The Hospital Gifts That People Actually Want To Receive

When a loved one or a friend isn’t well, of course you want to send them a hospital care package. But what makes thoughtful or useful hospital gifts that will be gratefully received? Well stop scrolling, because we’re here with the inspiration!

Based on our knowledge of working on wards and speaking with people who have been in hospital for extended stays, here are the get well soon gifts that people actually want to receive.

Can I Send Flowers To Hospital?

Flowers and fruit baskets may be your go-to gifts, but most acute hospital wards don’t accept them (or other fresh food). They’re perishable, can take up much needed space around the hospital bed and infections can even be spread through the flower water.

Don’t worry though, as you can buy plenty of other gifts for someone in hospital.

Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means we may get a small commission if you click and buy (at no cost to you). We chose the products as we think they make great hospital gifts and hope you do too.

Best Tech Gifts

Long Charging Cable

Our mobile phones, tablets and laptops are a fantastic way to stay connected when in hospital, but the plugs to charge these devices are usually tucked behind the hospital bed and standard 1m chargers aren’t long enough to reach the person in bed. An extra long charging cable for their device is a useful gift that will keep your favourite person smiling.

Portable Charger

Give the gift of extra juice, and get a portable battery charger for their phone or iPad. It means countless more hours of entertainment day or night when they’re alone without having to worry about charging.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Hospitals are noisy places, and it can be hard for patients to switch off. That’s why noise cancelling headphones are so good. Slip them on (we prefer padded over ear options, like these Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones) and your loved one can comfortably listen to their favourite music, relaxing podcast or chilled meditation app.

Lazy Arm Phone Holder

Holding a phone or tablet up for hours a day can be tiring (and for some people may not be possible). That’s why we love this invention (and the ‘lazy arm’ name too!). This device holder for bed clasps onto the bedside table or tray, giving your loved one hours of easy entertainment.

Around The Neck Reading Light

In hospital, you wake up at different times of the day and night. If they do want to take their mind off it and read in hospital at night, one of these LED neck reading lights can come in handy.

Looking for more gift inspiration? Check out our article on the best gifts for older adults, or what to buy someone who is recovering from a stroke.

Sleeping In The Hospital

The hospital at night doesn’t switch off, which means the wards can be noisy. We’ve cherry picked these slumber-worthy gifts to make sleeping in the hospital that much easier.

Silk Sleep Mask

Hospitals can be BRIGHT and this blackout eye mask comes highly recommended by someone who’s spent extensive time in hospital. It’s super soft, has memory foam to mould to the user’s face and doesn’t apply any pressure to the eye area like other sleep masks do. It’s also great value – especially for silk.

Best Ear Plugs

Any light sleeper will thank you for this thoughtful hospital gift. You crave peace and quiet in hospital and these ear plugs let people drift off during the day or night, blocking out the constant chatter and whirring of the hospital ward. These reusable ear plugs reduce noise by 38 decibels and custom fit to an individual’s ear size.

Pillow Case

Sleeping in hospital bedding doesn’t always make for a great night’s sleep. If someone is in hospital for an extended stay, a welcome ‘get well soon’ idea could be a set of pillow cases for a touch of home. Go for a colour (not white) so it doesn’t get mixed up with hospital laundry.

Pillow Mist

A relaxing sleep spray does wonders to help people nod off. We’re huge fans of the relaxing This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. Proven to aid sleep, it’s natural, vegan and cruelty free. A great gift for someone going into hospital, especially if they usually wake up in the night and needs some help to get back to sleep.

Gravity Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets give people the sensation of being hugged and secure. This comfort releases the hormone oxytocin which helps to relax and encourage sleep. A gravity weighted blanket make ideal gifts for people in hospital as they add a touch of comfort and glamour to the hospital bedding, and can be used ongoing once back at home. Choose from a range of sizes – single or double may be best for hospital use.

Knee Pillow For Sleeping

This bolster pillow can go between the knees or under them, and can make a great present for hospital patients – especially those who have a weak lower back. Made from memory foam, knee pillows mould to the body and aren’t obstructive when sleeping. Just make sure your loved one has the mobility to place it, and doesn’t have a catheter which could get caught. 

Beauty Gifts

There’s nothing like a clean face and hydrated skin to make people in hospital feel a bit better. These beauty gifts are a little bit of luxury.

Face Mist

Hospitals are hot, but a few spritzes of this refreshing hydrating face mist will help your loved one feel cooler and calmer in one. Rich in antioxidants, it will help counteract the drying nature of a hospital ward.

Mouthwash Tablets

You fall asleep and wake up at odd times when in hospital, and it’s not always easy to brush your teeth with water. These Geoorganics mouthwash tablets are a relatively new invention – they’re little tabs of toothpaste which dissolve naturally with saliva and can make you feel fresher without the need for a toothbrush.

Lip Balm

Dry and chapped lips are very common in hospital patients – the wards are hot, people often get dry mouths post anatesthetic and they can sometimes be dehydrated. This makes a non scented, hard working lip balm a great gift idea. Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream lip balm is the ultimate beauty present. Non scented and suitable for men and women, it will protect lips and leave them feeling softer.

No Rinse Shampoo Caps

Nothing makes you feel better than clean hair but when you’re bedridden that can be hard to come by. Until we discovered these amazing no rinse shampoo caps that are a “shortcut to feeling normal”. Each cap contains shampoo and conditioner which is massaged into the hair (a good excuse for a head massage!) before being removed and the hair towel dried.

Just Add Water Face Cleansing Cloths

Not having easy access to a sink can make it harder to keep your face clean – unless you’ve got these Olay Daily Facials Water Activated Dry Cloths. Super convenient, they’re large enough to be cut into two (getting real bang for your buck) and leave skin feeling spotlessly clean.

Electric Razors

The hospitals will only have disposable razors so an electric razor can make a good present for men.  Electric razors are easier to use and can be used dry which is useful if the recipient isn’t very mobile.

Games In Hospital

Here are the ultimate hospital boredom busters, played solo or with visiting guests.

Mindfulness Colouring Book

There’s something very meditative about mindful colouring for adults – it takes us back to our childhoods and gives us something to focus on in the here and now. If you’re searching for hospital gift ideas then this calming colouring book could be the answer. Pair it with some bright gel pens and your artistic friend will thank you later.

There’s so many great games out there – read our round-up on the best games for the elderly, or check out this on puzzles for people living with dementia.

Word Games

Word games are great as they don’t take up the space of a board game, but get the competitive muscle going! This game was kick-starter funded initially and people need to make a word based on the cards in their hand.

Logic Puzzles For Adults

Sudoku is another winner for anyone bored in hospital. The 81 squares of a Sudoku puzzle are a great brain teaser, and luckily come in various difficulty levels. This book of 300 puzzles is large print so is easy to see.

Large Print Playing Cards

Sometimes you just can’t go wrong with the original playing cards. Solitaire is a great game to play on your own to while away time, but cards can also be dealt out amongst visitors to play rummy, whist, or any number of fan favourite games.

This set of large print playing cards are good for everyone – as they’re larger, they’re easier to pick up off the hospital table and the prints are easier to see.

Hospital Clothing

Hospital clothing usually consists of a backless grown, some net knickers and not a lot else. This look isn’t the most flattering nor very comfortable, warm or dignified either.  Perk someone up with these hospital clothing gift ideas.

Bed Jackets

The name “bed jackets” easily explains what this genius clothing is – a jacket to wear in bed! Sometimes called a cape, it’s shorter than a dressing gown (so it doesn’t get tangled up in the hospital bed) and easier to put on and off. Bed jackets are a great way for hospital patients to stay warm and cover up easily when they have guests.

We like this option below from The Able Label (and we’ve got more examples of bed jackets for men and women in our gifts for stroke patients article).

Woman wearing bed jacket

Cashmere Bed Socks

Keep feet toasty warm with these luxurious yet understated cashmere socks. A real treat for the feet.

Slippers For Swollen Feet

Swollen feet can be a problem during hospital stays after injury or because of long-term conditions such as heart failure. Cosy Feet make an extra wide range of velcro slippers for men and womenwhich can accommodate most feet. 

They even sell left and right slippers or shoes separately if one foot is affected while the other isn’t.  Having correct fitting footwear is important not just to reduce falls but also for comfort and the prevention of sores. 

Cosy Feet slippers

Short Sleeve Pyjamas

For extended hospital stays, an option to get out of the hospital ware and into something of your own can raise the spirits. Go for a short sleeve pyjama set – sleeves can get caught on a cannula if they have one in. We like this option as although the top has short sleeves, the elasticated trousers are full length and so are more dignified. By The Able Label, they’re also really easy to get on and off.

Short sleeved pyjama set

Pyjamas For Men

Pyjamas are so much more dignified than hospital gowns.  This stylish poly-cotton set has a velcro fastening shirt (no buttons sticking in and it’s easy to get on and off) and elasticated trousers. A really good option that will get some wear back at home too.

Wheelchair Blankets

Wheelchair blankets don’t get caught in the wheels like a regular blanket could – they are smaller and distend to fit the chair. A great shout for wheelchair users, they can use the blanket to stay warm when being pushed to different departments or even between buildings.

They are also useful when sitting in a chair on the ward and are easier to handle than full size blankets. The one below is reversible and water resistant so is good for indoor and outdoor use.

Smokers’ Gifts

For smokers, hospital can be tough but can also offer an opportunity to quit so don’t offer to bring them cigarettes.  There are various gums and patches that you can buy for people but before you do check with the doctor.  The doctor can actually prescribe these on the wards and most have a smoking cessation nurse available to patients who are interested in quitting.

Thank You Gift For Hospital Staff

The hospital staff are worth their weight in gold, and of course you want to thank them for taking such good care of your special someone. It can be hard to know what to buy for presents for nurses, doctors and more (don’t forget the radiographers, physios and anyone else who went the extra mile for your family).

Nancy spent a lot of time working on hospital wards, so these are her recommendations!

A big and delicious box of chocolates will give them that much-needed sugar rush during a busy shift – they can only accept pre-wrapped currently due to Covid-19.

For delicious drinks, treat them to some speciality tea or coffee (just make sure it’s tea bags or instant coffee for ease). Or a selection of squash for the staff room can be a mid-shift sugar hit.

Handcream is another winner for thank you gifts for doctors. Hospital staff wash their hands constantly so this could be for them to use at home for some sweet relief.

And don’t forget thank you cards. Send a team one, which can go up on their pin board and write a letter to any individuals who really helped you. This will be treasured and can also be used as examples of patient feedback for professional reviews.

Gifts You Can’t Buy

  1. Hospital visits. The saying “your presence not your presents” is true here – sometimes it’s just having someone there for company instead of them giving a gift. Gift your time and your loved one will remember it.
  2. Set up a Whatsapp group for their hospital stay. Invite relevant friends and family so people can stay up to date and your loved one feels the love themselves.
  3. Make the time for telephone and video calls. Let them know you are there to talk.
  4. Send a letter through the hospital postal system. Go back to snail mail and send a far-away loved one a letter.

Conclusion

It can be hard to think of gifts for the hospital that your friend or family member will actually want and need during their stay, so we hope this care package inspiration has helped. They’re really lucky they have someone like you there for them.

FAQs

What gifts can you send to hospital?

Forget the flowers and fruit. Useful tech gifts like noise cancelling headphones and long charging cables, beauty gifts such as moisturising lip balm, no wash shampoo caps and more are all on this article.

What are good thank you gifts for hospital staff?

The best presents for nurses (and other hospital staff!) are:
– Pre-wrapped sweets, chocolates and biscuits
– Delicious drinks – tea, coffee and squash
– Hand cream to use at home
– A personal letter to a specific member of staff, or ward will be taken to heart

 

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