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What Kind of Bedding Do I Need for My Dorm?

By Edited Jul 13, 2016 0 2

There Are so Many Options for Dorm Bedding!

It seems like yesterday that my baby girl was born...and now we are sending her off for her third year of college! Preparing her new dorm room reminds me of when my husband and I were shopping for her nursery furniture. There were so many different choices for each decision we had to make... from the color of the furniture to what color to paint the walls. And because there was no internet back then, shopping had to be done by schlepping my growing body from store to store.  I can remember how many I visited in search of the perfect fish themed crib set!

Dorm Bedding Essentials

Shopping for her dorm room is easier because there are so many choices.  

And shopping for the dorm is difficult because there are so many choices.

Do we really need everything on the checklist? Will there be space for it all?

Do You Really Need to Buy All New Bedding for the Dorm?

My mother recently told me the story of how my beloved Nana asked she why she was buying brand new bedding for me as I went off to college. Couldn't I just use what we had at home? My mother told her no.  I was starting a new chapter in my life,and that required "fresh" things. Besides, all of the beds in college are twin extra long, which was not a size that my household, or any that we knew, had. In the early 1980's, your choices were extremely limited.

And now your child is a young adult with opinions of his/her own.  Your son or daughter should have a say in what they will be living with, as being comfortable in their new space will help them acclimate and hopefully set them up for success.

Think about it...when was the last time your child had a chance to have a 100% say in how their room was decorated?  This is chance for him or her to express their identities and creative flair. They will appreciate their things even more, as they are picking them out.

And best of all, you won't have to bug them to clean it all up. It's their roommate's problem!

The Best College Bedding Protects the Mattress

Use one layer at a time to create a sea of comfort

When I asked a parent who already had a child away at college what kinds of things I needed to buy my daughter for her bed, he replied, "You want to get as much space as you can get between your child and the mattress."  

So true!

How many people have slept on that mattress?  How old is it?  Will it be comfortable and clean? Your child will be spending a lot of time sleeping, studying, and hanging out on her bed. Comfort and cleanliness should be a top priority.

This list of items came from a discussion I had with veteran parents who had already been there and done that.

Layer Number One-The Mattress Protector

No one wants to think about what a previously owned mattress has lived through-especially one that has been the bed of a college student!

Since your child is not going to sleep on a brand new mattress, you can protect him or her with a mattress protector. The first thing you will need to buy is a zippered protector that encases the mattress and keeps bacteria and insects like dust mites away.

Protects Your Child from the Mattress

Twin Extra Long SafeRest Classic Plus Hypoallergenic 100% Waterproof Mattress Protector - Vinyl Free
Amazon Price: $69.18 $19.95 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 17, 2015)
This is a very highly rated product from over one thousand reviewers.

Layer Number Two Mattress Pad

For a good night's sleep, a bed meeds to be soft and cozy. The next layer you need to buy for your child's bed is a mattress pad. The cushier, the better. Make sure that it is machine washable in case there is need to put it in the laundry.

So Soft and Cushy!

Pinzon Basics Overfilled Ultra Soft Microplush Twin Extra-Long Mattress Pad
Amazon Price: $44.99 $39.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 17, 2015)
This item has had over 3,000 reviews and has an overall 4.5 star rating. Why? Because this is comfortable and reasonably priced! This is a quality product at an economical price.

Rise and Store

Parents who have already been through the first year of college process also suggested to me that I buy my daughter bed lifters so she could have extra storage space under her bed.  Her dorm bed adjusts, so we do not need them. Look at the college's website or call the housing department to find out if you need to buy this item. 

Bed Lifters for the Dorm

Wood Bed Lifters (Espresso) ( 4.25 x 4.25" x 3.43")
Amazon Price: $20.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 17, 2015)
This is just one color that the bed lifters come in.

How Many Sheets Sets Does Your Child Need?

When I was shopping for my college bedding, there were no choices in twin extra long, so we just bought a twin size. For sheets, there was virtually nothing other than unexciting colors. I had a brown sheet set and a blue sheet set.  Very boring and not stylish at all.

Plus, I had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h- them to make them stay on the bed properly.

Now extra long bed sheets come in every color and pattern imaginable.

Let's be real...kid are not going to do their laundry often.  If they can, college students save it to bring home and of course, Mom will do it for their precious one that whom they missed so much. However, they need fresh sheets at least every other week.  Send your child with at least three sets so s/he always has a clean surface to rest their bodies.

Twin Extra Long Comforter Sets

Last, but not least, you are going to need a comforter. There are many stylish extra long comforter sets for the dorm. While my daughter picked a solid blue comforter, she decided to tie dye white extra long sheets to match them up.

When it comes time to pick bedding for the dorm, a word to wise...shop early to get the best selection!

Dorm Bedding for Girls

Tamil Comforter Set Size: Twin / Twin Extra Long
Amazon Price: $39.39 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 17, 2015)
This pretty set has a comforter that is multi-colored so you can pick any solid colored sheets.

A Solid Dorm Bedding Set Available in 12 Different Colors

Ivy Union Premium Down Alternative Comforter Set Twin XL Extra Long / Twin (Medium Blue)
Amazon Price: $99.99 $36.40 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 17, 2015)
If your child wants just one solid color for his or her bedding, then you can pick one of 12 different shades for a great price.


Jul 16, 2015 11:47am
I love your suggestions! As a college student, I'd agree that three sets of sheets is a must. I'd also suggest that the sheets be fitting for different seasons since dorms can get very hot in the fall & spring and very cool in the winter.
Jul 17, 2015 4:19am
That is a great piece of advice! My daughter has air conditioning and can control her thermostat, so we only bought her cotton sheets. Flannel sheets would be good for students living off campus who have to pay utility bills!
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