24 Popular High School Graduation Gifts for Him (2023)

High school graduation is one of life’s significant accomplishments and one that friends and family will want to celebrate with a gift. This list includes our favorite ideas for gifts for guys and consists of both sentimental and practical choices.

Are you shopping for your son’s best buds? Here are some wonderful ideas for grad gifts for your teen’s friends.

If you have girls on your list, here are some of our favorite grad gifts for the young women in your life.

Note: Grown and Flown is reader-supported, and we receive compensation when you order through some of the links in this post.  

High school graduation gifts for him

1. Project Repat T-Shirt Quilt

Take that stack, OK… a drawer full of t-shirts from camp, class days, sports teams, and more, and send them off to Project Repat so they can make a unique, highly-personal gift for your son. The t-shirt quilt, a helpful ice-breaker at college, can be hung on the wall or his bed. Available to custom-order in several sizes.

project repat

2. College Fan Gear

Your new grad will love to receive college gear, and Fanatics is the #1 site to shop for officially licensed logo clothing and accessories from more than 500 colleges and pro-teams. T-shirts, hats, hoodies, sneakers, and more make THIS site your go-to for collegiate gear.

fan gear

3. Dorm Bedding Bundle

There are dozens of places to shop for twin xl bedding, but one site you should explore is Pottery Barn Teen. The high quality, wide range of price points, and sustainable practices that go into the manufacturing of Pottery Barn items make it an excellent destination to shop for dorm essentials and decor.

Guys can sometimes be less enthusiastic about dorm shopping, so consider gifting this bundle that will cross off many items from his dorm to-do list. It includes 11 pieces for dorm bedding, bath, and laundry in the popular color scheme of navy and grey. Done and dusted!

Pottery barn blue bedding bundle

4. Rain Jacket

Your son will likely be at college, where it will rain at least some of the time, and he will need a jacket to help him stay dry on the long walk across campus for classes.

This jacket comes in dozens of sizes and colors, is highly rated, durable, affordable, and super popular. We love this convenient high school graduation gift!

rain jacket

5. Timex Watch

There are hundreds of models to choose from in this iconic brand, but we think this one, the “Expedition,” is a good pick. It has a ten-year battery life, is water-resistant up to 100 meters, and has the Timex-trademarked Indiglo backlit face making it easy to tell the time in the dark — without reaching for a phone.

Timex watch

6. Portable Phone Charger

College students are on the go from their first classes in the morning to dinner, homework, and socializing at night. While it can often be inconvenient to find a plug to re-charge a phone, this lightweight and portable battery charger can come to the rescue to help keep his phone working 24/7.

Anker charger


7. Conair Handheld Steamer

My son loves this steamer that he borrowed from a roommate for graduation and only wishes he had taken one to school with him as a freshman. Dry clothes can sit in the dryer for hours before they are reclaimed from the laundry room, and the only hope for looking ironed is this steamer. (See below for the steamed side vs. the one with all the wrinkles.)

shirt steamed

8. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

These headphones are among the most highly-rated wireless over-the-ear headphones. Dorms and roommates are noisy and can be disruptive to sleep and study.

Bose headphones

9. Anker Headphones

A much less expensive option, and one that is also highly regarded by the reviewers, are these wireless headphones by Anker.

Anker headphones

10. Class Tracker

The Class Tracker planners support all students, from those who are naturally organized to the “organizationally challenged.” They are lightweight, portable and easy to use. The covers are laminated with rounded corners for durability.


11. AirPod Pro Silicon Covers

This inexpensive gift is a practical way to keep his AirPod Pros protected from scratching and help him identify them from his friends’ devices that look the same. Look for some in his school colors.

AirPods Pro cover

12. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World

Admiral William H. McRaven (Ret) wrote one of the all-time best commencement speeches he delivered at the University of Texas. His speech was later made into a slender book that quickly became a bestseller. His wise words will provide your son with all the advice he needs to launch into the next phase of his life — college, work, or the military.

Make your bed

13. The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College 

The closest thing to a “college instruction manual” is the bestselling book, The Naked Roommate. Author Harlan Cohen has been in the college-advice business since he was a student himself and stays current by visiting college campuses and talking to students and administrators all over the country.

This is a book your son can keep on the shelf and refer to often about ANY questions he has in college, including a “naked roommate.”

Naked roommate

Enter our The Naked Roommate Has You Covered” giveaway before 5/27/22 for your chance to win a FREE copy!

14. IKEA Frakta Blue Bag

We cannot say enough great things about these bags. They are our #1 recommendation for college move-in and move-out for ALL FOUR YEARS. They are durable and inexpensive, especially compared with luggage. Your son can store bulky bedding or off-season clothes in one of these bags during the school year.

If you want to add to the gift, fill it with new towels and laundry detergent to encourage him to remember to get to the laundry room from time to time.

 IKEA blue bag

15. Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Your son will love having Alexa as his virtual assistant to set the alarm, check scores or the weather for the day, order a pizza or an Uber, help with homework, play his music, or sleep-inducing sounds… the possibilities are endless. We love the one that has the clock display.

Echo Dot with clock

16 YETI Tumbler

If your son is a coffee drinker and wants to savor a hot cup of coffee FOR HOURS, the YETI mug is for him. It is stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation, which means that cold drinks stay cold for hours.

Teens and young adults will love receiving a YETI mug as a grad gift. Available in the iconic stainless or vibrant hues, look for one that matches your son’s college colors. There are also personalization options with initials or college logos. This is a tremendous and long-lasting gift!

yeti tumbler

17. Mattress Topper

One of our sons said that having a mattress topper was the single most crucial dorm item he owned, and he would even give up his backpack if he had to choose between it and the topper. Lucid’s gel memory foam topper is one of the most popular among the Grown and Flown community. It will transform a somewhat gross, brick-like dorm mattress into a comfortable place to sleep.

mattress topper

18. Dorm Safe

We like the Sentry Compact Safe for a wallet, passport, meds, or other valuables since it’s small and has a cable that can be looped around a heavy piece of furniture.

sentry safe

19. Tool Set

This 39-piece tool set comes with all the accessories that your son can use in his dorm this year and in apartments in his future. This is considered one of our must-haves to make move-in day go smoothly, so keep it close at hand when it is time to pack.

Apollo tool set

20. Monogrammed Wallet

This is an upgrade to a more adult style of carrying money and cards. This handsome bi-fold wallet from Leatherology is super-thin and will last him for years to come. Plus, personalization is such a nice touch for ANY gift.

thin wallet

21. Timberland Men’s Waterproof Boot

If your son is going to school in a cold climate, don’t wait until he needs them to buy him a good pair of boots, as popular sizes and styles can sell out. These are classics. Look for a 20% student discount while shopping for boots at Timberland. (some exclusions.)

Timberland boots

22. UE (Ultimate Ears) Bluetooth Speaker 

We love these Bluetooth speakers for their audio quality, design, and colors, and we love the durability — they are both waterproof and dustproof.

UE wireless speakers

23. Hydro Flask Water Bottle

College campuses have water bottle stations where students can fill their bottles, vastly reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles. Hydro Flask bottles come in many sizes and colors and keep hot beverages hot and cold drinks cold for hours.

Hydro Flask

24. Spikeball

Spikeball is very popular on many campuses, and if your son had a set to take to college, he would likely find other Spikeball sports enthusiasts reasonably quickly.

spike ball

Haven’t found what you want yet? Here’s more:

Perfect Graduation Gifts for Girls for 2022 Grads

Great Graduation Gift Ideas for High School Seniors – Lots!

f you're looking for the BEST high school graduation gifts for guys, then this list has it all. If you're looking to make your graduate happy, and want the best grad gift ideas, you'll find it right here. #giftideas #highschoolgrad #graduation #graduationgifts #gradgifts #graduationgiftideas

About Lisa Endlich Heffernan

Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan is the co-founder of Grown and Flown, the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author.
She started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and is co-author of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

Read more posts by Lisa

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