John Lewis has released its uni essentials range and it’s the most middle-class one yet

Arabella darling you forgot your essential 60 quid soup maker!


As soon as most students open UCAS Track on Results Day and see their place at uni is confirmed, they’re dragging their mum straight in the car and to IKEA to pick out the decorations for their uni room.

Whether it’s a door stop, a Dishmatic sponge or a shit load of fancy dress, there are a lot of essentials that freshers shouldn’t forget.

But every year John Lewis releases its uni essentials to provide the incoming freshers with exactly what they need to start uni off right. Forget cheap fairy lights, IKEA plates or a cushion from Primark home, John Lewis customers are providing their children with the real uni essentials. And what does that include? Well, a gold cocktail making set, a £35 notebook and a Nespresso machine.

Here are the most ridiculous and unessential things on the John Lewis university essentials 2023 list:

Ceramic table lamp, £115

Via John Lewis

Besides the fact that most uni halls do actually have lights in (shock), I’m not sure what would compel you to bring a ceramic lamp that costs over 100 quid to uni. Guaranteed you’ll stumble back from a night out, rugby boy in tow and knock it over. It will smash into pieces and the ambience will be ruined. Not the vibe.

Stainless steel egg topper, £6

Via John Lewis

I’m not going to lie to you when I say I had to Google what on earth this contraption actually does. Basically, it has little teeth that just chops the top off a boiled egg for you. It might only be six quid but it’s a six quid that you could spend on an extra pint and literally just use a knife like a normal person.

Gold cocktail making set, £35

Via John Lewis

Okay this is kinda cute but one night in halls and the glass shaker is 100 per cent getting smashed. You’d fork out £35 for it, make margaritas once for pres and then just never wash the rest of it up, leaving it sticky and attracting flies on the kitchen side for the rest of the term. I’ll probs just stick with Aldi’s own vodka and orange squash for pres thanks.

Moleskin smiley notebook, £35

Via John Lewis

Forget the cheap notebook from Rymans or Wilkos, a £35 Moleskin is an absolute ESSENTIAL for all those pesky 9ams you’ll never make it to. In reality, you’ll spend a fortune on notebooks and pretty stationary until you realise you write all your notes on your laptop and this lovely smiling face will sit gathering dust at the bottom of your bag.

Glass teapot with filter, £15

Via John Lewis

Who doesn’t need this massive glass teapot that can apparently make five cups of tea at once when they go to uni? I can practically hear the cries of Hugo’s mum when they pull up to Exeter and find that he’s only got a tea pot that will make three cups of tea at once. The horror.

Bean bag, £100

Via John Lewis

Besides the fact that this bean bag looks absolutely HUGE and is never fitting in the typical shoebox halls room, you literally have a bed, why do you need a bean bag? Guaranteed if this was a feature in your uni room it would just get shagged on and covered in lots of lovely stains.

Nespresso machine, £100

Via John Lewis

Ah, classic. It wouldn’t be a John Lewis uni essentials ranking without a Nespresso Machine. Clementine would never be seen DEAD drinking Nescafe instant coffee. A £100 Nespresso Machine coffee machine it is!

Neom reed diffuser, £41

Via John Lewis

Candles aren’t normally allowed in uni halls so a reed diffuser is actually a decent idea. But I can’t say forking out £41 for a NEOM one is an essential. Grab a couple of the £1 ones from Primark and you’re good to go.

Soup maker, £59.99

Via John Lewis

You could absolutely buy about 50 tins of Heinz tomato soup to last you the whole year rather than piss your flatmates off by having this monstrosity taking up space on the kitchen counter.

But Monty’s mum will be able to sleep easy knowing he can fight off the freshers’ flu with some homemade soup.

Beginners ‘plant gang’, £48

Via John Lewis

Okay admittedly, the fact that these plants are called a “plant gang” is kinda cute and making me want them. But there is no way that I’m forking out nearly 50 quid on three house plants that I’d kill within a week anyway.

Just get some IKEA fake plants for a couple of quid, most students can hardly look after themselves at uni, never mind a set of gold-bottomed house plants.

Box desk, £63.20

Via John Lewis

I challenge you to find me a single room in halls that doesn’t have a desk already built in. You’ll hardly use the one that’s already in your room, I PROMISE you, you don’t need a spare one for a rainy day.

Sunrise alarm, £49.99

Via John Lewis

How else will Arabella wake up in her grotty Bristol halls feeling like she’s just woken up by the sun pouring into a five star hotel in Bali?

A Lumie alarm clock promises to wake you up naturally by stimulating a sunrise and providing animal noises if that’s your thing. Literally just open your curtains and set an alarm on your phone. Problem solved.

Pressure cooker, £60

Via John Lewis

And last but certainly not least, we have a £60 pressure cooker. I can bet that most students won’t even have a clue what a pressure cooker is.

Your diet will consist mostly of pesto pasta and takeaways, I can guarantee the moment you whip a pressure cooker out in a halls kitchen everyone is going to think you’re a dickhead.

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