50 Great Graduation Gifts to Celebrate This Milestone
These thoughtful graduation gift ideas are the perfect ways to say congratulations at every life stage.
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Graduation gifts they’ll truly love
They’ve worked so hard, and the big day is finally here: graduation! No matter which milestone they’re celebrating—from kindergarten to college graduation—it’s time to show them just how proud you are of all they’ve accomplished. The best graduation gifts acknowledge that, speak to their individual interests, and also help them succeed in the next stage of their educational or professional careers.
The gift ideas on this list make perfect college graduation gifts, high school graduation gifts, and even elementary school graduation gifts. Running late? Don’t worry—we’ve also got plenty of fantastic graduation gifts for him and her that ship quickly. And no matter what you choose, don’t forget to top it off with a graduation card filled with thoughtful graduation wishes.
What are good graduation gifts to give?
The best graduation gift ideas come from the heart and help lead the new grad into their future. Practical items that help them start a new life chapter are always a hit, as are personalized gifts and sentimental mementos that stand the test of time. Books also work well as graduation gifts, especially ones that share hard-earned wisdom that will hopefully make your graduate’s life a little easier. Inscribe the inside cover with an inspiring graduation quote for an extra special touch.
What is a traditional gift for a graduation?
Cash is one of the most popular high school graduation gifts, but college graduation gifts tend to be focused on welcoming the new grad into adult life. Items like the best organic cotton sheets, down pillows, and assorted home decor are always a hit. Gifts for younger children typically include books, toys, and small amounts of cash.
How much money do you usually give for a graduation gift?
Of course, it ultimately depends on your budget and your relationship to the graduate. But generally speaking, if you’re giving cash to a young child, $10 to $25 with a small toy or book is considered generous and thoughtful. For high school, cash gifts are typically in denominations of $20, with higher numbers often coming from close family members. College graduation gifts, law school graduations, and other graduate program–level celebrations are typically marked by higher numbers, but they’re also contingent on your budget and whether the graduate will be hosting a party. You can also pair cash with one of the graduation gift ideas below for a well-rounded present they’ll really appreciate.
For the sentimental type
Golden State Art Shadow Box Tassel Frame
Preserve the most cherished graduation day memories in this modern shadow box tassel frame that comes in five different frame and matting options. It’s one of the most practical graduation gift ideas for high school and college grads, and it neatly fits the cap-and-gown picture of their choosing next to their tassel for all to see. It’s also an affordable option, and one of the best Amazon Prime gifts if you’re in a time crunch.
For the one you want to send good luck
Awe Inspired Evil Eye Necklace
Put an added dose of good luck next to her heart with this Awe Inspired evil eye necklace that showcases the traditional Mediterranean talisman in a chic, modern way. It comes with a Swiss blue topaz stone set in sterling silver with a matching chain. This also makes a great gift for your sister or best friend for birthdays and other occasions.
For the pizza aficionado
Checkered Chef Rocker Pizza Cutter and Board
College study sessions and young adulthood call for endless pizza nights, which is why this easy-to-use pizza cutter and pre-sectioned board set is one of the most useful graduation gift ideas yet. The gentle rocking motion makes cutting perfect slices a cinch, while the board’s indentations promise eight totally even portions. If your graduate is moving into a new place after the big day, this doubles as a fun housewarming gift.
For the LEGO lover of any age
LEGO World Map
If the graduate on your list has always been a LEGO fan, this eye-catching LEGO world map is an artistic way of saying they’re definitely going places in life. This easily customized conversation starter can be built as a traditional map of the world or as a wish list of destinations to check off a bucket list. It’s also a terrific gift for teens with creative minds.
For the college fan
WellTold College Town Insulated Tumbler
Load them up with college spirit gear if they’re just graduating from high school, or give them a memento that celebrates the campus they loved for the past few years with a map-printed WellTold college town tumbler. This thoughtful Etsy gift is a unique piece they’ll use all the time for hot coffee, cool drinks, and more.
For the serious sleeper
Saatva Mattress Topper
If they’re heading off to college and bound for uncomfortable bunk beds, this affordable Saatva foam mattress topper is a dreamy gift idea. It instantly transforms even the cheapest, stickiest plastic bed into one of the best memory foam mattresses and promises you a well-rested student.
For the kindergarten grad
The Night Before First Grade
If you need a gift idea for the littlest grad on your list, The Night Before First Grade is an engaging, anxiety-quelling book that teachers adore. This budget-friendly gift for kids walks them through all the exciting steps (and chaos) it takes to make it through kindergarten to first grade. Expect to read this one again and again, all summer long.
For the iPhone obsessed
Apple AirPods Pro
If screen time is their favorite time, they’ll reach for these Apple AirPods every day. With more than 57,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, these Bluetooth-enabled, noise-canceling earbuds with spatial audio are the tech gifts they’ll wonder how they ever lived without.
For the one who deserves a toast
Frontgate Freeze Cooling Pint Glasses
Older grads will love these Frontgate Freeze cooling pint glasses that come in a set of two for toasting the happiest occasions. No matter the beverage, these insulated shatterproof glasses keep drinks icy cold for hours—even on warm days. Just pop them in the freezer around two hours before using them, and the built-in cooling gel will work its magic. You may want to pick up an extra set of two while you’re at it, because they also make excellent Father’s Day gifts.
For the sweet tooth
Cheryl’s Cookies Graduation Cookie Gift Tin
Can’t be there in person to celebrate and bake them a cake? Send this adorable cookie tin instead. Your smart cookie will get a delectable assortment of chocolate chip, buttercream frosted vanilla, devil’s food, salty caramel, and peanut butter buckeye cookies in a cute tin that they can use over and over again. Add a personalized congratulatory message, and it’s ready to be shipped right to their doorstep!
For the coffee lover
Nutribullet Brew Choice Pod + Carafe
They’ll brew a large carafe of tasty drip coffee or a favorite K-cup in this Nutribullet Brew Choice coffee maker. It offers versatility that suits small households and bustling roommate-filled apartments alike. Nutribullet Brew Choice reviews say this machine “manages all the presets and thinking for you. All you have to do is decide which style you’d like to brew, choose your size settings, and push start.” Depending on your budget, here are more gifts for coffee lovers guaranteed to be a hit.
For the cleaning fanatic
Bissell Little Green Machine
Your graduate doesn’t have to be a neat freak to appreciate the incredible cleaning power of Bissell’s Little Green Machine, but it helps. This multitasking portable device acts as a wet vacuum that gets icky stains out of carpet and removes frat-party sofa spills. And it’s so easy to use that it’s become a TikTok sensation that twentysomethings can’t stop raving about.
For the law school grad
Legally Addictive Foods OG Party Pack
Help them celebrate the end of law school by setting the snack bar higher with this Legally Addictive Foods gift pack filled with salty, sweet, chocolatey, and crunchy munchies. These perfect little squares are made with a crispy combo of crackers, salted toffee, semisweet chocolate, and sea salt, offering just the right balance of flavors for the ideal nosh with coffee. You know, for when they’re pulling an all-nighter.
For the late sleeper
Hatch Restore Smart Alarm Clock
Whether they’re heading off to the next chapter of their education or starting adult life, this Hatch Restore alarm clock is a genius gift idea. One of the best smart alarm clocks on the market, the multifunctional device offers gentle light therapy–style glowing to encourage natural awakening, sound-machine functions, and wind-down content that promotes healthy sleep patterns.
For the history buff
Giddy Designs “The Man in the Arena” Framed Canvas
Buying for a history major? You can’t go wrong with this wall hanging that features one of Theodore Roosevelt’s most iconic speeches, The Man in the Arena, from 1910. It’s brimming with some of the best motivational quotes about courage and tenacity—just the kind to inspire new grads to make the most of the future. You can choose from several sizes and wood tones to suit a new dorm, apartment, or personal style.
For the freshly minted professional
Aday Suiting Capsule
Rather than investing a small fortune in business casual outfits for her new career, opt for versatile and interchangeable essentials from the Aday suiting capsule, which transition through most areas of life with ease. Choose from a cardigan-like blazer that works with the brand’s best-selling tailored pants for the office or as a light layer over jeans on the weekend. They’re all designed for simple mixing, matching, and ultimate comfort.
For the beach bum
Caro Home Striped Velour Beach Towels
Whether they’re heading to celebratory pool parties or heading off to college in a beach-friendly climate, they’ll appreciate these plush Caro Home beach towels—and use them for years. They’re an oversized, multicolored, and chic summer pick that comes at an affordable Home Goods price tag. You may even want to pick up a few for yourself!
For the busiest grad
Hamilton Beach Personal Blender
They’re incredibly busy preparing for a new chapter, which is why this Hamilton Beach personal blender will come in so handy. In just seconds, it whips up healthy smoothie breakfasts, blends good-for-them creamy soups, and creates stick-to-your-ribs sauces with little more than the touch of a button. This easy-to-clean Amazon best seller also has nearly 20,000 five-star reviewers calling it “the best cheap kitchen appliance EVER” and “magic for quick breakfasts.”
For the fidgeter
Speks Geode Magnetic Fidget Sphere
Is this graduation gift for kids or adults? Both! The Speks 12-piece fidget set helps anyone who needs a little centering. They can use the palm-pleasing pentagons on their own or construct magnet-powered shapes. It’s an ideal middle school and high school graduation gift for those bound for more years of focus-driven study, or for new-to-the-workforce grads headed for office jobs.
For the pretzel lover
Eastern Standard Provisions Co. Super “Congrats Grad” Gift Box
Pennsylvania’s most standard snack, the chewy soft pretzel, is presented in this Eastern Standard Provisions graduation gift box in the most celebratory way. It’s ideal for grads leaving or heading to Pennsylvania homes, or those who just love a yummy snack. They’re easy to heat up, and they taste as if they came fresh from a local vendor. These make a fun edible gift for tween boys too.
For the casual-cool grad
Life Is Good Class of ’22 T-shirt
They’ll love wearing this Class of ’22 tee, and you’ll love the upbeat messaging and imagery. It’s a good reminder that the future is up to them, and it’s a fun add-on to cash gifts and cards. Choose from adult sizes S through XXXL and two T-shirt weights.
For stylish new worker
Kate Spade x Incipio Puffer Laptop Sleeve
This trendy Kate Spade New York x Incipio puffer laptop sleeve, which comes in two modern neutral prints and one very stylish solid color, fits most laptops up to 16 inches. It’s ideal for new college students taking their laptops to and from classes each day and grads entering the workforce. If you’re looking for an all-in-one bag, consider these laptop backpacks instead.
For the one with a new apartment
Revival Machine Washable Area Rug
They’ll start off adult life on the right foot—and, more specifically, a warm and clean foot—with a washable Revival area rug. The brand’s clever, easy-to-machine-wash design and trend-forward prints make this gift a no-brainer for dressing up dorm rooms, high-traffic areas of shared apartments, and homes with pets. If they have access to a laundry machine, they’ll never need a carpet cleaner again.
For the budding photographer
Polaroid Starter Set
They’ll cast their phones aside to use this fun Polaroid starter set that’s dripping with retro vibes and screen-free memory-making fun. The Polaroid lab will even convert their digital photos to real Polaroid prints through the Polaroid Originals app—just in case they do reach for their phones again. The set also includes two full packs of film to get their creative mojo going.
For the cuddler
Big Blanket Co. Original Stretch Blanket
Curling up with a good book or movie is bound to be better than ever with this Big Blanket Co. original stretch blanket that features an impressive 10-foot perimeter on each side. That makes it large enough for teens to continue cuddling up to Mom and Dad on the sweetest of family nights, and for young adults to use on their apartment beds. Made with a super soft material, it comes in dozens of fun colors, so you can find just the thing for any personal style and home decor.
For the one who misses home
Collage Custom Pillow
Missing home can be hard when you’re away at college or moving to a new city after graduation, which is why this cuddly custom pillow is such a thoughtful graduation gift. Add pictures of the entire family together, a sorely missed pet, or other loving memories for them to cuddle up with. It will also add a pop of color and visual interest to their room when nestled among their favorite pillows.
For the creative type
Boogie Board Basics Reusable Writing Pad
Skip the messy art supplies with a Boogie Board tablet. It makes one of the best elementary school graduation gifts for budding artists, as well as an ideal solution for older grads looking to leave notes and shopping lists for roommates. This affordable reusable writing pad even comes with a push-button LCD clearing screen that sets the board back to new. Plus, no special erasers or towels are needed, and the stylus pen is totally mess-free.
For the one with state pride
Maya Brenner State Necklace
If they’re heading to a state university, send them off with a Maya Brenner state necklace that elegantly showcases their school’s spirit. Choose from sterling silver or 14-karat yellow gold, a preferred chain length, and even a diamond over their city. It’s an upgraded take on the best affordable jewelry, and it will quickly become a go-to accessory.
For the eco-enthusiast
Out of the Woods Pure Cord Tote
This stylish Out of the Woods pure cord tote is a great eco-friendly gift idea that fits most budgets at a comfortable $25. The vegan, nautical-themed bag is made of sustainable materials that can stand up to textbooks, gym gear, and whatever life throws at it. It’s also washable (even though it looks and feels like leather), which makes it 100 percent parent-approved.
For the party host
The Pioneer Woman Simple Homemade Goodness Drink Dispenser Set
This Pioneer Woman drink dispenser, which comes with two gallon-size dispensers set on a sturdy ice-bucket base, is great for outdoor graduation parties, barbecues, picnics, and sideline cheering. Attach the included mini chalkboards to each beverage so guests know what’s what.
For the nostalgic
Mimeo Photos Custom Calendar
Infuse some positivity and a loving reminder of home each day with this custom Mimeo Photos calendar. Begin in any month, and personalize each one with memories, important photos that mark family occasions, traditions, or even a collection of images that leads them to graduation. It’s available in 12- and 24-month formats, and it’s a breeze to customize right from your phone.
For the medical school grad
Plant My Message Definition Planter
Medical school graduation gifts can be tricky, but pairing a witty planter with an envelope of cash is a good way to give your grad a smile and a debt-denting boost. Choose from just a pot or a potted succulent, and then craft the cutest personal definition that encapsulates their new profession. If they can keep a patient alive but not a plant, opt for one of these hard-to-kill houseplants.
For the one with the tiny kitchen
Stone & Clay Mixing Bowls with Lid Graters
First apartments often come with compact kitchens, which is why this very practical set of Stone & Clay mixing bowls with grater lid attachments is a genius graduation gift idea. The three stainless steel bowls can be nested together, cutting down on cabinet clutter and eliminating the need to buy extra kitchen accessories—all while helping your grad create healthy, fresh meals in their new home.
For the dorm dweller
CleverMade Collapsible Laundry Basket
Doing their own laundry is a rite of adulthood, and this CleverMade collapsible laundry basket will make it easy. It comes with or without a divider that helps sort colors and whites, as well as clean and dirty. It’s ideal for lugging laundry to shared dorm and apartment building laundry rooms, and it neatly folds down when it’s not in use. With more than 6,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it’s a practical high school graduation gift for college-bound kids—and especially thoughtful when filled with other laundry or dorm room items.
For the plant lover
Just Add Ice Money Tree
The ancient Chinese practice of feng shui holds the money tree near and dear to its heart for encouraging prosperity. According to legend, a man who was down on his luck prayed for prosperity, discovered the money tree, took it home, and was blessed with good fortune. Add a little of that good fortune to your recent graduate’s life with an easy-to-care-for money tree. It will instantly brighten any dorm room, apartment, or office.
For the one glued to a computer
obVus Solutions Adjustable Laptop Tower Stand
Making the transition from student to employee is a pretty big deal, and this obVus Solutions adjustable laptop tower stand helps ease the path by allowing their existing tech gear to transition as well. It adjusts from standing to sitting positions instantly, helps reduce neck and back pain, and offers the versatility of upright computing when the hours are long and the work feels endless. If their computer needs an upgrade as well (and your budget allows), check out this list of affordable laptops under $500.
For the commuter
Lo & Sons Rowledge Backpack
Long treks to school and work make this Lo & Sons Rowledge backpack one of the best graduation gifts for the newly minted professional gal in your life. She’ll use it for years to come, thanks to its neat compartments for everything from laptops to keys, passports, and drinks. It comes in several different colorways and two different sizes, and it converts to a tote if she prefers that look.
For the expert cook
Beautiful Cookware Set by Drew Barrymore
This 10-piece cookware set comes from Drew Barrymore’s new affordable line of homewares, Beautiful, that ships ultra-fast through Walmart+ (or through the store’s two-day option for non-members), in case you’re searching for last-minute graduation gift ideas. The set, which comes in four on-trend colors, offers a range of frying pans, saucepans, and even a Dutch oven to get their new adult life started out right, and everything is made with a durable, scratch-resistant nonstick coating that won’t chip or peel.
For the jet-setter
Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Expandable Spinner
They’ll be ready for adventure with this stylish Platinum Elite spinner. It’s lightweight and ultra durable, with an easy-to-clean polycarbonate shell, lots of interior zip pockets (including one for damp items), four spinner wheels, a two-inch zipper expansion, a built-in TSA-approved lock, and fast-charging USB A&C ports that will let them power up on the go. TravelPro is so sure of the quality of this luggage—it passed 15 durability tests, including a “cold drop test”—that it comes with a Built for a Lifetime Limited Warranty.
For the dapper dude
Fresh Clean Tees Basic 5-Pack
Send him on his way in crisp, casual style with this set of Fresh Clean Tees. Choose from crew or V-neck styles, and sizes S through 4XL, then let him fall in love with the laid-back and ultra-soft cotton blend material. Boasting an extended size range, lovable neutral colors, and tailored-looking side seams that offer an expensive touch at a modest price point, these basics will become his new favorites.
For the home-spa fan
California Design Den Cotton Bath Towel Pack
These extra soft, fluffy, and luxurious California Design Den bath towels are just what a high school or college grad needs to start adulthood off on the right note. They’re made of 100 percent cotton and boast a no-lint texture that offers hotel quality at a bargain. Each of the four included towels in this set measures 27 by 54 inches—perfect for bringing their love of spa days into the dorm and beyond. Pair it with some at-home spa products for a perfectly themed package that will remind them to take a much-needed break every now and then.
For the memory keeper
Levenger Luxe Leather Five-Year Journal
This Levenger leather journal takes daily thoughts and memory-building to the next level. It’s an elegant way to record a full five years of experiences, musings, and more on a daily level that’s ideal for grads heading off to college or an advanced degree. After they fill the book, they’ll get to look back on their entire collegiate experience—the ups and downs, the teachable moments, and so much more. There’s also a patch on the front that can be monogrammed for an extra special personalized touch.
For the active type
Takeya Originals Stainless Steel Travel Bottle
If you’re looking for practical graduation gift ideas that are also affordable, this vacuum-insulated Takeya Originals 32-ounce travel bottle is just the type of item they’ll use every day and thank you endlessly for. It’s great for keeping cold drinks icy all day, whether your graduate is heading from class to class or keeping it on an office desk all day.
For the practical high school graduate
Pizuna Classic Sheet Set
No need to fret over finding high-quality, refreshingly light bed sheets in twin XL sizes that suit typical dorm mattresses. A set of Pizuna Linens classic sheets comes in trendy colors and neutral basics and is made of premium cotton at surprisingly affordable prices. Choose from 400, 600, or 800 thread count options, and then wait for your freshman to report back on just how cozy their new dorm bed is.
For the grad with the brightest ideas
inPowered Lights Lamp Angel
This clever inPowered Lights lamp is more than just an ordinary table lamp. It has fun color-changing LEDs, offers emergency lighting during power outages, and boasts a very practical and outlet-saving USB charging port. It’s the ideal dorm and starter-apartment find, especially since it can be integrated with a smartphone for remote access.
For the motivated one
MantraBand Inspirational Bracelet
She believed she could, so she did. And that’s how she got through the last four years, of course! This thoughtful MantraBand bracelet offers just the right amount of uplifting inspiration in a timeless, easy-to-love style. It’s easily worn on its own or stacked with other bracelets and bangles, and it goes from day to night with both her favorite jeans and those little black dresses.
For the most organized grad
Teslyar Wood Phone Docking Station and Valet Tray
This top-rated wood phone docking station and valet tray charges cell phones, displays watches, keeps daily essentials within reach, and showcases gorgeous artisan handiwork in a non-toxic protective finish. Choose from three colors, then let them organize their nightstand or desk in style.
For the DIYer
Blue Ridge Tools Household Tool Kit
New apartments call for plenty of sprucing up and impromptu repairs, which is exactly why this brilliant Blue Ridge Tools household tool kit is one of the most useful graduation gifts for young adults starting out life at a new address. It comes with an impressive 47 pieces at an affordable price (just around $30!) and features everything from shears to a level, a hammer to a tape measure, and much more.
For anyone in a cold climate
Brooklinen Down Comforter
If they’re headed to a college in a cold northern climate or starting a new job in a particularly snowy city, this best-selling Brooklinen down comforter is the cozy bedtime essential they’ll use for years to come and wonder how they ever lived without. It comes in lightweight, all-season, and heavyweight options to suit every type of sleeper (and subclimate), and it’s even available in a dorm-perfect twin XL size. For more coziness, add a set of flannel sheets to this graduation gift.
For the one you’re worried about
She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm
Life’s a party, and late nights are bound to happen, which is why this personal safety alarm was invented. The tiny-yet-colorful device that clips onto keys or purses is a game-changer, creating an extremely loud sound to deter potential attacks and assaults. If you’re worried about her walking alone or staying out late, this is a must.