Gifts for the Woman Who Wants Nothing (that she’ll secretly love)

Choosing gifts for the woman who wants nothing can feel like the impossible task. This list of practical ideas can inspire your best gift yet.

Maybe it’s your wife, your mom or your sister who are impossible to buy gifts for.

There’s one in every family.

It’s especially hard to find gifts for the woman who wants nothing.

Whether it’s a birthday or Christmas, they specifically tell you –

“Don’t buy me anything.  I have everything I need.”

Woman opening gift box: gifts for the wife who wants nothing concept

The woman who wants nothing (sort of).

So do you honor their request?

That’s hard to know.

Many men think this request is a trap in disguise of frugality (ask my husband).

Here’s the thing:

I’m one of these women, so I want to help you out!

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Choosing gifts for picky women (we know it’s hard)

Looking for the best birthday gift for your wife, or a Christmas gift she’ll love…

..WITHOUT having to spell it out for you?

This gift guide is for you.

My aversion to gifts is usually because:

I’m budget-conscious, and I don’t like to tell my husband what I want.

So, he has to try and read my mind. (So nice of me.)

And I definitely don’t like clutter and knickknacks that I have to find a place for, dust…

….or otherwise re-home if I can’t find a use for them.

If you have a low-maintenance woman in your life, you probably have heard these things before.

And truly, STUFF doesn’t make me happy.

Gifts just aren’t my love language.

Vertical graphic with text "The best gifts for the modern mom who really wants nothing!" with image below of family surrounding a smiling mom, opening a gift box.

Accepting gifts (for women who want nothing)

What I’ve learned over 15 years of marriage is that gifts ARE my husband’s love language.

This is also the case for many of my friends.

So as women, moms and minimalist-leaning ladies:

We need to learn to be better at accepting gifts.

I’ve come to realize that my husband, even when he’s “under orders” to buy nothing, hates the feeling of being empty-handed.

Husband giving wife a gift on Christmas. Concept of Choosing gifts for hard to buy for female.

Picky women need to be realistic, too.

So he’s usually going to break the rule anyhow-

– and it’s not a fair rule to begin with.

He simply delights in giving me gifts.

So I need to think of practical, unique gift ideas that I can be happy with, because it makes him happy to be a giver.

And, he WANTS suggestions.

Read Next: 

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Christmas gifts for your wife (that she doesn’t know she wants)

Of course, I’ll appreciate anything my husband gives me.

Even that cast iron skillet he gave me for our 2nd Christmas which screamed:

“Make me cornbread, woman!” (True story.)

And practical gifts, honestly, are a GREAT idea for the woman who isn’t always receptive to gifts.

Woman's hands on a white background holding a gift box with a blue ribbon. Useful practical gifts for woman who wants nothing

Practical gifts for the win.

Because usually, when we say we don’t want anything, what we really mean is:

“I don’t want junk.”

But if it’s something we can really USE, we might secretly love it.

Useful Gifts for the Woman Who Wants Nothing

Below is a list of gift ideas for the woman who wants nothing —

— from a woman who wants nothing either, but would be very happy with these picks.

You simply can’t go wrong with practical gifts for women.

Section heading: Cups, Coffee and Tea

When I think of gifts for women who have everything, I think of their daily habits.

What can they can get the most use out of?

Sipping cold or hot beverages is about as habitual as anything, right?

Who doesn’t love getting a quality container to enjoy them in?

Quality Insulated Tumbler

I knew I was wasting money every time I bought bottled water.

So finding a reliable “cold cup” was a win in my book. Preferably, one that keeps ice cold all day.

If your gift recipient always hauls water everywhere like me…

..she might appreciate a nice, insulated travel cup.

My Favorite

These 40-oz Straw Cups are not only pretty but super practical.

I’ve had this brand for a few years now and it’s still going strong.

Ceramic Travel Coffee Cup with Lid

For hot drinks, I prefer a ceramic cup that feels warm in my hand, and is a bit oversized.

This way, I can use an electric frother without it spilling everywhere.

(Or, I can just drink double the amount of coffee at once!)

A few requirements for me personally are that my travel mug:

  • Has an easy close lid
  • Fits in my car’s cup holder
  • Is heavy enough to not get knocked over easily
  • Is microwave-safe (as it will be reheated no less than 28 times/day)
My Pick

Ello is known for quality, and it’s dishwasher AND microwave safe.

I love the sturdy handle and simple design of this one.

Whole Bean Coffee

Many women (dare I say most?) enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea at least once a day.

I happen to love both: coffee to wake up and herbal tea to go to sleep.

Whole bean coffee is one of the best ways to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee.

My Pick

Try this organic coffee bean sampler from Java Planet.

It’s a nice, smooth coffee that’s full of flavor.

Coffee grinder

Of course, if you buy a woman whole coffee beans…

…she’ll need a coffee grinder to go with.

My Pick

This coffee grinder has 14,000+ positive reviews, and it’s a great value for the price.

French Press

The French Press method is quite popular right now.

It’s known for brewing a smooth, coffee-house quality drink without a hint of coffee grounds.

My Pick

I like this Mueller French Press because it’s made from stainless steel which is easy to clean and long-lasting.


While I love the flavor of freshly ground coffee, I often rely on K-cups in this stage of life.

My Favorite

It’s not gourmet, but I LOVE IT.

Cameron’s Toasted Southern Pecan has a slightly nutty flavor with a mild taste.

The unique packaging of compostable pods also seems to give it a smoother taste- almost like it didn’t come out of a pod at all.

If you prefer ground coffee, though (and saving money), reusable K-cups are the way to go.

Coffee flavors can be a pretty personal preference, so a variety pack is another great option.

K-Cup Storage Drawer

I was also given a coffee pod storage drawer a few years ago as a gift.

It wasn’t something on my radar, but it’s been SO useful.

I’d call it a winner for practicality.

My Pick

You don’t need a lot of frills with a coffee storage drawer.

Just something that is big enough to hold a decent amount of pods without taking up too much space on your countertop- like this one.

I love that my one-cup coffee maker sits on top of it so it doesn’t take up any extra counter space.

Tea Variety Pack

For hot tea lovers, try a variety of tea that comes in a nice display box like this one.

Another good choice is a fancy loose-leaf sampler and a tea infuser.

My Pick

This Tea Forte loose leaf tea sampler comes in tons of options, to suit nearly anyone’s (picky) preferences.

Better yet, bundle some of these tea and coffee items together in a cute basket if you really want to impress.

Section heading: "Gifts for the home chef"

Kitchen gifts are one of the most practical choices of all.

Which, of course, makes them perfect gifts for the wife who wants nothing.

(Or any woman who enjoys cooking!)

Enameled Dutch Oven

If your wife, mom or sister loves to cook and doesn’t own a quality dutch oven, she needs one.

This is something I asked for a few Christmases ago.

(When I first realized I needed to LET my husband buy me something).

I don’t regret it one bit.

I now own a few of these, and use them frequently.

My Favorite

My Tramontina dutch oven is my favorite. It’s durable, stays warm for a long time and makes amazing slow-simmered soups.

I chose the 6.5-quart size because of its ample size and great reviews.

With four kids, I wanted to be able to cook BIG batches of soups, chili and stews especially when we have company.

Other Dutch oven brands to try:

 Lodge and Le Creuset (known as the best high-end brand if you have a generous budget.)

Amazon recently added a line of Amazon Basics dutch ovens at VERY affordable prices.

So far, the reviews look promising.  I would take a chance on it as it’s a nice, budget-friendly option.

Wooden Cutting Board and utensils

I received a lovely olive wood cutting board and utensil set from Forest Decor recently, and they are a delight to have and use in the kitchen.

Wooden cutting board and 2 wooden spoons from Forest Decor.

Hand-carved wooden kitchenware makes a unique gift that is as functional as it is beautiful.

Chicago Cutlery Knives

The Chicago Cutlery knife block set from my wedding 15 years ago is still going strong.

And, their knives are still a best-seller today.

My Pick

The set of Chicago Cutlery knives I own has wooden handles, but I really like the design of this set for durability in the dishwasher.

Personally, I’d rather have a good set of knives than any chopper/slicing gadget out there.

(Who wants to clean those things?!)

Kitchenaid Mixer

I didn’t know I needed a good stand mixer until my hand mixer broke a few years ago.

To my surprise, a relative gifted me one for my birthday.

What a huge difference it’s made in my baking skills, though!

My Pick

Kitchenaid has several options to choose from these days, but the Artisan Mixer is the most popular and affordable model.

Bonus: It comes in tons of colors to match any kitchen.

I especially appreciate my stand mixer for making homemade bread and pizza dough.

Overall, it saves me money in the long run.

Bosch mixer (the next level)

Update: I’ve recently taken my bread-making next-level with the Bosch Universal Mixer.

It has a huge bowl and a more powerful motor than the KitchenAid (even the Professional version).

Bosch universal mixer mixing up several pounds of bread dough (top view).
My powerhouse mixer making bread dough.

If you know someone who mills their own grains and/or makes big batches of bread dough –

THIS is the mixer for that.

I almost burned out my KitchenAid motor mixing whole wheat bread dough, in fact.

(KitchenAid is better suited for cookies, cakes, and single loaves of bread. Lighter stuff.)

Melamine Mixing Bowls

I actually ended up with 2 sets of melamine mixing bowls and I use them every single day.

My Pick

Nesting melamine bowls with lids like these are simply a lifesaver in the kitchen.

This beautiful set is an amazing value, too.

From leftovers to baked goods, we just get a ton of use out of these.

And they’re really easy to clean (the best part!)

Farmhouse Kitchen Towels

Do you have a frugal wife who would appreciate a nice set of amazing dish towels…

..and probably wouldn’t splurge on them herself?

My Favorite

I use these grey and white dish towels for everything.

They’re easy to wash and super sized!

I also love that they’re really absorbent, and match my farmhouse-style kitchen easily.

Section Heading "Self Care Gifts"

Even if she turns up her nose at the thought of “self care”, she knows it’s ok to indulge once in a while.

So, help a woman out!

You could call these: “gifts for snobby woman who doesn’t want gifts”. 🙂

Leather tote or wallet

Many practical women like things that last a long time, like an essential leather tote bag.

For me, I only buy real leather bags and wallets – rarely – and keep them forever. They only get softer with age.

My number one favorite is a leather bag from Portland Leather Goods.

Pictured below is the tote backpack. A little leather conditioner, and it will likely outlive me!

Portland leather backpack purse in cognac brown. Gift idea for picky women.

Luxury Pillows

In the past, I never quite found the “perfect” pillow for me because I wasn’t willing to spend more than a few bucks on one.

But as it turns out, if you spend more than $5…

…you can get a really nice pillow and likely a better night’s sleep. 

This set of gel pillows is reasonably priced (especially for a 2-pack) and are very highly-rated (over 100k reviews!) on Amazon.

Another popular pick are the shredded memory foam pillows you might have seen on TV.

My Favorite

We recently upgraded to the Puffy brand memory foam pillows.

And, I don’t think we’ll ever need to buy another pillow again.

(*Update: 3 years later, still our favorite pillows and it never goes flat.)

Premium Memory Foam Mattress

You probably guessed it, but along with our Puffy pillows-

– we also upgraded to a new Puffy lux Mattress over a year ago.

After hearing a friend rave about it, we took the plunge and upgraded our 15-year-old spring mattress.

In all honesty, I have never slept better.

Our puffy mattress after purchase. Set up on a wooden frame with a box spring underneath and with Puffy King Size pillows on top.
Our Puffy Lux (aka best.mattress.ever)

And, dear husbands, keep in mind that a good nights’ sleep is a gift for you as well.

I personally never knew how luxurious a memory foam mattress could be.

(P.S., this one is made entirely in the USA!)

Adult Size Muslin Blanket

If you know a mom who loved their baby’s muslin blankets a little too much…

…you could make their entire year by gifting them the softest, comfiest blankets around.

My Pick

I have a very similar blanket to this one that I splurged on about 3 years ago. Simply amazing.

It’s my couch blanket that no one else gets to use! 😉

Muslin fabric is great in summer OR winter because it’s truly a breathable material that keeps the chill off without making you sweat. And, it gets softer every time you wash it.

Desert Essence Hand Lotion

I personally buy very few health & beauty items in a given year —

— I have just a few favorites.

Otherwise, I tend to use DIY hand soap recipes or just plain coconut oil for hand cream.

My Favorite

Desert Essence has a line of organic products that I stumbled across and have been so pleased with, including their hand and body lotion.

It’s hands-down (pun intended), my favorite.

It’s actually hard to find a non-greasy lotion that is made of natural non-irritating ingredients, and has only a light scent.

Gourmet Chocolate

Most women love chocolate – especially the good kind.

You know, the brands they won’t splurge on themselves.

The thing to remember is to step outside the Russell Stover box.

Try a unique sampler gift set, or curate your own gift box of quality chocolates.

My Favorite

A dear friend told me I needed to try Chocolove a few years back.

She warned me that I’d forever be a chocolate snob after these.

She was right.

There are SO many amazing flavors, and dark chocolate especially makes a great gift for chocolate-loving friends.

Indoor/outdoor slippers

I had been searching high and low for a pair of casual slippers I could wear around the house, but also not be embarrassed in if I needed to run an errand!

I wanted to avoid the fluffy slippers with the sherpa lining that push my feet out the back.

My favorite

These are the exact slippers I bought, and they are perfect for my needs.

They are a knockoff of more expensive brands, and I believe they are just as good as the pricey versions.

I even bought a pair for my husband next!

Here’s what I love:

  • Can be worn as a slip-on OR a full shoe
  • Fit great with OR without socks
  • Hard sole (for bad feet)
  • Can be worn inside or out

Boot Socks

If you thought those fuzzy Christmas socks were a nice gift – boot socks are waaaay better.

Just so you know.

My Pick

These soft, squishy boot socks are a winner in my book.

The perfect combination of stretch + warmth that you can wear with boots and leggings, or jeans.

If you are giving a gift to someone who’s always cold – they will appreciate these.

And if we’re talking practical gifts for women- it doesn’t get much more practical than comfy socks! 😉

Section heading "Sentimental Gifts"

These are some of my favorite useful gifts for women

– who love preserving their families’ memories.

Give her the tools to make that happen.

Oversized Photo Album

It’s likely that few of us actually use regular-sized photo albums anymore thanks to digital albums and photo books.

BUT what do you do with the kids’ 8×10 school pictures after each year passes, or last year’s 11×14 family photo?

If you’re like the majority of people, you just slap the new picture in front of the old one, until you have a very heavy frame!

My Favorite

This 12×15 oversized album is the answer to organizing those big photos you don’t know what to do with, otherwise.

And now you can actually look at them now and then.

DSLR Camera

You can skip this idea –

– unless your gift-recipient has actually shown interest in photography.

For me personally, learning how to use a DSLR camera was a very practical purchase.

But I think nearly every mom I know would love to learn how to take better pictures of their kids.

We all just want to capture those fleeting memories.

My Pick

The Canon Rebel is a good entry-level DSLR camera.

It’s user-friendly for beginners and takes amazing photos.

Glass Display Box

I love the idea of having a keepsake box that I could store on the top of the bookshelf for safekeeping.

But at the same time, I could still see what’s inside.

My Pick

This glass display box is beautiful, and a great way to keep mementos in sight.

I would probably put some special items from the years my husband and I dated and from our wedding, along with family pictures and souvenirs from family trips.

This box can tuck away nicely on a bookshelf while also being decorative.

Section heading: "Homemaking Gifts"

If your gift recipient truly relishes a clean home, these tools could make her life easier.

You might call these “presents for women who have everything but the sparkling home of their dreams.”

Robot Vacuum

If this was in my frugal budget, I would already own one for sure.

Who wouldn’t want to outsource this chore to a robot?

Moms with multiple kids and/or pets would be grateful.

My Pick

This particular vacuum has great reviews and is reasonably priced among its competitors.

It’s been on my Amazon wish list for a while now!

Welcome Mat

A fresh new welcome mat that’s stylish and also keeps my carpets cleaner? Win-win.

It’s another one of those things that I hate to spend money on, but would be thrilled to receive as a gift.

My Pick

Try a simple design and material which is also easy to keep clean.

Check out this mat as another idea, if your gift-recipient has a large double-door entrance.

Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies

This all-purpose concentrated cleaner made with essential oils and is fabulous for making countertops shine.

I’ve been using it for about 3 years now.

Believe it or not, one bottle lasts me for several months.

It’s a safer alternative than chemical-based cleaners.

(Rocky Mountain Oils are the best!)

image of gift idea for homemakers: multipurpose cleaner on a kitchen countertop with a woman scrubbing the countertops with a dishcloth.

I would bundle it with:

Multi-Use Steamer

If you know someone obsessed with being wrinkle-free-

 A handheld steamer can be a huge time-saver.

It can be used on clothing, table linens, curtains- you name it.

My Pick

This steamer has great reviews, and a large water capacity to make the job speedy.

I often rely on wrinkle spray when I really need a quick “ironing”.

But honestly, I would prefer the scent-free steam, any day.

Practical Christmas gifts for her (or anytime gifts)

Whether you’re buying a gift for someone who is practical, frugal or just simply has everything –

– I hope you’ve found something on this list that makes her feel special.

Chances are, you can’t go wrong with any of these gifts for the woman who wants nothing.

(Or so she says).

And if not…

…Amazon has a great return policy!

You might also like:

Last Minute DIY Gifts

Unique Christian gifts for women

The Best Art Gifts for Kids

30 Faith-Based Gift Ideas for Kids

Gift ideas for women who are hard to buy for. Whether it's your mom, sister, best friend, mother-in-law- she will love at least one of these ideas (and probably more). #Gifts #GiftGuide #Women #Christmas #Presents
Image of woman holding gift box that says "Merry Christmas" with Text Overlay on the graphic stating "20+ gifts for the woman who wants nothing- that she'll secretly love"

Post originally published 10/30/18 and last updated 1/28/24.

4 thoughts on “Gifts for the Woman Who Wants Nothing (that she’ll secretly love)”

  1. Thank you, I am that hard to buy for woman! But I love some of your suggestions, so I will finally have a wish list for my family. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much!!

      I am one of these women too and now I FINALLY have a list of saved items 🥰

      For this Christmas I couldn’t think of absolutely anything, I have a 4 year old and a 6 month old, so I took to Pinterest and found an organization idea that I wanted to do then sent the items needed to my mom!

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