Buying gifts for teen boys and girls can be a daunting task. It’s a time of life when preferences seem to change daily (or hourly) and when a certain cool factor must be part of the equation if you truly want to impress them.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up and hand your teen a gift card. There are plenty of gifts on the market today that are both cool and practical. Show how much you really get them with these tech accessories, beauty options, trendy clothes and more from this carefully curated list.
Best gifts to buy for teens
To help you find the best gifts for the teens in your life, we’ve rounded up 25 highly rated items and expert picks from our previous coverage, along with Select reader favorites from brands like Patagonia, Apple, Birkenstock, Yeti and more. Whether your teen is a gamer, music lover, sports fanatic, outdoor enthusiast or just likes to sit home and chill, there's something on this list of gifts they'll be sure to love.
One of the most popular current-generation gaming consoles, the Nintendo Switch is unique for its versatility: It doubles as a traditional console (like a PlayStation) and a handheld (like the old Nintendo DS or Game Boy), a good feature for busy teens on the move. Its library includes games for all ages, including bestsellers Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which are only playable on the Switch. Our experts also said they love the Switch’s wide offering of indie titles, including Hades and Stardew Valley.
One of our favorite gaming headsets, the SteelSeries Arctis is compatible with PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Android devices. It provides quality game and microphone sound with noise cancellation, so your voice is always clear, making it great for gamers who play online or on the go, says the brand. It’s also detachable, so you can bring it wherever you’re going.
If your teen loves to create TikToks and Instagram stories, they will love the way this LED video and photo light improves the quality of their content. According to the brand, the MagSafe Ring Light is super compact, making it great for on-the-go content creators. It easily attaches to any iPhone that has MagSafe technology, and for those that don’t, it comes with an adapter. This ring light also has four different brightness levels and a built-in mirror.
Many teens have a tough time falling asleep at a reasonable hour and waking up feeling refreshed and ready to jump out of bed, but Hatch Restore can make it a little easier. Rated one of the best sunrise alarm clocks in one of our previous guides, this clock simulates the rising and setting sun to encourage better sleeping habits. It also has guided rest exercises and sleep stories designed for an easy transition into sleep, providing pink noise such as light rain and other background sounds to help teens tune out distractions, according to the brand. Its gradual sunrise light options range from Warm White to Peach, and a selection of soothing sounds, like morning birds, meditative flute or relaxing chimes, offer a nice alternative to jarring phone alarms.
Listening to music through online streaming platforms is something that just about every teen does. Spotify – a Select editor favorite – is a digital music, podcast and video service that gives you access to millions of songs and other content from creators all over the world. Surprise your teen with a digital gift card that offers three months of Spotify premium (which lets you listen without ads and interruptions). It can be delivered via email and redeemed digitally. You can also purchase this card in physical form.
Turntables are back in a big way, and whether your teen is a classical musical prodigy or a metalhead, an easy-to-use turntable is sure to have them excited this year. Select experts recommended this entry-level turntable in our guide to record players and turntables for its user-friendly design. It plays 33s, 45s and 78 RPM records and has a USB output so you can connect it t o your computer and digitize your record collection.
Teens can bring their movies, gaming and music to life with this Bluetooth-enabled Philips Hue Go smart light that flashes, dims, brightens and changes color to sync with their media. Unlike most smart lights, the Hue Go is portable, so your giftee can take it wherever they want. It connects via Bluetooth or Philips Hue Hub and has a battery life of up to 10 hours, according to the brand. The Philips Hue Go has a 4.7-star average rating among 2,549 reviews on Amazon.
Listed in one of our previous guides as one of the most popular tech gifts, Apple’s latest generation of earbuds has not physically changed in appearance at all, but internally it’s improved significantly over its predecessor. The Apple AirPods Pro 2 has excellent noise canceling, better audio performance and more battery life, at 30 hours with the charging case. And if you misplace them, the FindMy app on your phone will prompt a tiny speaker in the charging case to ring. Best of all, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) is the same price point as its previous generation.
The JBL Flip 5 is one of the best Bluetooth portable speakers, according to tech expert and former Select contributor Whitson Gordon. It can pair with other JBL products to create a multi-speaker setup and is available in several colors like pink, forest green and more.
Getting the perfect blowout at home can be quite a challenge. Rated one of the best 2-in-1 styling tools by our experts, the Revlon One-Step simplifies the hairstyling process by simultaneously smoothing your strands with nylon and tufted bristles while drying your hair. Due to its oval shape, the brush can get close to your roots to create massive volume and bouncy movement, the brand says. Revlon’s blow dryer brush sports three heat settings and three speed settings, along with a cooling feature to help your style last longer and give you that salon finish.
Select experts recommended the Hydro Flask in our recent guide on best reusable water bottles. It comes in four sizes (20 ounces, 32 ounces, 40 ounces and 64 ounces) and can be customized with different caps and lids that either slide open or twist on and off. According to the brand, the Hydro Flask can keep water cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks warm for up to 12. It’s also dishwasher-safe. This water bottle is available in up to 14 colors depending on the size you choose.
This durable, stylish flip-flop made by the German footwear brand is the same as the familiar mocha-colored leather version with the molded footbed and cupped heel but repackaged in a synthetic design that is super-lightweight and highly flexible, says the company. They come in a variety of colors, including Black, Metallic Silver, White, Anthracite and Turquoise, and are great in wet conditions, such as at the beach or when showering in college or out at a spa. They have a 4-star average rating on Zappos among 1,172 reviews.
The one-size-fits-all knitted hat is made from an acrylic blend to keep you warm, says the brand. It's functional yet stylish and comes in 28 colors, including Brite Lime, Coal Heather and Marine Blue. This beanie has a 4.8-star average rating among 136,754 reviews on Amazon.
Part slipper, part sandal, the Ugg Fluff Yeah is made of 100% sheepskin, with a lightweight 1.5-inch platform, says the brand. It comes in 34 colorways and pairs perfectly with a midi dress or jeans. This slipper has a 4/7-star average rating from 36,277 reviews on Amazon.
For teens who love the outdoors, you can’t go wrong with a fleece pullover from Select-favorite brand Patagonia. This iconic, durable classic is lightweight and made of 100% recycled polyester microfleece and comes in both a women’s and men’s version. According to the brand, the fabric wicks moisture, dries fast and offers a full range of motion for comfort during activities.
Weighted blankets are surging in popularity for their ability to relieve stress and improve sleep by providing the sensation of a warm, comforting hug. The Luna Cotton Weighted Blanket is hypoallergenic and made of breathable materials, says the brand, and was highly recommended by our experts in a recent guide. It is offered in three different sizes for a Full, Queen or King bed and, depending on the size you choose, the blanket’s weight ranges from 12 pounds to 30 pounds. Luna offers covers in over a dozen colors, including Pink, Lavender and Tie Dye, that can be purchased separately.
A massage gun is a thoughtful gift for teen athletes who could use a deep tissue massage to loosen up tight muscles after a tough workout or game. The VYBE Premium is an affordable option recently recommended by our experts. It’s suitable for athletes at every level, the brand says, and is relatively lightweight at under 4 pounds, so it’s travel-friendly. The VYBE has five levels of vibration up to 3,200 PPM and comes with four different attachments.
This redesigned, reimagined Rubik’s Cube of the 21st century is an app-enabled version of the old classic. This smart cube connects to a phone or tablet via Bluetooth and helps you learn how to solve the puzzle, improve your game and compete with cubers around the world. The app offers troubleshooting guidance and tracks your progress so you can improve your solve time. The Rubik’s Connected has a 4.5-star average rating among 1,739 reviews on Amazon.
The Blue Speed Racer is for ages 13 years and older and a great beginner boomerang for teens who are curious about learning this skill. It’s optimized for fast catch and has a long helicopter hover, says the brand. It includes a 24-page manual on how to throw a boomerang, along with access to instructional videos. This boomerang has a 4.2-star rating on Amazon from nearly 950 reviews.
This card game has been gaining in popularity ever since it debuted in 2015 and relies on teamwork. Two teams compete by each having a “spymaster” give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. The game ends when all of one team's agents are identified or when one team has identified the assassin. Each round lasts about 15 minutes, and each team can have up to eight players. Codenames has garnered a 4.8-star average rating from 27,639 reviews on Amazon.
Saying that your teen will love this gift may be a stretch, but it is something they’ll appreciate in the long run. Rocketbook’s Panda Planner was highly recommended by Select experts in a recent guide on best planners as a great eco-friendly and reusable option and is a must-have for any teen trying to stay organized. It has undated monthly, weekly and daily planning options, as well as goals and motivation templates. It works with any Pilot FriXion pen, marker or highlighter, says the brand, and its synthetic paper can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. With the accompanying Rocketbook app, you can store all of your planner pages to the cloud to digitally save and share your notes even after they’re erased, says Rocketbook.
If your teen loves to explore the outdoors, this backpack from Select-favorite brand Yeti is a win. It comes in five cool colors, including Nordic Purple, Harvest Red and Alpine Brown, and has a clamshell opening, so it combines the convenience of a suitcase with the portability of a backpack, says the company. Its TuffSkin Nylon is also water- and abrasion-resistant, says the brand.
Polaroid pictures make for great photo walls, and a Polaroid camera can be a great gift for a teen who loves photography. This Select favorite weighs about a half pound and is more compact than other Polaroid models. It has a battery that won’t run out until 15 packs of film are used, according to the company.
Growing teens need snacks, so why not give them a supply of healthy snacks? This subscription box includes 12 or more snacks per month, related to the current season. It comes in Classic, Vegan, Gluten-Free and Classic + Gluten-Free options.
Select writer and avid runner Zoe Malin has long been a fan of Fitbit products. She praises the brand for its “diverse-yet-simple offerings” and called the brand “great for beginners.” The Versa 3 smartwatch has sensors to detect your heart rate, HRV, oxygen saturation, skin temperature, sleep and more. According to the Fitbit, the battery lasts more than six days on a single charge and has up to 12 hours of battery life with continuous GPS. It also comes in five colorways: Midnight/Soft Gold Aluminum, Black/Black Aluminum, Pink Clay/Soft Gold Aluminum, Thistle/Soft Gold Aluminum and Olive/Soft Gold Aluminum.