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Back to School: Essentials for Your Dorm Room

By July 28, 2021No Comments
Upgrade Your Dorm Life

School is just around the corner, and so are the long nights of studying, gaming with friends, and binge-watching Netflix.

We’ll assume you’ve already got the big things like a TV, computer, and hot pot in mind for your campus stay. Instead, we’ve put together a list of some other dorm room essentials to help enhance your school experience and keep you on top of things.

Surge Protector

APC 11-Outlet Surge Protector

Protect your devices from surges, and yourself from limited dorm room outlet access

You can never have too many plugs. No matter how much you’re bringing with you to your dorm room, having extra outlets available is important. But you know what else is important? Protecting your electronics from electrical surges.

Electrical surges are a short overvoltage spike in power lines. These are common during thunderstorms. But they can also happen from switching electrical loads and electrostatic discharge events that can occur anywhere between your devices and the electrical grid. An electrical surge can cause damage to your electronics, so it’s important to protect them with a surge protector.

Surge protectors vary in price, ranging from basic protectors to more expensive and robust protectors. There are also Wi-Fi enabled surge protectors that allow you to control multiple plugs individually. This means you can easily turn your desk lamp on or off with your phone or voice. You can also schedule devices based on the time of day, whether you’re home, and even what the weather is like.

Smart Lights


Add color and intelligence to your illumination

A great way to add some flair and ambiance to your dorm, smart lights are a fun way to light up your space. With smart lights, you can control the lighting in your room with your smartphone or your voice.

One of the coolest parts about smart lights is the amount of control you have over your lights. Not only can you schedule them to come on automatically, but you can dim them and even drastically change the atmosphere in your dorm room.

Smart lights can be an excellent way to change things up during long study sessions. They’re also a good way to signal to your roommates that you’re busy with studying and homework.

With smart lights, you’ve got a few different options. If you’re looking for a simple desk lamp, then something like the Meross Dimmable WiFi Table Lamp is a simple all-in-one solution. Or you might opt for a pack of smart bulbs to get more bang for your buck. There’s also smart LED light strips, which can discretely add an ambient glow to anywhere in your space, from behind your TV to under your bed.

And speaking of smart lights…

Toilet Light

TNND Ultraviolet LED Toilet Light

When you add an Ultraviolet disinfecting light to your bowl, UV cleaner.

Imagine this: it’s the middle of the night, and you sleepily stumble into the bathroom. You reach for the light switch, only to blind yourself awake with your bright bathroom light. One way you could combat this issue is to put a smart light in your bathroom and set it to dimly emit light during the late hours of the night. But that’ll require some extra work to set up.

An easier way to find your way to the toilet in the dark is by putting a light on your toilet. These nifty little gadgets attach to your toilet and have a built-in motion sensor to detect your presence. When it detects movement, it emits light into the toilet bowl to make your toilet easy to find in the middle of the night.

But making your toilet light up in the dark isn’t the only way these are useful. Some of them emit UV light into the toilet bowl to disinfect the toilet between cleanings, while others double as air fresheners, making them useful for any time, day or night.

Robot Vacuum

Neabot Robot Vacuum

Your new, better roommate.

It goes without saying that dorm rooms aren’t usually known for cleanliness. Between school, work, and social life, it’s easy for your space to quickly fall into disarray. However, having a robot vacuum can help alleviate the burden of tidying up by cleaning your floors while you’re away.

But not all robot vacuums are created equal. Some robot vacuums like the Roborock S6 use lidar navigation to intelligently map out your space and handle both vacuuming and mopping. Others like the Neabot Robot Vacuum offer self-emptying bins, so you never have to worry about coming back to a dirty dorm room because the vacuum was full before it finished.

Smart Speaker

Google Home Mini Smart Speaker

Make your home a little smarter with a Google Home Mini

With all of this smart home technology to help keep your environment cozy, one of the best investments you could make is a smart speaker. Not only do they act as a decent Bluetooth speaker, but they also come with a handy voice assistant to make your life a little easier.

That means you can control all your smart gadgets by simply telling your assistant to do the heavy lifting for you. Want a light to turn itself on? Need to turn off your coffee maker? Just say so. You can also use the assistant to look up information, and even have it order food delivery – ask, and you shall receive.

When it comes to choosing a smart speaker, you should consider which voice assistant you want to use. For Google Assistant, there’s the Google Home Mini. For Alexa fans, the 4th Gen Echo Dot is a great choice, and comes with a built-in clock. And of course, for the Apple diehards, there’s the Apple HomePod mini smart speaker for Siri integration.

Wi-Fi 6 Router

ASUS AX2700 WiFi 6 Router

Your neighbors will beg for your network password

With smart gadgets and streaming devices, you’ll need a way to connect them to the Internet. You probably don’t need us to tell you that the free Wi-Fi on your campus isn’t the best option, so you should consider picking up a Wi-Fi router for your dorm room. And being the forward-thinking college student that you are, your best bet is a Wi-Fi 6 router.

But why Wi-Fi 6? For one, Wi-Fi 6 offers greater speeds than previous generations of Wi-Fi. But it’s also better equipped to handle the influx of devices that rely on the Internet to function. This is because of improved iterations of technologies such as OFDMA and MU-MIMO. This translates to a router that will be able to transmit more data to more devices at once.

This ultimately results in less network congestion and greater network stability as you add more devices to your network. That means your shiny new router will fare better if you decide to jump head-first into the world of IoT gadgets, or you decide to have some friends over for a night of online gaming.

If you have basic online needs, then something like the TP-Link Archer AX21 will work just fine for web browsing, light gaming, and Netflix. But if you’re looking to future-proof your router for a while, a more advanced router like the ASUS RT-AX68U is a great way to go.

Wireless Headphones

Lenovo X18 Wireless Earphone

TFW your college assigned roommate is a Jake Paul fan

Sometimes you need to hunker down, focus, and get stuff done. Whether you’re finishing that essay, want a good pair of earbuds for your workout, or you’re just looking to get some cleaning done, a great pair of wireless headphones can make a world of difference.

But you don’t need to break the bank on a pair of AirPods to get a decent set of wireless headphones. In fact, there are a great number of different headphones to suit all budgets and preferences.

For example, you can pick up a cheap pair of Lenovo X18 earbuds for studying and everyday tasks. If you’re looking to get a set of earbuds for your workout, then you might consider the Soundcore Spirit Sports earbuds. Or perhaps you’d prefer a pair of quality over-ear headphones from Bose to get the best quality out of your wireless listening experience.

Cable Organizers

40 Piece Cable Clip

Be an ordered corder

While many of the things covered in this list are wireless, we’re a long way from living in a truly wireless world. Since power cables are still very much part of our reality, having them organized is the best way to keep your room looking neat and tidy.

With a cable organizer sleeve, you can keep your cables bound into one neat run, which will prevent tangling and other wire hazards. If a sleeve is a bit much for you, consider reusable cable ties, which are another great way to bound cables together to prevent a tangled mess under your desk.

For smaller cables such as phone chargers and auxiliary cables, cable clips are also a great way to keep your cables organized while keeping them individually accessible.

Laptop Stand

Adjustable Laptop Stand w/ Mouse Pad

College is all about being adjustable and learning where you stand

Laptops are a must-have in college, and offer a happy medium between tablets and desktop computers. But if you’ve ever used a laptop on your lap, you know that it can quickly become uncomfortable with all that hot air blowing straight into your lap. Having your laptop on your lap can also cause overheating issues with the computer itself.

A laptop stand can alleviate these heat issues, as well as prop your laptop up to a more optimal angle. This means you’ll be able to comfortably use your computer anywhere – even in bed. It can also provide a more ergonomic viewing angle on your desk, which can help reduce discomfort during long study sessions.

You can also even find stands that have mouse pads built-in, so you can use your mouse no matter where you decide to work.

Portable Hard Drive

Samsung External 1TB Hard Drive

For all your pirated- I mean, legally downloaded content

You can never have too many backups, especially when it comes to important school projects. That’s why it’s important to have an extra hard drive handy, just in case disaster strikes at the worst possible time. Thankfully, portable hard drives are a lot cheaper now than they used to be, so you can find a large hard drive without breaking the bank.

However, if you plan to make frequent backups, then you might want something a little quicker than a traditional hard drive. In that case, then consider picking up a portable SSD like the SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD.

And if you’re adamant about keeping your backups safe at all costs, then can’t go wrong with a rugged armored hard drive. The Silicon Power Armor A60 is both shockproof and waterproof, keeping your data safe through any abuse you might put it through.

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Author Cody Brown

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