The 33 Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022

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Best White Elephant Gifts
amazon.com

White elephant gift exchanges are a fun and exciting way to spread some joy, whether for a special event or during the holidays—especially when your friends, family members, and colleagues are battling it out for one or two standout gifts. Finding a white elephant gift can be tricky since you have to find an item that appeals to a range of personalities and stays within a typically small budget.

While you might be tempted to go with a gag gift, it's always better to spend money on something useful. To give you some ideas, we spent hours researching and compiling a variety of fun and clever gifts. We also consulted Jodi R. R. Smith, etiquette expert and author at Mannersmith, for more advice on how to choose the perfect white elephant gift.

"There [are] some things that you can't go wrong with in general: beeswax candle sticks, pretty stationery, a box of chocolates, lottery tickets, a small bottle of rum if it's the right crowd to give alcohol to," says Smith. "There are certain general things that can make for really fun gifts."

Here are the best white elephant gift ideas to spark some friendly competition at your next gift exchange.

FoodVille MF05 Electric Milk Frother

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Who it's for: Coffee aficionados who want to make their favorite drinks from the comforts of their home.

Who it isn't for: People who drink their coffee black.

Whoever gets the FoodVille MF05 Electric Milk Frother will never have to go to a fancy coffee shop and pay upwards of $7 for a foamy latte again. This two-speed device stirs up your choice of milk into a frothy delight that appeases coffee snobs and Starbucks lovers alike. We also like that it's rechargeable, so there's no need to buy batteries—simply plug the USB cable into your computer or a wall adapter. It also comes with a dainty stand so you can keep it on your kitchen countertop.

Price at time of publish: $20

W&P Porter Water Bottle

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at W&P and Nordstrom.

Staying hydrated is so much easier when you get to drink from something as elegant as the W&P Porter Water Bottle. This sleek glass bottle slips nicely into a backpack or gym bag without weighing it down and features a grippy silicone sleeve that won't slip out of your hands. It has a 20-ounce capacity and comes in plenty of beautiful colors and patterns, like blush terrazzo. Bonus: It's dishwasher-safe, so you don't have to deal with scrubbing your reusable bottle after a long day.

Price at time of publish: $30

Fancii Gala Large Tabletop Vanity Mirror With LED Lights

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

This lighted makeup mirror from Fancii can take anyone's morning routine up a notch. The LED light has multiple settings so you can ensure your makeup looks flawless, even if the lighting in your room is less than ideal. The mirror rotates 180 degrees for vertical or horizontal use, and it even includes a pull-out magnifying mirror. And since there's room to store small makeup and skincare products at the base, this mirror wastes no space.

Price at time of publish: $40

Foodie Dice

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Uncommon Goods and Etsy.

Help them get rid of meal indecisiveness once and for all with these innovative Foodie Dice. Each set comes with nine dice dedicated to cooking methods, proteins, carbs, herbs, bonus ingredients, and seasonal produce options—together, they create 186,000 possible meal combinations. Vegan and vegetarian alternatives are included so those who don't eat meat won't be left out. Just note that using Foodie Dice requires a bit of culinary knowledge (particularly cooking techniques like braising, grilling, and sauteing) since no recipes are included. But for those comfortable in the kitchen, this creative dice set will inspire creativity and help brainstorm flavorful meal ideas.

Price at time of publish: $24

Oster Silver Electric Wine Opener

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Getting the cork out of wine bottles can be a struggle, especially if you're opening up several at a time while entertaining. That's what makes the Oster Silver Electric Wine Opener such a useful gift: It takes all of the hard work out of opening up a bottle. All you have to do is place the device over the cork for a few seconds and let it work its magic. It even comes with foil cutters for bottles that come with a seal. It's rechargeable, so there's no need to deal with batteries, and it can open up to 30 bottles on a full charge.

Price at time of publish: $30

Hearth & Hand With Magnolia Salt Wide Fluted Speckled Ceramic Seasonal Candle

Salt Wide Fluted Speckled Ceramic Seasonal Candle
Target.com

While everyone has their fragrance preferences, you can't go wrong with a light and refreshing scent. This sea salt-scented candle captures the aroma of the light, salty breezes you'd experience at the beach. It comes in a pretty speckled ceramic container, so when they're done burning it, they can scrape out the extra wax and reuse the jar for holding rings, keys, or other small items.

Price at time of publish: $13

Apple AirTag

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Target.

The Apple AirTag is a lifesaver for forgetful friends—it helps keep track of keys, bags, wallets, and other necessities using Bluetooth technology. When your friend misplaces an item, they can use the Find My app on their iPhone to see where it is and quickly locate it for peace of mind. And for anyone who has lost their luggage before, an AirTag will offer some serious peace of mind with the ability to know where a checked bag is at all times. Just note that this feature is only available for Apple users, so Android fans won't get much functionality out of this gadget.

Price at time of publish: $29

Death Wish Coffee

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

If the folks in your white elephant group are not morning people, then a bag of Death Wish Coffee Co. grounds will have them start their day with much more energy. The brand claims to be the strongest coffee in the world, using a combination of arabica and robusta beans to create a rich, intense blend with twice the amount of caffeine as your average cup. Coffee connoisseurs will appreciate the notes of black cherry and dark chocolate that permeate each sip—and it won't taste bitter or acidic thanks to a small-batch roasting process.

Price at time of publish: $19

Instacart Gift Card

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Instacart.

Finding the time and energy to go grocery shopping each week can be hard, despite it being such an essential errand. The receiver of an Instacart gift card can skip long checkout lines, crowded aisles, and flimsy shopping carts by ordering groceries through the user-friendly app. Stores vary by city, but Instacart supports many major grocery stores, like Wegmans, Whole Foods, and ShopRite, as well as other retailers like CVS and Bed Bath & Beyond for everyday essentials. However, if your crew prefers to shop local (or they're all diehard Trader Joe's fans), they may not get as much use out of this gift card.

Price at time of publish: From $25

NatureIt Bonsai Seed Starter Kit

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

The Japanese practice of bonsai, which translates to "grown in a container," dates back thousands of years. With the help of this bonsai starter kit, your giftees can try their hand at this long-standing art form. The kit comes with planters, soil pellets, tags, instructions, and seeds to plant four different types of bonsai trees—practically everything a budding enthusiast needs to keep their mini tree alive. And since it can be grown indoors or outdoors, it's compatible with people with outdoor gardening spaces and those who live in urban environments alike. While it's easy to get started, growing a bonsai tree does require more care and effort than something like a snake plant—so be mindful of how plant-savvy your group is.

Price at time of publish: $25

Big Spoon Roasters Handcrafted Mini Nut Butter Sampler

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Food52.com

The Big Spoon Roasters Handcrafted Mini Nut Butter Sampler can transform PB&J sandwiches and overnight oats into artisanal dishes. Choose from three different variety packs, with flavors like warming Fiji Ginger Almond Butter, spicy Hot Mamba Peanut Butter, and tropical Toasted Coconut Almond Butter and Sea Salt. Plus, each jar is made-to-order from scratch in North Carolina using high-quality and sustainable ingredients.

Price at time of publish: From $36

Xenvo Pro Lens Kit

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

This lens kit will seriously upgrade the recipient's phone photography game, whether they're an iPhone or Android user. It includes a wide-angle lens, which is perfect for nailing that cinematic look, and a macro lens for detailed, close-up shots. The kit also comes with a clip-on LED light for taking photos in the dark—and it's rechargeable via USB.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dash Mini Waffle Maker

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Despite its name, the Dash Mini Waffle Maker serves up more than just perfectly crisp and golden waffles, which is why it'll be a hot commodity at your white elephant exchange. It can cook hash browns, cookies, eggs, and more—and it comes with a recipe guide for quick meal ideas. It's compact enough to fit in small cabinets and drawers without taking up too much space. In addition to the wide variety of colors, there are even seasonal waffle makers available like pumpkin- and heart-shaped versions

Price at time of publish: $13

Touchland Power Mist

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Sephora.com

Also available at Amazon, Ulta, and Touchland.

Many hand sanitizers leave your skin feeling sticky, but Touchland's Power Mist stands out because it dispenses an ultra-fine mist into your palms. (No need to deal with globs of sanitizer everywhere!) Its formula contains 70 percent alcohol and is packed with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and lemon oil. Our favorite part? The array of fresh and fruity scents to choose from (think Applelicious, Vanilla Blossom, and Velvet Peach).

Price at time of publish: $9

Smoko Tayto Potato Ambient Light

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
UrbanOutfitters.com

Also available at Smoko.

For those seeking a unique lighting setup for their space, you can't go wrong with this whimsical potato lamp that brings a cozy glow to any room. At less than 5 inches tall, this light is compact enough to fit on a desk, bookshelf, or bedside table. It turns on and off with just a tap, and it has three brightness levels to choose from. Since it's rechargeable via USB, there's no need to replace batteries or find an extra outlet to plug it into. While it may not be ideal for those who prefer modern home decor, this potato light is perfect for those in your white elephant group who appreciate quirky designs.

Price at time of publish: $24

Pela Case Phone Case Card Holder

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
PelaCase.com

Fishing your credit card out of your wallet at checkout can be a hassle, which is why this compostable phone card holder from Pela Case makes such a thoughtful gift. It sticks to the back of your phone case so up to two of your essential cards and IDs are easily accessible. It's also made out of bioplastic and flax straw materials, making it an eco-conscious alternative to plastic cardholders. While the brand uses extra-strong adhesive to attach its holder to your phone, it probably won't stick on textured cases.

Price at time of publish: $20

Genuine Fred Manatea Tea Infuser

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

This punny tea infuser perches right at the edge of your mug so you can enjoy a perfectly brewed cuppa. It's dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and microwave-safe so you can quickly reheat it in case you forget about your tea. We do want to point out that this infuser works best with loose-leaf teas—the contents of tea bags are usually finer and smaller, so they may seep out of the Manatea Tea Infuser.

Price at time of publish: $13

ThreeByThree Seattle Sushi Magnets

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
TheContainerStore.com

These sushi magnets are cute, practical, and inexpensive, which makes them a great white elephant gift. They attach to-do lists, papers, and reminders to the fridge or filing cabinet while adding a quirky touch to any space. The magnets are strong enough to hold up to seven sheets of paper, which helps ensure thick items stay put.

Price at time of publish: $10

Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Nothing's more frustrating than trying to use a touchscreen phone in the winter—you're either struggling to type with gloves on or dealing with numb fingers. Enter the Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves: They're soft and cozy enough to keep hands warm in the cold, and the unique grip patterns on the palms ensure phones don't slip out easily.

Price at time of publish: $30

Baggu Puffy Laptop Sleeve

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Baggu.com

A good laptop case is hard to come by—you want something that looks nice, is functional, and will protect your laptop without being too bulky or frilly. The Baggu Puffy Laptop Sleeve has a lightweight quilted design and comes in a variety of bold and funky pattern options. It has a velcro enclosure that makes it easy to quickly slide your laptop in and out. It's also available in a 16-inch version that's compatible with larger laptops.

Price at time of publish: $32

Heyday Tech Cleaning Kit

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Target.com

Most of us forget to clean our devices regularly, but this cleaning kit from Heyday has everything you'd need to spruce up your screens. It comes with an alcohol-free cleaning spray and two microfiber cloths to conveniently wipe away dust, fingerprints, and debris from your phone or computer. It even comes with a chic carrying case.

Price at time of publish: $10

What's Your Sign?: A Guide to Astrology for the Cosmically Curious

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Bookshop, Urban Outfitters, and Target.

If your friends give you a blank stare whenever you say they're acting like such a Capricorn right now, introduce them to the world of astrology with this book as a white elephant gift. The handy guide goes through the basics of astrology, signs, and planets with engaging illustrations, diagrams, graphics, and quizzes. After the gift exchange, you can sit around and read everyone's sign description to see how well it matches their personality.

Price at time of publish: $22

Opalhouse Color-Changing Oil Diffuser

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Target.com

Candles are nice, but essential oil diffusers are simply a better form of aromatherapy for some people. (Particularly those who live with pets or small children, and college students living in dorms who aren't allowed to use candles.) This sculptural diffuser from Target releases fragrant aromas for up to nine hours, and it adds a unique touch to your space with its color-changing capabilities, so you won't miss the ambiance that a candle provides. Just keep in mind that you (or the recipient) will need to purchase essential oils separately to take advantage of this diffuser.

Price at time of publish: $30

We're Not Really Strangers Card Game

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Urban Outfitters and Target.

We're Not Really Strangers (also known as WNRS) is not your typical card game. Each card holds a question that is meant to encourage introspection and build a deeper connection with the people you're playing with. This game is a great conversation starter for new acquaintances and lifelong buds alike (you're bound to reach a new level of friendship). The game has three levels—Perceptions, Connections, and Reflections—that prompt you to dig deep into topics like love, friendship, and self-image.

Price at time of publish: $25

Clever Fox Undated Weekly Planner

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Target.

Most planners are used for jotting down due dates, doctor visits, and birthdays, but this one from Clever Fox takes things up a notch. Not only does it help keep track of to-dos and habits, but it also provides space for planning out life goals. The weekly and monthly pages prompt you to write down short-term goals, wins, and plans for improvement. It's an amazing resource for those looking to organize all aspects of their life and keep themselves on track to reach their goals.

Price at time of publish: $25

Salad Party

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Bookshop and Target.

They'll never have to make a boring salad again with this playful, mix-and-match salad cookbook. The book is split into sections for hearty bases, flavorful toppings, and zingy salad dressings, so they can create a recipe based on cravings or whatever's left in the fridge. Each section is complete with illustrations and easy-to-follow directions. There are 3,375 different combinations, so the flavorful salad recipes in this cookbook are practically endless.

Price at time of publish: $20

Tonymoly I'm Real Sheet Mask Collection

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

These Tonymoly sheet masks are an easy way for the recipient to take care of their skin and pamper themselves. This set targets a variety of skin types and concerns with a variety of nourishing ingredients that smooth skin and give a luminous glow. They're super convenient to use, too: Just pop one of the face masks on clean skin and relax with it on for 20–30 minutes.

Price at time of publish: $15

Whiskware Batter Mixer

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Your foodie friends will be vying over this kitchen gadget that creates perfectly smooth batter for pancakes, crepes, and baked goods in just a few seconds. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients into the bottle and shake. The silicone spout makes it easy to pour the mixture, and it's heat-proof just in case it gets too close to the pan. Cleanup is incredibly easy, too: Just fill it up with soap and warm water and give it a good shake, or place it on the top rack of your dishwasher for even more convenience. No need to wash extra bowls and spatulas!

Price at time of publish: $15

Unibene Bamboo Coffee Filter Holder

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Dedicated home brewers know how easy it is for coffee filters to become a disorganized mess in the cabinet. With this bamboo coffee filter holder, the giftee can clear away half-empty boxes and keep filters nice and neat on their countertop. It comes in two styles, one for AeroPress filters and one for pour-over filters (including cone-shaped, square, and circular). The AeroPress version can even be attached to the wall to further eliminate clutter.

Price at time of publish: $13

Smart Sheep 6-Pack Wool Dryer Balls

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Dryer balls make clothes dry faster and help get rid of static without using any disposable products, so they're a great gift to help someone streamline laundry day. The Smart Sheep 6-Pack Wool Dryer Balls save time and money because they last for thousands of washes and help clothes dry faster. They're available in adorable penguin and sheep designs, but there's also a plain white version for those who prefer something simple. We also love that Smart Sheep is a women-founded company that makes its dryer balls in Nepal using fair trade practices.

Price at time of publish: From $20

Arectech Rechargeable Lighter

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

A rechargeable lighter is a unique and practical gift to bring to a white elephant get-together. Instead of a traditional flame, it works by creating plasma from a high-voltage electric charge—no butane required. Since there's no flame, this wind-resistant lighter is ideal for firing up a grill and lighting birthday candles at an outdoor party. It's also useful for candle lovers who don't like dealing with bulky, plastic lighters and flimsy matches. Each charge lasts about 500 uses, but when the battery runs low, you can replenish it via the USB-C cable.

Price at time of publish: From $10

CucinaPro Animal Friends Pancake Maker

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

This gadget makes mini animal-shaped pancakes and waffles that are almost too adorable to eat. Even picky eaters can't resist a dog- or panda-shaped pancake—especially when they only take a few minutes to cook. Just plug it in, pour the batter, and wait while it cooks. The only downside is that people living in a tiny kitchen that's low on storage space might not be able to squeeze in another appliance.

Price at time of publish: $50

Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen Set

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2022
Muji.com

For journaling enthusiasts, students, or anyone else who frequently writes things down, this colorful pen set from Muji is the holy grail. Each gel pen glides across paper like a hot knife cuts through butter, so you can bet your gift recipient will start looking forward to taking notes. These pens don't smudge or bleed through pages, either. Once they run out of ink, the brand sells refills that are easy to insert by just unscrewing the top of the pen—this cuts down on waste since there's no need to repurchase a whole new set of pens.

Price at time of publish: $15

Questions You Might Ask

What are the rules for a white elephant gift exchange?

When you're asked to participate in a white elephant exchange, here's what you can typically expect. Everyone gets together and brings in a wrapped gift to place in the gift pool. At the start of the exchange, each person draws a number out of a hat to determine in what order people will choose their gifts.

Whoever selected "1" gets to pick a gift first, unwrapping it in front of everyone so all can see what's inside. During each subsequent person's turn, they have the option to pick a wrapped gift or "steal" one from someone else. To keep things moving, only three steals are allowed per gift. Once everyone has a gift, the first person gets the opportunity to steal a present from someone else. If they decide to keep their original gift, the game is over. If they steal, it ends when someone else finally declines to steal a gift.

Keep in mind that there can be variations to these rules depending on the group you're playing with. Some people prefer to hold the gift exchange in January, after the holiday season, to help get rid of unwanted presents. Participants will bring in "something that was given to them that's not their taste, but that somebody else might like," as opposed to a new gift, says Smith.

Other ideas are to only bring in homemade items or gifts under $10. Since there are so many different ways to play, Smith says that "if your host hasn't thought this stuff through, this is a perfect opportunity for you to give them a call," so you can find out exactly what to bring.

How much money should you spend on a white elephant gift?

There isn't one set answer to this question as it will depend on the guidelines of your gift exchange and who else is invited. Be sure to take into consideration everyone's lifestyles and income range when setting a spending limit for your gift exchange—especially if you're participating with your office colleagues.

"You might have an executive director who has lots of available income to be able to spend on a gift for a white elephant exchange versus the support staff who might not have as much disposable income," Smith says. "You want to be really conscious of different people's budgets when setting that dollar amount."

Does a white elephant gift have to be funny?

Not necessarily! In fact, it's better if you tailor your item to the people who are attending the gift exchange. If you're stuck, think about the things you have in common. "You know the people that are going to be at the party, and you can play to the crowd," Smith says. After all, a thoughtful gift that's reflective of your relationship with those at the party will be appreciated by all.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Jen Woo, a design, lifestyle, and culture writer and content strategist with over 10 years of experience. To write this article, she spent hours researching white elephant gift ideas to make the best possible recommendations. She also spoke with Jodi R. R. Smith, etiquette expert and author at Mannersmith, for expert insight on choosing a white elephant gift.

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