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The best gifts for college students are practical and sentimental because let’s face it - all they’ve been doing is planning for the fun stuff like homecoming and decorating their dorm room. These great gifts will help equip them with all the things they need for a successful year - whether they’re a freshman, senior or grad student.
Buying gifts for college students can be tricky, but lucky for you, we’ve put together a gift guide for college students to help you on your quest to find the perfect present for your college student.
By Kevin Larue • Last Updated Jan 2 2023
In dorm rooms space is limited. Help them maximize the space they do have with this BedShelfie. It attaches to their bed frame to create a shelf for propping up their laptop to watch Netflix in bed, hold their coffee while they study or serve as a bedside table for all their knick-knacks.
A college dorm essential - new bedding. New bedding lets them decorate their space and feel more comfortable and at home in their new bed.
Perfect for studying, taking a break to binge-watch a new show, or pass the time on their trips back home the iPad Mini is a great tablet for college students.
Every college student needs a good Bluetooth speaker to blast their personal soundtrack. This portable speaker makes it easy to connect their phone, tablet or computer and bring their music with them wherever they are - from the dorm to parties to a late-night study sesh.
Help them stay hydrated with an insulated water bottle that will keep their water cool while running between classes all day.
Who wants to worry about keeping track of another wire or charging cable? This wireless fast charger works for both iPhone and Android devices and is compact enough to fit on their nightstand or desk. A great way to keep their devices charged without having to steal a charger from their roommate again.
Coffee, the fuel of college students everywhere. This Nespresso machine will have them thinking twice about indulging in another fancy latte from the on-campus cafe. Besides, they'll realize just what a lifesaver a coffee machine is when they're cramming for an exam at midnight or want to get a few extra zzz's before an early morning class.
Help them fuel their late night study sessions with an UberEats gift card. Midnight snack of pizza and wings, anyone?
Let them know you're thinking about them and help them ease into college life with a college student survival care package. Bursting with college student staples like ramen and a variety of sweet and salty snacks to help them get through their hectic days.
Looking for Christmas gifts for your college student? Why not commemorate their first year off at college with this personalizable dorm door Christmas tree ornament.
While they may be far from home, you can still help make their dorm room or apartment extra comfy with this cozy Oodie and weighted blanket bundle. A weighted blanket to help with anxiety and sleep and an oversized plush Oodie to stay warm and cuddle up in while they cram for exams.
Who wants to binge Netflix on a small computer or tablet screen all year? Gift them the gadget that will help them stream all their favorite content on any TV or monitor - the Roku Express 4K streaming player.
Homesick? Remind them of home with a Homesick Location Candle for their home state, city or country with a scent that smells like home.
Help them unwind and get through countless hours of homework and studying with a Netflix gift card.
While it may seem like a cliche, ramen is a college student staple for a reason. It's cheap, delicious and easy to make. Make it even easier for them to cook perfect ramen or soup with only a microwave with this ramen cooker.
Yeah, on-campus hospitality services are good and all but nothing beats having 24/7 access to their favorite snacks and drinks. Help them stay stocked up on all their faves with a compact refrigerator and freezer.
Sharing a bathroom with a roommate or entire floor can be annoying - especially when you have to carry all your toiletries back and forth. This mesh shower tote is the perfect caddy to fit all their essentials.
Looking for a unique holiday gift for your college kid? Forget the usual college sweaters, Etsy offers custom university sweaters and totes that your kid will love. They'll be heading back to school showing off their one-of-a-kind college merch!
Looking to celebrate your college graduate? Remind them of all they've accomplished and everything they're destined to be with this shattered glass ceiling necklace. A sentimental graduation gift they're sure to cherish.
They'll have no excuse to not call home when you gift them the iPhone 12. Keep them connected to family, friends and classmates with a new phone.
Trying to keep them on a budget? For the college student that can't live without a specialty coffee, this compact Keurig coffee maker makes everything from tea and coffee drinks to hot chocolate, helping them save money without sacrificing their caffeine.
Limited desk space? Can't get a table at the library? Help them turn their chair or bed into a comfortable homework setup with this extra-large folding lap desk. Enough space for their laptop, a bookholder, tablet slot and pull-out drawer for a mug, phone or other extras there's enough space for them to create their own serious study setup no matter where they are.
Trying to get work done in a noisy dining hall? Have a roommate that likes to hum while they work? They'll never have to worry about outside noise with these noise-cancelling headphones helping them drown out everything except their own music or background noise and keep them focused.
They'll take that coffee-to-go with this yeti tumbler. Big enough for even the most extreme caffeine needs, this tumbler will keep their coffee hot all day.
College can be draining and not just on their energy - all those assignments and class notes take serious space. This portable external hard drive will ensure they never run out of space in the middle of a major assignment.
Every college student needs a versatile carryall tote that can handle grocery store runs and shuttling stacks of books from the library. This tote will be an everyday essential.
If you're looking for the perfect gift for a stocking stuffer you can't go wrong with a set of fun sticky notes. Every college student needs an endless supply of sticky notes to help with marking pages for studying, writing reminders to their roommate or making their daily to-do lists, you can't go wrong with gifting sticky notes.
Can't celebrate their birthday in person but still want to send them a special birthday gift to let them know you're thinking of them? This birthday mug cake is a dorm-room-friendly way for them to have freshly baked birthday cake like they're at home, while away at college.
Keep them stocked up on school supplies with a Staples gift card. Stationary is personal, so let them pick out the supplies they need in the colors and designs that are going to keep them motivated with this gift.
College students try and run on coffee and only coffee, so try and motivate them to stay hydrated...with water... with this 24oz Hydroflask.
Healthy snacks are important to fuel their brains - as much as any college kid would argue that they can survive on coffee, ramen and cereal. Encourage them to stay stocked up on all their fave healthy snacks with a Thrive Market subscription. They can choose their own healthy snacks, protein bars, and meal ingredients and have them shipped directly to their dorm each month.
The perfect study buddy the Amazon Echo Dot is a great multipurpose tech gift for your college student. Play music, ask it to define a word or check the weather, this little gadget is a useful gift for any student.
If they're an Apple user, Apple Airpods are a necessity. These wireless earbuds are perfect for listening to podcasts or music on the go while working out and more.
The perfect backpack will make a huge difference. This ReNew Transit Backpack is comfortable, adjustable and can fit everything they need for class - laptops, textbooks and more - or do double duty as an overnight bag for their quick trips back home.
Air Fryers are more than just a fad, they're the perfect small do-it-all appliance for small dorm kitchens or tiny apartments. This 3.2-quart air fryer is the perfect size to cook everything from meat to baked goods for your hungry college student and their roommate.
This adjustable LED work lamp is great desktop lighting for studying whether they need a little extra light or don't want to keep their roommate awake when they study light at night.
A backpack laundry bag is a great practical gift for your college student. Help ease their laundry woes with a portable laundry hamper that's easy to carry down to the shared laundry room, laundromat or load in their car to bring home to mom.
The only food storage container they need, this eco lunchbox is a three-in-one bento box that make packing snacks and meals to get them through their long day of classes a breeze.
Level up their security with a subscription to a top-tier password manager. Password managers help by safely keeping track of their login info for all their websites and accounts and allows them to create unique passwords that make their accounts more secure. A must-have for anyone that uses a lot of public wifi like college students.
Is your college kid a lover of DIY? Why not gift them a practical but fun DIY stitch your own backpack kit? They can customize their own one-of-a-kind backpack to show off on campus when they head back to school.