Looking for the best gift for college students? Buying a gift for a college student is not hard. Most college students want the latest tech or just something cool to put in their room.
A thoughtful gift for a college student will make their life easier or a little more fun. College is stressful, and it’s hard being alone for the first time. With the right gift for a college kid, you can make their life new a little brighter.
I had my college-bound cousins (Freshman and Junior) write this article, telling them to pick the best of the best regardless of price.
How did we pick all these gifts for college students? The editor went to college recently, and the writers currently attend college, and we have personally owned or used all of these items. We also checked top review sites like Wired and Engadget.
At long last, here’s what they said are the best gifts for college students, in no particular order (Hint: This what they wish they had going back to school in September). Note: I won’t list prices because they change all the time.
Ranked and Reviewed: The Best Gifts for College Kids in 2023
1. Airpods Pro is easily the most popular tech right now for college students. These (rather expensive) Apple wireless earbuds are super comfortable, and you can use them to talk with family and friends or chat on Zoom classes, and of course, listen to music and podcasts.
2. An Apple Watch is a reasonably priced high tech fashion item that syncs with your phone to text, and monitors health, and runs hundreds of other apps. It’s also safe for college students – it lets you make emergency calls for free and without a phone nearby.
3. The Yeti Rambler is a trendy, band name tumbler that keeps drinks as cold or as hot as needed better than no one else on the market. It comes in various cool colors too.
4. Beats Solo Pro are the coolest looking on-ear headphones any college student would love. You can get these Bluetooth bad boys in matte black or on a dozen or so other colors like on-trend rose gold. The top of the line noise cancelling tech makes it so you can go to bed when your roommate is still up.
5. The New iPad Pro is so powerful that if you connect the iPad smart keyboard, you can use it to take notes in class and bang out essays in the dorm. You don’t even need a laptop anymore. Also, when you buy the New iPad Pro, Apple with throw in AirPods ($250 value) for FREE!
6. The Keurig K-Mini coffee maker is the smallest single-serve coffee maker available anywhere. It’s the perfect size for a dorm room and looks very cool stored on top of a mini-fridge.
7. The Logitech G Pro Wireless Mouse is easily acknowledged as one of the best new gaming mice you can get, but it works way better as a mouse for school work than any other out-of-the-box mouse too. This is a lightweight, wireless mouse with best in class battery power that you can bring to class or the big LAN party. The RGB colors are pretty neat too. What a cool idea as a gift for a college student.
8. The Sonos Play: 1 (2nd Generation) is so compact it would fit a dorm room perfectly. Sonos is known for its insane sound quality, and this is the original Sonos speaker but with voice activation, so you can be sure it’s going sound great for ambient studying and for loud parties. If you are looking for something better than a Bluetooth speaker (wifi powers the Sonos Play: 1), this is the one.
9. Decorate your doom room with Govee Smart wifi LED Strip Lights. Works with Alexa and Google Assistant to turn these RGB colors lights on and off, set the colors and make them brighter, etc. Also, these particular light strips work with music! There is a built-in microphone that will sync with any music and the lights will dance along with beats of music. It is only 16.4ft long, so you should buy two.
10. Bose SoundLink Micro is the best mini Bluetooth speaker in the World. Crisp, balanced sound and unmatched bass for a Bluetooth speaker its size, this little bad boy plays loud and clear indoors and outdoors, making it one of the best gifts for college students.
11. The Nintendo Switch is the best game console for college. It’s portable to play before class or to bring to friend’s house, and it has some of the most fun, best-reviewed multiplayer games for college-aged gamers like Mario Kart, which is a staple in college towns since the 90s.
12. The Echo Dot is a great inexpensive gift for college students. It’s a smart speaker with a handsome fabric design sure to go well in any dorm room. It voice controls streaming music like Apple Music, Sirius XM and Spotify. Plus, its excellent for busy college students because it answers questions, tells the time, checks the weather and sets alarms. Also, the white noise feature is fantastic for catching some z’s while your roommate is making some noise. This is one of the top-selling gifts for college students.
13. The Fire Stick turns any old tv into a smart TV so that it streams shows on Netflix, Amazon Price, Disney Plus, Hayu, YouTube, ESPN and more.
14. The Philips Sonicare is the top of line rechargeable toothbrush. There is simply no better toothbrush. And you can easily buy new brush heads at any drug store or online.
15. A forehead thermometer is something I never dreamed I would have to recommend for college students in a best-of-list. But here we are. It is essential nowadays. Anyway, this is the best priced, best-reviewed, higher-end American forehead thermometer you can get.
16. College is stressful. The Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager eases stress like a real masseuse’s hand. This particular destresser has hundreds of five-star reviews, and I tested it out myself. My review: 5-stars all the way baby.
17. The Herschel Settlement with gold zippers is the classic American college backpack. It’s easily the trendiest bag you can get, especially for such a great price. It’s also a tough bookbag backed up by a lifetime warranty.
18. Banaok is a brand name mini wireless microphone karaoke machine that is perfect for doing duets in the dorms (buy two). All you need to do to get the party is connect these pretty mics to any Bluetooth speaker and then use a karaoke app on a mobile phone for your sound/lyrics.
19. The Bluetec RGB colour changing party LED bulb turns any dorm room into a nightclub (great for these times when the bars are closed). Use the strobe light setting for dancing or auto mode to just set some mood lighting. Fantastic little gift for college students.
20. Crocs are perfect the in dorms because you can wear them in the communal shower without worrying about some get bacteria on your feet. Choose from dozens of colors. Don’t settle for an imitator.
21. The Levoit Air Purifier makes the air in the frat house healthier to breathe. It captures 99% of all allergens, smoke, mold, odor and dust particles. The Levoit brand is for small spaces like dorm rooms because of its ultra-silent operation.
22. The Everbeam H6 Pro LED Headlamp is great for reading in bed without disturbing your roommate.
23. The Bowflex SelectTech adjustable dumbbells are small enough to stow away in the corner. These are great for home workouts because you can adjust the weight from 5 – 52.5 pounds. Did you know that you can do many full workouts with just dumbbells?
25. Everyone knows the Brother Monochrome Laser Printer is the best printer in the world. It is cheap, well made, super small, lightning-fast and the laser ink doesn’t cost a lot to replace. I’ve had one for 10 years and it still works great. This is easily one of the top gifts for college students.
26. The Oculus Rift S VR headset is the hottest gaming tech right now. Oculus has the best VR gaming library with so much more to come shortly.
27. The Victrola Vintage Bluetooth Speaker and Record Player plays records and streams music from your smartphone, and it looks pretty darn cool too. Yes, there are good sounding speakers right in the trunk.
28. Are you buying a gift for a budding streaming star? If so, they need the Elgato Stream Deck. Easily tap a button to switch scenes and play cool effects on stream so you don’t have to focus away from the action with your mouse.
29. Every review website rates the HyperX Cloud II gaming headset as the best gaming headset money for the money. Its no wonder it’s the #1 best-selling PC gaming headset in the US.
30. The Razer Huntsman keyboard is the best typing keyboard in the World. Yes, its designed for gamers, but it also way better than a mac keyboard or a standard PC keyboard for long bouts of typing. I wrote this article on this keyboard, and I seriously recommend anyone try it out. It comes in black or white.
31. An excellent gift for any college student, the Michael Kors Slim Runway Stainless Steel Watch is just straight fire. The gunmetal is polished to perfection.
32. The WD 2TB WD Elements Portable is big enough to store every document saved in all four years of college, and it looks pretty neat too, making it one of the best gifts for college students.
33. The Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat keeps your loved one warm on those cold days in the quad. Choose from dozens of colors. This is the classic university toque, making it one of the best gifts for college students.
34. Everyone had this Honeywell Fan in their doom room. It is small yet powerful. Great for white noise too.
35. Atomic Habits is a famous self-help book for improving oneself every day. In this text are the tools for learning how to achieve any goal.
36. The Logitech C920 is the best webcam in the word and very much worth the upgrade from the webcam included in a laptop. In these times, especially, a good webcam is a must-have.
37. The Samsung 28-Inch 4K Monitor is the best bang-for-the-buck monitor today. It includes FreeSync for gaming but is perfect for working in Microsoft Office and streaming shows too. The UHD tech behind this scene-stealer will be relevant for at least the next four years.
38. The Creative Pebbles are inexpensive computer speakers that look great and sound even better, making them a cheap and cheerful gift for college students.
39. The WWWW Yoga Mat is a trendy, high-end yoga perfect for squeezing in a quick workout before class. Plus, its made from premium, eco-friendly materials.
40. The SIHOO mesh office chair is ergonomically curved for long periods of sitting. This dorm room staple is high quality, inexpensive and very good-looking chair. It is comfortable enough for working streaming and gaming all year long, and, again, making this little guy one of the best gifts for college students.
The Best Gifts for College Students
41. The Coop is the premium pillow your college student is looking for. It is not cheap, but the luxury memory foam does provide a cooler and better sleep experience.
42. This framed Office TV show poster, Threat Level Midnight, is sure to be a hit in every dorm room. Did you know that the Office is the most streamed TV show on US college campuses?
43. The Ninja Pro Compact blender is a 900-watt Personal Blender that packs enough power to break down whole fruits and tough ingredients like leafy greens, nuts, and seeds to create super smoothies and shakes. This is brain food folks, and college students need this stuff more than almost anyone.
44. Panasonic Lumix G7 is a well-priced compact system camera, ideal for 4k video filming. If your college student is keen on content creation, this is the best option one step above a webcam or mobile phone camera.
45. The Anker Nebula Capsule Max is the best mini-projector for cinema-quality streaming projection in your college apartment. Watch HD college football games every Saturday on your living room wall or outside in the yard! It even comes with speakers built-in. It is super easy to use to as it comes built-in with all Android smart TV apps.
47. A Home Sick city or state candle is a unique scent for various cities/states in the USA, and they help bring us back home when we feel, well, homesick. This is the perfect gift for a college student who trekked across the country on her own for the first time away from home for an extended period.
48. A SnackNation subscription delivers eight healthy and delicious snacks to door room every month. After the school year is over, you can cancel your subscription anytime through your Amazon account.
49. An Amazon Gift Card lets you choose between $5 and $1000 to send to you college student, allowing them to order whatever the heck they want. It comes in a fancy box and you can personalize it or choose a special greeting to make them feel even more loved.
50. An Anker power bank lets your college student charge their phone and other devices on the go even when there is no power outlet available. These are great for long road trips or even just long days in the library.
51. A sturdy and upright laundry hamper from Simplehouseware looks a lot better than the alternative, and it’s nice to have a lid. This is an especially great gift for college students.
52. Super on-trend brand Champion Logo Crew Socks, in black, are the luxury socks your college kid needs in his or her life.
53. The BUZIO weighted blanket is made from ultra-soft fleece. This blanket is designed to simulate the sensation of being hugged. The Buzio actually weighs 12 – 25 pounds (you can pick a size and color).
54. The original red Victorinox Swiss Army Knife is equipped to handle anything colleges throws at your loved-one. Most importantly, there is a 2.45″ blade, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener with screwdriver, pliers and a corkscrew for wine nights, among all 17 features. A great gift for college students for sure.
56. This backrest saved my life in college. In a dorm, you don’t have a couch, but you can make your couch style seating with this Brentwood Corduroy Bedrest, Amazon’s Choice for bedrests.
57. A TaoTronics Humidifier is a space-saving min humidifier that looks great on a window. It humidifies the air at a such a low noise level you won’t even know its there.
58. Who doesn’t need a spa day? Enter Evian Facial Spray, which we all know is almost as good as a real facial. It is not cheap, but sure does feel nice. What a special treat this gift would make.
59. Not inexpensive, but made to last, the Tumi V4 is the best carry on luggage money can buy. Instead of buying a bunch of crappy carry in bags over the years, invest in this one for life. If there are any problems, you can get it fixed for free at most airports in the World!
60. One of the top gifts for college students, the Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen is reasonably priced, well made and very handsome fancy fountain pen. This is a great way to add some charm to note-taking.
61. Fellow’s Stagg kettle is a great little electric gooseneck that heats up on its own (without a burner). This gift will be perfect for making ramen noodles in a pinch.
62. Please read the reviews or ask your Grandfather, the Wera all in one screwdriver is simply the best product in its class. Like a lot of the items on this list, it’s not cheap, but its made to last. I want to share with you items I think will be great gifts that will be cherished, not cheap plastic junk. The best gifts for college students are the ones that are made to last and be owned forever.
63. MacBook Air. I recommend the new 2023 MacBook Air with the brand new M1 chip over a PC laptop or a MacBook Pro because the keyboard on the new Mac Air flat out rocks, and the M1 chip is amazing quality for the price. I’ve had several MacBook’s Pros, and Dell XPS’s, but I switched to the MacBook Air this generation and haven’t looked back. The new MacBook Air has come a really long way, and it’s at a point now where the specs and the design are much, much better than the competition (premium entry-level laptops).
64. The Black and Decker Mini Fridge is the best-looking mini-fridge you can get for a dorm. It is super quiet and has a freezer for ice. It comes in three colors: black, grey and white.
65. The Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser atomizes essential oils. The funky shape and RGB light strips make this a winner. What’s more, it comes with ten different essential oils (or you can buy your own anywhere else).
67. Fred the Copper Dixie Cup is a really fancy party cup. Whether you are serving a Moscow mule or straight-up beer or wine, Fred’s Copper Dixie Cup will add some class to the party.
68. The OK Boomer Button plays the voice “OK BOOMER” super loud whenever your college kid needs to vent and instantly shut down any baby boomer.
69. This Michael Scott Portrait from The Office would like really nice next to that Plasma tv.
70. The Austere VII Series Power Outlet is the top of the line power outlet, with eight fast-charging power outlets, and two fast-charging USB and three fast-charging USB-C outlets. It comes packed with best-in-class fire & power spike safety, and if it is responsible for any damage to a plugged-in device, Austere will replace that device.
71. The Dyson V7 Cordless Vac has 30 minute’s of run time and you can take the tube off to use it as a dust-buster. But Dyson’s best features, as we all know, are the powerful motor and the bin emptying: No need to touch the dirt. This is the cheapest Dyson you can get, so its a perfect gift for a college student.
72. Amazon Prime membership. Your loved-one gets free two-day shipping on Amazon (even low-cost snack and grocery items) plus access to Amazon Prime streaming TV shows and movies. This is the college student gift that keeps on giving.
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