When looking around for practical Valentine’s Day gifts for her — well, wasn’t super impressed. I don’t want a vacuum (here honey, clean up after me!) or a gift card for an oil change (seriously, we got pitched that once) and yet I don’t want extravagant jewelry or overpriced cut flowers either.
(Seriously, hon, just hit Trader Joes for flowers on February 15 and let’s put the savings toward a movie night later.)
A practical Valentine’s Day gift for her still has to feel kind of Valentine’s Day-ish, right? And with that, here are some of my favorite practical gifts for Valentine’s Day for a special woman in your life. If there’s one that’s perfect for her, then yes, that’s romantic in its own way.
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This post has been updated for 2020
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to keep her organized
A fresh makeup case can be a real treat — and yet, a super practical Valentine’s gift for her, because, organization! This deep red Longchamp leather makeup case is a lovely Valentine’s gift and while it’s a bit of a splurge, it will last forever and and the simple lines should suit her, whatever her style. (Note: This case is now sold out but Nordstrom has so many amazing Longchamp accessories in red)
A practical Valentine’s Day gift for the obsessive reader
We love digital subscription gifts because they’re practical as well as uh…well, they’re easy to give and get. Fast. Whether she’s trying to keep up with the latest news from Fast Company or InStyle, one of our long time favorite practical gift ideas is a a subscription to Apple News Plus (formerly Texture). You get access to hundreds of magazines each month, all on your tablet. It’s better for the environment, and easier than carrying a stack of magazines with you on the subway.
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to keep her warm and cozy
I’m totally about warm, comfy feet this time of year. And these Thai-Ha shoes from Plae are like slippers with an upgrade: they’re comfy for padding around the house (and pretending like you’re living the Crazy Rich Asians life), but the rubber sole allows you to pop out to get the paper or walk the dog. Plus the pretty velvet uppers make them feel a bit more romantic than boring old slippers. Hey, cozy is sexy too!
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to keep her caffeinated
If her love language is coffee, then this Cuisinart programmable coffee maker will make her day (and her month, and her year) with a fresh pot of coffee waiting for her when she wakes up each morning. Throw in a red Yeti rambler to keep her drink hot all morning long, and it will be one romantic gesture that still requires water (ha) but won’t die in three days.
A practical Valentine’s Day gift for the adventurer
Smythson’s leather agendas and journals are high-end luxury — the perfect practical Valentine’s Day gift for her if she’s got big dreams, big plans. She can map out her bucket list vacation on these pages, and if you include a gift card toward travel too (you big spender you) you’re probably be the partner of her dreams.
Photo: rawpixel on Unsplash
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to get her off her feet
Go ahead and clean the house for her yourself, which is always a treat. I mean not to get into gender stereotypes, but if you’re a married or partnered guy reading this, you may realize that the vast majority of us women are still doing most of the cleaning, even if we’re raising kids working out of the home too.
Or, call on the pros and give her the gift of a professional cleaning service to come in and deep clean your home. You can hire them for a one-time only clean, or set it up weekly or monthly. Care.com is a reliable option — Liz recently found an amazing housekeeper through them and is so happy — or now, can even find housekeeping help through Amazon Home Services, which makes it so easy.
A practical Valentine’s Day gift for the woman who doesn’t have time to shop (or just hates it)
Personally, our local mall is the last place I want to spend my valuable free time, so I’ve been dying to try Stitch Fix (hint hint, sweetie). Having an expert stylist send me clothes that look great and actually fit each month sounds like a dream.
Or, for a woman who likes fresh, new outfits in her wardrobe but doesn’t have the space or budget for new clothes all the time, a Rent the Runway gift card is a great way to mix things up in her closet — and you don’t even have to know her taste to do it. See? Another practical Valentine’s Day gift idea for her that’s equal parts thoughtful and useful.
A practical Valentine’s Day gadget she’s always wanted
We love our smoothies and milkshakes around here, and I looooove my Cuisinart immersion blender to make the process so much easier and faster. If she’s like me, this is one gadget she’ll really appreciate on busy mornings. Just blend a smoothie right in your glass, then rinse the immersion blender and put it away. No tough cleanup like a traditional blender requires. Yay!
A practical Valentine’s Day gift for her that gives back
A pricey pair of sunglasses is one gift I typically won’t splurge on for myself (yes, to me anything over the $10 bin at Target is pricey, in my opinion, ha!). That said, if someone wanted to treat me to a stylish new pair…I’d love it. Especially if it’s from TOMS, which has been doing such great work for causes from sensible gun control to bullying prevention, safe childbirth, clean water and more.
This particular pair of TOMS sunglasses (or any of their glasses, for that matter) is calling my name, especially because it means means someone in a developing country gets a much-needed pair of eyeglasses too, If she prefers practical gifts, an affordable gift that gives back may help you justify the purchase.
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to make crazy mornings a little easier
Okay, are you sensing a theme here with my life? I get so frazzled when I misplace my keys, phone, or handbag, especially when I’m running out the door and already late. If this sounds like your sweetheart (no judgments!), then a Tile Mate tracker for her keyring might be a really appreciated gift. They even make little Tile tracking stickers now, to attach to a phone, tablet, important notebook…you name it, No more frantic searches? Now that’s a practical Valentine’s Day gift for her.
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to add more music to your life
For impromptu romantic dancing while you cook dinner, fun by the pool in a few months, or wild and crazy dance parties with the kids, the gift of a new red waterproof JBL Bluetooth speaker is a sweet gift for any music lover. (Or uh, podcast fan?). JBL’s Flipp 4 is a solid speaker for its size at a great price./ This vibrant red makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day.Rima Kruciene on Unsplash
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to help her de-stress
Many women I know would love the gift of calm, and a gift card toward a nearby yoga studio may be the next best thing. Or, go all out with a yoga retreat weekend through a group like Yogascapes or Om Sanctuary. Of course if Barre classes or Crossfit classes are more her thing, that works too. It’s a smart, practical gift for Valentine’s Day, and if you just tie it up with a pretty red ribbon, it feels extra-thoughtful too.
A practical Valentine’s Day gift to get you cooking together
Between kids and work and life in general, meal planning might not be her favorite activity. (We get it.) Instead, sign your family up for one of the increasingly popular meal kit delivery services. They’ll send you everything you need, often pre-cut and -measured, with incredible recipes that can accommodate almost any diet. We’ve even put together a comparison of the top meal kit delivery services to see which one is right for you.
Just be sure you’re cooking together when it’s dinner time. That can be pretty hot, you know.