The 15 Best Birthday Gifts of 2021

Show your love with these very special finds

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No matter who you’re celebrating, the right birthday gift says “I love you” and “I appreciate you.” But shopping for the perfect present is no easy feat—especially if it seems like the recipient already has just about everything they could ever want. If you’re on the hunt, let us help. These great gifts are sure to please a wide range of people on your list.

Here are the best birthday gifts.

Our Top Picks
This stylish, personalized gift makes a great coffee table book and is perfect for history lovers.
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Have a toast to a friend’s birthday by sending them a bottle of red wine along with some chocolate treats.
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This cozy robe will make anyone feel like they are at a 5-star hotel, even if they're just relaxing at home.
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This class series is a great gift for the foodies in your life, no matter what their level of experience is.
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This cool, easy to use gift is the perfect addition to any bar cart and adds major flavor to cocktails.
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The book lovers in your life will enjoy being able to choose a new read from one of five curated books each month.
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Everyone loves a treat on their big day, so send these special birthday sweets, including birthday truffles, cookies, and pie.
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Choose your size, color, and weight (up to 30 pounds!) in this blanket that feels like a nice, warm hug.
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Help someone feel calm and relaxed—on their birthday or any day—with this sleek oil diffuser.
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The camera has a classic feel but technology makes it easy to print images in seconds.
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Uncommon Goods New York Times Custom Birthday Book

new-york-times-birthday-book

If you’re looking for a clever way to celebrate a milestone birthday, consider this unique personalized book of New York Times front pages from each year since their birth. For an extra-special touch, the awesome coffee table tome is personalized with their name and birth date and preserved in an attractive library-style binding.

Harry & David Birthday Red Wine Box

Red Wine Gift Box

If you can’t take your BFF out for a birthday cocktail, consider sending happy hour directly to them. This box, which includes a bottle of red wine packaged in a special linen birthday bag, as well as truffles and milk chocolate-covered cherries, makes it extra-special. 

Holiday Savings

Parachute Classic Bathrobe

Parachute Classic Bathrobe

This is a great option for most adults, because who doesn’t love to feel warm and cozy? This plush, cloud-like robe looks like it’s straight from a five-star hotel, plus has all the features you’d hope for: deep pockets, a warm shawl collar, and a snug waist tie. As a bonus, it’s available in a range of hues.

Masterclass Virtual Cooking Class

MasterClass

This special MasterClass by Michelin-star chef Thomas Kellar will appeal to both novice and avid cooks alike. Through each lesson, they’ll learn important fundamental cooking techniques—how to perfectly poach an egg or how to make pasta by hand—plus learn all about the most essential cookware every kitchen should have. 

Uncommon Goods Glass Topper Cocktail Smoker

Uncommon Goods Glass Topper Cocktail Smoker

For a pretty cool gift for a cocktail lover, you can't go wrong with this smoker. It easily adds a smoky flavor to your favorite spirits. The smoking chips are a blend of woods, teas, and spices to take any drink up a notch. You can purchase a kit that comes with or without a torch, but either way, it's a fun gift to add to anyone's bar cart.

Book of the Month Club Book of the Month

Book of the Month Club

Any lit lover will swoon at the thought of receiving a new and engaging read each and every month. Here’s how it works: The club sends a list of five great books and the recipient gets to choose one (or more). It’s a great way to try new genres or dig into some perennial favorites without the pressure of browsing lists and making selections yourself.

Milk Bar Bakery Gift Box

Milkbar Gift Box

Who needs a birthday cake when you can have a sampling of some of the most delicious treats? This set comes packed with a handful of Milk Bar's bestsellers: birthday truffles and chocolate birthday truffles (how appropriate!), a slice of Milk Bar pie, and six assorted cookies.

Luna Bamboo Weighted Blanket

Luna Weighted Blanket

There's nothing better than a cozy weighted blanket on a chilly night or just a day spent lounging on the couch. Besides coming in a range of colors to suit every style, Luna's blanket can weigh as little as 10 pounds or up to 30, depending on the size you choose. Also, the bamboo material helps to regulate body temperature throughout all seasons.

Holiday Savings

VITRUVI Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser

Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser VITRUVI

Is there any better gift than the gift of relaxation? A sleek essential oil diffuser not only looks great on their countertop or shelf, but it will also infuse their home with any number of delicious scents that can help them relax or just create a cozy home atmosphere.

Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro 3x3 Portable Wireless Instant Camera

Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro 3x3 Portable Wireless Instant Camera

Capture some major milestones or just a fun get together with Kodak's mini camera. Actually, it's not just a camera but also conveniently prints images as well. Just snap a pic and if you like it (you can always save or delete), the image prints out in seconds. The 10MP camera produces sharp images and it comes with 60 sheets for printing.

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Beats Solo3

If there’s any tech accessory just about everyone needs, it’s a solid pair of headphones to drown out the ambient noise of the neighborhood, household sounds, and office noise. This wireless option is a worthy choice for the job, as they provide quality, well-rounded sound for up to 40 hours per charge. Plus, who could resist the gorgeous rose gold hue?

MignonandMignon Personalized Birthstone Necklace

Birthstone Necklace

An especially great gift for mothers, this pretty family tree necklace can be personalized with any combination of loved ones' birthstones and initials. To make it perfect for them, simply choose from three finishes—rose gold-plated, gold-plated, or silver-plated—add up to four personalized gems and leaves, then choose from three lengths.

For families or tech lovers, consider a small speaker that easily fills any room with rich, powerful sound streamed from any number of popular services, like Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Prime Music Unlimited, and more. For maximum versatility, it can also be paired with your TV—a much appreciated upgrade to any binge session. Additionally, it can be paired with Alexa-enabled devices, so you don’t even need a remote—simply use voice control to tweak the sound.

Singing Machine Bluetooth Karaoke System with LED Disco Lights

kid's karoake

For a fun at-home activity both kids and adults will love, give this karaoke machine. It’s affordable and simple to operate, but doesn’t lack functionality. It’s compatible with Bluetooth for wireless streaming from Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Youtube, and other music services. What’s more, it has two microphone jacks and 50 multicolored lights, so they can easily host a friendly karaoke party singing competition. (The second microphone is sold separately.)

Jess and John Feller Infuse and Pour Alcohol Kit

Infuse & Pour Alcohol Kit

For the spirits lover, here's a fun and interactive kit that will take their cocktail party to new heights. The Infuse & Pour Alcohol Kit contains spices and dehydrated fruit picked straight from a farm to yield the freshest, most unique batch of cocktails possible. Options include navel gazer spiced orange, blue Sunday blueberry lavender, parrot head strawberry jalapeno, and island time spicy pineapple. All they’ll have to do is mix in their favorite spirit, then let the magic work for about a week.

What to Look For

Interests/Hobbies

What type of things are the recipient interested in? Is there a topic they love to talk about or have a ton of knowledge in that they love to share? Do they have a hobby they love or one they've been talking about starting? The key to a great gift is to pay attention to the things the recipient already loves and discusses often—you can often get a great start from that alone.

Age

It's unlikely you would buy the same type of gift for a child or teenager as you would for an adult, or a similar gift for someone in their early 20s versus their late 70s. While there are some notable exceptions (pay attention to the person you're getting a gift for), take into account how old the person is to get a general sense of what type of present would make the most sense and be appreciated.

Unique Quality

Trying to get a gift for the person who seems to have everything can be a real challenge. Before searching for a gift, take into account what you know the person already has—perhaps there are gifts that can complement or that could use additional accessories. Ideally, you want to shoot for a gift that has a unique edge; it can be custom-made, sentimental, or simply something you don't come across too often.

FAQ
  • Why do we celebrate birthdays?

    Birthday celebrations stretch as far back as Ancient Egypt, as well as during Greek and Roman times. While the semantics have changed, the main reason we have birthdays is to celebrate turning another year older and reflecting on who we are becoming,

  • How much should you spend on a birthday gift?

    This largely depends on your budget and the relationship to the person you're buying for. On average, most people spend $15-$25 for a typical birthday gift. However, this range can extend to upwards of $75 for parents, partners, and close friends—it all depends on what type of gift you want to buy.

Why Trust The Spruce

This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of gift guides for various publications over the course of the last 10 years, including The Spruce's lists of best gifts for the whole family, best virtual gifts, and best Christmas gifts for your best friend. Additional reporting was done by Lacey Ramburger, a personality assessments expert and writer whose work has appeared on Thought Catalog.

This roundup was updated by Patrice J. Williams who has been writing gift guides for The Spruce since 2020.

Updated by
Lacey Ramburger
Profile

Lacey is a personality assessment expert based in Kansas City, MO. Her areas of expertise include Zodiac, Myers-Briggs, and the Enneagram. She is the author of a book, Being Whole, and dozens of articles on personality assessments and relationships.

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