33 graduation gifts for him that he'll actually use
Celebrate his accomplishments with something he'll love.
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
With graduation season quickly approaching, students are gearing up to embark on the next step of life. This can mean taking his first steps of independence by starting college or getting his first real-world job after graduation. Regardless of which stage of life he’s in, his next step can be daunting—especially since so much of the last year has been filled with uncertainty.
Although COVID-19 vaccinations are underway, the pandemic isn’t over, meaning graduation ceremonies may be virtual and gatherings with classmates and family members are either postponed or kept to an immediate circle. However, this doesn’t mean that this milestone shouldn’t be celebrated. To help him commemorate this special occasion, consider sending him a gift he’ll actually need (and use) right now and in the future. Below you’ll find the 33 best graduation gift ideas for men.
1. For the one moving far from home: A Homesick Candle
While he may be feeling nervous about his big move, a candle that smells like his favorite place will remind him that home isn’t too far away. Candles from Homesick smell exactly like his college town or home state, so he can waft in the scents of apple picking in New England or the ocean breeze of Long Island. Available in every state and select cities, it’ll make a great gift for anyone leaving home for the first time.
2. For the guy who always loses everything: Tile Mate
Is the new grad always muttering something along the lines of “have you seen my…?” Then he needs a Tile Mate to keep track of it all, so he can actually make it to events on time. It clips right onto his keys, wallet, or sunglasses, and it can locate things over 200 feet away with its built-in Bluetooth tracker. Reviewers adore the loud volume of the ringer (he’ll hear it—trust us) and its long battery life.
3. For the guy who loves to read: Kindle Unlimited subscription
A book is great, but have you thought about gifting him hundreds of books at his fingertips? While it may sound expensive, with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, it’ll only cost $9.99 per month. By downloading the Kindle app, he’ll be able to access all those e-books, audiobooks, and podcasts with his tablet, phone, and laptop—no need to purchase an actual Kindle.
4. For the one who loves to cook: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
For many, a cast-iron skillet is a kitchen staple and will quickly become their go-to pan in their new apartment. When shopping for the grad who loves to cook, this is a top-priority upgrade for his newly established kitchen. The best one we’ve ever tested happens to be the Lodge Chef Collection Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet. Aside from its affordable price tag, we also love how lightweight it is and that it will last for years to come.
5. For the one who loves luxury: An elevated shaving kit
If his morning shaving routine is a crucial part of his day, then he deserves a major routine upgrade. A luxurious shaving kit from Art of Shaving will do just the trick. This kit includes all the major shaving essentials, like pre-shave oil, shaving cream, a shaving brush, and an after shave balm, to make his daily beard trimmings a more luxurious experience.
6. For the grad always binge-watching the latest TV shows: A streaming subscription
Whether he wants to watch the latest and greatest or re-watch his favorite shows, you can’t go wrong with giving him a streaming subscription (or multiple, at that). While giving him a commercial-less watching experience, a streaming service ensures he’ll never run out of movie or TV show options and will be able to chat about the popular streams without hustling his friends for their account passwords. You can’t go wrong with Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or Disney+, but we recommend gifting him a full year so he’s not whining when the month expires.
- Sign up for Netflix starting at $8.99 a month
- Sign up for Hulu starting at $5.99 a month or $55.99 a year
- Sign up for HBO Max for $14.99 a month
- Sign up for Disney+ for $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year
7. For the guy who loves being cozy: A set of super-soft pajamas
Even if he won’t admit it, pajamas are a great gift—so get him the coziest, snuggliest pair you can find. Try to stick to a pattern he’ll actually wear with a material that won’t overheat him throughout the night. Some options we love include the Old Navy poplin pajamas, the incredibly soft Tommy pajama pant, and plaid L.L Bean pajamas. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
- Get the Poplin Pajama Set for Men from Old Navy for $40
- Get the Second Skin Pajama Pant from Tommy John for $68
- Get the Men's Scotch Plaid Flannel Pajamas from L.L. Bean for $69.95
8. For the smoothie lover: A Magic Bullet Blender
If he loves to make protein shakes or smoothies every day, a personal blender would make an excellent gift. After testing a variety of personal blenders, we found that the Magic Bullet was the best for smoothies. It not only blends super smoothly, but it is also incredibly easy to clean. Plus, it’s an easy way to sneak some vegetables into his diet.
9. For the guy who has it all: An Amazon Prime membership
Does he need some tools? Food? Kitchen supplies? All of the above? If you answered the latter, then an Amazon Prime membership is just what he needs. It’ll ensure quick delivery on all his Amazon purchases and allow him to watch thousands of movies and TV shows via Prime Video. It’s a win-win.
10. For the wine lover: Winc subscription
Hear me out: there are so many positive things to be said about your favorite bottles of alcohol being delivered to your door—as long as your giftee is 21+. A Winc wine subscription will deliver curated wines straight to his door and really make him feel like he’s adulting when he can pull out a bottle while entertaining guests. We’ve used Winc in the past and our tester loved the selection of wines offered and that she no longer has to stare into the abyss of the wine aisle to decide what bottle to choose.
11. For the newly employed businessman: A nice watch
If he’s newly employed but notorious for running late, he needs a nice watch. While it may not make him earlier for meetings, it will remind him to get his act together quicker. This Fossil watch with its gold stainless steel detailing and sleek design will look fancy on his wrist, too.
12. For the one who always loses their ID: A leather wallet
Never underestimate the value of a good leather wallet—especially for the new grad who seems to always lose his credit cards and ID. It’ll not only give his cards, money, and identification a designated space but will also give his previously nonexistent wallet a much-needed upgrade. With its beautiful soft leather, it’ll garner compliments, too.
13. For the one who needs to look professional: A fancy tie
A good tie is never a bad idea—particularly for the new grad who doesn’t have any nice ones. With one of these options, he’ll be able to dress up his new suit for presentations in class, rushing, or his new job. Regardless of what stage of life he’s in, a fancy tie will be appreciated. These ones are all highly rated and come in both solids and fun patterns.
- Get the Mini Dots Royal Blue Tie from The Tie Bar for $25
Get the Oxford Silk Nanotex Tie from Banana Republic for $41
- Get the Ted Baker London Solid Silk Tie from Nordstrom for $95
- Get the David Donahue Stripe Silk Tie from Nordstrom for $115
14. For the one who’s decorating their apartment: The Sill Plant Subscription
Perfect for decorating his new apartment, a plant subscription is a great way to liven up any space. The subscription arrives with a new plant and pot every month and allows him to add some much-needed greenery to his space. The best part? He doesn’t need to have a green thumb to take care of them as they’re easy-to-care-for and come with step-by-step instructions. We’ve ordered plants from The Sill before and loved how gently they were packaged and that even our houseplant-challenged tester could watch her ZZ plant flourish.
15. For the one who doesn’t know how to cook: A Home Chef gift card
Here’s the situation: He just graduated, but doesn’t know how to cook a single thing. Insert: A home chef subscription. Aside from being our favorite meal kit, it has easy-to-read instructions and high-quality ingredients so he can learn how to cook in his new apartment.
16. For the one who is proud of their accomplishments: A diploma frame
Graduating is a major achievement, so he should be able to display his accomplishment for all to see. Over 1,500 Etsy reviewers say this diploma frame is an excellent way to showcase a diploma, tassel, and cap in an aesthetically pleasing way. Plus, there are also options to customize the frame, color scheme, and engravement to match his school colors to make it extra personal.
17. For the grad who needs a wardrobe upgrade: A Stitch Fix gift card
Is he always wearing old ratty t-shirts and basketball shorts? If yes, it’s time to upgrade his wardrobe. But picking out something he’ll actually wear can be a challenge. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service where users fill out a quick style survey and then receive a box of clothing selected for them based on their preferences. Aside from saving both of you the dreaded experience of going shopping, he’ll adore the stylist-selected wardrobe like our tester did when they tried the service.
18. For the guy who needs to relax: Gravity Blanket
While embarking on a new journey—like a job, college, or being away from home—your new grad is bound to face a lot of stress. To help combat it, give him a weighted blanket to help him relax. Gravity Blanket is the best weighted blanket we’ve ever tested as it outdid the competition with its even weight distribution and easy to clean fabric. The blanket will feel like they’re wearing a hug—something that will be so helpful during this time of transition.
19. For the caffeine aficionado: Nespresso VertuoPlus
Of all the single-serve coffee makers we’ve tested at Reviewed, the Nespresso VertuoPlus is our favorite. It’ll not only save the new graduate money on Starbucks runs, but it also allows them to brew delicious coffee or espresso quickly with a foamy crema on top—no barista certification required. The best part? Its compact size can fit pretty much anywhere, including small apartment kitchens or dorm rooms.
20. For the grad who loves home-cooked meals: Instant Pot Ultra
We all love a hearty home-cooked meal, but don’t always have time to make them. This is precisely why the Instant Pot is the perfect gift—especially if he loves cooking himself dinner instead of wasting money on takeout. We dubbed the Instant Pot Ultra as the best pressure cooker on the market. It cooks full meals in less than 20 minutes, has a ton of settings, cleans easily, and is initiative—a.k.a he’ll have no issue figuring out how to use it by himself.
21. For the one starting a new job: A stylish briefcase
If he has to keep track of important papers for his new job or master’s program, a briefcase will come in handy. This Herschel one features a versatile design, multiple carrying and storage choices, and three different color options, making it ideal for new graduates. Reviewers particularly love how it has back straps so they can choose to carry it over their shoulder or wear it like a backpack.
22. For the one who’s sharing a bathroom: A monogrammed toiletry bag
Is he still carrying around a plastic shower caddy for his bathroom essentials? If yes, then he needs a monogrammed toiletry bag. Aside from looking more established than the shower caddy he’s currently using, a toiletry bag allows him to easily pack up his essentials for last-minute visits home or for work trips. It’s available in a wide range of colors and can be customized with different lettering, so you’ll find the perfect one for him.
23. For the sentimental one: A customized photo collage
He’ll always fondly look back at his college or high school memories, so give him a gift that will help him remember the good times. This customized photo collage from Minted serves as a nice decoration for his dorm room or new apartment and is the perfect backdrop for grad photos and candid shots. You can fill it with photos of his favorite memories with his fraternity brothers, friends, and family, too.
24. For the one moving into a new apartment: A sheet set
A good set of sheets is imperative for achieving the dreamiest night’s sleep. We took many, many cozy slumbers on the Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheets and can confirm they are the best bed sheets on the market. Made with 100% cotton, they’re easy to wash and will last your giftee a long time. Plus, they’re incredibly soft to sleep on and are a well-deserved upgrade from the cheap sheets he used in college.
25. For the grad who needs a budget: EveryDollar subscription
Whether he’s in the real world or starting college, he needs to learn how to properly manage his money. Insert the handiest budget tool of all: The EveryDollar app. This gift is quintessential for him to handle his finances on his own, and it’s one of our favorite budget apps. All he needs to do is connect his bank accounts, enter his budget (daily or monthly), spending, and expenses and he’ll be on his way to understanding the value of a dollar.
26. For the one who plans to travel: Away Carry-On Luggage
You can never go wrong with a good quality carry-on—and the new graduate will agree, especially as he’s traveling between home and campus. Although he probably already has a carry-on (or two), he’ll definitely appreciate an upgrade that the Away Carry-On provides. Away makes our favorite hard-sided checked luggage, and this smaller version is ideal for weekend trips, is durable, and can be used to charge his phone.
27. For the gamer: Nintendo Switch
Does he love all things video games? Regardless of whether he loves the latest and greatest or classic games, the Nintendo Switch has it all. He can easily put it in his briefcase to use on his commute or plug it into his TV to play endless party games with his roommates.
28. For the one who has to sign important documents: An engraved pen
An engraved Montblanc pen is a great gift for every new graduate. With a sleek design and coated in platinum, he’ll be reminded that you always have his back when he’s signing important papers. While adding a special touch to his desk, it’ll also turn the mundane task of using a pen into a high-class experience. Warning: he may only want to use Montblanc pens after using this one.
29. For the one who needs a reminder to take a break: Apple Watch Series 6
Sometimes finding time to take a break can be really difficult, especially in a new environment where he wants to prove himself. If he finds himself forgetting to get up and move throughout the day, try getting him a smartwatch that reminds him to stretch his legs. We tested a lot of smartwatches and can confidently say that the Apple Watch is our favorite. It has fantastic fitness tracking, helpful stand reminders, a bright always-on display, and can be used to make phone calls, too.
30. For the grad who has to commute: A pair of noise-canceling headphones.
An early morning commute can be extremely tiresome, which is why he needs a pair of noise-canceling headphones. The Sony WH1000XM4s are the best noise canceling headphones we’ve ever tested because they’re comfortable, have good battery life, and did a great job at blocking noise. He can choose to jam out to his favorite tunes or put on a podcast and relax during his commute. Regardless of what he listens to, the active noise cancellation technology will allow him to tune in or out of the outside world.
31. For the one who wants to take a year off post-grad: A quality camera
An amazing quality camera is imperative for documenting his travels and memories post-graduation. We named the Nikon D3500 is the best camera for beginners as it takes beautiful photos and has an ergonomic, easy-to-use design. Another great alternative is the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark III, which earned our Best Value award. Both will provide him a great way to document what he’s experiencing when it’s safe to travel again.
- Get the Nikon D3500 from Best Buy for $599.99
- Get the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II from Amazon for $449
32. For the next Emeril: Staub Dutch oven
The Staub Dutch oven is perfect for crafting the crunchiest sourdough and braising the softest meat. It’s the best Dutch oven we’ve ever tested (yes, better than the coveted Le Creuset) because its round size doesn’t take up too much burner space on the stovetop, which is essential for small kitchens. It’s also easy to clean, its sleek appearance means it can double as a serving dish, and it’ll last him for years to come, making it worth the price tag.
33. For the grad using the same laptop from freshman year: A new laptop
Regardless of whether he graduates high school or college, a new laptop is imperative for his next step. It’ll not only help him with work and classes, but it will also provide him with the latest and fastest technology. Before purchasing, find out if he prefers a Mac or PC as it will determine the best laptop for him. After testing popular laptop models, our experts recommend getting the Macbook Air for the Mac lovers and the HP Spectra 14T for the PC guy.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.