Dorm essentials to make your room feel like home

Don't start college without these necessities.

college dorm room
Six products that make dorm living easier.Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu via Unsplash

Moving is an event of unpredicted challenges. If you’re moving into a dorm room for the first time this fall, there will likely be several adjustments to navigate. For many people, it’ll be their first time using a communal bathroom, eating according to cafeteria hours, and sharing a room with a stranger. Here are a few time tested items that will help ease the transition into dorm room living, and, hopefully, even make the experience more pleasant.

iDesign Spa Plastic Shower Caddy

iDesign Spa Plastic Shower Caddy
A simple, sturdy daily shower caddy.Amazon

A shower caddy will quickly become an essential daily item if you’re using a communal bathroom. It’s the easiest way to bring your shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries to and from the shared washroom and shower. This one is particularly convenient for showering because you can drain the water out after you finish and avoid leaving a puddle on the floor when you bring it back to your room.

Waves Unisex Flip Flops

Waves Unisex Flip Flops
They’re made from recyclable natural rubber.Amazon

Here’s another item you probably aren’t accustomed to using daily, but will become a staple. You’ll want to wear flip flops when you use the communal shower in your dorm, or even when you are just walking around the dorm itself. These are made of 100 percent natural rubber and come in blue, grey, black, and red.

Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle

Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle
This Bodum kettle comes in black, red, and white.Amazon

A typical dorm room won’t have a kitchen, but you’ll be surprised how creative you can get with a simple tea kettle in your room. You’ll have tea and coffee on hand when you’re up late studying and you’ll also be able to prepare simple soups and ramen. Though not a home-cooked meal, it’s an added comfort when you’re away from home.

SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker

SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker
Save on plastic.Amazon

Speaking of not having access to a full kitchen, a SodaStream is a bubbly distraction (or well-deserved break) from studying. Make sugar-free carbonated drinks—or mix it with whatever you want—as a way to save you from late-night trips to the vending machine. You'll get everything you need, including a 60-liter CO2 cylinder and a 1-liter reusable bottle. Unlike the basic SodaStream, this one plugs into the wall and allows you to choose between three levels of carbonation.

Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Rest easier.Amazon

One of the first things you might notice when you walk into your dorm room is the plastic and crinkly feeling of your mattress. If you are used to softer surfaces or are a sensitive sleeper, there are ways of improving the situation without purchasing a completely new mattress. This gel foam mattress topper is three inches tall and will give you an extra layer of comfort to lay on. It’s twin XL, which is the size of most dorm room beds.

Laundry Backpack with Shoulder Straps and Mesh Pocket

Laundry Backpack with Shoulder Straps and Mesh Pocket
The backpack straps make it easy to carry a full load of dirty clothes to the laundry room.Amazon

If you don’t want your dirty clothes all over the floor of your room, it goes without saying that you’ll need a hamper. This one is great for a college dorm because it’s easy to lug to the laundry room, and it’s collapsible so won’t take up an entire closet. You can wear it like a backpack, and there’s a mesh pocket to store your laundry detergent, so you don’t lose it.