If graduation or Christmas is approaching, you're probably trying to come up with a thoughtful gift for your roommate. Whether you're best friends or not, it's customary to get something useful, thoughtful, and not too expensive. Of course, your relationship with him or her is also important; you're likely to spend more on a roommate with whom you've been friends for years than on someone you've just met.
There are plenty of gift ideas that are both thoughtful and useful, whether you're getting a single gift for your bestie or dorm room gifts for a few suitemates. To make your shopping easier, we've compiled a list of the 25 best gifts for roommates.
1. Cozy Dorm Accents
Soft furnishings are a great gift idea for your roommate if they like to make their room cozy and snug. A fluffy throw or some throw pillows that match their personal style and how they've decorated their side of the room will never go out of style. These make excellent birthday or Christmas gifts for college roommates and are a fun way to add some color to your space.
2. Dorm Decor for Walls
Dorm room walls can become monotonous, but the good news is that there are numerous ways to hang wall decor without making a mess. Purchase a poster of your roommate's favorite musician, movie, or quote. Alternatively, if you're feeling sentimental, print out a personal framed image that they'll treasure. Remember to get some white tack or command strips to hang it safely. The best dorm room gifts are always those that are free of damage!
3. Diploma Frame
Why not surprise your senior roommate with one of our personalized diploma frames? Simply search for your school, choose a favorite style, and use our online framing tools to customize the molding and mat colors. Consider getting them a custom certificate frame to display their membership in a Greek organization or honor society! There are no better gift ideas for college roommates than something personalized and functional, such as a diploma frame, which they will undoubtedly use for decades!
Houseplants can add color and texture to your decor while also keeping the air in your college dorm or apartment clean and fresh. Unless you have a large window with plenty of direct sunlight, choose plants that thrive in shade and don't require much maintenance, such as succulents and cacti. Furthermore, having plants in your dorm room can help to filter the air and improve your mood!
5. Keepsake Shadow Box
One of the best gifts for roommates is a keepsake shadow box that can be updated seasonally or refreshed each semester with new memories for a stylish way to protect and display all of their treasured campus mementos. It's an entertaining way to display tickets, invitations, 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 add a chic ambiance to even the most drab college dorm rooms. You could get your roommate a fairy light curtain to hang behind their bed, and they could even study with the lights on without disturbing your sleep. These make excellent roommate gifts and can even brighten up your dorm room during the holiday season (especially color-changing string lights).
7. Reed Diffuser
Because burning candles is not permitted in dorms, reed diffusers are an excellent way to provide long-lasting scents that will make any dorm cozy and feel at home. Best of all, they add a sophisticated touch to your room decor while also keeping it smelling fresh. Diffusers are a great college roommate gift that you can easily find online or in a local home goods store.
plates, spoons, and cups in pastel plastic
8. Kitchen Necessities
Is your roommate constantly stealing your cereal bowls, cooking utensils, and sealed plastic containers? Purchase some for them! There's no need to break the bank when your local dollar store has an appealing selection of dishes, cups, and kitchen gadgets. Even better, if you find kitchen necessities in their favorite color or cute pattern, you can personalize these college roommate gifts.
9. Cozy Socks
Socks were once considered a dull gift, but times have certainly changed. When the dorm floor is particularly chilly, your roommate will appreciate some fluffy or wool socks to keep their feet warm.
discussion board sitting beside a coffee cup
10. Message Board
What better way to add character to a room than with a message board? Your roommate can spell out inspirational quotes, make up funny sayings, or convey whatever message they want on any given day. Message boards are also a great way for college roommates to leave reminders, phone numbers, and important messages for one another, making for a fun college roommate gift idea. Arctic toilet
11. Bathroom Accessories
If you share a bathroom, getting bathroom accessories can be beneficial to you as well! You could choose a fun shower curtain, a brightly colored towel set, great-smelling shower gels, body lotions, or a cute shower cap. These roommate gifts are a great way to inject some personality into a typically sterile dorm room bathroom.
12. Short-Term Subscription
Do you and your roommate watch your favorite TV show together regularly? Is there a season on another subscription service that your roommate wants to watch? Give your roommate a temporary subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, HBOMax, or another popular streaming service if you want to be extra thoughtful. You only have to pay for a month or two, and they'll be grateful for the gift of being able to watch whatever they want. They'll be able to watch shows they used to enjoy as kids or keep up with new episodes.
College dorms and shared student houses can become extremely noisy, making it difficult to concentrate on homework or enjoy some much-needed downtime. There isn't a dorm-dweller who wouldn't appreciate a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones if they don't already have them. This college roommate gift idea does not have to be expensive! Many high-quality headphones are still very affordable on the market.
14. Adult Coloring Books
You're probably aware that student life can be stressful, and if you've noticed your roommate becoming increasingly stressed as finals week approaches, an adult coloring book could be just what they need to unwind and relax. Coloring in beautifully drawn pictures is satisfying, and you can find all kinds of themed coloring books to suit their taste.
15. Touch Screen Gloves
Most students have plenty of warm hats and scarves, but they can't remember where they left their gloves. If this describes your roommate, what better gift could you give them than a cozy pair of touch screen gloves? That way, they can keep their hands warm in the cold weather while still being able to text you about dinner plans or turn in their final assignment while on the go.
16. Personalized Mug
Is it common for favorite mugs to vanish from your shared kitchen? Personalized mugs are reasonably priced and make an excellent gift for anyone living in a dorm. Furthermore, a personalized mug with the owner's name makes it more difficult for others to "borrow." This gift for roommates strikes the perfect balance of personal and practical, especially if you find a mug with a favorite quote or movie character on it.
17. Virtual Experiences
Do you lament the fact that you and your roommate haven't been able to go out and do anything fun lately? A virtual experience gift that the two of you can share right in your dorm or apartment is a fantastic idea. Tarot card readings, cooking classes, dance instruction, magic shows, yoga workshops, painting lessons, and even interactive scavenger hunts and game nights are available for purchase through Airbnb. Choose an activity that you know both of you will enjoy!
18. Laptop Stickers
Laptop stickers are an excellent choice for a low-cost yet thoughtful gift. Find ones that suit your roommate's tastes, preferences, and hobbies on Redbubble or Etsy. Shop for stickers related to their program of study, their favorite band, an animal they adore, or even try designing personalized stickers just for them!
A calendar or journal is a great idea for a useful gift for a student. There are also numerous calendar themes to choose from, such as animals, sports, artwork, TV shows, musicians, movies, cars, and more. If you want to go the extra mile, create a do-it-yourself photo calendar with some of your favorite college memories.
If you and your roommate enjoy exchanging makeup tips, you're already familiar with her favorite brands and color palettes. The best part is that you don't have to spend a lot of money; a cute lipstick or eyeshadow in a color you know they'll like is a thoughtful gift.
21. Face Care
Do you want to make your roommate feel special? If a spa day is out of the question, there are plenty of inexpensive face masks. Activated charcoal is beneficial for acne, while lavender and chamomile are soothing during exam time. Grooming set with shaving cream, a shaving brush, beard balms, and aftershave may be appreciated by male roommates.
22. Sleep Mask
When you share a room, it can be difficult to fall asleep unless you are fortunate enough to share your roommate's sleeping pattern. So, for those nights when you're still up studying or not quite ready to turn off the TV, your roommate will undoubtedly appreciate a comfortable sleep mask.
23. Book Light
Do you share a room with a bookworm who can't put down a good book? Or are you a night owl who begins homework just before midnight? In any case, you'll both appreciate a book light. The majority of book lights are small, compact lamps that clip onto books or headboards. If your roommate is into novelty gifts, a wooden, foldable LED "book of light" is the way to go!
24. Snack Package
What roommate wouldn't appreciate a snack collection? Make a thoughtful care package full of sweet and salty treats such as trail mix, cookies, popcorn, donuts, and candy. If they live a long distance from campus, they'll appreciate having something to snack on while traveling home for a birthday or holiday celebration.
25. Custom Photo Frame
Finally, if this is your final winter holiday together before graduation, a custom photo frame featuring a favorite memory of you and your roommate since you started college is a thoughtful, personal gift idea they'll treasure. Maybe your roommate has been with you since the beginning, or maybe you met them later in your degree program when you changed living arrangements. In any case, if you've had some memorable experiences that have shaped your college experience, you've probably got plenty of photos, and there's no better way to display and protect them than with a photo collage frame.
There are numerous options for finding the ideal gifts for roommates. From diploma frames and collage frames to lip balms and face masks, you're sure to find the perfect gift for your roommate!