The best Christmas presents for teenagers
Inspired by other parents' gift-giving successes, we've got a selection of present ideas to amaze and delight even the fussiest of teenagers this Christmas – from eco-friendly offerings to experience gifts (escape room, anyone?)
Skinnydip Portable Charger, from £10 (was £25)
There are a lot of portable chargers on the market these days, unsurprisingly. However, not all of them seem to quite cut the mustard when it comes to charging your phone completely and reliably. The word on the Mumsnet forum is that Skinnydip chargers do a pretty good job, and manage to look sleek and stylish in the process. Plus, they give that old 'my phone died' excuse a little less weight. Compatible with most mobile devices.
“I use the Skinnydip portable chargers which are £25. They do hold enough power for two full charges for my iPhone so I think they are worth it. I’m never stuck with a dead battery.”
“Do they have a portable charger for their phone? Very useful.”Buy now from Skinnydip
Funky Soap Shampoo Bar, £7.95
Got an eco-conscious teen? Shampoo bars don't always get a good rep but Funky Soap comes tried, rinsed and recommended by Mumsnet users. Not only do they reduce the plastic of shampoo bottles, but they're also animal-product-free, cruelty-free, artificial fragrance- and colour-free AND paraben-free. So only the good stuff then.
“The ayurvedic herb one smells of mint Aero and lathers really well.”
“I really like them. I have the Funky Soap amla and coconut milk one and the conditioner for dry hair. The first 10-14 days my hair felt really weird (there is a warning about this in the parcel), but now it looks better than it has for a long time.”Buy now from Amazon
Related: check out our roundup of stocking fillers, all under £10
Urbanears Plattan Bluetooth Headphones, £49.99 (was £69.99)
If you're fed up of listening to your teen's questionable playlists, 'experimental' keyboard compositions, or that video game soundtrack, a pair of headphones could be a gift the whole family will appreciate. These over-ear Urbanears headphones are wireless, so no detangling necessary, and provide an 'immersive sound experience' up to a 10-metre range. They also collapse easily for on-the-go use and are available in seven colours – from tomato red to a glittery Tove Lo version.
“I have a pair of Urbanears. They are fab. We as a household have two pairs; one pair for going to the gym as they do not fall off when running, and another pair for around the house. I can't deal with sweaty headphones being used on a clean head and these ones clean easily.”Buy now from Amazon
Benefit Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel, £21.50
While gifting make-up can be a hard one to get right, you can't go too wrong with Benefit. Not only do its eyebrow products have almost cult status, the fun and colourful packaging also makes this eyebrow gel a lovely present.
“Gimme Brow is the nuts. My eyebrows are fine and short and it’s perfect for giving a natural but full look. Love it.”Buy now from Benefit
Spider plant, £11.99
Is your child always pestering you about getting a new pet? First, try them out with a spider… plant. These easy-going fellows require little upkeep and are ideal for greenery-newbies. As long as they aren't exposed to direct sunlight, it can withstand most lighting conditions and only need moderate watering (and in fact, over-watering should be avoided). They also (according to NASA clean air study) actually cleanse the air by removing toxins. Excellent news if your teen hasn't quite got the hang of airing out their room.
“I love spider plants. I read that they are especially good for cleansing the air.”
“IKEA has lots of lovely plant pots that are very cheap.”Buy now from Amazon
Chilly’s BPA-free Water Bottle, from £15
Chances are, your child might already be kitted out with a reusable water bottle – a great way to save money, help the environment and drink more water. But do they have a leakproof stainless steel number that can (according to Chilly's) keep hot drinks hot for 12 hours and cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours? Treat your teen to one of these water bottles for a practical gift that will be used and used… and used. Available in different colours/patterns and three sizes: 260ml, 500ml and 750ml.
“I absolutely love mine. Everyone in the family has one and some even have two. Would definitely recommend!”
“Keeps the water cold and there’s no worrying about the plastic going bad.”Buy now from Amazon
Escape room experience, from £20 per person
After an activity type of gift for a teen? Escape rooms provide an adrenalin-packed experience, without involving ski slopes or bungee cords. Often seen as a real-life video game experience, they are a great way to combine minds to solve puzzles, test wits – and even
fall out bond as a family. You could get a voucher for two for a child to take a friend, one for siblings, or indeed a four-person voucher as 'whole family' present.
Alice in Puzzleland Escape Game, £80 (for four people, in different UK locations)
“Really fun. And I'm rubbish, but it's still fun! I don't mind whether I escape or not, some people do get really competitive though. DC1 (14) has done a few as well.”
“I've done a couple with teen DD and our friends. We've enjoyed them – and escaped each time. We like the logical puzzle type ones.”Buy now from Virgin Experience Days
HP Sprocket photo printer, from £86 (was £119.99)
The HP Sprocket is, essentially, a Polaroid for millenials. It's a portable printer that connects to your smartphone or tablet and social media accounts, allowing you to print out your Instagram (if you so wish). You can customise your shots with text, borders and emojis, too. And if you're lucky, your teen * might * even let you print out a couple of your own…
If you're looking for even more of a treat present, it might be worth splurging on the HP Sprocket 200 bundle. This includes the latest edition of the printer (prints in the slightly quicker time of around 35 seconds as opposed to 40), a nifty case for it as well as a 'light string' with clips to show off your new prints.
“I bought this for my daughter – and I want one for myself! It's fab, fits easily in my/her handbag. Def better value for buying the bundle and works as an ace Christmas present – comes in a pretty box and everything.”
“I'd recommend also buying a nice notebook/scrapbook to stick the photos in (did you know they are actually stickers?). And some nice pens to annotate with. Great gift!”Buy now from Amazon
Game of Thrones Monopoly, £16.95 (was £34.99)
With the TV series at an end (* sob *), fans can still return to the world of GoT via this fiery version of the family favourite. So if falling out with your loved ones over a board game is a Christmas tradition in your house, why not make it extra-bloodthirsty and settle the succession of Westeros after your turkey? This collector's edition of Monopoly has Iron Throne, Direwolf and Dragon egg tokens (to name but a few) instead of the traditional top hats and thimbles.
“The kids get some board games every Christmas and we usually do well to get some good ones that they haven't expected.”
“Can't go wrong with Monopoly in my opinion.”Buy now from Amazon
ASOS Loungeable unicorn twosie, £20 (was £28)
This unicorn PJ set is cute, comfy and sure to be a hit on Christmas morning (or Christmas Eve, if you're impatient). As cosy as a onesie
without the logistical nightmare and perfect for lounging through the festive season. Available in rainbow or lilac.
“My 14-year-old lives in 'loungewear' – or pyjamas as I call them. She comes home from school and gets changed into them, and unless she is going out she wears them the whole time in the holidays.”
“ASOS pyjamas are the bee's knees.”Buy now from ASOS
Birchbox subscription, £38.85 for three months (includes delivery)
A beauty box subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. Perfect for any beauty and skincare fans, Birchbox will deliver five personalised products each month making it a great way to try lots of different brands without committing to a full-size purchase. Plus, if you ask nicely, you might be able to snag any unwanted products.
If that wasn't enough, Birchbox now comes extra-recommended with Mumsnet Rated accreditation.
“Each box is like a gift and a happy surprise.”
“I love that the boxes are designed to be reused.”Buy now from Birchbox
Kindle e-reader, £69.99
A Kindle is a fantastic gift for bookworms of all ages. They're easier to read from than a tablet because of their “anti-glare” display – plus, with many classic books available to download for free, a Kindle is a relatively cheap way to expand your teen's library.
“Since I gave DD a Kindle she has just read more and is more comfortable reading bigger books. What's not to like?”
“DD bought herself one this year and she loves it – she now reads every single night without fail and often will lie in bed on a weekend morning reading. Was a big hit!”Buy now from Amazon
La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System, £32.50
La Roche-Posay's Effalclar range was developed in partnership with dermatologists and is a gentle yet effective way of tackling blemish-prone teenage skin. This set contains a cleanser, toner and moisturiser; plus, the brand's neutral packaging along with a light, clean scent makes the products suitable for both sexes.
“The best thing my DD ever did for her skin was the La Roche-Posay range. She uses a cleanser then the Effaclar toner and then moisturiser. I got her the blemish treatment as well.”
“I have been recommending LRP on Style and Beauty for six or seven years now. I'm a bit of a broken record, but it is excellent stuff. My teenage son uses Effaclar duo and the Effaclar face wash which keep his skin lovely and clear.”Buy now from La Roche-Posay
Cornerstone shaving kit (£11 off your first box)
You will receive a personalised razor handle and high-quality blades and shave gel from just £9, or you can go the whole hog and get the pre-shave scrub and post-shave balm too. All this delivered straight to your door once every 12 weeks – just as he starts to run low. And now Mumsnetters get an exclusive £11 off your first box.
“Comes with really nice personalised, engraved handle. A decent gift for those impossible-to-buy-for boys/men.”
“I got my DH the Cornerstone shaving box for Christmas and he absolutely loved it… Says it’s the best shave he’s ever had.”Buy now for £11 off your first box
An alternative Christmas jumper, from £19.99
Whether your teen participates in the Christmas jumper tradition willingly or
under duress with some reluctance, these punny jumpers from IWOOT (I Want One Of Those, for the uninitiated) are sure to get them joining in. Whether your teen loves Harry Potter, Star Wars or the Marvel superheroes, you're sure to find one they're happy to wear.
“It's compulsory to wear a Christmas jumper in our house."
“IWOOT is full of gadgets and stuff you never knew you wanted. They're normally very good.”Buy now from IWOOT
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