Looking for the best gifts for college students that will be received with delight? Well look no further! We’ve put together the ultimate list of gifts for college students that is sure to give you an idea or two for that special collegiate in your life. This list offers both practical gifts for college students such as luxury towel sets or shower shoes as well as gifts that are simply for fun and will put a smile on their face.
In a hurry? Our overall top pick is the Herschel Heritage Backpack for being both stylish and functional. This popular backpack has a minimalist design and comes in a variety of color schemes and combos.
Anyways, have a look at this list of 70 college student gifts and good luck choosing just one!
Any med school students in your life? Check out our list of favorite med school gifts!
Herschel Heritage Backpack
Herschel makes it to the top of our list of gifts for college students with its strong name among backpacks and totes and is quite popular among college students because of its classic design that remains timeless as well as intact over the years. This backpack contains a laptop sleeve (completely necessary for any modern college student) as well as padded shoulder straps for when your student needs to really hit the books.
Bose 700 Headphones
These wireless noise canceling headphones by Bose make the top of our list of gifts for college students because they are a godsend to students trying to study in any atmosphere. When I was in college, places like the library or lobby were hardly the most quiet places to focus on class material. These headphones can play great-quality music for up to 20 hours and will pair with up to 2 devices. This is a great gift for any college student who’s into music or who is easily distracted by noise or environment.
Keurig Coffee Maker
College students live and breathe convenience, and the Keurig coffee maker is no exception to this rule. This slim coffee maker weighs only 7 pounds and will fit in both dorm rooms as well as campus apartments. Students will be excited to customize their coffee and can now brew up to 30 ounces at once.
Hate getting a gift when the batteries aren’t included? Consider adding the actual Kcups to this gift so that your gift isn’t an inconvenience.
Amazon Egift Card
Hey, a gift card may not seem like the most personal gift for a college student, but it’s probably the most practical (especially if you rocked the ACT or SAT!). Everyone has an Amazon account and everyone hates going to the store. You can choose the amount and deliver these Egift cards via email or text message. The recipient will be impressed with how digitally savvy your gift is.
Cozy Loungewear – Crew Neck Sweater
This R&R crew neck sweatshirt from Allbirds has everything we want in our loungewear. It’s made from natural ingredients including organic cotton and hemp, but still looks stylish and feels soft to the touch. This sweatshirt is slim-fitting, so it looks a bit more fitted than a big baggy sweatshirt, meaning you can wear this out of the house and looking great while doing so!
The R&R crew neck sweatshirt comes in a variety of classic and limited time colors and can also be paired with the R&R sweatpants for a complete, matching set of sweats.
- Carbon footprint of 17.1 kg CO2e
- Slim fitting
- Neutral color choices
- Soft to the touch
Cozy Loungewear – Matching Sweatpants
Allbirds has been expanding beyond sneakers and into the cozy loungewear category… and we’re not complaining! They have put together some phenomenal R&R sweatshirt/sweatpants that have an amazing slim fit that you can look good lounging in. These make great gifts for college students, as they can be worn in the dorms, to class, or pretty much anywhere in-between.
If you’re really looking to wow the college student with your gift, then you can consider buying the entire R&R sweats set (sweatshirt + sweatpants).
- Slim fit bottoms
- Carbon neutral
- Organic cotton from Peru
- Carbon footprint printed under left pocket
Lightweight Laundry Basket
This folding laundry basket is lightweight and its fun designs make laundry seem like less of a chore. This bag is cotton and waterproof and will stay upright even when it’s empty. This makes a great, practical gift for college students!
Comfy, Casual Sneakers
The hardest part about recommending an Allbirds shoe is choosing just one style and color. Allbirds is blowing up the shoe industry with their naturally-sourced sneakers made from ingredients like eucalyptus tree, castor bean, and Merino wool. Our top recommendation for a casual college sneaker is the Wool Runners by Allbirds.
These shoes come in a variety of colors (both neutral as well as bold and bright color schemes) but they all possess the same simplicity in chic design. While you’re at it, order a pair for yourself, too! Each shoe is carbon neutral, so you can feel good about getting a few pairs.
Another great gift for college students are these Trino Tubers, another eco-friendly item from Allbirds. Go ahead and toss a pair of these socks in to go with your Allbirds Wool Runners, and you have an amazing gift set! These socks are super cozy and made from Merino wool and eucalyptus tree fiber.
Gift Card To Their Favorite Restaurant
Broke college students deserve to eat something besides ramen every once and awhile. The college student will definitely appreciate a gift card to their favorite restaurant and also feel special that you remembered the places they like to eat at.
The Apple watch is a perfect gift for college students who want to stay connected without having to pull out their cell phone just to do so. This Series 6 watch is a step up from its predecessors with a 30% larger screen and 50% louder speakers. This watch can keep track of your health with its electrical and optical heart sensors, it can make calls with its built-in speaker and microphone, can be used for purchases using Apple Pay, as well as keep track of any appointments or notifications. The Apple watch makes it near the top of our list of gifts for college students because it’s a great gift for personal development and overall connectedness.
Insulated Water Bottle
This functional water bottle keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Coming in at 18, 21, and 24 ounces, it’s super lightweight and easy to transport. These bottles are made with stainless steel and are BPA free, so you can rest assured it can be used safely for many years!
Apple Charging Case
We love charging protective battery packs case because they’re sleek and comes in a variety of color options to fit the college student in your life. This charging case eliminates the need for annoying cables as well as provides high impact protection so that the user can rest assured their phone is safe even on their clumsiest days.
Pampering Bath Set
Just because they’re going to be living off ramen for the next 4 years doesn’t meant they can’t have a little pampering every now and then. We love this Soap & Glory bath set with shower gel and body butter. This is an affordable gift for college students that looks luxurious and will be loved by all!
More practical than fun (depending on how you get your kicks), the Philips Sonicare toothbrush is able to remove 6 times more plaque than a manual toothbrush as well helps to insure you get the 2 minutes of toothbrushing recommended by dentists with its smart timer. I got this toothbrush for my birthday and it honestly is one of the more memorable gifts I’ve received and get solid use out of.
Move over, wine glasses. We have a better, more durable gift for college students that won’t break over the years of use. These stainless steel tumblers are super simple and modern and have been compared to the quality of the YETI (but without the price tag) in keeping hot things hot and cold things cold. This tumbler is mobile, as it comes with a lid and vacuum insulation, meaning it will never be hot or cold to the touch.
Personalized Gift for New College Student
This personalized gift for a new college student features a custom two states print that will remind the college student of home. This customized gift allows you to choose among state colors, cities, and names.
Note that the frame is not included, so add one to your cart as you order this unforgettable print!
All-In-One Wine Opener
This is a great gift for college students who are obviously of legal drinking age. This wine opener serves multiple functions, including bottle opener and wine stopper. This is one of those basic staples of a college household, that it would be a shame to go on without a good-quality wine opener.
Bean Box Gourmet Coffee Box
Did you know coffee can help you focus?
Caffeine is a natural part of getting through college classes. We love the Bean Box Gourmet Coffee Sampler because you can gift a box of 4 gourmet, carefully curated microlot coffees. Each box comes with four 1.8 oz bags of coffee from some of Seattle’s top roasters. This can be a luxurious break from the budget Folger’s coffee the typical college student is sipping on.
For the socialite in your life, Polaroid’s original OneStep is a super fun favor to bring to parties and gatherings and brings nonstop entertainment as you can watch the polaroid picture develop in minutes. Unlike its 90s counterpart, this camera features a strong flash, a self-timer mode, as well as various options for film color.
A Cozy T-Shirt
The Allbirds clothing line is taking the scene with their super soft, eco-friendly selection. This Sea Tee is made from natural sources like crab shells and Merino wool and fits perfectly. You’ll need to throw one in the cart for yourself as well!
External Phone Charger
Friends don’t let friends have dead phones. An external phone charger is the best gift for college students to make sure they have no excuse for not picking up the phone! This external battery has the capacity to charge 6 to 8 times! The charges of your phone are super fast and this external battery comes with an 2-month warranty, so you can rest assured your phone will get the charges it needs.
Personalized Graduation Christmas Ornament
How cute is this little ornament for the college graduate’s first Christmas? This personalized college graduation Christmas gift can include name and Alma Mater.
To top it off, all customized Christmas ornaments come with a complimentary gift bag so you don’t have to worry about finding wrapping last-minute.
This is the perfect gift for college students that seem to lose their credit cards or money every time they go out. This iPhone wallet is super slim and lightweight and classier than a typical phone case with its smooth synthetic leather material. There is also an added benefit of raised edges to help protect your phone screen from cracks and scratches.
CraveBox Snack Care Package
Don’t let your loved ones go hungry. These snack box care packages are fabulous gifts for college students because they’re all the favorite junk foods in a box that are delivered to your door. What is better than that? There is a nice assortment of and variety of items included and all snacks are fresh and never stale. The biggest problem the recipient will have with this gift is not finishing the contents of the box in one sitting!
Fuzzy Slipper Socks
These fuzzy woolen socks are the perfect gift of stretchy comfort! These are a perfect gift in the winter or for those who are eternally cold indoors. There are plenty of options to choose from in design, so you can choose the perfect sock for your beloved college attendee.
These face masks are such a fun gift for college students, although it may be skewed towards female recipients (although they are for male and female use). This pack comes with 12 packs, great for those who are addicted to skincare. All these Korean-inspired ingredients are natural and address various skin issues, so it makes for a fun activity to share with others if you’re having a night in with pampering!
Fidget spinners, move aside. Stress balls are the original way to wind down if you’re stressed or just looking for a ball to toss or bounce around to find a mental break. Although college is pseudo-adulthood.. low responsibilities and bills, there is still enough stress in classes and social activities that make this a perfect stress relief gift for college students.
Texts from Mittens is a fun daily calendar for 2022 with text conversation screenshots between humans and a cat named Mittens. This is a super fun gift for college students who are crazy about cats, especially dog-hating, self-absorbed, neurotic cats like Mittens!
ToDo List Pads
Known as micro-progress, the idea of making a list and just getting started can give you enough momentum to tackle even bigger problems or tasks. We love this designated task list because it breaks what needs to be done into various categories such as things to buy, what to remember, what to delegate, etc. Every college student is juggling tasks between classes and social and this makes a great gift for college students because you’re helping them keep their work organized and on-time!
Plastic Shot Glasses
Plastic shot glasses are a necessity for legal-drinking age college students. Mostly because this keeps students from drinking out of the same shot glasses, which is gross and asking to get sick. These shot glasses come in a fun variety of colors and make a great addition to parties and gatherings.
Tea Box Sampler
This tea variety box is a perfect gift for college students who don’t live and breathe coffee in the morning. We love this set because it comes in a well-designed cardboard box, making a great presentation as a gift. This tea box comes with an assorted arrangement of 48 types of teas, which is fun for the recipient to go through and sample all the different kinds of tea options out there! This is a gift that anyone will appreciate!
Luxury Towel Set
Just because college students are living on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to gift them budget items. If you are looking for a bit more of a luxurious gift for the special college student in your life, why not give them this luxury towel set. This set comes with 2 hotel & spa-quality bath towels, washcloths, and hand towels. There are plenty of color options that will allow you to choose the right towel set for your loved one.
A good-quality therms needs to be in every college student’s residence. This vacuum insulated thermos made by the one-and-only Thermos, is perfect for bringing hot coffee or tea to-go whether you’re running to class or just meeting friends.
This thermos also works for cold items, so if you are traveling with a cold beverage, perhaps going tailgating or for drinking water between classes, this thermos lets you do all of these things!
This is a great gift for college students, as it serves multiple functions and every single person will be able to get great use out of it!
Moscow Mule Set
Moscow mules are such a popular drink at the bars these days, so why not gift a moscow mule set so the recipient can make them from the convenience of their own home?! This moscow mule set is a great gift for college students because it comes with a set of 4 copper mugs and straws, so these delicious, homemade drinks can be shared with friends.
Face Cleansing Kit
When kids go to college, their lifestyle and eating patterns change dramatically. This can be really hard on the skin and can lead to breakouts. We recommend a face cleaning kit as a gift for college students because it helps to keep them following a daily cleaning routine that will help keep acne and breakouts at bay.
Mesh Shower Caddy
These mesh shower caddies are so much less bulky than the plastic buckets students used to bring to the showers in the past. There are plenty of pockets so that you can store all the items you need in one bag. This shower caddy is great gift for college students who are living in any shared residency, as they will likely be needing to transport their belongings to and from the shower daily.
Antimicrobial Shower Shoes
Shower shoes are an essential gift for college students, especially if they are spending their first year living in the dorms. Some schools still provide communal bathrooms, which means you’re going to want to give some antimicrobial shower shoes to protect their feet from what lurks on those shower floors. These shoes are great for the dorm showers as well as for the gym, as they have drainage holes to allow any excess water to flow out of the shoes and back onto the floor.
We recommend slippers as a gift for college students because we don’t know how clean they keep their floors and we know that college students love comfort at home. These slippers are extremely comfortable and have an anti-slip rubber sole so that college students aren’t sliding around their floors and getting injured at home.
These slippers are lightweight and feature cozy furry uppers that feel like a hug on your feet.
These luxury slippers are made from recycled wool scraps and feature a rubber outsole, so that you won’t slip when puttering around the house.
Because they are created with recycled ingredients, they are carbon neutral, so you can feel good about gifting these to even the most eco-conscious college student.
- Machine washable
- Merino wool
- Grippy rubber outsole
- Made in South Korea
Laptop Tote Bag
College students nowadays have so many more chic options other than just dragging their big backpack to classes. This laptop totebag by Herschel is a perfect gift for college students who make a point to look good for classes and don’t have an interest carrying their laptop in a Jansport backpack (nothing against Jansport).
Microwave Pasta Cooker
This may seem like a gag gift, but it’s a legitimate gift for college students because it brings two of the best things together.. microwave and pasta. This microwave pasta cooker makes the perfect gift for college students because it takes all the work out of making pasta noodles.
Whether you’re taking a break from GRE prep or just unwinding after class, going to the gym in style makes the workout seem to go by quicker. We love the Herschel Novel Duffle bag because of its minimalist design as well as shoe compartment to keep your tennis shoes separate from your clean clothes. This makes a perfect gift for college students who are active and enjoy getting to the gym to both look and feel good. They’ll think of you every time they are getting to the gym, preparing to become better versions of themselves.
This makes our list of gifts for college students that enjoy a bit of yoga for stress relief or fitness. College can be full of stressors, figuring out how to juggle classes, social life, a potential job, and household chores like laundry and cooking. We think this yoga mat is a really cute and fun way to release all the tension from the day and let it go on the mat. Most colleges and universities offer yoga classes that this mat can be used for.
Roku Streaming Device
College students have a ton of free time. And they certainly are spending some of it bingeing on their favorite tv shows. Give the gift of a Roku, and they can actually steam all their tv on an actual television instead of staring at their computer. Whatever method they use to stream tv, the Roku can connect and play from the tv.
The Amazon Echo is perfect for tech savvy college kids. Alexa will do anything you ask, such as ordering pizza, calling an uber, or whatever else young kids do these days. The echo is great for playing music, as it will play from your favorite apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music. Podcasts, audiobooks, radio, and basically any other audio can be listened to using this device.
Alexa is basically your personal assistant and can hear you from nearly any direction. This is a great gift for college students who are living in the dorms or have moved off campus!
Herschel Strand Weekend Bag
Yet another Herschel recommendation, mostly because we love the brand and their high-quality bag selection. This shoulder bag is 28.5L and makes a perfect bag for weekend trips, whether it be a quick road trip, home visit, or overnight at a friend’s. Plenty of color scheme options are available, making this the perfect gift for college students, both male and female.
Give the gift of photography… that doesn’t involve the iphone. Students who have an interested in photography will appreciate this gift and have a blast learning all the features of a DSLR and the kind of photos they can take. This is a great gift for college students who are interested in the arts or have a genuine interest in learning photography, as the Nikon D5600 is a fabulous starter DSLR camera.
Best College Gifts for the Techies
Apple Air Pods
Wireless technology is all the rage, and Apple Air Pods are the latest craze. These wireless earbuds let you connect to your phone or other device remotely, so you don’t have to wrestle with tangled cords. Setup is simple, and you can access Siri through voice commands.
- Wireless earbuds without tangled cords
- Integrates with your Bluetooth and Apple devices
- Set up for Siri voice control
Smartphone Photo Printer
This laser printer connects to your smartphone with Bluetooth to print photos in real time. You can sync to it with a free app available in the App Store. It only takes about 12 seconds to print a full photo, and you can even take slides from your videos.
- Laser smartphone printer
- Prints full photos in 12 seconds
- Connects to phone using a free app
The film buffs in your life will appreciate this stunning projector. It comes with a 360 degree speaker and an image size of 100 inches. When charged, it can play four hours of media without being connected to a power cord.
- Mini projector you can take anywhere
- Surround sound and 100 inch projection screen
- Plays for 4 hours on one battery charge
A New Speaker
This Bluetooth speaker allows you to connect two different devices for stereo quality. A rechargeable lithium battery lasts for up to 12 hours. Thanks to the waterproof technology, you can even use this in the shower!
- Connect tablets or smartphones for stereo sound quality
- Battery lasts 12 hours on one charge
- Waterproof and can even be submerged
Best Books for College Students
A Book for Her
This empowering book is perfect for college students who might be suffering from a bit of impostor syndrome. It shows you how to recognize your own inner strengths, believe in yourself, and take charge of your life!
- 27 entertaining chapters
- Great self-help advice
- Shows you how to create the life you want
The Power of Habit
The Power of Habit is a classic self help book that really works. It delves deep into the science regarding what habits are and how you can change them. By learning to build habits, you take more control over your life and time management.
- Book that explores the impact of habits
- Teaches you to make, break, and appreciate your daily habits
- A classic bestseller with valuable advice
The Naked Roommate
This makes the best gift for new college students who want to know what to expect from their experience. It’s a hilarious guide that walks you through all the new things you’ll discover away from home — and all the etiquette that you didn’t know!
- Funny, heartfelt guide for new college students
- Solid advice for navigating the campus social scene
- Perfect for those who want to take advantage of their independence
Best Gifts for Cozy College Students
Is the college student in your life in need of some comfy shoes? These wool loungers are warm whether you’re outside or relaxing at home. Crafted with merino wool, you can easily slip these on and head out the door.
- Merino wool is great for cold weather
- Can easily slip them on and go
- Super soft, cozy feel
Oversized Blanket Sweatshirt
Sometimes you wrap up in a blanket and wish you could stay that cozy forever. Well, that’s the goal of this oversized hoodie. It’s made with soft, plush fabric that feels just like a blanket. There’s even a huge front pocket to hold your accessories!
- Oversized hoodie made from plush fabric
- Big front pocket for holding valuables
- Can double as a blanket on cold nights
This essential oil diffuser is one of the top ways to enjoy aromatherapy at home. It has remote control technology and programmable settings. You can decide how long to let the diffuser run, use it as a humidifier, or use it as a vaporizer.
- 5-in-1 humidifier, diffuser, and vaporizer
- Great for aromatherapy and relaxation
- Comes with a remote control and programmable settings
Best Personalized Gifts for College Students
The Homesick Candle is one of the best gifts you can send to someone who’s longing for home. There are 51 different candles, each of which has a scent based on a state. What’s especially unbelievable is how accurate and nostalgic the scents are!
- Candles with unique scents for all 50 states and DC
- Great for college students far from home
- Large 60 to 80 hour burn time
Personalized bath towels for college
These bath towels come with your choice of color, trim, and a personalized name. You can even choose from different fonts! Students will really appreciate the monogramming in the chaos of their dorm rooms.
- Personalized towels with a monogrammed name
- Can choose color, trim, and font
- Comfy bath towel that’s great for after showering
This is a personalized gift for college student individuals who love to laugh. The candle’s label says “Light When [Name] Farts,” with your choice of name included. All materials are natural and hand poured by a small business owner.
- Funny personalized candle design
- All natural candle materials
- Hand crafted by a small business owner
Best Practical Gifts for College Students
Swiss Army Knife
You can’t go wrong with a Swiss Army Knife. This practical gift has a stunning 33 functions, allowing you to take on basically any task. All of the pieces are made from stainless steel and compactly fold into one small handle.
- Upgraded Swiss knife with 33 functions
- Stainless steel blades are built to last
- Compact and super versatile
This pillow top mattress cover adds a layer of cushioning and luxury to an uncomfortable dorm bed. Not only is it soft and comfy, but it also helps to cool your body throughout the night. You can purchase the mattress pad in any bed size, so it’s perfect for dorm rooms.
- Cotton mattress topper with fluffy filling
- Keeps you cool while you sleep
- Great for improving stiff dorm mattresses
A Roomba might be just what a college student needs to keep their floor clean. This model isn’t as prohibitively expensive as some of the latest options, but it can still tackle pet hair, thick carpets, and hard flooring like a breeze.
- WiFi connected robot vacuum
- Handles any kind of floor surface
- Self-charging for maximum ease of use
Best Gifts for Female College Students
All Natural Leggings
These comfy leggings are available in four neutral tones. They use natural materials for a soft, breathable feel. Throughout the day, the fabric wicks sweat away from your legs to keep them dry. Meanwhile, the stretchy fabric is comfortable no matter your body shape.
- Breathable, sweat-wicking, stretchy fabric
- Comes with an interior pocket
- Conforms to the exact shape of your body
Sephora Gift Card
Sephora is a beauty retailer with stores all over the US, plus a huge online selection. Whether you’re getting bath supplies for self care or the latest makeup release, a Sephora gift card will get you access.
- Retailer with tons of beauty and self care products
- Stocks both corporate and indie brands
- Card can be used both online and in store
This makeup mirror has a modern twist: you can clip your phone to it to take the perfect selfie. It lights up your face to make it easy to find a great angle. There’s also the ability to amplify the image up to 5x for doing tiny detail work.
- Vanity mirror with great lighting
- Selfie function lets you clip your phone to the mirror
- Includes 5x magnification power for details
Best Gifts for College Students FAQ
What are good dorm gifts for college students?
A clean dorm is a happy dorm, so cleaning help like a Roomba vacuum can come in handy.
What make practical gifts for college students?
Organizers, books, clothes, and gift cards are all essentials to the average college student.
What are things that college freshmen need?
College freshmen can greatly benefit from comfy leggings, reminders of home, and organizational tools.
College Gifts Wrap Up
Whether you’re gifting for Christmas, birthdays, graduation, or anything in-between, we think there is something for every college student in this list. If you’re still unsure of what to gift a college student, we recommend the Herschel Heritage backpack that is both functional as well as stylish.
Did we miss something on this list of gifts for college students? Tell us! Let us know by commenting below!