It’s that time of year for college and grad students: moving in and furnishing a college apartment. Let’s be honest: School costs enough money, and you don’t want to break the bank on furnishings that might not be treated so gently. Consumer Reports is here with expert advice on which essential appliances and products make the grade.
No matter where you’re living, some type of refrigerator is a must -- and if space is an issue, a mini fridge can be a good option. Consumer Reports says they’re convenient and can help cut down on food costs – A mini fridge allows you to stash some snacks, drinks, and a meal or two so you don’t have to spend all your money on meals at the dining hall.
Whether you’re on or off campus, a coffee maker can keep you from overspending at the cafe.
You might think a single-serve is the way to go, but many are pricey and that doesn’t factor into the cost of the pods which are also wasteful if you can’t recycle them.
Reduce waste and have enough coffee for your roommates with the Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R for $26. And if a mug of tea feels more like home, an electric kettle like the top-rated Secura Electric Kettle SWK-1701DB for $32 heats up fast and is easy to clean.
And when you want to kind of cook in your first place, consider a toaster oven instead of a microwave. They’re much more versatile. And these days, air fryers and toaster ovens are very popular so you get three appliances in one. The Cuisinart TOA60 for $230 offers convection, cooks and can bake, broil, reheat and is also an air fryer.
Consumer Reports recently tested washable rugs like Ruggables that can be easily washed and says they can definitely up the aesthetic in any space. But they can also be quite pricey -- especially for a student -- so instead, check the label on regular rugs or consider other washable fabrics like cotton.
Now all your student will need to do is learn how to clean up that kitchen! And speaking of cleaning, if you head over to our website, we’ve got a video on the best way to clean small appliances like a toaster oven.