This post is all about dorm room essentials for 2024.

dorm room essentials 2024

I have rounded up my all-time favorite (and tested) dorm products for 2024. As someone who has been out of college for a few years, I have lived in a dorm and know first hand the products you will use all the time and the products you will never touch.

These are all products I have used at least weekly for the majority of the time I was in college and have been absolute lifesavers for me! I have divided this post into different sections with every single dorm essential I used and liked while I lived in a dorm room.

This post is all about dorm room essentials 2024.


1. Best Value: Memory Foam Mattress Pad

college dorm decor

2. Must-Have: Chargers

dorm room ideas girl

3. Best College Planner: The Dailee Planner

dorm room shopping tips

4. Most Used: Towel Wrap

things every college student needs

5. Best for Cleaning: Featherweight Vacuum

dorm room essentials amazon

6. Most Life-Changing: Stand Alone Cooling Fan

dorm room shopping hacks

7. Most Purchased: Mesh Shower Caddy

college packing list pdf

8. Best Futon: Faux Leather Futon

dorm futon

9. Best Backpack: North Face Backpack

dorm room packages

10. Can't Live Without: Sound Machine

things you need for college


*Unfortunately, the duvet I used is not available anymore, but these would be the four duvets I would choose if I was buying one this year based on my tastes and experience living in a dorm.*

1. Duvets

This is my favorite unique bedding patterns I have seen this year. It is available in twin and twin XL and I love that it is neutral while making an impact from the texture.

This is the most expensive comforter (but I cute!!) that I recommend but if you plan on using this for two years or more, it might be worth it. Also, since it's neutral, it will stay in style.

dorm bed

This is my favorite grey duvet for this year. It is very affordable and even comes with four pillows! Plus, it is available in twin XL.

This is a classic bed duvet that I don't think will ever go out of style.

This is BY FAR my favorite white comforter available in twin XL. I love how it looks much more expensive than the other plain white duvets out there but is only $35.

I am a white comforter gal through and through but this also comes in a TON more colors (if you look close, you can see it at the bottom of the picture). There's a beautiful gray that would also look so good.

dorm room hacks

Pink tones are always a hit when it comes to dorm bedding so I had to include this light pink comforter! I love the simplicity of this duvet because you don't want the pink to become too much with all your decor and clothes.



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2. Sheets

I only use white sheets in my dorms. Two reasons for this: White looks the best (in my opinion) and if you get a stain on it, you can bleach it and it will look brand new.

This is the exact sheet set I used in college and I really liked it because it also fit over my 4" mattress pad. Plus, it comes with a fitted sheet, sheet, and a pillowcase. AND the best part of's less than $25!

3. Blankets

top dorm room essentials

My favorite blanket ever!! Get it in the queen... it is so soft and the best to snuggle up in. I used it everyday in colelge and continue to use it at home (like every day).

It also comes in multiple fun prints so you can choose one that matches your dorm room.

4. Memory Foam Mattress Topper

This is the exact mattress pad I used and the BEST. I highly recommend looking at getting a 4" mattress pad. I purchased this one originally because it was the cheapest 4" mattress pad I could find and it is so good!!

I actually liked it so much that I even put it on my queen size bed at home because it was so comfy. I also had all my friends climb up on my bed so they could feel how good it was (yes, I was/am obsessed 😉 ).

Make sure to remember to get twin XL!

5. Waterproof Mattress Protector

I am a germ freak so this was a must for me. Even if you aren't a germ freak I would highly recommend purchasing this. Not to put nasty images in your mind, but think about the things your dorm room mattress has gone through over the years.... yeah, disgusting. 

I put this over my mattress and then put my mattress pad on top of it. It also protects against fluids hitting your mattress, dust mites, and bacteria.

6. Clip-On Fan

Your dorm room will get very hot (especially if you don't have air conditioning) and it can be miserable at night.

My roommate actually had this and I thought it was so genius. It is battery operated (so no cords hanging off your bed) and you can attach it directly to the railing on your bed. It will keep you much cooler than having it on the ground (especially if you're planning on bunking your bed).


1. Mesh Shower Caddy

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Freshman year I purchased a plastic caddy and sophomore year I purchased this caddy. After trying them both, I like this caddy SO MUCH more.

The reason is because the plastic caddy would retain the water once I got out of the shower and once I would bring it back to my dorm, it would get my whole dorm floor wet. This mesh caddy allows you to get a lot of the water out before you bring it back to the dorm so it's much cleaner.

Also, you have to put the plastic caddy on the bathroom ground (gross) whereas this one you can hang on the hooks in the shower because it can reach them.

2. Drawer Organizer Trays

I do not like having things on my desk so I have always kept my makeup inside my desk when I lived in the dorms. To organize my makeup, I purchased this clear desk organizer which fit right into a drawer.

I used the center section for brushes and the sides for my different products. It worked out great!

3. Vanity Makeup Mirror

dorm room packing list

Dorm lighting SUCKS. It is so horrible and I wanted to have decent lighting when I was doing my makeup in the morning to make sure I didn't look like a clown when I walked out the door.

This mirror worked great for me because it was pretty thin and it had three different light settings depending on what I liked. I also really liked this mirror because if my roommate was still sleeping and I needed to get ready in the morning, I wouldn't have to put on the big light and could just turn this on.

Now that I am done with college, I take this with me on trips because I like it so much.

4. Towel Wrap

things every college student needs

This is one of the top things I recommend college freshman get.

My mom actually purchased this for me on my birthday the year before I went to college. TBH, I was a spoiled brat and was really confused why I was getting a towel wrap for my birthday. She said she got it because she went to a store and there was a college student working that said this was her favorite thing she ever bought for college.

Let me tell you, I used this every single day in college. I can't imagine not using it now. It is the best!! My mom got mine customized with a monogram on Etsy. It really isn't much more expensive than purchasing a generic one from a store, but it makes it feel much more special and cute.

5. Hair Towel Turban

college dorm room ideas

I started using this along with the towel wrap every time I showered. It is jsu tas essential as the towel wrap to me so my wet hair isn't getting everything wet or making me cold on the way back to my dorm room. It also keeps my hair out of my face while I do my makeup or wear a face mask at night.

6. Small Storage Baskets

This was one of my favorite organizing tips I did my freshman year of college. On top of my dresser, I put a large cute basket like this (unfortunately the exact one isn't available but this one is very similar). In this basket, I put anything hair related including my blow dryer, curling iron, straightener, brushes, hair oil, etc.

I loved this basket because when everything was in it, it looked organized but really I could just throw everything in it very quickly. I also liked it because if I wanted to do my hair in my friend's room I could just carry the basket and have everything with me.


1. Faux Leather Futon

dorm futon

This is a super similar futon to the one I had when I was in college, and I loved my futon for many reasons. First, it was the best looking futon I could find. Plus, it was on the cheaper end of futons that were available on Amazon.

However, the best part about this futon was that it was a wipeable material. You will live on your futon in college and it is highly likely that you or someone else will spill drinks or food on it. I was able to just wipe them off on this futon which was pretty amazing.

2. Under Bed Storage Bins

top dorm room accessories

I had two of these under bed storage bins below my futon where I stored food and cleaning supplies.

It was really nice because it was extra storage someplace that I feel like normally isn't used. These ones are really nice because they come in a pack of two and have rollers on the bottom which make it way easier to move.

3. Throw Pillows

Here are some of my favorite pillows for on top of the futon (or on your bed).

Amazon is awesome (like we don't already know that) and now sells pillow sets. This way you can get all the pillows you need for your dorm and save some money at the same time. Such a good idea!


1. Velvet Hangers

college dorm decor

Velvet hangers are a must in college dorms. They allow you to have so much more room compared to plastic or other types of hangers. Plus, they're cuter.

It also keeps your shirts from falling off the hanger which is amazing!! I will never not buy velvet hangers again.

2. Accessories Organizer

dorm room ideas girl

This is great for organizing belts/scarves/jewelry in your closet. I used it to hang all sorts of things because it was able to hold so much.

It is super convenient because it just hangs in your closet like a regular hanger and keeps everything really organized.

3. Decorative Storage Bins

dorm room ideas for guys

I would highly recommend looking up pictures of your dorm room and seeing if there are shelves in the closet.

My closet had shelves at the top and I used three of these bins to allow more things to fit up there. I used one of the bins for sweatshirts, one for feminine products and towels, and one for purses. It worked out great, and makes your closet looker cuter and more organized!

4. 2-Tier Shoe Rack

things every college student needs

Shoes can get super messy and disorganized, super fast. Having a shoe rack on the floor of your closet forces you to be more organized with your shoes, and if one pair is dirty, it keeps from getting all of your shoes dirty.

You also don't need many pairs of shoes at college at. all. Like way less than you think you do. This will help you limit your shoe options which will make your life a lot easier.


1. Over-the-Fridge Organizer

dorm essentials guys

Having this over-the-fridge organizer is really nice because not only does it give you extra places to store things but you can also put it under your microwave.

I had my microwave always sit on top of the fridge so the fact that that was able to stay the same and I could still get some extra organization was super nice!

2. 3-Drawer Storage Organizer

bed bath and beyond college savings pass

This is the main thing I organized my food in. I would have tea ingredients/paper plates in the top drawer. In the middle drawer, I would keep vegetables and fruit and the bottom drawer had random food items. It worked out great!

I kept it in the bottom of my closet but loved that I was able to pull it out if I needed to because it wasn't too hard to move. You can purchase one with wheels too to make it easier to move around.

3. Keurig

target college registry

I am not a coffee drinker but found that Keurigs are so much more than just machines for making coffee. I have become quite the tea drinker last year and the Keurig was able to heat up water really quickly.

It's also great for making ramen noodles and other things that require hot water. A cheaper alternative if you don't drink coffee is to just use an electric tea kettle. My mom surprised me with one of these and I used it all the time. (PS! I still use it daily even now in my office).

4. Paper Plates

dorm essentials target

I highly recommend bringing paper plates/bowls and plastic utensils. Cleaning dishes in a dorm is not easy and most of the time, especially if you're in a rush to get somewhere, the last thing you want to do is wash dishes.


*I am ONLY listing the electronics people DON'T think about needing in college*

1. Sound Machine

things you need for college

This sound machine was one of the best things I have ever purchased for my dorm room. It has come in handy so many times.

One year in college, I lived in a suite so there were two bedrooms and one main room. I would often go to sleep way before my roommates and then get up earlier than them in the morning. I am a super light sleeper so I would sometimes have a hard time falling asleep with the noise around me.

This sound machine completely blocked out all the noise. Even when my roommate would come in at night and wash her face I would hear nothing. It's pretty amazing!

I also used this when I was studying so I could really focus on what I needed to get done.

2. Chargers

dorm room ideas girl

This is a MUST for dorm rooms. I think everyone likes to lay in their bed on their phone and majority of the time in college your phone will be dead.

I can also almost guarantee that the closest plug to your bed will be annoyingly far away. My 10' charger was amazing in my dorm room freshman year because it literally would work from anywhere in the room. Pros of living in a shoe box ;).

3. Flash Drive

college packing list

If you are in any art classes I highly recommend you get a USB drive. To print out your projects you usually have to put them on a USB and then take them to the printer.

Even if you aren't in any art classes, you never know if you'll need a flash drive, and it's definitely better to have one on hand then have to buy one later.

4. 6-Outlet Extender

what to bring to college for guys

Like I said above, dorm rooms have outlets in the worst places. And many time there is only one or two outlets.

I can almost guarantee that you will use more than one or two outfits so I definitely suggest purchasing one of these so you can make sure you have enough plugs.


1. Desk Accessories

dorm room decor for girls

I wouldn't go overkill with the amount of desk organization things you get because you will be really limited on space but getting a few things like the ones I linked above would put you in a pretty good place I think.

2. Desk Lamp


Isn't this such a good desk lamp?! Unfortunately, the lamp I had and loved is no longer available. It was white and gold. But I really do like this one! It would make an ugly dorm desk look much better.


1. Liquid Laundry Detergent

dorm room ideas girls


I went into college thinking that the smartest thing ever was to use pods instead of detergent. In fact, it is easier.

But, washing machines in college aren't good quality enough so the plastic around the pod doesn't completely melt off and will get stuck on your clothes. It is the worst.

I highly, highly suggest using regular detergent. It will make your life so much easier!

2. Wrinkle Releaser

college dorm room

This stuff is pure magic!!! With just a few sprays, it magically gets out all the wrinkles in your clothes. I'm not sure how it works but it's amazing.

I just discovered this a few years ago and still use it everyday!! This wrinkle release is the best in college because you don't need to store or work an iron or steamer.

3. Small Mesh Wash Bags

dorm room ideas

These mesh bags are the best for washing delicates like bras, underwear, and even nicer leggings (like Lulus).

I use these so my nicer clothes don't get ruined in the washing machine. Once they're done in the washing machine, I hang them dry so they don't get put in the dryer.

4. Tide Sticks

dorm essentials amazon

If you're like me and constantly spilling things on yourself, you absolutely NEED Tide sticks. They are a literal life saver and so easy to carry with you everywhere you go. I never leave the house without one in my purse or backpack.

And trust me, your friends will love you for having these on you as well.


1. Good Backpack

dorm room packages


You will be carrying so many books and electronics in college and the worst thing is when they don't all fit in your backpack. I got a Herschel backpack for freshman year and it didn't fit anything. I went back to my North Face and realized it was the best thing in the world.

2. The Dailee Planner

dorm room shopping tips

This might sound dramatic, but I would be seriously lost without a planner in college. Your teachers do not remind you of due dates like they do in high school so you always need to write stuff down to make sure you're not forgetting anything.

I have created the ultimate college planner to keep you on track this school year and for all to come. From time blocking to class schedule sheets, my planner has everything a college student could need!

The physical planners are sold out right now, but they are dropping again in May! In the meantime, if you have an iPad, you should definitely tryout the iPad planner.

3. Folder

school supplies

I found myself needing a folder for at least one class each semester of college. A lot of classes are fully online now but every so often a class will give you random worksheets or syllabi on paper and you don't want to have to just throw the sheets in your backpack where they'll get all crumpled and torn up.


1. Vacuum

dorm room essentials amazon

One of my favorite things I have purchased for my dorm. Seriously, I can not recommend you enough to get one of these for your dorm room! Plus, it's less than $40 dollars. You will get your money's worth out of it!

I know that your dorm most likely offers you a vacuum, but those vacuums are very old and usually makes your dorm room more messy if anything.

My roommates and I used the Dirt Devil all the time, at least twice a week. It was super convenient since it is very small and can be used within seconds.


1. Command Hooks

dorm essentials target

I used these command hooks to hang all the decor on my dorm room walls. They are the best and leave no marks when you take them down at the end of the year.

I recommend getting them in various strengths and sizes so that you make sure nothing falls down because it's too heavy.

WHEW! That was a lot. These truly are my favorite dorm room essentials and things that I used all the time.

If you want to see the most important items I recommend you can see that post here: 11 Items Every College Student Should Buy

This post includes all the items you need to add to your dorm room packing list.