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6 Mother's Day gifts moms actually want, according to ZDNET moms

Need some last-minute Mother's Day gift ideas? Our editors picked out the gadgets that are either on their wishlist or that they already use and love to help you out.
Written by Alison DeNisco Rayome, Managing Editor
Kindle Paperwhite | For the mom who loves to read
Kindle Paperwhite against wood backdrop
Kindle Paperwhite
For the mom who loves to read
View now View at Amazon
A Costco membership | For the mom who loves a deal
A Costco membership
For the mom who loves a deal
View now View at Stack Social
Skylight Calendar | For the mom who keeps everyone organized
Skylight Calendar
Skylight Calendar
For the mom who keeps everyone organized
View now View at Amazon
Amazon Smart Plug | For the mom who wants a smart home
Amazon Smart Plug
Amazon Smart Plug
For the mom who wants a smart home
View now View at Amazon
Eufy Smart Lock S230 | For the mom who wants to stop using keys
Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch
Eufy Smart Lock S230
For the mom who wants to stop using keys
View now View at Amazon
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones | For the mom who wants to block out the noise
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
For the mom who wants to block out the noise
View now View at Amazon
Show more (1 item)

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12, and if you're stumped on what to get for the mother figure in your life, ZDNET has got you covered. The moms on our staff test products and keep up with the most useful tech gadgets for a living, and we're here to help you pick a gift that she'll actually use. (Most of them are also available on Amazon Prime, so you still have time to order them.)

Here are our picks for the six best Mother's Day gifts that are on our personal wish lists, or that we own and recommend, across different budgets. 

Also: The 15 best Mother's Day gifts for tech-loving moms

Mother's Day gifts your mom may actually want

A Kindle Paperwhite is at the top of the wish list for both myself and ZDNET staff writer Maria Diaz. "I spend so much time doing stuff for my kids that I've come to cherish my reading time each night," Diaz says. 

The Kindle Paperwhite is ZDNET's tested pick for the best Kindle reader, with excellent battery life (up to 6 weeks if you read 30 minutes a day) and 6.8-inch display with glare-free coating. It's also waterproof for up to 2 meters, so can survive messes or trips to the beach or pool. 

I wasn't expecting to fall in love with Costco, but after having a kid and buying a house, my annual membership has become a necessity for saving on everything from groceries to diapers to home essentials. 

I bought my membership through a Stack Social deal that we run on ZDNET: When you buy a one-year Gold Star membership for $60, you'll get a $40 gift card, totally free. That essentially cuts down your membership cost to just $20 for the year. There's also a deal on the top-tier Costco Executive Gold Star membership -- if you pay $120 for the membership, you can get a $40 gift card. If the mom in your life loves a bargain or buying in bulk and isn't already a Costco member, you can buy a membership to gift. 

Diaz uses the Skylight Calendar in her home, and says "it's the main thing that's helped me keep my head above water." It's a touchscreen calendar that comes in a 10- or 15-inch model designed with busy lifestyles in mind, that allows for shared use within a household or a team. You can use the Skylight app on your phone to add events, chores, and other plans to the calendar, and create lists that everyone can see within seconds. 

Similar to the Skylight digital picture frame, each account gets a custom Skylight email address that you can give to others who don't have the app. If they send events to that email address, those events will also be added to the calendar. 

Also: This digital calendar is the perfect gift for busy moms on Mother's Day

Your mom can turn her house into a smart home with the help of these Amazon Smart Plugs. They let you automate things like when your lights turn on, or to add voice control with Alexa. These smart plugs are affordable and easy to set up and use, even if you aren't the most tech-savvy. 

ZDNET news & features director Alyson Windsor uses them to automate her plant lights, and says the timer function works reliably. (I also use one during the holidays to turn our Christmas tree lights on and off on a schedule, instead of having to crawl behind the tree to plug them in, and it's been a game-changer.)

The Eufy Smart Lock has been a major quality of life upgrade to Windsor's home, she says. It has a fingerprint scanner, and allows kids and any guests to come in and out once they've logged their print in the app on the main user's phone. If the fingerprint fails, there's a backup code and key option. The app also allows you to see who opens doors when -- especially handy when you have teens, Windsor says. 

The smart lock is rechargeable by USB-C, so you don't need to worry about replacing a battery. "I just pop out the cartridge and plug it into my phone charger whenever it alerts me," Windsor says. It also allows you to lock or unlock doors remotely, which means no more getting out of bed to check the doors at night. 

One caveat: The app won't tell you if a door has been left ajar, so if you hit lock with a door open, it still shows that the door is locked. 

Why might a mom want some solid noise-canceling headphones? "Both of my kids play xbox (loudly), one is learning electric guitar, and sometimes I need a nap," Windsor says. "Need I say more?"

These headphones have a buttery-soft build and are extremely comfortable to wear. "I don't usually buy premium tech, preferring to stick to budget options, but they're 100% worth it for the on-demand peace and quiet," she says. ZDNET has named these headphones one of our top picks for the best noise-canceling headphones as well.

Review: Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless noise-canceling headset review: Making the world better through a flawless music listening experience

When is Mother's Day 2024?

In the US, Mother's Day falls on Sunday, May 12, 2024. The annual holiday honoring maternal figures is on a different day every year, but always falls on the second Sunday of May. 

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