Moving away to college is an exciting, yet stressful experience. Ease the process by consulting our ultimate college packing checklist of must-have items.

The Ultimate College Packing Checklist

Advertising Disclosure: Our team independently selected these products. If you purchase a product through one of our links, we may collect compensation. Pricing and availability are accurate at the time of publication.


Dorm Room Essentials | Toiletries | Clothing and Laundry | School Supplies | Electronics | Health and Wellness


Over 2 million students attend college for the first time every year, excited (and a little apprehensive) about the new friends and newfound independence that campus life can bring. This checklist helps make packing for college less overwhelming. It features 50 items divided into six categories: dorm room essentials, toiletries, clothing, school supplies, electronics, and health and wellness.

If you want even more tools to combat the first-time college jitters, check out our guide on how to make the most of your first week on campus.

Download the BestColleges.com Ultimate College Packing Checklist
Price Legend

$ = Under $10 | $$ = $10-$25 | $$$ = $26-$50 | $$$$ = Over $50


Dorm Room Essentials

Desk Lamp


Our Recommendation:

LEPOWER LED Clip Lamp

This energy-efficient LED lamp emits soft and flickerless light, reducing eye fatigue. With a 15-inch flexible gooseneck and a sturdy aluminum clip, this lamp can be mounted to a desk, a headboard, or even your laptop. Choose from a black, white, or silver finish.

$$ on Amazon

Alarm Clock


Our Recommendation:

HeimVision Sunrise Alarm Clock

Compatible with Alexa voice commands, the HeimVision alarm clock lets you fall asleep to one of three natural soothing sounds or your favorite FM radio station. When it's time to wake up, this smart clock can mimic a gradual sunrise to help you feel calmer and more rested in the morning.

$$$ on Amazon

Storage Bins


Our Recommendation:

storageLAB Underbed Storage Containers

Maximize limited dorm room space with this two-pack of underbed storage containers made from breathable woven fabric. Each container holds 20 articles of clothing or a full-size comforter. With sturdy handles, zippers, and sidewalls, the storageLAB containers are both durable and lightweight, making them easy to carry when it's time to move in or out.

$$ on Amazon

Toolkit


Our Recommendation:

Apollo Tools Hand Tool Set

With over 1 million units sold, the Apollo Tools hand tool set is one of the most popular options for general home repair and DIY projects. The kit comes with 39 pieces, including commonly used tools like pliers, a claw hammer, and a bit driver. Every piece fits securely in a compact and sturdy carrying case.

$$ on Amazon

Trash Bin


Our Recommendation:

Brabantia Sort and Go Waste Bin

These 12-liter Brabantia waste bins are made of high-quality plastic and come in various colors. They also come with brackets so you can mount bins to a wall or on the side of your desk. Smaller and larger bins are available.

$$ on Amazon

Mattress Pad


Our Recommendation:

Bedsure Mattress Pad

Sleep better on that dorm room bed with a twin XL mattress pad from Bedsure. Made from stain-resistant and hypoallergenic microfiber, this mattress pad fits mattresses that are up to 18 inches deep. The Bedsure mattress pad uses a polygon design that reduces shifting to help you get an uninterrupted night's rest.

$$ on Amazon

Pillows


Our Recommendation:

Amazon Basics Down Alternative Bed Pillows

Amazon Basics offers a two-pack of firm, polyester, microfiber pillows that are suitable for back and side sleepers. Filled with down alternative material to about 4 inches thick, these pillows may appeal to people with allergies.

$$ on Amazon

Sheets


Our Recommendation:

LIANLAM Twin XL Bed Sheets Set

The twin XL bed sheets set from LIANLAM comes with one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and one pillowcase. Sheets come in nine color options, including purple, dark gray, lake blue, and ivory. On top of their hypoallergenic properties, these microfiber sheets are resistant to wrinkles, stains, and fading.

$$ on Amazon

Comforter


Our Recommendation:

Linenspa Down Alternative Comforter

This microfiber comforter provides the warmth of down without the odor and risk of potential allergies. You can use it as a stand-alone comforter or attach a duvet by using the eight built-in loops. Choose from different colors to match your decor.

$$$ on Amazon

Toiletries

Shower Caddy


Our Recommendation:

Attmu Mesh Shower Caddy

Coming in eight color options, the Attmu shower caddy contains inner and outer compartments that let you store and organize shampoo and conditioner bottles, razors, combs, and other toiletries. Made from durable mesh, the caddy is compact, lightweight, and quick to dry. Use the reinforced handles to hang the caddy from hooks and pegs.

$ on Amazon

Shower Flip Flops


Our Recommendation:

clootess Shower Shoes Bath Slipper

These unisex slippers are constructed from soft but strong plastic and come in 13 colors, including black, red, and turquoise. The slippers' unique design and hydrophobic quality make them slip-resistant and fast-drying.

$$ on Amazon

Bath Towels


Our Recommendation:

Utopia Towels Bath Towels Set

Made from 100% ring-spun cotton, these bath towels are soft, absorbent, and lightweight. The comfortable set comes in a pack of four with color options like white, burgundy, dark brown, and plum.

$$$ on Amazon

Bath Robe


Our Recommendation:

Turquaz Unisex Spa Robe

This bath robe features a double-stitched waffle design, a tailored collar, two front pockets, and a self-tie wrap. Made from a combination of cotton and polyester, the robe's universal fit is 49 inches long with 18-inch sleeves. Choose from several color options.

$$ on Amazon

Hair Dryer


Our Recommendation:

Conair Pro Hair Dryer

This hair dryer uses ceramic technology to produce uniform heat to quickly dry hair without frizz or damage. In addition to three heat and two speed settings, this full-size hair dryer comes with a "Cool Shot" feature and concentrator nozzle designed for styling.

$$$ on Amazon

Loofah


Our Recommendation:

Almooni Exfoliating Loofah Pad

Almooni offers a two-pack of body scrubbers made from natural Egyptian loofah that contours to the shape of your body. The loofah pad features an abrasive side for exfoliating and a soft pad that can be used to apply body wash and moisturizer. Remember to clean your loofah weekly.

$$ on Amazon

Electronic Toothbrush


Our Recommendation:

Fairywill Electric Toothbrush

Backed by the American Dental Association, the Fairywill electric toothbrush produces 40,000 brush strokes each minute using near-silent ultrasonic technology. This affordable electric toothbrush offers five settings, including a gentle mode for people with sensitive teeth and gums. Efficient energy use allows the brush to run for up to four hours on a single charge.

$$$ on Amazon

Water Pick


Our Recommendation:

H2Ofloss Water Flosser

This cordless water pick helps you improve the health of your teeth and gums without having to buy dental floss. The flosser comes with five speed settings and six jet tips so you can customize the function according to your needs. Additional features include a leak-proof design and a 10-day battery life.

$$$ on Amazon

Clothing and Laundry

Luggage


Our Recommendation:

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Luggage

This two-piece set of wheel luggage from Rockland comes in dozens of color combinations and features hard backing made from a lightweight but strong ABS material. Spinner wheels and ergonomic handles let you maneuver the 28-inch upright and 22-inch carry-on suitcases with ease. The luggage maximizes storage capacity by expanding up to 2 inches.

$$$$ on Amazon

Steam Iron


Our Recommendation:

PurSteam Professional Grade Steam Iron

Manufactured by PurSteam, this iron quickly removes wrinkles. It features axial steam holes and a stainless steel soleplate that lets you iron cotton, polyester, silk, linen, and even wool. Safety features include an anti-drip design and a three-way automatic shutdown mechanism.

$$$ on Amazon

Ironing Board


Our Recommendation:

Honey-Can-Do Tabletop Ironing Board

The Honey-Can-Do tabletop ironing board is compact and collapsible. You can store it underneath your bed or hang it from a door. The cover and underlying pad are made from heat-resistant and durable polycotton. This ironing board also includes a designated rest spot for your clothes iron to prevent accidental scorching.

$$ on Amazon

Hangers


Our Recommendation:

Zober Non-Slip Velvet Hangers

These ultra thin clothes hangers are constructed from sturdy ABS material and black velvet. With chrome hooks, each hanger can hold up to 10 pounds. These hangers also feature a pants bar so you can store more clothing in less space.

$$ on Amazon

Shoe Storage


Our Recommendation:

Simple Houseware Over the Door Hanging Organizer

Spanning 19 inches across and 64 inches long, this clear hanging organizer contains 24 pockets for shoes and accessories. Use the built-in hooks to hang the organizer from any standard door without the need for hardware.

$$ on Amazon

Laundry Basket


Our Recommendation:

Handy Laundry Store Mesh Popup Laundry Hamper

This two-pack of mesh laundry hampers is made from sturdy black mesh. When not in use, the hamper collapses into a flat disc for easy storage, making it ideal for dorm life and travel. Hamper dimensions are 13 inches by 14 inches by 21 inches.

$$ on Amazon

Sunglasses


Our Recommendation:

Joopin Polarized Sunglasses

These unisex sunglasses from Joopin offer full sunlight protection, blocking harmful UVA and UVB rays. The composite lenses also reduce glare, which makes them great for skiing or hiking.

$$ on Amazon

Raincoat


Our Recommendation:

Charles River Apparel Pullover Rain Jacket

Keep yourself dry and warm in inclement weather with a Charles River Apparel unisex rain jacket. The coat's exterior is made of water- and wind-resistant RiverTec nylon, while the interior is constructed from a soft cotton flannel.

$$$ on Amazon

School Supplies

Dry-Erase Calendar


Our Recommendation:

Quartet Combination Magnetic Whiteboard Calendar and Corkboard

Stay on top of assignments, exams, and extracurricular responsibilities with this combination magnetic calendar and corkboard. Spanning 23 inches across and 17 inches tall, the board comes with mounting hardware, magnet accessories, and a dry-erase marker.

$$ on Amazon

Planner


Our Recommendation:

Clever Fox Planner

This 8-by-5-inch planner from Clever Fox allows you to organize your schedule by week and/or month with an undated format. The planner comes with decorative and time-management stickers and contains writing exercises that can help you reach short- and long-term goals.

$$$ on Amazon

Backpack


Our Recommendation:

WENIG Multipurpose Backpack

The WENIG multipurpose backpack features 12 interior pockets (including a padded laptop compartment) and three exterior pockets. This durable and water-resistant bag also contains a hidden compartment that lets you hook up your electronic devices to a power bank. The package comes with a USB cable, a headset extension cable, and a combination lock.

$$ on Amazon

Notebooks


Our Recommendation:

Amazon Basics College Ruled Composition Notebooks

For students who prefer to take notes with a pen and paper, Amazon Basics offers a four-pack of college-ruled composition notebooks. Each notebook contains 100 sheets of paper. The sturdy front and back covers display a weekly scheduler and quick-reference conversion information.

$$ on Amazon

Pens


Our Recommendation:

SyPen Stylus Pens

Seamlessly alternate between your notebook and smart device with these two-in-one ballpoint and stylus pens from SyPen. The sensitive stylus tip is compatible with most phones, tablets, and touch-screen laptops. Choose from either a twist action or click pen.

$$ on Amazon

File Storage


Our Recommendation:

BluePower Fireproof File Folder

Protect passports, transcripts, and other important documents with this portable file organizer. Constructed from five layers of silicone-coated fiberglass and insulated aluminum, the folder is waterproof and capable of withstanding temperatures that exceed 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The BluePower fireproof file folder can hold about 600 sheets of standard paper.

$$ on Amazon

Laptop Desk


Our Recommendation:

Besign Multifunctional Laptop Table

The Besign multifunctional laptop table lets you comfortably study while sitting on your bed or standing at your desk. The tray adjusts between zero and 36 degrees, and the table itself comes with five height settings. This laptop table is big enough to accomodate a 17-inch computer and mouse and folds up for easy storage.

$$$ on Amazon

Stapler


Our Recommendation:

Leven Deli Effortless Desktop Mini Stapler

Leven's mini stapler allows you to attach up to 25 sheets of paper with a single finger. Additional features include a jam-free design; quick, spring-powered loading; and a rubber base that minimizes skidding and scratching. The package comes with a staple remover and 1,000 staplers.

$$ on Amazon

Notecard Organizer


Our Recommendation:

Snap-N-Store Index Card Box

The Snap-N-Store index card box can come in handy during midterms and finals when you're studying from several sets of notecards. You can also use this chrome-protected and water-resistant box to store business cards, photos, and receipts. The 3-by-5-inch box holds up to 1,100 cards and comes with a pack of blank labels.

$ on Amazon

Electronics

Item Locator


Our Recommendation:

Tile Bluetooth Tracker Starter Pack

The Tile Bluetooth Tracker makes retrieving your keys, backpack, and phone much less stressful. Use the free app to ring your Tile from within 200 feet or locate fareway items with help from the anonymous Tile Network. The starter bundle comes with an all-purpose Tile Mate, as well as a Tile Slim that is suitable for keeping track of wallets, tablets, and passports.

$$$$ on Amazon

Water Kettle


Our Recommendation:

Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

This cordless water boiler from Hamilton Beach heats water faster and more safely than a microwave or conventional stove. The kettle features an automatic shutoff function to keep water from boiling dry and a mesh pour spout that traps deposits caused by hard water.

$$$ on Amazon

Minifridge


Our Recommendation:

Black+Decker Compact Refrigerator

Keep your beverages cool and leftovers fresh with this compact refrigerator. At a little over 1.7 cubic feet, this mini fridge easily fits underneath a bed or desk. Additional features include reversible doors and adjustable temperature controls.

$$$$ on Amazon

Laptop


Our Recommendation:

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

The Acer Aspire 5 Slim laptop boasts powerful mobile processing capabilities, 15.6 inches of full HD IPS visuals, and balanced TrueHarmony sound output, making it ideal for class presentations or watching your favorite shows.

$$$$ on Amazon

Portable Charger


Our Recommendation:

Miady Portable Charger

This two-pack of portable power banks lets you keep your electronics running on long trips or busy days. Each charger features USB and USB-C connectivity and enough power to fully charge the latest iPhones and Androids five times over. A durable rubber exterior protects the charger from being damaged.

$$ on Amazon

Flash Drive


Our Recommendation:

SanDisk Cruzer USB 2.0 Flash Drive

The SanDisk Cruzer USB 2.0 flash drive lets you store and transport up to 128 GB of documents, pictures, and media files. The drive comes with SecureAccess software that uses 128-bit AES encryption, enabling you to password-protect private files.

$$ on Amazon

Power Strip


Our Recommendation:

One Beat Power Strip

This power Strip features three AC outlets, three USB-A ports, and one USB-C port. This charging station uses smart technology to maximize energy efficiency between different devices and works with voltages between 100 and 240 volts. Additional features include a 5-foot extension cord and fire-resistant surge protection.

$$ on Amazon

Wireless Mouse and Keyboard


Our Recommendation:

Logitech MK345 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

With the amount of writing and researching you'll be doing in college, using only the small keyboard and trackpad on your laptop could get uncomfortable. Logitech's full-size keyboard boasts spill-resistant design and a comfortable palm rest. The right-handed mouse contours to your hand for precise maneuverability.

$$$ on Amazon

Noise-Canceling Headphones


Our Recommendation:

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

These wireless headphones cancel low- and mid-frequency noises, including nearby conversation, traffic, and airplane engines. They also produce hi-res audio using dynamic drivers and BassUp technology. Additional features include an enhanced voice pickup microphone and a Bluetooth 5 connection.

$$$$ on Amazon

Wireless Speakers


Our Recommendation:

OontZ Angle 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

This portable Bluetooth speaker uses dual precision acoustic stereo drivers and a passive bass radiator to produce clear sound with little to no distortion — even at the loudest volume setting. The speaker's 14-hour battery life and 100-foot Bluetooth range make it suitable for movie marathons and dance parties.

$$$ on Amazon

Health and Wellness

Dehumidifier


Our Recommendation:

SEAVON Mini Dehumidifier

This 16-ounce compact dehumidifier removes moisture from the air, extracting harmful spores and other irritants. The result is a cooler, less muggy room where you'll be more comfortable studying, hanging out, and falling asleep. This mini dehumidifier features energy-efficient and ultra-quiet thermoelectric cooling technology, as well as an automatic shutdown function.

$$$ on Amazon

First Aid Kit


Our Recommendation:

Pac-Kit First-Aid Kit

Accidents happen. Prepare for these incidents with this OSHA-compliant portable first-aid kit. The kit contains 57 pieces (including antiseptic towelettes, sterile gauze pads, plastic and fabric bandages, and scissors) and is capable of treating up to 10 people. All the supplies fit neatly in a durable plastic case that can be stored in a drawer or mounted on a wall.

$$ on Amazon

Moisturizer


Our Recommendation:

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion With Sunscreen

Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, this moisturizing lotion is gentle on acne-prone and sensitive skin. This moisturizer contains ceramides and niacinamides to calm skin and restore the body's natural lipid barrier. It also protects skin from UVA and UVB rays with an SPF 30, broad-spectrum sunscreen.

$$ on Amazon

Water Bottle


Our Recommendation:

YETI Rambler Bottle

Water helps your body regulate its temperature, protect joints and sensitive tissues, and expel waste. Drink more of it with this YETI water bottle, which features a quick-release cap and stainless steel construction. The bottle's double-wall vacuum insulation keeps up to 26 ounces of liquid cool (or hot) from morning to night.

$$$ on Amazon

Weighted Blanket


Our Recommendation:

Weighted Idea Cool Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets offer a form of deep pressure stimulation therapy that can relieve pain and improve your mood. This 15-pound, twin-size blanket from Weighted Idea is made from breathable cotton that can help keep you cool or warm, depending on the conditions of your room. Customize your weighted blanket with a selection of removable duvet covers.

$$$$ on Amazon

Backrest


Our Recommendation:

ComfortSpa Reading Pillow

Made out of shredded memory foam, the ComfortSpa reading pillow offers upright back support, whether you're studying at a desk or watching a movie on your bed. Pockets on either arm offer storage space for remotes, magazines, and e-readers. The stain-resistant velour cover is easy to spot clean with a wet cloth.

$$$ on Amazon

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Feature Image: Drazen_ / E+ / Getty Images