Walking into your teenager’s bedroom can feel like walking into a mini Apple store. Cords and plugs and neon and devices—everywhere. Dings and bells and things that go TikTok in the night. It’s a world that most of us parents take part in but still exist on the periphery of, making the task of finding the best gift ideas for teens all the more difficult. It’s like an exclusive online club that we aren’t considered cool enough to be invited into—and one we still don’t entirely grasp.
We can sometimes feel not just decades, but a planet away from the interests of our techie teens. But, despite ditching landlines for the latest iPhone, replacing the communal family computer with personal laptops, and swapping out babydoll dresses for baggy jeans and crop tops—so. many. midriffs.—what if “kids these days” are actually much more similar to how we were as teens than we realize? They just require a little more battery life.
Featured image from our interview with Ty Haney by Kristen Kilpatrick.
15 Gift Ideas for Teens They’re Sure to Obsess Over
We surveyed teenagers of all ages and found that their wants mirror many of the same wishlists we would’ve wanted back in the 90s. With a twist, of course. Keep reading for the most creative, useful, and won’t-be-returned gift ideas for teens to buy this holiday season.
Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Stanley IceFlow™ Bottle with Fast Flow Lid | 24 oz
Everyone knows the famous 40-ounce Stanely has sat in the spotlight for a few years now. However, Camille says this 24-ounce version with the fast-flow lid is on her list for Phoebe this year. It’s the perfect size for backpack storage without compromising the ice-cold water you’ll enjoy all day long.
Sézane Jute Toiletry Bag
A quality toiletry bag is something not every teen wants, but definitely needs. A prominent memory of getting older was my first toiletry and makeup bag that I proudly brought to all of my sleepovers. Feeling put together with all of your belongings in one place brings forward feelings of maturity that every teen is looking for.
Customized Neon Light
Who isn’t mad for a bit of neon? Your choosy teen will be all aglow for a bright, customized neon hanging sign to liven up their bedroom.
Polo Ralph Lauren Americana Bear Socks
If Uggs and ballet flats are the viral shoes of the season, these are their cozy-boosting counterparts. Apparently, they’re everywhere across TikTok and make the perfect stocking stuffer that won’t break the bank.
Madewell Swiss Dot Babydoll Pajama Set
They’d wear their jammies morning, noon, and night if you allowed it. Make the vision of your child lounged out one you can (cutely) get on board with. This is perfect for warmer nights or kids who aren’t comfortable sleeping in long sleeves or pants.
Outdoor Voices BeachTree Hoodie
Athleisure is the driving force of most teens’ closets, so cute up their clothing with a streamlined hoodie. And if your teen is recently tennis-obsessed, they’ll love this dress that they can wear on and off the court.
Baggu Go Pouch Set
With all the tech they carry around, teenagers need a little help keeping it all together. Why not dress up the details with these cute pouches? In true Baggu fashion, they come in an array of colors to help them express their personality best.
FP Movement Get Your Flirt On Shorts
Even cooler temps can’t compete with your teen’s shorts obsession. Shop the rainbow of athletic shorts from Lululemon or FP Movement for an instant holiday win.
Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage
Stepping in style, teens are smitten with the black and white, gender-neutral pair of Nikes. (For those dressing outside the box, they come in brighter styles, too.)
Museum of Peace & Quiet Wordmark Dad Cotton Logo Cap
My kids are the masters of stealing my clothes (I take it as a compliment), so with this gift, I’m fighting back. We all love a good dad hat, particularly one that sports a tranquil message and aesthetic vibe.
Kitsch Velvet Scrunchies
90s hair—and all its accouterments—are making a comeback, and we are here for it. This means scrunchies are also one of the hottest hair accessories in middle and high school. Plus, who doesn’t love a tie that’s cute and causes less damage? Sign me up!
Threshold™ Textured Faux Fur Reversible Throw Blanket
Receiving a cozy gift like this faux fur blanket never gets old—no matter your age. I especially love it as a gift for any college-age kiddo home for the holidays. It’ll quickly become a soft and warm reminder of all the love waiting for them at home.
Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L
I really didn’t start carrying a purse until I turned twenty, but if the Lululemon belt bag had existed before the second decade of my life, it would have been my first pick. SO many cute colors exist on this line, from a sandy tan to this pastel baby blue. It’s a great way to transition into purse-carrying in a sporty way.
Cloud Faux-Fur Camel Bean Bag Chair
Bean bag chairs are highly underrated. When I was in high school, I never missed an opportunity to lounge in my friends’ bean bag chairs during sleepovers or after-school hangouts. They’re a great place to settle in with a good read or just to take a five.
Attention spans being what they are, the home can be a distracting environment for teens just starting to dive deep into homework and studying. These headphones are a great option to block out extra sounds so that your teen can really get in the zone.
This post was originally published on November 16, 2022, and has since been updated.