We’ve all been told plenty of times about the boring things we have to have in our student house: clothes racks, oven trays, mattress protectors and plenty of other mundane things. Sure, all of these are convenient and we DO in fact recommend them to students, but we all know them. For this reason, we’re going to go through the top 10 interesting and useful things you need in your student house!
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1. A barbeque grill
As the weather starts to improve, there’s nothing better on one of those rare sunny days than having a bunch of your friends round for a barbeque. Once you invest in one of these, you’ll definitely find the time to get enough use out of it. A few cold beers, some cheap burgers, steak, ribs or chicken and you’ll be golden. I assure you at the end of the day you’ll be happy with your purchase. You have the option of either a charcoal or gas grill – you can’t go wrong with either one.
You can find plenty of charcoal grills available on amazon for under £100. Split between your housemates, the price really isn’t so bad. We personally recommend the very popular Weber Compact Charcoal BBQ Grill. It’s nice and compact for a student garden while still being big enough to cook all your food. It’s also got a nice one-touch cleaning system, which is useful for students not wanting much hassle cleaning out the charcoal.
A barbeque definitely deserves a spot among the best cool things for your student house.
2. A Bluetooth Speaker
A Bluetooth speaker is a must-have in any student house. At least one of the people in your house need to have one. These are perfect for every situation: Having friends round, a chill evening in, doing your washing up, or really any situation you can think of. A Bluetooth speaker always comes in handy. They’re a good value option for playing (relatively) loud music rather than investing in a proper speaker setup.
Again, there’s plenty of options to go for and a lot of them provide you with quality sound, good battery life and various water resistant specifications. The ‘Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3‘ is a great option that’s become one of the most highly recommended speakers in 2020, after the success of it’s predecessor. You get up to 20 hours of battery life, IP67 water resistance, and it’s biggest pro is that it gets significantly louder than other speakers while still maintaining decent clarity at max volume. You can also connect up to 8 devices, which will be great for your flatmates. (Maybe not so much for you).
3. Underbed Storage Boxes
This one isn’t as exciting as the previous two, but it’s definitely more practical. We won’t say too much about this one, but if you’re looking for some underbed storage boxes, you can buy this set of five on amazon. Each box is 32L, but most importantly, they’re quite flat so will fit under almost any bed. Student houses often don’t have the best storage space, so some additional storage is often necessary. As long as you’ve got enough space under the bed then underbed storage will always come in handy. Don’t worry if you’re due to move into your student house and you’re not too sure how much storage space you’ll have. You can always check the storage space rating on Student Angle Reviews from previous students who’ve lived in the house before you! This’ll give you a better idea about whether you really need to invest in additional storage.
4. A streaming device
If your student house is already equipped with a smart TV, then you can skip this one. But for those of us that aren’t blessed with one, a streaming device is a must. It essentially turns your standard TV into a smart TV. It gives you access to various streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime, iPlayer, All4, ITV Hub and endlessly more options. There’s a variety of devices out there, and I’ve tried the most popular ones (FireTV, Chromecast, AppleTV, Roku) any my personal favourite is definitely the ‘Amazon Fire Stick‘.
My main reason for this is the extra functionality for customisation, as well as external download capability, especially over devices like the AppleTV which are somewhat limited in this regard. Having a device like this is a big step-up after moving out of halls, as it saves you from being forced to watch all your Netflix on a tiny laptop screen in bed. Check out our article on ‘Student Accommodation vs Student Housing‘ for other pros and cons of student housing!
5. A budget projector
Having previously mentioned the step up to watching movies on TV in student houses compared to a laptop screen in halls, buying a projector like this will be a massive upgrade. There’s just something special about hooking up a projector in your house and squeezing everyone onto the sofas for a movie on the big screen. This trumps a TV any-day. Historically, purchasing even a semi-decent projector would’ve required a couple hundred pound investment. However over the last few years, we’ve seen the emergence of newer competitors who are offering solid ‘budget’ 1080p projectors for a fraction of the price.
Having said that, they’re still not cheap, but like many purchases for a student house, split between all of you shouldn’t be too bad. One of 2020’s best budget projectors is the ‘Goodee HD YG620 projector‘. It’s a very bright projector (6800 lux) with a great contrast ratio and of course, 1080p resolution. After saving you and your housemates a trip to the cinema a few times, this will already have paid for itself. If you’re looking to buy a projector, you can find cheaper options that don’t offer 1080p. Feel free to go down this route if you must, but in 2020 we recommend sticking with 1080p, hence why the YG620 is a great option.
6. LED/Fairy Lights
Admit it, as lame as we all say these are, they’re still pretty cool to have in your student house. We just recently put up a set of LEDs round the ceiling of our living room, and they’re definitely a good addition to the house. There’s lots of different options on amazon, but they’re basically all identical from different sellers, so don’t worry too much. We bought these ‘10 metre RGB strip lights‘ that just about go round the living room. If you want to go round the whole room, you might need a bit more than 10 metres. This set has various different options, so it doesn’t have to be like you’re sat under strobe lights all the time. We even started using them as the main lights for our living room since the normal lighting was a bit rubbish.
A collection of different games is probably one of the best things you can have in any student house. They’re a great way to kill time when you’re just having a night in and don’t have much else to do. Poker is definitely up there in my list of games, and you can grab a set of chips on amazon for pretty cheap. A board game collection is also nice to have when you need a change from losing money playing poker every week. There’s probably a monopoly board made for your uni town, which you can buy here, so if you ever miss going to your favourite bars during lockdown, at least you can go to them on a monopoly board! Also make sure to bring along your console when you move to uni because you’ll regret it if you don’t!
8. A toastie machine
This one is self-explanatory. It’s a toastie machine. I had to put this on here simply because of the number of times I used my flatmate’s toastie machine in first year. I won’t go on about this one, but toastie machines are a great way to get a quick meal in when you’re not bothered to cook anything proper. They’re especially good for when you don’t have much time in between lectures but still want to get something to eat. I bought this one simply because it was the most popular one, and it serves me well so I’d recommend it.
9. A coffee machine
If you’re into coffee, then a coffee machine is a must-have in a student house. Coffee machines have gotten cheaper and cheaper over the years and they’re finally at a point where they’re probably a good option to get for your student house. You’ll be grateful you bought it once you get to exam period and are basically living off coffee. This nespresso machine costs less than a £100 and will serve you delicious coffee for a long time. The only downside is the need to buy capsules, but you can split the cost between you and your housemates throughout the year like you would with anything else.
10. Other miscellaneous items
I’ve gone through all the interesting ones so now it’s time for a bunch of boring but useful items:
- Command strips: These are great for sticking up pictures, posters, frames and LEDs up without marking the wall.
- Foldable drawers: These are perfect for when your house doesn’t have enough storage. Grab a set of these and stick them in the corner of your room for extra space. I have two of these ikea ones stacked on top of each other in my room.
- A cork board: A lot of student houses come with these equipped, but if yours doesn’t, they’re useful for sticking up reminders, flashcards, photos and basically anything else.
- Cheap Blackout curtains: If your room in your student house has rubbish curtains that wake you up at 7AM, then you might need to invest in some blackout curtains. Make sure to check if the landlord will pay for them first, otherwise you might have to go down this route. These ones come in a bunch of different sizes so you should be able to find a set that fit.
- A mattress protector: You know why… This one’s quilted so you’ll get some extra comfort as a plus.