Just a list of cool things you need for your dorm room that don’t suck

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When shopping for your college dorm, everyone knows the main dorm essentials you need to buy. There’s the twin XL sheet, a shower caddy, shower shoes, laundry basket, bed risers, etc. — you’re definitely familiar with the list by now. On the flip side, there’s also the fun dorm decor things like twinkle lights, photo collages and ottomans with hidden storage.

However, there are a handful of under-the-radar dorm decor essentials that can turn your cinderblock and linoleum forced-triple into your home. They’re also completely unnecessary by all means but can make or break your living space. For me, that was a monogrammed mug from Anthropologie that my roommates knew was mine and only mine. It was special, and I loved it for nearly a decade — until it shattered a few months ago.

Take it from me, a professional online shopper and lifestyle editor who has already been through four years of shared college dorms: Finding those special things is as essential as soft twin XL sheets.

Keep scrolling below for some totally unnecessary but also completely necessary dorm decor essentials that are actually fun.

1. A very special mug that’s uniquely yours

Wild Sage Zodiac Mug, $1.40 (Orig. $7)

Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

Milk Mug, $10

Credit: Urban Outfitters

Blockprinted Monogram Mug, $9.60 (Orig. $12)

Credit: Anthropologie

Dogs Mug, $10

Credit: Sur La Table

Female Form 12-Ounce Mug, $16

Credit: Urban Outfitters

Sabine Tinted Glass Mug, $16

2. A portable humidifier to quench your thirsty skin during finals

ONUEMP Cactus Humidifiers with Night Light, $15.99 (Orig. $18.99)

Credit: Amazon

Multitasky Drift Bottle Mini Humidifier, $30

Credit: Urban Outfitters

Essential Oil Diffuser Portable Mini Humidifier, $17.99

Credit: Amazon

Pure Enrichment MistAire Cloud Ultrasonic Humidifier Mood Light, $39.99 (Orig. $49.99)

Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

Small Portable 1-Liter Humidifier, $19.98 (Orig. $29.85)

Credit: Amazon

3. A small popcorn maker for Netflix marathons

Dash Smartstone Stirring Popcorn Maker, $29.99 (Orig. $49.99)

Credit: Nordstrom Rack

Sur La Table Glass Microwave Popcorn Popper, $25

Credit: Sur La Table

Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker, $24.99

Credit: Nordstrom

W&P Popcorn Popper in Charcoal, $17.59 (Orig. $21.99)

Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

4. Aesthetic candles that double as decor

Editor’s Note: Fair warning, expensive dorm fines are very real. Try not to set off any smoke alarms and hide the burned wicks from your RA — or just decorate with candles that you don’t want to burn!

YUI BROOKLYN Bubble Cube Candle, $15

Credit: Madewell

Otherland Black Velvet Jasmine Vegan Candle, $36

Credit: Sephora

GOODIES Smiley x Goodies Take the Time to Smile Candle, $27 (Orig. $45)

Credit: Nordstrom

LEX POTT Twist Candle, $20 (Orig. $40)

Credit: Nordstrom

Boy Smells x Kacey Musgraves Slow Burn Scented Candle, $46-$96

Credit: Nordstrom

Homesick Location Candle, $19-$38

Credit: Homesick

If you liked this story, shop these editor-approved picks from Nordstrom.

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