The best 18th birthday gifts that they'll actually use and appreciate

We've rounded up the best 18th birthday gifts that'll help your teen navigate adulthood, from practical finds to sentimental treasures

A composite image of three of the best 18th birthday gifts with a M&S beige puffer bag on the far left, a person holding the Glossier You perfume in the middle, and the Dior Glow Lip Oil on the far right.
(Image credit: Future)

Nailing the best 18th birthday gifts for every type of soon-to-be adult can be tricky. But whether they're beauty lovers, have a penchant for perfumes, or need to spruce up their wardrobe, these top picks have you covered. 

Turning 18 is a major milestone—it's the first stage of adulthood where you can finally vote, get a tattoo, and even skydive. Inevitably, gift-givers are responsible for finding a present that's several notches above what their teen already has, whether that means investing in one of the best perfumes or a much-coveted designer bag to start their collection. 

We've put together our picks of the best 18th birthday gifts, which can be purchased online and shipped straight to your front door. Our curation offers both timeless and trendy finds for their pursuits—from starting university to travelling solo for the first time to filming the latest TikTok dance. 

With guidance direct from Gen-Zers, this 18th birthday gift guide will ensure your beloved giftee won't deem you as cheugy (aka out with the times) and will love their present.

The best 18th birthday gifts to make an impression

Where to find the best 18th birthday gifts

Beauty gifts

Fashion gifts

Wellness gifts

How do you make someone's 18th birthday special? 

According to Wizz Selvey, retail expert and consultant, "18-year-olds are part of a savvy generation of consumers, and many are seeking to change the world. Think about the values of the person you're gifting to - can you buy from a brand that aligns with their values and interests?"

Selvey adds that research shows "consumers this year are shopping less, but spending more on their purchases", adding that splashing out for a gift that may have a slightly higher price tag, but will last the teen for years to come, is a better idea than spending money on several small items: "choose something they'll love, use and keep". Retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Flannels allow you to shop designer clothes, homeware and accessories, as well as beauty and skincare treats that will be loved by your giftee.

Dayna Isom Johnson, Trend Specialist at Etsy, recommends a more personal gift for an 18th birthday. "There's nothing more special than gifting a personalized item - like a custom piece of jewellery such as an engraved necklace or a ring with their birthstone or flower - to commemorate such an important milestone. The best personalised jewellery gifts are perfect for showing the recipient you've put thought and time into their present, and it'll be treasured for years to come.

Recent updates

This gift guide is reviewed and updated monthly by woman&home's Shopping Writers and resident Gen-Z contributors to ensure that all of the products are still available and that we're featuring all the latest and best 18th birthday gifts this month. 

Kenedee Fowler
Shopping Writer

Kenedee Fowler is a shopping writer based in the United States. She joined woman&home in September 2022, and ever since has been sharing her expertise with the brand to help readers source gifts for any occasion and on any budget, reviews products so you don’t have to, and scout out the best deals and products to give you the best value for your money. Before joining woman&home, Kenedee was a home editorial fellow for Insider Reviews, where she wrote in-depth reviews and articles across the home vertical.

Kenedee is a recent graduate from the number one journalism school in the US, the University of Missouri - Columbia, where she gained hands-on experience as a multimedia journalist at mid-Missouri’s local news station.