It’s that time of year again. The pools are starting to close down. The neighbors are all getting back from their family vacations. The sun doesn’t seem to be as intense as it was a few weeks back. Unfortunately, this all means one thing — summer is coming to an end… and a new school year is about to start. For the early school years, stocking up for back-to-school was pretty simple. All you had to do was walk down the school aisle at your local grocery store, picking out the most basic supplies. If you were lucky, you might even get a new backpack. But leaving for college is a little bit different, especially that first year. You still need those basic school supplies, but you also need a few basic appliances to help you get by in the dorm. While you’re busy registering for classes, don’t forget about these essential back-to-school appliances for your dorm room. 1. Compact Refrigerator The obvious appliance that every dorm needs is the small, compact refrigerator. Every college student needs one of these. Even if you’re on a meal plan and don’t plan on preparing your own meals in your room, you need a dependable mini fridge just to keep your drinks and snacks cool. Compact refrigerators usually consist of 1 to 2.5 cubic feet of space. They are small enough to put in a corner or underneath your desk, but large enough to hold your basic foods and drinks. If your school allows it, you should look into getting a midsize refrigerator. These are not only small enough for a dorm atmosphere, but usually have more cubic feet of space and a separate freezer compartment for your frozen foods. For the price and the features, this will be your best value. The best compact refrigerators for dorms: EdgeStar 1.1 Cu. Ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer w/ Lock — Stainless Steel Danby 3.0 Cu. Ft. Energy Star Compact Refrigerator — Black & Steel EdgeStar 3.1 Cu. Ft. Energy Star Fridge &Freezer — Stainless Steel 2. Microwave Having a dependable microwave is another must-have dorm appliance. Sure, your dorm will probably have a microwave in the common area, but most likely, it’s going to be an old model that probably doesn’t work as effectively as one you bring yourself. Plus, it’s likely that somebody will be using it when you need it. Avoid the drama, and bring your own microwave. You’ll have the luxury of heating up your leftovers or making a bag of popcorn, all without having to leave the room or wait in line. It’s almost a guarantee that any microwave your bring with you, will be better than the one that is in your dorm and used every day by countless amounts of students. Just be sure to check if your dorm allows microwaves beforehand. Some do, and some don’t. The best microwaves for dorms: Magic Chef 0.9 Cubic Foot 900 Watt Microwave — Red Avanti 0.9 Cu. Ft. Electronic Microwave with Touchpad — Stainless Steel EdgeStar Energy Star Microwave and Refrigerator Combo Another possible option, is to combine the two most needed dorm appliances into one. A combination refrigerator and microwave may just be the perfect solution for you. This unique combination basically gives you an all-in-one kitchen, without taking up lots of space. Not to mention, if you bundle the two appliances into one, you’re going to save a little bit of money. 3. Humidifiers On most college campuses, dormitories usually tend to be hot and dry places to live. Bringing along your own humidifier will not only help keep your room more comfortable to live in. The extra moisture in the air will help you feel a little better by relieving dry, itchy skin, as well as help with any allergy symptoms you may experience. Now that you’re living in close quarters to other students, a humidifier may also dramatically reduce your chances of catching other their viruses. Nobody likes being sick, and that’s especially true when you have to cram for a big test. Humidifiers are generally pretty quiet, so you won’t disturb your roommate. And they’re also pretty small, so they won’t take up much space. Which is precisely why they rank as one of the best dorm appliances. The best humidifiers for dorms: Guardian Technologies Pureguardian Ultrasonic Table Top Humidifier Vornado Ultrasonic Warm Or Cool Mist Humidifier Germ Guardian 10-Hour Ultrasonic Table Top Humidifier — Blue & White 4. Coffee Machine Whether you have early morning classes or plan on studying late into the night, you’re probably going to need to have access to a readily supply of fresh coffee. This is why a reliable coffee maker is an essential for your dorm. Most dorms won’t have a coffee machine readily available to you, and if they do, you can bet that it’s been there for many years. To eliminate overall waste, we would recommend a single-cup coffee maker, like a Keurig. These are great at brewing just enough for you to make it through that last chapter of your textbook, without having to brew a whole pot that you’ll just pour out. The best coffee makers for dorms: Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System — Red Kalorik Programmable 12 Cup Coffee Maker — Stainless Steel Jura-Capresso 12 Cup Coffee Maker — Stainless Steel 5. Iron Having an iron is another important must-have for the dorm, even though a lot of students will think they won’t have a need for one. At some point, you’re going to need put on a nice shirt and nobody wants to look like a wrinkled slob. Steam irons are easy to carry around, and small enough to store out of the way. The best irons for dorms: Steamfast Compact Steam Iron Reliable Velocity Vapor Generator Steam Iron — Orange Reliable Digital Velocity Vapor Generator Steam Iron — White Moving away from home and living in a dorm isn’t going to be easy for most students, at least not at first. Bringing along these appliances is a great way to make the transition into the dorm easier, so you can concentrate more on your studies. What’s your list of must-have dorm appliances? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.