6 Dorm Room Furniture Essentials to Buy for 2022

Finding the right dorm room furniture is an essential part of getting ready to live on campus and it can be a breeze if you know what to look for.  No matter where you go to school, knowing the basics of furnishing your living space can help take some of the stress out of the big move.  

As you prepare for your first semester on campus, you’re no doubt looking into buying textbooks, upgrading your laptop, and getting new gear. Incoming freshmen also need to ensure that they have all the dorm furniture they need so that their space is ready long before the first term paper is due.

Caption: NOVOGRATZ The Flower Modular Chair and Lounger Bed with 5-in-1 Design

While the combination of tuition and room and board can cost a lot of money, affordable dorm furnishings don’t need to break the bank. If you know what to look for and where to look, you can find inexpensive dorm furniture that suits almost any budget or style.

The first thing you may want to do is look at your college’s website under “Residence Life” to find out exactly what is provided and what is not allowed. Then you want to make a list of things to bring including essential furniture.

If you know who your roommate is going to be you may want to discuss your design ideas with them. This way you can avoid any unnecessary purchases and craft a compatible decor. 

Personalize Your Dorm Room

Dorm rooms can be cold and stark, so you want to warm them up with your personal style.  Personalizing your room turns a dreary space into an oasis, a refuge, and a sanctuary. 

You’ll be spending a lot of your time in your dorm room, and you’ll make a lot of memories there, so make sure it’s lit.  The easiest way you can do this is by decorating with some key pieces of furniture that liven up your space and set the tone.

Caption: SYSTEMBUILD EVOLUTION Beckett Closet Storage Organizer

Your college dorm is a place to chill, study, hang out and party. The furnishings you choose can make your new space inviting for you and your new friends. 

Dorm room furniture set the mood, whether you are looking for contemporary pieces with bold colors or on-trend modern design with a subdued palette, the furniture you choose makes all the difference.

Be it a casual and cozy space or a place that helps you to live out your best bohemian life, this is your opportunity to make style statements that express your unique personality.

To help you focus on the key elements, here are six furniture essentials that can transform your dorm room into a home away from home.  

  1. Bed frame

Caption: REALROOMS Alden Upholstered Bed with Angular Headboard and Under Bed Storage Drawers

With limited space and privacy, your bed is the only spot in your dorm that's wholly yours, so make a choice that reflects your personal preferences. This is where you will be sleeping for many hours every night and it will stand the test of time. You are unlikely to have room for anything bigger than a twin sized bed or a daybed which can double as a sofa. Whatever you choose, you can dress it up with bedding, colorful throw pillows, blankets and other decorative touches that reflect your style and make it feel cozy, and welcoming. 

  1. Mattress

Sleep is important so make sure your mattress is a dreamy place to crash.  Your sleeping comfort should not be left to chance, especially when you have a lab at 8 a.m.  A good night’s sleep on the right mattress will help you to perform better on exams and allow you to be well-rested for important events or an internship interview. Affordable options include spring or hybrid mattresses that combine spring and memory foam.    

  1. Bookshelf

Caption: Bexley Open Wardrobe

Whether you are looking for a place for your books, or shelving to display your stuff, being organized is a snap with the right furnishings and décor.  Deck your dorm room with storage options like a bookshelf that is both functional and stylish. To make the most of your limited space consider using a closet system to file your class materials and store your clothes and other personal items. 

  1. Desk and office chair

Caption: NOVOGRATZ Brittany Office Chair with Casters

The right desk and desk chair can help you to make light work of long hours.  Choosing a comfortable setup will make studying and doing assignments far more enjoyable. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your desk chair, so you want to make the right choices.  These dorm room items also help your campus crib look a lot more grown-up and they may even help you to get better grades.

  1. Futon

Caption: REALROOMS Euro Upholstered Tufted Loveseat Futon with Storage Pockets

Live in style by elevating your dorm with a couch that also doubles as a spare bed. A multifunctional futon is a great way to bring your room to life. Whether you want something contemporary or you are looking for a modern aesthetic with on-trend colors, futons are casual and comfortable, and they come in a wide range of styles and prices. 

  1. Ottoman

Caption: DHP Blake Script Upholstered Storage Ottoman Cube with Nail Heads

Ottomans are an awesome yet often-overlooked space saving furniture solution. As a multifunctional piece of furniture, ottomans have many uses. They are ideally suited to the limited space that commonly defines dorm living. In addition to being great storage spaces, ottomans can be used as tables, stools, and footstools. These practical pieces of furniture will be particularly handy when you’re hosting social activities like binge watching parties in your dorm room.

For College Apartments or Larger Dorms

Caption: AMERIWOOD HOME Lennon TV Stand for TVs up to 60 Inch with Faux Rattan and 2 Large Drawers

If you have enough space, you may also want to consider a TV and TV stand or you may want to level-up you’re on-campus social life with a pub set that also works as an eating area.


Living in a space that you enjoy is about peace of mind, it can also improve your academic performance and enhance your social life.  The furniture you choose will outlast your four years at college carrying you past graduation day and into your first apartment.