Your mom might not be as up to date as you on the latest tech trends, but that doesn't mean a carefully chosen gadget wouldn't make her life easier. While flowers and breakfast in bed remain lovely Mother's Day gifts, you may want to try a different tack this year and get your mom something she'll use long after the holiday is over. To help, we've collected a list of some of our favorite gadgets and services that any mother, tech-savvy or not, will love.
Apple iPad mini
We consider the iPad mini to be the best small tablet for most people, and that includes parents who could use a slightly larger screen to watch videos, read text messages and check out photos of their children (or grandchildren) on Facebook. The 2021 model with the A15 Bionic chip runs smoothly even when using more than one app in Split View, so mom can stream her favorite show on Netflix while quickly replying to messages without any issues. We appreciate the design updates Apple made to this model, making the mini look more like a smaller iPad Air than ever before. Its compact size makes it easy to throw in a bag and take with you, and it’ll last the whole day, too, thanks to its 12-hour battery. Not to mention, its new Center Stage front-facing cameras will keep Mom in the frame as she FaceTimes for the third time today. — Valentina Palladino, Commerce Editor
Belkin UV Sanitizer + Wireless Charger
Your mom might have become a clean freak over the past year (who can blame her?) and Belkin’s UV sanitizer and wireless charger is a good device to give her to keep right near her doorway. It uses UV rays to get rid of 99 percent of bacteria on keys, cards, rings and other small items that your mom might bring with her wherever she goes. Yes, that also includes her smartphone and once it’s completely sanitized, your mom can set the handset on top of the lid to power up thanks to its built-in 10W wireless charging pad. The device is silent while sanitizing and as a bonus, it comes with its own cable and wall adapter so you can use it straight out of the box. — V.P.
Ember Mug 2
Take your mother’s morning coffee routine up a notch with the Ember Mug, a self-heating smart mug that keeps beverages at just the right temperature for up to 1.5 hours or all day if the mug is kept on its charging coaster. It has a temperature range between 120 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which lets your mom dial in just how hot she wants her brew. There’s also a companion app which lets her save preset temps for her favorite drinks, track her caffeine intake, customize the color of the LED light on the front of the mug and more. The latest version comes in a pretty rose gold color as well as white, black, gold, silver and copper. — Nicole Lee, Commerce Writer
Fitbit Inspire 2
After the past few years, your mom is likely excited to get out of the house more often – especially as the weather improves – and maybe she wants to take more regular walks and runs in her neighborhood. The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a low-cost and easy-to-use way to track her steps and sleep, along with other stats that indicate our overall fitness level. New users can also snag a free year of Fitbit Premium to add even more fitness guides and meditation features to the already-great app. — Kris Naudus, Commerce Writer
Instant Pot Duo
For busy moms who love to cook but are short on time, an Instant Pot makes for a thoughtful gift. While it can be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker or yogurt maker, it’s particularly useful as a pressure cooker. It can shave hours off the cooking time of a lot of dishes, particularly braises and stews. Also, unlike its stovetop equivalent, the Instant Pot can come to pressure and stay there without having to be babysat the whole time. A built-in timer means it turns off on its own, while a Keep Warm function does exactly what you'd expect. Thanks to the popularity of the Instant Pot line, there’s also a vast array of recipes online that your mom will be able to make with her new cooking gadget. For more on how to make the most of it, check out our Instant Pot guide. — N.L.
Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch is arguably the most sought-after accessory for iPhone users, and the Apple Watch SE is a good starter option for moms who want a more convenient way to stay in the loop. It has all of the essential features you’d expect a smartwatch to have, including smart alerts, activity and workout tracking, built-in GPS and Apple Pay. The SE’s Retina display is 30 percent larger than that of the Series 3 and, in addition to a water-resistant design, it has features like fall detection, high and low heart rate notifications and Emergency SOS. While the SE doesn’t have ECG capabilities or blood oxygen tracking like the Series 7 does, it remains a good gift for mom that will let her keep in touch with those she loves without whipping out her iPhone every second. — V.P.
Mpix photo book
So many of us take hundreds of photos with our phones and then never do anything with them. They’re left to languish in our camera rolls, only to be uncovered when you have to scroll back months to find that one image you’re searching for. If you want to give mom a more polished way to look back at her favorite photos, an album from Mpix will do the trick. You can customize your photo book from the ground up, choosing the best images of her family and friends and laying them out on each page in a neat way. You can also pick from different types of cover options and paper weights, making the final product as premium as you want it to be. With options starting at $20 per book, it’s pretty easy to make mom a gift she’ll want to revisit long after Mother’s Day is over. – V.P.
Anker PowerCore 10,000 Redux
While it sounds like an impersonal gift, a power bank can really help your mom if her smartphone dies while she’s out. Anker’s PowerCore Redux is an improvement on the typical lipstick-sized portable batteries thanks to its slightly larger frame that houses a 10,000mAh cell. That capacity can power up an iPhone XS more than two times over, plus it can charge two devices simultaneously thanks to its USB-A and USB-C output ports. The LED light wheel will show mom how much battery power is left in the accessory and she’ll be able to throw it into any bag she owns thanks to its compact, 6.8-ounce design. – V.P.
Beats Studio Buds
Your mom probably spends her day juggling a lot of responsibilities. A good pair of earbuds can make her busy days more enjoyable by letting her listen to her favorite playlists, podcasts or audiobooks while she’s getting it all done. The Beats Studio Buds are small, comfortable and stylish, plus they now work better with Android than ever before. Since Apple owns Beats, iPhone users get perks like hands-free Siri access, quick-pairing and Find My support, but now Android users also have access to the latter two features as well. That means your mom can make the most of these earbuds regardless of the smartphone she has. Plus, she’ll be able to take calls without picking up her handset by using the buds’ five built-in microphones. – V.P.
iRobot Roomba 694
While a robot vacuum won’t eliminate all the cleaning your mom might already do around the house, it definitely makes one portion of it easier. The Roomba 694 is one of our favorite budget robot vacuums in part because it provides a ton of value for its $274 price. Most importantly, it does a great job cleaning both hard and carpeted floors and it runs long enough that it should get to most areas in your home before needing to recharge. It connects to WiFi so you can control it either with its companion mobile app, or using Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands. Your mom can even use the mobile app to set a cleaning schedule, so she doesn’t even have to think about the machine — it’ll scurry around the house, sucking up dirt and debris, all on its own time. — V.P.
Breville Smart Oven Air
If your mom is a cook and has the counter space for it, we highly recommend getting her a toaster oven like the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. She can use it to toast bread, bake dishes or reheat food. Sure, a full-size oven can do the same thing, but firing it up can often warm up the whole house, which isn’t so great in the summer months. It’s also a lot more efficient. While a regular oven might need 20 or so minutes to preheat, a toaster oven can often get to temperature in just five or 10 minutes.
We also like this model for its 1-cubic-foot capacity. (In lay terms, it can fit a 9-by-13-inch casserole or a 14-pound turkey.) It can handle air frying (thanks to a “super convection” mode) and it comes with an air fryer basket that’s large enough to fit a dozen chicken wings. The oven also has several preset modes designed for specific functions such as toasting bagels or baking pizzas.
The Smart Oven Air is the classic model, but if your mom is extra adventurous in the kitchen (or extra tech-savvy), Breville’s latest tabletop appliance, the Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro, is a good step up. It does everything the Smart Oven Air does, but it adds WiFi connectivity so you can control the machine from your phone. Mom will get alerts when it’s time to put her dish in the oven after the preheat cycle, and when her food finished cooking to perfection. There are even recipes she can try out in the app, including some that have an “autopilot” feature, which automatically adjusts the oven’s temperature during cooking to make things like perfectly golden croissants and bread loaves. — N.L.
Flowers die. Sure, they’re pretty and they smell nice but in the end they wilt, which is always kind of a bummer. So why not get your mom something just as beautiful that will stay that way? This LEGO bouquet is lovely to behold but also a great way to spend an evening putting together. As a bonus, it’s cheaper than a lot of flower arrangements you’d buy around Mother’s Day, and if she ever tires of it she can take it apart and build something else with the 756 pieces. — K.N.
Audible gift membership
If your mom loves reading but doesn’t have a ton of time to sit down and crack open a book, an Audible membership can give her a new way to enjoy reading anywhere. Gift memberships range from one month for $8 to one year for $230 and include a certain number of book credits that she can use on any title. Members also get access to exclusive sales and Audible has been experimenting with original content like podcasts recently, so there’s a ton of listening options to choose from. But the best part is being able to read anywhere at any time, be it in the car on the way to work, around the house while tidying up or at the beach on a lazy summer day. — V.P.
Nintendo Switch Lite
Women play games too, even if a lot of games marketing still says otherwise. In a house dominated by behemoths like the PlayStation 5 or a gigantic gaming PC, mom might appreciate having something that’s just for her, a handheld console she can sneak away with into the bedroom or yard whenever she needs some alone time. The Switch Lite is small enough to hide in a pocket or purse and, while there are plenty of great games she’d enjoy like Breath of the Wild, Untitled Goose Game and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we recommend snagging an eShop card so she can choose her own adventures. — K.N.
Winc Wine Club membership
Forget giving your mother a bottle of wine she might not even like. Instead, give her a subscription to a wine club. There are many available today, including hyper-curated boxes, all-natural boxes and even celebrity-branded ones like Martha Stewart's club. If you’d rather take the guesswork out of choosing one, Winc is a good option. All mom has to do is fill out a short six-question survey about her tastes and then Winc chooses the wines for her. She can then rate the wines she receives, so Winc will get a better idea of what she wants, offering up more personalized selections the next time around. Winc is also great for you, the gifter, since gift subscriptions start at only $60. — N.L.