30 best gifts for 18-year-olds that they'll actually use

Everything from college must-haves to everyday essentials.
Gift Guide for 18 year olds
Here's how to shop for your favorite 18-year-old.TODAY illustration / Urban Outfitters / Antrhopologie

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Teenagers love keeping up with the latest trends, but with trends constantly changing, it can be difficult to find a gift that they'll truly think is cool. And as your 18-year-old enters adulthood, you want to give them a gift they'll actually use.

Whether they're surviving their first year of college or are about to graduate from high school, having everyday basics is essential.

Help your teen transition from teenager to adult with the help of the following gifts for 18-year-olds. From a coffee machine for the caffeine addict to a smart watch for the fitness guru, we've got you covered.

To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see all 30.

Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!

Best gifts for 18-year-old girls

1. Anthropologie Experience Passport Journal

It's always nice to relive the trips and vacations we go on. For the traveler in your life, they'll love this passport journal that will let them document all of their adventures to look back on for years to come.

2. Anthropologie Marietta Convertible Crossbody Bag

A fashionable bag gives you that extra confidence boost whether you're going out with friends or commuting to work. No matter where you're going, this bag is versatile enough to fit your needs. Carry it as a crossbody bag, clutch or even turn it into a cute belt bag.

3. Adultish T-Shirt

If your teen appreciates humor, then they may get a laugh with this shirt. As an 18-year-old, they're on the cusp of adulthood and are becoming more independent. With six colors to choose from, you can personalize it to fit their wants.

4. Keurig K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker

For the young adult that runs on caffeine, a personal coffee maker is perfect. This coffee maker can make multiple serving sizes including six, eight and 10 ounces. It also aims to brew a single cup of coffee in under a minute to help your teen save time.

5. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera

Instant memories with the press of a button. This vintage-inspired polaroid camera aims to instantly print photos from the moment they're taken. This version even includes a small mirror on the front to help you take the perfect selfie.

6. Benefit Cosmetics Line & Lash Leaders Value Set

No makeup look is complete without full lashes. This set comes with two full-size mascaras and eyeliners so that your teenager can have a polished makeup look everyday.

7. Sephora Collection Lilly Lashes x Sephora Lip Set

If makeup is their passion, then add some vibrant colors to their makeup collection. This set comes with two liquid lipsticks that aim to provide high-pigmented color. Complete the look with the top-coat lipgloss for a longer-lasting look.

8. It Cosmetics Confidence Skin Care Set

Reliable skin care products are a must for your beauty regimen. Surprise your teen with a set of beauty products that aim to keep their skin clear everyday. Included in this kit is a face moisturizer, cleansing serum, eye cream and gel lotion to help keep skin smooth and hydrated.

9. Morphe 350 Nature Glow Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup is the perfect form of self-expression and can allow your 18-year-old to let their inner artist free. Designed with basic browns, reds and bronze colors, this palette hopes to inspire basic and bold looks for everyday (or night!) makeup.

10. LapGear Home Office Lap Desk

School work can happen anywhere with the help of a portable desk. This lap desk comes complete with a mousepad, dock for a phone and enough space to place a laptop. Created with comfort in mind, your friend or loved one can get their work done on the couch or from the comfort of their bed.

11. Therawell Soothing Gel Eye Mask

Self-care is always a necessity. On the days when your teenager is feeling extra stressed or run-down, this soothing eye mask hopes to help. It was designed with flexible beads and a plush lining that contours to the face to help relieve tension and eye puffiness. It's perfect for winding down after a long day of classes.

12. Kitsch Ultimate Travel Set

Travel in style with this set of trendy toiletry bottles. Made of BPA-free materials, these bottles are reusable, washable and were designed to fit TSA standards.

13. "The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook" by Pamela Ellgen

Don't let a busy schedule get in the way of a proper meal. Skip the instant noodles next dinner and enjoy a delicious meal thanks to this cookbook full of 5 minute meals.

14. Victrola Vintage Bluetooth Portable Record Player

For the vintage-obsessed teen, surprise them with a record player. This model was made in a vintage-inspired suitcase for easier portability. You can play records or simply stream music from your phone thanks to its bluetooth capability.

15. Colorfulkoala High Waisted Leggings

A reliable pair of leggings can be dressed up or down. This style comes in 27 different colors to stock up on and uses material that aims to move with you throughout the day.

Best gifts for 18-year-old boys

1. Etsy I'm An Adult Technically T-Shirt

Get some laughs with this shirt. The "I'm and adult (technically)," saying pokes fun at the fact that your teenager is starting to enter adulthood.

2. Tom Boy OMG I'm An Adult Now Mug

Perfect for teens who are about to graduate, this funny mug features the saying "OMG I'm and adult now!" and is sure to get a chuckle.

3. Southpole Basic Jogger Fleece Pants

Comfort is always a must, especially on early class days. Give your teenager a pair of reliable sweatpants that are fashionable and comfortable. The jogger provides ventilation and breathability no matter how hot or cold it is outside. It even comes with an adjustable waist to personalize to their needs.

4. Letsfit Smart Watch

If your 18-year-old loves tracking their fitness progress, then help them meet their goals with a smart watch. From music capabilities to stress training, this watch aims to help your teen track their health and measure their progress.

5. Runmus Gaming Headset

Every gamer needs a good pair of headphones for chatting and game play. These come with noise-cancelling features for enhanced sound clarity. The model was also made to be compatible with various gaming stations.

6. Wooden Docking Station

Minimize a messy room with the help of an organizer. This docking station looks to be a go-to space for all your teens personal belongings. It was designed to hold a cell phone and charger, watch, sunglasses, wallet and more. You can even further personalize it by having their initials engraved.

7. Adidas Outdoor AX3 Hiking Shoes

If your teen is always outside, make sure they have a pair of reliable shoes. Whether they're hiking up rocky mountains or strolling around a scenic trail, these shoes were made to help with arch support.

8. Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Hoodie

Everyday basics are a closet must-have. This sweatshirt aims to provide style and comfort for even your laziest days. It was made with a cotton and polyester blend for added softness and has adjustable drawstrings to fit to your needs.

9. Nike Off-Court Slides

After a full day of classes or a long workout, your teenager will enjoy sliding his feet into a comfy pair of slides. Created with a contoured footbed and dual-density foam, these shoes look to move with you and even have a soft strap for added comfort.

10. Anker PowerCore 1000 Portable Charger

It's not unusual to see teenagers glued to their electronics. Having a portable charger is ideal for moments when they can't find a plug-in and their battery is running low. Whether they're at school or traveling, this will make sure they can stay connected.

11. Ninja Personal Blender

Most teens are on a budget so making quick and affordable meals is essential. If your teen is an avid gym-goer, then they may appreciate a personal blender to make their favorite smoothies and protein shakes. This one was designed to crush through ice and frozen fruit to help capture vitamins and proteins.

12. Oontz Angle 3 Plus Portable Speaker

Bring music wherever you go! This portable speaker can connect to bluetooth and is waterproof so that your 18-year-old can blast their favorite songs no matter where they are.

13. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Young adults today are always streaming their favorite TV shows and movies. Your teen can binge-watch their favorite shows from the comfort of their bed with a Fire Stick. With countless apps available to download, both them and their friends are bound to stay entertained.

14. Silver Personalized Engraved Cufflinks

From first interviews to attending formal events, owning a pair of cufflinks is key to completing a dressy look. Rather than go for a traditional plain style, personalize these ones with their initials or a special message they can cherish.

15. Personalized Wallet

Nothing screams adulthood more than a trusty wallet. Add a personal touch to their first wallet with this customizable one. You can choose from having their initials engraved on the front to also having a personal message added to the inside. Whether it's an inside joke or words of encouragement, they are sure to treasure it.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:

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