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This story is part of Mother's Day Gift Guide 2021. CNET editors round up the hottest gadgets for Mom this year.

Last year at this time we all wanted just one thing: to safely give Mom a hug on Mother's Day. This year, assuming you've been vaccinated, you can do exactly that. That's my plan, and I'm incredibly grateful.

Now let's talk presents. Here are some Mother's Day gift ideas, all priced $25 or less. (There's even a pretty good free one.) I'm not saying you shouldn't splurge -- see the best Mother's Day gifts from $50 to $100 and our favorite Mother's Day gifts overall -- only that it's not necessary. You'll do fine with a Mother's Day gift that's small and thoughtful, plus a big old hug (or, at a minimum, a phone call) on May 9.

One final thought before I share my picks: Etsy is your friend right now. The site is home to thousands of artists and craftspeople who offer all kinds of unique items that would be great for gifts on Mother's Day -- plenty of them priced $25 or less. (I'm eyeballing these garden markers, which start at $9 each, for Mom's herb garden.) Just don't wait too long, as delivery here could take a week or more.

Read more: Best Mother's Day 2021 gifts under $50    

Altec Lansing

Normally $30, this versatile little speaker is on sale for $22.49 in most of its four available colors. (The green one is $1.50 more for some reason, but still gets you in under the $25 mark.)

The rugged, water-resistant and carabiner-friendly (clip included) Baby Boom XL is designed for outdoor adventuring, though obviously it would work just as well as a shower speaker. It earned an impressive 4.6-star average rating from over 800 Best Buy buyers.


Here's a chance to do something different and special for your mom, a perfect personalized gift. Tribute is a service that puts together video montages, and right now you can get her a free one with promo code yougotthis25. (Regular price: $25.)

It works like this: You send invitations to as many people as you want. Could be just family, could expand to include friends and co-workers. Everyone records a short video (on phone, tablet, PC or whatever) based on your preferred prompt: Why Mom is such a great mom, three favorite things about Mom or the like.

Tribute handles invites, reminders and all that. It then assembles everything into a unique heartwarming finished video for Mother's Day, one that can be viewed online or, for an additional charge, delivered on a flash drive or even as a self-playing video greeting card.

Read more: 10 Mother's Day gift baskets for a virtual breakfast in bed 

Daily Steals

Daily Steals is a good place to look for Mother's Day gifts -- the company currently offers a wide variety of fun and funny slogan shirts, including, "Raising kids is a walk in the park... Jurassic Park" and "Alexa, find my kids." Prices ranges from $18 to $25, but promo code CNETMTHR will knock $5 off any style.

Read more: 8 best clothing subscriptions boxes for 2021


Required in some states (though check the current pandemic-specific laws) and helpful to the environment in all of them, reusable grocery bags are as practical as they are handy. This gift set of five bags stays in its own small clip-on bag, which allows them to be plucked out one at a time as needed. And they're machine-washable -- which is something your mom should definitely be doing between grocery runs.

Read more: Our favorite reusable grocery bags


This is a cool Mother's Day gift idea, an analog alternative to setting timers with Alexa. Most of the time, it's a clock. When you need to set a countdown for 5, 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes, you just turn the hexagon so that number is facing up. Presto: instant countdown. After it goes off, or if you want to cancel the timer, you just turn it back to "clock." Cute, fun and available in four different colors.

Read more: Alcohol, beer and wine delivery: How to get alcoholic beverages delivered to your door    

Phone Loops

Something I've used for years, these handy straps (most priced at $7.49) loop through Mom's phone case so it's easy to keep a good grip -- and so the phone is more comfortable to hold for long stretches. There are lots of designs and colors to choose from, and shipping is free if you order three (which would still keep you under $25).

Another option: My own mom is a huge fan of the Phone Leashes (also $7.49 each), which adds a wrist strap to the bottom of the phone. It, too, is compatible with just about every phone and case.

Read more: Best cheap wireless noise-canceling headphones to buy in 2020


I've long felt that Tile trackers make a great gift, especially now that they have improved range and replaceable batteries. No more misplaced keys! (Or misplaced phone; the Tile works in both directions.)

Alas, Tile no longer stocks the colorful Limited Edition Tile Mates from last year. But even though these standard versions are just boring white, they're still incredibly practical.

Read more: A bread baker's 10 essential tools

Have you found any other great mom gifts for $25 or less? Tell me about them in the comments!

This article was published earlier in the week. 

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