26 Valentine's Day Gifts Everyone Will Actually Find Useful

Because we can all do better than bodega roses and assorted truffles.

January 27, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten

Whether you made an offhand agreement to “not do gifts this year,” or decided on a generous price range, showing up to dinner totally empty-handed on Valentine’s Day is probably a no-go. We’ve got the happiest medium: You can ditch both the supermarket chocolate and the no-gift guilt by getting your significant other something that will actually improve their day-to-day. Sure, the traditional heart-shaped gifts may still apply, but wouldn’t you rather be thought of every time your gift makes their life easier? The below gifts—at prices to please all wallets—are so practical they’re romantic.

Small but significant (Under $50):

1. Bee Bella Peppermint Lip Balm, $6

This might be the tingliest (read: best) lip balm on the market. Plus, it’s fair-trade certified and a portion of the proceeds goes towards honey bee research. Win-win-win.

2. Swedish Dishcloths, $7

Sure, dishcloths don’t seem like the most exciting gift, but they’re helping to reduce your valentine’s paper towel usage (and thereby environmental impact), and what’s more attractive than that?

5. Greetabl, from $12

A Greetabl itself isn’t strictly useful, but you can choose to put something inside that is. Options include: a Moleskine notebook, photo magnets, or an “everything tool.” A personal message and Instagram prints from your last holiday together are a bonus.

Photo by Greetabl

3. Anti-Slip Airpod Covers, $12

For those who live in fear of an AirPod falling from their ear, these little silicone covers add just enough extra grip without turning clunky.

4. Touchland Hydrating Hand Sanitizer, $12

A hand sanitizer made with essential oils and aloe vera…i.e. it won’t smell cloyingly like "cupcakes" or dry out their hands.

6. Copper Cow Vietnamese Pour Over Coffee, $15

It cannot possibly get more convenient than pouches of pour-over coffee with packets of sweetened condensed milk. Plus, the coffee is really, really good.

Photo by Copper Cow Coffee

7. PopWallet+, $25

Who has easily-cramped hands, a phone, and a bunch of cards? Your Valentine, obviously. This genius all-in-one makes their phone easier to hold and keeps their Metrocard at the ready.

8. Silicone Straws, from $25

If your valentine has sworn off plastic straws, but hates clacking their teeth against metal ones, it’s time to try silicone. These straws hold up to chia-heavy smoothies but are flexible enough to bend right into their on-the-go case.

9. Little Food Socks, from $26

Somehow we’ve reached an age where socks are an exciting gift, and these ones are more exciting than usual.

Photo by Ty Mecham

10. L'occitane Hand Cream, $28

Soft hands, warm heart…that’s the saying, right? Regardless, this is a go-to gift especially for those Siberian winter temps that come around unannounced.

11. Magnetic Notebook, $30

For the fastidious note-taker in your life: a notebook that lets them rearrange the pages and replace them as the book gets full.

12. USB Rechargeable Lighter, $32

Valentines don’t let valentines burn their fingers on disposable butane lighters. This one is rechargeable and won’t leave your fingers burned after one slight breeze.

Photo by Ty Mecham

13. Spider Plant, $35

A plant? Useful? Why yes, of course. Spider plants in particular are ace at filtering the air we breathe, be it in an apartment or perched on a desk.

14. The Laundress X John Mayer Fabric Fresh Duo, $35

For that special someone in your life who either loves a freshly-scented tee or has made it clear that 'Continuum' is the best album of all time…or both.

15. Hey Dewy Portable Humidifier, $39

It’s February, so regardless of how vigilant your Valentine is with their skin, they’re probably experiencing some amount of dryness. This pint-sized humidifier is USB chargeable and keeps puffing on for 20 hours at a clip.

Photo by Urban Outfitters

17. Six Color Reusable Grocery Bag, $45

Both a happy way to haul groceries home and a perfect bag to house anything else you’re gifting.

17. Steamery Fuzz Remover, $50

File this under: gadgets you didn’t know you needed but now can’t live without. It quickly removes pills and built-up fuzz from even the most stubborn sweaters.

GO BIG OR GO HOME ($200 & Under):

18. Leesa Memoryfoam Pillow, $73

This cushy memory foam pillow will convert even the most die-hard down feather fans.

19. Glass French Press, $85

A most stunning french press that may never be purchased for oneself, so go ahead and make the first move.

20. Larq Self-Cleaning Water Bottle, $95

A water bottle that has a UV light in the cap to nab odor-causing bacteria and purify the water inside—no more stinky bottle! Plus, the micro USB chargeable battery lasts for a month.

Photo by Larq

21. Ember Heated Mug, $100

The corresponding app to this unassuming coffee mug keeps drinks at a consistent temp of choice, so their liquid energy never becomes undesirable.

22. Organic Percale Sheet Sets & Pillowcases, from $100

Staying the night at your partner’s place just got a whole lot better—because 100% organic, long-staple cotton, that’s why.

23. Dagne Dover Landon Carryall, $185

A seriously utilitarian weekender that’s made of quick-drying, stain-resistant neoprene. Some highlights: a mesh pouch attached with elastic to keep essentials at hand, a luggage sleeve to hang tight to a roller bag, a dedicated laptop pocket, and side flaps that unbutton for more room. The list truly goes on.

Photo by Dagne Dover

24. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, $190

Nothing says “I love you,” quite like a luxury toothbrush, right? This one is something out of the 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie, Smart House, just without the evil robot. The the connected app helps pinpoint areas to target and logs brushing progress reports.

25. KitchenAid Mini 3.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $200

A KitchenAid stand mixer for just under $200? In the color red? For Valentine’s Day? Does it get any better?

26. Coravin Model One Wine System, $200

This super fancy gadget allows for single pours from a bottle of wine, while keeping the cork intact. So, if your Valentine has been saving an extravagant bottle for a special occasion that never comes, they can space the glasses out over multiple promotions and lease signings.

Photo by Coravin

Do you and your S.O. do Valentine's Day gifts? Let us know in the comments!

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When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.