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List of Dorm Essentials! | Centsational Style

Hi everyone! I’m back from our trip to Florida, we had a nice vacation and I feel so rested. I received a question from a reader who’s teen is off to college about what are some necessities for living in a dorm. My daughter spent a year in a dorm last year. I remembered a lot of what we had purchased for her, but she also reminded me of a few items that she liked having since she lived the experience.

Last year, we shopped on Dormify and PB Teen and also hit up Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Walmart. Thankfully her dorm accepted Amazon packages so that was a huge help. Definitely investigate the mail room situation at your kid’s college to see what can be shipped!

images via Dormify

For kids living in the home, it’s easier to round up back-to-school products locally but for teens off to a dorm, it’s nice to start prepping early. Today’s post is for those teens off to college. Below find the top essentials for life in a dorm!


Shower Caddy & Shower Shoes: for daily trips to the showers down the hall, these carry their shampoo, soap, scrub brushes, deodorant etc.


shower caddy (multiple colors ) / shower shoes (multiple styles & colors)


Reusable Cutlery & Food Storage Containers: Each dorm has their rules about food. My daughter really liked having her own cutlery and a few food containers for when she saved part of her lunch or dinner for her late night study sessions.

reusable cutlery / food storage containers



Reading Pillow & Personal Lamp: for studying or relaxing in the dorm room with a laptop and a light for late night study sessions that don’t disturb the roommate.

reading pillow & lap top stand / desk lamp with charger


Keurig mini (or coffee maker) and/or Electric Kettle: for making coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or heating water for cups of noodles.


mini keurig / auto shut off electric kettle


Duffle Bags & Under Bed Storage: We bought several of these duffle bags and they were fantastic for bringing clothes and personal items back and forth across the country, plus our daughter used them for storage under her bed. Having a few under the bed storage boxes is also helpful for storing extra clothes.

foldable duffle bags / under the bed collapsible storage


Laundry Backpack & Small Vacuum: for mid week trips to the community laundry room and the weekend cleanup sessions.

laundry backpack (multiple colors) / handheld vacuum


Power Strip Tower with USB and C ports & Noise Canceling Headphones: For charging their tech and listening without distraction.

power strip tower / noise canceling headphones


Hydration & Immunity Boosters: Keeping them healthy is trickier in dorms, so boosters keep them hydrated and  help their bodies fight off germs.

liquid iv hydration / immunity booster


Air Purifier and/or Diffuser: Dorms can get stinky, so having a purifier can keep the air fresher. If the roommate is okay with it, an essential oil diffuser can be calming too.

air purifier / mini essential oil diffuser


Makeup Organizers and Makeup mirror (for the girls): for getting ready in their room, girls need those organizers for all their favorite products!

makeup organizer / makeup mirror


LED (or twinkle) lights & poster putty: For personalizing their rooms and creating that cool environment.


led lights / poster putty

Honorable Mentions: for added comfort, consider a mini refrigerator, a blanket hoodie (fleece with arms) for cold nights, and a storage ottoman for extra seating.


Fellow parents, what else would you suggest? Anything else your teen loved while living in a dorm? Share in the comments!