11 Affordable Dorm Room Essentials For Back To School Season

It’s back-to-school season and it’s never too early to start shopping for those dorm room essentials. While a college will likely provide students with a basic mattress, desk, and chair, the rest of it is up to you. It can be intimidating to think about everything you may need, but the reality is there are only a few essentials – think cleaning supplies, studying tools, and decorating items. Keeping that in mind, other students will likely engage in last-minute shopping, but if you’re reading this then you’re ahead of the game. Lucky for you, we made a list of 11 affordable dorm room essentials every college student needs and you can shop for them with just the click of a button.

1. The Home Edit Thin Wood Hangers – $24.98

Dorm rooms are notorious for small closets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of them. Opt for these wood hangers that can hold up to 90 pounds where you can stack shirts, pants, jackets, and even towels.

Image credit: Walmart

2. Hamilton Beach Handheld Garmet Steamer – $21.22

If you’re running late to class and have a presentation that day, this handheld steamer will come in handy. Within 30 seconds, this steamer fully heats up and is ready to get rid of wrinkles for a more polished and professional look.

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3. Lifewit Mesh Shower Caddy – $8.99

Communal bathrooms are the bane of existence for many college students, but this shower caddy makes it easier. Featuring seven pockets, this caddy can be filled to the brim with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other bathroom essentials. When not in use, tuck it away under your bed or hang it on a doorknob for easy access.

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4. Home Logic 2 Bushel Rolling Plastic Laundry Hamper – $19.98

After a week full of classes and extracurriculars, the laundry will pile up. Instead of tossing it into a pile on the floor, opt for this rolling laundry hamper. Simply pop up the handle and roll it to your building’s laundry room. Don’t forget to separate your colors and whites!

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5. Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 , Dry and Wet Multisurface Floor Cleaner – $13.24

When it’s time for Sunday cleaning, grab this Swiffer floor cleaner to pick up dirt, dust, and crumbs. The swivel design makes it easy to get around the corners of a desk, bed, and minifridge for the ultimate clean. Plus, there’s little effort required so anyone can do it.

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6. Furmax’s Manager Chair with Swivel & Lumbar Support – $49.99

This chair offers lumbar support for those long hours spent studying at your desk. The padded seat provides comfort for your legs and it’s equipped with two armrests to let your arms relax as you peruse a textbook.

7. USB LED Desk Lamp – $18.99

College dorm room lighting fixtures are subpar and not designed for tiny textbook fonts. Set yourself up for success this school year with a desk lamp to illuminate your papers and notes while using its USB ports to charge your phone.

8. Hyper Tough 2 Pack 6-Outlet Surge Protector – $13.92

Between a computer charger, phone charger, lamp, and microfridge, you’ll want to snag a surge protector to protect yourself from electrical damage from overuse and lightning strikes. Plus, they serve as extension cords so you can charge your phone and laptop whether on your bed or at a desk.

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9. Knowza Photo Clip String Lights – $15.99

Since a dorm room will be your home for the next year, you might as well take the time to decorate it. Use these string lights with photo clips to hang up Polaroid pictures and photos for a visually appealing aesthetic.

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10. Subrtex Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper – $70.99+

The beds in a dorm are nothing special so having a mattress topper is crucial for a restful night’s sleep. Let your body sink into this memory foam topper after a long day of classes to benefit from its pressure relieving properties and cooling technology

11. Mainstays Eco-Friendly Recycled Plastic 3-Piece Flatware Set – $1.98

There’s no worse feeling than getting back to your dorm room and realizing you forgot to grab utensils at the cafeteria. Keep this 3-piece flatware set in your room so you’ll always have a fork, spoon, and knife handy.


What do you really need in a dorm room?

It’s easy to get carried away with what you think you need in a dorm room. However, you’ll want to make sure you have the basics covered first and foremost – think cleaning supplies, studying tools, and everyday essentials. Next, if you want to give your room some personality, you may want to opt for home decor items like tapestries, throw pillows, and posters for the walls.

How can I decorate my dorm room?

Every college campus will have a different set of guidelines on what is allowed in your dorm room. However, typical dorm room decorations include fairy lights, posters, and succulents. Whether it’s a favorite band or a motivational quote, really anything goes when it comes to decor.

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