29 Gifts for College Students from Freshmen to Seniors

The Ultimate Gift Guide is supported by readers like you. When you click on links and buy products through our site, we may earn a commission. How we make money

Gifts for College Students from Freshmen to Seniors

Whether the college student is a freshman or senior, students need many items besides bed sheets and towels. The gift ideas for college students listed help relieve a little stress and let them know someone thinks about them. The gifts range from functional to pretty, or both. They appreciate small gestures like surprising them with one of these gifts.

 

    • our favorite
    Coffee Maker

    Students are grateful for a Keurig that makes a cup of coffee quickly when they cram for exams. This machine brews three sizes – six, eight, and ten ounces. The button controls are simple. Insert a k-pod, select the cup size, and brew excellent tasting coffee in less than 60 seconds.

    +Programmable shut-off feature
    -First cup takes longer than a minute to brew
    Buy from Amazon
    • Desk Organizer

      The distance between parts and the position can be rotated and adjusted to fit the needs of the college student. This desk organizer is ideal for plants, books, documents, and office supplies. It is a five-unit organizer that is easy to carry and transport. 

      +Options to meet student's needs
      -Tricky assembly
      Buy from Amazon
      • most popular
      Fire Stick

      Enjoy full high definition, fast streaming. It comes with Alexa Voice Remote Lite. Your voice instructs Alexa to search and launch shows across various apps. The thousands of apps, Alexa skills, and channels include HBO Max, Apple TV, Disney+, Prime Video, YouTube, and Netflix. Some apps have a subscription fee. You have more than 20,000 free TV shows and movies.

      +Easy to set up
      -TV controls not included
      Buy from Amazon
      • our favorite
      AirPods and Wireless Charging Case

      Take the AirPods from the charging case. When placed in your ears, they immediately connect. You are immersed in high-quality, rich sound. Effortlessly connect to an iPhone. All it takes is a one-tap setup. The devices are capable of sensing when they are in the ears and pause when taken out.

      +24-hour battery life
      -Pricey
      Buy from Amazon
      • Lap Desk

        You can bring your desk to bed with the handy desk lap. It fits laptops as big as 15.6 inches and most tablets. There is enough space for a mouse and cell phone. The innovative dual-bolster cushion keeps you comfortable and cool as it conforms to your lap. A flat, smooth surface allows for proper airflow, recommended by laptop manufacturers.

        +Available in six colors
        -Best used while sitting upright
        Buy from Amazon
        • Portable Shower Caddy

          Keep your toiletries organized and prevent losing them with this portable shower caddy. It is designed to be large enough for all your toiletries and compact enough for travel. The caddy is made from 600D polyester. Both the premium quality zippers and handle hold up under stress. It has quick-drying mesh ventilation.

          +Four stylish colors
          -Bottom is not mesh for instant draining
          Bonus Tips: Excellent travel accessory for camping, the gym, and road trips

          Buy from Amazon
          • Smartphone Charger and Sanitizer

            College gifts cover a wide range of products. This Smartphone charger and sanitizer is intuitively designed. Charge and sanitize at the same time. The wireless charging and UV sanitizer uses Qi Wireless Technology to provide fast-charge for a Smartphone. The package includes a User Manual and USB Type-C Cable.

            +99 percent sanitation effect
            -Wall charger not included
            Buy from Amazon
            • Laptop Backpack

              Among the best gifts for college students is a laptop backpack. This one is the ideal size to hold a laptop up to 15.6 inches. There are pockets conveniently located on the outside for clothes, books, binders, charger, iPad, etc. Inside pockets are for your phone and wallet. A slanted front pocket is perfect for your ID and keys. Use the two side pockets for a compact umbrella and water bottle.

               

              +Has a safety and anti-theft lock
              -No battery included with the USB cord
              Buy from Amazon
              • Recipe Book for College Students

                This cookbook keeps students well-fed whether they have access to a full kitchen or an electric kettle and microwave. It contains quick breakfast, backpack-friendly lunch, study break snack, dormmate dinner, and microwave mug cake recipes. For novice cooks, the book gives safety tips, budgeting guidelines, nutrition information, term definitions, and essential tools to use.

                +Available in hardcover or Kindle format
                -Not much bigger in size than a dollar bill
                Buy from Amazon
                • Motivational Glass Water Bottle

                  The water bottle has time marks on it to indicate the recommended daily amount of water. There are encouraging quote reminders that inspire you to drink more water. The reusable bottle is leak proof and environmentally friendly. There are no plastic odors or tastes. Wash with vinegar and baking soda.

                  +An excellent gift for the fitness-minded
                  -Not dishwasher safe
                  Buy from Amazon
                  • Electric Kettle

                    Here is an electric kettle that was referred to above. It is an easy and safe way to boil water. The kettle is handy for fixing quick meals and making warm drinks, such as coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. It features an anti-slip handle and borosilicate glass, which will last a lifetime. The kettle shuts off automatically after the water boils.

                    +Comes off the base for easy pouring
                    -Lid only opens about halfway
                    Buy from Amazon
                    • Microwave Popcorn Popper

                      The BPA-free silicone popper lets students make a healthy snack. Use kernels and your favorite seasoning. It comes in eight colors. The popper folds for easy storage. It is dishwasher safe and features side handles. The popcorn popper makes as much as 14 cups of popcorn

                      +No oil needed
                      -Silicone lid keeps moisture in
                      Bonus Tips: Also great for RV campers with a portable microwave

                      Buy from Amazon
                      • Underbed Storage Bags

                        Storage space in a dorm is often limited. These under-bed storage bags provide an organization option that does not take up usable living space. They are made of a sturdy plastic board inside and Cationic fabric and Oxford lining. The bags are washable. They are easy to assemble and dismantle.

                        +Luggage locks can be attached to the zippers
                        -Zippers sometimes hard to close
                        Buy from Amazon
                        • Night Light and Alarm Clock

                          When looking for gift ideas for college students, remember they have to wake up to an alarm away from home. This device serves as a night light and digital alarm clock. It is multifunctional, with a Bluetooth speaker and MP3 player. There are three levels of brightness that create a comfortable atmosphere.

                          +100 percent quality guarantee
                          -Programming a bit confusing
                          Buy from Amazon
                          • Mini Cornhole Game

                            This game came to be enjoyed as a result of lockdown boredom. It is a fun tabletop game. The set is a miniature bag toss game. Players take turns launching four tiny bags. They earn three points when the bags land in the hole and one point when it rests on the board.

                            +Addictively fun
                            -Takes some practice
                            Buy from Amazon
                            • Laundry Backpack

                              While others lug their broken laundry baskets up and down five flights of stairs, this laundry backpack provides a comfortable and convenient way to transport laundry. It has adjustable torso length and shoulder straps to fit a variety of people. There is extra storage for detergent and fabric softener. A hanging hook allows it to be used as a hamper.

                              +Waterproof, machine washable, and tear-resistant
                              -Straps a bit awkward to adjust
                              Buy from Amazon
                              • Tool Set

                                These toolsets come in eight colors. They can be gifts for college guys or gals. There are 39 essential tools in the set. The hard case keeps tools organized, secured, and clean. They are manufactured of high-grade steel alloy that is chrome-plated to resist corrosion. The tools have non-slip comfort grip handles that provide extra torque.

                                +Lifetime warranty
                                -Some tools do not stay is assigned positions
                                Buy from Amazon
                                • Carry-on Luggage

                                  The carry-on has a front pocket. You can lock the main compartment and the front pocket and in a TSA locking pad that offers safety and convenience. It has a textured finish that guards against scratches. Laptops up to 13.3 inches, documents, and other items are easily placed in the front pocket.

                                  +Adjustable handles
                                  -Main compartment holds less when front pocket is full
                                  Bonus Tips: Can be purchased separately or as part of a set

                                  Buy from Amazon
                                  • Playing cards

                                    You can purchase the playing cards in packages of four or six decks having either two red and two blue decks or three decks of each color. Bicycle decks have the patented air-cushion bicycle finish. The Sandwich construction and softly beveled edges make for enhanced play. You cannot go wrong with playing cards as college gifts.

                                    +Has instruction and rule cards
                                    -Some cards off-center
                                    Buy from Amazon
                                    • First Aid Kit

                                      There are 100 comprehensive first aid treatment pieces in this kit. It meets the US FDA Medical Device Regulatory Standards. The interior is fully organized with compartments that provide quick access. It has a high-density, sturdy plastic case that is impact resistant. The kit is portable and fits nearly anywhere.

                                      +Easy Slide Latches secure locks in place
                                      -Nothing for burn relief
                                      Buy from Amazon
                                      • Universal Charging Cable

                                        This set is among the good gifts for college students. It is a universal multi-charging cable that meets various everyday needs. The cable supports most cell phones. It is a four-in-one device that has USB-C and Micro-USB connectors. The nylon braided cord is unbreakable and tangle-free. High-quality, heat-resistance terminals increase durability and reliability.

                                        +Charge multiple devices at one time
                                        -Not fast charging
                                        Buy from Amazon
                                        • Swiss Army Knife

                                          The compact multitool is perfect for rugged outdoorsy types. Essential implements maximize usefulness and keep bulk to a minimum. It has a wire stripper, cap lifter with screwdriver, small and large blades, scissors, and multipurpose parcel carrier/hook. The Swiss army knife weighs three ounces. It has a polished collider handle. 

                                          +Limited lifetime warranty
                                          -Blades quick to dull
                                          Buy from Amazon
                                          • Umbrella

                                            An umbrella turns rainy days from miserable to untroubled. This is a Teflon-coated umbrella that is among the best available. Its strength withstands extreme weather. Touch a button, and it folds to a size that fits nearly any bag. The umbrella is known for its size, functionality, and durability.

                                             

                                             

                                            +Lifetime replacement policy
                                            -Not totally windproof
                                            Buy from Amazon.
                                            • Salt and Pepper Shakers

                                              College students have been known to take salt and pepper shakers from restaurants when they discover how often they come in handy. Save the college student on your gift list from thievery. The shakers have a glass bottom and a high-quality stainless steel top. They are marked ‘S’ and ‘P’ to distinguish them.

                                              +Practical holder makes carrying easy
                                              -Twisting too tight cracks the cap
                                              Bonus Tips: Supply the college student with other condiments like sugar, ketchup, mustard, and mayo packets.

                                              Buy from Amazon
                                              • Memory Foam Pillow

                                                Memory foam pillows are gifts for students they would not likely buy for themselves. This pillow strikes the perfect balance between firm support and soft bliss. It has the feel of down and the firmness of memory foam. A zipper allows controlling the needed amount of foam.

                                                +Lifetime warranty and replacement
                                                -Some complaints about a chemical smell.
                                                Buy from Amazon
                                                • Foldable Bike Lock

                                                  The foldable bike lock was approved by young men when asked about the best gifts for college guys. The hardened weatherproof, waterproof bicycle protector provides peace of mind with its sturdy anti-tamper rivets. It has a multi-locking guard system to stop thieves. The flexible lock opens to an 85 CM chain-link circumference.

                                                  +Easy to use and carry
                                                  -No cover for keyhole
                                                  Buy from Amazon
                                                  • Baseball Cap Holder

                                                    College guys and baseball hats go hand in hand. The organizer also met approval for gifts for college students guys. It holds 18 caps for display and storage. There are two options and hardware to hang the organizer over a door or on the wall. Two straps allow placing in different rooms.

                                                    +No assembly required
                                                    -Works best on caps with adjustable straps
                                                    Buy from Amazon
                                                    • Care Package

                                                      The care package includes a mix of spicy, salty, and sweet snacks. It has popular brands of crackers, bars, candies, cookies, and chips. The snacks make an excellent care package for college students. They provide a little piece of home. It is sealed in a corrugate box that keeps the snacks protected during shipping.

                                                      +Shareable
                                                      -Not for those with peanut allergies
                                                      Buy from Amazon
                                                      • Multifunctional Desk Lamp

                                                        The lamp has multiple charging functions. There is a wireless charger and a USB charging port. Two devices can charge at the same time. Remove the clutter from a desk. The user can set the alarm, manage their calendar, read the temperature and time, and use it for a smartphone prop.

                                                        +Reduces eye strain
                                                        -WiFi lamps have no USB port
                                                        Buy from Amazon

                                                      Conclusion

                                                      Shopping for college students is challenging. College is about living life on a budget. Gifts that students will use are the best gifts for college students. The gifts listed above are both practical and gifts college students will appreciate. Whether you are a friend, relative, or parent of a college student, one of them will fit your budget.