Best Gifts for College Students That They Will Really Appreciate

If you have someone in your life that’s in college or going away to college this fall, then they will need many things for their adventure. Since most students live on a shoestring budget, they will get the most pleasure out of useful gifts. Unless you’re sending them money, here are some of the best gifts for college students.

How We Reviewed

After selecting a list of useful gifts for college students, we researched each one, including their manufacturers, to find the best models to buy. Then we read about their features and functions, as well as reviews and testimonials from people who own them, to come up with a rating system. Each gift is given a rating from one to five stars, with five being the highest, 

Overall Price Range

The gifts we have on the list cost anywhere from $25.99 to $439.99.

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List of the Best Gifts for College Students

Here are some gift ideas for college students that they will like and find useful.

Lemome 2019 – 2020 Academic Planner – 4.8 Stars

Planner 2019-2020 - Academic Weekly, Monthly and Year Planner
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Even though students have all types of digital devices to type notes and reminders on, researchers have found that writing them down information leads to better retention. This academic planner can help students remember their weekly, monthly, and yearly appointments and class deadlines by writing them down and organizing their academic responsibilities.

Key Features

The planner includes 12 months of weekly, monthly, and yearly sections to write down information. It runs from July of 2019 to June 2020, which follows the academic year from summer sessions through fall and spring semesters, or quarters if the school uses them instead.

The planner is faux leather and is available in black or brown, and it has an elastic band for both a closure and pen holder and calendar stickers. There is also an inner pocket for keeping loose papers or business cards in, and it has thick pages. It is available in two sizes, 5.75 x 8.25-inches or 8 x 11-inches.

Where to Buy

Lemome Planners are available at Amazon, Office Depot, and


Not applicable

​2019 HP 14-inch Laptop – 4.7 Stars

2019 HP 14" Laptop - Intel Core i3
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​A college-bound student will find a laptop invaluable because it can go to class with them to take notes, the library to study, and it is perfectly sized for a dorm room.

Key Features

​This HP laptop has a 14-inch screen with Wled backlight and a high-definition resolution of 1366 x 768. Its glossy screen allows users to see vivid colors when viewing still images and videos. It also features an 8th Generation Intel Core i3-813OU processor that runs 2.2 gigahertz and is upgradable to 3.4GHz.

It has eight gigabytes of RAM with a one terabyte hard drive and, it runs on the Windows 10 operating system.

Where to Buy

​This laptop model is available from Amazon,, and Best Buy.​​


​A one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Coolife Luggage Three-piece Set – 4.7 Stars

Coolife Luggage Expandable Suitcase 3 Piece Set
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​Whether they’re traveling home for the holidays, going to Mexico for Spring Break, or headed to New York City for a job interview, your college student will need a good set of luggage for their clothing. This three-piece set may be exactly what they need for now and in the future.

Key Features

​This set of luggage by Coolife has large, medium, and small cases for taking the items a college student needs when going home or to an out-of-state interview. They have durable ABS material that stays intact when roughly treated, and TSA combination locks that make going through security quick and easy.The luggage also comes with 360-degree wheels that move in any direction. The handle adjusts for users of any height, and it has a push-button locking mechanism. It has a skirted division on the interior with compression straps to keep everything in place.The sizes of the cases are:

  • ​Large is 20.9 x 11.4 x 30.3-inches
  • ​Medium is 17.7 x 9.8 x 26.4-inches
  • ​Small is 15.4 x 8.7 x 22.4-inches

Where to Buy

​Coolife luggage sets are available online from Amazon, Propel Store, Dependable Store, eBay, and Super Shop.


​The three-piece luggage set has a two-year warranty.

​Mueller Ultima Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker  – 4.6 Stars

Mueller Ultima Single Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker Machine
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​If the college student in your life drinks coffee, then a small or single serve coffee maker will be a welcome gift in their dorm. A machine like the Muller Ultima that uses K-cups or other pods can prevent them from making a mess when they’re in a hurry, and it will be convenient for test cramming sessions.

Key Features

This Mueller coffee maker is a single serve machine that uses K-cups or pods, so it will make coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or any other hot beverage that are in pods or 1.0 or 2.0 K-cups. It pours the beverage into five different sized cups, including four, six, eight, 10- and 12-ounce cups.

The company’s proprietary technology allows it to brew coffee, which is always hot quickly so that a student can drink a cup before class. It has a large 45-ounce water tank that is removable and has a large opening for washing it. The tank is BPA-free, and the coffee maker has UL and ETL certifications for safety.

Where to Buy

​This coffee maker is available from Amazon and eBay.


​It has a quality guarantee with no details available

​Olympia Fashion Rolling Shopper Tote  – 4.4 Stars

Olympia Fashion Rolling Shopper Tote - Houndstooth, 2300 cu. in.
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Instead of carrying a heavy pack on their backs, one of the best gifts for college students is a rolling backpack or tote. It allows them to take everything they need for the day without injuring their back, neck, or hips.

Key Features

This Olympia Fashion Rolling tote has 2300 cubic inches of space to carry books, a laptop, supplies, and other necessities across campus. Instead of having a backpack shape, it has a rectangular shape with an opening at the top for larger items. 

It also has mesh pockets on the side and the front of the tote, so there is lots of room for separating items to find them quickly, like your keys or cellphone.

The in-line skate wheels are recessed into the bottom of the frame and have metal ball bearings, so they are tough and can withstand years of use. The lightweight handle retracts into a zippered closure, and the tote has carry handles on the top.

Without anything in it, its weight is only 4.2 pounds. The dimensions of the main compartment are 20 x 14 x 8-inches. It is available in 16 colors suitable for both women and men.

Where to Buy

​The rolling totes are available at Amazon,, Walmart, eBay,, and Bed Bath and Beyond.


​It has a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

​Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless InkJet All-in-One Printer  – 4.3 Stars

Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless Inkjet All-in one Printer
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​Depending on the student’s field of study, they may have research papers, briefs, presentations, and other papers due in class, which requires them to write out and print them to turn into their instructors. A small printer like the Canon Pixma TS9120 is a perfect size for a small room.

Key Features

​The Canon Pixma is a small inkjet printer that can also scan, copy, and it’s compatible with both Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. It can wirelessly print from mobile devices, memory cards, Wi-Fi, CDs, DVDs, and Blu Ray Discs. It uses six colors of ink, including:

  • ​Pigment Black
  • ​Black
  • ​Cyan
  • ​Magenta
  • ​Yellow
  • ​Photo Blue

It has a five-inch LCD touchscreen and user interface.

Along with printing from the Cloud, it can also print via Bluetooth, a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. It can print documents and color photographs. The printer comes with a set of six ink cartridges, three sheets of 4×6-inch photo paper, USB cable, power cord, and a soft cleaning cloth.

Where to Buy

​This printer is available at Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, and B&H Photo.


​No Information was Available

​Hamilton Beach 700 Watt Microwave  – 4.3 Stars

HB 700 Watt Microwave, .7 cubic foot capacity (Black)
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​Even though your student may have a food plan as part of their room and board package with the college, late night study sessions can leave them hungry. They will find having this small Hamilton Beach microwave in their dorm to be very handy.

Key Features

​The microwave is 0.7 cubic foot with 700 watts of power and has 10 power levels with six food buttons, that includes:

  • ​Popcorn
  • ​Pizza
  • ​Potato
  • ​Frozen Vegetable
  • ​Beverage
  • ​Reheat

​It has exterior dimensions of 17.3 x 13.4 x 10.2-inches, so it is an excellent size for a small space. It also has a child-safe lockout feature, so kids can’t open it while it’s in use. It has a touchpad for the controls and an LED display.  The microwave is available in black, white or red.

Where to Buy

​This microwave is available from Amazon, Walmart, Target,


​No information was available

Comparison Table

Brand Name Product Rating Price Range Warranty


Academic Planner 4.8 $14.69 to $16.98 Not applicable


Laptop Computer 4.7 $439.99 to $407 One-year manufacturer’s warranty


Three-piece Luggage Set 4.7 $139.99 to $149.99 Two-year warranty

Mueller Austria

Coffee Maker 4.6 $79.97 to $89.97 Quality Guarantee, no details available


Rolling Tote 4.4 $25.99 to $70.00 Two-years manufacturer’s warranty


Printer 4.3 $99.95 to $199.99 No available information

Hamilton Beach

Microwave 4.3 $45.99 to $54.59 No available information

Product FAQS

​1. What are some products college students need?

​A student living in a dorm on campus or an off-campus apartment will have many needs. While some of the things they need are affordable, they could use help with small appliances like microwaves, coffeemakers, or slow cookers. They may also find a tablet, a new laptop, or beautiful bedding handy as well.

​​2. Where can you find small appliances or electronics for students?

​Almost any major electronics or department store will have small appliances suitable for dorm rooms or apartments available for sale. Another good place to buy them is online from sites like Amazon,, Target, and other retailer websites.

​3. How much should someone spend on products for college students?

​Household gifts are available at all price points, but if you’re concentrating on appliances or electronics, then you can spend anywhere from $30 to over $500, depending on the gift.

Before buying a college student a gift, find out what they can have in their dorm room and if they plan on living in a sorority or fraternity. If they do, then they may not need appliances to prepare food as Greek houses will usually have kitchens. Also, in their packets about their school, there should be a list of items they are allowed to have in the dorms.​

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The Verdict

​​​Although each product is different, and college students would appreciate receiving any of them while they’re in school, we had to select the best gift out of these seven selections. After considering the usefulness and the features of each one, we picked the Muller Coffee Maker as one of the best gifts for college students.

It will supply them with the caffeine they need to get going in the morning, something to warm them when the weather is cold and snowy, or a late-night pick-me-up when they’re studying for their finals with friends.

However, any student would find any of these gifts useful, the coffee maker is something they will use every day, sometimes all day, and it may not be something they think of buying for themselves. Along with the coffee maker, you can bundle it with their favorite K-cups or pods, so they can start using it right away.

Author: Sandy Mayberry

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