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25 incredible high school graduation gifts

Send them off with gifts to help them spread their wings.

Girl smiling wearing cap and gown hugs parents while holding a diploma in hand. Credit: Getty Images / Andresr

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Graduating high school is one of the most important rites of passage in a young person’s life. It can be exciting, scary, nostalgic, nerve wracking, and exhilarating—sometimes all at once. It’s a brave new world out there for newly minted high school alums (this year more than ever), so it’s important to gift them with items they’ll need to take the next step, whether they’re going away to college, taking a gap year to explore, or staying at home for a bit. So, we’ve curated a guide of 25 incredible gifts for your grad.

1. For the grad with a green thumb: A plant to breathe some life into their space

On left, three potted succulent plants lined up next to each other. On right, three potted succulent plants sitting on bedside table next to glass of water and pair of eyeglasses.
Credit: The Sill

Plants are like pets with training wheels.

An important part of post-high school life is learning how to take care of yourself—and, some day, others. A plant is a great, low stakes way to practice keeping something alive. Plus, it adds a pretty pop of green to any space and breathes life into a room. A succulent is a great starter plant. They’re cute and hardy (read: just about impossible to kill). We like this succulent that comes potted in a cute unicorn planter, perfect for adding a touch of whimsy to even the drabbest dorm room.

Get the Succulent Assortment from The Sill for $24

2. For the Type A personality: A weighted blanket for when life gets heavy

On left, man reclining in chair napping with gray gravity blanket. On right, product shot of folded gray gravity blanket.
Credit: Gravity Blankets

Sometimes you just need to snuggle under a big blanket.

Post-grad life has a lot of ups and downs. There are so many new things to learn and experience and, frankly, sometimes it can be pretty stressful. If your grad is prone to taking on a lot, gift them a weighted blanket for optimum decompressing. Our pick is the Gravity Blanket, which is soft enough for lots of snuggle time and just heavy enough to provide that feeling of safety and security we all need when life gets too hectic.

Get the Gravity Blanket from Gravity for $189

3. For the grad on-the-go: A snazzy laptop case

On left tan and multi-colored computer case. On right, young woman writing in journal while sitting outside on blanket on ground with laptop in front of her.
Credit: Society6 / Getty Images / Prostock-Studio

Plus, you know they’re going to drop it at least once.

Laptops aren’t cheap. Protect that investment with a stylish laptop sleeve to help keep their machine safe from dents and dings and reflect their personality. We like this retro striped case—it’s both simple and bold—but Society6 has a host of eye-catching designs from different talented artisans that are sure to speak to any grad’s tastes.

Get the Classic Retro Stripes Laptop Sleeve from Society6 for $31.19

4. For the active grad: A water bottle for hitting those hydration goals

On left, man holding blue Hydro Flask bottle with a paddle. In middle, product shot of teal Hydro Flask bottle. On right, man sitting in boat on lake unscrewing Hydro Flask bottle to take a drink.
Credit: Hydro Flask

Because remembering to hydrate is hard.

The recommended amount of water is eight 8-ounce glasses aka two liters aka a half a gallon of H20 each day. We’re not mathematicians or anything, but that’s a lot. However, hydration is super important for our health. This wide-mouthed stainless steel bottle packs 32-ounces of water—that’s half the daily amount! Its handle makes it the perfect accessory for the on-the-go grad, wherever their day takes them. Plus, it’s one of the best water bottles we’ve ever tested.

Get the Hydro Flask from Nordstrom for $44.95

5. For the coffee lover: A mug that keeps a cup of joe warm

On left, product shot of gold Ui Mug & Warmer Set. On right, gold Ui Mug & Warmer Set next to charging phone
Credit: OHOM

Convenience at its finest!

College means a lot of late nights cramming for tests or furiously penning term papers. That means your grad will likely be guzzling a lot of coffee. This sleek ceramic mug comes with a special charging base that uses magnetic induction energy to keep its contents (whether that’s java, tea, or even cocoa) at the ideal drinking temperature (135º). A bonus: the charging base can do double duty as a wireless phone charger. Fancy!

Get the Ui Mug and Warmer Set from Nordstrom for $75

6. For the homebody: A candle that smells like home

On left, cream-colored
Credit: Homesick

Hey, a book of matches is cheaper than a plane ticket.

If your grad is moving out of state for college, chances are they’re going to get a little homesick on occasion. Give them a piece of home with an aptly named Homesick Candle. Each hand-poured, soy wax candle was crafted with help from real locals to embody the signature scents of its namesake state. (Think: magnolia, aster flower, peach, and white musk for Georgia and apple, maple, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla for Vermont.) They’ll be able to simply light a wick whenever they want to feel a little more at home.

Get the Homesick Candle for $34

7. For the restless sleeper: A fancy set of sheets

On left, stack of white and gray sheets from Brooklinen. On right, disheveled bed cover with white and gray Brooklinen sheets in bedroom.
Credit: Brooklinen

Sweeter dreams are made of these.

Help them graduate to a better night’s sleep with their first set of real “adult” sheets. Brooklinen’s best-selling set comes with one flat sheet, one fitted, and two pillowcases, all in a luxe, 480-thread count, long staple cotton. These sheets are not only super comfy, but also cooling—a great buy for those who tend to get a bit warm when they sleep. Our lab named them the best sheets you can buy.

Get the Luxe Core Sheet Set from Brooklinen for $143.10

8. For the globetrotter: A suitcase to pack in plenty of adventuring

On left, product shot of blush colored suitcase from Away Travel. On right, Apple USB cord plugged into blush colored suitcase from Away Travel.
Credit: Away Travel

Oh, the places they’ll go.

Now that your grad is officially a citizen of the world, it’s time to ditch the stinky gym class duffle or worn out backpack and upgrade to a real, adult suitcase. We like Away’s Bigger Carry-On, a sleek, hard-shell suitcase that’s big enough for a longer trip but still compact enough to fit in most overhead compartments (or car trunks). Plus, it comes in a variety of fun colors, from a neutral navy to a pretty blush. Now they’re ready to get out there and explore in style! (Passport not included.)

Get The Bigger Carry-On from Away for $245

9. For the luxe lounger: Cozy slippers to make a night in feel special

Two product shots of fuzzy tan, black and white Lexie slippers from Anthropologie
Credit: Anthropologie

Her feet will thank you for them.

A perfect graduation gift for her, these furry slide-on slippers channel old Hollywood boudoir glam while serving up nothing but comfort. Available in a variety of pretty color palettes, these fluffy slippers will have her walking on clouds—even if she’s just padding around her dorm.

Get the Lexie Slippers from Anthropologie for $38

10. For the early riser: A single-serve coffee maker for happier mornings

On left, product shot of blue Keurig coffee machine pouring coffee into white mug. On right, empty mesh black and gray refillable k-cups.
Credit: Keurig / iPartsPlusMore Store

Coffee bean grinder not required.

They can skip Starbucks and stick to a college budget with this single-serve Keurig coffee maker. At just 5” wide, it’s compact enough to fit in even the tiniest of cluttered dorm rooms and makes one perfect cup of coffee at a time—no cleanup required. Pro tip: pair this gift with a set of reusable K-cup pods to save them even more money and reduce waste. A win-win!)

Get the Keurig K-Mini Plus Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker from Wayfair for $99.99

11. For the smoothie lover: A personal blender set to mix up their culinary game

On left hand using Magic Bullet 11-Piece Personal Blender. On right, Magic Bullet Magic Bullet 11-Piece Personal Blender being used outdoors to make guacamole, next to avocados on cutting board and smiling woman.
Credit: Magic Bullet

Talk about a college mixer.

From smoothies to guacamole to virgin margaritas, they can use this 11-piece personal blender set to create some of their favorite eats—with very little muss or fuss. The easy-to-use set comes with cups with lids (they can take their green juice on the go) and is compact enough to store in a dorm or apartment kitchenette.

Get the Magic Bullet 11-Piece Personal Blender and Mixer Set from Bed Bath & Beyond for $39.99

12. For the exam crammer: A stylish desk chair to make studying less of a chore

On left, gray velvet desk chair in office. On right, pink velvet desk chair in office.
Credit: Mercer41

We’d like one of these for our home office, actually.

Hard work doesn’t have to hurt. Help them trick out their dorm room or home study space with this plush velvet chair. This modern, round desk chair sports a thick cushion, and high backrest and a hydraulic lift so they can easily adjust their height for hours of comfortable studying—or just hanging out.

Get the Ganix Velvet Task Chair from Wayfair for $187.99

13. For the grad with space issues: Cute stools that double as clever storage space

Product shot of set of two Metal Enamel Modern Farmhouse Storage Stool with succulents on top.
Credit: Glitzhome

They’ll need somewhere to stow all those wires we mysteriously accumulate as adults.

Dorm rooms and starter apartments are notoriously tiny. So, getting creative with storage space is imperative. We’re fans of these containers that do double duty as attractive stools. Made from enamel coated steel and featuring wood tops, these rustic-chic stools let your grad hide away hard to store items and provide extra seating for their new friends.

Get a set of two Glitzhome Metal Enamel Modern Farmhouse Storage Stools from QVC for $138.90

14. For the music buff: A portable speaker so they can rock out on the go

On left, teal JBL speaker next to smartphone. On right, four college students dancing to music in dorm room.
Credit: JBL / Getty Images / Svetikd

Turn up the volume!

Where’s the party at? With this sleek portable speaker, the answer is: Wherever they want! The JBL Flip 5 speaker is Bluetooth compatible, has a rechargeable battery that packs 12 full hours of charge, and is waterproof, so your grad can bring their music anywhere—from a weekend camping trip to the shower. Plus, it comes in a few different bright colors, making it a great graduation gift for him or her.

Get the JBL Flip 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker from Best Buy for $119.99

15. For the aspiring author: Journals to pen their most important thoughts

On left, stack of multi-colored journals wrapped in orange bow from Anthropologie. On right, three multi-colored journals scattered from Anthropololgie.
Credit: Pencil & Paper Co.

Because the pen is mightier than the sword.

These whimsically printed journals come in a set of three, so they’ll have plenty of pages to pen daily thoughts, to-do lists, or late-night ideas. Each 32-page journal comes in a different size (small, medium, and large) so they can keep one on their desk, one on their bedside table, and slip one into their purse or pocket for mobile musings.

Get the Pencil & Paper Co. Happy Note Journals from Anthropologie for $18

16. For the serious snacker: A cleverly designed popcorn bowl

On left, product shot of filled Collapsible Popcorn Popper from Uncommon Goods. On right, collapsed popcorn popper from Uncommon Goods
Credit: Uncommon Goods

Once they pop, they won’t stop.

College students love to snack, and popcorn is always a crowd pleaser. From concessions for movie nights with their new roommate to brain food for studying, help fuel all their collegiate activities with this collapsible popcorn popper that serves as both a popcorn maker and a bowl. They can put any kind of kernel inside—all they need is a microwave. Then, they can nosh straight from the popper. The best part? It collapses down to become completely flat so they can easily slip it away for storage between uses.

Get the Collapsible Popcorn Popper from Uncommon Goods for $20

17. For the host or hostess with the mostest: A fancy serving platter for hosting adult (ish) get-togethers

On left, wooden charcuterie board covered in assorted snacks. On right, close up product shot of wooden charcuterie board with tiny spoon.

Nobody says no to a charcuterie platter.

It’s never too early for young adults to learn how to entertain. And no, we’re not talking about throwing some Cool Ranch Doritos onto the beer pong table. Give your grad a head start into hosting with this charcuterie set—a nifty little bamboo serving platter with a hidden drawer that opens up to reveal three cheese tools and comes with a cute ceramic dipping bowl and matching bamboo spoon. We guarantee their new friends will be suitably wowed.

Get the Convertible 6-Piece Charcuterie Set from Nordstrom for $72

18. For the outdoorsy grad: A hydrating backpack for exploring nature or urban adventuring

On left, product shot of black Sony - WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones in black. In middle, product shot of black Sony - WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones in cream. product shot of black Sony - WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones in midnight blue.
Credit: Sony

Can you hear us now?

Whether they’re off for a weekend hike in the woods or just a busy day on campus, this unisex backpack has all they need to be on-the-go. This hydration pack holds three liters of water they can sip right from their back and features a variety of handy storage compartments, including a top zippered pocket with a key clip, a zippered side pocket perfect for a cell phone or trail map, and mesh water bottle pocket for extra H20.

REI Co-op Member Exclusive Flash 22 Pack from REI for $75.00

19. For the grad who craves quiet time: These must-have noise canceling headphones

Two identical product shots of REI Osprey Kitsuma 7 Hydration Pack in teal.
Credit: REI

Just strap it on and they’re on their way

Whether they want uninterrupted silence to get in the study zone or just need to drown out a roomie’s snores, they’re going to be extra grateful for a pair of noise canceling headphones. We love the Sony WH-1000XM4, which take noise cancellation to another level by adapting to both the wearer’s environment and movement.

Get the Sony WH-1000XM4 from Best Buy for $278

20. For the grad moving into their first apartment: A real set of dishware

Two side by side shots of black and white 18-Piece Kitchen Dinnerware Set from Amazon.
Credit: Amazon Basics Store

They’ll be bowled over.

Lots of young adults eat off of paper plates or out of the same cracked, dingy bowl each day. Your new grad doesn’t have to be one of them! Having matching dishware is one of the first real markers of adulthood and, frankly, just makes every meal a nicer experience. This 18-piece set from Amazon is a great starter set—stylish and durable, but not so fancy that a broken plate is cause for tears.

Get the Amazon Basics 18-piece Dinnerware Set from Amazon for $39.99

21. For the selfie queen (or king): A cute camera to capture all the fun moments ahead

Two pink and blue Fujifilm polaroid cameras side by side.
Credit: Fujifilm

Say cheese!

Sure, everyone is on Instagram now, but there’s still something to be said for real film. A tangible photograph holds a bit more weight—and they can use it to decorate their dorm or new apartment. This easy to use instant camera pops out pretty little Polaroids that will properly capture all the fun and adventures that lie ahead.

Get the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera from Amazon for $61.39

22. For the grad with a thirst for knowledge: A lifelong love of learning

Promo shot of Alicia Keys, Gordon Ramsay, Samuel L. Jackson, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Natalie Portman all next to each other
Credit: MasterClass

The more you know!

Not all education has to happen inside a classroom—and it doesn’t all have to fall under the umbrella of academia. Enter: MasterClass, a virtual platform which hosts a dynamic, eclectic variety of intensive classes and workshops taught by experts in areas that include art, food, mixology, music, science, sports, business, and much more. An especially great tool for more time spent at home, MasterClass teachers include some big names like Judd Apatow, Gordon Ramsey, and Anna Wintour. Trust us, it’s cool.

Get a MasterClass subscription from MasterClass for $15 a month

23. For the would-be home chef: A fancy piece of cookware for easy, one-pot meals

Two side by side product shots of red 5.5-Quart Round Enameled Cast Iron Cocotte from Staub.
Credit: STAUB

Paging Julia Child…

One of the biggest names in French cookware, Staub makes high-end cookware for the discerning home chef. Which, with this versatile cocotte pot, could soon include your new grad! The cast iron pot can be used both atop and inside the stove to whip up a variety of tasty, one-pot dishes, from soups and stews to an entire roast chicken.

Get the Round Enameled Cast Iron Cocotte from Nordstrom for $359.99

24. For the culinarily-challenged grad: A stove-free egg maker

Product shot of DASH Rapid 6 Capacity Electric Cooker for Eggs
Credit: DASH Store

What an egg-cellent idea.

No stove? No problem. This cute little egg maker has a cult-following on Amazon, and when we tested, we quickly found out why. Your grad can make themselves a healthful, pre-class breakfast in just a few minutes. Beats a McMuffin on the way to campus any day.

Get the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker from Amazon for $19.99

25. For the grad who likes a nice pair of stems: A pretty flower arrangement

Flower arrangement sitting on ground on porch with front opened.
Credit: The Bouqs Co.

Put the petal to the metal!

And last, but not least, flowers! Artfully arranged blooms are a pretty way to brighten your grad’s day. Or, brighten their days for months to come with a flower subscription! We like the stems at Bouqs. They have a great selection of plants and flowers, and their subscriptions start at $36 for a basic bouquet plan.

Get a Bouqs Farm Fresh Subscription from Bouqs starting at $36

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