It can be especially difficult to choose a gift for a 16-year-old boy. They are no longer children but not yet adults.
We asked a wide range of 16-year-old boys what gifts they would like, why they would like them, and — just as importantly — which gifts they would rather avoid.
No time to shop? Let us help! We’ve put together a list of the 50 best gifts for a 16-year-old boy using our experience, online reviews, and plenty of input from boys themselves.
- Steel-reinforced headband
- Detachable noise cancelling mic
- Mic mute & volume control
- 7-piece total routine kit
- Exclusive Art of Sport gym towel
- Dermatologist-tested & non-irritating
- Skate-influenced design
- Double-stitched multi-paneled upper
- Smooth lining & cushioning insole
- Thermal, shock, and water-resistant
- GPS, Glonass, Galileo navigation
- Monitors heart rate, activity & stress
- Adjustable strap
- Signature striped fabric liners
- Internal storage sleeve
- 360° rotating globe
- Uses magnetic levitation technology
- Both educational & decorative
- 3 buildable, posable dinosaur skeletons
- Each model comes with a stand
- LEGO construction toys compatible
- Smooth ride 125-watt motor
- High-quality 5-ply Maple deck
- Speed control wireless wrist strap
- 54” acrylic backboard
- 7.5’ to 10’ height adjustment
- Ultimate hybrid portable base
- High definition Giclee canvas
- Waterproof, UV & fade-resistant ink
- Hanging accessory kit included
What Gifts Do Teenage Boys Like?
While the best way to discover what your 16-year-old boy would like is simply to ask, this can ruin the element of surprise. So you may have to get creative to pin down a gift. Think about how he likes to spend his time, what he likes to do with friends, or where he enjoys hanging out.
Then, pick something that supports one of his pastimes. If you don’t know what games, sports equipment, books, or music he would prefer, consider buying something decorative for his room with a similar theme.
The Best Gifts for 16-Year-Old Boys of 2021
The 16-year-old boys we interviewed said these are all gifts they would appreciate receiving.
1. SteelSeries: Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset
This wireless headset by SteelSeries has a flexible, steel-reinforced adjustable headband that’s light and comfortable enough for hours of gaming. The ClearCast noise-canceling microphone is detachable and Discord-certified with the same bi-directional design as the sets used by aircraft carrier deck crews.
The headphones come with a USB-C dongle for use with the Nintendo Switch and Android phones.
2. Art of Sport: Total Routine Kit
Art of Sport has put together a fantastic seven-piece skincare set that includes an aluminum-free deodorant, an activated charcoal body wash, and an all-in-one anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner.
This set also includes a mint-scented, charcoal face wash and a daily skin lotion. And the entire set is rounded out by soap bars and an exclusive AOS towel.
3. Vans: Men's Low-Top Trainers
The Filmore from Vans combines classic skate shoe styling influences with modern-day construction and color combos. Choose from “dress blues chili pepper,” “pewter, white, black,” or “port royale, black.”
You get the comfort you’d expect with the padded tongue and collar and the trademark Vans’ “Off The Wall” phrase and logo at the rear of the sole.
4. Garmin: Instinct — Rugged Outdoor Watch
The Garmin Instinct comes in a range of models, including a solar, sports, and tactical edition. It’s made to U.S. Military standard 810G for shock, thermal, and water resistance, so you can be confident this model is going to stand up to the roughest abuse.
You can connect the watch to your smartphone, upload your fitness info to the Garmin online community, and use the GPS trackback function to find your way back to any starting point.
5. Herschel: Form Cross Body Bag
At a little over seven ounces, the empty Herschel crossbody bag is so light that you might forget you’re wearing it.
It’s large enough to hold a water bottle, phone, wallet, and a couple of other small items. It’s perfect for the times you have several small things to juggle but you still want to have your hands free.
6. Room Decor: Floating Globe
Powered by an electromagnetic field, this floating globe makes a fabulous piece of room decor that combines science, geography, and a generous dose of quirkiness.
Plug in the stand, and use the plastic spacer to set the globe. Then, take away the spacer, and you’re left with a floating world, illuminated from above.
7. LEGO Ideas: Dinosaur Fossils Building Kit
The LEGO Ideas Dinosaur Fossils Building Kit has 910 pieces. It comes with instructions to build skeletons that resemble a Tyrannosaurus rex, a Triceratops, and a Pteranodon.
Unlike some sets with multiple models, you can build all three at once. The models come with a display stand for each, which allows you to set up your own museum. You even get a tiny paleontologist minifigure to help adjust the bones and maintain the dinosaurs.
8. RazorX: DLX Electric Skateboard
The RazorX skateboard has a lightweight five-ply maple deck that’s a little over 34 inches long. The urethane wheels and custom trucks give a smooth ride, and the entire board is driven by a 150-watt motor.
A 24 GHz remote comes with a wristband and controls your speed. Riders can reach a top speed of 12 mph, and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery runs for roughly 40 minutes per charge.
9. Spalding: NBA Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop System
With a 54-inch acrylic backboard, a 16-inch offset, and an Arena Slam breakaway rim, this portable basketball hoop is sturdy enough to stand up to the most enthusiastic slam dunking your teen can throw at it.
There’s a ScrewJack lift system that makes adjusting the height a breeze, and the base is specially designed for easy assembly.
10. Street Art: Banksy — Behind The Curtain
Art can be hit and miss no matter who you are buying for, but our teens approved this canvas print. Of course, it helps that the artist is Banksy, who is as popular for the social commentary he expresses through his art as for the images themselves.
11. Pro Combo: 5-in-1 Heat Press Machine
This 5-in-1 heat press allows teens to print t-shirts, hoodies, and other clothing and items such as hats, mugs and other ceramics, and mousepads. The list of possibilities is almost endless.
Our teens love the idea of making their own clothing, printing items for teams, other groups, or even just their squad. Then there’s the opportunity to create items for sale. Some of the sixteen-year-old boys we spoke with have made significant amounts of cash by printing and selling with this press.
12. Roku: Streaming Stick+
The Roku Streaming Stick+ plugs directly into the HDMI port on the back of a TV and allows you to wirelessly stream services such as Netflix, HBO, and ESPN. Setup involves plugging the stick in, connecting it to your wifi network, and logging in to your subscription services.
The remote works as a stand-alone control and is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Plus, you can share content from an Apple product with Apple AirPlay.
13. The How-To Cookbook for Teens
More than just a recipe book, The How-To Cookbook for Teens covers topics such as how to read a recipe; the correct way to use measuring cups, spoons, and scales; and knife skills basics.
In addition to telling you how to cook a variety of dishes, this book teaches essential life skills.
14. Logitech: C922x Pro Stream Webcam
With so many teens spending time producing and consuming online content, it’s not surprising that many of those we asked put streaming gear at the top of their must-have list.
This combo pairs a Logitech pro-stream webcam with a Yeti snowball microphone. The 1080p Logitech C922x camera records or streams at 60 frames per second for blur-free video. The Yeti is an easy plug-and-play microphone without any software or drivers to install.
15. Double Trouble: Wooden Puzzle by Constantin
This carefully crafted puzzle consists of a pair of cogs, each with its own maze. To solve it, you have to navigate a metal ball through each maze and have both arrive at separate openings at the same time.
At roughly nine inches by five inches and one inch deep, the maze also makes a great bedroom decor piece.
16. Holy Stone: HS340 Mini Drone
Drones come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. If your teen wants to try their hand at aerial acrobatics or filming, this is an excellent entry-level choice. Roughly the size of an adult’s hand, the drone has three speeds, always starting on the slowest.
There’s no SD card to worry about. Instead, the drone connects to your phone via its own wifi signal. Any photos or footage you take are automatically saved to your device.
17. GlowCity: Light-Up Soccer Ball and Cones
The GlowCity soccer set is a unique gift for athletes who never want to quit. It comprises six cones and one soccer ball, all of which have LEDs so play doesn’t have to end when darkness falls.
Choose from blue, green, purple, red, or white lights in the cones, which come with the LEDs pre-installed. The soccer ball is impact-activated and stays lit for 30 seconds after a hit, kick, or drop.
18. GTRACING: Gaming Chair with Bluetooth Speakers
The metal frame of this chair is covered in high-density foam and wrapped in faux leather. The seat and armrests are adjustable, as is the angle of the back. The chair is also able to rock back and forth.
You can connect this gaming chair to your Bluetooth devices and enjoy high-quality surround sound while you work, watch TV, or game. However, if you want to connect to an Xbox or Playstation, you’ll need to purchase an additional adapter.
19. CoolSteelAndBeyond: Men’s Braided Leather Bracelet
At 8.7 inches, this bracelet is large enough for most wrists. And unlike other similar bracelets, this one has a solid magnetic clasp, so you don’t have to roll it over your hand.
The two rows of braided leather are decorated with steel elements. There are various leather and element color combinations to choose from.
Each bracelet comes with a sturdy presentation box which makes it feel more like a special gift.
20. Liovode: Programmable LED Display Hat
This is a great gift for 16-year-old boys with a unique sense of style.
Download the free app, available for both Apple and Android, and you can program your hat to display text and images of your choice. Write or draw your own display, use one of the pre-made options, or start with a pre-written design and enhance it.
The LED panel and rechargeable battery can be removed so you can wash the 100% cotton hat in the laundry with other clothes.
21. Cyberpunk 2077: The Complete Official Guide-Collector's Edition
If you’re purchasing a gift for a 16-year-old boy who loves to game, check out this beautifully compiled guide to Cyberpunk 2077. This guide skips the prescriptive walkthroughs, instead offering all of the maps, reference chapters, and spoiler-free information you need to enjoy your time in Night City.
Created by the CD PROJEKT RED team, the flowcharts show you the availability conditions and order of the missions without including mission-specific spoilers. The premium paper and printing and a hardback cover make this a book to enjoy for years to come.
22. GoSports: Shuffleboard and Curling
For tabletop game fans, this wooden shuffleboard and curling set provides twice the fun of other options.
The 45 x 13-inch board is made of solid wood and weighs a hefty 16 pounds, so there’s a feeling of quality and permanence you don’t get with other lightweight plastic or veneered options.
There are eight plastic pucks which are .78 inches in diameter, four each of blue and red. Extras are available for purchase from a California-based company.
23. Hatch: Idea Notebook/Brainstorming Journal
Notebooks are great for jotting down linear thoughts and to-do lists, but for those of us who do not think that way or for more complex ideas, check out this brainstorming journal from Hatch.
The hardcover book includes 160 pages split into three categories: Conceive, Incubate, and Hatch. Alone or together, these help you organize, structure, and implement your ideas.
24. Edge by Body Code: Keto Sweet Tooth Snack Box
Created by Edge for athletes, keto diet fans, and sweet snack lovers, this snack box would make the perfect gift for any 16-year-old boy with a sweet tooth. Included in the box are cookies, gummy bears, brownie brittle, granola bars, and more. There’s plenty of snacking variety for the hungry teen in your life.
For those counting their carbs, Edge includes a complete listing of the box contents along with the carbs in each item, so you don’t have to go searching for information.
25. Hanes: Men's Humor Graphic T-Shirt
Many of the funny graphic tees we looked at were low quality, so we were excited to find these premium Hanes t-shirts in a range of colors and with a variety of funny slogans.
Available in six sizes, from small to 3XL, these 100% cotton shirts are machine washable and pre-shrunk with a slimmer fit. Ours have survived dozens of washes and wears and still look good. However, we advise sizing up for those who like a looser fit.
26. Flybold: 40-Foot Obstacle Course/ Slackline Kit
Flybold has put together a kit that works as a standalone 40-foot slackline or a higher-level obstacle course, giving you twice the bang for your buck.
In the box, you get two 5-foot tree protectors, the 40-foot line, and a twin gear ratchet for easy installation. There are four rings, two monkey bars, and two fist holds, all of which are adjustable for height and position on the line.
The presentation box is sturdy enough for long-term storage, and there’s also a carry bag for easy mobility.
27. Numark: Party Mix for Serato DJ
Perfect for the budding DJ in your life, this controller from Numark is designed to work with Serato DJ Lite software, which is included with the deck. There are two decks with jog wheels, faders, and four pad modes for seamless mixing and total cue point control.
The setup takes seconds, and the built-in light array automatically syncs to your music for a unique audiovisual combo experience. Included with this controller are an ⅛-inch headphone jack and a primary output of the same size, so you can quickly hook up to other mixers or boards.
28. Damian Brindle: How to Drive Safely: 49 Expert Tips
This book combines a range of information, advice, and tips to help your teen not only drive more safely but also to understand why each nugget of knowledge contributes to safer driving.
It’s available in paperback or a Kindle edition and is broken up into easily digestible sections, which is perfect if your teens, like ours, have a shorter attention span.
29. Wake Up Light: Sunrise Alarm Clock
The Sunrise alarm clock uses the body’s natural responses to light to help your teen rise and shine with less trouble.
Set the alarm, and before you want to wake up, the clock will light up red. The light gradually changes in color, brightness, and intensity until you’re bathed in bright sunlight by the time your alarm goes off.
There are also seven light colors, 20 brightness levels, an FM radio, seven nature sounds, and a snooze button to let you customize your lighting experience.
30. Infinity Cube Fidget
Fidgeting can reduce anxiety and focus concentration, but many fidgets are brightly colored or childlike, which is a disadvantage anywhere outside the home.
That’s why we like this particular fidget cube from Infinity. The matte black cube comprises eight connected smaller cubes. Twist, turn, and flip the pieces to create and disassemble the larger cube. And because they’re interconnected, you can’t drop or lose any of the pieces.
31. Big Joe: Milano Bean Bag Chair
Rather than the large bean-filled shapeless beanbags of your childhood, the Milano bean bag chair from Big Joe is sewn in such a way that it maintains its bucket-chair shape.
The fabric is both water-resistant and stain-resistant, but if you do need to clean it, the chair can be spot cleaned with hot soapy water and a damp cloth. The covers can be refilled, and the double-locking zipper minimizes the chance of beans escaping.
32. Shaken: Motivational Book by Tim Tebow
Your teen doesn’t have to be a sports fan or an active Christian to get something from this book by Tim Tebow.
The football star shares how he has coped with life’s adversities and offers advice on how to keep going when all you want to do is give up.
33. Pick-a-Palooza: DIY Guitar Pick Punch
The musicians in our test group thought this was an excellent gift on two different levels. Not only does it allow your teen to make a guitar pick out of virtually any suitable material, but it’s portable, so you can easily make a pick when you have lost, broken, or forgotten another.
34. Marino: Fun Socks 12 Pair Multi-pack
Socks used to be the boring gift you received from a well-meaning relative, but not anymore. Our teens were almost unanimous in their positive comments about the gift of high-quality but fun and funky socks.
These packs come in three sizes and include three style options. The “fun” collection includes twelve brightly colored and patterned pairs. The “cool” collection has twelve pairs in slightly more subdued colors and patterns. And the “trendy” collection makes the most of polka dots and geometric patterns.
35. Razer: Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop
Available in four configurations, the Blade 15 gaming laptop from Razer has a 16GB memory, 15.6-inch screen, and the lightning-fast processing speeds you need to enjoy modern-day gaming.
It comes with a machined aluminum body and is just 0.78 inches thick, so it’s as light and portable for school as it is speedy for games.
36. LapGear: Home Office Lap Desk
This laptop desk is designed with two cushions on the underside for maximum airflow, which allows your teen to keep their computer cool, even after an extended period of use.
There’s plenty of room for a 15.6-inch laptop, a regular-sized keyboard if you’re typing from a distance, or a tablet and notebook. In addition, you’ll find a built-in mouse pad, a slot for a cell phone, and a handy carrying handle.
37. The Awkward Storyteller: Party Game
The Awkward Storyteller is a card-based game that makes it easy to transport and play without the need for a great deal of space.
Simply put, the first player picks up a story card and reads it aloud. Other players ask questions about the story, and the storyteller has to make up creative answers that align with both the story and the card that the questioner chooses to play.
Made specifically for the 16+ crowd, the game is grown-up without the cringe-inducing factor you get with some adult games.
38. Amazon Kindle: Paperwhite
Give your 16-year-old boy an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, and you give them the ability to carry, store, and read thousands of books, audiobooks, and comics right in the palm of their hand.
The glare-free screen makes it easy to read, even in bright sunlight, and the Bluetooth capability means you can pair the Paperwhite with wireless headphones for quiet, discrete audiobook enjoyment.
You get up to 21 hours of use on a single charge, and you can order, buy, and download content directly within the Paperwhite — there’s no need for a computer.
39. Walnut Hollow: Deluxe Woodburning Kit
If your teen wants to try woodburning, or if you’d like to introduce them to a new craft, this kit from Walnut Hollow has everything your 16-year-old boy needs to start. And it won’t be an expensive mistake if they find wood burning isn’t for them.
The 510c/950f woodburning tool comes with four different tips, two wooden plaques, transfer paper, templates, and colored pencils to get them started.
40. Monolike: Magnetic Bookmarks
Many readers struggle with the issue of buying and losing bookmarks, especially when they get tucked so far into a book that they’re difficult to find again.
These packs of magnetic bookmarks from Monolake consist of five thick paper bookmarks that fold horizontally and secure with the magnets inside. They don’t slip, slide, or fall out of your book, and they’re always easy to relocate.
41. Wrangler Authentics: Men's Long-Sleeved Quilted Shirt
This authentic Wrangler shirt was chosen by our “test teens” as a shirt they’d happily wear instead of a jacket or coat. Available in sizes small to 3XL, the quilted liner and relaxed fit make this warm, practical, and durable enough to hold up for most teenagers.
Choose from six color combos, each of which has a grey flannel, cord-cinch hood for extra warmth.
42. Everlit: 42L Tactical Backpack Survival Kit
When our teens go out into the backcountry, there’s often the typical parental worry that they may not have everything they need. This backpack from Everlit not only ensures your teen will have what they need in an emergency situation, but it also has plenty of room to spare for other gear.
43. Spalding: NBA Street Phantom Outdoor Basketball
If you have a 16-year-old boy in your life who enjoys playing sports, this unique basketball is a great gift option.
Rather than your standard basketball, made for court play, the Street Phantom is specifically made for play on asphalt and concrete. It is official NBA size and weight with a high-performance rubber cover for superior grip and control.
You can choose from five color schemes, all of which have the specialist outdoor design.
44. Personalized Chalkboard Ceramic Coffee Mug
Although this mug is labeled as personalized, it does not come with any personal information printed on it. Instead, the outside of the mug has a blackboard-like surface that you can write and draw on.
It comes with two sticks of chalk, and messages can be easily rubbed off, the same way you would wipe off a chalkboard.
45. Montana BLACK: 12 Street Art Spray Paints
Montana makes a highly regarded range of paints, the most popular of which is their Black spray can line made specifically for artists. You can remove the caps if they become clogged, or you can swap them out for different sizes and create fatter or thinner lines.
This set includes the 12 most popular colors made by Montana.
46. Access Denied: Vegan Leather Slim Minimalist Wallets
When you don’t carry cash, or you carry very little, a traditional wallet can be bulky and unnecessary.
That’s where the RFID-protected vegan wallet from Access Denied comes into its own. This black minimalist wallet has enough room for an ID card, four additional cards, and a little cash. It comes in a box for easy gifting.
47. Amazon.com: Gift Card in a Mini Envelope
Sometimes the best gift for 16-year-old boys is the gift of choice. When you give an Amazon gift card, you can choose between a standard or animated e-card or a physical gift card in an envelope or tin.
Your teen can stack the cards for an expensive item, buy from Amazon, or use the card to purchase other specialist store gift cards of their choice.
48. Alesis: Surge Mesh Kit
If you have a budding or intermediate drummer in your life, the surge mesh kit from Alesis comes with everything you need. There’s a four-post chrome stand, three symbols, a kick drum, a 10” dual-zone snare drum, and three 8” mesh tom pads.
You also get a pair of drumsticks, the electronic Surge drum module for recording, and 60 free online drum lessons.
49. CanaKit: Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Starter Kit
The Raspberry Pi starter kit from CanaKit provides all the parts and instructions your teen needs to build their own functioning, credit-card-sized computer.
The installation guide gives you step-by-step instructions on how to build your Pi. Items such as the heat sink and fan come complete with adhesive pads already installed, so you don’t need additional tools and adhesives for assembly.
50. Grow the F*CK Up
While the title makes it sound like a snarky gift, this book is, in reality, jam-packed with all the information you don’t know you need until the moment you need it.
Life’s hard-learned lessons are bundled together and shared with humor in this unique book. It teaches the practical challenges of changing a tire, tying a tie, and doing your taxes to parallel parking, and how to do laundry without ruining your clothes.
In an ideal world, you could physically define precisely what your 16-year-old boy would like as a gift. It would be appropriate from your point of view and at the perfect price point for your budget, or your budget would expand to accommodate the gift.
In the absence of an ideal world, we hope our gift guide for 16-year-old boys has been of help. If not, you could also check out our other teen gift guides for more inspiration.