Whether you’re a Gen Xer shopping for a niece, nephew, or grandchild or a teen scouting out a gift for your bestie, it can be hard to put your finger on just the right thing. But if you’re shopping for teens, leaning into a particular interest — like travel or technology, for example — is always a good way to go. It not only shows thought — you know exactly what they gravitate towards — but it also ups the chances the gift will be a home run.
And good news: You can target tech without spending hundreds of dollars on the latest and greatest gadgets and electronic devices. Those items are always an option if budget allows, but there are also all kinds of wallet-friendly products and cute gifts to choose from, too — think stylish laptop backpacks, mini projectors, and heated slippers, for example.
From headphones and Polaroid cameras to beauty fridges and cool kitchen gadgets, these are the best tech gifts for teens.
Teen Vogue’s Top Picks
Not everyone wants the big, bulky headphones. Apple’s airpods are smaller and sleeker than over-ear options — more comfortable for activities like exercise — but are just as noise canceling. They have plenty of techy features, too. Each pair is equipped with dynamic head tracking for improved sound, force sensor controls, access to Siri, and up to 30 hours of listening time.
Smoko Lil B Dumpling Airpod Case
There’s something so irresistible about the little bb dumpling case. And who knows, it may even act as an anti-theft feature for their beloved Airpods, since it helps disguise the tech.
Cooluli Skincare Beauty Fridge
It may be one of the most affordable beauty fridges out there, but the skincare-obsessed will love everything it has to offer, including both warming and cooling technologies that can chill face masks or warm a period cramp compress. It also has a removable inner shelf and basket to customize storage space and a molded inset handle for portability.
Nintendo Switch Lite
Even non-gamers will appreciate the fun and relaxation Nintendo Switch has to offer. The compact game console is entirely handheld — easy to tote in a backpack or purse! – but has endless play potential, from racing in Mario Kart to building interactive worlds on Animal Crossing.
3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen
You don’t have to be a budding artist to appreciate just how cool this little piece of tech is. The pen heats up multi-colored plastic inserts that re-harden almost instantly, so you can draw in full 3D. The kit comes with 15 different colors and a guidebook, but you can buy additional refills.
Rifle Paper Co. Waterproof Pouch
Their tech holds it all — important contacts, tons of great pictures… you name it. Whether they have plans to jet off to somewhere warm for spring break or have a job working at the local pool, this cute waterproof case can help protect one of their most valuable assets.
Koss CL/80 Clear On-Ear Headphones
Massive headphones are back, and this pair won’t disappoint. The sleek over-ear tech comes in an ultra-cool clear and black The headphones also have lots of convenience features like accurate acoustic sound, leatherette ear cushions for deep bass, and a six-foot cord for flexibility.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera
Because most of our phones are home to thousands upon thousands of images, it’s easy for favorites to get lost in the ether. But this camera allows you to bring your favorites IRL. Simply snap a pic and the image is printed in only a matter of seconds.
Baggu Laptop Sleeve
Give them something to protect one of their most precious assets: their laptop. This pillowed case, available in 13- or 16-inch sizes, is printed in your choice of three vivid, graphic patterns (checkered, floral, and strawberry) that not only looks cool, but is also super easy to spot in a crowded bag or backpack. Also nice: It’s made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled goods.
Philips Wake-Up Light
Waking up doesn’t have to be so hard with this smart alarm clock. Much gentler than the chime on a phone, the gadget wakes in two phases to mimic your body’s natural waking up process. The light gradually brightens, like the sunrise, to gently rouse. Of course, everything is customizable — the tone, the volume, and even the day of week.
It may be less than 7 inches on its longest side, but this compact gadget projects crisp video onto screens and blank walls. Simply connect it to the device of your choice — a fire-stick, Roku stick, laptop, TV, and more—and then adjust the picture from 30 to a truly impressive 180 inches.
Anker Soundcore Mini
Dorm dwellers short on space will love this tiny, but mighty bluetooth speaker. It’s just under three inches all around, but delivers powerful sound through an advanced 5W driver and passive subwoofer. Connect from up to 66 feet away, and enjoy 15 hours of continuous play on a single charge.
Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Level up their dorm room cooking with this beloved kitchen gadget. From big batch steel-cut oats in less than five minutes to a bubbling mac and cheese dinner and even the perfect creamy cheesecake, the Instant Pot does the hard work for you. Just set it and forget it — until it’s time to dig in, that is.
This ring light will help them bring their TikTok dreams to life with nothing more than their phone. The budget-friendly gift is highly functional — the tripod stand, which features a secure phone mount situated inside the ring, extends to more than 4 feet tall and comes with a remote for hands-free filming.
A nightstand catchall and charger all in one, this handsome linen tray will keep all of their most precious belongings — glasses or rings, for example — within reach, plus ensure their device is always powered up, no fumbling with cables necessary.
With the Kindle, they can purchase all of their favorite titles. But what’s even more alluring? Kindle connects to local libraries, giving voracious readers the option to borrow ebooks. The experience is more enjoyable than reading on a phone, too. The E-Ink display has a paper-like matte look and texture that doesn’t strain eyes the way blue light does.
Belkin Portable Charger
A full day of back-to-back classes is no match for this petite power bank. It gives smartphones up to 36 hours of additional battery life, even if there’s no outlet in sight. You know what that means: They’ll never have to stare at that dreaded red battery symbol and wonder how long until the whole thing shuts off again.
Lele Sadoughi Phone Chain
Help them add a little flair to the device they’re tethered to with this beaded and pearl phone charm by Lele Sadoughi. It contains nearly every color in the rainbow, so it’s sure to match their current case. And, as an added bonus, it doubles as a carry strap.
What can’t the Echo Dot do? The small but mighty speaker turns out tunes, delivers answers to important questions like what the weather is, plus can even connect it to smart home devices, like a doorbell, lights, and even the thermostat in their apartment.
We all know someone who, try as they might, simply can’t keep track of their belongings. For the forgetful, let us present Tile. Attach the tiny device to anything that tends to go missing — wallet, keys, or any other important item — and then track it using the compatible app or a computer. It’ll tell you exactly where it is and even play a sound to help pinpoint it.
Frequent fliers — like those who go to school in another state — will appreciate the unique functionality of this little gadget. Plug it in to a headphone jack, and it turns any non-bluetooth device into one suitable for use with wireless tech, like headphones. It’s perfect for the seat-back TVs in airplanes.
Fire TV Stick
Put literally any streaming service at their fingertips with this tiny piece of tech. All they have to do is plug the USB port into their TV (even a hotel TV!) and they’ll be able to access all of their favorites, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and more — no smart TV required.
Wireless Facial Humidifier
Available in five soft, attractive colors, this portable USB humidifier runs for up to 8 hours per charge to continuously deliver gorgeous skin, even while they sleep — no wires required. It has an extra-wide spout for better mist precision and is whisper quiet, too.
Sketchboard for iPad Pro
This iPad stand — yes, the phone nestles right into it — converts any space, whether a coffee shop table or the couch, into their own personal art studio. And if you love the idea of a gift that gives back? The company plants a tree for every stand sold.
Wireless Karaoke Mic
Let’s just say there’s no better way to take a study break than with this wireless bluetooth karaoke microphone. Available in six colors, including this cute rose gold, this little gadget connects to their phone, tablet, or computer to blast their go-to jams, plus has a built-in professional audio processor and tuning system so they can belt it out right along with their favorite musician.
Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
Help them level up their note-taking game with this smart notebook. The Rocketbook has the classic feel of a pen and paper, but is actually a digital notebook — all the notes you take in it can be seamlessly uploaded to your Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, or email.
Sunset Lamp Projector
Help them turn their bedroom into golden hour at any hour with this TikTok famous lamp. It’s an instant mood-lifter, because — really — who doesn’t love to stare at a smattering of cool colors? Plus, the projection makes for a pretty cool picture, too.
Hidrate Spark Pro Smart Water Bottle
Any active or health-obsessed teen will love this smart water bottle. No matter how busy they are, they’ll never forget to hydrate, because it’ll constantly remind them to take a sip. The bottle syncs to an app that calculates a recommended hydration goal using an equation generated by doctors. Then, a sensor inside the bottle records how much they drink. If they’re behind, a light inside the bottle glows to remind them to keep sipping until they’ve reached their goal.
Casio Vintage Gold-Tone Watch
Throw it back with a vintage-inspired Casio watch. The digital screen offers a quick way to glance at the time — no digging through a purse for your phone. The gold watch even has an alarm.
Help budding photographers level up with this small, easy-to-fly drone. It’s as light as a phone, but super powerful, spinning off into the sky in a matter of seconds to snap photos with its 720P HD Wi-Fi camera.
Colorful iPhone Chargers
What’s with the charger that comes with smartphones? It’s so short, it hardly reaches most nightstands. That’s where this set comes in handy. It includes four extra-durable nylon cables ranging from 3 feet to a whopping 10 feet, so their device will always be handy, even when it’s tethered to an outlet. The cute colors are a nice bonus, too.
Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller
Have a gamer on your list? This smartphone holder turns their device into a full-fledged gaming controller for more precision and flexibility while playing their favorites.