Best gifts for grandparents in 2020, from smart tech to sentimental


This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season’s best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

They’ll probably love whatever you give them, but grandparents can be tricky to buy gifts for — it isn’t always easy to figure out ideas for what they really need or want. Photo gifts of the grandchildren are always fun and thoughtful, but you’ve probably already given them plenty of photo coffee mugs over the years. Since your grandparents may not be up to date with the latest gear, we’ve included some smart tech and other thoughtful gift items that are easy to use (and buy). Yes, you can also give the gift of quality time together, but it feels better to buy something and show up with it in hand. And if you won’t be around for the holidays, these unique gifts are perfect to deliver to their home and easy to set up (and more creative than a picture frame or photo album).

Be an awesome grandkid when special occasions roll around: Forget the bird feeders and scratchy sweaters (they don’t actually want those) and consider these ideas for unique gifts for grandparents or even great grandparents (or parents, too).

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An Alexa smart speaker is the perfect gift to buy for your grandparent. My own grandpa uses his constantly to read him the news and his favorite audiobooks, tell him the time and more set functions that are personalized to his interests. Alexa can also help someone remember their medications, play music, turn the lights on and control the thermostat. 

If your grandparent isn’t completely mobile, or would rather not be getting up every few minutes, an Echo is a great gift that will allow them to easily stay connected to the world right from their armchair. It’s also great for anyone with mobility issues because once it’s set up, you can control it completely with your voice.

There are a plethora of Alexa devices out there, but the Echo Dot is an affordable buy that’s small enough to fit anywhere and has a great speaker.

Read our Amazon Echo Dot (third-generation) review.

Read more: Best Amazon Alexa devices of 2020


As we get older, we tend to need to take more medications every day. The Memo Box is a practical gift that helps make that process a little bit easier. It pings you with alerts when it’s time to take your meds, and it tracks your usage so that you can tell you if you’ve missed a dose or are about to accidentally double dose, a potentially life-saving idea. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity and a free app, so your grandparent (or a caretaker) can monitor their habits. 

You can also set the app up to remind you when your grandparent misses a dose. If your grandparents live alone, buy it for them; it’s a useful way to keep tabs on their health.


Do you have that one elderly family member who is constantly misplacing their precious belongings? As we grow old, it often becomes harder to keep track of all of our various knick knacks. Combined with declining eyesight, this forgetfulness can turn into a problem.

This Tile tracker pack is perfect to buy for anyone who struggles with losing things. It comes with two Tile Mates, which can be looped onto a key ring, and two Tile Slims, which can be slid into a wallet or stuck on a laptop. The Tile app tracks the location of your missing item, and if it’s out of range, other Tile users will let you know if they come into contact with it.


If you can’t be with your grandparents this holiday season, here’s something you can buy to give them a precious way to stay in touch with you that everyone will enjoy. A family photo book, pictures, phone calls and personalized, handwritten letters are a great choice, but sometimes it’s nice to just know that someone is thinking about you.

If you touch your friendship lamp, the other person’s will light up too at the same time, a sweet way to connect grandparents and grandkids over a long distance. All you have to do is both be connected to Wi-Fi. You can buy and connect as many friendship lamps together as you want, and they have hundreds of color options. You can buy a different color light for each family member, so you know exactly who is missing you at any moment.

Although the lamps are a bit pricey to buy, these thoughtful gifts are an amazing way to stay in touch with an extended family scattered throughout the world.


If your grandfather or grandmother loves reading a book but dislikes lugging heavy books back and forth, an e-reader is an amazing choice for a present to buy for them that they will enjoy. The Kindle keeps getting better and better than a book, and the newest model is lightweight, waterproof and has a battery life that lasts for weeks.

This Kindle can also connect with Bluetooth headphones and speakers, so this is a great gift if your grandparent would rather listen to books aloud. Either way, they can curl up under a blanket with some coffee or tea and enjoy.

Read our Amazon Kindle (2019) review.

Read more: Best E-book Readers for 2020

Posh Paper Designs

Some grandparents are low tech, but they’ve certainly learned a lot over the years. This unique gift is a heart covered journal, titled “Letters to my Grandchild.” This grandparent memory book is filled with blank lined pages, so your older and wiser loved one can write down everything they want to tell you about life and make it truly custom and personalized. Grandparents can also record memories, wisdom, hopes and dreams for future grandchildren. 

This is the perfect sentimental gift idea to buy, and the journal will be a treasured written and perhaps photo keepsake for years to come.

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Originally published in 2019.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.



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