The best 50th birthday gift ideas—from luxury fragrances to designer accessories

Browse our 50th birthday gift ideas to find the perfect present to mark this special milestone

A composite image of three of the best 50th gifts to buy in 2022: ray ban sunglasses, jo malone candle and charlotte tilbury eye cream
(Image credit: John Lewis, Future)

These 50th birthday gift ideas are a thoughtful way to celebrate a loved one who is reaching the important milestone.

The big 5-0 isn't like any other birthday. It calls for reflecting on the wisdom of past years and momentum for all the ones to come. Because of that, there's a bit of pressure attached to finding the perfect gift, as there's no size-fits-all solution.

As you shop, it's important to consider what they already love, like timeless gold jewelry, or ones they want to try - like eating at one of the world's best restaurants. That's why we've rounded up our favorite 50th birthday gifts, bound to impress even those who swear they don't want to celebrate half a century - and some could even work as 40th birthday gifts ideas for women too. We've largely included products in this list but consider experience-led gifts too, such as booking her into one of the best luxury hotels or one of the best spa breaks in the UK.

The best 50th birthday gift ideas

We've hand-picked 50th birthday gift ideas for every budget, whether you're looking for unique 50th birthday gifts that break the mold, or gift ideas for a couple, a wife, friend, or family member that they will treasure. From minimalist wardrobe essentials to some of the best cookbooks, there's something for everyone.

Where to buy 50th birthday gifts in the UK

Our pick of the best 50th birthday gift ideas

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1. Engraved Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Home Candle

RRP: £50

The fragrant blend of lime, peppery basil, and aromatic white thyme is the reason why this famous scent is one of the best Jo Malone candles (opens in new tab) among customers. And if you purchase this from the Jo Malone website, it can be customized for an extra special gift - an option that would make the ideal milestone birthday gift.

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2. NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device

RRP: £279.99

One of the best skincare devices (opens in new tab) for toning the face, this delivers microcurrents to the skin that helps stop the skin from sagging and sculpts the next and chin. It also helps skin to look more radiant for a glowing finish. For the best results, read about how to use a facial roller (opens in new tab) so that you can advise her on how to give herself an expert-like treatment.

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3. Luxurious Cashmere And Merino Wool Throw

RRP: £145

This comfortingly soft throw will look chic in the living room thanks to its on-trend sky blue and calming green shades (two of the top living room paint colors (opens in new tab)of 2022). The silky soft cashmere is also perfect to cozy into while watching movies and in the winter months, it also doubles up as one of the best winter blankets (opens in new tab). Versatile and luxurious? We're sold.

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4. Stackers leather lidded jewelry box

RRP: £175

They will love this beautiful leather jewelry box that boasts a soft velvet inner lining and individual compartments for rings, necklaces and bracelets. Available in soft pink, blue or grey, this box comes with a full-sized mirror under the lid making it easy for her to see her best necklaces (opens in new tab) in their full glory. This box looks beautiful open as a decorative addition to any dressing table, but it also comes with a gold lock and key if they want that extra peace of mind.

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5. Vashi Pearl and Knot 18k yellow-gold and pearl necklace

RRP: £550

The best jewelry gifts (opens in new tab) always make for memorable presents for impressive milestone birthdays. This Vashi piece is one of the best necklaces for women who want something elegant and understated but stylish and modern at the same time.

Vashi Pearl and Knot 18k yellow-gold and pearl necklace from Vashi (opens in new tab)

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6. 150 Restaurants You Need to Visit 

RRP: £27.50

Curated by popular food blogger Amélie Vincent, this will give them a whole range of restaurant options to choose from whenever they're traveling—a great gift for foodies! For an extra special present, include a voucher for one of the best value Michelin restaurants (opens in new tab).

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7. Parfums De Marly Delina Exclusif Eau De Parfum

RRP: £240 for 75ml

A beautiful rose perfume (opens in new tab) for anyone who loves the aroma of the romantic bloom, this fragrance blends fruity top notes of pear, lychee, grapefruit with a musky vanilla base. But the real treat in the smoky rose heart that boasts a blend of Turkish rose, incense and vetiver.

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8. Personalized Distressed Leather Photo Album

RRP: £24.95

A lovely gift that will probably bring a tear to their eye (in a good way!) this handmade leather photo album has 30 pages recycled cotton paper and protective tissue paper to store photos on. Print up some of their favorites and make them something truly unique. This could even make one of the best wedding gifts (opens in new tab) for creative couples who could fill it with memories of their special day.

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9. Dyson Corrale styler

RRP: £399

A must for anyone looking to tame their naturally curly hairstyles (opens in new tab), the innovative Dyson Corrale (opens in new tab) is one of the best hair straighteners (opens in new tab) for cutting down on styling time and for being considerate to the locks while doing it. The cordless function always makes it a practical option for anyone who travels a lot.

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10. Mulberry Bayswater small grained-leather tote bag

RRP: £1,150

Possibly one of the best designer bags (opens in new tab) there ever was, this iconic tote would make any fashionista happy on their birthday. This tan color will help to create a gorgeous classic look but there are also other shades available - if you know their wardrobe well, match the color to their capsule wardrobe (opens in new tab) pieces so they have a piece they can use again and again. 

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11. Kindle Paperwhite

RRP: £129.99

Famously one of the best Kindles (opens in new tab) that Amazon offers, this waterproof eReader is packed with hours of battery life, has clever features and is even compatible with Audible - just pair with Bluetooth headphones or speakers. Available in Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, or Sage colors, it comes with a one-year warranty. If you're feeling generous, pre-load it with some of the best books of 2022 (opens in new tab) or, if they're that way inclined, the best thriller books (opens in new tab) so they can start reading straightaway.

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12. TempleSpa Truffle Luxe Collection Luxury Skincare Set

RRP: £160

A real treat for the skin, this luxury set would make a great gift for anyone going into their 50s who wants to make an effort to look after their skin more. With four products to include in their skincare routine—a rejuvenating moisturizer, a radiance moisturizer, an eye cream and a hydrating mask—this will help keep their skin plump, hydrated and glowing.

TempleSpa Truffle Luxe Collection Luxury Skincare Set at TempleSpa for £160 (opens in new tab)

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13. Ray-Ban RB3689 Women's Polarised Aviator Sunglasses

RRP: £184

A pair of the best designer sunglasses (opens in new tab) make an instant style statement and bring together the perfect balance of luxury with practicality, befitting for this milestone birthday. Glasses can be risky to shop for unless you know the giftee's face shape and preferences well, but that's the beauty of Ray Ban's classic aviator style: they suit just about everyone. We love this classic style, available in gold/blue or gold/green. 

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14. The Drowsy Midnight Blue Silk Sleep Mask

RRP: £59.50

Crafted from 100% silk, this eye mask from Drowsy will have them drifting off to the land of nod in no time, thanks to its cloud-like padding and smart design. The mask wraps around your head snugly so it offers a cocoon-like effect with 100% blackout and sound-muffling making a perfect sleep aid (opens in new tab). Similar to the best silk pillowcases (opens in new tab), the silk material is gentle on your skin, helps prevent aging and allows for better absorption of products (so you don't need to worry about wasting your best eye cream (opens in new tab))! Just remind them to set their alarm...

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15. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue

RRP: £44

Created to target fine lines, puffiness and signs of fatigue, this Charlotte Tilbury eye cream is packed with an impressive cocktail of active ingredients and feels beautifully smooth and buttery on the skin. And the jar is just as good: chunky, with a rose gold lid and hexagonal design, this is a product that they'll want to display pride of place. Find our full review, plus a range of all-budget picks on our guide to the best eye creams (opens in new tab)

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16. Personalised Birth Flower Patterned Ceramic Tile

RRP: £34

Celebrate her big day with a unique keepsake tile which can be displayed on her counter top, wall, or on a dedicated display stand. This striking but minimalistic piece of art nods to the popular birth flower craze with each tile sporting a different floral design based on the giftee's birth month. Each tile bears the name of the month, flower and the recipient's name (or a message of your choosing, if you'd rather). 

Personalised Birth Flower tile from Not on the Highstreet for £34 (opens in new tab)

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17. Priority Pass

RRP: From £69

For the frequent flyer or experienced traveler, give the gift of a more comfortable journey with an airport lounge priority pass. Priority Pass gives the holder access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide, meaning a glass of bubbly and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal is never far away. Choose from three different membership plans with various benefits.

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18. The Light Salon LED mask

RRP: From £395

One of the best at home light therapy devices (opens in new tab), this face mask delivers 10-minute treatments of near-infrared and red light, promising to plump the skin, smooth fine lines and reduce wrinkle depth by 38% in four weeks. A big claim, but it comes from a big brand - The Light Salon delivers an impressive range of LED treatments in department stores across the UK and US, so you know you're in good hands.

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19. Newspaper from the day they were born

RRP: From £28.99

Gift them a copy of a real newspaper from the day they were born for a truly thoughtful gift that's bound to get everyone talking. Simply enter their date of birth and select the newspaper of choice. If their birthday falls over a significant event, you might have to pay a slight premium, but that makes it all the more interesting. Each newspaper arrives in a cream and burgundy presentation folder and a certificate of authenticity - or for a little extra, you can emboss their initials in gold letters on the folder. Their archive is pretty extensive and they had stock for most dates we checked, but do bear in mind that they don't have papers for every single date.

Newspaper from the day they were born at Bygone News for £28.99 (opens in new tab)

What do you get someone for their 50th birthday?

Traditionally, you bought something gold as a 50th birthday present. But with so many fantastic and unique gift ideas out there today, this no longer needs to be the case.

Tracy Kemp, director of the unique gift company Vintage Playing Cards (opens in new tab), suggests personalizing a gift for a bespoke touch.

"Buying something for the home is a great gift as the recipient will see it every day. Or, something bespoke is a brilliant idea too—as they know that the gift has been created especially for them."

We also love the idea of giving the gift of a new experience—or the chance to make new memories—as a birthday present. We've included a few of those 50th birthday gift ideas below, along with more traditional presents, too. (And yes, there's one or two gold pieces in the list, for good measure.)

How do you pick a meaningful gift for a 50th birthday?

We spoke with Emma Bridgewater (opens in new tab) who shared her gift-giving advice and wisdom. As the founder of the eponymous British pottery company, she has over three decades of designing and creating gorgeous personalized gifts.

"I love the idea of a gift that can last for generations," Bridgewater gushed. "So you are giving a gift which will continue to give pleasure for years to come. A personalized mug or bowl makes a really thoughtful and unique gift."

Naturally, her favorite gift holds sentimental value, an attribute to consider as we shop for 50th birthday gifts: "Beyond adding to my vintage pottery collection, I think my all-time favorite gift was the bundle of sticks which turned into a cherry orchard, an inspired present one year which produced beautiful clouds of blossoms in spring and baskets full of fruit in summer for years later—it has inspired me to give trees or shrubs as presents.

"It's certainly a unique present, and one that the recipient can enjoy for years to come."

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.

With contributions from