Skip To Content

    Just 31 Under-$50 Things To Decorate Your Dorm Room

    You won't be able to resist that shell lamp. 👀

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. tiny lamp that'll create a stunning sunset or sunrise right in your dorm room. This is perfect for a college student whose space doesn't get much natural light, but you still want that ✨golden hour✨ vibe.

    Reviewer's lamp casts a warm orange light onto the corner wall of a room
    Reviewer's lamp shows purple and blue light on the wall

    There is just a sunset lamp *or* you can get the 2-in-1 that has the sunset and rainbow option. You can turn both lights on at the same time or just one. Each lamp has seven adjustable levels to change up the light intensity. BTW, it's powered by USB!

    Promising review: "I ordered this lamp as a gift for my husband. We just set up a room in the basement where he keeps his records, films, musical instruments and other fun stuff. We call it the music listening room — he has a stressful job so he really enjoys going down to the basement and listening to a record and turning on some nice mood lighting. I ordered the sunset lamp as a complement to the theme of the room and we just love it. The closer you are to the wall, the more of a defined a circle it will cast, and the farther back you move the lamp you will see more of an ambient light instead. It’s a really cool light that looks great next to our other eclectic lights, lava lamps and such. When not in use, the lamp is very small and discreet, just a few inches high and sits on the desk in the room." —MBA Squared

    Get it from Amazon $17.99+ (available in two colors).

    2. Or a night-light projector to turn your walls and ceiling into a nifty light show. There are five themes to choose from, including constellations and planets. It will feel like you're falling asleep under the stars in your dorm!

    reviewer image of spinning projector light reflecting mulitcolored space images on the walls
    Reviewer image of the nightlight projector in yellow/gold mode

    It powers itself either through USB or three AA batteries, and comes with five different patterns: magical planet, starry star, constellation, undersea world, and even a happy birthday one, which will be very on theme whenever there's a celebration in your household.

    Promising review: "This product is a really nice gift for kids and even adults. The night lamp when lit in the dark room feels like you're out in the woods where there's no city glow, and you're gazing at the stars. The quality of the pixel is really good (sharp images), and the images move around." —Rae Cai

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    3. An abstract tabletop mirror tiny enough to fit on your desk but big enough to work perfectly as your "getting ready" mirror. It's also ~great~ for mirror selfies. 

    wavy shape mirror in wooden stand
    Amazon

    BTW, there is a plastic film on the mirror you're supposed to remove before use! 

    Promising reviews: "Really cute and fits my room really well. I like the color, and it’s a good size!" —Stephani Hernandez

    "I use it to get ready every morning!! So cute, also very easy to clean. Hasn’t cracked no matter how rough I am with it. It’s very light weight and a great gift for yourself or anyone. Definitely worth the price $$!!!" —M. Gonzalez

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    4. A handmade moon phase garland that'll make your dorm room look ~out of this world~. 

    A gold garland strung above a bed with moons in waxing and waning phases strung along it
    Amazon

    If you can't hang things on your walls with a nail or screw, these teeny command hooks will be *perfect* for hanging up all of your art!

    Base Roots is a woman-owned small business based in Las Vegas.

    Promising review: "I'm an incoming freshman this fall and I bought this to add some personality to my dorm. It has beyond exceeded my expectations! I placed it directly on top of my dorm bed as shown in the display photos and am so pleased with how it looks. It fits perfectly with the grey/white color scheme I was going for and have received numerous compliments from both my friends and RAs when they've visited. I cannot stress enough how much of an 'aesthetic feel' it adds to my dorm." —jhsgf

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    5. A flower garland you can use to decorate around your desk so you'll feel like the main character of a Jane Austen novel while you write your college essays. If you have a loft bed, you can wrap the garland around the posts for a whimsical look!

    Garland adorning an indoor bench
    Amazon

    BTW, the pack comes with five garlands, and the photo above is all five of them twisted together to look thick and luscious! 

    Promising review: "So I wanted to go ham on decorating my room, and I thought it’d be really cute to wrap flower garland around my string lights. These were perfect! You get so much and they’re so pretty. I want to get more to put other places in my room — they’re so cute." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in eight styles).

    6. A pom-pom throw that will instantly add ~pizzazz~ to your bed and quite possibly make your dorm-mate jealous! It's *perfect* for cozying up while you watch a flick on your laptop.

    A mustard yellow blanket with pom pom trim on a couch
    Reviewer pic of the mustard yellow throw blanket on their bed

    It's wrinkle and fade-resistant!

    Promising review: "I purchased this pretty throw for my daughter's dorm room. She loves that it’s so lightweight and soft. She wraps herself in it to watch tv after a long day of classes, and she says it feels like a warm hug from mom! Mission Accomplished 😍!" —gagootzah

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in four sizes and 19 colors).

    7. A set of geode bookends so you can keep all of your college textbooks in one place while showing off your impeccable sense of interior style. They're also heavy enough to work as paperweights!

    A reviewer's bookends in natural
    The bookends in pink

    They also look pretty dang gorgeous just sitting there by themselves!

    JIC Gem is a small business that specializes in crystals in healing stones. 

    Promising reviews: "I love it — the rocks are BEAUTIFUL. These are great book holders. I have them across my fireplace mantel and have had nothing but compliments. I highly recommend for the crystal quality, and I’ll definitely be ordering more in other colors in the future. Thanks." —GH

    "I am a college student looking for cute bookends that would hold multiple binders containing loose-leaf books. The 5- to 6-pound bookends passed the test." —GH

    Get a pair from Amazon for $28.99+ (available in six colors and four weights).

    8. An owl table lamp to add a bit of whimsy to your dorm. It comes with a shade *and* an LED lightbulb with a lifespan of 25,000 hours. So basically, almost your entire college life, if you never shut it off!

    Promising review: "One word describes this little lamp: ADORABLE! I'm so happy with it! It isn't a super bright lamp but is brighter than a nightlight and adds a nice touch at the end of my back hallway. Quick shipping and secure packaging made it an easy purchase. I'm so pleased with this lamp and highly recommend it." —SMK

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99.

    9. A neon acrylic frame that can be hung on the wall or stand on its own on your desk. The best part? When light hits it juuust right, it will cast a lovely rainbow all over the dorm walls.

    Reviewer's neon green frame shows a piece of artwork
    A gif showing how easy it is to remove the frame and picture

    Promising review: "Fantastic frame for kids. This frame is fun and easy enough for my child to change out the art. Assembly was a breeze!" —Elizabeth

    Get it from Amazon for $25 (available in eight colors).

    10. A set of fairy lights so you can create a super cozy ambience in your dorm, making your space a relaxing haven to come back to after a long day of classes.

    A photo of the writer's living room with the string lights hung up behind her couch
    Stephanie Hope / BuzzFeed

    It even comes with eight different light modes, including a *twinkle* mode, with a controller attached to the lights so you can easily switch between them. If you need another one for your space, do not fret! You can connect up to five to each other!

    Promising review: "I bought this for my daughter’s dorm room, and it was perfect for taking up great wall space. She loves it! She uses these lights normally at night instead of her main light. My daughter says she gets lots of compliments. They were really easy to hang with command hooks and are very lightweight." —Randa W.

    Get them from Amazon for $18.89+ (available in five colors). 

    11. floral coaster to keep your brand new desk protected from the pesky condensation your energy drinks sweat during your study sessions. Each coaster is handmade using real flowers and leaves, making them super unique! These are also sold individually, which is great because you probably won't need a set of eight in your tiny dorm room.

    Set of transparent coasters with uneven edged gold rim and white pressed flowers inside
    Poppy & Pour / Etsy

    Poppy & Pour is a California-based Etsy shop established in 2020 that specializes in custom flower coasters, keychains, and more.

    Promising review: "I got the surprise option with and without the gold rim, and I’m so happy that I got an even balance of white and multicolored coasters. These are so beautiful, and I can’t wait to use them!" —Jenny H.

    Get it from Poppy & Pour on Etsy for $14+ (available with or without gold trim).

    12. A luxurious duvet cover because sometimes the easiest way to decorate a small space like a dorm room is to change out your bedding! It even comes in 14 colors! 

    A pale purple duvet cover and pillows on a bed
    Amazon

    Each set comes with a duvet cover and two pillowcases. Reviewers mention this can be used for a dorm, but if you have a Twin XL bed, this duvet is a great option!

    Promising review: "I bought this duvet cover for my dorm room. I got the gray color, and it matches the pictures perfectly. Even after washing and drying, the material is wrinkle-free and extremely soft. It will be perfect for the cold months of winter! Great value for the product. The pillowcases are quite large as well, perfect for decorative-type pillows." —Amazon customer

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in sizes Twin – Cal King and in 14 colors).

    Or take a look at some of the other best duvet covers available on Amazon.

    13. And a sweet little dust ruffle so you can hide all of the stuff you've been storing under your bed while simultaneously making your dorm room look ~oh-so-cute~.

    Promising review: "It looks nice on my daughter’s bed in her dorm and hides her extras under her bed." —CRWilliams

    Get it from Amazon for $10.19+ (available in sizes Twin – King and 23 colors).

    14. A gold wire photo wall frame to display photos with your hometown friends, mementos while at college, and other small trinkets. 

    The frame with gold wire triangles with clips holding up three photos
    World Market

    Promising review: "I love this! I put this on my bedroom wall for photos, cards, and inspiration pictures. It's easy to hang, looks great, doesn't take up too much space, and comes with clips. It's easy to change out the photos, too." —lori

    Get it from World Market for $13.99 (originally $19.99).

    15. A floral medallion tapestry that'll cover up your boring dorm walls, adding some ~life~ to your space.

    Large white tapestry with pink, green, and brown flowers in leaves in a circular pattern on the tapestry on a wall in a bedroom
    Reviewer pic of the tapestry above their dorm bed

    It comes with two traceless thumbtacks, two metal clips, and two mounting tapes, so you can hang it however you like.

    Promising review: "It's so cute, and the color is very vibrant. It fits perfectly in my dorm, along the length of my bed. It's a pretty thin and almost stretchy material, but I was still able to iron it to get the wrinkles out. It is lightweight, easy to hang up, and exactly what I wanted." —Michelle Simons

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in medium and large, and in three colors).

    16. disco ball planter to light up your dorm in such a funky way you'll struggle to *not* break into a dance.

    Promising review: "This planter brings me so much joy every day! It is well crafted and beautifully packaged. I appreciate the extra touches, like the fact it comes with a few extra mirrored tiles and that there are different ways to display it — it comes with a stand and nicely braided hanging rope. Every day my whole living room becomes a party. :) I cannot recommend it enough." —Phil

    Get it from Amazon for $29.97.

    17. A delightful ceramic trinket dish so you can add a refreshing pop of color to your otherwise drab desk. Just look at your cute little trinket filled with your earrings, rings, and necklaces when stressing about exams and deadlines. ❤️ 

    eight round trinket dishes in various hand-painted designs
    Redefine Lovely / Etsy

    Redefine Lovely is an Etsy seller that has tons of unique goods and artwork, like hand-painted ceramics, prints, and stickers.

    Promising review: "I bought this item for my sister, and she absolutely loves it!! The details and color of this item were amazing! The seller did an amazing job!!" –Alexa

    Get one from Redefine Lovely on Etsy for $15 (available in nine designs).

    18. A cool vase designed to look like an old-school orange juice carton and will undoubtedly make you want to drink OJ out of a cardboard box again. Maybe the dining hall has some?

    a person holding their vase with flowers inside
    a reviewer photo of the vase filled with flowers on a table

    Promising review: "I couldn't resist this silly vase! It's just as cute as expected in person. I have no complaints at all. I'm very happy with my purchase." —Kaylah

    Get it from Amazon for $25.95.

    19. A realistic moon-shaped light that you can adjust to make brighter or warmer based on your current mood. After that long day of back-to-back classes, you'll want a dim, warm light to relax and enjoy the rest of your night. ~Ahh~. 

    Reviewer holds moon light in hand showing other color / brightness level
    The moon light on its hand-shaped perch

    The USB operated lamp has 4–8 hours of battery life and can be charged quickly within 2–3 hours!

    Promising reviews: "I originally bought the 7-inch moon for my husband as an 'I love you to the moon and back' gift for our anniversary. I loved his moon so much that I kept stealing it from our bedroom and taking it to the living room. So I bought myself the 5.9-inch moon to compare sizes and have one to call my own. As it turns out, the slightly smaller 5.9-inch one is just as amazing as the 7-inch. These moons charge up fast with a cord (with a cool 'blue moon' color when charging), and then once charged, they are completely free from cords or connection dependence. They light up with a very detailed real moon surface design in white or yellow, which will totally mesmerize you. You can literally 'hold the whole moon in your hand' and use it as a cordless and battery-free lamp, a nightlight, a lantern, or a quasi-candle in the dark. The wood stand is sleek, super easy to assemble, and a perfect accent to any room décor. These moons are the best gift for friends, family, co-workers, kids, pets, and spouses." —Amazon Customer

    "So special for science geeks or lovers of nature and all things magical. My son, in his final year of college, loves it! His roommates and guests make positive comments." —Over50AndWise

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in four sizes).

    20. A fluffy area rug so soft, you'll daydream about digging your toes into the shag the second class is over. Plus, it'll make your dorm look so inviting and cozy!

    A fluffy oval shaped area rug by a bed
    Amazon

    It even has rubber spots on the bottom so you don't have to worry about it slipping *or* spending extra money on a slip pad!

    Promising reviews: "Best rug EVER!! No, seriously, it is so soft! I bought this one for our living room. We have a similar rug we purchased at Lowes for three times the price for our bedroom, and my husband and I decided that we would rebuy this one instead. We are actually ordering two more for the baby's room and our middle daughter's room. So many people have complimented this rug and asked us to send them the link!" —Ashley Bryan

    "Worked well for my daughter’s dorm room. She loves it." —K

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in 14 colors).

    21. Or a beautiful runner if you share your dorm and the beds take up way too much room, but you still want something cozy in-between each side.

    The rectangular runner with multi-color diamond-like pattern and border around it in a house
    Amazon

    Promising reviews: "This rug came rolled up in thick plastic, and the quality and colors are just perfect. For the price, this rug is great. It blends well with my decor, and I like the fact that it is soft but seems durable. In addition, it's easy to vacuum to clean. This is what you need if you are looking for a nice-looking, not expensive rug." —Martha

    "Great rug for a great price. Helped make dorm more cozy!" —Carissa Bruton

    Get it from Amazon for $21.50+ (available in two styles and four sizes under $50).

    22. A pearl lamp your college friends will call you ~shellfish~ for when you refuse to tell them where you got it because of how dang darling it is.

    The battery-powered pearl light can be removed from the ceramic shell base and carried around, so you can use it to walk around your dorm room at night without waking up your roommate!

    Promising review: "This is a pretty and unique light but be aware that the battery only lasts about 48 hours, so I removed one star. It is quirky and has unique mood lighting." —T3268

    Get it from Amazon for $35.99+ (available in two colors).

    23. A glass essential oil diffuser so you can decorate your dorm with a gorgeous piece of decor while simultaneously making your room smell heavenly.

    Reviewer pic of a bulb shaped glass oil diffuser with purple and blue firework-esque lighting effects
    Reviewer pic of the same type of diffuser but showing green and blue lighting and putting out a ton of mist at the top

    If you're not allowed to use essential oils, it's still a great way to add some moisture to an otherwise dry room, *and* it provides a lovely light show!

    Promising reviews: "It’s beautiful!! Best oil diffuser I’ve ever had. Everyone is asking me where I got it. It gives off a lot of mist, makes my whole room smell wonderful, and it’s a great conversation piece. Highly recommend it." —Danielle Martinez

    "I never leave reviews, but this deserved one. It’s simply beautiful! I love the light show; it takes me back to my youth in the '70s! It’s easy to use and puts out a lot of steam. It's really nice!" —Kindle Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $29.97+ (available in 10 styles).