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For incoming campus-bound freshmen, furnishing your dorm room is pretty much a crash course in small-space living. We've rounded up 100 dorm room ideas to help you outfit your new digs, recreate the comforts of home, and get you settled into college life!
This cotton canvas backpack manages to always look dapper, even if the contents are chaotic. It's equipped with nine pockets, including an interior sleeve to keep your laptop safely separated from your other items. The adjustable, cushioned shoulder straps also allow for a slightly more comfortable feel while schlepping your study materials to the library.
When you've got a full day of classes and exams ahead of you, keep cool by carrying this insulated water bottle from S'Well at all times. Constructed of double-walled stainless steel, it keeps its contents cold (or hot!) all day long, and the marble-patterned exterior makes it one chic desk accessory.
Fancy stationery isn't an everyday necessity for a college student, but when it comes to corresponding with tech-averse grandparents or sending a sincere thank-you note after an internship interview, you'll be more than happy to have these crisp, monogrammed cards from Paper Source on hand.
This is one budget-friendly gym bag that doesn't skimp on the bells and whistles. With numerous color options, six pockets (three are ventilated exterior pockets that allow you to separate pre-gym from post-gym items), and one freshPAK ventilated shoe tunnel, this adidas bag will be a trusty companion for your 4 (or more!) years at school.
Your Netflix night is in for a major upgrade. This Apple TV device features speedy hardware that's compatible with HD and 4K HDR TVs, a sleek remote with touch and voice control, and support for Siri.
You and your roommate will be clamoring for the little space that you have, so make sure that you can safely share the outlets with a surge protector power strip. This circular model includes six outlets and four USB ports, and its cord extends up to 6 feet long.
This initial-adorned stoneware mug is perfect for making mug cakes or cups of hot cocoa on snow days, but it's also a cute (and affordable!) idea for a roommate birthday or holiday present. We love that the pattern and color scheme is a little bit different for each letter.
Torrential downpour? Raging snowstorm? This ab wheel lets you roll out a rigorous workout right from your dorm room, without braving the elements. In addition to your abs, it'll also indirectly work your back, shoulders, and arms.
We love this 12-month weekly/monthly planner from Blue Sky for its cute cover designs and convenient spiral binding, but it's also a lightweight hardcover planner that won't feel like you're lugging around an extra textbook! Each clean-lined weekly page lays out the week's agenda on the left and a breakdown of all of your personal to-dos and goals on the right to help you excel in and out of the classroom.
Bean bags are nothing special, but this Chill Sack will make your dorm room everybody's favorite place to Netflix-binge. If you have enough floor space (it's a whopping 5 feet wide), it's a sumptuously soft seat for two people to get cozy, and it's stuffed with shredded memory foam, so it actually feels supportive enough to nap on.
Padding around in shower shoes (aka your oldest pair of flip-flops) is a small drawback to dorm-style living. Make up for it with this super-soft bathrobe with animal ears on the hood — it'll bring a little comfort and cuteness to your bathing ritual.
Babyliss Pro's compact dryer is the ideal blow-dry tool for those short on space — its folding handle shrinks the device to a mere 5.5 inches! It also features dual voltage, and it's infused with pure gemstone tourmaline crystals that fight off frizz.
Stock your mini fridge with a Brita pitcher, which gives you and your roommates crisp, great-tasting filtered water whenever you need it. It removes traces of copper, mercury, and cadmium from your water, and it even includes a light-up indicator on the top so you know when to change the filter.
Parents, this one's for you! Gift a college-bound kid a sweet parting present before they drive away from home and into a new chapter of their life. They can finally get that thing they've been dying to get from Amazon on your dime.
Bargain bin pillows these are not! The Coop Home Goods Eden pillow is stuffed with shredded memory foam to provide a comfortable balance of sink and support for virtually any sleeper. The pillow can also be opened up to take out some of the stuffing if it feels too lofty. It's like a custom pillow!
Whether for posting up mementos, class syllabi, or simply for leaving notes for your roomie, opt for a cork bulletin board to pin everything in place. This stylish pick features gold-arrow accents, and it can be bought in multiples, so you can customize your setup, depending on the amount of space you have.
At the semester's end, you'll probably be ready to recycle your mountain of handouts and notes. But don't throw everything away! If you're continuing your studies in a certain subject, stash your old notes in this eight-pocket file folder, so you always have them available for reference.
This 20-by-20-inch polyester pillow from Dormify is generously sized and stuffed for your Netflix-binging enjoyment. Its marble design adds a hint of pattern to the impeccably decorated dorm.
Class up your dorm-room decor by taking a page out of the design-blog playbook. Floor lamps cast a flattering and much more sophisticated light on your space than overhead lighting. This two-toned pick from CB2 just feels ever-current and rich with detail — even the inside of the black shade has a brass-plated finish.
Tried and true, Annie's Organic Cheddar Bunnies are one of the O.G. healthy snacks on the market. Baked instead of fried and made from whole grains, these continue to be a great alternative to other salty or greasy dorm snack foods.
Because home is where the string lights are. Hang this copper-wire LED photo-clip strand around your bookshelf, desk, or headboard to add atmosphere with an Insta-ready flair!
This sewing kit includes spare buttons, snaps, and safety pins, plus plenty of different hues of polyester thread, to easily mend any sartorial malfunctions you might experience along the way.
For those of you who do your best work in bed, don't scorch the tops of your legs supporting an overheated laptop! While better suited for writing and tablet use, this bean-bag bed tray helps you work comfortably from any seated position. The surface includes a narrow slot to hold your phone, an elastic corner strap for keeping your papers and pens in place, and a protruding lip at the base to keep both of your hands free.
Make laundry day feel a little less like a chore by loading your dirty linens into this handy knapsack. A drawstring top on this thick nylon bag ensures that no stray socks or underwear slip out on the way to the laundry room, and its roomy zippered pocket can hold a small bottle of detergent or a few dryer balls.
Looking for a more refined way to display framed prints and posters that's still dorm-room-friendly? Stick this picture ledge from Command to your wall, and easily lean the artwork against it! With a 5-pound weight capacity, it grips firmly while being able to cleanly be removed without leaving a trace. The ledge can also be repurposed to hold makeup, small figurines, or desk supplies.
Need a break from the cafeteria? This genius device allows you to whip up a home-cooked pasta dinner, without needing a stovetop. Just fill it with filtered water and pasta, microwave, then drain it! The tomato sauce is completely up to you.
Roommate notes will never be the same. Spell it out on this retro-style felt letter board, equipped with 290 letters, numbers, and punctuation characters.
An essential oil diffuser is great to have in your stress-busting toolkit. A dorm-friendly way to wind down, these devices ultrasonically vaporize water and your essential oil of choice to emit a subtle (not overpowering) scent, allowing the user to partake in the benefits of aromatherapy without using candles or incense. This device's warm white glow works wonderfully as a nightlight, and it will shut off automatically on a 1- or 3-hour timer, or when it runs out of water.
When you have to make it to an 8 a.m. lab, leave nothing to chance. This memory foam topper adds a generous 4 inches to your dorm-issued mattress, making it a downright dreamy place to crash.
This brassy bin from Umbra is actually made of plastic, making it perfect for a dorm suite bathroom, or even just for under your desk.
Instead of rifling through your cosmetic case every day, give this make-up organizer a spin! Not only does it rotate 360-degrees, but it includes removable partitions that an accommodate different-sized products, so you can adjust it as your beauty routine expands.
It's rare for the college student to be rich in closet space, so enlist all the help you can get. This shoe organizer has a simple and sturdy particle-board structure that can be positioned upright or horizontal, depending on your closet layout. The simple cubby setup lets you clearly display your kicks and build on it in a seamless, cohesive way, should your shoe collection rapidly expand.
Dorms these days look more like apartments than student living spaces, and the easiest way to achieve a more grown-up look is to opt for minimalist, yet budget-friendly furniture pieces that'll coordinate seamlessly, no matter how many times you move around on campus. This nightstand is a fantastic replacement for plastic-bin drawers — it provides two levels of surface space, plus a lower drawer for under-wraps storage.
Travel through windy weather without fear of breaking your umbrella before your first class even starts. This pick features a rain-resistant double canopy, along with the fiberglass and stainless steel spokes that prevent the umbrella from inverting and breaking while you're on the go. Users tout its compact size for easy portability and the satin-rubber handle that feels secure in the hand.
This mini fridge may not have a flashy exterior, but its interior has everything you could possibly need (and it also comes in black and white). It's stocked with fruit and vegetable drawers, a sizable and separate freezer, and shelving that can be moved around. It even has reversible doors in case you need to fit it into a tight space!
Storage doesn't have to look like an afterthought in a room. This top-rated fabric drawer may be inexpensive and no-frills, but it's available in a wide range of shades, so you can pick the one that blends best with your dorm decor.
If your dorm allows them, take this trio of succulents with you to add a little life to your work desk. They only need a little bit of water every 10 days or so, and they're the perfect pre-pet responsibility until you move off-campus!
Who needs icebreaker games when you have? This amazing portable lounge chair provides instant seating out on the sprawling quad. The magic is in its ability to instantly inflate. Just swing the nylon tube around in the air a few times, secure with a clip at the end, and then sit back and relax.
Candles are a hard "no" in nearly all dorms. Luckily, this flickering set of remote-control-operated wax candles creates a faux-fire glow in your living space that looks just as magical as the real thing.
This vertical organizer from PBteen isn't cheap, but it may be the cutest over-the-door storage unit out there. Store seasonal accessories, jewelry, toiletries, or any other little extras here where they'll be out of the way, but easily accessible.
Even though homemade leftovers may be few and far between, don't waste your money on another plastic set of storage containers that could melt in the microwave. Rubbermaid's Brilliance line of food storage containers is one of the most intelligently designed options out there — from their microwave-safe build that allows you to vent the lids to the rounded shapes that fit together seamlessly in storage. The lids also snap on tightly, so you can transport soups and stews without any leakage. Made from sturdy, stain-free plastic, this set is also dishwasher- and freezer-safe.
A fine complement to guac, hummus, or even nachos, opt for these party-ready and nutritious multigrain chips from Food Should Taste Good.
One of the most popular instant film cameras around, the quirky-looking Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 can capture credit-card-sized prints to make instant keepsakes.
You'll likely be carrying your laptop with you to class every day, so keep it covered in a sturdy sleeve that you'll also enjoy looking at! We love this design from Society6, which is covered with a thick polyester weave and lined with soft microfiber to prevent scratching.
The Gain Flings detergent pacs are not only super portable, but they're also great for students constantly running loads of gym and sports laundry. Each little pac contains Oxiboost and Febreeze solution, making each wash smell totally clean and heavenly.
How will you be able to host Riverdale watching parties without a sleek monitor? This 4K smart TV from Toshiba was developed in collaboration with Amazon, and it runs a full-fledged version of FireOS, so you have access to over 15,000 channels and apps that make it a must-have for modern dorm living.
Strength-train on your own schedule with a set of dumbbells. These affordable hand weights vary in weight, so you can alternate between a few different sets for muscle targeting. Their neoprene coating is also floor-friendly, so you don't have to worry about scuffing up that dorm-room linoleum!
Leave your flimsy clothing hangers behind. These top-rated 12-packs are touted for their durability, and they're able to hold up to the weight of your winter jackets without warping.
Eke out all of the space you can from those college-issued closets. This six-tier organizer lets you keep your clothes folded up front-and-center. The extra storage potential you gain is well worth the precious rack space it takes up.
You may not need a full-sized vacuum for your dorm, but this teeny-tiny hand-held pick is just right for sucking up crumbs or anything else that's in too small of a crevice for your Swiffer to sweep up.
Even if the sun is shining now, you'll want to be prepared for the inevitable wet weather. UGG's Kesey boot was practically built for trekking across the quad on stormy or snowy days, thanks to its waterproof construction and plush wool lining.
How are your disc-throwing skills these days? A few rounds of Kan-Jam on the quad are sure to sharpen your aim. This four-player game is comprised of two flexible plastic cans with an open top and slotted front. The goal is to hit the can with the disk, shoot it through the slot, or have your teammate assist you in doing either to gain points! First team to get 21 points wins.
With a velvety texture and a trendy floral design, this lofty floor pillow adds a cozier, communal feel to the average TV night in the dorm. It also doesn't hurt that this sturdy pick rings up at well under $100!
Ideal for off-campus dwellers, save a few dollars on your daily caffeine habit with this mini Keurig brewing machine. It's compatible with all types of K-cup pods, and its 7-inch width takes up only a minimal amount of counter space.
Find your center, even on your dorm room floor. This yoga mat's nonslip surface has a thick, cushioned build that's much more gentle on your feet, knees, and wrists, especially as you move into balancing poses.
For the student cutting back on the coffee during study sessions, this tea blend from Wize Monkey offers a lovely substitute.
It's made from the leaves of arabica coffee plants, which is an underutilized part of the plant that's still lightly caffeinated and contains antioxidants, and it's flavored with bergamot oil for that unmistakable Earl Grey flavor. It helps provide energy to the drinker without the jittery (and insomnia-inducing) side effects.
While you may not love sleeping on a Twin XL-sized mattress for the next few years, you should definitely find a comforter that you're crazy about. This bedding set from Urban Outfitters is available in six different colors, and it comes bundled with a comforter, fitted and flat sheet, pillowcase, and matching laundry bag. It also has a casual, lightweight texture with luxuriant softness to keep you feeling snug all night long.
Pick up these bad boys in bulk. Not only do these Kind Bars contain a blend of peanuts and dark chocolate, but they're loaded with 7 grams of protein so you feel more full.
For the English major or voracious bookworm, you probably don't want to tote around an extra "just-for-fun" hardcover in addition to your regular workload. Consider the Paperwhite for lightweight, backlit reading and a vast selection of titles on the Amazon Kindle Store (that are usually discounted from the book version!). The battery life is excellent, too — it can last up to six weeks on a single charge.
These disinfecting wipes can be run across keyboards, doorknobs, desks, or personal fitness equipment to get rid of 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, and they'll definitely come in handy when the cold or flu starts circulating around the dorm.
Don't leave for school without a new top-of-the-line laptop. The MacBook Pro (available in a 13- or 15-inch version) is sleeker and more powerful than the previous model. Apple's site lets you choose the specifications for the machine's processor, amount of memory and storage, and even the backlit keyboard's language. It also has a super-responsive trackpad, a display with exceptional quality, and great battery life.
Sometimes a simple, low-tech solution is all you need to catch those elusive zzz's. While these are great for muffling the sound of your night-owl neighbors, we also highly recommend tossing a couple pairs of these earplugs into your weekender bag, because you never know how quiet and calm your sleeping arrangements can really be when crashing in a friend's dorm.
When floor space can't be sacrificed, over-the-door storage is your best bet for keeping towels and robes dry and organized. This 12-hook rack keeps it all hidden behind your door, freeing up your wall space for more decorative use.
You most likely have plenty of overhead lighting in your workspace, but this PBteen desk lamp, clad in either gold or white, draws your focus to the task at hand — and makes your dorm feel much more homey.
This lounger is a vast improvement from the bean bag chairs of yesteryear. With a reinforced-stitch cotton cover and durable polystyrene fill, it's a seat that strikes the perfect structured balance between firm and cushy.
Take your carafe of caffeine to go with this vacuum-insulated travel mug, which keeps hot beverages hot for 5 hours and cold beverages cold for 14. It even allows for one-handed maneuvering — just push the button to sip.
Keep your accessories and dorm room extras from cluttering up your closets with these simple underbed storage boxes from PBteen. Available in four chic shades (gray, chambray, charcoal, and navy), their build is flexible and collapsable, so even oddly shaped items can finally have a home.
If you're part of one of those kindred roomie pairs who have already collaborated on a color scheme before move-in day, opt for this rug to tie the whole look together. Constructed of hand-tufted Indian wool, the watercolor palette makes a modern, stylish statement and makes your dorm instantly feel a whole lot more like home.
Popcorn is a dorm-room mainstay, but this is one particularly notable variety. Popped in small batches by hand, Pipcorn's small truffle-flavored kernels are a sophisticated snack for any time of the day. Plus, the popcorn in these 4-ounce bags have extra tiny hulls, which are less likely to get stuck in your teeth.
Streamline the desk mess before it even happens. This five-piece desk organization unit from Poppin comes with a set of 12 pens, and it gives you all of the cubbies and compartments you could ever need for supplies and loose papers. It comes in a variety of shades and is totally modular, so you can set it up however it makes sense for your workflow.
What you gain in freedom when moving out of the house, you lose in bathroom privacy once the reality of communal living sets in. Keep your shower accoutrements corralled into one of these easy-to-carry mesh caddies. This option includes a long 20-inch hanging strap and a multitude of roomy compartments.
College-issued beds usually aren't high enough to fit a myriad of underbed storage containers, so investing in risers (that you'll use for all four years and beyond!) are a must. This set from Studio 3B even comes with one rechargeable riser that can power up small devices within an arm's reach.
Independent living becomes an instant lesson in how much work it takes to keep a space looking spick and span. Keep the dust bunnies at bay with this Swiffer starter kit, and instead of using disposable liners, sweep your floors with a washable microfiber cloth for a more effective and greener clean.
It may not be used for your day-to-day wardrobe, but you'll be exceedingly grateful to have this compact tabletop ironing board once interviews and university formals roll around. Its short legs fold flat underneath to allow for easy out-of-the-way storage.
Film majors need to be able to save feature-length projects on an external hard drive to work on them on the go or in the computer lab. Available with up to 2TB of memory and compatible with both PCs and Macs, the colorful Transcend StoreJet 25M3 is one rugged hard drive that can take a beating, yet still keeps files intact.
When words simply aren't enough, memes step in to convey the absurd specificities of life. This dorm-room card game is comprised of two different decks — a photo deck and a caption deck. With each turn, everyone picks a caption card from their hand to match the photo card drawn by the judge. The judge determines which meme is the funniest, and the game continues rotating judges as long as everybody wants.
Don't relegate your scarves to the sock drawer. This copper-colored device solves your storage conundrum by hanging in your closet and holding all of your favorite accessories right where you can see them.