57 Gifts for Teens That Are Actually Cool
Behold: These gifts for teens are ones that they'll actually like and want to use, according to our editors.
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As a parent or guardian of a teen, you’ve had years of experience buying gifts for toddlers and gifts for kids. You’ve even mastered gifts for tween boys and gifts for tween girls, too. But if finding gifts for teens feels more daunting, not to worry—we’re here to help.
Whether it’s for their birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah or to celebrate an accomplishment, our gifts for teens are based on lots of positive reviews in a variety of price points and firsthand experiences. Whether you’re on the lookout for gifts for teen girls, gifts for teen boys or gender-neutral Christmas toys, you’ll find something for every teenager on your list.
For the outdoorsy teen: Aviator Sunglasses
These fun, retro-style aviator sunglasses give off a cool vibe that follows your teen on or off the track. We love the shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and the UVA/UVB protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Plus, there are four different color options—all using an ultra-light stainless steel frame for maximum comfort and durability. The rubber nose and earpieces increase their grip the more your teen sweats, so they’ll stay comfortable out hiking, cycling, playing tennis or kayaking.
For the binge-watcher: Kodak Mini Projector
Your screen junkie will glow when they open up this mini projector. Whether it’s for watching Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime or Hulu, this Kodak device is compatible with Apple and Android phones, along with most home entertainment devices and gaming consoles. It features a built-in, rechargeable battery and speaker. Bonus: It comes with a USB cable, but it’s fine for wireless connection via Airplay or Miracast.
For the always-cold friend: Blanket with Feet Pocket
Whether they’re watching their shows or just lying on the couch with a good book, they’ll grab this velvety fleece blanket to warm up in no time. We love the color options designed to match any teen’s bedroom decor, and it’s not too thick, so it’s easy to wear throughout the seasons. The best thing about this blanket is that it has a pocket at the bottom, which means your feet will stay covered and warm.
For the coffee fiend: Tile-Style Monogram Mug
Know a teen who wants you to keep your hands off their coffee? This tiled monogram mug is a personalized gift that’ll let everyone know not to touch their cup. The inspiration for this piece comes from posh Parisian cafes, giving this budget-friendly gift a highly luxurious vibe.
For the teen on the go: Belt Bag
If your teen wasn’t able to get their hands on the popular Lululemon belt bag, then you’re in luck. Get them Lolë’s Jamie belt bag to wear around the waist or over the shoulder for easy access. With two compartments, the bag has enough room to hold the daily essentials (phone, keys, wallet, etc.), and keep them secure with zipper closures. Good luck choosing just one color, though!
For the screen-obsessed teen: Apple iPad Mini
Your teen who does it all on their phone’s small screen would love an upgrade to the Apple iPad Mini. This tablet is all about fast performance, and comes in four colors: pink, starlight, space gray and purple. Your teen can surf the web or watch YouTube videos for up to 10 hours using Wi-Fi. And we love that Apple pencils attach magnetically to the side.
For the hydrated teen: Stanley Insulated Tumbler
The Stanley tumbler has gained popularity on social media, so it’s sure to make a cool gift for teens. With double vacuum insulation, this tumbler keeps drinks both cold and warm for hours. Plus, its full-cover top prevents unwanted leaks and spills whether on the go or at home.
For the adrenaline junkie: Ski and Snowboard Helmet
Your teen will love hitting the slopes with this all-in-one helmet. It’s insulated and breathable, so they won’t get cold or sweaty. We love that it converts to a skateboard or cycling helmet, depending on the season. It has a protective acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) exterior to protect their noggin, along with a foam lining that helps absorb impact. This helmet comes in small, medium and large sizes, and in nine different colors to easily pick the teen’s favorite.
For the introvert: Beats Noise-Canceling Headphones
All teens need alone time, and a favorite way to relax is by listening to their favorite music. These noise-cancelling headphones come in four different colors with a carrying case, RemoteTalk cable and a universal USB charging cable. With this tech gift, they’ll get 22 hours of wireless playback and a whopping 40 hours when it’s in low-power mode. They can control their music, take calls and activate Siri with the easy-to-use on-ear controls.
For the environmentalist: Camelbak Stainless Steel Camp Mug
If your teen is environmentally conscious, chances are they will love this sustainable stainless steel camp mug that comes in several color choices. It’s an excellent way to cut down on waste from plastic water bottles and a perfect gift for coffee lovers. This 12-ounce mug is vacuum insulated, so it’ll keep their drinks cold or hot, depending on their mood. We love that this mug is easy to clean and dishwasher safe (even for sticky, sugary drinks). With the tri-mode lid, your teen won’t get embarrassed from an unexpected spill—and their laptop won’t suffer either.
For the overachiever: Mindfulness Journal
Being a teen is stressful, so help them remember to take pauses in their day with this mindfulness journal meant just for them. With breathing exercises, writing prompts and simple meditations, this journal encourages them to pause and stay in the present moment.
For the skater: Vans Ward Shoes
The ’90s are back in style, and Vans are trendier than ever. While these Vans shoes are sized for guys, they’re a stylish gift for girls, too. (Just remember to size down accordingly.) This classic black-and-white style goes with every outfit—some teens are even wearing these to proms since they’re so comfortable!
For the kid at heart: Chocolate Advent Calendar
More chocolate? Yes, please. This Advent calendar makes the ideal Christmas gift as there’s one for your teen and one for you—a total win-win. Each calendar features 24 doors with a sweet surprise hidden behind each one, along with a festive message to brighten up their day.
For the traveler: World Constellations Laptop Sleeve
The map design on the front of this world-themed laptop sleeve shows constellations and star names from over 30 different cultures around the world, making it a wonderful surprise for someone with dreams of traveling it one day). The foam padding and polyester cover protect your teen’s laptop from scratches and minor dings, and it’s easy to clean with a damp cloth.
For the music lover: Victrola Record Player
This record player combines the vintage look with modern technology for a record player that teens will love. Aside from playing vinyls with its three-speed turntable, this record player connects via Bluetooth to a phone to stream music, podcasts and other media. It doubles as a piece of room decor for a bedroom, too.
For the text-a-holic: Insulated Fingerless Mittens
Talk about fuzzy and fun! Your teen won’t have to put down their phone with these insulated wool fingerless mittens. Whether they’re texting their besties or switching their music, they won’t have to sacrifice warm hands to use their touchscreen devices. With seven color choices—black, beige, coffee, grey, light grey, navy and pink—they’ll be able to match their favorite winter outfits. These make a smart stocking stuffer for teens, too.
For the nature lover: Hanging Terrarium Kit
When the chilly breezes hit, let your teen bring nature inside with this adorable indoor garden kit. We love the beach vibe, which will remind them of fun summer vacations. They’ll get a clear glass terrarium to put together however they like best, with sand, shells, driftwood, moss and a Tillandsia plant. The hook on top lets your teen hang it somewhere fun in their room, but it could also just sit on their desk or bookshelf. This plant is so easy to care for—all it needs is indirect light and the occasional watering to keep looking its best.
For the hippie: Tie-Dye Socks
Tie-dye projects are a lot of fun, but they’re also a lot of work and messy. This super-soft six-pack of tie-dye crew socks includes a variety of vibrant colors, and your teen won’t have to worry about them fading over time.
For the Pikachu fan: Pokémon Battle Academy 2 Board Game
When it comes to looking for gifts for teen boys, you can’t go wrong with some classic Pokémon. Designed for two players, this board game includes everything needed to play from trading cards to a game board. With all skill levels in mind, Pokémon lovers play this game during birthday parties or during hang-out sessions to have some fun and friendly competition.
For the jewelry lover: Sterling Silver Heart Pendant Earrings
“These sterling silver plated hoops with a dangling heart have nearly 60 five-star reviews for good reason,” says Aviva Patz, executive editor at Reader’s Digest. “Not only are they simple and stunning, but they’re water-resistant, so they don’t tarnish or turn my daughter’s ears green, even when she wears them 24/7. She loves the sweet style of the heart customized with her initial; I love that they’re made from 90% recycled silver and come with an extended five-year warranty.”
For the crampy one: Tap 2.0 Wearable Device
It’s around that age when teen girls begin to menstruate—and it can be painful. This wearable device sends small electrical pulses through the skin to underlying nerves to help block pain signals and reduce pain perception. This is a fantastic gift for those who have severe period cramps or simply want to alleviate discomfort during that time of the month.
For the athletic friend: Adidas String Bag
You can never have too many string bags ready to use at a moment’s notice. With an easy cinch opening and a zippered exterior pocket, this bag holds items from socks and sneakers to snacks and water bottles. It’s also lightweight to easily carry it to and from school or sports practice.
For the best friend: Beaded Stretch Bracelet
There’s nothing better to signal a strong bond than a friendship bracelet. With multicolored beads and charms, each bracelet is different and the design changes based on a teens interests and color preferences. “I personally own one of these bracelets, and I’ve gifted matching versions to my daughters, too,” says Patz.
For the chocolate lover: Maui Caramacs
One of the best gifts for teens with a sweet tooth is a box of chocolate. This 12-piece box includes macadamia nuts smothered in caramel and decadent milk chocolate. Hawaiian Host has a variety of other offerings available, so you’re sure to find something they’ll love whether that’s milk, dark or white chocolate.
For the video game enthusiast: Mobile Gaming Controller
Many tweens and teens love to play video games, but it’s a hassle to carry around a console or huge device. This mobile gaming controller easily clips onto a phone to play games on the go, whether on the bus or at a friend’s house. It features all of the buttons found on a regular controller, but in a way that’s easy to assemble with an iPhone.
For the bookworm: Bookshelf Insert
For book-loving teens, this themed DIY bookend spruces up a bedroom or living space. Place it on the end of a shelf or in the middle of their favorite books for easy access. There’s even an LED light to give it a more realistic finish and provide ambient lighting, making it one of the best gifts for teens who love to be cozy at home.
For the athlete: Trusox 3.0 Cushion Socks
Whether it’s football, basketball or soccer, every teen who plays a sport needs reliable socks. These cushion socks offer more control and stability with gripping pads to make it easier to change direction and have control. They are available in small, medium and large sizes to fit men’s and women’s sizes 3 and 4 to 10 and 10.5+, respectively.
For the jokester: What Do You Meme? Card Game
One of the best gifts for teens who always want to crack a joke or have a good time is “What Do You Meme?.” This gag gift allows players to create their own memes with pictures and caption cards to see who comes up with the funniest one. Not only will teens love it, but since it’s the family version, everyone else will, too.
For the makeup lover: Makeup Organizer
One useful gift for tween girls and teens is a makeup organizer to keep their eyeshadow palettes, brushes, lipsticks and blushes in order. With three drawers, this organizer provides enough room to store the products they don’t use every day while allowing them to keep their go-to favorites on the shelves. Plus, the sleek design can be kept on a sink or vanity.
For the concertgoer: Loop Earplugs
Although teens may think they are invincible, they aren’t. Give them some earplugs to keep their ears safe, whether they’re at a concert, football game or other loud event. Made from flexible silicone, these Loop earplugs stay put without causing discomfort and keep noise out. They’re also a smart tool for studying, because getting distracted by sounds and noises is real.
For the chef: Digital Air Fryer
Many teens like to spend time in the kitchen, and an Dash air fryer is a cool starter gadget, as it’s easy to use and makes healthy recipes. With custom presets and an auto-off feature, this air fryer makes pizzas, desserts, vegetables and other fan favorites. The best part? It’s small and compact, so it won’t take up a lot of space on the countertop.
For the crafty teen: Friendship Bracelet-Making Kit
Taylor Swift popularized the friendship bracelet, and teens are eager to make some for their friends and fellow concertgoers. This friendship bracelet kit features every color of the rainbow and the letters of the alphabet, so they can make bracelets inspired by their favorite artists, characters or interests. Additionally, it comes with two rolls of cord, so they don’t have to seek out string on their own to get started.
For the gamer: Wireless Gaming Headset
This wireless gaming headset is compatible with PlayStation and Xbox, and has over two days of battery life, but the main thing your gamer will rave about is the variable mic monitoring, which adjusts the volume when chatting with friends or flips it to mute. (And you’ll love that they won’t have to shout!)
For the skincare guru: Portable Mini Fridge
Looking for the most useful gifts for teens? This 10-liter mini fridge is ideal for holding their skin-care routine—that’s how their products will stay fresher for longer, after all. However, it can also be used to store water bottles, soda and snacks. This is a smart idea for someone who’s prepping for college and starting to stock up on the essentials.
For the photographer: Digital Photo Frame
Teens spend a lot of time taking photos, so why not give them a place to display their photos? Users upload photos and videos to the Aura app to have them displayed inside the digital frame. The speed of the slideshow adjusts, and the screen has a touch mode to manually swipe through the photos. This frame is ideal for a bedroom, living room or desk—anywhere a teen may want to see pictures and videos of friends and family members.
For the fashionable teen: Ruffled Handbag
This is one of the most unique gifts for teens, as it’s not your stereotypical crossbody or clutch. Made from vegan-friendly leather, this ruffled handbag is ideal for a night on the town or a trip to the movie theater. The unique trim offers a chic finish, and its light pink color fits right in with the Barbiecore trend.
For the night owl: Neck Reading Light
No more turning on the overhead light fixture! For the teen who likes to stay up late reading their latest book, this reading light is worn around the neck to make it easier to see in the dark, thanks to six brightness levels. It has an 80-hour battery life, so it’ll last for many evenings and easily recharges when necessary. Psst! Our deputy editor loves it, too!
For the fast-food fan: Saucemoto Dip Clip
A new driver’s license means lots of trips through the drive-thru. As seen on Shark Tank, this dip clip hooks onto the vent for easy access to condiments for dipping fries and chicken nuggets. They might find this to be a funny gift, but trust us, they’ll get plenty of use out of it and soon realize it’s actually one of the best gifts for teens.
For the baker: Cake Pop Baking Kit
One of the best gifts for teens with a passion for baking is a baking kit. This pumpkin cake pops kit comes with everything needed to create moist, delicious treats, including pre-measured dry ingredients, pumpkin puree, a portion scoop and instructions. Baking the cake pops are half the fun—just wait until they (and hopefully you) get to taste them!
For the clean freak: Touchland Hand Sanitizer
To help prevent the spread of germs, opt for this hand sanitizer set from Touchland that includes three pocket-sized scents (mint, citrus and lemon-lime). Each dispenser holds up to 500 sprays, so they can clip it onto their school backpack or keep it in their glove compartment for easy access when their hands need a quick clean.
For the future hairstylist: Marc Anthony Leave-In Conditioner
Many teens gravitate towards exploring with their hair color and style, whether that’s with a new color or cut. This leave-in conditioner prevents split ends and breakage for softer, smoother strands that teens will feel confident about. Plus, it’s easy spray mechanism is simple to use to just spray and go.
For the serious sleeper: Organic Dreams Set
There’s nothing teens love more than sleep, especially on the weekends. That means when choosing a useful gift for teens, this sleep set is a fantastic choice. It includes a silk sleep mask and pillowcase designed to help foster a comfortable nighttime routine. It comes in a variety of colors, including red, pink, white, gold and blue.
For the gemstone collector: Pura Vida Choker Necklace
You can’t go wrong with a jewelry gift for the teen in your life. This choker necklace features a brass base with rose gold plating and a shiny opal pendant, and wears on its own or with other accessories. It’s a chic piece for prom, an upcoming date or a typical school day.
For the sports fan: Sports Memorabilia
There’s nothing that some teens love more than sports. 47Brand has merch of nearly every professional team out there, from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Miami Heat. Opt for a hat, T-shirt or hoodie for that teen in your life who wants to represent their home team, whether that’s at school or at the gym.
For the Harry Potter fanatic: Satin Pillowcase
Harry Potter is beloved by tweens and teens alike, so they might already have a wand or all of the books in the series. However, you’ll take the cake with this Harry Potter-inspired satin pillowcase that brings the mystical world to life.
“Send your Harry Potter fanatic off to sleep with a pillowcase that features symbols from their favorite series—and protects their hair from damage and keeps it soft and silky in the process,” says senior shopping editor, Megan Mowery. “Curly-haired teens will be particularly thrilled with this gift.”
For the perfume lover: Sol de Janeiro Body Mist
A fragrance mist or body spray is the obvious gift for the teen who always wants to smell fabulous. This Sol de Janeiro perfume smells like vanilla and salted caramel, so just about any teen will fall head over heels for it.
“A 16-year-old in my life has been talking about this yummy scented perfume mist,” says Mowery. “It’s a little fancier than the usual teenage body sprays, which is what makes it a fun gift to receive.”
For the couch potato: Human Dog Bed
Everyone of all ages has at least once felt jealous of their pet’s cozy-looking bed. Well, now they don’t have to remain jealous, thanks the Plufl human dog bed. They’ll love to snuggle up on the bed with a blanket and relax. Both teen boys and girls will get use out of this cozy human dog bed, and it’s available in a variety of colors, including gray, cream, black and pink.
For the spiritual one: Himalayan Salt Lamp
Some teens find comfort in spirituality and astrology as a way to connect with others and the world around them. This Himalayan salt lamp serves as a piece of bedroom decor while ionizing the air with its heated salt to cleanse and deodorize the air. Plus, it works well as ambient lighting with its dim bulb instead of strong overhead fixtures.
For the all-day makeup wearer: Unicorn Glow Primer
Between school, after-school activities and hanging out with friends, their makeup is sure to fade over time—that is, unless they prep their skin with long-wear primer from Unicorn Glow. Made with jojoba oil and shea butter, this primer leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth while helping foundation, contour and blush stay on longer.
For the writer: Paper Mate Retractable Ballpoint Pens
Yes, some teens still take notes at school with actual pen and paper. With that said, help them out with a set of retractable ballpoint pens to keep in their backpack. The vivid ink makes it easier to read as words show up more prominently on the paper. This would be an excellent gift for the writer in your life, too.
For the dancer: Linodes Slip-On Shoes
Whether it’s for gym class or an extracurricular, many teens participate in dance classes—ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, etc. With that said, this pair of slip-on shoes have a split sole and a comfortable footbed for optimal support. They’re also tiny and lightweight to easily fit into a backpack or other small bag without taking up too much space.
For the LGBTQ+ teen: Heartstopper Graphic Novel
Teens have been obsessed with Netflix’s Heartstopper, but it’s actually based on this graphic novel by Alice Oseman. Give them this book as their latest nighttime read. If they are more tech-savvy, the book is also available for the Kindle.
For the puzzle enthusiasts: Candy Jigsaw Puzzle
With 500 pieces, this candy-filled puzzle will take multiple hours to finish, ideal for a rainy day or to kill some spare time. When it’s done, they can frame it and hang it up for everyone to see. If that’s not enough, grab one of the hardest puzzles on Amazon for a real challenge.
For the candle lover: Sneaker Candle
Teens who love a fresh pair of kicks will appreciate this high-top sneaker candle. It’s unscented so it won’t let off a fragrance, but it’ll make a decorative statement on a shelf, tabletop, or desk. At 6 inches long, it’ll add a cool element to their bedroom decor.
For the class clown: Inflatable Dinosaur Costume
Why do they need a dinosaur costume? We say, why not?! This inflatable dinosaur costume is a hilarious gift for boys and teen girls who love larger-than-life creatures and want to stand out—whether or not it’s Halloween.
For the dog lover: Grooming Brush
If you’ve caved and allowed your teen to get a dog, then they know it’s their responsibility to care for them. This grooming brush works to remove loose hair and debris while minimizing unwanted tangles and matting. It helps eliminate the amount of fur shed around the house, too.
For the sun worshipper: Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen
It’s never too early to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. With this moisturizing sunscreen, not only will it leave your teen’s skin moisturized, but also be safe from potential sun damage. It’s a must-have product for that beachgoer or sports player who’s constantly outside with frequent sun exposure. Consider pairing it with a face sunscreen for full protection.