What do you do for gifts when the man in your life is hard to shop for? I’ve been trying to answer that question for years, as it always seems tougher to find good gift ideas for men than it does for women.
My husband is a perfectionist who insists that anything he buys is of the utmost quality. He doesn’t like things that sit around or take up space without a purpose, so strictly sentimental gifts are out. Though I did think of one sentimental gift that was also useful so he loved it… see below. He also hates being surprised, so keeping the gift a secret without him finding it is another challenge!
This post includes some of the best gifts I’ve found for my husband over the years. It also includes gifts that my many brothers-in-law have enjoyed and items on all of their wishlists.
Focus on Experiences
I firmly believe that the best gifts are sometimes not something you can wrap. In our house, experiences always beat material gifts and we choose these whenever possible.
Why? Recent reports indicate that most Americans have over 300,000 items in their homes, and storage units are the fastest growing real estate segment.
On top of that, we have:
- an average of 30 outfits each while our grandparents only had 7-9
- 200 toys *per child* (while they only play with an average of 12)
And over half of us claim to be overwhelmed with the amount of clutter surrounding us. If this sounds like your family, I’d recommend the book The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own. Maybe that would even be a good gift for the man in your life (it’s written by a dad, actually) if you are trying to get him on board the minimalist trend!
If you already have the clutter under control, I’d still recommend an experience instead of a gift.
I share all of our favorite experience-based gift ideas here if you’re looking for some ideas. If you want to give a physical gift, just make sure it is practical, useful, and long-lasting so it doesn’t end up in the back of the closet or a landfill.
Here are some of my favorite ideas for men that I have given or my husband has mentioned he loves.
Practical Gift Ideas for Men
Your dad, husband, uncle, etc., probably doesn’t need a paperweight or another tie. If you’re looking for a gift he will use and love, here are some great options:
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
My husband and I have been wearing blue-blocking glasses for years. These glasses help reduce eye fatigue from computers and reduce blue light for better sleep. We put them on after the sun goes down each night to block the blue light from computer screens, television, and phones. My husband loves this style of blue light blocking glasses and I like that they are metal instead of plastic.
A Good Knife
I didn’t buy this for my husband, but his folding knife is an item that he uses daily. He has carried a knife since I met him and he uses it for “anything and everything.” I actually find myself asking him to borrow it pretty often when I need to open boxes, cut a thread off of a sweater in the car, etc. A folding knife (or any knife really) is a classic guy gift and a pretty safe bet.
Good Wine + An Aerator
If your man is a wine drinker, wine is always a great gift option. It is consumable and typically lends itself to spending quality time together. Some of our favorite date nights have been just sitting on the back patio after the kids go to bed and drinking wine.
Just try to choose a high quality organic wine. We always stick to natural wines whenever possible, which are grown organically and lab tested to have no mold and mycotoxins or additives. He also loves our wine aerator which improves the flavor of wine and removes sediment as you pour it.
The Last Wallet He’ll Ever Need
Men are tough on wallets! My dad used to go through one every year or two and that was almost always what we knew we could get him for Christmas each year. I mentioned my husband likes the best of things, and I found a wallet that meets his expectations.
It has a 100-year warranty (so his grandkids can use it one day)! They also have a bigger wallet if he likes that kind (I have this one and love it). Saddleback Leather also makes briefcases and bags (which have been on his wish list forever) and they even recently started making a purse for women (all are covered by the 100-year warranty). They are more pricey up front, but considering they will never need to buy another one, they are a great gift for someone who values quality.
A Notebook or Journal
Every man needs a good notebook or journal to jot down thoughts, ideas, take notes, set goals, and keep track of his schedule. This dot matrix bullet journal is a very popular option (that I stole from my husband!) because it’s so nice, easy to use, and serves as both a journal, calendar, and notebook all in one. And at under $10 it’s a great value too!
A Great Flashlight
My husband loves his Surefire flashlight and it goes almost everywhere with him. This flashlight is super bright and small enough to fit in a pocket.
Better Shaving Tools
For men who have sensitive skin or really thick facial hair (like my husband), natural shaving options are a great gift. I was proud that this was one I actually thought of on my own, and he is really glad he switched!
His face used to get irritated from conventional disposable razors (even the good ones) and I didn’t like the chemicals in regular shaving cream, so the old-fashioned style seemed to be the best choice.
He now uses a double-sided safety razor which he got with a brush, mug, and razor stainless steel set (he loves it!). He used to hate shaving and actually enjoys it now. I make homemade shaving soap for him to go in the mug (recipe here) but there are also some good store-bought ones available if you don’t want to make it.
If you aren’t sure your guy will go for the old-school shaving, there are cheaper sets available and he can always upgrade to the nicer version if he likes it.
If your man doesn’t shave, consider this awesome beard oil! My hubby grew out his beard last year and loved that oil.
The rumble roller is one of my favorite gifts of all time too. Basically, it is a deep tissue massage at home. It is a lot cheaper than regular massages in the long run! The big spikes make it great for athletes (my hubby and a lot of men) and people who get stressed out/tense easily (me). My husband also doesn’t like taking the time to get a massage, especially since the sitting-still-and-doing-nothing for an hour really annoys him. This is the solution!
It doesn’t take up much room and it is wonderful for sore muscles! I use this regularly and it has made a big difference in my muscle tension. Plus, it looks manly and tough, so men don’t mind using it. Here is the Rumble Roller I got and there are two different sizes and firmness levels.
If I had to pick one favorite gift on this list, this would be it. There are a lot of massagers out there but the Myobuddy is literally like getting a professional massage at home. It has 3 speeds and uses heat and percussive technology to work trigger points and relieve sore muscles. My husband still thanks me for this gift because it’s not only relaxing but is like getting a therapeutic massage at home.
These gifts are great because they combine a physical gift and lead to an experience of camping as well. Camping is a great family activity with some major health benefits. In fact, one study found that a week of camping without artificial light drastically improved circadian rhythm and sleep. If your guy likes camping, here are a few great gear options:
- Fire starter kit – Useful tool to start fires without matches or a lighter.
- Lifestraw or Sawyer water filter – Survival water filters that fits in your pocket.
- Smart Wool Socks – Warm but not sweaty and they keep feet dry. Great for hiking, skiing, or everyday use.
- 30-Day Lantern for Camping – A really long-lasting lantern for the outdoorsman who loves to camp.
- Esse 3 Knife – Really high quality multi-use knife.
- Hydroflask Insulated Water Bottle – Insulated water bottle that keeps water cold for days.
- Tactical Pen – More than just a pen, it works in all conditions and can break a car window if a person is trapped.
- ENO Hammock – Portable hammock that fits in a small bag and is great for travel, camping, or lounging in the backyard.
Protective Laptop Board
If your guy works on a computer as much as mine does, a protective laptop board is a great gift. This board makes it easier to work with a laptop in your lap. It also protects the legs and stomach from the heat and radiation from a laptop. We use the Defender Pad and love it.
DIY Fleece Quilt (Easy Way!)
My husband had a ton of t-shirts from college, and he didn’t want to get rid of any of them, since they had sentimental value. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of them sitting in the closet forever, so I decided to make them into a quilt.
All of the patterns I found required layers of batting, interfacing, and backing and would cost a lot more than I was willing to spend. After being told by the lady at the fabric store that I couldn’t do it, I decided to use fleece as a backing (a challenge?) and couldn’t be happier with the results. This quilt has lasted for years with very little wear and he actually uses it!
Bonus: It only took me a few hours to sew, all on the machine! This would actually be a great gift for a child or other relative as well! Click here for the easy tutorial and instructions (it really is easy to make!).
It’s hard to come up with gifts that are both useful and fun, so when I saw this kettlebell in the shape of Iron Man I knew my husband would love it. (And yes, those are Spider-Man battle ropes next to the kettlebell… if you really want to indulge a superhero fan!
We already use and love Onnit’s six-week bodyweight program so this kettlebell will be nice to starting adding in. (Anything that makes exercising a little more fun is worth it.)
“I Love You Because” Calendar
For our first Christmas, money was pretty tight and I wanted to find a gift that would be budget friendly and also sentimental. I got a scrapbook-type calendar like this one and added photos from our dating, engagement, and wedding to make the picture for each month. Then, I wrote on every day of the year a reason that I love and admire my husband. Reasons ranged from really heartfelt/romantic “You still make my heart skip a beat,” to the silly “Your crooked toe from when you broke it,” to others that aren’t appropriate for the blogosphere. 🙂
He actually used the calendar and looked forward to reading the reason I loved him each day. I think it is one of the few sentimental gifts that he still has to this day. This was also one of my favorite gifts to give!
To be really budget friendly, you could even just make or print the calendar on your computer and write the reasons in.
Is your man hard to shop for? What is the best gift you’ve ever gotten him? Would any of these be a good fit? Share below!