The 7 Best Icelandic Gifts of 2021

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The Rundown

Bioeffect Daytime Cream at Amazon

"This Icelandic brand is used by 30 percent of women in the country."

OmNom Milk of Madagascar at Amazon

"Uses Icelandic milk and organic cacao beans for superior chocolate that makes a beautiful present."

Icewear Elis Sweater at Amazon

"The pattern is a classic tricolor knit lopapeysa design and comes in three different colors."

PyroPet Candles Kisa Candle at Amazon

"Made from paraffin wax, cotton wick, and aluminum, this candle lasts approximately 20 hours."

66 Degrees North Women's Kaldi Arctic Mittens at 66 Degrees North

"Crafted from a virgin wool blend with a fleece lining, these mittens provide next-level warmth."

Tulipop Fred Deluxe Plush at Tulipop

"This plushie is the perfect soft toy for any child who enjoys flights of the imagination."

Nóa Síríus Chocolate at Amazon

"Customers have reported that this dark chocolate is rich with hints of sweetness."

With friendly people, wonderful food, and gorgeous scenery, Iceland is a country that will utterly draw you in after just a few hours on the ground. But don’t miss a stop in the shops, especially in Reykjavík, where there’s an ongoing emphasis on Icelandic-made skincare, clothing (especially woolens and knits), and homewares which combine modern Scandic design with, upon occasion, a bit of offbeat humor. We’ve rounded up some great gifts you can buy on a visit to Iceland—or pick up online after the fact if your carry-on just can't fit anything else. 

Here are our top picks of the best Icelandic gifts available.

Our Top Picks

01 of 07

Bioeffect Daytime Cream

If you have a skincare junkie in your life, this Bioeffect daytime cream is an absolute treat. Launched in 2010, this Icelandic brand is used by 30 percent of women in the country—which speaks volumes for its quality. The formula is constructed around one foundational ingredient: EGF, a naturally occurring human protein that scientists discovered how to bioengineer from barley.

According to the company’s website, EGF encourages the body’s cells to replicate themselves, which increases turnover in the skin and raises collagen and elastin production for extra glowiness and less visible signs of aging. Sure, the price tag isn’t cheap, but this is the kind of product that will become a part of your skincare routine for years to come, from early adulthood all the way past menopause. If you’re looking to really splash out, the company’s serum is also legendary for helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines. 

02 of 07

OmNom Milk of Madagascar

If you haven’t heard, chocolate is a big deal in Iceland—like, a really big deal. OmNom chocolate, based in Reykjavík (originally in a converted gas station), uses Icelandic milk and organic cacao beans for superior chocolate that makes a beautiful present.

OmNom kicked off when Kjartan Gíslason and Óskar Þórðarson decided to bring the best cacao beans in the world to Iceland, experimenting with formulas in an attempt to create the finest possible batches. We have to say, it seems like they succeeded, with chocolate bars using beans from Nicaragua, Brazil, Tanzania, and Madagascar (the latter from industry-famous Bertil Akesson beans). If their Milk of Madagascar bar doesn’t strike your fancy, there’s also lakkris and sea salt, single-origin varieties, and flavors like milk and sea-salted almonds.  

03 of 07

Icewear Elis Sweater

If you’re looking for a cozy gift, an Icelandic sweater is one of the best things you can give, and Icewear makes the real deal. The company dates back to 1972, when it was founded in the village of Hvammstangi, and now creates everything from comfy sweaters to technical jackets for the outdoors. Its Elis unisex sweater is part of Iceland’s long tradition of woolen knits, with all of its wool derived from the country’s sheep. The pattern is a classic tricolor knit lopapeysa design, and you can choose from blue and taupe with white, black and gray with white, and a very light gray with white and black.

Icelandic sweaters are naturally breathable, with all the comfort of wool’s inherent body-regulating qualities and protection against wet, cold weather—plus, unusually, a bit more softness than you might be used to wool sweaters having. We love that this sweater draws upon traditional materials and patterns while remaining stylish and modern.

04 of 07

PyroPet Candles Kisa Candle

These candles started out as a Kickstarter before growing into a wildly popular product line. They range from the quirkily macabre to mysterious with seven characters, each with their own personality. It looks like a solid wax candle to start, but once lit, each animal form melts to reveal an inner metallic skeleton. Made from paraffin wax, cotton wick, and aluminum, each candle lasts approximately 20 hours and is fairly large—nearly 7" x 4.5" x 3".

Each animal comes in a variety of colors, and there’s also other animals available, including fantastical creatures like a unicorn and a dragon. We love that the packaging is practically cute enough to gift sans wrapping paper—just be sure to tell your recipient to put it on a plate once it’s lit so the wax is contained as it burns. 

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

66 Degrees North Women's Kaldi Arctic Mittens

66 Degrees North Women's Kaldi Arctic Mittens

 Courtesy of 66 Degrees North

Founded in 1926, 66 Degrees North originally catered to Icelandic fishermen and outdoorsman, but now, the company is one of the country's premier winter outfitters, known for its protective gear and Snaefell jacket. For something equally as cozy but a bit smaller to pack, go for their Kaldi Arctic Mittens. Made with a virgin wool blend, fleece lining, and faux fur, they provide next-level warmth and protection from the elements. Although pricey, these mittens will last for years.

Wearers in cold regions of the U.S. like Maine say that they’re incredibly warm in the wind and snow a New England winter can bring. For extra coziness for someone special, make it a set with the company’s Kaldi Arctic Hat — made from the same virgin wool — with ear flaps for even more warmth. 

06 of 07

Tulipop Fred Deluxe Plush

Tulipop Fred Tineez Plush

 Courtesy of Tulipop

Tulipop is an Icelandic company known for its quirky creature-characters which are depicted on its toys, homeware, tableware, and stationery collections. Founded in 2010 by Signy Kolbeinsdottir and Helga Arnadottir, the company's products deliver a strong message of progress: Its characters, each of them flawed in very human ways, challenge traditional gender stereotypes and explore respectful relationships with nature and each other. Fred is thought to be part reindeer, given his antlers, and although he might look fierce and tends to hang out on his own, he’s actually kind and gentle, with sensory superpowers and a genuine connection to the natural world around him (he can even talk to animals). This plushie is the perfect soft toy for any child who enjoys flights of the imagination—and we can vouch for just how cuddly it is. 

07 of 07

Nóa Síríus Chocolate

Chocolate is so much a thing in Iceland that we would have been remiss not to include this other brand of the sweet stuff. Founded in 1920, Nóa Síríus is the largest candy and confection maker in Iceland, and the company specializes in semi-sweet, bitter, and milk chocolate. With this order, you’ll get two bars of extra bittersweet chocolate—we won’t tell if you keep one for yourself.

Customers have reported that Nóa Síríus is some of the best chocolate they’ve ever had, particularly in regards to their dark chocolate which is rich with hints of sweetness. Of course, you can't really go wrong with any flavor, so you might as well try chocolate sea salt, chocolate toffee, 56-percent bittersweet, milk chocolate, and chocolate mint as well. 

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