The best Mother’s Day gifts to show your appreciation

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Updated Apr 28, 2023 5:00 PM

Mother’s Day provides an excellent opportunity for you and your siblings or children to try and one-up each other in an effort to prove yourself as The Favorite. Yes, being supportive is not a competition, but you can’t be the one who gives mom a gift that doesn’t suit. Thankfully, the PopSci staff has extensive experience in gift-giving of almost every variety. If you’ve spent years cultivating the perfect gift for mom—or grandmom, or the mother of your children—and have run out of ideas, we have recommendations to make her smile and you shine. Win-win! 

  • Best coffee: Zend
  • Best coffee maker alternative: SAKI Electric Turkish Coffee Maker
  • Best for loud children: Vibes Ear Plugs
  • Best cookbook: Eataly Contemporary Italian
  • Best cooking aid upgrade: Vitamix Propel 750 Blender
  • Best snacks: Spirit Almonds
  • Best for new moms: Birthdate Pendant
  • Best shoes: Allbirds
  • Best for working moms: Troubadour Ember bag
  • Best for outdoorsy mom: Backpackers Pantry 
  • Best sustainable gift: Lomi
  • Best for traveling: Monos Carry-On Pro
  • Best to recreate the spa at home: Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket 
  • Best splurge: Dyson AirWrap
  • Best for those expecting: Proxies Tasting Set
  • Best for music-loving moms: Sony WH-1000XM5
  • Best robovac: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum & Mop
  • Best for working out: OMORPHO G-Vest+
  • For grandmas: Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame

Best coffee: Zend

Packages of Zend coffee on a blue and white background

These coffee beans go way beyond that crummy old can of Folgers mom keeps on her counter. Zend coffees give a mom the option to enjoy the coffee on its own, or they can infuse them with one of three functional blends: Beauty, which supports hair, skin, and nail health; Recovery, which supports heart health and reduces inflammation; Serenity, which supports stress relief and balance. Mom deserves plenty of caffeine for everything and most definitely deserves to feel beautiful, healthy, and serene. If a single cup of coffee accomplishes both, we can’t think of a better gift. Unless …

Best coffee maker alternative: SAKI Electric Turkish Coffee Maker

A Saki Turkish coffee maker on a blue and white background

Turkish coffee is rich, silky, and delicious, but you can’t expect moms to master the copper pot method of making it with the little free time they have. To use this electric Turkish coffee maker, simply fill the pot with water, add Turkish coffee, and insert it into the machine. Choose how many cups you want (you can choose between 1-2 or 3-4), and you’ll have a hot, frothy, yummy cup of coffee within seconds, sans accidental spills and overflow. If mom is a caffeine connoisseur, they’ll appreciate taking advantage of one of the oldest ways to brew coffee.   

Best for loud children: Vibes Ear Plugs

Vibes ear plugs on a blue and white background

Let us be frank: babies are not quiet. Toddlers are cacophonous. Kids make a lot of noise. You only reach silent nirvana when they ship off to college. Before then, you’ll still need to hear in case they break something or start a fight with each other. By gifting a mom these reusable high-fidelity earplugs, you’ll give them a little peace without being completely unaware of what the kids are up to. 

Best cookbook: Eataly Contemporary Italian

An Eataly Contemporary Italian cookbook on a blue and white background

“What should we eat for dinner?” is sometimes the hardest question to answer. Make the decision process 100 times easier with the “​Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking cookbook, which packs 300 recipes, including pasta with cavolo nero pesto and clams. With clear instructions and helpful tips, mom won’t want to ditch the entire recipe and just order takeout (although we’re not judging if they do).

Best cooking aid upgrade: Vitamix Propel 750 Blender

A Vitamix 750 blender on a blue and white background

Kitchen gadgets shouldn’t make life more difficult and this Vitamix, with a powerful 2.2 horsepower motor, can crush ice into a smooth slushie consistency and demolish vegetables to make hearty, yummy soups. A 64-ounce cup means that mom can make enough servings for the whole family with enough for seconds for themselves.   

Best snacks: Spirit Almonds

A variety pack of Spirit Almonds in a box

If there’s a mom-on-the-go in your life who can appreciate always having a snack packed, look no further than Spirit Almond. Each protein- and healthy fat-rich nut gets one of six Japanese-style flavorings: black garlic, curry, koji salt, miso, mustard, and seaweed. It comes in a handy single-serve pack to easily throw in a purse or bag (making it easy to snag one for yourself, since one gift box comes with three packs of each flavor). If they’re more of a sweet snack mom, consider the Sahale Snacks Glazed Nut Variety Pack, which adds dried fruit and expands the nut varieties to pistachios, cashews, and pecans. 

Best for new moms: Birthdate Pendant

A Birthdate Pendant on a blue and white background

Technically, these pendants are meant as a lovely wearable to show off the wearer’s astrology (if they’re into it). However, between the unique collection of stones for every day of the year and personal engraving, we think it makes for a great gift to celebrate a firstborn. Each stone tells the story of their birthday, including their birthstone. Talk about a personalized gift. 

Best shoes: Allbirds

A pair of grey AllBirds sneakers on a blue and white background

Moms are always on their feet, between running after grandkids or working off all the child-related stress at the gym. Between their lack of flashy logos and synthetic materials, Allbirds is a natural gift for moms: they’re stylish, comfortable, and come in plenty of styles: Need some business-professional flats? They have that. Need some running shoes? They have those, too. The company itself is dedicated to sustainability, so you can feel good gifting them.  

Best for working moms: Troubadour Ember bag

A Troubadour Ember bag on a blue and white background

Work backpacks don’t have to be boring. This leather-and-neoprene variety has a waterproof lining to keep things dry, a sturdy grip handle that won’t break on the go, and a trolley sleeve for use as a carry-on. The main compartment folds down once opened for easy access to essentials, and a separate laptop compartment can fit a 16-inch laptop. Plus, there are plenty of pockets for essentials, like keys, a phone, or an emergency pacifier. A five-year guarantee means a mom always gets quality in case something goes wrong in manufacturing. 

Best for outdoorsy mom: Backpackers Pantry

Camp cooking can involve a lot of grilled cheese, reheated soups, and boxed mac and cheese. These aren’t bad meals, but sometimes that mom deserves something a little more five-star after a long day of hikes. Backpackers Pantry has breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert covered with various dried and dehydrated foods. These meals aren’t wimpy, either—each averages around 15 grams of protein, which energizes you on your hike. We like to start our outdoor morning with the company’s Blueberry walnut oats and a cup of coffee. Once we get to basecamp, we sit down and enjoy some lasagna (it’s what Garfield would want), followed by the most important meal: dessert. Our choice? Dark chocolate cheesecake. 

If you want to give a mom the outdoor experience at home, we love the Solo Stove Mesa tabletop fire pit, which makes it safe and easy to roast some marshmallows on the balcony or porch.

Best sustainable gift: Lomi

A white Lomi composter on a blue and white background

Mom’s coffee grounds, egg shells, and banana peels can live second lives as compost in the flower garden with this gift. Lomi makes composting easy: It’s odor-, pest-, and mess-free, and turns food waste into compost in less than four hours. It easily fits onto countertops and is discreet. With all that compost, your special someone’s rose garden—and kitchen—will be the envy of the neighborhood. 

Best for traveling: Monos Carry-On Pro

A beige Monos carry-on on a blue and white background

Jet-setting moms will appreciate the gift of nice luggage that makes traveling a little less stressful. Our pick is the Monos Carry-On Pro, made for organization and easy access. It comes in eight standard colors and four limited-edition colors and includes an integrated TSA-approved lock for keeping belongings safe. An aerospace-grade polycarbonate shell prevents breaking from TSA agent rough-handling, and a built-in front compartment lets you store a laptop, passport, and other need-haves in one easy place. All-paid vacation not included.  

Best to recreate the spa at home: Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket 

A zebra print Sun Home Saunas blanket on a dark wood floor

If there’s something a mom rarely rues and can most likely use, it’s a trip to the spa. Instead of giving a gift card to a spa, why not bring the spa along with the Sun Home Saunas Infrared Sauna Blanket, which allows you to feel the heat without even needing to become vertical. It helps relieve stress and anxiety and can help treat chronic pain. It’s like a sleeping bag that makes mom feel like a Hot Pocket in a microwave. 

Best splurge: Dyson AirWrap

A rose and vinca blue Dyson AirWrap on a blue and white background

The Dyson AirWrap is the hair styler to have—it dries, curls, and styles hair, combining at least four styling tools into one. We’ve gone hands-on with it before and love that it gives salon-quality, shampoo commercial blowouts at home. It comes with two barrel sizes (both with switches to change airflow direction), a soft smoothing brush, a firm smoothing brush, a round volumizing brush (our favorite attachment), and a blow-drying attachment. If the AirWrap is out of your budget, consider the Shark FlexStyle, which has a bendable arm and a diffuser attachment for curly hair. Protect strands beforehand with the K18 molecular repair oil, and help keep hair healthy when it’s shower time with the Kitsch Pre Wash Scalp Oil and K18 leave-in conditioner.

Best for those expecting: Proxies Tasting Set

A lineup of Proxies wine alternatives on a blue and white background

If a pregnant person in your life wants to enjoy a fancy little beverage sans alcohol (we happen to have tons of recommendations), nothing looks better in a wine glass than Proxies. There are de-alcoholized wines on the market, but some may have traces of alcohol left after the process. Proxies, however, is boozeless from the start, made from wine grape varietals without the fermenting. The resulting product has a similar mouthfeel and taste to wine but without the “Am I hurting baby?” anxiety. They’re perfect to pair with pizza, fish, pickles, and any other pregnancy cravings. 

Best for music-loving moms: Sony WH-1000XM5

A pair of Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones on a blue and white background

If mom has a killer vinyl collection and puts you on to some of the best artists, you should give them a gift that says, “Thanks for giving me good taste.” We think the Sony WH-1000XM5 is an excellent choice. They’re sleek and comfortable on the head, including some killer noise cancellation (perfect for tuning out nosy neighbors) and four beamforming microphones to be heard clearly on work calls. If they’re more of an earbud person, the easily pocketed Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II have excellent sound and the most effective noise cancellation on the market. 

Best robovac: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum & Mop

A iRobot Roomba j7+ on a blue and white background

Messes happen, and if you’re not going to help clean them up, at least buy a robot that will. This Roomba is both a mop and a vacuum cleaner, and it’s pretty smart for a robot: It can sense objects and pet accidents (meaning no poop smeared around your home because of the dog, at least), and detects when changing from flooring to carpet. It lifts the mop head to prevent soggy carpets and self-empties. It connects to Alexa (meaning you can control the robovac with your voice) and can be controlled via the iRobot app. Mom will appreciate someone finally helping out around here. 

Best for working out: OMORPHO G-Vest+

A woman wearing a blue weighted OMORPHO vest

Up any workout with this weighted vest from OMORPHO, which adds five pounds of resistance to level up burpees, sprints, and more. However, it doesn’t feel like a five-pound vest, thanks to even weight distribution. It’s a comfortable piece of workout gear that fits great (adjustable cables and straps help, too) and doesn’t limit your range of motion. Connecting the vest to the OMORPHO app gives you workouts that are quick but effective. If someone want to outrun the other soccer team moms, gifting this vest is a great start.

For grandmas: Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame

Aura Mason Luxe best overall digital picture frame showing a dog on a desk

Although it’s perfect for any and every generation of moms, we think grandmas especially will love the Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame. Grandmas love showing people pictures of their extended family (including granddogs), and this WiFi-connected cloud-fed frame makes it easy to update those photos from anywhere. Add photos and videos to the Aura app, and they’ll show up on your loved one’s frame as long as it’s connected to a network—there’s no work they need to do to get the photos up after the initial connectioon. You don’t need to worry about storage, either—it’s unlimited. And, you don’t need to worry about photo orientation, since the Aura automatically rotates and resizes based on whether it’s placed landscape or portrait. PopSci’s associate managing editor sent one to his mother for their birthday—take their word for it: “What I have enjoyed the most … is the burst of joy every time I see a photo of a loved one or a picture a loved one has shared with me!” You can get an Aura Mason Luxe Smart Frame for the entire family, or you can check out some other digital picture frames we recommend. 

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