We Shook the Amazon Tree for These 50 Unique Gifts
A fancy Alessi fruit bowl and reusable Swedish dishcloths.
Updated Dec 1, 2022 5:24 PM
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Here’s an oxymoronic idea: unique Amazon gifts. The polarizing e-tailer is known for its fast shipping abilities and seemingly endless stock. What it possesses in mass convenience, however, it lacks in thoughtful curation; think: more toilet paper and hack-y kitchen tools than hand-painted sugar spoons and block-printed napkin sets. But that’s not to say unique gifts don’t exist on Amazon—you just need the time, energy, and strategic search words to shake them out.
After spending the better (or worse) part of a weekend, we uncovered 50 presents that even we were surprised to find. Prices range from under-$10 treasures to over-$200 worthy investments. There’s a blown-glass Christmas pickle and retro leather roller skates. Scroll on to shop our list of gifts they’ll never guess you sourced from Amazon.
Unique Amazon Gifts Under $10
Whether they’re bona fide New Yorkers or have only seen the city via Seinfeld‘s set, here are two ceramic espresso vessels sure to elicit a chuckle. Fashioned to imitate the iconic Greek to-go cup from 1963, the design includes details like a realistic seam and even an edge fold. “These are absolutely adorable! Just like the to-go cups I see on TV when a show is set in New York. These even have a seam down the side to make them appear like a paper cup. I love them,” one Amazon reviewer raves.
A seemingly small gift that packs a more thoughtful holiday punch. For those unfamiliar with the Christmas Pickle: It’s a German tradition where a pickle-shaped ornament is hidden within a Christmas tree and the first person in the household to find it is blessed with good fortune for the year to come. This little green guy is made of handblown glass and comes packaged in a giftable box with a golden S-hook for hanging. “The details are amazing,” one Amazon reviewer attests. “Bought this as a gift for a friend who always remembers to bring me everything bagels when she travels to New York. It looks like it should cost so much more than I paid. She loved it!”
Unique gifts can also be practical—case in point: a cute duo of fish-shaped tawashi. These Japanese-style dishcloth scrubbers are made of 100% hand-crocheted cotton that’s surprisingly strong. “Great gift. Bought these for a friend and she loves them! Pretty and useful,” one reviewer confirms. Another, speaking to their strength, writes: “I love these! Better than a sponge, machine washable, and long-lasting.”
In other under-$10-fish-shaped-gift news: a fish skeleton comb. Small? Yes. Strange? Sure. Unique? 100%. Although the reviews are limited on this little guy, past purchasers surprisingly have only good things to say: “If you are going to own a comb, shouldn’t it look like a fish?” one writes; another declares it “sturdy and delightful.” The only complaint? That it isn’t available in more colors.
Jonathan Adler’s Amazon-exclusive line, Now House, affords our pets access to the iconic designer’s bold, unapologetic designs. We were thrilled to discover his patterned ceramic bowl on sale for less than $10. The bottom of the giftable vessel features a removable silicone sleeve that, as reviewers point out, helps prevent the bowl from sliding across the floor when being used by overzealous furry pals.
Unique Amazon Gifts Under $25
An extra-large box of 50 quality matchsticks makes for crowd-pleasing gift material whether stuffed into a stocking or presented to a party host. Best Quality Matches are made from recycled materials and packaged with a vintage-style design. Our favorite? The dog collage.
Reviewer praise ranges from “Great hostess gift! These are a super-fun gift for a friend who has dogs, along with a candle” to “Besides the cool box, the matches inside are pretty great, too. They’re long and thick and easy to grasp. And they’re quick to light; even a tiny swipe at a spot on the striker bar does the trick.”
When searching for design-forward and gift-worthy games on Amazon, head straight for the Galison storefront. It’s where we found this lovely Liberty-patterned set hiding. The portable box opens out into a backgammon or ludo board, complete with matte black and powder blue player pieces.
This reusable coffee vessel is made of artisan-blown, high-grade borosilicate glass and features a sleek heat-resistant silicone sleeve. We think the amberlight colorway is the perfect gift for your favorite minimalist coffee snob.
This darling set of four 20-by-20-inch napkins is block printed in India by Ridhi. Each design is made of 100% cotton and features the sweet detailing of a scalloped trim.
A fact of life: One can never possess too many pouches. Whether your giftee chooses to stuff this nylon design full of makeup, coins, or cords, it comes reviewer approved to durably store its contents throughout years of wear and tear. Take it from the Amazon reviewer who confessed: “This zipper pouch will outlast me! The most durable pouch I own.” And another, who “purchased two of these for holiday gifts,” confirms that the water-resistant pouches have “sturdy inside and outside material. Easy to clean inside and out. Great makeup or tech bag.”
A set of 100% cotton oven mitts awash in an adorable dog print. Many reviewers, who have both gifted and received the mitts, attest that on top of their palpable cute factor, the duo is incredibly durable and heat resistant.
Another hidden-gem storefront on Amazon? Areaware. While it was hard to choose just one unique gift from the design-forward homewares brand, we settled on this geometric coaster set that fits together to form a trivet. “Great gift for design fans, architects, and quilters,” a reviewer suggests. “Huge hit at my office holiday gift exchange (architects) and with my mother-in-law—a very talented quilter!”
We had some difficulty deciding between the National Parks and New York vintage postcards. Ultimately, we went with the above tin featuring nine iconic illustrations Amazon reviewers describe as “cool” and “very colorful” vintage NYC designs. The images are sourced from the Cavallini archives and printed on the stationery brand’s classic cream paper stock. “I wanted vintage-looking cards without paying too much for them,” a reviewer writes. “They’re great quality, and the tin is sturdy and adorable—I’ll definitely be repurposing it.”
Traditional Bavarian candy, no trip to Germany required. This imported four-pack from Hermann the German features an assortment of raspberry, orange, lemon, and blackberry hard candies. Reviewers call the sweets “the best in terms of flavor” and “attractive for gift giving.” One even attests that “family and friends have fallen in love with these.”
Gift this enamelware mug as is or bundle it with the recipient’s favorite hot-beverage blend. “Exactly as pictured and just a beautiful object. The green color is really beautiful in person,” writes one pleased reviewer. Another points out that the mug is great for backpackers: “It’s big enough to boil water and cook in as well as to drink from. Add a small silicone lid and it fits well on small backpacking stoves.”
Amazon reviewers feel strongly about this natural, mineral-rich soap. “I discovered this soap while visiting Maine. Before returning home, I ordered three boxes for my personal use and have given more as gifts. (It is also on my Christmas list.) The scent is so clean and fresh, and the grains of sea salt do a marvelous job of exfoliating,” one exclaims. Another declares: “It smells amazing and makes my skin feel incredibly soft. I don’t even need to apply lotion. It suds really nicely and the sea salt provides nice exfoliation. I’m planning to repurchase once I’m done with this three-pack. This would make a great gift also!”
Delight and surprise with a stoneware sugar spoon that’s hand-painted in Poland. Reviewer testaments of the charming gift-worthy find span from “exactly as pictured” to “perfect.”
Designer Hunter Craighill specializes in products that are functional, timeless, beautiful, and intriguing—aka unique. Our under-$25 gifting pick from his Amazon storefront is this aesthetically pleasing brass keyring. Purchasers describe it as beautifully crafted, secure, and easy to add or remove keys from. “Definitely recommend it as a gift for a loved one or yourself,” says one reviewer.
This set of 100% cotton tea towels is inspired by the iconic architect’s designs. As a bonus, a portion of each sale is donated to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in support of continued conservation and education.
With more than 32,000 reviews and a 4.8-out-of-5-star rating, the appreciation for this thread-bound notebook is not lacking. The highest praise, perhaps, comes from one reviewer who calls it “better than Moleskine.” It’s described by the same reviewer as a bit wider and thicker than its pricier equivalent, but with a smoother finish and superior printing style. Other reviewers wrote in to plug the hardcover journals as crowd-pleasing present ideas: “These make great gifts, along with a set of nice pens and a personal note!” and “I have given these journals as gifts and they are always appreciated.”
A bemusing take on the brown bag. This reusable lunch tote is crafted from organic waxed-canvas materials that are naturally grown and GOTS-certified. “You can tell it is made with care and attention to detail. Excellent quality for a reusable, simple canvas bag. The pink is really pretty,” one 5-star reviewer attests.
Unique Amazon Gifts Under $50
According to reviewers, any recipient of this acrylic magazine holder will have a sturdy, modern storage solution on their hands. Add an extra personal touch to it by filling it with the giftee’s favorite magazines or small organizational tools.
A unique gift idea that’s sure to impress the host. Domino’s chief content officer, Kate Berry, has been obsessed with this stainless steel cheese curler ever since she first experienced its Tête de Moine florets at a Paris dinner party—and then again a few years later at an even fancier Hermès fete. “I had never seen or tasted such a thing, and just loved the thin little ribbons in the shape of a flower,” Berry confesses. “Curling the cheese is so satisfying and impressive.”
As far as unique Amazon gifts for New York City residents go, this subway coat hanger gets our vote. The 10-hook system is made of powder-coated stainless steel and designed to imitate the Big Apple’s infamous public transit maps. More than 1,000 reviewers have written in and detailed it as stylish, well-made, functional, fun, and easy to install.
The packaging alone for this Portuguese soap on a rope is enough to woo our gift-worthy senses. Reviewers stand by its woodsy fragrance profile with notes of sandalwood, patchouli, and vanilla, describing it as classic and elegant.
There’s a reason Fly by Jing’s sauces and spices have become pantry staples that you’ll see in all kinds of shops—including Amazon. The all-natural, vegan, and gluten-free products are crafted in Chengdu, China, by renowned chef Jing Gao. If your giftee is wondering what dish to amp up with the signature Chili Crisp recipe, we advise the following: eggs, dumplings, pizza, salads, noodles, and even ice cream.
One reviewer says: “Because of the branding and the uniqueness, I’ve also found that Fly by Jing Chili Crisp makes for a cool gift. I’ve gotten many of my friends hooked on it.” Another reviewer, not the type to spend money on condiments, was once gifted a jar and never looked back. “Let’s just say, I was utterly shocked by the unique flavor profile and the freshness of the ingredients. I even went so far as to buy a jar of my own and am looking for ways to buy in bulk so we can save on these because we simply cannot get enough!”
The 5-star-reviewer’s praise for this hand-painted pitcher details it as being “cuter than I ever imagined” with a “nice weight” to it that was heavier than expected. Its endearing fox shape—with a spout built into its little mouth, to boot—is not for the cottagecore faint of heart.
A travel-friendly bundle of the premium skin-care brand’s best-selling products. Each of the 100% vegan formulas—spanning body-, face-, and hair care—is packaged in a recyclable aluminum tube clad with Malin + Goetz’s iconic label.
Gift this to the person in your life who would be delighted at the sight of a little Robin Hood–esque espresso pot boiling away on their stovetop. Bialetti designed this quirky rendition of its iconic 1933-born Moka Express in honor of the Alpina corps of the Italian Army.
As someone who has personally received them bundled alongside a bottle of Aesop hand soap, I can attest these Swedish dishcloths make for a surprisingly thoughtful (and useful) gift. The nine-pack is made of a 70% cellulose and 30% cotton blend that’s 100% compostable and safe to wash and reuse up to 200 times. Sound too good to be true? Take it from the reviewer who says that not only are they pretty, absorbent, and easy to clean, but they hold up to a year of rigorous cleaning—”I run them through the dishwasher and dry them and they’re good as new.” Another writes, “I have ordered several sets for use as hostess gifts, and they are always a huge hit. Try some; you will love them. It’s an easy way to do a little bit for the planet.”
With a total of seven colors to choose from, this thickly woven rattan bike basket with adjustable leather straps is an easily customizable crowd-pleaser. It boasts a 4.8-out-of-5-star rating with more than 400 Amazon reviewers attesting to its quality, sturdiness, and aesthetic appeal. “Really dresses up your bike,” one reviewer exclaims. “Exceeded my expectations. The basket is sturdy, just the right size, and cute as a button. I had no problems with the straps as some reviewers had. I bought the emerald to go with my bike, and I can’t take my eyes off of it. It makes me want to go riding more just so I can look at it.”
Speaking of Aesop hand products: Amazon boasts a verified Aesop storefront that makes securing the fancy formulas a speedy and convenient holiday affair. Instead of opting for its fruitier favorite, the Resurrection balm, we decided on the woodsier Reverence formula. Its skin-softening ingredients include bergamot rind, vetiver root, and petitgrain. The fragrance profile? We’ll leave you with this reviewer’s ode: “Oh, man, this stuff smells amaaaazinnnngngggggg. Seriously; it’s like a woodsy, smoky, citrus dream. It is STRONGLY smoky vetiver (yes, if you’re into Javanese vetiver, this will be the scent for you), followed by a delicious sandalwood and citrus finish. Believe me, if you think Resurrection is too fruity, you’ll love this smell (and the silky hand feel). Buy it now.”
Another pretty but practical gift idea. Baggu’s fan-favorite ripstop nylon totes have garnered a 4.9-out-of-5-star rating on Amazon for being a “stylish and substantial” buy. Each of the washable and reusable shopping bags is designed to comfortably carry two to three plastic grocery bags’ worth of contents. “We own several of the Baggu bags. My oldest bag is from 2007 and is still going strong. They fold up super-easily and open up wide. They’re not tapered like some other reusable bags. They open like a plastic bag but larger. I gift these to everyone,” writes one reviewer. “It was the most stolen gift at the favorite things White Elephant party I brought it to.”
We were delighted to stumble across these stainless steel cheese knives by the French homeware brand Laguiole hiding on Amazon. The seven-piece set is packaged in giftable wood trays and includes a spade, spear, soft cheese spreader, and four spreaders with jewel-tone acrylic handles. We weren’t the only ones taken aback: “I was very surprised to find this set at the Amazon price. Not only are the knives affordable, they also are beautiful. Once my daughter sees them, I may be ordering another set,” an Amazon reviewer attests.
A feel-good gift for your favorite Beatles fan. Reviewers have given this limited-edition box to everyone from their bosses to their friends and family, all of who joyously received it. “My uncle loves fun socks! He turned 70 and was very excited to receive this set for his birthday. He texts me to let me know which pair he’s wearing. On our FaceTime call, he turned them inside out to show how they’re stitched and not printed. Plus he loves having the name brand on the sock. Great gift for a Beatles lover and Happy Socks collector,” one such reviewer attests.
These 100% food-grade silicone trivets are made by a family-owned company called Line+Arc that specializes in modern home goods that are high quality yet affordable. The stain-resistant designs cleverly feature a concave center and concentric ridges that help to collect liquid and prevent countertop spills. Reviewers attest that the trivets are well made, smart-looking, and extremely functional. Bonuses range from “I really like how we can arrange them to use under a large casserole dish—the ridged pattern provides a solid grip on any dish or plate that’s placed on it” to “Here is a thoughtful, dishwasher-safe design that I’m genuinely grateful for. Buy it if you want just one thing in your house that is good.”
Unique Amazon Gifts Under $100
Tuck this fancy jade comb underneath the tree for a little dose of luxury (secretly scored on Amazon). The imported hair-care tool does more than look like an objet: It’s carefully crafted to detangle fine locks while boosting circulation, relieving scalp tension, and stimulating hair follicles.
The sculpturesque, stainless steel cheese knife slides right into a notch on its accompanying acacia-wood board. Many a reviewer has written to detail the entertaining duo as beautiful gift material; it’s well made and substantial, and it exudes organic elegance.
The dog parent in your life will surely adore the gift of a Pendleton dog bed. The striped polar fleece design is named after Glacier National Park and comes overstuffed in secure channels with recycled, high-loft MemoryFiber fill. As one reviewer succinctly states: “I could sleep on this thing! Looks fabulous in my family room and supercomfy.”
A wine carafe that doubles as decor. The perfectly elegant piece is made of mouth-blown glass that’s topped with a solid oak stopper in a smooth spherical shape. “I purchased this as a gift for our family’s White Elephant gift exchange last Xmas. This was the most stolen gift out of the bunch,” an Amazon reviewer exclaims. Others tout it for being stylish, unique, and reasonably priced. “Paired with a bottle of wine, it makes for a great gift. Or just keep it for yourself!”
A retro record player that also happens to be Bluetooth compatible and portable—boom. Reviewers recommend this suitcase-style turntable as a good gift for vinyl beginners, as it is very easy to operate without sacrificing the vintage appeal. They also plug the device’s sound quality, compact size, and aesthetic.
Unique Amazon Gifts Under $200
Faux leather and dense stitching make an eye-catching combo in this retro-styled luggage set. Complete with a 15-by-24-inch suitcase and 12.4-by-9-inch carry-on bag, the pair also features two integrated TSA latch locks. Reviewers say the bags glide effortlessly, are durable, and frequently fetch attention and compliments from fellow travelers.
Alessi describes this sculpturesque fruit bowl as a “beautiful rendering of sea coral.” It is made of resin-coated stainless steel and created by jewelry designer Emma Silvestris. Many reviewers describe it as a practical and beautiful present. Says one: “I gave it as a gift to a friend with impeccable and discerning taste. It was a huge hit.”
An expensive hairbrush makes a fine gift for recipients who are constantly fussing over their locks—and Mason Pearson is the cream of the expensive-hairbrush crop. What makes it so good? The British-born design is built to last a lifetime, featuring its iconic orange pad that fills with air to provide a luxuriously soft cushion, along with a blend of nylon and boar bristles that optimally distribute hair oils from roots to ends.
As far as smart alarm clocks go, Hatch’s Restore takes the clever cake. The sleep-supportive device packs all the essentials of a healthy routine into its nightstand-friendly frame (think: pre-bedtime guided meditations and sleep playlists to simulated sunrises and nature alarm sounds). Amazon reviewers plug its simple design and endlessly customizable features. “This will make a great gift, too. I can’t wait to give Hatch Restore to all of the sleep-deprived people in my life!” one writes. Another attests: “Best gift for a ‘night shifter.’ As a night-shift nurse, the Hatch Restore helps me get to deep sleep, and the sunrise alarm helps me wake up refreshed.”
In the words of a very pleased Amazon purchaser, Fellow’s electric gooseneck kettle makes “a great and very appreciated gift.” It’s made of matte black-coated stainless steel and features a smart LCD brew screen that optimizes for power and precision. “I was the champion of Christmas,” another reviewer attests. “I bought it as a Christmas gift for my partner. Not only were they extremely excited, it quickly became a daily-use item given some much coveted counter space. I’m told the temperature control aspect works fantastic and has produced the best-tasting home-brewed coffee they’ve ever had. A good, even pour thanks to the spout, and it is just a beautiful piece to add to the home. This is a definite buy for the coffee lover in your life!”
Whether your giftee chooses to use this portable hanging lantern indoors, outdoors, or on a boat, it’s sure to serve as a cheerful accent to their space. The Fatboy design is crafted from splashproof rubber silicone, can hold a charge for up to 24 hours, and features three different brightness settings. Its colorful cord is inspired by hair elastics and sailing binder smart systems. “I LOVE this light! Great quality. Easy to charge and hangs just about anywhere. Looks great during the daylight hours, but is spectacular at night. Provides plenty of light with the adjustable settings and just the right amount of ambience,” a reviewer writes.
Music fans will adore this miniature Marshall speaker, boasting 20-plus hours of portable, Bluetooth-compatible playtime. The True Stereophonic technology packs this compact gift with a powerful, multidirectional sound that reviewers describe as “seriously impressive” and “incredible.” One writes: “I got this as a gift last Christmas and I am still in love! I don’t use it for anything fancy, just listening to music from my phone, but it makes my shower singing much more enjoyable. And I love being able to adjust the treble and bass.”
For giftees who prefer their hot beverages to stay hot: Ember’s award-winning mug allows them to set and maintain their preferred drinking temperature. Dubbed by reviewers as the best gadget you didn’t know you needed, this sleek little guy is approved for keeping everything from coffee to tea at “the perfect drinking temperature” for hours after the initial brew time.
“Best gift I ever gave my dad!” one reviewer raves. “My father tends to make himself tea and then forget it somewhere around the house, only to pick it up, realize it’s cold, and then he has to heat it again. This is a constant battle (albeit a silly one), so when I found this mug, I knew it would be the perfect gift…but did I ever underestimate how much he’d love it!! He set the temperature and spent almost every day of my visit remarking on how amazing it is that his tea is still the perfect temperature, even when a conversation or phone call makes him leave for a half hour. It’s a simple little pleasure, but it does solve a common problem. I think it’s turned into the best gift I’ve ever given him simply because it’s solved a problem that he didn’t even realize he was constantly frustrated with.”
Unique Amazon Gifts Over $200
“Out on the corner, with my roller skates”—giftees will never guess where you scored this iconic leather pair. The skates are reviewer approved for being comfortable, stylish, and responsive. Their highly durable design features a PowerDyne Thrust nylon plate, urethane Sonar Zen outdoor wheels, ABEC-5 steel ball bearings, and a high-top leather boot upper with extra padding for ankle support.