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Shopping for your boyfriend can be difficult, especially if the relationship is still new. There are some great gift guides out there for the men in your life, but the ideal gift for your boyfriend is something he’ll find useful on his own, with the option of being something you could also enjoy together.
We’ve been testing tons of different products throughout the year, and we’ve assembled this list of gift ideas for that special guy in your life. There should be something here for everyone, from aspiring chefs to outdoorsmen to commuters to gamers.
These are the best gifts for boyfriends of 2019:
1. For the boyfriend who doesn’t have time to grocery shop: Home Chef meal kit delivery
If your boyfriend likes to cook, but he can’t get past that initial learning curve of meal selection and food prep, a meal kit delivery service could be his ticket to skillet stardom. We tested the most popular meal kit delivery services, and found Home Chef to be the best option for its well-written recipes that break down cooking techniques into easy-to-follow steps, organized ingredients, and 16 different dinner options per week, including vegetarian dishes.
2. For the boyfriend who commutes: Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones
If your boyfriend takes the bus or subway to work, he’d probably welcome a set of active noise-canceling headphones. We’ve tested a lot of active noise-canceling headphones over the years, and the Sony WH-1000XM3 are our favorite. While they’re a little on the expensive side, the active noise cancellation is strong enough to take the edge off any noisy commute and without blocking out announcements made over the PA system.
3. For the boyfriend who binge-watches shows: Roku Streaming Stick+
If you two are the type who love binge-watching shows with each other, but find it’s kind of cumbersome to hook your laptop up to the TV for streaming Netflix and Hulu, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is a relatively inexpensive alternative. It has a great remote, an intuitive app, can stream full 4K and HDR over WiFi and, in our tests, we found it was nearly as fast as most full-size streaming boxes.
4. For the boyfriend who loves to read: Kindle Paperwhite
For your bookish boyfriend, or one who wants to get back into reading, consider our top e-reader. We found the new Kindle Paperwhite strikes a great balance between features and affordability. It’s a great upgrade over its predecessors, with a thinner, lighter, and waterproof design, as well as the ability to download audio content for Bluetooth playback. We found the Paperwhite’s self-lit display to be very versatile, whether you’re reading in the dark before bed or under direct sunlight at the beach.
5. For the boyfriend who likes brewing coffee: SterlingPro Stainless Steel French Press
If your boyfriend considers coffee the most important part of his balanced breakfast, maybe it’s time to skip Starbucks and start home brewing. After testing the most popular French presses out there, we found the best bet for your morning mug is the SterlingPro Stainless Steel French Press. The double screen filter will keep grounds from sneaking into a pour, and the double-layered walls will provide enough insulation to keep your coffee hot (or cold) throughout the day, while remaining room temperature to the touch.
If you’d like some beans to go with that press, we’ve also tested the most popular coffee subscription services.
6. For the boyfriend who’s clean-shaven: MERKUR Progress safety razor
Switching from a cartridge-based razor to a safety razor really is a night-and-day difference that really elevates the routine of shaving. Not only will he find that a safety razor—while potentially intimidating at first—actually leads to fewer nicks and less razor burn than a multi-bladed cartridge, it’s also significantly cheaper over time. You can buy a pack of 100 razors online for less than $8, and each one lasts about as long as a traditional cartridge.
While there’s a lot of great safety razors out there, our favorite is the MERKUR Progress. It has a nice weight to it and allows you to adjust the angle of the blade, to let you get a close shave even in sensitive areas.
7. For the boyfriend who loves music: JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker
Of the Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested, the JBL Flip 4 is our favorite. Not only does it sound awesome, it’s decently waterproof (IPX7), and has a better battery life than most other portable speakers. In terms of audio quality, it offers a good mix of highs, mids and lower tones—as well as some pretty powerful bass for a portable speaker.
8. For the boyfriend who loves game night: Codenames
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Codenames is about to be your favorite go-to board game on couples’ game night. Codenames is a team-based word association game. Gameplay is simple—one player gives their team a single word clue, then the number of cards on the board that clue pertains to. It’s a simple, fun, and entertaining game that only gets better the more you know your teammates.
If your boyfriend is more into the classics, this handsome deluxe version of Scrabble is sure to stand the test of time.
9. For the boyfriend who serves breakfast in bed: Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet
Don’t let the low price fool you—of all the cast iron skillets we tested, the Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet performed the best. The Lodge’s skillet is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, which saves a ton of time and ensures a nice, even protective coat. The pan excels at slow, even heating, providing a nice, uniform sear on steaks and ensuring everything he cooks will be done to perfection.
10. For the boyfriend who “will sweep tomorrow”: Eufy RoboVac 11s robot vacuum
If your boyfriend is averse to cleaning, consider a robot vacuum that’s aced our battery of tests while remaining affordable. The Eufy Robovac 11s has powerful suction for its size, impressive navigation, and a slim design for getting its brushes into nooks and crannies where dust can congregate. It’s also quieter than most robot vacuums we’ve had in our labs. The only way the 11s will interrupt a conversation is when you notice your cat is riding on it.
11. For the boyfriend who loves craft brews: Northern Brewer Go Pro Small Batch
If your guy takes beer seriously and is always on the lookout for the latest craft batch, maybe he’d like to try his own hand at brewing. In testing a number of home brewing kits, we liked the entry-level Northern Brewer Go Pro Small Batch kit. It comes with everything from an instructional DVD to bottles to a big mouth bubbler fermenter that’s easy to clean.
12. For the boyfriend who needs to relax: YnM Weighted Blanket
Consider this one a gift for the both of you. Weighted blankets are comfortable, soft, and the additional weight can be very comforting. They’re a great way to relax, unwind, and finally get to sleep on time. After testing, we named the YnM Weighted Blanket our best value pick for being a budget-friendly option that’s better than some blankets over twice its price. If you want to splurge, The Gravity Blanket costs more, but as our highest-rated weighted blanket, it’s well worth the investment.
13. For the boyfriend who has a big screen: JBL Bar 2.1 soundbar
If your date nights tend to revolve around cuddling on the couch in front of a movie, consider helping your boyfriend upgrade the TV speakers to a soundbar. The best affordable soundbar we’ve tested, the JBL Bar 2.1 delivers the best combination of sound quality, usability, and ease of use for its price range. It has four drivers and two tweeters in the bar, with a separate subwoofer. We found it provided balanced volume, allowing for clear, crisp dialogue and the satisfying, bassy punch of an explosion.
14. For the boyfriend who’s a gym rat: Fitbit Charge 3
Fitness trackers are a great gift, because they can be valuable to everyone from dedicated gym-goers to those who are maybe just starting to get into shape. In our round-up of the best fitness trackers, the Fitbit Charge 3 was the best of the bunch. With notifications to make sure wearers are finishing their daily steps, an impressive battery life, a simple interface and app, a sleep tracker, and a knowledgeable community of users, this tracker is simply top-notch.
15. For the boyfriend who has tons of meetings: Apple Watch
If you have a boyfriend with a busy schedule, a smart watch might be just the thing to help keep him on time and reminded of all his important meetings. When we looked at smart watches, we found the Apple Watch Series 4 was the best one out there. It has a very minimalist and modular design, allowing users to keep track of their most important notifications without any clutter. You can make calls, send texts, or use its built-in GPS to navigate even when your phone is dead.
16. For the boyfriend who loves to learn: MasterClass
If your boyfriend likes watching TED talks or is simply a serial hobbyist, he’ll enjoy honing his own skills in an online course. We tried out MasterClass, and think it’s a great way to spark an interest in a new hobby or to help dive deep into the nitty gritty of a craft. The offer single classes for about $90, or a years-worth for $180—which we think is a significantly better value.
17. For the boyfriend who loves barbecue: the Cuisinart COS-118 smoker
Does your boyfriend love barbecue enough to make it at home? The Cuisinart Vertical 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker is both affordable and very easy to use. In our tests, it was able to maintain a perfect 250°F temperature for the entire 10-hour smoke time, with very intervention required to make sure things kept on track—and at no point did its airflow latch get too hot to touch with our bare hands. This smoker is simply great, outperforming many other options that cost twice as much.
18. For the boyfriend who loves gaming: Nintendo Switch
Whether you’re buying for an experienced gamer or simply trying to get your boyfriend into the hobby, the Nintendo Switch has basically everything you’d want. Not only is there a long list of new and classic games from popular publishers, it’s also one of the better platforms for some incredible indie games. Don’t forget to grab the best Nintendo Switch carrying case and portable charger.
19. For the boyfriend who loves the outdoors: Osprey Radial 34 Daypack
If you and your boyfriend tend to spend your weekends outdoors, either camping or hiking to scenic vistas, the Osprey Radian 34 Daypack is a great option. It’s comfortable, evenly distributes weight, has multiple compartments to accommodate large objects and laptops alike, and features enough harnesses to keep everything from jostling around.
20. For the boyfriend who’s a bit spicy: The Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauce Sampler Pack
If your boyfriend likes things spicy, this sampler pack of hot sauces might be just the thing to add some heat to your dinners together. This offering from Thoughtfully Gifts includes seven different flavors of hot sauce, ranging from mild to very hot. Unlike other hot sauce packs, the goal here is to offer a great taste to go along with the heat—not just a flavorless trip up the Scoville scale. As a cute little bonus, the sauces come packaged like a bundle of TNT.
21. For the boyfriend who’s tech-savvy: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)
We love voice-controlled smart speakers. They’re great tools on their own, but with a little ingenuity you can basically attach anything to a voice command. If you have a tech-savvy boyfriend who’s looking to try something new, the Echo Dot is a great device for automating things you might not have even known were able to be automated. The Dot is a perfect entry-level smart speaker, offering most of the functionality of the higher-end options without a prohibitive startup cost.
22. For the boyfriend who’s handy: Leatherman Wave Multitool
As someone who has, at times, been a boyfriend, let me attest—multitools exist at the crossroads of cool, fun, and functional. Get your guy a multitool and he’ll be trying to fix just about everything, just as an excuse to use it. In our roundup of the best multitools, we found the Leatherman Wave+ offered the best of convenience and quality. We liked the Wave+’s smart design, with wide, curved edges that won’t cut into your palm when you’re exerting a lot of force, and its use of texture to help differentiate all its tools at a touch.
23. For the boyfriend who travels: Samsonite Flexis 21″ Spinner
New luggage is something that your boyfriend might not have thought to buy for himself, but it can make the entire process of flying much more enjoyable. The Samsonite Flexis 21″ Spinner is currently the best carry-on bag you can buy. The Flexis’s small size makes it ideal for overhead bins, and its four spinning wheels make maneuvering over and around obstacles simple—a lifesaver if he needs to run to catch a connection. The bag also features an integrated USB port, for keeping your devices charged while they’re stored away.
If your boyfriend needs something more substantial for his travels, we recommend the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 29″ Expandable Spinner Suiter as the best checked bag you can get.
24. For the boyfriend who loves wine: Zalto Universal glasses
If you’re shopping for a wine connoisseur, new stemware can never be too far off base. We know our way around wine accouterments and we love this set of glasses from Zalto. Not only do they look amazing, they’re also very sturdy. For those of us who host parties that are a bit more lively, Amazon offers a set of four glasses that look great and are much easier to replace at under $5 apiece.
25. For the boyfriend who appreciates his roots: Grafomap custom map
If your boyfriend has a special place in his heart for his hometown, check out these custom maps from Grafomap. Input a location and you’re instantly presented with a map of the area and some great customization options. You can choose from a plethora of options in frame, design, and printed medium. You can even customize the text, which can be great for inserting a heartwarming flourish (or rendering a good-natured insult in impeccably dignified font).
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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