. Is Whiskey not their jam? The company also makes kits for margaritas, gin and tonics, and champagne cocktails. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Use your voice to find specific movies and tv shows.
Chromecast with Google TV brings together movies, shows, and live TV from across apps and subscriptions including Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV, and YouTube TV. Chromecast also now comes with a new remote featuring a Google Assistant button that helps easily access content or control their smart home. For die-hard sports fans, this $29.99 streaming(opens in a new tab) media player is the ultimate gift for watching sports in high definition. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
It has up to two to five hour battery life.
Credit: SPICE OF LIFE
This $48 neck fan(opens in a new tab) makes a weirdly wonderful gift idea for the person who has everything (or is always complaining that they’re hot!) This quirky gadget makes for a convenient hands-free way to keep cool in almost every situation, without causing a strain on the environment. It hangs around the neck like a pair of headphones, and the dual fans adjust toward the face, neck, or torso to keep the wearer cool and comfortable. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
It’s great for wine and cheese night.
If you’re looking for a birthday gift to impress the foodie in your life, you can’t go wrong with a fancy charcuterie board. This $49.99 set(opens in a new tab) is sure to take wine and cheese nights to the next level, and makes the ultimate centerpiece thanks to its natural slate, which adds an upscale, natural look. The slide-out drawers on either side neatly contain a full set of stainless steel cheese handling and cutting cutlery, keeping all required utensils in one place. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Give a friend a spa experience from the comfort of their home.
For a luxurious bathing experience (without the bath) these shower steamers transform their bathroom into a makeshift spa. This set — priced at $24.99 for 6 tablets — combines the effects of water, baking soda, and essential oils to create a rejuvenating and refreshing experience. Drop one of these eucalyptus and menthol shower steamers in the shower’s corner and revel in its relaxing effects. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
What’s lost can now be found.
We all know someone who’s constantly misplacing their keys (or some other important item) and Apple’s AirTag makes it easy to keep track of them. At $29 a pop(opens in a new tab) though, it’s not something a lot of people would splurge on for themselves, which is what makes it such a thoughtful yet practical gift idea. Take advantage of Apple’s free personalized engraving service for a truly custom birthday gift idea. Get it on Apple(opens in a new tab).
It’s a best s’weller.
For the wine lover on your gift list, this $40 wine chiller(opens in a new tab) makes a swell present. And, there are other pieces in this barware set — so you could always gift additional pieces for other celebrations or go in as a group for a matching gift idea. This chiller features a triple layer vacuum seal insulation to help keep bottles of vino chilled longer, while the teak wood outer makes for a beautiful look they’ll want to show off. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Scratch out Get Out, Taxi Driver, Roma, and more.
Credit: Me Time Joy
Got a movie buff in your life? This scratch-off poster lets them visually keep track of their progress as they work their way through some of the greatest films ever made. This $27.99 poster(opens in a new tab) also doubles as a unique talking point when framed and mounted on the wall. It comes complete with a scratch tool and gift-ready tube. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
It brews three cups of java.
Keep your favorite java lover caffeinated in style with this classic stovetop espresso maker. They can enjoy a strong espresso-like brew in minutes with this $49.99 red Moka pot(opens in a new tab). Pair it with a custom mug or bag of freshly roasted beans for a complete gift. There’s no need for filters when you brew this way, so it’s also a great gift for the eco-conscious person in your life, as well. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).
Learn everything you need to learn about psychedelic drugs.
Credit: Rick Strassman MD
As more people take an interest in alternative medicine, psychedelics have quickly become mainstream. This $16.95 book(opens in a new tab) was written by a clinical research psychiatrist, who shares his experience and perspectives as neither advocate nor foe of psychedelics in order to help readers understand the effects of these mind-altering drugs. A great gift for the person in your life who wants to stay up on what’s trending. Get it on Amazon(opens in a new tab).