Ah, the stocking. Occasionally overlooked when compared with what could be the massive pile of presents under the tree, the humble stocking allows for some of the most creative gift giving. It’s an excellent opportunity to troll friends and family with novelty gifts as much as it is another way to show how much you care.
Every finely-stuffed stocking should include a mix of things. Here’s how I do it, as I learned it from my mother: First, till the toe with candy. It should either be on the small side, but lots of it, or something round that fits well (suggestions on this below). Then put in the mid-to-high value items so that they’re buried beneath a layer of inexpensive, misleading, or joke items. At the top should be something sticking out that looks kind of fun, or perhaps a card. Then garnish with a candy cane or two.
Stocking stuffers should be on the inexpensive side for the most part, maybe with one or two standout, more expensive options. We’ve capped the budget for these items at $30, and you can peruse our our Gifts category for help with choosing the pricier items. Obviously, these items must also be small in order to fit, so we’ve looked for things that meet that condition, as well.
Before you go shopping, you might consider starting a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime now so you’re covered as the shipping deadlines come and go this year. December 17th was the last day for free shipping for non-Prime members, and December 18th is the last day for standard non-Prime shipping. Prime members can wait until December 22nd and still get free two-day shipping, so it’s almost certainly worth it if you’re trying to buy something online this week.
In order to help you finish up your holiday shopping for the year, here are the top 25 best stocking stuffers for adults.
1. Bluetooth Speaker
As we discussed in our dirt cheap gifts for men post (also a handy resource for stocking stuffers), it’s hard to go wrong with a Bluetooth speaker these days. The price is right, the quality is quite good, and it’s like dropping a miniature sound system into every room of the house. We have three at my house and all of them get regular use. We have a whole post dedicated to inexpensive speakers and all of them should fit in a stocking. Probably the most popular of them is the Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3, though I’m a big fan of Anker Ultra Portable A7910.
Price: $14.99 and up
2. Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbud Headset
One place you probably can’t take a Bluetooth speaker is the gym. Earbuds are the gym-goer’s best friend, and in particular this model features a tangle-free flat cord for greater ease of use. The box they come in is certainly narrow enough for a stocking, and I’ve enjoyed their performance after I received them as a gift earlier this month. For about the same price, you can get the TaoTronics Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, as well.
Price: $26.99 (46 percent off MSRP)
3. Terry’s Chocolate Orange
As I mentioned, a round candy fits perfectly in the toe of a stocking. One of the best Christmas traditions is the Terry’s orange chocolate. Toss this in the bottom of the stocking and enjoy the fun of slamming them and picking at the delicious segments all day. Alternatively, you could also get some Reese’s Miniatures and fill the bottom of the stocking with those, as I did this year for my brother.
4. Wine Wipes
If you have a wine lover on your list, these might come in handy. This metal compact contains 15 wipes for removing red wine stains from your teeth. Inside the lid is a mirror to make sure you’ve done a good job using them. For other wine mishaps, you could also get them the Wine Away Stain Emergency Kit, which will also fit in a stocking.
5. Wallet Ninja 18 in 1 Multi-purpose Credit Card Size Pocket Tool
Multitools are evergreen stocking stuffers. They’re so handy and easy to give. This is one of the handiest. There are 18 tools in this tool that will fit in a wallet alongside your credit cards. This includes four screwdrivers, hex tools, can and bottle openers, and more. It can even be a cell phone stand with the addition of a credit card. The price on these varies somewhat, with some of the special editions like the USA Pride and Hipster coming in a little cheaper. There’s also a Wallet Ninja Pro with 26 tools.
Price: $9.99 to $14.99
6. Danelectro Honeytone N-10 Guitar Mini Amp
Ideal for a guitarist, but also for anyone with an instrument of any kind with a 1/4 inch jack, a mini amplifier makes a great stocking stuffer. They’re just fun little gadgets that allow for cranking an amp to ten without upsetting anyone. This Danelectro is among the cheapest of them on the market, but if you want more options and have more to spend, check out our best mini guitar amps post here.
7. Ideashop Vosicar Retro Wooden Watch
These wooden watches have been growing in popularity for a little while now. They’re light and easy to wear, and the simple, rustic design means that even an inexpensive watch can look quite nice. This bamboo watch features a Japanese movement and a leather strap.
8. Field Notes Kraft Ruled 3-Pack
Originally included in our paper notebooks post, Field Notes exemplify the current note-taking trend. My wife and I both keep traveler’s style notebooks and constantly need refills. I turn to these as my first choice because of their excellent quality and the sheer joy of opening the a three-pack. You could add in matching pencils, or even a travelers notebook cover to house them. I also strongly recommend Rite in the Rain notebooks, which contain waterproof paper.
9. Sherpa Pink Himalayan Salt Chef’s Jar
Do you have a chef on your list? I know I do. My brother is an executive chef, so he’s always interested in trying new seasonings and high-end food items. This eight ounce jar of Himalayan salt comes with a little wooden scoop for easy dashing. In addition to the pink, you can get black truffle, alderwood smoked, cherry smoked, cyprus flake, or flour de sea, though the price varies considerably for those varieties.
Price: $9.99 for eight ounces
10. Fred & Friends Port-A-Pint Collapsible Beer Glass
The beer lover on your list probably has all the pint glasses they’ll ever need. However, even the most jaded beer drinker can’t resist the gag of this collapsible beer glass. It has practical applications for camping or tailgating, but it’s great even just for the joke on Christmas morning.
11. The Tao of Tea Cape Town Rooibos Tea Tin
Tea drinkers are nice to buy for because there really isn’t any such thing as having enough tea. I quite enjoy these tins of loose leaf tea, which are a great size for slipping into a stocking.
12. Stash Tea Original Honey Sticks
If you decide to gift the tea above, you may also wish to include some honey sticks as a sweetener. These are also tasty snacks, something like a healthy, adult version of a Pixy stick. You could probably get away with taking these out of the box for putting in the stocking. This is the original flavor, but they offer lemon and cinnamon, too.
13. Matador Mini Pocket Blanket
If the person on your list is big into picnics, camping, or hiking, they’ll probably get a kick out of this super compact blanket. It’s three by two by one inches folded up and expands to 44 by 28 inches when spread out, which is large enough for one person to lay down or two people to sit. Matador also offers the regular Pocket Blanket, which measures 63 by 44 inches and comes with stakes built in.
Price: $19.99 (20 percent off MSRP)
14. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
Perfect for anyone trying to go a few days between washing their hair, Living proof makes a great dry shampoo. People who color their hair will especially appreciate it because it extends the life of the color between dyings. This tiny bottle is great for tucking into a stocking as a sampler. Consider pairing with a travel size bottle of Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist hair spray.
Price: $9.05 for 1.8 ounces
15. Elephanty Cotton Swab Holder
Advertised as a cotton swab holder, this decorative device could be used to store any number of things that are about three inches tall. You can choose from this cactus, some woodland creatures, or a few varieties of trees. It’s adorable and practical at the same time.
16. Zany Toys No Sound Button
Somewhere between gag novelty gift and absolutely practical helper, this button could be equally useful at work or home. Parents may especially enjoy smashing this button when their kids ask for something for the 30th time. The recipient can even turn it back on you when you ask if they liked their gift — provided you have a sense of humor, of course.
17. Hinterland Trading Tillandsia Guatemalan Sea Urchin Shell Holder
Tillandsias, or air plants, are excellent for the absent-minded plant owner. They only require being soaked in water about once a week and can be placed just about anywhere in the home. One lovely treatment is to put them in sea urchin shells, as in this example. My wife had one of these for awhile and they’re very charming decorations.
18. Kikkerland Mini Retro Pens
Perhaps best paired with the Field Notes or Rite in the Rain above, fun pens are good gifts for just about anyone. We get bored writing with the same standard writing implements all the time, so toss this set of mini retro pens into the stocking to break the monotony. If you want more ideas, check out our best rollerball pens post and our best ballpoint pen post.
19. RSVP Black Marble Herb & Salt Bowl
If you do opt to buy the salt above, you may also consider gifting this lovely salt or herb bowl. This simple gift will make a fine addition to the dinner table or to a mise en place. Makes it easy to grab a pinch of salt at any time.
20. TableTopics: Questions to Start Great Conversations
Card-based games are very popular right now, but this product is adjacent without having a specific goal in mind. These 135 cards have questions on them to inspire debates and in-depth discussions of all kinds. This is the original version, but there are quite a few variations, including one for couples and a cocktail-themed version. If you like this, you could also grab The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, which is also small enough to fit in a stocking.
21. The Carry on Cocktail Kit
When you fly, or even just stay some place away from home, you can usually get your hands on a mixer and some booze. But what if you want to elevate those to a proper cocktail? These small tins contain everything you need to make the following classic creations: Old Fashioned, Bloody Mary, Champagne Cocktail, Gin & Tonic, and Moscow Mule. Easily fits into a stocking for the refined traveling aficionado.
22. Vacu Vin Wine Saver
Another good option for wine lovers is this simple system to keep open bottles of wine fresh. Insert the wine stopper into the bottle and pump out the air; when it clicks, the bottle is sealed. Pairs well with any vintage bottles of wine received as gifts or leftovers from holiday parties.
Price: $11.90 (12 percent off MSRP)
23. Doiydesign I Could Eat a Horse Spaghetti Noodle Pasta Measurer Tool
“Should I make half a box or a whole box?” With this, people don’t need to ask. This fun little device measures portion sizes for different sizes of eaters, from child up to a horse. If you know anyone who struggles to pick the right amount of spaghetti, try giving them this silly stocking stuffer. There’s also a T-Rex variant, if you prefer.
24. Belkin Mixit Lightning to USB Leather Tassel
When outside of the house and need to charge your phone, lots of people turn to personal power banks like the Anker PowerCore+ Mini. Usually, this means toting your long cable around with you, too. This little leather tassel attaches to your bags or keys so you always have a super short cable on hand for charging from a power bank. In fact, the featured color above goes with the silver Anker, so you could gift a matching set. The Wasserstein version of this includes a micro USB.
Price: $16.95 to $19.95
25. Anywhere Travel Guide: 75 Cards for Discovering the Unexpected, Wherever Your Journey Leads
For accomplished and aspiring world travelers a like, this deck of 75 cues helps people make the most of their journey. The prompts draw your attention to aspects of the area you’re visiting without having to be a definitive what-to-do guide. You can also get a deck for making connections with others and exploring art.
Price: $10.53 (19 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Anywhere Travel Guide: 75 Cards for Discovering the Unexpected, Wherever Your Journey Leads here.
Need more ideas for your Christmas shopping list? Check out our Gifts category for posts from our whole team throughout the month of December as we help you put a bow on your holiday buying.