Coal might be an affordable stocking filler, but it’s a miserly present for anyone without a stove at home. For cheap treats that don’t leave a lump in your relationship, pick up one of the Christmas gifts below – all available for £20 or less.
From smart bulbs to wireless earbuds, every gift in our guide is a bona fide bargain. And despite the pocket-money prices, each is guaranteed to be well-received come 25 December.
Saved your pennies for someone special? Check out our round-up of tech treats for £50 or less. And for the lucky few who’ve topped your nice list, try our selection of gadget gifts for under £100.
Our pick of the best Christmas gifts for less than £20
Another cable sounds like the last thing you need to detangle your desktop. But Nolii’s Loop is different. Available with a range of connector combos (including USB-C and Lightning), the two-metre cord features a silicone slot near the business end. Drop that on the weighted dock to stop the cable from disappearing down the back of your bedside cabinet. The whole thing is reinforced with a kevlar collar, so you can wind it with impunity.
TP-Link Tapo Smart Bulb
Christmas lights might be bright in the December night, but they won’t be glowing in the dark days of January. Forget those one-month wonders and try something that’ll shine ’til spring: switch on this smart bulb to better illuminate your lodgings. Available for bayonet and screw sockets, it has 16 million colors in its arsenal, with the option to tweak white tones for a cosier glow. Fire up the app for remote control, schedules and connectivity with Alexa and Google Assistant. Beat that, fairy lights.
JLab Go Air Pop
Audiophilia and affordability don’t usually go together. But while these stocking-filler ‘phones won’t satisfy the pickiest ears, they promise a sonic experience better than their price tag suggests. Designed for lightweight everyday listening, the sweat-proof earbuds let you triple tap to switch between three EQ settings. Besides a 24-hour backup capacity, the charging case’s built-in cable also means one less lead to keep track of.
Elago Floppy Disk AirTag Case
Gift someone a floppy disk today and it’s only useful as a retro coaster. Gift this silicone equivalent to an AirTag owner and they can track their stuff like it’s lost in a Nineties filing cabinet. Smaller and softer than the 3.5in original, Apple’s own disc sits neatly inside the case, with an integrated ring for easy keychain attachment. Complete the office aesthetic by labeling it ‘backup’ in marker pen.
You can’t charge your phone using Christmas spirit, but you can give it a cordless boost without breaking the bank. Add this Qi-compatible disc to your desk for a pocket-money fueling solution. Topped by fabric and a silicone cross, it hooks up to the mains using your existing USB-C cable. 5W charging isn’t the speediest, but at least it’ll give you time to investigate the energy efficiency of fairy dust.
Mates are great for a lot of things, but even your most reliable friend will forget one day where they left your spare key. Not this Mate: attached to a fob, the water-resistant puck keeps track of your particulars. Compatible with iOS and Android devices, it has a 76m Bluetooth range to help you find from afar. And with a 3-year battery inside, your careless accomplice will have a long time to help you find the movables they misplaced.
Modern mobiles have more lenses than ever, but get grease on the glass and even a flagship phone will produce smudgy snaps. Keep your pics crisp and even with this compact cleaning stick. Its circular tip uses a carbon compound to absorb oily marks left by your fingerprints. Good to polish a filthy lens around 500 times, it’s significantly more effective than the thumb-and-t-shirt technique.
Humax Wi-Fi Smart Plug
A display of a thousand lights begins with a single plug. Give your outlet an upgrade with this three-pin winner. Installed in a standard socket, the smart adapter connects hub-free to your Wi-Fi network. Hit the switch in the app, or schedule the moment of illumination for later. Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT support should mean easy integration, while an energy monitor shows just how much those lumens are losing.
Lego 007 Aston Martin DB5
Christmas mornings are hectic enough without 007 power-sliding a DB5 through your lawn decorations, then demanding a pumpkin spice martini. For a Q Branch car without the carnage, try this brick-built Bond kit. Small enough to drift around the dining table, the 298-piece Aston Martin won’t spray the sprouts with machine gun fire, but you can swap its plates to evade detection. Time to dine? The minifig’s tuxedoed for lunch.
Sacks have a habit of coming into handy. Just ask Santa. Got no sleigh to carry your bag? With this compact pocket on your keychain, you’ll never be caught without a pouch: the dinky silicone Droplet contains a packable drawstring stuff sack. Its 2.5-liter capacity won’t hold a huge haul of presents, but its water-resistant shell will keep contents from getting soggy in a snowstorm.