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Posted 
Feb 23, 2020
 in 
Dorm Decor
 category
How to Upgrade Your Dorm Room in 2020

It’s no secret that college dorm rooms tend to be plain and cramped. Your university will hand you the essentials: a bed frame, mattress, dresser, and a desk. But it’s up to you to transform it from a drab, claustrophobic space to a room that you feel comfortable staying in for the next nine months. Adjusting to new surroundings can be challenging, but with this guide, you can upgrade your dorm room in no time. If you are still looking to upgrade your dorm room after having lived in it for several months, it’s time to use the new year to make some overdue changes. 

Whether you need a twin xl mattress topper for your rock-solid mattress or some posters to spruce up the place, we have a list of everything you need to successfully upgrade your dorm room. Here’s to 2020 and upgrading your dorm room! 

mattress icon

Invest in a Memory Foam Mattress for Your Bed

Rest peacefully each night on this plush mattress pad

Most dorm mattresses are stiff and uncomfortable. A twin xl mattress topper is the perfect accessory for helping you get a good night’s rest. The foam inside the mattress evenly distributes your weight whenever you lie down on it, giving you better back support than a traditional mattress. 

Assembly is easy. Just place it on top of your mattress to enjoy some extra comfort and protection. Mattress toppers come in different types of thickness and materials. Most college students select a twin xl mattress topper as dorm rooms normally don’t offer queen or king-sized beds. 

Mattress toppers are easy to wash. Some even have replaceable covers that function as barriers from stains and general wear and tear. Purchasing a mattress topper is also cheaper than buying a full memory foam mattress. 

There are a variety of toppers you can choose from, including:

  • Memory foam mattress toppers: These toppers gently mold to your body.
  • Egg crate mattress toppers: These toppers look like, well, an egg crate. Their bumpy, foam surface can easily be rolled up and transported anywhere. 
  • Wool or fleece mattress toppers: Made of natural materials, fleece mattress toppers are soft and hypoallergenic. 
Young woman sleeping

After a day filled with classes and studying, you are going to need a good night’s sleep. 

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Conserve Space With Pocket Organizers

Give yourself some extra walking room

Dorm rooms aren’t exactly spacious. Even if you bring a conservative amount of items, you may find it difficult to store all of them. Pens, notebooks, and papers can quickly become cluttered and disorganized. Pocket organizers are a great tool to keep your school supplies organized and prevent them from cluttering up your room. Hang one on the back of your chair or off your bed to keep your supplies near you. Most organizers come in a variety of colors to choose from, making it easy to match your with the rest of your dorm room decorations. 

If you have a small closet, you can also hang an over-the-door shoe organizer onto it. It doesn’t require any hammering or nails to assemble. Transportation is easy, as you can simply roll it up and fit it in your suitcase. Other small objects such as makeup or a hairbrush can also be stored there. 

organizer on the back of a chair

living room icon

Let Your Personality Shine Through in Your Personal Decorations

Even a small touch-up here and there can make a huge difference

Homesickness is inevitable. But a photo collage or personal item from home can remind you that your loved ones aren’t so far away after all. Spruce your photos up by hanging them on a corkboard tile or outlining them with string lights. Personalized dorm decor, such as a mug or an embroidered photo, can also keep your dorm unique and fresh. 

Need some ideas and inspiration? Check out these popular dorm decorations:

  • Bean bags
  • Tapestries
  • Letterboards
  • Succulents
  • Decorative pillows
  • Rugs

These items are fun and easy to personalize, as they tend to come in a variety of styles. You can also mix and match these items to create a cohesive theme for your room. 

patchwork throw


chemical icon

Keep the Air Fresh With a Diffuser

Get rid of those funky dorm room odors

Most residence halls do not allow candles due to the obvious fire hazards that they are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your room fresh and pleasantly scented. Essential oil diffusers are growing in popularity, and for good reason. They disperse sweet-smelling natural oils filled with beneficial health-promoting ingredients. These oils have been proven to improve your mood and health. Aromatherapy is perfect for keeping you calm during all-nighters spent finishing a project or studying for a big exam. 

air diffuser
Feeling homesick? Purchase a diffuser that emits scents from the beach or the oak trees from your favorite camping site. Image courtesy of Allure. 
light bulb icon

Brighten the Room Up With Lights

String lights are a staple for dorm rooms

If you were to Google “college dorm room decoration ideas” you would likely find at least a dozen photos of rooms featuring string lights. But there is a reason why they are so popular! Not only are they relatively inexpensive, but they are also versatile and easy to customize. You can hang them along the wall or around photographs and posters. Want to create a specific atmosphere for your room? Maybe you want to keep it warm and rosy. Or cool and blue. Multi-colored lights are a fun option to look into. 

Pro tip: Lining them around a tapestry serves as the perfect background for photographs. 

bed surrounded by string lights
Light up your dorm room with residence hall-friendly lights. Image courtesy of Thought Co.

Moving away from home can be challenging. You are in a new environment and you aren’t surrounded by people you have known your whole life anymore. Making your room homier can help make this transition easier. These tips will help you turn your dorm room into a second home. What methods have you used to personalize your dorm room? Let us know in the comments! 


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