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The 13 Best Practical Gifts That Your Friends Will Actually Use


Don’t get us wrong, we live for a gimmick. Have you seen the chicken bag around which the internet is forming a small cult? How about the electrocution party game, or a computer mouse shaped like a potato? A lot of peeps would say such treasures aren’t a necessity of life, and they would be correct. Still, in the words of Jean-Paul Sartre, “Life without the Shrek butt plug isn’t living. It’s just existing.” 

We are proud, undying indulgence seekers here at Rec Room, but here’s what no one else who is as fun as us will tell you: That even the sparkliest of people rely on tactful, practical behind-the-scenes goods—think back braces, humidifiers, luxuriating deodorant—to look and feel their best once it’s time to hit the streets, and do the personality tap dance for the public.You want this life? [Dismounts golden eagle] Well, this life requires a degree of emotional/mental/physical pyrotechnics that finds support through really strong jar openers, sharp knives, and more. 

The best practical gifts will grace your kitchen drawers, bathroom sinks, bedside tables, and mystery drawers with new ways of being efficient, smart, and well-organized. Isn’t it a nice idea to give gifts that the lucky recipient will actually use? Make it about improving your friend/sister’s/dad’s/boyfriend’s/manicurist’s life instead of just flexing how you found the most unique bud vase ever on Etsy. Just because something is practical doesn’t mean it’s boring. (Just look at the British Parliament!) There are plenty of aesthetic Tupperware-esque bins that we would love to be cremated in. Carry on, and enjoy these ideas for the best practical gifts we really, actually want (or already own and love). 

A rolling cart that can climb stairs

Your friend in the third-floor walk up will kiss your feet if you bestow them with one of these. No more guaranteed shoulder pain when you’re hauling up the groceries. 

Rolser

Stair-Climbing Rolling Cart

Top-notch hand soap 

It’s been a wild couple of years, and we now all appreciate the value of having hydrating, nicely scented hand soap to wash our filthy little monkey paws with. Compagnie de Provence makes some of the best (and looks great next to a sink, with its confident graphic design). 

La Compagnie de Provence

Black Tea Liquid Soap

The secret to opening any jar

The pickles, the peanut butter, even the Talenti—there comes a time when jars need to be opened and they simply shall not budge. In fact, they kinda feel like your hand is gonna fall off. That’s where this incredible, underappreciated gadget comes in—it clings to the lid of any jar and smoothly, cleanly opens it with way less effort. 

Leifheit

Extra Wide Stainless Steel Lid and Jar Opener

Luxury deodorant

We all like smelling good, but it can be hard to justify dropping 30 bones on yourself for armpit cream. But if someone else does it, yes, we would be thrilled to receive Le Labo’s fancy deo. 

Le Labo

Quick-Dry Deodorant

A set of better-than-decent knives

Misen’s knives are dang gorgeous and stay sharp pretty much forever, so it’s time to encourage your loved one to ditch the blunt blades they’ve hung on to since 2011 and upgrade to this set that will slice through meat, veggies, and more like butta. 

Misen

Essentials Knife Set

Posture corrector

It’s time we give our bodies a break from the tense, slouched position many of us WFH slugs have adopted over the last year and a half. However, not all of us have someone to follow us around and scold us for our poor posture, which is where this low-profile posture corrector comes in. 

ComfyBrace

Posture Corrector

Hydrate those pores

For the skincare-obsessed, this is a practical gift. Fight me. You can buy Evian misters at the drugstore, but they honestly only dry out your skin more because the water only temporarily moistens your skin without really hydrating it, which is what this spray by Caudalie does. It’s grape water, which means it’s using the same technology as those ~taught~ and ~*~juicy~*~ little berries to actually give your skin a nourishing, antioxidant rich treatment.

Caudalie

Grape Water Moisturizing Face Mist

An organizer for meal toppings

Sure, Ooni says it’s for pizza toppings, but it’s also ideal for taco night, drink garnishes, or any other scenario when you’re making food or drinks that deserve a little customization. 

Ooni

Pizza Topping Station

Store those nuts for the winter

We dig reusable storage containers across the charcuterie board, including these aesthetic silicone baggies that can get sandwich sauced to death (you know how your sandwich always diapers a bit of juice throughut the day?), and the Inka food containers, which which look like urns designed Glossier. Into it. 

Stasher

Gifting 3-Pack Bundle

Stasher

Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag

Inka

Food Containers (Set of 6)

Knee pad for gardening

When both knees are your “bad knee,” it can be a real fucking drag to do simple tasks that require you to get down and dirty, such as gardening, tinkering with things under the sink, or hitting a nice child’s pose. Enter: this sweet knee pad.  

RED Home Club

Thick Kneeling Pad

A pair of super-sharp scissors

BuT I aLrEadY HavE sCissORs, you’re thinking. Well, Geoff, your scissors are awful, and they reflect the same poor character that made Devon dump you in eighth grade. So, end the madness and upgrade your cutting game with this super-sharp, devastatingly elegant pair. You’ll be gliding through wrapping paper and holding back explosive sensory-induced orgasms in no time. (And if you prefer a gold finish, check out this equally showstopping pair from Garrett Wade.) 

Garrett Wade

Professional Dressmaker Scissors

An aesthetically pleasing solution for a stinky bathroom

Keep it in the bathroom. Don’t make us explain what it’s for, but these appealing cloches in muted jewel tones also make you feel rich while in the salle de bain

Anthropologie

Match Cloche

Now shop, shop, shop—the holidays are practically here. 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.



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