Dorm Room Decor: Inspiration for College Spaces

Head off to school in comfort and style with the bedding, decor, and bath essentials you need for college, in styles that suit your personality. No matter your taste, we can help you find the storage, decorative accents, bedding, and bath items on your dorm checklist.

Find Your Perfect Dorm Decor

From the floor to the bed to the walls, take your dorm room from drab to fab with special touches it’s anything but ordinary. First, decide on a theme—like modern, sporty, chic, or bold—next pick a color palette, and then find the decor pieces that fit your vision. Explore these dorm room ideas to get started:

String lights and desk lamps provide just-right brightness when the overhead light is too glaring

Keep things organized with double-duty storage solutions like a storage bench that offers both seating and a place to tuck extra blankets

Don’t let chilly floors get you down: choose a fun area rug for a warm, welcoming option

Use a few toss pillows with decorative covers and throw blankets to add pops of color

If posters aren’t your style, bring color and texture to the room with a textile wall hanging or a large, colorful scarf

A full-length mirror lets you check out your look before heading to class—and can also brighten the space and make your room look larger

Gain a little storage space with bed risers that make extra room beneath the bed frame—perfect for bins filled with less-used items

Mix and Match Dorm Bedding to Suit Your Style

Dorm bedding can be as daring or minimalist as you wish, so let your personality guide you when choosing your blankets and sheets. Sheet separates make it easy to create a look to suit your personal style. Start with these bedding style ideas, then make your space your own:

  • Stripes suit everything from sporty to classic styles. Zig-zagged chevron bedding takes the striped look to a new, modern level.
  • Monochrome bedding brings a contemporary edge to your decor. Choose shades of blue, greyscale solids and prints, or stick with all pink—whatever your preference!
  • Floral prints go anywhere, even the dorm. Use a solid fitted sheet with a floral flat sheet, choose a floral quilt or comforter for a pretty layer, or pair polka dots and grand-scale florals for added pop.
  • Vibrant, contrasting colors, like tangerine with magenta or lime, stand out—and they'll pair with a range of patterns, too.
  • All-white sheets make a great base: Swap your duvet cover or comforter when you want a change; the white sheets will go with everything.
  • Texture can bring personality to the dorm. A fuzzy flannel duvet cover, embroidered throw pillow covers, or waffle-weave throw blanket add interest.

Caring for Your Favorite Sheet Fabrics

Before stocking up on sheets, duvets, and comforters, ensure you choose the right size bedding to fit a dorm room mattress. College dorm beds often use Twin XL mattresses. The XL stands for “extra-long,” because these mattresses are slightly longer than twin-sized mattresses. Since the bed is longer, you’ll need to get bedding sized to fit.

What Size is a Twin XL Mattress?

The standard Twin XL mattress measures 39 inches wide by 80 inches long. Since Twin XL beds are meant to save space, they aren’t any wider than a regular twin mattress, but the mattresses offer additional length for stretching out.

QUICK TIP: Twin-sized flat sheets, comforters, quilts, and bedspreads will fit a Twin XL mattress, but you can choose Twin XL for extra length. Twin-sized fitted sheets will not fit a Twin XL mattress.

College Dorm Checklist - Bedding and Bath

From a plush bed to the wall decor that makes the dorm room pop, you can bring personality to every corner of your space. Use bedding, multi-purpose furniture, storage items, and other decorative details to make your space feel like home—don’t forget these key dorm room essentials.

Cozy Bedding to Personalize the Dorm Room

The bed provides the best opportunity to dress up your room—it takes up the greatest amount of space, so use it to your advantage. This checklist will help you make sure you have the bedding you need:

Woman in bed with striped bedding
  • Two to three Twin XL fitted sheets
  • Optional: Two to three twin flat sheets
  • Optional: Quilt or coverlet
  • Twin XL comforter or duvet insert with cover
  • Pillows and pillowcases
  • One Twin XL mattress pad
  • Throw pillows and decorative covers
  • Supportive reading pillow
  • Throw blanket

QUICK TIP: Keeping extra sets of sheets and duvet covers on hand means there's always fresh bedding in case there are no free machines in the laundry room.

Bathroom Essentials for College Students

The bed provides the best opportunity to dress up your room—it takes up the greatest amount of space, so use it to your advantage. This checklist will help you make sure you have the bedding you need:

Woman in blue robe with towels
  • A bathrobe for late-night trips down the hall
  • Two to three towels and hand towels
  • Five to seven washcloths
  • Shower wrap and hair wrap
  • Shower flip flops
  • Storage baskets for clean towels and washcloths
  • A roomy dorm shower caddy—a mesh style dries quickly, so it’s often preferred
  • Toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash or soap, deodorant, makeup, hair products, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, razors
  • Hair essentials like brushes, curling iron, hairdryer

Prepare for college dorm life with bedding, decor, and bath necessities that suit your style. No matter your taste, you can create a custom look that shows off your personality. After you've explored these dorm decorating tips and tricks, explore our other Guides for more ideas.