Best 40th birthday gift ideas for women in 2021

Our edit of 40th birthday gift ideas for women has ideas for every lady in your life

three of w&h's 40th birthday gift ideas for women on a mauve background with black ribbon in the corners
(Image credit: Future)

Shop our unique 40th birthday gift ideas for women, from cookery courses to fashionable buys, and fine art to evenings by a fireside with friends.

Whether you're shopping for a 40th birthday gift for a sister, best friend or for your wife, we've got you covered with a list of 40th birthday gift ideas that any woman would love to receive—and many of these ideas could also work if you're looking for the best 50th birthday gifts too.

We've also provided some shopping advice straight from the experts to help you pick out gifts for anyone who's tough to buy for.

Best 40th birthday gift ideas for women

Scroll down for our curated list of the best 40th birthday gift ideas for women in 2021...

Where to buy 40th birthday gifts for women in the US

Our 40th birthday gift ideas for women in the US

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1. Hunter Women's Original Tall Rain Boots: View at Hunter

RRP: $160 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

One of the best winter boots to keep feet both warm and dry, these modern rain boots are waterproof are lightweight, but are also stylish in design—ideal for someone who splits their time between city living and suburban walks.


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2. Diptyque Baies Scented Candle: View at Selfridges

RRP: From $33.50 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

As luxurious and iconic as a candle can be, Diptyque is an award-winning brand that combines innovation and art to make some of the world's best scented candles. And Baies is one of the best Diptyque candles with fruity blackcurrant and rose notes for a comfortingly sweet aroma.


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3. The White Company Hydrocotton Hooded Ribbed Robe: View at The White Company

RRP: $125 | Delivery: 4–14 working days | Refundable: 30-day return policy

The definition of a great gift as it's something everyone would love but wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves, so this luxurious hotel-like robe would make a lovely present. One of w&h's best robes for women, this will keep them cosy while they lounge at home.


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4. Crosley Voyager Turntable: View at Best Buy

RRP: Various price points | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

Know someone with a collection of records but no way to really play them and show them off? This turntable plays records wirelessly through Bluetooth headphones and speakers for easy listening.


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5. Tom Dixon Tank Whiskey Decanter Copper: View at Selfridges

RRP: $115 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

This whiskey decanter will add a touch of class to any home bar so of you're buying for someone who loves their booze and likes to decorate their home with copper trinkets then this decanter is sure to be received with a smile.


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6. Saint Laurent Loulou Toy leather shoulder bag: View at Net-A-Porter

RRP: $1,590 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

Made in smooth leather with a discreet but undeniably recognisable emblem, this bag can be worn either on the shoulder or as a clutch, giving it day-to-night versatility. One of the best designer bags for make an understated style statement.


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7. Greenfeast: Autumn Winter Cookbook: View at Amazon

RRP: From $26 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

For people who are already vegetarian or anyone looking to cut down their meat consumption with recipes that are filling and delicious, this is one of the best cookbooks for the autumn and winter months.


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8. Apple iPad: View at Amazon

RRP: $329.99 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

Browsing the web, answering emails, reading novels or recipes, catching up on the latest news, tracking fitness, following friends on social media—the iPad is a gateway to all of this and more on the go. A great present that could also work as one of the best 30th birthday gifts.


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9. Fire pit: View at Amazon

RRP: Various price points | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

Allow great nights to continue on into late nights with a stylish garden fire bowl. They can load this up with logs and set alright to keep the midnight oil burning—one that would also make one of the best engagement gifts for couples who are just kitting out their home.


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10. Briston Clubmaster Classic Watch: View at Wolf & Badger

RRP: $453 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

This stylish watch can be something special for her to keep throughout the years and think about you every time she looks at it. Simple enough to wear everyday but dressy enough for occasions it's a practical purchase she'll love.


Where to buy 40th birthday gifts for women in the UK

Our 40th birthday gift ideas for women in the UK

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1. Diptyque Baies Scented Candle: View at Selfridges

RRP: From £29 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

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.


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2. The PIG Hotels Three Course Meal Voucher: View at The PIG Hotels

RRP: From £50 | Delivery: Immediate via email | Refundable: Non-refundable

Found in some of the most beautiful parts of England, 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 will enjoy a lunch or dinner cooked with the freshest and most authentic foods and ingredients.


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3. Hunter Women's Original Tall Wellington Boots: View at Hunter

RRP: £115 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

Before they were a cult favourite among trend-setting festivalgoers, 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.


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4. The White Company Hydrocotton Hooded Ribbed Robe: View at The White Company

RRP: £85 | Delivery: 3–5 working days | Refundable: 30-day return policy

Give them something that feels truly luxurious with this hydrocotton robe that looks as indulgent as it feels. You could even pair it with some of the warmest leggings for winter and a pair of the best slippers for a truly cosy present.


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5. TempleSpa Truffle Noir 24-Hour Anti-Ageing Moisturiser: View at TempleSpa

RRP: £90 | Delivery: Up to 5 working days | Refundable: 14-day refund policy

Sponsored

This luxury moisturizer would make a great gift for anyone going into their 40s who's concerned about their skin showing signs of ageing. With super luxurious high-end ingredients like black truffles, platinum, silk, and champagne it's a real treat that will leave skin looking more smooth, firm and radiant.


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6. Posh Totty Personalised Family Names Necklace: View at Not On The High Street

RRP: £75 | Delivery: 2-3 weeks | Refundable: Non-refundable

A gorgeous customized 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 personalized jewelry gifts for those with a sentimental side.


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7. The Urban Botanist Supersize Jewel Copper Terrarium: View at Selfridges

RRP: £189.95 | Delivery: Express delivery available | Refundable: 30-day return policy

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!


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8. Saint Laurent Loulou Toy leather shoulder bag: View at Net-A-Porter

RRP: £1,215 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

To buy a piece of Saint Laurent fashion is to make an investment and this crossbody bag will certainly last for generations to come. Its quilted exterior is a modern style statement but its classic style will look elegant with any outfit. A true capsule wardrobe piece for fashion enthusiasts.


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9. Greenfeast: Autumn Winter Cookbook: View at Amazon

RRP: From £22 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: 30-day return policy

Who doesn't love a Nigel Slater recipe and this cookbook features a collection of over 110 substantial and comforting plant-led autumn and winter recipes. This would also make one of the best gifts for couples who love to cook up a storm in the kitchen together.


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10. Dinny Hall Silver and Gold Amica Blue Topaz Ring: View at Harvey Nichols

RRP: £850 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer| Refundable: Dependant on retailer

For someone really special, why not invest in a piece of jewellery for their 40th that will one day become an heirloom, staying in the family for generations? This stunning piece with a sparkling topaz stone reminds us of the ring Princess Diana once owned (worn by Meghan Markle to the evening reception of the royal wedding), so will make one of the best jewelry gifts for followers of the Royal Family too.


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11. Apple iPad: View at Amazon

RRP: £319 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

A practical present that also gives the gift of convenience, this is a piece of tech that you don't realise how much you needed one until you have the endless opportunities at your fingertips.


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12. Fire pit: View at Amazon

RRP: Various price points | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

It doesn't matter how chilly a British summer evening gets when you have a fire bowl, so gift them a stylish fire pit that will look lovely in their garden and then let them carry on the evening into the cold night. It would also make one of the best wedding gifts for any couples who are just moving into a new place together.


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13. Briston Clubmaster Classic Watch: View at Wolf & Badger

RRP: £265 | Delivery: Dependant on retailer | Refundable: Dependant on retailer

A striking watch that marries comfort and style, this neutral-hued timepiece has a practical dial with the date and two chronographs and is water resistant too. The canvas strap is a much more comfortable wear than the traditional metal strap that would usually come with this type of watch, and there are also a whole range of customizable colorways available.


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14. Missoma Knot Lacquered Jewelry Box: View at Missoma

RRP: £175 | Delivery: 2-4 working days | Refundable: 30-day refund policy

Sponsored

An elegant jewelry box that will help them keep all of their trinkets neat and organized 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 their necklaces neatly without ending up in any tangles.


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15. Paxton & Whitfield Bronze Membership Cheese Club: View at Paxton & Whitfield

RRP: £120 | Delivery: Monthly | Refundable: Non-refundable

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 cheeses, 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.


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16. Cookery course: View at Ashburton Cookery School

RRP: From £80 | Delivery: Immediate via email | Refundable: Non-refundable

Give the best home cook you know an experience they won't forget and new skills they can use forever but buying them a place on this popular cooker course. Offering advanced training for ambitious home cooks, the lucky recipient of this gift will learn has to cook infused foams and complex sauces, prepare and cook fish, meat and poultry to perfection as well as learn the secrets to make the ultimate desserts.


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17. Partnership Editions gift card: View at Partnership Editions

RRP: From £50 | Delivery: Immediate via email| Refundable: Non-refundable

Partnership Editions is a platform that proffers art by emerging artists and sells both affordable limited edition prints and original artworks. Art is so subjective and buying art 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 afterwards.


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 even plan a surprise. You'll both never forget sharing quality time together doing something special.

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!

However, all is not lost. Julie Deane, expert purveyor of gifts thanks to her company, The Cambridge Satchel Company, suggests giving them an experience or chance to learn a new skill. Rather than a product:

"Plan a wonderful thing for you both to do together. Gifts don’t have to be things. Think instead of experiences like a chocolate making day or walking an alpaca. Use your imagination but give them time with you, that’s often the most special thing."

Rachael Martin
Rachael Martin

An internationally published digital journalist and editor who specialises in SEO strategy and content production, Rachael has worked as a writer and editor for both news and lifestyle websites in the UK and abroad.

 

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.

 

She prides herself on being an excellent giver-of-gifts and is equally respected and loathed amongst her friends and family for starting her Christmas shopping every year in August.

 

When she's not writing or editing, Rachael can be found hiking, running, surfing or enjoying other outdoor pursuits, such as standing in line for a table at the latest Big Mamma restaurant.