A new school semester is upon us, and with it thousands of students are journeying across the country to their home away from home — some for the first time.
Student life always presents its difficulties, especially for those who are new to living independently. Cooking our own meals and cleaning up after ourselves can be a real eye-opener! However, having the right appliances can make all the difference.
Owning a personal blender or air fryer, for instance, can produce delicious results quickly and with minimal effort. So, if you’re heading back to college, these are the best appliances for student living that you need in your life.
If your dorm has seen better days, be sure to check out 7 cleaning hacks every college student should know, and if you need to sort your own bed setup, our ranking of the best mattresses for college students will help. Finally, make sure you're not missing a bargain by checking our guide to the best back to school sales right now.
Every student needs an air fryer for fast, delicious and relatively healthy recipes. The Dash Compact Air Fryer is small, which makes it ideal for storage, and inexpensive. Its compact design doesn’t compromise on its performance however, as we found it was great at air-frying chicken wings when we put it to the test. It’s ideal for cooking for 1-2 people and comes in an array of attractive colors. It couldn’t be easier to control with two dials for temperature and time, and the basket is dishwasher-safe as well. You would use this appliance more often than you would think for fresh and crispy French fries.
Read our full Dash Compact Air Fryer review.
A vacuum cleaner may not be at the top of your list for things to buy, but it's an important appliance, especially for those of us with long hair. Cordless is best for students as they’re convenient to whip out for spills and should have enough battery to cover the dorm when needed. The Eureka RapidClean Pro Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner won’t break the bank and will pick up all kinds of debris in one sweep. Plus it can be used as a handheld when needed too.
For coffee-lovers, the Braun Brew Sense Drip Coffee Maker KF6050 is the best you can buy. It offers a great set of features at a reasonable price, including an adjustable keep warm setting. It can brew up to 12 cups of coffee in its glass carafe and comes with permanent filters and a 24 hour timer too. The only thing it’s missing is a milk frother, but for less than $100, you can’t ask for more.
I relied a little too much on this appliance through college, but nothing is quite as satisfying as a fresh grilled cheese sandwich. It’s quick, delicious and easy to make with a panini press. This George Foreman model can prepare two servings and comes with a drip tray to collect any drained grease or fat, which is dishwasher safe. It’s very compact, measuring just 9.38 x 5.12 x 10.25 inches, and couldn’t be easier to use. There’s a four servings model available for $5 more if you like more than one sandwich at a time.
Blenders are a brilliant way to get more vitamins into your diet. Full-sized ones can be bulky and expensive though, that’s why we recommend the Hamilton Beach Personal Blender for students. It can prepare one serving of smoothie at a time and the jar doubles-up as a travel cup, so you just grab it and go. The cup and lid are dishwasher-safe too, so the design is as convenient as it gets. It’s available in five colors including black, blue, raspberry, red and white.
Toasters are a pretty essential appliance for most students. We chose this one because of its extra-wide slots and six browning settings. It also comes with dedicated settings for bagels and gluten free breads. It features a black, sophisticated finish and at $15, a toaster won’t come much cheaper. There’s the standard slide-out crumb tray as well for easy-cleaning.
While this mini fridge is likely smaller than you would expect, it can still hold four cans and can sit neatly on a countertop rather than taking up precious floor space. It comes with two shelf levels as well as a thin compartment on the inside of the door, which is perfect for chocolate bars. It’s available in an array of colors as well, including a cow-pattern! It’s certainly as cute as a mini fridge can get and it’s a steal at $50.
If your dorm room gets overly hot, then a fan is a must-have. You don’t need to spend the big bucks to get a good one though, we recommend the Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan. It’s compact in size, so you can sit it on your desk, and it comes with three speeds and a 90 degree pivoting heat. It can even be mounted on a wall if necessary.
- More: Here's the best air fryers right now