Dorm Room Essentials: 12 Must-Have Products

Dorm Room Essentials: 12 Must-Have Products

Chances are you’ve got a million things swirling through your mind as you prepare to become a college student, whether it’s your first time at school or you’re returning after a long summer away from campus. 

For dorm room newbies starting freshman year, thinking about the things you need to pack might seem daunting, but don’t panic — we’re here to help!

In this post, we’re diving into #CollegeLife to uncover all of the college dorm room essentials to help make your first year a great one. If you’re struggling to pack your bags because you don’t know what to bring, keep reading. 

Here are 12 must-have dorm essentials you simply don’t want to go without.

1. Closet Organizers

When it comes to small spaces such as a dorm room, organization is key. Stock up on storage containers and organizers with many compartments to arrange items on your desk, what’s on the hangers in your closet, and the shoes on the floor. 

Sure, you can always forgo this dorm room essential, but seeing as clutter can make us feel stressed and anxious, we highly advise against it. Organizing when you go back to school will make your dorm room feel bigger, and it might even relieve some stress.

2. Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers are all about comfort. That's why we suggest a memory foam topper for your dorm mattress, as it can transform a lumpy 'old mattress into a blissful, hotel-like bed. And since you’ll likely be spending a lot of time lounging on your dorm bed, you’ll want something super comfortable. Trust us on this one. 

When you pick up a mattress pad, make sure it fits your dorm bed. Most small dorms have twin or twin XL mattresses, but others offer larger beds.

3. Shower Caddy

A shower tote is an absolute MUST as far as #DormLife is concerned. These nifty little containers are designed to hold all the various toiletries that might be needed during an early-morning or late-night shower, such as:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Loofah 
  • Deodorant
  • Bath buffer
  • Hairbrush
  • Shower cleaning supplies

Since your dorm room probably won’t have its own bathroom, you’ll likely have to walk down the hall to bathe. A shower caddy makes life easier by keeping all of your bath essentials in one easy-to-carry container. 

4. Coffee Maker

Say “see ya never” to lukewarm dining hall coffee and hello to tasty drinks at any time of the day. A coffee maker is certainly necessary for those who can’t operate without getting their caffeine fix. 

Plus, having your own coffee maker will save you a pretty penny in the long run because you won’t need to buy your daily cup of joe from the on-campus coffee shop — you can simply make your own. 

5. Desk Lamp

Don’t rely on the glow from your computer screen if you’re burning the midnight oil studying. Why? Because using screens in the dark can lead to eye strain. And when your eyes are strained, it can cause a whole slew of side effects, such as:

  • Sore, tired, burning, or itching eyes
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sore neck, shoulders, or back
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased sensitivity to light

Simply put, looking at a screen in the dark is not good. So do your eyes a favor and invest in a good desk lamp. You can even find one with built-in USB ports for a lamp that doubles as a phone charger.

6. Shower Shoes

Unless you’ve spent time at summer camp, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve never enjoyed the dubious pleasures of communal showers. These shared bathroom spaces tend to offer very little in the way of privacy and can experience quite a bit of foot traffic — which brings us to the next must-have on our list: shower shoes. 

You may love everyone in your residence hall or Greek house, but at the end of the day, feet are feet, and dirt is dirt. Wearing shower shoes or flip-flops can protect you from the bacteria that can grow in showers while keeping your tootsies squeaky clean.

7. Storage Bins

Dorm rooms can be pretty itty-bitty in size (way smaller than you’d probably expect). This can pose a problem for those who like to overpack or have a lot of things. Fortunately, storage bins provide a solution to this conundrum. 

Need some help decluttering your space using storage bins? Here are a few tips below:

  • Stack containers with slide-out drawers in a tall column that you can tuck into a small nook — these are great for items you want to keep easily accessible. 
  • Store bulkier items in a trunk or storage ottoman that can double as a table or extra seating
  • Consider investing in a bed riser so that you can make use of the empty space under your bed with easily accessible under-bed storage bins. 

8. Bath Towels

You probably already have this on your packing list, but bath towels are something you definitely need to bring when moving into college life. 

The amount of towels and washcloths you should bring depends on how often you shower and how often you plan to do laundry — so take that into account when you’re shopping for towel sets!

9. Hand Sanitizer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made it crystal clear that hand hygiene is of the utmost importance. When soap and H2O aren’t readily available, hand sanitizer proves to be an effective and accessible option — hence why we’ve included this essential on the list!

Although there are many options available on the market, we recommend our Hand Defense Sanitizer. Unlike other typical sanitizers, Hand Defense isn’t sticky or tacky. It’s also infused with vitamin E and glycerine, which not only goes on smoothly, but it also hydrates the skin like a good-quality lotion would. What’s not to love?

10. Trash Can

Does your dorm room come with a wastebasket? If not, make sure to add one to your list of must-haves. You’ll need a garbage can to toss food and any other trash in your room. 

Without a designated bin to throw waste, trash will quickly start to pile up, causing quite a bit of clutter in your small space. As mentioned a little earlier, clutter can cause your stress levels to rise — whether you realize it or not. Don’t add to the stress of college and be sure to get a trash can.

Pro Tip: Opt for a washable can in case any trash bags break. Stainless steel trash cans are some of the easiest to clean, but they tend to be more expensive.

11. Bath Sponges

Another dorm room essential that you definitely don’t want to go without is a handy-dandy bath sponge like our French Lavender Wild Flower Bath Sponge. This deliciously smelling body buffer exfoliates and hydrates with extracts of yuzu, edelweiss, and vetiver for an oh-so relaxing bathing experience. 

To unleash Spongellé’s creamy fragrance, simply place your body wash-infused buffer under running water to reveal an airy, cloud-life hybrid of exfoliating massage and silky, aromatic cleansing. Rinse and squeeze out any excess water after each use and go on about your day smelling like a bouquet of freshly picked lavender. 

12. Mini Fridge

Last but certainly not least, it’s a good idea to keep a mini-fridge on deck. 

Most students snack — and some eat quite regularly each day in their dorm rooms. Unless your diet consists of all packaged foods (which is not exactly healthy), you’ll need a small fridge to store your perishables and drinks. Having a mini fridge close by also means you can save money on meal plans, fast food, and take-out.

Pro Tip: Hook your mini-fridge up to a surge protector to avoid any power issues.

A Final Word

There you have it: 12 dorm room essentials that you simply can’t go without. Although not as important, a few other items that you may want to consider bringing include a handheld vacuum for easy clean-up, an area rug for a warm feel, XL twin sheets to snuggle into, and a cozy bathrobe for comfy post-shower lounging. 

At Spongellé, we’re here to make your dorm bathing experience a great one. From bath buffers and sponges to lotion and body wash, you can count on us to have just what you need to feel clean and smell amazing. 

Check us out today to experience luxurious bath and body essentials tomorrow. Trust us — you’ll be glad you did!



What does clutter do to your brain and body? | RacGP

Fact or Fiction: Screen Use in the Dark can Harm your Eyes | Morning Sign out at UCI

Eyestrain - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Health in the Dorm | Sather Health

Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings | CDC