If you're like me, coming up with ideas for gifts can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the guys on your gift list. How often have you seen a guy put on a fake smile and thank someone politely for the whiskey stones he'll never use or the corny, slogan-based t-shirt that will only be used as a dust rag or cut up for the gym?
Guys can be hard to shop for– we get it. We have a tendency to internalize our feelings, even when it comes to the things we want. Some guys even feel like they're too "manly" to ask for specific gifts that they want but don't want to admit to wanting. Don't worry. We've got you covered. This guide is sure to help you find a gift for your guy(s) that they'll actually use.
Table of Contents
|Bearded Guys||Book Lovers|
|Tech Lovers||College Students|
|Stylish Guys||Music Lovers|
Gifts for Bearded Bros
Honest Amish Beard Balm and Beard Oil (About $12 a piece on Amazon)
When you have a beard, there are two issues that you're going to encounter. First, it's going to be itchy. Second, because of the texture of facial hair, it's incredibly difficult to keep it looking tidy and not have hairs shooting out in all directions. Beard balm and beard oil help with both of these issues. Beard balm and bear oil are both going to soothe and nourish your beard; if you have a longer beard, definitely get the beard balm instead of the beard oil since the balm can help provide some hold and structure for your beard along with the nourishment.
A Beard Trimmer with Multiple Guards (such as this one by Phillips Norelco, about $50 on Amazon)
The beauty of a trimmer like this one is that it comes with a wide array of guards. Guards help you trim your beard down to a specific length and help prevent you from accidentally carving all the way down to your skin. For guys who have beards long-term, a nice trimmer is crucial. You can find cheaper ones at your local drug stores, but trust me– having a set that's reliable and not going to wimp out on even the gnarliest beard is a fantastic treat.
Beard Grooming Kit (about $30 on Amazon)
I will confess that I'm usually not a fan of grooming kits. They tend to give you a small sampling of things that are intended to only make you buy more rather than just doing what they're supposed to do. That's not the case with this kit. The shaper and scissors alone are worth the price tag on this. Since it comes with a comb, a brush, and a carrying case as well, it's something that every bearded man needs in his bathroom.
Gifts for Book Lovers
A Reading Pillow ($30+)
Do not underestimate the utility and comfort of a nice reading pillow. As an avid reader, I cannot overstate how helpful these things are. If you're lost in a good book, the last thing you want is for lower back pain to pull you out of the immersion. A nice reading pillow will provide the back support needed for a marathon reading session. They're also fantastic if you think you might have some binge-worthy Netflix sessions coming up soon (and let's be real... you do).
Attractive, Masculine Bookends (about $30)
I am always a fan of industrial and modern home goods, and as an avid reader, I cannot stress the importance of a nice set of bookends enough. They're often overlooked, but once you have them on your shelf, it's hard to imagine how you kept your books upright and organized before you had them.
Liz Gilbert is perhaps most famous for her book Eat Pray Love, which inspired millions– especially women– around the world to take a newfound ownership over their lives. Before she published EPL, however, she wrote The Last American Man. Though it does not get the attention of her bigger hits, this book is a must read for today's young men. In this work of nonfiction, she examines the life of a particular figure who has come to live at one with the land as she explores the relationship between the male experience, American national identity, and nature. It's thought-provoking and poignant, and likely to be an influential book on any young man who reads it.
Gifts for Gym Rats
I want to preface this one by saying that you shouldn't assume that every gym rat in your life needs a gym bag. If the workout-obsessed man in your life goes straight from home to the gym and doesn't have to change or haul toiletries with him, skip to the next item. However, if they venture from the office or school to the gym and back, having a nice gym bag can be a life saver. I like gym bags like the ones featured here since they have a shoe compartment and are spacious without looking like a suitcase. The separate shoe compartment is a lifesaver if you have to store your work outfit in your gym bag while you exercise– nobody wants dirty shoes sitting on top of their freshly pressed shirts, right?
A Personal Tens Unit ($30+)
Shocked that this made the list? Sorry, I couldn't help but make a shock pun.
Tens units use electricity to stimulate muscles. It can honestly be a weird experience at first since most of us aren't often intentionally jolting ourselves with electricity. Once you're accustomed to the experience, however, a tens unit can become one of your favorite post-workout ways to unwind. Deep tissue stimulation can be fantastic for helping reduce recovery time, limit muscle fatigue, and encourage loosen muscle knots.
Fitness Tracking Log (~$15)
For serious gym-goers, having a fitness log is the best way to make sure you're consistently making progress and working all of your major muscle groups evenly. While this can easily be done on a plain notebook, the layout of fitness journals like the one featured here goes a long way to make information easy to log, track, and explore!
Gifts for Gamers
If the gamer in your life plays online at all, a nice pair of headphones is an absolute must. Turtle Beach makes some of the most well-known and high-quality gaming headphones on the market. Some models can run several hundred dollars, but there are also plenty of great options around the $45-$60 mark.
A Must-Play Video Game ($60+)
Look... if you know someone who (a) owns a Nintendo Switch and (b) has ever enjoyed the Pokémon franchise, you're not going to go wrong with Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield. Even if you're thinking that they enjoyed Pokémon as a kid and would therefore no way enjoy it again as a grown adult, this is a good choice. Spoiler: they probably want to play Sword and Shield and just haven't admitted it yet (maybe not even to themselves).
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels (~$12)
For the gamers in your life that love the process of game development as much as the games themselves, you've got to get them this book. It's an insightful, thorough journey through the game making process and how something goes from being an idea to being a bestselling video game franchise. It'll leave you with a deeper appreciation for the games you already love.
Gifts for Techies
Blue Light-Blocking Glasses ($20+)
For my day job, I spend all day on my computer. When I'm done, I spend more time on my computer working on BlakeWrites. When I take breaks, I'm playing on my phone or scrolling through social media. All the while, I'm looking at screen after screen after screen. For a long time, I didn't feel like it had any effect on my to do so. Once I made it a habit to limit my blue light exposure, however, I realized what I was missing out on. Blue light-blocking glasses help to filter out some of the artificial light from computer and phone screens that can leave your eyes feeling tired and strained, and which can interrupt your natural sleep cycles. If you don't already wear glasses, blue light glasses will help ensure your vision stays as strong as it is.
An External Hard Drive ($50+)
Maybe an external hard drive isn't the most flashy gift you can get for the techie in your life, but it is certainly functional. If they do any type of development work, photo or video work, writing, or just have a lot of projects that they work on locally (meaning on their device rather than in the cloud), an external hard drive can provide peace of mind and security to make sure their work doesn't get lost.
A Multi-Device Charging Dock ($35+)
For the techie in your life with multiple devices, a charging dock with multiple ports can be pretty convenient. Rather than having wires hanging around everywhere, they can utilize a single device to keep their room chord-clutter-free and their devices in the same spot. These docks are also super handy for anyone who hosts company since it means that anybody can charge their device without having to inconvenience someone by borrowing their charger.
Gifts for College Students
This one is especially helpful for the freshmen and sophomores in your life. College puts you in a weird transitional phase where you have to carry around an abundance of books and notebooks, but you also don't want to look like you're still a schoolkid. The right backpack can make all the difference. Picking one that utilizes tweed or patterns like herringbone, mixed with leather accents, gives them a sense of maturity and refinement while still letting them be entirely practical and useful when you're on campus. Plus, a laptop bag like this is also great for carrying to the office or having to pack your things in for quick day trips.
A Coffee Mug Warmer (~$10)
Anybody who spends their all-nighters studying or writing in their dorm room, a coffee mug warmer can be a huge bonus. I was a skeptic– in fact, I thought they were dumb– until I had the opportunity to use one. It's so much more convenient that having to shove your coffee cup in the microwave every half hour where you will inevitably burn the coffee.
As I've gotten older, I've become a big fan of using alarm clocks instead of my cell phone alarm. In fact, I now sleep with my phone in the living room instead of my bedroom. It's hugely beneficial for getting a full night's sleep since it removes the convenience of scrolling through your phone while you're falling asleep or first thing in the morning. Using an actual alarm clock makes it easier to get out of bed on time and feel ready and alert for the day. I like the one featured here since it integrates a daylight mimicking feature to gently help your body end its sleep cycle and pep you up for the day!
Gifts for New Dads
When you're a new dad, you're not going to have the time that you once did to go out to the gym and get in a good workout. So, I recommend investing in a couple pieces of functional, at-home workout equipment that can easily be used for a workout and then stored where the baby can't reach it. The push-up board featured here is a great example since the handles are made to be moved across the board to engage nearly all of your upper-body muscle groups with a single piece of equipment. Ab wheels, kettlebells, and pull-up bars are all also great options.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Don't bring home a new baby while you have no idea what to do about having a new baby. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the potentially challenges and precautions you should be aware of as a new dad. If you're raising a child with a partner, do not expect that child care is entirely the responsibility of your partner!
A Home Massager ($35+)
With a new baby in the house, you're going to be tired, cranky, and probably achy. A home massager can provide that brief moment of comfort and relaxation to ease the tension in your neck between diaper changes, midnight cries, and feeding time.
A Masculine Diaper Bag ($38+)
Most moms prepare for having a baby by purchasing a beautifully patterned diaper bag. Unfortunately, most dads aren't thrilled about carrying around those diaper bags. While there's something to be said about fragile masculinity and how it shouldn't matter, I can also say that if there's a guy in your life with a little one, getting him a diaper bag of his own that he won't mind carrying can be a blessing. I like diaper bags like the one featured here– they look like a standard backpack, but they're decked out with the compartments and equipment needed for all the bottles, diapers, pacifiers, and extra milk you may need.
Gifts for Dog Dads
Keeping a pet first-aid kit on hand is kind of like keeping a fire extinguisher in your house– you hope you never have to use it, but it's good to have it in case you do. Dogs are like kids. They run and play and sometimes get hurt. Being prepared can help protect your precious puppers from unnecessary injuries or infections, and in some cases, it can make the difference between them staying alive while you get them to the vet or not.
Dog Car Seat Covers ($30+)
When my dog hears the word "car," he pins his little ears back to the side of his head and presses himself against the door to my garage because he can't wait to go for a ride. He absolutely loves it. There's nothing in the world he would rather do than go for a ride. Unfortunately, that also means that my car seats quickly get disgusting and need frequent vacuuming. Having car seat covers help to eliminate this issue. Plus, if you have a dog that likes to hop between seats, some covers even create a small barrier that can keep them in the backseat, making it easier for you to focus on the road and get home safely.
Canine DNA Tests ($60+)
I am a huge advocate of rescuing dogs rather than going to breeders. Rescue dogs are full of love and energy, and honestly they're often healthier than purebred dogs, which tend to be more prone to breed-specific health issues. Mutts are evolution's answer to healthier pups and more years of slobbery kisses. Even so, it's sometimes interesting to find out what breeds led to the birth of your fur baby. It's one thing to speculate, but it's another to have some DNA evidence and it can be incredibly exciting to find out!
Gifts for Guys who Know How to Dress
You might be thinking to yourself, "but Blake, if he already knows how to dress himself, why would I buy him a book that's a guide to personal style." Well, if there's a guy in your life who already enjoys dressing nicely, a book like this will pique his curiosity about the histories and trends of certain looks, and it can also inspire him with new ideas to try out as outfits. Just because someone already dresses nicely doesn't mean they're not interested in trying out new looks!
A High-end Skincare Set ($50+)
Guys who dress well tend to also take decent care of their skin and personal hygiene. That's why I can't recommend a nice skincare set highly enough. When you go to the store, there are often multiple aisles and shelves of skin care options that are marketed to women that some men may not be comfortable buying, so they settle for the one shelf of men's grooming goods that seem to think one formula is good enough for hair, face, and body all-in-one. NO.
I really like brands like Brickell (featured here) and Lab Skincare for Men since these brands take skincare for men seriously and provide an array of products to help them keep their complexions clear and healthy. These sets can get a little expensive, but they are absolutely worth it, especially during the winter time when cold temperatures and strong winds can leave your face feeling chapped and raw.
Leather Driving Gloves ($25+)
In the winter, I used to hate getting dressed up and looking nice only to put on a pair of gloves that made me look more like I was about to go build a snowman than go to a nice restaurant or holiday party. That's why I highly recommend getting a pair of leather driving gloves. They're sleek and stylish, so they're easy to blend in with your outfits, but they'll do exactly what you need a pair of gloves to do in the winter and will keep your hands warm. While they're not cut out for snowball fights or cross-country skiing, they will do the trick for your other winter warmth needs.
Gifts for Music Lovers
Bluetooth Headphone Beanie ($20-$30)
A bluetooth beanie... back in my day, we just had to put in our earbuds and then pull a toboggan on over our ears and hope the elastic compression didn't cause our earbuds to permanently implant themselves beneath the skin in our ears. Headphone beanies solve this problem.
In all sincerity, these are super cool and very convenient, especially for folks who need to commute on public transit or who walk to work or class in the mornings. Just pop on your beanie, connect to your phone, and stay warm and comfortable while enjoying your music on the way to wherever you're going.
Waterproof Shower Speakers ($25+)
Anybody who claims to have never envisioned themselves on some grand world tour while showering is lying. Having a shower speaker can make it all the easier to put on a show or just pump yourself up while you get clean and ready for the day. Best of all, you don't have to risk accidentally knocking your phone into the toilet or the stream of the shower to enjoy your tunes. You can do it all from a convenient wall-mounted speaker that's made to withstand water and steam.
This is another one of those gifts that I never realized how much I would use it until I started using one. For yard work, camping trips, or just summer nights relaxing in the backyard with a beer around a bonfire, a durable portable speaker can make any atmosphere more of a party atmosphere with just a couple of button clicks.