Top Gifts Under $50
These well-rated products from CR's tests will brighten anyone's holiday
At Consumer Reports, we take our stocking stuffers seriously—because we know that a well-priced, useful product can bring much joy. Browse our specially curated roundup of top-rated product picks for great gift ideas under $50.
Go to Consumer Reports’ Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.
Coffee & Tea
The unassuming, inexpensive Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R might be easy to miss, but it can brew a mean cup of joe at a fantastic price. In a basic black plastic finish, it has the essentials. It’s programmable, as its name says, and has auto-shutoff—and it offers solid brewing performance, making a fresh pot in just 10 minutes. One of the lowest-priced drip makers near the top of our ratings, this simple model will get the job done.
For more options: Best Drip Coffee Makers
The Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker PBPBK-5101 is the most inexpensive cold-brew coffee maker in our ratings—and it’s one of the best. It receives an Excellent rating for convenience. This Primula comes with a glass carafe, and most of its parts are dishwasher-safe. It’s the only model that calls for a full 24-hour brew time, but you might find the results to be worth the wait.
For more options: Best Cold-Brew Coffee Makers
This Cuisinart coffee grinder earns a Good rating in overall performance and is a breeze to clean. It also features dial, button, and slider controls, and can hold about 8 ounces of coffee. At this price—around $50—it's a solid pick for turning out a tasty cup of joe.
For more options: Best and Worst Burr Coffee Grinders
This AmazonBasics kettle is made of stainless steel, and it’s one of the least expensive kettles in our tests. It’s small, though, holding just 4 cups of water—the least of the kettles we tested. It’s among the fastest to bring our testing standard of 4 cups of water to a boil, clocking in at just under 4 minutes and earning a Very Good rating in our time-to-boil tests. This kettle is a little harder to clean than some of the other models we tested. The warranty lasts one year.
For more options: Best Electric Kettles
Kitchen Tools & Cookware
The 10-inch Member’s Mark nonstick aluminum pan turns out evenly cooked food that easily slides out of the pan. The nonstick coating withstood all 2,000 steel-wool strokes in CR's durability test. The handle gets a little warm to the touch, though, and isn’t very sturdy, which is true for most nonstick frying pans in this price range. It’s dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 400° F.
For more options: Best Nonstick Frying Pans
Lodge has been making cast-iron frying pans in its Tennessee foundry since 1896. It's one of the few surviving iconic American brands. This 12-inch Lodge cast-iron pan is top-notch at browning scallops and earns an Excellent rating for searing a steak. Baking is only so-so, though. Heating evenness is also mediocre. It weighs 7.8 pounds, which is about average.
For more options: Best Cast-Iron Frying Pans
The Chefman is the only waffle maker we tested to snag a CR Best Buy designation. For far less money than most of the competition, this machine churns out evenly browned round waffles. It garners a Very Good rating for its color-range settings, meaning there’s a remarkable difference between waffles made on the darkest setting (brown and crispy) and lightest setting (light and fluffy). It has an indicator light to let you know when the waffles are ready, the option to store it vertically to save space, and a batter cup for precise portioning. However, the handle and latch get uncomfortably warm during cooking, despite the “cool touch” claims, so you may want to use an oven mitt when opening and closing the lid.
For more options: Best Waffle Makers
In our lab tests, this nicely priced hand mixer outperformed models costing twice as much. It’ll turn whipping cream into fluffy peaks in seconds. Stiff cookie dough, which undoes many bargain mixers, proved no problem. You won’t get much in the way of add-ons, but its wire beaters do just fine.
For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for mixers.
The Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2A is a 3-cup chopper that combines great value with solid performance. In our tests, it was particularly adept at chopping almonds and onions, and grating Parmesan cheese, though other choppers were better at puréeing. This model is ideal if you have limited counter space—it takes up as much counter space as a postcard.
For more options: Best Food Processors and Choppers
Bed & Bath
Give the gift of cool, sweet dreams: The Beckham Luxury Linens Hotel Collection pillow has a 100 percent cotton cover and a filling of 100 percent polyester gel-fiber. The manufacturer claims that the materials in the Beckham pillow keep it cool. To that end, it did ace our test for breathability, and also scored top marks when it comes to resiliency—which means it will hold its shape well over time. Plus, at around $35 for a two-pack, it's a good value.
For more options: Best Pillows
If your loved one has yet to go electric on his dental game, now’s as good of a time as any. The Fairywill toothbrush is a great value (it comes in at under $30!) and excellent for cleaning performance. Its built-in timer ensures that users get the dentist-recommended 2-minute cleaning time, while a rechargeable battery means you can hang on to it for years to come—simply swap the toothbrush head when needed.
For more options: Best Electric Toothbrushes
Luxe Bidet Neo 120
According to a recent user study that CR conducted, having a bidet has been a huge relief for some people these days. For those looking for an inexpensive bidet solution, the Luxe Neo 120 bidet attachment is your best bet. It’s a bare-bones sprayer with two dials—one to turn on the water, the another to adjust water pressure.
For more options: Bidet Review: ’I Have Less Toilet Paper Anxiety’
Streamline your giftee’s morning routine with an easy-to-use trimmer that might just become a go-to. The Braun beard trimmer scored well among our volunteer testers when it came to maintenance, usability, and its overall basic features. While the model itself is not fully washable, users who tested the item noted that the trimmer wasn’t too difficult to clean.
For more options: Best Beard Trimmers
It’s not all about looks with this whimsical Crane Owl humidifier. On just about every measure, including moisture output and noise, it earns an Excellent rating. It’s convenient to use, though not being able to get a hand into the tank for cleaning is a drawback. The 250-square-foot claimed coverage area is on the high end for a small-room model.
For more options: Best Humidifiers Under $50
This over-ear wireless model is usually available for around $50, a steal given the superb noise-canceling performance and above-average sound quality. The BT-300ANC features integrated controls for calls, volume, and playback, and the ear cups fold in for easy storage and transport. According to Monoprice, the battery will run for 8 hours between charges with both Bluetooth and noise-canceling turned on. (CR doesn't test battery life in headphones.) You can keep the music going even longer by switching off Bluetooth and using the detachable audio cable, which is included.
For more options: Noise-Canceling Headphones on a Budget
For the price, these earphones deliver impressive sound quality, beating some competitors that cost more than three times as much. The JBuds Air have an advertised 3.5-hour battery life and come with a carrying case that will recharge the earphones for an additional two cycles. Other features include support for various digital assistants, three switchable EQ modes to change the tonal balance of the sound, and, according to JLab, water resistance. (We don’t test that feature.)
For more options: Best True Wireless Earphones
JBL takes aim at runners with the Endurance Sprint. These wireless earphones deliver solid audio quality and have a claimed 8-hour battery life and integrated touch controls for volume, playback, and calling. According to JBL, they’re waterproof. That means they can take more than a splash or a dousing from the rain during your next run. You could even take them into a pool for a few laps.
For more options: Great Workout Headphones
Turtle Beach Recon 50
This is a wired model with cables that descend from both ear cups, as one user in a CR study noted, which can be a nuisance. Inline controls let you adjust the volume and mute the mic. The mic can also be removed if you wish to use the headphones to listen to music and movie soundtracks. The included PC splitter cable provides access to headphone and mic jacks on computers. The headset is compatible with Mac and PC, PS5 and PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, and mobile devices that accept a 3.5mm audio plug, but you have to choose the correct model for your computer or console.
For more options: How to Choose a Great Gaming Headset
The latest version of the Echo Dot features radically revamped styling—a spherical look that’s a shrunken version of the larger and more expensive Echo, which is also all-new. In terms of smart speaker performance, the Dot hasn’t changed much from its hockey-puck-like predecessor, and still works about as well as the company’s more expensive models. That’s because most of Alexa’s heavy-duty artificial intelligence work is done on Amazon’s cloud servers, which makes the Dot a good value in that regard. Our testers find the newest Dot to sound somewhat better than the last generation, with slightly clearer highs and a bit more bass. However, the Dot is still best for listening close-by to a podcast rather than filling a room with music. It’s worth noting that if you have young ones on your list, it comes in a $60 Kids Edition as well, which features Panda and Tiger graphics and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+.
For more options: Best Smart Speakers
Known for its top-notch DVRs, TiVo is now taking aim at the Apple TV and Roku models with the TiVo Stream 4K. The small, rectangular dongle plugs into a TV’s HDMI port and runs on the Google Android platform, with a proprietary TiVo app for searches and content recommendations. The device supports 4K videos; the HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG HDR formats; and Dolby Atmos sound. It comes with a tiny peanut-shaped TiVo remote, but you can also use voice commands with the built-in Google Assistant.
For more options: Best 4K Streaming Media Devices
At $50, the Amazon Fire 7 tablet is a great gift option, especially for kids. The 7-inch tablet lets you create profiles for individual users, tailoring home screens and app selection to each member of the family. (By contrast, Apple's iPad supports only one user profile.) And the built-in microSD card reader is a handy, low-cost way to expand the device's storage capacity using memory cards. Just keep in mind that the display quality is not as crisp as what you find on an iPad. The processing power is more limited, too. The same goes for Amazon's app store offerings.
For more options: Best Cheap Laptops and Tablets
The Samsung 9W is relatively compact and has a built-in cooling fan for faster charging. The round status indicator light changes color when the device is fully charged but takes up to 30 seconds to alert you if the device is positioned incorrectly on the charging pad—which can be a nuisance if you’ve already walked away. The 4-foot-long standard microUSB power cable can be replaced without much hassle.
For more options: Best Wireless Chargers for Your Smartphone and Other Devices
Adesso iMouse E1
This mouse places the forearm, wrist, and hand in a handshake position, greatly reducing forearm pronation. When properly oriented, it also reduces wrist extension. Note, however, that the natural position with the front facing forward requires slight extension. The model features six programmable buttons, two dpi settings (1000/1600), and a glossy finish that picks up fingerprints easily and may make the palm and fingers feel sweaty. For a similarly priced left-handed option, check out the Adesso iMouse E9.
For more options: The Best Ergonomic Mouse for You