Valentine’s gifts for best friends isn’t always something that comes top of mind when we’re shopping for gifts for the kids or our significant other. But c’mon — could we have gotten through the past couple of years without all the amazing friends in our lives? They’re the ones that support our crazy ideas, help us out when we’re stuck inside with sick kids again, and let us vent when it all is just too much.
Plus, they laugh at our jokes. Mostly.
So in addition to our ideas found In 16 Valentine’s gifts for friends, and our list of cool Valentine’s Day jewelry for women that isn’t traditional, we thought we’d share a guide to 16 very special ideas for Valentine’s gifts for best friends. Or, call them Galentine’s Day gifts, all you Leslie Knope fans.
There’s nothing wrong with letting your bestie know just how much they are loved all year long; Valentine’s Day just happens to be a nice excuse.
Special Valentine’s gifts for best friends:
16 ideas we love.
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This post has been updated for 2023.
Handmade LOVE bracelet
Your hip best friend will adore these beautiful, colorful and affordable LOVE bracelets from Ubuntu Life, all crafted by Maasai women through a decades-long partnership. We love that these bracelets come in loads of different colors and widths so you can choose the combo you know she’ll love most. ($10+ on sale right now)
A low-stress, lovely paint-by-numbers kit
I spend way too much time staring at my phone in my “down time” (you too?), so I know that a Valentine’s gift for a best friend who needs to destress and unplug would be extra thoughtful. One idea: this beautiful, no-tech Springtime paint-by-number kit from Elle Crée. Comes with everything you need to make a pretty canvas painting in this all-in-one kit, and bonus: the reminder that spring will be here soon. ($38, Uncommon Goods)
A book to inspire
Karen Walrond’s remarkable book, The Lightmaker’s Manifesto – How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy, is a great pick for all your besties who are trying to help make change in the world. Featured as a guest on our Spawned podcast, Walrond’s book is a Valentine’s gift for a friend who wants to keep the passion for a special cause (or causes) alive so she can fight another year. ($20.49 at Amazon or stop by your local bookstore)
Or grab her a memoir from someone she loves and admires, like Michelle Obama’s The Light We Carry which we featured, among others, in our roundup of 24 perfect gifts for your mother-in-law (or stepmother or aunt or cool grandma). ($19.67 at Amazon)
Aloisia LOVE Deluxe Gift Set
Want to splurge on a Valentine’s gift for your best friend? I think any skincare product-loving bestie will flip if you surprise her with this LOVE Deluxe Gift Set from long-time CMP favorite Aloisia. The stainless steel Gua Sha paired with the lightweight pure Argan oil will help her skin look and feel amazing, while the hand-poured organic soy candle will fill her space with a soothing cotton blossom and lavender scent. Ahhhhhhhhh. . . .($95)
A Broadway-inspired candle trio
If she dreams a dream to see another show on Broadway so she can hear the people sing (ha, couldn’t help myself), I think this Les Misérables-themed candle trio and pin from Stage Door Candle Co is such a cool Valentine’s gift for a best friend. Started during peak pandemic times by an out-of-work Broadway stage manager, Stage Door Candle Co. makes their candles in NYC and uses gorgeous scents like citrus, amber, sandalwood, white musk, and lavender. Whether or not you smell revolution in there, I couldn’t say. ($35)
A donation to DonorsChoose
Whether she’s an educator or not, I think any big-hearted friend will appreciate your thoughtfulness if she gets a gift card to support DonorsChoose. She’ll be able to choose from thousands of classroom projects to support, searchable by location if she wants to help out a nearby school, or topic if she’s particularly interested in STEM, poetry, fitness, or computer literacy. (gift cards come in any dollar amount and can be emailed, printed at home, or delivered via mail)
Chill out with CBD gumdrops from Molly J.
If she could use a little more chill in her life, a two-pack bundle of high-quality CBD gummies from mom-owned Molly J. could be a thoughtful gift for your overworked friend. Grown in America with no GMO’s — and with no THC, so she doesn’t have to worry about a high –these gummies should just help take the edge off in sophisticated flavors like lemon lavender and plum cardamom. ($34-36, Molly J)
Also, check out the fancy gift box of Blackberry Rose Sleep Formula gummies in our guide to practical Valentine’s gifts — it looks just like a spectacular box of chocolates, only…more practical. Yay for sleep. ($70)
Sign her up for a class
Photo by Fabiola Peñalba on Unsplash
With virtual classes in everything from cocktail making to astrology to Songwriting 101, Uncommon Goods’ Experiences make a great gift starting as low as $25. Perfect for that friend who doesn’t want more stuff but is always eager to learn new things.
We also love the celebrity-run online Masterclass courses (also perfect for the man who has everything, should your BFF be a guy). Here, 150 classes include home cooking with Alice Waters, conservation with Jane Goodall, photography with Annie Leibovitz, and Creating Outside the Lines with Issa Rae. There’s even a course in the power of resilience from HRC herself — and we know a lot of women on our list who’d love that. (starting at $15/mo for unlimited courses)
Cozy socks for cold winter days
Move over chocolates. The older I get, the more I appreciate high-quality socks and would absolutely swoon for a delicious box of ankle socks from Bombas. Not only are they themed for Valentine’s Day, with hearts and a rose-bearing pooch, this box of four also donates four pairs to people in need. Love that. ($66 for gift box)
Wine and chocolate sampler from Maker
Gift your favorite oenophile this unique wine sampler from Maker which includes six cans of premium, single-vineyard red wines from women-owned wineries along with a bar of fruit-studded chocolate and two take-anywhere wine glasses. Maybe she’ll even invite you over for a wine tasting! ($96; other gift sets available)
Non-alcoholic gifts to toast with
If she doesn’t drink or is taking a break from alcohol — but misses the taste and ritual of making and enjoying a cocktail — a bottle or two of a gourmet no-alcohol spirit from The Zero Proof Bottle Shop will do the trick. Check out their extensive line of no-alcohol spirts and mixers from brands we’ve shared on Cool Mom Eats, like Curious Elixirs, Lyre’s, and Spiritless, who makes the Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon shown above.
Not sure what she’d like? A gift card will allow her to pick out her new favorite cocktail. (Prices vary.)
A challenging modern puzzle
If your BFF has rediscovered a love for jigsaw puzzles, she’s probably worked through all the boxes she owns by now. Update her stash with a beautifully designed 1000-piece puzzle in a hot-pink box from Piecework Puzzles with fun titles like Bread Head, Spaghetti Western or Some Like It Hot. ($38 at Food52)
A sampler pack from Magnolia Bakery
It’s totally ok if she has no intention of sharing the Valentine’s Day-themed Date Night Sampler Pack from NYC’s illustrations Magnolia Bakery with anyone at all. I mean, their cupcakes are pretty irresistible. But then they go and throw In two cups of their decadent new chocolate strawberry pudding? Wow. Check out all their nationwide delivery options including brownie bites (shown at top), banana pudding, and their classic mini cupcakes — should you need a Valentines gift for a best friend who’d prefer to stay away from the hearts and lovey-dovey stuff. (small shown above, $48)
A gift box of goodies from Knack
Whether you decide to gift the Be My Galentine gift box shown above, or any one of the many options from Knack, we think she will be touched by your thoughtfulness. Or build your own gift for that very special friend—they have so many ideas to fill a gift box, the options really are endless. ($73.99 shown above)
A gift card to her favorite local coffee shop or restaurant
Image: @vineapple, Liz’s favorite Brooklyn coffee joint
We are always looking for ways to support local coffee shops and restaurants, so consider buying gift cards to her favorite hangouts. It’s not just a cool Valentine’s gift for a best friend, but it will give those local businesses a boost.
She can use a gift card to buy a delicious coffee and grab some alone time away from the kids or work. Or if you want to splurge, grab a larger-value card to that new restaurant she’s wanted to try for eat-in or delivery.
Tipsy Scoop Valentine ice cream pack
Combining two of our favorite things, delicious cocktails and ice cream, we think lots of friends we know would scream (or at least say “cheers!”) for this Valentine’s Day Four-Pack of Ice Cream from Tipsy Scoop. Made with real alcohol — hence the “21 and over” label — these yummy pints come in adult- flavors like red velvet martini and dark chocolate whiskey salted caramel.
Maybe just remind her that these are definitely boozy, so no “desserting and driving” please! ($58)