Can you believe it’s back to school already? After nearly two years of a pandemic disrupting traditional in-person school, many college students are finally on campus once again. Back to the quad, the cafeteria, the dorm—all of it! If you find yourself back living that #DormLife after quite the hiatus, chances are you’ll need some new stuff even if the semester has already started.
That, of course, includes plenty of college-friendly upgrades for the new school year! And no, we’re not talking new books.
11 Best Dorm Life Upgrades
From dorm room essentials for your bed, the bathroom and well, beyond, here are 11 of the best dorm life upgrades that will have all your roommates, suitemates and floormates feeling pretty jealous. As always, the prices listed may fluctuate over time.
A college dorm room staple has forever been—and forever will be—the twin XL mattress. It can’t simply be a twin; every college in the U.S. had to go and be different and make it an “extra long” twin. So for that, you’re going to need twin XL sheets!
The Mellanni Twin XL Sheet Set is just about the best you can do in this department, as these sheets have gone as close to viral as sheets can get. Don’t believe us? Just check the more than 250,000 ratings on Amazon.com—totaling a 4.5-star rating.
This bestselling sheet set is available in just about every color under the sun. These linens are made of high-quality microfiber and are fade-, stain-, shrink- and wrinkle-resistant.
One Amazon.com reviewer of the many wrote, “Absolutely the best sheets I’ve ever bought in my whole life. You won’t be disappointed, I’m looking to buy another set just to have on hand. Love that they don’t wrinkle, quality is great and I wash my sheets once a week with no issues with the material fading or thinning out. Highly recommend.”
Another reviewer even wrote an 18-line poem about these sheets!
What better place to get stuff for your dorm than on Dormify?! The Non-Slip Bedside Caddy is precisely what it sounds like—an over-the-bedside pocket or caddy for your phone, glasses, TV remote and other necessities. To make sure it stays put, it is outfitted with a non-slip backing. This clever little invention also features a special spot for holding an extension cord so that you can conveniently charge all of your devices while you sleep, nap or just chill in bed.
One Dormify.com reviewer wrote, “I got this in white and it’s even better than expected. Not only is it spacious, sleek, and great for all my bedside electronics, but the quality is also way better than expected. It’s made to look kinda like a white leather. Definitely recommend!
No extra-long college mattress is complete without the necessary memory foam topper for added support and comfort! Because students’ backs have enough aches and pains from all studying and tech-neck, too, they might as well get a good night’s sleep that doesn’t misalign their spine!
The 3-Inch Bamboo Charcoal and Aloe Infused Memory Foam Topper is highly rated, with 78 percent of Home Depot reviewers recommending it for better sleep. Because of its charcoal and aloe-infused properties, this college-friendly mattress topper is also a great option for anyone suffering from allergies.
One HomeDepot.com reviewer wrote, “This mattress topper has changed the quality of my sleep in less than a week. It is hypoallergenic and is great for anyone that suffers with allergies.”
Made with ever-hungry college kids in mind, the College Kitchen 3-Tier Rolling Cart Storage Solution is the ideal spot to store snacks in what is usually a notoriously small kitchen. Or, maybe you don’t even have a kitchen, but you still need a place for goodies!
The 4.7-star rated cart comes with a Linus Coffee Pod Holder, Linus Coffee Station, three sets of Tellfresh Food Storage Containers, a 3.4-quart OXO Pop Cereal Dispenser, an X-Small Smoke Plastic Storage Bin, a Medium Smoke Plastic Storage Bin, and labels. Of course, you could always edit the items to fit your exact needs for the cart, too.
One reviewer wrote on TheContainerStore.com, “Easy to assemble, sturdy, looks great and is very versatile. It’s everything a rolling cart is hyped up to be. Love it!!”
Never underestimate the power of a shower caddy! It keeps all your shower stuff together and, thanks to its portable nature, makes it easier to bring back and forth to the bathroom when it’s time to scrub-a-dub-dub. Made of flexible plastic and featuring convenient drain holes that allow water to escape easily, the Casabella Grey Flexible Shower Basket—which has a 4.8-star rating on The Container Store—also has an integrated divider for keeping toiletries organized.
One TheContainerStore.com reviewer wrote, “My daughter loves this shower tote. Here’s a tip: Buy two in different colors… Load one with your shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, razor, body cream (anything you may need when you go to take a shower). Load the other one with the items you will need to wash up in the morning and at night….your toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, face wash, face cream, floss, mouthwash, etc. That way… you’ll always be organized and have everything you need for showering and washing up.”
Speaking of college shower culture, we can’t forget the shower shoes! This lightweight and machine-washable pair of silicone flip-flops has some surprising pros besides the fact that you can wear them in the shower. Other benefits include reducing pressure on the feet, joints and back and are also designed to minimize odor.
The OOFOS Original Sandal has 4.6 stars and nearly 20,000 reviews and a particularly passionate fan base made up of sufferers of plantar fasciitis. Still, they make an epic shower shoe, even if you don’t deal with foot pain.
Gonna miss your bidet at home? Never fear—you may be sharing a bathroom with four other suitemates, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a clean tush (because, let’s face it, toilet paper just doesn’t work as good as people insist it does).
Popular bidet company Tushy makes a lifesaver of a product: the Tushy Travel Bidet. It’s a handheld silicone bottle with a spray nozzle and when you’re ready for a rinse, just fill it with water and squirt. It keeps your bum clean as can be, and since it’s so small, it’s discreet, too. No one will even know you’re using a portable bidet in the shared bathroom!
Sure, campus officials and security assure the heck out of parents during the initial tour, telling us the campus is safe, that there is plenty of security and that the dorm rooms lock automatically behind them. But we all know there’s no such thing as too much safety. (Plus, peace of mind for the parents is never a bad thing.)
The Sabre Dorm Apartment Security Alarm Kit is a trio of alarm products—a wedge door stop alarm, personal keychain alarm and wireless window alarm—that keep students safe wherever they are. With a 4.4-star rating and nearly 5,000 reviews, parents and co-eds alike are raving about it.
One Amazon.com reviewer wrote, “These are fantastic. VERY loud. Fantastic door alarm that no one should be without in my opinion, even if you have an alarm.”
Ah, the laundry. The washer and dryers are never as close to your dorm room as you think they are! And you know what that means: You can’t have a sucky hamper, or else you’ll find yourself having a real hard time carrying it to and from your room.
The Large Zip Laundry Bag is the perfect solution to this as it fits all your dirty wash (it’s 19 inches by 24 inches), is made with 100 percent cotton and features a reinforced zip closure with a cloth zipper pull.
One TheLaundress.com reviewer wrote, “Very large. Fits everything for a single laundry.”
What’s a dorm room without a sick mini-fridge stocked to the nines? The Frigidaire Coral Retro Bar Fridge makes all other standard college mini-fridges look totally lame. For one, this mini-fridge has a vintage retro feel that instantly warms up your decor, and it makes for a fun conversation piece, too, when friends come to hang out.
This 4.5-star fridge (which has more than 2,500 reviews) also comes in various vibrant colors—the above-pictured coral, blue, moonbeam (lavender), red, black and white—and features an adjustable thermostat and a built-in bottle opener on the side.
One Amazon.com reviewer raved, “I bought this fridge for my soft drinks, milk and yes, beer. It seemed like it cooled a little slow when I first plugged it in. However, now when you open a coke and pour it into a glass, it turns half to slush like pulling a coke out of the old coke coolers at the country store back in the day. I love this fridge!”
As for that mini-fridge, you want to make sure you keep it super stocked but also that the area around it is organized, too. That’s where the Suprima Portable Mini-Fridge Organizer, a 4.8-star product, comes in handy!
This portable and easy-to-assemble shelving unit has a space for your mini-fridge, as well as a metal basket and sliding shelf for easy access to your chips, dips, sodas and waters. Plus, the shelf on the top is the ideal spot for a microwave (if your RA allows one!).
One Overstock.com reviewer wrote, “It was easy to assemble and looks exactly like the picture. I have a small refrigerator on it and it is sturdy. The shelves are sturdy too. I got it in white. I would recommend it for a small room or dorm room. You may want to put a piece of heavy plastic on the shelves so things don’t fall through.”
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