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28 Unique Gift Ideas for Teens, Tweens, and Parents, Too

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve probably listed some very specific holiday gifts they want you to buy for your gift exchange. But what if you want to go off-list and surprise your teens with some unique gifts they never thought to ask for, something that calls out their name? What if you’re still searching for that perfect Christmas or Hanukkah gift for your 13-year-old’s best friend, or your 17-year-old niece?

To help you out, we recently gifted some teens with presents in exchange for their honest feedback about gift quality, style, and level of coolness. Add one or more of these presents from this ultimate holiday gift guide to your list and you’re bound to bring a smile to the face of that special teen in your life.

Thoughtful Self-Care Gifts For Teens

1. Mermade Waver ($79)

Teen Girl with Holiday Gift Mermade Hair
If your teen longs for curly or wavy hair, but can’t seem to recreate them, maybe they don’t have the right tools. The Mermade Hair 1.25″ PRO Mermade Waver easily creates beachy, boho, and glam waves in hair with its large triple barrel. Our teenage tester gives this one two thumbs up. “The hair waver produced even, natural waves that stayed in for days. My hair was super pretty!”


2. Golde Superfood Mask Kit ($60)

Teens trying face mask for holiday gift guide
Is your teen a face mask aficionado? Now they can mix up their own Golde superfood face mask to gently detoxify, exfoliate, and support healthy, glowing skin. Made with 100% pure superfoods like chlorella, mango juice, and papaya, these nutrient-dense powder-to-gel formulas are packed with chlorophyll and Vitamin C. Our tester says, “The mask was a great experience. It smells earthy and left my skin feeling very nice and fresh! I even think I had a slight glow after 😊. Overall, I enjoyed it and would do it again.”


3. Project Discover Me ($39.99)

Project Discover Me is a self-love game for girls ages 13 and up
Looking for something to empower a teenage girl? Project Discover Me is a self-love game for girls ages 13 and up that sets out to inspire self-worth with powerful questions and conversations. Project Discover Me is a fun and meaningful way to create awareness of self-worth. First year high school student Hannah says, “The cards are ‘real’ and get to the heart of the matter. It’s a great way to challenge ourselves to think about how we feel about a given topic. It’s a journey of discovery and a way for friends to get to know themselves and each other better.”


4. Sanxtuary MD First Period Kit ($59.95)

This set makes it easy for parents to talk to their tweens about puberty, periods, and body confidence. It’s an eco-friendly option designed to spark conversation, perfect for tweens waiting to get their period, and those still getting used to it. It comes with a slip- and leak-resistant period panty, a meditation book, black pads, and lots of information. Our teen tester gives it a thumbs up. “Period panties are so great (and comfy) when you’re unsure about the whens of your cycle and you can go without worrying about stains. I also really loved reading all the info and period hacks.”


5. Guru Nanda Humidifier and Essential Oil Diffuser ($119.99)

Dry air is a nuisance during the cold winter months. This humidifier gently diffuses water in a cool mist for up to 22 hours. As an added bonus, you can add your favorite essential oil to the mist to create your personalized aroma. Our tester us grateful. “Easy to set up and use, this cool mist humidifier has quickly become a favorite. I love adding essential oils to the water for gentle aromatherapy.”


6. Guru Nanda Essential Oils Set ($58.99)

Essential Oils for Holiday Gift Guide

Essential oils have become mainstream and many teens love their calming, energizing, or focus-driving properties. So why not give a set this year? The Top 12 Essential Oils Set is conveniently bundled in a Wooden Keepsake Box. Guru Nanda’s essential oils are 100% pure, natural, and sustainably harvested from the best farms the world over. Our reviewer says, “These oils smell divine! I tried two scents: Eucalyptus and Breathe Easy. Their scent is fresh and natural. A few drops added to my Guru Nanda diffuser adds a gentle fragrance to my home.”


7. Nuderma Skin Wand Therapy ($99.95)


Does your teen want to take their skincare to a professional level? The NuDerma Professional skin therapy wand includes 6 beauty wands and 3 all-new Argon-powered applicators for improved effectiveness. It promises to boost the overall skin profile, energize the cells, and lead to better absorption of creams and lotions. Our reviewer is thrilled. “My acne is actually clearing! Wish I knew about this earlier.”


Unique Decor Gifts For Aspiring Decorator

8. DIY Miniature Kit Book-Nook ($49.99)

Nook Book for holiday gift guide
Looking for something crafty, cute, and stylish to add to your teen’s room decor? The DIY Miniature Kit Book-Nook might be the way to go. The shelf insert adds an enchanting scene to a bookshelf, and it’s even illuminated. A mirrored backing adds the illusion of an endless scene, while LED lamps add warmth and life. Our tester is thrilled. “I had to rearrange my bookshelf right away to make this the new centerpiece. It’s really fun to put it all together and I know all my friends will ask about it.”


9. BedShelfie ($39.99)

Is their bedroom or dorm room too small to fit a nightstand? Meet the BedShelfie — the first bedside shelf that simply attaches to the bed frame with no assembly or tools required. The Shelfie holds up to 20 pounds of your most important bedside items (phone, iPad, Kindle, remote, water, books) within arm’s reach while you relax. Our reviewer says, “I love this. It holds everything I need next to my bed. I have my tablet, cell phone, and whatever else I need right close by.”


10. Personalized Decorative Pillow By GiftAPillow ($37.95)

Gift A Pillow for Holiday Gift Guide
This 12” by 18” pillow makes a great gift for boarding school and college students, overnight campers, teens staying home while you travel, and those who find separation difficult. Gifting this pillow is like giving your kid a soft hug and a reminder that they’re missed. Our tester says, “This is a Christmas gift for our first-year college student son. I wish we’d known about it when he first left for school. Even my husband, who doesn’t understand decorative pillows, thinks it’s nice.”


11. Tarot Candle Trio ($145)

Tarot Candles for Holiday Gift Guide
Looking for luxury candles with a twist? Introducing the world’s first candle set designed to use the powerful mysteries of the tarot to reveal deep insight into your past, present, and future. Inside three beautiful candles, you’ll find gold plated charms and discover the secret tarot reading divined just for you. Our reviewer is in awe. “This is the coolest thing ever. The candles look like pure lux and they smell heavenly. The set comes with a tweezer to fish out your charms. I loved the ‘past’ candle, and I will burn the ‘present’ for the holidays and the ‘future’ one for New Year’s.”


12. AirCandy Inflatable Chair

Does your teen need a fun, light, comfortable spot to hunker down? The AirCandy Inflatable Chair may be just the gift you need. Indoors, outdoors, wherever and whenever, this chair is stylish, comfortable, and easy to set up. Our reviewer says, “My daughter loves her new glitter chair and it was the most sought-after spot at the recent sleepover.”

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Holiday Gifts To Keep Your Teen Warm

13. Cozy Grip Flip Mitt ($45)

Wool mittens on teen girl for Holiday gift guide
You want your teen’s hands to be warm in winter. The problem is, they won’t wear their gloves or mittens when they’re texting on their phone. The Cozy Grip Flip Mitt offers a great solution. The Merino wool and polyester blend offers softness, warmth, and durability. Plus, touchscreen-compatible thumbs and the flip mitt allow your teens to use their fingers when they need more dexterity. Here’s our tester’s take: “These mittens are great! It makes it so much easier to use a cellphone while outside. I’ve had other gloves where the touch screen finger barely worked, but I had no issues with this pair.”


14. Quince cashmere sweater ($50)

Cashmere Sweater for Holiday Gift Guide
They might be into trendy clothes, but they also love classic basics. If you’ve ever found your cashmere sweater in your teen’s closet, consider gifting them their own this year. Quince offers great cashmere pieces at affordable prices. Our tester says, “Their $50 cashmere sweater is super soft and very comfortable! I love the style, casual but classy; you can easily dress it up or down. I will definitely buy more in different colors!”


15. Swig Life 22 oz Wanderlust Travel Mug ($42.95)

coffee mug for teen girl for holiday gift guide
Teens on the go need hydration. In our house, we’re always searching for the right vessel to bring along. The Swig Travel mug is an easy choice. For teens who love a classic mug but need a larger size, the 22 oz. Travel Mug is a must-have. The design is cup holder friendly making it the perfect pick. Our tester says, “I love the design on this one, and I’m happy I finally got a mug that holds more chai tea. It has keeps my drinks nice and hot.”


16. Boba Tea Deluxe ($45)

Boba Tea Set for Holiday Gift Guide
Longing for some tea time with your teen? The Boba Tea Deluxe kit will bring the joy and fun of bubble tea into your home. This whimsical, fun, and unique drink will add magic to your memories. Get your boba on and get smiling! Our reviewer raves, “I love this! It’s very easy to make, even the tapioca pearls, which I was worried about. So far, my favorite tea flavor is Thai Tea.”


17. Turtlefur Hat ($35.95)

winter hat for teenage girl for holiday gift guide
Hats are a winter staple, for warmth and for fashion. Turtle Fur’s mission is to inspire an outdoor lifestyle by promoting socially and environmentally conscious living while creating comfortable products for every adventurer. Your teen can look great, feel warm, and know they’re choosing the right product for our world. Our reviewer loves her new product. “Warm and so cute — the best winter hat ever. My mom loves it too and wants one for Christmas!”


18. TrueEnergy Socks ($19.99)

socks for holiday gift guide

TrueEnergy socks are spaced out cool! They’re infused with NASA-inspired infrared technology that combines with your body’s natural heat to create infrared energy that improves circulation and tissue regeneration, which can help recovery and performance. Here’s what our tester reports. “When I first took these no-show socks out of the package, I thought I would hate them because they looked small and tight and I was sure they’d roll down on my feet. Boy, was I wrong! These socks are SO comfortable. They’re soft and stretchy and stay right where they’re supposed to. Bonus, my feet didn’t sweat at all and they passed the sniff test at the end of the day!”


19. PediPocket LUX ($79.99)

Even when wrapped up in a blanket, our feet often struggle to stay warm and toasty. The  PediPocket LUX is here to change that once and for all, with the utmost comfort in mind.  It measures almost 6ft in length including a foot pocket to keep your feet snug. It is substantial enough plus double-lined with faux Sherpa to keep you warm on even the most wintry of days. Our take? “This is the perfect blanket for me since I am a huge freeze baby! The foot pocket goes around my feet and will not fall off so I won’t get all whiny about having cold feet. Where has this blanket been all my life?”


Fun Gifts For Tech, Music, And Book Lovers

20. Groovewasher Record and Styles Care System ($79.95)

Teen girl tests vinyl kit for holiday gift guide
Vinyl is back! That’s right, the current wave of retro has our teens spinning tunes on old school record players. Remember all the dust that used to collect on our records? Well, that’s back too. But a cleaning and maintenance kit from Groove Washer can take care of that dust and keep your teen’s vinyl collection clean. According to our reviewer, “Groove Washer’s Record and Stylus Care System is a great birthday or holiday gift. It cleans the vinyls very well and comes with a large amount of product so you won’t run out any time soon.”


21. Girls Garage ($19.89)

Girls Garage Book for Holiday Gift Guide
Not sure which screws to buy? Need to fix a running toilet? We have just the book for you and the handy-girls in your life. With Girls Garage, your teen will learn how to tackle these problems with their own hands. Girls Garage will be a trusted household resource and a wellspring of inspiration. Our teen in residence was reluctant at first, then read the whole book. “Girls Garage is a fantastic book. It’s easy to understand and provides lots of cool projects and interesting stories. The safety section is easy to follow. My favorite sections are the parts where female builders talk about how they got into building.”


22. Aquavault ($34.95)

Aquavault Waterproof Phone Case for holiday Gift Guide
Teens take many of their gorgeous IG pictures in, around, and under water. And while I have no statistics to cite the number of cell phones that endure water damage, I’m confident that the 100% Waterproof Floating Phone Case by AquaVault will save many phones. To protect your phone from water damage or turn your device into an underwater camera, just pop your phone in the case. The case even floats if you accidentally drop it in the water. According to our expert mom, “My teenagers spend their summers in or near the water as lifeguards or just enjoying the water. A waterproof phone case is ideal to keep their phones safe and to have fun with them in the water!”


23. The Hoglet ($39.99)

Hoglet Mouse for Holiday Gift Guide
Does your teen or tween often have a fidget on hand when they’re tackling lessons or homework on the computer? The Hoglet puts one right into the computer mouse. It’s designed to provide a rewarding multi-sensory experience that, literally, kids and adults can’t keep their hands off. The name is inspired by a baby hedgehog. Soft, cuddly, and friendly, the Hoglet has a calming, centering effect. Our tester adores it. “It’s so cute! It is really handy and easy to set up! I did not need any other fidgets while working, it kept me entertained.”


24. LectroFan ($34.95)

Teen reading book with Lecto Fan
This mighty Bluetooth speaker with built-in sleep sounds is portable and small enough for any space. You’ll want to take it with you everywhere you go. Here’s our reviewer’s take: “I love using this speaker for listening to music and audiobooks, and the white noise feature is very helpful for light sleepers. It has really good audio quality and volume for such a small device. The compact, sleek design is super convenient, and I like how the top of the speaker can rotate in a smooth, futuristic way.”


25. U Bot ($75.90)

Ubot for Holiday Gift Guide with Black Teen
Does your teen love technical gadgets? This one might win you a prize. U Bot is a camera bot with smart facial recognition that rotates 360˚ to capture your every movement. Simply mount your smartphone device onto the platform and turn U Bot on. No app is needed. Our tester says: “This is a great product! It gives a whole new meaning to hands-free recording. I love the face-tracking feature.”


26. Flexsafe ($69.95)

Flexsafe Portable Small Safe by Aquavault
When your teen is at the beach or around pools, where do they put their valuables when they go for a swim? FlexSafe is a personal anti-theft safe bag that locks onto fixed objects (like a lounge chair, closet rod, or boat railing, for example) to secure valuables from getting snatched. Your teens will appreciate a secure place to store their money and tech items next time they’re playing sharks and minnows in the pool — a game still popular even among twenty-somethings. “Perfect for my son who lives in California and spends many weekends on the beach playing beach volleyball and swimming!” our reviewer says.


Gifts For Parents Of Teens
(Because We Deserve Nice Things, Too)

27. MAYU Water ($179)

Mayu Water Pitcher for Holiday Gift guide with teen girl
In the midst of holiday craziness, do you wish for more calm, peace, and hydration? Mayu Water might just bring it all to you. Inspired by Nature. Backed by Science. The whirlpool brings water and air into close contact, dissolving fresh oxygen and accelerating the evaporation of volatile compounds. Our reviewer loves it. “I love watching the water swirl. So pretty.  Better yet, the water tastes great!”


28. Colsen Fire Pit ($58.96)

Fire Pit for Holiday Gift GuideThe holidays are the perfect time to enjoy a crackling fire. The Colson Fire Pit is eco-friendly, easy to use, safe, and stylish. It’s a great indoor alternative to dirtying your fireplace or freezing outside while you stand around a winter bonfire. Our tester says: “The Colsen Fire Pit is AWESOME! Our family loves making smores during the summer, and now we can do it all year, indoors! I love how it looks and even the teens can get it going (way easier than the outdoor fire pit, they exclaimed)! They also loved the heat this small pit gives off.”


Franziska Macur divides her time between being a homeschooling mom, a writer, an amateur potter, and a wannabe funny person. She holds a Ph.D. in Communications and lives with her husband and daughters in Buffalo, NY.

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