The best Valentine's Day gifts for people who are hard to shop for

Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored
Wed January 30, 2019

Story highlights

  • Valentine's Day is an especially tricky holiday to shop for
  • CNN Underscored compiled a list of 12 gift ideas for the person who has everything

Valentine's Day is one of the trickiest holidays to shop for, which is probably why so many people end up just grabbing a sad drugstore teddy bear on the way home. But we're here to help!

We've rounded up cool gift ideas for significant others who are particularly hard to shop for. From products that give the giftee control, to items pretty much guaranteed to please, this list is perfect for those who seem to have everything or are just plain picky.

Don't worry -- there are no stuffed animals or heart-shaped chocolates in sight.

Use our list to take the stress out of Valentine's Day and give yourself more time to remember what the holiday is really about: boosting sales for greeting card companies. Er, we mean love!

1. AirBnB gift card ($25 to $200; amazon.com)

The ultimate gift for someone who has everything is the freedom to go wherever they want. Of course, you can also think of an AirBnB gift card as an investment toward your next romantic getaway together!

2. Stitch Fix personal styling box ($20; men: stichfix.com/men; women: stitchfix.com/women)

Instead of agonizing over whether or not he'll like that paisley tie, leave it to a professional. For just $20, a Stitch Fix stylist will create a personalized box of clothing and accessories that gets sent to your significant other's door. With free delivery and returns, picky shoppers can keep what they like and send back the rest; the $20 styling fee will be credited toward anything they decide to hang on to, and the service gets better the more customers use it, as the stylists learn their preferences.

3. Uncommon Goods birth month flower necklace ($48; uncommongoods.com)

Flowers are always nice, but why not get something that doesn't wilt in a week? These lovely handmade pendants feature dried real flowers, personalized for every month of the year. Don't worry if you don't know your partner's birth month flower — there's a handy list to help you order. (If you don't know your partner's birth month, well, that's another story.)

4. Venus ET Fleur Eternity Roses ($299 for 16; saks.com)

Another upgrade to the standard dozen, these vibrant roses go through a special preservation process that makes them last up to a year. Sure, they're more expensive than your average bouquet, but that breaks down to just $25 a month for beautiful, fresh flowers all year round. Pick from seven striking colors and a variety of box sizes for whatever kind of statement you want to make.

5. Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest hammock ($52.46; backcountry.com)

Whether you string it up at the beach or in your own backyard, this two-person hammock from Eagles Nest is billed as leading to "snuggles galore." The 70D nylon comes in a bunch of colors and features triple-stitch seams that support up to 400 pounds, meaning you can feel secure as you get cosy under the stars. It weighs just a little more than a pound and packs down to the size of a softball in its own stuff sack.

6. 'Date Night In' cookbook ($18.29; amazon.com)

Featuring 120 recipes specifically designed for two, this cookbook encourages you and your partner to set aside weekly one-on-one time to prepare a yummy meal together. The author declares that the recipes will "nourish your relationship"; at the very least, they should get you out of a takeout rut.

7. Uncommon Goods newspaper front page custom date book ($99; anniversary edition: uncommongoods.com; birthdate edition: uncommongoods.com)

These beautiful hardcover books feature front pages from The New York Times, The Washington Post or Los Angeles Times for each year going back to your anniversary or your partner's date of birth, making this a thoughtful way to reflect on everything you've been through together. Each cover is personalized with your chosen name and date.

8. Bombas original ankle socks ($12; nordstrom.com)

Fact: Just about everyone could use a nice new pair of socks. Do you partner a favor by investing in some of the comfiest socks around. The beloved brand Bombas has plenty of options for both men and women ($12; nordstrom.com), and for every pair you purchase they'll donate a pair to someone in need.

9. Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore sheet bundle (starts at $219; brooklinen.com)

There's a reason 24,000 people are raving about these sheets: they are, in a word, awesome. Show your partner you care by upgrading the bed with this luxuriously soft and breathable bundle from Brooklinen. If you think about it, this is sneakily a gift to yourself too.

10. LifeAround2Angels bath bombs ($26.80; amazon.com)

Nourishing bath bombs are the ultimate accessory for a luxurious soak, together or separately. This set from LifeAround2Angels includes 12 individually wrapped, lushly scented bath bombs and has 4.9 stars on Amazon from nearly 3,000 reviews — a solid indication it will please practically everyone.

11. Sugarfina single malt cordials ($8.50 to $45 depending on size; sugarfina.com)

Several classy steps up from the typical drugstore box of chocolates, these treats have a center filled with single malt scotch. Sugarfina dubs them "the gentleman's cordial," but we think discerning ladies would enjoy them just as much.

12. Birchbox or BirchboxMan subscription ($10 per month; women birchbox.com; men birchbox.com)

Whether you're overwhelmed by the makeup aisle or have no idea what makes a good aftershave, Birchbox has your back. The immensely popular service sends subscribers five samples a month of top brand beauty or grooming products, so your favorite guy or gal can discover new favorites.