Mother’s Day is upon us. Hopefully by now, breakfast duties have been assigned, long lunches and evening banquets have been booked, and the ubiquitous Mother’s Day gifts are well taken care of. Except, of course, they haven’t been.
Many of us are dealing with busy schedules that don’t allow much time to consider what would truly benefit the most important women in our lives. Add to that an increasingly noisy materialism machine and one despairs at the thought of all the excessively packaged hand wash and lotion sets that will sit untouched after opening this Sunday.
But what makes a truly useful, practical gift? In our opinion, it boils down to something that either solves a problem, upgrades a daily task or ritual, or removes the need for a flimsy or less sustainable option that someone might be using.
Below, our edit of the items that have truly, genuinely improved our lives.
A Practical Mother’s Day Gift Guide
Oral-B iO Toothbrush
We wish there were testers for toothbrushes because capturing just how clean one’s mouth feels after using this toothbrush is near impossible. The Oral-B iO brush is described as a “monumental leap in innovative oral care technology,” and it’s actually not an understatement.
Your entire mouth feels polished and crispy fresh, and the brush offers multiple settings for sensitivity, gum care and whitening. While the ever-expanding web of smart appliances and gadgets the modern world offers seems mostly superfluous in practise, this toothbrush’s pressure sensor and display actually do help to encourage extremely thorough brushing.
Oral-B iO iO8 Electric Toothbrush, $649 (currently on sale for $324.50) from Shaver Shop.
Kenwood FPM810 Multipro Sense Food Processor
Not to add to the endless recommendations from foodie friends and culinary professionals, but a food processor can be life-changing. Who amongst us hasn’t suffered through trying to pulse or process food in a blender that is simply not powerful enough? Or dealt with motors that inevitably give out or start smelling like a burning tire when faced with pulsing lentils?
Enter the Kenwood FPM810 Multipro Sense Food Processor. This top-rated food processor is built to last. The ThermoResist blender cup is solid and handles both a hefty amount of frozen ingredients and hot liquids with ease—serving you well for both smoothie and soup season.
Vegetable prep becomes laughably easy, the crack-resistant Tritan bowls come in two different sizes and a spate of blades to chop, slice, grate and julienne. Perhaps the best feature is the built-in scale, if your mother is a baker, we’d suggest ordering this food processor yesterday.
Kenwood FPM810 Multipro Sense Food Processor, $599 (currently on sale for $379) from Appliances Online.
Lodge Cast Iron Pan
With so many kitchen items are sadly made to break, an excellent option that your mother would be able to hand down to you one day is a cast iron pan.
As well as being naturally non-stick—the seasoning will get better over time with proper care unlike conventional non-stick coated pans—these hardy kitchen items can handle a multitude of dishes, made better by the fact they can also be thrown into the over mid-cook. From frying an egg to a pan-baked apple pie, a cast iron pan is the utility knife of cookware.
Lodge – Logic Cast Iron Skillet 26cm, $54.95 from Victoria’s Basement.
Vitamix 2300i Blender
In a ‘similar but different’ vein of useful kitchen investments is, of course, a Vitamix. It’s dominated the blender category for years and for good reason. The Vitamix Ascent Series A2300i is an investment we’d suggest for heavy smoothie and acai bowl consumers, but you’d be surprised at how many other meals this blender does better.
Sauces, spice mixes, even seed and sprout heavy vegan cracker mixes are handled with ease. The Vitamix 2300i also features a built-in digital timer and variable speed controls for greater texture precision. While the allure of the juicer for health is strong, we’ve found that the Vitamix gets far more use—and also avoids wasting a lot of produce pulp.
Vitamix Ascent Series A2300i Blender, $678 from Catch.com.au.
ECOVACS Deebot T9+ Robot Vacuum
We know, we know what you’re thinking: that a robot vacuum cleaner is an absurd and unnecessary gadget when so many light, efficient hand-held vacuum cleaners exist. Reader, let us say as former sceptics, this ECOVACS Deebot T9+ is so time-saving, quiet and thorough that it may become more of a favourite household inhabitant than your pets or children.
The unit the team was loaned handled the constant low-level shedding of a border collie and never got clogged with hair. As well as being app-enabled and easily set up, the vacuum also features a self-emptying feature that means a once-a-month emptying of the main receptacle is the minimal maintenance you have to do. Despite being a little large in circumference, two discreet arms mean the vacuum can effectively get into corners and around furniture—it’s very thorough.
Being able to set the vacuum to clean whilst you’re say, making dinner, doing laundry or leaving for work feels almost like a domestic cheat code. While it is a significant investment, the Deebot T9+’s ability to handle pet hair, mop and scent your home, coupled with the time and effort saved would make it well worth it for a busy mother whose aversion to vacuuming is not swayed by the appeal of Dyson.
ECOVACS Deebot T9+ Robot Vacuum, $1299 (currently on sale for $1199) from JB Hi-Fi.
EFM Wireless Power Bank
We’ve previously recommended a life-streamlining wireless charging station as an unexpectedly useful gift before—not only for their speed but also the convenience of not needing to worry about compatible cables. While Belkin’s option featuring an inbuilt Bluetooth speaker is an excellent desk addition, there are also chargers specifically for those on the go.
EFM’s Qi Certified 10W Wireless Power Bank is the best of both worlds. When on a desk, the sleek black desk stand enables the power bank to function as a charger and phone holder. Unhitch it though, and it’ll wirelessly charge a myriad of mobile devices—1.4 times faster than most others too. The lightweight, pocketable power bank is excellent for throwing in a bag or keeping in a pocket, especially on long days out that are light on potential charging pauses. And when you’re running low on battery yourself? You’ll know who to ask.
Qi Certified 10W Wireless Power Bank, $129.95 from EFM.