Essential hospital items like fuzzy socks, sleeping mask, toothbrush for an extended hospital stay going into a bag!

10 Things That Are Essential for a Hospital Admission

Having just completed a 2-week stint in hospital for a lung tune-up, I wanted to share what I wouldn’t leave home without when prepping for a long stay.

Hospital must-haves

Sucking sweets

There are a few reasons sucking sweets are needed. (For our North American readers, this is a way to say hard candy.) Firstly, mints are great to help ease nausea. Secondly, if you are post-op, sweets are great for rehydrating your throat and stopping the scratchy feeling the tubes leave behind for a few days. Vaseline is also a must-have post-op to keep cracked lips or a dry nose at bay.

Disposable toothbrush

Why? Because I just don't like the idea of my fancy toothbrush sitting around in a hospital... This a personal preference but, for me, it feels like I would be inviting the nasties back into my home.

Travel detergent

The worst thing about lengthy hospital stays is the lack of washing facilities. By lack of, I mean no washing facilities. I always grab a travel detergent wash to keep some of my smaller items fresh and re-wearable. Sometimes that 1 or 2 weeks stay ends up being much longer… nobody wants to be wearing dirty undies.

Dry shampoo, hand cream, and tweezers

This won't be on everybody’s priority list and may feel unnecessary, but there are a few statement cosmetic bits that keep me feeling human throughout my hospital admission.

Dry shampoo is a must for anyone with long hair. Actually, for anyone with hair. Hand cream is a basic need if you want to avoid your skin looking like Voldemort’s face. Tweezers are always a handy addition to a well-prepped wash bag.

Sleep mask and earplugs

Nothing worse than a glaring robotic drip machine lighting up your brain or beeps buzzing in your ear when you are trying to sleep. These two items should be mandatory.

Something homely

Most people already do this but if you don't then I suggest you try it. It makes the room feel more personal. Popular items are pictures, cushions, blankets, pillows.


Books, tablets/laptops, crosswords, adult coloring books, arts and crafts, cross-stitch, knitting, games, journals, playing cards... You can even learn a new game on every admission to keep things interesting!

Don't forget to ask people for recommended things to watch or, if it is your thing, a podcast to listen to. I always pencil in a Netflix party with friends too.


Or decent instant coffee. Pick your poison. I am a sucker for herbal tea so always bundle a stash of my favorite flavors in my bag. Who said tea breaks needed to be dire in the hospital?


Cozy socks, knitted jumpers, snuggly PJs, fluffy dressing gowns. All the above? At least a couple of warm items even in the summer months because hospital rooms can be unpredictable when it comes to heat regulation. Nothing worse than cold feet!


Most CF teams are keen to get you active during your stay. Depending on how unwell you are it could be something as gentle as a small, slow walk or pushing yourself a little further with stairs. My hospital room has an exercise bike too so if I am feeling brave, I try to do a little on that. Not easy if you only have slippers with you!

What are your must-have items for a hospital stay? Share in the comments below!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you taken our Cystic Fibrosis In America Survey yet?