Finally figure out all the dang layers of a dorm bed with this easy dorm bedding essentials list!
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For some reason, the layers of a dorm bed seem to confuse just about everyone. It’s not your fault, there are literally a million different steps to making a bed in a college dorm room.
Here is a step by step guide of all the dorm bedding essentials you are going to need to create your perfect dorm bed, plus my favorite products for each!
This post is all about dorm bedding essentials!
Before I start on the layers, I just want to remind you to raise your bed now if it isn’t already done. You definitely don’t want to wait until your bed is all made and heavy. It’s easiest to do when it’s nothing but the mattress.
Alright… now onto the dorm bedding essentials.
Layer 1: mattress
First things first is the mattress. For the most part, the mattress should already be in the room when you move in. So, you have nothing to worry about here!
Layer 2: Bedbug Protecting mattress cover
This does exactly what it sounds like: protects the bed from bedbugs! Just put it directly on the mattress and you will stay safe from bedbugs and keep the mattress protected.
Layer 3: non-slip rug pad
Wondering what a non-slip rug pad could possibly be for on a dorm room bed?!
This is a little secret that saved my sister’s bed in college! Without this pad, when you go to get in your bed, all the layers tend to move around. The mattress topper slides a little and the whole bed is off.
BUT, having a non-slip pad in between the mattress and topper will keep it from sliding. That way, your bed will actually stay nice and neat, even after you’ve gotten on and off a bunch of times.
These usually come in a big roll, so just measure the size of your bed and cut the pad appropriately. Depending on the mattress topper you get, you might be able to skip this step.
Layer 4: mattress topper
If you noticed in the first layer, the mattress isn’t like the nice quality one that you may have a home. That’s where the mattress topper comes in. This is basically the extra cushion on your bed to actually make it comfortable to sleep in.
There are a million and one different mattress toppers out there with different sizes and thicknesses, so make sure you get one that will fit your bed. And these can get very pricey very quickly so be careful with what you’re buying!
Layer 5: mattress pad
The mattress pad acts both another layer of cushion and a layer of protection. While it’s not as cushion-y as the mattress topper, it’s still a little something to make your bed more comfortable. Plus, the goal of the mattress pad is to protect the mattress topper from getting dirty, because those things can be pretty dang expensive!
Layer 6: sheets & pillows
At this point, the bed is all cushioned and protected. Now’s the fun part: decorating!
Sheets come first. Make your bed with whatever sheet set you decided to buy. There are hundreds of different colors and patterns out there, so buy whatever you love and whatever will match the rest of your room decor!
For this as well, you also want to check with your school about the size of the bed. For most schools, you need to buy a twin XL sheet set. However, some beds are different so double check to make sure you are getting the right thing.
Your sheet set should come with a fitted sheet to put on the bed, as well as some pillowcases. If it comes with a flat sheet and you don’t need it, just fold it nicely and put it at the top of your closet or underneath your bed.
As far as pillows, I would go into a store and physically feel them to make sure you get comfortable ones.
Layer 7: comforter
Once your bed is made, now just lay on the comforter or whatever blanket you are using. If your school is located somewhere hot, you may only need a quilt or other light blanket instead.
Again, do some research online and find whatever blanket you like the best, there are a lot out there!
Layer 8: Decorative pillows & blankets
Your bed is almost complete! The last of the dorm bedding essentials to really make it look pretty are decorative throw pillows and a throw blanket.
You want to make sure not to go overboard here, because let me tell you, that is very VERY easy to do. Think about it this way: your dorm bed will look beautifully decorated with all your decorative pillows for a picture or two, but then what? When it comes time to sleep, where do they all go?
Your dorm room is going to be cramped enough, so you definitely do not want to deal with having way too many throw pillows lying around.
Instead, try to only buy a few decorative pillows for your bed. That way, it’ll still look nice, but you won’t have to deal with so many pillows.
As far as a throw blanket goes, I would suggest just getting one that can stay at the end of your bed.
If you want to get extra fancy with your dorm bed, you can even get a headboard! These usually stick to the wall and are just a cushion that gives the appearance of a headboard.
Now that you know all the dorm room bedding essentials, what about the rest of the room?! Check out this ultimate dorm room packing list that has everything in this article PLUS MORE. This list covers over 10 different categories and includes over 200 items! I promise, you aren’t going to forget a thing with this packing list!
This post was all about dorm bedding essentials!