Mental Floss
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDES

18 Great Gifts for Co-Workers

Scott Beggs
Would be tough to use these at the same time.
Would be tough to use these at the same time. / (Background) Justin Dodd; (Coloring book) Caffeinestar Publishing/Amazon; (Shower steamers) BodyRestore/Amazon
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The people you work with can be the toughest folks to buy gifts for during the holiday season. You’re close, but maybe not that close. You need to find something interesting and useful, but it has to stay under the spending limit. Not only might a gift card come across as impersonal, but it can also feel awkward to have the price you paid right there on the present itself. So what’s the best approach? Here are 18 of the best gifts for co-workers that can solve the conundrum for you.

1. Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro Clean; $5

arm & hammer pro clean toothbrush
Everyone needs a good toothbrush. / Arm & Hammer/Amazon

Need a budget-friendly gift that your co-worker will actually use? Opt for the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro. According to the company, this battery-operated toothbrush touts an oscillating head that spins 3900 times per minute and can effectively remove up to 70 percent more plaque than a manual toothbrush. This 4.6-star-rated brush takes AA batteries and is operated through a simple power switch. If you want to throw in some replacement heads, you can find them here.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Anker Portable Charger; $22

anker portable charger
Keeping a dead phone from ruining someone's day. / Amazon

What does everyone need? More power. Especially the co-worker who keeps borrowing your charger or complaining about their phone perpetually hanging in low power mode. Anker is one of the most trusted companies in the portable electricity world, and this low-profile, sturdy hub is a versatile winner with multiple charging modes and compatibility (although you’ll need to buy a lightning converter too if your co-worker has an iPhone).

Buy it: Amazon

3. Stanley Classic Wide-Mouth Bottle; $25

stanley classic wide-mouth bottle
Fancy a cuppa? / Stanley/Amazon

The Stanley vacuum-insulated, wide-mouth bottle is a dependable hydration companion that’s tough, leak-resistant, rust-proof, and BPA-free. It’ll keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for an impressive 24 hours—and it even comes with a lifetime warranty.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mental Floss 2023 Amazing Facts Desk Calendar; $17

mental floss amazing fact calendar 2023
Give your co-worker something to talk about during water cooler visits. / Mental Floss/Amazon

Facts are great, and our 2023 desk calendar has one for every day of the year. It’s the ideal gift for the co-worker who’s infinitely curious or the one who could use some more interesting things to toss into their conversational arsenal. If you pick up one for yourself, you can be fact-buddies.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Panda Daily Planner; $20

panda daily undated planner
No dates, no problem. / Amazon

This non-dated planner isn’t just about jotting down meetings: It’s a daily, weekly, and monthly planner to give your work buddy a greater sense of control, passion, and success. It asks them to commit to paper the ways that they can make the week awesome, what they’re thankful for, what they want to focus on, and what they’re looking forward to.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Tealyra Ceramic Tea Cup Infuser; $20

tealyra tea infuser
Tea-rific. / Amazon

As Amazon gift ideas for co-workers go, this beautiful, 19-ounce mug makes an excellent choice because it’s good for more than just one cup of tea. Your co-worker gets a stylish boost to their tea game, and chances are, they’ll feel grateful enough to share. Win-win. The best part is that the mesh infuser fits into the lid, so they don’t have to make multiple trips back to the break room sink or wait for the tea to steep before dumping a generic bag.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Assorted Haribo Gummies; $26

haribo assorted gummies
Hopefully they'll share. / Amazon

Every office has a snacker, and the snacker in yours will definitely appreciate almost three pounds of the classic gummies. The pack includes Gold-Bear, Twin Cherries, Happy-Cola, Sour Spaghetti, and more, so it’s one of the most versatile candy gift ideas for co-workers this season. There are 12 different flavors to please both the sweet and the sour tooth—or 10, if you take two for yourself and re-wrap the rest.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Everything Bagel Seasoning; $13

everything bagel seasoning
Bagels not included. / Amazon

This seasoning mix has sesame seeds, sea salt, minced garlic, minced onion, black sesame seeds, and poppy seeds—everything but the everything bagel itself, which makes it perfect for adding to the plain bagel your co-worker was forced to get because the deli ran out of other flavors. They can also sprinkle it on toast, eggs, savory oatmeal, and even non-breakfast items like pastas, chicken, and soups. It’s a wondrously versatile seasoning blend, bagel or not.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Parks and Recreation Knope for President Game; $13

knope for president game
Best enjoyed with waffles. / Amazon

The show about a plucky city department is beloved by millions, so there’s a good chance that at least one person in your office is a fan. There’s also no doubt that they’ll appreciate Knope For President, a silly party game of scandals and spin where players take turns acting as reporters and politicians. It’s great for the person in your office who is inspired by themselves (or already owns Nick Offerman’s book on canoeing).

Buy it: Amazon

10. Retro Spider-Man Handheld Game; $17

retro-inspired spider-man game
Never too old to play one of these. / Hasbro/Amazon

These handhelds were everywhere in the 1990s, so they’ll look familiar to the Millennial (and the hip Gen-Xer) in your office. In this one, you scale a building as Spider-Man in an attempt to defeat enemies, dodge obstacles, and basically do whatever a spider can. Its compact size makes it easy to carry discreetly from desk to meeting room, and its price tag won’t put a major dent in your holiday budget.

Buy it: Amazon

11. Drinking Animals Coloring Book; $8

drinking animals coloring book
What a party animal. / Amazon

Coloring books have been popular relaxation tools for a while now, but this fun option goes the extra mile by including cocktail recipes so that it becomes progressively harder and harder to stay within the lines. The images are playful, and the recipes (from cosmos to mojitos) are simple and fun. Your boss won’t be able to stay tense while coloring in a champagne-sipping bear in a sweater.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Funny Novelty Memo Pads; $12

fun novelty memo pads with sardonic quotes
Tag yourself. / Amazon

Brighten up a co-worker’s to-do list or written reminders with this four-pad set (two lined and two unlined). It brings a little levity to menial tasks and is one of the truly best pun gifts for co-workers out there.

Buy it: Amazon

13. World’s Okayest Employee Mug; $9

world's okayest employee mug
Overachieving is overrated. / NY/Amazon

Novelty mugs aren’t much of a novelty anymore, but you can still get a smirk out of this beverage holder that lets your co-worker know they’re doing a perfectly serviceable job.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Dammit Doll; $17

dammit doll
Bop it, twist it, dammit. / Dammit Doll/Amazon

The Dammit Doll is the perfect gift for the co-worker who doesn’t have an outlet for workplace frustrations. The polyester desk accessory exists for stress-squeezing—and it’s a lot quieter than slamming a door or desk drawer.

Buy it: Amazon

15. CRAVEBOX Care Package: $27

cravebox care package
There's something for everyone in here. / CraveBox/Amazon

If you know a snacker, give them something worth munching on with this assortment of crunchable distractions from CraveBox. Each package comes with 45 single-serving snacks, from Goldfish to Tootsie Pops.

Buy it: Amazon

16. Everlasting Comfort Office Chair Pillow; $50

Everlasting Comfort Office Chair Pillow
This pillow can make a $50 office chair feel like it's actually comfortable. / Everlasting Comfort / Amazon

Relieve a co-worker’s aching back with this memory foam support pillow that contours to their form. You’ll know it’s working when you hear the “ahhhh.”

Buy it: Amazon

17. InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier; $19

innogear essential oil diffuser and humidifier
Always a good time for a deep breath with one of these around. / InnoGear/Amazon

An essential oil diffuser is a lovely way to take a home office to the next level. This InnoGear one has settings to emit light (in seven colors) and/or a soft mist that’ll keep the air from getting too dry. It also features automatic shut-off that kicks in if the water sinks below a certain level. Toss in an essential oils set for extra brownie points.

Buy it: Amazon

18. BodyRestore Aromatherapy Shower Steamers; $25

bodyrestore lavender shower steamers
Baths can't have all the fun. / BodyRestore/Amazon

Whether your job entails being on your feet or sitting in a chair, doing the same thing day in and day out can take a physical toll. Help your most harried colleague rejuvenate both body and spirit with these luxuriant lavender shower steamers—all they have to do is drop one on the shower floor when they turn the faucet on and let the water do the rest of the work.

Buy it: Amazon

This article originally ran in 2020; it has been updated for 2022.

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