Whether you're a freshman or otherwise new to dorm life, you need to make sure you bring the right stuff for your bed. So, what size are dorm beds? This question is important because your dorm bed probably isn't the same size as your bed at home.
What Size Are Dorm Beds?
Beds come in all sizes, from the small Twin to the massive California King. Most dorm beds are a size known as Twin XL, where the XL stands for extra long, not extra-large.
So your dorm bed will be the same width as a typical twin bed. However, it will be about five inches longer.
That added length is nice, especially since most college students are fully grown. You need some extra length so your feet don't hang off the edge.
Most dorm beds are the same size, so even if you move from one dorm to another, you can probably use the same sheets and comforter.
But if you're completely new to dorm life, you will need to do some shopping to prepare for your new bed. That's right; unfortunately, you can't use Twin bedding on a Twin XL.
However, there's a pretty good reason why most dorm beds are Twin XL.
Why does bed size matter?
The size of your bed may seem trivial, but it can be surprisingly important. Most dorm rooms are tiny, and you usually have to fit at least two beds in there.
So to make the most of a dorm room, dorm beds need to be small enough to fit yet large enough to account for the fact that college students are adults. Therefore, college students need adult-sized beds.
Since you can't compromise on the length of the bed, you have to compromise on the width. So, what size are dorm beds? The standard Twin XL bed measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long.
And because dorm rooms are already small enough, you probably won't have room for a comfortable chair or couch. Your bed and desk are your two options when it comes to hanging out in your room.
Lastly, bed size is also good to know because most of us don't own Twin XL sheets or comforters. Maybe you have an older sibling who has lived in a dorm. Or perhaps you went to a summer camp at a college.
In those cases, you might have a good set of dorm sheets. But for most incoming students, that's not the case.
You can't just bring your Twin sheets and expect them to fit. Instead, you need to get Twin XL sheets.
What's the difference between Twin and Twin XL?
If you're wondering what size are dorm beds and how they compare to a regular bed, we understand. A Twin XL bed is most similar to a Twin, but there are some differences.
The most significant difference between Twin and Twin XL beds is that Twin XL beds are five inches longer than Twin beds. Both mattresses are the same width, at 38 inches.
However, the two bed sizes serve different purposes.
First, Twin XL beds are super common in college dorms. We haven't heard of dorms with regular Twin beds.
On the other hand, most people sleep on a Twin bed when growing up. Many kids don't need a bed that's 80 inches long, so the 75-inch long Twin is the perfect upgrade from a crib.
The added length is probably the biggest advantage to Twin XL beds. So while you may not be able to use your childhood sheets, the extra space will be worth it.
Can you use a Twin comforter on a dorm bed?
When contemplating what size are dorm beds, you may wonder if you can use the same comforter on Twin and Twin XL beds. Of course, you can use a Twin comforter on a dorm bed.
However, it will probably be too short for your needs. Unless you're on a really tight budget, we recommend splurging on a Twin XL comforter.
Not only will it fit your dorm bed, but you can get one to match your sheets or your overall dorm room aesthetic. Also, you can leave your childhood comforter at home so that you still have it for when you visit.
What about a Full comforter?
Maybe you're one of those students who eventually switched from a Twin to a Full bed. In that case, you may have an extra Full bed comforter.
While it may be long enough, a Full comforter might also be too wide. A Full bed is over a foot wider than a Twin XL, so the sides of your comforter will hang lower.
If you're able to loft your bed, that extra width may come in handy for hiding stuff under your bed. However, it's still not ideal.
What to Get for a Dorm Bed
What size are dorm beds? Now that you know the standard size, it's time to go dorm shopping.
Of course, you want to check with your school to make sure they use Twin XL beds. Because not all schools do, and you don't want to bring the wrong size bedding.
So ask your school, what size are dorm beds on their campus? Then, you'll be able to shop for your dorm since you'll know how big your bed will be.
After you know what size are dorm beds at your school, it's time to figure out what to bring to make your bed as cozy as can be.
Under the covers
First, you need a good set of sheets for your dorm bed. But again, make sure you buy the right size. Luckily, many department stores carry Twin XL sheets.
In most cases, you can find what you need without having to go to a special store.
Now, you can choose from a ton of different colors, materials, and thread counts. While we won't get into the details here, make sure you choose something you like and that's comfortable.
You can choose a color to match your dorm decor. And even if you want to buy everything online, consider going to a store to get a feel for different materials, like microfiber, cotton, and jersey sheets.
Next, you'll probably need a comforter. Unless your college is in the desert, it will probably get cold from time to time. And when it does, a good comforter will be your best friend.
Comforters come in all sorts of colors and designs, so you can choose one that you like. You can get one that matches your dorm color scheme, or you can work with your roommate to choose matching comforters.
Just make sure you get a Twin XL comforter so that it's not too small or too big.
Rest your head
Of course, we couldn't leave out pillows. When considering what size are dorm beds, the size of your pillow doesn't matter so much.
You shouldn't get a King-sized pillow. But you don't have to get something tiny either. With a bed width of 38 inches, you can probably get away with a Standard or Queen-sized pillow.
However, don't go overboard on decorative pillows. Sure, you can bring one or two to add a pop of color. But consider where you'll put those extra pillows when you get into your bed.
Do you want to put them on the floor? Or will you make space for them on your desk? Dorms are small enough already, so you may not want to take up more space than necessary.
Depending on your sleeping habits and preferences, you may or may not want this next item. Most dorm beds aren't that comfortable, so many college students bring a mattress topper.
But again, you have to consider what size are dorm beds at your school. That way, you can get a mattress topper in the right size.
But regardless of size, a mattress topper can make your dorm bed a little more comfortable. They come in all kinds of materials, from memory foam to cotton. Just make sure that you choose one that fits your bed and won't be too big for your sheets.
Keep it simple
If you're on a time crunch or you just can't seem to find bedding that you like, you can look for a bed set. But what size are dorm beds and do they have bed sets that fit?
Yes, bed sets do come in a Twin XL size, so you can probably find one for your dorm bed.
A bed set will come with everything you need, from sheets to a comforter. What's more, all of your bedding will match, so you don't have to worry about that.
Now, you may still need to find a mattress topper. However, it doesn't have to match your bedding since your bedding will probably cover the mattress topper.
Home Sweet Home
Going away to college can be an exciting yet stressful time. You're moving away from your family for the first time. Of course, you'll have more freedom, but you may miss some of the comforts of home.
Luckily, getting some bedding that you like can ease your anxiety. What won't ease that anxiety is wondering what size are dorm beds at your college or university.
While most dorm beds are Twin XL, some may differ. So before you head out on a dorm shopping spree, be sure you check with your school so that you get everything in the correct size.
If you're currently in college, what size are dorm beds at your school? And if you're out of college, what size are dorm beds at your alma mater? Let us know in the comments!