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a woman giving a gift to a friend
  • Whether it's your friend's birthday or you simply want to say thank you, they deserve the best.
  • We rounded up 58 gifts, each under $100, that your special friend will treasure.
  • Want more gift ideas? Check out all Insider Reviews gift guides here.
  • Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested.

Friends are the ones you rely upon, confide in, and plague with everything from menu choices to whether or not you should move across the country for a new job. So, when gifting occasions roll around, it can be difficult to find something adequately thoughtful to give to that important person — especially within the relatively affordable under-$100 range.

To make things easier for you, we put together a list of unique, thoughtful gifts that your friend would love to receive — all for less than $100.

Below are 58 gifts under $100 your friends actually want:

A portable, Bluetooth record player

portable and bluetooth victrola vintage record player - gift for friend

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player, available at Amazon, $49.57

If they love vintage goods, this record player is the perfect gift to add to their collection. The record player features built-in Bluetooth compatibility and a portable design that offers a modern twist on this retro staple.

A friendship journal to learn more about each other

friendship guide journal - gift for friend

A Journal of a Lifetime: Friends, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

This fill-in journal is the new diary for friends. Even if you think you've shared everything with them, the journal furthers the friendship bond with 60 prompts to recount old and new memories. 

A set of friendship lights

Gift for friend friendship lamp set that lights up when touched

Brookstone Friendship Lamp Set, available at Urban Outfitters, $89.95

If your close friend lives far away, let them know you're always thinking of them with this friendship light. Your friend will know you haven't forgotten them by tapping your light to instantly activate their twin light.

A luxurious lavender scent perfume

Gift for friend Saint Laurent Libre lavender scented perfume

Yves Saint Laurent Libre Fragrance, available at Nordstrom, from $25.50

A designer perfume like this Saint Laurent fragrance is a fitting gift for a friend who enjoys luxurious items. The floral fragrance's bold lavender scent appeals to the confident friend who's daring and always lives true to herself.

A gold bracelet with her favorite football team

Gift for friend sports team gold baublebar bracelet

NFL x Baublebar Gold Pisa Bracelet, available at Baublebar, $30

Even if you don't share in friend's enthusiasm for sports, this sports team bracelet shows you get them. Match the bracelet with their favorite team to help her be prepared for the next game day outfit.

A relaxing weighted blanket

Gift for friend Luna weighted blanket

Luna Weight Blanket, available at Amazon, $76.99

For the friend who's constantly working or just needs a chance to unwind, a weighted blanket can make all the difference. We love this one because it's wallet-friendly but still made from quality materials like Oeko-Tex-certified cotton and natural glass beads. 

A scent tied to a favorite place

Gift for friend Homesick candles

Homesick candle, available at Uncommon Goods, $34

For your old college roommate or your friend who's taken a job across the country, this candle is a sweet reminder of home.

A planner to help them stay organized

2022 floral print planner

2022 17-Month Large Planner, available at Rifle Paper Co., $28.80

Your Type A friend will thank you for this planner and its neat, detailed layout. The 17-month design means they can finish out this year and be set for the new year. Plus, two pages of colorful stickers can help liven up the notes, weekly, and monthly planning pages.

A neoprene makeup bag from a cool startup they'll love

Gift for friend dagne dover hunter toiletry bag

Hunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40

Dagne Dover is one of our all-time favorite handbag companies, and most of that has to do with quality, style, and unmatched attention to detail. The Hunter bag comes in six colors of water-resistant neoprene. It has helpful features like elastic lip gloss loops, slip pockets and a removable zipper pouch for compacts and shadows, and a smooth lining that's easily cleaned. Zipper tabs can be unsnapped to adjust the shape, too. Dagne Dover is currently holding a holiday sale where you can receive 20% off on this tolietry bag and make them $32 at checkout. 

A playful earbud pouch for that one forgetful friend

Gift for friend puffer airpod holder

Puffy Earbuds Case, available at Baggu, $14

If you have a friend who tends to lose their AirPods or earbuds all too often, this unique case attaches straight onto their keyring. Plus, it's quilted, padded, and machine washable. The pouch fastens with velcro and comes in fun colors and patterns like leopard print and stripe.

A phone case and wallet all-in-one

Gift for friend Rugged Folio Phone Case

Rugged Folio, available at Nomad, $69.95

You might have a friend who doesn't like carrying around bulky wallets and would rather keep it simple and sleek. This leather folio case sports three card slots and one cash slot, and also has a new internal shock absorption bumper that protects against 10-foot drops. Best of all, it's made of Horween leather, which ages and appears more rugged as time passes. 

A Fitbit for the activity tracker newcomer

Gift for friend Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2, available at Walmart, $80.95

If they're contemplating joining the Fitbit bandwagon, they'll appreciate this uncomplicated activity tracker that monitors their exercise, sleep, and heart rate. It's slimmer than its counterparts, but still lasts for 10 days, has 20+ different exercise modes, and receives basic smartphone notifications.

A high-tech towel that's better for their hair

Gift for friend A hair towel that cuts drying time by 50% and reduces frizz

Aquis Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, $30

Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of reviewers.

The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that's composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction the hair experiences while in its weakest state. It also prevents hygral fatigue — the stretching and swelling of wet hair that makes it vulnerable to frizz and damage — by cutting the hair's drying time by 50%.

Their favorite specialty food straight from the source

A stacked roast beef sandwich from Goldbelly.

Order their favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $27

Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy their most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration. 

A book of witty, quirky postcards

Gift for friend Friendship Maintenance postcards

'Friendship Maintenance: 30 Postcards to Say How Much You Freaking Care,' available at Amazon, $8.34

"Friendship Maintenance" adds a more personal touch to the frequent check-ins you're probably already having with one another. The witty postcards weave in themes of friendship in a hilariously relatable way.

A tie-dye kit

Gift for friend Amazon gifts tie dye

Just My Style Tie Dye Kit, available at Amazon, $7.99

Tie-dye has made a resurgence: It's a socially distant (or virtual) activity that friends can enjoy together. They'll appreciate this affordable tie-dye kit that will provide them with enough dye for up to 12 projects.

A gift card to a popular wine subscription club

Gift for friend Winc

Gift Card, available at Winc, from $60

Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. 

Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions. 

A custom note with a surprise inside

Gift for friend Greetabl Gift Box

Greetabl Gift Box, available at Greetabl, from $15

Greetabl is one of the Insider Reviews team's favorite modes of checking in on those we love. The customizable box includes a fun print, a spot for a personal message, and the selection of a small gift like Sugarfina treats or quirky pins. 

An upgrade to the classic travel pillow

trtl neck pillow

Trtl Pillow Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow, available at Amazon, $29.99

One of the best gifts for frequent travelers is a genuinely supportive neck pillow. The super-soft fleece of the Trtl holds the neck and head in an ergonomic position during flight, and it's lightweight — weighing only about a half a pound — so it won't weigh them down too much. Read our full review of the pillow here. There's also a newer, slightly more expensive version that we like too. 

A hilarious collection of Tinder exchanges that, altogether, become one modern horror story

Gifts for friend Tinder Nightmares book

"Tinder Nightmares," available on Amazon, $14.95

"Tinder Nightmares" is a modern horror story of Tinder exchanges organized by theme, with chapters such as Bad English, Broetry, Strange Requests, Sneak Attacks, and more. The Instagram account of the same name has nearly 2 million followers. But beware — like Tinder, this book is not for the faint of heart. 

A set of the best socks they'll ever wear

Gift for friend four pair box of bombas ankle socks

Women's Ankle Sock, 4-Pair Box, available at Bombas, $47.50

Men's Original Ankle Sock, 4-Pair Box, available at Bombas, from $47.50

Bombas' ankle socks have extra blister tabs to prevent chafing, a honeycomb arch-support system to cradle the foot's arch, and a seamless toe that gets rid of the annoying bump that runs across the toes of most socks. Bombas is currently holding a holiday sale where you can receive 20% off on these socks and make them $38 at checkout. 

A three-month subscription to the book club that put "Gone with the Wind" on the map

three months subscription to a book club

Three Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99

This subscription gift was handcrafted for bookworms. Book of the Month has been around since 1926, and it's credited with the discovery of titles like "Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye." A team of experts and celebrity guest judges curate must-read books — usually new releases, hot topics, and debut authors — and send them to the subscriber's doorstep.

If they're more into audiobooks or e-reading, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here).

A makeup and skincare subscription

Gift for friend three month subscription to Birchbox

Three Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45

Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products so subscribers can find products they love without committing to buying full-sized anything in the meantime. It's also a monthly excuse for them to treat themselves.

An insulated stainless steel water bottle that keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours

Gift for friend Hydroflask

Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug (12 oz), available at Amazon, from $22.19

This double-wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel mug is especially perfect for commuters who would rather drink hot coffee than room-temperature for the 45 minutes on the subway — or any other time. We're big fans, and it does a pretty incredible job of keeping cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to six hours. 

A gimmicky-seeming nail polish holder they'll actually wind up using

Gifts for friend nail polish holder

Tweexy Wearable Nail Polish Holder, available on Amazon, $9.99

Finding a convenient spot to place an open bottle of sticky, vibrant, and fast-drying liquid while you paint your nails is not easy. This $10 nail polish holder looks gimmicky, but it's actually pretty useful. 

A funny adult coloring book

Gift for friend wine coloring book

Wine Life: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book, available at Amazon, $6.99

Adult coloring has had a resurgence in recent years as a great de-stressor (even Kate Middleton is a fan). It turns out, though, that adult coloring is even more fun with adult beverages. Here's one that combines both. 

A brass and wood display box that's a bit cooler than the average picture frame

Gift for friend display box

Brass & Wood Display Box, available at Artifact Uprising, from $57

Artifact Uprising's brass and hardwood Display Box is a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional picture frame. They can showcase their favorite picture by sliding it into the front of the box, and the box itself can hold up to 50 five-inch by five-inch Square Prints inside.

If you're just looking for prints, you can find those starting at $9 here.

A renewing honey mask that warms up while it's on their face

Gift for friend hydration mask

Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask, available at Sephora, from $38

This intensely hydrating mask from beauty brand Farmacy is infused with antioxidants to leave the skin looking glowy and plump. It also physically warms up while on the face, so the self care feels a bit more tangible. 

A silk pillowcase for smoother hair and less breakage

Gift for friend silk pillowcase

Celestial Silk 100% Silk Pillowcase, available at Amazon, $40.99

This Celestial Silk pillowcase is one of the internet's hidden gems. It's nearly $40 on Amazon, but it gives you more silk per square inch than options twice the price at Sephora. It's made out of 100% Mulberry silk — one of the highest quality silks you can buy — and comes in more than 25 colors and three sizes: standard, queen, and king. It's the one I personally own, and it makes a big difference for frizzy hair

A poetry book that has become a phenomenon

Gifts for friend Milk and Honey book

Milk and Honey, available at Target, from $7.38

Rupi Kaur's "Milk and Honey" is a New York Times bestseller and a small cultural phenomenon. It's a collection of poetry and prose dealing with love, loss, femininity, and survival. If they already have this, you may want to look into Cleo Wade's "Where to Begin" here.

A yoga mat towel with skid-less technology made by a trusted company

Gift for friend yoga mat towel

Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, available at Amazon, from $50.98

Manduka consistently makes some of the best yoga gear on the market, and their cult-favorite Yogitoes mat towels aren't an exception — they'd probably be the main response if you asked around yoga studios for a mat towel recommendation. They have patented skid-less technology that uses 100% silicone nubs, and it makes a big difference

Each Yogitoes towel is also made from at least eight recycled plastic water bottles, and the dyes used to make it are free of azo, lead, or heavy metal.

A vitamin C serum developed by MIT scientists that keeps selling out

Gift for friend vitamin c serum glow maker

Glow Maker, available at Maelove, $29.95

Maelove is a skincare company founded by a team of MIT grads (skincare obsessives, brain and cancer researchers, and chemical engineers) to make affordable, high-quality skincare accessible. The entire under-$30 line is supposedly great, but this $28 vitamin C serum (which people have likened to the multi-award-winning $166 C E Ferulic Serum) is the real showstopper — and it keeps selling out. I've tried it, and it does a great job of reducing hyperpigmentation, hydrating, and adding a "glow" to the skin.

Read our full Maelove review here

A monogrammed leather passport case

Gift for friend leather passport cover

Standard Passport Cover, available at Leatherology, from $50

For the world traveler, adventure companion, or person who has a lot of places left to see before they're satisfied, this leather passport cover is one of the best mixes of quality for price you're bound to find. You can also personalize your gift further with a monogram (starting as an extra $10). Every time they use it, they'll think of you. 

A super soft $75 cashmere sweater from a sustainable startup

Gift for friend The Essential Cashmere Sweater

The Essential Cashmere Sweater, available at Naadam, $75

This $75 cashmere sweater is one of the best I've worn, and it took me by surprise for $75. You can get it in either crew-neck or v-neck styles, unisex sizing, and 20 colors. In person, the cashmere is one of the softest I've felt.

Plus, Naadam is a sustainable startup. They avoid toxic chemicals, invest in sustainable grazing practices, fund better vaccination programs for healthier goats, and use 100% clean energy to power production facilities. By cutting out middlemen, they pay nomadic herders about 50% more and charge about 50% less to customers without changing quality.

A new book by the co-creator of "Broad City"

Gifts for friend I Might Regret This

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff, available at Amazon, $12.44

This book by Abbi Jacobson, co-creator of "Broad City", deals with love, loss, work, comedy, and identity. 

A soft, durable pair of slippers they'll want to live in

Gift for friend UGG Ansley water resistant slipper

UGG Ansley Water Resistant Slipper, available at Nordstrom, $100

They're not a new name, but UGG slippers have stuck around for a very good reason: they're incredibly soft, durable, and made really well. The sole is sturdy enough to withstand walks to the mailbox, and the water-resistant material can take a little gross winter slush on the way there.

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, check out Minnetonka — we're big fans of their mix of price and quality, too.

An award-winning at-home facial

Gift for friend Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80

This now-legendary AHA and BHA at-home "facial" gently resurfaces the skin to remove built-up dead skin cells and reveal brighter, more even skin underneath. It's also won multiple notable beauty awards, including a Best of Beauty from Allure and Reader's Choice from InStyle in 2017. For more skincare products, check out the best luxury skincare on Amazon and best gifts from Sephora here.

Popular leggings they can wear anywhere

Four people's legs running in Outdoor Voices 3/4 leggings in a desert

Outdoor Voices Core 3/4 Leggings, available at Outdoor Voices, $88

It seems like everyone and their best friend is talking about Outdoor Voices leggings, and these are the company's most sweat-friendly option. 

A card game to play with other friends to rehash favorite stories and learn some new ones

Gifts for friend voting card game

The Voting Game Adult Card Game, available at Target, $19.99

The Voting Game is basically a card game that gives you a funny prompt and invites you to anonymously answer "Who's the most likely to…" out of your friends. It's a great way to rehash your favorite memories and learn new stories.

A mug with a "coffee reading" tarot-inspired theme

Gift for friend tarot coffee

Coffee Reading, available at Society6, $11.40

Perfect for the avid coffee drinker or casual fan of the occult, this ceramic mug made by the independent artists of Society6 is a fun — and useful — gift. They've also got pretty much every mug pattern you could want.

A cult-favorite sleeping lip mask

Gift for friend Laneige lip mask

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Sephora, $22

Laneige's hyper-popular overnight lip mask smooths and moisturizes with vitamin C and antioxidants. Currently, it has over 13,000 reviews and a rating of 4.4-stars on Sephora. 

A cocktail recipe book that pairs music with good drinks

cocktail vinyl recipe book

Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks, available at Amazon, $22.49

Have a friend that loves music and a nice cocktail? This pairs both for a perfect combination every time. The guide includes music from 70 albums, ranging from the '50s to the '00s, with an accompanying A-side and B-side cocktail for each — all organized by mood. 

A tiny waffle maker

Gift for friend dash waffle maker

Dash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, $10

This mini waffle maker may seem more gimmick than substance, but it didn't garner 1,800+ reviews just for being pretty cute. It's compact for small kitchens and people who only want to make three waffles rather than buffet quantities, and it's really easy to clean.

A screw-on top that turns a wine bottle into a glass

Gift for friend wine bottle glass

Guzzle Buddy Wine Bottle Glass, available on Amazon, $15.10

If they're more of a "one bottle per person" vino drinker, why not cut out the middleman with this twist-on bottle-to-glass helper? 

The personal diary of icon Frida Kahlo

Gift for friend personal diary of Frida Kahlo

"The Diary of Friday Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait", available at Amazon, $32

In the last 10 years of her life, Friday Kahlo kept a journal full of thoughts, poems, illustrations, and dreams. This is it, and it's a particularly perfect gift for an artistic or feminist friend. 

Machine-washable sneakers they'll wear all the time

Person wearing Allbirds wool shoes

Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98

Soft, lightweight, breathable shoes that wick away moisture and can be tossed in a machine washer when they get dirty — what's not to love? 

A guard to keep away hot, messy splatter

Gift for friend splatter guard

Frywall 10 Splatter Guard, available at Sur La Table, $13.99

A splatter guard gives you the benefit of an uncovered pan, minus the countertop cleaning and dodging of hot, popping oil.

An elegant, unobtrusive diffuser that smells great

Gift for friend diffuser

Diffuser, available at Snowe, $40

Snowe's Diffuser has the advantage of looking more like home decor than a diffuser, but it also fills the room with a wonderful smell. Plus, the bottles of scent tend to last for months. Pick it up for a friend in five scent options that range from Speak Easy (leather, bitters, burnt cedar) to Pillow Talk (sandalwood, ginger, lavender). 

A beautiful candle that smells amazing

Gift for friend otherland candles

Manor House Weekend Candle, available at Otherland, $36

Otherland is a candle company started by Ralph Lauren's former art buyer, Abigail Cook Stone. If you want to give your friend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from an up-and-coming startup that they've probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option.

Read our full Otherland review here.

A Tile with a replaceable battery to help them find missing keys and wallets

Gift for friend replaceable battery to find missing keys and wallets

Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery, 2 Pack, available at Target, $59.99

Few gifts are going to be as useful as a Tile Pro with a replaceable battery. It'll help them find missing items like keys and wallets. An app on their phone can trigger the Tile to ring out so they can locate where they accidentally left their belongings. 

Luxurious bodycare products

Gift for friend Necessaire body care products

Nécessaire The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25

Nécessaire is a new line of bodycare products that use vitamins and plant-based oils. It was founded by Randi Christiansen, a former Estée Lauder vice president, and Nick Axelrod, a co-founder of Into the Gloss, the editorial site that preceded Glossier.

Read our full Nécessaire review here.

A cute plant in a ceramic pot delivered to their door

Gift for friend plant in a ceramic pot

Shop plants and accessories at The Sill, from $5

A plant from The Sill will come in a small ceramic pot with a drainage hole and its own saucer. It comes potted in the company's potting mix and will be delivered to their doorstep. 

A rechargeable battery

Gift for friend rechargable battery

Anker PowerCore 10000, available at Amazon, $31.99

Anker's PowerCore is a powerful, compact external battery that can provide nearly three and a half iPhone 8 charges or two and a half Galaxy S8 charges. 

A subscription to K-beauty sheet masks

Gift for friend subscription to k-beauty face masks

Facetory Gift Subscription Plan, available at Facetory, from $19.90

Facetory is an affordable monthly subscription to various K-beauty sheet masks. You can opt to pay for one, three, six, nine, or 12 months at a time. 

A pretty leather wrap for taking chargers and cables on the go

Gift for friend leather charger roll up

Leather Charger Roll Up, available at Mark & Graham, from $39

Mark & Graham's Leather Charger Roll Up is made from soft, supple leather and has three separate pockets to stash cables and chargers on the go. Get it monogrammed for free.

A box of gourmet artisan milk and dark chocolate

Gift for friend box of gourmet chocolates

Chuao Chocolatier Share the Love 36-Piece Gift Set, available at Amazon, $39.95

A box stuffed full of chocolate needs no introduction, but this one is a pretty good deal. The box comes with 36 mini bars of gourmet artisan milk and dark chocolate, all made in small batches and free of artificial flavors. The 14 flavors range from sweet to savory, and each bar is only 60 calories. 

A ClassPass gift card

Gift for friend Class Pass

Gift Card, available at ClassPass, choose your amount

Start heading to more (virtual or socially distant) boutique fitness classes with your friend by making them easier and cheaper to attend. ClassPass lets you drop in to different specialized studios for $15 or less per class.

A class or experience for you to take together

People cooking during an airbnb experience -- gifts for best friends

Check out local Airbnb Experiences

Check out local Groupons

Once it's safe to do so, book an experience like a pasta-making class, brewery tour, or local tour that the two of you can enjoy together. Plus, you can buy this gift as last-minute as you like.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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