Gift Guide: Work-from-home essentials – 9to5Mac

Gift Guide: Work-from-home essentials – 9to5Mac

Since working from home is still an option for many employees everywhere, it’s never a bad time to upgrade your setup with new accessories and gadgets. Scroll below as we round up some of the best additions to your WFH lineup, whether you’re shopping for someone else this holiday season or making your own wish list.

Satechi desk mat

Visually, one of my favorite upgrades to a work-from-home desk setup is the addition of a nice desk mat. My recommendation in this category comes from Satechi, which offers an eco-leather desk mat in a trio of different colors at a compelling price point of $39.99.

I’ve been using it for a while and find it very durable and versatile, thanks to the double-sided design. Notably, one of the sides does not have a Satechi logo, making it the best side.

Twelve South Curve

If you or the person you’re buying for uses a MacBook at their desk, adding a dedicated laptop stand can be a huge ergonomic improvement. I have been a fan of the Twelve South Curve for over three years and can highly recommend it to MacBook users.

Twelve South also offers the ParcSlope as another option for MacBook users, and it even comes in an updated matte black finish that looks sleek on any desk.

Belkin MagSafe 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand

One thing I’ve learned is that having a place to easily charge your iPhone and AirPods at your desk can be a significant quality of life improvement. My favorite option here is the Belkin 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand with MagSafe, while another more affordable option is available from Satechi.

This stand from Belkin is expensive, but it has a solid design with an upright MagSafe stand for your iPhone and an integrated place for your AirPods in the base. It can charge your iPhone at the fastest possible MagSafe speed, up to 15 watts. It uses a single cable design to power the MagSafe charger and AirPods charger.

Keychron Q5 Mechanical Keyboard

I made the jump to a mechanical keyboard this year, and I haven’t looked back since. I personally use the Keychron Q5, which has a backlit design, a built-in volume knob, USB-C connectivity and a customizable design.

In addition to those benefits, I found my switch to the Keychron Q5 to be a huge ergonomic improvement as well. The raised design significantly reduced wrist pain during long typing sessions compared to something like Apple’s Magic Keyboard.

The Keychron Q5 is somewhat expensive at just under $230, but there are also more affordable mechanical keyboard options out there. One of our favorites is the Logitech MX Mechanical wireless keyboard, which is also more compact than the Keychron option as well as wireless.

HomeKit light strips

For accent lighting, you can never go wrong with some HomeKit light strips for your desk. Whether you place them behind your desk or underneath, they can add ambiance and personalization to your desk setup. HomeKit compatibility allows you to control the brightness and color from your iPhone or through Siri.

HomeKit light strips have gotten significantly cheaper over the years, with options now coming in under $30 from reputable manufacturers on Amazon.

Philips Hue Play Light Bar

A higher-end option for desktop accent lighting comes from Philips Hue and the company’s Play Light Bar. It can provide some beautiful accent lighting for your office and desk, either with a stand or by being mounted to the back of your screen.

However, it’s more expensive than a basic light strip, and you’ll also need a Philips Hue bridge for full functionality.

HomeKit desk lamp

Rounding out our focus on lighting is a basic HomeKit-capable desk lamp. You can pick up a sleek HomeKit desk lamp from a company like Meross on Amazon for under $50. Another option is a smart table lamp with a more unique design.

The reason I’ve included several different lighting accessories in this guide is that I think subtle and adaptive lighting around you can be great for productivity. This is especially true if you work in a room or office with bright, fluorescent overhead lighting.

Logitech MX Master 3S

I’ve been singing the praises of Logitech’s MX series of mice for years and absolutely nothing has changed. The latest Logitech MX Master 3S is an extremely excellent mouse for your Mac. Ergonomically, I find it significantly better than something like Apple’s Magic Mouse.

The MX Master 3S is also fully customizable with Logitech’s Options software on the Mac. You can assign the various buttons to macOS features such as mission control, exposure, the app switcher and much more.

Ember Temperature Control Smart Cup

If you’re a coffee drinker who finds yourself getting distracted and letting your coffee go cold, the Ember Smart Mug can help solve that problem. There’s a companion app for iPhone that lets you control the temperature, and the battery in the mug can keep your coffee hot for up to 80 minutes.

Under $25 WFH gifts

To round out this gift guide, I thought it would be helpful to include some more affordable desk and work-from-home accessories. These are all priced at or under $25 and should arrive in time for Christmas.

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