Best 40th birthday gift ideas for women that she'll treasure for years to come
Our edit of the best 40th birthday gift ideas for women has suggestions for all price points as well as creative suggestions about what to choose for anyone who's tough to buy for
The best 40th birthday gift ideas celebrate what this exciting decade has ahead, from tools to help the recipient reach their goals, to investment pieces that will last for decades to come. And for those people who have everything? We've rounded up the best experience gifts to make memories that they'll cherish.
Milestone birthdays deserve something special and when it comes to 40th, or the best 50th birthday gifts or the best 60th birthday gifts you want to find something particularly special. But it doesn't have to cost the earth - our list includes a variety of price points, to cater for all budgets.
We've also consulted experts for gift-buying advice, to help you chose gifts that are memorable, useful and touching - as well as what to choose for anyone who's tough to buy for.
The best places to shop for 40th birthday gifts for women in the UK
- Amazon: Bestselling books, home essentials and beauty buys with fast delivery
- Anthropologie: Quirky and unusual accessories, homeware, stationary and more
- Cult Beauty: Browse popular hair, skincare and beauty products
- Fortnum & Mason: Sumptuous selection of signature gift hampers
- John Lewis: Classic gifts for every room of the home
- Liberty London: High-end fashion, beauty and homeware gifts
- Marks & Spencer: Pretty yet practical lingerie, homeware and clothing
- Not On The High Street: A haven of lovely, thoughtful, personalised gifts
- Selfridges: Designer brands to upgrade their clothing, beauty and home staples
- The White Company: Plus bedding sets, towels, homeware, loungewear and more
Best 40th birthday gift ideas for women
RRP: from £35
If you're a fan of rose perfumes but love something fruity as well, this popular Diptyque candle will tick all of your boxes with its blend of blackcurrant and rose notes that work in unison to create a sweet and sharp but comforting aroma. It's one of the best scented candles for a fragrance that really fills the room and lingers.
RRP: from £60
Found in some of the most beautiful parts of England for a memorable UK staycation, The Pig Hotels have a well-earned reputation for heavenly rooms, illustrious interiors, and incredible food. Treat someone to a three-course meal at any of The Pig Hotels with this voucher and they'll enjoy a lunch or dinner cooked with the freshest and most authentic foods and ingredients.
RRP: from £52
Before they were a cult favourite among trend-setting festival-goers, Hunter wellies were the first-ever wellington boots, designed over 150 years ago to be durable, comfortable and, most importantly, tackle all of the elements. Throw on your best winter coat and you're reading for some countryside romping.
Give them something that feels truly luxurious with this hydrocotton robe that looks as indulgent as it feels. You could even pair it with a pair of the best slippers for a truly cosy present, or alongside a diffuser or candle with popular The White Company home scents.
We like nothing better than finding a gift that looks so much more expensive than the price tag, and you'll find just that with this jewel-toned homeware range from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Gifting serveware is always a failsafe 40th birthday gift idea for someone who loves to host, because one could always do with more plates to present things on at dinner parties, when entertaining friends for lunch or just giving out biscuits with a cup of tea.
A gorgeous customised gift that will be cherished forever, this family names necklace is designed to keep your loved ones close to your heart. Choose from sterling silver, yellow gold, or rose gold, customise the text and pick the chain length for a bespoke piece that will be completely unique to the recipient. One of the best personalised jewelry gifts for those with a sentimental side.
Everyone loves a new plant, and this beautiful copper terrarium is sure to add a statement to any home. It's air-purifying and doesn't need constant watering, which are both great aspects. This plant would look great in a bathroom, bedroom, living room, patio—just about anywhere really!
RRP: from £14.83
Nigel Slater 's seasonally-focused selection of plant-led recipes is one of the best cookbooks, featuring a collection of over 110 substantial and comforting dishes. This would also make one of the best gifts for couples who love to cook up a storm in the kitchen together.
A practical present that also gives the gift of convenience, this is a piece of tech where you don't realize how much you needed one until you have the endless opportunities at your fingertips. This model offers a number of intuitive features to make multitasking easy, with features like Split View and Slide Over easier to discover and easier to use.
It doesn't matter how chilly a British evening gets when you have a fire pit, so gift them a stylish option that will look lovely in their garden and please any friends and family visiting. It would also make one of the best wedding gifts for any couple who are just moving into a new place together. Shop the best outdoor furniture deals to get great prices and start planning those upcoming summer nights.
This beautiful cake stand makes a lovely homeware piece to sit decoratively on a shelf or kitchen counter on its own, so imagine how well received it will be by a friend or family member who has developed a penchant for baking? We love the smooth stoneware and imperfect lines of this design, and we also love the affordable price point for such a high quality item, too.
This elegant jewellery box will help them keep all of their trinkets neat and organised and will look good on their dresser too. This box has two levels inside, the base of the box that has two deep large sections for things like watches and bangles, and a shallower removable tray above it that features a large and medium section and rows to hold their rings. It also has hanging hooks on the inside of the lid for them to store necklaces neatly.
Cheese and wine nights just got a serious upgrade. Treat someone to a subscription with Paxton & Whitfield and each month they will receive four carefully selected kinds of cheese, in peak condition and chosen for the season. Three months is the minimum subscription available, but there are also 6 and 12-month membership options. If you're feeling really decadent, you could pair this gift with a bottle of the best champagne from our guide.
RRP: from £80
Give the best home cook you know an experience they won't forget and new skills they can use forever, by gifting them a place on this popular cookery course. Offering advanced training for ambitious home cooks, the lucky recipient of this gift will learn how to cook infused foams and complex sauces, prepare and cook fish, meat, and poultry to perfection as well as learn the secrets to making the ultimate desserts.
RRP: from £50
Partnership Editions is a platform that offers art by emerging artists and sells both affordable limited edition prints and original artworks. Art is so subjective, and buying it for a home is deeply personal, so avoid making the wrong choice by making the right and easy choice to buy someone a gift card instead. Let them find and fall in love with a new piece of art themselves—then thank you for it afterward.
Purple hues are one of the biggest 2023 fashion trends, so it makes sense that the beauty world is following suit, too. This stylish makeup pallet will allow the wearer to create vibrant and bold looks—with a super smooth and easy-to-apply formula for flawless results. Use our guide to gorgeous purple eyeshadow looks to help inspire your recipient once they've received your gift.
For a truly spectacular 40th birthday gift idea, treat them to a sunrise hot air balloon ride for memories they'll treasure forever. Travel from a choice of launch sites throughout the UK and toast the occasion with a glass of bubbly after landing.
RRP: from £27
Give the gift of great coffee with a subscription to Grind, London's premier coffee company. Choose a subscription from one to 12 months, and each month your coffee lover will be sent compostable coffee pods for Nespresso machines, whole bean, or ground coffee in a blend of their choice. They can switch up their blend, or the format, at any time throughout the subscription and a personalised email will come with a special message from you to celebrate the big day.
RRP: from £8.50
For a truly unique gift, the packages from Don't Buy Her Flowers can be personalized to suit your loved one's needs. Pull together their favorite scents and products for an evening of pampering, or browse the other kits from the brand, from cocktail making kits to cooking kits.
For the house proud friend or family member who loves to host dinner parties or a spot of afternoon tea, this is the perfect gift. These wildlife and vegetable-themed napkins come in a handmade, screen printed gift box for a truly tasteful 40th birthday gift idea.
Silver and Birch create beautiful handmade pieces of jewellery from real flowers and plants, so if you're looking for gifts for gardeners with a difference, look no further. The forget-me-not sterling silver earrings, made with real flowers, make a thoughtful gesture that's sure to go down well with those who favour elegant, simple jewellery. The brand also offers home decor along the same botanical theme.
The rise of English sparkling wine has seen some delicious varieties pop up in local wine stores and supermarkets. The Classic Cuvee Multi-Vintage is a blend of Nyetimber's three classic grape varieties - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier. It's light and fresh, with hints of citrus and white flowers, and a creamy texture, making it the perfect gift for a wine connoisseur.
RRP: from £49
Brilliant as more unusual 40th birthday gift ideas, these online courses can be gifted using digital vouchers and are available in all countries. No packaging, no wrapping, no waste and you can order instantly - so they make a fabulous solution for any last minute shoppers!
Choose from a range of courses led by some of the world's leading creatives for your lucky recipient. From an introduction to upholstery, contemporary quilting, interior design and styling, to floristry, gardening courses and cooking, there's something for everyone.
RRP: from £950 per person
If you're struggling for what to buy someone for their 40th birthday, treating them to a new experience is always a good idea. Weleda Wellness Retreats take place over a long weekend and consist of immersive, seasonal experiences that celebrate nature in the Peak District, home of one some of the best walking holidays in the UK. The price includes delicious organic food, blissful treatments, picture-perfect views of rolling countryside, guided walks, inspiring talks and workshops.
2023 Dates: 6-9th January | 31st March-3rd April | 13th-16th October
RRP: from £26.99
An unusual 40th birthday gift idea to be sure, but isn't that why you're here, for inspiration? When a family member asked for a house sign for their birthday it got us thinking, wouldn't this make a fabulous gift for others? It's the definition of something that is lovely to have but you wouldn't necessarily buy for yourself, and it's also a gift that will stand the test of time. Win-win.
For the devoted letter-writer in your life, gift them this beautifully illustrated set of notecards, greeting cards, envelopes and writing paper from Cotswolds-based company Wildflower Illustration Co. This one features a charming book theme, but there are also designs with flowers and birds depending on what would best suit your recipient.
A list of 40th birthday gift ideas wouldn't be complete without some truly special jewellery suggestions, and a locket makes a lovely gift for any milestone birthday. This yellow gold and pearl necklace certainly fits the bill. Complete the locket with a picture of their partner, pet, children or lost loved one for a thoughtful, sentimental 40th birthday gift that they will cherish.
Fresh or dried flowers are an enduringly popular gifting option for a reason. Sign up your recipient to one of the best flower delivery services and then gift them this gorgeous vase alongside the subscription for an extra thoughtful gift. The two-toned glass vase looks much more expensive than it is, and with a heavy base, it's a sturdy option that'll keep a rotating selection of blooms in pride of place.
RRP: from £91
You can never go wrong with this classic fragrance, one of the best perfumes for women, with a scent just as iconic as its bottle. With notes of jasmine, rose and vanilla, this mature and delicate perfume will always be appreciated, whether your recipient is on the hunt for a new staple scent, or if they're in need of a new bottle for their nightstand.
Joe Browns offers a selection of gorgeous homeware with a cosy, rustic feel, but we particularly love this hand-painted gin glass, which would pair well with one of their favourite bottles as one of the best gin presents. For a thoughtful and unique gift, this glass is also very reasonably priced.
One of the best weekend bags for women, this canvas option from Everlane comes in a range of colurs, but we love the 'capuccino'. With an internal zipped pocket for important documents and a sturdy handle, this 100% organic cotton bag is a must for trips away, but could also be taken to the office as a fashionable alternative to the classic work backpack.
If your loved one has recently got into pilates or is curious about the benefits of yin yoga for mindfulness and a relaxing exercise practice, this Lululemon mat is the perfect gift. One of the best yoga mats, it features a 3D-texture which allows the user to stay grounded, and being a thick yoga mat which is very good quality, it'll last them for years.
Gift buying advice
What makes a memorable 40th birthday gift?
Francesca Pittaway, curator at Not on the High Street, knows how hard it can be to find the perfect present, especially if you want it to be unique.
"Choosing something memorable can feel really daunting, especially if you are time poor!" she says. "We often want to express to recipients how much they mean to us through a gift and when someone means a great deal to you, you might feel pressure to get it spot on. If someone means a lot to you, keeping them and why you love them front of mind when choosing something means you can’t go wrong."
It might sound cliche, but often the most memorable presents involve making memories. Book a weekend away, go for a fancy dinner or just plan a little surprise for them. You'll both never forget sharing quality time together doing something special.
Natalie Joliffe, co-owner of online luxury gifting retailer Lime Tree London, explains, "As a 40 year old myself I know which gifts I like to receive! People always appreciate those especially luxury items that they wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy themselves, such as candles or flowers (real or artificial) - in particular British sourced, sustainably produced, handmade and vegan make a lovely gift and any product where the retailer donates a portion to charity is special too.
A memorable gift is one that someone has put genuine thought into: someone who knows you well and has taken the time to find something they know you will love! For example, my husband bought me a hamper of goodies from Space NK for one of my 40th gifts, as he knows I spend too much on others and not enough on myself."
What do you get someone who doesn't want anything for their birthday?
Finding the perfect gift to mark a milestone birthday is even harder if your recipient is insistent they don't want anything!
"In this minimalist world, it's experiences that count. For friends, a night out drinking cocktails might be best," Joliffe continued. "While for husbands and partners, the promise of a swish dinner or experience that the whole family can enjoy together will go down well." Take a look at our list of the best hobbies for women for some more ideas.
Tanith Sellicks, MD of homeware gifting site Pure Table Top, agrees that if someone says they don't want anything for their birthday, but you still want to get them something, then a gesture is best, "The question is do they really not want anything? People often say they don’t want anything but secretly they’d love to receive a thoughtful present from a loved one. Have a think - sometimes a gesture or charity donation in their name could be an option.
"You don’t have to be extravagant to show someone that you’ve thought about them," adds Tanith.
Is there a traditional gift for a 40th birthday?
For any milestone birthday, jewelry is a safe and classic choice, as Joliffe explains. "Jewelry is the most traditional gift for a women's 40th - something you can wear still for years to come and hand down to future generations."
A personalized gift is also a great choice to mark a 40th birthday. "You can personalize pretty much anything if you're organized and order online," Joliffe continued. "Think personalized candles, throws, kitchen and homeware products as a start - it shows that thought has gone into the gift (and it's not last minute!)"
An internationally published digital journalist and editor, Rachael has worked as a writer and editor for both news and lifestyle websites in the UK and abroad including Metro UK, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, GoodTo.com, honey.nine.com.au and body+soul.
Rachael's published work covers a broad spectrum of topics and she has written about everything from the future of sustainable travel, to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world we live in, to the psychology of colour.
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