Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions out there, but it can also be very demanding. A thoughtful gift can be a great way to show the educators in your life that you appreciate the long hours and endless patience they provide each day in the classroom.
Whether you’re shopping for gifts for your own teacher, your child’s or a loved one who works in the field, these highly rated products are both practical and personal.
Selected.Our top picks
Gifts for teachers in 2023
The items in this list are practical or personalized gifts that will delight your teacher by helping them enhance their students’ experience or their own hours in the classroom. Every item is highly rated and based on previous expert recommendations, Select reader favorites and staff picks (some of whom used to be teachers).
This tin with a trio of hand creams can easily fit in a teacher’s desk drawer. The ultra-rich formula contains shea butter, vitamin A and argan oil to deeply moisturize, according to the brand. The set comes with three different scents: cinnamon orange, gardenia and rose acacia. Plus, the tin can be reused to hold odds and ends, like rubber bands, pencils or other school supplies. This hand cream trio has a 4.7-star average on Amazon from over 3,100 reviews.
This highly rated diffuser — which has a 4.5-star average from more than 62,400 reviews on Amazon — can help fill any classroom with peaceful, invigorating or refreshing scents. The diffuser has seven ambient light modes and four timer settings, plus there’s an auto shutoff feature when water levels are low. This set comes with 10 different essential oils.
An elegant stationery set can turn a simple note into a work of art. This set includes 30 sheets of ivory paper that are flecked with gold foil and have blue and amethyst dragonflies printed on them. There are also 24 matching envelopes, with dragonflies printed on the back. The set, which has a 4.8-star average from over 1,300 reviews on Amazon, comes packed in a tasteful gift box, making it great for gift-giving.
Give the gift of rest with this luxurious eye mask from Slip, which we featured in our guide to the best sleep masks. Made of pure silk, it’s gentle on the delicate skin around the eyes and has a silk-covered band that won’t tug at hair, according to the brand. It comes in more than 25 shades and patterns.
Your favorite teacher can drape this cozy throw blanket over themselves when the classroom gets cold or snuggle up with it at home after a long day. The fabric is soft and won’t shrink, pill or wrinkle when washed, according to the brand. As a bonus, the blanket, which is also one of our favorite self-care gifts, comes wrapped in a silky ribbon.
A sampler set like this one from Tea Forté is great if you know your teacher loves tea, especially since tea can help boost mental and physical health, experts previously told us. This assorted collection includes 10 popular blends like Earl Grey, chamomile citron and ginger lemongrass, with aromatic fruits, spices and herbs. Select’s updates editor Mili Godio gifted this set to her mom, who teaches elementary school students, and says she loves the taste of the teas, as well as the fun triangular shape of the tea bags.
One of our favorite air purifiers, the Levoit LV-H132 is compact enough to fit comfortably on a teacher’s desk and filters out dust and allergens in the classroom using the three-stage filtration system, according to the brand. The air purifier circulates the air in the room more than four times an hour and automatically reminds you when it’s time to replace the filter.
This oversized cardigan — which has a 4.4-star average rating from over 4,900 reviews on Amazon — is light enough for year-round wear, according to the brand, and it has pockets to hold teacher essentials, like tissues, hand sanitizer and pencils. The cardigan comes in over 20 colors and is available in sizes ranging from small to XXL.
A Teachers Pay Teachers gift card allows your favorite educator to redeem valuable classroom resources created by other teachers, which can serve as a huge time saver. The online platform is jam-packed with more than 5 million pieces of educator-created content, 85% of which is curated by elementary school, middle school and high school teachers. It’s also a great resource for tutors, early learning specialists, speech language pathologists and school administrators.
This 19-ounce candle is naturally scented with a mix of tropical fruit and sugared citrus. Made of a soy-wax blend, the Capri Blue burns for up to 85 hours, according to the brand. Godio, who formerly taught middle school students, has several Capri Blue Volcano candles in her home, and used them to relax and unwind after long days at school.
This Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer will keep your teacher’s drink warm for hours. It has an on/off switch with an indicator light to let you know when it’s ready for use, and it comes with an extended cord for portability around the classroom. Former Select writer Gabriella DePinho says the mug warmer is one of her favorite gifts to give since it’s an affordable present for avid coffee lovers.
One of our favorite reusable water bottles, the Hydro Flask is made of insulated stainless steel and available in 11 colors and patterns to suit your teacher’s personal style. The bottles come in four sizes —20 ounces, 32 ounces, 40 ounces and 64 ounces — and can keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours and drinks hot for 12, according to the brand. For a more personalized touch, you can also customize it with your teacher’s name.
Amazon’s latest version of the Kindle Paperwhite has a larger screen (6.8 inches compared to 6 inches for the previous version), a dark mode and up to 10 weeks of battery life, according to the brand Select’s tech contributor Whitson Gordon previously wrote that the Select reader-favorite Kindle is a “digital must-have” for bibliophiles.
Bloomscape Pothos Collection (out of stock)
With quick-growing vines that can reach over 10 feet, the Pothos is an expert-recommended low-maintenance indoor plant. It prefers medium to bright indirect light, so it can thrive in almost any type of indoor space, including a classroom with windows. Bloomscape’s Pothos Collection includes three variations — Pearls and Jade, Marble Queen and Golden Pothos — all of which have their own striking leaf pattern. You can choose between white, taupe or black planters. This product is currently out of stock but you can join the waitlist for when it returns. You can also purchase a Pothos plant from major retailers like Amazon.
Teachers’ desks are often overrun with papers, stationery and supplies. Organizational tools like these storage shelves from Jerry and Maggie can help reduce the clutter. They can be stacked, adjusted and rotated to customize the teacher’s workspace. Made from natural wood, the two included shelves have five separate units and flat surfaces to store everything from books and mail to pencil holders and Post-it Notes. These storage racks have a 4.4-star average from more than 11,300 reviews on Amazon.
Godio is also a fan of this gua sha tool due to its ability to relieve muscle tension and reduce facial puffiness. She uses it during her morning skin care routine in combination with her favorite hydrating serum. Made of crystal amethyst, the tool from Mount Lai, which is one of our favorite AAPI-owned businesses, has different edges for gliding across larger and smaller areas of the face, and it can be kept in the fridge to cool and energize your favorite teacher’s skin in the morning before school.
One of our favorite planners for productivity, this option from BulletKeeper comes in seven colors and helps teachers effectively manage their busy schedules. It comes undated, which means teachers can tailor the 12 monthly spreads to their school’s academic year. There are five weekly pages between each monthly calendar, and the end of the notebook has 68 blank pages for jotting down notes, reminders and more.
These slippers from Select-reader favorite brand L.L.Bean can offer relief to teachers who spend the majority of their day on their feet. Available in both women’s and men’s sizes and in multiple colors, the Wicked Good Moccasins are soft and durable and include a warm shearling lining that draws moisture away from the feet, according to the brand. They have a 4.6-star average from over 11,480 reviews on L.L.Bean.
Teachers use laminators to ensure their labels, papers and bulletin board decorations stay intact over the years. This laminator, which has a 4.6-star average from over 6,100 reviews on Amazon, includes a carrying handle for portability, and it can laminate items up to 9 inches wide. The combo pack also comes with 20 letter-sized laminating pouches.
This backpack from Dagne Dover can help your favorite teacher carry their papers, books and other supplies. Since it’s on the pricier side, it can also make a great group-gift option. The neoprene backpack is water-resistant, shock-absorbent and can double as a useful travel backpack. It’s available in three sizes (small, medium and large) and comes in several colors, including onyx, heather grey and dark moss. It has a 4.8-star average rating from over 3,100 reviews on the brand’s website.
The Keurig K-Mini can brew anywhere between 6 to 12 ounces of coffee. Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin says she bought the K-Mini because of its affordable price point and its compact size for a coffee maker. The brewer measures less than 5 inches wide, which is helpful if you have limited counter space — or for the teacher who wants to tuck it on a shelf or desk in their classroom. It comes with a removable drip tray, so you can fit travel mugs up to 7 inches tall, according to the brand. The coffee maker also automatically turns off 90 seconds after your last brew, according to Keurig.
This portable charger is a favorite tech travel gadget amongst Select staffers. It is roughly the size of a tube of lipstick, making it compact enough to fit in a purse, pocket or desk drawer. It has a built-in lightning connector for iPhones, eliminating the need for a charging cable, and its 3350mAh capacity can charge most iPhone models one full time, according to the brand. However, it can’t be used with Android phones — so you’ll need to know what type of phone your teacher has before gifting it.
After spending hours on their feet, your teacher may enjoy an easy at-home massage to ease some muscle tension. This massager from Wahl, an expert-recommended, budget-friendly massage gun, comes with four attachment heads and a 9-foot power cable to help them move around freely. It has two speeds and two vibration settings, which experts told us can be powerful enough for smaller regions of the body like the calves and forearms.
This is one of Select staffers’ favorite bluetooth speakers of 2023. It allows your favorite teacher to play music between classes or for their students. Godio likes this pick for its portability and sound quality. “I’ve brought it to outdoor picnics and parties, and the music is always audible and crisp even when there’s a number of other competing noises,” she says. It’s built to boost low-end frequencies (bass) and deliver little to no distortion at all volumes, according to the brand. It’s water resistant, according to Anker, and it has physical touch controls up top to help you play/pause your music.
Make packing lunch a little chicer with Bentgo’s bento box, which is composed of a top container with a lid and a bottom container. The two containers are separated by a divider that stores an included set of utensils. The top container is split into two compartments that each hold 3/4 cup of food, and the bottom container holds 2 cups of food. Both containers are dishwasher- and microwave-safe, according to the brand, and for compact storage, they nest inside each other. The bento box comes with a sealing strap to hold the containers together, or you can use the containers individually. It comes in a variety of colors like khaki green, slate and purple, and it has a 4.4-star average rating from more than 47,000 reviews on Amazon.
Like a weighted blanket, the benefits of a weighted stuffed animal center around deep pressure stimulation, which uses gentle pressure to induce feeling safe, cozy and calm. Hugimals’ puppy is weighted with a removable pouch of nontoxic glass beads, so you can machine wash the plush cover. Beyond Charlie the Puppy, Hugimals sells three other weighted stuffed animals: Emory the Elephant, Frankie the Cat and Sam the Sloth.
If crafting is your teacher’s go-to hobby, a Cricut Joy can help them have fun with some new projects both in and out of the classroom. This smart cutting and writing machine, which has a 4.7-star average rating from over 11,500 reviews on Amazon, can customize everyday products, from water bottles to personalized cards. The device can draw a variety of shapes, write in multiple fonts and cut over 50 materials, including vinyl, paper and cardstock. Users can control the Cricut Joy from their smartphone using the Design Space app. If your teacher already has a Cricut Joy, you can give them additional device accessories instead.
This travel mug from Stanley, which also makes a very popular tumbler called the Quencher, comes in a 16 or 20-ounce size and is available in a variety of colors. The stainless steel, double-walled canister keeps drinks hot for up to 7 hours or cold for up to 10, according to the brand. Translation: It will keep your teacher’s beverage at the correct temperature for the entirety of a school day. This travel mug has a 4.7-star average from over 22,700 reviews on Amazon.
Why trust Select?
Barbara Booth has written a number of gift guides, as well as roundups listing bestselling and highly rated products, including best organizational products, best car accessories, best travel accessories and more. For this piece, Barbara interviewed one educator and researched dozens of top-rated items that aligned with expert guidance.
Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle.