30 Best Graduation Gifts of 2023: Ideas for High School and College Graduates
Celebrate this major academic milestone with the perfect gift.
Whether it’s high school or college graduation, it’s an exciting time because it marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. The special grad in your life is likely about to experience a whole new lifestyle overhaul both in their personal and professional lives.
Trying to find the perfect graduation gift ideas for her or for him can be tricky. To help you shop, we’ve rounded up the best graduation gifts of 2023, from personalized gifts on Etsy to trendy Cuisinart cookware to a sleek new Kindle Paperwhite.
1. Nespresso Vertuo
No shade to drip coffee, but it’s not exactly the most efficient way to brew a cup of joe, nor is it the tastiest. Your new grad’s kitchen deserves this editor-approved Nespresso machine with an included Aeroccino milk frother. With the option of hot or cold foam, the single-touch brewing system uses centrifugal force to extract the perfect amount of flavor from each capsule.
2. Kindle Paperwhite
Sure, school might have been full of reading assignments, but your grad’s literary journey shouldn’t end there. Allow them to pass the time in a productive way with the super popular Kindle Paperwhite, which provides a glare-free reading experience similar to a good old fashioned book so they can read anytime, anywhere.
3. Personalized Keepsake Box
Give them a special place to keep all their special things with this custom keepsake box, which you can have engraved with their name. The inside features an inspiring quote that will remind them just how amazing they really are.
4. Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set
Chances are, your soon-to-be grad is sleeping on sheets that are on their last legs, or threads. Invest in the very trendy Brooklinen sheets that stand up to all kinds of tossing and turning and are made of buttery soft cotton. They have nearly 20,000 glowing reviews from shoppers and come in several cool colors like graphite, toffee, and aqua blue.
5. Samsonite Hardside Carry-on Luggage
Whether they’re about to treat themselves to a post-grad trip or relocate entirely, a proper piece of luggage is in order. Allow them to begin their trip on the right foot with Samsonite expandable luggage, our experts’ favorite travel bag. It expands to fit far more belongings than meets the eye, and its spinner wheels rotate 360 degrees for easily navigating the airport.
6. Homesick Premium Scented Candle
Homesickness is a natural result of leaving behind one chapter and beginning another. Allow your new grad to acclimate to their new surroundings with a Homesick candle in a floral, nutty or spicy flavor evoking their favorite state, be it their home or college state. The hand-poured candle burns up to 80 hours.
7. Erin Condren Goal Setting Planner
Becoming an adult often means becoming a lot more responsible—and a lot more focused on your next achievements and dreams. Help the recent grad in your life stay organized and on top of their game with this popular goal setting planner from Erin Condren, which helps them map out the upcoming months and years.
8. Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Cookware Set
A solid cookware set will benefit their lives in numerous ways, from facilitating meal prep to allowing them to save money on takeout. Our experts named this 12-piece stainless-steel set from Cuisinart—complete with saucepans, stock pots and skillets—as the best one out there for its high heat conductivity, ability to resist corrosion and stains, drip-free spouts and temperature-controlled handles.
9. Good Luck Gold Charm Necklace
File this one under one of the most thoughtful college grad gifts on the market. This charm necklace from Etsy features a subtle finger cross as a way to wish your grad the best of luck wherever post-academia life takes them. It’s made of long-lasting sterling silver and comes in three lengths.
10. Apple Watch SE
A fitness tracker is about so much more than tracking steps—it gives your grad a holistic picture of their health while also keeping them safe. Allow them to make calls and send messages with the Apple Watch SE while taking advantage of international emergency calling, emergency SOS, and heart health sensors. Plus, it’s waterproof up to 50 meters making it a great year-around sidekick.
11. Personalized Graduation Print
This customized portrait from Etsy offers a one-of-a-kind memory your grad can cherish for years to come. You can have it personalized with everything from their school name and graduation year to their major and even the color of their gown.
12. BlendJet One Plus Portable Blender
Blenders are cool and all, but they take up a considerable amount of counterspace. Allow this soon-to-be professional to blend and sip their delicious smoothies, shakes and beverages on their commute or at the office with BlendJet. Its six stainless steel blades tackle the toughest of ingredients like ice, nuts and frozen fruit, and it conveniently charges with no need for cords or batteries.
13. Madewell Zip Top Medium Transport Tote
Every adult needs a classy catch-all bag for long days spent in the office that turn into late nights out with friends. This best-selling option from Madewell comes in four shades of semi-vegetable tanned leather like true black brown and dark cabernet. Thanks to its roomy interior, pockets, interchangeable straps and secure zip closure, they’re likely to use it every day.
14. Elama 16-Piece Earthenware Dinnerware Set
Maybe they shared dishes with their roommate, or maybe they only used those in their dining hall. Either way, the new grad needs a solid set of dishes for all those hearty home-cooked meals. Our experts beamed over this dinnerware set from Elama that features large enough bowls, mugs and plates to keep mess from spilling onto counters. Plus, the luxurious stoneware material is dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
15. Big Blanket Co. Giant Blanket
Blankets provide both physical and emotional comfort, and during a major life transition, they might just be what the grad gods ordered. The Big Blanket’s giant blanket measures 10 by 10 feet—or 100 square feet—which is considerably larger than a king-size comforter. It comes in 15 cool patterns like red stars and green camo that make it super giftable.
16. Huffy Classic Cruiser
Whether they have long commutes to look forward to or lack parking on their (new) street, a bike is convenient for any new grad. This cruiser from Huffy positions the rider in a comfortable upright stance, and has a classic front basket, rear rack, cup holder and smartphone slot. It comes in three storybook-like colors they’ll be proud to show off.
17. Wayfair Folkston Desk
The best part about being a new grad is that you no longer need to spend several hours trapped in a library. This sophisticated desk from Wayfair will help your giftee develop professional confidence with its elegant finishes like metal legs and glossy lacquer. It comes in fun colors including blush pink, teal, and gold.
18. Graduation Gift Box
A gift box is an easy yet thoughtful way to show the grad in your life how proud you are of them. This one from Etsy can be personalized with their name and comes in six self-care-inspired themes, with goodies like candles, facial soaks, bath bombs, eye masks, and more.
19. Alo Moves
With their long commutes, wonky hours, and crowded locker rooms, gym memberships aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Instead, get them hooked on Alo Moves that they can enjoy straight from their phone or laptop. It includes over 2,500 classes of barre, HIIT, yoga and more from over 70 instructors that’ll help boost their endorphins and get them primed for all that adulthood has in store.
20. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum
Adulting means cleaning up instead of sweeping dirt under the rug. Luckily, this Dyson makes the dirty work, well, actually fun. As our experts’ top-ranked vacuum, it features an extra-strong suction and six included attachments to clean dirt, dust and pet hair from carpets, furniture, stairs and more. Its bagless design makes it easy to clean, and helps prevent allergens from populating the air.
21. Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit
A smokeless fire pit is a stellar way to allow them to bring the party with them wherever they go. As one of our editors’ all-time favorite smokeless fire pits, the Solo Stove with a carrying case adequately heats up outdoor areas while cooking camping favorites from s’mores to hot dogs. It only leaves behind a small amount of fine ash, making it as easy to clean as it is to use.
22. Parachute Cloud Cotton Robe
They’ll definitely appreciate having something cozy to slip into before and after a shower without having to, you know, get dressed. Like its name suggests, this Parachute robe feels like a cloud on your skin. It’s made with soft and lightweight long-staple Turkish cotton, features two discrete pockets to store their phone and snacks, and comes in several calming colors from celery to clay.
23. Retrospec Quip Skateboard
There’s no need for them to abandon their playful side once they reach the working world. At 22.5 inches wide, this practical skateboard is small enough for them to throw in their bag or stash under their desk when not in use. Its flexible plastic material, smooth cast iron wheels and waffle grip make it user-friendly for even the most novice of skaters.
24. Pavoi 14K Gold Hoop Earrings
From job interviews to networking events, the recent grad in your life is bound to encounter numerous scenarios that warrant a wardrobe upgrade. Make that possible with these versatile “huggie” earrings that can easily be dressed up or down. They’re made of high-quality 14K gold and boast thousands of rave reviews on Amazon.
25. Baked By Melissa Cupcakes
If desserts are a way to someone’s heart, you’re about to completely win them over with this epic treat by Baked by Melissa. The box contains 50 mini cupcakes in 12 rotating flavors like triple chocolate fudge and red velvet all wrapped in a funky tie-dye gift box and congrats wish.
26. Singer M3500 Sewing Machine
Now that school’s out for the summer—or rather, forever—they’re about to have lots of time on their hands. Keep them occupied with our experts’ all-time favorite sewing machine for beginners that includes 32 built-in stitches, decorative and stretch stitches, an automatic needle threader, a quilt guide, a one-step buttonhole mode, and more.
27. King C Gillette Style Master Beard Trimmer
No more dollar store razors for this grad: only an efficient (and safe) cordless trimmer like this Gillette version will do. With its three interchangeable 4D blades, they’ll be able to shave, trim and cut in all directions. It has a 45-minute battery life and is fully waterproof so they can save time in the mornings by using it in the shower.
28. Utility Bracelet
With this ever-practical utility bracelet, your favorite grad will forever be the hero saving the day. It looks like a sleek everyday watch or bracelet, and opens into a stainless steel multifunctional knife with a flathead screwdriver. Whether they need to rip open a snack package or fix their gear on the fly, they’ll forever feel prepared.
29. Ray-Ban Blue Light Glasses
The beauty about blue light glasses is that they instantly elevate the professional factor of every outfit. They also happen to make staring at a screen all day far safer for their peepers. These Ray-Ban glasses with a trendy polished gold octagon frame feature blue light-blocking lenses to help prevent eye strain.
30. Ikea Ramebo Gold Mirror
Who’s the fairest of them all? Your favorite recent grad who’s checking out their outfit before a job interview, that’s who. This seriously sophisticated full-length mirror oozes all the trendy Bridgerton vibes with its removable antique ornament and vintage gold frame. It also makes for a stellar dupe to the wildly popular Primrose mirror from Anthropologie—but at a fraction of the cost.