Living in a hostel & having cravings for eating crispy food now & then? Fulfill your cravings with food cooked in the best air fryer for dorm room.
Let’s admit that not being able to enjoy your favorite fried food was probably the main reason your college dorm experience became a nightmare! But not anymore, as things have changed a lot, thanks to the air fryers.
Since colleges often don’t allow students to have ovens or electric stoves in dorms, an air fryer (if allowed as per the rules) is a great alternative. Whether reheating leftover or frying snacks for late-night cravings, an air fryer is an essential cooking appliance to serve all your needs.
I tested 36 air fryers from different brands to finalize the below given list for the best air fryers for dormitory. You can also see my picks for the best energy efficient air fryers that are ideal for dorms and camping.
- Dash Tasti-Crisp Best With Non-Stick Basket – Latest Price
- CHEFMAN TurboFry Best Air Fryer Under $50 – Latest Price
- DASH Compact Best Air Fryer Oven – Latest Price
- Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Best Smart Air Fryer – Latest Price
- Elite Gourmet EAF-3218R Best Low-Wattage Air Fryer – Latest Price
- CHEFMAN Healthy Cooking Best BPA-Free Air Fryer – Latest Price
- Elite Gourmet Personal Air Fryer Best For Wings – Latest Price
- DASH Tasti-Crisp Digital Air Fryer Best For College Students – Latest Price
- Bella 5-in-1 Best Dishwasher Safe Air Fryer – Latest Price
- Gowise USA Mini Best Air Fryer For One Person – Latest Price
How To Choose Air Fryer For Dorm [Buying Guide]
While leaving home for the dormitory, students, considering it the only option, choose an air fryer for personal use. Here are some parameters to consider when choosing the best air fryer for the dorm room.
Yes, size of air fryer does matter! Since dorm rooms are small, it’s impossible to fit in big-sized kitchen appliances. Always choose compact design air fryers with a small footprint that are easy to move around your disorganized dorm room.
Generally, an air fryer with 2-3 quart basket sizes is considered ideal to fulfill the cooking needs of college students.
Ease of Cleaning
Students think it’s all fun to cook and eat delicious meals until the moment arrives to clean the mess of an air fryer. Of course, you don’t want to spend hours scrubbing off its basket plunge with grease, right?
Therefore, please make sure the air fryer you choose is an easy-to-clean unit and its parts, like the basket and tray, are removable for easy handling. Also, the air fryer basket coated with a nonstick layer offers many conveniences in cleaning.
Let’s be honest, cost is the most considerate factor for any student! Assessing the budget they can afford for an air fryer having reasonable quality is a nerve-wracking task.
We, therefore, suggest not falling into the ever-hot debate of quality versus price and going with the most affordable range. So, if your air fryer doesn’t go long enough, there will be no big loss of money to mourn over!
Ease of Use
Always prefer choosing an air fryer with a minimalist approach in terms of features. Air fryers with the most simple functionality are enough to make students fulfill their diverse cooking options.
10 Best Air Fryer For Dorm Room And College Students 
1. Dash Tasti-Crisp Best With Non-Stick Basket
This affordable air fryer by DASH is my top pick for the best air fryer for college students. Courtesy of its improved design, super-fast cooking, and ease of handling.
The knob adjustment vouch for the precise cooking temperature, plus the auto shut-off means you don’t have to stay glued to your air fryer until it cooks.
This air fryer integrates AirCrisp Technology and claims to cook food with 75% less oil consumption yet replicates the same crispiness as deep-fried foods.
I made chicken wings to check the results of this function and it was pretty decent. The wings were tendered from the inside and crispy from the outside without any oil in the air fryer.
Compared to the other Dash air fryer models, this one has a wide 2.6-quart basket drawer, coming in quite a compact size to fit easily in your messed-up dorm.
Students can make healthy meals quickly in the comfort of this space-friendly countertop air fryer. Since this air fryer turns off quickly once the set timer completes, no overheating risk is involved.
One drawback I witnessed while testing this air fryer is its non-stick coating is not that good. Chicken wings I made stick to the non-stick basket of the air fryer.
While deep cleaning the air fryer, I try scrapping off the surface with a sponge and soapy water, but food debris stayed on the drip tray for a while.
|Temperature Range||200°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||11.3″D x 8.7″W x 10.7″H|
2. CHEFMAN Best Air Fryer Under $50
This best small air fryer of CHEFMAN is similar to the one that I mentioned at the top of this list. It comes with manual programming to set cooking temperate and time that simplify the cooking process for dorms.
Its wide temperature range, 60-minute timer, and Rapid Air technology can cook versatile recipes from savory to desserts with perfect texture and 80% lesser oil consumption.
I air-fried some spring rolls, french fries, and spicy chicken legs to analyze the unit’s functionality. Fries and chicken look soggy at first but flipping their sides every 5 minutes helps attain the perfect crisp without it being overcooked.
Some features and design aspects like auto shut-off, cool-touch housing, and nonstick removable basket are similar to other dorm air fryers listed here.
It has a 2-quart basket that makes it the best air fryer for two people; you and your friend in college dorms or offices, RVs, and semi-trucks.
One unique aspect of this air fryer is the flatness of the basket. This feature enhances the overall air fryer capacity by 40% without expanding the footprint, thus making it a space-saving unit.
However, I find it tough to glide in the basket. Also, some metal-like smell lingers on the air fryer after cleaning.
|Temperature Range||200°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||9.75″D x 9.75″W x 12.5″H|
3. DASH Compact Best Air Fryer with Auto Shutoff
Wondering why we’ve added another model of Dash Air fryer? Or which one is better between the two?
Like the Dash 1000-watt air fryer discussed above, this compact model also comes with integrated AirCrisp technology.
Its cool-to-touch exterior and auto shut-off protects the unit from overheating and saves you from burning hazards while air frying.
Its lightweight design with non-slip feet on the bottom lets it stay firm, and don’t let it slide on the countertop when you are working on an air fryer.
This air fryer has a capacity of 2-quart, spacious enough for air frying chicken wings, baking cookies, or roasting steaks for 2 people.
Picky eaters can serve themselves the best versatile meal every day, thanks to the recipe guide that comes with the appliance!
As per my experience the nonstick coating will flake with time, but that’s not something to predict with the first use (I will keep updating how it goes in the long run).
For its prolonged working life, experts suggest using parchment paper lining before putting food in the air fryer basket. Below are the cooking results of this unit:
When I trialed both models from the perspective of a dorm, the Dash compact air fryer has a sleek portable design ideal for dorm countertops.
Its counterpart Dash TastiCrisp fryer comes ahead of it with a large cooking capacity of 2.6-quart in a lightweight body.
|Temperature Range||170°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||8.1″D x 10.2″W x 11.4″H|
4. Instant Vortex Best Smart Air Fryer
Get this 4-in-1 Instant air fryer integrated with EvenCrisp Technology, and take your air frying game to the next level! It provides uniform hot air flow, giving you the perfect golden crisp outside and tenderness inside.
Our experts appreciate the company for taking personal and cooking safety into account by incorporating features like overheating protection and auto shut-off.
Its smart panel displays each step in discrete units. Everything appears in the small LED display, from selecting a cooking program to set time and temperature, making things easier for beginners.
Another fascinating part is its 4-in-1 functionality that allows roasting, air frying, reheating, and baking like a bingo. With this, your savory meal is just one-touch away from pleasing your appetite.
Our cooking experience with this unit was good. I cooked fries, fresh marinated wings and drumsticks and flipped them halfway. They came out with perfect flavor and texture.
Surprisingly, it has a mobile app for iOS and Android devices where you can get some delightful recipes to try on this Instant Vortex air fryer.
Instant Pot Vortex has outsmarted other air fryers included in this list i.e., Elite Gourmet, Dash, and Chefman, with its innovative and highly efficient design. The only disappointing factor was the lingering plastic-like smell. However, it vanishes after a few washes.
Altogether, Its space-saving design, multifunctional approach, and affordability make it the best air fryer under $100.
|Temperature Range||120°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||11.26″D x 9.02″W x 11.73″H|
5. Elite Gourmet EAF-3218R Best Compact Air Fryer
This small-size personal air fryer of Elite Gourmet with a 1.1-quart space is the smallest among all air fryers I reviewed in my kitchen.
One distinct feature of this air fryer is the 360° Rapid Air Circulation technology. It lets you enjoy a crispy meal in less time than it would take in the oven or while deep frying.
Another advantage of this technology is the ease of cleaning, as less greasy debris is left post-frying.
Its cool-to-touch handle makes tossing food a breeze occasionally to have perfectly air-fried recipes with no hustle. This design feature of the air fryer offers safety and convenience in food handling when cooking food in dorm rooms.
The Elite Gourmet fryer comes with seven different cooking references for newbies. So, they don’t have to guess the cooking temperature and time for popular recipes like french fries, shrimp, sauteed veggies, and chicken nuggets.
Our team air-fried spring rolls and tater tots in the Elite air fryer. Rolls just come out fully crisp, while tater tots taste a little more average than expected.
I also tested the different cooking references of this air fryer by making thin-crust pizza, reheating chicken wings, and air-frying frozen snacks.
Another quality feature is the integrated air filter system that removes the plastic smell from the air fryer, which most people complain about.
Its max temperature goes to 390°C, but some recipes require more than that to cook, so there is a chance you’ll get uncooked, soggy food. This mini air fryer can cook delicious foods for you without the rigor of microwaving or high-flame cooking in the dorm room.
|Temperature Range||180°F – 390°F|
|Dimensions||7.75″D x 7.75″W x 8″H|
6. CHEFMAN Best BPA-Free Air Fryer
Chefman’s small toxic-free air fryer owns a sleek body that takes up a little space but offers features that eliminate the clutter of other extravagant kitchen appliances.
The efficient combo of a 60-min timer with a 400°C maximum temperature vouch for rapid cooking and low energy consumption.
This unit has a rubber-based handle that no other air fryer has in this list. It makes working with the basket easier without touching anything hot.
This safety element with the temp settings, timer, and light indicator make the daily cooking chores quite safe and manageable for students.
Whe I trailed this air fryer, I found its 2-quart space insufficient to cook a whole batch of meat appetizers. However, the cooking capacity of the air fryer is good for a person on keto and a student in a hostel.
Also, to prevent stuck-on debris, its parts are dishwasher safe and BPA-free with reliable nonstick coating. Overall, this best air fryer for two people is more than perfect for college students, letting them enjoy healthy snacks in a single serving.
|Temperature Range||200°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||10.23″D x 10.23″W x 13.98″H|
7. Elite Gourmet Personal Best Lightweight Air Fryer
Elite Gourmet’s personal 2.1 quarts air fryer can cook approx 1.5 lbs of food at a time, which means it is good for you and your friend. With a slight modification in design the brand also offer a 4 quart air fryer.
To help students get started with this cooking appliance, it comes with a cooking guide and a recipe book.
This air fryer showcases six quick references at the top to cook seafood, poultry, baked goods, fried items, and a lot more. The digital temperature control range from 176°C-392°C, and a 30-minute timer helps cook your favorite food with the perfect crispiness from the outside.
Like the Elite Gourmet EAF-3218R air fryer, the EAF2612D is also powered with 360° Rapid Air Circulation. It spreads the heat evenly and cooks crispy food with little to no oil.
The integrated air filtration in this air fryer won my heart. This filter ensures no smell lingers on, keeping your dorm odor-free.
Drawn from my experience I feel that even cooking medium-sized breast pieces needs to be cut into halves for better results. Otherwise, you will not get the desired crunch in fried foods by cooking squeezed meat pieces.
Also, despite featuring Rapid Air Circulation, it takes longer time than expected while the cook in this air fryer.
|Temperature Range||175°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||10″D x 7.8″W x 10.5″H|
8. Dash Digital Best Air Fryer for College Students
This product is a rare example of the best air fryer for a single person coming in highly sleek portable housing with a 2.6-quart basket for all-purpose cooking.
Again, like other Dash air fryers I reviewed, this one also features AirCrisp technology to minimize the use of oil for the favorite fried recipe of students.
The digital control panel and LED display are the key features that differentiate this unit from other Dash air fryers. This air fryer offers a unique feature of saving custom cooking settings among all the brands I used.
Yes, there is an option to save up to three different custom cooking settings for some amazing recipes you often crave for.
I tested this feature by cooking frozen asparagus with onion rings and saved its custom cooking settings. For the second batch, I used the preset option to cook, and the result was as perfect as it was earlier.
However, the shortcoming I noticed while testing is the loud whistle it produces when air frying. Also, the air fryer basket is deep but not wide, cutting down its cooking space. Its overall look is neat and clean, with no fuss of knob adjustments.
This budget-friendly air fryer for college dorms deserves a big thumbs up for making cooking rituals easy, safe, and organized.
|Temperature Range||200°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||8.7″D x 10.7″W x 11.3″H|
9. Bella Manual Best Easy-to-Clean Safe Air Fryer
The Bella air fryer with a knob control is the right choice for college or school students who are not comfortable with fancy digital control features.
This 5-in-1 multifunctional air fryer, having a capacity of 2.5 lb, works well in place of large ovens or toasters in the small space of the dorm.
Our experts count the Bella air fryer among the best air fryers with a small footprint. It has the most convenient outlook suitable for a hostel or dorm room with a spacious cooking space of 2.9 quartz.
The Bella air fryer introduces Circular Heat Technology with a 1400-watt high-powered heating element. It helps the unit quickly achieve the desired cooking temperature without any preheating requirement.
The uniform circular heat flow and power combo get your food cooked quickly and evenly, with a beautiful golden texture from all sides.
Its temperature knob goes up to 400° F, while the 60-minute timer will shut off automatically, preventing food from over-browning and burning.
While cooking In this air fryer, it was difficult to read the figures on the temperature knob. Though experts do not count it as a flaw, setting the right temperature would be tricky for students.
|Temperature Range||200°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||15.11″D x 15.11″W x 14.68″H|
10. Gowise USA Mini Best Air Fryer for One Person
This modern-looking made-in U.S.A appliance of Gowise features a compact body with a 2-quart maximum capacity and is the best mini air fryer. Unlike other air fryers, Gowise impressed us with an excellent toxic-free nonstick coating.
This air fryer combines the basic elements of a broad cooking temperature range and time on a very user-friendly digital screen. Its touchscreen panel showcases five preset modes of air frying, toasting, reheating, keeping warm, and freezing food.
With this built-in preset functionality, I reheated the leftover chicken wings and Alfredo pasta, and the outcome was pretty satisfying. The recipe book this air fryer comes with has made it easy for naive cooks to get along with this trendy gadget.
What I didn’t like about this air fryer is its non-removable basket tray. The tray is flat-shaped with a tiny part in the center to clasp while working with the basket. So when I flip the cooked food from the basket, I hardly manage to avoid contact with the hot tray to prevent burning blisters.
You can use a tong or wear oven mitts to hold it intact. Else, wait till things cool down, so it becomes easy to handle food.
When almost all the manufacturers designed the removable basket and tray, Gowise missed this important design aspect. This minor inconvenience is why it falls at the end of this list of the best small air fryers.
|Temperature Range||180°F – 400°F|
|Dimensions||8″D x 11″W x 16.5″H|
Are air fryers allowed in dorms?
In most cases, yes, air fryers are allowed in college dorms. However, it’s okay to double-check the college rules and regulations related to the dormitory to avoid any inconvenience.
Is an air fryer good for a dorm room?
Absolutely, air fryers are highly suitable for dorm rooms. Compared to other microwave ovens and cooking ranges, they are compact-sized, occupying very little space on the countertop. Students can depend on an air fryer to reheat and cook a diverse range of meals on their own.
Are air fryers good for college students?
College students cannot spend hours cooking, while their dorm rooms don’t have enough space for a cooking range. The only reliable option left is an air fryer. A countertop-friendly, easy-to-handle kitchen appliance.
An air fryer is an ultimate solution, considering other options are not feasible, to help college students get away with cooking. When students already deal with so many things while in their college dormitory, let’s not make cooking a mission impossible for them. If your dormitory is about to begin, don’t wait any further; go through the best air fryer for dorm room, buy one, and that’s it! Cook yourself, eat healthily, and don’t forget to study hard!
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