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- When you have the opportunity to thank a best friend for their friendship, you don't need to spend much to get the point across.
- Below, you can skim 53 gifts under $100 that they'll be happy to open.
- Still looking for gift ideas? Check out all Insider Reviews gift guides here.
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At least once a year, you get to thank your best friend for being your own personal saint for the other 364 days of the year.
They're the ones you rely upon, confide in, and plague with everything from menu choices to whether or not you should move across the country for this new job. So when those gifting occasions roll around, it can be difficult to find something adequately thoughtful to give to that most important person — especially within the relatively affordable under-$100 range.
To make things easier for you, we put together a list of 53 unique, thoughtful gifts that your best friend will actually love to get — all for less than $100.
The top 5 best gifts for best friends:
- Their favorite comfort food, sourced through Goldbelly (from $25)
- A Book of the Month subscription (from $49.99)
- A HydroFlask coffee travel flask ($34.95)
- A cult-favorite Vitamin C serum from Maelove ($27.95)
- A pair of Outdoor Voices leggings ($88)
Below are 53 gifts under $100 that your best friend will actually want:
A high-tech towel that's better for their hair
Aquis Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, $30
Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of reviewers.
The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that's composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction the hair experiences while in its weakest state. It also prevents hygral fatigue — the stretching and swelling of wet hair that makes it vulnerable to frizz and damage — by cutting the hair's drying time by 50%.
Their favorite specialty food straight from the source
Order their favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $25
Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy their most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration.
A book of witty, quirky postcards
'Friendship Maintenance: 30 Postcards to Say How Much You Freaking Care,' available at Amazon, $11.75
"Friendship Maintenance" adds a more personal touch to the frequent check-ins you're probably already having with one another. The witty postcards weave in themes of friendship in a hilariously relatable way.
A tie-dye kit
Just My Style Tie Dye Kit, Available at Amazon, $7.99
Tie-dye has made a resurgence in 2020: It's a socially distant (or virtual) activity that friends can enjoy together. They'll appreciate this affordable tie-dye kit that will provide them with enough dye for up to 15 projects.
A gift card to a popular wine subscription club
Gift Card, available at Winc, from $60
Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles.
Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions.
A small but powerful Bluetooth Bose speaker
Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker, available at Amazon, $99
The term "small but mighty" gets thrown around a lot, but this small Bose speaker is only a little larger than the phone used to control the music — and has a much bigger sound. It comes in three colors and has a six-hour battery life.
An upgrade to the classic travel pillow
Trtl Pillow Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow, available at Amazon, $24
One of the best gifts for frequent travelers is a genuinely supportive neck pillow. The super-soft fleece of the Trtl holds the neck and head in an ergonomic position during flight, and it's lightweight — weighing only about a half a pound — so it won't weigh them down too much. Read our full review of the pillow here. There's also a newer, slightly more expensive version that we like too.
A hilarious collection of Tinder exchanges that, altogether, become one modern horror story
Tinder Nightmares, available at Target, $11.99
"Tinder Nightmares" is a modern horror story of Tinder exchanges organized by theme, with chapters such as Bad English, Broetry, Strange Requests, Sneak Attacks, and more. The Instagram account of the same name has nearly 2 million followers. But beware — like Tinder, this book is not for the faint of heart.
A three-month subscription to the book club that put "Gone with the Wind" on the map
Three Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99
This subscription gift was handcrafted for bookworms. Book of the Month has been around since 1926, and it's credited with the discovery of titles like "Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye." A team of experts and celebrity guest judges curate must-read books — usually new releases, hot topics, and debut authors — and send them to the subscriber's doorstep.
If they're more into audiobooks or e-reading, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here).
A makeup and skincare subscription
Three Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45
Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products so subscribers can find products they love without committing to buying full-sized anything in the meantime. It's also a monthly excuse for them to treat themselves.
Two pounds of the best Starburst flavor
Starburst FaveREDS Minis, 8-pack, available at Amazon, $17.52
In a true gesture of friendship, deliver only the best Starburst flavors to them.
A twill weekender for their travels
The Twill Weekender, available at Everlane, $98
Perfect for weekend trips or shoving into the overhead compartment of an airplane, Everlane's twill weekender is a pretty good deal for $98. It's 100% water-resistant, has leather straps, and includes little gunmetal feet for stability.
Everlane is also a good fit for friends who are concerned with transparency in business — especially with the company's new ReNew collection made from recycled plastic bottles.
A leather makeup pouch from a cool startup they'll love
Lola Toiletries Pouch, available at Dagne Dover, $75
Dagne Dover is one of our all-time favorite handbag companies, and most of that has to do with quality, style, and a peerless attention to detail. The Lola Pouch comes in seven colors of genuine pebbled leather. It has helpful features like elastic lip gloss loops, slip pockets with hidden magnetic closures for compacts and shadows, and a smooth lining that's easily cleaned. Zipper tabs can be unsnapped to adjust the shape, too.
An insulated stainless steel water bottle that keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours
Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug (12 oz), available at Amazon, from $34.95
This double-wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel mug is especially perfect for commuters who would rather drink hot coffee than room-temperature for the 45 minutes on the subway — or any other time. We're big fans, and it does a pretty incredible job of keeping cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to six hours.
A gimmicky-seeming nail polish holder they'll actually wind up using
Tweexy Wearble Nail Polish Holder, available at Target, $9.99
Finding a convenient spot to place an open bottle of sticky, vibrant, and fast-drying liquid while you paint your nails is not easy. This $7 nail polish holder looks gimmicky, but it's actually pretty useful.
A funny adult coloring book
Wine Life: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book, available at Amazon, $8.99
Adult coloring has had a resurgence in recent years as a great de-stressor (even Kate Middleton is a fan). It turns out, though, that adult coloring is even more fun with adult beverages. Here's one that combines both.
A brass and wood display box that's a bit cooler than the average picture frame
Brass & Wood Display Box, available at Artifact Uprising, $55
Artifact Uprising's brass and hardwood Display Box is a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional picture frame. They can showcase their favorite picture by sliding it into the front of the box, and the box itself can hold up to 50 five-inch by five-inch Square Prints inside.
If you're just looking for prints, you can find those starting at $9 here.
A box of gourmet artisan milk and dark chocolate
Chuao Chocolatier Share the Love 36-Piece Gift Set, available at Amazon, $39.95
A box stuffed full of chocolate needs no introduction, but this one is a pretty good deal. The box comes with 36 mini bars of gourmet artisan milk and dark chocolate, all made in small batches and free of artificial flavors. The 14 flavors range from sweet to savory, and each bar is only 60 calories.
A silk pillowcase for smoother hair and less breakage
Celestial Silk 100% Silk Pillowcase, available at Amazon, $37.99
This Celestial Silk pillowcase is one of the internet's hidden gems. It's nearly $40 on Amazon, but it gives you more silk per square inch than options twice the price at Sephora. It's made out of 100% Mulberry silk — one of the highest quality silks you can buy — and comes in 13 colors and three sizes: standard, queen, and king. It's the one I personally own, and it makes a big difference for frizzy hair.
A poetry book that has become a phenomenon
Milk and Honey, available at Target, from $8.69
Rupi Kaur's "Milk and Honey" is a New York Times best seller and a small cultural phenomenon. It's a collection of poetry and prose dealing with love, loss, femininity, and survival. If they already have this, you may want to look into Cleo Wade's new "Where to Begin" here.
A yoga mat towel with skid-less technology made by a trusted company
Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, available at Amazon, from $44.58
Manduka consistently makes some of the best yoga gear on the market, and their cult-favorite Yogitoes mat towels aren't an exception — they'd probably be the main response if you asked around yoga studios for a mat towel recommendation. They have patented skid-less technology that uses 100% silicone nubs, and it makes a big difference.
Each Yogitoes towel is also made from at least eight recycled plastic water bottles, and the dyes used to make it are free of azo, lead, or heavy metal.
A vitamin C serum developed by MIT scientists that keeps selling out
Glow Maker, available at Maelove, $27.95
Maelove is a skincare company founded by a team of MIT grads (skincare obsessives, brain and cancer researchers, and chemical engineers) to make affordable, high-quality skincare accessible. The entire under-$30 line is supposedly great, but this $28 vitamin C serum (which people have likened to the multi-award-winning $166 C E Ferulic Serum) is the real showstopper — and it keeps selling out. I've tried it, and it does a great job of reducing hyperpigmentation, hydrating, and adding a "glow" to the skin. Read more here.
A monogrammed leather passport case
Standard Passport Cover, available at Leatherology, from $50
For the world traveler, adventure companion, or person who has a lot of places left to see before they're satisfied, this leather passport cover is one of the best mixes of quality for price you're bound to find. You can also personalize your gift further with a monogram (starting as an extra $10). Every time they use it, they'll think of you.
A design service that can help them figure out their decor or new apartment layout
Classic Package, available at Modsy, $79
Whether they're moving, always talking about redecorating, or would love a gallery wall but don't want to expend the necessary brain power, they'll appreciate a Modsy gift. The service makes an exact 3D, digital replica of their room and fills it with actual pieces of furniture from well-known brands that they can buy on the spot.
A super soft $75 cashmere sweater from a sustainable startup
The Essential Cashmere Sweater, available at Naadam, $75
This $75 cashmere sweater is one of the best I've worn, and it took me by surprise for $75. You can get it in either crew-neck or v-neck styles, unisex sizing, and ten colors. In person, the cashmere is one of the softest I've felt.
Plus, Naadam is a sustainable startup. They avoid toxic chemicals, invest in sustainable grazing practices, fund better vaccination programs for healthier goats, and use 100% clean energy to power production facilities. By cutting out middlemen, they pay nomadic herders about 50% more and charge about 50% less to customers without changing quality.
A personalized zodiac necklace
Zodiac Necklace, Libra, available at Mejuri, $90
Mejuri is an up-and-coming Canadian jewelry startup, and it's one of our favorite names in affordable fine jewelry. These zodiac necklaces are gold vermeil, minimalist, and decorated with AAA-quality white sapphires.
A new book by the co-creator of "Broad City"
I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff, available at Barnes & Noble, $14.99
This new book by Abbi Jacobson, co-creator of "Broad City", deals with love, loss, work, comedy, and identity.
A soft, durable pair of slippers they'll want to live in
UGG Ansley Water Resistant Slipper, available at Nordstrom, $99.95
They're not a new name, but UGG slippers have stuck around for a very good reason: they're incredibly soft, durable, and made really well. The sole is sturdy enough to withstand walks to the mailbox, and the water-resistant material can take a little gross winter slush on the way there.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, check out Minnetonka — we're big fans of their mix of price and quality, too.
An award-winning at-home facial
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80
This now-legendary AHA and BHA at-home "facial" gently resurfaces the skin to remove built-up dead skin cells and reveal brighter, more even skin underneath. It's also won multiple notable beauty awards, including a Best of Beauty from Allure and Reader's Choice from InStyle in 2017. For more skincare products, check out the best luxury skincare on Amazon and best gifts from Sephora here.
Popular leggings they can wear anywhere
Outdoor Voices Core 3/4 Leggings, available at Outdoor Voices, $88
It seems like everyone and their best friend is talking about Outdoor Voices leggings, and these are the company's most sweat-friendly option.
A card game to play with other friends to rehash favorite stories and learn some new ones
The Voting Game Adult Card Game, available at Target, $19.99
The Voting Game is basically a card game that gives you a funny prompt and invites you to anonymously answer "Who's the most likely to…" out of your friends. It's a great way to rehash your favorite memories and learn new stories.
A vase and smartphone stand handmade from glazed stoneware
Bedside Smartphone Vase, available at Uncommon Goods, $32
These smartphone stands are handmade out of glazed stoneware, and they double as vases so their owner can have the benefit of convenience without totally giving into the sterility of tons of tech devices.
A mug with a "coffee reading" tarot-inspired theme
Coffee Reading, available at Society6, $11.89
Perfect for the avid coffee drinker or casual fan of the occult, this ceramic mug made by the independent artists of Society6 is a fun — and useful — gift. They've also got pretty much every mug pattern you could want.
A cocktail recipe book that pairs music with good drinks
Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks, available at Barnes & Noble, $22.49
Have a best friend that loves music and a nice cocktail? this pairs both for a perfect combination every time. The guide includes music from 70 albums, ranging from the '50s to the '00s, with an accompanying A-side and B-side cocktail for each — all organized by mood.
A tiny waffle maker
Dash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, $9.99
This mini waffle maker may seem more gimmick than substance, but it didn't garner 1,000+ reviews just for being pretty cute. It's compact for small kitchens and people who only want to make three waffles rather than buffet quantities, and it's really easy to clean.
A screw-on top that turns a wine bottle into a glass
Guzzle Buddy Wine Bottle Glass, available at Target, $14.99
If they're more of a "one bottle per person" vino drinker, why not cut out the middleman with this twist-on bottle-to-glass helper?
The personal diary of icon Friday Kahlo
"The Diary of Friday Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait", available at Barnes & Noble $26.99
In the last ten years of her life, Friday Kahlo kept a journal full of thoughts, poems, illustrations, and dreams. This is it, and it's a particularly perfect gift for an artistic or feminist best friend.
A takeout-inspired bowl
Fortessa Fortaluxe Food Truck Chic Large Take Out Box (set of 4), available at Amazon, $41.82
Dress up your next night in by transferring the lo mein from your favorite neighborhood haunt into this before turning on a Netflix marathon.
Machine-washable sneakers they'll wear all the time
Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $95
Soft, lightweight, breathable shoes that wick away moisture and can be tossed in a machine washer when they get dirty — what's not to love?
A guard to keep away hot, messy splatter
Frywall 10 Splatter Guard, available at Amazon, $18.95
A splatter guard gives you the benefit of an uncovered pan, minus the countertop cleaning and dodging of hot, popping oil.
An elegant, unobtrusive diffuser that smells great
Diffuser, available at Snowe, $40
Snowe's Diffuser has the advantage of looking more like home decor than a diffuser, but it also fills the room with a wonderful smell. Plus, the bottles of scent tend to last for months. Pick it up for a friend in five scent options that range from Speak Easy (leather, bitters, burnt cedar) to Pillow Talk (sandalwood, ginger, lavender).
A beautiful candle that smells amazing
Manor House Weekend Candle, available at Otherland, $36
Otherland is a candle company started by Ralph Lauren's former art buyer, Abigail Cook Stone. If you want to give your friend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from an up-and-coming startup that they've probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find a full review here.
A Tile with a replaceable battery to help them find missing keys and wallets
Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery, 2 Pack, available at Target, $60
Few gifts are going to be as useful as a Tile Pro with a replaceable battery. It'll help them find missing items like keys and wallets. An app on their phone can trigger the Tile to ring out so they can locate where they accidentally left their belongings.
A rechargeable battery
Anker PowerCore 10000, available at Amazon, $19.99
Anker's PowerCore is a powerful, compact external battery that can provide nearly three and a half iPhone 8 charges or two and a half Galaxy S8 charges.
Luxurious, non-toxic body care products
Nécessaire The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25
Nécessaire is a new line of body-care products that use non-toxic ingredients, vitamins, and plant-based oils. It was founded by Randi Christiansen, a former Estée Lauder vice president, and Nick Axelrod, a co-founder of Into the Gloss, the editorial site that preceded Glossier. Find a full review here.
A cute plant in a ceramic pot delivered to their door
Shop plants and accessories at The Sill, from $5
A plant from The Sill will come in a small ceramic pot with a drainage hole and its own saucer. It comes potted in the company's potting mix, and will be delivered to their doorstep.
A set of the best socks they'll ever wear
Women's Ankle Sock, 4-Pair Box, available at Bombas, from $56
Bombas' ankle socks have extra blister tabs to prevent chafing, a honeycomb arch-support system to cradle the foot's arch, and a seamless toe that gets rid of the annoying bump that runs across the toes of most socks.
A renewing honey mask that warms up while it's on their face
Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask, available at Sephora, $56
This intensely hydrating mask from clean beauty brand Farmacy is infused with antioxidants to leave the skin looking glowy and plump. It also physically warms up while on the face, so the self-care feels a bit more tangible.
A subscription to K-beauty sheet masks
Facetory Gift Subscription Plan, available at Facetory, from $8.90
Facetory is an affordable monthly subscription to various K-beauty sheet masks. You can opt to pay for one, three, six, nine, or 12 months at a time.
A cult-favorite sleeping lip mask
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Sephora, $22
Laneige's hyper-popular overnight lip mask smooths and moisturizes with vitamin C and antioxidants. Currently, it has over 7,000 reviews and a rating of 4.6-stars on Sephora.
A pretty leather wrap for taking chargers and cables on the go
Leather Charger Roll Up, available at Mark & Graham, $38.99
Mark & Graham's Leather Charger Roll Up is made from soft, supple leather and has three separate pockets to stash cables and chargers on the go. Get it monogrammed for free.
A ClassPass gift card
Gift Card, available at ClassPass, choose your amount
Start heading to more (virtual or socially distant) boutique fitness classes with your best friend by making them easier and cheaper to attend. ClassPass lets you drop in to different specialized studios for $15 or less per class.
A class or experience for you to take together
Check out local Airbnb Experiences
Check out local Groupons
Once it's safe to do so, book an experience like a pasta-making class, brewery tour, or local tour that the two of you can enjoy together. Plus, you can buy this gift as last-minute as you like.
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