Home accessories holiday gift guide

The gift-giving season is upon us, and our wish list is long, especially when it comes to gadgets for the home. But since it’s better to give than to receive, we also have a bunch of cool home tech we want to bestow upon our loved ones. Need some inspiration? Check out our list below.


Rachio IRO smart sprinkler system

For relatives who live for their lawns

Giving a whole new meaning to “smart water,” Rachio’s Iro smart sprinkler controller automates lawn care. The smart system can shut sprinklers off if rain is forecasted in the area, and promises to save thousands of gallons of water a year. The app can be a bit TMI if you don’t care when your sprinkler zones have turned on, but chances are you know someone who’d be into that.

Full review


LIFX Edison Screw

For anyone who loves the limelight

Normally, light bulbs would rank right up there with underwear and socks as a holiday gift, but LIFX’s LED bulbs are pretty special. You can control them with your smartphone, adjusting the hue to a color wheel of options Pantone would envy, and syncing them to alert you when you have a work email or text message. That’s just the beginning for these bulbs, which last 40,000 hours, or about 4.5 years.


Yale Real Living touchscreen deadbolt

Your friend Annie, who lives in a dodgy neighborhood near that weird guy Spaghetti

Nothing says “I love you and fear for your safety” like a deadbolt. Seriously, though, if you’re going to give someone the gift of peace of mind, Yale Real Living’s touchscreen deadbolt is a good way to go. You can purchase the standalone model, but if the recipient has a Z-Wave-compatible hub, it really unlocks (heh) its full potential.

Full review


iRobot Scooba 450

For the Cinderella in your life

Let’s face it: Mop water is gross. iRobot’s Scooba, Roomba’s scrubby cousin, solves the problem of reusing dirty water to clean the floor with its two reservoirs: It spits out clean water and soap from one tank and sucks up the grimy remains into another. This saves you from backbreaking labor while offering superior results. Plus, it’s a robot!

Full review


Ubi Voice Operated Computer

For that special someone who’s always misplacing his or her cell phone (Mom)

As long as you’re eight feet away from Ubi, this Wi-Fi-enabled, voice-activated computer can send messages, answer questions, play tunes, and adjust the thermostat or lights. Because it runs on its own Android system, your phone doesn’t have to be anywhere near you. We’d put it in the kitchen, where a hands-free device would be a lifesaver.

Available January 2015

Ring Video Doorbell

For whomever rings your bell

If you know someone who’s averse to the pop-in, Ring’s smart doorbell could be perfect for them. Formerly known as DoorBot, the camera-equipped bell shows owners whomever is on their doorstep and allows them to interact, even if no one’s home. Whether it’s the mailman, a would-be intruder, or that nosy neighbor, Ring’s doorbell can help your phobic friend keep the wolves at his or her door outside.


Withings Aura Smart Sleep System

For the person who thinks counting sheep is passé

Getting a restful night’s sleep is an important component to health. Withings Aura, a system designed to track how well users sleep at night, also uses light and sound to help them fall asleep and wake up without a bone-jangling alarm. The system analyzes the bedroom environment for light, temperature, and sound changes, so it knows when the cat is pouncing on your feet or a wailing fire truck has disturbed your slumber. This is definitely the gift of someone’s dreams. Available on iOS only.


Honeywell Lyric

For those who want to control the climate

There are many smart thermostats on the market, but Honeywell’s Lyric is one of our favorites. Know how Arizonans brag about their “dry heat”? Lyric’s Fine Tune feature takes humidity into account, so your house will feel comfortable even as humidity fluctuates. Syncing the thermostat with a smartphone alerts the app when the owner’s away and when he or she soon be home, so your fair-weather-preferring friend can save money without enduring the arctic conditions of 72 degrees and below.

Full review


Sumo Omni

For those who love to lounge

If you plan on spending Christmas Day in your PJs, a Sumo beanbag is a pretty good accessory. At 5.5 by 4.5 feet, the Omni is pretty mammoth, so it might not quite fit under the tree. The rip-proof fabric comes in a variety of colors and looks more at home next to your fireplace than the vinyl models from decades past. Plus, the bag holds its shape remarkably well, so you can mold it into a variety of shapes; you can even sit on it like a chair. Just call “save seat” before vacating, because someone will definitely want to steal it.