21 Great Graduation Gifts That Are Thoughtful and Useful

by The Texas Lifestyle Magazine team on May 9, 2022 in Gift Guides,

Send grads at every stage of their life on their way with these top picks.


Hydro Flask Water Bottle

From epic road trips to endless hours studying on campus, this Hydro Flask 40 oz Wide Mouth with Straw Lid bottle keeps your student well-hydrated from sun up to sun down. It’s dishwasher safe and stays ice cold for 24 hours. (Hot stays wickedly hot for 12 hours.) Hydration is key to staying healthy so make sure this must-have goes to college with them. $55

NOMATIC Navigator Carry On, 37L

Oh, the places they will go! And what better way to send them off on all life’s new adventures than with the NOMATIC Navigator Carry-On 37L. This two-wheeled roller bag is designed to maximize space for life on the move. Built to hold both clothing and technology, the stylish carry-on can easily pack up to 5 days worth of clothing and a 17” laptop. The front section is dedicated to organizing their tech, cords, and other small items with multiple mesh and zipper pockets including an RFID safe pocket. It was built with the best materials in its class including a 100% Makrolon polycarbonate shell, 3 stage Aluminum handle, YKK zippers and durable water resistant materials. All around this roller bag was built to last, and will protect their gear for years to come, ready to withstand all of life’s adventures. $399.99

Ricardo’s Indio Medium Check-In Suitcase in Blush

Now that your graduate is free of ties and has plenty of time to see the world, what better way to celebrate this new chapter in their life than with a stylish and durable suitcase by Ricardo. The Indio Medium Check-In suitcase was designed for travelers who like to overpack and prefer hard-side protection. The smooth-rolling wheels move easily and stable in any direction – no matter how crazy the airport! $169

Eagle Creek’s Tour Travel Packs

College students need a great backpack for daily use but also one for weekend trips, and especially if they plan to study abroad! Designed to be the only backpack  needed for any adventure, Eagle Creek’s Tour Travel Packs offer easy access to gear while keeping valuables safe. These are compatible with Pack-It packing cubes to maximize space and great for a quick weekend trip home. From $159


High Performance LumiCharge II LED Desk Lamp

The LumiCharge dimmable LED desk lamp is packed with features a new grad is going to love, especially if they’re settling into a new apartment that’s tight on space. They’ll get a charging station, Qi 10W fast wireless charger, a universal phone dock and a motion sensor. Plus, the sleek lines make it aesthetically pleasing for both home and office décor – after all, who isn’t doing at least some WFH these days? Want even more? Then splash out on the T2W model, which has  a bluetooth speaker. Available on Amazon, and recommended by Forbes. $109

EcoLeafy Farmhouse Kitchen Canisters, Set of 3, Flour Sugar Canister Set 

EcoLeafy elegant kitchen canisters look stylish on any new grad’s countertop as they set up their new home and get their sustainable mid-century modern vibe going. Tested for food-safety, these powder-coated and enameled metal canisters are perfect for storing any dry goods such as coffee, tea, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cookies, seeds, herbs, nuts, pet food and treats, and more! With solid mango wood lids with silicon seal, and available in gray diamond and blue diamond. $29.70

Stiles Group Decoration Boards

It’s so fun to decorate the walls of a dorm room. Stiles has a  specially designed crossword tile and wooden board that allows your favorite student to change up their decoration as often as they choose. Get creative with school slogans and sports cheers to names, daily affirmations, and cheery sentiments, s/he can make it their own. $3-$130

Proper Good

We discovered Austin-based Proper Good when sibling co-founders Christopher and Jennifer Jane were featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” where they received a deal offer from Mark Cuban. These single-serving heart-healthy meals (mostly soups) are great for college students, wherever they’re living. All that’s needed is a microwave — because they’re shelf-stable. No refrigeration is needed. Choices support keto, gluten-free, dairy-free and plant-based needs and are made with clean ingredients and delivered by mail. Order in packs of 6 or 12 and look for discounts on the website. From $5.59 with subscription

Erin Condren Planners

Austin-based Erin Condren’s spiral LifePlanner™ is designed to help the new grad  reduce stress, get organized and achieve goals. This planner and calendar in one features dated weekly, monthly, and yearly planning, productivity pages, note pages, stickers, and so much more. Explore the customization options and build the perfect planner;  note that most have a feminine flair so if you’re looking for one suitable for a male check out the interior as well. From $59

Zum Laundry Soap

Every grad needs a supply of laundry care items. (We love the idea of creating a gift basket; start with a laundry basket and fill it with supplies). Zum Laundry Soap naturally cleans clothes with a plant-based, grime-busting, aromatic formula that is low-sudsing, highly concentrated, and free of parabens, phosphates, phthalates, petroleum by-products, detergents, sulfates, and anything else none of us want on our clean clothes. $12 for 32 oz, $18 for 64 oz


Kittenish Spring Collection

Graduation is an end to one part of life and the beginning of another. What better way to start a new chapter than with stylish new additions to a wardrobe? Your grad can take on campus or the streets of any city in a Kittenish neutral territory oversized sweater dress, prep for a big test in the very comfy campfire chocolate jumpsuit, and be the best dressed at any dinner party in this city chic wrap dress. Cheers to starting new beginnings with style that inspires confidence. From $32


Have them walk the stage in style with fabulous, comfortable pumps by ShoeDazzle! They’ll love the Mika Transparent Embellished Pump featuring a stiletto heel, rhinestone embellishments, and wraparound strap with a buckle. The Ishah Block Heel Sandal in sharp green is perfect to style with any spring or summer look. $36.95-$54.95

Eyebobs Glasses

Grads can step into summer looking stylish and feeling comfortable in Eyebobs glasses. They have a collection of sleek sunglasses as well as prescription glasses and more, all with a unique, durable case of your choosing. That special grad in your life will appreciate the gift of glasses that will last. From $59

Delicora Jewelry

Gift your grad something that will make her look sophisticated and feel confident at her special events or next job interview. These everyday, effortless pieces at an approachable price also go to support charities like Feeding America and Girl Up. Each necklace and pair of earrings is handcrafted with 14k gold-filled or sterling silver materials and semi-precious stones making them great to  wear every day but enough to make a statement. Delicora’s new Made for Jade Collection is perfect to bring grads good luck and prosperity in their next chapter. From $15

Sister Market T-Shirts

To help inspire each of their mental, emotional, and physical climbs (no matter the size!), this Adventure Bravely tee acts to hype them up along the hike of life — after all, all grads are off to a new adventure and need to be inspired for bravery. Gift a peaceful pop-of-pink with the peace sign tee, perfect for saying “peace out” to the past and looking forward to the future. This novelty t-shirt company is run by two sisters and they offer lots of great choices. From $25


WhollyGloss provides the essential gloss that every makeup lover should have in their toolkit. Every item gives the perfect dewy look without being sticky or cakey. Designed with every skin type and color in mind, the rich and pigmented formula shows beautifully on everyone. The high performing makeup will make them feel sexy, naturally enhanced, soft, sensual, brave, and approachable. WhollyGloss is a creative and innovative beauty brand that embodies angelic beauty. From $15


LuuF Cooling Pillow

Temperature controls can be rough with roommates. (One likes cooler while the other likes it warmer). If you have a student who benefits from a cool night’s sleep, this addition to bedding will be a lifesaver! The LuuF Cooling Pillow is designed to move with them while providing conforming support without the heat. This pillow is on the thin side, very light and easy to toss from one side to the other to amp up the cool in the middle of the night. $189.99


Give them the gift of snuggly blanket comfort with a PediPocket blanket. These perfectly-sized blankets are extra long, super soft and have a spacious foot pocket, perfect for movie watching or late night course reading. They come in 3 sizes and 21 colors so you can choose one to match school colors or room motif. $59

Magic Weighted Blanket

For those who’ve not slept under a weighted blanket, this is one of the best inventions to aid in a great night’s sleep, help with any type of anxiety or for those just needing a big hug from home. This comforting weighted blanket has been fondly referred to as “the blanket that hugs you back” and is the original “OG” of weighted blankets. Made with the softest material (chenille or cotton) and coupled with the glass beads, this will make a great addition to anyone’s new room. From $170

Cozy Earth Bamboo Comforter

Simple and stylish, but most importantly, uber soft and comfy, this Bamboo Comforter is temperature regulating, perfect for hot sleepers and humid climates. We love this for people who want something cuddly but not too heavy. Chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things for four years in a row, this bedding will add to a healthy night’s sleep. From $299.25

Threadmill Home Linen Twin XL Sheet Set

Every grad needs a great set of sheets and most will need size Twin XL. Threadmill Home Linen 600 thread count sheets will be one of the best gifts to receive, helping to secure a great night’s sleep. They are durable, soft, and give the feel of luxury without the price. They have extra deep pockets, making them easy to use and perfect for both tall and pillow-top mattresses. Great sleep = healthy living and hopefully, better grades. $59.99

Cover photo courtesy Keith Luke on Unsplash

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