28 gifts high school graduates will actually use

Pat J. Fraley

Graduation day is a momentous occasion for students and families. While the end of senior year is usually capped off with a large commencement ceremony, the class of 2020 will instead be celebrating from the comfort of their homes this year.

Even though you may not be able to celebrate in person, that doesn’t mean you can’t still congratulate grads on their accomplishments by sending a thoughtful gift.

From college essentials to personalized keepsakes, consider sending the graduate in your life one of these high school graduation gift ideas below.

High school graduation gifts for her

1. Homesick Candle

Homesick Candle

Homesick Candles | Smells Like Home

Wherever your grad ends up, this candle will make sure they have a little piece of home with them. Each candle comes with its own unique scent that’s meant to remind people of their home state and nostalgic memories.

2. Etsy Monogrammed Laundry Bag

Etsy Monogrammed Laundry Bag

Etsy Monogrammed Laundry Bag $29.99 at Etsy

Make laundry a little easier with this personalized laundry bag. Designed for easy trips to the laundry room, this bag can be personalized with different colors, patterns and embroidery options.

3. Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Compact Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, Black (Walmart / Walmart)
Keurig K-Compact Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, Black (Walmart / Walmart)
  • Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker $59.00 at Walmart

  • Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker $72.13 at Amazon

For the coffee lover in your life, surprise them with their very own single-serve Keurig. The brand considers this model to be one of its most compact designs yet, making it perfect to store in small places. The brand also claims that it can make three cups of coffee in under a minute.

4. Ultraideas Memory Foam Slippers

Ultraideas Memory Foam Slippers

ULTRAIDEAS Women's Cozy Memory Foam Slippers Fuzzy Wool-Like Plush Fleece Lined House Shoes w/Indoor, Outdoor Anti-Skid Rubber Sole (7-8, Black/Grey) (Amazon / Amazon)
ULTRAIDEAS Women’s Cozy Memory Foam Slippers Fuzzy Wool-Like Plush Fleece Lined House Shoes w/Indoor, Outdoor Anti-Skid Rubber Sole (7-8, Black/Grey) (Amazon / Amazon)

Ultraideas Memory Foam Slippers $28.90 at Amazon

These memory foam slippers were styled to keep your feet comfortable and warm, making it perfect for days spent lounging around your dorm room.

5. Etsy Quarantined Graduation Box

Etsy Quarantined Graduation Box

Etsy Quarantined Graduation Box $28.99 at Etsy

Surprise the graduate in your life with this personalized box that is sure to bring a smile to their face. The box comes with a small tumbler and your choice of additional add-ons.

6. Letters To My Future Self

Letters To My Future Self

Letters To My Future Self | activity books, letter writing
Letters To My Future Self | activity books, letter writing
  • Letters To My Future Self $14.95 at UncommonGoods

  • Letters To My Future Self $12.28 at Amazon

  • Letters To My Future Self $12.28 at Walmart

This nostalgic gift is one your grad can look back on one day. They can leave themselves a personalized message to read years down the road.

7. Fujifilm Instax Instant Mini Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera (with 10-pack film) - Seafoam Green (Walmart / Walmart)
Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera (with 10-pack film) – Seafoam Green (Walmart / Walmart)

Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera $59.00 at Walmart

This mini camera is perfect for capturing memories — it instantly prints the picture out for you to share and enjoy!

8. Etsy College Graduation Gift Box

Etsy College Graduation Gift Box

Etsy College Graduation Gift Box $48.45 at Etsy

Your loved one is sure to find something they love in this thoughtful gift box. Inside, they will find a luggage tag, vanilla frosted fortune cookie, mini “Congrats grad!” frame and more.

9. The Comfy

The Comfy

THE COMFY | The Original Oversized Wearable Sherpa Blanket, Seen On Shark Tank, One Size Fits All Blue (Amazon / Amazon)
THE COMFY | The Original Oversized Wearable Sherpa Blanket, Seen On Shark Tank, One Size Fits All Blue (Amazon / Amazon)

This TODAY editor-approved gift combines the comfort of a blanket with the style of a hoodie — so your graduate remains comfy no matter where they are!

10. Etsy Graduation Tumbler

Etsy 2020 Graduation Tumbler

Etsy 2020 Graduation Tumbler $24.95 at Etsy

Personalize a tumbler for your loved one! Designed to keep drinks either warm or cold, this cup comes in eight vibrant colors and you can even customize the artwork.

11. Uncommon Goods Lavender Gift Set

Uncommon Goods Lavender Gift Set

Unwind Lavender Gift Set | Aromatherapy Set
Unwind Lavender Gift Set | Aromatherapy Set

Uncommon Goods Lavender Gift Set $50.00 at UncommonGoods

This lavender kit is perfect for the grad who needs to relax and unwind. They’ll be able to grow their own lavender plant with the included pot and seeds. For more self-care, they can spray the lavender mist on their pillow and enjoy the 100% cotton eye mask to help them drift off to sleep.

12. 100 Things To Do Scratch Poster

100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster

100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster | Interactive Art; Fun Gifts for Grads
100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster | Interactive Art; Fun Gifts for Grads

100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster $15.00 at UncommonGoods

Instead of checking things off your bucket list, make it more interactive with this scratch-off poster. After you complete each activity, you’ll be surprised with a colorful picture behind each square.

13. Master Lock Personal Safe

Master Lock Personal Safe

Master Lock Personal Safe, Set Your Own Combination Portable SafeSpace, 9-17/32 in. Wide, Pink, 5900DPNK (Amazon / Amazon)
Master Lock Personal Safe, Set Your Own Combination Portable SafeSpace, 9-17/32 in. Wide, Pink, 5900DPNK (Amazon / Amazon)
  • Master Lock Personal Safe $19.97 at Amazon

  • Master Lock Personal Safe $17.96 at Walmart

This portable safe keeps your personal documents and belongings secure no matter where you are. The sleek design can hold your phone, passport and other documents.

14. Himawari Travel Backpack

Himawari Travel Backpack

Himawari Travel School Backpack with USB Charging Port 15.6 Inch Doctor Work Bag for Women&Men College Students(USB H900D-ZF) (Amazon / Amazon)
Himawari Travel School Backpack with USB Charging Port 15.6 Inch Doctor Work Bag for Women&Men College Students(USB H900D-ZF) (Amazon / Amazon)

Himawari Travel Backpack $33.14 at Amazon

Created to be both spacious and fashionable, this backpack was made to hold all of your belongings — including your laptop! Whether you’re off to class or traveling the world, this backpack should fit your needs no matter where you go.

15. House Day Space Saving Hangers

House Day Space Saving Hangers

HOUSE DAY Black Magic Hangers Space Saving Clothes Hangers Organizer Smart Closet Space Saver Pack of 10 with Sturdy Plastic for Heavy Clothes (Amazon / Amazon)
HOUSE DAY Black Magic Hangers Space Saving Clothes Hangers Organizer Smart Closet Space Saver Pack of 10 with Sturdy Plastic for Heavy Clothes (Amazon / Amazon)

House Day Space Saving Hangers $14.99 at Amazon

College dorms are not always the most spacious, so these space-saving hangers will definitely come in handy. The folding design allows you to fit up to five hangers at once.

High school graduation gifts for him

1. Things They Don’t Teach You Game

Things They Don’t Teach You in School Game

Things They Don't Teach You in School Game | Party Game, Family Fun
Things They Don’t Teach You in School Game | Party Game, Family Fun
  • Things They Don’t Teach You in School Game $20.00 at UncommonGoods

  • Things They Don’t Teach You in School Game $20.00 at Amazon

Put you and your friends’ knowledge to the test with this game full of random facts and trivia about subjects you probably didn’t learn in school.

2. Samonline Packing Cubes

Samonline Packing Cubes

7 Set Waterproof Packing Cubes Organizers for Travel Luggage Suitcase Bag for Underwear Shirts Trousers Shoes Toiletry (Walmart / Walmart)
7 Set Waterproof Packing Cubes Organizers for Travel Luggage Suitcase Bag for Underwear Shirts Trousers Shoes Toiletry (Walmart / Walmart)

Samonline Packing Cubes $16.99 at Walmart

These packing cubes would make a great gift for the frequent traveler. The variety of sizes will keep all of their clothing and belongings neatly organized in their suitcase, or they can use them for storage in their dorm.

3. Waowoo Weighted Blanket

Waowoo Adult Weighted Blanket

Waowoo Adult Weighted Blanket Queen Size(15lbs 60"x80") Heavy Blanket with Premium Glass Beads, (Dark Grey) (Amazon / Amazon)
Waowoo Adult Weighted Blanket Queen Size(15lbs 60″x80″) Heavy Blanket with Premium Glass Beads, (Dark Grey) (Amazon / Amazon)

Waowoo Adult Weighted Blanket $40.49 at Amazon

Help bring some relaxation to your loved one with a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are known for their soothing benefits and comforting sensation. This option is made with breathable bamboo, which aims to help keep you cool.

4. Mavo Craft Folding Lap Desk

Mavo Craft Folding Lap Desk

Folding Lap Desk, laptop desk, Breakfast Table, Bed Table, Serving Tray - The lapdesk Contains Extra Storage space and dividers, & folds very easy,great for kids, adults, boys, girls (Amazon / Amazon)
Folding Lap Desk, laptop desk, Breakfast Table, Bed Table, Serving Tray – The lapdesk Contains Extra Storage space and dividers, & folds very easy,great for kids, adults, boys, girls (Amazon / Amazon)

Mavo Craft Folding Lap Desk $25.97 at Amazon

For the days when your graduate wants to stay in bed and do work, this folding lap desk will keep school supplies all in one place and folds away for easy storage.

5. Etsy Engraved Wallet

Etsy Engraved Wallet

Etsy Engraved Wallet $47.99 at Etsy

Now is the perfect time to surprise your graduate with a personalized wallet to keep their belongings in.

6. Etsy Custom Docking Station

Etsy Custom Docking Station

Etsy Custom Docking Station $42.70 at Etsy

A handy place to keep all of their belongings, this dock station features a charging station for phones, and side hangers for watches, keys and more. To make it more personalized, you can choose to have the recipient’s name or initials engraved.

7. Haundry Mesh Shower Caddy

Haundry Mesh Shower Caddy

Haundry Mesh Shower Caddy (Amazon / Amazon)
Haundry Mesh Shower Caddy (Amazon / Amazon)

Haundry Mesh Shower Caddy $9.99 at Amazon

If he’s moving into a dorm with a shared bathroom, he’ll definitely need a durable and waterproof shower caddy to help carry his toiletries.

8. Tocode Large Backpack

Tocode Large Travel Backpack

Tocode Large Travel Backpack (Amazon / Amazon)
Tocode Large Travel Backpack (Amazon / Amazon)

Tocode Large Travel Backpack $37.99 at Amazon

This backpack is spacious enough to carry a laptop and more, making it just as great for traveling as it is for going to class. It even includes a USB port to charge your phone no matter where you are.

9. Etsy Custom Fishing Lure

Etsy Custom Fishing Lure

Etsy Custom Fishing Lure $20.00 at Etsy

The fishing-enthusiast on your list may enjoy a fishing lure that you can customize with a message of your choice. No matter where they end up, they’ll be sure to think of you with this special gift.

10. Bare Home Twin XL Sheet Set

Bare Home Twin XL Sheet Set

Bare Home Twin XL Sheet Set - College Dorm Size - Premium 1800 Ultra-Soft Microfiber Sheets Twin Extra Long - Double Brushed - Hypoallergenic - Wrinkle Resistant (Twin XL, Grey) (Amazon / Amazon)
Bare Home Twin XL Sheet Set – College Dorm Size – Premium 1800 Ultra-Soft Microfiber Sheets Twin Extra Long – Double Brushed – Hypoallergenic – Wrinkle Resistant (Twin XL, Grey) (Amazon / Amazon)

Bare Home Twin XL Sheet Set $24.99 at Amazon

Every grad needs a comfortable set of sheets to make their dorm feel a little cozier. The brand designed it with ventilation and breathability in mind for a comfy night’s sleep.

11. Etsy Monogrammed Cuff Links

Etsy Monogrammed Cuff Links

Etsy Monogrammed Cuff Links $27.38 at Etsy

For those interviews and formals that your graduate will eventually attend, provide them with a pair of cuff links customized just for them. You can add a small message and their initials for a personalized touch.

12. Newhey Men’s Messenger Bag

Newhey Mens Messenger Bag

Mens Messenger Bag 15.6 Inch Waterproof Vintage Genuine Leather Waxed Canvas Briefcase Large Satchel Shoulder Bag Rugged Leather Computer Laptop Bag, Brown (Amazon / Amazon)
Mens Messenger Bag 15.6 Inch Waterproof Vintage Genuine Leather Waxed Canvas Briefcase Large Satchel Shoulder Bag Rugged Leather Computer Laptop Bag, Brown (Amazon / Amazon)

Newhey Mens Messenger Bag $49.99 at Amazon

This handy messenger bag was designed to be spacious enough to hold everything from papers to laptops. It comes in five different colors that each have their own vintage flair.

13. Uncommon Goods MLB Ballpark Traveler’s Map

Uncommon Goods MLB Ballpark Traveler’s Map

MLB Ballpark Traveler's Map | Ball Fields, Sports
MLB Ballpark Traveler’s Map | Ball Fields, Sports

Uncommon Goods MLB Ballpark Traveler’s Map $40.00 at UncommonGoods

If the grad is a huge baseball fan, they’ll love this interactive MLB map. They can add a corresponding MLB Club sticker for each ballpark they’ve visited.

For more gift recommendations, check out:

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