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39 Gifts for Every Type of Best Friend

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

When you’ve been best friends with someone for many years, it can be hard to think of creative or thoughtful ways to surprise them, especially when it comes to gifts. A once-perfect gift idea can become outdated, whether that’s due to them becoming a parent, starting a new career, or if their interests have simply changed. To help you find the perfect something, we’ve rounded up 39 gifts that every type of best friend will appreciate, whether they’re obsessed with watching Emily Mariko’s TikToks, or if their love language is Spotify playlists curated according to your star sign. Our suggestions range from popular skin-care products, to tech and food gifts, as well as a selection of items from the Strategist archives.

For the best friend who brings their sketchbook to the V&A

Professional illustrator Natalya Lobanova recommended these artist-quality watercolours for their wide-ranging colour selection, high pigmentation, and compact design.

For the best friend who hosts a weekly board-game night

Nice Buns is a strategy game for two to six players, and the aim is to be the first person to fill your “plate” with three sets of different-coloured bao buns. This involves rolling three separate dice and picking up, swapping, and stealing buns from other players, all while trying to avoid the grey fish-head buns, which spoil your plate. If you have Monopoly fatigue, this is a much simpler (and quicker) alternative.

For the best friend who spent 63,527 minutes listening to lo-fi on Spotify last year

In our round up of expert-recommended home speakers, music producer Dan Weller said the Wonderboom is the only speaker he uses. It’s portable, has an impressive ten-hour battery life, and comes in a variety of colours.

For the best friend who’s more old-school in their listening habits

The perfect gift if they’ve begun collecting vinyl copies of Taylor Swift’s re-recordings.

For the best friend who started a savings pot for a Cesca chair

StolenForm is a brand that takes inspiration from the urban environment, repurposing industrialised objects into unique home and giftware products — from pipe egg cups and skateboard wheel incense holders, to tin can mugs and manhole coasters. We’re particularly fond of this earthenware ceramic vase.

For the best friend spends every Sunday morning perusing their local farm shop

A drizzle of truffle oil can give any simple pasta dish or salad a gourmet feel.

For the best friend who wants their living room to emulate the fern house at Kew Gardens

£75

Kenita palms make for dramatic-looking houseplants, but are relatively low maintenance. They grow fast, need watering once a week (this can likely be reduced during winter), and enjoy slightly humid temperatures.

For the best friend who can’t even keep a snake plant alive

They can admire this pair of faux ferns dangling beside their bookcase.

This charming hanging planter also comes in a set of two.

For the best friend who requests their coffee “extra hot” at Costa

This option from Bru can keep drinks hot for up to four hours, and cold for up to 12.

For the best friend who argues the superiority of the pour-over brewing method

Chemex Classic Coffee Filter
£45
£45

Experts recommended Chemex’s coffee filter for its aesthetic design.

For the best friend who’s an aspiring Julia Hetta

If your friend has expressed an interest in switching up from their DSLR, this instant camera is a good quality option — photographer June Kim referred to this camera as “foolproof”, and five experts praised the Fujifilm for its simplicity.

For the best friend who loves the smell of the outdoors, indoors

This candle is scented to imitate a cosy log fire, with a burn time of up to 130 hours and a wick that makes a soft crackling sound when it’s lit.

For the best friend who throws ABBA-themed house parties

‎UOUNE LED Projector Light
£25
£25

Because every house party should have a dedicated disco room (or two).

For the best friend who watches Abbey Yung’s beauty TikToks

Hair stylists praised the Olaplex No 3 Repairing Treatment for its ability to nourish and replenish all hair types. Why not add to your friend’s collection by buying them the shampoo and conditioner set?

For the best friend who’s a skin-care newbie

The CeraVe foaming cleanser first featured in our roundup of the best face washes for oily skin, where it was deemed the best overall by a number of our experts. It’s also a favourite amongst Strategist readers, featuring repeatedly in our 2021 most-bought roundups.

For the best friend who wants to make greener choices

Greenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
£10 for 20
£10 for 20

Now they can take makeup wipes off their shopping list.

For the best friend who’s determined to complete their 2022 Goodreads challenge

A Kindle Paperwhite is extremely lightweight, has a long battery life, and syncs with audible.

£8

In Manifesto, Evaristo candidly reflects on her life and writing; from childhood to winning the 2019 Booker Prize for Girl, Woman, Other.

Klara and the Sun is Ishiguro’s eighth novel, and looks at themes such as memory, mortality and change, through the eyes of a child’s AI companion.

For the best friend who’s booked their first holiday in two years

Travel content creator Rosie Providence recommended these Antler packing cubes for notorious over-packers, praising the cubes for their durability and stylish colour selection.

For the best friend who updates their Strava more than their Instagram

So they don’t have to fret about losing their keys every time they go on a run.

For the best friend who has a Pinterest board for their new patio

Whether their vision is cottagecore or bohemian style, this rocking chair will fit in nicely.

For the best friend who just started Margaret Atwood’s creative-writing MasterClass

This Moleskine notebook is a trusted option for any aspiring writer.

For the best friend who just bought their first home

This simple (but striking) table is made from mango hardwood and has an open storage shelf, so they can proudly display their curated collection of coffee-table books.

For the best friend who’s watched all 12 seasons of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Dishoom: From Bombay With Love
£17
£17

The perfect cookbook for someone who enjoys reading about the history behind the food they’re making.

For the best friend who’s nostalgic for their Heelys

From £54

These bubblegum skates are designed for beginners, and the colour combinations are super cute.

For the best friend who refills their hot water bottle five times a day

For the best friend whose whiskey collection is alphabetised

A special whiskey should have a unique (and inexpensive) decanter to match.

For the best friend who does the same, but with gin

Roku Japanese Craft Gin
£25
£25

This Japanese craft gin is scented with cherry blossoms and green tea.

For the best friend who’s been dying to recreate the Circolo Popolare carbonara

Then they can show off their results on TikTok.

For the best friend who’s played every Nintendo Switch game they own (twice)

£299

A Virtual Reality headset is the perfect gift for the serious gamer in your life. If you’re stuck on games to go with it, Taylor Lyles, a reporter for the Verge, wrote about the best video games to play on a VR headset.

For the best friend whose Off Menu dream starter is the Wagamama duck gyoza

If they’ve expressed an interest in learning how to make traditional Japanese recipes at home, Maya Zein’s ​​Ramen and Bento Cookbook is a great place to start.

For the best friend who orders Deliveroo three times a week

Slow cookers are great for people who prefer a no-fuss one-pot cooking method. Morphy Richards’s slow cooker is a favourite with Amazon customers, and is considered especially great for beginners.

For the best friend who frequently misplaces their earrings (and necklaces and rings)

Stackers have a wide range of jewellery boxes designed to fit on top of one another, so your storage collection can grow alongside your jewellery. This set of three is a good (and stylish) place to start.

For the best friend who insists coriander goes on everything

Each mini garden comes with 12 hydro-felt pads the herbs can draw their own water from.

For the best friend who’s still WFH

£31
Photo: retailer

If they’re hunched over a desk all day, a handheld massager could provide some much needed relief. This option from RENPHO was the best-rated overall by Amazon customers. One person likening it to a “magic wand” after it alleviated 20 years of back pain, another reviewer, who said their chiropractor used the same model, described feeling as light as a feather after using it on their muscles.

For the best friend who’s manifesting their dream lineup for Glastonbury 2022

The Lyrics, by Paul McCartney
£45
£45

The Lyrics is an alphabetically arranged two-volume in-depth analysis of 154 Paul McCartney songs, featuring reflections on the musician’s life and writing process, with unseen photographs and handwritten original lyrics.

For the best friend who insists they don’t want any presents

£23

A beautiful arrangement of flowers is always appreciated, and the Clare Florist bouquets are some of the highest rated on Amazon.

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

39 Gifts for Every Type of Best Friend