Every college student loves to sleep, and they arguably need it considering their work and play lifestyle. That’s why the bed is one of the most important factors in their home away from home. For some, that'll mean investing in one of the best mattresses for college students. For others, a bed will be provided – in which case it's all about the bedding. The priority is a setup that's comfortable to sleep on with sheets which are quick to wash and convenient to use — if they add to the aesthetics, then that’s only a bonus.
The problem is, most college students are newly independent and they don’t realize the actions they can take to make their life a little easier — particularly when it comes to bedding. Luckily, we’ve pulled together 7 tips to break down the essentials. If you’re new to college life, make sure you take the time to read these.
Also, be sure to check out 7 cleaning hacks every college student should know.
1. Buy more than one set of bedding
A full bedding set can take some time to wash and dry, particularly if you’re separating colors from whites. Rather than trying to finish the chore in a single day to refit the same sheets, invest in a second set of bedding which can be exchanged on laundry day. That way, there’s no need to rush and you can change the bedding whenever you want.
When it comes to choosing the best bedding set, opt for a fitted bottom sheet rather than unfitted — these are much quicker and easier to change. You might need a deep design as well, depending on the mattress, which can help it fit more snugly.
2. Don’t make your bed straight away
You may have been taught to make your bed as soon as you rise, but that’s actually a bad habit. We sweat throughout the night as we sleep, and by making your bed first thing you’re actually sealing in that moisture, which encourages dust mites.
Instead, pull back the covers and let your bed breathe for a couple of hours before you make it. If you can open up the windows and doors to let the room vent and release the moisture, then that’s even better.
3. Wash your bedding when needed
It can be all too easy to forget about washing your bedding, especially if you’re new to the chore. But, sooner or later, unwashed bedding will start to smell musty, which can be pretty potent and even deter guests.
Get into the habit of washing your sheets once a week to keep these smells at bay. Wash according to the care label and use a scented fabric softener if you want a fragrant finish. Check out these 9 laundry tips every college student should know.
Don’t forget that even the best pillows will need washing when necessary as well — if you notice yellow sweat stains forming on them, that’s a sign that they need a wash. Check out our guide on how to wash a pillow for more details.
4. Opt for Easy Care bedding
Look out for bedding with ‘Easy Care’ in the name. This means it’s made of a blend of materials (usually including synthetics) to give it a practical finish, which is essentially easy to care for. That means it’s quicker to dry versus pure cotton, while still offering a durable finish and it doesn’t wrinkle so easily as well.
Whatever you do, don’t buy bedding which comes with special washing instructions, such as hand wash only — silk pillowcases are great until you realize you need to scrub it in a sink on a weekly basis.
5. Invest in pillow protectors and a mattress protector
Whether you’re prone to spilling drinks, or just want to be hygienic, pillow and mattress protectors are a must-have if you want to keep the bed in tip-top condition. These essentially act as a barrier between you and the mattress and pillows. They help prevent sweat stains from forming in your bedding and are much easier to wash when the time comes.
You can also opt for a mattress protector to suit your needs and preferences — they’re not all loud and crunchy with waterproof properties. Some come with cooling claims to help you sleep better at night, while others are designed with comfort in mind. Check out our list of the best mattress protectors to help you decide.
6. Invest in a topper if you need added comfort
Let's face it: The mattress your college provides you probably isn't on anyone's list of the best mattress. The good news is whether you prefer the film support of memory foam, or need something a little softer, you can buy one of the best mattress toppers to make sleeping a little easier.
Mattress toppers are designed specifically to add comfort to your mattress. They sit on top and are often held in place via elasticated straps. They’re generally thinner than the mattress itself and fairly portable, which makes them convenient if you often switch beds. A range of materials are available as well as varying levels of firmness to suit your sleep.
7. Opt for summer and winter duvets
Space may be limited in your room, but you should still buy two different duvets to suit the summer and winter months. These will help you maintain the correct temperature at night, so you get a better quality of sleep. A thinner duvet can also help reduce the amount you sweat in the summer months, so your bedding will last longer.
Look for duvets designed to suit the relevant seasons, or opt for one which is adjustable to save yourself storing two. If you prefer to keep two duvets, you can always vacuum-pack one away to save on storage space. We recommend the Spacesaver Premium Vacuum Storage Bags ($33.99, Amazon).
For more back to school content, check out 7 tips to save space in a student dorm room and 5 dorm room appliances that you will and won't need. Also, here's our guides on how to clean a cast iron skillet, how to clean a toilet and what do laundry symbols mean?