The Ultimate List of Dorm Room Essentials

The Ultimate List of Phoenix Dorm Room Essentials - Phoenix Furniture Outlet

Now that the school year is about to begin, it is almost time for a whole new group of college freshmen to enter the college world and move into their dorm rooms. While it may seem like it is too early to start preparing for the grand moment, keep in mind that there is a lot to do and a whole lot more to buy. By getting everything together now, you can minimize stress on move-in day and get settled in faster.

Along with textbooks, technology and even good old paper and pencils, you’re going to need to get many dorm room essentials before move-in day. Because we know it can be hard to pinpoint everything you need when moving into a new place, we’ve created a dorm room essentials list that will help you create the perfect room.


Your Dorm Bedroom

Phoenix Dorm Bedroom Essentials - Phoenix Furniture Outlet

The Bed

Buying a bed for your dorm room ahead of time can be tricky, but it can be done without much hassle if you know the right information.

  • Is there any dorm regulation regarding the size of the bed allowed in the dorm?
    • If not, how much room are you willing to spare? Remember that the bigger the bed, the less room there will be for other furniture or things you might need in the room.
  • Are any bed types not allowed?
    • Some dorms don’t permit bunk beds as they are seen as hazardous, while others do not allow any beds with materials they believe may damage the flooring or carpet.
  • Will you be sharing the room?
    • If you will, remember to check in with your roommate to make sure you both don’t buy beds that take over too much of the room and leave you little space to roam.
  • How much bed space do you need?
    • Are you above average height or do you tend to move a lot in your sleep? Look into getting a long bed or one with enough room for you.
    • Are you small or move little when you sleep? Consider buying a twin bed to save on space.

Your Pillows

It’s very important to get the best possible sleep during college, whether you plan on doing a lot of sleeping or not. To make sure that happens, buy the appropriate pillow for your body type.

  • Look for a material that won’t irritate your face.
  • Make sure that the pillow is firm or soft enough.
  • Consider investing in a hypoallergenic one to avoid respiratory issues.
  • Consider investing in a pillowcase to make your pillow more attractive and even more comfortable.

Your Mattress

Mattresses, like beds, are often included in dorms. Though it could save you a lot of money, a dorm-provided mattress can cost you a lot of money, too. Because they have been used more than once, there is no guarantee it is as clean as it should be. As a result, there is a risk of getting a rash or other health problems from the mattress, such as allergic reactions to the material it is made from. To avoid that risk, ask the dorm room managers if you are allowed to provide your own.

Your Dorm’s Common Room

Phoenix Dorm Common Room Essentials - Phoenix Furniture Outlet

Add Chairs, Sofa or Futon

Most dorm rooms can’t fit a regular sized couch or sectional, but you’ll want to have at least few seating options for when your friends or classmates come over.

  • If a small couch is out of the question, consider getting a couple small accent chairs or folding chairs that you can keep tucked away under your bed.
  • If you truly want to maximize your space, a futon that functions as both a couch and bed is the perfect solution, especially during midterms & finals.

Your Dorm Decor Essentials

Decor Essentials For Your Dorm - Phoenix Furniture Outlet


Dorm room lighting is not the best and may cause eyestrain if you choose to only use that. Opt for a lamp here and there to avoid eyestrain – and to make your room more inviting!

  • Look for a floor lamp with multiple bulbs to light up the whole room. Many of them allow you to adjust the direction of the light, making it even more valuable.


If you are sharing a room with a roommate and you are going to want some privacy, it is a good idea to invest in a screen.

  • If you just need the room divided, look for a traditional screen.
  • If you need a break from outside noise, look into getting noise-reducing window screens that you can simply prop by the window.

Your Dorm Room Accents

Decor Accents Essentials For Your Dorm - Phoenix Furniture Outlet

A Bookcase

You will have plenty of books to read no matter your major, so make sure you come ready with some sort of bookcase. A bookcase will give you a designated area to keep your books, making them easier to find when you need to rush off to class. It will also help you avoid the chaos of having them scattered around the room!

A Clock

Keeping track of time can be a hassle during college years, even with the help of technology. By hanging up a large, attention-grabbing clock in your room, you can more easily see and remember what time it is so that you don’t show up late for class.

A Vanity Desk

If you and your roommate will be getting ready at the same time in the mornings, getting a vanity desk will help you stay out of their way. A vanity desk will also help you keep your beauty supplies organized in a small space.

A Rug

Rugs can add color and personality to a dorm room, but can also be a hassle if bought without forethought.

  • Make sure to buy a rug appropriate for the size of the room (not too big or too small!).
  • Buy a rug with durable material if you intend to place any sort of furniture on it.
  • While fuzzy, soft rugs tend to be popular, only buy one if you are willing to deal with cleaning and vacuuming it, as they attract a fair amount of dirt.
    • Consider other materials if you suffer from allergies; allergens may become trapped in the soft fuzzy rugs.

Your Dorm’s Desk

Ultimate Desk Essentials for Your Dorm Room - Phoenix Furniture Outlet

The Desk

Make your search for the perfect desk search easier by knowing how much space you have available for the desk and what you will need from the desk.

  • If you need one primarily for writing, look for a desk with a large surface area.
  • Need a desk that can double as storage or a bookshelf? Look for one with drawers and built-in shelves.

Some dorm rooms come furnished with desks or have built-in desks available. Before buying a new desk, ask to see if this is the case. If you would rather use your own, ask if you are permitted to do so and if there are any desk rules you should be aware of.

Buying your own desk is a great idea if you know you will continue to need one after college. Also, if you think there’s a chance you could damage the desk that the dorm provides you, bringing your own you can help you avoid future damage fees.

Your Office Chair

Passing your college classes will require studying for tests and completing many homework assignments. As a result, you will most likely be sitting at your desk for long periods of time. To make it less of a strain on your back, get a dorm room office chair that is both supportive and comfortable.

  • Make sure that there are adjustable features: seat height, backrest tilt and armrest height.
  • Make sure it is appropriate for your height and weight, especially if you have a smaller or larger frame.
  • Avoid the hassle of cleaning by looking for upholstery that resists stains.
  • If you intend to keep the chair for some time, make sure the upholstery is durable as well.
  • For optimal comfort, look for chairs with ergonomic features.

Our Dorm Room Essentials for the 2017-2018 School Year

Because there are so many options and sizes to choose from, dorm room furniture can be difficult to pick out. To make the process easier on you, have measurements and specifications ready before you start shopping. Also, clarify what is included in the dorm room as some do come furnished or partially furnished. In some cases, dorm room chairs, mattress, and other furniture may be swapped out with students’ personal belongings, but it is important to verify the rules regarding doing so.

As another tip, take a look at the dorm restriction list before buying anything. Interestingly enough, some items may not be allowed, particularly anything that can be deemed a fire hazard.

Once you know what you want and need, come to Phoenix Furniture Outlet or check out our website to explore our huge collection of dorm room furniture in Tempe. Whether you are staying in the ASU dorms, NAU dorms or UA dorms, you will likely find what you need to make your new dorm room feel like home.

Best of all, we personally and quickly deliver your purchases to your dorm room so you don’t need to do the heavy lifting on move-in day.