The 51 Best College Graduation Gifts

Graduation day is a time to recognize your college graduate's accomplishments. Learn more about the best gifts for recent grads.
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The staff writers for BestColleges collaborate to deliver unique, student-driven content on topics such as career development, college life, and college planning....
Updated on June 13, 2023
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portrait of Kelly Thomas
Kelly Thomas
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Kelly Thomas is an editor with BestColleges and specializes in alternative education. She covers topics like coding bootcamps and the tech industry, as well as skilled trades and certifications. She holds a BA in political science from the University...
Learn more about our editorial process 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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The day your friend or loved one earns their college degree, expect to feel tremendous pride. Such an occasion deserves celebration and recognition.

A graduation gift is an excellent way to show that you care. With the College Board reporting that 55% of college students graduated with debt in 2021, a gift can help your grad avoid further debt as they start a new life. A gift can also bring enjoyment to a stressful time of transition.

As you review the following recommendations, don't forget about your graduate's unique wants and needs. Talk to them about what they would like.

For the New Apartment

Coffee Maker

Our Recommendation: Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker

This programmable coffee maker can brew a single cup or a 12-cup pot at the touch of a button. Users can choose from "regular" or "bold" brewing options. This product uses loose-ground coffee, reducing the waste generated by K-Cup Pods and other packaging. Other features include set-ahead programming for wake-up-ready coffee and two-hour automatic shut-off.

Price Range: $50-100

Espresso Machine

Our Recommendation: De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine Maker

Students looking to energize their regular coffee routine will appreciate Stilosa's manual espresso machine. This powerful yet compact machine can serve up cappuccinos, espressos, and lattes in a variety of cup sizes. The durable design of the stainless steel boiler is optimized for long-lasting performance, while the simple construction makes it easy to clean.

Price Range: Over $100

Instant Pot

Our Recommendation: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

This multi-purpose pressure cooker serves up quick and convenient home-cooked meals. You can cook single portions or hearty meals for up to three people, with cooking times up to 70% faster than traditional methods. Functions include pressure cooking, rice cooking, steaming, sauteing, and food warming. The inner pot and lid are dishwasher-safe.

Price Range: $50-100

Toaster Oven

Our Recommendation: BLACK+DECKER Toaster Oven

Convection technology enables this toaster oven to cook a variety of foods quickly and evenly. The machine's extra deep interior can accommodate snacks like toast, bagels, cookies, and frozen fries, as well as a 12-inch pizza, a whole chicken, and casserole dishes. Cleanup is quick and easy, thanks to the non-stick interior, broiler pan, and included crumb tray.

Price Range: Over $100

Cookware Set

Our Recommendation: T-fal Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set

This nonstick cookware is made from anodized aluminum, which evenly conducts heat and resists scratching and corrosion. The 12-piece set comes with two frypans, three saucepans, a dutch oven, a slotted spatula, and a solid spoon. T-fal cookware is dishwasher safe and withstands heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Price Range: $50-100

Dinnerware Set

Our Recommendation: vancasso Dinnerware Set, Multicolor (Pack of 16)

The vancasso Moda Matte Dinner set provides service for four people. You can select from 14 colors, making the gift a perfect addition to any kitchen or dining room. Microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe, these plates can withstand abuse and provide your graduate with years of service.

Price Range: $50-100

Glassware Set

Our Recommendation: Home Essentials 12-Piece Galaxy Glassware Set

Now that they're out of college, the grad in your life should stop drinking beverages out of red plastic cups. This 12-piece, dishwasher-safe glassware set from Home Essentials contains even numbers of double old-fashioned and highball glasses. It also comes with four juice glasses.

Price Range: $25-50

Silverware Set

Our Recommendation: LIANYU 20-Piece Silverware Set

Made of stainless steel, LIANYU silverware is rust-resistant and easy to clean. The 20-piece set includes even numbers of teaspoons; salad forks; and dinner forks, knives, and spoons. Each piece is sturdy and comfortable to hold, making this silverware set a good fit for the dinner table or around a campfire.

Price Range: Under $25

Knife Set

Our Recommendation: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Block Set

No kitchen is complete without a durable knife set. These Cuisinart knives boast carbon stainless steel construction and ergonomic design, making them lightweight and sharp. They're suitable for precise chopping, carving, and slicing. The 15-piece block set comes with 13 knives — including an eight-inch chef knife and six steak knives — and all-purpose scissors.

Price Range: $50-100

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Our Recommendation: New Star Foodservice Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups

This eight-piece set of measuring utensils is a great gift for the dedicated baker and occasional cupcake maker. These measuring cups and spoons are made from stainless steel and designed to produce accurate results. The pieces are simple to clean and nest for convenient storage.

Price Range: Under $25

Personal Blender

Our Recommendation: Magic Bullet Blender

With 250 watts of torque power, the small Magic Bullet blender lets you grind, blend, chop, mix, and whip up healthy smoothies and snacks. Blender cups are made from high-impact plastic, making them durable and easy to clean. This 11-piece kit comes with a recipe book, sealable cup lids, and extra blades.

Price Range: $25-50

Sparkling Water Machine

Our Recommendation: SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker

By using SodaStream, you can enjoy refreshing sparkling water without contributing to the waste created by single-use plastic bottles or aluminum cans. Product contents include a sparkling water maker, a carbonating bottle, and a CO2 cartridge that can carbonate 60 liters of water. Add flavor to your fizzy beverage with SodaStream Fruit Drops and other compatible ingredients.

Price Range: Over $100

Reusable Food Storage

Our Recommendation: Stasher Reusable Storage Bags

Meal prepping becomes a lot easier with these Stasher reusable food bags. Made from platinum silicone, these sandwich, snack, and half-gallon bags create an airtight seal to keep food fresh and flavorful. In addition to being microwave and dishwasher safe, the Stasher bags contain no BPA, latex, or PVC.

Price Range: $50-100

Kitchen Towels

Our Recommendation: Utopia Towels Kitchen Towels

This 12-piece set of dish and kitchen towels from Utopia Towels lets grads keep their home clean without producing paper waste. The towels are both durable and soft and are made from ring-spun cotton.

Price Range: Under $25


Our Recommendation: The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook

Help your grad save money on food with "The Ultimate Cooking for One Cookbook." Author Joanie Zisk compiles 175 recipes that focus on minimizing waste and leftovers. The book is divided into chapters for appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, breakfasts, and vegetarian cuisine.

Price Range: Under $25

Tool Set

Our Recommendation: Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set

This complete household hand tool set from Cartman can help your grad decorate and maintain their new apartment. The 148-piece kit includes heat-treated and chrome-plated wrenches, pliers, hex keys, and screwdrivers — all neatly organized in a durable plastic storage case.

Price Range: $25-$50


Our Recommendation: EUREKA Airspeed Ultra-Lightweight Compact Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

The EUREKA Airspeed vacuum cleaner is powerful but lightweight. You can switch between the all-floor head and the detachable handle by pressing a button. The vacuum comes with a washable filter and accessories like a dusting brush and crevice tool.

Price Range: $50-$100


Our Recommendation: Nectar Queen Mattress

This bed-in-a-box from Nectar is constructed from five layers of gel memory foam that cool and evenly distribute weight, providing a restful experience regardless of a user's sleep position. The package comes with two premium pillows and a lifetime guarantee. Additionally, users can test out this mattress for a full year without commitment or risk.

Price Range: Over $100


Our Recommendation: Mellanni Bed Sheet Set

Help the grad in your life sleep better with a new bed sheet set. Choose from various sizes and over 40 colors and patterns, including imperial blue, striped white, and checkered burgundy. These bed sheets are resistant to stains, wrinkles, fading, and shrinking.

Price Range: $25-$50

Weighted Blanket

Our Recommendation: Quility Premium Weighted Blanket

Made of layers of cotton, polyester, and microbeads, this premium weighted blanket from Quility is soft and breathable. The blanket comes with a detachable duvet cover for added comfort and easy cleaning. As a general rule, weighted blankets should be about 10% of the user's body weight.

Price Range: Over $100

Bathroom Towel Set

Our Recommendation: American Soft Luxury Towel Set

This towel set includes two washcloths, two bath towels, and two hand towels made of luxury cotton imported from Turkey. These soft, lightweight towels absorb moisture rapidly and can be hand or machine washed.

Price Range: $25-$50

Area Rug

Our Recommendation: Artistic Weavers Area Rug

Complete the look of a living room or bedroom with a 5'3" x 7'6" area rug from Artistic Weavers. Fashioned out of machine-woven polypropylene, the rug can withstand playful pets and high traffic and can be easily vacuumed or spot cleaned. Pick from colors like gray, black, and dark blue.

Price Range: $50-$100

For the Tech Lover

Smart TV

Our Recommendation: Amazon 50-Inch Smart 4K Fire TV

Unwinding in front of the TV after a long day of work feels better than ever with a 50-inch 4K television. The Amazon Fire TV provides excellent clarity and sound at a price much lower than other name brands. Your graduate can rest assured and relax with the included one-year warranty and many built-in streaming services.

Price Range: Over $100

Fire TV Stick

Our Recommendation: Fire TV Stick 4K Streaming Device With Alexa Voice Remote

Stream movies and TV shows in 4K with this streaming media stick. You can control devices with Alexa voice commands and store up to eight GB of data. Compatible with various subscription services, the Fire TV Stick also supports Dolby Vision picture and Dolby Atmos audio.

Price Range: $25-$50

Smart Watch

Our Recommendation: Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE pairs with the iPhone to provide enhanced connectivity, allowing users to receive messages and calls, play music, and use the features of Siri. The device also acts as a health coach, analyzing workouts for potential improvements and monitoring heartbeats for irregularities. Users can customize their Apple Watch with stylish bands and digital faces.

Price Range: Over $100

Wireless Headphones

Our Recommendation: Apple AirPods

These Apple AirPods use state-of-the-art wireless connection technology to play stable, high-quality sound. In addition to a one-step setup process, these AirPods boast a universal fit and give you access to a variety of features through Siri. The wireless charging case provides up to 24 hours of battery life.

Price Range: $50-$100

Smart Speaker

Our Recommendation: Echo Dot, 5th Generation

The Echo Dot can do much more than bring music to a new home. It pairs with other smart devices, and with Alexa, your graduate need only say a few words to check the weather or order essentials. The latest software also ensures that users' information remains private.

Price Range: $25-$50

Bluetooth Speaker

Our Recommendation: JBL FLIP 4 Speaker

A portable and waterproof Bluetooth speaker, the JBL FLIP 4 offers enhanced stereo sound and a speakerphone with built-in echo and noise-canceling features. Connect up to two phones/tablets and amplify the audio by synching multiple JBL speakers. Additional features include voice commands using Google Now or Siri and a 12-hour battery life.

Price Range: $50-$100

Bluetooth Tracker Tiles

Our Recommendation: Tile Mate 2-Pack Bluetooth Tracker

This handy finder tool can help users locate keys, phones, and bags within a 250-foot range. The device uses Bluetooth technology to find your phone, even when set to silent mode. You can also view the most recent location of the item through a national tracking function. The device features a three-year battery and is water-resistant.

Price Range: $25-$50

For the New Job


Our Recommendation: Stylio Padfolio/Resume Portfolio Folder

Help a recent college graduate nail their job interview with this matte black document organizer. Made of faux leather, the Stylio padfolio has a refillable writing pad, a pen holder, and double-stitched pockets to securely store resumes, business cards, and other documents.

Price Range: Under $25


Our Recommendation: Clever Fox Planner

In addition to being a weekly/monthly scheduler, this planner is also a productivity journal that helps users improve their time-management skills and achieve goals. The planner comes in a gift box, which also contains an illustrated guide and 150 colorful organization stickers. Choose from several colors, including emerald, amber yellow, and rose gold.

Price Range: Under $25

Handheld Clothes Steamer

Our Recommendation: Hilife Handheld Garment Steamer

This handheld steamer helps working professionals look their best. On top of its lightweight portability, this garment steamer boasts 700 watts of power and a 240-milliliter water tank capable of producing 15 minutes of continuous steam. Use the included brush to remove stray hairs and any remaining wrinkles.

Price Range: $25-$50


Our Recommendation: HP LaserJet M110we Wireless Monochrome Printer

This compact wireless HP laserjet printer is the smallest in its class. HP's smart printing system allows users to print directly from the app or any mobile device through their HP account. Users can print up to 21 pages per minute. This order comes with six months of Instant Ink.

Price Range: Over $100

Lunch Bag

Our Recommendation: Venture Pal Insulated Cooler Lunch Bag

Help your college grad keep prepared meals fresh with an insulated and leakproof lunch bag. This bag contains compartments for meals, drinks, and utensils. It also has a durable and adjustable shoulder strap that can be detached. Choose from various color and pattern combinations, including classic black and dark blue.

Price Range: Under $25

For the Jet-Setter

Scratch-Off World Map

Our Recommendation: Maps International, Scratch the World Travel Map

This scratch-off world map lets die-hard travelers document their adventures. This detailed map features topographic shading and clear and colored national boundaries. The product is delivered in a protective tube and is ready for display.

Price Range: $25-$50

Airline Gift Card

Our Recommendation: Southwest Airlines Gift Card

Travel can be life-changing, particularly for recent college graduates trying to find their place and purpose in the world. A Southwest Airlines gift card lets you help them pay for a plane ticket in denominations of $50, $100, $150, or $200.

Price Range: Over $100


Our Recommendation: Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Luggage Set

Made from a lightweight but tough thermoplastic polymer, this luggage set allows users to securely store clothes, shoes, and other belongings in mesh zip compartments. Ergonomic handles and multidirectional wheels provide ease of mobility. The two-piece set includes 20- and 28-inch upright suitcases.

Price Range: Over $100

Duffel Bag

Our Recommendation: Herschel Novel Duffel Bag

This duffel bag is perfect for a weekend getaway or a trip to the gym. The bag offers over 42 liters of primary storage space, a separate footwear compartment, and a detachable padded shoulder strap. With dimensions of 11.75 inches x 20.5 inches x 11 inches, this duffel satisfies the carry-on requirements of most airlines.

Price Range: $50-$100

Travel Tote Bag

Our Recommendation: Kenneth Cole Reaction Chelsea 15" Tote Bag

This stylish tote features padded pockets for a 15-inch laptop and a standard tablet. It is Designed for optimum organization at the office or as a travel carry-on, the Chelsea tote includes a trolley strap and coordinates with Kenneth Cole luggage sets. The fully-lined tote also features multiple open slip pockets, an exterior zipper pocket, and mesh water bottle holder.

Price Range: $50-$100

Laptop Backpack

Our Recommendation: Tzowla Travel Laptop Backpack

With this handy laptop backpack, traveling professionals can store their electronics and personal belongings in three secure compartments. The bag also features strong metal zippers, a combination lock, and a hidden port to connect headphones or a USB cable. Choose from nine colors, including gray, purple, and black.

Price Range: $25-$50

Travel Toiletry Bag

Our Recommendation: WDLHQC Travel Toiletry Bag

This hanging travel bag comes with six compartments and a stainless steel metal hook to help busy travelers keep their toiletries protected and organized. Made of high-quality PVC, the bag is durable, waterproof, and quick to dry.

Price Range: Under $25

Travel Pillow

Our Recommendation: Lucear Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Whether by plane, train, or automobile, prolonged travel can be taxing on the body. The Lucear memory foam pillow twists to accommodate multiple positions and shapes for individualized support of the back, shoulder, head, or upper spine. This travel pillow is easy to clean and attaches to any bag.

Price Range: Under $25

Instant Camera

Our Recommendation: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 lets you print color photos immediately after snapping a picture. The camera features automatic exposure control and a one-touch selfie mode for easier photography. You can also personalize your camera with shutter button accessories.

Price Range: $50-$100

For the Reader

Adulting Book

Our Recommendation: How to Adult, A Practical Guide: Advice on Living, Loving, Working, and Spending Like a Grown-Up

A how-to guide on managing adult life, this book provides insight on topics like filing taxes, finances, and work relationships. The book offers useful and humorous advice for complex subjects, along with activities and quizzes.

Price Range: Under $25


Our Recommendation: Kindle Paperwhite, Signature Edition (Without Ads)

Consider buying your grad a Kindle Paperwhite if they love to read or keep up with the latest news. The tablet features 10 weeks of battery life and a screen that adjusts to ambient light. This useful gift also offers your grad an excellent way to pass the time during a long commute on public transportation.

Price Range: Under $25

Audiobook Subscription Service

Our Recommendation: Audible Membership

Audible lets users listen to the latest memoirs, novels, and podcasts from their smartphone or tablet device. The Premium Plus gift membership provides access to a huge library of books and original content. Members receive one credit each month to purchase any title in the Audible catalog and the ability to make free exchanges.

Price Range: Various value amounts on Amazon

For the Beauty Enthusiast


Our Recommendation: Valloey Rover Gold Initial Pendant Necklace

A gold pendant necklace crafted by Valloey Rover is a good accessory for any outfit. This hypoallergenic necklace (meaning it contains no lead or nickel) can be customized with a single-letter initial and dangles from an extendable chain.

Price Range: Under $25

Beauty Box

Our Recommendation: Allure Beauty Box

Discover new makeup and skincare products with a monthly Allure Beauty Box. Each package contains six or more products personally tested by Allure experts, as well as a magazine filled with tips and discounts. There is no shipping cost, and you can freely pause or cancel the subscription at any time.

Price Range: $25-$50

Home Fragrance

Our Recommendation: NEST Fragrances Classic Candle - Grapefruit

This NEST Fragrances candle offers 50-60 hours of grapefruit-scented burn time. The classic glass vase features a striped etching, and the cosmetic-grade wax helps diffuse the scent more effectively and for longer.

Price Range: $25-$50

For the Picky Shopper

Gift Card

Our Recommendation: Amazon Gift Card

Give the gift of online shopping with an Amazon gift card in any amount from $10-$2,000. The card is sealed in a mini envelope, and free one-day shipping is available depending on their location. Amazon does not charge a processing fee or stipulate an expiration date for gift cards.

Price Range: Various value amounts on Amazon

Subscription Service

Our Recommendation: Amazon Prime Membership

An Amazon Prime Membership makes purchasing goods from the world's largest online retailer easier and cheaper. Members enjoy free expedited shipping, including two-day delivery of prescription medication, early access to daily Lightning Deals, and exclusive discounts at affiliated stores like Whole Foods. An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99/month or $139/year.

Price Range: Over $100 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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