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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

20 Gifts for Teens That Are Actually Cool

No matter what kind of teen you're shopping for, our guide has you covered.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Teen Gifts OpenerRD.COM, VIA MERCHANT (3)

As a parent or guardian of a teen, you’ve had years of experience buying gifts for toddlers and gifts for kids. You’ve even mastered gifts for tween boys, gifts for tween girls and probably even some gifts for Harry Potter fans. But if finding gifts for teens feels more daunting, don’t fret—we’ll get you started with our list of gift ideas.

Whether it’s for their birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah or to celebrate an accomplishment, our gifts for teens are based on lots of positive reviews in a variety of price points, starting around ten dollars. If you’re on a tight budget, check out these frugal Christmas gifts that won’t break the bank either.

Whether you’re on the lookout for gifts for teen girls, gifts for teen boys or gender-neutral Christmas toys, you’ll find something for every teen on your list. And if you’re pressed for time, here are some last-minute gift ideas and Amazon Prime gifts to help you keep your cool during the holiday stress.

Aviator Sunglassesvia merchant

For the outdoorsy teen: Aviator Sunglasses

These fun, retro-style aviator sunglasses give off a cool vibe that can follow your teen on or off the track. We love the shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and the UVA/UVB protection from harmful UV rays. Plus, there are four different color options—all using an ultra-light stainless steel frame for maximum comfort and durability. The rubber nose and earpieces increase their grip the more your teen sweats—so they will stay comfortable out hiking, cycling, playing tennis or kayaking. Here are more sunglasses that offer UV protection.

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Iwalk Portable Chargervia merchant

For the teen on the go: Portable Charger

With more than 15,000 positive reviews, you can’t go wrong with this portable charger for your teen’s iPhone. It’s about the size of a lipstick, so it can easily fit into their pocket, backpack or sports bag. And it’s so simple to use—your teen can plug in and charge while they’re in class, heading to work or hanging out with friends. This power bank is compatible with all iPhones and comes with a USB-C cable that will charge the power bank and your teen’s iPhone at the same time using pass-through technology.

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Tie Dye Crew Socksvia merchant

For the hippie: Tie-Dye Dress Socks

Tie-dye projects are a lot of fun, but they’re also a lot of work. (Not to mention the mess!) This super-soft six-pack of tie-dye crew socks comes in a variety of vibrant colors, and your teen won’t have to worry about them fading over time. They’d make a fun gift for a sister, too, but we love that these are gender neutral.

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Crosley Record Storage Cratevia merchant

For the music lover: Stackable Record Storage Crate

Believe it or not, one of the biggest trends with teens is going analog! If your teen has gone back in time to start collecting vintage vinyls (and maybe some new ones, too), they might find it hard to keep all that music organized. This stackable record storage crate holds up to 40 albums, and will look fashionable in their bedroom.

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Faux Fur Fingerless Mittensvia merchant

For the text-a-holic: Faux-Fur Fingerless Mittens

Talk about fuzzy and fun! Your teen won’t have to put down their phone with these faux-fur fingerless mittens. Whether they’re texting their besties or switching their music, they win’t have to sacrifice warm hands to use their touch screen devices. With three fun color choices—black, hot pink, and taupe—your teen can match their favorite winter outfits. These work great as stocking stuffers for teens, too.

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Hanging Air Plantvia merchant

For the nature lover: Terrarium Kit

When the chilly breezes hit, your teen can bring nature inside with this adorable indoor garden kit. We love the beach vibe, which will remind them of fun summer vacations. They’ll get a clear glass terrarium to put together however they like best, with sand, shells, driftwood, moss and a Tillandsia plant. The hook on top of lets your teen can hang it somewhere fun in their room, but it could also just sit on their desk or bookshelf. This plant is so easy to care for—all it needs is indirect light and the occasional watering to keep looking its best.

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Apple Ipad Minivia merchant

For the screen-obsessed: Apple iPad Mini

Your teen who does it all on their phone’s small screen would love an upgrade to the iPad mini! This tablet is all about fast performance and comes in four colors: pink, starlight, space gray and purple. Your teen can surf the web or watch videos for up to 10 hours using Wi-Fi. We love that Apple Pencils attach magnetically to the side.

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Black Jacketvia merchant

For a night out with friends: H&M Unisex Black Jacket

This black jacket goes with everything! Whether they’re off to a concert or just to the coffee shop to catch up with friends, the relaxed fit of this jacket will compliment their outfit while keeping them warm. This item buttons down the front with a yoke front and back, and flap chest pockets let your teen hold their ID card or phone if they don’t bring a bag along. We love that this utility jacket is lined and has buttoned cuffs.

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Throw Blanketvia merchant

For the teen who’s always cold: Bee & Willow Throw Blanket

Whether they’re watching their shows or just lying on the couch with a good book, they’ll grab for this cotton throw blanket to warm up in no time. We love the simple earth-tone schemes that will match any teen’s bedroom decor, and it’s not too thick, so your teen can wear this over their winter jammies without overheating.

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Tile Initial Mugsvia merchant

For the coffee fiend: Anthropologie Monogram Mug

Know a teen who wants you to keep your hands off their coffee? This tiled monogram mug will let everyone know not to touch their cup. The inspiration for this piece comes from posh Parisian cafes, giving this budget-friendly gift a highly luxurious vibe. Want some other inspo? Check out these personalized gifts that show how much you care.

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Ski And Snowboard Helmetvia merchant

For adrenaline junkies: Ski & Snowboard Helmet

Your teen will love hitting the slopes with this all-in-one helmet. It’s insulated and breathable, so they won’t get cold or sweaty. We love that it converts to a skateboard or cycling helmet as well, depending on the season. It has a protective ABS exterior to protect their noggin, along with a foam lining that helps to absorb impact. This helmet comes in small, medium and large sizes, and in nine different colors so you can pick your teen’s favorite.

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Camelbak Mugvia merchant

For environmentalists: Camelbak Stainless Steel Camp Mug

If your teen is environmentally conscious, chances are they will love this sustainable stainless steel camp mug that comes in several color choices. It’s a great way to cut down on waste from plastic water bottles, and a perfect gift for coffee lovers. This 12 oz. mug is vacuum insulated, so it will keep their drinks cold or hot, depending on their mood. We love that this mug is easy to clean and dishwasher safe (even for sticky, sugary drinks). With the tri-mode lid, your teen won’t get embarrassed from an unexpected spill—and their laptop won’t suffer either.

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Mini Pocket Projectorvia merchant

For binge-watchers: Kodak Mini Pocket Pico Projector

Your screen junkie will glow when they open up this mini pocket projector. Whether it’s for watching Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime or Hulu, this device is compatible with Apple and Android phones, along with most home entertainment devices and gaming consoles. It features a built-in, rechargeable battery and speaker. Bonus: It comes with a USB cable, but it’s fine for wireless connection via Airplay or Miracast. Check out these cool ideas if you’re looking for gifts for your brother, too.

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Gaming Headsetvia merchant

For the gamer: Wireless Gaming Headset

This wireless gaming headset is compatible with PlayStation and XBox and has over two days of battery life, but the main thing your gamer will rave about is the variable mic monitoring, so they can adjust the volume when chatting with friends or flip it to mute. (And you’ll love that they don’t have to shout!)

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Beats Wireless Headphonesvia merchant

For the introvert: Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones

All teens need alone time, and a favorite way to relax is by listening to their favorite music. These noise-cancelling headphones come in four different colors with a carrying case, RemoteTalk cable and a universal USB charging cable. With this tech gift, your teen gets 22 hours of wireless playback and a whopping 40 hours when it’s in low-power mode. They can control their music, take calls and activate Siri with the easy to use on-ear controls.

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Mindfulness Journal For Teensvia merchant

For the overachiever: Mindfulness Journal

Being a teen can be stressful, so help them remember to take pauses in their day with this mindfulness journal meant just for them. With breathing exercises, writing prompts and simple meditations, this journal encourages them to pause and stay in the present moment.

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Vans Shoesvia merchant

For the skater: Vans Ward Shoes

The 90s are back in style, and Vans are trendier than ever. While these Vans shoes are sized for guys, they’ll look great on teenage girls, too. (Just remember to size down accordingly!) This classic black and white style goes with every outfit—some teens are wearing these to proms since they’re so comfortable!

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Popcornopolis Snack Packvia merchant

For the snacker: Popcornopolis Gourmet Popcorn Snacks

Whether it’s for Monopoly or Apples to Apples, this gourmet popcorn will help draw your teen away from their screens on family game night. This snack pack includes three mini-cones of popcorn in cheddar cheese, caramel corn, zebra and kettle corn flavors. We love how affordable this assortment is, and they’re so good looking you don’t even need to wrap them!

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Harry And David Chocolate Advent Calendarvia merchant

For the teen who loves to count down: Chocolate Advent Calendar

More chocolate? Yes, please! With this pair of Advent calendars, there’s one for your teen and one for you—a total win-win. Each calendar features 24 doors with a sweet surprise hidden behind each one, along with a festive message to brighten up your teen’s day.

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World Constellations Map Laptop Casevia merchant

For the traveler: World Constellations Laptop Sleeve

The map design on the front of this world-themed laptop sleeve shows constellations and star names from over 30 different cultures around the world, making it perfect for the teen who wants to learn more about the world (and dreams of traveling it one day). The foam padding and polyester cover protects your teen’s laptop from scratches and minor dings, and it’s easy to clean with a damp cloth.

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Dianne Bright
Dianne Bright is a southern California-based writer and a regular contributor with RD.com, where she writes about the environment, nutrition, finance, pets, and books. She also contributes to TheHealthy.com. Her work has appeared in Scholastic's Parent & Child magazine and blog, I Love Cats magazine, and Christianity Today, among other publications. Bright's book of parenting reflections: MOMS KICK BUTT, comes out in February, 2021. Her M.A. is in Spanish American Literature. Follow Dianne on Twitter @dibright, Facebook @AuthorDianneBright, and Instagram @authordiannebright.