9 Dorm Room Essentials for Food-Loving College Students

Make the most of even the smallest dorm kitchens.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these affiliate links.
July 26, 2021

Related To:

Gourmet dining is pretty out-of-the-question in a dorm room, but you can make the most of your new digs with a few kitchen essentials. If your college does not provide your dorm room with a microwave or mini-fridge, invest in those first. Once you’ve got the must-haves, here are some examples of our favorite small — and dorm-approved — kitchen tools can make all the difference when you need something a bit more edible than the dining hall special.


Forget buying yet another electronic. Dorm rooms have limited outlets that will often be occupied by multiple chargers and that mini-fridge cord. Get your caffeine fix cord-free with a cold-brewer. Pick one that can brew in your fridge overnight, so you can grab-and-go on your way to your 8 a.m. class.

Buy It

Don’t waste precious dining points on water bottles. Invest in a BPA-free reusable bottle (like this TikTok-famous one!) that can claim residence on the side of your backpack. College campuses are scattered with water fountains so you shouldn’t have a problem refilling it. Just make sure to wash it out with mild soap and water every day to avoid getting sick.

Buy It

When your mom sends a care package with your favorite snack foods, she’ll stock you up for a few weeks. Invest in some durable chip clips to keep your half-eaten chips and cookies from going stale and to keep any unwanted critters out of your room.

Buy It

On those days when you feel like giving dorm room cooking a shot, you can make a variety of dishes in a mug. Think: mug cake, chicken pot pie in a mug, mug mac and cheese, even an omelet. Invest in a mug that’s large enough for mixing ingrediens and microwave-safe. It’ll even double as a handy bowl for soup and ramen.

Buy It

Speaking of bowls, you can skip investing in plates. Bowls are easier to eat out of while sitting on a bed and can be used to mix ingredients for anything else you’re making like no-bake cookies, fruit salad or soup. Invest in ones that you can hold easily to avoid spilling on your sheets.

Buy It

This might be one of the most versatile appliances to have on-hand. You can use it to brew hot water for tea, French press coffee (invest in one of these for all your to-go coffee needs), hot cocoa and instant ramen. Save the manual to prove your kettle does automatically shut off so it’s not confiscated during dorm checks. Finally, don’t be surprised when your floor mates ask to borrow it all the time.

Buy It

Leftovers are a huge part of your campus survival guide. Glass containers are great for storing (and reheating!) the rest of that nice dinner with mom and dad.

Buy It

A paring knife comes in handy for more than slicing up fruit and vegetables. Don't be surprised if you reach for it when prepping sandwiches or re-slicing takeout pizza.

Buy It

Along with your paring knife, you’ll want a cutting board to avoid messing up your desk. We totally understand if this doubles as a plate, too.

Buy It

Related Links:

Next Up

Where to Buy the Pioneer Woman's Instant Pot Online

Though many designs are sold out at Walmart, you can find refurbished models and other products online.

15+ Last-Minute Mother's Day Gifts for the Food-Loving Mom

You still have time to get mom an extra-special gift this year!

The Best Wedding Gifts Food Network Staffers Have Received

Sometimes the best gifts aren't on the registry.

This $13 Tray Really Does Defrost Your Meat In Less Than an Hour

We put the rapid defroster to the test with frozen steak, chicken and salmon.

The Popular Bedding Brand Parachute Just Launched a Tabletop Line

Elevate your kitchen with these stunning collections.

4 Best KitchenAid Stand Mixers, Tested by Food Network Kitchen

We tested all the KitchenAid mixer lines to find the very best stand mixers.

Top 10 Food Network Kitchen-Tested Products On Sale Right Now

Looking for new kitchen tools? These are the best appliances, gadgets and more on sale today.

15 Gingerbread House Kits for Every Kind of Decorator

We categorized them so you can find the perfect one for you!

The Best New Kitchen Tools We Tested in 2021

From genius cookware to easy-to-use appliances, these are the top-performing new kitchen appliances and cookware from this year.

5 Grocery Delivery Services Where You Can Buy in Bulk

Do bulk shopping from the comfort of your couch.



12pm | 11c


1pm | 12c


2pm | 1c


3pm | 2c


4pm | 3c


5pm | 4c


6pm | 5c


7pm | 6c

Beat Bobby Flay

8:30pm | 7:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight


10pm | 9c


11pm | 10c


1am | 12c


2am | 1c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30am | 2:30c

What's New