25 relaxing self-care gifts that everyone could use this year
Give the special people in your life a little extra TLC.
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If you're anything like us, 2020 didn't feel like a full year... it felt like five. It's been over a full year since COVID restrictions went into place, meaning many of us have been sheltering at home and spending more time talking to our pets than usual (please say it's not just me?). It's been a year of stress and sadness for many, especially as we navigated distancing from our loved ones and acclimating to remote work environments.
Basically, this is your reminder that we have all had a year and we deserve to pamper ourselves a bit. Take a few moments this month to focus on yourself, whether that means picking up yoga or buying yourself that pair of fluffy slippers you've been eyeing.
Our experts at Reviewed have curated the best gift guides for everyone in your life, including those of us who are stressed out or who just need a little "me" time. Whether you're shopping for a pick-me-up or sending a gift to a stressed-out loved one, we've collected the best self-care gifts of 2021, from the new Gravity weighted robe to must-have bubble bath goodies.
1. For the blissed-out yogi: Lululemon Reversible Mat
Your giftee won’t realize how integral a role their mat plays in their practice until they receive a proper one. Help them get a grip on one polyurethane-topped mat that absorbs moisture, and allows sore joints to melt into its natural rubber side that provides extra cushioning where they need it most. They won't have to worry about any weird smells either: an antimicrobial additive ensures it stays mold- and mildew-free from one flow to the next. One five-star reviewer (of its 2,600 reviews) makes a strong case for the Reversible mat: “The best yoga mat on the planet! Buy this mat and your life is better.” Coming in 10 colorways, the mat is an opportunity to get super extra and coordinate it with your favorite Lululemon bra and legging set.
2. For the one who misses the spa: Airomé Essential Oil Diffuser
It doesn’t take much to help transform your giftee's bathroom or bedroom into an actual oasis. Simply grab our favorite essential oil diffuser from Airomé that our experts found to have virtually zero shortcomings: it features an attractive design for any room in your home, evenly distributes an aromatic mist, and is easy to transport, clean and operate.
3. For those who like their beauty sleep: Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Pajamas
Face it: they're going to spend all day in their pajamas anyways—they might as well Self-Care and Chill in style. We listed Nordstrom's uber-popular PJ set as one of our top-rated PJs you can get for under $100 because they include a thin notch collar that won’t poke them while they sleep, a front button closure to customize coverage, and piping along the hem for that classic, old school look to make them feel put together while you spend the day watching Netflix. Their five-star reviewers say they're soft as silk and hold up nicely in the wash.
- Get the Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Pajamas from Nordstrom for $65
- Get the Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Short Pajamas from Nordstrom for $49
- Get the Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Nightshirt from Nordstrom for $49
4. For the bubble bath lover: Nectar Bath Treats
Making friends with a steamy bath will be your giftee's first step towards serenity. They'll get excited about languishing for hours with Nectar's best-selling mix and match gift sets that allow them to customize virtually every aspect of the (elegantly wrapped!) box. You can get a sampler of "scoops," or opt for the larger set that includes a body scrub, milkshake, bubble scoop, four bath bombs, four macaron soaps and a free cupcake soap. Bonus: They're all available in invigorating scents like peach sangria, lavender rose, and cucumber mint.
- Get the Bubble Bath Scoop Sampler from Nectar for $20
- Get the Mix & Match Best Sellers Gift Set from Nectar for $120
5. For creative minds: Akola DIY Rainbow Bracelet Kit
Sure, you can buy ready-made jewelry that everyone else owns. Or, you can support a female-run organization that enforces fair wage practices for women in East Africa, and allow your giftee to craft themselves a unique piece of art that they’ll cherish for years to come. The DIY kit comes complete with sustainable hand-rolled Karatasi beads, Ankole horn charms, a 14K gold-plated metal charm, and a baroque pearl charm, which are all designed to represent Uganda’s stunning landscape. Getting lost in this type of art project is a relaxing yet productive way to allow your giftee to spend some much-needed time with themselves.
6. For the person who wants to feel (and look) their best: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
A good hair day is an instant mood booster. Help them dry in style with the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, which boasts a 4.8-star rating and over 4,000 reviews. It works to measure air temperature 40 times per second in order to avoid overheating and frying hair, it delivers negative ions to ward against frizz that’s so common in colder weather, and it features three attachments to diffuse, smooth or style. Reviewers who’ve bought the hair dryer at the advice of their hairdresser say they’ll never go back to other models, as their hair now feels healthier and softer.
7. For the skincare connoisseur: Drunk Elephant Glowy Night Kit
They likely have the most time to focus on an elaborate skincare routine at night, which is where this new five-star rated skincare set comes in. Using a glycolic night serum, jelly cleanser, micellar water and more, it sloughs away dead skin cells and will hydrate and support their skin’s barrier, allowing them to wake up fresh-faced and ready to face the day. One reviewer shares exactly why this set is a great bang for your buck: “I'm already a huge fan of Drunk Elephant, they are truly great products especially for sensitive skin. The TLC, A-Passioni, B-Hydra, and Lala Retro have transformed my skin. This set is such a good deal. You get a full size TLC and for a few dollars more you get all these mini size products as well. But don't be fooled, the mini sizes last awhile. The pot of Lala Retro will last me a month at least. I use all their products sparingly because they are such good quality you don't need to pack them on. All in all, this set is worth it!”
8. For the one who cares about their mental health: A journal
What fuses the healing benefits of therapy and humor, and also makes the perfect gift? This best-selling journal on Amazon with over 7,600 reviews. It uses hilarious-yet-effective writing prompts to let all the stressed out folks in your life make sense of their confusing (and often painful) emotions, and then offers strategies on how to let them go. Thousands of readers have found solace in their daily lives simply by using the journal for a few minutes at the end of the day: "This is more than just a journal. There are great writing prompts to help you replace those negative thoughts and hilarious inspirational quips and it's a great way to relax before bed. It's very freeing to just let go of all the bad crap that happened throughout the day. The profanity is my favorite part of the entire book."
9. For those whose feet are always cold: Ugg Fluff Yeah Genuine Shearling Slingback Sandals
For better or for worse, Uggs will always be a necessity. Your giftee might not have yet mustered the confidence to wear them unironically outside since 2008, but no one has to know about their cozy little secret indoors. These top-rated slippers from Nordstrom are coated in a plush genuine shearling and feature an elasticized slingback strap to keep their foot in place. Of their 5,200 reviewers, many say they’re the comfiest slippers they’ve ever owned: “Love these shoes/slippers/sandals (whatever you want to call them)! They are so comfortable and fluffy. The platform is not squishy as one would think, but rather hard. All the fluff adds softness. They are perfect. I will probably end up buying a couple more colors.”
10. For the person who could use a massage: A handheld massager
Help them relieve muscle soreness with the push of a button with Amazon’s top-rated hand-held massager. It provides a salon-worthy rubdown that’s the volume of a whisper, comes with five speeds and seven attachments to soothe each and every unique nook and cranny of their body, and lasts up to three hours on a single charge. Reviewers say they appreciate that the attachments are long enough to self-administer a back massage. Now this is one great way to always have their back.
Psst: If you're looking for a splurge-worthy massager, we recommend the wildly popular Theragun. We've tried it here at Reviewed and love how effective and powerful it is.
- Get the Mebak Massager Gun Deep Tissue Percussion Muscle Massage for Pain Relief on Amazon for $119.99
- Get the Theragun Elite from Theragun for $399
11. For those who like to sleep in: Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheets
We all have those friends who are always tired, whether it’s because they’re just too busy or because their anxiety is through the roof. While you can’t fix either of those things, you can help them get a better night’s sleep by upgrading their bed sheets. We recommend this set from Brooklinen because they're super soft (they're made with 100 percent cotton) and both wrinkle- and stain-resistant.
12. For the perpetually stressed: Lush Wow Gift Set
Can’t decide on what to gift to get at Lush, your main destination for all things sustainable and cruelty-free beauty? Packaged in a stunning reusable box, treat your giftee to dozens upon dozens of best-selling bubble bars, bath bombs, bar soaps, shower gels, body milks, body scrubs and lip scrubs to last them all winter (or, let’s be honest, for the next few years). With this set, they'll get a bit of everything here—like the ever-popular Snow Fairy body conditioner and Butter Bear bath bomb—so it takes the guesswork out of self-care. Because Lord knows decision fatigue can be too real.
13. For those who want to get healthier: Noom
Noom isn’t quite a diet, according to our experts—it’s a lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to cut down on bad habits (like mindless munching or eating foods that aren’t as nutritionally dense as they should be), Noom is here to help with science-backed strategies to help you live your best life. When our executive editor Megan McCarthy tried the program for three months, she found that it provides an easy way to track food intake without feeling overly restrictive. While your giftee is certainly going to need to put in a minimal amount of effort to see any real changes, she had this promising takeaway: “No one in the office even knew I was testing Noom, aside from my editor. In essence, I feel like I lost 20 pounds in 100 days just by staring at my phone.”
14. For the one with great taste: Sips by Tea Subscription
This subscription box is a must-have for tea lovers. We loved Sips by, which is a subscription service that delivers fun, tasty tea bags to your door each month. We enjoyed that each user could pick teas based on their own taste, or get a sampling of new and exciting flavors. Our editor recommends being thorough with your initial questionnaire so you can get the most out of your fun new subscription.
15. For the one with a sweet tooth: A basket full of chocolate
Forget indulging in that chocolate bar. If your giftee has a sweet tooth that just won't quit, help them go out with this basket filled to the brim with high-quality Godiva chocolate. This set gets 4.7 stars from its reviewers, with people saying it's well worth the money for its contents and gift packaging. This basket comes with an assortment of truffles, assorted chocolates, and chocolate bars in milk, dark, and white varieties.
16. For the book worm: Kindle Paperwhite
If they've been talking about slacking in the reading department, it’s not an overstatement to say the Kindle Paperwhite is the easiest way to help them devour book after book. It’s glare-free so they can read it in any type of light setting, it connects to Bluetooth for a hands-free audiobook listening experience, and its interface is so intuitive to use, they'll find themselves flipping through pages at record speed. On the go? They can pop it in their purse since it’s no bigger than a wallet and water bottle combined. Our experts at Reviewed even dubbed it the best Kindle you can buy right now.
17. For the wine lover: Winc
Winc is an incredible wine subscription service that ships you four bottles a month that are tailored to your taste. We loved Winc when we tried it, with one of our editors saying it's one of the only things that got her through 2020. The service pairs wines with recipes, too, meaning you or your giftee can get the most out of your subscription by pairing new blends with fresh meals. Plus, you get a discount on your first box—and who doesn't love bargain wine?
18. For the person who uses music as an escape: JBL Flip 5
Sometimes they might need to blast the music so loud it drowns out their own thoughts. That’s where our experts' favorite Bluetooth speaker, the JBL Flip 5, comes in. Not only does it have amazing sound quality and portable convenience, but it's also decently waterproof and has an impressively long battery life.
19. For those who need a break: A bath caddy tray
One way to help the busiest person in your life take more baths (because they are basically essential to our collective well-being), is a tray that will hold all their bath essentials, like an e-book, book-book, speakers, wine glass, tea cup, candle or loofah. This top-rated bath tray from Royal Craft Wood with 9,800 reviews comes in six sleek colors and features silicone grips to prevent slipping. Reviewers have derived so much joy from the tray, it’s inspired them to take daily baths: “Oh my goodnesss! It is wonderful. My baths, which I have always loved, are now a true spa time complete with a facial, full body skin care, music or audio book, a magazine or book, and refreshments. I appreciate the security of the tray to hold everything.”
20. For the tea drinker: A cute mug
Those who take their tea seriously know the container from which they drink it is almost as crucial as the tea itself. Gift the tea-rrific person in your life this set of two BPA-free glass mugs featuring a floral and butterfly motif. They each come with their own matching stirring stick, and are dishwasher-safe. One of its 3,500 reviewers says it'll please even the most discerning tea drinkers: "I bought this for a collector, she loves it and can't stop talking about it. This is one of her favorite pieces in her collection. It's super colorful and bigger than I expected and you cannot beat it for the price. Very detailed and very intricate."
21. For those who want a self-esteem boost: Anthropologie Lace Bralette
Regardless of whether anyone can see it, wearing sexy (read: not ripped) underwear can have a profound effect on a person's mood. Perk up with Anthropologie’s top-rated bralette that comes in seven feisty colors, and features an elegant balance of lace and velvet detailing. Its front closure makes it easy to slip on and off, because after all: home is where the bra is not.
22. For those who need a day-long hug: Modernist X Gravity Weighted Robe
Who even needs human contact when a robe this cozy also doubles as a hug? Gravity’s new sartorial take on the weighted blanket is just what your gift's self-care wardrobe needs: it has side pockets, a weighted collar to promote deep relaxation, and comes in a soft fleecy material. Our trending editor Amanda Tarlton gave it a spin, and says it’s absolutely worth it because it provides an instant feeling of calm without feeling suffocating. Coming in gray, deep blue and white, and small, medium and large, your giftee is bound to find the fit so perfect they’ll never want to take it off.
23. For those looking to hydrate winter skin: Beekman 1802 skincare
The tribe has spoken: the following are Beekman 1802’s most beloved moisturizing products: whipped body cream, goat milk bar soap, and lip balm available in decadent scents like vanilla and honey grapefruit. Thankfully, they all come in one handy package, which is one of Ulta's top-selling beauty gift sets. Reviewers with even the most sensitive skin have found these nourishing products to be self-care essentials, so your giftee will appreciate a chance to upgrade their own skincare routine.
24. For the baker: Baked by Melissa mini cupcakes
If they're mini, the calories don't count right? Either way, it's 2020, and you deserve a little gnosh to help propel you into the new year. Baked by Melissa sells a variety of mini cupcakes that are as adorable as they are delicious. These precious little bites come in packs of 25, 50, and 100, so you can pick the size that best suits your mood.
25. For the active one: A Bluetooth speaker and water bottle hybrid
It’s no secret that spontaneous dance parties in your bedroom, kitchen or middle of the sidewalk (because YOLO) are the key to staying sane and unleashing pent-up stress. Take care of two fundamental human needs with this water bottle that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, so your giftee can stay hydrated while they bust a move. They can answer calls with the click of a button (or send them straight to voicemail when they're in the middle of “me” time!). With a five-star rating and as one of Uncommon Goods’ top-rated items, customers find creative ways to integrate this handy gadget into their daily lives: “I take my speaker everywhere. The sound is awesome. It's loud enough to even leave it in another room. It paired very easily and I even sleep with it in my bed playing white noise.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.