How to Choose Dorm Room Bedding: A Buying Guide for Sheets & Other College Student Necessities

When shopping for dorm room bedding, choose neutral colors, decent quality materials, and coordinated pieces-and make sure the sheets are long enough.

Choosing dorm room bedding may not be the most important decision a student has to make – not when compared to choosing a major or a career path, for example. Nonetheless, standing in the bedding aisle amidst the countless options can leave a student feeling plenty puzzled. Here's what to keep in mind when choosing comforters, sheets, and other bed linens.

Dorm Room Bedding Basics

First and foremost, students should bring what they need. Basic dorm bedding necessities include:

  • At least two sets of sheets, including top sheets, fitted sheets, and pillowcases.
  • Enough comforters or blankets to keep warm, keeping seasonal changes in mind.
  • As many pillows as needed.

Dorm Room Bedding Extras

For students, sleeping is precious, so a few extras to make a bed cozier can be a real plus. Bedding extras are also an easy way to decorate a dorm room. These extras include:

  • A cozy mattress pad or memory foam.
  • Colorful throw pillows.
  • Shams, which are large decorator pillowcases that go over large pillows.
  • A large reading pillow or a husband, which is a large reading pillow with arms that's good for reading in bed.
  • A bed skirt, which is a decorative length of fabric that hangs under the comforter.

Dorm Room Bedding Colors

When choosing a color for dorm room decorating, it's a good idea to for students to consult their roommates to make sure the color choices match (or at least don't clash horribly). However, it's also important to keep in mind that comforters and other bedding will last longer than one school year, so it can be wise to buy bedding in fairly neutral colors that won't clash with the bedding of future roommates.

Dorm Room Sheets

A word to the wise about dorm room sheets: make sure they fit! Many dorm rooms come with twin beds that are longer than standard, so students need to bring extra-long twin bed sheets. If this information isn't provided by the school, be sure to ask.

The quality of sheets is measured by thread count. Sheets with a high thread count are the softest and most comfortable and can be very expensive. Sheets with a lower thread count are cheaper and not as luxurious. During cold weather, flannel sheets make a good alternative to high thread count sheets, as they are very soft but inexpensive.

Dorm Bed in a Bag and Bedding Coordinate Options

Many incoming students take advantage of the bed in a bag option. These bags of bedding typically include a comforter and matching sheets. Some also include matching bed skirts, throw pillows or shams. Often, buying bedding this way is cheaper than buying all the pieces separately, and also allows for some quick and easy decorating.

A similar option is to look for matching bedding coordinates. These are sets of comforters, sheets, pillows, shams, and bed skirts that all match, but need to be purchased separately.

Dorm Bedding Quality

How much money should a student spend on dorm bedding? On the one hand, it's never a good idea to bring top quality items to a dorm room, as they can get stolen or wrecked. On the other hand, it makes sense to purchase bedding that's of decent quality. After all, bedding that falls apart after a few years isn't really a value.

Bedding always goes on sale before the fall semester, so this is a good time to shop. However, be wary of bedding that's labeled as being specifically for dorm rooms. Often, this bedding is low quality.

Choosing the Right Dorm Room Bedding

Shopping for bedding can be easy and fun. There's no easier way to decorate a dorm room, while also creating a comforting space to come home to at the end of a long school day.

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