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17 best gifts for high school students in 2020

Give the high school student in your life a fun and functional gift they'll love for years to come.
Image: Mother photographing daughter at graduation
These high school graduation gift ideas will prepare them for life after graduating.JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

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Typically, graduation festivities include parties and family gatherings, among other celebratory get-togethers, but high school students graduating in 2020 are facing a new graduation reality: at-home festivities. Though celebrating in person may not occur this year, graduation is still a time to congratulate your high school grad — it’s also a traditional moment to award them or prepare them with a gift.

Celebrate the momentous accomplishment by giving your graduate a gift that will be useful far beyond the day of celebration. Consider compact kitchen appliances to help expand (or incentivize) their cooking knowledge and tech that will help them focus in the years ahead. We also found everything from accessories and bedding to streaming devices and footwear — helping you find a gift that will suit their lifestyle. Below, you’ll find some of the best graduation gifts to give this year, spanning tech, travel and home and kitchen, at various price points.

In this article

  1. Best tech graduation gifts 2020
  2. Best travel and accessory graduation gifts 2020
  3. Best home and kitchen graduation gifts 2020

Best tech graduation gifts 2020

1. Roku Ultra

The Roku Ultra is one of the best streaming devices. It includes an intuitive menu and has useful features that help you find what you’re looking for without hassle. With the Roku Ultra, you can search across all channels with your voice and subscribe to your favorite shows. It features a powerful quad-core processor and personal shortcut buttons — you’ll also be getting a pair of JBL headphones alongside it.

2. Wemo Mini Smart Plug

The Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug is one of the best smart home devices. It’s a helpful addition to any home or apartment because you can manage your lights and appliances with the WeMo app or your voice.

3. HoMedics UV-Clean Phone Sanitizer

The HoMedics UV-Clean Phone Sanitizer is one of the best UV light sanitizers to shop this year since it’s designed to disinfect both sides of your device in just one minute. It can fit multiple phone sizes including the larger iPhone 8 Plus and the Google Pixel 3, but it’s compact for convenience on-the-go.

4. Apple AirPods Pro

The Apple AirPods Pro are the newest version of earbuds released by Apple. They are the best earbuds for Apple users since they include active noise-cancelling capabilities, interchangeable silicone tips and an adaptive EQ that automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear. Thanks to the compact charging case, the AirPods Pro are helpful for anyone who has an active lifestyle.

5. LifeFuels Smart Bottle

For those who have trouble keeping up with their daily intake of water, the LifeFuels Smart Bottle may be a good addition to their daily routine.. With the touch of a button, the smart bottle dispenses flavor and nutrients into the main vessel. You can also use the app to adjust the flavor and strength of your drink.

Best travel and accessory graduation gifts 2020

6. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

This functional backpack from Fjallraven has a two-way zip-around closure, a rain flap and it’s crafted from water-resistant nylon. The bag has a main compartment that can hold most 13-inch laptops and handles for easy carrying.

7. Nomad Goods Phone Case

The Nomad Goods Phone Case is the top wallet phone case in our best phone case guide due to its durability and multi-use functions. It’s made with natural, horween leather that develops a sleek patina over time, and it includes three card slots and one cash slot to double as a wallet.

8. Vincero The Chrono S Watch

The Vincero Chrono S Watch is crafted with Italian leather, stainless steel and a scratch-resistant band. The sapphire-coated crystal face and sleek design make it a timeless and useful accessory for any grad. Vincero is also certified by Climate Neutral, which certifies brands committed to reducing carbon emissions.

9. Allbirds Tree Dashers

Allbirds is one of the most comfortable eco-friendly shoes. The new Tree Dashers are crafted with a eucalyptus-tree-derived upper and a liner made with merino wool. The sole is also made with carbon negative green EVA, which provides a firm foundation for anyone who likes to run or walk outside.

10. Samsonite Ziplite 4.0 Hardside Spinner Luggage

The Samsonite Ziplite is a great gift for any grad wanting to travel — and it is one of our reader’s most purchased products in March thanks to its scratch-resistant, lightweight design — includes two interior pockets for easy packing.

Best home and kitchen graduation gifts 2020

11. Homesick Candles

If your grad is traveling away from their town after graduation, the Homesick candle will be a great memento of their home. The 13.75-ounce soy wax candles come in city, state, country and memory styles and the average burn time per candle is 60-80 hours.

12. Nutribullet

The original Nutribullet comes with a 600-watt motor base, an extractor blade, a 24-ounce cup and an 18-ounce cup. By using the mobile app, you can gain access to multiple recipes for quick, on-the-go meals or snacks.

13. OXO 9-cup Coffee Maker

Jessica Easto, author of “Craft Coffee: A Manual,” previously recommended the OXO 9-cup Coffee Maker as one of the best coffee makers. She explains that the double-wall carafe ensures your coffee stays hotter for longer and that your coffee doesn’t lose flavor on a hot plate.

14. Layla Weighted Blanket (Queen)

If you’re looking for a blanket that may help promote sleep and relaxation, you can consult our guide to the best weighted blankets and comforters. The Layla weighted blanket — one of the the best weighted blankets and comforters — stands out because it’s washable and works as a throw blanket — it includes glass beads that are evenly distributed throughout the blanket.

15. SnackSack Subscription Box

This subscription box is filled with 11 to 15 new snack brands each month. When ordering, you can choose the classic option, the vegan option, the gluten-free variety or a workplace pack.

16. Son of a Barista Box

Son of a Barista is a coffee subscription service that can give your grad the ability to try new coffee blends while saving money on regular coffee shop visits. The box ships every three months and each one contains two boxes of 30 espresso pods — plus, you can get a free espresso maker with your first order.

17. Ember Gen 2 Mug

The Ember heated coffee mug allows you to set an exact drinking temperature of your coffee, cocoa or latte with the use of the Ember app. It can keep your drink wars for 1.5-hours and comes with a charging coaster. A similar model is listed as a helpful gadget in our reader-favorite guide: How to stay focused when you’re working from home.

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