Lifestyle & Culture

The Very Best Ideas From Those ‘Best Gifts for Mom’ Lists

Remember Mama with a pretty bedside carafe and tumbler, Matouk seersucker robe, a forever sari flower bouquet, colorful hiking socks or acrylic tumblers for cocktails en plein air. 

By Janet Kelly 

WHAT DO MOMS (including stepmothers, grandmothers, great aunts, caring cousins, all the women we love) want in celebration of Mother’s Day this year? Good question. My guess is a little appreciation for all the schlepping, arranging, cooking, tireless listening to and soothing sore feelings and tempers for the people they care about. Depending upon the woman, that could be a pair of cushy hiking socks, a handy massage tool or a bouquet of fab flowers. Luckily for us, sites such as the New York Times’s Wirecutter, Food52, Veranda and Martha Stewart have done a lot of  legwork, investigating, and compiling the best—most original/ least expensive/most useful or luxurious—gifts to bestow upon your favorite girl come Sunday, May 12. You could pore through their lists yourself or better yet, choose from our list (below) in which we’ve culled the best of the best.

One small good thing that will please any peanut-butter-loving mom: Grandpa Witmer’s Natural Peanut Butter Mixer. A few turns of the top handle ensures a jar of mixed, smooth peanut butter with no hardened gunk at the bottom. (The 3-inch lid screws on to all standard 16-ounce jars of peanut butter.) A Wirecutter under-$50 gift pick, it’s $19.49 at Amazon.


Who could resist roses—not just any roses —but the highly coveted David Austin blooms? A carefully considered composition of Juliet, Edith and Beatrice roses in soft pinks and yellows, the Diana bouquet (a Veranda recommendation) sells for $89 at Bouqs.


Even with assiduous watering and feeding, flowers die. But not this Sari Bouquet ($71.92) from fair-trade company Ten Thousand Villages. The maintenance-free arrangement includes 10 recycled sari flowers, handcrafted by women in Bangladesh.


Outdoor happy hours will be so much happier for Mom with shatterproof—also dishwasher-safe— TarHong’s acrylic drink ware. Think lemonade and/or gin and tonics on the patio. Suggested by recipes and kitchenware site Food52, the glasses are available in sets of six: short tumblers are $39, goblets,$51 and tall tumblers, $54.


Your nearest and dearest are never far away with Aura Carver, a Wi-Fi-connected picture frame (10.1 inches) that scrolls through a slideshow of grandkids, pets, best friends, etc. A free Aura app lets you add pictures. Swipe the touch bar to adjust slideshow speed or change photos. A gift idea courtesy of Oprah, it’s available in charcoal or gray and sells for $149.



When summer days sizzle, your favorite gal can keep her cool in this luxe seersucker Mateo robe from high-end linen purveyor Matouk. Also available in peony, azure, ecru, and brown, this Martha Stewart-recommended gift sells for $243.


Upgrade her kitchen counter with this svelte-looking sparkling-water maker. Made with a stainless-steel enclosure, an internal safety-valve system and a precision nozzle for a smooth, controlled spray beam, it transforms ordinary tap water. The Aarke Carbonator 3, suggested by Food52, sells for $229.


A new mom will not only stay hydrated but also enjoy having a lovely-to-look-at, hand-painted carafe and tumbler set ($94) from Petra Palumbo by her bedside.



One of Wirecutter’s “best cheap gifts,” this lightweight cushion hiking sock ($23.95, Backcountry) will keep feet dry. Made from merino wool, it not only wicks moisture but also fights odors. Nice colors, too.



Oh, her aching such-and-such. Post-workout or anytime at all, this lightweight portable Theragun mini massage gun (on Real Simple’s best-of list) has three settings for decreasing muscle soreness and relieving pain and discomfort. For a limited time it’s on sale for $169.



A Wirecutter pick for best Mother’s Day gifts, this Gisele Long Pj Set, I can attest, not only looks good (in a classic silhouette) but also keeps you cool thanks to a temperature-regulating knit fabric. It also feels good on your skin, is machine washable and durable. Available in a whole bunch of other colors, it sells for $138.


A pick from foodie site Delish, this sleek stoneware Convivial Oil Cruet (shown above, available in ivory or natural) will attractively store any delicious cooking oil or vinegar your mom’s heart desires. Each cruet sells for $115 at West Elm.

Pssst: Want more suggestions? Go for it. Here are the lists we culled from:


Wirecutter Gifts Under $50




Real Simple

Ten Thousand Villages

Martha Stewart




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