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Dorm Room Essentials & College Apartment Must-Haves

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out everything you or your child needs for college. Our dorm room essentials checklist is here to help. Print a copy to keep track of your purchases.
College Dorm Room Essentials

Getting Started

It finally happened: you (or your child) have walked across the stage and graduated. College is the exciting next step but dorm life is a big lifestyle adjustment. There are so many things you need in order to work productively and live comfortably in a college dormitory; from studying to relaxing to hanging out with friends, your shopping list will inevitably be quite long. Luckily, we've created a checklist of dorm room essentials and crucial products needed in one's first college apartment. The checklist is broken down by category so you can stay organized and ensure you get everything you need. Each dorm or apartment building will come with their own furnishings—or lack thereof—and regulations, so be sure that items like a microwave are permitted before you start making purchases. Keep your own preferences in mind while you shop to create a space that truly feels like home.

What Do I Need for a College Dorm?

Determining what to purchase for a dorm room depends on the dorm's rules and regulations as well as lifestyle needs. If your plan is to enjoy your meal plan as much as possible, you may not want anything to make food taking up space in your room; on the other hand, a microwave is great for heating up leftovers from dinner with friends. Of course, you should only purchase a microwave (or any other product) if it is permitted in the rules and regulations of your living space. If you don't enjoy playing video games, you don't need a console. If you do, it's the perfect source of entertainment and a great way to bond with other people on your floor. No matter what your needs are, you'll probably end up purchasing most of the items on our dorm room essentials checklist.
Essentials for your College Dorm

Kitchen & Dining

  • Mini Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Air Fryer
  • Toaster/toaster oven
  • Coffee Maker
  • Tea Kettle
  • Blender
  • Dinnerware
  • Food Storage Containers


  • TV
  • Laptop
  • Headphones
  • Smartwatch
  • Wireless Speaker
  • Portable Charger
  • External Hard Drive
  • Extension Cord
  • Printer
  • Gaming Console
  • HDMI Cable

Decor & Furniture

  • Desk Lamp
  • Floor Lamp
  • Area Rug
  • Full-Length Mirror
  • Pillows
  • Bedding
  • Mattress Topper/Pad
  • Towels
  • Laundry Basket
  • Clothes Hamper
  • Futon
  • Wall Art

Air Quality


Find Your Dorm Room Essentials at Abt

College is a fun and exciting new experience and Abt wants to help you enjoy every moment. If you're looking for particular products, be sure to browse our website; if you're a local customer, come visit our friendly experts who can help you find the perfect products for your college dorm or off-campus apartment. You can also speak to them by calling 800-860-3577.

What Our Customers Say About Us

Awsome to deal with packaging was amazing and delivered on Sunday amazing.
Linda - Niles, IL
February 20, 2023