Pack for the Sleepover You Want With These Must-Haves

From good snacks to a little cash, these are the things to bring to a sleepover. Packing your bag for an awesome night is stress-free is with this list.

Published December 16, 2023
teen singing with friends

People told me I'd grow out of procrastinating on packing, and I’m happy to say that it never happened. If you're like me and no matter how excited you are for something, you always leave packing to the last minute, then you’re in luck! I’m pulling out the skinny jeans and flat iron to head back to my teen days just in time to help you remember all the best things to bring to a sleepover.

What to Bring to a Sleepover for an Epic Night 

Going through puberty is hard enough, let alone having to remember a laundry list of things your friends asked you to pack for the sleepover. In the end, you can forget all sorts of things and still have a roaring good time so long as you try to pack these must-have items.

  • Extra snacks
  • A pillow
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Socks
  • Video game console controllers
  • Phone charger
  • Card games
  • Karaoke mics
  • Any medications
  • Nice outfit
  • Retainer or aligners
  • Some cash
  • Toiletries (deodorant, face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush etc.)
  • PJS
  • Clothes and underwear for the next day

Extra Snacks

Eating pizza at slumber party

No one gets mad at someone who brings extra snacks. The more options to choose from, the better. And there’s always a chance that your friend’s favorites don’t match up with yours. Keep from waking up to a growling belly by packing a few of your staples from the pantry.

A Pillow

I'm firmly in the "where I go, my pillow goes" camp of travelers and I know I'm not alone. If you're a sensitive sleeper and need your set-up to be just right before you can fall asleep, make sure you pull your pillow off the bed before hopping in the car.


It's better to be safe than sorry when packing for a sleepover, so toss a comfy blanket into the bag. Not every house has enough blankets to share, and you might want more than what they have to spare. And a touch of home might be what you need to fall asleep away from your bed.


Socks may feel like a given, but trust me — the one time you forget a pair of socks is the time you go to someone's house whose parents like to keep the air conditioning set firmly in the 50s. Nothing can keep someone up quite like ice-cold toes.

Extra Controllers

Who needs party games like Twister when you can absolutely wreck each other on Rainbow Road? Video games are so fun at sleepovers because of how interactive they are. But the real downer to the night is not having enough controllers for everyone to play at the same time. Ask your friends what consoles they have, and bring your controllers from home if they match.

Phone Charger

Unless your friend is as versatile as an Uber driver with a split car charger full of every kind of Android or iPhone USB on the market, you need to remember your phone charger. Not everyone has the same phone, and you (or your guardians) will panic if it dies in the middle of the night.

Karaoke Mics

jumping in the air while singing into hairbrushes at slumber party

You can be 17 or 27, and karaoke mics will still hit at the sleepover. The clunky karaoke machines of my childhood are a thing of the past, and these handheld modulator mics are the way of the future. Pass one around or bring enough for your friends. If your parents aren’t yelling at you to go to bed, you’re not doing it right.

Card Games

Whether you're teaching your fellow seventh graders Five Card Draw like me or devious games like Cards Against Humanity are more your style, make sure you pack any card games you’ve got at your house. If you're flying solo to a friend's place, a deck of cards is something the two of you can play in between prank calls. Or grab the whole gang together for a big game of Spoons or Slaps.

Your Daily/Nightly Medications

From vitamins to allergy pills and prescription medications, the last thing you want to do is wake up in the morning after a late night without your pills. This is where cute pill organizers really come in handy!

A Nice Outfit for Pictures

Cheerful female friends gesturing while taking selfie

The number of times I've rolled up to a sleepover with the rattiest, comfiest clothes I own only to discover friendship pictures were on the itinerary is unreasonable. Don't make my mistake, and instead always pack a nice shirt or funky pair of pants with your comfy clothes. You might never need it, but you might regret the day you don't pack it and the camera comes a callin'.

Retainer or Aligners

Let's be honest. It's a 50/50 chance you forget to wear your retainer at home, let alone bring it with you to the sleepover. But if you want to keep those pearly whites, you've got to wear it consistently.

If you wear aligners, you'll need to take them out when you're chowing down on pizza and snacks, but you definitely don't want to leave them out all night. 

A Little Cash

Some kids already have debit cards, but when I was a kid, you had to remember where you shoved the rolled-up $20 bill your mom gave you. If your guardians can spare it, ask them for a little cash before you walk out the door. You never know where the day or evening might take you and your friends, and you want to be able to cover that movie ticket or your half of the dinner check.

Remember — You Can Usually Borrow Something

If you forget something, don't panic. No sleepover was ruined by forgetting a toothbrush or deodorant. When you're at a friend’s house, you can always ask to borrow something of theirs. Lots of people have spare unused toothbrushes or toiletries. I've never been turned down, and you probably won't be either. 

Quick Tip

If you forget something essential, like a medication you need, just call or text your parents when you remember. More than likely, they'll appreciate that you were responsible enough to let them know and they won't mind dropping it off. 

Don't Stress About Sleepover Packing 

Don't wait for your friend to tell you what you need to bring. They might not text you back until you’re already halfway to their house. Instead, pack for the sleepover you want by making sure you’ve got all the best stuff. From good snacks to a little cash, these are the things to pack for a sleepover you've got to remember.

Pack for the Sleepover You Want With These Must-Haves