The 19 Best Gifts for Teenagers in 2020

These are the best presents for the picky teen in your life

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Splurge: Nebula Capsule Smart Mini Projector at Amazon

"Boasting an array of cutting-edge features, this mini-projector is powerful enough to replace a home theater system."

Best Wall Art: Minted Heart Snapshot Mix® Photo Art at minted.com

"Get your favorite photos out of the cloud and transform them into this beautiful piece of wall art."

Best Decor: LED Night Light at etsy.com

"Jazz up any space with this LED light that can be personalized."

Best for Gamers: Homall Gaming Chair at Amazon

"Gamers will enjoy hours of play with this chair that's pure function and comes in a variety of colors."

Best Game: Game of Phones at uncommongoods.com

"This is a game that actually encourages users to stay connected to their phones."

Best Backpack: Fjallraven Kanken 15” Padded Laptop Backpack at Amazon

"The Kanken backpacks were ergonomically designed to help balance loads of textbooks and even fit a 15-inch laptop."

Best Creative: 642 Things to Draw Journal at Amazon

"This drawing journal is filled with more than 300 pages of ideas for any artistic teen."

Best Activity: Spikeball 3 Ball Game Set at Amazon

"This fast-paced game is a cross between volleyball, tennis, and basketball and provides hours of fun."

Best Instrument: Ranch 23 inch Professional Wooden Concert Ukulele at Amazon

"This affordable wooden ukulele is highly-rated for having the same rich tones as some of its pricier counterparts."

Best Jewelry: Humans Before Handles Sailor Earrings at humansbeforehandles.com

"These earrings are easy on the wallet but high on style."

Teenagers can have taste that's ever changing and quite fickle. That can make it quite hard to find the perfect gift for their newly developed hobbies or the latest trends. But some presents can truly speak to their unique personalities, interests, and have a timeless feel.

If you're having trouble finding the perfect present, here are the best gifts for a teenager.

  • 01 of 19

    Best Splurge: Nebula Capsule Smart Mini Projector

    For the serious cinema buff in your life, the Nebula Capsule Smart Mini-Projector is the perfect splurge-worthy gift to create a home theater. Boasting an array of cutting-edge features and incredible clarity, this smart cinema is powerful enough to replace any home theater system, and yet, it’s small enough to fit in your hand. The Nebula Mini-Projector is able to play content from a streaming app (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) or mirror whatever’s playing on a phone screen. And thanks to its omnidirectional speakers and advanced IntelliBright algorithms, the sound and picture quality rival that of a movie theater. Teens will love that they can take this mini-projector virtually anywhere.

  • 02 of 19

    Best Wall Art: Minted Heart Snapshot Mix® Photo Art

    Imagine this: you or your teen have 30 digital photos languishing in the cloud or on your hard drive. In just 10 days or less, Minted will transform them into a gorgeous piece of art complete with a frame of your choosing, although unframed is also an option. It comes in six different square sizes, and frame choices include brushed silver, distressed white, reclaimed barn-wood, and classic colors like black and walnut.

  • 03 of 19

    Best Decor: LED Night Light

    LED Light Night Light

    Courtesy of Etsy  

    You probably already know how much teen's love decorating their room. This wood base LED light is the perfect accent to any bedroom. But what makes it really great is that it can be customized with a name. You can choose from seven different colors, including red, yellow, or purple, and the light is USB powered. The recipient will love the personalization but also the option to switch the lights between a solid or flashing color.

  • 04 of 19

    Best for Gamers: Homall Gaming Chair

    The gamer in your life will absolutely appreciate Homall's gaming chair that's built for function. The foam fits the body comfortably and there's the ever important headrest and lumbar support. Also, the seat back has a tilt back function that can be adjusted between 90 to 180 degrees. The casters move easily on hardwood floors are carpeting.

    Continue to 5 of 19 below.
  • 05 of 19

    Best Game: Game of Phones

    Uncommon Goods Game of Phones

     Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

    As much as you may try to encourage screen-free time, teens will inevitably be glued to their phones. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Game of Phones is a game of who can use their mobile devices the best and be the fastest. Users have to draw one of 150 cards and then create an emoji or find the best Google image to match the prompt. This is a game best played with three or more people so it's perfect for game night with friends or family time.

  • 06 of 19

    Best Backpack: Fjallraven Kanken 15” Padded Laptop Backpack

    The Swedish company Fjällräven is known for making rugged bags with a clean, minimalist design. The Kanken backpacks were ergonomically designed to help kids balance their loads of textbooks, and this one also has a padded sleeve that fits a 15-inch laptop. Other handy details include easily accessible pockets on both the front and sides, padded shoulder straps, and a top handle. Eco-minded families can also feel good knowing that the company supports conservation projects (including those that help endangered species) and uses sustainably produced fabrics.

  • 07 of 19

    Best Creative: 642 Things to Draw Journal

    Teens draw and doodle on just about everything—their arms, their pants, their shoes, and anything else they can get their hands on. So why not give them a creative outlet for their self-expression? The 642 Things to Draw journal is filled with 304 pages of ideas for your artistic teen. It’s got everything from the ridiculously simple—like a cupcake—to things that will take a bit more artistic know-how—like the northern lights. Packed with plenty of blank space for teens to stretch their artistic legs and hundreds of drawing prompts, this journal is the perfect home for everything from doodles to masterpieces. 

  • 08 of 19

    Best Activity: Spikeball 3 Ball Game Set

    Teens will love playing this athletic, fast-paced game that’s a cross between volleyball, tennis, and basketball. The Spikeball set is lightweight and portable, making it ideal for teens to take wherever they go, from gatherings with friends to vacation. This set comes with three softballs, a net with collapsible legs, a drawstring bag for easy on-the-go storage, and an instruction book. As an added bonus, teens can connect for free to the Spikeball community for tutorials or they can download the app so they can find pickup games for any time fun. 

    Continue to 9 of 19 below.
  • 09 of 19

    Best Instrument: Ranch 23 inch Professional Wooden Concert Ukulele

    This affordable wooden ukulele is praised by musicians as having the same rich tones as some of its pricier counterparts. The kit comes with many extras, such as a neck strap, digital tuner, padded carrying bag, and microfiber polishing cloth. The company, Ranch, also offers free online video lessons, with the final one teaching "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," a song made popular by the late Hawaiian musical icon (and ukulele player) Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

  • 10 of 19

    Best Jewelry: Humans Before Handles Sailor Earrings

    Humans Before Handles Sailor earrings

    Courtesy of Humans Before Handles  

    Jewelry lovers will absolutely adore Human Before Handles, especially these Sailor earrings. The styles are super trendy for your teen and easy on your wallet. These earrings are statement making and right on trend, but the faux pearl style has such a classic look. This jewelry is sure to be in heavy rotation in your teen's accessory rotation.

  • 11 of 19

    Frigidaire Portable Retro 6-can Mini Fridge

    No need to wait for college to gift your teen a fridge for their room. This pint-size, retro-style Frigidaire holds up to six cans or four one-liter bottles—it's also a great place to stash small snacks or beauty products like gel eye masks. It comes in fun colors like robin's egg blue, red, and pink, and has a quiet motor that makes it ideal for a bedroom. This can also be used on road trips as the mini fridge plugs into a 12V car adapter.

  • 12 of 19

    Hydro Flask Skyline Series 21 oz Water Bottle

    Thanks to this BPA-free bottle's double insulation, hot drinks stay hot for up to six hours and cold ones keep cool (even ice remains solid!) for up to 24 hours. The Hydro Flask water bottle has a handy loop to keep it securely attached to a backpack. While the standard cap will work for most, if your teen is active, consider buying the sport cap that makes it easy to stay hydrated without missing a beat.

    Continue to 13 of 19 below.
  • 13 of 19

    flybold Slackline Kit

    Very Good

    If your teen is into outdoor activities (or you want them to be), slacklines are all the rage with the younger set. These kits can be set up in the backyard where your kid can master the art of balance as they try to walk across the slackline. Think of it as tight roping, but with a wider base to walk on. This kit will give your teen everything they need to get from Point A to Point B while also getting in some fitness.

  • 14 of 19

    Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones

    Of course the teen in your life likes to zone out listening to their favorite tunes. Why not gift them a new pair of headphones that come in seven different colors to rock out to. While these aren't the super expensive brand of headphones, their solid reviews point to how functional they are. These can play music for up to 20 hours so they won't need to charge them all the time. The headphones can also be used to make and answer calls, and since they have Bluetooth capability they are wireless. 

  • 15 of 19

    Tabletop Cornhole

    This tabletop version of the popular lawn activity is a fun, uncomplicated choice for family game night, but it's also cool enough to lure teens from their devices. The colorful cornhole board is three feet long and comes with launchers and a wrench for adjusting them (to make it easier or harder), eight mini beanbags, four score pegs, and felt feet to prevent scratching.

  • 16 of 19

    Speks Stress Relief Magnetic Balls

    Originally designed for stressed-out executives, Speks are minuscule ball magnets that come in sets of 512. Note that because of their 2.5 millimeter size, they are only officially recommended for children older than 14. With inspiration from the manual or their imaginations, teens will love squishing, rolling, or piling their Speks into shapes like cubes, hexagons, cylinders, chains, and more. These can provide hours of fun or a form of relaxation. Speks are easy to lose, so buy an extra set to avoid the inevitable disappointment when the first few go astray under your teen's bed or the couch.

    Continue to 17 of 19 below.
  • 17 of 19

    Sketched Floral Medallion Tapestry

    Your teen might opt to hang this elegant cotton floral tapestry, which comes in a floral mustard color, on their wall, but it can also work as a pretty bedcover. Though the tapestry is pretty sizable, 84 x 84-inches, it's lightweight and easy to hang. The soft material is machine washable for easy cleaning. It might just end up in a future dorm room or apartment, too.

  • 18 of 19

    LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

    Need a great stocking stuffer for your outdoorsy kid? If they're planning any kind of camping adventure, this slim water filter weighs just two ounces and filters 99.9 percent of waterborne bacteria—no more messing with cumbersome purifiers or iodine tablets. It can be placed directly into a water source and has a fast-flowing straw that's easy to drink from. Your teen can stay hydrated and you can know they're safely drinking clean water when they're out on any adventure.

  • 19 of 19

    Long Distance Friendship Lamp

    Long Distance Friendship Lamp

     Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

    For your teen who's missing a friend far away, there's no better present than this Long Distance Friendship Lamp. Buy a pair of lamps, one for your teen and one to send to their friend. When your teen touches the lamp, the corresponding lamp, whether it's a few blocks away or across the world, emits a glow. The light can stay illuminated from 30 minutes to up to 24 hours and is a great way to let someone know you're thinking about them. This is a sweet gift for friends or family members who want to stay connected in a sentimental way.

Our Process

Our writers spent 12 hours researching and testing the most popular gifts for teenagers on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

What to Look for in a Gift for a Teenager

Practicality Most teens will appreciate a gift that they can use in their daily routine. Products that let them enjoy music, movies, or quality time with their friends are always a big hit. Also think about items that’ll encourage them to get outside and be more active—a practical, fun way to break up their screen time and keep them moving.

Quality While you don’t have to break the bank when buying a gift for a teenager, they’re old enough to appreciate a well-made product. Unlike younger children who may be more likely to misplace or break things, teenagers have (hopefully) learned to show more care for items they value. Especially in the areas of technology and electronics—like cameras, speakers, and more—it might make sense to opt for a quality product they can use for years to come.

Connectivity Whether it’s a cell phone, video game system, or wireless speakers, teenagers are some of the biggest users of technology. So it’s no surprise that many popular gifts—like Bluetooth headphones, smart speakers, and gaming chairs—integrate with different devices. Think about which ones your teen already has and what might complement them best.