Your bed is quite possibly the most important thing in your dorm room. You need to be able to sleep well in order to do your work, and in order to have enough energy to have fun afterwards.
Mattresses and Mattress Pads for Dorm Room Beds
Most dorm room beds are adequate. If you have back problems, you might find it necessary to bring a mattress from home. However, mattresses are very bulky and may not fit the bed when you get there. Either of these factors may make bringing a mattress from home impractical. It’s much easier to transport a mattress pad, which is placed over the mattress in order to make it more comfortable.
Mattress pads have to fit the mattress that they’re going to be placed on, and you probably won’t know if you’re going to need one until you’re at college lying on the bed realizing it will be uncomfortable. For these reasons, it may be better to wait until you’re actually at university before picking a mattress pad. At least they are easier to get back to the university with you than a full mattress! You can probably get one home on the bus if you really try, although it will definitely be bulky and awkward. It’s not going to fit on a bicycle, so if you can find a friend or parent with a car it will make getting it to your dorm room much easier.
Dorm Bedding: Sheets, Blankets, Quilts and Duvets
Extra bedding is one of the less obvious dorm room needs. Universities provide bedding, but you may find that they do not provide enough warm bedding for winter – unless you are supposed to keep the heat on all night, which seems very wasteful of energy. Some dorm rooms are drafty, and then there are also power outages to consider. This makes bringing extra dorm bedding important.
A duvet or quilt is probably the simplest type to bring. Duvets usually have covers put on them. These covers are available in many different colors and patterns. Because they are so large and visible, it’s important to pick something that you like. It should also either go with the rest of the room, or you should be willing to build a color scheme around it. Two duvet covers are better than one, but one will do as long as you have easy access to laundry facilities. Extra sheets are also useful so that you have two bedding sets rather than one. This makes changing the sheets easier.
There’s another good reason to bring bedding… the blankets provided are often ugly. They may be white cotton, gray wool, or even a hideous off-pink color that makes you wonder if a previous student used them for dye experiments.
Bedding should be machine washable and dryable. The duvet itself probably doesn’t have to be, as you won’t need to clean it often, but its cover must be washable. Even if it doesn’t touch your skin, what happens if you spill coffee or soup on it? There isn’t room to hang bedding to dry in a dorm room. It really does have to be machine dryable if it’s going to be washed at all.
Transporting or Storing Dorm Bedding
Bedding is probably one of the bulkiest items you will be bringing from home, but it’s worth it. Fortunately, many universities have storage where students can leave things over the summer until the start of next semester. Check if your university offers this, because it’s really useful if they do. Of course, if you brought the duvet off your bed at home, you’ll probably want to take it back with you.