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Dorm Shower Caddies

How to Choose the Right Shower Caddy

New to college? Odds are you won't be living in a dorm room with your own bathroom!

If you've never shared a bath/shower space with multiple people, it can be a strange experience. Most college dorms have communal showers on every floor that you'll visit to get yourself clean. Some dorms have a bathroom built into your unit, but you're likely to be sharing it with several students. A shower caddy to house and transport all your products back and forth, including shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, soap and styling tools, is a vital accessory.

Shower caddies come in many shapes and sizes, with a host of different features. It's worth taking the time to consider your living arrangement and your personal hygiene routine before you choose a shower caddy. Here are some tips on finding the best caddy to suit your needs:

What is the best material?

  • Mesh. You'll find many great-looking mesh caddies that are durable, water-resistant and easy to carry. They have multiple pockets, small and large, to hold all sizes of your toiletries. Mesh caddies are also lightweight and not cumbersome. The problem with some mesh bags is that they can fall over on a slippery floor and not all mesh material is resistant to mildew.

  • Fabric. Fabric toiletry bags are often made of chic material in different patterns and colors and zip-close to resemble regular pieces of luggage. When opened, clear, heavy plastic lets you view all the inside products at a glance. What's great about fabric bags is that they're made to be hung up on a wall or door hook for easy access to your toiletries. The bad news is that most of them are not waterproof, so if you can't hang yours in a dry area, you might have wet problems!

  • Plastic. You can't beat plastic for sturdiness and ease of use. It's waterproof so you can use it anywhere and it's very easy to clean. You can find plastic caddies in bright colors with different compartments for big and small bottles. The only downside is that plastic caddies aren't particularly flexible or easy to store.

How will it hold up and handle all that water?

First, some basics. Does your shower area have hooks on the wall for your caddy? If so, a fabric caddy might just do the trick, especially if you don't have very large bottles in your bag. Plus, make sure it's away from the splash of the water because it's not waterproof.

If you have surface area either in or outside the shower for your caddy, choose a mesh or plastic caddy with a strong bottom surface that won't wilt or fall apart. Some mesh caddies have 'outdoor mesh' which dries fast after it gets wet and some have drainage holes in the bottom of the caddy. Plastic is waterproof, sturdy and durable, so it sits fine anywhere on the floor. Although plastic caddies are useful, they can be less chic-looking than some fabric and mesh caddies.

How will it hold my toiletries/bottles/styling tools?

Storage compartments in shower caddies vary widely. If you don't mind your toiletries arranged all together, find a mesh or plastic caddy with one large center compartment. Many caddies have outer pockets for your largest items like bottles of shampoo and conditioner, as well as pockets on the inside for toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, razors, soap and other small items.

You'll want to consider handles, too, as you'll be carting this caddy back and forth many times. Plastic caddies have inbuilt sturdy handles. Mesh caddies usually have straps, so you want to be sure they're reinforced and durable and comfortable sitting on your shoulder. Fabric caddies often have smaller, discreet handles and they can be used outside the shower as an organizer bag when you travel.

When it comes to shower caddies, you have a great selection to choose from. Flowery fabrics, lightweight mesh and sturdy in varying colors are all available. Caddies come in every different shape and size to suit your college lifestyle. Just make a list of the toiletries you use the most and choose a shower caddie that is stylish, comfortable and functional.

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