Top Home Gifts for Under $100
Cookware, coffee makers, air fryers, pillows, and more high performers from Consumer Reports' tests
Do you have a price in mind—but aren’t quite sure what to buy that special someone this holiday season? The experts at Consumer Reports put together a series of gift guides that are grouped by price. Here, we focus on some of our top-rated home products for less than $100.
Go to Consumer Reports’ Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.
This nonstick cast-aluminum frying pan earns a CR recommendation for its even cooking ability, sturdy construction, and durable surface. Its handle stayed cool to the touch during cooking, and the nonstick coating stood up well to the steel wool abrasion test in CR’s labs. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
For more options: Best Nonstick Frying Pans
The Victoria is one of the lowest-priced cast-iron pans we’ve tested, but it browns and sears just as well as some higher-priced ones, earning top scores in both tests. But it was only so-so in our cornbread test, which measures baking ability, and earns a Fair rating in our heating evenness test. At 6.9 pounds, it’s lighter than many of the pans in our ratings.
For more options: Best Cast-Iron Frying Pans
With more than 120 years in the business, Lodge knows a thing or two about cast iron, and the Lodge 6-quart Dutch oven turns out bread that’s nicely browned and crispy, rating a Very Good in our bread-baking test. Cleanup is a breeze. Weighing in at 14 pounds, this Dutch oven has a 7-inch cooking surface diameter and wide loop handles.
For more options: Best Dutch Ovens
Coffee & Tea
Insulated Travel Mug
Zojirushi 16 oz.
This slim mug is in a league of its own in terms of pure performance. It keeps drinks hot for an astonishing 13½ hours—6 hours longer than the closest competitor in our tests, earning a top rating of Excellent for temperature retention. The screw-on cap is easy to clean, with two removable gaskets. Our testers found the mug easy to open with one hand: Simply press a button on the side and the lid pops up so that you can drink out of the plastic spout. You can also lock the lid, a nice feature if you have young kids who are the type to tinker with a mug filled with scalding hot coffee. The slender design of the mug means it’s likely to fit in car cup holders.
For more options: Best Insulated Mugs
This Cuisinart drip coffee maker with a stainless steel finish and glass carafe earns an Excellent rating for brew performance. It’s programmable and features a water filter, a permanent coffee filter, a cleaning mode, a cleaning indicator, and auto-shutoff. The machine also allows you to adjust the strength of your brew. For the money, this model offers style and features that are hard to beat.
For more options: Best Drip Coffee Makers
The Cuisinart SS-5 combines a relatively low price with relatively strong performance in our tests. With features like a built-in water filter and a removable water reservoir, this single-serve model rates Excellent for convenience. It delivers both the first cup of coffee and subsequent cups pretty quickly. This machine requires K-Cup packs and has some flexibility in adjusting brew strength.
For more options: Best Pod Coffee Makers
In our evaluation of cold brew machines, the Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker DCB-10 performed better than automatic models that cost almost twice as much. It does well across all our tests, and it’s the only model to receive a Very Good rating for ease of cleaning. Most parts are dishwasher-safe, unlike the other models in its class. This Cuisinart comes with a glass carafe (not plastic, like some competing models) and brews a full 35-ounce carafe in 25 to 45 minutes—a snap compared with the 12 to 14 hours it can take without an automatic brewing machine.
For more options: Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers
The 7-cup Cuisinart PerfecTemp CPK-17 boils about as fast as the other kettles in our tests. It costs more than most of the models we tested, but it has six preset temperature settings for making different types of teas or French-press coffee, and it boasts a three-year warranty. This stainless kettle garners a great score in our convenience tests—you’ll have no trouble reading the markings.
For more options: Best Electric Kettles
A CR Best Buy, the GoWise GW22731 has measured capacity of 4.9 quarts. Its touch buttons and programmed settings are among the easiest to see and use, earning an Excellent rating in our assessment. And this is one of the quietest air fryers we’ve tested. The exterior’s crevices and the basket’s nooks and crannies take some effort to clean, however. It comes with a one-year warranty.
For more options: Best Air Fryers
Fizzi One Touch
The SodaStream Fizzi One Touch, the only soda maker we’ve evaluated that has to be plugged into an outlet, gets our highest marks in every test. 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, and it’s ideal for someone with limited hand strength.
For more options: Best Soda Makers
The Instant Pot Duo is half the price of some of its competition, and it performs similarly to its more expensive sibling, the Instant Pot Max. It rates Excellent for pressure-cooking and can hold its own against a Crock-Pot in the slow-cooking department, too, though it may require more time. It also takes up less space than even the smallest slow cookers from our ratings.
For more options: Best Multi-Cookers
This 6-quart Hamilton Beach slow cooker is one of the least expensive of the programmable models we’ve tested, and it beat out Crock-Pot, long synonymous with slow cookers, in our tests. Program this model to cook for up to 24 hours; the auto-warm option lasts for 24 hours, too. The owner’s manual includes tips on using the temperature probe and hold-temp mode to cook meat and fish using the sous vide method (placing food in a sealed bag and slowly cooking it in a warm bath of water). The warranty is for one year.
For more options: Best Slow Cookers
The Black+Decker 8-Slice Digital Extra Wide TO3290XSD snags a Very Good rating in our reheating test, evenly reheating a single serving of lasagna in 15 minutes. In other words, it won’t take you long to get leftovers on the table. This 1,500-watt toaster oven has a temperature range of 150° F to 450° F, and there are three rack positions. The additional functions are what you’d expect—reheat, bake, and broil—and there are settings for bagels and pizza.
For more options: Best Toaster Ovens
The 600-watt Instant Pot Ace Multi-Use blender earns an Excellent rating in our icy-drinks tests, which means whoever receives this as a gift can expect smoothies with a smooth, consistent texture, though it’s better at blending bananas and other soft fruits than puréeing carrots and apples. There are settings for blending milk made of nuts, rice, or soy, and one for blending and cooking hot soup. We made a cannellini cauliflower soup in about 25 minutes following an Instant Pot recipe, and it turned out nice and hot thanks to the blender’s 700-watt built-in heater. The container is glass.
For more options: Best Blenders Under $100
For the person on your list who can’t turn off “The Great British Baking Show,” the Hamilton Beach 63326 stand mixer is a top performer when it comes to whipping and mixing, and it earns a Very Good rating for kneading both bread and cookie dough. The six-speed mixer comes with a 4-quart stainless steel bowl, a flat beater, a dough hook, and a wire whisk. Added bonus? At less than a hundred bucks, it’s also one of the cheapest models in our tests, making it a smart choice for the discerning baker.
For more options: Best Stand Mixers
The Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004 chopper has a 2.5-cup capacity and features a top-mounted motor that you push down to operate. It earns a Very Good rating for chopping, turning out nicely chopped veggies and nuts in our tests. Included in the set is a larger 5-cup processing bowl and a 6-cup blender jar.
For more options: Best Food Processors & Choppers
If you have an aspiring chef on your list, the Hamilton Beach 70820 food processor will help them slice, dice, chop, shred, purée, and grate their way through the long winter months. This model scored well in tests for all the aforementioned jobs—especially if they’re into shredding vegetables for slaw or cheese for nachos—though it’s a bit on the noisy side. But for this price, it’s a great tool for anyone’s kitchen.
For more options: Best Food Processors & Choppers
Bed & Bath
YnM Weighted Blanket
The YnM blanket has a cotton cover and doesn’t come with a duvet cover, though YnM sells covers separately. The beads are glass. YnM says you can wash and dry the blanket by machine on the gentle cycle but recommends washing the duvet cover rather than the inner blanket because frequent washing may damage the heavy weighted blanket. It comes in 26 colors.
For more options: “We Tested 5 Weighted Blankets. Here’s What We Found.”
A CR Best Buy, the Vicks V5100NS cool mist model can humidify a room up to 400 square feet, which makes it a great size for a bedroom. It garners an Excellent rating in hard-water output, something to consider if your water supply contains significant amounts of calcium and magnesium. They can clog the humidifier, decreasing moisture output. As for features, there’s automatic shut-off, but that’s it.
For more options: Best Humidifiers
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’