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Mother’s Day provides an excellent opportunity for you and your siblings or children to try and one-up each other in an effort to prove yourself as The Favorite. Yes, being supportive is not a competition, but you can’t be the one who gives mom a gift that doesn’t suit. Thankfully, the PopSci staff has extensive experience in gift-giving of almost every variety. If you’ve spent years cultivating the perfect gift for mom—or grandmom, or the mother of your children—and have run out of ideas, we have recommendations to make her smile and you shine. Win-win!
- Best coffee: Zend
- Best coffee maker alternative: SAKI Electric Turkish Coffee Maker
- Best for loud children: Vibes Ear Plugs
- Best wine upgrade: Ullo Open Wine Purifier
- Best cookbook: Eataly Contemporary Italian
- Best cooking aid upgrade: Vitamix Propel 750 Blender
- Best snacks: Spirit Almonds
- Best for new moms: Birthdate Pendant
- Best shoes: Allbirds
- Best for working moms: Troubadour Ember bag
- Best for outdoorsy mom: Backpackers Pantry
- Best sustainable gift: Lomi
- Best for traveling: Monos Carry-On Pro
- Best to recreate the spa at home: Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket
- Best splurge: Dyson AirWrap
- Best for those expecting: Proxies Tasting Set
- Best for music-loving moms: Sony WH-1000XM5
- Best robovac: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum & Mop
- Best for working out: OMORPHO G-Vest+
- Best for sore muscles: Theragun Mini 2.0
- For grandmas: Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame
- Best cozy: Big Blanket Co. Original Stretch Blanket
- Best watch: Garmin vivoactive 4S
- Best for crafting: Cricut Explore Air 2 Lilac Machine Bundle
Best coffee: Zend
These coffee beans go way beyond that crummy old can of Folgers mom keeps on her counter. Zend coffees give a mom the option to enjoy the coffee on its own, or they can infuse them with one of three functional blends: Beauty, which supports hair, skin, and nail health; Recovery, which supports heart health and reduces inflammation; Serenity, which supports stress relief and balance. Mom deserves plenty of caffeine for everything and most definitely deserves to feel beautiful, healthy, and serene. If a single cup of coffee accomplishes both, we can’t think of a better gift. Unless …
Best coffee maker alternative: SAKI Electric Turkish Coffee Maker
Turkish coffee is rich, silky, and delicious, but you can’t expect moms to master the copper pot method of making it with the little free time they have. To use this electric Turkish coffee maker, simply fill the pot with water, add Turkish coffee, and insert it into the machine. Choose how many cups you want (you can choose between 1-2 or 3-4), and you’ll have a hot, frothy, yummy cup of coffee within seconds, sans accidental spills and overflow. If mom is a caffeine connoisseur, they’ll appreciate taking advantage of one of the oldest ways to brew coffee.
Best for loud children: Vibes Ear Plugs
Let us be frank: babies are not quiet. Toddlers are cacophonous. Kids make a lot of noise. You only reach silent nirvana when they ship off to college. Before then, you’ll still need to hear in case they break something or start a fight with each other. By gifting a mom these reusable high-fidelity earplugs, you’ll give them a little peace without being completely unaware of what the kids are up to.
Best wine upgrade: Ullo Open Wine Purifier
Enjoying a bottle of wine is all fun and games until two glasses warrant a hangover the next day. Help prevent them with the Ullo Open Wine Purifier, which uses a selective filtration system to remove sulfites and reduce the histamines that can cause headaches and hangovers—all while preserving the wine’s flavors and aromas. A built-in aeration dial lets you choose the amount of air to incorporate, from off for light whites to full air for rich red varietals. Plus, it’s easy to transport and use: just place the device over your glass and pour. Don’t worry about mess, either—the Ullo’s lid can be used as a base to rest the filter on when not used, making it perfect at home and easy to take to book club.
Best cookbook: Eataly Contemporary Italian
“What should we eat for dinner?” is sometimes the hardest question to answer. Make the decision process 100 times easier with the “Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking cookbook, which packs 300 recipes, including pasta with cavolo nero pesto and clams. With clear instructions and helpful tips, mom won’t want to ditch the entire recipe and just order takeout (although we’re not judging if they do).
Best cooking aid upgrade: Vitamix Propel 750 Blender
Kitchen gadgets shouldn’t make life more difficult and this Vitamix, with a powerful 2.2 horsepower motor, can crush ice into a smooth slushie consistency and demolish vegetables to make hearty, yummy soups. A 64-ounce cup means that mom can make enough servings for the whole family with enough for seconds for themselves. We also think the Yummly—a wireless smart meat thermometer that’s app-controlled—is also a great choice if she already has a swaggy countertop appliance setup and is a fan of roasting, grilling, broiling, and more.
Best snacks: Spirit Almonds
If there’s a mom-on-the-go in your life who can appreciate always having a snack packed, look no further than Spirit Almond. Each protein- and healthy fat-rich nut gets one of six Japanese-style flavorings: black garlic, curry, koji salt, miso, mustard, and seaweed. It comes in a handy single-serve pack to easily throw in a purse or bag (making it easy to snag one for yourself, since one gift box comes with three packs of each flavor). If they’re more of a sweet snack mom, consider the Sahale Snacks Glazed Nut Variety Pack, which adds dried fruit and expands the nut varieties to pistachios, cashews, and pecans.
Best for new moms: Birthdate Pendant
Technically, these pendants are meant as a lovely wearable to show off the wearer’s astrology (if they’re into it). However, between the unique collection of stones for every day of the year and personal engraving, we think it makes for a great gift to celebrate a firstborn. Each stone tells the story of their birthday, including their birthstone. Talk about a personalized gift.
Best shoes: Allbirds
Moms are always on their feet, between running after grandkids or working off all the child-related stress at the gym. Between their lack of flashy logos and synthetic materials, Allbirds is a natural gift for moms: they’re stylish, comfortable, and come in plenty of styles: Need some business-professional flats? They have that. Need some running shoes? They have those, too. The company itself is dedicated to sustainability, so you can feel good gifting them.
Best for working moms: Troubadour Ember bag
Work backpacks don’t have to be boring. This leather-and-neoprene variety has a waterproof lining to keep things dry, a sturdy grip handle that won’t break on the go, and a trolley sleeve for use as a carry-on. The main compartment folds down once opened for easy access to essentials, and a separate laptop compartment can fit a 16-inch laptop. Plus, there are plenty of pockets for essentials, like keys, a phone, or an emergency pacifier. A five-year guarantee means a mom always gets quality in case something goes wrong in manufacturing.
Best for outdoorsy mom: Backpackers Pantry
Camp cooking can involve a lot of grilled cheese, reheated soups, and boxed mac and cheese. These aren’t bad meals, but sometimes that mom deserves something a little more five-star after a long day of hikes. Backpackers Pantry has breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert covered with various dried and dehydrated foods. These meals aren’t wimpy, either—each averages around 15 grams of protein, which energizes you on your hike. We like to start our outdoor morning with the company’s Blueberry walnut oats and a cup of coffee. Once we get to basecamp, we sit down and enjoy some lasagna (it’s what Garfield would want), followed by the most important meal: dessert. Our choice? Dark chocolate cheesecake.
If you want to give a mom the outdoor experience at home, we love the Solo Stove Mesa tabletop fire pit, which makes it safe and easy to roast some marshmallows on the balcony or porch.
Best sustainable gift: Lomi
Mom’s coffee grounds, egg shells, and banana peels can live second lives as compost in the flower garden with this gift. Lomi makes composting easy: It’s odor-, pest-, and mess-free, and turns food waste into compost in less than four hours. It easily fits onto countertops and is discreet. With all that compost, your special someone’s rose garden—and kitchen—will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Best for traveling: Monos Carry-On Pro
Jet-setting moms will appreciate the gift of nice luggage that makes traveling a little less stressful. Our pick is the Monos Carry-On Pro, made for organization and easy access. It comes in eight standard colors and four limited-edition colors and includes an integrated TSA-approved lock for keeping belongings safe. An aerospace-grade polycarbonate shell prevents breaking from TSA agent rough-handling, and a built-in front compartment lets you store a laptop, passport, and other need-haves in one easy place. All-paid vacation not included.
Best to recreate the spa at home: Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket
If there’s something a mom rarely rues and can most likely use, it’s a trip to the spa. Instead of giving a gift card to a spa, why not bring the spa along with the Sun Home Saunas Infrared Sauna Blanket, which allows you to feel the heat without even needing to become vertical. It helps relieve stress and anxiety and can help treat chronic pain. It’s like a sleeping bag that makes mom feel like a Hot Pocket in a microwave.
Best splurge: Dyson AirWrap
The Dyson AirWrap is the hair styler to have—it dries, curls, and styles hair, combining at least four styling tools into one. We’ve gone hands-on with it before and love that it gives salon-quality, shampoo commercial blowouts at home. It comes with two barrel sizes (both with switches to change airflow direction), a soft smoothing brush, a firm smoothing brush, a round volumizing brush (our favorite attachment), and a blow-drying attachment. If the AirWrap is out of your budget, consider the Shark FlexStyle, which has a bendable arm and a diffuser attachment for curly hair. Protect strands beforehand with the K18 molecular repair oil, and help keep hair healthy when it’s shower time with the Kitsch Pre Wash Scalp Oil and K18 leave-in conditioner. For the in-between days, we recommend the Act+Acre Plant-Based Dry Shampoo, which uses rice and tapioca powders—along with fulvic acid—to keep tresses bouncy and fresh.
Best for those expecting: Proxies Tasting Set
If a pregnant person in your life wants to enjoy a fancy little beverage sans alcohol (we happen to have tons of recommendations), nothing looks better in a wine glass than Proxies. There are de-alcoholized wines on the market, but some may have traces of alcohol left after the process. Proxies, however, is boozeless from the start, made from wine grape varietals without the fermenting. The resulting product has a similar mouthfeel and taste to wine but without the “Am I hurting baby?” anxiety. They’re perfect to pair with pizza, fish, pickles, and any other pregnancy cravings.
Best for music-loving moms: Sony WH-1000XM5
If mom has a killer vinyl collection and puts you on to some of the best artists, you should give them a gift that says, “Thanks for giving me good taste.” We think the Sony WH-1000XM5 is an excellent choice. They’re sleek and comfortable on the head, including some killer noise cancellation (perfect for tuning out nosy neighbors) and four beamforming microphones to be heard clearly on work calls. If they’re more of an earbud person, the easily pocketed Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II have excellent sound and the most effective noise cancellation on the market.
Best robovac: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum & Mop
Messes happen, and if you’re not going to help clean them up, at least buy a robot that will. This Roomba is both a mop and a vacuum cleaner, and it’s pretty smart for a robot: It can sense objects and pet accidents (meaning no poop smeared around your home because of the dog, at least), and detects when changing from flooring to carpet. It lifts the mop head to prevent soggy carpets and self-empties. It connects to Alexa (meaning you can control the robovac with your voice) and can be controlled via the iRobot app. Mom will appreciate someone finally helping out around here.
Best for working out: OMORPHO G-Vest+
Up any workout with this weighted vest from OMORPHO, which adds five pounds of resistance to level up burpees, sprints, and more. However, it doesn’t feel like a five-pound vest, thanks to even weight distribution. It’s a comfortable piece of workout gear that fits great (adjustable cables and straps help, too) and doesn’t limit your range of motion. Connecting the vest to the OMORPHO app gives you workouts that are quick but effective. If someone wants to outrun the other soccer team moms, gifting this vest is a great start. This leads us to our next pick …
Best for sore muscles: Theragun Mini 2.0
For soothing sore muscles after working out—or anytime, really, especially for someone actually outrunning the other soccer team moms—we recommend the Theragun Mini 2.0, which is small enough to throw into a gym bag or hide in a drawer away from small hands. It comes with three attachments, but we love the thumb attachment, which is great for lower backs and pinpoint therapy. My back hurts, I don’t even have children, and even I could benefit from a percussion massager—we’re sure your mom will get a lot of use from the Theragun.
For grandmas: Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame
Although it’s perfect for any and every generation of moms, we think grandmas especially will love the Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame. Grandmas love showing people pictures of their extended family (including granddogs), and this WiFi-connected cloud-fed frame makes it easy to update those photos from anywhere. Add photos and videos to the Aura app, and they’ll show up on your loved one’s frame as long as it’s connected to a network—there’s no work they need to do to get the photos up after the initial connectioon. You don’t need to worry about storage, either—it’s unlimited. And, you don’t need to worry about photo orientation, since the Aura automatically rotates and resizes based on whether it’s placed landscape or portrait. PopSci’s associate managing editor sent one to his mother for their birthday—take their word for it: “What I have enjoyed the most … is the burst of joy every time I see a photo of a loved one or a picture a loved one has shared with me!” You can get an Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame for the entire family, or you can check out some other digital picture frames we recommend.
Best cozy: Big Blanket Co. Original Stretch Blanket
Big Blanket Co.
If you know someone that hogs the blanket, or someone tall who deserves to have their feet covered when sleeping at night, the Big Blanket—providing 100 square feet of blanket—was made for them. This extra-large, giant soft blanket gives whoever is in the nap trap plenty of real estate to turn into a blanket cocoon, with room for you. We’re not kidding. It’s huge and soft—just like mom’s heart.
Best watch: Garmin vivoactive 4S
The Garmin vivoactive 4S is just as smart as is it beautiful—it has a standard watch face with 20 built-in apps, including GPS, yoga, running, swimming, and more. Mom gets seven days of battery life, and Gamin Pay lets them pay for a post-jog coffee without having to bring their wallet with them. They don’t even need to bring their phone, thanks to the ability to download music onto the watch. People won’t even know it’s a sports watch until Mom turns and says, “Thanks, it’s a smartwatch!” when they get a compliment on it.
Best for crafting: Cricut Explore Air 2 Lilac Machine Bundle
If mom is crafty and they don’t already own a Cricut, change that with this bundle gift that combines an Explore Air 2 machine with everything they need to get started on making their own bespoke goods for family, friends, and themselves. Heck, they could even start a small business! Built-in Bluetooth allows for wireless cutting, writing, and scoring, and the included spatula, weeder, scraper, scissors, and tweezers make it easy to lift and transfer your designs onto cups, mugs, sunglasses, and more. And if they already have a crafty corner, consider a Cricut Bright 360 lamp to help them capture and cherish all the details of their hard work customizing.