Our Top 20 Gift Ideas for College Graduates

Mark their milestone with a gift that will also help them settle into their new city, home or job.

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May 13, 2021

Graduating from college marks the start of a new life chapter that’s full of change and possibilities. New job! New city! New home! It can all happen so quickly. Most (all?) twenty-somethings are happy with the gift of cash, but some may prefer something that they wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves that will help set them up for success at work and at home. This gift guide is for just that. From a robot vacuum and sunrise alarm clock to a portable blender and smart travel mug, we share our favorite thoughtful yet practical gift picks for recent college graduates. Whether they're in for a long work commute or are new to living solo, our gift guide will help them embark on their new adventure with style, confidence and efficiency.

Programmable Coffeemaker

Consider this the perfect two-in-one gift: a quality coffeemaker will both prepare your college grad for the professional world and help them settle into their first apartment. We suggest easing the transition even more by shopping the Cuisinart DCC-3200 model, which can be programmed to their schedule and comes with a self-cleaning mode (so they don't have to be totally responsible).

Sunrise Alarm Clock

Entering the "adult world" is jolting as is, and the last thing your grad wants is to wake up to the blaring sound of an alarm clock. Luckily, you can gift them a sunrise simulator, which will help them wake up before their alarm and always get to work on time.

Sophisticated Smartwatch

Of course, a good wristwatch never goes out of style. Sophisticated with its leather band, this stylish smartwatch will elevate your grad's professional wardrobe and keep them right on schedule. It looks simple but it keeps track of everything, from heart rate and step count to calendar alerts and social media notifications. We love how the stick indexes and watch hands create a classic analog look, which is perfect for a young professional.

Convertible Backpack

Set them up for success with a backpack that converts into a shoulder bag. They can wear the piece as a backpack on their way to work, then switch it to a shoulder bag once they've arrived at the office. Plus, exterior zip pockets and a laptop compartment ensure they've got a place for all their gear.

Wireless Headphones

We have a feeling that your college grad will gladly accept a new pair of wireless headphones. Featuring built-in Google Assistant, these babies are Bluetooth compatible, noise-canceling, comfortable and essential for their morning commute or cubicle.

Always-Prepared Pouch

With room for their small personal items, this pouch is perfect for grads who will soon spend their days running from meeting to meeting. Since the accessory is so compact, it'll slip right into their bag or serve as a wonderful wallet during Happy Hour.

Daily Planner

Help your young professional keep track of upcoming assignments and appointments with this daily planner. We love this gift specifically because each page comes with a spot for daily objectives, schedules, to-do lists, projects and notes. We're pretty sure there's even room to pencil in phone calls to Mom and Dad.

Reusable Lunchbox

Buying lunch every day gets expensive pretty quickly, so encourage your young professional to be budget-savvy and pack their meals in this to-go bowl. The durable design pairs a rigid lid with a snap-tight strap, so the contents will stay safe until they've arrived at their desk.

Blue Light-Blocking Glasses

Whether they're submitting applications or sitting at their very own desk, your grad will definitely appreciate a pair of blue light-blocking glasses. These cool frames from DIFF Eyewear filter out harmful blue rays from computer screens, thereby preventing eye fatigue and headaches.

Chic Carry-On

Help them travel in style with a fashionable and functional carry-on bag. The Heys Terra-Lite is constructed of lightweight polycarbonate composite with a brushed metal texture that offers a sleek, sophisticated look for a new business traveler. The 360-degree spinner wheels, built-in combination lock, zipper-release expansion system and gel-cushioned handles will make trips both near and far a breeze.

Sparkling Water Maker

Help them save money and stay hydrated with a SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker. With a large assortment of flavors, they'll be able to get their Bubly, kombucha and soda fixes right at home, whenever they need it.

Quality Bedding

Never underestimate the power of high-quality bedding. This lustrous 300-thread-count bedding set is a far cry from those twin XL dorm sheets. This complete set of essentials comes with (almost) everything they'll need to outfit their bed in comfort: a duvet cover, flat sheet, fitted sheet, two shams and two pillowcases.

Personal Blender

This powerful personal blender will help them stay on top of their healthy eating goal with just a twist. This nine-piece NutriBullet Pro set even comes with an easy-to-clean flip-top lid so they can enjoy their concoctions on the go.

Smart Home Device

Give their new grown-up home a high-tech makeover with a smart home device, like this Google Home Mini, that will answer questions, provide news and traffic updates, play music, manage everyday tasks and more.

Robot Vacuum

They'll have no excuse for a dirty home if you gift them a hard-working robot vacuum, like this iRobot Roomba. By using an app from their phone (even while sitting at their desk), they can start and schedule cleanings, so everything will be spotless when they arrive at home each evening.

Fabric Steamer

Help keep their work clothes pressed and professional with a fabric steamer that not only releases wrinkles but also kills 99.9-percent of germs and bacteria (think post-subway rides). Plus, it's small enough to store in a drawer — no bulky ironing board needed.

Travel Mug

Long commute? Long day of meetings? Let your grad enjoy their favorite brew at the perfect temperature with the Ember Mug2. This sleek travel mug will allow them to control and view the temperature of their beloved caffeinated beverage right on the mug. No more cold cups of coffee.

Weighted Blanket

Nothing will help relieve the stress from a busy day quite like a cozy weighted blanket. Made with a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, this Gravity blanket will provide the soothing benefits of a weighted blanket in a cooler style for hot sleepers. It even features a 300-thread-count designer cover that will look beautiful draped across their sofa or bed.

Nostalgic Candle

Whether they're missing their home state or feeling nostalgic for their college days, a Homesick candle will bring the memories rolling back with a variety of states, cities and occasions to choose from.

Chic Card Case

A fancy card case is exactly what they need for all those networking events. Plus, it can also double as a smaller wallet for Happy Hour and quick, afternoon coffee runs.

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