12 Foolproof Gift Ideas for YOUR Mom

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Finding a gift for my mom tends to be really difficult. She’s inordinately picky about what she wears (not that I can fault her), she’s firm on what gadgets she actually wants in her kitchen (no Nespresso — crazy, right?!), and now that we’ve all migrated to Kindle e-readers…books are out.

And frankly, the woman does NOT want yet another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry.

I get that.

I mean…OK: she’ll take some homemade art from the kiddos (and hang it on the fridge and loveitsomuch), but at some point I’d love to be able to gift her something exciting — something she’d actually use.

*This post has been updated for 2021. 

12 Chic, Unique & Practical Gifts For YOUR Mom

Over the last few years, there have been a few gifts for both my mom and my mother-in-law that were easy wins. Thought I’d share, along with a few new ideas I came up with, based on Mom’s recent visit….

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for OUR moms — chic, unique, useful.

1. Sophisticated Pajamas

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Nordstrom | Cosabella Star Print | Cosabella Solid Set | Eberjay

My mom was looking for PJs that were light enough to sleep in, yet still looked…presentable. I get it: a sophisticated PJ set is perfect when visiting family or having house guests…or for running down to a hotel lobby for early-morning coffee. Nordstrom’s set is cute and affordable (several TME editors have it and love it), as is Cosabella’s. I have this one.


2. Wireless Earbuds

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Apple | Best Buy

My mom walks for exercise several days a week…listening to music on her phone. The problem, I recently realized, is that she’s still using wired earbuds, which means that she has to hold her phone in her hands while she walks. When I pointed out that she can just switch to wireless earbuds, I got a blank look. These are going to blow her mind.


3. Everlane Tread Sneakers

Everlane

My mom tried mine on…and is now obsessed. They’re classic and cool and go with just about everything…yet still feel modern and fresh. The part my mom really liked? These sneakers also feel really supportive on.


4. Chic Slippers

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Neiman Marcus

My mom does not believe in spending $100 on slippers. She is DEAD WRONG. A fact which she now knows because….I bought her those $100 slippers last year and SHE LOVESTHEMSOMUCH. (Juuuust like my kids’ art.) I also highly recommend this pair.


5. Linen Sheets

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Parachute

Linen sheet sets used to only be for the very, very fancy…and while Parachute’s set is pricey, it’s a far cry from what they used to cost. And linen sheets last forever. My super smooth, high-thread-count cotton sheets used to get ripped so often, but these linen sheets are almost indestructible. Plus, they’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter…but won’t grip you like flannel sheets. This is a fun, luxurious gift that she’ll likely never expect.


6. A Silk Pillowcase

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Shopbop | Nordstrom

My mom was the one who turned me onto these genius little pillowcases. They’re 100% silk and seem to reduce both wrinkles and frizzy hair. I’ve used them for years and…I swear they’re helping. The Slip brand pillowcases come packaged in a cute little box and feel very gift-y. (Especially the ones with fun patterns, like marble.)


7. Lighted Magnifying Mirror

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Ulta | Amazon | Bed Bath & Beyond

Another product my mom turned me onto. She started using it because it was the only way she could see her brows up close…and now it just makes everything about makeup application easier. A basic model works great, but if you want a serious upgrade…here’s one with brightness control (available in a ton of colors — pink!! rose gold!!), and here’s one with a built-in speaker. Whoa.


8. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Nordstrom | Sephora | Dyson

If your mom is anything like my mom, she probably hasn’t upgraded her hair dryer in decades. Mom used my Dyson while she was visiting and was BLOWN AWAY by how fast it dried her curly hair (even using the diffuser, we’re only talking…three minutes?).


9. Microneedling Regeneration Tool

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Nordstrom

This is a pretty game-changing product. It’s not the kind of thing my mom will buy for herself (and I did have to show her how to use it — video here, if you need it), but it makes a seriously big difference in fine lines when used over time.


10. Hard-Sided Luggage

Away | Amazon | Paravel

Luggage has also come a long way…and the hard-sided stuff is super-durable yet lightweight. My favorite luggage sets are either Away’s suitcase, this vintage-inspired one by Delsey or – new – Paravel’s sustainably made one. I highly recommended the “medium checked” size (Paravel calls it ‘carry on plus’) — it’s the perfect size for virtually any length of trip, yet will never be over the weight limit (even when packed full). Throw in a set of packing cubes to really blow her mind.


11. Comfy Joggers

Mom does NOT want another candle/frame/mug/personalized jewelry. So here are our top gifts for OUR moms — chic, meaningful, useful.

Vuori | Nordstrom

These joggers are unlike anything else. They’re soft, pretty, and easily the most comfortable joggers on the market. If I’m ever at a loss for a gift, literally anything from Vuori is an easy win.


12. LED Light Therapy Device

The Light Salon’s BOOST Mask | Dr. Dennis Gross’ LED Mask

The Light Salon’s BOOST LED mask has completely changed my skin game. Not only does it mean that I can go longer between Botox treatments…but I actually haven’t been back since the pandemic started (almost two years ago). Scotti loves Dr. Dennis Gross’ LED mask (which is a little cheaper), but both yield the same results. The big difference is that The Light Salon’s BOOST Mask (pictured) lays flat for travel and should be used 4 times per week (10 min per session), and the Dennis Gross mask is a little more cumbersome, but should be used daily, for 3 min.

I’m curious…what gifts have been big hits for your Mom over the years? I’m always looking for new ideas…And speaking of new ideas, check out our full page of holiday gift guides for more seriously cool gift ideas for all your loved ones (or whoever).

xo,

S

12 COMMENTS

  1. My sister and I are giving our mom a cutting board engraved with a favorite family recipe written in our maternal grandmother’s handwriting.

  2. My mother is easy to shop for but my Grandmother is hard. I have already bought her everything on the list above. My best go to Christmas gift is a photo calendar. I make one every year and I give them to everyone. Everyone loves them. Also, I love to buy food gifts like Harry and David pears. Lastly I buy very expensive beauty products that she would never buy herself. Like this Saffron hair oil. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6QXR1H/?coliid=I2VPRVUA9RR5DI&colid=251Y41QXPVQS1&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

  3. I gave my mom a photo book of herself with the kids over the years for Mothers Day once. They do take some lead time to produce, but she really loved it and was very touched. I used Artifact Uprising but you could use any of the online printers that make nice photo books.

    Am I alone in hating sexless cliché gifts for women over the age of 50 like slippers, robes and button-up pjs? I’ve done spa gift certificates, a handbag I knew she was coveting but wouldn’t treat herself to, luxe subscription boxes, her favorite perfume, etc. In this pandemic year, cozy stay-at-home items do make sense, but ordinarily I think robes and slippers say “you’re past the age in which I can think of anything interesting to give you.” I’m not saying we should be giving our moms lingerie but I dunno, something that indicates we still think of them as alive and vibrant beings.

    That said, I have no idea what I’m getting my mom this year. Tick tock!

  4. Last year I got my mom and 10 year old son an “advanced” paint by number kit (you can have custom ones made!) and they did it together via zoom–it took a few hours so they had multiple “meetings”. It went better than expected and they chatted and painted and had a souvenir in the end! So it was like an experience/kids art/bonding time all in one. Great for pandemic and for families that don’t live near each other.

  5. I’m 46 and I love robes/pajamas/slippers! But probably not every year. My mom, who’s 84, says she doesn’t want more *things*, so I try to focus on edible presents like special foods, restaurant experiences, etc. Also fancy beauty products since those get used up as well and she might not splurge on her own.

  6. I would love to know a bit more about the LED masks as I am planning to get one after reading this. Do they both really yield the same results? Reviewers of both complain about the straps. Do you lie down while you’re using it or walk around?

    • I wear mine while reading in bed or watching TV. You can definitely walk around wearing mine. I think Scotti stands up with hers, as well.

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