How to Pick College Dorm Bedding

Your dorm at college is your home away from home, so it is important to furnish and decorate it comfortably and inexpensively. Buying the correct bedding will make a difference; your bed takes up the majority of both physical and visual space in your dorm room.


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    Remember that college is the first (and probably last) time you will live essentially on your own before entering "the adult work world." It's okay if not everything matches perfectly or if you mix prints.
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    Read any dorm guidelines that your school sends you. Pay attention at orientation and ask current students there for any tips.
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    The most important rule of buying bedding for your dorm is getting twin extra-long sheets. Regular twin size sheets or full sheets will not fit!
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    Don't get white bedding. Because you have so little space in your dorm, your bed is also your couch, your office... and your dinner table. Getting bedding with dark colors or prints makes it easier to camouflage any spills or stains.
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    Buy more than one set of sheets. A sheet set includes pillowcases, a flat sheet, and a fitted sheet. You aren't going to want to do laundry very often but your sheets do need to be changed, so don't wait until Thanksgiving break to come home and ask Mom to wash your sheets. Two sets is probably the minimum: that way, you can have one set on your bed and one clean set.
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    Buy a mattress pad. Because your college has to outfit so many dorms, you can guarantee that your mattress won't be the most comfortable one you've ever slept on.
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    Take the climate of your school into account. If you're going to University of Las Vegas, you might not need a heavy comforter all year round. On the other hand, if you're going to University of Maine, you might want a comforter as well as a few lighter blankets.
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    Instead of trying to figure out how to put a comforter in the washing machine, consider a duvet cover. It goes over your comforter and usually closes with a zipper or Velcro. When it needs to be washed, just pull the cover off and throw it in the machine.
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    Invest in under-bed storage. During the warmer months, you can store your comforter (and winter clothes!) under your bed. Or, you can bring your winter stuff home when you come to visit. Always leave a fleece throw or two in your dorm, in case the air conditioning is cranked up one day.
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    Ask your parents if they have any spare bedding things lying around. They might have a comforter folded up in a closet somewhere. You might not want to bring the bedding from your bed at home to school with you; that way when you come home, you'll still have something to sleep in.
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    If it's important to you, get in touch with your roommate(s) before buying bedding. If you want, you can try to coordinate.


  • Check the washing instructions before you purchase bedding. If your comforter is dry clean only, it might not be a good choice for a college dorm.
  • Don't waste money on throw pillows. One or two are nice to have, but bring them from home instead of purchasing new ones.
  • If you have allergies to dust mites, mold, or something similar, consider hypoallergenic mattress pads or pillowcase covers.
  • Shop online. You already know what size you need, and it's not a big deal if it doesn't match perfectly.

Things You'll Need

  • At least 2 sheet sets - twin extra-long
  • Mattress pad
  • Comforter or duvet cover
  • Fleece or lightweight throw blankets
  • Throw pillows
  • Under bed storage

Article Info

Categories: Bedroom Style