Headed off to college? Congratulations! Not to get too hokey, but moving into a dorm is a big milestone. For many young people, it’s the first time they’re living away from home without all the usual comforts you’ve taken for granted. It’s important to create a good living space—your room should be a haven that offers relief from all the stresses of academic life.
We picked 30 items that will make sure you have a clean, peaceful and, most importantly, comfortable dorm room.
Get Some Really Good Bed Sheets500 Thread Count Cotton Sheets Set
Sleeping in a dorm room almost every night for nine months straight means comfortable sheets will be key. Isabella Crawford’s 500-thread count sheets are made from soft and durable pima cotton, the next best thing to Egyptian cotton, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay Egyptian cotton prices.
Comfort From Head to ToeZuma Therapeutic Foam Wedge Pillow
Dorm room desk chairs aren’t known for their comfort, and you probably won’t have room for a recliner, so you’ll likely be sitting on your bed a lot. Rest this Brentwood Home foam wedge pillow against the wall or headboard and you’re all set for back support.
A Solution for Bedside EssentialsKikkerland Bedside Caddy
Reading in bed is great until realizing you have to get up to put your book or tablet down on your desk, because you don’t have a nightstand. The simple but elegant bedside caddy by Kikkerland gives you a place to store everything from reading materials to your electronics needed for long nights and early mornings.
Over-the-Door StorageSimpleHouseware Hanging Shoe Organizer
Though SimpleHouseware primarily presents this storage tool as a hanging shoe organizer, it works for a lot more than shoes. In the likely event of there not being much individual closet space, hanging this on the room’s front door makes for the perfect shareable space saver for shoes and accessories.
Get Your Drawers SortedEvelots Drawer Organizer
You could just shove everything into one drawer and waste time every morning rooting around for what to wear. Or you can use the Evelots honeycomb drawer organizer to create individual compartments for underwear, socks, ties, scarves and other items to view your options at a glance and pick something quick.
Desktop Storage for Small ItemsUmbra Tuck Jewelry Box
Most people see this tuck box by Umbra as a place to keep jewelry. Sure, you can use it for that, but it’s also a simple, unobtrusive, elegant solution to desktop storage space. When closed, it’s a chic bamboo box, but turn the walls to reveal the three smaller boxes inside, and you’ve got room for all sorts of things.
Hands-Free RelaxationTablet Stand Pillow Holder
Even if you’re lucky enough to get a couch to yourself, you’ll still want this tablet stand pillow holder from Ideas in Life to hold your Kindle, iPad or other tablet device. This tablet stand frees your hands from having to hold the device for hours while minimizing back and neck pain.
Turn Your Bed Into a DeskTaoTronics Laptop Desk
"I feel stuffy and suffocated with a heavy laptop on my lap, and I usually like having the screen quite close to my face so having it on my lap is annoying. I also notice that I sort of slouch down to see the screen better and it was really irritating my back," says one reviewer who needed a change.
Take Notes On Your RefrigeratorIgloo Dry Eraser Board Refrigerator
Igloo’s dry eraser board refrigerator is as simple as it is brilliant. Instead of having to buy a magnetic whiteboard that will probably end up falling off at some point, why not just make the refrigerator door a dry-erase board?
Make Your Own Soft DrinksSodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker
Have you ever thought about how much soft drinks cost, not to mention the environmental impact of all those cans and plastic bottles? With SodaStream, you can make your own sparkling water and add whatever flavors you want without loading up on sugar or caffeine.
Fancy a Cup of Tea?AmazonBasics Electric Hot Water Kettle
The stainless steel portable electric hot water kettle from AmazonBasics will prove its worth the first night you have to stay up studying for a big test. It holds up to one liter of water—enough to make several cups of tea, hot chocolate or coffee—and gets to the boiling point almost instantly, then automatically shuts down for safety.
Space-Saving HangersAmazonBasics Velvet Suit Hangers
Some people say you shouldn’t bring all your clothes with you to college, because they won’t all fit in a small closet. Well, we say that’s because you’re using fat plastic hangers. Get a set of AmazonBasics velvet suit hangers instead.
A Mirror That Fits AnywhereMirrotek Full Length Dressing Mirror
This full-length hanging mirror from Mirrotek with the cherry finish isn’t the least expensive model you can find, but "it definitely looks more expensive than it actually is," according to one reviewer, bringing a "sleek and clean" accent to your dorm room.
A Lightweight Laundry ToteMesh Popup Laundry Hamper
When a traditional plastic laundry bucket is not being used, it just sits there taking up a huge chunk of floor space. Plus, it’s a heavy hassle to carry all the way to the laundry room. That’s why you need a Handy Laundry mesh popup laundry hamper.
A Warm and Cozy RugPAGISOFE Area Shag Rugs
A shag rug for your dorm room may seem excessive, but just wait until you wake up some winter morning and put your bare feet on the cold tile floor.
"If you are looking for a chic look and comfort on a budget, this is it!" one reviewer raves.The rug is a little over 5 feet long and just under 4 feet wide, covering plenty of floor space. If you spill any food crumbs, just go over it with a hand vacuum, or, though hand washing is recommended, many reviewers say they throw it in the washing machine without a problem.
Sturdy and Useful Desk OrganizersMetal Mesh Storage Baskets
Mind Reader’s mesh storage baskets might look like they’re better suited for a corporate office than a college dorm room but, trust us on this, simple and functional is a great look for your desk or chest of drawers. Or you can easily slip these containers under your bed or in the closet.
Hit the ShowersHandy Laundry Shower Caddy
Odds are your bathroom is going to be all the way at the other end of the hall. You’re going to make that long walk every day, so you’ll definitely want Handy Laundry’s shower caddy tote. Its seven compartments have more than enough space for soap, shampoo, conditioner and anything else you need to get through your morning regimen.
Have Fun with Mood LightingWaterproof Copper String Light
One of the least attractive aspects of any dorm room is the harsh institutional overhead lighting. 12APM’s string lights offer a fun alternative—a 66-foot string of copper wire with 200 LED lights that bring a "sweet and bright" glow to your walls or ceiling.
Maximize Your Desktop SpaceSimpleHouseware Desk Monitor Stand Riser
You should always try to keep your computer monitor at eye level, so you don’t hurt your back and neck hunching over the screen. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in your dorm room staring at your computer, you’ll want this monitor stand from SimpleHouseware.
Keep the Cable TogetherJOTO Cord Management System
We shouldn’t have to push you too hard on this one. You have electronic stuff at home, so you should know that everything with a cord always gets tangled up behind the desk or entertainment center. That is, unless you get yourself a cable management sleeve like JOTO’s.
“The Best Speaker I’ve Ever Purchased”Cambridge Sound Works Bluetooth Portable Speaker
The Oontz Angle 3 from Cambridge Sound Works is an extremely popular wireless speaker option. One reviewer calls it "the best speaker I’ve ever purchased," praising the great sound and long battery life. Another reviewer says it’s "more than I would expect" for a speaker at this inexpensive price point, "and it sounds really good in the entire room."
Perfect Lighting for Every SituationLAMPAT LED Desk Lamp
LAMPAT’s LED desk lamp has been called "the best desk lamp I've ever owned in terms of practicality and functionality."It has four preset modes for studying, reading, relaxing and napping. You can also fine tune five levels of brightness on each mode and even set a timer to shut the lamp down after 30 or 60 minutes.
Keep Cool With ACHoneywell Whole Room Tower Fan
Chances are your dorm room isn’t going to be air-conditioned. Depending on where you’re going to school, that could be a problem at the start or end of the school year, so you might want to take a look at Honeywell’s QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan.