Dorm Room & College Apartment Essentials
Do you know what to bring to college? When you're shopping for college dorm room essentials, make sure to keep your school's most recent college packing list on hand for reference.
Bedding & Bath
Find out what size bed you'll have in advance so that you know what kind of bedding to buy.
For bathrooms, they could connect to your room if you live in a suite or be located down the hall.
Here's what you might need to put on your college dorm checklist for your bed and bathroom in order to be comfortable:
Mattresses are almost always provided but they can be thin or lumpy. Adding a mattress pad offers the following:
- An extra layer of comfort
- More back support
- A choice of heating or cooling materials
Buy two sets of bed sheets so that when one set is dirty, the other set is clean and made up on the bed.
Have pillows for:
- Back support for when you use your computer or do your homework
Comforters and/or Quilts OR Bedding Set
There are many choices about which ones to buy. Consider:
- Some roommates like to color-coordinate comforters and/or quilts
- Bedding sets often contain sheets and pillowcases as well as comforters
- Bedding sets are already packed in a bag and are easy to move up and down the stairs as one unit
Blankets & Throws
Have an extra blanket or throw handy:
- For a friend
- For when dorm room temperatures can't be controlled
- For when roommates disagree on how warm to keep a room or suite
As with sheets, have two sets of hand towels, bath towels and washcloths, so that when one set is dirty, the other set is clean and ready for use.
Other Dorm Room Essentials
- Shower shoes like crocs or flip-flops are necessary for walking from dorm room to bathroom and back again
- Bathrobes are cozy, warm, and comfortable and protect your modesty
A list of college essentials includes a number of design and décor items. These details make a college dorm room feel like home, a place where you can relax and hang out with friends, and a canvas to showcase your personal style. Here's everything you need to turn put on your college packing list in order to turn a dorm room into a fashionable, inviting home-away-from-home.
Art, Wall Décor & Mirrors
- Full-length and/or decorative mirrors
- Canvas wall art
- Wire wall art
- Removable wallpaper
- Re-stick-able picture tiles
- Framed posters and prints
- Floating wall shelves
- Faux greenery, moss and/or succulents
- Inspirational signs and saying
Candles & Diffusers
Dorm rooms can smell musty, dusty and moldy. But open flames are mostly forbidden in dorm rooms. So get rid of those unwelcome scents with college dorm essentials like:
- Candle warmers
- LED flameless scented candles
- Humidifier and essential oil infuser sets
- Reed diffusers
Occasionally rooms will come with a desk lamp. However, you can add additional lighting with:
- Clip-lamps on beds
- Fairy light panels for window treatments
- Spotlight floor lamps
- String lights for walls
- LED wall lights
- Task lights on desks
Most dorm rooms have bare floors or flat wall-to-wall carpet. Be sure to measure before you get an area, accent or runner rug made out of:
- Faux fur, sheepskin or cowhide
- Jute or other natural fibers
- Woven patterned cotton
- Braided cotton rags
Tech & Appliances
Silence is hard to come by in a dorm setting. This is where technology comes in handy. On the other hand, impromptu dance parties relieve stress. Don't leave either of these at home:
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Portable Bluetooth speaker
As you settle in, you'll find your college dorm décor isn't complete without a desk full of items.
Desk Accessories & Stationary
College desk essentials include the following for organizational success:
- Wall calendar
- Sticky notes
- Desk organizers
Books, Games & Puzzles
There's always room for downtime with games and books like:
- Board games
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Crossword and sudoku books
Water Bottle & Travel Mug
Keep these ready and/or stashed in your backpack for:
- On-the-go refills
- Less waste
Because not everybody has the same sleep schedule, so you can snooze while your roommate studies.
How do you decorate a dorm room?
Decorating a dorm room requires thinking about your personal style in combination with college essentials, coordinating with your roommate(s) about color schemes, and making your dorm room feel homey, welcoming, and relaxing. Look at art, wall décor & mirrors, candles & diffusers, lamps & lighting and rugs.
What do you need for a dorm room?
For a college dorm, you need the following dorm room essentials: mattress pad, sheets, pillows, comforters and/or quilts OR bedding set, blankets & throws, towels, shower shoes, bathrobe, noise-canceling headphones, portable Bluetooth speaker, planner, notebooks, folders, wall calendar, sticky notes, pens/pencils, highlighters, desk organizers, books, games, puzzles, water bottle, travel mug and sleep mask.
What size rug is right for a dorm room?
You should always find out the dimensions of your dorm room before getting an area, accent or runner rug. Then you can decide if you want rectangular, square, round or a shaped rug.