68 Gifts for Teens That Are Actually Cool, According to Real High Schoolers

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gifts for teens
Dasha Burobina/PureWow/Retailers

Finding a gift your favorite teen won’t roll their eyes at can feel like an impossible assignment. Birthdays, Christmas, Hannukah, just because—no matter the occasion, we’re always scratching our heads a little. (Hey, the teen brain is a mystery, OK?) That’s why we went straight to the experts—high schoolers themselves—and quizzed them about their wishlists. The result? Dozens of gifts for teens that are practically guaranteed to delight (yes, really), whether the 15-year-old you’re shopping for is into K-beauty, theater, sports or sleeping (somehow it’s always sleeping). To cull this list, PureWow editors combed through hundreds of products to winnow down the selection to 68 deserving items. That includes the verified cool-kid lululemon Belt Bag ($38), a Spotify subscription ($99), the eternally hip Birkenstock Bostons ($142) and Yolaine Paris’s ultra-decadent Mousse de Rouge ($49).

The Top 10 Gifts for Teens at a Glance


For the Teen on the Go

lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag

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For the Eco-Friendly Fashionista

Coach Leather Ergo Bag

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Great for Astrology Enthusiasts

Birthdate Co Birthstone Ring

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Great for the Teen Who Loves to Lounge

Aerie Hometown Holiday Sweatshirt

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Great for Music Lovers

JBL Flip 5 Speaker

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How We Chose the Best Gifts for Teens

We asked 54 teenagers between the ages of 13 to 19 about their most-wanted items. (And when teens couldn't be bothered to talk to us, we consulted that contemporary consumerist oracle, TikTok.) Here's what we learned: It all comes down to quality, style and cool factor. In other words? Anything that makes them stand out. After gathering the intel, we scoured the internet for popular and highly rated products, choosing best sellers, editor-tested items and picks that reflected the year’s biggest trends. (Hi, Barbie.) Other things we considered included return policies, personalization, age range and value for the dollar.

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For the Teen on the Go

1. lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag


  • What We Like: water-repellent, adjustable strap, 1-liter capacity, interior pockets, made from recycled materials
  • What We Don’t Like: if you want to hold a ton of stuff, this bag may be small (opt for the 2-liter)
  • Return Policy: within 30 days

No matter your teen’s age, they will love the ubiquitous and stylish lululemon belt bag. It’s available in a ton of colorways, including gender-neutral tones, with an adjustable strap and interior pockets. With a one-liter capacity, this bag can pack away quite a bit, but some buyers have noted that it can feel small. So if your teen wants to tote more than just the essentials, think about sizing up. The water-repellent fabric, made from recycled materials, makes it an ideal accessory for active lifestyles.

For the Eco-Friendly Fashionista

2. Coach Leather Ergo Bag


  • What We Like: made from recycled materials, funky pattern
  • What We Don’t Like: may be smaller than expected
  • Return Policy: within 30 days

Coach may have long been your mother's favorite purse brand (and for good reason), but the heritage leather label has had quite the resurgence amongst the youngsters over the past few years. You can thank initiatives like Coachtopia, for one, a line that speaks to the Gen Z preference for circular and sustainable style by using recycled materials and waste-reducing production practices. On that note, your favorite eco-friendly fashionista will adore this piece from the line. In addition to its cool checkerboard pattern (yes, the '00s pop punk vibes are so back), this little shoulder bag is notable for its patchwork construction, which gives new life to scrap leather. We also think they'll love the cute, retro shape and unique resin hangtag made with recycled plastic.

Great for Astrology Enthusiasts

3. Birthdate Co. Birthstone Ring

Birthdate Co.

  • What We Like: 14k gold, handmade
  • What We Don’t Like: limited sizing
  • Return Policy: no returns

The only thing better than pretty jewelry is meaningful jewelry, and Birthdate Co.’s Birthstone Ring checks both boxes. The sterling silver piece is coated in 14k gold and features 15 hand-set gemstones. Three marquise cut birthstone gems represent the past, present and future, while the white accent stones evoke images of the stars. Each ring is handmade by a family-run caster, lending each one a unique look and feel. To ensure the ring stays brilliant, it’s recommended to take it off when exercising, swimming and bathing.

Great for the Teen Who Loves to Lounge

4. Aerie Hometown Holiday Sweatshirt


  • What We Like: cozy sherpa, machine-washable
  • What We Don't Like: fit can feel very oversized
  • Return Policy: return anytime to an Aerie store or via shipping

They'll want to cozy up day and night in this half-zip sweatshirt for its relaxed, oversized fit, and after feeling the super soft sherpa fleece, they'll never want to take it off. The high-low hem is perfect for pairing with their favorite warm leggings or the matching skater pants ($50), which have pockets (!) and an adjustable drawstring waist to get their perfect fit. From chilly school day mornings to evenings by the bonfire, this comfy-yet-stylish sweatshirt will become their new go-to.

Great for Music Lovers

5. JBL Flip 5 Speaker


  • What We Like: comes in 14 colors, waterproof, pair with other JBL speakers for stereo effect
  • What We Don’t Like: some reviews note battery life is shorter than stated
  • Return Policy: 30 days

“I’m asking for this portable speaker so I can use it to blast music while I shower, or in the basement when my friends come over. I like that it has 12 hours of playtime per charge because I’m horrible about remembering to plug things in,” one 18-year-old tells us. It comes with a convenient wrist strap for easy toting on the go. To crank up the volume, you can also pair it with another JBL speaker that has PartyBoost compatibility for a stereo effect. Reviewers say it’s impressively durable, too (including waterproof), just in case your teen isn’t exactly known for being careful.

Game-Changer for the Napper

6. The Plufl Human Dog Bed


  • What We Like: machine washable, 30-day trial, memory foam base, easy to transport
  • What We Don’t Like: runs short for tall folks
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Best nap of their life, coming right up. The TikTok-favorite “human dog bed” has a memory and orthopedic foam base and super-soft (machine-washable!) cover for mid-day naps. (Because naps are the best study break.) It also folds up for easy storage.

Super for Active Types

7. GlowCity Light-Up Basketball


  • What We Like: comes with batteries for 30 hours of nighttime play, fun for posting on social media, water resistant, impact-activated, easy set-up
  • What We Don’t Like: doesn’t include pump
  • Return Policy: free returns

This regulation-size and -weight basketball has two LED lights which make the entire ball glow upon impact. For shooting hoops after all the schoolwork is done, this will be a welcome way to blow off steam during the darker months. The ball’s glow dims automatically when it’s not in use, and it comes with a spare set of batteries to keep the ball bouncing brightly after the 30 hours of the pre-installed batteries elapse.

Great for Sensitive Complexions

8. Solawave Bye Acne Spot Treatment


  • What We Like: helps prevent breakouts, quick treatment, portable, 30-day trial
  • What We Don’t Like: only treats mild-to-moderate acne
  • Return Policy: 30-day return window in store or by mail

The teen years are rife with angst and...acne. Face it: it’s kind of a 15-year-old’s worst nightmare to wake up with a giant red zit on school picture day. (Us too, honestly.) This handy little acne spot treatment by Solawave can help treat sensitive skin. It delivers red and blue light therapy to affected areas. Blue light therapy can help fight acne-causing bacteria and reduce sebum production, while red light works to reduce inflammation, correct hyperpigmentation and brighten complexions. The tool is also easy to use. Simply hold it over the breakout and set the automatic timer.

Great for Room Fixer-Uppers

9. Suddus Fairy Lights


  • What We Like: nine colorways, color changing options, remote control, multiple modes and brightness levels, 10-foot extension cord
  • What We Don’t Like: some reviewers share that string is fragile
  • Return Policy: free returns

One tenth grader told us she’s currently in the process of revamping her childhood bedroom, which inspired her to ask for a set of fairy lights from her parents. The flexible wires make it easy to place them around picture frames, mirrors or other decor for a pretty effect (that won’t ruin your walls). This particular set offers a plethora of fun color options and a handy remote control. The latter controls the multiple modes and brightness levels for your teen to customize to their liking.

Most Flattering Pants

10. Vuori Performance Jogger


  • What We Like: myriad colors, inclusive sizing, tapered leg, made from recycled materials
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers have said material snags easily
  • Return Policy: 120 days

Whether your teen is tall or petite, chances are a pair of Vuori joggers will fit them well. (Just ask our 5’2’’ beauty director, who raves about them.) The performance jogger comes in a swath of colors with inclusive sizing. The tapered leg lends a sleek look without being clingy. Bonus—the pants are made from recycled materials.

For the Sneakerhead

11. Nike Dunk Sneakers


  • What We Like: inclusive sizing, unisex, vintage look, padded and low-cut collar
  • What We Don’t Like: few colorways
  • Return Policy: 60 days

Skateboarders, basketballers and basically every teenage boy can’t get enough of the iconic ‘80s Nike Dunks, according to one PureWow editor’s teenage brother. It retains all the classic details of its glory days, with the vintage look and low-cut collar. The grippy soles make it an all-purpose shoe, whether they’re walking to school, practicing ollies or have a pickup game on the courts.

Ideal for the Skincare-Obsessed

12. Chefman Portable Mirrored Personal Fridge


  • What We Like: small footprint, mirrored door, 4 cubic liters capacity, hot and cold modes, compatible with standard home outlets and car chargers
  • What We Don’t Like: performs best at 75 degrees F
  • Return Policy: 30 days

High school senior Bella has her eye on something beauty related. "I think that a mini-cosmetic makeup fridge is this year's must-have for teen girls," she says. "Not only can you keep all of your products in there, but there is also even some room to hide some chocolates!" This desk-sized one (its footprint is only 7 by 9.5 inches) comes with a sleek mirror front to check your makeup before that next Zoom session. Plus, it holds more than just a few treats: there’s room for up to six 12-ounce cans. At the flick of a switch, it becomes a fridge for makeup and cold drinks, or a place to warm your coffee.

Most Sought-After Shoe

13. Birkenstock Boston Clogs


  • What We Like: oiled leather upper is attractive and has adjustable instep strap, cork footbed molds to wearer's foot
  • What We Don’t Like: few colorways
  • Return Policy: 365-day return window, including drop-off at Whole Foods

This shoe is arguably just odd-looking enough to take our teen nation by storm, as TikToks and trend watchers attest. So when 18-year-old Peter had to have a pair to take to college in upstate New York, our only comment was “hope you have some thick wool socks.” The oiled leather uppers and signature molded Birkenstock footbed should keep him comfy on those hikes to class.

Super for Sports Fans

14. Hot Box Cards Subscription Box

Hot Box Cards

  • What We Like: can request memorabilia from giftee's favorite team, curated by baseball or football theme
  • What We Don’t Like: subscription only available up to 6 months
  • Return Policy: contact seller for returns

Sports card collectibles are a whole thing, with TikToks devoted to starting and growing a collection. Stoke your young friend's fandom—along with educating them about markets and the collectible economy—with this monthly box that contains three autograph/memorabilia cards, three unopened packs and 50 bonus cards. There is also a monthly special themed item, and you can choose between football or baseball. Just mention your teen’s favorite team.

Great for the Organizationally Challenged

15. Herschel Roy Wallet

Herschel Supply Company

  • What We Like: RFID-blocking liner, multiple card slots, lots of colorways, made from recycled materials
  • What We Don’t Like: no pocket for change
  • Return Policy: 30-day return window

“I got my 14-year-old this wallet and it was a hit,” says one Los Angeles-based mom. “He liked the camo print, and I liked that it wasn’t so expensive that if his underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex lost it, it would be a tragedy.” This simple folded wallet is a classic and is popular for hipsters of all ages, with six card slots and a money sleeve. Plus, there’s a built-in radio frequency identification (RFID) blocking liner to protect card data. So chances are, you’ll have more chance of your young guy keeping their identification, a debit card and cash handy.

Ideal for the Jogger

16. She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm

She's Birdie

  • What We Like: handy clip-on carabiner, multiple colorways, makes whole family feel safer knowing jogger has a siren
  • What We Don’t Like: batteries not included
  • Return Policy: free returns

This one is a gift for your favorite teen and really, the whole family, since it sounds a blistering alarm and flashes a strobe light when activated, thereby giving everyone peace of mind. And it works for 40 continuous minutes, so you can feel safe in the knowledge this siren has their back on close calls.

Shades for the Fashionista

17. Kate Spade Paisleigh Sunglasses

Kate Spade

  • What We Like: cat eye, lightweight, universal fit
  • What We Don’t Like: not many colors
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Playful, trendy and colorful Kate Spade always has just the right accessory for the occasion. These cat-eye sunglasses are no exception. Available in cream/green and patterned navy, they cut a charming (and retro) figure.

For the Teen in Their Grunge Era

18. Dr. Martens Unisex Service Boots

Dr. Martens

  • What We Like: inclusive sizing, original 1460 design, slip-resistant soles, moisture-wicking memory foam
  • What We Don’t Like: few colors
  • Return Policy: 30 days

In case you totally missed it, soft goth is trending. If your teen is having a Wednesday (or Pugsley) Addams phase, then a pair of Dr. Martens is absolutely essential. Opt for the Service Boots, which feature the original 1460 design. Chunky, slip-resistant lug soles, moisture-wicking memory foam and the iconic yellow stitching ensure these shoes are as functional as they are fashionable.

For the Budding Photographer

19. Fujifilm Instax Mini 12


  • What We Like: fun colors, film included, multiple modes, easy to operate
  • What We Don’t Like: prints are small compared to Polaroid
  • Return Policy: free returns

Film photography is enjoying an unprecedented popularity, and it’s the instant cameras that deliver the old-school vibe with the necessary dose of 21st-century instant gratification. “The picture quality is pretty crisp and I think the joy of the Instax camera is that it all looks a bit retro. Bonus: It’s incredibly easy to use,” raves PureWow’s senior director of special projects, Rachel Bowie. The Fujifilm Instax line packs in the value, with affordable film (that produces great colors) and cute camera designs. The Mini 12 is a portable delight that your teen will always want to have in their bag to document moments with friends.

Great for Sports Party Hosts

20. AuKing Mini Projector


  • What We Like: compatible with smart phones, laptops, PS5, memory cards and USB drives, 55,000-hour lamp life
  • What We Don’t Like: reviewers say it can be hard to focus
  • Return Policy: free returns

“I’m asking for a movie projector this year so I can have my friends over for football Sundays. When it’s nice out, we can watch the game on the garage door, or project it onto the whole basement wall if it gets cold out,” says one 17-year-old. The projector is compatible with many devices, including smartphones and USB drives, and has dual stereo speakers. It can project up to 200 inches, which means it’ll make for some pretty epic movie nights.

For the Beachgoer

21. Nomadix Original Towel


  • What We Like: sand repellent, quick drying, absorbent, pet hair and odor resistant, lightweight, compact
  • What We Don’t Like: can feel damp in high humidity
  • Return Policy: 30 days

The Nomadix towels are self-proclaimed as “The Only Towel You Need,” and based on one editor’s testing, that’s true. After a day at the beach, PureWow’s associate SEO editor, Marissa Wu, found that the towel lived up to all its claims. It’s super compact and easy to travel with, repelled sand and was incredibly absorbent. At the end of the day, it still smelled fresh instead of carrying the whiff of salty, dirty sand. The towel is a great stocking stuffer for the teen who practically lives at the beach.

The Cellphone Standout

22. Motorola Razr+


  • What We Like: large screen, freestanding capabilities, wireless charging, Dolby and spatial sound
  • What We Don’t Like: can be difficult to find compatible cases
  • Return Policy: 30 days

If Gen Z is all about originality, the Motorola Razr+ will definitely help them stand out. The reimagined flip phone makes the style look cool. The large screen folds in half, giving the phone freestanding capabilities. Plus, the size means you can access tons of apps without having to open the phone. It also kicks the experience up a notch with Dolby sound (that’s the stuff you get in the movie theater).

For the School Supply Lover

23. Sakura Retractable Gelly Roll Pens


  • What We Like: lots of colors, fun ink effects, no more worrying about lost caps (and spilled ink), don’t bleed, works on matte and glossy paper
  • What We Don’t Like: sometimes the ink skips
  • Return Policy: free returns

For the teen who has a pencil pouch stuffed with only the best gelly roll pens for the *optimal* note-taking experience, the new (retractable!) Gelly Roll pens will be a must-have addition. They come in 12 colors with three effects (metallic, white, stardust) and will write on matte or glossy paper. Who said taking notes couldn’t be fun?

For the Fitness Buff

24. Samsung Galaxy Watch6


  • What We Like: 40-hour battery life, water resistant, fitness tracking on 90+ exercises, heart monitoring
  • What We Don’t Like: some reviewers said the set-up was a hassle
  • Return Policy: 14 days

What better gift for a gym rat (or athlete) than a smart watch? The new Samsung Galaxy Watch6 has all the bells and whistles you might expect. 40 hours of battery life, fitness tracking on over 90 exercises, heart monitoring capabilities and even sleep coaching. The display is large and durable, with water resistance up to 164 feet. The device synchs with other Galaxy devices so you can call, text, play music access your phone camera and more.

For the Lipstick Lover

25. Yolaine Paris Mousse de Rouge

Yolaine Paris

  • What We Like: beautiful packaging, long-lasting but still removes easily at the end of the day, velvety consistency
  • What We Don’t Like: not great if you’re in a rush
  • Return Policy: 14 days

“Frankly, it’s exquisite, 20/20, the absolute best lipstick consistency I’ve ever tried in my life,” writes PureWow’s commerce director, Nicole Briese. She also calls out the exquisitely detailed packaging—each lipstick resembles a tube of paint. Yolaine’s lipsticks are long-lasting, even after many hours and meals, as Briese put them to the test. She also appreciated that though the formula was durable, it wiped off easily, avoiding the need for a harsh scrub.

The Celeb-Favorite Jewelry Accessory

26. Rellery Poppy Necklace


  • What We Like: dainty, pairs well with other charms, celeb fave
  • What We Don’t Like: limited metal options
  • Return Policy: 14 days, no returns on custom pieces

If Mabel Mora deems this worthy of being on permanent rotation in her wardrobe, then you can rest assured that your teen will love it just as much. After all, who doesn’t want to emulate the ever-fashionable Selena Gomez? Rellery’s poppy necklace comes in 18k gold vermeil or sterling silver with a delicate engraving of the flower, said to represent imagination and strength of character.

For the Runner

27. lululemon Hotty Hot Shorts


  • What We Like: high rise, multiple lengths, lightweight, pocket, adjustable waist, sweat wicking, quick drying
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers found pocket on small side
  • Return Policy: 30 days

For athletes (and champions of athleisure), Lululemon’s Hotty Hot Shorts fit both bills. They’re lightweight, quick drying and sweat wicking, making them ideal shorts for long runs and intense workouts. This high-waist pair also come in tons of fun colors with a functional pocket and adjustable waistband. So, whether they throw them on for a workout or to plop on the couch for a movie night with friends, one thing’s for sure—they’ll look exceptionally cool while doing it.

For the Frequent Traveler

28. Free People Classic Crew Sweatshirt

Original Retro Brand

  • What We Like: multiple color options, oversized fit
  • What We Don’t Like: limited cities
  • Return Policy: 30 days

From Paris to Oakland, Copenhagen to Brooklyn, these slouchy cotton sweatshirts promise a comfy journey through airports to their next destination. Other locales include Philadelphia, Nashville, Savannah, Ibiza and Positano.

For the Candle Lover

29. Notes Sustainable Candle Kit


  • What We Like: refillable, lots of scent options, easy assembly, natural wax blend
  • What We Don’t Like: wax pellets can spill when assembling
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Candles are fun, but what’s an avid collector to do with all the jars that inevitably pile up? Meet Notes. Buy a starter kit, which includes a reusable glass jar and silicone insert, plus two candle refills. One PureWow editor tested it out and loved the ease of assembly, range of scents (like vanilla and pepperwood, plumeria, citrus and violet) and the natural wax blend (soy, rice bran, beeswax).

Super for the Aspiring Painter

30. Meeden 142-Piece Deluxe Artist Painting Set

  • What We Like: wide range of materials, aluminum tripod included, great for budding artists, over 1,800 five-star review
  • What We Don’t Like: paint thinner and brush cleaner not included
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Whether they’re a doodler or take extreme pride in their art class, they’ll love this set. It’s loaded with painting essentials (142 pieces, to be exact), from a variety of brushes to boatloads of watercolor and gouache paint, an adjustable wooden easel and myriad other accessories.

Great for Group Gamers

31. HyperX Cloud Alpha S Gaming Headset


  • What We Like: over-ear headphones, detachable noise-cancelling microphone
  • What We Don’t Like: some reviewers report bass was lacking
  • Return Policy: free returns

Any avid Fortnite player will tell you the best part of the game is being able to talk to other players. This comfortable gaming headset offers surround sound to make the experience that much more immersive, and the tough aluminum construction stands up to frequent gaming. Just know that he might never leave the game room once he opens this gift.

For the Perfect Holiday Makeup Look

32. Too Faced Let It Snow Globe Palette Set

Too Faced

  • What We Like: for face and eyes, holiday scents, variety of neutral tones in matte, shimmer and metallic
  • What We Don’t Like: brush not included
  • Return Policy: 30 days for refund, up to 60 days for store credit

This fun face and eye palette set features snow globe-shaped palettes in three color families: Taste of Christmas (shimmering plums and neutrals), Peacock (rosy neutrals) and Holiday Angel Face (sparkly, icy neutrals). Each has nine shades in a satin finish for a grand total of 27.

For the Environmentalist

33. Earth Rangers Wildlife Adoption Kit

Earth Rangers

  • What We Like: supports conservation efforts, runs environmental education programming for kids
  • What We Don’t Like: symbolic adoption, no updates on animal
  • Return Policy: 30-day return policy

When you adopt an animal at Earth Rangers, you fund conservation efforts and research to protect them. For example, adopting a polar bear helps to support work conducted at the University of Alberta in Canada, where researchers are studying polar bears in the Beaufort Sea. Other popular adoptions include the Harbor Seal and Common Loon.

For the Teen Who’s Always Cold

34. Athleta So Toasty Hoodie


  • What We Like: wide size range, thumb holes, big pockets, made from recycled materials
  • What We Don’t Like: limited colors
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Say goodbye to the dreaded winter question, “can we turn on the heater?” This fluffy, cozy hoodie will keep her warm all season long. Part of the collection designed in partnership with Simone Biles, it’s got thumb holes and big pockets. That’s a combination that’ll make her want to never take it off. It also comes in a wide range of sizes, from XS to XXL.

For the Budding Perfume Aficionado

35. Ariana Grande Cloud Eau de Parfum

Ariana Grande

  • What We Like: multiple sizes, cute packaging, affordable price point, long-lasting scent
  • What We Don’t Like: some say it has a candy scent
  • Return Policy: 90 days

Aside from being one of pop music’s most successful acts, Ariana Grande is also known as a successful celebrity perfumer. One of her biggest hits is her Cloud Eau de Parfum, a warm and spicy scent with top notes of lavender, pear and bergamot underlined with a base of musk and creamy blonde woods.

Fashionably Convenient Phone Case

36. Bandolier Hailey Crossbody


  • What We Like: adjustable strap, card holder, easily detachable, multiple color options
  • What We Don’t Like: can feel bulky
  • Return Policy: 30 days

It’s no secret Bandolier is a celeb-favorite accessory, loved by the likes of Blake Lively, Zooey Deschanel, Selena Gomez, Oprah and even Taylor Swift. One of the most popular styles is the Hailey Crossbody, with an adjustable, detachable strap and button-snap card holder. It comes in a variety of colors including black, red and floral. Teens will love the ease of having their phone, money and keys on something way cooler than a lanyard and less bulky than a bag.

For Self-Care Sundays

37. Mom Bomb Luxury Bath Bombs

Mom Bomb

  • What We Like: natural ingredients, handmade, variety of scents, doesn’t leave residue in tub, proceeds aid mothers in crisis
  • What We Don’t Like: individual plastic wrap can be hard to open
  • Return Policy: 30 days

There’s nothing like a nice bath and a book on Self Care Sunday. Gift your teen a set of six handmade bath bombs—perfect as stocking stuffers. The bath bombs are handmade and come in different scents. One of the best parts? This small business uses its proceeds to provide aid to mothers in crisis.

For the Jewelry Collectors

38. Mele and Co Ivy Jewelry Box & Stand

Mele and Co

  • What We Like: interior compartments, elegant boho design
  • What We Don’t Like: not great for longer necklaces
  • Return Policy: 30 days, $5 restocking fee

Minimalist with a dash of boho-chic, this elegant jewelry organizer has a pull-out drawer, eight compartments and parallel standing bars to store necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and other pieces. Say goodbye to the tangled clump on the vanity.

The Cute Nightstand Accessory

39. Uneede Bunny Lamp


  • What We Like: variety of animals available, warm and soft light, rechargeable, battery life up to 56 hours
  • What We Don’t Like: no timer options, touch sensor can be finicky
  • Return Policy: 90 days

Whoever said cute animals were for babies has obviously never met the Internet’s favorite cat, Pusheen. Super cute, super plush, all the rage. Thus, these cute animal lamps are sure to garner plenty of “OMG so cute!” exclamations from your teen. Because no matter how “grown up” we are, when faced with chubby animals, something just makes us melt. These adorable lamps come in a variety of animal incarnations, including a bunny, chick, duck and dino. The light will emit a soft, warm glow and is touch-activated. Depending on the animal you choose, other features include timers, brightness levels and a rechargeable battery.

Super for Skater Wannabes

40. Magneto Cruiser Longboard


  • What We Like: large 70 mm wheels are soft for extra grip, sand grip finish on deck is non-slip so no need for grip tape
  • What We Don’t Like: may need to fiddle with axel when setting up
  • Return Policy: free returns

Your adventurous teen will have a blast cruising down the street on this nine-inch wide, 44-inch long longboard made in California. It has nice, thick, grippy wheels that can handle rough roads and a maple core for stiff durability. Get them a helmet ($39), too, while you’re at it.

For the Face Shave Newbie

41. Philips Norelco Wet/Dry Electric Shaver

Philips Norelco

  • What We Like: shave blades are surrounded by a protective coating to reduce skin irritation, 60 minutes of shaving on a one-hour charge
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers wished battery life was longer
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Whether you want to help him step up his personal grooming routine or send a little nudge that you’re really hoping he gets rid of his wispy “mustache,” this pivoting-head shaver should do the trick. It's got little extras such as a pop-up sideburn trimmer and allows him to shave dry or wet with foam or gel, so he can experiment with his grooming regimen.

For the Mobile Gamer

42. Nintendo Switch


  • Why We Love It: three play styles include TV mode, tabletop mode and handheld mode, up to nine hours on a single charge
  • What We Don’t Like: games can be expensive
  • Return Policy: free returns

Nintendo Switch's popularity has soared, in part thanks to the console's easy portability. It’s a perennial favorite for kids who want to game while being chauferred by their parents or waiting at the bus stop—because playing Mario Kart 8 seems like a way better deal than reading To Kill a Mockingbird to a 9th grader. It supports three play styles—TV mode, tabletop and handheld—with detachable controllers and a battery that can last up to nine hours. Of course, it’s also compatible with all the iconic Nintendo games.

Comfy and Cool

43. Crocs Classic Clogs


  • What We Like: tons of colors, unisex, accessorize with charms, durable, comfortable
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers find the shoe too wide
  • Return Policy: 45 days

It feels like all the cool kids are wearing Crocs these days, you can’t go wrong with the brand’s classic clogs as a stocking stuffer. Choose from 28 colors, ranging from black to all shades of pink and blue. These iconic shoes are known for being super comfortable, plus, you can accessorize them with charms for a personal touch.

For the Teen with Perpetually Dry Hands

44. Evolve Together Hand Cream

Evolve Together

  • What We Like: variety of scents, travel size, rich formula, contains glycerin and vitamins B/C/E, absorbs quickly, biodegradable and recyclable packaging
  • What We Don’t Like: a little pricey for amount of product
  • Return Policy: no returns on personal care items

Evolve Together’s hand cream set delivers three refreshing scents in hydrating, quick-absorbing formulas. Included are Havana (cardamom), Monaco (rose) and Provence (lavender). The hand creams are formulated with glycerin and vitamins B/C/E, and the packaing is biodegradable or recyclable. Great for teens who want to keep a little tube of lotion in their bag. After all, few things are worse than chapped hands.

Fun for Future Hairstylists

45. Mermade Hair 32mm PRO Waver


  • What We Like: whole-head styling fast, auto shut-off
  • What We Don’t Like: can cause dryness
  • Return Policy: $5 restocking fee for mailed returns, free for store returns

Relax, crimpers aren’t making a comeback (at least not yet). But this similar-looking device has gotten really popular among teens. In fact, three of the girls we spoke to said they’re hoping to receive a hair waver this year—and this one heats in a mere 60 seconds. As one former editor attests, the Mermade gave her hair, which normally doesn’t hold any shape, all-day waves in about 10 minutes, and even withstood an evening workout.

For the Avid Phone Photographer

46. Fujifilm Instax Smartphone Printer


  • What We Like: includes film, compatible with any smartphone
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers report Bluetooth connection can be finicky
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Instax’s smartphone printer will allow your teen to print any photos off their phone. The company makes three models to accommodate different sizes of film (mini, square, wide). Printing requires connection via the Instax App, which also gives access to InstaxAiR, which allows the photographer to add shapes and doodles to their image before printing.

Hydration Station

47. Stanley Adventure Quencher


  • What We Like: large volume, keeps drinks hot or cold, dishwasher safe, car cupholder compatible
  • What We Don’t Like: pricey compared to similar brands
  • Return Policy: free returns

One PureWow editor’s teenage cousin reported that the Stanley cup remains a hot-ticket item. The Adventure Quencher, with its five-cup capacity and ability to keep drinks at its optimal temperature (two days iced, 11 hours cold and seven hours hot) will keep your teen sipping in style all day long. It’s also dishwasher safe (always a plus) and is available in several colors, including rose gold and grapefruit pink.

Hair Repair

48. Function of Beauty Haircare Subscription

Function of Beauty

  • What We Like: custom formulas, good value, refreshing scents, great for all hair types, eco-friendly
  • What We Don’t Like: can get expensive depending on subscription
  • Return Policy: no returns

One PureWow editor put Function of Beauty’s custom hair care line to the test, and the results didn’t disappoint. She found the formulas to be effective and a good value vis-à-vis competitor brands, with refreshing scent options and sustainability commitments a plus. The products are suitable for all hair types, and Function of Beauty also offers formulas specifically tailored to color-treated hair. So, this is a great gift for the teen who’s dying their hair every other week.

Ideal for Art Lovers

49. Cool to Be Kind Art Print

Rhianna Marie Chan

  • What We Like: available in numerous sizes, framed and unframed
  • What We Don’t Like: no framing options
  • Return Policy: return requests within 60 days

Apparently, room decor is a major theme this year, because one junior told us she’s also looking to revamp her bedroom with a few wish list items. She sent us a link to this art print in particular, saying, “I just love the font and the message behind it.” Indeed, we could all use the reminder these days. This particular print is available in three sizes and printed on cotton archival paper. Just add a pretty frame and it’s good to go into the gift pile.

Popular with Clear Skin Experimenters

50. Starface Pimple Patches (Pack of 32)


  • What We Like: overnight pimple de-puffing, keeps out bacteria, comes in mirrored compact
  • What We Don’t Like: star shape covers less surface area
  • Return Policy: returns not accepted

“My favorite YouTuber, Brooke Miccio, has talked about these pimple patches a few times and I’m curious to see if they actually work. Fingers crossed I get them as a stocking stuffer,” says one 15-year-old we asked. The fun shape and color makes the patch feel more playful than medicinal and could fly under the radar as just a fun face sticker. It works to absorb fluid and reduce size and inflammation overnight. (Plus, we love this brand’s messaging about ending the stigma around acne, too.)

For the Teen with the Smile

51. Hum By Colgate Smart Battery Toothbrush Kit

Hum by Colgate

  • What We Like: includes carrying case and extra refill brush head, easy to understand images of where to improve brushing, 2-minute timer
  • What We Don’t Like: some reviews note that toothbrush head is a bit small
  • Return Policy: free returns

Teens are raving on TikTok about this device, which not only cleans your teeth, but also pairs with an app to show where you need to brush better. This electric brush is powered by batteries so there’s no need to keep it charged up, and even comes with a travel case so she doesn’t have to bring that free toothbrush she got from the dentist on her next trip. When shopping, keep in mind that some reviewers found the bristles to be soft. While not necessarily a bad thing, it can be a downside if you prefer something firmer.

Perfect for Art Therapy Practitioners

52. Baisite DIY Paint by Numbers Kit


  • What We Like: choice of 22 canvas images pairs 12 x 16 rolled size canvases
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers noted paint seemed thin
  • Refund Policy: 30 days

Behold, the ideal gift for any high schooler with a creative side. A 14-year-old tells us that she used to love paint-by-numbers when she was little, and she just started to get back into them. “Painting really helps me relax,” she explains. And since you just have to fill in the spaces with their corresponding colors, these cotton-and-linen canvases are great for aspiring artists looking to build their confidence. Choose from 22 different canvases, including flowers, landscapes and surreal art. Each kit includes paints, brushes and a guide to help them create the masterpiece.

For the Music and Podcast Aficionado

53. Bose QuietComfort Headphones


  • What We Like: noise-canceling, 30-foot Bluetooth range, hi-fi audio, quiet and aware modes, battery life up to 22 hours, customizable audio settings
  • What We Don’t Like: few color options
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Bose’s noise-cancelling headphones come with all the bells and whistles your teen needs to get lost in the music (or the podcast). That means 30-foot Bluetooth range, hi-fi audio with great bass and a battery that lasts up to 22 hours. The customizable audio settings allow the wearer to set the bass, treble and mid-range to their preferences or choose from pre-set modes. Quiet mode cancels outside noise, while aware mode lets the wearer hear their surroundings.

For the One Who Likes to Leave a Note

54. Paper Culture Classic Monogram Stationery

Paper Culture

  • What We Like: multiple colorways, trim and paper options; envelopes included; made from recycled materials
  • What We Don’t Like: horizontal orientation only
  • Return Policy: no returns

Another teen girl we spoke to said she’d love to receive stationery. Sure, you could fill her writing desk with sets from Rifle Paper Co. (not that anyone is complaining). Or, you could indoctrinate your teen on the joys of monogrammed stationery. (Because even Taylor Swift can’t resist a good letterhead.) Paper Culture’s classic monogram option is printed on recycled paper and available in multiple colorways, trims and papers—envelopes included. Throw in a fountain pen and the gift is complete.

Ideal for Ear Stack Wearers

55. Studs Max Pavé Huggie


  • What We Like: 14K or rhodium-plated, hinge closure stays secure for daily wear
  • What We Don’t Like: not sold in pairs
  • Return Policy: 21-day return/exchange window

When asked what she's eyeing, one 17-year-old immediately pulled up the image of these lightning bolt huggies on her phone. “I just got my second holes pierced so I have to wait a couple of months, but I can’t wait to put cool little hoops like this in them,” she says. The Max Pavé Huggie earring features a a row of glittering white stones in a 14k gold hoop, perfect for stacking with other jewelry.

Splurge for Computer Lovers

56. Apple MacBook Air


  • What We Like: up to 18 hours battery time, two thunderbolt/USB 4 ports for charging and accessories, 13.3-inch retina display
  • What We Don’t Like: pricey
  • Return Policy: 15 days

Sure, lots of students have access to school computers these days. But most don’t allow them to access the important stuff—like Netflix and Hulu. Hook them up with a MacBook Air so they can watch TV from the comfort of their own bed and also use it for non-schoolwork-related internet needs (you know, like researching new ways to be embarrassed by you). Plus, Macs are known to be long-lasting, so if they take good care of it, it just might last them through college.

Great for the Budding Musician

57. Yamahas FD01S Guitar


  • What We Like: spruce, mahogany and rosewood; great for all levels of experience, great tone and projection
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers find strings too high above fret board
  • Return Policy: 30 days

So, your teen has decided they want to start a band. Or, at least, start playing an instrument. The Yamaha FD01S is a good intermediate pick, but also a good first guitar that can grow with the player. Buyers have noted that it’s good value for the money, marrying sound and build quality with a reasonable price.

Super for Audio Enthusiasts

58. Spotify Premium Pass


  • What We Like: scratches teen's itch for music, digital download so you can instantly gift it
  • What We Don’t Like: card is a subscription voucher, some reviewers wished it was a gift card
  • Return Policy: not eligible for return

It’s rough out there when every third song is interrupted with an ad, so we’re not surprised that two freshmen mentioned wanting Spotify Premium. This card is redeemable for a full year of the streaming service, which means your music aficionado can jam out without fear of interruption.

For the Crafter

59. Friendship Bracelet Kit


  • What We Like: 1,200 beads (alphabet and 24 colors), cord included, glass
  • What We Don’t Like: no jewelry blanks included
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Everyone went bonkers for friendship bracelets this year, so now’s the time to replenish your teen’s stash. This affordable kit packs in 1,200 glass beads, including the entire alphabet and 24 different colors. Cord is included, but you’ll have to supply other materials for rings, earrings and key chains.

Fun for AirPods Users

60. Kate Spade New York Glitter Air Pods Case

Kate Spade New York

  • What We Like: resin with liquid glitter, magnetic closure, attached key chain
  • What We Don’t Like: some buyers report top lid can wiggle loose
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Multiple high schoolers told us that they wanted a case for their AirPods, making it a foolproof option if you’re stumped on what to get your trendy cousin for their birthday. One teen we asked was partial to this glittery option with its dog clip key ring and magnetic closure, but Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters also carry a ton of different styles to choose from.

Ideal for Harry Potter Fans

61. Harry Potter Super Storage Lapdesk

Pottery Barn

  • What We Like: opens to reveal small, medium and large compartments, house-themed imagery and canvas backing
  • What We Don’t Like: writing surface isn’t smooth
  • Return Policy: 30-day return window

This portable laptop disk has something(s) extra. It's large (17 inches by 13 inches) and 4.5-inch thick. It includes three inner compartments easily accessed by the sliding surface and the carvings pay homage to the four Hogwarts houses. A pencil lip keeps everything from sliding off. It's enough to keep your giftee's nose out of their novels and into their studies.

For the Skateboarder

62. Razor RipStik Caster Board


  • What We Like: 360-degree wheels, slip-resistant pivoting deck, torsion bar allows for snowboard-like carving
  • What We Don’t Like: steeper learning curve than normal skateboard
  • Return Policy: free returns

The flexible deck on this skateboard has slip resistant pivoting decking and 76mm urethane wheels with precision sealed bearings that result in smooth riding. Net result: riders carve better and faster than ever before (but newbies can have a gentle ride, too). Just be sure to gift a helmet ($30).

For the Beauty Newbie

63. Petite ‘n Pretty Sparkle Squad Subscription Box

Petite 'n Pretty

  • What We Like: great for early teens/tweens getting into makeup, wide range of products to try
  • What We Don’t Like: a little pricey
  • Return Policy: 30 days

For tweens and new teenagers, Petite ‘n Pretty’s makeup line is a great (and safe) introduction into the world of beauty. The products are pediatrician-approved and dermatologist-tested, ranging from lip gloss and deodorant to eye palettes and face wash. The subscription boxes include a variety of products and accessories in fun packaging.

Great for the YouTuber

64. Lume Cube Mobile Creator Kit 2.0

Lume Cube

  • What We Like: compact, telescoping tripod; Bluetooth remote; multiple cold shoe mounts; microphone; creator light; travel case
  • What We Don’t Like: requires Allen wrench (included) to make adjustments
  • Return Policy: 30 days

For your budding YouTuber or TikTok star, a great mobile setup is a must. Lume Cube’s highly rated Mobile Creator Kit packs up the essentials for great content into a handy travel case. Included are a compact, telescoping tripod, Bluetooth remote, various cold shoe mounts, a microphone and creator light. Whether they're filming makeup tutorials or daredevil hikes, this setup will help them do both.

Great for the Fragrance Lover

65. Boy Smells Discovery Set

Boy Smells

  • What We Like: six 1.5 ml vials of gender-neutral fragrance, includes purchase price credit toward full-size fragrance
  • What We Don’t Like: no returns
  • Return Policy: returns not accepted after opened

This set of fine fragrances from this Los Angeles-based perfume and candle company is gender-neutral, so you need not worry about the scent being overly flowery or woodsy or citrusy for your giftee, since there are notes of all of that in these little vials. In the box are six scents, ranging from Flor De La Virgen (Sicilian pomelo, jasmine, musk) to Hinoki Fantôme (cedarwood, hinoki, fir).

For the House DJ

66. Crosley Cruiser Record Player


  • What We Like: compatible with any Bluetooth device, portable suitcase, three speeds, pitch control, built in speakers
  • What We Don’t Like: sound quality is okay
  • Return Policy: 30 days

Vinyl has never been more colorful, thanks to Crosley’s slew of happy-hued record players. For the teen with the budding collection (how could they not pick up every new Taylor Swift release?), they’re going to want this portable version. It’s got Bluetooth connection, plays three speeds, offers pitch control and has built-in speakers. Great for toting to a friend’s house or adding a pop of color to their room décor.

Bullseye for Book Lovers

67. Book of the Month Subscription

Book of the Month

  • What We Like: early releases, reduced prices from retail, can pause or roll over book credits
  • What We Don’t Like: no virtual book club
  • Return Policy: subscription can be paused, wrong or misprinted books replaced

Shopping for a bookworm? You can’t go wrong with a Book of the Month subscription. Each month, she’ll get to choose one of five just-released YA titles to be sent her way. And if none sound appealing, she can always surf through past months’ offerings.

Best Hanukkah Gift

68. Mamaleh Mensch Necklace


  • What We Like: gender-neutral, Cuban chain that won't knot, great for neck stacks
  • What We Don’t Like: only available in gold
  • Return Policy: 30 days

“Talk Yiddish to me” is the motto from Mamaleh, a Jewish-inspired jewelry line that's taking Old-World traditions and turning them on their head with trendy, fun and inclusive designs. There’s other Yiddish baubles, like “chutzpah” and “yente,” but this one in particular caught our eyes as a cheeky gift for the teens we’d love to hold the door for us—what a mensch! (We’ve seen both men and women rock the look.)

What’s the Best Way to Shop for a Teenager?

Just like with grown-ups, the key here is to focus on your giftee's activities and interests. If your niece goes from the classroom to practice, scoop up lululemon's viral Align top. Or, if they've been tapping into their artsy side, why not get them an easel set? After all, it's not about how much you spend—it's about whether it aligns with their personality. And before you get too stressed out by buying something your giftee won't like, remember, most gifts are returnable—so we included each item's return window in the description. Because really, what's more valuable than teaching a teenager that sometimes, you might just have to drop something off at UPS with a pre-paid label in order to get what you really want? That sort of lesson, we'd argue, may be the real gift.

The 81 Best Gifts for Women for Birthdays and Beyond

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dana dickey
Dana Dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...
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Marissa Wu

Associate SEO Editor

I’ve covered the lifestyle space for the last three years after majoring in journalism (and minoring in French) at Boston University. Talk to me about all things sustainable &...
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Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.