13 Essential Items You’ll Need For Your Dorm Room

March 28, 2019
7 min read

13 Essential Items You’ll Need For Your Dorm Room

(…and where to buy them)

Few things are more exciting to the prospective college Freshman than dreaming up a dream dorm room and all of the wonderful items that will be inside. First, there is the bed, then the desk, the closet, the bathroom, the wall decor

And now your head is spinning with all of the possible options, colors, themes, vibes, and questions.. Where do you buy #allthethings??

Fret no more, we have spotted the 13 most CRUCIAL items you will need for your dorm room and have provided all the necessary links to make shopping fun, easy, and effective. What more could you need?


1. Proper Bedding

Just because you are living in a dorm, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sleep like a Queen. A major part of dorm decor starts with bedding and it will tie your whole vibe together when decorating. Choose bedding that is soft, plush, has multiple textures (i.e. a duvet, throw blanket, accent pillows, etc.), and comes together in a collection with everything you need.

Our favorite items are from Room 422, your one-stop shop for everything you need in the dorm decor department. Their products are specifically designed to fit into dorm rooms, so you don’t need to double check labels, and hunt for the right size sheets or bed-skirts. AND if you’re in the market for headboards, their products use velcro to adhere to the wall, not nails.

Shop their collections HERE. Don’t leave out bedsheets, they are adjustable to fit your bed height!

2. Mattress Cover

Speaking of sleeping like a Queen… this is no luxurious “sleeping on a cloud” mattress experience you’re about to have in the dorm. Likely you’ve just inherited a mattress that has been used over and over again for years. A great mattress cover will provide you with the necessary hygiene you desire (don’t we all), and give you an extra bump of comfort for the year ahead.

Here are some other mattress covers we love:


3. Shower Caddy

Most dorm rooms feature Jack and Jill style bathrooms or community bathrooms that you probably don’t want to take your sweet time bathing inside. A shower caddy that is waterproof (of course) can hold all of your essential items like shampoo, conditioner, brush, and loofah. Even better, this bag hangs!

Here are some other shower caddies we love:


4. Storage Cubes

Dorm space is limited, so optimizing space in the best possible way is essential. In addition to closet organizers, storage cubes provide excellent options for storing items like extra sheets, seasonal clothing, shoes, and more.

Our favorite storage cubes are from Room 422 and can be found HERE.

5. Black Out Curtains

Keep the sunlight out and the BOHO vibes in with thick, chic curtains for your dorm. Kohls has some of our favorite colors and textures. Choose from bold patterns to go with soft color palates or solid curtains if you are looking for a modern, clean look.

Shop curtains from Kohls Here

6. Area Rugs

Are you chic and modern? Bold and preppy? Perhaps your style is soft and feminine. Whatever your personal style is for dorm decor, a rug is a perfect addition to your room decor. It provides a great tie into your bedding and curtains, while also giving your bare feet a barrier between the dingy old carpet and your bare feet.

From Moroccan style to shag carpet, you can find some of our favorite styles HERE at Target.com

7. Floor Lamps

Optimal lighting anyone? For those long nights of studying, you’ll need a lamp to guide your way. Don’t settle for just any old lamp, either. You don’t have to break the bank with these lookalike floor lamps that will be a game changer for your dorm decor.

Here are some floor lamps that will fit any dorm room vibe:


8. String Lights


Some of our favorite dorm decor items are the little accessories that really tie in a room. The latest trend is, of course, string lights. These light-up gems work for just about any dorm decor, from Boho Chic to Feminine and Flirty.

You can buy the lights pictured here on Amazon by using this link.

9. Photo Wall


Take a little piece of home with you to your dorm with adhesive photos that will stick to your wall without the need for hooks, nails, or drills. Pin up your favorite photos and hang them over your bed in a square arrangement, eclectic, or minimalist arrangements to fit your mood and decor.

Find the adhesives HERE and order off Amazon Prime to make it easy!

10. Full-length Mirror

No one likes a mirror hog, and with this model, you don’t have to share. Hang this mirror on the back of your closet or on the back of your dorm door or bathroom door. This mirror is extra dorm approved because once you open it up, there is storage for your notebook, jewelry, and even has a whiteboard so you stop forgetting your dorm keys.

If this isn’t your style, shop similar looks here:


11. Wall Tapestry

Wall tapestries are perfect ways to avoid tacky posters and give your dorm a chill vibe that also gives the room a pop of color.  Choose from a hippy vibe or a beach print to take you back to the shores.

Check out Pottery Barn Teen for a variety of tapestries we approve of.

12. Plastic Storage Organizers

With a raised bed and a long 3-panel bed skirt from Room 422, you will have the storage you need without compromising space in your room. If you don’t have a raised bed (and most dorms do) stick these bad boys in your closet for shorts, shirts, shoes, and socks.

Find more options here:


13. Cord Organization

Organization Obsessed

You’ll be amazed at what a simple cord hack will do for your desk and peace of mind. We’ve all been there… sitting at our desk, looking around for an open plug or asking ourselves, “Which plug is this?” or “Where does this one go?”

The horror!

Well, fret no longer. Tape, a pen, and a large floor outlet are all you need to step into organized bliss.

Use this simple hack and many more from Organization Obsessed.


If this article has sparked joy, or given you a new sense of inspiration, let us know and leave a comment below. For more dorm decor inspiration, check out some of our newly published articles and start getting excited about your next and newest adventure.



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Warby Parker