Gifts for Teens: 10 Gifts They’ll Think Are Cool (Even If You Don’t Understand Them)

group of multi-ethnic teenagers taking a selfie

Finding gifts for a teenager can be a lot of fun. After all, they get all the cool stuff! And when they get a gift that really speaks to their interests, it can make a difference in their world. The best gifts for teens are ones that help them to express themselves, spend time with their friends or take a moment out of their busy schedule for a little relaxation. To help you find the right gift, we put together a list of gift ideas for teen boys and girls. These gifts are trendy, fun and suit different personalities and interests.

1. Fun Socks

shark pattern socks from american eagle

Uniquely patterned socks are all the rage these days. Just about any department store you walk into will have a wide selection of colorful socks, featuring everything from sharks to snarky comments to the Mona Lisa. If you’ve ever noticed your teen sporting a pair of fun socks, it’s safe to bet that they’re on the lookout for more! Since socks come in such a variety of designs, you’ll probably be able to find some that relate to your teen’s interests. That kind of personalization can make it feel even more special.

2. Eyeshadow Palette

nude eye shadow pallet from sephora

If the teen you’re shopping for is a beauty fan, an eyeshadow palette like this one from Sephora can make a spectacular gift. If your teen is always experimenting with new makeup looks, this gift is versatile enough to fit any style. An eyeshadow pallet has different colors they can use to really express themselves. And if you’re looking for more gift ideas for teen girls who are beauty fans, read our list of Birthday Gifts for Her for more inspiration.

3. Barnes & Noble’s Latest YA Novel

If you’re looking for a gift for a teenager who enjoys reading, why not visit a bookstore to find out what new young-adult novel all the book-loving teens are reading? If you’re not sure what series your teen is into, ask bookstore staff for recommendations. If you can’t get to a physical store, Barnes and Noble has a YA book club that keeps track of all the latest teen favorites.


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4. Under Armour Collegiate Baseball Tee

university of notre dame collegiate baseball t-shirt

Does your teen have a favorite college team? Are they a soon-to-be high school grad looking forward to the independence of college? Or maybe they’re still trying to decide where to go, and you’d like to provide a little nudge! In any case, a collegiate baseball tee is an excellent gift for a teenager. It’s a classic style, and you can find them in both men’s and women’s sizes, so this is a gift that can work for anybody on your list. If a baseball tee doesn’t seem like the right vibe, a graphic t-shirt is also an excellent choice!

5. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 – UA Edition

samsung galaxy active 2 smartwatch under armour edition

An athletic smartwatch is a good choice if you’re looking for a special gift or something that’s a little more high-end. (If this feels way out of your price range, we also have a list of affordable gift ideas that might be helpful.) These devices are great for runners because they include features like GPS distance tracking, built-in coaching and heart-rate monitoring. But even if your teen isn’t a runner or athlete, a smartwatch is great for keeping up with texts, emails and calendar events and staying active.

6. Seasonal Makeup Kit from Sephora

sephora favorites poolside party summer essentials beauty kit

Here’s another gift idea for a makeup-loving teen: a seasonal makeup kit! These can come in all sizes and with different themes for each one. A summer makeup kit, for example, might include some sunscreen and waterproof mascara for days by the pool. A makeup kit also offers a great value, since bundles together products that would cost much more individually—which means you can give your teen a chance to try out some new products without breaking the bank.

7. Messenger Bag

canvas messenger bag from barnes and noble

Are you shopping for a teenager who’s always on the go? A trendy messenger bag might be the perfect fit. Your teen can use it to carry books, chargers, a laptop, a water bottle and whatever else they need for where they’re going. A new bag makes a practical pre-college gift, but it can be just as handy for high schoolers.

8. Cozy Oversized Sweater

green oversized sweater from american eagle

A comfy sweater is a great gift for almost any time of year. They can cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate during the winter or fall. Or if they’re stuck in a classroom with the A/C on full blast during the summer, they might appreciate an extra layer or two. American Eagle sells a fleece sweatshirt that is comfortable and versatile enough to be their new go-to top, whether they’re hanging out with friends or lounging around the house.

9. Guided Journal

one question a day five year journal

One of the defining traits of adolescence is the search for identity. Teens often wonder, “Who am I going to be?” There’s no way to give them a ready-made answer, but you can give the next best thing. Guided journals are a popular way to perform self-reflection. It can be hard to be a teenager, and with a thoughtful gift like this, you’re acknowledging the struggle—something they’ll appreciate.

10. Happy Teen Gift Card

Happy Teen Card

Picking out the perfect gift can be tricky, especially for teenagers. It’s hard to keep up with their changing tastes and needs. Or maybe you like more than one gift idea here and can’t pick! It might be better to go with a versatile gift card. The Happy Teen Gift Card can be used at a variety of restaurants and retailers, which gives your teen a ton of options. It can be used at Regal Cinemas, American Eagle, Under Armour, Dave & Buster’s, Jamba, Sephora and Barnes & Noble.

Even better, just about every gift idea on this list can be found at brands on the Happy Teen Gift Card. If you can’t quite make up your mind, let your teen make the choice themselves!

Other Gift Cards for Teens


Gift shopping for teenagers might not be easy, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. When you give the perfect gift, you aren’t just handing them a present—you’re helping them to find joy in a unique part of their life. We hope this list helps you to give your teen something more than just an ordinary gift: a memory that will keep making them happy for years to come.

More Gift Guides & Inspiration

Happy Gift Cards issued by MetaBank, Member FDIC. Card valid only in the US, no cash or ATM access. Use your Happy Gift Card to purchase goods and services at locations listed on card.

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