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Best dorm bedding

The best bedding for dorm rooms

Before college students move into dorms, they have lots of back-to-school shopping to do. Dorm bedding frequently tops shopping lists, followed by other bedding essentials that help them get a better night’s rest. 

Once college students choose sheet sets, comforters or beds-in-a-bag for their dorm beds, the next bedding purchases they make usually revolve around comfort. Many students invest in high-quality pillows, while others buy weighted blankets or mattress pads. It’s also common for college students to add a soft touch to their bedding setup with stuffed animals.

What you need to know about dorm room bedding

How big are dorm beds?

Most dorm beds, including dorm loft beds, have twin XL mattresses. They measure 38 x 80 inches and are 9 to 12 inches thick.

Twin XL mattresses are five inches longer than regular twin mattresses, but some manufacturers make “twin/twin XL” bedding that fits both mattress sizes. This Bare Home comforter, for example, is suitable for both twin and twin XL mattresses.

Additionally, note that not all manufacturers’ bedding collections are available in twin XL.  However, there’s no shortage of options on the market. 

Basic dorm bedding essentials

At the very least, college students need to invest in a sheet set, comforter and pillow. These are often purchased individually so students can create a custom bedding setup with the best pieces they find.

There are also bed-in-a-bag sets, a convenient and cost-effective option for dorm bedding. These include the sheets and comforter, as well as accessories like pillow shams, bed skirts or decorative pillows.

How many dorm bedding sets to buy

There are a few reasons to invest in more than one dorm bedding set, which may save time and money down the line.  

For one, students can use a spare bedding set, especially sheets, when the main set needs to be washed. If the college is located in an area with temperature fluctuations, it’s common to have both cool and warm weather bedding options. It’s also recommended to have a backup set of bedding to replace pieces that sustain major damage, like rips or stains. 

Key features to examine in dorm room bedding essentials


Sheet sets usually contain a fitted sheet, top sheet and one standard pillowcase, though some sets include more than one pillowcase. 

As far as material goes, the most popular options for dorm sheets include cotton, cotton blends, microfiber and bamboo. Here’s how they stack up against one another:

  • Cotton and cotton blends become progressively softer when they’re washed. They’re also gentle on skin and breathable. However, they’re prone to shrinking and fading.
  • Microfiber has a soft, velvety finish. It’s appreciated for its affordability, but many people feel that microfiber isn’t very durable and may become thinner or weaker over time.
  • Bamboo is hypoallergenic, breathable and naturally antibacterial. Unfortunately, it’s harder to find bamboo sheet sets in twin XL, and the ones that are on the market tend to be expensive.


Comforters for twin XL mattresses usually measure around 70 x 96 inches. However, there are occasional size variations among bedding manufacturers. Some comforters can be used on their own, whereas others are compatible with duvet covers. 

One of the top features shoppers compare in comforters is their fill. Many affordable comforters have polyester or cotton filling. Mid-range and premium-priced comforters, on the other hand, may have down alternative or down filling.


Pillows are available in standard, queen and king sizes, though standard tends to be the most popular size option for dorm bedding. 

To find the ideal pillow, these are the essential features to examine: 

  • Loft: Pillow loft refers to the height of a pillow. Some lofts are considered more accommodating to certain sleeping positions.
  • Firmness: Pillow firmness refers to how much “give” a pillow has when weight is applied. Generally speaking, the firmer the pillow, the higher it will elevate the head and neck. 
  • Fill: Pillow fill refers to the stuffing materials, which may include polyester, down alternative, down or memory foam. Some pillows have cooling fill materials, like cooling gel beads and air pockets.

How much you can expect to spend on dorm bedding

On average, you’ll spend anywhere from $60 to $300 on a full set of dorm bedding. This includes essential pieces, spare bedding sets and bedding accessories.

Best dorm room bedding essentials

Best sheet set for dorm bedding

Great Bay Home Jersey Knit Twin XL Sheet Set

Made with T-shirt jersey material, this three-piece set is popular for all-season use given its breathable, cozy design. 

Sold by: Amazon

Best comforters for dorms

Koolaburra by UGG Koolawash Twin XL Comforter Set

This cozy set from a much-loved brand comes with a comforter and a sham. The neutral colors coordinate well with most sheet sets. 

Sold by: Kohl’s

The Big One Down-Alternative Reversible Twin XL Comforter

A popular hypoallergenic option, this lightweight comforter features baffle box stitching and has a soft brushed finish. 

Sold by: Kohl’s

Urban Habitat Paloma Twin XL 4-Piece Cotton Comforter Set

Chic and cozy, this textured Urban Habitat set adds a touch of style to any dorm room. It’s available in two neutral colors, ivory or cool grey. 

Sold by Amazon

Best bedding accessories for dorms

BioPEDIC Fresh and Clean Sofloft Fiber Body Pillow

This body pillow features bacteria-resistant construction and has a soft, low-loft design that can be used for leg or back support. 

Sold by Amazon

RayTour Bed Sheet Stays

These convenient sheet stays, made with elastic straps and metal clips, prevent fitted sheets from popping off mattress corners. 

Sold by: Amazon

SensorGel SlumberMax Hybrid Lux Mattress Topper

A hybrid design featuring lux fiberfill and memory foam, this mattress topper offers support and pressure point relief. 

Sold by Amazon

Home Solutions Premium Dorm Bed Risers

These dorm bed risers with wobble-free designs add 5 inches of under-bed storage.

Sold by Amazon

Bedsure Weighted Blanket

Available in a variety of weights and sizes, this weighted blanket can help you fall asleep with gentle, compressive support. 

Sold by Amazon

Pillow Pets Signature Playful Penguin

Besides being cuddly, this Pillow Pet can double as a knee pillow for support or a lap pillow for reading. 

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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