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30 Dorm Room Essentials Every College Student Should Have

These are the items you need to make your dorm house into a dorm home.

dorm room with brick fireplace and wood floor
Elliott KaufmanGetty Images

The end of summer marks an important milestone for hundreds of thousands of recent high school grads across the country: It's the first semester of college. This summer, that's even more significant since many colleges last year did remote learning because of the pandemic. That means many students will be getting to experience dorm life — the land of twin beds, communal bathrooms and late-night shenanigans.

This checklist could go on and on about what to bring and what to leave behind, but we think there are some dorm room essentials that every student have in order to make their space feel less like a cave and more like a home. From shower shoes and a bathroom caddy to noise-canceling headphones for endless Zoom seminars and studying, you will be glad you brought these things along.

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EvaCHILL
Huckberry

You probably won't have control over the thermostat, so keep yourself from overheating with this portable AC. 

Anker Soundcore Wakey Bluetooth Speakers
Amazon

8:00 AM classes still exist — don't sleep through them after you forgot to charge your phone while you were up late studying.  

Grovemade Desk Mat & Protector
Grovemade

Keep your desk comfortable, organized and protected with a desk mat. 

Simply Essential Foldable Square Lounge Chair
Bed Bath & Beyond

You gotta have somewhere to sit beside your bed.  

Power Strip with USB
Amazon

Avoid constant plugging and unplugging by having a dedicated plug for everything you need powered up.  

Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier
Amazon

This is our favorite air purifier for small rooms, making it the perfect option to clear that dorm room air. 

Buck Mason M2 All-Day Anti-Microbial Face Mask 5 Pack
Buck Mason

Mask and vaccination requirements are unfortunately going to be part of campus life.

Sunset Moon Ridge
Society6

Okay, you could go any direction you want with this, but you'll need some wall art to find your zen during all-night cram sessions. 

Nomad Base Station
Nomad

Give them a nice wireless charger for their desk to make sure they never leave the room without a charge.

Percale Sheet Set
Riley Home

These are our favorite sheets, and they come in Twin XL, perfect for a dorm bed. 

Bloomscape Philodendron Heartleaf
Bloomscape

An easy-to-take-care-of plant like a philodendron heartleaf is a pop of greenery for a dorm room that won't die if they neglect it a little bit.

Hanging Bedside Caddy
Amazon
Now 24% off

In a room with little storage, you may need this next to your bed for books, your phone or a remote control. 

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Headphones
Amazon

Noisy roommates and loud library whisperers are no match for quality noise-canceling headphones. 

Dormify Charging Task Lamp
Dormify

At 3:00 AM, you'll be glad to ditch the overhead lights. 

Buffy Plushy Mattress Protector Twin XL
Buffy

Let's face it, a dorm room mattress just probably isn't that comfortable (or clean), so put something between it and your body when you sleep. 

Yeti 20oz Rambler
Yeti
Yeti

A nice travel mug to haul from class-to-class (and for late-night studies) is a must.

Bellroy Classic Backpack
Bellroy

A college staple. This is our favorite backpack and is nice enough to last you all four years. 

Bonavita Gooseneck Electric Kettle
Home Depot

Keeping a gooseneck kettle around is a great idea for when you don't want to leave your dorm to make some fresh coffee or tea. 

Pocket Lounge Short
Nice Laundry

Maybe you never get dressed for class, maybe you do. Either way, lounge shorts are a must. 

Adilette Shower Slide
Amazon

Just think of the floors in a shower used by a few or even dozens. You need some shoes.  

Compact Mini Fridge with Freezer
Amazon

Keep your lifetime supply of sparkling water cold. 

Sonos Roam
Walmart

Jam out with a Wi-Fi-enabled speaker that will stand up to anything. 

Tineco A10 Hero Cordless Stick Vacuum
Amazon

This vacuum is one of our picks for the best stick vacuums you can buy. You know a dorm room will get dirty quickly, so keep it clean with a vacuum you can easily store. 

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Amazon

For when you think you just can't stay up any longer and all of the stores on campus are already closed (or not open yet). 

Organic Cotton Waffle Slate Bath Towel
Crate & Barrel

Don't let yourself end up sharing towels with your roommate. Yuck. 

Mesh Shower Caddy Basket
Amazon
Now 36% off

Communal bathrooms are no place to leave your shower stuff around — your loofa is YOUR loofa. 

Wide Ruled Wirebound Spiral Notebook
Amazon

It is 2021, we know, but you still need paper in college. 

G2 Premium Refillable & Retractable Rolling Ball Pens
Amazon
Now 40% off

A little more sturdy than a cheapo BIC pen, these will are refillable and are tough enough to be buried in your backpack (until you lose them, at least). 

Clean Day Kitchen Basics Set
Amazon

Everything you need to keep your space spick and span. 

Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
Amazon
Now 21% off

You can wash laundry, dishes, your hair or your body with this stuff. It seriously cleans anything. 

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