Here’s What You Should And Shouldn’t Bother To Buy For College

Image courtesy of bluwmongoose

It’s back-to-school season, when stores stack their aisles high with folding chairs and mini-fridges meant for students heading to college or back to college. What do you actually need, though, and how should you shop for it? What should you spend a lot on, and what can you leave behind? Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports have some ideas about what new students should shop for, and how to shop for it.

For some items, it’s best to learn how things work with your schedule, then head to the store later if you turn out to need it. Some dorms are dry and really could use a humidifier; some have sealed windows and your big fan designed for a window sill will be useless. Leave things behind and fetch them at October break if possible. Still, here are some basics to remember and how to shop for them.

Fridge and microwave. Your college may rent micro-fridges, which feature a microwave and a mini-fridge, and most importantly don’t have to be hauled home with you in the summer. You may find this useful even if there is a communal lounge fridge and microwave.

Sheets. Look for 100% cotton, and check with the college to see whether the beds are standard length or Twin XL. Classic cotton wears better than microfiber or jersey, and you probably don’t need a second set of sheets depending on the laundry access situation.

Iron. Yeah, you’re not going to iron anything.

What to Buy for a College Dorm and What to Skip [Consumer Reports]