This story is part of, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.
Teens are a notoriously tough crowd to please, particularly when it comes to holiday gifts. You might think something is a good gift, but later you find it shoved into the back of a closet. Or what’s popular one week is totally outdated the next. It’s hard to keep up. But don’t give up and purchase thatjust yet — we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up a list of the best gifts for teenagers, with a little something to suit every interest.
Some of these gift ideas are practical, like a handy tote bag and noise-canceling earbuds. Others feel like small luxuries — for instance, fragrant candles, cozy slippers and a fuzzy weighted blanket. And then there are just-for-fun items: a turntable, a Nintendo Switch and even a boba tea kit. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to bring a little holiday cheer to the teen in your life. And they might just be appreciative… for once.
Candles are a great go-to gift, and they work well as stocking stuffers too. With so many options out there, it can be hard to find the perfect scent that your teen will appreciate. But the folks at Homesick have made it easy by coming up with unique candles that will speak to every interest. Hogwarts fans will appreciate Homesick’s newest Harry Potter collection. But you can also find candles that are inspired by US states, MLB stadiums, Star Wars and more. The standard 13.75-ounce size starts at $38.
Amazon’s fourth-generation Echo Dot is currently ranked as our favorite smart speaker. But if you’re considering adding an Alexa device to your teen’s room, you might as well upgrade to the latest Echo Dot smart speaker, which started shipping Oct. 20. The new Echo Dot with Clock, available in cloud blue or glacier white, comes with some slight refinements to the clock readout — namely, the ability to display upcoming calendar events, artists and song titles during music playback, or to show weather info with icons whenever you ask Alexa for the day’s forecast. Available for preorder now, it’s easily worth the $60 price tag, and chances are Amazon will cut the price even further for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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Sure, Spotify is great, but there’s nothing quite like the retro feel of real records and spinning vinyl. This Bluetooth-compatible, portable turntable hits all the right notes. Not only can you play LPs, but you can stream music wirelessly from any device. And while the sound isn’t as top-notch as some more-expensive models, you can’t beat the cool retro aesthetic.
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Ugg makes a comfy shearling-lined slipper that’s both stylish and versatile. They’re great for wearing around the house, but thanks to their lightweight, ultradurable sole, you can also take these bad boys outdoors and even wear them to school. The Tasman slippers are made from soft suede and feature an embroidered Tasman braid as well as Ugg’s proprietary Treadlite technology, which increases cushioning and traction.
Spikeball is a super-trendy, fast-paced game that combines elements of volleyball and four-square. Instead of hitting a large ball over a straight net, you’re smacking a softer, grapefruit-size ball onto a bouncy, ringed one, sort of like tetherball but without the string. This is a physical game, one that requires fast movement and probably some diving if you want to score points. It’s a great way to get teens off their screens and outdoors.
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Trendy brand Baggu is tops when it comes to fun prints. Their coveted goods include this tote bag, a perfect gift for teens who lug their laptops to school every day but don’t want to use a backpack. The Duck Bag is made from recycled cotton canvas and is available in 12 colorful prints. Bonus: It’s machine-washable!
Kodak’s pocket-size projector is a cool gift for teens who love movies, TV shows or video games (which is pretty much all teens). The Luma 150 can project up to 150 inches (12.5 feet) onto almost any surface to give your teen an impressive big-screen experience. Plus there’s a built-in speaker so no extra equipment is needed.
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The weighted blanket craze doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. So what’s even better than a weighted blanket? A fuzzy weighted blanket. If your teen likes to sleep in on the weekends (who doesn’t?), this blanket will keep them cozy and relaxed. It also adds a touch of style and texture to a teen’s bedroom. This great gift comes in cream, gray, brown, navy, pink and rainbow. It’s list price is $67 on Amazon, but a 20% discount at checkout drops it down to $54.
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Rated up to 6 hours
Yes (IPX4 — splash-proof)
AirPods are a teen staple, and Apple’s new AirPods Pro (second generation) will be on a lot of teenagers’ wish lists this year, so they’re a safe bet. They’re the best AirPods available and powered by Apple’s new H2 chip, which promises more processing power while being more energy efficient. If you don’t want to shell out $249 for the Pro 2, you could go with Apple’s original AirPods Pro — however, they’ve been discontinued, so they’re gradually getting harder to find.
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If you know a teen who’s really into sports and goes to the gym on a regular basis, they’ll appreciate a massage gun to ease the muscle soreness that comes with intense exercise. Therabody has a lot of ultra-expensive larger models, but the Theragun Mini is a powerful, cheaper option in a smaller package. It’s easy to throw in a gym bag, and it delivers a whopping 1,750 to 2,400 percussions per minute.
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It’s easy for teens to take pics with their phones, yet they may find it just as fun to capture their favorite moments with an instant cam. The camera comes in a variety of color options and pics can be printed out — and shared with friends or pinned up — instantly.
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This huggable llama is more than a cute stuffy. Pop it in the microwave and it’ll warm up your bed or soothe sore muscles — or you can keep it in the freezer and use it as an ice pack. It has a soothing lavender scent, and what could be more adorable than a llama? Or choose from a wide selection of the brand’s other heatable plush toys including a sloth, an avocado, buttered toast and more.
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The Nintendo Switch became a hot item during the pandemic, and it’s still high on teens’ wish lists. If your teen doesn’t have a Nintendo Switch, you can’t go wrong with this gaming system. It’s a splurge, but it’s not as expensive as the PS5 or Xbox Series X, and it’s easier to get your hands on than either of those consoles.
The Switch provides hours and hours of entertainment with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Super Mario Odyssey. Check out more great video game suggestions here.
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If you’re tired of your teen saying they couldn’t text because their phone ran out of juice, the Infinity Lab InstantGo 5000 power bank is the answer. It’s easy to throw into a backpack or tote, and it comes with an integrated Lightning cable for easy charging for iPhones. Bonus: The price has been knocked down enough that it works well as a stocking stuffer.
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If your teen likes a daily dose of boba, they’re probably familiar with the Boba Guys, who made a name for themselves after opening up their first popup shop in San Francisco in 2011. This DIY kit comes with everything you need to make Boba Guys’ much-loved Strawberry Matcha flavor: tapioca balls, Japanese matcha, strawberry jam, a bamboo matcha whisk and a reusable straw.
Sure, socks used to be the boring gift, but not any more. Fashion-forward teens know all about Bombas. They’re the comfiest socks out there, and thanks to their colorful patterns and fun prints, they’re far from boring. Prices start at $13 a pair for ankle socks and $16 for calf socks (shown here), which isn’t cheap for socks, but you can get 20% off your first order.
As much as it pains them, your teen doesn’t always have access to their phone, especially when they’re at school. But an Apple Watch will ensure they never miss an important notification. The 2022 Apple Watch SE might not be the flashiest new Apple Watch alongside the temperature-sensing Apple Watch Series 8 and souped-up Ultra. But with a $249 starting price, it’s easily the most practical Apple Watch for most teens. Bonus points if you throw in an Apple Music subscription.
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If you’re sending something from afar, consider purchasing a trio of succulents from Lula’s Garden. You might think plants are boring, but they’re actually popular among the teen crowd since they add a tasteful aesthetic to any room. This beautiful gift box comes with three preplanted succulents in a sleek white box that doubles as a planter. Luckily, succulents don’t need much attention to thrive, so these are perfect even for plant newbies.
Puffer jackets are big again this year — both for teen girls and teen boys. And while this stylish one from North Face is definitely pricey, it will last teens and young adults a long, long time — maybe even through college. This 700-fill goose-down jacket is made with 100% recycled fabric. And it comes with a stowable hood for those extra wintery days.
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