Behind the scenes, hosting can be hard work, from the prep — sending invites, setting the menu — to the inevitable sink full of dishes at the end of the night. That’s why a great host gift can go a long way: It’s an opportunity to show your gratitude for all of the time and effort they put into a dinner party, backyard barbeque or family gathering.
Plus, unlike a thank-you note — which is always a good idea nonetheless — hosts can enjoy your gift on the spot — or even incorporate it into the party. These gift ideas serve as a well-earned treat for the host, and (bonus) might just snag you an invitation to the next one.
Selected.Our top picks.
The best products for hosts in 2023
Below, we curated a variety of gift ideas that may be great for hosts, including top sellers from previous years’ gift guides, Select editor favorites and products from brands we’ve written about and tried before.
They can spare their countertop and instead use this sculptural stone as a spoon rest, to serve garnishes like herbs or butter or even to hold jewelry while washing dishes. Made by one of our favorite AAPI-founded brands, each stone is made of sea glass and water pebbles, and has a smooth, glossy texture, according to the brand. It’s sold in sets of two, and comes in Glazed (blue/clear), Seaglass (green) and Cocoa (brown) colors.
This is one of our favorite electric kettles for its convenient, precise gooseneck and large handle, which makes it easy to grip even when it’s full. It has a built-in stopwatch to control the brewing or steeping process, as well as exact temperature control. It also has a setting that’ll maintain the desired water temperature for up to 60 minutes. “It’s incredibly sleek, so I never mind having it out on my counter,” says NBC Select editor Lindsay Schneider. “It also heats up very quickly, which I appreciate.”
If they are hosting you for a long weekend, consider this set of Italian toothpaste that includes all seven flavors including Amarelli Licorice, Cinnamon Mint and Ginger Mint. The toothpastes, which have an average 4.6-star rating from across 2,130 reviews on Amazon, can also help protect against tooth decay, tartar and plaque while refreshing your recipient’s breath.
Cater to their sweet tooth with this hazelnut-cocoa spread from alcohol-free spirit brand Ghia. It’s vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free, and infused with extra-virgin olive oil. You can drizzle the spread over toast, waffles and anything else that could benefit from its rich, sweet flavor. It’s available in packs of two.
Make their last-minute grocery run a little more playful — and sustainable — with these reusable bags. Each one is big enough to carry lunch and a few items (including heavy objects up to 50 pounds, according to the brand), and folds up into small pouches when not in use. The machine-washable bags, which are a favorite of many NBC Select editors, are made of nylon and available in more than 20 colors and patterns.
Give them something new and elegant to toast with. These playful cocktail glasses, which have a 4.7-star average rating from more than 980 Amazon reviews. Their versatile size and shape makes them great for serving up martinis, margaritas, whiskey, and more, while the varying colors will help guests remember which glass is theirs.
They can bring the great outdoors anywhere with a tiny fire pit. This stainless-steel tabletop version, which has an average 4.5-star rating from 1,259 reviews on Amazon, clocks in at just 6.9 inches by 5.1 inches and your recipient can light it with either fuel pellets or wood. It’s designed to deliver super-hot temperatures with minimal smoke, according to the brand.
Few things are as convenient as having fresh herbs on hand, and this indoor garden makes it possible whatever the weather. The stainless steel garden, which is a favorite of NBC Select reporter Harry Rabinowitz’s, can hold six different plants and a grow light with an automatic timer to mimic natural sunlight, according to the brand. The garden comes with plant food and seeds to grow basil, parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil and mint.
One can never have too many kitchen towels, and these versatile, 100% cotton threads from Urban Villa (which have a 4.6-star average rating among 5,191 Amazon reviews) serve double duty as towels and table linens. There are 36 variations to choose from on Amazon, and you can get them in sets of three, four or six.
The best thing about salt? It will always go to good use, especially when it’s in the form of these kosher sea-salt crystals. They have a pyramid shape that gives them extra flavor and crunch, according to the brand. The patterned tub is also so pretty that you don’t need to wrap it. “These add a little something special to whatever you’re serving guests, be it a dip, salad or cookies,” says NBC Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin. “My guests always comment on how much they love the added crunch, and many of them have asked me where they can get their own after the first bite.”
To keep things organized, they can use this glass dish to hold snacks, dips and other smaller fare. The green glass was inspired by 1920s glassware, according to the brand, and it’s dishwasher-safe. “I always get compliments on this little dish, whenever I have people over,” says Schneider, who uses it to store mints and candies in her kitchen.
Form meets function with this colorful, beech wood grinder, which can grind salt or pepper while doubling as a conversation starter. The grind consistency is adjustable, and it comes in two color options — one with black accents and one with white accents.
For the person who loves a good martini, this candle makes for a sophisticated (but truly funny) surprise. At 3 inches by 2 inches, it’s bigger than your average olive, and fills the room with a floral scent (courtesy of neroli, jasmine and orange blossoms). It has a 30-minute burn time, and your giftee will need to burn it on a plate or some other nonflammable surface — if they choose to burn it at all, of course.
Forget cubes. These food-grade silicone molds can create ice embellished with either prism and ripple patterns. They can fill the mold through a top hole and it will create cubes that melt slowly, according to the brand. You can choose between packs of one, two and four.
This bamboo plant adds a pop of color and fresh greenery to their space. It has braided stalks to encourage the plant to grow in a spiral, and comes in a black ceramic planter filled with pebbles, according to 1-800-Flowers. While bamboo prefers bright, filtered sunlight, it grows well indoors in low light, too, according to the brand, meaning it’s a good option for most homes.
Bring the fun with Bananagrams, where players pull letter tiles at random and race others to use them to create a crossword; whoever completes a word grid first wins. This set has 144 letter tiles and is suitable for players 10 years or older, according to the brand.
Help them prevent drink rings from forming on their coffee table. This set, which is a favorite of NBC Page Mikhaila Archer, comes with four coasters that are made of nickel-plated aluminum and pretty enough to display — all while serving as a barrier between glasses and surfaces.
If they picked up a mid-pandemic sourdough habit, help them keep it going with this bread baking bowl, which makes it easy to create a 1.5-pound round loaf. The clay bowl, which has an average 4.7-star rating from across 645 reviews at King Arthur Flour, works for any type of dough and makes for a crispy crust, according to the brand.
These oven mitts are as pretty as they are functional. The long mitts, which cover the forearms for added protection, are made with cotton twill and a food-grade silicone that’s easy to wipe clean — not to mention they’re machine-washable, according to the brand. Each glove also has built-in magnets as well as loops, so you can hang them near the stove.
From one of our favorite AAPI-owned businesses comes this set of four sauces, which includes the brand’s original Japanese Barbecue Sauce as well as three riffs: Hot and Spicy, Yuzu and Miso. Each is vegan and cold-filled, which is a process that eliminates the need for preservatives, flavorings and additives, according to the brand.
Serving salad and sautéing risotto will never be more fun than with the addition of these wooden spoons. They’re made of beech wood and come in three shapes — flowers, hands and wavy — to add a playful spin to serving.
Upgrade their caffeine fix with a frother, which they can use to create both hot and cold foams to top off drinks. The interior of the steamer, which has a 3.9-star average rating from more than 9,500 ratings on Amazon, can froth dairy and nondairy milks in a matter of seconds, according to the brand. Your recipient can wipe the interior clean, whereas the lid is dishwasher-safe.
For the person who loves a backyard hang, up their game with a pickleball paddle, which works whether they’re a seasoned pickleball player or newcomer to the game. NBC Select contributor Bethany Heitman has been using it for almost two years. “The carbon fiber paddle is lightweight and the cushioned vegan leather handle is perforated, so my grip never gets sweaty,” she says.
Fuel their next party prep with a tin of four unexpected granola flavors, including tiramisu, Mint Chip, Golden Apple Cider and Mangonada. It comes in a limited-edition tin, and you can even get them gift-wrapped ahead of shipping. “The flavors are so unique and special — it’s the perfect gift for any host,” says Schneider, who received the tin from the brand.
The happy camper in your life might appreciate this cocktail shaker, which has a strainer lid, jigger, citrus reamer and insulated rocks glasses. The stainless steel set, which comes from Stanley, a Select-staff favorite brand, is dishwasher-safe and weighs 1.6 pounds — making it easy for them to toast mid-trek.
Pour one out for these stemless wine tumblers, which add a pop of color to any dining table. You can go with a single hue or mix-and-match from the 22 colors available, like Butterscotch, Lavender and Coral Peach Pink, for even more eye candy. Each glass from this Black, woman-owned brand is hand-blown and requires hand-washing.
They took care of all the little details, so why not treat them to a little TLC at the end of a long evening? These small-batch, all-natural soaps from Crate 61 Organics are made in Canada with certified vegan and cruelty-free ingredients — including premium essential oils — and packaged in a fully biodegradable paperboard box for a feel-good soak. They currently have a 4.5-star average rating across 35,754 Amazon reviews.