The 25 Best Christmas Gifts for College Students

Check out our guide to the best Christmas gifts on the market for the college student in your life.

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by Staff Writers
Published on December 1, 2021

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The 25 Best Christmas Gifts for College Students

Advertising Disclosure: Our team independently selected these products. If you purchase a product through one of our links, we may collect compensation. Pricing and availability are accurate at the time of publication.


A large number of college students report feeling some form of homesickness while away at school. The right Christmas gift can help them adapt to school and feel more at home.

That said, college students can be a tricky group to shop for. Our guide offers 25 different presents that are practical, affordable, and fun. Each of these presents is likely to be a hit with the college student in your life.

true Price Legend

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

25 Christmas Gift Ideas College Students Will Love

Portable Bluetooth Speaker


Our Recommendation: JBL Flip 5 Waterproof 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 also listen to music while studying, working on projects, and completing assignments. This speaker is a great accessory to a computer, smartphone, or tablet device.

Fitbit Watch


Our Recommendation: Fitbit Inspire 2 Health and Fitness Tracker

College can often prove stressful, and many students feel a lack of motivation to exercise. The Fitbit Inspire 2 encourages users to get their steps in and stay active, which can help improve mental and physical health. The Inspire 2 tracks heart rate and measures calories, hourly activity, distance, and steps.

Laptop Backpack


Our Recommendation: Fjallraven Kanken 13" Laptop Backpack

The Fjallraven Kanken is a classic pack that often appears on lists of the best backpacks for college students. The Kanken features a variety of colors, a dirt-resistant and water-resistant exterior, ample storage space, and a dedicated laptop sleeve. It is also lighter than many similar backpacks.

AirPods


Our Recommendation: Apple AirPods With Wireless Charging Case

AirPods can be super useful, as students can pair them with their MacBooks and iPhones for studying, working out, and relaxing. The wireless charging case ensures long battery life, and these AirPods can automatically connect to each of your student's Apple devices.

Travel Suitcase


Our Recommendation: Amazon Basics 26-Inch Travel Suitcase

Many college students need a good suitcase to use when traveling on breaks. This no-frills Amazon Basics model features a durable, scratch-resistant exterior and wheels to make traveling easy. The interior features a polyester lining, a divider, and three smaller storage pockets.

Chelsea Rain Boots


Our Recommendation: Asgard Waterproof Chelsea Boots

All students need rain boots for wet days, and Chelsea boots are in fashion right now for all genders. These Asgard boots feature a lightweight, comfortable design and a durable rubber sole. They also come with an insole and are easy to clean with a hose, rag, or paper towel.

Amazon Prime Subscription


Our Recommendation: Amazon Prime 1-Year Student Membership

Amazon offers half-price Prime memberships to college students during a six-month trial period. Members get free shipping on thousands of items, including school supplies 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.

Hammock


Our Recommendation: ENO Lightweight Hammock

College students sometimes 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.

Blender


Our Recommendation: Magic Bullet 11-Piece Set Blender

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

Fleece Blanket


Our Recommendation: Bedsure Sherpa Fleece Throw 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.

Record Player


Our Recommendation: Audio-Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Turntable

Records are making a comeback among younger generations. This Audio-Technica model allows your student to play their high-fidelity vinyl records in their dorm room. It plays records at two speeds and comes with an AC/DC adapter for easy plug usage.

Charging Station


Our Recommendation: 3-in-1 Aluminum Charging Station

This wireless charger is compatible with Apple products, allowing students to charge up to three items at once — including iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods. The charger provides convenience for college students and helps them reduce clutter.

Card Games


Our Recommendation: Cards Against Humanity Party Game

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.

Water Bottle


Our Recommendation: Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle

Hydro Flasks are among the best-insulated water bottles, keeping cold drinks cool and hot drinks warm for hours on end. This bottle is dishwasher-safe and a great gift for students who enjoy hiking and traveling. Hydro Flasks also come in a variety of colors.

Tool Set


Our Recommendation: DEKOPRO 128-Piece Household Tool Set With Case

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, such as a hammer, screwdriver, wrench, and pliers. This gift may be especially useful for students who live in off-campus housing.

Adult Coloring Books


Our Recommendation: Creatively Calm Adult Coloring Books

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.

Scented Candles


Our Recommendation: Homesick Cinnamon and Spruce 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.

A College Experience Book


Our Recommendation: "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 can help college students get the full experience, providing 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.

Streaming Stick


Our Recommendation: Roku Streaming Stick 4K Streaming Device With Voice Remote

The Roku 4K Streaming Stick plugs into a USB port in a TV, allowing your student to access major streaming services like HBO Max, Apple TV+, Disney+, and Prime Video. This model includes voice activation, connects to Wi-Fi, and can control the volume and power on a TV set.

Spikeball


Our Recommendation: Spikeball Standard Three-Ball Kit

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.

Air Fryer


Our Recommendation: Aigostar 1500W Digital Air Fryer 4.2QT

An air fryer is a great way to cook an easy, healthy, simple meal. This Aigostar model features a touch screen and can perform seven different cooking functions. The basket is easy to clean, and the viewing window lets users keep an eye on the meal they're cooking.

Instant-Film Camera


Our Recommendation: FujiFilm Wide 300 Instant-Film Camera

Instant cameras are making a comeback, and this FujiFilm model can help your student capture some of their favorite moments from college. The camera runs on AA batteries and features light and dark control to add low-key and high-key effects to film.

Memory Foam Pillow


Our Recommendation: Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft 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.

Mini Toaster Oven


Our Recommendation: DASH Mini Toaster Oven Cooker

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.

Gift Cards


Gift cards are always a safe option, as they let your student select the gift they want themselves. If you know your student likes a particular store or restaurant, or if you know that they enjoy video games, a gift card is often a slam dunk. If you're not as sure about your students' preferences, Visa and Amazon gift cards can essentially serve as cash substitutes.

Everything: Visa, Amazon

Entertainment: Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple, Fandango

Food: Starbucks, DoorDash, Grubhub

Shopping: GameStop, Best Buy, Sephora, Nordstrom Rack

Feature Image: Westend61 / Getty Images

Wondering what gift to get the college student in your life? Check out our guide for 50 great options. Looking for a gift for the student in your life that won't break the bank? Check out our guide of inexpensive present ideas. Use this guide to prepare for college dorm life! Incoming students can get tips from this comprehensive list of college and dorm essentials.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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