These 20 Gift Ideas Will Make Life Easier Both in and out of Quarantine

If you’re looking for the best holiday gift ideas for friends, family, and coworkers, look no further. We’ve got great gift options that range from practical to beautiful, all at various price points!

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • November 17, 2020

This holiday season is going to be unlike any other. With the coronavirus pandemic still disrupting our daily lives and making socially distant holidays a necessary experience this year, we have put together a list of 20 fabulous gifts for the holidays during COVID. But don’t worry – even though gift ideas during coronavirus are a bit different than any other year, we made sure that every item will still be amazing and useful for years to come. 

Since it’s still important to have 2021 goals even though so many of us feel in limbo, we have organized our gift ideas into 5 categories to help your loved ones still reach their new year’s goals – from getting healthier, to saving money, to making daily life easier all around.

So we present . . . our 2020 Quarantine Gift Ideas for friends, family, and coworkers!


Cook Smarts 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Make cooking easier with the help of these great gift ideas!

Make Life Easier

In and out of a pandemic, it’s always the right time to make daily life as low-stress and painless as possible. Check out the best gifts to make cooking, cleaning, and snacking the easiest it’s ever been with these gift ideas!

1. Anti-Fatigue Standing Mat

Standing on hard kitchen floors for long periods of time isn’t the best thing for our bodies. That’s why this ergonomic gel foam anti-fatigue mat is the perfect gift for anyone and everyone. It is engineered to aid good posture and alleviate stress on the feet, ankles, and knees so you can enjoy pain-free cooking every day. This particular mat is especially helpful because it is 5 feet long, which means you can move between the sink and countertops while you meal prep and clean, without ever leaving the mat.


Air fryers are awesome and we’ve been raving about them for a while, but we haven’t seen anything like this DuelZone fryer before! This is the first air fryer that lets you simultaneously cook 2 foods in 2 completely different ways and make them finish at the same time instead of having to juggle back-to-back batches in a single-basket fryer. That means you can get a whole meal done together – protein in the first basket and then veggies in the second!

But that’s not all there is to it. This ingenious air fryer also has 6 customizable programs: Air Fry, Air Broil, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate. So, if your loved ones could use a little extra time in their day while still getting healthy and delicious home-cooked meals on the table, this machine is a definite must.

(Psst! Print our free Air Fryer Cheat Sheet to go along with this gift!)


We’ve all felt that moment in cartoons where a person is so frustrated that steam pours from their head. Well, this hilarious device will help lower your stress-levels in the kitchen so it is the only mama steaming. This microwave cleaner is eco-friendly because it uses only vinegar and water (and lemon if you want a fresh finish!) to steam clean your microwave so you easily can wipe away the grime with a simple flourish of a sponge. Every household could use this incredibly affordable gadget that makes cleaning so easy and fun that the kids will even get excited to be on microwave chores!


With kids (and adults!) at home all the time during the coronavirus pandemic, snacks have become a big daily deal. Instead of the kids interrupting your attempt at a work groove every time they get snackish, they can go to this snack organizer and choose from the healthy snacks you replenish there every few days. This handy 3-tiered organizer is BPA-free, super easy to clean, and has 2 adjustable dividers and a built-in handle. Since it fits in standard cabinets but also has a clean aesthetic, it can really go anywhere in the kitchen and be ready to make daily life so much easier as it cuts down on those little interruptions that really add up.

Get Healthier

Health is always incredibly important, but while more and more people are stuck at home and disrupted from their normal routines, it’s more important than ever. Here are 2020’s best gifts to make cooking easier for healthy eating so we can feel energized again.


We all know that we could probably use more vegetables in our lives. Well, this cookbook can take us all on a deliciously delightful journey to those 3 cups of recommended vegetables per day.(1) Renowned Spanish-American chef José Andrés believes that “vegetables are far sexier than meat can ever be” and these perfectly crafted recipes prove him right.

So, whether your loved one wants to get healthier in 2021 by going vegetarian or simply by bringing more veggies to their plates, this cookbook has everything they could need – from tips and tricks, to delectable humble lentil stew and mouth-watering Spanish gazpacho.


Bottles of oil are notorious for pouring out more oil than we need on our pans. This set of oil dispensers can change all of that and help your loved ones on their way to healthier cooking! MistarTop spray nozzles provide the perfect uniform mist to lightly coat cookware or ingredients and the BPA-free bottles are made of food-grade transparent glass with a 100 ml scale design. This budget-friendly set of dispensers comes with a BBQ oil brush, a cleaning brush, silicon covers, and funnel so it is the easiest thing in the world for anyone to control the amount of oil they use every day.


Vitamix blenders are professional-grade, which means they are amazing quality, but a bit pricey. If you want a bit of a price cut, this pre-owned one may be the ticket to a great gift that you can count on because each one has been professionally inspected, tested, and cleaned. Since this Explorian Blender holds up to 64 ounces, it’s perfect for making pureed soups for the whole family or entertaining with some splendid blended drinks. Also, how cute would it be to give this gift along with a print-out of our free Smoothie Recipe Book or our member-acclaimed Quick Curry Lentil Soup?!


A major barrier to healthy eating is just not having things prepared ahead of time. These stain-resistant containers with 100% leak-proof and BPA-free lids are the perfect gateway to a healthier diet. Not only can they be used for meal prep storage that will make weeknight home cooking quick and easy, they are also great for taking power-house salads on the go. So grab this affordable set for any friend who wants to prioritize their health in 2021!

Declutter Your Space

The more time we spend at home, the more clutter and disorganization impacts our wellbeing. These quarantine gift ideas for friends and family are not only beautiful, but are also quite genius.


A big part of smart decluttering is using the space you already have, but just better. Since we all have that annoying gap between the refrigerator and the cabinet, or the sink and the door, why don’t we put it to use?! This slim storage cart is the ideal way to tuck items away but still access them with a quick pull and roll. And, hey, it can even hold up to 42 spice jars! So, if you have a loved one (and that can include yourself) that really wants to get their kitchen organized, this nifty cart is the way to go.


When you open most people’s pot-and-pans cupboards, you open the door to disaster zones. There are big pots on top of small pots, pans at odd angles, and long lost lids where the sun doesn’t shine. Well, this best-selling Always Pan is the solution. It is designed to replace 8 traditional pieces of cookware (fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest) and has a sleek and easy silhouette. Since it comes in 5 gorgeous colors, it is a great gift for anyone looking to get their cupboards in line.


The process of organizing is just as important as the storage space we have. That’s why Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin’s New York Times Bestseller, The Home Edit Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything, is taking the U.S. by storm. The book helps a reader get to know their own personal organizing style and learn how to tailor it to their family’s lifestyle. If you know anyone who loves or needs a more holistic approach to home and on-the-go life, this is a fantastic gift to help them bring in the new year!


Spices and seasonings sometimes come in all sorts of sizes that just do nothing for cohesion and smart use of space. That’s why this set of glass spice jars that comes with labels and a collapsible funnel is perfect for keeping everything clear and contained. Since buying spices from bulk bins or grinding them yourself is a great way to be more eco-friendly, these jars would make a meaningful I-love-you gift for any of your environmentalist or urban homesteader friends.

Save More Money

It’s a beautiful thing that saving money and saving the environment can go hand in hand, and both are so important, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. So, check out these great quarantine gift ideas for friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone you appreciate!

13. Vacuum Sealer & Reusable Storage Bags

Did you know that the average American family throws away over $2,000 worth of food each year? Well, vacuum sealing food can put that $2K back in your pocket. Vacuum sealing food significantly cuts down on food waste because it preserves food 3 to 5 times longer than food stored in plastic containers or bags. This means that you won’t have to toss spoiled food or ingredients with freezer burn and that you can save even more money by buying in bulk without worrying about any going to waste. And, with these reusable vacuum bags that come in 3 convenient sizes, you’ll be doing something good for the environment as well.

14. Paperless Pour Over Coffee Maker

Know any coffee lovers? If so, their taste buds will enjoy the rich flavors that pour-over brewing delivers. And while going to coffee shops is not as safe or easy as it was before the pandemic, this drip kit is the easiest way to help your friends still enjoy their beloved cup of joe every day. Plus, it is so much more eco-friendly to avoid those single-use cups and paper filters!

15. Set of 7 Silicone Stretch Lids

A single roll of cling wrap at the store costs between $3 and $4.50, and it’s no secret that it is bad for the environment. Instead of buying rolls over and over again, this one set of food grade silicone lids will last you years and years. It’s only $15, which is a major money-saver over time, and it is better for people and planet since each lid is free from BPAs, lead, and phthalates. With the super stretchy material that basically fits any container, your loved ones can say goodbye to the days of searching through a drawer of lids to find the right one.

16. Cook Smarts Meal Plan Subscription

It may sound counter-intuitive to pay for a subscription to save money, but in our case, it really does work! Our members have raved about how much they save on their monthly food bills through several of our features. Not only does having a weekly plan for your meals slash your eating out and Postmates budget, but our auto-populated grocery lists streamlines your grocery trips so you don’t leave with way more than you will use.

Also, our smart anti-food-waste system makes sure you aren’t left with half a head of lettuce or a third of a bundle of cilantro at the end of the week, because we carefully plan each week of meals to utilize ingredients. And, if time is money, then our weekly menus and thousands of archive recipes are going to save you oodles!

And if you buy a gift subscription between Thursday 11/19 to Wednesday 12/2, you can get 30% off with code GRATEFUL.

Make Dinner Feel Special

When you have to spend so much time at home for months on end, even a home-cooked dinner can start to feel like the least special thing ever. Luckily, these gifts for the holidays can break the mealtime monotony and help your loved ones transform dinnertime into a magical experience again.


Dishing up a meal on a plate is one of the most commonplace things in the world, but dishing a meal onto a new plate? Now that can make an ordinary Monday night feel like a special occasion. These speckled plates with a gorgeous glazed finish are not perfectly circular. But that’s the point. They deliver those charming rustic-chic vibes and can up the sophistication of any table by simply being present.

18. 2-in-1 Silicone Candle Holder Trio

Mood lighting should never be underestimated. Since the pandemic has probably hampered many a proper date night or girls night on the town, this clever trio of silicone candle holders is a genius way to bring some enchantment back into sharing a meal. Depending on how you flip each holder, you can display pillars or tea lights and even stack them for some extra height! Give them to any loved one with a modern eye, a no-nonsense clean-up standard, or a need for an added measure of special in their life right now.

19. Waxing Block Print Table Runner

A simple table runner can transform the entire feel of a meal. This natural cotton and linen blend is made by artisans hand-carving designs into wooden blocks and then applying the blue or black dies before hand-stamping the fabric. Because of this artistic technique, each piece is completely unique and will provide a meaningful gift for anyone who loves hand-crafted decor.


Nothing quite says special like a gift crafted specifically for a loved one. Etsy is a wonderful place to find beautiful handmade gifts and this charcuterie board is no exception. Have the artist engrave the board with last names, a favorite quote, an anniversary date, or even an inside joke, and watch your friend, family member, or coworker’s face light up when they open your deeply meaningful gift.

We hope that our 20 great gift ideas during coronavirus have helped make your holiday season so much easier. If you want even more ideas for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday, you can also check out our recommendations for the best gifts during the last few years:

2019 – Best Kitchen Gifts for the Holidays

2018 – 30 Meaningful Gift Ideas for Friends and Family

2017 – Gift Pairings for Every Cook

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A little note:

Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we earn a small percentage from those sales. We use this affiliate revenue to support the continued growth of Cook Smarts. Thank you!

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