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Dorm Decor

51 Dorm Room Essentials Every College Student Needs [2020-2021 Update]

For most people, entering college comes just as you’re turning 18 and entering adulthood for the first time. Suddenly, newly adult, you have your whole future laid out before you, a daunting number of decisions to make, and new levels of responsibility you’re still learning to navigate. But here’s something else you have if you’re moving into a college dorm: a new space, all your own, to decorate as you please.

This is your chance to craft a dorm room look that not only fits your personal preferences and style, but also looks mature and put-together, the perfect welcome for your journey into adulthood. You want your dorm room to reflect your personality, but you also need high quality, durable dorm essentials that will get you through marathon study sesssions, movie nights, finals season, and everything in between.

OCM is here to help. We've pulled together 45 of our top dorm room essentials for 2020-2021 that should be on every college student's list.

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Dorm Comforters with Neutral Colors + Bold Designs

Keep the Colors Simple + Have Fun with Prints and Textures for an Easy Minimalist Vibe

In a small space like a dorm room, the bed is a huge focal point. Because it’s such a large furniture item, the way you style it really sets the tone of your entire dorm. This year, we’re seeing lots of students take a minimalist approach to the color scheme of their dorm bedding, choosing simple black and white monochrome options and layering fun prints and textures to keep the space visually interesting.

It’s easy to see why this is such a popular look in 2020-2021. A soft, all-white comforter gives the room a clean and cozy vibe. A black comforter with a bold print makes a big statement in a sophisticated, mature way. Either way, keeping it simple with dorm bedding leaves plenty of room to experiment with fun accent items and decor.

Whether it’s late movie marathons or early morning study sessions, these neutral bedding options will keep you cozy all year long. Plus, we know college students don’t want to dump money into replacing dorm bedding that just falls apart, so all of our comforters are guaranteed ’til graduation.

Love it? Recreate the look with these classic + elegant neutral bedding options.

Get Creative with Colorful Comforters + Dorm Bedding

Brighten Up a Boring Dorm with Big, Bold Colors + Prints

In a small space like a dorm room, the bed is a huge focal point. Because it’s such a large furniture item, the way you style it really sets the tone of your entire dorm. This year, we’re seeing lots of students take a minimalist approach to the color scheme of their dorm bedding, choosing simple black and white monochrome options and layering fun prints and textures to keep the space visually interesting.

It’s easy to see why this is such a popular look in 2020-2021. A soft, all-white comforter gives the room a clean and cozy vibe. A black comforter with a bold print makes a big statement in a sophisticated, mature way. Either way, keeping it simple with dorm bedding leaves plenty of room to experiment with fun accent items and decor.

Whether it’s late movie marathons or early morning study sessions, these neutral bedding options will keep you cozy all year long. Plus, we know college students don’t want to dump money into replacing dorm bedding that just falls apart, so all of our comforters are guaranteed ’til graduation.

Love it? Recreate the look with these on-trend dorm bedding options for girls and guys.

Build Better Dorm Bedding from the Sheets Up

Microfiber, Cotton, and Satin Sheet Options for Every Style and Every Season

When you’re styling a dorm room from scratch, there are lots of essentials to stock up on, but comfortable sheets are definitely at the top of the list. College life can be crazy and stressful. After a long day of classes, homework, and hanging out, nothing feels better than crawling in between the soft, cozy sheets on your bed.

It’s important to grab a couple sets of sheets so that you can switch them out throughout the year. Breathable cotton sheets are good all year round, but they’re particularly important when it’s warm out. Microfiber sheets are another great option because they’re soft and inexpensive. If you prefer your sheets with a little more luxury, consider investing in silky satin sheets as well.

Twin XL and Full XL sheet sets can be hard to find, which is why we offer dorm bed sheets in a variety of patterns, colors, and fabrics. Each set comes with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two matching pillowcases.

Love it? Stock up on solid + patterned sheet sets in your favorite fabrics to keep your dorm bed cozy all year long.

Piles of Pillows For Your Dorm Room Paradise

Make Your Dorm Feel Like Home with Floor Pillows, Accent Pillows, Body Pillows, and More

Picking out pillows is an important part of putting together a dorm room. Your dorm room is your home base at college, so of course you want it to be as comfortable as possible. Stocking up on different kinds of pillows is a great way to ensure that your dorm room is nice and cozy whether you’re hanging out with friends, studying in your bed, or catching up on some much-needed sleep.

Of course, you’ll need a few plushy standard-sized pillows for your bed. College is the perfect time to upgrade flat, worn-out pillows for ones that are fresh and fluffy. Adding a variety of accent pillows to the mix doesn’t just add comfort and style to your dorm room (although it does that too!) Body pillows, backrest pillows, and floor pillows make it easy to study comfortably wherever it is that you work best.

Love it? Pick up some pillows to add a little extra color and comfort to your dorm.

Get Wrapped Up in Blankets + Throws

Stay Cozy While You're Binging Netflix and Lecture Videos This Year

Dorms and residence halls can be chilly! Whether the AC is cranked up too high, winter is coming, or you’re just a fan of being extra snuggly while you study (🙋🏻‍♀️), having some extra blankets and throws around is never a bad idea. Not only are they practical, they can also bring a tasteful pop of color or add a fun texture to your room.

In 2020-2021, we’re seeing faux fur everywhere. Fluffy rugs and shaggy throw pillows are trending as well, but soft, textured blankets are really stealing the show. Fur not your thing? Consider a chunky knit blanket instead — they’re just as warm and soft, but a little easier to maintain. A calming weighted blanket is always nice to have around for unwinding during exam season, but with the extra stress of online classes, social restrictions, and all of the other pandemic concerns in the world right now, adding one to your dorm blanket stockpile is truly a must.

Love it? Cozy up with some of our best-selling dorm room blankets + throws this school year.

Upgrade Your Bed with a Haute Headboard

The Easiest Way to Take Your Dorm Bed from College Chic to Actually Chic

Going beyond dorm room basics doesn’t have to break the bank. Headboards are an inexpensive, out-of-the-box solution to cover up some of that boring standard-issue dorm furniture. Upgrading your bed with a headboard can bring your whole room together, transforming your dorm into the room of your dreams.

Headboard are available in a few different colors and fabrics to elevate your dorm bed without stealing the show. Made from stylish faux leather or comfy faux linen, these headboards can easily be incorporated into almost any room with a Twin XL college bed. The tufted design gives any room a hint of luxury... and let's be honest, most dorm rooms could use all the help they can get!

Love it? Upgrade your boring dorm room bed with a comfortable + sophisticated headboard.

Storage Solutions to Maximize Your Minimal Dorm Room Space

Get the Most Storage Per Sqft with Fashionable Trunks That Double as Furniture

Cramming a whole year’s worth of clothes, shoes, and supplies into a dorm room isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are things savvy students can do to maximize the minimal storage space in even the tiniest dorm room.

Storage trunks are a great way to keep extra clothes, linens, and other gear from cluttering up your dorm room while you’re trying to study or relax. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, storage trunks can easily double as subtle or statement dorm room furniture — just check out our new bedside cube trunk.

Plus, these armored trunks are built to protect your stuff, which means you never have to worry about your items getting damaged. With wheels available as an add-on, these storage trunks can go right from your dorm room to the car when it’s time to head home.

Love it? Stick your stuff in an awesome armored trunk + never worry about storage again.

Organization Tools That Make Keeping Your Room Clean a Breeze

Have a Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

One of the great mysteries of college life: how is it so easy to lose things in a space as small as a dorm room?! Whether it’s your student ID, your notes and school supplies, or the candy stash from your last care package (thanks Mom!), never waste time searching your dorm room high and low for it again.

Organizational tools like caddies and hooks don’t just save your sanity — they also save space. Organizers that hang on your wall with Command hooks or get simply be hung up in your closet help you get the most out of your dorm room by maximizing your vertical space.

Some organization essentials even double as decor — check out our creative wall hooks, like this minimalist city skyline.

Love it? Get organized with these convenient + creative dorm organization essentials.

Bath Essentials That Take Showering in the Dorms from Awk to Awesome

Everything You Need to Survive Communal Co-Ed Bathrooms, Private Suites, and Everything in Between

Bathrooms in college can be weird, to say the least. If you’re used to rinsing off in your own private bathroom where you can leave all your things in the shower, toting all of your stuff back and forth to a communal bathroom is certainly an adjustment.

Comfortable towels are obviously a necessity — for many students, college is the first chance they have to pick out their own bath linens, so have fun with it! Grab towels in your favorite color or a fun design. Shower caddies and totes take the struggle out of carrying your soaps and shampoos to the bathroom, an a pair of flip flops keeps you safe from any foot funk that might be lurking on well-trafficked bathroom floors.

Throw a cozy bathrobe or wrap into the mix, and you’ll be set to survive anything college bathrooms can throw at you.

Love it? Stock up on dorm bathroom essentials in all of your favorite colors and styles.

Wall Art + Decor to Give Your Dorm Room a Personal Touch

Complete Your Dorm Room by Covering Those Blank White Dorm Walls with Wallpaper, Photos, Art, and More

Comforter? Check. Pillows? Check. Even your bedding and storage taken care of, a dorm room with blank walls doesn’t feel quite complete. When it comes to decorating your dorm room walls, the possibilities are endless, so it’s a great opportunity to get creative and really make the room your own!

Photos are an essential element in any dorm room because they allow you to keep loved ones close even when they’re far away. From frames to clips, there are endless ways to display your favorite photos. Consider covering up a bigger patch of your dorm room wall with a poster, tapestry, or some peel and stick wallpaper — all of these are inexpensive ways to bring your dorm to life.

Love it? Give your dorm room some personality with wallpaper, wall art, and photo clips.

Personal Care + PPE Essentials for College During COVID-19

Stay Safe and Healthy on Campus with Cleaning Tools + Personal Protective Equipment Designed with College Students in Mind

There’s no doubt that life on campus looks different this year than it has in the past. Pandemic precautions have changed what we can do and how we can interact with one another, and staying safe and healthy as a college student requires some extra gear.

Students spending the 2020-2021 school year on campus need to stock up on personal protective equipment like washable or disposable face masks as well as personal care products like hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. If you’re concerned about staying in the dorms, consider picking up an air purifier and CleanseBot to eliminate germs in the air and on the surfaces in your room.

Love it? Stock up on personal care + PPE essentials to keep yourself and others safe and healthy on campus.

Care Packages That Will Brighten Any College Student's Day

College is Stressful -- Support Your Favorite Student with a Care Package or Care Package Subscription That Shows You Care

Being away from friends and family is definitely one of the most challenging parts of the college experience. College life can be stressful, especially when you're far away from the friends and family who would usually be there to cheer you on.

Luckily no matter where your favorite college student may be -- whether it's the other side of town or the other side of the country -- care packages are an easy way to share in special moments and show that you care.

Love it? Send your favorite student a college care package today.