Crusher Wireless is the Bluetooth upgrade to Skullcandy’s original Crusherheadphones. They’re so sleek and work just as well for men as they do women ($199). The real draw here, besides looks and sound (of course…) is that each charge gives you 40 hours! They feel great (so nice and cushion-y) and the sound is unreal. Plus you can talk on the phone while wearing them. If you’re looking for a less expensive option you can sacrifice some battery life but keep a similarly sleek design with Coby Premium CHBT-613 Bluetooth Headphones ($40).
Coffee: Nespresso vs Nespresso (in my opinion there is no competition!)
I don’t know who wouldn’t love a Nespresso. On the affordable side they have the Essenza Mini – the brand’s smallest and lightest machine ever. It’s $149 and comes in a bunch of colors. On the more luxe side they have the Expert Machine, which allows you to customize your brew size and temperature. It retails for $329. If you’re looking for an added stocking stuffer for either, they have limited edition holiday capsule flavors including Orangette (which tastes great and sounds adorable…).
Cleaning: iRobot vs. iRobot (everyone needs one of these!)
If you’re gifting someone who doesn’t have carpets, you’re in luck because you can get the iRobot Braava Jet for $170. It will effortlessly – and insanely effectively – mop or sweep your floors (and I have a lot of furniture…it somehow finds its way around it all). For something that works on both carpets and floors checkout the Roomba 690 ($374), which vacuums both carpets and hardwood floors. It’s seriously amazing to watch this thing work! It works just as seamlessly as the traditional mopping/sweeping iRobot – just be careful with curtains as it might try to suck them in if they’re not lifted off the ground. Both models work with the brand’s app so you can do things like schedule cleaning jobs. I never thought something could make Swiffer seem like a burden…
Blender: Crux vs. Vitamix
A blender is a staple for healthy cooking and to that end a Vitamix is the top-of-the-line pick. If you’re looking to turn peanuts into peanut butter or celery into juice in mere seconds, nothing will beat it. The popular models, however, start at about $399 and go up to almost double that. If you’re looking for the next best thing at a more wallet friendly price Crux 7-Speed Blender ($89.99, but can be found on sale for about $50) is a great pick. I didn’t know the brand till recently, but they make a done of great kitchen buys (everything from panini makers to pots and pans), at affordable prices. I found this blender just as easy to use as the Vitamix – it just takes a little bit more time – but it’s powerful enough to easily crush ice and the settings make it useful for everything from chopping to smoothies.
Zoodles: Kuhn Rikon vs Black + Decker
If you have the space the above Spiraluxe 6-in-1 Electric Spiralizer is a great buy ($70). It works quickly and offers the option for a bunch of different shapes so eating healthy is easier (think zucchini pasta). It’s also easy to clean since the parts are dishwasher safe. If you’re low on space and/or trying to safe money checkout Kuhn Rikon which has a long list of options including their Click N’ Curl Spiralizer Set ($18), a manual alternative to the Black + Decker zoodle-maker.
Cookware: George Foreman vs Le Creuset
Le Creuset’s Skillet is a forever piece ($180) and you don’t need to be a serious cook to appreciate it. The brand is best known for their cast-iron Dutch Ovens, but all of their cookware is top notch (they even make nonstick pieces!). As an alternative you can always count on good old George Forman. I love his Multi-Plate & Grill ($81), which works just as well to grill as it does to make panini and waffles (in an ideal world one would gift both…).
Hoarder: Kvell vs. The Container Store
If you’re shopping for someone who has more stuff than they have room for, checkout the Kvell Boto Velvet Storage Ottoman ($130). I first saw it at an event and was drawn to it because it just looks nice – turns out it not only looks nice it holds a TON. I personally use it to store all my extra beauty products (and let it double as extra seating in my bedroom). As a more affordable alternative The Container Store has a seemingly endless selection of storage items (brownie points if you actually help your friend organize…).