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Unless you won the lottery or lost a bet, not everyone in your life is expecting a brand new car from you for the holidays.
And for the many instances in which it’s better to give a small gift, most of us would love to give something that’s both inexpensive and impactful – more than just a token space filler in a stocking. For that, you’ll probably have the best luck on Amazon. It’s home to a ton of great, affordable products people actually want, and you get the added perks of easy, fast shipping and prices that are nearly always the lowest on the internet.
The trade off is that you need to be willing to invest the time, eye strain, and concentration wrinkles necessary for going through 30+ pages of product results. To save you the time, we curated a few of our all-time favourites and other great products from a wide range of interests below.
If you’re looking for something even more budget-friendly, we also have 30+ stocking stuffers you can get for under $US10 here.
Below, you’ll find 34 of the best stocking stuffers you can find on Amazon for under $US20.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
A mini, functional waffle maker that takes up minimal countertop space
This small but mighty waffle maker looks more like a gag gift than a functional one, but they will be surprised by how often they end up using it. It takes up minimal counter and storage space, is easy to clean, and is perfect for when you’re craving just one or two waffles and don’t want to make a whole spread.
A pair of $US10 headphones with over 30,000 5-star reviews
These $US10 in-ear headphones are sort of like finding cheap diamonds in the rough. They have over 30,000 5-star reviews on Amazon and are one of few cheap tech products with universal praise. The best features include: noise isolation, good sound, and staying put.
A $US6 wash and stain bar that can revive even the most hopeless clothes
This $US6 bar is one of the first things we ever featured on Insider Picks. With a little bit of water, the mix of vegetable soap, borax, and essential oils removes the dirt and grime from clothes extremely well. VP of Commerce Breton Fischetti called it the “best thing [he’d] done” for his dress shirts.
A small but mighty car mount for devices
The TechMatte car mount is another under-$US10 diamond in the rough. Its strong neodymium magnets allow it to be both compact and secure. It was the number one thing BI readers bought on Prime Day in 2016, and it cracked the top five again in 2017.
A little electric milk frother for homemade treats
This handheld electric milk frother makes it easy for them to treat themselves to something extra special more often. It’s easy to use and clean, and does a reliable job with everything from coffee to matcha drinks.
A five-year journal that tracks their answers to the same questions
A 3-in-1 avocado slicer that makes bowls of guacamole easier and faster
The Avocado Slicer looks gimmicky, but it’s really useful in real life. It has a plastic blade to halve the avocado safely, a pit remover, and a slicer to cut the avocado into perfect slices with one motion.
Reusable stainless steel straws
Most of us feel at least a little guilty using plastic straws given how bad they are for the environment. Reusable stainless steel straws that come with their own cleaning brush are a thoughtful (and impactful) gift most people will use often. If they’re especially eco-friendly, check out other plastic replacements for spot-on gift ideas.
Cable clips that keep cords in place
A famous hot sauce made from peppers grown in over 30 community gardens in the Bronx
This all-natural, tangy hot sauce is best known for its part in the popular Youtube series “Hot Ones.” It’s made from serrano peppers grown in over 30 community gardens throughout the Bronx.
Bargain computer glasses that work just as well as more expensive pairs
These $US10 computer glasses are a fraction of what you’ll find at competitors, but they do the job just as well. They’re blue-light-blocking, anti-glare, and come in a standard tortoiseshell pattern that works on pretty much everyone. We count them as one of the best things we’ve ever bought on Amazon for less than $US25.
A popular reusable bag that folds up to the size of an envelope
Baggu has a good reputation for its durable, super convenient, reusable bags. They’re made from 100% rip-stop nylon so they’re not likely to break, can carry up to 50 lbs, and fold up to the size of an envelope for easy storage. Plus, they come in a lot of colours and patterns.
Socks modelled after famous paintings
Unique, informal, and more convenient than most of us even realise – socks are a great gift, especially these.
A cult-favourite hair styling gel
As some reviews note, American Crew Fibre is a common recommendation for thick, curly hair. The cream thickens, texturizes, and adds fullness to hair without looking shiny or spiky.
A warm Carhartt hat
Grab a warm, comfortable hat from a trusted outdoors brand for less than $US15 and in 30+ colours.
Teeth-whitening charcoal powder with 13,000+ 5-star reviews
This charcoal teeth whitening powder was the #1 best-selling teeth whitener on Amazon for a long time. It has over 13,000 five-star reviews, and it whitens teeth naturally without the harsher peroxides that may lead to tooth and gum sensitivity. I’ve tried it myself in the past, and it really does work.
An extra-long charging cable, which is the closest you’ll get to gifting never-ending convenience
A great Korean skincare sheet mask
This Egg Cream mask hydrates and brighten the skin, and its gotten a lot of fanfare from the Insider Picks team. It’s named as one of our own go-to cheap and effective skin care products and one of our favourite under-$US25 purchases from Amazon ever. You can buy them through Sephora too, but they’re cheaper on Amazon.
The best hair mask you can buy for damaged hair
This super hydrating hair mask is made specifically to treat severely damaged and dry hair – and it’s good at its job. We named it the best hair mask you can buy for damaged hair, and it has an Amazon Choice recommendation due to high ratings and over 3,000 five-star reviews.
A fun family game
Watch Ya Mouth is easily one of the most fun games to have come out in recent years, and it’s especially great when playing with the family on a holiday morning.
A cult-favourite lip balm with SPF 25 and over 1,000 reviews
They will thank you for this cult-favourite lip balm with SPF during the winter months when the multi-pack from CVS isn’t cutting it.
Organic bath bombs full of essential oil aromatherapy blends
For less than $US15, you can grab six vegan bath bombs full of essential oil aromatherapy blends, cocoa butter, and shea butter to leave skin soft and hydrated.
A well-designed mini spatula home cooks swear by
A wifi smart plug that lets them turn devices off remotely
Give them the gift of never needing to spend another night wondering if they turned off their heater or hair straightener before leaving the house. This smart WiFi plug works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home Assistant, and IFTTT. They can use voice commands, create schedules for lights and appliances, and turn things on and off when they’re leaving home or nearby.
Godiva’s classic Belgian chocolates in a pretty gift box
Few people will turn down a box of Belgian Godiva chocolate, especially when it comes in a festive holiday box. They will get an assortment of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate with classic Belgian fillings.
Ever-functional Popsocket Grips for their phone
Popsocket Grips look gimmicky, but they’re a legitimately helpful tool. They make it easier to hold a phone without straining your fingers, and it makes your phone feel more secure – like you’re not going to twitch and accidentally throw it into the ocean.Even naysayers are convinced.
Cute lid lifts that let steam escape so their pots never boil over
A water bottle that lets them naturally infuse water with fruit
Turns out water tastes much better when it’s naturally flavored with fruits and herbs. This is a nice way to do that naturally, minus all the sugar and additives of other drinks.
An extremely fun board game that made Kickstarter history
Exploding Kittens is basically a highly strategic version of Russian roulette with a cat theme. It was the most-backed project in Kickstarter history, and this version is family friendly.
A pocket-sized battery pack for charging on the go
This cheap, pocket-sized portable battery is from the same company as our all-time favourite option, and it’s selected as Amazon’s Choice with over 6,000 five-star reviews. It’s compact, but it will charge an iPhone 8 two-and-a-half times and a Samsung Galaxy S8 one-and-a-half times.
A cute loose tea infuser shaped like an animal
These cute tea infusers are perfect for anyone who prefers loose tea. They’re made from 100% BPA-free silicone and come in plenty of shapes: elephant, whale, flamingo, seahorse, octopus, and a few others.
We also included them in the best tea infusers you can buy.
A glorious two pounds of the best Starburst flavours
Grab a magical two pounds of “only the good Starburst flavours” at $US20 for cherry or $US24 for pink, which is a somewhat unidentifiable, slight strawberry flavour.
Smart LED light bulbs they can control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
Smart light bulbs usually fetch a far higher price since they often operate through an expensive hub, but these under-$US20 options work without one. They’re compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, and can be custom-dimmed to their desired mood. They can also set schedules to turn on or off while they’re away.
A duo of Mario Badescu’s beloved facial mists
Mario Badescu makes some of the most universally loved and affordable skin care products out there, and these facial sprays are the most recognisable. The Green Tea Spray hydrates, tones, and rejuvenates the skin. The Rosewater Spray is the real cult-favourite, and makes the skin look dewy and “glowy.”
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