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34 best stocking stuffers you can’t go wrong with

Stocking stuffers don’t have to be boring. Here are some trinkets, tchotchkes and budget-friendly functional finds you can put in a holiday stocking this year.
Select editors share their favorite unique, practical stocking stuffers, which include a tea infuser, pimple patches and socks.
Select editors share their favorite unique, practical stocking stuffers, which include a tea infuser, pimple patches and socks. Amazon; Uniqlo

It’s the little details that leave a lasting impression during the holiday season. That’s why stocking stuffers, which are usually filled with ornaments, candy and small functional gifts, are the perfect way to make your loved ones’ lives easier and more enjoyable. The best stocking stuffers are things your recipient will actually use, and in some cases, they’re more functional and thoughtful than a full-size gift. Plus, they’re usually pretty budget friendly. 

Using editor-favorite products, items from brands we’ve written about before and bestselling items from previous gift guides, we curated a list of the best small gifts to put in your friends’ and family members’ stockings this year. If you were too busy to shop this season or still have a few people to cross off your list, we also rounded up the best last-minute gifts to consider.

Selected.Our top picks

The best stocking stuffers of 2023

To help find stocking stuffers that your loved ones will actually use, we compiled a list of our favorite small, functional items from around the internet. The shopping categories vary (so you can find something for your dad, your best friend and your co-worker), but all of these products are either Select editor favorites, highly rated items or products from brands we use and love. They’re also compact enough to fit in most stockings, with most costing less than $20

Bestselling stocking stuffers

Vinaco Reusable Straws

These rainbow metal straws are a go-to for NBC Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin. They’re made from stainless steel, so they’re durable, reusable and dishwasher-safe, and they’re  .4 inches wide so you can easily sip thicker drinks, like smoothies and homemade shakes. This set of six includes three straight straws and three bent straws as well as a wire brush for cleaning the insides.

USAGA Head Massager

With a 4.6-star rating from more than 22,000 reviews on Amazon, this scalp massager is a great gift for anyone on your list. Its 20 flexible prongs have rubber beads on the end, which make it smooth to the touch despite its metal construction. Your recipient can also use it to massage their neck and shoulders, according to the brand.

Grow A Beard Grooming Kit

This highly rated grooming kit comes with multiple tools to help keep their beard healthy and moisturized: The beard oil has a blend of jojoba and argan oils, while the balm styles facial hair without making it crunchy, according to the brand. The kit, which has 4.6-star average rating from more than 8,400 reviews on Amazon, also includes a bristle brush and a bamboo wood comb to work the products through as well as smooth the beard and mustache.

Tabasco Hot Sauce Keychain

If you know someone who puts hot sauce on everything, this keychain lets them take a miniature bottle with them wherever they go. The included Tabasco bottle slips into the protective silicone sleeve, which attaches to an aluminum carabiner. That way, they can clip it to their keys or backpack, so they always have some spiciness on hand. Plus, they can refill the 3.7-milliliter bottle when it runs low.

Ototo Baby Nessie Loose Leaf Tea Infuser

This tea infuser is just as cute as it is  functional. While its body steeps loose-leaf tea, its legs keep it upright inside a cup and its head doubles as a handle so your recipient can retrieve the infuser without burning themself, according to the brand. The BPA-free design is also dishwasher-safe and comes in three colors, with or without a matching mug.

Areaware Little Puzzle Thing

For puzzle lovers, this miniature jigsaw puzzle comes in 16 designs, including a slice of pizza, a cupcake, a rose, a can of beer, a Chicago hot dog and a bowl of ramen. Each one measures roughly 12 inches by 12 inches and has about 70 pieces. Your recipients can complete the puzzles in 20 minutes or less, according to Areaware, and makes for a relaxing, screen-free activity to help anyone on your list reset.

Food52 Five Two Wool Dryer Balls

When compared to single-use dryer sheets, dryer balls boost laundry’s softness, minimize wrinkles and static and decrease drying time, which saves energy in the long run, according to Food52. These dryer balls, which are a favorite of NBC Select editor Lindsay Schneider’s, measure 3.5 inches in diameter and are made from hypoallergenic New Zealand wool all the way through, so they’re a great gift for someone with sensitive skin. They’re also reusable up to 1,000 times each and come in a set of six colors that your giftee can display in a basket in between uses. 

Starface Hydro-Stars Big Yellow Pimple Patches

Everyone gets acne, so why hide it? Unlike most pimple patches, which are as small and as transparent as possible, these Starface Hydro-Stars are big, yellow and look like decorative stickers. That said, they’re still infused with hydrocolloid to absorb fluid and reduce inflammation, and they come in a refillable compact with a built-in mirror, according to the brand. 

Food Huggers Reusable Silicone Food Savers

These reusable food savers are designed to create an airtight seal, which slows spoilage to preserve food longer, according to Food Huggers. They’re made from stretchy, BPA-free silicone and come in a set of five sizes, so they fit common fruit and veggie halves as well as open cans, jars and glasses, according to the brand. They come in four colors and are dishwasher safe too. 

Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar

Jack Black is a dermatologist-recommended company that makes shaving and skin care products for men, and this multitasking body bar does three things at once: It exfoliates with jojoba beads, cleanses with charcoal and massages with textured nubs that are built into the bar, according to the brand. 

Jenny Lemons Banana Hair Claw

Even if your giftee has hundreds of hair accessories, this one is bound to stand out. It like a banana and is made from cellulose acetate, which is a plant-based alternative to plastic. Reviewers say it’s well-made and grips hair well without damaging it. 

Warhol Soup Can Stress Reliever

It looks like the iconic Andy Warhol soup can, but it’s actually a stress ball. Since it’s made from slow-rising polyurethane, it’s both quiet and satisfyingly squishy; that way, your favorite fidgeter can play with it during Zoom meetings, in stressful situations and when they’re having trouble focusing. 

Food52 Cody Foster Butter Ornament

Ideal for bakers, foodies or people who love unique holiday decorations, this ornament looks just like a wrapped stick of butter. In actuality, it’s made from vintage glass. It’s part of Cody Foster’s line of antique-inspired ornaments, which also has options for a sushi ornament, a lox bagel ornament and a martini ornament.  

Uniqlo Colorful 50 Socks

Everyone could use more socks, and Uniqlo makes some of our favorite temperature-regulating clothing using moisture-wicking fabrics. These have a ribbed design and are made with a cotton-blend fabric that resists odors, according to the brand. They are available in 44 color options. 

Graza Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Cooking

This Graza olive oil which Malin loves in part, because of its squeeze bottle, which makes for easy, drip-free use. This Sizzle oil has a higher smoke point, so it’s specifically designed for cooking, according to the brand. Even though it’s extra-virgin olive oil (which can sometimes taste bitter), the brand harvests the olives in the late fall and early winter for a milder taste. 

Marvis Strong Mint Toothpaste Travel Size

Made in Italy, this formula is fluoride-, paraben- and cruelty-free and designed to have an extra-strong peppermint taste, according to the brand. Its 1.3-ounce tube is ideal for travel and fits easily in both stockings and most cosmetic bags. “The packaging on Marvis products is always quite chic, which makes it feel so much more special than your standard toothpaste,” says Schneider. It has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 3,600 reviews on Amazon. 

Glacio Ice Cube Mold Combo

Help them bring their cocktail game to the next level with this two-in-one ice cube mold. Its stacked design makes both spheres and giant cubes, both of which melt more slowly than standard ice to chill drinks for longer and minimize dilution. Since the trays are made from silicone, they’re also flexible and dishwasher-safe. 

Laneige Midnight Minis Set

Laneige’s dermatologist-recommended masks deliver moisture to your lips while you sleep, helping to minimize dry, cracked skin. This minis set comes with sample-size jars (.3 ounces each) of five flavors: Berry, Gummy Bear, Mint Choco, Sweet Candy and Mango. You can gift the entire box to one person, or split them up to fill five separate stockings. 

Joolies Organic Medjool Dates Syrup

This Joolies syrup is made using 100% dates, so your recipient can sweeten their lattes, baked goods, and breakfast foods with no sugar added and a low glycemic index, according to the brand. The brand also makes blueberry, cocoa and cinnamon flavors too. 

Hay Bullet Pen

Editorial director Lauren Swanson loves this copper bullet pen, which has a metallic gold finish. “I’ve used this pen for years and it’s the only one that I will go out of my way to re-purchase — I even had my mom buy me this pen for Christmas one year,” she says. “The bullet shape is so elegant and the ink glides seamlessly, which makes writing script feel melodic.”

Apotheke Sea Salt Grapefruit Mini Tin Candle

Despite its mini size, this candle can burn for around 15 hours, according to Apotheke. The soy wax smells like juicy grapefruit and sea salt with notes of black pepper, so it’s the perfect gift for someone who could use a mini tropical staycation. “It truly smells like someone’s making a fresh batch of grapefruit juice,” says Schneider. “I’ve never gotten as many compliments on something scented as I do with this.” It also comes in a salmon-colored tin that they can reuse for rings or hairpins once the candle is finished. 

Paper Source Peas In A Pod Keychain

It’s not just a keychain; this cute $5 item is also a functional fidget toy. When they’re feeling stressed, they can squeeze the peapod and the three squishy peas will pop out, helping them to relieve their tension quietly and discreetly. Plus, since it clasps onto their keys it’s incredibly convenient and accessible. 

Mario Badescu Rose Cream

Anyone who suffers from dry, cracked skin in the winter will appreciate this Mario Badescu hand cream, which comes in a 3-ounce travel squeeze bottle. The formula hydrates the skin with vitamin E and wheat germ oil, and has a lightweight, fast-absorbing texture, according to the brand. It smells like roses, though you can also get an unscented version if your recipient is sensitive to scents. 

Olive & June Nail Polish Kit

Olive & June is one of our go-to brands for gifts. This nail polish kit comes with three of the brand’s most popular colors (Cockatoo, Pink Sands and Hibiscus), plus a glossy top coat. All the formulas are vegan and cruelty-free, and reviewers love that the formulas are opaque and long-lasting. 

Uncommon Goods Word Teasers Dad Jokes

Give your favorite PG-rated comedian some new content with this deck of dad jokes. Each of the 300 cards has a different word teaser on it, and the answer to the riddle is printed upside-down on the same card. Since the deck comes in a square, pocket-sized cardboard box, it’s both compact and portable. 

Leatherology Leather Cord Wrap

Leatherology creates some of our favorite personalized gifts, and this wrap keeps your recipient’s cords neat and bundled for tangle-free use or organized commuting. Because it clasps closed with a magnet, it’s easy to apply and readjust too. Made from full-grain leather, it’s available in two sizes and 10 colors, and you can even personalize the exterior with debossed initials. 

Scrub Daddy Lemon Fresh Sponge

For the person who loves to keep their home clean and sanitary, the Scrub Daddy sponge is the perfect stocking stuffer. It’s made from polymer foam, which won’t scratch delicate materials and reacts to water temperature, becoming firm in cold water and softening in hot water, according to the brand. It’s also odor-resistant, and in fact has a fresh lemon scent, according to Scrub Daddy. The eyes on the sponge double as finger holes for a secure grip too.

Quince Chunky Hoop Earrings

These everyday hoops, which have a 4.6-star average rating from 114 reviews on Quince, have a diameter of 15.9 millimeters and a chunky design that measures 6.9 millimeters thick. You can choose from your choice of sterling silver or gold vermeil, which has a silver base plated with a thick layer of gold. The brand recommends avoiding harsh and abrasive chemicals that may come from things like hairspray, bleach, chlorine or toothpaste when wearing these. 

Baggu Puffy Glasses Sleeve

This glasses sleeve — from Select-favorite brand, Baggu — cushions your recipient’s eyewear with its puffy fabric, which is stuffed with recycled polyfill. It also has a magnetic clasp so it stays closed on the go, and the recycled nylon is machine-washable if it gets dirty. It’s available in various bright colored prints as well as a solid black option.  

Carhartt Knit Cuffed Beanie

Made from acrylic rib-knit fabric that stretches, this one-sized beanie is designed to fit almost anyone, according to Carhartt. It comes in a variety of colors, including black, heathered gray and neon pink, so you can pick the one that best suits your giftee’s style. Whichever shade you choose, the fold-up cuff has a Carhartt patch in the center to showcase the brand. 

Stojo 16-Ounce Collapsible Travel Cup

Stojo’s 16-ounce collapsible travel cup is made from flexible silicone, and as its name suggests, it collapses down to just 2 inches when it’s not in use. That way, it can easily fit in your recipient’s bag or pocket while they’re out and about. It also comes with a straw and is temperature-resistant so they can use it for both hot and cold drinks, according to the brand. 

Fredericks & Mae Playing Cards

Made by a Brooklyn-based design studio, each card in this standard set of 54 has a different vivid hue than the one before it, so it creates a rainbow of colors. The deck comes in a cardboard keepsake box with a game instruction booklet, too. 

Mejuri Star Pet Tag Stainless Steel

A great gift for animal lovers, this star-shaped tag is like jewelry for their pet. It comes in your choice of stainless steel or 14K-gold plated steel, and you can engrave the charm (for free) with up to 25 characters of customized text. The material is also lightweight, yet durable enough for daily wear, according to Mejuri. 

All Of It Vessel Guided Gratitude Journal

I started using this Vessel guided journal a few weeks ago and it’s already changed the way I think about gratitude. Author Rachel Garahan proposes splitting your gratitude practice into categories, or cups, so you can see at a glance where your life is overflowing and where there’s room for growth. That way, you can more effectively reroute your efforts to the areas that need it most. In addition to an introduction that explains the different types of gratitude, how-to examples and six meditations, this book has enough guided pages to journal weekly for half a year.

Why trust Select?

Maria Cassano is an e-commerce writer, editor and consultant who has written hundreds of holiday gift guides for Bustle, Allure, Elite Daily, The Zoe Report and Food & Wine. To curate the best stocking stuffers, she included NBC Select editor favorites, items from brands NBC Select has covered before and bestsellers

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