What Size Are College Dorm Beds?

By Amanda HoyleJanuary 7, 2022
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Amanda Hoyle
Amanda is a proficient and widely published educational leader, with Master's degrees in both Education and Psychology.
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Leaving your comfy bed at home for a bare college dorm room is probably the downside of leaving your childhood home behind. When you're busy in college, it's important to have a comfortable bed for those all-nighters and when you need a good night's rest. A bed should feel like a slice of heaven; that's why we're hooking you up with the best advice on everything from bedding to mattresses. 

A restful night of sleep goes a long way for students. It helps with academic performance and maintaining a healthy mindset. Finding the right bedding and mattress is the best favor you can do for yourself. 

What Size Are College Dorm Beds?

Depending on your college, dorm beds can vary in size. Your college will provide you with the most accurate sizes, but it could be a twin mattress or twin XL. If you're a taller student, the twin XL is perfect for you. The measurements of this mattress are 39 inches wide and 80 inches long, about 5 inches longer than a normal twin bed. 

The regular twin bed is what you probably have at home. Some colleges have double full or double beds, so it's advisable to check with your school first. You might find that information is readily available on the college website or the housing packs mailed to you. If there isn't any information, call the accommodation office to inquire. 

You want to make sure you purchase the right size sheets because a twin sheet won't fit an XL bed. As we mentioned before, the latter is larger than the former. XL beds need specific comforters and sheets, so they sell out quickly. If you want to avoid wasting time looking through mattress stores, you can order online. 

Furthermore, remember to purchase easy to maintain and durable bedding. In Greek housing or a small dorm, your bed is your sanctuary and home ground, so consider buying darker bedding to hide spills. 

What Size Are Dorm Room Mattresses? 

Usually, a dorm mattress is 7 inches to 8 inches deep, and because it's not the most comfortable, you'll need a memory foam topper or mattress protector. This will ensure that your bed is as comfortable as possible. Since you'll be spending years in your college dorm, the extra dollars are a great investment. The depth of the protector will also impact the depth of the sheets you buy, so watch out for imported and pricey sheets. 

Under normal circumstances, they have about an 8 inch fitted sheet pocket that won't stay on for a long while you're in slumber. So, if you use more bottom foam or a two-inch topper, you'll need a little more depth in your sheets. It's recommended that college dorm bedding size be 12 inches deep. 

What Are The Bedding Requirements In College? 

The mattress depends on your dorm, but you're responsible for preparing your bedding, including pillows and sheets. It would help if you had comforters, blankets, pillows, sheets, pillowcases, and a protective mattress topper for hygiene and the best feel. You should purchase at least two sets of pillowcases and sheets because you probably won't have enough time to wash them frequently. 

Dorm Bedding Essentials

Bedding can be expensive, so before you purchase full sets, research what pieces are important for you to have. 

Fitted Bottom Sheets

Fitted sheets are specific because their sizing is particular due to how difficult it is to stretch a regular twin fitted sheet onto your XL mattress if that's what you end up with. Remember to always go with an extra size higher than the mattress. Sheets with a higher thread count are expensive, but they last longer and are more comfortable. 

Thread count is an invaluable part of the bedding. It's the number of threads every square inch in all weave directions. The higher the thread count, the softer the fabric will feel. It's recommended that 300 thread count in soft 100 percent cotton is the best option. Thread counts between 200 and 800 are ideal. Most students go for 350, with cotton being the go-to option. It's easy to wash, durable, and reasonably priced. 

If you're a student in a cooler country, flannel is the warmest option. Polyester sheets are the usual suspects in dorms because of the size and reasonable price, but they can feel uncomfortable. Another option is bamboo; it's soft, environmentally friendly, and heavy on the pockets. Additionally, you can find other options; some are a combination of polyester and cotton or bamboo and cotton. They're also an awesome choice because of their durability and low cost.


A quality comforter is an essential item for your bedding, so make sure you choose something that will last. A 100 percent cotton comforter is soft, comfortable, durable, and warm on cold nights. The ones made in the US are durable and washable in cold water. Some polyester materials scrunch up after washing and the ones found at the popular retailers don't last long and have a low density, creating holes after washing. 

You spend around 11 hours in your bed every night, so if your college is in the northern region where it's cold at night, remember that you need a comforter with additional fill or loft. For a plush fit, microfiber comforters are the best. You can also purchase a reversible if you want a stylish flare.

Mattress Topper 

Dorm mattresses are usually uncomfortable, so college students turn to mattress toppers that provide comfort and hygiene. You can find them at a wide range of prices and materials, from economical egg crate foam to expensive latex. Latex mattresses are comfortable and supportive. Memory foam mattresses are just as expensive, offering the same comfort. Wool is a great option too. 

Down and feather mattress toppers are the epitome of luxury, but they may need some fluffing to keep them in shape. Cotton mattress toppers in different materials, softness, and prices, but they compress faster and don't last long. On the other hand, egg-crate foam mattresses are affordable and lightweight, but they don't last long. 


Take your pick from wool, latex, cotton, latex, foam, feather, cotton, and down pillows. Wool, cotton, latex, memory foam, and foam are usually strong and adjustable. You can also avoid dust mites and mold. Feather and down pillows are easier, and they'll give you security and comfort. 

Bed in a Bag

If you're looking into an easier route, this is the answer. It's a complete dorm bedding set with sheets, a pillowcase, and a comforter. You don't have to worry about matching colors and styles because everything is already covered. It might not be the simplest option, but it's the most cost-effective. But, you'll likely be compromising on quality. 

Dorm Bedding Sets

A bedding set is another way you can get this done quickly. It's stylish and usually comes with a sheet, mattress topper, mattress cover, and pillows. Parents love this option because it comes with everything in a box, which doubles as a great storage unit. 

When Is The Best Time To Purchase Bedding? 

The best time is during the summer. You probably won't be thinking about college during summer, but you'll find the quality picks in summer. It's also recommended that you purchase the bedding before buying another dorm decor piece because it helps set the theme of your room.

What Can You Do To Make Your Dorm Bed More Comfortable? 

Dormitory beds are known for their terrible so that you might consider a padded mattress. So focus on creating a comfy feel with the best quality bedding. 

How To Sleep On A Small Dorm Bed

Sleeping on a small bed isn't the most luxurious thing in the world, and unfortunately, students have to do it for a couple of years. Here are some tips to make it as less painful as possible:

  • Add extra pillows to prop yourself higher.
  • Place pillows under your sheets.
  • Sleep in the fetal position, especially if you happen to be tall.
  • Try sleeping in a diagonal position, twin beds are narrow, so this won't work if you're tall.


You have to know the size of your dorm bed before anything else. Good sleep is a life hack because it improves your health and brain function. In most dorms, you'll find twin-size and XL beds, but check in with your advisors because this will help you get the right bedding.

Sometimes dorms have exclusively sized bedding that may be a bad fit for the bed at home. Inexpensive bedding is easy to find, but we suggest that you invest in good quality that will last throughout your academic career.

As tough as it might be to imagine this, there are plenty of students who'll sleep on your bed, which means all that bacteria and bed bugs, so it's recommended that you get a mattress cover for a barrier between your dorm sheets. So, all you have to do is follow all these great tips on dorm bedding sets, and you'll have the best sleep money you can buy in a college dorm.

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Amanda Hoyle
Amanda is a proficient and widely published educational leader, with Master's degrees in both Education and Psychology.
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