Your Guide to Buying Target Dorm Essentials

The retailer is a 1-stop shop for dorm and apartment items, from bedding to bath products and everything in between.
students in dorm room

Heading off to college can be momentous, as it's often the first time many people live "alone" — that is, not with family. But moving out also means having to buy certain supplies. Even if you aren't moving into an apartment, you'll still likely need to pick up dorm essentials you don't already own.

Target is just the place to go for those items; you'll likely find everything you need there at a reasonable price. Our guide to Target dorm essentials goes over the categories to shop, prices to expect, and ways to save a little extra.

What to Know About Target Dorm Essentials

When Does Target Promote Their Dorm Items?

Colleges in general start their academic year later than grades K-12 do, so don't expect to see a lot of dorm-related promotions in July. Retailers tend to focus on standard Back to School shopping around that time, which means they don't move on to college products until the start of August.

Target is no different. This year they had plenty of Back to School offers to shop during early to mid-July, but as of the beginning of August, the main focus on the homepage had shifted to the College Shop.

What Are Target's Affordable Dorm Brands?

The most affordable Target home brand has to be Room Essentials, and its offerings span the bulk of the categories young people are looking for, whether they're moving into a dorm or that exciting first apartment. We found items from the brand starting at only 50 cents, so you can easily pick up the stuff you need without spending a fortune.

Target dorm essentials can cost as little as 50 cents each and span a wide variety of categories, so you'll have all your bases covered.

If you want to focus on just the essentials, check out Target's page of Dorm Must Haves. It makes shopping easier with its PDF list divided up by rooms and needs, including:

  • Bath
  • Bed
  • Cleaning
  • Decor
  • Furniture
  • Kitchen
  • Storage
  • Study
The list also contains an electronics category that includes items like laptops and related accessories. Plus, it covers the "extras," which is anything that doesn't fit into the other categories — think bikes, bike locks, extension cords, batteries, backrest pillows, lap desks, and umbrellas.

Once you've browsed the list, you can head back to the Must Haves page. It splits everything up by category for easy Target shopping, including bedding, storage, bath items, decor, kitchen products, cleaning and hygiene supplies, study items, and electronics.

How Much Do Target Dorm Supplies Cost?

Like we said before, Target's Room Essentials brand is actually pretty affordable. How affordable, you ask? Consider the prices we saw for the following bedding items:

SEE ALSO: Your Guide to Target 'Buy Now, Pay Later' Options

Curious about other dorm-item bargains? We found plastic storage starting at just $2, multipacks of hangers priced from just over $2, cubes and bins starting around $2.50, and laundry items like bags and baskets starting at $4 and $5, respectively. As for bath essentials, watch for caddies and washcloth bundles to start at $3, shower shoes to go for $6, and towel bundles to start at $10.

Decor and kitchen are two other big categories for dorm and apartment items, and Target has you covered there, as well. Look for decor items to start at just $3 or so, while dinnerware can go as low as 50 cents per item, and food storage can start at only $3.

How to Save More on Target Dorm Essentials

Pay with a RedCard. Shoppers who hold a RedCard save 5% on purchases online and in-store every day, so just by paying with it, you'll save a little something extra on your dorm essentials.

Take advantage of special offers. Target seems to know that shopping Back to School items can be a pricey endeavor, especially when you need to outfit a new dorm room or apartment. At the time of publication, college students could save 20% when they joined Target Circle (the retailer's free loyalty program) and verified their student status.

Shoppers who pay with a Target RedCard save 5% on purchases online and in-store every day.

Browse Target Circle promotions. If you'll be joining Target Circle anyway for the above offer, you might as well keep it and browse new offers on a regular basis. What's great about Target Circle is that the more you use it, the more you see offers that are relevant to you. Sure, you'll see those discounts that are available to everyone, but if you save promotions that you're interested in, Target will likely serve up similar ones just for you at select times. And that increases the chances of saving even more on all your favorites.

Ready to shop? Check out all the best Target deals available right now!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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