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Best holiday gifts for Mom in 2021: Badass knife, Beats headphones, Keurig alternative

Don't know what to get your mom this year? We've got plenty of options for you to check out.

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Every mom is different, and so is every family. But if your parent is like a lot of ours, she may enjoy more fuss than she lets on, and it may not always be clear what would top the list -- especially after years of fluffy bathrobes and movie tickets. 

We've rounded up some of our favorite gifts for this special person in your life -- everything from super luxe sheets we swear by to a Japanese-style knife and a workhorse pair of Beats headphones that may do a better job staying in your mom's ears. No matter what type of mom you're shopping for -- or what your budget is this year -- you'll find a tasteful gift idea here.

Sheets & Giggles

Made from eucalyptus, these ultrasoft sheets from Sheets & Giggles sleep cool and comfortably, without building up body heat overnight, slipping off the bed or coming up short under the chin. 

"I could live in these sheets," said CNET How-To Editorial Director Jessica Dolcourt, who bought and tested three other sheet sets before finding this lyocell set. A queen-size set of Sheets & Giggles is currently on a 20% Black Friday sale for $120. Normally, you'd pay $150 for a fitted sheet, flat sheet and two pillowcase combo. 

Sheets & Giggles sheets come in eight solid colors and three striped patterns, ranging from gray and blue shades to deep purple.

David Carnoy/CNET

Mom needs her peace and quiet more than ever, and the new Beats Fit Pro are just the ticket. These are basically sportier versions of the AirPods Pro, with excellent audio quality, full active noise cancellation and water resistance. The built-in stabilizing wings mean they'll never fall out, and -- unlike AirPods -- they're available in four different colors.

Shun

If your mom loves to cook -- or anyone in your family, really -- a gorgeous Shun knife makes a fantastic and memorable gift. The traditional Japanese knife, available in a 6- or 8-inch blade, is practical enough for everyday use and also incredibly beautiful, with a decorated blade that stands apart from typical workhorse knives. This splurge gift is a good deal, and a knife we know your mom will reach for again and again.

Illy

If the mom on your list craves quality caffeine, but you don't have the budget for a Delonghi Dinamica espresso machine (those will run you $950), we love the slim Illy Y3.3 IperEspresso. Pop in a pod and brew a single cup of coffee or espresso. The Y3.3 IperEspresso is great for a pick-me-up throughout the day -- no more sad, cold coffee cups left in the microwave! 

L.L. Bean

The ultimate cozy gift: slippers. We love L.L. Bean's classic styles because they really hold up. And shoppers agree, year after year. A rep for the company tells us that last season they sold a pair a minute! The Squam Lake style features a plush Australian lambswool interior and a rubber outsole for durability. They're also water- and stain-resistant and available in six colors. 

Maya Brenner

Initial necklaces from jewelry Maya Brenner have become a motherhood staple. They're a little pricey, but this is a classic piece that Mom will wear for years to come. Starting at $240, you can customize a necklace with her kids' initials, choose yellow, white or rose gold, and decide on a chain length. For some added bling, you can choose pavé for an extra $215.

Jenni Kayne

Moms love California cashmere brand Jenni Kayne. And maybe you can't splash out on a $175 cardigan, but a cozy beanie at a lower price could be in Mom's Christmas future. It's a useful winter gift, and this classic, slouchy beanie is oh-so-soft. And, as of publishing, it's 25% off.

Lunya

Lunya's Washable Silk Tee Set is the ultimate sleepwear for the mama who's a little extra. Or the mama who deserves a little luxury in her routine! She'll love how easy this set is; it's silk but you can still toss it in the wash. It's available in nine on-trend colors, so all you need to do is pick her favorite hue. We love the Deep Blue, but you could also go with the festive Opulent Green for the holidays.

Merrell

Merrell's Shiloh II lace-up waterproof boots are ready for action (and daily life). They're comfy, feature an inside zip and a 50% recycled EVA insole; plus, the rubber outsole has plenty of grip and traction for running winter errands. But they're not all function; we love the Shiloh II style because they're also nice to look at. We think Mom will agree. Available in brick, black and beige (Moonrock). 

United by Form

How can Mom resist the chic packaging and lovely scent of a really nice candle? We love United by Form for their sophisticated scents, including Meadow (a combination of rainwater, honey, fig and cypress) and Spirit (leather, smoke, sandalwood, cardamom and papyrus). Cabin is also a great winter choice; it smells like campfire, cedar and amber. Each hand-poured 8-ounce candle has a 50-hour burn time.

Amazon

What a cozy gift! If the mom on your list is a tea drinker, we think she'll love the Vahdam Holiday Breakfast tea set. The set includes nine loose-leaf teas (Apple Cinnamon Herbal, Vanilla Spiced Masala Chai, Chocolate Vanilla Herbal, Earl Grey and more) packed in a beautiful box. You know who else loves Vahdam? Oprah. Enough said.

Plants.com

If mom has a green thumb, or at least is trying to have one, help her create a green haven in the home. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a very popular choice and makes a unique holiday gift. Opt for a medium (16 to 18 inches) or large (30 to 36 inches) plant. It arrives ready to gift in a sandstone planter.