Who else has a hard time sticking to a budget during the holidays? It seems like the costs rack up before you know it — no matter how hard you try.
The problem is that most new tech gadgets come with a high price tag. If you have a few on your list, the cost can add up quickly. Add in a few of the year’s hottest toys and you’ll be way over budget, leaving little room in your wallet for smaller gifts.
Luckily, we’re here to help you out with your holiday budgeting needs. There are plenty of tech gifts on this list, and none of them will cost you more than $20. From cute cell phone stands to sleep headphones, these geeky gifts are the perfect way to fill stockings, stuff boxes and give gifts to your loved ones, all without breaking the bank.
1. Surprise your tech lovers with this fun cell phone stand
Looking for a gift for tech lovers? This simple yet functional phone holder is a great choice for any tech addict. Made out of natural bamboo, it is light and rigid enough to support your phone while working, watching videos or chatting on FaceTime. It’s cute, too!
Promising review: “On a whim, I decided to get some funny/silly phone holders since we are all face timing and zooming so much these days. I thought this guy was very cute and his sturdy kick holds my phone just right for video chats! Simple assembly. I should add that I have an iPhone 8 with a protective case and it fits fine in the groove.”
2. Have an Instant Pot fanatic on your list? Surprise them with these Instant Pot Mitts.
Instant Pots are all the rage — and for good reason. They’re super simple to use and make cooking a breeze. If you’ve got an Instant Pot fan on your list, grab these rubber Instant Pot Mitts. This gift is comfortable, useful and will keep burns at bay.
Promising review: “It seemed a bit silly to get “Instant Pot” mitts when I have other silicone ones I use for the oven, but these are fantastic for removing the inner pot from the Instant Pot – my regular silicone ones are thicker and just won’t fit under the inner pot rim like these do. I can get a good grip and not worry about dropping the pot. Because they are thinner I don’t use them for the oven, but for the Instant Pot, these are perfect.”
3. Tired of juggling your iPad? Get this pillow for your tablet.
If you’re attached to your iPad or tablet, you know the pain you can get in your arm after a while. This pillow for your tablet will help stabilize your tablet and keep arm pain away. You can use it anywhere!
Promising review: “I’ve been using this several weeks and really like it. I have arthritis in my hands and this relieves having to hold my Kindle all the time. Its small size makes it easy to take along wherever I go. But it still works with the case I have and in either vertical or horizontal orientation.”
4. Mr. Spock fans will love this Star Trek Cats book.
Know any “Star Trek” fans? If so, check out this Star Trek Cats book. Illustrator Jenny Parks created it as a vivid homage to the original “Star Trek” series with an unexpected twist: a cast of cats. It’s the perfect gift for Trekkies and cats.
Promising review: “Love this book. The cariCATures are so cute and repliCATe many popular scenes from the TOS. I’ve also purchased her posters with TOS and TNG cariCATures on them. Hope to see some DS9 and Voyager someday too.”
5. Looking for stocking stuffers? Check out this small but powerful portable charger.
If you need stocking stuffers, this small but powerful portable charger fits perfectly into a stocking. It also fits any pocket or bag so that it can be taken on a plane, used on a couch or anywhere else you might need it. This one comes in just over our $20 limit, but it’s totally worth it.
Promising review: “I’ve had this power cell for almost 1 year. I am very impressed that even sitting without use and in a hot car, this thing still worked great. I feel like it was definitely worth the money and am so glad I bought it.”
6. Another cute stocking stuffer? These memory mints.
Know someone forgetful? These memory mints for senior moments are a great gag gift for friends or family. The tin is hilarious!
Promising review: “These are a great gag gift. Old folks just nod knowingly. If you open them, just throw away the mints and replace them with Altoids or jelly beans or something else. The taste is overwhelming.”
7. Tuck this personal water filter into any outdoor lover’s stocking.
If you’ve got a hiker or biker on your list, this personal water filter is perfect for tucking in their stocking. It filters up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water to make it safe to drink. It’s a great tool to keep in backpacks and cars, too.
Promising review: “I’ve used these both in Iraq & Afghanistan. Works as advertised. Extremely reliable and genuinely safe to use filtration system. We now use it as a SOP to have one in everyone’s ruck when we deploy! Semper Fi.”
8. Nerd out with these floppy disk coasters.
The nostalgia factor is real with these floppy disk coasters. They look just like the old floppy disks you used to use — but they’ll keep your end tables and furniture safe from watermarks. They’re even anatomically correct! You can use a Sharpie to personalize them, too.
Promising review: “They’re the perfect addition for a geeky/tech kind of person as a coaster. I love them and my friends find them highly amusing. Especially as a college student, these make excellent coasters. Also, since they’re made of silicon, it’s great to not worry about breaking them if they fall off a table.”
9. Have a kid who’s scared of the dark? Get them this motion-activated toilet light.
Don’t like flipping on the bathroom lights in the middle of the night? Get one of these motion-activated toilet light sensors instead. It automatically turns on when it senses motion, and it automatically turns off, too. It’s a great gift for kids scared of the dark or for anyone else on the list.
Promising review: “A genius invention. It has a sensor that lights up when it senses movement. I no longer have to leave the bathroom lights on in my kid’s room. And less mess on the toilet seats and floor!”
10. Keep your family and friends in touch with this bracelet charger.
Know someone whose phone is always low on battery? This bracelet charger is a great gift for them. It’s a stylish leather bracelet that can also be used as a USB cable charger when you need it. Pretty easy!
Promising review: “I was a bit skeptical, but for that low price thought I’d give it a shot. Works great. Very short for length for connecting a phone, but it’s a bracelet so that’s expected. I actually used it the very first time I wore it on a business trip, came in handy!”
The Blade Hawks RGB Gaming Headphone Display stand is a cool gift for the gamer in your family. This stand keeps headphones safe from drops or falls when not in use, and it keeps your desk tidy, too.
Promising review: “Perfect addition to my gaming setup! Previously used an under desk headset stand and my dogs would constantly get tangled in the headset cables. This headset stand solves my problems by getting my headset on a stand on my desk. Love the fact that it has a couple of USB ports on the side to charge other devices, and what gamer doesn’t love some RGB?”
12. Grab this tablet stand to go with the new iPads or Kindles under the tree.
Worried about damage to those new gadgets under the tree? Grab this tablet stand as an accompanying gift. The anti-slip and scratch silicone pad supports tablets to prevent drops or falls, and the charging point makes it easy to stay charged, too.
Promising review: “I was worried this wouldn’t be enough for my IPad Pro 12.9 but it does great! It doesn’t move when I tap and it can be adjusted perpendicularly without falling over. Much better than the cheaper collapsible one I had and great for watching movies/shows in bed.”
13. Golfers will love these funny emoji golf balls.
Is golf an emotional experience for your friends or loved ones? Add to the fun with these silly emoji golf balls. They’re the perfect gag gift for your favorite golfer.
Promising review: “I bought this as a gift for a friend who is a big golfer. It gave him a huge laugh and giggles and he had no problem finding his ball on the golf course!”
14. Surprise your math lovers with this math wall clock.
Looking for a unique gift for a math teacher or engineer? This math wall clock is a fun option. It will look great on any classroom or office wall, too.
Promising review: No reviews yet, but it looks promising!
15. Live long and prosper with Star Trek Captain’s Log.
Another cute stocking stuffer! This Star Trek Captain’s Log gives you plenty of room to log notes, thoughts or journal your innermost secrets. “Star Trek” fans will get a real kick out of it, and so will everyone else, too.
Promising review: “Great little notebook for throwing in my purse. I get a little giggle every time I see it. Best notes are taken while drinking TEA. EARL GREY. HOT.”
16. Another unique gift: this GPS tracker.
Looking for something completely out of the box? Try this GPS tracker, which can be used to track people, cars or assets in real-time. It’s discreet, accurate, and offers the information you’re looking for.
Promising review: “This is an excellent device, accurate, reliable and works great. I found the device and subscription price to be way better than all the other GPS trackers. I had few questions and customer service was great.”
17. A great gag gift for dad. This fanny pack will get some belly laughs this holiday season.
Your dad needs this fanny pack. It’s hilarious and looks just like a real beer gut. The only difference is that it holds phones, keys and other necessary items — not just beer.
Promising review: “Exactly as the picture on the ad shows. Higher quality than I expected! It’s going to make a hysterical white elephant gift this year!”
18. Music fans will drool over this Bluetooth hat.
Forget headphones; this Bluetooth hat is way cooler. Your music fans will love it, and it doesn’t just play your well-cultivated playlists. It also lets you make clear calls without using your hands.
Promising review: “This was a great purchase! Every other Bluetooth hat I’ve bought has been bulky and uncomfortable, but this hat isn’t flashy and provides plenty of warmth. I was skeptical of whether they could deliver on both quality of sound and comfortability, but it absolutely does! Worth every penny.”
19. Take the perfect photos with this tripod.
Struggling to take perfect photos? This tripod can help. It works with Bluetooth and fits any smartphone. It even comes with a remote that works up to 30 feet away.
Promising review: “This tripod is fantastic. I use it to record videos for my Instagram channel and it works perfectly. Super simple to use, and a great size. Very compact so you can throw it in a bag or backpack easily. The remote is a lifesaver. Don’t have to worry about setting a timer, this thing works with my iphone camera and even some apps to start and stop recording. Would highly recommend this product!”
20. Get your geek on with this I ate some Pi mug.
This I ate some Pi mug is a hilarious choice for anyone on your list. It’s a great size, and the pun on the mug will have coworkers or classmates laughing all day long.
Promising review: “This was a gift for my son’s math teacher and he loved it. It’s nicely made and seemed durable. Came packaged nicely too.”
21. These PopSockets are the best way to hold your phone.
Toss a PopSocket or two into the stockings this year. They’re the best way to hold your phone. Anyone can use them — and they’re reusable, too.
Promising review: “I’ve never been disappointed with a Popsocket yet! It’s cute, sturdy and still sticks after multiple placement changes!”
22. Tell everyone how you feel with this clever coffee mug.
Looking for a way to warn people about your coffee intake in the mornings? This clever coffee mug will send the message for you. It’s a great option for any coffee lover in your life.
Promising review: “Good, heavy well-constructed clear glass mug. Got it for the wife because it’s a perfect inscription on the front. She once made me go out into 17 degree Iowa winter to get her coffee and will crush anyone who stands in her way. If that describes you too then this mug might be for you.”
23. Tired of cold coffee? This desk coffee warmer can help.
It doesn’t just warm coffee! You can use this desk coffee warmer to keep any hot drink hot: tea, hot cocoa or that sweet, sweet caffeine. Whatever you need.
Promising review: “Works great! Produces 220+ degrees while drawing approximately 17 watts and has plenty of cord.”
24. Forget the white noise machine. Get these comfy sleep headphones instead.
Help your loved ones get to sleep with these sleep headphones. They’re Bluetooth capable, comfortable and work with nearly any device. The sound quality is awesome, too!
Promising review: “I purchased the headband version and they are perfect for listening to music to help me get to sleep. I like that the speakers are movable. The material is lightweight, very soft and stays in place. They easily paired to iPhone and I like the sound quality. I also use this headband for running.”
25. Stop misplacing your phone. Get this phone carrying case instead.
Tired of losing your phone? Get this phone carrying case, which fits nearly any smartphone. You can even use it to hold your ID and cash, too. It’s a useful accessory to wear any time you’re out and about.
Promising review: “My grandma needed something to keep her phone in that would make it easily accessible. This fit the bill. She does not have an iPhone or smart phone, but this still worked great. It fits her flip phone perfectly. It’s also good quality and seems like it will hold up nicely.”
26. Make your love of beer clear with these beer socks.
Who doesn’t like beer? Anyone who loves beer will love these beer socks. They’re a fun gift or stocking stuffer — and they’re comfortable, too.
Promising review: “I purchased these for my husband as a Birthday gift and he LOVED them! They are really great quality for the affordable price. My husband loved the vintage look of the socks and says that they are very comfortable!”
27. The Nothing box is the best gift for people who say they want nothing.
Tired of being frustrated when the person who has everything says they want nothing for holidays or special occasions? The Nothing box can help! This empty box is a clever way to give to the person who has everything — or the person who never wants anything.
Promising review: “Great gag gift. A bit pricey for an empty box, but still funny.
Bonus: This Echo Dot smart speaker is a great gift for nearly anyone.
The Echo Dot speaker is a great gift for anyone. This smart speaker fits almost anywhere and offers a ton of features. It’s a little more than our $20 goal, but it’s such a great device it’s worth it.
Promising review: “I love my Echo Dot. I have four of them and they really help make my life easier. They can control almost everything, lights, locks TV, music, thermostat. It hears you almost all of the time and I’ve run into very few issues with it overall. I really couldn’t ask for a more helpful device.”We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.