For those of us lucky enough to have nurses in our lives, we know just how hard they work. They might see it as a thankless job with round the clock hours, but nurses are the backbone of hospitals and doctor’s offices across the globe. They’re also the ultimate definition of a caretaker, helping their patients medically and emotionally overcome illnesses. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, nurses everywhere are stepping up to the plate to help flatten the curve, all while putting themselves (and their own family members) at risk. So if there was ever a time to reach out and show your appreciation for a nurse you love, it’s now. We spoke with five nurses who told us about the practical gifts that will help make their shifts easier, to relaxing treats they’d love to have when they’re off the clock.
The 13 Best Gifts for Nurses, According to Actual Healthcare Workers
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
1. Best Travel Coffee Mug: Corkcicle 24-ounce Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler
Of all the gifts our nurses mentioned, there was one that hit across the board: a good travel coffee mug. Since caffeine is keeping them going, having an insulated mug they can rely on, like this one from Corkcicle, is a must. With a stainless steel interior, this mug can keep liquids hot or cold for hours, making it a gift they’ll appreciate for years on end.
2. Best Loungewear: Splendid French Terry Drawstring Set
“After a long day, there’s nothing I like more than slipping on something cozy,” shared one New Jersey nurse. Help her decompress on her well-deserved day off with the ultimate set of loungewear: the Splendid French Terry Drawstring set. Made from an insanely soft modal/spandex blend, this is sure to become her favorite thing to wear. And don’t forget the matching jogger pants.
3. Best Massager: Theragun G3 Percussive Massager
It’s no secret that working on the frontline during this time can take a toll on the body. With spas temporarily closed, this deep muscle massager from Theragun lets the user treat themselves wherever, whenever. This beloved brand has already begun donating its devices to hospitals across the country, so it’s one you can feel good about supporting.
4. Best Food Subscription Box: Freshly
Cooking a huge meal after a long shift is not how hospital workers want to end their day. Help them save time and eat right with a food subscription box from Freshly. Each chef-curated, gluten-free meal comes fully prepared (fresh, never frozen) meaning they can dig into a healthy meal in about two minutes.
5. Best Face Moisturizer: Dr. Dennis Gross’s B3 Adaptive Superfoods Stress Repair Face Cream
With all hospital staff being required to wear N95 masks for hours at a time, all healthcare workers are leaving shifts with dry, irritated skin. Help them indulge with the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare B3 Adaptive Superfoods Stress Repair face cream. Formulated to treat skin’s chemical response to stress, this cream not only repairs the skin’s moisture barrier to lock in hydration, it also tackles other biological factors like hormone imbalances and inflammation.
6. Best Sterilizer: Cahot Portable Uv Sanitizer
With many worried about carrying the virus out of the hospital with them, help a nurse you love keep their belongings clean with a portable UV sanitizer, like this one from Cahot. With enough space to sterilize everything from a phone and keys to a wallet or a face mask, this sanitizer will be a welcome addition to their work bags.
7. Best Hand Sanitizer: Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is a hot commodity these days, and the last thing they want to do is search the internet for some between long shifts. Send your favorite nurse a few bottles of this rare find (yes, it’s actually in stock) and they’ll be eternally grateful. Megababe's formula is made with 62 percent ethyl alcohol to kill germs and sweet almond and marula oils plus aloe vera, for a moisturizing boost.
8. Best Hand Cream For Dry Hands: Weleda Skin Food
One of the most requested gifts from the nurses we spoke to was a top-notch hand cream. “We all have rashes from washing our hands so much,” shared Cardio-Thoracic Intensive Care Unit nurse Zee Gutierrez. To help keep their hands soft and supple, opt for a deeply moisturizing option like Weleda’s Skin Food, which is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
9. Best Compression Socks: Comrad Knee-high Compression Socks
After spending hours on their feet in the ER or ICU, especially since many are pulling more shifts than ever, any nurse will appreciate a pair of compression socks. Available in 10 colors, these socks help encourage blood circulation, meaning more energy and less pain and swelling. Right now, Comrad is working hard to help medical staff across the country and is donating socks with every purchase as well as offering a 30 percent discount when you use the code 'Comfy30' at checkout.
10. Best Gift Card For Nurses: Digital Starbucks Gift Card
One of the most popular (and appreciated) gifts is a lot of coffee—in the form of a Starbucks Gift Card. One nurse shared with us, “A Starbucks gift card is a great gift because it’s one we can pay forward by treating our coworkers to a cup, too.”
11. Best Sneakers For Nurses: Allbirds Women's Wool Runners
Now, more than ever, it’s important for nurses and doctors to be wearing proper, supportive footwear. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish, too. With a pair of Allbirds Wool Runners sneakers, they’ll be comfortable and pain-free all shift long. To date, Allbirds has donated $500,000 worth of shoes to those in the healthcare industry. They’re also currently offering a “buy-one-give-one” promotion, where each purchase will also split the cost of donating a pair of Wool Runners to a healthcare professional.
12. Best Headband With Buttons: Phoenixandhawke Headband
While a necessary piece of PPE, wearing a face mask all day can wreak havoc on the ears. With one of these handmade headbands, not only will you help a nurse keep her hair out of her face (a must) but you’ll take some of the pressure off of her ears, too. Psst, this Etsy seller is also offering free shipping nationwide.
13. Best Spa Gift: Dear Ava Nurse Spa Gift Box
“We take relaxation on our days off very seriously,” another healthcare worker reiterated. That’s how we know they’ll love the Nurse Space Gift Box from Dear Ava. Featuring a lavender hand and body soap, a nourishing lip balm, a lavender candle and a moisturizing bath bomb, this box comes with everything your favorite nurse needs to unwind.