- Unless you’re blessed with an amazing dorm room complete with its own bathroom, you need a shower caddy to hold all your products as you go to and from the communal showers.
- The InterDesign Orbz Shower Tote Holder and Organizer is the best one you can buy with its many compartments, cute design, and affordable price.
- See more: The best college supplies and dorm room essentials
Sharing a bathroom with strangers is hard. Most college dorms have communal showers on each floor that you have to walk to every time you want to wash your hair. Other dorms have bathrooms right in the unit, but if you’re sharing one bathroom with four other girls (like I did during my first two years of college), you’ll still need a shower caddy to carry all your products.
Most people just buy whatever shower caddy they see first during their last-minute dorm shopping spree, but they often end up with a shower caddy that doesn’t fit their needs. You really only need to think about the shower caddy’s design, so here are the main ones we cover in this guide:
- Plastic caddy: Plastic caddies are durable, sturdy, easy to clean, and they won’t get water damage. We recommend the ones with compartments because the different sections make it easy to store everything from shampoo and conditioner to toothpaste and your razor. The main downside is that they’re not flexible or easy to store.
- Mesh totes: Mesh shower totes are easy to carry, durable, and often less cumbersome than plastic caddies. Some have pockets to hold products securely, and others just have one big compartment. The downside here is that some bags fall over when set down on the floor and not all mesh is mildew resistant.
- Fabric toiletry bag: Toiletry bags are more subtle than other shower caddies because they zip right up to look like a piece of luggage. When you unzip them, several pockets are revealed with all your products inside. Often, you can hang them on a door hook for easy access to all your products. The downside to these bags is that they’re not waterproof, so if you can’t hang yours up or set it down in a dry space, it may be problematic.
Here are our picks for the best shower caddies you can buy:
- Best overall: InterDesign Orbz Shower Tote Organizer
- Best plastic caddy: Sterilite Bath Caddy
- Best toiletry bag: L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag
- Best collapsible shower tote: Handy Laundry Dorm Shower Caddy
- Best mesh shower tote: Saltwater Canvas Mesh Dorm Shower Bag
- Best lockable caddy: Shlocker Shower Locker
- Best fun caddy: Shower Squid
- See more: The best college supplies and dorm room essentials
Updated 10/30/19 by Jada Wong: Updated prices, formatting, and links.
The best overall
- InterDesign/Business Insider
The InterDesign Orbz Shower Tote Holder and Organizer holds all your toiletries as you troop to the communal showers or shared bathroom.
The InterDesign Orbz Shower Tote Holder and Organizer keeps all your shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and so on in place so you can carry it along with you into the communal showers or shared bathroom.
It’s important to have one of these and to remove it from the shared bathroom (if you have one) when you’re done each time so that you’re never without your toothbrush in case your roommate stays in the shower for ten years.
The InterDesign caddy can hold all sorts of products, thanks to its two big side compartments and its smaller organizer in the middle. The handles are relatively comfortable to hold, and there are air holes in the design to help your belongings dry out after your shower.
Perhaps the best part is that you can get it in a few colors, including black, coral, lemon, mint, and white. Amazon buyers love this shower caddy, and it has an average star rating of 4.2 on Amazon. The only criticism buyers make is that the small version wasn’t big enough for their needs, so take note of how big it is: The InterDesign caddy measures 11.75 by 6 by 12 inches.
Pros: Dividers keep products in place, nice handles, easy to carry, multiple sizes
Cons: A tad pricey
The best plastic shower caddy
The Sterilite Bath Caddy has five compartments, a sturdy handle, and good drainage holes.
If you’re not sold on our top pick, the Sterilite Bath Caddy is a great alternative. It’s made of a tougher, stiffer plastic and it has a short handle in the middle, which is surrounded by five compartments.
The largest compartments on each side of the caddy easily hold shampoo, conditioner, and other large products. You’ll also find two smaller compartments on one side of the handle and one medium one on the other side. The smallest sections are great for toothbrushes, toothpaste, and razors, while the medium one may hold a hairbrush or loofah.
Since it’s likely to get a bit wet in the showers, the caddy has drainage holes at the bottom. You’ll want to clean it from time to time, but plastic is easy to wipe down. It measures 15.2 by 9.8 by 9.5 inches, so it’s a bit longer and wider than the InterDesign caddy.
Pros: Sturdy design, lots of compartments, good handle, drainage holes
Cons: A bit pricey
The best toiletry bag
- L.L. Bean/Business Insider
The L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag is a discreet bag you can take with you to the communal showers when you travel.
The L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag holds tons of toiletries, but it zips them all up in a cool looking travel bag that you can take anywhere you roam. When you unzip it, it folds out to reveal all your products, and you can hang it up on the bathroom door.
You can store all your toiletries in the different-sized pockets. Some of them have zippers to keep your stuff in place. The largest section at the bottom should be able to hold full-size shampoo and conditioner bottles and then some. It also has mesh compartments to separate products better.
L.L. Bean sells it in several sizes, too, so you can pick whatever size is right for your needs. The large version measures 12½ by 11½ by 4 inches, and we expect it’ll be the best size for most people. The medium version is good if you need something a tad smaller.
There’s a removable mirror inside, too, and a hook for easy hanging on a door hook or rack. Some buyers say the large and family size bags are too big and heavy to hang properly without stretching awkwardly, so keep weight in mind when you buy the larger sizes.
One of the coolest things about the L.L. Bean Toiletry Bag is that you can use it later in life after college when you go on extended trips or vacations.
Pros: Attractive bag, tons of compartments, a hook to hang it, good for travel, multiple sizes and colors
Cons: Can be too heavy to hang, expensive
The best collapsible shower tote
- Handy Laundry
The Handy Laundry Dorm Shower Caddy folds right up into a slim circle when you’re not using it.
If you’re short on space and you don’t want to have your shower caddy full all the time, you’ll love the collapsible Handy Laundry Dorm Shower Caddy. It has a flexible wire frame that holds it upright when you’re using it, but it conveniently folds flat when held by the elastic strap for easy storage. It’s just like those pop-up laundry hampers, but smaller.
The caddy is made from a durable nylon mesh with an open top and a reinforced nylon strap for carrying it or for hanging it up. There is a drainage hole in the bottom of the caddy, and the mesh shouldn’t absorb too much water or collect mold.
The Dorm Shower Caddy measures 8 by 12 inches, and it holds several full shampoo bottles and other products without any problems. You can get it in tons of different colors and patterns, too, so you always know which one is yours.
Pros: Many colors and patterns, folds up flat, holds lots of stuff, easy to carry, affordable
Cons: Durability unknown
The best mesh shower tote
- Saltwater Canvas/Business Insider
The Saltwater Canvas Mesh Dorm Shower Bag has lots of room for toiletries and a lovely design.
The Saltwater Canvas Mesh Dorm Shower Bag will hold all of your products and then some. This durable mesh bag is made out of what the company calls, “outdoor mesh,” so it should dry faster than almost any other mesh shower caddy.
It has a doubled back strap that runs through the bag for added strength and stability. There are three outer pockets that hold smaller shower items, and the big compartment in the center can hold four to five bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and other large products.
This very popular shower caddy is also recommended by Wirecutter in its college supplies guide, and Amazon buyers love it, too.
Pros: Durable, lots of space, easy to carry, strong strap
Cons: Some Amazon customers complain material is too stiff, some may find it too large
The best secure shower caddy
Not only does the Shlocker keep your grubby roommates’ mitts off of your shampoo, it puts your showering products out of sight and tidies up your bathroom.
I hope to goodness that I’ll never, ever need something to protect my toiletries in my bathroom, but for anyone with potentially thieving roommates, the Shlocker is an excellent idea.
The rustproof, combination-locking Shlocker has a shelf, four toothbrush/razor holders, and an anti-fog mirror, along with drain and ventilation holes throughout to keep mildew at bay. The two suction cups that attach to your bath or shower’s tiles will purportedly support up to 40 pounds of weight.
At 2.8 pounds, it’s not our lightest-weight recommendation, but it might be worth the slightly higher price tag for the peace of mind, especially for those who invest more in their haircare products.
While some Amazon reviewers have found the suction cups faulty and others wish it were larger and more accommodating, most buyers are complimentary of how surprisingly sturdy the unit is. Just be sure to follow the detailed installation instructions and don’t put it on any textured finishes or grout lines. – Owen Burke
Pros: Secure, low profile, holes for draining and circulation
Cons: Sort of expensive, suction cups might not work in all showers
The best fun caddy
- Jens Widerberg
The Shower Squid is adorable, whimsical, and has nine grippy, adjustable tentacles for holding bottles and cans of various sizes.
No, maybe you don’t need this Shower Squid, but why can’t shower caddies be fun, too? With nine tentacles, there should more than enough room for all of your toiletries on this clever little cephalopod.
We especially like that you can hang your bottles upside-down from the Shower Squid so that you can not only dispense your shampoo with a single hand but use up the entire contents of the bottle.
These adorable little squids may not make for the most conventional shower caddies, but they work, after all, and seem to be pretty durable, especially compared with plastic that can easily be stepped on and destroyed. – Owen Burke
Pros: Versatile, fun, easy to store
Check out our other great guides to college dorm supplies
- Viv + Rae/Business Insider
For college students, the dorm room will be their home-away-from-home for a year or more. Make it a comfortable place to sleep by outfitting that Twin XL dorm bed with a set of quality sheets. Here are the best Twin XL sheets you can buy.
- Best flannel sheets: L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet
- Best budget sheets: AmazonBasics Microfiber Sheet Set
- Best jersey sheets: AmazonBasics Heather Jersey Sheet Set
- Best patterned sheets: Andres Sheet Set from Viv + Rae
- Best premium sheets: Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheets
- Best colorful sheets: Mellanni Bed Sheet Set
Mini fridges come in all shapes, styles, and sizes…kind of like college dorm rooms and roommates. Here are our top picks for the best mini fridges you can buy:
- Best mini fridge overall: Danby 4.4 Cubic Foot Mini Fridge
- Best 1.6 cubic foot mini fridge: Midea 1.6 Cubic Foot Compact Refrigerator
- Best mini freezer: EdgeStar 1.1 Cubic Foot Convertible Refrigerator/Freezer
- Best mini fridge for drinks: Danby 120-Can Beverage Center