Top Gifts Under $200
Cookware, coffee makers, fitness trackers, and more top-rated gifts from Consumer Reports
Do you have a price in mind but aren’t quite sure what to buy that special someone this holiday season? The experts at Consumer Reports have put together a series of gift guides that are grouped by price. Here, we focus on some of our top-rated products for less than $200.
Need more holiday inspiration? Check out some of our other gift guides: Best White Elephant Gifts for Under $35, Top Gifts Under $50, Top Tech Gifts Under $100, Top Home Gifts Under $100, and 10 Great Gifts for Coffee Lovers.
Go to Consumer Reports’ Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.
A more affordable take on Ninja’s Coffee Bar brewers, the Ninja Specialty CM401 is a terrific all-in-one machine, capable of brewing hot and iced coffee, lattes, macchiatos, and other specialty brews. In our tests, it receives an Excellent rating for brew performance, and its glass carafe handles with ease. This model is also packed with features, including an over-ice brew mode for iced coffee, a built-in milk frother, brew-strength control, and brew-size adjustment for everything from travel mugs to full carafes. It’s one of the most versatile coffee makers we’ve tested.
For more options: Best Drip Coffee Makers
The NuWave 37001 air fryer boasts the largest capacity of any model we tested, at 5.8 quarts. Our experts found its electronic controls with preprogrammed settings to be among the easiest to see and use. The inside and outside of the appliance are a cinch to clean, but cleaning food out of the holes in the basket takes a little extra effort. This air fryer is on the noisy side, earning only a Good rating in our noise tests. The fan is as loud as a countertop microwave, so you’ll hear it running. The warranty is good for one year.
For more options: Best Air Fryers
SodaStream Fizzi One Touch
The SodaStream Fizzi One Touch, the only soda maker we evaluated that must be plugged into an outlet, gets our highest marks in every test. It has three preset levels of carbonation, each with its own control button that you lightly touch to activate. Because the electric-powered One Touch doesn’t require you to hold down a button or lever, it alone earns our top mark for ease of use, and it’s ideal for someone with limited hand strength. Our testers say the One Touch’s “medium” button makes soda about 1½ times as fizzy as “low,” and the “high” button doubles the bubbles of “low.” But no matter how much carbonation you want, you’ll get consistent results. The unit’s one drawback? It’s not ideal if you like your soda just a tad spumante.
For more options: Best Soda Makers
Ninja blenders garner a Very Good rating for owner satisfaction in our member survey. The 1,400-watt Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot HB152 comes with Heat-IQ technology, which Ninja claims brings water to boil in minutes. It has 16 speeds and an 8-cup capacity. In our tests, it was also impressive at crushing ice and great at making icy drinks. Frozen egg nog latte, anyone?
For more options: Best Blenders for Making Smoothies
The Breville BOV650XL toaster oven earns a Very Good rating in our baking tests, turning out sugar cookies and corn muffins that were done in the center and golden on top and bottom. Functions include bake, broil, and roast, and settings for pizza and toasting bagels. This toaster oven has three rack positions and offers a temperature range of 120° F to 450° F. Models in our ratings range from 800 to 1,875 watts, so this 1,800-watt model is near the top in terms of power. (The higher the wattage, the more energy is delivered.)
For more options: Best Toaster Ovens
The 6-quart Zavor Lux LCD gets perfect scores in our tests for pressure-cooking succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs; steaming broccoli and carrots; and slow-cooking thick, tender chili (a test most pressure-cook models don’t excel at). The 1,000-watt cooker has a stainless steel insert, which is more durable than nonstick coated inserts in our tests.
For more options: Best Multi-Cookers
The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63221 is top-notch at whipping and mixing, and almost as good at kneading. It has the distinction of being the quietest model in our tests, earning an Excellent rating for noise. Whipping cream in this mixer is much quieter than making a smoothie in a blender. The 12-speed mixer comes with a 4.5-quart stainless steel bowl, flat beater, dough hook, and wire whisk. At 17 pounds, it’s the lightest of our recommended stand mixers. But you can’t use it with power attachments. It comes in white, black, red, and stainless steel.
For more options: Best Stand Mixers
Breadman BK1050S Professional Bread Maker
At 14 inches wide by 10 inches deep, the Breadman yielded nicely golden loaves of white bread and medium-to-dark loaves of whole wheat, which passed muster in testing. Baking a 1-pound loaf of white bread took 3 hours and 15 minutes, and a loaf of whole wheat took 4 hours and 30 minutes. It also has a delayed-start option, so you can pop in your ingredients and program it to bake the bread whenever you want. An ingredient dispenser automatically adds fruit or nuts at the appropriate time in the cycle.
For more options: Bread Maker Review: Which Ones Rise to the Occasion?
Wüsthof Classic 8" Cook’s Knife
If you subscribe to the school of thought that manufacturers don’t make things like they used to, let us direct you to the appropriately named Wüsthof Classic. The traditional design features a triple-riveted handle mounted to a blade formed from a single piece of steel that extends from the tip through the handle. The result is a knife that was exceptionally comfortable for all of our panelists, with no reports of pressure points or discomfort during use. It had good force transmission—which makes cutting easier—but it’s worth noting that it’s among the heftiest knives of the group we evaluated, so even minor differences in grip can have an impact on how balanced it feels.
For more options: Best Chef’s Knives
Lodge knows a thing or two about cast iron, and the Lodge 6-quart Dutch oven turns out bread that’s nicely browned and crispy, earning a Very Good rating in our bread-baking test. Cleanup is a breeze. Weighing in at 14 pounds, this Dutch oven has a 7-inch cooking surface diameter and wide loop handles.
For more options: Best Dutch Ovens
The eye-catching 12-piece Kenmore Arlington Metallic set stands out for its performance in the kitchen. Cooking evenness and speed of heating are top-notch, and the nonstick coating is so slick that you’ll never be stuck with egg residue in the pan. Our sauces simmered without scorching and the nonstick coating is durable, earning a Very Good rating in that test. The handles stay cool to the touch when cooking but could be more sturdy, typical of pans in this price range.
For more options: Best Cookware Sets
If you’re concerned about privacy, the SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro SS3 is the doorbell to buy because it’s the only model in our ratings with a Very Good rating for data privacy (the highest of any doorbell in our tests). It also rates well for video quality and data security. The downsides? It lacks many smart features and is slow to send alerts and then load live video feeds. Its few features include monitoring zones, person detection, and HDR video, but no support for voice control via digital assistants. If you’d like cloud storage for video clips, you can get 30 days of storage for $5 per month for one camera or $10 per month for up to 10 cameras.
For more options: Best Video Doorbells
The Arlo Pro 3 is a terrific camera that performs just as well as its predecessor, the Arlo Pro 2, receiving identical performance ratings in our tests and offering many of the same features. So what’s different about the Pro 3? It includes a built-in spotlight that allows for color night vision, a siren in the camera itself (not the base station), a wider 160-degree field of view, and higher-resolution 2K HDR video. With an Arlo Smart subscription, you can get more video storage as well as monitoring zones; person, package, vehicle, and animal detection; and e911. The company offers subscriptions for 24/7 continuous video recording, too. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for video storage, you can connect a USB drive to the base station and store footage there instead.
For more options: Best Wireless Home Security Cameras
Bed & Bath
Give the gift of coziness this season: The Gravity blanket comes with a micro-plush duvet cover. The beads are glass. Gravity says the cover is machine-washable in cold water and can be tumble-dried on low. The inner weighted blanket is hand-wash only and air dry (though we did run it through one wash cycle in our tests because it seems unwieldy to hand-wash something so large and heavy). This blanket is sold in three colors.
For more options: We Tested 5 Weighted Blankets. Here’s What We Found.
Sleep Number’s ComfortFit Ultimate (yep, that’s the name) is made of a blend of memory foam pieces and down alternative fibers. Inside the pillow casing are three layers that can be added or removed to tailor the pillow to the level you need. It earns top support ratings for both side and back sleepers in our tests, and our testers found it to be very breathable. It’s not as resilient as some other options in our ratings, though, and might not hold its shape as well over time.
For more options: Best Pillows
Tushy Tushy Classic
Give the gift of less toilet paper anxiety: The Tushy Classic bidet attachment has a dial to adjust the water pressure, as well as three settings fore and aft. A few users in our recent study of bidets said it was easier to move themselves rather than adjust the nozzle, so if your intended recipient has limited mobility, this bidet might not be a great option. Some users found that it shifted a bit under the toilet seat. And one said the water pressure could be quite strong: “A 2 or 3 on the dial will give you a blast!” Most users found the Classic easy to install and had no trouble figuring out the water-pressure dial or nozzle adjustment switch.
For more options: Bidet Review: ‘I Have Less Toilet Paper Anxiety’
The Sonos One SL is the company’s entry-level wireless speaker, the least expensive speaker in the Sonos line. It replaces the existing Play:1, which was similar in size and price. The One SL is essentially a Sonos One smart speaker without the microphones that allow it to listen for a wake word. The One SL is slightly less expensive than the One, its smart speaker sibling. Our testers confirmed that the One SL sounds almost identical to the Sonos One, and its sonic performance is also quite similar to the now-discontinued Play:1, which scored a single point less in its Overall Score.
For more options: Best Wireless Speakers
The latest Dot also features all-new styling, channeling the spherical look of its larger sibling. More important, it features better sound, and with a frequently discounted $50 price, it remains the cheapest way into the Amazon ecosystem.
The sound quality of the newest Dot still isn’t great, but our testers find it to be significantly improved over earlier versions, some of which sounded a lot like a bad telephone connection. The fourth-generation model is fine for listening to podcasts or low-level background music in a small room, but if you’re going to spend a lot of time listening to music, you might consider the more expensive but better-sounding Echo. The Dot can also serve as an inexpensive way to place smart speakers throughout your home or add smart speaker functionality to a Bluetooth speaker you already own.
The lightweight and stylish Luxe looks more like jewelry than a straight-up tracker. It also includes the stress-tracking features found on the more expensive Sense smartwatch. The Luxe earns an Excellent rating for step counting, but it’s not quite as good as other models when it comes to tracking heart rate. In addition, the tiny screen can make it tough to read, especially for people who have trouble seeing up close.
For more options: Which Fitbit Fitness Tracker or Smartwatch Is the Right Fit for You?
It’s getting easier to find great noise-canceling headphones on a budget, and this option from JBL is one of our top picks. It delivers outstanding noise cancellation and great audio quality. JBL hasn’t skimped on features, either. The 650BTNC earphones come with a detachable audio cable for use with wired devices, a quick-charge function, the ability to simultaneously pair with multiple devices, and a generous 20-hour battery life, according to JBL. A free app adds functionality.
For more options: Best Noise-Canceling Headphones to Buy Right Now
The Sony WF-SP700N delivers dependable noise cancellation and audio quality. They feature controls to turn noise cancellation on and off, and to activate a monitoring mode that amplifies sound from your environment for situations such as a train ride, where you might want to hear announcements. The controls also let you access digital assistants, accept calls, skip tracks, and play or pause music playback, though there’s no integrated option for volume adjustment. The advertised 3-hour battery life is short but not unusual for true wireless models, and this one has a quick-charging function as well as a carrying/charging case with a built-in battery that can recharge the earphones twice before you need an outlet.
For more options: Noise-Canceling Headphones on a Budget
The in-ear Quad Driver is among the best earphones in CR’s ratings. The Quad Driver has an integrated microphone and volume, playback, and call controls. It comes with nine pairs of earpieces in various shapes and sizes to help you find a good fit, and other extras, such as a mini-plug-to-¼-inch-plug adapter, a mini-plug-to-airplane-jack adapter, a removable shirt clip, and a carrying case.
For more options: Best Headphones Under $200
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are one of the best-scoring portable Bluetooth headphones Consumer Reports has ever tested, beating out more popular rivals like the Apple AirPods. That’s all the more impressive given their true wireless design. The Galaxy Buds produce exemplary audio quality packed into a pair of unobtrusive earpieces, complete with easy-to-use touch controls for playback, volume, and skipping tracks. According to Samsung, they have a 6-hour battery life and come with a powered carrying case that will recharge the earphones for up to 7 additional hours of playback on the go. The case itself can be charged with a wireless charging mat, and it’s small compared with the cases that come with many true wireless models.
For more options: Best Headphones Under $200
This is the updated version of the 4K-ready Fire TV Cube, essentially a mashup of two of Amazon’s popular Alexa-powered devices: the Fire TV streaming player and the Echo Dot smart speaker. Like its predecessor, the Fire TV Cube adds an interesting element into the mix: universal remote-control capability. Compared with the first generation, the new model adds a more powerful processor, a faster response time, and Dolby Vision HDR. There are buttons on top of the unit to adjust the volume and mute the microphones, but the Cube is really all about voice control. The Fire TV Cube lets you control a host of other compatible audio/video gear, including TVs, sound bars, receivers, and even some cable and satellite boxes.
For more options: Best 4K Streaming Devices
This all-in-one inkjet printer sits near the top of our ratings, thanks in large part to outstanding versatility and high marks for text and graphics quality. The MFC-J895DW wastes very little ink to maintain the print heads, and based on our estimates of typical use, its yearly ink costs come to about $100, which falls in the lower range for an inkjet model. Features include scan and copy functions, an automatic document feeder, built-in faxing, WiFi networking, and wireless printing with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
For more options: Great Printers for Under $150
This charger has a built-in cooling fan and a gridded surface that lets air flow behind the device, which is meant to allow faster charging. As a small trade-off, the charger is bulkier than most of its competitors. The angled stand also allows you to view a phone’s screen in portrait or landscape position as it charges.
For more options: Best Wireless Chargers for Your Smartphone and Other Devices
Give your loved ones the gift of comfort with an ergonomic keyboard. Available in a wired or wireless configuration, the Kinesis Freestyle2 features a fully split design. That means each half of the keyboard can be positioned directly in line with the user’s shoulders, effectively reducing internal shoulder rotation and ulnar deviation of the wrist. The membrane keys are easy to activate and include options for shortcuts and media controls. The palm rests, adjustable legs, and number pad are sold separately ($35 to $50). It’s compatible with Android, Chrome, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows.
For more options: The Best Ergonomic Keyboard for You