20 Awesome 16th Birthday Gift Ideas They Will Love

Sweet 16 birthday gifts

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

Someone you know celebrating their sweet 16? It's a special birthday, which deserves a special gift. Choose from one of these birthday present ideas, which range from trendy to unique.

  • 01 of 13

    Mobile Charger

    mobile phone charger

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling

    Phone batteries don’t always last very long. Mobile chargers are a great gift for that person who spends so much time on their phone or tablet, running out of battery long before making it home to plug back in. Mobile chargers, also known as portable chargers or battery packs, are compact battery devices that can recharge your device on the go. What teen wouldn’t love the gift of extra battery time?

  • 02 of 13

    Car Gifts

    Car keys

    The Spruce / Margot Cavin

    For many teens, the most exciting thing about turning 16 is that it’s the magical age where they get a driver’s license or learner’s permit. Any gift that relates to this life event is likely to be well received. Some ideas include:

    • Gift cards for gas
    • Seat covers, steering wheel covers, or floor mats
    • Fuzzy dice
    • A bucket filled with car washing supplies like a sponge, chamois, car brush, and wax
    • Vanity license plate frames
    • If you're feeling really generous, a car
  • 03 of 13

    Clothing Gifts

    clothing for a sweet sixteen gift

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling

    Let’s face the hard truth here: most 16-year-olds wouldn’t like you to choose their clothing. There are a few apparel gift ideas, however, that can be considered a safe bet when gifting to teens. These include popular footwear (think name-brand sneakers), band T-shirts, accessories that are currently on-trend, and, the safest bet of all, clothing store gift cards.

    If you are not close enough to the birthday person to know sizes and preferences, a little homework might be in order (like asking their parents).

  • 04 of 13

    Fine Dining

    birthday meal

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling 

    Turning 16 is a great opportunity to try new experiences. An evening of gourmet dining at a fancy restaurant may be one of those experiences that a 16-year-old would enjoy as a change from the high school cafeteria fast food and after-school snacks. Treat the teen to a night of fine dining as your guest, or give a gift certificate to a fabulous restaurant so the teen can get dressed up and dine out with friends.

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  • 05 of 13

    New Experiences

    fashion show tickets

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling

    Speaking of new experiences, perhaps a day out trying a fun activity would make a great gift. Is the teen adventurous? Buy snowboarding passes or a day of zip-lining. Into fashion? Give tickets to a runway show.

  • 06 of 13

    Wifi Hotspot

    wifi hotspot on a tablet

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling 

    Like the mobile battery charger, a mobile Wifi hotspot device is another gift that a 16-year-old would likely appreciate. These devices can connect to Wifi on the go, and then connect a device to the mobile hotspot they create. Since many tablets and electronics come with a Wifi-only setting, a mobile Wifi device will allow them to connect from anywhere.

  • 07 of 13

    Selfie Accessories

    selfie stick

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling 

    Think taking all of those selfies is simple? Think again. Thankfully, the market has answered the call for selfie-help products, such as the selfie stick. Any of these products are likely to please as a 16th birthday gift.

    In addition to the selfie stick, consider the suction cup designed just for the cell phone, for hands-free bathroom mirror selfies. Other selfie-help items include a Bluetooth shutter control, a tool that works as a selfie stand and clicker remote, and a lighted phone case to provide the perfect lighting for your selfie. Throw in a few ​photo booth props and you've got everything you need for hours of selfie fun.

  • 08 of 13

    Smartphone Printer

    smartphone and polaroid prints

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling 

    If you’ve got all of those selfie accessories, you might as well have a way to print them on demand. The smartphone printer is a portable printer that you can use to print photos directly from your phone. Like the Polaroid camera for today, teens will love being able to share instant images with their friends.

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  • 09 of 13

    College Gifts

    Lawns, plaza and academic buildings, New York
    Barry Winiker / Getty Images

    If the 16th birthday child already has sights set on a certain college, you may want to give a gift that gives a head start on celebrating that school spirit. University apparel is one idea, with school colors or sports team logo.

    If the desired college is out of town, another fun gift would be a trip to tour the campus or spend a night or two visiting the area.

  • 10 of 13

    Life Changing Book

    pile of books

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling

    It’s hard to guess what book would be life-changing to someone else, but most people have read a novel during their teenage years that has left an impression on their lives. Why not give that same book that influenced you? Include a heartfelt inscription about how it did so and why you’re gifting it to them on this milestone occasion.

  • 11 of 13

    Headphones Upgrade


    The Spruce / Margot Cavin

    Headphones are just things you sick over your ears for private listening, right? Not anymore. Headphones are a big deal with today’s teens. With features that enhance sound quality, cancel noise and adjust to the exact right “fit” for your needs, headphones have become more than just an accessory. They are as important to the user as the device they are plugging into.

    Add to those features cosmetic elements such as colors and name brands, and headphones become a trendy gift that top many teens' gift lists.

  • 12 of 13

    Tribute Video

    video phone call

    The Spruce / Ruthie Darling

    One very popular activity for teens is watching, posting, and sharing videos online. Gather some of the birthday kid’s friends and make a funny or sentimental video. Then send it to them to serve as a virtual 16th birthday card.

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  • 13 of 13

    More 16th Birthday Gift Ideas

    Pink and green pastel bedroom
    KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

    Here are a few more quick suggestions:

    • Concert tickets
    • Meaningful jewelry (perhaps a family keepsake or something that signifies the milestone)
    • Jewelry organizer
    • Video game console, video games, or gift cards to play on servers
    • Tablet, smartphone, or other mobile devices
    • Classes to pursue an interest (such as cooking classes, tennis lessons, etc.)
    • Bedroom makeover accessories (paint, new bedding, wall art, etc.)