We know, we know: “Valentine’s Day was invented by Hallmark to sell cards!!” But this year, take a breath, log off Twitter, and accept the fact that Valentine’s Day is happening whether you like it or not—so you might as well embrace it. Now, if you’re griping because it feels like you just spent your entire life savings on gifts for the holidays, and now it seems like you’ve got to drop another rent check on a gift for your SO on a made-up holiday, chill! There are plenty of Valentine's Day presents to be found for under a Benjamin that are… thoughtful! Cute! Sexy! Significantly more romantic than the 1998 motion picture You've Got Mail!!
The key to a great Valentine's Day gift idea is that it's gotta be something that shows you care; something that shows you tried; something that shows you’ve been paying attention as your special someone talks you through the finer points of this season of Love Island. You need a gift that says, "I love you even with that, um, adventurous new haircut," and “Yes, dear, I don’t think homebrewing is nerdy at all, and I fully support you putting a five-cubic-foot chest freezer in the middle of our railroad apartment.” And, while a gift like that may seem like a tall order, we’ve got a lil’ secret for you. You can get a perfect V-Day gift for under $100, no matter what kind of boo is the lucky recipient, or whether you've been dating them for two hours or two decades.
From unique bouquets of flowers (and Garfields) to puffy slippers, non-alcoholic aperitifs, and milk frothers, these awesome and affordable Valentine’s Day presents are just what the love doctor ordered.
What, did you expect us to let your boo walk to the corner store in regular shoes? Who's got time for laces? It’s cold outside, and they deserve a veritable puffer jacket for those sweet piggy toes. These house slippers from The North Face have a 4.7-star average rating on Amazon, and with one reviewer writing that they’re “warm, pretty grippy, with a soft but very well-built feel” and don’t “create a sweat chamber” for your feet.
They’re an acupuncture nerd
One of our writers has this acupressure mat from Standard Dose, and won’t stop talking about how it makes her feel more alive in the mornings, evenings, and whenever she needs to feel the all-over tingles from its stimulating prongs. Just recline on the mat (she started out with five minutes and worked her way up to twenty) and enjoy the ~ascent~.
You met your partner at a Hot Topic
Remember when MGK proposed to his dream girl with a ring adorned with thorns? Anways. When it comes to displays of affection between you and your forever-crush, love doesn't have to be so painful, though it can still be a little… edgy. The sterling-silver Barbed Wire Ring is an adjustable, unisex piece of jewelry that feels decidedly un-cheesy, and nothing like a generic heart necklace from Pandora.
Sweet dreams are made of this (literally)
Who knows what your lover sees when they close their eyes? Well, give them Lunya's washable silk weighted sleep mask, and it very well may be something straight of a Fabio-fronted romance novel. Also a great gift for a partner who always complains that your curtains aren't adequately blackout.
Give your SO a breather
When it comes to giving men undies, VICE writer Adam Rothbarth says these Lululemon (yes, Lululemon) trunks don’t mess around, and gave them a glowing review. As Rothbarth writes, “They’re made with modal fabric, and are sweat-wicking and breathable. When I finally tried them on, it was like slipping into satin sheets that you can stay in all day.”
A sober night in that's still sexy
Looking to have a booze-free V-Day? Top it off with Ghia, the earthy, refreshing, non-alcoholic aperitif that we can’t stop sipping, mixing, and talking our friends’ ears off about. One of our editors really loves this stuff, writing that “If you frequent cocktail bars and enjoy anything in the Campari-fernet family, Ghia may very well be the non-alcoholic aperitif for you.”
This shrimp cocktail glass and dildo duo (specifically)
This gorgeous shrimp-core glass comes to us from Maison Balzac, and gifting your SO one of the crustacean-encrusted coupes is the perfect excuse to a) guzzle down more Champagne and b) shrimp cocktails. The fact that it matches one of our editor’s favorite textured tentacle dildos is more than mere serendipity. It’s a V-Day blessing.
If they drink booze in the shower
Ahhhhhhhh. Nothing like sipping an ice cold brewskie/La Croix/natural wine while sudsing our worries away. Mom always told us that drinking in the shower was reckless, but that was before the invention of this all-drink-holder apparatus. Give this to your lover with their favorite libation, and they’ll know you not only love them, you get them.
For your heart-shaped box, as it were
Turn V-Day to A-Day with this ass-happy pleasure kit, aptly called “Booty Nights.” It comes from Unbound Babes, one of our favorite new sex toy slingers, and contains Shimmy, a medium-size vibrating butt plug that allows for hands-free anal stimulation; Gem, a sleek, curved, dual-ended glass dildo that one of our editors swears by; and Jelly, a lovely water-based lube perfect for use with most toys or condoms. Enjoy, lovebirds.
Couple’s sex toys are the tits, and Tracy’s Dog makes a vibrating, textured cock ring that comes with its own remote control so that your boo and you can edge each other to Orgasm Town at the push of a button.
Light their fire
Every crew has one: The gorpcore couple that eventually wants to move out of NYC, tend to chickens upstate, and start making ceramic blob mugs. If you’re one-half of such an outdoorsy duo, your beloved will go wild for Solo Stove’s Mesa tabletop firepit, which VICE writer Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp reviewed (and loved) for its “truly idiot-proof” assembly and near-smokeless chops. Pair it with a s’mores kit, and you’re golden.
For the plant parents (and leather daddies)
Does their pothos need a little visual zhuzh? Give your partner a BDSM plant holder that says, “Not only do I have a ~phat~ green thumb, but a fat [redacted].”
The key to your heart
Not quite ready to hand over the keys to the apartment? No sweat. The fine Brooklyn jewlers at Catbird have made a delicate, engraveable key charm that will help show your boo that you love them, and help you run away from commitment. Three cheers for non-corny jewelry, mate.
Electric blankets are legit amazing
They aren’t just something for your aunt who collects the syrups from IHOP to keep in her basement (we love her; can you tell her we called?). They’re also a great V-Day gift for your lovable, discerning, Always Cold Person who wants to come home, plug in, and tune out on the couch with a blanket that feels like a cashmere-wrapped sun. One of our editors tested a Sunbeam Electric Blanket, and said the brand’s electric sherpa throws are one of her winter staples because “they’re affordable, they turn off automatically so you don’t have to worry about burning down your apartment, and they make your winter wind-down routine so much more relaxing.”
For the partner who loves their pet more than they love you (which is fine)
Look, there's a reason why dogs are man/woman/person's best friend; they love unconditionally, they're fiercely loyal, and they don't talk. We get it, and we know there's no better way to a person's heart than through incessantly complimenting their pet—which is why a custom sweatshirt emblazoned with an embroidered image of their furry homie is always an A+ gift choice.
… And the one who definitely loves Nathan more than you
Hey, it’s not his fault that he graduated from business school with really good grades. Give your Nathan for You-obsessed partner an extra soft T-shirt and “Nathan facial” mug to help them prove their fealty.
A super-sharp chef's knife
If there's one thing every home cook needs, it's a super-sharp, all-purpose knife for making easy, precise cuts, slices, and chops. The MUNCHIES team loves Misen's minimalist-cool, always-precise chef's knife, and there's something both practical and slightly psychosexual-hot about giving your partner a knife as a gift.
For the serious fro-yo heads
If you've never dated someone with an extreme ice cream addiction, well, then, I guess you've never dated me. And while constantly hitting the scoop shop can be fun, making your own ice cream and frozen yogurt isn't only DIY-money-saving, it's also a real cute couples' activity. Cuisinart's 1.5-quart ice cream maker has over 22,500 (mostly glowing) Amazon reviews, with happy buyers praising its user-friendliness, smart features, and ability to churn out perfect stuff every time.
Grateful Dead truffles
There's a generic box of cheap milk chocolate that you clearly picked up at CVS the day of—which, uh, thought that counts?—and then there’s Vosges, which makes some of the best Valentine’s Day chocolates and truffles in the game, including this [rips bong] assortment of Jerry Time bonbons, a.k.a the perfect gift for the Grateful Dead fan in your life. The cosmic box was inspired by Vosges founder Katrina Markoff’s personal love for the Dead, and while every one of the chocolates tastes the way this 1974 version of “China Cat Sunflower” sounds, we have extra gratitude for the Tennessee Jam truffle.
For the boo who says every season is iced coffee season
There is a special highly committed segment of the population for whom cold brew is a daily must-have, whether they're waking up to the merciless August sun or an incoming blizzard warning. The cult-fave, top-rated OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker is here for their coffee-lover needs, and their needs specifically, so a chilly, bitter glass of goodness is only minutes away.
… Or for the latte lords
If you've been anywhere near coffee TikTok lately, you've probably noticed that personal milk frothers are clutch, highly coveted mini appliances. And for good reason; there's nothing quite like a frothy cappuccino topped with the ideal head of creamy foam. Just don't blame us if your beloved starts making 'Toks when you gift them Kalork's solid five-star Bartista Automatic Milk Frother.
For the crystal queens who always know your horoscope…
Alright, so not all of us understand why we're supposed to be charging certain stones under the full moon or whatever—but one thing we can all agree on (whether your shopping for a specific zodiac sign or not) is that it feels really nice to put cold, smooth stuff on your face, which is where this vibey rose quartz mask comes in. It makes no promises about your future or the whims of the planets, but it can help to reduce puffiness, minimize dark circles, alleviate headaches, and make you feel good after a night of heavy drinking. Plus, it'll last way longer than cucumber slices.
Have love, will travel
For the SO that travels a lot, the gift of a smart luggage set with a three-in-one cup holder/phone holder/USB port, a.k.a., a stress-free foray through an airport terminal or Penn Station, is about as sexy as it gets. “[I] get compliments at the airport all the time,” one reviewer wrote about this Wrangler Smart Luggage Set. “[It’s] strong enough I can sit down on it in a long line, LOVE my cup holder.” Yep—they can hit the Starbucks kiosk and glide through JFK with their chai in tow hands-free.
Lean into the holiday
Don’t be a Valentine’s Day Grinch: Buy your SO flowers and enjoy the company of your loved one(s). Urban Stems is one of our favorite online flower shops, and The Verona (a bouquet named after the town where Shakespeare’s infamous Romeo and Juliet takes place—make sure to mention that when gifting to your bardcore baddie), is a beautiful arrangement that features lush roses, delicate spray roses, and hypericum berries.
You can even order fresh roses on Amazon, and suprise your buttercup with two dozen technicolor roses that will make them say, “I do (want to watch Godspell).”
And finally, a Garfield Bouquet
You've made it this far down the list, and perhaps nothing has quite spoken to the unique personality of the object of your affection. In that case, might we suggest this bouquet of plush, bootleg Garfields? It speaks everything you need to say, in a language of love in which not all are fluent—but for the right freaky person, it's gonna hit the nail on the head. You're welcome.
Happy V-Day, folks. Y’all deserve it.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.