11 Dorm Room Essentials

Young male heads off to college. The 18-year-old is unpacking his car as he moves into the college campus dorm. He is excited to start his school adventures. He carries a backpack and moving box. Back to school.

These budget-friendly recommendations from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) will help you set your favorite student up in style. For more tips and tricks for school-year prep, be sure to check out Good Housekeeping’s comprehensive back-to-school guide.

  1. Dorm Decor
    Your child will want to put his/her own personal stamp on his/her new space, and the easiest way to do that quickly is with colorful bedding. Since your child will probably use the same bedding set for several years, you’ll want a durable topper like the Residence Hall Linens Extra Long Extra Warm Reversible Comforter ($40). This affordable blanket held up well after numerous washings and comes in a wide array of colors and patterns.
  2. Better Bedding
    Dorm beds aren’t always the most comfortable, but the PBTeen Classic Twin XL Sheets ($39) offer a generous fit (with plenty of room for a cushy mattress topper). Made of a soft, durable fabric that didn’t tear easily during tests, the sheets come in a wide array of colors and prints.
  3. Terrific Towels
    You’ll want to send your child off to school with a towel that can take plenty of abuse. Lasting Color Towels ($3.99 – $5.99) from Bed, Bath and Beyond are absorbent and quick to dry, and didn’t bleed during wash tests. Plus, at this price, you can get one in every color!
  4. Wake-up Call
    Late-night study sessions can make it tough to get up for early classes. To the rescue: the Sonic Alert Sonic Boom alarm clock ($32.98, amazon.com). If the wake-up tones aren’t enough, this model comes with a vibrating disk that tucks under your child’s pillow for that extra push out of bed in the morning.
  5. Hydration Help
    Your child can save the environment and money on bottled water at the same time with a reusable bottle like the Fit & Fresh LivPure ($9.49, amazon.com). This container comes with a built-in water filter for removing chlorine from tap water and it’s made from polyethylene, a plastic manufactured without BPA.
  6. Morning Boost
    He/she won’t have to run to the local café for morning coffee with The Scoop coffeemaker from Hamilton Beach ($35.99, amazon.com). This versatile single-serve machine will let your student brew using the ground coffee of their choice and can adjust to accommodate a regular cup or travel mug.
  7. Joe-to-Go
    If he/she is counting on caffeine to get through the long days, your student will appreciate the Contigo West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug ($15.81, amazon.com). With its patented Autoseal technology, this container promises to cut down on leaks and spills.
  8. Cool Tunes
    Good Housekeeping had a hard time finding anything negative to say about the Philips SHE3580 Headphones ($13.90, amazon.com) and your favorite student probably will, too. These inexpensive earbuds boast excellent sound quality and a comfortable fit for long study sessions. Plus they come in six colors!
  9. Power Cleaner
    Keeping tight quarters clean is important when living in a dorm room (and with a roommate!). The Dirt Devil Gator Handheld Vacuum ($24.43, amazon.com) is easy to use even for first time cleaners and offers plenty of runtime on a charge for bigger jobs. Good Housekeeping found it did a good job removing dirt from a number of different surfaces, including bare floors and carpets.
  10. Pack-it-All Bag
    Chances are your student has plenty to tote around between books, gadgets, and school supplies. The LL Bean Turbo Transit II ($70) promises to carry it all with its front stretch cord and extra compartment to stash a change of shoes for good measure. It comes in seven vibrant colors.
  11. Homework Help
    Bulky, heavy and out-of-date textbooks are a thing of the past for most students. Save your student’s back with a Kindle ($79+, amazon.com) for electronic textbooks. This lightweight device offers built-in Wi-Fi for easy downloads and will automatically sync with your student’s laptop and smartphone if he/she downloads the Kindle app. Plus, your student can tap into the local library’s collection using Kindle’s handy book borrowing program! Looking for a tablet with more capabilities? The 10-inch Dell XPS 10 ($399, amazon.com) docks into a keyboard and features Microsoft office for all of your child’s productivity needs. At just over a pound, it won’t weigh down your student’s bag.

For more heading-off-to-college tips, visit GoodHousekeeping.com

Leave a Reply