Dads are some of the toughest people to shop for. According to a study commissioned by ipostparcles, a British division of the package delivery service DHL, people spend more time agonizing over finding the perfect gift for their mom or dad than just about anyone else on their holiday gift list. And a 2006 study by the American Psychological Association found that nearly half of men and women report the pressure to find the perfect gift is one of the leading causes of holiday stress.
There’s no need to overthink it. The ipostpacels survey also found that most participants felt loved and appreciated when they received a gift – any gift.
Still, nothing beats the feeling of giving a present the recipient loves. So if you’re stumped for what to get Dad this year, this list of best gifts for dads is filled with a variety of ideas at all price points so you can find something he’ll be thrilled to get whatever your holiday budget.
Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Dads
According to a 2016 study published by the Association for Psychological Science, great gifts have at least one of two key elements: They’re either useful or cherished for their sentimental value. In other words, they show how well you know and appreciate the recipient. But no matter how well we know our dads, gift-giving is still tough. It’s what makes us default to practical but boring gifts like ties or slippers he uses once or twice a year.
Instead, get him something he’ll really love – and use – without busting your budget.
Gift Ideas Under $20
If your budget for Dad is under $20, there’s no need to worry. There are a wide variety of awesome gifts you can buy or make in this price range without resorting to gag gifts.
1. A Special Book
If Dad’s a reader, give him a handpicked book. If sports are his thing, he’ll love “Dad’s Playbook” by Tom Limbert. It contains fatherly wisdom from some of the best coaches of all time.
If Dad’s more into superheroes, get him a collector’s edition for his favorite fandom. For DC universe fans, opt for the “DC Vault” by Martin Pasko. Or for a few cents over $20, get the Marvel-adherent dad the new 2019 edition of the “Marvel Encyclopedia” featuring an introduction by Stan Lee.
For dads who love the classics, opt for a hardcover collectible edition like the Barnes & Noble-exclusive leather-bound “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne or the Kindle version of “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.
For the on-the-go dad still on the fence about audiobooks, a membership to Audible is a great gift. Audible lets him listen to books, news, or financial advice while on his daily run or commute. A one-month gift membership gets him one book of choice plus two Audible Originals. Or sign up before Dec. 31 and get a three-month membership for just over $20.
2. A Gift Set of Craft Beers & Handmade Coasters
For the dad who appreciates a good beer, get him a case of his favorite. Give this gift an extra-special touch and mix and match a six-pack of unique craft beers at a local grocery store like Trader Joe’s.
Then pair it with some handmade coasters, like the decoupage coasters at Spruce Crafts. The technique works with any image, even a special photo of you and Dad.
3. A Coffee Maker
If your dad appreciates a more sophisticated java, buy him an affordable specialty coffee maker, like a cold-brew maker or French press. Cold-brew coffee is beloved for its lower acidity, which makes it sweeter and smoother. The Takeya Deluxe cold-brew coffee maker makes an entire quart of delicious cold-brew joe to keep Dad going all day.
For the dad who’s a true connoisseur, go for the well-priced Bodum French press. French press devotees say the press method creates the best coffee because the grounds steep instead of filter.
4. Office Accessories
Brighten up Dad’s desk with some decor or personalized office supplies. Upload a cherished photo of you and your dad to Shutterfly to have printed onto a desktop plaque, or set him up with a custom mousepad.
If your fitness-obsessed dad works a desk job, he’s likely not burning enough calories at work to help him stay in his best shape. A balance disc engages his core muscles, letting him exercise while he sits all day. It works on the same principle as a balance ball – helping him maintain correct posture – but makes his office look less like a gym. Plus, if he suffers from low back pain, the balance disc offers lumbar support when used like a back-support pillow.
5. Grooming Supplies
For the dad who likes to look sharp, a subscription for grooming supplies lets him step out in style. Two months of personalized top-shelf products from Birchbox is doable for under $20. Even if he’s already used to this level of self-care, he’ll get to experiment with products he might not buy for himself. Plus, Birchbox includes helpful tips on how to use the products in each shipment, so he might just learn something new.
6. A Virtual Reality Viewer
Believe it or not, virtual reality (VR) goggles exist for under $20. The low-tech Google Cardboard works with Dad’s smartphone to create a full VR system. He simply puts his smartphone into the viewer, and the built-in lens allows him to enjoy a fully immersive VR experience while playing special Google Cardboard games, watching videos, or traversing the world via Google Street View. And the quirky cardboard design is definitely a conversation-starter.
7. Dad Coupons
For a budget gift dads will definitely use, make him some dad coupons. Include things he really needs or wants from you, such as cleaning the dishes, mowing the lawn, or shoveling snow. Or grant him some coveted “me” time so he can watch his favorite sporting event or go out for the night with friends. This gift is a DIY, so tailor it to provide him with some guilt-free time to relax and unwind. Design these coupons yourself or download a printable set from Etsy.
8. A Deck of Customized Cards
Upload one or more pictures of you and Dad to Shutterfly, and they’ll print a deck of custom cards. They’re perfect for his weekly poker game or family game night. With the extra money left in your budget, toss in a set of poker chips or playing card holders.
9. Homemade Accessories
Dads with young kids will especially love a gift handmade by their little ones. Turn their artwork or Dad’s favorite photo into something he can wear forever, even after the kids are long grown.
Make kids’ artwork into cufflinks using printable shrink film. Simply photograph the artwork, print it on the shrink film, and follow the package instructions to bake it. Once it’s cool, glue it on cufflink backings. You can use the same process to make key chains, tie clips, or tie tacks.
Find full instructions at Momtastic.
Or if you’d rather not DIY, you can hire an Etsy designer like Timemonogram to create custom pieces for you without busting your budget.
10. A Keepsake Memory Book or Letters
The gift my dad has cherished most over the years cost me nothing. When I was a broke college student, I wrote letters to all my family members telling them how much they mean to me. My dad loved his so much he framed it, and he’s kept it on his desk ever since.
If you’re not sure how to get started telling your father all the reasons you appreciate him, the prompts in the book “What I Love About Dad” can help. Once you fill in the blanks, it becomes a keepsake he’ll hang onto forever. Younger kids can create a special memory book by drawing pictures of memories of their dad and having an adult help them bind them together into a storybook.
Gift Ideas From $21 – $50
In the $21 to $50 range, the number of options opens up to include lots of fun gadgets and toys and practical gifts your dad will use every day.
11. A Home Recipe Kit
Is Dad a kitchen scientist? If so, get him a kit that allows him to craft his own version of his favorite condiment or beverage. Northern Brewer makes several beer-making kits, including starter kits. Or for something on the spicier side, get him a make-your-own hot sauce kit. As a bonus, offer to stick around for a taste test and compete to see who can handle the heat.
12. A Fun Kitchen Gadget
No matter what kind of cook your dad is, a new kitchen gadget will help him leverage those culinary skills.
If your dad’s a breakfast guru, get him a breakfast sandwich maker. He’ll rule in the hot breakfast department while still getting everyone out the door on time.
Wine enthusiasts will love a gift set of useful wine tools that includes an electric bottle opener, a foil cutter, vacuum stoppers, and a wine pourer and aerator.
For the dad who’s a master of the grill, a meat thermometer that connects to an app on his smartphone is a life-changer. He’ll be able to do other things – like socialize with you – instead of babysitting the grill or smoker. If he goes outside the thermometer’s generous 200-foot range, he’ll get a push notification on his phone letting him know.
And the dad known to fuss over grill hygiene, there’s the high-tech cleaning implement, like a steam cleaning grill brush. After an afternoon spent flipping 80/20 burgers, the sight of a like-new grate might just bring him to tears.
13. An Insulated Tumbler
For the frugal dad who likes to make his brew at home, an insulated tumbler that keeps his beverages hot or cold for hours is a practical gift he’ll use every day. Keep it fun with a cup that speaks to his interests. Whether Dad’s into fishing, Game of Thrones, or the NBA, Tervis makes a cup for it.
If your dad’s in the market for eco-conscious gifts, and he’s a regular at Starbucks, a barista-designed KeepCup replaces the waste of disposable cups while keeping that coffeehouse vibe.
14. A Backpack Cooler
If Dad’s king of the tailgate, he’ll love Eddie Bauer’s backpack cooler, which holds up to 12 cans plus ice and has adjustable side pockets that can hold water or wine bottles. The backpack straps are adjustable, and you can hide them when not in use. There’s even a handle on top if he prefers to carry it as a tote.
15. Fun & Functional Tools
If your father’s constantly tinkering with something, look for a set of practical multipurpose tools. A utility bracelet from UncommonGoods lets him keep a set of useful tools on hand – literally. The bracelet features a pop-out knife with a flathead screwdriver on the tip. Or get him a multi-tool fidget spinner to keep his hands busy and his tools nearby.
16. A Family Game
Pay homage to your fun-loving dad with a game that lets him relive his youth, like Snowtime Anytime. Whether you live in a warm climate where it rarely snows or would rather stay cozy inside, this indoor snowball fight game contains 40 “snowballs” with very straightforward directions: Take them out and start throwing!
If Dad relishes family game night, get him an upscale version of his favorite board game, like a 60th-anniversary edition of Risk. Or surprise him with a gift box of games from Cratejoy. The Escape the Crate box contains a time-traveling escape room-style adventure – and there’s a brand-new one every other month if you’d like to spend a little more for a subscription.
17. A Grown-Up Version of a Childhood Toy
Some dads get reputations for being big kids on the inside, but who doesn’t love to have a little fun now and then? Build-your-own-pinball-game kits come with everything he needs to create a fully functional cardboard pinball machine customized with his own directions, ramps, and obstacles.
Or help Dad release his inner child with a high-tech remote control paper airplane. A smartphone-controlled Bluetooth device attaches to any paper airplane, enabling him to fly the plane wherever he wants while making it perform barrel rolls and stall turns.
If old-school toys are more your dad’s speed, choose a city from Lego Architecture’s City Skyline sets. Lego has building sets for several major cities, including Paris, London, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York City.
The NYC set contains close to 600 pieces and features the Statue of Liberty and iconic landmarks like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. The sets also come with booklets detailing the design, history, and architecture of the featured constructions.
18. Stuff for His Man Cave
Dads cherish their space, and if he’s lucky enough to have a dedicated man cave, get him some stuff to personalize it. Help him claim his territory with a wooden sign. Or help him make it a place where everybody knows his name with some personalized pint glasses.
19. A Bluetooth-Connected Speaker System
For the music-loving dad, the JBL Clip 2 waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker lets him listen to music anywhere he’s in range, including outside.
Or set him up with an Alexa-enabled Echo Dot – a Bluetooth speaker that does even more. He can ask it any question, play zillions of songs, listen to books, play games, order a pizza, or have Alexa tell dad jokes when he’s run out of his own. And if Dad has any other Bluetooth speakers set up around the house, the Echo Dot can stream music through them, allowing him to listen from any room in the house.
20. Ties & Socks
Ties and socks may be cliche, but some dads genuinely need them for work or play. And done right, they don’t have to be boring.
Fun socks let Dad express his personal style, even if he has to hide it under generic business attire. The dad socks gift set from Men’s Warehouse includes three pairs of colorful socks packaged in a box that reads, “I love you, Dad.” If he still has little ones at home, a daddy-and-me sock gift set is both useful and sweet. Or if your dad’s into sports, get him a couple of pairs of Stance socks. Stance makes them for MLB, the NBA, the NFL, and even collegiate teams.
For dads who have to suit up for work, Cufflinks carries lines of understated ties for various fandoms, including Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Disney. Many options are available for under $50, though there are even more options if you’re willing to spend a few dollars more.
Gift Ideas From $51 – $100
The $51 to $100 budget range seriously ups your gift-giving options. Use it to get Dad something that’s both fun and practical – something he’d never splurge on for himself.
21. A New Bag
Whether it’s to cart around the family’s gear or his own, dads need a quality bag. So if Dad’s old bag is falling apart at the seams, it’s time to get him a new one. A genuine leather Kenneth Cole messenger bag is a classic choice. If he needs a bag for off-work hours, a Hershel backpack is another stylish choice – it’s rated as one of the best backpacks for men by Fatherly.
22. Shaving Supplies
Upgrade Dad’s old electric shaver with a model that gives a smoother, faster, more comfortable shave. The Philips Norelco 6800 series electric shaver is rated higher than pricier models and can give him the comfortable shave he craves. For the bearded dad in your life, opt for the Philips Norelco 7200 series vacuum beard trimmer, which keeps his beard well groomed while leaving minimal mess.
The dad who prefers to shave the old-fashioned way will love a kit that includes everything he needs to keep his skin soft and smooth. The Viking Revolution luxury safety razor kit includes a double-edged safety razor, pre-shave oil, and shaving soap, along with a bowl and brush, aftershave balm, and a stand to keep everything together on his bathroom counter.
23. A Luxury Food Gift
Gifts for foodies are all about letting the recipients treat themselves. For a grill master dad, an Omaha Steaks classic combo pack is just the thing. This gift box of meat includes sirloin steaks, burgers, chicken breasts, gourmet franks, and individual cheesecakes for four.
For the amateur mixologist, a gift from Saloonbox brings him everything he needs to make two creative drink recipes with top-shelf spirits. Past recipes have included a cherry bourbon sour and a Comeback cocktail with a cranberry-cinnamon infusion, pineapple juice, honey syrup, and vodka.
Or opt for a gift box from Shaker & Spoon, which provides everything Dad needs to make three drink recipes – minus the alcohol. Shaker & Spoon is especially nice for the Dad who’s into learning. It spotlights one spirit every month and teaches him how to mix and match flavor combinations that work best with it.
Or if your dad’s into food pairing, opt for the coffee-and-chocolate tasting box from Bean Box. This gift set pairs a selection of gourmet coffees from Seattle’s highest-rated roasters with a variety of artisan chocolates to create the ultimate tasting experience.
24. A Luxury Robe
Dads who like to lounge around in a robe while they take their morning coffee can’t get a more luxurious experience than the classic bathrobe from Snowe. It’s plush, fast-drying, super-absorbent, and made of 100% cotton. He’ll be hard-pressed to find one more comfortable.
25. Germ-Killing Gadgets
According to a 2017 study published in the journal Germs, our smartphones are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Since kids bring home a lot of germs and love playing with their parents’ smartphones, getting sick just goes with the territory of being a dad. But you know what they say about an ounce of prevention.
The PhoneSoap UV sanitizer gets rid of 99.9% of germs on your dad’s phone. He can also sanitize his keys, smartwatches, credit cards, or any small item that fits inside.
A self-cleaning water bottle also helps Dad stay healthy. The Larq bottle uses UV light to clean itself – plus the water that’s in it. The self-cleaning mode turns on every two hours to provide Dad with the cleanest water and water bottle all day. Plus, just like a regular stainless steel insulated tumbler, it keeps beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.
26. A Streaming Device
A streaming device lets Dad access all his favorite subscription channels and apps. The Roku Ultra offers 4K, high-definition, and high-dynamic-range streaming while giving him access to a variety of streaming apps and channels. A special plus for new dads: They can keep watching while baby sleeps in their arms thanks to the included private-listening JBL earphones.
Or, if you’re willing to spend just a little more, opt for the all-new Fire TV, which doubles as a smart home device. Dad can ask Alexa to turn off the lights, turn on the TV, and play a show, in addition to a variety of other voice commands enabled on Alexa devices.
27. Gear From His Favorite Sports Team
Give Dad a box of fan gear from Fanchest to help him show his team loyalty. Boxes typically include a selection of apparel – like T-shirts, hats, and socks – and team-specific swag like pennants, blankets, and drawstring backpacks.
Or get him an NFL Snack Helmet to hold his snacks while he watches the game.
28. A Smart Home Starter Kit
If your tech-loving dad wants to start outfitting his smart home, a smart light starter kit from Philips Hue is a great first step. Generally regarded as the best smart light system, Philips Hue bulbs work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Home. They allow Dad to program the lights to turn on and off automatically, dim, and change color to create just the right ambiance – all with voice commands. The starter kit includes four bulbs and a hub to connect them to the home network.
29. A Date With You
Remember all those times you shot baskets with Dad in the driveway, constructed elaborate Lego towers in the basement, or stayed up all night together playing video games? Contrary to popular belief, dads go through empty nest syndrome as much as moms. If you’re a grown child who’s moved away, give Dad the gift of father-child time by treating him to a fun day out.
30. A High-Tech Toy
When you have a little more money to spend, the definition of “toy” expands. Bring back Dad’s childhood memories of playing with remote control cars with a remote control Holy Stone quadcopter drone. In addition to zipping around the yard, it takes sharp photos thanks to a high-quality built-in camera.
Best of all, this affordable and easily controllable quadcopter has a return feature. So, if Dad loses control of the copter, it will go home on its own. And if photos aren’t his thing, there are plenty of hobby and racing drones for every budget.
Gift Ideas Over $100
Even if your dad taught you never to spend frivolously, it’s hard to argue he isn’t worthy of a splurge. If you’re looking to get Dad a luxury gift this year, a budget over $100 gives you access to a slew of tech gifts and luxury items he would probably never buy himself – but will definitely appreciate.
31. A New Game System
Help Dad unwind and de-stress with a new video game system. A Nintendo Switch does it all. He can dock it at home to enhance family game night with HD video games on the TV or use the Ring Fit Adventure game to stay active. He can also undock the console to play in handheld mode on the go.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are classic choices that give dads diverse options for gameplay. Or splurge and give him a state-of-the-art virtual reality system like the HTC Vive Pro, which features some of the best technology available for VR gaming.
32. A 4K Ultra HD Smart TV
Whether your father prefers to play video games, watch movies, or take in the game, he’ll appreciate a TV with all the bells and whistles, like the TCL 50-inch 4K ultra-high-definition Roku smart TV. It features the highest levels of picture quality currently available and provides access to thousands of streaming channels through a built-in Roku. Plus, if Dad enjoys gaming, it offers the lowest latency and best picture settings for the smoothest possible actions. And it has a clean edge-to-edge design for a more seamless viewing experience.
33. A Subscription to a Premium Streaming Channel or App
Treat avid TV watchers to a year of their favorite premium channel, like Netflix or Hulu. Netflix has the widest range of content, with 8,000-plus films and series, including Netflix Originals like “Stranger Things.” That said, Hulu features a broader range of TV shows and channels, frequently airing network shows the day after they premiere on live TV.
For the Marvel or “Star Wars” fan, the long-awaited Disney+ released in November 2019. Give him a year of unlimited Disney content or bundle it with Hulu and ESPN for a monthly cost that’s less than Netflix.
There are also dedicated channels or apps for every major sport. Examples include:
- Baseball. MLB.TV lets Dad watch all the games live, plus gives him access to game archives.
- Basketball. An MBA League Pass gives Dad access to games and archives, live games in VR, and exclusive shows.
- Football. The NFL app allows Dad to live stream games – both local and national – on his phone or tablet. The app itself is free, but you must purchase an NFL pass to unlock the best features.
- Golf. The Golf Channel has both a free app and a free website streaming service, but you must have cable or a streaming service like Hulu to access it.
- Hockey. NHL.tv gives Dad access to games, play-by-play sportscasting, the choice of multiple viewing angles, and DVR-like controls that let him pause and rewind.
- Soccer. Soccer doesn’t currently have its own streaming app, but Dad can access live streams of games with fuboTV.
- Wrestling. For wrestling, the place to go is the WWE Network, which lets Dad watch unlimited matches, pay-per-views, and exclusive shows.
34. Old-School Games
Kick it old-school and outfit Dad’s game room with some low-tech fun like the Viper dartboard set. The pub-quality solid pine cabinet comes in a variety of finishes. It contains built-in scoreboards, a game manual, a set of steel-tipped darts, and a sisal fiber dartboard with a removable ring. Sisal fiber increases the “healing” power of the dartboard, thereby lengthening its lifespan.
35. A Smartwatch
If Dad wants to keep an eye on his health while enjoying traditional smartwatch connectivity with other devices, give him a Fitbit Versa 2. It’s one of the best fitness trackers on the market. It tracks his heart rate and fitness and analyzes his sleep. Plus, it comes with all the features of a state-of-the-art smartwatch, giving him the ability to take phone calls and texts and play his music. And the built-in Alexa lets him check the weather, news, or scores and control his smart home with voice commands.
The Samsung Galaxy smartwatch is an equally feature-rich choice. Plus, it sports a realistic-looking traditional watch face, military-grade durability, and water-resistance – handy for dads who spend lots of time near the water.
36. Stylish New Clothes
Get the stylish dad in your life a gift subscription to Bombfell. It’s perfect for the guy who’s always dreamed of having a personal stylist, as well as dads who don’t have much time to shop. Each month, he’ll receive a box of clothing and accessories curated just for him. Even better, Bombfell allows you to set a budget and only pay for the clothing and accessories Dad decides to keep.
37. A Hobby-Related Gift Box
- A knife-making kit, which includes everything he needs to fashion a blade and sheath.
- A lure-making kit that helps him make bait to attract the biggest fish in the water.
- A puzzle box designed by a secret society complete with cryptic engravings and hidden compartments. He must solve the included puzzles to join the society and receive a reward.
- A motorcycle crate that contains all the tools he needs to care for his bike and deal with emergencies while on the road.
38. A Tablet Loaded With His Favorite Books
Make sure the avid reader dad is never without a good book with Amazon’s newest Kindle Fire 10. It features a 10.1-inch high-definition display, a 30% faster processor, and longer battery life than its predecessor. It also comes with a front- and rear-facing camera and the option to choose 32GB or 64GB of memory. To get Dad started, preload it with some of his favorite books.
If Dad’s got all his music and media stored in iTunes instead of Amazon Prime, go with an iPad. The Apple iPad Pro is thin, lightweight, and perfect for him to take to work or anywhere else. Plus, it boasts a considerable 256GB of memory, which is more than enough space for all his books, apps, movies, and playlists.
39. Music & Equipment
Feed Dad’s dream of becoming a rock star by getting him a Fender electric guitar.
Or enhance your audiophile dad’s record collection with a gift subscription to Vnyl. Vnyl delivers up to three new vinyl records every month based on Dad’s music preferences.
If he doesn’t already have a turntable to play them, throw in the Audio Technica LP60 wireless turntable and speaker system. It’s a well-designed, easy-to-use player loaded with helpful features like an antiresonant platter and a removable dust cover.
And if he’s a Fab Four fan, the Beatles original studio recordings box set will give him a whole new level of appreciation for John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
40. High-End Headphones
For frequent travelers, a pair of high-end noise-canceling headphones is a must to shut out the world and distract themselves with music, podcasts, or movies. Apple’s AirPods Pro are wireless earbuds that allow Dad to tune out surrounding noise so the sound he wants to hear – and little else – comes in crystal clear. Even better, he can switch between noise-canceling and transparency mode, which lets him hear the world around him when needed. Plus, they come with a customizable fit and are sweat- and water-resistant, so he can wear them on his run.
While Dad is likely to be happy with anything you give him, we all like to splurge at Christmas.
You can leverage holiday shopping-friendly reward credit cards and buy discounted gift cards on sites like Raise.com, using those to make your gift purchases for less than the face value of the card. That means you can potentially buy Dad a $50 gift on a gift card you only paid $40 for.
To help stay within your budget, try shopping on deal sites like Groupon. And if you’ve got your eye set on something specific, make ample use of browser extensions. Some extensions, like Honey, allow you to keep an eye on items, alerting you when the price drops. Plus, you earn cash back on all your holiday shopping. If you earn enough cash back, it might even let you add an extra $10 to your budget for dear old Dad.
What are you getting your dad this year? If you’re a dad, what do you want for Christmas?