Shopping·12 min read

21 No-Fail Gifts for the Special Guy(s) in Your Life

a definitive guide of gifts for guys
Design: Diana Chau Hu | Photo: Allbirds, Amazon
January 18, 2023

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Shopping for the men in your life can be notoriously hard. Looking to wow your partner who claims he doesn’t need anything? Hello, nervous butterflies. Finding a birthday gift for the dad who has everything? A head-scratcher.

We’re here to do the heavy lifting for you. Enter: our recs for reliable, foolproof gifts that’ll make your boyfriend, husband, dad, brother, uncle, and third cousin twice-removed actually happy — no matter the occasion. A sigh of relief for you and a smile on his face? Win-win.

Want more gift ideas for your valentine? Check this out for our recs for everyone on your be-mine list. Xoxo.

allbirds everyday sneakers for men

Allbirds sneakers that’ll level up his everyday look…

Comfort meets style in these merino wool, machine washable sneakers. The lightweight knit is super breathable and naturally thermoregulating. They come in more than 10 colors so he can wear them with pretty much everything. Hello, new faves. ($110, Allbirds)

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An ice wedge and whiskey glass in one…

Presenting him with an ultra cold drink? Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving. Just press the silicone mold onto the glass, add water, and freeze. When he takes the glass out of the freezer, he can pour his fave drink right onto the ice wedge. Add his monogram too for a personalized touch. If you don’t know what to get a guy for Valentine’s Day, grab this. Cheers. ($24.95+, Corkcicle)

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korean skincare set with basics like gel cleanser and moisturizer

A Korean essentials skincare set so he can stop using a bar of soap…

He’ll get a gel cleanser, a moisturizer mist, and a cream to keep his skin feeling soft and smooth. Ingredients are antioxidant-packed, and include tea tree, lotus, lavender, camellia, and peony. Everything is vegan, cruelty-free, and clinically tested. He's glowing. ($19.99, SeSpring)

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A backpack that he’ll use every day…

Maybe he’s already commuting again, or maybe he’s prepping for his first day back. Either way, this backpack with tons of storage space will become his travel best friend. It can hold a 16-inch laptop, clothes, a wallet, a notebook, charging cables, a water bottle, and more. He can slide his laptop into the separate back pocket with everything else going in the main compartment. There’s even a secure passport pocket, a hidden place for valuables, and a luggage sleeve for on-the-go use. Off he goes. ($129.99, Brevite)

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The coziest sleep mask for the guy who loves to nap…

And can literally catch those Zzzs anywhere (IYKYK). This one from Casper is so soft and ultra breathable. It has a flexible, wide band so he won’t feel any uncomfortable pinching or bunching. Plus, the pillowy front works to block out light. Supporting his good sleeping habits? That’s love. ($44.10, Casper)

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curved leather wallet to fit in front pocket
Rogue Industries

A leather wallet that’s shaped to fit in his front pocket…

Carrying a wallet in the front is way safer, but traditional square options can be bulky and uncomfortable to walk around with. Since this one is curved, it fits seamlessly into his pocket. It has an ID slot and hold up to six cards plus full-sized bills. No more awkward bulge in the back. He’ll be able to take a seat without having to first remove his wallet. ($65, Rogue Industries)

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baseball cap with 'dog dad' saying
HatphileMade via Etsy

A ‘dog dad’ hat so he can show off his love for his fur baby…

Sports logos = out. Showing how much he adores his pup = in. This one’s pre-washed, 100% cotton, and has an adjustable strap in the back. All he needs now is a stroll through the neighborhood so he can rock his new accessory. ($14.99+ HatphileMade via Etsy)

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A set of smoking chips for the ultimate barbecue experience...

Each piece of wood provides a unique flavor. He can pair cedar with salmon and hickory with beef. In total, he’ll get five planks and two packs of smoking chips. It’ll be like a whole new world of grilling spices. Dinner is served. ($25, Food52)

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men's relaxed fit lounge pants with a drawstring waist

Lounge pants that he’ll never wanna take off…

If he’s been married to the same pair of old gray sweatpants, it’s time for a breakup. These stylish pants bring top-quality comfort, so whether he’s on the couch or running errands, he won’t ever regret putting them on. Customers say they wash well with no pilling. Aka a dream. ($68+, Nordstrom)

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A delicious chocolate cake from Barefoot Contessa…

It’s party time. This 6-inch cake is full of chocolate-y goodness. It serves up to eight people, so it’s perfect for a lil’ get-together to celebrate a special occasion. ($94.95, Goldbelly)

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A nesting shot glass set for camping trips and tailgates…

Flat, warm bevs are a no-go. This stainless steel, dishwasher-safe bundle from fan-fave brand, Stanley, will keep his drinks perfectly chilled. With it, he’ll also get a sturdy, compact carrying case to keep them in. So while he’s setting up a tent or flipping burgers, he can always be prepared for a fun moment. ($19.46, Amazon)

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padded camera strap for DSLR cameras

A padded camera strap for the aspiring photographer in your life…

It’s adjustable and can fasten onto any DSLR camera. Even better: Every purchase does a bit of good. Fifty percent of profits from the first-edition straps go to NYC Salt, a nonprofit org that creates opportunities in the visual arts for underserved NYC youth. Cheers to that. ($79, Haerfest)

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whiskey glasses etched with city maps
Uncommon Goods

Whiskey glasses etched with his favorite city…

Make his next happy hour a bit more sentimental. These glasses showcase the metropolis of his choice — whether it’s where he grew up, the city where he went to college, or where he lives now. The etching is intricate and even includes street names. Get cozy. ($18, Uncommon Goods)

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experience gifts for him

An experience that’ll get him up and moving…

Sometimes the best things in life can’t be unwrapped. Introducing: a great way to show some love. The best thing about Tinggly is that he’ll get to decide where and when he wants his adventure to happen. You’ll select which ‘collection’ he gets to choose from, and then he’ll have over 1,700 options to browse. He can zipline in the Rocky Mountains or take a pizza tour in Chicago. Once his mind is made, he can book his trip and select a date. Just be sure he wears some comfortable sneakers. ($110, Tinggly)

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gadget that can clean golf clubs

A golf club cleaner so he’s always ready for his next shot…

It can remove built-up dirt and grass, and houses a scrub pad, towel, brass groove cleaners, spray bottle, and more. It’s also pretty compact so he can carry it in his bag while he’s out for the day. Shiny clean clubs, coming right up. ($29.95, Amazon)

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percussive therapy massage gun with six interchangeable heads

A handheld massage gun to help relieve all those muscle aches…

If working from home has meant working hunched over on his couch, his back is probably feeling it. This massage gun works via percussive therapy. So it repeatedly massages muscles to release tension and stimulate blood flow. It can reduce lactic acid buildup, meaning a faster recovery for aches and pains. Along with the massage gun, this set includes six heads so he can reach every muscle. Sweet relief. ($129.99, Amazon)

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fondue maker with forks for dipping

A fondue maker that will become a quick hit…

Tasty treats dipped in hot chocolate or cheese? No one can resist that. This fondue maker is the ultimate kitchen gadget and party must-have. The 3-quart bowl is removable, which makes it easy to wash. It also comes with eight color-coded forks, a fork holder to reduce drips, and six cups to hold his dipping ingredients. The only thing he’ll have to complain about is being too full. ($44.99+, Amazon)

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craft beer club monthly subscription gift
Craft Beer Club

A craft beer club that’ll ship him beers from small, independent brewers…

You can select either 12 or 24 beers a month. In the shipment of 12, he’ll get brews from two different regions in the US, with four different beer styles. Selections include each brewer’s most popular option, along with award-winning beers. It’s a great way to expand his flavor palate. (Price varies by plan, Craft Beer Club)

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The latest Apple Watch for tracking workouts and all the fun in between…

If he loves to HIIT the gym, go for a run, or do some heavy lifting, the Apple Watch Series 8 takes the cake. Small but mighty, this crack-resistant watch has the most advanced health and wellness features yet, with a blood oxygen sensor and ECG app. A large retina display makes notifications crystal clear, while all-day battery life can keep up with him when he’s on the go. And there are so many strap options. Gift yourself one while you’re at it? Deal. (399+, Apple)

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A gift that he would never think to purchase for himself…

Why not give him a bidet? This affordable one from Tushy has a slim design that he can install in less than 10 minutes. Feeling shy? No worries. It doesn’t require the help of a plumber or electrician. The best part: Just one pint of water is used and lots of trees are saved along the way. For a happy heinie and a happy planet. Find your angle, adjust the pressure, and let’s get this party started… ($99, Tushy)

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kindle paperwhite reading device

A Kindle Paperwhite that’s waterproof with a glare-free screen…

So he can read anything, anywhere. A single charge can last up to weeks, and with tons of storage, he can download more magazines, audiobooks, and reads. It also includes Audible, so he can pair the Kindle with his headphones via Bluetooth. The screen brightness is adjustable, aka it’s easy to read comfortably at night and outdoors. He can also adjust text size and boldness. And thanks to the massive selection of new and old releases, he’ll never be bored. ($149.99+, Amazon)

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