What do you gift your mom? That’s a challenging question to answer, especially given mothers — the generous, unselfish beings they can be — are not likely to spill the beans when asked.
Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you. With the help of The Verge staff, we’ve curated a list of some of the best tech gifts you can treat your mom — or any mother figure, really — to year-round. Whether it’s for her birthday, Mother’s Day, or Christmas, here you’ll find something that caters to all kinds of budgets and interests, ranging from smartwatches and Kindles to massage guns, robot vacuums, and more. You can rest assured that these are items we can personally vouch for as well, having tested and reviewed them ourselves.
Peruse this list below and see if there’s anything on here you can either buy or glean an idea from that’ll put a smile on your mom’s face.
Affordable gifts under $50
Chromecast with Google TV
The best streaming device out there
If you’re going to buy your mom a streaming device, you might as well purchase the best one on the market, which is the Chromecast with Google TV. Google’s latest Chromecast offers software that brings together recommendations from all of your streaming services and even provides a host of useful information, including Rotten Tomatoes ratings. In addition to offering access to all the major streaming services, the device also provides support for 4K content, Dolby Atmos, and Dolby Vision. You can buy it for $49.99 from Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Google. Read our review.
Tile Mate (2022)
An item tracker that’s compatible with iOS and Android
Gifting your mom a Bluetooth tracker like the 2022 Tile Mate can help her save time the next time she forgets where she put her car keys. The convenient tracker is compatible with both iOS and Android, and the Tile app will allow you to keep tabs on her personal belongings from up to 250 feet away. Unlike Apple’s AirTags, each Tile Mate features a built-in hole, too, so she can securely attach the device to her keys, purse, or just about anything without the need for additional accessories. The trackers are even water resistant and offer user-replaceable batteries. You can currently buy one for $24.99 in either white or black for its full price at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.
Echo Dot (third-gen)
An excellent, puck-like smart speaker
It may be an older device, but Amazon’s third-gen Echo Dot is still a high-quality, Alexa-enabled smart speaker you can buy for under $50. Once set up, the puck-like speaker will allow your mom to easily control her smart home gadgets hands-free — or check the weather, set alarms, listen to music, and carry out a host of other tasks via Alexa. It may not sound as great as the fourth-gen Echo Dot, but it still offers impressive sound for its size and remains an affordable way to smarten up any room. Right now, you buy the last-gen device for $29.99 instead of $39.99 from Amazon, Best Buy, and at its full price at Bed Bath & Beyond. Read our review.
MyQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Control
A smart garage door opener that’s compatible with Amazon Key
With MyQ Chamberlain’s Bluetooth-equipped smart garage door controller, your mom can open and close her garage door from just about anywhere. This means if she accidentally forgets to shut it while leaving home, she can do so even while out and about. Even better, it’s compatible with Amazon Key, which means Amazon drivers can securely drop packages off in your mom’s garage if she opts in. The Smart Garage Control retails for $29.99, and you can buy it from Best Buy, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.
Netflix gift card
A gateway to endless entertainment
With a Netflix gift card, your mom can indulge in thousands of movies and TV shows from the comfort and safety of her home. The popular streaming service boasts more recent hits like Inventing Anna, Bridgerton, The Adam Project, and Red Notice along with older classics like Stranger Things, The Graduate, Top Gun, and more. Plus, if she’s already a subscriber to the popular streaming service, she can use the gift card toward paying her monthly fees, which start at $9.99 / month and run up to $19.99 / month depending on the plan. Right now, you can buy a digital Netflix gift card from Target, Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart. If you prefer a physical gift card you can wrap, you can order one from Best Buy.
Anker PowerPort III Nano
A fast, portable charger
For the mom who is always on the go, there’s the Anker’s 20W PowerPort III Nano, a USB-C charger that’s small enough to fit in your mom’s purse but capable enough to juice any device she might have. The Anker charger can quickly charge an iPhone 13 and older models as well as Samsung Galaxy devices, Google Pixel phones, tablets, and a range of other tech. The charger comes in a variety of attractive colors, too, including black, white, light purple, and light green. You can buy the charger for $18.99 right now from Amazon and Anker.
Gifts between $50 and $150
Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ1
An instant camera with a selfie mode that prints classic Polaroid-framed film
Mom can take a trip down memory lane with Fujifilm’s Square SQ1, a great instant camera she can use to capture and print memories within minutes. The camera is like the classic Polaroid cameras that rose to prominence in the late-’70s — it even uses Polaroid-framed film — but it’s also equipped with fun, modern features like a one-touch selfie mode and mirror. The camera comes in several colors (orange, blue, and white) and is typically available for $119.99 from Amazon, B&H Photo, and Urban Outfitters. Read our review.
Amazon’s Echo Show 8 (second-gen)
The best smart display for most people
Amazon’s second-gen Echo Show 8 is always a popular, welcome gift (and for good reason). Your mom can use the Alexa-enabled smart speaker to make Zoom calls, view grocery lists and family photos, watch videos, and control a range of smart home devices. The newer Echo Show 8 also offers faster performance than its predecessor and an improved 13MP camera that allows you to keep the subject centered in the frame as they move around on video calls, meaning your mom can call friends and family while cooking or exercising. Plus, she can use the device to stream shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, and a number of other popular services. Right now, you can buy it for $129.99 from Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Kohl’s. Read our review.
2021 Kindle Paperwhite
The ultimate e-reader
For the bibliophile, the newest Kindle Paperwhite is the ultimate Kindle. Your mom won’t need to worry about the device running out of battery life because it can last for months on a single charge, nor will she have to worry about getting it wet given its IPX8 waterproofing. It’s also easy to read text on its crisp 6.8-inch 300ppi display, which is larger than that of its predecessor, and even features a USB-C charging port and adjustable color temperature, allowing it to better emulate the color of actual paper. The ad-supported base model with 8GB of storage starts at $139.99 and is currently available at Amazon, Target, and Best Buy. Read our review.
Amazon Smart Thermostat
A cheap, Alexa-enabled thermostat
Don’t be fooled by the price: Amazon’s Smart Thermostat may be affordable, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. If anything, our reviewer found it to be one of the best she’s used in her 10 years of testing smart thermostats. The modern device — which is the cheapest smart thermostat you can buy right now — ensures your mom will feel comfortable no matter how hot or cold it is, as it will automatically adjust to the temperature of her home based on whether she’s inside, out and about, or asleep. It also offers native support for Amazon Alexa, so she can adjust the temperature hands-free using her voice. You can currently buy it for $59.99 at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Lowe’s. Read our review.
Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet
An affordable tablet
While it can’t compete with Apple’s iPad in terms of performance, Amazon’s Fire HD 8 could be a good present if you’re looking for a basic tablet for under $100. The Fire HD 8 comes with USB-C support, a battery that should last for up to 12 hours, and support for Amazon Alexa. Your mom can use the budget-friendly tablet to play games, access popular apps like Netflix and Twitter, or video chat with loved ones. She can also use the Fire HD 8 to read books — even if it isn’t a dedicated Kindle — making the Fire HD 8 a good, affordable e-reader alternative as well as a tablet. The ad-supported base model, which comes with 32GB of storage, currently starts at $89.99 at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Kohl’s.
Gifts between $150 and $399
The latest pair of AirPods
If you have a music-loving mother, the latest pair of AirPods make for a great gift. The third-gen wireless earbuds are IPX4 sweat and water resistant, which is something your mom will likely appreciate during a light workout, and they support features like spatial audio, which makes listening to select content a more immersive experience. The newer buds also showcase shorter stems than the previous model and come with a wireless charging case that’s compatible with Apple’s MagSafe system. Normally $179.99, Amazon and Walmart are selling the third-gen AirPods for $149.99. Read our review.
Jabra Elite Active 75t
A great pair of earbuds for fitness fans
Apple’s AirPods make for a great gift, but if your mom is a fitness fan or fancies herself an athlete, it may be a better idea to gift a pair of Jabra’s Elite Active 75t. The Active 75t are the same as the standard 75t — meaning they offer lengthy battery life and the same great sound quality — but come with an improved fit and enhanced IP57 waterproofing. That makes them more capable of withstanding intense workouts than the third-gen AirPods, which only have a resistance rating of IPX4. Plus, unlike the AirPods, they feature active noise cancellation, so your mom can easily tune out the world and better focus on the task at hand.
These earbuds typically sell for $179.99 and you can buy them from Best Buy.
Theragun Mini massager
A powerful, portable massager
Whether she’s in need of some R&R, suffers from the aches and pains of growing older, or simply lives an active lifestyle, the Theragun Mini is a gift your mom will surely appreciate. The excellent massage gun is powerful, quiet, and incredibly small — so she can carry it around whenever she needs some relief for her muscles — and it comes in three distinct colors (black, white, and red). You can buy it right now at Amazon and Target for $199, its typical retail price.
Our favorite budget-friendly robot vacuum
The Roborock E4 is one of our favorite robot vacuums, namely because it’s relatively affordable and capable of accurately navigating around your home, unlike most budget-friendly models. Mom will also appreciate its robust 640-milliliter bin and lengthy three-hour runtime as well as the robovac’s compatibility with Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, which will allow her to start, stop, and pause the vacuum with her voice. Keep in mind, however, that it doesn’t come with a mopping pad and lacks the advanced mapping features found on higher-end robot vacuums. If that doesn’t matter to you, though, the Roborock E4 is a great gift that typically goes for $299.99 but is currently on sale for $179.99 at Walmart.
Ring Alarm Pro
A smart home security system that makes it easy to build out a smart home
Gifting a smart home security system is like gifting your mom some peace of mind. Provided she doesn’t already own a lot of smart home devices, the Ring Alarm Pro is well-designed, simple to use, and will make it easy for your mom to build out her smart home. It comes with a slew of useful features, including a built-in Eero mesh Wi-Fi router and a Ring Lighting bridge she can use to connect her smart lighting. While it integrates extremely well with Amazon’s Alexa, note that it isn’t compatible with other platforms. The Ring Alarm Pro Base Station starts at $249.99 on Amazon, Target, and Best Buy, while the starter kit sells for $299.99 (Amazon, Best Buy). Read our review.
Oura Ring (third-gen)
A smart ring loved by the stars
Loved by celebrities like Prince Harry and Kim Kardashian, the third-gen Oura Ring is a sleep and recovery tracker that doubles as jewelry. As noted in our review, the comfortable health tracker offers a range of perks, including quantified meditation sessions as well as the ability to measure your daytime heart rate and track various sleep metrics. It’s a nice gift if your mom is a fan of rings or simply would prefer a stylish smartwatch alternative that doesn’t wrap around her wrists.
Right now, you can buy the ring in gold, silver, and black directly from Oura for $299. Note, however, that a paid subscription is required to access some of the ring’s more insightful features, including the guided mindfulness sessions. The first six months are free, but after that, you — or your mom — will be required to pay $5.99 a month.
Fellow Stagg Kettle
An excellent, attractive pour-over kettle
Whether your mom opts for tea or coffee, an excellent pour-over kettle is always a welcome gift that will brighten up her mornings. With Fellow’s electric Stagg Kettle, your mom will be able to enjoy the perfect drink each day, primarily because she can choose her desired temperature and even time her tea or coffee extraction with the kettle’s built-in stopwatch. The stainless steel kettle also comes in a variety of colors and handle styles, making it an attractive piece of kitchen decor as well as a convenient appliance. You can buy the kettle starting at around $159 from Amazon, Williams Sonoma, and Fellow.
Gifts over $400
2021 iPad Mini
The most powerful iPad Mini yet
If you’ve got some cash to spare, why not gift your mom Apple’s latest iPad Mini? The 2021 tablet is the most powerful Mini yet, with a fast A15 Bionic processor, USB-C support, and an elegant, 8.3-inch display your mom will surely appreciate. Plus, the redesigned tablet comes with perks like Apple’s Center Stage feature, which allows the front-facing camera to digitally pan and zoom in on your mom while she’s taking video calls. The base model with Wi-Fi and 64GB of storage normally retails for $499.99, but Amazon has it for just $409, as does Walmart. You can also buy it around its full price from B&H Photo, Target, and Best Buy. Read our review.
Apple Watch Series 7
The best smartwatch for iPhone users
You can help your mom keep tabs on her health by gifting her the best smartwatch you can currently buy. The Apple Watch Series 7 boasts a larger display than its predecessor, along with a new miniature keyboard and the option for multiple timers. It also offers faster charging than the Series 6 and IP6X dust resistance — a first for the Apple Watch — not to mention a wealth of health and fitness tracking features. The smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and two sizes: 41mm and 45mm. Right now, you can buy the 41mm GPS model for $329 in select styles from Amazon and Walmart. You can also buy it at its full price from Best Buy. Read our review.
Source: The Verge