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

As work from home continues to be an option for many employees everywhere, it’s never a bad time to upgrade your setup with new accessories and gadgets. Head below as we round up some of the best additions to your WFH setup, whether you’re buying for someone else this holiday season or crafting 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 $39.99 price point.

I’ve been using these for a while and find them to be very durable and versatile, thanks to the dual-sided design. Notably, one of the sides doesn’t feature a Satechi logo, which makes it the best side.

Twelve South Curve

If you or the person you’re buying for uses a MacBook at their desk, the addition of a dedicated laptop stand can be a huge ergonomics improvement. I’ve 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 pricey, but it features a sturdy design with an upright MagSafe stand for your iPhone and an integrated spot for your AirPods in the base. It can charge your iPhone at the fastest possible MagSafe speeds, up to 15 watts. It uses a single-cable design for powering 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’m personally using the Keychron Q5, which features a backlit design, a built-in volume knob, USB-C connectivity, and a customizable design.

In addition to those benefits, I’ve found my switch to the Keychron Q5 also to be a major ergonomics improvement. The elevated design has significantly reduced wrist pain during long writing sessions in comparison to something like Apple’s Magic Keyboard.

The Keychron Q5 is somewhat pricey 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 provide ambiance and personalization for your desk setup. HomeKit compatibility allows you to control the brightness and color from your iPhone or using Siri.

HomeKit light strips have gotten significantly cheaper over the years, with options now coming in at under $30 from reliable 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. These can provide some beautiful accent lighting for your office and desk, either with a stand or by being mounted to the back of your display.

These, however, are pricier 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 multiple different lighting accessories in this guide is that I think having subtle and customizable lighting around you can be great for productivity. This is especially true if you’re working in a room or office with bright, fluorescent overhead lighting.

Logitech MX Master 3S

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

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

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

If you’re a coffee drinker who finds themselves getting distracted and letting your coffee get 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 inside the mug can keep your coffee warm for up to 80 minutes.

Under $25 WFH gifts

To round out this gift guide, I thought it’d 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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