The 50 Best Gifts for College Students

Looking for a gift for the college student in your life? Check out our list of the best gifts for college students for thoughtful, useful ideas that fit your budget.

portrait of Staff Writers
by Staff Writers

Updated May 16, 2022

Edited by Tyler Epps
Share this Article
The 50 Best Gifts for College Students
Image Credit: sturti / E+ / Getty Images

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.


While many students say that college is the best time of their lives, it can also be full of challenges, including homesickness and anxiety. Fortunately, finding the right gift can provide the perfect way to let the student in your life know that you're thinking about them.

Below, we provide 50 gift ideas that you can buy your college student for any occasion. Find gifts that are practical, fun, and affordable.

www.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.

Ready to start your journey?

Price Legend

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

1. Charging Cord


Our Recommendation: BSTOEM Lightning Charger

For students living in a dorm room, an extra-long power cord may come in handy. The number of outlets near a student's desk, chair, or bed may be limited — having a long cord means they can charge their devices while still keeping them within arm's reach. This charger is compatible with many devices, including the iPhone.

2. Portable Charger


Our Recommendation: 2-Pack Miady Dual USB Portable Charger

Everyone knows that college student who walks around with their phone at under 10%. A portable charger is the perfect gift to make sure students always have a charged phone. Our pick works for most major smartphones, including iPhones and Android phones.

3. Backpack


Our Recommendation: Herschel Heritage Backpack

The right college backpack is an essential for college, as students need to carry around textbooks, a laptop, and occasional extras like workout clothes. The Herschel Heritage pack blends a classic design with functionality — an interior sleeve provides space for a 15-inch laptop. Moreover, the black design goes with just about everything.

4. Noise-Canceling Headphones


Our Recommendation: Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones

Being able to block out the world to study is an important skill for all college students. These Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones can help. The over-ear design relies on smart noise cancellation, and the battery lasts for up to 35 hours. These headphones use Bluetooth, so no wires are required.

5. Coffee Maker


Our Recommendation: Black+Decker Five-Cup Coffee Maker

Some college students rely on caffeine to manage their daily routines. This simple Black+Decker coffee maker gets the job done at a reasonable price, allowing students to brew a pot in their dorm rooms. The lighted on/off switch means they can brew coffee early in the morning without waking up their roommates.

6. Amazon Fire TV Stick


Our Recommendation: Fire TV Stick 4K

For college students missing the free cable in the dorms, grab a Fire TV Stick to get the perfect streaming experience in their off-campus housing. The Fire TV Stick gives viewers access to Amazon Prime shows. They'll also be able to stream YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more.

7. Electric Kettle


Our Recommendation: Mueller Ultra Electric Kettle

An electric kettle offers a safe and easy way to boil water. This comes in handy for making a warm drink like tea or fixing a quick meal for days when a student needs a break from the cafeteria. This kettle features long-lasting borosilicate glass and stainless steel.

8. Laptop Cooling Pad


Our Recommendation: Havit HV-F2056 Laptop Cooling Pad

This useful accessory is thin, lightweight, and portable, making it easy to transport. The adjustable pad uses three quiet fans to keep your student's computer cool and their lap comfortable. It also features a USB port for connecting additional devices.

9. Planner


Our Recommendation: Clever Fox Ultimate Achiever's Goal Planner

A planner is an easy way for the student in your life to keep track of their tasks, assignments, errands, and other miscellaneous notes. Clever Fox's premium planner allows students to keep track of goals, finances, and classes in a fun and creative way.

10. Phone Sanitizer and Charger


Our Recommendation: PhoneSoap 3 UV Phone Sanitizer and Universal Charger

Smartphones can get incredibly dirty, but this device is a great way to help kill germs. Available in several colors, it functions as both a sanitizer and phone charger. It uses UV-C bulbs to kill 99.99% of all bacteria and accommodates all types of smartphones.

11. Popcorn Popper


Our Recommendation: Original Colonel Popper Microwave Popcorn Maker

This BPA-free, silicone popcorn popper lets users make their own healthy snack in the microwave. All they need is kernels and the seasonings of their choice! The popper comes in an assortment of colors and folds down for easy storage. It features side handles and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

12. Under-Bed Storage Bags


Our Recommendation: Onlyeasy Foldable Underbed Bags

Dorm rooms are often cramped and offer limited storage space. These foldable underbed bags create additional space, allowing students to store essentials under their bed. The breathable and eco-friendly design helps keep stored items fresh. Handles make these bags easier to move, even if contents are heavy.

13. Bedside Caddy


Our Recommendation: Lib Large Bedside Caddy

This caddy lets students keep all important items next to their bed, and it is especially handy if their living space doesn't provide room for a bedside table. It offers compartments for a phone, laptop or tablet, books or magazines, and pens. The caddy comes in an assortment of colors and simply hooks over a bed frame.

14. Desk Lamp


Our Recommendation: CUMKA LED Desk Lamp With Wireless Charger

The right lamp can make all the difference during late-night study sessions. This LED lamp includes a USB port for charging and can also support devices that charge wirelessly. The lamp features a 30-minute and 60-minute automatic off timer, and its LED bulbs are easier on the eyes than traditional lightbulbs.

15. Instant Pot


Our Recommendation: Instant Pot Zest Plus 20-Cup Slow Cooker

An Instant Pot is among the best tools for cooking easy, simple, and healthy meals in decent quantities. This 20-cup model features plenty of capacity for stews, soups, and other dishes. The pot also features nine smart functions, including sauté, steam, and slow cook.

16. Wallet Clip


Our Recommendation: ARW Carbon Fiber Wallet Money Clip

This money clip features RFID blocking to ensure that passersby can't steal a user's credit card information. The slim design weighs a little over 2 ounces, and the high-quality shell is made of carbon fiber, rendering the clip durable and resilient.

17. Storage Ottoman


Our Recommendation: YOUDENOVA Storage Ottoman Cube

Finding storage space can prove challenging in a college dorm room. The best furniture serves multiple functions. This ottoman offers both a storage compartment and a place for your student to rest their feet. It also features sponge padding for increased durability and comfort.

18. Lap Desk


Our Recommendation: LapGear Home Office Lap Desk

A lap desk can help students make better use of the comfortable furniture in their dorm. It also gives them a place to study if their roommate is already sleeping. This LapGear model features multiple colors, a vertical phone slot, and an integrated mouse pad.

19. Water Bottle


Our Recommendation: Iron Flask Insulated Water Bottle

College students on the go need to stay hydrated, so consider gifting an insulated water bottle. Perfect for student athletes and students with early morning classes, this water bottle keeps cold drinks cold and coffee hot. Our pick also comes with three lids so students can get the perfect drinking experience.

20. Photo Clip String Lights


Our Recommendation: LECLSTAR Photo Clip String Lights

Perfect for homesick college students, photo clip string lights bring warmth to any room. Students can hang the lights on their walls and use the clips to attach photos. These battery-powered lights can be used in dorm rooms, apartments, and even outdoors.

21. Bed Shelf


Our Recommendation: Original BedShelfie for Bed and Bunk Shelves

The BedShelfie lets users safely access items from bed, including a beverage, a phone, and reading materials. Available in different sizes, the BedShelfie is ideal for spaces that may not fit a bedside table, such as a dorm room.

22. Personal Safe


Our Recommendation: Master Lock 5900D Portable Safe

Moving into a dorm room with a stranger may make a college-bound student feel uneasy about the security of their belongings. A personal safe from Master Lock lets students store important items such as smartphones, credit cards, cash, and IDs. This portable safe also allows users to set their own combination.

23. Night Light and Alarm Clock


Our Recommendation: Aisuo Lamp With Alarm Clock and Bluetooth Speaker

Help the college-bound student in your life wake up in time for class with this fun night light and alarm clock. With three brightness levels and 48 color options, this device is powered by a large-capacity battery that can be recharged by a USB cable in about six hours. This night light from Aisuo also doubles as a bluetooth speaker.

24. Electronics Organizer


Our Recommendation: BAGSMART Electronics Organizer Travel Bag

This electronics organizer from Bagsmart lets students pack away all their chargers, cables, and devices in one convenient place. It's not only ideal for traveling but also useful for those who find themselves needing to charge devices while away from home. This product comes in three colors with a slender design that makes it easy to fit into a backpack or suitcase.

25. Power Strip


Our Recommendation: BESTEK 6-Outlet Power Strip With USB Ports

Having access to more power outlets can be convenient, and in a dorm room a student's options may be limited. This circular six-outlet power strip includes four USB charging ports. It also features a compact design and a 6-foot extension cord that's ideal for smaller living spaces.

26. Folding Chair


Our Recommendation: Urban Shop Super Soft Faux Fur Saucer Folding Chair

A comfortable chair is a must for any dorm room. It provides a place for friends to sit and an alternative to the desk and bed. This folding saucer chair allows your student to curl up and sink in for maximum comfort. The simple black design pairs well with any type of decor.

27. Bluetooth Speaker


Our Recommendation: JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Speaker

A speaker is an essential item for college, providing a soundtrack for studying or a playlist when friends visit. The JBL Charge 4 is waterproof and portable, with a battery life of up to 20 hours. It charges through a USB port and comes in multiple colors.

28. Dry-Erase Sticky Notes


Our Recommendation: MC SQUARES 4x4 Reusable Sticky Notes

These dry-erase sticky notes provide a reusable way to take notes, write reminders, and keep track of assignments. The pads stick to a variety of surfaces, such as glass, steel, and aluminum. They may also be placed on cabinets using Bubble Bond, a reusable and residue-free adhesive.

29. Flash Drive


Our Recommendation: SanDisk 128 GB Cruzer USB 2.0 Flash Drive

For situations in which Dropbox and Google Drive won't do, a flash drive can provide a safe space for students to store their most important files and assignments. This SanDisk flash drive holds up to 128 GB, making it a great option for larger files.

30. Weighted Blanket


Our Recommendation: Waowoo Adult Weighted Blanket - Queen Size, 15 lbs

Students sleeping away from home for the first time should do their best to maximize their comfort. Weighted blankets can be used to improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety. This 15-pound blanket from Waowoo includes pockets to more evenly distribute its weight.

31. Mini-Fridge


Our Recommendation: AstroAI Mini Fridge

This AstroAI fridge, which comes in several colors, contains space for up to six 12-ounce cans, medications, and food. It offers the ability to cool or warm, depending on a student's storage needs. The small design makes it ideal for dorm rooms and lets students keep their favorite snacks on hand.

32. Reusable Utensils


Our Recommendation: Topbooc Portable Stainless Steel Flatware Set

Reusable utensils can allow students to eat Instant Pot meals, ramen, and other snacks on the go. This Topbooc stainless steel set comes with eight different utensils, including chopsticks. Each piece is dishwasher safe and easy to wipe clean.

33. Laptop


Our Recommendation: Lenovo Chromebook 2-in-1 Laptop

Portable and sleek, a 2-in-1 laptop offers all the benefits of a tablet and a laptop. The Lenovo Chromebook is perfect for college students who carry their laptops everywhere and need the versatility of a tablet. It also comes at an affordable price for an essential college item.

34. Smart Notebook


Our Recommendation: Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook

Take note-taking to a whole new level with this smart notebook by Rocketbook. The dotted grid notebook uses a special Pilot Frixion Pen to record notes, which may be sent to popular cloud services using the free Rocketbook app. The erasable pages mean no more wasting paper, and notebooks come in a variety of colors.

35. USB Powered Desk Fan


Our Recommendation: SmartDevil Small Personal USB Desk Fan

It may not be possible to control a dorm room's temperature, so gifting a desk fan is a great way to keep the student in your life more comfortable. This fan by SmartDevil is compact and wireless, and comes in pink, white, or black. It's also easily recharged with a USB cord and offers three fan speeds.

36. Smart Lock


Our Recommendation: Sifely Smart Lock With Deadbolt

If they live in an apartment off campus, you can help keep your student's valuables safe by getting them this Sifely smart lock. This item features a deadbolt and a combination lock for increased security. The weatherproof design can resist extreme temperatures, both cold and hot.

37. Stun Gun and Flashlight


Our Recommendation: VIPERTEK VTS-989-1 Stun Gun With LED Flashlight

Classes, work schedules, or late-night study sessions at the library may mean walking home after dark. One way to keep the student in your life safe is with this stun gun, which doubles as an LED flashlight. Product features include ultra-sharp spike electrodes that penetrate through clothing and a rechargeable battery.

38. Cookbook


Our Recommendation: "Recipes Every College Student Should Know"

Whether your college student lives in a dorm or off campus, they'll appreciate a gift that fills their bellies and teaches some valuable skills. Our pick teaches students how to microwave mug cakes or bacon and put together brain-friendly meals for themselves and their friends.

39. Smartphone Printer


Our Recommendation: Zink Kodak Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

Printers are sometimes tough to access on college campuses. This Kodak smartphone printer allows users to instantly print photos from their phones, which students can use to decorate their living spaces or give to friends. They can also edit each photo with the Kodak app before printing.

40. Coffee Mug Warmer


Our Recommendation: Cosori Coffee Mug Warmer and Mug Set

Cosori offers a coffee warmer and mug set that can keep a student's favorite beverage warm while they study. It features an LED display screen and lets users easily control the temperature. The mug comes with a lid and is made of stainless steel with a slip-resistant silicone sleeve.

41. Phone Mount


Our Recommendation: Lamicall Cell Phone Holder With 360 Mount Clip

The universal clamp of this phone holder can be clipped to the side of a desk, table, or bed frame. It adjusts to fit most smartphones, and the flexible gooseneck allows users to position their phone at the perfect angle needed to watch their favorite shows or make video calls back home. The clamp is available in black or rose gold.

42. Fitness Tracker


Our Recommendation: Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker

It can be tough to stay in shape during college with academics and social life competing for a student's attention. The Fitbit Charge 4 can track steps, calories burned, and hourly activity. The built-in GPS can also track pace and distance during runs or walks.

43. Essential Oil Diffuser


Our Recommendation: Pure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser

Living in a dorm may feel cramped and stuffy, but an air purifier can help clean the air and make any room feel more like home. This essential oil diffuser functions as an air purifier, ionizer, and night light, and it comes in seven color options. Users can let it run continuously or set it to run on a timer for one, three, or six hours.

44. Safety Light


Our Recommendation: Apace LED Safety Light With Clip

These LED safety lights come in a variety of color options and easily attach to clothing, bags, or bicycles. Users may clip the lights to their clothing or use the included elastic band to wear the lights around their wrist, arm, or ankle. Safety lights provide a simple way to stay safe and visible if students need to walk around campus after dark.

45. Echo Dot


Our Recommendation: Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the college student who sleeps through their alarm, forgets their coat, and loves music, an Echo Dot makes the perfect gift. Set times and alarms, check the weather, and call family hands-free using the Echo Dot. It's also a great way to keep up on news and play music.

46. Desk Organizer


Our Recommendation: Office Oasis Desk Organizer

This slender desk organizer offers compartments to store essential school and office supplies without taking up too much desk space. It holds pens, notepads, paper clips, and thumb tacks, and it even includes a phone stand. The compartments may be rearranged, allowing users to organize it to their specific needs.

47. Bluetooth Tile Tracker


Our Recommendation: Tile Starter Pack 2-Pack Bluetooth Tracker

Know a college student who always leaves their keys in the dorm bathroom or loses their phone every time they set it down? A tile tracker helps absentminded students keep track of their wallet, keys, and phone. It's a thoughtful gift that also gives parents peace of mind.

48. Portable Shower Caddy


Our Recommendation: iDesign Orbz Plastic Bathroom Shower Caddy

Sharing a bathroom in a dorm poses challenges. A portable shower caddy is vital to ensuring the student in your life may easily complete their important daily routines. This caddy by iDesign comes in a variety of colors and features holes in the bottom allowing water to drain. It also offers compartments that allow users to easily organize an assortment of toiletries.

49. Voice Recorder


Our Recommendation: Sony Store ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice Recorder

A voice recorder is a great tool for recording classroom lectures to ensure students don't miss any information. The Sony ICD-PX370 boasts up to 57 hours of battery life and a USB connection, making it easy to transfer recordings to a computer. The recorder also features an easy-to-read digital screen and headphone jack.

50. Light Therapy Lamp


Our Recommendation: Circadian Optics UV Light Therapy Lamp

During the winter months, college students may experience stress, homesickness, or sleeping issues. The Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy lamp combats the negative impacts of these problems with pure white LED light that emulates the sun without exposing users to harmful UV rays.

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.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.