Father’s Day is coming up, which means you’ll need to find a thoughtful yet practical gift that isn’t another tie or punny mug. He’ll appreciate them just the same, but we all know that there are gifts he’ll love and then there are gifts he’ll love-love.
So, how do you find that perfect present? By checking out the favorite gifts we’ve given our own father figures who never stop calling to tell us about it. From practical noise-cancelling headphones and tool kits to thoughtful donations and music memberships, these 11 gifts are sure to be used more often than his favorite dad jokes (thankfully).
Sorry in advance if they keep calling you, too.
“For the past decade or so, I’ve gotten my dad a bottle of hot sauce for every holiday (I have no idea how or why this started, but now it’s a thing!). Usually I pick something up from wherever I’ve traveled recently, but this year, I have gone nowhere, so I’m changing things up just a bit. I’ll be gifting a jar of my favorite Fly By Jing Sichuan chili crisp, which is deeply flavorful, and the best spicy-savory condiment to spoon over everything from eggs to noodles to vegetables.”—Rebecca Firkser, Assigning Editor
“My dad unfortunately has multiple eye conditions, and I just didn’t feel like giving a material gift last year given all that was happening in the world. So I gifted him something special: a donation in his name to the Department of Ophthalmology, Glaucoma of Mass General Hospital—where he ironically got surgery on his cataracts which is complicated by his glaucoma. He was very touched by the gift, calling it one of the most unique Father’s Day gifts ever. He’s doing well, but I wish they would stop sending me snail mail.”
—Larissa Sanz, Brand Manager, Five Two
“My father both loves and bemoans the fact that he’s surrounded by chatty women (my mum, sister, and I) who constantly demand his attention. To give him the quiet time he deserves, a couple of years ago, the three of us gave him these noise-canceling headphones. I love seeing him bob his head to Bruno Mars or Maroon 5 or whatever else he’s listening to these days—even if it means he’s shutting us out. Actually, we suspect he now pretends he can’t hear us even when he can.”—Arati Menon, Editorial Lead, Home52
“My dad is constantly tinkering with small electronics, 3D printers, and any number of tech items, and this is the best gift I’ve ever given him. He texts me once a week to tell me he’s used these tools again, which is high praise from him! Any dad into fixing and gadgets needs this tiny tool set.”—Caroline Mullen, Assistant Editor
Warby Parker At-Home Try-On Kit, Free
“Given the success of my last gift (and the near impossibility of getting him a gift he’ll use), this year I’m looking for something very practical for my dad. We’re often poking fun at him for wearing my mom’s reading glasses around the house (they are so ridiculously small on his face), so I’m going to order him an at-home try on kit from Warby Parker and sponsor a pair of glasses that actually fit him. Here’s hoping he doesn’t revert to my mom’s just for fun.”—Caroline Mullen, Assistant Editor
“Dads love puzzles, or at least mine does! So I try to find a unique one each year for Father’s Day and this one fit the bill. It’s nice to look at and is great inspiration for your next cheese board, a win-win!”—Patrick Moynihan, Director of Social Media
“My dad likes to fish—he’s never loved a present more than this one.”—Stacey Rivera, SVP, Content
“My dad is a chef and always needs some fresh herbs around so I bought him an AeroGarden a few years ago. He uses it to grow herbs like basil and cilantro without any soil or mess—he just fills the tank with water and watches the seeds grow. It’s also an easy way to add some greenery around the house.
A second favorite was paying for his Amazon Prime membership renewal. Buying a material gift last year just felt wrong when the world was burning, so I paid for his annual membership. This way, he could continue to buy things he really needed like hand sanitizer, masks, and even groceries without going outside to a store.”—Jada Wong, Market Editor
“The best Father’s Day gift I have given to my dad was a Spotify subscription. My dad loves listening to music any time of the day, especially when he’s working. He was so amazed that you could have any song from any artist right at your fingertips instead of his usual routine of turning on the radio. He carries his iPad with him wherever he goes, so his Spotify music library is always ready whenever he needs some tunes.”—Dominique Evans, Social Media Coordinator
“One of the best Father’s Day gifts I’ve ever given was actually to my father-in-law and it was from our very own shop before I worked here! My father-in-law doesn’t like stuff so he’s hard to buy for, but one thing I know he does every day is heat his milk for coffee in a little pan. I got him the Dexam Home Enamel Milk Pan so he could enjoy it even more and he’s been using it ever since! We don’t sell it anymore but the Food52 x Dansk Kobenstyle Saucepan is pretty similar and does the same job.”—Alex Egan, Senior SEO Strategist
“My dad’s become a coffee connoisseur as he’s gotten older, and being in the Navy, he does a lot of traveling and spends many nights away from home. This is now a part of his standard away kit along with his favorite beans.”—Kaleigh Embree, Customer Care Specialist
“If you want to get technical about it, this wasn’t a Father’s Day gift—it was for my mom’s birthday. But! My dad has been enjoying it just as much as her, if not more: Fuego Box’s quarterly hot sauce subscription. In fact, they both made it sound so fun—hot sauce happy hour! better egg sandwiches!—I ended up gifting another subscription to, ahem, myself.”—Emma Laperruque, Food Editor