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21 Apartment Essentials Every Guy Should Own

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Matt Gulielmi
Expertise:

Style, Jewelry, Watches, Skincare, Brand Activations

Matt is a NYC-based merchandise planner in the luxury space and moonlights as a retail documentarian through his TikTok blog @retailecology. His fashion career has waltzed through styling for Michigan State's VIM Magazine, translating brand copy into Spanish for cosmetic startups, to managing inventory for some of the biggest retailers in the US. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Mar 25, 2024
17 min read
Apartment Essentials for Men HexClad Essential 6pc Japanese Damascus Steel Knife Set on Bench next to Bananas

We all know that guy who lives like he’s still in college.

He’s got beer posters on the wall, stained pillows, and 4-in-1 body wash. 

It’s a scary sight. 

An apartment that’s nicely decorated and stocked with essentials is a benchmark to becoming an attractive, self-reliant man. 

This list of apartment essentials will help you curate a living space that’ll impress guests and make your life easier.  

21 Apartment Essentials for Men

1. High-Quality Cookware 

Hexclad High Quality Cookware

A man’s gotta eat, but microwave dinners and weekly takeout won’t help your waistline. 

I always recommend HexClad’s 6-Piece Hybrid Cookware Set to my boys when they’re setting up a new place because it packs a ton of useful features. 

With the nonstick ridges, cooling handle, and non-toxic surface, you can finally say goodbye to your scratched teflon pan.

The 3 different lidded pans cover most stovetop cooking. If you whip up a pot of Sunday sauce for weeknight dinners, HexClad also makes sauce pots, woks, and griddles. 

The best part? They’re super easy to clean.

HexClad 6pc Hybrid Cookware Set w/ Lids

If you've been settling for microwave meals or endless takeout, it's time for an upgrade. HexClad's 6-Piece Hybrid Cookware Set is a game-changer for any apartment kitchen. Made with a non-toxic surface and nonstick ridges, these pans make cooking easier than cracking an egg—which you’ll be doing a lot with these.

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2. Nice-Smelling Hand Soap

Nothing says you’re adulting like a bottle of luxury hand soap on the vanity. 

Malin+Goetz knows soap, which is why they’re one of my top choices for a new home.

It helps that their soaps come in iconic, minimalist packaging. Looks aside, the hydrating amino acids and light surfactant make it some top-notch soap. 

I’d suggest you ditch the nasty bar soap and buy something you’re proud to display.

Malin+Goetz Rum Hand+Body Wash

Malin+Goetz hand soap combines high-quality skincare, sleek design, and a pleasantly masculine aroma. Ditch the discount soap; this is a bathroom upgrade you'll be proud to show off.

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3. Soft Bedding 

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What if your entire bed could feel like the cool side of the pillow?

A set of cooling sheets is always a top pick for me when settling in.

I rate Luxor Linens’ Valentino 1200 Thread Count Egyptian Sheets because they’re soft, smooth, and their lightweight weave prevents those sweaty wake-ups in the middle of the night.

Luxor Linens Valentino 1200 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets

I’ve been sleeping on these sheets for several years now, and I still haven’t gotten over how soft they are. The Egyptian cotton is smooth and slides well against my skin. The material is cozy, but doesn’t cause me to overheat at night. If your budget allows, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Valentino 1200 thread count set.

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4. Functional Hangers 

Re-using wire hangers from the dry cleaners makes you look cheap and deforms your clothes.

When did we decide plain old hangers were enough? I think you should look into something more innovative.

I’ve found that Tough Hook’s Rhino Hanger improves everything that sucks about hangers. They’re extremely durable, which means no more breakage trying to force a hanger out of your sweater. 

The “essentials” of an apartment include a neat, organized closet, so I’d get some functional hangers that aren’t built like a paperclip.

Tough Hook Rhino Hanger

Ditch those wire hangers from the dry cleaner—Tough Hook's Rhino Hangers are the real deal. Strong and broad, they'll keep your clothes looking good without any of the sag or stretch.

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5. A Trusted Iron

Weekly trips to the cleaners are an expense you don’t need. Getting a crisp press in your own home is a luxury, and so is a good iron.

Spending more than $100 might sound painful, but a well-ironed shirt is a big confidence boost and it’ll save you money in the long run. Personally, I like to use Sunday as my get organized day.

If you’re a laundry fanatic like me, you’ll know that Rowenta is the Ferrari of irons. The steam output on the Pro Master is powerful enough to be used as a garment steamer–convenient for those last-minute plans when ironing would take too long.

What I love most about the Rowenta Pro Master is the precision tip that gets the hard to reach areas around a shirt’s collar. It also flattens the placket in between buttons with ease.

It’s the small things.

Rowenta Pro Master Iron

No need for constant trips to the dry cleaner when you've got the Rowenta Pro Master at home. This iron isn't just a household essential, it’s the key on-demand crispiness. With its powerful steam and precision tip, it's like having a pro cleaner right in your apartment. Trust us, it's worth every penny.

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6. A Handy Toolkit

A tool set is symbolic of adulthood. When calamity strikes, you have the instruments to restore peace to your home. 

My pick? Fastpro’s 220-Piece Home Tool Set is the toolkit that dads have used for decades in one package.

You know the hardshell toolkits? Getting all the pieces back into their slot drives me up the wall.

This kit is a hardened fabric bag, so you’re not playing tool Tetris once the job is done. 

You get everything in this bad boy: a hammer, box cutter, tape measure, wrenches, pliers, screwdriver and much more.

You should take back your manly power with a comprehensive toolkit instead of paying someone to do the job.

Fastpro 220-Piece Home Tool Set

Be the hero of your own apartment with Fastpro’s 220-Piece Home Tool Set. It's not just about having tools–it's about having the right ones, all neatly packed so you can find what you need, when you need it. No more calling for help or costly fixes, this set empowers you to handle it yourself.

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7. Sharp Kitchen Knives

Sharp Kitchen Knives Hexclad

Close your eyes and think about a world-renowned chef at work. What is he doing? What is he holding? It probably involves a top-shelf knife.

HexClad goes for a double on this list with their cutlery. I’m a big fan of their Essential 6-Piece Japanese Damascus Steel Knife Set which blesses your kitchen with Michelin Star chopping, slicing, and carving.

You get classics like a chef and paring knife, but the 7” santoku knife will have guests wondering where you went to culinary school.

Hexclad knife 2

Maintaining flashy knives takes work, however. So HexClad threw in a 9” honing steel to take care of your new babies.
With proper care, good cutlery can last you a lifetime. But be careful, I use the chef knife for just about everything and boy, it is sharp.

HexClad Essential 6pc Japanese Damascus Steel Knife Set

Made of 67 layers of Japanese Damascus steel, this degree of cutting precision makes quick work of chopping and slicing. With five specialized knives and a honing steel, you’re set up for a world-class carving station in your kitchen. We also recommend a cutting board that can keep up. 

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8. Comfortable Pillows

Pillows in Lilysilk pillowcases

With bed sheets covered on this list, what are you going to cover with your new pillowcases?

That was a rhetorical question. 

The Sleep Essential Pillow from bedding expert Casper isn’t your average pillow—it’s easily the best support pillow I’ve ever rested my head on.

Flipping your pillow every 30 minutes is a living nightmare. I’d splurge for the cooling. 

At around $50, it might be hard to rest after forking over the money, but quality sleep is always worthy of investment. Casper has a bundle deal when you buy two, so you and the Mrs. aren’t fighting over the good pillow.

Casper Sleep Essential Pillow

Tossing, turning, and pillow-flipping nights are over with Casper's Sleep Essential Pillow. The optional cooling feature is a dream come true, making this an investment in quality Z's. Cooling or not, the pillow provides superior neck support without feeling like a cinder block.

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9. Tasteful Wall Art

broad view of man cave with leather chair

Timeless art is a crucial part of a curated, mature living space. 

If you don’t know much about it, where do you start?

I think Signleader is the best place to look first if you want to feel like a creative director.

Their abstract art comes with three frame sections, so you can add one to each room or combine all three for a centerpiece that demands attention.

Life in the frat house was fun, but it’s time for the Guinness posters to graduate too… into the donation bin.

Signleader Framed Canvas Prints

Signleader's tasteful wall art in a wallet-friendly solution to lacking wall decor. Whether you hang it as a three-piece centerpiece or spread the love room-to-room, this art adds a mature vibe that shows you've truly moved on from the novelty poster days.

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10. Premium Bath Towels

Luxor Linens Valentino Luxe Egyptian Cotton Spa Towels hanging on bath

When I stay at an upscale hotel, the devil on my shoulder tells me to leave with the plush towels.

Quince makes a bang-up towel, and keeps my conscience clean in doing so. Their Turkish Spa Bath Towels are as absorbent, luxurious, and soft as the ones in a resort suite. 

While they carry other colors, white or grey is the way to go, in my opinion. I think keeping a towel white is the test of a hygienic, responsible man, and it’s simply classic.

Quince Turkish Spa Bath Towels

Indulge in the luxury of a five-star hotel without the guilt trip with Quince's Turkish Spa Bath Towels. Opt for the classic white, and show you can keep things clean and classy. One one these after a shower and you’ll wonder why you settled for two-ply towels.

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11. Versatile Food Storage

Meal prep is all the rage these days, but even if you’re cooking on the daily, food storage is a must.

If you’re health-conscious, you’ll be relieved to know that Caraway swaps plastic for a ceramic-coated glass, so it’s both microwave safe and won’t leach chemicals into your food.

While you’ll be spending almost $250, 9 pieces of lidded glass containers and three organizers isn’t a bad deal, especially if you meal prep and have leftovers often. 

Caraway Food Storage Set

It’s tempting to buy cheap plastic containers, but splurging on a glass tupperware set makes more than food storage easy. The ceramic coated glass is safe for microwave and ovens, so reheating leftovers doesn’t degrade your premium meal savers. Plus, the secure lids make the large container an alternative to a lunch box for work travel.

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12. A Terry Cloth Bathrobe

Sure, a linen robe is nice, but terry cloth is where it’s at. Being able to step out of the shower and wrap yourself in absorbent goodness is a game changer. 

I’m a fan of Lands’ End’s, the texture is both snuggly and “towely”, so it’s great for lounging with a book or post-shower grooming.

If you live with roommates, they might try to steal your comfy new robe, so I’d consider getting a snazzy monogram stitched on.

Lands’ End Men’s Full Length Turkish Terry Robe
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13. A Sizeable Sleeper Sofa 

What’s the use in overhauling your apartment if nobody gets to see it?

Well, self-improvement.

But isn’t entertaining fun? Having a dedicated space for guests takes hosting to the next level. Give them a cozy spot to land after a night of conversation and wine with my pick, the Lilola Home Reversible Sleeper Sectional.

This cozy sofa/bed combo is more discreet than an old futon, so it’ll look at home next to your new art. 

Lilola Home Linen Reversible Sleeper Sectional

Got friends crashing after a night out? Lilola Home's sleeper sectional is a host's (and guest’s) dream. It flips from stylish sofa to cozy bed seamlessly. Customize it to vibe with your decor, all without busting your budget. It's comfort, style, and hospitality rolled into one.

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14. A Unique Accent Light

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Brick Tamland said it best: “I love lamp.”

I do too, especially a rad accent light that shows off your eye for interior design. 

They say fashion is cyclical, but mid-century modern furniture will always be chic. The Arquer Floor Lamp from Teamson Home is a great pick because it instantly becomes an illuminated focal point in any room. 

Light assembly is required, but that’s the perfect chance for you to whip out your new toolkit from Fastpro. 

Teamson Home Arquer Floor Lamp

The Arquer Floor Lamp from Teamson Home really ties the room together. Its retro vibe works for Netflix binges or date nights, and the heavy marble base ensures no accidental falls. A warm bulb in this accent light will boost the ambience with some dramatic mood lighting.

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15. A Long-Lasting Candle

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After that new apartment smell wears off, the odors of life start to set in.

You need to fight them off with something.

The aroma from a candle helps de-stress and creates a more pleasant space overall, but fast-burning candles just mean more trips to the store.

Luxury fragrance brand Boy Smells took their fan-favorite fragrance, Hinoki Fantome, and turned it into a candle. Costing less than $50, it’s an easier pill to swallow than a bottle of the real stuff.

With base notes of cedarwood, hinoki, and fir balsam, it emits a burly smell of medium-intensity with a sweet finish. It’s an ideal essence for a man’s apartment, while neutral enough for both sexes to admire. There’s a lot to enjoy with a 50-hour burn time, too.

Seriously fellas, you really need a good candle. It’s the small things.

Boy Smells Hinoki Fantome Candle

Stale air leads to bad first impressions. For under $50, this long-lasting aroma offers woodsy base notes topped off with a sweet finish. It's the perfect blend to set a cozy yet sophisticated atmosphere. Plus, with a 50-hour burn time, this is a vibe investment that's totally worth it.

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16. A Decent Coffee Maker

Imagine waking up to coffee that’s just the way you like it, every single day. It’d be a competition for your new candle, that’s for sure.

I initially went the cheap route and got an inexpensive coffee machine from the hardware store. Its lack of control made me more bitter than the coffee it dispensed.

I finally saw the light once I upgraded to a Ninja, which is no stranger to adding useful tech to familiar appliances.

And the Ninja Programmable Brewer is just that.

The 24-hour brew delay is ideal if you have an on-the-go lifestyle like me. Once the grounds are loaded, you simply schedule the brew when you need it most. Filling and cleaning are also a breeze thanks to the removable water reservoir.

I tend to indulge in expensive cafe coffee, but my Ninja has definitely saved me a few bucks.

Ninja Programmable Brewer

Regular drip coffee is an apartment essential, but waking up to a cafe quality brew is a tastier alternative that saves you time during your busy morning routine. Think of it as upgrading from a flip phone to a smartphone, but for coffee. 

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17. Compact Storage

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These folding bins from Aykasa pack a surprising amount of flexibility for storage. 

We’ve all had the hardware store special–bulky, tall boxes that are so ugly they must be exiled to the basement.

For less than $50, you have three containers that are stylish enough for display and collapsible when not in use. Not to mention, they’re uniform. One of my pet peeves is mismatched storage.

Fret no more. Mom’s bin full of Christmas ornaments better find a new home.

Aykasa 3-Pack Foldable Storage Bins

Aykasa's folding bins bring both style and function to your storage needs, and they won't break the bank at under $50 for a set of three. When not in use, they collapse, saving space. And let's be honest, they look good enough to actually be part of your décor.

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18. A Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack

Even if you have a dishwasher, sometimes it’s easier to let a few of your newly cleaned dishes air dry.

A roll-up drying rack is a clear winner over regular drying racks that need dedicated counter space. Plus, the water falls into the sink, unlike drip trays that are essentially pay-by-the-hour motels for bacteria.

Space saving, inexpensive, and sanitary? Sounds kitchen-critical to me.

Surpahs Over The Sink Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack

If you've been crowding your countertop with a traditional dish rack, it's time to reclaim that space. The roll-up drying rack offers an ingenious solution: unroll it over your sink for air-drying, then roll it back up and stash it away when you're done. No more swampy drip drays stinking up the place. 

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19. A Catchall Tray

A valet tray, also known as a catchall, is pretty straightforward. It’s a mule to your pocketed belongings.

A stylish tray next to your front door is a vital accessory to cradle the holy trinity of travel–phone, wallet, and keys. I’ve used a Tulip Tree catchall for about four years now, and as silly as it seems it truly is a lifesaver.

20. A Cozy Blanket

A warm, snuggly blanket becomes your best friend with enough use, so buying a blanket you truly love is a must.

A colorful printed blanket makes a great accent piece to drape over the sofa when you want to switch things up, but we recommend going with a style that matches the overall vibe of your apartment.

This Ukeler is my pick—it’s made of a poly blend and serves ups the perfect amount of warmth for relaxing movie nights and is machine washable using cool water.

Ukeler Boho Sherpa Throw

Nothing beats the cozy embrace of a great blanket, and a vibrant printed throw can be a cool statement piece. This poly-blend option offers just the right amount of warmth for snuggling up on the couch. Upgrading to the 60”x80” will provide even more swaddling goodness for you and your lover.

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21. Quality Wine Glasses

wine glasses empty white glass 1

As we wrap up this list, allow me to make a toast to your pursuit of a better home. 

Fine wine must be drunk out of equally fine stemware, and my go-to, JoyJolt hasn’t been the glass of choice for thousands because it’s just decent.

This set comes with four wine glasses that look great and work for any occasion. They’re big, holding almost 14 ounces (we recommend less unless you’re celebrating).

Four vessels of stylish, lead-free crystal for less than $50? I’ll raise my glass to that.

JoyJolt Layla Set of 4 White Wine Glasses

JoyJolt’s set of four red wine glasses is a visual and functional treat. These vessels can hold almost 14 ounces, making them perfect for celebrations or simply serving your daily unwind.

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Conclusion

So, what do you think of our curated selection of apartment essentials?

These picks aren’t just for show, they make life easier and better. Want to keep getting great tips? Follow us on Instagram @theadultman.

If you think this list is helpful, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with the fellow guys in your life looking to spruce things up.