The Best Christmas Gifts for College Students

The Best Christmas Gifts for College Students

By Steve Bailey

Published on August 19, 2021

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If you have a college student in your life, consider getting them something special for the holidays this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has proved difficult for everyone, college students have faced particularly big challenges and levels of uncertainty this school year.

Because of virtual learning, students need different types of school supplies and better technology to ensure they can reliably access course materials, assignments, projects, and exams.

Read on to learn more about 25 of the top holiday gifts for college students this year. For gift ideas throughout the rest of the year, consult our general gift guide.

25 Christmas Gift Ideas for College Students

Price Legend true

$ = Under $10 | $$ = $10-$25 | $$$ = $26-$50 | $$$$ = Over $50

Bluetooth Speaker

This waterproof Bluetooth speaker offers excellent sound quality and up to 12 hours of playtime on a single charge. College students can use the speaker while taking in online lectures. They can listen to music while studying, working on projects, and completing assignments. This speaker is a great accessory to a computer, smartphone, or tablet device.

$$$$ on Amazon

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

College students need to stay caffeinated! This BPA-free coffee maker is a great gift for students who love iced coffee or cold brew, and its fine-mesh filter keeps coffee grounds out of the pot. It's the perfect gift for college students who love cold coffee, especially during the summer.

$$ on Amazon

Laptop Backpack

This backpack, available in a variety of colors, comfortably fits a large laptop and other school supplies, making it a perfect piece of gear for any college student. Its stylish exterior combines with a lined laptop sleeve to keep your student's computer safe and dry — no matter the conditions outside.

$$$ on Amazon

Amazon Prime Subscription

Amazon offers Prime memberships to college students at half price for six months. Members get free shipping on thousands of items, including school supplies, technology, and household items. Students can also save more than 90% on textbook rentals and gain access to hundreds of e-books. Amazon Prime also provides free streaming of many TV shows, movies, and documentaries.

$$$$ on Amazon

Magic Bullet Blender

College dorms and apartments usually don't provide a lot of space, which is why this small Magic Bullet blender is a useful gift for a college student. The 11-piece set includes cups and containers that students can take with them on the go.

$$$ on Amazon

Fleece Blanket

This fleece blanket is warm and adds a stylish touch to a couch or futon. Available in various sizes and colors, the blanket can help college students get much-needed sleep or simply allow them to relax between class, studying, and homework.

$$ on Amazon

Wireless 3-in-1 Charging Station

This wireless charger is compatible with Apple products, allowing students to charge up to three items at once, including an iPhone, Apple Watch, and Airpods. The charger provides convenience for college students and helps them reduce clutter.

$$$ on Amazon

"The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook: Easy, Healthy Recipes for the Next Four Years & Beyond"

Do you know a college student who likes to cook? This cookbook features more than 100 simple recipes, each of which requires less than 30 minutes and just five ingredients to make. The book teaches college students to make healthy dishes for themselves quickly and without spending a lot of money.

$ on Amazon

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity has become one of the most popular party games in the world thanks to its off-color and sometimes dark humor. It's a great gift for a college student with a good sense of humor who likes to relax with friends on the weekends.

$$ on Amazon

Tumbler Cup

This portable tumbler cup allows students to take beverages on the go to class, work, and the library. The cup is dishwasher safe and easy to clean. It keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold. This tumbler is a great gift for the coffee or tea lover in your life.

$$$ on Amazon

Tool Set

When college students move out on their own, one of the first things they'll need is a toolkit. This 128-piece set includes all the basics, including a hammer, screwdriver, wrench, and pliers. This gift may be especially useful for students who live in off-campus housing!

$$$ on Amazon


These over-the-ear headphones minimize outside noise and distractions, allowing college students to focus on their coursework — even in loud environments. They make a great gift for students who like to listen to music or podcasts at home or on the go. The headphones also include detachable cables for added convenience.

$$$$ on Amazon

Adult Coloring Book Set

Coloring isn't just for kids! Studies have shown that coloring can relax the mind, which can benefit a stressed-out college student. Consider giving this three-book set to a student who needs a brain break. The book features pages full of animals, mandala designs, and picturesque scenery.

$$ on Amazon

Homesick Scented Candles

Just about every college student gets homesick from time to time. You can help them feel more at home with these candles, which feature specific blends of scents from different states across the U.S. These candles burn for up to 80 hours.

$$$ on Amazon

"77 Things You Absolutely Have to Do Before You Finish College"

With so many things to do in college, it's easy to miss out. This book ensures college students get the full experience, with several outside-the-box ideas to help them meet new people, learn new things, and make the most of this special time in their lives.

$$ on Amazon

Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player

This streaming media player now comes with its own set of headphones. College students can use the device to stream Apple TV, Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, and various other services. It's a great gift for a student who likes to kick back and stream movies and TV during their downtime.

$$$$ on Amazon


Many college students like to get outside when reading or studying for class. This lightweight camping hammock features an easy setup — all you need is a pair of sturdy trees. Consider this gift for the college student in your life who enjoys camping and the outdoors.

$$$ on Amazon


This incredibly fun four-player game can help college students make friends, stay active, and take part in much-needed physical activity. Players can set it up just about anywhere, and the rules are similar to volleyball and easy to learn. It makes for a great weekend sport for any college student.

$$$$ on Amazon

Extra-Large Picnic and Outdoor Blanket

Do you know a college student who enjoys getting outside to enjoy a picnic? Consider getting them this extra-large outdoor blanket. It is waterproof, works well at the beach, and is easy to clean and store. College students can also use the blanket at outdoor concerts.

$$ on Amazon

Scratch-Off World Map

Consider getting this scratch-off world map for the college student who loves to travel or study abroad. The map provides a great piece of decor for a dorm room or apartment, allowing students to scratch off parts of the map to show where their travels have taken them. The map features all 195 countries around the world.

$$ on Amazon

Memory Foam Pillow

Busy college students don't always get much sleep, so the sleep they do get should be good! This hypoallergenic memory foam pillow allows for customization, helping users reach the perfect balance between comfort and support. Consider this item for a student who has trouble sleeping or deals with neck or back pain.

$$$$ on Amazon

Self-Care Planner

College students must take the time to practice self-care to avoid burnout and stay on track toward graduation. This planner helps students set and achieve goals, engage in self-care, and better manage anxiety. It's an outstanding gift for the college student who could use a little less stress in their lives.

$$$ on Amazon

Light Therapy Lamp

This lamp not only provides ample light for homework and studying, but also features 10,000 LUX brightness that can improve a college student's mood, sleep quality, stress levels, and energy. The lamp features three brightness settings, making it well-suited for a variety of tasks.

$$$ on Amazon

Mini Toaster Oven

College dorms and apartments don't always have a lot of space, making this mini toaster oven a great solution for students. Despite the oven's small size, it can make toast, pizzas, cookies, and paninis. This appliance works well for college students who want to save money by preparing more of their meals at home.

$$$ on Amazon

Gift Cards

Not sure exactly what the college student in your life would like as a gift? Make it easy by purchasing them a gift card! You can buy them a general Visa or Amazon gift card or get them a gift card to a store you know they love. A gift card allows students to buy the things they truly need.

Everything: Visa, Amazon

Entertainment: Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox

Groceries, Food, and Drinks: Safeway, Whole Foods Market, Red Robin, Domino's Pizza, Starbucks

Shopping: Nordstrom Rack, Banana Republic, Sephora, Athleta

Tech: Apple, Best Buy, GameStop

Travel: Airbnb, Southwest Airlines

Feature Image: Westend61 / Getty Images

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