School-worthy essentials for every student

Students need a lot of items to head back to the classroom, so it can be daunting to fulfill your back-to-school shopping list. This list has many unbeatable deals to help you find what you need before the first day of school rolls around. 

From backpacks and calculators to dorm-friendly refrigerators, these products will fit a wide range of student needs. Whether you’re shopping for a college student or a child, you can jump around the different sections of this article to find what you need.

Top products

Best Champion Advocate Backpack

Champion Advocate Backpack

This backpack has everything a student needs to tote their belongings to and from school — spacious pockets, a laptop sleeve, and comfortable straps. Dual side pockets come in handy for carrying water bottles. It’s also durable and available in several stylish patterns. 

Sold by Amazon 

Best Instant Pot Duo Plus

Instant Pot Duo Plus

Dorm dwellers have limited options for preparing meals, but the Duo Plus significantly increases the possibilities. It’s a multicooker that has nine functions in one appliance. It’s available in several sizes, but the 3-quart model is ideal for students with limited space. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Appliances-Best Black + Decker Compact Refrigerator

Black and Decker Compact Refrigerator 

A mini fridge is a must-have for dorm life. This compact model doesn’t take up much space but has enough interior room for a small stash of groceries. The door can fit tall bottles and the interior shelves are removable to maximize space. It also has a small top freezer compartment. 

Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Best Cooluli Mini Fridge

Cooluli Mini Fridge

If your college student’s dorm is extremely small, that doesn’t mean they have to give up on having a fridge. The Cooluli mini model offers just enough space for a few beverages, leftovers, or skincare products. It can be powered with the included standard or USB cords.

Sold by Amazon

Bedding-Best Elegant Comfort Four-piece Bed Sheet Set

Elegant Comfort Four-Piece Bed Sheet Set

These sheets are available in twin and twin XL sizes that are suitable for most dorm beds. They resist fading and wrinkling, so they are easy to launder. You can choose from a large selection of attractive colors. 

Sold by Amazon 

Kitchen-Best Secura French Press

Secura French Press

A French press doesn’t take up a lot of space, but it makes great coffee. That’s why it’s the ideal gadget for college students who like to start each day of classes with a hot cup of joe. This model boasts double-wall construction that keeps coffee hot for at least an hour.  

Sold by Amazon 

Clothing and shoes

Apparel-Best Hanes Boys’ Eco Smart Pullover Hoodie

Hanes Boys’ Eco Smart Pullover Hoodie

This kid-safe hoodie is cord-free but still blocks the wind on cooler days. It’s made of a cotton/polyester blend, with 5% of the polyester coming from recycled bottles. The fabric also features a high-stitch density for improved durability and pilling resistance.

Sold by Amazon

Shoes-Best-Crocs Unisex Child Classic Clogs

Crocs Unisex Child Classic Clogs

These versatile, comfy shoes are perfect for school because kids can quickly get them on and off. They’re also flexible, so they let your child move freely. Best of all, they’re available in more than 20 colors to please any kid. 

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Apparel-Best Levi’s Big Girls Pull On Jegging

Levi’s Girls’ Pull On Jegging

These soft, lightweight jeggings pair well with tees, sweaters, and more. They have a slim fit from the hip to the ankle and feature a comfortable elastic waistband. They also have five pockets to give your child plenty of room to keep their essentials. 

Sold by Amazon

Apparel-Best Jurassic Park Blue & Purple Fossil Logo Graphic T-shirt

Jurassic Park Blue and Purple Fossil Logo Graphic T-shirt

This soft 100% cotton T-shirt will be a big hit with any kids who are fans of the “Jurassic Park” franchise. The lightweight fabric is ideal for multiple seasons, so it works well as a layering piece. It also has a double-needle sleeve and bottom hem to ensure it holds up well to repeated washing.

Sold by Amazon

Shoes-Best Hey Dude Girl’s Wendy Youth Linen Shoes

Hey Dude Girls’ Wendy Youth Linen Shoes

These sharp-looking linen shoes are comfortable enough for a full day at school. They have a rounded toe and a flexible design that allows the feet to move freely. They also feature elastic laces, making it easy for kids to slip them on and off. 

Sold by Amazon

Apparel-Best Rare Editions Big Girls Embroidered Mesh Dress and Denim Vest

Rare Editions Big Girls Embroidered Mesh Dress and Denim Vest 

This fun two-piece set includes an embroidered dress and a classic denim vest. The dress has eye-catching bell sleeves and a ruffled hem. The vest can also be worn on its own with other outfits. 

Sold by Macy’s

Other top clothing and shoe deals 

College and dorm life

Bedding-Best Bare Home Comforter Set

Bare Home Comforter Set

Most college dorms have twin XL beds, so it can be trickier to find bedding in the correct size. This comforter set comes in twin XL and features a comforter and matching pillow sham. It’s available in 24 colors, including gray and aqua.

Sold by Amazon

Kitchen-Best Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

Coffee-loving students will appreciate having a quick way to make coffee so they don’t have to pick some up before class. Since it’s a pod coffee maker, there’s no hot plate, so it’s allowed in most dorms.

Sold by Amazon

Home-Best Levoit Air Purifier

Levoit Air Purifier

Dorm rooms can sometimes be stuffy or musty, but an air purifier improves air quality, making them more pleasant places to spend time. This model is also great for filtering out airborne allergens. It’s energy-efficient and quiet, so you can run it all night. 

Sold by Amazon

Appliances-Best Black + Decker Compact Refrigerator 2.5cuft

Black and Decker Compact Refrigerator

When space and dorm rules allow, a mini fridge is great for storing drinks, snacks, and simple cooking ingredients. This one doesn’t take up too much space, but it still has a decent capacity, including a small freezer compartment.

Sold by Amazon

Electronics-Best Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones might be a splurge, but the impressive noise-canceling properties will be greatly appreciated when trying to study in a noisy dorm. They don’t leak sound, so they’re also ideal for listening to music without annoying roommates. 

Sold by Amazon

Other top college and dorm life deals 

  • A handheld vacuum that’s perfect for cleaning up small messes and keeping your dorm room clean and tidy
  • Mesh shower caddies that are perfect for toting toiletries into shared bathrooms and storing them between uses
  • Large laundry hampers with reinforced handles for holding dirty clothes and transporting them to the laundry room
  • This digital alarm clock that helps you get to class on time, even if your phone dies during the night 
  • A reusable water bottle with an integrated straw to stay hydrated in your dorm room, in class, and when you’re out and about
  • Over-door pocket organizers that help make the most of the limited space available in dorm rooms 
  • A compact fabric steamer to easily remove wrinkles from creased clothing without the need to find space for a bulky ironing board 
  • This twin XL memory foam mattress topper to make a tired old dorm mattress feel more comfortable so you sleep better
  • Ramen bowl and chopstick sets with “The Mandalorian,” “Star Wars” and Marvel designs to make eating instant noodles more of an event
  • This lava lamp to add a touch of retro style to a dorm room, along with ambient lighting 
  • Miniature waffle makers that not only cook waffles but also hash browns, quesadillas, cookies, and more
  • A set of glass food storage containers for keeping food fresh in the fridge and packing lunches
  • This microwave popcorn maker for quick healthy snacking and spicing up movie night with roommates and neighbors 
  • Quick-drying shower shoes to avoid getting foot fungus or stepping on something nasty in shared shower blocks 
  • A portable Bluetooth speaker for listening to music in your dorm or out on the lawn around campus
  • This cooling memory foam pillow to help you get a decent sleep, even if your bed is small and your mattress is not that comfortable
  • An insulated travel mug so you can pour yourself a coffee and head straight out of the door if you’re running late for class
  • Towel sets that contain bath sheets, hand towels, and washcloths to cover all your bases
  • This organic cotton twin XL sheet set that’s breathable, comfortable, and washes well 
  • A quality reed diffuser since scented candles aren’t allowed in most dorms

School supplies

Office-Best The Happy Planner 18-Month Daily Planner

The Happy Planner 18-Month Daily Planner

Keeping track of assignment due dates and after-school activities is easy with a daily planner. This one is designed for 18 months and has ample space to fill in and organize daily activities on each date. It comes in a choice of several appealing patterns. 

Sold by Amazon  

Office-Best Samsill Earth’s D-Ring View Binder, 4-Pack

Samsill Earth’s D-Ring View Binder, 4-Pack

Kids always need binders for projects, assignments, and other important documents. Each of the binders in this pack of four has the capacity for 350 sheets of paper. They’re made in the U.S.A. of recycled and renewable materials, which makes them a good choice for eco-conscious students. 

Sold by Amazon 

Kitchen-Best BentoHeaven Premium Bento Lunch Box

BentoHeaven Premium Bento Lunch Box

With multiple compartments in one convenient unit, this bento lunch box makes it possible to pack a nutritious lunch with several courses. The lids feature silicone seals to prevent leaks. It includes a compartment for storing utensils. 

Sold by Amazon 

Office-Best HP DeskJet 2755e Wireless All-in-One Printer

HP DeskJet 2755e Wireless All-in-One Printer

Students who like the convenience of being able to print their assignments at home will appreciate the features that this versatile printer has to offer. It’s compact, affordable, and has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile printing. It’s able to print in black and white and color, and it comes with a six-month subscription of Instant Ink to support these capabilities while saving money. 

Sold by HP and Amazon

Office-Best Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator

When it comes to classes such as algebra, geometry, and statistics, a standard calculator just won’t do. The TI-84 graphics calculator is packed with features for solving complicated equations. Its impressive features include a lightweight build, large and vivid screen, rechargeable battery, and a choice of several colors. 

Sold by Amazon 

Other top school supply deals 

  • Pencil sharpeners for keeping pencil tips sharp and ready to work
  • Classic number 2 pencils that come in handy for numerous types of schoolwork
  • Disposable face masks in the event COVID-19 cases rise throughout the school year
  • A flash drive for saving important assignments and working on them on school and home computers 
  • Hand sanitizer in fun keychain holders to keep germs at bay
  • A cloud-driven reusable notebook with pages that wipe clean with ease
  • Printer paper for printing important assignments from a home printer
  • A well-stocked back-to-school kit that comes with a stapler, scissors, pens, a mini notebook, and more
  • This bento box that has numerous compartments for keeping food items separated until lunchtime
  • A Trapper Keeper with lots of space for assignments and a cool throwback design 
  • Multiple notebooks for students who need one for each class for taking notes, writing assignments, and more
  • These washable paints for art class
  • Small packets of tissues to stash in bags, backpacks, or pockets
  • A budget-friendly pack of 40 mechanical pencils that are likely to last all school year
  • Emoji erasers that kids can use, share, and collect
  • This large collection of colored pencils for times when standard pencils just won’t do
  • This zippered binder that provides extra protection for important assignments and paperwork
  • Bulk crayons for kindergarteners and young art students 
  • A set of brightly colored classic calculators that will inspire kids to learn math
  • Glue tape that’s effective and easy to use when adhesive is required for class projects

Computers and tech

Electronics-2021 Apple 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

2021 Apple 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

An iPad is a versatile tablet computer that’s great for creative individuals. A student can use one for writing papers, taking notes, keeping track of assignments, doing research, and more. However, they’re also excellent tools that allow a student to flex their creative muscles when it comes to making art, movies, and musical compositions.

Sold by Amazon

Electronics-Best HP Envy x360 Convertible Laptop

HP Envy x360 Convertible Laptop

The Envy x360 is a powerful HP laptop that’s customizable to the student’s needs and budget. It’s a two-in-one convertible model that can function as a laptop with a keyboard or a tablet with a touchscreen. It comes with built-in privacy protection such as a mute button for the microphone and a physical shutter for the camera to offer peace of mind.

Sold by HP

Electronics-Best Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

The Galaxy Tab S8 is a popular Samsung tablet that features Microsoft 365 integration, which lets your student work on Excel, PowerPoint, and Word files. The all-day battery means the student won’t have to worry about running out of power halfway through the day, and the S pen is the company’s fastest, most responsive model to date.

Sold by Amazon and Dell

Electronics-Best Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds

Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds

Wireless earbuds that have active noise cancellation, like these Apple AirPods Pro, are great for a student. They can block out environmental noise and allow them to focus on their studies. Additionally, they can be used to listen to educational podcasts or instructional videos. If the student needs to hear what’s going on around them, they can switch to transparency mode.

Sold by Amazon and Staples

Electronics-Best Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam

Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam

A quality webcam is essential for remote learning and study groups that can’t meet up in the same physical space. This model lets you remove, blur, or replace your background without a green screen. It offers 1080p video calling and records at 30 fps. The camera also has HD lighting adjustment and autofocus, so you always look your best, even in low-light settings.

Sold by Amazon

Other top computer and tech deals 

  • This award-winning Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is ultra-thin yet impact-resistant, making it great for the on-the-go life of a student
  • An Apple iPad Mini is the perfect size for carrying to class, so you’re always prepared for learning
  • When you need to quickly and securely back up your work, this 64GB USB 2.0 SanDisk is an excellent option
  • For the student who only wants the very best, this Apple MacBook Pro is the only way to go
  • When it comes time to charge your MacBook Pro, only the MacBook Pro charger can accomplish the task
  • The Asus VivoBook Flip is a capable machine that offers four convenient viewing modes: tablet, tent, stand, and laptop
  • Logitech’s Brio 4K Webcam is suitable for nearly any setup you have, whether it’s a Mac, PC, laptop, or tablet
  • This highly coveted Korean International version of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has impressive specs that will be more than adequate for schoolwork
  • An ergonomic, wireless PC mouse can help protect a student’s hands when they’re engaged in long hours of work
  • An ergonomic keyboard can help keep a student focused on assignments without worrying about developing aches and pains in the hand and wrist
  • Another worthy option for pro-level computing is the potent ThinkPad L15 Gen 2
  • The Fire 7 Kids tablet is a great way to jump-start that thirst of curiosity and love of learning at an early age
  • If a student must record audio for a presentation or take part in an online meeting, having a high-quality USB microphone is important
  • This Chromebook was specifically designed for all-day use at school and features a tamper- and spill-resistant keyboard
  • Believe it or not, an Echo Dot is an extraordinary educational tool that can function as a tutor who’s available whenever you call their name
  • The HP Pavilion laptop is a customizable option that’s available at an affordable base price
  • To keep from developing poor posture habits and numerous aches and pains, a quality laptop stand is always recommended
  • For the ultimate in durability and portability, consider a waterproof, foldable silicone keyboard
  • Lenovo’s Chromebook S330 laptop is a choice option for students on a tight budget
  • Students who learn better by listening will love this remarkable handheld scanner that can scan and read pages of text to make learning more natural

Backpacks and storage

Fashion-Accessories-Best JanSport Big Student Backpack

JanSport Big Student Backpack

Students with a full schedule need a spacious backpack to carry binders, textbooks, and other must-haves. In addition to two large main compartments, this backpack also features a 15-inch padded laptop compartment, three front zip pockets, and a side mesh water bottle pocket.

Sold by Amazon

Fashion-Accessories-Best JanSport Cortlandt Backpack

JanSport Cortlandt Backpack

Since it’s designed with premium vegan leather on the bottom and trims, those searching for an eco-friendly option will appreciate this backpack. A 15-inch padded pocket secures and protects a laptop, while the flap pocket is helpful for organizing cords and other electronic accessories.

Sold by Amazon

Fashion-Accessories-Best Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack

With over 35 color combinations and a trendy silhouette, students can finally get a backpack that expresses their style. At 16 liters, it has enough room for every product on the back-to-school checklist. Plus, it features a two-way zipper for functionality and a rain flap for protection.

Sold by Amazon

Fashion-Accessories-The North Face Borealis School Laptop Backpack

The North Face Borealis School Laptop Backpack

From school to sports practice to commuting, this backpack features the brand’s flex vent technology to ensure breathability and support. Fill it to the brim with art supplies, tech, or clothing, thanks to its 28-liter capacity and durable padded pockets.

Sold by Amazon

Fashion-Accessories-Best Herschel Heritage Backpack

Herschel Heritage Classic 21.5-Liter Backpack

This backpack is lined with Herschel Supply’s signature red and white striped polyester for a flashy surprise. With a classic silhouette and diamond details, it won’t ever go out of style. It also features an interior sleeve pocket and a media pocket with a headphone port.

Sold by Amazon

Other top backpack and storage deals 

  • A padded Puma backpack with adjustable straps to stay comfortable, even when carrying must-have supplies from morning to night
  • For a lightweight and compact option, the HotStyle backpack has an 18-liter capacity
  • Some students may prefer the style of this vintage canvas messenger bag for its versatility and spacious main compartment
  • This Dakine 25-liter backpack has a large enough capacity to carry textbooks for a full day of classes or traveling between multiple campuses
  • The HP renew backpack is designed from recycled plastic bottles and is built to protect must-have electronics
  • Get the style of this 100% leather messenger bag with three pockets to organize electronics and other accessories 
  • The High Sierra Swoop Backpack offers an abundance of features, including 360-degree reflectivity, a tower of external pockets, and bottom drop protection
  • A Nike backpack that puts a new twist on a classic favorite with additional features and pockets
  • An eco-friendly classic three-stripe backpack that’s made with recycled content as part of the brand’s ambition to end plastic waste
  • A mini version of the trendy and durable Fjallraven Kanken for young children or those seeking a compact alternative
  • This leather, waterproof, and scratch-resistant canvas messenger bag with adjustable and detachable shoulder straps
  • The Simple Modern Kids Backpack that comes in an abundance of fun designs including unicorns, dinosaurs, and princesses
  • Styles always come back around, and this Vans Old Skool backpack is one that never stops being trendy
  • A totepack modeled after the popular Fjallraven Kanken backpack that can be worn as a backpack or carried over the shoulder
  • This classic messenger bag makes it easy to do just about anything, including commuting or rushing in between classes
  • This Patagonia tote pack made of water-repellent fabric that shields textbooks, laptops, and tablets from the elements
  • A waterproof and stylish travel school backpack that’s made of eco-friendly canvas 
  • This tech-friendly laptop backpack with an external USB port, padded pocket, and anti-theft back pocket for valuables
  • A durable and water-repellent Carhartt backpack that’s tough enough to last through just about anything

Contributing Authors: Jennifer Manfrin, Jennifer Blair, Allen Foster, Bre Richey and Lauren Corona

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