Dorm Room Essentials List: 10 Things Every Freshman Needs for College

The best online resource for all the best items for your dorm room essentials that you will actually utilize during your four years of college is this article.

As my time in college draws to a close, I have had the opportunity to experience both the best and worst of it, including living in dorm rooms essentials, acquiring an apartment with friends, and taking endless exams (at least that’s how it felt).

Over the past four years, I’ve had the chance to really identify the essentials for a college dorm room that I couldn’t have survived without and that I continued to use even after I moved out.

With everything from my top dorm room essentials, dorm bedding, “cool” going-out outfits, the hottest backpacks, and more, I’m breaking down every aspect of college for you and showing you all of my most recommended things (along with advice from my pals too).

I gave it a lot of thought as to what I would have needed to know before entering college and included anything that came to mind. Buckle in because this piece is massive, but it’s one of the greatest and most thorough ones I’ve ever written, covering everything a college freshman needs to know.

The Best Dorm Room Essentials Of All Time:

These are the top 10 items for dorm rooms that I firmly endorse. The items I utilized long after leaving dorm rooms and the ones I made sure all my friends in grades below me had when they went off to college.

Some of the items I’ve included in this piece are “wants,” but the next ten items are things you actually need, in my opinion. I certainly needed them, though.

1. 4 “Mattress protector Dorm Room Essentials

In college, a mattress pad is really necessary. Actually, it’s the most popular item that people buy from my website, and I couldn’t agree more.

My sister received the mattress pad mentioned above when she went to college after I used it for my first two years of college. It is GOOD, and, to be completely honest, it made my bed even cozier than my mattress at home.

I advise purchasing 4 “, getting a twin XL size, and ordering two or more.

Additional Mattress Pads I Suggestion:

  • Try this Extra Thick Cooling Mattress Pad Cover if you’re opposed to foam mattress pads. I purchased this in a queen because the reviews for it are astronomically positive, and I will be moving into my own apartment in a month.
  • Get this under $50 2.5″ Memory Foam Mattress Pad. However, I personally would pay the extra $20 to purchase the 4-inch model seen above.

2. 10′ Phone Charger

LIFE-CHANGING. Treat yourself and purchase one if you don’t already have one. Even if you don’t live in a dorm room, it’s around $10 and quite wonderful to have.

These, though, are very beautiful in a dorm room essentials. Since there aren’t many outlets in dorm rooms, having an extra long charger is necessary if you want to use your phone while lying in bed, which I know you like to do ;).

When there aren’t any chargers nearby, you can use these at the coffee shop or library. Throughout my four years of college, I used my 10-foot charger.

3. Towel Wrap

One of the BEST graduation presents I have ever received. At my graduation party, I was given one of these with my name monogrammed on it. Sincerely, I believe I would never use it. Surprise, I still use this every time I take a shower.

In the dorms, taking a shower might be a hassle, especially if you use a shared bathroom. This towel wrap is necessary if you want to reduce the likelihood that your towel will fall to your ankles in front of your neighbors as you are carrying all of your belongings to and from the bathroom (particularly if you live in a co-ed dorm, lol).

4. Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are unquestionably a college necessity if, like me, you have trouble falling asleep and are quickly awakened by light. Since they function so well, I continue to use mine in my flat. Seriously, it has saved my sanity and sleep.

Look at these if you want shorter blackout curtains.


These no-drill curtain rods are also AMAZING for college!

no-drill curtain rods

5. Small Clip-On Fan For Your Bed

When you’re attempting to fall asleep at night in your dorm room that doesn’t have air conditioning, you’ll be thanking this little fan. In a room that was about 85 degrees, this was the only thing that prevented me from passing out.

I adore this fan because you can attach it to your bed’s railing. Win-win. And it costs less than $20.

Sadly, it happens frequently for a dorm to be without air conditioning, so if you know that yours is one of them, acquire this clip-on fan. Since many student residence halls lack air conditioning, a fan of some kind is essential when it’s hot outside.

6. Extension Cord + Power Strip

Although it should go without saying, many people overlook this. There are usually never enough outlets in dorm rooms since we plug in SO MANY stuff, and most dorm rooms only have two. Because it offers spaces to store USB wires, I really appreciate this power strip.

7. Hydro Flask

In fact, Hydro Flasks can change your life. I vouch that I use this water bottle more than any other and drink ten times as much water.

Your water will also stay cool for a long time. I always travel with this! It’s unquestionably a college necessity that will last you a lifetime in addition to being a dorm room essentials.

In addition, these are owned by pretty much every college girl on the planet, haha. Also! The 40 ounce, please.

8. Mesh, Shower Caddy,

I strongly urge you to choose a mesh shower caddy rather than a plastic one.

In my first year, I made this error and purchased a plastic shower caddy. As a result, every time I had a shower, water would become caught in the plastic grooves. When I returned to my dorm room and set the shower caddy on the floor, there would be a sizable puddle on the floor five minutes later.

The lesson here is to invest in a mesh shower caddy since it allows water to drain much more effectively. My preferred mesh shower caddy is this one (I used my sophomore year).

9. Sound Machine

I had a lot of trouble sleeping and studying during the first few months I spent living in my dorm room since I am one of “those” people who needs complete silence to do all tasks—you know, ADD kicking in.

When I was babysitting that semester, the mother would ask me to turn on the baby’s sound machine before he went to sleep in order to drown out all the noises in the room.

That made me think, of course! This could muffle sounds as I study and sleep in my dorm room. I utilized the exact sound machine the infant had (seen above) that I had ordered, and I kid you not, I still do.

10. Small & Cheap Dirt Devil Vacuum

Considering how neatly I keep my room, I definitely keep it cleaner than 70% of college students, but this vacuum is fantastic in any dorm room essentials. It’s small and inexpensive, but I can assure you that it’s mighty.

The vacuums that were provided in both of the dorm halls I was in were from the 1960s, weighed more than 100 pounds, and produced more dust than they actually cleaned.

So I spent $20 for a vacuum and got a pretty clean room in return.

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