30 best 30th birthday gifts of 2021
Hello, and welcome to your 30s. This milestone—once thought of as the real-life equivalent of Cinderella’s stroke of midnight where everything stops being magical—might seem scary, but the truth is, it’s actually a coronation. Because I’m going to let you in on a little secret: The 30s are the new roaring 20s (for millennials anyway). Except maybe it’s time to get nicer sheets and invest in good everyday essentials, like a food processor or an office chair that won’t leave your body aching.
If someone special in your life is approaching their big 3-0 and stressing about it, you can help take the edge off with some of these thoughtful and creative 30th birthday gift ideas. From that KitchenAid stand mixer you know they’ve been lusting after for years to the rock album to end all rock albums (a.k.a., the cornerstone of any 20s-to-30s survival pack), these fabulous gifts can give that soon-to-be tricenarian everything they need to make the most of this most special of birthdays.
1. For the one who’s headed back into the office: Coach gallery tote
There's no better way to welcome in your 30's than with a sturdy yet stylish tote bag. Coach makes some of the best—and most affordable—like the Coach Gallery Tote available at Coach Outlet. This simple-yet-elegant bag was loved by Coach shoppers for its sleek design and roomy size. Since it's got a wide, zippered compartment and multiple interior pockets, your giftee can store her phone, tablet, journal or whatever else she needs. The stylish design also features the iconic Coach ‘C” logo print. The final useful touch? An exterior pocket for on-the-go storage.
- Get the Gallery Tote In Signature Canvas from Coach Outlet for $119
- Get the Coach Gallery Tote from Coach Outlet for $119
2. For the one who wants to learn more about their roots: AncestryDNA kit
Turning 30 is a major milestone—it’s also one that could leave your giftee eager to discover new things about the past. AncestryDNA can help them kickstart that journey and wander deeper into their own ancestral history, from uncovering family secrets (psst, it really does happen!) to creating family trees, and more.
3. For the cook who wants to save space in the kitchen: Always Pan
The Instagram-famous Always Pan is wildly popular for a reason: This nearly 5-star rated cast aluminum pan is essentially eight pieces of cookware in one. Made with ceramic nonstick coating, it functions as a fry pan, steamer, skillet, sauté pan, saucepan, spoon rest, spatula, wok, and Dutch oven, and more than 15,000 Our Place shoppers swear by it. Reviewed’s cooking writer Valerie Li Stack considers it especially great for deep frying and says it a good gift option for anyone who does a lot of stovetop cooking but is short on cabinet space.
4. For the one who needs a morning caffeine jolt: Keurig K-Cafe
Awarded our most versatile single-serve coffee maker, the Keurig K-Cafe is for anyone who needs a quick jolt of premium coffee in the morning. With this machine, your giftee can brew everything including espresso shots, a strong cup of coffee, and even lattes and cappuccinos. Its stylish, sleek design and intuitive control panel made using this kitchen essential a dream. Gift it to any of your coffee-loving friends to gain major points.
5. For the one who desperately needs a vacation: Airbnb and travel accessories
If your giftee is heavy on the wanderlust these days, consider giving them the present of a faraway adventure or a weekend getaway all to themselves. An Airbnb gift card still leaves the choice of where and when they go entirely in their own hands, but can be an unforgettable way to help them have the 30th birthday of their dreams.
Pro tip? Don’t just give them a gift card, though. Consider tucking it inside one of our favorite carry-on luggage options, the Away carry-on. This ample suitcase is TSA-approved and available in a variety of millennial-approved pastel color options, so your giftee can stay trendy during travel. If you upgrade the standard Away carry-on to include a built-in battery, your giftee can even keep their most important electronic devices charged via the suitcase, so they’re less likely to stress about battery power as they’re jet-setting to their next destination.
6. For the one who’s obsessed with skincare: Laneige products
Skincare becomes more important as folks get older, both in terms of reducing the look of aging but also as a form of self-care. When it comes to luxurious products that can work for all types of complexions, Laneige makes some of the most buzzed-about products in the beauty world right now: the Laneige water sleeping mask and lip sleeping mask, respectively.
With nearly 3,000 rave reviews on Sephora, the 4.2 star-rated Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is a moisturizing gel mask that absorbs into skin overnight and can leave your giftee’s skin looking—and feeling—more hydrated. It pairs perfectly with the Laneige Lip Sleeping, which has a 4.4 star rating and more than 13,000 positive reviews on Sephora. In her review, Reviewed’s beauty writer Sha Ravine Spencer loved how supple and moisturized this left her lips feeling after every use and considers it a beauty staple.
- Get the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask at Sephora for $22
- Get the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask at Sephora for $25
7. For the one looking to upgrade their kitchen appliances: Cosori Air Fryer
We awarded the Cosori air fryer max XL as our best-valued air fryer pick because this powerful kitchen gadget held 2 pounds of crinkle-cut fries and delivered them "well-browned and crispy" during testing. We also praised its nifty digital controls and useful preset settings, so your giftee can easily learn to use it—even if they're a cooking newbie. They might find that the inner basket is somewhat difficult to remove, but for its affordable price and large capacity, it's a useful gift they'll be sure to use.
8. For the one who likes to make fitness fun: Bala Bangles
These trendy wearable weights are the perfect solution for anyone who gets bored working out at home and has been searching for creative ways to make their everyday regimen more fun. In her review, Reviewed editor Amanda Tarlton gave the 4.6 star-rated Bala Bangles major kudos on account of how comfortable they are to wear and effective they can be for adding an extra amount of external resistance to exercise. More than 1,600 Amazon reviewers agree and consider them a solid way to kick a Zumba or barre workout up a notch.
9. For the one in need of these cult-favorite leggings: Spanx Faux Leather leggings
It's hard to find a pair of leggings that both fit great and turn heads as you walk down the street. Spanx combines the two with its ever-popular faux leather leggings, loved by more than 1,100 shoppers on Nordstrom. This closet staple features a glossy finish, great if your giftee plans to wear it on a night out. Many Nordstrom customers admired the flattering fit, with some repeatedly wearing them throughout the week. The site says that these leggings may run small, but most customers seemed to disagree—make sure to double-check your giftee's measurements though before you hit "buy."
10. For the one who’s serious about baking: KitchenAid Stand Mixer
The KitchenAid stand mixer is iconic and one of those aspirational gifts that’s probably already high-up on your giftee’s wish list, but given the price tag, they might be sheepish about saying so. Here at Reviewed, it reigns supreme and we consider the 5-quart version the best stand mixer money can buy. It’s easy to use, comes with an assortment of attachments (even a pasta maker), and available in 47 different color varieties. Often imitated yet never truly duplicated, a genuine KitchenAid stand mixer can be wonderful for everything from baking bread to grinding up meat, and so much more.
11. For the Marvel obsessed: ShopDisney items
With countless new movies and TV shows released, Marvel Phase 4 is well underway and if your giftee can't wait till opening night, surprise them with some fandom gear to sate their appetites. ShopDisney has apparel available from almost every Marvel movie imaginable, including t-shirts, pins and more from the upcoming cinematic release, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. If you're looking for something more classic, consider this 5-star rated adorable Groot plush, that will perch on your friend's shoulder, thanks to the magnetic fabric disk. Whether they're a Guardians of the Galaxy fan or just a Groot lover, this is the gift they need.
- Get Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings items from ShopDisney from $14.99
- Get the Groot Mini Magnetic Shoulder Plush from Shop Disney for $19.99
12. For the Netflix streamers: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Whether they want to binge their favorite movie and TV shows on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime or more, they'll want a sleek streaming device to help them out. Compatible with all your favorite streaming services and including support for 4K (HDR10 and Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision sound), this budget-friendly gadget is a must-have. It's also compatible with Alexa and has an easy-to-use remote, so your giftee can log major binging hours, straight from their bed.
13. For the one who’s a little witchy: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and a Stevie Nicks candle
No one leaves their 20s unscathed. From bad jobs to big breakups, we all deal with our fair share of highs and lows. If Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours wasn’t the soundtrack to your giftee’s heartaches during the decade, then by the age of 30, let it be the balm that heals them. This legendary album—as known for its hit singles as it is for the drama that surrounded the making of it—grows on a person with age, the same way wisdom does. It doesn’t matter what kind of music your giftee normally grooves to, because chances are by the time they’re on the verge of the big 3-0, at least one track on Rumours will speak to them—such is its timeless power.
But you don’t have to stop there. With scent vibes of silk scarves, feathers, and tarot cards, the Stevie candle from Bijou Candles is more than just a delightful ode to rock goddess Stevie Nicks—it’s also a dreamy gift pick for the soon-to-be 30-year-old who loves trying out new candles. With an impressive 140-hour burn time, this tall votive candle releases the subtle, seductive aroma of white sage and neroli, perfect for all your giftee’s Silver Springs singalongs.
- Get the Stevie Candle from Bijou Candles for $39
- Get Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on vinyl at Amazon for $49.99
14. For the one who appreciates a good blow-out: The Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer
With more than 255,000 glowing reviews on Amazon—no really, seriously—it’s fair to say that the Revlon One-Step hair dryer and volumizer is one of the most beloved haircare products on the market today and could make a great gift for your special someone’s precious 30th birthday.
In her review, Reviewed beauty editor Jessica Kasparian referred to this 4.6 star-rated tool as magic and it doesn’t take a Stevie Nicks fan to see how true that is. Billed as a “one-and-done” haircare solution, this gadget can help transform wet, frizz-prone locks into the perfect blow-out in the half time it would ordinarily take with an old blow dryer and brush—all without going to a salon..
15. For the yogi: A Lululemon yoga mat and leggings
If your giftee loves their yoga mornings but you know that their yoga mat has seen better days, give them the upgrade they deserve with the Lululemon reversible mat. Our experts consider it the best yoga mat money can buy thanks to it’s flat, non-stick surface, which may seem daunting to use at first, but can actually help reduce the amount of wobbling and slipperiness on the mat itself, which makes it a big win.
Another great way to put a smile on your favorite yogi’s face is to pair this mat with a pair of Lululemon’s much-celebrated Align leggings, which Reviewed editor Amanda Tarlton considers terrific for everything from yoga poses to lifting weights, and so much else.
- Get the Lululemon Reversible Mat at Lululemon from $78
- Get the Lululemon Align Leggings at Lululemon from $98
16. For the one who works from home: ErgoChair 2
Pandemic life taught us lots of things—for those who transitioned to working from home full time, one of the biggest lessons it imparted was the importance of having a really good office chair. Unfortunately, high-quality office chairs don’t come cheap, but if you know your giftee has been struggling with aches and pains due to working from a couch, kitchen chair, or some other less-than-stellar seating surface, an ErgoChair 2 could be a practical (but still incredibly thoughtful) option for them.
In our roundup of the best office chairs, we consider the 5 star-rated ErgoChair 2 the biggest value due to its thick padding, ergonomic support, and ability to morph its shape to please virtually anyone. A good office chair is an investment, but the ErgoChair 2—which also has more than 2,600 rave reviews on Autonomous—is one of those rare budget-friendly picks (compared to other high-end options) that really could make a difference for your giftee.
17. For the one who loves to stay organized: Happy Planner
Even if that about-to-be 30-year old in your life spends most of their time on their phone, a daily planner like this gorgeous 2021 option from Happy Planner can be a sweet way to help them relax, focus, and find their zen through organization.
As one of our favorite places to buy daily planners, Happy Planner’s adorable picks come thoughtfully decorated (the Beauty in Florals edition has a 5 star rating on Happy Planner and is especially lovely) and a handy disc binding system, so it’s easy to add or remove pages. It runs from July 2021 to December 2022, so your giftee won’t need to have gotten it in January 2021 to get a lot of use out of it. From tracking budget to staying on top of monthly goals, this planner can be a tender way to show support for that special someone all through the year.
18. For the one who’s curious about smart tech but hasn’t tried it yet: Echo products
Amazon’s Echo line is a fabulous way to discover the wide, wonderful world of smart tech, and if your giftee has been interested in exploring smart tech but hasn’t dived in fully yet, the best Amazon Echo smart speakers could be a great gift option for them.
Ultra-modern and sleek, the Echo Dot (4th Gen.) is our favorite from the line, hands down, on account of it’s built-in, speedy processor (which operates faster than previous generations, specifically the popular 3rd Gen. Echo Dot), Amazon Sidewalk compatibility, and Zigbee hub functionality, which means it’ll easily sync up to other smart home devices, like Kwikset smart locks. With more than 236,000 positive reviews from happy customers and a 4.7 star rating on Amazon, this orb-shaped smart speaker is a great entry point into smart tech.
However, if you think your giftee might prefer a smart speaker with a screen, the 4.7 star-rated Echo Show 5 is a steal at its current price point (less than $50) and can be a great way to play tunes, watch videos, follow along with recipes, and more. In her review, Reviewed smart tech writer Rachel Murphy loved how easy it makes total smart home control and that it features a mic-mute button and physical shudder over the camera, which she felt added an extra layer of security.
19. For the one who hates vacuuming: eufy Robovac 11S
Oh, eufy 11S, how we at Reviewed love thee, let us count the ways. For starters, this slim little robot vacuum is our favorite affordable robot vacuum because it’s so budget-friendly in the grand scope of robot vacuums, where many units can go for double, even triple the price of the 11S. But that’s not all: This zippy, whisper-quiet gadget offers incredible suction and in our tests, picked up around 11.6 grams of dirt per run, which far exceeded what most iRobot units could handle.
If your giftee is pushing 30 and still considers vacuuming one of the worst household chores ever, the 11S, which has a 4.5 star rating and more than 46,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, could be just the thing they’ve been needing to help maintain their floors between deeper cleaning sessions.
20. For the one who's always cold: BareFoot Dreams throw blankets
If your giftee loves to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea, get them a plush new throw blanket. Celebrity-approved brand Barefoot Dreams makes some of the best and you can snag one now in various different colors and styles at Nordstrom.
There's a funky leopard print pattern, that's both stylish and incredibly soft. Nordstrom shoppers were filled with praises for it, calling this throw soft to touch and "worth every penny." For a simpler, more classic style gift the monotone CozyChic throw blanket—the perfect addition to any couch or lounging surface.
- Get the Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Throw Blanket from Nordstrom for $147
- Get the Barefoot Dreams In the Wild Throw Blanket from Nordstrom for $180
21. For the one who’s all about relaxation: Bath products
Never underestimate the power of a good soak to turn a bad day into a good one. If your giftee loves to luxuriate in the tub as a form of self-care and relaxation but is maybe missing out on a few key essentials, bath products like this 4.7 star-rated bathtub caddy and the cult-favorite Gorilla Grip bath pillow (which has a 4.3 star rating and close to 13,000 positive reviews on Amazon) can provide a much-needed upgrade.
Feel like really treating them? Consider grabbing a box of the best bath bombs we’ve tested here at Reviewed, the 4.8 star-rated LifeAround2Angels set, which comes with 12 fizzy, colorful, and moisturizing bombs. Close to 33,000 Amazon reviewers swear they’re just as good as Lush bath bombs are, but more affordable, and they’ll likely have your giftee eager to stay in the water until their fingers get all pruny.
- Get the Gorilla Grip Spa Bath Pillow at Amazon from $16.99
- Get the LifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs at Amazon for $25.80
- Get the Royal Craft Wood Luxury Bathtub Caddy at Amazon from $39.97
22. For the one who wants to double down on comfort: Free People Just Because onesie
Whether they're spending the day inside or just need something to slip on before running to the grocery store, they'll love this Free People Just Because onesie. Available in 10 different colors including Aphrodite and Blue Flame, this wardrobe favorite has a 4.7-star rating from more than 310 Free People shoppers. Customers loved the comfy, slouchy fit and some even dressed it up with some wedges or boots to wear out on the town! If your giftee is looking for some stylish loungewear, this is the gift she needs.
23. For the one who spends a lot of time in bed: Brooklinen sheets
Amazing sheets are worth investing in, but if your giftee is the type who tends to shy away from spending big bucks on anything bedding related, these top-rated Brooklinen sheets could be a terrific surprise for their birthday this year.
In testing, our experts absolutely adored Brooklinen’s Luxe Core sheet set, which are designed to fit mattresses up to 15 inches deep and are made from 100 percent cotton with a soft sateen weave. With so many color options to choose from, these 4.6 star-rated Brooklinen sheets are also a hit with more than 17,000 shoppers on the retailer’s site, who love that they can coordinate them to match their existing bedroom aesthetic (and for how nice they feel to sleep on, of course!).
24. For the one who loves plants—even if they kill them: Real or artificial plants
Does your giftee have a green thumb, or hopes to cultivate it? The Sill is one of the best plant delivery services we’ve ever tried on account of its impressive inventory of cute plants and quick delivery times. The ZZ plant in particular is a great gift option because it’s not too difficult to care for. In her review, Reviewed managing editor Meghan Kavanaugh felt the ZZ plant made a lovely addition to her living room and The Sill provided helpful instructions, which made it easier to keep Branche Devereaux (her name for the plant) alive and thriving.
But not so fast—black thumbs (like yours truly) can still appreciate the splendor of a little green around their homes too with artificial plants. The best fake plants take all the stress (and guilt) out of plant mama status but can still be a nice way to spruce up a home. When it comes to artificial plants, Reviewed writer Izzy Kagan likes Nearly Natural, and in her review, she was especially keen on the String of Pearl hanging plant, which looked almost identical to the real thing. If your giftee is a serial plant killer who still loves the look of pretty greens, this 5-star rated pick is absolutely worth gifting.
- Get the ZZ Plant at The Sill from $48
- Get the String of Pearl Artificial Hanging Plant at Nearly Natural for $59.99
25. For the one in need of an air purifier: Winix 5500-2 air purifier
Ranked as our top favorite air purifier for effectively combatting harsh odors the Winix 5500-2 air purifier will make a great gift for anyone shielding their home from COVID-19 or the haze of wildfire smoke right outside their window. We loved this Winx model for its intuitive controls, added sleep mode, timer and light sensor. We also found it was easy to change its filters to move around the house, thanks to its light design. We especially praised how well it did in our smell testes, noticeable removing odors like cinnamon and the more pervasive cigarette smoke. If your giftee is prone to allergies, you'll want to get them this useful Winix air purifier.
26. For the one who loves to cook: Staub round cocotte
The Staub round cocotte was awarded our best Dutch oven for its solid, sturdy and easy-to-clean design. It was great at braising both meat and veggies and simmering stews. Though slightly on the heavier side, its large satuéeing area and evenness of cooking make it the perfect gift for your foodie friends.
27. For the one who needs to hydrate more: Hydro Flask
Water bottles are divisive. Depending on who you ask, they might prefer a cute S’well, a massive Yeti, or the water-filtering functionality of a Brita B11. And to be fair, any one of them could make a great gift, as they’re among the best water bottles we’ve ever tested here at Reviewed.
But speaking personally, it’s Hydro Flask or bust, baby. Portable, durable, and exemplary in its ability to keep water cold for up to 24 hours, the classic 32-ounce version is the most perfect water bottle I’ve ever used, especially if you grab one with a straw lid. Whether your giftee is planning a lot of hikes this summer or just needs a new water bottle to replace the one they’ve been using for years, Hydro Flask lives up to the hype and makes a fab present.
28. For the one who wants to see what the fuss is about: Birkenstocks
Summer wedges, a sultry pair of strappy heels that make the wearer feel like they have legs for days—they show up in a lot of shoe collections, especially for fashionistas. But so do Birkenstocks, too.
While these slide sandals came to fame in the ‘90s and might once have been associated with earthy-crunchy types, the classic, 4.6 star-rated Birkenstocks Arizona sandals are—shock of shocks—tres chic now among Gen Z and millennials, and for the best of reasons: They’re just really freakin’ comfortable. If your giftee has never experienced the near-heavenly sensation of having their feet molded into the cloud-like soles of a pair of ‘Birks before, do them a favor and grab them a pair. More than 1,000 Nordstrom shoppers are obsessed with them, plus they’ll last forever and you’ll probably win at gift-giving forever because of it.
29. For the one who loves puzzles: Jiggy Puzzles
Finishing a puzzle? Satisfying. Finishing a puzzle and then gluing it together to create a lasting piece of framable artwork in your giftee’s home that they can admire for years to come? Legendary. With Jiggy Puzzles, that’s what your soon-to-be 30 giftee is in for: A beautiful puzzle that’s also meant to be bound together and framed up afterward.
Each Jiggy Puzzles box comes with glue and a straight-edge tool to make piecing everything together easier. While there are many options to choose from, the 5 star-rated Bathing with Flowers puzzle from Slovenian artist Alja Horvat is a gorgeous option that’ll look just as good splayed out on a table as it will hanging from a wall when your giftee is done.
30. For the artsy one: Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set
This top-rated set carries 24 different art items including various acrylic paints and paintbrushes. More than 35,150 Amazon shoppers also gave this product a 4.7-star rating for its wide range of high-quality colors. Whether your giftee loves to paint on canvases, fabric or more, they'll love this artistic set. Since each paint also comes in a tube it should make for easy mixing and low waste, according to shoppers.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.