Target has always been a one-stop shop for all things college, and here is where you can start: the Target College Shop has everything your teen will need.
Below are some of the most-popular Target dorm essentials purchased by Grown and Flown parents. Before you jump into dorm shopping, your teen should look for anything their college prohibits in the residence life section of the website. Here are 50 questions to try to answer before you start shopping.
College students can save even MORE between 7/18-8/26 with College Student Appreciation. They can find furniture, bedding, storage solutions and more and enjoy a one-time 20% discount on their entire shopping trip through Target Circle, in stores or online. Students need a valid student I.D. to access the deal. Not a Target Circle member yet? Join for free at Target.com/circle.
Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation for purchases made through some of the links in this post.
Back to school shopping at Target
Popular college dorm items
Most students will have access to a microwave or mini-fridge to do a bit of “cooking,” which means reheating the previous night’s pizza or pouring milk on a bowl of cereal. These dishes are lightweight, unbreakable, dishwasher safe, and available in four colors.
These lightweight, rolling carts offer super-practical storage in a dorm room or bathroom. Finding items that can travel from dorm to apartment is essential to remember, as your student will likely live in both during their college years. This is one of those great finds.
This antimicrobial towel set comes in three colors (white, grey, and black)and includes two bath towels and two hand towels.
Walking from communal showers back to a dorm room means juggling a shower caddy and clothes while keeping a towel from falling off. This absorbent terry-cloth body wrap stays closed with velcro.
A mesh shower caddy is lightweight and more flexible than a hard plastic caddy. Available in three different colors.
The first weeks of school are typically hot, even at colleges in colder climates. This fan is small and powerful for dorms and helps with air circulation.
Having new, lightweight hangers in a dorm or bedroom closet is an orderly way to move into closet space. These are available in five colors.
Target has a wide selection of storage bins, drawers, ottomans, etc. Here’s a great place to start looking at storage cubes and cubbies.
Under-bed storage is the secret to helping your son or daughter optimize their space in a dorm room. If possible, try to find the actual dimensions of the bed and how high it is lofted in the specific dorm they are assigned to. Pick and choose the types of bins that will best fit this valuable real estate. Clear works best so your student can see what they’ve stored inside.
There are also many types of storage drawers and utility carts at Target.
Using a backpack laundry bag is a practical solution for many students — the bag takes up less floor space than a hamper and can be a convenient way to tote laundry and detergent from the dorm room to the laundry room.
College students are not known for being neat, and they accumulate a TON of trash. This is a 7-gallon trashcan with a step-on pedal and lid. Pack trash can liners and remind your teen why they need to use them.
Some students like to have decorative storage solutions, and this option is popular.
Twin XL Bedding
If your teen prefers to sleep with a fitted sheet and comforter, make sure the comforter is machine washable!
This comforter caught our eye. Well-priced and durable, it is available in six color combinations, including this pretty light blue and navy.
This is the best way to make a hard-as-rock dorm bed more comfortable. There are egg crates (which tend to be less expensive), memory foam, and much more costly high-tech toppers.
If your teen can feel the differences in the options at a Target store, you can decide quickly. Otherwise, choose one that works with your budget. They will all help your teen have a more comfortable place to sleep.
Don’t forget a mattress encasement that protects against bedbugs and household allergens and is waterproof. Likewise, a clean new pillow will only stay that way with a pillow cover. AllerEase makes one that protects against household allergens and is a bedbug barrier.
Being able to prop up comfortably in bed is essential if your student plans to study or read there, and these bed rest pillows are perfect. They are available in four colors.
Throw blankets are perfect for the end of a dorm bed. They are also great for when it gets extra cold in the room.
More dorm and college life extras
The bestselling off-to-college guide, The Naked Roommate, is something we love recommending to new college students. Author Harlan Cohen answers hundreds of questions that almost every student will face in an incredibly knowledgeable and supportive manner. This is a must-buy!
If your student’s dorm room is suite-style or has a bathroom attached, this bath mat is an excellent addition to the bathroom. It is made with suction cups at the bottom to avoid slipping.
Target has many trendy ideas for easy and inexpensive ways to decorate an entire wall.
A vanity mirror is essential for doing makeup and getting ready. The mirrors in the dorms are not of excellent quality, and it is sometimes hard to do makeup if many people are trying to get ready at once.
This is such a cute and trendy way to decorate the walls in the dorms. You can hang up all of your favorite photos on these string lights.
This compact lamp has a convenient organizer for pens, pencils, or other small items. Also, it has a flexible neck and can be moved around easily.
If your teen is a coffee drinker, consider getting a Keurig Mini — at 5″ wide; it will fit in a small space and will be a little bit of luxury when they want a cup of coffee without having to leave their room. Comes in six colors.
Having a microwave in the dorm is convenient for easy cooking and reheating leftovers!
Target has many ways to shop
You Might Also Want to Read:
How to Shop for College: 25 Bestselling Dorm Essentials — just in case you want even MORE ideas about what your teen might enjoy using at the dorm.
Moving Into the Dorm: 12 Things That Will Save Your Life — here are the best ideas about managing move-in day, like a pro!