46 gifts everyone should have on their birthday wish list
Getting excited about birthday presents is not just for kids. You can be a grown-ass adult and still lose your shit when you open up the gift that topped your wish list. But as you get older, it does become a little more difficult to come up with a list of birthday gift ideas. You can’t just ask for all the coolest new toys anymore. Well, you can if you want — we’re not going to stop you.
If your birthday is coming up and you’re struggling to think of what you want, don’t sweat it. We compiled the ultimate birthday wish list for you, with gifts ranging from tech to spa trips to home goods. Read on for some birthday inspo to casually drop hints about to your friends. And hey, happy birthday!
Are your Spotify playlists just not cutting it anymore? Switch it up and go retro with a vinyl music collection. This turntable connects to Bluetooth speakers and headphones if you want to listen that way or you can hook it up to a sound system using cords — it costs $248.
If you don’t have a smart speaker by now, it’s time to make a change. The Echo Dot is an affordable voice-controlled companion that’ll keep you in the loop on the weather, current events, and keep track of your most important reminders. Also, they’re great for playing music. Get one for $49.99.
Once again, Apple stepped up its audio game with the AirPods Pro 2, which feature improved sound quality and active noise cancellation. For a cheaper alternative (the AirPods Pro 2 will set you back $249) ask for the latest 3rd gen AirPods which start at $169.
Whether you’re working at a desk all day, running around, or just inexplicably tense, a massage gun will get you limber and relaxed again. What better gift than the gift of painless movement? Our best recommendation? Go for the TheraGun. Their Prime model costs $299.
This drone is small and super lightweight, but it takes stunning photos and videos. It’s great for traveling or for using at home. DJI is one of the top names in drones and the Mini 2 costs $629 with accessories.
Make smoothies in your own kitchen with a NutriBullet personal blender — it’s fast and easy. The NutriBullet Nutrient Extractor comes with the 600W motor base, blender blade, 24-ounce blending cup, travel lid, and lip ring, plus a recipe book if you’re sick of the same old smoothies. It costs $69.99 at Amazon.
The iPhone 13 Pro comes in 4 colors. Credit: Apple
Still living that single-camera iPhone 8 life? Don’t spend your own money on an expensive phone — have someone who loves you spend their money! The iPhone 14 starts at $799 while the iPhone 14 Pro retails at $999 and up. (Group gift, anyone?)
Be the king or queen of your next game night by asking for What Do You Meme? — a Cards Against Humanity-style game, but with memes. You’re not guaranteed to win, but you will have some good laughs for sure. The game goes for $29.99.
Yes, that’s two card games on a single birthday list, but hear us out: there’s a time for memes, and a time for soul-searching and human connection. This “game” (it’s really more of an activity) is the latter. Get uncomfortably personal with family or break the ice on first dates — either way, these red cards will add new dimensions to your relationships (see their popular Instagram page for proof). The basic set is $25, with expansion packs available.
Show your team some love with a new shirt, jersey, or whatever else you want to flex their logo on. Fanatics has apparel for almost every die-hard sports fan (we’re looking at you, Buckeyes), with gear for the NFL, NCAA, MLB, NBA, NHL, and more. Prices vary.
An easy-to-use DSLR designed with creators in mind, the Nikon Z 30 boasts video, camera, and live streaming capabilities at an affordable price. The camera body can be purchased alone or with one or two kit lenses. There’s also the creators’ accessory bundle which comes with a mic, tripod grip, and Bluetooth remote. The body and single 16-50 mm lens is $849.95.
At the other end of the photographic spectrum, snap some throwback pics with a disposable camera. You’ll capture some fun, in-the-moment memories with no do-overs. A three-pack of disposable cameras costs $79.99 (these have become kind of expensive since the invention of digital/phone cameras).
An Apple Watch lets you access smartphone features conveniently on your wrist. You can control your music, send and receive texts, monitor your health, and tons more. The Apple Watch Series 8 in red is $399 at Amazon.
If you don’t already have a smart TV but want to access Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, and all the other streaming services directly from your TV, ask for a Fire TV Stick for your bday. The 4K version normally goes for $49.99.
You really can’t beat the gift of cold, hard cash — or a gift card. A Visa card is a perfect gift because you can spend it on literally whatever you want; buy yourself something fun or get some help with groceries. The gift card starts at $10 and comes in $5 increments.
Candles are a timeless gift that you can ask for at every single gift-giving opportunity (and will likely receive anyways if you don’t specify what you actually want). We are firm believers that you can never have too many candles. Add some sweet scents from Bonita Fierce, a Latina-owned small business, to your bday wish list this year and every year. Candles start at $15.
If candles are a no-go, opt for a Bluetooth-enabled diffuser to make any room in your home smell divine. The Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser ($44.99) holds two fragrances and is controlled entirely through the app. Schedule one smell to wake up to and one to fall asleep to with the in-app calendar feature. Pura collaborates with brands like NEST, Anthropologie, Disney, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to source their scents, so whatever the occasion calls for, they’ve got your back.
A cast-iron skillet is like the most ~adult~ thing you could ask for. It’s something you probably want, but don’t particularly want to spend the money on. Lodge has different sizes depending on what you’re wanting to cook. A 10.25-inch skillet costs $40.75, but we’ve seen it drop below $25 recently.
A little less adult, a little more useful: a pressure cooker that can air fry, roast, bake, dehydrate, slow cook, prepare rice, steam, sauté, and more. Impress guests with your culinary skills (that are in fact just throwing all the ingredients listed in the recipe into this thing and then waiting a few hours). The Instant Pot 11-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker will cost your gift-giver $199, but they can reap the rewards when you cook for them with it.
A spa day is the ultimate treat yo’ self gift (just ask the Parks and Rec gang). Spafinder works with a network of spas and wellness centers, so you can use this gift card at your choice of location for a relaxing massage or rejuvenating facial.
If you like the idea of tattoos but don’t love commitment, Inkbox is an awesome gift. Pick from a huge selection of designs or create your own custom tat. The ink lasts on your skin for about two weeks, and the semi-permanent tattoos range from $15 to $255 for a set of 13.
If you’re obsessed with your pet, these custom pet portraits need to be on your birthday list. There are many different styles to choose from, each one super freakin’ adorable. Prices vary depending on size.
Turn your bedroom into a party with these color-changing smart light bulbs. You can control the lights from your phone and set whatever mood you’re feeling. This kit includes two Bluetooth bulbs for $99.99.
The portable projector fits in the palm of your hands. Credit: anker
All of your friends will start calling your home the “cool house” if movie nights involve this mini portable projector. Use it to play movies, shows, or games outside on a screen or indoors on a blank wall. The Anker Nebula Capsule in black costs $299.99.
Head outdoors with this hybrid bike designed for both leisure and more adventurous rides. It comes in different colors and a couple of different styles for men and women. The 18-inch Schwinn GTX 2.0 bike normally goes for $549.99.
Love to be outside, but can’t fold a map to save your life? Enter AllTrails+, the app designed to get you off your phone and into the wild. Featuring over 400,000 curated trails all over the world, the app allows you to download maps in case of a poor signal, record your hikes, create your own trails, and more. A yearly subscription costs $35.99
MacBook Airs are super nice computers, but they can definitely be a bit pricey… which is what makes them such a great addition to a birthday wish list. Someone who loves you can drop the big bucks for you! A 13.6-inch MacBook Air M2 with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD goes for $1,199 at Best Buy.
Stop manually vacuuming your house every day and let a robot vacuum clean your floors for you. The Roomba 694 has WiFi connectivity for mobile and voice controls and it’s tough on pet hair. This robot vacuum costs $274.99.
For what seems like an extraneous expense, an extra-heavy blanket can be a total game-changer. Besides providing all the comfort of a partner without the snoring, a weighted blanket can reduce tossing and turning and keep you extra warm. This one at Amazon comes in a bunch of colors, sizes, and weights, but the 60″x80″ 15 lb blanket (a good place to start) costs $97.56.
Like, a nice pair of sunglasses. From beach days in the summer to warding off snow glare when driving in the colder months, sunglasses come in handy throughout the year (even just to have on your head as a lowkey flex). The unisex pair of Ray-Bans featured below costs $213.
Instead of asking for a book, ask for a Kindle for your birthday and save yourself money and space. Yes, it doesn’t smell the same, but now you’ll have no excuses for not keeping up with your yearly reading resolutions. The newest Kindle Scribe with 16GB storage and onscreen writing is $339.99 at Amazon.
Whether you’re packing your lunch or storing leftovers, using plastic bags should be your last resort. Heck, you should be trying to stay away from all single-use plastics if you’re able to. But, if you want to start small, these Stasher bags are a great option to make your daily life more eco-friendly. These silicone bags are secure and completely reusable — either wash them by hand or stuff them in the dishwasher. Grab a starter pack for $93.99.
Comforters, like a mattress, shouldn’t be an item you cheap out on. They’re supposed to last you a while, so why not have something a little more luxurious? The Buffy Cloud comforter is a sustainable comforter made from recycled fiber and eucalyptus. Mashable Shopping Reporter Leah Stodart reviewed it here, calling it “the first piece of bedding I’ve used that actually feels kind of dreamy.” Snag a full/queen size comforter for $199 at Buffy.
If you’re anything like us, you view your pet like it’s your actual child. We support that. Now, you can up your pet parent game by picking up a Furbo pet camera. Not only does it livestream what your pet is up to while you aren’t home straight to your phone, but it also has the ability to toss treats and produce two-way audio for quick check-ins.
It’s always a good time to get more serious about hydration. A HydroFlask is a perfect way to make sure you have a cool (or hot) beverage on-hand, and they’re super durable during outdoorsy activities. Grab one for $49.95 at Amazon.
Speaking of take-out: if you’ve maxed out your city’s culinary offerings, see what’s available from the rest of the country. Goldbelly makes it possible to order meals and gifts from restaurants around the United States. No matter your craving, a Goldbelly gift card at any price point is bound to satisfy.
Not everyone is a natural gardener, but even the least capable among us will have no trouble keeping this smiling succulent happy ($22.50). Jellycat plush toys have earned a cult following among kids and adults alike with their variety of soft and playful offerings ranging from animals to foods to inanimate objects like office supplies. Prices for their “amuseables” start at $17.
You’re one year older, so it’s time to get your shit in order and form some healthy habits. Whether there’s an exercise regimen you’re hoping to stick to, a project you want to finish, or a vice you’re trying to quit, this weekly habit tracker will keep you on track without judgment. It only costs $10.95 to become a better person.
There’s running errands and there’s running errands. If you’re prone to getting in a few miles before you stop at the grocery store, ask for a Nanobag, a tote bag that can fold up into a pocket-size ball. The standard size retails for $13.95 and comes in 10 different colors.
Have some photos on your phone or Instagram that you want to pin to your fridge? Ask for the Canon SELPHY CP1500 Compact Photo Printer ($139.99). This sleek gadget connects to your Android or iPhone through WiFi, SD card, or USB stick and prints out your favorite pics in a layout design of your choosing. The printing isn’t instant (the color ink layers print one at a time), but the quality of the final product makes it worth the wait.
Sure you may be a grownup, but even adults need creature comforts. Enter the Hugimal ($64), a weighted plush stuffed animal designed specifically to soothe the soul and keep you grounded any time of day. If you ever wished you could wear your weighted blanket during a Zoom meeting to help you stay calm, you’ll want one of these soft and fuzzy creatures. Available as an elephant, dog, bear, and sloth.
Who says ab workouts can’t be fun? (Most people). The Plankpad PRO ($129) turns core exercises into games through the specialty balance board and synchronized app. In addition to games, the app also has the standard exercise series if you’d prefer to suffer through it without some silly graphics to distract you.