We Debunked Bed Bath & Beyond's Ridiculous 92-Item Dorm Room Shopping List


Each year, home goods giant Bed, Bath & Beyond releases its "Campus Checklist," sending soon-to-be college freshmen and their parents into a frenzy of overspending.


In the worried haze of preparing for the first year of college, it's easy to forget that some of the items on the list are not only unnecessary; they are a downright waste of money.

This year's Campus Checklist has an astounding 92 items, many of which will just take up space in a tiny dorm room: Consider the "laptop desk," which, as it turns out, is just a tiny rolling desk that BB&B wants you to spend $80 on.

We polled recent college grads and current students at Business Insider, and came up with a few items college shoppers should definitely pass on:

  • Alarm clocks: It's 2013. Use your smartphone.

  • Lap desks: If you think you're going to get any work done while reclining on your bed, think again.

  • Laptop locks: It's hard to remember to bring them with you everywhere you go. An easier solution is to just not leave your laptop unattended.

  • Ethernet cables: The vast majority of universities have WiFi these days, and if a particular building doesn't, the school will often provide an Ethernet cable.

  • Back rests: These are nothing more than overpriced pillows.

  • Room fragrances: They run out almost immediately and aren't very effective.

  • Bean bag chairs: A fantasy. Most freshman dorm rooms are barely big enough to hold the furniture they come with, let alone a big, sprawling bean bag chair.

  • Area rugs: Usually make it through one semester before they have to be thrown away.

  • Body pillows: Twin extra long beds are narrow enough as it is, without a pillow the size of a human taking up space.

  • Ironing boards: Invest in a (much cheaper and less space-hogging) ironing blanket, or layer two towels on top of your desk and iron there.

  • Extension cords: Likely to be confiscated and thrown away. Most schools don't allow them anymore and encourage you to bring a power strip with surge protection instead.

  • Laundry Basket & Laundry Hamper: You do not need both! Get a flexible mesh hamper that you can carry down to the laundry room when necessary.

BB&B does have a helpful tool on their site that allows students to view a comprehensive list of what's included in the freshman dorm rooms at thousands of colleges around the U.S., so look to see what your particular dorm requires before you go crazy at the store.


Remember: in the unlikely event that you forget something really indispensable, you can always buy it later.