21 best gifts for college students in 2022

Graduation gifts tend to get all the attention, but giving a gift to someone heading off to college is a nice gesture that will mean a lot during what can be a stressful time. To help identify practical gift vouchers for someone heading off to college, we enlisted professional organizers Kate Pawlowski and Ann Lightfoot, co-founders of Done & Done Home and authors of the upcoming book “Love Your Home Again”.

“Trying to find the perfect gift for college students can be especially daunting,” say Pawlowski and Lightfoot. “They have limited space to pack and carry their stuff and once they get to their dorm, they usually have very little space and storage to work in.” With that in mind, they recommend looking for freebies that students will actually use, that won’t take up a lot of space, and will help make their lives easier, less stressful, and more efficient.

With their help, we’ve rounded up 21 great practical gift ideas for college students that will help them study, manage technology, live in a shared space, and stay healthy.

Feelin' Homey 100% Bamboo Lap Desk

“This laptop desk is the perfect solution for working comfortably and efficiently,” say Pawlowski and Lightfoot. “It has an expandable mouse pad and phone and tablet slots so every device imaginable is at your fingertips. No excuse not to text mum!”

Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook

Pawlowski and Lightfoot call the Rocketbook “a college game changer!” They love the Frixion notebook and pen (included) that lets students take notes, plan meetings, draw, and write assignments that can be sent to a cloud service. Even better, “with a simple wipe of a damp cloth, the notebook is ready for the next class! No need for several old-fashioned paper notebooks to fill a backpack.

YellowPaperHouseJunque Journal

The technology is certainly grand, but sometimes an old-fashioned pen and paper is grander. A large journal, like this multicolored Junque journal that has lined, dotted, and blank spaces, gives students looking for a break from screens a whimsical space to jot down all their ideas and dreams.

Ockered charging station for multiple devices

“Zips, wires, cables and lack of outlets,” say Pawlowski and Lightfoots, are “every student’s worst nightmare!” They love this ultra-fast charging station compatible with multiple devices to simplify the situation.

Anker power strip

A power strip with multiple outlets and USB ports is another way to gift juice to someone on their way to school. This model has a 5 foot cord, which will turn even the most misplaced plug into something fixable.

iWalk Small Power Bank with Portable Charger

Small tech gifts are great for college students because they’re very useful and don’t take up much space. Extra juice for your phone is always in style, but you can make it even more stylish by giving a bling-out portable power bank as a gift.

Aioneus 6ft Phone Charger Cord, 2 Pack

An extra-long phone charging cord is one of those “How did I live without this?!?” elements. This 6-foot charging cord is available in basic black, as well as more gift shades of red and pink, transforming it from a run-of-the-mill tech accessory to a cute gift that also comes in handy.

Scanmarker Air Pen OCR Scanner Digital Highlighter & Reader

“Remember the days when you had to highlight important passages and then transcribe them yourself into a notebook with a real pen? Who has time for that? Pawlowski and Lightfoot are joking. The Scanmarker allows students to “highlight” relevant content directly on their computer or phone for later study. “It can also read sentences aloud in real time and translate text in over 40 languages,” they note, adding “it almost makes school fun – almost!”

Eudele Mesh Shower Caddy

“While it might not be the most glamorous gift you’ve given anyone,” say Pawlowski and Lightfoot, “a shower caddy is a necessity when you live in a dorm room. Even though showers should only be shared by only a few people, having personal items contained in one place makes things easier for everyone.

Boacay Premium Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag

For college students who love their beauty, grooming, and personal care products, one shower caddy probably won’t be enough to hold all those goodies. This hanging toiletry bag manages to be spacious and compact, offering plenty of storage for smaller items.

Ziploc Reusable Makeup and Travel Accessory Case

Ziploc bags are a very popular way to store all sorts of things, and the brand has taken advantage of this by expanding its product line to include reusable travel bags. The 10-bag set includes five of the “Essential Stuff” size bags (approximately 5 x 8 x 4 inches) and five of the “Skinny Stuff” size bags (approximately 4 x 8 inches). Essential Stuff bags feature an expandable bottom that provides more space and flexibility for storing bulky or odd-shaped items.

Esarora ice cream roller

Small personal care items make great student gifts because they’re small. We love this ice cream roller for so many reasons, one of which is that as well as being great for cooling off on a hot day, it’s also fantastic for reducing stress and soothing a hangover, this which makes it an amazing multi-purpose tool for college. self-care.

Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel

Another little personal care item that we absolutely adore is the Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel. Our reviewer calls it “the Japanese miracle towel” and praises it for its superiority over the loofah and shower pouf for a full body scrub.

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College students aren’t known for their excellent sleeping habits – to be fair, the dorms are partly to blame! When it’s time to close your eyes, a great sleep mask can help block out the light from your roommate’s late-night study session. The Mavogel sleep mask is our pick for the best sleep mask, and it’s a thoughtful gift for any college student.

Women's Stars Above Satin Pajama Set

There’s nothing like sharing a room with strangers to make you realize that your sleepwear isn’t made for company! A cute pajama set makes a great practical gift for someone heading into dorm life, and we love that this set comes with a matching eye mask to signal annoying housemates that you shouldn’t be disturbed. .

DormDoc 175 Piece Emergency First Aid Kit for Students

“Nobody wants to send a young adult out into the world unprepared,” Pawlowski and Lightfoot say. “To reassure everyone, a first aid kit filled with over-the-counter medications for common ailments, a thermometer, bandages and disposable gloves will do the trick! Running to a pharmacy when you’re in bad weather is no fun and the recipient of this gift will thank you when they have everything they need in one place.

Aemoe Stainless Steel Office Scissors

When it comes to getting ready, sometimes it’s the person with the scissors who can save the day! Scissors are extremely useful – and extremely easy to forget when packing for college, which makes a novelty set of scissors a fantastic practical gift idea for someone heading off to school.

Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Handheld Fabric Steamer

It’s best not to burden students with too many small devices that will sit unused and take up valuable space in tiny dorm rooms. But for the right student, namely the one who is obsessed with research just so, a small portable clothes steamer makes a great gift.

Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Just like with the clothes steamer, the gift of our favorite cold brew coffee maker won’t be ideal for most people heading off to college – but for the right person, it’ll be something they’ll truly treasure.

$199 at Therabody

Therabody Theragun Mini

Massage guns are popular tools for post-workout recovery, making them a great gift for the student who enjoys running, powerlifting, or any other high-energy physical activity. While many massage guns can be bulky, noisy, and quite expensive, the Theragun Mini gets high marks for being quiet, small, and comfortable to use, and its sub-$200 price tag makes it a reasonable option for gift giving.

Personalized leather card holder

Last but not least is the ultimate convenience gift: a gift card or cash! You can never go wrong with money no matter what form you give it away, but to make it special, presenting it in a personalized card holder is a good idea. For students who will take a car to school, or for those who commute, consider giving a prepaid gas card.