The 21 Best Hostess Gifts of 2023 That Are So Useful You’ll Want To Keep Them

These are the best hostess gifts of 2023 to stash away for an easy last-minute gift idea (or to treat yourself).

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BHG / Amelia Manley

Showing up empty-handed to a special event or party is the worst, especially if everyone else has put in the effort to bring something to thank the host for their hospitality. You need one of the best hostess gifts, but finding said gifts aren't as easy as you hoped.

Maybe you don't know the hostess as well as you thought to know how to narrow down the options on the market. Perhaps you want something other than a gift card or the same old bottle of wine. Or at worse, maybe you forget all about the event altogether. 

If you didn't have time to create adorable DIY hostess gifts, couldn't think of something while on the run, or need some inspiration, we're here to help. We researched a variety of items and poured over hundreds of online reviews to find the 21 best hostess gifts in various categories that are so practical, clever, or stylish you may even order one for yourself. 

These hostess gifts are foolproof and suit various tastes and occasions–especially housewarmings. From game night games to décor, our picks feature everything from practical, everyday items to ones that may require a tissue. 

Backed by our research, here are the 21 best hostess gifts.

Best Mixology Set

Mixology & Craft Mixology Bartender Kit Tool Set with Stylish Bamboo Stand

Bartender Kit


Available in three colors (silver, gold, copper), the Mixology Bartender Kit with Bamboo or Mahogany Stand comes equipped with matching, must-have accessories to make it easy for newbies and practiced bartenders to craft cocktails like a pro.

The 24-ounce cocktail shaker has a built-in strainer to remove chunks of ice. The double-sided jigger lists milliliters and centiliters to precisely measure liquids for metric and imperial drink recipes. The corkscrew has an easy-to-use, two-step lever, and two liquor pourers to reduce the risk of messy spills from a bottle. 

We love how the muddler helps to mash fruits, herbs, and spices from the garden with ease and that the fancy spoon allows you to emulsify like a pro. Plus, the ice tongs make it super easy to grab ice cubes. The stand reduces drawer clutter, makes it easy to find just what you need when you need it, and we think it looks great on a bar cart.

Price at the time of publish: From $43

Best Game

Hygge Games The Hygge Game

Hygge Games The Hygge Game

Hygge Games

The Hygge Game is like giving the gift of contentment. The term Hygge first appeared in Danish writing in the 1800s as a derivative of a Norwegian term meaning “well-being.” It became a buzzword that went viral a few years ago and has now become a mantra for a stress-free lifestyle where one enjoys the good things in life. 

This thought-evoking entertaining party game is intended to spark conversation through 300 questions. It is great for icebreakers and bringing people even closer together. Plus, it is acceptable for guests of all ages.

Price at the time of publish: $20

Best Cloth Napkins

Eight Owls Linen Napkins

Eight Owls Linen Napkins


The Eight Owl Linen Napkins made our list of best hostess gifts because they look like the expensive French linens we picture on the table of a café in Paris or at a picnic in Provence, but they are wallet-friendly and easy to toss in the wash. 

Each soft, stonewashed linen package comes with a pack of four 18 x 18-inch napkins with mitered corners, quality stitching, and beautiful packaging. The hardest thing will be deciding which color to choose since we love every tone, from the rustic orange and soft mulberry for fall to the bold red and purple grape for summer. 

They can be tossed in a washing machine with like colors on a gentle cycle and tumble dried, can be ironed on a dry, low setting, and should not be drycleaned or washed with bleach.

Price at the time of publish: $33

Best Spices

Thoughtfully Smokehouse Ultimate Grilling Spice Set

 Smokehouse by Thoughtfully Ultimate Grilling Spice Set


If you ever loved the plastic candy canes with tiny jars of jelly, you’ll love this adult version of a choose-your-own culinary adventure. The Ultimate Grilling Spice Set is not just for meat lovers–its 20 unique and expertly flavored combinations are great for veggies, making it a vegetarian, gluten-free, and keto-friendly gift option.

We love the classics like the Memphis rub (sugar, brown sugar, chili flakes, garlic flakes, onion flakes, and cayenne) and were excited to flashback to family vacations with international combinations like the Jamaican jerk rub (salt, brown sugar, onion flakes, cinnamon flakes, garlic flakes) and the Caribbean (coriander seeds, salt, onion flakes, sugar). The staples like rosemary and herb salt are great for beginner grillers as they learn to define and cook with their favorite flavors, and adventurous flavors like lime chipotle or chili rosemary will keep any master griller’s interest piqued.

Keep in mind: that the bottles are much smaller than they appear, and each bottle is more or less single-use, with less than one ounce each. 

Price at the time of publish: $40

Best Candle

Yankee Candle MidSummer's Night Signature Pillar Candle

Yankee Candle MidSummer's Night Signature Pillar Candle


Candles are one of the best hostess gifts, but luxury candles are pricey, and it can be hard to know which aroma or design is best for someone else. The Yankee Candle MidSummer's Night Signature Pillar Candle is a safe bet because it’s one of the top five best sellers. It has an aroma that appeals to both men and women with a masculine blend of musk, patchouli, sage, and mahogany–yet it remains light and fresh. 

The premium soy wax burns clean without tunneling (uneven hollowing out due to poor wax quality or a wick that is too small), and multiple cotton wicks provide a consistent burn. We love that this candle can burn for up to 95 hours. Its brushed tin lid doubles as a coaster and its simple glass exterior with a pretty label will not disrupt the aesthetic of a space.

Price at the time of publish: From $28

Best Gift Card

Winc Monthly Wine Club

Winc Monthly Wine Club


If you’ve ever stared at an aisle wine in a state of paralysis so long you could feel yourself aging with the grapes, you’ll want to know about the Winc Wine Gift Card because it takes all of the guesswork out of matching a hostess’ preferences to the perfect bottle. 

Instead, they will answer six quick questions in the Palate Profile quiz to select a bottle of wine according to the type, region, and hints of flavor that the hostess likes best. 

The Winc gift card is sent digitally. You simply choose the amount you want (starting at $60) and write a personalized note. A code will be used to redeem the card online.

Keep in mind that when completing a gift card purchase, you'll be asked to create an account in order to receive an email confirmation, but you will not automatically be enrolled in the Winc Membership after purchase. 

Price at the time of publish: From $60

Best Gadget

Anthropologie USB Candle Lighter

Anthropologie USB Candle Lighter


If your hostess likes to burn candles, the Anthropology USB Candle Lighter is one of the best hostess gifts because it can be used up to 130 times before needing to be recharged through a USB port. It uses flameless ARC technology for a butane-free ignition and is also eco-friendly by reducing the waste of matches and disposable lighters. 

The lighter comes with a gift box (making presentation super easy), and it’s available for purchase both online and in-store pickup. Rechargeable lighters are relatively new to the market, so there’s a good chance it’s an item the host doesn’t already own.

We love that it comes in four colors (white, gold, light pink, and rose gold), though some colors are often on backorder. We also think its design leaves something to be desired. 

Price at the time of publish: $30

Best for Pet Lovers

DrawYourPortrait Custom Pet Portrait



This Custom Pet Portrait from Etsy could have been the top pick in the category of the best-personalized hostess gifts because there’s nothing that hits closer to the heart than a gift that shows the cute little face of one’s favorite furbaby. 

It’s available in all standard sizes (5 x 7, 10 x 8, 14 x 11, 16 x 12, 20 x 16, 18 x 24 inches). Once you’ve chosen a size, you select from a wrapped canvas print that comes in a wooden frame, a digital download printable file, a high-quality paper print, or a black acrylic frame that comes with hanging hardware.

We love that it can be delivered as a gift certificate so the hostess can submit the photo of their choosing later. Plus, you can order this gift in advance during a sale, and the seller will still honor the discounted price even if it’s ordered after.

Price at the time of publish: From $34

Best Gift Basket

Hickory Farms Thank You Treats Gift Box



More often, mailed food gift boxes can get pretty expensive once you navigate options for add-ons and shipping, but the Hickory Farms Thank You Treats Gift Box is the exception. 

Weighing in at 1.39 pounds, the box displays classic treats like the Hickory Farms’ signature summer beef sausage, farmhouse cheddar, smoked Gouda, sweet hot mustard, toasted crackers, and chewy dark chocolate sea salt caramels. 

Its solid lineup makes this one of the best hostess gifts. You can purchase for someone who is a picky eater or doesn’t care to get too adventurous with their food. We love that it would also be a great idea for a host you don’t know well yet, since it is likely to satisfy diverse palates. 

Due to supply chain woes, your box may arrive with substitutions, though according to the site, meats and salamis will not be substituted. 

Price at the time of publish: $40

Best Oil and Vinegar Set

Kosterina Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Italian Balsamic Vinegar Gift Set

Kosterina Gift Set


Described by one reviewer as “liquid gold,” the Kosterina Greek Olive Oil & Italian Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Set is the fancy–and slightly pricey–culinary gift you wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself, but would love to receive. 

Both bottles of olive oil are made from high-quality, early-harvest Koroneiki olives grown in southern Greece and then cold-pressed in small batches. The original is a versatile and savory classic; the Greek herb and lemon-infused oil are packed with lemon, oregano, onion, and black pepper. They are anti-inflammatory, fragrant, and ultra-premium in quality. 

The balsamic vinegar is made with Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes by artisans in Modena, Italy, and has a fruity flavor with a peppery finish. Each 12.7 fluid-ounce bottle adds depth and acidity to salads, bread, roasted meats, and grilled veggies. 

The price point is a bit high, but the packaging is attractive and minimal, and each bottle of olive oil has a high-quality wood cork to keep them well preserved. Keep in mind that the oil should be used one year after opening the bottle–though it can be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to two years. 

Price at the time of publish: From $70

Best Vase

Pottery Barn Nouvel Handcrafted Recycled Glass Vases

Nouvel Handcrafted Recycled Glass Vases

Pottery Barn

Handcrafted by artisans in Mexico, the Pottery Barn Nouvel Handcrafted Recycled Glass Vase comes in five sizes (bowl, bud, medium, tall, and extra large) of various shapes. Because each one is hand-blown from recycled glass that is BPA, phthalate, lead, and latex-free, each one varies slightly, making it one-of-a-kind. 

We love that you could arrange flowers or plants in the vase to amp up your gift-giving from a simple bunch of store-bought flowers to an arrangement work of art. Plus, not having to forage for a vase in their cupboard takes one task off your hostess’ to-do list.

Note that the glass is clear but has a slight green tint at the bottom. Because it is susceptible to chipping, the vases should be washed by hand only. 

Price at the time of publish: From $30

Best Dish Towels

Hyer Microfiber Striped Kitchen Towels

Hyer Striped Kitchen Towels


When we heard the Hyer Microfiber Dish Towels claimed to absorb six times their weight in water. Our team put them to the test, and we loved them so much we went back for a second color. 

What makes it the best hostess gift is that the microfiber cloth is available in 10 pretty colors. All are absorbent enough to dry dishes, pots, and pans after a large family meal, plus it dries in no time without any hints of a musty, lingering odor. The fabric does not shed, so you can use them to clean mirrors, stainless steel appliances, and windows without leaving lint or smudges behind. We found they stand up well to constant abuse and remain soft and thick without any signs of warping or shrinking after multiple washes. Plus, the colors stay rich.

Each pack of eight is available in 10 surprisingly pretty colors. It would be hard to find something wrong with these towels, though it is worth noting that some people don’t like the way microfiber “grabs” your skin. We found this kind of texture to be minimal with the set and appreciated that the fibers are doing what they were supposed to do.  

Price at the time of publish: $16

Best Coaster Set

LIFVER Absorbent Coasters Set of 6 with Holder - Terrazzo Pattern

LIFVER Absorbent Coasters Set of 6 with Holder


Coasters are the best practical–yet often overlooked–hostess gift. The funny thing about these Lifver Terrazzo Drink Coasters is how much they impact space with their small, four-inch size. The set of six with three cool-toned and three warm-toned color palettes in a terrazzo pattern and a holder (though not incredibly attractive) keeps them stacked and organized. 

The ceramic top has a texture that grabs onto your glass and is absorbent to capture condensation from iced drinks. The non-slip cork base protects the surfaces in your home from scratches, scuffs, and water rings, plus it presents slipping, which inevitably reduces the number of spills. One thing to note is that we noticed stains from coffee drips are hard–if not impossible–to get out. 

Wrap up these coasters with a bag of roasted coffee and a mug or a pair of wine glasses to make a great hostess gift.

Price at the time of publish: $15

Best Cookbook

Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat: A Cookbook

Cook this Book: Techniques that Teach and Recipes to Repeat


Right when you thought you’ve seen every type of cookbook, Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat by Molly Baz swoops in with a DIY approach to teaching fundamentals that is easy and approachable. 

Throughout the 304-page book, quick snippets explain culinary fundamentals like the how-tos of balancing flavor. The QR codes link to instructional videos showing how to master whatever technique is needed to create the recipe on the page. 

The recipes are straightforward, modern, and quickly prepared, like the pastrami roast chicken with “schmaltzy onions and dill” or the “Nicoise Sando” with egg and black olive mayonnaise. 

The book is ideal for ‘level One’ home cooks who want to expand their palates, entertain friends and family rather than plunk some food on a plate, and wish to learn advanced techniques without spending money and time in a cooking class.

Price at the time of publish: From $20

Best Housewarming

Grafomap Custom Maps



Grafomap lets you custom-design map posters of any place in the world. If the host is your friend from college you backpacked with during that one unforgettable summer or she’s your best friend from your first job in the city, it is hands down the best hostess gift for a walk down memory lane. 

Just enter the location by address or coordinates and adjust or zoom from there. You can add text and select a finish, orientation, and size. You can also choose from 11 unique color themes (like bourbon or minimal) that create a work of art with just one click. Posters start at $49 for an 18 x 24 inch without a frame, but they come as a hanger ($69), framed ($104; five available colors), printed canvas ($99), and metal ($119). You can also get a t-shirt for just $35.

Price at the time of publish: From $18

Best Cheese Board

Bambusi Cheese Board and Knife Set



Your food-loving friend is guaranteed to love the Bambusi Cheese Board and Knife Set because it represents the entire contents of a cheese shop on one 14 x 14-inch serving platter. It is one of the best hostess gifts you can buy on Amazon because it’s unique yet useful.

The set is well-stocked with four cheese knives, three labeling slates with two chalk markers, one wine opener, and a carrying bag. Made of 100 percent bamboo, the board is durable and made for the long haul. We love the grooves around the serving area because crackers fit just right without sliding all over the place. 

One drawback lies in all the nooks and crannies in the drawer because it's tedious to clean out crumbs and bits of cheese after the party. 

Price at the time of publish: $40

Best for Margarita Lovers

Uncommon Goods Personalized Margarita Board

Uncommon Goods Personalized Margarita Board

Uncommon Goods

Margarita lovers, unite! The Uncommon Goods Personalized Margarita Board is one of the best gifts for the hostess who love their Taco Tuesdays. This bamboo plywood board is made in Florida and can be customized with your name, an important date, or a phrase in your choice of 10 fonts. 

At just over 9 x 6 inches, this compact glass won't be a burden to store. Your host will love being able to rim their glasses with their choice of sugar or salt and cut limes on the same board. When the party's over, they can rinse it off in the sink and let it air dry. 

Keep in mind that it is hand washed only. This glass will need to be treated with mineral or olive oil from time to time so the bamboo won’t dry out and crack. 

Price at the time of publish: $35

Best All-Purpose Wine Glasses

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Pure Cabernet Wine Glasses (Set of 6)



If you need a glass that is suitable for sparkling, red, and white wines without needing to fuss over which glass to use for what, the Schott Zwiesel Pure Collection Cabernet Wine Glasses will do the trick. Most wine aficionados are familiar with the brand and would agree that they are not only a popular choice, but the Schott Zwiesel name is a dependable brand.

Made in Germany from lead-free Tritan crystal glass with a capacity of 18.2 ounces (an entire bottle of wine is only 750 ml or 25.4 ounces), they are sturdy enough to hold up in the dishwasher. 

While their geometric lines make them look elegant, they don’t feel as delicate as high-end glasses with super thin glass, but they also don’t cost a fortune to replace when one breaks.

Price at the time of publish: $90

Best Soap

La Chatelaine Sulfate-Free Orange Blossom Hand Wash

La Chatelaine Sulfate-Free Orange Blossom Hand Wash

La Chatelaine

Francophones and Francophiles will agree when we say that La Chatelaine Sulfate-Free Orange Blossom Hand Wash is the best hostess gift if you’re looking for something both practical and luxurious. Not only does the plant-based soap leave your skin smelling scented, but the blend of organic shea butter, argan oil, calendula, and Vitamin E creates a gentle soap that hydrates the skin while cleansing it. 

We love the beautiful frosted glass and the pretty motif, so we’re willing to overlook that the bottle only has a little over eight ounces of soap. Plus, we give it bonus points for avoiding sulfates, parabens, phthalates, colorants, gluten, soy, or GMOs. 

Price at the time of publish: $20

Best Ice Bucket

OXO Insulated Plastic Ice Bucket Set

OXO Good Grips Double Wall Ice Bucket with Tongs and Garnish Tray,Gray, 7.37"L x 8.5"W x 7.5"H


If you throw a party, the most important thing, above all else, is to keep the ice coming. The best gift to ensure your hostess’ party isn’t a disaster is to ensure that the ice will remain accessible and cold all night long with the OXO Insulated Plastic Ice Bucket Set.

It’s insulated, durable, and has a lifetime warranty. But the magic lies in its internal reservoir that catches water as it drips, keeping it separate from the ice cubes. It also has a removable garnish tray, tongs that hide from either side so they never go missing, and a handle to make it easy to move. 

We love the clear plastic top, so you can see if it’s running low. The only downside we can find is that it is hand washed only. 

Price at the time of publish: $31

Best Cheese Knives

French Home Store Laguiole 7-Piece Laguiole Cheese Knife & Spreader Set



Sometimes the little things in life mean the most, and this cute seven-piece Laguiole Cheese Knife & Spreader Set is the best hostess gift for someone who can appreciate how these knives can make something as simple as cheddar cheese on crackers seem fancy.

We love the iconic Laguiole bee insignia, and the triple-rivet design found on the top of the iconic French design flatware. It gives the stainless steel blades with ergonomic and properly weighted designed acrylic handles an air of elegance. The set includes a spade, fork-tipped spear, soft cheese spreader, four regular spreaders, and a little wood tray to keep the blades sharp while storing. 

Keep in mind that while this set is dishwasher safe. This set is not the same caliber or quality as the knives made in France–it’s a bridge line, meaning it’s produced and priced for mass merchandising. Still, we think they are adorable.

Price at the time of publish: From $30

The Bottom Line

When shopping online for the best hostess gifts, it is best to start with the basics. 

First, understand that the gift you bring to a special event or party are considered a hostess gift. Generally, this item is something the hostess would use while entertaining, like serving platters, coasters, linens, and tea towels. They can be generic in design or holiday themed. 

The difference between that and, say, a birthday gift is that a birthday gift is often more of a personal item like a bottle of perfume or a book.

Stylist and etiquette expert Haya Maraka says that while there are faux passes when attending a party as a guest, there are similar ones to gift-giving. Much like posting photographs of the hostess’ home on social media without permission or spilling a clear liquid like champagne and not telling the host, there are the wrong ways to go about gift-giving, too. 

To steer clear of any mishaps, “It is important to take some time and make it personal,” she advises. And, if you want to put your best foot forward or if you had an oops and arrived empty-handed, Maraka says going the extra mile is still a good idea. “Always include a handwritten thank you note. Sometimes it is even nice to send a gift after the party, as well.” 

After our research, we found 21 of the best hostess gifts that are nearly foolproof. Some more personal than others, some more silly, and some more clever. 

What to Know About Hostess Gifts Before Shopping

When shopping online for the best hostess gifts, there are a few things to consider.


It’s the thought that counts, not the size or price. The point of presenting a gift to your hostess is not to show anyone up or to win anyone over. It is to show the hostess your gratitude for welcoming you to be a part of the special event and to make them feel special, but it should be discreet. 

“You never need to go overboard to make an elegant and simple statement,” says Makara. Take her advice to heart by adding a personal touch like a handwritten note, and you’ll set yourself up for success.


Deciding what is practical for a hostess depends on the reason for the event, who will be present, the location, and the host's personality. You should also consider the ages and any possible dietary restrictions.

For casual gatherings like a game night with friends, a game to be used that evening or some time in the future might be the best hostess gift. 

Housewarmings can be the most fun since the best hostess gift is one that will contribute to their new home or welcome them to the neighborhood. Think wine glasses, dish towels, or candles. 

Formal celebrations that honor a person may be a bit different. For special events like birthdays or anniversaries, a card, flowers, or a gift certificate that is thoughtfully wrapped might be the best route. 

Knowing the personality of the hostess may trump all these rules. “Nothing in life should be boring. My grandma always taught me that the gift reflects the gifter (one who gives a gift)," says Maraka.

Entertaining Style

Because everyone’s entertaining style is a little different, it is worth pausing a moment to reflect on the style of the hostess (if you know them well). If you don’t know them well or have some doubts, double up on items instead of decorative ones. 

For example, a hostess with a modern aesthetic in her home may not appreciate the same serving set as the hostess with a farm chic touch. To avoid a gifting disaster, concentrate on consumables like candles, food finds, soaps, lotions, and generic gift cards that are sure to be appreciated. The hostess can choose to set them out to be consumed at the party or wait for a later time, as opposed to a decorative item that might pressure them to display in their home.

For a dear friend you know well, you can lean more into their hobbies or build on shared memories to have the most impact.

Your Questions, Answered

When should you bring a hostess gift?

As a general rule, you should bring a hostess gift to any event in your home or has food or drink–yes, that’s most of them–like brunches, luncheons, dinners, or cocktail parties. If there will be eating or drinking, you should bring something to share or leave behind.

You should do this every time, remembering that the perfect gifts can be small. Makara says you should always bring something with you, but the first time you are invited to someone’s home.

How much should you spend on a hostess gift?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is: it depends. 

If your contribution was a dish to share and requested by the hostess, there is no other expense other than your grocery bill. If you are attending a dinner party, consider what you would spend on a nice dinner out, and allocate that much money to a gift. 

If those two general rules don’t fit the bill, Makara suggests finding something between a simple bouquet of flowers ($20) to a lovely coffee table book ($60). If your budget allows, you can go as high as $200 for a gift.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

Who We Are

Belle DuChene is an award-winning digital content producer and stylist often seen in Better Homes & Gardens home and garden videos. She is the agency director of a micro-influencer talent agency and teaches strategic digital communications at three colleges and universities. 

For this article, Belle researched a variety of hostess gifts, looking at price, practicality, style, and more to find the best hostess gifts across different price points and tastes. She also consulted Haya Maraka, a stylist, etiquette expert, and author of A Lady Knows: Modes and Manners.

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