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Shopping for a 21-year-old can be a toughie. After all, you’re talking about a person whose life, interests and tastes may be changing by the day, so how do you navigate that? Start here — we’ve got 29 killer gift ideas for their home, kitchen, closet and more.
To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see all 29.
- Best home gifts for 21-year-olds
- Best clothing gifts for 21-year-olds
- Best beauty & health gifts for 21-year-olds
- Best entertainment gifts for 21-year-olds
Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!
Best home gifts for 21-year-olds
As long as they’re spending so much time in their own personal space, you might as well help them make it amazing. Relaxing at home has never been easier (or twinklier).
Maybe the best green gift is cold hard cash, but a trio of sweet house plants surely comes in a close second. The Clean Air Plant Collection features a dealer’s choice (based on what’s available seasonally) of natural pollutant-filtering plants, such as pothos, peace lilies and coffee plants.
Perhaps the 21-year-old in your life is moving into their first apartment this year. If so, send them off in style with this streamlined collection of kitchen essentials — a cast-iron Dutch oven, stockpot, saute pan, sauce pan and ceramic non-stick skillet are all included.
If your giftee isn’t quite so serious of a cook as to need five new pots and pans, consider this gorgeous kit from eco brand Our Place. It includes four porcelain plates, four nesting bowls, four stackable tumblers and one very useful, do-anything pan that's perfect for searing, steaming, sautéing, frying and more (we said anything).
New York Times food reporter Melissa Clark dishes out low-key recipes that come together in just one sheet or pan in this book. The fan favorite? Smoky paprika chicken with crispy chickpeas and kale.
Want to be an absolute hero in your 21-year-old’s eyes? Hook them up with a sweet little wine subscription from wine startup Winc who will send them a variety of vino based on their preferences.
They’ll love the novelty of hanging beer bottles from their fridge (and showing it off to their guests) with this gift. And the optimization of limited refrigerator shelf space is an extra bonus.
The fragrance brand from YouTube phenoms Grayson and Ethan Dolan, Wakeheart, has launched candles with vegan wax hand-poured over ethically sourced crystals. Candle + crystal = the perfect gift for 2020.
Consider this the most killer dance album of the year for the most killer of roomie dance parties.
We all know the sleep cycle of a 21-year-old can be a bit...erratic. This calming lamp gently helps them wind down, fall asleep, and wake up at the time they set. (A warm glow is so much better than a jerk-awake alarm, no?)
If your 21-year-old could have three wishes, one would probably be for coffee to magically appear in his or her hand every morning. Get as close to fulfilling this wish as possible by gifting a Blue Bottle coffee subscription, which will deliver rotating bags of dark-roasted organic coffee beans to their door every two weeks. Caffeine fix, granted!
Best clothing gifts for 21-year-olds
Part shirt and part jacket, this cool corduroy “shacket” is an essential for fall.
As long as you order their correct size, it’s literally impossible to go wrong with a fresh pair of classic Vans.
Another footwear option is the legendary Air Force 1 — a low-top sneaker with cushioned footbeds and a silhouette that’s been hot since long before your giftee was born. (Since, you know, the 80s.)
Winter is coming so you might as well do your part to make sure your 21-year-old is as warm and cozy as possible. Girlfriend Collective’s line of surprisingly chic sweats (yes, chic) come in a range of styles and soothingly on-trend colors.
No one does edgy-but-affordable style like Topshop. The brand’s vegan biker jacket adds a cool vibe to any outfit at a price that won’t cause sticker shock.
Like Pac-Man and ‘65 Mustangs, Levi’s denim is an absolute classic. If they don’t wear this all-cotton jean jacket to threads first, they’ll probably still rock it at 31.
Best beauty & health gifts for 21-year-olds
1. Space Mask
Space Mask’s washable, reusable masks are like bouncers at a club: They block unwanted things (droplets and other airborne molecules in this scenario) from getting in, while staying discreet and firmly in place at all times. Made from multiple layers of nanotech material, Space Masks are more breathable and better-protecting than cotton or polyester masks.
Ease him into the world of skin care with Disco’s bestselling bundle: a trio of face wash, moisturizer, and scrub. The Austin-based brand has gentle, streamlined and all-natural formulas and minimalist packaging that are sure to appeal.
Reusable water bottles by Takeya come in fun colors and keep hot or cold beverages (like Irish coffee or White Claw slushies — hey, they’re 21 now!) at their original temperature for hours and hours.
Twenty-one is the perfect age to graduate from rusty throwaways to an attractive reusable razor in a range of colors. The razor handle is made from fiberglass and super-durable aluminum (the same kind in a MacBook pro, people!), all wrapped in non-slip silicone. The kit comes with two five-blade cartridges infused with skin-softening shea butter and hyaluronic acid for the silkiest of shaves, as well as a cute magnetic hook for the shower.
Since it launched last year, Australian beauty company’s Gleamin’s vitamin C face mask has become a bona fide hit with fans of all ages. The 100% organic mask uses natural clay, grapeseed oil (a natural anti-inflammatory), soothing aloe vera and other natural ingredients in its glow-boosting formula.
Vegan brand Youth to the People's ultra-light mist hydrates, soothes, dials up radiance and feels straight-up amazing. Star ingredients include skin-healing aloe, moisturizing glycerin and peptides encapsulated in shea butter for a serious hit of hydration.
Celebs like Vanessa Hudgens, Emma Roberts and Emily Ratajkowski swear by Loops Beauty’s mega-moisturizing, serum-soaked hydrogel masks. The variety pack includes five individually wrapped masks, including the skin-calming Night Shift and the detoxifying Clean Slate.
Best entertainment gifts for 21-year-olds
For budding (or maybe established!) rock stars or anyone who likes to crank the volume, the Marshall Bluetooth is a gift they’ll prize for years. Its appealingly vintage aesthetic belies its high-tech features, like Alexa integration, voice recognition, and Bluetooth connectivity. (The Bluetooth is optional if your giftee is an old soul who prefers analog listening.)
2. AirPods Pro
We love a pair of good ol’ over-ears, but wireless earbuds are the undisputed earphones of choice for 2020. They pair almost instantly with iPhones and MacBooks for seamless Zoom calls and Spotify jam sessions, and their long-lasting batteries provide 24 hours of playtime.
Every single character from the Smash Bros. universe — along with some new fighters (hi, Isabelle from Animal Crossing!) — comes out to play in this fun mega release from Nintendo.
Yes, cameras have been on phones for most of your giftee’s life. So give them the thrill of going old-school with this retro Polaroid. Despite its vintage appearance, it still connects to smartphones via Bluetooth so users can play with fun effects like double exposure through the companion app.
From park hangs to listening to true crime podcasts in the bath, this little cutie with a six-hour battery life is sure to get lots of use. The rubberized protective casing means you can get a little rough with it — in fact it’s waterproof, snow-proof and shockproof, so there’s really not a lot it can’t handle.
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:
- 52 gifts the teenager in your life will actually like
- 17 best health and fitness gifts for women and men in 2020
- Gifts for every woman you know
- Shopping for mom? Here are 18 gifts she'll actually love
- 41 helpful tech items that'll make the perfect gift
- 24 thoughtful gifts that will make your girlfriend swoon