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8 Practical Gen Z Gifts They’ll Actually Use

A Fujifilm camera, Beats headphones, and a water bottle

You probably have at least one Gen Zer on your Christmas list this year, and if you aren’t sure what to get them, you’re not alone. The trends of today’s youth are constantly changing, and it can feel impossible to know what to get someone who’s in the know about everything from modern slang to climate change. But never fear: we rounded up some practical gifts that will surely be appreciated by the high schooler or college student in your life.

Beats Wireless Headphones

A pair of black Beats headphones

If they don’t already own a good pair of over-the-ear headphones, any Gen Zer would be happy to receive one. While Apple headphones are all the rage, they also come with a hefty $550 price tag that is out of the budget of the average American.

A great more affordable alternative is a pair of Beats Wireless Headphones. These are still cool and several hundred dollars cheaper than Apple’s version. They’re compatible with Apple and Android phones, and will come in handy while traveling, gaming, studying, or just lounging.

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

The perfect accessory for pretty much anyone.

Portable Blender

A pink blender

Whether they live in a college dorm or are always running late to school, a portable blender will be incredibly useful for someone in their teens or early 20s. This one is rechargeable so it can be used cord-free to blend healthy breakfasts and snacks on the go.

Small but powerful, this blender is perfect for anyone who wants more fruit and veggies in their diet. It’s also easy to clean—just add soap and water before blending and rinsing.

Portable Blender

Make smoothies on the go.

Owala Water Bottle

A blue water bottle and a multicolored water bottle

Everyone has a Hydroflask already, but they aren’t ready for the Owala water bottle. This product has gone viral on TikTok recently and deserves all the hype.

Double-wall insulation keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours while a protective push-to-open lid keeps the spout clean from nasty germs. You’ll also find a discreet carrying loop for convenience and a spout that allows you to drink through the built-in straw or take a swig by tilting the bottle back. The only downside to this water bottle is that it goes out of stock frequently, so grab one while you can.

Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

A great water bottle they'll be thankful to have.

Weighted Blanket

Gray weighted blankets

Weighted blankets aren’t just a fad—ongoing research has shown they can help relieve stress and decrease anxiety. This weighted blanket fits a twin bed and is best for someone between 110-140 pounds.

A weighted blanket is a great gift for a stressed-out high schooler or college student. You can also choose from a variety of sizes, weights, and colors. Generally, you want a blanket that weighs about 10% of someone’s body weight.

YnM 15lbs Weighted Blanket

Stay cozy and reduce stress.

Fujifilm Instant Camera

A purple and teal Fujifilm instant camera

Baggy jeans and funky patterns have been popular among Zoomers this year, which means they love a good throwback. This Fujifilm Instant Camera lets them enter a different decade while offering some practical use as well.

Although instant cameras are old-school, this model has some modern upgrades, like automatic exposure settings and a special mode for selfies. It also operates with just two AA batteries.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

Throwback to a cool camera with some modern upgrades.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oil diffusers

Diffusers are popular among Millenials, but that doesn’t mean today’s teens won’t like them. With the ability to fill any room with a clean and fresh fragrance, this essential oil diffuser would make a great gift for someone in living a small dorm room or who stays in their bedroom all day.

Choose from five different designs to match their vibe, or pick the option that has seven different light settings. You can set the diffuser to mist fragrance at varying intervals, and a safety setting automatically shuts it off when the water supply runs out.

InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser

Freshen up any room with essential oils.

Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker

A single serving Keurig machine sits on a kitchen countertop next to a container of utensils.

Most college students need at least one cup of coffee to get them through the day. Whether they live at home, in a dorm, or in their first apartment, this mini coffee maker is great for people with small living spaces.

It’s only 5 inches wide and 11 inches deep, so it’s easy to store in a counter corner or cabinet. It also stores multiple K-cup pods at a time. Fortunately, coffee is one thing you know will never go out of style.

Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker

An easy way to make coffee for one.

Sunrise Alarm Clock

A sunrise alarm clock and someone reads in bed

Getting up early is hard for everyone, and always seems especially hard for teens and people in their early 20s. Make it a little easier for the Gen Zer in your life by gifting them this Sunrise Alarm Clock.

This clock uses a sunrise simulation light and natural sounds to gently wake you up by the time your alarm is supposed to go off. While the yellow/orange hue will best simulate a sunrise, you can also change the settings to blue, purple, red, or green light instead. And, for those with small spaces, it doubles as a bedside lamp for reading and winding down for the night.

Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock

Help them wake up easier.

When in doubt about the right gift, go for something cool and practical. Regardless of their fashion preferences or social media status, there’s something on this list that every Gen Zer will appreciate.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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