Whether you’re embarking on your freshman year, heading back to the dorms with a smarter plan, or *finally* making the switch to an off-campus apartment, there’s one thing you’re going to need: a really good shower caddy. That said, it’s all about looking for the right size and materials (so it can hold a 32-ounce shampoo bottle without falling/giving you a heart attack in the middle of the night). Below, find expert advice on how to choose the right one, plus 10 of the best shower caddies for every type of bathroom situation—from oversized, portable options that can hold every toiletry imaginable to corner caddies that’ll make your new apartment feel like a slice of home.
The 10 Best Shower Caddies for College Students, Hands Down
Ranging from portable totes to rust-proof hanging caddies
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The Best Shower Caddies At a Glance
- Best Overall: Funambulist Portable Shower Caddy
- Best Budget: Attmu Mesh Shower Caddies
- Best Hanging: Smartake Hanging Shower Caddy
- Best Portable: Reger Shower Caddy Bag
- Best Free-Standing: Rebrilliant Eisenman Shower Caddy
- Best Corner: Allzone Rustproof Shower Caddy
- Best Adjustable: Simplehuman Adjustable Shower Caddy
- Best Wooden: Umbra Barrel Shower Caddy
- Best Plastic: iDesign Shower Caddy
- Best Mesh: Pbteen Recycled Shower Caddy
Meet The Expert
Steve Gehrmann is a remodeling contractor and partner in Redblock Industries, a shower fixture manufacturer based out of Bellingham, WA.
What Are the Best Materials for A Shower Caddy?
If the caddy will stay in the shower most of the time, opt for chrome-coated aluminum or stainless steel designs. “The more economical metal shower caddies are made of powder-coated or plastic-coated [metal], so they can rust if the coating chips or cracks. The more expensive, rust-proof shower caddies are made of corrosion-resistant metals such as aluminum and stainless steel,” Gehrmann explains. “The aluminum ones are often coated with chrome, [so] they do not chip as easily. Stainless steel caddies are the highest quality because they have no coating to chip or crack.”
As for portable caddies, however, you want to focus on two keywords: lightweight and quick-drying. Keep an eye out for materials like mold-resistant plastic, quick-drying nylon or easily drainable mesh that are built to be waterproof and ultra-durable (bonus points if it’s machine-washable, too).
If you prefer the look of a wood caddy, search for ones made of “bamboo and teak, which are very strong yet mold and mildew resistant.” And finally, per Gehrmann, “Hanging (corner) caddies are mostly rigid plastic and wire containers made to hold small items like bar soap or razors. They have temporary suction cup attachments for the shower glass, so they can be easily relocated (but I don’t use this type of caddy myself, preferring to go with the more secure options mentioned above).”
What Is the Best Size For A Shower Caddy?
Naturally, the size of your caddy all boils down to how much space you have, plus whether you need it to be portable (here’s to you, communal bathers). Yet, if you’re looking to make sure everything will fit, Gehrmann has a breakdown: “The height of most shampoo bottles is between 7½ to 9½ inches. Larger pump bottles can be between 9½ and 10½ inches, so you’ll need a (caddy height of) at least 12 to 13 inches for good access.”
If you’re looking for something lightweight and portable to tote to a communal shower area, you want to make sure there are plenty of exterior pockets to separate your razors, toothbrush, combs, etc. from the shower essentials.
How We Chose the Best Shower Caddies
Thanks to Gehrmann’s insight, we vetted each caddie to make sure it was constructed with the following:
- Materials: stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, mesh, quick-drying fabric (like nylon or oxford cloth) or bamboo
- Size: at least 9 inches tall (to fit most full-sized bottles)
- Compartments: includes extra storage or hanging compartments for razors, brushes, loofahs, etc.
- What We Like: portable, separate wet and dry design, foldable, waterproof phone pocket design, extra large capacity
- What We Don't Like: not as quick-drying as metal or plastic
- Material: waterproof Oxford cloth
- Size: 7" D x 11" W x 14.5" H
Freshmen, listen up: This caddy is going to be your savior for communal living. First and foremost, it can hold six full-size shampoos and body washes in its 11-inch main compartment, it has two zippered mesh side pockets for your smaller items and a bottom layer (which will stay dry, thanks to its plastic barrier) that can house your clothes and towels.
Add to that, the fact that it features a hook that attaches to the showerhead—and the entire exterior of the caddy is constructed from ultra-durable, ultra-waterproof Oxford fabric. But of course, the coolest (most Gen Z) feature of this one has to be its waterproof front pocket for your phone; it’s thick enough to prevent water from creeping in, yet thin enough to let you swipe up the home screen, listen to music or answer texts while you lather up.
“OH MY GOD! This has been all that I was looking for,” one reviewer raves. “I wanted a bag that would hold EVERYTHING: Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facewash, hairbrushes, facial tools, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. It holds all of that plus more…AND THE BEST PART?! It has a clear storage portion on the bottom. I was able to fit shirts, leggings, socks, underwear and a bra in there! It has a hook on the inside top portion so you can hang it wherever you want, and it comes with a buckle to keep it from sagging when you have it open.”
- What We Like: includes two caddies for less than $15, portable, ample exterior pockets, waterproof nylon, multiple colors and patterns, handle for easy hanging, machine-washable
- What We Don't Like: taller bottles may peak over the top
- Material: nylon
- Size: 9.8” H x 8.67” W x 8.67” D
Looking for the best bang for your buck? This set of two quick-drying caddies is the answer. It has everything you need, including eight outer compartments, one large center compartment and sturdy reinforced handles that won’t rip or tear. The 9-inch height also ensures that your full-size bottles won’t topple over—and thanks to its machine-washable design, you’ll never have to worry about mold or mildew (just pop one in the wash and use the spare while it’s drying).
“I was easily able to fit my body wash, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, makeup remover toilettes, razor, toothbrush and toothpaste—and a variety of other lotions and potions that are part of my routine. Even with the weight of all these items, the caddy was able to hold it all. The mesh fabric is very quick drying, (which is better) than something that's plastic that can have grooves and holes that hold the water/don't dry. The mesh fabric is also a great weight, and while it feels very sturdy, isn't something that adds a ton of heaviness. It cleans easily, and because it dries quickly, I haven't noticed any issues with mold or mildew,” one reviewer writes.
- What We Like: rust-resistant, ultra-grippy to the showerhead, good for roommates, multiple heights, hanging slots for razors and loofahs
- What We Don't Like: a third shelf would be great for larger households
- Material: stainless steel
- Size: 4.7" D x 12.6" W x 28.2" H
Here, a caddy that this editor’s had in her bathroom for over a year. Let me just start by saying, this thing is great if you have roommates. Not only does it have two spacious shelves that can fit 5+ bottles (on each shelf) at a time, but there are also different heights on the bottom shelf for smaller items, like combs or loofahs. I also love how there are individualized hanging slots at the bottom that allow you to hang multiple razors.
What’s more, after a year of daily showers, this thing is still 100 percent rust-free. The steel is just as shiny as the day I got it and it’s shown almost zero signs of wear. The cherry on top? The caddy adheres to the top of the showerhead and stays in place—no matter how much weight you put on it. It has a super-tight gripper at the top of the hanger that locks onto the shower head, preventing it from crashing down with a pump of a bottle. And it can hold up to 40 pounds at a time, so each roommate can fill the shelves to the brim with bottles galore.
- What We Like: lightweight and breathable, under $20, prevents moisture from creeping in, multiple storage compartments, hanging hook for showerhead
- What We Don't Like: could use some more mesh that allows for drainage
- Material: nylon
- Size: 5.7" D x 8.7" W x 11" H
Headed home for Thanksgiving (or looking for a more budget-friendly option to number one on this list)? This travel-friendly pick features a collapsible, water-resistant nylon construction with an inside hook that allows you to hang it from shower stalls and bathroom doors alike. It also offers tons of storage, including an oversized front compartment, two side pockets and zippered inner and outer pockets that can house all your smaller cosmetics. Not to mention that the 11-inch height ensures your full-sized bottles will fit when the top zipper is closed.
One self-appointed clean freak reports: “Breathable for when I return [home]. Nothing is moist—the inside stays dry and cool. You don't get that mist/condensation like you do with other travel bags. I like that everything fits and is easy to find. The compartments are placed well for easy access… As a neat freak. I'm very sensitive about keeping things fresh and clean (and this one does the trick).”
- What We Like: corner design is great for smaller showers, anti-rust, sturdy and won’t topple over, shelves have a basketweave design, bronze finish
- What We Don't Like: no extra storage options
- Material: stainless steel
- Size: 26'' H X 11.5'' W X 7.5'' D
Made from durable, anti-rust stainless steel—this free-standing shower caddy is begging for a spot in your off-campus apartment. It features a three-tiered corner design with 26 inches of storage height—and the 7½-inch depth makes it great for smaller spaces. The wire shelves are also a draw, where they have a basketweave construction that allows you to hang razors or lay them flat without falling through. The real kicker, however, is the bronze finish that can make your bathroom feel more ~adult~ (without it rusting by the time finals roll around).
One reviewer writes, “This item is sturdy with plenty of room for everything, even larger bottles of shampoo and conditioner, not to mention my [housemate’s] items. Fits perfectly in the space I have and puts all items easily within my reach. No more bottles taking up space on the shower floor! I love it!” Plus, another person adds: “Caddy is stable and rust-free in my shower. Holds everything I need it to and does not fall over.”
- What We Like: wide and adjustable shelves, tension rod can accommodate multiple ceiling heights, easy to clean, great for smaller showers, multiple storage options, towel rack at the bottom
- What We Don't Like: expensive
- Material: stainless steel and powder-coated plastic
- Size: 9.44" D x 12.99" W x 114" H
Speaking of convenient corner caddies; this rust-proof option is another life-saver for crammed bathrooms with multiple roommates. It features four metal tiers, which can each hold up to 62 ounces and adjustable shelves that slide up and down a reinforced steel pole. Plus, each shelf features a safety bar that prevents products from sliding off and the bottom features a towel bar, razor holder and hooks (making a great spot to hang your dry brush and your roommate’s washcloth).
One reviewer says, “The shelves are made of smooth plastic with drain holes; previous models I have owned had ribbed bottoms on the shelf bottoms, and over time they were gross and difficult to clean,” one reviewer shares. “The shelves are HUGE—each can hold three liter-sized shampoo/conditioner bottles, plus a normal-sized (actually even a little wider that normal) bottle. They’re not kidding that these hold a ton of bottles.”
Another reviewer confirms that this style is well made and sturdy, adding that the “corner shape of the shelves works really well in my small shower and [is] easy to adjust so I can make room for my elbows when I wash my hair.”
- What We Like: rust-proof and built to last, adjustable shelves, ample storage, screws to showerhead and suctions to walls, easy to reposition shelves with a dial for taller bottles
- What We Don't Like: expensive
- Material: stainless steel and anodized aluminum
- Size: 5.9" D x 14.5" W x 27.6" H
Sure, this guy is pricey. But when you take a look at its 4.6-star rating with more than 4,400 reviews, you might find that it’s worth the spend. What makes this caddy different is its solid, stainless steel and anodized aluminum construction, which gives it more of a built-in fixture feel (and will definitely fancify your shower). The shelves also slide up, down and sideways to make room for taller bottles and you can easily reposition them with a quick turn of the dial. Plus, it helps keep smaller items from falling over with dividers that keep everything in place—and it even includes storage hooks on the side that can hold razors, loofahs and accessories galore. Oh, and did we mention that it screws around the shower head and suctions to the wall for extra stability?
“I have a small but tall shower, so to have everything hung out of the way is so helpful. It was quick and easy to install, and I love the double stability of both screwing it around the shower head and suctioning it to the wall. The adjustable shelves make it easy to fit everything ,and the soap dish and hook for razors/loofahs/shower caps are also helpful,” one person writes.
Another reviewer also raves: “I have owned and used this shower caddy (granted a slightly older version) for the past 12 years. I haven't had any issues. Haven't needed to replace it. Still works just as well as day one (with zero rusting).”
- What We Like: stylish and modern, sturdy metal bars, hooks for hanging, can be mounted over the bathroom door for extra storage,
- What We Don't Like: bamboo is prone to mildew in low-ventilated areas
- Material: bamboo
- Size: 13.25” L x 4.5” W x 25.25” H
Yet another caddy you can hang from your showerhead to create ample storage? This modern bamboo number. Not only do we love it for its sturdy metal bars and functional features—including ledges for razors and hooks for other hanging items—but the caddy also features a 2-in-1 design that allows for it to be mounted over the bathroom door (in case you need some extra bathroom storage).
One person raves, “This shower caddy had so many more features than I anticipated. It comes with two hanging options: one for a glass door and the other for over the shower head. I used the shower head option and I liked that it has a rubber piece to protect the shower head from the metal hanger. Other notable appreciated features were hangers for bath poufs and razors. Also, the option to have items upside down for easy dispensing is amazing.”
- What We Like: nine storage compartments, tall handles, durable plastic keeps it mildew- and mold-free, sturdy and easy to carry, multiple color options
- What We Don't Like: handles have sharp edges
- Material: plastic
- Size: 11.75" D x 6" W x 12" H
With a 4.4 out of 5-star rating and over 3,800 reviews, we’re calling this caddy a must-have for dorm living in 2022. It features two sturdy handles and nine storage compartments to store everything you need—from razors and soap bars to shampoo and conditioner. The real selling point, however, is the durable plastic design, which ensures that your products will stay mold- and mildew-free, all semester long.
Take it from one parent, who bought this for her daughter’s freshman year: “[My daughter] uses this shower tote to carry her essentials for a.m. and p.m. trips to the bathroom…face cleanser, toner, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. The soap holder with drain holes is perfect for her beauty bar, which tends to get mushy if kept in a closed soap holder where it can't dry out. The tall handles make it easy to carry and its sturdy design can hold multiple products easily. Also, love that it comes in several colors and is a very low price.”
- What We Like: oversized design, six exterior pockets, mesh bottom drains water easily, quick-drying, eco-friendly fabric, customizable with three colors and monogram options
- What We Don't Like: expensive
- Material: 100 percent recycled polyester (RPET)
- Size: 11" W x 5" D x 9" H
While schlepping to the shower with your shampoo, hair mask, body scrub and skin-care item in tow is a necessary evil, this oversized, super spacious caddy can make the whole process more manageable. It features sturdy handles for easy hanging, one large interior pocket and six exterior pockets for ample storage. The real selling point, however, is that its breathable mesh-designed bottom allows water to drain easily and dry quickly and it’s available in three designs—including quarry, slate grey and charcoal—that you can customize with a name or monogram on the front. It’s also worth mentioning that the mesh is composed of recycled polyester, crafted from over 14 recycled plastic water bottles, so you can hit the shower in eco-friendly style.
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Sydney Meister is PureWow’s Assistant Lifestyle Editor. Along with covering the latest interior design trends and home hacks, she writes about everything from relationships to travel, must-have wellness products and what's happening in the world of celebrity design. Before PureWow, Sydney worked for various interior designers across NYC—primarily as a content creator focusing on trend forecasting and reporting. She's a go-to resource when it comes to interior styling tips and product recs to keep your home looking au courant (hint: it's time to ditch the modern farmhouse look).
PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.