Best Gifts for Grads That Say ‘You're On Your Own Now’

Give grads what they need to enter their next chapter of life, whether it’s setting up a new place, heading off to college, or simply learning how to handle household chores.

It's Graduation Season

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Some grads are moving out to attend college, others are leaving to launch careers, and still others may be staying at home. But whether they’re staying or leaving, all of these grads are entering a new stage of life in which they’re expected to assume at least some of the responsibilities that their parents once handled.

This new realm of unfamiliar chores, expanding duties, and greater responsibilities can be intimidating, and recent grads may be in need of a little instruction or support—although they may also be reluctant to ask. Help them along, whether you’re a parent, a relative, a godparent, or just a good family friend, by giving them one or two of these thoughtful presents from our collection of the best gifts you can give grads that say, “You’re on your own now.”

Tire Inflator With Pressure Gauge

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Grads may have grown accustomed to having Dad check the tires on their car and add air when necessary. Cut the cord with the AstroAI Digital Tire Inflator With Pressure Gauge, which made our list of best tire inflators. It has everything your grad needs to quickly and easily take on this chore, including a large, easy-to-read LED backlit screen for checking the pressure. Attach the inflator to an air compressor, and you can fill a tire exactly to the desired pressure. The device can be used for bicycles and motorcycles in addition to cars, trucks, and SUVs, and it runs on two AAA batteries. Available on Amazon .


Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

For grads who aren’t handy around the house, the Leatherman P4 Multitool has 21 tools that can tackle anything they might encounter. (If you don’t think your grad is ready for 21 tools, the keychain version with 10 tools is on our list of the best multitools for DIYers.) The P4’s 21 tools include knives, wire cutters, scissors, screwdrivers, and openers for packages, cans, and bottles. Magnetic locking and one-handed operation make the multitool easy to open and operate. Available on Amazon.

Related: 18 Home Office Items for Optimal Ergonomics and Productivity

Durable Bath Towel Set

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Send your grad off in style with a set of Standard Textile Lynova Towels. The set includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. Standard Textile provides luxury-grade towels to resorts and high-end hotels, so these 100 percent cotton towels are designed to withstand shrinking and look good after repeated washing. Color options include Smoked Pearl, Lunar Rock, Sage, and White. Available on Amazon .

Touchless Trash Can

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

No matter how far from home they may roam, your grads will need a trash can, so get them one that’s durable and hands-free. The Rubbermaid Stainless Steel Metal Trash Can is equipped with a foot pedal that operates its quiet, slow-close lid, and a lid lock that holds the container open for longer use. The 12-gallon stainless steel trash can is both sturdy and good-looking, with a deep charcoal finish that doesn’t show fingerprints or dirt. Available on Amazon .

Computer/Gaming Desk

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Grads need a place in their new home to work, study, and play video games. The KERMS Computer Gaming Desk provides a roomy 55-inch desktop that has plenty of space for dual monitors, a laptop, and more. The sporty-looking carbon fiber desktop is waterproof and scratch-resistant. It has a cup holder and a headphone hook as well as a charging stand, rear power strip holder, and built-in wire management. The sturdy legs are made of strong alloy metal, and the desk can support up to 270 pounds. The legs are available in either red or black, and the desk also comes in a smaller, 44-inch version. Available on Amazon.

Mini Projector

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Give your gaming grad a gift that will keep on giving: a gaming projector. The RFV Mini Projector provides a native 720p image and has a built-in hi-fi level speaker, making it ideal for an immersive gaming experience. It’s not only compatible with gaming consoles, but it also works with streaming media players, laptops, cellphones, and TV sticks, and it has a 3.5mm audio jack, and HDMI, USB, and AV inputs. Images can be projected at sizes ranging from 50 to 236 inches, so grads can use it to make presentations, binge a new favorite, or invite the crowd over for a marathon, indoors or out. (Pair this budget-friendly mini projector with one of our highly rated projector screens, and your grad will be set.) Available on Amazon.

Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Combo

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Mac-loving grads will appreciate an upgrade to the Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse and Keyboard combo. The ergonomic shape of the mouse and keyboard allows them to work comfortably for long periods of time. The super-fast mouse functions on any surface, even glass, and it holds a charge for 70 days before needing a recharge via the USB-C charging cable. The wireless keyboard has rounded, concave keys that fit your grad’s fingers and facilitate quiet typing. The backlit keyboard illuminates when it senses someone approaching and dims when no one is near it, and can hold a full charge for 10 days with the backlighting turned on, or for 5 months with backlighting off. (If your grad doesn’t have a Mac, check out the Logitech universal combo on our list of the best ergonomic keyboards for your computer setup.) Available on Amazon .

Related: Hate Cooking and Cleaning? These 17 Products Will Make Both Chores So Much Easier

Bookshelf Speakers

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

It’s time to get your grad a pair of adult speakers that both sound and look good. The sophisticated style and classic wood finish of the Edifier R1700BTs Bookshelf Speakers will dress up any desk or bookshelf. The 4-inch woofer and 19mm tweeter make the slightest sounds clear, and the digital signal processing and dynamic range control ensure distortion-free sound at any volume. The 17-inch-tall speakers come with a wireless remote and can be paired with Bluetooth and used with your grad’s phone, TV, or laptop; they can even connect to two devices simultaneously. Available on Amazon .

Compact Portable Speaker

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

When your grad entertains friends, whether at the new apartment, a local park, or the good-old backyard, let the Marshall Emberton Portable Speaker provide the background music. This smaller version of the Marshall speaker on our list of the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand but delivers loud and clear 360-degree sound. It’s also rugged (made of silicone with a solid metal grille), water-resistant, and easy to use. The multidirectional knob controls power and volume as well as the play, pause, and skip-track functions. One charge lasts for 20 hours. Available on Amazon .

Hybrid Mattress in a Box

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Mattresses can be a hassle to deliver, set up, and sometimes even to get through the door. The Idle Sleep 14-Inch Hybrid Mattress comes in a box, so it’s easy to maneuver. The queen hybrid has 1,000 Quantum wrapped coils and 2 inches of pressure-relieving foam to offer superior cushioning and support. Because the mattress is double-sided, your grad can flip it over occasionally, which will help it to last longer, and its Thermocool fabric helps keep the sleepy grad cool in summer and warm in winter. This mattress can be used on any type of bed, including box springs/foundations, slats, adjustable beds, and platform beds—in fact, your grad can even put it directly on the floor. Available on Amazon .

Related: 14 Handy Products That Help You Get Buy Without a Dishwasher

Comfy Pillows

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Your grad will sleep well with these Layla Sleep Kapok Pillows, which made our list of the best memory foam pillows. The copper-infused cover reduces odors and can help remove and replenish dead skin cells. The pillows are filled with kapok, which is made of fibers taken from the seed pods of kapok trees. This fluffy natural material is pesticide-free and both softer and lighter than wool or cotton, and it’s combined with memory foam to create a soft, supportive pillow. Available on Amazon .

Mini Massage Gun

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

If you’re planning on passing along your massage gun to your grad, you might want to choose a replacement from our list of the best handheld massagers. If, however, you intend to buy your grad a new massager, the Sportneer Mini Massage Gun is a great option that won’t take up much space. At 5.35 inches retracted (and 7.13 inches extended), it’s small, but it gets the job done thanks to its four interchangeable heads (round ball, cylinder, U-shaped, and flat) and a stall force of 35 pounds. A convenient display shows the battery level and the mode settings: AI (intelligent AI), muscle warm up, fascia relaxation, lactic acid decomposition, and deep massage. Available on Amazon .

DIY Security System

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Help your grad protect their new home with the Ring Alarm Security Kit, a smaller, more basic version of the Ring that made our list of the best alarms for home security. It’s a DIY security system that works well for apartments and small homes. The kit includes a base station, keyboard, contact sensor, motion detector, and range extender. (You can add more sensors and detectors.) Your grad can get notifications on the Ring app whenever the alarm is triggered and can also arm and disarm the alarm via the phone. Ring can also be used with Alexa devices, and professional monitoring is available for a monthly fee. Available on Amazon .

Indoor Security Camera

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Grads who will be living in a dorm or who will have a roommate may want an indoor camera to ensure that their belongings remain safe, or they may want to keep an eye on a pet while they’re out of the house. No matter the reason, your grad will gain peace of mind with the EZVIZ C6W Indoor Security Camera, which offers a 4-megapixel image sensor that provides crisp 360-degree views (including night vision capability). The system sends phone notifications when movement is detected and can be set to send alerts only when human movement is detected. The camera works with Alexa and Google Assistant and has 2-way voice communication, so your grad could, for example, tell their roommate, “Hey, don’t touch my ice cream! Put it back in the freezer!’ Available from Walmart.

Quality Sofa

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Trust me, grads spend more time on the sofa than in the bed, so make sure that their sofa is durable, comfortable, and good-looking. The Node Indigo Sofa by Coddle checks all of the boxes. At 91 inches long, the tuxedo-style sofa comfortably seats three people, and its wood frame is covered with indigo-colored upholstery fabric reminiscent of a pair of soft jeans. The sofa is also expandable, which means your grad can add more pieces. In addition, the fabric is stain resistant and the sofa is easy to set up. But perhaps your grad will be most impressed by the sofa’s one built-in power outlet and two USB outlets. Available from The Home Depot .

Large Nonstick Skillet

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Every grad needs a large nonstick skillet, and whether the house specialty is pancakes or stir-fry, the Abbio will be a welcome addition. Not only is this 11-inch skillet made of steel and aluminum with a scratch-resistant surface, but it also has a proprietary nonstick coating that makes it easy to clean. It can even be put in the dishwasher! An ergonomic handle makes it easy to grip, and the skillet is oven-safe to 450 degrees. Available on Amazon .

Cookware Set

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Grads who need more than a single skillet will definitely be happy to receive the Ninja Foodi NeverStick Premium Hard-Anodized 8 Piece Cookware Set, which is on our list of the best hard anodized cookware. The heavy-gauge aluminum base is designed to retain more heat, and the cookware has been tested to withstand sticking, chipping, and flaking. And this cookware is not just for stovetop use: The tempered glass lids as well as the cast stainless steel handles and nonstick coating are oven-safe up to 500 degrees. The set includes an 8-inch fry pan, 10 ¼-inch fry pan, 6 ½-quart stockpot, 2 ½-quart saucepan, 3-quart sauté pan, and three tempered glass lids. Available on Amazon.

Air Fryer/Toaster Oven

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

A toaster oven can be a lifesaver for a busy grad, and the Chefman Air Fryer Toaster Oven can do much more than toast. It also air-fries, roasts, bakes, convection bakes, broils, and even keeps food warm. (If your grad would also like a dehydrator and rotisserie, check out the Chefman Digital Air Fryer, which made our list of the best air fryer toaster ovens for crisping your dinner.) In air-frying mode, high-speed fans yield a healthier crispiness, created by air instead of oil. The air fryer includes an air-fry basket, baking rack, broil pan, and removable crumb tray. Available on Amazon .

Related: 13 Incredibly Handy Items That Make Great Housewarming Gifts

Vacuum Sealing Food Preservation

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

As your grad slowly learns that eating out is expensive, they’re likely to start buying groceries in bulk and experimenting at home with different ways to cook. The FoodSaver VS-3180 Multi-Use Vacuum Sealing and Food Preservation System has five different settings for creating the right seal: sous vide, pulse, moist, marinate, and dry. The roll storage and built-in cutter bar will let your grad create custom-size vacuum seal bags that will help keep their food fresher longer. Available on Amazon .

Compact, Inexpensive Sound Bar

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Give your grad better TV sound without spending a fortune. The economically priced Creative Stage V2 Sound Bar has a subwoofer, making it ideal for creating immersive sound for movies, TV shows, and music. It can also be used with desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. The compact soundbar—just 21.6 by 3 by 2.75 inches—and subwoofer don’t take up much space and can either be set on the entertainment center or mounted on the wall. Use them wirelessly with Bluetooth or connect them with a single cable. Available on Amazon .

Leather Laptop Briefcase

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Whether heading off to school or work, your grad will be organized and stylish with the Solo New York Warren 16-inch Leather Laptop Briefcase. Made of premium espresso-colored leather, it has a fully padded compartment for laptops up to 15.6 inches and separate compartments for accessories like the power cord as well as a phone, tablet, magazines, pens, and other necessities. Front-buckle closures keep everything secure, and the handles and the removable, adjustable shoulder strap are padded for comfort. Available on Amazon .

Fitness Watch

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Help your grad reach their fitness goals and monitor their health with the Polar Ignite Fitness Watch. While they’re working out, the watch can track their speed, distance, and route in addition to heart rate and calories, and then use this information to create personalized daily workout guides. The watch also monitors sleep quality and sleep stages, and provides details and tips for more restful sleep as well as guided breathing exercises. The watch is available in several color combinations, including black/silver, black/copper, white/silver, pink/rose, and yellow/black. Available on Amazon .

Coffee Maker

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

If your grad is a fan of single-cup coffee makers, check out our list of the best pod coffee makers. If, however, they prefer regular drip coffee, the Bonavita Connoisseur Coffee Maker is a top pick that made our list of the best drip coffee makers. It’s compact so it won’t take up a lot of space on the countertop, and it’s easy to use. The coffee maker has a showerhead design that evenly saturates the coffee grounds, and it brews 8 cups in 6 minutes. The stainless steel carafe keeps the coffee hot, and an audible alert indicates when the brewing cycle has ended. Available on Amazon .

Tower Fan and Space Heater

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

If your grad would like a pedestal fan, Lasko is the top pick on our list of the best pedestal fans. But if you’re thinking of a fan/space heater combo, the Lasko 1500W All Season Tower Fan & Space Heater is a good bet. In addition to a 1,500-watt ceramic heater, the appliance offers four fan speeds, so your grad can warm up or cool off as needed. The 42-inch-tall device has overheat protection and a tip-over safety switch, and it has a small, space-saving footprint. Available from Walmart .

Air Purifier and Fan

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Grads without a lot of space may not have room for both an air purifier and a fan. The Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier and Fan does both, and it’s also on our list of the best air purifiers for mold. Its HEPA filter captures dust, mold spores, pollen, bacteria, and pet dander, and a layer of activated carbon traps household odors and VOCs. Ten settings circulate purified air throughout the room—settings 1 through 3 for the cooler months, and 4 through 10 for the warmer months. The device has an oscillation feature that can be switched on or off, and the filter needs to be replaced only once a year (based on 12 hours of daily use). Available on Amazon .

Phone Sanitizer

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

In addition to clean air, your grad also needs clean devices. The PhoneSoap Pro UV Smart Sanitizer is clinically proven to kill 99 percent of germs in 5 minutes, and it also sanitizes phones and other small items like credit cards, keys, and earbuds. Simply place the item in the container, and the disinfection indicator light will alert you when it has been sanitized and is ready to be removed. The PhoneSoap Pro has USB-A and USB-C ports, and it’s available in charcoal, blue, lavender, and mint. Available on Amazon .

Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Lightweight, cordless stick vacuums are so easy to use that even the most cleaning-averse grad will be grateful for the Dyson Omni-glide, which is the company’s slimmest vacuum for use on hard floors. The Omni-glide has an articulating neck and four stabilizing casters that make it easy to get into those hard-to-reach places like corners, along the baseboards, and deep under furniture. It also cleans symmetrically and sideways, meaning that its brushes pick up the same whether moving front and back or left and right. The vacuum quickly converts to a handheld to clean vents and furniture, and it’s easy to store, as it fits into a wall-mounted charging dock. Available from The Home Depot .

Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner With Mop

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

As the graduates’ cleaning abilities grow, the LG CordZero Kompressor Stick Vacuum With Power Mop will let them vacuum and mop with the same cleaning tool. This stick vacuum’s smart inverter motor provides strong suction on a variety of floor types. Then, by swapping out the brush attachment for the power mop attachment, your grad can use the vac to clean hardwood, tile, and vinyl floors with regular tap water. A lever compresses dirt, hair, and debris in the dust bin so your grad can keep on cleaning without having to stop and empty it. The vacuum comes with two swappable batteries that provide 60 minutes each, for 120 total minutes of vacuum and mop time. Available from Lowe’s .

Earbuds With Active Noise Canceling

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Every graduate appreciates quality earbuds. The Master & Dynamic MW08 earbuds use two active noise-canceling modes and have two ambient listening transparency modes to block unwanted noise without altering sound quality. Also, a 6-microphone talk solution with proprietary wind noise reduction results in clear, crisp phone calls. The earbuds provide 12 hours of charge and are made of lightweight, scratch-resistant ceramic with aluminum antennas. They come with a slim stainless steel charging case, which provides 30 additional hours of charge. Your grad can use the Master & Dynamic app to adjust settings and change preferences, and the earbuds come in black, white, and brown. Available on Amazon .

Warm Duvet Cover Set

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

When the weather gets cold and your grad is trying to save on the heating bill, the Mellanni Shaggy Comforter/Duvet Cover With Pillow Shams will keep them warm and cozy. The three-piece set has shaggy plush on the outside with micromink velvet on the inside. Ties and button closures hold a comforter in place inside the duvet. The set is available in gray or pink, in sizes ranging from twin to California king. Available on Amazon .

Guitar for Beginners

Best Gifts for Grads That Say You're On Your Own Now

Your days of paying for music lessons are over. But if your grad has always longed to learn how to play the guitar, the Loog Pro IV Acoustic Guitar can help them cultivate this new hobby. It’s a real guitar made of real wood, with a basswood body and neck, maple fingerboard, and 6 steel strings. Unlike a typical guitar, though, this one comes bundled with flashcards and the free Loog Guitar app, which includes video lessons, a tuner, and a digital songbook. Plus, an augmented reality feature lets your grad learn guitar using the selfie camera. The guitar comes in red, black, green, pink, white, and yellow. Available on Amazon.

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