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Life is more interesting when things get a bit unusual, and the same is true for the holidays. While everyone else around you is busy snatching up Instant Pots and humming along to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" for the 700th time, don't blend back with the crowd. You can stand out in a good way—and show your favorite oddballs that you love their silly, wacky sides just as much—by gifting a few totally fun (but also surprisingly useful) weird gifts this season.
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From skin cream made from snail ooze to pillows that might remind you of your ex-boyfriend, these strange but brilliant inventions will not only kick the surprise factor up a notch this year, but could also help your loved ones solve common everyday problems in a way that's as creative and original as they are. The best part? They're highly rated or even tested by the Reviewed staff, so you know they're worthwhile.
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Please note that many of these items could be in high demand as we head into the winter months. We recommend starting your holiday shopping early this year to make sure your items are still available—and to ensure that they'll arrive on time, as shipping could be delayed.
1. For the one with dry skin: This relaxing scalp massager
More than 35,000 shoppers give this palm-sized brush a 4.5-star rating on Amazon because, according to them, it really works. Made with thick silicone bristles, this massager stimulates blood flow to the scalp and can help give oil glands a much-needed boost, which is especially good for those who struggle with dry skin or dandruff, say reviewers. Additionally, some users swear it even helps strengthen roots and clean hard-to-reach areas. "I cannot explain how good this feels when [you're] using it! It actually goes down to the roots and makes sure that it gets into all the spots it can to clean your hair," one reviewer wrote.
2. For the one who hates laundry: These time-saving wool dryer balls
The bigger a family gets, the more laundry there is to do. Pro tip though: These wool dryer balls are our favorite and can help cut down on the drying time and save money, as they're good for up to a thousand loads. Made from organic wool, these chemical- and synthetic-free wool dryer balls are also gentle on sensitive skin and great for natural fabric softening, too.
3. For the one who's always on their feet: This cult-favorite roller
Is someone you love constantly standing and shifting around all day? Chances are, their feet are aching like crazy after a long shift. And you've just found the perfect present: this 4.5-star rated dual foot roller. Designed with hard wooden knobs that'll press into skin and help loosen up tight knots, this odd-looking thing may be a bit intimidating, but more than 2,600 Amazon shoppers say it can work wonders for someone with plantar fasciitis, foot arch and/or heel pain. "Because of plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, my feet hurt all time even though I have had surgery on both feet and two sets of custom orthotics," wrote one reviewer. "Surprisingly, this foot massager has helped with the arch pain."
4. For the one who likes to be prepared: This multitool that's like having a whole toolbox in your wallet
Gadget nerds can be tough to shop for because it feels like they have almost everything they need already. But you know what that gizmo-loving wunderkind probably doesn't have yet? A steel, credit card-shaped instrument that's like getting to carry an entire toolbox worth of stuff in their pocket or wallet. Featuring 18 tools in one slim profile, this 4.5-star rated multitool might raise some eyebrows, but carpenters and mechanics swear by it, and you can tell from the more than 3,400 positive reviews on Amazon just how celebrated it is. "I bought this for my boyfriend who loves little gadgets like this," raved one shopper. "... It fits right in your wallet and the best part about it is the box cutter!"
5. For the one who's been single in quarantine: This body pillow that looks like a boyfriend
Being single in quarantine? There's no point in beating around the bush—it sucks. But if you're gift shopping for someone special who also happens to be down a plus one, the cult-favorite Boyfriend Pillow might be just the thing to get them chuckling through cuffing season. Made from polyester, this clever spin on the traditional husband pillow features a pillowcase (which looks like a button-down shirt) and one "arm," which makes it perfect for snuggles. Sure, some of your giftee's pals might mistake it for the real deal—it's what happened to me when I posted a picture with my Boyfriend Pillow on Instagram back in July—but with a pillow this wonderfully wacky, who cares, right?
6. For the meat lover: These claws that can shred through meat like nobody's business
Whether it's pulled pork or chicken thighs, no succulent meats stand a chance against the power of these ridiculous-looking shredder claws. Give your giftee the chance to unleash their wild side and make short work of their next big BBQ in the process with these 4.7-star rated claws, which have nearly 9,000 stellar Amazon reviews. "I originally purchased them because I was cooking for a group of [more than a hundred] on a trip. We made about 40 [pounds] of shredded chicken thighs," wrote one Amazon reviewer. "Using these shredding claws, we shredded 40 [pounds] of thighs in about 45 minutes ... these claws are so sharp [and] useful that it took less than half the [usual] time."
7. For the one who's always in the kitchen: This stainless steel bar that gets rid of funky odors
This sounds unbelievable, but hear me out. There's a stainless steel bar out there that looks like soap (but definitely isn't soap) and it helps make stinky smells disappear, so people don't have to walk around with onion fingers or garlic hands all day. Now here's the most surreal part about it: According to shoppers, this thing really works. "I don’t know how it works but it does! Garlic, onion, fish, and other smells disappear like magic," exclaimed one Bed Bath and Beyond reviewer. With a 4.7-star rating on the site, this handy kitchen tool makes a great gift for chefs or anyone who does a lot of prep work in the kitchen.
8. For the beauty lover: This cream made from actual snail ooze
The new big beauty thing? It's snails. More specifically, it's snail slime. If the thought of putting icky snail goo all over your face makes your skin crawl (or in this case, since we're talking about snails, "glide"), then you ain't the only one, bucko. But even still, this K-beauty ingredient is all the rage right now. There are hundreds of snail slime extract creams and masks out there, but our writer Izzy Kagan swears by this one from LadyKin. "I never thought I'd be moisturizing my face with snail slime but here I am ... loving this cream by LadyKin," says Izzy. "Aside from the adorable packaging, it leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated, and a little goes a long way."
9. For the one who hates tying their shoes: These no-tie shoelaces
Transform virtually any pair of sneakers into a pair of comfy slip-ons with 4.5-star rated no-tie shoelaces. Ideal for seniors, those with mobility issues, little ones, or even just folks who feel like they go slightly batty every time a shoelace comes undone, these elastic laces are incredibly stretchy and come in a range of colors, so they can coordinate with most looks.
10. For the dog lover: These clever drink-inspired pet toys
So your giftee crushes LaCroix like it's going out of style—now their pupper can do the same with the Muttini collection. The names for some of these plush, 4.6-star rated doggie chew toys alone are a selling point: LickCroix Pamplemutt Flavor, Barkweiser, White Paw Muttlennial Mango, you get the idea. One part parody, one part invitation to happy hour, these are a super-cute gift idea for the canine lover in your life and their four-legged companion will enjoy it just as much.
11. For the cat lover: This one-of-a-kind brush for literally licking cats
Created as a way for cat owners to soothe their furry felines and create a deeper bond with them, this silicone brush is certainly unforgettable, to say the least. Billed by more than one Amazon reviewer as the "ultimate gag gift," this 4.1-star rated brush can be useful for getting mats and knots out of hair. Cat lovers will either love this or hate it, but either way, they'll get a good laugh out of it, and likely so will you after you see the expression on their face when you explain that this brush is meant for licking. "I bought it as a joke, but the cat seems to like it a lot," wrote one shopper on Amazon. Another noted: "Bought it as a gift for our daughter, who has cats. Lots of laughs and the pictures of her using it on her cats were hysterical."
12. For the one who loves Sonic: This legendary nugget ice maker
Sonic made chewy nugget ice famous, but having the chance to make that mouthwateringly good treat at home might seem out of reach for some. You can win at gifts this year with this luxurious countertop ice maker, which actually churns out little nibble-sized chunks on its very own. With more than 2,300 glowing reviews on Amazon, this 4.5-star rated device is also extremely popular, even if it is a bit unusual to have at home.
13. For the one who hates folding clothes: This game-changing board
For most people, folding clothes is a slog. But this durable board makes getting through multiple articles of clothing at once a total breeze. Fans of The Big Bang Theory might remember seeing Sheldon Cooper use one, so if you're shopping for someone who you know loved the show, this adds an extra layer of usefulness to this 4.5-star rated organizational tool, which more than 8,500 Amazon shoppers can't get enough of.
14. For the one who needs a little extra pampering: This fancy Shark Tank-approved oil
The hair on the top of our heads isn't the only hair that matters. Nourishing strands all over is essential for preventing ingrown hairs and keeping everything silky smooth, and that's where Fur Oil can help. Featured on Shark Tank, this oil is made from a rejuvenating blend of jojoba, grapeseed, tea tree and clary sage seed oil, and has a zesty, citrus-like fragrance that'll last throughout most of the day. In my review, I loved its elegant glass bottle and handy dropper, and felt that while expensive, this oil was a fantastic option for anyone looking to kickstart a new self-care routine.
15. For the one who's very particular: This one-of-a-kind pillow that's ultra supportive
With its honeycomb-like polymer grid and heavy, almost cinderblock-like density, the Purple pillow is the last kind of thing you'd expect to generate a cult following—or frankly, even exist. But if you ask brand loyalists like our very own operations manager Dylan Prowse, its oddity is part of the appeal. "I normally don't use a pillow because A., the height of most pillows drive me crazy and B., I hate pillows that are 'too soft'," says Dylan, who owns a Gen. 1 Purple pillow. "The Purple is firm, but not too firm." In testing, our reviewers weren't personally so sold on the Purple pillow, with one complaining it was too heavy (and even Dylan concedes that it's a lot to carry), but they also noted that it's still pretty comfortable once you start to lay on it, and could be a solid option for anyone who needs a lot of support at night.
16. For the one with a sweet tooth: This handy device for making cake pops
"If you’re reading the reviews just stop and press the add to cart button," wrote one Amazon shopper of this 4.2-star rated cake pop maker, which has more than 2,300 stellar reviews on the site. Made with nonstick baking plates, this lightweight and compact device takes all the guesswork out of baking. If you've been on the fence about what to gift someone special but you know they've got a real love of sweets, cake pops are just the kind of addictive, easy-to-make treat that they'll surely be all jazzed up over.
17. For the runner: These bizarre yet brilliant sneaker lights
Runners are notoriously hard to gift for, and unless it's a Garmin Forerunner 245 or one of our other favorite running watches, it's really hard to find something that both supports their goals but also is unique enough that they don't already have it yet. Here's your ace in the hole if you're shopping for a runner: these wonderfully offbeat shoe lights. While it's not the snazziest gift, these wacky little guys are designed to fasten easily onto most any footwear and cast a big, bold light in that runner's direction. They're also convenient for other outdoor activities like hiking, camping, or even walking a dog, so they offer a lot of versatility as well.
18. For the one who likes to pick stuff: This foot peel that makes you shed skin like a snake
Sometimes it's just really satisfying getting to pick at things. If you're gift-shopping for someone who enjoys digging their nails into icky stuff and pulling it away, this wildly popular Baby Foot peel should already be in your cart. With more than 23,000 rave reviews, this beauty product claims it can make calluses wilt away and remove layers of dead skin, so feet will be—you guessed it—baby smooth and crack-free afterwards. In my review, I felt it was more or less just fun for the experience, as I got to watch my skin scale up like a reptile's and then shed away in pieces. Gross? Absolutely. But it was still fun for picking.
19. For the one who's always cold: This ultra-comfy wearable blanket from Shark Tank
Your giftee will get to bundle up in all the comfort they crave after unwrapping this Shark Tank-approved wearable blanket. Dubbed "The Comfy," this plush delight truly charmed the cold-weather blues away from editor Amanda Tarlton, who loved how soft the sherpa-looking fleece of it was to the touch and how oversized it was, so no matter what, she always felt comfortable. More than 3,000 Amazon reviewers agree and gave this bizarre item—which makes the wearer look similar to a monk—a 4.8-star rating.
20. For the constant traveler: This unique travel pillow
The J-Pillow didn't end up taking the top spot in our roundup of the best travel pillows—other testers thought it was a bit too odd—but as one of the testers, I still enjoyed it most of all. Designed by a flight attendant, this pillow doesn't look anything like other travel pillows and that's part of why it's so good. It comes in a J-shape (hence the name), and the hook of J is used to support your chin and keep your head from falling forward, while the rest provides support for your head to lean against. Because of this, it's our favorite option for side sleepers. Another perk to the J-Pillow? It's incredibly soft to the touch because it's made from velour fabric, so it almost seemed like a stuffed elephant toy. Around the office, we started calling our testing pillow "Harry Elephante" as an ode to how cute and snuggly it was.
21. For the one who loves blowouts: This hot air brush that might be magic
Everybody's been talking about the Revlon One-Step—that hybrid brush and blow dryer device that claims to make it easy for the user to do quick at-home blowouts. Beauty writer Jessica Kasparian tried it and confirmed that the hype is real: This 4.5-star device with more than 91,000 stellar Amazon reviews really does offer a way to get voluminous blowouts without scheduling a trip to the salon. Nothing like it has ever existed before, so if you're stumped for what to snag for the special person in your life who adores getting their hair done (but doesn't go out much anymore), this tool is guaranteed to make their day ... and possibly their whole dang existence.
22. For the fashionista: This fabric defuzzer that makes old sweaters cute again
Know someone who's shipped scores of sweaters off to the island of misfit clothes because they got way too pilly way too fast and thought there was no coming back from that? Turns out, a fabric defuzzer can solve all those problems and restore those fuzzy, cozy tops to their former glory. Don't let the fashion lover in your life make a cute top go to waste—gift them this top-rated fabric defuzzer and I promise you, they'll be grateful.
23. For the scribe: These waterproof spiral notepads
Your giftee might not believe you when you tell them that they can dunk these waterproof notepads in a puddle of water and keep on using them, but more than 700 Amazon reviewers are here to back up your claims. This 4.8-star rated set can survive it all: water, sweat, grease, mud, and even an accidental spin through your washer's rinse cycle. Whether they're a professional writer or they just like to scribble notes down, this makes an amazing—albeit unusual—gift for the holidays.
24. For the one who's obsessed with sushi: This easy-to-use sushi roller kit
Making sushi at home might seem complicated, but this 4-star rated kit simplifies the process and will give your giftee everything they need to make their favorite rolls at home. More than 1,700 can't stop raving about how much it helps take the trial-and-error out of making a yummy batch. "I'm a 33 year old male. I am buy no means a chef (I delivered pizzas once as a teenager) nor have I ever fooled around with trying to roll my own sushi, even once," wrote one Amazon shopper. "This product makes it AMAZINGLY simple to produce rolls that my cousins and family say 'Wow!'"
25. For the one who wants the perfect pout: This lipstick that changes colors
Picture a mood ring. Now, imagine a lipstick that does the exact same thing for mouths. That's what this massively popular makeup from Lipstick Queen is. "The formula is super hydrating, and the color is more natural, flattering flush of pink- not hot pink at all," wrote one Ulta Beauty shopper of this 4.4-star rated pick, specifically in the much-loved Frog Prince shade. It looks green to the eyes, but mellows into an alluring pink shade, which may change in intensity depending on the wearer. Fun and flirty (especially for those who relish rocking a bold lip), this lipstick is a bizarre but brilliant touch for the holidays.
26. For the one who always forgets to defrost stuff: This tray that does it for them
Life happens while we're busy making other plans—including forgetting to think about dinner. How many times has your giftee lamented to you that they forgot to take food out to defrost, so now they're stuck ordering takeout or eating pasta again? Well, no more. This 4.5-star rated tray thaws out frozen meats quickly, which means goodbye hot water, goodbye microwave—your dinner will be set to defrost before long. "Love this defrosting tray," raved one reviewer on The Grommet. "Forgetting to take something out of the freezer the night before is no longer a dinner killer. Well worth the money."
27. For the one who wants to try acupressure: This top-rated mat and pillow set
The thought of laying down on thousands of tiny plastic needles is enough to give most folks the willies, but close to 5,000 reviewers on Amazon are obsessed with this 4.3-star rated acupressure mat and neck pillow set. According to experts, these mats aren't the same as going to an acupuncturist, but they can still be helpful for those looking to relax and potentially reduce minor aches and pains. If someone on your gift list has been curious, this top-rated set could be the best way to go.
28. For the college student: This rapid ramen cooker
Pretty much everyone lives on ramen in college, and I don't mean the fancy restaurant kind either. I'm talking the cheap, salty noodle kind that gives you mega heartburn after but you don't care because it's so dang delicious you just can't stop yourself. As easy as ramen is to procure when you're on a shoestring budget, actually making it in college is a challenge if you still live in the dorms, as you need to use a communal kitchen then wait for the water to boil and noodles to get soft. This little rapid cooker is a game-changer, since it takes the already basic method for cooking ramen and just speeds it up, meaning your giftee can prep ramen right in a microwave in their dorm room , without ever having to venture downstairs or worse, spend money they don't really have on GrubHub.
29. For the one who's always wearing baseball hats: This funky frame that makes them easy to wash
Does anyone reading this know if you can wash baseball hats? Spoiler alert: You can. It might seem hard, but there's a trick to doing it, and this specially-designed hat frame actually helps to make it possible. Originally seen on Shark Tank, this 4.4-star rated cap washer has close to 1,000 rave reviews and works on the top-rack of any dishwasher to keep hats from losing their shape. It's also safe on flat and curved hats and completely reusable, which means those dirty old hats your husband's been hanging onto since high school and refuses to get rid of? They'll look brand new again thanks to this.
30. For the one with too many snarls: This super-useful detangling brush
With more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon, this 4.3-star rated detangling brush commands attention. Safe to use on wet or dry hair, this brush comes with weird, cone-shaped plastic bristles that actually work opposite from the way most other bristles do. Instead of separating strands by moving down, it works sideways (strange but true!) to gently unravel even the most stubborn snarls. Reviewers say it's gentle and good to use on kids—even the most fidgety ones who absolutely can't stand getting their hair brushed.
31. For the restless sleeper: An affordable sound machine
Know someone who struggles at bedtime to get a good night's sleep? We posit all kinds of solutions here at Reviewed: oil diffusers, weighted blankets, you name it. But the one everyone sort of forgets about—that is actually just as effective, if not more so—is a white noise machine. This one by Big Red Rooster has a little more than 18,000 glowing reviews on Amazon and is one of our favorites. It offers six different sounds, including rain, ocean, thunder, and more, plus comes with an optional auto-off timer, which your giftee can set for 15-, 30-, or 60-minute intervals.
32. For the movie buff: A way to make theater-quality popcorn
One of the main reasons most people loved going to the movies was the popcorn, and it's not easy to replicate the taste and perfect delectability of popcorn made right at the cinema. Well, this gift could change that. Our favorite popcorn popper is great to gift anyone who really wants to skip the stovetop method and still get savory kernels with each batch. At first glance, it might not be clear what this popcorn maker is actually meant for, but our testers say it's easy to use, collapses well, and looks hella cute in bright red.
33. For the one who hates waxing: This useful back shaver
Stumped on the best gift to give your boyfriend? This 4.3-star rated back shaver gets high marks from more than 10,000 Amazon shoppers and folks say it does a magnificent job of getting rid of hair in tough-to-reach spots, especially along the back. Ergonomically designed like a backscratcher, this grooming tool works on wet or dry skin and can help a lot, especially for those looking to tame their inner beast.
34. For the one who needs some peace and quiet: These comfortable earplugs that were on Shark Tank
Earplugs aren't just for concerts. For anyone who's having trouble concentrating as they work from home, earplugs can be the difference between reaching your goals or completely losing all your focus. This 4.2-star rated pack comes with three different silicone ear tips, so you can adjust them to fit your ear. With nearly 5,000 good reviews on Amazon, this is a very portable set, as it also comes with a handy carrying case that can fit right in your palm or pocket.
35. For the one with sore muscles: This rocker for stretching out before workouts
"This is great for a before and/or after workout to stretch the foot and leg muscles," raved one shopper of this 4.9-star rated stretcher. Used by athletes before workouts, this calf stretcher can also be helpful for anyone who struggles regularly with cramps, aches or pains in their legs. Lightweight but designed to fit weights up to 250 pounds and adult shoes up to size 12, this unique device can be a tremendous gift option for folks who are very active.
36. For the one who wants mermaid hair: This nifty styler
It's the eternal struggle: Folks with curly hair wish they could wear it straight and those with naturally straight hair wish they could rock it loose and wavy, almost as if they just came home from the beach. The 4.4-star rated Deep Waver by Bed Head have more than 15,000 positive Amazon reviews and can help transform those super-sleek straight strands into flowy waves. According to reviewers, it also does the job very quickly. One reviewer calls it witchcraft, while another raves: "Do you want to look like the ‘90s grunge girl of your dreams who threw away her hair crimper that was all crusted from a decade’s use and decided to grow up but not too much?! Then boy howdy, is this the thing for you!"
37. For the one who just wants to do better: These Shark Tank-approved paper towels that are reusable
Paper towels are extremely wasteful and bad for the environment, but they're so ever-present that it can be hard for some to break the addiction to them. These 4.5-star rated reusable paper towels, which were initially seen on Shark Tank, are made from bamboo and are completely washable and ultra-absorbent. If you're shopping for someone who really cares about sustainability, these paper towels might not be on their radar yet, but could make an amazing little surprise option for them this holiday season.
38. For the bride-to-be: This underskirt that was a hit on Shark Tank
This might be the zaniest gift you ever give, but you know what? It might be one of the most thoughtful, too. This wedding gown underskirt is designed to, well, you get the picture. Featured on Shark Tank, it can help preserve the dress on the big day, which is crucial, but also help the bride take care of business when needed, too. While it's a little off-kilter as a gift, chances are this product—which is still building a cult following—hasn't hit the bride's radar yet. You can give her a big surprise, in a good way, and low-key be the hero of her wedding day without even really doing much extra.
39. For the bacon lover: This quick-and-easy bacon cooker you can use in the microwave
Now before you immediately cringe over the thought of cooking bacon in a microwave, let's make a case for it. Bacon, by default, is savory yet also greasy, which is what makes it so bad for you. Cooking it in a microwave—I know, okay, I know how it sounds—might seem sacrosanct, but reviewers say that the bacon that comes out of this 4.5-star rated cooker really is just as good. If you prep it with the right amount of time, you can actually get crispy bacon with up to 35% less fat than usual, and it only takes a minute in the microwave to cook each slice. It's unconventional, but more than 3,600 reviewers dig the results.
40. For the one who hates going to a nail salon (but loves having soft feet): This dry foot file
Sandal season is long gone, and now most of us have the cracked, scaled feet to show for it. From dry skin to toughened calluses, feet take a helluva beating over the summer months, but you can help your giftee get smooth, touchable skin easily with this 4.3-star rated electric foot file, which has more than 18,000 reviews on Amazon and a dedicated fan base. "Wish I wouldn't have waited so long to buy this," wrote one reviewer. "I was just hoping to get the cracks reduced, but they are GONE and my heels are SOFT. Amazing!"
41. For the one with messy cabinets: This super-convenient organizer
Searching through cabinets and trying to find the right matching lid for a specific pot or pan is one of those seemingly minor everyday things that can be aggravating if you have to spend more than like, three minutes doing it. If your has shelves that look like a tornado just whipped through them, here's your chance to pick them up something kind of out of left field, but that could change their life. This 4.5-star rated wire organizer has more than 7,800 happy reviews on Amazon, and by and larger, shoppers agree that not only does this save space, but it also makes it so much easier to find stuff in the kitchen.
42. For the one who's obsessed with game night: This gag gift that's loads of fun
Sometimes a little toilet humor is a good thing. Case in point: Flushin' Frenzy, the tabletop game that's exactly what you think it is. Designed to be family friendly (even though it's totally freakin' gross), it's awesome any time you want to mix things up a little during your next game night and get a few laughs. Staff writer Izzy Kagan played it recently and says: "While I've played it as a game with friends, I bet kids would love it just as much. For real, this is the one exception where you'll actually enjoy grabbing a turd."
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Best weird gifts: 42 practical products that your favorite oddball will love