Although it feels like the summer has really only just started, it won’t be long before it’s time for kids to head back to elementary school classes, high school homerooms, or college dorm rooms.

For those still living at home, you pretty much only need some pencils, pens, a cool backpack, and notebooks in order to kick off your school year right. However, for college kids moving away from home to on-campus dorm rooms, or even small apartments, you suddenly have home décor and furniture to think about, as well as mundane school supplies. To give you more time in which to enjoy that fleeting summer weather, I’ve come up with a few tips for setting up the perfect dorm room.

Choosing a desk for your dorm room

Unless you plan on getting through college without studying or doing any homework whatsoever, you’re going to need a desk for your dormitory. Dorms are also not known for being particularly big on space, so you’re likely not going to be in the market for some giant mahogany monstrosity. Your best bet is to go with something that’s simple, functional, and won’t break your post-secondary student budget.

The Status Sidney Contemporary Writing Desk is simple, elegant, and pretty ideal for a dorm. It has a nice walnut finish that fits with any décor, and it features two storage drawers. It’s simple, practical, and it gets the job done. Alternately, you could also go with something like the Contemporary Computer Desk, which does away with drawers for more of an open-concept style. The minimalist look of this desk is the ideal complement for a more modern-looking dorm and an art deco décor. So, it’s your choice: Simple and classic, or more arty and modern.

Ideal dorm room chairs

Considering just how many hours you will be sitting in your new digs, it’s probably a good idea to splurge a little on a really good chair for your dorm room. And you won’t be using this chair just for studying, either. Depending on the size of your dorm room, this may also be the only chair you’ll have in which to sit. So, studying, relaxing, watching television, and marathon gaming sessions may all have to be done from one single chair.

If you just want something simple, and still in keeping with a modest budget for decorating your dorm with furniture, you can go with either the Milbrook Mesh Task Chair, or Bestar Spider Polyester Task Chair. Both offer solid comfort and support, with armrests, and controls for height and tilt. No muss. No fuss. Just good, comfortable multi-purpose desk chairs.

But, if it were me, I would totally get something that offers a few more bells and whistles than normal, like the X-Pedestal Gaming Chair or the X-Rocker Pro Gaming Chair. In addition to tilt and swivel functions and ergonomic designs that let you game, study or relax in comfort and style, these gaming chairs feature forward-facing speakers with 2.1 wireless stereo sound, plus separate volume and bass controls. Your only problem will be keeping your dorm roommate from sitting in it all the time.

Choosing the right night stand

Another must-have piece of bedroom furniture for your dorm is a night stand. You’ll need something beside your bed for a lamp, and maybe a family photo or two, in case you feel homesick. The Step One Contemporary 1-Drawer Nightstand is a simple and practical bedside table that offers extra storage space, which you will likely need in a small room. Alternately, if you want something a little more modern, you could opt for the Canton Industrial Accent Table with Shelf. It fits in more with the open-concept design, adding a bit more modern style than the standard bedside night stand.

Dorm room bedding

The other place in which you’ll be spending a lot of time is your bed. So, it is really important that you have some really nice bedding. Seriously, your Star Wars or My Little Pony sheets are not going to cut it in college. You’re an adult now, so you want some simple, comfortable sheets so you can get solid shuteye after long hours of studying, or coming home late from the campus pub.

“Thread count” is the way you can judge good sheets from the ones that won’t be so comfortable. Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch. Generally, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet, and the more likely it will wear well or even soften over time. Most good sheets range anywhere from a 200 to 800 thread count.

The St. Pierre Home 450 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set will let you sleep soundly in breathable luxury. The single/twin set is available in white and ice blue, and offers Egyptian cotton construction, all season-comfort and indulgent comfort. The set features a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and one pillowcase.

Finally, to complete your perfect comfy bed, top it off with the Maholi Royal Elite Collection 260 Thread Count Goose Down Duvet. It’s got a lightweight design and is breathable, but it will keep you snug and warm without making you feel overheated.

Other dorm room necessities

Other considerations you may have to factor into your budget other than furniture include lighting & lamps (you may even want to consider Smart Lighting to give you options and control above what the standard light bulb can offer), as well as mirrors, art work and other wall décor.

Parents wanting to help their kids get a leg up in college may also want to equip their students with new laptops, desktops or tablets. They’re going to be working harder than ever, so maybe it’s time to replace their old, outdated gear with something that has a little more power. And, what’s a college dorm without loud tunes? Best Buy offers tons of home audio & speaker solutions for every college audiophile, and every parent’s discerning budget.

Are you or your kids heading off to a college dorm this fall? Are there any essentials I missed, or do you any additional tips? Let me know in the comment section below after taking some time to browse Best Buy’s Dorm Room Furniture category.

Steven Hill
I am an award-winning writer, freelance journalist and blogger who is a self-confessed geek and tech lover. When not playing the latest video games or salivating over the newest gadgets, I enjoy cooking for my family, mountain biking or snowboarding the deep powder on Whistler Mountain.