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Teachers deserve special appreciation this holiday season. From wrangling upwards of 20 kids at a time to teaching a number of different subjects, it can be a thankless job. But late nights spent grading papers can be made better with a special gift, a thank you from students and their . We polled real teachers for grades K-12, consulted our lists of the best gifts for men and women, and gathered some of our top-tested products to provide plenty of ideas for ways to show you care.
Here are the 25 best gifts for teachers this year:
1. For the teacher who's constantly distracted: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug
With more than 20 students in a class, a teacher is lucky to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea when it's actually hot. Instead, they're pulled in a number of directions to answer questions, tie shoes, and hand out assignments—their much-needed caffeine boost cooling down more every minute. With the stainless steel Ember mug, they can keep that cup of coffee set to a specific temperature for hours, adjusting it via their phone as needed, and even receiving reminder notifications of its status within the app.
2. For the teacher with a library: Knock Knock Personal Library Kit
Teachers with their own personal classroom libraries will love having a way to keep track of their books. This personal library kit features 20 self-adhesive pockets and checkout cards, plus a date stamp and ink pad to make it official. Students will love borrowing new books, and teachers will appreciate having a system to make sure they're returned in a timely fashion.
3. For the teacher with a green thumb: The Sill ZZ Plant
We fell in love with a ZZ plant from The Sill, an online plant retailer that offers helpful resources and trendy planters, and would recommend it as a low-maintenance gift to anyone on our list. But for a teacher, it's the gift that keeps on giving. It will look attractive on her desk, brightening up the classroom this winter. And when it comes to watering and general care, it becomes a learning opportunity for students. Think of it as the class pet that won't bite.
4. For the teacher who needs a helper: Amazon Echo Dot
A more compact version of the popular Amazon Echo, the Amazon Echo Dot is a small smart speaker that can be mighty helpful for any classroom. Teachers can ask her to play music, tell jokes, set alarms, set multiple timers, tell stories, spell words, translate, and so much more. Educational, and a fun way to pass the time during indoor recess, the Echo Dot is appreciated by students and teachers alike.
5. For the teacher who loves tea: Fred & Friends Manatea Silicone Tea Infuser
Is your child's teacher always sipping on cups of tea? Treat him to the best tea infuser we've ever tested. This Manatea may look cute, but it's tiny fins actually work well to hold the infuser in place while tea steeps. And its silicone body makes it easy to rinse and clean. Throw in our favorite value electric kettle, the Hamilton Beach 1.7-liter electric kettle, for the total tea package.
6. For the teacher who drinks a lot of coffee: Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper
Don't make your teacher drink old coffee from the teacher's lounge. With our favorite pour-over coffee dripper, they can brew their own cup using high quality beans. We loved the Hario V60 for its extra-large drip hole that made for faster brewing than the other drippers we tested. Want even more java-themed gift ideas? Consider our favorite French press or the best cold brew iced coffee maker we've ever tested.
7. For the teacher who enjoys music: Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Whether your teacher wants to broadcast an educational podcast, or simply listen to tunes on the weekend, the Anker Soundcore 2 portable speaker is a perfect gift. It's small enough to carry in a backpack, but has a sound quality you'd might expect from a more robust product. Plus, it has reliable Bluetooth connectivity. At less than $50, it's our favorite cheap portable speaker for a reason.
8. For the teacher who packs a lunch: Monbento Original Bento Box
While we've dubbed the Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler our favorite lunch cooler in testing for its utility, we can't help but swoon over the adorable Monbento bento box for packing lunches. Since teachers aren't usually able to head off campus for their midday meal, everyone will appreciate a better way to store their food from home. We love the Monbento for its ability to keep foods separate (even hot and cold foods!) and pack up neatly at the end of the meal.
9. For the teacher who stays hydrated: Hydro Flask 18-Ounce Water Bottle
Teachers spend most of their days talking to students, a lot of time while also on their feet. Chances are they get a bit parched from time to time. Fortunately, our favorite water bottle can keep water ice cold or coffee piping hot from first bell to dismissal, and its double-walled design will keep condensation from leaking onto that stack of essays on the teacher's desk. Opt for a Hydro Flask in the school colors (and consider personalizing it to go the extra mile).
10. For the teacher who stands all day: Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
When it comes to being on your feet all day, comfortable shoes can only do so much. A quality standing mat can give a teacher some sweet relief as they head into period after period of writing math equations on the board. This Royal mat was our best value pick after months of testing—it provides tons of cushion and it won't slide around underfoot.
11. For the teacher who wants a smarter classroom: Eufy Smart Plug
Teachers who aren't satisfied until everyone is smarter will love incorporating a smart plug into their classroom. Our best value pick has great WiFi connectivity, and it's compact enough to not block an adjacent socket, which is important in a classroom where space is at a premium. Teachers can use it to interface with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, or set it up to automate lights or other electronics.
12. For the teacher who cares about the environment: Hummingbird Glass Straws
A new set of reusable straws can show your biology teacher you care about her and the environment. Since the overly saturated reusable straw market can be difficult to navigate, we tested a number of top products and found that the Hummingbird glass straws were the best around. They're bent for easy sipping and won't give off any metallic taste as you're drinking. Plus, they're dishwasher-safe and recyclable, earning an A+ in sustainability.
13. For the teacher who likes to cook: Home Chef
While we wouldn't recommend showing up at your teacher's house to help with dinner (seriously, they've seen enough of you this week), you can lend a helping hand with a gifted subscription to Home Chef, our favorite meal kit delivery service. With high-quality ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, Home Chef is perfect for the busy home cook who still wants to eat healthy. Teachers will appreciate having grocery shopping time back to work on their curriculum.
14. For the teacher who commutes: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug
When we were testing travel mugs, our tester accidentally left a Zojirushi full of hot coffee in the car overnight and it was still piping hot the next day. So it's ready to go the distance for the teacher who leaves their house at the crack of dawn and still wants hot coffee as a midday pick-me-up. Plus, its sleek design fit into any cupholder, messenger bag, or backpack with ease.
15. For the teacher who loves vocabulary: Bananagrams
There's a great chance your teacher is a fan of word games. They decided to dedicate their life's work to school, after all. No matter what subject they teach, they're sure to enjoy a rousing game of Bananagrams, essentially a build-your-own-crossword game that has you racing fellow competitors to use up your letters first. And, if it's been a long week, there's also an option for solitary play if they need some quiet time.
16. For the teacher who needs to relax: InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
A daily massage may not be in the cards for your kid's favorite teacher, but with our favorite essential oil diffuser, they can bring the spa to them after a long day. A steal at less than $15, this diffuser passed our testing with flying colors—literally. In addition to diffusing calming essential oil mists into the air, it can cycle through a number of soothing colors to really set the mood.
17. For the teacher who takes work home: Kate Spade 13" Laptop Sleeve
No one likes taking work home with them, but for teachers, it's part of the gig. With our favorite laptop sleeve, at least they can tote their computer in style. In addition to its stylish design, it withstood our assaults with scissors and water, proving that it was as much about function as it was about fashion. There may be cheaper sleeves on the market, but this is one your teacher will cherish for years to come.
18. For the teacher who's running low on essentials: School Supplies
When we polled teachers about their wish lists for the holidays, school supplies topped every list. Since most teachers have to fund basic classroom necessities out of their own pockets, gifts of dry erase markers like the top-rated Expo brand, and pencils (we hear great things about Ticonderoga) will go a long way. And since no classroom can have too many tissues on hand during cold and flu season, we recommend picking up a pack of our top-tested option, Puffs Ultra Soft.
- Get Puffs Ultra Soft Facial Tissues, 4 Cubes, on Amazon for $6.49
- Get Expo Dry Erase Markers, 16-Count, on Amazon for $11.88
19. For the teacher who likes capturing special moments: Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
Classrooms may be primarily digital these days, but parents will always appreciate actual photos of their little ones performing in a school play or presenting a project to the class. With our best value instant camera, teachers will love the ability to capture special moments in the classroom, and document their summer vacation travels when they're off the clock. The Instax Mini 9 is easy to use and comes in a number of fun colors.
20. For the teacher who needs some shut-eye: Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask
Teachers' days start early, which means early to bed if they have any chance of getting through lesson plans. Give them a helping hand with our favorite contoured sleep mask, one that can help block out light without sacrificing comfort. Its design makes sure you can still blink while it's on, and its adjustable Velcro strap means it's the perfect fit for every teacher on your list.
21. For the teacher who sends notes home: Custom Stamp Gift Set
If your child's teacher is one who still sends home memos to parents, they'll love a custom stamp they can design to announce it's coming "From the Desk of ___." With this custom stamp gift set from Paper Source (one of our favorite gifts to give), they can redeem the included free stamp voucher with their own personalized design for stationery, return address labels, or even classroom books.
22. For the teacher who likes accessories: Leather Pouch Wallet
Since many teachers end up carting around tote bags full of gear like laptops, papers to grade, papers that have been graded, lunch boxes, books, and the like, they'll appreciate a way to ditch a purse and keep all their important cards and cash in one pocket-sized place. This leather wallet from Madewell is highly rated for its soft material, and the option to monogram makes it a perfect gift.
23. For the teacher who needs a spa day: Capri Blue Volcano candle
Help your teacher zen out with one of the most popular (and soothing) candles out there. The Capri Blue Volcano candle has gained a cult following for its tropical scent of citrus and sugar, and the iconic blue design will be a welcome addition to any room of their home. Plus, with 85 hours of burn time, your favorite teacher can rely on it to get her through finals.
24. For the teacher who likes to craft: Cricut Explore Air 2
Whether you're looking for a more big-ticket item for a group gift from the entire class, or you're searching for a special gift for your loved one who happens to be a teacher, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the answer. Teachers can use the Cricut to decorate their bulletin boards, make stickers, and design paper projects for the class. Plus, with Bluetooth connectivity, wireless cutting is a breeze. Trust us, this gift will make them the envy of the teacher's lounge.
25. For any teacher: Woodland Animals Holiday Card Pack
Every teacher we polled about memorable gifts from students said that a hand-written thank-you was worth its weight in gold, something that was likely to be cherished for years to come. Between budget cuts and tough standardized testing benchmarks, teachers can have it rough, but knowing that students are learning and growing under their direction can make it worth it. These adorable and punny cards will be appreciated by teachers at any grade level who could use some holiday cheer.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: Best teacher gifts: 25 gift ideas for the teachers in your life