dorm room kitchen essentials list

Dorm Room Kitchen Essentials: Equipping Your Space for Easy Cooking

Are you planning to move in to a college dorm but you aren’t exactly sure what to pack? Here are the dorm room kitchen essentials you need to make sure you stay well fed throughout the semester.

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When it comes to dorm living, having a functional kitchen setup can make all the difference in your college experience. While space may be limited, there are plenty of dorm room kitchen essentials that can help you prepare simple and delicious meals without breaking the bank or sacrificing convenience.

These few kitchen essentials absolutely saved me my freshman year. When the cafeteria food was not good or I needed a quick breakfast before I rushed out the door to class, these are the things I used.

In this blog post, we’ll explore a list of must-have dorm room kitchen essentials to help you cook and eat well while living on campus.

Dorm Room Kitchen Essentials: Equipping Your Space for Easy Cooking


A microwave is an absolute essential appliance that you will use to make pretty much every dorm room meal. Look for a compact microwave that fits on top your mini fridge to save space or in a designated kitchen area of your dorm room.

Check with your student housing department to make sure you can have one in or room or if one is already provided. I also recommend checking with your roommate before purchasing one to save on costs and space.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Mini Fridge:

A mini fridge is essential for storing perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and leftovers. Opt for a model with a separate freezer compartment for storing frozen foods, ice packs, and ice cream treats.

Related: 5 Best Dorm Mini Fridge That College Students Will Love

dorm room kitchen essentials

Small Blender:

A blender was probably my most used dorm room kitchen essential.

Freshman year was the year I developed a love for breakfast smoothies because they are so quick to make. I also loved making late night milkshakes with my roommate.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Coffee Maker or French Press:

For coffee lovers, a coffee maker or French press is a must-have kitchen appliance. Choose a compact single-serve coffee maker or a space-saving French press to brew your favorite caffeinated beverages without taking up too much counter space.

dorm room kitchen essentials coffee maker

Mini Fridge Caddy

A mini fridge caddy is an awesome way to create more storage without taking up any additional space in your already cramped dorm room. It basically drapes over your mini fridge and you can store a ton of stuff in the pockets.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Microwave Safe Plates and Bowls

I’m assuming if you are reading this, you probably plan to do at lease some sort of cooking in your college dorm. In that case, you definitely need some microwave safe plates and bowls.

I don’t recommend getting a bunch of each because they take up space and will give you a reason to not do dishes. 2-4 of each is a good amount to have.

Target and Walmart have some really great options for individually sold pieces. If you want a set, this is a great affordable option.

dorm room kitchen essentials


Again, you don’t need to go crazy here with a normal apartment sized set of silverware but you’ll definitely want more than one of each. Even though plastic utensils are usually cheaper, I prefer to stick with silverware as it lasts longer.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Mini Fridge Stand

Another great space saving option for storage is to get a mini fridge stand. It’s basically a cart that you set your mini fridge on and it has drawers to store extra stuff. This is a cute way to hide your silverware, plates, and snacks.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Storage Cart

If you decide not to get a mini fridge stand, I would definitely recommend a storage cart. You don’t need both but it is smart to have some sort of storage for all your snacks and dorm room kitchen essentials.

I love this option because it is more customizable with color options and can be moved around your room to fit your needs.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Water Filter

A water filter is absolutely essential for your dorm room kitchen. It allows you to always have clean water to fill your water bottle without having to use tap water or walk far to get some.

You can also keep it in your mini fridge to always have cold water, even if you don’t have ice.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Reusable Water Bottle

Without a doubt, a reusable water bottle was my most used dorm essential all through college. I took it with me to class, the gym, and left it next to my bed while I slept.

Having a reusable water bottle will help you stay hydrated and maintain your health in college. I recommend an insulated water bottle that doesn’t leak so you can carry it in your backpack.

dorm room kitchen essentials

Chip Clips

There’s no question that you will end up with a ton of snacks in your dorm room. There is nothing worse than having stale chips, which make having bag clips an essential.

Can Opener

If you are someone that enjoys quick microwave meals, a can opener is definitely something you don’t want to forget. My freshman year, I was surprised by how many items came in cans and I wasn’t prepared with a can opener.

Luckily they are super cheap to get and don’t take up a lot of space.

Dish Soap & Sponges

The worst part of cooking in your college dorm is how quickly dishes compile. It’s smart to have a small caddy with dish soap and sponges to wash your dishes as you use them. If your dorm hall has a communal kitchen, I definitely recommend using that instead of the sink in your room.

The best place to get cheap dish soap and sponges is going to be the grocery store, but if you want to get everything in one place, I linked some good options here.

Ziplock Baggies

A great food storage option is ziplock baggies. This makes taking snacks to class a lot easier plus the bags are disposable and can be thrown away instead of having to be washed.

Storage Containers:

Invest in a set of food storage containers for storing leftovers, meal prep ingredients, and snacks. Choose containers with leak-proof lids and stackable designs to maximize storage space in your mini fridge or pantry.

This post was all about dorm room kitchen essentials you need in college.

With these dorm room kitchen essentials, you’ll be well-equipped to cook and eat well while living on campus. Whether you’re heating up leftovers in the microwave, brewing coffee in your French press, or whipping up a quick meal on your induction cooktop, having the right tools and appliances on hand can make dorm room cooking a breeze.

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