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This article was published on December 7, 2018

Find a gift for your parents with our massive personality-based guide

A Myers-Briggs approach to procuring the perfect present

Find a gift for your parents with our massive personality-based guide
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Managing Editor

Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.

Here at Plugged we cover gadgets differently. Rather than giving products an arbitrary rating (five out of seven! Nine stars!), we conclude our reviews by describing the person that an item would be perfect for.

We wanted to take this same approach to our gift guides. So instead of doing a normal list, we’ve split the items into personality types. Specifically, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, a system that orders people into 16 specific groups.

This chart sums it up succinctly, but don’t worry about that too much – we’ve put a short description of each type of person in each section.

A few points before we start. Yes, we’re aware that personality tests (and especially this one) aren’t the most scientific things in the world. We’re also aware that people change everyday and are multi-faceted. Don’t worry too much, it’s just a bit of fun that might help you find a good gift for your parents (or someone else).

If you are on the lookout for another gift, check out our guide for getting your partner a present here. Anyway, let’s get down to it!

ISTJ – The Duty Fulfiller

“A hardworking, sincere, and practical person.”

Pixel Eyewear

The Duty Fulfiller would like a gift that suits their hardworking personality, which means they need something actually useful. Well, how about some computer glasses? Wait, don’t leave – these reduce the harmful lights that computers emit and makes the whole screen experience easier on your eyeballs.

We’ve tried some other pairs out, but the Pixel Eyewear currently reign supreme. Plus, they look great. These will be perfect for the ISTJ parent.

Price: ~$85

Amazon | Pixel Eyewear

ISTP – The Mechanic

“An action-orientated and logical person who enjoys mechanical things.”


Yeah, you might look at this and think “my parents are old, why the hell would they want a kids toy?”

First off friend, LittleBits kits are suitable for any age. And secondly, we’re talking about a parent who enjoys building and creating things (the Mechanic), why wouldn’t they want a kickass gift that lets them build an Iron Man hand?

They’re loads of fun to put together and could even be a good gift for a Grandparent wanting to hang out with a younger member of the family. Basically, Littlebits rock. You won’t regret getting your Mechanic one.

Price: ~$80 (but you can get 30 percent off with the code “NEXTWEB30”)


Insta 360 One X

If your parent likes mechanical things and action in general, then they’re gonna love the Insta360 ONE X.

This camera shoots high quality video in 360 degrees, making it perfect for people who go on adventure trips, or just want some memorable video of their energetic lives. Plus, it can even shoot in bullet time(!!!), so your folks can live out their best Matrix fantasies.

Price: ~$400


ISFJ – The Nurturer

“A warm and responsible person who likes helping others.”

EyeQue Insight

If you’ve got parents that just can’t stop helping people, by jove we’ve got the gift for you. Say hello to the EyeQue Insight.

This fancy little gadget checks whether your vision is still 20/20 (the standard measure for being good) or is deteriorating. In other words, it tracks the changes in your vision and lets you know if you need to head to the opticians.

It works with a smartphone app –  the catchily-titled “myEyeQueVA”) – that’s available on both iOS and Android. Still, remember this isn’t a medical-level gadget. It can work as an indicator, but shouldn’t take the place of a regular eye exam.

If one of yours parent is Nurturer, you know, someone who enjoys keeping everyone happy and healthy, the EyeQue Insight is a gift they definitely won’t be expecting.

Price: ~$90

AmazonEyeQue Insight

Oska Pulse

Oh boy do we have another gadget that a loving and considerate person will adore: the Oska Pulse, a pain management device

This fancy little gadget is an FDA-registered to alternative to opioid pain management. Which sounds pretty impressive. It works by plying an area of your body with PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic frequency), which basically mimics your bodies natural electrical currents. These electromagnetic eaves encourage capillary dilation and muscle relaxation, which helps manage (not heal) chronic injuries.

It’s important to note that the Oska Pulse doesn’t provide immediate relief, it instead delivers it over time. Yes, it’s expensive, but could be an option worth exploring.

Price: ~$400

Amazon | Oska Pulse

ISFP – The Adventurer

“A sensitive person who seeks both beauty and practicality.”

Taptek mechanical Mac keyboard

If you’re looking for a gift for an Adventurer who values aesthetics as much as use, then how about… a keyboard.

Wait, wait – don’t run.

The Taptek mechanical mac keyboards are genuinely dope. They’re a joy to type on, have a slim profile, and look gorgeous. The keyboards even have adjustable RGB backlights so your the gift receiver can create a disco under their fingers. Majestic.

Price: $89 (currently 55 percent off)

Indiegogo (remember to always treat crowdfunding campaigns with caution)


Nope, that’s not a tanning bed for your phone (even though that’d be awesome). It’s a device that cleans and wirelessly charges your mobile. Damn straight.

You might be able to see the practical side of this gadget (you know, killing 99.99 percent of germs with UV light), but what about the beautiful side of things? Well, what’s more beautiful than not catching a weird illness from your phone? Exactly. Nothing.

We’re a fan of our PhoneSoap at TNW, so we think your parents might like it too.

Price: ~$60

Amazon | PhoneSoap

Plantronics Voyager 8200 headphones (SPONSORED)

If your parent is an Adventurer (and therefore seeks something both gorgeous and practical), then consider Plantronics’ Voyager headphones.

Not only are these cans fancy looking – meaning your parents can impress everyone around them – but they’re also fitted with some top quality noise-cancelling. You might question why this is practical, but I’ve got you. Don’t worry.

Imagine your parent is trying to work in a busy office, but they can’t concentrate. The noise is getting to them. Just imagine the cacophony. They can’t work.

Now imagine they have a pair of Plantronics Voyager 8200 by their side. Your parent slips them on and everything is quiet. Relaxed. Peaceful.

And they look fly as fuck.

Price: ~$380


INFJ – The Protector

“A compassionate and insightful person who seeks cooperation.”

Lenco L-400 Turntable

So is your parent always looking for people to come together? To agree on something and enjoy themselves? Are they a Protector?  Then get them a turntable.

There’s no better way to get a group united than putting on some music and dancing. If this sounds like your parent, we’d recommend the Lenco L-400.

It has a range of features that make it brilliant for our elders. There’s a USB-out, so old records can be converted to MP3s. It also has an integrated pre-amp, meaning you can plug it into a normal soundsystem that doesn’t have a phono stage.

The Lenco L-400 is a wonderful tool for protecting a family’s mood over the holiday season, just what an INFJ would desire.

Price: ~£155

Amazon (EU)

INFP – The Idealist

“A creative person who focuses on their dreams.”


If your parent is someone who likes to experiment with art and make things, you should consider getting them a 3Doodler.

This is a pen that you can use to create three-dimensional sculptures of your heart’s desire. Basically, it works a little bit like a glue gun. You slot in a little plastic tube of various colors and it comes out the other side all ready to be twisted into specific patterns.

We’ve spent many happy hours playing with a 3Doodler and can confirm they’re a lot of fun. If you’re going to make your parents’ literal dreams a reality, this is the gadget for you.

Price: ~$79.99


HP Sprocket pocket printer (SPONSORED)

Look, there’s something pretty magical about taking a photo and printing it off. We all feel this. But do you know who’ll feel it more? That’s right: the creativity loving Idealist.

The HP Sprocket will be an ideal gift for them. The device is palm sized and can connect with your phone to easily print photos out.

Your parent will be smiling when this appears under the Christmas tree.

Price: ~$130


INTJ – The Scientist

“An innovator who is driven by their own original ideas.”

Hexa Robot


Oh yes. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. If your folks are into science, programming, or technology in general, they’ll love you forever if you get them this.

The Hexa Robot is a spider like machine that is the perfect way to begin learning robotics. There are numerous awesome projects you can do with the Hexa (like this one where someone put a garden on its back). If that sounds too complex, you can just control it from your smartphone. In this mode you can control its movements and, through a video feed, see the world from its perspective.

The real purchasing point of the Hexa is programming though, it’s a consummate first step into the field. So, if you’ve got deep pockets and parents who are bang into tech (shout out the Scientist personality!), the Hexa Robot would be a brilliant gift.

Price: ~$849


INTP – The Thinker

“A logical and precise person who loves creative problem solving.”


The INTP is a type of person who loves finding a fancy way to deal with an issue. And I know exactly what this sort of individual would like: the NapUp.

This is a device that you attach to the headrest behind you before strapping it round your skull. In other words it’s a head support, making it possible to fall asleep in a car, airplane, or other transport. Comfortably.

We enjoyed it when we got our hands on it, and think the people in your life will do too. Especially if they’re into a creative product solving an eternal problem like sleeping on a plane. Praise be the NapUp.

Price: ~$40

Amazon | eBay

Blink XT home security cameras

The INTP (or Thinker) is always excited to find a new way to improve their lives. So why don’t you give them a tool that can be used in a myriad of ways: security cameras.

Yes, you can just use them to keep your home safe, but other applications can be much more creative.

Imagine putting one on the fridge to find out who has been stealing snacks. Or putting it out in the garden to keep an eye on any pesky animals digging up the ground.

Whatever it is, the INTP in your life will find a way to use the Blink XT, a set of cameras that can record in HD and have batteries that last for up to two years.

Price: ~$138 for two cameras


ESTP – The Doer

“An outgoing, curious, and pragmatic person.”


People who fall into the ESTP category are all about exploration. They’re inquisitive, but practical. The goTenna is a stellar gift for this type of individual.

The devices – which come in a pack of two – create a mesh network of up to four miles. In other words, if you’re somewhere with no phone signal, you can communicate using them.

This means if you’re out hiking or even at a festival, keep one and give the other to someone else. If the distance isn’t too big, people will be able to text using the goTenna app.

When we’ve used them they appear hardy and well-built, a really incredible bit of kit.

Price: ~$179


iHome smart house set

While the goTenna above was all about outward exploration, some of the equipment made by iHome turns the focus inward. Kinda. I mean, making your house smart is inward-looking, right?

Anyway, some of the tech made by iHome would suit the curious and pragmatic nature of the ESTP. Whether it’s a motion sensor, a leak detector, a door/window tracker, an aromatherapy diffuser, or even just a smart plug, the company’s wifi-connected gadgets can change the way your home operates.

They’re easy to set up and a joy to use.

Price: varies depending on the hardware

ESFP – The Performer

“A friendly and enthusiastic person who likes helping people in tangible ways.”

Phoozy phone capsule

Got a parent who’s friendly? Who digs helping folks? And who’s got a performing side to them? Then the Phoozy is here to save your shopping nightmare.

It’s a thermal capsule that you plonk your phone in. Then, once it’s all snug, you can drop it in water, get it hot, get it cold, and the Phoozy will protect it from damage.

Think of how much your Performer of a parent will love putting the phone-filled Phoozy in the freezer and then pulling it out( fully working) for their friends. That’s gotta be worth the gift price.

Price: ~$30

Phoozy | Amazon | Best Buy

Kjaro Umbrella

There’s little as simultaneously flamboyant and practical as an umbrella. Yeah, it keeps you dry, but it also looks fabulous when you unfurl it onto the world. And if you’re on the lookout for a practical gift for your Performer parent, you should check out the Kjaro.

Made in Italy, the Kjaro is stylish, hard-wearing, and – importantly – keeps the rain the hell away from you. I’ve used my Kjaro pretty regularly and dig it. You know your parents will appreciate it.

Price: ~€48


ESFJ – The Provider

“An outgoing and efficient person who likes to run things.”

Deebot 901 robotic vacuum cleaner

Yeah, you might think that a Provider (an efficient person who likes to run things) would turn their nose up at a robotic vaccum cleaner. You might think they’d want to clean by themselves. But you’d be wrong.

A robotic vacuum cleaner like the awesome Deebot 901 is the exact type of efficient gift a go-getter would adore. It means they can forget about hoovering and

The Deebot can auto-clean a space, has a mode where you can increase its power to get rid of tough stains, and can be controlled using Alexa or Google home. It’s terrific and everyone’s parents should own one.

Price: ~$199


Tibo Kameleon Touch multi-room speaker

The sort of person who’s an ESFJ doesn’t just want to provide material things, they also want to supply more ethereal things. Like music. So (and hopefully this isn’t too much of a leap) a multi-room speaker set-up could be just the thing.

The TIBO Kameleon range is a set of different-sized speakers that can play music across a range of rooms. The Kameleon Touch (which is the one pictured above) also has Alexa support, so you can speak to the device if you’re that way inclined.

Also, as pictured above, you can change the side panels, giving the parent who likes to run things even more control. Wonderful.

The Kameleon Touch and Kameleon 6 both feature a number of inputs (wifi, 3.5mm jack, and bluetooth) and can function with Spotify Connect, as well streaming services. You could do much worse for your Provider folks than getting them one. Or two. Or three.

Price:  £150

Amazon (EU)

ENFP – The Inspirer

“A spontaneous and optimistic person who sees potential in others.”

Soliom solar-powered video doorbell

The Inspirer is the type of person who looks at the world and sees something you they can influence positively. This is why you should get them a solar powered video doorbell from Soliom of course!

While most of us think a random person coming to our door is terrible, the Inspirer would welcome them with open arms. Who knows what joys they could bring?

So, if one of your parents is an Inspirer, the Soliom is a great gift. It’s easy to install, solar-powered (so no more replacing batteries), and has a two-way talk feature.

Price: ~$149


Nima peanut sensor

We thought the Nima Peanut Sensor was cool when we wrote about it and we think the Inspirer in your life will feel the same. If your parent has a peanut allergy? Great! The Nima Peanut Sensor will allow them to (almost freely) munch down with other people.

And if they don’t have an allergy? That works too! The Inspirer sees the potential in others and the most potential someone else can have is being alive. You know, not having an allergic reaction to peanuts. What a gift.

Price: ~$289


ENFJ – The Giver

“A caring and idealistic person who values connections with others.”

Babbel language learning service

If that special person in your life is full of optimism and loves connecting with other people, have a look at Babbel. This is an online language learning service that can quickly get anyone up to speed with a foreign language.

Whether it’s Dutch, Spanish, Indonesian, Russian, or more, the Giver in your life will love you for gifting them the opportunity to connect with people across the globe.

Price: it’s a subscription service that varies between ~$5 and ~$10 a month depending on the length of period


Chipolo device trackers

Chipolo trackers are little devices that you put on valuable things – like your wallet or keys – and then you can find those items with your smartphone. Simple and genius.

If your parent values connections with others, a Chipolo is a surefire way to turn that emotional attachment into a physical one. In a cool way, mind. No spying on people please.

Price: ~$25


ENTP – The Visionary

“An inventive and enterprising person who loves new ideas.”

Moodo fragrance diffuser

Gifts for the Visionary are all about excitement. To get them on board you need to give them something they’ve never seen before.

So, say hello to the very original (and slightly insane) Moodo. Yes, you’re in the world of smell DJ-ing now.

With the Moodo, you can mix a number of, uh, scents in order to create your own specific stank. In a good way. There are a range of capsule packs that have different smells (the collection above is Fresh Vibrations, which includes citrus, lavender, wood, and a general floral one).

Yes, it might be an odd approach, but your inventive parent will leap with joy when they unwrap this contraption. I’m certain of it.

Price: ~$139


Yabul flameless cooker

That right there is the Yabul Cook. What makes it special is that you can use it to make hot food WITHOUT FLAMES. This, friends, is futuristic witchcraft.

The silicone-based gadget uses a heating pack and water to get food hot and ready to eat. You know for a fact your folks will dig it.

Price: ~$53


ENTJ – The Executive

“A strategic and ambitious person who is a great long-term planner.”

AirTame wireless screen sharer

Yes, the AirTame looks like a Chromecast. And it does work a lot like a Chromecast. But it isn’t a Chromecast.

It’s a business tool that your strategic and plann-loving parent is going to go crazy about.

Basically, rather than plugging a boring old wire into your computer, you can use the AirTame. Yes, the Chromecast is better if you’re streaming movies, but the AirTame is created specifically for screen sharing.

It can be managed through the cloud and easily used on corporate networks. Ideal for when your workaholic parent needs to present their plan. Or show some holiday slides.

Price: ~$399


FlexDesk 640 organizer

Your parent likes planning? Loves long-term goals? Then I’m going to guess they enjoy some stationary too.

If you’re stuck on a gift, why not consider the BakkerElkhuizen FlexDesk 640? I’m sure they’d love it.

The handy gadget allows the user to easily switch between using an old-school pen and a new-fangled computer. Think of all the possibilities. Just think about them. Forever. Wow. So many.

Strategic parents of the world, rejoice!

Price: ~£135

Ergonomics (UK)

Nothing on this list grabs you? Well check out the gift guide we made for your partner here.

We like some products. We don’t like others. Either way, if you buy something through our affiliate links, we get a small cut of the revenue. There are two sponsored product on this list: HP’s Sprocket and Plantronics Voyager 8200 headphones. Even though we got paid to include them, we selected the specific product from the company’s range. For the sake of transparency, you deserve to know what’s up.

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