The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

10 best Valentine’s Day gifts for him that he’ll actually want to receive

Whether it’s something funny, unique or romantic, these are the present ideas your partner will adore

Richard Jones
Monday 07 February 2022 16:47
<p>For the chocoholic, the bookwork or the trainer obsessive – our picks are sure to pull some heartstrings</p>

For the chocoholic, the bookwork or the trainer obsessive – our picks are sure to pull some heartstrings

Buying a good Valentine’s Day gift for him is tricky business. Valentine’s Day is not as naturally splash-out as a birthday or Christmas, but neither is it an event you want to completely forgo gift buying.

A Valentine’s Day gift for him needs to be meaningful and relatively affordable then, as well as practical. A fancy bottle of his favourite drink, a good book, and something that will have him smelling great when he takes you out for Valentine’s Day dinner are all strong opening gambits.

Further left-field, think about a house plant – it’ll last longer than flowers and can brighten up a WFH desk admirably – or an exploratory gift set for the naturally curious.

Avoid what you got him last year, a novelty gift, or anything heart-shaped. Remember we want it to be used past the 14th and we all know every gift buyer’s worst nightmare is a present that goes unused.

Here we present to you some usual, failsafe suspects then, along with a selection of tailored options that might more closely fit your partner’s interests.

Read more:

How we tested

For this piece, each item has been tested and experienced personally by our tester, whether that’s a gift called in specifically to be reviewed for this article, or stand-out presents from Valentine’s Days past.

As previously stated we’ve tried to go with a range of options here so you can tailor it down according to what you know about your partner. We judged the gifts firstly by how we would react to them on receiving, then their consequential enjoyment factor, and after that how practical they would be in the longer term, and how well they fit the bill within their category.

Consideration has also gone towards price and affordability, with none of the gifts straying too far over the £150 mark, and the majority of them sitting around that £50 sweet point.

The best Valentine’s Day gifts for him for 2022 are:

  • Best overall — Moore House Build A Cocktail box: £48, Moorehousecocktails.co.uk
  • Best for a personal touch — Smythson Panama notebook: £52, Smythson.com
  • Best for music lovers — Marshall Major IV headphones: £129.99, Marshallheadphones.com
  • Best for a sweet tooth — Hotel Chocolat charcoal velvetiser: £99.95, Hotelchocolat.com
  • Best for bookworms — The Folio Society On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: £39.95, Thefoliosociety.com
  • Best for green fingers — The Little Botanical Succulent Plant Gang: £38, Thelittlebotanical.com
  • Best grooming gift set — Ruffians grooming gift set: £55, Ruffians.co.uk
  • Best for failsafe footwear — Lacoste Powercourt trainers: £75, Schuh.co.uk
  • Best gift they’ll use every day — Q Timex Reissue 38mm stainless steel bracelet watch: £159, Timex.com
  • Best for a night out — Montblanc Legend Red EDP 50ml: £51, Theperfumeshop.com

Moore House build a cocktail box

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

For presentation from delivery, it’s hard to beat this brilliant cocktail set from premium independent Moore House, which has a real wow factor upon opening up the sturdy, tightly-packed cardboard box.

Inside you’ll find a selection of three pre-made cocktails, which you can whittle down from the six options offered when ordering. These include a bittersweet negroni, a punchy espresso martini, the gent’s classic old fashioned, and a robust Manhattan. Expect to eke out around three good measures from a bottle, which themselves are things of real beauty, as are the little garnishes, the dried orange segment elevating the drink with its ambrosial scent, and the useful cocktail shaker that completes the set.

However, it’s that packaging that truly lifts this gift above the rest of the contenders on this list, quite handily saving you time on gift wrapping, and leaving you with more time to spend with your loved one shaking up your next cocktail.

Smythson panama notebook

Best: For a personal touch

Rating: 10/10

As far as illustrious histories go, it doesn’t get more star-studded than Smythson. The luxury stationery maker has been the only choice for many historic greats, from Queen Victoria to Sir Edmund Hilary, and has continued its fine reputation for quality leather-bound notebooks into the 21st century, despite the fact they’re now competing with the notes app on your phone.

Still, you can’t beat jotting your notes down analogue style, and there’s certainly something special about this pocket notebook. Gold gilded edges, cross-grain lambskin binding, and the smoothest paper you’ll ever glide your pen across are all noteworthy features. But the standout is the option to personalise your gift with an engraving, from a selection of motifs to your loved one’s initials (two letters will set you back an added £15.90).

Marshall major IV headphones

Best: For music lovers

Rating: 10/10

It’s fair to say that without Marshall amplifiers and their signature sound, rock and roll, and many of the bands in its pantheon, just wouldn’t have been the same. These light and compact headphones from the brand attempt to take the best bits from that history – auditory know-how, slick, all-black styling, iconic logo – and repackage them for the Airpods generation (the Major IV is the fourth iteration of Marshall’s Bluetooth headphones).

What you get then is great sound, of course, but also some nice touches, like the guitar feedback upon turning the Bluetooth function on via the control knob – even if the wireless charging feature is lost without a wireless charging pad sold in the package. If you’re willing to overlook this minor quibble, then you’re in for a stellar pair of headphones, and the perfect Valentine’s gift for the music lover in your life.

Hotel Chocolat charcoal velvetiser

Best: For a sweet tooth

Rating: 10/10

According to research by Mintel, 87 percent of men are chocolate lovers, proof that a box of chocolates is as failsafe a gift as they come. However, so as not to be too cliché, we’ve thought a little bit out of that box for this indulgent choice, looking instead to one of the most buzzed-about gifts around – the Hotel Chocolat velvetiser.

For the uninitiated, this appliance is an at-home hot chocolate maker from high street chocolate giants Hotel Chocolat, made in conjunction with trusted kitchen appliance maker Dualit. It looks like a kettle with a handle and is super easy to use: just tear open your chocolate sachet from the selection box of 10 different drinks, pour the shards of chocolate inside the sachet into your velvetiser, add some dairy or plant milk and watch it stir it all up into warm, smooth chocolate heaven. The salted caramel is our favourite, a sophisticated and distinctly grown-up flavour.

Cast in a slick matter charcoal (other colour options include white, and a shiny platinum), the set also comes with two well-made ceramic cups, perfect for a his and hers sweet treat.

Read our full review of the Hotel Chocolat velvetiser

‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, by Ian Fleming published by The Folio Society

Best: For bookworms

Rating: 9/10

Our reading tastes are deeply personal, and as such a book is always a difficult gift to buy for a partner. That’s where the tomes sold by independent publisher The Folio Society fit perfectly, as it specialises in beautifully illustrated hardback editions of fan favourite classics.

Buying for a Game of Thrones or Lord of The Rings diehard? The Folio Society have you covered with illustrated collector’s editions complete with family trees and maps of Middle Earth.

Preferring the adventures of 007 we tested the waters with this copy of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the tenth novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Set in a robust slipcase with a drawing of Bond skiing down an ice-capped mountain on the front, the book itself is bound in blocked cloth and features six colour illustrations through the text by artist Fay Dalton. It’s a thoughtful gift – if a little pricey compared to other hardbacks – that’ll nonetheless prove how well you know your partner’s reading tastes.

The Little Botanical succulent plant gang

Best: For green fingers

Rating: 9/10

While flowers might be a classic Valentine’s gift go-to, a succulent holds the same thought, and all while lasting a lot longer if properly cared for and maintained.

This succulents set from indoor plant delivery service The Little Botanical contains three popular, easy-to-care-for succulents for beginners – an echeveria, a crassula ovata (aka a money tree), and a zebra haworthia, named for its eye-catching white stripes. Each plant is set in a solid ceramic pot painted in a black and gold colourway, a versatile combination that should slot in but still stand out on your partner’s WFH desk set-up.

Ruffians grooming gift set

Best: Grooming gift set

Rating: 9/10

If you’re buying for someone perennially preened, this gift set by one of the best barber chains around offers a chance for your loved one to hone their grooming routine and match it up with the experts. Inside you’ll find three of Ruffians’ most popular products — a mineral-rich shampoo in a recyclable glass bottle made with sensitive scalps in mind, a cleansing beard oil with antioxidant-rich argan oil, and a versatile hair cream.

It’s the latter that really impresses; light and subtly fragranced, it smooths down flyaways and gives hair a natural shine and hold without looking like it’s full of gunky product. The set is finished off with a nail file and Kent comb, great for smoothing out those straggly beard hairs through the day.

Lacoste powercourt trainers

Best: Failsafe footwear

Rating: 9/10

A pair of white trainers are to the modern gent what Oxford brogues were to the mid-century man, a versatile, ubiquitous footwear option that can be dressed up or down. Basically, we all need at least one pair; a couple of pairs, even better.

Luckily there’s plenty of quality out there, from the Nike air force one, unarguably one for the sneaker hall of fame, to the super-luxe but rather spenny Common Projects achilles low. For the best mix of affordability, versatility and quality, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Lacoste powercourt trainers though.

Cut like a classic tennis shoe and with the iconic Lacoste croc on the side, they give off a slightly preppier air than their rivals, which makes them a great dress up or down option, while the leather is supple but solid. In short, this is a shoe with universal appeal, and the closest a sneaker gets to a failsafe gift.

Q Timex Reissue 38mm stainless steel bracelet watch

Best: Gift they’ll use every day

Rating: 9/10

There’s not many gifts that are as effective and memorable as a watch, mainly by virtue of the fact that they’re made to last for years and can be worn daily.

If you’re buying a watch for a complete newbie, there’s a number of good brands to choose from around the relatively affordable £100 to £200 mark that also get a ton of respect from seasoned watch collectors. Seiko, Orient, and Swatch are all good starts, but we’d suggest a watch from American watchmaker Timex for beginners, owing to its wide range and easy to service quartz models.

The elegant hand wound 34mm Timex marlin has captured many a watch lover’s heart, but this quartz reissue of a dive watch from the 1970s arguably has more universal appeal thanks to a perfectly sized 38mm case and its pick up and go quartz movement. Light and slim, it has that magical melt-on-the-wrist quality, although beware if your loved ones arm hair are on the longer side – the woven bracelet is quite prone to nipping stray wrist hairs.

Montblanc legend red EDP 50ml

Best: For a night out

Rating: 9/10

Celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year, Montblanc Legend, has firmly solidified its reputation as a great modern scent. Modern Legend Red is the latest iteration, crafted by the perfumers behind other hugely popular scents from the likes of Paco Rabanne and Burberry.

Crafted in a striking red bottle that takes its design cues from the Rouge et Noir fountain pen, one of Montblanc’s earliest writing innovations in 1906, the scent inside is a supremely fresh blast to the senses. There’s notes of blood orange, cedarwood and juniper berry, centred by the deep richness of tonka bean and mahogany coming through in the base.

It’s also worth noting its staying power, the Montblanc Legend Red being an eau de parfum over the more commonly found eau de toilette. This means it has an oil concentration of around 5-10 per cent more than an EDT, which should give five hours of staying power at the very least, and more than enough to keep him smelling great throughout the day and into your evening date.

The verdict: Valentine’s gifts for him

For knock-out presentation and a gift that both of you can enjoy together, the Moore House build a cocktail box tops our list.

If you’re looking for a personal touch and high quality luxury, look to the Smythson Panama notebook, while the Marshall major IV headphones make for a Valentine’s gift that looks more expensive than its price tag; a fine pair of bluetooth headphones made by an iconic name, and all at £40 less than the latest Airpods.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on Valentine’s Day gifts for him, try the links below:

Pair their gift with the best luxury chocolate boxes – they’re so good you’ll want them all to yourself

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in