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Best Dorm Gifts

Looking for the perfect gift to send off with your college student? This list of the best dorm gifts will help you find something! No matter if they’re living in a hall with communal bathrooms or living in a private suite, our list has the perfect gift for everyone.

Not sure where to start on your dorm shopping? Check out our list of dorm essentials and our list of best dorm shopping websites.

Best College Dorm Gifts

These dorm essentials are perfect for anyone! These will help make the college experience easier for any new college student and ease the transition into college life.

1. Keurig Coffee Maker

Your college student will need caffeine and you can save them money by gifting them a Keurig coffee maker so they won’t need to stop by the coffee shop every morning. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can pick the one that works best for your college-bound kid.

2. Lapdesk

This is an often-overlooked dorm essential that is useful for all college students! A lap desk allows students to set up their workstation wherever works best for them: their bed, down the hall, the common room couch, wherever! This is a great gift that will encourage them to study.

3. Stainless Steel Water Bottle

This is a great way to help them reduce their dependence on plastic water bottles! Stainless steel water bottles come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, but I love the 24 oz Hydroflask. It keeps water cold and has the choice of two lids – one with a straw, and one without. They can use it at the gym, in class, or wherever they go!

4. Bedside Shelf

This is a must-have if your student will have a lofted bed! A bedside shelf attaches to the bed and gives them a place to put things like their phone, their water bottle, and more next to their bed so that they can easily reach it at night. It’s convenient and a dorm essential that may be forgotten.

5. Headphones

All college students need a good set of headphones! I recommend noise-canceling headphones, like the AirPods Pros, which are both stylish and practical. From listening to music to talking on the phone, a good set of headphones is a must for all college students.

6. Laptop

From homework to taking notes in class, all college students need a good laptop. While the right laptop varies by student, I recommend one that has several USB ports, good battery life, and is likely to last for all four years. This is an expensive gift that they’ll appreciate for a long time coming.

7. Powerstrip

While a power strip is not the most glamorous gift, it is a very useful one. In a small dorm room, there are often not enough outlets to go around, so it’s a dorm essential that makes the perfect gift! I recommend one that has USB ports as well as outlets, so that they can really maximize the space.

Best College Dorm Gifts for Girls

8. Makeup Holder

If your college student is a big fan of makeup, a makeup holder would make a great dorm gift! They’ll want one that doesn’t take up too much space in a small dorm room but is still able to hold all of their makeup.

Related: Dorm Room Organization Hacks

9. Diffuser

An essential oil diffuser is a perfect gift for any girl who may want to reap the benefits of essential oils. They’re small and they don’t take up a lot of room, but they can go a long way in making the dorm feel more like home. To complete the gift, give her a nice set of essential oils to go along with it.

10. Makeup Mirror

A nice makeup mirror will help her look her best at college! This foldable one will save space in a crowded dorm room, but it still has the magnifying mirrors and lights that you would expect in a nice mirror.

11. Jewelry Organizer

Every girl needs a good jewelry organizer! This hanging organizer is great because it hangs in her closet and doesn’t take up much space in a college dorm. This is the perfect dorm essential gift that she might forget!

12. Collage Kit

If you want a gift that she’s sure to love, then a collage kit is perfect! This one has 70 pictures that she can pick and choose from to hang on the wall in her dorm room to create a gallery wall. There are many styles to pick from, so you can find the one that best fits her style. It’s a unique gift that she’ll love!

Best College Dorm Gifts for Guys

13. Personalized Multi-Tool

A personalized multi-tool can be a great gift for any guy who’s headed off to college. It’s practical but thoughtful and personalized with his engraved on it. With 11 tools in 1, this is a meaningful gift that he can use for a long time coming.

14. Mini Tool Set

Want to give him a dorm essential that others may forget? A mini tool set is useful and an oft-forgotten dorm essential! This one has all the basics so he can feel ready for anything that comes.

15. Over-the-Door Basketball Hoop

Make his dorm room more fun by giving him an over-the-door basketball hoop! He can take a break from studying and relax or entertain friends with an indoor basketball hoop. It’s a fun way to make the dorm unique.

16. Beanbag Chair

A beanbag chair is a classic piece of dorm furniture, so it makes a great gift for any guy who’ll be living in the dorms. There are so many colors and styles to pick from that you’re sure to find one that he’ll love!

17. Beer Poster

Give him something to spruce up his dorm room with this beer poster! Featuring a variety of types of beer, this poster is great for a college dorm room. You know that he’ll want to try all of them!

Want more dorm room decoration ideas? Check out our post on dorm room decorations!

Meaningful Gifts for College Students

18. Two State Picture

If your student is going out of state for college, consider giving them a sweet two state with love picture. Pick the two states and choose their colors to make a personalized gift that they’ll love. You can even add a message and a frame!

19. T-Shirt Quilt

T Shirt Quilt - Thoughtful Dorm Gifts

If they have a lot of t-shirts from high school and other activities, you may want to give them a t-shirt quilt. You can make one yourself, but if you’re short on time or not crafty, you can also buy one from Etsy. This is a meaningful gift they’re sure to cherish!

20. Open When… Letters

Open When.... Letters - Thoughtful and Meaningful Gift for College Students

These Open When… letters are the gift that keeps giving! Write a letter for each of the prompts and they’ll open them when the time comes. This will last them through their freshman year and is a great way to show them how much you love them.

21. Personalized Jewelry

First Day of College Personalized Necklace -  Thoughtful College Dorm Gifts

There’s nothing like jewelry to show her you care. I love this On Your First Day of College necklace, which is personalized with her name, as a gift for a freshman just starting out. It’s sweet, meaningful and something she’s sure to cherish.

Funny Dorm Gifts

22. Call Mom Throw Pillow

Want a fun way to remind your college student to call home sometimes? A Call Mom pillow case is the perfect gift! Washable and available in several colors, this gift will make them laugh – and hopefully inspire them to call home.

23. Naked Roommate Book

This gift is both practical and funny. The Naked Roommate Book contains advice for all sorts of awkward roommate situations, as well as other common college problems. It’s a must-have for any student heading off to college this year.

24. Desktop Game

A Desktop Game is an affordable and funny gift that will help them take a break from studying! Available in several different games, including bowling, boxing, and basketball, desktop games take up only a little room on a desk and a perfect for a quick study break.

25. Dammit Doll

Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan, especially in college. That’s why a Dammit Doll is a great gift. They can throw it, curse at it, or yell at it – whatever it takes to get their frustration out. It’s a funny gift that will help them make it through the bad days.


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