10 Best Practical Gift Ideas for 2021

  • Don’t know if your gift will impress?
  • Not sure if your recipient will appreciate your gift?
  • Afraid that the quality of your gift will not be up to your expectations?

Spend less time thinking about what they might like and just get them a quality, practical gift that works. In this guide, we have listed down 10 gifts that are practical, readily available, and affordable.

What makes a gift practical?

Let’s go back to human basics: At the bottom of Maslow’s Hiearchy of Needs, we have physiological needs such as air, food, clothes, sleep, shelter & water. In our opinion, gifts that cover these needs or provide a quality-of-life improvement, we can pretty much consider them to be “practical”.

The Gift of Air.

I know what you’re thinking: air is free to breathe so what’s there to gift?

Air pollution is a serious issue in any developing nation. Malaysia’s air ranked 58th most polluted in the world in 2020 and while it’s poised to improve in the future, there are still things we can do to mitigate the effects of air pollution on our health.

Gift #1: A Gym Membership ($-$$)​

Compared to working out outdoors, an indoor gym membership not only mitigates the exposure to polluted air but serves to encourage a healthier lifestyle for your recipient. You can also consider getting both yourself and your recipient a gym membership as working out with a partner will improve the chances of successfully completing a weight-loss program. Gyms will tend to offer gym memberships discounts nearing the end of the year so be sure to check out the gyms in your area.

Gift #2: Face Mask… Accessories ($)

Face masking isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, especially with the new Omicron variant popping up. Everyone already has a face mask nowadays so it’s not that impressive to gift them a box of face masks anymore. However, there are accessories that could make masking up a little more fun or easier. There are face mask cases for the kids, anti-fog sprays for those struggling with glasses and face mask chains so you don’t have to clumsily put aside your masks when you need to take them off.

The Gift of Food.

Food can be a great gift to anyone, and it’s especially easy to find a great gift if you’re already aware of their interests. Different people like different kinds of foods, but here are some food gifts we think you might not have considered yet.

Gift #3: Amazin’ Grace ($-$)

No, not the song, but the three girls that quit their corporate jobs to create healthier food alternatives for a growing group of urban, ambitious & conscious communities. Amazin’ Grace started by producing high quality, fresh granolas and nut mixes and still does until today. They have found great success with their products and are loved by end consumers and corporate giants alike.

Gift #4: Perk Coffee ($)

For the coffee lovers, you might have already heard of Perk Coffee. They provide coffee roasted in Singapore, so it arrives really fresh in Malaysia. They have Christmas bundles going on now and you can get 30% off your first order + free shipping when you subscribe to their email list.

Special shoutout to discovercoffee.co too as they are a local coffee roastery. Their coffee is a tad pricier than Perk but it reflects in the quality of their coffee.

Gift #5: Jobbie ($)

Jobbie is a really fun brand and hard to miss, especially if you’ve been on social media for a while. They might only sell peanut butter, but they do a really good job at making and selling it. They are 100% local with thousands of 5-star reviews across all their social media and e-commerce platforms. They’ve currently got gift sets to get your friends and family into the peanut butter scene.

The Gift of Shelter.

Two facts: (1) We all need a roof over our heads and (2) we are not a real estate company. We aren’t able to recommend any properties as a gift to others and most of us aren’t able to afford the luxury of being able to buy houses for our loved ones every year anyways. However, there are always times when you need shelter from harsh weather, especially in Malaysia.

Gift #6: Blunt Umbrellas ($$$)

An umbrella? Really? How special could it be? Well, how about the world’s strongest umbrella? Blunt Umbrellas were designed to last without compromising style and function. Blunt Umbrellas can withstand Category 1 hurricanes (115km/h) though that wouldn’t be much of an issue in Malaysia since we don’t get many hurricanes. But still, it’s great to know that you have something really reliable around.

The Gift of Sleep.

Sleep is often overlooked by many. A lot of issues in life can be solved with a good night’s sleep but that’s not always easily attainable. Sleep is really important for physical and mental health, so investing in sleep is always a step in a good direction.

Gift #7: Weighted Blankets ($$-$$$)

Have you ever wondered why hugging someone, or even laying something heavy on top of yourself (like a lead jacket when getting ready for an X-ray) makes you feel calm? It’s all about proprioceptive input, which is a concept used by weighted blankets. Essentially, proprioception provides your brain information about where you are in space, allowing it to rest and unwind. Weighted blankets overall help people relax and sleep better.

The concept and product are good, but be careful of where you get your blanket from. We found a local brand that sells weighted blankets called Sloth Blanket but the review section feels a little off. We would recommend buying from a more trusted brand such as SONNO’s Huggy Blanket or from Spotlight.

Gift #8: Pet Beds ($-$$)

Do you know someone who loves their pets to death? We personally know of a few friends who love pets more than they do humans and would do anything in the world to keep their pets as happy as possible. Just like humans, pets will really appreciate it if they could get a good night’s rest too. Brooklyn is a trusted boutique pet store and in there you can find deep sleep cat beds and dog beds that help with your pet’s anxiety. If you know someone who really loves their pets, get this for them. They and their pet will love you for it.

The Gift of Water.

The human body will cease to function without water. Water is even more essential than food for survival but yet 80% of us don’t consume enough water a day. There are so many benefits to consuming enough water and there are literally no downsides to staying hydrated. If you are looking for a truly practical gift, this is it.

Gift #9: Botella Vacuum Flasks ($)

Botellas are premium quality bottles without the premium price tag. They can be custom engraved with a name because of its environmentally friendly powder coating. Botellas also feature a wide-mouth design that makes it super-easy to refill with water and large ice cubes. 

It’s time to upgrade from a standard plastic bottle to something with style and more functionality. Botellas feature interchangeable lids and capacities: meaning that there is a bottle for every occasion.

As every asian mum would say: Drink more water!

The Last Resort Gift: MONEY

There isn’t really much to say here honestly. If you really can’t decide on a gift, you cannot go wrong with money. It’s a little less emotional than getting them a real gift, but hey, it’s practical. You can choose to do it the old fashioned way of ang pows and duit rayas or just wire them some money through e-wallets or interbank transfers.

Gift #10: A Gift For The Less Fortunate

Since we’re on the topic of money, do consider giving a gift to the less fortunate. Covid has been really rough for those not in the top 0.01% of society. You can choose to support local businesses in these trying times or donate to a greater cause like funding medical equipment to battle covid. There are a lot of causes that need your help, you just have to identify one that is aligned with your beliefs.

Some final words about gifting:

Ultimately your gift conveys your intent. What you give to others can be a reflection of what you think of them, or what you think will suit them well. Don’t get too hasty and spend some time to think it through before deciding on that special gift.


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