Top Gifts for Moms

    We rounded up the best in home, electronics, and more

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    Illustration of gift packages Illustration: Consumer Reports

    Whether it’s Mom, grandma, or a mother-in-law, there’s no doubt that mothers hold a special place in our lives. And with the holiday season in full swing, there’s no better time to show them just how loved they are. To help you find the perfect gift, we rounded up the best in home, electronics, and more.

    Need more holiday inspiration? Check out some of our other gift guides: Best White Elephant Gifts for Under $35, Top Gifts Under $50, Top Tech Gifts Under $100, Top Home Gifts Under $100, and 10 Great Gifts for Coffee Lovers.

    Go to Consumer Reports’ Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

    Small Kitchen Appliances

    A more affordable take on Ninja’s Coffee Bar brewers, the Ninja Specialty CM401 is a terrific all-in-one machine, capable of brewing hot and iced coffee, lattes, macchiatos, and other specialty brews. In our tests it receives an Excellent rating for brew performance, and its glass carafe handles with ease. This model is also packed with features, including an over-ice brew mode for iced coffee, a built-in milk frother, brew-strength control, and brew-size adjustment for everything from travel mugs to full carafes. It’s one of the most versatile coffee makers we’ve tested.

    For more options: Best Drip Coffee Makers

    This Cuisinart coffee grinder earns a Good rating in overall performance and is a breeze to clean, earning an Excellent score in that regard. It also features dial, button, and slider controls, and can hold about 8 ounces of coffee. At this price, it's a solid pick for turning out a tasty cup of joe.

    For more options: Best and Worst Burr Coffee Grinders

    Soda Maker

    SodaStream Fizzi One Touch

    The SodaStream Fizzi One Touch, the only machine we test that must be plugged into an outlet, gets our highest marks in every test. Uniquely, it has three preset levels of carbonation, each with its own control button that you lightly touch to activate. Because the electric-powered One Touch doesn’t require you to hold down a button or lever, it alone earns our top mark for ease of use.

    For more options: Best Soda Makers

    Its relatively good price and solid performance make the Farberware HF-919B air fryer a CR Best Buy. It’s among the quietest of the air fryers we’ve tested, earning an Excellent rating in our noise tests. (You can actually hear the mechanical timer ticking over the fan noise.) The dials are fairly easy to read and use, but the nooks and crannies of the food basket make it tough to clean. The basket’s measured capacity is 3.2 quarts. The two-year warranty is longer than the ones for most of the models we’ve tested.

    For more options: Best Air Fryers

    The Vitamix 5200 scores top marks in our tests for making icy drinks, puréeing soup, and crushing ice. It’s also one of the few models we've tested that makes hot soup from raw ingredients, using just the friction from the blades to heat things up. Vitamix beats the competition in terms of owner satisfaction, too, earning an Excellent rating for that and for predicted reliability. Yes, you’ll pay a premium for this blender—it’s one of the most expensive we've tested—but you’re getting a hardworking machine that can make smoothies and more on a daily basis. Plus, it comes with a seven-year warranty.

    For more options: Best Blenders for Making Smoothies

    KitchenAid’s classic 5-quart mixer has been among our highest-rated models for a long while, and at $200 it’s a very good value. It combines excellent whipping, mixing, and kneading, plus it can take on an assortment of power attachments, including a pasta maker and food grinder. It comes with a whisk, flat beater, and dough hook.    

    For more options: Best Stand Mixers

    Bread Maker

    Zojirushi Home Bakery Maestro BB-SSC10WZ

    Did your mom miss the great sourdough bake-off? Help her rise to the occasion with her very own bread maker. At 9 inches wide and 13 inches deep, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Maestro BB-SSC10WZ has a relatively small countertop footprint. The control panel on the front is angled for easy viewing and displays each step, such as “knead” and “rest,” so you don’t have to guess where it is in the process. This bread maker mixes the batter well and has an automatic ingredient dispenser for adding nuts or dried fruit at the right time in a cycle.

    For more options: Bread Maker Reviews

    Tech and Electronics

    The Bose Smart Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are the long-awaited successor to the company’s flagship QuietComfort 35 Series II headphones (which are usually at least $100 cheaper). The two models are almost identical in performance: Both deliver superb sound quality and noise cancellation. But the Bose 700 earphones have a much slimmer profile when folded up, and they have a few updated elements, including more integration with digital assistants, touch controls, and sensors for Bose’s “augmented reality” apps. Bose has kept some of the best-loved features from its older models as well, such as adjustable levels of noise cancellation, a monitoring mode to let in sound from your environment, and an advertised 20-hour battery life.

    For more options: Best Noise-Canceling Headphones to Buy Right Now

    The 1000XM3 headphones are a popular noise-canceling model from Sony with a true wireless design, meaning there’s no cable connecting the earpieces. They get solid marks in our ratings for audio quality and blocking out sound. They have touch controls, adjustable levels of noise cancellation, a generous battery life, and a slew of other features. They aren’t our No. 1 noise-canceling pick, but at this price they’re a great value.

    For more options: Best Wireless Headphones

    The Jabra Move Style Edition, an on-ear Bluetooth model with a sleek appearance and better-than-average sound quality, comes with convenient features, like controls for calls, playback, and volume, and the option to forgo Bluetooth and use the detachable audio cable included with your purchase. The headphones have a closed, isolating design that will keep some noise from leaking in or out during a listening session. The headphones have an advertised 14-hour battery life, more than enough to get you through a day of listening.

    For more options: Best Headphones Under $100

    This 12.3-inch 2-in-1 detachable laptop shows fast speeds in our tests and is suitable for complex school or office work. But you might notice a lag when media editing or playing video games. The display is bright, has wide viewing angles, and shows lifelike colors. Battery life is reasonably long at 10.5 hrs in web-browsing tests, and at just 2.4 pounds, it's lighter than typical laptops in this size category. And of course, there’s something to be said for being able to remove the keyboard to use like a tablet.

    For more options: Best Laptops

    The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus has an 8-inch screen that makes it a solid choice for those who enjoy reading or watching movies. It has 3GB memory and is available with 32GB storage, but you can also add a micro-SD memory card for more storage. Battery life is impressive. But our tests found that it's slower than most other tablets we've tested, though it's acceptable for most everyday tasks, such as web browsing or email.


    For more options: Best Tablets

    The Apple Watch SE packs in a vast majority of features most people desire in a smartwatch and leaves out the higher-end tech and add-ons that sometimes go unused. And in exchange, the price is lower than for other Apple Watches. The SE comes in two sizes (40mm or 44mm) and two hardware configurations (GPS-only or GPS plus cellular). The bands are interchangeable, too.

    For more options: Which Apple Smart Watch Should You Buy?

    The Google Home Max was the first really good-sounding smart speaker, and it remains the best-sounding model on the market. Our testers like its solid bass and clean midrange—that all-important sonic window where most instruments and vocals lie—along with plenty of volume. The Home Max’s smart functions work seamlessly with Google Assistant. It doesn’t have the same number of skills as Amazon’s Alexa and doesn’t work with as many smart home devices, but some users find Google’s interface to be more user-friendly. You can also integrate several Home Max speakers throughout your home, either singly or in stereo pairs, and supplement them with smaller and less expensive Google Home speakers or other speakers with Chromecast capability as part of a multiroom system.

    For more options: Best Smart Speakers

    It’s been a stressful year, so why not give Mom something that can help her drop out and tune in? The Edifier S1000MKII powered Bluetooth speaker provides top-notch sound with tight and musical bass and a midrange that lets her hear every nuance of her favorite singer’s best performance. And for a very reasonable price of about $350, Mom gets a stereo pair of Edifiers, which allows the speakers to create a convincing illusion that the musicians are right there in the room with her.

    For more options: Best Wireless Speakers Under $200

    This 24-megapixel Canon EOS M200 camera captured images with very good quality. Pictures were sharp, which means you can see most details and subtle patterns in the image. In low-light situations without a flash, pictures were sharp. It even earns an Excellent rating in our tests for outdoor performance, such as shooting landscapes in the daytime, and top marks for indoor performance, such as photographing a well-lit basketball game in a gym. The camera has a standard 3x optical zoom lens.

    For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for digital cameras.

    Sporting a sharp-looking, angular design, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is at the upper end of streaming-player price range, but it’s a top-notch 4K player that combines access to lots of streaming services, fairly extensive audio/video features, plus console-like game-playing ability.

    One unique feature of both Nvidia models is AI upscaling that will upconvert lower-resolution content to the player’s 4K capability. Like the model above, the Pro supports Dolby Vision HDR, as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS-X immersive sound, which can add the element of height to surround-sound tracks. It comes with a wand-style backlit Bluetooth remote control, but you can buy a game controller as an option.

    For more options: Best 4K Streaming Media Devices

    Bed, Bath, and More

    Slippers

    Ugg Fluff Yeah Slide

    Consider this the perfect cozy addition to Mom’s winter wardrobe. Made with real sheepskin and available in a rich array of colors, these fluffy Ugg slides give comfort a whole new meaning. Our editors described them as "almost comically fluffy and soft" and noted that they were “like wearing clouds on my feet.” Bonus for the rubber outsole, which makes these slippers stable enough to be worn outside.

    For more options: We Tried Ugg Fluff Yeahs and 7 Other Popular Slippers—Here’s What We Loved

    This Brooklinen set will fit a 14-inch mattress (or shorter). Our testers note that these sheets don’t shrink as much as some other cotton sheets we tested. They earn a Very Good rating for both fit and shrinkage, which means though they do tend to get smaller during washes, they don’t deform all that much over time. Luxe Core sheets are on the softer side, based on our sensory test. Labels along each side that read "short side" and "long side" make clear which way to make the bed.

    For more options: Best and Worst Sheets

    Massage Gun

    Therabody Theragun Mini

    The ultraportable Theragun Mini was one of the quietest we tested. It has a wedge-shaped handle and was one of the best devices for reducing problematic wrist postures. "I like the fact that it is small to hold, I love how easy it is to use and charge. It’s compact and easily transportable,” one user said. For overall portability and quiet, this could be a top choice.

    For more options: 7 Massage Guns Evaluated

    The Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell is one of the best you can buy. It receives an Excellent rating for response time and offers terrific video quality and data security. The Hello’s features include high dynamic range (HDR) video for vivid picture quality, geofencing, person alerts, unusual sound detection, voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, recorded messages for when you can’t answer the door, and a rolling 3 hours of motion-triggered snapshots (not video clips).

    If you sign up for a Nest Aware subscription, you’ll get either 30 or 60 days of cloud storage for motion-triggered video clips (depending on the plan), 10 days of 24/7 continuous video recordings (only with the $12-per-month plan), facial recognition, package detection, monitoring zones, and e911 to call your home’s 911 dispatcher regardless of your physical location. The Nest Hello is offered only in a hardwired version and can’t run on battery power. If you have an existing doorbell that’s hardwired, it will work just fine.

    For more options: Best Video Doorbells

    Bidet Attachment

    Tushy Classic

    Give the gift of less toilet paper anxiety: The Tushy Classic bidet attachment has a dial to adjust the water pressure, as well as three settings fore and aft. A few users in our recent study of bidets said it was easier to move themselves rather than adjust the nozzle, so if your intended recipient has limited mobility, this bidet may not be a great option. Some users found that it shifted a bit under the toilet seat. And one said the water pressure could be quite strong: “A 2 or 3 on the dial will give you a blast!” Most users found the Classic easy to install and had no trouble figuring out the water-pressure dial or nozzle adjustment switch.

    For more options: Bidet Review: 'I Have Less Toilet Paper Anxiety'

    This unique drill falls in our light-duty category because of the limitations of its fixed ¼-inch chuck. That’s not a problem, though, if you’re drilling small holes. Plus, the Hilti SFD 2-A goes for half the price of many cordless drills with similar capabilities while still being reasonably powerful. A built-in LED light helps illuminate your workspace, and the drill’s modest 2.2-pound weight minimizes strain and fatigue, earning it an Excellent rating for handling. One of the biggest selling points is perhaps the 20-year warranty, which goes far beyond the standard three years for cordless drills. It comes with two 2.6-amp-hour batteries, a belt clip, and a soft-sided case.

    For more options: Best Cordless Drills