College Dorm Bed Checklist- Essentials From a Dorm Room Veteran

Posted by Annabeth Applefield on

When preparing for the transition to dorm life, deciding between the essential and not-so essential dorm bed items can be daunting for any incoming college freshman and parent. Relax! Here's firsthand advice on the best college dorm bed items to ease your dorm shopping stress. 

The Dorm Bed Shopping Dilemma: 

With the excitement of freshman move-in day quickly approaching, even the most prepared students and parents will experience the confusion of dorm bed shopping. But why do dorm bed items tend to be the most stressful part of dorm shopping year after year? Because 95% of colleges use twin XL size mattresses for their dorm beds, the unusual sizing can make it tricky to find the right products to accommodate your bed. Turning that unsatisfying dorm bed into a cozy home away from home is essential, but it doesn't have to be the chaotic hair-pulling task you may think it is. The search is over; keep reading for all the essential items made specifically for twin XL dorm beds.

1. Mattress Topper:

Top pick: Sleepyhead's Copper Topper
Sleepyhead's toppers are made specifically with college students in mind to increase the comfort of unsatisfying dorm beds with a variety of unmatched benefitsThey are an affordable way to upgrade and completely transform your college sleep space. It is so important to prioritize getting good sleep in college, and this mattress topper has been my secret weapon to do just that. Sleepyhead is the solution to every problem I ran into with other toppers, and I honestly wouldn't have survived the dorm without it. 

2. Extra Deep Twin XL Sheets:

Top pick: Mellanni Extra Deep Pocket Twin XL Sheet Set
The extra-deep pockets of these sheets make a drastic difference in the functionality of dorm bedding. You'll be sliding on and off your dorm bed countless times a day, and you don't want your sheets slipping off with you. Additionally, I recommend getting at least two sets of sheets, so you'll always have clean ones on standby. Trust me; you'll dread the college laundry experience and want to avoid it at all costs when possible.

3Silk Pillowcase: 

Top pick: Natural Silk Pillowcase from Amazon
From my experience, silk pillowcases aid in smoother, healthier hair and are great for helping you wake up with untangled, quickly manageable hair every day. Which is a total game-changer for busy college students. Silk also offers numerous benefits for your skin and helps regulate your body temperature during sleep.

4. Comforter or Duvet:

Top pick: Dormify Soft Loft Duvet Cover and Sham Set
I prefer a duvet over a comforter because it's easier to wash and manage. Any of Dormify's bedding options are excellent choices for college dorms. This one proved to be outstanding quality and even has ties inside the cover so that the duvet insert doesn't slip around. I recommend getting a neutral color, but fair warning. I learned the hard way that dorm beds are guaranteed to get messy, so you'll blow through lots of laundry detergent with white bedding. Whether you purchase a duvet cover or comforter, just make sure it's machine washable. 

5. Headboard:

Top pick: Charging Studded Headboard
Headboards are a great way to add a personal touch and a homey feel to your dorm. This stylish headboard has become very popular for its excellent quality, unique color options, built-in charging ports, and extra sturdy velcro strips for it to stay in place. This headboard lasted me two years and made my drab dorm room look fabulous. 

6Bed Risers:

Top pick: Utopia Bedding Adjustable Bed Furniture Risers
Some dorm beds already come lofted depending on the university, so do your research before considering these. Although bed risers are great and add next-level functionality to any dorm room, they are optional. Bed risers allow easy access under your bed and double your storage space in your dorm room. Space is everything when it comes to small dorm rooms, so I highly suggest you add these to your essentials. 

7. Bed Skirt:

Top pick: DormCo Extended Bed Skirt Twin XL
If you take my advice and invest in bed risers, or your dorm bed comes lofted, you'll want to add a bed skirt to your list. A bed skirt is perfect and essential to hide under-the-bed storage or keep any clutter out of sight. With the amount of stuff you'll bring to college and such little space, it's easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. Trust me; you'll struggle to keep the tiny floor space in your dorm clutter-free. A bed skirt will help keep your things out of sight and mind and make a drastic difference in your dorm room. 

8. Accent Pillows:

Top pick: Dormify Decorative Pillows
Accent pillows are the perfect way to personalize your dorm room. Dormify has a wide variety of the cutest accent pillows to spice up your sleep space. I only recommend getting one or two because it's easy to overcrowd your dorm bed, and as I mentioned, there's not much space to store them. However, Dormify's accent pillows are sized specifically for dorm beds, so these are a great option if you're anything like me and just can't say no to accent pillows.

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