Roman-Bust Candles, a Whole Jamón, and More of the Internet’s Best Unique Gifts
Unusual ideas, starting at $20.
Updated Nov 18, 2022 9:59 AM
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The idea of a unique gift might strike you as redundant; all presents, by nature, are special. But the best unique gifts are the ones that possess the power of shock and awe. This caliber of shopping surprise is one we bring out when dealing with particularly difficult-to-please people. You know the type: friends and family who already have everything or claim to want nothing.
Unique gifts go beyond the thoughtful and delightful to the unusual and wow-inducing. If you’re still unsure about what we’re getting at here, please refer to our carefully curated list of offbeat ideas, below. A Roman bust–shaped candle, a tiny tent, and tins of status-symbol laundry detergent await.
Our Unique Gifts Hit List
- Kosterina Olive Oil Cake
- Vacation x Prince Ball Boy Candle
- Smallhold Mushroom Grow Kit
- Wax Buffalo Spicy Manhattan Candle
- Oliver Bonas Skittle Metal Water Bottle
- Tiny Tents Tiny Tent
- Mercado Famous Whole Jamón
- Papier d’Armenie Starter Box
- Gohar Lemon Squeezer
- Dedcool Dedtergent 05 Spring
- Wilderton Bittersweet Aperitivo
- Tamanohada Welcome Soap
- Ninemoo Moonlight Shell Earring
- SINDStudio Tooth Shot Glass
- Omsom The IYKYK Shaker Set
- Cadence Reusable Travel Capsules
- Pillow Cube Sidekick
- Pampshade Dinner Roll Lamp
- Xula Calm + Clarity Hemp Supplement
- Molly J. CBD Advent Calendar
- Trudon Marie-Antoinette Bust Decorative Candle
- Gunia Saint Nicolas Ceramic Plate
- Dusen Dusen Striped Robe
- The Land Stewardship Regeneration
Best Unique Gifts for Under $30
Who needs a tiny tent? Probably no one—save for the outdoorsy giftee who already owns every piece of camping, hiking, and backpacking gear on the face of the earth. Instead of trying to figure out if that petite percolator or full-on water filtration system is something they’d bring on a camping trip or not, get a really good rise out of them by wrapping up this miniature tent. (You could also gift it to their hiking partner if they happen to have four legs.) It’s just as good as the real thing: two zipper side doors, windows, a removable rainfly, a mesh roof for stargazing, and more.
Candles are expensive and overdone; incense papers, on the other hand, are not. Consider this three-pack as a fancier alternative to the musty stick versions of college days best forgotten. Once lit, the sheets provide an intoxicating fragrance that is subtle in its lingering. (As an FYI to those on a tighter budget: There’s a single pack available for less than 10 bucks.)
This tiny tool, designed to squeeze a single slice of lemon (or lime), will wow a future dinner party host. Perhaps you’ll buy them a whole set that they can whimsically style their tablescapes with—personal citrus squeezers for all!
Is it a water bottle or is it an objet? Spare a bit of storage space in your giftee’s kitchen with an H2O canister that’s covert enough to be left out on the counter and mistaken for decor. Despite its delicate, vaselike visage, the eye-catching vessel is actually made of durable stainless steel.
Best Unique Gifts for Under $50
After burning this Manhattan-scented soy candle (think: spicy notes like peppercorn and chili pepper) down to the wick, your giftee can save the glass as a new vessel for the namesake drink. Though it isn’t the only cocktail-inspired candle by Wax Buffalo that comes in a reusable whiskey tumbler—you can choose between the Moscow Mule, limoncello, mimosa, and more.
While these mushrooms aren’t of the psychedelic persuasion, they are of the gourmet Blue Oyster variety. A perfect offbeat idea for any gourmand whose definition of a good time is lovingly tending to a bag of growing spores. All they’ll need once they receive your gracious science project of a gift is one spray bottle filled with water and a cool, dark space to encourage these babies to multiply.
Skip the expected fancy Diptyque candle and go in on this off-the-rails Vacation votive that’s scented like a “commemorative ball boy.” Wondering what that smells like? According to the product description, it’s an olfactory mix of the following: uncanned tennis balls, sunscreen, cotton sweatbands (specifically the Prince variety), and cucumber sandwiches.
Or any offbeat giftee, really, who would fancy a few wacky vessels to deliver their favorite spirits. We love that the tooth-shaped shots come crafted by a small business with an Etsy storefront. Their pearly white sheen? That’s all fade-resistant porcelain, baby.
Impress the heck out of someone with this freshly baked, made-to-order cake infused with Kosterina’s high-quality EVOO. Described as a not-too-sweet or too-savory “elegant version of pound cake,” the confection is all kinds of light, moist, and fluffy. Each 8-inch cake comes packaged in a gift box alongside a packet of powdered sugar for sifting over the top and the brand’s signature early-harvest extra virgin olive oil.
Status candles walked so status detergent could fly. Dedcool’s design-forward, 32-ounce aluminum canister is cool enough to phase even the most jaded of Gen-Z. Of the four rich-y scents, we have to recommend 05 Spring: a blend of bergamot, lavender, and patchouli. Trust us when we say that it might be one of the best-smelling detergents…ever. The best part? When the tin runs out, your giftee can order a refill of the brand’s other intoxicating scents that will turn their dirty socks into a Diptyque candle.
Not all statement jewelry needs to be loud and costumey. Behold: A single earring featuring an ethically harvested and pearlized conch shell. The creator, Ninemoo, is a slow-fashion brand based in the U.K. with a commitment to carbon footprint–conscious production. Other elegant eye-catchers from the maker worth your shopping consideration include a pair of delicate dangling paper airplanes and these London Weather beaded rain clouds.
In Japan, fish soap on a rope is considered a good omen. Traditionally made by Tamanohada with sustainably certified palm oil and lightly scented with essential oils, you can rest assured it’s gentle for both the skin and the planet. After rinsing their hands, your giftee can hang this sculptural cutie up with the attached linen rope so it can dry without totally losing its figure after each use.
Best Unique Gifts for Under $100
A fever dream trio of salt, pepper, and (gasp) MSG. Don’t let the acronym’s outdated bad rap fool you, this salty flavor enhancer will take your chosen recipient’s meal to the next level—in a good way. Plus the colorful beechwood dispensers will please as much as a statement maker to their spice rack as they will to their taste buds.
This is a surprising, sustainable idea for frequent fliers—or people with involved vitamin routines. Cadence’s color-customizable capsules snap together via magnetic force and offer reusable space for toiletries, pills, and even jewelry. They’re TSA compliant, 100% leakproof, and made of 20% recycled ocean-bound plastic and 30% excess manufacturing material.
Although just looking at this cube-shaped pillow makes our neck hurt, more than 300 rave reviewers swear by it for alleviating pain and providing sound sleep support. The Instagram-famous Pillow Cube comes backed by influencer Alyssa Coscarelli (who won’t travel without it); Domino’s deputy photo editor, Andie Diemer (whose TMJ it keeps at bay); and our own shopping guide to the best pillows for side sleepers. In conclusion, it will likely satisfy a tight-jawed giftee who travels often.
The holidays are hectic, and providing a moment of peace can be as simple as Xula’s chill-ifying calm and clarity formula. The pricey elixir features a precise mix of organically grown botanicals like hemp, mugwort, and damiana. Just a drop can help dissolve daily distractions, as 32 past purchasers attest to, one of whom adds it’s a soothing experience, not sedating.
Another chill gift idea: Molly J.’s Advent calendar filled with 25 handmade CBD gumdrops. Behind each numbered door awaits the 12 different natural fruit flavors of the brand’s signature formula. Each gluten- and THC-free gummy is made in small batches from hemp-derived, broad-spectrum CBD that’s organically grown in the U.S.
Best Unique Gifts for Under $200
If they aren’t wowed by this resin-preserved slice of milk bread that functions as a freaking lamp, then we give up. The handcrafted piece is made from the usual ingredients—yeast, flour, water, and a lightbulb—and is inspired by a Food52-favorite recipe by Catherine Margaret O’Donnell.
Nothing shocks like the oversized, and we can’t stop thinking about this nearly foot-tall Marie-Antoinette bust that’s actually a Trudon candle. In our burn test, the rose pink wax melted quite slowly—affecting only her crown and a chunk of her wig. (Considering the price tag, the recipient may want to keep this one intact.) We think it’s a suitable treat for history buffs and candle obsessives alike.
Yes, your read that right: A lucky giftee can wear Harry Styles’s favorite robe. Okay, so it isn’t the exact one we clocked hanging in his backstage bathroom—but it’s still the same Dusen Dusen number. The plush yet absorbent robe is made of 100% cotton. And the contrasting stripe pattern is reversible.
This porcelain plate (available in two sizes) is rimmed in gold and adorned with a hand-painted depiction of St. Nicolas. We love how the creator, Gunia, infuses traditional Ukrainian cultural heritage with modern elements in all of its eye-catching pieces.
Through Christy Dawn, a Los Angeles–based clothing label, you can give the gift of land regeneration by mitigating a cotton farmer’s costs in your recipient’s honor. After receiving monthly status updates on the farm’s progress, your giftee will have the option to purchase the very piece of clothing they helped grow.
Best Unique Gifts for Over $200
And the prestigious award for most unique (bordering on the absurd) gift goes to…a $300 whole jamón. Mercado Famous’s stacked selection of cured meats, sourced from Spain, hits an all-time high with this 100% grain-fed Serrano leg that’s been meticulously cured for 24 months. It ships for free, weighs a whopping 15 pounds, and will feed up to 40 giftees.