40+ essentials to help make the most of your college dorm room

40+ essentials to help make the most of your college dorm room

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels

A college dorm room doesn’t provide a lot of space, and even for New Yorkers – who tend to be adept at navigating tight living quarters – it can be a challenge to transform this area into a home. According to data from Univstats, 211 colleges in New York provide on-campus housing. If you’re one of the lucky students living on-campus (which provides a more immersive and traditional college experience) congrats! And while your dorm room may be small, we found some cool yet functional items that can’t make your space bigger, but can at least make it more fun to live in.

All of these products have been hand-selected by Team 6sqft. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these affiliate links. All prices reflect those at the time of publishing.

Entertainment essentials 

Up your vinyl game with this stereo turntable, which looks as good as it sounds, and is available in red, silver, white, and black. The turntable uses high-fidelity audio, connects wirelessly, and has a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier. It’s easy to operate the 33 1/3 and 45 RPM speeds on the fully-automatic belt drive turntable, and there’s also a removable hinged dust cover to keep the turntable looking like new for years to come.
Audio-Technica Bluetooth Turntable, $219 on Amazon
In lieu of a TV, consider getting a mini projector that can serve as a space-saving home theatre. This one is small enough to hold in your hand, projects 100-inch images at 720p, and also includes quality audio. The Capsule II mini projector can be used with Hulu, Twitch, YouTube, Netflix, and thousands of other apps.
Nebula Capsule II Smart Portable Projector, $529.88 on Amazon 
Whether alone or with friends, this smart Rubik’s cube helps you sharpen your skills while also having fun. It connects via Bluetooth to the GoCube app and uses a rechargeable battery. The app shows the cube in real-time, analyzes your movements and provides interactive tutorials. You can also use it to play other types of games and compete with your roommate and friends – or with people from around the world.
GoCube Connected Rubik’s Cube, $79.95 on Amazon
If you prefer to roll the dice, this set includes six Bluetooth-connected dice, and each one has 3D sensors. As a result, the GoDice app knows when each dice has been taken, shaken, and rolled – as well as the numbers that come out. The app also automatically tracks and calculates scores, whether you’re playing Yatzy, Farkle, and numerous other board games.
GoDice The Connected Smart Dice, $119.95 on Amazon
This compact speaker is dustproof and also waterproof – in fact it can even float on water – so it’s great for use in your dorm room or outdoors. It’s made of regrind cork and silicone, recyclable aluminum, and rewind fabric. The speaker has a 10-hour battery life, a metal carabiner, and wireless Bluetooth connectivity. It comes in four colors: Signature Black, Red, Blue, and Gray.
House of Marley No Bounds Bluetooth Speaker, from $59.99 on Amazon
Here’s an item that will keep you from getting kicked out of your dorm room. This TV Clear Set lets you play TV sound through the true wireless earbuds so you don’t have to blast the TV’s speaker. This comes in handy when you’re trying to watch TV but don’t want to disturb your roommate and dormmates. You can connect the TV Clear earbuds to your TV via Bluetooth or with the enclosed transmitter – and the set can also be used with laptops, tablets, or phones. What makes this different from regular earbuds is that it provides advanced speech clarity.
Sennheiser TV Clear Set, $399.95 on Amazon
When you’re trying to study, these adaptive noise-canceling headphones can reduce noise by up to 98%, allowing you to concentrate on your studies. They have five different noise canceling levels to choose from, so you can decide how much noise you want to let it. The headphones also have an ultra-long 50-hour playtime before they need to be charged, and they can be adjusted to find the perfect fit.
Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones, $119.99 on Amazon
Make hands-free calls and issue voice commands with these headphones, which have an onboard microphone. You can also remotely control the volume and playback functions. The headphones use active noise cancellation (ANC) and provide 35 hours of playtime (26 with ANC on). Made of stainless steel, recyclable aluminum, and rewind fabric, the headphones are comfortable and also foldable for easy storage.
House of Marley Positive Vibration ANC Headphones, $149.99 on Amazon
If you prefer earbuds to over-ear headphones, these earbuds are great for casual listening and even working out on your exercise bike. They’re both dust-resistant and water-resistant and have active noise cancellation, as well as the option to switch to ambient sound when you need to hear what’s going on around you. One charge lasts for 25 hours with the charging case (21 hours with ANC activated).
Edifier ANC Earbuds, $79.99 on Amazon
If you want the benefits of headphones and earbuds, without actually having anything on or in your ear, these bone conduction headphones have an open-ear design. They actually transmit sound through your cheekbone, so you can always hear what’s going on. In addition, the bone conduction headphones can be used for music and phone calls, and they last for 8 hours before needing to be charged.
Haylou PurFree Bone Conduction Headphones, $119.99 on Amazon
Smart LED light strips make it quick and easy to add dramatic effects to a dorm room. These are trimmable, have removable adhesive tape on the back, and are flexible enough to bend around corners, so the light strips can be placed almost anywhere. With millions of warm and cool colors, and the ability to connect to Alexa or Google Assistant, they’re guaranteed to liven up any space in your dorm room.
GE Cync LED Light Strip, $24.98 on Amazon
Keep this mini drone in your dorm room and use it for all of your indoor and outdoor adventures. The drone, which uses a brushless motor and GPS features, has a 4K UHD camera (with 90-degree vertical and 120-degree FOV wider angles) along with shock absorption to stabilize images when shooting photos and recording videos. It’s easy to use, with an animated guide and dynamic intelligent voice broadcast. The lightweight drone weighs 8.64 pounds and the 2 batteries provide up to 60 minutes of flight time.
Ruko F11 Mini Drone with Camera, $224.99 on Amazon

Comfort essentials

In a dorm room, you’ll probably spend more time on your mattress than you ever imagined, so you’ll want one that’s not lumpy, and won’t cause aches and pain. This one provides three layers of comfort and support. The two top layers have a dual foam design that won’t sink or sag when you’re on it. The Airscape foam is also designed to ensure that it doesn’t trap heat, allowing the air to circulate and keep you cool as you sleep.
Casper Element Pro Mattress (Queen) $995 at Casper
Switch it up with this reversible comforter set that instantly upgrades any dorm room without breaking the bank. It has a diamond stripe on one side and a solid color on the other side. The 100% cotton jacquard comforter set also includes two reversible shams and two bolster pillows. The comforter set is available in Peaceful Pond (blue), White, Mercury (mid-tone gray), and Midnight.
Reversible Diamond Stripe 5 Piece Luxury Bedding Comforter Set, $129 at Sobel Westex
For deep pocket mattresses, these luxury bed sheets have a sateen weave that feels silky to the touch. The 300-count sheet set (which includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases) is wrinkle-resistant and can be machine-washed and dried. The Tencel material absorbs moisture to keep your skin dry and cool. The sheet sets are available in Powder Blue, Cloud Grey, Ivory, and White.
Molecule Luxury Bed Sheets, $119.25 on Amazon
If you have allergies, this luxury sheet set is made of 100% certified organic cotton. It’s free from synthetic insecticides, herbicides, or genetically-modified organisms and designed to provide a healthier sleep experience. The super-soft, 400-thread count sateen set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two standard pillowcases. It’s available in Natural and White.
Organic Cotton Sheet Set, $219 at Naturepedic
A weighted blanket can help you relax when lounging around, and also achieve a deeper level of sleep. This one has glass microbead filling, along with a double-sided cover that’s soft on one side, and even softer on the other side. That’s because it’s made of super soft bamboo and is also breathable and moisture-wicking to be antibacterial and keep you cool while you’re sleeping. The weighted blanket comes in a cool-looking tote bag with vegan leather straps, which makes it easy to transport and store.
Weighted Bamboo Blanket, $149 at Nolah
This lightweight bamboo comforter is versatile enough to be used alone as a comforter or as an insert with a duvet cover (since it has anchor loops). It’s made of 100% viscose from bamboo and is soft as a cloud. The material is also temperature regulating and moisture wicking, so it will keep you cool in any season. The comforter is also durable – made with an enhanced weave – and resists pilling after you launder it. It comes in a stylish, barrel-shaped duffel bag with vegan leather straps, so it’s easy to store out of the way when not in use.
Cozy Earth Comforter $469/Sale $375 at Cozy Earth
An ultra-absorbent waffle bath towel bundle can help you feel like you’re stepping out of a spa instead of the dorm shower. This one is made of 40% viscose from bamboo and 60% cotton and is designed to be super soft. It includes 2 waffle bath towels, 2 waffle hand towels, and 4 waffle washcloths. Color choices are Light Grey, White, and Charcoal.
Cozy Earth Premium Waffle Bath Bundle $185/ Sale $138.75 at Cozy Earth
If you like the feel of down comforters, but you’re allergic to the feathers of geese, swans, and ducks – or just don’t want to purchase a comforter made of animal-sourced materials, this down alternative comforter is another option. And it’s also priced more economically than a down comforter. However, the premium luxury cotton and hexagon-shaped baffle box design make it look and feel much more expensive. The comforter has corner loops in case you want to insert it in a duvet cover. 
Layla Down Alternative Comforter, $179 at Amazon
On a chilly night, this medium-weight blanket will certainly keep you warm and toasty. And the beautiful herringbone pattern will look good whether it’s on your bed or draped across the back of your chair. The blanket is made of 100% cotton, and is hand-sewn and hemmed to last for a long time. It comes in several colors, including Coastal Blue, Island Sand, Prairie Yellow, and Desert Rush. 
Heritage Blanket, $199 at Authenticity50
Whether you prefer soft or firm pillows, these can adjust to meet your needs. The Flex pillows have a quilted (and machine washable) bamboo cover that can be unzipped so you can add or remove the bamboo charcoal memory foam fill as desired. That makes the pillows comfortable for side, back, and stomach sleepers. The bamboo pillows are also 3 degrees cooler than cotton, and odor and allergy-resistant.
Cariloha Flex Pillow, $99 each on Amazon

Dining essentials

Eat, drink, and store your food and beverages safely and in style with this 15-piece bundle, which eliminates the need for disposable cups, plates, bowls, and other dining items. The set includes two 12-inch mugs with lids, two glasses with lids, a 20-ounce water bottle with a twist-off cap, a bowl with silicone snap-strap, a 16-ounce seal-tight bowl, 24-ounce seal-tight bowl, two utensil sets, and five reusable bags (10-ounce, 34-ounce, 36-ounce, 48-ounce, and 50-ounce sizes). The bundle comes in Slate, Mint, Blush, Cream, and Charcoal.
Porter 15-Piece Collection Set, $323/Sale$250 at W&P
Whether you’re drinking water, orange juice, or something else, these ice molds can make it more fun. The ice molds make 4 perfectly shaped 2-inch spheres. And you don’t have to make a mess to create them. Pour liquids in from the top, and there’s a hole on the side to keep the molds from overflowing. The BPA-free ice molds are made of food-grade premium silicone and are dishwasher-safe.
W&P Peak Silicone Sphere Ice Mold with Cover, $18/Sale $17 on Amazon
You can’t eat out forever, and you won’t want to with the 7-in-1 countertop microwave oven. That’s because it does more than just microwave your food. It also includes an air fryer, convection oven, broiler, and defroster, and it has combination-cook and sensor-cook capabilities. So you can actually cook everything from chicken wings to pizza to cookies to hamburgers in it. There are also 27 presets, so you don’t have to guess on the temperature and time.
Toshiba 7-in-1 Countertop Microwave Oven with Air Fryer, $399.99/Sale $322.99 at Amazon
This tumbler is so much fun because it can collapse from a 16-ounce container down to only 1 inch, which makes it convenient to toss in your backpack. The tumbler is made of food-grade silicone and can be used to keep hot and cold drinks at the desired temperature. It’s available in almost a dozen colors and patterns, including Ember, Glacier, Jet Black, American Bison, and Mohave.
Hydaway Collapsible Drink Tumbler, $29.95 on Amazon
Rice is one of the most versatile foods on the planet, and this rice cooker makes it easy to not only cook rice but also remove unhealthy digestive starch during the process. It uses induction heating and 3D cooking technology to cook the rice evenly, and includes a non-stick inner pot that’s easy to clean. The appliance, which is programmable and has a digital display, can be used to cook white rice, brown rice, quick rice, mixed grain, Quinoa, oatmeal, and also steam veggies.
Toshiba Low Carb Rice Cooker, $188 on Amazon
If you run on coffee, this single-serve coffee maker lets you choose from 5 strengths, 5 temperatures, and 4 brew sizes (6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces), in addition to 2 coffee shot options and also brew over ice settings. Plus, there’s a hot and cold milk frother. You can also connect to the app to brew remotely via your phone, issue voice commands with Alexa or Google Home, and get step-by-step instructions to craft the perfect drink.
K-Café Smart Single Serve Coffee Maker, $249.99 at Keurig
If you like a non-nonsense method of making coffee, this 32-ounce French Press doesn’t take up much room and makes it easy to brew coffee in four minutes. The press ensures that grit, sludge, and the resulting bitter taste, don’t get into your coffee. In addition, the double-walled insulation on the shatterproof, stainless-steel container keeps the coffee hot for hours. The French Press is available in brushed steel, polished steel, matte white, and matte black.
Espro P7 French Press, $149.95 on Amazon

Practical essentials

If you want to feel safer in your dorm room, this smart lock can work with your existing deadbolt and key so you won’t get in trouble for changing the locks. Since it fits over your existing setup, installation is quick and easy. You can unlock it remotely via the app or your Apple watch, receive push notifications, and even issue voice commands via Alexa and Google.
SwitchBot Wi-Fi  Smart Lock, $84.99 on Amazon
You’ll probably spend a lot of time sitting (or lying) around in your dorm room, which can be unhealthy. However, this space-saving exercise bike lets you work out any time of the day or night. The magnetic resistance system on the flywheel provides a smoother and quieter experience, and the V-shaped design keeps the bike (which supports up to 350 pounds) stable. Both the handlebar and padded seat are adjustable to accommodate users from 4’9” to 6’3” tall. Although a membership plan is included, you can also ride and train without it.
Merach Bluetooth Stationary Bike, $509.99/ Sale $369.99 on Amazon 
You might have a lot of people in and out of your dorm room, but one thing you don’t want in your space is flying insects. This bug zapper can be used inside or outdoors and is designed to attract and kill everything from flies to mosquitoes to gnats – pretty much anything that flies into your airspace. You can either set it on a table or the floor, or you can hang it using the included ring and chain.
Black+Decker Bug Zapper, $50.95 on Amazon
Keep your desk area clean from scratches, spills, and dropped food with this desk pad, which looks like real leather, but is actually polyurethane leather. The water-resistant material is easy to clean and has a reversible design, so you simply flip it over when you want to change the décor. It comes in blue/green, pink/purple, and tan/yellow.
Satechi Dual-Sided Eco-Leather Deskmate, $39.99 at Amazon
You probably have a lot of devices that need to be plugged in – but probably not a lot of outlets. This 100W charging station is a 7-in-1 power strip that doesn’t take up a lot of space on your desk. It has 3 USB-C ports, 1 USB-A port, and 3 AC outlets, to plug in a monitor, laptop, smartphone, and earbuds at the same time. You can also plug in a TV or desk lamp when needed since the device also has a generous 6-foot cord.
UGreen GaN 7-in-1 Power Strip, $129.99 at Amazon
Instead of buying a new backpack every year, invest in a good one that will last. This backpack is made of water-resistant nylon twill with vegan details. It has a sleek profile, but the backpack is spacious. It has a dedicated 15-inch laptop compartment, and the interior has room for books, water bottles, even clothes, and a pair of sneakers. There’s also a hidden pocket for your phone and other small items. The backpack has a top carry handle and adjustable shoulder straps. It’s available in Oxford Blue, Carbon Black, Juniper Green, and Dover Grey nylon options, and in Mahogany, Saddle Tan, and Ivory vegan leather options.
Metro Backpack, $200 at Mono
This convenient charging station hides charging cables and is also foldable so you can also take it with you. It charges up to three devices at once, like an iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch – but also works with Samsung – and other types of Qi-compatible devices. The charging station comes with a 45W wall charger, and the gray linen covering adds a touch of flair.
Fuel Foldable 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station, $119.99 on Amazon
Another way to corral those cable is with the magnetic cable wrangler. It holds up to 3 cables securely in place, whether on your desk or nightstand, so you’re not fishing around trying to find them. The magnetized wrangler is available in Pencil Gray, Toasted, Beige, Teal Me More, and I’m Blushing.
Smartish Magnetic Cable Wrangler, $24.99 on Amazon
For remote learning, videoconferencing with friends and potential employers, or recording videos to share online, the lighting makes all the difference in the world. You can clip this USB-powered light on the top of your laptop, and choose from 4 adjustable light levels. This allows you to eliminate dark shadows in the background and soften your appearance. When not in use, the light folds flat so you can toss it into a bag or store it out of the way.
Zumy Softbox Video Conference Light, $44.99 on Amazon
If you use an external monitor with your laptop – or if you have multiple large devices – they can easily clutter your desk. This dual vertical stand provides a way to safely keep them out taking up space. The stylish stand can be used to hold laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and since it is constructed of heavy-duty aluminum and has grip pads, it won’t tip over or scratch your devices.
Satechi Dual Vertical Aluminum Stand, $39.99 on Amazon
When you need to charge your devices on the go, this power bank let you charge up to three devices at a time. So, you can use it in your dorm room, at the library, or even when you’re sitting in an airport. It has 2 USB-C ports, and 1 USB-A port. In addition, the 65W wall charger lets you save your stored power when you’re near any available outlet, but the prongs fold out of the way when you’re using it as a portable power bank.
Anker 733 Power Bank GaNPrime, $99.99 on Amazon
Admittedly, it’s expensive, but in an emergency when the power goes out, this portable power station can power pretty much everything you’ll need – lamps, a laptop, a coffee maker, a refrigerator, a projector, a monitor, a gaming console. It also comes in handy when you’re out camping or off the grid since the portable power station can power drones, cameras, phones, mini-coolers, and more. And it recharges in 1.8 hours.
Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro Portable Power Station, $1,099 on Amazon

Cleaning essentials

Cleaning up your dorm room doesn’t have to be a chore and this cordless stick vacuum is simple and easy to use and has no cords to trip over. It’s battery-powered, and a single charge lasts 40 minutes. The cordless stick cleaner, which comes with plenty of accessories, can be used on carpet and hard floors, and can also be used as a handheld vacuum. The LED display tracks the remaining battery power and provides filter clean alerts.
Jashen V16 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner, $189.99 on Amazon
If you need a vacuum with mopping capabilities, this one does both. Whether carpet, wood floor, tile, or even cement, it seamlessly shifts gears between wet and dry messes on almost every surface imaginable. There’s a clean water tank and also a dirty water tank, so you can keep the two water types separate. And when you’ve finished cleaning, you can put the vacuum cleaner on its base and it will clean itself with one touch.
Proscenic WashVac F20 Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner, $369 on Amazon
Fresh air is important, especially in such a small space. This air purifier is designed to clean allergens and also mold, mildew, and fungi from the air. And unlike HEPA systems that only clean the air, Puraclenz says it uses ions and UVC light and states that this can clean both air and surfaces. Puraclenz P750 Air Purifier, $299.99 at Puraclenz
If you’d rather not push a vacuum or mop at all, this robot vacuum does everything for you. After setting it up (mapping the layout) it can provide customized cleaning, so you can schedule it to clean on certain days or at certain times, request a deep cleaning, clean only specific zones, and even designate some areas of your room as no-go or no-mop zones. The vacuum can also be controlled remotely, so you can sit in your classroom and schedule it to vacuum and/or mop your room before you return
360 S8 Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner, $329.99/ Sale $259.99 on Amazon
In the winter, dry air can aggravate respiratory problems, and cause itchy eyes and dry skin. This humidifier can keep the right level of humidity in your dorm room. It uses simple button controls and has three mist speeds, as well as an auto setting. The large water tank reduces the number of times you’ll need to refill the device – and it automatically shuts down when there’s no water.
TruSens N300H Humidifier, $239 on Amazon
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