The truth is, I’ve looked at a lot of lists of practical stocking stuffers around the web and… I never like them much. Because no, chocolate bars are not “practical” gifts, as much as I like getting them. And no, deodorant is not a cool gift, even if it’s practical.

Is it too much to ask for stocking stuffer ideas that strike a balance of both useful and fun?

With that, I finally put together my own list of some of our favorite things to give and get. I hope you’ll find some inspiration in this carefully curated list of 50 fantastic but still totally practical stocking stuffers for kids and adults.

Nothing for the back of the junk drawer, thankyouverymuch.

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Related: 50+ fabulous gifts for adults, all $15 or under

50 ideas for practical but cool stocking stuffers, for people who just can't with all the plastic crap |

Practical stocking stuffers: A fun supply of Band-Aids

1. Fun Bandages Regular Band-Aids = practical. Wonder Woman Band-Aids = Great stocking stuffer for any age.

2. Colorful Sharpie MarkersYou can’t have too many, and if they only own black ones, they don’t know what they’re missing.¬†

3. Mechanical pencils My first love

4. Lip Balm Gender-neutral, always needed.


Practical stocking stuffers: A 1Password gift card for someone who's been putting off changing all their passwords --and keeping them safe

5. A 1Password subscription I know about a dozen people I’d like to give this to this year. If you know someone who really needs a safe place to store all those passwords, let alone a way to change each of those passwords so they aren’t all PASSWORD1234, this will do the trick.

6. A password journal For the person who just can’t make the leap to digital

7. Dry shampoo Practical, and yet, beloved.

8. A spare USB cable Or two, or ten.


Best Citrus Juicer: The Zulay Metal Hinged Manual Squeezer (and we tried 5!)

9. A cool kitchen gadget Like say, this best ever citrus juicer. We saw, we tried, we picked this one as our favorite.

10. A portable battery charger Even a small one provides a lot of peace of mind in a digital world. Especially for the kids.

11. A clip-on LED reading light Perfect for kids and adults

12. Fun paper clips, binder clips, or thumbtacks¬†You could get the less-fun ones, but…meh.


Practical holiday gifts for teachers: Olika hand sanitizer dispensers

13. Hand sanitizer We like the one from¬†Oliika¬†that’s shaped like a cute bird.

14. Hair ties or elastics Because they disappear so, so fast.

15. A good pair of flower shears So much better than using a scissor or destroying your knives.

16. The original whiskey ball jumbo ice mold Including a little whiskey – that’s up to you.

Sponsored pick

Practical stocking stuffer ideas: The Hello activated charcoal whitening toothpaste (sponsor)

17. A fantastic whitening toothpaste¬†After all that Christmas chocolate, red wine and black coffee, a tube of Hello Activated Charcoal Toothpaste (the #1 best-selling charcoal toothpaste in the US, dontcha know) will be a welcome stocking stuffer, providing minty fresh breath plus noticeably whiter teeth in as soon as 4 days. Hey, that’s just in time for New Year’s Eve!

18. Dental Floss Minty, of course.

19. A Suede Shoe Brush Such a lifesaver for prolonging the life of your suede shoes and jackets


Practical stocking stuffers that are still cool: Pop Socket phone grips

20. Pop Socket Phone Grip They count as practical and yet, they’re still on my daughter’s Christmas list.

21. Safety scissors for kids When mine were in preschool, they were more excited about this than the “big” gifts!

Velcro Cord Wraps/Cable Ties So useful, especially when they’re in different colors
Mabel's Labels new emoji design for kids

23. Personalized name labels¬†If they’re cute enough, like these emoji labels from Mabel’s Labels, the kids will dig them as much as we adults appreciate them.

24. A cool bottle opener Love this one made rom reclaimed skateboards, but take your pick.


Practical stocking stuffers: Cute luggage tags for travelers at Flt 001

25. Cool luggage tags Time to trade up from the coated paper luggage tags that are free at the airline ticket counter. They sell them everywhere, but really dig these from my favorite little local travel shop.

26. A decent hand cream Purse size, of course.

27. Replacement razor blades¬†Include the razor too, if you’d like.

28. Travel size bath and body products For the traveler or a gym rat, some shampoos or bath gels that are a wee bit fancier than the typical drugstore stuff can be nice.

Cool but practical stocking stuffers: Uberlebel Zunden fire starter

29. A good firestarter Not for the kids of course — but in this age of no free matchbooks at restaurants, it’s great to have on hand.

30. Mini Flashlights For summer camp, for camping trips, for go-bags, or just to stash all over the house.

Pack of replacement earring backs: Practical stocking stuffers

31. A pack of replacement earring backs Truly one of my favorite, most practical, most useful gifts I ever received. (Thanks, Amye!)

32. Nail polish remover wipes So handy!

Practical stocking stuffers: 7-in-1 keyring tool

33. 7-in-1 keyring multi-tool Once you have one, you’ll realize you always needed it.

34. OXO Good Grips Veggie Peeler This thing is so good, my mom even asked me for one for the holidays one year.

35. A Vacu Vin Wine Saver A staple for any wine drinker. And the Spare Vacu Vin Wine Saver Corks are great if they already own one.

36. Disposable foot and hand warmer packs One the right kind of a day, this may be their favorite gift of all.



Practical stocking stuffers that are still cool: Skura Style makes the world's best anti-microbial sponges

37. The world’s best sponges Talk about practical stocking stuffers that are still cool! I use Skura Style sponges now and haven’t looked back.

38. An eye pencil sharpener Why do I keep losing mine? No idea. But one in my stocking would be welcome.

39. A good shaving cream¬†Especially a fancy kind they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves.




Practical stocking stuffers: A bottle of Whoosh! screen shine

40. Whoosh Screen Shine I have been in love with this perfect screen cleaner since I found it four years ago. Works great on glasses, too.

41. Hot Glue Gun or Glue Stick Refills If you know a crafter, or a wannabe crafter, it’s a fabulous little stocking stuffer.

Practical stocking stuffer ideas that are still cool: Shoe Rescue wipes

42. Shoe Rescue Wipes These wipes are pure magic when salt and sand and mud threaten to wreak havoc on your favorite leather, suede, or rubber (Hunter fans!) shoes and boots.

43. Cozy socks Yes, I’ve hit the age where a pair of cozy, cute socks would be most welcome. Plus — kind of meta, right? A sock in a stocking?

44. Tide to Go Stick No, I’m not kidding, I love getting these! See also: Magic Erasers.

45. Magic Erasers See also: Tide to Go Stick


Practical stocking stuffers: Freshpaper produce saver sheets

46. FreshPaper Produce Savers¬†¬†Our Cool Mom Eats team has tried them out and says they do a great job keeping produce fresh and this time of year, that’s a big money saver.

47. Tweezerman Stainless Tweezers These are the best. B-E-S-T. No better.

48. Double Stick Fashion Tape I literally never leave home without it.



Practical stocking stuffer ideas: Lyft or Uber gift card

49. A gift card to Lyft or Uber¬†The gift of not having to drive home from the Christmas party or do battle with the taxi-hailers on New Year’s Eve is a gift indeed.

50. A gift card to anything at all¬†Local coffee shop? Local bookstore? Local movie theater? Local burger joint? All practical stocking stuffers that will still be appreciated, whether you’re spending just $5 a pop or a little more.