As great lovers of giving gifts, we especially love what we think of as “the practical gift,” something that hits that sweet spot of truly useful and totally delightful. And, counterintuitive though it may seem, Valentine’s Day is one of the best holidays for giving a practical gift.
Here’s why: Valentine’s Day, with its red and pink palette and motifs of hearts, cupids and roses, lends itself perfectly to practical gifts that feel really special. For example, a coffee maker on its own isn’t an especially charming Valentine’s Day present, but a pour-over coffee set in bright red sure is!
With that said, getting a practical Valentine’s Day gift right can be tricky — there’s a risk of picking out something that disappoints or outright offends the recipient! So to help you get it practically perfect, we’ve rounded up practical Valentine’s Day gifts for everyone in your life. Need more ideas? Check out our favorite Valentine’s Day gifts for men, gifts for women and gifts under $25.
It doesn’t get much more practical than a new pair of socks! This gift set comes in a decorative box, and includes five pairs of ankle socks embroidered with a heart motif that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day but that can be worn year-round.
Beware the perils of giving a vacuum as a gift! Vacuums are a great practical gift idea, but you have to be very, very sure that the recipient won’t be furious with you for giving them a household appliance. One way to get it right is to think small, and red, like this chili red handheld vac.
A really good pepper grinder is a game changer for the home chef. This cheery red pepper mill will remind your sweetie that you're hot and spicy long after Valentine's Day has come and gone.
Bala Bangles are a must-have item for the workout enthusiast. The super-popular wrist and ankle weights come in loads of colorways, including blush pink, that make them a fantastic gift option for Valentine's Day.
Charcuterie boards and their offspring, like butter boards, aren't going away anytime soon. A heart-shaped serving board makes a great Valentine's Day gift for the hostess who is always on-trend.
The Ultimate Fork is a clever kitchen tool that can be used 10 ways to do everything from mixing and mashing to flipping and pulling. The Ultimate Fork is now available in a mini size for getting into small containers and hard-to-reach places — and it comes in red!
An indoor LED grow light garden is a perfect gift for a budding home cook, providing fresh herbs right when you need them. The easy-to-use gardening system comes with a gourmet seed kit featuring six herbs: Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil and mint.
Tech gadgets and accessories make great practical gift ideas for anyone on your Valentine's Day shopping list. Look for options, such as this USB charging brick, that come in red or pink to make them feel appropriate to the occasion.
A luxe upgrade is a great way to make a mundane-seeming item into a knock-their-socks-off gift. For example, pillowcases aren’t especially giftable, but silk pillowcases are. In addition to being ultra glam, silk pillowcases are also a practical investment — they’re easier on your hair and skin than their cotton counterparts because they’re less drying. These silk pillowcases come in six size options and a whopping 36 different colors, including, yup, red.
If you’re one half of a couple that loves to snuggle up on the couch, a beautiful oversized throw blanket in a pretty shade of pink or red is a perfect Valentine’s Day gift idea because it gives you a great excuse to get closer to your honey.
Cosmetic cases are so useful, and having a collection in various shapes and sizes is a good idea for the frequent traveler or product enthusiast. Mark & Graham’s red cosmetic case is a great addition to any collection of travel bags, and can be monogrammed to feel extra special.
A slightly different take on the gift of coffee is to give the coffee itself! Show you’ve been paying attention by buying your sweetie’s favorite brand of coffee, or go with something truly adventurous, like this subscription to Atlas Coffee Club. The company can send your valentine a new bag of coffee from a different country every month. Read our review of it here, and read more about our favorite coffee subscriptions here.
An extra-long phone charging cord is one of those “how did I ever live without this?!” items. This 6-foot charging cord comes in red and pink, elevating it from mundane tech accessory to a holiday-appropriate gift that also happens to be super useful.
You know what’s even better than a warm hug? A warm towel. A towel warmer feels like such a luxury, but it turns out that it’s a pretty affordable luxury. This bucket-style warmer can simply be plugged into an existing wall outlet.
It’s no fun holding hands when the hands are dry and chapped! This heart-shaped solid balm can be used to soothe and moisturize hands, or any other body part, and comes with a display dish that can be reused as a soap dish or trinket tray.
Gym people are a different breed, and if your valentine is an exercise fanatic, getting them a gift they can use during their workouts is a sure way to their heart. We named this zip-front Nike bra the absolute best sports bra, thanks to its inclusive size range, breathable and sweat-wicking fabric and the fact that it’s still remarkably affordable.
Delight your sweetie with a surprising take on traditional Valentine’s Day roses. Rose-scented products like bubble bath or body lotion are one way to think outside the bouquet, as are gifts that feature a rose motif or design, like this reusable water tumbler in a super-pretty pink and blue rose pattern.
Bath bombs and salts are old standards, but if you want to up your gift game for a bath-obsessed loved one, this full-body bath pillow will take the experience to a whole new level.
Coffee people, like Gym People, are a very specific type — oftentimes, the type who is perfectly happy to own two, three, even four different coffee makers. Add one to their collection with this cheery red pour-over set, which comes with a ceramic dripper, glass server, scoop and filters. Learn more about pour-over coffee here.
Kitchen shears are such a useful thing to own, but they’re a bit on the practical side to give as a gift — unless you elevate the form. These red-handled kitchen shears, which feature a micro-serrated blade edge that allows you to cut through anything with ease and a bottle opener built into the handle, fit the bill perfectly.
Serving spoons are endlessly useful items, and an easy way to add a bit of whimsy to your kitchen. This hand-carved heart-shaped wooden spoon is a perfect gift for the cook or hostess on your Valentine’s Day gift list.