IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

35 gifts for 40-year-olds that are better than what's on their wish list

These epic gifts are perfect for every kind of 40-year-old.
Kara Birnbaum / TODAY

They say your 40s are your new 30s, but when it comes to gifting, sometimes people can confuse the decades. While people in their 20s are expecting wine, whiskey and other booze-related gifts, people in their 40s are focused on upgrading their lifestyle on some level.

Whether they're focusing on their fitness routine or improving their financial skills, 40-year-olds also want unique gifts that are fun yet useful. That's why we compiled a list of home must-haves, sporty essentials and cozy elements that will delight every kind of birthday celebrant. Whether your girlfriend or your work-from-home colleague is looking for something to take the next step in their life, here are the best gifts that may not be on their wish list, but will definitely leave a lasting impact.

To shop this article by category, simply click on each link below:

Best 40th birthday gifts for women

InstaNatural Vitamin C Toner

Help her start the new decade with a bright foundation. Made with witch hazel, lavender and other botanicals, the brand says this ultra-cleansing toner will help fight against signs of aging.

AOA Studio Paw Paw Collection Gift Set

For the wellness warrior, this gift set includes everything they may need for their birthday shenanigans. If she's the type that loves staying at home, she will appreciate all the beauty goodies. It comes with slippers, a highlighter set, a handheld mirror and more.

Anthropologie Grecian Bust Pot

For plant moms looking to upgrade their indoor garden, this Grecian-inspired planter will give a touch of glamour to their greenery. The handpainted pots come in two different sizes to improve their blooming activities.

Dearfoams New Castle Genuine Shearling Cross Band Slide

Her feet will be singing the moment she slips into these cozy slippers after her big birthday party. These slides are made with 100 percent Australian sheepskin lining with plush cushioning.

Luxie Smokey Eye Brush Set

If her makeup brushes need an upgrade, this blending set is for her. It comes with four eye shadow brushes to develop the perfect look with ease.

The Comfy Original Oversized Microfiber & Sherpa Wearable Blanket

Someone who's always cold deserves a wearable blanket. The Comfy fits about anyone and can be worn indoors or outdoors. It provides extra comfort with high-quality sherpa and can be used also as a pillow.

Bala Bangles

If free weights at the gym aren't making her feel the burn, give her a cardio boost with these stylish elastic bands. Bala Bangles have quickly become a bestseller for their versatility — she can wear them on her wrists or ankles, or add them to a bag for extra weight.

Sahira Jewelry Design Daria Hoops

Jewelry is a classic birthday gift, and these gold hoops are the perfect addition to her accessory repertoire. The earrings are made of a tarnish-free material and can easily match with her regular wardrobe rotation.

JW Pei '90s Shoulder Bag

For the fashion-forward lady in your life, give her a chic purse that she can wear day and night. The bag comes in eight different colors and is made with a luxe vegan leather material. As a bonus, over 2,300 verified Amazon reviewers have raved about how spacious and expensive-looking this bag is.

Sweejar Store Porcelain Tea Sets British Royal Series

Lovers of historical dramas and the royal family will adore this regal tea set. It comes with a feminine teapot, teacups, saucers, a sugar bowl, a cream pitcher and a stainless steel tea strainer. Now that's a great way to spill some tea!

Vera Bradley Weekender Travel Bag

This quilted weekender is roomy enough to take on short trips, and made with a water-resistant polyester to help stand up against stains.

New York Times Custom Birthday Book

If she still gets the newspaper regularly delivered to her, she'll appreciate this custom book from The New York Times. The collection features the front pages from every year since their birth, so it'll be a great conversation starter for whoever flips through it.

Aerangis Discovery Journey Gift Set

If one candle isn't enough, then this set will whisk her away to a whimsical paradise. It comes with three signature scents, a complimentary wick trimmer, candle care card and scent story card for a sublime aromatherapy experience.

Lilysilk Trimmed Silk Women Long-Sleeve Pajamas Set

For the woman that needs more beauty sleep in her life, give her this luxury pajama set from Lilysilk. The lightweight set is made with 100 percent grade 6A mulberry silk for the ultimate comfort during their slumbers.

Hatch Restore Smart Sleep Assistant

This atypical alarm clock from Hatch will surely help night owls secure some much-needed zzz's. The sleep assistance will help her program her night routine better and eliminate any distractions. Plus, it combines a sound machine, sunrise alarm, smart light, meditation app and an alarm clock for the ultimate zen environment.

Best 40th birthday gifts for men

Lenton Smartphone Video Microphone Kit

This one is perfect for budding content creators or streamers looking to improve their filming skills. The kit comes with a ring light that illuminates all those pesky shadows and can also mount a mic.

Ostrichpillow Go Neck Pillow

If he loves traveling, gift him this plush neck pillow that will support his neck through his journey. The Ostrichpillow offers a 360-degree design for ultimate comfort and is made with high-quality memory foam that'll bring him to dreamland during even the bumpiest turbulence.

Personalized Bourbon Barrel Flight with Glasses

For the man that loves to entertain, this bourbon barrel flight will elevate his hosting skills. It comes with four glasses where he can serve his favorite scotch or display it on his coffee table.

Mark & Graham Personalized Ball Gift Set

Let him score in style with these personalized golf balls. The set comes with a dozen tees, balls and pencils for the avid golfer looking to impress his teammate.

Samsonite Omni PC Hard-Side Expandable Luggage

Upgrade his travel gear with this 20-inch expandable carry-on luggage. It's scratch-resistant, thanks to the micro-diamond polycarbonate casing, and there are mounted TSA locks on the side to protect his belongings.

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug²

Complete his work-from-home setup with this smart mug. No need for him to pause the video on his virtual meetings to take a sip when he can keep his beverage warm for longer. One customer raved about this cup because it "truly keeps my beverage at the same set temperature long enough for me to enjoy every last drop and at my pace!"

Unbound Merino Heritage Knit Sweater

If it's still chilly, give him a cozy sweater that won't leave him overheated. This soft winter staple is made with 100 percent Italian spun Merino wool for the classy and elegant chap in your life.

Jabra Evolve2 65 UC Wireless Headphone

If he seems to always be on a call, this headset is the perfect gift to keep them focused. He will feel the difference the minute he blocks his ears with this wireless headset featuring noise-canceling powers.

AirPods Pro with MagSafe Charging Case

Shoppers can't get over these AirPods for their noise-canceling features and modern design. If the man in your life needs a new way to listen to music, this gift is a plus. The pair is sweat- and water-resistant — ideal for avid runners or gym buffs.

Unique 40th birthday gifts for her

Mockins Natural Himalayan Salt Lamp

Help them brighten up a room with this set of salt lamps, which the brand says are designed to promote a healthy and relaxing atmosphere at home.

Vintage Hobnail Perfume Bottle, 1950s

Any beauty or makeup buff will appreciate this vintage perfume bottle, which they can place on their vanity to instantly elevate their space.

Ten Wilde Name Plate Necklace

West Coast-based designer Tenisha Wilde creates stunning pieces that look way more expensive than they are. This gold-dipped necklace will hold a special place in anyone's heart — customize it with a name or initials.

Bandolier Classic Pouch

Could she use an everyday accessory that helps her pare down the essentials? This popular zip pouch is perfect for just the phone and credit cards. She can use a strap she already has, or grab one of the brand's.

Heirloom Custom Video Book

Create a custom book for them that automatically plays a 20-minute video you've put together.

Birdies The Phoebe Customized Slippers

Pick up a pair of Birdies' popular Phoebe slippers and customize them with her initials for a super special gift. (The brand also has a new basket-woven style of the Phoebe that's great for warm weather.)

Creative 40th birthday gift ideas

100 Movies Scratch Off Poster

Help them make this the year they finally see all 100 iconic films on this list.

Kusini Electric Fondue Pot Set

Dinner at home takes on new meaning when they have a fondue pot waiting for them for dessert. It comes with four skewers, a dipping tray and a serving tray.

Vintage Candy Co. 40th Birthday Retro Candy Gift Box

Send them on a trip down memory lane with this retro-inspired assortment of nostalgic sweets, including Fun Dip, Laffy Taffy and Big League Chew.

Goldbelly Subscription

Goldbelly ships meals from some of America's most iconic restaurants. If they've ever been to Russ & Daughters or even Shake Shack, they'll love this tasty gift.

Lettuce Grow The Farmstand

If they're regulars at the farmer's market and know all their local growers, they'll appreciate this all-in-one stand that essentially sets them up to grow their own greens. The Farmstand makes it easier than ever to grow vegetables indoors, and reviewers are finding it much easier than traditional gardening. "I've found myself excited to get home from work to see how much my plants have grown during the day. I've never been so excited to eat a salad in my life."