PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Students are already gearing up to go back to school. For college students, that means shopping for gear that can provide some of the comforts of home.

Consumer Reports recently tested a bunch of products that are perfect for any dorm room or student apartment.

Parents might even want some of them in their home too.

Navigating those back-to-school purchases can be overwhelming, but Jarred DiPaola and his dorm mates have it all figured out.

“Microwaveable food is delicious, so I recommend a microwave and mini-fridge, especially a mini-fridge with a freezer in it,” DiPaola said.

Consumer Reports tested hundreds of appliances and can help.

“It’s nice to have some of the comforts of home with you when you’re on your own,” Celia Lehrman said.

A mini-fridge is a must.

However, Consumer Reports has found that some compact fridges have trouble keeping their cool.

But, not a $220 Frigidaire. It’s got a decent-sized freezer, too.

Then, there’s that must-have jolt of caffeine first thing in the morning or late at night while cramming for a test.

How about a coffee pod machine?

The Nescafé Dolce Gusto from DeLonghi for $130 is top-rated.

“This machine was quick to brew that all important first cup, and pods are easier. There are no messy coffee grounds to clean up,” Lehrman said.

Its compact size is a real perk for small spaces.

What about a breakfast sandwich maker for hunger attacks, whenever they hit?

Consumer Reports checked out the $30 Sandwich Maker from Hamilton Beach.

All you do is build your ingredients, press a button, and minutes later you have your sandwich.

“It’s really convenient. It’s a little slower than using a stove, but it makes a great breakfast sandwich,” Bernie Deitrick said.

Getting these small appliances can help get you set up like Jarred, so going away to college doesn’t mean giving up all the comforts of home.

Don’t forget the microwave either.

Consumer Reports recommends the $180 Panasonic Genius Prestige.

However, make sure you check the rules for your campus dorm to be sure they allow microwaves.

Some colleges ban appliances or set wattage limits.


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