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Transitioning into your first college apartment, or first apartment post-grad,  is a huge milestone, and it’s packed with excitement and that sweet sense of newfound independence. You finally get to create your own space, and while thrifted finds and quick-hand-me-downs are fantastic for adding character, there are a few items worth splurging on to truly enhance your living experience. These investments go beyond decor — they’re the essentials that turn a simple living space into a comfortable sanctuary where you can thrive.

Between figuring out where to put your bed and whether you really need that avocado slicer, it’s easy to overlook some essentials that can seriously upgrade your living experience. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate through the fun chaos of moving in.

We’re going to explore five key investments that might not be on your radar but are totally worth it. Think of things that do more than just look good — they make your life easier, healthier, and a lot more comfortable. From gadgets that keep your air fresh and clean to bedding that promises a dreamy night’s sleep, these are the items that every first-time apartment dweller should consider.


Heading off to your first  apartment is a thrilling and transformative experience. Unlike dorm life, it offers a new level of independence and autonomy. However, this newfound freedom comes with its own set of challenges, including (outrageously) high rent and often poor ventilation due to outdated heating and cooling systems. These issues can lead to a stuffy, germ-filled environment.

While it’s not a perfect solution, an air purifier can significantly improve the air quality in your new space. Whether you’re in a single-person apartment or sharing with friends, these devices help reduce dust, pollutants, and unpleasant odors, promoting a healthier and cleaner living environment. I use a small air purifer from Amazon, PuroAir HEPA ($160), and I can say that it’s definitely worth the investment. I live in an older apartment with no AC, and this thing is a lifesaver. It filters everything from pet dander and allergens to smoke and dust. 


Let me first say, I am obsessed with finding the perfect bedding. To me, investing in quality bedding is essential for good sleep, and these linen sheets definitely deliver on comfort and durability. Since this is my first apartment post-grad, I knew I wanted a product that I would use forever, and that could actually last forever. I came across French linen for its reputation for a lightweight, airy feel, and resilience. I chose to go with Baloo’s Stonewashed Linen Sheets ($279) because I fell in love with their stunning soft colors — especially oatmeal, a neutral beige with a subtle hint of green.

But these sheets are more than just aesthetically pleasing; they are crafted from 100% stonewashed linen, ensuring a natural, clean, and chemical-free sleep environment. They boast exceptional breathability and a luxurious, airy feel, making them perfect for staying cool in the summer and regulating sleeping temperatures in any climate. Plus, their stonewashed finish ensures that they actually become softer with every wash. Definitely worth it, and definitely ordering a second pair in Blushed Pink in the future. My dream sheets!


To feel my best, I’ve realized that maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is essential. There’s nothing more frustrating than tossing and turning all night or struggling to fall asleep. After many restless nights, I decided it was time to invest in a weighted comforter. As someone who’s always on the hunt for the perfect bedding, discovering Baloo’s Weighted Comforter ($279) was a total game-changer for me. Made from breathable, cooling cotton, this comforter gives the sensation of a gentle hug without ever feeling too hot or stifling.

What really impressed me about Baloo’s design is its thoughtful approach: unlike traditional weighted comforters that are heavy all over, Baloo’s is only weighted where it matters most — right at the center of the bed. This makes a huge difference in comfort. It doesn’t give you a suffocating feeling like other weighted blankets might do. To complete the look, Baloo also offers Duvet Covers ($99) in six soft, natural colors. I personally adore Oatmeal paired with White — it’s such a cute combination and adds a lovely, serene vibe to my bedroom. If you’re struggling with sleep like I was, this weighted comforter might just be the upgrade you need for a truly restful night.


Stepping onto a soggy bath mat or a slippery floor after a shower is no one’s idea of a good time. That’s where a quick-dry bath mat comes in handy, ensuring a cleaner, more comfortable bathroom experience. Meet the Diatomite Stone Bath Mat: with its natural composition, it absorbs water in seconds, leaving your floor dry and odor-free. Plus, its elegant design and non-slip feature make it a practical and stylish choice for any bathroom. There are tons of options on Amazon, but I personally use TULA’s Stone Bath Mat ($39) because of its sleek design. While that may seem expensive for a bath mat, I think it’s totally worth it to keep your bathroom clean and fresh all year long! 

For those who prioritize aesthetics alongside functionality, consider Tilly’s Daisy Checker Bath Mat ($35). With its charming blend of floral elegance and geometric design, this bath mat elevates your bathroom into a cozy oasis of style and comfort. Crafted from 100% cotton and featuring a cute floral pattern in auburn and pink hues, this bath mat adds a touch of whimsy to your daily self-care rituals.


When it comes to selecting a vacuum for your first apartment, practicality is key. With limited space, you’ll want an appliance that’s both compact and efficient. Maneuverability and ease of storage are essential considerations. Moreover, since you’ll likely encounter a variety of messes, cleaning performance is important.

Fortunately, there are excellent options available that cater to the needs of apartment living. Among them are the Wyze Cordless Vacuum ($150) and the Eureka Mighty Mite ($70). These models strike a balance between affordability and functionality, making them ideal choices for tackling everyday cleaning tasks in a small living space.

Madison Bailey

App State '23

Madison Bailey is a national writer at Her Campus Media focusing on all things style, beauty, and lifestyle. She works closely with the style and lifestyle verticals at Her Campus, including reviews, roundups, sustainable style, and pop-culture. After graduating from Appalachian State University in May 2023 where she was Campus Coordinator of Her Campus at App State, Madison has written for Teen Vogue, Modeliste Magazine, Global Garbs, and more. Her time as Head Writer for The Collective Magazine, Appalachian State’s fashion and culture magazine, sparked her passion for the exciting world of fashion. She is currently working in marketing at Modeliste Magazine where she’s able to celebrate her favorite things; fashion, beauty, and travel. In her free time, you can find Madison soaking in all the beauty that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. Or, when she’s not writing, you can find her thrifting, sipping a raspberry matcha, or cooking her favorite vegan meals!