This story is part ofour year-round collection of the best gift ideas.
Dorm life is a new way of life for incoming college students. They’re leaving home to embark on a new adventure, navigating roommates, rules, laundry and other hazards of “adulting.” With this new setting comes a need for new supplies. It also often comes with budget restrictions!
The right goods at the right price can set the dorm-dweller up for success. And we’ve rounded up the best Amazon picks for the job. Some of these items are necessary — a laundry hamper and a shower caddy for instance. But some are creature comforts, like a dorm smart speaker or. We’ve got recommendations for decor (a washable rug! A USB lamp!) as well as smart basics including under-bed storage and noise-cancelling headphones. Take a look and score some dorm essentials for a steal on Amazon — maybe an online shopping spree can provide a first lesson on budgeting for the college student.
This hot AirPods Pro alternative will help students avoid the daily dorm racket with active noise cancellation technology. Bonus: A pair of JBL Live Pro 2 earbuds boasts a budget-friendly price. Read CNET’s guide to the best noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds for 2022 for more info on our picks.
The shower caddy is a small but mighty addition to the dorm room shopping list. Students can stock it with their favorite products and haul it to and fro. (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 the more subdued solid apricot or gray.
A Bluetooth-enabled rechargeable record player that’s also portable? Perfect. Victrola’s Revolution Go record player is a great pick for college-bound kids. It’s compact enough for dorm life, and it can be set up anywhere with the help of the removable carrying strap. No plugs necessary. Record collection not included.
An inconvenient fact about dorm beds: they are generally twin XL size, which means normal twin sheets won’t fit. This cotton-blend set conforms to dorm sizing, and as an added bonus, it comes in a trendy cow print! Other prints, including plain gray and blue butterfly, are also available. The three-piece set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcase.
A pair of shower sandals is a staple of dorm living. This Reef pair goes above and beyond — they’ve got traction to prevent slipping and they’re nice enough to wear outside the bathroom! Quality construction means your Water Court sandals will last beyond dorm life. Available in black, olive, pink and white on Amazon.
Even a 2×3-foot rug can work wonders in a dorm room, both for decor and comfort. Ruggable’s fun rainbow prints liven up even drab spaces. And even better, Ruggable rugs are stain- and water-resistant and can be washed in any laundry facility. Spills? No problem. Peel the top layer from the rug pad and just toss it in the wash.
This popular Amazon desk lamp has a modern look and a very useful design. It’s adjustable and it can charge devices when outlets are in short supply — perfect for a dorm desk. Bonus: A dual-USB port and LED light bulb are included. Available in black and white with a wood accent.
Spare future roommates from stumbling on your dirty socks! A clothes hamper is a must-buy when it comes to dorm living because everyone needs to collect their laundry. This one is great because it comes with two removable bags — genius for rotating out laundry loads. The handles and lid are helpful, too.
This set from Amazon Basics contains everything needed to make up a dorm bed. Comforter, sheets, sham and pillowcase, conveniently sized in Twin XL. The burgundy plaid is particularly nice, 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.
A tiny fridge, how convenient! College students will love keeping beverages, food and skincare cool 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 power cords for a car or home.
This blanket has room for everyone! Big Blanket Co. makes huge blankets (100 square feet of blanket) so the whole crew can cozy up for movie night or picnics in the quad. Whatever the occasion, your college newbie will be ready for friends. Bonus: Despite its size, you can still toss this blanket in a standard washing machine.
Blueair makes a dorm-size air filter that removes 99.97% of harmful particles — a smart pandemic purchase. This Blue Pure 411 covers rooms up to 190 square feet (other models also available), filtering out odors, smoke, pollen, allergens, COVID-19 and other irritants. It even has an indicator light that shows air quality status.
Even if you have to raise your bed, maximizing dorm room 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 convenient access. Also available in a two-drawer set.
Pendleton’s towels are known for their quality — this one will outlast the college years and beyond. This 100% cotton towel is a generous 30×58-inch size and meets Made in Green by Oeko-Tex environmental standards. Plus, it just looks cool. Don’t let your roommate steal it! Coordinating sizes are also available.
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