The 11 Best Gifts to Buy for College Students in 2018

Send your kid off to school in style with these unique picks

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Looking for a gift for a college student? While you might be tempted to just give them cash or a gift card, there are plenty of great gifts they'll love that are both personal and practical. Since they’re often out on their own for the first time, there a likely a ton of things they haven’t yet acquired as well as a host of things they may want that they can’t afford on a student budget.

Whether they’re into music, can’t live without their java or just need a bit of a fun distraction, there are some great options that make fun gifts for graduation, birthdays, and holidays. Here, the top gifts for college students, that they'll actually want.

  • 01 of 11

    Best for Coffee Lovers: Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug

    Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug

    Courtesy of Amazon

    If they’ve got to have their morning cup of Joe.. and their afternoon one… and their evening one, this travel mug from Contigo will carry them through the day. It keeps drinks warm up to five hours, and it holds a whopping 16 ounces of their beverage of choice (other models of this cup hold up 24 ounces!). If they like things on the cooler side, it will also keep beverages cold for up to 12 hours.

    The cup is spill proof, and a push of a button opens the lid for easy sipping. It comes in a variety of colors, and it has a lifetime guarantee. Customers say it’s easy to clean, seriously leak-proof and keeps beverages hot or cold for an amazingly long time.

  • 02 of 11

    Best for Studying: COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

    Be it in a dorm room, library, or a crowded coffee shop, finding a quiet place to study can be a challenge. These noise-cancelling headphones from Cowin, however, take you to another, quieter world no matter where you are. They also allow you to listen to your tunes either wirelessly or in wire mode, and the sound is top notch.

    They have a built-in battery, and one charge lasts up to 30 hours, so they’re great for traveling too. Customers say they’re a fantastic value and provide quality similar to that of more expensive brands.

  • 03 of 11

    Best for Cooks: Instant Pot LUX Mini 3 Qt 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker

    There is no excuse for eating bad eating in college these days with the advent of so many new gadgets that make home cooking easier and faster. If you have a budding chef on your hands or just hope they eat halfway decent why not gift them with one of the hottest gifts out there the Instant Pot.

    The Instant Pot is a 6-in-1 cooker can do everything like slow cook chili, make rice, craft up yogurt, and even bake a cake. The options are endless and this version is only 3-quarts so it can easily fit into any small space. We're sure they'll have so much fun whipping up new creations they might even come home during the holidays and make you dinner! 

  • 04 of 11

    Best for Cleaning: Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum Lightweight Bagless, Blue

    While cleaning might not top their list of fun, it must be done. This Bissell Featherweight stick vacuum makes doing it as easy and enjoyable as possible. It’s super lightweight (just over 2.5 pounds), and it can easily convert from a stick vacuum to a hand vac, so you can reach all the nooks and crannies in every room of your house. The cord is 15 feet, so you can cover a large area, and it works on most surfaces, including carpets, upholstery, and bare floors.

    Customers say it does a great job at picking up everything from pet fur to dirt and dust, and that it packs some significant power for such an inexpensive machine.

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  • 05 of 11

    Best for White Noise: Vornado VFAN Jr. Vintage Air Circulator Fan, Green

    This fan from Vornado helps cool things down while looking ultra cool, and also tunning out noisy neighbors. It’s got a hip, retro feel, designed after the original Vornado Fan from 1945. This one is compact though, measuring just 11.4" x 10.1" x 6.1", so it’s great for small spaces like dorm rooms and apartments. Stylish and functional, it features two-speed settings and a rotating head, and it comes with a five-year warranty.

    Customers give it high marks for performance and say it produces a surprisingly significant airflow for such a small fan.

  • 06 of 11

    For the Spa Lover: Friday Always Robe

    Friday Always Robe

    Courtesy of PB Teen

    For those who love to lounge, you can’t go wrong with this robe. The simple, sophisticated white gets a pop of personality in the back with black letters proclaiming, “Friday Always.” Always indeed. It comes in just one size, which fits most, and you can have it monogrammed for an extra charge.  It’s made of polyester chamois and comes complete with two pockets and sash. It’s perfect for post-shower or for lounging the day away.

  • 07 of 11

    Best for On-the-Go: Anker PowerCore+ min iPortable Charger

    When you’re on the go all day, it’s a bummer when your phone battery can’t keep up with the action. This portable power bank is one of the smallest available—it’s about the size of a tube of lipstick—and it will charge smartphones up in a snap. It recharges in just three to four hours, and it comes with a travel pouch as well as an 18-month warranty. That means no more excuses that they’re not responding to your texts because their phone battery died!

    Customers rave about this charger saying it works quickly and is great for taking on the go. In fact, more than 26,000 people have reviewed this charger on Amazon.

  • 08 of 11

    Best for the Social Media Lover: AMIR For iPhone Lens


    Courtesy of Amazon

    When it comes to selfies, these lenses for smartphones significantly up that game. They clip right onto your phone and produce shots that look like they were taken with a professional camera. This set comes with three separate lenses, including a wide angle, 180-degree fish angle and 10x macro lens to get the perfect shots every time. They work on most models of smartphones and tablets, and countless satisfied customers say they’re a great way to improve the quality of your pictures for a small price.

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  • 09 of 11

    Best Tool Kit: Kaisi Repair Kits Precision Tool Kit

    At some point, everyone needs a good tool kit, and this 100-piece set from Workpro contains all the basics to make small repairs around the house. It includes a hammer, wrench, pliers, and pretty much everything you would need to build or fix minor repairs. What's more this tool kit comes in a compact size that can fit in a kitchen drawer so it won't take up valuable space. When you drop off your kid just tuck in a corner for them to use when the need strikes. 

    Customers agree that this is a great starting tool kit that can be added to as their DIY skills improve over the years. 

  • 10 of 11

    Best for Music Lovers: DOSS SoundBox Bluetooth Speaker

    Let them relax to their favorite tunes with this Amazon best selling Bluetooth speakers that come in black, blue, red, or white. All they need to do is hook up their phones Bluetooth and they are able to blast what they're currently loving. 

    These can play up to 12-hours and take 3 to 4 hours to recharge so they'll always be ready to party. They can use them in their dorm, apartment, or take them outside when the warm weather strikes. No matter the use they won't want to leave home without these. 

  • 11 of 11

    Best Comfort: Bedsure Sherpa Throw Blanket

    Whether they're lounging, studying, or recovering from a cold your college student needs some of the warm comforts of home. This best selling throw blanket from Amazon comes in 14 different colors to suit any decor scheme and it also comes in a throw, twin, or queen size depending on their preference. They'll have the option to snuggle up to the flannel side or the textured sherpa side depending on their needs. 

    Over 2,000 reviews comment that this blanket really is that good from everyone from dogs, babies, and the elderly all enjoying this throw that is the most comfortable thing ever. You might even want to buy one for yourself!