Friday, August 2, 2013

College Shopping Guide: The Linen Department

Dorm Room ZzZzZz's
by Emmy Hirsch, guest blogger

Target has diverse selection of XL sheet sets and down and down alternative comforters
Thinking about moving into a totally new and foreign space is making me a little crazed, so instead of worrying about who my roommate is, what the courses are going to be like, and how am I going to get my morning dose (or two) of caffeine, I am focusing on gathering things to make my dorm room as comfortable as possible. A college dorm becomes your home away from home, and the right bedding is crucial. Whether it be a refuse after a tiring day of classes or a socializing space to meet new people, bedding should be a priority when going back-to-school shopping.

dorm room decorations
discover beautiful pillowcases by SchulmanArt!
Bedding should include fitted sheets, pillowcases, a blanket, a comforter, and a mattress pad. In terms of sheets, check with your school before buying them. Most college residence halls have extra long twin beds, which require a specific size of sheets to fit them.  TIP: When I did my big shopping extravaganza at Bed&Bath, my mom made me buy three sets of sheets and pillowcases because students tend to not wash their sheets that often so better to have extras lying around.

College dorms usually have extra long twin beds to accommodate taller students. Thus, a standard twin-size sheet will not fit. The measurements of an extra long twin mattress are 39 inches wide by 80 inches long, which is 5 inches longer than the standard twin bed. College dorm bedding is generally made for this particular length and goes by the label "XL twin bedding" so be on the lookout.

dorm room decorations
More decorative throw pillows in a
variety of colors and designs!
dorm room decorations
Stay comfy with duvet covers by SchulmanArt! 
Purchasing bedding is fun and exciting, and you'll quickly discover there are many bedding items to choose from, including comforters, quilts, coverlets, duvets, and mattress pads. Comforters are probably the most widely used bedding item, known for the warmth and comfort they provide. TIP: Although down comforters are said to be the warmest, down alternative are easier to clean and maintain. Duvets are like slipcovers for comforters. They add a lot to the appearance of the bed but are most often used to protect comforters from wear and tear or dirt and dust. Coverlets and bedspreads are used more as a decorative touch to the bed and generally need to be used with a blanket. Quilts have been around since the beginning of time, it seems. They consist of three layers: a top layer, which is machine or hand-sewn pieces all sewn together, a middle layer comprised of a filling of cotton, polyester, or down, and a bottom layer, which is usually one piece of fabric. A consideration when purchasing a quilt is that it be machine washable. In terms of blankets, the kind of fabric you choose will affect its softness and warmth. Blankets made of cotton will provide the most breathable, whereas a synthetic fleece blanket will be softer and lighter.

Foam Pad from
Dormitory beds are notoriously uncomfortable so a mattress pad is a great investment. TIP: For my fellow peers with back problems, I recommend going with a memory foam mattress pad, an easy way to turn the standard-issue bed into a luxurious retreat and, not to mention, a soothing surface for the back and neck. Another good one for additional back support is the convoluted mattress pad, which is constructed of soft foam in the shape of an egg carton. Not only do they offer extra support but also provide extra comfort on pressure points that might otherwise be uncomfortable. 100% cotton mattress pads are almost considered the all-purpose mattress pad but they happen to work exceptionally well in warm climates, as they will keep you cooler and your body temperature regulated while you sleep. A wrap is a mattress pad with quilting on the top and sides, designed to provide a snug fit on the mattress. The one-piece construction and contour styling make it very easy and manageable to put on the mattress. A fitted mattress pad has a quilted top and either an expandable grip fabric or an attached fabric skirt to cover the sides of the mattress. These are made to fit all mattresses so are the "go to" choice if you have any doubts.

dorm room decorations
Wall decor by SchulmanArt is
now available on Society6!
Last but certainly not least, care for all your bedding items!!! Although you may occasionally find bedding items that require additional attention, most bedding necessitates the same type of care. Do not use any more detergent that what is instructed, for too much soap can make bedding feel scratchy. Avoid using chlorine bleach as it will not only weaken certain fabrics but will also cause fading and avoid using fabric softeners as they will take away a lot of the durability and capability of absorbing moisture. Keep your bedding in as best condition as possible so hopefully you will be able to use it for all four years of college.
Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon

mentioned in this post: @BedBathBeyond @target @dormco

Emmy Hirsch is an intern for SchulmanArt and will be an incoming freshman at Franklin and Marshall College in the fall of 2013.

What color do you want your dorm to be?