22 extremely useful products college students will actually use | CNN Underscored




CNN
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With the school year just around the corner, it’s always a good idea to get ahead of your shopping list — especially when it comes to college students. The truth is, back-to-school shopping is far from glamorous, and while buying room decor and replenishing that all-important campus wardrobe may be more exciting, you’ll want to make sure your kid has everything they need for a smooth move-in experience.

It can be easy to gloss over practical items like an umbrella or a stain remover stick, but ultimately, those will be the items they’ll need to have on-hand on a day-to-day basis. To help you out, we rounded up a list of unexpected college essentials your kid will actually use when they step on campus.

Hurricane Box Fan ($35.00; amazon.com)

Hurricane Box Fan

Amazon

Hurricane Box Fan

A box fan is a must-have for keeping the living space cool and fighting off the summertime heat.

Bedsure Twin XL Mattress Pad ($42.99; amazon.com

)

Bedsure Twin XL Mattress Pad

Amazon

Bedsure Twin XL Mattress Pad

Dorm mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable, so considering what little sleep college students get to begin with, that added comfort from a mattress pad will go a long way.

4 Tier Metal Rolling Utility Cart ($59.90, originally $65.99; wayfair.com)

4 Tier Metal Rolling Utility Cart

Wayfair

4 Tier Metal Rolling Utility Cart

Because of the minimal amount of storage space many dorm rooms provide, a utility cart is a great space-saver for holding everything from snacks to school supplies.

Command Medium Designer Hooks (starting at $4.89; amazon.com)

Command Medium Designer Hooks

Walmart

Command Medium Designer Hooks

Command hooks are a must for hanging up decorations and preventing wall damage.

Surblue Bedside Caddy ($13.99; amazon.com)

Surblue Bedside Caddy

Amazon

Surblue Bedside Caddy

Nightstands aren’t necessarily efficient in terms of saving space, so this bedside caddy is the perfect spot to keep a pair of glasses, a phone and anything else they’d want to have near their bed.

Black+Decker Handheld Vacuum ($59.00; amazon.com)

Black+Decker Handheld Vacuum

Amazon

Black+Decker Handheld Vacuum

Dust can build up fast in dorm rooms, so staying stocked with a mini vacuum is the best solution for keeping those bunnies at bay.

OxiClean Max Force Gel Stain Remover Stick ($3.69; target.com)

OxiClean Max Force Gel Stain Remover Stick

Target

OxiClean Max Force Gel Stain Remover Stick

Without a parent to help out with laundry, stain sticks come in handy for random spills.

Pure Enrichment Puresteam Portable Fabric Steamer ($29.99; target.com)

Pure Enrichment Puresteam Portable Fabric Steamer

Target

Pure Enrichment Puresteam Portable Fabric Steamer

A traditional iron and ironing board can be a bit bulky for a dorm room with limited storage, so consider buying a portable steamer to keep clothing items looking their best.

Dokehom Large Laundry Basket ($15.99, originally $26.99; amazon.com)

Dokehom Large Laundry Basket

Amazon

Dokehom Large Laundry Basket

Laundry baskets with handles are perfect for lugging tons of clothing items to and from the laundry room.

Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher ($27.99; amazon.com)

Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher

Amazon

Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher

Ditch single-use plastic water bottles and opt for a Brita water filter instead, which will save both money and trips to the vending machine.

Anker PowerPort Strip 3 ($22.99; amazon.com)

Anker PowerPort Strip 3

Amazon

Anker PowerPort Strip 3

Most dorm rooms don’t provide many outlets, so investing in a reliable extension cord for all their gadgets can be a lifesaver.

Anker PowerCore 13000 ($46.99; amazon.com)

Anker PowerCore 13000

Amazon

Anker PowerCore 13000

Portable chargers are a practical purchase to ensure their devices never run out of battery again, no matter where they are. As our top pick for best overall portable charger, we’d say this one is a great choice for students.

Apple Airpods Pro ($189.99, originally $249.00; amazon.com)

Apple Airpods Pro

Amazon

Apple Airpods Pro

Dependable wireless earbuds can be a game changer for college students on the go. Plus, the noise cancellation feature is perfect for studying and focusing. We even named them the best earbuds of 2021.

Livho 2 Pack Blue-Light Blocking Glasses ($15.98, originally $15.98; amazon.com)

Livho 2 Pack Blue-Light Blocking Glasses

Amazon

Livho 2 Pack Blue-Light Blocking Glasses

Considering the amount of time students spend on their devices, blue light glasses may help the body’s natural sleep cycle after a long day spent looking at a screen.

Apple Airtag 4-Pack ($99.00; amazon.com)

Apple Airtag 4-Pack

Amazon

Apple Airtag 4-Pack

Apple Airtags, which can attach to valuable items like room keys or wallets, are great for making sure students can find their belongings whenever they misplace them. Read our rave review of them here.

LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger ($25.99, originally $40.00; amazon.com)

LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger

Amazon

LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger

Many students know what it’s like to pull an all-nighter studying in their dorm room the night before an exam. This desk lamp provides a wireless charger and allows for customization of the lighting modes for the perfect working conditions.

Weather Station Automatic Super Mini Umbrella ($5; walmart.com)

Weather Station Automatic Super Mini Umbrella

Walmart

Weather Station Automatic Super Mini Umbrella

There’s nothing worse than having to walk across campus in the rain without an umbrella. Keep any belongings dry with a compact umbrella that can easily fit in a backpack.

Artfan 2021-2022 Academic Planner ($20.99; amazon.com)

Artfan 2021-2022 Academic Planner

Amazon

Artfan 2021-2022 Academic Planner

Organization skills can make or break a semester. A quality planner can seriously help students stay on top of assignments and manage their time.

Yeti Rambler 26 ounces ($39.99; yeti.com)

Yeti Rambler 26 ounces

Yeti

Yeti Rambler 26 ounces

As one of our favorite reusable water bottles of 2021, this Yeti Rambler is perfect for bringing to class and definitely worth the splurge.

Febreze Odor-Eliminating Air Freshener ($4.94; walmart.com)

Febreze Odor-Eliminating Air Freshener

Walmart

Febreze Odor-Eliminating Air Freshener

Since many colleges don’t allow candles in dorms, Febreze is great for keeping a dorm room smelling fresh.

Mainstay Small Utility Shower Caddy Tote ($9.95; amazon.com)

Mainstay Small Utility Shower Caddy Tote

Amazon

Mainstay Small Utility Shower Caddy Tote

A shower caddy is essential for corralling all their toiletries in one place so they can go to and from the bathroom with ease.

Xomiboe Shower Shoes (starting at $10.90; amazon.com)

Xomiboe Shower Shoes

Amazon

Xomiboe Shower Shoes

These waterproof shower shoes will help protect students’ feet from the bacteria and germs in communal bathrooms. Trust us, you won’t want them to shower barefoot.



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