The Best Gifts for Your Mother-in-Law
Shopping for your mother-in-law is rarely easy. You want her to like you, your tastes, and your gifts. You want to impress her, but it's hard to gauge what, exactly, would be impressive. You want your gift to make her happy — whether it's your 30th holiday with her or your first.
There’s nothing like surprising (and even inspiring) your spouse's parent. Below, we’ve selected a few stellar items that we know will make your mother-in-law smile: think exotic salts, lush cashmere travel accessories, an array of travel-friendly beauty products, and all the little luxury items that she just might not think to buy for herself.
This year, Travel + Leisure is offering its most comprehensive gift guide ever. The goal? To make sure you can find the perfect present for everyone (yes, even your in-laws) on your list. Below, our top picks for the discerning mother-in-law.
Ariul 7 Days Mask Set
For the woman who can’t get enough of the mask craze, the best thing about this 7 Days sheet mask set from Ariul is that the masks cover pretty much everything — dry skin, redness, exhaustion, acne breakouts — the list goes on.
To buy: amazon.com, $20
No one can have enough cozy pullover sweaters for wintertime. This one is as versatile and comfy as it is stylish, and that pop of color will be a compliment to any mother’s closet.
To buy: anthropologie.com, $158
Rifle Paper Co Jardin Weekly Desk Planner Notepad
For the woman who has lots of places to be, this beautiful floral desk planner is a great tool for staying organized in style.
To buy: amazon.com, $12
Chanel Take Flight Travel Palette Set
Complete with shadow, gloss, lip color, blush, glow, and mascara, this travel palette is packable and practical.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $95
Charbonnel et Walker Dark Sea Salt Caramel Truffles
Your spouse’s mother will surely be pleased and impressed with these indulgent treats. After all, it’s hard to go wrong when you combine chocolate and caramel.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $30
Tiffany & Co. Eau de Parfum
Straight from the House of Tiffany, this fresh and nuanced fragrance has notes of iris at its base.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $75
‘Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons’
Perfect for the mother-in-law in your life who loves to whip up a delicious, seasonal dish, this cookbook from Portland-based organic farmer and cook Andrea Bemis features over 100 farm-to-table recipes — a terrific way to bring the family together.
To buy: amazon.com, $21
Gourmet Salt & Pepper Kit
Give your mother-in-law a taste of the world with this set of globally sourced salts and peppers, packaged in a beautiful wooden box. From Australia to Egypt to the Himalayas, she’ll have quite the array of savory seasonings to choose from.
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $425
Afternoon Chocolate Fix
To buy: deandeluca.com, $49
Natalie Martin Georgia Robe
Every kind of mother deserves the ultimate loungewear indulgence: a soft, sumptuous robe. This sleek little number features a feminine floral pattern and a super lightweight quality that makes it easy-as-pie to pack.
To buy: anthropologie.com, $298
Krewe Royal Round Optical Frames
Whether she’s curled up at home with hot cocoa and a good book or settling into a long read on a cross-continental flight, every globetrotting girl deserves a good pair of chic specs.
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $315
Sofia Cashmere Travel Set
Want to really impress your mother-in-law? Pull out all the stops with this exquisite cashmere travel set, which includes a cable-knit travel blanket and matching sleep mask, both of which slip into a cashmere carry case.
To buy: saksfifthavenue.com, $300
Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil
It doesn’t get much better than giving the gift of relaxation. This indulgent bath oil from Ren is made from Moroccan rose otto oil, which leaves the skin smooth, full of moisture, and smelling like roses.
To buy: sephora.com, $48
Hobo ‘Lauren’ Leather Clutch
Slip it in a tote, a purse, or just carry it in-hand. This stylish, soft-leather clutch from Hobo is slim and sleek, perfect for the woman who likes to travel light.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $128
Luigi Bormioli ‘Crescendo’ Bordeaux Glasses
A set of four elegant “Crescendo” stems will be an excellent addition to your in-laws’ bar collection. And of course, it wouldn’t hurt to pair it with your favorite Bordeaux.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $35
bkr Water Bottle
Elevate the way your mother-in-law hydrates with this luxe water bottle from bkr. Crafted from glass, silicone, and Swarovski crystal, she’ll feel extra special when she sips from this sleek vessel.
To buy: saksfifthavenue.com, $185
100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time
TIME's "100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time" is the perfect gift for the people in your life who love history or photography (or both). The book highlights the photographs that captured the most important moments in our collective history.
To buy: barnesandnoble.com, $25
TUMI Jewelry Bag
Every woman on the go needs a safe place to store her valuables when in transit. This classic black roll-up from TUMI unravels into an elongated storage space, perfect for storing whatever she wears (or buys) during her travels.
To buy: saksfifthavenue.com, $95
Kate Spade White Dot Clear Umbrella
This stylish accessory will ensure your mother-in-law has a ball wherever she travels, rain or shine.
To buy: saksfifthavenue.com, $38
Kusmi Tea the Collection Chest
Discover the best of Kusmi’s teas in this elegant gift box, which comes with 100 filters (so no problem if she doesn’t own an infuser) and 15 of the brand's most iconic blends. This is a safe gift to buy for the tea-obsessed mother-in law, or the one you don’t know that well. Who doesn’t love a good cuppa?
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $119
Marvis Travel Toothpaste Kit
Who knew toothpaste could be so luxurious? For the woman who’s always traveling, this set of the chicest dental paste around—which includes flavors like jasmine and licorice mint—is an inexpensive, but thoughtful gift.
To buy: sephora.com, $36
The Twill Weekender by Everlane
You know what’s a really nice gift, and is something that most people would never think to buy themselves? A stylish, sturdy weekend bag. This design by Everlane may look like Hèrmes—but it’s about a 20th of the price.
To buy: everlane.com, $98
Olivia von Halle Queenie Sabine Silk Robe
OK, OK, yes, this item is expensive, but come the holiday season, some people like to splurge on their parents—in-laws or otherwise—with a luxurious something that they wouldn’t normally buy themselves. This gorgeous silk robe is timeless, elegant, and ultra-flattering on everyone.
To buy: net-a-porter.com, $975
Winc Wine Club Subscription
Wine club subscriptions are becoming increasingly more popular, but for the vino lover who doesn’t have one—this is a great gift. Since wine is so personal, we love Winc, because it lets you give a gift card, so your mother-in-law can curate her subscription to her tastes.
To buy: clubw.com, prices vary
Try the World Subscription
If you’re completely stumped as to what to gift your mother-in-law, the Try the World subscription box is a safe bet. Who wouldn’t love an assortment of imported foods from around the globe delivered to their front door?
To buy: trytheworld.com, from $39
Michael Aram Dogwood Cheeseboard with Knife
If your mother-in-law regularly hosts family dinners, consider this gorgeous cheeseboard by designer Michael Aram. Handmade with Indian limestone, we can’t think of a more elegant product to serve this year’s holiday appetizers on.
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $200
Zeel Massage Certificate
In case you missed the memo, there’s now a massage service, Zeel, that brings vetted, licensed massage therapists directly to your home. They’ll come with their own massage table, so all you need is a few clean sheets. You can choose from single and couples massages, and pick what type of massage you prefer (Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, or sports). The company offers gift cards—which are the perfect present for just about anyone—and are available in 40 cities.
To buy: zeel.com, prices vary
OXO Tabletop Spiralizer
Fruit and vegetable spiralizers are the latest must-have culinary accessory—you can thank health-crazed Instagrammers for popularizing them—but not everyone might want to go out and splurge on one. Though we’ve got to say, this one’s quite a bargain. If your mother-in-law likes to cook, introduce her to this fun new trend with OXO’s Tabletop Spiralizer.
To buy: surlatable.com, $39.95
Gucci Horsebit-detailed Shearling-Lined Leather Slippers
Have a mother-in-law that’s just as into fashion as you are? Gift her this season’s must-have shoe, seen on everyone from Sienna Miller to Mary-Kate Olsen. They’re basically the indoor/outdoor slippers that dreams are made of. Our favorite way to rock these bad boys? At the airport, of course!
To buy: nordstrom.com, $995