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Essential Home Appliances For College Students

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While a new laptop and posters are important, students need appliances for eating, cooking, and staying hydrated. These compact kitchen items can help them feel at home in their dorm room. College students won’t have to worry about homeowner insurance vs home warranty until they are new homeowners. For now, in a dorm there still are kitchen appliances that they need to invest in to make college life easier.

A microwave is a dorm-room must-have, especially for heating up leftovers or making instant ramen. Look for a compact model that can also be used to drain pasta, rinse berries, make soup and even dust powdered sugar.

Mini Fridge

When it comes to college dorm room small appliances, a mini fridge is one of the most essential items. After all, dining hall food can quickly add up to the Freshman Fifteen, and you’ll want a way to store your own meals and snacks.

Compact refrigerators offer a space-saving solution for keeping drinks and food cold, and they’re commonly found in dorm rooms and kitchenettes. Choose from a variety of models, including countertop designs that are easy to set up in your dorm room and taller options that can be used as a built-in under-counter fridge in your kitchen.

If you’re worried about your dorm’s noise restrictions, look for a model that has a low decibel rating. This will help to keep the refrigerator quiet while in operation, so you can use it without disturbing your dorm mates or neighbors.


A dependable microwave is a must-have for college students because it will allow them to cook meals and heat up leftovers. The best dorm microwaves come in a variety of sizes, features and budgets to fit the needs of any student.

Consider a compact microwave if you have limited countertop space. Models with a 0.7 cubic-foot capacity are ideal for dorm rooms. Look for a model that offers easy to-use controls and pre-programmed settings to prepare common foods quickly. The RCA RMW733-WHITE Microwave is one example of an affordable, convenient dorm microwave that offers 700 watts of cooking power and 10 different power levels.

Round out your college kitchen starter set with an affordable toaster oven and a breakfast sandwich maker that makes it easier for you to enjoy meals on your own or with roommates. Add other essential kitchen appliances like a blender, food processor and an air fryer to keep you fueled throughout the day.

Toaster Oven

A toaster oven might seem like a dusty garage-sale relic, but our expert product testers love these countertop appliances for their versatility and functionality. They can be used as toaster ovens, baking ovens, air fryers, and reheaters, depending on the model.

They’re perfect for small meals, such as pizza or chicken fingers, and also take up

less counter space than a full-sized oven. They also don’t heat up the kitchen as much as a stove, which can be a bonus in hot weather.

If you’re shopping on a budget, our top-rated toaster oven pick—the Black and Decker 4-slice model TO1313SBD—is an amazing value for the money. It has a sleek stainless steel finish, a simple control panel, and plenty of features for only $50! It’s great for toasting, baking, and frying foods, including foods that require a deeper crisp.

Air Fryer

The air fryer is a great small appliance for college students because it cooks meals and snacks faster than a traditional oven or toaster. This cult-worthy countertop appliance cooks foods by circulating hot air around food, resulting in crispy results with much less oil than deep frying. It can also make a healthier version of favorites like French fries and wings.

However, because of their heating elements and potential fire hazards, most colleges and residence halls do not allow air fryers in student rooms. If you do decide to buy one, make sure it’s UL listed for college use and that it complies with your college’s room sizing and other guidelines.

An electric kettle is another must-have appliance for college students. These portable water heaters heat up quickly so you can have a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast, between classes or while studying. They can also be used to make instant noodles and hot cocoa.

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