Back-to-School Gift Guide 2023: The 18 Best Gifts for Better Sleep

Good sleep is important for children's mental and physical development during the back-to-school season. There are many sleep-enhancing back-to-school gifts you can buy for kids of different age groups. For younger children, consider a calming nightlight, comfortable blanket, weighted stuffed animal, fun pajamas, sleep-inducing bath product, coloring book, and sound machine. For older children, consider blue light-blocking glasses, mattress toppers, cozy hoodies, essential oil diffusers, silk eye masks, LED lights, and weighted blankets. 

The back-to-school season is such an exciting (and slightly daunting) time for parents and children. After all, a new school year brings new learning opportunities, new friends, and a new (or revamped) nighttime routine for your kids.

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for everyone, but it’s even more important for your child’s mental and physical development. Receiving the recommended amount of sleep enables your child to focus and be active at school and in their everyday lives. 

So, to help ensure the kid (or kids) in your life gets adequate shuteye this school year, we’ve put together a list of sleep-enhancing back-to-school gifts for students of all ages.

Back-to-school gifts for children and tweens

Calming nightlight and star projector

Cloud B Calming Nightlight & Star Projector

Back in college, I used to babysit a 5-year-old who’d ask me to turn on her ladybug star projector every night—so I can vouch that this calming nightlight and star projector is a must-have! It’s a great gift for kids who prefer some light when sleeping or feel uneasy about the upcoming school year. Offering gentle room illumination and aiding peaceful sleep, it features four ladybug hues, eight constellations, a rotating color mode, and a 45-minute auto-shutdown. This nightlight ensures bedtime is soothing and comforting while kicking those back-to-school scaries to the curb.

$43.99, amazon.com

Waffle knit blanket

Saatva Waffle Knit Blanket

Kids love to be coddled by their parents before bed to feel safe—so what better way to elevate that quality time than with our

Waffle Knit Blanket?
saatva waffle knit blanket
Waffle Knit Blanket

A plush yet lightweight cotton blanket with elegant texture

This lightweight, cotton blanket is the perfect pick for your little one as it gets softer after every wash and is airy and breathable yet cozy. It’s also naturally hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and free of potentially harmful chemicals. Not to mention, it regulates body temperature, making it your kid’s go-to blanket not only for the new school year but all year round!

$125-$245, saatva.com

Weighted stuffed dinosaur

Target Weighted Stuffed Dinosaur

While some kids just need a little light to alleviate them of any back-to-school jitters before bed, others could appreciate a furry friend to sleep with every night. This weighted stuffed dinosaur offers just that and more.

Not only will this weighted stuffed animal offer companionship and comfort to your child at bedtime and throughout the night, but its weighted quality applies pressure to their little body, giving them a calming feel similar to that of a hug. Plus, your child has four colors to choose from!

$20, target.com

Fun pajamas

peppa pig pajamas

Going to bed can seem boring to a child, who would much rather stay up and play with their toys or watch TV. I’ve had children I’ve babysat run and hide when it was time for bed—that is until I brought out my secret weapon: fun pajamas!

From Peppa Pig to Daniel the Tiger, make bedtime fun and exciting with your child’s favorite cartoon character, food, or animal-printed PJs. Trust me when I say the right sleepwear makes a world of a difference to your kids, who would sleep in their favorite princess dresses or superhero costumes if they could.

Prices vary, amazon.com

Sleep bath

Dr. Teal's Kids 3-in-1 Sleep Bath

PSA for parents: Kids need spa days too, especially during the back-to-school season. So, give your little one all the relaxation they need every night with Dr. Teal’s 3-in-1 Sleep Bath

Bath time is already a great step in your kid’s (and anyone’s) sleep routine as it allows them to unwind and for their body temperature to drop, which prepares them for sleepy time. Now with this sleep bath, you can make it even easier for your child to go to bed since it contains melatonin and essential oils that promote better sleep. It’s also hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and paraben-, dye-, and phthalate-free.

$6.99, target.com

Self-help coloring book

Angry Octopus Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm Book

The back-to-school scaries are a real thing for children of all ages, whether they’re starting school, changing schools, or parting from old friends and teachers. However, expressing these feelings can be tough for a kid, and that’s where the Angry Octopus Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm book can help.

Similar to journaling, this self-help coloring book (for ages 4 to 11) allows children to channel their emotions onto paper so it doesn’t disrupt their daily life and sleep. It imparts techniques for anger management, stress reduction, and increased happiness to overall enhance emotional intelligence. The book also offers sections for parents to read to their children, making it an ideal pre-bedtime activity for relaxation and bonding. 

$9.39, amazon.com

Reading books

The Sheep Who Wouldn't Sleep

It’s no secret that reading before bed calms the mind and stimulates imagination, aiding sleep on stressful nights. Yet, for children, bedtime reading offers even more. Reading books to children supports mental imagery, narrative comprehension, and worldly awareness. It also boosts their language, listening, and memory skills. Not to mention, it’s bonding time! 

Based on the many books I’ve read to children at bedtime (over and over again, I’ll point out), here’s a list of my favorite bedtime stories:

(Pro tip: For older children who can follow along with wordier books, choose a longer book and read them a chapter or a few pages every night!)

Prices vary, amazon.com

Sound machine

Hatch Rest Go Sound Machine

To create the most peaceful sleep conditions for your child, it’s important to consider noise. A noisy house can make it difficult for them to fall asleep quickly (which is the last thing you want during the school season). But luckily, the Hatch Rest Go can be a quick fix.

With 10 sounds to choose from—including white noise—and five color options, the Hatch Rest Go can give your child the most serene slumber by masking unwanted sounds. It’s also small and portable, making it easier to travel with for road trips, flights, and even slumber parties!

$34.99, hatch.co

Down alternative pillow

Saatva Down Alternative Pillow

Pillows are great gift ideas for children of all ages as they allow for proper spinal alignment and neck support, which is important for their development. Give your child the best sleep foundation and that “sleeping on a cloud” feel with our

Down Alternative Pillow.
saatva down alternative pillow
Down Alternative Pillow

Hypoallergenic with a plush and airy feel that’s perfect for cuddling

This plush pillow is breathable, hypoallergenic, and durable, helping your child snooze in no time.

$115-$135, saatva.com

Back-to-school gifts for teens and young adults

Blue light-blocking glasses

ANRRI Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Let’s face it: Many teens (and parents!) use their phones for social media, homework, television, and more before bed. While a little screen time seems harmless, the blue light from these devices can interfere with melatonin production, aka the sleep hormone.

While we aren’t encouraging late-night phone use, we think these blue light-blocking glasses are the perfect gift for a student (especially in high school or college) who only has time to do their work at night or treats themselves to a good show before bed. With four styles to choose from, these glasses will block blue light and reduce eyestrain, making it easier for your teen to snooze.

$25.95, amazon.com

Graphite mattress topper

Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper

College students often deal with uncomfortable dorm and student apartment mattresses, causing sleep disturbances. The problem is, a new mattress isn’t the easiest solution for many as dorms are typically temporary living arrangements, and apartments lack storage to put away an old mattress—but maybe a mattress topper is!

Our

Graphite Memory Foam Topper
saatva graphite memory foam topper
Graphite Memory Foam Topper

Body-hugging comfort with advanced cooling technology

 is the perfect (and simplest) solution for making your kid’s sleep quality a whole lot better. It features a 3-inch layer of memory foam infused with cooling graphite, providing pressure-point relief, as well as a cover made with naturally breathable and moisture-wicking organic cotton. 

$325-$650, saatva.com

Fleece hoodie

Nike Sportswear Club Fleece

No one loves throwing on a cozy hoodie for bed (or any time of day) more than teens. When I was at that age, my Nike Fleece hoodie was my go-to, and for good reason. Ranging from sizes XS to 4XL Tall, this closet staple acts as a security blanket to not only keep you warm and toasty throughout the night but provide emotional comfort as well. It’s a wonderful present for teens going away for college as a subtle reminder that the person who gave it to them is always right by their side.

$55-$65, nike.com

Essential sheet set

Saatva Essential Sheet Set

Sheets can make all the difference when it comes to how well your kid will snooze, especially if they’re hot sleepers. That’s why our

Essential Sheet Set
saatva essential sheet set
Essential Sheet Set

Soft & breathable cotton-viscose blend sheets are an upgraded staple

, which includes one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases, would make for a great back-to-school gift. Made of percale cotton and viscose, this set is extremely soft, lightweight, and breathable. It’s also OEKO-TEX® Standard 100-certified to be free of harmful chemicals!

$95-$165, saatva.com

Essential oil diffuser

ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser

All-natural essential oils provide a plethora of benefits to our bodies. Lavender soothes and induces sleep; peppermint enhances memory and digestion; eucalyptus combats colds, flu, and pain. Amid school stress, this essential oil diffuser can help your child manage their overall well-being. With seven LED colors, various mist modes, a remote, and a safety feature that prevents it from overheating when it runs out of water, this diffuser can set the mood for their sleep space, which in return helps them set themselves up for academic success.

$25.99, amazon.com

Silk eye mask

Saatva Silk Eye Mask

For kids who share a bedroom with their siblings, or teens who are off to college with roommates, it can be difficult for them to agree on when lights should be out (or if any lights should be left on). If your child is experiencing some sleep disturbance due to light in their bedroom, our

Silk Eye Mask
saatva silk eye mask
Silk Eye Mask

Blocks out light for restful sleep while protecting the delicate skin around the eyes

 may be just what they need. This eye mask blocks out light while also protecting the skin around their eyes. It’s also naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, and temperature-regulating to prevent any irritation or trapped heat as they sleep throughout the night.

Waffle knit duvet cover set

Saatva Waffle Knit Duvet Cover Set

Back-to-school season is an incredibly exciting time for all students, but even more so for college kids with a new school, new environment, and a new sleep space! Decorating dorm rooms or college apartments can be fun, but it should also be functional. Our 

Waffle Knit Duvet Cover Set
saatva waffle knit duvet cover set
Waffle Knit Duvet Cover Set

Plush yet lightweight duvet cover and shams with elegant texture

 is perfect to make their sleep space look and feel like a sanctuary. This airy and plush set comes with one duvet cover and two pillow shams that are breathable, temperature-regulating, and cozy to sleep with. It also comes in colors white, taupe, and carbon!

$225-$295, saatva.com

LED lights

LED Lights

Fun lights are undeniably great for any age, but I found them to be most comforting as a teen in college who was homesick, feeling under the weather, or stressed. Not to mention, they made my room look luxurious! Therefore, if you have a kid who appreciates some light in their sleep space or who would love to add to the aesthetic of their room, these LED curtain lights and strip lights are amazing! The curtain lights come in four different colors, have eight light settings and a remote, and can last up to 50,000 hours. The strip lights, on the other hand, are color-changing lights that you stick to your wall or furniture and control with a remote. They also have a music sync and timer feature. Both options are safe, don’t overheat, and will add that “cozy” vibe to your kid’s bedroom.

Prices vary, amazon.com

Weighted blanket

Saatva Weighted Blanket

School can get the best of your kids, especially when mixed with personal obligations, social life, and extracurriculars, causing stress and anxiety that affects their sleep health. Luckily, a weighted blanket might be just what they need. Our

Weighted Blanket
saatva weighted blanket
Weighted Blanket

Plush, all-natural weighted blanket for deeper, more restful sleep

 can give your kids a deeper, more restful snooze by providing deep-pressure stimulation. Filled with all-natural glass beads, your child with receive even pressure and a gentle, calming effect.

$345-$445, saatva.com

Help your child get better sleep this school year with these Saatva products

Waffle Knit Blanket

Our elevated take on the timeless waffle weave blanket offers year-round comfort that’s undeniably plush and superbly breathable.

Down Alternative Pillow

Made from two types of hypoallergenic down alternative fibers, wrapped in 100% organic cotton. Soft, plush, and breathable for cool, comfortable sleep.

Essential Sheet Set

This upgraded staple is woven from percale cotton and viscose to create an extremely soft, lightweight, and breathable sheet that gets softer with every wash.

Silk Eye Mask

Drift into dreamland with our sleep-enhancing eye mask made of the finest quality mulberry silk. It keeps light out for more uninterrupted sleep—no matter where you are.

Weighted Blanket

Enjoy the calming, soothing effect of our plush weighted blanket. Cotton velvet is soft to the touch for maximum comfort and warmth. Gentle, even pressure from all-natural glass beads encourages relaxation.

Back-to-school sleep tips

Besides a gift for better sleep, helping your child organize their school nights and mornings is also essential. That’s why we’ve compiled these five back-to-school sleep tips to help you and your kid cruise through this upcoming school year.

  1. Plan mornings wisely: Prep your younger kids’ breakfast and lunch, pack their backpacks, and lay out their school outfits in advance for a less chaotic, less rushed morning. For older kids, encourage them to learn how to prep for their mornings.
  2. Build a sleep routine: Create a simple yet effective sleep routine with your kid with steps and activities that prepare them for bed.
  3. Set a bedtime: Before the school year begins, gradually adjust your child’s bedtime to a set time that allows for their recommended hours of sleep.
  4. Set a wake-up time: Also before the school year begins, gradually adjust your child’s wake-up time to give them the opportunity to mentally and physically prepare themselves for the school day.
  5. No screen time before bed: Blue light affects melatonin production, so turn off the electronics as your child’s bedtime approaches so they can snooze easier and faster.

Need more help? 

We have a variety of articles to help the students in your life get better sleep. Check these out!

FAQs

What’s a good back-to-school gift?

There are numerous back-to-school gift options to choose from for your child, including weighted blankets, white noise machines, eye masks, nightlights, mattress toppers, hoodies, and more. 

Shop Saatva for all your back-to-school sleep essentials 

Saatva offers everything you need to get your family’s sleep on track during the back-to-school season and all year long, from kids’ mattresses to eye masks. Check out our current sale offerings and find more gift ideas here.

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