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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.
Most of these items are available with two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, so don’t stress too hard about your last-minute shopping – just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.
Below, you’ll find 50 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 protective cover for their AirPods case
Apple AirPods: incredibly convenient, but also incredibly easy to lose and scratch up. A silicone cover is a cheap and attractive way to protect the case protecting their beloved earbuds.
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
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.
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 little fan to deal with their unpredictable office temperatures
Office dwellers know how unpredictable temperatures can get. To save them when their office transitions from an ice box to a desert, gift them this little portable fan. It’s small, portable, and plugs into any USB for a quick, cold breeze.
A trio of chai tea that made it onto Oprah’s Favourite Things list
This tea trio made Oprah’s Favourite Things list for 2018, so if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for your giftee. We’ve actually tried some of Vahdam’s teas and were particularly impressed by its beautiful packaging.
Relaxing and detoxifying bath salts
Everyone deserves some relaxation, which is why these calming bath salts make such a great gift. Inside there’s vanilla, ylang ylang essential oil, and Himalayan pink salt crystals, which together help soothe the body.
Cable clips that keep cords in place
A cocktail recipe book that pairs good music with good drinks
Combining two great pastimes, the fun guide features 70 albums from the ’50s through the ’00s and an A-side and B-side cocktail for each one. They’re organised by mood, so your recipient will know just what pairing to use for their party.
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.
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 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 calendar to infuse some office humour into the day
The iconic comic wouldn’t be so funny if it didn’t hit the nail on the head of work culture. The days will fly by with the help of these daily cartoons.
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.
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 glorious pack of Oreo-flavored candy canes
Yes, seriously, Oreo-flavored candy canes exist. And we’re not mad about it.
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.”
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.
An adorable eye mask for some beauty sleep
Improving their sleep is a gift in itself. This eye mask will help them get some shut eye, plus the bunny ears and plush fabric make it super cute and cosy.
Ina Garten’s newest cookbooks for her devotees
If they host or entertain frequently, chances are they have used an Ina Garten recipe before. Known for her elegant but laid-back style, Ina’s new cookbook is full of the tips and tricks that bring a professional touch to simple, home-cooked dishes.
A wine aerator that doesn’t take up a ton of space
Wine drinkers will almost certainly enjoy the benefits of this inexpensive tool that can improve the taste of even the cheapest bottle. All they need to do is pop the gadget into the top of the bottle and pour themselves a glass, then they can put the cork or a bottle stop back in to preserve it.
A pack of sticky notes to keep them on track
For the friend who likes to keep it really organised, help them stay on track with this thoughtful set of sticky notes. With categories like “To Ponder”, “To Remember”, and “To Buy”, they can keep track of everything they need to accomplish in the near future.
A fruity hand cream that’ll look great on their counter
This rich hand cream is made with shea butter and peach extract to moisturize seriously dry skin. We love the refreshing, light peach scent and the adorable container, which looks just like a peach.
Pencils they won’t be able to stop drumming on their desk
These clever pencils are an easy stocking stuffer for budding and experienced drummers alike.
A Pikachu backpack for some Pokemon on the go
This bag is just as great for young kids as it is for the adults whose fondest childhood memories consist of trading Pokemon cards. Who doesn’t love Pikachu?
Reusable lunch bags that they’ll actually want to use
Plastic bags are an unnecessary expense when you could just have reusable ones. Their environmentally-conscious and frugal sides will thank you for these sandwich and snack bags, which are dishwasher safe and BPA free. They will save a ton of money and plastic waste by using these, plus the colourful patterns are much more fun than clear plastic.
A key cable they can bring anywhere
This portable cable charges up Apple devices quickly and claims to be six times stronger than the standard lightning cable, boasting a 10,000-bend lifespan. The knotted cable also looks great and makes it easy to fish out the charger from their bag.
A cute and practical phone holder
This endearing little dino isn’t just a piece of decor, it can actually can hold their phone. It comes in over ten colours, so you can find one in their favourite colour.
*Some colours may arrive after Christmas
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.
*Some patterns may arrive after Christmas
Cute lid lifts that let steam escape so their pots never boil over
*May arrive after Christmas
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.
*May arrive after Christmas
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.
*May arrive after Christmas
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.
*May arrive after Christmas
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