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Dormitory life can be very challenging for incoming college students. From sharing a new space with roommates, to laundry and the general perils of “adulting,” it can be a lot to navigate. With this new setup comes needand the essentials of dormitories. It also often comes with .
The right goods at the right price can launch a roommate to success. That’s why we’ve compiled the best Amazon tips for the job. Some of these things are essential – for example, a laundry basket and a shower box. But some are creature comforts, such asor a smart speaker in the dorm. We’ve got decor recommendations (washable rug! USB lamp!) as well as smart basics including under-bed storage and noise-canceling headphones. Check out and rate some college essentials for cheap on Amazon. An online shopping spree could be a college student’s first lesson in budgeting.
Want even more options? CNET teamed up with Amazon to pick more than 60 other dorm essentials we recommend. The list is a mix of products we’ve reviewed or personally tested, along with a few promising home essentials with high user ratings.
This hot alternative to AirPods Pro will help students avoid the daily rumble of the dorms thanks to active noise cancellation technology. Bonus: A pair of JBL Live Pro 2 headphones boast a favorable price. Read CNET’s guide to the best true wireless noise-cancelling headphones of 2022 for more of our picks.
A shower cart is a small but mighty addition to your dorm shopping list. Students can store it with their favorite products and drag it around. (OK, just to the bathroom and back.) This one has plenty of room for shampoo, lotion, and other toiletries. Bonus: Color combos include teal and orange, navy and mustard, or more muted apricot or gray.
A rechargeable Bluetooth-enabled turntable that’s also portable? Perfect. Victrola’s Revolution Go Turntable is a great choice for college kids. It’s compact enough for dorm life and can be set up anywhere with a removable strap. No plugs are needed. The record collection is not included in the delivery.
An inconvenient fact about dormitory beds: they are generally double XL, which means that normal double sheets will not fit in them. This cotton-blend set adjusts to fit in the dorm and comes with a trendy cow print as an added bonus! Other prints are also available, including a plain gray and blue butterfly. Three-piece set includes fitted sheet, fitted sheet and pillowcase.
A pair of shower sandals is a staple of dorm living. This Reef pair goes above and beyond – they have grip to prevent slipping and are nice enough to wear outside the bathroom! Quality construction means your Water Court sandals will last longer than life on the campus. Available in black, olive, pink and white on Amazon.
Even a 2-by-3-foot rug can do wonders for a dorm room, both for decoration and comfort. Fun rainbow prints from Ruggable will liven up even drab spaces. Even better, Ruggable rugs are stain and water resistant and can be washed in any laundromat. A spill? No problem. Peel off the top layer from the pad and simply wash it.
This popular Amazon table lamp has a modern look and a very useful design. It’s adjustable and can charge devices when there’s a shortage of outlets – perfect for a dorm desk. Bonus: The package includes a dual USB port and an LED bulb. Available in black and white with wood accents.
Protect future roommates from tripping over your dirty socks! A clothes basket is a must when it comes to dorm living because everyone needs to collect their laundry. This one is great because it comes with two removable bags – brilliant for rotating loads of laundry. The handles and lid are also useful.
This kit from Amazon Basics includes everything you need to make a dorm bed. Comforter, sheets, shams and pillowcase, suitable sizes in Twin XL. The coral medallion print is particularly nice, but if that’s not your style, there are 16 other colors available. Bonus: The set is made in green by Oeko-Tex, which means it meets ecological standards.
Small fridge, how convenient! College students will love keeping drinks, food and skin care in their own fridge. This one from Uber Appliance has a removable shelf and holds up to six cans or four bottles of water. It comes in red, silver or black and comes with car or home power cables.
This blanket has a place for everyone! Big Blanket Co. makes huge quilts (100 square foot quilts) so the whole crew can settle in for a movie night or a picnic in the quad. No matter the occasion, your college freshman will be ready to make friends. Bonus: Despite its size, you can still throw this blanket in a regular washing machine.
Blueair makes a dormitory-sized air filter that removes 99.97% of harmful particles—a smart pandemic buy. Covering rooms up to 190 square feet (other models available), this Blue Pure 411 filters out odors, smoke, pollen, allergens, COVID-19 and other irritants. It even has a light that shows the status of the air quality.
Even if you have to raise the bed, maximizing your dorm space with under-bed storage is a great idea. This trio of drawers makes perfect use of this empty space. Each molded plastic drawer has a lid and slides out of the metal frame for convenient access. Also available in a set with two drawers.
Dormitory mattresses are excruciatingly uncomfortable and this mattress topper is just what dorm residents need to transform their sleeping experience. Two inches of memory foam adds extra cushioning and provides pressure relief. In addition, cooling gel balls help regulate body temperature at night.
Be sure to buy a Twin XL as that is the standard mattress size for most dorms and dorms.
College students need plenty of rest, which means a comfy pillow (or two) is a must. Not only are these JollyVogue pillows budget-friendly, but they’re also incredibly fluffy, soft and supportive. A bonus is that they are machine washable. CNET’s Dawnthea Price Lisco says, “After months of use, these pillows have held their fluffy shape and are still comfortable and soothing. I can’t recommend these pillows enough.”
While most campuses have been open for a while, Zoom and asynchronous classes haven’t completely disappeared. While it’s great to be able to work from your bed or couch, holding a computer on your lap for hours on end quickly becomes uncomfortable. Buying a laptop desk will allow you to work from anywhere in your dorm.
Getting ready for a night out and need to see what it looks like? A full-length mirror eliminates the struggle that comes with not having your own bathroom. A full-length mirror hanging above your door is the best and most convenient way to try on different outfits and get ready for the evening.
Space is tight in most dorm rooms, and a bedside table is a luxury few people get. A storage rack that hangs on the side of your bed allows you to use your laptop, read and snack before bed without having to get up and put everything away. Now you can do it all without leaving your bed!
Sockets can be in short supply in the dorms, and there’s nothing worse than not having your phone nearby while it’s charging. Speaking from experience, having to sit near the nearest power outlet while your phone is charging rather than comfortably roll over in bed is awful. Long phone chargers fix obstacles raised by rail beds and limited outlets.
Whether it’s your roommate snoring or your neighbors partying late at night, dorm life is loud. So if you don’t want to spend the night tossing and turning, a white noise machine can make all the difference in the world. The Homedics Sound Spa is our top pick for the best overall white noise machine—and for good reason: it’s cheap, portable, and plays six soothing nature and sleep sounds.
Most dorms don’t have air conditioning, which means they can be uncomfortably stuffy in the fall and spring. Solution? Vornado fans that have a reputation for performance and reliability. This stylish table fan is small enough to store but big enough to circulate all the air in your room. Bonus points for the chic vintage vibe.
Tracks are notoriously narrow, which is why vertical storage is so important. This affordable desk organizer will maximize your space and help keep your desk neat and tidy. It is easy to assemble and can be built in different shapes and lengths in case you prefer to use it on a dresser or worktop. Comes in black and white.
Pendleton towels are known for their quality – this one will survive the college years and beyond. This 100% cotton towel measures a generous 30 x 58 inches and meets Made in Green by Oeko-Tex standards. Plus, it just looks cool. Don’t let roommates steal it! Coordinating sizes are also available.
Nobody likes a dirty living space. Between the high traffic and late night snacks, a dorm room can get rough quickly. This Black+Decker handheld vacuum is affordable, reliable and easier to store than an upright vacuum. Plus, it comes with a pull-out crevice tool for hard-to-reach places and messy crumbs.
This story was originally published earlier and has been updated with additional tips.
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