back to top
Shopping

31 Things That'll Make Your Dorm Feel More Like Home

~Lemme lemme upgrade~... those blank cinderblock walls.

Posted on

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

1. A two-inch, memory foam mattress topper because unless you're bringing your bed from home, you're going to want some extra comfort while you sleep.

Promising review: "Most people know how college mattresses are. Once I purchased this, I overslept classes once or twice from a great night sleep. So much better and super comfortable. Able to be packed into a large crate over the summer and had no problem with it. I would recommend though to take it out here and there to breathe out and 're-fluff'." —Stephen LowtherGet it from Amazon for $43.99+ (available in sizes twin-California king), or a similar one from Walmart for $55.15+ (available in sizes twin-California king).
amazon.com

Promising review: "Most people know how college mattresses are. Once I purchased this, I overslept classes once or twice from a great night sleep. So much better and super comfortable. Able to be packed into a large crate over the summer and had no problem with it. I would recommend though to take it out here and there to breathe out and 're-fluff'." —Stephen Lowther

Get it from Amazon for $43.99+ (available in sizes twin-California king), or a similar one from Walmart for $55.15+ (available in sizes twin-California king).

2. A free-standing cork board with cactus pins so you have a special place to display all your summer memories as you head into the school year.

Get it from ModCloth for $22.
modcloth.com

Get it from ModCloth for $22.

3. A comfy round chair to give you seating that's not your lofted bed. Just think of all the Netflix— I mean, studying! — you'll do curled up on this thing!

Get it from PB Teen for $159, or something similar from Amazon for $39.99+.
pbteen.com

Get it from PB Teen for $159, or something similar from Amazon for $39.99+.

Advertisement

4. A set of extra-long string lights you can hang anywhere in your dorm to add some warmth and charm.

Promising review: "With how inexpensive these lights are, I wasn't really expecting anything spectacular. I figured they'd get the job done and look pretty. After owning these lights for a little while, I can say that I am genuinely shocked by their excellent quality. They look beautiful and are the perfect color to add some warmth to my apartment. I've been getting nonstop compliments whenever someone new comes over! The wire is thin but resistant; I've bent it every which way during the multiple times I've rearranged my lights and have yet to experience any damage. I'm now positive I'll be getting years and years of use out of these!" —HGet it from Amazon for $16.99.
Amazon Customer / amazon.com

Promising review: "With how inexpensive these lights are, I wasn't really expecting anything spectacular. I figured they'd get the job done and look pretty. After owning these lights for a little while, I can say that I am genuinely shocked by their excellent quality. They look beautiful and are the perfect color to add some warmth to my apartment. I've been getting nonstop compliments whenever someone new comes over! The wire is thin but resistant; I've bent it every which way during the multiple times I've rearranged my lights and have yet to experience any damage. I'm now positive I'll be getting years and years of use out of these!" —H

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

5. A tall headboard that can easily be mounted to a wall with Velcro so that once-drab dorm room feels more like you.

Get it from Gray Whale Home on Etsy for $108+ (available in five styles and nine colors).
etsy.com

Get it from Gray Whale Home on Etsy for $108+ (available in five styles and nine colors).

6. A plush robe to keep you nice and cozy on those long walks to and from the bathroom. Honestly, is this acceptable to wear to class?

Promising review: "Love this robe so much! I was definitely in need of a new one and wanted a really cute one for college since I'll have to be walking around my dorm hall in it coming and going from the bathroom showers. It is so soft." —Amazon CustomerGet it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in sizes S-XL, and 19 style and color combinations).
amazon.com / Kimberly / amazon.com

Promising review: "Love this robe so much! I was definitely in need of a new one and wanted a really cute one for college since I'll have to be walking around my dorm hall in it coming and going from the bathroom showers. It is so soft." —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in sizes S-XL, and 19 style and color combinations).

7. A customized pillow of your pet that'll make you feel like they're snuggled up right next to you.

Get it from AURE on Etsy for $38.95+ (available in sizes seven sizes).
etsy.com

Get it from AURE on Etsy for $38.95+ (available in sizes seven sizes).

Advertisement

8. A bedside organizer for storing all your essentials within arms reach because it's now up to you, yes you, to keep your stuff in one place.

Plus, you could store some snacks in here and you're parents won't be around to judge you for eating cosmic brownies at 11 p.m.Get it from PB Teen for $39, or something similar (and smaller) from Amazon for $6.88+.
pbteen.com

Plus, you could store some snacks in here and you're parents won't be around to judge you for eating cosmic brownies at 11 p.m.

Get it from PB Teen for $39, or something similar (and smaller) from Amazon for $6.88+.

9. An Instax gallery photo frame so you can reminisce about special moments — or use it as a shrine to your pet, either or.

Get it from Urban Outfitters for $29 (available in two frame colors).
urbanoutfitters.com

Get it from Urban Outfitters for $29 (available in two frame colors).

10. A set of faux succulents in cute' lil bowls that'll add life to your room...just without all the responsibility.

amazon.com, Amazon Customer / amazon.com

Promising review: "These little fake succulent pieces are so cute and adorable. Since I cannot keep a plant alive for the life of me, I decided to go artificial this time to give our living space a more natural, chic vibe. These really do look real and I've received a few compliments from guests already." —CRossi

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

11. A Himalayan salt lamp because you can never have too many lighting options.

Promising review: "This product is great! It has a dimmer, which allows you to adjust the amount of light to what you prefer depending on the time of day. It's perfect for my college dorm. I would recommend this to everyone." —Roshana OstowariGet it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available with or without a base).
amazon.com

Promising review: "This product is great! It has a dimmer, which allows you to adjust the amount of light to what you prefer depending on the time of day. It's perfect for my college dorm. I would recommend this to everyone." —Roshana Ostowari

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available with or without a base).

Advertisement

12. An area rug to tie your entire space together and hide that unsightly laminate tile.

I have this exact rug in the burgundy color, and it has held up so well over the past two years I have had it. It vacuums nicely and is extremely stain resistant — I would know, I'm constantly dropping food on it. I'll admit I was skeptical because rugs of this size can cost hundreds and this one obviously did NOT, but the quality is there! Get. This. Rug.Get it from Amazon for $32.03+ (available in eight standard sizes and nine colors).
amazon.com

I have this exact rug in the burgundy color, and it has held up so well over the past two years I have had it. It vacuums nicely and is extremely stain resistant — I would know, I'm constantly dropping food on it. I'll admit I was skeptical because rugs of this size can cost hundreds and this one obviously did NOT, but the quality is there! Get. This. Rug.

Get it from Amazon for $32.03+ (available in eight standard sizes and nine colors).

13. A shaggy, faux-fur pillow cover for transforming your bed into a fluffy heaven you'll love sinking into after class. Plus, it comes in tons of colors so you have ~options~.

amazon.com, Eduardo Gonzalez amazon.com

Promising review: "I am in love with this pillow cover. The blush color is stunning. There is no shedding, and it's extremely soft and luxurious. The backside is very well-made in a faux-suede that matches perfectly. Fantastic price too. Thanks Amazon!" —Eduardo Gonzalez

Get it from Amazon for $10.49+ (available in 23 color and style combinations).

Psst! This is *JUST* the pillow cover. You can get a set of two pillow inserts for $18.99.

14. A desk organizer that'll keep all your textbooks in neat order so you're not pulling one-nighters in the midst of a total disaster.

Promising review: "I am extremely happy with my purchase. I am in the process of creating my study room. I needed a few shelves to organize my desk/give me more space to work with. This shelving unit is extremely well made. You can adjust how you want the item to stand on your desk since they are two separate pieces. The instructions are a little confusing at first, but once you start assembling it, it starts to make sense. I really enjoyed them giving me an extra screw in case I lost one. They also give you a little screwdriver for you to use which is very considerate on their part." —Amazon CustomerGet it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in four colors).
amazon.com

Promising review: "I am extremely happy with my purchase. I am in the process of creating my study room. I needed a few shelves to organize my desk/give me more space to work with. This shelving unit is extremely well made. You can adjust how you want the item to stand on your desk since they are two separate pieces. The instructions are a little confusing at first, but once you start assembling it, it starts to make sense. I really enjoyed them giving me an extra screw in case I lost one. They also give you a little screwdriver for you to use which is very considerate on their part." —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in four colors).

15. A roll of marble contact paper you can use to add glam to literally anything in your dorm — like picture frames, side tables, lamps, and the list goes on.

Promising review: "I have re-ordered this about four times now for a shelf project. It looks really good! The application was really easy, as well as pulling it back up and reapplying on a painted shelf. I used a heat gun on low to help my corners get nice and square. The pattern is really pretty and looks beautiful. I did have the small bubbles on one shelf but using a small needle I poked a hole and used the heat gun on low to seal it. User tip! If you are folding it over edges, use a hairdryer or heat gun on low to get it to crease perfectly." —JenniferGet it from Amazon for $7.88+.
amazon.com / ANS / amazon.com

Promising review: "I have re-ordered this about four times now for a shelf project. It looks really good! The application was really easy, as well as pulling it back up and reapplying on a painted shelf. I used a heat gun on low to help my corners get nice and square. The pattern is really pretty and looks beautiful. I did have the small bubbles on one shelf but using a small needle I poked a hole and used the heat gun on low to seal it. User tip! If you are folding it over edges, use a hairdryer or heat gun on low to get it to crease perfectly." —Jennifer

Get it from Amazon for $7.88+.

Advertisement

16. A laser-cut, wood monogram to give those sad, bare walls a personalized touch.

Get it from Woodums Wood Decor on Etsy for $19.99+ (available in four sizes).
etsy.com

Get it from Woodums Wood Decor on Etsy for $19.99+ (available in four sizes).

17. A tapestry for your wall, bed, or futon because nothing beats effortless *and* affordable decor.

Amazon Customer / amazon.com, D. Hargrave / amazon.com

Promising review: "I don’t often leave reviews, but there is so much garbage on Amazon that I had to. This tapestry feels like cotton — it’s as thick as a good quality bed sheet. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the thickness! I am super happy with this and it's one of the best purchases I have made off Amazon in a while. It’s pretty and really looks great on the wall." —Elle

Get it from Amazon for 12.99+ (available in five sizes and six colors).

18. A customizable whiteboard with pre-filled days to make it easy to write the week's activities and then erase for the next.

And it's cute, so there's that. You can also buy it with or without a frame.Get it from Circle & Square on Etsy for $24+.
etsy.com

And it's cute, so there's that. You can also buy it with or without a frame.

Get it from Circle & Square on Etsy for $24+.

19. A set of blackout curtains you'll be extremely grateful for on Saturdays. These come in multiple lengths so you should be able to find one that works with your dorm!

Just make sure there are rods already installed or that you can screw some into the wall. Get an expandable rod for $24.99. Promising review: "I'm really pleased with these blackout curtains! These curtains really do a miraculous job of darkening your room! I tried shining a flashlight through the curtains, and placed it directly over sunlight to see if any light would leak through, and nothing did! The tie-backs are also really simple to use and come with Velcro. I don't have any complaints about these curtains, but I will say that they are indeed very simple, no-frills curtains." —AJGet them from Amazon for $29.95+ (available in five sizes and nine colors).
amazon.com

Just make sure there are rods already installed or that you can screw some into the wall. Get an expandable rod for $24.99.

Promising review: "I'm really pleased with these blackout curtains! These curtains really do a miraculous job of darkening your room! I tried shining a flashlight through the curtains, and placed it directly over sunlight to see if any light would leak through, and nothing did! The tie-backs are also really simple to use and come with Velcro. I don't have any complaints about these curtains, but I will say that they are indeed very simple, no-frills curtains." —AJ

Get them from Amazon for $29.95+ (available in five sizes and nine colors).

Advertisement

20. An LED essential oil diffuser so you can get your zen on during stressful test weeks.

Promising review: "This diffuser is easy to use, easy to clean, and the perfect size for my nightstand. The lights look amazing without drawing too much focus or being bright enough to irritate the eye. I'm in love!" —mimidiamondsGet it from Urban Outfitters for $65, or something similar from Amazon for $44.97.
urbanoutfitters.com

Promising review: "This diffuser is easy to use, easy to clean, and the perfect size for my nightstand. The lights look amazing without drawing too much focus or being bright enough to irritate the eye. I'm in love!" —mimidiamonds

Get it from Urban Outfitters for $65, or something similar from Amazon for $44.97.

21. And to go with it, some essential oils that'll also bring a little piece of home all the way to your new space.

Get it from Homesick Candles for $9.95 (available in nine colors).
instagram.com

Get it from Homesick Candles for $9.95 (available in nine colors).

22. A whicker hamper and a removable bag so you don't have to constantly look at an ugly plastic basket stuffed to the brim with dirty clothes.

amazon.com, Hermione / amazon.com

I have this exact hamper and I can't believe how much of a difference it makes in my room. NYC apartment are similar to dorms in that there is hardly any storage or closet space — and I *hated* having a worn down plastic basket in the middle of the room.

Promising review: "I moved into an apartment where I have limited storage so I couldn’t store my ugly plastic hamper inside my closet like I usually do. I am that person that needs everything to be pretty and chic or it has to be out of my sight, so I set on the search for a nice hamper I could keep out in the open. I totally thought this hamper was going to be short and shrimpy based on the measurements, and I was worried about that, but I ordered it anyway! Well, this hamper is gorgeous, possibly even epic, and it was SO worth ordering it. It looks like it will hold a lot, too. I am DEFINITELY happy I made this purchase, and I’ll let the photo speak for itself!" —Hermione

Get it from Amazon for $40.62+ (available in three styles).

23. An attachable shelf for lofted beds to solve the whole no-nightstand dilemma.

Promising review: "I bought this for my son's dorm. This is the first year he's been on the top bunk, and obviously there's nowhere to put a phone, tablet, or books (if you're studying on your bed) without having to climb down and back up again. Works great — very stable and sturdy." —KLMNGet it from Bed Bath & Beyond for $24.99.
bedbathandbeyond.com

Promising review: "I bought this for my son's dorm. This is the first year he's been on the top bunk, and obviously there's nowhere to put a phone, tablet, or books (if you're studying on your bed) without having to climb down and back up again. Works great — very stable and sturdy." —KLMN

Get it from Bed Bath & Beyond for $24.99.

Advertisement

24. A set of dimmable, string lightbulbs that'll transform any mirror into a functional vanity.

amazon.com, PhotoNeeNee / amazon.com

Promising review: "I love these lights and cannot believe the price! I love the dimmer — it dims to five different brightness levels. You simply touch the 'ON' button each time you want it brighter. I really didn't expect these to work as well as they have. I mean, when can you buy anything at this price and it really work? I'm really impressed and will definitely buy these again for other mirrors or replacements. I am very happy with my purchase! —Ginger

Get it from Amazon for $22.99.

25. A closet organizing kit so you can actually bring *most* of your clothes with you, and not have to leave any of your favorite pieces behind.

Get it on sale from The Container Store for $114.26 (originally $137.88).This kit includes a closet rod expander, a 10-compartment shoe bag, a hanging garment bag, a 40-piece huggable hanger set, pants hanger, over-the-door mirror, and two shoe shelves.
containerstore.com

Get it on sale from The Container Store for $114.26 (originally $137.88).

This kit includes a closet rod expander, a 10-compartment shoe bag, a hanging garment bag, a 40-piece huggable hanger set, pants hanger, over-the-door mirror, and two shoe shelves.

26. A trendy as heck comforter set (it comes in a twin XL!) to make your bed a chic and relaxing place you never want to leave.

Get it from Target for $66.49+ (available in sizes twin-king and two colors).
target.com

Get it from Target for $66.49+ (available in sizes twin-king and two colors).

27. A custom digital print of your home state and city that'll be a sweet reminder of your roots while also doubling as momentous wall art.

Get it from I Love Printable on Etsy or $5.Just a heads up, this is a digital print so after purchase you will be sent a file from the shop owner. All you have to do is send it to a drugstore with a print center and have it printed there in whatever size you desire!
etsy.com

Get it from I Love Printable on Etsy or $5.

Just a heads up, this is a digital print so after purchase you will be sent a file from the shop owner. All you have to do is send it to a drugstore with a print center and have it printed there in whatever size you desire!

Advertisement

28. A faux sheepskin for your desk chair because if you're going to spend tons of time doing homework, you'll want to do it comfortably — and in style, of course.

But hey! Get creative with it and put it on the floor, or on a storage ottoman, or on the couch — wherever you want.Promising review: "I purchased this rug over a year ago and I finally had to review it. This rug is fantastic! I am STILL astonished at its resilience, beauty, and durability five to eight washes later! I’m not even easy on this thing. I use it as a photo background, roll-around rug for my baby, and floor diaper changing pad. I even wash it in hot AF water with bleach on a regular cycle. As soon as it’s out of the washer and partly damp, I take a boar bristle brush to it and thoroughly comb it every way, which makes it look like new with VERY minimal shedding." —SadiesGet it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in two sizes).
amazon.com

But hey! Get creative with it and put it on the floor, or on a storage ottoman, or on the couch — wherever you want.

Promising review: "I purchased this rug over a year ago and I finally had to review it. This rug is fantastic! I am STILL astonished at its resilience, beauty, and durability five to eight washes later! I’m not even easy on this thing. I use it as a photo background, roll-around rug for my baby, and floor diaper changing pad. I even wash it in hot AF water with bleach on a regular cycle. As soon as it’s out of the washer and partly damp, I take a boar bristle brush to it and thoroughly comb it every way, which makes it look like new with VERY minimal shedding." —Sadies

Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in two sizes).

29. Speaking of seating, a pair of velvet accent chairs so you and your roomie can ditch the old dorm ones and upgrade to a stylish, matching set.

amazon.com, Marissa McClain / amazon.com

Promising review: "Honestly, this is the best chair for the price out there. It's true to color and the velvet is so soft and high quality. The legs aren't real wood but it doesn't look cheap at all. I use it as a desk chair but would also work great as dining room chairs too." —Marissa McClain

Get a set of two from Amazon for $129.99 (available in six colors).

30. A sleek desk lamp that might — just might — get you excited to study.

Get it from Target for $47.49 (available in two colors).
target.com

Get it from Target for $47.49 (available in two colors).

31. And lastly, a mega-soft throw blanket to curl up in after class because hey, you deserve it.

I have this and can confirm: It's the softest thing in the world.Promising review: "I loved this blanket so much that I bought my sister a different blanket instead and kept this for myself. Its so soft and fluffy! I love that it's double layered — one side is knit and the other is fluff. It's so comfy!" —AliciaGet it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in two sizes and eight colors).
amazon.com

I have this and can confirm: It's the softest thing in the world.

Promising review: "I loved this blanket so much that I bought my sister a different blanket instead and kept this for myself. Its so soft and fluffy! I love that it's double layered — one side is knit and the other is fluff. It's so comfy!" —Alicia

Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in two sizes and eight colors).

Here's to a great school year and cozy dorm.

ABC

Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

BuzzFeed