How to Decorate Your Entire Dorm Room at Target (2021)

Target has always been a one-stop shop for all things college and here are the most-popular Target dorm essentials purchased by Grown and Flown parents.

Target is a one-stop shop for back to school for teens and college students. (R. Farmer)

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Back to school shopping at Target


Most students will have access to a microwave so they can do a tiny bit of “cooking,” which might only mean reheating last night’s pizza or pouring a bowl of cereal. These dishes are lightweight, unbreakable, dishwasher safe and are available in four pretty colors.

target dishes

Utility Cart

These lightweight, rolling carts offer super-practical storage in a dorm room or bathroom. Finding items that can travel from dorm to apartment is important to keep in mind as your student will likely live in both during their college years. This is one of those great finds.

Bath Towels

These come in 10 colors and are available in matching bath towels, hand towels, and wash cloths.

Bath Body Wrap

Walking from communal showers back to a dorm room means juggling a shower caddy and clothes while trying to keep a towel from falling off. This absorbent terry-cloth body wrap stays closed with velcro.

Mesh Shower Caddy

A mesh shower caddy is lightweight and more flexible to use than a hard plastic caddy.

Target shower caddy


The first weeks of school are typically roasting hot, even at colleges in colder climates. This Vornado fan, which gets top reviews, is small and powerful for dorms or apartments and helps enhance air circulation.

fan in room


Having new, lightweight hangers to use in a dorm or bedroom closet is an orderly way to move into closet space. These are available in mint, white or grey.

Storage Solutions

Target has a wide selection of storage bins, drawers, ottomans, and much more. Here’s a great place to start to look at storage cubes and cubbies.

Storage Ottoman

Anywhere a student can add storage to their room is a plus and this ottoman also offers a place to sit and a way to climb up into an elevated bed.

storage ottoman

Sterilite Storage Bins

These are the secret to helping your son or daughter optimize their space in a dorm room. If possible, try to find the actual dimensions of the under-bed storage space in the specific dorm they are assigned to. Pick and choose the types of bins that will best fit in this valuable real estate.

There are also many types of storage drawers and utility carts at Target. Below is one of our favorites:

Lightweight Drawers

Another popular option for storage under-the-bed, if the bed is lofted high enough, or in a closet is this set of lightweight drawers. Depending on how high the bed is, this could also serve as a nightstand.

Pop-Up Laundry Hamper

This lightweight hamper has a wide opening and two handles making it easy to carry to the laundry room.

Mini Fridge Caddy

This was new to me – a 7-pocket caddy that drapes over each side of a mini fridge giving roommates each their own space for cups, water bottles, utensils, etc.

Trash Can with Lid

College kids are not known for being neat and they accumulate a TON of trash.
This is a 7 gallon trashcan with a step-on pedal and lid. Make sure to pack trash can liners and remind your teen why they need to use them.

Decorative Storage Basket

Dorm rooms are known for not having a ton of storage space. Because extra things will likely need to be stored in plain sight, having a decorative storage basket is a great way to store extra items.


Twin XL Bedding

Comforters are one of the main ways that students express their styles. My daughter OBSESSED over hers and my son, well…was perfectly happy with basic blue. Target has a wide selection of Twin XL Comforters and coordinating XL sheets.

Target dorm bedding

Crinkle Texture Comforter

This comforter caught our eye. It is very simple and comes in the colors blush, white, grey, and mint. It is perfect if your teen is looking for a comforter in a light color.


Mattress Topper

This is the very best way to make a hard-as-rock dorm bed more comfortable. There are egg crates (which tend to less expensive), memory foam and much more expensive high tech toppers to choose from. If your teen can feel the differences in the options in a Target, you can both make the decision pretty quickly. Otherwise, choose one that works with your budget. They will all help your teen have a more comfortable place to sleep.

A clean new pillow will only stay that way with a pillow cover. AllerEase makes one that protects against household allergens and is a bedbug barrier.

Mattress Encasements

Don’t forget a mattress encasement, also by AllerEase, that has protection against bedbugs, household allergens, and is waterproof.

Weighted Blanket

A weighted blanket can apply gentle, even pressure across your teen’s body and might be a type of self-care for them in their new life as a college student. Available in two colors and two weights – 12 and 18 pounds.

weighted blanket

Sherpa Bed Rest Washed Black

Because dorms usually do not have a lot of places to sit, being able to sit up comfortably in bed is so important and these bed rests are perfect for that!

bed rest pillow

Throw Blanket

Throw blankets are perfect for the end of a dorm bed. They are also great for when it gets extra cold in the room.

throw blanket

More extras

Pebble Bath Mat

If your dorm room is suite-style or has a bathroom attached to it, this bath mat is a great addition to the bathroom. It is made with suction cups at the bottom to avoid slipping.

Wall Tapestry

Target has so many trendy and unique tapestries. Tapestries are an easy and inexpensive way to decorate an entire wall.

Plastic Vanity Mirror

A vanity mirror is essential for doing makeup and getting ready. The mirrors in the dorms are not great quality and it is sometimes hard to do makeup if there are a lot of people trying to get ready at once.

Full-Length Mirror

Full-length mirrors are definitely necessary to ensure you can see your entire outfit before leaving the house. A lot of the dorm bathrooms only have a mirror for the top half of your body.

LED Plug-in Curtain String Lights Clear

This is such a cute and trendy way to decorate the walls in the dorms. You can hang up all of your favorite photos to these string lights.

LED Organizer Task Lamp

This compact lamp has a convenient organizer for pens, pencils, or other small items. Also, it has a flexible neck and can be moved around easily.

The Door Double Decorative Hook Rack Black

Having door hooks is perfect for hanging up towels or washcloths.

Quincy Rug – Safavieh

Rugs make a dorm room feel so much more like home! Available in many great colors.


Having a microwave in the dorm is super convenient for easy cooking and reheating leftovers!

Target has lots of ways to shop

You can choose how you want to shop at Target and there are fast, safe, minimal-or-no-contact options including Drive UpOrder PickupFree 2-Day Shipping, and same-day delivery with Shipt. Some of these may be just what your college student needs to get them safely to campus this year.

You Might Also Want to Read:

How to Shop for College: 25 Bestselling Dorm Essentials – just in case you want even MORE ideas about what your teen might enjoy using at the dorm.

Moving Into the Dorm: 12 Things That Will Save Your Life – here are the very best ideas about how to manage move in day, like a pro!

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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