45 Unforgettable 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for a Milestone Birthday

By Candice Elliott | Updated: November 27, 2023

    The big four-oh! Uh-oh, this milestone birthday can evoke mixed emotions, but we have 40th birthday gift ideas to celebrate the special day they officially become a 40-year-old. And none of that “Over the hill” stuff either!

    Jump straight to the gifts

    What do you get somebody for their 40th birthday?

    So, your buddy is about to hit the big 4-0, huh? Don’t worry; there are tons of cool gift ideas to celebrate the occasion! If you want something fancy, consider getting them a personalized gift like a custom necklace or a fancy monogrammed wallet.

    Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not get them an experience gift like concert tickets or a cooking class? Finally, don’t forget to add a personal touch – whether a heartfelt card or a fun party decoration, the little things make their birthday feel truly special. Cheers to 40 years!

  1. Retro Candy Gift Box
  2. 40th-birthday-gift-ideas-candy

    There were a lot of great things about the 1980s, and the candy was one of them. If you’re a Gen Xer, you remember such delicacies as Big League Chew, candy cigarettes, and Blow Pops. This retro candy gift box has all of them and more. This is a great birthday present that will give them yummy treats and a stroll down memory lane. 

  3. Wine Glass Tumbler
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    You can’t have a 40th birthday party without plenty of wine and a little good-natured teasing. This stainless steel wine glass tumbler is something the birthday girl will get a laugh from. A fun gag gift, it’s practical too. It keeps drink cold for up to nine hours, cold for up to three hours, and holds 12 ounces.

  5. Wine Bottle Labels
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    You can’t have a 40th birthday party without wine! Turn any standard-sized bottle of wine into a fun party decoration with these labels. Four labels are in a set, and you don’t need to remove the original label. Just peel the backing off the labels and stick them on top.

  7. Marble Wine Chiller
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    This wine chiller is beautiful and practical. Made of pure marble, it holds most standard-sized wine and champagne bottles. When not chilling your vino, it can hold kitchen utensils or even as a vase for flowers. 

  9. Water Bottle Speaker
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    You can bring your music and water anywhere with this water bottle! The speaker cap syncs to any cell phone or iPad, and the bottle holds 17 ounces of fluid. The double-wall insulation keeps your drink at the proper temperature for hours. 

  11. Brooklinen Sheet Set
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    Brooklinen sheets are so luxurious! I have a set of them; they’re incredibly soft, they breathe, and even after four years of regular washing, they don’t have a single thin spot, hole, or pilling. This is the best 40th birthday gift you can get anyone because it will help poor sleepers sleep better, and good sleepers sleep even better! There are four pieces, a top and bottom sheet and two pillowcases. There are a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes available. 

  13. Coffee and Chocolate Gift Box
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    What goes better together than coffee and chocolate? This gift box contains four bags of fresh roasted whole bean coffee and four artisan chocolates handpicked to compliment the coffee. Each bag of coffee is 1.8 ounces, and each chocolate bar is 1 ounce. Tasting notes are included to help you discover all the wonderful flavors.

  15. Business Card Holder
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    This stainless steel card holder has room for 10-20 business cards, credit cards, or ID but is sleek enough to fit into a purse or pocket. The brushed silver finish makes an elegant business accessory. 

  17. Bath Bomb Gift Box
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    These adorable bath bombs come in fun shapes, including cupcakes, donuts, and cubes. There are seven handmade bath bombs, each with a different scent and shea butter to moisturize the skin. 

  19. Flight Bag
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    This bag is genius! It’s a carry-on bag that hangs from your tray table hook on an airplane. That means you can easily reach all of your stuff, and you don’t have to touch the seat pocket, which is one of the germiest parts of a plane. The bag is available in four colors and will be the best birthday gift ever for a frequent traveler. 

  21. Aromatherapy Travel Balms
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    Traveling can be stressful, but it is the perfect time to indulge in some aromatherapy. But essential oils are messy; no one wants a carry-on full of spilled oil. This aromatherapy travel balm kit is the perfect solution. The sticks are solid, like chapstick, and come in five blends: de-stress, focus, be happy, escape, and sleep well. 

  23. Personalized Whiskey Decanter Set
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    This decanter set can be personalized with their initials, last name, or anything you choose. The set includes a decanter that holds 25 ounces and four rocks glasses. The decanter is made of thick, durable glass, weighing in at almost 9 pounds. The set comes in a gift box, ready to be gifted. 

  25. Smoker Box
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    You don’t need a big, expensive smoker to get that smoky flavor you love. This box sits right on top of the cooking grates and turns most gas or charcoal grills into a smoker that will infuse your food with that delicious hickory, apple, or oak flavor. 

  27. Personalized Canvas Tote Bag


    This personalized tote is a beautiful and useful 40th birthday gift. Made of sturdy canvas, it can be customized with an initial and makes a great work, gym, overnight, or shopping bag.  

  29. Sterling Silver Money Clip


    This sterling silver money clip is a keepsake gift, perfect for marking a milestone birthday. Plated with rhodium to increase shine and provide durability, the clip can be engraved with initials, a name, or a special message. 

  31. Front Pocket Wallet
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    It’s not ideal to carry your wallet in your back pocket. Sitting on it over the long-term can cause back problems and leave you vulnerable to pickpockets. But standard wallets aren’t made to fit in the front pocket of pants. What’s the solution, a man-bag, a murse? No, this wallet is designed to fit in the front pocket! Made of real leather, it can hold up to six cards and is available in various colors. 

  33. Pocket Belt
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    Fanny packs are definitely useful, but they aren’t exactly stylish. This pocketed belt is a great alternative. It has two pockets, the main one for phones, keys, and cash, and credit cards, and a side pocket for smaller items. This is great for runners, cyclists, hikers and to secure valuables while on vacation or using public transport. The belt is secured with a buckle and can extend up to 54 inches. Several colors and patterns are available.

  35. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones


    These are amazing, especially for traveling, whether it’s on a plane or commuting to work on public transit. The headphones have 11 levels of active noise canceling, so you can listen to music, podcasts, or video or take calls without annoying background noise. 

  37. Poster Print
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    If a grand 40th birthday celebration is in the works for the birthday individual, this gift idea is a standout choice. Friends and family can pen down their affectionate sentiments within each of the 40 hearts provided. This goes beyond being just a birthday present; it transforms into a cherished memento.

  39. Picnic Backpack
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    This is a great gift for those who love the outdoors and know that any food tastes better when eaten outside! The backpack has everything needed for a picnic for two: two sets of cutlery, plates, napkins, wine glasses, a cheese knife, a bottle opener, salt and pepper shakers, a chopping board, and a fleece blanket to spread it all out on. The backpack is insulated to help keep food and drinks at the correct temperature, and there is a zippered enclosure on the outside of the bag to carry a bottle of wine or water. 

  41. Wireless Charging Tray
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    This leather valet tray can hold all of those things we empty of our pockets or bags or remove at the end of the day; keys, change, phone, watch, and earnings. And it doubles as a wireless charger. Just set your phone on the wireless icon, and it will be ready to go for the next day. The tray can be customized with up to three letters on the center leather patch. 

  43. Men’s Slippers
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    These slippers resemble loafers, so they feel a little less casual than typical slippers. The slippers are made of leather with a sheep fur lining for maximum warmth and rubber soles to help prevent slipping. The slippers are available in several colors and sizes.

  45. Star Wars Coffee Glass
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    For the non-Star Wars nerds out there, this is a riff on the quote from the movie, “May the Force be with you.” You don’t have to get it, but the person you’re gifting it to will love it! The glass holds 15 ounces and is dishwasher and microwave safe. 

  47. Espresso Machine


    This machine makes coffee and espresso with the touch of a single button. It makes two sizes of drinks, 1.35 ounces, and 5 ounces. The mini-machine doesn’t take up much space and is easily portable, so it’s perfect for the office. 

  49. Pinata Birthday Card
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    You can’t say “Happy Birthday” with a crummy old card you spent five seconds picking out in the drugstore on a milestone birthday! No, the fortieth birthday deserves something a bit more special. Like this 3D pinata birthday card! The message on the inside reads, “40 never looked so good. Happy birthday.”

  51. Remember When 1981
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    Of course, their birth was the biggest event of 1981, but a few other things happened too! Bigger than a card but smaller than a book, there are 24 pages of things from 1981, including news events, advertisements, music, movies, and more. 

  53. The 40th Birthday Game
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    This is a trivia game with more than 150 questions, all about being 40. Some questions are funny, some are thought-provoking, and some are just silly. This makes a fun gag gift or 40th birthday party activity. 

  55. Klask Game
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    This is the kind of thing the 80s kids who didn’t have video game consoles played with! This tabletop game is a mix between two classics; foosball and air hockey. It’s fully assembled and ready to play right out of the box and can be played on any flat surface.

  57. State Serving Board


    This serving tray and cutting board is made of bamboo and features cities and attractions in the state of California. The backside is flat so it can be used as a cutting board. Several other states are available. 

  59. Wood and Marble Cheeseboard


    If you’re going to serve drinks, you need to serve snacks! This acacia wood and marble cheeseboard is a nice companion gift to the bar tray above. The cheeseboard includes a serving fork, chisel, and parmesan knife. 

  61. 1,000 Places To See Before You Die


    When you’re in your 20s, you don’t have the money to travel. When you’re in your 30s, you don’t have the time to travel. But as you head into your 40s, you have more of both! This book will help you plan your next trip and all the trips after. It’s so much fun to page through this book, checking off the things you’ve done and making a list of the things you want to do next! 

  63. Cookbook


    Yes, this is a cookbook, but it’s more than that, so if the birthday girl or boy doesn’t love to cook but does love Italy and Italian food, they will love this book. Part cookbook, part travel guide, and part history book, it has beautiful recipes and stories of the regions they come from and the ingredients they utilize. The book contains more than 2,000 recipes and will give them hours of pleasure in the kitchen or on the couch. 

  65. 40 Things To Do When You Turn 40


    Forty different writers from various backgrounds each contributed an essay on the subject of turning 40. There are serious essays, funny essays, inspirational essays, and reflective essays. This is a great 40th birthday gift for a co-worker you don’t know very well but still want to buy a gift for. 

  67. Silk Scarf
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    This is a great gift for an art lover who also believes that no outfit is complete without a scarf. The scarf is made of silk charmeuse and measures 60 x 16.5 inches. There are several art-based patterns to choose from. 

  69. Waterford Crystal Photo Frame
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    This beautiful photo frame is part of Waterford’s Lismore series. Waterford has been making timeless crystal pieces for over 200 years and names patterns after near-by towns. The Lismore design features a repeating leaf motif. This frame holds a 5 x 7-inch photo. 

  71. Digital Photo Frame
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    Do you have a lot of family members and loved ones?  The Nixplay Wi-Fi Cloud Photo Frame gives you control over your thousands of family photos and the power to share them where you want. Or gift this picture frame to your loved one and easily email photos for instant display from anywhere in the world, anytime. Create & update different photo playlists easily and choose which frame displays each playlist, or send multiple playlists to each frame. 

  73. Raw Birthstone Earrings
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    Natural stones have a special beauty. These earrings are made from real aquamarine that hasn’t been highly polished. They measure 7 to 8mm, and the setting is sterling silver. Aquamarines are the birthstone for March, but most other birthstones are available, or you can choose what you know is her favorite stone. 

  75. Necklace


    Help her celebrate a new decade with this thoughtful gift. The sterling silver necklace has four connected circles, representing the four decades of her life so far. The necklace comes gift wrapped in a box and includes a notecard.

  77. Birthday Wish Candle
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    This is no ordinary candle. The scent is vanilla and orange, and it’s made from soy wax but what really sets this candle apart are the stones embedded in the wax, including peridot, citrine, rose quartz, and aquamarine. It will burn between 60-80 hours.

  79. Thinking Eggs
  80. 40th-birthday-gift-ideas-eggs

    These are like fancy Easter eggs for adults! Thinking Eggs are designed to help us practice mindfulness, calm us down, and make us think. Kind of like worry beads or stress balls, but much more beautiful. The eggs are made of lava stone, representing strength, brass representing revitalization, howlite stone representing calm, and bamboo representing concentration. 

  81. Roman Numerals T-Shirt
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    This T-shirt reads, “Born In 1981,” utilizing Latin and Roman numerals. It lends an air of mystery to exactly how old they are! The T-shirts are available in several sizes and colors. Other years and women’s cuts are also available. 

  83. Vintage T-Shirt


    40 isn’t old; it’s vintage! This graphic t-shirt celebrates being 40. It’s made of 100% cotton or a cotton/poly blend and is available in several sizes and colors. 

  85. Ray-Bans
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    Classics are classics for a reason. Ray-Ban Wayfarers were cool when James Dean wore them in the 1950s, and they’re still cool today. Wayfarers are universally flattering and uni-sex. There are several colors to choose from. 

  87. Cashmere Sweater
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    Another universally flattering classic, a crew neck cashmere sweater! This sweater is 12 gauge knit with 2-ply cashmere by Jennie Liu. I have this sweater in black, and I’ve had it for at least seven years. It still looks as good as the day I bought it. The sweater is available in several sizes and colors. 

  89. Laptop Sleeve


    A laptop sleeve can reduce the amount of bags you have to drag around. Rather than carry a purse or gym bag or backpack or carry-on and a computer bag, you can pop the computer in the sleeve and tuck it into whatever bag you’re carrying. This sleeve is made of faux leather and can hold a 13-inch computer. Weighing less than a pound, it’s especially nice for traveling.