The Best Christmas Gifts for College Students

College students can be hard to shop for – but they sure appreciate the thought! Here is a list of the best Christmas gifts for college students (or all year long!), that they will love. 

Christmas Gifts Ideas for College Students

It’s hard to believe that I graduated from college over five years ago. It seriously feels like it was just yesterday (let’s not even talk about how my 10-year high school reunion is in just a few weeks).

Even though it’s been a while since I’ve actually been in college, I remember all too well how poor I was, and how excited I was for birthdays and Christmas because I would usually get some kind of special treat or gift I wouldn’t have otherwise.

My baby brother is going back to school in just a couple of days (he took a two-year hiatus to serve a mission for our church in Portugal), and I’ve been thinking a lot about what kinds of gifts he would find helpful. I even asked him for his advice on this post, so I’m sure that there are some ideas below that most any college student would love.

Of course, you could put together a college care package, but I think any of the ideas below would be perfect for a gift any time of year (plus they require a little less prep work than a care package might!).

College Gift Ideas

Bluetooth Headphones

I’m pretty sure every college student needs some kind of headphones – and Bluetooth headphones are mighty handy. I personally like earbud ones. They are just more convenient and easy to use. However, larger, noise blocking ones can be really helpful

Stress Ball

College is stressful! A stress ball may seem silly, but it can relieve a lot of stress in those really tense moments.

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Water Bottle

We got my brother a water bottle, and he was so excited! HydroFlask is a popular brand, but it’s pricey! We LOVE the Simple Modern brand of water bottle. It keeps the water really cold (and your ice sticks around for a long time), but they are half the price. I have the 64-ounce bottle, but there are different ones in a variety of sizes. The HydroFlask lids do fit on them. I bought one of the HydroFlask straw lids, because I prefer that for drinking out of my bottle.

 Amazon Echo or Google Home Mini (or a Bluetooth speaker)

We are an Amazon Echo house, but I know a lot of people like the Google Home mini. Regardless, they are both great and perfect for a dorm room. Both the Echo Dot and the Google Home mini are about $30, so the perfect price for a Christmas gift.

Or you can just get a plain ol’ Bluetooth speaker if your student just wants to listen to music without the thrills and frills.

Microwave Popcorn Maker

I know I was always wanting a snack when I was studying late into the night – and popcorn was one that I always turned to. While the bagged popcorn is most convenient, it’s not always the best for you. I absolutely LOVE this microwave popcorn maker from Pampered Chef. They have a small version and a family-sized verison, and they are both awesome and super easy to use. I wish I had one as a college student.

Microwave Cooker

These micro cookers from Pampered Chef are my favorite. They are so handy for cooking veggies, defrosting ground beef, cooking rice, melting butter or chocolate…so many things! They are so inexpensive, too.


It’s not always easy to get in a workout while you are at school. However,

Scribd Subscription

Does your student love to read or listen to audiobooks? Scribd would be a great gift. This is an audiobook/eBook serve that features THOUSANDS of books. It costs less than $10 a month, and there are so many amazing options. I love my subscription! If you have your student’s email, you can sign up for the discounted student subscription, or you can check out the 60-day free trial. Maybe even grab it for yourself! Here is my full Scribd review.

Spotify Premium

I’ve recently discovered how amazing Spotify is. Even though they do have a free version, the premium is the best, and I know students everywhere would LOVE a subscription. They also have a great student discount subscription.


It’s never too early to teach your child self-sufficiency – everyone should have some basic tools. Admittedly, depending on your child, this may not be their favorite gift ever…but it’s certainly one they’ll be glad to have at one point or another.

Aaptiv Subscription

Aaptiv is my very favorite way to exercise. All you need is a smartphone and tablet, and you are instantly given access to thousands of workouts – many of which require very little space or equipment. I use this nearly every day! It is perfect for busy college students because it has workouts that can be as short as nine minutes long. You can get a free 30-day trial here and check out my full review here.

Stitch Fix

If there was one thing I often went without in college, it was new clothes. I loved getting new clothes, but I couldn’t always justify the expense. Most college students will be THRILLED with any type of clothing. Stitch Fix is one of my favorite creative ideas for a college student – you can give them a gift card to get styled. Stitch Fix sends you a box of personally curated clothes for the recipient. It’s like having your own personal stylist!

Portable charger

Portable phone chargers are essential – so much of school communications happen through digital devices, and you certainly don’t want to be without your phone (especially if you are driving somewhere!). Portable chargers are great gifts. We have a couple of our own!

Sewing kit

This is another one of those gifts that may not be super exciting to receive, but it’s useful to have on hand!

Dollar Shave Club

Electric Toothbrush

Let me tell ya, paying for dental work as a college student is not an expense I ever wanted to incur, yet I did. A good electric toothbrush can be really helpful in keeping your teeth in good shape. I personally have an Oral B one, but I’ve also really liked Sonicare toothbrushes over the years.


I lost my keys more than once when I was in college. In fact, once I lost them for over two weeks before someone found them and was able to figure out who I was. I WISH that tile key finders had existed back then. They also have ones that fit into your wallet. This is a good one for anyone who tends to lose things 🙂


Socks are a necessity that you don’t love buying for yourself, but it can make for a great stocking stuffer. If your student is a runner, I highly recommend Balega socks. They don’t’ fall down!

Microwave Pasta Cooker

Super handy for a quick dinner! What college student wants to wait for pasta to boil? None that I know this. This is another great Pampered Chef product that is perfect for college students.

New Backpack

A good backpack is essential in college. I absolutely love the North Face brand! I got one my sophomore year of college (2009), and it’s still working great almost ten years later.

Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Quick and delicious! This is a great way to ensure that your student (hopefully) is going to eat more than cereal for breakfast every now and then.


Okay, you don’t want to encourage your student to waste too much time, but it can be nice to have something to help you unwind. They can always watch shows on their laptop, but a Roku can encourage a little more socialization 🙂

Kindle Paper White

I really want one of these myself! Reading is an important thing to do, and these are a great way to take advantage of eBooks but have a little bit of a break from a smartphone or tablet screen.


I already mentioned this, but clothes are always appreciated! If you aren’t sure your student will love what you pick out, gift cards to their favorite clothing store is always a safe bet 🙂


This would be a bit of a splurge, but it’s an awesome gift. I LOVE my BedJet, and it has helped me sleep so much better. I lived in apartments with questionable heating and cooling, and I would have loved having one of these while I was in those places!

Snack Subscription Box

Not only do college students love snacks, but they love getting mail. Sign them up for any of these snack subscription boxes – they will love it!

Instant Pot Mini

I’m a big fan of the Instant Pot, and I think it can be great for college students. However, they don’t probably need a 6 or 8 quart one! The Instant Pot mini is the perfect size for a college student (and then you can direct them to my Instant Pot guide to learn all about it!).

Bed Desk

My brother has been worried about desk space (only one desk in his shared bedroom), so I thought this would be a good idea for someone in that same situation!

Projector Clock

Forrest used to have one of these, and I loved it. Perfect for college.

 Savvy Infusion Water Bottle

A fun water bottle that allows you to flavor your water with your own fresh fruit.

 Healthy Snack Packs


Any college student would love to get a package filled with fun snacks and treats!

 Bug Sucker


A quick and easy way to get rid of those bugs.



College game nights are not a thing of the past. This hilarious game will have everyone playing and laughing for hours.



Help your loved keep their money or valuables locked up with this sleek safe that can fit under a bed.

Scentsy Paks


Accidentally leave your sandwich in your backpack? Maybe some old gym socks? These will keep your backpack smelling a little bitter!

Klip Charger Protectors


When you are in college, every dollar counts – and you don’t want to waste those dollars on new charging cables! These help prevent charging cables from fraying and breaking.

 Adult Coloring Book


This coloring book for adults contains swirls style illustrations representing various animals and floral compositions

Scentsy Warmer Nightlight


These are perfect for those late night study sessions! Lots of different designs and themes.

Outdoor Games


All college students need to spend time outside after all the studying they do. This set Includes 2 Targets, 6 Rubber Bolos, Score Trackers Carrying Case & Rules. Here is a list of our favorite outdoor games for adults.

Go Pro


You’ll be an instant favorite with this gift. This version is the smallest, lightest with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,HiLight Tag enables you to mark key moments while recording or playing back video.

HP Sprocket


HP Sprocket is the fun, new portable printer that lets you instantly create 2×3 inch stickable snapshots straight from your smartphone or tablet so you can share them with friends and loved ones!  Print your photo or have fun adding frames, stickers, filters and/or text. Sprocket fits in your pocket so take the fun with you to print on-the-go photos! Available at,, and Best Buy.

 New Laptop


If your student is in need of a new laptop, this would be a great gesture. The HP 15  Notebook PC is a great option. It comes with Windows 10 Home, high-definition display, AMD Radeon R5 graphics, HP TrueVision HD Camera, DTS Studio sound and much more. Best of all, HP Has partnered with QVC to offer two exclusive colors; minty green and soft lilac, and will feature this laptop at the lowest price of the season on Saturday, November 26th.


Fun gift ideas for college students - whether it's Christmas, their birthday, or "just because", these gift ideas are great for guys and girls.


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