The time has finally come for your high schooler to graduate. Congratulations! To reward them for all their accomplishments, it’s nice to give them something special aside from cash (which is always the number one gift every year). We were stumped for ideas for the best high school graduation gifts, so we reached out to our band of experienced parents for some wonderful suggestions, as well as researching popular top-rated products that could be useful for someone leaving home for the first time.
Here are 48 of the best graduation gift ideas that will suit various interests and help support them as they take their next steps.
Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links in this post.
The best high school graduation gifts
1. For the sentimental one: Project Repat T-Shirt Quilt
One of THE VERY MOST popular grad gifts for teens is a t-shirt quilt from Project Repat. Take a stack of your teen’s t-shirts from camp, game day, memorable family trips, sports teams, concerts, and more, cut them into panels, and ship them off to Project Repat. Prepare to surprise your teen with a keepsake that celebrates their accomplishments and that they will love to use in college.
2. For the nervous one: The Naked Roommate
Harlan Cohen is the dean of advice to college students, and The Naked Roommate, his bestselling book, is an excellent go-to guide for all things related to college life, academics, friends, and more.
3. For the organized (or disorganized):Ultimate Student Planner: College Edition (Class Tracker)
Class Tracker planners help students keep track of their academic life, extracurriculars, work commitments, and more. Don’t let the simple and intuitive weekly layout fool you; the patented design is based on years of research, coaching, and student input.
The College Edition features a sturdy, laminated cover, weekly pages explicitly designed for student life, monthly planning pages, goal-setting pages, and more, making this a must-have tool for success. The 24-25 version is available for presale and will ship in April.
4. For everyone (they all need sleep): ViscoSoft Select High-Density Mattress Topper
Dorm mattresses are usually the bare minimum for thickness and comfort. But you can help your student sleep like they never left home by sending them to campus with a ViscoSoft Select High-Density Twin XL mattress topper.
Recommended by Consumer Reports, they are super comfortable, easy to clean, durable, and provide an ick-safe barrier between your teens and the old dorm mattress that’s typically provided. You can choose from either three or four inches of gel-infused memory foam. The covers are washable and come with adjustable straps and slip-resistant mesh for a snug fit.
5. For the one with communal showers: Target Threshold Performance Bath Towel (Target)
Target offers all sizes of towels in their Threshold line. They are made of heavyweight terry cotton fabric and are available in dozens of pretty colors. They have a sewn-in loop which makes them easy to hang on a bathroom hook. Fade resistant so they will look great after many, many washings.
This towel is the New York Times Wirecutter product reviewers top pick for dorm towel.