This Season’s Most In-Demand Gifts

By WIRED Staff

LG: Adrienne, do you have a favorite air purifier?

AS: There are a couple. My favorite is just, I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but the Dyson Hot + Cool. I think they have a couple of different variations. There's a humidifier version that might be useful since we've seen some evidence that humidity can help your body fight off the dread C virus that we're all working really hard to not mention during this episode. But that one is pretty pricey. Blueair has a couple of affordable ones for bedrooms that are really quiet. The Blueair 411 Auto, it has a sensor that automatically detects particulate matter in your bedrooms. That one is super quiet. If you're wanting a bedroom purifier that won't wake up your kids.

MC: Related to that, Adrienne, something that I've been following pretty closely and I see a lot of interest in gift giving this year is kitchen stuff, right? Because this is the year that we all relearned how to cook or got twice as busy in the kitchen as we ever have been before.

AS: You're so generous in assuming that I've learned how to cook this year, tried. Tried.

MC: I think everybody has given it a much stronger push this year than they ever have before. I see a lot of things, inexpensive stuff like pans, cast iron, skillets, Dutch ovens, combo cookers for people who like to bake bread on people's holiday lists. Also, like now is a good time to get experimental for people who are asking for things. They may want a sous vide machine or a pickling set, or a duck press or just something weird and bizarre because they're bored, because they've been cooking the same things for 10 months.

AS: Mike, are you over there pressing ducks in San Francisco?

MC: I am not, but people do. That is something that people like to do.

LG: Mike, what would you say is the must-have kitchen gadget of the year and something that's not prohibitively expensive?

MC: Good food storage, like glass bottom plastic top with a little burp in it, food storage. Because we're just, you know, just cook and freeze, cook and freeze and then heat it up for lunch. If somebody is working from home, that's a gift that they will absolutely use.

LG: Is there a particular brand you recommend?

MC: No, I just get whichever one is BPA-free and on sale.

AS: I had no idea that you could bake in Pyrexes too, that you can store them and then reheat them. You can also bake individual sized ones in the oven. These things are magical. I really liked the Pyrex brand.

LG: I think I have a Pyrex brand as well. I think that may be because the Wirecutter recommended them. Oh no, can I say the other W word on the Gadget Lab Podcast?

MC: Absolutely.

LG: OK. I think I got the ones, actually, my aunt ordered them for me as a house warming gift. She ordered me a whole bunch of the ones I sent her. I think it was the ones that the Wirecutter recommended. I agree, Mike, they're fantastic. Adrienne, to your point, you just heat food right up in them which is great.

AS: We're talking about the inside but I also wanted to mention the outside, because the one thing that I did buy for my family was the Mr. Buddy, the outside portable heaters. So much of our socialization, I'm talking about us like we're weird zoo animals now, but our social activities are taking place outside now. Things that will keep everybody warm. I think you can get the Mr. Buddy Heater for now. We got one that's about $70, and warm socks, little hand warmers, a nice coat. That's a good way to keep seeing people in person.