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May, 2023 | Alida Nugent

18 Great Graduation Gifts They’ll Keep Forever

We’re entering graduation season, which means a whole new slew of kids are about to start college or enter the real world in a few short months. And whether they’re furnishing their dorm room or their first apartment, they have a lot to learn about striking out on their own. (First tip? Get a good all-purpose cleaner!) That’s where these best graduation gifts come in—these thoughtful ideas are sure to help them make the entry into their next chapter a bit smoother.

There’s a little something for all ages and stages, including smart basics, techy upgrades, first-job essentials, and other high-quality staples that will make this stage of their lives extra comfortable. (And have them thinking of you at every turn!) So, if you need to celebrate someone in your life, commence your shopping with these great graduation gifts.

laptop desk for new grads

1. LapGear Home Office Lap Desk


This stylish, comfortable lap desk makes the most of a work-from-home situation. The base is made of two microfiber cushions that will keep your lap cool and comfortable. Additionally, it has a wealth of smart features like a sleek marble design, a carry handle, a built-in mousepad, a phone slot, and a ledge to keep pens or papers from falling.

2. Clever Fox Undated Planner


Sure, everything can be done on your phone. But a planner can do wonders for productivity and goal-setting, two things your grad will likely be focusing on in the coming months. This undated planner can help set short- and long-term goals in career, finance, personal development, and more. It also allows for weekly layouts that will move the user towards those stepping stones.

planner for new grad gift ideas
hatch alarm clock

3. Hatch Alarm Clock


Sleep is precious, and young people don’t tend to get nearly enough of it—but this Hatch Alarm Clock will allow for better, more consistent schedules that help improve the quality of ZZ’s they do get. It’s a sound machine, a natural sunrise alarm clock, a bedtime reading light, and more, and it’s all connected to an app. The programmable white noise or nature sounds, the customizable wake-up and bedtime alarms, and the ability to program and create a sleep routine make it well worth the price.

4. Cuisinart Coffee On Demand Coffee Maker


Buying coffee is expensive, but it’s easy to justify if they don’t have a coffeemaker they love. Luckily, this Cuisinart option has a 24-hour advance programming feature that brews 12 cups at a time, so they can wake up and pour a steaming mug. It’s a time-saver and a money-saver, and that’s good to the last drop.

coffee maker
personalized ring holder

5. MagicMarkingsArt Keepsake Ring Holder


This adorable, personalized ring holder allows you to put in the name, class, and school of your grad, along with a picture of the school that can be hand painted onto it. It’s a special keepsake they’ll treasure forever.

6. Scott Living Luxury Hygro Cotton Sheets


Clean, cotton sheets are a must-have, but so many young adults tend to just keep reusing the same old ones. Give them the gift of a soft, breathable set that remains comfortable throughout the summer and winter seasons. The fabric is sustainably sourced Hygro Cotton that has moisture-wicking properties, too. If you want to add a queen comforter set, that would surely be appreciated.

scott living sheets
best graduation gifts headphones

7. Sony Wireless Noise Isolating Headphones


Whether it’s loud roommates, bustling coffee shops, or crowded commutes, you can’t go wrong with noise-isolating headphones. This model from Sony is at a reasonable price point and is wireless with Bluetooth capabilities. It’ll deliver around 35 hours of playtime on a single charge, contains a microphone to make and receive phone calls, and folds inward for easy travel.

8. Duralex Picardie Tumblers (Set of 6)


Another sign of maturity? A nice, durable set of (matching) glasses in the cupboard. This Duralex set is great for a lot of reasons: it’s dishwasher-, microwave-, and fridge-safe, and it’s extra-resistant to shattering or chipping. It’s made in France and will work as well for fancy cocktails as it does for plain old water.

cups for new grads
leather backpack for graduation gift idea

9. Samsonite Classic Leather Backpack


Upgrade the school backpack with a commuter-friendly leather option that fits a laptop and has a front-stash zipper pocket large enough for noise-canceling headphones. Inside, you’ll find a full-sized organizer pocket, a mesh zip pocket, and a slip pocket. It’s enough to hold the necessities for the work week, a day trip, and even as a bag to slip under an airplane seat. (It has a luggage strap, too!) It comes in black and brown.

10. Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum


This tiny hand vacuum has a small footprint, making it perfect for a bedroom or apartment. At a little over a pound, this powerful vacuum still suctions up whatever dirt and debris is hiding in plain sight and has an LED indicator that tells you how much battery life is left.

vacuum for new grads
stanley tumbler

11. Stanley Tumbler


This 40-oz Stanley Tumbler with a handle and straw has gone viral for a reason, so treat your grad to one as a special gift. It’ll keep them hydrated and their drinks hot or cold with its double-wall insulation, and it’s even made with recyclable stainless steel and spill-proof silicone.

12. TrendBendersArtistry Call Your Mom Spoon


This hilarious spoon is a reminder that even though they’re out in the real world, they still should call their mom every once in a while! It’s a fun memento that they’re sure to use, and it even comes in two different sizes.

personalize call your mom spoon
magic bullet

13. Magic Bullet Blender


This personal blender is a smoothie lover’s best friend. It’s small, compact, and comes with a short cup, “party mug,” tall cup, and several lids, including an on-the-go option. It’ll be great for breakfasts, protein shakes, and even sauces if they’re starting their cooking journey.

14. Scott Living Ceramic Vase


Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers and give them this beautiful ceramic vase with them—because a vase is one of those household necessities that people realize they don’t have only when they need it. It might also encourage them to keep buying flowers for themselves during the week, which is a quick and easy decorating idea to brighten up the home.

scott living vase
best graduation gifts portable charger

15. iWalk Portable Charger


This portable, unique charger is easy to slip into a backpack or small bag and eliminates the need for a cord (which always takes up the most room). It works for most iPhones and can do more than a full charge on many of the models. This is the best gift for the grad whose phone is always running out of juice.

16. MavenMetalsInc Personalized Keychain


Whether your grad is leaving for college or has graduated, let them know they can always come home (for more than just to do their laundry) with this beautiful leather keychain you can personalize however you please.

personalized key chains for new grads
best graduation gifts steamer

17. Conair Garment Steamer


A garment steamer takes up way less space than an iron and ironing board and ensures that their work wardrobe is clean and polished. It heats up in 40 seconds, works on upholstery, and gets rid of germs and dust mites, too.

18. Scott Living Asher Dinner Set


Treat your grad to a gift that will work great in their new apartment: a 16-piece dinnerware set. This comes with four dinner plates, bowls, mugs, and salad plates. The blue embossed look is neutral and modern and will be great for a small dinner party or everyday use—plus, they’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe, too.

scott living dishes

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