How To Make A Dorm Bed More Comfortable – 10 Tips and Tricks
Dorm beds are built to take up less space and accommodate more people in the same room. That often makes them uncomfortable. They’re usually covered in plastic and hard from years of use. However, there are things you can do to make your dorm bed more comfortable. Mattress toppers, quality sheets, and a good mattress can give your dorm bed a new lease on life. Putting in a little effort can make your dorm bed a pleasant and relaxing place to sleep. So, let us give you some tips to make a dorm bed more comfortable.
To make a dorm bed more comfortable you can install a mattress topper, invest in high-quality sheets, layer with comfortable blankets, and stock up on pillows.
What Are College Dorm Mattresses Made Of?
Generally, dorm mattresses are too firm, especially the ones used in the college dorm rooms. It’s unlikely you will get a brand new mattress. Your mattress will probably be lumpy and lacking sufficient support, with a worn-out dent down the middle from overuse. Dorm beds typically double as seating, so they are likely to be worn irregularly on the edges too.
College dorm mattresses are typically innerspring mattresses or made up of low-quality foams.
College mattresses also tend to be optimized for durability rather than for comfort. This list from Martin bedding, for example, lists all the ways that their mattresses are durable but none of these features aid in creating softness in the mattress:
- Two-Sided (Flippable)
- Flame Barrier
- Fluid Barrier
- Phthalate Free
- Durable Dual-Textile Construction
- High-Density Comfort Foam Padding
- Long Lasting Bonnel Innerspring Unit
Additionally, high-quality mattresses utilize fabrics that are manufactured to help regulate your body heat. In an attempt to reduce costs, a lot of manufacturers encase the foam mattress core in a cheap fabric. This will absorb and trap your body heat, making you hot in bed. These cheaper mattresses make it more difficult to sleep. If you want to learn more about what makes a good quality mattress that assists in an optimal sleep experience, then read this article from Perfect Cloud.
Below you’ll find some dorm bed manufacturers and the materials of beds that they sell. Notice that they typically use innersprings or foam that are optimized for durability rather than comfort.
|Dorm Bed Manufacturer||Bed Material|
|American Bedding||Innerspring Core|
|Med Mattress||Foam Core|
|National Home Store||Foam, Innerspring or Gel Infused Mattress|
|Martin Bedding||Innerspring Core|
Nine Tips To Make A Dorm Bed More Comfortable
When you first get to your dorm, lift your mattress and look at the floor below it. If it’s dirty, grab a vacuum and clean beneath it to get rid of any old smells and dust. Then, flip your mattress since the bottom side is probably cleaner. Use a spray disinfectant with a fresh scent on the mattress to get rid of germs and neutralize any odors.
Then, see if you can turn your bed into a loft bed. This can give you more floor space with the option to put a desk underneath. Read our article on 8 Ways to make loft beds look cool, for unique ideas for your dorm room. If that doesn’t work, you can try raising your bed. This way, you can store more underneath it. Read our guide on choosing bed risers to help choose the bed risers for your needs.
In addition to raising your bed, purchase a mattress cover and topper. A mattress cover helps keep your mattress clean and a topper gives you extra padding to make your dorm bed more comfortable.
To make your dorm bed more comfortable, install a mattress topper for extra comfort and padding, purchase high-quality sheets with high thread counts because they are softer, use cozy blankets made of fleece or cotton, and stock up on pillows. Put on a mattress protector to stop bed bugs and prevent stains, purchase your own mattress, get bed risers to make your bed taller, use a fan to help maintain cool temperatures, and have a no-liquid policy on your bed to keep things clean.
Tip 1. Install a Mattress Topper for Extra Comfort and Padding
A mattress topper is a quick and easy solution for a hard bed. It sits atop your mattress and provides a soft cushion. While the mattress supports the bulk of your weight, you’ll feel the additional comfort and extra padding from the topper. Depending on your college or university, most dorm mattresses are twin XL. That means a twin XL mattress topper is your best bet but check for more information on your university’s student housing website for specifics on your dorm mattress, or measure your mattress when you move in.
A mattress topper like OCM mattress topper for college dorms from Amazon can help make your dorm bed softer and more comfortable. It’s made from down which will help you regulate your mattress’ temperature so you aren’t too hot or cold while sleeping. Installing a mattress topper provides extra comfort for a hard bed. If you want to learn more about why you should buy a mattress topper for your dorm bed, check out this article from Viscosoft, a mattress topper manufacturer. Make sure to also check out our article, can you buy a pillow top for your mattress for more options too.
Tip 2. Purchase High-Quality Sheets With High Thread Counts Because They Are Softer
It’s important to invest in nice sheets since your skin makes direct contact with them throughout the night. Cheap sheets can make it harder to fall asleep since they can make your skin itch or make you sweat. When purchasing sheets, consider high-quality materials that suit your needs for different temperatures and conditions.
Basic dorm bed twin-sized bed sheets usually work for dorm mattresses. You should double-check what size your provided mattress is. However, the standard college dorm bed is a twin XL. Sheets like HC collection Bed Sheets are a great choice since they are durable and keep you comfortable at night.
Tip 3. Use Cozy Blankets Made of Fleece or Cotton
Find blankets or comforters that feel cozy. Cotton, fleece, and polyester are great materials to make a dorm bed more comfortable.
Depending on where your school or college is located, you may experience drastic fluctuations in weather. If this is the case, get different-sized weighted blankets for any occasion. Heated blankets are a good investment in the winter, like this Sable electric throw.
For your dorm bed comforter, buy one that correlates to your mattress’s size. It can be tricky, as not all comforter manufacturers work by the same bed measurements. For a twin or twin XL, it’s safe to purchase a matching sized comforter. We like this Cosybay down alternative from Amazon because it will be warm in winter and cool in summer.
For cozy blankets, consider buying Matrex blankets which are made of fleece. They are available at reasonable prices, soft, and comfortable. They also don’t feel cold in winter when you get into bed (unlike cotton which feels cold until your body heat warms it up).
Tip 4. Stock Up On Pillows That Match Your Body’s Needs
Although decorative pillows are aesthetically pleasing, you need functional pillows to sleep on. Since it’s unlikely the bed your dorm provides will be spacious, make the most of the space you have with just a few essential pillows. Read our memory foam pillow shopping guide where we investigate memory foam pillows and their features compared to traditional pillows.
Pillows are not one size fits all. Find a couple that match your body’s needs and preferences. For instance, if you sleep on your side, find a pillow made for side-sleepers. Down alternative pillows like Edow luxury soft pillows on Amazon are affordable, durable, and great for all seasons.
Tip 5. Put On A Mattress Protector to Stop Bed Bugs and Stains
Since you don’t know the history of the mattress you’ll be sleeping on, consider investing in a protective layer. A mattress protector can shield you against bed bugs, which are fond of hiding in the seams, crevices, and folds of mattresses and box springs. A mattress protector also keeps the mattress protected against spills while eating or drinking.
For high-quality mattress protectors, consider CrystalTowels protectors because they maintain comfort while providing breathable protection.
Tip 6. Purchase Your Own Mattress To Guarantee Your Dorm Bed is Comfortable
If your school allows it, the most effective way to guarantee your dorm bed is comfortable is by purchasing your own mattress. Select a mattress that is made from high-performance materials like latex foam or gel-infused memory foam which provide ventilation. To learn more about how to tell if you need to replace the mattress your school provides, read this article from Foamite. Mattresses like Linenspa on Amazon are perfect for dorms because they are portable.
Tip 7. Get Bed Risers to Make Your Bed Taller
Bed risers are a good option when you want to adjust the height of your bed. Raising the height of the bed can make it easier for you to get in and out of bed and allow you to store more stuff underneath! Consider buying bed risers such as these ones because they are easy to install and can hold heavy furniture.
Tip 8. Use a Fan to Help Maintain A Cool Sleeping Temperature
If you can’t make changes to your bed, a fan can help you maintain cool temperatures and allow your body to breathe at night. Moreover, it can help dissipate any extra heat from a cheap mattress.
Tip 9. Have a No-Liquid Policy on Your Bed to Keep Things Clean
It’s best to have a no-liquid policy on your bed to keep things clean. Your mattress can absorb the liquid and get damaged. However, if you get sick and need to eat or drink in bed, you can always use a bed tray. A bed tray can keep spills off your mattress and are easy to clean. Amazon offers high-quality bed trays like this one from Rossie Home, which can also double as a lap tray for books when reading in bed.
You may also find some additional tips and tricks for your dorm bed by reading a realtaed article about our simple steps to make a comfortable truck camping bed too.
Do You Need A Mattress Protector For College?
A mattress protector is a necessity for your dorm bed. Other people have used the mattress before you, so you should protect yourself from any stains or odors people may have left behind.
Buy a mattress protector for college to protect yourself from old stains on the mattress and to protect your mattress from food or liquid that you accidentally spill. A zippered mattress protector can also prevent bed bugs from inhabiting the mattress or from leaving an infested mattress.
You can also buy a mattress protector made from an antimicrobial material, which can prevent the spread of bacterial diseases like MRSA that thrive on college campuses. We recommend this platinum mattress protector to protect against bacteria and allergens. Read our article on choosing a mattress topper or mattress pad for college to help you figure out which type of layering you need on your dorm bed.
Can You Bring Your Bed Frame To College?
College beds and desks are chosen to optimize the limited floor space in a dorm room. Most colleges recommend that students bring their own bedding to make their beds more comfortable, but the beds are provided as standard.
Typically, colleges will not allow you to bring your own bed frames to college because of limited space and storage. Every college will have its own rules so it’s best to check with your college first.
Below you’ll find some examples of colleges and their policies for bringing bedding, beds, and bed frames.
|College||Rules for Bringing Beds or Bed Frames|
|Cornell||Beds and Bed Frames are provided. Students must bring their own sheets and blankets.|
|Carthage College||Beds and Twin mattresses are provided. Students can bring other bedding to college.|
|Spelman College||Beds and Twin mattresses are provided. Students can bring their own pillows, sheets, etc.|
|Merrimack College||Students are provided beds and twin XL mattresses.|
In a Nutshell
With a little foresight and planning, your college bed can be every bit as comfortable as your bed back home. The easiest way to improve your college bed is to add a mattress topper that will adjust the firmness and cushioning of a worn out mattress, and improve the bed’s ventilation. Read our in-depth guide on mattress topper types to determine what materials, thickness and density will best improve your college mattress. Adding your own plush bedding and pillows will also improve your college bed.
Here is a table of essential items to make your college bed more comfortable.
|Memory Foam Pillow||Align your neck with your spine to ensure a neutral spine and avoid neck aches||Power of Nature, orthopedic sleeping pillow||~ $30|
|Bed Sheet Set||Provide a smooth, soft barrier between you and the mattress to ensure restful sleep.||Best season 3-piece sheet set||~ $25|
|Mattress Protector||Protects mattress against bed bugs, moisture, dust mites, and other allergens.||TasteLife waterproof mattress protector||~ $25|
|Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper||Improved the comfort and support of your mattress and prevents overheating during the night.||Memory Foam 2-inch gel-infused mattress topper||~ $60|
|All Season Comforter||The down alternative filler in this comforter will keep you warm during winter and cool during summer.||Vilano Springs premium oversized down alternative comforter||~ $35|