All of us have that one gadget we love. The thing that makes our lives easier, happier or more satisfying. With a little help from my friends, I’ve honed a long list of favourite gizmos and gadgets into my Top 30 must-haves. If you’re stuck for Christmas or birthday inspiration, you won’t go far wrong if you give one of these little beauties to your nearest and dearest. I’ve listed them in price order (please note prices correct at time of print but they will vary) if you’ve got a budget in mind.
n.b. Where I can, I do try to buy local. But for ease of this post and to give you a link to more info, I’ve included online references and prices. Where available, I’ve added easy links to buy from Amazon.
Stainless Steel Soap Stone – £3.58
Removes odours from hands, including garlic, onions, fish and seafood. Really practical & hygienic, it also comes with a self adhesive holder.
Waterproof Bluetooth Shower Speaker – £4.30
This colourful mini waterproof speaker has a suction on the back for fixing to a shower tile. It’s bluetooth and connects to most models of phone or bluetooth device. Perfect for teenage sons who love blaring music when spending hours in the shower!
iSlice Gadget – £4.85
Whizz through the Christmas wrapping up with this nifty little cutter. It cuts through vacuum-packed plastic packaging and makes cutting recipes from magazines easy. Magnetic so you can have it to hand on the fridge door too.
Wallet Ninja Gadget – £5.49
This little credit card sized wallet ninja is an 18 in 1 pocket multi tool. It’s flat and fits in your wallet and is a perfect stocking filler for the man in your life.
Tala Retro Cooks Measure – £5.83
Brilliant for dry ingredients that need measuring but you can’t be faffed to get out the scales. It has little guides marked inside for each type of food and is calibrated in metric and imperial measurements. Measures up to 200g of flour.
OXO Good Grips Apple Divider – £6.98
Brilliant for a quick snack. The stainless steel blades easily core and slice fruit and the soft grip handles keep your knuckles safely out of the way! We used this daily when the boys were growing up and wanted a healthy treat. It’s dishwasher safe too.
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara – £7.99
Great choice for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. The curved brush creates curl and the mascara gives up to 300% more volume versus bare lashes. Fragrance free and smudge-proof; perfect for the party season.
Anker Power Bank Gadget – £10.00
For those annoying times when your phone runs out of charge at the worst possible moment. Keep this little number in your bag and you can re-charge in no time. Brilliant if you are travelling and aren’t near a plug for a longer period of time. With fast charging technology, it detects your device to deliver its fastest possible charge speed. It’s really compact and recharges in three to four hours. Will add over one charge (14 hours talk time) to an iPhone 6.
Garlic Twist – £14.07
There were a few garlic related contenders for top gadget spot but this one came out on top. Quickly and easily minces garlic, ginger, carrots, shallots and peppers and has won oodles of awards. Unlike the traditional garlic press, it doesn’t smash or waste any garlic either. Click here to read more.
AnySharp Global Knife Sharpener Pro – £16.78
Ready for carving the festive bird, this brilliant gadget sharpens any knife with diamond precision, including hardened knives (Global, Sabatier etc) and serrated knives. Its PowerGrip suction attaches securely to any flat surface, making it very safe to use.
Great for walking the dog, cycling, delving around in the attic, camping, hiking… and more. With a fully adjustable and washable headband and an easy-open battery case, it’s really simple to use. It’s weather resistant so great indoors and out. And an ambient mode stops you blinding others in the group!
A must-have gadget for any budding snappers. This brilliant WiFi SD card lets you transfer your photos to your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac as you take them. No more fussing with cables and eating into precious holiday time. It automatically organises your photos with time, date and event details and you can sync photos across all devices.
Electric Popcorn Maker – £22.99
Voted one of the best ever Christmas presents by my boys. Popping out light, fluffy popcorn in three minutes, it’s great for even the most impatient little person. No oil required and you can use with popcorn flavourings, or just sprinkle with sugar. Fab for bigger people who want a quick, cholesterol-free, low- calorie snack too.
Bar Craft Lever-Arm Corkscrew – £26.79
We’ve had one of these for years and it’s had its fair share of use. But still it keeps on going and giving, on hand for every social occasion. There’s something rather satisfying removing the cork in only three seconds with one swift movement. Click here to read more.
Tupperware Speedy Chef Gadget- £29.95
For every pancake lover out there, this is the gadget for you. The Speedy Chef is the complete whipping and whisking kitchen aid. It beats, whips and whisks cream, egg whites, pancakes, omelettes and mayonnaise faster and much quicker and quieter than an electrical beater. Click here to find out more.
Totally brilliant little gadget if you travel a lot and don’t want to incur ridiculous roaming charges. Simply insert a data sim (available from any mobile phone supplier) and you’re away. This one is unlocked to all networks and offers super fast download speeds of 21.1Mbps. Great thing is you can connect upto 10 WiFi devices, covering the family phones, iPads and laptops in one sitting.
Lakeland Family Slow Cooker – £29.99
Few things beat coming home at the end of a long day, opening the door and the smell of slow cooked casserole wafting up your nostrils! This one is really easy to operate with three settings for slow cooking, faster cooking and keeping food at serving temperature. Its 3.5 litre, dishwasher-safe ceramic pot is topped with a glass lid, so you can see what’s cooking. Even better, it can be removed to take to the table for one pot serving. Click here to find out more.
Liber-t Automated Toll Payment Gadget – €16 a year + tolls
We invested in this last year and it’s a brilliant timesaver if you drive regularly in France. It sits neatly behind your windscreen mirror and allows you to bypass all the queues and go through the quicker, automatic, toll lane. No more scraping around for coins to make up the balance. No more sitting for ages in the crazy queues during the summer holiday or ski dash south. Click here to visit the Sanef site and find out more.
Fab for tastier, healthier eating this three tier steamer means you can keep your protein and your veg separate but all within the one handy unit. With extra-deep baskets and a glass lid, this model is suitable for all hobs including induction. A perfect gadget for your new year health kick.
BaByliss Big Hair Spinning Brush – £34.99
My totally utterly favourite gadget. With painfully straight hair, I dread to think the hours I’ve spent trying to inject some ‘body’ into my lacklustre locks. Then this fantabulous device came into my life. It has an iconic rotating brush that adds volume and shine and really does leave you looking a tinsy tiny bit like you’ve just stepped out of the salon. Perfect gift for any straight-haired friends in your life.
Fitbit Gadget – From £49.99
I went on holiday with my sister recently and saw one of these working first hand. As she celebrated hitting all her targets while we climbed up hill and down dale I realised what a motivator this gadget is to get up and get moving. It tracks stats like steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, stairs climbed and active minutes. It also monitors how long and how well you’ve slept and wakes you with a silent vibrating alarm. Brilliant if you want to get your mobile phone out of the bedroom but are currently stuck with it for the alarm function.
Nutribullet – £69.99
The Nutribullet completely breaks down your food, liquefying and mixing together all the essential nutrition. Unlike everyday juicers and blenders, it completely breaks down ingredients into a delicious smoothie. It even bursts open seeds, cracks through stems and shreds tough skins to get the most out of your fruit and vegetables. Another to add to the list for the new year detox.
GHD straighteners – £77.00
For all those like me that crave the odd kink in their hair, there are just as many curly haired ladies willing their locks to be a little bit straighter. The GHD (Good Hair Day) straighteners have been saving the day for a good few years now and are on many friends top gadget lists. The round barrel helps create smooth curls, flicks, waves and straight hair. Buy from Amazon
Mason Pierson Large Brush – £79.36
Any owner of a Mason Pierson brush will say they are worth every penny of their slightly high price tag. With a unique rubber-cushion pad and a classic handle design for added comfort, the brush has been a favourite for generations. The design has never been bettered since its original 1885 design and is still being handmade with only the finest materials. Click here if you’d like more info.
Kindle Paperwhite – £109.99
I do love a real book but the Kindle is unbeatable for travelling and easy reading. My favourite things about the Paperwhite (rather than the Kindle Fire) are: you don’t get glare in bright sunlight; it doesn’t tire your eyes in the dark; you only have to charge it about once a month and you can read comfortably using one hand. Perfect.
KitchenAid Classic Hand Blender – £94.99
From crushing ice to chopping cooked meats and frothing milk, this powerful little beauty should feature in every kitchen. It comes into its own in winter for blending thick soups. Whether you want to mix, blend or chop your ingredients it works in deeper pots, bowls or pitchers.
Bose Mini Bluetooth Speaker – £154.99
The perfect party companion, this brilliant wireless and ultra-compact speaker can keep you company wherever you are. From the kitchen to the garden, in the car or on holiday, you can crank out the tunes and enjoy its big sound and deep bass by connecting via bluetooth to your device. The rechargeable battery provides up to 10 hours of playback time.
Garmin nuvi Sat Nav UK & Europe – £119.99
I’ve used a few satnav devices and this is by far the easiest. The 5″ pinch-to-zoom, touchscreen sat nav includes preloaded street maps for 45 European countries including UK and Ireland. Its free lifetime digital traffic updates is particularly brilliant, letting you know if the road ahead is blocked, the length of anticipated delay and alternative routes. It also comes with free lifetime map updates for 45 European countries.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones – £259.95
I’m a sucker for Bose. But it’s because their stuff looks gorgeous and just works. These earphones have Acoustic Noise Cancelling technology, so you can disconnect from the world and get lost in your music for a precious moment. The nifty ‘aware’ mode allows you to hear what’s going on around you at the press of a button. So many in-ear headphones never stay in, but these do thanks to their StayHear+ ear tips. Well worth the investment.
iPhone 6S Plus – from £619
I couldn’t have a top 30 without featuring an Apple device. Last Christmas I stupidly had a mad moment and moved over to the dark side. I bought a Samsung phone, having been lured by its supposed brilliance. After three months of a mind-numbingly frustrating relationship that was never going to go anywhere, I admitted defeat and switched back to my trusty iPhone. The only evidence of my temporary lapse of judgement is three month gap in my photo reel. Yes, the 6Plus is expensive but it is worth every single penny for me, keeping me connected 24/7 via a beautiful big, clear screen. When I can justify it, I’ll be upgrading to the 6S. Head over to apple to find out more. Click here.