The bathroom could be one of the last bastions of pure privacy (unless you have kids), where we can belt out a tune in the shower, soak in the tub with a good book and a glass of wine, or take the time to primp and preen ourselves, all without judgement. To help your friends and family (or yourself) make the most of that precious personal time, we've rounded up some of the cleverest and quirkiest bathroom gift ideas for 2016.
Splash Tunes Pro Bluetooth shower speaker
For those who need a backing track for their shower singalong sessions, there's no shortage of waterproof speakers that stick to tiles and sync to phones, but the Splash Tunes Pro is one of our favorites.
The speaker pairs with a smart device, and the connection reaches far enough to keep your phone well out of harm's way. Big, textured buttons on the speaker make it easy to control by feel alone, and the sound quality is loud and clear enough for the echoey auditorium of the bathroom. There's even a microphone built in, in case you need to answer any important phone calls mid-wash.
A 10-hour battery should last for a few weeks-worth of showers (subject to your hygiene habits), and the device is available for US$40.
Umbra Aquala Bathtub Caddy
If unwinding in the bath is more your style, the Umbra Aquala might be the perfect partner for a soak. Refreshingly low-tech, the bathtub caddy is essentially a wooden shelf that stretches across the tub and provides a dry place to rest your book, tablet and/or drink.
On the right is a no-spill holder specifically made for wine glasses, where the base of the glass can slide in to be protected from accidental knocks. On the left you've got a little soap dish, although there's nothing stopping you from using it as a drink holder if your bathtime beverage of choice is something other than wine. Then in the middle sits a foldable wire prop to hold up a book or, if you like to live dangerously, a tablet or Kindle. The whole thing's held aloft by stainless steel arms, which can be extended to fit the width of most tubs.
The Umbra Aquala Bathtub Caddy is available for $30.
Philips Sonicare Connected electric toothbrush
It may be a mouthful of a name, but the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected toothbrush may be the smartest step for oral hygiene since the toothbrush first went electric.
The device is packed with sensors that track the location of the brush in your mouth, and the amount of pressure you're applying. Then, it streams all that data via Bluetooth to a smartphone, where the Philips Sonicare app creates a "mouth map" to highlight areas that you've missed, and give you pointers on your overall technique. The app also tracks the wear and tear of the brush head and lets you know when it's time to swap.
The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected is available for $164.
Toilet brushes are a pretty primitive way to deal with a necessary evil, but they aren't the only way. The Loogun is a cleaner alternative that uses a stream of water to wash gross stains off the side of the bowl, without ever needing to touch the toilet.
With a basic point-and-shoot function, the Loogun has been designed to only spray when it's pointed down, to prevent kids from playing with it. Not that it really matters if they do: since it fires on its target from afar, the device stays much more hygienic than a dirty old brush.
The Loogun is available for £34 ($44)
Buy now from Loogun
Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
The Dyson Supersonic is a high-tech hair dryer that can dry a thick head of hair faster and without damaging it with extreme heat.
To keep the heat consistent, the Supersonic measures the temperature 20 times a second, and adjusts itself quickly and automatically as needed. With the powerful motor in the handle of the device, the Dyson Supersonic can pull in 13 liters (3.4 gallons) of air in every second, while blasting your hair with 41 liters (10.8 gallons) a second. It does all this almost silently too, with the air itself making most of the noise.
The Dyson Supersonic is available for $516.
Fitbit Aria smart scales
If you already use a Fitbit, the Aria makes a great addition to the ecosystem. These smart bathroom scales sync up via Wi-Fi and will slot nicely into the existing dashboard, providing another avenue to help you hit your health goals.
Along with your weight, Aria will track your lean mass, body fat percentage and BMI, and will automatically throw that data into your Fitbit account. It's able to keep track of up to eight different profiles at once, and can recognize who's stepping on the scales at a given time, making sure it syncs everyone's results with the right account.
The Fitbit Aria is available for $128.
Polaroll toilet paper holder
And finally, just for a bit of fun... The humble toilet paper holder does all it needs to, but that doesn't mean it can't be dressed up a bit. The Polaroll hides it inside a Polaroid-inspired shell, dispensing the paper through a slot in the front where you'd normally grab your snaps.
Continuing the retro style, the Polaroll comes with one roll of toilet paper decorated in an artsy photo print, and refills can be bought separately. Of course, the holder works just as well with any other standard roll.
The Polaroll is available for $20.
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