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54 best gifts for teens 2021: Top gift ideas teens will love

With picks ranging from beauty products to comic books, we've got you covered.
These are the gifts your teen is secretly hoping for this holiday season.
These are the gifts your teen is secretly hoping for this holiday season.Left to right: Amazon, Bose
/ Source: TODAY

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We all know that shopping for a middle or high schooler can be tricky.

But forget gift cards and video games and opt for one of these gifts for teens instead. We know you'll find a winner in this list of not-so-boring stuff — it's all made just for them! Whether your teenager is into sports or makeup, this list has a gift for everyone.

To quickly jump to the category you're looking for click on the links below or keep scrolling to see more.

Bestselling gifts from this article:

Best tech gifts for teens

1. Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo managed to make everyone’s favorite handheld gaming device even smaller with the Nintendo Switch Lite. It’s compatible with all of the physical and digital Nintendo Switch games.

2. Sonix Watermellon Glow iPhone 11 Pro Case

Since it's likely that they have a cellphone by this age, they'll totally love a new phone case. This one from Sonix even glows in the dark!

3. Echo Buds

Echo Buds are another great option for wireless earbuds — and they're slightly cheaper than the AirPods.

4. Echo Dot

The new Echo Dot is a perfect addition to any teen's nightstand. The device now has an LED display that will show you the time, temperature or even a countdown timer. The Echo Dot also has an awesome speaker and is Alexa enabled.

5. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

Any millennial obsessed with Instagram will also be obsessed with this camera that prints out Polaroid-style photos.

6. Spotify Gift Card

I know we said no boring gifts, but if your teen will only settle for something they can pick out themselves, Amazon's gift card superstore is an easy way to cross a few different gifts off your list. From Sephora (for the beauty-obsessed) to Game Stop and even Uber, they have them all.

7. Away Luggage

A sleek and new suitcase makes for a great gift for the teen who has aspirations to travel (when they can)! Not only is the Away luggage carry-on bag spacious and convenient, it has a removable battery charger so that they can plug their phone in and not worry about their precious phone running out of juice.

8. Bose Audio Sunglasses

Not only are these shades stylish, but they also provide audio directly into your ear without anyone else around you able to hear it.

9. Apple AirPods Pro

Ditch the cord or upgrade your old wireless earbuds with these Apple AirPods Pro. The new style has noise-canceling capabilities and easily connects to your Bluetooth.

Best clothing and jewelry gifts for teens

1. BaubleBar Kiera Raffia Statement Earrings

These fun, lightweight tassel earrings are the perfect way for your teenager to add a bit of flair to any outfit.

2. Madewell Wool Texting Gloves

Everyone needs a good set of tech gloves for the winter so they can get through the cold weather and simultaneously scroll through Instagram. It'll easily become a new winter staple.

3. Clean Elephant Socks

These adorable socks will put a smile on his or her face every time they are worn.

4. Kendra Scott Jae Star Gold Pendant Necklace

Kendra Scott has a large variety of necklaces that any teenager (or adult!) would love. This Jae Star gold pendant necklace is simple but unique.

5. Monogram Necklace

Both fashion-forward and understated, this necklace is great for the budding style icon.

6. Scrunchie Set

Scrunchies are all the rage this year! There are endless different sets to choose from in this selection from Urban Outfitters — and each package comes with four unique styles.

7. Vans Classic Slip-On Sneaker

These trendy and classic unisex slip-ons are a wardrobe staple for all teens. Added bonus: They're extremely comfortable!

8. Herschel Supply Co. Duffle Bag

A good duffle bag is perfect for the teen who's always going to extracurricular activities and crashing at their friend's house.

Best home gifts for teens

1. Allsop Luna Lamp

What teenager wouldn't love a moon lamp in their bedroom? It includes 16 LED colors and five light modes that can be changed based on your mood.

2. Dinosaur Taco Holders

For the foodie who celebrates Taco Tuesday every day of the week, these beastly holders are perfect.

3. Ivy Vine String Lights

Teenagers love redecorating their bedrooms again and again (and again), so this set of string lights will add the perfect touch to any room.

4. Bonaok Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

Karaoke night is always a good idea, and this wireless karaoke microphone is going to be the device that makes it all happen. All they need to do is just connect their phone with cable or Bluetooth, and then open the singing app on their phone to sing along.

5. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Straw Lid Water Bottle

This stainless steel and vacuum-insulated water bottle has become all the rage with teens this year. The brand promises to keep beverages cold for 24 hours and warm for 12. It also has a lifetime guarantee.

6. Burrito Blanket

He or she will love being wrapped up like a burrito in this fun blanket.

7. Mini Travel Pillow

Perfect for the nap queen or king! This portable pillow can be easily put on your hand or elbow to make a quick siesta so much more comfortable.

8. Mermaid Tail Blanket

This is for the teen who always wishes she had fins rather than feet.

9. Color Changing Cinema Lightbox

Your teen will love seeing his or her name in lights! They can switch out the letters to write whatever inspirational message strikes their fancy.

10. Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Does your high schooler crave a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich in the morning? With this handy maker, delicious and hot breakfast sandwiches can be ready in less than five minutes!

11. Scratch-Off Travel Map

Know a teen who has a serious case of wanderlust? This scratch-off map will allow them to proudly display all of the places they visit, right on their wall.

Best beauty and grooming gifts for teens

1. Glossier 3-Step Skin Care Routine

It's never too early to get them to care about their skin care routine. This top-rated set from Glossier includes a pH-balanced jelly cleanser, a lightweight moisturizer and a skin salve packed with antioxidants.

2. Remington Pro Curling Wand

Want glamorous waves? This curling wand boasts more than 11,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is a personal favorite!

3. Urban Decay Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay is famous for its highly pigmented eye shadow palettes and the brand just launched this new one with warm honey tones. Plus, it's currently on sale at

4. Chi 1" Flat Hair Straightening Iron

This hair iron will let your teen try out smooth hairstyles.

5. Shaving Starter Kit

If he's ready for his first shave, this kit is for him! The set comes with pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm and a handy shaving brush. All he'll need is a good razor.

6. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush

Getting that perfect blowout at home can be quite the challenge, but with this Revlon Hot Air Brush, your teen can achieve sleek, voluminous hair in less than 12 minutes!

7. Make Your Own Beauty Masks

A little self-care is needed every once in a while! This book is full of different ways to make natural DIY face masks at home with ingredients that can be found in your own pantry.

Best book gifts for teens

1. "Dragon Hoops" by Gene Luen Yang

"Dragon Hoops" is great for sports lovers. It's about a high school basketball team trying to bring themselves to their ultimate goal: a victory at the championships.

2. "Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story)" by Daniel Nayeri

"Everything Sad Is Untrue" is a groundbreaking autobiography about a young refugee who takes a stand for how he believes the world should be.

3. "Every Body Looking" by Candice Iloh

This book, written by Candice Iloh, is all about a young woman leaving home for the first time to attend a historically Black college and her journey along the way.

4. "Cemetery Boys" by Aiden Thomas

In "Cemetery Boys" a transgender boy is determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family while he sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin to set it free.

5. "The Ravens" by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige

"The Ravens" is a thrilling and dark contemporary fantasy novel about a sorority of witches and two girls caught up in a world of magic and betrayals.

6. "Rebel: A Legend Novel," by Marie Lu

New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu released the final book in her "Legend" series — "Rebel." The suspenseful plot will keep the reader's pages turning!

7. "Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel"

The teenage classic comes to life in this companion piece to the hit Broadway musical.

8. My Comic Book Kit

Zap! Pop! Once your artistic teen whips up some cool comic drawings, slip it into the mail. The print-ready artwork will be made into a professionally-bound comic book.

Best games for teens

1. Codenames

People can't stop raving about Codenames! The social card game with over 13,500 reviews on Amazon is all about working together and is a great way to incorporate teamwork into your teen's life.

2. Catan

Catan is an addicting game based on a strategy that will have the whole group entertained for hours on end.

3. Cards Against Humanity

With endless combinations of silly cards, this game will keep teenagers occupied and giggling for hours. It is recommended for teenagers older than 17.

Best unique gifts for teens

1. PopSockets PopGrip Lips

These little pop sockets are super convenient for teens (or even adults!) who are constantly on their phones...and who have a tendency to drop them. It also contains a refillable lip balm, so they won't be worrying about chapped lips.

2. The Milk Bar Sampler

From dreamy truffles to an assortment of salty-sweet cookies, this sugary sampling from Milk Bar is right up any dessert aficionado's alley.

3. Light Up Face Mask

Your face may be covered with PPE nowadays, but that doesn't mean you can't light up a room. This face mask is equipped to put on a light show with five different settings and seven color options.

4. Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit

Artsy teens can practice the Japanese dyeing technique of shibori at home with this easy-to-use kit.

5. 100 Movies Scratch Off Poster

If they love watching classic movies, then they'll totally enjoy this 100 movies scratch-off poster board.

6. Skateboard

This lightweight skateboard is perfect for riders of all levels of expertise.

7. The Screaming Goat

This miniature goat figurine is a great small gift for teens of all ages. The toy actually screams like a goat (cue the laughter!) and it even comes with a little book full of fun facts.

8. Blue Speed Racer Boomerang

This easy-to-use boomerang is perfect for everyone from age 10 to 70. It even comes with a handy 24-page manual on how to throw a boomerang.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:

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This gift guide was originally published on Nov. 16, 2017.