The Gift Guide: The 15 Best Holiday Gifts for College Students

by Hometeam Properties on November 20, 2017

'Tis the season! The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start shopping. Not sure what to get for your student? Don't worry, we put together the perfect guide to gifts for college students.

1. Portable Bluetooth Speaker

A portable, wireless speaker is a must for any college student. They're easy to carry around their dorm or across campus to a friend's house for a par- I mean study session.

Bonus: Get them a waterproof speaker to keep in their bathroom for shower concerts.

2. Wireless/Noise Canceling Earbuds

gifts for college studentsMost. Useful. Gift. Ever. Noise canceling earbuds are crucial to long nights in the library or when their roommate is being obnoxious.

Not only are these perfect for helping students stay focused, but they're great for watching Netflix without any distracting background noise.

Wireless headphones are perfect because there's no more impossibly tangled cords to deal with. These are also for working out because they stay out of the way and don't get caught on anything.

3. Subscription Boxes

The great thing about subscription boxes is that they're the gift that keeps on giving. Find a box that is perfect for your student and *boom*, they get a nice surprise every month!

These gifts have plenty of options, like monthly socks or shaving tools, to a delivery of candy every month.

Some of our favorites are:

  • Graze: Healthy and delicious snacks that come in prepackaged containers that are easy to grab on the way to class.
  • Campus Cube: Carefully curated campus care packages (now say that 5 times fast). These boxes are personalized for different events like birthdays or finals week, and have a mix of food and helpful campus supplies.
  • Blue Bottle Coffee: Fresh, sustainably produced coffee from independent brewers around the world. Subscriptions can be customized with choices like whole bean/fresh grounds, and espresso options.

4. Coffee Maker

gifts for college students What a perfect gift to go with their coffee subscription! Even without a monthly subscription of coffee coming to their door, I can attest to the fact that college students literally run on coffee throughout the semester.

Instead of spending $5 on a cup every day, get them a coffee maker so they can brew their own before heading off to class.

gifts for college students Bonus: Get them a cute, space conscious, breakfast station so they can make their own food and coffee in the mornings. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

5. String Lights

OK, so these are just plain cool.

Not only do these lights add a homey feel to a boring dorm room, but they come equipped with Bluetooth speakers.

Get your student a few strands of these and they pretty much have their own surround sound and custom lighting to deck out their dorm.


Want to give your student a gift to help themselves? Download our budgeting calculator to help them save.


6. Portable Charger

"You get a portable charger, you get a portable charger, everyone gets a portable charger!" -Oprah, probably.

gifts for college students

Portable chargers are honestly one of the best inventions ever because who has time to deal with outlets? Not college students.

These little power banks are easy to keep in a purse or backpack, and are perfect for busy days when there's no time to stop to charge a phone.

gifts for college studentsThe best part is that there are so many options for chargers that you can find one for any college student you're shopping for.

Our favorites for: the minimalist, the pizza lover, the unicorn believer.

7. Cards Against Humanity

"Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people."

This cult-classic card game took over a few years ago and has only grown in popularity. Not for the faint of heart, or those who don't like crude humor, this game is simple to play and hard to forget.

Definitely a perfect choice for study breaks, parties, and just hanging out with friends.

Bonus: Similar in rules, What Do You Meme uses popular internet memes instead of phrases. P.S., It's OK mom, you don't have to get it, you're buying it for your college student, not yourself.

8. S'Well or Other Stainless Steel Water Bottle

gifts for college students

Not only are these bottles awesome to look at, but they're vacuum insulated to keep drinks cold or warm forever. According to the S'well website, they keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. Plus, they help reduce waste from plastic water bottles and look great doing it.

S'well has plenty of patterns and colors to choose from, as well as tumblers, bottles, and travel mugs. You can even get them personalized.

9. Their Favorite Collegiate Gear

This may seem like a given, but who doesn't love getting gear for the school they love so much instead of wearing the same ratty t-shirt they got as a freshman?

Even better than collegiate clothes; you can normally find really cool and unique gifts from the local bookstore or even Etsy. By giving them something unique, they'll stand out from their friends that all got the same game day t-shirt for Christmas.

10. FitBit

It’s hard staying active in college, but a fitness tracker like FitBit will definitely help them with the task.

gifts for college students

These powerful, and surprisingly stylish watches track all of their activity through the day, including how far they walk while getting from class to class. Some models track sleep and heart rate, too, so they can make sure they're staying healthy.

Newer FitBit models are styled more like smartwatches that can send and receive text messages or notifications, that way they don't get distracted by their phone in class.

11. Apple Watch

If a FitBit just isn't right for your student and they have an iPhone, an Apple Watch may be a better gift. These powerful little accessories integrate with their iPhone to track activity, view notifications, send/receive texts and emails, get directions, and even play games.

The newer versions of the watch are waterproof, which means they're a little more fitness friendly, and will stay safe during rainy or snowy walks to class.

12. Portable Bottle of Sriracha

gifts for college studentsWho doesn't want a portable bottle of Sriracha? This hot sauce has garnered almost a cult-like following and is perfect on things like scrambled eggs. No more hearing your student complain about drab dining hall meals, now they have the power to spice up their food wherever they go.

Beyonce may have had hot sauce in her bag, but they've got it even closer.

13. Ramen Connoisseur Kit

Ramen is stereotypically a "poor college student's" meal of choice. Huge packs of these noodles are like $5 at the grocery store and are quick and easy to make in a dorm room microwave.

But why be basic? Level up your student's Ramen game with this Ramen Connoisseur kit from ManCrates (not just for men). This kit has six different types of Ramen, chopsticks, and traditional Japanese seasoning/spices, and comes in a real wooden crate with a mini crowbar, making it a fun feat to watch your student open.

14. Heated Slippers

Let the unicorns of the sea keep your toes toasty with these adorable heated slippers that look like narwhals.

gifts for college studentsWhile warm enough on their own, each slipper has a built in heating pad that can be turned on when it gets too cold- like a heated blanket for your feet!

These slippers are available in either wireless or USB-powered options for heat wherever they need it.

These are perfect for your student to lounge around their dorm or study room with, especially if their room is a little drafty.

15. Oil Diffuser

Cleaning sometimes isn't really a priority for students, as you probably know from years of cleaning up after them as teenagers. So, keep their room from smelling like the dirty laundry they should have washed weeks ago with an oil diffuser.

The cool part about these is that they aren't obnoxious or large, and they give off a little glow when the light is turned on. They're perfect for any student to keep in their room to keep their place smelling nice.

Ho, Ho, Hopefully This Helped

The holidays can be stressful for you and for your student; the real gift for them is being done with finals and getting to come home to a home cooked meal with the people they love the most. These ideas are just the icing on the cake.

Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas of gifts for college students that will send them back to campus with useful gifts and earn you bragging rights as coolest parents ever.