Every single year I tell myself that I’m not going to go overboard for the holidays. Then I start shopping for all 20 of my 20 closest family members and friends. Pair that big list of people with the fact that gift-giving is my love language, and you’ve got a recipe for blowing through a budget. But this year, I mean it! If you’re in the same boat, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of reviewer-approved gadgets and goodies available for $50 or less. No random third-party sellers or too-good-to-be-true gear—just the stuff we actually like that’s actually affordable.
WIRED’s Top Deals
We test products year-round and handpicked these deals. Products that are sold out or no longer discounted as of publishing will be
crossed out. We’ll update this guide throughout the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.
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If you watch mainly Amazon Prime content, the Fire TV Stick is the streaming device you need, and this one was just released at the end of September. You can stream from any service, of course, but it’s heavily geared toward the company’s own content. This 4K Max is faster, with 16 gigabytes of storage versus 8, but if you want to spend less and still stay in the Amazon ecosystem, the also-new 4K Stick is on sale for $25 ($25 off).
The Echo Show 5 is typically overpriced at $90, but the deal price of $40 matches the best we have tracked. Just keep in mind that it goes on sale quite frequently. We prefer the Echo Show 10 for its larger size, but the smaller footprint of the Echo Show 5 is good for a nightstand or tiny kitchen.
We’re not sure if smart displays will be around forever, but if you want one, Google makes some of the best. This 2nd-gen Nest Hub (7/10, WIRED Recommends) doesn’t have a camera, so you have some privacy peace of mind. It’s compact with a 7-inch screen, which makes it ideal for your bedside table, and it has sleep-sensing tech to track your sleep quality.
Even with the subscription ($3/month or $30/year), this video doorbell is one of the cheapest options around, and it made the honorable mentions section in our Best Video Doorbells guide. Video quality is 1080p with a limited field of view, and notifications aren’t the fastest, but it performs reliably. If you don’t want a subscription, consider buying it bundled with the Sync Module 2 ($47), which is also half-price right now.
If you just need a cheap way to monitor an entrance area, this wired security camera can stream and record at up to 2K and reliably detects motion. The frame rate is low, and there’s lag on the two-way audio. You also need to insert a microSD card to record locally or pony up for a subscription (from $3.50 a month). As the budget pick in our Best Indoor Security Cameras guide, the Tapo C110 is frequently discounted, but we have never seen it this low.
We called the Blink Mini cheap, compact, and versatile, with good video quality, in our Best Indoor Security Cams guide. It has two-way audio, accurate motion detection, and integration with Alexa. Like other Blink products, the best features are locked behind a premium subscription that starts at $3 a month. But that’s still pretty cheap compared to other security camera systems.
This is the lowest price we’ve tracked for the Google Chromecast 4K (8/10, WIRED Recommends). Just plug the HDMI dongle into your TV and you’ll get a snazzy and easy-to-use interface that you can control with the color-matched remote. There’s even built-in Google Assistant. Just keep in mind that you may have to manually clear the cache frequently, since there’s not a lot of onboard storage. The HD version of the Chromecast is also on sale for $20, and it’s ideal for anyone with a 1080p TV.
Smart bulbs are best when you can fill the entire room (or a couple rooms!) with them. This four-pack of our favorite smart bulbs is a winner. It’s at a price we do see from time to time for this bundle, but it’s a good deal.
This compact power bank slides into the USB-C port of your phone to top up the battery. In fact, it’s our top pick for phones in our Best Portable Chargers guide. Only the shell-white color is on sale, but it’s a nifty way to add 5,000 mAh of capacity. However, it might not be a good pick if you have a thick case. The pink Lightning port version is also discounted to $20 right now.
This solid option from Anker made the honorable mentions in our Best Portable Chargers guide. It has a 10,000-mAh capacity, good for just shy of two full charges for most phones, a built-in USB-C cable that doubles as a loop for easy carrying, and an additional USB-C and USB-A port. It maxes out at 30 watts each way and can be fully charged in around two hours.
We like Anker’s chargers, and its Prime range employs GaN technology to shrink the size down. This 67-watt charger has fold-out prongs and offers two USB-C ports and one USB-A. It can charge a MacBook, and it supports fast charging for iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S phones, and Pixel phones.
What we like best about this phone mount is that you can use it one-handed. The arms automatically close around the phone when you place it against the trigger button. To remove it, press the release bars. There’s also a telescopic arm and ball joint that allows you to tweak the placement and set an ideal angle. We also love the clever magnetic tab that attaches the charging cable to the back of the mount, to keep from having to fish around for it. Plus, it’s super sturdy—even on bumpy roads.
Apple’s dual USB-C port power adapter is an essential accessory if you have a tendency to forget to pack chargers for your devices on the go. With two USB-C ports, you can use it to recharge both your iPhone and MacBook simultaneously. Rated at 35 watts, it’s also powerful enough to recharge an iPad Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.
This is a price match of the discounts we’ve seen on other shopping holidays. It’s still a good deal on an excellent controller, and the price extends to several different color options. Our favorite part about the DualSense controller is the way the haptic feedback works. Rather than random rumbles, you’ll feel directional and immersive feedback—almost like surround sound, but in a controller. Read more about it in our Best PlayStation 5 Accessories guide.
Home, Personal Care, and Kitchen Deals
The enameled Dutch oven does away with bare cast iron’s needy tendencies. You can scrub away at the interior and exterior of this Lodge with all the dish soap you like and never have to wipe it down with vegetable oil to keep it from rusting overnight. The nonstick, nonreactive surface is perfect for slow-cooking stews, oysters, and practically anything else on the stovetop for long periods.
Low on caffeine—and counter space? The K-Express is a mere 6.5 inches wide and 12 inches deep, yet its removable reservoir holds 36 fluid ounces of water, enough to make a round of coffee for you and your friends without having to constantly refill it. Just do the planet a solid and make sure to use Keurig Reusable Pods, to cut down on single-use plastic waste.
Target makes some of reviewer Nena Farrell’s favorite Christmas decor, and it being on sale before the holiday instead of immediately after is a nice way to add a few things to your rotation this year. This includes string lights, the Target birds (she bought the mini three-pack), and the popular vintage-look ceramic trees. She also loves the “Everyone is a Santa” collection, which includes Santas with different skin colors and genders, and Santas that use wheelchairs.
Like the decor, Target also makes great ornaments from pretty to silly to just plain cute. This year Nena added a Bloody Mary and a half dozen oysters to her collection, and she’s been on the lookout for the felt Ghost of Christmas Future.
Reviewer Matt Jancer wouldn’t go so far as to say that Werner is the only brand that makes a solid ladder, but he says he has stood on more of them than any other brand in his 30 years of, to put it broadly, doing stuff up high in the air. From painting walls to putting up insulation, he’s never had a Werner ladder fail on him, and that level of trust is worth gold when you’re talking about ladders. This 4-foot step ladder is a little guy, perfect for keeping in the home for jobs that require you to reach the ceiling, without the bulk of a standard 8-foot ladder. It holds up to 250 pounds, and remember to never stand on the top “step.” Ladders aren’t built for that.
We like basically everything we’ve tried from Verloop, and the whole site is 30 percent off with code HOLIDAY. (The Flower Knit Sock Slippers are pictured above.) Verloop’s mini tote is one of reviewer Medea Giordano’s favorites when she doesn’t need to carry much. This is a slightly bigger option from the brand, and it’s made from paper-thin nylon stuffed with scrap yarn. The result is a cool, colorful explosion reminiscent of the ’90s. There is a matching pouch too that you can use in whatever other bag you prefer. While it won’t fit your laptop, you could comfortably carry a tablet or a Kindle. The biggest issue is just how loud the nylon is when you touch it. It’s like walking with a chip bag.