The Complete List of Dorm Room Essentials
Going off to college can be a stressful and exciting time, but you can spend more time laughing with friends than pulling your hair out if you’re well prepared for what’s to come — which is why planning for what you need to purchase for your dorm room is so important.
You’d be amazed at how many little things are necessary for living a comfortable life in college. Here are 14 dorm room essentials you need to grab before making the big move. With these items in your arsenal, you’ll be able to make your space feel like home (even when in reality you’re living in a glorified box).
Dorm Room Essentials Under $25
Bare Home Twin Sheet Set, $20.99* on Amazon
Sheets are an obvious essential for the dorm, but these sets by Ivy Union have a ton of colors, from neutrals to fun purples and reds — so you’re guaranteed to find something to match your comforter (which is the main event anyway). They’re not only ridiculously soft; they’re also wrinkle-resistant, stain-resistant, and hypoallergenic. (Also includes one pillowcase.)
A Means to Caffeine
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker, $16.99* on Amazon
There are two things you need to look for in a product you’re going to keep in your dorm: 1.) it needs to be small, and 2.) it needs to be inexpensive. This Mr. Coffee 12-cup coffee maker just so happens to have both of those qualities, making it the perfect option for a dorm! (But check with your RA first; some dorms have weird rules about appliances!)
A Real Alarm Clock (aka Not Your Mom)
Peakeep Digital Alarm Clock, $13.99* on Amazon
Not only is this alarm clock super effing cute (also available in pink), it has a ton of cool features. There’s a place for the temperature, date, day of the week, and the time you’ve set your alarm to go off. Plus, you can set dual alarms for different days of the week (which is perfect for those MWF & TTH classes).
A Bath Tote
mDesign Plastic Caddy Tote, $14.99* on Amazon
You’re going to be sharing a bathroom with complete strangers, so you’ll need a (cute) place to tote your essentials around in. This shower caddy has four compartments and holes at the bottom allow water to drain out. (Also don’t forget flip flops because those showers are nasty.)
A Laundry Hamper
AmazonBasics Foldable Laundry Basket, $16.89* on Amazon
You’re going to want a laundry hamper big enough to hold all your dirty laundry (because I guarantee you won’t want to make too many trips), but light enough to be able to carry it around your dorm building. This one from AmazonBasics is collapsible, so you can literally fold it up and put it away when you don’t need it — because your little dorm is going to be cramped enough as is.
An Over-the-Door Organizer
MISSLO Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer, $13.99* on Amazon
One of the best purchases I made for my college dorm room was a shoe organizer. This organizer has 24 breathable, mesh pockets so it’ll hold up to 12 pairs of shoes. It can be hung on any door (although be prepared that your door won’t fully close because of the hooks). It could also be used for things like holding bathroom accessories, hair products, or bathing suits.
Adjustable Bed Risers
Home-it Adjustable Bed Risers, $13.99* on Amazon
Whether you need to fit stuff under your bed (because again, you WILL be low on space) or you and your roommate decided on bunk beds, you’ll need a set of bed risers. These bad boys are made to support up to 1,300 pounds, and they come in different sizes — this set includes four large and four small riser cups.
Dorm Room Essentials Under $50
A Mattress Topper
Linenspa 2-Inch Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper (Twin), $39.99* on Amazon
Dorm room mattresses aren’t the comfiest — and when you think about how much use yours has gotten before you, you’ll want a thick mattress topper to separate you two. Plus, the LINENSPA 3-Inch Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper regulates your sleep temperature (because you won’t be in charge of the thermostat in your new home, FYI).
A Cute Comforter
Comfort Spaces ixie 2-Piece Comforter Set, $35.06* on Amazon
Like I said, the comforter is the main event — and if you’re going with more of a colorful theme, this comforter set is the perfect option. There are eight different color options, and they’re all reversible — so if you feel like fung she-ing your dorm room halfway through the semester, you’re already set.
Colorful Throw Pillows
IMAX Suzie Happy Pillow, $31.14* on Amazon
Nothing makes a space feel more homey than a bunch of cute throw pillows, and this throw pillow in particular just shouts “Happy Home!”
A Mini Fridge
Cooluli Classic Series Mini Fridge, $49.99* on Amazon
You’ll need a place to store leftovers, frozen meals, and water bottles. If your school doesn’t rent out mini-fridges, then the Cooluli Classic mini fridge is the perfect, compact option. Plus, it’s way cheaper than most mini fridges—which is great because I guarantee you won’t use it again after you move out of the dorm.
An Over-the-Door Mirror
Mirrotek Over-the-Door Hanging Mirror, $39.99* on Amazon
Most of the time in college, you won’t have time to care about what you look like — like when you’re running late for your 8 a.m. class. But when you and your friends get ready to go out on the weekends (or #ThirstyThursday), you’ll need to see your full outfit from head to toe. This one easily attaches to the back of your door.
*Price as of 7/29/19
Last modified on July 29th, 2019