Arriving at an event with a gift for the hostess shows you appreciate receiving their party invitation; plus, it can create a moment of intimacy at a group gathering.
We've conducted hours of research on the best hostess gifts, evaluating each on functionality, price, and the potential interests of the hostess. A few of our favorites include a candle cloche from Anthropologie, fresh blooms from Farmgirl Flowers, chic crystal coasters from West Elm, and a trio of wines from Avaline.
Ahead, find the best hostess gifts for your next soirée.
Anthropologie Nostalgia Cloche
Candles are a beloved home accessory that evokes a sense of warmth and gives a home its signature scent. One thing many people overlook is candle care. This candle cloche from Anthropologie features a wooden base and glass lid; thus the aesthetically-pleasing candle won't be hidden but protected from environmental dust when not lit. We love the gorgeous crafting by Anthropologie, a brand known for its standout home items that are both chic and functional.
Avaline The Essentials Trio
Many of us don't associate the concept of "clean" with wines, but did you know there are very few regulations in place when it comes to this beloved alcoholic beverage?
By using organic grapes and removing unnecessary additives like concentrates, colors, and added sugars, Avaline sets a new standard for the wine industry. The Essentials Trio includes one bottle of their red, rose, and white wines. Each bottle has a resealable cap, so they won't have to worry about finishing the bottle before the wine goes bad. It's a tried-and-true hostess gift that can be enjoyed the night of the party and beyond.
Price at time of publish: $72
Bloomscape Complete Gardening Tool Set
Anyone who tends to plants or a garden knows how challenging finding the right tool set can be. Gift your plant-savvy hostess the Complete Gardening Tool Set from Bloomscape, which includes the six quintessential items they need to prune, re-pot, and harvest to their heart's content. Five of these are made from stainless steel and one of them (the cutting tool) uses high carbon steel with a powder coating. Needless to say, this gift will last your hostess many years to come.
Price at time of publish: $165
Brune Kitchen Cookie Sampler
Any gift you give your hostess is quite the gesture, but nothing says "Thank you" quite like a box of delicious cookies. The sampler pack from Brune Kitchen includes an equal split of their classic chocolate chip and chocolate fudge cookies. Choose between a box of six cookies or a box of 12, all of which are individually wrapped to preserve freshness. The brand ships nationwide, and cookies ship out within five days of ordering.
What sets these cookies apart from others on the market is the ingredients. With no nuts, soy, gluten, or refined sugars, anyone (no matter what their dietary restrictions) can indulge their sweet tooth.
Price at time of publish: $25
Farmgirl Flowers Fun Size Burlap Wrapped Bouquet
When you don't know what to give your hostess, something as simple as a bouquet of picturesque blooms will show appreciation for your invitation. Our editors are in love with the female-founded flower company, Farmgirl Flowers, as they craft each of their bouquets with the highest quality flowers available that season. We appreciate that the company presents customers with fewer choices with better quality flowers. Just note that arrangements can fluctuate seasonally.
Price at time of publish: $59
Kosterina Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Italian Balsamic Vinegar Gift Set
Kosterina makes an artisanal oil and vinegar set that comes in aesthetically pleasing bottles. By partnering with farmers in the Peloponnese region of Greece, the husband and wife team of Kosterina produces some of the best olive oils on the market. Customers note that the flavors of this duo can take a mundane dish to another level.
Price at time of publish: $100
Material Kitchen The Angled Board
Charcuterie boards are having a major moment right now, making this chic board from Material Kitchen a standout. The company uses FSC-certified wood for its dual-purpose board. It comes in a grounding walnut and a deep carbon, and both shades arrive pre-oiled. Be sure that your hostess knows that continued conditioning of the wood maintains its integrity for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $95
Mixology & Craft Mixology Bartender Kit Tool Set with Stylish Bamboo Stand
This 10-piece Mixology & Craft Mixology Bartender Kit is one of Amazon's best underground finds. Keep your hostess' bar cart stocked with accessories like a strainer, corkscrew, shaker, and a mixing spoon, each made of quality stainless steel alloy to ensure longevity.
Price at time of publish: $80
Nette Another Life Candle
A gift that is always bound to be a hit is a clean and sustainable candle. Our top choice is the luxury scents from female-founded brand Nette. The ingredients in these candles are sustainably harvested and help protect biodiversity, which means that they have a minimal environmental impact. Their core collection features the fragrance Another Life, which is described as intoxicatingly warm and supremely comforting.
Price at time of publish: $68
Pique Organic Sun Goddess Matcha
For the hostess who opts for a morning matcha, the ceremonial grade matcha from Pique is an outstanding find. When choosing a matcha brand, it is crucial to consider where the brand sources the ingredient and exposure to toxins. By quadruple screening their matcha powder for toxins, Pique ensures a high-quality product that's ultra-smooth and rich in flavor.
Price at time of publish: $67
Rifle Paper Co. Recipe Box
For the hostess who loves her organized kitchen, giving a recipe tin allows them the opportunity to keep track of every new dish they create. Rifle Paper Co. makes a delightful tin with metallic gold accents. The set includes 24 recipe cards with space for servings, ingredients, directions, and any relevant notes that make recreating the dish easier for the kitchen novice.
Price at time of publish: $40
Hygge Games The Hygge Game
Nothing is more awkward at a dinner party than stale conversation. For any hostess that enjoys a good time when all of their friends get together, The Hygge Game makes the perfect gift. Inspired by the Scandinavian concept of hygge, this game brings party guests together by answering 300 questions about the big and small things we should all be thankful for in life. Guests can bond over shared memories and create new ones with this simple, unconventional gift.
Price at time of publish: $20
West Elm Stone Quartz Coasters
Functional and decorative, drink coasters make a perfect home gift. Our editors love these from West Elm, which are made with Aragon stone quartz that deliver a small dose of zen. The quality of West Home goods is unparalleled, and customers note that the coasters are solid and durable, unlike some other crystal coasters that can be more flimsy.
Price at time of publish: $50
William Sonoma La Vie en Rose Towel
Tea towels are the perfect addition to any kitchen. They add a touch of character while being incredibly functional. The William Sonoma La Vie en Rose Towel includes a set of two kitchen linens made from twill-weave cotton. Since the material is ultra-absorbent and machine-washable, people can reach for these towels in lieu of paper towels for more eco-friendly living.
Price at time of publish: $35
W&P Ceramic Porter Bowl
Reusable containers are in and are not something many people will purchase for themselves. That is why our editors encourage giving your sustainably-minded hostess the gift of W&P Porter Ceramic Bowl.
Made from ceramic, LFGB-certified silicone, and BPA-free plastic, this bowl can withstand just about anything. Toss it in the microwave to heat leftovers and add it directly to the next load of dishes after the meal. To top it all off, the Poter Bowl comes in five colorways, all of which are FDA and California Prop 50 compliant.
Price at time of publish: $20
What to Look for in Hostess Gifts
Is It Appropriate?
Giving a hostess gift "isn't a hard or fast rule," says Lizzie Post of the Emily Post Etiquette Institute. There is a fine line between what is appropriate to give your hostess and what is not. Keep other guests in mind and consider their ages and any dietary restrictions. The reason for the event, who will be present, and the location are all critical factors in picking out your item.
We live in an oversaturated market where the more expensive the gift, the more superior we seem. However, the amount you spend on a gift says little about who you are as a person or how grateful you are to your hostess.
If you're questioning whether an item you are interested in giving will put you in financial strife, you should reassess what you're giving and consider alternative options. No matter what you decide to purchase, they'll appreciate your gesture.
Interest of the Hostess
Many of us go into the shopping experience keeping the person we are shopping for at the top of our minds but stray from our original ideas as we head to check out. More often than not, we psych ourselves out wondering what makes the perfect present.
"Your gift doesn't have to be complicated or incredibly over-the-top," says Post. Consider selecting a gift that you know the hostess will use frequently, plays into their hobbies, or is a physical manifestation of shared memories, as these will have the greatest impact.
Is it rude to show up empty-handed?
No, it isn't rude to show up without a gift for your hostess. However, it is important to consider the circumstances surrounding the event. For example, a casual pizza night at a friend's house might not warrant a gift. On the other hand, housewarmings, birthdays, or bigger celebrations present excellent opportunities for home or food gifts.
Post explains that most people feel like they are a burden when being invited to an event and that a hostess gift eases the "guest guilt" that they experience. However, you never have to present a gift to someone to feel welcome into their home or special occasion because you were asked to attend for a reason.
Do you give a hostess gift at the beginning or end of your stay?
According to Post, the best time to present your gift is "always the beginning." By presenting your item in front of the larger group, you look like you're showing off or boastful. The opposite is true if you pass it along to the hostess upon entry. This moment is an exchange between the two of you and no one else—it gives you a moment of intimacy and closeness while showing how grateful you are for their friendship or invitation.
Do you wrap a hostess gift?
While wrapping a gift is ideal, it does not have to be on the same level as one would a holiday gift. Something as simple as a decorative bow tied to the neck of a wine bottle or ensuring your flowers are arranged (a vase is not always necessary) is more than enough.
Why Trust The Spruce
Samantha Parsons wrote this article to include hostess gifts that are cost-effective, functional and catered to diverse areas of interest. Hours of research, reading reviews, and analyzing product trends lead her to select the items above. Additional input was provided by co-founder, etiquette expert, and co-host of the Awesome Etiquette Podcast, Lizzie Post.
When she is not spending her time writing for The Spruce, Samantha works for a beauty brand and is constantly reading up on the latest product launches and design trends.