Since adolescents are so uniquely terrifying, choosing the best gifts for teens can prove tricky. No matter how relatively pleasant they are. No matter how much you know they’ll soon become nice, normal grown-ups. No matter how much they’re yours. As the chances of modern-day teenagers saying something offensive at the dinner table have decreased with their increasing socio-political awareness, the difficulty of buying presents for them has only compounded. As ever, we at GQ advise staying calm, because buying for the adolescent in your life is about to get extremely easy. From a good old-fashioned pair of Doc Martens to a room-brightening homeware item, teenagers now aren’t so different from how you were at that age. So having already compiled our guides to the best gifts for men and best gifts for women, here's our look at the best gifts for teenagers.
What are the best gift ideas for teens?
One of the most wonderful things about today’s teenagers is that gender means less than it ever has. As such, most — if not all — of the following gifts would be suitable for girls, boys and gender non-conforming individuals. For make-up, opt for Glossier, choose Harry Styles’ brand Pleasing for nail varnish, and consider adding some cult skincare brand Starface bits and pieces to the mix.
Scope out what they’re listening to this year and consider a couple of vinyl records, or the whole set-up including record player and amp if they’re yet to plumb the depths of the vinyl revival. Maybe they’d even be keen to start making their own: find a starter Fender in trending ‘60s orange and a plug-and-play Pioneer controller in our list.
There are plenty more suggestions ahead, but if all feels too overwhelming, then don’t feel like a gift card is copping out: if you nail the retailer, it can be a much-appreciated midway point between choosing the wrong thing and just putting some cash in their Christmas card. We’ve suggested the Odeon Limitless cinema pass and the GymShark gift card here, but if there’s one brand your teenager wears — or just talks about — all the time, then consider that too.
- Best gift for teens: Xbox Series S, £245 at amazon.co.uk
- Best budget gifts for teens: Baggu happy shopper bag, £14 at asos.com
- Best gift for creative teens: Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 DJ Controller £280 at argos.co.uk
- Best gift for active teens: GymShark gift card, from £10 at gymshark.com
- Best gift for style-conscious teens: Dr Martens 1460 Boots, £159 at drmartens.com
- Best gift for teens who want to update their room: Lisa Angel Dried Flowers, £34 at lisaangel.co.uk
- Best gift for TikTok-mad teens: Urban Outfitters Boo Pillow,
£39£31 at urbanoutfitters.com
Still need inspiration? Check out our encyclopedias to gifting with the best gifts for men (and best unusual gifts for men), best gifts for women, best gifts for mums, best gifts for dads, best gifts for sisters and best gifts for brothers.