Home Bargains vs B&M – we tried both stores to see which one had the best stocking fillers


There are only a few weekends to go until Christmas and now’s the time to get those little finishing touches to make the occasion extra special.

With all of our big gifts bought well in advance (thanks, empty shelf-related anxiety), we just have stocking stuffers and the secret Santa left to get.

With no desire to spend hours wandering around every shop at Merry Hill, we decided to go for just two: Home Bargains and B&M.

Read more: Best nativity costumes from Sainsbury’s, Amazon, Asda, Argos and more

Hopeful that we’d be able to find inexpensive gifts for the whole family at these two notoriously inexpensive establishments, we zipped over to Merry Hill to see what we could get for our money.

Here’s what we found:

Home Bargains

Home Bargains at Merry Hill

Home Bargains was our first stop and we have to admit, social media is to blame.

Almost every month, Home Bargains shares a new item on its Instagram feed, garnering hundreds of comments and creating a new trend.

However, more often than not, when you get to the store, the item is nowhere to be found. It happened to us with glass pumpkin jars at Halloween and it’s happened again this Christmas with glass Christmas trees.

That didn’t stop us from making a hopeful beeline to Home Bargains to see what goodies they did have.

First up, we saw giant bags of Quality Street for £2.99 which make for great stocking stuffers for everyone, so we grabbed a couple.

Next up was some very adorable, fluffy peppermint swirl cushions for £3.99 – we got two for ourselves. Oops.

As we continued up the aisle we saw little pink compact mirrors with chrome monogram initials for £1.49 and tons of festive candles, including the popular gingerbread scent, for just £2.99 for a huge jar. Teenagers will love them, along with the pink plush make-up bags, also bearing initials, for £3.99.

Lip balm collections for £2.99 and Love Hearts-branded bath fizzers for £1.99 could go inside.

There are loads of different chocolates on offer in Home Bargains

Next up were boxes and boxes of Lynx gift sets, still a Christmas gifting favourite, for £2.99 and a Nivea shower and shave set for £4.49. That’s all the dads, uncles and brothers sorted.

So confident was Home Bargains with its Christmas popularity that it’s selling Home Bargains shopping bag baubles for £1.49, in the traditional sky blue and red colour scheme!

Even the pets are sorted – Home Bargains sells really adorable sprout toys, bouncy Christmas puddings, chewy carrots and Santa hat-wearing pig toys for under a fiver.

In the kids section, there were loads of little toys for next to nothing.

A Disney Princess flavoured lip balm set with a light-up mirror is only £3.99 while large pots of slime are £3.99 too.

Then there’s glow in the dark Exogini figures for 99p, pocket arcades for £1.99 and Metal Machines toy cars for 99p.

We also found Thomas & Friends engines for £2.99, WWE wrestling figures from as little as £2.99 and a set of five Harry Potter figures, with stamps on the bottom, for £4.99.

All in all, loads for the whole family, though kids benefit here most of all.


B&M at Merry Hill

Next up was B&M which is just over the way from Home Bargains and yet is quite a big bigger.

As a result, it had much more to choose from to fill our stockings.

There were more sweet bath sets for youngsters here, with fruity bath fizzers for £3 and a tray of cupcake-shaped bombs for £4.

In the sweets section, as well as chocolates like Milk Tray, Ferrero Rocher and Maltesers, we found Snot Shots gooey “bogey” sweets and Poo Drops – cola flavoured gummies. Gross, but for £2 a box, would be ideal for cheeky kids’ stockings!

The pet gift section was even bigger in B&M than in Home Bargains too, with Santa tug-o-war toys for £3.50 and a load of different coats for the colder weather too.

One of the best things about B&M is the booze aisle, there’s loads to choose from. Big bottles of Hop House 13 Lager are £1.09 a bottle and a four pack of Innis & Gunn Lager Beer is £4.99.

Lynx is available in B&M too, for £2.99 a set. There were crates and crates of the stuff, stretching for as far as the eye could see down the bath and body aisle.

In the make-up section there are little bits and bobs from brands like Profusion and W7 as well as Rimmel and Max Factor, with mascaras sitting around the £3.99 mark.

There’s loads of stocking stuffer options for kids at B&M

You’re spoilt for choice in the kids aisles as well in B&M. Hot Wheels cars are £1.50 each or a pack of five for £7 and there are little Among Us plush toys too, for youngsters who love gaming.

Those ugly Fuggler toys you can buy for £6 in the Entertainer are just £3.99 and would take up quite a bit of space in the stocking!

Countless fidget toys, slime and that stuff that turns your bath water into jelly lines the end bays, all for much less than a fiver a pop.

Little die cast Paw Patrol toys are just £3.99 and unicorn eggs that hatch are only £2.50 a piece for decent sized eggs.

For those who love to sit down and pass the time in peace there are painting by numbers sets for just £1.50, Crystal Creations hobby stations for £5 and complete colouring books for adults for £1.50, including felts!

There’s loads for bigger kids, including Friends-branded items such as phone rings for £3.

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So which is better?

If you’re in a rush and only have time to visit one of the stores at Merry Hill, we found B&M to be the best – there’s more choice and more recognisable brands and characters, like Paw Patrol and Friends, to tailor something special for a loved one.

While we found some sections of B&M to be a little empty as we approach Christmas (a lot of the chocolate and make-up was running low when we visited) we did enjoy having more aisles to peruse and more options to choose from.

The added bonus of the well-stocked booze shelves helped too.

Home Bargains is great in that it has frozen and chilled foods too, so you could get some groceries while you’re shopping.

Each is well worth visiting, but B&M takes the crown for us this Christmas.


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