With adult, soon-to-be adult, and adult-ish boys in our life, we’ve spent way too much time agonizing over what to get them for birthdays and other celebrations.
To save you the time, pain, and trouble, we’ve used experience and lots of input from way too many teenage boys to compile this guide to the must-have gifts for 18-year-old boys.
- All-in-one gaming
- 3D cinematic sound
- Supports 45 and 33 records
- Latest Bluetooth v4.2 capability
- Organic gourmet food
- Hand-crafted and packed with care
- Sci-fi and fantasy recipes
- Easy step-by-step instructions
- Long enough for entire room
- Can be cut and linked
- 45 feet wireless range
- 10 hours of music play
- Ergonomic foam construction
- Lifetime Warranty
- Water resistant and durable
- Built-in USB charging port
- Easy on/off clog style
- Memory foam insole
- Design printed on both sides
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
What Gifts Do Teenage Boys Like?
With so many different interests, maturity levels, and life plans to consider, it would be impossible to compile a list of the best gifts for an 18-year-old boy and guarantee there would be something suitable.
The best way to choose a gift is to ask your teenager what they want. Failing that, have them keep a running wishlist, either on a site like Amazon or in a Google doc everyone can access.
If you’d prefer a complete surprise, look at how they spend their time, talk about up-and-coming plans, or bend the ear of their friends to help you choose the right gift.
I’ve found that offering to wrap gifts they’ve brought for a friend is a great, sneaky way to get them talking. Either they’ll say yes, please, and you can chat while you wrap, probe them about what their friend’s ideal gift would be, and gauge whether they would like something similar.
Even if they say no thanks to the offer, you can ask what they’ve brought or what they think their friend might buy them. Then, work the conversation around to their own most wanted items.
Finally, if all else fails, you can give money or a gift card and let them choose their own gift. You can choose from physical or e-gift cards, for example. There are plenty of fun ways to give money without putting it into an envelope — and we’ve included one on this list.
The Best Gifts for 18-Year-Old Boys of 2021
We’ve compiled our experience to bring you the 50 best gifts for 18-year-old boys. If there isn’t something exactly right, hopefully, you’ll find inspiration.
1. Oculus Quest 2
Open the box, download the free Oculus Quest app, and you’re good to go. Literally out of the box, high resolution, VR entertainment. The Oculus Quest is backward compatible so that you can enjoy old favorites and the latest and greatest new releases.
More than just gaming, the Oculus Quest can also be used for immersive entertainment such as new release movies, live concerts, and even live events exclusive to Oculus Quest owners.
Just make sure they’re playing well back from the TV screen, or you may find yourself part of a viral “I smashed the TV playing VR” video.
2. House of Marley Bluetooth Turntable
With sophisticated styling, sustainable materials, and an incredible sound, the House of Marley Stir It Up turntable may be the perfect gift for an 18 year-old-boy who is getting into vinyl.
The bamboo plinth holds a solid aluminum platter with a Regrind silicone pad made from recycled rubble and plastics.
You can connect to headphones or speakers via Bluetooth, so you have a truly wireless listening experience. There’s also a built-in Pre-Amp, RCA, USB for recording to your pc, and a 3.5mm Aux Out.
3. High Protein Healthy Snack Box
Snack boxes or care boxes are always a good gift for 18-year-old boys, whether they are away at college or still at home. The downside is that they can be full of fun, but sugary, salty, or highly processed snacks do not appeal to everyone.
This High Protein snack box has either 12, 20, or 30 full-size high protein, organic, non-GMO snacks that you can feel good about giving, and they can feel good about eating.
4. The Geeky Chef Cookbook
The Geeky Chef takes the most famous foods in entertainment and recreates them as authentic dishes. This cookbook is packed full of fun recipes from your 18-year-old’s favorite movies, shows, games, and franchises.
You’ll find clear, simple instructions accompanied by clear photographs so your teen can recreate those foods themselves.
The cookbook includes Lingonberry Pancakes from The Big Lebowski, Wife Soup from Firefly, Marchpane Cake from His Dark Materials, and more.
5. LED Strip Lights
It feels like every teen in the world either has or wants LED strip lights for their room.
With so many options available, it’s challenging to know which LED strips to choose. We’ve trawled the net for reviews, used our own experience, and these lights are a solid choice. Reliable, easy to install, and cuttable, you can choose exactly what you want to light and leave other areas in the dark.
Program your light patterns, use one of the eight preset modes, utilize the timer, and more.
6. Asilovi Bluetooth Beanie
The Asilovi Bluetooth beanie will pair with any Bluetooth-enabled item and allow you to listen to music, take calls, and use your device’s voice assistant, all via the subtle Bluetooth device.
With eight colors to choose from, warm, comfortable, slightly stretchy knit fabric, and a Bluetooth device that’s removable for easy washing of your hat, this beanie is pretty much perfect for any 18-year-old boy.
7. ErgoFoam Adjustable Footrest
If your teenager spends a lot of time sitting either at a desk studying, streaming, playing online with friends, or gaming on their own, it’s possible at some point they’ll become uncomfortable.
The ErgoFoam footrest is adjustable for different heights and soft enough to be comfortable for more extended periods. It can be flipped over to use as a rocker to keep the blood flowing or fidgety feet busy while you concentrate.
And if, after a long day sitting, they need to lay down, the ErgoFoam footrest can be used as under knee support.
8. 50L, 17-inch Laptop Backpack
Many laptop backpacks are stylish, slim, and perfect for a 15-inch laptop with nothing else.
This option will not only take a laptop of up to 17 inches. It also has plenty of room for a change of clothes, spare shoes, notebooks, and whatever else your teen might need while traveling.
The built-in USB charging port allows you to charge your own battery pack, then charge your devices on the go. Plus, the comfortable straps make it easy on the shoulders for more extended periods in transit.
9. RockDove Memory Foam Slipper
Slippers may not jump out as a gift for an 18-year-old boy, but we think that’s why so many of our “test subjects” said they’d be happy to unwrap these. Available in nine color combos, from the subdued to the spectacular, these are not your grandpa’s slippers of old.
The memory foam makes the RockDove slipper feel like you’re walking on clouds, but the firm rubber sole means they are as good outside as they are inside. They’re also machine washable, — which is a relief for many parents of teens. If you’re going to buy a pair of slippers, make it these.
10. Funny Quote Coffee Mug
Not everyone has a huge budget, and when you have less to spend, the need to make every cent count is greater.
That’s why we like this mug from Loftipop. Not only is there a funny, yet swear word-free slogan, but the cup itself is a good size, holding about a soda can worth of beverage.
This mug is dishwasher and microwave safe, printed with non-toxic inks in the USA, and delivered in bubble wrap. We think it’s an excellent choice for siblings.
11. Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel List 2
It can be challenging to know which places are worth the effort and which are more hype. The Lonely Planet has compiled this list to help prospective travelers make the most of their trips abroad.
This is full of maps with must-visit spots, detailed listings of must-visit locations, and an index divided by geographical locations. It features several types of places such as museums, and interests such as diving, making this an easy-to-navigate, invaluable tool for travel planning.
12. Garrett Ace Metal Detector
Detecting can be an exciting hobby, especially for those who like solitary pursuits and the outdoors. However, it can also be social, and many detectors make money by selling the things they find or hiring themselves out to find lost treasures.
This Garrett Ace option is suitable for beginners and enthusiasts alike. The submersible coil means you can detect on the beach or by other bodies of water without the worry of water damage.
Eight levels of sensitivity, a continuous depth indicator, and a reject function to ignore certain items put this detector at the top of our list.
13. SparkJump Wooden Candy Machine Kit
The crafty teen can be challenging to buy for, but our teens all said this was a fun craft they would actually use.
In the box, there are 16 pre-cut pieces of untreated wood, 30 nails and two pieces of sandpaper. It also contains a plastic 16-ounce mason jar and a starter pack of candy so you can use your creation straight away.
We found the build fun and straightforward, with only a hammer required for assembly — and our teen still has the well-stocked jar in his room.
14. Sonic Bomb Extra Loud, Shaking Alarm Clock
With a 113 dB alarm buzzer, flashing lights, and a battery backup, it’s difficult to see how your teen will manage to sleep in with this as their alarm clock.
There are multiple alarm settings and snooze options, a five-stage dimmer, and a choice between a 12 or 24-hour clock. So you can make this work for you, no matter what your needs.
This clock comes with a shake pad that you can use to augment your audible alarm or instead of the sound so as not to wake others.
15. Antique Look Mechanical Pocket Watch
This quirky pocket watch might be a fun gift choice for the teen who’s a fan of fantasy role-playing games, movies, or books.
The watch face is partially see-through, allowing you to view the clockwork movement inside. You can also order the carefully carved phoenix and dragon cover in six colors and finishes such as antiqued bronze or a shining silver.
16. Mr. Ironstone: Gaming Desk
Available with either blue or red accents, this mid-sized gaming desk by Mr. Ironside has a 45 x 23-inch carbon fiber textured surface, which is perfect for a keyboard, mouse, and snacks with plenty of room to spare.
A hole in the surface lets you thread through any wires, and there is a can holder and a rack on which to hang your headphones. There are also three outlets and two USB ports so that you can do away with extension cords.
17. Champion Men's Reverse Weave Hoodie
Hoodies are a standard wardrobe item for pretty much every 18-year-old boy, and this option from Champion is the one most boys we spoke with would want.
Plain and comfortable, available in 24 colors, three ¾ inch ribbed cuffs, and a lack of “in your face branding” make this suitable for a wide range of tastes. Meanwhile, the machine-washable fabric makes it easy to care for.
18. SomniLight Rechargeable Amber Book Light
Whether your teen is burning the midnight oil studying or unable to put down their book at a suitable time of the night, the Somnilight provides a warm amber light that causes less eye-strain than some blue light options.
The two light heads, each with four LEDs, are on adjustable arms so you can direct the light any which way you choose. We love that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives up to 20 hours of reading time on a full charge.
19. adidas Originals Superstar Shoes
These classics are a style statement for some teenage boys, while other teens see them as just a comfortable pair of leisure shoes for day-to-day use.
There are 24 color combos from which to choose, although only some colors in these classics go up to a size 20.
20. Money Maze Puzzle Box
If you want to cover all of your bases and give your 18-year-old boy the gift of money but still feel a little bad about not buying a gift, this puzzle box is just what you’re looking for.
An opening at the top of the cubic maze lets you place bills, coins, and a folded note inside. The 3D maze requires the recipient to move the ball around the maze to a specific spot. Once there, they can slide back a wedge of the cube and access the cash.
21. DEWALT Mechanics Tool Set, 205-Piece
If you are looking for a gift for an 18-year-old boy who loves cars, this 205 piece set from Dewalt is a reliable option.
You get three ratchets, a wide variety of regular and deep sockets, and spark plug sockets. There are also extension bars, combination wrenches, nut bits, hex keys, a female to male adapter, and more — all in a sturdy carrying case.
22. The Care Crate Man Box
This 50 piece crate has an appealing mixture of sweet and savory, full and fun-sized snacks for the teenage boy in your life.
From skittles, swizzles, and starburst to the jerky, nuts, and chips, there is enough variety to ensure you can have one snack every day for three weeks and still not eat the same thing twice.
23. The North Face Base Camp Duffel
Whether it’s a quick trip home from college or a weekend away with friends, this duffel bag from The North Face is roomy enough for up to four days worth of gear while being small enough to carry comfortably.
The zippered compartment on the end of the bag gives you a spot for wet clothes, dirty shoes, or quick access items.
24. The Not As Ridiculous As It Sounds Tactical Pen
The initial sniggers induced by the words “tactical pen” were soon dispelled when we read the details.
A hard, sharp point is designed to break your window in the event of a car crash, while a built-in flashlight will give you enough illumination to see what you’re doing in an emergency. The four-in-one tool is handy for bottle opening, and the screwdriver head is at least usable.
It comes with three pen refills, four spare batteries, and a presentation case.
25. Cryotex Massage Gun
This massage gun from Cryotex relieves tension, decreases pain, and is said to promote muscle repair. With six massage heads, 20-speed levels, and a rechargeable battery that give up to six hours of use, this is a solid device.
Bonus points for a carry case which also takes all six heads and chargers. It’s no wonder this massage gun is the latest must-have item for athletes in multiple sports and activities.
26. Under Armour Men's ColdGear T-Shirt
Rather than having to wear multiple layers while hiking, camping, or running, the Under Armour long-sleeve t-shirt will keep your body heat trapped close without making you overheat. The wicking material eliminates that clammy feeling, and this t-shirt is easy to wash and dry.
Alternatively, if your teens are not so active, this t-shirt looks cool enough to wear day to day.
27. BeaverCraft Beginners Whittling Kit
This introductory beginner’s wood whittling kit comes with a whittling knife, three softwood pieces, the perfect size and firmness for carving, and instructions to get you started.
This particular kit comes with a pattern for a small stylized wizard that can be carved by a first timer but will still take time and effort to complete.
We love that this kit is affordable. So if the recipient finds this hobby is not for them, there hasn’t been a significant investment. However, if they do decide to carry on, the knife in the set is a good foundation on which to build a tool kit.
28. Incohearent - The Board Game Of Words
For two or more players, Incohearent is the card game that is not necessarily family-friendly but great for a family with older, adult children to enjoy.
Each card has a phrase of apparent gibberish that one person has to say aloud. The other players must decipher the words or phrase to win the card. The player with the most cards at the end wins.
29. Thrive Men's Skin Care Set
Thrive produces a line of natural skincare for men, including facial scrubs, shaving oils, face balm, and soaps.
Multiple skincare sets are available, with each item made of vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based ingredients grown with regenerative growing processes. The unique-to-Thrive Costa Rican plant oils are said to have antioxidant and anti-irritation properties.
30. Fitness Insanity 6-in-1 Ab Roller Kit
Rather than gifting a simple ab-roller, consider this kit that includes a pair of push-up bars, two resistance bands, a knee mat, an exercise poster, and a range of online exercise videos.
The ab roller is strong enough to take up to 440 pounds, and each element in the set can be broken down, making them easy to store and easy to transport.
31. Filimin Friendship Lamps
Whether your 18-year-old boy is going off to college, or you want a way for them to have fun with friends, the Filimin friendship lamps connect to your home Wi-Fi and allow you to let others know you’re thinking of them.
Press the lamp and change the color, and the other light in the pair will also change. Buy multiple lamps at once, and they’ll be connected before dispatch, allowing you to have color-changing wars with friends and relatives.
32. The All-new Echo Dot
The sophisticated design of the next generation of the All-new Echo Dot provides a stylish decor accent and an invaluable voice-controlled assistant.
The dot acts as a speaker for music and audiobooks on your devices or any of your favorite streaming services such as Spotify or Audible. You can also ask Alexa to answer questions, set alarms, even tell you a joke.
33. Suck UK Laundry Basket
Teenagers seem to be genetically programmed to leave dirty clothes on the floor. This laundry basket from Suck UK gives your teen somewhere specific to store those soiled items, and the drawstring top makes it perfect for taking to the laundry.
As useful in a dorm as it is at home, this laundry basket is stylish enough to look good in the corner of any room.
34. The Rapid Ramen Cooker
As long as your teen has access to a microwave, they can make the staple of teenagers worldwide, Ramen noodles.
This simple dishwasher-safe, reusable bowl lets you make Ramen without the need to boil the kettle or make a mess with pots and pans. Heat-resistant handles make it safe and straightforward to make your noodle meal or snack, and the final result has less sodium.
35. USB LED Desk Lamp
This basic desk lamp with modern styling has 40 LED bulbs, capable of white light, yellow light, and natural light modes. There are five light levels, controlled by a touch-sensitive sensor and a timer for up to forty minutes, should you be in the habit of falling asleep with the light on.
36. Solar Power Bank Portable Charger
Sturdy, durable, tough, and compact, this solar charger is an excellent gift for the teen who enjoys the outdoors.
Fully charge the power bank before your trip, and you’ll have all of the power you need for phones, tablets, speakers, and more. Meanwhile, in an emergency, you can use the solar panel to top it up.
Also, Qi-certified wireless charging allows you to ditch the charging cables making this a wireless charging pad you can use at your desk.
37. Adulting 101: #Wisdom4Life
From managing your finances to applying for a job, there are 101 things we do as adults that we had to learn along the way.
Adulting 101 is an excellent gift for an 18-year-old boy because it walks you through adult milestones and how-tos. Figure out how to buy car, home, and life insurance; and avoid the most common mistakes we make when first living alone navigating personal relationships.
38. Boxing Reflex Ball Set
Two headbands, four balls, and a carry bag make this a boxing reflex set you can enjoy with others. Each color ball has different properties making them easier or more challenging to control.
If you enjoy boxing or reflex dependent sports, these will improve timing, resilience, and stamina. If you are just looking for a way to enjoy yourself, get some exercise, and have fun, these also fit the bill.
39. Yootech Wireless Charger
A wireless charging pad is a simple way to go cord-free for the teenager who’s always losing their charging cables or having them stolen by family members.
The pad works for any Qi-enabled device, so you do not have to worry about which make or model of phone or tablet your teen owns. Four charging modes, an LED light ring that turns off within 16 seconds, and built-in surge protection make this charging pad suitable for all.
40. Kinto Travel Tumbler
Most teenagers already have at least one water bottle, but the discerning teen will tell you that the Kinto Travel Tumbler is much more than a simple vessel for your H2O. The pared-down esoteric Japanese design makes this the water bottle for the stylishly active.
You can keep hot drinks hot, cold drinks cold, and run all parts through the dishwasher at the end of your day. After months of use, ours doesn’t have a scratch on it, and even a few drops from a decent height have not damaged the powder coating finish.
41. Lifeline AAA Premium Road Kit
While it’s always nice to buy your 18-year-old boy a fun, frivolous gift, sometimes the item they need most is the thing they’d never think to buy for themselves.
Such is the case with this roadside assistance kit from the AAA. The 8-foot-long, eight gauge jumper cables are suitable for a midsize vehicle up to a small truck or SUV. There’s also a screwdriver, duct-tape, essential first-aid items, and more.
42. LEGO Art Star Wars
It’s been a long time since LEGO was just for kids. AFOLs or Adult Fans Of LEGO are a sector to whom LEGO now specifically markets.
These art sets are different from regular builds in that they have LEGO dots rather than bricks, and the dots are arranged on specialist tile bases. Once your image is formed, you can hang it within the brick-built frame.
43. Wireless Graphics Drawing Tablet and Software
For teenagers interested in graphic design, animation, or photo-editing, this wireless graphics drawing tablet is ready to use without buying additional software.
The battery-free pen never needs to be charged, and the 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity give this tablet unparalleled flexibility. You can configure the tablet for left or right-handed use, and four programmable buttons provide the option to create custom shortcuts.
44. AquaSonic Ultra Whitening Toothbrush
The black series from Aquasonic is the latest in electric toothbrush technology. It provides 40,000 vibrations per minute to keep those pearly whites, well, pearly white.
The four modes offer standard brushing, gentle brush, gum massage, and deep cleaning. Whitening options allow you to tailor your oral care to whatever you need on any given day.
With a carrying case, eight additional heads, and an ability to quick-charge, this is the toothbrush your teen will be happy to use.
45. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
This personal water filter can be an invaluable survival tool for teens who enjoy hiking, camping, and exploring off the beaten track. The advanced membrane technology filters out bacteria and other microorganisms making it safe to drink directly from a river or lake.
We found it’s also an excellent gift for teens who plan to travel to destinations that may have limited, if any, fresh, clean water.
46. Amazon Gift Card
Whether you have no idea what to buy, know what your teen wants but can’t afford it, or have left it too late to track down that must-have gift, an Amazon gift card can be a great way to say, “buy what you think is best.”
Choose between several gift cardholders, or pick an ecard for near-instant delivery.
We often go this route when one of the kids wants something expensive, hence giving them a headstart on their savings but still expecting them to work for what they want.
47. Reversible Microfiber Bed-in-a-Bag
It doesn’t matter if your teenage boy is going off to college, moving in with friends, or staying at home. For now, a complete bed in a bag gives them everything they need for a fresh, clean, comfortable night’s sleep, without the hassle of buying multiple items and hoping they fit and work together.
And if you’re in doubt, every one of the 50+ teens we polled said this would be a gift they’d appreciate.
48. The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls
Four Souls has eaten up hour after hour in our home, with the older teens, younger teens, and adults in the house.
When you first read the instructions, the game appears excessively complicated. However, it’s one of those games that once you get playing, you’ll wonder how you ever had trouble working out how to play.
You have to barter, trade, strategize, and occasionally betray your fellow players as you all strive to be the first to win four souls.
49. Powerbeats High-Performance Wireless Earphones
While some people wouldn’t trade their earbuds for anything, these wireless earphones from Powerbeats are tempting enough for most people to make the switch.
Tired of your standard earbuds escaping when you’re exercising, dancing, or otherwise active? These lightweight, wireless earphones have comfortable, adjustable ear hooks that ensure your earphones don’t break loose and get away.
50. Duke Cannon Supply Co. Men’s Soap
The rather grandly named tactical soap on a rope pouch is an excellent way to use the Duke Cannon Supply or any other soap bar brand. There are two different roughness grades, so you can be gentle on some parts of the body while scrubbing away hard at areas like the feet.
Our teens especially enjoyed the name of the soap bar — Naval Supremacy!
The Best Gifts for 18-Year-Old Boys
Teenage boys are no more easy or difficult to buy for than the next person. All you have to do is spend some time chatting, observing, or on occasion spying, and you’re sure to come up with at least one or two suitable options.
If not, we hope this list has been, at the very least, inspirational and will help you find a gift for your much-loved 18-year-old boy.