34 of the Most Random-But-Useful Gifts for Everyone on Your List

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Some folks live for a gift certificate to a splurge-worthy tasting menu or a wear-it-once cashmere sweater dress. But if you’re anything like us, the very best gifts are not only thoughtful, but useful. What’s the point of a gift if it just sits on the shelf collecting dust for the rest of its days? We want our gifts to be used until the wheels fall off! 

What Are Useful Gifts?

A truly useful gift seamlessly becomes a part of the recipient's daily routine. It’s an item they can’t believe they lived so long without, something that makes its new owner’s life easier, comfier or just generally better in some way. Every time they pick it up to use it, they will think fondly of the person who gave it to them.

Still stumped? Never fear! We rounded up 35 of the most random-but-useful presents to give everyone on your list—from moms-to-be to runners and yes, even the dog. Scroll down and prepare to add everything to your cart.

The Best Random-but-Useful Gifts at Glance

Best for the Germaphobe

1. PhoneSoap 3 UV Phone Sanitizer


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Fast and easy to use
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Doesn’t fit anything much larger than a phone

You probably don’t want to know how many germs are crawling around on your phone at any given time, but it’s not like you can just run it under the sink with some soap to keep it clean. This UV-C phone disinfectant uses UV light to sanitize your phone, and can charge it at the same time. You can even fit in keys, credit cards, pacitiers, headphones…Anything that fits inside! One reviewer told PureWow: “Not only is the model ‘sleeker than other versions’ on the market, but it’s also extremely user friendly. ‘After it’s plugged into an outlet you literally just open it, put your phone, keys or whatever that will fit in and shut it until the light on the top turns off, indicating it’s clean,’”

cereal dispenser

Best for the Busy Family

2. Zevro Double Cereal Dispenser


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Lots of space and easy to use
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Requires holding the bowl while filling it

These cereal dispensers will please everyone from sugar-obsessed kids, husbands who act like kids, and moms who like the look of a cardboard-free countertop. Plus, they’ll keep cereal from going stale when *someone* forgets to close the box after a heavy pour. 

baby shusher

Best for New Parents

3. Baby Shusher: The Sleep Miracle

Baby Shusher

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Works like a charm!
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Isn’t sturdy enough to withstand being knocked onto the hardwood floor or having water spilled on it.

A soft "shhh" sound reminds your baby of being in the womb, lulling that literal cry baby to sleep (or calm) when they’re still in shock from their new, chaotic environment. If you don’t see this gift on your expecting pal’s registry, do them a solid and gift them this life-saver during the holidays. They’ll thank you later. (After their nap.)

roller blades

Best for The Active Friend

4. Impala Roller Skates


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Nostalgic aesthetic and easy skating
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Despite the brand’s claims, they do require breaking in to be comfortable.

Rollerblading is becoming increasingly popular (thanks TikTok), and if it's a hobby you know your friend, sister or kid is interested in, give her a pair of super trendy, super adorable, super sturdy blades! This pastel multi-shade pair is great for beginners and features easy-entry lace up and a durable plastic outer boot with a rounded toe. They even come with two Allen wrenches in case you need to adjust the wheels. 

wine purifier

For the Wine Lover

5. Purewine The Wand Wine Purifier 8-pack

PureWine To Your Health

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: 78 percent of reviewers say they really work!
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Probably won’t stop a hangover if you drink an entire bottle

Have a wine lover in your life? They're gonna love this. Swirl this little wand in a glass of vino to get rid of histamines and sulfites, which can cause wine allergies and headaches, and improve the taste of your wine. One-hundred percent safe, chemical-free and made from reusable and recyclable materials in the U.S., these bad boys are a game changer. 

nori press

Best for the Jet-Setter

6. The Nori Press


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Even faster and easier than a regular iron
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Takes a few tries to get used to

Don't be fooled: This little guy isn't an iron for your hair; it’s for your clothes! Pulling out the iron and ironing board at a hotel can be a hassle (and it takes forever to heat up), so this compact gadget is the way to go, especially for anyone who travels frequently. This handy-dandy wrinkle remover is designed to press, steam and refresh your clothes with ease from anywhere.

yana sleep
Yana Sleep

Best for the Mom-to-Be

7. Yana Sleep Pillow

Yana Sleep

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Makes sleeping while pregnant a comfy breeze
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: You won’t ever want to cuddle your partner again

Spoil the soon-to-be mama in your life with a pillow she'll rave about long after her little one arrives. This gigantic body pillow wraps tightly around the body and can be used in several different positions, from watching TV sitting up, to cuddling up for a cozy snooze in bed. With a choice between cooling gel and natural latex filling, this is a low-maintenance bedtime (or, let’s be honest—anytime) essential that’s easy to clean and even easier to love. 

foot massager

Best Self-Care Gift

8. Theraflow Dual Foot Massager


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Gets knots out of tired, overworked feet
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Can be a bit squeaky

OK, you may not be able to gift your hardworking friend 24/7 access to a masseuse (as much as she might deserve it), but this wooden foot massager is the next best thing. It relieves pain and hits pressure points to help relax muscles in the feet. Plus, she can hide it under her desk. As for the 6’2” masseuse? Not so much.


Best for the Fitness Guru

9. The Mirror Home Workout System


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Great content and workout variety
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Class membership sold separately

From one-on-one training sessions to live classes, this Mirror (yes, it's actually a mirror) reflects workouts while allowing you to keep an eye on your form. Featuring surround sound, a crisp 42” full HD 1080p display and access to more than 10,000 world-class workout classes from lululemon studio trainers and partners like Pure Barre, Rumble and DOGPOUND, this is the chicest home gym we ever did see.

slick hair
Slick Hair

Best for the Busy Professional

10. Slick Hair Slick Stick

Slick Hair

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Perfect for slicked-back styles
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Works best on baby hairs but needs hairspray to hold

When you're constantly on the go, odds are your hair may get a little out of place. This mascara-like wand will control those baby hair flyaways with just one swipe. Best of all, the formula of jojoba oil, camellia, evening primrose and other common ingredients won't leave the hair crunchy or oily, just slick. Bring on the Zoom meetings.

ugg slippers
  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Just as comfy as they look!
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: You probably can’t afford a pair in every color

Gift a pair of these to your perpetually cold bestie who’s always lamenting about the thermostat wars in her house. These Ugg slippers have been a bestseller for months—they honestly look like colorful clouds. Plus, the durable sole means you can wear them indoors and outdoors. Dog walks never looked so fashionable.

sound machine mixer

For the Insomniac

12. Brookstone Sleep Sound Mixer


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Easy to use and customize
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Some sounds alone can be harsh

Whether you know someone who’s always had trouble sleeping, or it’s a new pandemic-related annoyance, this sleep sound mixer will help them doze off in minutes. Turn the dials to create a customized blend of eight nature and relaxation sounds that melt stress and provide an optimal snoozing environment.


Best for the Bedtime Routine

13. Hum By Colgate Smart Electric Toothbrush


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: The interactive app is fun and the brush holds a long charge
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Bristles aren’t as soft as other brushes

This toothbrush connects to an app on your phone and shows you how well you brushed, turning the twice-daily chore of brushing into a game that even your 8-year-old will enjoy.

Best Random But Useful Gifts - A product shot of the 'I love you! I love you!' candle.
Companion Candles

For the Candle (and Pet) Collector

14. I Love You, I Love You! // Santal Pet-Safe Candle

Companion Candles

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Fair price for high-quality ingredients
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Can arrive in package oily

Did you know most candles are simply not safe for pets? During quarantine, Loren Lewin realized that burning a typical candle meant releasing particles into the air that could harm her dog. So, Lewin took things upon herself and founded a fully pet-safe, small-batch candle line made with a pesticide-free coconut-soy blend wax and the highest quality fragrances available. Smell that, Rufus? Mama loves you.

random but useful gifts the container store angry mama microwave cleaner
The Container Store

Best for the Clean Freak

15. Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner

The Container Store

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Makes cleaning the microwave fun
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Can be hard to see liquid levels through the plastic

There are few things your neurotic clean freak sister loves more than a sparkling clean microwave, so she’ll love filling this kitschy little steamer with vinegar and water, popping it in the microwave for a few minutes and watching as it releases steam to unstick all the dried tomato sauce from the inside. Then, all she’ll have to do is wipe the walls down with a cloth and voila! A clean microwave is served. *Heaven.*

reflective snap bracelet

Best for Runners

16. Nite Ize Yellow Slaplit Led Band

Nite Ize

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Can be used on any part of the body
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Requires a battery

Now that it gets dark at 4 p.m., your marathon-running dad will be just a bit safer when he puts this LED wristband to good use while logging miles after sundown. Made from lightweight, comfortable nylon with passive reflectivity and glow/flash modes that can be activated at the push of a button, this arm band creates visibility on night runs, walks or bike rides. 

tape measure

Best for the DIY King

17. 16' Etape16 Digital Tape Measure


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Functional, durable and easy to use
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Requires a battery

This digital tape measure will prevent so many headaches thanks to its locking feature, which holds the tape and displays measurements on a large screen. It even stores or recalls up to three measurements, so you don’t have to measure anything more than once. The best part? It quickly converts numbers from fractions to decimals, or inches to centimeters so there’s no mental math involved.

fi collar

Best for the Dog Parent

18. Fi Series 3 Smart Dog Collar


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Has helped countless dog owners find their furry friends
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Does require you to allow tracking on your phone as well

Ever wonder how many steps Fido takes just by following you around all day? This smart collar will tell you it’s more than you think. Not only does it track your pup’s steps and activity, but it’s also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible—so you can track your furry friend’s whereabouts at all times. It even includes a lost dog feature that can be turned on if your doggy gets out of the yard, has a color-changing LED light that makes it easier to see them after dark and it’s completely waterproof, so no need to take it off for a day at the dog beach. 

towel warmer

For the Friend Who's Always Cold

19. Zadro Towel Warmer


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Makes towels cozy in a snap
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Only fits two towels at once

Know a friend who likes to wrap themselves in blankets still warm from the dryer? This towel warmer will be a cozy essential for them. It can hold up to two towels and features a temperature control and automatic shut-off. Make sure to convince the recipient of this gift to keep it in the guest bathroom so you can reap the benefits while visiting over the holidays.

hammer swiss army knife

Best for Your Handiest Friend

20. Kikkerland Wood Hammer Multi-tool


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Extremely versatile and useful
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Very small and can be pokey if kept in pockets

Think of this item as the Swiss Army Knife of hammers. Featuring ten different tools, including a hammer, wire cutters, pliers, a flat head screwdriver, saw blade, bottle opener and more, it’s exactly what your handy uncle will want to keep in his truck for emergency fix-it situations.

pocket warmers

Great for the Kiddos' Stockings

21. Hotsnapz Reusable Hand Warmers


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Perfect temperature, no risk of burning yourself
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Heat wears off quickly if not insulated 

These little guys heat up quickly and stay warm for up to an hour. Give them to your kids during the cold winter months, and just a couple squeezes will ignite the internal heating, giving a little extra warmth in their coat pockets while they wait for the bus. The best part? They’re reusable! Just pop them in boiling water for 10-15 minutes and they're ready to go again. 

ring light1
Best Buy

Best for the Influencer

22. Sunpak Portable Vlogging Kit For Smartphones


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Lighting is perfect for makeup application and tutorials
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Legs must be handled with care

We always assumed that ring lights would be a novelty for non-influencers. But now that we spend so much time on screens, they’re essential. This kit features an expandable tripod complete with a cell phone clip, so you no longer have to hold your phone while Facetiming your BFF, dancing to a TikTok trend, or giving your YouTube followers a juicy storytime. 

spruce steamers1
Our Place

Perfect for the Home Chef

23. Our Place Spruce Steamer

Our Place

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Makes picture-perfect dumplings
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Needs the Always Pan to work

Have a foodie friend who’s never made their own pork and scallion dumplings? Now they have the chance! This spruce steamer basket nests perfectly into the Always Pan and makes a mean dumpling, tamale or even fish, adding yet another function to the multi-use kitchen essential.

touchless soap dispenser

Best for Mom's Kitchen

24. Simplehuman Touchless Sensor Soap/Sanitizer Pump


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Easy to use and sanitary 
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Requires Simplehuman soap

Soap and hand sanitizer dispensers have been touchless for years, so it’s about time to bring the same concept into your mom’s home—in a style that matches her taste. Just fill, place your hands underneath and rub together.

back massager
Bed Bath and Beyond

Best for the Workaholic

25. Sharper Image Bodyscan Seat Topper

Sharper Image

  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Great for chronic pain relief
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Makes the chair it’s on a bit bulky

Turn any seat into a massage chair with this pad. It accurately targets pressure points to deliver a custom massage whenever you need it most—including at 3 p.m. on a workday. Your Zoom meeting mates will think you’re smiling at them, when really you’re just enjoying a relaxing massage.

Best for the Astronomy Nerd

26. BlissLights Sky Lite LED Laser Projector


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Turns any area into a serene escape
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: No app connectivity

Night lights are so yesterday. With this projector, you can turn any room into a groovy planetarium with this easy-to-use LED projector—how much more excited will your kids be for bed time now? Cast the starry night of your choosing from three brightness levels and then customize the nebula or phase out the lasers and boom—you’re floating in space…and off to bed.

Best for the Corporate Exec

27. YTONET Tote Bag


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: The perfect work bag - not too bulky! 
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Only fits laptops up to 14”

Perfect for corporate office workers who like getting compliments, this work tote is stylish, durable, waterproof and even comes with a charging cord in case you need to reup your phone battery on your daily train commute. With separate compartments for your laptop, phone, business cards and even a removable wallet, this bag is the perfect addition to any professional outfit. 

Great for the Lazy Cook

28. Ninja Air Fryer


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: So easy and convenient - set it and forget it
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Only fits laptops up to 14”

We all have that friend who’s never once turned on their oven, and if you gift them with an air fryer, they’ll never need to. From chicken and salmon to frozen appetizers, toast and perfectly reheated leftovers, a good air fryer can replace 95 percent of all other kitchen appliances and make your food healthier and crispier than ever before. This one offers a temperature range from 105-400 degrees and can hold up to two pounds of food. 

Best for One Who’s Always on 0%

29. Samsung Wireless Charging Pad


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Charges quickly and efficiently
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Can be hard to tell when items are done charging

We all have that friend who, mid video chat, will go dark—cop it up to the fact that they probably haven’t charged their phone for 36 hours because they’ve lost yet another charging cord. Enter: This wireless charging pad to the rescue. Compatible with Android, Apple and Qi-enabled smartphones, Galaxy earbuds and Apple Airpods, if your friend can’t keep their phone charged with this handy charging pad, there’s truly no hope. 

Best for the Blow-Out Addict

30. Revlon One-Step Volumizing Brush


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Produces salon-quality blowouts in a fraction of the time and cost
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Barrel is too large to use on shorter hair

For the friend who’s constantly complaining about the cost of blowouts, this one-stop hot brush brush will completely BLOW them away. Use on wet or damp hair to create that effortless ‘90s blowout that has been all over TikTok. After she gets used to working the tool, as long as she has an outlet, she’ll never have another bad hair day. 

Best for the Vegan

31. Nutr Plant Milk Maker


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Works great and makes delicious milk
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Makes a small amount of milk at a time

Alternative milks are having a moment, but they’re not exactly budget friendly. If you have a vegan, lactose intolerant or health-conscious friend who has been looking for a way to fit more milk alternatives into their diet without breaking the bank, this plant milk maker is a super thoughtful gift. Simply add one scoop of your favorite kind of milkable plant or nut, a bit of water, choose the temperature and blend for the allotted amount of time, then pour through a strainer to remove pulp. Cashew milk latte, anyone?

Best for the Anxious One

32. Therapedic Weighted Blanket


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Soft and comfortable 
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: May be too heavy for smaller users

Weighted blankets have been known to reduce stress and help promote restful sleep, so if you have a friend or family member who’s in need of those services, let them unwrap this fuzzy weighted blanket. Made of faux mink fur and filled with glass beads, this blanket has a machine washable cover and applies a calming pressure that will relieve anxiety and send you off into a dreamy sleep. 

For the Friend Who’s Always Losing Their Keys

33. Tile Mate


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Loud and clear sound
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Doesn’t have a long range

If you’re tired of watching your friend search high and low for their keys every time they need to leave the house, gift them with a set of Tile keychains—they’ll never be late again! Easy to attach to keys, wallets, purses, backpacks or anything else you need to keep track of, this water-resistant, bluetooth enabled electronic tile connects to a phone app, which can both show you the location of your item, and ring it if it’s in range. 

Best for the Yogi

34. Acumobility Back Roller


  • Biggest Pro From Reviewers: Loud and clear sound
  • Biggest Con From Reviewers: Doesn’t have a long range

Help increase flexibility, mobility, posture and satisfying back cracks with this back roller! Designed by chiropractors to work on all areas of the back, this EVA foam roller includes a patented bump pattern, a gap in the center for the spine, and is safe for all bodies to use with a weight limit of up to 1,000 pounds. 

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Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...

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Commerce Editor

Olivia Dubyak is PureWow's Commerce Editor and textbook Capricorn. She studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has gone from New York City to...