Originally published August 11, 2017 and updated June 20, 2022. The original post was sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and LISTERINE. All opinions are mine alone.
Being confident in college starts with feeling comfortable living in your dorm. Living in a dorm with a shared bathroom takes some getting used to. I’ve sent two of my “babies” off to college. One of them had a down-the-hall bathroom and one had a bathroom she shared with three roommates. With their experiences and my mom advice, we’ve come up with these tips for the best college shower caddy to make dorm living manageable and the college experience more enjoyable.
Having a shower caddy that works best for you encompasses the caddy, the contents and more. The key is tips for the best shower caddy for you in a college dorm. You want a caddy that stays clean and sanitary so that you can stay clean and fresh. These are simple tips that make a big impact.
Tips for the Best Shower Caddy
Chose a Durable Caddy
For the best shower caddy for college, my daughters prefer a durable hard plastic caddy. We’ve found that the soft collapsible caddies only last about a year.
Consider Having Two Caddies
If you have the space to store two caddies, have one caddy for shower items and one for dental and face care items. It makes it easier to carry just the items you need when you head to the bathroom.
Have a Toothbrush Cover
Use a toothbrush cover at all times when your toothbrush is in your caddy.
My daughter who had a down-the-hall bathroom in her dorm, had a shelf where everyone stored their shower caddies. My daughter’s friend inexplicably found blood (not hers) on her toothbrush one day. Shiver.
My other daughter had a bathroom that she shared with three roommates. The bathroom was so tiny that the only place to store their shower caddies was on a shelf tower over the toilet. Studies have shown that droplets from the toilet travel at least six feet from the toilet when you flush it. Ugh. Always use a toothbrush cover.
Use a Carabiner or Zip Tie to Hang Your Shower Caddy
Attach a hanger or hook to your shower caddy handle so that you can hang it from the shower rod when you take a shower. This makes it easier to access your shower items in a small shared shower space. You want a hanger that can easily be attached to the shower rod and then removed after your shower.
You can use these household items as a hook:
- Zip Tie
- S Hook from the Hardware Store
- Binder Ring
Have a Wash Cloth for Each Day
Your wash cloth has the same chances of getting dirty as your toothbrush. Use a new wash cloth each day to make sure it remains clean and sanitary. A stack of five to ten wash cloths won’t take up much room and are easy to wash.
Frequently Asked Questions about the best shower caddies
Are you ready to head off to college or sending some off to college? Be sure check out LISTERINE® at Target while you’re setting up the best shower caddy for your college dorm room.
What should a college shower caddy have?
- Drainage holes
- Sturdy handle
- Made from mildew resistant materials
- Enough storage space for all your bathroom items
- Main compartment
- Side pockets
- A shape that provides easy access to the contents
- Sturdy enough to stand up on its own
Do you need a shower caddy for college?
- It depends on personal habits and college dorms or living arrangements.
- If you will have a private bathroom, you may not need one. However, there may not be enough space to store shower essentials and personal care items in the bathroom.
- If you will be using a shared bathroom (with 1-4 other people), you may be able to keep your shower essentials in the bathroom, but you’ll probably need to store most of your items in your dorm room.
- If you will be using a communal bathroom, you’ll have to store your items in your dorm room. Even if there is a storage shelf in the bathroom, experience recommends you do not leave your personal items unattended in the communal hall bathroom.
Is a mesh or plastic shower caddy better for college?
- It’s really a matter of personal preference and space.
- A mesh tote can be collapsed to fit into a tight storage space better than hard side plastic shower caddies.
- You should also consider that often plastic portable shower caddies stand up better without falling over than mesh shower totes.
- The handle of a plastic caddy can also serve to hold hand towels and wash cloths.
- It can be easier to hang mesh shower totes from suction cups or wall hooks.
- You should also consider the common products you’ll keep in your dorm shower caddy and which style will best accommodate those products.
- If you’ll be keeping full-sized bottles in the caddy, make sure it’s sturdy enough to handle the weight.
Top Picks for the Best Shower Caddy
The best shower caddy is the one that meets your unique needs. Think about your needs and preferences:
- Do you use many different products?
- What size and weight of bottles do you use?
- Do you have many small items?
- Do you need carry body wash and a shower pouf or a wash cloth?
- Will you also carry beauty products?
- Do you prefer outer pockets or side mesh pockets on a shower bag?
- Do you prefer a plastic caddy with one easy access compartment or several compartments?
Make a list of the products you’ll want to keep in your dorm shower caddy:
- Soap or shower gel
- Conditioner or detangler
- Shaving cream
- Shower shoes
- Face moisturizer
- Body lotion
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- Nail scissors
- Nail polish
- Wash cloth, loofah or shower puff
- Specialized shower products
- Face wash
- Shower cap
- Dental floss
- Hairstyling tools
- Makeup remover
- Nail clippers
- Nail file
- Nail polish remover
Consider where you will store and use the toiletry bag:
- In the shower area
- In a private bathroom
- In a shared bathroom with a few people
- In your dorm room
- In a communal bathroom
- In a hall bathroom
Once you determine your preferences, your needs and the limitations of your college dorm room, then you can choose the best option for your.
The images below are clickable Amazon product links.
Plastic Bathroom Caddy
Consider whether you’d prefer one or two handles.
The middle product below is a bathroom caddy with a lock. This can be useful in a shared bathroom.
Mesh Shower Caddy Tote
Mesh shower totes with small outer compartments are a popular choice in college dorms. Look for options with reinforced handles.
Mesh caddies come in many different colors, in different shapes, with different sizes of mesh compartments and with either one or two handles.
A hanging toiletry bag can be a good option.
A bathroom caddy that hangs from the shower curtain can be a a good choice if you don’t have much space in your college dorm room.
There are options that can also work in a gym bag.
Be sure to pin these tips for the best shower caddy for college so you can easily find it again when you need it.
More Tips for College
7 Simple Tips for College – Entering college is both exciting and daunting. These 7 simple tips for college freshman are no-cost and will help make college life easier, more organized, better and more enjoyable.
Dorm Move-In Day Tips – Dorm Move-In Day doesn’t have to be stressful or painful. Use these tips for parents to make college move-in day easier. I’ve moved my daughter into her dorm twice by myself and these tips are a huge help
You can find all our best college tips in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.