Top 10: Home and lifestyle gifts
Our top 10 picks for the best home and lifestyle gifts include everything from fitness watches and coffee machines to vacuum cleaners and Bluetooth trackers. So take a look, you might even find something you like for yourself...
Tile is a Bluetooth tracker to help you keep you from losing your keys, purse or whatever else you attach it to. Lose your keys, bag etc and you can use your phone to find it. Lose your phone and your Tile can make your phone bleep back at you. Every running Tile app tracks Tiles around it too, so if you lose both then you can call upon your fellow Tile users to help you find it.
With a Bluetooth range of 90m, a replaceable battery which lasts around 12 months and a one-year warranty — it's the perfect present for the scatterbrain in your life.
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Eufy Robovac 11S
While high-end robotic vacuum from big-brand names like Dyson and Roomba still cost a pretty penny, mid-range options like the Eufy RoboVac 11S offer a very decent, cheaper alternative. All in all — it's easy to use, quiet and does what it says on the tin.
It's also a very useful tool for anyone who struggles with lugging a vacuum around. Who knows, you might even use the extra daily 15 minutes you'd usually spend vacuuming to read more or learn to play the piano. Or, more likely, to stay in bed a little longer.
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Fitbit Alta HR
Whether you're a marathon runner, or just want to improve your health with a few extra steps on your lunch break — wearable fitness tech should be on your radar. Fitbit’s heart rate sensor improves the sleep-tracking features and, on top of keeping an eye on your heart and your sleep, the Fitbit can make note of how you're eating and drinking — so it can tell you how many calories you're burning.
You'll also get vibration alerts straight to your Fitbit if you receive a text/call/calendar reminder. And it won't need to be charged more than once a week. But the main reason for recommending the Fitbit Alta HR is that it really does do a good job of keeping you fit without being too confusing to get to grips with.
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Seedball is the perfect gift or stocking filler for anyone who dreams of a luscious, flower-filled garden. Each tin contains around 20 one-centimetre balls made of clay, up to 100 seeds, peat-free compost and a pinch of chilli powder to ward off pests. The idea is that each seed ball has everything it needs to get started and you don’t need any gardening expertise to get good results.
Sowing is just a case of throwing the seedballs onto exposed ground or placing on top of compost in pots. The dried clay wrapped around the seeds is designed to protect them from ants, mice and birds. When it rains, or you water your seed balls, the seeds begin to germinate.
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Anchor charging cable
We’ve all got that one charging cable that needs to be held in a specific way to work. Or the one you’ve pulled out of the wall by the lead that now needs a little wiggle to get it started. Well, the Anchor charging cable aims to end this issue. It may looks as though its a tool you might use to clear a drain, but its stainless steel outer coating and flexibility is what gives the Anchor cable its strength.
It also comes with three types of connectors - USBC, Micro USB (for Android) and iOS (for Apple) - which attach to the cable itself via a magnetic connection, which is the same as you get with MacBooks. Check out our video recap of the Anchor cable too.
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Dyson V10 vacuum cleaner
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Total Clean is the newest, most powerful vacuum in the Dyson range. If you have a flat or a small house that doesn't have that much carpet, the V10 could very well replace an upright vacuum cleaner. In all honesty, it's absolutely excellent. It's far more powerful and can hold more dust and debris than the previous V8.
We only got around 20 minutes of vacuuming time before the battery went flat though, and there's no getting around that price tag (ouch), but it really is top of its class in performance. Plus, it's likely to last you a few years so it's a decent investment if you think of it in those terms.
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Foobot air quality monitor
Much like changing food and exercise habits to be healthier, we should all definitely think more proactively about the quality of the air we're breathing. The Foobot does what it says on the tin, it turns an invisible threat into a tangible issue you can combat.
Using a range of sensors, it aims to help you understand whether things like washing detergent, pollen or exhaust fumes might be making your air less healthy — as well as providing tips to combat low air quality.
Melitta CI Touch coffee machine
The Melitta CI Touch is clearly one of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines on sale right now. Easy to use, stylish and hugely customisable — it provides simplicity to the otherwise complex and (occasionally) baffling world of high-end coffee. It can brew two drinks simultaneously while allowing the user to tailor coffee strength, temperature and grinding fineness of the beans involved. It comes with a two-year warranty as well.
At £999, the Melitta CI Touch is a significant outlay in terms of cost, but it's difficult to deny the outstanding quality that's on offer here. Plus, for two adults willing to give up coffee shop coffee and replace it with a home-brewed alternative, the CI Touch will quickly recoup its cost in a year. And it also steam cleans itself. Fancy...
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Karcher FC5 Hard Floor Cleaner
Instead of different machines and equipment for vacuuming, washing, scrubbing, and polishing hard floors — the Karcher FC5 does all of them at once. With two rotating fleece rollers, combined with a powerful vacuum, the FC5 picks up anything loose on the floor, while at the same time removing dried-on stains and buffing to a shine.
Those rollers really give tiles and grout a good scrub, while on wooden floors it has a similar effect on the gaps between joins. Stubborn dried-on stains are easily removed with just a couple of passes and the floors never get anything more than damp, which is a real bonus if you have kids running around. If you have a substantial amount of hard floors in your home and £200 to spend, the Karcher FC5 could be the upright that you’ve been waiting for.
Husqvarna Automower 450X
The Automower 450X is a robot lawnmower that automatically takes care of trimming the grass. And, once set up, you can just forget about it. It isn't cheap, but it is one that makes good financial sense for those with larger gardens. From the moment it was set up, it was faultless — and the results are impressive too. If you're thinking of getting a mower, this would be our pick. The Honda Miimo is also excellent though.
The 450X can also ‘learn’ your garden, find out where the obstacles are and adjust its routes accordingly via GPS. Security is another big plus, with the Automower being protected in three ways. Aside from having a tracker onboard, the mower is also pin protected — lift up the 450X and sensors will register that it’s off the ground and sound an ear-piercing alarm. After that, you will need to input a four-digit PIN to unlock it. Finally, report it stolen to Husqvarna it will become blacklisted and won’t ever be able to pair with a docking station in the future.
Starting your Christmas shopping? We've got you covered. On this page, you'll find all our top 10 gift...