Dorm Life 101: What Parents and Students Need to Know

July 24, 2013

Dorm Life 101: What Parents and Students Need to Know

The college shopping season is officially upon us! With that comes a long list of questions relating to dorm room shopping.

Our college experts took to Twitter with answers, tips, and advice for both parents and students. If we missed anything, leave a comment on this post or send a tweet to @BedBathBeyond, and we’ll be happy to get back to you.


Q. What size sheets fit dorm room beds?

The most common is a Twin Extra Long, but check out your school’s information page to be sure.


Q. What are the essential items to bring & what is the most commonly forgotten item?

One of the most important things is to get a mattress pad or topper to make your thin dorm bed more comfortable. In terms of the most commonly forgotten items: Command hooks, bed risers, and a door stop!


Q. What’s the best way to maximize space in a small room?

Take advantage of vertical space. Use an over the door valet, wall hooks and  a double hang closet rod. You can also maximize space by using bed risers -they will add 3-8” of extra storage space. In addition to the closet ideas, desk organizers are a must! Save desktop space with a clip-on shelf. Multi-use items like storage ottomans are also useful- you can use them as an extra seat and to store. Lastly, keep items you use less in under bed stacking drawers or boxes so they’re organized and out of the way.

Q. I have so many clothes. How can I maximize closet space?

Slimline hangers and a double hang closet rod are a must! Also make sure to fold clothes with shelf organizers and totes, and make sure to use a shoe rack. 

Q. How can I make my dorm room feel like home?

For the comfort of home, add a memory foam topper or fiberbed. For the feel, bring your favorite pictures of family and friends, and for the style of home, add fun wall décor, decorative pillows and cozy blankets.

You can also watch our “Comforts of Home” video for additional tips and advice.


Q. Which products are strictly not allowed in most dorm rooms?

Most schools don’t allow space heaters, candles, or halogen lamps, but check with your school for the complete list.


Q. What are the best themes/color schemes/trends for dorm rooms?

We love boho chic and bright fun patterns like stripes and geo prints, which can be found on our college bedding page.

Q. What’s the best way to decorate my dorm on a budget?

Make sure to get the necessities (bedding/storage/bath items) first, then see what you have leftover in your budget for fun items like wall décor. 

Q. How can guys decorate their dorm rooms without them looking too girly? What are the essentials for male dorm room living?

A few tips: Decorate your walls with posters from sports teams, bands, and movies you like. You can also get bedding in colors like navy, gray, or green. Lastly, don’t let your mother, sister, or girlfriend decorate your room!

Q. How can my roommate and I coordinate so that our bedding/wall décor matches?

Come up with a color scheme together and communicate over the summer about what each person is buying.

Q. What’s the best way to hang wall decorations so they don’t ruin the walls?

Command hooks and wall safe adhesives work best. Make sure to check with your school to find out what’s allowed.

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