18 uni essentials: your checklist to making halls your home

From saucepan sets and kitchen appliances to bedding and cleaning supplies

Uni essentials graphic with coffee machine, towels, notepad and toastie machine
(Image credit: Future)

Whether you’re heading to university as a fresher, or returning for your second or third year, make sure you’re prepared for September with all your university essentials. From new bedding, a laundry basket and towels to small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, and cleaning supplies, the checklist can be endless. I should know, as a recent graduate, how important it is to get everything you need ahead of time. Because why wouldn't you want to start the new school year well prepared?

You might think shopping for the essentials involves kitting yourself out with everything you can find from IKEA, and while it does, to make your halls feel more like home we’ve put more elevated basics in the mix, all at an affordable price, of course. Including John Lewis towels, student bedding bundles from DUSK and trendy bathroom buys from Made.com, you can set up your space in style. 

Oh, and don't forget the practical buys either, like one of the best mattress protectors. So tick off as you go, and find everything you need to start the term right.

Your uni essentials check list 

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What do all uni students need?

Deciding what to take to university can be a bit overwhelming. From everything for your bedroom to kitchen appliances and cookware, it can be easy to buy too much. But the trick is to tick off a checklist of essentials before you go. After all, there are plenty of places to buy cheap home decor from to make your room a little more you, once you've moved in. Already thinking about it? Then check out these uni room ideas, to add some personality to your student digs. 

For now, students will definitely need new bedding, dinnerware, a sturdy saucepan set and plenty of cleaning supplies to keep your place in good condition for when relatives come to visit. And whilst it's typical to buy the cheapest bundles online, consider going for better value buys that'll last you a little longer and look great too. This way you'll have your halls feeling like home in no time. 

What shall I bring to university?

Figuring out what you need, and what you don't when buying your uni essentials can be a little confusing. So it's worth checking out your university halls handbook to see what's already provided. A kettle and toaster for example are often already part of a student kitchen. And many digs even come with a sweeping brush and mop bucket. But this isn't mandatory. 

Also bear in mind you can always wait until you get there for some non-essential items, and consider splitting the cost between flatmates for shared things such as an ironing board and iron. 

How we chose these uni essentials 

Most of these uni essentials are the best affordable or value for money buys from our buying guides. So they've been tried and tested to make sure they balance out on price and quality. Otherwise, they're brand favourites and best-sellers you can rely on, like Flash's speed mop or Command Strips. And while cost is the overarching factor when it comes to buying basic essentials, we've considered style and practicality too – basic doesn't have to mean boring. 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is the Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, specialising in sleep content so you can wind-down well. With prior PR experience working for a luxury bedding brand, Louise knows the importance of getting a great night’s sleep. Joining the other side of the desk as a full-time journo, Louise brings her bedding expertise to writing sleep buying guides, reviews, and news for Real Homes. Aside from helping readers get essential shut eye, Louise also writes shopping content for homeware items that’ll add a decorative edge to your space. With an eye for design that won’t snooze on style, but a budget that won’t quite stretch, Louise loves nothing more than a modern designer dupe. From coloured glassware to contemporary storage, anything to upgrade the bare space of her rented East London flat.