Graduation marks the end of one chapter but the beginning of another. This time of transition could lead to more schooling for some or entering the job market for others. Graduation gifts can act as a symbol of all the graduate has accomplished, help her on her way into the workforce, or give her a piece of luxury in the next stage of her journey.
We reviewed dozens of products in search of the best gifts on the market. Gifts are highly personal, but we looked for items appropriate for high school and college graduates. We checked out the practical and the purely entertaining to find gifts that will bring a smile come graduation season.
Whether it’s travel for business or pleasure, the world is waiting for a graduate ready for adventure, making the Coolife 3-Piece Luggage Set an excellent gift idea for a new graduate. The hard shell of this luggage protects breakables, keeps clothes ready to wear, and comes in fun color options. Add a telescoping handle and spinner wheels with full 360-degree capabilities, and navigating the airport becomes a no brainer.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Graduation Gifts for Her
|Best Overall||Coolife 3-Piece Luggage Set||4.3|
|Runner Up||Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera||4.5|
|Best Budget Buy||Anker PowerCore 10000 Power Bank||4.5|
|Best High School Graduation Gift for Her||sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle||4.7|
|Best College Graduation Gift for Her||ECOSUSI Ladies Leather Laptop Bag||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Coolife 3-Piece Luggage Set
The Coolife 3-Piece Luggage Set gives graduates the ability to travel the world in style or head home for the weekend. First, we love that all three pieces fit inside one another for compact storage. If there’s anything a new graduate lacks, it’s usually space. This set also provides excellent packing options. A mesh pocket on each lid and down straps to keep everything in place brings organization to the travel game.
Tight spaces, sidestepping through crowds, or winding through the security line is no big deal when the luggage can move in any direction. Spinner wheels with 360-degree movement let your graduate navigate the airport like a pro. In a hurry? A tough aluminum telescoping handle won’t bend or break but is lightweight enough that the only thing adding weight is the contents.
The ABS plastic used to make the Coolife’s hard shell provides extra protection at a price that lets you give three pieces instead of one. Speaking of protection, the set also includes TSA-accepted locks, which can speed up the process of getting through security. We always like the products that come with a warranty, and Coolife covers defects in materials or workmanship.
Coolife 3-Piece Luggage Set Key Features:
- TSA-approved locks
- 360-degree motion spinner wheels
- aluminum telescoping handle
- ABS shell
- Interior mesh pocket and down straps
Our Runner Up Pick: Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera may not have the nostalgic appeal to graduates that it does for parents, but new graduates still love the retro feel and gratification of instant photos. It’s more like an accessory than a tool because it comes in five different colors, including ice blue and flamingo pink. The camera immediately prints mini pictures and, when bought in a bundle, includes fun frames for display. Graduates on a budget may even find that their pictures work as dorm room decor.
While it’s not a DSLR, for quick pics it’s perfect. A fixed shutter speed of 1/60 sec works within four settings—indoors, night; cloudy, shade; sunny, slightly cloudy; and sunny and bright. You’ve got the basics covered, and the rest will take care of itself with a little creativity. There are ten shots per film cartridge so you might want to tuck some extra film in the box.
This camera comes with a fitted protective case and removable strap. It’s easy for a new graduate to throw over her shoulder on her way out the door for a night out with friends. The kit adds some extra goodies to the pot. First are the color filters—red, orange, green, blue—that mix it up, alter the mood, and boost creative options. The kit also includes string and clothespins, and stickers for a colorful display option that takes zero prep time.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Key Features:
- Built-in flash
- 1/60 sec. shutter speed
- Instant camera with fitted case
- Bonus accessories: filters, pictures frames, stickers, line, and clothespins
Best Budget Pick: Anker Powercore 10000 Power Bank
The Anker PowerCore 10000 Power Bank does everything you need a portable power source to do—namely, it puts out serious amounts of energy. Slightly smaller than a deck of cards, it can easily fit in a backpack, purse, or briefcase without adding considerable weight. However, it stays protected in a simple carrying bag. It holds an impressive 10,000 mAh for a charger of this size. To put that in layman’s terms, you get three phone charges (depending on make, model, and settings) before you’ll need to fill it up again.
Anker also includes its patented PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology that delivers a charge faster than comparable models. We love that it includes a micro USB cable and is compatible with stand USB cords. Of course, you can’t keep everything charged at once, but it’s got enough juice to keep a smartphone available at all times and make sure a laptop doesn’t give out when studying late at the library. Worried about surges? Anker incorporates several protection technologies to prevent damage from surges or short circuits.
Ankor PowerCore 10000 Power Bank Key Features:
- High-speed charging
- 18-month warranty
- Includes micro USB cable and travel pouch
Best High School Graduation Gift for Her: EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle with 26-inch wheels is the perfect gift for the commuting graduate. Cars can be expensive to maintain and impractical on campus or in a large city. A bike can be stored in a dorm, apartment, or house without taking up too much space. It’s perfect for leisurely rides or commutes and can be bought with several speed options. For the graduate who only needs to get herself around campus, a single speed would be ideal—simple but effective. If your graduate needs to get across town or to work, a seven or even twenty-one speed model might be more up her alley.
No matter where she goes, she’ll be riding in comfort with the dual-spring saddle bike seat. The wide surface area reduces the chances of a sore seat after a long day. What we really love is the rear rack. What can’t you strap on there? Backpack, briefcase, groceries—a student or graduate new to the workforce can firmly secure everything she needs for a full day on campus or at work. Navigation is no problem with road ready tires and a lightweight aluminum frame. Bring it all to an easy stop with front and rear handbrakes. Really, if you want to give your graduate the gift of inexpensive mobility, this bike is the way to go.
sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle Key Features:
- Front and rear handbrakes
- Rear luggage rack
- Aluminum frame
- 1, 3, 7, and 21 speed options
- Fits riders 5ft. 6in. to 6 ft. 4in.
Best College Graduation Gift for Her: ECOSUSI Ladies Leather Laptop Bag
The ECOSUSI Ladies Leather Laptop Bag brings a feminine touch to the workplace. Faux leather looks and feels like the real deal. Add some cute cutouts and playful leather bow, and your graduate will have herself a professional conversation piece. An adjustable shoulder strap keeps the length in check for either a shoulder bag or a crossbody style. Antique brass hardware gives it a classic look, especially when carrying it by the handle.
While the outside is noteworthy, it doesn’t mess around on the inside. It comes in either a 14 or 15.6-inch size to carry your average sized laptop. An almost 4-inch depth has a padded compartment, a zippered compartment, and two small slip compartments. That’s easily enough room for a laptop, tablet, and smartphone. If your graduate needs to add a few client files to the mix, there’s room for that too.
ECOSUSI Ladies Leather Laptop Bag Key Features:
- 14 or 15.6-inch size
- 1 padded compartment, 1 zipper compartment, 2 slip pockets
- 4-inch depth
- Faux leather
- Detailed cutouts and leather bow
- Three carrying options: crossbody, shoulder, and handle
Who Should Buy a Graduation Gift for Her
Graduation marks a turning point in the lives of many high school and college graduates. A graduation gift acts as a tangible way to show your support for young adults as they prepare to step into their growing independence. When choosing a gift, you’ll need to think about your relationship to the recipient. If it’s your child who’s graduating, the gift could be something practical but has meaning or value that lets your child know that you support her and want her to succeed. However, if you’re buying a gift for the child of a friend or acquaintance, something more general within a reasonable price range will probably do.
Your relationship to the graduate and their family should really tell you not only if you should get a gift but what kind and how much to spend. Even if you choose an inexpensive gift, if it’s something that the graduate will use or need, it’s sure to be appreciated. Many graduates are heading out into the world with their education and little else. Sometimes the perfect gift is something they never would or could buy for themselves. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Sometimes the best gifts are the unexpected. If your graduate has a unique hobby or interest, a gift along those lines is sure to bring a smile.
Gifts can be fun or practical and will be different based on the recipient’s age. High school graduates can get away with wild, fun, and sparkly. College graduates, on the other hand, are heading out into the professional world. Depending on their chosen field, they may need items to stock their first solo apartment or cubicle at work.
Important Features to Consider
A graduation gift for her should say, “you can do this,” or “I know you’ll succeed.” It shouldn’t say that literally, but everything about it should communicate your belief in their future while congratulating her on her past accomplishments. To do that, here are a few things you’ll need to consider:
- Size and storage. Why size? Because most graduates, whether high school or college, will have a serious lack of space. It’s the basics and essentials followed by a few precious extras so make your gift count. Compact or mini versions make great gifts by providing the comfort of home in a smaller package. Storage is also a big factor when living in a small space. Students may have a closet and a few drawers with a larger storage area for bicycles. College graduates may live in studio apartments or share with several friends to make ends meet. If you’re going big, make sure it’s something the recipient has room to use and store.
- Practicality vs. fun. Gifts don’t have to be practical but think about how the recipient can use it. Will it help them feel more comfortable or lift a financial burden? Then, it’s practical enough to give. Will it make them smile or bring a touch of luxury into their life? Then it falls on the fun side and could be exactly what she needs. Make sure the gift is all about the recipient—what she needs, wants, and wishes.
- Color and style. A high school graduate may be excited about a bright purple backpack with sparkles and a USB port. However, someone entering the workforce in their first career promoting job, may be happier with something more demure. They want to look professional, not like a care-free college student. Color says a lot about personality and preference. If it’s for the home, opt for the color that best represents the recipient’s personal taste. Items for work should look and maintain a professional appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it customary to give gifts for college graduation?
According to Emily Post, the queen of etiquette, if you’re invited to the graduation ceremony or attending the after party, a gift is good manners. So yes, gifts are customary for college graduations.
Do you bring a gift to a graduation party?
The party is the perfect time to present the gift. There’s often a gift area or table where you can leave it. If you can’t attend the party, you don’t necessarily have to give a gift. But if you want to, you can drop it off a few days before or after the party. If you’re ordering the gift, you can arrange to have it delivered near the date of the graduation or party.
How much money do you give for a college graduation gift?
A monetary gift should be based on your relationship to the recipient. Close relatives usually give more than distant relatives, for example. The same holds true with friendships—close family friends give more than distant ones. The amount you give should also be based on your financial situation. You don’t need to feel obligated to give more than you have. The amount is less important than the gesture. As long as the amount is in proportion to your financial abilities and your relationship to the recipient, you’re gift should be accepted with gratitude.
What flowers do you get for graduation?
Roses, of course, are classic and timeless. You’ll never go wrong with a beautiful dozen. However, if you want something a bit different orchids are a popular graduation favorite. They’re bright, crisp, and with their beautiful shape, they’re hard to ignore. If you want color variety, carnations come in the full rainbow. Don’t be afraid of creativity. School colors, brights, or pastels can all be beautiful.
Other Graduation Gifts for Her We Reviewed
Our top 5 weren’t the only gifts we looked at. We considered 20 other graduation gifts, and while they didn’t make our list, they are still some great ideas worth considering. They could be the perfect gift for your graduate based on her needs and interests. We’ve provided you enough information to compare and, hopefully, find the perfect gift.
We’ve broken these picks down into four categories to help you weave through your options:
- High School Graduation Gifts
- College Graduation Gifts
- Practical Graduation Gifts
- Fun Graduation Gifts
High School Graduation Gifts
A MacBook Air will last your graduate through their entire college career. At only 13.3″, it’s light enough to tote around campus, but doesn’t give up anything in processing speed and memory.
- Touch ID
- 13.3″ retina display
- Dual core 8th gen Intel Core i5
- Intel UHD graphics
- SSD storage
- 8GB memory
A chromebook is an affordable gift that will get your graduate up and running once the school year starts. A small 11.6″ screen doesn’t take much room in a backpack, and the spill resistant keyboards is meant for the unpredictable college life.
- Intel Celeron N3060 processor
- Chrome OS operating system with built-in anti-virus
- 100GB of google drive storage space
- Rubber-wrapped edges
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- 180-degree hinge
COWIN E7 Active Noise Canceling Headphones
Life in the dorms offers little privacy. Noise canceling headphones let your graduate drift into their own world to the tunes they love most. This model has an impressive 30 hours of playback time and connects via Bluetooth to any number of devices, including TVs, laptops, and cellphones.
- Includes active noise canceling technology
- 40mm aperture drivers
- Built-in microphone
- Bluetooth enabled
- 90-degree swiveling ear cups
- 30 hours of playback time per charge
Small and simple, the Echo Dot enhances study while letting the user check the weather, get directions, or make a phone call. We love that it doubles as a speaker for all those study tunes.
- Makes hands-free calls
- Connects with other Echo devices
- Smart control over compatible connected devices
- Use over 50,000 skills with Alexa
It’s time to hit the college scene with style. A streamlined design with a built-in pocket for a portable battery pack makes this backpack sleek, modern, and practical.
- Includes USB cable
- Large compartment, laptop compartment, tablet compartment, and office supply organizer
- Water repellant fabric
College Graduation Gifts
A college graduation deserves a laptop upgrade that’s ready for professional demands. The MacBook Pro brings everything to the table, including high-speed processing with an Intel Core i7 and a handy 10-hour battery life.
- Ultrafast SSD
- Intel UHD graphics 360
- Touch ID
- Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Built-in 83.6 watt hour lithium polymer battery
- 13 or 15-inch model
Heading into the corporate world can be a shock from the relative flexibility of college life. This single serve coffee maker brews several K-cup pod sizes, including six, eight, and ten-ounce cups. We love the 48-ounce reservoir because you don’t have to refill it every time you make a cup of coffee.
- One brew time
- Auto-off feature
- Removable 48-ounce water reservoir
- Easy to use controls
A first set of official business cards deserves a holder that looks professional and keeps the cards look sharp too. This classy stainless steel case is simple and holds 10 to 20 cards.
- 3.7 inches x 2.3 inches x 0.3 inches
- Stainless steel
- Holds 10 to 20 business cards
Michael Kors Women’s Parker Two-Tone Watch
A nice watch acts as a status symbol. In this case, a beautiful rose gold looks feminine while being built to last.
- 39mm case
- Quartz movement
- Analog display
- Water resistant up to 100m
Practical Graduation Gifts
Communal showers necessitate some creative thinking. This mesh caddy holds everything your graduate needs so all she has to do is grab it and go.
- Eight (8) storage compartments
- Six (6) available colors
- Mesh allows items to dry
First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Kit
Is there anything more practical than safety? From bandaids and ointments to burn creams and medical scissors, this kit has everything for those minor mishaps.
- 299 first aid supplies
- Nylon case with a plastic liner
- Compact easy for easy storage
Laundry hampers are practical but that doesn’t mean they can’t be cute. This one keeps it basic with a side for lights and darks, but add carrying handles and trekking to the laundromat is no problem
- Side pocket for detergent, dryer sheets, or coins
- Divider for lights and darks
- Carrying handles
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
Nothing says practical more than oral hygiene but taking care of yourself is part of becoming an adult. We love the fun color, but it’s really the cleaning power that makes this gift shine.
- Three (3) intensity settings
- Battery charge indicator light
- 62,000 brush movements per minute
- Travel case
Philips Wake-up Light Alarm Clock
This alarm clock relies on natural light to wake the body just like Mother Nature. Both high school and college graduates who struggle with getting up on time will appreciate a forgiving way to start the day.
- Includes dimming features for both sleep and wake up
- Five (5) soothing wake up sounds
- FM radio
Fun Graduation Gifts
Gerintech LED Desk Lamp with Charging Port
Maybe not everyone would think this is fun but for the graduate who loves organization and is tight on space, this desk lamp is hard to beat. It’s got everything—storage for pencils, a light for homework, clock, and a charging port for extra gear.
- Dimmable LED light
- Pen holder
- USB charging port
InvoSpa Shiatsu Massager with Heat
Balancing work and personal life can be tough when you first step out of college. A back massager complete with eight massage nodes can dig deep into tense muscles so your graduate can relax from the comfort of home.
- Three (3) massage speeds
- Works on neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back. waist, feet, calves, and legs
- Bi-directional movement
OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker
For the graduate that needs music wherever she goes, a portable speaker with crystal clear sounds makes the perfect gift. With five color choices, you can tailor it to personal style too.
- 100-foot Bluetooth range
- IPX5 water resistance
- 14 hours of playtime
The finals are over and a career has begun. The pressure of work life needs to be balanced with at-home relaxation. What better way to do that than with a foot bath that does it all—massage, heat, bubbles, and adjustable temperature.
- Automatic, motorized roller massagers
- Water temperature can be set from 95 to 114 degrees F
- Three (3) power settings
- Four (4) wheels for easy moving
VicTsing Mist Humidifier and Essential Oil Diffuser
Students and new professionals alike will love filling their living space with calming essential oils. Suddenly, the studio apartment turns into a home spa.
- Auto-off function once the reservoir runs dry
- Four (4) time settings
- Seven (7) LED light options
Do Your Own Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening
This book by Becky Blades is both hilarious and useful, offering tidbits of advice perfect for the new graduate with a bit of sass. Blades touches on everything from posture to finances, drawn from what she felt she failed to teach her own daughters before they were ready to leave the nest.
- Practical coming-of-age advice
- Humorous read with valuable tips
- Straightforward answers to life’s complex questions