Readers Choice

10Best Readers' ChoiceChosen by readers of USA TODAY and 10Best

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    #10 - Hot Water Dispenser

    Whether it's coffee for cram sessions or 8 a.m. classes, tea for winding down or instant soup for when you're feeling sick, instant hot water comes in mighty handy in the dorm. The Sunbeam Hot Shot Hot Water Dispenser quickly heats up 16 ounces of water and dispenses it directly into your cup or bowl - no mess and easy cleanup!

    Photo courtesy of Sunbeam

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    #9 - Personal Blender

    Dorm dining halls aren't exactly known for churning out healthy meals, so if you want to avoid the dreaded "freshman 15," you'll need to take control over what you eat. A personal blender can help. The My Blend Blender from Oster whips up individual shakes and smoothies in seconds, and the container doubles as a bottle you can take right out the door with you.

    Photo courtesy of Oster

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    #8 - Laundry Tote

    For some students, moving into the dorms means learning to do your own laundry, but even if it's a familiar chore, you'll want an easy way to carry your dirty clothes and detergent to the dorm laundry room. The Sortasack from Dorm Smart has two compartments, one for colors and one for whites, plus pouches for detergent and fabric softener. Step-by-step washing instructions are printed on the inside of the bag, and it zips closed to prevent accidental underwear spills in front of cohabitants.

    Photo courtesy of Dormsmart.com

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    #7 - Microwave

    For a quick meal on the go, it helps to have a microwave on hand in your dorm. This Countertop Microwave by Whirlpool is designed to fit easily into corners to save space, yet it's big enough to accommodate a dinner plate. The tap control panel is super easy to clean for those visits from Mom.

    Photo courtesy of Whirlpool

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    #6 - Bathroom Caddy

    Moving in to the dorms often means sharing a communal bathroom, so you'll absolutely need a caddy to store and carry your shampoo, soap, razor, shower shoes and other bathroom essentials. The Dorm Stuff Bucket Bathroom Tote has 18 outer pockets and seven interior pockets, making it a breeze to keep your toiletries organized and in one place.

    Photo courtesy of DormCo.com: College Dorm Supplies Superstore

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    #5 - Power Strip

    Laptop, cellphone, e-reader, desk lamp, microwave ... with so much to plug in, you'll probably find your dorm room has fewer outlets than you need, making a power strip essential. The Pivot Power Pop from Quirky has six pivoting outlets to help accommodate plugs of all shapes and sizes - no plug space wasted here - and it comes in five different colors to complement your style.

    Photo courtesy of Quirky

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    #4 - Desk Lamp

    For those late nights studying for midterms, you'll need a reliable desk lamp. The thoughtfully designed Satechi Smart LED Desk Lamp features a USB port to charge your devices, a one hour auto-off timer function and four lighting modes - one to stimulate concentration while studying, another to prevent eye strain while reading, yet another to promote relaxation and lift your mood and a final "Bedtime" mode for easing you into a deep sleep.

    Photo courtesy of Satechi

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    #3 - Mini Fridge

    It's always a good idea to have a stash of food and your favorite carbonated beverage close at hand in your dorm, especially for late night study sessions or quick meals between classes. This Countertop Compact All Fridge by Danby is small enough to fit in the confines of a dorm room, yet still offers 1.8 cubic feet of fridge space, including a handy CanStor beverage dispenser. The door swing can be reversed to accommodate both right and left-handed users.

    Photo courtesy of Danby

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    #2 - Bedding

    Those twin-size cartoon kiddie sheets aren't going to cut it anymore. Moving into the dorm means upgrading to extra-long twin, plus it gives you the chance to show off your personal style. Dormify's full lineup of bedding features sheet sets with long and short sides marked, duvets (for easy washing), comforters (no insert needed) and decorative pillows and throws. There's even a quiz to help you design your perfect bed set.

    Photo courtesy of Dormify

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    #1 - Computer Lap Desk

    If you're like most students, you'll want to split your time studying between your desk, sofa, bed or even outdoors on nice days, and a good computer lap desk help makes it possible without overheating your computer (or your thighs!). The Student LapDesk comes in six different colors and provides a multipurpose surface for web browsing, writing, typing or drawing from just about anywhere.

    Photo courtesy of LapDesk

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10Best Dorm Room Ideas make Great Shopping List

Our readers voted these 10 products "must-haves"

Thanks for voting!  We assumed everyone goes to college with a computer.  So when this contest launched, we asked our nominating experts to come up with 20 other products which enhance dorm life. You voted, and the 10Best Readers' Choice winners in the 'Best Ideas for Your Dorm Room' contest category are as follows:

  1. Computer Lap Desk
  2. Bedding
  3. Mini Fridge
  4. Desk Lamp
  5. Power Strip
  6. Bathroom Caddy
  7. Microwave
  8. Laundry Tote
  9. Personal Blender
  10. Hot Water Dispenser

If you've got a family member or friend in college, this makes a great gift list.   

To see the contests in which you can vote this week, click here or visit  10best.com/awards. 

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Meet the Experts

Libby McMillan

10Best Senior Editor Libby McMillan chose the dorm room components which became the nominees for this contest.  In making her decisions, Libby looked at the factors which most affect quality of life in a dorm, as well as the basic needs of a student away from home.