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20 best Christmas gifts for teenagers 2023: Cool present ideas they will actually love

From beauty to tech, these are the Christmas gifts every teenager has on their wish list

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Tuesday 05 December 2023 15:32 GMT
<p>You can’t go wrong with these versatile present picks, which have been tried and tested by teenage reviewers </p>

You can’t go wrong with these versatile present picks, which have been tried and tested by teenage reviewers

Our Top Picks

Teens can be notoriously tricky to buy gifts for, with trends changing all the time and individual tastes differing too. But, whether they’re 13 or 19, they still enjoy the magic of unwrapping a special present.

Whether you’re getting organised for Christmas or seek inspiration to help with upcoming birthday buys, as always, our team of experts is here to help give you a shopping steer.

Should the person you’re browsing for be into beauty, tech, fashion, stationery, jewellery or Lego, one thing’s for certain – there’s not a naff present in sight within our round-up. And that’s because we asked a selection of teenagers to give us their honest opinion about what they’d like to receive.

We’ve got a candle making set from an independent business for craft and home fragrance fans, a skincare buy from TikTok-trending brand Rhode and Anker soundcore headphones which have just launched to keep you ahead of the gifting game. Plus, you’ll also find a Papier desk organiser for stationery aficionados, a sleek water bottle should you want a practical purchase, and an Oodie that they can snuggle up in.

Keep reading for the best presents to give teens who are friends or family members, with prices ranging from £15 to over £100.

How we tested

Our teenage reviewers spent several weeks helping us find the best presents to suit different tastes, from accessories and sportswear to skincare, tech gifts and Lego. They trialled lots of products to asses how useful, fun or stylish each one was, with only those given the teenage seal of approval making the final gift guide cut. Keep reading for our full round-up of presents for teens across all price points.

A selection of the gifts we tested

The best gifts for teens 2023 are:

  • Best overall gift – New Balance 550 trainers: £120, Newbalance.co.uk
  • Best budget gift for teenagers – Amazon gift card in a greeting card: £10, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best personalised present – Seol & Gold script name curb bracelet: £35, Seolgold.com
  • Best tech gift – Anker soundcore space one headphones: £89.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for skincare fans – Rhode glazing milk: £29, Rhodeskin.co.uk

New Balance 550 trainers

new balance trainers.jpg
  • Best: Overall gift
  • Why we love it
    • Versatile

These unisex shoes are the trainer of the moment, and an ideal present purchase when it comes to impressing a stylish teen. Available in a selection of shades including the staple white, this comfy footwear buy offers a nostalgic nod to the nineties. A remake of a pair first launched in 1989, they have a cushioned sole and upper that offers support, whether the person wearing them is walking miles or heading into town.

Our tester has sported the 550s while out for drinks, on holiday, and during dinner with friends. We like their chunky style which is still pretty lightweight, and they go with every outfit you could think of, from jeans and trousers to dresses. Plus, you can shop them in sizes 3.5 to 13.5 too.

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Amazon gift card in a greeting card

Amazon gift card.jpg
  • Best: Budget gift for teenagers
  • Why we love it
    • They can choose their own gift

If you’d rather play it safe and let the teen you’re shopping for choose their own present, this Amazon gift card is the ideal pick. It comes presented in a greetings card of your choice and can be purchased to cover an amount from £10 to £1,000. Should you be shopping with a set budget in mind, we think they’d be thrilled to receive a tenner to spend at Amazon. Plus, it’s easy to post, too.

Our teenage testers have been given Amazon gift cards for birthdays and Christmas in the past, and spend their loot on anything from Kindle books to beauty and tech buys.

  1. £10 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Seol & Gold script name curb bracelet

seol gold name bracelet.jpg
  • Best: Personalised present
  • Why we love it
    • Sturdy chain

Available in sterling silver and 18ct yellow gold plate, this trendy name bracelet can be personalised with up to 10 characters. The sturdy 5in chain has an adjustable extension of 2in to suit different sizes, and we love the look of the italic font. You could add their name, birth year or a word as the script option, depending on your gift preference. And as the writing is part of a flat plate, it sits flush on the wrist during wear too. Whether they like to layer jewellery or favour statement pieces, this standout bracelet works for both.

  1. £35 from Seolgold.com
Prices may vary
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Lego Marvel ‘Spider-Man Final Battle’ set

Lego Marvel ‘Spider-man Final Battle’ set.jpg
  • Best: Lego gift
  • Why we love it
    • Substantial set

This new 900-piece Lego set depicts the final battle scene in Marvel’s Spider-Man No Way Home movie. There are three different versions of Spider-Man included, to represent the incarnations played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland in this much-loved franchise. Plus, additional mini figures to position on the structure and re-enact fight scenes with Doctor Strange, Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus.

Our tester is a huge Lego fan and they loved building this brilliant set, which is packed with intricate and recognisable details. ‎While the 37.8cm x 35.4cm x 7.05cm Lego buy is a substantial set with lots of interesting features, it doesn’t take up too much space in a teen’s bedroom. Plus, because of the circular shape, you can access different parts of the design from all angles, which means it looks amazing on display too.

  1. £74 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Barry M dazzle & define metallic crayons

Barry m crayons.jpg
  • Best: For party season make-up
  • Why we love it
    • Works for nights out and daily wear

This trio of versatile make-up crayons comes in a selection of different shades and the sets to choose from are either neutrals or brights. We plumped for the latter to try, which includes white, teal and pink. This combination meant we could line our eyes with vibrant colour because the crayons are shaped to offer definition and they’re simple to blend or build up for a bolder look too.

While they glide onto the eyelids easily, we found the product stays put, particularly the darker teal shade, which is our favourite. Meanwhile, the shimmering white option offers a highlighter for the corner of our lids, and cheeks. Finally, we’ve also been wearing the dark pink as a pop of lip colour, as well as on our eyes. Our teenage tester has been wearing the make-up as a party look and for some everyday sparkle alike.

  1. £14 from Barrym.com
Prices may vary
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Anker soundcore space one headphones

Anker soundcore space one headphones .jpg
  • Best: Tech gift
  • Why we love it
    • High-res sound quality

Anker’s soundcore space one headphones are a brand-new launch available in jet black, sky blue and latte cream. Our tester has been wearing their pair non-stop, including on holiday, while exercising and while lounging around the house. The headphones have Bluetooth connectivity and come complete with active noise cancelling which adapts to your surroundings, making them handy for studying, commuting and muting noisy housemates.

We were extremely impressed by the high-res sound quality and with the noise cancelling feature activated you can enjoy up to 40 hours of listening or 55 hours without. Plus, the headphones are noticeably comfy to wear as there’s a soft headband and padded rotating ear cups for a flexible fit. Alternatively, if they’d prefer an in-ear pair, we’re also big fans of Anker’s soundcore liberty 4NC headphones (£79.99, Amazon.co.uk), too.

  1. £89 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Papier the jag weekly desk organiser

Papier desk organiser.jpg
  • Best: For a student
  • Why we love it
    • Useful sections

If your gift recipient is a student, this stylish weekly desk organiser will help them keep track of their schedule. The jaguar print design is a collaboration between Desmond & Dempsey and Papier, and it looks particularly chic on our tester’s desk. Inside the 240mm x 180mm planner are 60 pages, which can be torn out or kept when the week ends.

The weekly overview includes a section for each day, a to-do list notes area and a small space to plan next week too. Our 16-year-old tester has been using the organiser to stay on top of deadlines, upcoming tasks and social plans alike. They’ve also found it fun to have a space for jotting down doodles too.

  1. £16 from Papier.com
Prices may vary
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Rhode glazing milk

Rhode glazing milk.jpg
  • Best: For skincare fans
  • Why we love it
    • Helps create glowy skin

For teenage gift recipients who are into their beauty and/or keenly follow the TikTok trends set by Rhode founder Hailey Bieber, look no further than this hydrating essence. The gentle fluid is suitable for all skin types and slots easily into a daily routine, so it would work whatever their age. Key ingredients include ceramides, beta-glucan and magnesium, zinc, and copper, and together we’ve found this blend offers a calm and soothing effect.

Designed for use after cleansing in the morning and at night, our tester applied it to the skin. It can be used on the face, neck and décolleté, as well as across the limbs for a layer of moisture there too. We really rate the natural glowy effect it gives and the chic, minimalist packaging seen throughout the entire Rhode range is particularly aesthetically pleasing for a stylish teenager.

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Champion bookstore heavy fleece hoodie

Champion bookstore heavy fleece hoodie.jpg
  • Best: Clothing gift
  • Why we love it
    • Comfy and cosy

This cosy Champion hoodie is available in forest green, dark blue and off-white, and features a varsity design. It comes in sizes S-XXL and would work well shopped as either a standard or oversized fit, depending on their style. The comfy cotton piece of clothing has a fleece lining, which is ideal for winter warmth. Other signature features cover the large collegiate logo and hooped sleeves detail. Our tester has worn the hoodie with joggers, jeans, dresses and loves the effortless preppy look the branded top offers. Plus, it’s cosy for snuggling up in while wearing pyjama bottoms too.

  1. £43 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Scream Pretty smiley face charm hoop earrings

scream pretty earrings.jpg
  • Best: Fun jewellery gift
  • Why we love it
    • A fun jewellery option

Whether they’ve got one ear piercing, or several, you can’t go wrong with a pair of hoops and the smiley face charms attached to this pair add a fun emoji element complete with glittering cubic zirconia stones. The sturdy earrings click shut and we’ve found this fastening is secure and not at all fiddly to close. They’re also lightweight and don’t pull at the ears during wear.

The 13mm hoops are made from sterling silver, and you can choose between a silver rhodium or 18ct gold coating (although the gold ones are currently out of stock, so we will keep you posted when they’re available again). For an option without the drop, our tester has also been wearing Scream Pretty’s sparkling star huggie earrings (£35, Screampretty.com) regularly and loves how snugly they sit on the lobe while offering a bit of eye-catching bling at the same time.

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Chilly’s water bottle

chillys water bottle.jpg
  • Best: Practical gift
  • Why we love it
    • Lightweight and vacuum insulated

A sleek new water bottle makes for a practical present pick and this one is available in a wide selection of colours including black, red, purple, green, rose gold and pastel shades. The stainless steel bottle also comes in matte and chrome effects, and you can shop it in 500ml and 750ml sizes too. Our teenage tester has been taking the lightweight drinks holder to school and the gym, as its seal remains tightly shut while being carried around in a bag. Because the bottle is vacuum insulated, it does (as the name suggests) keep drinks cool and maintain warmth for a few hours.

  1. £22 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Glossier stretch face brush

Glossier stretch face brush.jpg
  • Best: Beauty tool
  • Why we love it
    • Useful integral case

A make-up application tool is a failsafe gift go-to if they’re into beauty but you’re not sure which products or shades to shop. This new vegan-friendly Glossier face brush is made from synthetic hair and the round shape cleverly opens inwards to be a semi-circle.

Our tester found it compact enough to offer precision and an ergonomic grip, while the integral case ensures the brush doesn’t pick up dirt while being stored in a bag or drawer between uses. We’ve noted that the bristles feel really soft on skin, and the brush’s wavy shape includes a tip to reach contours so it works well for beauty beginners and experts alike.

  1. £28 from Glossier.com
Prices may vary
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Oodie avocado

best-gifts-for-her-indybest-oodie
  • Best: Blanket hoodie
  • Why we love it
    • Wide print selection

Owing to rising energy bills, some swapped their central heating for blanket hoodies last winter – with Oodie’s wearable throws repeatedly selling out. Cost-busting credentials aside, kids love them. Trust us – our 13-year-old tester has lived in their Oodie blanket hoodie the past year while at home, taking it off only during heat waves or for a long overdue machine wash. Appealing to their indifference at getting properly dressed, it’s the ideal comfy layer for gaming, watching TV or doing homework.

Available in a range of playful prints – from avocado to pizza – there are adult sizes for older kids and smaller sizes for children aged between three to 13. The cocooning designs are finished in plush soft-to-touch flannel fleece with a warm sherpa fleece lining. A hood and elasticated cuffs keep them extra cosy while there’s a front pouch pocket for extra practicality.

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Casetify custom phone case

Casetify custom phone case.jpg
  • Best: For a cool phone case
  • Why we love it
    • Can be monogrammed

A new phone case is a failsafe gift for a teenager, and Casetify has a wide selection of designs and colours to choose from, no matter what make or model of mobile they have. Whether they like a cute pattern, sleek animal print, bold or muted shades, this brand has it all. There’s also everything from sushi to NBA creations to choose from should you want to really hone in on one of their interests.

If they love a monogrammed item though, then the custom phone case would be our pick. It comes in a selection of colours and can be made with their name or initials on. We’ve found that these hardy phone cases are extremely durable, and you can select different weight and protection levels when placing your order, so they’re worth the slightly higher price point.

  1. £52 from Casetify.com
Prices may vary
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Constant Candle pink starter set with forever holder and wax refill

candle starter set.jpg
  • Best: Crafty gift
  • Why we love it
    • Easy-to-follow instructions

This starter kit is ideal for crafty teens who like home fragrance. The set includes a stunning pink and gold holder by Somerset ceramics artist Bridget Hemings and a candle wax refill, in the scent of your choice. You can select between fragrances including fig, mint and rose, and after trying a couple we’ve found the wax burns evenly, and the room fills with enticing aroma.

The refill comes with a wick and it’s simple to make the candle by melting the wax in a pan or microwave, and we found instructions inside the gift as well as on Constant Candle’s website. Once the 45-50-hour burn time is up, they can clean out the holder and use it as an ornament or cup, or buy another refill.

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Columbia unisex city trek heavyweight beanie

Columbia beanie.jpg
  • Best: For winter warmth
  • Why we love it
    • Several colours to choose from

This on-trend beanie offers welcome warmth for the winter months and will keep them cosy in style. The stretchy hat sat snug on our teenage tester’s head, and they’ve enjoyed its comfy fit during outdoor activities in cooler weather. It’s a versatile accessory for everything from walking the dog and playing sports to hanging out with friends on a chilly day. Plus, the £22 price tag makes this beanie an ideal stocking filler and it comes in 13 colours including pink, green, red and purple, so you can choose the shade which would suit them best.

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ghd glide hot brush

ghd glide hot brush.jpg
  • Best: Hair tool
  • Why we love it
    • Offers a salon-style finish

A ghd box is an exciting gift to unwrap on Christmas morning, and we think they’ll be impressed by finding this glide hot brush inside. The clever hair tool effortlessly smooths strands to make their morning routine speedier, and our tester has been enjoying using it for both styling and refreshing their ‘do.

It’s super easy to work, with the on button triggering the brush warming up to 180C. Key features also include ceramic technology and ioniser heat, and all you need to know about these snazzy-sounding elements is that they are what ensure a frizz-busting finish. We’ve used the brush on both short and long hair, and have seen the same sleek effect that mirrors a salon-style blow dry every time. Plus, it has a professional cable length of 2.7m for reaching the mirror and the brush switches itself off after not being used for 60 minutes.

  1. £159 from ghdhair.com
Prices may vary
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Art Fund national art pass

national art pass.jpg
  • Best: For arty teens
  • Why we love it
    • Can be used at hundreds of locations

Present them with access to museums and galleries nationwide by wrapping up this national art pass, which can be used for a year. The purse-sized pass comes personalised with your giftee’s name, and the arty gift is complete with an information book about which places offer free or reduced-price entry when presenting the pass. Plus, it can unlock discounts in gift shops.

Within the book included, there’s information about hundreds of locations to visit across the country (there’s even a handy map). Museums of note include the Tate Liverpool, Yorkshire Museum and the V&A in London and Dundee. Plus, this gift comes with a subscription to Art Quarterly magazine, to further feed your teen’s interest in creative pursuits.

  1. £33 from Artfund.org
Prices may vary
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NICCE women’s Juno split hem flare leggings, winter lavender

NICCE women’s Juno split hem flare leggings, winter lavender.jpg
  • Best: Loungewear gift
  • Why we love it
    • On-trend style

These on-trend split-hem leggings have a flared finish and come in a pastel shade which can be paired with trainers for lounging in or heading out and about. Our tester has found the trousers to be comfy to wear and they’re true to size and have a slimline shape, without clinging too much. The material is midweight so doesn’t offer tons of warmth, but that makes the leggings work well layered with a cosy jumper.

There’s a matching Juno racer scoop crop top, too (£6, Nicceclothing.com), and we’re also fans of the super-soft men’s oversized mercury zip-through hoody in midnight (£68, Nicceclothing.com).

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Rachel Jackson personalised electric love garnet birthstone heart necklace

heart necklace.jpg
  • Best: Keepsake gift
  • Why we love it
    • Adjustable chain length

For an extra-special keepsake gift, this cute mini heart necklace features a gorgeous red garnet centrepiece and chic jagged edges. The heart is just 1cm x 1.1cm in size, which makes this a subtle yet standout jewellery piece. It also has an adjustable chain length that can be worn from 41cm-46cm, depending on your preference. Our tester has been sporting it layered with other chains, as well as on its own as a statement standalone style. The necklace composition is sterling silver with 22ct gold plating, and we love how much it dazzles in the light.

Your gift recipient will open a yellow Rachel Jackson-branded box on Christmas morning to reveal their new favourite necklace, and it can be engraved on the back, too.

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The verdict: Best gifts for teens

If you’re looking for an on-trend unisex present, New Balance’s 550 trainers are comfy, stylish and work well with any outfit. Meanwhile, TikTok skincare fans will be thrilled to unwrap Rhode’s glazing milk. Alternatively, Anker’s soundcore space one headphones offer an excellent tech gift with their sound cancelling features and great sound quality.

Finally, if your gift recipient likes getting creative or building something, we’d recommend the Lego Marvel ‘Spider-Man Final Battle’ set or Constant Candle’s pink starter set with forever holder and wax refill.

Looking for some more present ideas? We’ve rounded up the best gifts for dads

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