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Dorm life can be difficult for incoming students. From sharing a new space with roommates, to laundry and general “grown-up” dangers, it can be a lot to navigate. With this new setup comes the need forand dorm room essentials. It also often comes with .
The right goods at the right price can ensure the success of a dormitory tenant. That’s why we’ve rounded up Amazon’s best picks for the job. Some of these items are essential – laundry baskets and shower cubicles, for example. But some are creature comforts, like aor a smart speaker in a dorm. We’ve got decor recommendations (a real rug! A USB lamp!), as well as smart basics, including under-bed storage and noise-canceling headphones. Check out and score some dorm room essentials for cheap on Amazon. Online shopping could provide a college student’s first lesson in budgeting.
Want even more options? CNET teamed up with Amazon to select more than 60 other bedroom essentials we recommend. The list is a mix of products we’ve reviewed or personally tested, along with some promising household basics with high user ratings.
This hot AirPods Pro alternative will help students avoid the daily racket of the dorm with active noise cancellation technology. Bonus: A pair of JBL Live Pro 2 headphones is a bargain. Read CNET’s guide to the best true wireless noise-cancelling headphones of 2022 for more information on our picks.
A shower tub is a small but powerful addition to your dorm shopping list. Students can stock 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 combinations include teal and orange, navy and mustard, or a more muted solid apricot or gray.
A rechargeable Bluetooth-enabled turntable that’s also portable? Perfect. Victrola’s Revolution Go turntable is a great choice for students. It’s compact enough for dorm life and can be set up anywhere with the help of a removable carrying strap. No plugs required. A collection of records is not included.
An inconvenient fact about dorm beds: they are mostly XL sizes, which means normal double sheets won’t fit. This cotton-blend set is bedroom-sized, and as an added bonus, it comes in a trendy cow print! Other prints are available, including plain gray and blue butterfly. Three-piece set includes fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcase.
A pair of shower sandals is a bedroom staple. This Reef pair goes above and beyond – they have slip-resistant traction and are cute enough to wear outside the bathroom! Quality construction means your Water Court sandals will outlast your dorm life. Available in black, olive, pink and white on Amazon.
Even a 2×3 foot rug can do wonders in a bedroom, both for decor and comfort. Ruggable’s fun rainbow prints liven up even drab spaces. Even better, Ruggable rugs are stain and water resistant and can be washed in any laundromat. Spills? No problem. Remove the top layer from the mat and just throw it in the wash.
This popular Amazon table lamp has a modern look and a very useful design. It’s adjustable and can charge devices when there aren’t enough outlets — perfect for a dorm desk. Bonus: Dual-USB port and LED light are included. Available in black and white with wood accents.
Save future roommates from tripping over your dirty socks! A clothes basket is essential when it comes to dorm life because everyone needs to pick up their own laundry. This one is great because it comes with two removable bags — genius for rotating laundry. The handles and lid are also helpful.
This set from Amazon Basics includes everything you need to assemble a dorm bed. Comforter, bed sheet, cover and pillowcase, conveniently sized in Twin XL. The coral medallion print is particularly beautiful, but if that’s not your style, there are 16 additional colors. Bonus: The set is Made in Green by Oeko-Tex, which means it meets environmental standards.
Small fridge, how convenient! Students will love keeping drinks, food and skin care products cold in their own refrigerator. This one from Uber Appliance has a removable shelf that can hold 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 room for everyone! Big Blanket Co. makes huge blankets (100 square foot blankets) so the whole crew can snuggle up for movie night or picnics in the quad. No matter the occasion, your college freshman will be ready for friends. Bonus: Despite its size, you can still throw this blanket in a standard washing machine.
Blueair makes a dormitory-sized air filter that removes 99.97% of harmful particles – a smart purchase in the event of a pandemic. This Blue Pure 411 covers rooms up to 190 square feet (other models available), filtering odors, smoke, pollen, allergens, COVID-19 and other irritants. It even has an indicator light that shows the status of the air quality.
Even if you have to raise the bed, maximizing your bedroom space with under-bed storage is a great idea. This trio of drawers makes perfect use of that empty space. Each molded plastic drawer has a lid and slides out of the metal frame for easy access. Also available in a set with two drawers.
Dorm mattresses are unbearably uncomfortable, and this mattress topper is just what residents need to transform their sleeping experience. Two inches of memory foam adds extra cushion and relieves pressure. In addition, the cooling gel beads help regulate body temperature at night.
Be sure to buy the Twin XL as it is the standard size mattress for most dorms and homes.
College students need plenty of rest, which means a comfy pillow (or two) is essential. Not only are these JollyVogue pillows economical, 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 using these pillows, they’ve held their fluffy shape and are still comfortable and comforting. I can’t recommend these pillows enough.”
Although most campuses have been open for some time, Zoom and asynchronous classes have not completely disappeared. While it’s great to work from your bed or couch, holding a computer on your lap for hours on end becomes uncomfortable. Buying a laptop table allows you to work from anywhere in the home.
Getting ready for a night out and need to see what it looks like? Having a full length mirror eliminates the struggle that comes with not having your own bathroom. A full length mirror hanging over your door is the best and most convenient way to try on different outfits and get ready for a night out.
Space is limited in most dormitories, and a bedside table is a luxury only for a few. A storage compartment hanging from the side of your bed allows you to use your laptop, read and snack before bed without the inconvenience of getting up and putting everything away. Now you can do it all without leaving your bed!
Power outlets can be scarce in dormitories, and there’s nothing worse than not having your phone nearby while it’s charging. Speaking from personal experience, having to sit near the nearest power outlet while your phone charges instead of moving around comfortably in bed is awful. Long phone chargers fix the obstacles raised by dorm beds and limited outlets.
Whether it’s your roommate snoring or the neighbors partying all 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 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 it can get uncomfortably stuffy in the fall and spring. The solution? Vornado fans, who have a reputation for being powerful and reliable. This stylish table fan is small enough to store away, but big enough to circulate all the air in your room. Bonus points for a neat vintage vibe.
Dorm rooms are notoriously tight, 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 placed in different shapes and lengths, in case you prefer to use it on a dresser or worktop. It comes in black and white.
Pendleton towels are known for their quality – this one will outlast the college years and beyond. This 100% cotton towel is a large 30×58 inches and meets Made in Green Oeko-Tex standards. Other than that, it looks great. Don’t let your roommate steal it! Coordinating sizes are also available.
Nobody likes a dirty living space. Between the many foot traffic and late-night snacks, a dorm room can get nasty quickly. This Black+Decker handheld vacuum cleaner is affordable, reliable and easier to store than an upright vacuum cleaner. Plus, it comes with a retractable crevice tool for hard-to-reach spots and pesky crumbs.
This story was originally published earlier and has been updated with additional selections.
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