Top 20 Gifts for Teens and College Students (2020)

Parents who are looking for a perfect gift for birthdays or the holidays may begin by listening for hints from their teens. Since we are all spending more time at home together, it might be easier than ever to pick up those subtle, or not so subtle, clues for gift ideas.

Here are 20 best-sellers for your tweens, teenage boys and girls, and young adults, too.

Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through these links.

20 Best Gifts for Teens and College Students

1. Allbirds

These are the very best shoes on the planet and now Allbirds makes a wide range of styles that includes lace-ups, slip-ons, ballet flats, and running shoes.  There models that are water-resistant and Allbirds makes socks and undergarments, too, for both men and women.  The materials used in the shoes are beyond soft and, what’s even better is that the shoes are machine washable. This is a great gift for everyone in your family and if you are unsure of what size to choose,  Allbirds sells gift cards, too.

Allbirds Shoes

2. Laneige Lip Treatment (Sleeping Mask)

A Lineage Lip Sleeping Mask will delight the teen girls and young adult women who are makeup lovers. A softening balm, it has antioxidants and vitamin C and, when applied overnight, lips are moisturized and soft the net morning. This would be cool gift for people who live in cold climates, in particular!

lip treatment

3. Therapy Dough

This is one of the most popular gifts among all the presents on our holiday gift guides. From wonderful gift company, Uncommon Goods, the therapy dough is modeled after the clay used by art therapists and is infused with essential oils for stress relief. Choose from lavender, orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, and north woods pine fragrances.

therapy dough
4. Pura Vida Bracelets 

Teenage girls have discovered Pura Vida bracelets and you will want to know more about why they’re so popular.  The are a seemingly infinite number of designs of bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings, and they are available in many different colors, styles, and price points. This may be a great selection for your artistic teen.

5. Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Hoodies

Do you have a college sports fan teen boy in your family? Or how about a current college student or high school senior who just got their acceptance letter for college for next year? Dick’s sporting goods has an excellent selection of NCAA merchandise, including these hoodies. This is a great birthday gift idea or something to snatch up for the holidays.

college hoodie

6. Glossier Skincare Set 

Glossier has beauty product gifts including this gift set of three of their bestsellers.

Glossier

Are you shopping for a friend who is the parent of a teen? Look no further, the
Grown and Flown book is now available in paperback!

Grown and Flown paperback

7. Kendra Scott Jewelry

If you are looking for a unique gift for your daughter or friend, Kendra Scott jewelry has gorgeous pieces that she will love.  You can customize the jewelry by choosing birthstones, or stones the color of your daughter’s college to make the gift very personal.

Kendra Scott Jewelry Sets

8. Aromatherapy Shower Steamers

Here is another idea for a stocking stuffer or small gift that will give your daughter a spa-like experience in her shower at home or in her apartment. When these shower steamers dissolve, they create an aromatherapy experience with lavender, mint, eucalyptus, pink grapefruit or rose fragrances.

shower steamers

9. Avocado Slicer

Are your teens and young adults obsessed with avocados? An avocado slicer will make them so happy.

avocado slicer

10. Carhartt Cap (Men and Women)

For anyone who wants to maximize their outdoor time or who attends college in a cold climate, Carhartt hats are a practical and industrial-chic choice that your teen or young adult might just wear. Available in many colors for men and women.

knit cap

11. Left Center Right

Card and board games are very popular now and this one is at the top of our Grown and Flown bestseller list.

Left Right Center

12. Jackery Portable Charger with Emergency LED Flashlight

Having a fully-charged battery on a phone is one of the best safety ideas we can think of for our college students. Here is a portable charger that can help with that goal.

jackery battery bank

13. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Beloved British illustrator, Charlie Mackesy, wrote and created the artwork for this slender book about friendship, kindness and home.  A bestseller on several lists, this will be a meaningful gift from you to your teen.

The boy, mole, fox and hound

14. Pocket Flyers Paper Airplane Book: 69 Mini Planes to Fold and Fly

Remember making paper airplanes? This slim book will walk your teen through dozens of versions of their own planes.  This may be the best teen gift to pick if your son needs encouragement to step away from video games!

pocket flyers

15. Journal Planner Pens for Bullet Journaling,18 Colors

Bullet journaling has become wildly popular and this set of pens will make any journal enthusiasts very happy.Pen set

Pens for journaling

16. AirPods Case Silicon Protective Cover

AirPods are expensive and here is an inexpensive way to help keep the case from getting damaged.

AirPods case cover

17. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush

This is the perfect choice for a teen or woman who regularly blows out their hair.  It has achieved cult-like status in the Grown and Flown community.

Revlon hair dryer

18. One Question a Day: A Five-Year Journal: A Personal Time Capsule of Questions and Answers

This will be a gift to help your teen or college student record this most unusual of years. 

one question a day journal

19. Jack Black – The Balm Squad, 3 Piece Set

If you are looking for a lip balm for a gift, check out the ones sold by Jack Black.  While the brand is marketed to men, we are big fans of their light flavors and SPF 25 ratings.

jack black

20. Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker Alarm Clock

For any teen who is a heavy supper, this alarm clock has maximum power to get them out of bed, something they will need to know how to do on their own once they leave home and live in a dorm room.

alarm clock

You Might Also Want to Read:

Awesome 2020 Holiday Gifts for Him

2020 Holiday Gifts for Her that She Will Love 

Searching for the perfect gift idea for your college student or teenager can sometimes be a challenge. But, these super popular gift ideas are a great place to start. This gift guide is full of awesome ideas! #giftguide #giftideas #giftsforteens #giftsforcollegestudents #collegelife #teenagers #holidaygiftguide

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors 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 Grown and Flown

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates straight to your inbox.