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61 gifts that 18-year-olds will appreciate and be excited to use

These are the best college must-haves and everyday essentials to buy for your teen.
TODAY Illustration; Vivian Le / Kara Birnbaum / TODAY

Teenagers love keeping up with the latest trends, but with the retail market constantly changing, it can be difficult to find a gift they'll truly cherish. Especially for those 18-year-old daughters and sons entering young 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. Your 18-year-old is going to want things that are practical and sophisticated, yet trendy and fun.

So help your young adult make that milestone transition from teenager to adulthood with these gifts. From a coffee machine for the caffeine fiend to a smartwatch 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 61.

Best tech gifts for 18-year-olds

Elo X Stereo Premium Performance In-Ear Headset

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

Cozoo Headphone Stand with USB Charger

Give them a place to rest their new headphones with this universal headphone stand. It's equipped with three USB ports and two outlets, extremely durable and fire-resistant. Plus, it might help them keep their school desk organized.

Fire Stick TV Lite

This remote is perfect for "cord cutters," or those looking to save a little bit of space by only having one device, ahem, college freshmen. Rid clunky DVD players, say goodbye to multiple remotes and plan your next movie night with Fire Stick.

Sony Extra Bass Compact Portable Bluetooth Speaker

For the 18-year-old who takes their music seriously, get them this Sony Bluetooth speaker with extra bass. Its sound diffuser helps project the music, and it has up to 16 hours of battery life, so they can take it with them wherever they go.

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 teen's personal belongings. It was designed to hold a cellphone and charger, watch, sunglasses, wallet and more. You can even further personalize it by having their initials engraved.

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 charger will make sure they can stay connected with ease.

Live Streaming Selfie Light

For the budding TikTok star, snag this selfie light. It's easy to use: Simply clamp the light to a table, switch it on, pop your cellphone into the holder and begin recording.

LED Strip Lights

Your teen can decorate their room with these LED strip lights. They add a cool vibe to any space, from the bedroom, their dorm room, gaming station or anywhere else.

Oontz Angle 3 Plus Portable Speaker

Bring music with you wherever you go! This portable speaker can connect to Bluetooth and is waterproof so that your 18-year-old can blast their favorite songs pool side, or on dry land.

LapGear Home Office Lap Desk

Schoolwork 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, this lap desk will allow teens to get their work done on the couch or from the comfort of their bed.

Loud Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker

If your teen has trouble getting up in the morning for class, this gift will change their life. It includes both a vibration mechanism and a buzzer to ensure they won't sleep through another alarm ever again.

Victrola Vintage Bluetooth Portable Record Player

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

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera Bundle

This Polaroid camera creates instant memories with the press of a button and aims to instantly print photos from the moment they're taken. This version comes with a bundle that includes a 10-pack of white boarded film, a photo holder and an idea booklet.

Best foodie gifts for 18-year-olds

Williams-Sonoma Flour Shop Rainbow Pop-Up Cake Kit

Whether they're an avid baker or just like tasty creative outlets (who doesn't?), this cake kit is sure to be a hit. It comes with enough material to make 12 push pops so they can have some now and save for later or share with friends.

Milk Bar Peppermint Bark Tie Dye Pie Duo

What goes better than pie and cozy sweaters? They can cuddle up in their brand new tie-dye sweater while digging into layers of vanilla, cocoa caramel, candy cane nougat and chocolate-drizzled pretzels surrounded by a chocolate crust.

Snow Days Grain-Free Pizza Bites

At this age, they're probably not making the healthiest choices for food so you can make it easy for them with these pizza bites that are made grain-free and with organic vegetables, according to the brand. They come in eight different flavor options including buffalo chicken (which Shop TODAY Editorial Assistant Kamari Stewart says are delicious), limited edition tex-mex chicken and a variety pack.

DIY Strawberry Hand Pie Baking Kit

Gift the foodie in your life an opportunity to make delicious strawberry hand pies. This kit comes with everything they'll need to execute the recipe perfectly: premeasured ingredients, helpful baking accessories and a detailed recipe card.

Omg I'm An Adult Mug

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

Knack Girls' Night Set

Gift them a fun night in with their friends with this girls-night-out set from Knack. It includes non-alcoholic rosé, rosé-flavored gummies, a cute Corkcicle stemless cup, eye gel patches and a trivia game.

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 with ease.

Keurig K-Compact Single-Serve Coffee Maker

For the young adult who runs on caffeine, a personal coffee maker is perfect. This Keurig model can make multiple serving sizes, from six to 10 ounces. It also brews a single cup of coffee in under a minute to save them some extra time.

"The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook" by Pamela Ellgen

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

Gray Felt Letter Board

For the 18-year-old who likes decorating their dorm room, kitchen or at-home bedroom, gift this letter board. They can write out any words or phrases they like with the felt lettering to create an Instagram-worthy decoration.

Best fashion and accessory gifts for 18-year-olds

Baggallini 2-in-1 Convertible Belt Bag

Belt bag + cozy = heaven. This convertible pick is covered in faux shearling and soft to the touch. It can be worn in traditional belt bag style or as a crossbody with the 52-inch strap it comes with.

Hayley Elsaesser Go Away Crewneck Sweatshirt

This will quickly become their go-to sweatshirt since it's plastered with a phrase they're probably thinking (or saying out loud) all of the time. They come in five different colors and are available in sizes S-5XL.

Parade Dreamland 4-Piece Bundle

No one takes their sleep more seriously than teenagers. They won't be able to resist an early bedtime with this set that gives them everything they need for the coziest slumber including a satin pajama set and a matching satin scrunchie and sleep mask.

CYHTWSDJ Shoulder 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 purse is versatile enough to fit their needs.

TTOLEATHER Personalized Wallet

Nothing screams adulthood more than a trusty wallet. And with this one, you can have their initials engraved on the front, or add a personal message to the inside. Whether it's an inside joke or words of encouragement, they are sure to treasure it.

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 waistband.

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 your needs.

Nike Off-Court Slides

After a full day of classes or a long workout, your teenager will enjoy sliding their feet into this comfy pair. 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.

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 with their initials or a special message they can cherish.

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Trust us when we say this: Faux leather leggings are a wardrobe essential. This specific pair from Spanx doesn't have a center seam, so it creates a more streamlined look and the glossy finish adds a chic touch to any outfit.

Colorfulkoala High-Waisted Leggings

A reliable pair of leggings can be dressed up or down. This style comes in over 36 different colors to stock up on and uses material that aims to move with you throughout the day.

Adultish T-Shirt

If your teen appreciates humor, 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 a dozen colors to choose from, you can personalize it to fit their wants.

Best skin care and makeup gifts for 18-year-olds

Trinny London Trinny's Bare-Faced Beauty Set

If they're looking for ways to shorten their beauty routine, this set from Trinny London has all of the essentials they need for an everyday look. It comes with a cleanser, T-towel, mascara and lip gloss in your choice of 11 colors.

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream Duo

If makeup is their passion, then add some wearable nude lip shades to their makeup collection. This set comes with two full-size matte lips creams and a mini exclusive shade.

Glossier The Makeup Set

This makeup set includes all of Glossier's classics: their Lash Stick mascara, the Cloud Paint blush and the Boy Brow eyebrow pomade. Reviewers say this set is "good for beginners" if your teen prefers a simple makeup routine.

Earth Therapeutics Gel Bead Sleep Mask-Green

Self-care is always a necessity. On the days when your teenager is feeling extra stressed or run-down, this soothing eye mask can 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.

The Ultimate Kiehl's Skin Care Gift Set

Gift this set to the young adult who is in dire need of a skin care switch. Perfect for beginners who are looking to introduce new products into their routine, or the guru who is looking for basics, this set will help them achieve the skin care goals of their dreams.

Jack Black Skin Saviors Set

From moisturizer to SPF lip balm, this set from Jack Black has all of the basics for the teen who hasn't quite established a skin care routine yet. One reviewer even wrote this all-too-relatable sentiment about her boyfriend: "The essentials for your man when you’re trying to convince him to stop using bar soap on his face."

Hommeface Men's Revitalizing Hydrogel Facial Sheet Mask

If your son is already on top of their skin care routine, opt for a pack of these luxurious face masks. They're great for all skin types and help to reinforce and protect the skin barrier while improving collagen levels.

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 designed to fit TSA standards.

Best game gifts for 18-year-olds

Tapple Game

They've probably seen this fast-paced game all over their TikTok For You Page and watched along in anticipation to see how each player will beat the timer. It's the perfect game to play with friends (up to eight people can participate comfortably) and the rounds are quick, keeping everyone engaged.

Exit: Sunken Treasure Escape Card Game

For the young adult who wants to take the escape room experience to the next level without leaving their dorm room, this game is ideal for playing with roommates, new friends and those who want to prove their survivalist skills.

New Phone, Who Dis? Game

This game is loved by Amazon shoppers; it has over 11,000 five-star ratings. It's made from the same maker as What Do You Meme? and thus has a similar objective: players compete to create the funniest text message thread by matching up an inbox card with a response card.

Gift Republic 100 Things-to-Do Bucket List Scratch Poster

Odds are your 18-year-old is about to make a big move for college or is preparing to start a new job. No matter what the next step is, it's the perfect time in their life to start crossing things off their bucket list. This scratch poster features 100 fun activities they'll love getting inspiration from.

What Do You Meme? TikTok Edition

Another great gift for the TikTok lover is this hilarious game in which your loved one competes with their friends to create TikTok-themed memes.

Madden NFL 22

If your 18-year-old loves both football and gaming, look no further for the perfect gift than Madden's latest NFL video game for PS5. The game has amazing AI technology that pulls real-life team and player data to provide a realistic gameplay experience.

Best fitness gifts for 18-year-olds

Girlfriend Collective Lollipop Tommy Dress

If they like to spend their days on the tennis court or just prefer the free-flowing motion of a workout dress, they'll adore this pick from Girlfriend Collective. According to the brand, it's made with over three-fourths recycled plastic bottles and 21 percent spandex so it's good for you and the earth!

Maxtop Smart Watch

According to one reviewer, this fitness watch (which also comes in the color black), "is feature rich at a good price." Your tech-savvy fitness guru of a young adult will enjoy being able to track all of their personal records and health stats with this gadget.

Rimable Skateboard

For the skater in your family, gift this 22-inch skateboard. It's sturdy, stylish and a great option for beginners.

Iron Gym Total Upper-Body Workout Bar

Most of us don't have enough space for an entire gym set in our homes, which is why this workout bar is great for the fitness fanatic in your house. It installs in any doorway in seconds and can be used to do pull-ups or chin-ups at any time.

Unique gifts for 18-year-olds

We Are Knitters Giza Sweater Easy Knitting Kit

Knitting can be a great way to help them de-stress in between finals or during especially strenuous times. While simultaneously learning a new skill, they'll end up with a new sweater that will feel special knowing they make it from scratch.

Magda Archer 'Is It Over Yet?' Trinket Tray

This eye-catching catch-all tray designed by artist Magda Archer is sure to be a conversation starter whether they leave it by their bed, on their dresser or by the door.

She's Birdie Personal Safety Alarm

Personal safety should always be top of mind while they're out. This discreet personal safety alarm will easily blend in amongst the rest of their keychains while providing peace of mind. When the top pin is pulled, it activates a loud siren and flashing strobe lights to help draw attention to the situation and hopefully deter an attack, according to the brand.

Warmies Microwavable Plush Animal

Those days of the month can be very uncomfortable, but your 18-year-old can find comfort with this plush toy. It's a microwavable heating pad that comes in the form of different animals like a sloth, bear, dog, fox and more. It's stuffed with French lavender for an extra-soothing sensation. (Bonus: It's one of Oprah's Favorite Things this year!)

THE COMFY Original Oversized Microfiber & Sherpa Wearable Blanket

Keep your young adult warm with this wearable blanket. The oversized piece is made from a luxurious fleece microfiber that feels fluffy and cozy.

A to Z Bookends

Improve their bookshelf aesthetic with these fun bookends from Wayfair. The pieces will hold their favorite novels into place without worrying about falls and book bends.

College Cityscape Rocks Glasses

Upgrade their drinkware with this unique glass set. They can be personalized with their alma mater's campus and is a fun way to showcase their school pride.

Pinch Provisions Shemergency Kit

Don't let fashion mishaps rain on their parade. This emergency kit comes with the essentials to do a quick makeover, including a lint roller, hair spray, bobby pins, earring backs, hand lotion and other must-haves.

Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s other gift guides to find the perfect present for every teenager on your list including 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds, 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds, 15-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds and 19-year-olds.