Dorm room essentials to add to your back-to-school shopping list

From rugs to mini fridges, our edit of dorm room essentials is full of picks that aren't just functional but also adorable

Young woman at dorm room. It is morning and she is making bed while listening music on headphones, dorm room essentials
(Image credit: Getty)

Heading back to campus? These dorm room essentials will not only make your home away from home extra cozy, but they'll also help you stay productive when it comes time to hit the books. 

All things hygge-cozy but still functional, our edit includes rugs, lamps, chairs and everything else your little oasis might require. Just add one of these plants for an office desk and you'll be in business, er, school!

Now, if you'll excuse us, we're off to the quad for a frisbee catch.

The best dorm room essentials for your college abode:

Back-to-school season has arrived, and that means you can never be too prepared. Now is the time to stock up accordingly, and if you ask us, these items all deserve an A+!

a girls dorm room a bed, desk and shelf with books

(Image credit: svetikd/Getty images)

1. Dorm room rugs


Ophanie Small Area Rug
$16.99 and up

Dorm rooms tend to be drab and dreary, but a pop of color can work wonders in an otherwise bleak space. Place this three-by-five-foot rug beside your bed to up the cozy factor and brighten your quarters. Other sizes, shapes and colors are available.


3'x5 Nathalia Medallion Accent Rug in Blue

If you want your dorm room to have a boho flair, a bold rug is practically a required buy. This vibrant number will look great beside your desk or next to a bookshelf. 


4' X 6' nuLOOM Shanna Shaggy rug

Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, the nuLOOM Shanna Shaggy rug accents a colorful space with just the right amount of texture. If you and your roommate are big on wall decor, messy bookshelves and fancy bedding, a simple, neutral rug will keep it all in check. 

2. Dorm room chairs


Simply Essential™ Foldable Faux Fur Club Chair

Comfy...but not comfy enough to make you fall asleep. Plop into this foldable plush while you're memorizing math equations or the terms for your Spanish vocabulary test.


Room Essentials Corduroy Structured Bean Bag Chair

We're not responsible for what happens when you sink into this plush and cozy bean bag chair. It's probably best to save this one for movie nights instead of study sessions.


Jillche Bed Fluffy Fur Reading Pillow

Fluffy, supportive and eye-catching, this reading pillow is a must for your twin XL-sized bed, especially when you're doing some late-night studying.

3. Dorm room mini fridge


Cooluli 10L Mini Fridge
$76.99 and up

Store your snacks and homemade goodies from mom when she makes a visit to campus. This mini fridge will keep up to 10 liters of items fresh and look adorable in the process.


FRIGIDAIRE Retro Bar Fridge

Store your favorite bites in a functional, retro mini fridge that gives off major '50s vibes. The side bottle opener is a major plus, but don't get any ideas about buying beer unless you're 21-plus!

4. Dorm room wall decor


Room Essential LED Fairy Lights with Metallic Photo Clips

Store your special moments—from campus or back home—right above your bed or desk. There are 20 mini lights per string on a nearly 20-inch chord.  


BILDPoster, pink lipstick 16x20"

For a chic, fashionable statement, look no further than one of IKEA's most beloved prints. 

5. Dorm room storage


Brightroom 3 Tier Metal Cart
RRP: $40

Store books, calculators, art gear and anything else you might need on the road to a 4.0 GPA. It's close to three feet high and features wheels that are able to lock. 


The Novogratz Cache Metal Locker End Table
$159.99, $74.99

Sure, high school is over, but this dead ringer for your senior-year locker is a cute and nostalgic way to store items that you don't want to be visible in your room. Three sizes and five pastel colors are available.  


Squared Away Arrow Weave 6-Shelf Hanging Organizer

Corral your sweaters, jeans, tees and the rest of your wardrobe in this six-shelf organizer, a great space-saving find.

6. Dorm room bedding


Bedsure Grey Twin XL Size Comforter Set

Simple yet chic, this lightweight comforter set begs for fuzzy pillows and cute light fixtures above the bed. This set includes a comforter, flat sheet, fitted sheet, bed skirt, one pillowcase and one pillow sham. 


Simply Essential™ Jersey Twin/Twin XL Comforter 

A soft, reversible, water-resistant comforter that's 55% cotton and 45% polyester, which will keep you warm on cold nights. 

7. Dorm room lights


Simply Essential Spotlight 2-Light Floor Lamp
: $39, $27.30

Two 60-watt lightbulbs to keep your space well-lit when it comes time to pull an all-nighter.


IKEA NÄVLINGE LED clamp spotlight
RRP: $17

Add this to your shelves or headboard for a little extra light when pulling those all-nighters. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.