44 practical Mother’s Day gifts of 2023 that just make sense

As great lovers of giving gifts, we especially love what we think of as “the practical gift,” something that hits that sweet spot of truly useful and totally delightful.

With that said, getting a practical Mother’s Day gift right can be tricky — there’s a risk of picking out something that disappoints or outright offends Mom! So to help you get it practically perfect, we’ve rounded up the absolute best practical Mother’s Day gifts for every type of mother.

For the mom who is obsessed with getting her steps in, the FYC walking pad is lightweight, easy to store and set up and, best of all, it comes in pink!

Beis suitcases and travel bags are the hot luggage right now. Treat Mom to a new weekend bag with Beis Travel’s The Weekender, which comes in beige as well as black, gray, navy and pale pink.

If your pool-loving mom missed out last year, the Brooklinen checkerboard towels that made a splash last summer, are back again this year. But hurry and snap them up before they sell out again!

The viral Stanley tumbler is everywhere, so it’s possible that your mother already has one! But with two new colorways — Pool and Tigerlily — a 40-ounce capacity, double-wall insulation, ergonomic handle and narrow base, maybe it’s time for a second one?

It doesn’t get much more practical than a new pair of socks! This gift set comes in a decorative box, and includes five pairs of ankle socks embroidered with a heart motif that’s a perfect way to show Mom you love her.

The Moon Pod, a favorite among our staff, is a cloudlike chair designed to mimic the sensations of flotation therapy. Our reviewer especially loved it for storytime with her kids. Use code CNN15 to get an extra 15% off in addition to any of Moon Pod’s sitewide sales.

We live in an increasingly paperless world, which is great, but sometimes you just need to jot something down by hand. This gift set from Post-it includes a round notepad, a to-do list notepad, a prenumbered notepad and five felt tip pens, all in a festive red and pink colorway.

A chic and imminently useful decorative box makes a great present on its own, or as gift wrap for jewelry or grooming products.

Everything you need to prep an avocado — from slicing to pitting — in one compact, dishwasher-safe tool. It’s an Underscored reader favorite.

Level up Mom’s smile with an electric toothbrush. Smile Brilliant’s CariPro toothbrush has five settings — Clean, White, Massage, Gum Care and Sensitive — so Mom can switch up her brush as she likes.

If your mom has a green thumb, a gardening planner can help her sort out what plants to purchase for her garden. For more gardening gift ideas, check out our guide to gardening for beginners.

Beware the perils of giving a vacuum as a gift! Vacuums are a great practical gift idea, but you have to be very, very sure that your mother won’t be furious with you for giving her a household appliance. One way to get it right is to pick out a fun color, like this chili red handheld vac.

Bala Bangles are a must-have item for the workout enthusiast. The super-popular wrist and ankle weights come in loads of colorways, so there’s sure to be a perfect shade for Mom.

Charcuterie boards and their offspring, like butter boards, aren’t going away anytime soon. A heart-shaped serving board makes a great Mother’s Day gift for the hostess who is always on-trend.

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Our pick for the best bidet attachment, the Tushy 3.0 is incredibly easy to install on a wide variety of toilets, and even easier to enjoy. It’s a complete bathroom game changer we can’t recommend enough.

An indoor LED grow light garden is a perfect gift for a budding home cook, providing fresh herbs right when you need them. The easy-to-use gardening system comes with a gourmet seed kit featuring six herbs: Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil and mint.

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In our testing of travel pillows, The Cabeau Evolution S3 stood out among the competition: Our reviewers call it “the Goldilocks of travel pillows.” They praised its design, which is firm enough to support the head and neck but soft enough to fall asleep on, and noted that it is eminently portable, thanks to its being made of springy memory foam that enables you to compress it to half its size.

When asked about our own favorite robes, senior lifestyle editor Rachel Lubitz declared of this linen number, “The sleeves are a perfect length and it drapes so elegantly from my shoulders. If you’re looking for a linen robe, this is the one to buy.” The robe comes in three colors: light gray, gray blue or woodrose and a dusty pink shade.

A slightly different take on the gift of coffee is to give the coffee itself! Show you’ve been paying attention by buying Mom’s favorite brand of coffee, or go with something truly adventurous, like this subscription to Atlas Coffee Club. The company can send a new bag of coffee from a different country every month. Read our review of it here, and read more about our favorite coffee subscriptions here.

Tech gadgets and accessories make great practical gift ideas for anyone. Look for options, such as this USB charging brick, that come in red or pink to make them feel special to the occasion.

A luxe upgrade is a great way to make a mundane-seeming item into a knock-their-socks-off gift. For example, pillowcases aren’t especially giftable, but silk pillowcases are. In addition to being ultra glam, silk pillowcases are also a practical investment — they’re easier on your hair and skin than their cotton counterparts because they’re less drying. These silk pillowcases come in six size options and a whopping 36 different colors.

Massage guns are popular tools for post-workout recovery, making them a great gift for the runner, powerlifter or Pilates devotee in your life. While many massage guns can be bulky, loud and quite expensive, the Theragun Mini gets high marks for being quiet, small and comfortable to use, and its under-$200 price tag makes it a reasonable option for gift-giving.

What mom wouldn’t love a beautiful oversized throw blanket in a pretty shade?

Cosmetic cases are so useful, and having a collection in various shapes and sizes is a good idea for the frequent traveler or product enthusiast. Mark & Graham’s cosmetic case is a great addition to any collection of travel bags, and can be monogrammed to feel extra special.

I was sent a Pura smart diffuser a few months ago, but I set it aside because I already had a traditional plug-in diffuser and I figured there wasn’t much difference. How wrong I was! When I finally set up the Pura I was absolutely WOWED by it. I love the scents, I love that you can program it to go on at certain times, I love that it allows you to adjust the scent’s potency and I especially love the customizable night-light feature. This thing is so cool, I’m giving one to everyone I know this year.

A small tape measure is one of those items that is absurdly handy, and a pretty one, like this Liberty print, is a great small gift idea. Toss it in a bag or a junk drawer and marvel at how many times you reach for it!

A milk frother is a simple tool that elevates a cup of morning coffee to a work of art. Our associate beauty editor, Sophie Shaw, loves Clevr’s frother, which she praises for being super easy to clean, store and charge.

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In our test of bath towels, Frontgate’s Resort Cotton Bath Towel was among the most luxurious-feeling, making it our pick for best towel. “Thick, soft and snuggly,” our reviewer says, “this product truly feels like a fine hotel bathing experience,” which elevates towels from home basic to luxurious gift.

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Really good sheets, like Parachute’s linen sheets, which were our pick for best linen sheets, are such a great gift. For more recommendations and gift ideas, check out our guides to the best luxury linens and the best cooling sheets.

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In our test of rain jackets, the Patagonia Torrentshell outperformed all other jackets in key areas. Our reviewer calls it “ridiculously waterproof” and praised it for being “extremely breathable, durable and comes with Patagonia’s lifetime Ironclad Guarantee.”

Buffy, the maker of those cloudlike duvets, took the pregnancy pillow and redesigned it for the masses. The Wiggle Pillow is a floppy yet supportive, tie-able pillow that offers full-body support for sleeping or lounging. A removable, machine-washable cover is available in three colors: Cream, Puff and Toast.

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Exercise mats have a life span; when they lose their loft or start showing signs of wear and tear like nicks, shredding or curling, it’s time for a new one. The Lululemon mat is our pick for best overall yoga mat, and it makes a great gift for the home workout enthusiast or yogi.

For the indoor gardener, this frame-style shelf fitted with a growlight is a functional showstopper. The frame is also fitted with a timer, and is the perfect way to keep indoor plants and herbs happy and thriving in low-light settings.

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The Emart ring light is our pick for the best ring light. It comes with a fully adjustable tripod, giving users a lot of flexibility, and it has three light modes along with 11 brightness levels. Just think of how great mom will look in her daily Zooms.

You know what’s even better than a warm hug? A warm towel. A towel warmer feels like such a luxury, but it turns out that it’s a pretty affordable luxury. This bucket-style warmer can simply be plugged into an existing wall outlet.

It’s no fun holding hands when the hands are dry and chapped! This heart-shaped solid balm can be used to soothe and moisturize hands, or any other body part, and comes with a display dish that can be reused as a soap dish or trinket tray.

Gym people are a different breed, and if your mother is an exercise fanatic, getting her a gift she can use during her workouts is a sure way to her heart. We named this zip-front Nike bra the absolute best sports bra, thanks to its inclusive size range, breathable and sweat-wicking fabric and the fact that it’s still remarkably affordable.

Bath bombs and salts are old standards, but if you want to up your gift game for your bath-obsessed mom, this full-body bath pillow will take the experience to a whole new level.

Coffee people, like Gym People, are a very specific type — oftentimes, the type who is perfectly happy to own two, three, even four different coffee makers. Add one to their collection with this cheery red pour-over set, which comes with a ceramic dripper, glass server, scoop and filters. Learn more about pour-over coffee here.

Kitchen shears are such a useful thing to own, but they’re a bit on the practical side to give as a gift — unless you elevate the form. These gold-handled kitchen shears, which feature a micro-serrated blade edge that allows you to cut through anything with ease and a bottle opener built into the handle, fit the bill perfectly.

Serving spoons are endlessly useful items, and an easy way to add a bit of whimsy to your kitchen. This hand-carved heart-shaped wooden spoon is a perfect way to remind Mom that you love her.

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