Getting birthday gifts for your husband can feel like a test. If you ask him what he wants, then 9 times out of 10, he'll just shrug and say, "I don't know" or "Nothing." But obviously, you can't just let the day go by without getting him SOMETHING. Before you resign yourself to buying him clothes that he probably won't wear or a novel that he probably won't read, here are our best gift ideas for certain husband archetypes. See if any of the following categories sound like YOUR guy!
For The Home
Whether your husband just has a bookshelf all his own or is the proud owner of a full-fledged "man cave" in the basement or garage, most guys actually love the idea of carving out a space in the home that's all theirs. Coffee table books on their favorite subjects can be fun to peruse, and if you put them in your living room (where guests can easily see them), it's a great way to tell your man, "I want you to have a say in the decorating, as well." Shelves and trophy cases, where he can show off his favorite items and memorabilia, can convey a similar message. We're not suggesting that you should let him turn your bedroom into a veritable shrine to his favorite sports team...but letting him put that signed football jersey on the wall won't totally ruin your aesthetic, either.
For The Tech Lover
It's fairly easy to go to your local electronics store and grab whatever's super popular right now; a tech enthusiast probably won't be disappointed to unwrap gifts like a tablet, Fitbit, or pair of AirPods. However, it's very possible to get more creative than that. For example, if your husband is a Star Wars geek, consider getting him an electronic, app-enabled R2D2 or BB8 "droid" (and don't rag on him when he happily spends the rest of the afternoon making the little robot wander through the house). If he's a gamer, he'll almost certainly be delighted to get a newly-released game he's been looking forward to, or even a refurbished older system that can play his favorite video games from his childhood. And if he likes to take his gadgets with him wherever he goes, a handsome new laptop sleeve or tablet case can keep it safe--and make him think of you whenever he uses it!
For The DiYer
If your husband's the type to try to fix everything in the house by himself (and appreciates old-world craftsmanship), then it's absolutely critical for him to have the proper tools for pulling these projects off! A well-stocked toolbox, or even a brand-new drill or another power tool, is a great gift; not only will it help enable him to do jobs around the house, but it's a testament to your faith in his handyman abilities. If your guy's good on hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers (and you're not quite sure you trust him with a chainsaw), then you could offer to help him choose a virtual "workshop" or seminar series so that he can learn even more skills. And when he wants to tell you all about what he learned in class that day, listen intently and be encouraging!
Alright, be honest: has your husband ever tried to take you to a baseball or hockey game, and you dragged your heels because you're not into sports? Conversely, have you ever signed both of you up for a couple's class /workshop/event because YOU wanted to do it, even if you had a feeling that he wouldn't enjoy it very much? If you're going to give your guy the gift of an activity for his birthday--be it a behind-the-scenes tour at a local brewery, tickets to an upcoming sports event, or even indoor skydiving lessons--please be sure that you're genuinely thinking in terms of what HE'D like, not just something that "would be fun for [the two of you] to do together." Also, either choose something that you'll be able to enthusiastically participate in, yourself, or just give him the all-clear to take one of his buddies with him instead of you. And that brings us to our next category...
For The Outdoorsy Man
If your husband's an outdoor enthusiast, you don't HAVE to agree to that camping trip he's been bugging you to take with him (and you've been dreading) for years. Once again, part of the gift can actually be your blessing to do something with his friends and without you. HE gets to enjoy the great outdoors, and YOU get to stay inside where there's air conditioning and a distinct lack of mosquitoes. It's a win-win! On a more serious note, you can also offer to take Hubby shopping for new gear (e.g., a premium fishing rod, a top-of-the-line hunting rifle)...or gardening supplies, if his hobbies lie a little closer to home. Just make sure you talk to him BEFORE you replace his tried-and-true equipment; sometimes, old items have sentimental value, and you don't want to find out too late that you've tossed his father's prized casting rod into the trash!
For The Drinker
For certain guys, being able to whip up a variety of cocktails (complete with appropriate garnishes) and tell the difference between "good" and "cheap" booze is a huge source of pride, and a major tenet of their "manliness." And even if your husband isn't like that, most dudes do still appreciate quality alcohol and drink-making supplies! A stainless steel or bronze-colored bar cart can help him take his drink-mixing game to the next level, but if Hubby likes Moscow Mules or any other type of chilled cocktail, then the ultimate "For-Husband Gift" is a beautiful, artisan copper mug. Classy AND practical! Get him one cup or get him a gift set; the only thing that'll shine brighter than the mugs themselves will be his grin when he unwraps them for the first time.
For The Non-Drinker
Now, if your husband's a teetotaler, that doesn't necessarily mean that you CAN'T get him any beverage-related gifts. Copper cocktail cups, after all, can work great with lemonade, slushes, and "mocktails;" they let you enjoy some of the more fun aspects of drinking (that is, complimenting your fancy beverages AND creating an Instagram-worthy photo op) with none of the downsides. For added sentimentality, you can add an engraved message to the containers. His date of birth, a sweet message, an inside joke that'll make him laugh--the possibilities are nearly endless!
For The Man Who Likes To Get Dressed Up
Some guys seem to live in old t-shirts, jeans, and sandals (with or without socks), while others consider James Bond to be a style icon and understand that a smart-looking outfit (or accessory) can make a huge impression on other people. Regardless of where your hubby falls on that spectrum, if he's NOT the type to groan every time you go on a shopping trip, then it might be time to freshen up his wardrobe with a new suit or pair of fashion/brand-name sneakers. If there's a haberdashery or men's finery shop near where you live, you can also try to find him a new hat, tie, or even selection of pocket squares that reflect his personality and general "vibe."
For The Guy Who's Always Tired
Contrary to popular belief, pampering yourself is NOT just for women! Though a macho manly man may balk at the idea of getting a massage or even a pedicure, these activities may actually be absolutely perfect birthday gifts for helping him relax and letting his cares melt away. To this effect, a gift card to a local day spa is a wonderful gift idea--and you can even offer to go with him and make it a "couple's thing," just so he can save face! Meanwhile, if your guy already embraces the idea of self-care but can't seem to get enough sleep at night, consider investing in a white noise machine, a luxury pillow, or even a weighted blanket to help him get some legitimate, drool-worthy shuteye.
For The Music Lover
Buying gifts for music lovers can be especially interesting, because you can essentially go in two completely different directions. If your husband is "old school" to the point of insisting that everything sounds better on vinyl, a new record player or turntable is a total no-brainer birthday gift. Bonus points if you can find records for his favorite bands (both classic and contemporary) to go with the player! On the other hand, if he's fully embraced modern sound technology, then you can't go wrong with a gift card to his favorite music purchasing platform, a Bluetooth speaker for his phone, or even noise-canceling headphones so he can forget about the rest of the world while he jams out.
We hope you've found our list of husband birthday gift ideas enlightening! One thing to keep in mind is that you probably know your husband pretty well compared to other people. So think about his personality, contemplate is hobbies, and have faith in your ability to pick out gifts. Chances are, you'll find a way to make his next birthday special!