You don’t need to overspend to make your special someone feel loved this Valentine’s Day. Whether they are a nostalgist, a pragmatist, an enthusiast or they just adore sweets, there’s something on this list of budget-friendly gifts $25 and under they’ll be sure to love.
The best Valentine’s Day gifts $25 and under
As shopping experts, we examine what people are looking to buy all year round. So when gifting moments like Valentine’s Day roll around we take note of the most popular gifts for every budget. For those who don’t want to overdo?it, we rounded up products that (metaphorically) say “I love you” without breaking the bank. We selected items from brands we’ve previously covered along with highly rated items we think your recipients will truly appreciate and NBC Select-staff favorites.
The best self-care Valentine’s Day gifts $25 and under
Ami Colé Lip Treatment Oil?
There’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to refresh a lip-care routine, especially since it falls right in the middle of dry skin season (and chapped lip kisses are on nobody’s wishlist). This? bestselling lip treatment from Ami Colé uses baobab, camellia and passion fruit seed oil to soothe, hydrate and protect lips without stickiness, according to the brand. Your giftee can either wear it solo as a shiny gloss or use it as a topper over their favorite lip product for added shine. It’s also available in six different colors, so you can choose the best shade to suit your special person’s smile.
By Rosie Jane Fragrance Discovery Set
I’ve always loved perfume sets as a gift — not only does your giftee get to try a bunch of new scents, but it’s also perfect for when you’re not sure of which ones they’ll like best. This genderless set has seven perfumes designed for everyday wear, according to the brand, each with a unique fragrance, including James (amber and gardenia), Lake (vanilla and sandalwood), and Leila Lou (pear and fresh cut grass). Each vial also contains at least four wears, so they can fully test each one before choosing a favorite.
Olay Regenerist Facial Cleansing Brush
Give your loved one the gift of an at-home facial with this facial cleansing brush from Olay. These powered brushes help wash and exfoliate your face and minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, according to the experts we spoke to in our guide to the best facial cleansing brushes.Olay Regenerist’s soft-bristle facial cleansing brush offers two speeds — one for daily deep cleansing and the other for gentle exfoliation — and it primes your skin to “maximize the hydrating effect of your moisturizer,” according to the brand. Olay says you can use the water-resistant device in the shower, and it comes with two brush heads (replacements are sold separately in packs of two).
Lush Love Burger Bath Bomb
This bath bomb from Lush will help your giftee level up their bath/shower experience. The burger-shaped bath bomb is a 3-in-1 offering, with two cherry-scented bath bomb burger buns, a lemon-scented burger bubble bar, and two rhubarb and custard salad-shaped soaps, according to Lush. The soaps are all vegan, and the layered design lets your loved one mix the scents to their liking, for a relaxing (and delicious) after-work or weekend soak in the tub.
Yiview Sleep Mask — Pack of 3
Nothing kills the mood like being tired. A quality sleep mask, which blocks out any light, allowing your body to produce melatonin, may help. It has memory foam padding around the eyes for comfort and breathability. The adjustable mask is also secured around your head using an elastic strap, making it less likely than a Velcro one to get caught in your hair or disrupt your sleep. It can help ensure no one wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.
Topicals Faded Under Eye Masks
These under-eye masks from Topicals are one of my favorite quick skin care treatments. Extremely cute pink design aside, they’re formulated with caffeine and kojic acid to help revive and even skin tones while also reducing the appearance of dark circles, according to the brand. Cooling hydrogel soothes the skin during wear, making it a great accessory for your giftee’s after-work couch time. For best results, the brand recommends applying the masks for 15 minutes, two to three times a week for best results — and did I mention that they’re pink?
Usaga Premium Scalp Massager
Consider this scalp massager a gift to yourself as much as your significant other: When your partner asks for a head rub at the end of a long day, the scalp massager is likely to do a better job than you. The scalp massager’s 20 prongs are made of metal but have soft tips that are easy to clean, according to the brand.
Kitsch Satin Pillowcase
This Bed & Bath Award winning pillowcase is made from a soft satin that prevents hair breakage throughout the night while also adding a luxe finish to your Valentine’s bedspread. The satin’s cooling properties also keeps your pillow from overheating during sleep. NBC Select associate reporter Bianca Alvarez is always trying to find the cold side of the pillow, and says that she never has to adjust her pillow when she uses this case. It comes in standard/queen and king sizes, and can be bought in packs of one, two or four.
Moleskine Large Classic Notebook
Moleskine-style notebooks have been used by writers and artists like Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway for centuries, according to the brand. If your significant other loves stationery, or simply the act of writing down their next big idea (rather than tapping it into the Notes app), they may love this simple yet sophisticated Moleskine. Each notebook lies flat while writing and has rounded corners, an elastic closure and ribbon bookmark.
Kin Objects Backflow Incense Cones
Incense and candles are a staple in a lot of households, but these incense cones from Kin Objects have a special twist. Instead of? incense steam rising upward like on a traditional cone, the smoke from these flows downward, to resemble running water, according to the brand. Each pack comes with 30 cones and are available in New-world Sandalwood, Chinese Cedar, and Herbal Amalgam. Can’t decide on the right scent for your Valentine? No problem — Kin Objects also offers a mixed gift pack, with 12 of each fragrance included.
The best home & kitchen Valentine’s Day gifts $25 and under
Bodum Caffettiera French Press
I’ve used a Bodum french press for years and love the smooth, consistent flavor it delivers. Plus, I just love the morning ritual: grind, pour, stir, breathe easy, plunge, sip. This Caffettiera Bodum is constructed like any other Bodum with a chrome-plated steel frame and 34-ounce borosilicate glass carafe but features a choice of two bold color combinations (red, blue or green, yellow) sold exclusively at the MoMA design store. I can’t think of a more cheerful way to kick off Valentine’s Day than bringing this, plus two mugs, back to bed.
The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts
Every person has that one restaurant that makes you feel like you’re in love the second you walk through the door. Joe Beef is one of those restaurants, says former NBC Select Editor, Christina Colizza. The cozy bistro is known for pushing the limits of traditional French cuisine with dishes like Spaghetti Homard-Lobster and the Kale for a Hangover. “More than a hundred of those recipes are collected here, plus illustrations and memoir-esque writing. Whatever that little restaurant that feels like home for you and your significant other, see if they have a cookbook. I’ll be over here dreaming about Foie Gras poutine,” says Colizza.
Scandles Heart Stack Pillar Candle
Light up your living room for a relaxing night on the couch with your Valentine using this candle from Scandles. Each candle is hand-poured and made from 100% natural soy wax, according to the brand. As if the heart-shaped design isn’t romantic enough, the candle also has a rich, warm scent of brown sugar and fig, derived from essential oils, according to Scandles.?
Dash Heart Mini Waffle Maker
This waffle maker is the gift that keeps on giving: It makes snack-sized waffles in adorable heart shapes in minutes, and requires zero setup — just plug it in and you’re good to go, according to Dash. It’s compact enough to easily store in small spaces, and it is also nonstick for easier cleanup. The maker comes with a guide that also has waffle recipe ideas, including sweet and savory, that you and your loved one can try together — breakfast in bed has truly never been easier.
Good & Well Supply Co National Park Incense
Good & Well Supply Co specializes in American-made home goods, crafts and gifts that celebrate the country’s national parks, roadside hotels, and other Americana. If you have a favorite camping buddy or adventure partner, they may love the brand’s national park-themed incense tins. I recently sent a friend the brand’s Olympic National Park incense, which is infused with hints of cypress trees and smoke, to remind her of the amazing girls’ trip we took there years ago. Whatever that special natural place is for you and yours, whether Zion, Sequoia, or Acadia, Good and Well Supply Co has you covered.
Sugarfina XOXO 2 Piece Candy Bento Box
While Valentine’s Day often brings luxury chocolates and bouquets of roses, let us not forget the humble box of candy. Sugarfina makes a range of sweet treats with unique flavors, like Tequila Grapefruit Sours or Cold Brew Bears. This Valentine’s Day offering pairs two sweet selections: Strawberry Hearts and Sugar Lips sealed in a Valentine’s Day-themed bento box.
Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp
With this gift, you can quite literally spice things up with your Valentine this year. This best-selling sauce is made with er jin tiao chilis and tribute peppers for a savory and delicious, not-too-spicy kick that your loved one will want to put on any and everything, according to the brand. Its crispy and oily texture makes it versatile enough to go on almost all of your giftee’s favorite foods, including pizza, noodles, dumplings and more. If they’re not a fan of spice, no need to worry — the brand offers sauces in other flavors like Zhong (sweet and spicy) and Chengdu Crunch.
ThermoFlask Bottle with Chug Lid and Straw Lid
Give your favorite person a new reusable water bottle to stay hydrated from. The double-walled vacuum-insulated bottle can keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours and comes with two lids — a Chug Lid that twists off and a Straw Lid that pops open. If you don’t like the Chug Lid or the Straw Lid, ThermoFlask sells other lids separately, including a Spout Lid and a Travel Mug Lid.
The best entertainment Valentine’s Day gifts $25 and under
We’re Not Really Strangers — Couples Edition
Whether you’ve been married for a decade or just soft-launched your relationship to your social media circle, you may unlock a new, deeper intimacy with your partner with this card game. The original We’re Not Really Strangers card game has players deepen their friendships by having them answer prompts like “How are you, really?” or “Are you missing anyone right now?” The couples edition follows the same format but for romantic relationships. Be prepared to answer questions like, “What do we have in this relationship that you never thought possible?” or “What did you learn from our biggest fight?” If you already own the original card game, you could try the Honest Dating expansion pack, or spice things up with the brand’s XXX game.
Personalized Spotify Plaque
If your giftee loves music and you find yourself lacking in the vocals/instrumental ability department, no need to worry — this customized plaque lets you give the gift of music without singing a single note. Each plaque is designed to resemble a Spotify music player and comes inscribed with a song and photo of your choice, along with a scannable Spotify code that links directly to the song itself (access to a Spotify Premium account is needed). Choose their favorite song or a song that reminds you of them, and fill out the form for an easy, yet thoughtful gift. Can’t decide on just one song? You can also link a playlist of your choosing, or making, for even more of a blush-inducing effect.
Piecework Mini Astrology Puzzle
For me, puzzles are a love language all of their own — not only are the offerings incredibly versatile, but they’re also a fun way to relax and enjoy time with your loved one away from your phone, TV and tablet screens. These puzzles from Piecework (one of our favorite adult puzzle brands) are astrology-themed, with each sign’s puzzle featuring a different photograph representing them. The puzzles are 70 pieces each, which is perfect for a short puzzling session between shows or before dinner. Piecework also offers the minis in Puzzle Trios grouped by sign (fire, water, air or earth) for more of a challenge (and more time spent puzzling with your Valentine).
CratedWithLove Date Night Generator Game
If either you or your giftee are anywhere near as indecisive as I am — you’re welcome in advance for this gift, which helps to ease the stress of (and add some joy to) picking your next date night. The game is simple: It has three card categories — dinner, movie and mix it up — all of which are shuffled and separated into their categories to begin with. To play, draw a card from each pile and combine the three to get your challenge for that date night. With over 140 cards included, there are over 100,00 possible combinations, including movie and dinner prompts like “create a meal with ingredients only starting with P” and “watch a movie that must incorporate an island”.?
This gift is for yourself (and your circle of family and friends) as much as it is for your Valentine. Anomia is a fast-moving group game of 3-6 players, in which the goal is to collect as many cards as possible by being the first to shout examples of the categories written on the cards — usually resulting in a fast-paced, hilarious mess of a great time. Each box comes with two Anomia decks, and for an added twist, you can try the game’s other themed packs, including Anomia Party, Anomia Pop Culture, and Anomia X.
Fujifilm QuickSnap Disposable Camera
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this gift is worth about 54,000 — these disposable cameras from Fujifilm come loaded with 27 exposures each, which makes a total of 54 moments that you and your loved one can capture on film. The cameras have a built-in flash that make night shooting easy, and it is simple to operate: just point and shoot. Although digital photos are convenient, once the film is developed you’ll have printed copies that remain keepsakes forever.
Magic Puzzle Company Crystal Caves Puzzle
As a regular puzzler myself, I can’t recommend the Magic Puzzle Company enough. Every puzzle has beautifully detailed original artwork, and is made from irregularly shaped pieces that come with a fun twist — each puzzle has a visual illusion magic trick upon completion, according to the brand. Great for date nights at home with your Valentine, group game nights and more, each design is also filled with over 50 hidden easter eggs to make the hunt more exciting.
Why trust NBC Select?
Ashley Morris is an associate reporter at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers self care, home and lifestyle. For this story, she compiled products included in previous coverage and researched bestselling products from top brands.