Twin XL sheets occupy the number one spot on shopping lists for dorm essentials for a good reason. College dorms are the only place on the planet where the beds come in this weirdly long size and, if you send your kid to college with a regular twin size sheets, you’ll both regret it. Trust us on this.
Note: We receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links in this post. For all our top picks for grad gifts and dorm supplies check out our Grown and Flown campus list on Amazon.
Before you grab your car keys and college-bound kid, pour yourself a cup of coffee (glass of wine) and do a little pre-shopping. We have assembled the most comprehensive list of stores that sell dorm bedding that we could find; they had to stock twin xl sheets to make the cut, and many stock other dorm essentials, too.
Your teen might want to visit a store to feel the fabric choices before they make a decision. But if their (and your) preference is to decide on what to buy online, you have dozens of sites to choose from.
Why Spend the Time Shopping for the Optimal Dorm Bedding for Your Kid?
A dorm bed will be your student’s private haven – a place to read and study, to hang out while getting to know a new roommate, and, of course, to sleep. To make it as comfortable and functional as possible, buy two sets of Twin XL-size sheets and add a few other items like a pillow and a comforter, which can be new or one you already own.
The comforter does not have to be in the twin XL size, a regular twin will work just as well. If your kid plans to move off campus sophomore year, you might consider getting a full size or queen comforter that they can use for a larger size bed down the road.
Other Dorm Bedding Items to Consider
Oversize pillow – there are no headboards on dorm beds and it’s much more comfortable to have a big pillow in addition to the one your kid will sleep on. Consider a big square one with a European sham or one like this Corduroy Bedrest pillow that your student can prop up against to study.
Mattress topper – dorm mattresses are slabs of thick foam covered in industrial strength vinyl – not the best combination for comfortable sleeping. An egg crate topper, featherbed, or something like this Natural Laytex Mattress Topper will make a huge difference in how comfortable your teen will be as they adjust to sleeping in a dorm room this fall.
Mattress encasement – not only are college mattresses uncomfortable but they have been slept on by countless other kids, ewww. A mattress encasement zips over the mattress and topper, creating a much cleaner environment for the brand new sheets to go over. This encasement by Protect-A-Bed, has a bedbug barrier, is waterproof, dust mite and allergen proof, too.
Ikea Frakta Storage Bag is the #1 favorite dorm shopping item with Grown and Flown families. They are the very best bags to use to pack dorm supplies for move-in day and your teen can use it as under bed storage to store extra sheets and towels.
Most of the stores on our list offer some pretty great deals on dorm bedding. Look for free shipping, discounts with email or mobil sign up, special in-store shopping nights for college kids and/or “black Friday” type sale days. Since there are so many companies competing for the college market, there is no reason to pay full price once you have discovered these tricks.
Top Places to Shop for Dorm Bedding
A dorm bed should be comfortable, clean and, perhaps, reflect a little of your kid’s personal style. There’s no wonder that it’s easy to obsess about this shopping trip since the selection can be overwhelming, much like the complicated and emotional process of sending a kid off to college!