23 Great 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

21st birthday gift ideas

Find great gifts for 21st birthdays. 

Are you trying to find some great 21st birthday gift ideas to celebrate someone officially becoming an adult? Then, take a look at this list to find great 21st birthday gifts for daughters, sons, or friends. You’ll find some great gift inspiration on what to get someone for their 21st birthday right here.

(Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links for which I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase)

1. A Life Planner

life planner: best 21st birthday gift ideas

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This first present is a great way to start your actual adult life. This planner is undated and filled with prompts to think about what goals you want to set for yourself. It’s also just a very practical daily, weekly, or monthly planner to keep track of your daily life. The fact that it’s undated allows you to use it from time to time and to start it at any date. It comes in a couple of different colors, with some great ones for guys as well.

2. A Scratch-Off World Map

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This scratch-off world map is one of the best gifts for 21-year-olds that plan to travel a lot in the next couple of years. Your twenties are the perfect time to travel and this map is a great way to keep track of where you’ve been and to dream of new places to discover. This is a great gift idea for most people in their twenties, though particularly a 21-year-old will enjoy it. Because traveling is one of the great parts of being an adult. So, if you want something for someone who plans to travel a lot, then this is the gift to get.

3. A Literary Classic

a literary classic (gift ideas for 21st birthday female)

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If they enjoy reading a good book every now and then, then getting them a classic title is a nice 21st birthday present. There are so many options, including 1984 by Orwell or Pride and Prejudice by Austen to name two opposites. Try to find something they haven’t read yet and I would probably advise you to stay away from the really thick books, because that needs to be a personal choice of the reader. I personally, would not have been happy to get Ulysses by James Joyce as a gift, though I did read it on my own time. Pick something that you think they’ll enjoy and is part of your list of must-reads.

4. Dainty Name Necklace

Dainty name necklace by GlamourJewelryHouse on Etsy; 21st birthday gift ideas girl

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This dainty necklace by GlamourJewelryHouse on Etsy is one of the best meaningful gifts for your daughter on her 21st birthday. You can customize it by picking the font of the name, the color, and the chain length. It’s a piece of jewelry that’s perfect to wear day-to-day and a great sentimental piece to keep forever. If you know they don’t wear necklaces, then getting them a bracelet version of this gift idea is also a great option and Etsy has a lot of those on offer as well.

5. A Pretty Skincare Set

a pretty skincare set - 21st birthday gifts

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A skincare set like this one is a great gift idea for girls and they’ll surely appreciate it. There are also more and more skincare sets for guys out there that would also make for a great gift for him. You can choose a set of basics or a set of sheet masks depending on what type of products they already have. A beginner set like this is perfect for someone who doesn’t have a skincare routine yet and might want to get started. All in all, one of the best 21st birthday ideas for daughters.

6. A Wallet Bottle Opener (And Multitool)

a wallet-sized bottle opener: unique 21st birthday gifts for her

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Carrying a bottle opener wherever they go is pretty handy now that they’re legally allowed to drink and this bottle opener is more than just that. It fits into your wallet and has a multitude of tools built into it ranging from a simple ruler to a position wrench. This little tool is a fun small gift for a 21-year-old boy or girl to get. It’s probably one of the most practical and affordable gift ideas on this gift guide. So, if you’re looking for something small and useful, then take a closer look.

7. A Panini Press or Sandwich Maker

a panini press or breakfast sandwich maker (21st birthday gift ideas for son)

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These two kitchen appliances are great tools to have when you’re living on your own and aren’t the best cook yet, or just really enjoy sandwiches and grilled stuff. You can get either of these or both depending on what they would use most. I think the panini press is more versatile, because you can use it for more than just paninis. But if they’re crazy about breakfast sandwiches, the sandwich maker is probably the better option. Either of these is a great gift idea.

8. Kan Jam Outdoor Game

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Are you looking for a 21st birthday gift idea they can play in the garden or in the park and doesn’t cost a lot? Then this game called Kan Jam is worth checking out. The principle is simple and easy for everyone to play, all you need to be able to do is throw a frisbee. So, most people should be able to get that skill down to perfection. It’s a simple game lots of fun to play, it even comes in a version with light-up cans, which sound pretty great for late at night.

9. Personalized Wine Bottle Label

Personalized wine bottle label by LabelWithLove on Etsy - gift ideas for 21 year old female

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Get a bottle of your favorite wine or rose that you think they’ll like and order one of these personalized 21st birthday wine bottle labels by LabelWithLove on Etsy to turn it into a personalized birthday gift. You can pick the colors and customize the text, and get it sent to your home to simply stick onto a nice bottle of wine or rosé. It’s a really easy and fun gift to give and it doesn’t take too much effort to organize this personalized gift idea.

10. Calm the F*ck Down Book

Calm the F*ck Down (21st birthday gift ideas for her)

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One of the most difficult things about being an adult in my opinion is the constant stress about things you can’t control or don’t have time to get control of. This book is perfect to learn how to deal with the many things that can be incredibly stressful about adulting. One of the best skills to have is to be able to relax while your life is pretty much on fire (which has happened to all of us at some point, right?). So, get them a jump-start on how to deal with adulting with this great birthday present.

RELATED: Best 18th Birthday Presents

11. A Swiss Army Knife: 21st birthday gifts

a swiss army knife - gifts for 21 year old man

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This is one of those things that you don’t necessarily need as an adult, but once you have it you can’t imagine how you ever did without. A pocket knife like this one is a great 21st birthday gift idea for your son or daughter that they’ll make use of more than you think. It has everything you need and fits in your pocket or can be put onto your keys as a keychain. There are lots of different versions out there with different sets of tools, though this one here is a great basic option that has all the necessities (including a bottle opener and a corkscrew) without it getting too expensive.

12. A Keychain Breathalyzer

a keychain breathalyzer: 21st birthday presents

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Turning 21 also means you’re now allowed to drink in the US. An added danger and risk that comes with that is getting in your car without realizing that you’re too drunk to drive. This simple and affordable keychain breathalyzer is one of the best small gift ideas for 21st birthdays, because it shows you know they’ll drink, but want them to be careful and mindful of the risks. It’s a nice gadget to have in your car that allows you to easily check if you’re good to drive or better off not getting behind the wheel.

13. The Hungover Cookbook

the hungover cookbook (21st birthday gift ideas for daughter)

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For the morning after, there is this great cookbook that is filled with nice recipes for your headaches and puns to put a smile on your face. This is just one of the funniest 21st birthday gifts for friends to get, especially those that already familiar with the effects of having one too many drinks. And yes, the cover spells the title wrong (don’t worry, I didn’t notice at first either), it’s just one of the many jokes and funny elements to this unique cookbook.

14. A Good-Quality Watch

a good-quality watch - small gifts for 21st birthday

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A nice watch is a great gift to give someone for their twenty-first birthday and this one here is just an example of the many great options out there. This one comes in a bunch of different colors and versions with different types of wristbands to offer even more choice. A watch is a nice thing to have as an adult, because you then won’t have to pull out your phone every time to know the time and you can be a bit more subtle about it during meetings, lectures or a date, which is pretty handy.

15. A Beer Brewing Kit

a beer brewing kit: gifts for 21st birthday

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Being able to drink a beer legally is one thing, but brewing it yourself is another. This is one of the most fun presents to get someone who enjoys a good beer or is into craft beers. It’s a fun kit that has everything you need to brew your own beer from scratch and bottle it yourself. It takes about three to four weeks for the beer to be ready to drink and it’s a great activity to do on your own or together. So, if you want something unique, then this is a great idea.

16. 101 Secrets For Your Twenties

101 secret for your twenties (21st birthday gifts for her)

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This little book is filled with advice on what to expect for the next ten years once you’ve turned 21. From dating advice to how to make a good sandwich. It’s filled with tips and advice that will help you get through some of the most turbulent years of your life. And don’t worry, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is great to leaf through from time to time, as it’s more of a list than a full-blown book. A great gift idea to get someone for their 21st birthday who just starting out in the life of an adult.

17. A Custom Birthday Gift Box

birthday gift box by YouGotPersonalGifts on Etsy - 21st birthday gift

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This pretty personalized 21st birthday gift box by YouGotPersonalGifts on Etsy is a great and beautiful gift that you can customize to suit what you want. The box itself is printed with a gorgeous design and the name of the birthday girl. It’s a simple and effective gift, and perfect to get delivered to their home if you live too far away to be there in person. And you can of course also get a box like this when it’s another birthday.

18. Coffee-Infused Gummy Bears

caffeinated gummy bears; gifts for 21 year old daughter

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They’re on the pricier side of things, but they’re one of the cutest things on this list of  21st birthday gift ideas. These coffee-infused gummy bears come packaged as if you got them from a coffee shop and are actually caffeinated, so don’t hand them out to kids without thinking it through. The packaging and the fact that it’s candy make them a really cute gift idea. It’s perfect for the coffee addict who would still enjoy some gummy bears, they’re basically gummy bears for adults (without them containing any drugs).

19. Bio-Degradable Phone Case: 21st birthday gift ideas

bio-degradable phone case (good 21st birthday gifts)

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A phone case is a gift idea you’ll find on most gift guides, because it’s a simple and generally successful gift to give. This one, however, is extra great, it’s made from plants and bio-degradable. It comes in a bunch of different colors to choose from and is a great birthday present to give someone. Be sure to check what phone they have, so you order a case that actually fits. It’s also pretty affordable, so if you’re looking for an affordable gift idea you can’t go wrong with, then this is the gift to get, just pick the right color for them.

20. Tequila Mockingbird: Literary Cocktails

tequila mockingbird - 21st birthday gift ideas girl

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One of the most unique and out-there gifts for 21st birthday parties is this cocktail recipe book filled with literary puns and cocktails inspired by some of the literary classics. It’s a funny book that’s the perfect present for someone who loves a good cocktail and likes literature. It’s pretty cheap and just a fun gift idea to give. So, if you’re looking for something unique or small to go along with some cash, then this book is definitely worth it to find out more.

21. Adios Fake ID Candle

adios fake id candle - 21 year old birthday gifts

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Another rather unique present is this funny candle. You can get your child this if you secretly knew they had a fake ID or as a sibling because it’s a funny and cheeky gift to give. The creator of this candle offers other celebratory candles as well, including some to celebrate turning 21, though this one is my personal favorite if you want to get them a nice candle. If you don’t like the smell, then be sure to check out the options on Etsy, since they have a lot of great artisanal candle options as well.

22. Tipsy Tower Game

tipsy tower (21st bday gifts)

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Another drinking-themed gift idea is this tipsy tower game. It’s basically Jenga, but with a fun adult twist. As you play the game, everyone will get drunker, which will make the game that much harder. This is really more a gift from your friends rather than from parents, as a drinking game is probably not something you want to give your own child. Anyways, if you want something fun that’s also an activity, then this is the thing to get.

23. An Insulated Bottle with Infuser

tea infuser bottle; 21 bday ideas for her

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Now this one is more for your daughter who’s turning twenty-one. It’s an insulated glass bottle perfect for keeping tea or fruit-infused water in. Unlike many of its alternatives, it’s see-through, so you can actually when your tea is ready. Of course, an insulated travel bottle without an infuser is also a great choice, but this one is a bit more stylish and more versatile. So, if you’re looking for something unique, this is a great idea.

RELATED: College Graduation Gifts for Girls

I hope these 21st birthday gift ideas helped you to find some fun gifts for someone turning 21. The gifts shown here are just examples and a great starting point to find even more great 21st birthday gifts online. So, if you didn’t find the perfect present on this list, use it to find inspiration and new ideas to find the ultimate gift to give. If you want to make someone’s birthday even better, then check out these fun 21st birthday party decorations to decorate their room or house with, to really turn their birthday into a great memory.

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