Remember how supply chain issues were funking up your online shopping during the holidays? Well, the same goes for online shopping in preparation for Valentine’s Day 2022, which means you should order those salted caramels and blown-glass dildos sooner, rather than later, to make sure your sweetheart—be it your lover, BFF, or the tortured sea captain ghost in your pantry—is not disappointed this year. You also need to make sure that you don’t end up spending an unnecessary amount of your hard-earned money on a gift that overcompensates for the fact that you forgot (again). Sheesh!
While we’re rooting for you everyday, we’re going especially hard to find you Valentine’s Day gifts under $50 this year. Times have been tough lately, and we are unabashedly jazzed to throw some Dolly Parton on the record player, pop a bottle of Whispering Angel, and raise a glass to love—without breaking the bank. That’s why we’ve rolled up our velvet sleeves to bring you affordable gifts that feel unique, will actually arrive in time, and will sweep your buddy/beloved/frenemy off their feet. Whether you’d like hand-poured erotic massage candles, Japanese Kit Kat samplers, cozy scarves, red velvet cheesecake balls, or something else entirely, here are the best Valentine’s Day presents under $50 that will kick your lover’s butt (in a hot way).
Tried and true
It’s a cliche for a reason, folks: You literally can’t go wrong with chocolates in a heart-shaped box. “THANK GOD, it’s a Knipschildt!,” they’ll moan before popping one of these dark chocolate caramels with Hawaiian sea salt in their mouth, courtesy of your mutual, undying affection for the European chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt. From elderflower jam with milk chocolate ganache to [takes a deep breath] rosemary-infused caramel with milk chocolate and mushroom salt, this is a smorg’ of the unordinary in a classically sweet heart-shaped box.
Tom of Finland comics and Salvador Dalí’s recipes
ICYMI, TASCHEN is throwing its massive annual sale, and slashing prices on some of our favorite art books for placing on the coffee table and impressing house guests. What better way to celebrate V-Day, leather chaps, and gay sex than with the complete comics of Tom of Finland or Salvador Dalí's decadent Les dîners de Gala?
Send them an old-fashioned telegram
Attention, people who own mustache wax! Did you know you can still send telegrams? The Telegram Stop makes it super easy, and they’ll even give you a preview of your telegram before they print and post it.
You’re really running out of ideas
We get it, it’s been a mentally taxing couple of years. This Valentine’s Day, let someone else curate your gift spread for you with a gift basket for every kind of Valentine, from the nut-lover to that hot girl who’s obsessed with sloths. The folks at 1-800 Baskets have seen it all, and know what they’re doing.
Spray your bad boy
Maybe your mans isn’t that keen on cologne, in which case Carolina Herrera has crafted the perfect deodorant-fragrance combo. It includes notes of black and white pepper, blended with Italian green bergamot, cedarwood, and sage—and best of all, it's called Bad Boy.
Candles you can also use for an X-rated massage
Massage candles kind of put in the work for you when it comes to spicing things up in le bedroom. They start off innocently enough as a massage aid, but can easily be used for kinky wax and temperature play. Maude’s trio of massage candles are all hand-poured and made of skin-softening jojoba oil, and come in a range of fragrances that includes a clean, unscented candle; one with warming notes of amber, cedar leaf, and lemongrass; and another that smells “like a weekend morning with warm sun and soft sheets.” Hot.
Nothing is hotter than paella
Who says you can’t go to Spain this V-Day? Present your love with a paella pan to signify the power and spice of your love, and guzzle down an entire family of mussels for posterity.
They are daddy
“Made me an official daddy,” declares one reviewer. Would a serif font lie? Never.
Handcuffs that double as jewelry
Was Unbound Babes’ aesthetic designed by the creators of Euphoria? The sexual wellness company is just that effortlessly cool and edgy. These delicate handcuffs double as bangles, and the gold style is actually plated with 18K gold.
Heart-shaped waffle maker
You’re making… waffles? [Slides off chair.] A heart-shaped waffle maker is more than just a romantic appliance—it’s a symbol of commitment. It’s something that says, “I love you, and I want to make waffles for you each morning, forever.” (Added bonus: You get to eat waffles.)
Every rose has its thorn…
… And every scarf has its rose at
American Los Angeles Apparel, where the folks are making sure you can wear romance on your sleeve—and around your neck.
A comfy, wearable blanket
Look, a dinner at a nice restaurant is cute and all, but you know what’s truly romantic? Loafing on the couch for 36 hours and watching six different Ken Burns documentaries, all while swaddled in this comfortable, wearable blanket.
They are your shiny golden god
Perfect for recreating your own at-home Eyes Wide Shut moment this V-Day. Just add a hooded velvet cape, and Tom Cruise’s elevator shoes.
Say ILY with cake
New York City’s Milk Bar is famous for coming up with treats that have a nostalgic twist, often from the cereal aisle, and their special red velvet cheesecake truffles hit the perfect note for a more lowkey V-Day picnic.
The gift of a daily shiatsu massage
The one deep-tissue back and neck massager to rule them all. This portable shiatsu machine has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and over 35,000 reviews praising its almost magical ability to work out your kinks. “Love is not a strong enough word,” writes one reviewer, “WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT!?! I use it for my entire body- feet, calves, thighs, lower back, upper back, neck. My husband is actually jealous of this thing (I've named him Tyrone). Bottom line, YOU NEED THIS!!!!” Yes, yes we do.
A bouquet of Japanese Kit Kats
Umamicart curates an incredible selection of Asian groceries and snacks, and they’ve assembled some *chef’s kiss* themed gift boxes just in time for Valentine’s Day. But if your budget is under $50, their Japanese KitKat sampler is a total delight, with flavors including orange chocolate, graham cracker, matcha, and more.
Because you don't have to be a "foot guy" to know that feet deserve pampering
These heatable, aromatherapeutic slippers are the closest they’ll come to wrapping their feet in a lavender field. “I can't wait to come home and dive into my favorite slippers,” writes one Amazon reviewer of these microwaveable slippers, while another says they’re “excellent for arthritis or just daily muscle pain.” Bonus points for looking like something from a 2000s music video.
For the plant-obsessed lover
We’ve known that plants have feelings ever since we read about their secret lives, and we’ve seen enough Planet Earth time lapses to know that their leaves groove around, too. But did you know there’s a plant that will actually flap and close up its little leaves the moment you give it a tickle? Its Latin name is Mimosa Pudica, but it’s commonly known as the Sensitive Plant, or in this case of this clever marketing, the “Tickle Me Plant.” According to one of our editors it can be a little ~temperamental~ and needs a lot of attention, but isn’t that the point? Even the most discerning of plant parents will make this their new favorite child.
We wish this linen, aromatherapy eye pillow by BODHA was a couch—it’s just that relaxing and comfortable. For now, it will just have to be a couch for our eyes/Bratz Dolls.
CBD gummies to Willy their Wonka
This elegantly packaged, limited-edition V-Day coffret [winks in aristocrat] is filled with lightly tart passion-fruit- and raspberry-flavored CBD gumdrops that will make your Valentine swoon to the moon.
Gold star for you, our funny Valentine.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.