If graduation is right around the corner or the holidays are coming up, you’re probably trying to think of a good gift to give your college roommate. Whether you’re best friends or not, it’s usually standard to get something that’s useful, thoughtful, but not too taxing on your budget. Of course, your relationship with him or her is also a defining factor; you’re probably going to spend more on a roommate you’ve been friends with for years as opposed to someone you’ve just recently met.
Whether you’re getting a single gift for your bestie or dorm room gifts for a few suitemates, there are plenty of gift ideas that are both thoughtful and useful. We’ve put together a list of the 25 best gifts for roommates to make your shopping quick and easy!
1. Cozy Dorm Accents
If your roomie likes to make the room all cozy and snug, then soft furnishings are going to be the perfect gift idea for them. You can never go wrong with a fluffy throw or some throw pillows that coordinate with their personal style and how they’ve decorated their side of the room. These make great birthday presents or Christmas gifts for college roommates and are a great way to add some colorful accents to your space.
2. Dorm Decor for Walls
Dorm room walls can get pretty boring, but the good news is there are plenty of ways to hang wall decor without leaving a mess. Get your roomie a poster of their favorite musician, movie or quote. Or if you’re feeling sentimental, print out a personal framed image that they will love. Remember to get them some white tack or command strips to hang it up damage-free. Damage-free dorm room gifts are always the best!
3. Diploma Frame
If your roommate is a senior, why not surprise him or her with one of our custom diploma frames? Simply search for your school, select a favorite style, and customize the moulding and mat colors using our online framing tools. Or, if they belong to a Greek organization or an honor society, consider getting them a custom certificate frame to show off their membership! There are no better gift ideas for college roommates than something personalized and functional like a diploma frame that they’re sure to use for decades to come!
Houseplants are great for keeping the air in your college dorm or apartment clean and fresh, and they can add color and texture to your decor. Unless you’ve got a big window that receives plenty of direct sunlight, opt for plants that can thrive in shade and don’t require a lot of maintenance like succulents and cacti. Plus, having plants around your dorm room can be great for filtering the air and boosting your mood!
5. Keepsake Shadow Box
For a stylish way to protect and display all of their treasured campus mementos, one of the best gifts for roommates is a keepsake shadow box that can be updated seasonally or refreshed each semester with new memories. It’s a fun way to showcase tickets, invites, and photos from homecoming carnivals, Greek socials, campus concerts, formal dances, theater productions, and college sporting events.
6. String Lights
Battery-operated string lights or LED lights can brighten up even the drabbest of college dorm rooms with a chic ambiance. You could get your roomie a fairy light curtain to hang behind their bed, and they can even leave the lights on to study without causing too much of a disturbance to your sleep. These make great gift ideas for a roommate and can even add some extra cheer to your dorm room during the holiday season (especially color-changing string lights).
7. Reed Diffuser
Since burning candles isn’t dorm-friendly, reed diffusers are a great way to provide long-lasting scents to make any dorm cozy and feel like home. Best of all, they add a real touch of sophistication to your room decor and keep your space smelling fresh. Diffusers are a college roommate gift idea that you can easily order online or find at a local home goods store.
8. Kitchen Necessities
Is your roommate always borrowing your cereal bowls, kitchen utensils, and sealed plastic containers? Get them some of their own! No need to break the bank, you can find an attractive selection of dishes, cups, and kitchen gadgets at your local dollar store. Better yet, you can personalize these college roommate gifts if you find kitchen necessities in their favorite color or in cute patterns.
9. Cozy Socks
At one point socks would have been seen as a boring gift, but times have certainly changed. Your roomie will really appreciate some fluffy or wool socks to keep their feet warm when the dorm floor is extra chilly.
10. Message Board
What better way to bring a pop of personality to a room than with a message board? Your roommate can spell out inspirational quotes, create funny sayings, or convey whatever message they’d like to suit their mood on any given day. Message boards are also a great way to leave reminders, phone numbers, and important messages for each other, making for a fun college roommate gift idea.
11. Bathroom Accessories
If you share a bathroom, then getting bathroom accessories can benefit you too! You could opt for something fun like a cute printed shower curtain, a brightly colored towel set, great-smelling shower gels and body lotions, or a cute shower cap. These gifts for roommates are a great way to add some personality to any typically sterile dorm room bathroom.
12. Short-Term Subscription
Do you and your roomie regularly get together to watch your favorite TV show? Is there a season on a different subscription service that your roomie is dying to watch? If you want to be extra thoughtful, give your roomie the gift of a temporary subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, HBOMax, or another popular streaming service. You only need to pay for a month or two, and they’ll appreciate the gift of getting to watch whatever they want. They’ll be able to watch the shows they used to love as a kid or stay up to date on new episodes.
College dorms and shared student houses can quickly get noisy, making it difficult to focus on homework or indulge in some much-needed downtime. If they don’t have them already, there isn’t a dorm-dweller who won’t appreciate a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. This gift idea for college roommates doesn’t have to be expensive! There are many high-quality headphones on the market that are still super affordable.
14. Adult Coloring Books
You probably know that student life can get stressful, and if you’ve noticed your roommate is getting overwhelmed the closer you get to finals week, an adult coloring book could be just what they need to unwind and relax. There’s something satisfying about coloring in beautifully drawn pictures, and you can find all sorts of themed coloring books to suit their personal taste.
15. Touch Screen Gloves
Most students have plenty of options when it comes to warm hats and scarves but couldn’t tell you where they left their gloves. If this sounds like your roomie, then what better gift to get them than a cozy pair of touch screen gloves? That way, they can keep their hands warm in the cold weather but have no problem using their smartphone or tablet to text you about dinner plans or pass in their final assignment while they’re on the go.
16. Personalized Mug
Are favorite mugs always disappearing from your shared kitchen? Personalized mugs are quite affordable and they can make a wonderful gift for anyone living in a dorm. Plus, a customized mug featuring the owner’s name means it’s going to be more difficult for anybody else to “borrow.â€ This gift for roommates is a great balance between personal and practical, especially if you find a mug with a favorite quote or movie character.
17. Virtual Experiences
Do you feel sad that you and your roommate haven’t had the chance to go out and do anything fun lately? A virtual experience gift that the two of you can enjoy together right in your dorm or apartment is a great idea. You can purchase unique online experiences from Airbnb, such as tarot card readings, cooking classes, dance instruction, magic shows, yoga workshops, painting lessons, and even interactive scavenger hunts and game nights. Choose something that you know both of you will really enjoy doing!
18. Laptop Stickers
If you’re looking for a cheap yet thoughtful gift, then laptop stickers are an awesome idea. Find ones on Redbubble or Etsy to suit your roomie’s tastes, preferences, and hobbies. Shop for stickers related to the program that they’re studying, their favorite band, an animal they love, or even try designing personalized stickers just for them!
When it comes to useful gifts, a calendar or journal is a great idea for a student. And, there are so many different calendar themes that you can choose from like animals, sports, artwork, TV shows, musicians, movies, cars, and more. If you want something more special, customize a do-it-yourself photo calendar featuring some of your favorite college memories.
If you and your roomie love swapping makeup tips, you already know her favorite brands and color palettes. The best part is that you don’t have to spend a lot, a cute lipstick or eyeshadow in a shade you know they’ll love is a very thoughtful idea.
21. Face Care
Do you want to treat your roomie to some pampering? Maybe a spa day is out of your budget, but there are plenty of face masks that don’t cost much. Activated charcoal is good for breakouts, while lavender and chamomile are relaxing during exam time. Male roommates may appreciate a grooming set with shaving cream, a shaving brush, beard balms, and aftershave.
22. Sleep Mask
When you’re sharing a room, it can be difficult to go to sleep unless you’re lucky enough to be in sync with your roommate’s sleeping pattern. So, your roomie will certainly appreciate a comfortable sleep mask to use on those nights when you’re still up studying or not quite ready to turn off the TV.
23. Book Light
Do you room with a bookworm who has a tough time putting down an exciting novel? Or a night owl who starts homework just before midnight? Either way, you’re both sure to appreciate a book light. Most book lights are small, compact lamps that easily clip onto books or headboards. However, if your roomie loves novelty gifts, a wooden, foldable LED “book of lightâ€ is the way to go!
24. Snack Package
What roomie wouldn’t appreciate a collection of favorite snacks? Put together a thoughtful care package filled with sweet and salty treats, including trail mix, cookies, popcorn, donuts, and candy. If they live far away from campus, they’ll appreciate having something to snack on while traveling by bus, train, or plane to get home for a birthday celebration or holiday.
25. Custom Photo Frame
Finally, if this is going to be your last winter holiday together before graduation, then a custom photo frame featuring a favorite memory of you and your roomie since you started college is a thoughtful, personal gift idea they’re sure to cherish. Maybe your roomie has been with you since day one, or perhaps you met them further along into your degree program when you changed living arrangements. Either way, if you’ve had some fun moments that have made your college experience what it is today, you’ve probably got plenty of photos, and there’s no better way to display and protect them than with a photo collage frame.
When it comes to finding the perfect gifts for college roommates, there are so many options. From diploma frames and collage frames to lip balms and face masks, you’re sure to find just the right gift to suit your roomie’s personal style!