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Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Top Picks From CNET Editors

Check out our top gift ideas, across all categories and prices.

Feel that chill in the air? Autumn has arrived, and a lot of you have already started your holiday shopping. According to a recent survey by Bankrate (which is owned by CNET's parent company, Red Ventures), half of all shoppers will start their purchases before Halloween, and 40% say that inflation will affect their buying behavior. 

With that in mind, we're here to help. If you're on the hunt for great gifts, this is a top-level look at the 2022 CNET Gift Guide, highlighting new and classic gifts across a wide swath of price points and topics of interest. Need more ideas? Look for links to more specific breakout lists throughout. 

Jump to a price range


Gifts for $50 and under

Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

See some alternatives: Best travel coffee mugs

I'll guarantee you that you'll end up buying a gift for someone who likes beer, soda, coffee, tea or just plain old water. No matter their favorite drink, they'll love the BrüMate Hopsulator Trio 3-in-1. It keeps cold beverages cool, and hot ones hot. It fits 12- and 16-ounce cans and can be used as a tumbler for drinks, too. Customize the gift by choosing from one of 14 cool colors. 

$30 at Amazon
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Lego

More gift options: Best gifts for kids

Looking for a kid-friendly gift that doesn't induce screen fatigue or require batteries? Go for Legos. We like this Corvette set, which offers two cars for about $30. Lego has plenty of other cool affordable options, including two different monster truck kits (Max-D and Grave Digger); a Pet Adoption Cafe; the 3-in-1 Off-Road Buggy Kit; and plenty of Star Wars (the 501st Legion Clone Troopers Building Kit), Marvel (the Black Panther Dragon Flyer) and Harry Potter options, too. 

$30 at Amazon
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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

See more gift options: Best gifts under $50

A candle is always a good go-to gift option: No batteries needed, no setup instructions; just light it up and enjoy the aroma. We like this Archipelago Botanicals selection, thanks to its attractive glass housing, 60-hour burn time and seven sensuous scents. 

$26 at Amazon
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Brooklinen/Screenshot by CNET

See more options: Best sleep masks

Whether it's the early summer sun or one of the myriad device screens in your orbit, there's too much light pollution in the bedroom -- and that keeps many folks from getting a good night's sleep. This Brooklinen eyemask keeps light sleepers in the dark, cradling their faces with soft silk and a comfy elastic band.

Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

"OMG, I love it," says the CNETer who received the Coffee Bear Cold Brewer as a gift earlier this year. Despite the name, it works equally well for iced coffee and iced tea, and includes a fine mesh filter core to maximize flavor without allowing stray coffee grounds or tea leaves into your cool refreshing drink. And at this price, it pays for itself after just three skipped Starbucks visits.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

There are plenty of fancy corkscrews to choose from, but we like this Brookstone model that comes in just under $40. It works with synthetic and natural corks.

$46 at Amazon
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$51 to $100

Weber

The Weber Gourmet BBQ Pizza Stone is a great way to level up the backyard barbecue from just burgers and hot dogs. Once the grill is fired up, this clever accessory can get your homemade pizza to melty perfection in just 10 minutes of cooking time. 

$59 at Walmart
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David Carnoy/CNET

Say hello to the best brand in audio value you've probably never heard of. This latest iteration of the Tribit Stormbox Micro offers improved sound and battery life, along with a charge-out feature that turns this travel-friendly speaker into a power bank for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. An integrated strap allows you to clip it to your backpack or your bike's handlebars. It's also fully waterproof and -- with a second identical unit -- can be paired for stereo sound. 

$47 at Amazon
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James Bricknell / CNET

Why settle for an off-the-shelf action figure when you can have one with your own face? That option is now a reality thanks to Hasbro's new Selfie Series line of figures. In collaboration with 3D printer company Formlabs, Use the app to snap five photos, upload them -- along with an $60 fee -- and before you know it, you'll have your face on a six-inch action figure from the Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Power Rangers or GI Joe universes. 

David Carnoy/CNET

See more options: Best fire pits

As its name implies, the Mesa is a mini fire pit designed to sit on a tabletop and is small enough to slip into a backpack for mobility. Naturally, you could also set it on the ground, but when you put it on a table, it's at a good height for comfortably roasting marshmallows. It has the same 360-degree Signature Airflow system as Solo Stove's larger fire pits and is the spiritual successor to the Solo Stove Lite, a mini camp stove (whether we'll see some camping accessories for the Mesa is unclear at this point). It's an excellent mini fire pit, and often on sale for closer to $80 (versus its $120 list price).

Read our Solo Stove Mesa review.

 

Amanda Capritto/CNET

More gift options: Best gifts under $100

This is CNET's favorite weighted blanket. We love its luxurious 300-thread count, 100% cotton exterior, and the fact that it's washable and the weighted beads don't shift around. It's a great gift for anyone who likes to snuggle under the covers while they're sleeping in (or bingeing their favorite Netflix show). These are also helpful sleep aids for anyone with issues like restless leg syndrome. 

$85 at Amazon
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David Watsky/CNET

More foodie-friendly gift ideas: The best kitchen gifts

For those who are doubling down on their pandemic-honed cooking skills, this pair of non-stick frying pans are just the ticket. Both the 10.5-inch and 12-inch pans are Teflon-free (that's a good thing).

$60 at Amazon
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Disney

More streaming gift options: 14 streaming services that make great gifts

There are plenty of folks who let their Disney Plus subscription lapse between seasons of The Mandalorian or the latest Marvel show. But if you have kids in the house, it's tough to beat this streaming service, which pulls together the full range of the Disney library, including Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, The Simpsons and nearly everything in the Marvel superhero universe. The cost is just under $8 a month right now -- that price will jump to $11 per month starting December 8 -- but a full year can currently be gifted for just $80, or less than $7 per month. And because it supports four simultaneous streams and up to seven user profiles, it's an ideal gift for most families. 

You can buy Disney Plus for yourself or give Disney Plus as a gift.

Read our Disney Plus review.

 

$101 to $300

Sarah Tew/CNET

More soundbar gift options: Best soundbars and home audio for the holidays

Want the easiest upgrade for an older HDTV? Just plug in the Roku Streambar, and you'll immediately add stronger audio and the best smart TV streaming system, with every app you can imagine. The remote included with this smart device will control your TV's power, too. (Pro tip: This unit sold for as low as $80 during Black Friday 2021, so you might want to hold out for a sale.)

Read our Roku Streambar review.

 

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David Carnoy/CNET

There are plenty of no-name massage gun brands out there, but gifting a real Theragun will will get you brownie points this holiday season. The 1.5-pound Theragun Mini massager is designed to be portable, easily fitting in a backpack or purse. While it doesn't have quite the power of one of Theragun's full-size devices, it's surprisingly powerful considering how small it is. The rechargeable battery is rated to last 2.5 hours, and a neoprene protective case is included. 

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Scott Stein/CNET

More tablet gift options: Best tablets for 2022

Yes, Apple just debuted a new 10th-gen iPad for 2022, and it's bigger and somewhat "better" than this older model. But it also starts at $449, while this perfectly capable 2021 model can be found for under $300 (and sometimes as low as $279). At that price, you're still getting a great Swiss army knife of a gadget: Use it for watching Netflix, playing games, browsing the web or -- with its fancy Center Stage camera -- Zoom calls with the family that will automatically keep you in the frame. Add a keyboard, and it's a decent laptop replacement. Invest in an Apple Pencil, and it's a makeshift artist's canvas. While the rest of the updated 2022 iPad line includes confusing feature overlaps, this entry-level model remains the best bang for your buck, and a great upgrade option for anyone with a tablet from 2018 or earlier.

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Gifts over $300

Dan Ackerman/CNET

More gift options: Best gifts for pre-teens

This update of the original Nintendo Switch adds a bigger 7-inch OLED screen, a much better kickstand and ships with 64GB storage on board. It's not a must-have upgrade if you have the earlier Switch model, as the graphics and game catalog are identical. And you can still hook it up to the TV if you want to play on the big screen. But for anyone looking for the most family-friendly game system with a long list of exclusive games -- the Zelda, Mario, Metroid and Pokemon franchises can only be found here -- this is a great alternative to the PS5 and Xbox. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

More luxury gift options: Best gifts under $500

Why get an Xbox instead of a PS5? Two big reasons come to mind. First, if you have games for an older Xbox system -- discs or digital -- many of them will work on the latest model. And secondly, if you pony up for an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you'll get access to more than a hundred games -- including Microsoft exclusives like the Halo and Forza series, as well as dozens of EA titles -- to download as you please at no extra charge. 

$499 at Amazon
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Scott Stein/CNET

More VR options: Best VR headsets for 2022

Meta -- aka Facebook and Oculus -- just released a new high-end VR headset called the Quest Pro. But the Quest 2 is still the sweetspot model for the masses. Unlike PC competitors -- and even 2023's PSVR2 -- the Quest 2 is a self-contained VR system, with zero wires to encumber the fun. At $400 for the baseline 128GB model and $500 for the 256GB version, it's price competitive with the other big game consoles this year, too. The only thing we don't like about this great tech gift is that it requires a Facebook login.

$400 at Amazon
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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

More gaming gift options: Best gifts for gamers

Believe it or not, the PS5 is slightly less impossible to find in 2022, but you'll still want to check our restock tracker to make it easier to get your hands on one. Sony's game console is still available in $399 and $499 models -- the pricier one accepts movie and game discs, while the more affordable one is a streaming- and download-only affair. You can even reserve both models on Amazon right now -- but that doesn't guarantee that it will arrive in time to be under the tree. The king of the gaming consoles remains in high demand, and with good reason: The PlayStation 5 is continuing to rack up some solid exclusives, including long-awaited sequels in the Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War series. And coming in 2023 is PSVR2, Sony's latest and greatest VR add-on. 

Read our Sony PlayStation 5 review.

 

$550 at eBay
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