25 Bestselling Dorm Essentials for College Freshman 2020

Ever wonder what’s on the list of the most popular dorm essentials for college freshmen? Here are some of the bestselling off-to-college items that other Grown and Flown parents are buying for their freshmen.

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25 Popular Dorm Room Essentials

Ikea Frakta Bag 
We suggest these great, inexpensive IKEA bags for moving in and out, and underbed storage for after move-in day.  They are the #1 most popular dorm item for Grown and Flown.

Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials

Hydro-Flask Water Bottle
Colleges have water dispensers around campus and encourage students to use their own water bottles, rather than buying water in plastic bottles.  We are big fans of Hydroflask, which offers bottles in several sizes and many colors.

Hydro Flask

The Grown and Flown book has all you need for college shopping, move-in day, and… preparing to say goodbye. 

grown and flown book

Shower Shoes 
All students living in dorms with communal bathrooms need shower shoes. Havianas are more expensive than others but we love the variety of colors and designs which make them less likely to get confused with hall mates’ flip flops.

shower shoes

Keurig Mini
At 5″ wide, this Keurig is just the right size for a dorm room and comes in black, silver or this pretty mint color.
Keurig coffee maker

Command Large Utility Hook
Inexpensive, incredibly strong and truly useful, these command strips are favorite dorm essentials.

Dorm essentials

Vornado Air Circulator Fan
This small fan offers a lot of cooling and air circulating power and gets a high recommendation from the NY Times Wirecutter reviewers. A fan is a must for dorms that are not air-conditioned.

fan in room

Hand Tool Set with Tool Box Storage Case
A tool set is something that every teen will eventually need, especially once they move off campus.

dorm essentials

Bed Pillow
This pillow gets high marks from the Wirecutter and we can see why. It is made of shredded memory foam so will not get lumpy or go flat. It is also hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant and machine washable.

bed pillow

First Aid Only All-Purpose Kit
You’ll want to make sure your teen has the basics you’ve always always had on hand for minor injuries or headaches.  Add the cough and cold meds that work for them with instructions for use. This pack is small and an efficient place to start.

first aid kit

Clothes Steamer 
Taking a bulky iron and ironing board to college isn’t practical if your teen is living in a dorm.  Consider this handheld steamer, instead.

clothes steamer

Jackery Compact External Battery Power Bank 
Having a phone fully charged is truly the very best safety device your teen can have in college. This lightweight and portable charger fits in a backpack, can charge multiple devices at once and does it twice as fast as a regular charger.

power bank

Surge Protector Power Strip 12 Outlets and 2 USB Charging Ports
Extension cords are banned in many colleges, so pack one of these, instead.  Your teen will have plenty of outlets for their electronics and a 6 ft. long cord, too.


Electronic Compact Safe
If your teen has prescription meds, keepsake jewelry, a passport or other valuables, getting a small safe is a very good idea.
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials

Quick Dry Hanging Toiletry and Bath Organizer
Most dorm bathrooms are communal and your son or daughter will need a way to carry everything with them down the hall and back. This brand got high marks by reviewers for its durability.

shower caddy


LED Desk Lamp
This lamp has a charging USB port on the base and can be dimmed when your teen is up studying when their roommate is asleep.
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials
Classico Over Door Organizer Hooks
One thing that your kid will need is a place to hang a wet towel and this set of hooks is perfect for that, or jackets, hats, etc.
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials


Door Stopper 
Use this for move in day and leave it behind so your new freshman can prop up their door to more easily meet their hallmates. This is a one of the smallest, least expensive dorm essentials.

door stopper


Set of 5 Mesh Laundry Bags
Your daughter can wash her delicate garments inside these mesh bags to keep them from getting hopelessly twisted and ruined. They can also help keep the sock monster at bay if she washes her socks together in one bag.
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials
Pop-Up Collapsible Mesh Laundry Hamper 
Teens need a place to stash dirty laundry and this lightweight hamper can be easily transported to the laundry room once it is filled to overflowing.
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials
Mattress Topper 
Dorm bed mattresses are rock-hard bricks encased in vinyl so adding a mattress topper will be something your teen will thank you for. There are many, many toppers on the market, with different materials, thicknesses and price points. Tempur-Pedic is highly recommended by the NYTimes Wirecutter reviewers.

mattress topper

Foam Reading Pillow
So much studying takes place on a dorm bed and a pillow like this will help make it much more comfy.

Popular dorm extras for a college checklist

Amazon Basics Reversible Microfiber Comforter – Twin/Twin Extra-Long, Navy Blue
If your teen is looking for a basic comforter, this one from Amazon is worth taking a look at.
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials

Microfiber Sheet Set – Twin Extra-Long, Navy Blue
Ditto, the navy Amazon sheets, which would work well with the comforter. 
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials

Amazon Basics Classic Backpack
Is it time for your teen to replace their grimy high school backpack? This one is well-priced and a classic style.
Most popular grown and flown dorm essentials

Dorm Bed Shelf
Nightstands are not supplied in most dorm rooms so having a bunk shelf like this one can be a convenient space for students to have their phones, glasses and other necessities close at hand when they go to bed.

dorm bed shelf

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If you're looking for more things you need to stock up your college student's dorm room, then you'll want this list of popular dorm room essentials your teen must have. These dorm must haves are the perfect addition to your college prep shopping list. #college #collegedorm #dormroom #dormideas #dormlife #collegeprep #teens #teen #collegeessentials

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