23 Great Gifts for the Boyfriend Who Doesn't Want Anything (But Secretly Does)

These fun and thoughtful presents may not be on his wishlist, but he'll love them anyway.
gifts for boyfriend who doesn't want anything
Photos, from clockwise: Patagonia, Uncommon Goods, Homesick, BKGift
alison meehan headshot
Alison Meehan
alison meehan headshot
Alison Meehan
Assistant Commerce Editor
  • Alison writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in shoppable roundups of anniversary gifts.
  • Before focusing on shoppable content, Alison was a content writer at The Knot.
  • Alison holds a master's degree in writing and a bachelor's in textile design.
Updated Dec 05, 2023
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Finding gifts for a boyfriend who doesn't want anything can be challenging, especially when you want to treat him on his birthday or at Christmas. While he may already have everything he wants (he has you, of course), that doesn't mean you can't still surprise him with a thoughtful or romantic gift. Choosing something sweet and sentimental can be an excellent way to show him some love, no matter what occasion you're celebrating. Going down the practical route is another great approach, as there could be something he needs but has forgotten to mention. Whether you're searching for a birthday, anniversary or holiday gift for your boyfriend, we're here to help you find a present for your tricky-to-shop-for guy.

1. Photo Reel Viewer

photo reel viewer for the best gift for your boyfriend
Photo: Uncommon Goods

Here's a really cool holiday or birthday gift for a boyfriend who doesn't want anything. This retro photo reel viewer is guaranteed to bring on the warm fuzzies, especially if you fill it with sweet snapshots from your relationship. Simply choose your favorite memories to make a picture reel to put in the viewer before handing it over. Such a meaningful gesture is bound to give him all the feels and remind him why he fell for you in the first place.

2. Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Adventure experience for your boyfriend
Photo: Tinggly

There's nothing more memorable than a gifted experience, but rather than planning every little detail for him, let Tinggly do the hard work. With the "Perfect for Him" package, he can choose from over 1,000 activities worldwide—like scuba diving, quadding, paragliding and so much more. It's an especially thoughtful birthday or anniversary gift for someone who values experiential presents over material things. Be warned, though: It'll be hard to top this gift next year.

3. Adventure Challenge Journal

Adventure Challenge journal for your boyfriend
Photo: The Adventure Challenge

Show your BF just how much you enjoy spending time with him with this thoughtful gift from The Adventure Challenge. This unique activity book is packed with fun scratch-off challenges you can do together, like baking a delicious dessert or painting a masterpiece, and is guaranteed to switch up your date nights. Already have it? Opt for the brand's exciting new edition instead and keep the good times rolling. Use THEKNOT20 code to get 20% off your purchase.

4. Location-Themed Candle

Location-Themed Candle
Photo: Homesick

Whether you're in a long-distance relationship or have moved to a new city or state together, give your BF something to remind him of home. Homesick offers a variety of scented candles inspired by different locations all over the US and beyond, from Boston or Chicago to Tennessee and even the Galapagos Islands. Each one features a soul-warming fragrance associated with the area, including sandalwood, whiskey and cinnamon, which will remind him of his favorite place (and you) each time he lights it.

5. Vegan Leather Wallet

Vegan Leather Wallet for your boyfriend
Photo: Ekster

One of the best gift ideas for a boyfriend who doesn't want anything is getting him something he actually needs. By paying attention to the little details, you can score him a great present that he'll use daily, like this stylish Ekster wallet. The compact and sleek design hides a multitude of cool features, including built-in RFID technology to protect against wireless theft, slots for 12 credit cards and a push-button mechanism for easy access. Plus, it's made from vegan leather and recycled materials sourced from scrapped car windshields, which'll impress any eco-conscious guy.

6. Sports Trivia Game

sports trivia game for the best boyfriend's gift
Photo: Uncommon Goods

If your boyfriend considers himself an expert on all things sport-related, test his knowledge with this fun trivia game. The deck of cards has over 500 questions and intriguing facts about sports franchises in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and beyond. Pick his favorite city for a simple yet thoughtful birthday or holiday gift that'll keep him entertained for hours.

7. Monthly Candy Subscription

monthly candy subscription box for your boyfriend
Photo: Universal Yums

Subscription gifts are a great idea for boyfriends who don't want anything for the holidays or their birthday. This monthly candy box from Universal Yums will appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth and a taste for something different. Each month, he'll get a selection of snacks from various locations all over the world—from Scandinavia to Indonesia—for a delicious gift that'll satisfy his sweet cravings. Choose the size of the box and the subscription length (one, three, six or 12 months) for a unique gift that keeps on giving.

8. Coffee-Tasting Class

coffee-tasting class for your boyfriend
Photo: Uncommon Goods

If your boyfriend is more into experiences than stuff, this online coffee-tasting class will be right up his alley. During the 75-minute tutorial, a professional roaster will give him all the tips and tricks he needs to evaluate the quality of different coffee beans and brews. And, as the set comes with five samples of coffee, he won't have to prep anything in advance. Just don't be surprised if he thinks he's a coffee connoisseur afterward.

9. Nourishing Beard Oil

Nourishing Beard Oil for your boyfriend's gift
Photo: Nordstrom

Grooming essentials are one of our favorite go-to gifts when shopping for someone who doesn't want anything specific. If your BF has a beard and is proud of it, this nourishing oil from Kiehl's will help him keep it in tip-top shape. It's designed to soften and smooth facial hair and has a gorgeous cedar, eucalyptus and sandalwood scent that'll make him feel fresh.

10. Personalized World Map

customized world map for the best gift for your boyfriend
Photo: Canvas Vows

Whether you're dating a dedicated globetrotter or someone who loves daydreaming about faraway places, this personalized world map is an excellent gift. The printed canvas comes with a set of push pins he can use to mark the spots he's already visited (or wherever is next on his bucket list) and can be customized with a message like: "Adventure is out there." Choose from four different sizes for a piece of home decor that'll brighten up his living space and ignite his wanderlust.

11. Embossed Whiskey Dispenser

Embossed Whiskey Dispenser for your boyfriend
Photo: BKGift

Another way to treat your BF is to get him something he might not buy for himself, like this unique whiskey dispenser. Made from wood, it features a metal tap for pouring spirits and his name, birthdate or a short message embossed on the front. It'll add a luxurious touch to his home bar (or, more likely, his kitchen countertop) and help him up his bartending game when guests come over. Pair it with his favorite bottle of bourbon if you're really in the mood to splurge.

12. Nintendo Switch Charging Dock

Nintendo Switch Charging Dock
Photo: Target

Shopping for a gamer boyfriend? Rather than getting him a new game (and running the risk of picking something he already has), keep it simple with a cool accessory for his favorite console. Made for the Nintendo Switch, this four-in-one charging dock can quickly charge up to four controllers simultaneously, ensuring he's ready for the next multiplayer session with his friends and family.

13. Click & Grow Subscription

Click & Grow garden Subscription
Photo: Click & Grow

If you've previously gifted him one of Click & Grow's bestselling indoor gardens, here's a follow-up present that'll grab his attention. This cool subscription service allows him to receive new plant pods every two, three or four months. Choose from a wide selection of plants, from basil and chili peppers to wild strawberries and kale, for a unique gift that'll help him flex his gardening skills.

14. Cute Hobby Mug

Personalized hobby mug for your boyfriend
Photo: Uncommon Goods

Perhaps your boyfriend's more into hobbies than getting new stuff. Show him just how much you appreciate his hidden talents with this cute coffee mug. It features a playful illustration of his likeness on the front, complete with all the gear from his favorite pastime, whether that's hiking, reading, golfing or painting. Sweet and simple, this thoughtful gift is sure to put a smile on his face.

15. Retro Fleece Pullover

fleece jacket for the best gift for your boyfriend
Photo: Patagonia

Choosing Christmas gifts for a boyfriend who doesn't want anything can feel like a chore, but it doesn't need to be that difficult. Wearable presents are an excellent way to spoil your BF (and sneakily upgrade his wardrobe at the same time). This retro-style fleece will help him stay cozy while temperatures drop, as well as look fashionable when he's out and about. It's made from 100% recycled polyester and manufactured in a fair trade-certified factory, making it a stylish and sustainable choice he can wear anywhere.

16. Delicious Cookie Gift Set

Delicious cookie set for your boyfriend
Photo: Taylor Chip

If a lack of space is why he doesn't want anything, choosing an edible gift is a fail-safe option. These mouthwatering cookies from Taylor Chip definitely won't last long, thanks to their tempting combos like chocolate chip, s'mores, toasted coconut and peanut butter fudge. Simply pick a bundle based on his flavor preferences and have it shipped directly to his house for a sweet surprise. Bonus: They also offer vegan and gluten-free options, so anyone with dietary restrictions won't miss out.

17. Personalized Guitar Pick Holder

Customized Guitar Pick Holder
Photo: daemien44

Dating a music lover? If your boyfriend is always strumming away on his guitar, he'll appreciate this small (but practical) gift. The personalized guitar pick holder is shaped like a miniature amp and can hold up to five plectrums, ensuring his favorite ones never get lost. Want to go one step further? Pair it with a custom guitar pick for an extra thoughtful touch.

18. Cozy and Stylish Beanie

Cozy and Stylish Beanie for the best boyfriend's gift
Photo: Huckberry

Comfort and style can go hand-in-hand—just take this fashionable beanie as an example. It's made from a warm blend of wool, acrylic and nylon and will ensure your guy stays cozy (and stylish) even when it's chilly out. It comes in a variety of trendy shades, including rust, navy and mustard, and features the Huckberry tag on the brim for a stylish finish.

19. City Skyline Beer Glasses

City Skyline Beer Glasses
Photo: Uncommon Goods

Here's one of the best gifts for boyfriends who don't want anything: A pair of beer glasses inspired by the skyline of their favorite city. This stylish set is a fun (and wallet-friendly) way to upgrade his glassware and get him something he doesn't already have. Choose from a variety of locations, including Atlanta, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, to celebrate his hometown or another place that's meaningful to him.

20. Sneaker Cleaning Kit

Sneaker Cleaning Kit for the best boyfriend's kit
Photo: Gentlemen's Hardware

If your boyfriend has all the sneakers he could ever want, here's a practical gift to help him keep his kicks in shape. This handy cleaning kit comes with a bottle of stain removal solution, a cloth and a brush—all packaged in a retro travel-sized tin for a thoughtful presentation. Now, he'll have no excuse for scuffed soles or tattered toes the next time he goes out.

21. Super Comfy Pajamas

Cozy pyjama set for your boyfriend
Photo: Eberjey

In the mood to splurge on your special guy? We've got two words for you: luxurious loungewear. These comfy pajamas are so soft your boyfriend will never want to take them off. The set includes a relaxed crew neck and matching pants with pockets, both of which are made from an innovative fabric derived from wood pulp. Choose from five sizes and three classic shades to suit his shape and style.

22. Wireless Earbuds

wireless headphones for your boyfriend
Photo: Best Buy

While your tech-obsessed boyfriend probably already has a pair of earbuds, it never hurts to have a backup. These wireless earbuds from JBL offer up to eight hours of battery life, making them the perfect accompaniment to his morning commute or evening gym sesh. Bonus points for the compact charging case and budget-friendly price tag.

23. Thoughtful Care Package

Care package gift for your boyfriend
Photo: ArinnaGifts

If your boyfriend is always on the go, this thoughtful care package will encourage him to take some time to unwind. It's filled with goodies to help him relax, including herbal tea, cozy socks, a scented candle, a refillable journal, a coffee mug, a gold-plated spoon and chocolate. Whether you send it to him for his birthday, the holidays or even Valentine's Day, this lovely gift will show him just how much you care.

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