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The new semester is here, which means it’s time to find high-quality dorm room bedding that will help your student sleep well and enjoy everything that college has to offer. Bedding is more than a pillow and sheets. In order to create the best sleeping environment possible, remember to include important items like a mattress pad and a down comforter.

Here are six essentials to ensure a comfy transition to dorm room life:

1. Down comforter
2. Down pillow
3. Pillow protector
3. Mattress pad
5. Feather bed 
6. Canvas laundry bag

Down Comforter for Dorm Beds

Down comforters are hypoallergenic and available in different weights (summer, fall, and winter), depending on where your student is attending school. For a warmer climate, a summer weight down comforter works best. Colder climates benefit from the additional warmth fall or winter-weight down comforters offer. A down comforter is also breathable, keeping your student comfortable throughout the night. Even though fall and winter weight down comforters are warm, they’re soft and light for the perfect night’s sleep.

Down Pillow

Down pillows have many of the same benefits of a down comforter. They’re soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic. Even better, down doesn’t attract bacteria in the same way synthetic stuffing does. (Though you should be careful to air it out so it dries fully after washing so mold doesn’t develop.) Look for a down pillow for the dorm room that has a firm outside and firm inside core for the best sleep experience. You want a pillow that will last them their entire time at college, and investing in a great down pillow with a high thread count adds a bit of home to their dorm room. Even better? The same pillows will work with different bed sizes, so your student can use it long beyond their college years.

Pillow Protector

Whether it’s hair product, snack crumbs, or coffee, there’s an array of ways a down pillow can get stained. Keep it clean and fresh with a pillow protector made from 100% cotton with a zipper closure. This also helps extend the longevity of the pillow beyond graduation. Pillow protectors also offer an additional barrier against common allergens, supporting a healthy night’s sleep. This is particularly important for rooms in older dorms, as they are more prone to allergens.

Mattress Pad

A mattress pad should be at the top of your list to help minimize the effect of a potentially years-old mattress. This also helps protect the mattress from aforementioned spills so you aren’t on the hook to replace the mattress when you pick them up in the spring. We recommend choosing a mattress pad with an elastic anchor band on each corner, making it easy to take on and off, even on a bunk bed.

Feather Bed Mattress Topper

Dorm beds aren’t the most comfortable beds available, so help make it a bit cozier with a feather bed mattress topper. Mattress toppers add an extra layer of comfort, and those made with down are hypoallergenic for a great night’s sleep. Look for a mattress topper that has a baffle box construction and double stitching for the ultimate in comfort and quality. A higher thread count provides a soft feel for a luxurious night’s sleep while also increasing the longevity of the mattress topper. Your student will sleep so well they’ll forget they’re in a dorm room!

college student kneeling with dorm bedding kit

Canvas Laundry Bag

Whether they’re taking it to the laundry facility on campus or your laundry room at home during a visit, make sure your student has a sturdy canvas laundry bag to keep everything together. It needs to be sturdy to withstand the trips to the laundry while filled with clothes. This is especially recommended for student athletes, who are often the ones doing that extra lap to the laundry facilities. That canvas bag is also an ideal way to bring their bedding to campus and keep it clean during travel. This two-in-one solution is just what they need when they’re figuring out how to squeeze everything in on the ride to school and in the dorm room.

One More Thing: Cotton Sheets for Dorm Beds

Sheets are another essential part of a great dorm bed experience, and it’s important to find sheets that will fit the bed’s dimensions. Many colleges use XL twin beds, which means typical twin sheeting won’t fit. Look for cotton sheets with a higher thread count, as this will increase the sheet’s softness and durability. Making the grade starts with a great night’s sleep, and it’s time to send your student back to school with high-quality bedding designed for most college dorm beds. Down Etc offers its Classic Fresh XL Fitted Twin Sheet for just this reason. It is a 300-thread-count, 100% cotton solid sateen sheet that will provide all the comfort of home.

We wish your student a great year at school and a great night's sleep!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published September 7, 2018. It has been updated to be current.

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