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The Verge’s 2023 holiday gift guide for moms

A collection of cool, calming, and creative gifts to show your appreciation for that special maternal figure in your life.

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Photo illustration of hands holding various products on a brightly colored background of stars.
Photo Illustration by Amelia Holowaty Krales and Cath Virginia / The Verge

Moms are the hardest people to shop for. After all, what can you gift the person who gave you life or raised you? The best you can hope to do is gift her something thoughtful to demonstrate your gratitude for all she’s done, though that often requires the kind of time and careful consideration we don’t always have.

That’s why we’ve put together this gift guide. With the help of the rest of the Verge staff, we came up with a list of presents that’ll make your mom’s life a little easier, from a robot vacuum that makes cleaning up nearly effortless to a smart speaker that doubles as a virtual assistant. We’ve also thrown in a few sentimental gifts that are sure to touch her heart — like a digital picture frame you can update regularly with videos of her grandkids — as well as e-readers, 4K TVs, and a bounty of other useful tech that can help her unwind at the end of a long, thankless day.

No, there isn’t a gift in this world that can rival what our mothers have given us. But we think these presents will, at the very least, put a smile on her face and express your appreciation.

price range:

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

Did you know a woman published the first computer program back in the Victorian ages? In Broad Band, Claire Evans pays tribute to the female pioneers behind the development of the internet. She also shares their stories, painting a picture of real women with their own fair share of flaws, pain, and failures, who changed the world regardless.
Price: $11.99+

Amazon Echo Dot (fifth-gen)

Amazon’s latest Echo Dot is the perfect little helper. The fifth-gen smart speaker can play music for your mom when she wants to relax as well as send her reminders regarding upcoming deadlines. It also grants her hands-free control over her lights, robovac, and other smart home devices, while simultaneously boosting her Wi-Fi coverage if she’s on an Eero network.
Price: $22.99

Aura Carver photo frame

If your mom lives far away, a cloud-connected frame like the Aura Carver can help bridge the distance. The 10.1-inch display is a stylish way for her to put landscape or side-by-side portraits of her grandkids on display, one that also happens to pair just as easily with Android as iOS. And who knows? Perhaps she might even throw a photo of you on there (wink).
Price: $139

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses

You could always gift a set of regular sunglasses, though we have a feeling they’d pale in comparison to the recently launched Ray-Ban Meta. The unique smart glasses don’t just protect your eyes but also allow you to capture photos and video, take phone calls, and even livestream your everyday adventures directly to Facebook or Instagram.
Price: $299

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

For moms who long for the halcyon days of flip phones, let us introduce you to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. The 6.7-inch Android phone flips shut like many of the most memorable phones from the ‘90s, except it also includes modern touches like a dual-camera setup, IPX8 water resistance, and a 3.4-inch front cover screen.
Price: $799.99+

Chi Original Digital Ceramic Hairstyling Iron

A capable flat iron that heats up in seconds is a must for any mom who has trouble getting out the door in the morning. Not only is the Chi Original fast but the high-heat flat iron also features ceramic plates that allow it to safely straighten even the frizziest of hair. Plus, your mom can even use it to add beachy waves or create flips if she’s feeling something fresh.
Price: $74.98+

Google Pixel Watch 2

Few Android watches can rival the Google Pixel Watch 2. The second-gen stunner offers all-day battery life and faster charging than the original model, along with better health and fitness tracking. It also features irregular heart rhythm alerts and nightly SpO2 right out the gate as well as automatic workout tracking for seven activity types.
Price: $349.99

De’Longhi Nespresso Inissia

Given most people would cease to function without it, I think it’s fair to say that coffee is essential to life. Frequent trips to the shop can get expensive, however, which is why the one-touch Nespresso Inissia is both helpful and economical. The compact machine can brew delicious espresso faster than it takes to order one, often at a fraction of the price.
Price: $119+

JewelMango eyeglasses necklace

It’s true, we all need glasses sooner or later. Fortunately, this ring-equipped necklace from JewelMango is both fashionable and practical, as it allows your mom to wear her glasses around her neck so they’re never far from reach. You can also choose the color of the suede cord and the style of the ring, letting you add a personal touch only your mom would appreciate.
Price: $18

Roborock S8

Tidying up is always a lot easier with a robot vacuum, but it’s nearly effortless with the Roborock S8. Not only does the handy robovac clean carpets well but it’s also capable of lifting its own mop, allowing it to tackle your entire home in a single go. It also boasts AI-powered obstacle avoidance and dual rubber roller brushes, making it a good upgrade from the prior model.
Price: $599.99+

Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun

If sunscreen isn’t already a part of your mom’s daily skincare routine, it really should be. Beauty of Joseon’s Relief Sun offers excellent SPF 50 protection, thus shielding your mom from sunburns and cancer-causing agents. At the same time, the TikTok-famous sunscreen uses rice water, grain-fermented extracts, and other ingredients rich in minerals to brighten and moisturize all types of skin.
Price: $10.80+

Beats Studio Buds Plus

The Beats Studio Buds Plus sound terrific and sport a slick, semitranslucent shell, making them a feast for both the eyes and ears. The wireless ear candies — err, earbuds — are also great at tuning out noise and work with both Apple and Android devices so you can tap into Apple’s Find My network or the Google equivalent.
Price: $149.95+

Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

When it’s freezing outside, nothing beats a hot bath and a good book. With its IPX8 waterproofing and monthslong battery life, the latest Kindle Paperwhite makes relaxing in the tub for hours on end even more relaxing. And thanks to the e-reader’s sharp 300ppi display and adjustable backlighting, you can even dim the lights to really set the vibe.
Price: $119.99

iPad (2021)

If you can’t decide on a present, do your mom a favor and just buy the last-gen iPad. The versatile gadget can function as an ad hoc TV, e-reader, notebook, and even a canvas, letting your mom entertain herself in a number of different ways. The 2021 model is also significantly cheaper than Apple’s newer 10th-gen iPad, making it the budget model to buy.
Price: $229.99+

Laicomein Bluetooth Aux Receiver

Does your mom still drive a car from the early aughts? If so, the Laicomein Bluetooth Aux Receiver can help her modernize it ever so slightly. The rechargeable gadget plugs into any 3.5mm audio jack, and once paired with a phone, lets you listen to music and directions via your car’s stereo system instead of the Bluetooth speaker you probably have wedged in your cupholder.
Price: $13.59+

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

Any mom who has a soft spot for nostalgia will appreciate Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 12. Much like the iconic instant cameras from the Polaroid era, Fujifilm’s latest requires her to do little more than point and shoot to generate wallet-friendly snaps. It’s a fun little gift, one that can help her reconnect with her inner child as she captures new memories.
Price: $69+

Succulents (set of 12)

Moms have enough on their plates to take care of as is, which is why gifting a low-maintenance plant like a succulent is always a wise decision. This eclectic 12-succulent set from Urban Outfitters can add beauty and life to any living space without requiring your mom to babysit, rendering it a great alternative to roses and other plants known to have a short shelf life.
Price: $49

Apple TV 4K (third-gen)

The latest Apple TV 4K is a gift that’ll help your mom take a much-deserved break. It’s more affordable than the prior model, yet it’s also faster and touts comprehensive support for Dolby Vision / Atmos. She can even use the streaming box to enjoy add-on subscriptions if she’s embedded in the Apple ecosystem or connect her AirPods for private listening.
Price: $123.49+

Sombre Vintage Briefcase

Stylish and multifunctional, Ecosusi’s vintage-inspired bag features gold embellishments for an elegant vibe that’s perfect for work or play. The attractive bag is also available in an array of color combos and comes with detachable shoulder straps so your mom can turn it into a handbag for after-work cocktails or even use it as a backpack while traveling.
Price: $50.69+

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED

Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED isn’t just a great 4K TV with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 Plus Adaptive. With a screen that displays art and Alexa widgets when idle, it’s also a piece of home decor and a helpful smart display your mom can use to keep tabs on the weather, her appointments, and her favorite sports team.
Price: $439

Belkin BoostCharge Pro with MagSafe

Why get any old boring charger when you can get one that also doubles as a kickstand? Belkin’s BoostCharge Pro with MagSafe can quickly supply MagSafe-compatible iPhones with up to 15W of power. Best of all, it can take advantage of iOS 17’s StandBy mode, letting you turn your phone into a desk-friendly calendar, clock, or photo frame.
Price: $19.20+

Bditanle shacket

Shackets are cool because your mom can wear them whenever, wherever. You can easily dress them up with a skirt for parties or tone them down with a pair of jeans, and they work great during both the warmer and cooler months with a bit of layering. This long-sleeved corduroy option is pretty nondescript, sure, but it’s also available in every color imaginable.
Price: $20.99+

Lego The Insect Collection

A fun way to pass the time on rainy days, Lego’s new insect kit is designed to bring a bit of the great outdoors inside. The 1,111-piece set lets you build life-size, posable replicas of several insects — a Chinese mantis, a Hercules beetle, and a blue morpho butterfly — all three of which can be displayed as beautiful home decor upon completion.
Price: $79.99

Stardew Valley

If your mom was one of the many Nintendo Switch gamers who sought refuge in Animal Crossing during the pandemic, chances are she’ll fall in love all over again with Stardew Valley. It’s a cozy sim much like New Horizons, only instead of playing the turnip market for hours on end, it has you building farms, spelunking, and even raising a family.
Price: $14.99+

Tile Mate (2022)

Airports can be overwhelming this time of the year, and luggage easily gets lost in all the chaos. Thankfully, the latest Tile Mate can help your mom keep a closer tab on her suitcase, purse, and even her keys from up to 250 feet away. The handy Bluetooth trackers work with both iOS and Android so she can rest easy no matter what phone she uses.
Price: $17.99

Graza “Sizzle” Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is a key ingredient in many a Mediterranean dish, from pasta and pesto to hummus and even salad. Graza’s “Sizzle” Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made using 100 percent single-varietal Picual olives from Spain; however, unlike most olive oils available in the US, it’s sold in a nifty squeeze bottle that makes it far more convenient to cook with.
Price: $13.99+

Paperage lined journal notebooks (three-pack)

Even in a digital age, handwriting has its benefits. It adds a personal touch to letters, promotes mindfulness by slowing down our thoughts, and even helps us retain information better. Paperage’s lined leather notebooks come in multiple colors with a pocket and stickers, allowing mom to put pen to paper with a little style.
Price: $19.95

Umbra Cup Smart Lamp

It’s a cup! It’s a smart lamp! No, it’s a… cup smart lamp? Uncreative name aside, Umbra’s clever piece of lighting is actually a pretty cool lamp that can display millions of colors while housing pens, pencils, styluses, and other desktop accessories. It supports Bluetooth and the new Matter standard, too, so your mom can control it with her voice using a host of assistants.
Price: $130