9 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These fun, inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier -- and happier.

9 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better Photo by frantic00 / Shutterstock.com

You don’t have to spend top dollar to get your hands on top gear. We’ve rounded up a variety of fun and functional electronics that make great gifts — for a friend or loved one, or even yourself.

From purse lights that double as cellphone chargers to tracking devices for your car keys and cat, this list of great gadgets offers something for everyone. And with each device costing less than $20, you can easily fit them into your budget.

All prices are current as of Aug. 13.

1. Mini portable humidifier

JZK Mini Portable Personal Cool Mist Air HumidifierJZK International / Amazon

Breathe easier with the JZK International Mini Portable Personal Cool Mist Air Humidifier ($14.97). Great for travel, the lightweight device fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and provides a “stream of cool or warm water mist” to combat dry air and help relive respiratory issues.

It also functions as a nightlight and includes an USB cable and adapter, as well as a lifetime warranty. Choose from a variety of popular shades.

2. Handbag light and cellphone charger

Wasserstein Square Handbag LightWasserstein / Amazon

Tired of hunting around in your dark, cluttered purse or backpack for gum, cosmetics and car keys? The Wasserstein Square Handbag Light ($11.99) is the solution you’ve been seeking.

In addition to illuminating the cavity of your bag with a simple touch, it “functions as an emergency external battery” to charge your cellphone and tablet before they power down. What a bright idea!

3. LED clock and fan

One Two USB Clock FanOne Two / Amazon

It’s compact, lightweight and eye-catching, but is it a clock or a fan? There’s no need to decide: It’s both!

The One Two USB LED Clock Fan ($13.99) is a convenient, portable fan with LED display that is not just a novelty item. It will keep you cool and comfortable — not to mention prompt for appointments — and it plugs into any USB port, so you won’t need an external power supply. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter at the office or coffee shop.

4. Decorative cup warmer

Norpro Decorative Cup WarmerNorpro / Amazon

Many of us cannot imagine starting the day without a jolt of java. You’ll never have to settle for lukewarm coffee — or cocoa or tea — again with this attractive Norpro Decorative Cup Warmer ($14.95).

Designed for use both at home and on-the-go, the lightweight, easy-to-clean warmer features a nonstick heating element and an indicator light for added safety.

5. Mini portable vacuum

iDili Mini Portable Handheld Cordless Tabletop Crumb Sweeper Desktop Vacuum CleaneriDili / Amazon

Here is a quick and easy way to clean up crumbs and other small messes. The iDili Mini Portable Handheld Cordless Tabletop Crumb Sweeper Desktop Vacuum Cleaner ($11.99) is a battery-operated device that can keep even the smallest area of your home or car tidy.

6. Water-resistant shower speaker and speakerphone

SoundBot SB510 HD Water Resistant Bluetooth 3.0 Shower SpeakerSoundBot / Amazon

What’s better than a long, hot shower? One with your favorite tunes, of course.

Available in six striking shades, the submergible SoundBot SB510 HD Water Resistant Bluetooth 3.0 Shower Speaker, Handsfree Portable Speakerphone ($13.89) delivers “premium acoustic sound and enriched music listening experiences with full spectrum coverage, crispy high note, crystal clear mid-range and balanced bass.”

You can even use this durable device to listen to podcasts and field phone calls.

7. Wireless locator for lost keys and other items

Esky Wireless RF Item LocatorEsky / Amazon

The Esky Wireless RF Item Locator ($18.79) contains tiny tracking devices for those who are always misplacing their keys, cellphone or remote controls. One reviewer even uses them to help keep tabs on her cat!

Simply attach the receivers to all your easy-to-lose devices and press a button to locate them through a series of beeping noises. It comes in a convenient color-coded four pack with a range of up to 80 feet or more.

8. Smart Wi-Fi plug

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi PlugTP-Link / Amazon

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug With Energy Monitoring ($15.99) allows you to turn devices in your home on and off remotely you after you download the Kasa app to your smartphone.

This plug also responds to voice commands from Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Microsoft Cortana.

9. Smart reusable notebook

Elfinbook Smart Notebook 2.0Elfinbook / Amazon

An environmentally friendly choice, the Elfinbook Smart Notebook 2.0 ($19.99) reusable notebook allows you to erase printing with heat or water. It’s the stuff of which spy novels are made!

It also syncs with your cloud devices and is compatible with Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, OneDrive, Slack and more. Each of the Elfinbook’s 60 pages — which, incidentally, are made from stones — can be reused an impressive 500 times. Behold the future of taking notes!

Do you know of more great gadgets? Share them in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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