29 Essential Items for a Student House

Your university years can be the most memorable and exciting of your life! New friends, endless parties, and lots of studying (of course).

But, it’s no use turning up at university without a few essentials – your housemates won’t appreciate you borrowing their stuff. From student accommodation furniture to bedroom essentials, we’ve put together a list of 29 items you can’t start university without. Let’s dive in!

29 Essential Items for a Student House

University Bedroom Essentials


Loved ones won’t you shivering through winter, so ensure your duvet has a high enough tog-rating. A good all-rounder is a 10.5-tog duvet, because you won’t get sweaty in the summer, and you can add a throw for warmth. Best to have a spare set of duvet and pillow covers too.

Desk & chair

Now you’ve got a good night’s sleep, we hope you feel ready to study for that degree! A basic desk and a computer chair are essential for university students. Ensure you choose a chair that gives you good posture, as you’ll probably be spending a lot of late nights there.

Soft furnishings

To make your room feel cosy, add some soft furnishings like cushions, throws and rugs. Whether you want bohemian wall hangings or embrace y2k style with a fluffy pink rug, soft furnishings will make your student accommodation appear more homely. They’re great for hangovers too!

Clothes storage

University is a perfect place to define your style, and you’ll want to ensure your best outfits are easy to find. If your halls or student house bedroom doesn’t have built-in clothes storage, don’t settle for living out of suitcases – invest in a cheap chest of drawers or wardrobe.

Command hooks

Student accommodation landlords are always looking for an excuse to keep hold of your deposit, so don’t let them catch you out. Blu-tack and nails can damage your wall, so using command hooks is a handy alternative for expressing yourself with your posters, prints and photographs.

Fairy lights

A classic addition to any student bedroom, fairy lights make any night feel like a Channel 4 series. You can pick up cheap ones from most homeware shops, or add some personality with flower lights or flashing colour patterns. Or why not go retro with a disco ball or lava lamp?

students pointing at a laptop on a desk

University Bathroom Essentials


Sharing towels is a big no-no in any student house, who knows where your buddies might have been! Choose a distinctive colour or style of towel, so you don’t use eachothers by mistake. If you’re dying your hair or using bleach, be careful not to splash any on your friends’ towels.


Even if your intentions aren’t clean, your body can be. You can save money as a student by buying large containers of shampoo and shower gel, or impress your eco-conscious housemates by refilling them at a zero-waste shop. Don’t forget to let your guests know which ones they can use.

Shower caddy

Organise your shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in a handy shower caddy. Not only will it stop them from falling into the shower or bath, but it’ll help keep your products separate from your housemates’. Look out for suction cup styles for sticking to tiles, or a rust-proof metal rack caddy.

Bathroom storage

If you’re a tidy bunch, why not invest in a bit of bathroom storage? This could be anything from an under-sink or floor cabinet, to a space-saving bathroom corner shelf. You can use these to store away clean towels, guest/spare toiletries, bathroom cleaning supplies, or scented candles.

Bath mat

Nobody likes stepping onto a cold wet floor, so make sure you have a bathmat to step onto. We recommend washing them regularly as possible, as they can get mouldy and smelly. If you don’t like the idea of sharing a bathmat with your pals, make sure you have a mop handy at all times.


Essential for spot checks or dying your hair in the sink (a student right of passage), even a small mirror does the job in a uni bathroom. If your landlord is cool with you or a DIY-savvy parent installing one, a mirrored cabinet combines this with storage. Just remember to keep it clean.

a kitchen full of utensils and pans

University Kitchen Essentials

Set of pans

Never assume that you’ll have utensils in your student halls kitchen or shared house, it’s best to bring everything but the kitchen sink. First on your list should be a decent set of pans – a big and little saucepan, a frying pan, and a wok. Or agree to share a couple of sets with friends.

Food containers

Whether its last minute deadlines or a mega hangover, it’s wise to have a portion or two of ready-made food in the fridge or freezer. Food containers can be anything from old takeaway containers, to airtight clip-down containers or plastic lunchboxes that are less risky for travel.


Pieces of cutlery vanish in any shared space, and student houses are no exception. Choose a set you won’t get attached to – as it might not survive past your student years – but something distinctive enough to know it’s yours. Alternatively, share cutlery and washing up duty too.


Similar to cutlery, choose a crockery set that you won’t mind getting chipped, smashed, or lost altogether. Cheap and cheerful is best for student living. If you’re feeling fancy, you could invest in a cheap sideboard, but most halls and student kitchens will have plenty of storage shelves.

Kitchen utensils

Thought someone would remember to bring a pizza cutter, corkscrew or potato peeler? Think again and bring what you expect to find. You can find budget-friendly sets in store at places like Wilkos, Argos and B&M, or pool together with housemates if a communal set works best for you.

Table & chair

Dinner in front of the telly? We won’t judge you, but a dining table and chairs make inviting folks round for dinner much easier. You don’t have to spend a lot if it’s split between a few of you (and you can even sell it before you move out), and they’re a university essential for house parties.

University Lounge Essentials

Sofa bed

If you don’t want to pump up the airbed after every party, a sofa bed can be a great investment. If you’re lucky, your student house will already have one. A futon-style bed is cheap and cheerful, and you can spice it up with throws and cushions when it’s not a bed for a sleepy student.

Bean bags

Think you have enough chairs for a house party? How wrong you are! Unless you want to sit on the floor, a few bean bags can help student parties last as long as you want them to – not when you all get backache. As an alternative, a small stool is just as movable and versatile.

Coffee table

From takeaways to university coursework, a coffee table makes working from the sofa a comfy reality. This student furniture essential doesn’t have to be fancy, and cheap coffee tables come in a range of styles. Some have storage for books and you’ll never lose the remote again.


Talking of book storage, a student house isn’t complete without a shared bookcase. Whether it’s a free for all or you have a bookshelf each, keeping them in pride of place might inspire you all to study. Alternatively, fill them up with your old-school DVD and video game collection.

TV Unit

Are you really going to watch films together on a laptop, really? If you’re planning big movie or gaming nights together, or just want to watch the footie together with a few cans, pooling together for a second-hand telly can make a big difference. And a TV unit will keep your cables tidy.


Any student living room can be transformed into a big night in with enough mood lighting. Make sure you have lighting for reading at night, a lampshade to cover your big light, and novelty lights for parties. Just remember to avoid arguments about bills if they’re not all-inclusive.

students having a party outdoors

Essential University Items

Now we’ve covered some essential student accommodation furniture and decor, here are a few items to make university life easier.

  • Torch – who knows when you might need to go down to the cellar to read a metre or put out the bins late at night
  • Plunger – no shame in blocking the sink or toilet, but it’s the height of bad manners to let your mates deal with it
  • Tool Kit – become a DIY king or queen in your student accommodation with an assortment of screwdrivers and more
  • First Aid Kit – we hope you’ll never need it, but a first aid kit could save a friend’s life (or at least provide plasters)
  • Rota – possibly the most essential item for your student house, agree on a cleaning rota and washing up rules

And there you have it, essential uni room furniture and a list of items for decorating your student house, bedroom or halls. Don’t forget to call your folks, and check out our sale page to get some amazing bargains – if you have an outdoor space, make the most of our garden furniture.


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