Can You Have an Air Fryer in a Dorm Room [Quick Answer + Which Air Fryers to Consider]

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Moving away to go to college is one of the most exciting yet scary times in life. I remember when I moved away on campus in a dorm room for my sophomore year of college. Looking back — I wish I’d had an air fryer! 

I did have a cafeteria on campus where I ate my meals every day. Yet, in between the rigorous studying I could have really used a fast and healthy way to prepare my meals. 

That back-to-school rush happens once or twice a year. 

For most college campuses, air fryers are okay to have in a dorm room. Still you'll want to double check with the university to see if there are any appliances they don’t allow.

Pros and Cons of Air Fryers in Dorm Rooms 

Air fryers are nearly perfect appliances to have in a college dorm room. They are space and energy efficient, and can save a student loads of time (this means more time for studying!). 

Below is a short list of all the benefits an air fryer can bring to a dorm room:


Key Benefits of an Air Fryer 

  • Space efficient: air fryers do not take up a large amount of space. 
  • Energy saving: because air fryers are compact, one does not need to use the appliance for long periods of time. 
  • Time positive: I love cooking with my air fryer. On average, I probably save around 30 minutes per meal by using an air fryer rather than a more traditional method of cooking. 
  • Low mess: air fryers are known for their low maintenance qualities. They are especially easy to clean.
  • Healthier food options: with an air fryer, students can say goodbye to deep fried food

If you’re new to using an air fryer, check out our guide on how to use a Philips air fryer for the first time

Disadvantages of an Air Fryer in a College Dorm Room 

The main disadvantages of having an air fryer in a dorm room are: 

Not Enough Room

If you are living in a student dorm, then potentially there is not enough room to accommodate the air fryer. Sometimes universities don’t provide enough counterspace.


Can be Distracting for Roommates: 

Air fryers are generally subtle cooking appliances, but if you have roommates then cooking in the dorm room can be distracting for them. 


You May Not Use It

If the university you go to already provides a meal plan or has a communal kitchen, then you may not necessarily need an air fryer.

If the University Doesn’t Allow Air Fryers

Although rare, a major disadvantage to having an air fryer in a dorm room is if the university says “no” to having one. You want to be mindful of this, because if you bring one and it’s not allowed, you may get fined. 

Overall, are Air Fryers Suitable for College Dorm Rooms? 

The short answer to this is: 

Overall, yes but it mainly depends on the university. The winning aspect of air fryers is that they do not emit smoke, and therefore are deemed safe for most college campuses. 

Oftentimes when a college dorm room has proper fire escape routes, they will allow for small cooking appliances to remain in a student’s dorm room. If this is the case for your university, then definitely consider purchasing an air fryer. 

Another aspect to think about is that if your university requires you to sign up for a meal plan in order to live on campus (much like my university did). Then it is also in your interest to buy an air fryer.

This is because university cafeterias are open during specific hours and sometimes can be a little pricey. If you find this applicable to you, then by buying an air fryer you can top up on food, save some money, and still have access to healthy meals. 

Which Air Fryer is the Best for a College Dorm Room? 

If you would like an air fryer for your dorm room, we’ve made this quick chart to help you gauge which air fryer would be the best for your dorm and why.

Criteria for the Best Dorm Room Air Fryer 

The main elements one wants to consider when purchasing an air fryer for their dorm room is the following: 

  1. Air fryer size
  2. Wattage
  3. Price


Air fryer size is important because students are working with limited space. Perhaps in their dorm room they don’t even have a kitchen counter. In that case, size would tier higher than other criteria on the list. 


When purchasing a new air fryer, you want to ensure that your dorm room can support the wattage.


If you are financing the air fryer for yourself, then you will want to consider the price of how much one costs. For student budgets, purchasing an air fryer for your dorm room can save a lot of money in the future. 

Keep on reading to see a quick list of some of the best air fryers to purchase for a standard college dorm room. 

Related: Can You Put Oil In An Air Fryer? [How To Do It & FAQ]

Best Dorm Room Air Fryers





Dash air fryer - Amazon’s Choice

1.2 quarts 

1000 watts

Chefman air fryer - Amazon’s Choice

2 quarts

1000 watts

Ninja air fryer

4 quarts

1500 watts

Philips air fryer - Amazon’s Choice

Approx. 4.3 quarts

1400 watts

1. Dash Compact Air Fryer - Amazon’s Choice 


This tiny air fryer is perfect for a freshman dorm. It’s compartment is 1.2 quarts which is just enough for one portion of fries. It also comes in different colors and embodies a stylish retro feel — the interface is analog instead of digital.  

The Dash air fryer comes on the small side, so if you were wanting to share the air fryer amongst your dorm room or floor then this may be a little difficult. 

Check out the latest price on Amazon. 

2. Chefman Air Fryer - Amazon’s Choice 


This air fryer is a great choice for any dorm room. It is small and compact and will easily fit on a solid surface or worktop in a dorm room. 

Amazon reviews say that the air fryer does have a strong plastic smell. 

Chef’s tip: 

In order to get rid of a plastic smell in an air fryer, try air frying a lemon before any cooking begins.

Check out the latest price on Amazon.


3. Ninja Air Fryer - Amazon’s Choice 


The Ninja air fryer is also a good choice for a dorm room air fryer. The air fryer is small and easy to clean. One element to consider is that the Ninja air fryer will need time to preheat. 

Check out the latest price on Amazon. 

Can’t get enough of Ninja appliances? Check out: What is the Best Ninja Blender? (2021 Reviews). You can even make ice cream in a Ninja blender!

4. Philips Air Fryer - Amazon’s Choice 


The Philips air fryer essential selection comes in two sizes, XL and compact. I personally have the compact air fryer version, and it is very high quality. The Philips air fryer is also Amazon’s Choice, and having had one I completely understand why. 

The only downside of this air fryer is that if you have limited counter space, then it can be bulky. It comes in at 4.3 quarts which is slightly bigger than the other air fryers which are around four quarts exactly. 

Check out the latest price on Amazon. 

Personal image of my Philips Air Fryer on my kitchen countertop

Final Thoughts 

Generally, air fryers should be acceptable in college dorm rooms. You will want to speak with a student relations officer at the university to double check that it is okay first.

The reason why universities may be averse to having air fryers on campus boils down to safety. Aside from safety reasons, having an air fryer in a dorm room can provide a multitude of benefits. 

A great air fryer to purchase for students is the Dash air fryer. It is small and won’t take up a lot of space, easy to use, and will also make your room stylish!


Tips, recipes, and more!

What Recipes Can You Make with an Air Fryer in a Dorm Room? 

The possibilities are endless here. Below are a few delicious recipes you can try to make, if you have an air fryer in your dorm room! 

Quick and Easy Salmon 

This recipe is especially easy to make. Simply set your air fryer at 180 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for six to eight minutes for a medium-rare middle. 

Steak and Ramen Noodles 

If you are entering your freshman year at college, you are in for many nights of ramen noodles! When I was in college this recipe was a favorite of mine. Think of it as making your own ramen… from the comfort of your dorm room. 

Air Fryer Pizza 

A classic student favorite! Put some tomato sauce and mozzarella on top of naan bread and place it in the air fryer for six minutes (cook at 200 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Quick and Easy Chicken Breast 

The same way you would stick salmon in an air fryer to cook is the same way you would go about cooking chicken. Add your favorite sauce at the end and serve with rice for an easy and healthy meal.

Already have leftover steak? Read our article to learn How To Reheat Steak In An Air Fryer [How-to and FAQ]

Do Air Fryers Emit Smoke Into Dorm Rooms? 

What makes an air fryer so perfect for a dorm room is not only it’s size, but it’s overall safety. Air fryers are made to not smoke. 

If you maneuver the fryer incorrectly or break it then it may smoke, but just as long as you follow the instruction manual then it should be safe. 

Which Types of Cooking Appliances are Allowed in a Dorm Room? 

As a general rule of thumb, universities permit any cooking appliance that doesn’t emit smoke. 

When smoke leaks into a dorm room, one cannot simply press a button and make it go away. Protocol has to be followed and the fire department may have to come out.

Appliances usually permitted in dorm rooms include: 

  • Bread toasters 
  • Coffee makers 
  • Blenders
  • Waffle makers 
  • Crepe makers 
  • Kettles

Important note: It’s important that you double check which appliances are acceptable and which ones aren't at your university.

Jennifer Ulloa

Last update on 2024-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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