The 40 Best Gifts for Tweens That Aren't Cringe

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

Shopping for a pre-teen this holiday season? Word to the wise: Don’t be daunted by the seeming impossibility of choosing something they'll actually enjoy. We've compiled a list of the best gifts for tweens to make you win Christmas by a landslide, including picks from the best-selling products of 2022 to items for under $50.

What Age Range is a Tween?

Tweens are between 9 and 12 years old, and their interests include everything from bingeing Euphoria to scrolling TikTok for hours. With that in mind, you'll have a significantly better chance of finding them a gift they'll love.

Why Can't You Shop for Tweens Like Kids and Teens?

Preteens are at a unique developmental stage, according to child psychologists and any harried middle school teacher. They’ve moved on from being identified as “a big kid,” but they’re not entirely comfortable in the sometimes rough and tumble world of full-on hormonal teendom. Basically, they might be getting crushes but still wanting to sleep with a teddy bear.

So, Just a Gift Card, Then?

Perhaps. But instead of just handing over a gift card, consider giving a tween something unexpected. Here at PureWow, we encourage going the extra mile to surprise and delight a giftee. Maybe your tween would like an outdoor game they can play with a few friends, a baking set to use with a sibling or a shirt that fits their style to a T. Yup, it can be done; just see the top picks for yourself below.

The Best Gifts for Tweens at a Glance

The 72 Best Gifts for Teens, According to Teenagers

1. Kiwico Crystal Soap Making Kit

For Crafty Tweens

• Why We Love It: Easy-to-learn, soothing

This kit lets them craft soap that looks like quartz in a science experiment that only requires the included molds and a microwave. Then, when they're done, they've got something to inspire them to keep clean.

2. PuraVida Sunflower Seed Anklet

For the Barefoot Gal

• Why We Love It: Retro charm, distinctive jewelry type

What’s cuter than an anklet? Not much, and we predict your giftee will immediately squeal when you explain it goes on her leg, not her wrist. The nine-inch length is generous, and the brass plating and glass beads will withstand all the pool parties she'll go to next year.

3. Aemilas Sherpa Hoodie

For the House Lounger

• Why We Love It: Towel-like softness, cell phone pockets

Ask any tween: Robes are so grandma and grandpa. So gift an oversized hoodie that they can toss over their PJs and feel confident in their body, no matter what is going on growth-spurt-wise. It's one-size-fits-all, so you can be sure it's loose enough to be comfortable. P.S. Apply the coupon to snag $1 off.

4. Rosetta Galaxy Star Projector

For the Sleep Resistant

• Why We Love It: Soothing multicolor lights, white noise

In a one-two punch of vibey visuals (swirling red-blue-violet lights) and eight white noise settings, this night light lets users set it to auto-off in one to four-hour settings. It also plays Bluetooth-enabled tunes, and the colored lights will do nicely for their dramatic selfies. Just be sure to apply the coupon to score $2 off.

5. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

For the Tween With Chapped Lips

• Why We Love It: Keeps lips nourished, smells good

TBH, whether or not she suffers from chapped lips, she'll be into this sleeping mask. How do we know? Because buyers can't stop talking about how buttery smooth it makes their lips feel. And the results last all day, so they can make it through school feeling good about their pout.

6. Vans Slip-on SF

For the Kid Who Wants to Surf

  • Why We Love It: OG styling, no-lace ease

Whether they are diehard surfers or just want to look cool, these comfy, classic waterproof slip-ons will be appreciated. One Zappos reviewer mentioned that they look even better in person.

Size range: 5 to 9.5

7. Olive & June Press-on Mani System

For Nail Biters

• Why We Love It: Age-appropriate color selection, easy to apply

Gen Z has made friends with press-on nails, and the new iterations come in subtle colorways and shorter lengths that are cool without being extra. This kit will help the tween with nervous hands get a jump on nail grooming with nine included tools such as a cuticle pusher, nail clipper, file, buffer, strengthener and set of short, French mani press-ons.

8. Crosley UO Exclusive Record Player

For the Retro Music Fan

• Why We Love It: Vintage styling, stereo speakers

No matter if they’re into Yungblud, Billie Eilish or Wilco for that matter, they'll appreciate collecting and listening to vinyl as a supplement to their steady stream of Spotify. So it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy them this Bluetooth-enabled stereo that lets them do both in style.

9. Outerknown S.E.A. Suit

For the Absent-Minded Fashionista

• Why We Love It: 11 colors, roll-up leg

This cotton-and-linen jumpsuit has lots of pockets so she can stash her phone, bus pass and debit card and not have to suffer the anxiety of strolling the mall in her posse without the essentials.

Size range: XS to XL

10. Elements of Balance Focus Adaptogen Drink

For the Homework-Obsessed

  • Why We Love It: Caffeine-free, sugar-free

This 12-pack of soft drinks is formulated with adaptogens to help your tween focus on schoolwork without the jittery buzz of caffeine or the crash of sugary sodas.

11. Oribe Style and Refresh Hair Set

For the Grooming Newbie

• Why We Love It: Two water-free washing products

This hair set features products that can easily fit in a school locker, including a mini Gold Lust dry shampoo that absorbs product buildup and a Dry Texturizing spray that dries oils at the roots while giving hair traction to hold a curl. The full-size Dry Texturizing spray is a bonus, so they also have some for home use.

12. Kiwico Levitating Lantern

For the Science Guy or Gal

• Why We Love It: Hour-long construction, engineering made fun

Perfect for the junior electrical engineer, this easy-to-assemble lamp teaches them all about the principles of tension and tensegrity as they build a lantern that floats in mid-air.

13. Enchanted Diamond Belle Earrings

For the Disney Princess Fanatic

•Why We Love It: Rose gold over sterling, Disney inspired

These rose-shaped earrings with 1/20 carat diamonds in the center are not just lovely, they are elements in Beauty and the Beast. If she's a fan of the story, the film or just delicate fine jewelry, this keepsake pair of earrings is going to get you a gasp of appreciation.

14. Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle

For the Pastel Lover

• Why We Love It: Three lids, 25 colorways

Show your giftee you appreciate her love of bright things along with her desire to stay hydrated with this 32-ounce double-walled cooler.

15. Smoko Giant Food Light

For Boba Tea Fans

• Why We Love It: Cute overload, functional nightlight

Memorialize their love of all things boba with this LED lamp that is pretty much the cutest nightlight we've ever seen. It’s 5.5 inches tall, so it can fit on their bedside. Note: It runs on three AAA batteries, not included.

16. Ettika Neon Scrunchie

For the Over-the-Top Dresser

• Why We Love It: Crystals, shiny

She will shriek when she gets a load of this excessive in-the-best-way satin scrunchie. Her parents will also appreciate the way it keeps her hair off her face.

17. lululemon Pace Breaker Shorts

For the Guy Jock

• Why We Love It: Zippered pocket, cool wearing

He may already have a lot of workout shorts, but these are fancy. Thanks to a quick-drying four-way stretch fabric and a generous seven-inch length, they'll fit comfortably. Plus, they're so versatile he won’t want to take them off once he’s dominated his workout.

Size range: XS to XXL

18. Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses

For the Cool Guy or Gal

• Why We Love It: Quality lenses, classic style

You’ll not often find a fashion item that’s going to appeal to Gen Z, millennials, X and boomers, but we nominate these Wayfarers as one such item. They're lightweight, good-looking on everyone and teach them to take care of their peepers.

19. L.L. Bean Toiletry Kit

For the Sleepover Guy

• Why We Love It: Indestructible, roomy

Heavy-duty nylon packcloth is going to withstand whatever toothpaste tube isn’t on tight, so you can rest knowing you won't have a mess to help clean up when they come back from a sleepover.

20. CBanning Accessories Bucket Hat

For the Do Revenge Watcher

• Why We Love It: Kicky style, lightweight construction

The hit Netflix movie about Miami teens is filled with many colorful bold looks, including a handful of bucket hats. This one is so unique it will perfectly clash with everything she owns.

21. Solawave Skincare Wand

For the Complexion Obsessed

• Why We Love It: Facial massage feel, comes with a serum

This warming wand uses blue light to kill bacteria and calm redness. And in as little as ten minutes post-washing, a few swipes of this vibrating microcurrent wand will really bring out your giftee’s healthy glow.

22. Crocs Tie-Dye Lined Clogs

For the One with Wild Style

• Why We Love It: Graffiti print, waterproof

Thermoplastic clogs with a strap that can be flipped back or hinged forward to make a slip-on shoe…convenience, thy name is Crocs. These mold to their footbed as they wear them, and look cute with everything from swimwear to skirts. Plus, they have a cozy fuzzy lining for total comfort.

Size range: 4 to 17

23. A Young People's History of the United States

For the History Buff

• Why We Love It: Conversation starter, short chapters

It’s said that history is told from the perspective of the winning side, and this young people’s version of Howard Zinn’s adult-focused work tells history using the voices of workers, enslaved people, immigrants, women, Native Americans and more.

24. Adornmonde Keen Ear Cuffs

For the Ear Party Tween

• Why We Love It: 14 K gold plated, crystal insets

If her family isn’t set on her piercing extra holes in her body, or if she’s just curious about the look, these ear cuffs let her experiment with a little extra bling in “demi-fine” gold-plated sterling silver.

25. Lego Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child

For Science Fiction Fans

• Why We Love It: Posable, makes great room display

This 1,073-piece Lego sculpture is rated for ten and up, so it’s not going to be impossible to put together. And once it’s assembled, the mouth and ears can be adjusted to their liking.

26. Sensyne Extendable Tripod Stand

For the Emerging Vlogger

• Why We Love It: Removable phone holder, 3 light temperature settings

Whether they’re into makeup tutorials, fitness demos or just the latest TikTok dance, the tween in your life will find a use for this ring light when they’re making videos. It'll also come in handy when they’re joining a Zoom study session. Psst...Don't forget to apply the coupon to get $5 off.

27. Astro Birthdays By Stella Andromeda

For the Astrology Buff

• Why We Love It: Multi-disciplinary insights, cool graphics

This cunning book has 366 profiles, one for each day of the Leap Year, comprising astrological insights, numerology and Tarot intel. This will be fun to look up not just the giftee’s own birthday, but their friends' and family’s as well.

28. Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen Spf 30

For the Outdoors Lover

• Why We Love It: Unisex, sheer coverage

You’ll want to start nagging them early about always wearing SPF, and this all-mineral sunscreen goes on practically invisibly, so no one will think they are wearing anything on their face. Bonus: The formula protects against blue light, too.

29. Bed Of Nails Eco Acupressure Pillow

For Dancers, Gymnasts and Other Bendy Bodies

• Why We Love It: Alleviates tension, passive recovery

Any young athletic person will appreciate how pressure-point manipulation can help loosen strained or tensed muscles. This buckwheat hull-filled pillow has more than 2,000 spiked discs to really get the neck, shoulders, lumbar or other regions going.

30. Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset

For the Gamer

• Why We Love It: Easy setup, immersive gaming

Someone’s going to have to explain the Metaverse to you, and it might as well be the kid who is 11 years old now. This hands-free headset lets the user just slip it on and set up with the smartphone app right out of the box.

31. Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit

For the Campfire Entertainer

• Why We Love It: 12 colors, free online course

A digital tuner, a strap and everything your little warbling giftee needs to become uke adept is in this bundle featuring a 21-nch soprano ukulele, picks and more.

32. Pottery Barn Teen Levi Lounger

For the Preteen Man Cave

• Why We Love It: Updated beanbag, small profile

He'll want to host hangouts in their room with this 39-inch wide bean bag chair that’s a little more structured than yesterday’s free-form blob. The durable cotton canvas cover is spot cleanable and tough enough to stand up to all his ruffian friends.

33. Hhobby Stars Sensory Fidget Toys Pack

For the Overstimulated Tween

• Why We Love It: Diverse sensory stimulation, stress relieving

With so much information bombardment, social pressure and school responsibility, it can be helpful for them to let off a bit of steam by squishing a squeeze ball in their hand, setting a liquid motion timer or playing with a flippy chain. All those toys and more are in this cornucopia.

34. Mighty Paw Light-Up LED Dog Necklace

For the Dog Walker

• Why We Love It: High visibility, easy to custom-fit

It may be raining. It may be snowing. It may be after dark. But that tween still has to take out the family dog, and this light-up LED dog necklace makes both of them that much more visible and therefore safer.

35. Therapedic Oversized Backrest Pillow

For the Bed Studier

• Why We Love It: Seven colors, cell phone pocket

Soft micro mink texture polyester covers this 36-inch long pillow that can help the student (or YouTube binger) not get a sore neck or back when they’re logging in the hours. It is filled with solid Temperpedic foam, so you can bet it's incredibly supportive.

36. Razor Ripstik Ripster Caster Board

For the Skater

• Why We Love It: Accelerates without pushing, 175-pound capacity

The pivoting deck and 360-degree inclined casters mean that just by shifting their weight, riders can speed up or slow down. At only 5.5 pounds, this is a wheeled challenge tweens will love taking on, as long as they’re wearing the helmet you’ve gifted along with it.

37. J.Crew Convertible Beach Sarong

For the Sun Worshipper

• Why We Love It: Accent stitching, scalloped brim

It’s rare that you find a coverup for her that looks as cute at the beach as it does with an entire outfit, but this bright and versatile wrap is all that and more. The cotton is lightweight to boot.

Size range: XXS to XXL

38. PacSun Plaid Button Down Shirt

For the Dress Shirt Denier

• Why We Love It: Low-key fashion, plaid

If he’s the type of guy who sees no problem wearing a t-shirt to a wedding, ease him out of his comfort zone with this loose-fitted plaid number. It’s from the Cali cool company PacSun, which is popular among his demo.

Size range: S to XL

39. Marguerite Organic Sateen Duvet Cover

For the Future Interior Designer

• Why We Love It: Bold florals, organic cotton

Does she have a knack for mixing florals and stripes? Does she know her way around the color wheel? Is she constantly rearranging her room? Then she will appreciate this gorgeous duvet cover that reverses to a ditsy print. (And she’ll really love that you threw in a pair of matching shams.)

40. Andie The Malibu

For the Serious Swimmer

• Why We Love It: Multi-snap neckline, maximum bust support

This versatile swimsuit has a medium-leg cut and comes in long-waist sizes, so it’s not going to pull too much on a growing girl. And the snap top means she can get a bit of sun on her body when she’s done swimming laps.

Size range: XS to XXXL

Want to know which buzzy products are *really* worth buying? Sign up for our shopping newsletter to uncover our favorite finds.