What Do College Students Need for Their Dorm Rooms (Laptops, Printers and Hot Plates?) [2019 Edition]

Desk Lamp for Dorm Room

Going off to college signifies the beginning of a new life chapter for both the child and parent. It is easy to feel unprepared or overwhelmed by this new chapter as it means packing up your life into bags and moving away to unfamiliar territory to begin life as a college student. However, given that you are not moving to a new planet it is essential only to have essentials as most dorm rooms tend to be small. Whether you are just setting off to college or have been there for a bit below are a couple of the essential things any college student would require and can adapt as best suits their need/ dorm room.

1. Computer/Laptop

A personal computer would be at the top of our list. Having a personal computer is not only convenient, but it is also a necessity. There are computer labs in most colleges but having a personal computer means that you are not restricted by time and can use the machine as you wish. It is also possible to install software that you may need for school work or for relaxing when you are not studying.

Making this choice is complicated since it depends on your coursework and personal preferences.  CNet published this nice guide which goes over some questions you might need to ask/answer when purchasing a new computer.

2. Desk Lamps

If there ever was a critical gadget in the history of colleges, it has to be the desk lamp. This little gadget will save you numerous of trouble and allow you to clock in those extra study hours when you don’t want to wake up your roommate.  It can also prove to be a little bit a personalized design/accoutrements to the room.

3. Printers

A printer is a great appliance that will in the long term save you some extra coin. With a printer, you can quickly and conveniently print your assignments.  Some printers are better than others, so consult some printing buying guides before purchasing (some even specialize in printers for students). However, before purchasing a printer for your dorm room, be sure to find out which appliances are allowed in the room.

4. Toiletries

There is nothing that will have you on your roomie’s bad books as if you are continually borrowing toiletries from them or they can’t find their shampoo because you went into the shower before them. Whatever toiletries you need depends on your individual need. Just be sure to limit the number of toiletries, so you do not run out of storage space.

5. Kitchen appliances

Due to the electrical hazard that they pose, not all colleges allow students to have kitchen appliances. However, some colleges will let you have items such as a microwave, hotplates, mini refrigerators and many more. Some of these appliances do come in handy for students even though they probably eat two out of three meals at the student’s cafeteria. Just like the printers be sure to verify what your school allows into the dorm room and what your roomie will be bringing along with them.


For some of the larger appliances and essentials, please coordinate with your roomie on what you will each be bringing to avoid duplicating appliances. Do remember to bring with you extra supplies of items such as toiletries. It doesn’t hurt to have an extra roll of tissue or handy dandy things such as batteries, a safe with a lock to keep your valuables.