The Best College Dorm Bedding Picks for a Comfortable and Stylish Room

The Amazon Basics Reversible Bed in a Bag includes everything you need

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Verywell Family / Lecia Landis

Most college dorm rooms are notoriously small and boring, but the right gear can help maximize the space and make it feel homey. Bedding is perhaps the most important item on your kid's college dorm shopping list because it can liven up the room and create an inviting atmosphere. You'll want it to be cozy and stylish, of course, but materials, practicality, and value should not be overlooked—and that's where our list of best college dorm bedding comes in.

Reviewed & Approved

The Amazon Basics Reversible Bed in a Bag is an affordable and stylish way to outfit a college dorm bed in one click. The Mainstays Silver 6-Piece Bed in a Bag from Walmart is another complete set option, and it includes a comforter and sheets in fashionable contrasting shades to add a pop of color to a plain space.

We selected our picks for the best college dorm bedding taking into account college requirements and the many functions the bed will serve—from rest haven to dining table, hangout spot, and study space. We've also considered all the items your kid will need in addition to sheets and a comforter, like a mattress cover (required by most colleges), a bed skirt (to hide all the storage under your bed), and easy-to-wash duvet covers. And we got additional insight from interior design experts Sara Manor and Shara Miller to determine what to look for and how to turn your dorm room into a home.

Here's our list of best college dorm room bedding.

Best Overall: Amazon Basics Reversible Microfiber Bed-in-a-Bag With Elastic Storage Pockets

4.8
Pros
  • Side pocket is ideal for storing phone and small valuables

  • Complete bedding set

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Polyester microfiber may bother sensitive skin

With one click, your college student will be well-stocked in their new dorm room. Let them pick their favorite pattern from the over 20 options that are simple yet sophisticated. Made of 100% polyester microfiber, the five pieces in this set are soft and cozy. 

We love that the fitted sheet has elastic all the way around, so it’s easy to get a snug and secure fit. It also has 6 x 7-inch pockets on both sides, so your kid will be less likely to misplace their phone, remote, or anything else they need nearby. This feature is especially useful since some dorm rooms don’t have bedside tables.

Sizes: Twin/twin XL and queen | Materials: 100% polyester microfiber | What’s included: Pillow sham, pillow cover, comforter, fitted sheet, flat sheet | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash warm


Best Sheets: Bare Home Twin XL Microfiber Sheet Set

Bare Home Twin XL Sheet Set

Amazon

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Over 50 color options

  • Soft microfiber

Cons
  • Twin size has only one pillowcase

  • Microfiber sleeps warm

These super soft sheets feel like they're much more expensive than they are. With over 50 color options and choices in all the standard sizes, these are a great option whether your college student is living in a dorm or off-campus housing. The three-piece set provides all the basics, but you may want to purchase additional pillowcases, throw pillows, or light blankets to decorate the bed.

The fitted sheet has elastic all the way around, so it’ll stay on securely, a helpful feature for anyone new to making their own bed. Microfiber can sleep warm, though, and that's something to consider if your child tends to get hot at night.

Sizes: Twin XL, full, queen, king | Materials: Microfiber | What’s included: Fitted sheet, flat sheet, pillowcase | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash


Best Bed Topper: The Company Store Legends Hotel Waterproof Mattress Pad

Legends Hotel Waterproof Mattress Pad

The Company Store

Pros
  • Waterproof

  • No plasticky sound

Cons
  • Additional layer can make it harder to make the bed

College beds can serve as hangout spots, study nooks, and dinner tables, so a waterproof mattress pad is essential. We like the Legends Hotel mattress pad because it truly is waterproof. Even better, it doesn’t have any plasticky sounds or smell and serves as a cushy bed topper. The lofty poly fill topper provides lots of extra comfort, which is a bonus, especially since many dorm mattresses may not be the plushest.

This mattress pad is also very convenient because it can go in the washer and dryer, which makes life easier for your college student.

Sizes: Twin XL, twin, queen, king | Materials: 400-thread count cotton damask stripe shell, synthetic polyfill, and thermoplastic polyurethane inner layer | What’s included: One mattress pad | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine washable

Best Quilt: UGG Devon 2-Piece Twin/Twin XL Quilt

UGG Devon 2-Piece Twin/Twin XL Quilt Set

Bed Bath & Beyond

Pros
  • Neutral colors

  • Multiple pattern options

  • Lighter than other quilts

Cons
  • Fabric may pill after several washes

This lovely set from UGG features eight neutral color options, and the styles are far from what your teen may associate a quilt with (no old lady patterns here!). The neutral colors are a perfect base to add throw pillows, colorful sheets, or other decorations to spice up the decor. 

Machine washable, the twin XL set comes with a quilt and a sham, so it may be worth adding a few fun throw pillows to your order. This quilt is made of soft and cozy polyester and is very lightweight compared to other quilts, but be aware that the fabric may pill after a few washes.

Sizes: Twin XL, queen, king | Materials: Polyester | What’s included: Twin XL set includes quilt and pillow sham | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine washable

Best Duvet Insert: The Company Store Company Essentials Down Alternative Duvet Insert

The Company Store Company Essentials Down Alternative Duvet Insert

The Company Store

Pros
  • Long-lasting

  • Medium warmth

Cons
  • Needs a duvet cover

For super cozy comfort that is perfect for indecisive college students or those who like to change things up every now and then, a duvet insert is a great bedding option. Interior designers Manor and Miller agree, telling us, “Duvet is the way. There are some fantastic down alternatives out there. The Company Store has excellent inserts at reasonable price points.” And once you have the insert, you and your student can choose any duvet cover to create the decor of their dreams. 

This medium-weight insert is ideal for year-round warmth, and corner loops make it easy to attach to a duvet cover. While some people may prefer down, the polyester fiber filling in this Company Store insert is hypoallergenic, which makes it a great option for kids with allergies and sensitivities.

Sizes: Twin XL, twin, queen, king | Materials: Cotton shell, polyester fiberfill | What’s included: One duvet insert | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash cold

Best Duvet Cover: The Company Store Company Cotton Wrinkle-Free Sateen Duvet Cover

The Company Store Company Cotton Wrinkle-Free Sateen Duvet Cover

The Company Store

  • Wrinkle free

  • Interior corner ties for secure duvet attachment

  • Shams and other accessories sold separately

If you go the route of a duvet, you’ll need a duvet cover to complete the look. This classic cover comes in a number of rich, neutral colors that can add sophistication to any dorm room. Even better, it’s wrinkle-free, so making the bed look made is a cinch. The cover buttons close at the bottom, and it has interior corner ties to secure the duvet.

This machine-washable option is on the more expensive side, and you'll need to buy matching shams and other accessories separately.

Sizes: Twin, full, king, queen | Materials: Combed cotton sateen | What’s included: One duvet cover | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash warm

Best Stylish: Pottery Barn Teen Boxter Plaid Organic Sheet Set

Pottery Barn Teen Boxter Plaid Organic Sheet Set

Pottery Barn Teen

Pros
  • Gender neutral classic style

  • 200-thread count organic cotton

  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory

Cons
  • Expensive

Classic plaid is stylish, gender neutral, and can be a solid base for any extra (or colorful) decorations. This sheet set is a subtle plaid with oversized colored boxes; the standout is the navy/light gray combo. The set comes with a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one pillowcase, although more pillowcases can be purchased separately. 

Making the bed is easy with this set—the fitted sheet has universal elastic that goes around the whole sheet, secures it, and helps newbies keep their beds looking nice and neat. For college kiddos that love design inspo, PB Teen has a dorm-specific section on its site full of ideas, decorations, celebrity recommendations, and other dorm-friendly accessories. Conscientious young folks will also be happy to know these were made with organic cotton in factories certified by a third party to have sustainable labor practices.

Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full, queen | Materials: Percale cotton | What’s included: Flat sheet, fitted sheet, one pillowcase | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash

Best Set: Brooklinen Classic Move-In Bundle

Brooklinen Classic Move-In Bundle

Courtesy of Brooklinen

Pros
  • Customizable 

  • Complete bedding set

Cons
  • Expensive

While certainly a splurge, the Brooklinen move-in bundle is a customizable bedding shopping experience. With its user-friendly website, you can build your own bundle with a choice of sheet pattern and size, comforter weight and material, and pillow fill, size, and support. 

This bundle is a helpful option if your college kiddo will be traveling far away for school. You can order it at home and have it shipped right to their school, so they’ll have everything they need, including a bottle of laundry detergent!

Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Materials: Cotton sheets and shells; comforters are filled with down or recycled PET microfiber, and pillows are filled with down, recycled PET microfiber, or memory foam | What’s included: One fitted sheet, one flat sheet, one comforter, two pillows, and a 32-ounce bottle of detergent | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash

Best Budget: Mainstays Silver 6-Piece Bed in a Bag Comforter Set With Sheets, Twin

Mainstays Silver 6 Piece Bed in a Bag Comforter Set With Sheets, Twin

Walmart

  • Inexpensive

  • Includes bed skirt

  • Lightweight comforter

  • Polyester microfiber may bother sensitive skin

A highly rated set with a price that can’t be beaten, this six-piece “bed in a bag” includes everything you need to create a beautiful space. The set even includes a bed skirt, which is especially useful if you’ll be storing items under the bed and want to hide them. 

Available in six attractive options, the sheets and comforters come in contrasting colors, so the set really pops and looks great. One click and your kid's college dorm bedding needs will be done.

Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king | Materials: Polyester microfiber | What’s included: Bed skirt, fitted sheet, flat sheet, pillow case, sham, comforter | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash

Best Comforter: Utopia Bedding Down Alternative Twin Comforter Set

Utopia Bedding Twin Comforter Set

Amazon

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Solid and patterned options

Cons
  • Sizes run small

A good comforter is soft and cozy, and by simply pulling it up on the bed, a college dorm room can look neater and homier. This attractive option offers an array of styles, and with such an affordable price tag, it’s not a huge deal if this comforter doesn’t survive the college years or your student decides they’d prefer a new pattern for the next year. 

Available in a range of solid colors and slightly detailed quatrefoil designs, these can easily be spruced up with some colorful pillows.

Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king | Materials: Polyester microfiber | What’s included: Comforter and pillow sham | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash cold

Best Bed Skirt: Dormify Extra Long Dorm Bed Skirt

Dormify Extra Long Dorm Bed Skirt

Dormify

Pros
  • Extra long size

  • Four color options

Cons
  • One size only

Bed skirts can be a useful tool that not only make your college bed look neat and tidy but by adding one, you can store lots of stuff under the bed without anyone knowing. We like this extra-long one since it works for lofted beds and taller bed frames, which are typical in many dorms. 

Dormify is a college bedding-specific website and has “bed visualizer” and “design your own bed” tools, which are fun for design-focused teens to engage with. Free shipping helps seal the deal.

Sizes: Twin XL | Materials: Cotton percale | What’s included: One extra long bed skirt | Cleaning/care instructions: Machine wash cold

Final Verdict

For easy ordering with lots of options, the Amazon Basics Reversible Bed in a Bag is a budget-friendly choice that will supply all the college bedding your student needs. The one item all college students should have is a mattress cover, and the Legends Hotel waterproof mattress pad not only protects the mattress but also makes the bed plusher and comfier.

How We Selected the Best College Dorm Bedding

To select our college dorm bedding recommendations, we looked for high-quality products that offered a variety of price points and styles that would be appealing to college students. Other factors included our expert recommendations, shipping and return policies, materials, care instructions, and availability. User reviews (and complaints) were also helpful to find bedding that lived up to its promises of quality and customer service.

What to Look for in College Dorm Bedding

When selecting bedding, help your college student find something that’s comfortable, cozy, and easy to set up. “College is your kid's first foray into adulthood—beds should be comfy, classic, and more mature than the teen bedroom,” according to interior design and home staging professionals Sara Manor and Shara Miller. You'll also want to consider how practical and easy to wash the bedding is.

Materials

Always check the materials before purchase, especially if it’s a material blend or there are allergies or skin sensitivities. “The materials matter whether in a dorm, a nursery, or a primary suite,” Manor and Miller tell Verywell Family. “Durability and washability are certainly toward the top of the priority list, but comfort here is king. Soft cotton sheet sets, down pillows, and duvet inserts (if allergies allow) are always best.”

Washing and Care Instructions

Aim for machine washable and dryable materials. It’s hard to imagine a college student hand-washing or hang-drying anything with a successful outcome. If possible, wash all the bedding at home prior to use, and when you pack them up for college, arm your student with laundry detergent instead of relying on them to buy some. Not only will this set them up for success, but using detergent from home can provide some powerful smell connections. 

Style

Let your child choose their own style. Living alone is a big milestone, and they should feel comfortable and confident with their selection. If they’re seeking your advice, suggest they “stay away from trends,” said the interior design experts. Since your kiddo will use this bedding for the whole school year (and hopefully longer), a classic and comfortable style is best.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What size are college dorm beds?

    Most beds in college dorms and residence halls are twin XL size, which is typically 38 inches wide by 80 inches long. Twin XL beds are 5 inches longer than a twin, making them suitable for taller students. Check for size specifics with your college prior to purchase.

  • How many sets of sheets do college students need?

    This may depend on the student, their preference, and the climate. According to Manor and Miller, it’s important to have at least two sets, “one on the bed, one in the laundry bag (hopefully on its way to the machine).” Before heading off to college, make sure your student knows how to do laundry and how often it should be done. If they are going to school in a very cold climate, flannel sheets are a cozy winter option.

  • Is it better to have a duvet or comforter in a college dorm?

    This is a personal preference for your student. In terms of investment and comfort, the two interior designers agree that duvets are more practical. “If allergies aren't an issue, a top-notch baffled goose down duvet insert can last for years, and there's nothing comparable in terms of comfort.” If your student does prefer a duvet but wants to avoid allergens or purchasing down, there are many down alternatives on the market, including eco-friendly recycled options.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 12-year-old son, a 9-year-old son, and a 5-year-old daughter. Her kids are far from being college students and her college days are long behind her, but she loves cozy bedding, and her kids do, too.