The A-Level results are in and they’re off to college. Whether it was their first choice, a place snapped up during Clearing or they’ve already done a year or two, finding great gifts that the student in the family will love can be tough.

10 best gifts for uni students

In many cases, they’re still teenagers. So if you’re worried that their eyes will roll skywards if you buy them a gift they find less than adorable, then you need this list of 10 top gifts for uni students!

From luxurious silk gifts to teen essentials that will be the envy of their new-found friends, here are 10 awesome gifts for students starting university this autumn - or during the January intake.

10 of the best gifts for university students

1 - Tie-dye silk pillowcase

Tie dye silk pillowcase

If your giftee has a bohemian streak, then you can’t go wrong with this tie-dye silk pillowcase. It’s a veritable explosion of colour and personality. It will also help to keep their skin looking as fresh-faced as it does today.

Unruly hair can even be tamed more easily when they sleep on silk. Whether it’s a kinky afro or sleek, shining locks they currently crave, this is an off to uni gift that ensures smoother hair and skin and all-night comfort. It will give a decorative lift to even the most dingy student digs too.

2 - Luxury body scrub

luxury body scrub

A student budget may not stretch to spa sessions, but there is one thing university attendees tend to have on their side. Time. What better time to get into a good lifelong skincare routine than during their undergraduate years?

Any luxurious body scrub is ideal, as it’s a gift they can use without being able to take a long, hot soak in the bathtub. You see, great gift ideas for university students are widely available - and needn’t cost more than a few quid!

3 - A set of silk scrunchies

silk scrunchies

If they have any hair that can be tied up, then they’ll most certainly thank you for a set of silk scrunchies. Pick a tie-dye pack to match the aforementioned pillowcase, opt for plain white or black, choose pastels or go all-out with an animal print theme.

As with the pillowcases, a set of scrunchies made from pure mulberry silk treats the hair far more kindly than any other fabric is capable of. These going to uni gifts can even be worn around the wrist, to keep them handy or make a fashion statement. So it won’t even matter if they did get all that hair lopped off on a whim

4 - Framed wall art

wall tiles

Few students arrive at their accommodation without having the urge to give their room something of a makeover. Framed prints make this easy, and even if they’re not permitted to put stuff on the walls they could prop up the piece atop a towering pile of textbooks. Or romantic novels, perhaps.

Inspirational quotes and geometric patterns are ever-popular. If you're not sure what will suit their style best, maybe go for a plain frame they can fill as they wish instead. Or give a gift card, so they can choose the starting uni gift they really want.

5 - Leopard-print silk eye mask

leopard print eye mask

Not everyone’s into pink leopard print, admittedly. But if he or she is, then you’re onto a winner with these presents for uni students. They’re also available in plain white, black or dark blue. Plus aqua blue or pale pink.

Blocking out unwanted light can result in increased production of the sleep hormone, sending them off into a blissful slumber night after night. We can’t do much about the all-night party going on next door though. (Maybe if they can’t beat ‘em, they should try joining in? You only live once, and those student days will be over in the blink of an eye!)

6 - A super soft wrap

A wrap is such a versatile item. They can warm themselves up when it’s cold outside, use it to help decorate a bed or armchair, or rock it as a fashion accessory. From cashmere blends to pure silk, scarves and wraps come in all shades, sizes and fabrics.

As a gift for a student going to university, this is one they can use as clothing, warmth and as a decorative item. What’s not to love?

7 - Posh tea or coffee

Whether they’ve been used to the high life at home or have a serious Costa habit, buying him or her some upmarket tea or coffee is sure to be appreciated. You can pick these up easily pretty much anywhere. In terms of affordability, they’re also among the top university care package ideas.

Here in the Silk Pillowcase office, our favourites include Twinings or Whittard herbal teas. There’s such a great range available. Taylors coffee bags are also unbeatable for caffeine addicts. They truly can make seriously good coffee from a bag when there’s a box of these beauties to hand!

8 - A lovely mug


Nothing makes tea or coffee taste better than a pretty mug - and an oversized one is even better. Buy one they’ll want to keep clean and away from other people’s mitts, or they could even use it to store pens and pencils instead.

An initial, a sentiment or an eye-catching graphic - anything goes. Just make sure it’s a large one to save on trips to the communal kitchen, as well as washing up. Another option is to buy him or her a portable coffee mug for cheaper coffee breaks.

9 - Diary, journal or notebook

journal or note book

Whether you’re concerned about the amount of screen time these days or simply know they love to write, why not give an appealing journal, diary or notebook? It’s one of the best gift ideas for university students, and the fact that it’s also very affordable is an added bonus.

If they have a favourite band, film star or other role model, it’s easy to find journals, diaries and notebooks to reflect that interest. Or simply go for something pretty, or a book that’s personalised with a name, initial or place.

10 - A silk gift box

silk pillowcase & scrunchies in a gift box

If you can’t decide between scrunchies, an eye mask and a pillowcase, why not buy all three? Contained in a gorgeous, reusable gift box, you can purchase the matching set in a range of lovely colours and patterns.

If the purse strings are a little tighter, why buy a set that includes the eye mask and scrunchies, or a pillowcase plus an eye mask? Other options you could go for include gift boxes containing other goodies such as chocolates, gin or a scented candle.

August 05, 2022 — Michelle Fletcher Smith