As a younger sister to a once teen brother, I can say that impressing them is unequivocally tough—which makes holiday gift shopping…tricky, to say the least. The best gifts for teen boys evoke smiles, never eye rolls, and are (hopefully) put to use right away, instead of collecting dust in the corner of their bedroom. As a parent (or mentor, sibling, or family friend), getting the teen in your life the "perfect" gift is hard. It's likely that they'll appreciate your time just as much (even if they don't say it) , but it does help getting them a nifty trinket that they'll appreciate—it could even help bring you two closer or form a better relationship.
When holiday gift shopping for a discerning teen, you’ll want to tap into their hobbies, interests, and aspirations. Which admittedly, is a lot harder than it sounds. To get some intel on the best gifts for teen boys, I asked a few teenagers—and a few men with oddly aligning interests—to share what's on their holiday wish lists. Whether he's a star athlete in training, book worm, a budding artist, a late-night gamer, or loves experimenting in the kitchen, you're bound to find a winning gift among these teen-approved picks.
Best sports gifts for teen boys
Every teenager (and adult) I spoke to expressed enthusiastic approval for this highly rated indoor basketball hoop. It’s easy to install over your door, and even features electronic scoring and crowd sounds for that immersive game time experience.
Any young athlete will benefit from the wisdom shared by NBA hall of famer Chris Bosh in his first-ever book. From how to take criticism to the importance of honest dedication, Bosh’s words are bound to resonate with teenage athletes (and pretty much anyone, according to reviewers!).
“I want to go to the world cup one day,” says 16-year-old Alex, “having the official ball to play with my friends would be cool!” The competition ball in celebration of the 2022 World Cup is a collectible that’s guaranteed to be coveted by any soccer-loving teen.
For a teen who prefers spending his time on the basketball court, the exclusive globe design on this classic Spalding basketball is sure to impress. When it’s not on the court with him, count on it being displayed in his bedroom in all its multicolored glory.
According to my cousin Grant, the PS5 still reigns supreme among competing game consoles—and NBA 2K23 is the game on everyone’s roster. Each year, droves of sports-crazed gamers eagerly await its release, which means your sporty teen will be psyched to find this under the tree.
With over 2,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, this portable ping pot set is a gift that your competitive teenager (and the entire family) can enjoy. One reviewer says it made his home the hub for his son’s friend group “I got this for my kids to have some entertainment,” he writes, “we just popped it onto the dining table and it was perfect!”
“I’m always losing my water bottle,” says my 15-year-old cousin Michael, “it’s always nice to have a backup.” For active teens like Michael, this trusty Nalgene water bottle will keep them hydrated from school to practice. And with its bright combination of colors, it won’t get left behind. While it’s high-quality, it’s not, like, a price-y Hydro Flask, so if they do leave it behind at school, it’s not the biggest deal.
Best gifts for content-creating teens
According to my research, drones are to teenage boys what remote control cars were for us millennials growing up. Which means your teenager will be positively thrilled to unwrap this Holy Stone drone. With over 2,000 5-star reviews, shoppers say it’s the perfect drone for beginners, and that the HD camera delivers great video quality for the price.
“It would be cool to have a good microphone for streaming,” says 17-year-old Christian. Whether he’s an aspiring Twitch streamer, podcaster, or YouTube star in training, this highly-rated microphone is the perfect tool for the job.
For teenagers who love to take over the kitchen to create a new viral TikTok recipe, this recipe book is full of the app’s most popular recipes (remember pancake cereal?) that they can recreate at home.
If your teen boy is even remotely content-curious, he’s seen these viral sunset lamps on his TikTok. The sunset lamp projects a spectrum of colorful, photo-worthy gradients onto your wall, and is situated on an adjustable tripod and controllable from the included remote (and your smartphone) for added convenience.
Best gaming gifts for teen boys
“Before I got my Switch, I’d be sooo bored on car rides,” says Michael. The Switch Lite offers the same gaming experience as the original Nintendo Switch, but in a lightweight, handheld format—so he never has to suffer in silence during a long car ride again.
If your teen prefers gaming on his desktop, this mechanical gaming keyboard is a great gift that’ll elevate his experience. It features a compact, ergonomic design—along with that colorful retro aesthetic and clicky satisfaction any gamer will love.
Perfect for teens who play for long hours, this rocking gaming chair has built-in speakers that connect wirelessly to your chosen sound system, and an audio jack for their headphones. Parents and grandparents in the reviews say the chair was a hit with their kids, offered solid sound for the price, and was even comfortable enough for adults!
According to my nephew, teens are loving the Metaverse. The Meta Quest gaming system is the gold standard in VR gaming, coveted by teens (and adults) for its one-of-a-kind immersive experience. Teenage boys everywhere will be particularly excited about multiplayer gaming on the Meta-Quest and the opportunity to connect with friends.
With over 47,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, these LED strip lights are a winning gift for teenage boys looking to upgrade their video game setup. The pack comes with 100ft of color-changing lights (that can be controlled from your smartphone) giving teens plenty of runway to customize their room however they please. “Lights were easy to put up and look and work great!” writes one mom in her 5-star review, “My boys love their new lit up room!”
Being on your phone isn’t a social faux pas in this clever card game—players rely on their devices to beat their way through a hilarious scavenger hunt. “My whole family loves it,” writes one 5-star reviewer, “as do my teen and her friends. We had a lot of laughs and will play again.”
Best creative gifts for teen boys
“These are the drawing pencils I used in school,” shares my artist cousin David, “and they’re still the best! Any young artist would like them.” The kit includes 12 drawing pencils all with varying hardness, an eraser, sharpener, and carrying case for sketching al fresco.
No one is too cool for legos, and every teen artist will recognize Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night! This set a fun way to recreate the masterpiece at home. With over 2,000 pieces, you might even be enlisted as a helping hand, if you’re lucky.
Ever since my friend Kate got her little brother a Polaroid camera, he won’t leave home without it. “He keeps the photos on his wall, shares them with friends, and even brings it to family dinners,” she shares. Who could resist the instant gratification?
For the teen desperate for his driver's license
Our senior commerce editor asked her teen nephew to test this out in his hill-y neighborhood to see if the battery and motor could handle intense inclines—we’re here to report that it can. The SA3 has an auto-grade 36V/8Ah battery that gives you an impressive range of 20 miles per charge, plus a powerful motor that lets you go up to 15.6 mph (fast—but not too fast). The battery will last up to seven years (so the investment is well-wroth it), and you also get real-time LED display. Our senior commerce editor’s sister-in-law also liked it because it didn’t take much space in the garage (it folds). Score.
Best music gifts for teen boys
For the teen that’s a budding vinyl collector (they’re out there, trust me!), this Crosley Turntable is a fail-proof holiday gift. Bluetooth connectivity allows your music-loving teen to connect it to his preferred speakers or audio system so he can experience his favorite albums with maximum clarity.
While your taste in music might not always align (it rarely does, in most cases), any teenage boy will relish the opportunity to listen to their favorite song in the shower. “I keep this speaker stuck to the inside of the shower so I can listen to music in the morning,” says Christian. From what he’s told me, the SoundBot speaker lives up to its waterproof claim, has a lasting battery, and even has a built-in microphone so you can take a call mid-shower.
I actually got these Anker Noise Canceling Headphones for my teenage cousin last year (spoiler alert: he loved them) then I immediately got a pair for myself. They deliver great sound quality and are actually noise-canceling—perfect for zoning out with a playlist, long study sessions, or gaming with friends. They’re easy on the wallet, too!
Best sleep and loungewear gifts for teen boys
“Teenage me couldn’t function without the requisite 13 hours of sleep,” says my older brother Nick, “so anything that would’ve helped me sleep is a good idea.” The Glow Light’s self-dimming technology is perfect for slowly winding down before bed, and the gradual way it lights up a room is a gentle (yet effective) way to wake up—perfect for teens who can’t help but snooze.
Any teenager who values their sleep will love bundling up in this plush throw blanket. The sherpa fleece brings major softness that’s warm but not overwhelming. “[It] feels like butter!” one 5-star reviewer writes. Whether he’s going off to college, wants to be warm for movie night, or just loves snuggling up in a warm blanket (who wouldn’t?) the Amped blanket is the way to go.
Over 25,000 Amazon shoppers swear by these trusty Champion sweats, which means they’re bound to become a loungewear staple for your teen. “My 14-year-old loves these sweats!” writes one 5-star reviewer, “[they] hold up well in the washer and dryer and do a good job of retaining much of their coziness over time.”
Teens that value comfort above all else will fall in love with the Huzi Infinity Pillow. The adjustable, tubular design can be woven and wrapped in a variety of ways to deliver comfortable support wherever you need it, whenever you need it. What’s more, the breathable bamboo fabric stays cool so your teen can snooze in peace without overheating.
Outdoor Voices knows that sometimes “doing things” means getting comfortable on the couch. This super soft cotton terry hoodie is a functional and fashionable essential that any teenage boy will feel good about wearing both in and out of the house.
If you’ve ever struggled to gauge how your teenager is feeling—these socks might help. The clever happy and sad face design is sure to get a chuckle out of your teen, and in all likelihood, accurately reflects their feelings about the school week!
Best movie and TV gifts for teen boys
Give your teenage boy the gift of accessing all of your family’s streaming accounts from one super handy device! The Roku Stick is a gift that’s pretty much guaranteed to go to good use—and the long range WiFi capability will give him unfettered, crystal clear access to his favorite shows and movies with ease. You can’t lose!
Shopping for a teenager who’s part of the Marvel fandom? Probably. This Marvel Encyclopedia contains everything your teenage boy could ever want to know about the Marvel cinematic universe and its most popular heroes like Captain America, Spiderman, Black Panther, and more.
Seeing as I’d be hard pressed to find a teenage boy who isn’t a fan of Netflix’s Stranger Things, this Hellfire Raglan Tee is a solid gift choice that’s bound to be worn with pride. If they don’t know what Dungeons and Dragons is, though, you may want to send them a link.
If you’re gift shopping for a teen boy who is just now discovering the hilarity of The Office (better late than never), this special edition of What Do You Meme is a solid gift choice. They’ll be able to turn their favorite Office moments and characters into laughable memes, making it a game night favorite.
Best clothes and accessories gifts for teen boys
My nephew is always wearing basic tees, so why not get him the softest ones around? Abercrombie’s Relaxed Fit Crew Tees are made of 100 percent cotton—securing their spot as the most comfortable T-shirts in your teenager’s closet. The 5-pack includes all of the classic neutrals your teen could need to complete an outfit.
“I like to wear a small bag, or like a fanny pack when I go out,” says Michael, “it’s just convenient.” This cross body by Baggu is a functional favorite—made using durable heavyweight nylon and designed with handy inner and outer zip pockets spacious enough to hold all of your teenage boy’s essentials. Perfect for hang outs at the mall or parties with friends.
Even if your teen boy already has a pair of Crocs in his closet, chances are they don’t look like this. The black and white marble design is a cool, unique upgrade to the classic Croc style, making these a gift he’ll want to wear in and out of the house. “I got these for my brother for Christmas,” writes one 5-reviewer, “Perfect fit, perfect print/colors!”
For the teenage boy that’s also an environmentalist, the messaging on this Parks Project graphic tee is sure to resonate with his values. Who could resist the whimsical floral illustrations across the back and front pocket, anyway?
This Hidden Topography snapback pays homage to your teenage boy’s favorite national parks. A front patch illustrates the park’s colorful landscape, while the underside of the brim stars its topographical map. Take your pick from Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and more.
“Vans Old Skools were *the* shoe when we were teens,” says my husband—and according to my research, they still are. This classic Vans shoe makes a great gift choice for any teen boy, simply because the iconic, no-frills aesthetic will never go out of style, and easily complements any outfit.
Best organizing gifts for teen boys
If your teenage boy’s nightstand is littered with tangled cables, he’ll be thrilled to receive this Wireless Charging Dock as a holiday gift. It has a spot for his iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch—all in a sleek, space-saving design that’ll keep messes to a minimum. Over 8,000 Amazon shoppers swear by it, so odds are your teen will too!
For teenagers who are always heads down in a book, the Reading Valet gives his favorite novel a place to live on his bedside table—and holds his page at the same time. Complete with a space to hold a cup or mug, and a nook for his glasses (that can also be used to store his phone), this handy bedside solution will help eliminate messes and make his room a more enjoyable place to be.
“My brother loses everything,” says Kat. If that’s something you’d say about your teen boy, it might be time to get him a Tile Mate as a holiday gift. The handy little Bluetooth trackers can be placed on anything prone to being forgotten—like your keys and backpack—and tracked from your smartphone for super safe keeping.
This heavy duty felt pouch tucks between your teen boy’s mattress and bed frame, and is outfitted with large and smaller compartments fit for storing all of your teen’s must-haves—laptop, iPad, books, headphones, remotes, you name it. It’s the holiday gift your teen didn’t know he needed.
I got myself this rotating storage box last year to streamline my home desktop, and my teenage cousin was completely transfixed by the satisfying magnetic swing closure. The bottom compartment is perfect for storing pens, highlighters, notepads, or glasses, while the swinging top features nifty compartments for smaller, more reached for items. Any teen boy will appreciate the tidiness this oddly satisfying storage box brings to his desk—especially during long study sessions and exam weeks!
Best outdoors gifts for teen boys
Over 38,000 Amazon shoppers love this portable camping hammock—making it the perfect gift for any teenage boy who loves being outdoors. The lightweight nylon hammock conveniently folds down to the size of an eggplant, so it can be chucked in a backpack and taken on the go with ease. If your teen loves camping with friends, or just wants to sprawl out on the lawn or at the park, the Wise Owl Hammock is the gift to help him do it in comfort.
Every teenage boy needs a trusty backpack. As the name suggests, the Herschel Supply Co. Classic Backpack is as timeless as it gets. The simple design and durable construction will stand the test of time and become a true staple in your teen’s closet—perfect for school, extracurriculars, weekend trips away, and more.
“Nothing would upset our parents more than my phone dying while I was at the park or on trips with my friends,” says my older brother, “and it frustrated me too, of course. Everyone hates being without their phone!” Giving your teen boy a portable charger as a holiday gift means they’ll get to stay connected throughout all their adventures—and that they’ll never have an excuse for not returning your calls or texts. This also means they’ll probably be on their screens more—but hey. You win some, you lose some.
If your teenager can’t do anything without the proper soundtrack, this portable speaker will be his new favorite companion. Designed with a carabiner that’ll clip onto his backpack or belt loop with ease, the JBL Clip will bring high quality sound (and a lasting battery life) wherever he goes.
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