Dorm Kitchen Essentials List College Students Will Use

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If you or a loved one is off to college soon then you know there are so many things to purchase and plan. Having gone through this with my daughter I’ve put together this list of kitchen essentials she found useful her freshman year.

Whether you purchase all or just a few you will have an idea of what you may need in the future. The best way to get through the college packing stage is to have a plan.

While some students will share a dorm room others like my daughter will have an apartment-style loft. Depending on your school you may or may not need this entire list.

Make sure to check the college website for any forbidden items. The worst thing is to buy stuff you are not allowed to bring.

If you need ideas for what essentials will come in handy, this list is for you.

This post is all about the best dorm kitchen essentials list. 

READ MORE>>> Room Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk

home decor on shelf in store for dorm kitchen essentials list

College Dorm Room Kitchen Essentials

As you can see from the apartment-style dorm room video there are many kitchen essentials to purchase. If you move off-campus you can just bring these with you and add any others you may need.

What do you need for a dorm kitchen?

A few things that are must-haves are the mini fridge, microwave, Keurig, Brita water filter, utensils, dinnerware, and glasses. At a minimum, these will get used.

Nice extras would be the rice cooker, blender, tea kettle, and cookbooks. The Yeti is also a staple and reminder to drink water. From personal experience, my daughter lives for her yeti and carries it with her everywhere.

Now let’s get into the rest of the list.

Dorm Kitchen Essentials List 2024

dorm kitchen essentials list collage

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Keurig // Tea Kettle // Mini Fridge // Blender // Rice Cooker // Yeti // Glasses // Pots & Pans // Mitts & Pot Holder // Silverware // Dinnerware Set // Microwave // Colander Mixing Bowels // Salt & Pepper // Trader Joe’s Cookbook // Friend’s Recipes // Steel Straw Set

Kitchen Appliances

This kitchen essentials list will help you start to plan your college experience. As you go through each item remember to communicate with your roommate so you don’t duplicate the dorm kitchen essentials you can share.

Dorm Kitchen Cooking Essentials

These kitchen necessities will help you save money by cooking at home. Many of these items can also be shared so plan accordingly.

Serving Essentials

If you HATE washing dishes you be tempted to buy paper plates and plastic utensils. However, if you are covering that cost (not mommy) it will add up fast.

Save your money for going out on the town instead of spending it on paper plates!

Storage & Cleaning Ideas

Another way to save money in college is to meal prep. It’s a fun activity you can do with your roommates. The more you plan during the week the less time you’ll spend thinking about what to eat.

That means you’ll have more energy to study or hang out with new friends.

Kitchen Essentials For Dorm Checklist

Below are details of the important college kitchen essentials. These are the items you’ll most likely need and want to have.

Your college experience should be memorable and stress-free. One way to simplify the process is to prepare as much as possible before you arrive on campus.


turq keurig dorm

A Keurig is a must, especially for mid-term and finals week. This one is available in five stylish colors so matter your decor there is one perfect for you.


pink tea kettle

If you are not a coffee lover then tea is great to keep you up as well. This one comes in my favorite pink color and is perfect for making Cup Noodles soup too.

We all know how those eating habits go in college when you are too tired to cook.


silver mini fridge

For those sharing a dorm room, a mini-fridge is a must. Keep all your drinks and food close by with this one from Target.

It features a separate freezer area that is great for frozen dinners or ice cream. When you are done with college you can make use of it in your home as well. We moved my sons into the Airbnb and it has worked out fabulous.


black blender

This blender will not only make your favorite smoothies but it’s great for cocktails too. If you love to cook you can whip up your favorite soups and sauces too.

The powerful NutriBullet blender will be a constant companion during your entire college experience.


silver rice cooker

Another dorm kitchen essential that we shipped from NY to Hawai’i. This one makes four cups uncooked (8 cooked) which is the perfect amount for most college students.

Featuring separate settings for white and brown rice you will it perfectly every time.


This is a staple that all college students will want and love. You can never drink too much water in my opinion and a Yeti is awesome for doing just that.

Add the separate top option which features a straw. It is said that people drink more water when they use a straw.


colorful pots and pans

These super cute pots and pans are sure to last the entire four years you are away at college. They’re fashionable but function as well.

Make everything from pasta, mac, and cheese, to eggs with this set.


silver and black microwave

A microwave is a must-have for your college dorm room. This is one of those items where you’ll want to plan with your roommate who should purchase it.

Depending on your space (and college) you may only need one. You’ll be able to heat your food quickly so you don’t miss out on any of the action.


white brita water filter

As much as you may be used to buying a 24-pack of water bottles things will add up fast when you’re a college student. It’s much more cost-effective to refill a Brita water filter than to keep purchasing bottles.

It’s also better for the environment as well. Just remember the filter WILL need to be replaced!


If you are looking for silverware other than the classic silver option then these are for you.

For my rainbows and unicorns, lovers go for the iridescent set. If gold is more your jam then the Target set is sure to glam up your decor.


trader joe's cookbook


friends recipe book

Either of these cookbooks will help you cook during your college years. I’m a Trader Joe’s fan but the Friends cookbook is fabulous to get started too.


Reusable Stainless Steel Straws

These are better for the environment and will last much longer than the plastic straws you may be used to. Carry them with you as you travel in the handy drawstring bag.

I hope this was helpful as you go through the college essentials journey. This should cover everything to get started with your kitchen setup and more.

Let me know if I missed anything in the comments below.

This post is all about the best dorm kitchen essentials list.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2023 by Nicole DelaCruz

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