The 22 Best Gifts for College Students

From a pair of noise-canceling headphones to dorm room organizers, find the perfect gift within your budget for the college student on your list.

By Deirdre Mundorf | Published Dec 23, 2022 11:02 AM

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The Best Gifts for College Students


If you have a college student on your gift list this year, you may be stumped trying to find the right present for them. After all, college students certainly aren’t little kids anymore, but most haven’t settled down yet where they’d appreciate some of the gifts you might purchase for your adult friends or family members. Around all the classes, cramming for tests, and writing papers, college can be a fun and exciting time for young adults. Find the perfect gifts for college students that can help them focus on their studying, while also allowing them to get the most out of their college experience.

Gifts Under $25

The Best Gifts for College Students: Desk Organizer


1. Desk Organizer

Space is always at a premium in a dorm room. This desk organizer caddy offers several compartments and a bottom drawer to help keep office supplies and other essentials in a convenient location without letting them clutter their workspace. Choose from five different finish options, including rose gold, black, blue, champagne gold, and gold to match the decor preferences of the recipient. The organizer is made from a rust-resistant metal mesh with rounded edges to add style and safety.

Get the ARCOBIS Desk Organizer on Amazon for $21.59

The Best Gifts for College Students: Fairy Clip String Lights


2. Fairy Clip String Lights

These fairy clip string lights will allow college students to brighten up their bedroom and add some personal touches to their walls. The string lights come with 50 clear clips for hanging photos, small decor items, or even important notes about due dates. Requiring just three AA batteries, these lights are also portable and can be used in spaces where no outlet is available.

Get the LECLSTAR Photo Clip String Lights on Amazon for $10.98

The Best Gifts for College Students: Aromatherapy Shower Bombs


3. Aromatherapy Shower Bombs

If you’re searching for the best gifts for college students, help them unwind after a long day studying with these aromatherapy shower bombs. Choose from a variety of relaxing and invigorating scents, including lavender, apple cinnamon, eucalyptus spearmint, coconut island, tropical paradise, and orange blossom.

Get the GorgeousSoap Aromatherapty Shower Bombs on Etsy starting at $8.96

The Best Gifts for College Students: Hanging Closet Organizer


4. Hanging Closet Organizer

Dorm and apartment closets often lack enough space to hold a college student’s wardrobe. This hanging organizer can help them maximize the available space and provide them with more room to store t-shirts, jeans, hats, and other accessories. The organizer offers four storage shelves, one large bin, four smaller bins, and mesh side pockets. The bins can be moved around within the various slots, offering three different configuration options.

Get the Zober 9 Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer on Amazon for $16.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Waffle Spa & Bath Wrap


5. Waffle Spa & Bath Wrap

With this waffle bath wrap, the college student on your list can keep themselves covered as they walk from a shared bathroom to their room. The wrap is lightweight, breathable, and absorbent for faster drying—and offers a pocket to hold their cell phone and other essentials. Choose from three adjustable sizes and four colors: dark gray, light gray, white, and navy.

Get the Robe Direct Quick Dry Waffle Bath Wrap on Amazon for $15.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Microwave Popcorn Maker


6. Microwave Popcorn Maker

For some college students, popcorn is one of the main food groups. With this microwave popcorn maker, students save money by buying kernels instead of prepackaged popcorn bags, and make healthier recipes with customized seasonings. This popcorn maker offers a 3-quart capacity and has a dual-functioning lid for measuring the appropriate serving size. It comes in seven different colors and is dishwasher safe for easy clean up.

Get the Ecolution Micro-Pop Microwave Popcorn Popper on Amazon for $15.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Bedside Caddy


7. Bedside Caddy

This bedside caddy offers an ideal solution for college students with a smaller nightstand or those sleeping in a raised bed with limited surfaces around them. The felt caddy has a flap to insert between the mattress and bed frame and offers several pockets to hold water bottles, headphones, cell phones, tablets, and other smaller items.

Get the Zafit Bedside Caddy on Amazon for $20.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Portable Charger


8. Portable Charger

Help students keep their phones charged when they’re away from their dorm or apartment with this portable battery pack. It can deliver a full charge or more for iPhone and Android models with the PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology. However, the battery pack is still slim and lightweight, making it easy to carry in a purse, a backpack, or even a pocket.

Get the Anker Portable Charger Power Bank on Amazon for $21.99

Gifts Under $50

The Best Gifts for College Students: Insulated Water Bottle


9. Insulated Water Bottle

Make sure your college student is able to stay hydrated during a long day of classes with this 26-ounce Yeti Rambler Insulated bottle. With its vacuum insulated design, it keeps cold drinks cold for hours. The bottle features 18/8 stainless steel construction for added durability around a busy college campus. There are 21 neutral and vibrant color options available.

Get the Yeti Rambler 26-ounce Bottle on Amazon for $40.00

The Best Gifts for College Students: Portable Lock Box


10. Portable Lock Box

Living in a shared space such as a dorm is part of the college experience. However, with so many other people around, your college student may worry about keeping their valuables secure when they’re at class. This portable water-resistant lock box offers a safe and convenient space to stow smaller items, such as phones, credit cards, cash, keys, and earbuds. Students can create their own 4-digit combination.

Get the Master Lock Portable Small Lock Box on Amazon for $26.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Wireless Charger Desk Lamp


11. Wireless Charger Desk Lamp

This sleek desk lamp can help college students make the most of a smaller desk. The lamp’s base doubles as a wireless charger, and offers a USB charging port to recharge two devices simultaneously. An LCD screen displaying the date, time, and temperature is also integrated into the design. The lamp itself features an anti-glare shade, three lighting modes, and brightness controls to help students find the ideal setting for their studying or relaxing needs.

Get the Laopao LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger on Amazon for $34.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Mini Griddle, Grill, and Waffle Maker Set


12. Mini Griddle, Grill, and Waffle Maker Set

Sometimes making it to the dining hall isn’t feasible. With this mini griddle set, your college student can skip the dining hall and make a perfectly-portioned meal for one. Each mini appliance offers a 4-inch, non-stick cooking surface that heats up quickly and also makes cleaning up easy. When not in use, these mini appliances are compact enough to store in a small dorm or apartment.

Get the Dash Mini Griddle, Grill, and Waffle Maker Set at Target for $29.49

The Best Gifts for College Students: Lighted Vanity Mirror


13. Lighted Vanity Mirror

This 3-panel vanity mirror features 21 built-in LED bulbs to offer sufficient light for getting ready and applying makeup. Users can brighten or dim the lights to their desired setting with just the press of a button. The left side panel offers 2X magnification on the top and 3X magnification on the bottom, to help students precisely apply their makeup.

Get the Huonul Lighted Vanity Mirror on Amazon for $35.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Twin XL Bedding Set 


14. Twin XL Bedding Set 

This twin XL bedding set includes a set of sheets, a pillowcase, a pillow sham, a bed skirt, and a comforter to help your college student stay warm and comfy whenever they can catch a snooze. The sheets are made from a soft and cozy polyester microfiber, and the comforter offers a warm down alternative filling. For just a few dollars more, you can also purchase twin, full, queen, or king sheet sets.

Get the Bedsure Twin XL Bed in a Bag on Amazon for $39.99

Gifts Under $200

The Best Gifts for College Students: Noise Canceling Earbuds


15. Noise Canceling Earbuds

Whether you’re looking for holiday or birthday gifts for college students, a pair of noise-canceling earbuds may be the perfect pick. This wireless pair from Beats offers extended-range Bluetooth connectivity and powerful acoustics for an optimal listening experience. The earbuds have a battery life of up to eight hours, but also include a charging case that can deliver additional charges for up to 24 hours of use.

Get the Beats Studio Buds on Amazon for $89.95.

The Best Gifts for College Students: Massage Gun


16. Massage Gun

If the college student on your list is an athlete or spends a lot of time at the campus gym, they may appreciate this massage gun to help speed up their recovery time and alleviate muscle pain after an intense workout. With five speeds and five massage heads, the gun can be used to massage various areas of the body to facilitate blood flow, reduce lactic acid build-up, and ensure students are ready to tackle the rest of their busy schedule.

Get the Bob and Brad Massage Gun on Amazon for $99.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Leather Tote Bag


17. Leather Tote Bag

Send your college student to class in style with this gorgeous full-grain leather tote bag. The handmade bag is durable, water-resistant, and easy to care for. It includes a spacious interior with an inside pocket, but you can upgrade the purchase to include an outer pocket. An upgrade to add a zipper to the main compartment is also available. Choose from more traditional leather tones, such as Grizzly Brown or Pebbled Black, or go for something a bit more unique with Mahogany Red or Navy Blue.

Get the Leatherbeau Leather Tote Bag on Etsy starting at $74.80

The Best Gifts for College Students: Single Serve Coffee Maker


18. Single Serve Coffee Maker

Early morning classes can be brutal. This single-serve K-Cup coffee brewer can help ease the pain as students rush out the door to get to class. The coffee maker, which is a favorite in our list of the best Keurig coffee makers, accommodates travel mugs up to 7 inches tall and offers an integrated storage compartment that holds nine K-cup pods.

Get the Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker on Amazon for $89.00

The Best Gifts for College Students: Portable Bluetooth Speaker

19. Portable Bluetooth Speaker

This portable speaker from JBL is waterproof, allowing students to listen to their favorite tunes anywhere they’d like, offering up to 12 hours of high-quality sound playback. Weighing just 1.2 pounds, the speaker is light enough to toss in a backpack. It comes in 15 colors and patterns, which are available to help you find the right fit for the person you’re shopping for.

Get the JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker on Amazon for $79.95

The Best Gifts for College Students: Laptop Backpack


20. Laptop Backpack

This water-repellent backpack from Lululemon is perfect for bringing all the essentials to class or to the library for a study session. The backpack offers several pockets and compartments for holding books, writing utensils, water bottles and more. It even features a padded pocket to secure laptops up to 16 inches. Choose from three attractive colors: Black, Asphalt Gray, and Burnt Caramel.

Get the Lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0 at Lululemon for $98.00

The Best Gifts for College Students: Mini Fridge


21. Mini Fridge

Selected as the “best for dorms” by our experts in our guide to the Best Mini Fridges, this 1.6-cubic-foot from Frigidaire can keep beverages and smaller food items cool and ready to enjoy. The fridge offers an adjustable thermostat, a reversible door, and a small ice cube freezer section. Students can even use this gift to help them keep track of their to-do list with its dry-erase front door.

Get the Frigidaire 1.6-Cubic-Foot Compact Fridge on Amazon for $159.99

The Best Gifts for College Students: Reading Pillow


22. Reading Pillow

Sitting at a desk for hours on end can get very uncomfortable. As one of the top presents for college students, this reading backrest pillow will allow them to change up their position and sit on their bed as they study or work. With its high back, generously-sized arms, memory foam filling, and plush covering, the pillow is designed to be supportive and comfortable. It offers integrated pockets, comes with two detachable pillows, and is available in five different color options.

Get the Clara Clark Reading Pillow on Amazon for $67.47